Sunday, August 31, 2014

Addicted to Writing ~ Romance Sunday ~ A Marriage of Inconvenience by Christine Young

Title: A Marriage of Inconvenience
Author: Christine Young
Genre: Historical Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4


When the duchess decides to wed her to a wastrel and a fop, Ravyn Grahm takes matters into her own hands and declares her engagement to another man. Instead of fessing up and telling her great aunt what she has done, she goes through with the pretense. Aric Lakeland is the bastard son of an earl and has a dangerous reputation. But Ravyn is willing to do most anything to keep the duchess from discovering the lie.


He'd bought land in America, looking to put down roots and end his life of adventure, but Aric Lakeland got more than he bargained for when he encountered a beautiful heiress who made a promise she didn't want to keep. But the promise could not be undone and standing between them were more obstacles than either ever dreamed. Aric had made plans to spend the rest of his life in America and that was at odds with Ravyn's plan of living in England and running her father's estate. Now, he'll have to choose between his dreams and the woman he loves more than life.


Aric Lakeland dodged foot-traffic along the boulevard in a crazy attempt to keep up with the bouncing erratic carriage he followed. The day was intolerably hot and his mood was no better. He resented this mission. He’d left a cool pub and a cold brew to sweat beneath the hot sun.

His idea of fun was not traipsing after a notorious gambler and womanizer. Nor did he want to baby sit a spoiled debutante.

Yet, he’d promised. A wave of guilt washed through him.

Sweat beaded on his forehead, dripping down his face. He swiped it with the back of his hand and sidestepped, nearly knocking packages from a lady just exiting a dressmaker’s shop.

“You owe me, my friend. When this is done, I will collect,” he swore beneath his breath and began thinking of all the favors he might ask of his half brother.

The carriage he followed turned a corner and disappeared from sight. He plowed into a lamppost, swore again and raced through the crowds. Richy Richmond did not deserve this absurd protection. Richy could deal with his own affairs. The other part of his half brother’s request bothered Aric. He did not want anything to happen to the lady he followed. His half brother had reason to believe Richy might do something to compromise her. His gut instincts had never been wrong. Ravyn Grahm, cousin to his half brother’s wife, was in serious trouble.

Richy’s carriage came to an abrupt halt. Richy jumped from the vehicle. His cane in hand, he strode toward a dress shop Aric had reason to visit on occasion.

Aric watched, fascinated as the scene unfolded. He started forward but noticed Richy race to protect the women Aric followed. 

“You ruffians!  Get your hands off me!”  The white-haried Duchess shrieked, her age-lined face mottled with rage, pushing at two little guttersnipes who seemed more intent on shoving the elderly woman around than stealing the packages she carried.

Ravyn swiped her parasol across a boy’s head and turned to the other, her eyes blazing, shooting violet blue sparks.

“Stop it!” she cried out, raising her parasol again and again. “Take that!  And that!”

Amused, Aric leaned against a lamppost similar to the one he had run into earlier in his race to keep Richy’s carriage in view.

He crossed his arms over his chest, grinning as he watched Ravyn batter the boys who had had the audacity to try and harm the Duchess.

He chuckled, prepared to step in if needed but it appeared the two women had the situation under control. Ravyn, he mused, the regal, classy lady who seldom had a hair on her gorgeous head out of place was decidedly disheveled. Her cheeks were flushed, her hair flowed beautifully from its perfectly coiffed hairdo. Her jacket sleeve was torn and to his amazement, she grinned as if she were having the time of her life.

“Go on, get,” Richy stepped in, shooing the two boys away. He grabbed hold of one of the boy’s arms and shook him. “Patrol,” he yelled, looking around for help. The boy stomped on Richy’s foot. Surprised, Richy let go. “Bloody hell!  Come back here. Little brat,” he yelled as the boy ran off.

Aric cocked an eyebrow, watching and wondering what would happen next, knowing Richy had a card up his sleeve. He had not forgotten he was supposed to be watching Richy, nor had he forgotten the man had suffered innumerable losses at the gaming tables and the racetrack the last few days and he might do something to Ravyn.

Aric pushed away from the lamppost and strode toward the women and Richy. He watched Richy change demeanor. Suddenly instead of rescuer, he was attacker. Aric’s heart stopped for a moment then raced.

Richy wrenched Ravyn against him, pulling her close, her arm behind her back, his mouth close to her ear as if he whispered something to Ravyn.

“Let go,” Ravyn cried out, twisting and thrashing her arms. It seemed to be the opposite scenario as moments before. The crowds that had previously closed around the women had now dissipated.

