Friday, March 30, 2007

SKIN by Karin Tabke

Some of you might remember a quick blog entry I did a while back w/this cover. I still think it is very nicely done. I couldn't wait for the book's release and when it showed up on the Romance Junkies review list, I literally begged for it - the first time I've ever done so. Was I ever pleased when told that it was mine! Karin Tabke is a very talented author with some incredible releases - THE HARD STUFF (anthology), GOOD GIRL GONE BAD and now SKIN. I gave SKIN five blue ribbons - I can count on one hand the number of reviews that I've given five blue ribbons. I hope you'll check out my review and Karin's website, and then go pre-order this great book! Here's a link to Amazon so you can do just that!
This is my Romance Junkies review:
A mafia princess unknowingly hires an undercover detective to pose nude for her magazine, while he attempts to figure out who killed her kingpin father. The two end up going on the run to elude whoever is now trying to kill her - in SKIN, the latest offering from Karin Tabke.
Francesca “Frankie” Donatello runs her family-owned magazine, Skin, and while all the rest of this organized crime family’s businesses are on the shady side, Frankie’s magazine is squeaky clean. Shortly before Frankie’s father, Santini, is assassinated, the two had an ugly falling out over Frankie’s decision to feature male centerfolds in her magazine. Santini was adamantly opposed to Frankie’s determination to proceed, even threatening to write her out of his will. When Frankie’s brother, Anthony, makes threats against her unless she desists with her centerfold plan, she shrugs it off to his selfish desire to control all of the family’s holdings. The police are working Santini’s murder, and in the course of their investigation, have sent detective Reese Barrett to audition for the male centerfold position. Frankie feels a definite attraction to Reese but because she was recently burned by the man she loved, she’s hesitant to let herself get attached to anyone. After several attempts are made on her life, and Reese offers to act as her bodyguard and her centerfold, she relents and hires him.
Reese’s colleagues are convinced that Frankie played a part in her father’s death, but he isn’t so sure. Reese plays the part of male model very well, so well in fact that Frankie never suspects him of being a detective, until he does such a stellar job of protecting her, and then there is a slight niggling in the back of her mind that he almost seems to have some police training. When evidence begins to point a guilty finger at Frankie and the attacks against her almost seem staged, Reese starts to have his doubts. Once he begins to fall for her and the threats against her become more brazen, he takes her into hiding.
Karin Tabke doesn’t write sweet romances. Her characters are passionate about every aspect of their life, be it work or play. They take their beliefs and their actions very seriously, and are selective about who they share them with, striving to always be the best. I can’t give a high enough recommendation for SKIN and strongly encourage anyone who loves an edgy, suspenseful romance with shamelessly intense passion to run out and get a copy.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Karen Kelley's latest release (April '07) is a sexy paranormal, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE SEXY KIND. This book practically screams "Karen Kelley" as you're reading - her wonderful sense of humor simply shines! It is cleverly written - fresh and inspired - a fun twist on the alien-comes-to-Earth notion. And will you look at that cover? What author wouldn't be thrilled to have that cover on their book? I think it is just beautiful. I hope you'll check it out and then scoot yourself on over to Amazon to order your own copy - here's a link:
You should also check out Karen's newly updated website - here's another link!
This is my Romance Junkies review of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE SEXY KIND (I gave this book 4.5 blue ribbons):
When a beautiful alien crashes in Texas, is rescued by a rugged Texas sheriff, and the two fall in love, is there any chance on Earth that their hearts can survive the forces that are trying to pull them apart?
Mala, an inhabitant of the female-only planet Nerak, after reading her grandmother’s journals and watching a film about Earth, can think of little else but visiting the forbidden planet. Even her made-to-order male companion unit, Barton, can’t hold her interest. With off-planet travel prohibited, Mala has become extremely restless, wanting to visit Earth more than anything. She eventually steals a spaceship and crash lands in Washboard, Texas, where she runs smack dab into Sheriff Mason McKinley. Mason turns out to be just what she is looking for – a real flesh and blood male who is an excellent lover. When some of the Washboard townspeople begin to have suspicions about Mala and her origins, Mason immediately becomes her protector and is quick to defend her. Mala knows that her time on Earth is limited, and can only hope that the Elders from her planet will let her live once they come looking for her.
Mason has never met a woman like Mala. Her straightforwardness about her enjoyment of sex is refreshing, although a little awkward at times, given her inclination for unashamedly telling everyone about the things they have done, in the bedroom and out. Mason understandably shrugs it off when Mala tells him that she is an alien, believing that her seeming ignorance about the most common of customs and ways is simply because she is from another country – an illegal alien.
When Barton follows Mala to Earth, prepared to convince her to come home, this story becomes even more interesting. His romance with a charming resident of Washboard is an added bonus. Passion and danger escalate as Mala and Mason’s relationship intensifies, and readers will wonder what the future may hold for them, given how everyone is determined to tear them apart.
Karen Kelley has created incredible characters in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE SEXY KIND. Mala is written very realistically as a young “woman” who is very confused about what life on Earth entails. Mason is wonderfully male, very comfortable with who and what he is. His confusion over Mala’s unexplained arrival and his total enchantment of her are touching. No detail is overlooked, without the alien premise being tiresome or overdone. Ms. Kelley has a real talent for writing humor, and a knack for inserting it in all of the right places. I highly recommend this fun book for everyone who appreciates a light paranormal that is heavy on sensuality and passion.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

