Last Day for RITA Nominees Giveaway

Friday, July 30


If you haven't entered the RITA nominees giveaway yet, you still have time, but not much.  click here to enter and read the fine print.  It ends today so hurry!

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)

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Hot Fun in the Summer... "Feel the Heat" with an Amazon GC giveaway

August is normally referred to the "dog days of summer", all I know is that is it usually HOT. Unbearably hot and steamy. Normally I dread that kind of weather, but with a month full of steamy hot romances to look forward to I decided to celebrate the heat with a "Feel the Heat" giveaway!

I have more guests at Seductive Musings during the month of August and the beginning of September than I have ever had.  I am so excited about it that I am giving away a $20 Amazon gift card to one lucky Musings follower to celebrate!  Here are the details:
  • Every time you leave a meaningful comment from Aug 1-Sept 4th you earn an entry for the $20 Amazon GC.  So not only will your comments possibly win you a prize from one of the many guest authors, but you will also earn entries in the "Feel the Heat" giveaway at the same time.  Woo hoo!
  • Bonus entries for each giveaway (including the normal ways by referring friends, Amazon purchases...) will not only earn you entries for the author giveaway, but you can also earn the same number of entries for the Amazon GC giveaway.  That's double-double the fun!
    Feel the Heat @ Seductive Musings
  • For bloggers who post the banner up above using the code in the box to their sidebar, you can earn an extra 25 bonus entries in the "Feel the Heat" giveaway!  That's on top of all of the other ways to earn extra entries. Once you've posted the banner to your blog, use this form to submit your information to earn your bonus entries.  Please note that the banner must appear on your blog until the giveaway period ends in order for your bonus entries to count.
  • Updated to add:  For my non blogging readers who would like a chance to earn 25 bonus points you can write something creative...a few sentences telling a story using at least 10 of the 14 book titles (corralled, nauti and wild, kiss of the rose, naked, hot finish, a little bit wild, till dawn with the devil, wicked intentions, awakened by a kiss, assassins heart, the devil wears plaid, seduced by a highlander, sin undone, the darkest hour) then posting it in the comments here.  This should be lot's of fun, so just go with the flow and be creative!
  • Winner will be announced on Sept 5th
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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)

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Guest Author & Giveaway: Cherry Adair featuring Black Magic

Thursday, July 29

I mentioned on Monday that somehow this week ended up being "snake week" at Seductive Musings. *Shudder*  I don't really know how it happened. If you would have asked me if I would ever have a week with this common theme I would have told you  "absolutely not!"   I have a MAJOR phobia of snakes!  I can remember as a child getting these educational magazines that featured all kinds of animals that were supposed to teach you the wonder of nature.  It never failed that at least one of the pages had a picture of  a snake...I wouldn't even touch the page that it was on....ever.  I've gotten a little bit better about it, but not much.

When I found out that Cherry Adair was writing a new paranormal romance I was intrigued.  She's very well known for her T-FLAC series, but I didn't know very much about Black Magic so I decided to check out her website and learn more.  Wanna know what I found?  Snakes!  Snakes on her website (and even though they are pretty rainbow colors they still have fangs),  and snakes in her book.   I stuck it out long enough to know that even though the story involves snakes I still wanted to read it (then quickly clicked away from the pics).   She enticed me enough despite my phobia...and I think it helps that the book doesn't have any pictures of them in it, as well as a hunky hero :)  Cherry's here today to talk about Black Magic...and snakes.  Read and enjoy!


BLACK MAGIC and snakes - And lots of them. Yikes. What was I thinking??!

Everyone has something that scares the living crap out of them. My husband screams like a girl when he sees the teeniest tiniest spider. I'm not that crazy about them myself, but I can smack them with a bare hand for him. But snakes. . .

My fear (a mild word for how I really feel!) stems from waking up from my afternoon nap as a toddler to find my hysterical mother standing over me with a garden rake. A venomous boomslang (tree snake) from the vacant lot behind our house decided to curl up under my chin as I snoozed on my blankie in the shade of the oak in the back yard. Frankly, I was only scared out of my little mind because my mother was shrieking like a demented banshee, not because I was afraid of the long green thing cuddled up beside me.

My mother, with the help of the old man next door, managed to hook the snake on the tines of the rake and toss it back into the field. (Personally I would have gone for stomping that sucker to death with the rake, but that's just me!) It was only years later that I realized how close I'd been to freaking death! Clearly, I wasn't bitten, since I'm alive to tell the tale. But the experience scared me for life. Fortunately I have a wonderful job where I can exploit these little life's experiences at will. *smiley* (btw-South Africa has 35 venomous snakes, and 8 highly venomous snakes. That seems excessive for one country to me!) 

