Posts Tagged ‘romantica’

Ellora’s Cave Author Links

This is a list of links to Ellora’s Cave authors that I like. (Well, except for Jan Springer.  The one book of hers that I read was awful – full of typos and a plot like Swiss cheese.)


Gail Faulkner

Lora Leigh

Jaid Black

Lisa Marie Rice

Jan Springer

Rhyannon Byrd

Changes to Ellora’s Cave Links



Dear Ellora’s Cave Fans,

Ellora’s Cave has redesigned their website and it looks like the old links might not work. They will just take you to the main page.  From there, it’s not that hard to look up what you’re looking for.  I’m going to work on re-posting links, so keep an eye on this site.

Thank you,


Dara Joy/MoD: Knight of A Trillion Stars


Knight of a Trillion Stars (Matrix of Destiny)Readers tend to mark time by the books they read.  They divide their lives into “the year I explored science fiction” or “The year I discovered Cormac McCarthy”, or even “the month I spent vainly trying to get through one Proust”.  And like that.  For me, the 1990s were when I discovered sci-fi romance, and these publishers – LoveSpell/Leisure, Pinnacle, and St. Martin’s – put out some of the definitive books of their subgenre.  Put out!  Oooh, naughty!  Nyah-Nyah 

Now that I have time to re-re-re-read Dara Joy’s trilogy, I’m wondering if this trend was the harbinger of many of the books put…er…published by Ellora’s Cave and St. Martin’s.  Joy’s weren’t the only sci-fi romance books.  Johanna Lindsey wrote one or two sci-fi softcore stories, and Kathleen A. Morgan (not to be confused with the writer of Christian romances – please!) wrote really sexxie stories.  Linsey’s were straight futuristic whereas Morgan’s included shape-shifters and half-and-halfs.  This one, Heart’s Lair, was one of the Product Detailsbest of its kind along with the MoD series.  That’s Fabioon the cover, by the way.  This book was way HAWT!  It’s out of print, but you can probably pick one up for a song from a used book seller on or  You probably won’t find KoATS or Heart’s in a used bookstore, but you will find a ton of Joy’s non-MoD books like Ritual of Proof, High Energy, and High Intensity.  I’m not going to hyperlink them because they massively suck!  And blow!  It’s a shame because HI and HI have likable characters.  Seriously, don’t both with RoP.  It’s a RoP-OFF.  On second thought…

I started thinking about Mills and Gregor and I could not deny any reader access to that fabulous “almost couple”.

So to sum up, it’s an avenue worth exploring because I believe they lead us to where are are – today with Lora Leigh’s Breed stories, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Weres and the hardcore love scenes that have become de rigeur for at least one brand by every romance publisher – for example, Harlequin  Blaze.

Getting back to KoATS, the cover models are gorgeous.  If you have ever seen the 2003 WB “Tarzan” with Travis Fimmel and Sarah Wayne Callies, the cover models remind me so much of them!  It’s weird.

Here’s a video from “Tarzan” since Lorgin and Deana spent a lot of time in baths.

Divine, innit!  It was surreal to see them and then pick up the book and see models who could pass for them.

My fav part of the novel was when they were at Traed’s house.  Traed is a cousin to Lorgin and strongly resembles Gregor  from HE and HI.  I’ve been using Paul Telfer to picture Traed.  Another thing that’s so cool is that Lorgin lives in a tree house – well, a tree MANSION!  I totally want one! 

The novel is a bit long-winded, but since everything is new, I can forgive and be patient. One thing that should have been planned out better was Joy’s rationalization of everything the characters do.  After every quirk, she inserts a few lines of exposition explaining why they do that voodoo that they do so wellThe pattern gets annoying after a while.  Lorgin does something interesting.  “Oh, well, Lorgin does this and that because his Charl whatever never…always…prefers to…It is their way to…”   See? Annoying. I think the reason it annoys me NOW is because I’ve read the book so many times.  I already “know” him. 

