Monday, January 7, 2013

Sage's Book Review: Disarmed, by Aliza Mann

He wanted her, but on his terms. He wanted to possess her, but only in bed. When she pushed back, he became angry and when there was someone else, he nearly broke down her door.

Aliza Mann’s Disarmed features a fascinating male’s point of view on romance. It was interesting being inside a man’s head and seeing the world through his eyes. Jessie behavior was everything that irritates me with men, but through it all, I wanted to heal his broken heart.
Jessie Workings was forced to return home for a little R&R and a mandated psychological evaluation by his commanding officer after his fourth tour in Afghan. The bright side was returning to Mavis VanHorn’s embrace.
Memories of Mavis, Jessie high school sweetheart, soothed him during the bitter nights in Afghan. After joining the military he found his way into her bed whenever he returned home but kept their relationship casual. But this time, she didn’t want scraps of his love, she wanted a deeper, more committed relationship and he couldn’t give it to her.
He emotionally struggles with dark guilt from the war and must sorts through the grief of surviving and being called a hero. Among the abundance of guilt, remembrances of the grieved expressions on the army wives faces haunted him and his fears replaced their grieving appearances with Mavis’s face. He is faced with giving her or walking away with what she already had his heart.
Take a look at this scene from Aliza Mann’s Disarmed.
            When he saw her walking up the driveway, he thought he was imagining things. Maybe a mirage, or a vivid daydream. But as she moved closer, he was overtaken with the smell of wildflowers. She had on a fresh perfume that intoxicated him.
            “Hi,” she said.
            For a moment, Jessie just looked at her. He tried to hide his anger with her. He had no right. He’d told her that there were no strings, but in that moment he wanted to wrap her up in them. Then to show up, adding insult to injury?
            “Hi, M.” God dammit, he hadn’t meant to call her M. That was for different times. When her body was pressed against his and her supple breasts were beneath his fingers. He told himself not to be angry with her. That he wasn’t and shouldn’t be pissed.
            “May I sit?”
            Jessie didn’t say anything, afraid that each word told a little more than he wanted. He just motioned with the bottle to the lawn chair that sat beside him. She followed his direction.
            “You didn’t call.” She spoke before he had to.
            “When I left the other day, you seemed to be too tired for talking. I wanted to let you get your rest.”
            “Really? I was thinking something else. Like you didn’t want to talk to me.”
            “Nah. I haven’t ever been that way toward you.”
            She looked at him, leaning forward to see his eyes. The last statement, Mavis seemed to have a hard time digesting.
            “I came because I needed to talk to you.”
            “Okay. Talk.”
            Mavis stood and walked directly into Jessie’s line of sight.
            “I need to know what to do here.” She was shaking. Her hands went to her hips, then folded over her breasts that peeked over the top of her coral colored halter top.
            “What do you want to do?”
            Looking off into the distance for a moment, she seemed to turn the question over in her mind, a wrinkle marring her delicate skin. She returned her attention to him, with resolve in her eyes. The white, flowing skirt that she wore pressed against her body as the wind blew. Her hair swished to one side, delicate strands wrapping around her neck and along her shoulder blades. Her hands fell to her sides. She looked as if she were surrendering. As he watched the fight fall from her body, his heart broke. He didn’t want to defeat her. He wanted her to accept that he could not give her the things she wanted more than anything from him.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sage's Book Review X: Ho Ho Ho to the Holidays