SMART AND SEXY by Jill Shalvis

Another great book from another one of my favorite authors! I enjoy Jill Shalvis immensely and always look forward to each and every one of her releases. SMART AND SEXY is lighthearted romantic suspense, with familiar characters that readers can't seem to get enough of, and I'm certain that Noah and Bailey will be loved by everyone who reads their story.

Take a minute to visit Jill's blog, I guarantee it's good for a smile! I start just about every day online with a stop there! Be sure to check out her backlist while you're there, there's not a bad book to be found!

Six months after piloting a plane that crashed in Cabo with horrific results, Noah Fisher decides to head to Mammoth Mountain for a little R and R. He figures some skiing and a ski bunny will go far in helping him relax. When Noah finds himself hijacked at gunpoint while enroute to Mammoth Mountain, it makes him just plain mad. Once he discovers that his hijacker is Bailey Sinclair, a young widow who has been the object of many of his wildest fantasies, he is still angry, but his anger is redirected toward whoever has terrified Bailey enough to push her to take such drastic measures. When Noah learns that Bailey’s husband, Alan, wasn’t killed in a hunting accident, but was murdered, he realizes how imperative it is that she find the money he had hidden in avoidance of becoming a victim herself. With Alan’s killers hot on their heels, the two make jaunt after desperate jaunt in search of the concealed cash. When it looks like they will have to travel to Cabo, the place where Noah crashed, he questions whether he has healed enough emotionally to take them there.
Bailey Sinclair wants to kill her husband. Unfortunately, someone has already killed him, after he swindled them out of a ton of money. Bailey gave up a successful modeling career after marrying Alan so she could be by his side. Unfortunately, he was more interested in himself and how much money he could make than being with her. Alan left Bailey with a cryptic clue about where the money is hidden just before he was murdered. She has little choice but to force someone to take her to Alan’s resort in order to find the money. She decides on Noah Fisher, one of the three pilots at Sky High Air, because she knew he was the most likely of the three to help her. Bailey has had a bit of a crush on Noah for some time, but has to get past that for the time being, and focus on finding the money that will save her life. After the initial flight, yes, the one where she kidnapped him at gunpoint, Bailey has no intention of involving Noah in her search. Besides, the “gun” was actually a pen, so no harm done, right? Noah doesn’t feel that way, and insists that he accompany her so he can keep her safe, and while Bailey dislikes involving him in her personal problems, she appreciates having him with her.
Bailey and Noah are both extremely likable characters, and the secondary characters from Sky High Air are equally charming and are practically screaming for their own books. Thankfully, Jill Shalvis will be giving her readers those stories. Noah and Bailey are quick to act on their shared attraction, but it doesn’t feel rushed as their long-time interest in each other is covered. This book has fast-paced action, intriguing suspense, and sizzling sensuality. I personally feel that Jill Shalvis’ writing gets sharper with each new book, and I highly recommend SMART AND SEXY to anyone who enjoys a romantic suspense that isn’t too heavy or frightening.

