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Heaven Help Me, Or Hell Have Me

I volunteered to read this and supply an honest review. I’d previously read CONNECTED and A MODERN LOVE STORY by the same author and had high hopes… I was delighted to say my hopes were not only met, but exceeded.

To say that Kassie is having a bad day, would be an understatement. Everything from tripping over the cat to being accosted on the way to work, seems set to ruin her day.

I’m waiting for the day when he flashes open his coat and I see more than hot jewelry. And when that day comes, I’m going to scrub my eyeballs out with Lysol. And then set them on fire.

Work sucks, as it does most days, especially when she has to fend off her boss, a man who makes wandering-hands seem tame. Eventually she’s home and repeating her mantra in bed.

Before I fall asleep, I almost ask out loud ‘What the hell else could happen?’, but I know better than to tempt the fates, and instead mutter, “Heaven help me, or Hell have me.” And then mentally amend it to Fuck Heaven, Hell take me.

I think it just this once, ‘cause I’m mad enough to go there.

Strangely, the day after is almost the complete opposite – especially when she’s told her boss is being investigated for harassment. At last! She goes home happy for once… and then things take a bizarre turn. There’s a ghost in her apartment. A rather hunky and gorgeous ghost.

 

I shoo at him like a fly. Only instead of my hand passing through his, I smack right into him. I looked right at him with wide eyes. I couldn’t help it! I just smacked a ghost for crying out loud!

Not only can she see – and touch him – they can speak to each other. He seems surprised when she assumes he’s a ghost, and that’s when she begins to wonder just what he really is.

“The other day,” he prompts. “Do you remember what you said?”

I think back – oh, that day – and scowl. “I’m pretty sure I said a lot of choice words on that particular day.”

“Yes, but one thing in particular put you in the spotlight.”

Her mantra – Hell Have Me – suddenly takes on a whole new meaning.

He studies me half a tick and nods. “Hell.”

“Hell?” I whisper. And then I do something I didn’t even think was possible, something I always thought was just a figure of speech. I gulp.

“You’re worried?”

I nod.

“Good,” he says, leaning in. “You should be.”

At this point I dragged my eyes away from the story to look at the % read counter – 66 %. Noooo, I muttered… I know this can’t all be nicely wrapped up and resolved in 34%, which means….. Yes. I have to wait for the next in the series.

Let me get a couple of caveats out there.

– This is written present tense. Normally I hate that, but Kassie’s voice is so vibrant that it makes this come alive.

– It’s short, woefully short. It is only a novelette, and so it serves as a deliciously tangy taster to Jolyn Palliata’s new series. A hell of a lot is packed in (tee hee, excuse the pun), but I still wish it was longer as I’m not very good at waiting.

Having said all that, it’s a fab quick read, and I loved it to bits.

*********

Dear Ms Palliata, if you read this review, please hurry up and release the next in the series. Yours sincerely, Impatient Reader🙂

4.5 out of 5 (only because I desperately wanted there to be more!!

Jolyn Palliata recently burst onto my TBR List, when I fell in love with CONNECTED (see my review). I can’t tell you how excited I am at her newest project * claps hands in glee *

The Devil's Dance

GUEST REVIEW from Mistik

GoodReads synopsis:
Cherry Clark is a spoiled brat, unappreciative of the good fortune she’s experienced throughout her life. She is also a solitary sex addict, experiencing her vicarious desires through her imagination and Internet porn. Her closet desire to be a submissive is shrouded in fear; and her mouthy attitude only gets her into trouble. One night after work, she finds a flier stuck to her car, advertising a mysterious club, Sheol’s Fringe. Her interest is aroused, she decides to go, unaware that her life is about to change forever. Sameal, the hot looking bartender and Sheol’s owner, is also a “devil”, and a member of the Board of Directors for Devil Corp, an organization that brokers in human pleasures through the use of a ‘Dream Journal’ service. The journal itself allows the user to experience whatever fantasy they write about while in a sleep-like trance. Sameal gives her a dream journal of her own, through which Cherry lives out her deepest and darkest fantasies. Her desires take some shocking twists. Even more frightening, they tend to manifest themselves in unusal physical form.
I love this quote it’s one of my favorites by far…
“I could almost taste the thick, mouth-watering fog of manly power that seeped from his pores, smothering me beneath it. Just being near him filled me with an overpowering sense of intimidation, excitement, and nervous surrender all rolled into one general package of an amazing turn-on. “Johnny Stone
Intense! I picked up this book after I saw it posted in one of my groups as an erotica paranormal read. I have read several erotica books and they were less than satisfactory in terms of plot and character development so I ventured into this one with caution…and an open mind.=)
This fabulous book had it all; the plot although revolving around sexual exploration worked; a very well developed female character – I felt for her, I liked her, I cheered for her; plus the intimacy scenes that were simply mind blowing. Hot, heavy but tasteful and written with such care I couldn’t help but sigh in awe.
Therefore, a read with solid writing, flowing energy both in the plot and the bedroom scenery, one that excites and renews a feeling of novelty, erases the boredom of repetitive plot construction currently in circulation among the paranormal books, is worthy of a 5 star mark regardless of the challenge to my sheltered senses. And make no mistake my senses were challenged; it was an intense read plagued with dark desires and unfathomable fantasies.
As if the taboo’s were not challenging enough, the paranormal element just brought an additional edge all wrapped up in one AMAZING read!
Pick it up!

