One man’s desires may lead to the destruction of the woman he wants in the newest installment in Kit Rocha’s devastatingly dark and erotic dystopian sOne man’s desires may lead to the destruction of the woman he wants in the newest installment in Kit Rocha’s devastatingly dark and erotic dystopian series. Forbidding and decadent, Rocha builds a romance that pushes the boundaries of a woman who refuses to bend anymore than she already has. ...more
I adore Jessica Scott’s romances. Her strong military knowledge provides a steady base on which she addresses multiple issues that are affectin4 Stars
I adore Jessica Scott’s romances. Her strong military knowledge provides a steady base on which she addresses multiple issues that are affecting the members of our armed forces. Love, loss, fear, and forgiveness follow a couple whose relationship is challenged when one comes home from war damaged and the lover who refuses to give up without a fight. Scott builds a bittersweet story that addresses PTSD and the toll it can take on the victim and those around them. The pain rolls off the pages as Scott gives both parties a chance to voice their thoughts and emotions as they struggle to find their way back to one another. Grab a box of tissues when reading this one because it’s a tear jerker....more
This is my first time reading Kat Latham’s London Legends series but not my last. Though I did not read the first two books in the series, I found itThis is my first time reading Kat Latham’s London Legends series but not my last. Though I did not read the first two books in the series, I found it didn’t take away from my comprehension or enjoyment at all. Tempting The Player is sweet sexy contemporary with just the right balance of humor, emotional trials, and smoking hot sex. Well plotted with engaging dialogue and whimsical scenes that sweeps you up into the story with no hesitation. Friends to lovers is not always a favorite trope of mine but Latham doesn’t subscribe to the normal overused plot lines and “convenient” situations that force the romance and instead allows the characters to win at love on their own merits and at their own pace.
Delightfully quirky and flawed characters carry deep vein of realism. It’s always enlightening to see a story from two different sides and Latham indulges us by giving us Libby and Matt’s points of views. Written in an enjoyable conversational style, the laugh out loud dialogue and scenes will keep you entertained all the way to the end. Latham takes her time in giving us insight into this couple’s friendship and the underlying attraction that has been there the whole time. Best friends for years, neither were been willing to cross the line for fear of losing their friendship. But circumstances have changed and now Matt and Libby have the perfect excuse to indulge their curiosity for one another’s bodies as long as they both realize nothing can come from it.
Matt and Libby are adorable together and individually. Their deep friendship makes their eventual copulation believeable. Matt is sexy, sweet, funny beta whose famous father and prior unhappy marriage has left him with a low self esteem. He has a tiny toy chihuahua he adores and host of insecurities that play off his rugged rugby personae with flair. He has been struggling to prove himself to the club and take his career to the next level and has no time for relationships.
Libby is a strong intelligent female with some childhood baggage in the romance department. She has the career she wants though she, like Matt, is looking to take it to the next level. Comfortable in her sexuality, she has no hangups about sleeping with Matt though her issues prevent her from thinking of a future with him. She doesn’t want to end up like her mother who became a stay at home parent while her father circled the globe and had a girl in every port. She wants a career and a family but she’s not willing to compromise for it.
Using Matt’s phobia of flying to instigate a physical relationship is a novel theme and I enjoyed Libby’s “rewards” every time Matt accomplished something that took him out of his comfort zone. Matt’s fears are real and Latham takes care to not rush or trivialize his issues. Their chemistry is felt from page one but the sexual tension and anticipation build at a decent pace and continue to develop throughout the story. This couple has no problems in the bedroom, it’s only out of it that their issues become obstacles that need addressing.
Matt and Libby’s path to happily ever after comes with some turbulence and a few air pockets but once they open the mike they have a direct flight to happiness. Fans of sport themed contemporary romances will enjoy the easy camaraderie and sensual journey of Latham’s newest couple.
Favorite Quote: The stars are always shining even if we can’t see them.
Merit and Ethan are back and their drama is as intense as ever. The past comes back to haunt Ethan when his maker, Balthazar, shows up in Chicago. As Merit and Ethan race to discover exactly what Balthazar wants, the Navarre house is experiencing its own troubles.
Morgan, the master of Navarre, is shocked to learn the previous Master left the house in massive debt to The Circle, a shadow mafia group who want a favor in return for an extension on the loans. This favor inadvertently drags Merit and Ethan into the fray when they are forced to stop an assassination attempt at ball hosted by a mysterious businessman whose end game may spell disaster for them all.
Dark Debt, the eleventh installment in Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series, starts out with a saucy dramatic unveiling as Neill reintroduces a painful reminder from Ethan’s past. Fear, surprise, and a sense of vulnerability sets the stage. Steady pacing, and Neill’s ever present energy and humor keeps the story flowing nicely as we learn of the new challenges Merit, Ethan, and the rest of Chicago are now facing.
Ethan has survived his battle with the GP (General Presidium) and a new consortium has emerged from the ashes-the AMM (Assembly of American Masters). While this was a substantial plotline in Blood Games, it runs silently in the background here as Merit, Ethan, and their supernatural posse has bigger issues to focus on.
Balthazar, Ethan’s maker, seems to have reappeared from the dead…a cause for grave concern. Ethan ran from Balthazar when he assaulted and killed a young lady Ethan cared for. Ethan insured Balthazar would pay for his evil deeds and had since assumed he was dead. Now it seem he is alive and well and his main target is Merit.
This particular installment is heavily character driven with as Neill begins a new long reaching story arc. Per usual, an amount of the book revolves around Ethan and Merit; using the inclusion of new adversaries to showcase the strides they have made in their relationship. While there are sure to be more bumpy rides in their road to happily ever after (both are entirely too Alpha for there to not be) they have settled into a comfortable routine that shows us they are both committed and in it for the long haul. Their sexy chemistry still burns hot and bright between them. I enjoyed seeing them handle problems without one of them pushing the other away as seen repeatedly in the past.
