Friday, August 31, 2012


Would you like to stuff your e-reader with exciting quality reads? Are you browsing the net in search of new titles and great prices? Heads up! Incredible deals will be available at all major eBook retailers beginning October 1st. Take a look...


STAY AT HOME DEAD by Jeffrey Allen (Kensington, January 2012)
Available for a discounted download of $ 2.99 only until September 3!!! Grab it at all major eBook retailers.


HOWL FOR IT by Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden (Brava, August 21012)
This title will be included in a Bundle with Angel of Darkness and The Mane Event at all major eBook retailers for $ 26.99 . Highly recommended!

HOW TO DRIVE A DRAGON CRAZY by G.A. Aiken (Zebra, September 2012)
This title will be included in a bundle with The Dragon Who Loved Me, What A Dragon Should Know, and Last Dragon Standing at all major eBook retailers for $ 20.99 .  Love these dragons!

BORN TO BITE by Hannah Howell, Diana Cosby, Erica Ridley (Kensington, August 2012)
This title will be included in a bundle with Highland Hunger, Yours For Eternity, and Highland Beast at all major eBook retailers for $ 27.99 . Hot every sense.

Stay tuned for more reviews, great deals alerts, and giveaways!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

New release alert! HOWL FOR IT by Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden

HOWL FOR IT (Pride #0.5) by Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden

Trade Paperback, 315 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Brava 
Genre: paranormal romance anthology, fantasy, shapeshifters 

Goodreads Blurb
They hunger for your pleasure. They growl for your touch. And in these sizzling stories by New York Times bestselling author Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden, these sexy wolf shapeshifters are lust at first bite. . .

"Like A Wolf With A Bone" by Shelly Laurenston
Quiet little Darla Lewis couldn't be happier when the most-feared member of the South's rowdiest pack kidnaps her. A girl gets real tired of being overprotected by her own shifter family, and there's nothing like an oh-so-big bad wolf to start a pack feud, unleash her instincts--and have her surrender however and whenever she wants. . .

"Wed Or Dead" by Cynthia Eden
Gage Ryder knew his human bride had a wild side. But spending their honeymoon night on the run from hunters out to finish him and his pack is sure not the kind of fun he was looking forward to. No problem--Gage will do whatever it takes to lay bare Kayla's secrets and find the truth. If he can keep from being captured by his own seductive game. . .

"Cynthia's on my must-buy list." --New York Times bestselling author Angie Fox

"Laurenston continues to dazzle readers." --Romantic Times

I've recently had the pleasure to read and review paranormal romance novel ANGEL BETRAYED, installment #2 in The Fallen series by Cynthia Eden (see my review here), and that was the beginning of a "book love affair" with this author and her seductive angels. Now, Cynthia has co-authored with Shelly Laurenston a sizzling anthology featuring some of my favorite shapeshifters: werewolves!
HOWL FOR IT hit bookstores and all major eBook retailers two days ago. Early reviews are simply raving about it... I was almost blinded by all the shining stars I saw on Goodreads ratings! Definitely in my to-read list!!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

YOU DON"T WANT TO KNOW by Lisa Jackson

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Kensington 
Genre: suspense novel, mystery, thriller
Rating: 5 stars

