I can understand why this book won the contest -- it was hard to believe that this is a debut author.
With a cool twist on the Amazonian legends, a strI can understand why this book won the contest -- it was hard to believe that this is a debut author.
With a cool twist on the Amazonian legends, a strong heroine, a crafty emperor, intrigue, betrayal, and....a Bachelor-style contest to find the Emperor a wife?
That last part is not nearly as ridiculous as it sounds, and combined with great pacing, interesting characters, and just the right amount of steam and action, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
While the HEA wasn't exactly what I'm used to, and the chemistry between our protagonists not necessarily there from the beginning, I still enjoyed romance, and was happy with the way things worked out in the end.
Expected Release Date: May 28, 2013 Publisher: Hachette Book Group ImprintThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 28, 2013 Publisher: Hachette Book Group Imprint: Grand Central Publishing: Forever Author’s Website: http://www.vickydreiling.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Book 1, The Sinful Scoundrels Series (Spinoff of How To Series) Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy Pet Peeves: Choppy Writing, “Big Twist” Not Very Twisty Favorite Tropes: Pretend Engagement, Courting Scandal
One thing that really stood out about this book was that the writing felt very awkward and choppy — not what I’m used to from this author at all. I’m not certain if it’s simply a matter of the review copy I received being unedited to the point that the writing style felt a bit differently than I was used to, or if it’s actually a shift in the author’s writing style, but either way, it was a big disappointment.
I liked the basic story, but the Big Twist was overly obvious in the setup, and, as harsh as this sounds, I think I’m more excited about the sequel than I was about this one.
I don’t want to leave you thinking that it was all bad, though, because that certainly wasn’t the case. The chemistry between Bell and Laura was wonderful, and I loved the interactions that involved Laura’s stepson as well.
Recommended for fans of reluctantly reformed rakes, virtuous widows, and deliciously scandalous pretend engagements.
3.5/5 Stars, but I will be reading the next book when it comes available.
Cute -- not a lot of outside angst, and just the right amount of heat. Wish the cover featured a brunette like the heroine though (but that never counCute -- not a lot of outside angst, and just the right amount of heat. Wish the cover featured a brunette like the heroine though (but that never counts against the rating).
Reminiscent of some of my favorites by Loretta Chase or Anne Mallory, thThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Reminiscent of some of my favorites by Loretta Chase or Anne Mallory, this treasure of a book pulled me in from the very first pages and refused to let me go, even as I turned the final page.
One thing I did want to note was that even though it was obvious early on that this book was part of a series, there was never a time where I felt at a disadvantage for having not read the previous books in the series. I may go back and read the others, I may not, but this story worked perfectly as a standalone.
I loved Rafe so much, most likely because while he had such a tough exterior, inside he was so wounded. His veneer of a tough, uncaring jerk may have fooled the world around him, but as a reader, we easily got to see past that into the wounded little boy who wrapped himself in a tough shell so that nobody would ever know just how badly he was hurting on the inside. While I wouldn’t recommend this story to fans of the truly cruel variety of tortured hero, I would definitely recommend it to fans of those heroes whose golden hearts are more covered with chipped plaster than true rock.
While there were times that I wanted to shake Eve for being so naive and impossibly unrealistic about life in general, I couldn’t help but admire her for not only being able to charm Rafe out of his cocoon, but for being able to stand up against so much heartache that life threw at her all at once.
Overall, I simply couldn’t put it down, and I have no doubt that this will be one that I will be re-reading quite a bit in the future.
Recommended for fans of naive yet charming heroines, of stoic, damaged heroes who are helpless against said heroine’s charms, and of finding an impossible happily every after in spite of everything life throws in your way.
This book was so, so good, and that's coming from someone who doesn't even like contemporary romance in general.
With relatable characters (despite thThis book was so, so good, and that's coming from someone who doesn't even like contemporary romance in general.
With relatable characters (despite their sometimes celebrity status), plenty of realistic ups and downs, and a decent secondary romance that didn't take away from the main love story, (not to mention the yummy chemistry) I couldn't put it down.
