Tuesday, July 31, 2018

#TellTaleTuesday #DeepSpaceDreaming #Sci/FiRomance

Title: Deep Space Dreaming
Author: Loretta Laird
ISBN: 978-1-62420-164-6
Email: lorettalairdx@hotmail.com

Genre: Sci-Fi/Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 4
Book Heat Level: 1


Join Jenni as the man in her dreams becomes a reality and the lusty adventure to find their way home begins.     

BLURB: Deep Space Dreaming

Humankind has spread like roaches across the universe thanks to the technology provided by a benevolent race known as the Trinz. Little did they know of the greed of humanity. A few pure souls began to dream of a paradise called Killanti, a new world where life could begin again.

Jenni dreams of a man who passes through her dreams and into her bed. Together they embark on a quest for answers that leads them across the universe and into each other’s hearts. Can their love transport them to their own utopia?


Deep Space Dreaming
Loretta Laird

By David Cairns 
4 Stars out of 5

What appeared at first to be a cheesy romance novel, the kind which I seldom read, turned out to be a really fun read. I'm more of a soft sci-fi fan than a hard one when it comes to books, so the plot of this story which involved a number of planets and species really appealed. Lead character, Jenni is a human who literally meets the man of her dreams. He happens to not only be Trinz,not human, but also devastatingly handsome and in possession of a forked tongue. (engage imagination for erotica) Deep Space Dreaming is at heart a love story, or more precisely, a red hot love story but the science fiction setting and plot which house the love story make it very interesting,more interesting than I expected. It's soft science fiction which supports the plot rather than overwhelming it, and the reader with technicalities.

I don't read a lot of erotica because I tend to find it all amusing rather than arousing, and I'm just not that into reading descriptions of love making regardless of how poetic they are, but I really enjoyed Deep Space Dreaming, and Laird's turn of phrase. This is an easy to read and entertaining novel with nicely imagined creatures from other worlds and a running commentary from them on the faults of humankind which might have upset the late, great Gene Roddenberry, Deep Space Dreaming works as entertainment. I highly recommend it.


