Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Book Review: Shadow's Stand by Sarah McCarty

Shadow's Stand (Hell's Eight, #5)

Author: Sarah McCarty
Series: Hell's Eight #5
Rating: 4 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Husband of convenience. Lover by choice.

Shadow Ochoa is lying low in the western Kansas Territory, waiting for his fellow Texas Rangers—the Hell’s Eight brotherhood— to clear his name. That is, until he’s unjustly strung up for horse thieving...and pretty Fei Yen intervenes. Invoking a seldom-used law, the exotic lady prospector claims Shadow as her husband
and rides off with the bridegroom shackled to her buckboard.

Savvy, fearless Fei is single-mindedly devoted to her hidden claim and all it promises: wealth, security and freedom. A husband is just a necessary inconvenience and a name on paper to hold the claim she cannot.

Shadow isn’t a man to take orders from anyone, especially from lovely Fei—except that the daily friction between them ignites into nightly blazes of all-consuming passion. Soon Shadow is dreaming a little himself: of the life they could have if only Fei could see past the lure of independence. If only bounty hunters weren’t closing in on him. If only he’s left standing when the impending showdown has ended....

I saw this book on Netgalley and I couldn't believe my luck. Remember this book was on my "most wanted" books for 2012? Well, this is like an early Christmas present, to be honest! What could be better than spending a day in bed, with a hot tea, and an incredibly hot historical romance?

Shadow Ochoa... This character has fascinated me since the first time it was introduced in the series. He had this aura of danger around him and he struck me as more of a "less talk, more action" man. He had a brutal childhood, one that made him weary of showing his true feelings for someone. Because of his and Tracker's father, he was convinced that the people he cared for were in danger because of his feelings. Tracker managed to find his happiness, but Shadow is more scared of the power of feelings and the vulnerability that comes with acknowledging those feelings. He's a very honorable man, one that once he gave his word, he'll keep his promise no matter what. He protects what's his and he risks everything for a woman he just barely met, Fei.

Half American, half Chinese, Fei didn't have an easy childhood either. Having mixed heritage made it very hard for her family to accept her, even though her heritage was not her fault. Even so, ever since she was a child, she's hoped of being independent, of finding true love and happiness. She's willing to do anything to save her cousin, Lin, the only person who never judged her for the mixed blood running through her veins, the only one who accepted her as she was. Anything, even marry a complete stranger about to be hanged. Underneath her tougher-than-nails exterior, she's just a girl seeking for acceptance and love. You can see that when she's with Shadow and her vulnerability and insecurity become stronger than her self-control.

I think this book was very good. I still think Tucker's Claim is my favorite, but Shadow's book doesn't disappoint. I'm curios though who comes next in the series.

My Rating:
I loved it photo Image10.png

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Review: To Command and Collar by Cherise Sinclair

To Command and Collar (Masters of the Shadowlands, #6)

Author: Cherise Sinclair
Series: Masters of Shadowlands #6
Rating: 5 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

Determined to find the human traffickers preying on Shadowlands’ submissives, Master Raoul gets himself invited to a small slave auction. Once informed, the FBI orders him to reject the limited choices so the slavers will invite him to the big auction. To Raoul’s shock, one of the slaves is the kidnapped friend of a Shadowlands sub. She has a scarred body…and an unbroken spirit. He can’t leave her behind. Ruining the FBI’s carefully laid plans, he buys her.

Kimberly’s freedom has come at a devastating price: the other women are still slaves. An FBI raid is their only hope for rescue. Desperate to help the Feds locate the big auction, she agrees to pose as Master Raoul’s slave. Wearing a collar again is terrifying, but under the powerful dominant’s care, Kim starts to heal and then to blossom. This is what she’s been drawn to—and fled from—her entire life.

She escaped the slavers who captured her body—can she escape the master who’s captured her heart?

