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on 29 October 2007
To start with this review needs a little background information. Sydney Croft is the pseudonym (or pen name) of two romance authors, Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler, neither of which I had read before this book. The premise is amazing though.
A sexy female parameteorologist, Haley, is sent to `acquire' a man who can control the weather, an ex-navy SEAL with old school superhero like powers, for a top secret organisation called ACRO. A man who is also as insatiably hungry for certain `thrills' when severe weather is upon him, whom she has to seduce before the evil corporation Itor gets a hold of him and uses his powers to wipe out most of the United States. What more could you ask for in an erotic romance book?

Suffice to say I have been wanted to read Sydney Croft's first book since I found out the authors were writing the third one in the series for a challenge I was participating in with them. But I was scared it wouldn't live up to my expectations.

As luck would have it, I received an email from Larissa Ione asking me if I wanted a copy of `Riding the Storm' - I actually bounced up and down on my chair after I managed to pull my chin off the floor. I had entered every known competition I could find to win the darned thing, because it sounded so good, and Larissa's message was a lifesaver. She had noticed I kept entering, and kept losing, and decided to send me a copy (with a nice bookmark and two magnets - and it was signed!) because she is that nice. She also asked if I wouldn't mind writing a review for her on Amazon or Barnes and Noble (well there had to be a catch) and to be as honest as I liked. Well, here it is, a full review.

To say I enjoyed it would be an understatement, the characters and word-building were unsurpassable and had a subplot well woven in. My main complaint however is the fact that the subplot detracts from the drama and action of the main plot, often jarring you away from an emotive previous scene. Often it was after a "big reveal" moment, such as when T-Remy finds out why Haley is really at his house, instead of continuing the tough atmosphere of his barely contained fury; we switch away to a completely different scene.

While the main plot of T-Remy's and Haley's attraction is brilliantly written, enough that you couldn't tell who wrote what (despite me knowing) the chapters and sections of other ACRO agents actions often sounded like another book. The sub-characters, Annika and Creed, are on a mission too and the sections have all the clues of a second book with these two coming together as the main characters.

We are also given lots of background information on all the characters involved in the story, and are given a plethora of minor characters to focus on to draw attention away from the main plot. This is possibly to draw out the suspenseful moments that often accompanied the end of a chapter, but I found myself almost wanting to skip these segments to see what action I was `missing' with the main plot.

Despite my complaints, the subplot and minor characters eventually do play a major role in the climax of the book, so to speak, which wouldn't have been as successful without the build up of their characters throughout the novel. The cut away scenes were successful in at least making me continue reading until I finished (I think I only put the book down once), and keeping the high level of emotion throughout.

The love scenes are well crafted and intense and the whole book fits seamlessly together, and despite the two authors, has a consistent voice throughout. I highly recommend this book, I am definitely buying the second one when it comes out and if it is half as good as this one, it'll still be one of the best books I've read.
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on 15 May 2008
There are people out there with talents, not like acting, painting or a feel for money. No, there are people with talents like ghost hunting, second sight or even creating electricity. This is the story of a man whom through his whole life was accompanied by extreme weather, on the day he was born a hurricane traveled by and this was just a promise of what was to come...

T-Remy has quit the Seal's and is now of to see his father in the Bayou but the storm, as always, is playing havoc with his libido and in his father's home he stumbles upon the lovely Haley in the shower. Haley is send by Devlin to recruit a potential ACRO operative with an affinity for the weather and as their company has a select group of people with extraordinary talents she has to determine if T-Remy fits the bill, the ACRO bill.

I am swept away by this duo writing team whom call themselves: Sydney Croft! For me RIDING THE STORM is a divine mixture of erotically charged scenes burning up the pages, suspense that provides the thrills which is needed to keep me on the edge of my seat and paranormal very intriguing characters that made me want to know all about ACRO.

With very little warning the authors plunge the reader in to a fast paced story with T-Remy and Haley as the driving force behind it all. From the moment they meet it sizzles and crackles with physical want and their desire becomes a force of nature to be reckoned with. Though this binds them at first it is evident that something else is between them, at the core of it all, waiting to be acknowledged. T-Remy with his abilities feels like a freak of nature and had a tough childhood because of it. In result he is very reluctant to open up about himself and his abilities, not knowing that Haley knows there is much more out there and in no way surprised. With Haley's own affinity with the weather they strengthen each other as new feelings blossom.

I love they chemistry between Haley and T-Remy, the road they take to realizing they fit together, the gradual revealing of information concerning ACRO and the first sign of evil called Itor. They all kept me entranced to reading the pages! Who also made a lasting impression were Annika and Creed as secondary characters. Creed is the kind of man that immediately draws a reader to his very devilish nature, wanting to explore his very soul and what makes him tick. Well let me tell you that Annika is an incredible person who does that for the reader. Annika is a woman whom always stands on her own two feet and will let no one tell her to do things differently. No need to say that I would love to see their relationship progress, their interactions light up like a bonfire and I didn't get enough of them in this novel.