It was a dream that haunted Jenni's every waking moment, pulling her back to blessed slumber each night. Her days were spent moving from task to task in a kind of trance, her mind elsewhere, thinking of the vivid dreams that were becoming more and more real. 
Jenni's colleagues noticed a change in her in recent weeks. They commented on the way her pallid skin contrasted with the dark circles that rimmed her pale blue eyes. Their concern was touching to a girl who had no remaining family. Jenni, at the tender age of twenty three, was the youngest navigational pilot assigned to a seeker vessel. Her grades at the University of Holborn 4 had been exemplary. At her post on Chicago 3, Jenni was in charge of navigation. Her role was to patrol and seek out rebels who may be harbored among the, thus far unchartered, planets of the Romeo Zone. 
She was content with her lot. She loved to charter the planets and stars, marveling at the beauties of the universe. Jenni loathed the created atmospheres of the planetary domes. She longed for the freedom to explore a planet such as the one in her dreams where fresh air prevailed and greenery surrounded her. The feel of her bare feet on the soft, damp grass appeared to her as real as the constant presence that eluded her until last night. For last night, the bare chested man sought her out and made himself known to her.
The dreams started shortly after the tragic death of her parents. Jenni was eighteen. She had just begun her space pilot training and was awaiting her first leave. She planned to spend time with her parents on their home world of Texas 9, in the Lima Zone, when news of their demise reached her. Jenni's grief had been raw. Her tears fell relentlessly and none of her classmates could rouse her from her mourning. Sleep brought her only comfort as it blocked out the pain that ripped through her heart. At first, Jenni dreamed of a world cloaked in mist that swirled and moved in mysterious patterns around her. She sensed mountain ranges looming through the vapor, but no concrete images would form in her mind. Each wakening, she would try in vain to recreate the land she conjured in her dreaming. After many nights, hills and valleys had taken shape and Jenni felt a calmness that aided her sleep and refreshed her tired mind. Each night she would long for slumber to engulf her so she could escape from the metal world in which she resided to the landscapes of her dreams.
Time passed and the dream did not fade; rather the world grew around her. New life sprung up as flowers and streams appeared. Jenni was soon among the fragrant growth, strolling through gardens that seemed to be hers alone. Small flying creatures buzzed softly in her ear as gentle breezes caressed her face. The grass beneath her feet was as soft as the covers on her bed and she reveled in the sensation of sinking her toes into its lush pile.
The man appeared one night at the edges of her consciousness as if watching her wonder and contentment. She tried to turn her head and observe him fully, but he remained elusive and distant. Jenni could feel it was a male presence. She didn't know how but she just knew. Each waking, Jenni would try to recapture her dream; try to piece together the puzzle of his identity. As he continued to observe her, Jenni felt a sense of peace settle upon her. His presence somehow brought comfort to her pain and loneliness. She tried to engage him, tried to draw him into her dream more fully. She sensed a deep reluctance, a wave of regret that left her breathless. In the dawn, Jenni would awaken, her face wet with tears as she mourned for her own loss as well as a loss she could not explain.
With time, Jenni began to learn how to move freely within her dream. No longer was she an observer of her own actions but in control of them. Each night she would seek out new wonders, new glens and pools in which she would frolic. Each night, the same benevolent force regarded her conduct with silent appraisal. 
One night, not long after she had been assigned to Chicago 3, Jenni's dreams changed. She drifted off to sleep as usual, eager to return to the land where she roamed free. Finding herself beside her favorite pool, Jenni shed her loose white shift and stepped naked into the crystal blue water. The edge of the pool was shelved, allowing her to stand waist high in the water. Beyond the rocky ledge the pool opened into a deep clear lagoon. The motion of her body in the still pool caused gentle ripples that lapped against her silky skin. Enjoying the sensation, Jenni threw back her head and laughed with unbounded joy. She paused as an unfamiliar sound reached her ears. It was a low rumble as if an animal growled in the dense trees beyond. Waiting to hear if anything was approaching, Jenni held her breath. When no further sound shattered the peaceful glade, she continued with her bathing. Dipping herself under the water then submerging, she repeated the pattern, finally emerging breathlessly at the surface. Flicking her long strawberry blond hair so it cascaded down the sun kissed flesh on her back, Jenni shivered. Chilled by the depth of the water, she decided to exit the pool and restore her body temperature. The large, smooth rocks that circled the pool provided a place to lay and feel the warmth of the sun on her bare flesh, and she eagerly climbed upon them, stretching out and basking in the glow of the fiery orb. As usual the perpetual presence lingered out of her reach, just at the edge of her vision, elusive yet constant. 
The sun quickly did its work, and Jenni was soon aching for the feel of the cool water once again. She stood up, this time with the thought of diving from the rocks into depth of the pool. Smooth and slippery, the rocks proved to be a hazard for the adventurous diver as her foot slipped and she fell into the water, striking her head on the rock as she tumbled.
As water rushed into her body, quickly filling her lungs, Jenni sensed a blackness overwhelm her. Her eyes closed as she lost consciousness. Unsure if she were still dreaming, Jenni felt two strong hands pull her from the water across the hard surface of the rocks and onto the soft blanket of the grassy bank. Unable to open her eyes yet fully aware, she coughed as a deluge of water travelled through her body, anxious to make its escape. The same two hands turned her on her side as water spewed unceremoniously from her mouth. Gasping for air, Jenni forced her eyes open against the glare of the sun. Two dark eyes looked back at her from under a scowling set of eyebrows.

Monday, July 30, 2018

#MysteryMonday #LoveInTheRVPark #Romance #Humor

Title: Love in an RV Park
Author: Jeffrey Ross
Email: slipdoc@cox.net

Genre: Romance (For Men) Humor
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

REVIEW: Love in the RV Park

Love in the RV Park
Author: Jeffrey Ross

Reviewed by Catherine DePino
Five Stars

Love in the RV Park shows love and romance as it really is, not sugar-coated and mawkish, as it’s often depicted in formulaic romance novels. The idea of a romance for men greatly piqued my interest, so I couldn’t wait to dig into this exciting book. I discovered that there’s something for everyone in this illuminating satire: exotic love scenes, a wild exterminator, knock-down drag-out fights, and zealots preaching that old-time religion.

The book’s playful, satiric tone adds to the ambiance of the story and underscores the crucial question: What do women want? Once I started to wend my way through the book, I couldn’t wait to see what happened to the quirky, off-beat characters. The book held my attention from the first page to the last.

