Guest Author & Giveaway: Mia Marlowe featuring Improper Gentlemen

Friday, July 29

Today we're talking about improper behavior...ie sex in Historical Romance.  Want to find out what author Mia Marlowe has to say about it and terms such as "ruddy tower of power"?  Then read on my book loving friends!


IMPROPER BEHAVIOR

My novella in the IMPROPER GENTLEMEN anthology (July 26, 2011) with Diane Whiteside and Maggie Robinson is not your grandmother's historical romance read. It starts right out with a couple's frantic, forbidden joining on a sultry Bermudan night. Not surprisingly, my topic today is about improper behavior. 

In straight talk--sex scenes. Writers work with nothing but ink on a page and somehow hope to breathe life into our characters. We play on their hopes and dreams. We exploit their triumphs and failures. Nowhere are these things more evident than in our character’s bedrooms.

My literary first time was not in a romance book. It was from a highly respected literary genius--John Updike. I was a junior in high school, an extremely naïve junior, when I read Rabbit Run. The scene where Harry Angstrom coerces a hooker into giving him oral sex while his wife is giving birth was a shock to me. First, because I had no idea people did such things. Told you I was naïve. And second, because the relationship in which the oral sex occurred was so cold and devoid of joy. But did it deepen my understanding of the characters and propel the story? Like a runaway locomotive.

It also convinced me that every scene—especially the sex scenes—should deepen my characters or propel the story. Preferably both.

If they’re so important, why are sex scenes so hard to write?

Probably because writers need to get over themselves. We worry that someone will think our sex scenes are autobiographical, sometimes with good reason. When I first started writing, my DH used to go to the Romantic Times Convention with me. One day a woman who’d read my work came up to him, gave him the once over and said, “You must really be something.”

The wicked man just smiled and said, “Thank you, ma’am, I am.”

Part of what makes writing a sex scene difficult is puzzling over what language to use. Which brings us to “purple prose.” If you’ve ever giggled over something as ridiculous as “the ruddy tower of his power” you know what I mean. Beauty of language is one thing, but let’s not lose our heads. There’s no room in any scene for, pardon the pun, flaccid prose. I need to keep it crisp or the story will be lost in Victorian silliness. Unless of course the story is set in the Victorian era, but even then it’s best to keep the euphemisms down. Or better yet, let the characters laugh over their verbal coyness.

I always try to call it what my characters would call it. When the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense. Technical terms may not sing, but they don’t confuse anyone either. And it is possible to write a totally hot sex scene and not mention any body parts at all.

Mark Twain said “A successful book isn’t made of what’s in it, but what’s left out of it.” I promise to leave out purple prose.

What “purplism” frustrates you? My mother hates the word “groin.” Any time we write about body parts or sexual acts, someone will be offended by the words we use. What term do you wish your favorite author would leave out?


Unsuitable. Forbidden. Oh-so-seductive. These gentlemen are hardly respectable. But they are the very, very best…

“Talbot’s Ace” by Diane Whiteside

He rules Colorado’s most glittering, anything-goes gambling palace. And Justin Talbot never does something for nothing. But if daring Boston aristocrat Charlotte Morland needs his protection from a dangerous enemy, he’ll have no choice but to make her business his pleasure…

“To Match a Thief” by Maggie Robinson

Ex-pickpocket Sir Simon Keith can finally afford the best of everything. But London’s most-desired courtesan is his lost love Lucy. Now Simon will need his wits and his considerably large…wiles to win his way back into her bed—and into her heart.

“A Knack for Trouble” by Mia Marlowe


Lord Aidan Stonemere didn’t go from prison to a title playing by society’s rules. If he wants something, he takes it, and Rosalinde Burke didn’t object to being taken. Once. To keep her from marrying a staid viscount, Aidan’s about to remind her how deliciously good being bad feels…



Congratulations Mia!  I have to admit that I love both proper and improper heroes, because I firmly believe that there is a time and place for everything...after all even rakes need to have some manners in the bedroom :)

Right now, Mia's publisher is running a special a Brava Kindle bundle with IMPROPER GENTLEMEN, TO TOUCH A THIEF,  and MISTRESS BY MISTAKE for only $16.49 which is an absolute steal on these fantastic romances, since it would cost you more than 33.00 if you bought them in print individually.  That's a whopping off 60% of the cover price of $42.00 when you buy the Kindle bundle.  That's the kind of deal that I LOVE!  If I didn't already have two out of the three books I would be jumping on this in a major way...not that that should influence you at all (pssst buy it!)

