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Monday, September 27, 2010

My interview with Gin Blanco & Giveaway

I’m a bit nervous as I step into the Pork Pit but the smell of grease and spices in the air makes my belly rumble in hunger. I have a lunch date with Gin “The Spider” Blanco and I did not want to pass up on such an opportunity. I mean, how many gals like me get to ask an assassin some questions?

I walk to the bar, take a seat and patiently await Gin’s arrival/acknowledgement of me.

Gin looks up from the paperback book that she’s reading. She uses a credit card receipt to mark her place, then gets to her feet and walks toward me.

“What’ll it be?” she says, pulling an order pad and pen out of the back pocket of her jeans.

I glance at the menu, “I would love one of those famous BBQ beef sandwiches.” And my stomach growls in agreement.

As the order is being processed I look at Gin, “let’s start this interview then!”

Q 1: What can we know about Gin Blanco that doesn’t get us in to trouble?

Gin: *Snorts.* Please. Trouble is my middle name, sweetheart. But since you asked so nicely, I’ll tell you a little about myself.

Basically, I’ve spent most of my days walking through the shady side of life as the assassin known as the Spider. Yep, I was an assassin, someone who killed people for money – a lot of people for a lot of money. I did it to survive, mostly, and because it was something that I was good at.

A couple of months ago, though, I decided to retire from the life. So now, I spend my days running the Pork Pit and serving up the finest barbecue in Ashland and the rest of the South. That’s my day job.

At night, well, let’s just say that I haven’t put the Spider persona completely to rest just yet. I keep getting mixed up with these people – good, decent folks – who have problems that can only be solved by an assassin like the Spider.

So far, my retirement’s turning out to be just as dangerous as being an assassin full-time ever was. Helping folks who truly need it isn’t a bad way to pass the time, though – even if I usually end up bruised, broken, and bloody by the end of the night.

Q 2: The story of you so far, can you give us a brief overview “Gin style” for those who haven’t met you?

Gin: My name is Gin, and I kill people. That’s it in a nutshell. Oh, you want more info? Well, here’s the short version.

My family was brutually murdered by a Fire elemental when I was 13. I bummed around on the streets for a while before Fletcher Lane, the owner of the Pork Pit, took me in. Fletcher trained me to be an assassin and dubbed me the Spider. The old man was like the father that I never had, and I loved him dearly. But Fletcher was murdered not too long ago, right here in the Pork Pit. Of course, I took care of the Air elemental who killed him and the rest of her cronies – Spider style.

I also eliminated a greedy dwarven mine owner who was threatening one of Fletcher’s friends and his granddaughter.

More recently, I’ve learned who killed my family and the fact that my baby sister, Bria, is still alive. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do about either one of those situations, but one thing is for sure – someone’s going to die along the way.

Q 3: Gin Blanco on romance in her life? *Gin puts a plate in front of me with a hot, thick, juicy barbecue beef sandwich and a small bowl of baked beans. HHmmmm Gin, that’s a sneaky way to distract me from your love life. Jeez this food smells so good my mouth waters. I still need an answers though…

Gin: Let’s just say that I’m not as good at all the romantic stuff as I am at killing people. And I hate talking about my feelings.

Sometimes, I think about settling down – or at least finding a guy to have a little fun with. It’s hard to get serious with someone when you’re always coming over late at night with blood on your clothes.

I thought Detective Donovan Caine was a promising candidate, since we worked together and hooked up a few times, but the detective just couldn’t get over my past as an assassin. He let his morals and black-and-white code get in the way of what we could have had together. Yeah, I’m still pissed that he broke things off with me, especially since I was willing to give him a chance and he turned his back on me.

But there’s another guy circling around me – sexy businessman Owen Grayson. Owen’s made it clear that he wants me, but I’m not so sure that I want to start up something new with someone else. Even assassins need time to lick their wounds.

But Owen doesn’t seem like the type to give up easily ...

Q 4: What is the best and the worst of being a Stone and Ice elemental?

Gin: The best parts are the cool things that I can do with my magic, like using my Stone power to make my skin as hard as marble so nothing can hurt me. Or when I use my Ice magic to make small shapes, like lockpicks. Those come in real handy in my line of work.

The worst part is knowing that my magic isn’t full-proof and that it doesn’t make me invincible. That one day, I’m going to meet someone who’s elemental magic is stronger than mine – and that maybe she’ll get the best of me because of it.

Q 5: In extension of Q4, what other elementals are out there and what is it like to live in Ashland. I might one day think of moving here so inquiring minds want to know *smiles*

-I’m munching on a sandwich in the meantime and I need to control myself not to wolf it down. It’s that good *nom nom nom*-

Gin: Ashland is one of the dirtiest, violent, most corrupt cities that you could ever set foot in. Batman thinks he has it bad up there in Gotham. Heh. He needs to come down to Ashland sometime and get a gander at our criminals, yours truly included.

