Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Betrayed (Mystere Parish:Family Ineritance) by Jana DeLeon (Harlequin Intrigue #1447)

The Betrayed (Harlequin Intrigue Series #1447)

(I purchased this book.)

A man undercover must reveal the truth in the swamps in the continuation of USA TODAY bestselling author Jana DeLeon's Mystere Parish: Family Inheritance.
One day on the job and contractor Zach Sargent is ready to believe the dilapidated old LeBeau mansion is haunted. Some intruder—earthly or not—is threatening the youngest LeBeau sister, back to claim her inheritance. And though Danae keeps her distance from the sexy hired hand, he falls for her in a heartbeat.
Like Danae, Zach has come back to Calais in need of answers to troubling questions about the LeBeau family past. But Danae must never know who he really is and he can't let his attraction to her stop his search…or else a decades-old evil will claim a new victim.

This is the second book in Jana Deleon's Mystere Parish: Family Inheritance series for Harlequin Intrigue. (Click here for my review of the first book, The Accused.)
A solid mystery with a sexy, tender romance and a touch of the paranormal,  The Betrayed follows the youngest of the three sisters, Danae, who was only two years old when the girls' evil stepfather sent them away to be raised by distant relatives.  Danae has arrived in Calais under an assumed name,  and she feels an instant connection to Alaina, eventually gathering her courage to reveal her identity.
Hired by the family attorney to go through the mountains of paperwork kept by the stepfather, Danae goes to the mansion to begin her task and hopefully reconnect with her birthplace.  Once there she meets Zach, the hunky contractor hired to make repairs, who has secrets of his own linking him to Danae's mother and stepfather.
Zach and Danae quickly  recognize a strong mutual attraction, at the same time they realize they're not alone in the spooky old mansion.  The intensified sense of menace pushes Zach and Danae into mutual support mode, as they stay together for protection while trying to get their work done.  Pretty soon their individual desires to find answers in the paperwork takes a backseat to staying safe, and the time spent together under pressure electrifies their attraction and their trust in one another.  The romance is sweet and tentative, and completely sexy.

The menacing atmosphere and strange events at the mansion, shadowed by the recent attack on Alaina, combine to create a pressure-cooker of intensity that make this the perfect book for reading late into the night, while safely tucked into bed.

Find The Betrayed on Goodreads.

The final book in the series, The Reunion, will be released September 17, 2013.
The Reunion / The Secret of Cypriere Bayou (Harlequin Intrigue Series #1452)

Check out my reviews of Jana's Mystere Parish series The Reckoning, The Vanishing and The Awakening.
And find my other reviews of Jana DeLeon's book by clicking on her label to the right of this screen - I am such a fan of her writing.
The author's website is at
The Accused (Harlequin Intrigue Series #1441)  The Secret of Cypriere Bayou (Harlequin Intrigue #1265)  The Lost Girls of Johnson's Bayou (Harlequin Intrigue Series #1331)  Resurrection in Mudbug  Rumble on the Bayou 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Oracle of Philadelphia (Earthbound Angels Book One) by Elizabeth Corrigan

Oracle of Philadelphia

(I received a free copy from the author in exchange for review consideration.)

Carrie works at a diner in South Philadelphia, dispensing advice to humans and angels wise enough to seek her counsel. But there are some problems that even the best advice can’t solve.

Her latest supplicant, Sebastian, is unique among those who have sought her aid. He sold his soul to a demon in exchange for his sister’s life, but his heart remains pure.

Carrie has lived for millennia with the knowledge that her immortality is due to the suffering of others, and she cannot bear to see another good man damned when it is within her power to prevent it.

In order to renegotiate his contract, Carrie must travel into the depths of hell and parley with the demons that control its pathways. As the cost of her journey rises, Carrie must determine how much she is willing to sacrifice to save one good soul.

Published in March 2013, Oracle of Philadelphia is a fresh and original tale.  The book is narrated by Carrie, an immortal human who has the ability to read the minds of others.  Over six thousand years ago her village elders made a deal with a demon to ensure her immortality and thereby gain fame for the village.   But deals with demons are never straightforward, and Carrie was blamed for the ensuing bloodbath.  With her soul barred from going to heaven because of the actions of the elders (very old-testament, blaming the victim) Carrie has endured,because she has no other choice. She is immortal like the angels and demons, but unlike them has free will.   Her only real friend has been Bedlam, one of the fallen angels.  Bedlam has been staying on earth, avoiding Hell and the Abyss since the Fall.  His chaos-driven mind is white noise to Carrie, allowing her some peace among the buzzing thoughts of humans and angels.   

