In Broken Beauty, the third installment in the Beauty serial, things for Blake and Erin are getting complicated. More problems have started to arise because of Blake's new professor position—problems that are only making it harder for them to keep their relationship a secret. A secret that could ruin Blake’s reputation and endanger Erin’s Masters degree. Especially when someone starts poking their nose in Blake and Erin’s business.
In this installment, we get to know Erin and Blake on a much deeper level. We find out more of what led to Blake’s reclusion and how he got the scars on his face (and on his soul). And, as Blake and Erin grow into their relationship, a slightly more relaxed Blake... a Blake that's more commanding and dominating, starts to show. While still being the quiet gentleman we know and adore. And Erin is starting to set goals, see the future at the end of graduation, and she wants her Masters and Blake. I liked seeing this resolute side of her. She'll do what it takes to get the degree and get the guy.
I love Blake. He’s one of the sexiest professors I know, hands down. The man is… sweet and passionate and heartbreakingly sexy. He constantly amazes me with the tender and rough ways he shows Erin he loves her. And when things get complicated, he’s right there protecting her and showing her that the past doesn’t always set the precedent. Erin is one lucky gal.
Skye Warren is such a talented storyteller. I love the way she infuses emotion and eroticism together. Skye engages the heart and the loins every time she writes—and it’s a powerful combination. I’m anxiously awaiting Beauty Becomes You, though I’m not looking forward to saying goodbye to Blake and Erin.
Marcela ‘Cela’ Medina is a newly graduated veterinary doctor. For seven years, all she has focused on is her education. And all work and no play has made Cela a boring, boring girl. That and growing up in a strict household. Letting loose and having fun doesn’t come easy to her. Her one naughty vice? She listens to her two hot neighbors going at it—solo, with a random woman, or in a threesome.
One of her neighbors, Ian Foster, is always in suits and ties. He looks like all business—in and out of the bedroom. And, just like Cela has always had her eye (and ear) on Ian, he’s always had a thing for his innocent and vanilla neighbor. Though he knows his proclivities aren’t what the innocent graduate wants or needs (as he’s a member of the bdsm club, The Ranch, from Roni Loren’s Loving on the Edge series).
In Part One: Until You Dare, Cela decides that she wants to live it up before leaving the big city to return to her hometown. Where she’ll work at her family's vet practice, date the guy her parents want, and generally have the rest of her life planned out. To celebrate her graduation, Ian and his roommate, Pike (a sexy drummer!), take Cela out for a night of fun. The three get to know each other while dancing and playing Never Have I Ever. It’s a night full of teasing touches, hot kisses, and raging libidos. But only so much can take place in a club...
In Part Two: Until You Risk, (view spoiler)[things move from the dance floor to the bedroom. Wanting a night of checking off a ton of her Never Have I Ever's, Cela agrees to go to a hotel with Foster and Pike. What starts out as a mind-blowingly hot threesome quickly grows into so much more. Foster and Cela explore needs she never knew she had, and Foster never planned on showing. (hide spoiler)]
Can I be honest? Me and serial romances have a love/hate relationship. They’re one long, drawn out tease! And nobody likes a tease, right? *wink* But, well, when the writing is fantastic and the characters are lovable and the romance is scorching… I’ll make an exception. Roni Loren’s Not Until You is worth the week long wait in between installments. Plus, who better to make a tease worth it in the end than an author who doubles as a Mistress with a pen? If anyone can make delayed satisfaction worth it, it’s Roni! Plus, there is my weakness for sexy, dominant older men… so, if that’s your thing too, you’ll love Foster!
Going Under is the story of Brooke and her lifelong best friend, Beth. Told in the present with frequent flashbacks, as well as in dreams that are more like nightmares. After Beth takes her own life, Brooke is haunted by her specter. Her entire world revolves around Beth... and revenge. Saddled with so much guilt, Brooke turns that energy into seeking justice for Beth. Brooke is on a one woman crusade to take down the boy whose actions took Beth away.
Before she knows it, her crusade sets things in motion that she can't stop. It becomes bigger than her and quickly grows to be too much for any one person to handle. What started out as revenge against one boy turns into two boys. Then three. Then four. Potentially the entire high school swim team.
Brooke is completely dedicated to Beth and Beth’s ghost. She turns herself into a martyr—all because she made one very big mistake. A mistake any teenage girl could make. Hormones are a bitch at that age. But Brooke can’t see past her guilt, so she makes one questionable decision after another. Putting herself in serious danger. And even though she had me biting my nails and saying “no no noooo”—I was proud of her too. She knew something wasn’t right at her high school and she did something about it. She’s an incredibly brave young lady. I felt for her. I understood her. I wanted to hug the ever-living hell out of her.
It’s always described as melting, and I finally understood why. I thought my body was turning to liquid. I could feel my bones giving way, threatening to dissolve and leave me one big puddle of goo.
When she met Ryan Foster, who has a few classes with her and lives just six houses down from her, things started to look up for Brooke. Ryan is a bright spot in Brooke’s dark life. This sweet, thoughtful loner of a teenage boy won me over immediately. Full of secrets, it’s not easy to get to know Ryan. But just as Brooke was drawn to him, I was too. Ryan is one very, very generous and caring lover. Seriously, he has moves. Hot moves. Oh, man, I won't be able to look at a video game controller the same way again. If I had met Ryan in high school, yeah, I’d have thrown myself at him too. I loved him, plain and simple.
