I’m a sucker for romance stories featuring hot firefighter heroes, and after being somewhat disappointed with Wild Heat, th...more4 stars – Romantic Suspense
I’m a sucker for romance stories featuring hot firefighter heroes, and after being somewhat disappointed with Wild Heat, the first book in Andre’s Hot Shots: Men of Fire series, I was hoping for a bit more from this second installment. But unfortunately, Hot as Sin doesn’t quite live up to its full potential either.
On the surface it’s got everything going for it to be a five star read: an extremely sexy cover, a ‘hot-as-sin’ wildland firefighter hero, a strong, determined heroine, a reunion romance theme, loads of action, plenty of angst and drama, and several steamy sex scenes, but just like in Wild Heat, it’s the contrived, weak, and rather outlandish suspense plot that just doesn’t really work. The villain in the story is so completely over the top and inexplicably insane that the suspense element misses the mark and comes across as unrealistic and silly instead of intense or gripping like it’s aiming for.
Luckily, the explosive sexual tension and rocky romance between Sam and Dianna (and the smokin’ hot love scenes) held my attention and kept my interest throughout the story. I still plan to read the upcoming book in the series, Never Too Hot, which is Connor’s story, but I just hope the plot does the yummy firefighter a bit better justice next time around. 4 stars. (less)
Rachel Gibson is one of my favorite go-to, sure thing authors for when I need a fun, steamy contemporary romance with qu...more4 stars – Contemporary Romance
Rachel Gibson is one of my favorite go-to, sure thing authors for when I need a fun, steamy contemporary romance with quirky characters, sexy, masculine, alpha heroes, and the perfect balance of lighthearted, fluffy feel-good entertainment, humor, and emotional angst.
This is one of her mid-career works, and although not my favorite RG romance, it’s still an entertaining tale with a piquant Texas twang. And I’m looking forward to returning to Lovett, Texas with Crazy On You and Rescue Me. 4 stars!
I thought Into the Night was supposed to be Mike and Joan's story? How did it end up being Mary Lou's Pity Party Diary? I r...more4 stars – Romantic Suspense
I thought Into the Night was supposed to be Mike and Joan's story? How did it end up being Mary Lou's Pity Party Diary? I recognize and can appreciate Brockmann’s attempt to make her character more than a one dimensional white trash bimbo for us Sam and Alyssa fans, but I still didn’t feel much (if any) sympathy for her. And there was definitely waaay too much of Mary Lou’s whining and self-loathing and not nearly enough of Mike and Joan’s romance. Also, the suspense element was somewhat lacking in this one, especially compared to the previous two books.
Mike is a total dream...he’s drop dead gorgeous, sweet, tender, romantic, easy going, funny, humble, and he worships Joan. I thought Joan was funny and sarcastic, but her constant insecurities over their age difference and her weight got annoying. If I had a Navy SEAL resembling a young, prime Brad Pitt in my hotel bed telling me sincerely that I’m the sexiest goddess he’s ever seen...I don’t think I’d argue (or ever leave the hotel room for that matter!). He pursues her relentlessly, even though she treats him like crap most of the time, and it takes her forever to finally come around.
This was more like a 3 star read for me, but I’m bumping it up to 4 because Brockmann is a skilled writer and some of the events provide key basis for Sam and Alyssa’s story next, in book six...finally!(less)
I didn’t know about this book until I read a couple of friends’ reviews here on GR, and I’m glad I gave it a shot becaus...more5 stars – Contemporary Romance
I didn’t know about this book until I read a couple of friends’ reviews here on GR, and I’m glad I gave it a shot because I was very pleasantly surprised by this delightful read. This is the second book that I’ve read by author Jill Shalvis, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.
“Instant Attraction” is the first book in the ‘Wilder’ series about three brothers (Cameron, Stone, and T.J. Wilder...gotta love those strong alpha names) who own Wilder Adventures and Expeditions, an extreme tours/sports company, in the town of Wishful, California in the Sierra Mountains. The three sexy, rugged outdoors men and extreme sport enthusiasts also happen to be the small town’s most eligible bachelors and notorious playboys.
