Some like it TANGLED

TangledOkay. I finished Emma Chase’s debut novel TANGLED last night. And I still need a few cold showers–it’s that hot.

I read erotica. And, I like it. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m like all of you…voyeuristic.

“No, no, I would never…I’m not THAT kind of person,” you say, and to that I reply, “K. But you might like it. To each their own, and all.”

If erotica is not for you, TANGLED should not end up on your TBR.

For those who’d like to dip a toe in…TANGLED is a fun, fast read with a side of HOLY CRAP! sexcapades.

What separates it from the pack?

Drew Evans is absolutely the most raw, irrepressible asshat to ever enter The Redemption Tale.  Yes, this is a redemption story. No, he doesn’t have a “Come to Jesus” moment–more like a “come-to-Kate” moment.

Allow me to explain. No, there’s no time. Allow me to sum up:

Drew is a gloriously proud, wealthy, womanizing investment banker. He never wants to ‘ride the same coaster twice’ and that tells you much about our anti-hero. What he does want? Kate Brooks. New hire at his firm. She’s beautiful. She’s brilliant. She’s engaged…

Oh, the irony.

Poor Drew is attracted to a woman who is unattainable. And to make it worse? She’s now competing for his clients. Still, he manages to grow a conscience. Also, he actually does some decent stuff–defending Kate from a lecherous client among those.

When Kate is suddenly single, you guessed it:  They get tangled, and he finds there’s something quite special about being with a woman who stimulates more than his naughty bits. And yet, he can’t trust the burgeoning relationship. As soon as there’s a wave on the pond he chucks in a cinder block, blowing the whole thing clean out of the water.

What happens next? Drew’s sledgehammer approach to woo Kate back will either reunite them–or drive her to homicide. And, the ride is absolutely delicious.

Thanks, Emma Chase, for Kate and Drew. I’ll be sending you the bill for repairing my iPad.

Who knew those things overheated?

Got a book to recommend? Leave it in the comments!

Loved TRANSPARENT by Natalie Whipple

If you follow my blog or Twitter feed, you’ll begin to notice that I MIGHT (could)  have a slight fetish for, um, contests. Particularly raffles.

It’s not my fault.

See, when I was five I won a tartan sack full of Susan B. Anthony dollars from a raffle at our hometown bank. Since then I have won sooooo many more raffles, well, my hubby insists that I fill out any and all entries and purchase all strip cards and, you get the picture.

So, when I ran across the TRANSPARENT Twitterpic contest last month, I sent in a pic. Why not, right? Gotta be in it to win it, and all. And, this photo below is how I got my copy of TRANSPARENT–courtesy of Hot Key Books.

Image

Notice the shoes…it’s an invisible gal using the toilet. Hey! Don’t judge me! I was at work, and had limited resources.

Anywho, a couple weeks later a package from London arrived in the mail. Like all giddy schoolgirls, I unwrapped my winnings and got down to business. And, I must say, it’s good I did.

TRANSPARENT is a fast-paced adventure, packed with light Sci-Fi goodness, and a splash of romance.

Plot premise: In the near future the use of radiation blocking medicine alters the genetics of humanity resulting in mutations that creates superbeings. Some of these mutations are kinda lame. Who really wants blue skin? The ability to mimic the scent of a skunk, anyone? Going once, twice…

Fiona O’Connell, however, had the (mis) fortune to be born invisible–to a crime kingpin father who figures she’s just perfect–as an assassin. With his Charm power, Jonas O’Connell can woo any female to do his bidding, and he’s decided that Fi, at 16, should become a cold-blooded killer.  So, Fiona goes on the run with her telekinetic mother–trying to escape her first deadly assignment. Thing is, when you’re brought up around criminals, it’s REALLY hard to trust anyone.

And, Fiona doesn’t.

Not the kids at the new school who are attempting to befriend her, and especially not her eldest brother, her father’s right-hand man and a confirmed killer. In order to survive, she must learn to confide in the super kids she meets, however, and she must also trust that this time her mom won’t go crawling back to good old dad.