The city is divided into two sections – Northtown and Southtown. The poor, blue collar folks live in Southtown, along with the vampire hookers, their pimps, and junkies. Southtown is not the kind of place you want to visit – ever. As for Northtown, well, that’s where the rich folks live, but that doesn’t mean that part of Ashland is any less dangerous. In Northtown, people will call you sugar to your face before they stab you in the back.

Besides Stone and Ice, there are also Air and Fire elementals, as well as folks who can tap into offshoots of the four elements. For example, some people can manipulate metal, water, and electricity. Magic has many quirks, so there’s always someone with some new power popping up in town.

Q 6: Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Can you give us the 411 on Finnegan Lane, Owen Grayson and Detective Donavan Caine? I’m afraid us female readers have quite an interest in them *grin*

Gin: Well, Finn is the son of my handler Fletcher Lane. Finn is basically my foster brother. He also happens to be a greedy, womanizing investment banker who loves money and all the pretty things that he can buy with it. Naturally, the ladies all love Finn, and he loves them all right back.

Owen Grayson is a sexy businessman that I’ve recently become aquainted with. I don’t know too much about Owen yet, except that he has a strange interest in me – and that I’m attracted to him far more than I like.

As for Detective Donovan Caine, he was one of the few honest cops in Ashland. We worked together a few times, although our ideas of justice radically clashed. He liked putting people in jail, while I preferred burying them in the ground. Still, we had a few steamy encounters – before Donovan broke things off and left Ashland. Good riddance, I say. At least, that’s what I keep telling myself ...

Q 7: You were once an assassin freshman, what did your basic training entail? Was it a “wax on-wax off kind off” type of learning?

Gin: Fletcher Lane, the old man who was my handler, wasn’t much for wax-on, wax-off. Instead, I learned by doing. The old man taught me everything that he knew about being an assassin – how to fight, how to kill, and how to get away after the fact.

Q 8: What do you do to relax in your off time?

Gin: I like to cook, read, spend time with family and friends, and sharpen my silverstone knives when they need it. I’m a simple girl that way.

Q 9: I’m a total dessert girl in the kitchen but what is your favorite recipe to make?

Gin: I’m with you – I love a good dessert. One of my favorite recipes to make is a Chocolate Chip Pound Cake – it’s defiinitely a chocolate lover’s dream. One of my favorite recipes to eat is a Mountain Dew cake. It’s a sweet treat that uses Mountain Dew to give it even more of a sugar rush. You find both recipes here: http://www.jenniferestep.com/books-series/elemental-assassin-series/

Q 10: Do you think we can get a peek in to the super secret files of VENOM and have a small excerpt?

Gin: Sure.

Finn got to his feet, straightened his tie, smoothed down his walnut-colored hair, and stepped into the swirling crowd. He strutted toward the Ice bar, probably to ask the bartender about Xavier. His path took him close to the edge of the dance floor. The blond hooker he’d been eyeing blew Finn a kiss. He grinned and veered in her direction. Less than three minutes later, the two of them were ensconced at the bar, drinking martinis and making goo-goo eyes at each other.

I drummed my fingers on the tabletop. A pretty face and tight body could distract Finnegan Lane from his own funeral. I should just have told him I was leaving. I reached for my cell phone to text him that news flash, when a shadow fell over me.

“Why, Gin, what a lovely surprise,” a male voice murmured.

I looked up to find Owen Grayson standing in front of my booth. Like Finn, Grayson wore a rich suit, black in his case, with a charcoal gray shirt underneath. The fabric accentuated his compact, sturdy figure, which always reminded me of a dwarf’s stocky physique. But at six foot one, Grayson was far too tall to be a dwarf.

His glossy, blue-black hair gleamed under the club’s muted lights. So did his eyes, which were a light violet. A white, thin scar slashed down his chin. The faint mark would have ruined the look of another man’s face, but it added a hard, sexy, dangerous edge to Grayson’s features, giving him a roguish, rakish air. Or maybe that was just because I liked the rest of the package so much. Owen Grayson knew how to wear a suit very well, and I couldn’t help but speculate what lay beneath his designer duds. Somehow, I knew it would be as appealing as the rest of him.

Still, despite the slick, expensive threads, Grayson looked like the kind of guy who’d taken more than one punch in his time. A real fighter through and through. The strong, self-assured way he carried himself only made him more impressive to me. I’d always admired confidence—especially when the person actually had something to be confident about. Since Owen Grayson was one of the richest businessmen in Ashland, he had millions of reasons to smile.