I wanted to veer out of my comfort zone (and did I ever!) and write a straight paranormal. (as with snakes, paranormal. . .anything kinda freaks me out. But that's another story!) Since I already had an affinity for wizards (albeit T-FLAC/psi kick butt-take-no-prisoners-wizards) I decided to start there.

The Aequitas and the Omnivatics have been bitter enemies since the beginning of time. There's a lot of history and bad blood between them. Fortunately, the Omnivatics died out hundreds of years ago. . .Or did they? (Of course not, or I wouldn't have a book, I'd have a page!) Jackson Slater is an Aequitas warrior, but foremost, he's a geologist. (this isn't a T-FLAC book for those who are asking *smiley*) He's sexy, driven, focused and fabulous. *smiley* His life's work is the tracking of mystical leylines which give(my)wizards their powers. I fell in love with Jack, and because I loved him, gave him my biggest fear. Snakes.

Sara Temple is also a wizard. A non practicing wizard. When she tries spells they always go horribly wrong. She thinks the whole wizard thing is stupid and dangerous, and she leaves well enough alone. She's living her life happily and magic free. Sara is focused, driven and sexy. (see how these two are exactly the same but completely different?! Lol) And because I adored Sara I made her an interior designer (which I used to be *smiley*)

All well and good, you say, but did you HAVE to add snakes to the mix?  Well, I could have made the Omnivatics scorpions, or man-eating termites, or giant spiders, but none of those things creeped me out nearly as much as snakes!  So, yes. There are snakes in BLACK MAGIC. But that's just the scary part and some will be more scared than others reading about them. (my spider-terrified spouse, said "What's the big deal?" when he read the bits about the snakes. See? One man's spider is another woman's snake to paraphrase *smiley*)

At its heart BLACK MAGIC is a love story about two people who were ripped apart and are unwillingly thrown back together to fight a mutual foe.  I hope you have as much fun reading about Jack and Sara as I did writing them.  There's an excerpt and a slide show about BLACK MAGIC on my website. www.cherryadair.com Feel free to leave me your I %$#@^ HATE snakes message there. *smiley*

Cheers,
Cherry


SHE HATES USING MAGIC . . .

Ever since the death of her parents, Sara Temple has rejected her magical gifts. Then, in a moment of extreme danger, she unknowingly sends out a telepathic cry for help—to the one man she is convinced she never wants to see again.

HE’S A POWERFUL WIZARD . . .

Jackson Slater thought he was done forever with his ex-fiancée, but when he hears her desperate plea, he teleports halfway around the world to aid her in a situation where magic has gone suddenly, brutally wrong.

THEY’VE BEEN CHOSEN TO SAVE THE WORLD . . .

But while Sara and Jack remain convinced they are completely mismatched, the Wizard Council feels otherwise. A dark force is killing some of the world’s most influential wizards, and the ex-lovers have just proved their abilities are mysteriously amplified when they work together. But with the fate of the world at stake, will the violent emotions still simmering between them drive them farther apart . . . or bring them back into each other’s arms?


(amazon widget)

Many thanks Cherry for being my guest today (despite all the snakes).  Normally I will try to include pictures of something that an author references in her post, but when it comes to snakes....OMG, my fear is so irrational that I can't even look at them on a page or on a screen that has one on it...seriously, it's that bad (I know I mentioned this early, but it bears repeating).  So when Cherry referenced a snake in the story, I knew I couldn't include the picture in the post (because then I wouldn't even be able to visit my own blog), so the best I could do was provide a link :)

If you'd like to learn more about Cherry and the books she writes you can find her at her oh so fab website www.cherryadair.com, where I exhibited oustanding fear control when researching Black Magic, and failed T-Flac training dismally (just ask Kane, my mission commander).

To celebrate the release of Black Magic by Cherry Adair, her publisher Pocket Books has generously offered to give away one copy of her new book.  Here's how you can enter to win...

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory: Leave a meaningful comment...something more than "I'd like to win this book" (good for 1 entry)
  • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • This contest is open to US addresses only (apologies to my international readers)
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on July 31 at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
  • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

Booklover signature (revised)
*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)

Read more...

Review: My Dangerous Duke by Gaelen Foley

Wednesday, July 28

Title: My Dangerous Duke*
Author:  Gaelen Foley
Series: Inferno Club series book #2
Genre:  Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Romance
Format:  mass market paperback
Date/Year: June 2010

*This book was provided to me by the author for review

Summary from the publisher:

The Inferno Club: In public, this scandalous society of London aristocrats is notorious for pursuing all manner of debauchery. But in private, they are warriors who would do anything to protect king and country . . .