What I didn’t love was practically every other teenage boy in this book. Holy crap. These guys made me want to puke. And then beat them up. And then call the cops on their asses. Grrr. There were a few scenes that were so intense and downright awful that I was breathless. And even though I knew it was coming, the rape scene still wrecked me. Not overly, distastefully explicit—the author handles it with care and tact—but it still packs one heck of a wallop. Straight to the gut.
I realized I needed to look at evil in an entirely new light. Most bad guys weren’t running around with eyes bugged out. Most bad guys didn’t come across freaky and frightening…Most bad guys were normal, everyday guys moving through life like anyone else… They were hard to spot and that’s what made them so good at being bad… They could get away with it, and they knew it.
Going Under manages to evoke some serious emotions—beautiful and ugly both. Anger. Disgust. Sadness. It paints a very ugly picture of high school and life in general. You’re forced to dive head first into a place no one wants to go. Ever. At the same time, there are friendships and relationships that are full of hope and happiness. Love. It’s a very fine balance with such a dark topic, it could very easily be a depressing read, but Miz Walden manages it. She infused a wonderful light throughout this darkness without taking away from the brutality of it.
This may not be the most romantic book, the focus isn’t on Brooke and Ryan, but it is not a book to be missed. Romance can take a backseat every now and then, if the story is powerful enough on its own. In Going Under, it is.
Former barrel racing champion Tanna Barker is looking for a fresh start. After a bad accident on her horse, Tanna is afraid to get back on the saddle. Tanna’s afraid of a lot of things really—horses, men, relationships, her former life in Texas. So she's packed up and is temporarily moving to Wyoming to work at the Split Rock, a resort that’s owned by one of her friend’s husband. And what does Miss Tanna do her first night in town? She hooks up with a random (and totally sexy) stranger she meets at a bar. Once her wild night of fun is over, Tanna does what she usually does—splits—expecting to never see her handsome hookup again.
A few days later, however, there he is. August Fletcher, an overworked veterinarian who also happens to be one sweet talker. Even though he many not have a lot of suave moves, he gets you with his honesty and directness. He says what he means and then acts on it accordingly. But falling for Fletch, who never has a day off and might be the hardest working man in Wyoming, isn't something Tanna wants to do. Too bad Fletch is resilient and stubborn. Even more so than our super stubborn heroine.
These two have, oddly enough given their initial hookup, a very slow build. Tanna takes a lot of convincing. Nearly one third of the book goes by and she wouldn't even agree to a date. I never really understood the hold up on her part and it really bogged things down. Once she finally relents and Fletch gets a long and much need sabbatical from his practice, well, that's when things heat up. And up and up.
James is known for writing a certain kind of rough and gruff and dominant hero and Fletch is no exception. He's quite the beast in bed. And since he has to handle large stock seven days a week, he’s also really well built. Plus there’s the fact that he a true gentleman on top of all that? Heck yeah I'd want to lick him from his neck to his... you know... too.
Which is why I just did not get Tanna at all. There are a lot of things I liked about her, don’t get me wrong—she’s sassy and smart and she’s got quite the mouth on her—but I simply did not like her. She pussyfooted around forever. She refused to show almost any real emotions without sarcasm. There were other small things that annoyed me but, as a whole, Tanna and I simply didn’t gel. Which is unusual, as I have loved every other heroine Miz James has written, but it happens.
Turn and Burn starts out white hot and, though it slows down for a period, only manages to get even hotter. August Fletcher is the heart of this book for me, with his straightforward methods of seduction. For a man who doesn’t have a lot of free time, he knows how to make the most of his nights off. I wish I had grown to love Tanna too but it just didn’t happen. Still, if you’re in the mood for sexy cowboys who get down and dirty on the job and off—no one beats a Lorelei James hero!
This is on the 'less intense' side of a Kitty Thomas novel. Don't get me wrong, it is still dark erotica and contains ple...moreRating: B+ ... Heat: Sizzling
This is on the 'less intense' side of a Kitty Thomas novel. Don't get me wrong, it is still dark erotica and contains plenty of warning label applicable situations... but it didn't wreck me and mindf--k me the way some of her other stories have. Or maybe it mindf--ked me so well that it only seems less intense. Hmm.
Veronica is the first Kitty Thomas heroine that I haven't really liked. I can't quite put my finger on it, but she was a bit too hard and frigid and, well, unresponsible. We all makes mistakes in our lives, and Veronica makes quite a few, but she never learned from them. That was what I didn't really like most. She did grow on me though.
And Luke! He's the first Kitty Thomas hero that truly broke my heart. Well, that's kind of a lie, because how can I say Leo (Mafia Captive) and Asher (Tender Mercies) didn't break my heart? Those two guys had me bawling. But Luke, his feelings for Veronica... especially at the very end... broke my heart. I'd go so far as to say it doesn't have a HEA. Not even a dark and twisted one. Darn you, Luke, and your inability to let the past go! Grr.
Sigh. Anyway. Bottom line? Loved Big Sky, love Kitty Thomas, love Dark Erotica. *wink*(less)
Merry Murray has recently lost a lot of weight. She’s finally feeling good about herself but is still trapped by the Old Merry and all of her shortcomings. She’s used to feeling less than and held back. So Merry decides to do something to make herself proud. Push her past her limits. She decides to go on a solo backpacking trip in the Scottish wilds. Put some miles – over three hundred of them – on her new and well-earned body.