For more about Mia and her upcoming books, visit MiaMarlowe.com. While you're there, be sure to enter her contest and visit her very active blog, or you can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

To celebrate the release of IMPROPER GENTLEMAN author Mia Marlowe would like to giveaway an ARC copy of the anthology to one lucky Musings follower.  Here's how you can enter to win:

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Answer the question Mia asked readers in her post and/or leave a comment or question for Mia (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)
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
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on July 30th at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
  • EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
  • 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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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Review: Changing the Game by Jaci Burton

Thursday, July 28

Title: Changing the Game*
Author: Jaci Burton
Series: Play by Play series #2 (The Perfect Play #1)
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Publishing (Penguin USA)
Format: Trade size paperback & digital ebook
Date/Year:  Aug 2, 2011
Reviewed by: Booklover1335

*This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

Most people play by the rules. Gavin and Liz aren't most people...

Win at any cost. That's always been the mantra of sports agent Liz Darnell. When she carries things too far and risks losing her number-one client, baseball pro Gavin Riley, Liz realizes that she'll have to work extra innings to win him back. It might not be too much of a stretch. She's had a thing for this player's moves since she first laid eyes on him, and by the looks of it, he wants her just as bad.

Gavin's more than ready—especially when Liz is offering herself as part of the bargain. And as much of her as Gavin wants. For added thrills, he decides to throw a little curve ball Liz's way to see just how far she's truly willing to go to keep him as a client. But when love unexpectedly enters the playing field, neither Liz nor Gavin are ready for the biggest game-changer of them all.

My Musings:

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”  This quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning is so fitting for how I felt after reading Jaci Burton’s newest addition to her Play by Play series, Changing the Game.  Simply put, I LOVED it!  In fact I think it is the best Contemporary Erotic Romance I’ve read this year.  I have mad love for Gavin and Liz…like, if I had to actually make a list of the things I love about the book, we would be here for a long, long time.  I pretty much loved everything about it with one exception.  It’s one of those books that you can’t wait to tell your romance reading friends about how great it was, and that they just HAVE to read it.  At least it was for me, which is why you are about to witness my gush fest for Jaci Burton and Changing the Game.

Gavin is a sexy playboy baseball player at the top of his game.  He loves pretty much everything about his life.  He loves playing baseball.  And would actually play for free if he had to just to be a part of a game he loves.  That is the thing about Gavin that is so endearing, when he loves, he loves deeply and passionately.  He loves his family, he loves his career, and he loves his life.  He’s carefree and fun loving….in the way that only a person who is comfortable with himself can truly be, yet he’s also determined, and focused, and committed.  And my book loving friends…he cooks…in the kitchen….and is really really good at it (among other things…I think you can read between the lines here).

Liz is just as driven as Gavin is, but for very different reasons.  She’s a big player in the world of sports agents but unlike Gavin where everything comes naturally for him, like he’s blessed by the Gods or something, Liz has had to fight to prove to her colleagues in her male dominated profession that she deserves to be there.  She’s professional and is often referred to as a “shark” because of her aggressive and ruthless representation of her clients.   People see her as cold hearted, and in case of Gavin’s brother Mick, a manipulative b*@ch who is willing to stop at nothing to line her pockets at anyone’s expense.

And while Liz has her faults, deep down she is a woman who has a desperate need for control and independence.  She is a person who is always on the outside looking in, who is in love with a man who sees her as a predator, colleague and friend…and she is lost.  She’s lost her way in her life because of her dogged pursuit of success, and fears that giving in to the love that she feels for Gavin will ultimately mean losing control of her life...and losing control is not an option for Liz.