Male Review

What a gorgeous cover, eh.

 

When I want something light hearted, laugh-out-loud funny and sexy too, my automatic buy is Lillian Grant. Male Review, the eagerly awaited follow-up to Male Order was worth the wait.

Meg and Sam had finally hooked up at the end of the previous book, but their path to new love would run anything but straight. Her crazy nympho aunt moving in was just the start.

The thought of him lying in his reclining chair naked with his fist wrapped around his hard, hot, heaving cock sent a heat wave through her body and a definite dampening in areas that had no business being damp when you shared a bed with your eighty-something great aunt.

 

On the odd occasions they managed to get some privacy, they were usually interrupted.

Meg groaned with frustration. Not now, not when they were just about to… God, Sam was shrinking fast. His cock flopped out of her and she dropped to her knees with a moan of, “No, no,” intent on giving his manhood mouth to mouth.

 

When her scarily frigid mother followed shortly after, Meg gave up any hope of having any kind of sex life. In desperation, she goes to visit her father to try and understand why her mum has left him. She finds him entertaining friends:

“I hope you’re planning on helping to clean up before my mother gets home.”

Anyone would think she had lobbed a hand grenade into the middle of the table and shouted ‘incoming’. The two men so intent on poker a few minutes ago, jumped to their feet.

 

Then Sam drops a bombshell.

Sam met her gaze. This was a crossroads in their relationship. His answer could make or break the trust he’d built with her, but she needed to know everything about him, good and bad.

“I used to go to a BDSM club.”

Since Great Aunt Maud has just become a co-owner in a themed male strip bar, they decide to avail themselves of the facilities when the club is closed during the day. What followed, is one of the funniest scenes I’ve read in years.

Sam reached up to undo the left cuff. After a couple of minutes tugging, he glanced at Meg. “Have you got the key?”

 

If things weren’t bad enough, her arch-nemesis, the wickedly cocky Irishman Michael Monaghan is there to witness the entire scene. Could it get any worse? Well yes, actually, but that would be giving away the story, and you really need to read it for yourself.

If you like hot sex, spiced up with a little BDSM and a whole load of comedy, you’ll love it. Trust me, you won’t regret it 🙂

Woo Hoo – it IS Monday – and the release date for Lillian Grant’s latest fabulous crazy-laugh-out-loud novel, Male Review. Believe me, it’s the perfect tonic for a dull Monday🙂

Silken Sheets & Seduction

Some days being a writer has the same level of anticipation as a kid waiting for Christmas.

You send you manuscript to the publisher and you wait. Hopefully you get an acceptance and then you wait. You sign the contract and you wait. You get content edits and you send them back and wait. You complete line edits and you wait. The artist sends you a draft of your cover and you squeal and then wait. And then … finally … woohoo it’s release day. Champagne corks pop, people cheer, the internet crashes as hordes of people rush to download your book. Okay, okay I got carried away. No champagne, no one cheering and the internet is fine. Just me sitting at my desk at my day job with a silly grin on my face.

So, finally, the waiting is almost over for me. Male Review, Reigning Men Volume Two…

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The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman Trilogy)

Intense? Yes.  Unputdownable? Definitely.

Reading a book of this magnitude demands its pound of flesh. In one of my status updates, I described it as an Emotional Vampire – it squeezed every single emotion out of me, wringing me dry.

It was like reading The Mistress of Rome all over again… I was on the edge of my seat most of the time as it all came together. And I cried. Twice. Several times I was too scared to read on… but I kept going for one of the best reads of the decade. Yes, it was THAT good.

The basic premise.

Leningrad in 1941 just as the Soviet Union goes to war with Germany. Tatiana is an innocent and sheltered girl who meets a handsome soldier (Alexander) while out shopping for her parents. She’s sitting in the sunshine eating an ice cream, completely oblivious to the world rushing around her and Alexander sees her… can’t take his eyes off her. He follows her onto the bus and she’s so flustered she forgets to get off.

Tatiana finally looked to her right, and there he was, smiling cheerfully at her. He had perfect white teeth – unusual for a Russian. She couldn’t help but smile back. Relief must have shown in her face. Relief and apprehension and anxiety; all that, and something else too.

Grinning, the soldier said, “All right, I give up. Where are you going?”

They have an instant connection. After spending a few hours together he helps her with the shopping (taking her to the Officers store for her goods).

Tatiana watched Alexander walk beyond the iron gate across a courtyard, salute a tall officer, then stop and chat briefly to a cluster of smoking soldiers, breaking into a laugh and striding off. Nothing distinguished Alexander from the others, except that he was taller than anyone else and had darker hair and whiter teeth, broader shoulders and a wider stride. Nothing but that he was vivid and they were muted.