The book’s author, Jeffrey Ross, is a master of characterization who endears us to his flawed but fanciful characters. The author weaves a story that keeps readers entranced and begging for more. You may find a character in this book that acts or reacts like someone you know, and it will prompt you to think about people and what motivates them to act as they do. At one point in the novel, Adam, a guitar-strumming musician, breaks into song asking, “Can’t we be just what we are?” That theme reverberates throughout the book and prompts us to ponder this crucial question in relation to our own lives.

Ross is a gifted storyteller. He previously taught full-time in a community college and has written other articles and some highly-acclaimed books. I highly recommend Love in the RV Park.


EXCERPT: Love in the RV Park

Johnny Roz
Retired English Teacher

Now, Johnny’s one claim to fame was that he had graded over 430,000 essays during his twenty-five year teaching career at Copperfield Community College. Johnny was an old bachelor. He lived in a nice two-tone pink and silver travel trailer owned by Luther and Leah Free. Johnny had lived there for nineteen years and had never considered home ownership. His days were spent worrying about faucet leaks, laundry, paying bills, and doctors’ appointments. Johnny’s cousin was Dr. Jeffrey Roz, a somewhat formerly-famous poet, romance novelist, and scholar who taught at nearby Hamilton State University. 
Johnny’s story was pretty calm. He couldn’t tell you where the years went. He was young once, went to a few meetings, then he was fifty-three and eligible for the state retirement system. He had owned three or four dogs in his lifetime, a few used cars, and might have been to Saskatoon once. That’s it. Except for the time he nearly killed himself drinking tequila shots at a CCC staff Christmas party in Casita Grande. The next morning, he woke up covered in sleet on somebody’s patio, pants gone, nearly hypothermic.
Johnny was a capable and careful man who kept a clean apartment. He wasn’t hooked up to cable, or dish TV, but he occasionally watched network events on the seven inch screen antenna-driven handheld model he bought at Sticky Mart for forty bucks.
Johnny had never been married. He often wondered about the life he lived, and realized financial security provided little in the way of emotional comfort. 
Johnny had always been fascinated by women, but had realized few “connections” with them. He had maintained female friends at work, but not many. Women, to Johnny, seemed to represent some kind of problem—a beautiful yet complicated problem.
A bit of a rhetorician, he often spent his days contemplating, analyzing, and critically reviewing the following question relating to human behavior: What do women want? Ah, Johnny knew Chaucer had an answer, Jerry Springer was curious, Virginia Woolf had a speculative idea or thirty, and Hollywood had churned out their notions in millions of senses-numbing bad movies, but he himself was at a total loss. Since he didn’t know the answer, Johnny often surmised he would remain lonely and solitary. Snap.
Sometimes he woke up at night sweating, nearly panicked, and thought about his past and the emptiness of his meager experiences. 
John was having a series of dreams lately—those kinds you have in the moments before you wake up—which were totally depressing him. In the dreams, the formula, the plot line, was nearly always the same. To wit:
Julia, an attractive and unhappily-married housewife from down the street, knocks on his door. He opens the door to see her, smiling, holding a measuring cup in her left hand. In each of the dreams, she has asked for something different—sometimes sugar, sometimes milk, sometimes cream, sometimes salsa, sometimes peanut oil. Once she even asked for cloves of garlic. He invites her into the front room, takes the cup, and finds the spice or ingredient she needs back in the kitchen. When he returns to the darkening room, she is always sitting on the couch, twirling a strand of auburn hair with one hand, and, with the other, patting the couch, signaling him to sit down next to her, next to her shapely form.
Her lips are pouty and beyond energized. She breathes heavily, with poignant and powerful desire. Her legs cross and uncross rhythmically. Um. Can you feel the heat?
Johnny always places the cup on his beat-up old coffee table and looks into Julia’s clear eyes—crystal pools of composure and need.
She puts her arms around him and nuzzles his chicken-skin wrinkly neck, and then she snuggles into Johnny. Now her lips are moist and panting. The old guy reaches out and hugs her, feels her curves, and is overwhelmed by a gloaming sense of comfort, love, connection. Her breath is sweet, her hands are satin, and the moment is warm and complete. One might say his senses are satiated, short circuited, nurtured, mesmerized, and radicalized. In other words, he is turned on but in a very private, emotionally pure, and enriched manner.
He smells her grace and beauty. Her grey eyes look into his for just a moment, and he can see into eternity—blazing, abrupt, and terrifying. The smart phones are silent; the music is quiet. Only her pulsating and harmonic breathing remains. The aroma of the eternal, the archetypical perfect female drifts into his nostrils. His being becomes an integrated whole—unified and sanctified. She murmurs pleasantries, licks his left ear lobe, then stands up, straightens her straps, and leaves, thanking him for the cupful. He admires her tight jeans, her straight hair, and her long neck as she leaves the room.
But the dream is always pure and potent and always the same. And comet quick! The sequence takes about thirty seconds, probably. This is the most love Johnny has ever felt.
And he wakes up tired, turns on the calcium-corroded coffee pot, and lurches into another lonely day.
Sometimes when Johnny was outside, he would see Julia coming down the street, perhaps walking the dog, or jogging, or visiting a friend. At such times, old Johnny turned away; he could not bear to see her curves, straight hair, and grey eyes. How much eternity could a man take?
Truth was Julia wasn’t married. Oddly enough, she often thought of old Roz and wondered about his life, his style, his weltanschauung. Crazy. She was miserable, too.