Her world is starting to crumble around her and she has no one to turn to, or to blame….except for her career; the one thing that she’s always been certain of.  She’s lost her highest profile client, Gavin’s quarterback Brother Mick, who was also one of her few friends, and fears that because of that she will also lose Gavin.  Her life is her work, and she defines herself and measures her worth by her success.   Her work is safety, security and fills the voids in her life, which she has purposefully orchestrated.  She doesn’t really have friends, and very rarely takes a lover…especially since she has been secretly in love with Gavin for years.  But one night, with the fear of losing everything she holds dear, she gives in to her desire for Gavin when he sees her as more than his sexy agent, but also as a sexy woman.  And that is when it really begins to get good *smile*.

One of the things that I loved most about Changing the Game was the characters.  They are rich and multidimensional. And not only Liz and Gavin, but also all of Gavin’s family members.  Ms. Burton’s writing style makes you feel like you are a part of the Riley family in all of it’s loving, meddling, touching ways.  But I most especially loved Liz and Gavin and their struggles to eventually admit their love to each other.  It is not an easy path for them.  Liz has to learn to trust in love, and that love can be caring, as well as allowing her the freedom to be who she wants to be….and trust me when I say this is unbelievably hard for her for many reasons.  One of which is Gavin himself.  And Gavin, God love him, he is such a guy, but a really really good one who struggles with his feelings for Liz and their complicated relationship, which is an anomaly for him since everything usually comes so easily and naturally.

Then we have the love scenes, which are numerous, exceptionally sensual, erotic and hot (and yes it‘s necessary to use all of those words to even begin to describe them).  It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that I felt that the love scenes were so integral in illustrating the relationship between the hero and the heroine.  The loves scenes at the beginning of the book are full of lust and passion as Gavin and Liz give in to their desires, but through the course of the book they evolve into a man and woman falling in love, yet fighting those passions and making mistakes, and at the same time desperately trying to each find their way to a happy ending.  This was an emotional read for me and my heart really went out to Liz, which I know may surprise some of you who got to know her character in The Perfect Play.  I have to say that Ms. Burton truly made a heroine out of a difficult character to sympathize with, and that is no easy feat.

The one exception to my complete and utter love for Changing the Game is the fact that this book never really explains what Liz did to Mick, Tara and Nathan in The Perfect Play that caused Mick to break all ties with her.  Liz’s actions in the previous book plays a very large part in her motivations in Changing the Game, as well as in Gavin’s family dynamics, and even some of his reactions.  It’s referenced over and over and every time I thought I was finally going to find out what she had done, but that never happened.  This wouldn’t have been a big deal if only  I had read The Perfect Play before reading Changing the Game, but I didn’t so I was left wondering almost from the very beginning of Changing The Game what she did that was so bad to cause her possible downfall.  It’s the only thing that I wish would have been different about this book because I don’t think you can fully appreciate Liz’s character without knowing who she was before.  I actually contemplated stopping reading Changing the Game in order to read The Perfect Play (in the TBR) so I could answer that burning question that was always at the back of my mind, but I was so wrapped up in Gavin and Liz’s story that I just couldn’t leave them until the end.  Needless to say I read The Perfect Play right afterward so I now know, but I wish it would have been explained in some way in Changing the Game.  That would have made Changing the Game perfect.

I began this review with a quote so I think it only fitting that I wrap it up with one as well.  However, this one is specific to the book since it is on the cover of Changing the Game.  Now, most of the time I am wary of cover quotes, because usually you just can’t trust them, but Maya Banks is quoted as saying “Jaci Burton’s stories are full of heat and heart.”  And honestly, truer words have never been spoken because Changing the Game is exactly that….full of heart and heat.  Jaci Burton definitely brings the heat in this steamy, seductive, and emotionally stirring romance.  I LOVED it!  In fact, Changing the Game might very well be my favorite romance that she has written to date (but I do reserve the right to alter my opinion when Taking a Shot is released next year). It doesn’t get much better than this my friends.  And for those of you who are wary about a romance revolving around sports, I urge you to give Changing the Game a try because in my opinion the sports aspect plays a very small part in the story compared to the personal and emotional journeys Gavin and Liz take. Be prepared to see me mention Changing the Game again because I can guarantee you it will be making my Favorites list for 2011 at the end of the year.

