Thursday, April 17, 2014

Grimm Consequences by Kate Serine Kensington Books

HAPPY RELEASE DAY!!!


Grimm Consequences

Transplanted Tales  1.5)

by Kate Serine

You reap what you sow...

Saying Nate Grimm has a dark past is an understatement. Fortunately, no one's bothered to look too closely at the Fairytale Management Authority's lead detective and part-time Reaper. And that's the way Nate wants to keep it. For after centuries of torment and loneliness, he's finally found happiness with the hot and hard-charging love of his life, Tess "Red" Little.

Of course, his love for Tess is the reason there's a posse of Reaper judges after him, led by a sadistic bastard acquainted with Nate from once upon a time. Now, Tess will pay the price for Nate's transgressions unless Nate severs his ties to the transplanted Tales--and Tess--forever. His enemy has the advantage in speed, malice and brutality. But the Reapers have underestimated the depth of Nate's love and devotion. And the fury of his wrath. . .


This is a novella that adds a bit to the story of Red (Transplanted Tales #1). There are already three books in the series, with another to come later this year. I haven't read the first one, but I had no problem getting caught up with Red and Nate's story. 

He has secrets. Lots of them! And he keeps thinking that when Tess Little "Red" hears them all, she's going to clock him one. She really should have! That boy had piles of secrets. BUT she just kept taking them in stride. She's one tough cookie. 

Nate's job as a Reaper is seriously difficult. While he kept thinking he was a bad guy, I could see just why Red stayed with him. She sees what we do. He really is a good man...reaper...whatever. There is a bad guy here...and he was total loony tunes. My guess is that Ms. Serine had a blast writing him...and the Jaberwocky, too!

Lots of great supporting characters in this one. And I'm sure they have, or will have, their own Transplanted Tale at some point. This is the series that you want to read if you like snark, adventure,  romance, and a twisted view of fairy tales.
*Thanks, NetGalley and Kensington, for the opportunity to read Grimm Consequences


Connect with Kate Serine:
* Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter @KateSeRine  * 


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Wrong Woman by Brenda Brown

Happy Release WEEK!
This one is out on Thursday:



Release Date: 17th April 2014
Available from AmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, and TWCS PH


By 
Brenda J Brown

Norah Rothe dreams of being an actress—a real worth-the-price-of-admission actress. She wanted her name in lights and a life in the big city but just when everything she’d worked for was going according to script, a dramatic plot twist forces her to abandon the stage to fulfill family obligations in her tiny home town. Settled and accepting her life as a single mom and co-owner of her parents’ café, Norah’s slumbering dreams are reawakened when Hollywood comes to her. A chance encounter leads to an epic opportunity when Norah discovers that the movie being shot on the outskirts of town is in trouble; the leading lady is out of commission, and the production team is scrambling to replace her. Two lunch specials and a limo ride later, Norah finds herself back in the spotlight. David Raurke dreams of being more than just a big-screen heartthrob with throngs of screaming fans. He gambles his movie star status for a chance to direct an independent film, but when it seems as if everything that can go wrong will, David wonders if he’s about to become the lead in his own cautionary tale. Norah sees past the gossip columns. In David, she sees kindness, a sense of humour, and a passion for his craft. David sees an undiscovered talent in Norah. The camera loves her, and he knows he’s found the match to ignite his directorial debut and bring it blazing onto the big screen . . . and something much, much more. Can a romance between a talented small-town girl next door and one of Hollywood’s hottest stars survive the cutthroat world of the film industry? Come behind the scenes and see for yourself if dreams can become reality and what really happens once the lights fade to black



Kathie's Review:


This is a trope that I enjoy very much. We've seen it before, but Ms. Brown makes it real, like it could happen. Norah is an actress who takes a chance when she overhears some men bemoaning the fact that they need someone to step into a starring role in their movie. Sometimes that leap of faith is a hard one, and sometimes it just fits.

This was fun. I loved the banter between Norah and David. I loved the fact that they laughed together during their intimate scenes. I loved seeing David with Norah's child.

The supporting characters are a riot. Norah's brother is full of snark and near the end, he's pretty much a hero.

I hated the "bad guy" and that made it fun.

Yes, indeed, this is a great way to spend your reading hours. I look forward to more from Ms. Brown.


*Thank you, NetGalley and TWCS, for the opportunity to read The Wrong Woman




Before writing The Wrong Woman, Brenda Brown dabbled in a myriad of professions. She’s been a waitress (back in the day before they were called servers), a security guard, a ballroom dance instructor, an interior decorator and design consultant, a set dresser for the film and television industry, where she is still a member in good standing, and a restaurant manager. She is currently working as a visual merchandiser for The Brick, a chain of furniture stores throughout the lower mainland.
In the midst of all that, she’s been an active part of the Community Theatre scene, doing set design but principally acting and studying most of the great works since her late teens. She currently lives in Coquitlam, British Columbia, with her beautiful daughter, one dog, and two cats.