Title:  Love in the RV Park 
Author:  Courtney Rene 
Publisher:  Rogue Phoenix Press

Reviewer: Courtney Rene
Rating:  5 out of 5

I've decided that I really enjoy Mr. Ross' work. This book does not disappoint. I was quite entertained. Snipets of life and love with even a smidgen of hate waxed in. It was not what I was expecting at all, and that made it all the better. So many lives and loves in one small community culminating in a hilarious New years Even Party that I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at. Very well done.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

#RomanceSunday #SweetTalkin'Sugar #ParanormalRomance

Title: Sweet Surrender
Author: Christine Young
ISBN: 978-1-62420-375-6
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 5



Maska O'keefe has loved the beautiful shapeshifter for years. Unable to save her life years ago, he vows to watch over her as he is given a second chance to convince her that even though he is a witch and not a shifter, they are indeed soul mates. Kimi's divided loyalties between her family and the cause she is now a part of will determine their relationship. Only the part she plays as the messiah can bring this to a conclusion in the final battle.

EXCERPT: Sweet Surrender

She caressed his cheek again, nodding her answer. I want to make love to you, Maska O’keefe. I don’t want you to make any excuses, maybe not tonight but soon. I am not too weak to know my mind.
“I think it’s time we left the lovers alone. They have no use for us, and Kimi is no longer in danger. She does have her mate.” Lyn cleared her throat, backing from the room and tugging on Deacon’s arm. Guy and Baylor followed suit.
“We will continue tomorrow,” Sarah said, bowing before returning to her quarters.
Mak scooped Kimi into his arms, kissing her forehead, “Depends on what Kimi has to say. I don’t want to put her life in jeopardy because she does too much too soon. No one is going to change my mind, not even the witch.” Wanting nothing more than the safety of his woman, he cradled her against his chest. God, she was light as a feather. Had she lost weight since they arrived? He’d make sure she ate right. “I love you,” he whispered for her ears only.
Carrying her up the stairs and through his house, he felt a deep compassion for Kimi. She’d given up so much for him, and still his people put her in grave danger. A battle might not be raged where she was forced to physically fight, but he had the feeling this mental combat she was engaged in was far more dangerous. He cursed Melva for her part in all of this. Then he cursed himself for his role.
Unexpectedly, he felt Kimi wind her fingers through his hair. She snuggled in closer. The warmth of her body close to him did little to ease his conscious. Perhaps he didn’t want the guilt to vanish.
“Umm...” she murmured, “feeling better. Just want to be with you tonight.” And always.
My thoughts too. What changed your mind?
Mak kissed her forehead. “Feeling better? I heard what you told me. Are you too tired for words?” He kicked the door to her room open and stepped inside, eyeing the bed with frustration.
“Yes, so much better. Why did you bring me to my room? Oh hell, it doesn’t matter where we are.” She pulled his head down and kissed him on the mouth. Too many words evaporated my energy, easier to speak without talking.
Shocked, Mak reveled in the feeling for a second before returning the kiss. “You have to rest, you know. I’m not going to be responsible for...” He told her even though his body rebelled, and he wasn’t too sure what he was talking about. It had been so long since any intimacy at all had been shared between them.
“What if I don’t want to rest? What if I want you to make love to me?” She slanted him a sexy as hell grin that made him want to put her on the bed and strip naked. He closed his eyes, trying to shut out the image in his head of Kimi naked in his arms.
Yet he knew better than to rush the agenda of sex between them. No matter how much he wanted to have that closeness with his mate. “We can talk in the morning. After you’ve had a good night’s sleep. More than anything I want to make love to you, but the time isn’t right.”
“I want you,” she said, rubbing her hands up and down his arms then across his chest. She moved closer and kissed the column of his neck, and he knew she tried to seduce him.
He groaned, comprehending the fact that if she kept this up he couldn’t possibly be responsible for his actions. Of course he could. He inhaled a long deep breath and shuttered his feelings, searching for common sense.