“Are you wooing me?”
“I’ve been wooing you since the moment our eyes locked on the first floor of this house.”
The action is rather low-key, sparking at appropriate moments, as the seemingly separate issues facing the respective houses are investigated. More time is spent in this installment on theories, research, and strategies then the usual slice and dice.The mystery(s) and investigation avenues taken are interesting and strong in suspense. Various subplots push towards resolution easily though Neill leaves enough open to ensure readers will definitely want the next book. We receive some eyebrow raising clues towards the future and I for one am interested in seeing where Neill goes with them. As always, I wished for more inclusion of Gabriel Keene and his pack. The friend based chemistry between Keene and Merit is phenom and always fun to see.
Engaging secondary characters and their sustainable relationships remains a strong aspect in the overall enjoyment of this series. Neill continues to update readers on the aspects of their lives with flare and drama. Catcher and Mallory have reached a pivotal place in their relationship and I was happily shocked by the road Neill takes concerning them. Jonah and Merit are experiencing some rocky times; decisions will have to made soon. Morgan is beginning to grow up and finally seeing the big picture rather than continuing focusing on slights of the past. As always, the dialogue remains sharp and witty, keeping you laughing at some inappropriate times.
“Ah. you must not know about executive order two hundred eleven.”
“Basically we are required to keep sack lunches ready for you. Ethan thinks you get hangry.“
Dark Debt reminded me why I enjoyed this series so much. Neill has allowed her characters to grow at their own pace while keeping the storylines fresh and unique. This series remains a dark humorous Urban Fantasy/PNR with plenty of action, suspense, romance, and snark. This is not a standalone though and I do not recommend starting the series here. Convoluted; the series that builds upon itself with each new book.
Dark and violent with hints of depravity and dubious intentions, Warren and Martin have written an erotic tale that speaks of the more sordid aspectsDark and violent with hints of depravity and dubious intentions, Warren and Martin have written an erotic tale that speaks of the more sordid aspects of life and love. Romance is but a pretty word used to excuse the ramifications of a man who, for all intents and purposes, takes and claims a woman whose trust in him is based almost completely on her will to survive....more
Favorite Quote: “It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.”
All the money in the world can’t buy billionaire Cal Sellers what he wants more than anFavorite Quote: “It would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic.”
All the money in the world can’t buy billionaire Cal Sellers what he wants more than anything in the world…Lucy Monroe back in his life. Cal screwed up royally when he let Lucy walk out his life, but he won’t make that mistake again. When she shows up at his office to get her old job back, Cal makes a better offer.
Lucy Monroe was heartbroken when she left Cal. She then thought she had found happiness with a new man only to discover that buried under his charm was an abusive control freak. Lucy escaped her abusive marriage but now her ex is back and more than ever determined to get her and their daughter back. Lucy needs help and if that means marrying Cal, then so be it.
As Lucy’s ex husband’s attacks escalate, Cal not only have to fight to save Poppy and Lucy, he will also have to fight to prove his love for them.
Lush is the second installment in Beth Yarnall’s Pleasures At Home series. I enjoy second chance stories and Yarnall pens a story filled with love, loss, and forgiveness with some very nice and explicit love scenes. I do enjoy a hero and heroine who aren’t afraid to get down and dirty in the bedroom.
Easily read as a standalone, I never felt I was missing out on anything story or character wise by not reading book one. Steady pacing and personable characters dig deep into your heart and don’t let go. The second chance at love is a favorite trope of mine, especially when one of the characters realizes the mistakes they made and honestly try to repair the damage they caused. Yarnall uses dual POVs to give us a complete story with all the facts. The characters are all delightfully quirky and wonderfully flawed. The story is written in an enjoyable conversational style with bits of humor and angst that blend together to round out the experience.
“Oh, like a frat house bed and breakfast. Yes, that’s exactly the environment I want my daughter raised in while her mother prostitutes herself for a twenty percent salary bump.”
The book opens with our heroine, Lucy Monroe, coming to see the man she vowed never to have anything to do with again-her ex boyfriend. They broke up because of something he did; something that hurt her deeply and caused her to doubt their entire relationship and herself. When she left, she had every intention of never seeing him again but circumstances have forced her to seek him out. She wants him to rehire her as his co host of his popular sex toy tv program. The man she married on the rebound turned out to be an abusive bigamist and now he wants their daughter. Lucy has no money and nowhere left to go. Cal is her only hope to save her daughter, Poppy.
Emotionally satisfying and humorous to boot, we get a ringside seat as we watch Cal try to mend his relationship with Lucy. Cal’s regrets are genuine and he has matured in his separation from Lucy. The playboy of the past is gone. Cal made me laugh and cringe at times as he tries to worm his way back into Lucy’s good graces. He hurt her badly and accepts that he may never get her back into his life to stay.
“He was so sick and tired of being the asshole who’d broken her heart by being the careless, unthinking bastard he was.”
Lucy gives an honest portrayal of a woman who’s been given nothing but disappointment by those who promised to love and care her. A strong women who deserved better far better than what she got. Her life didn’t stop that day she left Cal but it did leave her in a lot of pain. She’s scared and confused by the emotions Cal still invokes in her but determined not to fall for him again. She also has a tiny secret that further impairs her ability to allow Cal back into her life fully.
He had earned his bad boy reputation honestly. She’d been hurt by him before. She couldn’t bear the thought of him hurting Poppy as well if she got too attached to him.
