Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kris Longknife: Defender (review)


4 out of 5 stars

Kris Longknife: Defender by Mike Shepherd is part of the imaginative and exciting science fiction series featuring the eponymous heroine who continues to display the heroism and innovative thinking that she has become known for. The discovery of a long lost relative who has formed an alliance with bird-like aliens known as the Alwans is complicated by ongoing threat of annihilation by the inimical beings whose goal seems to be widespread destruction. Kris and her associates, faced with very real threats to their continued existence also examine their personal desires and the rules dictating permissible relationships. As usual, the intrepid princess assesses her options and takes decisive action, both in her personal and professional lives. She is ably assisted by her various allies, including some who arrive in the nick of time to aid her in her defense of yet another world, but there are still a few detractors, including an officer who has reason to resent Kris’ success. Fortunately, it is difficult to keep a Longknife stymied for long and Kris has no trouble living up to her reputation.

This fun and entertaining addition to an exquisitely well-developed space opera saga provides the action and remarkable warfare that has characterized the series. There are a surprising number of relationships which seem to proliferate in this particular volume, some of which seem to be a more natural progression than others but it was nice to see the main romance finally progress even if some of the scenes felt a little awkward to me. I enjoy the multiplicity of functions that the remarkable Smart Metal facilitates and am intrigued by the repurposing of the compartments and delighted by the way the furniture shifted to assist Kris (particularly in dealing with recalcitrant newcomers). This author continues to display his wonderful imagination which explores various scenarios possible after contact with other beings and the breathtaking battles which result continue to enthrall. The interpersonal relationships described are a work in progress and hopefully will become less of a jarring note but one cannot help but be curious about how Kris’ life will continue to progress to accompany her meteoric rise in rank as she juggles the myriad roles thrust upon her. Stay tuned for more breathtaking adventures!

© Night Owl Reviews

I received a copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I am a big fan of space opera and have enjoyed many of the stories in this series.  I am not sure how believable the romantic elements are since they don't quite flow as smoothly as I would like and I thought there was a fair bit of gratuitous nudity in this particular story but the science fiction elements never fail to intrigue me.  This is number 11 in the series (I believe) and some of the previous titles (which all start with "Kris Longknife") include:  Redoubtable (my review is at this link), Daring (my review is at this link), and Furious (my review is at this link). 


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Devlin's Dare by Sabrina York (release) ADULT title


Devlin's Dare (Tryst Island), (ADULT title),  is releasing for ONLY 99 cents for the first two weeks.  Grab it while it's on sale. Then it goes to its regular price of $2.99.  This is a fantastic series and I have enjoyed every one that I have read thus far and this was a delicious addition.

Blurb:  Devlin's Dare (Tryst Island)—Book 5 in the Tryst Island Series
A No-Strings Fling Becomes Something For Which He Will Risk All
Devlin Fox has always been a player. A horny bee flitting from flower to flower. He has no idea why the sexy minx he meets on the way to Tryst Island affects him the way she does. Arousal—for her—hits him like a fist to the gut and he can’t stop thinking about her.
But Tara Romano doesn’t “do” commitments. For good reason. When she proposes they be “friends with benefits,” Devlin can’t figure out why the idea annoys him so much. It should be the perfect scenario. A gorgeous, alluring woman who only wants him for his body… He wants, needs, more from Tara, so he hits upon a plan to turn their no-strings-fling into something lasting. A series of tantalizing dares—dares Tara cannot resist. 

My review:

4.5 out of 5 stars

Devlin's Dare (Tryst Island) by Sabrina York is part of the sensual ‘Tryst Island’ series that centers around a group of people who regularly visit the island.  Devlin Fox enjoys lambasting pretentious restaurants on his food blog but he isn’t quite sure he appreciates his brother’s pithy evaluation of Devlin’s love life with the statement, “When you go through women like toilet paper, at some point you’re gonna hit the cardboard”.  Tara Roman is determined to get revenge for Devlin’s criticism of her bakery, and she definitely does, even before he knows who she is.  Too bad that isn’t enough to cool off the sizzling attraction they feel for each other, however, one of them doesn’t want a relationship with any strings attached and for that to work both of them have to agree to be on the same page.  Working out the parameters of their agreement turns out to be much more entertaining than either of them ever anticipated.

