All Hallows Eve Blog Tour featuring Eve Langlais

Wednesday, October 30



Halloween is almost here!  Because of that I thought it would be fun to participate in the All Hallows Eve Indie Author Blog Tour.  My special guest is Eve Langlais and she has an interesting debate on who is the ultimate Alpha Hero :)  Enjoy!

 ~~~***~~~

Cyborg vs Vampires 

I've written about both and have yet to decide which is sexier. They each have their qualities, both redeeming and not. I find myself fascinated by them because to me, much like Lycans, they represent a truly alpha male. But where they become truly intriguing, is how they often struggle with their human side, and emotions. 

I don't believe that cyborgs and vampires need to all battle the overdone question of 'Should  I exist?', and pull the 'Woe is me, I wish I was human again'.  I enjoy a hero who revels in who he is, who makes no apologies for his existence, even if it entails violence, and who knows what he wants, and goes after it. But that said, who makes the ultimate alpha hero? Cyborg or Vampire?  Let's compare the two and see who comes ahead.
  • Cyborgs are ridiculously strong, but Vampires are super fast
  • Cyborgs can heal most injuries or replace their parts, yet Vampires are practically immortal and regrow parts
  • Cyborgs struggle to connect to their humanity, however Vampires scorn humanity
  • Cyborgs see humans as spare parts, and Vampires see humans as dinner
  • Cyborgs are hunted by humans, and so are Vampires
  • Cyborgs live for vengeance, while Vampires live for the night
  • Cyborgs are bold, Vampires revel in their mystery
  • Cyborgs mock sensuality, not Vampires, they exude sensuality
  • Cyborgs like sex, Vampires are sexual beings
  • Cyborgs kill without remorse, and Vampires often kill without remorse
  • Cyborgs can fall in love and Vampires can fall in love too
And if it came to an arm wrestling match between a cyborg and a vampire over the heart of a woman? Screw picking a winner. Keep them both and have a menage!


Wiping out humanity is his number one objective—until he meets her.

Aramus has no patience or sympathy for the excuses humanity uses to hunt cyborgs down and eradicate them. He’s put up with too much at their hands to ever forgive and forget. But all that changes when he rescues a fragile human doctor who refuses to see him as a machine. She teaches him that perhaps not all emotions are a weakness and that love can make even a cynical cyborg like him stronger.

And for those who’d mock his change of view or threaten his female? Go ahead. His iron knuckles could use some exercise.



Please note: Crazy (Vampire Love) was originally published as Crazy by Liquid Silver Books from November 2010, until May of 2013. Published anew in October 2013 by Eve Langlais, this book has been expanded from its original short story length of 22k words to 32k. I hope you enjoy this plumper version of my poor crazy heroine and the vampire who can’t help loving her.

Ella hears voices and they don’t like anyone.

Ella’s always heard voices and because of them, she ends up institutionalized at a young age. Everyone calls her crazy and she believes she is too until the night she meets a vampire and for the first time in her life, the voices shut up.

Zane just wants to enjoy his usual blood buffet, instead he runs into a wisp of a woman who makes him feel emotions he thought long dead. Rescuing her from the insane asylum, he brings her home, determined to seduce and feed from her, a plan that is foiled by ghostly voices determined to keep Ella untouched. But not even poltergeists can stand in the way of a vampire in love.



Thanks Eve for being my guest today and to help celebrate All Hallows Eve!  An Eve for an Eve, LOL :)  If you'd like to learn more about author Eve Langlais and the books she writes you can find her at her website, on her blog, at Facebook and at Twitter.

To celebrate All Hallows Eve, Eve has generously offered to giveaway a digital copy of either ARAMUS or CRAZY to one lucky Musings follower.  Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below.  (Open to US & International followers)

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AND as part of the All Hallows Eve Blog Tour you can enter to win....


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You can find a full list of all of the particpating authors and blogs here and on the official Facebook page.  Have fun and good luck!


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Guest Author & Giveaway: Thea Harrison featuring Kinked

I thought it only fitting since Halloween is just a day away that we venture more into the paranormal realm, and who better to do that with than with author Thea Harrison!

Ms. Harrison is my guest today to share with us a bit about her Elder Races series, as well as her new book, KINKED.  Enjoy!

~~~***~~~

Q:  What is one of your favorite Myths/legends to write about?

A:  When I started to write my reply to this question, I realized it wasn’t going to be a simple or easy answer!  I’ve had so much fun with the world building in the Elder Races series.  It’s almost impossible to pick just one.

I really enjoyed taking the Oracle of Delphi and putting it into a modern context for Oracle’s Moon.  When I turned my attention to the witches’ demesne in Louisville, I wanted to make sure it felt as rich and developed as the rest of the world building I’d done for the other demesnes and mythological creatures.  That story was fun for a lot of reasons, because I also really enjoyed building the Djinn society based on Middle Eastern legends.

Another favorite has been developing the Elves, in Lord’s Fall and continued in Kinked.  And a third was when I created my own version of Vampyres in Serpent’s Kiss.  I have two more Vampyre stories that I’m dying to tell.  When I get excited about a story, it’s hard to wait for the right time to tell it!


Q:  You've been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are you and why?  (All creatures, including mythological, apply.)

A:  Awesome question!  I think I have two answers for that one.  If it was a gift, then I think it would have to be something winged and strong.  I think there’s something to be said for being as fearless as a harpy, although I’m quite sure I wouldn’t win any popularity contests!

