woensdag 30 mei 2012

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

Tuesday I received three more books from Bookdepository:

Laurell K. Hamilton – Hit List
Katharine Kerr – License to Ensorcell
Katharine Kerr – Apocalypse to Go

While on my vacation in Berlin, sightseeing and visiting the Love Letter Convention, I received two more books:
Sally MacKenzie – Bedding Lord Ned
Cherry Adair – Vortex

And at the Convention I got some more books from the authors personally, and of course they are signed (as well as the books I brought with me):

Michelly Styles – Viking Warrior, Unwilling Wife
Michelle Styles – Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife
Maya Banks – Hidden Away
Maya Banks – Whispers in the Dark
Maya Banks – No place to Run
Maya Banks – Never Love a Highlander
Maya Banks – Seduction of a Highland Lass
Maya Banks – In bed with a Highlander

Of course I could not resist some free German books and have them signed by the authors:
Maya Banks – Im Bett mit einem Highlander
Bella Andre – Schatten der Vergangenheit
Michelle Raven – Ghostwalker, Fluch der Wahrheit
Margaret Moore – Der kuss des Feindes / Michelle Styles – Zwischen Vernuft und verlangen

I did notice something strange about the German books though. I like to stack my books, and you can read the spine of the English books if you stack them face up. To be able to read the German spines, you have to stack them face down! I do prefer looking at the cover of my book German Publisher!

dinsdag 29 mei 2012

Heather Blake – It takes a Witch

The first book in the Wishcraft Mystery series, published January 3, 2012.
Genre: paranormal cozy mystery

It takes a Witch

Darcy Merriweather and her sister, Harper, hail from a long line of witches, who have the power to grant wishes using spells. They’ve come to Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts, to join the family business, but they soon find themselves knee-deep in murder…

Until three weeks ago, Darcy and Harper were working dead-end jobs and trying to put their troubles behind them. Then their aunt Velma delivered a bomb-shell: They’re actually Wishcrafters – witches with the power to grant wishes with a mere spell. Wanting a fresh start, they head to their aunt’s magic-themed tourist town to master their newfound skills. But their magic fails them when a wannabe witch turns up dead – strangled with Aunt Ve’s scarf – and Ve’s sweetheart, Sylar, is found looming of the body. Ve is standing by her man, but Darcy overheard Sylar wish that the victim would disappear – forever. With Harper distracted by her handsome new crush, Darcy is determined to sleuth her way to the truth. But it’ll take more than a wish to unravel this mystery…

Heather Blake is another penname for cozy mystery author Heather Webber. I follow her on the Cozy Chicks blog for years now, and when she started a new paranormal cozy mystery series, I knew I had to have that book. It took me a while to buy it, but when it went down in price, I pounced on it. And I totally do not regret it, as I really enjoyed this story. On her website, the author states she is a fan of the series Bewitched and I dream of Jeannie, which are also some of my oldtime favourites.

Darcy and her sister Harper have moved to Salem, to live with their aunt Ve. After the death of their father 4 months ago, she finally told them they are witches. Their father new, but did not want them to know. So now they are both ready to start over. Darcy had a bad divorce two years ago, and Harper has run into some trouble with the law. Darcy happily embraces being a witch, working for her aunt at Make A Wish, while Harper is still sceptic, and prefers doing other things. There are many more witches, or rather Crafters in the village, and they will have to find out who is a Crafter and who is a normal human on their own. But if they tell a human they are witches, they will loose their powers. Their children can be witches though.

After three weeks in town, Darcy feels like she knows most people already, and is looking forward to the town council meeting that evening. But first she has to play the toothfairy for a little girl. Not something Darcy has done before, but how hard can it be, dressing up as a fairy in pink and glitter, and exchange a tooth for a little embroidered baggy with coins in them? Until the little girl wakes up and starts screaming: “stranger danger”! The girls parents are going through a difficult time, and both want different things for their daughter. And when the grandmother wishes her son to really know what it means living without his wife and daughter, she wishes them away on a vacation. And Darcy has to grant that wish. When Dennis finds out he cannot just wish them back again, he is furious with Darcy.

There is some trouble in town with a pickpocket lately, which is bad for business, as the tourists will stay away when news gets out. And so they have hired Nick Sawyer, a retired policeman who recently moved with his little girl to the village, to look into things. The local chief of police spends his day on the golf green, instead of working to keep the village safe. Something that is bound to change after the next election! Darcy and Nick are instantly attracted to each other, but they are both not looking for a new relationship. But perhaps Nick’s little girl has something to say about that as well!

Then a local wannabe-witch gets murdered, and aunt Ve’s boyfriend, also the Mayor of the town, gets arrested for the murder. Which means that Ve has no more time to teach Darcy the ropes, and Darcy is left to find things out on her own, getting her in a bit of trouble with the Elder.