Lorgin is also completely UN-PC!  I’m not even exaggerating.  He’s all “why doesn’t she understand? Why doesn’t she just do what  I say?”  EX-Squeeze ME?  Dude, you NEVER explained anything to her.  You never ask questions. You demand she do something, then when she argues with you, you demand to know why she argues with you? Try asking some questions sometimes.  Jeezie Kreezie!  Confused smile

Deana is cool.  She’s from Boston.  She’s a sci-fi fan.  She’s a working girl – not a career woman, though.  She has a great sense of humor – wisecracky, schticky.  However…having one and showing one are two different things. Several of her remarks which are meant to be schticky or even snide, fall short of real humor.  They – as I have stated about other characters in the same situation – approximate urban humor.  So you get the sense that she’s a wiseacre, but her comebacks don’t kill.  Oddly, you see it done more successfully in the second book, Rejar.  The hammock scene – LOL!

The love scenes? Lovely. They range from warm to HAWT!!  And really human – that is, just ‘cuz you’re having “hot pig sex” doesn’t mean you have to describe it that way. 

To sum up, you TOTALLY should read this book.  It’s available on Kindle© even.  Read the books in order: KoATS, Rejar, MTT. 

Sam and Diane Go Commando: Live Wire by Lora Leigh


  1. Russian Made Simple (eBay search) (amazon search)
  2. German Made Simple  (eBay search) (amazon search)
  3. Primal
  4. Live Wire
  5. 442 200th issue
  6. CHAMPION #45
  7. You’re A Horrible Person, But I Like You: The BELIEVER Book of Advice


  1. Russian Made Simple
  2. German Made Simple
  3. Live Wire
  4. 442


This post is specifically about Live Wire.  It has a lot of features that you expect from Leigh’s books of late: characters you feel like you know personally and care about; lots of loose ends from former missions, testosterone overload, shouting, souls being destroyed by realizing that love is a good thing therefore you must never admit to someone that you love them because it’s more important to save your soul by upholding old hurts and denying love…and, in this particular book, …well…let’s just say, if I had a red pen, I would have worn it out marking the mistakes.  Seriously. It’s effing BAD.

I love Jordan enough to put up with grammatical mistakes my eighth graders could have caught.  I blame St. Martins.  They have a lot to answer for.  Just shoddy, shoddy shoddy editing. Live Wire (Elite Ops)

The cover, on the other hand, is sizzling.  Jordan’s temper is sizzling.  The love scenes with him and Tehya – kinda depressing at the outset. She’s miserable.  He’s in a strop until about page 165.  For all that he’s been in all the books from the get-go, he’s very one-dimensional in his own book.  Because he’s in a strop FOR 165 PAGES!  Oh My God, dude, take a Midol or something!  And strop sex.  Lots of strop sex.    They are like  Sam and Diane from CHEERS.  They can’t be together; they can’t be apart. 

At the beginning of Chapter 7, there’s a sweet scene of them spooning and you realize you can breathe normally again after the adrenaline rush of the first six chapters where Jordan is yelling and using the f-bomb about 4000 times.  But I’m almost to the end of the book and we haven’t learned all that much about Jordan or Tehya – mostly the same stuff from the other books and a couple of scraps of information here and there like Jordan’s family (who apparently is wealthy from the mother’s side)  and Tehya’s being an old-money heiress.  A lot of exposition with very little logic behind it.

And another thing – every sentence with f*&^ or *&^ing or f&^%ed is grammatically correct.  Jordan uses the word so much it actually makes him sound kind of dumb.

The romance never really gets romantic, but there is a lot of fun stuff in the story – not only do Wild Card, Heatseeker, Maverick, Renegade, and Black Jack come in to help Tehya, but Elite Ops 1 gets called in, too! Clint and Morganna, Kell and Emily. EPIC!! That half of the story is the best! At that point, Jordan is more cool and collected because he and Tehya are a couple,  and they’re hot-bunking.  Blimey, that man is a satyr.  The second half of the book is better than the first half.  But there’s so many characters that have to be seen to that J&T don’t get a lot of time alone and when they do, their conversation is like listening to a broken record.  They keep having the same argument with neither making any headway even though it’s so obvious Jordan is wrong. 