I’d met Grayson a couple of weeks ago back in November. His younger sister, Eva, had been eating at the Pork Pit when Jake McAllister had tried to rob the restaurant. Grayson thought he owed me something since I’d saved Eva from getting dead.
“Hello, Owen,” I replied. “What brings you here tonight?”
He shrugged, his broad shoulders straining against the fabric of his suit. “Eva wanted to come dancing.”
My eyes flicked over to the dance floor. Sure enough, I spotted Eva Grayson grooving in between a guy and another girl. Eva had the same coloring that Owen did, which made her look like a real-life version of Snow White. Add her rocking figure on top of that, and Eva attracted plenty of attention. She whirled away from one guy to turn and smile at another waiting at the edge of the dance floor. Eva crooked her finger, and the young man eagerly stepped into the fray surrounding her.
I looked back at Owen. “And you came along to babysit her?”
“I like to watch out for her,” he rumbled in a low voice. “Besides, she said I needed a night out of the house. Evidently, running my various business interests and adding to her trust fund isn’t exciting enough for her tastes.”
I smiled. Like most college-age girls, Eva enjoyed flirting with the opposite sex. Dancing the night away at Northern Aggression would be right up her alley—even if big brother Owen would be watching her every move.
“Care if I join you?” Owen asked.
I shrugged. “Suit yourself.”
Grayson unbuttoned his jacket and settled on the opposite side of the booth so he was sitting across from me. He signaled one of the waiters and ordered an expensive scotch. I requested another gin on the rocks, with a twist of lime this time. Maybe that would cut the bitter taste in my mouth.
Our drinks came back, and I took a healthy pull off mine. Nope, still bitter. I sighed and rubbed my index finger down the side of the glass, leaving a trail in the condensation that had already formed there.
“Something the matter?” Grayson asked, taking a sip of his scotch.
I shrugged again. “Just not in the mood to party tonight, I suppose.”
Owen stared at me with his violet eyes. “Perhaps you and I could go somewhere else. Make our own party.”
“Let me guess where that party would end . . . your bedroom?”
Grayson smiled. “Actually, I was thinking the nearest hotel myself. Why drive that far?”
“Back to wanting to sleep with me again?”
Grayson’s smile widened. “I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it a shot.”
Gin, thanks so much for taking the time to answer my inquisitive questions. I enjoyed the lunch and I had fabulous company!

Gin: Thanks for stopping by the Pork Pit. I’m glad you enjoyed your meal. Y’all come back now, ya hear? ;-)

You can find the muse of Gin, aka Jennifer Estep at:
Website - Twitter - Facebook

The Giveaway: Jennifer Estep has generously provided one copy of VENOM which is for US/Canada only. BUT since we at ROOB love this series so much we also have one luck commenter win his or her choice in a copy of the Elemental Assassin series; Spider's Bite - Web Of Lies or Venom. Our giveaway is international or where the Book Depository Store ships. So there are two chances to win a copy YAY

All you have to do is leave a comment and if you have a question for Gin or Jennifer, please feel free to ask !!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Happy Abs Day: Jed Hill, cover model extraordinaire!

Another Friday, another Happy Abs Day on the Blog and another Thursday (as I am writing this a day before posting) that I sit at my desk and all but pull my hair out, asking myself what the h... I'm going to come up with now. I've done a few now and today I was so totally and utterly uninspired that I really was going to revert back to my list of actors and see if I could find some inspiration but I've done that twice already so I don't want to become repetitive so soon again so I went browsing through my folder of bookcovers (which I use to store the cover that go with my reviews both here and on my personal blog) and the first one I stumbled upon was the one of BREAKING POINT by Pamela Clare, which led me to remembering Pamela saying on her blog that cover model's name was Jed Hill and I remembered they also used him for Jaci Burton's upcoming THE PERFECT PLAY and INSATIABLE by Lauren Dane and wham...!!

Hulloh there...inspiration!!

Anyone who knows me (I'm looking at you ROOB-gals!), knows I am not one to salivate quickly over covers but these ones...It MUST be Jed Hill who's inspiring this lusting because I have quite some naked upperbody males on the covers of my books but none of them make me stare and stare and stare again like Jed does. So this week I'm dedicating Happy Abs Day to the cover model who makes me stare and drool.

First let me show you the covers I'm talking about and then I have a few other yummilicious pics of Mr. Hill.

