The Romance Review

The Romance Reviews

Monday, May 30, 2011

Come Welcome Jennifer Madden YAY!


Terminally addicted to romances, thanks to finding her aunt’s stash of 'Harlequin Presents' years ago during a sleepover, J.M. Madden loves any and all good love stories. Most particularly her own.

She has two beautiful children and a husband who always keeps her on her toes. J.M. was a Deputy Sheriff in Ohio for nine years, until hubby moved the clan to Kentucky. When not chasing the family around, she's at the computer, reading and writing, trying to perfect her craft. She occasionally takes breaks to feed her animal horde, and is trying to control her office-supply addiction, but both tasks are uphill battles. Happily, she is unemployed right now, so it's given her a chance to seriously jump into writing full-time. She has several projects in the works and loves to hear from readers.

Second Time Around was released on December 28th, and it was my debut novel.


Officer Shane Caldwell responds to a routine end of shift call with some annoyance, but when she tackles and handcuffs her ex-lover and the father of her son, things turn hot in a flash. Four years before Quinn Scott disappeared to make his fortune, and she hasn’t heard a word from him. As his touch ignites old passions, Shane is torn between telling him about the son he's never known, and protecting young Jackson's heart from the man who walked away without a backward glance.

When Shane storms back into his life, Quinn isn't surprised by the incredible attraction which sparks between them. He wants to take up where they left off, but years of lies and unexpected betrayals from family and friends endanger his Thoroughbred breeding operation and his dreams of a future with the woman he never really left behind. Will old prejudices separate them again or can love grow stronger the Second Time Around?


Twisting her free arm behind her, she snagged the handcuffs out of their leather pouch and snapped one cuff onto his retaining wrist. He looked uncomprehendingly at the strange piece of metal around his arm, before smiling slowly, sexily. Shane felt her heart squeeze in affection when she saw that acknowledgement of who she was. Shane turned his body to her, and pushed his back against the stall door next to Snort’s stall. Quinn’s eyes widened in surprise at her actions, and then darkened with passion. With his arms above his head, she threaded the second cuff around one of the wrought iron bars, ands nicked it onto his other wrist.

Quinn never said a word, but he did clench the bars behind his head, highlighting every striation in his biceps, and the strength of his fists on the iron. Shane lost track of what she was doing for a long moment, caught up in his masculinity. It was obvious he was posing for her, and she gave him the long, lingering look he deserved. Stepping forward, she nuzzled into his neck, nipping lightly at the flushed skin. Metal jingled as he reached for her, panting. The cuffs kept his hands from touching her. "Shane," he warned, "you better start doing something before I rip these bars off the door.”

Laughing, Shane jogged across the aisle and pulled the giant barn doors closed, flipping an interior lock to keep them shut. She also double-checked to make sure the walk-in door at the end of the aisle was locked as well. Anticipation beat at her as she went through the motions of making them safe from prying eyes. She was panting as she turned toward him again, and not just from the exertion of slamming the doors. Desire built in her, and it needed to be appeased soon. Snort shifted in his stall at the commotion, but didn’t make any other sound. Quinn watched her with hooded eyes and clenched jaw, waiting patiently for what was to come.

She unsnapped her belt-keepers and let them fall to the floor with a clatter as she exaggerated the sway of her hips and strutted toward him.

Dark hazel eyes zeroed in on her hands, watching as she removed her gun-belt. Shane took her time, but Quinn’s enthusiasm, as well as her own, pushed her to the limits. She had never restrained anybody sexually before, and her conscience nudged at her. It was unexplored territory, but she enjoyed it. The mere thought of him being at her mercy was an aphrodisiac in itself. She could do anything to him, and as long as it was enjoyable, he would let her do it. Damn, that was hot.

You can find me at:


Twitter- lilbighorse

I also have an Urban Fantasy piece coming out with Bonapart Press. The title of the anthology is Urban Moon, and my story is Burning Moonlight. Should be out beginning of June sometime.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Finding Love and Danger...Chapter Two

It is now date day. My solider has agreed to meet me in a public outdoor café. The place he picks I’m very familiar with. They have the best Middle Eastern food lots of Israeli dishes. Like many places it’s owned by a family for generations.

Of course we talked that morning. I was going to get out and visit some friends, but had to call and let them know I would have to take a rain check. My solider was more interested in having an in-depth conversation right there! I told him we have plenty of time to talk at lunch. He said he liked how my voice sounded over the phone.

