Publisher: Shades Of Grey Publishing Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica Ethnicity: BW-WM Sensuality Rating: Spicy Star Review: 2 star
Natalie Harding hasPublisher: Shades Of Grey Publishing Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica Ethnicity: BW-WM Sensuality Rating: Spicy Star Review: 2 star
Natalie Harding has worked hard to get where she is with the advertising agency she works for. Hired directly out of university, she has had a lot to prove and she can’t do it by succumbing to her attraction to her sexy colleague Stephano.
Even if she is watching his every move like a starving woman before a feast.
Stephano Romano has been secretly longing to do the naughtiest things to his coworker. But she’s a bit quiet and reserved and probably has a boyfriend. While working late one Friday, she hurts her hand just enough for him to feel justified to “assist” in her recovery. However, with the first brush of her skin against his, all sanity goes out the window and before either of them realized why they were doing what they were doing, a moment of genuine concern turns into unplanned heated passion and later, a cold shoulder when Natalie decides to beat him to the “Let’s Just Be Friends” speech.
She’d rather go home and read a romance than sit around wondering when or if he’d ever call her.
Ticked with his friend Harry for deciding to get married the one weekend he’d rather stay and get to know each and every delicious inch of Natalie better, Stephano plans to exchange numbers and sow the seeds to start a relationship with her, but can’t when she makes a mad dash for the taxi he’d hoped to share with her on the way home.
After being in a relationship with a man she discovered merely thought of her as his “side piece,” Natalie wants to try her hand at being in a no-strings attached type relationship, rather than risk being hurt again. However, the last thing Stephano wants is a string-free relationship.
“After the Storm” is a quick read for a day when you don’t know what you want to read outside of it being interracial. Outwardly the heroine appears to be a strong, cool, in-control of herself woman who’s got her future before her. But, a past relationship with her abusive ex has negatively impacted her outlook on relationships and more importantly herself. The author covers her past relationship to such an extent that as a reader you are likely to find yourself thinking, “Is her ex going to show up in the story and start stalking her? If not, can we get back to her and Stephano?”
Stephano, has his own issues. His last relationship was equally as disastrous. But it’s not focused on to the point of annoyance. In fact, he recognizes the signs of jealousy for what they are and helps her see that he isn’t like her ex.
The story as a whole explores the after effects of abuse, self-acceptance and the color barrier within the Jamaican/Trinidadian/Black community; as well as the poor treatment immigrants can receive when they arrive in a new country without a family and a support system in place.
But despite all of the themes and such, “After The Storm” is either too long due to excessive backstory and filler, or too short due to the author not fully exploring the hero and heroine’s developing relationship.
It’s a pleasant enough story, but Natalie and Stephano spend very little time on the page together that doesn’t involve them sleeping together or in their mutual workplace. There is a non-erotic version of this story titled, “All I Ever Need,” for those readers who aren’t into seeing what goes on behind the characters bedroom doors. But I fail to imagine what those readers will encounter since so much of what I read in this book seems to involve them in bed. But then again, perhaps that version has more scenes that develop their relationship, giving readers a better rounded story.
Likes: It takes place in England!
It could’ve just as easily have taken place anywhere in the world, but the subtle hints of English influence gave the story a nice flavor.
I also like the fact that the author created a tamer version of this book titled, “All I Ever Needed” for readers who aren’t into reading anything spicy. However, I do worry about possible confusion on the part of readers thinking that this is a new story.
Dislikes: The amount of unnecessary back story and just plain old fashioned telling was virtually unbearable. Numerous times I found myself rolling my eyes and exclaiming with exasperation, “I. Don’t. CARE!”
There were a few grammar issues. But with the overabundance of information about her past relationship…which I understand was necessary to a point. But only to a POINT….it was easy to ignore a grammar slip-up here or there.