If the ability was a curse and meant to be nasty, the witch would probably turn me into my phobia—a spider!  That would be the meanest, nastiest thing anybody could ever do to me!


Q:  Since Aryal is a harpy and considered an immortal Wyr, how did you approach her character development in order to make her believable and someone that readers can identify with?

A:  I’ll be honest, I was worried about writing Aryal.  I really didn’t want to compromise her identity.  Aryal has strong emotions but no real morals in the abstract sense, no true compulsion to do what is right for its own sake.  She’s abrasive and dangerous… And I had to figure out how to also make her sympathetic.

My first decision was to not be in a hurry to write her story.  I wanted to take the time to show her character from a couple of different points of view.  The reader first sees Aryal from Pia’s perspective in Dragon Bound, but then in Storm’s Heart I was able to show Aryal from Tricks’ point of view, someone who loved her.  I also wanted to make sure that humor came into the mix.  Still, the real test came when I sat down and actually started writing Kinked.  Then I had to get close enough to her to write her as a main POV character.  It helped that I had so many established relationships and characters to work with—such as Grym, Dragos and Graydon—and the world-building in place.  With that in place, I could concentrate on developing Aryal herself.  I’m very grateful to my editor Cindy Hwang for providing such a supportive platform to write Kinked.


Q:  Do you have an Elder Race Bible to help keep your facts start?  If not, how the heck do you keep your facts start?

A:  So far I’ve had two things in my favor—I’ve got a bit of a freakish memory for detail when it comes to writing, and I also have fantastic beta readers who are good at spotting issues.  Still, the world has become big and complicated enough that I’ve got someone working on a series bible right now.  It’s over a hundred pages by now and should be done by the end of the year.


Q:  Who was the harder character to write Aryal or Quentin and why?

Neither character was as hard as I had feared they would be when I started Kinked.  Still, Quentin was easier.  I felt more confident writing his character, and I felt the stakes were pretty high on getting Aryal’s character right.


Q:  Was there anything about Aryal that surprised you as her story unfolded?

A:  I think I probably had the same experience as a writer that several readers have had so far in reading the book—I was surprised at how much I ended up liking and enjoying her.  I wouldn’t want to rush out and befriend a real-life Aryal, but I think she’s pretty cool between the pages, and I’m really looking forward to writing more about her.


Q:  In the event of an apocalypses (zombie, alien, solar flare or 4 horsemen) which of your characters would you like to team up with?

A:  I would absolutely like to team up with Dragos—as long as I was someone he valued, otherwise he might ditch me in a heartbeat.


Q:  What is next for the Elder Race series?

A:  I’m now contracted for books 7-9, so I’m writing Graydon’s story which will be released around August of 2014.  The main characters have also been decided for books 8 and 9, and I’m eager to get to those stories!

I also wrote a self-published project, a novella entitled Dragos Takes A Holiday, which releases November 25th.  I loved spending time with Dragos and Pia, and their little son Peanut gets his POV debut.

It’s been a pleasure to visit with you.  Thanks for having me!


Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…

As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.

To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.

 
Thanks Thea for being my guest and congrats on the release of KINKED!

If you'd like to learn more about author Thea Harrison and the books she writes you can find her at her website, her blog, on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.  Her website has lots of good Extras so if you are a fan of this series, then you will definitely want to check it out.

To celebrate the release of KINKED, the latest novel of the Elder Races, Ms. Harrison's publisher, Berkley, has offered to giveaway one copy of the book to a very luck Musings follower.  Sorry US addresses only.  Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below.  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: Kinked by Thea Harrison

Title:  Kinked*
Author:  Thea Harrison
Series: Elder Races #6
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Format:  paperback, ebook & audio book
Date/Year:  November 5, 2013
Reviewed by:  Andrea

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…

As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.

To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened


My Musings:

Note:  KINKED is the sixth book in the Elder Races series, which is best enjoyed when read in order.  I would not advise trying to read it as a stand alone. 

If you’ve never read any of the Elder Races books, you’re missing out.  They are unique in a market which has been flooded with cookie cutter shifter stories.  It seems to me that most shifter romance books are the same anymore.  First you have the antiquated sexism, then the pack politics, that’s followed by the overwhelming angst, and finally you get the claiming of the mate.  It’s a formula which has been explored to death, and I’m over it.  I love that the Elder Races books don’t fit into that mold!  Their plots are well developed and intelligent.   The characters are three dimensional, they grow and change over time.  What I love most about the series though is how edgy it is. The characters have rough edges, the fighting is brutal, the sex is carnal, and vengeance is swift. 

KINKED is focused on Aryal and Quentin.  Aryal is a harpy and works as a sentinel for Dragos. She has been a part of the series since the beginning.    I think it’s pretty safe to say that her character had very few fans going into this book.  The only way I can describe her is by saying that she is a stone cold bitch.  She has a few close friends and they mean everything to her.  Anyone outside that group had better watch themselves.  She thrives on violence and enjoys hunting and eliminating anyone who threatens those she protects. 

Quentin is one of the newly appointed sentinels.  Aryal doesn’t trust him and has every intention of helping him to an untimely death as soon as she possibly can, she makes no secret of that.  Quentin tries his best to ignore her but her constant dogging finally pushes him to his breaking point.  It’s at that point where Dragos steps in and sends them on a mission.  They can either learn to work together, or kill one another, he doesn’t care which so long as they figure it out without endangering anyone else.

