March #TBRchallenge theme is 'a recommended read'. I don't have many recommendations as I don't often actively ask for them. My TBR is huge3,75 stars
March #TBRchallenge theme is 'a recommended read'. I don't have many recommendations as I don't often actively ask for them. My TBR is huge as it is and recommendations just add to it.
Still I did have one or two books on the TBR that qualified for this month's theme. This one was recommended to me by Rhian Cahill I think over a year ago...we were talking books and RS and she recommended this series to me.
Hunter Phillips is a former Marine turned bodyguard after being injured on duty. He suffers from PTSD. I grew to like him througout the story as he can be a bit judgemental but he's also caring and protective.
Morgan Taylor is wildlife biologist at the Parks and Conservation Bureau. She's strong-willed and short-tempered, independent and really stubborn.
Sparks fly between Hunter and Morgan from the moment they meet and preconceived notions on both sides make for great tension and verbal sparring between them. I loved that. It bordered on outright animosity but Ms.Beauman was able to pull it back in time every time I'd think it was going to hurt the believability of the romance. The romance was built up nice and slow and was in balance with the suspense.
I really liked Cate Beauman's writing. It was lively and fluent and filled with subtle humor. It was descriptive but not overly so and without any lengthy info-dumps.
I liked this book but it didn't blow me away. Not unusual for RS there are a lot of characters introduced and this made for a start that was kinda slow after the emotionally gripping prologue and first chapter. I also thought it fizzled out a bit in the middle and the suspense plot was a little predictable but it picked up in the final few chapters. So it ended on a high for me and I hope to read the next book soon because this is a RS author I want to read more of. ...more
MIDNIGHT ASSIGNMENT is a novella about 2 FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) agents: Noah James —stubborn and str3,75 stars
Short and quick!
MIDNIGHT ASSIGNMENT is a novella about 2 FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation) agents: Noah James —stubborn and strong-willed and the quiet type and Elise Watson —the typical Dahl heroine that seems too hard, too tough and maybe even unlikeable until the surfsce is scratched and the vulnerability and softness shows.
This short and sexy novella totally surprised me. I'm not sure why this is news to me as Ms. Dahl always surprises me. But this time it was a little different and let me explain.
So I started this novella and at first I was like: what is going on? I had to get into the whole FDIC agents thing and had a bit of trouble connecting to the characters...until the scene in the hotel bar and the one in Elise's room. Especially in that last one where the heat was cranked up a notch, it felt like it all started coming together and of course (not unimportant) that's where it also got really hot and steamy. I started seeing both Elise and Noah in a different light and the rest, as they say, is history.
The story really took off after that scene and before I knew it I was at the end.
No matter what books Victoria Dahl offers up, though some (full lengths) work better than others (most novellas), I always love her writing and she will always be my first contemporary romance love. ...more
Review to come closer to release but this book completely blew me away!!
28 March - My review:
Reid is broody, imposing, aA 2016 and all-time favorite!
Review to come closer to release but this book completely blew me away!!
28 March - My review:
Reid is broody, imposing, a control freak and hardass. For reasons he's also a virgin in his late twenties. At the beginning of this book he is fired as CEO of the IT company he started, also because of reasons. I thought this was an apt description from the author: ~He was a confusing mix of alpha male and raw boy~
Zarley is outspoken, sharp and a free spirit. She's a former gymnast who was on her way to the Olympics but circumstances forced her to transform into pole dancer Lux.
These two characters are so realistic and flawed. We have a pole dancer and an ex-CEO. Their lives are messed up for several different reasons and they come together in a way that you know will end happily but getting there will wreak havoc on you, the reader. The thing I loved most about them is that they own up to their mistakes and flaws.
They try, they (mostly Zarley) try so hard to keep what's between them a fling and keep it casual and about sex, but it's no use. The feelings side of this romance is built up gradually and in a brilliant way. Slowly but surely it's revealed layer by subtle layer and it pulls you in completely.
