I’d been looking forward to Alexis and Logan’s romance for what seemed like forever. (And I’m not just saying that. See reviews of earlier books in the series.) And To Love and to Cherish was everything I could have wished for and a bit more.
If you haven’t read the other two books in the series, I’ll catch you up real quick. Hold onto your panties ladies, the hero Logan Harris is an accountant. You’re thinking, exciting stuff, right? Well you’d be 100% correct on that. Logan has the whole Clark Kent/Superman thing going on and he has a sexy British accent to boot. He’s hot. He’s charming. He’s determined. And he’s been waiting eight years for Alexis Morgan to see him as a man. A desirable man. Her man.
Alexis has been too busy making a success of her wedding planning business, The Wedding Belles to have time for a real relationship or even much of a social life. Now at thirty-three, she looks at her life and knows something has to change if she’s going to have the husband and family she’s always craved. Her sister’s maybe pregnancy is one of the thing that spurs her on to start dating in hopes of finding Mr. Right. Problem? She completely overlooks Mr. Obvious who is standing right in front of her. And it soon becomes clear that Logan wants her…bad.
Simple, right? He’s not only her accountant, a silent partner in her business, he’s also her friend. The fact that he’s not hard on the eyes and ears has to make him her dream guy because he’s been my book boyfriend for months now. Yeah, one would think he’s a shoo in. I certainly felt the chemistry the first time Logan appeared on the scene in book one. Alexis though, not so much. She’s a stubborn one. Actually she’s more scared than anything else. At first, afraid to acknowledge that he’s interested and then afraid to give him a chance. But Alexis has her reasons for keeping Logan at bay—men in general really—and in To Love and to Cherish we find out exactly why that is.
Yes, I felt for Alexis. The situation that helped form who she is—guarded and sort of closed off—isn’t an easy one to deal with. So she elicits both my empathy and exasperation in equal measure. I love her but sometimes I wanted to shake some sense into her. You’re going to lose him. That was my chant as Logan’s parents, tried to get him to come home to London to run the family business. To leave New York and Alexis.
There is nothing not to love about Logan. He’s that guy. Mr. So Right it hurts. At first, I thought for sure he was all beta. Okay, maybe a brooding beta. Easy going, mild-mannered if sometimes a little intense. And my God, the man has the patience of a saint, so I wasn’t thinking alpha at all. I was happy to see there was more to Logan that meets the eye. I mean when the gloves—and clothes—come off, he’s there to throw down big time. Logan isn’t playing around. The sexy times are written with Ms. Layne’s trademark sensuality, heat and sizzle. At no time did I think, okay, no one talks like that during sex (which happens to me more often than not these days). If you give me a great love scene chocked with emotion, I’m there. Lauren Layne does that and she makes Alexis and Logan’s road to their HEA well worth the wait and the journey.
Sigh. My sigh is bittersweet. I’m sad that it’s over. After spending time with our couple and their friends, Heather, Josh, Brooke and Seth, I’m not ready for the series to end. And certainly not after meeting Dr. LeeAnne, the beautiful oncologist, who definitely needs to get her own book that way I can also catch up with what’s going on with all the Belles. I’m on the look out for a couple more weddings and perhaps some babies. My wants are so very simple. :)
Looking forward to whatever Ms. Layne releases next. She’s an author very high on my insta-buy list.
May Fredericks is having a crap day. Her NFL superstar boyfriend just gave her a crappy proposal in fronOriginally posted on Smitten by Books
May Fredericks is having a crap day. Her NFL superstar boyfriend just gave her a crappy proposal in front of the world and she stabs him with a fork. The video is viral and the reporters are chasing her. She escapes but only to be mugged. Hiding out in a NYC bar, she tries to come up with a plan for what is next in her life. She tries to coax the guy in the bar into a conversation but he is the most standoffish man she has ever met.
Ben Hausman is waiting for his friend and the girl in the bar next to him is trying so hard to strike up a conversation. It’s not on his list of things to do this that day. His friend convinces him to stop being mean and strike up a conversation with May. She is going through a lot and he offers to help her against his better judgment.
The two start a weird friendship that leads to something so much more. Two people with some serious baggage find their way together in the big apple. I liked the premise and the unconventional story. Ben’s background as a chef turn beekeeper is interesting since I can’t imagine being a lucrative one in NYC.