One of the best aspects of this book is the incredibly fresh and humorous take on the Christian mythology of angels and demons.  The angels and demons are as petty and full of personality quirks as any human, driven by their personalities and going about the business of their domain.  It's basically a soap opera of divine dimensions, all witnessed by the low-key Carrie.

Until one day a pure, good soul enters her diner, bearing the mark of the Archdemon Azrael.  Sebastian has sold his soul to save his sister's life, and in all her millenia Carrie has never met another human with a soul as pure.  Believing that he doesn't belong in Hell, Carrie decides her life on the celestial sidelines has gone on long enough, and she spirit-journeys to Hell to seek out Azrael and try to save Sebastian's soul.  Over the course of five nights Carrie travels to Hell, visiting the domains of five archdemons, until she finds Azrael on the last night.  Each trip causes Carrie to remember a piece of history as she recalls how and when she met the demon, creating an amazingly rich backdrop of Carrie's life.  This part reminded me very much of Dante's Inferno.  And while the narrative was fascinating, and the world-building is simply outstanding, it also highlighted what I didn't like about the book, which is the rather thin plot driving this otherwise compelling narrative.  Trying to save Sebastian's soul is a worthy endeavor, and Carrie has finally had enough of being passive after thousands of years of observing and reporting.  But Oracle of Philadelphia did not feel like a mission to save a soul (and in the process redeem her own soul), but rather like a travel narrative.  A little more action to move the plot would have strengthened the story for me.

Other readers may not agree with me, and I strongly recommend this book based on the strong and unique world-building, the witty dialogue and humorous asides, and the distinct characters.  As a character-driven story, this is truly something special.

Visit the author at

Purchase Oracle of Philadelphia at Amazon.

Purchase Oracle of Philadelphia at Barnes & Noble.

Check out Oracle of Philadelphia on Goodreads.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Aching To Exhale by Debra Kayn Release Day Book Review and Cover Reveal

(I received a free copy from the author in exchange for review consideration.)

Raul Sanchez, president of the Lagsturns Motorcycle Club, proved himself over the span of eight years to lead the outlaw bikers. No longer able to distinguish right from wrong, the undercover FBI agent is after blood when he finds out the Mexican Mafia took his woman. When he finds out his other half is still alive, he sheds the badge, throws himself into chaos, and seeks biker justice. Because any man who touches his woman is going to die.
Swinging on a pole in a seedy lounge in Palm Springs, Crystal Rose works to keep herself one-step away from trouble.With a prior rap sheet of pissing off a rival MC president, shacking up with a crazed out drug addict who used her for collateral against the Mafia, she’s one day away from disaster. All she wants is the one man who rocks her world. But she can't go back, because loving Raul could get him killed.


Aching to Exhale picks up a year after the events of Breathing His Air, Debra Kayn's first book in the series, in which Crystal is depicted as a shrewish, jealous woman who slept with the president of a rival motorcycle gang at Raul's request, and then shacked up with a strung-out druggie errand boy at the end of the book.  So I was extremely curious to see how the author would redeem Crystal, make her seem more human, and give her a story and personality worthy of a romance heroine. 

And does Debra Kayn deliver!  Crystal blossoms in this book, and her brittle exterior and jealous, bitchy behavior is seen in a new light, as we learn more about her past and the reasons for her actions.  She is much more than the sum of her actions, and it was fascinating to see the layers peel back from her hard outer shell to reveal the woman beneath.

Crystal has always loved Raul, and done whatever he asked.  But when he turns her out of the motorcycle club in a harsh and secretive attempt to keep her safe from his enemies, she has nowhere to go but with a club errand boy who happens to be working for the Mexican Mafia.  Pretty soon Crystal is in serious trouble, and ends up back with Raul.  Although Crystal and Raul have both screwed up and hurt one another, they never stopped loving each other.  Both attempt to hide their secrets from the other in misguided efforts to be protective, jeopardizing their trust. 
Raul is very much a sexy caveman-style hero, strong, protective and forceful, demanding Crystal trust him and obey his instructions, but offering her no explanation.  Crystal's had enough of this behavior, and her strength in standing up for herself forces Raul to be honest with himself about his feelings for her.  Although Raul's behavior can be really annoying, his incredibly dangerous and stressful life as an undercover agent leaves no room for the niceties.  Crystal and Raul find themselves in a complicated mess of tangled biker loyalties, all while trying to put away the local kingpin of the Mexican Mafia and shut down his drug and sex-trade business.  Raul is walking an incredibly fine line between protecting his Langsturn bikers and bringing down the bad guys he's spent 8 years hunting.  The same bad guy who wants Crystal and has a price on her head.
The ending is the perfect twist on a happy-ever-after, and suits Raul and Crystal perfectly.
With non-stop action, intense and sexy relationship-building and secret-life-sharing, Aching To Exhale was an exhilirating, exciting and passionate ride.  Well- done!