Ratings:

Overall:  4.75 (some serious mad love for this book that was this close to being perfect in my opinion)

Sensuality level:  4.50 (hot doesn't even begin to describe this book, but even though the love scenes are explicit they aren't gratuitous.  It earned a 4.5 for the shear number of love scenes and also an instance of anal sex, but otherwise it's kink free)

For a complete understanding and definition of the ratings at Seductive Musings, click here

Other Reviews:

And because I believe that Changing the Game is even better having read The Perfect Play I am giving away a print copy of The Perfect Play to one lucky Musings follower.  Just leave a comment to enter to win!

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Leave a comment (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
  • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
  • The contest will end on August 2nd at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
  • Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
  • EXCEPTIONS
  • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
  • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
  • 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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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.



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Review: What a Goddess Wants by Stephanie Julian

Wednesday, July 27

Title:  What a Goddess Wants*
Author: Stephanie Julian
Series: Forgotten Goddesses #1
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Format: Trade sized paperback & digital ebook
Date/Year:  July 2011
Reviewed by: Booklover1335

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

Summary from the publisher:

In his arms, her magic powers are on the rise…

Tess, Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, is desperately fighting off a malicious god, but her powers are weakening. She needs a hero and fast, because only sexual energy can give her strength. So she seeks out Caligo, whose sexual prowess is legendary…

And she’s the only one who can bring him into the light…

Caligo is a fabled Cimmerian warrior determined to stay away from spoiled goddesses who trample heart after they’ve had their fun. But there’s something irresistibly hot and inviting about Tessa, and he knows he’s her only chance to escape the encroaching darkness…

My Musings:

What a Goddess Wants is the first book I’ve read by author Stephanie Julian.  She has had quite a prolific writing career with Ellora’s Cave Publishing  who was one of the first to publish some of my favorite authors including Lora Leigh and Sarah McCarty, so when I saw that Ms. Julian wrote an Erotic Paranormal romance with for a more traditional publisher  (Sourcebooks) I thought now would be the perfect time to give her stories a try…that and when I read the description of the book from the blurb I was immediately intrigued.  What’s not to love about ancient Etruscan Gods?

I won’t go into a summary of the book, nor will I try to capture the hero and heroine’s personalities because I think the blurb from the publisher does a pretty good job of that and my review will be long enough as it is.  But I will say that I found Ms. Julian’s writing to have a sarcastic and at times witty style.  I think that is the most positive thing I can say about the book.

As I said before, I was intrigued by the blurb and that interest was reaffirmed as I began to read the story, but after the beginning all I was left with were unanswered questions, and what I consider a less than erotic paranormal romance.  Before I get into what didn’t work for me, let me preface it be saying that I don’t read a lot of paranormal romance (though I don’t really think that should make a difference) and I also realize that this book is the first in the Forgotten Goddesses series, so not all things revolving around the villain would be resolved in this book….and contrary to my normal rule of not including spoilers, this review is bound to contain a few out of necessity.

Overall, I thought there were quite a few inconsistencies in the story that I could not explain.  One of the biggest ones was why Cal, a Cimmerian warrior, was able to feel  heat (as in sensory, not emotional) when touching Tessa because Cimmerian warriors do not feel pain….but they do fell pleasure?  I could go with the idea of not feeling pain to make them the fearless and ruthless warriors they are breed to be, but to me it didn’t make sense that you could have one without the other.   By the end of the story I expected to have some aha moment where I “got” what made his reaction to her overcome his basic nature.  Was it their love?  If so wouldn’t all warriors feel that when they meet their perfect match?  I still have no clue, maybe I missed it, but I would have thought that something this significant would have been more memorable.

