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Archive for June 18th, 2012

A woman in danger…

Serena Blake is a bestselling author of erotic fiction. She knows how to write a happy ending but hasn’t managed to find one of her own. Divorced and alone, she has no one to turn to when a stalker begins to threaten her life. The cops don’t believe her. Her ex-husband thinks she’s making the whole story up. She has no one left to turn to except a pair of hired bodyguards. They promise to guard her body, but no one can protect her heart.

Two men in search of love…

Adam Miles and Jacob Dean are halves of a whole. They’ve spent their entire adult lives searching for the one woman who can handle them both. Adam is the playful, indulgent lover, while Jacob is the possessive, loving Dom. When Serena comes into their lives, Adam is certain that she’s the one. But Jacob’s past comes back to haunt them all. He is suspicious of Serena’s story, and his concerns are driving a wedge between him and Adam. But when the stalker strikes, they will have to come together or lose each other forever…

I was hesitant to read this. Books featuring heroines that are romance authors sometimes comes across as author fantasy and that makes me uncomfortable. However, I love the Nights in Bliss series written under Lexi Blake’s other pen name, Sophie Oak, so I decided to give it a try.

Serena Brooks, pen name Amber Rose, is a best selling erotic romance author who is known for her ménage and BDSM titles. She has a stalker that doesn’t approve of the books she writes and her agent sends her to McKay-Taggart Security for protection. Jake (a Dom) and Adam (a hot beta) are assigned to investigate and guard her around the clock. Jake and Adam always share women and realize immediately the Serena is a sub. They are both instantly attracted to submissive vibes and while Adam wants to act on it immediately, Jake is gun-shy because of his hurt over a previous relationship.

That is supposed to be the plot. I think. What the book is really about is Serena’s career as an erotic romance author and that’s where the strangeness comes in. Because apparently Serena’s fictional career is identical to Sophie Oak’s real one. Serena’s break-out series in Texas Sweethearts. Sophie Oak’s series is Texas Sirens. The plot to Serena’s first book, which is described in detail, is exactly the same as Sophie Oak’s Small Town Siren with some character name changes, such as Sophie’s heroine is Abby, Serena’s is Gabby. If the similarities had stopped there, I might have been okay. Unfortunately, we get a bit of stalker angle, some of Serena’s explorations into BDSM, and a ton of information about Sophie..uhh, Serena’s…publishing career.

The police don’t believe Serena’s stalking claim because she wrote a book about a stalker titled Three Riders, One Love. Sophie Oak has a book about a stalker titled Three to Ride. Serena also has a book about Russian mafia hitmen. One to Keep by Sophie Oak is about Russian mafia hitmen. This continues for a bit as Serena thinks about how other romance authors don’t like her or take her seriously. She only has a few close friends and they are all erotic romance authors. There’s even some name dropping when the guys run into one of her fans.

“Do you think she knows Eliza Gayle? That would be so cool. Amber Rose is good, but Eliza rocks, if you know what I mean.”

Then we are back to The Books of Sophie Oak. The stalker sent Serena a vandalized picture that was a cover of her upcoming book. This is the cover description.

On it was the cover to Serena’s latest book–Their Sweetheart Slave. The cover was vibrant, showing a western setting with the three lovers featured in the center of a field. A man with long, dark hair sat on a horse reaching down to a pretty brunette who stood beside a man adjusting his cowboy hat. And apparently cowboys in Serena’s world didn’t believe in shirts.

I think a visual may help that description.

Yes, that is Siren Beloved by Sophie Oak. Serena and Jake describe Siren Beloved’s plot and how much her fans are anticipating it. As a side note, the heroine in Siren Beloved is named Lexi and she goes on in later books to become wildly successful as a digitally published erotic romance author, famous for her ménage romances set in a quirky town in Colorado. *cough* Nights in Bliss*cough*

Serena is feeling so safe and secure with the guys, the ideas for her new series are coming fast and furious. It will be set in Happiness, Montana. Sophie Oak’s Nights in Bliss is set in Bliss, Colorado. Happiness, Montana/Bliss, Colorado. God help me.