I’m truly amazed at the author’s ability to take a surly character like Ben and make me like him. Gosh, he is such a downer but I liked his realism. He is a bitter divorcee trying to figure out how he got himself in a jam where he can’t open another restaurant for another year and spill the beans that he is the chef behind his ex-wife’s famous cookbook. He lost a piece of himself and May’s kindness brings back memories of the guy he used to be.
I found it harder to relate to May since she is on a path of self discovery. She doesn’t know who she wants to be. She does what is expected of her except when she denies her fiancé’s proposal. She can’t stand up to her parents. She wonders around New York like a lost puppy but Ben forces her to deal with her emotions head on.
I’m biased but I love books about New York City but I have to admit that the sightseeing scenes were my least favorite. I got nothing out of them and wanted to skim them. I wondered why Ben wasn’t taking his apartment search so serious. I thought they should have hit the pavement in an apartment search.
I loved when May finally went home and I got the chance to understand her as a real person. She finally learned how to stand on her own and accept who she really is. I want to know about her sister Allie and Matt. I look forward to the next book.
Ms. Lorret delivers the ultimate cat and mouse fairy tale. So I’m a lover of all romances. I can take them all! FOriginally posted on Smitten by Books
Ms. Lorret delivers the ultimate cat and mouse fairy tale. So I’m a lover of all romances. I can take them all! From historical, suspense, contemporary, etc. I haven’t read a good solid historical romance in a long time and Finding Miss McFarland wt my appetite. I have never heard of Ms. Lorret so I didn’t have any expectations. I went in blind and found gold! I loved every single thing in this book.
There is nothing graceful about Delaney McFarland. She is stubborn and headstrong. She knows the life she wants to live and having a husband solely for love would only interfere with her plans (Crazy!). Her family has other plans for her though. Her father is determined to marry her off. On the night of her debut into the season, a disastrous “incident” occurs, leaving Delaney’s reputation in scandal.
The incident caused Griffin Croft to be associated with the outspoken Miss McFarland. Delaney avoids Griffin at all cost. She doesn’t want her name speared across the Post. Delaney can’t escape the unavoidable and she finds herself in the path of Griffin on more than one occasion.
Griffin is feeling the pressure from his family to have an heir. He wants a woman that can render him speechless. A woman that he can’t get out of his system. Delaney is not the woman or so he thinks but when they are together strange things happen and he finds himself amused by her. She is not the woman she appears to be. Once he realizes that she is trying to dodge him, he sets out on the hunt. Let the games begin!
The banter between Delaney and Griffin is witty and charming. The two have the most amazing chemistry though they are both in denial. Throw into the mix is Delaney and Griffin’s sisters who have teamed up to help the two figure out that they are meant to be together and you have a book full of humor.
I’m slightly disappointed in myself for not reading the first two books in this series. Despite this, I was not lost one bit. My fingers did the one click purchase and I look forward to devouring Ms. Lorret’s other two books. She has a fan in me!
Readers are first introduced to Jack Simon in Tucker (which you can currently download free), the first book inOriginally posted on Smitten by Books.
Readers are first introduced to Jack Simon in Tucker (which you can currently download free), the first book in Juliana Stone’s The Family Simon series. He’s the eldest of the Simon brothers and the one everyone believes is destined for the White House.
Jack is an easy hero to fall for. He’s definitely got the brooding thing down—and I do adore a brooding hero. But when readers are first introduced to him at the beginning of the book, his ill-temper has Donovan James written all over it. She’s the one who got away. She’s also the only woman to break his heart.
I love a couple with a history. And the worse the history—the worse the breakup—the better I like it. Jack and Donovan’s past goes back five years and ended with her upping and leaving him. Jack, of course, has never gotten over her and the last thing he wants or needs is to have her back in his life. Not even in the vicinity of it. At his fundraiser is definitely too close for comfort. She’s beautiful and he’s still very attracted to her. That the first scene between them closed without any major fireworks was a miracle. The spark it lit though, sets the tension for the rest of the book.
Donovan James is a big-time country singer from Arkansas with a real southern drawl with trailer-park roots. She could easily have been one of those heroines I thoroughly dislike. A lot of big talk and a heaping ton of bravado. But it’s her vulnerability that won me over. The minute I was in her POV, I could feel her pain. She’s still in love with Jack and lives under the black cloud of how she betrayed him…and how she left him.