The secondary cast consists of Reid's friends and fellow owners of Plus (Owen, Dev, Sarina) and Zarley's coworkers/fellow pole dancers (Lizabeth/Lavinia, Kathryn/Cinnamon, Melinda/Missy, Violet the hostess, Therese/Tiffany the new girl). The secondary cast was truly supportive, complemented the main couple and never took the focus from them.
I was completely into this book from the first page until the last. Ainslie Paton writes romance that is so real and raw (I have no other words to describe it). If you want to use the term non-traditional romance in an appropriate and romance-positive way? Use it for this author's work, not for women's fiction trying to be romance. Her writing gets under your skin and takes hold of you with its beauty and rawness. The words and emotions hook you, reel you in and it's hard to let go once you're in.
Favorite Scene? Reid's deflowering scene! Hands down! It was so funny and so sexy. I'd forgotten that this was a virgin hero book and the fact that it was really helps me explain the realness of Ainslie Paton's writing. I've read virgin hero books before and the only differerence between those and the non-virgin heroes is that first sex/deflowering scene. In the other books the virgin heroes magically transformed into experienced lovers that knew exactly what to do in much of the same way a non-virgin hero does. In OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOR Reid is a true virgin who is not magically in the know of all things sex or women after his first time. He remains insecure about what to do and if he's doing it right. And all without losing the sexy vibe of the book. I really loved that!
And sexy it was. It wasn't the dirty/filthy sexy but it was definitely hot in an intensely sexy way. Reid's enthusiasme and eagerness to learn and Zarley unapologetical about her sexuality and her willingness to teach made this a sexy contemporay the way I like them best!
OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOR is a perfect blend of a corporate setting that's so realistic I wanted to send Plus my resume, an emotional romance that tugs on your heartstrings, beautifully flawed characters that imbed themselves in your brain and sneakily inserted sexy kinky stuff like voyeurism and roleplay that make you reach for a fan.
Favorite Quotes: [Zarley and douchebag guy in the alley] “You need to step aside and let me through.” “That’s not what you need.” He put both hands to his dick and thrust. “I’ve got what you need.” She flicked her chin up. “You’ve got a hot bath and a plate of mac and cheese in your pants. Color me impressed.”
"[...] I started my business in college. I barely even dated. It’s no wonder I’m useless with people, I’m fucking unnatural.” Oh, this man. She put her hand on his shoulder. “Do you want to have sex?” He turned his head and they locked eyes. “I want it now like I want oxygen to breathe.” “With me?” “With you, oh God, yes, please, with you.” He opened his arm and she tucked her face into his chest. “So . . .?” He wrapped her closer. “No. I should’ve sorted this years ago. I need to hire a professional and work all the clumsy out and maybe then you might want me.”
“I want five minutes in the shower to myself and then you come join me, okay? Do you want to undress me?” He took a breath and held it. Why was she asking him these difficult questions? Couldn’t she see he was riding a roller coaster and scared of the rattles, trying not to piss himself.
Damn, but she smelled good, enhancing his clean lemony linen with a different scent. Like that indescribable smell before it rained. He took a deep breath and held it in his lungs. Soap and sweat and them. She smelled of sex. Of what they’d done together. He wanted to snort her up, feel her up, kiss her, have her hands and her lips on him, have her cock-zapping sighs and little squeals breaking over him while he eased inside her slippery warmth again.
“I want to touch you.” “I know you do.” “Can I touch you?” “Not yet.” “You want me to burn up.” “I won’t let you turn to ash.”
Reid was a storm of destructive emotion and Zarley was the land he broke over. She gathered all his panic, shame, guilt, and the sharp pain of his sudden awareness and took them into her body so he couldn’t use them to hurt himself. Because she was strong, and in this, he was freshly scored, and lashing out with misdirected fury. He was already wounded and she understood the shock of engineering your own downfall and what it meant to become unanchored because of it.
