Archive for June 7th, 2012

The blurb

Haunted by a military mission that ended in personal tragedy, Declan Byrne still bears a soldier’s scars. As a park ranger on the secluded Mendocino coast, he guards his heart while standing ready for anything. Anything except a beautiful, ethereal woman with a mysterious past, falling from the cliffs to the rocks below.

Angel, as Declan decides to call her, has no memory of what happened. But as her body heals, disturbing dreams emerge. In Declan’s protective care, Angel feels safe to act on the undeniable passion between them, without the threats from old, unnameable demons. And, in time, she senses Declan needs her as desperately as she needs him. But when her past returns with a vengeance, Declan must decide just how much he’s willing to risk in order to keep the woman he loves safe.


The review

Declan takes a walk along the trails every morning to get ready for his day as a park ranger and one morning, a beautiful, naked woman falls from the sky to land at his feet. She is covered in strange symbols, with bones tied in her hair, and pentagrams tattooed on both palms. He immediately feels an irresistible connection to the naked woman and follows the ambulance to the hospital and stays with her for days until she regains consciousness.

The naked woman reveals that she doesn’t have a name so she is called Angel. Angel has no memory of her life before she was 5 years old. She has been isolated in a compound with her only human contact being The Grandmother, the elderly cult leader who was preparing her with drugs and ritualistic torture to be The Gift to Satan. The drugs created an alternate plane for her where her demon lover, Asmodeus, taught her all she needed to know about lust and pleasing a man. When she failed again to be accepted by Satan as The Gift, The Grandmother tossed her off the cliffs, where she landed at Declan’s feet.

If you are confused right now, you are not alone. For me, Fallen Angel was long stretches of boredom, sprinkled liberally with confusion and sex scenes that made me uncomfortable. Declan takes Angel home with him since she has no one else but even while she was in the hospital, she wants to have sex with him. Declan is her first human contact other than The Grandmother and she wants to “gift” herself to him. She is so incredibly innocent about all things except sexual pleasure, I didn’t feel that she had the mental competency to make a healthy decision about anything as serious as a sexual relationship.

After they get to his home, she starts to learn about average life, what a television is, eating in a restaurant, etc. as she continues to throw herself at Declan. And continues to have sex with Asmodeus on the alternate plane as she tries to decide if he is real or a figment of her imagination. Though the psychiatrist in the book repeatedly says she isn’t a child and discusses how mature she is, I didn’t feel it and she came across very child-like to me, which made any of the scenes with sexual content very uncomfortable. This is a conversation that happens after she sneaks into the hero’s bed for the second time (he rejected her the first time) and preforms oral sex on him while he is sleeping.

“Angel. What’s going on? What are you doing here?”

“I’m here to make you happy. To show you there is no reason to deny your desires. Or Mine. Have I not made you happy? Your body is happy. But I still need you, Declan. I need you to touch me.”

“Jesus, Angel. I can’t believe this.”

“I’m real. I’m a woman, Declan, not a child. And I want you.”

This is the standard dialogue between Declan and Angel. I never got a real sense of who she was other than someone who needed to give herself to the hero. I couldn’t relate to Declan, either. All I knew was he has some unexplainable connection to Angel from the beginning, he was angry with his father for choosing to respect his mother’s wishes when she was dying of cancer 10 years ago, and he was bitter that his father had found someone new. That’s basically the whole story.

I had to question if the love she felt for Declan was real or if it was just because he was the one who found her. She loved The Grandmother, who kidnapped and abused her. She loved Asmodeus, her demon lover who was not real. And she loved Declan, the man that found her and introduced her to the real world. Many times, Declan refers to Angel as “my baby” and “my beautiful girl” and, ultimately, that was my problem with Fallen Angel. She was a girl, not a woman who could enter into a healthy romantic relationship and make me believe in it.

2 out of 5 stars.

Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: June 19th, 2012
Format: print and digital

Barnes & Noble

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The one man she wants is the one man destined to destroy her.

Sooner or later we all end up dead. Jace Cutler doesn’t have the luxury of staying that way. After receiving a fatal stab wound, he awakens in a hospital room in Portland, Oregon, with no memory and a big hole where his soul used to be. Worst of all is the glow. Everyone is surrounded by a strange white aura he hungers to possess, none more compelling than the one enveloping Dr. Lia Benson.

Lia has always been ruled by reason, refusing to put stock in such nebulous things as destiny. Until Jace dies in her arms, then miraculously comes back to life. Whenever he’s near, her soul responds and her body burns. And she’s consumed by odd dreams she’s convinced are Jace’s lost memories.