Although Aching To Exhale takes place following the events of Breathing His Air, it's easily read as a standalone novel.

Click on the little cover to purchase at Amazon!
Product Details
Visit Debra Kayn's website HERE.

Read my review of Breathing His Air HERE
Read my review of Seductively HERE.

                                                         Image of Debra Kayn
Top Selling Romance Author, Debra Kayn, lives with her family in the beautiful coastal mountains of Oregon on a hobby farm. She enjoys riding motorcycles, gardening, playing tennis, and fishing. A huge animal lover, she always has a dog under her desk when she writes and chickens standing at the front door looking for a treat. She's famous in her family for teaching a 270 lb hog named Harley to jog with her every morning.
Her love of family ties and laughter makes her a natural to write heartwarming contemporary stories to the delight of her readers. Oh, let's cut to the chase. She loves to write about REAL MEN and the WOMEN who love them.
When Debra was nineteen years old, a man kissed her without introducing himself. When they finally came up for air, the first words out of his mouth were...will you have my babies? Considering Debra's weakness for a sexy, badass man, who is strong enough to survive her attitude, she said yes. A quick wedding at the House of Amour and four babies later, she's living her own romance book.
She loves to hear from her readers. Feel free to drop her an email: Follow her on twitter and like her fan page at

Archer  Breathing His Air  Seductively: Playing for Hearts Book 2  Margot's Lawman  Chantilly's Cowboy

Sunday, August 18, 2013

DEATHWATCH by Dana Marton Release Day Blitz & Giveaway


(Disclosure - I work for the author.)

 The only person who can identify the most notorious hit man in the country, Kate Bridges is running for her life. Murphy Dolan is in the Army Reserves, returning from his 2nd tour of duty, only to find a stranger hiding in his house. She's scared spitless. He's completely burned out on violence. Neither has any trust left to give.

“Let’s try one more time.” Murph moved toward her. “Pretend I’m the assassin. Murph is dead out in the kitchen. You’re out of bullets and cornered.” He reached for her. “First choice?”
“Kill the bastard.” Kate grabbed for the barstool and whacked him in the head as hard as she could, but he twisted in the last second and the blow glanced off his skull.
He’d ordered her right at the beginning, fairly forcefully, to hold nothing back. And then he’d pushed and pushed, baiting and goading her. At this stage, if she maimed him, she figured he deserved it.
“Second choice?” He pushed forward with a growl.
“Incapacitate him then call 911.” She lunged forward instead of pulling back, and kicked at his most sensitive parts, but wobbled at the last second and missed by a fraction of an inch.
“Third choice?” He grabbed for her.
“Run like hell and live to see another day.” She put her head down, then yanked it up hard, smashing it into his chin so that his head snapped back and his grip on her slipped.
She ran for the stairs that led up.
He was on top of her in a second, bringing her down and pinning her. “Wrong move. What did we say about the stairs?”
“If I have a choice, go down.” The basement had an outside exit, while upstairs she could get trapped.
“Right.” He lifted his body off her and sat next to her, his eyes narrowing as he watched her struggle to catch her breath. His biceps bulged from under his black T-shirt that was barely wrinkled, while her shirt and pants looked like he’d mopped the house with her. Which, technically, he had.
She sat up. He was insanely strong. She hadn’t expected that, considering his injury. And he was fast. He didn’t have to think about what move he was going to make next. He fought on instinct, while her instincts pushed her to run away screaming.
Except when they pushed her to throw herself into his arms. She looked away from him, not wanting him to read her pitiful reaction in her eyes.
“I’m going to reinforce the rainspouts. Then you can go upstairs if you have no other choice, and climb down without breaking your neck.”
“I can break my neck even if the rainspout doesn’t break under me. Severe balance deficiency. Remember?”
He closed his eyes for a second. “All right. If at all possible, go for the basement.” He reached into his pocket and gave her a set of car keys.
“What’s this?”
“I got a rental today. It’s parked in front of 212 Summer Lane. You run out the basement door, cross the back neighbors’ yard. It’s a black Mustang. There’s some money and a backup gun in the glove compartment. If all else fails, you get in and drive away. Tank is full. It has GPS. Just drive and be safe.”
“And you?”
“Don’t worry about me.”
Tension filled the air between them as they stared at each other.
“I don’t want you to get hurt.”
“We’re going up against a master hit man. We’re going to get hurt. Our best case scenario is just not to be dead when this is over.”
She drew back, her limbs going cold suddenly. “Maybe we shouldn’t do this. I could just leave. I’m good at running. I’m a hell of a lot better at running than I am at fighting.”
“If all goes well, you won’t have to fight. I’ll fight for you. We discussed this already. This is the only way you’ll ever be free. This is your best chance. You have a partner this time, someone who’s been trained both as a cop and a soldier. And we know Asael is here, that he’s coming. He loses the element of surprise.”
He moved closer and took her hand. “If you want to be free…I’m pretty sure it’s one of those now or never things. We’ll set the trap for the day after tomorrow. I don’t want to wait too long, or he might make his move when we’re not expecting it.”
She nodded.
“We’ll make a show of me going off,” he said. “But I’ll circle back and come in through the back door. When he comes, I’ll engage him. You go call for help. If he gets through me, you run for your life. But it’s not going to happen. I’m going to handle him.”
He stood then reached out to pull her to her feet.
She hesitated a moment before she asked, “How is your shoulder?”
“I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”
“Right. That’s why you still favor your right arm.”
“I can use my left arm.” He put his left hand under her chin, tilting her face to him. Then he lowered his head to hers and kissed her.
Everything went still inside her as his warm lips touched hers. She could barely remember the last time she’d been kissed. She hadn’t realized how much she’d missed this, a man’s arms around her, his dark gaze boring into hers with scorching heat. And, boy, could Murph Dolan fix a girl with a look that sent tingles down all the way to her toes.
He smelled like man, tasted like coffee and felt like heaven.
Her eyelids fluttered closed, and she gave herself to the sensation of being pressed against his hard chest while his mouth explored her gently, teasing her, tasting her. His great warrior body vibrated with restrained need, but he took the kiss slowly.
He brushed his lips over hears in agonizingly slow motion, covering every nook and cranny, then catching her bottom lip between his teeth for a minute before he swept inside and tasted her fully, making her weak in the knees.
Maybe he remembered her balance issues, because he gathered her against him tightly. Part of her wouldn’t have minded staying like that forever.
“I wanted to do this from the moment I saw you sleeping in my bed,” he murmured against her mouth.
“I just wanted to shoot you,” she said the first thing that popped into her dazed mind, then caught herself and winced. “Sorry.”
He laughed as he stepped back. “That’s a very healthy survival instinct. We’re going to develop more of that in whatever little time we’ll be given.”
And then he attacked her.