Christmas stories have a way of warming the heart and brightening up a gloomy day. A good holiday story can increase hope and faith but add a good romance to the mix and there is a recipe for one heck of a Christmas story. During the month of December, there is nothing more inspiring then a good old Christmas romance with a happily ever after or a happy for now ending. So grab your steaming cup of hot coco, curl up in your favorite chair and check out a few recommendations for this holiday season.
Caroselli’s Christmas Baby, by Michelle Celmer entwines a friends to lovers couple and a marriage of convenience in to one sweltering story. She wants a baby and he needs an heir. Two best friends make a marriage and baby bargain to collect a family inheritance but there plans take a sharp turn when their desire for one another threatens their friendship.
Cowboys and Angels, by Cindy Stark unite a woman with her bad boy crush from high school for the holiday and she must move past her fears in order to make passionate nights by the Christmas tree a tradition.
Be Mine for Christmas, by Alicia and Roy Street is a charming Christmas romance that follows a budding relationship and two people falling in love.
Christmas Brides, by Cheryl Bolen is three Regency novellas in one book. The Christmas Wish, Home for Christmas, and Christmas at Farley Manor are tender, sweet romances with charismatic heroes and exquisite heroines.
All I Want for Christmas is You, by Lisa Mondello sprinkles a little Christmas magic by brings two people together when a child asked Santa for a dad for Christmas.
If you’re in the mood for a HOTT quickie for the holidays, try Wish List by, Sylvia Day (SD). This short little story reveals a woman’s fantasy Christmas wish list involving her coworker, but when the object of her fantasies finds the list, he turns her fantasy list into reality in the oh so delectable, SD style. Another sizzling miniature Christmas story is Big Girls Do It on Christmas, by Jasinda Wilder. This story is from the Big Girls Do It Series and reveals Anna’s Christmas Surprise for husband, Jeff.
Five Soul Mate Publishing authors teamed up and created a little magic for the holiday season. A Soulmate for Christmas is an anthology that warmed my heart and tickled me with the Christmas spirit. I Know You, by Char Chaffin is a super sweet story featuring star-crossed lovers whose souls search for one another every fifty years on Christmas Eve. A Vampire for Yule, by JJ Devine brings two lonesome strangers together for the Yule holiday and discovers their heart belongs to the other.  Stellar Heart, by Aliza Mann reunites two would-be high school lovers to save a family business before Christmas and along the way they attempt to fix the errors of their younger years. To Grandma’s House We Go, by Cynthia Racette brings together a husband and wife who were torn apart by tragedy and are given another chance on Christmas Eve. Holly’s Secret, by Angela Scavone gives the reader a twist to Santa’s tale with a woman whose fear of revealing her secret may cost her the man she loves and ruin the holidays.
What’s your favorite Christmas Story?  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sage’s Book Review VIIII: Reflected in You, A Crossfire Novel, by Sylvia Day.

Emotional Rollercoaster is an understatement for the emotions I felt while I stayed up all night reading Reflected in you! I cried, I laughed, and I cursed, as I kept turning the pages. I couldn’t get enough of Eva Tramell and Gideon Cross!  Sylvia Day’s writing had me hypnotized. I felt ever ounce of pain, sadness, angry, passion, lust and love through Eva’s eyes. I was obsessed with getting to the end and every moment in their world was well worth the ride!
Reflected in You is the second in the Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day. The saga began where Bared to You, the first in the series, ends. Eva and Gideon are emotionally unstable, primarily due to unresolved issues with the sexual abuse of their past. They are survivors and cling to one another in search of some shred of sanity and a haven. Their love and need for one another is completely toxic. Eva has trust issues and is uncertain regarding Gideon’s fidelity. Her worries with Gideon‘s faithfulness has merit, even though his sentiments are heartfelt, but his actions cause her to second guess his words.  Even though the story is in Eva’s first person point of view, Day provides plenty of insight in what is going on in Gideon’s mind. His pain and worry is expressed, as is his need to protect Eva at all costs. I particularly like the way Eva stands up to Gideon, her own need for control and her sneaky tactics to get even with Gideon were priceless.
Reflected in You answered many questions that plagued me after reading the first book in the series. Since I don’t do spoilers, I will leave you with this – portions of Gideon’s abused past has been revealed, as well as the reasons he does not get along with his family. This information gives depth to his every complex personality trait and his need to control. We are given more information about Eva’s parents and their history, as well as getting to know her father and clearer insight on her mother’s behavior. Cary and Eva’s issues are resolved, but a mystery surfaces as do two people from Eva’s past, which both appearances push Gideon in drastic measures.
The next book in the Crossfire Series Entwined with You is due to be released, May 7, 2013. I’m really not sure if I could wait that long without Gideon, I may have to read the story again, and again…




Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sage’s Book Review VIII:Take It Like A Vamp, by Candace Havens

 The first words I read when I opened my Kindle and began reading, Take It Like A Vamp, by Candace Havens were, “It’s sad when you best friend makes your panties melt.” Needless to say, I was hooked. 

