Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review: Before I Wake by Kathryn Smith

Before I Wake
Nightmare Chronicles #1
by: Kathryn Smith
ISBN#9780061340277
$6.99 mass market paperback
Avon Books
Paranormal Romance
Released: July 2008




Dawn is doing what she loves, which is working at a sleep center, helping people work through their nightmares. It comes naturally to her, but as the daughter of the King of Dreams, that's to be expected. She's spent most of her life suppressing the talents inherited from her father, and just wants to live a normal life. It's not like she enjoys being able to walk into people's dreams whenever she wants.

When she meets Noah, she finds he's able to alter his dreams, and that's making him a target for a dangerous evil, one determined to have him no matter the cost. As the battleground goes from the dreaming world to the real one, Dawn and Noah know they must do something to stop the evil from spreading before innocent lives are lost. Unfortunately, that means using the abilities Dawn has been working so hard to ignore.

As the stage is set for the final battle, she must turn to her father and Noah for help, and hope that will be enough. For if the evil is ever unleashed on the world, none will be left alive to tell the tale.



I just got the second book to this series, so I had to go back and reread the first one. I love the concept that when we dream, our minds travel to a different plane; the land of dreams. Dreams have always fascinated me, because our minds are capable of so much, and we see it most when we dream.  The idea that there are people with the abilities to keep us safe from the dangers that haunt us when we sleep is an interesting one, and one that kind of goes along with the whole guardian angel thing (if you believe that), but with a twist. Kathryn Smith has done an amazing job setting up the world and characters so they're believable and real. The chemistry between Dawn and Noah is amazing, and the problems they face in the early stages of their relationships are ones we've all faced at one time or another. Okay, not the bad guys trying to kill you part, but you get my drift.  All in all, I really enjoyed the book, and I have high hopes for the next one.

Carla gives this book a

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Review: Heart of the Wolf by D.B. Reynolds

Heart of the Wolf
by: D.B. Reynolds
ISBN#1606018221
$3.50 ebook
Siren Publishing
Paranormal Romance
Released: July 2010





Ren has come back at the direction of his alpha to find out who tried to kill the woman Ren has always loved and who had been promised to him just to have her taken away and given to another man, a human at that. Now she is a widow and someone wants her dead to make matters worse there is a full moon coming soon and everyone knows what happens to his people when there is a full moon, the wolf emerges and feels the stronger need to mate.

Kathryn now widowed from her abusive human husband has every intention of retaining her freedom she will never go back to her father’s clan. When the man she loved shows up to protect her she does all she can to find her inner wolf and the strong feelings that are still there for Ren. She knows he left her once he will leave her again and she cannot go through that heartache again.

While Ren is on his mission to protect Kathryn he has also set out to win her back. They soon discover that they were both lied to and now will Kathryn survive the assassin who is out to get her.



D.B. Reynolds attempt at werewolves is a hit. HEART OF THE WOLF is a novella that I did not want to end. Ren and Kathryn are both so strong willed and persistent that the battle of wills keeps you riveted to the story. I am a big fan of Ms. Reynolds Vampires in America and now a fan of her wolves as well.

Annette gives this book a

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review: Stealing Kathryn by Jacquelyn Frank

Stealing Kathryn
Gatherers #2
by: Jacquelyn Frank
ISBN#9781420109849
$7.99 mass market paperback
Zebra Books
Paranormal Romance
Released: April 2010


For Kathryn, her life revolves around taking care of her family and the ranch. She'd secretly longed for adventure, but was wholly unprepared when a monster with dark eyes and a darker attitude comes and whisks her away from everything she knows. Suddenly, she finds herself lost and alone, and at the mercy of a monster who shows no remorse. Yet she's somehow drawn to him on a primal level she can't explain.

Adrian is a Gatherer, and his work collecting energy for his people through nightmares has warped him beyond repair, making him little more than a monster. When he runs across Kathryn in the nightmare realm, he knows only that he has to have her. Breaking the laws of his people, he claims her as his own. But although her body thaws to his seductive touches, he wonders if her heart will ever do the same.

As the passion between them reaches an inferno, they both must figure out how much they're willing to sacrifice for their love. For if not, their future together will be cut horribly short.