This is only 35% of the book and you already have all the information on Sophie Oak’s backlist.

Finally, we move past that for a bit. Jake takes Serena to a BDSM club. She thinks about how hot (no pun intended) the fire play scenes in Cherise Sinclair’s books are and how she would like to see that.  They come across a scene where Ian, the boss of the security firm, is using a foot long butt plug on a submissive and Serena is a little freaked. Jake informs her he is bigger than the plug, Adam isn’t far behind him, and Ian is much larger. A sex scene finally occurs but sadly I didn’t find it sexy. Serena Brooks is so permanently linked in my mind with Sophie Oak/Lexie Blake that I found it all creepy.

This review is getting way too long. They have a misunderstanding, make up, stalker stuff. Cops once again don’t believe the stalker stuff because the exact same thing happened in Serena’s Sweetheart in Chains (Siren Enslaved by Sophie Oak). More creepy sex. BIG misunderstanding. Adam manhandles Serena, Jake calls her a slut. They realize they were wrong, say oops we made a mistake, don’t make this hard, you know you want to forgive us. They are persistent so she does. Then she has some metal wanderings about her FBI profiler heroine in Missing in Joy (Lost in Bliss by Sophie Oak.) More stalker stuff. Name drops Melissa Schroeder. Liam (another bodyguard) talks about his 12 inch dick.  More sex. More naming Oak titles.  More stalker. Love conquers all. That’s it in a nutshell.

The Men with the Golden Cuffs was weird, creepy, uncomfortable and I’m a little bitter. I’ve never given up on an author I enjoy after just one book but there is a first time for everything. I can’t imagine reading another Lexi Blake/Sophie Oak book without imagining her as the heroine. I like my fiction to be fiction and this author can’t give me that.

1/5 Stars

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Sarina is scarred. Her L’inar, the curving nerve lines that enable Inarrii to experience their full sexuality, were severed in battle and she can no longer reach completion. Until she accepts a job as bodyguard to the human ambassador John Bennings, and is astonished to discover that they share a mental bond—a mirrored pathway of thoughts that will allow Sarina to climax.

When John’s the target of an attack and they are forced into hiding, he’s not sorry to be in close quarters with the compelling Sarina. They explore their erotic connection, and John is happy to demonstrate that humans have more sexual skills than Sarina thought.

To prove that she is whole and rejoin her Inarrii clan, Sarina needs John to bring her to climax in public in accordance with tradition. With a roomful of Inarrii and humans watching, will John be willing to perform as Sarina needs—and will their public display make John vulnerable to another attack?

~~~*~~~*~~~

It’s hard to believe that a few years agog – not very many – there were no e-readers, except eBookwise, or reading on your computer. I actually had one – an eBookwise reader that weighed a ton compared to today’s lightweight readers. Demonstrated to me by Angela James (now of Carina Press). I didn’t know Angela very well then, at the 2009 RT convention, barely knew who she was. But I really liked what she had to say and how she said it.  She talked about ebooks and ereaders becoming the wave of the future.  I believed her, and I went on to buy one just like the one she had in Florida and then to write ebooks myself.

Now I prefer my Kindle.  It’s amazing what a few years and a bit of competition will do for technology.  I love my Kindle—I must have ordered a dozen books on it three months ago when I came down with pneumonia. It was a godsend. At 2AM, when I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t lay flat at all, actually, I sat propped up on my coach and read, ordering a new book as soon as the last was finished.

It was a thrill when my mother wanted one too, even though technology isn’t her friend. I helped her order a Kindle and then she promptly uploaded my books.  That was nice, although I secretly cringed over the thought of her reading my erotic stories.  She just laughed me off and said that reading my work increased her vocabulary. Okay.

At Chapters with Carina Press author Kelly Boyce

My dad and my siblings aren’t readers (we haven’t figured out why, but it must be a missing bit of DNA), but my brother-in-law has a Kindle too. He reads mostly fantasy, and to be honest, he wasn’t keen on my books. But he did thank me for showing him the Kindle – and the money he saved and the trees he rescued by reading electronically. Plus I think he was happy that he no longer had to purchase tomes that were heavy enough to bruise if you fell asleep reading them in bed.  😀

My daughters (I have two voracious readers) both have Kobo’s. I bought them because you can use them to borrow books at out local library. Unfortunately the libraries haven’t been keeping pace with the changing technology, but they do have a growing number of ebooks available. I can only think that s going to continue.  That Angela was right.

Now Angela James leads the editorial team at Carina. I still find her awesome, even though I actually work with another wonderful editor on my sci-fi erotic romance series with Carina. I’m so glad that I met her that day in Florida.  My eBookwise no longer turns on, but sits as a heavy paperweight, and testament to the way things change, and the speed of the evolution.

They say that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Well, my family loves to read, and that isn’t likely to change. It’s just the delivery. And I wonder what will develop next. I’m favoring holobooks. What do you think?

Lilly Cain

www.lillycain.com

The Confederacy Treaty Series – Alien Revealed, The Naked Truth, and coming June 25th, Undercover Alliance – www.carinapress.com