Then they both end up on Belize together. Sparks fly, passions flare. You can imagine how that goes, right? Their time in Belize truly sets the fire burning between them sky high. They both try not to give in, and I absolutely admired their strength of will. But that’s the great thing about the building of sexual tension, knowing no matter how hard they try, that they will fail in fantastic style.
“If Donovan was an actress, she’d be up for an Oscar because she’d just given the performance of a lifetime. Hell, Julia Roberts had nothing on her.
She’d let Jack put his hands on her. PUT HIS HANDS ON HER. And she hadn’t given anything way.”
The way I see it, the biggest problem with their relationship is there’s just way too many people involved. Too many people telling Jack what’s best for his political career and telling Donovan she’s definitely not it. This and their bad breakup create a boatload of trust issues between them. And they can both be pretty stubborn. But in all fairness to them, the bad guy in all this was pretty darn bad.
The wonderful thing about this story is it gets better with every turn of the page, and with every scene. And despite the fact that I knew what’s coming, I was still sitting on the edge of the seat for the sh*t to hit the fan. And when it did eventually hit, I find out I didn’t know everything I thought I did. I won’t say any more than that or I’ll be giving too much of the plot away.
All in all, Jack is a sexy, emotional, tug-at-your-heartstrings kind of book. If you love those, Jack is exactly the type of book you need to pick up.
In order to support her sisters, Isabella Aldridge has been working as a governess to the children of a notoriousOriginally posted on Smitten by Books
In order to support her sisters, Isabella Aldridge has been working as a governess to the children of a notorious courtesan. The boys are now old enough to be sent to school, and Isabella desperately needs to find a new position. There are no prospects, and her latest interview with the Earl of Hepplewood resulted in an offer, but for that of mistress, not governess to his child. Angry and disheartened, she leaves, and not knowing what else to do, visits her former employer to ask advice. She is bluntly told that if she has no one to marry, she should seriously consider becoming a mistress. Deciding that providing a home for her sisters is worth any cost, she contacts a “broker,” who sets up these types of arrangements. Before long, she is being sent to meet her prospective protector, who turns out to be none other than Anthony Chalfont, the Earl of Hepplewood. Ironically, he was so taken with Isabella’s beauty and unusual coloring, that he requested a woman with those traits, not knowing he would get the real deal and not a facsimile.
At their first meeting, Anthony was portrayed as a total jerk. He is much more complex than that. He’s had some tragic events in his past that dramatically changed him. He’s determined to never form any kind of emotional attachment. He is controlling and domineering, though at heart he’s still a kind man. After one night with Isabella, he knows he’s in danger of feeling more than lust, so for his own self preservation, he decides to send her away, but with some jewels worth a large sum of money. Isabella is shocked at being sent away, but she decides it’s probably for the best. She had been briefly married, but really had very little sexual knowledge and experience. Her night with Anthony shook her world, and she figures it’s probably best that she does leave. The jewels allow her to open a bookshop, and support herself and her sisters respectably.
Anthony, however, finds that he can’t stay away. He pursues Isabella, and she can’t resist him. This begins a yo-yo relationship of their being together, then not together, then together again. Normally, this really is something I dislike in a book, but it worked here, as both of them are fighting falling in love. Anthony, despite his flaws, is really a hero. Events in his past changed him, but he’s still protective and caring of Isabella. She, in turn, is honest, beautiful and loving. Their chemistry together is off the charts HOT! The sex in this book strays outside what you normally find in a historical romance. There are elements of BDSM, so be warned if that’s not your cup of tea. Generally, it’s not mine, but Liz Carlyle made it work, and it’s an integral part of their characters, and it’s not gratuitous.
There’s also an element of mystery in the story, and all is wrapped up in a most satisfactory way. I found this to be a very strong book, and one of my favorites this year. When all is said and done, this is about two wounded people who are able to find love and healing with each other. I believe this to be Liz Carlyle’s best book, and I highly recommend it.