I got about two chapters in before I realized this was a Beauty and the Beast type story. The beginning of the book threw me because it was so unlike Jacquelyn's other books, as it was filled with darkness and hatred.
 About the only thing I didn't like was Kathryn's easy acceptance of Adrian as a monster, but I guess she was just able to see in the good in him that I couldn't.

That being said, I would like to say that I really enjoyed this book. (Fooled you, didn't I?) It was a neat twist to an old idea, and it was refreshing to read something that wasn't the same old same old. I've fallen into a rut with my reading, and this was what I needed to pull myself out.

Carla gives this book a

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Review: Hunting Julian by Jacquelyn Frank

Hunting Julian
Gatherers #1
by: Jacquelyn Frank
ISBN#9781420104257
$7.99 mass market paperback
Zebra Books
Paranormal Romance

Released: December 2009




What do you do when the world you know is suddenly gone? Asia is a bounty hunter with a bad attitude and a bone to pick. Her sister's gone missing, and all clues point to Julian. After months of tracking him, she makes her move, only to find that she'd gotten it all wrong.

Julian is a Gatherer for his people. He's responsible for collecting psychic energy on Earth and sending it back to his starving world. Certain women are unique enough to come back with him to his world, but when Asia walks into his club, he knows she's more than unique—she is his one true mate.

While Asia tries to adapt to a dangerous new world, she must also confront the feelings Julian stirs in her. For there's much more at stake than her heart, and that's the fate of an entire world.



I started out with Jacquelyn Frank's Nightwalkers series and have been hooked ever since.  Her characters are written well enough to jump off the pages at me, and I've found myself yelling at the book a time or two if a character does something stupid.  She also writes some pretty steamy romance scenes. 
About the only thing that bothered me about his book, was that the customs of the Gatherers seemed too close to that of her Shadowdwellers series.  The worlds were different, but it felt like the same society in a different setting. 
Other than that, I really enjoyed the pigheadedness of the characters and the story in general.  I'm itching to finish this so I can dive into book 2 of the Gatherers series, Stealing Kathryn. 

Carla gives this book a

Review: Daemon's Mark by Caitlin Kittredge

Daemon's Mark
Nocturne City #5
by: Caitlin Kittredge
ISBN#9780312943660
$7.99 mass market paperback
St. Martin's Press
Paranormal Fantasy
Released: May 2010




Nocturne City is inhabited by weres, witches, trolls, and other things that go bump in the night. Lieutenant Luna Wilder heads up the Supernatural Crime Squad, and it's her job to keep the city safe.

When a dead body is found in the harbor, her search leads her to an international sex trafficking ring. Getting too close lands her on a ship bound overseas, where a bleak future awaits her.

Once there, help comes in the form of an unexpected ally. As the stakes are raised, Luna needs to decide what her priorities are, and if she's strong enough to face what lies ahead.



This is one of the better paranormal fantasy (or urban fantasy) series out there. I like how Luna is constantly fighting the beast within, but still manages to retain her humanity and compassion in spite of it. No matter what life throws at her, she beats the odds and saves the day. I'm usually not big into the shifter novels, but this is one I buy on the release date, then stay up way too late reading. I hope Caitlin Kittredge is planning on continuing the series, because I'm hooked.

Carla gives this book a

Review: Dane by Elizabeth Amber

Dane
Lords of Satyr #5
by: Elizabeth Amber
ISBN#9780758241283
$14.00 trade paperback
Aphrodesia Publishing
Historical Erotica
Released: June 2009



Alright. I've finished the book and taken a cold shower, so now I'll begin. The book takes place in the 1880s in Italy, and centers around a group of ElseWorld beings known as Satyrs. They are a group ruled by their sexual nature.
 
Dane is a Satyr who's come to Earth to escape a past he can't remember, only to find a future that looks bleak. He's been ordered to marry a human, so he enlists the help of an ElseWorld matchmaker. One look at her, though, has him thinking less about his duties, and more about getting her out of that bodice.