This erotic romance novella is a fantastic addition to a fun series.  The scorching relationship that develops between the main characters is beautifully balanced with the humorous situations wherein Tara displays her feisty nature by either absconding with items or denying them to Devlin.  Devlin’s recruitment of his adorable nephew is inspired but I really enjoyed Tara’s response and her dexterity at turning the tables.  There is a poignant element supplied by the reminder of the toll that war has taken upon many of our soldiers as is seen in each main character’s sibling and I look forward to seeing them in future stories as well.  The author displays her usual dexterity at creating redeemable and fascinating characters while providing another very entertaining story and I look forward to getting to know even more of the people who visit this intriguing getaway spot.

(submitted to Night Owl Reviews)

My review for Smoking Holt is at this link.
My review for Heart of Ash is at this link.

Tryst Island Trailer


About Sabrina York
Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York is the award winning author of over 20 hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy erotic romance to scorching BDSM. Connect with her on twitter @sabrina_york, on Facebook or on Pintrest. Check out Sabrina’s books and read an excerpt on Amazon or wherever e-books are sold. Visit her webpage at to check out her books, excerpts and contests. Free Teaser Book: And don’t forget to enter to win the royal tiara!

Enter to win a signed print copy of scorching Regency romance, Dark Fancy on Goodreads!

Like my Facebook Author Page
Follow me on Twitter @sabrina_york
Check out my Pintrest boards:
Check out my Barnes & Noble Author page:

Books by Sabrina York
Brigand (Erotic Regency, Ellora’s Cave) —Coming soon

Almost Magic (spotlight, excerpt and review) (K. Ames tour)


Almost Magic by J.M. Kelley

Almost Magic
J.M. Kelley
Magical/Paranormal romance
Sensual heat level, 144 pages
Splintered Category Romance line at Turquoise Morning Press

When it came to Vivian Burroughs’ unique connection with nature, her grandmother always said, ‘Mediocrity may not burn as bright as a firecracker, but it seldom blows up in your face.’ But the old woman never advised her on what to do when a sexy new neighbor stokes the flames of attraction.

Jack Riley, a still-grieving widower, relocates from the big city to small-town Essex Woods with his young daughter, Elizabeth. His introduction to Vivian leaves him enchanted, but rumors regarding her abilities soon come to light. Is the local beauty a witch or merely the product of an eccentric upbringing by her mother Fred and Aunt Lil, identical twins with a penchant for mischief?

Jack is intrigued by the mystery surrounding the woman, considering the complexities of raising the precocious Elizabeth, a child with frighteningly accurate intuitiveness. As he reluctantly draws closer to Vivian, he also discovers how deep his daughter’s gifts run. Can Jack accept the truth about his own flesh and blood, as well as a second chance at love?

Vivian strolled down her street, reveling in the warmth of the sunny June day after a long week of rain and gloom. “Morning, Mrs. Andrews,” she called.

“Good morning, Miss Burroughs.” The older woman grunted as she stooped to pick the morning paper from her driveway. “Dumb paperboy can’t just toss it on the porch, can he?”

Vivian laughed. “Would any of us know what to do, if our paper was ever where it should be?”

“I guess not.” Mrs. Wagner waved the paper at Vivian. “Enjoy your day, Vivian.”

“I intend to.” Vivian continued on. As she crested a gentle hill, she stopped surprised by a flurry of activity at the old Wentz cottage. Piles of boxes sat outside the garage, and a small crew of movers scurried around a small truck parked in the driveway.

New neighbors?

She approached the property, but slowed her pace when a silver Honda pulled up alongside the curb, and a man and a young child emerged. The little girl was a blur of white-blonde curls as she bounded from the car and ran straight for the silver maple, its low branches stretching over the yard.

