Ninety-Eight Shannon Mayer.
Ninety-Eight Shannon Mayer.
I love Shannons’ Rylee Adamson series, she’s a fabulous paranormal writer but I wasn’t so keen on her first contemporary novel, and wondered if maybe the genre change just didn’t suit for me. Still, its always good to try more than once so read this one, the second contemporary romance and… it just blew me away. Of course being a horse fanatic it had the edge right from the start with horses and the horse world having a solid part to play. Its nothing like most of the contemporary romance currently around, very different set up and execution – I can think of just one other I’ve read that follows this format. Its a plot that works only if skilfully done, and could so easily put the reader off, but Shannon makes it work perfectly despite my reservations when I saw what was happening.
So, this book. Where did it differ from book one for me? Well, the characters to begin with – they’re so real, I felt like I knew them, as if we were friends and there were so many contrasting characters that it led to a really well rounded mix just as we’d find in real life. Kind people, jealous, people, real bitches and simply people who we love and want the best outcome for. The story takes us on a roller-coaster ride, with plots the leave the reader feeling high, giddy with joy and delighted one moment, and on the edge of tears the next. The story left me breathless, wondering just how all the plots could come together – just how on earth they could be resolved, and then – horrors -I began to get the feeling it would be another damn cliffhanger, as I simply couldn’t see how on earth Shannon could resolve all the problems and blocks she’d created – but she did! And it was a fantastic finish.
Its a great book, one I’d re read and savour slowly next time, instead of rushing to see what’s going to happen. That me, I’m so impatient sometimes I have to read the end before the beginning!! I’m one of those people who loves to re read books so knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t spoil it for me – it lets me enjoy the journey, instead of focussing on the climax. Speaking of which there were some hot and steamy moments here, but it fitted the scenes perfectly.
Stars: loved it, will join my keepers shelf and gets a resounding five from me.
ARC supplied by author.
Stars: loved it, will join my keepers shelf and gets a resounding five from me.
ARC supplied by author.
ARC provided by publishers.
Opened this eagerly – I hadn’t realised there were earlier books, but that didn’t matter as they are standalone novels, and complete – no awful cliffhangers as so many romance novels have lately. Its a treat too being able to read a book where the characters are older that 21! sometimes it seems as if romance has to stop once we pass 25 and that’s just not true!
So, what did I like about this book – all of it to be honest 🙂 Danielle was such a great heroine, flawed from her past though through no fault of her own, and yet brave enough to move on despite the danger she’d been in. Knowing her ex would try to find her she took pains not to get close to anyone in case it placed them in danger – but when she interviewed with Malachim there were sparks neither could ignore. He’d been hurt in the past too by his ex fiancée, and was watching Danielle carefully even though he was so attracted to her. It was clear to him she was hiding something but he didn’t know what. His law practice was having problems too, with an issue from the past which he was involved in with his three long time friends having been raised recently, and he didn’t know if he would lose his licence to practice. What he doesn’t know is that she’s under an assumed name, and she’s terrified her wealthy, powerfully connected ex, who’s just been released from prison for assaulting her, will come and find her and maybe kill her this time. She’s living on the edge of a nightmare, not sure whether to stay or go. She doesn’t have the resources to set up another ID and move on, but will staying place those she’s met in danger?
Things happen before she’s had a chance to make a decision, Danielle has events occur that affect her and people around her, and yet she’s loath to involve the police. This makes Malachim suspicious, but of course he doesn’t know why she has this mistrust. Judging by her actions around men, her nervousness over actual contact and her response when the police are mentioned, he speculates she’s been physically hurt in past and let down by the police. Yet in his position he can’t afford any more scandal attached to his business. Still, somehow they end up together when her flat is broken into, and they get closer and closer, and he begins to feel he’s falling for her. His friends are concerned too – having helped him pick up after his ex left they suspect Danielle and her actions. Danielle too is falling for him, has right from the start if she’s honest with herself.
There’s things that aren’t as they seem on the face of it too, and they paint her in a bad light. It all comes to a head in a nail-biting, riveting, suspenseful finale, and there are some tough decisions to be made. I was taken by surprise by the twist at the end too – I certainly didn’t see that coming!
