Saturday, August 31, 2013

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Unbound

Cara McKenna writes smart erotica—sexy stories with depth. A little dark, a little funny, always emotional. She also writes red-hot romance under the name Meg Maguire. Her wonderful publishers are Ellora's Cave, Harlequin Blaze, Loose-Id, Penguin / Intermix, and Samhain. She loves writing sexy, character-driven stories about strong-willed men and women who keep each other on their toes, and bring one another to their knees.

Cara was a 2010 Golden Heart finalist, a 2012 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award nominee, and a 2012 Golden Leaf finalist.

Cara is represented by Laura Bradford, of the Bradford Literary Agency.

Before becoming a purveyor of red-hot romance and smart erotica, Cara was a record store bitch, a lousy barista, a decent designer, and an overly enthusiastic penguin handler.

Cara now writes full-time and lives north of Boston with her bearded husband. When she's not trapped in her own head she can usually be found in the kitchen, the coffee shop, or jogging around the nearest duck-filled pond. She is a very proud member of the Romance Writers of America® and her local New England Chapter.

You can keep up with Cara online at her Website, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

by Cara McKenna

Buy from Amazon | B&N

Publication Date 10/15/13

An all-new novel from the author of After Hours.

She set out to find herself, and discovered the darker side of desire.

Merry’s lost a lot recently—first her mother, then close to a hundred pounds. Feeling adrift, she strikes out in search of perspective. A three-week hike through the Scottish Highlands was supposed to challenge her new body and refocus her priorities, but when disaster strikes, she’s forced to seek refuge in the remote home of a brooding, handsome stranger…

Rob exiled himself to the Highlands years ago, desperate to escape his own self-destruction. Haunted by regrets, he avoids human contact at all costs…but when Merry turns up injured, he can’t very well run her off. And as he nurses her back to health, Rob can’t resist his guest’s sweet demeanor—or her flirtatious advances. The igniting passion between them rouses a secret appetite Rob has long struggled to keep hidden. But Merry craves nothing more than to help Rob surrender to his desires, and the journey draws the lovers into an entirely different kind of wilderness.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Shawnie:
*eARC received from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Unbound is a slow paced, life altering novel about finding one's self and embracing it, no matter the emotional strain. Acceptance at its finest... with just a "rope" of kink.

Merry has lived in a shell that was entirely self made, but now after dropping a hundred pounds, she has decided to live and live big. Things aren't nearly as good as it use to be though, her best friend is not at all supportive, and Merry hasn't really accepted her new self. With all that, plus the death of her mother, she decides to take a trip. A three-week hike through the Scottish Highlands to get to know the new her, and to also see the place where her mother grew up. Of course, nothing goes as planned...

After about two weeks hiking and roughing it (relatively speaking), Merry catches a virus of some sort that leaves her in pain, weak and dizzy. With a small stroke of luck, she remembers the cottage she'd seen during a hike, and starts out for it. Maybe not the smartest thing, but she's determined, and a little bit desperate.

Rob is a self made recluse, and is perfectly fine with that. He lives a simple life with simple rules, and nobody bothers him. He's not the most gentle man, nor the nicest (even on good days), but when Merry knocks and screams at his door bloodied and sick, he can't bring himself to leave her to her fate. He can, however, hope that she gets better in the next 24 hours so she can get on with her business and stop bothering him.

This story starts with a woman who doesn't know who she is anymore, and a man who is an antisocial, lonely recluse. These tortured souls throw caution to the wind, and decide to trust in one another, because what's a few secrets of the heart - and of the flesh - between strangers who will never see one another again?

Soon these two find themselves in an all out tail spin of acceptance and indulgence; opening doors to each other that neither thought was possible. Through kink and open mindedness, they grow to care for one another, and watch as each grows into the person they were meant to be.

Unbound is a book that drowns you in emotions, and the emotions are ones that you feel like a physical blow; emotions that leave you weak and sometimes unable to cope. I had to repeatedly get up to wash my face and gather myself in order to finish this book. I am probably out of tears at this point. It was worth it though. This books makes you take a step back and look at your own life. It makes you question everything. The best lesson learned from the book is this: Happiness is around several corners, but we have to have the courage and determination to go after it.


[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Gossamer Wing

Delphine Dryden majored in English at the University of Texas at Austin, and probably should have gone ahead and gone for that MFA and PhD to become an english professor like she planned. Instead, she took a detour through law school, practiced law for a woefully brief time, and wound up working in special education for the next fifteen or so years (first as a teacher, then as an educational diagnostician). Somewhere in there, she also obtained a Master’s in Educational Psychology/Special Education.

Delphine writes contemporary erotic romance for Carina Press, and mainstream steampunk romance for Berkley. She has also published with Ellora’s Cave and Cleis Press. Her writing has earned an Award of Excellence and Reviewers’ Choice Award from Romantic Times Book Reviews, an EPIC Award, and a Colorado Romance Writers’ Award of Excellence.

In 2010, Delphine gave up the day job to write full time. Now she balances that with parenting two kids and two dogs, and occasionally designing web sites or making trailer videos. She and her family are all Texas natives, and reside in unapologetic suburban bliss near Houston.

You can keep up with Delphine online at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

Gossamer Wing
Book #1 in the STEAM AND SEDUCTION series
by Delphine Dryden

Buy from Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Publication date:  11/5/13

A Spy. An Airship. And a Broken Heart.

