Review: Fearless by Tawny Weber

 

Title: Fearless

Author: Tawny Weber

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Promising career: check
Amazing apartment: check
The best of friends: check
Sex life: MIA
There’s just one thing missing from Gia Renyard’s life: sexual adventure. And the one man she’d like to have it with is her hot co-worker, Luke Monroe. If only company rules didn’t prohibit her from asking him out. So Gia comes up with a plan: make herself over into a fantasy seductress, follow Luke to a convention in Sin City, and have her way with him for one erotic weekend. The man will never even know who did him.
Everything is going according to plan—until Gia discovers that Luke is perfect for her outside the bedroom too. And suddenly she’s no longer content to let what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas…


Review:

Fearless wasn’t my cup of tea, and it’s because I couldn’t relate to heroine Gia.  She wants to have a sexual adventure, something to keep as a special memory, and oh, yeah, something to brag about with her friends.  She has her sights set on co-worker Luke Monroe, and after learning that he’s going to be in Las Vegas for  a convention, she gets a make-over, books a ticket, and flies out with one goal in mind; she’s going to seduce him.  She doesn’t want him to know who she is for a couple of reasons, the most important being that she could get fired  because dating a co-worker is against corporate policy.

The first half of the novella takes place in Gia’s hotel room after she’s enticed Luke to take the bait and follow her upstairs.  I found it boring.  There was zero character development to keep me reading, and I didn’t make a connection with either one of them.  Then the weekend was over, and Gia had to give up the fantasy and head back to work.  Suddenly, I was engaged in the plot.  I guess it’s sad that I found her daily grind as a programmer more interesting than her sexy times with a virtual stranger in a hotel room in Vegas.  Yeah.

It’s a nightmare come true when Gia is assigned to Luke’s development team for a new product.  She has to keep things low key and she has to constantly avoid him for fear that he’ll figure out who she is.  She has been working hard for a promotion, though, so she can’t turn the assignment down.  If she gets through this, she will have that promotion, and that’s really everything that she’s worked for. 

Luke is kicking himself for turning down a  job offer with another company and taking a promotion instead.  He’s under a lot of pressure to get this project completed in time, on budget, and on spec.  He’s got one team member running laps around the rest, and he is impressed with Gia’ s performance and ability to think outside of the box.  He’s puzzled why she is avoiding him and telecommuting, and as time goes by, he begins to suspect that maybe Gia is the hot fantasy woman who loved him and left in a  Las Vegas hotel room. 

I liked Luke better than Gia.  He actually wanted to make a bit of a connection with Gia before hitting her hotel room, but she had no interest in small talk, so who could blame him for taking her up on her offer for hot, sweaty sex in her room?  As he struggled to put two and two together, Gia managed to out-maneuver him, which only made him even more suspicious.  

While it took a while to warm up to the story, I did enjoy the second half of Fearless.  The beginning, though, left me unimpressed and without a connection to the story or the characters.

Grade: C-

Review copy provided by publisher

Interview with Erin Quinn, Author of The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love

Please give Erin Quinn a warm welcome! She’s visiting the virtual offices to chat about her latest release, The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less. 

[Erin Quinn] How about I do it in 1? 

Crazy. I’m a writer with a full time day job and a family. How could I be anything else?

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love?

[Erin Quinn] The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love is about a woman who manages to cheat death.  It happens–you hear about it on the news.  People who’ve died and seen the light, their loved ones, or their maker, only to be miraculously revived and returned to the living. 