Enjoy Jed and have a HAPPY ABS DAY! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

ARC Review: Jennifer Estep - VENOM

Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Pocket; Original edition (September 28, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1439148015
ISBN-13: 978-1439148013
Main Characters: Gin Blanco, Finnegan lane, Sophia & Jo-Jo
e-copy received from author for review
Purchase at: Book Depository Store

Cover Summary:
It’s hard to be a badass assas­sin when a giant is beat­ing the crap out of you. Luck­ily, I never let pride get in the way of my work. My cur­rent mis­sion is per­sonal: anni­hi­late Mab Mon­roe, the Fire ele­men­tal who mur­dered my fam­ily. Which means pro­tect­ing my iden­tity, even if I have to con­ceal my pow­er­ful Stone and Ice magic when I need it most. To the pub­lic, I’m Gin Blanco, owner of Ashland’s best bar­be­cue joint. To my friends, I’m the Spi­der, retired assas­sin. I still do favors on the side. Like rid­ding a vam­pire friend of her over­sized stalker—Mab’s right-hand goon who almost got me dead with his mas­sive fists. At least irre­sistible Owen Grayson is on my side. The man knows too much about me, but I’ll take my chances. Then there’s Detec­tive Bria Coolidge, one of Ashland’s finest. Until recently, I thought my baby sis­ter was dead. She prob­a­bly thinks the same about me. Lit­tle does she know, I’m a cold-blooded killer … who is about to save her life.

Leontine's Review: With each new story revolving around Gin and company a riveting read chockfull of edge of your seat action and suspense, vivid character interaction and a sultry attraction is delivered. VENOM starts out a bit slow due to the recap info of the two previous stories; Spider’s Bite and Web Of Lies but this was only in the first fifty pages. I think my impatience to get fully absorbed again by the next chapter in the overarching plotline is what irked me a bit about the recap information. But for those discovering this series with VENOM it is essential to catch up and get their interest piqued for the previous novels!

The entire cast of characters held familiar faces and it does a formidable job of deepening the interpersonal relationships. The dialogues are rife with wit and sarcasm and the underlying tone with the banter showcased how much these characters meant to each other or how they were equally matched in spirit. In their own weird way they formed a family and the love and loyalty to one another just made the risks and rewards all the greater!

Gin is still very much the skill-honed assassin with her own outlook on life, her own morals, humor, sass and sense of what love is all about. Through the first person narrative Gin practically leaps of the pages with her train of thoughts, feelings and opinions. She comes so very much alive with her down-to-earth persona and the compassion she feels for those who are wronged. While she doesn’t blink twice about plotting and scheming a plan for those she needs to take out it is her sense of right and wrong that make her redeemable. The people she wants to save are worth saving. Gin is an intriguing heroine who does the unexpected and I can’t get enough of her. 

Gin has very few people in her life she feels a connection or love for. Finnegan Lane, her stepbrother, is one of them basking in her favor. Their brother-sister like banter delivers relief in the sometimes tense circumstances and creates a familiarity that will make me feel welcome again in their inner circle. Finn is a ladies’ man to the very core of his being. He has many sweethearts but never turns in to a womanizing kind of man, he is a charmer and his twinkling eyes even get me weak in the knees. He might have his charm and humor but he is also very cunning, on the top of his game and has a knack to find all sorts of info that helps Gin various times. I get to know Finn a bit better with each book and each time he claims me a bit more.

There are also the dwarf sisters Jo-Jo and Sophia. Jo-Jo is an air elemental and beautician/healer, she is always there to guide and nurture but in VENOM it is Sophia who drew my attention. She has this mysterious vibe and I can’t shake the feeling there are more secrets clinging to Sophia that anyone can guess. This is just another character development that keeps me so invested in each story and enriches the reading experience.

In each novel Jennifer Estep delivers a plot where I just get sucked in and keeps me in its web of intrigue. In VENOM a giant stalker of the worst kind has shifted his focus to vampire Rosalyn Phillips and Bria Coolidge draws the attention of Mab Monroe. These two elements are the basis of a grabbing plotline where Gin knows both women and plunges in the middle of it all. At times the action delivered high-skilled fighting scenes and at other times it was silent and observing giving a creepy, eerie vibe and both build the tension to an exquisite high.

I love being a part of the characters lives, their trials and tribulations, and Jennifer Estep really ups the ante in VENOM. Next to the action there is also a romance developing albeit it is a small thread within the whole it has an incredible impact on Gin herself. The sultry attraction humming between her and the man in question, whom I don’t want to reveal for spoiling too much, is causing hot flashes at times. They challenge each other, test each other, tease each other and I really think they make a spectacular couple. The man surprised me in many ways and Gin’s reaction to him is something me romantic nature savors and can only cheer for!

Jennifer Estep has developed a series that has become a must-read for many an urban-fantasy reader! Save the first fifty pages everything stands out again. From the dynamic backdrop of Ashland, the well-rounded and unique cast of characters, to an action filled plot, it all turns VENOM in to an addictive urban-fantasy story. 2010 is definitely the year of Gin Blanco!