A strong main conflict and various subplots intertwine with an equally strong romance. Lucy and Cal circle one while trying to stay one step ahead of her ex husband. Though I enjoyed the characterization of the ex husband and the lengths he goes to get Lucy and Poppy back, I was dismayed by how often he was able to get to Lucy. Of course, this is eventually explained but with the constant security upgrades Cal institutes with each new attack, I couldn’t help but wonder just how skilled these experts he hired were. There are numerous transparent tropes that push the main conflict to resolution, some interesting and others irritating and questionable in their necessity. One such plot device is a swinger couple who Cal needs for his business. Overly obnoxious in their quest to get Lucy and Cal into bed with them, you instantly know this is a “test” the author uses to prove to Lucy that Cal can be trusted. I found it annoying and couldn’t understand why Cal didn’t just tell them that he and his wife weren’t interested.
The ending is predictable with the huge requisite misunderstanding that mimics the original reason Lucy left Cal. This time Cal fights to prove his innocence and Lucy learns to trust herself and Cal. Regardless of the predetermined path the book takes, the story is entertaining with it’s steamy chemistry, engaging characters, and the hints of danger and suspense that permeate it. I enjoyed watching Cal and Lucy find their way back to one another for good.
Marriage of convenience goes horribly wrong when the anti hero, who is an alpha jerk-abet a sexy one, falls in love with his “convenience.” I waited FMarriage of convenience goes horribly wrong when the anti hero, who is an alpha jerk-abet a sexy one, falls in love with his “convenience.” I waited FOR EVAH for this book to release and I liked it BUT I didn’t realize it was a duology and that the first book was all set up for the conflict that will appear in book two. Regardless, I will be buying book two because I must know what happens....more
Favorite Quote: A beautiful man is the devil’s most potent weapon.
Attraction, Heat, and Capture are the names of each serial in Penny Reid’s NA debut- Elements of Chemistry- the first book in her Hypothesis series. This is the full novel/continuation of the short story ‘Bunsen Burner Bingo‘ from the Breakaway anthology. No one does geek romance better the Penny Reid in my opinion and her debut into NA is a sure fire winner. I was given each serial part individually to read though it will be released all together in one book June 1, 2015. All three parts are available for purchase now if you don’t want to wait.
I’m going to be honest, this review is a bit spoil-y. So proceed at your own risk.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!!
Humor and heartbreaking emotion go hand in hand, aligning perfectly when Attraction, part one, introduces us to a socially inept brilliant young woman and the well-known gorgeous and intelligent playboy who has her girly parts singing and her brain screaming. When Kaitlyn Parker overhears a conversation from a cabinet she is hiding in, Kaitlyn is reluctantly dragged into Martin Sandeke’s orbit in order to stop a pair of unscrupulous people from taking advantage of him.
“Do you hide in the cabinet often?” “Sometimes.” “Is this an everyday thing?” “No. Only special occasions, like when strange people arrive to plot your demise.”
Having wanted to gain Kaitlyn’s attention for a long time, Martin uses her “good deed” to coerce her into spending Spring Break with him at a private island. Kaitlyn is probably the only girl on campus who doesn’t see Martin as the second coming. Kaitlyn agrees, rather grumpily, and this opens the way for a romance whose emotional and mental intimacy makes your heart sing while it breaks. Kaitlyn is simply a delight with her charming awkwardness and need to be completely honest. Martin is certainly every girls’ fantasy (and he’s starred in quite a few of them) with his good looks and commanding presence. This opposites attract romance delights and enchants as we watch Kaitlyn and Martin circle around one another trying t understand the elements that attract them to one another. The story is further enhanced by a dynamic cast of personable characters whose advice is decidedly mature for this particular age group.
Heat, part 2, certainly brings the heat when the adorable (insert sarcasm) Reid lifts us up and dusts us off from the zinger of a cliffhanger she leaves us with in Attraction and takes our hero and heroine to new and decidedly racy levels. Kaitlyn lays down some hard truths to Martin and the energy between them boils and bubbles…
“I’m not willing to settle for being with someone who sometimes treats me well. I’d rather be alone.”
Layers are peeled away, leaving us with just Kaitlyn and Martin. On the island with friends, their family and social expectations are pushed to the wayside as they slowly learn each other physically and emotionally. Both characters show amazing growth, striving to break through the bonds placed on them and exploring not only the potential of their relationship, but the potential of themselves. Intensely sexual and primed with the perfect amount of angst in drama, Reid does her couple justice as their seek their own rewards away from prying eyes. When family issues begin to intervene, our couple is forced to reexamine their wants and needs against external pressure. Of course, we are left with another whammy of a cliffhanger *imagine me hyperventilating in shock and despair* which leads us into the 3rd book, Capture.
Capture, the 3rd and final book, focuses mainly on Kaitlyn and wraps up the story beautifully. Oh my poor, poor heart. It broke. It shattered. It laid in a puddle of pain and sorrow, wallowing around like a fish out of water. She and Martin were tested and Kaitlyn now finds herself adrift, struggling to understand what happened and at a lost on where to go from here. In terms of parts; I enjoyed Attraction the most due to the meet-cute and the sheer funny times but in terms of conflict and growth, Capture was the clear winner. The story flows at a rapid pace as Reid gathers all the pieces of Kaitlyn and begins to put her back together. We see her grow into her own skin as she learns to accept and love who she is as a person. Family and friends all stay firmly in the background, offering what they can to help, but in part know this is her journey to make regardless of the outcome.
“She’s my BFF, do you know what that means? It means ‘Boy I will Fuck up your Face if you mess with my girl’.” “Wouldn’t that be BIWFUYFIYM…WMG?” “No, nothing counts towards the acronym except Boy, Fuck, and Face.”