I hate my voice over the phone. LOL!

An hour and a half later, I was able to shower dress and go. I had a little time and decided to walk to the location. Like I said, I knew the place well, and it was about a ten minute walk from the hotel. So I took a little side trip. There was some sort of puppet show and I sat and watched that. Then there were some Israeli musicians. I love a lot of their music, gets your foot tapping.

Finally, I arrived at our meeting place, I was still early. I was eyeing a lamb dish on the menu. I watched as various people sat down and looked over their menus and chatted in a language that was still foriegn to me. There were the locals as well as tourists like myself.

One thing that always stood out and gave me pause sometimes was that citizens were allowed to carry guns with them in plain site. I remember looking over across the table and an older man sat down with I believe his wife, and he had a .38 stuck in the back of his pants.
Considering all the crap that happened in Israel at the time (and still going on), this is normal everyday life.

I think I waited ten minutes and my solider arrived. He greeted me with that deep voice and thick accent that I found sexy. He gave me a large smile making him even more appealing. I knew he was fine in the club, but seeing him in the daytime nearly took my breath away. I couldn’t stop staring at him.

He had on full army gear, weapons included. I told him in a joking matter, he didn’t have to get all dressed up for me; surprisingly he got my American sarcasm and laughed. But then a second later his face turned serious and he told me that he’s on duty twenty-four hours a day. He said he had to be, because things were getting heated in Israel lately.

Peace talks were under way and a lot of people including some Israelis didn’t like it.
After a brief conversation on my views of the situation, we started talking about everyday things.

By the way, my views on the peace talk were, I wanted the whole Middle East to come together for the sake of peace all around the world. He thought that was interesting, didn’t agree to a certain extent, but he respected my views.

We looked over the menus and he asked me what I wanted, I told him the lamb dish and a soda. He ordered the same.

As we waited for our food to arrive, he started asking me all kinds of question about me. Where was I from? Was I married or seeing someone? He said he wanted to make sure I didn’t have a boyfriend or husband hiding somewhere. LOL. When I convinced him I was single he got even more comfortable with me. He asked how long I would be staying in Israel. I told him a month maybe two. He was shocked. He knew most Americans take only two-week vacations, maybe three. I told him that I had my own business and it allowed me from time to time to take very long vacations. He found that fascinating and starting asking about what sort of business I was in.
Mind you now, our food has arrived and it’s been some time. I still don’t know much about him.

He’s still asking me questions. I kinda felt on the spot, but at the same time, I kinda understood.
After my third degree from him, I finally got my chance.

Boy did I have questions. And guess what? He didn’t answer any of them that had to do with him being in the IDF. The only thing he told me was, that as soon and you became thirteen you were in the army and you could stay in it for life. Girls included. He chose to be a solider for life—or until his death in battle.


After some time talking about less serious matters, he told me that he could arrange some time off and he would show me around. I reminded him that this was like my tenth time here, and I pretty much knew my way around. He laughed and told me no one knows there way around anyplace 100%. Well, he got me there. LOL!

He kept reaching for my hand and holding it and looking directly at me. At this point in my life I was use to the boldness of foreign men. But he still made me a little nervous. It could have been the AK47. LOL!

We got up and left the café. We walked around, him actually placing his hand on the small of my back and occasionally holding my hand. We went to several little shops, where he bought me a few things to take back home. They weren’t the typical souvenir stuff. When I find some of the items, I will have pics.

We walked around some more. I remember we took a seat on a wall that was bombed months ago. It made me realize just where I was. This of course was not unusual for me. The last few times I was in Israel, there were car bombings. This was just a stark reminder. I told him about my other trips here. He wondered why I keep coming back. I told him because I love it here.
That seemed to make him even happier. He asked me what I was doing that evening. I told him nothing. He told me there was a great outdoor place to eat, sing and dance and that he knew I would enjoy it. I told him fine. He jokingly told me he wouldn’t have his army clothes on, however, he would be armed.

He walked me to my hotel and we chatted some more. It seemed like he didn’t want to leave, but finally he said his goodbyes, and kissed me on the cheek. He smiled again and walked off.

This date was just a long introduction to my solider. The rest of my story, unfortunately will be seeing him in action. And that started with our night on the town.

Stay tuned for Chapter three and the interesting thing that happened during our night out.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Come meet the lovely Maureen Betita!

