Sirens and Scales

Sirens and Scales
All Mermaids and Dragons Limited Edition Boxed Set

Friday, August 27, 2010

Sharon at Romance Writers Reviews says:

I enjoyed this book tremendously.  It was well written, the characters flowed together as a good book should and there was lots of romance and sex. Although this story only last over a weekend, it makes you feel like Lily and David had known each other much longer. Lily fit into Davids life, and although she was only looking for a “good time” she ends up with much more. To know what they develop you’ll have to read the book. It’s a must read as David is indeed “A Beautiful Stranger”.
4 out of 5 stars
Reviewed by: Sharon

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Judith at Book Binge Loved "Owned By Rome"

This is another Wow! book from Katalina Leon, and having read several of her other books, I am not surprised. It is a step back into a time and culture about which contemporary readers seldom have the background to understand. That is not to put down contemporary romance readers; it is just a awareness that in our democratic identity, most American readers struggle with the realities of slavery as it existed nearly 2,000 years ago. The heroine is a beautiful, well-endowed, strong, and bitter woman. She has become a part of the spoils of war and her identity as a human being is gone. She is now property. And yet, she still knows that she is a person, a woman of power and worth, too proud to acquiese to the demeaning life into which she has been forced, willing to accept death rather than become manageable and used.

Even Atellus is bound by his culture--no surprise here. Even though he is smitten with her he still sees her within the context of a slave/master relationship as an amatrix of love slave, given to him to satisfy his physical needs. There is no doubt that historically many Roman men formed very strong and powerful bonds with their love slaves, yet these women were still slaves and lived or died at the whim of their masters. Rutila (not her true name but the one given her by her Roman captors), the Celtic slave, was unwilling to be one. She was prepared to kill any Roman who placed her in such a relationship and thus it was decreed that her last earthly act was to be gang raped and then killed--all while she was drugged to prevent any negative response on her part. Nice people, those Romans!! Even after Atellus rescues her from the slave market, even though their first night spent together is during her drugged state, Rutila is determined to escape Rome's clutches, even if it meant killing Atellus. Ultimately she has to make some decisions about whether she will more highly value her bitterness and anger, or will she see in Atellus a man who is honorable and whose values are not those of Rome, a man who sees her with the eyes of love.

Yet we still see in Atellus a man of honor, who faced the reality that his brother and sister-in-law were not nice people, were driven by greed and political ambition, and were willing even to cheat him--a member of their family and a Roman magistrate-- and the Empire to gain their goals. He was a man that saw what Rome was becoming, and when it was all laid out before him, was supremely happy to be away from the centers of the Empire's notice and power. He was a man who began to value Rutila as a person, a woman of personal determination--not just stubbornness--and who may or may not ever return his love. He was a loving father and a person who saw worth even in the serfs who worked the land, these were worthy of his regard and care.

In the midst of a society where only the upper classes were deemed persons of worth, two people come together in anger and bitterness, but also in love. How they reach some sort of resolution is the gist of this story. There is pain, hurt, anger, violence, betrayal and personal disappointment galore in this tale. There are no Elysian Fields here. Yet in spite of this backdrop of human emotions and the worst that people can do to one another emerges values, feelings, and a relationship that warm and encourage the human heart.

Katalina Leon brings a proven track record of literary and writing expertise to the telling of this story. She has crafted a plot that comes right out of the history books, but she has given birth to characters that are genuine and believable, exhibiting both the worst and the best of humanity. She has written in such a way that there will be few readers who read this story and are not deeply touched by the emotions and feelings of these ancient persons. Yet their story, while not set in contemporary contexts, still calls to all of us. Today there are still people of prejudice and greed, motivated by political and personal ambition, who pick up and discard others for their own selfish ends. There are still people of honor who refuse to go along with the status quo and who are able to see and appreciate people of all social strata as persons of worth. There are people who must endure the bitterness of disappointment and possibly abuse, and others who reach out to them in love and trust.

