Ex-Army Ranger Ethan Cooper owns a bad-ass biker bar in a small Texas town and enjoys his no-strings-attached, love ‘em-and-leave ‘em, bad-boy lifestyle. He suddenly finds his life turned upside down and his hardened, cold heart turned inside out when he finds himself lusting after his quiet, innocent, prim and proper neighbor, Miss Sarah Fox. I loved Sarah’s character, and her yearning and loneliness brought tears to my eyes. I really enjoyed this story.(less)
This really sucked me in and I neglected all kinds of household tasks to finish it in nearly one sitting. It’s a great...more4 ½ stars – Contemporary Romance
This really sucked me in and I neglected all kinds of household tasks to finish it in nearly one sitting. It’s a great read with lots of melodrama and angst that makes for an addictive, fast-paced romance. It reminded me of a very well done Harlequin romance. There were some editing errors, and I got confused when the heroine suddenly developed red hair to match her fiery temper when I could have sworn at one point earlier in the book she was described as being a blonde. But those minor missteps didn’t lessen my overall enjoyment, especially considering it was only .99 cents. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for more from this author.(less)
It’s been a while since I’ve read such an imaginative paranormal romance. Bec McMaster has penned a noteworthy...more4 ½ stars – Paranormal Romance/Steampunk
It’s been a while since I’ve read such an imaginative paranormal romance. Bec McMaster has penned a noteworthy debut that’s bold, inventive, engrossing, and sensual. I really enjoyed this!
McMaster has crafted an intricate, alternate London set historical with memorable, complex characters and unique elements of paranormal, steampunk, vampires, and verwulfen blended seamlessly without excessive world building to bog down the pacing or impede the romance. The dark, eerie Whitechapel setting gives the story an authentic gothic resonance and provides lots of danger, intrigue, thrills, and chills.
Blade, “the devil of Whitechapel”, is a captivating, sexy hero with a fascinating mix of tortured soul and primal alpha male who’s at times brutal yet intimately tender and protective of those he cares about. He’s rough, growly, ruthless, and possessive, has a caring heart of gold, and yearns for affection, trust, and peace. Blade reminded me a little of Charming Mickey from Elizabeth Hoyt’s Scandalous Desires at times but with more of a predator, supernatural edge and a somewhat softer, gooier center. In other words...YOWZA!
Honoria Todd is a strong, brave heroine and I both admired and wanted to strangle her at times for being so stubborn, proud, and loyal to a fault. It drove me crazy that she continually resisted and rebuffed Blade, no matter what he did or how hard he tried. Blade and Honoria engage in quite a bit of bickering, sparring, and bantering and have some seriously explosive chemistry. And when she finally comes to her senses I nearly screamed...well, it’s about time!
Kiss of Steel is a terrific, original debut that’s dark, passionate, intense, emotional, and satisfyingly steamy. I’m looking forward to the next book, Heart of Iron.
This is the first book I’ve read by author Laurel McKee and I was very pleasantly surprised. I really liked he...more4 ½ stars – Victorian/Historical Romance
This is the first book I’ve read by author Laurel McKee and I was very pleasantly surprised. I really liked her writing style, the voice she gives to the characters, and the love scenes are fire alarm smokin’ hot! It’s very sensual, borderline erotic, and definitely steamier than most standard mass market historical romances. Let’s just say that Lily is a (view spoiler)[mistress of the riding crop and Aidan has no qualms about giving up dominance and control on a couple of occasions and being her whipping boy! (hide spoiler)]Yowza! One Naughty Night indeed!
Overall this is a great, satisfyingly scandalous historical romance, and I’m looking forward to the next installment in the series, Two Sinful Secrets.
This is my favorite in the fun, ridiculously zany, wild ride Rock Chick series so far. V...more4 ½-5 stars – Chick lit/Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
This is my favorite in the fun, ridiculously zany, wild ride Rock Chick series so far. Vance is another yummy, KAmazing alpha hero, and he and Jules were smokin’ hot together!