When Merry’s only three days away from her goal of reaching Inverness, she's hit with cramps. Debilitating, stomach-turning cramps plus nausea and dizziness. Fearing she might be dying, she tries to make it to a small crofters cottage she saw not too far back. The owner of said cottage, her knight in shining armor, turns out to be a scraggly, bearded hermit with zero socials skills and a heavy dose of the grumps.
Rob is used to being alone. Secluded. Hidden. And that’s just the way he likes it. His cottage has become a refuge from the sins the city brings out in him. Rob knows he wasn't a good person while living in civilized society, so he sticks to the wilderness. Even if it means no indoor plumbing or electricity. When Merry shows up at his door, in pain and bleeding from the head, he can't very well refuse to help her. Even if she is a chatterbox and constantly makes him nervous and uncomfortable.
Poor Merry really didn’t know what she was getting herself into when she came to Rob for help. He is such a sexy grump. And… well, Rob has an interesting kink. Although for him, it is definitely more of a fetish. It controls his sexual desires and shames him into hiding who he truly is and what he really wants. It's unusual, but not so crazy. When Merry realizes his needs, she's willing to explore them. Embrace them. And they turn her on too. They didn’t turn me on, really, but… it was still hot. Since this is a Cara McKenna book, I was expecting a very dominant hero (à la Kelly Robak in After Hours). What we get is a submissive, beta hero in a very manly package.
Undone was a break from the usual same ol’, same ol’ romance. For one, there are literally only two characters—Merry and Rob. Well, and Nameless the dog. He counts too. Two, there aren’t a lot of location changes either. Majority of the book takes place in a tiny cottage in the Scottish Highlands. A cottage with no running water, which equals no indoor plumbing. No electricity, which means no music or TV. Rob catches or grows what he eats. He fishes or hunts for fun. It was all so simple and yet it intrigued me so much. There was a sense of being back in time that made the setting seem almost magical.
Towards the end, things did slow down and seem to drag a little but I was still engaged in the emotional aspect and very much invested in seeing how Merry and Rob would work out. It’s not an easy journey with the demons that are riding Rob. He has a lot to deal with and overcome. But Merry is very patient and understanding when it comes to her grumpy hermit and his many demons and kinks.
Unbound might not have been exactly what I was expecting from a Cara McKenna book but it was still very, very good. I love the way that Miz McKenna writes her characters. They’re always unique and full of charming quirks and, sometimes, weighed down by some pretty heavy emotional issues. You really get inside the characters heads and feel for them. And when you’re inside their heads—wow. It makes for some incredibly hot stuff. I’m not usually all for a man doing the begging but Rob makes it work. And he makes it sexy.
It seemed Merry's attraction hadn't been a symptom of her head injury, Rob looked just as gruffly sexy this morning, blue eyes bright in the morning sun, assorted gray hairs lending him a wordly air, forearms flexing as he pressed loose dirt flat. She'd never kissed a man with a beard, and suddenly her life seemed to depending on discovering how it felt. Confirmed--you are so fucking hard up, girl.
Oh, my gosh. Am I blushing? I think I am. I might also be giggling and tittering like a teenage girl. Why? Two words, one man: Kelly Robak. If you haven't met him yet, you're going to want to. Our lucky heroine didn't know what she was in for with the rough and gruff Mr. Robak, but, ohhhh, she is one lucky lady.
Erin Coffey has spent most of her life taking care of her little sister. Driven and a bit relentless when it comes to her now not-so-little sister, Erin moves to a new town and starts a new job to be close to her. Because both her mom and her sister have a history picking bad guys and her sister's latest one has a temper. So Erin has decided to take the first nursing job available, which happens to be working in the high risk level of Larkhaven Psychiatric Hospital.
Which is where she meets Kelly Robak, who also works at the hospital as an orderly. Kelly embodies all the traits Erin doesn't want in a man: quiet and cold. Dominant and demanding. Kelly Robak wants what he wants, when he wants it. To call him bossy would be an understatement. Put that all together in one tall, well-built man with more than his fair share of scars and what do you get? Sexy. As. Heck.
“Listen. I like you. And I want you. I’m inviting you to come over so we can explore the thing that’s between us. I know you feel it, same as me. I’m offering you a chance to shut your brain off for a weekend, so we can spoil each other’s bodies rotten. Let me boss you around and I promise you’ll find out I give twice as good as I get. I’m not gonna try to fuck your ass or dress you up like a hooker—“ ”Be still my heart. Kelly Robak, you charmer, you.” ”There’s four things a real man has to be able to do for a woman.” ”Exactly how many man-lists do you have?” He let my wrist go and ticked the items off on his fingers. “Fix her car. Grill her a steak. Kick the ass of any guy who makes her cry. And fuck her so hard she wakes up half-crippled.” ”Oh my God.”
Erin likes what she sees but she's also a little bit judgemental and prejudiced. There is a lot of push and pull between the two of them while she fights her attraction and desires. Erin really doesn't want to like his bossy and high handed ways... but she does.
Not that Erin really stood a chance. Kelly is a master of foreplay. He knows how to tease her body, work her up to a needy degree. And, even though her brain baulks at the hair pulling and the butt smacking, her body responds to it very well. When she finally gives in and let’s her prejudices go, Kelly makes it worth it.
“I’m gonna make you so wet.” The words alone were realizing his promise. He fanned his fingers, thumbs tracking the uppermost creases of my thighs and the hems of my panties. ”I’m gonna make you want me so bad it’ll hurt,” Kelly whispered. “Make you want me so much, you’ll come the second my cock sinks inside you.”