They say that the very name of Warrington is cursed . . .

From a time as old as the cold stone of the duke’s ancestral castle, the Warrington men have been plagued by tragedy. But Rohan Kilburn, the Duke of Warrington has vowed to escape the predestined torment by forsaking love and devoting his life to the Inferno Club and its secret mission.

And then she is brought to him unbidden by cutthroats hoping to calm the duke’s infamous temper—a sacrificial virgin of sorts. But even overpowered, Kate Madsen will be no man’s sacrifice. And the duke’s price for claiming her may be what he has sworn never to give—the heart he has so long and fiercely guarded . . . to the beautiful hostage he was never meant to love.


My Musings:

Kate Marsden is a heroine who has been secreted away in the English countryside and has grown up secluded from the world around her but surrounded by her beloved books.  She lives a solitary and self sufficient life.  That is until she was kidnapped by dangerous men who believe her to be someone else…someone worthy of holding for ransom.

Rohan Kilburn descends from a long line of fierce warriors who have sworn to protect against the evil Prometheans whose goal is power and world domination.  He is an assassin and has spent his entire adult life ruthlessly killing his enemies and fulfilling what he believes is his destiny.  And while he loves women he feels that his soul is too black to be worthy of love…throw in a family curse that dooms any woman he might come to love and Rohan has resigned himself never to love or be loved.  He’s a brooding, brutal beast of a man.  Yet at his core he is honorable with a heart of gold.

Unlike My Wicked Marquess, which I felt focused too much on the setup of the series to the detriment of the love story, My Dangerous Duke spends a large portion of the story on the hero and the heroine and their unlikely pairing.  In fact the moments when this story was at its best was when it focused on Kate and Rohan’s discovery of each other.  From the very first page I was captivated by who these two characters were, what their motivations were, and their personal histories.   And it kept getting better…that is until the conclusion.  Unfortunately, towards the end of the book I felt that the story was carried away by an Indiana Jones/National Treasure type of adventure that seemed too fantastical to be believable.  It’s not that is was poorly written, it just seemed too over the top to suspend belief even for a fiction novel. 

There’s quite a bit of the book that I don’t want to divulge in the review because it would reveal important parts of the plot that should be left to the enjoyment of the reader to discover, but I can say that instead of the adventure we were given at the end I wished that there would have been more of the meaningful moments between Rohan and Kate because that is where the brilliance of this story was for me.   I also wanted more of the story to focus on the superstitions surrounding the castle and the Warrington curse, especially since Kate is an avid reader of the Gothic novels that were so popular in this time period.  This was briefly touched upon, but I would have liked it to have been explored further.  I wished that the battle between good and evil in this story would have been more personal, especially considering Kate’s ancestry and Rohan’s role in the Inferno Club (for Rohan to fight an actual person to protect his love instead of a legend).

The first half of the book reminded me of what I loved about Gaelen Foley’s earlier novels (which I absolutely love), the last part of the book unfortunately distracted from that.  Regrettably, since the adventure is at the end of the book it is what leaves you with a lasting impression.


Ratings: 

Overall: 3.50 stars (The majority of the book where we are gifted with the story of Kate and Rohan I would give 4.0 stars, the last half consisting of the adventure I would give 2.5 stars...which leaves me with a book that receives 3.5 stars. Since more of the book focuses on the story that I liked, I think it deserves a better rating than just an average between the two)
Sensuality level: 2.5 (pretty much what you would expect from a modern day historical romance)


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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)

Read more...

Guest Author & Giveaway: Cynthia Eden featuring Deadly Fear

Tuesday, July 27


Romantic Suspense novels are a favorite genre of mine.  When I found out author Cynthia Eden, best known for her sexy Brava paranormal romances, was writing a romantic suspense series I immediately added her to my authors to try in 2010 list.  I've not read her paranormals, though I've heard nothing but good things about them.  I guess I have a "I'm just not that into you" kind of relationship with paranormal romances over the past few years....from any author.  

What is it I love about romantic suspense novels?  I love that the story makes me guess, and sometimes proves me wrong much to my delight.  The plots read much like movies to me...heartpounding, page turning, "give me more" type of anticipation with "to die for" heroes.  When they are done with just the right combination of suspense and romance they are hard to beat.  Cynthia Eden is my guest today talking about her new direction in romantic suspense with her Deadly series which begins with Deadly Fear.  Read and enjoy!


