Monday, September 6, 2010

Minis: Linnea Sinclair, Loretta Chase, Lorelei James

I read the following books during the past month that I didn't get the chance to review them. One has been in my TBR for quite a long time and the other two are new releases, but all three are from favorite authors. Since I'm behind all my reviews, I figure it's time for a few mini-impressions. :)

The Down Home Zombie Blues by Linnea Sinclair
In this steamy, suspenseful new novel from RITA Award–winning author Linnea Sinclair, a dangerously sexy space commander and an irresistibly earthy Florida police detective pair up to save the civilized galaxy . . . but can they save themselves from each other?

Bahia Vista homicide detective Theo Petrakos thought he’d seen it all. Then a mummified corpse and a room full of futuristic hardware sends Guardian Force commander Jorie Mikkalah into his life. Before the night’s through, he’s become her unofficial partner—and official prisoner—in a race to save the earth. And that’s only the start of his troubles.

Jorie’s mission is to stop a deadly infestation of biomechanical organisms from using Earth as its breeding ground. If she succeeds, she could save a world and win a captaincy. But she’ll need Theo’s help, even if their unlikely partnership does threaten to set off an intergalactic incident.

Because if she fails, she’ll lose not just a planet and a promotion, but a man who’s become far more important to her than she cares to admit.

I finally read The Down Home Zombie Blues by Linnea Sinclair -- scifi/romance. This was definitely different from her other books. Most of the story is set on Earth, not out in space. It's actually quite an amusing story... and if you're a Trekkie, you'll recognize the tongue-in-cheek basis of the story. The zombies are NOT the type of zombies we think of... they're bio engineered space-monsters. There's a female commander, who with her team, comes to save the earth from zombies and in the process meets a male detective from earth who unwittingly becomes involved in the saving. There's lots of action, and of course a romance develops between the two main characters. Although there's romance, don't expect an excess of erotic scenes, the action/adventure takes precedence in this story. There are other Sinclair books I've enjoyed much more, however as always I did enjoy the action and romance and the subtle humor is a plus in The Down Home Zombie Blues. Grade B

Last Night's Scandal by Loretta Chase
After surviving the perils of Egypt, Peregrine Dalmay, Earl of Lisle, is back in London, facing the most dire threat of all: his irrational family . . . and Miss Olivia Wingate-Carsington. A descendant of notorious—but very aristocratic—swindlers, the delectable redhead has the ability to completely unhinge him and a long history of dragging him into her scandalous schemes.

Olivia may be Society's darling, but she's aware a respectable future looms menacingly. And so when Lisle is forced to go on a family mission, she sees this as the perfect chance for one last adventure—even if it is with the one man in the world she can't wrap around her finger. But really, she only wants to help . . .

Which is why Lisle and Olivia find themselves in a gloomy Scottish castle inhabited by spiteful ghosts and craven murderers . . . and a shocking secret: the greatest peril of all may be burning within their own stubborn hearts.
Last Night's Scandal by Loretta Chase is another book I read and enjoyed. Although not outstanding by any means, it turned out to be a fun read after all. Olivia and Lisle were a nice couple -- friends first... actually friends always, and then lovers. I liked the way this couple ultimately came to realize that despite the differences in their personalities, they couldn't keep their hands off each other because they couldn't live without each other. I enjoyed their fights and the dialogue, which switched back and forth from being mature to immature throughout the story. Olivia was quite DRAMATIC and Lisle definitely needed her and some of that drama in his life. This was a book I enjoyed, but not one that wowed me in the end. Grade B

Corralled: A Blacktop Cowboys Novel by Lorelei James
Sports therapist Lainie Capshaw has been rehabilitating injured cowboys long enough to know that a charming western drawl combined with a fine physical form doesn't mean you fall for the man.

So no one is more surprised than Lainie when she finds herself involved with not one, but two different men: Hank Lawson, a bullfighter, and Kyle Gilchrist, a bull rider. Lainie feels guilty about her two-timing, but it doesn't keep her from doubling her fun-that is until Hank catches her with Kyle.

