Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Review! Skin Tight by Ava Gray

Skin Tight
(Skin Series, book 2)
Ava Gray
June 1, 2010
ISBN-10: 0425235165
ISBN-13: 978-0425235164

Uncovering the truth is her specialty
As a forensic accountant, Mia Sauter could usually tell when people had something to hide. She made her living exposing secrets while concealing her own. Then, in Vegas, she met a clever, ruthless man who called himself Addison Foster. One year later, she’s still haunted by his betrayal.
He’s a natural born liar
The truth of him had long ago been buried. Foster was only one name of many; he’d been so many men, he’d lost count. Reinvented as Thomas Strong and hell-bent on revenge, his mission is about to be compromised by the one woman capable of exposing him…
Reunited, they confront the explosive chemistry still crackling between them. But their chance meeting will have consequences, for a ruthless madman has his own deadly agenda. The question is—if they survive the fallout, will he choose love over vengeance?
We met Foster and Mia in the first book of this series, called Skin Game, and well, their short interaction didn't end on the best of terms and that's putting it mildly. A girl tends to take offense when a guy lives her tied up on a crazy dude's house, just saying. So when Mia runs into him on her latest job to find out who is stealing money from this company, she's not really ecstatic. At all. Okay, maybe a little. He is pretty hot.

Addison Foster is a ghost. He's changed his personality more times than he can remember and his latest one is Thomas Strong. That is, until he sees Mia. The only woman who has been able to make him feel anything for years. Considering he's so close to finally finding the people who ruined his life so many years ago and getting his revenge, he can't let anything or anyone, not even the super-gorgeous Mia, get in the way of that. But now that she's made him feel, he can't seem to be able to turn those feelings off like he's done before, she's skin-deep and as they get closer and their attraction grows stronger, Foster is going to have to decide which is more important - being with Mia or getting his revenge. 

Ever since I first read about Foster in Skin Game, I was highly intrigued. Let me tell you, this man's got issues. He had a horrible tragedy happen to him and it's shaped pretty much his whole existence since then. The one thing I love about his character is how at times he seems so ruthless and so single-minded in his revenge, yet with Mia, he's incredibly soft, even vulnerable at times. 

This series is insanely creative and unique because honestly, the main characters are kind of criminals yet you'll still find yourself hoping they get their happily-ever-after because Gray's got such a way of writing that you can't help but love these characters. The plot itself was a blast to read and while I think you could read Skin Tight as a stand-alone, I totally recommend you read Skin Game too because it's an awesome start to this series! 

With a wonderful mixture of action-packed scenes, steamy love and some funny moments, Skin Tight is a highly enjoyable read and I'm definitely reading the next book in this awesome new series! 

Lush Rating: 4.5!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

In My Mailbox! (33)


Me, Myself & Why? by MaryJanice Davidson
The Wish List by Gabi Stevens
Death's Excellent Vacation by Charlaine Harris, etc.
Unholy Magic by Stacia Kane (O-M-LAWD!)
Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill
Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck
When Pleasure Rules by J.K. Beck


-- IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review! A Devil in the Details by K.A. Stewart

A Devil in the Details 
(A Jesse James Dawson Novel, #1)
K.A. Stewart
July 6, 2010
ISBN-10: 0451463439
ISBN-13: 978-0451463432

Every lost soul needs a champion.
Jesse James Dawson was an ordinary guy (well, an ordinary guy with a black belt in karate), until the day he learned his brother had made a bargain with a demon. Jesse discovered there was only one way to save his brother: put up his own soul as collateral, and fight the demon to the death.
Jesse lived to free his brother--and became part of a loose organization of Champions who put their own souls on the line to help those who get in over their heads with demons. But now experienced Champions are losing battles at a much higher rate than usual.  Someone has changed the game. And if Jesse can't figure out the new rules, his next battle may be his last...

Jesse James is your everyday husband-father-working-schmuck. That is, if your everyday Joe (Well, Jesse) happens to also be a modern-day Samurai. Hey, some men mow the lawn, Jesse kills demons. After he had to battle a demon to save his brother's soul, he became part of an organization of men who fight demons for a cost to help those who are over their heads and have bargained their souls to demons. Apart from the fact that these champions are not cheap, whenever they're hired to fight a demon, their owl souls are at stake. So when, after taking his latest job: a super popular baseball player who gave his soul to be able to play, Jesse founds out that others champions have been losing their lives, things get more complicated. They have lost their souls in gruesome battles and if Jesse drops the ball then he's going to be next. (And yes, I just had to add a baseball metaphor!)