Paranormal to Romantic Suspense…Writing in Different Genres

Hello, everyone! I’m excited to be here at Seductive Musings (thanks for inviting me over!).

When it comes to books, I have two loves: paranormal tales and romantic suspense novels.

Please, give me vampires, give me demons, give me shifters—I love those monsters, and I’ve had an absolutely wonderful time writing about them over the last few years as I published my Other stories with Kensington Brava. However, as I wrote my paranormal tales, I began to see a trend with my writing.

I didn’t just write about vampires and evil demons. I wrote about serial killing demons. Cop shifters. Investigative reporters who tracked murderers (okay, demon reporters). Suspense elements kept slipping right into my stories.

Because I love suspense…just as much as I love my paranormal monsters.

Since suspense kept calling to me, I decided to branch out with my writing—and to get the best of both sub-genres. *smiley* I’m continuing to write my sexy paranormals, but now I am also creating my dark suspense stories. Branching out into another genre was a natural evolution for me, and it’s an evolution that I hope my readers will enjoy.

Sure, when I first started writing DEADLY FEAR, I did miss my paranormal characters (it’s hard to give up vampire fun!), but I soon was hooked in the world of my FBI agents. What can I say? I definitely think that a sexy FBI agent can compete with a wild shifter.

But what about you? How do you feel about an author branching into a new sub-genre? And do you think FBI agents can have the same appeal as supernatural heroes?

Thanks!
Cynthia Eden

TWO BRILLIANT AGENTS

FBI Special Agent Monica Davenport has made a career out of profiling serial killers. But getting inside the twisted minds of the cruel and the sadistic has taken its toll: She’s walled herself off from the world. Yet Monica can’t ignore fellow agent Luke Dante, the only man who ever broke through her defenses.

ONE DREAM TEAM

Luke has the unique ability to put victims at ease…professionally, he and Monica made a perfect team. Now they’re reunited to catch a murderer who uses his victims’ deepest, darkest fears for sport - but their investigative skills aren’t enough. Luke and Monica will have to face the secrets from their past, the ones that terrify them the most, if they are to have a future together.

But can they catch a killer whose weapon is…DEADLY FEAR?


(amazon widget)

Congratulations Cynthia on your new series!  If you'd like to learn more about Cynthia and the books she writes you can find her on her website www.cynthiaeden.com, Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter.

Do you know what you are afraid of?  Take the Deadly Fear Quiz and find out.  And funnily enough I found another connection to snakes and this week's books while reading Five Fun Facts about Cynthia and her book.  Seems to be a recurring theme that I just can't get away from :)  I can tell you this though she is a MUCH braver person than I am when it comes to trying to overcome that particular fear!

To celebrate the release of the first book in the Deadly series, DEADLY FEAR by Cynthia Eden, her publisher Forever Romance is giving away five copies of her new book.  Here's how you can enter to win...

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory: Answer the questions Cynthia asked readers and show her some comment love (good for 1 entry)
  • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • This contest is open to US & Canadian addresses.  Sorry no PO Boxes
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on August 7 at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
  • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!
Booklover signature (revised)
*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)

Read more...

Guest Author & Giveaway: Katharine Ashe featuring Swept Away by a Kiss

Monday, July 26

What do you get when you combine pirates, a wickedly scandalous lady, secret identities, and forbidden love in the midst of a war with France?  Katharine Ashe's debut historical romance Swept Away by a Kiss published by Avon Romance.

Katharine is my guest today to talk about her new novel....and snakes?  *shudders* Despite her use of the "s" word, this is one historical romance that I'm anxious to get my hands on.  Read and enjoy!


Escaping

Yesterday my dog found a snake in the knee-high grass in my back yard. Like a goofball, the ninety-pounder pawed and pranced until the irritated intruder reared up in threat. The air conditioning guy (who was present at the time) insisted it was a Copperhead. It mattered little; the snake did not bite my dog. (Note: I did not believe the air conditioning guy. I saw no venom sacs in the narrow head. A transplant to the gorgeous southeast, this Yankee girl has discovered, somewhat to her chagrin, that southern gents are total lilies when it comes to snakes. Perhaps reasonably so.)

In any case, clearly the grass needed mowing.

Off to the garage I skipped for the mower, imagining myself some sort of early pioneer cutting a swath through thickets of reptile-friendly wilderness, paving the way for primate civilization. (I often think in epic terms.) Half an hour later, by the time I got to that part of the lawn, the snake had departed.

But it got me to thinking. About escapes. And escaping.

My dog escaped the snake. But he didn’t particularly want to. He wanted to play, despite the danger.

Or, perhaps, he did not quite understand the extent of the danger.