Thanks for stopping!


Saturday, March 24, 2007


I love Alison Kent. No, I don't "love her" love her, but I do love her work, and I appreciate her wonderful sense of humor. I truly hope that I will be able to meet her one of these days. I never miss her blog, often stopping by a couple of times a day to see what is going on and what is being discussed. Sometimes I comment, sometimes I don't, but there's never a dull moment.
I have to throw out a huge "thank you" to my good pal, Barb Smith - Barb send me a copy of Mother, Please! - the only AK book that I didn't have. Thanks, Barb for completing my AK library!
Whenever I read an Alison Kent book, I have to stall for a day or two to completely absorb the goodness. An emotional marinade, of sorts. It seems like we've waited forever for THE PERFECT STRANGER; it was well worth the wait. Jack and Jillian are typical AK characters - obviously very deliberately thought out and excellently written.

*******POSSIBLE SPOILER - the only thing I didn't care for in the book was a love scene with anal sex. Maybe I'm a hag, but I just don't care for anal sex scenes. That said, I would add that it happened, was done, and the story kept rolling - I was not pulled out of the book because of it, so I'm not truly complaining.****

This is my review for THE PERFECT STRANGER:
When pilot Jack Briggs awakens with the worst hangover of his life, despite the minimal amount he had to drink at his friend Brad’s bachelor party the night before, he is somewhat confused. His confusion is exacerbated when he awakens to a gun in his face, a marriage certificate bearing his signature, a new bride who is very pregnant, and an order from the Comandante Mosquero to take his new wife to her village. With the San Torisco sun beating down upon them, the two set off in a donkey cart. Jack is extremely suspicious of his new bride, especially when the baby she is carrying turns out to be extra clothing for him, and even more so when she dons a nun’s habit. It turns out that Jack’s “wife” is Jillian Endicott of the elite Endicott family of Boston, who has turned her back on wealth and privilege to help the people of San Torisco. When Jack learns the reason behind his kidnapping and just what it is that Jillian wants him to fly out of the country, memories of a horrific tragedy invade him right down to his soul and despite an intense attraction to Jillian, he refuses to help her.
Jillian would never have taken such drastic measures to get Jack’s help if she wasn’t consumed by desperation. She has helped the people of San Torisco for years, selflessly giving of herself, often until there was nothing left to give. But now she is the one who needs help and there simply isn’t time for finesse or persuasion in getting Jack where she needs him. Jillian is unprepared for the feelings that Jack stirs in her; she hasn’t felt the spark of desire in a very long time. Jack is Jillian’s only hope. Life as she knows it, not to mention her sanity, depend on his skills at the stick of a helicopter, but she fears that she won’t be able to convince him to use those skills before time runs out.
This latest installment in Alison Kent’s SG-5 series is an excellent offering for readers. Jack and Jillian are both strong characters, but neither is perfect, and it’s those imperfections that make their relationship believable. The characters in this series are unfailingly larger than life, and Jack and Jillian are no exception, fighting enemies and situations that, I feel safe to say, most of us will never find ourselves in. Alison Kent never fails to successfully make her characters and their fearless determination come to life on the pages. If you like your suspense intensely dangerous, and your romance gritty and sharp, you will love THE PERFECT STRANGER.

I would encourage you to check out Alison's website - - but don't blame me if you find yourself returning every single day!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A LITTLE HARMLESS SEX by Melissa Schroeder

I hadn't read any of Melissa Schroeder's work until I read A LITTLE HARMLESS SEX for Romance Junkies review. I will definitely be reading more from her in the future. I enjoyed this book very much and encourage anyone who enjoys sweet, sensual romance to get their hands on it!
My Romance Junkies review:
When two best friends take their long-time friendship to the next level and become lovers, can they keep their hearts out of the mix?