I absolutely loved this book. It is filled with great characters, lots of dynamics and even talking familiars! A mouse dressed as a gentleman, working in the local clothing shop. A bird who knows all the classic movies. And Darcy is certain there is a familiar in their own home as well, even though their aunt won’t confirm or deny. Is it their aunt’s cat? Or their own little doggy Missy (Miss Demeanour) whom Harper rescued from a bad petshop? Only time will tell.

It was fun seeing Darcy make friends, and learn who is a Crafter, and who is not, and all the different types of Crafters. She has to find out who the real murderer is if only to help her aunt. Harper is also a great character. Of course she falls for the wrong guy, but she does find out what she wants to do with her life.

I am looking forward to the next book in this series, which will be published in August 2012.

8,5 stars.

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

Autobuy author

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zaterdag 26 mei 2012

New additions to my addiction and notice of absence

Stapel boeken

This week I received two books from Bookdepository, I was waiting impatiently for:

Heather Blake – It takes a witch (I started reading this one immediately)
Karen Hawkins – The taming of a Scottish princess

And I won this one over at Bookpushers blog:
Yvonne Navarro – Concrete Savior, signed by the author, and with a lovely bookplate and bookmark of the first book in the series, Highborn. Of course, now I will have to buy that book first ;)

Yesterday I have been to the Efteling, a Dutch lunapark, kind of Disneyland. It was fun, it was hot, and it was not crowded! The longest wait was 15 minutes for the Pirana. Never have I been so happy to get slightly wet, as I could for sure use a bit of cooling down. Afterwards, we still had to do our grocery shopping for the long weekend, so it took a while before I could take a nice cool bath. After that, I was out for the rest of the evening, never woke up again enough to join my family downstairs. But that is ok, I woke at 6 a.m. and will be making a list of what to pack as we will go to my parents for the rest of the long weekend.
Bedlinnen, towels, food and drink for the weekend for the three of us, medications, clothes and of course some books! I won’t be able to blog from there, so don’t expect to hear from me till Tuesday.
And wednesday we are going to Berlin, to discover the city and the weekend it is finally time for Love Letter Convention! Yeah!

Which means, no posts from me but when I come back home Monday 4th of June, you can expect a raving post of the experience.

donderdag 24 mei 2012

Maya Banks - The Darkest Hour

The first book in the The Kelly Group International series, published September 7, 2010.
Genre: romantic suspense

The Darkest Hour

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the US government can’t…

It’s been one year since ex-Navy SEAL Ethan Kelly last saw his wife Rachel alive. Overwhelmed by grief and guilt over his failures as a husband, Ethan shuts himself off from everything and everyone.
His brothers have tried to bring Ethan into the KGI fold, tried to break through the barriers he's built around himself, but Ethan refuses to respond… until he receives anonymous information claiming Rachel is alive.
To save her, Ethan will have to dodge bullets, cross a jungle, and risk falling captive to a deadly drug cartel that threatens his own demise. And even if he succeeds, he’ll have to force Rachel to recover memories she can’t and doesn’t want to relive—the minute by minute terror of her darkest hour—for their love, and their lives, may depend on it.

I started reading this book for my Berlin Reading Challenge (as I will be meeting Maya Banks in Berlin next weekend!) and I am not sorry I tried this book. It is my first book by Maya Banks and it will certainly not be my last! I was captivated from page one.

Ethan Kelly is “celebrating” the one year anniversary of his wife’s death by avoiding his large wellmeaning family and getting dead drunk. If only he could get a second chance with Rachel, he would not screw it up again! They were having marital problems when she went on a charity mission, and never came home again, and he was sorry the minute she walked out of the door of their house. It was just his feelings of inadequacy, his insane jealousy at his brother Garrett who was his wife’s best friend. He was hurting inside, so he punished Rachel for it. And then he got the message she had died in a plane accident, and he went to pieces. Grieving and feeling guilty ever since.
But then, a miracle happens. He gets is thick envelope filled with data, charts, pictures. Apparently, his wife is still alive and is been held as a prisoner in some tiny village in the jungle by a drugcartel. At first he thinks it all a sick joke, but then he starts believing it, and feeling hope. His brothers own the Kelly Group International (KGI), doing black ops the American Government can not be found doing. They will help him, for sure. Ethan wants to fly of that same day, but his brothers hold him back. They need more intell first, how many hostiles, is Rachel really there and still alive? But as soon as they know enough, they go on their rescue mission! Two of their teams meet them there, and at great peril and a few severe wounds, they manage to free Rachel.
A Rachel who does not remember much, except her own name and her husband, Ethan. And his brother Garrett, but not Sam, or the rest of the family. Even worse, they have made her a heroine and cocaine addict to keep her complacent and obeying. So Rachel is not home yet, she will have to go through the worst of the withdrawal symptoms first, and very slowly her memory starts coming back. Some good memories, and some she thinks are just nightmares. Because Ethan loves her, doesn’t he? So why should he be screaming at her, being so very angry with her?
But when word of her miraculous survival and retrieval gets out, Rachel’s life is in danger once again. And even though Ethan and his brothers swear to protect her, that she is safe, they cannot be with her 24/7.