Priced at £2.12 for 203 pages/509kb its very reasonable for a romance with a great back story and one worth re reading.
Stars: great book, five stars.
A hard gust expelled from Malachim Jerrod’s lungs, and he lifted his hands and gripped the shoulders of the petite woman who’d barreled into his chest. “Son of a…”
“Oh, I’m sorry.”
Sultry nights. Twisted limbs. Breathless moans. Malachim allowed her low, rasping tone to tease over his skin like a luxuriant pelt of fur—sensuous, beautiful. Only phone sex operators had voices like hers. Practiced and perfected to elicit thoughts of sex, sweat, and pleasure.
His fingers flexed but clutched air. The woman had shifted away, escaping his grasp and stepping into the pool of pale light cast by one of the street lamps.
Holy shit. Only a face as lovely and cool as the Madonna’s could eclipse that voice of sin and rich dark chocolate.
His breath stuttered in his throat. An image of a still, watchful animal slid into his mind. As if she waited, undecided if he was foe or friend. Part of him wanted to soothe her, murmur words of reassurance.
And the other wanted to lunge forward, scare her off so she went back to wherever she’d emerged from. Something about those large, liquid doe eyes and aloof, beautiful face stirred a distant response like dust motes in a neglected attic. The sorrow, the loneliness it evoked resonated in his chest like a clock in the distance chiming the hour. He wanted the uncomfortable feeling—and her—gone.
“Excuse me,” he said abruptly.
If she was taken aback by his harsh tone, her serene expression didn’t reveal it. The slight stiffening of her small frame did.
Shit. Next thing, he would start kicking dogs and tripping old ladies.
“I’m sorry,” he continued, softer this time. “Long day. And I wasn’t watching where I was going.” He slid his hands in the deep pockets of his coat. “Are you looking for someone?”
She briefly hesitated. “Yes. Well, no,” she said in that voice capable of coercing gold from King Midas. “I was looking for the office of Jerrod & Associates.” Pause. “Malachim Jerrod?”
His eyebrows arched high as surprise winged through him. “Yes. Do I know you?”
“No.” She stepped forward, reclaiming some of the space she’d placed between them. “My name
is Danielle Warren.”
Secrets and Sins: Malachim
by Naima Simone
Entangled Publishing September 2013
Quote: “Emotional, suspenseful, and sexy, with wonderful characters…”—Christy Reece, New York Times Bestselling Author
“Red hot romance, heart-pounding suspense!”—Katie Reus, USA Today Bestselling Author
Title: Secrets and Sins: Malachim
Author: Naima Simone
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 2013
Imprint: Ignite Books an Entangled Publishing Imprint
Secrets and Sins: Malachim BCC:
Looking like sin and smelling like trouble…
When Danielle Warren shows up on Boston attorney Malachim Jerrod’s doorstep looking for a job, his first thought is trouble. Well, actually his first thought is how does a woman with the face of a saint have the voice of a sex phone operator? But sexy trouble or not, he’s desperate for a paralegal to help keep his struggling law office afloat. Can the boss keep his distance from the silk of his employee’s skin, the siren lure of her body…or ignore the haunting vulnerability in her eyes.
She’s the last thing he needs…
Danielle’s name is not her own, but the new identity finally allows her to take control of her life, make her own decisions, and she refuses to allow anything—even an unwanted hunger for her new employer—to distract her. Distraction is as dangerous as the desire she spies in Malachim’s gaze and the need that renders her defenseless to his touch. But the shadowy figure stalking her every move and growing more violent by the day makes letting her guard down impossible.
But the only one he desires…
Danger is on the hunt, threatening the boss she’s falling in love with. Should she fight for the future of her dreams or flee to save Malachim’s life? Danielle must make a decision. Because her lies are unraveling. And some secrets can kill…
Secrets and Sins: Malachim buy-links:
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/secrets-and-sins-naima-simone/1116394350?ean=9781622660797
Naima Simone’s Bio:
Naima Simone is a multi-published author in contemporary and erotic romance. She’s a member of RWA’s Southern Magic chapter, mother of the Dynamic Duo, lover of everything Vin Diesel and wife to the fabulous husband who tolerates this affair. Come visit Naima on her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.