[Reid and Dev] “Our friendship is contingent on me keeping Zarley?” “Yup.” “How is that reasonable?” “It’s not. But neither are you. You were born without the reasonable gene. One day we might be able to steal you one on the reasonable gene black market, but until then having Zarley in your life makes you a more acceptable human being. I kind of like you again.”...more
This one had double the page count compared to the first novella in this series. My one complaint about the first story was that it was too sho3 stars
This one had double the page count compared to the first novella in this series. My one complaint about the first story was that it was too short so I was happy to see this one was a bit longer.
I liked this book but not as much as the first book. Though this one was longer than the other book I've read in this series it wasn't as captivating and the pace felt a bit off. Everything happened so fast in the beginning. The first scene was really hot but going that far with a stripper stranger? I prefer a little bit more of a build up when the characters don't know each other previously. Also, though the first sexy scene was hot, the others didn't reach that titillating point for me.
My enjoyment of this installment was also lessened by discovering I was reading out of order. And to be clear this is not the book's fault at all. It's just me and my read-in-order OCD. While reading I had a suspicion I'd missed a book (Janie and Kaden) and when another hint to that prompted me to check this on the author's website, my suspicion was confirmed and I had trouble enjoying the rest to the fullest. As the fact that I had missed the second book kept nagging me.
So though I enjoyed some parts, others didn't wow me. I will now go back and read book 2 and I do look forward to book 4, the last friend, Maria's book. I'm hoping for a certain scenario/trope for her and we'll see if the author has the same thing in mind. ...more
I've had several Anne Calhoun books on my TBR for years now and have never gotten around to read any of them...until now! When this book and4,5 stars
I've had several Anne Calhoun books on my TBR for years now and have never gotten around to read any of them...until now! When this book and its series (and trilogy of introductory novellas) was announced I pre-ordered all three novellas, adding them to the TBR thinking I'd read them someday. Then I was looking for a quick read and my eye fell on this novella.
I loved Rose, so direct and blunt she was a refreshing heroine. She's an avid planner of all things including contingency plans and a killer of cacti...so am I so I totally related to her. Keenan wasn't all that shabby either. I liked his dry humor and matter-of-factness.
And I'm so happy I decided to read this novella because I fell in love with Anne Calhoun's writing. That first kiss and sex scene...WOW! Just wow... It made me #headdesk for not reading Anne Calhoun before this (eventhough I have plenty of her books on TBR) because it was just stellar! Sexy, compelling, raw and beautiful writing! The writing, especially of the sexy scenes was mesmerizing. I have no other word for it.
It was a real bonus to learn more about Turkey and it's sights and now I want to go on vacation to Turkey.
My first encounter with Calhoun's writing was a fantastic one and I'm so reading the rest of this series....more
A nice quick and enoyable read within the reunion romance trope and a bit of MMA thrown in. I really liked the main couple, the secondary ch3,75 stars
A nice quick and enoyable read within the reunion romance trope and a bit of MMA thrown in. I really liked the main couple, the secondary characters, the romance, the setting the sexy bits and Stacey's clean, crisp writing. ...more
OMFGWOW! This was beyond great!!! These ladies never fail to and are continuing to rock my romance reading world with this series!
22/2 - ETA (review)OMFGWOW! This was beyond great!!! These ladies never fail to and are continuing to rock my romance reading world with this series!
22/2 - ETA (review)
BEYOND RUIN revolves around loyal and self-loathing Adrian 'Mad' Maddox Rios —the holy prince in exile of Sector One—, bossy and self-destructive Dylan 'Doc' Jordan —addict doctor from Eden—, steel-spined and guarded Jade/Jyoti —former addicted House girl from Sector Two— and perceptive and open Scarlet —streetrat and rocker from Sector Three—.
