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Sunday, June 8, 2014

Review, Interview & Giveaway: On Her Watch by Rie Warren

We have two giveaways today! The rafflecopter giveaway at the bottom, and also an ARC copy via Netgalley is up for grabs to one commenter. 

Make sure you leave your email address, or some form of it if you'd like to win :)

Now on to the review:

Title: On Her Watch
Series: Don't Tell #2
Author: Rie Warren
Format: ebook
Source: Author
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Length: Novel (384 pages)
Genre: M/F Erotic Romance
Buy: Amazon, B+N, iTunes
Rating: 3.5-stars

Drea's Review:
I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In the year 2070, the Purge and Plague has wiped out most of mankind. Clustered in cities run by a despotic company, humans’ focus is on breeding. And anyone not breeding is judged, sentenced, and quickly executed. Hardline Corps lieutenant Liz has wanted vengeance against the nomads who killed her father a decade ago. Problem is, she’s found the nomads and they had nothing to do with it. They only want freedom for everyone—freedom to love whom they want and how they want. Discovering her best friend and former boss is gay and happily in love with a former Company CEO, Liz has to reorganize her beliefs. She goes all in on the nomad's revolution against The Company. Her task? Sneak back into the city she grew up if she hasn't been missing in action for weeks...and turn Corps commander Lincoln over to their cause…all while looking into her father’s murder. But she didn’t count on falling for the commander.

On Her Watch is told from Liz’s point of view (in the first person). Liz is a rough around the edges tomboy who doesn’t take shit from anyone but has a secret love for pretty things. I liked that she was a strong character and saved the day many times. Linc (Lincoln) is a sexy hero—strong, commanding but with a soft side. Sometimes too soft. The chemistry between these two is fiery. As with the first book in the series, there’s copious amounts of sex.

So why didn't this one get five stars? Well, it's all about opinion.

The skinny: This time around I was only really interested in the Liz/Linc pairing. Everything else was filler—drawn out filler, with sex for the sake of sex/titillation.

The long: The first 5% of this (which felt long) is spent setting the scene & giving back-story. If I wasn't already enamored with this series, I'm not sure I would have stuck it out. Once Liz and Linc meet, the chemistry is off the chart hot and made trudging through bits I already knew (or arguably didn’t need to know in this book) worth it.

The H/h exchange I-Love-Yous early on despite all of the conflicts going on around them (roughly past the halfway mark). This is one thing that turns me off in a romance. From there on out the story is largely wrapping up the Take-Down-The-Big-Bad plot. And that felt like it took overlong. Meanwhile there’s still a ton of sex going on that didn't add much to the plot. To the point where it felt repetitive and in a few cases rushed. I understood the loads of sex in the M/M book because, well, to be completely cliché…guys are all about sex. In this it felt like overkill.

There were a few unexpected (and expected) wrenches thrown in here and there that really didn’t amp up the relationship conflict for me.

I guess I like my M/F erotic romances to be one thing or another...either completely focused on sex/kink with loads of explicit love scenes or plot-based with only enough super hot sex to further the relationship and plot. This one is a curious mixture of both that put me off balance.

Still, I enjoyed this dystopian world and the message of equality it imparts.

Grab this one if you like off-the-chart chemistry, loads of sex, with action woven in between.

A Character Interview

Today we’d like to present a one-of-a-kind interview including Caspar Cannon, Nathaniel Rice, and Liz Grant. You may ask questions in comments at the end of the discussion for all of them. Enjoy!

The interviewees walked into the room after checking their various guns, knives, and other hardware at the security point. Sotto voce complaining could be heard as Caspar Cannon held out a chair first for his husband Nathaniel and then for his former second-in-charge Lieutenant Liz Grant. The trio settled at the table, wearing varied combinations of black leather and tough camouflage.

They made an interesting group—three of the rebels most wanted by the InterNations government. Cannon, the tall, muscled military man, had short dark hair and an intense expression. His caramel brown eyes and swarthy looks were almost identical to Liz Grant’s, although they weren’t related. She stood tall, slim, strong with razor sharp black locks—what one might call a pixie cut but never to her face. In direct contrast to his lover and to his new friend, Nathaniel—ex-head of Technical Acquisitions for the Company but a Freelander through and through—boasted an ultramodern long stripe of golden blond hair that when pulled back revealed the close-cropped sides of his head. His stubble was shaved neatly, his blues eyes sparkled, and his easy grin was as infectious as I later found his drawl to be.

He and Caspar made a striking couple.

Cannon brushed a hand down the back of his neck. “So, are we ready to roll here or what?”

“Yeah. It’s not like there’s a Revolution to fight or anything.” Liz popped her knuckles and propped her boots on the table.

“Of course. So tell me, Commander Cannon, what’s your favorite color?”

With a gentle stroke of his fingertips along Blondie’s (aka Nathaniel’s) cheek, he smiled, “Blue.”

In response to his lover’s caress, Nathaniel cheeks reddened, and the azure blue eyes Cannon noted lowered in seeming pleasure.

Sitting on the other side of her former Commander, Liz smirked. “Blue balls, maybe.”

“Not anymore.” He shot back. Then he chuckled. “You’re the only one with a bad case of blue balls.”

“Just because I don’t have my own Fuck Bunny…” As she pulled her booted feet off the table, she drummed short fingernails on the arms of her chair. “But I’m glad you finally admit I’ve got the balls to back up my boasts.”

“More balls than brains. And I sure as hell hope so since you’re going up against Linc Cutler alone.” Cannon’s already deep voice had lowered to a dangerous tone.

“Maybe it’s time for another question?” The Freelander with the longish blond hair pointed out from his side of the bickering pair.

“Sure thing. Underwear or commando, Nathaniel?”