Casey Meyers’s is tremendously unluckily with man. Everyone she dates turns out to be a loser and to make matters worse she desires her best friend and neighbor, Nick Christos. Who wouldn’t fall for a drop died gorgeous, charismatic, billionaire? But Casey’s self esteem issues lead her to believe she wasn’t Nick’s type, especially after he catches her wet and only in a tiny towel.
Nick Christos lusts after his sweet and lucious neighbor Casey, but this hybrid vampire, and leader of the Supernatural Council leads an excessively dangerous life and fears crossing the lines of friendship with Casey. Nick makes the mistake of introducing her to his life, and her existence is threatened when his ex (a powerful witch) turns up to ruin his life. Nick will do anything in his power to keep Casey safe, including ending her immortality. 
This book was definitely hilarious and a must read! Casey’s witty and comical commentary was enough to have me laughing out loud several times (earning me quite a few strange looks from my family) as I read through this very fun and fast paced sweet paranormal romance.  The characters were lively and entertaining, and extremely easy to fall in love with. Even though this novel is a Paranormal Romance, the romance between Nick and Casey warmed my heart and the paranormal elements were secondary to their love affair. 
I usually fall head of heels for the heroes in the stories I read, but in Take It Like A Vamp, even though I loved Nick Christos, Linc, a sexy wolf steals my heart. I am hoping Candace Havens writes a sequel and tells us Linc’s story.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sage’s Book Review VII: The Fever Series, By Karen Marie Moning

An intriguing gothic world - courageous Heroine, mystifying Hero, repulsive villains all spun into an adventure which keeps the reader enthralled and the pages turning!
Southern girl, Mackayla Lane (Mac) spends her leisure time in her pink-polka dotted bikini which perfectly matched her I’m Not-Really-a-Waitress-Pink manicure and pedicure, and diligently suntanned at her parents pool. Mac tends bar at night, and attends just enough community college courses to keep Mom and Dad from nagging her. It was an ideal life, until news of her sister’s murder turned her effortless existence upside down.
The sorrow of her sister’s death steadily damages her family, and the Dublin Police close the case on her sister’s murder. When Mac retrieves a disturbing message on her broken cell phone from her sister-only hours before her death, she is determined to find her sisters murderer and provide her family with closure. Mac defies her parents and flies to Dublin in search of answers to her questions, but what she uncovers is a world she didn’t know existed and secrets about herself she would rather not know.
Mysterious, dark and handsome alpha, Jericho Barrons appears in her life. With his help she learns of the monsters that target humans, Fae, or Fairies, who travel in-between the realms of the human and Fae worlds. Mac discovers she is a sidhe-seer- a human who can see past the illusion cast by Fae to camouflage there true appearance.  She possesses powers too, a human Fae object of power detector-or OPPs for short and a Null-the ability to freeze Fae. Her OPPs power is the only way to find mythical Sinsar Dubh-a lost dark book of Fae, which is needed to stop the Fae of the Unseelie Court. 
The Fever Series is Urban Fantasy, not the typical romance that I usually review, but between the funny first person narratives from Mac’s point of view, the sexual tension between Mac and Barrons, and the encounters with the ruthless Vlane-an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women, it had me begging for more.  I confess…I read all five in the series in a month.
Released July 24, 2012 is the latest in the series, Fever Moon, A graphic Novel. Look below for a peek into the amazing world of Mac and Barrons.  

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sage's Book Review VI: Bared to You: Crossfire Novel, By Sylvia Day.

