Posts tagged “favourite authors

Cover and Blurb Reveal: River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz

I have yet to read Deception Cove by Jayne Ann Krentz, under the penname Jayne Castle, which releases on August 27th. But I’m already anticipating Ms. Krentz’s next release, River Road, which releases in hardback on January 7th, 2014 (incidentally, this is also my sister’s birthday).

From the New York Times—bestselling author of Dream Eyes and Copper Beach, a brand-new quintessential Jayne Ann Krentz romance.

It’s been thirteen years since Lucy Sheridan was in Summer River. The last time she visited her aunt Sara there, as a teenager, she’d been sent home suddenly after being dragged out of a wild party—by the guy she had a crush on, just to make it more embarrassing. Obviously Mason Fletcher—only a few years older but somehow a lot more of a grown-up—was the overprotective type who thought he had to come to her rescue.

Now, returning after her aunt’s fatal car accident, Lucy is learning there was more to the story than she realized at the time. Mason had saved her from a very nasty crime that night—and soon afterward, Tristan, the cold-blooded rich kid who’d targeted her, disappeared mysteriously, his body never found.

A lot has changed in thirteen years. Lucy now works for a private investigation firm as a forensic genealogist, while Mason has quit the police force to run a successful security firm with his brother—though he still knows his way around a wrench when he fills in at his uncle’s local hardware store. Even Summer River has changed, from a sleepy farm town into a trendy upscale spot in California’s wine country. But Mason is still a protector at heart, a serious (and seriously attractive) man. And when he and Lucy make a shocking discovery inside Sara’s house, and some of Tristan’s old friends start acting suspicious, Mason’s quietly fierce instincts kick into gear. He saved Lucy once, and he’ll save her again. But this time, she insists on playing a role in her own rescue . . .

Ms. Krentz had been a long-time favourite of mine and I pretty much auto-buy her books.

What about you? Do you have any favourite authors that are on your auto-buy lists?

Rika Ashton

(aka Book Blogger)

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The Untamed Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley: Cover and Blurb Reveal!

If you’re like me and eagerly awaiting the next “Mackenzie” series installment by Jennifer Ashley, then be ready to rejoice! The blurb and Kindle cover has been revealed for “The Untamed Mackenzie” – a novella featuring Inspector Fellows and Louisa Scranton, Isabella’s sister.

Delicious, no?

A WOMAN OF BREEDING MEETS A MAN OF NO STANDING…

To redeem her family’s disgraced name, Lady Louisa Scranton has decided to acquire a proper husband. He needs to be a man of fortune and highly respectable in order to restore both her family’s lost wealth and reputation. She enters the Marriage Mart with all flags flying, determined to find the right bachelor.

But Louisa’s hopes are dashed when the Bishop of Hargate drops dead at her feet – and she is shockingly accused of murder! Soon, Louisa’s so-called friends begin shunning her, because the company of a suspected killer is never desirable in polite society.

The problem comes to the ears of Detective Inspector Lloyd Fellows, by-blow of the decadent Scottish Mackenzie family and an inspector for Scotland Yard. He has shared two passionate kisses with Lady Louisa – and vows to clear her name. For not only does he know she’s innocent, he recognizes he’s falling for the lovely lady.

Fellows is Louisa’s only hope of restoring her family’s honor – and it is he alone who intrigues Louisa in a way that may be even more scandalous than murder…

I’m now officially dying to read this one – have been ever since that kiss between Louisa and Fellows. Plus, any chance to catch up with the Mackenzie’s is worthwhile. 😀

If you have a favourite series with a new installment releasing, please do share! I’m always looking for new reading material. The wait between novels by favourite authors can be lonely without company. 🙂

Rika Ashton

(aka “OMG! September cannot come sooner!”)


Cover and Blurb Reveal: Heart of Stone by Christine Warren

I’ve always been a fan of Christine Warren’s “Others” series, in particular Big Bad Wolf, so I was a little sad when Ms. Warren decided to take a break from writing more novels in this series to explore new venues. However, as a writer, I know how important it is to keep a “fresh” perspective lest you suffer from incurable writer’s block.