In my debut historical romance, SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS, pirates imprison the heroine, Lady Valerie Monroe, in a tiny ship cabin. Valerie is something of an exile to society who passed most of her youth trying to gain her estranged father’s attention by chasing inappropriate men. As such, Valerie is no stranger to risky escapades. This time, however, she may be in over her head.

Pirates pose only part of the threat. For Valerie is not alone in her captivity, and her fellow prisoner in the tiny cell upon the ocean is a figure of pure fantasy.

Fantasy and danger.

Etienne La Marque is a Frenchman, sworn enemy to the English in wartime. An adventurer who has spent the better part of his life in the wilds of America. A devastatingly handsome man of mystery. And a priest.

Yes, a priest—to Valerie’s knowledge, at least.

In fact, he is Viscount Steven Ashford, black-sheep English lord with a mission at hand—a mission that must not be compromised by the tempting noblewoman.

Valerie wants nothing more than to escape from the horrors of the pirate ship. To defeat her captors she’s willing to do anything, even resuscitate her old tricks to force her cabin mate to give her the help she needs. Then Steven vows to save her, but only if she plays the game by his rules. Rules by which a priest must abide.

It doesn’t take long for Valerie to discover that the greatest danger she faces is not pirates at all. It is her unruly heart. But Steven’s disguise is just that, and the clever, headstrong beauty could make a man forget everything but her.

With every moment the prisoners spend aboard ship, escape becomes less and less desirable, and danger has never tasted so sweet.

Have you ever rushed toward danger? What was your greatest escape? I’ll give away a copy of SWEPT AWAY BY A KISS to one lucky commenter today. But you have to answer the question to win!

A Secret Identity

When pirates storm Lord Steven Ashford’s ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies, he must never see her again…

An Undeniable Love

Back in England, and under the ton’s scrutiny for a reckless past she hasn’t escaped, Valerie dreams of the breathtaking “man of the cloth” with whom she shared her greatest adventure. Then he reappears in society under his true identity, Viscount Ashford, but despite the danger their consuming passion cannot be denied. Now standing in the way of their desire are Valerie’s wounded heart, Steven’s lone destiny, and a villain that will stop at nothing to crush them both.



Congratulations Katharine on your debut novel!  If you'd like to learn more about Katharine and her books Swept Away by a Kiss and Captured by a Rogue Lord you can find her at her website www.katharineashe.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

To celebrate the release of Swept Away by a Kiss Katharine Ashe is giving away a signed copy of her new book and up to 10 signed bookmarks.  Here's how you can enter to win....

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory: Answer the question Katharine asked readers and show her some comment love (good for 1 entry)
  • Mandatory: You MUST be a Google Friend Connect (GFC) follower in order to be eligible to win (unfortunately an email subscriber, or subscription in Google reader, and a follower are not the same thing so make sure you are signed up as a follower if you'd like to win this book)
  • If you have a blog, or even if you don't, you can earn extra entries by telling your friends. If they successfully enter to win and mention that you sent them you can each earn extra entries. You can blog about it with a link to this post, post it on Facebook, Twitter, email...or even word of mouth (good for 5 entries for the referrer and the commenter for each friend) . Please note that to earn the points they must mention your GFC name so that I can match you.
  • Purchase any item from the Seductive Musings Amazon store by using this link, or the Amazon widget contained within this post and email a copy of your purchase receipt to me no later than the deadline to enter (email available in sidebar). Sorry purchases made prior to this date do not apply, and link contained in this post must be used. No faxes or snail mail copies are allowed. No purchases are necessary to win. (good for 25 entries, or 50 entries if a purchase is made from the featured author's available titles)
How to enter:
  • You can choose to enter as many different ways that you want, but please place all of your entries in ONE comment 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • This contest is open to US & International addresses
  • For every 5 commentors a signed bookmark will be given away
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on July 31 at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
  • The winner(s) will have THREE days from the date they are posted to provide a mailing address. If you do not contact me within three days a replacement winner will be selected. NO EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)

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Monday's Muse

Sorry, but the image containing the Monday's Muse has been removed from this blog so as not to violate any copyright issues.  Thanks for your understanding!

It's been a while since I've featured a Muse in bed, but I think our Muse this week was definitely worth the wait don't you?  Doesn't he look all beachy and snuggly and yummy?  I could imagine myself on vacation with him with the ocean breeze blowing, the sky blue with fluffy white clouds....what?  You say the only view your interested in is right in front of you?  I can't say that I blame you. ONE. LITTLE. BIT.  He'll be here all week, lounging for your viewing pleasure.  Feel free to visit as often as you like.