A Failure to Believe!

The challenges of creating conflict within any relationship consists of dickering around with how two people miscommunicate. Let’s face, that is the central conflict in any romantic situation. It isn’t she’s rich, he’s poor. She’s a cowgirl, he’s an airline pilot. She’s a granola eating surfer chick and he’s a crab fisherman. It’s that they don’t speak the same language, because they each have filters they get in the way of listening to each other.

All of these scenarios are fraught with built-in conflict. Not just because of different backgrounds, but how they communicate and believe what the other says. Or don’t.

I would imagine it’s the same when writing interracial. Or, if you’re a scifi writer, interspecies. (Yes, I write that, too!)

When I wrote The Kraken’s Mirror, my main point of conflict wasn’t that Emily was from the 20th Century and Silvestri wasn’t. Nope. The fact that she was suddenly in the pirate haven of Tortuga, and there were ipods and toasters in a world full of Hollywood swashbucklers didn’t change who she was. (Of course, she did assume she’d gone insane.) The challenge: How to get two people to communicate when she thought he was a figment of her imagination and he thought she was the most fascinating woman he’d ever met. And the key to breaking his curse.

He told her, again and again, that she was desirable. She, being a product of our modern culture, didn’t believe him. He had to have an agenda. (He did, but she didn’t know that! And his agenda had nothing to do with how much he wanted her.) He couldn’t be serious about a 53 year old widow who was short, plump and insane! Her filters made it all but impossible for her to believe he wanted her. Even though he was 65…her experiences told her he’d want someone younger, someone thinner. Someone who wasn’t her.

He kept showing her she was wrong.And telling her. But she didn’t believe him. They had some major communication issues.

The next book in the Kraken’s Caribbean trilogy, The Chameleon Goggles, again presents a major block when it comes to communicating for the hero, Mick, and the heroine, Jezzebel. Again, she doesn’t believe him. It isn’t that she thinks he lies. She knows he believes what he says. She can’t take it in, from the upbringing she had, it just isn’t possible.

Yup, they can’t communicate. Until they can, of course.

Me? I want to communicate with my missing kraken. Somewhere between the e-book and the print book, he disappeared. I couldn’t believe it, but there it was. He was gone. I’ve been searching the entire month of May…and I have posted a reward. Help me find my kraken!

Entries to my awesome contest taken on my website, wherever I guest…including here (please include your e-mail) …and (don’t tell anyone…) but my Facebook page.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hey Mahalia! It’s Your Birthday!

Come join me and celebrate Mahalia Levey”s birthday. Take a look at her reminiscing. Check out her books and follower on her blog and wbsites!

It’s Been 36 Years!

Today is my birthday….

Taking a walk down memory lane J

I have been:

A Brat

A Cheerleader

A Soldier

A Student

A Stripper

A Mother

Many a Girlfriend

A few Fiancés’

A Respiratory Therapist

A Assistant Therapist in a children’s psych hospital

A Rock Groupie- minus sex

An Author Groupie- All the males I crush on are Gay. Unfortunately for me I have the wrong equipment!

I am forever a Dreamer

Inconceivably Optimistic in the world we live in and yet I wouldn’t change a thing.

So why is a birthday so special?

I don’t celebrate New Year’s as a new beginning. I celebrate the Day of my birth…and here’s why.

I want to know that I lived the dash inbetween my birth and subsequent death well and that

I’ve made a mark and have given something valuable to my children, significant other, family and friends.

Maybe that’s why I throw myself into a new idea or journey no holds bar… who knows. I am blessed to have so many wonderful people around me via net and in person J

Since May 2010 I’ve published so far 14 short stories/novellas. I have others slotted for the year and am continuing to grow with the superb advice I garner from associates, friends, mentors, editors and publishers. I don’t think I’ve enjoyed anything so much as writing and the free rein I have.

What I love about literature is that the canvas is so wide that any author can create a tapestry of word weaving that leaves readers breathless and content…self-included. There are times I’ve gone back to re read and I’m like wow…did I do that?

So here’s to another year of wonderful friends, and new experiences! Another year to do something astonishingly well done to add to my dash.J

We can scratch being a better listener lol in regards to the DH because I never listen to him.

But Hopefully I’ll be a better mother, friend, author, employee and person this year.