*moans to self as her eyes spin in her head*
IMRR’s Favorite Scene:
***The Obligatory SPOILER ALERT***
About midway through the story, after we’ve learned more than we probably should’ve at that point about her past relationship with her ex-boyfriend Michael, she’s in a store buying insanely expensive lingerie when she overhears him with his “showpiece/publicly acceptable” girlfriend, Melissa. Her initial thought is to put everything back and leave before he sees her. However, his reaction to seeing her is not what she expects and at that point in the story you can almost see the light bulb over her head turn on as she ignores his panicked look and introduces herself to his girlfriend. She subtly issues a threatening reminder to her ex about her brother’s threat to kill him; then returns to her shopping with a spring in her step.
Honestly, up until this scene I could barely tolerate the heroine and her milquetoast mindset. But her recognizing her abusive ex for the wimpy punk that he was, was the first moment I felt I could respect the heroine enough to continue reading the story.
After a stress filled y Publisher: Beautiful Trouble Publishing Genre: Contemporary, Erotica Ethnicity: BW-WM Sensuality Rating: Spicy Star Review: 4 stars
After a stress filled year of work and worry about her father’s health, at the urging of her best friend Tia during a girls night out filled with one drink too many, uber-responsible accountant Grace Hughes comes up with a bucket list for Mardi Gras that reads like the prelude to a questionable morning after for a girl gone wild.
However, there is no way in hell former professional wrestler Brett “The Wolf” McAllister is letting the woman he loves go to Mardi Gras and flash her lusciousness to anyone for a string of beads. Never mind actually accomplish the rest of the items on her crazy bucket list without him being there to protect her from herself. Problem is, Grace is his accountant and refuses to see him as more than a client turned trusted friend.
But when Grace’s best friend, Tia cancels at the last minute and she’s left without a travel partner, Brett is more than happy to accompany her on her first trip to The Big Easy and help her check off at few items on her bucket list; starting with the one night stand he plans on making permanent.
“The Bucket List” by Gyner Fyer is a super sexy laugh-filled novella with likable and more importantly, relatable characters in situations we all might find ourselves in…or at least hope we’ll find ourselves in. Single, sexy and in need of a vacation; only to have your best male friend, who wants to be more, volunteer to take you and more than eager to become victim to your decision to seduce him.
Likes: Brett’s total commitment to a relationship with Grace, despite the fact that she refuses to see him for who he is to her.
Dislikes: The length. I honestly wish it was longer if only to see more of the relationship prior to Brett discovering her bucket list.
IMRR’s Favorite Scene:
In a moment of take the bull by the horns bravado, Grace decides to tell Brett how she feels about him. Every syllable from her lips is amazing news for Brett. Fact is, he’s been waiting more than two years for her to say it. And once it’s out her mouth, as far as Brett’s concerned, all bets are off.
Here’s the kicker, she makes her confession as he’s driving along a packed interstate and the hotel with its big beds is only God knows how far away and he is only SO patient. So what does Brett do? He does what any hot-blooded, horny man does when the woman of his dreams tells him she wants him. He drives like a maniac until he can get to somewhere to safely pull off and ravish her. Problem is, the state police took note of his crazy driving and now thinks he’s kidnapping Grace. He’s mad because he was in heaven feasting on Grace’s luscious lips and was heading downtown with it all before the trooper interrupted him. Grace is beyond embarrassed. She looks like a hooker with her skirt hitched up on the side of a busy highway! Honestly, it was such a sexy, cute, funny scene from start to finish that I’ve gone back to it and read it over several times.
Publisher: Electric Gentleman Publishing Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Erotica Ethnicity: BW-WM Sensuality Rating: Spicy Star Review: 4 ½ stars
“A child from thePublisher: Electric Gentleman Publishing Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Erotica Ethnicity: BW-WM Sensuality Rating: Spicy Star Review: 4 ½ stars
“A child from the blue world shall come and end the war of wars two races joined The Iss-Ka-Mala will play and the songs of the ancients shall be known once again.” – Kiran Prophecy
From her earliest dreams of parents who’d love and protect her, to music stardom, and the sleeping prince she’d tell all of her troubles to, Paralegal Claudia Bellows has spent her life succumbing to one broken dream after another. But when her car breaks down along a lonely stretch of road her life is forever changed when the good Samaritan who stops to help, turns out to be a interplanetary recruiter in search of courtesans to travel to the planet Kir.