From the moment Dane steps into her office, Eva knows he'll be trouble. The sexual heat that sizzles between them is undeniable, but inappropriate, since he needs her help in finding a wife. As the passion between them peaks, they finally succumb to their carnal urges. But while Eva willingly gives him her body, she must never give him her heart. For she has a secret, one that means the end to her freedom if ever found out.

As shadowed enemies from a past he can't remember close in, he'll need Eva's help to unlock the secrets in his mind before it's too late. For there's more than their lives on the line if they fail, it's also their hearts.



Carla says:

This was my first foray into erotica, and while I've read some steamy romances in the past, I was unprepared for the intensity of the book. I was a bit lost in the first few chapters, but I think that's more from jumping into the series with book 5 than the writing. I liken it to jumping into the middle of a conversation-it takes you a bit to figure out what's going on.

And I did. The characters did a good job speaking to me, and I was able to easily picture them as the book progressed. The emotional aspect of the book did its job. When Dane and Eva slept together the first time, I cheered. When Gaetano proposed marriage, I hoped she wouldn't accept.

Overall, while the book isn't something I would have picked up in the store, I did enjoy reading it.

Carla gives this book a


 

Annette says:

I have enjoyed all of the Lords of Satyr and Dane was no different for me. I enjoy a book that the men are strong but yet have a part of them that is left vulnerable because of who and what they are and the women are all very strong and meet whatever life throws at them head on. Dane and Eva defiantly lived up to my expectations of what the next Satyr generation should be. Bring on Bastian, I’m ready.

Annette gives this book a

Friday, June 18, 2010

Review: Decadent Deception by Keta Diablo


Decadent Deception
by: Keta Diablo
ISBN#9781605920139
$5.95 ebook
Noble Romance Publishing
Historical Erotica
Released: October 2008
 




Olivia Breedlove’s father has left her miserable even after his death. His will states she must wed within six months to an upstanding gentleman or lose her inheritance and rely on her brother’s good graces. Well, her father may get her to marry even from the grave but she will make sure the man she does marry knows what he is doing in the bedroom.

Morgan Gatewood has loved Olivia for years but when they were caught he refused to stand up to her father and fight for what he wanted causing him to lose Olivia’s love. Unable to be around her he leaves the country, now he is back and is ready to go for what he wants, Olivia. But, he does not meet the critereia set by her father's will.  When he finds out what she has planned he volunteers to get her entrance into the local brothel, but no man will touch her except him.

As Olivia and Morgan have a battle of wills the soon discover someone is killing the women at the brothel and now the killer is after Olivia. Morgan will do everything to keep her safe and prove to her that he is the man she always believed him to be but will she live to enjoy his love.


Keta Diablo brings a wonderful story of love overcoming obstacles of trust and the past. Olivia and Morgan are quite the pair with their in the face attitudes towards each other, both fighting for what they want when it is the same goal for them both, they want each other but Olivia is to stubborn to admit it. Decadent Deception is for anyone who wants a good historical with the suspense of who the killer is, a real page turner it keeps you wondering all the way to the end.

Annette gives this book a

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lovely note from Nicole Jordan

Wonderful historical romance author Nicole Jordan sent me this message via email today and wanted to share with our readers:

Hi Annette! That's very kind of you to review my books. And yes, please feel free to link to my website! http://www.nicolejordanauthor.com/. Oh, and best of luck with your new blog/review site! It's readers like you who keep us authors employed. *Grin*

Here's some more info for you, in case you haven't seen it yet:

The Courtship Wars continue! This sexy, fun series focuses on the delicious sparks that fly when Regency lovers play the matrimonial mating game. Current books are entitled TO PLEASURE A LADY, TO BED A BEAUTY, TO SEDUCE A BRIDE, TO ROMANCE A CHARMING ROGUE, and TO TAME A DANGEROUS LORD. Visit www.NicoleJordanAuthor.com to view the covers and read descriptions and excerpts.

TO TAME A DANGEROUS LORD is now in bookstores! In Book 5 of The Courtship Wars series, a former spymaster weds a plain spinster purely for convenience but gets more than he bargains for when his new bride becomes a bold seductress in their marriage bed.