Connect with Brenda J Brown: 

Facebook * Twitter @Brenda_J_Brown * Goodreads *




Enter to win:

1x Paperback copy of The Wrong Woman
1x e-book of The Wrong Woman
1x e-book of The Wrong Woman

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Promise of More (The Disgraced Lords #2) by Bronwen Evans

I don't usually post reviews of less than three bookmarks at my blog.
But unless changes were made after I read the Advanced Reader Copy, there is cheating and rape in this book. As a reader, I'd want to be warned, especially if those were triggers for me.

So...there be spoilers here.
You've been alerted to that fact.






A Promise of More
The Disgraced Lords #2
by Bronwen Evans

In the second novel in Bronwen Evans’s sexy new Disgraced Lords series, two very independent souls find themselves fighting to resist a deepening passion.

When Beatrice Hennessey sets out to confront Lord Coldhurst, the notorious rogue who killed her brother in a duel, her intent is to save her family from destitution. She’s determined to blackmail the man into a loveless marriage. She’ll make the wealthy Lord Coldhurst pay for the rest of his life. But while greeting his ship, Beatrice takes a tumble into the Thames—only to be fished out by a pair of strong masculine arms that tempt her to stay locked in their heated embrace forever. That is, until she realizes those arms belong to Sebastian Hawkestone, Lord Coldhurst himself.

The little drowned mermaid has an interesting proposition indeed; one that Sebastian is surprised to find quite agreeable. Although he’s had women more beautiful, she is pleasing to the eye, and besides, it’s time he fathered an heir. Beatrice promises to be the ideal wife; a woman who hates him with an all-consuming passion is far too sensible to expect romance. However, it isn’t long before Sebastian’s plan for a marriage of convenience unravels, and he’s caught up in the exhilarating undertow of seduction.



This is RELEASE DAY for this book. I read the advanced copy a couple months ago.

I read the first book in the series, A Kiss of Lies, and I enjoyed the start to this series. Was pretty happy to get this second book immediately after the first. 

After I read this, I had to really think about this review. Took me a few days to get my thoughts together. 

I loved that Beatrice was willing to do what was best for her family. Even if the best thing was to marry the man who they think killed her brother in a duel gone wrong. The family is just short of the poorhouse and she, as a 25 year old spinster, who's nickname is Henpeck Hennessy, knows she's never going to catch a husband. 

I'm quite fond of the "marriage of convenience" trope. Sebastian does the right thing and agrees to marry her. He knows he has to marry at some point, and it might as well be her. She's not all that pretty, and he owes her family. She won't want more from him than he's willing to give, right?

Then he discovers that she really is quite pretty, isn't she? And she's smart, too. And what are all these dreadful feelings that he has for her? While he loves his sisters, he never, ever wants to love a wife. His parents loved each other and it was hideous living with them. They fought all the time. 

From the first book, the Libertine Scholars are searching diligently for the person who has started setting them up for ruin. We are getting clues, slowly as there are seven of them, and they'll all need their own book before the grand reveal comes around, I'm sure. I am enjoying this part of the plot.

What I'm not enjoying, and what caused me great concern, is the cheating in this book. Sebastian never means to be loyal to his wife.  He goes to his ex and allows her to touch him, intimately. He watches a prostitute pleasure herself. He kisses other women. 

While in erotica, that kind of thing may be okay, in romance I want the hero, once he's made vows to his woman...to keep it in his pants, and to not let other women touch him. 

This totally ruined the story for me.

The rest of this has spoilers...highlight the words below to see them.

<spoiler>I do realize that not every reader cares if there's cheating. And this, in my book, no matter what some presidents may say, allowing this kind of intimacy is cheating.

Everyone kept saying how honorable Sebastian is. This is not honorable and not fair to Beatrice. Even his fellow Libertine Scholar thought it was below him.

Of course, this is just my opinion, but this was not romance.

Then comes this truly awful moment. Later, when Dunmire has Beatrice locked in the bedroom and he's going to rape her, the fact that the author allowed the bad guy to actually touch her intimately was just wrong. I don't want to read that. Getting close to touching, maybe. But he actually had fingers IN her, that's RAPE in my book...the note I wrote in my kindle was: No...JUST NO. 

Then Sebastian just leaves her. Wraps his coat around her...says he'll send the aunt to her...and leaps out the window. How was he going to be able to send the aunt? And really? He'd just LEAVE her after her rape? It's not like he left via the ballroom and could send the aunt. Of course, she needed to be left alone (plot device) so she could be kidnapped. I just couldn't get over that her husband would leave her. He knew that Arend (one scary dude) was after Dunmire and knew he'd have a good chance of catching him. And.He.Left.Her. Just no.