Speaking of visiting.  I have three guest authors this week.  Today debut author Katharine Ashe is here with her historical romance Swept Away by a Kiss (the title kind of inspired our Muse this week) , then on Tuesday Cynthia Eden will be here with her new romantic suspense Deadly Fear, then on Cherry Adair will be here with her new paranormal romance Black Magic.  Come to think of it this week is a week of first for each one of these authors.  Cynthia's is her first romantic suspense and Cherry's is her first paranormal...and Katharine's is her first historical.  Funny how that happened. Anyways, I hope you will join us!


p.s. don't forget to enter the Forever Romance RITA Nominees giveaway...it ends this week so hurry!

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)

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Review: To Conquer a Highlander by Mary Wine

Thursday, July 22

Title:  To Conquer a Highlander*
Author:  Mary Wine
Series: Book #1 in a new highland series
Genre:  Historical Romance
Publisher: Casablanca Sourcebooks
Format:  mass market paperback
Date/Year: July 2010

*This book was provided to me by the publisher for review

Summary from the publisher:

A fierce Highland laird ready to kill for king and country…


When Torin McLeren discovers his neighbor’s plot against his king, he takes their daughter as his prisoner, thereby stopping her father’s plot from going forward. But that leaves him with a woman under his roof whom he can’t ignore, and not just because she’s his enemy’s daughter…

A woman who’s as much trouble as she is temptation…

Shannon McBoyd decides to use her captor to experience passion for the first time, and then to destroy him. But her plan goes awry because once she has lured Torin into her bed, she no longer wants to hurt the one man who seems to value and understand her…

Even if her father will kill him—and her—when he discovers what they’ve done...

My Musings:

Shannon McBoyd was born a daughter to a man who thought her worthless, who took every opportunity to verbalize her uselessness through words and fists.  Yet despite constant belittlement she matures into a woman with silent strength, a will to survive, and try to see good and purpose where most would only despair; even when her father sends her to marry into a family embroiled in the murder of the king of Scotland.

Torin McLeren was born to a mother and father who married for love, and grew up a child that was deeply loved and cherished.  When his uncle remained childless he was sent to train to eventually take his place.  Though he was never meant to be laird of the clan McLeren he found himself with the responsibilities of leading and protecting his people.  And while he is at an age that demands he marry and produce an heir he holds out hope to find love in a union beneficial to his clan.

While it took me a little while to get into To Conquer a Highlander, and I thought it ended a little abruptly, there were several things that I loved about this story.  One of the things that I loved was the fact that there was not a lot of outside conflict once the story really got going. (ie once Torin stole Shannon).  Once Torin and Shannon arrived at his holding, the story blossomed and really let the characters shine and become the most important aspect of the book.  The reader gets plenty of page time with both Torin and Shannon to get to know them, understand what makes them do the things they do, and watch them as they fall in love.  Shannon’s strength and honor is given the chance to be appreciated as well as Torin’s need for love.

Torin has all the best traits of a highland hero.  Yes, he’s alpha, but he’s not overbearing.  He’s protective without being overprotective.   He’s patient, understanding, with a noble sense of honor, and desperately wants the kind of love his parents shared…and finds he wants that with Shannon, not out of revenge or justice but because he’s drawn to her.  Torin was one of my favorite things about To Conquer a Highlander…that and his friend Connor (which will happily receive his own story soon).

The story doesn’t get bogged down in the history and conflict that the characters were entangled in even though it plays a part in the plot.  It was a backdrop and catalyst to Torin and Shannon love’s story, but didn’t monopolize or try to become as important as the hero and heroine.  This story was all about Torin and Shannon…and that is my favorite part of this book.  While the love scenes were sensual the moments in between were the most intimate and revealing….that made this story more memorable than your average highland romance.

Mary Wine’s characters in To Conquer a Highlander definitely conquered my heart….both the hero and the heroine as well as their love story. And much like how their story was revealed it was a gradual surrender.  The more I read of To Conquer a Highlander the more I loved it.  It conquered me little by little, page by page until the very end.  I can’t wait for the next book in this series (Torin’s friend Connor in Highland Hellcat).  