When Lia is kidnapped, Jace tracks her and discovers a shocking explanation for who—and what—he is. Something no longer human, a dark legacy that until now has lain dormant within him. Something that could destroy the one woman he’d sacrifice everything to protect.


From the time we’re old enough to walk, we’re immersed in tales of the supernatural, whether it’s Dorothy’s adventure in the wonderful land of Oz, Alice’s fall down the rabbit hole or Lucy’s danger-wrought journey through the secret world of Narnia. It’s hardly surprising that this fascination with all things paranormal persists into adulthood. Think of the popularity of vampires, werewolves, and most recently, angels and demons.

So what is it about these immortal beings that intrigues us and leaves us hungering for more? What makes these creatures of the night so sinfully seductive? Is it their biting sense of humor? Their animal magnetism? Their devilish charm? Is it the beast lurking beneath that polished exterior that makes us long to immerse ourselves in their riveting quest for redemption?

I must admit, I’ve always been a sucker for a dark, persecuted hero—whether he’s wallowing in guilt, stewing in anger, or trying to save his immortal soul from eternal damnation. There’s something incredibly appealing about a man who must fight his inner darkness for a shot at that elusive feeling we call happiness.

And let’s not forget the lure of the forbidden. It’s human nature to want what we can’t have. These supernatural heroes are not only dangerous but often not allowed to mate with mortals. This only heightens the conflict and makes us all the more invested in their plight. How will they overcome issues like immortality and the overwhelming desire to feast on the heroine…in more ways than one? Will they find salvation, redemption?

These are all issues I tackle in my new Dark Souls series. In Soul Bound, Jace discovers that a dark legacy has lain dormant within him, that he’s something no long human. Something destined to kill.

With the help of his soul mate, Lia Benson, he embarks on a perilous journey to unravel his past and solve the mystery of what he’s become, while laboring to steer clear of the creatures who hunt them. Creatures with inhuman abilities and twisted agendas of their own.

As the danger escalates and the stakes rise, Jace’s destiny reveals itself to him, and he is forced to make an impossible choice—reclaim his soul and destroy an ancient threat to mankind or save the woman he’d sacrifice his life to protect.

Are you a fan of the dark and forbidden? If so, comment for a chance to win a free digital copy of Soul Bound, book one in my new Dark Souls series and a Romantic Times Top Pick!

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Hello. My name is Lillie and I am series whore 😀 When Mad and I started talking about which books we would like to give away during the Digital First Read-A-Thon, my mind did not go to my favorite BOOK. Oh, no. I went straight for those series that dragged me in with the first book, has me stalking the author’s site, and keeps me waiting impatiently for my next trip into that world.

Colters’ Woman by Maya Banks started my love of digital first books. An over-the-top romance of three brothers falling in love with the same woman. The romance! The danger! The sexy times! I loved every sentence of it and reread it often. And I was thrilled when the author announced she was continuing the series. I sobbed my way through Colters’ Lady and panted my way through Colters’ Daughter. This is my go-to comfort read for erotic romance.



I started Dee Tenorio’s Rancho del Cielo series with Love Me Tomorrow. The preggo heroine is my not-so-secret weakness and as soon as I read the blurb, I had to have it. I fell in love with a grumpy hero, a tough heroine, and a town that can’t manage to mind its own business. The series has many laugh-out-loud scenes mixed in with some poignant, heart-breaking moments. And the first book, Betting Hearts, is free right now on Amazon.



Anyone that has spent any time with me either online or in real life has heard me rave about the Southern Arcana series by Moira Rogers. It is one of my top two favorite PNR series of all time. I don’t even bother to read the blurbs anymore, I just read the books as soon as humanly possible. It has the vivid world building and continuing story arc that I usually find in urban fantasy but with a fantastic romance that makes my happily-ever-after loving heart happy. If you love paranormal romance and haven’t started this series, then you are missing out.




We will be giving away one kindle book from each series, winner’s choice. Just leave a comment telling us which series you would like to try and we will draw 3 winners on July 1. Click on the covers above to find blurbs, excerpts, and reading order.

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Dannie Marino is hiking with colleagues when a sudden blizzard separates her from her group. She’s rescued by Lee, a dangerously sexy stranger who leads her to a remote cabin to weather the storm.

When the night inevitably ends in an intense erotic encounter, Dannie is both shocked and liberated by her response. But being intimate means letting herself be vulnerable, which isn’t her style. Lee tries to reach out to her, but she avoids any emotional entanglement by pushing him away.

Snowed in and unable to hide from each other, Dannie and Lee must both face up to their most closely guarded emotions. When the storm abates, will they be able to stop running from the past and live fully in the future?