Paranormal, romance, shapeshifter, time-travel



Saturday, July 28, 2018

#Sci/fiFantasySaturday #JakBarley-PrivateInquisitor

Title: Jak Barley Private Inquisitor, and the Case of One Damned Thing After Another
Author: Dan Ehl
ISBN: 978-1-62420-299-5
Email: kdanehl@yahoo.com

Genre: fantasy
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 1

REVIEW: One Damn Thing After Another

Jak Barley-Private Inquisitor and the Case of One Damned Thing After Another
Rogue Phoenix Press

Jo Ann Hakola, The Book Faerie
5 Stars out of 5

Jak calls himself a Private Inquisitor.  That's like a private eye in our day and age.  His acquaintances call him the ferret.  I don't think that's so bad.  After all, he does ferret things out.  But he hates it!

Mr. Ehl graciously sent me a copy of his book so I could read it for review. It's been published, so you can get a copy now.  

I've read this whole series and always enjoy reading the next one he's conjured.  His writing is fantastical, with creatures out of this world, and Jak just barely getting away from one crisis to another.  The story keeps you glued to the pages, there are puns, jokes, and more in his stories.  I enjoy seeing characters he's met in the past come back to see Jak again.  He needs all the help he can get.

He's got a girlfriend.  She's the witch's daughter and that's dangerous for him.  Lorenzo is around and Jak really needs his skills.  Other characters from the past show up at the right times to keep Jak alive.  What more could you want?

How about vampires who are trying to take over the world?  Or wizard warriors fighting with witches?  How about his girlfriend's mother and father trying to kill each other?  It's all here and it's a good read.

If you like fantasy and enjoy a good fight, you'll love this series.  I've enjoyed each book I've read and look forward to Jak's next adventure.  He just wants an easy life looking for missing persons or proving whose husband is errant but it's not to be.  Poor Jak...

Jo Ann Hakola
The Book Faerie
4225 Harrison St
Las Cruces, NM  88005
Proud Member of IOBA, Independent Online Booksellers Association



Jak Barley, private inquisitor, hates cases involving damned creatures like vampires and zombies, but that's just what he finds himself helplessly in the middle of. Jak has come to hate adventures. He would prefer the boring cases of his earlier years in the profession when dealing with errant husbands or minor pilferings. Still, somehow he finds himself eluding corrupt officials and creatures of the night that want to suck his blood and eat his brains. He does find help in his friend and publisher of the Weekly Tattler, as well as his mysterious friend Lorenzo Spasm from a parallel firmament—one similar to Jak's world in many ways, but devoid of any magic. He also finds support from his girlfriend, Morgana, an apprentice witch.