In Roxanne’s case, however, it’s happened four times.  Now she’s got the attention of a reaper who’s determined that her next death will be her last.  He takes over the body of a suicidal cop with one goal:  track her down, reap her mortal soul and destroy her physical being so there’s no more coming back for Roxanne Love.  But with the human body the reaper has stolen, comes emotion and sensation that he’d never expected.  His mission no longer seems clear and as he and Roxanne evade evil that has seeped into the human world, he discovers that not only can’t he resist Roxanne, he can’t resist life.  But reapers don’t belong among the living and a dark and powerful entity is willing to do anything to make sure Roxanne’s fifth death will be her last.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Erin Quinn] When I was sketching out the basics of this story, I read an article about a young girl who woke up on an autopsy table just before they cut her open.  That sparked a million ideas and as I worked through them, I fell in love with the idea of  a woman who doesn’t die and the reaper who feels she’s cheated him and so comes to collect her in person.  Another aspect that intrigued me was the idea of death longing to be part of the living.  My reaper (Santo) comes to this world filled with arrogance and a healthy bit of curiosity.  Four times he’s held Roxanne in death, four times he’s lost her.  But it’s not until he holds her in the flesh that he realizes that despite what he’s told himself,  it’s not her death he’s interested in..

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Roxanne?

[Erin Quinn] Guarded, giving and generous.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Reece had a theme song, what would it be?

[Erin Quinn] Born to be Wild.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Roxanne is never without.

[Erin Quinn] The love and support of her family. 

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Roxanne’s purse?

[Erin Quinn] A gun or lipstick

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Roxanne’s greatest regret?

[Erin Quinn] Roxanne thinks she wants to be like everyone else.  In the beginning, her biggest regret is that she’s not ordinary.  Of course, Santo helps her see past that and accept that being extraordinary isn’t such a bad thing..

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Erin Quinn] As a young adult, I was a voracious Stephen King reader and a consumptive romance reader.  I would get through one of King’s books and love every word…except I always wished he’d put a little smut in it.  Then I’d get through a Harlequin and wish there’d been a few thrills and chills in it.  So when I started writing, I wanted to combine those elements.  If I can scare you a little while I make you fall in love, my job is done.  :)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Erin Quinn] Coffee, laptop or pen/paper and most important…time.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Erin Quinn] Probably Gone Girl, although that one left me unsettled and depressed so I can’t say I liked it but I definitely won’t forget it.  Brilliant writing and characters, intriguing story but definitely not a feel-good book.  :)

[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Erin Quinn] Charlotte’s Web.  Read it in first grade and fell in love.  I even wrote to EB White and got a letter in return.  

[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Erin Quinn] I love movies and good television (Dexter, Game of Thrones, Shameless, Downton Abby…..)  I love to read, of course and I love to spend time with my family.  I have two amazing (almost adult) children and a wonderful husband who pries me out of my office when I’ve been holed up too long.

[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?

[Erin Quinn]   I’m everywhere!  www.erinquinnbooks.com

[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!

About the book:

Love and death make dangerous bed partners.
She cheated death….
All Roxanne Love has ever wanted is to be normal—marriage, kids, the life of June Cleaver. She tries to fit in but can’t conceal her ability to defy death–not from the world, not from the darkest creatures of the Beyond and not from the Reaper determined to destroy her. Now Roxanne is on the run, her only ally a compelling, dangerous detective with secrets of his own. Against her will, she’s drawn to his quiet strength and heated touch. But can she trust him with the truth?
….until she felt death’s kiss.
Incognito as guilt-ridden cop, Santo Castillo, the Reaper’s plan is simple: get close to Roxanne, uncover the secret of her immortality and cut it at the source. Yet with this borrowed body come emotions the Reaper hadn’t expected. Now nothing is clear but his conflicted desire to protect the woman he came to kill. As destiny forces them to face an enemy hell-bent on using Roxanne to wipe out all of mankind, she and Santo must choose between love….and salvation

About the author:

Erin Quinn is an award winning author who writes haunting romance for the thinking reader. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in the Booksellers Best, WILLA Award for Historical fiction, the Orange Rose, Readers Crown, Golden Quill, Best Books, and Award of Excellence. Look for Erin’s latest release from Pocket Books, THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE, August 27, 2013. Go to www.erinquinnbooks.com for more information.

Interview with Misty Dietz, Author of Come Hell or High Desire and Giveaway!

Please welcome Misty Dietz to the virtual offices! Misty dropped by to chat about her recent release Come Hell or High Desire.