Another big thing that bothered me was that neither Cal, nor Tessa grew very much as characters in my eyes.  Tessa, a Goddess of the Dawn was quite the party girl in her day…even after the introduction of the Roman Gods usurped her necessity and powers.   The story explains to the reader that she hasn’t had sex in like…hundreds of years (for no apparent reason), but then has sex with Cal within minutes (literally) after meeting him?  And yes, Cal is supposed to be a sex “god” (not literally) but what is his attraction to Tessa beyond her being beautiful?  Having a bad history with Goddesses he has sworn to avoid them like the plague…that is until meeting Tessa.  But he never seems to question his attraction beyond his need to protect her even after finding out she is a Goddess.  I don’t know…the whole “relationship” part of the story just didn’t work for me.  They never talked about why she didn’t have any lovers…after all that could have restored some of her powers if that is all it took.  They never talked about Cal’s fiancé who was killed and why he left his otherworldly home which he loves.  Granted this was revealed to the reader via a conversation with Tessa and Cal’s brother, but this is a HUGE event is Cal’s life and is the reason why he left his home, his family, and his prominent position in the community to live among humans in Pennsylvania.  The story never addressed the fact that she is an immortal, and he is not (though he can live a very long life), so …Tessa is essentially doomed to eventual heartbreak when he dies? From my experience with paranormal romance the immortal has a way to make his mate live forever too.  To me their relationship was only built on sex and survival.  I felt the story was very in the moment and as a result I felt it was almost immature because of the lack of emotional depth or discovery between the characters.

Some other questions I had were why it seemed that all of the other Gods, Goddesses and beings in the story had the ability to transport into different dimensions except for Tessa.  Why?  Sure, it was convenient to the story to not have her able to do this, and that’s what it seemed to me…a convenient way to make her vulnerable.  I could maybe understand in her weakened state that she was not powerful enough to be able to do this, needing to rely on others, but why not even after her powers began to return because of sexin' with Cal was she not able to do this?  What made her different?

If the villain was able to reach Tessa through  her dreams, shouldn’t he be able to find her wherever her body was physically located?  This is an important question for me because of a few things.  The whole premise of Cal and Tessa going on the run was to safeguard her against the God trying to steal her powers through her dreams.  But why do they need to run?  Why was his ability to find her based on her bodily presence when all he had to do was wait for her to sleep and dream? I could understand maybe trying to block him from her mentally but the whole thing with her having to flee…just didn’t make a lot of sense to me.  Her physical location shouldn’t really matter. Normally, I just try to go with the flow on things that are part of world building, especially with a paranormal or fantasy based story, but when the author sent the characters to Cal’s homeland in an alternate worldly plane where it is supposedly “safe”…where the villain and his demons shouldn’t be able to reach her…how was it possibly for a demon to attack Tessa before it was almost too late, without Cal, his Father, or his brother knowing it?  Supposedly there were safeguards that would not allow that NOT to happen, which is why Cal took her to his home despite his estrangement with his family and his fellow warriors.  If she wasn’t safe there then there was no reason for him to return.  It’s a quandary…one of many.  It would have been more interesting for me if she was sequestered in his world, which lives in darkness, when she is the Goddess of the Dawn and needs light like she needs sex to regain her powers…eventually forcing them to leave his home after allowing them time to solidify what they mean to each other and their love.  You know, get to KNOW each other.

Then there are the lesser “issues”.   For instance, why Cal would repeatedly say “ Thank the Gods” when his people don’t worship any deities?  The Cimmerians don’t have any Gods, or religious beliefs so in essence their atheists.  And why Cal could heal from major injuries in hours or days when he is a mortal, but Tessa being an immortal Goddess takes weeks?  And I just couldn’t get past the glaring contradictory errors in the final love scene that is supposed to be magical and triumphant since their loved survived against all odds;  I.e.  Tessa’s panties going from cotton to silk from one sentence to the next.  Tessa wearing a halter sundress one minute to having Cal’s hand under her shirt….and I don’t think it was a typo (where is should have been skirt)considering he was attempting to cop a feel of her breast.  Sundresses are usually one piece and don’t consist of shirts, even my limited fashion knowledge.  And then there were Cal’s disappearing pants...wearing jeans one second, only boxers the next.  Yeah these are little things, but they all happened is such a short period of time (within a page or two) and occurred at was to be the pinnacle of their love, ruined it for me.  Maybe these things were corrected by the final version  of the book(I read an ARC), but I believe that things like this should have been caught well before the book makes it way to reviewers.