Maggie Jameson is dealing with the biggest shock of her life. Her father just sold the New York Saints to Alex WOriginally posted on Smitten by Books
Maggie Jameson is dealing with the biggest shock of her life. Her father just sold the New York Saints to Alex Winters. Her lifelong dream of running the team with her father is instantly crushed as the news washes over her. The betrayal and bitter sting is a hard pill to swallow but Alex’s next step is even worst.
Alex and his partners think buying the Saints is a good move. They are corporate sharks and if anyone can save the money losing team, it is them. However, getting the team to go in the direction that they want is another story. The one person who can help smooth the way is Maggie or Saint Maggie as the world dubs her. The problem is that she sees him as the devil. He needs to convince her to work for him. The days are getting longer and the nights are starting to heat up when the two come together.
The pacing of the story at times is a bit slow and I struggle to get through some of it. At first, there is nothing happening except for the fact that Maggie struggles with her attraction for Alex despite hating the fact that he snatches her dreams of taking over the team. She eventually caves in but starts the inner fight of her decision for dating someone she works with. I have a hard time with this at that point because I wanted Maggie to get out of her own way.
I love Alex. He is a quiet Alpha at the core. He is strong and assertive. He gently pushes Maggie in the direction that he wanted. I love that is not forceful but he gets the point across because she is feisty and tries to fight him every step of the way.
The story picks up as they find their way through their attraction for one another. I enjoy Alex’s no-nonsense dialogue and his gentle prodding. Maggie learns to trust him and that he is a man of his word. He has the best intentions for her despite her own misgivings.
Another bid for the team comes in and Alex makes sure she knows that she can trust him to keep the team going. Though I’m not a big sports fan, which is why I don’t always gravitate towards sports romance, this book kept me interested. It was more about the administrative/background areas of the sports world.
I look forward to reading the next book. All of the team owners are hot and I can’t wait to meet the other two leading ladies.
Such a great book. I absolutely LOVE Logan. He's my current book boyfriend crush. Georgia is also a peach. :) Review to come late October on Smitten bSuch a great book. I absolutely LOVE Logan. He's my current book boyfriend crush. Georgia is also a peach. :) Review to come late October on Smitten by Books...more
You know you’re in deep, that you have it really really bad when you’re refreshing an author’s B&N, ApplOriginally posted on Smitten by Books Blog
You know you’re in deep, that you have it really really bad when you’re refreshing an author’s B&N, Apple, Kobo, Google Plus and Amazon page hours before her book is set to release. But that’s the position I found myself in as I was waiting impatiently (which is really a mild understatement of how I was truly feeling) for the release of final part of Whitney Gracia William’s three-part serial, Reasonable Doubt.
OMG, I loved this book. ALL OF IT. It’s now my favourite book of the year, and it will take a bulldozer to remove it from that top spot. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve reread it since last Saturday.
Before I go on, I’m going to warn those offended by cursing that the F-word will be used in this review as I will be quoting parts of the book.
Let’s start with the thing that caught my attention. Yep, the first sentence of the blurb for Reasonable Doubt 1.
My cock has an appetite.
A huge and very particular appetite: Blonde, curvy, and preferably not a fucking liar…(Although, that’s a story for another day.)
Okay, I’ll admit, I was thrown. What the hell was this? Did I even want to read on? This isn’t the kind of book that would usually draw me in, but I found myself drawn. I read the rest of the blurb. Based on that and some ringing endorsements of it, I decided to give it a try. I devoured it in one sitting. Actually, I devoured part 1 AND 2 in one sitting, and was chomping at the bit waiting for part 3 to be released in two days.
Now I’m going to tell you what I loved about this serial. The story, the characters, the humor, the soup-thick sexual tension between Andrew and Aubrey and the sizzling hot sex.
Andrew Hamilton is a man who doesn’t mince words. He knows what he wants and he makes no bones about going out and getting it. In Reasonable Doubt he wants his online, telephone friend “Alyssa”. They met on LawyerChat, which is an exclusive social network. Everyone on the board is supposed to be a lawyer and Andrew answers a “Need Some Advice” message from Alyssa. Well that leads to a personal friendship—daily emails and then telephone calls. Of course, Andrew, the player he is—wants to take the relationship further.
