Beautiful Stranger by: Christina Lauren

New apartment? Check. Fantastic job with Ryan Media Group? Check. Loyal and loving boyfriend? Not so much for Sara Dillon who fled her Chicago lifestyle in favor of a new start in the city that never sleeps. During a girls night out adventure with long time bestie Chloe, Sara runs into Mr. Sexy himself, Max Stella. Max sweeps Sara off her feet by being the antithesis of her dirt bag ex but is Sara ready for another shot at love? Picking up right where Beautiful Bastard left off, this steamy read is sure to leave you wanting more.

WOW. What else can I say? From their effortless romance to spectacular…uh…physical encounters these two are one of the best in the erotic romance genre. Since dipping my toes in the erotica waters in 2008, Beautiful Stranger was the first novel that did not have a tortured hero or heroine as the protagonist. Neither Sara nor Max had a horrific incident (either rape, domestic violence or abuse) that caused them to be part of the BDSM scene. Even with that aside, Sara and Max’s romance is genuine and adorable in the “you jump I jump Jack sort of way.” Its not the sort of this only happens in fiction type thing but a cutesy yet realistic way. The way that their relationship grows from a friends with benefits into something that is natural – not forced or drawn out – and makes you want to put the book down and grin from ear to ear.

I loved Beautiful Stranger more than its’ predecessor and is probably my favorite in the genre.

4 STARS

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Reviewed By: Brittany Morgan

Diana Bishop is not like the other professors at Yale University. Besides her unruly hair, obsession with working out and her unheard of tenure, Bishop is a witch. The Bishop line – which is traceable as far back as the Salem witch trials –is one of the most famous and renowned in the witch world. As Diana recognizes her family’s historic and important past, she refuses to utilize her magic and associate herself with other witches and wizards. While Bishop is working on a keynote speech for a conference she unknowingly calls upon a mysterious manuscript that has confused the supernatural species, witches, daemons and vampires, for centuries. The only way to discover the content of the manuscript is for Bishop to fulfill the destiny and be the witch her family knew she could be, but will she want to?

“A Discovery of Witches” by Diana Harkness is not “Twilight”. Yes, there are vampires and other supernatural creatures however the similarities stop there. Harkness distances herself quickly from the new supernatural craze immediately and demonstrates how she is a step above the rest. Most of the books of this genre I have read in the past have been watered down with simple diction and little to no figurative language. “A Discovery of Witches” is truly a well-written book. Furthermore, Harkness fully explains every detail of Bishop’s magic and the other supernatural creature’s abilities.

Vampire and witch novels are a guilty pleasure of mine. I love seeing authors put their own spin on the traditional vampire and witch stories. Harkness has done a great job infusing her own spin to make the vampires and witches in the novel unique. The author was able in infuse her award winning wine blog into the text by having vampires be excellent wine connoisseurs.

I really enjoyed reading “A Discovery of Witches” and I could barely put the book down. Even though there were many characters in the novel, Harkness does a great job showcasing quirks in the characters so the reader and differentiate between them. The plot did not feel too drawn out, which can often happen in books that are over 500 pages, and moved at a good pace. I am definitely looking forward to reading the other books in the All Souls Trilogy.

Recently, Warner Brothers Pictures has purchased the rights to convert all of the books in the trilogy into movies and they are working to create a script.

RATING: 4 stars