Elements of Chemistry is the real deal with its dynamic characters, realistic dialogue, compelling scenes, and a love story that speaks to the heart. Reid excels at geek romance and her voice clearly sings in this one.
Enjoyed immensely. Maddox and Santana were a fabulous couple. Action packed with plenty if angst, drama, violence, raunchy and sweet sex, and a well pEnjoyed immensely. Maddox and Santana were a fabulous couple. Action packed with plenty if angst, drama, violence, raunchy and sweet sex, and a well plotted storyline. The best feature? Jewel never draws out the relationship conflict. A few pages are devoted to it but the MCs always stalk it out like adults. It's never dragged out or made a secondary storyline. No cliffhanger either *fist pump*
Mack's story looks to be good. Heroine is snarky and I predict Mack is in for a wild ride. ...more
Adam, King of the GIMs, was cursed by the Queen of the Fairies, Mab, and given 700 years to find his soul mate to break the curse or his soul would be hers for eternity. When Adam meets Eliza May, he knows she is the other half of his soul but in his haste to break the curse, he alienates her and any hope of help she may have given him. When Eliza is rescued from Adam, Adam’s time runs out and he is taken prisoner by Mab.
Eliza May is half human and half fae. Discovered to be a niece of Mab’s, she finds refuge in with her Aunt when she is freed from Adam only to discover that she has escaped one cage for another. Finding Adam in the basement, a victim of torture and abuse, only reinforces Eliza’s feelings that she is once again being used as a pawn in someone else’s end game. Eliza helps Adam escape and soon they are running for their lives, looking for a legendary weapon that Mab is willing to kill them all to possess.
Tempers flare as do passions when Adam sets his mind to courting Eliza and proving to her that they are meant for one another. Eliza isn’t sure if Adam truly loves for her or if it’s the fact she is the only one who can free him from Mab’s clutches forever, but when the end draws near, love may not be enough to save any of them.
Soulbound is the sixth book in Callihan’s Darkest London series and brings a long and convoluted storyline to an end while opening the door to new adventures. I wouldn’t recommend starting the series here as each book is a building block, referencing previous scenes and characters, using them to further expand the world and the long standing arc. Taut suspense, delicious deception, and dangerous antagonists continue to create fascinating reads that capture me from page one. Strong complicated characters drive this series, each installment using the exploration of one couples’ romantic and dramatic journey to love as the key element on which this series is built.
Callihan expands on the subplot that was introduced in Evernight. Similar in the set up in Shadowdance, Callihan used Evernight to introduce an antagonistic relationship then proceeds to examine the reasons why, setting the stage for a reconciliation. Callihan does a fine job of intertwining the conflict with the romance, using the protagonists’ individual stories to further the arc and tie up loosely threaded storylines.
Fans will remember that Eliza May came to London find her cousins, the Evernights, and was the victim of a fatal mugging. She was found by Mary and Daisy and given the choice to die free or live under Adam’s rule. She choose life and found herself bound by chains to Adam’s side. Literally. Soon her independent nature chafed at her bonds and her gratitude turned to hate. Given the chance to escape leaves her free but within the sights of someone far more dangerous. Eliza is forced to reconnect with Adam and this is where the story truly begins.
“He felt her pain. He felt everything. Finally. Freedom. Finally, it was in his grasp. All he had to do was keep Miss Eliza May by his side. Forever.”
Adam has a lot to atone for to Eliza. He ruthlessly chained her to his side with no explanations when he discovered she was the key to his freedom. Determined to use her break his curse, he tricked her of her free will and was left with an angry, uncooperative woman who uses her wits and stubbornness to thwart him at every turn. When Adam’s backstory is revealed, you understand his impetuous reasoning but, like Eliza, are not very forgiving. Weak and brutally hobbled by Mab, Adam gets a nasty taste of what Eliza felt. Adam is genuinely remorseful for what he did and wants to begin anew.
“I want my peace, Eliza. To feel whole, happy, and free. That is all I’ve ever wanted. Seven hundred years, I’ve searched for it. And if there is even the slightest possibility that you can give it to me, then I am willing to risk everything to get it.”
Eliza is not one to forgive and forget. Already having been taken advantage of by others and by Adam himself, all Eliza wants is to be free to live her own life without being forced to depend or answer to anyone. She doesn’t believe in soulmates or everlasting love which causes even more of a riff between her and Adam. Yet she is intelligent enough to know that without Adam’s help, she will never be free of her Aunt and her machinations. Though it takes awhile, Eliza is able to eventually open her mind and heart to the possibilities of what could be.
“A heated dizziness threatened to send her crashing down. He claimed to be her other half. She, who’d crept through life, escaping the notice of everyone.”
Adam and Eliza have a love/hate relationship; both needing the other and parts of them resenting that need. Their chemistry is as explosive as gasoline and dynamite. Bright, hot, and burning everything that stands in its flames. As they work to stay one step ahead of Mab and find the weapon she desperately wants, they take the time to get to know one another without the ever present antagonism. Adam’s sexual innuendos and volatile nature is the perfect foil against Eliza’s more reserved and cynical nature; adding humor to this otherwise dark tale of betrayal and heartbreak.
“Ah my lovely, it’s been far too long.”
“Shall I leave you to alone then?” Eliza’s lips twitched. She had never seen such a look of reverence mixed with old familiarity. It was nearly indecent.
Adam spared her a glance. “Quiet woman, a man’s relationship with his sword is a sacred thing.”
“So I’ve heard.”