After losing her husband to a rogue French agent, Charlotte Moncrieffe wants to make her mark in international espionage. And what could be better for recovering secret long-lost documents from the Palais Garnier than her stealth dirigible, Gossamer Wing? Her spymaster father has one condition: He won’t send her to Paris without an ironclad cover.

Dexter Hardison prefers inventing to politics, but his title as Makesmith Baron and his formidable skills make him an ideal husband-imposter for Charlotte. And the unorthodox undercover arrangement would help him in his own field of discovery.

But from Charlotte and Dexter’s marriage of convenience comes a distraction—a passion that complicates an increasingly dangerous mission. For Charlotte, however, the thought of losing Dexter also opens her heart to a thrilling new future of love and adventure.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Marta C:
*eARC received from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This is the first book in Ms. Dryden's new Steampunk series entitled STEAM AND SEDUCTION. It's a book that captures the spirit of Steampunk whilst also giving the reader a sexy romance.

This captivating adventure tells the story of Charlotte Moncrieffe, a widow who seeks to continue her husband's work as a spy. Espionage is in her blood; her own father has secretly worked as a spymaster for the government for many years.

Charlotte is a trained pilot of a dirigible -the Gossamer Wing- and while she could easily sneak into France and recover vital lost documents, her father insists that she not go alone. Therefore, it's decided that a sham marriage to Baron Dexter Hardison will provide the perfect cover for them to travel through France on their Mission. Their marriage of convenience seems perfect, Dexter is an amazing inventor, and together they make a formidable team...

Their crossing brings them closer together, and the somewhat closed off Charlotte finds herself more than a little tempted by her new -albeit -temporary husband. As their journey and mission continue, they're led further into danger, and they ultimately cross paths with the person behind the death of Charlotte's late husband. Can they recover the secret documents before their cover is blown, or will the fire that's increasingly burning between them be their undoing?

This is my first book by this author, and only the second that I have read in the Steampunk genre. Although Steampunk novels seem to be set in an almost Victorian era and offer an alternative history, I found this one quite unique. In Gossamer Wing, the reader is treated to the possibilities of what could have happened if the American revolution hadn't been successful. A world that's quite unlike the one we inhabit; and surely that's the point!?

This is a fantasy that stretches the reader's imagination, and takes us on a ride. Yes, vehicles are steam powered and the field of invention has taken many twists and turns away from what we now view as 'normal', but this author has written a book full of intrigue and passion that sets the page alight!

I really enjoyed this book and will look out for the next in series -Scarlet Devices. Definitely recommended.

Gossamer Wing

Friday, August 30, 2013

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Rumor Has It

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky animals. Any resemblance to the quirky animals in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website at for a completely booklist and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Connect with Jill at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

Rumor Has It, ANIMAL MAGNETISM Book #4
by Jill Shalvis

Buy from Amazon | B&N | BAM | IndieBound | iBooks

Publication Date 11/5/13


He’ll help unleash the new woman in her…

Special Ops soldier Griffin Reid doesn’t exactly have happy memories of growing up in Sunshine, Idaho. He’s only come back to recover from a war injury, and while he refuses to admit he’s in a weakened state, he finds comfort in the last person he’d expect.

Kate Evans teaches fourth grade science in Sunshine, the place she’s always called home. Dreaming of graduate school and a happily-ever-after, she’s desperate to break out of the monotony of Sunshine. Luckily, a certain sexy man has just come back into her life.

To Griffin, Kate as always been his little sister’s friend, but now he’s finding her to be so much more. As both attempt to forge their paths, they must decide if their passionate connection can turn into something lasting…

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Marta C:
*eARC received from the Publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I hadn't read anything by this author before, but had noticed her name crop up a few times when searching for something to read. This is a contemporary romance that had intriguing characters right from the beginning as the author introduces the lovely and very funny Kate Evans.

Kate's spent all of her life living and working in the same small town, and always puts her own life and happiness on hold. She's in a rush one morning when she literally falls at the feet of Griffin Reid! He has recently been medically discharged from the army and now he's returned to his home town of Sunshine to take stock and decide where his life is taking him next.

Kate has always had a thing for the sexy brother of her best friend, but Griffin never really saw her as a woman, well not until now anyway. Suddenly thrown together while Griffin's sister gets ready to marry, they constantly meet and tip toe around what is obviously a mutual attraction. Feeling thats it's time she became more than just his sister's best friend - and made a little bit bold by champagne - Kate makes her move on the sexy ex soldier. Griffin wants so much to take what Kate's offering, but his conscience won't let him take advantage. Poor Kate is crushed, but this girl is made of sterner stuff than that, and knows a good thing when she sees it. Let battle commence...

This was such a fun read. So much humour, and this author really knows how to bring her characters alive. Kate is written with so much verve that its hard not to see her as a real person, and Griffin is such an amazing partner for her. What makes this book and the writing stand out for me has to be the amazing cast of characters surrounding the two lovers.

I so want Ryan to get his own book and brother Tommy had me in tears of laughter! Add in the very sexy romance with lovely sensuous scenes, and a relationship that slowly draws the two leads together, and I'm not surprised that this author has such a loyal following.

This feel good romance is very well written with amazingly fleshed out characters and comic moments that had this reader laughing out loud.

A huge 5 from me and highly recommended!