I've recently updated my website at www.NicoleJordanAuthor.com with lots of info about TO TAME A DANGEROUS LORD, including Chapter One, new blogs from Madeline and Rayne in my Character Gallery, and a downloadable bookmark. And my Future Books page has the scoop on Tess's story, the sixth and final Courtship Wars romance. Also, be sure to enter my monthly contests hosted by Writerspace.com to win cool stuff, and check out my Hot News page for regularly updated news.

If you'll sign my guestbook or mailing list, your e-mail addy will automatically be added to my mailing list so I can keep you up to date.

And lastly, http://www.thegoddessblogs.com/ is a delightful place to hang out! I'm blogging with a wonderfully fun group of authors about life, love, romance, books, heroes and heroines, and everything else under the sun. Please join Sabrina Jeffries, Claudia Dane, Suzanne Enoch, Julia London, Karen Hawkins, Madeline Hunter, Lori Handeland, Karen Rose, Rachel Gibson, and me for a great time.

Thanks so much for writing and making me smile.

Nicole

Review: Shadow Dreams by Teri Barnett

Shadow Dreams
by: Teri Barnett
ISBN# 9781897562321
$15.95 trade paperback
LBF Books
Romfantic Fantasy
Released: March 2010





Bethany is a Knower. While working on a dig she comes across a relic belonging to Elizabeth, a woman not native to Paran. Elizabeth has ties to the long-forgotten cult of Eitel, known for stealing the souls of children in their quest for immortality.

Connor is a shell of his former self. After his wife Elizabeth left him, he crawled inside a whiskey bottle and refused to come out.

After Bethany's daughter is kidnapped, the only clue points to Elizabeth. Bethany sets off to Earth to find Connor and beg for his help in finding her daughter.

The two form an uneasy alliance and set off to find Bethany's daughter before it's too late. Along the way, they learn some important lessons, but the most important lesson they learn is the one their hearts teach them.




I really enjoyed several aspects of this story, including how the bad guys have to keep the kids alive in order to use their souls. It lends a certain aggravation for the bad guys that I find awesome. The world and characters were very well written, and the detail helped me paint a vivid picture of the world in my mind as I read, which is important.

The only thing that bothered me was how the two main characters didn't have enough interaction before they began to fall in love. They didn't come together as smoothly as I would have liked. I did enjoy the bantering between the two, and caught myself laughing out loud with some of their antics.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Shadow Dreams, and would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good fantasy story with a romantic twist. 

Carla gives it a

Monday, June 14, 2010

Keta Diablo Contest Winners

We have used our random selection machine (my 4 year old granddaughter) to select our three winners for our first contest from our interview with Keta Diablo.  We ask that you please send us your email and snail mail address to us at romfanreviews@gmail.com.  We will then forward the info to Keta and she will contact you to find out which book you wish for her to send you.

And the winners are:
alex draven
tiphaniesmith
amante dei libri

Congrats to you and hope you enjoy your book.  Thank you for visiting our site and we hope you come back and visit us again. 


~Annette~

Friday, June 11, 2010

Interview with Keta Diablo

I would like to start out by thanking everyone for stopping by our new blog. To celebrate we have with us today author Keta Diablo. Keta has over fifteen books to her resume and many more to come. Welcome Keta.


Thanks so much for having me at your new lovely blog. Wishes for much success!


Thank you, you have been a wonderful supporter since the minute I mentioned our plans to start the page and even volunteered to do an interview to kick off the site. So here we go…..

You originally started out writing Historical Erotica what inspired you to begin writing M/M Romance?


Actually, Annette, I began writing sensual romance, a mix of historical and paranormal. When the publishers asked for erotic romance, I concentrated more on the sexual aspect of scenes and read a lot of erotic romance. And then I branched off into reading gay fiction. At that time, I was very curious about the emotional side of relationships and wondered how men would react in certain situations. I think I discovered that men in just about all aspects of life are more direct and rather than stew and analyze a situation will for the most part say what they think. Quite directly.

For instance, I've been blessed with raising both boys and girls. If you ask a girl if she took a toy away from her friend, she might hem and haw, and likely you won't get a direct response. Yet, if I asked my boys the same question they'd say, "Yes, and here's why." I think that carries over into their adult relationships and I adore frankness. I became very curious about the differences between men and women in a relationship and wondered how they might react when confronted with similar angst or dilemmas.