Oh, the girl with the petals.

The air around the girl shimmered with her energy, and Vivian smiled as she recalled her first glimpse of her during the May Day Celebration. An aura like hers was not easy to forget. Auntie Lil was right. You did need sunglasses to be in her presence.

The little girl hauled herself onto the lowest tree branch, despite her frilly dress and patent leather shoes. In seconds, she disappeared into the green cover of leaves.

“Elizabeth, if you fall out of that tree and scrape yourself up, you’ll bleed all over your dress and won’t have anything nice to wear to your…appointment,” the man shouted as he walked toward the edge of the property.

Vivian laughed out loud, covering her mouth when the man glanced her way with a raised eyebrow.

“She’s in this fairy princess stage,” he said with a sheepish lift of his shoulders. “I’m glad she’s getting some mileage out of that dress. She was in a friend’s wedding last December, and she’s already outgrowing it. She wears this get-up on days she announces there’s an important fairy meeting to attend.”

Vivian nodded, as if the explanation made perfect sense. “Fairies are quite insistent upon formal dress for their meetings. The consequences for casual attire are severe.”

The man grinned and took a step forward. “I’m Jack. Jack Riley.”

“Nice to meet you, Jack Riley.” Vivian took his extended hand and smiled at his firm handshake. “I’m Vivian. I live down the street.” She pointed in the direction of her own home. “I assume I should be welcoming you to the neighborhood?”

“Signs point to yes.”

Vivian’s breath hitched in her chest as her eyes slid over Mr. Riley’s frame. He was tall with red hair and wore wrinkled khakis and a light blue shirt, with the top two buttons open and the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. Sunlight glinted off the golden hair of his strong forearms. Her eyes lingered on his broad shoulders, and came to rest on the dusting of pale freckles on his forehead. She was such a sucker for the boy next door look, especially when it really was the boy next door.

The heat of a flush crept up her neck when she realized his awareness of her inspection. When she dared to make eye contact once again, admiring the brilliant shade of green, she realized his eyebrow was arched again and a bemused smirk played on his lips.

“Everything all right?” he asked.

Oh, boy. Busted. Vivian made a sound of assent and her eyes lingered on his short, copper hair. “I was just thinking there’s something familiar about you. Were you at the May Day Celebration last month?”

“Ah, yes.” Jack gazed at the tree. “The catalyst for all this chaos. My daughter fell in love with this town after the shindig.” One foot dangling below the canopy of leaves was the only evidence that his daughter was still somewhere in the branches. “Elizabeth, I’m warning you. Don’t go any higher. Not in those shoes. You’ll break your.…”

“Are you okay?” Vivian asked when his face turned ashen.

Jack shook his head and squeezed his eyes shut. “I almost said something pretty stupid.”

“Oh.” Vivian frowned. What could be so stupid, and why did he look so stricken? There was sadness in his eyes that tugged at her heartstrings. She opened her mouth to ask for more details, but realized he might perceive her questions as being too nosy. She hazarded a peek at his left hand—he wore no wedding ring.

“Is there a Mrs. Riley?” she blurted out. Uh oh. Dumb question.

Jack flinched. “At one time, yes,” he said. “She…uh, she passed.”

“Oh, I’m so sorry.” Vivian reached out and touched his forearm, but jerked her hand away when Jack looked down at it with wide eyes. “Hey,” she said, stepping back. Her fingertips burned almost as hot as the tips of her ears. “You’re busy. I’m sorry for disturbing you. I’ll let you go.”

“No.” Jack stepped toward her, closing the distance. “I apologize.” He gestured toward the house. “This move…well, this is a huge step for Elizabeth and me. I think I’m a little overwhelmed. Big changes, after all.”

“I can empathize.” Vivian said, smiling. “You picked a great location though. Most of your neighbors will roll out the red carpet for you. If you need anything, all you have to do is knock on any door and you’ll find help.”