With no real family, and a job that does little to fulfill her heart’s desire for love and acceptance, Claudia follows the new path before her into a world where everything she’s ever known to be true, including her name, becomes nothing more than a blurry dream and her dream world becomes more real each and every day, including her sleeping prince.
Wrongly accused of treason and executed, Mendon Pelaea Yaaden Supreme Commander of the Farenjannos has been secretly stashed and put in stasis for 600 Q cycles. But while he slumbers, there’s been one constant consolation…a voice calling to him from the Blue World 23 light years away.
But his awakening and her arrival isn’t welcomed by all. They have enemies and they will stop at nothing to keep them from fulfilling their destiny.
Srae Iss-Ka-Mala on the surface is a story about an apparent misfit discovering she’s not really who or what she thought she was. And that her existence is anything but coincidental. The gods have a plan and a purpose for her life, and it starts now. But, beyond that, is the reminder to all that culture, race and personal beliefs don’t make any one person, race or nation more evolved than their neighbor. It simply makes us unique individuals.
This book will make you think. You will love the characters. You will identify with Srae (Claudia) and her friends. You will enjoy the action, the drama, the romance and the page scorching heat nestled in each line. But you will think...deeply. You will close this book with a smile on your face and patiently, or not so patiently depending upon how far you’re bent in one direction or the other, wait for the next installment in the series.
Likes: Each character is well-written, fully fleshed out and entertaining from page one until the end.
BUT, more importantly, Medon is utterly delicious. He’s cunning, brilliant, dark, dangerous and so sexy I’m ready to hop the first thing flying to get a shot at him.
Srae; I absolutely adore that the author gave her interior dialogue that wasn’t one romantic cliché after another. Her thoughts reflected much of what I would’ve thought when placed in the situations that she found herself in.
As for the world-building….the author has mastered it and can easily teach others how to world-build in her sleep. It’s not only complex without being obvious and over readers’ heads, but it’s complete. The author has literally thought of virtually everything readers take for granted in good world building, but notice immediately when it’s done wrong.
Dislikes: While I understand the need for most of the chapter prior to what is essentially the epilogue, probably the first half of it could’ve been…shorter? However, once you read it,….and trust me, you really should read this book,…you’ll see it for what it is: the beginning of book two in the Iss-Ka-Mala Chronicles. Which I believe is scheduled to come out November 2013. Mark your calendar; Lord knows I will. Although, now that I think about it, this isn’t so much a “Dislike” as it is, “Why Can’t Chaeya Write Faster?” moment.
IMRR’s Favorite Scene:
The entirety of the book is one long favorite scene for me. So, allow me to mention a few of my favorite character quirks/moments that had me on the floor each time they appeared. Medon, with his sexy-self has lived a long life and has learned every possible trick, spell and power play to get what he wants. Claudia/Srae, independent woman that she is, is forever doing exactly what he doesn’t want her to do. So much so, that in order to get her to comply, he sings her a “lullaby” that would stop her in her tracks. Each time he sang, I was on the floor laughing.
Running a close second for some of my favorite moments, is any time Mendon attempted to get her to tell him she loved him.
Because she’s never had anyone to love of her own, admitting that she deeply cares for anyone comes hard to Srae. So, rather than actually saying the words, she charmingly tells him, “You know.” It is a moment in the book where despite all the mayhem going on in her life, that we’re reminded of her humanity and vulnerability.
Despite the fact that her ex-husband is in jail for attacking her, Cinder Wyatt knows his only thought upon release will be to kill her. So, she doesDespite the fact that her ex-husband is in jail for attacking her, Cinder Wyatt knows his only thought upon release will be to kill her. So, she does what any woman with an ounce of sense does, she moves away, creates her own personal Fort Knox and takes lessons in self-defense. She does everything possible to protect herself when the unexpected happens…she falls for her sensei, former Marine Gian Piasanti. Too bad, he’s not the only one wanting to stake his claim on her.