Callihan blends the conflict of the story with the emotionally intense journey of Eliza and Adam; using external subplots to heighten the danger and suspense that surrounds them. Steady pacing and plentiful action speeds the story along as the big picture begins to reveal itself with the addition of new storylines. With each scene we watch Adam and Eliza face and overcome their fears while dealing with the external factors that try to defeat them. Neither plot nor romance is sacrificed. They balance and complement each other through the entire story; merging together towards the climatic and arc twisting ending.
“I’ve always wanted you. I always will.”
As always, the supporting characters are intense, well developed, and intertwine with our protagonists to give us a rich, full-bodied story. Much that played out behind the scenes continues to be revealed, offering even more insight into this rich, intriguing world and its inhabitants. Sin (St. John Evernight) plays a larger role in here as do the reasons for what he has done. We also see more of Augustus and learn just how far reaching his power actually is. I look forward to book seven-title and release date to be announced-which looks to be Sin’s book.
Callihan continues to engage readers with her strong characters, intriguing storylines, fantastical world, and romantic journeys whose rough starts lead to incredible rewards.
Honestly, this is a book I shouldn't have liked. It has just about every trope I hate. Clueless self absorbed alpha male. Cheating. Love triangle thouHonestly, this is a book I shouldn't have liked. It has just about every trope I hate. Clueless self absorbed alpha male. Cheating. Love triangle though in this instance it was like a love quad-angle. A bitchy ex. A heroine who can't seem to catch a break. And LOADS OF EMO DRAMA. LOADS.
Yet, I did like it. Yes, it frustrated me. It made me angry. It hurt my heart and made my slappy hand twitchy. I may have even teared up a little though I will vehemently deny it if you ask.
Cat Miller's Loving Jack is a complicated love story about a boy and girl who fall in love but the boy is bi sexual and not ready to settle down. He's also not ready to let the girl go. You can't fault the boy to much because he is honest but his mixed signals hurt the girl and the reader by default. The girl tries...oh how she tries...but she too is honest in he feelings for him while he struggles to find himself.
It's an emotional read that addresses relationships, sexuality, compromise, and having the ability to be true to oneself. Even at the expense of the person you love. I admired Miller for her ending. Sometimes what we want isn't necessarily what we need and in the end, we are all stronger for our journey. ...more
Harrison Montgomery lives what seems to be a charmed life but no ones knows the extent of the dysfuncFavorite Quote: I am my own damn Prince Charming.
Harrison Montgomery lives what seems to be a charmed life but no ones knows the extent of the dysfunction that thrives beneath the surface of his picture perfect family. When he announces he’s running for congress, he never imagines a one night stand will come back to haunt him and possibly ruin everything he has worked for. His entire political future rests on a woman who may not want anything to do with him.
The one time Ryan Kaminski, a down on her luck bartender and part time model, breaks the rule of no employee/customer fraternization, she ends up with more than she bargained for. Fired, sick, and broke her brother Wes takes it on himself to let Harrison know that he left Ryan with a sizable parting gift and needs to take responsibility. Ryan is shocked by the cold calculating man who blackmails her into marrying him. Married to man she doesn’t know and a family that hates the sight of her, Ryan just needs to play the loving supportive wife for two years. But nothing in the contract she signed says anything about what to do if she falls in love.
Unplanned pregnancy, political scandal, and two very different people provide the platform for Molly O’Keefe’s fourth installment in her Boys of Bishop series-Indecent Proposal. While you don’t have to read the series in order, each one can stand on its own with a single hero/heroine romance and resolvable conflict, we do get sightings of previous couples and advancement in their lives. Readers may want to read Never Been Kissed to gain some back story on the hero of this book-Harrison Montgomery.
Molly O’Keefe has a definite gift of slicing through the artifice and getting to the heart of the matter in an engaging and receptive manner. Her stories offer a refreshing take on modern romances; giving us bittersweet love stories that don’t offer us a convenient happily ever after but more of a hope that with work, this relationship has all the necessary ingredients to survive.
Marriage of convenience , opposites attract, and unexpected pregnancy aren’t new tropes in romance but in O’Keefe’s deft hands, they become a visual feast for the senses as she expertly builds and refines her world and the dynamically flawed characters who live there. O’Keefe doesn’t write easy. She doesn’t minimize the emotions or situations in order to make the story easier for her characters or the readers. Life can be painful…but it can also be triumphant, vibrant, and well worth the journey you undertake to get to the prize. Lucky for us, O’Keefe understands that.
An emotionally convoluted storyline gives a poignant look at abuse, family, and the pain that comes from both. Politics and the ugliness that can reside behind the scenes plays a heavy part in the storyline and the protagonists’ relationship. O’Keefe sends a powerful message in her examination of being true to oneself regardless of the consequences.
Elijah Carter is a young man who is treated like a simpleton because he is deaf. Gay and ashamed of his sexual orientation and penchant for pain, he aElijah Carter is a young man who is treated like a simpleton because he is deaf. Gay and ashamed of his sexual orientation and penchant for pain, he allows himself to be sexually abused by the owner of the local saloon, Harlan Crane.
Grady Mullins, a cattle rustler, wants Elijah too but unlike Harlan, he doesn’t want to control him. He gently pursues Elijah, trying to show him he has choices in life, but Elijah is unable to separate himself from the vicious cycle he is caught in.
When someone Elijah loves is taken from him, Elijah begins to spiral down a dark path towards vengeance and despair. Caught between love and hate, Elijah learns to take control of his own destiny and is forced to make a choice. A choice that could end his life or free him forever.