[Manga Maniac Café] Good morning, Misty! Thank you for joining us today.

[Misty Dietz] Thanks so much to Julie for hosting me today on MMC! Super excited to be here! :)

[Manga Maniac Café] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.

[Misty Dietz] Oh yikes. Empathetic, optimistic, cheerleader, peace-keeper, detail-oriented, yet non-linear. Wear my emotions on my sleeve.

[Manga Maniac Café] Can you tell us a little about Come Hell or High Desire?

[Misty Dietz] Come Hell or High Desire is, at heart, a story about redemption. In their dangerous quest to find a missing woman, the scarred hero and heroine learn to forgive themselves, move beyond the past, and believe they’re worthy of love, trust, and scorching desire.

Sloane projects a very different aura on the outside than she actually feels. She’s tormented by guilt, and while she’s managed to be successful at her career, she feels an inner desperation to atone that has her making decisions that aren’t always the best for her. She doesn’t let too many people dig beneath her put-together façade. Then she meets Zack…

Zack tells himself he doesn’t give a shit what people think, but it’s a lie. His crushing guilt makes his walls steep. But being a protector is hard-wired into his genes just as dominantly as his broad shoulders and sexy green eyes, so when the woman he can’t stop thinking about finds herself in the cross-hairs of a dangerous web of deceit, he doesn’t hesitate to put himself in the line of fire to save her.

[Manga Maniac Café] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?

[Misty Dietz] COME HELL OR HIGH DESIRE was born when I learned about the extra sensory perception called psychometry, which is the ability to touch an object and know its back story. I’d never heard of that and was completely intrigued. It’s like the person “reading” the object gets echoes of the life force that last touched it. Fascinating right?

Inspiration also came from several other sources: the Red River which is one block from my house and the border line between North Dakota and Minnesota; my heroine’s boutique Skinny Dipping was fashioned after a local Fargo, ND, shop called O’Day Cache; and finally, I drew inspiration for Zack, my hero, from three men whom I love the most: my hubby (Zack’s calm and protective nature), my brother (Zack’s introspection and fearlessness), and my first love—my dad—who is a construction entrepreneur (Zack’s like-a-rock steadiness and down-in-the-trenches work ethic). Sloane was born complete and perfectly imperfect ready-made in my mind. :)

[Manga Maniac Café] What three words best describe Sloane?

[Misty Dietz] Empathetic, unpretentious, sexy.

[Manga Maniac Café] If Zack had a theme song, what would it be?

[Misty Dietz] Lonely No More by Rob Thomas **swoon**

[Manga Maniac Café] Name one thing Sloane is never without.

[Misty Dietz] Her dragonfly cadet hat. :)

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things will you never find in Zack’s bathroom?

[Misty Dietz] Hair gel, liquid soap of any kind, or a hand mirror.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is Sloane’s greatest regret?

[Misty Dietz] Not solving a crime before it took a deadly turn.

[Manga Maniac Café] What are your greatest creative influences?

[Misty Dietz] Being outside in nature, music, and reading other stories.

[Manga Maniac Café] What three things do you need in order to write?

[Misty Dietz] A big glass of water, a comfortable chair, and (in winter) my electric lap blanket.

[Manga Maniac Café] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?

[Misty Dietz] Whisper No Lies by Cindy Gerard

[Manga Maniac Café] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?

[Misty Dietz] No clue. My mom says I practically came out of the womb reading. Some of the earliest pictures of me show me holding a blanket and a book. :)

[Manga Maniac Café] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

[Misty Dietz] Hang out with my hubby and kids, read, bake, kayak, paddleboard, shop, pop in on various social media sites.

[Manga Maniac Café] How can readers connect with you?

[Misty Dietz] I’m a total social media lover! I especially love Facebook http://facebook.com/mistydietzwriter and Twitter http://twitter.com/mistydietz but anyone can contact me via my website http://mistydietz.com as well.

Thanks again for having me! And I’d like to hear from you guys now… Which point of view do you like to read best? First person or third?