~~~

Excerpt from UNDERCOVER ALLIANCE

First impressions could say a lot about a person, but observation of a subject when he was at ease, following a routine he was familiar with, told far more. Sarina studied her charge carefully as he worked. The meeting had been in session for an hour since the last intermission. She’d been introduced briefly to John Bennings by the captain of the Osprey during their meal break. Benning’s handshake had been firm, and his height and muscular frame belied a life of facts and figures. With his powerful, lean muscles, his body spoke more of the strength brought on by hard exercise, perhaps even some human form of hand-to-hand combat. It also spoke softly, seductively of sex.

His hands were long-fingered. He wore a well-tailored white shirt and dark pants, but he’d turned back the cuffs on his sleeves almost to his elbows. Fine, light brown hairs along his exposed forearms caught her attention and held it as she considered where else he might have such silken decoration. He wore the hair on his head short, not like the long locks of a male Inarrii warrior. But there was something about the way he carried himself. He reminded her of someone.

“And that’s enough for today. Thank you everyone. We’ll meet again tomorrow.” The human chairman stood up from the meeting table. “I’ll remind you that we have two weeks until the next meeting of the Treaty negotiation boards. We’ve been making good progress, but there is still a long way to go to finalize the agreements on Earth before the signing of the first Intergalactic Treaty.” He smiled, but clearly the rest of the team had been dismissed.

The lawyers and legal aids began shuffling about, most packing up their datapads and styluses or tapping shut their coms. Not Bennings. He sat still as the rest moved on as a pack, the humans and their unobtrusive Inarrii guards. She watched him watching them until her gaze caught his attention.

He studied her and she returned the look. His eyes were a soft gray, not blue or brown like the few humans she’d met so far, and no where near her own verdant green, the most common Inarrii color. His eyes were beautiful. And it didn’t matter.

She broke the connection and looked around the room, scanning the exits and the few people still within the area.

“Sergeant Tariim.” He used the human equivalent of her Inarrii rank of Soryen and he spoke softly, but she caught the deep timbre of his voice beyond its hushed tones. “I’m beat. I’m going back to my quarters. I won’t be going anywhere, so you can stand down. Get settled in. I’m sure they’ve quartered you somewhere near my rooms.”

He’d gotten close to her without making a sound. She’d been aware of his movements, but if she hadn’t been paying attention, would she have even noticed that he’d stepped closer, let alone come within striking distance of her? Interesting. Even the spongy shoes most humans wore on board ship usually made some noise. Their height was close; she looked directly into his eyes without shifting her stance. A quick flicker of awareness passed over her. For an instant she wondered if he could have some form of m’ittar; it was common knowledge that some humans had proven their ability to share thoughts and emotions, at least to some degree. This is what made them such attractive possible members for the Confederacy.

“Actually, I have had our rooms reassigned. Our quarters are now on the third deck, sector two.” She stated the fact and ignored the flash of attraction that raced through her as she inhaled his muted scent. He smelled of fresh rain along the beach line of her home world. Like an ocean breeze.