Sweetwater by Lisa Henry is a somber bittersweet coming of age story that addresses the stigma of homosexuality (both internally and externally) and the cruelty shown those with disabilities. Set in the boomtown-South Pass City- in the 1800s, Lisa Henry paints a vivid picture of life in a small western town that is only one step from extinction. You can taste the dirt and grit permeating your nose and mouth while experiencing the almost maniacal atmosphere that surrounds a town built on greed and gold. A fast pace and clear concise writing tells us a story that appeals to our sense of justice and innate need to champion the underdog. An interesting cast of characters reside here. Not all together likable but dynamic in the realistic roles they play in this town and in the hero’s life.
Harmon Ely had a dream. A dream to establish his own town smack dab in the middle of Texas but first, he had to find the right men and women to help mHarmon Ely had a dream. A dream to establish his own town smack dab in the middle of Texas but first, he had to find the right men and women to help make his dream a reality. Forty acres and a home is his offer to anyone brave enough to come settle in this forsaken land. All they need to bring is their willingness to work… and a wife.
Three men take him up on his offer-Patrick McAllen, Clint Truman, and Gillian Matheson. Patrick McAllen, the youngest son of an abusive religious leader, sneaks out of his father’s home in the middle of the night with his best friend and soon to be wife, Anne Spencer, and heads towards Ely’s trading post. A master carpenter, Patrick has no doubts he can be an asset to the town, but Patrick knows his father will be coming for him and this time escape may not possible.
Clint Truman, a former Texas Ranger, has already buried one family and is slowly following them into an early grave one drink at a time. His best friend, Sheriff Lightstone, knows he has only one chance to save Clint from himself and tells him of Ely’s offer. Clint doesn’t want another wife but when his friend takes him to meet a young mother whose situation in-flames Clint’s protective nature, Clint agrees to marry her and help her raise her newborn son if she is willing to trust him and help build a new life for the three of them.
Captain Gillian Matheson has no idea why his wife Daisy has insisted he come meet her and their sons at Harmon’s Ely’s Trading Post but he fears the worse. Married for five years, Gillian and his wife has spent more time apart then together as he refused to leave the Army and she refused to leave her family and follow him from post to post. Commissioned to take a young girl to safety before heading to meet his wife, Gillian is injured and wakes to find himself at the trading post with a parcel of strangers and a wife with some interesting news.
Jodi Thomas’s small town contemporary romance series, Harmony, just keeps getting better and better with each new installment. A tried and true contemporary with a strong ongoing arc written in an entertaining conversational “soap opera” style. After seven books, I can honestly say my attention hasn’t even begun to falter.
Gray Bishop is the second book in Kelly Meade’s Cornerstone Trilogy. An action packed dark urban fantasy that revolves around a family of loup garous-Gray Bishop is the second book in Kelly Meade’s Cornerstone Trilogy. An action packed dark urban fantasy that revolves around a family of loup garous-the McQueens. If you haven’t read book one, I highly recommend you do so as the ongoing arc is extremely important to the storyline and characters bleed over with little to no re cap. Each book focuses on one brother.
RECAP FROM BOOK ONE…READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
We first met Bishop McQueen in book one, Black Rook. Bishop, a gray wolf, was made their father’s alpha heir by default when his brother Rook gave it up in order to be with his true love, a magus named Brynn. A group of hybrids kidnapped their youngest brother, Knight, in order to use him to build an army of vicious hybrids to take over the supernatural world. Various subplots left us wondering at the end of Black Rook and Gray Bishop picks up right where it left off.
Bishop, his family, and various other alphas heirs from other packs are dealing with the aftermath of some fatal attacks and searching high and low for the hybrids. Loup garou towns across the country are being attacked and decimated and there is nothing the packs can seem to do to stop it. Bishop is not only feeling the strain of trying to protect the residents of the Cornertown pack but also his own imagined failings in protecting his brothers-Rook and Knight-who were kidnapped and brutally assaulted in book one. When he meets a female black wolf, his stress levels rise to infinite proportions as he realizes his wolf wants a female neither of them will be allowed to have.
Jillian Reynolds, daughter to the alpha of Springwell and heir apparent, is not only in Cornerstone to help find and stop the hybrids but is also looking for a new mate. She lost her first mate and knows she needs a strong alpha to rule by her side when she takes over the pack. Jillian is shocked when her wolf tries to lay claim to Bishop’s wolf. She knows they can never be together but sometimes the heart and wolf refuse to be denied.
When danger hits close to home for Jillian, she and Bishop race to Springhill only to find that the chaos of Cornerstone has come for her family. With time running out, Jillian and Bishop will have to face their feelings and the archaic laws that rule their lives if they are to survive what’s coming for them.
More angst, violence, pain, and yes, death chases this second installment as Meade builds the crescendo towards the finale. If you have ever read Kelly Meade aka Kelly Meding, you know she doesn’t hesitate when leading her characters down a long hard path. Heavily character driven, Meade further expands upon the arc and the dynamics of everyone involved, weaving it in and out of the main storyline. Racism and treachery continue to prevail as Meade adds tidbits of back story into the world building to further educate readers. Plotlines are expanded and crushing revelations are made that will leave readers shocked at the implications. We learn more of the varied supernatural factions and their past actions that lead them all to this point. Smooth writing, lightening fast pacing, and captivating dialogue keeps you on your toes to the very end.
Sophie and Brandon met in college and the connection was instant. They fell in love, got married, and built a fairy tale life. 10 years of lo4.5 stars
Sophie and Brandon met in college and the connection was instant. They fell in love, got married, and built a fairy tale life. 10 years of love and family is destroyed with one single bad decision. Sophie sends Brandon and their children away for the summer so she can work out exactly what happened and where to go from here. Tia, Sophie's free spirited sister, swoops in and drags Sophia to Mexico, determined to show her that the women she was 10 years ago is still there...she just needs some coaxing to come out. While in Mexico, Sophia begins to come out of her hibernation and her healing starts. As Brandon sees Sophia healing and moving away from him,, he travels to Mexico, determined to win her back and prove that their love is still as powerful today as it was when they first met.