While he flushed beneath the short golden stubble on his cheeks, Liz cackled at him with glee. “I know. I know! Nate goes Commander.”

“Damn straight.”

“Y’all think I could get a word in edgewise?” Blondie interjected.

“Nope,” came his companions’ twin responses.

“Kill me now, please.” Nathaniel’s mock frown was completely unconvincing. “And if I can’t go Commander, I prefer to go commando.”

Cannon’s licked his lips, staring at his husband.

“So, what is your twin brother, Commander Lincoln Cutler, like?”

Tugging at the double helix ring in his ear, Nathaniel frowned. “Ruthless. Single-minded. Ambitious.” He glanced sideways at Liz. “Uh . . . but don’t let that worry you.”

Cannon sat back to rub both hands over his face. “Greeeat.

Turning slightly paler, Liz pursed her lips and then blew out a long breath. “Yeah. No sweat, like I said.”

“How do you feel about your upcoming engagement in Beta Territory, Lieutenant Grant?”

“First of all, it’s not an engagement of any kind. It’s a mission. And dammit, how come you give them the easy questions like whether they hang to the left or right, but you want to get all interpersonal with me?” The eye-catching woman fingered her empty holsters in an agitated manner.

“We all think you’re an extraordinary woman, Liz--”

“Extraordinary pain in the ass.” Cannon blustered.

Liz reached out and punched his shoulder.

“And people want to know more about you.

“I think she just called us boring, Big Man.” Nathaniel sought to ease the tension in the room.

“Would you care to answer the question?”

Liz gritted her teeth. “How about no?” She knocked her head back before piercing me with an unforgettably haunting stare. “Fine. I’m going because I can do more good in Beta than anywhere else, and I need to know what the hell really happened to my dad. I don’t buy the bullshit Nomads killed him spin anymore. If I have to bend over backwards to get on Linc Cutler’s good side I’ll do it. But I am not going to end up in the cutthroat Commander’s bed.”

“Those are pretty vehement words.”

“There’s plenty more where those came from.” Her lips curled into a smirk. “PS. I wear cotton panties instead of thongs because I prefer to use floss on my teeth instead of in my ass, thank you very much.”

After blanching through her tirade, both Cannon and Nathaniel laughed along with her, highlighting their easy camaraderie.

“Here’s one for everyone: what book are you reading now?”

Cannon popped up. “The Art of War. I found it in the Chitamauga library. I’m trying to source out new strategies. Or old, forgotten ones from Old History, I guess.”

“How did you end up with such a romantic, Nate?” Liz asked.

“Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it,” he returned.

“Tried him? No thanks.”

“Gross.” Cannon’s nose wrinkled.

“I’m readin’ Don Quixote,” Nathaniel drawled.

“You and your windmills.” His husband linked their fingers together.

“They’re Hatch’s windmills, not mine. And that’s not what the book is about.”

“What about you, Lieutenant?”

The History of Modern Art,” she answered.

Cannon blinked at her. “The history of huh?”

She flicked him on the forehead. “Shut it. Both our books have art in them. And don’t be such a Neanderthal. For fuck’s sake, Nate, what do you see in him?”

“I can answer that one.” The brown haired man laid one large hand in his lap with a suggestive grin.

“I’m not just after your cock.”

“Well, it can’t be his smarts,” Liz quipped.

“I’ll have you know I’m very smart, thank you very fucking much.” Kissing the side of Nathaniel’s neck, Cannon murmured, “And you’ll be sucking those words later, Blondie.”

The two men gazed at each other with electricity racing between them.

Liz huffed. “Are we done?” Her chair scraped back and she gained her feet with feline grace.

“Well, not really. I still have ten other questions to--”

“So we’re done.” Cannon stood too, brooking no argument.

As they filed out, Nathaniel hung back to shake my hand with polite words of goodbye.

"C'mon, babe. I got a new weapon to demonstrate for you."

"Oh god. You're talking about your cannon again, aren't you?" Liz rolled her eyes.

Caspar stopped to wink at her and grabbed his man’s hand.

Nodding a hasty goodbye, Nathaniel loped after Cannon with a lusty smile.

I watched through the open door as the trio collected their weapons and systematically checked their ammo. They left quickly and quietly becoming mirages melting with the crowd beyond the building.

One thing was certain. The InterNations Territories would never be the same. Now they just had to win the Revolution.

Comments can be directed to Cannon, Nathaniel, Liz or the sometimes keeper of these characters—Rie Warren—in comments.  

About the author:
Rie Warren lives in Charleston, South Carolina, with her English artisan husband and their two small daughters--one an aspiring diva, the other a future punk rocker. Giving up paintbrushes for paper and pen, Rie began her writing career fifteen years ago with a manuscript of super epic proportions. Safely stored under a lace doily in a filing cabinet. Possibly in England.

A nocturnal creature, she adjourns to her woman cave each night in search of wondrous words, rich characters, and thrilling plots to keep readers turning the page. Whether writing contemporary, gay, or paranormal romance, Rie combines heart, heat, and humor with a sexy southern edge.

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  1. I heard about this one and I confess I'm curious about the mix. Thanks for the interview and the review, it was nice to know more about it.

  2. Love the interactive interview, it's almost like an excerpt or a short story.

  3. I've still got book one on my tbr pile. Been a while since I read a futuristic one. Glad to hear it was enjoyable (and had great chemistry) even if it had some faults :)

  4. Whenever Big Man and Blondie are in the room, you can't go wrong! I love that Big Man can rip someone's throat out yet caress Blondie's cheek so lovingly! Those two make me melt! Every time!

    1. *smiles* Indeed! Cannon was wonderful to read.

  5. ugh yeah that 5% sometimes does tend to drag. Had several books lately like that - glad you stuck it out!