Rumor Has It

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Rush

About Joan Swan, from Joan Swan: 

I was never a star English student or a Literature buff, but I’ve always had a creative soul and an active imagination. Writing was a natural culmination of those two talents.

I write what I like to read: romantic suspense. I write for entertainment and escape–the same reasons I love to read. I prefer real-life language, so you’ll find profanity in my work when it fits the character. I prefer open-door sex, so my love scenes are typically hot and steamy. And because my stories involve suspense, you’ll often find violence, mystery and an inside look at the intricate world of forensics. Occasionally, I like to dabble in the lighter side of paranormal as well.

I am agented by the fabulous Paige Wheeler, founding partner of Folio Literary Management in New York. My debut novel, FEVER, releases from Kensington Brava in April 2012. Book 2 in the series, BLAZE, releases fall 2012. My editor at Kensington is the wonderful Alicia Condon, Editorial Director for Brava.

A triple RWA Golden Heart finalist as well as a double Daphne Du Maurier finalist, I am a lover of craft and closet-hoarder of writing craft how-to books.

In my day job, I work as a sonographer at UCSF Medical Center, a location with an intensity that makes me slightly insane…which works well with the writer in me. Not to mention all the character material I have access to–and I’m not talking about the patients (well…mostly).

I have been married twenty years to my own personal hero, a veteran firefighter, we have two beautiful daughters and are blessed to live in the heart of wine country on the gorgeous Central Coast of California.

Keep up with Joan online at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

by Joan Swan

Buy from Amazon | B&N 

Jessica Fury, Washington lobbyist, has money, connections, and her own firm. But five years ago she had something better: happiness. Her firefighter husband, Quaid, was handsome, courageous, and crazy about her. Then one day he walked into a chemical inferno—and never walked out. Jessica has been through hell to get back on her feet. And then a rumor surfaces that could bring a miracle or shatter her world – again.

Q has been a prisoner forever. He’s honed his mind and body into weapons. He’s developed abilities no one else understands. But he’s still at the mercy of a cabal of ruthless men, who blank his memory, test him like a lab rat, and tell him lies. Although his past has been erased and his future looks grim, instinct tells him he has a woman to live for. What his mind can’t remember, his body can’t forget…

The heat is on.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Marta C:

This is apparently the third book in the Phoenix Rising series although it is the first book that I have read by Ms. Swan. I feel that this is not a standalone book and readers would certainly benefit greatly if they read the two previous books (Fever and Blaze).

This started out as a very detailed story about two firefighters(Jessica and Quaid), who are clearly very much in love. This is a very intense beginning to a story that had me believing the author intended to give an insight into the life of modern firefighters. I could not have been more mistaken, as the plot very quickly twisted and threw this reader into a confusing world full of tragedy, intrigue, and unexpected paranormal events.

Whilst I hesitate to give spoilers, it's fair to say that the two lead characters are tortured individuals who have been through fire, quite literally! An explosion of toxic and highly top secret canisters finds both them and their firefighting unit changed irreparably! Whilst they all exhibit some form of psychic abilities, its Quaid who suffers the most. Believed to be dead, he has been experimented on beyond belief, and is now far more than just the fun loving man that Jessica remembers. His lack of memories may seem problematic but his new lack of humanity could destroy them all.

I am stunned by this book! It pulled me in with its heartbreaking beginning but also managed to entertain with witty dialogue and a very unique storyline. These guys may not be superheros but they definitely gave this reader a fantastic ride. Totally unlike anything I have read and quite simply a fabulous read.

I would have to say a very well deserved 5. This woman can write!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Sleep With the Lights On

Maggie Shayne It was a sleepless night spent caring for a sick baby that jump-started New York Times Bestselling Author Maggie Shayne’s writing career.

A voracious reader and prolific writer from childhood, Maggie found herself without a book to read while coddling the colicky child. So instead she began spinning a tale of her own, creating a plotline that evolved in her thoughts until, a few days later, she sat down and wrote the story in longhand.

Now the author of more than forty novels, ranging from stories about Witches, vampires, psychics and ghosts, to bone chilling, edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense and beyond. The genres she has mastered include women’s fiction, category romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fiction. Maggie has honed her lyrical prose and made a name for herself on the New York Times, USA Today,, B.Dalton, Booksense, Ingram’s, Barnes and Noble, and Waldenbooks (where she reached #1) bestseller lists.

Maggie is the winner of numerous awards, including two Romantic Times Bookclub Career Achievement Awards, the National Readers Choice Award, and the coveted RITA Award, for which she was nominated twelve times before finally winning.

She has also written for CBS daytime dramas, Guiding Light and As the World Turns. One of Maggie’s novels, Eternity, has been optioned for film.

Connect with Maggie online at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

Sleep With the Lights On
Brown & De Luca Book #1
   by Maggie Shayne

Buy from Amazon (US) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (Ca) | B&N | IndieBound | BAM | iBooks | Kobo

Publication Date 9/24/13

Through the eyes of a killer

Rachel de Luca has found incredible success writing self-help books. But her own blindness and the fact that her troubled brother has gone missing have convinced her that positive thinking is nothing but bull.

Her cynicism wavers when a cornea transplant restores her sight. The new eyes seem to give her new life, until they prove too good to be true and she starts seeing terrifying visions of brutal murders crimes she soon learns are all too real.

