HOT NIGHTS, DARK DESIRES
EDEN BRADLEY, SYDNEY CROFT, STEPHANIE TYLER
ISBN# (10)0-553-38517-8/ (13)978-0-553-38517-5 Paperback (10)0-553-90542-2 /(13)978-0-553-90542-7
May 20, 2008
Bantam (A Division of Random House)
Bantam Dell, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019
Rating: 4 Cups
The Art of Desire
Sophie Fiore hears the word tattoo and suddenly gets a buzz with desire. She would love to have one but in the back of her mind she still believes her mother controls her thoughts and desires. The sheltered woman knows she will never please her parents.
Tristan Batiste is a tattoo artist and owns his own shop. The moment he sets his sights on Sophie, fireworks explode in his head. He has traveled many places and studied in Japan to learn about tattooing but returned to his hometown of New Orleans.
Sophie cannot seem to please her parents no matter what she does. Her mother believes she does not call enough, yet her brother, the priest, is uptight and a sanctimonious snob whom her mother believes could help her. After her friend, Crystal invites her to tag along when she goes for a tattoo, just one look at Tristan and it spells trouble. Tristan learns she is a fiction writer of dark stuff, paranormal, vampires and ghost stories. He tells her about some of the cemeteries in the area. Before she knows it, he has bewitched her into getting a tattoo. The attraction between the two becomes so intense their first day, they soon meet and fall passionately into the others arms. Without thinking, after their love-making, he suggests it must be time for her to go home. The hurt in her eyes says it all. Still bothered by his words, he decides to pay her a visit. Just a few words and they are locked in each others arms again. Sophie is falling in love with Tristan and he feels the same, if only he could tell her. He believes he can confide his past in her but most importantly how can he love someone when he does not even know how to love?
Eden Bradley’s well-written story breathes life into the pages with sensational characters that pierce the heart. I felt Sophie's pain as she tries to deal with a manipulative mother, as well as share in the heart-touching events that trouble Tristan. The Art of Desire is a stirring and poignant read that grabbed hold of my heart and still has me thinking about it. Ms. Bradley made me remember all the great evening walks around the French Quarter, the beignets at Café du Monde and just listening to all the great sounds.
Hex is a photographer who keeps his paranormal career a secret. He is on the prowl searching for something in the early hours of dawn. Working secretly as an agent with the ARCO, he enjoys his job as a medium.
Brenna is an ex-supermodel who wants to revitalize her career. She will give Hex anything he desires if he will help remove the ghost haunting her. Until Arlen, the ghost, is vanished, she will never be able to have great shots in front of the camera again.
Since Hurricane Katrina, the paranormal activity was off the charts. That was how he made his money with the ARCO, the Agency for Covert Rare Operatives, where he investigated hauntings and captured ghosts on tape. New Orleans always intrigued him, even stirred him sexually. When he receives a call from Brenna, the well-known supermodel, he insists he only photographs houses, not models, but she wishes for him to photograph more. Brenna never had any trouble getting the top jobs but since being in the house where her mother once lived, in New Orleans, a ghost connects with her. She has to get back in the momentum of things because her money is dwindling. If he will photograph her, she will give him anything, even sleep with him. At first Hex is shocked, then one lingering look at her luscious body, and he is obsessed. Of course the ghost is not too happy with the situation, as the two are thrown in to a mayhem of events. Hex has been aware of ghosts ever since the age of six. He knows it takes a strong mind to fight them, and Arlen, the ghost, is not planning on leaving. Hex and Brenna cannot bear to lose one another but does Hex have enough power to remove Arlen for good?
Sydney Croft spins a good tale. I love reading about the paranormal and the sultry city of New Orleans. Hex and Brenna are refreshing players who know how to heat things up. The plot with Arlen, the ghost, really was intense and kept me glued to the pages. I loved the chemistry that comes across in this storyline. Shadow Play is an excellent read that just might have one looking over their shoulder for shadows in the wee hours.
Bat Kelly was once a Marine sniper but now he takes what jobs that come easy for him. When a well-known bar called the Bon Temps hires him for a job, he accepts, never anticipating what he will face with this new move.
Catie Jane Lanford inherited the Bon Temps bar from her grandfather. She is eager to get it renovated so she can sell and leave Louisiana. She is not ready to plant her roots there.
Catie wants to move to NY or anywhere to study art. As an artist she has not been able to sketch since her mother’s death. To some she may be in denial, but it is something hard for her to get over. Her mother was always moving when she got pregnant with Catie, especially when her family no longer wanted her. She feels, in some ways, she takes after her mother. After Bat arrives on his motorcycle, he begins to awaken senses in her she never felt. Bat comes to town and there are some that have heard of his reputation and do not speak so kindly. The only family he has is his sister in Florida. When he meets Catie and takes the job, he is surprised that she cannot pay him upfront as negotiated but will have the money in a couple of days. He will take the job if she shares his bed, if she wishes any extras from him, it will cost her. Catie has no idea how to react. The heat between them is definitely there if she can only give herself to him. She learns that she can sketch when he is around, something she has not done for a long time. After Catie fires her manager for skimming, something she will not tolerate, he is later killed, but it points to Bat as the suspect. Will Catie believe he did not kill anyone? Will she really sell the bar once Bat is finished with the work? As they both fall in love and the place is in ship-shape condition, they must trust the destiny of their hearts.
Night Vision is an excellent read. Stephanie Tyler does an exceptional job in penning likeable characters that I simply fell in love with. I felt Catie and Bat were so in tune with each other. I loved their sharpness, their dialogue, the way they each had a hidden scar that sort of reached out to their soul pulling them together. The whole theme of the story is breathtakingly good. She writes a great story that still sticks in the back of my head
All I can say is, when anyone picks up Hot Nights, Dark Desires, be very careful because the fingertips could easily be scalded with extremely hot heat. I can certainly say I got the great feeling of the area; all the settings of New Orleans really come into play in this assortment of stories. I thought of the times I had visited, and the whole ambience just really was quite comforting. Each author is in tune with the stories and the characters. The secondary characters added great dimension to the storyline. Eden Bradley, Sydney Croft and Stephanie Tyler create spinning good tales that leave a strong impression with the reader. To be honest, the book would not have to be sensually hot and I would still enjoy the terrific stories that allowed me to interact with the charismatic couples.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books