Quote Gin:
And then the three of them stared at me. Finn, Jo-Jo, Sophia. Hell, even Rosco turned his head back in my direction. All of them looking steadily at me, expectation shining in their eyes. Oh, fuck. They actually expected me to talk about what had happened tonight. To share my feelings. I sighed again. I’d much rather have hacked and slashed my way through a platoon of Mab Monroe’s giants than explain how I was dealing with my emotions. But they were my family, for better or worse.

Quote Gin:
“Now that we’re both clean,” I said in a sly tone. “Why don’t we do something dirty?” Another smile tugged at ***** lips, softening the slashing scar on his chin. “I thought you’d never ask.” We moved toward each other and met in the middle of the shower. I threaded my hands in his slick hair and pulled his mouth down to mine. Our lips met in a kiss that was as gentle as the water cascading over our bodies—and that quickly turned into one of white-hot passion, desire, and need.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On The ROOB Radar

These books caught my eye and are now on my wishlist.

Torment by Lauren Kate
Fallen Series Part 2

Release date: 28 September 2010
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Delecorte Books

Website: Lauren Kate


Hell on earth.

That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.

It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous.

What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

Hurt Me So Good by Joely Sue Burkhart
The Connaghers Part 2

Release date: 5 October 2010
Genre: contemporary erotic romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishers

Website: Joely Sue Burkhart


One sub to please the Master…in any way he wishes.

Victor Connagher is no stranger to the Dallas BDSM scene. As CEO of a risqué cable channel that caters to adventurous adults, he ensures the lifestyle is portrayed in a positive light. He even supports a local bondage club. Yet behind the cool, confident mask, Victor lives in fear.

Once, and only once, he lost control of his inner Dom—and it cost him his fiancée. Now, no one knows how hard he works to keep his darker appetite for pain buried. No matter how much his saucy, confident associate producer makes his fingers itch to once again take up his riding crop.

Shiloh Holmes is a sub, but she’s no doormat. She’s always suspected Victor has the skills to feed her insatiable need for pain, and now she’s found the perfect way to crack his formidable control. Develop a new reality show, America’s Next Top sub…and dare him to compete.

Week after week, as Shiloh fearlessly challenges the real Victor to come out of hiding, he realizes his past mistake was only a blow to his pride. If he loses Shiloh, he could lose his heart.

Warning: Explicit sex, BDSM, reality television, a very reluctant Dom, an audacious sub willing to do anything to win for him, and one very wicked riding crop.

No Place To Run by Maya Banks
The Kelly Series Part 2

Release date: 7 december 2010
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Berkley Sensation

Website: Maya Banks


The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super elite, top secret, family-run business.

Qualifications: High intelligence, rock hard body, military background.

Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the US government can’t…

Sam Kelly was her first love.

The last person Sam Kelly expected to pull wounded from the lake was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercover and then she vanished. She's spent the last months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her life and that of her unborn child—Sam's child. Now she's resurfaced with a warning for Sam: this time, he's the one in danger.

Now he's her last chance.

Sam has too many questions to let her slip away again—like why she disappeared in the first place. This time he vows not to be seduced. But one look in her eyes, and the passion burns again, and Sam knows he’ll do anything to keep her and his child safe. However, Sophie’s dark past is more dangerous than he imagines, and the only way for either to survive it is to outrun it.

Haunting Desire by Erin Quinn

Release date: 5 April 2011
Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Berkley Sensation

Website: Erin Quinn


A woman lost in a nightmare

Shealy O’Leary knows nothing of the ancient Book of Fennore. Nor of the Druid, the dark entity who controls—and is controlled by—the Book. But when she and her father are drawn into the past—and into the cursed no-man’s land called Fennore—she learns that the Druid is all too real. And unless Shealy bends to his will, her father will surely die...

A man desperate to regain his honor

After failing both his land and people, the fierce warrior Tiarnan was damned by the Druid to spend eternity in the black heart of Fennore. His only hope comes in the shape of a beautiful, frightened woman from the future. For she possesses a gift she is unaware of. A gift that the Druid covets—and a temptation that Tiarnan may not be able to resist.

A desire that drives their destiny

Alone in this primitive, terrifying world, Shealy must do what is right while fighting her desires for the formidable warrior who might be her greatest defender . . . or her worst enemy. Her only hope to save herself and her father will be to trust in her own heart and the sacred power she has yet to unleash . .

Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Abs Day: An hommage to the classic abs pics

It's friday again and for many of you who need to work this is always one of the hardest days of the week because this day can drag on for what is seems like forever before it finally tips over in to a whole weekend of playtime! This is why I've decided to create a wall of uber good ab candy to get your spirit going.

