Friday, September 20, 2013

Tainted Love: Book 2 in the Sweetest Taboo Series by Eva Marquez

Title: Tainted Love: Book 2 in the Sweetest Taboo Series
Author: Eva Marquez

Publisher: Terra Mia Press

Published Date: March 1, 2013

Buy on Amazon: Kindle & Paperback 

Author Website:



Isabel thought her life was on track – she was doing well in college, moving quickly toward her future, and deciding who she wanted to be. Best of all, she’d reunited with Tom, the swim coach she had a secret affair with in high school. But it doesn’t take long for her history – and his – to start catching up with them.

When Isabel goes back to her college life, after spending a blissful summer reuniting with Tom, things take a dangerous turn. Isabel gets swept up in a relationship with a dark, mysterious professor, with whom she begins a covert love affair that could ruin everything she has rebuilt with Tom. Worse, she starts to hear rumors from friends back home - rumors about a teacher having affairs with students. And Tom seems to be at the center of the controversy. Will Isabel’s instincts about what Tom’s been up to during their time apart drive her farther away, or will she forgo her new romance to run to Tom’s defense?

My Thoughts:

Tainted Love, by Eva Marquez, is the second book in the Sweetest Taboo series. Sweetest Taboo, the first novel, is about high school student Isabel and the three year affair she has with her married teacher and swim coach, Tom.  My review of Sweetest Taboo can be found here:

Sweetest Taboo was a very controversial and thought provoking novel.  At times I hated Tom for taking advantage of Isabel, and at other times I felt that Tom truly loved her.  My emotions were up and down so often that it felt like I was on a roller coaster.  When Sweetest Taboo ended, Isabel had just come home from her first year of college where she had nothing to do with Tom.  However, after she runs into him it seems like they may reunite and ends on a cliffhanger.   

Tainted Love picks right up where the first novel left off.  Isabel quickly finds herself back in Tom's arms and secretly goes away with him for a getaway before she leaves for her second year of college.  Things with Tom are just as magical as they were before, she realizes how much she loves and has missed him.  No one else listens to her like he does, or gives such great advice.  Tom quickly asks her to live with him in a new house he plans to buy and while she is thrilled that they can finally have a real, 'normal' adult relationship, she also feels pressured by him wanting to move so quickly while she is trying to build a life in college.  

In Tainted Love, Isabel is now 20 years old and Tom in his late 30's.  During her summer rendezvous with Tom (and when she goes back to college), Isabel can't help but be suspicious of him and his relationships with other female students.  Was she the only student he had a relationship with in all of his teaching career, or was she one of many?  What was Tom up to while she was away for her first year of college?  These doubts starts to gnaw at her as she goes back to college and she finds herself worrying about what he is doing while she is away.

Marquez's Tainted Love is told from different points of view, most notably that of Isabel and Tom.  In Sweetest Taboo, readers never quite knew what Tom was thinking.  In Tainted Love it was refreshing to read his true feelings, desires, fears, and goals and definitely gave me a new perspective on him and his relationship with Isabel.  I was most surprised by the marriage he had been in and how his two children came to be.  My opinion of how he cheats on his wife and forsakes his family was definitely altered by reading his truth.

I definitely recommend Tainted Love as I truly enjoyed it!  However, please read Sweetest Taboo first so that you have an understanding of the history of Isabel and Tom's relationship.  Eva Marquez's Tainted Love ends on a surprising and somewhat dreary note. I'm very curious to see how the final book, Time After Time, plays out.  Will Isabel finally see the whole truth about her and Tom and what will happen when the truth is revealed?                

Eva Marquez

The author has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, Tainted Love, for the purpose of review.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Satyr's Curse by Alexandrea Weis

Title: The Satyr's Curse
Author: Alexandrea Weis

Publisher: World Castle Publishing

Published Date: May 20, 2013

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle  

Author Website:



Gruesome murders are rocking New Orleans.

But Jazzmyn Livaudais is too busy running her restaurant to pay attention to the sensational headlines. And when the charismatic Julian Devereau enters Jazzmyn’s life, she becomes even more distracted by the handsome stranger.

Seduced by Julian’s charm, Jazzmyn is swept up in a passionate romance. Then she learns the horrific truth about Julian and the murders. Cursed to an unending life where no woman can satisfy his lust and no wine can quench his thirst, Julian needs Jazzmyn’s love to free him from his torment.

But Jazzmyn is in love with someone else. And Julian isn’t very happy about it.  He vows to keep on killing until Jazzmyn submits to his will.  For Jazzmyn Livaudais the nightmare is just beginning.

No one can ever break The Satyr’s Curse.

My Thoughts:

The Satyr's Curse, by Alexandrea Weis, is a suspenseful novel full of paranormal elements and romance that will leave your heart pounding.  Set in present day New Orleans,
The Satyr's Curse centers around Jazzmyn, a young woman who is the last of an old New Orleans family.  She owns and operates The Sweet Note Bistro, a well loved restaurant that takes up both her time and money.  Jazzmyn's life centers around her restaurant and she feels her employees are her confidants and adopted family. 