Ava Garrison is a fractured and grieving woman. It’s been two years since her two year old son Noah mysteriously vanished from her house on Church Island, off the Washington coast.  With no ransom ever requested and no corpse ever found, police investigations had ended in a blind alley of  volatile clues without offering any hope of closure, the kidnapping lead abandoned in favor of a most certain  accidental death.  Almost likely the little boy had wandered off the house, reached the docks and found his death in the cold waters.  The loss and  lack of closure had apparently been too  much to handle, even for a  once self-driven, successful and ruthless business woman like Ava. What’s left of that dynamo of business savvy and sex-appeal  is a woman tormented by guilt, pills-induced hallucinations, and a huge mental/emotional block that is preventing her from discerning dreams and blurred memories from reality. The collusive and secretive attitude of her very husband, family members and household staff, will trap her in a state of unknowing and unmistakable feeling of being framed in an artfully orchestrated conspiracy to send her back in a mental institution.  
After spending some time in a hospital under psychiatric ward, Ava returns to her estate only to find that her world is crumbling down.  Her ancestral home, once her safe haven, now feels like a gloomy prison, her family members act more like enemies than supporters, her husband is more and more disconnected, fueling her suspicions that her  already languishing marriage is just heading toward a bitter divorce. Heavily medicated and monitored at home by a psychiatrist hired by her husband, Ava experiences  huge memory gaps  and recurrent nightmares about that night when her son went missing: she doesn’t clearly recollect the circumstances of her son’s disappearance and, despite the telling scars on her wrists, she doesn’t even remember ever attempting suicide. Her dreams are so vivid that they start blending with her unfocused perception of reality, a perception made even more distorted by the use of medications.  When she decides to interrupt  her psychiatric  therapy and she wisely stops using tranquilizers and anti-depressants,  her mind breaks through the fog and gets a hold of a thread that will lead her (through unimaginable twist-and-turns and unfathomable discoveries about her family and friends) to the truth about her son’s disappearance. Help will come from Austin Dern, a mysterious handyman hired by her husband to take care of the estate , a complete stranger but ironically the only person on the island Ava can really trust.

In this intense, pulse-racing suspense novel, prolific author Lisa Jackson had me at the prologue. The initial pages are emotionally charged and really set the tone for the entire book: the heart-wrenching description of Ava’s “deep seated and painful grief”, her feelings of helplessness and guilt, in addition to the anguished replaying of that terrible tragedy in her nightmares, pierced through my heart and immediately propelled me in Ava’s personal hell. I am a mother and I can easily relate to her emotional trial. What I found endearing about this character is also the way her traumatic experience redefines her personality without crashing her headstrong core and unyielding hope. The tragedy stirs Ava’s  life from a torturing pattern of self-doubt to a path of clarity and disambiguation, where several veils will drop on the real substance of her family and friendship relations.
Lisa Jackson’s descriptive style gives true dimension to every scene:  you will always have a clear and seamless sense of space and time. The narration is richly textured and pleasantly complex: switching now and then on a  double chronological time line, between the present path to recovery and the  flashbacks from the past,   the author’s use of interior monologues  and introspective point of view for some of the main characters provide the reader with a front seat view in Ava’s and Dern’s emotional worlds,  without spoiling the mystery factor and the suspenseful effect.  Well into the second half of the book, in fact, not only Dern’s  true identity and real mission at Ava’s estate are still shrouded in a mystery as thick as the fogs enveloping Church Island; I am so knee-deep in this gripping plot of  deception that   I cannot even start to fathom where the truth about Ava’s son disappearance is buried. Duplicity at every turn of the page! You Don’t Want To Know clever plot is far from predictable. It actually twisted and turned so many times it blew me away despite all my guessing and theorizing. The rich cast of characters is complex and fully nuanced: extravagant, creepy, ambiguous, enigmatic, ghastly, hypocrite, scheming,  are the adjectives that can better describe the humanity crowding Ava’s estate : ”The whole island was something out of a Hitchcock novel”, a real nest of vipers.
This  heart-stopping mystery is laced with a tenuous romance, but doesn’t lack the intensity and the heart-warming emotions typical of a romantic suspense novel. I would highly recommend it to a wide range of readers, from those who love a good straight psychological thriller to those who always appreciate  a touch of romance.
You Don’t Want To Know was my first Lisa Jackson’s novel and certainly not the last. I would like to thank the publisher for offering a complimentary copy in exchange of a honest review.

ANGEL OF DARKNESS by Cynthia Eden GIVEAWAY: "And the winner is..."

And the winner is...

Lindsey Hutchison @ United By Books

Congratulations Lindsey! Check your email. To all the other contestants, thank you for participating. You haven't won this time, but keep stopping by the blog with your comments for more exciting giveaways.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012



Paperback, 32 pages
Published July 21st 2005 by Puffin (first published 2003) 
Genre: children's picture book, fantasy
Rating: 5 stars

" When Zack meets his second-grade teacher, Miss Smith, he can tell right away that her class will be different. However, he has no idea just how different it will be. Full color.