From the moment Cinder walks into his dojo, Gian Piasanti’s intrigued. There’s something about this quiet beauty that speaks to him on a physical and emotional level. It’s obvious that she’s been emotionally scarred and every protective instinct he has is screaming to protect her at all costs whether by teaching her to fight back or taking on her battles himself.
Burn takes the reader into the world of a recovering victim of abuse. It explores it from the subtle clues at the beginning of the disastrous relationship to the moment the sirens scream and beyond. Readers are given the opportunity to watch Cinder not simply rebuild her life, but make the journey back to being who she was meant to be and discovering that true love nurtures and protects.
As a whole, it’s a good book and quite enjoyable. But it does have some slow moments that I could’ve done without and subplots involving secondary characters that as a reader I wish the author had hinted at less (I’m of the mind that the author was setting up the premise for her next book) or allowed to reach it’s obvious conclusion before Burn reached its happily ever after.
Like: The author’s attention to detail and her focusing on the subject of spousal abuse.
Dislike: Too many secondary characters. After a while, it became a bit difficult to keep track of them.
Favorite Scene: *Spoiler Alert*
When Cinder finally puts her new found skills to use, in the final scenes of the story, she was beautifully cold and calculating and I loved it. ...more
Sydni Cannes has been both big sister and Mom to her sister Charli, and after years of being focused on making sure Charli had a roof over her head anSydni Cannes has been both big sister and Mom to her sister Charli, and after years of being focused on making sure Charli had a roof over her head and went to college, she’s now free to pursue living her own life.
Problem is…Sydni’s life consists of work, work and more work. That is, until her sister talks her into going out with her to a dance club. But when she’s caught up in a raid and spends a sleepless night in the hooskow, her life is irreversibly changed as she stands before the judge and hears a sexy voice proclaim…“…I’ll be representing Ms. Cannes.”
Now she has a new set of problems in the form of a sexy, buff, but younger lawyer.
Drew Caruth has had his eye on his friend Charli’s sexy, older sister Sydni for years. Unfortunately, Sydni doesn’t know he exist. Or at least she didn’t prior to Charli asking him to rescue Sydni from jail. But Sydni’s more focused on his age, than she is on how well they work together both on and off the job.
Once Drew gets a toe-hold into Syndi’s life, all bets are off….and Sydni’s guaranteed to lose…or win in this case.
Caramel Kisses is a seductive read with smart characters, great dialogue, steamy sex and just enough intrigue to keep you scrolling through the pages on your ereader.
In Syndi Cannes, author T.J. Michaels has created a character readers can identify with. A woman in her early 40’s, single, childless and virtually married to her career and whether she wants to or not, she’s attractive to younger men because of her confidence at home and at work. And Drew Caruth? He’s just the man, regardless of age, who can handle being with a strong, confident woman.
Like: The fact that these two characters were so evenly matched and that for Drew and Sydni, the saying “Age ain’t nothing but a number rings loud and true.”
Dislike: Sincerely wish it was a bit longer. Personally, I’m of the mind that should this book ever go to print Ms. Michaels can lengthen it with a few scenes that were merely hinted at previously (probably for the sake of a publisher mandated word count.)
Favorite Scene: *Mini-Spoiler Alert*
Tired of Sydni’s hints that he would be better off with a younger woman and finally her all but throwing him at another woman simply because she’s closer to his age, Drew follows her home and with the assistance of a silk scarf, shows her without any question she’s the woman for him. ...more
Eris Brue’s parent’s sense of humor in naming her after the goddess of Chaos hasn’t been lost on her. Prior to starting her most recently job catalogiEris Brue’s parent’s sense of humor in naming her after the goddess of Chaos hasn’t been lost on her. Prior to starting her most recently job cataloging the collection of two insanely rich, reclusive clients, she lost her cell phone, her car died, the tow truck driver had an attitude and the directions she was given by her coworker were completely wrong, thus assuring she arrived late.
aturally, she’s anything but shocked when she finally arrives and discovered that same coworker has once again given the guard at the gated entrance the wrong name and she finds herself being escorted in like a suspect. And of course, that same coworker has grossly underestimated the length of time it would take to complete the job. When she meets her new clients, she tells them as much. But unlike most people when their told the job will take significantly longer and cost way more than they were quoted, they don’t get upset. Fact is, it barely moves them….but she does.