“Let go,” Ravyn cried again. 

“You’re mine, Ravyn,” Richy said in a low well-modulated voice. “You should have realized it months ago and I’d have won the wager. But instead, you ignored me. You taunted me and sometimes you pretended to care while other times you turned up your pert little nose when I walked by.”

“What do you think you are doing?  Let go of me!”  Ravyn cried out, hatred now in her stormy violet eyes.

To Aric, she sounded incredulous, perhaps confused. But strangely, not afraid.

“We--“he paused a moment--“are going to Gretna Green. We are getting married and I will inherit your estate. You will be mine.”

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Addicted to Writing and Sci/fi Fantasy/Paranormal Saturday: Sapphire Angels by Khloe Wren

Title: Sapphire Angle
Author: Khloe Wren
ISBN: 978-1-62420-085-4

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

Vampires are is the fact they will only ever take one women. Their Eternal Bride.
When Angelo sees Darcy, he knows she is his Bride. Her sapphire blue eyes match his exactly. But he must wait to claim her. He fears he has lost her forever when she disappears.
Five years pass before he finds her again. Just when things start heating up between them, Darcy is taken by their enemies. Angelo must fight to free his one true love. Will he be in time?


Karl ran his hands through his hair and tugged at it, hoping the stimulation would somehow make his brain think of a solution. The Elders were going to kill him over this if he couldn’t fix it. When he’d sensed a vampire hanging around Chapel Street six years ago he’d spent weeks trying to work out whom he was guarding. Karl knew, it had to be the vampire’s Eternal Bride, but which of the many women was it? Eventually he’d found her, her unusual sapphire blue eyes giving her identity away. All Brides had unusual irises. Colored like gemstones, most were very different to normal human eye color.
Karl was no match for a vampire, no human was. Even Elder Nobles couldn’t beat one in a fair fight. The only way to take down a vampire was through his bride. They needed to weaken him by removing his access to his Bride’s blood. Then they would use his Bride as bait to lure the vampire into a trap.
He’d told the Elders about the woman, Darcy, and they had told him to woo her. Make her move in with him so he could watch her for them. He thought it would only be until she turned twenty-three. Which had been three years ago and still the Elders expected him to watch over her. He didn’t love Darcy. She wasn’t his type at all. He’d taken to spending time with women he did fancy, in and around Darcy’s work schedule. She was very predictable with her hours and he’d easily carried on more than a few affairs over the last couple of years.
Damn it! Why had she come home early on Christmas Eve? It was so unlike her. He sighed heavily as the significance of the date hit him. It was the day of their five-year anniversary, and she’d probably wanted to surprise him with something. She’d surprised him all right. Shocked the hell out of Linda too, whom he’d neglected to tell, was the 'other woman'. She’d dressed and stormed out moments after Darcy. So, here he sat, three days later and he still couldn’t find any sign of Darcy. He’d checked all the bars down Chapel Street for the next couple of nights, and rung around all the hotels. One hotel thought she’d checked in on Christmas Eve, but she’d checked back out again later that night. He could only assume her vampire had found her and claimed her.
He looked at his phone and shuddered. He was just a low level Noble. A nobody. He didn’t want to have the Elders come after him; that would be worse than if he went to them and admitted his crime. He slowly picked up the phone and dialed the call which could well be his last.
"Karl, you have phoned to report in? You are a day late, my boy."
Shudders ran through his body as the deep accented voice cut through his mind like a knife. The Elder Nobles had great power, even their voices over the phone held a considerable amount of it.
"Apologies, Elder. I had—I had an issue I was hoping to solve before I reported in."
"An issue? Explain yourself."
"The bride has gone. I cannot find Darcy anywhere. I can only assume the vampire has taken her."
"You should have told us as soon as she disappeared. How many days has she been gone?"
As the Elder spoke his power surged through the phone, immobilizing Karl as pain racked his body and mind. He fought against the pain and after a minute or so it eased to a level he could talk.
"Th-three days, Elder."
There was silence on the other end. For a few moments, all Karl could hear was his own heart beating in his ears. He started praying for a quick death.
"If you were not needed to retrieve the bride, you would be dead. You have but one chance to redeem yourself and earn back your life. You must locate her. You do not need to acquire her, just locate her. We shall do the rest. Of course, if you do manage to capture her, there will be a nice bonus for you. She took her phone with her I assume?"
"Yes, she always has her phone. She's just not answering it."
"Use the GPS tracking in the phone to locate her. Call me when you know exactly where she is. Failure in this will cost you your life."
With a click the call ended. Karl dropped the phone onto the couch next to him and scrubbed his face. How the hell did he get a hold of GPS tracking information on her phone? His body was still aching from the Elder’s punishment so he decided to have a shower. Maybe the hot water would help get his mind working too.
He stepped under the spray and began cleaning his body. As he washed his hair he remembered his buddy from high school, the one who’d gone into private investigation work. He’ll able to help him, at a price. But with his life on the line, the money would be well spent. With a rough plan now in place, he quickly finished his shower so he could begin tracking down Darcy and removing the noose from around his neck.