As Creed and Annika are on an operation together it speaks of trouble within ACRO and Devlin as the head of ACRO proves to be a formidable secondary character! He makes me hunger to get to know him more, more of his past, present and his preferences. With trouble brewing within ACRO it leads to an inevitable confrontation where choices must be made and the plot thickens. Where certain things will lead to is a question the authors leave unanswered and makes me wish I already had the second entry in the ACRO series on my bookshelves.

I feel that Sydney Croft has created a new series that speaks of an inventive and talented writing skill. A graceful balance between what is important in my book for a good story: well fleshed out characters, a good and intriguing plot with a sensual passion that enhances the impact of the emotions from the main couple....and of course the unnamed threat that rises at the horizon that wets the appetite for more to come!

With RIDING THE STORM the author duo provide the reader with a riveting read, packed with the good stuff from the romance genre of nowadays

reviewed by Leontine
Courtesy of Realms On Our Bookshelves
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on 3 May 2010
Wow - could not put this book down once I started it! Not my usual choice of book - thought it would be like X-Men with sex!

How wrong I was, yes the book is about people with special abilities like 'second sight', the ability to harness electricity, superfast speed, moving objects etc but it's also about confusion, frustration, self-esteem, need, passion and to be accepted in world where you consider yourself to be a 'freak'.

This particular book revolves around Haley - a parameteorologist that studies unusual weather conditions and Remy, an ex SEAL who appears to affect the weather wherever he goes. Wild storms lead to wild passion and hot sex! Haley must try to convince Remy to join the special agency called ACRO who help people with these special abilities for the good of the world. But in hot pursuit are operatives from Itor who want to use Remy and his abilities for their own financial gain with or without his cooperation - plenty of thrills and suspense!

Have already ordered two more books in this series - can't wait to read them but must do the housework first (maybe)!
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on 23 April 2012
Riding the Storm is the beginning of the ACRO series that is all about people with special powers that are brought together to use their unique gifts to combat evil and help to keep the World in order.

This is Remy Begnaud and Haley Holmes' story. Haley works for ACRO and is given the mission of bringing Remy into the ACRO world so that his weather manipulating gift can be controlled and help ACRO's overall aim.

This book is a slow burner. It took me halfway through the book to start connecting with the characters and although at times I did think about stop reading, I'm glad I did continue to the end. The start of the book was all about sex and there are some seriously hot erotic scenes that include mud and electricity but I started to enjoy the book when the characters began to be more emotional and likeable as well as action as they come together and use their gifts to fight a battle with evil.

In the end I did enjoy this book and will be reading the next instalment to see what happens next at ACRO.
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on 5 April 2010
I have read all the reviewers comments regarding the first of this trilogy and to a certain degree accept that the actual storyline is very good, but quite honestly I
feel that I am not liberated enough to read about Dev when he is having sex with
a man, I felt quite uncomfortable reading it and that part of it was just not for
me. Needless to say I already have the next two books to read and hopefully will
enjoy them, and if their are anymore man to man sex scenes, I will just skip that
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on 29 July 2010
I found this series extremely amusing in places, with a good storyline, and full of steamy sex scenes, and one of those 'can't put them down' type books. Some of the raunchy bits in the series are 'very raunchy' and could be offensive to some readers if you don't like too explicit detail, and imaginative sex play!! I loved it, and thought the storyline was maintained throughout the series, despite the numerous sexual activities - a very imaginative and playful read.
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on 5 May 2011
Im a big fan of Larissa Iones Demonica Series and the Lords of Deliverance but Ive never read Stephanie Tyler..and to be honest I was putting off reading this series as I didnt think it was my sort of book..but I loved it.
It had a bit of everything and if I could I'd hug those ladies for putting both F/M and M/M in the same book I would..I had yet to read a book that catered for both as I think a lot of authors are worried about upsetting fans who dont like M/M..I dont go out of my way to read M/M but as long as it has a great storyline Im all for it..and I loved Devs storyline...
Although this is classed as Haley and Remys book I think the subplots are just as good as the main storyline and although in some books I tend to skip through subplots I found I didnt need to in this book as I was just as interested finding out what happened to these characters as well as the main characters.
I loved Haley and Remys chemistry together and sex outside in a storm = HOT
and Im still giggling from one part (not sure if this is the exact wording as I havent got my book with me)
Haley 'What got up your ass?'
Remy 'Your finger. Once or twice.'
Cant wait to start reading Unleashing the Storm
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on 8 August 2011
I had read the previous reviews of this book, and thought "Okay I'll give it a go"
The first few pages were very good and very well written, however the amount of "Steamy Sex scenes" in this book was off the chart! I love a good sex scenes as much as the next girl - but they were so often. It seems there was more sex than actual story. The story line - what their was of it - was really good and I did enjoy it, but after the first 4 sex scenes, I started to jump the others.
Overall I would give this book 3 out of 5 stars. Sometimes their is such thing as "Too much sex" in a book.
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on 7 November 2013
More of Sydney Croft's writing, so happy to have found these books they are a definite must read. Will be introducing my friends to these asap.
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on 25 November 2012
Picked the first book up and had to read the whole set. Can't wait for the next one on order already .
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