When you put a guy like Kelly and a girl like Erin in a dangerous setting, surrounded by patients with mental issues, it really amps up the whole tone of the story. It had me sitting up straight and on edge every time Erin went to work. And even though Erin learns how to handle herself, I was still very grateful that Kelly was always there. Watching out for her. A strong, silent and reassuring presence.
Another thing I really loved? Erin and Kelly aren’t rich. In fact, some people might consider them poor. Erin drives a P.O.S. and Kelly drives an older model truck. They drink beer and go on dates at the local bar. The town they live in, though on it’s way to being revitalized, is not the nicest place to live. In a genre currently being dominated by billionaires, it was refreshing to have such an earthy and realistic background. Blue collar heroes are sexy too!
My only complaint? It ended. When the end came, I wasn’t ready for it. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to any of the characters. I really, really would’ve loved an epilogue… or a second book. (Hint, hint. After Hours #2, please?)
After Hours is a voluptuous and erotic romance. Cara McKenna delivers on the sensual and the salacious. If you love heroes who are wonderfully unrefined and fantastically filthy, you will go mad for Kelly Robak.
Mia Kelly has years spent years trying to be like her mom, her number one role model, while denying any part of her that was like her dad. Not in a mean way—she loves her dad, don't get me wrong, but something about his freedom and his passion scared her. When her father passes away suddenly, Mia decides to move to New York to handle his affairs… and has to face the fact that she is her father’s daughter too.
After Mia moves into her father’s apartment, starts working at her father’s café… she finds that she loves the life her father built for himself. The people, the music, the culture. And somewhere, deep down inside, a part of Mia she’s been denying starts to surface. Which scares the crap out of her, as Mia’s afraid of finding out who she thought she was isn't really her at all.
When she meets Will, her secret dream and a nightmare realized, she's terrified. Will Ryan is everything she shouldn’t want in a guy—a starving artist with no real job. Nothing about him screams solid and steady and dependable. Will is flirty and silly and unbearably sweet. He walks to his own beat, lives by his own code. And he has so much musical talent and passion, you can’t help but be awed by him.
But it’s the starving part Mia has a problem with. She’s seen what a musician’s lifestyle can do to a relationship. She watched her straight-laced mother and beatnik father try and fail. Opposites shouldn’t attract. But she can’t help the way she feels about Will either, so, when he needs a place to stay, Mia and Will become roommates.
Which leads to a lot of hurtful words and hurtful deeds. Lots of mixed signals and crossed wires. And more than a few sleepless, restless nights. But somehow Mia and Will still manage to become friends. Best friends. And make some – literal – beautiful music together. All while she’s grieving the loss of her father.
Riding shotgun on Mia and Will's romance... isn't easy. Mia frustrated the heck out of me. Grief and fears aside, I wanted to have a serious talking to with her. Thankfully, she has three wise and wonderful women to tell her like it is. I adored Jenny, Martha and Sheil. They dish out some tough love when needed. And Will manages to teach her the hardest lesson of all... and damn near broke my heart in the process.
Sweet Thing? More like sweet torture because, oh, Mia and Will tortured my heart so so sweetly… Seriously, I just plain adored that man. Will can call me sweet baby any time. Or all the time. Sigh. I truly don’t know how Mia resisted him. Sexy as sin, sweet as honey, a true gentleman, and he can play the guitar and sing? Sold! *wink*
Mia and Will knocked me on my arse in such a wonderful way. I can't recommend this book enough! Miz Carlino has a beautiful way with words. What she created with Mia and Will… and the music… and the friendship and love between them... beautiful.
The guest clapped along as we played, getting faster and faster. Will turned and straddled me, then kicked his leg up on the high keys and started banging his heel to the beat. Everyone was laughing and cheering us on. He pulled his leg down and then there were four hands on the piano and he was playing with me, his chest flush with my back. His hands started on the outside of mine and then when the tune changed he reached one hand under my arm, brushing intimately close to me. Our hands alternated as he playing right along with me on the same keys in a lower octave. We were so connected. I felt his warm breath on my neck. When I leaned back against him and closed my eyes the cheering got louder; the crowd understood the difficulty of what we were doing. I turned and gave Will a big smooch on the cheek. “You’re rad,” I said to him. ”Everything’s rad,” he said, smiling.
Lady Edith Gilchrist was brought up to be a proper English lady. The only daughter of an Earl, it’s no surprise that her debu...moreRating: B+ ... Heat: Warm
Lady Edith Gilchrist was brought up to be a proper English lady. The only daughter of an Earl, it’s no surprise that her debut is a resounding success. Edie, who is a talented musician and spends every waking moment with a cello between her legs, is considered a diamond of the first water. She has an almost ethereal glow to her as she dances that night and, coupled with her quiet demeanor, she’s what every young man simply can’t resist. If only that glow wasn’t due to a fever and her quietness due to her head being too foggy to think, let alone speak.
Gowan Stoughton, Duke of Kinross and all-around big, tall and strapping Scotsman, is drawn to Edie immediately. The usually responsible and rigid Duke is overcome by her beauty and grace. Two dances and he knows he has to have her for his Duchess. And, after convincing her father to agree to a betrothal, Gowan starts a one-man crusade to convince Edie he’s the man for her.
Edie, who often has to play the part of peacekeeper between her father and stepmother, is not easily won. In order to avoid the mistakes her parents made, she decides to be open and honest with her fiancé. So she writes him a letter, and he writes her back, and the two have what is one of the most open and honest betrothals. If only it didn’t quickly start unraveling once they say ‘I do'.