Aryal and Quentin both head out quietly plotting the death of the other.  What they discover is something neither of them is prepared for.  Their mission, which seemed simple enough, turns into something much more dangerous.  Their tempestuous relationship doesn’t exactly proceed the way they expect either. 

I’ve always enjoyed the books in this series, but I do believe KINKED is my favorite so far.  It combined all of the things I love.  There was a romantic relationship between two interesting characters.  They both evolved over the course of the story.  The action and adventures were exciting and dangerous.  The plot was smart and well thought out, but also had a few surprises.  None of those things are new to the Elder Races books, so I initially had some trouble figuring out why I loved this particular book so much.  I eventually decided it was the perfect balance of them which makes KINKED stand out for me.  I love a series which just keeps getting better and better.  Thea Harrison hit it out of the park with KINKED. Recommended.

Ratings:

Overall: 4.5 stars
Sensuality level:  3


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Review: Archangel's Legion by Nalini Singh

Tuesday, October 29

Title:   Archangel's Legion*
Author: Nalini Singh
Series:  Guild Hunter #6
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Berkley
Format:  eBook, paperback & audio book
Date/Year:  October 2013
Reviewed by:  Susannah
 

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

Nalini Singh, the New York Times bestselling “alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist) returns to an immortal world of violent passion and lethal power…on the brink of a deadly archangelic war.

Angels are falling from the sky in New York, struck down by a vicious, unknown force.

Vampires are dying impossibly of disease.

Guild hunter Elena Deveraux and the Archangel Raphael must discover the source of the wave of death before it engulfs their city and their people, leaving New York a ruin and Raphael’s Tower under siege by enemy archangels.

Yet even as they fight desperately to save the city, an even darker force is stirring, its chill eyes trained on New York…and on Raphael. Rivers of crimson and nightmares given flesh, the world will never again be the same…

 

My Musings:

This was my first introduction to the novels of Nalini Singh and I didn't regret picking this one up. From the very first chapter you slowly fall in love with the powerful and mysterious archangel Raphael and his stubborn but loyal consort, the guild hunter turned angel, Elena. The characters are so well written that even having never met them before I found myself knowing them before I had ventured through more than a couple of chapters.

Singh managed to weave a complex web of storylines; Elena's traumatic childhood, Raphael's issues with the mother who went mad and tried to destroy him, an angelic war which could destroy the world and the ever growing love between our two heroes without overloading the reader.

At no point in my journey with Raphael and Elena was it easy to put down the book. The story was full of energy and I was constantly reading 'just a bit more' to find out how they dealt with the next plot twist.

I loved that Elena was still learning the role of Consort as it meant that I could learn along with her. Meaning that as a new reader I never felt like I was floundering in an Archangel political minefield.

I had only one problem with the book, and it was purely down to picking it up mid series, I struggled with the characters having two names (Ilium/Bluebell). It did take me a while to figure that out but it didn't detract from the story.

I have to say that I was more than pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book. In fact I have downloaded all the other Guild Hunter books so I can catch up while waiting for the next installment.

Ratings:

Overall:  5 stars
Sensuality level:  3
(Whilst not overly steamy or erotic you definitely felt like you were sharing an intimate experience with the angelic couple.)

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Susannah

*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

Monday, October 28

OK, so I'm super swamped.  I got sick after being on vacation and now am beyond behind so I'm going to keep this short and sweet.

  • What I'm reading now:  Rumor Has It by Jill Shalvis and loving it.  Classic Shalvis = a win for me.  
  • What I read last week, First Strike by Pamela Clare.  I wondered how she was going to turn up the heat in her "first" foray into erotic romance with her prequel to Striking Distance and I have to say that I wasn't disappointed, LOL.  Not in the least.  Her hero Javier is a complicated mix of gentleness, kindness and badass dominating alpha.  Loved him, like seriously a lot.
And I can't forget to mention yet another good thing....this week's Muse.  Enjoy :)


This week at Seductive Musings:
  • Tuesday:  I'll have Musings reviewer Susannah will have a review of Nalini Singh's new book ARCHANGEL'S LEGION
  • Wednesday:  We'll be participating in the blog tour for Thea Harrison's new book, KINKED.
  • Wednesday:  I'll also be participating in the All Hallows Eve blog tour with guest Eve Langlais.
  • Thursday:  I'll have Michele's review of STEADY BEAT by Lexxie Couper.
  • Friday:  I'll have Andrea's review of KINKED by Thea Harrison

Finally, I'd like to congratulate all of the authors with new releases this week, especially Musings authors Donna Grant, Maya Rodale, Anna Randol, Jaci Burton, Lori Foster & Mari Carr.


 

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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: After the Fall by L.A. Witt

Friday, October 25

Title:  After the Fall*
Author: L.A. Witt
Series:  Tucker Springs #6
Genre:  Contemporary MM Romance
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Format:  print & ebook
Date/Year:  September 2013
Reviewed by:  Andrea
 

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

After years of saving every penny, Nathan has finally managed to buy the horse of his dreams. He’s looking forward to a summer of exploring the Colorado mountain trails above Tucker Springs with Tsarina. But on their very first ride, a motorcyclist makes a wrong turn, scaring Tsarina into bolting and leaving Nathan with a broken leg, a broken hand, and a ruined summer.

