Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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 BY CHRISTINE YOUNG FREE ON KINDLE UNLIMITED



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

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REVIEW: 
Title: Allura Genre: Historical Author: Christine Young 
Reviewer: Chrissy Dionne Reviewer Email: RJChrissyDionne@yahoo.com 

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.

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BLURB: 

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.”

REVIEW:



ALLURA
CHRISTINE YOUNG
ISBN # 978-1-58749-722-3
April 10, 2009
Rogue Phoenix Press
Ebook
$4.99 US
239 Pages
Historical Romance
Rating: 4 Cups

Allura McClellan’s father wants to see his daughters married before he passes on and has decided to run a contest to see who can reveal Allura’s secret and, if correct, the prize is her hand in marriage as well as her land and titles. She fights her father every step of the way, clinging to the reasoning that she does not want to submit to a man and give up who she is because she takes pride in all she has learned and who she has become without a husband.
All Hunter Gray's life, he has been treated horribly for being an English earl’s bastard son and as an adult, fought for his country and became a mighty warrior. Now, he sees a chance to get everything he feels he deserves, money and land, and all he has to do is seduce Allura into marrying him.
Even though a crackling fire rears itself every time Hunter and Allura are together, they truly try to fight the attraction, but for different reasons. As time goes by, feelings start to change and as they are in danger of losing themselves and more, can Allura and Hunter both get what they want?
I really enjoyed this book by Christine Young. It has mystery, humor and, whew, steamy love scenes! An awesome group of characters make this read very entertaining, from the tough as nails Allura to her meddlesome younger sister, Aiden. There is never a dull moment throughout this book and you will surely not be disappointed. I can only hope that some of my favorites get a story of their own. Well done Ms. Young.
Matilda
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

TELL TALE TUESDAY: A reluctant incubus with a traumatic past must consume sexual pleasure to live. Can the woman of his dreams survive his love? JEWEL OF THE NAGA BY OLIVIA FIELDS



Title: Jewel of the Naga
Author: Olivia Fields
ISBN: 978-1-62420-247-6

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5

TAGLINE

A reluctant incubus with a traumatic past must consume sexual pleasure to live.  Can the woman of his dreams survive his love?

BLURB

Fredric is a reluctant incubus with a traumatic past: the accidental death of his first lover as he fed earned him a powerful enemy among the shapeshifting naga.

Forced to consume sexual pleasure in order to survive, Fred has spent centuries preying on women’s dreams from hiding, until he finally fell in love.
 
Now the ancient vendetta resurfaces in the form of a curse, forcing Fredric out of the shadows.  He must fight to save his beloved from the fatal consequences of his own admiration.  Can he find a way for the woman of his dreams to survive their love?

EXCERPT

Fred's face looked unfamiliar, his expression hard, almost fierce. He gazed out at the bidders, his eyes narrowed in the eagle-eyed, sharp gaze of a predator. He held himself haughtily, unmoving, leaning on a gold-handled cane with one leg slightly advanced. A low murmur of appreciation, almost a moan, rustled through the house. Michelle felt her own belly dip, fluttering with an undeniable erotic thrill. The glamour was in full force, enhancing his appearance to an unbearable, tantalizing degree.
"Ladies and gentlemen." A low, resonant voice—a recording of Fred himself, his accent more pronounced than usual—silenced the murmur, commanding attention. "Superlatives Auction House is proud to present this limited specialty item for the true connoisseur. A demon of the underworld has come forth to offer himself for your delectation, and for his own." His voice deepened, taking on a smoky rasp, seductive. "Be certain your heart is bold, should you venture to bid. Rest assured, as the demon sates your appetite for pleasure, you will certainly satisfy his."
Onstage, Fred licked his lips, turning his head so his level gaze swept across the bidders. Again the ghost of a moan rippled through the crowd. He shrugged lazily out of his coat, then a snap of his wrists spun it in a circle, the black fabric flowing around him like the beating wings of a bird of prey. He let the garment swoop to crumple at the edge of the stage in a puddle of inky darkness. He was slim as a blade underneath, wearing a close-tailored dark waistcoat. It caught the lean lines of his body and displayed them to devastating effect. Even his shoes gleamed, reflecting the floor in their perfectly polished surface.
Several uniformed stewards entered the bowl from the back. They spread out among the bidders, offering clipboards loaded with stiff sheets of paper and shiny black fountain pens. Michelle accepted hers, scanning the words. The document combined a contract with a liability waiver, specifying winning bidders were obligated to pay as they bid, on pain of lawsuit and seizure of assets. Michelle swallowed hard. Her assets would not even begin to cover her debt, should Robin prove false.
The second half, requiring a separate signature, stated the buyer would hold Superlatives blameless of all negative outcomes resulting from the purchase, then explicitly stated the risks the buyer assumed upon successful purchase of the commodity. To the winner, Superlatives promised one night, not to exceed twelve hours, of mutually consenting sexual congress with an incubus, the consequences of which were deemed likely to include severe bodily injury, permanent physical or mental incapacitation, and a strong potential for fatality.
Michelle signed on both dotted lines, her functional handwriting crabbed in comparison to the graceful, archaic font. The steward made a note of her bidder number on the contract, then produced a seal, notarizing the paper. He swiped the raised imprint with a sheet of carbon for legibility and tucked the document into a gleaming leather folder, then vanished.
On stage, Fred picked up the snifter of brandy and sipped, the bell of the glass cradled gracefully in his palm. He gave every appearance of bored ease, waiting for tiresome formalities to be finished so the real business of the evening could begin.
Michelle swallowed hard. The butterflies in her stomach had grown to the size of starlings. She thought they might be turning cartwheels. She had to pray whatever mischief Robin had up her sleeve wouldn't prove catastrophic.