Jesse is a highly interesting character. Right from the beginning, he draws the reader in with his dry observations. Something I really enjoyed is how he has a established life, he's a husband and a dad, and I can't remember the last Urban Fantasy novel I read (If any) that features a main character who has loved ones like that. Sure, they have parents and such but a wife and daughter? Nope. I just thought this was insanely cool. However, it seemed to me that at times Jesse tried so hard to a funny, witty guy. I kept having the uncomfortable thought that he was trying to be a bit Harry Dresden-ish. And believe me, I hate comparing one character to another but I just couldn't help it! The thought just kept popping in my head. It's not that this is bad, I love Dresden and his books are one of my favorite series ever but I just hate comparing characters like that.

I do have to say that the plot was annoyingly slow. We see Jesse go from day to day in his normal job and dealing with normal things and I kept wondering when something was going to happen! And yet, when it did? It was very wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am! Sure, I understand the author trying to convey how Jesse has a life outside of being a Samurai and I'm all for that but I also felt that this overshadowed the actual plot about the baseball player. I would have liked a little more action and definitely less talk.

I really did enjoy reading this book though! A Devil in the Details is a refreshing story with really appealing characters who have such witty humor that you don't see coming until it smacks you in the face! I'll definitely be reading the next one in this exciting new series.

Lush Rating: 3!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Quickie Review! Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase

Strange Neighbors
Ashlyn Chase
Sourcebooks Casablanca 
June 1, 2010
ISBN-10: 1402236611 
ISBN-13: 978-1402236617

When all-star pitcher and shapeshifter Jason Falco buys a small apartment building, he sees it not only as an investment, but as a place to escape the demands of major league baseball.
That is, until he meets his tenants! A vigilante vampire: a wereraven with a morbid sense of humor; a werewolf thief who poses as a security expert; and two witches who work as phone sex actresses and own an owl familiar. Not to mention a beautiful, all too human nurse who gets Jason's blood pumping overtime.
With all the hooting, howling and hollering going on, how can an All-American guy get some peace and sweep a girl off her feet.
Merry Mackensie is finally on her own. She's moved into this great little apartment building, has a great job as a nurse and then she meets her landlord - Hunkie baseball player Jason Falco. Score! Everything seems to be going great until weird things start happening. For starters, there 's this creepy-looking dude who's always hanging around the building but as Merry soon finds out, there's more than meets the eye with the people who live in her building. 

Strange Neighbors is a quirky little story wrapped in a light-hearted package that if you're looking for an easy read, you'll love. However, if you're looking for a story with substance, look  elsewhere because this story is as shallow as can be. From the beginning, I was a bit on the fence with Merry and Jason's relationship, mostly because it just felt so... Easy? There wasn't much of obstacles in their way and I'm well aware how to a romantic that would seem great but I like a little conflict every now and then. There wasn't much here. 

Regardless, Strange Neighbors is a highly cute story, and it's got a bit of everything - mystery, romance and paranormal - which makes for a fun read!

Lush Rating: 3!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Review! Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison.

Shadow Bound
Erin Kellison
Dorchester Publishing
June 29, 2010
ISBN 10: 0-505-52829-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-505-52829-2
 Some people will do anything to avoid it. Even trade their immortal souls for endless existence.


Secretly, inexorably, they are infiltrating our world, sucking the essence out of unsuspecting victims with their hideous parody of a kiss.


Adam Thorne founded the Institute to study and destroy his monster of a brother, but the key to its success is held in the pale, slender hand of a woman on the run. There is something hauntingly different about Talia O’Brien, her unknowing sensuality, her uncanny way of slipping into Shadow.


This is the place between life and what comes after - a dark forest of fantasy, filled with beauty, peril, mystery. And Talia is about to open the door.
Ever since she was a wee girl, Talia O'Brien has known she was different. No matter how hard she tries, she just can't fit in and be normal. She's always found refuge in the shadows and by touch, she can tell what someone is feeling or if they're lying. Now she founds herself being hunted by wraiths. These are creatures with great strength who steal other's souls by kissing them. These things have been secretly forming their own army and now, they want Talia but what for, no one knows.