4.5-5, full review and final rating to follow. ...more
Not nearly as good as the first book, but still entertaining. I was disappointed that our heroine lost all of her weight -- I'm a fan of plus size herNot nearly as good as the first book, but still entertaining. I was disappointed that our heroine lost all of her weight -- I'm a fan of plus size heroines. Plus, there was the pet name thing that was overdone just like in the first.
Still, though, for the $0.99 purchase price that it currently sports, a nice way to pass the day.
Hot and steamy, with a happily ending (in more ways than one - heh) despite the author's warning that these stories should be considered to be eroticaHot and steamy, with a happily ending (in more ways than one - heh) despite the author's warning that these stories should be considered to be erotica rather than erotic romance.
I really enjoyed the fact that the heroine is a Siren and the hero is an Angel of Death -- not a combination we often see in romance, erotic or otherwise.
With a great basic premise (I love the idea behind Last Call in general), interesting characters, and of course, some absolutely scrumptious smexin', this is an easy keeper.
A sexy little historical, this one featured a rather scandalous duchess and a secret-agent lordling. While I did find it a bit obnoxious that our intrA sexy little historical, this one featured a rather scandalous duchess and a secret-agent lordling. While I did find it a bit obnoxious that our intrepid heroine would pursue an affair with the man who was presumably engaged to her sister, even IF she planned to put an end to the loveless match, I have to say that I enjoyed this one.
Expected Release Date: April 23, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: CarinaThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: April 23, 2012 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://julianaross.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
My biggest issue with this novella is that I’m just not a big fan of “blunt” or “crude” language in romances, nor do I care for anatomy lessons during lovemaking. It’s simply not a writing style that appeals to me. So you can probably understand when I say that this was actually a tough story to review. I loved the characters, with the unrepentantly wicked Leo and the blossoming widow Hannah taking center stage.
However, when a story is billed as an “erotic romance”, it’s very hard to rave about it when you didn’t actually care for the lovemaking. I loved the characters, and I enjoyed the plot, but the actual love scenes really didn’t do much for me.
So, in the end, I’d recommend this for fans of historical widows experiencing their first sexual awakening, bored rakes fighting their ennui with a forbidden affair, and explicit language to go along with the explicit romance.
Expected Release Date: March 28, 2012 Publisher: NLA Digital Liaison PlatThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: March 28, 2012 Publisher: NLA Digital Liaison Platform Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.maggiemarr.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
This was a fun, fast read. While there was a “Big Misunderstanding” (during which Cole needed to be pimp-slapped for his major overreaction), there was no truly heavy drama. Instead, we got to focus on the sweetness of the relationship between Meg and Cole, and to enjoy watching them fall in love.
Recommended for fans of inter-office romance, Big Misunderstandings, and learning to trust again.
Expected Release Date: June 26, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: AvoThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 26, 2012 Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: lorettachase.com My Source for This Book: Edelweiss Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Dressmakers Series Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
Oh but how I adore the way Loretta Chase manages to give us deliciously sensible and pragmatic yet beautiful and enchanting heroines and the delightfully befuddled rake heroes to go with them. There is such magic in her stories, and this one was certainly no exception. While lighthearted and witty, there is still enough drama to keep things interesting, and the love that develops between Sophie and Longmore is absolutely delicious.
I’m so looking forward to Leonie’s book as well! The author herself was kind enough to tip me off to the fact that we have not yet met Leonie’s hero, and I can’t wait to see who the final Noirot sister ends up with! I also desperately hope that poor Clara gets her own Happily Ever After one day, whether it be in her own book, or as a subplot Leonie’s story.
Recommended for fans of lighthearted historical romance, delightfully charming (and sly!) heroines, and delicious heroes completely blindsided by love.
Expected Release Date: June 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarlequinThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Harlequin Historical Author’s Website: http://www.margueritekaye.com/ My Source for This Book: eHarlequin.com Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Princes of the Desert Series Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
I have a confession to make: I adore Sheikh stories. They’re a total guilty pleasure of mine. I also happen to love historicals, so when I saw that this was not only a Sheikh story but an historical Sheikh story, I knew I had to snag it.