Finally, by biggest disappointment came at the end of the story when Tessa reveals that in order to return to Cal from the otherworldly home of her Gods, and to assure that the villain would no longer seek to steal her powers, that she had to give up her powers of being the Goddess of the Dawn.  Granted she got to keep some of her lesser duties, but in essence that said to me that Cal wasn’t hero enough to save her.   Was there no other way?  Will all of the other Goddesses have to loose there powers too, until the final book in the series?  Surely not.   I know the villain can’t be completely thwarted in book one, but was this really the best way to resolve her safety? To me it cheapened the story because it lessened Cal as a hero and took away something that was so essential to the heroine.  I hated the reason why she was able to return to Cal…even if she returned to him because she loved him.  Hated. It.  It’s a paranormal romance for heavens sake, where the possibilities are endless!

Contrary to what the review may lead you to believe.  I was actually really looking forward to reading What a Goddess Wants but the lack of convincing world building and  character development ruined my enthusiasm for this book and this series.  Thankfully, What a Goddess Wants…..and the ENTIRE Forgotten Goddesses series can be forgotten by me after this review.
 
Ratings:

Overall:  2.50 (From what I can tell this book has received very mixed reviews.  It seems like readers thought it was either average, or great...with me liking it less than most)

Sensuality level:  3.75 (I expected more from this book as far as heat goes since the author has written numerous titles for Ellora's Cave, but found it to be only marginally erotic in the very loosest of terms)

For a complete understanding and definition of the ratings at Seductive Musings, click here

Other Reviews:

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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Monday's Muse...I Heart Baseball....Players

Monday, July 25

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!

This week's Muse is inspired by a book I just read this past weekend that I know is on many a wishlist.  I'm talking about Jaci Burton's Changing the Game.  It gave me a whole new appreciation for baseball...after all it's America's favorite past time (although I am still partial to football).  I think our Muse could become one of my favorite past times, with or without the baseball association :)  What do you think?  All I know is that I tend to love baseball more in romance, than in real life.  For instance, Slow Heat and Double Play by Jill Shalvis.  Who can forget Bull Durham with Kevin Costner.  And now I can add Changing the Game to that list.

In my world, I had a cold this last weekend.  Is there anything worse than a summer cold? I don't think so. The only thing good that came from it was that I stayed in bed on Saturday and read with little interruptions (I guess no body else in the house wanted to get sick too).  As I mentioned a bit earlier I read Changing the Game by Jaci Burton for a review, and I will just tell you now that I absolutely, positively LOVED it!  It's one of Jaci's best in my opinion (I will have a full review of the book for you on Friday).  I read it practically in one day, and ended up pulling out The Perfect Play which had been languishing in the TBR and started reading it since I wasn't ready to leave the Play by Play world.  It's been several months since I've read a book from the TBR so I consider this the "perfect" weekend (even though I was sick) since I read a great book, and started reading a book that I've been meaning to since it was first released.  Score!

This week at Seductive Musings:
  • Tuesday:  Review for What a Goddess Wants by Stephanie Julian
  • Wednesday:  Review for Rising, Freestyle by Vivian Arend
  • Thursday:  author Mia Marlowe will be here to share her new novella in the Brava Historical Romance anthology Improper Gentleman with Maggie Robinson and Diane Whiteside.
  • Friday:  Review for Changing the Game by Jaci Burton
  • Tempting Trailer: This week it is for Victoria Alexander's new book, His Mistress by Christmas, which doesn't come out until October but I loved it because it is like a book mini movie

Also of Interest:
  • It's the second week of Lila DiPasqua's A Midnight Dance event.  Did you visit last week and see the interviews with the Romance Husbands?  I thought they were SO much fun!

    Finally, I'd like to congratulate all of the authors will new releases this week!
     

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    *Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.


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    Social Media for Social Good with Limecello...(not just a great drink, but also a great person)

    Thursday, July 21

    I had planned on posting a review today, but alas Art Camp is sucking out all of my creative spirit.  Thank God tomorrow is Friday ;) Anyways, so instead of a review,  I thought I would appeal to your humanitarian and giveaway loving souls.

    Limecello, is a pretty well known romance community presence.  I got to "know" her through a book chat that I attend every Friday night (or when time allows) at Romance Reviews Today (a great group of readers and writers).  This week she posted on her blog about the famine in Africa and she decided to help in whatever way she can through her social media connections (even though she is unemployed).  She has a lot of interesting and sad facts about the crisis. 