I liked this story very much. I own up to a particular liking for ancient history and thus stories set in those times are of particular interest to me. But I liked best that even in the ancient Roman context, the nature of human relationship was explored, and while this is labeled as erotic romance, it has great worth purely as historical fiction and as a work that can and will bring readers face to face with the deeper issues of life and love.

I give this book a 4.25 out of 5.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Seriously Reviewed took "Owned By Rome" seriously!

Story: 8
Presentation: 9
Total: 17
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Historical Erotic Romance
Review: Owned by Rome is an epic tale of lust, love betrayal, and forgiveness. There were so many facets of the story, that as it unfolded, I forgot that I was supposed to be reading a romance and simply enjoyed the historical detail. The author does such a brilliant job of weaving fact, fiction and hypothesis, that I was swept into the story and believed every word I read. Some of the things I loved most about the story were also aspects that some readers might not enjoy as much as I did. The romance is often overshadowed by the historical details. But the historical details are interesting.

The first third of the book reveals most about Atellus. There is a lot of telling of events that had already occurred. There was a build up of a certain aspect of the story that wasn’t at all what I expected to happen. So lots of twists and turns in the plot. The history of Atellus was also interesting, but Owned By Rome at times, read more like literature and was harder to lose myself in the story. There is an abundant use of Latin in the story, but the use is not confusing because Ms. Leon weaves words with clarity and context.

Once the story really picks up, after Rutila is introduced, the romance of the story is bittersweet. They are both damaged souls and need each other. But the wounds inflicted during turbulent times fester in Rutila. Atellus is gentle and patient, but also has darker needs. Rutila must forgive herself for living before she can open herself to accept Atellus’ love. And Atellus has to free the one woman who fires his soul. She won’t be owned by a Roman. But if he lets her go, he may never have her again.

Reading Owned by Rome will take you on an emotional journey and in the end you’ll be glad you read the story.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

TwoLips gave "Beautiful Stranger" 5 Kisses!

Book Image
Title: Beautiful Stranger
Author: Katalina Leon
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary
Publication date: May 22, 2010
ISBN: 9781419927287
Pages: 128
Series: N/A
Reviewer: LeAnn

Heat Level:  M/F - oral sex, masturbation, anal sex, light spanking

Lily Fontaine is turning forty-three!  What is she wishing for? After being divorced and alone for the last three years, Lily is getting lonely.  Working nights at the local television station and sleeping all day has left her social life lacking.  The thing she misses most is sex.  She just wants someone to have sex with, with no attachments afterwards. Lily comes up with the ultimate plan for her birthday sexcapade.  She is going to hire an escort and play all weekend. When the weekend is over, she will be satisfied and unattached. 
When Lily's best friend hears of her plans, she suggests a friend that she knows that lives in Lily’s home town of New Orleans.  Since Marion knows him and says he needs the money, Lily decides to return home and meet with David even though he is eleven years younger than her. 
Lily got her start in television on the local New Orleans station years ago and David has always had a crush on her.  So when Marion gets in touch with him and lets him know Lily is coming to town and needs to talk to him about a future production, he hopes he can get more than a talk from the beautiful woman. 
Marion has told them both different stories about why they are spending the weekend together, but they are both so attracted to each other they decide to go with it.  After a weekend of great, hot sex, will either be able to walk away?  Or will one weekend lead to a wonderful relationship? 
Katalina Leon, the author, must be from Louisiana, with her descriptive writing, she managed to bring to mind memories of a visit to New Orleans. I also loved the characters in this book.  They seem to be so compatible and made for each other.  Beautiful Stranger flowed from one scene to the next very smoothly and the love scenes were wonderful.  Ms. Leon was able to bring the true essence of a romance to life, starting with the meeting, the getting to know each other and the feelings developing, even if over such a short weekend.  How will they both react to those feelings?  I suggest you read this story to find out.  You won’t be disappointed!