“I’m tired of only being able to talk to you on the phone, Alyssa…”
“I need to see you…” His voice was strained. “I need to fuck you…”
I have to say, I loved his frankness. He actually reminds me of Drew Evans from Tangled by Emma Chase. There’s a coarseness about him I found absolutely refreshing. It’s nice to read about a hero who doesn’t say all the “PC” stuff. He’s definitely not a poet or totally sensitive to the heroines sensibilities. For me, that’s something that can get old and become a bit too over-the-top. His motto is: One dinner. One night. No repeats. This works for him until…Alyssa.
Alyssa isn’t who she pretends to be and breaks Andrew’s cardinal rule about lying. Her real name is Aubrey Everhart and she’s not exactly a lawyer. But she’s a wonderful character. I loved her because I didn’t find myself getting annoyed with her. More importantly, I was able to relate to her. She’s in law school because of her parents but her real dream is to be a ballet dancer. I love the way she handles Andrew. Her comebacks are on par with his when it comes to their email sparring.
“We haven’t talked about you getting laid in quite a while, and that concerns me. Greatly. Like, I’ve CRIED about your lack of pussy… I’m very sorry that so many women have sent you fraudulent pictures and given you a severe case of blue balls.”
I died laughing reading these email exchanges.
Part One ends on a cliffhanger. The kind that makes your eyes pop and all that good stuff. At the end of the second part, I literally wanted to strangle Andrew. I wanted him to GROVEL. I wanted to see him CRAWL.
Whitney must have heard me because I fell back in love with him in the final part. To me, he proved himself; proved he was worthy of Audrey’s love. But boy did I love some of the stuff he went through to get back in her good graces. Uncertainty. A healthy dose of jealousy. Yeah, it’s all good.
All in all, this is a series not to be missed. As I said above, if you’re faint-hearted when it comes to cursing and not a fan of a hero whose thoughts are just as dirty as his mouth, you probably won’t love this series like I do. If you’re like me, and you love a thoroughly riveting, raw, emotional and well-written story, you need to get this series now. Make this your Labor Day treat.
Oh, and you’re welcome.
I’m giving away the whole series to 2 lucky commenters. Happy Labor Day from me. ;)
The first scene in Truth or Dare opens with the heroine, Maggie Lawson, doing the neighbourly thing by bringing a fresh-baked cookies to the new guy iThe first scene in Truth or Dare opens with the heroine, Maggie Lawson, doing the neighbourly thing by bringing a fresh-baked cookies to the new guy in the building. He happens to be our hunky hero, Tyler Wells. Unfortunately, the reception she receives is less than friendly. Okay, it’s downright surly.
Only then the guy raked a hand through the damp mess of his hair and blew out a strained breath. “Look, Apartment Two. Whatever you’re offering, I’m not interested.”
And so sets the tone of the beginning of the book. I loved it! Nothing like a surly hero who is, at some point, going to have to apologize for his behavior. Of course Maggie can’t stand him now. And who can blame her. I didn’t. His subsequent apology falls on deaf ears and her “caustic” response then sets the tone for their interaction over the following months. The only thing I wish here is that readers were witness to that scene instead of Tyler reminiscing about it after the fact.
Over the next five months, they exchange a litany of barbs whenever they come in contact. Something they both secretly enjoy. I laughed at this scene where they poke fun at each other’s lack of a love life.
“…And what is this I hear about you and Rosie Palms?” she asked with a pointed nod at his hand, the saccharine sweetness all but dripping from her fangs. “Picking out rings, already?”
“Yeah, well, we’ve been exclusive for a while now,” he said, holding up “Rosie”, his right hand, and giving in to a grin as he started up the stairs. “Time to make an honest girl of her.”
But as you can imagine, beneath the surface of their barbs is a sizzling attraction that neither will acknowledge but just won’t quit. It’s when Tyler becomes friends to her friends in the building that they decide to become “friends”.
Snort. Yeah, right. There’s no way that’s going to happen. I know it and they should have known it too but I love watching as they come to the realization that the just friend thing is so not going to work between them.
Unfortunately, all those plans started circling the drain as soon as her eyes landed on the stubble rough, untucked and comfortably worn packaging of a guy who wasn’t looking at her like a friend at all. Because friends didn’t do that full-body slow, burning sweep with their eyes that ended with them staring at the other’s mouth.