Ryan is a loner and a nomad, content with working odd jobs before moving on to the next town. Feeling guilty for causing the accident that leaves Nathan in two casts, Ryan offers to keep Tsarina exercised until Nathan heals.

Despite their bad start, Nathan and Ryan soon become friends . . . and then much more. But with a couple of nasty breakups in his past, Nathan doesn’t want feelings getting involved—especially knowing that Ryan will never settle down. But since when do feelings ever listen to reason?


My Musings:

This is part of a series, but could easily be read and enjoyed as a stand alone.

Tucker Springs is one of those series which is loosely focused on the people living in a fictional city.  They’re all linked, but the books don’t really build on one another.  The books have been written by a variety of authors.  This is the third one written by L.A. Witt.  I have read the entire series, but I’m not sure that was helpful.  I say that because I had a very different idea of Nathan going into this book.  It threw me at first because I had to dissociate from the guy I thought I was reading about and focus on a completely different Nathan.

AFTER THE FALL tells the story of Nathan and Ryan.  Nathan is the office manager at the local acupuncture clinic.  The first book in the series, WHERE NERVES END, was about his boss at the clinic.  Nathan has been a minor character in the series since the very beginning.  I was excited to get to know him better.  I had always thought of him as more of a cute, twink, party boy.  The Nathan of this book wasn’t like that at all.  He commented about being like that in his younger years, but he is much more settled now.  He has been working and saving to afford his dream horse.  On his very first ride, Ryan comes blazing through on his motorcycle.  The horse is spooked and throws Nathan.  It’s not the best initial meeting for Ryan and Nathan.  Ryan feels responsible for the horrible accident and offers to step in and help Nathan.  It was a disastrous meeting, but they moved beyond that fairly quickly. 

I was a little put off by Nathan at first, but I ended up liking both him and Ryan.  I love seeing opposites come together.  Nathan has lived in Tucker Springs his entire life, while Ryan is a nomad.  Nathan has a vast sexual history and is jaded by his past.   Ryan is not very experienced and is completely genuine.  That made for an interesting combination.  Their biggest similarity is that they are good guys and they deserve to find love and happiness.  They made a quick transition from strangers to friends, but the move from friends to lovers was much slower.  The slow build up of their relationship was what really pulled me in.  I became invested in their relationship and wanted them to be together. 

There was only one thing I didn't care for, and that was the focus on the horse.  That issue has nothing to do with the book, it’s all me.  I’m not a horse person.  They’re an attractive animal, but I don’t see why anyone would want to own one and put that much effort into caring for it. It was easy to follow, even for someone completely clueless when it comes to horses.  I understood it, I just wasn’t interested in all the horse talk. 

Running alongside the horse thing was my lack of belief in Nathan.  I went into the book thinking I had the right impression of him.  The Nathan of this story was completely different.  I felt like the Nathan I knew was transformed to fit into that role.   Have you ever watched a tv series where a new actor takes over a character halfway through?  It’s disconcerting, and that’s how I felt about Nathan. 

Both of those things were minor problems, but continued to bother me throughout the story.  Unfortunately, they had an impact on my enjoyment of the story.  I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I had been reading it as a stand alone because it is a well written book with great characters and an interesting romance.

Ratings:

Overall:  3.5 stars
Sensuality level:  3


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Review: Killing Bliss by EC Sheedy

Thursday, October 24

Title:  Killing Bliss*
Author: EC Sheedy
Series: N/S
Genre: Crime romance
Publisher: Zebra books
Format: eBook
Date/Year: June 2013
Reviewed by: Susannah

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

One night. Two bullets. Three runaways.

Addy Michaels, living her careful life on a forgotten back road, thinks she's safe--that the past and its corpses are long buried. Surely after fifteen years the cops have quit looking for the street kids believed to have kidnapped a baby and killed their prostitute foster mother-, Belle Bliss.

Addy couldn't be more wrong.

A cold case.

Hot again, when the missing child's grandmother hires renowned profiler Cade Harding to find her grandson. Cade tracks Addy to her safe haven in a remote area of Washington state. Their attraction to each other is immediate, dangerous, and badly timed because...

Cade isn't alone.

A twisted killer

Faceless and unknowable, a murderer follows in Cade's footsteps--on the hunt for anyone who can tell the truth about killing Bliss.

All roads lead to Addy.


My Musings:

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed KILLING BLISS by EC Sheedy. I'm not normally a huge fan of crime fiction but from the very start there was something comfortingly familiar about the author's style of writing. Ms. Sheedy very much put me in mind of Stephen King, not only in the style but also in characters and story.  KILLING BLISS never dragged.  Every turn of the page had a new snippet of information about the death of foster mother Belle and the disappearance of a baby in her care.

You follow Cade Harding; ex police, ex professor, ex profiler (and potential hermit if he had his way). Cade is brooding over the death of his wife a few years previously and is softly blackmailed into searching for the missing boy by a family friend. It took me a while to warm to him but once he came out of his 'mourning' I found him very likeable.

His journey to the truth brings him face to face with Addy, one of the missing foster children accused of being involved in the death of Belle. Addy is a grown up version of the stereotypical street kid, rough round the edges but with a soft center.  As Cade solves the mystery he and Addy become closer all the while dealing with the multitude of characters also involved in the long ago crime.

Ms. Sheedy's ability to keep you wondering, mind changing on who the killer really is, was amazing. And when you finally do realize, the author keeps you on the edge of your seat watching the killer unravel. I actually sighed my relief when I turned the last page of the book and my adrenaline was through the roof!