Musing and Ramblings
3 Stars

I have to admit that I am a fan of Khloe Wren. I have read the first two books in her Fire & Snow Series and just adored them. So getting a chance to review the first book in a new series was a no brainer.  This book was a fairly fast read at about 70 pages and had a quite a bit of smexy in it, but it was an enjoyable read with a unique premise.

Vampires are known publicly. They are born, not made, and have 100 years to find their Eternal Bride. If they find and claim their Bride, they only take blood from her and must drink about every 3 days. They will know their Bride because their eye color will match their own, each a unique gemstone shade. If they are able to find their Bride, they can't claim her until she is at least 23 years old. For those unfortunate enough to not find their Bride within the allotted 100 years, they die. So finding their Bride is a HUGE deal for these vampires.

Of course, we have to have some bad guys in this equation. A group of men called "Nobles" who go to any means necessary to keep the vampire from his Bride, including kidnapping and murder. It's not till further in do we find out why they try to keep them apart, and the squick factor is high. And as with this story being part of a trilogy, there will be more on the Nobles to come in the next two books.

Normally, a Vampire and Bride meet, fall into each others arms and have the insta-love thing going on. But Darcy has just come out of a 5 year bad relationship.  As in finding your boyfriend in the your bed, on your anniversary, having sex with someone else bad. Darcy makes Angelo work for her claiming, but this also happens as part of the larger story line of Nobles versus Vamps. This was a great quick read and I give it 3 stars.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Addicted to Writing and Friday's Featured Title: On Sale for $0.99 ~ Allura by Christine Young

Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Buy at Amazon:
Buy at Barnes & Noble:

Title: Allura Genre: Historical Author: Christine Young 
Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne Reviewer Email: 

Christine Young’s ALLURA is a delightful historical novel full of suspense, lovable characters, humor and a budding romance between two characters determined not to fall in love. Allura and Hunter’s stubborn, determined natures allowed for some interesting scenes as they attempted to get one up on each other. As a modern day woman I felt bad for Allura because technically her husband would dictate every aspect of her life and the freedom she loves would be a thing of the past. Hunter is unbending as far as to how he believes a wife should behave but falling in love changes him and his perception of Allura. Hunter and Allura are the main focus of this story but there are secondary characters whom I absolutely adored and would love to revisit in future novels (hint, hint). Especially the youngest sister Aiden and Hunter’s trusted friend Blade. He doesn’t believe in love and she’s determined to do whatever’s necessary to get him to notice her. SNIPPET— Allura has come to treasure her freedom and the adventures she shares with her sisters and her cousins but her father’s decision to find her a husband threatens that freedom. He’s placed an ad in the times in search of a man strong and smart enough to discover where exactly it is that the girls venture when they leave the safety of the castle.


Allura McClellan is horrified by her father’s decision to take out an ad in the Times awarding her to the man strong enough and smart enough to win her hand and uncover her secrets. She’s an intelligent young woman who takes great delight in the freedom allotted to her by her father. She’s well aware that marriage would effectively curtail the adventures she’s shared with her sisters and cousins.

Hunter Gray is nothing like the other men who’ve arrived to vie for Allura’s hand in marriage and everything that goes along with it. However, he is the first to refuse to concede defeat and pursue her despite her attempts to disguise her true appearance. It’s her temperament that is of more concern to him than her looks. Hunter has worked all his life with the hope of someday owning his own land. Now that it looks like there’s a very real possibility that everything he’s ever wanted is within reach nothing is going to deter him – including Miss Allura’s disagreeable disposition.

Eddington, Scotland 1815

"You can’t plan to wed me to that--that man down there!" Allura McClellan’s heart thundered and lodged in her throat. Balled into fists her hands trembled. "You promised I could marry for love. I thought when the last man failed to discover this imaginary secret you think I have, you would stop this craziness. I thought you would take the ad out of the Times and the other papers."