These four main characters of the 7th Beyond series novel are all damaged in their own way and need the other three to feel any resemblance of wholeness again. To find comfort in each other and chase away their personal demons. Each of them has something to complement and complete the other three. The dynamic between the four of them was complicated and intense. Each combination created an entirely different vibe and had a different sort of chemistry to it.
As expected the sex scenes were mindblowing. Not only because of the dynamics between the characters, the way Kit Rocha always infuses them with emotional depth and the dirty sexiness of them all but also because they were never cookie cutter. The variation in every single sex scene was brilliantly done and this kept the erotic part of the book fresh and exciting as well as supersexy.
This series is erotic romance and dystopian intrigue at its best. Every installment satisfies everything I look for in my romance reading: in terms of plot/story, romance, the characterization and character development and the oh so very sexy and dirty sex scenes. Everything works for me. Even when it's a relationship between four people when you thought ménages-a-trois were about as adventurous as you would go in romance reading.
Have I said before how much I love the post-apoc world Kit Rocha has created? Sure I have, but it bears repeating again and again with every new book they write because this series is about so much more than dirty sexy bits. It's dirty sexy, emotional, romantic and the post apoc world and political plot are superbly done! The world and characters that inhabit that world are as much of what make this series one of my favorites romance series ever, across ALL the subgenres I read. And with every book it gets better and better and I'm more in awe of how they're expanding it with more tidbits of information and the addition of new intriguing characters.
And the plot, people. The ongoing plot that gets expanded with each new installment is another element that keeps mecoming back for more again and again. In this on it kicked off bright and early in the story and didn't let up until the end. Keeping me glued to the pages as much as the deliciously filthy sexy scenes did. And next to the main and ongoing political intrigue plot there are several (maybe seemingly unconnected, but you never know) new plotlines excellently and subtly set up, making me wonder and anticipate what Kit Rocha has in store for us next.
So the authors used the tagline "The sectors will never be the same" in promoting this book and there isn't a more fitting one than that. Because with all that happens in this one, the sectors definitely won't. And the (further) introduction of new and existing secondary players in this world is intriguing to say the least.
Next to the yummy dirty bits, the well-crafted characterization and the emotionally gripping romance, it's also the intriguing world with it's ongoing political plot Kit Rocha has created, that is rocking my romance reading world and keeps me coming back for more.
When the writing makes you forget everything but the story you're reading and has you under in awe and captivated with plot and emotion you know the series is an auto-buy/auto-read/auto-keepershelf.
Favorite quotes: “I spent seven years keeping a psychopath wrapped around my little finger. If you think you present a challenge after that, your ego is even bigger than your cock, and I'm happy to trim either for you.” [Jade to Mad]
Loneliness had never troubled her before, but it hollowed her out now, as if her heart was small and weak and every beat echoed in the spaces they'd left behind. [Jade]
This was another TBR-challenge read. This month's theme was 'series you're behind on' and when I saw the theme I immFebruary 2016 TBR-challenge read.
This was another TBR-challenge read. This month's theme was 'series you're behind on' and when I saw the theme I immediately knew which series I was going to pick for this: Shannon McKenna's McClouds and Friends! It's a series I glommed the first 3 or 4 books of and then loyally read practically on release day until book 9 and then...book 10 was bought but stayed on the TBR, mostly because of reading funks and life getting in the way of my reading. Final book of the series, book 11 was released and bought but that still didn't prompt me to read on in the series. Until now.
I love this series by Shannon McKenna. That being said I must also say I don't like paranormal/supernatural elements mixed in my favorite romantic suspense series and that may be why this book was left on the TBR for so long. In book 7 these elements were subtlely introduced with Edie and Kevin and then in book 9 it was taken up a notch with Aaro and Nina. But Miles and Lara take the prize because I really had to suspend disbelief in the first third of this book and it definitely felt more like a pnr than the erotic romantic suspense this series I grew to love is.