Luckily for me, it quite lived up to my expectations. Having several of my favorite (and guilty pleasure) tropes, there was plenty of drama and angst, but also wonderful sensuality and of course the lovely exotic backdrop of a Middle Eastern country that is a main reason to read Sheikh stories.
Celia was a strong heroine, without being blatantly “modern” — she was uncomfortable at first in the native garb of pants and a tunic and the idea of no corset, and she was appalled at the idea of being installed into a harem, or even bathing in front of other women. Ramiz, as well, was “progressive” without completely ignoring the traditional male roles of the period. He was astonished at the idea of sharing political conversations with a female, and while he was strongly attracted to Celia, I think it was a while before he truly saw her as more than just a “woman”.
While I do wish it had been a bit longer, and perhaps had been a tiny bit more realistic ending, overall I greatly enjoyed this story. A very solid 4/5 Stars...more
Expected Release Date: September 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarpThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: September 1, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://jennybrown.net/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Astrology series Series Best Read In Order: Probably, but worked well as a standalone. Steam Level: Steamy
Back in England after a long stint in India, Captain Mile Trevelyan must do his duty and find a proper bride and quickly get her with child before he returns to India at the end of his leave. Determined to enjoy himself a bit before throwing himself into the marriage mart, he is accompanying a friend to a local brothel when his pocket is picked by a beautiful woman. Rescuing her from being turned in to the Watch, he can’t resist kissing her — and soon finds himself with his pants around his ankles and the lovely robber nowhere in sight.
Smart and manipulative, Temperance Smith was not about to let this handsome officer — an officer of the dragoons who symbolize everything she stands against — get the better of her, no matter how delicious his kisses. However, her Scorpio nature prevents her from resisting a challenge when it becomes apparent that he has taken possession of her locket, the locket holding the image of her dear, departed Randall.
It soon seems, however, that not only was Randall not who Temperance thought he was, but that Miles himself is much more than meets the eye.
While I enjoyed this book, especially the second half, I couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something a bit “off” about it. Perhaps it was the unusual verbage, or the speed at which Miles and Temperance’s relationship moved once they’d agreed she’d be his mistress, but more than that, I could simply be that the overall tone of the book was darker than I’d originally expected.
Regardless of the reason, I did enjoy Temperance’s character, and greatly warmed up to Miles about halfway through, and the level of importance put on astrology was a very interesting and frankly refreshing take on historical romance.
With political plots, distrustful lovers, and a seemingly hopeless future, this book grabbed my attention from the very beginning, despite any issues I may have had.
Therefore, in the end, recommended for fans of shady heroines, mistrustful (and not entirely gentlemanly) heroes, and relying on your wits to get out of a seemingly impossible situation.
Expected Release Date: March 29, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: MacmillaThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: March 29, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Macmillan Imprint: St. Martin's Paperbacks Author’s Website: http://www.janelledenison.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Reliance Group Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
Nathan Fox is a former Marine, and a washed-up vice cop. Having lost everything, including his fiance, after his last case went sour, he's now a recovering alcoholic leading the security team for the Onyx Casino in Las Vegas. Behind the scenes, however, he works for the Reliance Group, a private organization that utilizes the unique skills of its team to accomplish things that sometimes law enforcement simply can't get done.
When a new case comes along that bears startling similarities to the case that ended Nathan's career as a vice cop, he knows that no matter how reluctant he may be to revisit the ghosts of his past, he's the only thing standing between a young girl and a life of forced depravity.
Things get complicated, however, when pushy reporter Nicole Hutton also goes undercover to bust Preston Sloane, a seemingly untouchable pedophile and member of the illegal skin-trade -- the same man responsible for the disappearance of the girl Nathan is searching for.
Knowing that he has no choice but to work with her lest she expose his true identity, Nathan is determined to keep Nicole out of harm's way. But Nicole has personal reasons to expose Sloane, and nothing, not even the explosive chemistry between her and Nathan is going to keep her from doing everything she can to prevent Sloane's girls from living a life that was once almost her own.
To be honest, this one started off pretty slow for me. While Nathan was interesting to me, with his undercover work for the Reliance Group, his history as a vice-cop, and his devastation over a girl he couldn't save, which had led to alcoholism and the loss of his fiance.