Tell us a little about your new releases Magnolia Heat coming next week June 14th and Blood Oath being released on June 20th?


Thanks so much for asking! Both are male/male novellas. Magnolia Heat is a historical and Blood Oath a vampire. Here are the blurbs for the books which I think best explains the story line.

Blood Oath – Coming June 20th from Amber Quill Press. Link to web site: http://www.blogger.com/goog_170189414/


When Kale MacDonald's beloved grandmother dies, she leaves him a letter urging him to travel to Savannah, GA to find his destiny. Kale is confronted by a strange, decadent man who appears to be stalking him. He's also confronted by a trio of rogue vampires intent on killing him. Mystery and danger collide in the City of Secrets, and no one is who they appear to be.


Magnolia Heat, Gay Fiction, Noble Romance, http://www.nobleromance.com/


Coming in June 14th


Craven and his friend Anthony discover they're in over their heads the night they're caught spying on Beresford Hall. When Craven meets the dark, mysterious Dominic Beresford, he wonders if fate really does step in to take you by surprise when you least expect. Sizzling Heat. Bondage. Man Love. A male/male historical that will leave you breathless.

You have several books coming up in the future with Phaze and Noble Publishing can you give us any hints to what the books are about?

About a year ago I started a series for Phaze called CROSSROADS. The main character in this book is a private investigator, and one I might add, who was not very likable in the first book. There has been a lot of discussion about Frank McGuire. Reviewers have analyzed, chastised and lauded his personality. I anticipated this and am willing to take the flack along with the praise for my characterization of Frank. I don’t write cookie-cutter characters and take some risks in pushing them to the limit. There is also a “forced seduction” scene in the first Crossroads book which was also very controversial. I intended to write the novella this way and intended to write Frank the way I saw him, warts and all. Let’s face it, all people come with blemishes, flaws and to fictionalize them as perfect would be an injustice I think.


I wrote the first three novellas in the series and readers wanted more of Frank and Rand. Phaze just released the fourth novella and two more will be released in August and November respectively. Due to the popularity of the series, the first three were combined and are now available in print at Phaze here: http://www.king-cart.com/Phaze/product=Crossroads+Print/exact_match=exact

I adore Noble Romance and have been with them since they started up several years ago. I don’t see that changing. I write mostly male/male for Noble too, however I do have an erotic romance available titled Decadent Deceptions. Of all the books I’ve written, DD is the book of my heart. The full-length novel finaled in the 2008 Molly Contest and has done very well in the market. Noble just released The Devil’s Heel (a best-seller at All Romance Ebooks) under my name, a male/male/pirate and of course, Magnolia Heat will be released on the 14th of June and Lip Service, male/male/contemporary on the 5th of July. My projects are ongoing with Noble Romance so you’ll have to check my male/male blog to see what’s coming next (http://thestuffofmythandmen.blogspot.com/).

I’d like to also mention the wonderful Decadent Publishing owned by Samantha Gail. DP will open August 1st and I’ve written a male/male western called Long, Hard Ride for their debut.


And the best news! Mr. Romance, Charles Paz, has signed on with Decadent Publishing and will be designing most of their covers. You can find more information here about Charles and his photography: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Charles-David-Photography/415413375359?v=wall

You have a variety in the books you write out of all the genres do you have a preference?

I’m often asked this question. Writing is fickle (lol). My preference is erotic romance and yet the male/male seems much easier to write for me. If you can figure that one out, please e-mail me and tell me why.

What do you like most about writing? What about the one thing you hate about it?

I love the freedom that comes with writing, particularly in the summer months. I live in the Midwest where winters are brutal, but we have the loveliest weather in spring and summer. I enjoy being outdoors and if I want to stop writing in the middle of the afternoon and head up the local town that has the most delicious ice cream cones in the country, I don’t feel the least bit guilty. And I love to garden, mostly flowers, and I don’t think I’d have the time to spend in my garden if I worked a fulltime job out of the home.