Poor Tehya. When it comes to running and hiding, she’s a pro.  But when it comes to being in love with Jordan – she fell in love with him the first time they met (Killer Secrets).  He wanted to get with her when they met the first time.  The problem is, the first time they met, she was on the run, exhausted, malnourished.  See – I can’t just go with the flow here. I remember clearly the circumstances of their first meeting and I just don’t see where they had room to think of sex at that time.  I could understand where she was impressed by his manliness and commanding presence and his gorgeousness.  And he could have been impressed that a civilian managed to evade capture for so many years and her gorgeousness.  However, the story becomes gratuitously crude in describing their first meeting – which wasn’t really a description at all, just snippets of memories to keep the series connected.

So after all the kvetching, what do I like about this novel? I like Jordan and Tehya. They have great back stories.  I love all the other SEALs and operatives coming in to help her.  I love reading about their mission preps.  I love the series. It’s a top series.  I love how there’s always a fancy-dress party involved.  Jane Austen meets Delta Force.  Jordan’s a lot hotter when he calms the hell down.  The women are kind of like the women you would find working with Simon Quatres in Leigh’s Breeds stories.  Except that they are heiresses to centuries-old fortunes. That’s something you don’t expect to see.  Wonderful characters in a flawed package.

All in all, get the book, enjoy the adventure, be happy that Jordan and Tehya make their  peace with each other (eventually). And!  Demand that editing become a priority.  Because $7.99 for a book full of elementary school grammar mistakes? That’s bullshit.  St. Martin’s, Berkeley, Ellora’s Cave.  Get your acts together and fix this. You should feel embarrassed at what you’ve wrought.

Wild Card (Elite Ops, Book 1)

Read about Nathan Malone, Jordan’s nephew, and the beginning of Elite Ops.  I think it’s the best-written story of the series.


Lora Leigh’s Elite Ops–The Final Mission


I’m crying. Crying like a baby.  Crying like a baby that’s missing it’s mashed bananas.  Why? Some of the most interesting men in romance writing are being put to bed.  Not by me, unfortunately.  Sigh…Reno, his bro-in-law Clint, Kell the Cajun ‘gator, Ian (my fav!!!), Nathan/Noah, Macey the electronics whiz, Micah/Maverick, Travis/Black Jack, Nik Steele/Renegade, John/Heatseeker – done and dusted.  

I remember how excited I was when the series morphed into Elite Ops from Tempting SEALs.  And now, the final mission is Jordan Malone’s, Nathan/Noah’s uncle.  He’s about a thousand years old and his possible love interest is Teyha Talamosi who is about nine.  Hyperbole? Probably.  But not by much.  He’s easily twenty years older than she is.  Still, she’s lead a hard life and is more than equal to the task of putting up with Jordan.  And as per usual, he’s got a chest like an aircraft carrier no doubt, while she’s a body double for Tinkerbell.  Ugh.  The cover to his book is well-hot, though.  I will have to re-read the last two books because I got the impression that Teyha is not the only candidate for the heart of Jordan Malone.  Again, very vague.  Don’t quote me on that.

So here’s a chart with some vital stats.  Click on the title to go to the sale page at






Reno Chavez American (Hispanic) Raven McIntyre Clint McIntyre’s sister HONK IF YOU LOVE REAL MEN: Reno’s Chance
Clint McIntyre American Morganna Chavez Reno Chavez’s sister DANGEROUS GAMES
Kell Kreiger AM: Louisiana Cajun Emily Paige Stanton Senator Stanton’s daughter HIDDEN AGENDAS
Ian Richards American/Colombian Kira Porter DHS Contract Agent KILLER SECRETS
Macey March American Emerson Delaney goddaughter of Admiral Holloran RESCUE ME: Atlanta Heat