I really rooted for both Ethan and Rachel. They were such great characters, and have been through so much. Being given a second chance is a real miracle. Ethan really felt very guilty about hurting Rachel so much, but he never stopped loving her. So he is determined to do it over, and make her happy. To be there for her. He will also start working with his brothers, instead of doing nothing. Rachel is still feeling insecure, not sure what to do with her husband. And if only that interminable craving for drugs would go away! What will Ethan think of her when he finds out she craves it sometimes more than breathing?

Another great storyline is the fact that Ethan’s parents take into their home a young girl caught stealing from their fridge. Rusty is desperately in need of food, and shelter, and Madeline is such a soft touch, she asks her to stay. She still misses Rachel, the daughter of her heart, and she feels for Rusty. But Rusty will have to live by her rules, and obey them. Frank, her husband, is not so happy at first, but he knows he cannot change her mind, and of course he too gets paternal feelings for Rusty soon. Especially after they meet her mother’s boyfriend, who has thrown her out of his trailer.
Their 6 sons are also really suspicious about Rusty, and don’t immediately accept her into the family. She will have to earn their trust and respect first. What I do wonder about though, why were the boys not told that Rusty effortlessly broke through their security system? I think that would have them look at her a lot different. They might have even hired her or something.

Maya Banks has a wonderful way of writing. Fast paced, really nice language, and very lifelike characters. I sometimes felt like being with all those Kelly’s. And I certainly would not mind one of them for my own! I really liked this book, and just had to finish it, even though it was far over my bedtime for a weekday. Totally no regrets, I could not have gone to bed without knowing how it all would end, and for the bad guy to be unmasked and arrested. Of course there are some love scenes in here, and they were beautifully done.

A good plot, a good story, lots and lots of interesting characters and new book potential, I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series. And after that, I will check out some more of Maya Banks (not erotic) books. If you like romantic suspense, I heartily recommend this series.

9 stars.

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

woensdag 23 mei 2012

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

The mailman just arrived with some secondhand Nora Roberts books for me! Slowly but steadily I am buying her whole backlist!

This time I received:
Nora Roberts – Cordina’s Crown Jewel
Nora Roberts – Skin Deep
Nora Roberts – Without a Trace
Nora Roberts – First Impressions
Nora Roberts – Happy Ever After
Nora Roberts – Savour the Moment

And once book from Bookdepository:
Katharine Kerr – Water to Burn.

I have loved her fantasy series for many years now (in Dutch), and accidentally I saw she has written an urban fantasy series, so I just had to buy them. The first one has arrived, and I am very curious. Anybody out there who has read this series? Can’t remember ever seeing a review of it.

dinsdag 22 mei 2012

Lorna Barrett – Sentenced to Death

The fifth book in the Booktown Mystery series, published June 7, 2011.
Genre: cozy mystery

Sentenced to Death

As the owner of Stoneham, New Hampshire's mystery bookstore Haven't Got a Clue, Tricia Miles can figure out whodunit in the latest bestseller long before she gets to the last page. But these days, Tricia is using her sleuthing skills for much more than the books on her shelves.
It’s Founder’s Day in Stoneham, and the whole village has turned out to celebrate in the square, including Tricia’s friend and festivities organizer Deborah Black. As everyone watches Deborah give the opening speech, a small aircraft crashes into the village gazebo, killing both Deborah and the pilot.
While the Sheriff’s Department is convinced that it was an accident, Tricia has a feeling that there’s more to the story. And when she reads between the lines of the case, what she finds is worse than the most sinister whodunit…

I decided to read the fifth Booktown Mystery soon after all, even though I have no idea when the next paperback will be published. The 6th hardcover is due in July 2012. And I am not sorry I read this book, as it was good.

To lure more tourists to the village, Bob, the head of the Chamber of Commerce, has invented Founder’s day. And he bullied Deborah, from the Happy Domestic Shop, into organizing most of it. Even though she is already shorthanded, and her marriage is rocky. But they pulled it of, and there is even a small airplane flying around with a banner advertising the whole event. But why is the plane circling so low that no one can hear Deborah give her opening speech? And then the plane gets even lower, and crashes into the gazebo where Deborah is standing. People are running away, barely avoiding getting crushed as well. But Deborah’s mother Elizabeth and her little baby boy Davey witness the event as well, and Elizabeth is heartbroken.

Something about the accident is really bothering Tricia. And then David, Deborah’s husband, he really is not a grieving widower, even though they did have marital problems. He has Deborah cremated the next day, sells of her store the second day, and leaves his little boy with Elizabeth. And he is seen (by Tricia) in public with another woman! Celebrating! So, was this really a freak accident? Or was it totally set up? Tricia is determined to find out the truth, even if she keeps discovering new and unpleasant things about her friend. Was Deborah really her friend? It appears like she did not know the other woman at all!

