Archive for October 4th, 2012

Ashe winner!

Stefanie D

wins WHEN A SCOT LOVES A LADY by Katharine Ashe

Congrats! To claim your prize, please email mad @ romancereaderatheart.com (without the spaces). You have 48 hours to email before a new name is chosen.

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Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn’t stay away. I didn’t want to. He was my addiction… my every desire… mine.

My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful… except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity. We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession…

I’m not sure what exactly to say about this book. Reflected In You starts where Bared to You left off. It’s the morning after the fight with Eva’s roommate and it’s more of the same anger, jealousy, possessiveness, obsession and self-destructive tendencies. Nothing has changed. The only new element comes at the end of the book and is a huge spoiler, so nothing I can talk about.

There was no light in this book. No moments of Eva and Gideon just being happy together and that left me with no real reason to root for this couple. It’s difficult to imagine a HEA for two people when they are this messed up and aren’t showing any growth by book two. If anything, the issues have only gotten worse.

I loved Bared to You and was really excited for this one but by the end of Reflected in You, I was tired and vaguely depressed. I’ll be picking up the final book for this trilogy to see how it all ends but, for now, the excitement is gone.

2.5 stars

Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: October 2, 2012 (digital) and October 23rd (print)
Format: Print and digital

Barnes & Noble


*ARC provided by NetGalley

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Fiery, aggressive, and bold, Kenneth Sutherland is a true champion—skilled with any weapon and driven to win. Now Kenneth is ready for his greatest challenge: joining Robert the Bruce’s secret army to fight among the elite. Kenneth’s best chance to attain that honor is by winning the Highland Games. Focused and prepared for victory, he is caught off guard by a lovely wisp of a woman—and a stolen moment of wicked seduction. Her innocent arousal and her shameless hunger fire his blood. He will win his place in the guard—and in Mary of Mar’s bed.

The ruggedly handsome hero-in-the-making stirs a heart that should know better. Mary vows that her surrender will be sport only—no promises, no heartbreak, just one night of incredible passion. Nothing, she swears, will persuade her to give up her hard-wrought independence and put her fate in the hands of another powerful man. But with every gentle touch and heart-pounding kiss, Kenneth makes her want more. Now Mary wants his heart. But is this determined champion willing to surrender everything for love?


Click here to read an excerpt!


For a chance to win THE RECRUIT by Monica McCarty, just leave a comment. One winner will be drawn on Sunday, October 14th. US residents only.

*Giveaway sponsored by the publisher

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Farran de Clare, loyal member of the cursed Knights Templar, wants nothing to do with predestined mates. Even the Almighty won’t turn him into a fool again—he’d rather sacrifice his soul. Yet in the scientist Noelle Keane, a devout atheist, Farran meets the seraph designed for him.

Ordered by the archangel Gabriel to protect Noelle, the possessor of a sacred relic that could give Azazel incredible power, Farran swears to do his duty—but in name only. Fighting an attraction that grows with each day, he’s determined that he’ll never pledge himself to her.

As they war over her future, their mutual passion ignites a conflict far more damning. But before Noelle will agree to eternity with him, she demands the ultimate sacrifice – his heart.



What is it about the dark that fascinates us?  From vampires to demons, ghosts and fallen angels, even gripping, terrifying serial killers we gobble the dark up like candy.  Ever wondered why?


I think the answer is three-fold.


Walking on Edge – Reading something dark, or about dark characters allows us to walk on that fine edge between good and evil without ever having to risk a legitimate hair on our hide. We are safe behind our veil of pages, and yet we experience it all the same.  It’s thrilling as much as it is fascinating.


Brooding Heroes – I think Anne Rice made us all addicted to the brooding hero with Armand.  At least that’s where my fascination really began.  The vast majority of dark heroes are sexy men who take what they want, when they want it, and for some reason hate themselves.  In a way, watching this hero be brought to personal glory is a bit like redemption.  And it’s oh so satisfying to know that “mere woman” can bring about this change, this utter satisfaction.  Not to mention it’s fun for us to excerpt out the heroine and insert ourselves.  Heh.