Everybody happy again??!! I hope so :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

On The ROOB Radar

Today my ROOB Radar post is a collection of print books coming next year, (yes people I'm talking 2011 already) that I have my eye on. All books are by authors who have made their way past my semi- selfimposed bookbudget, although I hope to be off the budget by the time these books come out...

TREASURE ME by Robyn DeHart
Release: 2011, February 22
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Historical Romance
Legend Hunters, book 3

The Legend Hunters . . .

The Men of Solomon's meet in secret, their very existence only a rumor among the best of Victorian society. They are treasure hunters, men of wealth and title, seekers of myths and legends. And no legend is as captivating as the Loch Ness monster . . .

Graeme Langford, Duke of Rothmore, has always been torn between his beloved Scottish homeland and his duty to the English Crown. Yet his is truly an adventurer's soul-and he's determined to find a long-lost stone hidden near Loch Ness.

Bookish Vanessa Pembrooke heads to the Highlands to prove the existence of the legendary beast. Instead she finds the first man who has ever shared her hunger for adventure. Soon Graeme and Vanessa are fighting a dangerous battle as well as their own simmering attraction. As their passion grows, so does the danger. Ultimately, they must risk everything to keep the cursed stone out of a murderer's hands. But can they survive without losing the greatest treasure of all-their love?

A LOT LIKE LOVE by Julie James
Release: 2011, March 1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Stand Alone

The FBI wants her cooperation.

As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city’s top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there’s only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother’s release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.

Agent McCall just wants her.

As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This “date” with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment—one they’re both determined to pull off even if they can’t be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick’s investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they’re a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more. . .

SHIVER OF FEAR by Roxanne St. Claire
Release: 2011, March 29
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Guardian Angelinos, book 2

When Marc Rossi heads to Northern Ireland to track down a missing widowed socialite for his cousin's investigation firm, he expects to find an ice queen. But when Devyn Sterling turns out to be warm, beautiful, and on a secret mission of her own, the job becomes more complicated. The daughter of an infamous fugitive, Devyn is on a search that she hopes will uncover the truth about her bloodline...but the truth is dark and dangerous, and she needs Marc's help to discover why. Devyn and Marc must trust each other when every instinct says they can't...and a terrorist wants to be sure they don't live to try.

MESMERIZED by Lauren Dane
Release: 2011, April 5
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Genre: Futuristic Erotic Romance
Federation Chronicles, book 4/Phantom Corps, book 2

They call him the Shadow. Andrei Solace delivers death on silent feet as an assassin for the Phantom Corps. The perfect weapon in the fight against the Imperium, he’s sent to the same ’Verse he left behind as a youth.

Piper Roundtree is a mercenary prepared for anything—except for being rescued from Imperial lackeys by the man she hasn’t laid eyes on in eleven years. While she remembers every mesmerizing sensation he gave her, she thought they were through. And against the backdrop of an impending war, their passion is reignited.

The girl Andrei once loved is now a fierce woman who can pilot a ship through canyons at high speeds, and drive him wild with equalabandon. As much as Andrei tries to protect her from the darkness inside him, Piper admires his skills and the code he lives by. Now the lovers must join forces—in more ways than one—to save the Known Universe before the enemy hurls it into irreversible chaos…

NIGHTFALL by Ellen Connor (writing team of Ann Aguirre & Carrie Lofty)
Release: 2011, June (This is a tentative date, yet to be confirmed by publisher)
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Paranormal (dystopian) Romance
Dark Age Dawning, book 1

Their instincts will save them.
Their passion will transform them.

Growing up with an unstable, often absent father who preached about the end of the world, Jenna never thought, in her wildest nightmares, that his predictions would come true. Or that he would have a plan in place to save her–one that includes the strong, stoic man who kidnaps and takes her to a remote cabin in the Pacific Northwest.

The mysterious ex-Marine named Mason owes a life-debt to Jenna’s father. Skilled and steadfast, he’s ready for the Change, but Jenna proves tough to convince. Until the power grid collapses and the mutant dogs attack–vicious things that reek of nature gone wrong.

When five strangers appear, desperate to escape the bloodthirsty packs, Jenna defies her protector and rescues them. As technology fails and the old world falls away, Jenna changes too, forever altered by supernatural forces. To fight for their future, she and Mason must learn to trust their instinctive passion–a flame that will see them through the bitter winter, the endless nights, and the violence of a new Dark Age.

BREAKING POINT by Pamela Clare
Release: 2011, July
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Romantic Suspense
I-Team, book 5

While investigating border violence in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, Denver journalist Natalie Benoit is caught in a bloody ambush and taken captive. Alone in the hands of ruthless killers, she will need every ounce of courage she possesses to survive.