I've only read one other Bronwen Evans books. Maybe this is what she does in her other books? Cheating and scenes with actual rapes in them? As much as I may enjoy the premise of this series, it worries me to even continue reading. Worries me that she may be pushing the envelope beyond what I want in my Romance Books.

Other plot points that didn't work for me:

His flip flopping...he wants to be with her, no  he doesn't! He's kind, then he's not. Let me make love to you, Beatrice! No, no making love. He gave me whiplash.

The repetition of back story, of why they feel the way they do, of why he doesn't want love in his marriage, made me skim and skim. I got it the first time each of their issues were mentioned, but found myself skimming the other six or eight times it was.

Who did Marisa love? Lord Montague? or Lord Rothman? She told Beatrice that it felt like she was dying when she thought about Lord Montague marrying someone else...then she's making up to Rothman. 

When Clarice is left alive, Serena said, "of course she was. The woman setting them up would, of course, leave Clarice and Sebastian's sisters alive." Or something like that.  BUT...Carla was killed in the first book. She was the prostitute who was with Christian when he was framed. 

When the mastermind is monologuing at the end. She has a moment of sadness over allowing Portia to be sent to a harem. She felt bad that an "innocent" had to pay. But she had Harriet raped in the first book! Harriet was innocent, too.

Twice Beatrice has a conversation with Christina about Sebastian being in bed with Clarice and he wouldn't have been there if he had loved Christina. It was almost word for word both times I read those bits.</spoiler>

I only post three bookmarks and higher here. But I do post lower ratings at Goodreads. As this book stands now, I'd give it a two with a HUGE warning about cheating and the rape. Since I read this in an advanced copy, maybe other readers or editors made some of these comments, and maybe the final book will be adjusted. 

If that is so, I'd be willing to give this a higher rating. But as it stands, this will be a low two. I realize that my opinions don't count for much. But when Sebastian kissed, fondled, etc. these other women, it did just ruin the entire book for me. Heroes aren't supposed to cheat. And to allow the bad guy to actually TOUCH her that way? Just no.

These are just the thoughts I had reading this. And the publisher asked for feedback.


Connect with Bronwyn Evans:
Website
Facebook
Twitter  
Goodreads

Blog Chat and Invitation




Hello Romance Readers!

I was invited to participate in a project for a grad student. It was fun chatting with her via skype for about an hour yesterday about the many genres of romance, up to and including Paranormal!  I've reviewed or spotlighted 67 paranormal romances here at First Page to the Last. So...I guess you could say I like them! I'm especially fond of vampire, shifter, and dragon stories as you can see from the list to the right of the blog. You can click on Paranormal in the subject cloud over there to see them all.

Now you have the opportunity to help Kelly out by chatting with her about your favorite romantic genre. The more people who respond, the more complete her study will be. Below is the blurb for her study:



Do you love paranormal romance/urban fantasy? I'm a grad student working on a project about these fantastical worlds, and I would love for you to share with me what you like (or not) about your favorite authors and heroines.  I'm interested in the fundamental appeal of these genres, and how they may/or may not impact your daily lives:)  Please contact me at kc505312@ohio.edu and we can have a quick chat online. I promise it will be fun and painless!
Kelly Choyke





I wondered what the parameters of "Paranormal Romance" is. So, here's the Wiki definition:

Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of both romantic fiction and speculative fiction. Paranormal romance focuses on romantic love and includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the speculative fiction genres of fantasyscience fiction, and horror. Paranormal romance may range from traditional category romances, such as those published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, with a paranormal setting to stories where the main emphasis is on a science fiction or fantasy based plot with a romantic subplot included. Common hallmarks are romantic relationships between humans and vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, and other entities of a fantastic or otherworldly nature.
Beyond the more prevalent themes involving vampiresshapeshiftersghosts, or time travel, paranormal romances can also include books featuring characters withpsychic abilities, like telekinesis or telepathy. Paranormal romance has its roots in Gothic fiction. Its most recent revival has been spurred by turn of the 21st century technology, e.g. the internet and electronic publishing. Paranormal romances are one of the fastest growing trends in the romance genre.[1] Examples of authors specializing in this genre include Dani HarperJessica BirdKresley ColeChristine FeehanKelly Armstrong,[2] and bestseller Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series.

Yep, that's some of the reading stuff I like!

Thanks for your help and have a blessed day. I'm going to read some more...probably something paranormal...

Oh, and feel free to re-blog this. She says the more respondents she gets, the better the study will be.

Kathie