In “Instant Attraction”, city girl Katie Kramer leaves the congestion, stress, and monotony of her life in LA and takes a job as an office temp at Wilder Adventures, where she hopes to embark on exciting new adventures of her own. After being the sole survivor of a tragic accident, Katie has a new outlook on life and is inspired to making her life count through new experiences. Former Olympic snowboarding champion Cameron Wilder is back home after a year of wallowing and soul searching while wandering the globe following his career ending accident. Katie and Cameron feel an instant pull and combustible attraction to one another, and she makes him feel something for the first time since his accident, which scares the hell out of him, especially since he’s pretty darn content to continue with his self-pitying, poor-me routine. They’re both survivors, but their traumatic experiences have left them with polar opposite attitudes. Gradually, Katie’s positive approach to life begins to influence Cameron and helps drag him from his pity-party.
The heroine’s cheerful personality, zest for life, and upbeat attitude are positively infectious and one of the main reasons the book is so enjoyable. Katie’s a shining example of a glass-is-half-full, life’s what you make it type of person, without being overly naïve or bubbly to the point of irritation. She’s bright, honest, funny, and sarcastic without being mean...a truly lovable heroine. That being said, there were still times that she annoyed the heck out of me with her lack of caution and recklessness. Just because someone vows to make each day count and to live life to the fullest doesn’t mean they have to take unnecessary risks to prove something...that’s a little overboard and foolish in my opinion. But still, she definitely made me smile and laugh, and I cracked up at her bravado and seduction antics after one too many vodka shots! Despite the whole ‘feeling sorry for himself’ thing, I still really liked Cameron and found his insights, honesty, and self-deprecating humor amusing, especially since he’s self-aware enough to know that his attitude and behavior suck. He’s just not sure how to fix things or how to change his glass-is-half-empty tendency, which is a realistic dilemma that a lot of people face every day in life.
There's also a secondary romantic entanglement between Cam's aunt Annie and her estranged husband Nick that’s a nice touch to the story. After years of marriage, they have unresolved tension and emotional distance in their relationship that’s resulted in repeated arguments and blatant sexual frustration, and it’s honest, funny, and touching.
The dialogue is witty and well written and the banter between the H/H is hilarious. I laughed out loud several times while reading this book, especially the scene where Katie and a couple of girlfriends drink too much vodka and she says some pretty brazen and crazy things to Cam in her drunken stupor!
“Instant Attraction” is a great contemporary romance and an enjoyable read! I’m looking forward to reading T.J. and Stone’s stories when they come out later this year. 5 stars!(less)
Instant Gratification is the second book in Shalvis’s Wilder series about three brothers (Cameron, Stone, and T.J.) who...more4 stars – Contemporary Romance
Instant Gratification is the second book in Shalvis’s Wilder series about three brothers (Cameron, Stone, and T.J.) who own/run Wilder Adventures and Expeditions, an extreme tours/sports adventure company, in the town of Wishful, California in the Sierra Mountains. The three sexy, rugged outdoorsmen, extreme sport enthusiasts, and playful mountain bums also happen to be the small town’s most eligible bachelors and notorious playboys.
Stone, the middle brother, is the family peacekeeper, the glue that holds the Wilder business together, and the all around good guy. He puts his own dream of restoring historical buildings on hold to manage the family business, volunteers with the local search and rescue team, and mentors foster kids. He’s a total dream beta hero: sweet, fun, flirtatious, caring, sensitive, loyal, and sexy as all get out! Stone is flat-out the best thing about the book, and it’s too bad that the heroine is an anal, uptight, frigid, and whiny Miss Prissy Pants who pushes him away and treats him like dirt most of the time.
Emma is a powerhouse ER doctor from New York who comes back to her hometown of Wishful to run her estranged father’s emergency clinic while he recovers from a heart attack and is unable to carry on as the town’s good ole’ Doc. Of course, she resents every minute of it and can’t seem to adjust to the small town way of life...patients who pay for their services in casseroles and gossip...outrageous! Emma longs to get back to her fast paced job and important big city life, complete with Starbucks and Thai take-out. There were some aspects of this story that reminded me a little of Robyn Carr’s Virgin River, but it’s not nearly as good.