Betrayed by another operative, Deputy U.S. Marshal Zach McBride has endured a week of torture and interrogation at the hands of a bloodthirsty Mexican drug cartel. Ready to give his life if he must, he remains unbroken—until he hears the cries of an American woman.

Although Natalie is only a voice in the darkness of their shared prison, her plight brings renewed strength to Zach’s battered body. With her help, he overpowers their captors, and they flee through the desert toward the border, the attraction between them flaring hotter than the Sonoran sun.

But past loss and tragedy leave both of them reluctant to follow their hearts, even when the passion between them reaches its breaking point. Faced with feelings neither expected, they fight to stay ahead of the danger that hunts them as forces more powerful than they can imagine conspire to destroy them both…

Friday, September 10, 2010

Happy Abs Day!

Hi everyone! It is another Happy Abs Day on the ROOB blog and since the flu has taken over my household I am going to stick with one great view today... so I am going for the tall, dark and sexy type, and I am so lucky that Eduardo was willing to help me out this time. So here is the multi-talented Eduardo Verastegui!

I hope everyone will have a great weekend!


Happy Abs Day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On the ROOB Radar

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – Beautiful Creatures

Release Date : September 2010 (PB)
A Stand-Alone Novel
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

JK Beck – When Pleasure Rules

Release Date : September 28, 2010 (MPB)
Book 2 in the Shadow Keepers series
For sale at : The Book Depository Store

Seven innocents have been brutally murdered in Los Angeles, yet the Shadow Alliance has no suspects and no leads. As the body count mounts, the age-old feud between vampires and werewolves threatens to explode.

Lissa Monroe - a strong-willed, ravishing succubus who entices men to surrender their souls - agrees to go undercover for the Alliance. Her mission: infiltrate the mind of werewolf leader Vincent Rand, a ferociously alluring enemy who exerts a powerful hold over her. As the City of Angels teeters on the brink of apocalypse, these two adversaries must join together in order to survive an even more lethal enemy hidden in plain sight.

Kendra Leigh Castle – Renegade Angel

Release Date : September 1, 2010 (MPB)
Book 1 in the Fallen series
For Sale At : The Book Depository Store

It's been thousands of years since Raum's angelic wings turned from white to black, and the Destroyer of Dignities and Robber of Kings never looked back. These days he's also on the outs with Hell and works with a motley crew of ex-demons on a new mission: snuffing out lesser demons and their half-human progeny.

Raum's latest assignment brings him to a small Vermont town - and a sweet, funny half-demon, half-human he'll risk everything to save. Ember Riddick stirs him as no woman ever before - and she holds the key to what Lucifer will move Hell and Earth to prevent: his team's redemption.

But Ember's secrets are as dark as Raum's midnight wings. And their fate may leave them entwined - but destroyed..


Donna Fletcher – Bound To A Warrior

Release date : September 1, 2010 (MPB)
Book 1 in the Warrior King series
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

It has been prophesied that four men, raised as brothers, will bring Scotland back to her rightful glory. The first is running for his life.

Charged with the restoration of Scotland's one true king, Duncan MacAlpin isn't surprised to find himself fleeing an army across the verdant hills of his homeland. But having to do so while shackled to a woman . . . that is a true challenge to Duncan's ingenuity and self-control. For the lovely, untouched maiden he's chained to is far too captivating to resist.

Despite her innocence, Mercy guards her own dangerous secrets. Proud and unafraid - hunted and imperiled for who she is and what she knows - she is determined to regain her freedom and never let it be taken from her again. Yet locked so tightly to her imposed escort, tempted by the warmth of the powerful Highlander's body, she aches to give herself over completely to desire . . . and risk the heart she has fought so hard to protect.

Monday, September 6, 2010

ARC Review: Jaci Burton - Riding The Night

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (September 7, 2010)
ISBN-10: 0425236560
ISBN-13: 978-0425236567
Book #5 in the Wild Riders series
Main Characters: AJ, Pax and Teresa
For sale at: Book Depository Store

Cover Summary:
AJ and Pax work together as undercover operatives for a government agency of bad-boy bikers known as the Wild Riders. And though they play as hard as they work, both men are looking for the one woman who can tame them…

On vacation, AJ and Pax run into AJ’s high school sweetheart, Teresa. While they’re catching up at Teresa’s bar, a fight erupts between two biker gangs, leaving one man dead and Teresa’s brother wrongly accused of murder. With no proof and Teresa as the only eye witness, the trio points their Harleys toward the annual bike rally in South Dakota in hot pursuit of the real killer…

Her life in jeopardy, AJ and Pax become Teresa’s fierce protectors. But a past trauma keeps Teresa guarded, unable to trust them--until AJ and Pax uncover her secret and vow to do anything to help her heal. And in their arms she discovers a sensual desire that knows no boundaries, a passion strong enough to overcome her tragic past and awaken a force that brings both men to their knees.