There’s nothing I “hate” about writing, but like all writers I agonize over the words, the sentences and the stories. You’d be surprised how many times I hit the delete button, wiping out an entire scene because I’ve convinced myself a third grader can write better than me. The stories you might think are really good possibly aren’t for readers and the ones I question, have done very well for me. So again, if you figure this out, drop me an e-mail so I know the secret.

This one is more for Carla who is having the battle of her life with one of her characters. Do you ever find you cannot seem to connect with a character?

LOL – see above. The answer is yes. When that happens, I put the story away for a bit and try to walk inside his/her skin. I’m not necessarily talking about whether or not I like the character, but rather something is not right with his dialogue or actions. As in, Frank would never say or do that and you know that, Keta. That’s a disconnection of a sort and until I figure out how Frank would react, I stop writing. Often I don’t name my characters until I’m halfway through the book. I have a need to make sure the name suits the character. Unfortunately, I was the same way when my children were born. Dylan, my youngest wasn’t named for four days. The nurses started to panic and came into my room at least three times a day – birth record in hand. I told them not to panic, that I would name the baby as soon as I spent some time with him/her and determined what name suited them best. After all, a name is something you carry with you for the rest of your life, and a character must sometimes carry their name through an entire series. I can’t see Frank as a Brandon, for instance.

If we were given a peek at your book collection what authors would we find?

Oh, no, you’ll not likely catching me naming favorites. I have so many. I read in a wide variety of genres. How about if I tell you what I’m reading right now and you won’t know whether it’s my first read by that author or whether I buy all her/his books? And yes, I often have 4-5 books going at once. What can I say, it’s me and my short attention span?


The Bronze Horseman, Pauline Simons
Rage Against Heaven, Fred Mustard Stewart
Lord of Sin, Madeline Hunter
Belldonna, Anne Bishop
Forbidden, Helen Kirkman
The Spymaster’s Lady, Joanna Bourne (hint, hint – I have more than one of her books)


I read Emma Wildes and Emma Holly, and last, but not certainly not least, Speaks the Nightbird, Robert McCammon

Any parting knowledge you wish to give to our readers or future writers?

The same thing every author says to aspiring writers: Pursue your dream and never give up. There’s only one way to learn how to write or learn what works for you and that’s this: “Put your butt in the chair and write, and then write some more.”


For readers I could write an essay. I’m fully aware of the strong connection between writers and readers, and that bond is this: A mutual love of the written word. I also realize that without loyal readers it wouldn’t be as enjoyable. Yes, I would still write, but there’s nothing like receiving an e-mail from a stranger saying, “I just read Hot and Sticky and LOVED it!” It still amazes me that someone would take the time from their busy life to contact me. I’m honored and humbled at the same time.


Again, thank you so much, Annette, for having me. You know my heart is in the right place when I wish you much success with your new blog. I know you’re a great supporter of authors and readers and also have an abiding love for books in your soul. You can’t go wrong with that combination.

My heartfelt good wishes, Keta


You can find Keta on the Internet here:


Keta’s Haunt (author home), http://www.ketadiablo.com/

Keta’s Keep Erotic Romance Blog, http://ketaskeep.blogspot.com/

The Stuff of Myth and Men, Gay Fiction Blog, http://thestuffofmythandmen.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @ketadiablo

Thank you so much Keta for spending some time with us and for the kind words. Now for the contest, just leave a comment or question and on June 14th release day for Magnolia Heat we will randomly select three winners. Each winner will receive a Keta Diablo book of their choice.


P.S. Sorry about this getting done later than expected, got stuck in traffic behind a tractor who decided he needed the whole road.  I apologize to all of you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Welcome!!!

Welcome to our blog.  At our site we hope that you will be able to find everything you need with just a click of your mouse.  RomFan Reviews is a combination of all the genres of books within the world of romance and fantasy. So, sit back, relax and enjoy our little world of Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Erotica and Paranormal/Urban Fantasy. Hopefully we will have something for everyone.

Soon we hope to have some of our authors join us with interviews and guest blogs. Already agreed to help us out my friend Adrian Phoenix, Keta Diablo and Terry Spear, so stay tuned for dates.


-Annette