Detective Mason Brown's own brother recently died, leaving behind a horrific secret. In atonement, Mason donated his brother's organs, though he's kept the fact quiet. Now he wants to help Rachel find her brother, but when he discovers the shocking connection between her visions and his own brother, he suddenly has to do everything in his power to save her from a predator who is somehow still hunting from beyond the grave.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
*eARC Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Maggie Shayne's Sleep With the Lights On was a darkly seductive psychological thriller with a heroine you cannot help but love, a hero that immediate grows on you and who you both feel for and root for, a story that sucks you in immediately and allows you to be utterly immersed in the unfolding arc of the tale, a unique villain that inspires roiling in the gut, and an ending with a surprise worthy of the best murder mysteries.

O.K, now that I enticed you with that lovely run-on sentence, let me try to break it down. :)

Rachel DeLuca is, by far, one of the best heroines I've encountered! She's so very 'real'; one of those no holds barred ladies who says what's on her mind no matter what. A beautiful,intelligent, independent, strong, and sassy alpha-female who isn't afraid to just 'be'. And if that wasn't enough, Maggie, as Rachel in her POV, will have you laughing out loud in the first handful of pages.

Mason is a stubborn cop, a loyal family man, and a slightly damaged soul. The things Maggie puts him through in only the first 1/4 of the book are enough to break anyone, but he rebounds with grace and ends up being one of those subtle alpha males who you just want to give a big hug to.

The brilliant and unique premise - latent evil being transferred to multiple hosts via the receipt of an organ donation - is one that begs for attention! You can't help but be sucked in by it and set your mind racing with the 'what ifs' and 'what's nexts'. It's an epidemically spread case of evil, but through a means of infection that is utterly benign, thus making it even more disturbing. And the fact that one organ donor can affect up to 50 people makes this book, and ultimate series, one that has limitless potential.

I adored this book. I have been a Maggie Shayne fan for longer than I can remember, but this new side of Maggie is absolutely ingenious and made me have even more respect for her astounding talent and ability to capture the hearts and minds of her readers. I cannot wait for more DeLuca and Brown!

Sleep With the Lights On

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of The Troop

About the author, from the author: 
"Nick Cutter doesn't exactly exist—he's a pen name. A cool, tough pen name! Your mileage will vary on whether you agree, but that was the thinking. Horror writers should have crisp, punchy names. Stephen King. Clive Barker. Nick Cutter. Not that I'm putting myself in their league, no way no how, but I'm just saying that was the idea behind the name.

Personally, I wanted to be known as Lemondrop Pennyfeather, but that suggested nom de plume was cruelly stricken down.

Aaaanywhoo, I've written this book, The Troop. Do you like horror books? Do you like Boy Scouts (not in a weird, Canteen-Boyish way, but in a nostalgic way)? Do you like seeing said Boy Scouts confront a vicious enemy on an isolated Island off the coast of Prince Edward Island? If you said yes to one or more of these questions, you may enjoy this book.

As for me: I've written a few other books under another name (the one my parents gave me). A few story collections, a few novels. One of them even got turned into a movie. I've written for magazines and newspapers, too. I cobble together a living with my pen, is what I'm trying to say—by hook or by crook. It's a lean living sometimes, but it's by and large an enjoyable one.

I live in Toronto with my fiancee and our baby boy, Nick ... so, yeah, the pen name is a little bit of an honorific for my son, too; we'll see, in time, if he thinks that was such a hot idea!"

Keep up with 'Nick' online at GoodReads.

The Troop
by Nick Cutter

Buy from Amazon | B&N

Publication Date 1/7/14

Lord of the Flies meets The Ruins in this frightening novel written in the bestselling traditions of Stephen King and Scott Smith.

Boy Scouts live by the motto “Be Prepared.” However, nothing can prepare this group of young boys and their scoutmaster for what they encounter on a small, deserted island, as they settle down for a weekend of campfires, merit badges, and survival lessons.

Everything changes when a haggard stranger in tattered clothing appears out of nowhere and collapses on the campers’ doorstep. Before the night is through, this stranger will end up infecting one of the troop’s own with a bioengineered horror that’s straight out of their worst nightmares. Now stranded on the island with no communication to the outside world, the troop learns to battle much more than the elements, as they are pitted against something nature never intended…and eventually each other.

“Lean and crisp and over-the-top....Disquieting, disturbing,” says Scott Smith, author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan, The Troop is a visceral burn of a read that combines boldly drawn characters with a fantastically rendered narrative—a terrifying story you’ll never forget.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:

*eARC Received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Troop was a deeply disturbing psychological thriller, pairing the absolute terror of biological weaponry with the deviancy of human nature.

I'm a horror fan, and I didn't love The Ruins, I'll be honest. While The Troop is touted as being similar, it is, only in the sense that something MORE than natural in nature becomes the evil that our characters must face. With that said, where The Ruins let me down, The Troop most certainly did not; it's as frightful, ghastly, disturbing and macabre as I had hoped it would be.

The brilliance of the tale was its storyline simplicity - an older Boy Scout troop on a retreat get stranded on their deserted island when patient 0 from a biological research project escapes from his laboratory confines and ends up on shore. The tight box that it was all confined in allowed Cutter to focus the reader's mind on the true meat of the story - the basest instinct of human nature when faced with something so awful that most everything you've been taught flies out the window, and the psychology behind the choices we would make when forced with such a decision. 