Oh my. What an emotional journey. This romance contemporary addresses love, marriage, infidelity, forgiveness and the long road back to finding yourself. As a married woman myself, this book hit hard with some of the observations that we see. Relationships are always works in progress. And communication is the cornerstone on which a relationship is built. When you stop talking...that's when the problems start. Toler uses the past and the present to show us how good Sophia and Brandon were together and where their problems started. She doesn't play the blame game; rather she uses complete honestly when showing us Brandon and Sophia's feelings and thoughts then and now. Bittersweet with bouts of humor, angst, and steamy love scenes, Toler shows us that life is short and should be lived to it's fullest. ...more
Offside-Law 11-Players in an offside position when the ball is touched or played by a teammate, may not becomFavorite Quote: “All the worlds a stage…”
Offside-Law 11-Players in an offside position when the ball is touched or played by a teammate, may not become actively involved in the play.
I enjoy Savage’s works. Though her stories are publicly acknowledged fan-fic, they are enjoyable. My first time reading Shay Savage was Transcendence. A time travel romance that was delightfully unique and dare I say, cute. Her Ethan Aden trilogy is a whirlwind mobster suspense romance that provides us with a dark and violent anti-hero whose redemption comes to him in the form of an abused young woman.
Offside is a mature YA that builds a high school angst tinged, over the top, drama filled emotional romance between a chauvinistic, obnoxious, narcissistic high school soccer star and a new student who fails to appreciate his “obvious” charms. Told from the hero’s point of view, Savage tells a story of love, loss, pain, and redemption. Dry wit and humorous scenes are injected randomly, giving some lighthearted moments to buffer against the more somber elements that weave their way in and out of the storyline. Smooth pacing and personable characters make for simplistic reading. The strong Twilight base was far more visual in here than any of her other books.
The story starts out slow as Savage introduces us to the main characters, highlighting the antagonism and their differences while setting up the storyline. Thomas Malone is the ‘man” at his high school and he makes sure no one ever forgets that. He has no choice. Gorgeous, rich, smart, and a talented athlete, the girls all want to be with him and the boys all just want to be him. But behind all his posturing, Thomas has problems that he wouldn’t wish on his worse enemies. His life of privilege has caused him to become jaded…until he meets Nicole. The one girl who doesn’t fall at his feet. The one girl who isn’t interested in his money, his fame, his body, or his social status. The one girl who doesn’t seem to want anything to do with him at all.
Nicole has come to live with her father for her senior year. Starting a new school with some secrets of her own, her first meeting with Thomas is less than stellar. He runs into her, literally, then yells at her for being in his way. Let’s just say she’s not impressed. When he finds out they are in biology together (sounds familiar?) the games begin. Thomas engages in some light flirting and stalking to gain her attention. It doesn’t take long before Nicole begins to see the real Thomas buried beneath the different roles he is forced to play.
Here is where the similarities to Twilight first start. They are reluctant biology partners. Nicole’s father is the town sheriff and he has “issues” with the Malones, especially Thomas. Nicole does all the cooking, her mother is a free spirit, and she has a crappy car. She is Bella even though I didn’t see much of Edward in Thomas beyond being secretive. I did like Nicole overall because her development is tailored to mesh with Thomas and Shay builds her for us to like her. She is not a pushover or over drama queen and seems to have a good level head on her shoulders but overall I found she paled against Thomas. This may also be a result of the story being written from Thomas’s pov.
Savage does well combining the dynamics of the story with the slow evolving romance and character growth. We see Thomas’s evolution from cretin to gentleman the more time he spends with Nicole and her father. He sees what a real family is like as his own is fractured. Being in a real honest relationship is new for Thomas so he screws up a lot, but you can see him trying to make it work. My heart broke for him once we learn the reasons behind the attitude we saw in the beginning. The Malone household is filled with secrets that only get worse as the story progresses.
Sexually, Savage paints some combustible steamy chemistry between Thomas and Nicole, offering lots of sexual tension, dirty talk, and a few “relief” moments. She doesn’t shy away from her characters engaging in sexual congress but she also doesn’t offer them up for shock or titillation.
The ending is an overly melodramatic affair that is typical of teen romance and uses a predictable trope to allow our hero and heroine to find their happily ever. Regardless of some filler, lag times, and the Twilight theme, Shay Savage writes an entertaining romance contemporary that fans of Travis Maddox, Mason Kade, and Remington Tate will surely enjoy.
Exquisite is the best word I can think of to describe Sonali Dev’s A Bollywood Affair. A beautiful, humorous, heartbreaking romance of a young marriedExquisite is the best word I can think of to describe Sonali Dev’s A Bollywood Affair. A beautiful, humorous, heartbreaking romance of a young married Indian woman who finds out her marriage and life was a lie and now must rediscover who she is. Dev uses old world tradition and modern sensibilities to paint readers’ a vivid picture of India’s culture and the complex dance that the younger generation has to navigate through. Emotionally poignant, your heart will hurt for the heroine who seems to be cursed with having her dreams ripped from her time and time again. Readers are sure to love this twist on the feisty ingenue and bossy alpha trope....more
Favorite Quote: “I’m here because I couldn’t stay away.”
Matt McKinney, a Navy Seal, is on leave after his best friend is killed on a mission and MattFavorite Quote: “I’m here because I couldn’t stay away.”