“Sounds terrific,” Jack said. He cleared his throat and shuffled his feet. “How about I knock on your door?” It was Vivian’s turn to quirk an eyebrow. “I mean, if I need something. A cup of sugar, directions to the grocery store. That kind of thing.”

“Of course,” Vivian exclaimed. Her voice hit a shrill pitch she didn’t know she was capable of achieving. “I live at the top of the cul-de-sac, in the blue house. The obscene amounts of flora and fauna will serve as your landmark.”

“Thanks.” Jack ducked his head, and she was pleased by the flush that reddened his cheeks. “You have a good day, Vivian.”

“You too, Jack.” She began to walk away but paused when Elizabeth dropped from the tree and waved.

“Goodbye, Vivian,” the girl shouted.

She glanced at Jack, who wore a confused frown on his face.

“How the heck did she know your name?” he asked. “She couldn’t have overheard us all the way over here.”

“Guess she did,” Vivian said, her lips curving upward as she waved back to Elizabeth. The brilliant aura she possessed might not be the only special thing about the girl.

Maybe she just knew.

Buy Links:

Turquoise Morning Press


Author Bio:

Three years ago, native Pennsylvanian J.M. Kelley packed her bags and moved south. Now, the wannabe Carolina Girl can’t speak a single sentence without adding the word y’all at the end of it, and regards a blast of snow flurries as a doomsday-level event.  When the day job allows, and when she can pull herself away from George Takei’s Facebook fanpage, she likes to go on writing jaunts to her favorite lake, or a local coffee shop with delicious shakes and questionable Wi-Fi connections.

J.M. Kelley is a proud recipient of a Carrie McCray Memorial Literary award, and is a member of The South Carolina Writers Workshop and Romance Writers of America (PAN).

Contact Links:


My review:

4 out of 5 stars

Almost Magic by J.M. Kelley is a sweet fantasy romance that centers around widower Jack Riley who has moved to s small town called Essex Woods with his adorable daughter, Elizabeth.  Still haunted by the tragic loss of his wife, Jack is ill-prepared to cope with the mysteries surrounding his attractive neighbor, Vivian Burroughs, especially when rumors of witchcraft are whispered about her and her mom and aunt.  Unfortunately, Vivian realizes that there is far more to the charming Elizabeth than Jack is quite prepared to cope with and her interference, no matter how well-intentioned, inevitably has negative consequences.  It will take more than meddling from Vivian’s well-intentioned relatives to overcome the obstacles which guard Jack’s heart but fortunately, there is plenty of magic to call upon in their sleepy town, both real and imagined.

This delightful story combines a contemporary setting with mystical elements to create a lovely romantic tale.  The intriguing concept of guilt personified is contrasted with the concept of telepathy and its impact on the unwary.  The wonderful depiction of a caring father who is somewhat out of his depth but gamefully trying to cope with the burden of responsibility of raising a somewhat precocious daughter provides a heart-tugging tale that is leavened by the entertaining antics of two elderly woman who want the best for their own beloved relative.  I love the aura of small-town life that is depicted in this feel-good story with its combination of humor and emotion and look forward to reading other works by this talented author.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

In the Dark by Sally Eggert (new release)


In the Dark: A Loveswept Romantic Suspense releases today and it's on sale!

Blurb:  A woman drawn into a dangerous game. A man who may not be what he seems. Passion raises the stakes in Sally Eggert’s electrifying novel of deception and desire.

Josie Nielsen’s anonymous life as a bartender is a world away from her classified job at a covert agency—and the terrifying night she was almost killed for her country’s secrets. That was the night Josie found out the hard way that no one had her back, especially not the man she thought she loved. But she’s pulled back in when her new boyfriend becomes the target of a government drug sting.

A sexy, laid-back barfly, Johnny Boyer is the kind of guy Josie can count on . . . to disappear before things get too complicated. But after she learns that Johnny is part of a major international trafficking operation, Josie can’t let him out of her sight. And yet even as she plunges into the mortal danger that surrounds Johnny, her attraction to him burns hotter than ever. She just isn’t sure whether she’s falling for a ruthless, cold-blooded criminal or the only man she’s ever met worth trusting with her life.