Unpredictable Events – We know that if we pick up a contemporary book, there’s going to be some mention of a job.  We know the moral clauses that guide societal and individual behavior.  We know… the rules.  When darkness comes into play, the rules no longer exist.  Which means that predicting what might happen, or even how, becomes an excitement all of its own.  Will magic save the day?  Will the serial killer’s next victim die an even more horrible death?


This is just my own feeling on why we’re all fascinated by things that go bump in the night.  I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Farran stared up at Noelle, cursing her bad luck, the Almighty, and his fate. He well knew how terror could trap a person, had seen it countless times with unseasoned knights. In her unmoving position, he recognized the signs too clearly. This was no act meant to gain his sympathy. ’Twas no ploy to soften his anger over her attempt at escape. She was truly terrified.


“Damnation,” he muttered beneath his breath.


He closed his eyes with an inward prayer his stomach would not revolt and made the mark of the cross over his chest. Eyeing her, he strode to the ladder. She would pay for this later. He would find a way to make certain she came to regret her attempt at escape.


Do not look down. He chanted the mantra as he climbed the icy rungs. In less time than he had imagined, he arrived at her feet. Holding on with one hand, he placed the other on her calf. “I am here. Climb down.”


’Twas then he noticed the shaking of her shoulders, heard her muffled tears. When she did not move, he gave her leg a squeeze. “Noelle, come down. I will not let you fall.”


“I’m scared,” she murmured.


Saints’ blood, she did not intend to make this easy. Aye, indeed, he would lock her in her rooms at the temple for a week.


He assessed her position, made note of the little space her tiny body occupied. Carefully, he tucked his feet between hers and the side rails and eased his body up her legs. When he had pinned her between the ladder and his chest, he stopped. “Grab on to me.”


She let go with one hand, then clutched at the rail with a fierce shake of her head. “I can’t. I can’t, Farran.”


At the sound of her broken voice, all his defenses shuddered like a door under the barrage of a battering ram. The anger her defiance provoked dissolved with her sniffle. Deep in his gut, a heavy knot unwound. He pressed his body into hers, molded his thighs around her legs. Holding on with one hand, he pried her fingers off the metal and guided her hand to his shoulder. “Turn around, damsel,” he encouraged quietly. “Wind your arms around my neck, and we shall descend together. I swear to you, I will not let you fall.”


Claire is giving away one digital copy of any one of her backlist books, excepting those in the Templar series, to one randomly drawn commenter at each stop on the blog tour.  In addition, commenters’ names will be added into the tour-end drawing of a 25.00 Amazon gift card.  Follow the tour – the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.  Complete tour dates can be found here.


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Josh has spent his entire adult life trying to provide a safe haven where people can explore their sexual fantasies. The stars of his own current fantasies are his assistant manager Beth and his bartender Oliver but mister take charge is hesitant to make his move. He knows they will want more than he can give but if he sets the two of them up together, at least Beth and Oliver can have a happily ever after.

Oliver has been attracted to Beth since the moment they met but he never expected the pull he feels for Josh. Oliver has never been attracted to men but can’t deny that his dream is to be naked and sweaty between Josh and Beth.

Beth knows that she wants both Josh and Oliver in her life and bed and, after a night spent with both, she’s willing to fight to keep them there. Fight Oliver’s self esteem issues and fight Josh’s habit of pulling away when times get tough.

Calling the Shots was hot, no doubt about it. From Oliver learning to embrace the fact that he is a submissive bisexual man to Beth exploring her identity as a switch, the chemistry was off the charts. The emotions behind it were believable and I loved how strong and vulnerable Beth was. My only problem was Josh. He confused me and I didn’t understand his reasons behind why he wouldn’t even contemplate a committed relationship. This was my first book of the Long Shots series so maybe I would have felt differently if I’d read the previous books. At 92% of the book, more of Josh’s background was explained and I had a better understanding of him but it was too little too late. I just didn’t connect with him.

The secondary suspense angle moved the story along, played on Josh’s insecurities, and surprised me with who the bad guy was. Overall, an enjoyable read.

Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: October 8, 2012
Format: Digital

Barnes & Noble


*ARC provided by Net Galley

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