In this latest picture book by Michael Garland, action-packed artwork showcases a tale of high adventure inspired by the magic of reading and one spectacular teacher. Zack can't wait for Mrs. Smith to read out loud again from her incredible book. The first story fills the classroom with dueling pirates and the sound of their clashing swords. The second story transports Zack's class to the shady forest of the Big Bad Wolf. At the end of each spellbinding tale the characters slip quietly back into the book. But one day Mrs. Smith is late for school, and the principal takes charge. When he runs away in terror from a fire-breathing dragon, Zack and his classmates set free the rest of the story-book characters and have a morning of high-spirited fun...until they notice that the pirates have hoisted their Jolly Roger on the roof of the school."

Not even an eight years old boy like my son, who would normally find any possible excuse to avoid his daily reading practice, could resist the lure of this action packed, fast paced, cleverly plotted children's book. The references to the most popular fairy tales and the spectacular illustrations enhance its captivating qualities. The artwork really deserves a 5 plus. I highly recommend the whole series: clever and beautifully illustrated.

Friday, August 17, 2012

ANGEL BETRAYED (The Fallen #2) by Cynthia Eden + GIVEAWAY

ANGEL BETRAYED (The Fallen #2 ) by Cynthia Eden

Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Brava
Genre: paranormal romance novel
Rating: 4 stars

She’d traded her wings for a life with her Fallen. Heaven, hell…everything in between didn’t matter. Paradise was staring right back at her. (…) Dangerous, dark…yes, please. She didn’t want some kind of white knight. She wanted her lover with the wildness in his eyes and danger at his back.

Sammael is a Fallen angel: he used to be a Death angel, but when he got tired of standing by as a silent witness of violence with the sole purpose of  claiming the souls of the dying sinners , he decided to take the matter in his own hands and deliver the ultimate punishment to a band of brutal murderers.  For his act of arrogance and lack of repentance, Sam (Sammael’s name on earth) gets expelled from heaven and plunged into the humans' world.
Sam’s insubordination to the higher ranks of the angels hierarchy fuels the wrath of Rogziel, the Punishment angel. Blinded by his anger, Rogziel wants to see  the Fallen angel burning in hell and at this purpose he decides to leverage on Sam’s biggest weakness to ensnare him  in a trap  he won’t be able to escape: a woman. The enchanting and seductive Seline works as a dancer  in one of the night clubs Sam owns in New Orleans.  She is a half-breed succubus, a demon-lover Rogziel has raised since her parents’ death and used for his dark agenda of personal vengeance.  What Rogziel doesn’t  consider is that Seline’s psychic power is much higher than he thought and that his trap will trigger a powerful chemistry between the succubus and the Fallen angel.

Good Heavens, Hell’s bells and “everything in between”! This paranormal romance novel,  installment  #2  of The Fallen series by RITA® finalist and national best-selling author Cynthia Eden, was a remarkable roller-coaster of events and emotions.
I read the first part of the book with a  skeptical eye because of the complexity of the characters and the lack of a clear-cut separation between evil and good, villains and angels. In this first stage of the novel I was not quite sure which character to root for: Sam is an angel, but he kills with a touch and snarls like a devil; Seline is as beautiful as an angel and more innocent than a demon lover is supposed to be, but she’s on a mission to ”kill” a fallen angel with her seductive succubus powers. Rogziel, high rank in the hierarchy of Punishment angels, turns out to be more wicked than the Fallen angels he’s hunting down. And it all happens in New Orleans, one of the most haunted places on earth, a city charged with a dark and wild energy.
I was able to make sense of it all  and understand the dynamics that propel demons and angels between realms only  when the main characters, urged by their deepest and truest emotions, took a clear stand. In Cynthia Eden’s novel, angels can be more lethal than the devil himself and can cause a blood-bath of epic proportions, emotions run deep, kisses can kill,  sensuality is scorching hot. The book literally bleeds with action and sexuality from cover to cover. And still, the emotional connection in our lead couple grows to a level that gives a new meaning to the word lust. You may find Angel Betrayed’s world-building to be an imaginative challenge to your suspension of disbelief with all these angels, demons, vampires, magic spells and hellhounds, but the emotions and the feelings that motivate the actions, the struggles, the antagonism among otherworldly creatures are the same  basic and powerful emotional forces that characterize our kind: pride, arrogance, love, hate, the  rivalry between brothers, the betrayal of a friend, the sense of dislocation experienced when you move into a world you don’t belong to, the indissoluble bond and trust issues between lovers.
What charges this fast-paced, action-packed  paranormal novel with a heavy dose of romance and sensuality is the fact that the bond between the main characters goes well beyond Seline’s succubus power of absorbing the vital energy generated by her lover: that bond is much deeper than  Sam’s addiction to Seline’s sensual lure.
The author introduced also a very interesting cast of secondary characters and I certainly look forward to the next installment in The Fallen series to see how their sub-plots will unfold. 