I am very happy that another book from this wonderful series was published. I'm also very happy it was this story, with these characters. When I read about Kimberly in Make Me, Sir, my heart broke and I'm sure I wasn't the only one wishing she'd be saved. I have to admit that when I saw the blurb and excerpt on Ms. Sinclair's website, I squealed *blush*. I did that a lot.

This book picks up the story of the slave traffickers that Make Me, Sir started. Master Raoul volunteers to help catch the bad guys, all the while trying to find Kimberly, Gabi's best friend. So when Raoul sees her, he risks everything to get her out of the hell she's being kept in.

Raoul is the type of character I love most. He's a very complex character: he can be soft, sweet and sensitive when he needs to be, but he can also be dangerous and lethal. He's very generous, patient, smart. Of course, he has his moments when you just want to shake him, but I think it's what makes him seem real, just like every other characters in this series. He's not perfect, he makes mistakes but he tries to make up for them.

Kimberly is another wonderful character. She's been through so much since she's been kidnapped. And you can see that she's a very strong person, because she's trying really hard to overcome her fears. Not only that, but she manages to differentiate between a healthy, happy relationship and the horrors she's been through. She's also very generous herself and she tries to repay Raoul by helping his family understand some details about his life.

I loved this story. Not only does Kimberly get saved, we also get a longer scene with Master Sam and a very hot scene with the two FBI agents, Kouros and Buchanan. I find myself in a very difficult situation: should I hope for Sam's story first or for our agents? I have no idea what comes next, but I do know I can't wait for another story in this amazing series.

My Rating:
Rocked my world photo Image9.png

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ruby's most expected books for 2012

I know it's probably too early for this list. I mean, there are another three weeks left of this year, but I like to be prepared. I was going through last year's list and I realized I didn't get to read all the books I had planned. Yet. I still have time, right? I know I probably won't manage to list all the books I can't wait to read in 2012, but I'll give you the Top 10. So here it is:

1. Lothaire by Kresley Cole
Lothaire (Immortals After Dark, #12)


Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness—until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.


Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while vowing to protect her heart.


Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her?

2. A Hint of Frost by Hailey Edwards

A Hint of Frost: Araneae Nation, Book 1

Hope dangles by a silken thread.
Araneae Nation, Book 1
When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.
Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.
Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.
Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.

3. Evermine by Hailey Edwards

Evermine: Daughters of Askara, Book 2

He can be a slave to his past…or allow her love to free him.
Daughters of Askara, Book 2
There’s such a thing as too much change. Emma’s sister is mated. Revolution is brewing in her home realm. The last straw: her would-be mate is back from the dead and back under her skin—yet when it comes to the last five years, he’s not talking.
Desperate for a chance to start her own life, she answers the queen’s call to ensure equality for all of Askara’s newly freed slaves. It’s the perfect opportunity to escape a heartbreak in the making named Harper.
Harper loses a piece of his fractured soul when Emma walks away. His lies were meant to protect her from torturous years that drove him to the point of madness. Instead, when he comes to her a year later to help avert a crisis in a freed-slave community, the wedge those lies drove between them is firmly in place.
As their new lives collide with old wounds, they race to stop a threat that could not only destroy the queen, but send Harper back to the hell he escaped. Emma must decide if the man she still loves deserves equal rights to her heart.
Warning: This title contains torn pants, ripped gowns, and sand in uncomfortable places. It also includes one overcompensating villain, one gnarly priest, and two battered hearts willing to give this thing called love one last chance.

4. Infamous by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Infamous (Chronicles of Nick, #3)

The world has fallen in love with Nick Gautier and the Dark-Hunters. Now Nick’s saga continues in the next eagerly anticipated volume...

Go to school. Get good grades. Stay out of trouble. That’s the mandate for most kids. But Nick Gautier isn’t the average teenager. He’s a boy with a destiny not even he fully understands. And his first mandate is to stay alive while everyone, even his own father, tries to kill him.

He’s learned to annihilate zombies and raise the dead, divination and clairvoyance, so why is learning to drive such a difficulty? But that isn’t the primary skill he has to master. Survival is.