Adam Thorne founded the Segue Institute in order to kill his brother. For six years, he's dedicated himself to finding a way to destroy him because he's a monster and he killed their parents but Jacob, his brother, is able to regenerate pretty much any injury, as any other wraith can do and nothing seem to work until now. What Adam never thought is that the answer might lay in a person, specifically Talia. With her ability to walk in Twilight, the place between life and whatever comes next for the dead, she might be the answer to killing not only Adam's brother but all wraiths.
Shadow Bound is Erin Kellison's debut novel and I really enjoyed it! What I really liked is that there's not one vampire or werewolf around. I'm not saying I don't like reading about those but it's a nice change of pace to read about wraiths and Death itself, called Shadowman. And yes, the Fae is part of the world-building here. So I definitely thought the storyline was original and refreshing! Talia and Adam have a very interesting chemistry going on. He's the epitome of hero trying to save everyone and when he's not able to, he really beats himself up for it. I was a bit on the fence about Talia. At times, I thought she was able to stand up to Adam and be her own person but other times, I was slightly worried she was going to turn into one of those super-dependent-save-me heroines and I was really hoping that wouldn't happened. I liked seeing their feelings grow for each other though, Kellison didn't rush the romance and I appreciated that. They both have their own issues to get over and it felt real for them to butt heads on certain things.
Shadow Bound is a highly engrossing story! Nicely paced with steamy scenes and lots of action, I'm definitely checking out Kellison's next book.

Lush Rating: 3.5!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CSN Giveaway Winner

First, I want to thank you all for the awesome turn-out on the giveaway! Unfortunately, there can only be one winner and that is.. JULIA!

Congrats, Julia! You will be getting an email from an CSN representative for your $60 gift certificate.

Happy shopping!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Review! Red Hot Fury by Kasey Mackenzie

Red Hot Fury
(A Shades of Fury novel)
Kasey Mackenzie
June 29, 2010
ISBN-10: 0441018920
ISBN-13: 978-0441018925
    Hell hath nothing worse than a Fury scorned...
As a Fury, Marissa Holloway belongs to an Arcane race that has avenged wrongdoing since time immemorial. As Boston's Chief Magical Investigator for the past five years, she's doing what she was born to: solving supernatural crimes.
It's far from business as usual when the body of one of Riss's sister Furies washes up in Boston harbor. Riss discovers that the corpse's identity has been magically altered, but as soon as she reports her findings, she's immediately--and inexplicably--suspended from her job. Then a human assassin makes an attempt on her life, and Riss starts to realize that someone may be trying to stir up strife between mortals and Arcanes.
When a Fury gets mad, she gets even, and Riss is determined to untangle this case. Without the support of the mortal PD, Riss turns to the one man she can trust to watch her back--shapeshifting Warhound Scott Murphy. But since Scott is also Riss's ex, she'll have to keep a tight leash on more than just the supernatural rage that feeds her power as they try to solve a murder--and stop a war...
As the Chief Magical Investigator for the Boston PD, Marissa is expected to investigate the cases that are suspected of being arcane. She's also a Fury, one of those immortals beings who avenge the wronged, but when she shows up at her latest case's crime scene, things get personal. The victim is a Fury who is also an old friend of hers that was killed by an angry ex years ago, or so Marissa (Riss) thought. But it's not really her murdered friend, but someone made to look like her.

Things only get more dicey when Riss is suspended from her job for no reason at all. She's still determined to find out what happened to the victim and why it looks like her friend but with most of her resources gone, the only person left that can help is her ex-boyfriend Scott who is also a shape-shifting Warhound. If they don't manage to kill each other first, that is. Yet, this is no ordinary case. There's powerful people who will stop at nothing to make sure she doesn't investigate this specific crime and Marissa soon finds herself trying to stop a war. Or maybe almost starting one.

Let me start off by saying that I think the storyline about Furies is super original and creative and it's awesome to read about something other than vampires or werewolves. Don't get me wrong, I love vampires and werewolves story but variety is the spice of life and all that. Red Hot Fury is a super fast-paced story. The plot just swoons by and it was incredibly fun to read! However, if you're not paying attention, then you might miss some crucial scenes.