Tricia’s lovelife is virtually non-existent at the moment. She still has no inkling at all to take Russ back into her life, even though he keeps asking her out. Captain Baker wants to be friends-with-benefits for the short time he will be around, as he has applied for a new job elsewhere. Of course she wants nothing to do with that, if he will leave her behind with a broken heart in no time. And then there is her ex-husband, who keeps sending her very expensive jewellery. What is she to think of that? He was the one who left her and their marriage behind, to find himself in the wilds somewhere. Tricia feels lonely, and longs for a new love in her life. And now even Ginny is leaving the shop, as her boyfriend Antonia has asked her to be the new manager of the Happy Domestic. His employer has bought the store from David Black, and the deal has been sealed unexpectedly fast. So instead of a few weeks to get used to the idea and to hire someone new, Ginny is leaving the next day!
Being alone in the bookshop with her trusted cat Miss Marple is really boring and lonely, especially as it is a slow time in the bookshopbusiness. After all, the Founder Day festivities have been cancelled.

Angelica, Tricia’s sister, keeps urging her on to start a new business, to spread her wings. After all, Angelica herself is busy with a cookbookshop, a small lunchroom and writing cookbooks. Is owning a bookshop really all she wants out of life? And Tricia really is happy with her bookshop, it is after all what she has dreamed about for years, but is it enough? A strange firm is buying all available shops and plots up in the village, why should Tricia not be the one? After all, she does have enough money to do so.

Another great mystery by Lorna Barrett, again she surprises me with the twists and revelations in the plot. People acting nasty, and lying, and I really did not figure any of this out myself. The only new secondary character in this book I am looking forward to learning more about is the little doggy that gets adopted by Angelica (that is the one clue I saw coming!).
Tricia is a bit gloomy in this book. Losing Ginny, losing a friend who might not have been such a good friend after all, and feeling lonely. I do hope some good things will happen to her in the next book.

8,5 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 21 mei 2012

Courtney Milan – Proof by Seduction

The first book in the Carhart series, published in paperback on January 1, 2010. My book has the small cover, which I prefer.
Genre: historical romance

Proof by Seduction
Proof by Seduction

She was his last chance for a future of happiness.
A gifted fortune-teller from a humble background, Jenny can make even the most sophisticated sceptic believe her predictions simply by batting her smoky eyelashes. Until she meets her match in Gareth Carhart, the Marquess of Blakely, a sworn bachelor and scientist.
He just didn't know it yet.
Broodingly handsome, Gareth is scandalized to discover his cousin has fallen under the spell of "Madame Esmeralda," and vows to prove Jenny a fraud. But his unexpected attraction to the fiery enchantress defies logic. Jenny disrupts every facet of Gareth's calculated plan - until he can't decide whether to seduce her or ruin her. Now, as they engage in a passionate battle of wills, two lonely souls must choose between everything they know... and the boundless possibilities of love.

I have read a lot of enthusiastic reviews about the books by Courtney Milan, so I had to try her out when I was in the mood for an historical romance. Unfortunately, it was not as fun and lighthearted as I had hoped, but rather heavy on the emotions and feelings. So the book made my cry instead of smile.

Jenny does not want to be a man’s mistress, and with her background, she will not be able to get a good job as a governess or ladies companion. And as people are always lying, why won’t she lie to them as well? And so the idea of Madame Esmeralda is born. Posing as a fortuneteller Jenny is making a nice living. She has some regular clients, who need her advice on most things in their life, and Jenny is only to happy to tell them what they want to hear.
Like young Ned Carhart. He first came to see her when he was 19, and depressed, ready to commit suicide. So she told him that she saw happiness in his future, that he would become a good man. When Ned’s cousin, Lord Gareth Carhart, Marquess of Blakely, finds out, he is very displeased about it all, and sets out to reveal her as a fraud. And he will use scientific methods to prove it.
Jenny is not stupid though, and she sees through him. So she predicts he will see the woman who is to be his bride at the next ball, at a certain time. And to win her, he will have to perform three tasks. But Gareth is not dumb either, and he insists she accompanies them to the ball, so she can point out the woman in question to him. He even takes her to a modiste to buy a new gown, suitable for a ball. But instead of something of the latest fashion, Jenny buy something simple and practical, something she can put on by herself, as she of course does not have a servant to help her.

I did like Jenny, she is very bold and does rash things to make Gareth see her way of thinking. Like demonstrating how it is impossible to dress herself in the dress he insists she wears to the next ball. She plainly tells him what she thinks of him, and that is something Gareth is really not used to. He can’t even admit to himself that he is lonely, that he has no friends, and gets angry when he realizes the truth in her words. I liked the strange challenges she gives him, and how he conquers them. No one dares to criticize a Marquess in public, so he gets away with his strange behaviour.

As the charade continues, Jenny and Gareth are drawn closer and closer. But Jenny refuses to become his mistress, and Gareth thinks that as he is a Marquess, there is no one equal to him, let alone a woman posing as a gypsy fortune teller! Jenny does feel guilty and weary about lying, about wearing a mask at all times. Especially when Ned keeps believing in her, and even tries to get her predictions come true by pursuing the lady in question on his cousin’s behalf. And doing a very lousy job of it, especially when he wants to manoeuvre them in a compromising situation.