And in order to survive, his next lesson makes all the others pale in comparison. He is on the brink of becoming either the greatest hero mankind has ever known.

Or he’ll be the one who ends the world. With enemies new and old gathering forces, he will have to call on every part of himself to fight or he’ll lose everyone he cares about.

Even himself.

5. Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Time Untime (Dark-Hunter, #22)

The Mayans aren’t the only ones with a 2012 prophecy…

Long before recorded history, there was a warrior so feared that everyone trembled before his wrath. Only a brutal betrayal by the one closest to him could defeat him. But not even death was the end of a man so strong.

The Time Untime approaches…

Kateri Avani has been plagued her entire life with dreams she doesn’t understand. Images of places she’s never been and of a man she’s never seen. Her quest for answers has driven her to Las Vegas where she hopes to finally silence the demons in her mind.

What she never anticipates is coming face to face with the warrior who has haunted her her entire life.

Ren Waya came back from the dead to keep the prophecy he began from coming true and ending the world. For thousands of years, he has fought the same evil that once possessed him. But now that evil has brought back the one person he can’t fight. The one person who once held the most sacred part of him.

His heart.

But if he doesn’t kill Kateri, the deadliest of evils will reemerge and destroy everyone else on the planet. It was a sacrifice he made once.

Will he be able to make it again?

6. Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10)

Tohrment, the Brother who had it all, but lost everything to the enemy, is destined for a second chance at love and life. But will the past and his bitterness hold him back?

7. Taking a Shot by Jaci Burton

Taking a Shot (Play by Play, #3)

If you want to score, you have to get in the game…

The last thing Jenna Riley needs is more sports in her life. While her brothers are off being athletic superstars, she’s stuck running the family’s sports bar, whether she likes it or not. Then in walks pro hockey stud Tyler Anderson. As much as Jenna would like to go to the boards with him, she’s vowed to never fall for a jock—even one as hot as Ty.

Ty, intrigued by the beautiful bar owner, becomes a regular. He senses that Jenna wants to do something more with her life. And as he gains her trust, the passion between them grows, as does Ty’s insistence that Jenna should start living for herself. With his encouragement, Jenna starts to believe it, too…

But first, Jenna has to figure out what she wants, what she needs, who she loves, and if she has the passion and pride to take a shot at having it all—including Ty…

8. I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I've Got Your Number

I've lost it. The only thing in the world I wasn't supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It's been in Magnus's family for three generations. And now, the very same day his parents are coming, I've lost it. The very same day. Do not hyperventilate Poppy. Stay positive!!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happy ever after' begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

9. Shadow's Stand by  Sarah McCarty

Shadow's Stand (Hell's Eight, #5)

Husband of convenience. Lover by choice.

Shadow Ochoa is lying low in the western Kansas Territory, waiting for his fellow Texas Rangers—the Hell’s Eight brotherhood— to clear his name. That is, until he’s unjustly strung up for horse thieving...and pretty Fei Yen intervenes. Invoking a seldom-used law, the exotic lady prospector claims Shadow as her husband
and rides off with the bridegroom shackled to her buckboard.

Savvy, fearless Fei is single-mindedly devoted to her hidden claim and all it promises: wealth, security and freedom. A husband is just a necessary inconvenience and a name on paper to hold the claim she cannot.

Shadow isn’t a man to take orders from anyone, especially from lovely Fei—except that the daily friction between them ignites into nightly blazes of all-consuming passion. Soon Shadow is dreaming a little himself: of the life they could have if only Fei could see past the lure of independence. If only bounty hunters weren’t closing in on him. If only he’s left standing when the impending showdown has ended....