“Reassigned.” His eyes took on a steely note. “You’ve had our rooms reassigned together? As in, sharing the rooms?”

“We have adjoining quarters. I cannot guard you from the opposite end of the ship. I will not be…settling in. My shift doesn’t end until the Treaty is compete and I am transferred.”

For a moment she thought he might argue with her. A tiny line of tension formed along the corner of his full mouth. She took a quick breath as the old excitement flickered through her muscles. A fight would be good. A little excitement on a surely boring tour of duty. Perhaps if it became physical they would send her back to the Horneu. And what would you do there? a silent voice whispered within her.

But he broke off eye contact, lowered his gaze to flicker briefly over her body before he nodded. “Fine. I’m sure you know what you’re doing.”

He’d deferred to her. A strange feeling of disappointment settled into her stomach. She shook her head and led the way out of the conference room and through the corridor to the ship’s central lift. What did she think a data-shuffling tech would do, challenge her for dominance? Maybe she was already beginning to lose her mind. She needed his compliance if she expected to protect him. In a dangerous situation, she had to know he would follow her lead. She considered the slight hesitation, the line of tension beside his mouth before he’d accepted the room change. Perhaps he would follow her. Perhaps not. As long as it didn’t get to that point it didn’t matter, and after the mind-numbingly boring meeting she’d just observed, surely no one would be interested in attacking this level of tedious bureaucracy.

~~~*~~~*~~~

Leave a comment for a chance to win Undercover Alliance by Lilly Cain. Good luck!

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Detective Jake McCormac finds himself involved with a gorgeous, mysterious woman- who may also be the prime suspect in his latest case.

While out with the guys one evening, Detective Jake McCormac meets a gorgeous, mysterious woman, and in an uncharacteristic move finds himself taking her back to his place. Of the experience he retains a fuzzy memory of some incredibly hot sex, and not much else. Each subsequent encounter becomes more intense, confusing and then –downright alarming.Yet Jake cannot turn her away, not even when she turns up at the most inopportune times, including the crime scenes of a strange case that’s come his way.As more and more time passes Jake cannot deny that he has fallen for the woman, or that she is somehow connected to the series of mysterious deaths. When the truth is revealed about who she really is, there’s no turning back.

What doesn’t kill you….

~~~*~~~*~~~

Excerpt

A crackle from the condom wrapper being opened seemed very far away. Jake opened his eyes as she slipped it on him. Then he felt her heat. He sighed as she began moving up and down, letting the waves of pleasure roll through his body. Her hands pressed against his chest as she braced herself for better leverage, then slipped over the curve of his shoulders. As her rhythm picked up, the look on her face changed. What had once been an alluring, seductive smile now became a grimace. Her face flushed, but to Jake it did not seem to be a healthy or a normal response. Something was definitely off.

Fear began to take root in his mind, but the physical satisfaction was unrelenting. Jake wanted to struggle, to cry out even, but found he could not. The closer he came to orgasm, the less control he had over what was happening to him. He could barely discern anything past the edge of the bed. With the comforter beneath him balled up into his fists he lost all feeling in his legs. Fear and arousal joined to form a weird super-feeling he wasn’t if he liked or not.

When at last his orgasm came, his partner gave a low, guttural sound that caused the small hairs on his arms to stand at attention. It was the sound of a wild feline, a tiger who had finally captured her prey. His heavy lids fluttered open, revealing a strange creature perched upon his body. It was the woman he’d came home with, and yet somehow not. She took a few moments to bask in the glow of having accomplished her intended mission, running her sharp pink tongue along her lips. Her satisfied sigh made Jake tremble. Jake tried in vain to understand what had changed about her. His eyes slipped closed again, his body so heavy he could not have roused himself if the house were on fire. In that moment he did not care.

“Thank you,” she said, sliding off of him.

He heard the sounds of her collecting her clothing and then the door opening. After that there was nothing.

www.lizstrange.com

~~~*~~~*~~~

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