Tell me how you spend your dash …one memorable accomplishment you’re proud of. I’ll be giving away two prizes today.

Another small tuttifruiti bar of soap hand made here in KC and a backlisted read.

Check out Mahalia’s plethora of books. And there’s more to come!

Friday, May 13, 2011

CHAPTER ONE-Finding Love and Danger.....

When I arrived in Israel in June of 1995, I had no idea that one, I would be spending five months past the time I planned. Two, falling for a solider in the IDF, and three almost being a direst witness to one of the worst events in Middle East and the world history.
First lets start with the pleasant part of my arrival.

When I first landed, I didn’t plan on doing anything special. This was just another trip, that I’ve taking many times before. I planned on visiting friends, hanging out and relaxing in my hotel. You see, this was the last trip in my leg this vacation. I’ve already been to France, Italy and Greece months before.

My cousin was with me this trip. In fact this was her first trip overseas. She met me in Greece my last week there and we both flew to Israel. I warned her that since this was her first trip out of the U.S., that this particular part of the world would be a serious cultural shock. This wasn’t England. LOL!

But the trooper that she is, she joined me anyway. When we arrived, she was wide eyed. I told her to stay with me and don’t go venturing off. This was my tenth trip there.
After we rested in the hotel and watch some Israeli television, we headed out. It was night, and I wanted to hit a certain club.

Once there, my cousin let loose. She said a club is a club. Well, she got me there. But here is where things got interesting.

Some soldiers walked in and took a seat. The place was packed, so a few sat near us. My cousin and I noticed a few of the men were real cute, and they were a bit flirtatious. My cousin decided to act out. She leaned over and asked one the guys, “Hey would you like go to the Wailing Wall?” They laughed, I pretend not to know her, but it was funny.

When I turned around, I noticed another soldier staring me down. I wondered if he heard my cousin and didn’t think that was too funny. Instead he smiled at me.

Did I mention that he was drop dead gorgeous?

Black curly hair, olive skin, black eyes will killer lashes and a face that could turn heads.

When I smiled back, he took that as an invitation I guess, and came over to my table. He said something in Hebrew to one of the other soldiers and he got up. Cutie took his seat. I knew then that this man not only knew the others, but was important.

He looked at me and asked me in his best English with a strong accent, was I with anyone, a man. I told him no, just my cousin. He smiled even harder. He said he thought I was pretty and what was I doing in Israel. He knew I was a tourist.

I told him how I traveled and how I always came here every year. He thought that was interesting, He asked how I liked it, then corrected himself, saying I must love it since I come here every year. We laughed.

He said he would ask me to dance, but he was bit tied down.

Did I mention he had what looked like an AK47 strapped across him and a blade that looked like it could cut through the hide of an elephant on his hip? The IDF is no joke, and I will get to that in another chapter.

Anyway, he gave me his number. He said he wasn’t going to ask for mine, cause he knew how some women were wary. I thought that was nice. After we talked some more, he turned to the other group of soldiers and said something. They all got up. He looked at me and smiled again, and said “Call me”.

My cousin came back to the table after dancing. She said she saw the whole thing. She was like “Who was that?” I told her his name and that he wanted me to call him.

And I did. I called him the next morning. Of course he forgot to tell me I had to jump through hoops because of who and what he was. But when he came to the phone he was happy to hear from me. He said he had some time off and he wanted to meet me in a public place to have lunch and he would show me around, even though I’ve been there before. But he said he wanted to spend as much time with my as possible.

And that’s where this chapter ends. Chapter two will talk about our first date.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Welcome my guest Author Gracen Miller!

Gracen is a hopeless daydreamer masquerading as a "normal" person in southern society. When not writing, she's a full-time karate/football/guitar mom for her two sons and a devoted wife to her real-life hero-husband. She's addicted to writing, paranormal romance novels and movies, Alabama football and coffee…addictions are not necessarily in order of priority. She is convinced coffee is nectar from the gods and blending coffee and writing together generates the perfect creative merger. Many of her creative worlds are spawned from coffee highs. To learn more about Gracen or to leave her a comment, visit her website at


Las Vegas lawyer, Sadie Sinclair, has hit rock bottom. Bankrupt, with her reputation ruined, and her fiancé is yachting Aruba with a hot babe. Desperate for a break from reality, she contacts 1NightStand and is shocked to discover she's been paired with a sexy fairy.
Jace is about to become King of the fairies. One minor glitch, he's obsessed with humans. Before becoming King, he wants one night with a human before he's forever forbidden from crossing into the human realm. After a stellar night of sex, Jace is surprised to discover Sadie isn't just a human, but his mate. Complicating everything with the revelation, he's willing to forfeit his kingdom for her, but Sadie must decide if he's worth the biggest gamble yet.