Jazzmyn's best friend and head cook is the handsome Kyle, whom she once had a drunken one night stand with.  She has put the night behind her for the most part and determined that there is no future with Kyle as he is not the settling down type.  Kyle, on the other hand, has been madly in love with Jazzmyn for years.  Kyle keeps the role of her best friend in the hopes that one day she will have a change of heart and give a relationship with him a real chance.

In The Satyr's Curse, Jazzmyn becomes besotted with a man who comes into The Sweet Note Bistro and strikes up a conversation with her.  There is something about Julian that instantly draws Jazzmyn to him, and the chemistry she feels can not be ignored.  However, as Jazzmyn finds herself in a relationship with Julian, she begins to realize that he is not what he seems.  As she begins to question who he really is and what he is after, Jazzmyn finds herself on a journey of revealing Julian's past and discovering his dark and dangerous side.  Shockingly, what Jazzmyn finds out is more than she could have ever imagined.  Jazzmyn is soon pulled in two directions and realizes that if she leaves Julian many negative consequences will occur.  Determined to help Julian out of his dilemma, she can't help but wish she had given Kyle a real chance.

Alexandrea Weis does an excellent job in describing New Orleans in The Satyr's Curse.  It was evident to me how much she loves her hometown.  She goes into great detail about the various neighborhoods, houses, and the deep history that is found in the city, including the element of VooDoo.  Having been to New Orleans a few years back, it was neat to recognize just what and where Weis was writing about.

The Satyr's Curse is definitely a novel that I recommend to readers who love mystery, paranormal elements, and romance.  There are many steamy scenes in Weis' novel, as well as suspenseful moments that leave you guessing.  The novel ends open ended but I was happy to see that there is a second and third book in the works.             
Alexandrea Weis

The author has provided me with a complimentary copy of her book, The Satyr's Curse, for the purpose of review.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Chasing Atlantis by Kelly Coughlin

Title: Chasing Atlantis
Author: Kelly Coughlin

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Published Date: July 16, 2013

Buy on Amazon: Paperback & Kindle  

Author Website:



Amy isn't like most girls her age who dream of spending all summer on the beach. In fact, she dreads it. The yearly visit to see her mom seems even more ominous than usual. In the quaint town known as Vero Beach many bizarre things begin to happen that leave her perplexed. She can't place her finger on it but even the housekeeper is acting odd, and praying over her room. Things get even creepier when her family starts pushing an old friend on her for dates and he doesn't seem to know how to take no for an answer. So why do the three enigmatic life guards intrigue her, especially Ty, who is yelling at her one minute and saving her another. The only question is: What is he saving her from? What lies out in the ocean waiting for her? Together they must discover the truth about the world and battle the evil that threatens to destroy them.

My Thoughts:

hasing Atlantis, by Kelly Coughlin, is an intriguing Young Adult novel that has a mixture of romance and paranormal elements.  Chasing Atlantis is Coughlin's first novel and it is easy to see that she has a great imagination and storytelling capabilities.  At first Chasing Atlantis seemed like a regular YA romance, however I was surprised as the novel unfolded when Coughlin introduced readers to many creatures of the night including vampires, mermaids, and dragons.

At the start of every summer Amy must leave her father's home and fly to Florida to visit her mother and stepfather.  Never something she looks forward to, Amy is especially resistant this year and is preparing herself for the feeling of being not good enough for her perfect mother and stepfather.  However, things at her mother's house seem even stranger than normal and Amy begins to find ways to escape spending time there.  

On one such occasion, Amy finds herself at the beach and being watched by Ty, a lifeguard.  She automatically feels a pull towards him, but is confused by his familiarity with her.  Has she met the mysterious lifeguard before?  As she embarks on getting to know Ty better, Amy realizes that there are many strange things going on in her mother's small town, and it would seem that they are starting to revolve around her.  As Amy's mother pushes her towards a romance with the young and insolent Adam, Amy must figure out just what is going on in Vero Beach before she is swallowed whole.

Without giving away the story, they characters in Coughlin's Chasing Atlantis are not as they first appear and it seems everyone knows but Amy.  I felt most sorry for Amy's mother.  When Amy was a little girl her mother doted on her.  However, everything changed when her mother met and married youthful and perfect Steve.  From that day on everything her mother did revolved around making Steve happy and being the picture perfect wife to the plastic surgeon.  Amy and her needs were placed on the back burner, and as Amy became older they grew more apart.  I really felt horrible for Amy at the end of the novel with how things ended between her and her mother.         

If you are a fan of both Young Adult Literature and paranormal novels, Chasing Atlantis is for you.  Kelly Coughlin does a great job in revealing the secrets of Vero Beach and it's inhabitants at a pace that will keep readers interested.  She also succeeded in writing a very creative story.  While parts of the novel seemed a little out there, the scorching romance that is between Ty and Amy make up for it.  I personally can not wait to see what Coughlin comes up with next!             

The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of the book, Chasing Atlantis, for the purpose of review.