Immortal Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

I’m just going to say right from the start that I recommend Immortal Highlander, especially to fans of previous KMM books. I am of the opinion that this book should be read after all of the others, because previous events and characters are referenced and do appear. I know that Mel might disagree with me, because she read them out of order, but I have slight OCD when it comes to reading series in order and I think this one demands it even more than most. Plus, I think it’s weird to go back and read previous books knowing what is going to happen to characters later in the series. But that might just be me. Anyway, I do recommend it- it wasn’t my favorite of these books, but I especially love the ending.

Now, a few things that I’ve come to realize about KMM through discussing these books with The Bitches- She writes virgins. 20-something, gorgeous, brilliant virgins. Unlikely that all these women would still be virgins but there you go. And she writes dark, large, gorgeous heros. And sometimes she writes anatomically impossible sex scenes. Note to authors: if your hero is behind your heroine and they are having sex, his balls cannot slap her ass. Not unless, as my editor friend puts it, they are wrapping all the way around her body, up over her shoulders to come back around and slap her ass. Doubtful. So, no balls slapping ass during doggie style sex please.

With that out of the way, here’s the blurb:

BEWARE: lethally seductive alpha male of immense strength and dark eroticism, do not look at him. Do not touch him. Do not be tempted. Do not be seduced.

With his long, black hair and dark, mesmerizing eyes, Adam Black is Trouble with a capital T. Immortal, arrogant, and intensely sensual, he is the consummate seducer, free to roam across time and continents in pursuit of his insatiable desires. That is, until a curse strips him of his immortality and makes him invisible, a cruel fate for so irresistible a man. With his very life at stake, Adam’s only hope for survival is in the hands of the one woman who can actually see him.

Enter law student Gabrielle O’Callaghan, who is cursed with the ability to see both worlds: Mortal and Faery. From the moment she lays eyes on this stunning male, Gabby is certain of one thing: He could be her undoing. Thus begins a long, dangerous seduction. Because despite his powerful strength and unquenchable hungers, Adam refuses to take a woman by force. Instead, he will tease his way into Gabby’s bed and make her want him just as he wants her.

Now, no matter how hard Gabby tries to avoid him, Adam is everywhere, invisible to all but her—perched atop her office cubicle in too-tight jeans, whispering softly from behind the stacks of the law library, stealing her breath away with his knowing smile…all the while tempting her with the promise of unimaginable pleasure in his arms. But soon danger will intrude on this sensual dance. For as Adam’s quest to regain his immortality plunges them into a world of timeless magic and the deadly politics of the Faery queen’s court, the price of surrender could be their very lives. Unless they can thwart the conspiracy that threatens both mortal and Faery realms…and give them a shot at a destiny few mortals ever know: glorious, wondrous, endless love.

Now, having given you the blurb, I will tell you that the one flaw this book has (besides balls slapping ass in behind the girl sex) is with Adam’s invisibility. It is caused by a spell cast on him by Aoibheal, Queen of the Fae, called feth fiada. The intricacies of the spell are such that things Adam touches become invisible with him (clothes, food, people, etc) but this caused a dilemma in my head and really threw me out of the story. If things that he touches become invisible with him, why doesn’t that happen with buildings, cars, planes, trains, etc. Wouldn’t it affect those things as well? I spent way too much time pondering this when I should have been reading the book instead, but to me, it was a flaw in the exocution. Really the only major one, but still… it threw me right out of the story a time or two because I had to stop and try to wrap my brain around it.

But beyond that small quibble with the plot, I liked this books and as I said earlier, especially enjoyed the ending. It made me kind of teary eyed. If you’ve liked the others, you’ll like this one.

Released yesterday: Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning. In hardcover.

Trigger Effect by Maggie Price

Another Bombshell off my TBR pile and this one was fabulous! Maggie Price has written an intriguing story with two suspense threads going at once in her book, Trigger Effect. Additionally, her heroine, Paige Carmichael has a unique job that I’ve never seen a romance heroine have before…she is a former cop who is now a Forensic Statement Analyst. Just like it sounds, she analyzes statements- both written and verbal- and finds clues and deductions to aid in investigations and interrogations. The whole process was fascinating and I wanted to run out and sign up for a workshop because I could immediately see how useful it would be if I ever go back to working in the psychiatric and addiction field (where pretty much 75% of what you hear is lies and bullshit). She does an excellent job of making the field sound interesting and giving enough information to the reader in a way that was compelling and not textbook or boring.