Knocking once to warn her of his arrival, he used the key card to let himself into the room. The door clicked shut behind him as he scanned the room for his evening’s companion.

"Hello," she said when their eyes met.

Her sultry voice tempted him, much as a Siren lured a man to his demise against the rocky coast of her island. His mortal Siren offered him a shy wave.

"Want a drink?" She held up a goblet, half-full of amber liquor.

Her edginess socked his acute fairy senses like a blow to the gut.

Interesting. Why was she here then?

"No, thanks." He moved toward her, intrigued by the competing vibes the woman evoked…reserved and salacious.

Maybe other men found the arctic chill of her gaze daunting. He found it intriguing, even challenging. Women would be envious and intimidated by her high-level eroticism.

Stunning, and nothing like the fairies he would command. Long, shiny, black hair framed her oval face. He couldn't wait to get his fingers in the wavy locks. Gunmetal-silver eyes warily watched him. Rimmed in a thin stripe of black eyeliner and splashed with a smidge of dark-gray shadow, the contrast brought out the stellar shade of her irises. High cheekbones, a slightly upturned nose, and wide lips, naturally dark red, or she'd been biting them in anxiety. Unlike the diminutive fairy-women, she was tall—not more than an inch or two shorter than his five-ten height. Most female fairies barely reached his chest, which made her a charming oddity. And she owned killer curves—again, unlike most beanpole-thin fairies—and those curves were framed in an evocative, skintight, black cocktail dress.

Jace stopped in front of her and stared at her mouth. He knew many places he wanted those lips, but mostly he wanted them rounded on an orgasmic scream.

"I'm Jace."

She swallowed and cleared her throat, but her voice came out low and raspy. "Sadie."

He dipped his finger into the crystal glass she held poised below her chin. A fat droplet of liquor clung to his forefinger, and he spread it across her pouty bottom lip. Her eyes widened, and her breathing noticeably accelerated. As if prompted, her tongue swiped away the moisture, and his cock twitched in reaction.

"You're perfect. Stunning."

She laughed, a charming sound, as a blush crept across her cheeks. For the first time since beginning his adventure, he considered the horrible ramifications of falling hard for a human. Impossible! There wouldn't be enough time to grow attached to a one-night stand. Neither would his parents nor soon-to-be subjects approve.

Where you can stalk me on the net—LOL—not seriously!
Facebook Fan Page:
Madison’s Life Lessons blog:
Moonlight, Lace & Mayhem blog:

Friday, May 6, 2011

Finding Love and Danger—Introduction

Hello Everyone!

This is the beginning of a series that I felt I should start. Considering that I writ IR romance and erotica, I thought it would be appropriate too.

As some of you know, I have traveled extensively since the age of two, with my parents. When I turned eighteen, I began venturing out on my own. One of those trips that I take every year besides Italy, was a trip to Israel. I went every year faithfully up until 9/11. After that I went only three more times since.

I want to talk about one particular trip. The one I took and stayed six months. This faithful trip was in 1995. It’s significant to me because of the events that took place during my stay. Those that are old enough and keep up with world events know what I’m talking about.

But for those that don’t I will be go over the whole story in this series.

So let me start before we dive right in.

In 1995, I took a trip overseas. This was not unusual. In fact, I planned to hit every continent before the age of 40 (which I did in 1998). But I digress. This trip I was going to visit some relatives in France, hit Italy to visit my old voice teacher and then play it by ear after I left Israel.

I arrived in Tel Aviv in June. It was HOT! But I stayed in a nice air-conditioned hotel, like always, so no big deal. On this particular trip, a cousin of mine joined me. Now you might be asking why go to Israel? Well, it’s the Holy land, it’s historical and at the time it was the place to PAR-TAY!

Yes Tel Aviv had some great clubs. Israelis LOVE to dance! And that’s where I meet him.

He was gorgeous, funny, charismatic—and dangerous! I fell for him immediately.

And that’s where my story begins.
Stayed turned next week for Chapter one. I talk about our initial introduction.