DEATHWATCH is Book 3 in the popular Broslin Creek series, although each novel is easily read as a standalone book.  The events of DEATHWATCH  (a prequel novel), take place before DEATHSCAPE, so if you're new to the series this is the perfect book  to start with!

Buy DEATHWATCH from Amazon


DEATHSCAPE was a #1 Amazon Romantic Suspense Bestseller

 After a near-death experience, artist Ashley Price is compelled to paint visions of the dead. Then she paints a man buried alive and, recognizing the  surroundings, she rushes to save him.

Instead of being grateful to her for rescuing him, Detective Jack Sullivan accuses her of being in league with a serial killer. He swears he will put her behind bars. Except, the more time he spends with her, the more he falls under her spell. Can he trust her, or is he walking into another deadly trap?

Followed by the popular DEATHTRAP:

Sophie Curtis is a heart-transplant recipient with some spooky body memories. She's been in her own antiseptic bubble for so long, she just might not be able to venture out into the real world again.
Whatever shred of optimism Ethan Bing had left after becoming Broslin Chief of Police had been seared out of him by the unsolved murder of his wife two years ago. Then Sophie pops into his life, and she gets through his defenses like no other, but soon it becomes clear that she's been selected as the killer's next victim.

Check out Dana's website.

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Dana Marton writes fast-paced action-adventure romances that take her readers all over the globe. She is a Rita Award finalist and the winner of the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence. She loves writing stories of intrigue, filled with dangerous plots that try her tough-as-nails heroes and the special women they fall in love with. Her books have been published in seven languages in eleven countries around the world.
She would love to hear from her readers.

Okay, the above version is the glamour version for press releases. The truth is that my path to publication was nothing but unglamorous. I wrote for 13 years and completed 4 books (as well as having others in various stages of completion) before I finally received a call from a Harlequin editor. I was beginning to wonder if I was being tenacious or just too dense to know when to quit. But it all worked out at the end! J I love, love, love writing and would spend all day in front of the computer if I could just break my family of the habit of wanting to eat and wear clean clothes. What’s up with that? But I must get up from the desk now and then, if only because my Internet connection goes down or my ancient PC overheats. Then I do enjoy cooking, knitting, hunting for treasures at the flea market, our Beagle, Peanut the Destroyer, and gardening.
I’d love it if you picked up one of my books and emailed me to tell me what you thought of it. I’ve been known to name characters after readers. Just ask Princess Judi.

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