As said, I did like Jenny. I am sorry though that she gave up on being Madame Esmeralda so easy, and how very unpractical she can be. And I did hope she would have stood up to that obnoxious man at the bank. Of course, when Gareth finally found out, he took care of it for her (behind her back) in a really grand way.
Gareth has totally no idea how to interact with people, he was brought up by his grandfather, believing he is superior to everyone else. He does not even know the names of most of his servants. But he takes his responsibilities as their lord very serious, even though he would rather spend time on his bird migration research, every afternoon is spend on estate management.
And then there is Ned, the young cousin. A very strange person, bound to depressions. The next book is about him, and I am so very curious what happens to him and his unwanted bride. I look forward to getting to know her better, and what she was doing when they met that first time. And the second time.

I liked the book, but was certainly not blown away by it. Even though it kept surprising me, and whenever I thought something would happen, like Gareth finding out who her parents are/were, I was wrong. He did not find out (perhaps in the next book). Perhaps because I was in the mood for something a bit lighter than what I got. But still, this is a good book, very well written and it did keep me captivated for quite some time. I will certainly read more books by Courtney Milan.

7 stars.

A blogger made me buy it

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 20 mei 2012

Darynda Jones - Second Grave on the Left

The second book in the Charley Davidson series, published August 16, 2011.
Genre: Urban fantasy / paranormal romance

Second Grave on the Left

If you hang around with dead people, life can deliver a whole world of trouble.
Take it from Charley Davidson, part-time PI and full-time Grim Reaper. The deceased find her very sparkly, Demons find her irresistible. And one entity in particular wants to seduce her in every way possible…
When Charley and Cookie, her best friend slash receptionist, have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven… well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty.
Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm’s way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does?

Charley gets a rude awakening when her friend and neighbour Cookie barges into her bedroom, and desperately wants her to wake up. Apparently, one of her friends is in trouble, and asked her to meet her urgently at a coffeeshop, at 2 a.m. But when they get there, there is no sign of her friend. Asking the patrons if they have seen her is also not so great, as there are only a couple of ghosts at this time, and the waitress just started her shift. But then the angry husband of the missing friend arrives, and Cookie and Charley have to calm him down. He is very upset that his wife went missing, especially as her behaviour of the last few weeks was so erratic. He even suspects her of having an affair! But when the guy she was supposed to have the affair with is found murdered, Warren is the main suspect. Charley can tell her uncle, the Detective on the case that Warren is innocent, but she will have to find the real killer first, and fast!

And then there is the problem of Reyes. He pops up in Charley’s bathroom covered in blood, and almost kills her when he does not recognize her at once. He refuses to tell her where his body is. He is being tortured by demons, and they are after Charley. He will do anything to keep her safe, even letting his body die! She can’t have that, and so she sets out to search for his body, discovering more and more of his secrets and his past. Reyes is not happy with her, but Charley can’t just let him die on her, not even if he can life without his corporeal body without a problem. But not even Reyes will know for sure what will happen to him, when his body dies, and Charley refuses to take that risk.

When Cookie and Charley find out that more of Mimi’s classmates have died in the last few weeks, they suspect something has happened at highschool, and that something has come back to haunt the ones responsible. But finding out what happened, and who is the one behind the killings, is not that easy. Especially not when Charley is warned off the investigation and gets threatened by some unknown government agents and some thugs posing as FBI-agents.

I liked this book, as it is fast paced, and filled with snarky humor. I also did not like this book due to the snarky humor. In my opinion, not every sentence Charley thinks or says has to be funny and witty and sarcastic. She could just act normal for a while. It gets tiresome. It still is funny, as it is exactly my kind of humor, but it is just too much of it. I do like Charley and Cookie, and they are good at investigating things. The plot did surprise me, just like it did Charley, which I like. And Charley finds out more about her own powers.

All in all a good fast and funny read, but just a little bit too much funny for me. I will read the rest of the books, as I want to know what happens next with Charley and Reyes and Cookie. And why that strange cop hates her so much.

7 stars.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

A blogger made me buy it

zaterdag 19 mei 2012

Shannon McKenna – DNF

Shannon McKenna – Behind closed doors
Shannon McKenna – Standing in the shadows
Genre: erotic suspense.

Behind Closed doors

Surveillance expert Seth Mackey knows everything about the women that his millionaire boss toys with -- and tosses aside. Raine Cameron is something different. Night after night, Seth watches her on a dozen different video screens. Her vulnerable beauty haunts him and her fresh innocence stirs a white-hot passion that he can barely control. Raine is pure temptation, but Seth has something more important to take care of first. He's convinced that his boss, Victor Lazar, is responsible for his half-brother's murder. He cannot put his secret investigation at risk, but he can't stop wanting her -- craving her -- and soon he knows he can't let Victor have her. For Raine may be Victor's next victim...
Raine knows she's being watched -- but no one can see the secrets in her heart. She has reasons of her own to seek revenge on Victor Lazar, and she will, despite her fear -- and the distracting presence of Seth Mackey. Though Raine has little experience with men, Seth's fiercely masculine good looks and animal sensuality stir her most erotic fantasies when she's alone...and lead her to a bold plan. Offering her body to him, surrendering totally to his ruthless desire might well push her beyond all emotional limits -- and beyond fear itself.