Sizzling September Releases by Ignite Tour Giveaways
(5 Winners at end of Tour)
1 $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
From Ignite Books: $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
From Annie Seaton author of Dangerous Desire: 1 sailboat necklace,
From Caridad Pineiro author of For Love or Vengeance: 1 “Reborn’ t-shirt and a signed copy of her book Kissed by a Vampire
From Gail Ranstrom author of Sweet Treason: 1 signed copy of Courtesan’s Courtship and 1 Swarovski Crystal Bookmark (made by Gail)
Demon Dance (A Sundancer Novel)
Arc supplied by publisher.
This is certainly an action packed novel, we jump straight into a scene where Nick is accosted by Coyote, who I know from fiction as a Native American spirit shape-shifter, and assume that Brian is using the same character. Coyote plays about with Nick, forcing him into a rescue and giving him a scale from a dragon…all very curious and that’s one of the problems I had with the book, the way everything just happens without any kind of background. I love this sort of book, where parallel worlds exist with gods and demons, spirits, vampires and shape-shifters, and a few select people with special abilities. The action was perfect, tightly written and riveting, but – and its a big but – I felt I was reading a later book in an existing series. I really struggled with all the different demons, angels, vampires and with Nick’s mysterious powers. None of it was explained and it meant I was constantly wondering how – why- when…I love this sort of fiction and Brain can clearly write it well but I just wish I understood more of the characters abilities and motivations. As it was I felt I was bumbling along finding out as the story unfolded. I don’t mean I need to know everything upfront, or be spoon fed each detail, but a bit more about Nick and the past incidents with his wife and sister in law would have made the story flow much better for me.
Its difficult to review in a way; as I said the writing style is great, full of action and scenes that are believable – or would be if I understood where the characters were coming from. Sadly I was lost – to the extent that I just couldn’t relate to the story as a whole. If I was reviewing on potential and quality it would be a resounding five, but the story itself had me lost and so I struggled to keep interested 😦
Priced at £2.68 for 334 pages/524kb is certainly excellent value if you can work out where the story goes better than I could 🙂 maybe your mind will work differently to mine. If Brian was to write a prequel explaining the events of the past then I’m sure this book would work far better for fantasy lovers, certainly it would for me! Sort of Sundancer 0.5 …..
“I came here,” I told the cat, “to get away from my life. Why did it have to find me?”
The cat’s emerald eyes sparkled with silent laughter. He seemed to know how stupid that sounded, and a thin, brittle smile came to my lips.
“You think I’m an idiot, huh?” I asked. The cat responded with a sharp meow. “Well, so do I.”
I sat up and stretched my neck. “I’m an idiot for throwing the glass,” I told him. “That was some premium Tennessee whiskey.”
The cat meowed again. “As for you,” I said, “you need a name.” The animal wore a dark blue collar I had missed when he came in. There wasn’t an ID, but the strip of cloth had a word printed on the front: Walker.
“OK,” I said, “Walker it is.” I scratched the cat behind his ears, and a rumbling purr vibrated my fingers.
Suddenly Walker’s ears perked up and he sprang from the bed. The hairs on my arms stood to attention, and I swung my legs over the side. My eyes searched the room, seeking a sign in the afternoon gloom of what was crawling across my senses.
That’s when the phone rang. “The Hall of the Mountain King,” made up of singular electronic notes, echoed through the apartment. I leaped out of bed and stood at the edge of the protective circle. The melody repeated itself three times and went silent.
I stood there at the edge of the circle, my heart racing. I strained to hear any movement, and my nose searched for a hint of sulfur. Nothing looked out of the ordinary.
The song blasted the silence again, the tones as simple as a child’s keyboard. With a deep breath, I stepped out of the circle and crept toward the bedroom door. Sensing nothing, I walked into the living room.
The cell phone became silent again, but only for a moment. I managed to snag it on the last ring with an annoyed, “Hello?” Away from the circle I was vulnerable, and I turned to go back to the bed, but the fearful breathing on the other end of the line stopped me.
“Nick?” Caitlin called, as if from a long tunnel. Static overpowered her voice, like energy on a high-voltage wire.
“Cate? I can barely hear you.”