    Several authors and bloggers have pledged to donate funds to Save the Children if you make a comment on her post.  By doing so you will be raising funds and also eligible to win some great prizes...and if you so choose there is also a link to make a donation (of any denomination) to Save the Children which could be quadrupled through corporate matching donations. (which is tax deductible and some employers will even match your donation).  

    So please stop by Limecello's blog and leave a comment here, if for no other reason but to help her max out the pledges that she's already received.  It will make you feel good to help out even if you can't afford to make a donation.  I know it did me :)  I'll be back tomorrow with a review...promise.

    p.s. comments made here @ SM will not count towards her donation drive, nor for entries into any of her giveaways, but you know I love your comments all the same :)

    p.s.s.  please share this with your friends on Twitter and Facebook using the handy linky thing below.


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    *Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.



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    Guest Author & Giveaway: Dianne Venetta featuring Jennifer's Garden

    Wednesday, July 20


    A good kiss is a very heady thing.  I mean....yeah...a great kiss can leave you breathless, with your brain scrambled, and weak in the knees.  Even reading about a great kiss in a romance can give you a rush (at least it does me).

    One of the things that I initially found intriguing about Lora Leigh's Breeds series was that magical elixir and aphrodisiac that the Breeds kisses contained...that made them irresistible to their mate.  Their kisses were addictive and left their mate craving more.  Who knew that there was actual science behind that idea!  Author Dianne Venetta is my guest today to share her thoughts about the "Power of a Kiss" and share a bit about her new e-book Jennifer's Garden.  Read and enjoy!


    The Power of a Kiss

    I recently read there is a scientific reason why kissing turns a woman's knees to pudding (make mine chocolate).  It's all in the delivery.  More than the wisp of breath against your cheek, the promise of things to come whispered in your ear followed by the graze of his lips against yours, it seems kissing that tall dark handsome man of yours is more than romantic—he's slipping in a secret weapon with his tongue.

    He's sharing a known libido stimulant for men and women alike.  Turns out male saliva contains testosterone and when your lips are locked in an everlasting smooch, he's delivering the goods to you! (You can thank him later.)  And not only that, but kissing floods the bloodstream with dopamine, stimulating the brain with a natural high.

    Are you still with me?  Because it only gets better. Getting up close and personal with your man keeps your heart healthy, too, by keeping the cholesterol in check.  So next time anyone asks why you read those steamy novels, you tell them it's for your health. Then close the door and flip over the "do not disturb" sign.

    Because read you will—read you must!—and nothing or no one will stop you.  Have they never enjoyed a seductive romance of their own?  Never lost themselves to the fantasy of "what if" or the pleasure of "take me now?"

    Poor souls.  Romance novels speak to the heart of human experience.  Nothing is more primal than the attraction between the sexes.  And nothing more delicious.  Whether it be the temptation of the impossible facing the heroine in my current novel JENNIFER’S GARDEN, or the challenge of "how far can we go before someone gets hurt" for the heroine in my next, lust is one of the most powerful facts of life—physically, emotionally and scientifically!

    So enjoy your seductive musings and relish the desire coursing through your veins.  It's good for you. And good for your man if he knows what's good for him!


    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 as the job progresses, his lure pulls strong. It’s an attraction she cannot deny.

    And one that puts her career on the line.


    Congrats Dianne and thank you for being my guest today!  If you would like to learn more about Dianne Venetta and the books she writes you can find her at her website www.diannevenetta.com, her book blog, her garden and recipe blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

    To celebrate her new book, author Dianne Venetta would like to giveaway a digital copy of Jennifer's Garden to one Musings follower.  Here's how you can enter to win...

    Ways to earn entries:
    • Mandatory:  Leave a comment or question for Dianne, and tell me...what is your most memorable kiss? (fact or fiction...doesn't matter) (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
    • You must be at least 18 years or older, or of legal age in your country
    • The contest will end on July 23rd at 11:59 pm EST and winner will be posted after they have been selected
    • Winner(s) will be selected using Random.org
    • EXCEPTIONS
    • The book(s) will be mailed directly from the publisher or author and no substitutions are allowed
    • Winners will be subject to one copy per household, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, that you will only receive one copy of the title in the mail
    • 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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    *Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.


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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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