Ratings:

Overall:  3 stars  (KILLING BLISS could easily have reached the same conclusion without the Cade/Addy romance. There were several times when it felt a little contrived and unnecessary.)

Sensuality level:  2
(There are very few love scenes and I found them a little unbelievable. Addy is supposed to be almost virginal but for a couple of terrible attempts at lovemaking, however after her first time with Cade she suddenly gains the confidence to strip naked and climb into bed with him. This is a girl who has major issues with self confidence throughout the novel.)

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Other Reviews:

Susannah 

*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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Feature & Giveaway: Steady Beat by Lexxie Couper

Wednesday, October 23




He never missed a beat…until she taught him a whole new rhythm.

Heart of Fame, Book 4

Back when he was playing drums for rock star Nick Blackthorne, it was easy for Noah Holden to focus on the sticks in his hand. Now that the band is getting back together, he’s excited—and worried. His ADHD has made every minute of his post-Blackthorne life a chaotic mess.

His apprehension is blown away when a bar waitress makes him a proposition—and not the kind this king of drums is used to.

When Pepper Kerrigan overhears the band talking reunion, she pushes her self-doubt aside, calls on her encyclopedic music knowledge and challenges Noah Holden to a trivia contest. Her prize should she win? An audition. His? A kiss. Their smoking sexual chemistry guarantees victory—for them both.

With Pepper, Noah is finally able to control his stormy creative energy. But when his wild past catches up with him, he faces the fight of his life to keep from losing his smoky-voiced angel. The one woman who keeps his mind—and his heart—staying on rhythm.

Product Warnings
There’s a thrumming primitive sexual energy in every rock drummer’s body just waiting to be released.





If you'd like to learn more about author Lexxie Couper and the books she writes you can find her at her website, on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

To celebrate the release of her newest story in the Heart of Fame series, STEADY BEAT, Lexxie is giving away the first 4 books in the Heart of Fame series and a sterling silver drum sticks pendant necklace.  Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below.  Good Luck!


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p.s. click on the tour banner above to visit more stops on the tour or click here.


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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: Targeted by Katie Reus

Tuesday, October 22

Title:  Targeted*
Author:  Katie Reus
Series: Deadly Ops, #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Signet
Format: ebook
Date/Year: October 1, 2013
Reviewed by: ElaineReads
 

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

Hidden in plain sight…

Former Marine sniper and current NSA agent Jack Stone has a new face to go with his new identity. But he still has the same tortured memories—which include the woman he let get away years ago, when they were teenagers. Now his new assignment in Miami will put him so close to the woman he’s never been able to forget, he could reach out and touch her—if only she weren’t under suspicion.

When Sophie Moreno uncovers evidence linking the medical supply company she works for with arms smuggling—and worse—she doesn’t know who to turn to. After a shocking betrayal, she realizes the only person she can trust is a mysterious new person in the company—a man with hauntingly familiar eyes.

As Sophie questions her intense attraction to this man and Jack struggles not to blow his cover, the two of them must race against the clock to stop terrorists from killing scores of people—starting with them.


My Musings:

TARGETED is the first in a new series by Katie Reus titled Deadly Ops and it is an excellent beginning.  Both Jack and Sophie are strong, likable characters and the storyline of espionage and rescue is engrossing.

I can’t actually say Sophie stumbles on the criminal dealings taking place in her office because she goes looking when her suspicions are raised.  And that is a good description of her personality.  If things aren’t right, Sophie wants to know why and what can be done to fix them.  Unfortunately, this time she has gotten into something that is going to get her killed.

Enter the NSA and Jack Stone.  The NSA was already investigating Sophie’s employer and wants the information she has found.  Jack is the perfect agent to send because he is actually the young man Sophie loved when she was a teenager and has thought dead for many years.  The agency has changed Jack’s appearance enough that he is unrecognizable, but there is something about his eyes.

TARGETED is primarily a series of scenes in which Jack has to save Sophie from the bad guys, but more importantly, it is the story of two people who have always loved one another discovering each other again.  I felt so sorry for Jack because he still loves Sophie, but he cannot tell her that he is really Sam.  He wants to comfort her as a lover, but has to act like they are two people who have just met.  I really liked that Jack’s feelings were shown to be just as strong as Sophie’s.

Two additional characters are interested and I really hope book two will be about them.  I cannot find any information about the sequel, but I will be buying it as soon as it is available.

Ratings:

Overall: 4 stars
Sensuality level:  3


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Monday's Muse

Monday, October 21


Hello my friends!  Sorry I missed last week's Monday's Muse post.  I got back from holiday on Sunday and was so tired that I went to bed insanely early and slept through the night.  I should feel bad about that, but honestly....I was too tired to care ;)  I hope this week's Muse makes up for my absence.

This week at Seductive Musings:
  • Tuesday:  I'll have ElaineReads' review of Targeted by Katie Reus
  • Wednesday:  I'll be featuring Lexxie Couper's new book Steady Beat
  • Thursday:  A new Seductive reviewer will be reviewing Killing Bliss by EC Sheedy 
  • Friday:  Andrea will be sharing her review of After the Fall by L.A. Witt

Finally, I'd like to congratulate all of the authors with new releases this week, especially Musings authors Terri Brisbin, Lucy Monroe, Gena Showalter, & Shiloh Walker.  Congrats!!!!