Oh yes, in-your-face death and destruction (in horrific fashion) is rampant throughout the tale, and the basis of the evil is enough to give you the willies even without the added element of necrosis, but the more disturbing parts of the story were actually the subtleties that Cutter used, and the seamless and gradual devolution and ultimate breakdown of each of the characters as the epidemic progressed.

So, from a horror junkies perspective, I have to say that I was impressed by Cutter's debut novel. It's been awhile since I read a horror that evoked a truly visceral reaction, weirded me out, and yet kept me utterly enthralled. My only complaint was that it was a bit slow. With everything that I just said above you'd think it was an epic page-turner that was over much too fast. Unfortunately it wasn't. It was timidly paced, but written well enough, and with enough induction of anticipation, that you never think to give up. 

I would definitely recommend it for true horror fans who like both the revolting horror and the disturbing psychology of macabre thrillers.

The Troop

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Striking Distance

Colorado author Pamela Clare began her writing career as a columnist and investigative reporter and eventually became the first woman editor-in-chief of two different newspapers. Along the way, she and her team won numerous state and national honors, including the First Amendment Award and the National Journalism Award for Public Service. This year, she was honored by the Colorado Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists with their Keeper of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award for her work. A single mother with two college-aged sons, she writes historical romance and contemporary romantic suspense within view of the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She is a RITA finalist (Surrender, 2006) and a three-time Daphne du Maurier finalist (I-Team series). She loves history, having studied archaeology in college, and has traveled extensively, living for almost three years in Denmark, which feels like home to her. She attributes her love of historical romance with the years she spent visiting ruins and castles in Europe.

You can keep up with Pamela online at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

Striking Distance, I-TEAM series #6
by Pamela Clare

Buy from Amazon | B&N | iBooks | IndieBound 

Publication Date 11/5/13

Her past is a secret—even to her.
Discovering it will be the most dangerous move of her life.

TV reporter Laura Nilsson, known as the "Baghdad Babe," spent eighteen months in an Al Qaeda compound after being kidnapped live on the air. Two years later, she's still wondering why.

No rescue mission in Javier Corbray's fourteen years as a Navy SEAL affected him the way Laura's rescue did. No woman has stirred his protective instincts the way she has. And he wants her more than he's ever wanted anyone.

As Laura and Javier's passion ignites, so does Laura's need to discover the mystery of her past. Especially when she learns that her abduction was not random—and that she's still a target for a killer with an impenetrable motive. Now Javier will have to rely on his skills to keep the woman he loves from being struck down before she dares uncover the truth.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Shawnie:
*eARC received from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Striking Distance is a story of heartbreak and love. Its about connections that last years and even then never fade. Its about loyalty, respect and a dedication few know much about.

Laura Nilsson is a T.V reporter who goes above and beyond for the still enlisted soldiers and the veterans who are home. She's the military's "Baghdad Babe," and at the point in her life were things are going well, but as they say things are never good for so long. While airing a story, Laura is ambushed and taken hostage and all the U.S people know is that those who took her... claim they have killed her. She spent eighteen months trapped in an Al Qaeda compound, and its taken a toll on her, but the soldiers she has worked hard for through her stories won't let her go that easily— even if its to only kill the one who took and killed her. Especially Javier Corbray. Laura is strong, brave, and a survivor even though she doesn't feel that way about herself. But there are people in her life now, who refuse to let her close in on herself.

Javier Corbray is a Navy SEAL on a mission to get revenge on the one who took and killed Laura. He never expected the surprise he and his team get when they find out she is very much alive. He has walked away twice now, and fate is about to give him another chance. Our heroine is in danger, and Javier's an Alpha to the core, his new mission... keep his "bella" safe. This will test his will like nothing before because he wants her more than ever.

He's honor-bound to do so, and although he hasn't shared in her horrors, he understands the trauma and he's prepared to do all he can to bring out the woman he once knew.

The connection between Javier and Laura is explosive and instant and its all too consuming for Javier. What is a welcome difference with this book, is that the hero isn't too Alpha male to hide from his feelings about the woman he wants, but that's where the not hiding stops. He's pushed all of his brothers in arms away, and they aren't keen on letting that happen for too long.

Every page is an action packed, emotional roller coaster ride that leaves you drained - mind, body and soul. The emotion flows through the pages to give the reader a real sense of what is happening to the hero and heroine. It pulls you in and makes you feel things that you never thought you would experience in that capacity; stark terror, guilt, heartbreak, love and passion so fierce it could burn through pages if the author let it.

Definitely recommended.

Striking Distance

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of She Can Scream

Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. A life-long lover of books, she started writing when her youngest child entered first grade as a way to preserve her sanity. Over the next few years, she joined Romance Writers of America, learned a few things about writing a book, and decided the process was way more fun than analyzing financial statements. Melinda’s debut romantic suspense novel, SHE CAN RUN, was published by Montlake Romance in 2011.

Melinda’s stories have won writing awards including Put Your Heart in a Book, The Marlene Award, Where the Magic Begins and The Gateway to the Best. SHE CAN RUN released in November 2011 and became the #1 Bestseller in Kindle Romantic Suspense. SHE CAN RUN was nominated for a 2012 International Thriller Award for Best First Novel.

Melinda is also an avid martial artist. She holds a 2nd degree black belt in Kenpo Karate, studies Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and teaches women’s self-defense. She lives in a messy house in the suburbs with her husband, two teenagers, a couple of dogs and two new rescue cats. With such a pleasant life, she has no explanation for the sometimes dark and disturbing nature of her imagination.