The characters are nicely fleshed out and the chemistry between Riss and Scott was yummy. Red Hot Fury is fabulous! There's plenty of kick-ass action scenes, the world-building is really interesting and I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in this new Urban Fantasy series. 

Lush Rating: 4.5!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Review! The Summer of Skinny Dipping

The Summer of Skinny Dipping
Amanda Howells
Sourcebooks Fire 
June 1, 2010
ISBN-10: 1402238622
ISBN-13: 978-1402238628

After getting dumped by her boyfriend, sixteen-year-old Mia Gordon is looking forward to spending a relaxing summer in the Hamptons with her glamorous cousins. But when she arrives, her cousins are distant, moody, and caught up with a fast crowd. Mia finds herself lonelier than ever.
That's when she meets her next-door-neighbor, Simon Ross. Simon isn't like the snobby party boys her cousins seem obsessed with; he's funny, artistic, and utterly adventurous. And from the very first time he encourages Mia to go skinny-dipping, she's caught up in a current impossible to resist.
The Summer of Skinny Dipping is Howells' debut book and an absolute wonderful one. Mia's always been a bit of an outsider in her world and the only person who has really made her feel like it's okay to be herself is her cousin, Corinne. So when she founds out that she's going to be spending her summer vacation with her favorite cousin and her fairytale-storybook-happy parents, she can't wait! However, she quickly founds out that Corinne has changed, and not for the better. 
Feeling alone and isolated, she meets Simon, which is her quirky neighbor and they strike up a somewhat odd friendship. Mia and Simon easily become really close, he understands her. Simon teaches Mia to be more spontaneous about life and soon enough, Mia founds herself having the best summer ever.
This is no fluffy beach read and I admit that at first, that's exactly what I thought it would be... And that's what I wanted. However, this is such a lovely story about a girl getting to know herself and while I wasn't prepared for the story, I more than enjoyed it. The Summer of Skinny Dipping is a highly romantic, funny and yes, tearful story about love and life and I'll definitely be checking out more of Howells' future books. 
Lush Rating: 4!

Monday, June 7, 2010

CSN Giveaway!

I have a dirty secret to share with y'all. I have Myopia. That's another word for holycrapIcan'tseeforshit! Okay, not really. It's just a fancy word for nearsightedness. Due to this condition, I'm very, very particular about the kind of lightning I use to read because hello, I need light that doesn't make my sight worse 'cause I don't think my future husband (aka Jake Gyllenhaal) would appreciate my bottle-button eyeglasses and well, it's hard to seduce someone when wearing said glasses. Just sayin'.

So when I was contacted by CSN to host a giveaway, I said hells yeah! They have an amazing array of items, like lights and bookcases and a lot more that makes me think they might be aliens with an evil plan to take over the world via awesome furniture and I'm afraid to say that I'd totally be on board for this. 

(and I'm not sure how this relates to my plan to bag Jake Gyllenhaal but I thought I would throw it out there. Call me, Jake.)

I have a $60 gift certificate to give away! With that, you could buy yourself this pretty: 

AND still have plenty left to buy more stuff! Honestly, they have SO much stuff to choose from that I'd be sitting here forever just telling you about it. Instead of doing that to you, 'cause I'm nice and all, here are the deets to enter this kick-ass contest:

1. Go to their list of stores and shop around, come back and tell me one thing you'd totally sell yourself to get. Okay, maybe not prostitute yourself but you want it pretty. damn. BAD. 
2. If you're awesome and become my follower, you'll be part of an elite group of people AND will get two extra entries into this contest.
3. Contest ends next Monday, the 14th. That gives you a whole week to enter!

Okay, I'm done babbling, go go go! 

Tiny Print: I've been advised to let you know that there might be shipping charges and international fees for certain products may apply. Sorry. Canada.

P.S. Huge thanks to Caitlin from CSN for being awesome and making this giveaway possible!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

In My Mailbox! (32)

Books FTW!

Skin Tight (Skin, #2) by Ava Gray
Body Master by C.J. Barry
Revenant (Zoe Martiniqie Investigation, #4) by Phaedra Weldon
Masked by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon

That's all. What did you get?

- IMM is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Friday, June 4, 2010


What does a cool store like CSN that sells sexy lights and awesome furniture and moi have in common? 


Stay tuned.

P.S.: You might wanna visit their site and check out what strikes your fancy and remember it.. Cue innocent whistling. What?