Standing in the shadows

Ex-FBI agent Connor McCloud can never forget the day he was set up to die at the hands of trusted friend and fellow agent Ed Riggs. Hard justice and loyalty to his badge have cost Connor what he wants most--Ed's shy, studious daughter, Erin. He can never have her now, but her beauty still haunts and torments his every waking hour and his most fevered erotic dreeams. But now that his old enemy, Kurt Novak has returned, Connor is prepared to do anything to protect the vulnerable young woman from a killer who has vowed a brutal payback . . . a killer with a predator's lethal patience.
Erin has been harboring secret fantasies about Connor McCloud since she first laid eyes on him--but that was before his testimony sent her father to jail. Her world is falling apart and it's all she can do to hold her family together. But now Connor is knocking on her door, telling her she needs his protection, whether she wants it or not. He won't give up and he won't stay away. He's sworn to guard her life with his own and his fierce protectiveness awakens long-buried feelings--and a fiery sexuality deep within her soul . .

As I wrote in my post about the Love Letter Convention on Tuesday, Shannon McKenna is one of the authors I am going to meet. So I wanted to read one of her books. Unfortunately, her books are not meant for me. The first book I could not get past the first few chapters. That Seth is despicable. And stupid not to see what is in front of him.
The second book started out more to my liking, and I kept soldiering on, until almost half way through. Then I just could not take anymore. If I would rip out the pages without sex, fantasizing about having sex, talking about sex, there would perhaps be 10 pages left. Even the suspense parts were drowned out by lust. And I just could not like the characters. Connor totally domineers Erin, and tried to sabotage her career. I hated him for that. And Erin blows up, and Connor smiles or kisses her or whatever, and all is right again. So no, I just could not continue.

But, I have some Dutch blogger friends, who absolutely love these books. So do not let my DNF prevent you from reading this author. I really am not into erotica books and you might love them as well.

And I still will be meeting Shannon McKenna at the convention, and I will have her sign one of my books. But perhaps I will try to find them a new home with someone who will read and enjoy them. The books are large paperback, and I have 5 of the first 6 books (missing nr 3), and as I bought them secondhand, they are plastified (geplastificeerd), and still looking good. But, well, cost of postage will have to be taken into consideration here. If I have a Dutch reader who wants them, please let me know in the comments.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 17 mei 2012

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

Tuesday I again received a book I have won on Preternature Blog:
Eve Marie Mont – A breath of Eyre

And Wednesday Freya and I went to a secondhand book fair, organized by the Lyons Club, for a good cause. The books were sold by the kilo! So I bought some childrens books for my stepdaughter and nieces, a few comics for my boyfriend, and a few children books and English books for myself :)

Nora Roberts – The Search
Elizabeth Peters – The Copenhagen Connection
Jilly Cooper – Wicked!
Lisa Lutz – Curse of the Spellmans
Clive Cussler and Craig Dirgo – Sacred stone
JoAnn Ross – Legacy of Lies
Karen Rose – Nothing to fear.

5 kilo’s of books, for € 25,00. Not a bad bargain I think.

woensdag 16 mei 2012

Winner of my first blogtour giveaway!

The contest is closed, so it is time to choose the winner of an ebook by Misty Evans, winners choice, either Soul Survivor or Soul Protector.

Only 6 of the people who commented answered my question, so I am going to pick one with very high-tech tools: I have written the names on pieces of paper, folded them, thrown them in my hat (yes, really!) and have my boyfriend pick one.

And the winner is:



Congratulations Felicia, the mail is on its way to you!

dinsdag 15 mei 2012

Love Letter Convention in Berlin, June 2 and 3, 2012.


For a few years now, I have read the stories from fellow bloggers and authors about the famous conventions in America. Romantic Times, Authors after Dark, Comic Cons, you name it. Wishing to go one day, but unfortunately, for me it is too expensive to go and especially to stay in America.
But now, there is finally a small convention in Europe! In Berlin, Germany, and that is only a 6 hour drive away from where I live in Holland. So, I am going! With some of my book friends and of course my best friend and fellow booklover/bookaddict Freya! We are going to have so much fun there!

So, who are we going to meet? What do you think when I tell you: Nalini Singh, Lara Adrian, Maya Banks, Larissa Ione, Lisa Marie Rice, Shannon McKenna and Bella Andre.
And some German authors, but unfortunately, I don’t read German (nor speak it very well as it has been so many years since I finished highschool), so I don’t know their books.

Here is a link to the convention site, it is in German though.
The admission fee is very reasonable, so when we found out about this, we immediately ordered tickets. The anticipation has been building for months now, and the time is almost there.