You can keep up with Melinda online at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

She Can Scream, SHE CAN book #3
by Melinda Leigh

Buy from Amazon | B&N

Publication Date 9/17/13

In one moment, high school teacher and single mother Brooke Davenport interrupts a vicious assault, saves a young woman’s life, and attracts the attention of a serial killer.
Sixteen years ago, Brooke lost her roommate to a brutal murder. Now she teaches women’s self-defense, still trying to heal from the guilt and grief that plague her. Convinced the predator knows his victims and is stalking his prey online, she is determined to find him before he strikes again. Her brother’s friend, Luke has the computer expertise to help. But Brooke’s unexpected desire for Luke complicates her investigation, and her fixation with the case provokes a deadly reaction from the killer.

Injured in terrorist bombing overseas, computer expert Luke Holloway is still haunted by flashbacks of his young assistant’s death in the explosion. But Luke can’t refuse the request of a deployed friend to look after his sister, Brooke. Taking on responsibility for Brooke’s safety threatens Luke’s tenuous recovery, especially after he develops feelings for her that transcend a promise to a friend. When Brooke saves a young girl from a brutal assault and becomes a killer’s obsession, Luke vows to protect her at all costs.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
*eARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

She Can Scream was a good, fast-paced thriller that will keep you engaged, and while I saw the whodunit coming, it was still a very enjoyable read with awesome characters that you can easily relate to.

Brooke Davenport is a single mother struggling with a severe case of survivor's guilt following the murder of her best friend years before. She tries to assuage that guilt by teaching self-defense classes to young women in the hopes that she can stop it from happening to someone else. When she finds herself embroiled in a serial rapist and killer's tangled web and ultimately becomes his focus, she is forced to rely on the only man near enough at hand to lend assistance - and a blast from her past - her brother's best friend Luke.

Luke Holloway is a work-a-holic suffering from a severe case of post traumatic stress after being involved in a high-rise bombing. After stopping back in his little home town to visit his grandma before he heads overseas on business, he is confronted with his teenage crush, his best friend's older sister. As things become dangerous in Brooke's life, Luke's protective instincts kick in and he sets out to do whatever is necessary to protect her and her family.

All in all, She Can Scream was a action oriented and thrilling murder mystery with just enough side storyline and romance to make you feel like it's happening to someone close to you. I would definitely recommend it to Romantic Suspense and murder mystery/thriller fans!

She Can Scream

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Tall, Dark and Vampire

Sara Humphreys is a graduate of Marist College, with a B.A. Degree in English Literature & Theater. Her initial career path after college was as a professional actress. Some of her television credits include, A&E Biography, Guiding Light, Another World, As the World Turns andRescue Me.

Sara is the President of Taney Speaker Training, which specializes in public speaking, presentation development and communication skills training. She has trained executives at Verizon, Bristol-Meyer Squibb, Westchester County and the United States Navy. Her speaking career beganwith Monster’s Making It Count programs, speaking in high schools and colleges around the United States to thousands of students. Additionally, she serves as the Community Outreach Chair on the Board of the New York Chapter of Femfessionals, a networking group for professional women in the NYC area.

Sara has recently expanded her business to include Career Coaching for Authors which helps writers build their brand and expand their presence in the industry,

Sara has been a lover of both the paranormal and romance novels for years. Her sci-fi/fantasy/romance obsession began years ago with the TV Series STAR TREK and an enormous crush on Captain Kirk. That sci-fi obsession soon evolved into the love of all types of fantasy/paranormal; vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and of course shape shifters.

Recently, Sara was appointed the Chat Hostess at Discover a New Love and can be found partying with various authors and readers once a week at this hot new online book club.

Sara is married to her college sweetheart, Will. They live in Bronxville, New York with their 4 boys and 2 insanely loud dogs. Life is busy but never dull.

Keep up with Sara online at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

Tall, Dark, and Vampire
Book #1 of the DEAD IN THE CITY series
   by Sara Humphreys

Buy from Amazon | B&N | BAM | Discover A New Love | Kobo

The last person Olivia Hollingsworth expected to see at her Greenwich Village vampire club was her one true love, Doug Paxton—whom she believed to be dead for centuries. Olivia thought she had moved on, but when Doug reappears, her heart knows she’d rather die than lose him again.

Ever since Doug can remember, a red-haired siren has haunted his dreams. He never thought she could be real until he goes to investigate a murder at Olivia’s night club. However, as the bodies keep piling up at her feet, he must fight to prove her innocence—even if it costs him his life…

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
*eARC received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Tall, Dark and Vampire, the debut book of Sara's new DEAD IN THE CITY series, was a fun vampire romance with some great characters, a sweet love affair, and just enough action to keep things interesting!

Our heroine, Olivia, was first introduced in book #4 of Sara's AMOVEO LEGEND series. She's a very strong female lead - nightclub owner, head of the coven, ex-sentry - and yet has this incredible hidden weakness, her desire to be loved, which makes her just vulnerable enough to be 'real'.

Doug, our hero, is a no-nonsense detective working on a mass murder case, but when he comes face to face with the woman of his dreams (literally), his world is forever shaken and nothing remains as it was.

The couple had a tense love affair, with neither side wanting to give much and adapt to the way things needed to be, but it made for some steamy scenes. And the HEA in this book... STELLAR!