Review! I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown

I Love This Bar
(The Honky Town series, book 1)
Carolyn Brown
Sourcebooks Casablanca 
June 1, 2010
ISBN-10: 1402239262
ISBN-13: 978-1402239267

She runs the Honky Tonk beer joint; she doesn't need a single thing else...
Daisy O'Dell has her hands full with hotheads and thirsty ranchers until the day one damn fine cowboy walks in and throws her life into turnoil..
He's looking for a cold drink and moment's peace and finds himself one red hot woman..
She's just what he needs, if only he can convince her to come out from behind that bar, and come home with him...
I can't say I've ever read a Western Romance before but I highly enjoyed I love This Bar! It's the first installment of Brown's Honky Tonk series and it features Daisy O'Dell who is the owner of the bar named - wait for it - Honky Tonk! All is good and dandy until she literally falls on a really cute guy named Jarod. It's attraction at first sight but Jarod's being burned by women before and he's more than cautious about Daisy. And well, Daisy's all about her bar, really. Neither one of them can refuse their attraction to each other though and before you know, things are gettin' hot and heavy.

There's a lot of country songs references and I'll be the first to say that they totally went over my head! I don't listen to country but I still had no problem enjoying the story. I did think that Daisy was a bit rabid about her bar. Yes, I know that it's the only thing she's got left and after being hurt by a man before, she takes refuge in it but it seems like this beer joint was her whole life and at times I wondered if she had to choose between the bar and Jarod, which one would it be? Jarod kind of annoyed me at first. Like I said before, he's being burned by women and he immediately judges Daisy to be an immoral hussy because she owes a bar! Seriously. However, I'm happy to report that all misconceptions are easily remedied and I had a really good time reading about Daisy and Jarod getting to know each other. 

I Love This Bar is a super fun read about love, hot cowboys and warm summer nights drinking beer. I'm highly looking forward to the next installment in this series!

Lush Rating: 3!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Review! Shut Up and Kiss me by Christie Craig

Shut Up and Kiss me
Christie Craig
June, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-505-52799-8

…where fistfights serve as dinner theater and fire ants rain from the sky. The locals are usually very friendly, if a bit eccentric. No pictures please, or you may find yourself a guest of the county morgue.
Photojournalist Shala Winters already had her hands full bringing tourism to this backward, podunk little town, but her job just got tougher. Pictures can say a thousand words, and one of Shala’s is screaming bloody murder. Now she has to entrust a macho, infuriating lawman with her life—but she’ll never trust him with her heart.
Trusted or not, Sky Gomez isn’t about to let a killer get his hands on Shala’s Nikon—or any of her more comely assets, for that matter. Her mouth might move faster than a Piney Woods roadrunner, but all he can think about is how good it must taste…and how she’ll never escape true love.

I've always being a big fan of Craig's books and this one is definitely her best yet! Shala is a photojournalist hired by the Mayor of Precious, Texas to help bring more tourism to the town because their economy is really suffering and unless something is done about this, the town is really going to suffer. But it soon becomes apparent that Shala's got her work cut out for her. First, her camera is stolen and when she hunts down the thief, she finds out it's actually the sheriff of the town! And to boot, he's a totally hottie, too! It's hard to hate someone when all you want to do is jump them. 

All Shala wanted was finish her job and go home, but now that somebody is following and trying to off her, Sheriff Sky Gomez is not about to let her out of his sight. But he's totally hot for her too! However, before they can really explore their chemistry together, Sky and Shala need to find out why she's being hunted and fast, before someone gets hurt. 

From the very first word, I fell in love with Shut Up and Kiss Me! All the characters, down to the secondary storyline between Maria, Matt and Jose are so well developed that I was cheering for every single one of them! Sky and Shala have an incredibly sizzling chemistry together that just comes right off the page and I loved seeing them interact. They both have really sad pasts and seeing them get past those old hurts together was absolutely lovely. I had no idea about who wanted to hurt Shala until the end and I did not see it coming at all! I hope Craig writes more about this quirky little town and its inhabitants because I had a blast reading Shut Up and Kiss Me, it's an insanely funny, romantic story with great characters that will steal your heart and a plot that will definitely keep you guessing until the end!

Lush Rating: 4.5!

He can Chapter-32 me anytime!

Bones is Mine