EXCERPT: One Damn Thing After Another

A guard dressed in the dark blood red of the Shaynee clan was calling to us from the other side of the iron-barred gate. He wore a helmet that reached past his ears and with a T-shaped opening in front, as well as a mail tunic, which seemed like excessive wear for a private guard.
"We have a special delivery for this address," said Lorenzo as he climbed down from the wagon. "I have the order right here."
The guard suspiciously squinted at the parchment and then called to his sergeant. He probably could not read. The sergeant looked it over.
"I have no notice of a shipment today," he said. "You will have to come back after I ask the captain.
"This be a special overnight delivery," Lorenzo replied in a bored voice. "We aren't delivering ham and biscuits from the local eatery. Our order parchment says it has to be delivered within twenty-four hours."
"What be in it?" the sergeant said as he stood on tiptoes trying to see into the back of the wagon.
"Count Dracula."
"It says Count Dracula on our work order."
The guard opened a small door within the larger gate and walked to the wagon while cautiously clutching his sword hilt. Our freight was a narrow wooden container the shape of a coffin, which it was.
"I know of no Count Dracula to be visiting the Shaynees," said the sergeant as if it were the most normal thing for company to come calling in a coffin.
"Now sergeant,'" said Lorenzo in a confidential voice of one insider speaking to another, "we know we cannot open this in daylight."
He looked us over. We wore no weapons. The sergeant must have decided the two of us harmless enough when considering the security at the mansion.
"Bring him in, then."
He turned and motioned for the guards to open the gate. We climbed back on the wagon and urged the pair of horses into the enclosure. The sergeant ordered two guards to accompany us. The major two requirements for working picket at the Shaynee estate must have most been size and nastiness. All the guards so far looked like two humans had been shoved into one skin and they were fighting to get out.
"Do not stray from the lane," snickered one of our chaperones. "There are fire drakes patrolling the grounds during the day and the Shaynees keep them half famished. Yah should ah seen what they did to the charwoman last week."
A circle drive in front of the manor boasted a fountain. In the center was a bigger than life statue in white marble. It depicted a skeletal figure with a shrewish grimace and it bore an ancestral resemblance to Bidner Shaynee.
"There's a certain majesty that runs in the family, don't you think?" Lorenzo observed to no one in particular. "Look at that heroic vapid gaze and weak chin that speaks of years of intergenerational breeding that is so common among our illustrious and anemic royalty."
The guards about us shifted nervously at any mention of the vampire family and one seemed relieved when it came time to hop from the wagon and run to the two massive doors where he rapped on a bronze doorknocker. The doors opened to reveal several more guards, these armed with crossbows. Behind them stood a doorman who would have topped seven feet if he had a neck. It looked like someone had chewed off his nose. The two nostril holes were surrounded by a crater of scar tissue.
The doorman belligerently pushed his way through the guards. "What have we here?"
"Count Dracula," replied Lorenzo.
"Count Dracula?"
"That be on the shipping order."
"Who be Count Dracula?
"Hey, I'm just the hauler. My job description doesn't include socializing with my freight. Last week I had to ship Barnabas Collins and let me tell you that was no picnic."
The Shaynee house servant walked to the back of the wagon and examined the coffin. "Bring it in."
Lorenzo looked affronted. "Hey, we are teamsters, not common laborers. It be against guild rules for us to unload the cargo."
The doorman gave a venomous look. "I said bring it in."
"All right, all right, Lurch. Don't get your nose bent out of shape. Oops, sorry about that."
The guards around us froze with fearful looks upon what could be seen of their faces within the helmets. It was obvious they had never heard such backtalk to the freakishly mutilated servant. It be one thing to sass a regular doorman in a fashionable quarter of town such as Vanella's Maxzerum, another to do it at the creepy domicile of the undead. I felt like smacking Lorenzo.
The doorman stood impatiently for a dozen heartbeats. "Then get on with it."
We slid the casket out of the wagon and Lorenzo took the head while I took the foot of the coffin. We followed him into a cavernous room so dimly lit that I could barely make out any details. After several turns through an equally dark hallway the doorman ordered us to lower and open the coffin. I held my breath as a guard unlatched the lid and swung it open. I could feel sweat dribbling from my armpits.