The story as a whole was chock full of fun twists and awesome action, and if you call the 'whodunit' at the end I will be surprised. I'm usually pretty good about figuring these things out ahead of time, but this one most definitely shocked me. :)

While there is some bleed over from the AMOVEO LEGEND series, the book reads fine as a stand alone. There are some returning characters and some references that will probably make more sense if you have read the other shifter series, but you won't be lost if you haven't and decide that you want to jump right into the DEAD IN THE CITY series.

Recommended? Absolutely. :)

Tall, Dark and Vampire

Monday, August 26, 2013

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of A Million Dirty Secrets

C. L. Parker is a romance author who writes stories that sizzle. She’s a small-town girl with big-city dreams and enough tenacity to see them come to fruition. Having been the outgoing sort for all her life—which translates to “she just wouldn’t shut the hell up”—it’s no wonder Parker eventually turned to writing as a way to let her voice, and those of the people living inside her head, be heard. She loves hard, laughs until it hurts, and lives like there’s no tomorrow. In her world, everything truly does happen for a reason.

You can keep up with C.L online at her Website, on Facebook, on Twitter, and on GoodReads.

A Million Dirty Secrets
   by C.L Parker

Buy from Amazon | B&N | BAM | IndieBound | iBooks

Delaine Talbot has a secret. When a matter of life and death threatens to tear apart her family, Delaine makes the ultimate sacrifice. She auctions herself off at Chicago’s most exclusive erotic club. Now she belongs to Noah Crawford, a wealthy mogul who introduces her to a seductive feast of the senses, awakening desires she only dreamed about.
Noah doesn’t know why Delaine sold her body for a cool two mil. But it’s the perfect business arrangement. The inexperienced beauty will learn to satisfy his every sensual need, yet never touch his heart. Almost immediately their relationship generates heat—in more ways than one. When they fight, they take no prisoners. When they love, they show no mercy. When they’re together, they never want to leave each other’s arms. But soon, their intense, physical bond will take an unexpected turn—evolving into something neither has bargained for: the promise of a lasting love.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
*eARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Since the blurb markets the book for fans of Fifty Shades of Gray and Bared to You, I feel like I need to start my review with a confession... I absolutely hated Fifty Shades, and I didn't finish Bared to You because I just couldn't get into it. Being a fan of horror, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, paranormal erotica, & some romantic suspense, I simply figured that straight erotic romance just wasn't my thing. With that all said, I'm not sure how useful my input will be, but I'll tell you what I thought and let you go from there...

Some of you may know from reading other reviews and things that this started out several years ago as Twilight FanFic. What I want to say first off is to forget that you ever heard that. This is simply a steamy erotic romance that happens to be on the same highway as Fifty Shades and the others who have followed in its wake, but it's its own beautiful creature and should be viewed and judged as such.

The concept is a familiar one - twenty-something virgin hooks up with hot billionaire business tycoon for hot sex. What it has in addition, however, is a moving baseline story for our heroine which makes her decision to enter into the contract entirely selfless and heartfelt, and a catalyst for our hero that makes you want nothing more than for him to find his zen and mend is previously shattered heart. What really set the book apart were the characters and their growth, both individually and toward one another - Noah starts out as a class A Alpha-hole (albeit a super sexy one), and independent, determined Lanie goes a little bit crazy mid book, but despite it all, their chemistry is page melting, and their dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny at times.

Having read & loved C.L's Paranormal series (THE SUPERNOVA SAGA), hosted her several times on the website, and talked with her for years online, I know her personality, and it shines through like a beacon in this book - in the best of ways! Her wit, snark, and absolute abandonment, compiled with her evident lust for life (and lust in general. Hee hee) make for some fabulous reading material, and a lightness in a book that could easily get much too heavy with the amount of sex and drama. And the nicknames... Yeah, gotta love it! :) Life's too short to be so damn serious, right!?

Now here's where I'm not much help... The eroticism was smokin' and there was PLENTY of it, but because I don't read these kind of books regularly, I'm not sure if it was enough, just right, or over the top. I felt it fit (from what I know of what fans of the genre generally look for) and even though I personally skimmed some parts (yeah, I get a little shy...), it was wicked sexy and fun at the same time.

This is book #1 of a Duet, so it does end on a pretty big cliff hanger, but the next book will be out before we know it. :)

In short, would I recommend A Million Dirty Secrets to erotic romance lovers who started out as fans of Fifty Shades, Bared to You, Wallbanger, etc? Absolutely!

A Million Dirty Secrets

Friday, August 23, 2013

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Heavy Metal

Natalie J. Damschroder works span the continuum of escapist literature—and what’s wrong with that? Pleasure is as much a part of life as suffering, and there is no nobility in denial.

At least, not when it comes to reading.

Her works encompass worlds of romance from here to space and other dimensions, worlds never before seen. Worlds of passion and adventure, and worlds just like our own. Whether in bite-sized pieces (short stories), heftier snacks (novellas), or full-course meals (novels), you are invited to Indulge Yourself…

For a complete list of all her published works, go here.

Connect with Natalie:  Website, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads

Heavy Metal
Book #2 of the GODDESSES RISING series
   by Natalie J. Damschroder

Buy from:  Amazon | B&N | Powell's | iBooks - Release Date 8/27/13!