From the boxing ring below, fist met flesh, the sound echoing throughout. Hunter Gray whirled and ducked. He guarded his face to block the stinging blows his opponent rained down upon him. He spun and ducked again. The man he fought countered the attack, but he did not move fast enough. Hunter’s next jab was so fast and so hard the other man didn’t block the punch. The man staggered backwards, blood running from his eye. Men yelled and cheered for the two combatants. Hunter paused and spoke to the man he practiced with before the match continued once more.

Allura saw her life as she had planned it slip away as if it was grains of sand in an hour glass. She stopped pacing and watched the men below. She turned on her father. "The ad in the Times--giving me away to any man--you have gone too far. A marriage of convenience is barbaric. You promised." For a moment, she closed her eyes. She did not want to acknowledge anything that went on here. It was not her fault she could not find a man she loved. What horrific bit of bad luck had found her?

The laird cleared his throat. "Perhaps I have not gone far enough or soon enough. And the ad did not promise you to just any man. He must be strong enough and smart enough to win your hand."

It was not Allura’s nature to allow others to rule her fate. “These men,” she waved her hand in the air, frustration sweeping recklessly within. "They don’t want me. They come for one reason only. They are greedy and hungry for power. You have taught me everything I need to know. I can run your estate and all of your holdings. I’ve studied endless hours. I know the men who work for you. I swear I’ll defy your wishes. At the altar I will say no."

The McClellan’s grin faded as quickly as it had appeared and without further thought, he said, "Perhaps not, you are beautiful lass--one with rare promise. And," he stroked his chin, "no matter how much book learning a woman has she cannot dictate her own life. It is up to the men in her life to make sure she is happy and provided for."

A strained silence followed. She sagged against the stone wall. As if sensing her vulnerable position, she stiffened. Outraged and furious she looked upon her father. "They are money grubbers and want your land--our land. They have no right to any of your estate."

The McClellan held back for a moment, seemingly aware there was more than just a little truth in what Allura said. "How indeed?" he questioned her. Yet his smile was tight, forced. "I grow old. I only want this land secured and my daughters happy before I die. You are twenty-two. I have given you ample opportunity to fall in love. I thought it time to bring new blood to this land, a new man. I thought perhaps one would take your fancy."

"That man," she began. Her hand shook when she pointed at the man who danced and whirled avoiding each blow as if he dallied in child's play. She trembled so violently she could not speak. “Is an Englishman.”

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rogue Phoenix Press Presents: Sweet Misbehavin' by Christine Young

Book three in the McKenna Clan Series

ISBN: 978-1-62420-110-3
Author: Christine Young

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 2
Book Heat Level: 5

Reviewed by Ashley Ladd, "Happily Ever After"
4 out of 5 stars

Sweet Misbehavin' is a romantic, mystical tale packed with magic, action, and adventure. Romance blooms when Margo, a novice fire starter running from an evil demon meets Carr, a heroic shape shifter. Although Margo has an innate distrust in people, especially in men, Carr gains her trust and convinces her to let him and his clan protect her and her young daughter. Not only does Margo come to know Carr, but comes to know herself, grow her powers, and trust in love again. This is a beautiful story that I heartily recommend reading. Although short, it packs a mighty wallop.


Cast adrift after fleeing the home of Jokul, the ice demon, Atantsi, a firestarter, grew to womanhood as she moved through time to keep the demon from finding her. Though stubborn and courageous, she was ill prepared to use powers she had not been taught. Her first sight of the intoxicating Carr McKenna left her breathless, and her second encounter gave her hope for a future she never thought she had.

A playboy, a second son and a shifter, a man who thought his life would be carefree, Carr McKenna was shocked to discover the woman he’d paid as an escort is a firestarter who is running for her life. He is the leader of all the McKennas around the world and that he has multiple powers. His passion for Margo and the need to defend her might cost him his life as well as hers.