And then I saw the cover for Ms. Warren’s upcoming Heart of Stone and nearly had a nosebleed…

Heart of Stone

And then I read the blurb and all but stopped breathing…

Kees is a gargoyle, one of a group of supernatural guardians created to protect the world from the seven demons of the Dark. In an earlier age, he and his brother warriors defeated creatures and banished them. With their duty done, the guardians settled in to sleep until a new threat arose. So why on earth would he awaken to nothing more than a small female woman?

Gargoyles are the strike force of demons, but Kees cannot see the threat. It certainly isn’t coming from Ella, but something about her must have woken him from his sleep. She must be the key to uncovering his new mission. With her by his side, he begins to unravel of trail of clues that leads to only one conclusion: somehow, the portals he and his brothers had thought were sealed have begun to open.

And moments of hyperventilating later, I let out what can only be described as a “fangirl screech!” (A hybrid cross between a scream and an “eeep.”)

Gargoyles?! Gargoyles! These elusive creatures are rarely explored in paranormal romance, so I’m massively glad that when Ms. Warren discussed exploring “new” venues, she actually meant it. I can’t wait to read the story she’s come up with! 😀

Heart of Stone releases December 31, 2013.

What elusive supernatural creature do you think should be explored in paranormal romance? How do you feel about gargoyles?

Rika Ashton

(aka That Girl You Heard “Fangirl Screech” from Across the Ocean)


Covers Done Right: Showalter’s “Otherworld Assassins” Series

When I first saw Gena Showalter’s Last Kiss Goodnight resting on the bookshelf at Chapters, it was coverlust at first sight! In a flash, I grabbed the book and ran with it to the clerks desk – this is hard to do when you take a shortcut through the children’s section, where toddlers cling to you like leeches. (Really, whatever happened to “stranger danger”? These kids have no trouble grabbing an arm or leg and plastering themselves like barnacles on a rock.)

Anyways, back to the point at hand. Saving myself from clinging kids made me forget that how much I wanted – nay, needed – to rave about the cover for Last Kiss Goodnight! The model’s flowing red dress that turns into tendrils of smoke is genius! And the man in the cage, plus the trees and moon in the background is gorgeous. It’s an interesting cover for a romance because it breaks tradition. We get a hint of male abs, but the cover artist isn’t relying on echanting male flesh to get the reader’s attention. Plus, the cover clearly puts the female in the position of power – she’s not the one in a cage.

Last Kiss Goodnight (Otherworld Assassin, #1)

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter ignites a thrilling new paranormal series with this breathtaking tale of a warrior enslaved by desire, and the woman who frees his soul.

The sweetest temptation…

Black ops agent Solomon Judah awakens caged and bound in a twisted zoo where otherworlders are the main attraction. Vika Lukas, the owner’s daughter, is tasked with Solo’s care and feeding. The monster inside him yearns to kill her on sight, even though she holds the key to his escape. But the human side of him realizes the beautiful deaf girl is more than she seems—she’s his.

The ultimate price…

Vika endures the captives’ taunts and loathing, hoping to keep them alive even if she can’t free them. Only, Solo is different— he protects her. But as hostility turns to forbidden romance, his feelings for her will be used against him…and he’ll be put to a killer test.

The story inside the cover was also a great read. Fast-paced, with action and characters that hold your interest. The heroine, Vika, who loses her hearing after recieving a brutal beating from her father, takes care of the hero – who’s imprisoned in her father’s circus of otherworldly creature, or “freakshow.” Vika’s also the primary caretaker of the other creatures, but knowing what it’s like to be imprisoned she secretly empathizes with them. Vika can’t leave the circus, she tried once – was found and returned to her father, hence the beating.

Solo, the hero, is bitter about being locked up and doesn’t trust Vika – so expect a few misunderstandings between the two. But Solo’s a classic alpha male who can’t resist “his woman” for long and so also expect explosive sex. 😉

The villain is Vika’s father, though he wasn’t always an evil man – was actually a good father once – so there’s more to his story as well. (Is it what you’ll expect? Maybe. Does he get what he deserved? Depends on who you ask.)