Matt McKinney, a Navy Seal, is on leave after his best friend is killed on a mission and Matt was injured. Unable to fully deal with what happened or the promises he made to his dying friend, his commander forces him to take some time off and he winds up heading to the beach with a cousin of his. While there, he spies a single young mother of four and his vacation suddenly takes a much different turn.
Abby Davis has brought her young children to the beach to help start the healing process after their father was killed in a plane crash. Not looking for a replacement dad or husband, Abby can’t help but be drawn to Matt as he invites himself into their family fun and gives her children the time and attention they never experienced with their father. A week is all they have though and while Abby isn’t looking forward to saying goodbye, she knows it’s for the best. When the time comes for them to part ways, Matt isn’t ready to let go of this special woman or her kids and soon plans are made to see each other again.
Matt and Abby spend as much time as they can together, slowly building their attraction into something much deeper but Abby has already sacrificed her happiness for one man whose job was his life and refuses to put herself and her children through that again. Matt will have to open his heart and give it his all if he wants to convince Abby he is worth the fall.
Worth The Fall is a sweet heartfelt story about two people who are given a second chance at finding love after life delivers a set of painful blows against them. Fast pacing, realistic issues, in depth relationship exploration, and poignant character growth gives readers a romance that focuses on the journey and surrounding elements as a whole rather than focusing on one single element and building around it.
Favorite Quote: “…the list of foodstuffs that shouldn’t be introduced to a woman’s private parts is actually quite long.”
Tim Cannon is an EMT whose liFavorite Quote: “…the list of foodstuffs that shouldn’t be introduced to a woman’s private parts is actually quite long.”
Tim Cannon is an EMT whose lifestyle has him constantly on the move. He uses one night stands to burn off his excessive energy. Over six feet of pure muscle and bearded sex on a stick ensures Tim never lacks companionship but when he meets a food truck chef, he finds himself suddenly wanting more than just instant gratification. And that scares him to death.
Sarah McCall is a chef and co owner of a food truck business. A west coast transplant, she lives life serenely and slowly, taking the time to feel and enjoy every experience she can. Whether it’s refining the sauces for her menu or spending time in bed with a certain sexy EMT…Sarah has learned that the best things in life are worth waiting for.
Afternoon Delight is a sensual erotic romance that starts out as a flirty sexual interlude only to build into something more that shocks both parties. Set in the bustling city of Manhattan, Calhoun introduces us to two individuals whose attraction leads to a lesson in control and learning to appreciate the slow anticipation of living life day to day.
Bowen’s Understatement of the Year is anything but understated. A bittersweet heartfelt coming of ageBowen does it again. Her voice beings NA alive.
Bowen’s Understatement of the Year is anything but understated. A bittersweet heartfelt coming of age M/M romance that deals with secrets and guilt when one young man is confronted by his greatest fear…the lover he abandoned in high school. Emotional turmoil and angst reach epic levels as these two men are forced to interact with one another and deal with their turbulent past. A delicate subject matter is handled with compassion, grace, and humor giving readers a beautiful second chance love story that will defy expectations.
Part Time Lovers is a short erotic novella and follow up to Farmer Wants A Wife; giving us Nolan’s story. Nolan Penrith was roped into participating in a reality show and abandoned his lover, Yvonne McDonald, to star in it. Before the show even started though, Nolan had treated Yvonne carelessly, keeping their relationship a dirty little secret. When the show is over, Nolan figures he can pick right back off where he and Yvonne left off but Yvonne was hurt by his actions and decides she isn’t going to give him another chance to break her heart again. She advocates for a friends with benefits relationship only to find herself once again falling for Nolan’s wicked charms.
Though you don’t have to read Farmer Wants A Wife to read Part-Time Lovers; Munro does allude to certain characters and events without much background information. The series spins off of the Friendship series and it almost behooves you to read it first in order to understand. Part Time Lovers jumps straight in to the fray, moving extremely fast and somewhat jerky at times. I was left with the feeling, during certain scenes, that I needed to see for myself more about how Yvonne and Nolan were before the reality show in order to fully appreciate the scenes unfolding before me.
Nolan comes off a bit dense in the beginning. It’s as if he can’t fully grasp why him being on a reality show about finding a new wife and dating various other women would make Yvonne angry. Huh? Plus, we learn that his mother spread malicious gossip about Yvonne during the taping which hurt her terribly. Nolan honestly expects to pick up right where they left off. Yvonne tells him repeatedly why she’s angry but he just bowls over her objections and pushes the issue, claiming that she should have known better and to ignore his mother. Really? This is a tiny town where everyone knows everyone’s business. There is no possible way to “ignore” anyone.
This is where my misgivings about not reading Farmer Wants A Wife come in. Too much is based on the assumption you’re read it. Nolan eventually grew on me as you begin to hear his thoughts and you see his moment of truth as he realizes he treated Yvonne terribly and that the reality show may not have been his best move. We also find out why he really got involved with it, and it wasn’t to find him a wife.
Overall I liked Yvonne though it seemed at times her attraction to Nolan is only physical. Munro does well in making me see when Yvonne begins to fall in love with Nolan. She is a divorced mother of two boys and is portrayed realistically. She is angry and hurt by Nolan’s actions and who wouldn’t be? She has issues from her ex husband that only compounds how she’s feeling and that adds to the conflict. I admit to laughing at some of the things she does to get back at Nolan while ensuring she gets what she wants from him-sex. And though this relationship is on the rocks, there are absolutely no problems in the bedroom between these two. The chemistry between Nolan and Yvonne is amazing and I like that both are sexually open and curious. Munro writes some extremely sexy and fun erotic love scenes with flavors of kink sprinkled throughout.
The main conflict and resolution is pretty predictable. Miscommunication pushes Yvonne to come clean about her issues and make some decisions based on the present and not the past.