In a sign of unity, they linked arms and strode to Phaedra's room. She picked up the crystal, and walking onto the balcony, Phaedra held the clear orb toward the sun. "Take us to Jokul, wherever he might be." Phaedra began to chant as the crystal seemed to take on a life of its own.
Splinters of sunlight hit the glass ball. The glow surrounding the crystal flowed into and around the girls. The world turned and spun. All the colors of the rainbow wrapped them in a protective tunnel.
Margo closed her eyes against the blinding light, clinging to Phaedra as they hurtled through space. She felt the difference. Time was not changing, only their destination.
In a matter of seconds, they were set down on a ledge of ice. Laughter echoed through the hallway then thunderous booms. Margo motioned to Phaedra to follow her. With caution, they walked toward the sounds. The building they were in shook and the ice columns around them swayed as if they might fall.
"What is it?" Margo felt nausea roll in her stomach. For a moment, she closed her eyes, hoping to understand what was happening and how to deal with it. She tried to remain composed, knowing the ability to think and react in a rational manner would serve her well.
A young girl cowered in a corner, a collar around her neck. Tears flowed down her cheeks. She turned from them when she saw them, her body trembling.
Phaedra knelt beside her. "Are you Jokul's slave?"
The girl looked up, terror clearly written in her eyes and nodded, "yes."
"Where are they? Where is Jokul? And what is he doing?" Margo's impatience grew exponentially. Fear spiraled, yet she forced control of her emotions and tried to remember everything she'd learned.
"Down that hall. He has killed. The big cats didn't have a chance. He is keeping one alive just to torment him." The girl's shaking hand rose from her lap and pointed.
"You'll be fine." Phaedra cupped the girl's cheek with her hand. "I promise. When this is finished, I will come back for you."
The girl didn't say anything. Instead she stared back with a vacant and torn gaze as if she didn't believe Phaedra.
"Jokul will not survive this day. I promise you. You will be set free." At her sides, Margo clenched and unclenched her fists. She meant to do this and suddenly she was no longer terrified of Jokul, his ice or his threats. With each passing second, her courage and confidence grew.
Several heartbeats later, Margo stepped inside the room where the slave girl sent her. The sight caught her breath. Carr's siblings and cousin were frozen ice statues. Relief that Carr wasn't frozen swept through her. Yet fear for him immobilized her for a moment. She watched him leap into the air, avoiding an ice bolt Jokul shot at him.
So consumed with their fight, neither male noticed their entrance to the room. Time was apparently on her side. Before anyone knew she was there, she shot fire at the three guards, their bodies aflame. The inferno lit the room. Then she turned her attention to the demon. Focusing on Jokul's back, she raised her hand, sending fire his way. Seeming to feel the searing heat, he whirled.
Rage lit his face then a smile. "You have come back to me but it is too late." He sent a torpedo of ice her way. Unflinching, she met it with fire. For a second, confusion creased his brows. She saw determination and rage in his face and a moment of confusion.
"You cannot defeat me." More powerful than ever, he sent another wave of ice towards her.
She met ice with fire. "No, Jokul, I'm not an innocent young girl who has no idea how to use her powers. Phaedra has taught me well. Did you think I would always be weak and in your control?"
Rivulets of water from the melting ice ran across the floor. Carr let out a mighty roar and leapt toward Jokul, bringing him down. They rolled on the floor, Jokul caught between Carr's claws.
At the close proximity, Jokul was able to slather Carr in a coat of frost. He broke free, scrambling to his feet and sending a small coating of frost to entomb Carr.
Margo could not risk Carr's life. Yet she remained ready for the battle, waiting for the right moment. Jokul left his mark on Carr once more. Then he rose, his frown growing.
"I will end you, Jokul," Margo said. "There is no other way." Her arms extended, her hands pointing to Jokul, she was poised on the brink of no return. She recalled the spoken words of caution. If she ended his life, there would be repercussions felt around the world. But if she did not, her life as well as the McKenna's would be threatened.
"You're very certain." Jokul's laughter encased her soul and terrified her. Once again, he sent a stream of ice, and once more she melted it with her fire. "You're no longer the weak little girl who fled my care."
"I told you it was so. I am strong, stronger than you because I have love for these people. You have only hatred to guide you." Her heartbeat slowed and assertive energy surged through her.
Phaedra remained behind Margo. "You must finish this. His strength is great. You must strike now before he regains his energy field. You cannot outlast him and you have the others to think of."
Margo tipped her head slightly, noticing how Carr had thrown off the cloak of frost and was stretching his muscles. While she kept her focus on Jokul, Carr looked at her and nodded.
She heard Carr's words in her mind. You have no choice. He means to kill all of us if he survives.

Reviewed by Harps Romance Book Review

I have just finished this book and it was awesome!  Carr McKenna meets Margo on her first night working as an escort to support herself and her young daughter.  Margo is an untrained firestarter so when she gets mad things catch on fire.  She is running for her life from an ice demon named Jokul.  Carr is more than he seems as he is a shapeshifting jaguar.  And he has more powers that he is just learning about.  He sees Margo as his life mate when they meet as sparks fly.  Can he save Margo from her stalking demon with the help of his family? Read and find out! I thoroughly enjoyed it.