I liked Jules and found her far less irritating than previous Rock Chicks, Indy, Jet, and Roxie, but she definitely had numerous aggravating moments. Her inner Rottweiler, constant threats about breaking up with Vance, and routinely bragging about being such a kickass “The Law” mamma jamma were really annoying. As far as I’m concerned, Vance has the patience of a saint.
The love triangle went a bit too far for my taste, so I’m knocking off half a star for that and some Jules irritation. Otherwise, it’s a highly entertaining read with some emotional moments that made me tear up a few times. 4 ½-5 stars!
Although his hair isn’t quite long enough, this is definitely my Vance Ouray Crowe.
Another Kristen Ashley winner! Do I even need to say anything more than that? Probably not, so ins...more4 ½-5 stars – Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense
Another Kristen Ashley winner! Do I even need to say anything more than that? Probably not, so instead of a typical review, I’m going to do some general rambling.
What I Loved:
#1 -- It’s told entirely from the hero’s POV, which is A+wesome!
That brings me to item #2, which is the hero, Tanner Layne. He’s a badass PI, a tough alpha male, and a devoted lover and father struggling to reconcile with his past, one and only, true love and make amends with his teen boys while also trying to teach them how to be men.
And this takes me to favorite things about the book #3 and #4 -- Layne’s teen sons, Jasper and Tripp. They’re KA heartthrobs and heroes in their own right and made me feel a little bit dirty and cougar-ish for seriously crushing on teenagers. (view spoiler)[Jasper and Keira and Trip and Giselle seemed to get their own HEAs, (hide spoiler)]but I really hope we haven’t seen the last of them. In fact, I’d love for Jasper and Tripp to be featured as main (legal and guilt free) heroes in future KA books. LOL!
#5 -- A great secondary cast of characters, especially mysterious badass, Ryker. I’m also looking forward to Garrett Merrick’s story.
#6 -- The To Kill a Mockingbird reference and how it’s an allegory for the story.
#7 -- The sweet and gratifying epilogue that’s worthy of 10+ stars!
Wacky But Whatever, It Still Worked Somehow:
Parenting 101 -- I’m not a parent so I can’t rightfully judge someone’s child rearing skills, but that doesn’t mean I can’t shake my head a few times with a seriously?, huh?, or wtf? There were several characters (Layne, Gabby, Vera, Dave, etc.) who demonstrated questionable parenting. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about some of Layne’s parenting decisions and actions, like involving his teenage sons, ages 14 and 17, in an undercover operation of a shady youth group. I imagine he would probably raise the eyebrows of some parental experts. But raising teenagers to be compassionate, responsible adults who do the right thing isn’t easy. I liked his honesty and that he didn’t shield Jasper and Tripp from the harsh realities of life. And it seemed to all work out for the best.
Talk Show Worthy Family Drama -- I think several characters in this book needed some counseling. Seriously, Dr. Phil would have a freakin field day with these people.
Crazy Exes, Multiple Plots, and Uber Villains -- Layne’s b*tchy ex-wife Gabby and her loser, enforcer boyfriend, Rocky’s cheating doctor ex and his shady financial and business dealings, and an undercover investigation of a sinister youth minister (view spoiler)[whose group is really a front for recruiting girls for a child pornography, underage sexual slavery/prostitution ring (hide spoiler)] run by a female mastermind villain who makes Cruella de Vil look like the Easter Bunny.
The Big Secret Reveal -- It was a heartbreaking scene, but also seemed very melodramatic and overly angsty.
The Hero’s Name -- Layne is a nerdy programmer analyst with fancy pencils in his pocket and Tanner is a badass biker or cowboy (and Days of Our Lives soap opera bad boy from the early 90’s). So I would have preferred that the hero went by his first name, Tanner, instead of his last name, Layne.
The Heroine’s Name –- She has a beautiful name, Raquel, but everyone calls her Rocky?! Ugh!
