what I’ve been reading lately…

… and, as usual, I’m all over the spectrum and I darned well like it!

I think there’s nothing more boring than a person who stays within one genre and never sticks her/head outside to see what else is out there – take a risk and you just might find something new AND good!

so, without futher ado, what I’ve been reading lately… and liking!

Undercover by Lauren Dane

first, I have to clarify that I did not find this one on my own – I regularly visit Karen Knows Best, a faboo blog and found this review on this book so I can’t say that I tripped across this one on my local bookstore shelves. However, as soon as I finished reading the review I *did* reserve a copy via the great system at the Barnes & Noble online store that lets you save copies at your local store for pickup.

in a word – HOT!

I have to admit that I’m rather new at reading exotic/erotic/smut stories outside of fanfiction and this is/was my first visitation into a threesome book – but, as the reviewer noted, it worked really well. Lauren Dane is one of those great success stories of a e-pub writer, originally with Ellora’s Cave and Samhein, among others, who made the leap to the "Big Time" with her writing. Having never read any of her books this was my first viewing of her skill… and I think we’ll see a LOT more from this amazingly talented writer!

here’s the official synopsis from the Amazon link:

Journey to an erotic future universe of passion, danger and deceit…

As a lieutenant of the Federation military, Sera Ayers is more accustomed to giving orders than taking them. Now she must obey the one man she can’t stand–and can’t stop thinking about.

With the enemy Imperialists gaining ground, a new covert team is assembled by Ash Walker. Ten years before, Sera had lovingly submitted to Ash’s dominance in the bedroom. But when he was forced into a political marriage, she left him rather than become his mistress. His marriage now over, Ash wants Sera on his team–and back in his bed.

The third team member, Brandt Pela, has an elegance to match Ash’s savage sexuality. And when their undercover plan requires Sera to pose as Brandt’s lover, it ignites a passion among the three of them more dangerous than their mission…

now, I know what you’re thinking – WTH? Are you SERIOUS? Me, an avowed feminist from the good old days of kicking male butt and taking names, liking THIS?

trust me… it’s much more than the synopsis makes out. Sera is a feisty, tough broad who knows her limits and just how to work both her men and the system (literally AND figuratively) to survive in a universe that really isn’t made for tough independent women. The writing is swift, fast and the pacing such that you’ll finish this in one reading and then go back to enjoy a second helping of some hot men doing what they do best – taking care of a woman.

definitely rated R or NC-17 or whatever you use for rating hot, sensual stuff. And well worth the money!

now, anyone who has seen my house can attest to, I tend to have a LOT of books going at the same time. Maybe it’s ADD or ADHD or whatever, but I just can’t seem to stay with one book unless it’s VERY good at keeping my attention.

Red Fire by Deidre Knight did just that.

the first of a series, it takes the legendary Spartans of Leonidas and tosses them into a world where they are Immortals, fighting demons for the survival of the human race with enough twists and turns to make you forget that "300" movie!

here’s the offical blurb from Amazon:

A thrilling new series featuring seven immortal Spartan warriors protecting mankind— and confronting passion along the way…

Eternity has become a prison for Ajax Petrakos. Centuries after he and his Spartan brothers made their bargain for immortality, Ajax struggles to maintain his warrior’s discipline. His only source of strength is his hope that he will soon meet the woman once foretold to him–the other half of his soul, Shay Angel.

Ajax searches for his destined mate on the haunted streets of modern-day Savannah, but he isn’t the first to find her. Shay, the youngest of a powerful demon-hunting clan, can see the monsters that stalk the steamy Southern nights–an ability that draws the deadly attention of Ajax’s worst enemy. As Shay and Ajax race to solve a chilling prophecy–one that could spell Ajax’s death if they don’t succeed–a fated passion arises, threating to sweep away everything in its path.

now, I’m not one to sign onto a series. I HATE when I feel like I’m being played out by a writer who could tell a story in a single volume and then stretches it out over five or six because either the editor, the writer or the publisher figures that they’ll rip as much money as they can out of my pocket – but this one I’m going to be following.

it’s a fresh new take on the romance genre, it’s a fresh new take on the Spartans and darn it… I liked it! Well worth the money if you’re looking for something that’s NOT vampires/werewolves based.
and last, because I love short stories and this one just leapt off the shelves:

The Many Faces of Van Helsing – Joe Hill, Tanith Lee, Christopher Golden and others

I’ve always felt that short stories have fallen by the wayside lately – sure, it’s nice to get into a fat juicy novel but what if you just want a little bit of sweetness before bed? Aside from the fact that the only sales I’ve made have been short stories (and one failed novel, but that’s another post) I’ve always liked the short sweet punch you can get from a well-written short story.

and, for the most part, this book delivers.

the Amazon blurb:

Twenty-two masters of horror and fantasy give Van Helsing, the vampire hunter from Bram Stoker’s Dracula, his due as they reimagine the adventuresof the greatest foe of the most evil vampire in literary history.

having said that, some of these stories deliver that great punch to the gut and some just sort of fall flat. I found some of the later stories, at the back of the book, to be rather weak when it came to doing something different on the great vampire hunter legend. However, for the most part, it’s a good read and a great present if you’re looking for something for that vampire lover that’s a bit different and NOT just another love-fest for the fanged.

So, there you have it… a trio of books that kept my attention when I could be watching TruTV or writing my novel or writing poetry or something else…

now, back to work!



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