I’m a fan of author Jill Shalvis and loved the first book, Instant Attraction, in the Wilder series, so I had high hopes and expectations for this one. Although it’s a pleasant enough read and a nice, steamy contemporary romance with a super dreamboat hero, it just didn’t have quite the same zing or humor as the previous book. I think the main reason I didn’t like it as much is that I spent almost the entire book wanting to slap some serious sense into Emma (or for her to just get lost in the woods or take a 'hike' so that Stone could find someone who actually appreciated what an amazing man he is). I just couldn’t fathom his attraction and heartfelt devotion to her, but I guess sometimes in real life there are hot, practically-near-perfect guys who date/marry frosty cold b*tches that leave us befuddled as to what they see in them and wondering how the hell they wound up together. And Emma does warm and wise up towards the end, but for me, it was a little too late.
Overall, it’s a good contemporary romance and an enjoyable read with a very yummy, “gratifying” beta hero. I’ll definitely read the next book, Instant Temptation, which is T.J.’s story and set for release April’2010. 4 stars!(less)
If I was to rate this simply for the heat factor and frequent and explicit sex scenes, then it would earn a so...more4 stars – Romantic Suspense/Erotica/BDSM
If I was to rate this simply for the heat factor and frequent and explicit sex scenes, then it would earn a solid, high five stars because it’s off the charts hot and intensely erotic. Unfortunately, other aspects of the book weren’t as strong or compelling, which is disappointing because it had the promise and makings of a really intriguing and gripping erotic romantic suspense read, and I wanted to love it. After reading Full Exposure, I had very high expectations for this. Although I enjoyed the powerful eroticism and it delivered in spades on that front, I had some issues with other parts of the story, mainly the lack of character development and a few rather gaping plot holes.
Genevieve Delacroix, the only female detective on the New Orleans homicide squad, is investigating a sadistic serial rapist/killer. She meets mysterious, dominating Cole Adams, who harbors secrets related to the case, and they share an immediate, explosive attraction that threatens to shatter her tightly held control. When they engage in a volatile, obsessive affair and risk exposure, will Genevieve become the killer’s next target?
The suspense plot has some twists and surprises and reaches a thrilling climax, but it’s not the main focus because quite frankly, the attention grabber in this story is the ‘have an ice tray handy’ hot, kinky BDSM sex that Genevieve and Cole share. There’s a wildly erotic kitchen interlude using tequila and a creative, kinky bedroom scene involving Japanese rope bondage/binding that intrigued me enough to do some extraneous Google research.
Overall, it’s a scorching hot, extremely sensual, and wickedly erotic read with chilling suspense. I just wish that I’d felt more of a connection between the characters, but they definitely set the sheets (I mean ropes) on fire! 4 stars! (less)
3 ½ stars – Paranormal Romance/Erotica/Ménage/BDSM
Apprentice witch Sybil, frustrated and bored with being treated like a fledgling errand girl by her...more3 ½ stars – Paranormal Romance/Erotica/Ménage/BDSM
Apprentice witch Sybil, frustrated and bored with being treated like a fledgling errand girl by her coven, goes looking for some action, buys a seemingly worthless, innocent book of magic at an estate sale, and inadvertently ends up opening a gate to the shadow realm that can unleash demons and possibly end the world. So what’s a witch to do to make things right again and save humanity? How about submitting to a big ol’ sex fest with five immortals who serve as the Shadow Guardians for the goddess Inanna in an elemental ritual that will unleash her power and bind her to their ancient brotherhood? Besides, how bad could it possibly be, living as a pampered, pleasured sexual plaything with five supernatural studs of varying, voracious sexual appetites?