At the end of this second phase of my blog tour we’ll be drawing the name for the prize winner. When I contact the winner, I’ll explain the type of character he or she will be naming. Thank you so much for being here! xo, misty ;)

[Manga Maniac Café] Thank you!

COME HELL OR HIGH DESIRE excerpt: 

            A quaver steamrolled through her nerves—excitement, wonder, and fear winding her up into a miasma of feeling. He backed up a step, his eyes a brand, scorching their way from her teeth worrying her lips, to the tips of her breasts, across the stubbornly rounded expanse of her stomach and curve of her hips to her sex, over the length of her legs, and back up again until his fevered eyes captured hers and turned her insides to magma.

            “God, help me, Sloane. I need you. Every beautiful square inch of you.”

            She could feel his need radiating off his body in waves that threatened to knock her to her knees. Her lips parted, but she couldn’t speak. Couldn’t move. The intensity of the feelings coursing through her rooted her to the soft rug beneath her feet. She shivered when he finally peeled the shirt over his head.

            “What’s wrong, baby?” he whispered, frowning, not touching her but near enough that she could feel his body heat.

            “Nothing. I…” She closed her eyes and rubbed her arms, trying to find her old, confident self. When she opened them, she was staring at the black panther tattooed across his chest. It was so alive, seeming to move with every breath he took. She reached up to touch it and felt his muscles twitch. Her heart throbbed. So much emotion.

            “I need you, too.” Her words were barely audible. She didn’t move. Hesitating, he watched her for a few moments—enough time for her to realize he understood what was happening.

            Surrender.

            It was her first. A this is who and what I am when all the chips were down. A glimpse into her soul. An offering with no expectation of reciprocation. She quavered like a mouse before the lion, knowing she’d never be quite the same when Zack left her arms this time.

“A heroine to root for, a hero to die for, Misty Dietz has crafted a classic romantic suspense in the tradition of Kay Hooper. A winning debut!”
—Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestselling Author

“Dietz brings us a fresh, interesting plot and draws readers into the entertaining story right from the start.” —RT Book Reviews

Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Purchase link:

About the book:

Torn between dangerous desires…

Framed for a series of brutal murders, rebel-turned-CEO Zack Goldman must go to ground. When he discovers that sexy boutique owner Sloane Swift has a shocking gift—terrifying visions that connect her to his mentor’s missing daughter—he can’t believe her refusal to help him. Nor can he believe he’s actually falling for the frustrating woman.

Their chemistry will either find its perfect equation…

Helping an accused killer ranks low on Sloane’s to-do list, no matter how hot the attraction burns between them. But putting to rest her overwhelming guilt over the missing girl’s fate proves more difficult than she ever imagined…that is, until her heart and conscience begin to align.

…or detonate everything in its path.

As the real killer locks in on Sloane, Zack will stop at nothing to keep her safe. And as they earn each other’s trust—with danger in hot pursuit—they may just lose their hearts in the process…

About the author:

Misty’s love affair with words started in middle school when she penned dark stories set in exotic locales she knew nothing about. In college, her boy-angst spilled over into disturbing reams of poetry. After grad school, real life hit, and the writing went into hibernation until she found her own happily-ever-after with an ultra linear man who is the long-suffering counter-balance to her zig-zagging tendencies. Now, she spends her days writing emotionally complex, adrenaline-fueled stories, teaching Zumba, enjoying her family and friends, and praying her children don’t come home with math homework. You may contact Misty through her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Waiting on Wednesday – Hope Flames by Jaci Burton

 

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

The cover looks wayyyyy too photoshopped, but Hope Flames is about a vet and has an injured police dog. MUST read!

In stores January 2014

Veterinarian Emma Burnett won’t let anything or anyone sidetrack her from her job as new owner of the vet clinic in Hope. She let a man distract her once, with disastrous results. But when Luke McCormack brings in his injured police dog, Emma can hardly ignore him. Despite Emma’s best efforts to keep things strictly doctor and owner of the patient, Luke’s one hot distraction.

What are you waiting on?