Friday, July 27, 2018

#Friday'sFeaturedTitle: Cupid'sKiss #YA #Fantasy #Romance

Title: Cupid's Kiss
ISBN: 978-1-62420-297-1
Author: Jennifer Milne

Genre: YA Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2

REVIEW: Cupid's Kiss

Cupid’s Kiss by Jennifer Milne
Publisher: Rogue Phoenix Press
Genre: Young Adult/Middle Grade, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (38 pages)
Age Recommendation: 14+
Heat Level: Sweet
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe for Long and Short Reviews
Cupid was real, and his descendants still walk the earth. Their magical matchmaking abilities don’t come from arrows though, but from their spit. Sixteen year old Amanda Amoretto is one of those descendants and she doesn’t believe in love. After all, if her spit can make people fall in love, it’s just a silly chemical reaction right? It isn’t real.Until she meets a boy she just can’t get off of her mind. But if she kisses him, he’ll fall under her Cupid love spell, which makes it impossible to have a genuine relationship. Her life is turned upside down as the girl who always overthinks everything finds herself a slave to her feelings. Can Amanda resist her feelings? Does she want to? Even if it means living a lie?
Being naturally irresistible isn’t always as easy as it may look.
My favorite part of this tale was the explanation the main character gave of how her ability worked. It was fascinating to see how she described the process of developing a crush on someone and why her saliva could jump start these feelings in a heartbeat. It made me want to know more about Cupid’s descendants!
While I really enjoyed this story overall, there was one part of that I didn’t quite understand. Many of Amanda’s classmates knew how resistant she was to the idea of ever kissing anyone. I was surprised by how common this knowledge was among them as it didn’t seem like the kind of thing she would go around advertising. Amanda was extremely private about her life in general, so it felt out of character for her to let so many people around her know something that would only encourage them to ask her even more questions about why she’d come up with that rule.
The chemistry between Amanda and the boy she met was absolutely perfect. I loved seeing them slowly figure each other out. They had a lot in common, and they were both such kind and smart people that I couldn’t imagine a better match for either one of them. It was impossible for me to stop reading until I knew if they were going to end up together.
Cupid’s Kissshould be read by anyone who is in the mood for a funny romance.


What if all it took to fall in love was to swap some spit?

BLURB: Cupid's Kiss

Cupid was real, and his descendants still walk the earth. Their magical matchmaking abilities don’t come from arrows though, but from their spit. Sixteen year old Amanda Amoretto is one of those descendants and she doesn’t believe in love. After all, if her spit can make people fall in love, it’s just a silly chemical reaction right? It isn’t real.Until she meets a boy she just can’t get off of her mind. But if she kisses him, he’ll fall under her Cupid love spell, which makes it impossible to have a genuine relationship. Her life is turned upside down as the girl who always overthinks everything finds herself a slave to her feelings. Can Amanda resist her feelings? Does she want to? Even if it means living a lie?

EXCERPT: Cupid's Kiss

Sometimes I wondered if I looked different to different people. You know, because not everyone finds the same things attractive, but everyone thinks I am attractive. So I often wondered if what I saw in the mirror every day, was what other people saw when they looked at me?
And I'll bet you thought youhad an identity crisis.
It's not that it's all bad. It isn't. There are obvious advantages to all the weird things I can do. I guess the closest thing I could compare it to, is being a celebrity. Sure they're rich and famous and beautiful, and all those things are awesome. But they never really know if people want to hang around with them because they're a nice person or because of all those awesome things.
Whatever. It didn't matter. My increased heart rate, the warm feeling I was getting all over, those were just dopamine. Something about Ren was attractive to me, so my stupid brain was releasing dopamine into my blood stream and blocking my production of serotonin. Which was why I was having a hard time forming coherent thoughts.
"Yeah…" was all I could get out. Then I giggled.
I know. GIGGLED.
I cleared my throat and pulled myself together, ready to wow him with the intelligence I knew existed somewhere under all that hair tossing and eyelash batting.
I seriously couldn't control it.
Unfortunately, Casey Santoro chose that moment to plop down next to me. "Amandaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa," she whined. "I think Paul is cheating on me."
I sighed. Casey alwaysthought her boyfriend Paul was cheating on her. She was just one of those girls. Which was too bad because she was otherwise pretty and sweet, with dark hair and big, expressive, almond shaped eyes. "Casey can this wait? I'm kind of busy."
"Noooooooooo, Amanda, I'm seriouslyworried!"
No Casey. You are seriouslyinsecure. 
But I couldn't say that.
I looked at Ren. "Sorry."
"It's okay," he said amiably.
I turned back to Casey. "What happened?" I noticed Ren watching me out of the corner of my eye.
"I came out of English last period and I saw him talking to Amy Morningwood. She wrote something down on a piece of paper and gave it to him. I think it was her number," she moaned.
"Casey, Paul and Amy are doing a class project together. I know because Kristy is in that same class. I'm sure whatever Amy wrote down had something to do with that."
"Ohmigod, are you sure Amanda?" she said.
"Pretty sure."
"Oh thank God! Thank you so much, I feel so much better." She looked over and seemed to notice Ren for the first time. "Oh hi, I'm sorry, I'm Casey," she said.
"Ren," he said nodding, an amused look on his face.
"Anyway, I didn't mean to interrupt you guys, sorry," she said and took off.
I rubbed my forehead, feeling a headache coming on.
"Do your friends do that to you a lot?" Ren asked.
"Not just my friends. Everyone does it."
I sighed. "Freshman year, I helped Jody Beckett, this dorky senior girl, get together with Kyle Manning, the most popular boy in school." There was some love spit involved, but I left that part out.
"Ah and you've been Miss Lonely-hearts ever since."
"Pretty much. Well minus the advice column, the drinking and the adultery."
"Good to know," he laughed as the bell rang. "So what are you doing for lunch?"
"I have a Winter Carnival meeting."
"What's that?"
"Every year for Valentine's Day the cheerleaders put on this carnival to raise money for charity. We have a few weeks left and we're kind of behind."
"You're a cheerleader?"
"Don't tell me you're one of those types who doesn't like cheerleaders?" I hope. Wait, no I don't care. No I do. Not.
"Not at all," he said, smiling.
I sighed with relief. On the inside. I think.
"Well, have fun, I'll see you around," he said pleasantly.
"I'll sext you later."
He gave me a funny look. "Oh God!" I felt sick with embarrassment. "I was thinking of saying 'see you nextperiod' but then I just decided to say 'see you later' and 'see' and 'next' somehow combined into…'sext…' oh God…"
"Not the worst thing for a pretty girl to say to me," he laughed and headed out.
My chest ached a little after he was out of sight. Oh God… was I having… feelingsfor Ren?