The mid-life crisis is no joke. It knocks you flat on your backside and makes you question who you truly are and what you really want.


I spent my twenties and early thirties trying to please everyone I knew. Then one day I woke up and could not do it anymore. I was done. Something needed to change or I was going to pull a Thelma and Louise and drive a Thunderbird convertible into the Grand Canyon.


Lots of my friends are going through a similar upheaval. Many are recovering from divorce or waking up from the zombie-like state of round-the-clock childcare, while others are simply realizing that their lives are not turning out the way they had planned and they’d better change things quick or they’ll end up shriveled and bitter with their whole lives behind them.


This, to me, is an interesting time of life to write about.


I like innocent virgins as much as the next guy, but as a writer, I’m drawn to stories that are relevant to my life now. I want realistic conflicts and strong characters. I want real women who are going through real things with real men. I want stories about characters that are like the women I know: strong, afraid, brave, smart, funny and ON FIRE.


So I write “older” heroines. I’m here today at Novel Thoughts to tell you why.



1. Older Heroines Have Real Problems.


I know some people read romance for the escape. I do too. But I also want to identify with the characters, to feel what they feel, to suffer and triumph along with them, and to see how they fight through what stands in their way. I can only do this when the characters and conflicts are realistic.


Older heroines have made mistakes. They’ve done some living and they’ve fallen on their faces a few times. They’re dealing with career trouble, failed relationships, fertility and parenting, infidelity, aging parents, illness, their own changing bodies, and their sexuality, all in the context of a ticking clock—in short, real stuff. Interesting stuff. Stuff I want to understand better.



2. Older Heroines Know Their Way Around a Bedroom.


They’ve had sex before, if you can believe it. And they might have even liked it. They might actually, literally, know their ass from their elbow. They don’t have to be reluctantly introduced to anything, or patiently taught, or seduced into sex. THEY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING. Maybe, like most of our heroes, they haven’t had sex LIKE THIS—emotional, moving, connected sex. But they didn’t just fall off the virgin truck either. And frankly, that is refreshing. Because it’s 2012, and women should be allowed to have rich sexual lives that don’t require a more experienced hero to justify them.



3. Older Heroines Have History.


Often younger heroines are given a kind of false gravitas to make them seem more solid, like a miserable childhood or an unrealistically stellar track record in their professional lives. This rings untrue, and pulls us out of the story. But an older heroine has had time to develop a history—a childhood, an education, a good long stint at work, a few relationships—and these experiences make her a more developed character.


The older heroine’s history—especially if it contains true suffering and pain—also makes her ultimate romantic triumph much more moving. You know that she’s fought for it, that she’s earned it and deserves it, and that makes for a more satisfying story.



4. Older Heroines Have Real Friends.


By the time you hit your late thirties—hopefully—you’ve got friends. Not just school pals or drinking buddies, but the kinds of friends who have seen your placenta and held you while you sobbed your heart out. These friends make wonderful secondary characters in stories about older heroines. They too have had time to build a history, both as their own people and in terms of their relationship to the heroine.



5. Older Women Are Not Invisible.


You wouldn’t know this by looking at popular media. Oh, it’s changing somewhat. There are lots of actresses like Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts who are working steadily, playing vibrant roles, well into their forties. And there are more and more romance novels being written about older women, which is a wonderful thing.


But we all know, as women, that the older we get, the more we start to disappear. We’re not up there on the billboards anymore, because that’s a young woman’s game. There are fewer and fewer popular books, TV shows and movies about women our age. Men notice us less. Teenagers act like we don’t know what we’re talking about.


We don’t have any control over that. We live in a youth-obsessed culture, and more’s the pity. But what we don’t have to do is make each other and ourselves invisible.


Romance novels are written by women and for women. Most of us readers are in our thirties, forties and fifties. We exist. Yeah, we’ve screwed up a thing or two. Yeah, we’ve got some wrinkles to show for all the hard work we’ve done. But our stories are interesting. They matter. And I would rather read those stories, and write them.


My latest release is a contemporary romance novella called Snowbound with a Stranger, about a 38-year-old divorced nurse who is struggling with burnout. Dannie is a realistic woman. Her problems are real. And when she meets the hero, Lee, you know she’s earned the right to love and be loved by him.


Tell me what you think about older heroines in the comments below. A free copy of Snowbound with a Stranger goes to one random commenter, so join in the chat!



Rebecca Rogers Maher lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and children. She is the author of the Recovery Trilogy—I’ll Become the Sea, Snowbound with a Stranger and the forthcoming Fault Lines (September 2012)—from Carina Press.






Snowbound with a Stranger is now available from Carina Press.


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