Danger may temporarily bind the three together, but it’s their shared passion that will lead them to the ride of their lives: love.

Leontine's Review: From page one Jaci Burton hit the right note with me and she didn’t let up until I closed RIDING THE NIGHT with a fulfilled feeling of romantic contentment. The prologue was one of teen-age love; intense and passionate, but for AJ it was a turning point in his life and he didn’t want to drag Teresa along in his choices. That moment in the car was a maelstrom of feelings, both lustful as deeply caring and I instantly knew that this was far from over. That Teresa and AJ would take me on a ride where romance and eroticism would go hand in hand was a fact yet little did I know that by turning the page I would be surprised by another character named Pax.

AJ and Pax, they had me from the first moment I read their introduction in the present storyline. They are Wild Riders, loving the open roads, the danger of their job and the roar of their bikes engine. It gave them a wild edge that drew me to them like a moth to a flame and since I love two men together, comfortable in their own skin and sexuality, AJ and Pax received my full, devoted attention. I was immediately told that they are used to share women and that they love making a woman feel special, of course riding in to AJ’s old town was an invitation to meet Teresa again. She is the new owner of a biker bar and in those ten years lots of things happened. Things AJ has no knowledge of but the magnetic pull between AJ, Teresa and Pax was undeniable. That same night in Teresa’s bar the animosity between the biker gangs; Fists and Thorns, exploded. A murder and the sole suspect of it being Joey, leader of the Thorns and Teresa’s brother, made AJ and Pax decide to stay for the remainder of their vacation.

On the backdrop of biker gang rivalry AJ and Pax are in their element but I also enjoyed how Jaci Burton hit the right tone with Teresa. She survived a tragedy of her own and she has understandable fears, but still, she faces those fears and thereby overcoming the spineless victim label. I like it when a woman reclaims her power and with Teresa’s inner struggles gradually showing the progress it created a woman I could admire and enjoy her blossoming passion and sexuality. Being winged by men such as AJ and Pax doesn’t hurt either of course. For different reasons both men triggered my happy-girl buttons. Both are testosterone-laden men but where Pax is a controlled powerhouse of raw masculinity where a woman instinctively knows there is more to him than meets the eye, AJ is the more bad-boy charming and seductive man who has a grin on his face that promises undiscovered passion. Neither of them is the jealous kind of man and the focus on Teresa and her needs set the pages on fire.

What I found in RIDING THE NIGHT is a story that instantly pulled me in with vibrant characters and a fast-paced plot. The external issues of the murder and Teresa’s tragedy brought along a whole set of internal struggles that affected them individually as well as within the budding Ménage. The struggles and romantic issues created depth within this erotic romance story, and while it never lost the easy-to-read essence it attached me to these characters the way I like it, the way I need it to be. I cared for whether or not they could make the romance work, that each and every one’s emotions got validated and solve the crime along the way.

Since AJ and Pax where so focused on Teresa it made the eroticism spine tingling good as a Ménage trope should be. It stays within the boundaries of playful, sensual and arousing but I read the eruption of sex-play with an elevated heart beat. The issue of how they could make this three-way work adds a touch of realism and the gradual build-up of sexual tension only underscored the importance of the emotional development with each of the main players. All things I consider important in both romance and plot were at full force working in RIDING THE NIGHT and I tore through the chapters like a biker on route 66. There was no stopping me and the conclusion, while I suspected it at some point in the story, still made an impact.

Jaci Burton’s RIDING THE NIGHT is a celebration of super sexy erotic romance! 

Quote Teresa:
While AJ and Pax sat quietly drinking their beers, Teresa studied them side by side. AJ, with his dark good looks and smoke gray eyes, had always made her heart stumble. He had that sexy, bad-boy quality about him that would make any woman look twice. Pax had dirty blond hair that he ware short and spiked, a dark goatee lining his jaw, his body all lean muscle, the kind of body a woman would want to run her hands all over. The two men were a study in contrasts – so different yet so similar. Both screaming masculine and sexy, commanding a woman’s attention in ways that were elemental and yet inexplicable.

The extended posse

Meet the Posse





Calendar October:

We celebrate our fourth anniversary YAY


1 star: Too many flaws and not worthy of your time.

2 stars: An average story with no surprises.

3 stars: An interesting and entertaining story.

4 stars: A riveting and gripping reading experience.

5 stars: A story that is the ultimate reader's high and very addictive.

Calling Card

Realms On Our Bookshelves