The world is not what Riley Kordek imagined. On the run from those who’ve targeted her, all Riley wants is a chance to figure out her new ability to bend metal's energy. When a hot guy who knows more than he should helps her escape her attackers, she thinks she might’ve found someone who can lead her to the answers she needs.

Three years ago, Sam Remington walked away from his employer and the woman he loved, and now, all he’s looking to do is fill the gaping hole left behind. Except, when Sam takes Riley to the Society for Goddess Education and Defense, the stakes rise beyond what either of them could have imagined.

After being alone for so long, falling for Sam would be far too easy—and far too painful, once his old flame calls needing his help. Worse, Riley uncovers a plot with disastrous ramifications not only for herself, but for Sam and the people he loves—and potentially every goddess in the country.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Marta C:
*eARC received from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review

My first read from this author, and truthfully I didn't quite know what to expect. This is the second book in her Goddesses Rising series, and follows on from Under The Moon. Is it fantasy? Romance? Urban? Well yes, somehow it's all of those and yet more. I don't know how I missed this author, but in some ways it reminds me of the Weather Warden series that I stumbled on by chance and then was equally blown away by. I love that these books challenge being pigeon holed and you as a reader just go for a fantastic ride.

In this tale we meet Riley, who is on the run from those who seem to want to profit from her gift. Riley has the ability to make metal bend to her will, and believes an organization that protects those they call goddesses might be able to help her. She's truly not sure whom to trust, and seeks out Sam, who previously worked with the organization, but when they meet all hell breaks loose.

Can Riley really trust Sam, and more to the point, will he want to become involved? He had his heart broken and has been running since, so why would he want to get involved? They find themselves embroiled in much more than either of them anticipated and embark on a journey to shake their very beliefs.

This is a book that pulls you in from the very beginning. It's chock full of twists and turns and the action is non stop. I was truly sucked in from the start. The passion between Sam and Riley smoldered, yet didn't quite deliver for me. Still, I loved that it had such a unique view on humanity and our origins and would most definitely recommend it.

This is a well written book that deserves an audience.

Heavy Metal

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Heaven and Hellsbane

About Paige Cuccaro: 
Writing was never a foregone conclusion for me. I once had dreams of being a psychologist, a pediatrician, a school teacher, a photojournalist, a bartender, and/or an EMT. And then I met my husband and my world came into focus. Being wife and mother are my highest priorities and greatest joy. But escaping to the fanciful, sexy worlds twirling through my mind is an absolute necessity. Putting those worlds, and the cornucopia of characters that people them, on paper is just plain fun.

Paige lives in Ohio, with her husband, and three daughters. When she’s not writing she can be found doing the mom thing with a book in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other. Ideas come without warning and the best way to stimulate your imagination is to enjoy the imagination of someone else.

Connect with Paige:  Website, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads

Heaven and Hellsbane
Book #2 of the HELLSBANE series
   by Paige Cuccaro

Buy from:  Amazon | B&N | iBooks  - RELEASE DATE 8/27/13

Someone’s killing angels and turning the half human, half angel illorum warriors against their angelic supporters. If the supernatural baddy behind the attacks isn’t stopped soon, Heaven itself could fall victim. The Council of Seven has called in the best they’ve got to find the killers, and no one’s more surprised than Emma Jane Hellsbane when it’s her phone that rings.

But when her own angelic mentor—and off-limits hottie—Eli is targeted, Emma takes it personally. With Emma hot on the trail of the growing army of assassins, though, hackles start to raise around her. Everyone wants to know if she’s in it to protect all angels or just one in particular. The Council has their suspicions…and so does Emma’s boyfriend.

Now Emma isn’t just fighting off demons, rogue nephilim, and Fallen angels, but she’s defending her honor as well. The problem is even Emma Jane isn’t sure of her motives. One thing she does know: if she doesn’t figure out the killers’ identities soon, she may not live long enough to know what, or who, she really wants.

It’s all in a day’s work as Heaven’s ultimate bounty hunter.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Associate Reviewer - Marta C:
*eARC received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

I have to start by saying this is the second in a series (previous book is Hellsbane), and unfortunately I haven't yet read that one. I quickly realized that it would most definitely be a good idea to read the series in the order it was written, as I don't really feel this is a standalone novel.

Emma Jane Hellsbane is the daughter of fallen angel and is a really feisty and butt kicking heroine. She has the power to sense when fallen angels are close, and heaven sent skills to vanquish both them and the demons they work with. As an Illorum, it's her duty to fight those who unlike her have already succumbed to evil and now fight as Gibborim (warriors of evil) She's under the tutelage of a very sexy angel - Eli - who is sworn to both train and protect her. Her life is further complicated by her relationship with Dan, a detective who also could be turned into an Illorum, as he's the child of a fallen angel as well but their very complicated triangle will test them all.

This tale is chock full of angels in all their various guises, and initially I must admit I felt a little bogged down by all the different titles. Seraphim as the warrior angels that protect humanity were not portrayed as I expected, but that's the beauty of this story. Nothing is cut and dry! This is a book that pulls the reader in and as the story progresses tears you apart!

As I previously stated, I haven't read the prequel and if honest, it took me awhile to both understand and truly enjoy this book, but when it got going... boy was it a fantastic ride. If I had to rate it initially it would have been just 4, which is a good mark for me, but the emotion that I felt in the second half as I came to both know and empathize with the characters makes this a 5 for me!

Amazing story , loved the characters, surprises galore and really want to read more!

Heaven and Hellsbane