This doesn’t have much of a plot and there’s minimal character development, but it does have loads of sex. Sybil and her quintet of paranormal paramours (a surly, brooding, tortured alpha werewolf, a flirtatious, jovial dragon with a tale that can do all kinds of kinky, naughty things, a devilishly sexy chaos demon with retractable black wings, a stoic two-thousand-year-old Roman centurion vampire, and an ethereal, elfin fae god with a proclivity for domination, bondage, and punishment) engage in a variety of sexual escapades and excesses: anal, voyeurism, exhibitionism, ménage, and mild BDSM play. Of course, even though she has to sexually submit to all five guardians (individually and together when requested), only one can ultimately claim Sybil as their mate, and you can probably guess from the book’s title (no spoiler warning necessary here) which immortal warrior wins that coveted spot?
So if you’re in the mood for an uncomplicated paranormal erotic romance that doesn’t have much depth but does have plenty of steamy sex, then this story of a nympho witch ‘getting it on’ hot and heavy with five supernatural, immortal hunks might be a “good read” for you. 3 ½ stars. (less)
Trinity MacKenna has returned to her family’s ranch in Arizona after an extended time living and working in London...more4 stars – Romantic Suspense/Erotica
Trinity MacKenna has returned to her family’s ranch in Arizona after an extended time living and working in London to visit her older sister Skylar while waiting for her prestigious new job to begin. She harbors painful memories of growing up as an awkward, overweight teen on the ranch and living in her beautiful, popular sister Skylar’s shadow, and even though she’s now a thin, sexy, successful career woman, those old insecurities resurface once she’s back in her hometown. She plans to keep the holiday ranch visit short and sweet, while pondering some major life decisions, like where she wants to live next with her new company and whether or not she wants to marry her English boyfriend of two years, Race Bentham, who’s hinted at an upcoming Christmas proposal.
The last thing Trinity wants is a sinfully sexy, dark, dangerous, determined, possessive, badass, alpha cowboy turning her safe world upside down, keeping her in a perpetual lust filled state, and staking claims, but that’s exactly what she gets (and perhaps what she needs) when she meets undercover DEA agent and black chaps and Stetson wearing cowboy Luke Denver, aka Luke Rider.
The two main reasons I rated this 4 stars are yummy-as-sin, studtastic cowboy Luke and the smokin’ hot, erotic sex scenes because the suspense plot involving drug smuggling and border turf wars is rather weak and there is fairly minimal relationship or romantic development between the H/H. Seriously, Trinity is so completely consumed by raw animalistic lust for Luke that she only manages to utter about five coherent sentences to him for about the first 100+ pages and they don’t have many conversations other than “I want you” and “you’re mine”. The majority of their time together is spent having hot, wild sex, but at least it’s plenty steamy. Whew! They engage in a little bit of voyeurism and exhibitionism (accidental of course), mutual masturbation, some naughty hot tub fun, anal sex during a raunchy barn office tryst (and Luke keeps his leather chaps and Stetson hat on), and even finally manage to make it to a bed. It’s marketed as romantic suspense, but it’s definitely on the erotic side.
Even though the suspense aspect of the story and relationship development between the H/H were somewhat lacking, it was still worth the read (for me) for hunky agent/cowboy Luke and the scorching hot sex. So, although more attention could have been paid to enhancing the plot and characters and making the HEA a bit more believable, overall it was a satisfying, erotic romantic suspense read.
*Note: This is an expanded version/redo of McCray’s previously released Wildcard.* (less)
I read this in the Wild Ride anthology, and I thought it was just..."okay". The story was fairly brief with a s...more2 stars – Contemporary Western Romance
I read this in the Wild Ride anthology, and I thought it was just..."okay". The story was fairly brief with a somewhat choppy pace, the heat factor was much milder than I thought (and hoped) it would be with only one very short sex scene, and the writing seemed a bit amateurish.(less)
This is a hot, fun, quickie read, found in the Wild Ride anthology, about a sexy, demanding alpha cowboy who fi...more3 ½ stars – Contemporary Erotic Romance
This is a hot, fun, quickie read, found in the Wild Ride anthology, about a sexy, demanding alpha cowboy who finds his former fiancée, who left him suddenly and without explanation three years before, working in an erotic burlesque show and isn't letting her get away from him this time around.(less)
Mortal Temptations is a paranormal erotic romance with a really cool, unique premise and fascinating char...more3 ½ stars – Paranormal Romance/Erotica/Ménage
Mortal Temptations is a paranormal erotic romance with a really cool, unique premise and fascinating characters. A couple of demi-gods who royally pissed off the goddess Hera have been cursed to spend eternity serving as pleasure slaves at the demand of whatever woman is attracted enough to them to get caught up in the web of their spell.