She's shocked that Hank isn't mad. But she's more shocked to learn Hank and Kyle are hometown buddies. But when the men offer to share her-in every way-she knows that she's going to have to choose the one man who can give her the ride of her life...
Corralled is the latest release by Lorelei James, and the first book in her new Blacktop Cowboys series. This is the story of Lainie, Hank and Kyle -- an M/F/M -- and pretty much a threesome that takes place while on a road trip, with a "happily ever after." Hank and Kyle are with the rodeo and Lainie is with the medical team that attends to the rodeo cowboys when they're injured.

I usually love the way James writes threesomes because she doesn't make them feel like triangles and nobody gets left out, plus she writes really sexy and erotic scenes with a story behind it all. However, with this story the relationship between the three DID feel like a triangle. Although Lainie was ready and willing to go into the threesome and didn't seem to prefer one man to the other, the men themselves were competing for her affection. Their true purpose in entering the threesome was to gain her love and have her choose one of them in the end. There was jealousy and a push and pull to this story that didn't sit well with me. So, although Corralled is not my favorite story by Lorelei James, I do think it's a good beginning to her new series as it introduces some great characters and I look forward to reading the rest of the series. Grade B-


  1. Didn't you just buy all those books last week? How'd you do that so fast? O_O

    No stellar reads out of this lot, but still... in the B range is still pretty darned good!

  2. Yeah, Corralled was a bit strange for me too. It just felt like the 3 were being pulled every which way.

  3. Great reviews Hils, although I did see the word 'zombie' and start running :)

    Weirdly, I prefer Loretta Chase's early books. My favourite will always be Knave's Wager :)

  4. LOL Christine. :D No, nothing outstanding, but good enough to get by. ;P

    Tracy, yes... exactly! That's the way I felt while reading this book. Likable, sexy characters, but hmm... I did like the secondary characters that were introduced and am looking forward to other installments. Thanks for the book, BTW!!!

    Orannia, lol! Yeah... I usually run when I see zombies too. I made sure these were not those type of zombies before I picked up the book. [grin]

    And well... Chase has many wonderful books, some better than others, I think. This one was all right, but not one of my favorite. :)

  5. Hey Hils :D

    Corralled is in print right? Perhaps I should give that one a try :) I don't know, got my e-Reader, but still not using it much ^_^;

    Glad you enjoyed the Chase. I skimmed through it the other day at the bookstore. For some reasons, I still have a feeling like Olivia and Lisle are kids ^_^; perhaps it's Olivia's drama.

    The Linnea Sinclair is quite interesting - the fact that it's taking place on Earth... but I'm not a fan of her work. Just don't like sci-fi enough.

    By the way, good job on your mini! I like how you kept everything short and to the point. I just can't ^_^;

  6. Like all three authors and looking forward to reading all three books. I am always in the market for a James book -- she seems to have a great "handle" on the cowboy/rodeo mentality and life. Maybe the push/pull in the menage is a good thing. All romance readers like to think it is all sweetness and light, and the jockeying for affections may be more realistic than we want to admit. Anyway, good reviews and they are much appreciated.

  7. I think Down Home Zombie Blues was my first Sinclair and remember feeling about it pretty much the same. Now I need to read more more more of her work. A lot of good-looking back titles. ;)

    Also, ditto on the Loretta Chase back titles!

  8. Nath, I have Corralled in print, but it's also available in ebook format. I usually read erotica in my reader... a preference. Olivia and Lisle did act like children at times, lol! The bickering and Olivia's drama went a long toward that perception, but the maturity was there too... there was a combination of the two. And, LOL, on the minis, this time the short format came easy for some reason. *g*

    Hi Dr J! I'm also a big Lorelei James fan and love most of her work. I also love what she does with the rodeo lifestyle.

    You make an excellent point about the push and pull vs. the perfect threesome relationship and realism vs. fantasy. I believe that James has written some excellent threesome relationships, where there are complex conflicts involved (jealousy and doubt being two of them), but where all parties were still on the same page when it came their reasons for the relationship. In this story however, not everyone is on that same page, and the effect is that of a triangle instead of a threesome. I hope you read this story soon. I'd love to read your thoughts on it. :)

    KMont, I'm so glad I finally read this book! Loved the subtle humor... lol! And yes, I'm finally hitting her backlist, I have Games of Command next on my list and Finders Keepers after that. Notice I'm reading them slowwwwly so I can stretch them out. ;P

    I'm hitting Loretta Chase's backlist also! The ones I haven't read already. :) Enjoy.


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