The convention will take the whole weekend, with lectures and Q&A sessions, and I am certain it will be lots of fun. We are going to meet some other bookbloggers and booklovers I only know thanks to the Internet. Freya and I will be staying in Berlin from Wednesday till Monday, in the Ibis Hotel Berlin Spandau, which is very close to the convention center.

I am Aurian, I am a 40 year old Dutch woman, and I am a bookaddict. As you have found this blogpost, this is my blog, and you are welcome here. My Twitter name is xAurianx.
My best friend is Freya, she is a 42 year old Dutch woman, and she is also crazy about books (and she knows German! which means she will be the official interpreter for the Dutch fans). She only blogs in Dutch, but her blog is www.boekenlijstjes.blogspot.com. She is not on Twitter, but perhaps you all will persuade her to join the fun.

So, tell me, are you going? Share with us where you are from, and if you have a blog we can visit, or a Twitter name, so we can become acquainted ahead of time. Do you know other people who are going? Send them all over and lets have a great time in Berlin :)

maandag 14 mei 2012

Jean Johnson – A soldier’s duty

The first book in the Theirs Not to Reason Why series, published July 26, 2011.
Genre: science fiction with paranormal (psychic) thrown in.

A soldier's duty

Ia is a precog, blessed –or cursed- with visions of the future. She has witnessed the devastation of her home galaxy three hundred years in the future, long after she is gone, but believes she can prevent it.
Enlisting in the Terran United Planets, Ia plans to rise through the ranks, meeting and influencing important people and building a reputation that will inspire others for the next three centuries. But she needs to be assigned to the right ship, the right company, and the right place to earn that reputation honestly – all while keeping her psychic abilities hidden form her superiors, who would refuse to risk such a valuable gift in combat.
To save the Galaxy, Ia must become someone else: the soldier known as Bloody Mary.

I have no idea how to do this book justice in a review. I loved every page of it. Even things that would normally send me of to sleep fast, kept me glued to the pages. Jean Johnson has such a fantastic way with words, and sucking you into her world, I did not want to stop reading. So, it was a very good thing I had the whole day to read.

The book starts with a 15 year old Ia, living on one of the farthest colonized worlds from Earth, one with heavy gravity. She is a very strong precog, and she just witnessed the total demolition of not only her home planet, but of the whole known Galaxy. Desperately looking for a way to safe it all, she sees only one tiny possibility. And she goes for it. All other ways open to her, to warn people, will lead to disaster and ruin. And so she shoulders her burden, and gives up her dreams, and start training for the one thing that will make it possible for her to succeed. As the future is not written in stone, and every tiny thing can change the course of destiny. And Ia is determined to change as much as she can, when and where she can.

She sets out to be a soldier in the Terran United Planets Space Force Marines. Not an officer, safe behind a desk, not as a precog, having others relay her visions, but as a foot soldier, moving up through the ranks on her own merits. And on what she can see in the Timespace. She knows what dangers and obstacles she will most likely face, but for every possibility there are others than can come true as well. She will have to keep her powers hidden, and still save those people she will need later on.

We follow Ia on her journey as a soldier for the Space Marines from day one in the year 2490, bootcamp in Australia, from the day she turns a legal 18 and can enlist. How she learns the basics of a soldiers life, and no matter how much she has studied and trained as a martial artist, no matter how much she has foreseen, she will still have to do it all. And survive everything that comes her way. She cannot risk having people find out her secrets, putting her in the wrong division, she needs to be a Marine. Of course, not everything is clear, sometimes there are too many possible outcomes, and the path is grey. Nor does she wish to know everything about all her teammates and instructors. Seeing how they are going to die is horrible, which makes it hard for her to make real friends. In her spare free time, Ia spends it writing letters to the Grandmaster with her prophecies, but we never learn what those are. She tries to take care of as many details as she can, for her family and friends, and other kind of relations.

The book is filled with day to day “normalcy” and a lot of combat action, aliens and technology. I really like Ia, she is such a strong heroine, and a true Marine, fighting for her country, and her Galaxy. To serve and to protect, that is her goal. I think this book is also a tribute to our own militairy, besides being a very very good novel. I am looking forward to the second book, An officer’s duty, which will be published in August. I have it pre-ordered and hope it arrives early.

Due to Ia evolving through the lower ranks of the Marines, and her varying assignments, there are not many secondary characters who stay a long time. But those that get portrayed in this book are so three-dimensional, so lifelike, you could stand next to them aboard ship. I loved it.

Kudos to Jean Johnson for writing such a great book. I already loved her Sons of Destiny series, about 8 brothers (4 sets of twins) who find their own mate, and her Shifters, who live in that same realm, but this book is something else. Even better. I think Jean Johnson can even make a manual interesting to read.

10,5 stars.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 13 mei 2012

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

Friday I received some more pretty books for my collection from the Bookdepository. And one I bought for my stepdaughter, to teach her when a boyfriend is an abusive @@ and she needs to break it off.