As it had been so long since I read book 9 and I didn't have a review for it, I had to delve deep to remember what had happened in that book to bring us to the events surrounding Miles in the beginning of this one. But McKenna did a terrific job of weaving in the backstory and the major events of book 9 so it didn't take long for me to completely catch up on things.
Once Miles and Lara were physically in the same place, this book really took off for me. I could suspend disbelief enough to thoroughly enjoy the romance and be aptly intrigued by the suspense.
I loved seeing the McCloud brothers and all their friends making appearances in this book. Oh how I love Sean, he will always be my favorite McCloud. And of course Tam was there in all her mean and tough glory. I love Tam!
No one does batshit crazy over the top villains like Shannon McKenna does and yet she gives them a reason for the craziness that makes you step back from almost caring about them. Thaddeus Greaves was a real doozy. As I mentioned before I didn't care much for the supernatural elements in this book. At one point Greaves' "talents" and the mindshield stuff really got over the top and yet it didn't turn me away from the book because everything else (romance and suspense) kept me in, wanting to know how this was all going to pan out and reach the inevitable HEA that was coming. ...more
I love the world and characters Kit Rocha has created with the Beyond series but it's kinda confession time: Ace, Rachel and Cruz are my most favoriteI love the world and characters Kit Rocha has created with the Beyond series but it's kinda confession time: Ace, Rachel and Cruz are my most favorite triad in erotic romance! I just love these three so hard it hurts my heart. Getting a Beyond HEA story for them made me so very happy and it made the wait for BEYOND RUIN a bit more bareable.
BLANK CANVAS was a lovely quick look into Cruz, Rachel and Ace after their HEA. It wasn't as sexy dirty as CLOSED DOORS but it was at least as emotional and as hot! And I really wish for their wish to come true. I absolutely adore these Beyond Happily Ever After shorts so I hope Kit Rocha will keep doing this for every one of their HEAs in this series.
Favorite Quote: “If I thought it was a bad thing I—” Cruz gripped the back of his neck harder. “If you don't have anything filthy to say, do something more productive with your mouth.” ...more
FIT is book 1 in a trilogy written by new-to-me author Rebekah Weatherspooon. I've been following her on Twitter for a while now and admire her effortFIT is book 1 in a trilogy written by new-to-me author Rebekah Weatherspooon. I've been following her on Twitter for a while now and admire her efforts to bring books written by or featuring WOC to the forefront. A while back she tweeted about this trilogy being 99c per book and I don't know how quickly I one-clicked after reading the blurbs but I can tell you it was fast!
After DNF-ing a book that just wasn't for me I wasn't sure what to read next until I was browsing through the ebooks on my TBR and this one just screamed at me to read it. And boy, am I glad I did. This book was refreshingly different in several aspects and I immediately clicked with the writing (style). The trilogy revolves around the owners of an L.A. gym and I can't wait to read the books of the other two as Grant definitely set the tone.
What I loved most of all about this book was the sarcastic humor. Humor when done well is a thing if beauty! And Rebekah Weatherspoon does humor really well. Combined with a level of BDSM that I'm totally comfortable with —as in no humiliation, slave stuff but a balance of power and trust— and the way I clicked with the writing it made reading this book an absolute pleasure.
I loved the main characters. And though I'm pretty hero-centric in my romance reading, this was one of those books where the heroine was my favorite. Violet is witty, mouthy and realistic. I just loved her look on life and the way she wanted to work on herself and embraced who she was at the same time.
Grant is the sweetest, most considerate Dom I've ever read and I don't really read the darker BDSM stuff. And yet Grant also has this intense vibe he gives of. It was a pretty powerful combination that really worked for me.
As for the secondary characters, I really liked Mando (Grant's business partner) and I'm certain one of the books in this trilogy will be his. Faye (Violet's BFF) I'm not so sure about. There was something about her I didn't like and I couldn't quite but my finger on the what or why. The author did redeem her somewhat but still I didn't like her for most of the book.