In the Dark: A Loveswept Romantic Suspense

Monday, January 27, 2014

Love at Stake by Victoria Davies and Haunt Me by Heather Long (Covet title releases)

Covets have all the sexiness, emotion, and happily ever after that readers have come to expect and love from Entangled. They are firmly grounded in the contemporary world, but each novel brings in supernatural twists, breaking the contemporary and paranormal rules, alike. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books you’ll be coveting next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, LIKE their Facebook page, and join the Book Club.

Also, make sure to hop on over the Entangled in Romance blog to join in the fun as Covet challenges readers to share their worst date stories. The worse, the better, hold no punches!

Today I'm happy to be featuring Covet's January releases:

Love at Stake by Victoria Davies

Abbey is the lone human working for Fated Match, a company that pairs members of the supernatural community with their eternal mates.

To snag a young vampire socialite as their next client, Abbey journeys to the home of Lucian Redgrave, the oldest vampire on the East Coast. But he's not willing to allow his vampire daughter to use the agency... unless Abbey can first find his perfect match in a month.

As Abbey coaches Lucian through his dates, she can’t deny the chemistry between them. But humans are toys for vampires, and risking her heart isn't a part of the plan.

Haunt Me by Heather Long

Recently divorced author MacKenzie Dillon has lost her writing mojo. When she inherits her great aunt’s haunted house in Virginia, she is determined to make a new start. The creepy old house provides inspiration but at what cost?

Successful architect and paranormal skeptic Justin Kent returns to Penny Hollow to fulfill his father’s dying wish of revitalizing their small town. To do that, he needs the allegedly haunted estate at Summerfield. Mac, the new owner, may be gorgeous and spunky, but she refuses to sell.

These two have a dangerous history that spans the ages, but will they discover the truth in time to save their lives?

a Rafflecopter giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Interacting with authors, live chats, a few contests (updated 1/27/14)

One of the most thrilling side-effects of doing reviews has been the access to authors.  It's amazing how much the internet has changed our lives with respect to being able to contact people since the days of sending off a fan letter in care of a publisher (yes, I am dating myself) and wondering if it ever arrived.  Most authors welcome contact with their readers (although the more I read about how hurtful some people are, the more I wonder if it is worth it when you have to deal with the crazies as well).  The thing they seem to appreciate the most is a nice review.  It doesn't have to be particularly long, but should say a little more than "this was a good book".  The second most appreciated seems to be a little note that tells them directly what you liked most about the story.

For those of you who like direct interaction, consider attending a chat with an author.  Night Owl Reviews hosts a chat most Mondays, 5:00 p.m. (West Coast US time) at this link and has chats throughout the week at this link.  Occasionally there is a protocol so you may wish to observe before jumping in with your question (e.g. at Writerspace, you may be requested to type a question mark "?" and wait to be called on) and usually it is preferred that you wait until the author has a chance to put up a blurb about the book they are promoting.  These two are live chats that last about an hour but there are often chats that take place over a day or so on Goodreads, if you have a particular author that you like, make sure you sign up as a 'fan' and you will usually get notifications when there are new books or chats by that person.  Try to put Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 6:00 pm (West coast time) on your calendars.  I have the pleasure of having at least three of the authors I have edited for presenting their titles at the New Releases chat and there will be a $25.00 gift certificate to Secret Cravings Publishing up for grabs!  Link
There are a variety of romance genres being represented from sweet to spicy, so come join us!




Chloe Neill is celebrating the February 4 release of Wild Things: A Chicagolands Vampire Novel with a Kindle giveaway! Visit for details

Collette Cameron still has a great contest celebrating her blogiversary at this link

Delilah Devlin has contests frequently on her blog, there's a post featuring the talented Randi Alexander at this link (and continue browsing, there are other giveaways)

Don't forget to browse back through my blog, there are several giveaways that are ongoing and there will be more to come...