Hw walks her home, Tatiana all excited and happy – and then she discovers that Alexander is the boy her sister recently met and fell in love with.

“You know Dasha…?” but then broke off in the middle of the question, seeing realization and conscience and unhappiness strike his mute, comprehending face.

Tatiana looked at Dasha, then back to Alexander. She felt herself paling from the inside out. Oh no, she wanted to say. Oh no, how can this be?

Her sister, Dasha, means the world to her and claims to be so in love with Alexander. However, he doesn’t feel the same and after seeing Tatiana again (meeting her at work and walking her home, several times), he wants to break off with Dasha, but Tatiana won’t let him. She feels responsible for her sister’s happiness.

What she wanted to say to Dasha was, you’ve had plenty. You can get yourself a new one any time you want. You’re charming and bright and beautiful, and everybody likes you. But I want him for myself.

What she wanted to say was, but what if he likes me best?

The basic triangle is in place, but then it gets more complicated. Alexander has a HUGE secret that he tells Tatiana – he was born an American – and if the Russian secret police find out, he’ll be executed as a spy.

“Tatiana,” he whispered, leaning close to her ear, “we are followed, always, everywhere. The day might come when someone will jump out at you from a secret door, and then you will be presented to someone behind a desk, and he will want to know what Alexander Belov spoke to you about on your walks home.”

The only other person that knows is his one-time friend Dimitri, who is slowly and steadily blackmailing him. Dmitri decides he wants Tatiana and it becomes impossible.

“Tell me about Dimitri, Shura,” she said quietly. “What do you owe him?”

Add in the war and the siege of Leningrad (freezing weather, food shortages, family dying) and you have a complex and highly emotional story that begs to be read. It reduced me to helpless tears several times.

“It’s all right,” Alexander said, taking off his coat. “There’s some stew.”

Coughs. Averted eyes.

Alexander didn’t understand. He turned to Dasha. “I brought you soybeans. Dasha? You said you were making stew.”

“We did, Alexander,” said Dasha sheepishly. “But there was so little. We ate it.”

“You ate it and you didn’t leave her any?”

For a long time Tatiana and Alexander have to sustain their growing secret love with no more than a few words and touches, longing looks and covert walks.

He was crouching as he rummaged through his rucksack. She watched Alexander in profile, his bare muscled arms, his soldier’s body, his spiky wet black hair, a cigarette in the corner of his lips – Tatiana’s breath was taken away from her, he looked so beautiful.

You ache for them to be together and for everything to be out in the open. If you like unrequited love, you will ADORE this.

It was a warm night; her bare arms twice touched the rough material of his army shirt.

“This is the best time, Tatiana,” Alexander said. “Do you want to know why?”

“Please don’t tell me.”

“There will never be a time like this again. Never this simple, uncomplicated.”

Their romance is one of the best I’ve ever read, if not THE best. Lies and betrayal, fear of the secret police, fear of Alexander dying in the war and the constant risks they take to spend time together wrap this into an unforgettable read.

 

The only thing Tatiana could do was stand several hundred metres away from the archway that led to Pavlov Barracks and watch smoking, laughing soldiers filtering out.

She stood for half an hour. Then she went back to the hospital, thinking, not bombs nor my broken heart can take away from me walking barefoot with you in jasmine June through the Field of Mars.

Be warned. It does NOT have a happy ending.

Alexander and Tatiana sat a long time with their wet, cold faces pressed against each other, his arms around her, her hands cradling his head, while the wind blew the last, dead leaves off the trees, while the sky was a leaky November gray.

I would have been distraught had I not looked ahead to the blurb for the next one (it’s a trilogy). I finished reading this at 1 in the morning and seriously considered getting up and downloading the next in the series… sanity prevailed. I waited until I woke up at 5:30 and downloaded it then J

It’s a rare book that I exceed my 5-star top-rating for, but this is one of them. 6 stars.

The second picks up where the first finished, but with wrenching flashbacks to Alexander’s youth and how he ended up in Russia. The emotional rollercoaster continues…. J

Woo Hoo! Not only is my favourite Rock-Star-Writer working on a BRAND NEW SERIES, but she’s self-pubbing and they will be available soon!!!
There IS a God * giant smile *
Please hurry up Olivia, I can’t wait * grin *

Olivia Cunning's Blog

Sole Regret is a fictional five-member metal band originally from Austin, Texas. They’re on tour and being as naughty as they want to be.

I don’t want to give away too much about the characters—I think it’s better that you learn about them as you read their stories—but I will share their inspiration.

In the first story, Try Me, the drummer, Gabe, meets a woman who insists she isn’t attracted to bad boys with tattoos. She quickly changes her mind. And who can blame her? The real hottie who inspired Gabe’s look?

 

Rich Luzzi  (I was drooling over him last week for a reason…)

The inspiration for the rhythm guitarist, Kelly…

Anthony Kiedis (the long-haired version).

The inspiration for the lead guitarist, who I’m calling Adam, but I might change it. In my mind’s eye, Adam looks like

Jacoby Shaddix

The lead singer of Sole Regret, Jacob, is inspired…

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