The fact that I immensely enjoyed the first novel had me anticipated the next, so when I saw the cover for Black and Blue it was a case of intense coverlust combined with wanted to know everything that was going to happen in the book – in other words, BOOKLOVE!

The sizzling second book in New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter’s Otherworld Assassin paranormal romance series.

He is every woman’s fantasy…

Corbin Blue is a man of many talents. One of the most powerful otherworlders ever born, he is wealthy, a professional football star, and a legend in the bedroom. But only a select few know he is also a black ops agent…and there is no better killer. When he and his crew are attacked and separated, he’s forced to turn to his boss’s daughter for help?a woman with even more secrets than Blue.

She becomes his only obsession…

Evangaline Black has always been wary, guarded. No man has ever breeched her walls. Until Blue. He has never been denied something he wants, and now, he’s decided he wants her. As he sweeps her into his double life of seduction, intrigue, and danger, he helps her see beyond the darkness of her own past. But as an enemy closes in, Blue will have to let Evie go to keep her safe – even though he’d rather die than live without her.

And this was the original art:

The cover artist for this series deserves a reward! I love the water motif in this one and, once again, the dress is beautiful! Can’t wait to get my hands on this book. 🙂

Black and Blue hits bookstores in October 2013.

What do you think of these cover? Am I the only one suffering from coverlust or have you fallen as well?

Rika Ashton

(aka Book Lover)

P.S: To see more work by the cover artist, Nathalia Suellen, visit her on Deviantart.


What the Duke Desires: A Book Review

Warning: As much as I try to avoid these, spoilers may be present in this book review.

And today, for a review of Sabrina Jeffries’ highly anticipated (at least by me) novel, What the Duke Desires!

Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, accepted long ago that his kidnapped brother was dead. When a cryptic note from investigator Tristan Bonnaud claims otherwise, Max seeks out Tristan’s sister, Lisette—and is infuriated to learn that Tristan has also mysteriously vanished. Have the siblings perpetrated an elaborate hoax? Or is the fiercely protective beauty as innocent as she claims them to be?

Fearful that the powerful duke will destroy Tristan’s career in his zeal for the truth, the clever Lisette convinces Max to accompany her to Paris in a joint search for their loved ones. But their journey takes a seductive twist when they pose as an ordinary husband and wife—not an English duke with a tarnished family name and the illegitimate daughter of a viscount—and discover an exhilarating passion free from the damning secrets of the past. With the line between danger and desire enticingly blurred, they discover that some mysteries, like those of the heart, are answered tenfold in the bliss of a true and trusting love.

What the Duke Desires is as much a novel about the influence of parents on children as it is a romance. Both Lisette and Max had childhoods, which although not perfect, were not entirely horrible either.

Lisette’s mother, the French mistress of an English Viscount, was loving and supportive of her children and Lisette’s father was likewise as loving, if a little absentminded. However, despite the fact that Lisette’s mother and father loved one another, they were not married. According to Lisette, it seems as if her father kept putting of their marriage for one reason or another – and Lisette (as well as myself) assumed it was because he didn’t want to marry his mistress. But the real tragedy arrives, when Lisette’s father dies unexpectedly and his heir, George Manton (the story’s main villain and Lisette’s half brother) forces Lisette, her brother Tristan and her mother off his property. Dominick, George’s brother leaves with them, choosing to support his half-siblings out of a sense of loyalty and love.

The history between Lisette’s parents has turned her against marriage and men and towards  a way to be independent – and not fake independence either, the kind where the heroine talks about independence but doesn’t do anything. Lisette had worked for the French police and now works for Manton’s Investigations – it’s clear she has a career and doesn’t rely solely on her brother’s for support. Another characteristic I liked about Lisette was her ability not to take herself, or what anyone says about her too seriously. She’s able to fend off most of Max’s accusations – and he makes some wild ones – with logic and good humour.

Dominick’s wonderful and I have a sneaking suspicion that he will get a story, along with his ex-fiance, Jane – hopefully soon. He’s a supportive brother and the head of Manton’s Investigation, renamed The Duke’s Men later in the book. As far as brothers go, I think Dominick is definitely a more responsible one than Tristan – though Tristan has his moments.