A joke. That’s what most cops think of me, an expert in Forensic Statement Analysis. I catch criminals by what they say — and, more important, what they don’t. The science of language and double meanings fascinates me, and if that makes me a nerd at the police department, I can live with it. Even suffer the contempt of hot homicide cop Nate McCall. But an odd statement from one of Oklahoma City’s finest has triggered my suspicion — his words ring of murder. And proving it could silence me forever.…

LINE OF DUTY: Where peril and passion collide.

I have to admit that the cover blurb did mislead me a bit. I thought the book would be written in first person but it’s not. It’s third person, which is just as fine with me but I thought it was odd how the cover blurb was written.

Anyhow, the romance aspect is believable and doesn’t take the front seat but is somewhat secondary to the suspense, mystery of the book, as is the case in most Bombshells. But all parts fit together very smoothly to form a cohesive, enjoyable, unique story that I was sorry to see end!

I highly recommend this book and hope to see more of Paige and Nate because not only did I like these characters but I am absolutely fascinated with the idea of Forensic Statement Analysis.

I did search out Maggie Price’s website and found out that there are books about Nate’s sisters and brothers (five total I believe) offered in a different Silhouette line. They don’t appear to be available from HQN any longer but might be at Amazon, I didn’t look. I will say this, Maggie Price’s website needs to be updated. And changed. It gave me a huge headache to look at it and that’s too bad because I would have liked to find out more about those previous books. But her website is difficult to read, small and has too many moving things on it. Bummer.

The Profiler by Lori A. May

I was looking forward to reading this book because I had just finished Trigger Effect by Maggie Price and was on a Bombshell high. I was ready for another awesome read. Instead, I ended up with a DNF.

Here’s the blurb about The Profiler:

FBI agent Angie Davis sees past the crime scene into the twisted criminal mind. It’s a skill she hones with the guidance of her mentor, Cain…one that helps Angie predict a killer’s next victim before it’s too late.

But this profiler-in-training’s latest case is a headache from the start. For one, she must work with maverick NYPD detective Carson Severo. And then, another kill. And another. Only this serial killer’s victims seem to follow a disturbing pattern — they are all somehow connected to Angie. And it’s just a matter of days before she becomes the next target.…

It sounded really promising. I’ve always been fascinated by profilers, have read several of the true crime books written by John E. Douglas and thought this was going to be a fun read. And then I got to the first sentence.

I lean my forearms into the open car window to get a better look at him. (copyright May 2005)

Do you know what that is? It’s first person, PRESENT tense. I actually like first person, when it’s past tense. Which would read instead: I leaned my forearms…

I made it to page 17. Of course, 8 of those pages were publishing info and dedication . The writing was, unfortunately, awkward and stilted. The first person present tense made it difficult to read and even more difficult to sink into the story.

Obviously I can’t comment on the merits of the plot, characterization or storyline as this was a DNF for me. But I did discover that first person, present tense causes a “blech” moment in me. Not recommended.

Show Her the Money and She’s on the Money by Stephanie Feagan

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll know that I hadn’t intended to read these books right now, although they were on my TBR pile, but a series of coincidences convinced me that I was supposed to. And boy am I glad. Stephanie Feagan penned two Bombshells that feature a fun, unintentionally kick-ass and slightly quirky heroine, Whitney “Pink” Pearl.

In the first book, Show Her the Money, we are introduced to Pink, a CPA who has blown the whistle on her former employer. Unfortunately for Pink, all but one copy of her evidence against the company has been destroyed. The last copy? Sold by her aunt during a garage sale- in a box with Mr. Bob. Wondering about Mr. Bob? You’ll have to read the book! I don’t want to share too many spoilers. While Pink is waiting to get the evidence back, she goes to work for her mom- a fate not quite worse than death but running a close second.