Size Matters -- KA’s stories are characteristically detailed and lengthy, but this one felt looong. I think it could have used some trimming down.
But despite all the wackiness and some imperfections, I loved it! Nearly 5 stars!
Jasper (Now you can understand why I was crushing hard on a teenager!)
Femdom isn’t my preference in erotica. (I usually like my doms to be hot alpha males.) But having the story tol...more4 ½ stars – Contemporary Erotic Novella
Femdom isn’t my preference in erotica. (I usually like my doms to be hot alpha males.) But having the story told from the insecure, flawed, average hero Wyle’s POV and getting insight into his dominatrix/mistress fantasies was hilarious and highly entertaining. There’s one angtsy scene ensuing from a misunderstanding, but otherwise it’s flippant and funny as hell at times. (At least it was to me.) The Femdom/BDSM element is on the light side as well and mostly involves fantasy role-playing.
This is the second story I’ve read by this author and I enjoy her writing style. It’s a great erotic novella, especially for a freebie.
Here are a couple of examples of the hero’s sarcastic, self-deprecating humor.
(view spoiler)[“Do you want to come in for coffee?” she rushed out in a whoosh of a breath. Coffee. Coffee meaning sex, right? My dick perked up, well-versed in the coffee-sex synonymy. That’s what coffee means, but did she know that? She was awfully young, no matter her few years of working after college or her fancy new job title.
“Yes,” I breathed. It was a scary proposition. A girl like her, practically slumming with me. It could be something bad. That would explain why she’d wanted me. I’d be desperate enough to do it. But I had a suspicion that if she wanted me to shove food in her orifices while chanting satanic rituals, I’d ask if she preferred bananas or zucchini. That’s how much I wanted to fuck her.(hide spoiler)]
4 ½ stars – Erotic Georgian/Historical Romance Novella
Lydia Trent is a romantic young lady of seventeen looking forward to finally celebrating the ann...more4 ½ stars – Erotic Georgian/Historical Romance Novella
Lydia Trent is a romantic young lady of seventeen looking forward to finally celebrating the announcement of a formal betrothal to the subject of her girlhood infatuation, Marcus, Lord Russell. Although Marcus recognizes his duty to play the biddable fiancé, he’s less than enthusiastic and cynical about being forced into an attachment to a naïve girl barely out of the schoolroom. After getting a bit tipsy and giving Lydia her first glimpse of passion, Marcus embarks on a career of political diplomacy, leaving his fiancée behind.
After six years of waiting in the wings and trying to get Marcus to agree on a wedding date, Lydia has had enough of his indifference and is ready to move on. She sends Marcus a letter requesting to dissolve their promise of marriage. Marcus has spent the past six years carousing and advancing his diplomatic career but is shocked by Lydia’s demand. After all, she’s the perfect fiancée. Having her in his pocket keeps the marriage minded mamas from harassing him, their family ties suit his political aspirations, and her dowry will provide a stable income when he’s finally ready to settle down in the future.
Marcus sets out to win Lydia back using all the weapons in his armory, including diplomacy, flattery, and seduction, and if those don’t work, then he might have to just force her hand through ruination. But Lydia has grown into a beautiful, bold, intelligent, and headstrong woman no longer willing to blindly, ardently swoon at his feet, and Marcus soon learns that swaying her back won’t be as easy as he thought. It’s through his attempt to seduce Lydia into submission that Marcus finally sees her true character, comes to admire the intriguing woman she’s become, and realizes the damage he’s caused by his neglect and indifference. He might have to engage a part of himself he’s never given before...his heart.
I really enjoyed this charming read. It’s sensual and romantic and the storyline, characters, dialogue, and historical details are perfectly crafted for a novella. In terms of heat level, it’s erotic, but tasteful and appropriate for the story. A Breach of Promise is a great historical romance and shows a lot of “promise” for this author whom I’m hoping we’ll see more from. 4 ½ stars!
Book received from author, Victoria Vane, and Ellora’s Cave Romantica Publishing in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.