Because Edie has one of the worst first times ever on her wedding night. Pain, discomfort, and a man who can go and go when all she wants is for him to stop and stop. So, naturally, to get the pain to end, she decides to pretend to have an orgasm. And then continues to fake it the next few times too. Fake it till you make it turns out to be horrible advice once Gowan actually ‘makes it’ and realizes his wife has been lying to him.
Oh, Edie. Edie, Edie, Edie. The lack of communication between these two and the distance that grew between them figuratively, and then literally, was tough for me read. The solution was so simple and yet neither opened their mouths... Well, except to say all the wrong things.
And, even though I loved the stepmother/daughter relationship between Edie and Layla, if Edie had only spent that much time and effort with Gowan instead… I would have been much happier. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Layla. Even if she was a bit crazy and misguided. I just wish Gowan and Edie had the same, or more, page time. There was way too much focus on Layla and Edie’s father’s failing relationship while Edie and Gowan’s got pushed aside.
Once Upon a Tower was sweet and endearing and proved love at first sight is not always easy but, if it’s real, it’s more than worth it. Eloisa always manages to infuse her novels with real issues, taking fairy tales and making them believable. In Once Upon a Tower we find that our hero, while well-endowed and enthusiastic, was still a bumbling and fumbling virgin. And isn’t it refreshing to have a hero, though still a fantasy, not get it right the first time?
Samantha Williams is one sassy chick. We first met her in Come Away with Me, in all her bitchy (but well-intended) glory. But the brief glimpses we got of her then are just the tip of the iceberg that is Sam. Sam is a woman used to fending for herself, who doesn't do charity or pity. Even from friends and family. Sam is a self-contained, self-efficient one woman show. To say she has a hard time letting people in and trusting them, well, that’s an understatement. Since most people want to use her for her family connections, Sam has constructed a wall around herself and doesn’t anyone, even her family, in…
Until Leo comes running into her life and doesn’t let her push him away. Leo takes one look at the spitfire that is Sam and doesn't know if he wants to throttle her or cuddle her. Because, dang, the girl could definitely use a cuddle or two. And Leo Nash, tattooed bad boy front man of the band Nash, is not used to the hostility Sam keeps throwing his way. Most women aren’t that hard to talk to, let alone get them into bed. But something about her prickliness calls to him, so he decides to show up at her door one morning to run with her. And keeps showing up every day after.
Sam is not pleased. And Leo couldn’t care less. I loved how these two slowly got to know each other, Leo giving her plenty of time and space when she needed it—and then pushing his way in when she didn’t want to budge. And the more Sam and Leo get to know each other, the more they want each other... and, oh, they want it alright. These two wicked potty mouths can get down and dirty. Down and dirty, I say. Mmmhmm.
"Mmm." He grins and kisses my mouth, softly, playfully. I grip that piercing in my teeth and tug gently, and he smiles some more, moving his fingers quickly. I moan and squirm beneath him, and gasp as he presses his thumb on my clit. "I'm not a guitar, you know," I remind him as he continues to torment my labia with those talented fingers. "Oh, but the sounds you make sunshine," he whispers and buries his face in my neck. I wrap my arms around him. He's pressed againt me, from hip to shoulder, his fingers play me like an instrument, and to my surprise, I come again, violently.
I did have a hard time understanding Sam's trust issues at first though. It was kind of off-putting, the distance she puts between herself and everyone in her life. But I adored Leo because he does NOT let that shit slide. And when he finally makes Sam’s walls crumble… I liked the Sam it revealed a helluva lot.
"You're going to kill us both," she mutters and glares at me. "No, if I decide to kill you, I'll choke the shit out of you." She has the audacity to laugh. "Do you think that's the first time I've been threatened with a choking?" "No, sweetheart, I'm sure that happens on a regular basis. You're so fucking stubborn."
I loved the way Miz Proby kept Sam and Leo’s relationship constantly changing and always honest. There is no bullshit between them. They don’t play games. Sure, they have their issues but it kept their relationship interesting. And even though Sam is one tough cookie, she’s exactly what Leo needed.
He pads into the kitchen, barefoot and bare chested, in just his jeans with the top button undone. My God, he's delicious. He smiles smugly as I look him up and down. "Like what you see, sugar?" "You're okay." I shrug, smirk, and pull four slices of bread from the loaf. "Don't stroke my ego or anything." He laughs and pulls orange juice from the fridge, pours us each a glass, and leans against the countertop, watching me bustle about his kitchen. "You're ego doesn't need more stroking. You know you're hot." He just shrugs and sips his juice. "It means something when you say it."
Rock with Me is so incredibly sexy and more than a little bit naughty. You can’t help but love the way these two fight... and play. One minute they had me fanning myself and the next they had me laughing so hard. I can't wait to be with the next couple in Seattle--Caleb and Brynna! The glimpses we're treated to of them in this book, well, I just wait!
I'll be honest with you, part of the attraction to dark erotica for me is the psychological aspect. The dichotomy it presents between love and hate, good and evil, force and consent... You never know what's coming and it makes you a little, or a lot, afraid.
Mafia Captive embodies all that in a slightly easier on the brain package. I say only slightly because the parts that are less only made me want it more. The way that Miz Thomas holds back only ratchets up the tension. I never thought I'd be on the edge of my seat waiting for the hero to take what's his. (Vague much? Sorry. I can't think of another way to explain it!)