Here’s the blurb:

CPA-with-an-attitude Whitney “Pink” Pearl has just blown the whistle on the accounting scam of the decade. And in true scapegoat fashion, she’s lost her job and reputation and has moved back home to start again at the bottom of the pile, working as a forensic accountant for (gasp!) her mother. There’s no money trail too cold for Pink to follow. But trouble sure follows her — because Pink’s not taking back her accusations, no matter how many death threats, abduction attempts and steamy kisses from lawyers of questionable ethics she receives.…

Think accounting can’t be hot? Then you haven’t met Pink…

This book has a bit of everything, great heroine, a fun plot and mystery, enjoyable secondary characters and several hunky, intelligent, and intriguing love interests for Pink. Yep, Pink has the Stephanie Plum Syndrome– more than one man to choose from 😉

The second book, She’s on the Money, picks up several weeks after the first ends, with Pink still working as a forensic accountant in her mom’s business.

She’s Whitney “Pink” Pearl, the world’s most fearless…accountant?

Her boss gave her the ultimatum — bring in more clients or else. So when the town’s stingiest man asks Pink to investigate his mysteriously dwindling oil assets, Pink takes the case. Bad career move.

Suddenly strangers are asking for her help on “matters of national security” — then dying at her feet. A little dog — which may belong to an infamous assassin — keeps following her around. Add to that two amazing men vying for her attention and a case that’s pointing to terrorist activity, and Pink’s time sheet is full of things that won’t get her promoted, and just might get her dead.…

I enjoyed the second book almost as much but slightly less than the first- not significantly less but there were a few things that made me pause and go hmmm… the first had to do with Spiderman, which is all I’ll say so as not to give spoilers! Book two finds Pink still having the problem of too many men. Oh that we could all have that problem at some point in our lives! Another entertaining caper, with a bit of a twist at the end, I still found myself captivated with Pink as a heroine, despite the things that made me go hmm, lol.

I recommend these books to fans of Janet Evanovich, Sarah Stroymeyer and Nancy Bartholomew’s “Strip” series (we won’t talk about her less than fabulous Bombshells). In other words, fans of caper mysteries with fun heroines and hunky heroes should read these books! An excellent pick for laying on the beach or soaking in the tub.

I looked to see when we could anticipate the next book in Pink’s story but didn’t readily find any information. I did find Ms. Feagan’s blog, however, and did discover that Pink goes to China in the next book. Sounds intriguing! Maybe Ms. Feagan will stop back here and let us know when the next book is due out because I look forward, very much, to reading the next installment and discussing it here!

As an aside, I want to say that I visited Ms. Feagan’s website after she visited my blog and I found that she is the member of an interesting group of writers, The Wet Noodle Posse. They describe themselves:

In 2003, a group of about sixty women met each other online for the first time. They were finalists for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart award – the top measure of achievement for unpublished writers in the industry. Like finalists before them, they formed an internet loop to discuss the upcoming awards ceremony at the national convention, held that year in New York.

Most of these online loops dissolve shortly after the convention, but something happened on the way to the Big Apple. This particular group found they had a level of camaraderie unknown to them before. Instead of breaking up after some finalists won their category and some lost, they stayed together – through births and deaths, the inevitable agent and editor rejections, and giddy-making first sales. At some point, one of them expressed doubt about her worth and talent, and another one threatened to cover the miles between them, picking up other members along the way, to thrash her with a wet noodle until she remembered that she was a good writer with good friends.

That’s how the Wet Noodle Posse was born, and this e-zine is its public face. Our goal is to take the support and silliness we get from each other and share it with a larger audience of women. All the things we take comfort from are here: food, crafts, books, good advice, and lots of humor.

They have a neat website with recipes and stories and things to make, along with links and information about each of the members. It’s quite a fascinating thing, that they maintained their friendship for so long. I hope you’ll venture over and check out their website!

My reader interview is up…

On Maili’s blog. Go read it and feel free to laugh at me. I told Maili I felt very self-conscious about doing this- as if it would people realize what a big dork I really am 😉 Ah well, it was fun. Thanks Maili!

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