~ * ~

 "Okay so everybody needs to sign up for at least one shift at one of the booths," Mrs. Solis, our faculty advisor, told the room.
I liked Mrs. Solis because she was real with me. Every once in a blue moon someone comes along that is immune to my Charisma. Mrs. Solis was the only person at school who wasn't affected by my charms, so I relied on her for straight shooting. The upside and downside of her immunity was she treated me like she treated everyone, which was kind of crappy.
The Varsity, Junior Varsity and Freshman squads were packed into Mrs. Solis' small classroom. We were all sitting kind of close and Hilary Hudson kept giving me these uncomfortably intense looks from where she sat across from me. Damn pheromones, they worked based on attraction and since Hilary enjoyed the romantic company of the fairer sex, I was exerting a pull on her.
I made sure not to make eye contact and instead focused on the math worksheet I was secretly working on. Unfortunately, some people were more susceptible to my pheromones than others.
Sometimes if the person was sensitive enough, they could pull a 'Kevin Friedman' without my even kissing them. I had never experienced this thank God, but Phil had.
"Who wants to work the funny photo booth?" Mrs. Solis asked the room.
"I'll do it," I heard Angela say. I was keeping my head down still because I could feel Hilary's eyes on me.
"Me too," piped in Jessica Johnson.
Mrs. Solis nodded. "Okay, the dunk tank?"
This went on for I didn't even know how much longer. I lost track of time after I peered up to see if Hilary was still staring, to have her lick her teeth at me. I'd always thought Phil was just being a homophobe, but it was actually really uncomfortable. Though truth be told if a guy licked his teeth at me it would've been just as creepy. I'd never understood the appeal of 'tooth-licking'.
"Okay Amoretto looks like you're the only one left."
"Wait, what?" I asked confused. I hadn't absorbed anything anyone had said for the past few minutes.
"You're working the kissing booth."


Cupid’s Kiss

By Jennifer Milne

            Rating 5/5

            Reviewed by: Tamara White

~ Cute, Charming, and Heart Warming~

            Cupid’s Kiss shows how even the creators of love still trying to figure it all out.

            High school is a society within a society and Valentino-Day Academy is no exception. It has all of the love and heartbreak found in the adult world. But Amanda a smart, quick-witted high school cheerleader her high school experience is even more complicated. Amanda may have some qualities that are typical for a high school girl a squad of close friends, and ambition to excel academically. But Amada’s unique gift sets her apart from the others at Valentino-Day Academy, which had left her spending her high school years trying to avoid the one thing her friends are desperate to find, love, and the warm feelings that go along with being madly in love with another person. Amanda uniqueness leaves her with only her bother, Phil who is like her, to confide in.

            Amanda’s high school experience is unfolding the way she decided it would until, Ren DiFronte, a transfer student sits down next to her Chemistry. Ren, handsome, smart, and athletic, takes Amanda through a roller-coaster of feeling that even Cupid wasn’t ready to experience.