Anyone meeting Ranulf Styr and Lucien Riordan for the first time, assume from their closeness that they’re gay. But nothing could be further from the truth. They love women. Or more specifically, they both love one woman and have been awaiting her return for centuries. But when she walks through their door, completely unaware of who they are and more specifically; who they are to her, the battle to claim her versus allowing time to play out on its own begins. Centuries earlier, Eris dropped into their lives claiming to be from their future. Problem was, her story was not only unbelievable, it’s impossible. But in the here and now, they have to do what’s necessary to claim her love….individually and together.
“Eris” by D. Renee Bagby, the first in her Eternal Truth Series is a perfectly plotted, deliciously complex story that delves deeply into how far a person will go for forgiveness, reconciliation and above all, love. Ms. Bagby smoothly melds together the past with the present while slickly adding in an element of mythology in such a way that’s guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats flipping pages.
Like: Everything. Its complexity builds from one scene to the next and by the time you’ve reached the last two or three chapters you’re a slave to every word on the page.
Dislike: Uhhh…..I’m sure there was something I disliked. Nope, nothing comes to mind. Oh wait! I only have this book in eBook format. I’ve got to get a print version of it to run my fingers over and caress lovingly.
Favorite Scene: Like potato chips, I can’t pick just one. ...more
Vincenzo Lucentio, CEO of Lucentio Pictures has a plan. A plan that involves getting his favorite actress, Katarina Minola, and his brother, the eternVincenzo Lucentio, CEO of Lucentio Pictures has a plan. A plan that involves getting his favorite actress, Katarina Minola, and his brother, the eternally unlucky in love, Pietro together.
Problem is, Katarina is a diva-extraordinaire, as well known for her tacky leopard print attire and firing her personal assistants as she is for her Oscar winning role in “Honey Love” years earlier, and…Pietro hates her.
When a contract to star in a movie with Lucentio Pictures shows up on her doorstep Katharina see it as an opportunity to prove to the world once again that she’s got what it takes. The only thing preventing her from returning the signed contract immediately is her pride. After all, that’s about all she has other than her dog Scottie and an out of date wardrobe. But what Katharina doesn’t know is the movie she’s about to film is a farce, an intervention. And her “come-back” will only be successful if she let go of the person she is, in favor of the person she was back in the day.
Meanwhile, Vincento is positive his brother Pietro is just the man to help her with her rediscovery. Because, despite how he feels about her now, Vicento knows that at one time, for the space of less than a day, Pietro Lucentio adored Katharina Minola. But then she opened her mouth and his love turned to intense loathing.
Happy to avoid Katharina and all the other crazies in Hollywood, Pietro Lucentio moved to the wilderness of Northern Canada. He loves the isolation the distance and artic cold brings. Unfortunately, none of the women he’s been engaged to since moving loved it as much as he does. It’s peaceful, quiet and clean. Naturally, the last thing Pietro would ever want to do, would be to willingly spend time in his favorite place on earth with Katharina bossing him around. But it is the dead of winter…and her cabin doesn’t have hot running water…or heat. He can’t just let her freeze to death, can he?
“She’s The One” by J.J. Murray is one part self-rediscovery (Katharina) and three parts screwball comedy, at its absolute best. From page one through the epilogue, “She’s The One” is one rip-roaring laugh after another as we watch each “actor” play their part in the taming of the shrewish Katharina.
Like: I adore the secondary characters of Fish and Walt as much as I do the main characters. They bring so much to the story that I almost wish I knew more about them personally…almost. I also loved the fact that Katharina continually called Pietro, “Fonzi.”
Dislike: Katharina’s treatment of Bianca. However, she wouldn’t need taming if she was nice, polite and winning friends at every turn.
Favorite Scene: Like potato chips, I can’t pick just one. ...more