Favorite passage:

This is a scene that takes place soon after Torin and Shannon become lovers.  Prior to this Torin tries to tease her and be playful...to try and act the part of a lover and Shannon has a hard time understanding what all this means to her, and is contemplating all of this over a quiet and private dinner in his rooms.
“She was focused on her company, watching him in a manner that she seemed to want to only do with Torin.  She finished eating before he did, and sat back in her chair with her hands wrapped around a goblet of rich wine.  Shannon sipped at it slowly but felt heat moving through her veins anyway.  It wasn’t the wine that sent fire flickering across her skin; it was the certain knowledge that Torin wanted her near.  He’d had her and still longed for her company.  Teasing, he’d said.  Now that sent the sweetest rush of delight through her.  It soaked into more than her flesh; it filled her heart, because it was more than lust.  This went beyond the passionate needs of his body.  Maybe there were no words, but in a way that was what made her notice her feelings that much more.”  P. 250 To Conquer a Highlander by Mary Wine

Ratings:

Overall: 4.0 stars
Sensuality level: 3.25 (I would say it is maybe a tad bit more sensuous than your typical historical romance, but maybe not quite as hot as her books written for Brava)

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)

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Review: Raising Kane by Lorelei James

Wednesday, July 21

Title:  Raising Kane*
Author:  Lorelei James
Series: Rough Riders #9
Genre: Erotic Western Romance
Publisher:  Samhain Publishing
Format:  ebook
Date/Year: June 2010

*This book was provided to me by the author for review

Summary from the publisher:

She surrendered the reins. Now he’s raising the stakes.

Rough Riders, Book 9

When a patch of ice sends attorney Ginger Paulson head-over-high-heels down a flight of stairs, she has no one to care for her young son and her invalid father—until lethally sexy Kane McKay shows up at the hospital, determined to prove his cowboy chivalry. Past experience has inoculated her against take-charge men, but even Ginger isn’t immune to Kane’s invasive charm and Built Ford Tough body.

For two years rancher Kane McKay has followed the Little Buddies mentoring program’s cardinal rule—hands off his Little Buddy Hayden’s mama. But one look at Ginger’s bruised body and Kane is through watching the stubborn woman take care of everyone but herself. The feisty, curvy redhead needs his help, and he’ll give her the hands-on type whether she likes it or not.

After Kane throws out doctor’s orders and issues his own demands—her full sexual submission—Ginger realizes Kane’s caring nature extends beyond just fulfilling her physical needs.

Can the former hell-raiser convince the gun-shy single mom to look beyond his past…toward a shared future?

Warning: Contains one sweet and hot hunk of cowboy manflesh who uses every sexual trick in the book to render a sassy, fast-talking attorney speechless and put a new twist on the term “binding arbitration”.


My Musings

Kane McKay was a man that almost single-handedly created the legendary bad boy image that the McKay men are known for.  Yet throughout the Rough Riders series we’ve seen Kane transform himself into the man he decides he wants to be, which is more than a man known for his sexual exploits;  a man who is ready for love and the responsibilities of having a family of his own....even if no one else believes that this leopard can change his spots.

Ginger Paulson is a strong and independent woman who is an attorney, a single mother, and caretaker for her disabled father.  She’s got a lot on her plate and through determination, and lots of hard work she manages to successfully juggle it all without much help from anyone else.  That is until she is forced to accept help after an accident has left her barely able to care for herself let alone her young son and father.  Like many people who are used to having to do it all, she has a hard time accepting help from anyone else. Even if it is the man she fantasizes about.

Kane and Ginger fought their attraction to each other, despite a knock your socks off kiss they shared months ago.  But Kane jumps at the chance to get closer to Ginger and try to convince her that a relationship between the two of them could be more than a good thing when she is injured and needs help. 

For me Raising Kane was different than many of the other Rough Riders stories.  I felt that it was a more mature love story than many of the others.  Kane and Ginger are both in their mid thirties.  They’ve lived life.  Ginger has a son.  They’ve been there and done that.  Unlike several of the other books in this series….where there are obstacles to overcome (drug addiction, disabilities, an unplanned pregnancy…) there are no big dark secrets, no overblown misunderstandings, no big emotional drama or growth.   In this story the hero and the heroine are both at a point in their lives where they know who they are and what they want, which is why this story felt more subdued and less intense than many of the other McKay stories.  When I say that I don't mean it in a way that means the story was boring or bad or less than the others, it just seemed…..natural.  Like how you would expect a real relationship to evolve, and I think that is where the beauty lies in Raising Kane.  It seemed like a "real" love story.
 