Faith Jacobson was in the wrong place at he wrong time. After witnessing a mob hit, said mobster gets a glimpse at her fiery red hair and decides she'd make an excellent Christmas present for his brother. A brother who, along with having a thing for redheads, has always wanted a slave.
But what Leo Raspallo gets is a terrified, barely-adult woman. His dream of owning a slave quickly becomes a nightmare. He wants her, he wants the perks of owning Faith, but is afraid his desires will end up breaking her. If Faith had just an inkling of kink in her blood, he could train her... but she doesn't. Having Faith in his house only brings his inner demons to the forefront.
Matters are further complicated when Leo's family visits for the holidays. Leo, who is a devout Catholic, and Faith have two choices: hide her in his dungeon or pretend she's his fiancé. Mama Raspallo would not approve of Faith living with him otherwise. Faith chooses the pretend engagement. But acting as his beloved-fiancé only shows her exactly what she wants from Leo—which is exactly what he's not capable of giving: tenderness and love. And, at the same time, it forces Leo to the brink in his want of Faith. Pushes him to make decisions neither can come back from.
Mafia Captive hit me in the gut, over and over. It hurt to watch two people, who should be fundamentally wrong for each other, try to make it work because they can't deny their chemistry and attraction. It was a different kind of hurt from Comfort Food or Tender Mercies, but no less painful. Miz Thomas did a great job staying true to who Faith was and who Leo was... even if it had me whining, "Faith! Why can't you just enjoy a little spanking every now and then?!" or "Leo! You're so good at pretending to be a doting fiancé, why can't you really be one?!"
I love how Kitty Thomas writes heroes capable of anything and heroines who are tested and pushed past the brink. The uncertainty, the unknown... the danger ever present... is thrilling. And terrifying. She makes you keep turning the pages, only blinking when absolutely necessary.
If you've never read a Kitty Thomas novel, I think that Mafia Captive would be a great first book to try. Dip your toes into the dark erotica world that is Kitty Thomas. If you're still afraid, I'll hold your hand as you read. *wink*
Faith tried not to think about the price he’d extract from her for all this kindness. A tab had started, and there was no doubt he’d take it out of her body. Even so, she couldn’t help the instinct that made her want to cling to him for his protection, however irrational or foolish such an instinct may be.
Sophie Price is not a nice person and she knows it - and doesn't care. Her life is sex, drugs and mani/pedis. That is, until one drug bust too many has her doing court-ordered time. Time she'll be serving at an orphanage in Africa, due to some string pulling by her lawyer (and the only true father figure in her life), Pembrooke. Or Pemmy as Sophie calls him.
And Sophie needs a serious wake up call. Africa is the harsh reality she needs to see. Sophie goes from queen bee to a fish out of water. From fawned over and feared to useless and unwanted. Or, at least, that's how Ian Aberdeen makes her feel. But he makes her feel something, which is more than the nothing she always felt before.
Ian, a teacher and jack of all trades at Masego, is Sophie's opposite: quiet, solid, focused. Selfless. From the moment Ian and Sophie meet, he cuts her no slack. He's hard on her. No excuses, no platitudes. He doesn't want her at the orphanage and Sophie knows it.
But there is more simmering below the surface. I loved how Sophie and Ian slowly got to know each other. Friends first - once Ian's frostiness began to melt. Friends with a good heaping helping of sexual tension between them. Ian was the first person to see past Sophie's beautiful face. The only person who cared more about her inner beauty... and gave her the time to find her inner beauty for herself.
Sophie definitely changes and grows and becomes the young lady myself and Pembrooke always knew she could be. Masego and the people in it, the children, their story is so beautiful and touching. Orphaned and dismembered children, victims of Kony's LRA (Lord's Resistance Army), that can still laugh and play and have a burning desire to learn... how can you not be changed by that?
The way that Miz Amelie writes Africa - the dirt, the trees, the smell, the noise - it feels like you're right there with Sophie in Uganda. You can see all the beauty... and all the ugly. She captures Africa in such a wonderful way.
Vain ventures outside the usual boy loves girl mold. It is a teen romance but it's also infused with social awareness. Adds in culture and humanitarianism, while still making my heart pitter-patter because he kissed her forehead. Trust me, it is a very, very sweet kiss. Ian can take your breath away with a chaste kiss.
If you want to read a story of young love that is different and more, I definitely recommend you give Vain a try! And I'm more than a little bit excited for the second book - Spencer's book - Greed. He may have only had a small part in Vain, but it was a memorable one.
“You have no idea what you do to me. I've felt things for you these past few months that don't seem healthy. I've wanted you so desperately I'm afraid it may not be natural. You consume my thoughts, Sophie...You've arrested my senses and I can't seem to get enough of you. That's what scares me. I'm so deep there's no getting out for me. You own me, you know?”
I've fallen for a lot of heroes. Viscounts, Earls, and Dukes. Second sons and illegitimate sons. Pugilists and pirates. But I've never fallen for a blacksmith... until now. And, oh, Aaron Dawes is definitely worth the fall. I'm sure Diana Highwood would agree.
Diana Highwood is perfect, poised, and polite. Unexcitable and unemotional. Not by choice, really, but because she had to be. Any extra emotion or too much activity would set off an asthma attack. Now that she's been attack-free for more than a year, she's ready to start living. Experience all the things she's been denied. And the first thing she wants to experience is passion and heat...
With Aaron Dawes. Town blacksmith and pseudo-big brother to all the towns ladies. Aaron has spent many a day and night wishing he were with Diana but never thought it'd come true. A woman like Diana, she's meant for a gentleman not a laborer. And Aaron was meant for a farmer's daughter or a barmaid, not the prettiest lady in Spindle Cove.