New York antiques dealer and psychic Patricia Lake is surprised when she discovers an unconscious, wounded man in her store, but she’s even more shocked by the fact that the tall, dark, muscular, sexy, and mysterious man has a powerful set of black wings emerging from his beautiful, sculpted back. What’s even more startling is the inexplicable attraction and pull she feels towards the demi-god hunk with the sensual wings that amazingly materialize from a tattoo on his upper back.
Nico, son of a deity, was a notorious playboy and heartbreaker and subsequently punished by the goddess Hera for his lothario ways. For the past three thousand years he’s endured a cruel curse that makes him a slave to female desire and results in him being used at whim, experiencing perpetual unrequited love, and suffering repetitive heartbreak. Now with Patricia, Nico feels the pull of the spell stronger than ever before and for once is actually enjoying being a woman’s pleasure slave, but he’s dreading the day she’ll eventually cast him aside as the spell demands. Together, can they find the ancient artifacts that hold the key to ending Nico’s curse so that they can be free to be together, forever, without the manipulation and interference of Hera’s spell?
There’s also some m/f/m ménage and m/m action mixed in with Nico’s best demi-god friend and fellow curse sufferer, Andreas, who’s a snow leopard shifter. Add to that a secondary romance between rugged, gruff, alpha Andreas and shy, nerdish, bookworm, academic, Egyptologist Rebecca who the group seeks out to help unravel the relic’s secrets in an effort to break Hera’s curse.
I was really captivated by the book’s concept, chock-full of interesting references to gods, goddesses, and mythology, and I liked the intriguing characters, especially Nico. I mean, it doesn’t get much hotter than a sexy, sweet, beta hunk with a majestic pair of exotic black wings with soft, sensuous feathers that he can use for flying, to encircle, hold, and protect a woman in his arms, as well as provide erotic pleasure...yowza! And I think it’s wicked awesome that the wings emerge from a tattoo of a black pair of wings on his back. Of course, a shifting snow leopard is pretty cool too. There’s lots and lots of sex in this of all varieties, including some m/f/m ménage and mild m/m action.
I enjoyed the first 160 or so pages, but then the story started dragging. The scenes with the foursome searching for ancient artifacts and answers in Egypt should have felt adventurous, but there was just too much crammed in and the plot seemed to get bogged down. I think my biggest complaints were the choppy pacing and that the story felt too long, even though it’s only 295 pages. Still, I really liked the book’s unusual premise, the interesting characters, and the verrrry hot (and frequent) sex, and I was entertained enough that I’ll read the next book, Mortal Seductions that’s slated for release in Sept’09. 3 ½ stars. (less)
This is a somewhat cute, slightly silly contemporary romance about a pro-football star who returns home to his brother's...more3 stars – Contemporary Romance
This is a somewhat cute, slightly silly contemporary romance about a pro-football star who returns home to his brother's Texas ranch resort for some R&R and to dodge the press after his ex-girlfriend announces a false engagement. Cal Braxton hates nosy, scheming reporters, so when the tough-edged reporter Nikki 'The Barracuda' Scott shows up at the ranch to get the scoop on Cal's alleged engagement, the game is on. He's determined to scare her off by showing her just how rough a dude ranch can be, and she refuses to back down an inch and is hell-bent on getting her story. Of course, neither are prepared for the explosive sexual chemistry or the sparks that ignite between them.
There's a sweet secondary romance between Cal's brother Brian and the resort's new massage therapist Celeste that adds a nice touch to the story, but it's not really developed enough.
Overall, it's a fairly fun read, but not nearly as steamy as I was expecting or hoping for.(less)