Jennifer Brown – Bitter End

For myself:
Jean Johnson – The Flame (read it a long time ago, but still needed this one on paper!)
Gabi Stevens – As you Wish, Wishful Thinking and The Wish List
Lyn Benedict – Ghosts & Echoes
Maya Banks – The darkest hour
Darynda Jones – Second grave on the left

And the one I have been most eagerly waiting for:
Leann Sweeney – The Cat, the Wife and the Weapon.

I also received two books from Suzanne Johnson, one signed copy of her new book, Royal Street which I won on an other blog, thank you Suzanne!
And Alma Katsu – The Taker, in hardcover. I won this in an other giveaway over at Preternatura. Thank you so much Suzanne!

Saturday I received three more lovely books from the Bookdepository!
Karen Marie Moning – Shadowfever
Jean Johnson – A soldier’s duty – Theirs not to reason why
Donna Fletcher – A warriors’s promise

zaterdag 12 mei 2012

Lorna Barrett – Chapter & Hearse

The fourth book in the Booktown Mystery series, published August 3, 2010.
Genre: cozy mystery

Chapter & Hearse

According to the gossip around Stoneham, New Hampshire, Tricia Miles cannot put down a real murder mystery. After all, the owner of the mystery bookstore Haven’t Got a Clue has been spending more time solving whodunits than reading them …
Tricia’s sister, Angelica, considers herself to be the next celebrity chef. To celebrate her first cookbook, Angelica hosts a launch party, but sadly the only guest is an oversized cutout of herself. Worse than the lack of fans is a nearby gas explosion that injures her boyfriend, Bob Kelly, the head of the Chamber of Commerce.
Tricia’s never been a fan of Bob, but when she reads that Bob is being tight-lipped about the accident and how it killed the owner of the town’s history bookstore, it’s time to take action. As the incriminating details emerge, Tricia gets wrapped up in a murder that proves to be as spine-tingling as the books that line her shelves…

Finally the day is there, Angelica’s cookbook has been published! She is eagerly awaiting the horde of customers to come to her cookbook shop, The Cookery, to buy their copy and have her sign it. Unfortunately, no one shows up, not even her boyfriend Bob. Tricia is mad on her sisters behalf, and decides to go get him. His car has been parked on the street for a while, so she is sure he is in one of the other bookshops along the street.
But first, she makes her own employees buy her sisters cookbook and have her sign it, while she promises to refund them for it. Then she sneaks out of the shop to hunt down Bob Kelly. But before she gets a few feet outside, she is blown over by a big explosion, which totally demolishes the history book shop across the street! The owner is dead and vaporized, and Bob Kelly, who was inside, is hurt and burned badly. But he will make it, and they take him to the hospital. Angelica is ready to quit her book tour, but Bob will not have it. He also refuses to talk to them, or to the sheriff about what happened. And so Angelica sets out on the road to promote her new book, making Tricia promise to take care of Bob. Tricia doesn’t really like Bob all that much, and has no idea what her sister sees in him, but she promises. Still, Bob is not at all grateful for her help and doesn’t even want to talk for her. And why is he having a security system installed at his home?

The downside of Angelica leaving on her book tour is, Tricia will have to look after Angelica’s two businesses besides her own, and she really doesn’t like the two employees in her sisters’ diner. She cannot understand how Angelica could have hired an ex-con. But her sister swears by Jake. And she really needs Darcy now to serve the customers. Still, Tricia doesn’t like how things are handled, especially not if the receipts of the day that Darcy brings her, don’t add up. While on the road, nasty things keep happening to Angelica, but she doesn’t want to believe she has an enemy. Franny, Angelica’s manager for The Cookery, had a secret relationship with Jim, the owner of the history book shop who was blown up, and she is really grieving. She blames his old mother for the reason why they did not live together, or marry, but Tricia thinks otherwise. She likes the old English lady, even though she disliked her son. She could not have killed him. So, who did? Frannie, his mother, or Bob? Suspects galore, but the truth was not something I could have ever guessed.

Again, I really enjoyed reading this book. I only have one book left in this series to read, and I am trying to decide whether to jump right into it, or safe it for a day when I need a guaranteed good book. Tricia’s love interests are almost non-existing at the moment, and I really hope Grant will come through for her. I do like the evolving of the relationship between Tricia and Angelica, they have been estranged for many years, but they are finally becoming friends now. I really dislike what I read about their parents: they dote on Angelica, and kind of forget Tricia. For no apparent reason at all. Mr. Everett is not married to his Grace, and he is not comfortable with the fact that she is rich and has paid of his debts for him. In his oldfashioned ways, it is the man who is the provider. So when she wants to go out to a fancy restaurant, he says it is not in the budget. Luckily, this problem is solved by the end of the book as well.

A great mystery I could not solve, means this is a well written mystery, and I like that. Twists and turns all over the book. I really like the main characters, and I hope there will be many more books in this series. I can recommend it to all you cozy mystery fans. After all, who would not want to visit a town filled with all kinds of bookshops?

9 stars.

© 2012 Reviews by Aurian