The best part of this story, has to be Fiona’s sense of humor. She’s wry and witty and, due to no one knowing her facial expressions, used to being candid. Of course, author Natalie Whipple stands the invisibility barrier on its head to bring in the romance–which works well. Poor Fi! And, yet the lesson of facing one’s fears head-on is subtle and sweet.

I’d definitely recommend this to upper middle grade and YA readers. It’s a great story with fun twists and while it resolves nicely, it’s got built-in sequel potential.

Book Review: In Your Dreams

Synopsis (unspoiled [mostly]): In this first-person single point-of-view contemporary YA romance we meet Zara “Zip” McKee–a 16 y/o point-guard on her school’s varsity basketball team. Zip isn’t much into boys–because, in her small town, she’s known them all since preschool and they’ve always been ‘friends’. At the opening, two new kids have arrived; brother and sister Kieran and Kayla Lanier. Kieran isn’t just new, he’s someone very different from anyone Zip has known–which she learn in first period English when she bores him to death…or he passes out. [Spoiler: he lived but he had to carried to the nurse.]

This auspicious beginning sets into motion big reveals by Kieran and the Lanier family–all intensely private people. And the bombshells–even for Kieran, who has suffered a variant of narcolepsy since childhood–are well-developed and plot-driven. As the root cause of Kieran’s condition becomes known it is Zip to whom he clings, and she’s not too sad over it. Especially when it mean s a boyfriend and date for the prom. <br /><br />But the darkness in Kieran’s past reaches out from unexpected places, coming through both his and Zip’s dreams and straining their budding relationship. They don’t know who to trust, and won’t risk losing each other, resulting in an exciting climax. Zip fights to help Kieran, but neither of them have the ability to solve this problem alone. Good thing they don’t have to.

Critique: This is a well-paced novel with some suspense and elegantly-placed red herrings. The romance reads true and is compelling, and the science behind Kieran’s malady is well-conceived. Zip and Kieran are a fun couple, and I can’t recall the number of times I laughed when poor Kieran passed out at just the wrong moment–but there were many.

I would recommend IN YOUR DREAMS (Amy Martin) to any person who enjoys YA romance…and anyone who enjoys a good YA story.

Looking forward to the sequel.

My review of: As You Wake (In Your Dreams #2)

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In this sequel to IN YOUR DREAMS we meet up with Zip McKee and Kieran Lanier right where they left off…grounded. And, that’s okay. In fact, it’s where I expected to find them. Pretty much that’s the end of ‘expectations being met’, however, because the story far exceeded my already high expectations.

Sometimes I feel as if I know where a story will go, the subtle (or not-so-subtle) foreshadowing leading me exactly where I think the story must end. And, particularly in romance, that’s acceptable. Expected, even. But, in reading AS YOU WAKE, I was led a merry chase by That Amy Martin! Kidnapped, as it were, and held hostage to a plot that continued to careen forward down unexpected paths.

Now, while the story moves forward, the main characters move in opposite directions–Zip to her Dad’s and Kieran on a runaway adventure. Just when I thought we’d get a break from the tension good old Kayla tries to make it right, guilty she hadn’t been more watchful at Prom. Of course, her idea reunites Kieran and Zip, but now the parental units are involved, and this is both good and bad. Good because the air clears between the two families, bad because it brings new problems to mix: stalker anyone? As the stalker issue gets resolved, we learn more about Kieran’s medical history, and begin to hope that the end of his dream-vision doesn’t portend the end of Kieran…

So….I’m a fan-girl. I eagerly await (notice I didn’t say PATIENTLY!) the final conclusion of this trilogy. Thanks Ms. Amy Martin for upsetting my sleep patterns.

Lastly, can I say I love Zip just as much as Kieran? Is that allowed? IDK, but it’s true. She is smart, thoughtful, and concerned about her future–qualities I would hope all teen girls would aspire to be. And, Kieran, he’s the right mix of awkward teen male hormone angst. He’s kind, and funny, and not pushy about the sex…though he’s quietly desperate to have it, at least once. So as a couple they match desire with respect, and what better example could we hope for in YA fiction?

I would recommend this to all teen and YA readers.