Monday, July 24, 2017

MYSTERY MONDAY: When Forest Ridge, Oregon is terrorized by an arsonist, Fire Chief Mitch Chambers vows to do whatever it takes to protect the community--even work with the woman who left him four years ago. REKINDLED LOVE BY ROSEMARY INDRA



Rekindled Love
Rosemary Indra
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3

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BLURB:

When Forest Ridge, Oregon is terrorized by an arsonist, Fire Chief Mitch Chambers vows to do whatever it takes to protect the community--even work with the woman who left him four years ago. Professional sketch artist Abby Denton, still loves Mitch and hopes to regain his trust and respect by working with him. However, she fears when he discovers the truth about their daughter, he will never forgive her. As they work together, Mitch once again falls in love with Abby, but this time he refuses to let her walk out of his life. Can they rekindle the love that burned between them and uncover the identity of the arsonist before he turns their dreams and the town to ashes?

EXCERPT:

He saw no one as he made his way up the incline to the dilapidated storage shed. Situated on the edge of an older residential area, the structure he’d picked was perfect. The weathered building appeared vacant, and a large empty lot separated the shack from the nearest house. He pushed opened the unlocked wooden door and removed the backpack full of supplies from his shoulders.

After wiping his sweaty palms on his pant legs, he opened two small containers and sloshed the liquid on the wooden floor. Soon the pungent aroma of gasoline filled the room. He placed the igniter in a bed of steel wool then attached the wires to the small batteries and the timer. After picking up his backpack, he hurried from the shed closing the door behind him.

He glanced in both directions. Confident no one was in the area, he walked up the dead end street. His heart hammered in his chest. Ignoring his trembling hands, he removed a pack of cigarettes from his coat pocket. After he flicked his lighter, he stared at the bluish-yellow flame. Excitement raced through his veins.

A foggy mist hugged the ground and darkness shrouded the sleepy little town. Despite the wetness from the damp, January air, he crouched at the edge of the trees across from his target and waited.

He pulled a long drag on his cigarette then checked his watch. Two minutes before the hour. He’d completed his work on schedule. He had everything under control. Nothing would stop him. With the heel of his shoe, he ground out the butt.

The ignition flared to life. Shattering glass and splintering sounds of wood interrupted the stillness. Debris shot in every direction. "Damn," he muttered as he covered his ears with his hands, blocking the pressure from the explosion. The detonation was more powerful than he’d anticipated. The flames were clearly visible through the gaping hole in the side wall. No alarms, no security, and no advance warning. Everything had gone according to his plan. His gaze locked on the growing flames.

"Fire! Fire!" A man pounding on a neighboring house drew his attention down the street. "There’s a fire over there. Call 911," the Good Samaritan shouted as he pointed up the street.

He didn’t plan for anyone to discover the fire until it was too late. He needed more time. The firefighters would destroy his masterpiece.

In the distance, the fire alarm clanged to life at the station. Within minutes, he tuned into the sound of sirens growing louder with the approaching trucks.

Anxiously, he looked at the shed. A smile formed on his lips when he noticed the flames reach the top of the window frame. Hopefully, the fire would finish the building before the crew arrived. He drummed his fingertips against his forehead.

Red lights from the approaching trucks flashed, brightening the pre-dawn darkness. He didn't intend to stay once the crew disembarked. On second thought, he'd enjoy watching their futile efforts to extinguish his creation.


Definitely not your normal run of the mill romance novel. On the whole a very good book and well worth reading.

Orchid for Long and Short Reviews