Nathan Malone/Noah Blake American/Irish Sabella Malone wife/widow of Nathan WILD CARD
Micah Sloane Israeli Risa Clay daughter of Jansen Clay from HA MAVERICK
John Vincent Australian Bailey Serborne former CIA HEATSEEKER
Travis Caine English “Lilly Belle” Elite Ops BLACK JACK
Nikolai Steele Russian Mikayla Martin witness to organized crime RENEGADE

Fringe Stories

Joe Merino American Maggie Samuels Joe appears in DANGEROUS GAMES REAL MEN DO IT BETTER: For Maggie’s Sake
Rick Grayson American Hannah Brookes sheriff in WILD CARD MEN OF DANGER: Hannah’s Luck


I don’t know if it was done on purpose, but it’s interesting how in the stories, a lot of the main action goes down at parties or clubs – mostly parties.  Probably the most unrealistic, but very cool thing is that these agents come from backgrounds you don’t usually find in the military – old money.  Those people don’t join the military. They sure as hell don’t become Special Forces.  Everyone knows it’s the working classes that populate the military.  So it’s a unique angle that Kell, Kira, Lilly Belle, Bailey, and Travis are from the privileged classes. Hence all the parties. 

Even though the stories in Elite Ops were repetitious to a ridiculous degree…

even though Ian’s eyes were hazel in HIDDEN AGENDAS and tobacco brown in KILLER SECRETS…

even though, there was less and less romance with every succeeding story…

even though particular endearments targeted at particular body parts were overused with alarming unoriginality…

the stories were truly exciting, adventure-filled, fun, and full of characters you can’t help but love!  As stories go, this series is a good investment if you like strong characters, especially strong female characters.  Women like Kira and Sabella are kind of inspiring.  They are good examples of the “think like a man/act like a woman” philosophy. 

And check out the fringe stories, too. Rick Grayson and Joe Merino are the same mold, but Rick is small-town and Joe is big-city. 

I wonder what’s next for Lora Leigh’s non-breed stories!  She should be commended for giving so much to her fans.  We bombarded her with demands for the Elite Ops to continue and she delivered big time.  Lora Leigh ROKZZZZ!


Live Wire


Into the Crossfire: A Protectors Novel: Navy Seal

Eh. It’s a good little action story.  Rice’s storytelling skills seem to be going backwards. Not from good to bad, but rather from professional to diletante. MIDNIGHT MAN and MIDNIGHT ANGEL sounded more professional — like an experienced writer had written them.  DANGEROUS SECRETS sounds like she went to a workshop and is experimenting with some tricks of the trade.  Or…or…could it be that she’s just getting bad editing advice?  There’s fewer scenes, but more detail per scene.  That’s not a bad thing. I don’t have a problem with that, but overall, it just sounds more amateurish than her MIDNIGHT series. 

I’m reading it for the third time because I like military or paramilitary adventure stories.  I hope the rest of the series improves from this one. I’d like to see the mature quality of the MIDNIGHT books combined with the fast-paced action from this one. 

Another observation: this plot is a hack piece.  It’s a quilt made up of granny squares from all her other stories.  It’s mostly like DANGEROUS LOVER and MIDNIGHT MAN.  Annoyingly like those two.  Is Rice using authoring software?  There’s nothing original in this story. Nothing.

In the end, how much do you like this novel? And how many lame practices are you willing to put up with because you really like the characters.  I really like Rice’s “beauty and the ex-soldier beast” themes. Especially because she is very good with description.  Your best bet is to buy the book at a jumble sale or used-book shop.  That way, you won’t feel guilty when you don’t want to keep it.

I wonder who the next book is going to be about? Mike or Harry? Or someone new?_____________________________________________________ 

Midnight Angel (Midnight Series, Book 3)     Midnight Run (Midnight Series, Book 2)     Midnight Man (Midnight Series, Book 1)

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