If you are looking for a book similar to Fifty Shades of Grey (FSOG), then this is the book for you. I viewed Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel, By Sylvia Day kind of a fan fiction story of FSOG. And like many fan fiction stories, it blew the original out of the water!
Eva Tramell, and her best friend, Cary, moved to Manhattan and embraced their new big city lives. As they explore their new world, Eva, fell on her behind (literally) at the sight of the most gorgeous man she had ever laid eyes upon, Gideon Cross.
Gideon is the ultimate bachelor. Sexy, unbelievably good looking, ridiculously rich (and as Eva refers to him, Dark and Dangerous) and very used to getting everything he seeks. And of course, he wanted Eva. 
When the pair met, there was an instant attraction. The sexual tension between them was consuming, but Eva fought against every fiber in her sexually aware body. She refuses Gideon’s advances, for no other reason than his approach. When their paths cross numerous times, because of his stalker-like behavior (which strangely she was accustomed to), Eva finally gave in to their desires. The sex made the hair on the back of my neck stand up!
Spellbound, it didn’t take long before their passion for one another to prevail over their way of life. As their romance ignited, there hidden secrets of their sexually abused pasts unfolded. Eva and Gideon attempted to conquer their vulnerability and embark on an emotional rollercoaster ride.
Sylvia Day, explored the highs and lows of an couple with tormented pasts, and the need to feel in control or to be controlled by another. I read a review that accused all the characters in Bared to You of being, ‘too perfect to be real, at least on the outside…’. And I agree. But I also think it was necessary. Sylvia Day, illustrates that having a perfect appearance along with the fantasy ideal life, in most cases, is merely an illusion. No one is perfect.
There were many questions left unanswered in Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel. What’s to happen to Gideon? Who exactly is responsible for the type of man that he has become? And what will become of the relationship between Eva and Cary?  I hope Reflected In You, by Sylvia Day, the second in the Crossfire Novels will answer them. The book will be released on October 2, 2012, which I will be reading and letting you all know what I think!
Hope you all have a safe and happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sage's Book Review V, Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. (Only book 1)

Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James. (Only book 1)

I’m the last person on this earth to read Fifty Shades of Grey (FSOG) by, E. L James? It sure as heck felt like it, where ever I went, I heard woman raving about this book! Some of the women were reading it again, for the second time.

So what’s all the hype? Was the sex in this story that racy, is that why they call it mommy porn? Was I missing the greatest story of all time? I decided to pick it up the book and have a look for myself.  

Literature student, Anastasia Steele, had very minimal experiences with men because of her low self-esteem, but after she is coaxed into interviewing Christian Grey by her best friend, who happens to be owner and CEO of his very own empire, she didn’t expect to fall (literally) into the arms of this young, mysterious, and beautiful man. Anastasia quickly realized that she wanted Christian Grey, and was willing to experiment with sex even after finding out that his sexual taste was centered around BDSM and expected her to be his submissive, and not only in the bedroom.

Anastasia, tried to fight against her independent spirit but soon learns that some of the submissive roles are too much for her to bear and she will have to choose, between her first love and her own morals.

As a reader of erotic romance, I assumed that the sex in FSOG would be BDSM at its naughtiest, but after reading the book, I felt it vanilla at it best.  Of course, millions of women are addicted to this book; it’s Christian Grey that has reeled us in and placed us under his spell. Why wouldn’t he have intrigued us? A young, gorgeous, and rich gentlemen, who loves to spoil his women and has an extremely kinky sexual hunger. Mr. Grey is the catch of the century! Yes, Christian Grey has issues, serious issues from his past, and he is emotionally injured but, that adds to his appeal to me, and I’m sure that other women may feel the same way.

My feelings about the Fifty Shades of Grey are completely confounding; I didn’t care for the style of writing, but I found that I kept turning the pages. I guess I will be reading the rest of the trilogy because I feel like I have to. I have a weird obsession with Christian Grey.