But you can't fight fate or deny chemistry, and these two have plenty of both on their side. It was so sweet to see Diana finally able to let loose and be herself. Try new things. Let her hair down and get some soot on her fancy frocks. And believe me, when these two come together – more than Aaron’s forge gets hot and bothered. *wink*
I have been looking forward to Diana's story since book one, and Beauty and the Blacksmith was a perfect and cute happily ever after for her. Aaron is just the man Diana needs. He treasures her but never coddles her, which she's had enough of to last two lifetimes. And who would want gentle after years of it? Not me. I’ll take Aaron’s roughened and callused hands over a pampered dandies any day! I’ll take some lovin’ on an anvil over a feather bed any time!
I am in love with this anthology! Miz James does cowboys – and she does them right! (That came out dirtier than I intended…*cough*) The Rough Riders series is a perfect mix of western charm and kinky lovin’ – with a heavy dose of heart. And I love how Miz James never holds back on giving her characters a big heaping helping of reality. Or flaws and quirks. We get all that and we also get to see the after their happily ever after’s.
In King of Hearts, Cam McKay has had a bad day. A very, very bad day. On Valentine's Day, no less. But Domini, Leisl, and the other McKay kids aren't about to let their dad stay sad for long.
This story hit me with the sadness from page one. This was the shortest and the darkest of the three stories, and was more sweet and tender than sizzling and erotic, but I loved seeing Cam and Dom. Even under these circumstances. It took a dark subject and gently made it brighter. Miz James infused a lot of heart in these pages.
In Rough Road, we get to see Chassie, Trevor, and Edgard again. As the only monogamous ménage in the RR bunch, it took a lot of extra work for them to get their HEA, And, even though they’re happy as a tripod, it was pretty obvious that life wouldn't always be easy for them. Not in small-town Wyoming where there are also a lot of small-minded people. With their eldest son in school, they expected him to start having questions about his parents unconventional lifestyle. What they didn’t expect was for their kid to be bullied because of it.
The worn out parents could use some TLC alone time to reconnect and regroup. And, oh, there romantic getaway is tender and loving and little bit naughty. But, good lovin’ aside, after their vacation is over, life won't be ignored. I love the way Miz James handled the sensitive topic of bullying... and how it brought all the McKays, far and wide, together in support. It was awesome to see these Chassie, Trevor, and Edgard – and their kids – happy and healthy and well-loved.
In All Knocked Up, well, I just have to say: Jack Donahue - I love yoooou! As my absolute favorite, McKay or no, I couldn't wait to read Jack and Keely's pregnancy story. And while we don't get to see baby D's conception - the time leading up to the birth is fiery and passionate and temperamental as only Keely and Jack can do.
Their story melted me. Everything we love about these two in one hyper-sensitive and uber-hormonal novella. I loved the highs and the lows, the sweet moments and the embarrassing ones. How Jack and Keely are a solid unit. A team. So glad we got to be a part of GQ and his cowgirl becoming a mommy and a daddy.
Author Interview & Giveaway at RBA! Click here to check it out! Giveaway ends 4/27.
Rating: A ... Heat: Sizzling
Confession time: this book hooked
...moreAuthor Interview & Giveaway at RBA! Click here to check it out! Giveaway ends 4/27.
Rating: A ... Heat: Sizzling
Confession time: this book hooked me from chapter one and drew me so completely into Evie’s thoughts that I may have growled and hissed at my husband whenever he attempted to interrupt my reading. There wasn’t one moment where something wasn’t happening. No good place to pause. Brace yourself for an unlikely and intense love story. There are no heroes in this tale, only disturbingly beautiful monsters.
Evie has spent the first twenty years of her life cloistered. Her mom, who suffers from some sort of paranoia, is convinced that the only safe place for Evie is their home. But bad things can happen inside your home too and, unfortunately for Evie, they do. Evie dreams of nothing but escaping and being free. And even though she’s sheltered and inexperienced – and a tad naïve – she’s still brave enough to venture out into the world. Her ultimate goal? To see Niagara Falls.
But almost immediately her road trip hits a speed bump. A big, hulking, muscular, scarily handsome speed bump named Hunter. Still waters have nothing on this dark and murky man. One look at Evie and he had to have her. One taste of her and he had to possess her, damn the consequences. And there are definitely consequences.
Poor Evie trades one cage for another, neither one gilded. My heart went out to her as she fought for her freedom, fought her own developing feelings. Evie has to battle herself more than Hunter. And Hunter does not make it easy…
From the moment Hunter appeared on page, he captivated me. A man of contradictions, you can tell he’s full of demons. Demons that are riding him hard and pushing him to do very bad things. You can’t help but wonder: Who is this man? Why is he like this? And with each page, I became more desperate to get the answers.
Following Evie and Hunter as they travel the country in his truck was one of the most exhilarating road trips I’ve ever been on. Clenching stomach, racing heart—Evie and Hunter’s volatile moods kept me guessing and off balance. I didn't know where the story was going, or how it would end, but I wanted to be right there with them in that big rig. Had to be.
Wanderlust will leave you uncomfortably sympathetic. Terrified yet aroused. Miz Warren draws you into the abyss that is Evie and Hunter and then makes you crave the free fall into the darkness that is Hunter. And fall for him you will, whether you want to or not. Hunter has that kind of presence, that kind of effect on your heart, mind and soul.