 
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Guest Author & Giveaway: Máire Claremont featuring Lady in Red

Friday, October 18


I have some mad love for Máire Claremont book covers. We're talking major LOVE people :) You all know how much I love them, and generally they play a large part in deciding if I try a "new to me author" or not.  But what really made me decide that this was an author that I NEEDED to try in 2013, other than the cover, was this quote, "Think the Brontës, du Maurier and Holt. For those who relish the dark side, Claremont is their new queen.” —RT Book Reviews, TOP PICK! 4 1/2 stars

I am a huge, HUGE Brontës fan. HUGE.  I think I've read all of their books, or at least all of the ones I could get my greedy little booklover hands on.  And while Emily's Wuthering Heights could be considered more popular, Charlotte is my favorite (I think I've mentioned a time or two that Jane Eyre is like one of my absolute favorite books).  So when I found out that Máire also hearted Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre) and Mr. Darcy (you know that Mr. Darcy) I felt that we were romance book kindred spirits, LOL.  Sadly, I haven't found the time to read her first book yet, but I'm putting her new book Lady In Red at the tops of my wish list.

Máire Claremont is my guest today to share with us Lady in Red and her heroine's top 10 ways to seek revenge against her father.   Intriguing and fun!  Enjoy.

 ~~~***~~~

I absolutely loved my dad. He was so awesome. Really, he read to me and played with me and always made me feel like I could do anything. So, I have no idea why I write such baaaaaaad dads and Lady Mary Darrel in my new book, Lady in Red, has the worst. I know my dad would have been helping her plot to take that duke down. After all, the man put his own daughter in a horrific asylum. So, here's my dad's imaginary revenge plan of action.

Top Ten Ways to seek revenge against your father:
  1. Defy him at every turn
  2. Escape from the hideous asylum he has exiled you to
  3. Seek the help of a famous courtesan
  4. Make friends with a very powerful, very handsome duke.
  5. Learn how to shoot a pistol perfectly at fifty paces
  6. Carry a knife where ever you go
  7. No matter how hard, give up the laudanum he forced you to take
  8. Make sure you look almost exactly like your mother, the wife he may have murdered
  9. Show up unannounced at one of his parties. And finally. . .
  10. Claim your Revenge

The Victorian era was full of majestic beauty and scandalous secrets—a time when corsets were the least of a woman’s restrictions, and men could kill or be killed in the name of honor…

Lady Mary Darrel should be the envy of London. Instead, all society believes her dead. For Mary holds a secret so dangerous, her father chose to keep her locked away…and have a grave made for her near her mother’s. Driven to the edge of desperation, Mary manages to escape the asylum, only to find that her fate yet again rests in the hands of a man…

Edward Barrons, Duke of Fairleigh, longs for some way to escape the torment of his father’s crimes. In Mary’s warrior spirit and haunted gaze—which so mirrors his own—he finally sees his path to redemption. He will stop at nothing to keep her safe, even as she seeks revenge. But will the passion they discover in each other be enough to save them from their demons?



2011 Golden Heart winner Máire Claremont first fell in love with Mr. Rochester, not Mr. Darcy. Drawn to his dark snark, she longed to find a tortured hero of her own… until she realized the ramifications of Mr. Rochester locking his first wife up in his attic. Discovering the errors of her ways, Máire now looks for a real-life Darcy and creates deliciously dark heroes on the page. Oh, and she wants everyone to know her name is pronounced Moira. Her parents just had to give her an Irish Gaelic name.  If you'd like to learn more about Máire and the books she writes you can find her at her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

To celebrate the release of the second book in her Mad Passions series, Lady in Red, Máire Claremont is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one (1) lucky Musings follower.  Open to US & International readers.  Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below.

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Want to visit more stops on the blog tour, here's a list of participating blogs and sites.


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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: Unbound by Cara McKenna

Thursday, October 17

Title: Unbound*
Author: Cara McKenna
Series: n/a
Genre: contemporary erotic romance
Publisher: InterMix
Format: e-book, & Audio book
Date/Year: October 15, 2013
Reviewed by: Michele
 

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

An all-new novel from the author of After Hours. 

She set out to find herself, and discovered the darker side of desire.

Merry’s lost a lot recently—first her mother, then close to a hundred pounds. Feeling adrift, she strikes out in search of perspective. A three-week hike through the Scottish Highlands was supposed to challenge her new body and refocus her priorities, but when disaster strikes, she’s forced to seek refuge in the remote home of a brooding, handsome stranger…

Rob exiled himself to the Highlands years ago, desperate to escape his own self-destruction. Haunted by regrets, he avoids human contact at all costs…but when Merry turns up injured, he can’t very well run her off. And as he nurses her back to health, Rob can’t resist his guest’s sweet demeanor—or her flirtatious advances. The igniting passion between them rouses a secret appetite Rob has long struggled to keep hidden. But Merry craves nothing more than to help Rob surrender to his desires, and the journey draws the lovers into an entirely different kind of wilderness.



My Musings:

In a genre filled with dominant billionaire alpha heroes, Cara McKenna’s UNBOUND bucks the current trend with one of the most wonderfully developed beta heroes I’ve ever read and a fully realized heroine more than capable of giving him exactly what he needs, even at possible cost to her own future happiness.

Merry’s life has been turned upside down by the death of her beloved mother and her own dramatic weight loss. Not knowing what to do next, she decides that a solo hike through her mother’s home country of Scotland will be an excellent way to make a break between the old and the new, and perhaps come to some conclusions about her future. Everything is going great until Merry drinks the wrong sort of water and in her weakened state, literally stumbles across the cottage in the middle of nowhere where Rob is hiding from the world.