The publisher would like to offer a copy of ANGEL OF DARKNESS ( #1 in The Fallen series ) to a lucky commenter.  Stop by the blog, drop a comment about this review or any of Cynthia Eden’s books and you will have the chance to win. The contest is open only to US and Canada residents.


" As an angel of death, Keenan’s job is to collect the souls on his list. He’s carried out his duty for two thousand years and never faltered once. Until he meets Nicole St. James. When the moment of death comes, Keenan hesitates, and instead of taking Nicole, Keenan touches the vampire who’s attacking her.

Cast out of heaven for disobedience, Keenan plummets to earth. Six months later, he finally manages to track Nicole to a bar in Mexico. He’s stunned to discover that the woman he remembers has undergone a dramatic change—she’s become a vampire. And when he realizes that she’s the target of all manner of enemies—other vampires, demons, even shifters—he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her, even if all hell breaks loose…"

* The publisher kindly provided a copy of Angel Betrayed in exchange for a honest review.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

FIRE KISSED (Shadow #4) by Erin Kellison

FIRE KISSED (Shadow #4) by Erin Kellison

Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Zebra 
Genre: urban fantasy
Rating: 5 stars
Angels (otherworldly beings  placed on Earth by The Order to guard and preserve the humankind) and Mages (soulless creatures endowed with magical powers) are arch enemies.  The Angels began hunting down the Mages  when they realized that some of the Mage Houses were feeding on angels to enhance their powers and were planning to take over the world with the aid of soul-eater monsters called Wraiths. The Brands and the Greys are mage families . The arranged marriage between the fifteen years old Kaye Brand and the much older Ferro Grey will seal the alliance between these two families during a time of internal struggles between Houses.  When Kaye finds out that an angel, tortured and held captive in the cellar of her house, is being offered by her father to her soon-to-be  husband as a wedding gift , she braves up and refuses to marry Ferro. Infuriated by her rejection, the Greys unleash a wraith against her:  Kaye will defend herself from the vicious attack using her Fire Shadow , the ability to create and manipulate fire. With the aid of the Angels she will also manage to survive the fire that, fatefully caused by her pyrokinetic power, destroys her family and her home.
Ten years later, Kaye is an independent beautiful woman with few scars left on her face as a reminder of that horrible night. She sustains herself selling her ability to call fire and  see the future in the flames. Alarmed by the escalating wraith attacks against humans, the same angel who rescued her (Jack Bastian) contacts her with a proposal: counting on her desire of revenge and mercenary spirit, the Order would infiltrate Kaye among her kind in order to expose the Mages’s schemes and put an end to their ambitions.
Fire Kissed, installment #4 in the Shadow series, is a compelling, tightly-plotted  urban fantasy with significant references to the folkloristic mythology. With its intensity and rich content, it completely engaged me, from the prologue  through each and every breath-taking, action packed chapter. But it also left me initially overwhelmed and blindsided because of my limited knowledge of Mages Council vs. Angels Order, Shadow magic/Twilight set up and world building. Fire Kissed can be  enjoyed as a stand-alone, but I would highly recommend to do some introductory reading: Erin Kellison’s previous books in the Shadow series will certainly help you understand the highly imaginative storyline and some of the secondary characters’s backstories.
I found Kaye’s character particularly likable despite the apparent ruthlessness and gritty personality. I am normally not  a huge fan of over-confident, spunky heroines with a snappy tongue and a know-it-all attitude, but  her traumatic past and her background of loss and grief made her more vulnerable than she would ever admit to herself and for this reason more endearing and interesting. Left alone to fend for herself since she was a teen, she is a resourceful survivor, constantly on her guard, but her independent lifestyle comes with a  price. She’s emotionally drained and physically exhausted: she desperately needs to lean on a strong and protective shoulder, she needs a guardian angel, and love. I admire this complex heroine, the way she faces dangers and personal demons head-on, taking huge risks despite the fear that shakes her physically and emotionally. Her methods and the compromises she is willing to make may be questionable, but her motivations are absolutely honorable.  Jack Bastian believes her to be simply a spoiled, unreliable woman, mercenary enough to betray her own kind for the right sum of money. Like Jack, some readers may find it difficult to like this character  right away and won’t initially understand how lonely, vulnerable, generous and protective she really is underneath her reckless appearance. Her behavior poses a challenge even to a romantic involvement with Jack. Neither it seems to me that the author wants to use their love story as main focus of the narration, like it would happen in a conventional paranormal romance novel. In the first half of the book, the chemistry between Kaye and Jack is barely discernible, but I don’t see that as a flaw in the narration, despite my personal taste for a heavier dose of romance. The author focuses instead on providing a solid ground for the escalation of events that will lead the readers through  unpredictable twist-and-turns and amazing revelations.
Halfway into the book  I finally began to feel absolutely comfortable with the storyline and the world structure: the main characters are fully nuanced, the dynamics between them are more clear and my interest grows when the romantic interest and emotional connection  between Jack and Kaye (lacking in the first part of the novel) grows too, initially as a protective instinct, regret for involving her in a dangerous mission, finally as mutual attraction and palpable sexual tension. When Jack and Kaye  finally let their guards down, I felt like the author was suddenly shifting gear and increasing speed from zero to one hundred miles per hour without wasting ink on building romantic tension: no matter how abruptly the emotional pace changes, it is quite gratifying all the same. This is also the point in the narration where the charming and ambiguous character of  Ferro Grey steps up to the plate, shaking things up (literally and figuratively) with his evil ambitions and  love interest for Kaye.
I found this novel riveting, full of content, highly imaginative, well-plotted, with a good characterization, and a wealth of interesting  secondary cast. I really appreciate Erin Kellison’s ability to make Kaye shine through her flaws as a unique,  trustworthy, selfless heroine, just like the fire element that she controls, beautiful and dangerous at the same time. Hard to put down , Fire Kissed kept me on the edge of my seat till the last page. Because of the heroine's spunky personality and visual impact of the narration, it would work beautifully as an illustrated  graphic novel.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