When Maxwell “Max” Chandler’s fiancée breaks off their engagement, he feels guilty for being so incredibly relieved. He knows his best friend, Anna Dewinter, will understand and undoubtedly be pleased as she had always told him that his fiancée simply wasn’t right for him. When he tells Anna, and she in turn tells him that she has broken things off with her most recent fling, the two decide to celebrate. When one simple kiss turns into a night of incredibly heated passion, Max immediately wants more than just sex with Anna. Several years worth of being her best friend and pseudo big brother have flown out the window and Max wants more, much more. Max fears that Anna will be frightened by his desire for something lasting, but he is determined to be more than her best friend.
Anna Dewinter has never taken any man seriously, typically nixing her relationships before they have a chance to really get started. She can’t believe that Max’s fiancée has called off their engagement, having always thought that Max was the most perfect man, and harboring a secret desire for him for several years. When she and Max spend the night together, it is the most magical night of her life. After that one night turns into several more nights, Anna begins to panic and, fearful of losing control, she feels that she has to end the relationship before it had a chance to reach full bloom.
Max suspects that Anna’s reluctance to enter into any relationship goes much deeper than the simple need to be in charge, and his stubborn determination to reach her is heartening. Anna and Max are both well-written as successful business owners, and their reasons for wanting different things out of their relationship are completely understandable. With A LITTLE HARMLESS SEX, Ms. Schroeder gives her readers just that, and so much more. This is a passionate love story that is very satisfying and I give it a high recommendation.


If you weren't a winner of one of the copies of Alison Kent's THE PERFECT STRANGER, given away here (or elsewhere), you have another opportunity to win - run, don't walk, to The Great American Book Giveaway for one more chance! It's easy, only takes a minute - and you could win! Check it out!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New from Sydney Somers: CALL ME CUPID

Sydney Somers has given readers a fun, lighthearted romance with an abundance of sizzle with her latest release, CALL ME CUPID.
This is my Romance Junkies review:
When a young woman relives the day before her wedding over and over again, with the man who once broke her heart, no less, she begins to question whether the fates are trying to tell her something . . . or is she simply losing her mind?
When AJ Hanson finds out the day before her wedding that her parents have invited her former boyfriend, Cooper McLain, to the wedding, she has mixed emotions. When she and Cooper broke up, her feelings were totally crushed. After running into Cooper, she is faced with emotions that she hasn’t felt in a long time, and begins to question whether she is totally over him. When she begins experiencing the same day over and over again, she questions even more than that, actually wondering the status of her sanity, especially when she and Cooper appear to be the only two aware of the repeating days.
Cooper McLain knows that he should not have come to AJ’s wedding, but he has a legitimate invitation from her parents, and feels he has to see her just one more time before she gets married. Trouble is, Cooper is a descendant of Eros, the Greek God of love and desire; when Eros shows up in Cooper’s hotel room, Cooper suspects that something is up. When he realizes that he is awaking to the same morning day after day, as is AJ, he definitely knows that Eros is undoubtedly involved. Eros isn’t talking though, leaving it up to Cooper to figure out what he needs to do to make the pieces of the puzzle that his life has become, fall into place.
AJ and Cooper are an adorable couple, seemingly meant to be together, despite their shaky past and heartbreaking split. These characters are easy to relate to and are incredibly enjoyable to spend time with. You would think that the repetition of the same day over and over would become cumbersome, but Ms. Somers has done an excellent job of keeping the story fresh and lively; wonderfully capturing her characters’ emotional fears. This is a fun read, and I’m certain that readers will want to devour it in a single sitting.
I would encourage you to check out Sydney's website to see all of the other great books she has out as well as those that are upcoming.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I'm the columnist at Romancing the Blog today - I hope you'll stop by and check out my article - you might even be inspired to leave a reply!

Laurie :)

Friday, March 09, 2007


Drumroll, please!

The winner of Alison's THE PERFECT STRANGER ARC: Sue A.

The winner of a copy of THE PERFECT STRANGER from me: Lisa F.

Congrats to the winners!

Sue and Lisa, please email your addys to me at - Sue, your copy will come directly from Alison. Lisa, your copy will come from me as soon as I receive it - it has been ordered at Amazon and will be shipped on the release date.

I'm going to give the winners four days to contact me - otherwise, I'll be drawing new names.