Tristan’s another interesting character, with an interesting career as an agent for the Surete Nationale (the French Secret Police). While I’m sure Tristan will have his own novel soon (really how could he not with a career like his – so much potential), I think he has a little growing up to do before he’s ready for a happily ever after.

But, since I’m sure the character you really want to know about is the Duke of Lyons, Maximillian Cale – or Max, as Lisette dubs him – I’ll get to him now. Max meets Lisette when he storms into Manton’s Investigations demanding to know where Tristan is. Tristan, as one would have it has sent Max a cryptic letter claiming he’s found Max’s long-lost, thought to be dead, brother but then didn’t show up the the secret meeting. Max afraid this is some kind of hoax wants an explanation.

Readers might remember Max from the “Hellions of Halstead Hall” series – he’s the duke that the ton considers “mad” – as in insane, not constantly angry, though if everyone kept calling me crazy, I’d think I had a right to be angry.

Max suffers from the fear that he had inherited a family madness, since both his father and great-uncle went mad. Because this is a romance, I knew that Max couldn’t really be “mad,” although I did second guess myself a lot, but I was really hoping for a good explanation – and, boy, did I get a good one. No, Max doesn’t have a magical immunity which means that he won’t go mad, but a much more scientific and believable explanation was given – and yes, I was very impressed because I had no idea something like this coud happen. (But, you’ll have to read the novel to find out what it is, because no way am I spoiling something this good.)

When Max and Lisette meet, we finally get to see Lisette’s dramatic side. She convinces Max – a duke – to pose as a commoner. As you can imagine, it’s fun reading about a spoiled duke learning to live like a commoner. One of my favourite scenes in the novel occurs when Max learns that commoner’s share bath water, between couples and sometimes between families:

“I merely thought you should know that you may have to wait a while for [your bath]. Madame insists that you have fresh water, and it will take a while to heat it. If fresh water is what you prefer.”

Now Max was bewildered. “Of course I prefer fresh water. What else is there?”

The butler rolled his eyes, as if frustrated at dealing with someone so oblivious as Maximillian. “Wives and husbands often share bathwater in France, Mr. Kale. I forgot that you English can be…fastidious.”

Several things hit Max at once. One, he’d forgotten that he was supposed to be married. Two, he’d forgotten that the servants didn’t know he was a duke. And three, people actually shared bathwater?

Along with the funny moments is the steamy romance, which is signature of Sabrina Jeffries. Max and Lisette are attracted to one another, but both are resistant to act on these emotions. Lisette because she doesn’t want to repeat her mother’s mistake by falling in love with someone above her station, and Max because he knows that he’ll fall in love with Lisette but fears he’ll go mad and she’ll suffer watching his digress. (But, of course, if you try to surress fire for too long, there’s going to be an explosion!)

One thing I loved most about this novel was that Max and Lisette were not only good at admitting their feelings, but had good legitimate reasons for why they wanted to avoid marriage – not flimsy I-don’t-want-to-marry-you-because-I’m-afraid-of-commitment kind of reasons.

But if you’re still not convinced that Max and Lisette are a couple worth reading about, watch this video for some more funny teasers:

And, finally, as always I’m impressed with the amount of historical detail that goes into a Sabrina Jeffries novel. In What the Duke Desires, we get to meet Eugene Vidocq – a real criminal turned secret French investigator who lived in the time period.

So what’s the verdict?

Go out and grab a copy of What the Duke Desires. Trust me, finding out what Max desires will be worth it.

Edited to add: Sabrina Jeffries has confirmed (in a group FB post) that the next novel will be about Max’s relative (who I assume is Victor), followed by Tristan and then, Dominick’s – she’s saving him for last.

And if you’ve had a chance to read What the Duke Desires already, what are your thoughts? Are you loving the novel as much as I did or do you think I’ve lost my mind recommending this book? (Leave a comment with your thoughts and/or ravings.)

Rika Ashton

(aka Book Reviewer Extraordinaire)

Disclaimer: All book quotes used in this review are the property of Sabrina Jeffries © 2013.