Janet Albright, assistant to the first Knight of the Board Room - Matt Kensington (Board Resolution), is tough as nails. A member of the same club as our Knights, Janet finds herself in the same position: On top. As a Domme, Janet has three no’s: No emotional attachments. No sex. No anything outside of the club. Especially not with a man like Maxwell Ackerman. As a military man, an ex-Navy SEAL, Max is solid and dependable. Firm. There is nothing about him that’s particularly submissive. And nothing about the two of them together should make sense.
But neither of them is exactly how they seem to the outside world. Both are plagued by personal demons and haunted by ghosts of their pasts. Pasts that have made them two strong and willful individuals not used to bending. Especially Janet. But after years of tiptoeing around their feelings for each other, feelings that have only grown more intense, they decide to see where this thing between them can go.
Janet and Max together blurs the lines of D/s. In most D/s relationships, there is a top and a bottom. One dominant, one submissive. Okay, sure, sometimes one partner can be a switch, but they still fulfill the role opposite of their partner at the time. With Max and Janet, there is a definite give and take between them. Max isn’t a switch. Max simply has very keen senses, knowing when to push and when not to, and puts them to good use with Janet. Their relationship is not an easy one to find a balance with, but it was definitely worth the extra effort.
And the more I got to know who Max and Janet are, the more I wanted them to find that balance. Both have such heartbreaking back stories. So much they’ve had to overcome in their lives. I wanted so badly for Janet to finally expose her soft underbelly to someone. To Max. When she finally does… it made me cry.
I will admit that a woman in the dominant role isn’t my favorite thing though. Which might explain why Ben is my favorite Knight (Hostile Takeover)—you can’t get any more dominant than Ben Callahan! But, personal preference aside, I still respected the heck out of Janet. She was my kind of woman: confident, strong, and not afraid to be a little vulnerable at times. And Max! Whew, even when he let Janet control things, his machismo was still palpable. Even when she had him cuffed and bound, he could break free and take charge if he wanted to. Sigh. So hot.
I also truly adored the glimpses we’re giving of my favorite K&A men. Especially Ben. Oh, Ben. I loved his small but important role in Janet and Max’s story. That man… he melts my butter!
Willing Sacrifice had an element of suspense to it too. Max’s background as a Navy SEAL and Janet’s surprisingly dark past as a ballerina came together to make some interesting drama. I knew that Miz Hill did romance and erotica well – very well – but when she combined that with some extra suspense and drama? Wow. I bow down to the mistress!
From the direction of her glance, the way it shifted upward at her own leisurely pace, he had a pretty good idea she'd been studying his ass. He was wearing slacks and the K&A dark embroidered placket shirt, no sports coat over it at the moment. When he lifted a brow, she shrugged. "That's sexual harassment," he muttered. Despite the distance, she offered a seductive smile and picked up her pen. "Report me," she mouthed, and gave him a wink. He grinned all the way back to the parking deck.
First off: you will know by the prologue if this is a book you want to read. Miz Thomas hits you with the darkness from p...moreRating: B ... Heat: Sizzling?
First off: you will know by the prologue if this is a book you want to read. Miz Thomas hits you with the darkness from page one and the hits never stop. I think I cried for most of the book. The first half was almost non-stop tears. It horrified me and scared me and kept me turning the page.
Grace has been a part of the BDSM lifestyle for years and has become disenchanted by it because it feels like playing pretend. She doesn't want safe words. She doesn't want safe, sane, and consensual. She wants a true Master/slave relationship.
So when she meets Lucas online, it seems like a dream come true. He lives on a tropical island where slavery is legal. To move there, you revoke your other citizenship. To move there, you give up all your rights. The only law protecting you? Masters are prohibited from killing their slaves.
After a year of IMs and video chats and phone calls, Grace takes the plunge. And she dives face first into a nightmare. If there is a word for something worse, more evil and atrocious than a nightmare, that's what Grace experiences. Lucas is despicable. Sick. A sociopathic sadist. What he does to Grace… there are no words.
Grace is abused by Lucas. Beaten, violated, broken. The only part of her he can't seem to touch is some place deep within her mind. One tiny last reserve of strength that pisses Lucas off and makes him decide to sell her. Thank goodness for that, because Grace was already wishing he’d kill her.
Asher, who is still grieving the loss of his previous slave, wants to atone for Darcy's death by purchasing Grace from Lucas. One look at Grace and he wants to own her. And while he wants utter submission, what he gets from Grace in the beginning is utterly broken.
Asher is not a knight in shining armor. He's also not evil like Lucas. He's firm with Grace but not cruel. He is the Master and she is the slave and that's what both of them want. Their relationship had me mesmerized. It felt… authentic. Twisted. Often disturbing. I can't put Asher or Grace in a neat little hero and heroine box with tidy labels. I liked them even if I didn't understand them or relate to them.
This book is not for everyone. It will offend you, terrify you, make you bawl, make you gasp. There are things in this book you can't un-read. Dark, dark things. These characters don’t play pretend with the Master/slave dynamic. Grace has no rights, no voice. She’s not her own person. And that reality was scary as hell. So, yeah, this book isn’t for everyone. It isn’t a happy, feel-good book. But it is an excellent story and the author’s way with wielding this material is aweing.
Tender Mercies drew me in with the darkness, the horror... the way it rattled my mind. It's so… extreme. I can't even put into words the things it made me feel but, oh, it made me feel a lot. If you’re feeling brave, give it a try. (less)