10. Kissin' Tell by Lorelei James

There's no cover yet for the next story in the Rough Riders series, but I still can't wait for it. I mean, it's a McKay story! *squees*

Anyway, this is a short version of my "Can't wait to read in 2012 books" list. It's bigger and I have this feeling that it will be getting bigger by the end of the year. So, have you decided already what you want to read in the upcoming year?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Things I've learned this year

I have to admit I didn't quite manage to be as organized in my blogging as I planned at the start of the year. My first mistake was to not write the reviews as I read the books. I've also learned that I need to have more diverse posts, not just memes and reviews. I need to interact more. I've blogged before, but it was my first blog was mostly filled with rants and talks between me and some dear friends of mine. Kind of like a public e-mail. But I do know that interaction is important, so I'll do more of that next year :D

Another thing I've learned is to respect schedules. I had a lazy summer, letting myself get pulled by that reading funk I get every year. You know, the one where no book is appealing enough. I promised myself I won't do that in the future. I'll search books that I hear a lot of talk about, at least to figure out why it's so liked.

Another thing this experience has taught me is to be very open-minded about the genres I'm willing to read. I've had a few pleasant surprises and I found that there are some genres that I actually enjoyed more than I thought.

Last but not least it's best for me to start reading challenges with less expectations. That way, they don't look so hard to fulfill.

So this is what I've learned this year from my book blogging. What have you learned this year?

Winter cleaning

So I realized my blog looks like a bomb went off on it, for some reason. Because of that I've decided to redo everything and to redesign a template. Let's hope it takes less time than the last time. I really hope it won't become something permanent, like every year Blogger forces me to do this LOL. That and I'm not very good with html, so I don't know if the problem is in the encoding or whatever the name. Anyway, I hope I'll be back in about a week or so. Happy reading until then!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book Review: Cowboy Casanova by Lorelei James

Cowboy Casanova (Rough Riders, #12)

Author: Lorelei James
Series: Rough Riders #12
My Rating: 5 cups
Blurb: (from Goodreads)

His rough touch makes her lose control…

In Sundance, Wyoming, you can't throw a boot without hitting a McKay cowboy, so Ben McKay is used to fading into the background. Except on weekends, when he's Bennett, imposing Dom at The Rawhide Club, surrounded by a bevy of female subs eager for the attention of his long…whip.

As for the curvy brunette eying him from across the room? He'll eat his Stetson if she's the experienced Domme she claims to be. Bennett offers her a deal—he'll let her call the shots for one night. But the next night he gets to prove to her how freeing it'll be when he takes the reins.

Ainsley Hamilton is amazed by how well Bennett read her every secret yearning during that one explosive weekend—and she's stunned when they come face to face in their everyday lives as rancher and new bank president. Now Ben's urging her to explore her submissive side outside the club, and there's something in his commanding gaze that makes it too easy to let him take control—of her desires and her pleasure.

Can Ben help Ainsley overcome her fear that a relationship built on dark sexual appetites won't survive the light of day?

I know I've said it before, but I feel the need to repeat myself: I don't think I've ever read about cowboys that are sexier than those from Ms. James' stories. I'm actually sure of it. That being said, I have to say I'm in a very happy place right now and I'm sure I'm not the only reader out there feeling the same way. I mean, let's face it! A McKay story is more than good. Two McKays getting their HEAs and I for one am in heaven! Yes, I'm addicted. There, I said it!

I loved Ben McKay. What's not to love? He's sexy, dangerous, dark, sensual... He's a Dom. But he's also a great listener, a great friend and brother and cousin, always having a good advice for everyone, always trying to calm his cousins or brothers when they get into a fight. He's also the type of hero I love, the one who makes mistakes and has the balls to admit doing them.

Then there's Ainsley, who's been hurt by the people who're supposed to care for her and accept her as she is and not judge her. So she's afraid of losing control and afraid to trust someone with a part of her that is so vulnerable. She's willing to change that though and I think that's all that matters.

The sex scenes were hot, the scenes with more than two McKay cowboys were sometimes funny, sometimes touching and sometimes sad, the scenes where Ben and Ainsley were acting like a couple were plain sweet. Here's another moment when I feel the need to repeat myself. Few authors manage to write series this long and make every character different and interesting at the same time. Lorelei James manages to do so and the fact that we get those little snippets of the old characters' lives is amazing. So I'll say it again: I hope this series never ends.

My Rating:
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...