Even though I loved Kane as a hero, I did feel that much of his character growth happened outside of his own story (little snippets in the previous Rough Riders)…and I don’t really know how I feel about that.  In some respects I felt disappointed by this because the character who ended up dominating the story was Ginger, not Kane (at least IMO).  Ginger is the character who had to learn to rely on others and accept love, but what about Kane?  And since its supposedly Kane’s story we can’t pass over his infamously alluded to past sexual exploits.  Anyone who has the pleasure of reading Lorelei James’s Rough Riders series know she writes smokin’ hot love scenes. In fact I think she is one of the best erotic romance writers out there, not just because of the loves scenes but because they are about so much more than just sex. Her love scenes are more than just numerous sex scenes inserted at certain parts in the story where it might make sense.  Each and every intimate encounter has purpose and meaning to the hero and heroine’s love story…and Raising Kane is certainly no different.  But shouldn’t Kane’s story be just a little bit more sexually intense/adventurous?

Because of his past and what we’ve been led to believe about him in previous RR stories I expected Kane to be more intense and demanding in the bedroom…and I guess he kinda sorta was?   But in the end he didn’t really seem that much different than the other McKay men. I know he’s changed, but has he changed that much?  Once or twice within the story there are a few sex toys that are referenced that Kane says he’ll use on Ginger at some point, but to my recollection he didn’t make good on those promises/threats.  Not that I wanted or needed more sex scenes between the two, nor could they have been any hotter than they were, but maybe I expected him to be just a tad kinkier…..maybe.  I wanted Kane to push Ginger (not just tempt her) to give up control of at least this one aspect of her life and through these moments in the story to really learn to trust and accept his love.  To realize that she’s not alone and no longer has to do it all, that she has a partner who is willing to shoulder some of the burdens that she carries if she will only let him.  That’s what he offers her, but I felt that she still had a hard time believing that/him, even at the end of the story.  When I read in the blurb that Kane demands Ginger’s “full sexual submission” I expected him to be a more sexually demanding lover than what we’ve seen in some of the previous RR stories, and I don’t think he was.  However, I also I didn’t expect him to be as passionate and compassionate a hero as he was in Raising Kane.

There are several sweet and cherishable moments that I didn’t expect from this hero and I loved that about this story.  Kane’s bond with Ginger’s son is what any woman would wish for when trusting someone to help raise your child, mentor them, and provide a strong male role model.  Add to that how he helps a Ginger’s father, a disabled man keep his pride, and dignity, as well as realize his importance in their newly formed family and you have one perfect sigh worthy hero.

In the end I think Raising Kane is another great addition to the McKay family and the Rough Riders series, and is definitely worth your time and money.  I just wish a little more of the story would have been about Kane instead of Ginger,  that Kane maybe was a little more dominant, and that the small diversions involving Brandt McKay and Jessie (which I didn’t really go into in the review but will no doubt will be a future RR story) would have been even more brief and less distracting within Kane and Ginger’s story. 
 

Ratings:
Overall: 4.25
Sensuality level:  4.0 (this one is hot...after all it is a Lorelei James novel. Lots of sex, but nothing shocking)

p.s.  while I do think Raising Kane could be read as a stand alone (more so than any of the other RR series), a reader who hasn’t read the previous stories won’t have the full benefit of experiencing the personal growth and discovery that Kane went through prior to his story in Raising Kane, at least to appreciate who he has become and his hero worthiness.

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*I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small (and I mean very small) referral fee for purchases made using a link on this blog. I don't use Amazon to earn money, I use it because the widgets are cool, easy to use, and serve my purposes to showcase books & such with minimal effort, but most importantly they have great prices and offer both new and used items. As a book addict I love that I can find just about anything I want in one place. If you are going to purchase a featured book anyway, and you know you won't pay more by using the links on this blog than you would by visiting Amazon on your own, I will be eternally grateful for supporting this blog by using the links, and don't forget that the referral fees from your purchases will sponsor the "Reader Rewards" giveaways :)

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My FREE Kindle Quest

I've wanted a Kindle for what seems like forever, but haven't been able to afford it (and that's saying something since I can justify the cost of just about ANYTHING that I really want). I've tried winning one in one of the many giveaways that have taken place over the couple of years, but with no luck :( So I've decided to take matters in hand so to speak :) I've now decided that I am going to accumulate enough Swagbucks from my Swabucks searches to buy one...so in essence my new Kindle will be FREE...funded entirely by my internet searches done on Swagbucks. I'll keep you informed of the Great Kindle Quest below (in case you're interested....if not feel free to just skip over this part, but really who wouldn't be interested in a FREE Kindle?)
Goal: $119
Current Swagbucks Amazon Gift Card balance: $90.00
If you'd like to learn how you can earn Swagbucks and earn your own Amazon Gift Cards to buy books, a Kindle or other merchandise sold at Amazon contact me and I would be more than happy to tell you how I plan to go about it. (just so you know you can earn both Amazon.com and Amazon.ca gift cards on this rewards site)
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