WICKED INTENTIONS (Maiden Lane #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt

WICKED INTENTIONS (Maiden Lane #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Mass Market Paperback, 382 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Grand Central Publishing 
Genre: historical romance novel
Rating: 5 stars
I just turned the last page of this historical romance novel wondering why it took me so long to pick up a book  from the titles list of this gifted author : many thanks to Goodreads First Reads for providing me with a  free copy in exchange for an honest review.

My love affair with romantic fiction started with  historical romance novels and what mostly drew me towards this genre is the way  the characters’ quest for love unfolds on different moral grounds, facing different challenges and following different rituals.  The beauty of some HRN is that their storylines center substantially around a love relationship , but provide at the same time a clever portrait of the historical backdrop against which the matters of the heart evolve. In Wicked Intentions, a Georgian Era HRN (1751), the colorful and detailed  characterization of lead couple, support cast, and their environment, appealed to my taste for historical accuracy. It’s that age of elegance  when men used to wear white wigs and tricorne hats, when  good society women used to sport magnificent and elaborated gowns with audacious décolleté. It’s also the time when the darkest  poverty cast long shadows on St. Giles, the most infamous London district, that underworld of souls doomed to move among slums, dreary orphanages, overcrowded and crumbling buildings, bawdy houses, dirty alleys, and squalid places where the unhealthy addiction to gin could be appeased.

Prim widow Temperance Dews runs an orphans house with her brother in St. Giles. When  their lack of funds threatens to put an end to their charitable institution, she strikes a deal with rakish and ill-reputed Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire: he will introduce her to London good society , help her  find a sponsor for her foundling home,  and in return she will guide him  through the squalid alleys of St. Giles in order to hunt down the murderer of his latest mistress. Drawn to each other by  an unsuspected affinity, their initial bargain turns into a much deeper  and complex bond, exposing them to mortal dangers and elusive enemies. 