When they finally succumb, the sex between them is hot. Love it. And there’s so much more than just the sex that makes it hot but the emotion in it. Those are the kinds that make for the best love scenes. But Tyler is determined that nothing can really happen between them because he’s not “available” for a relationship with anyone. I won’t tell you what that is, but it wouldn’t give any woman a reason to hope for anything serious. So they vow that’s the first and last time.
The problem is, knowing there’s no future in a relationship between them and accepting that. Both try… to no avail.
“I’m sure,” she gasped, her hands sliding up and down the hard contours of his chest. “This is sex. No expectations. Just two people taking advantage of an opportunity they seldom see.”
Beyond a well-developed, tension-wrought and surprisingly deep love story, Mira Lyn Kelly introduces a wonderful cast of characters in Truth or Dare. Her best friend, Ava and her brother, Ford—who is their collective landlord—and Sam, a general man-whore, are characters whose stories I want now. Kelly gives you just enough about them individually to peak your interest but not so much that their lives take away from the Maggie and Tyler’s romance.
Overall, I absolutely loved this book. And I’m champing at the bit for February 17, 2015 to arrive when we’re going to get Ava and Sam’s story in Touch & Go! YAY!!! I just read the blurb. I was hoping they’d get together.
“And don’t worry that I think this is a way for us to get back together. I don’t want that anymore than you do. This is what’s best foTRAPPED - Teaser
“And don’t worry that I think this is a way for us to get back together. I don’t want that anymore than you do. This is what’s best for Bree,” Paige states in a no-nonsense voice, one hand on her hip.
I take in all the bare skin revealed by her black bikini and bite the inside of my mouth to squash the unwanted surge of lust. She doesn’t want to know what I’m thinking.
“No, I get it. This is all about Bree,” I reply, completely poker-faced, knowing I'm lying through my teeth. She may have convinced herself we're over but we're not.
Nope, not by a long shot.
“Paige, I would do anything for Bree. You have to know that by now.”
“I know you do,” I reply with a small nod. “You love her. You moved back home to be with her. You quit football for her. You’ve canceled dates for her. Believe me, Mitch, I can clearly see how much you love her.”
There's a beat of silence and then, “I thought that’s what you wanted.”
“It is,” I say quietly. What is wrong with me? This is what I want. Always wanted.
Mitch growls, tips his head back and runs his hands roughly through his hair. His expression is one of complete exasperation when he lowers his gaze to mine. “Then. What. Is. The. Problem?”
And it's at that moment that it hits me. If they were doing a remake of Mommy Dearest, I could easily be cast in the lead role.
Oh my God. I think I'm jealous of my own daughter.
“My mother always said you can never judge the true strength of a relationship until it’s been tested. Well if there’s one thing—besides my daughter—that I can thank you for, is teaching me that. It’s one of those life lessons everyone has to learn, and I’m glad I got mine sooner than later. I wouldn’t have wanted to waste another second on you.” ~ Paige Nichols
Final Teaser #4
Bree and I hug and kiss as if we haven’t seen each other for days instead of hours. I breathe in the scent of baby powder and savor the feel of her against me. This is the best part of my day.
When I finally raise my gaze to Mitch, he’s watching us, an arrested expression on his face.
“She looks so much like you,” he says softly.
He’s not telling me anything I haven’t heard dozens of time, but coming from him it's more than an observation. My face warms as I fight the seductive pull of pleasure that unfurls in the pit of my stomach.
“I’m her mom,” I say, feigning a nonchalance I’m not even close to feeling. I’m uncomfortable with the intimacy that seems to have surrounded us with the quiet stealth of creeping fog.
Intimacy and Mitch is a lethal combination. And not good for me at all.
“A good mom,” he states, his gaze dropping to my mouth.
Okay, we’re heading into dangerous territory now. It’s high time I take control of this conversation and let him know what’s what. They’ll be none of this—him looking at me as if he wants to do more than co-parent with me. The kind of more that doesn’t include a stitch of clothing and includes lots of flesh-on-flesh contact.
Really loved this book. Love Ms. Kelly's characterization of hero and heroine. The conflict between them rang so true as did their response. The sexuaReally loved this book. Love Ms. Kelly's characterization of hero and heroine. The conflict between them rang so true as did their response. The sexual tension in the book is fabulous and I felt--truly felt--the hero and heroine's emotional response to each other. Really looking forward to her next book. I hope she's a speedy writer. ...more