Rob has a whole list of very good reasons why he’s deliberately isolated himself from everything and everyone, and those reasons don’t go away just because a nosy and overly talkative young lass from America can’t leave him be. But Merry likes his looks and demeanor, and is determined to discover why such a soft spoken and good looking man would want to be a hermit. As their mutual curiosity soon grows into desire, it’s not certain whether Rob and Merry are prepared to handle the aftermath when all the secrets he’d hoped were buried forever begin to emerge.

I’m not sure how I can discuss how much I loved this book without sounding like the worst sort of fangirl. Cara McKenna is near the top of my auto-buy list and when I found out she was writing the story of a beta hero who was also a hermit, I knew this was a story I needed to read. One of the things I loved about UNBOUND was that although Merry’s extreme weight loss was part of the motivation for her trek through Scotland, it wasn’t a major focal point in the book, as so often happens with this type of character development. Compared to Rob, Merry is actually in a good place emotionally, which is how she’s able to recognize Rob’s melancholy and help him get past his sense of shame in confronting his deepest desires. It’s Rob who ultimately makes this a five star read for me, as Cara McKenna slowly uncovers why he needed to hide and how Merry helps him see that it’s time to embrace civilization -- and love -- once again. Their love story is both passionate and poignant, and the ending made me cry. UNBOUND is a perfect example of why Cara McKenna continues to be one of the best writers working in any genre today.

Ratings:

Overall: 5 stars
Sensuality level:  4
(D/s role-play including light bondage and verbal humiliation)

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Review: Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt

Title:  Duke of Midnight*
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt      
Series: Maiden Lane #6    
Genre: Historical Romance      
Publisher: Forever Hachette
Format: Paperback, e-book, & Audio book              
Date/Year:  October 15, 2013
Reviewed by: Blue
 

*This book was won by the reviewer in a contest at another website or blog.
 
Summary from the publisher:

WHEN  A MASKED MAN...
        Twenty years ago Maximus Batten witnessed the brutal murders of his parents.  Now the autocratic Duke of Wakefield, he spends his days ruling Parliament.  But by night, disguised as the Ghost of St. Giles, he prowls the grim alleys of St. Giles, ever on the hunt for the murderer.  One night he finds a fiery woman who meets him toe-to-toe and won’t back down….

MEETS HIS MATCH….
        Artemis Greaves toils as a lady’s companion, but hiding beneath the plain brown serge of her dress is the heart of a huntress.  When the Ghost of St. Giles rescues her from footpads, she recognizes a kindred spirit, and is intrigued.  She’s even more intrigued when she realizes who exactly the notorious Ghost is by day…

DESIRE IGNITES A DANGEROUS PASSION
        Artemis makes a bold move: she demands that Maximus use his influence to free her imprisoned brother, or she will expose him as the Ghost.  But blackmailing a powerful duke isn’t without risks.  Now that she has the tiger by the tail, can she withstand his ire - or the temptation of his embrace?


My Musings:

Elizabeth Hoyt is one of my favorite authors, and the Maiden Lane series has been outstanding.  I didn't think she could ever surpass the last installment from earlier this year LORD OF DARKNESS but she has done it with DUKE OF MIDNIGHT. 

Maximus Batten is the ever-so-proper and staid Duke of Wakefield.  He is dedicated to ensuring that his dukedom is perfect in every detail, which includes finding the perfect wife.  He approaches this task methodically, reviewing the candidates, and noting their breeding, beauty and fortune.  Maximus determines that Penelope is the best candidate, so he begins to court her, though in truth, he thinks her a ninny.

Artermis is Penelope's cousin and companion.  She's the granddaughter of an earl, but has to earn her own living.  Her fiance dumped her when her brother was wrongfully accused of murder, and subsequently declared mad and committed.  Artemis know she will never marry, and has made it her life's goal to have her brother freed.  For the present, she is treated fairly well by her cousin, who is somewhat vain and shallow, and intends to wed the Duke of Wakefield.

As Maximus proceeds with his courtship of Penelope, he begins to notice Artemis more and more.  Despite his best intentions, he likes her and is very attracted to her.  

"He followed her down the short staircase, watching her level shoulders, the vulnerable angle of her nape as she bent her head to watch her steps.  It would be the height of idiocy for the Duke of Wakefield to pursue the cousin of the woman he wanted as wife.  And yet, for the first time in his life, Maximus wanted to let the man rule him instead of the title."

Maximus begins to have light in his life, thanks to Artemis, but he won't pursue it.  He is so saddled with guilt, that even his smile has become just a slight lifting of one corner of his mouth.

**Spoiler Alert**  (if you've not read the previous books in the series, then you may not want to read the next few sentences) 

Maximus also has a secret  life.  He is one of the persons who masquerades as the Ghost of St. Giles, and he is out almost every night searching for the man who murdered his parents three years ago.  Artemis finds out about his alter ego and proceeds to blackmail him.  She'll keep his secret if he gets her brother out of the asylum.  Maximus is enraged that she would dare, and he refuses.  Artemis begins to subtly bait him in public, and this leads to a passionate private encounter, which leads eventually to an affair, and then to a love that can't be.  

DUKE OF MIDNIGHT is a powerful, emotional, and well written story.  Elizabeth Hoyt writes so well, that you can feel both Maximus' and Artemis' pain at knowing they will not spend their future together.  This is my favorite book from all of this year.  When I finished it, I immediately wanted to read it again.  I give this my highest recommendation.


Ratings:

Overall:  5 stars
Sensuality level:  3.5


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Other Reviews:


*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 Post & Giveaway: Maggie Robinson featuring In the Heart of the Highlander

Wednesday, October 16

It's hard for me to resist a kilted hero, especially when the author describes him as a "hot Scot in a kilt".  It was practically insta-love on my part, LOL, especially when the hero is written by one of my favorite authors, Maggie Robinson.

Maggie is my guest today to share with us her new book IN THE HEART OF THE HIGHLANDER.  And while I did love Alec, the aforementioned "hot Scot" hero, the heroine, Mary, stole my heart from the very beginning.  I think Mary Evensong is one of my favorite heroines of 2013.  I hope you'll think so too.  Read on, & enjoy!