“Nick! Thank God. I need your help!”
I sighed. I came away from my protection for this? “Look, Cate,” I said as I walked back into the bedroom and toward the circle, “we talked about this. You know my—”
“Just shut up and listen!” she yelled. I stopped again as a roaring filled the phone. Screams pierced the background. “I’m in a penthouse at One-Fifty-Five Second Street. Downtown. Get your ass down here!”
“Please, Nick!” Gunshots cracked the phone. “Jesus, the thing has no eyes, how can it see—”
The line went dead.
Amazon * Smashwords
Coming soon to: Barnes and Noble * Itunes * Kobo
You can run all you want, but the game’s in your blood. And blood never forgets…
Nick St. James was born different. His extraordinary gifts have saved him time and time again, but they couldn’t save the one thing he loved most: his wife.
Now he just wants to forget his old life, but more importantly, he wants to forget the magical underworld that lives beneath the “real” world. A place where a man’s faith can determine the very fabric of reality. Where ancient forgotten gods walk hidden among us, and angels and demons fight for our very souls.
But nothing stays hidden forever. Nick’s peaceful world is ripped apart when a demon slaughters his ex-partner and marks him for death. Now he must use all his gifts to find the one who summoned the nightmarish creature, but more importantly, he needs to find the one thing he lost long ago.
10/14/2013 – A Book Obsession – Spotlight
10/14/2013 – Not Everyone’s Mama – Review/Spotlight
10/15/2013 – RhiReading – Spotlight
10/16/2013 – Mad Hatter Reads – Interview
10/17/2013 – Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews – Review
10/18/2013 – Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile – Review
10/21/2013 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Interview
10/23/2013 – Romancing the Readers – Spotlight
10/24/2013 – Urban Fantasy Investigations – Guest Post
10/25/2013 – Reading on the Rocks – Spotlight
10/26/2013 – JeanzBookReadNReview Interview/Spotlight
10/28/2013 – Chelle’s Blue and Sparkly Corner – Review
10/29/2013 – Book-A-Holic Anon – Guest Post
10/30/2013 – Racing To Read – Review/Spotlight
10/31/2013 – Always YA at Heart – Spotlight
11/1/2013 – Bestsellerbound Recommends – Interview
11/1/2013 – The Wormhole! – Spotlight
11/5/2013 – Reading Between the Wines – Guest Post
11/5/2013 – A_TiffyFit’s Reading Corner – Review/Spotlight
11/6/2013 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Spotlight
11/7/2013 – Happy Tails and Tales – Review/Spotlight
11/8/2013 – Paranormal Haven – Interview
Brian Freyermuth, an 18 year veteran in the gaming industry, started his career at Interplay Entertainment, serving as designer and writer on a number of titles including the award-winning post-apocalyptic role playing game Fallout, where he helped craft the story and create some of its most recognizable settings.
Brian was also granted the pleasure of writing the missions and dialog for the best-selling game, Star Trek: Starfleet Academy. Working alongside William Shatner, George Takai and Walter Koenig gave Brian a new perspective on voice acting and dialog that influences his renowned style to this day.
In 2004, Brian ventured to the Pacific Northwest where he spent two years honing his design skills at Midway Games in Seattle. He then returned to Southern California, where he spent five years working on various influential brands under the THQ umbrella such as SpongeBob: SquarePants and WWE.
Brian’s passion for storytelling would eventually lead to a wonderful opportunity to get back to his writing roots by joining Disney and Junction Point in 2011. During his time there, he co-wrote the story and dialog for the WGA Award Nominee Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two, where he worked with comic book writer Marv Wolfman and industry legend Warren Spector to give Oswald the Lucky Rabbit a voice at Disney for the first time in 80 years.
Born in the quaint town of Manitou Spring, Colorado, where he grew up in the shadow of Pikes Peak, Brian moved to California as a teenager, eventually graduating from UC Irvine with a major in Comparative Literature and a minor in Computer Science, both of which he uses in his professional and personal careers. Brian is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, and loves to write and play video games in his free time. He currently lives in Atlanta with his wife, Juliet, and their son, Kyle.
Interviews and Articles: http://www.middark.com/middark_links.html