A small thing that also kept nagging me in the back of my mind was that it was unclear to me what made Violet change her mind about the BDSM/Grant's proposition when they just met. It felt like there was no real explanation for it. One minute she left, kind of shocked by it and the next she was calling him to say she'd do it.
But these were very small things and absolutely did not take away from my enjoyment of this first encounter with Weatherspoon's work and talent. ...more
Kit Rocha is in a league of her own. No one (yes I'm saying it!), NO. ONE. writes filthy dirty sexy as well as Kit! But dirty sexy alone wouldn't cutKit Rocha is in a league of her own. No one (yes I'm saying it!), NO. ONE. writes filthy dirty sexy as well as Kit! But dirty sexy alone wouldn't cut it and make me want to immerse myself in these Beyond books, novellas and shorts until I drown in them. Within this sexy scene of 26 pages Rocha managed to infuse emotions, love, trust and kinship. While giving me the most sexy sex scene I've read in a long time.
I love Dallas, I love Lex, I love Jas, I love Noelle and I adore Kit Rocha. And that is all...
Someone needs to give Bree and Donna everything they wish for just so they can keep writing these stories! ...more
STRONG SIGNAL is not my first m/m romance read but it was my first co-written m/m romance told from dual 1st person POVs. I think I figured o4,5 stars
STRONG SIGNAL is not my first m/m romance read but it was my first co-written m/m romance told from dual 1st person POVs. I think I figured out who did which chararcter POV, going by what I've read of Erickson as Hassell is a new-to-me author.
STRONG SIGNAL tells the story of Garrett, a closeted gay mechanic in the Army on his last tour as he's not planning to re-enlist —and Kai a recluse online gamer with a huge following and social anxiety that's edging real close to agoraphobia.
They meet online during a videogame and from their a relationship develops in a way that completely blew my socks off. I was riveted to the pages. The writing and the story was so compelling and I really liked all the gamer stuff!
I loved the build up from emails, to messages, to texts, to Skype, to real life meeting. Actually that part of the book was the stongest for me as I thought the writing lost a little bit of its strength once Kai and Garrett got together in real life.
I love it when a book touches parts of my RL and makes me relate to the characters in a way that other books (that are as far removed from my RL as the earth is from the sun) just can't. What I find astounding is that it was a m/m book that managed to do this because it is no secret and I've always said I don't read many m/m books. This one though, I'm so happy I took a chance on because not only did it touch me emotionally, it also schooled me on a lot of things m/m romance my 'inexperienced' self wasn't all too familiar with.
Despite the first person narrative I got a good feel for the secondary characters in the book. Another element that ticked the box of great writing. Nicole, Garrett's sister, was a hoot and I loved her the best as far as secondary characters go in this book. After the book ended a nice tidbit about one of the secondary characters (not saying who as I'd consider it a spoiler) cemented my decision to read he next book in this series because I definitely want to read this character's story now!
My favorite scene? Strangely (or maybe not) it wasn't a sexy one. It was the one where Garrett surprises Kai by showing up on his doorstep unannounced and the events that follow immediately after. This scene rang all my emotional bells. The angst and beauty of it tied me in knots and emphasized how much this book touched me emotionally...more
As usual Griffin writes awesome suspense with subtle romance and the short length of this novella didn't bother me at all. It was well-rounded and welAs usual Griffin writes awesome suspense with subtle romance and the short length of this novella didn't bother me at all. It was well-rounded and well-written. I loved Kelsey and Gage and their romance. The suspense plot was perfect for the length of the story and though it only partially wrapped up, I am sure it will be completely wrapped up in Mia's story (UNFORGIVABLE) who had a small but crucial part in this one.
UNSTOPPABLE reminded me of the TV show Bones, with Kelsey being a forensic anthropologist and big hunky Gage sent to protect her and I can't wait to read the next installment in the Tracers series. ...more