~~~***~~~

Thanks so much for having me back! My second Ladies Unlaced book, IN THE HEART OF THE HIGHLANDER, just released, and Mary and Alec are out in the wild! They were such a fun couple to write—Mary is the epitome of a self-contained, clever, constantly-responsible woman who is happily led astray by a hot Scot in a kilt. The fact that Alec has a dark secret makes him only more intriguing, for Mary is a premiere problem solver. Here’s the back cover blurb:

Ever since Mary Evensong’s elderly Aunt Mim got sick, Mary’s masqueraded as the owner of the Evensong Agency, finding housemaids, husbands and solving pesky problems for the peerage. Someday she’d like to shake off her silvery wig and spectacles and be the young woman she truly is. But desperate clients are waiting for “Mrs. Evensong” at the office.

Like a scandalous Scottish baron. Honor forbids Lord Alec Raeburn from explaining the suspicious circumstances surrounding his wife’s death, but he knows who’s responsible. He just needs to hire an actress to lure the scoundrel into a trap.

After listening to Raeburn’s story—and seeing him in his kilt—Mary knows the perfect person. Letting her red hair down, she heads off to the Scottish Highlands to pose as a seductress, but soon finds herself with more than her virtue at stake in a tug-of-war between two powerful men. She could wind up in danger—or in the heart of the highlander.
Even though Mary has a dual identity, she is an innocent; Alec most definitely is not. Yet she manages to flummox him to a delightful degree.

“Could she tell he was nervous? It was as if twenty years had dropped away and he was a gawky youth. She pressed her sweet form against him as if to assure him she was confident of his abilities. He himself was not so certain, though the kiss promised all the heaven to come. He did not know whether the promise originated from Mary or him, and didn’t care.”

It’s hard to tell who seduces whom. Despite Alec’s history with women, nothing has prepared him for the perfection of Mary.

“Alec left Mary in the bath, dressed quickly and went downstairs to the library. He was not going to dwell upon what had just happened, and what he hoped would happen again. And again.

And maybe again before he put her on the train Tuesday morning.

Or Wednesday.

He should be angry at Mary Evensong. Furious. She and her aunt had tricked him—hell, they’d tricked the entire ton for four years. Imagine, sending a little slip of a girl into the lion’s den, washing society’s dirty laundry as well as matching mistress with maid and bride with groom. The Evensong Agency did it all, and did it well.

And sweet blushing Mary had been at the heart of it all.

Well, perhaps she wasn’t so sweet. Alec had felt the laceration of her tart tongue. But not, he reflected, quite where he wanted it now.

He threw himself on one of the cracked leather sofas and stared out the window. Ben-y-Vrackie stared back, blue and gloomy in the late afternoon sunshine. The house was quiet, his hired workmen no longer breaking the Sabbath rules. He was beginning to get hungry, but whatever edible items were in the larder had now been transferred to the gatehouse.

He was anxious and unsettled. He should feel relaxed. Triumphant. Bedding Mary had been a revelation. She had been so responsive that he’d almost forgotten to withdraw. He’d wanted to cover her with his body and crest together, as if they shared a common purpose. But that was ridiculous. He hadn’t even known her true name until an hour ago.”

There’s almost nothing I like better than reading a book about a man who thinks he knows everything until he meets a woman who knows even more. I wish there were such a place as the Evensong Agency—we could all use a little help!

Who do you talk to when you have a problem to solve? I usually confide in my oldest daughter, and we eventually wind up laughing over whatever it is. I’ll give away a copy of the first Ladies Unlaced book, IN THE ARMS OF AN HEIRESS, to one commenter!


Congrats Maggie on the release of IN THE HEART OF A HIGHLANDER!  I read this while on vacation and absolutely LOVED Mary and Alec's love story.  Mary is one of my favorite heroines of 2013.  LOVE LOVE LOVE her!

If you'd like to learn more about Maggie Robinson and the books she writes under that pen name as well as her alter ego Margaret Rowe, you can find her at her website www.maggierobinson.net, Facebook, Twitter, and her blog.

To celebrate the release of IN THE HEART OF THE HIGHLANDER, Maggie is giving away a copy of IN THE ARMS OF THE HEIRESS, the first book in her Ladies Unlaced series to one lucky Musings follower.  Enter to win using the Rafflecopter form 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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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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