The most interesting aspect of this dark tale is that both Temperance and Lazarus are flawed characters. He is notorious for his unusual sexual proclivities and believes himself to be "emotionally numb". A traumatic childhood experience and a fundamental lack of warmth and affection within his own family triggered also an extreme revulsion for intimacy and physical touch, at least until he meets Temperance and falls for her. Clad in an armor of propriety and moral obligation to the cause of the orphans, she hides a sensual and passionate nature that led her to a sinful act in the past, a sin she is trying to atone for, denying herself any chance of emotional attachment either to a man or to her own charges at the foundling home. Caire’s blunt sensuality stirs Temperance’s curiosity and their mutual attraction will guide them on a path of exploration of their vulnerable and true natures. At the end of their journey Lazarus and Temperance will both find self-forgiveness and mutual healing,  finding in each other their perfect match, like two halves of a whole.
In this highly gratifying tale the author blended the scorching romance with an intriguing murder mystery element, advancing the narration on multiple levels, the central theme of Lazarus and Temperance’s redemption, and  three subplots that set the scene for  the Maiden Lane sequels. The combination of that particular historical setting, flawed and complex characters, fluid narration, suspenseful plot and interesting subplots really worked out well for me. Two thumbs up!  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

INTO THE DREAMING (Highlander #8) by Karen Marie Moning

Hardcover, 253 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Random House Publishing Group 
Genre: paranormal romance novel
Rating: 5 stars

From the dust cover:
Free him from his ice-borne hell . . .

Stolen from his beloved home in the Highlands of Scotland, imprisoned in the Unseelie king’s dark, frosty kingdom, Aedan MacKinnon endured centuries of torture before becoming the icy, emotionless Vengeance, the dark king’s dispatcher of death and destruction in the mortal realm.

And in his century you both may dwell . . .

Aspiring romance novelist Jane Sillee has always believed that she was born in the wrong century, but she’s managed to make a decent enough life for herself—if only she could stop having those recurring dreams about a man too perfect to exist.

In the Dreaming you have loved him . . .

Haunted every night of her life by a devastatingly sexy Highlander who comes to her while she sleeps, Jane tries to write him out of her head and heart. As a child he protected her, as a woman he loves her.

Now in the Waking you must save him . . .

When an ancient tapestry bearing the likeness of her beloved Highlander arrives on her doorstep, Jane is whisked back in time to fifteenth-century Scotland, to the castle of Dun Haakon on the isle of Skye, where she is given one chance to save her dream lover . . . or lose him forever to the Unseelie king.

Caught in a deadly game between the light and dark courts of the Fae, Jane must find a way through the ice to the heart of her Highander. But will the love of one mortal woman be enough to defeat such ancient and ruthless immortal enemies?”

I honestly cannot imagine the world of paranormal romance novels without Karen Marie Moning, because she’s simply one of the most distinguished narratorial voices of this genre, and her tales are among the most gratifying I have ever read. Just look at the fantastic job she’s doing  with the marvelous adaptation of FEVER MOON into a full-color graphic novel!

What I am reviewing today is a novella  (installment # 8 in the Highlander series) that was originally published as part of the Tapestry Anthology  in 2002, and has been recently released in a new edition that includes some exclusive bonus material. This is not one of the most popular or most representative titles of this #1 New York Times best-selling and RWA award winning author, but it could be a great place to start for  readers at their first “Karen Marie Moning experience”. The shorter format (enjoyable in a matter of few hours) is an enticing invitation to discover and appreciate the trademark qualities of her work. I will say more: this novella may be less acclaimed than the most popular SHADOWFEVER or THE DARK HIGHLANDER,  but it’s to be appreciated because it works as a perfect and in some ways illuminating interlude between the more complex worlds of Moning’s FEVER and HIGHLAND lenghty series.
Few authors have the ability to deliver a solid tale within the limited space of a novella, without falling short of intensity and  emotional impact, or without rushing the narration through a poor world and character building. In INTO THE DREAMING not only this master story-teller avoided this trap, she also succeeded in embellishing the canvas of extensively exploited tropes such as time travel and magic   with her signature touches of riveting adventure, scorching sensuality, larger than life heroes, and that delicious mix of fluid narration, humor and romance that makes of this novella a perfectly delightful read. A guilty pleasure you definitely want to indulge in.