Thanks so much to everyone for playing - I hope you'll stop back often!!


Ciar Cullen's LORDS OF CH'I

I love chatting about authors whose work I enjoy, even more so if I'm especially fond of the author! Ciar Cullen is one of those authors! Her work is always highly entertaining, thought-provoking, and never fails to make me smile, or sigh - or both, and Ciar is an absolute sweetheart, truly caring about and appreciating each and every one of her readers! This is a review I've done on behalf of Romance Junkies for Ciar's Samhain release, LORDS OF CH'I:

An assassin and her target put their differences aside, fall in love and decide to spend their lives together – if only they can stay alive long enough to make it happen.

Lord Jetre Arnaud dreams of a better existence for his wood clan, after their lands have been ravaged by years of war. Jet’s long-time rival has been assassinated, and when the dead man’s sister, Silver SanMartin, makes a half-hearted attempt on his life, more an effort to gain his attention than actually kill him, he finds himself wanting her as he has wanted no other. Nearing the end of a ten year vow of celibacy, Jet is seriously tempted by Silver. Having the ability to get into her mind, he learns that she shares that temptation; he decides to act, taking advantage of her sensual nature, knowing that the pursuit of a sexual relationship with her will change both of their lives forever. Jet endured a cold, loveless childhood, and despite his bold, brazen front, he is slightly damaged and just a little vulnerable, which makes him even more endearing.

Silver has been cast out after the death of her family. More than anything she wants to see their killer dead. She approaches Jet, hopeful that she can convince him to assist with her quest for justice. She could never have dreamed that she would be hopelessly attracted to him, or that he would consider her as the means to end his celibacy. Silver is perfect for Jet; resilient enough to stand by his side as he rules, and saucy enough to share a sensually charged future with him, if only they can remain strong together to conquer their enemy.

Jet and Silver are intriguing characters, unique in their unfailing dedication to their beliefs and devotion to their people. Both are also intensely devoted, almost earthy, in their passion for each other. The futuristic setting is especially well-written; Ciar Cullen writes with incredible imagination and creativity that is matched by few. Her characters are never lacking in vibrant clarity, coming to life on the pages through colorful descriptions of surroundings, stirring conversations and witty banter.

Go have a look around Ciar's website - there's always something fun happening on her blog!

Thank you!


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The "other man"

I have been in love with Bob Seger since I was 16 - no secret to those who know me well. The first time I heard the song "Night Moves" was when I was on a date with the 17 year old boy who is now my husband - sigh! I immediately bought the 8 track (yes, I'm old) and listened to little else for a very long time. Even though Tim and I didn't last a long time back then (we reconnected a couple of years later), my love for Bob was unfailing!
My friend Carla and I first saw Bob in concert 30 years ago (again - yes, I'm old) and then again about 10 years ago. I am a member of Bob's "Street Team" getting promotional posters and postcards when his latest album released, for placement in local music stores and bars. In return, I received a copy of the new CD and a fun DVD with interviews, videos and concert clips. Carla and I were so excited when a new concert tour was announced last fall - even more so when we learned in January that he was coming to Columbus. Carla was first in line at our local Ticketmaster the morning tickets went on sale to buy ours. The concert we're going to is this Saturday and we're going to make an evening of it with dinner out first. We're so excited!
At my house, Bob Seger doesn't even need a last name, he's just "Bob" - everyone knows who I'm talking about. After all, a woman should be on a first-name basis with the other man in her life!

Friday, March 02, 2007


For those who haven't read the full post about this contest below, I will be drawing names on Friday, March 9 for both copies of THE PERFECT STRANGER! Thanks to all who have already entered - be sure to tell your friends to pop by!

I've decided to up the ante on this contest - if I/you/we can get 20 people to post that they are interested in the ARC of Alison Kent's THE PERFECT STRANGER, I will give away another copy of the book. No, I'm not giving away my own ARC, but I will purchase a copy after it is released and send it to a second winner. No strings, except it would be nice to hear your thoughts on the book - maybe the winner(s) could post a little snippet on Amazon and/or B&N reviews?

So come on, tell your reader friends, and let's spread the word about Alison's work!!

Have a great weekend, everyone -