Nicole, on the other hand, didn't really appeal to me. She was a strong, confident, modern woman, who was also an ambitious reporter, willing to bend the rules on occasion to get out of the rut of "fluff pieces" for her paper and move on to something bigger. However, she felt more.. obnoxious to me rather than interesting. I don't know if it was her overtly aggressive sexuality (which truly just isn't my thing), or the fact that she was pushy, conceited, and frankly a bit dishonest that made her unappealing at first.
Definitely don't let that put you off, however, because only a few chapters in, Nicole's facade begins to crack, and you begin to glimpse the woman she really is -- one who has worked so hard to rebuild her life after literally almost losing everything, and who hides behind her strong, independent persona.
There's also no denying that this book was incredibly hot, and the tension between Nathan and Nicole was absolutely decadent. The love scenes were plentiful without taking away from the rescue mission, and I for one absolutely adored the ending.
There was also a slight touch of the paranormal, as one of the female members of the Reliance Group has psychic powers, but they were severely downplayed and seemed more to be included as a setup for future books than a major part of the plot for this one.
In the end, I actually enjoyed this one a lot more than I thought I would at first. The villain is believable, the suspense involved in undercover work jacked up the tension all around, and the romance was steamy and satisfying.
A perfect introduction into the Reliance Group series as a whole, this book was a perfect blend of sex and suspense. Recommended for fans of realistic (yet incredibly hot) heroes trying to claw their way back into the action after a horrible incident, of heroines forced to break down the walls that have served as protection for almost a lifetime, and of pulse-pounding suspense, all doused liberally with delicious chemistry and some wonderfully hot lovemaking.
Expected Release Date: August 30, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarperThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 30, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.carolinelinden.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, The Truth About The Duke Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Expected Release Date: August 30, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarperCollins Imprint: Avon Author’s Website: http://www.carolinelinden.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, The Truth About The Duke Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
A bargain that was all business . . . and pure passion.
Neither wealth nor beauty will help Lady Francesca Gordon win custody of her young niece Georgina, saving the girl from a cruel stepmother; she needs London’s top solicitor for that. But when Edward de Lacey, son of the powerful Duke of Durham, hires away the one man who can do the job, Francesca decides Edward himself must champion her case . . . if only she can melt the dashing lord’s stony heart.
Edward has reason to be guarded, though. London’s tabloids have just exposed a secret that could ruin his entire family. When Francesca offers a unique chance to undo the damage, Edward is forced to agree to a partnership . . . and now, each moment together feeds the flames of his scandalous longing for the passionate widow. But when Georgina disappears, fate will test them both . . . and leave their love hanging in the balance.
For once, I’m not including my own summary because the official blurb states it much more clearly than I could do otherwise.
This was one of the more satisfying romances I’ve read in a very long time. Both Francesca and Edward truly needed each other for balance — she pulled him out of his serious ways and he managed to keep her calm when it was important. Plus, the love scenes were wonderfully hot, which as you should know by now, is a big bonus for me.
I admit, I am greatly looking forward to the rest of the trilogy as well.
Expected Release Date: July 4, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina PThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: July 4, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://pjschnyder.com/blog/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
Kat was born a human, but when she was kidnapped as a military cadet, she was infected with a virus that mutated her genetic code, allowing her to transform into a feline. Now blessed -- or cursed -- with extraordinary senses and a deep and instinctual dislike of men, she has yet to fully overcome the torture that was inflicted on her during her imprisonment, and instead focuses on being one of the most bad-ass mercenaries this side of the galaxy.. Hiding scars both physical and mental, she's resigned herself to never knowing a loving man's touch, until her well-meaning mercenary friends dump her on a planet with a reservation at a swanky hotel and orders to "enjoy herself" until they return. Miserable, knowing that her social skills leave a lot to be desired, she decides to take advantage of her time off by heading down to the local bar.
Faced with the end of his military tour and strongly disillusioned by the orders given on his last mission, Lt. Christopher Rygard heads to the bar to drown his misery, when he's astonished to witness a beautiful and deadly woman cut through a massive bar brawl like a hot knife through butter, and cautiously introduces himself to her.
Taken slightly aback by her shy manner yet intrigued by her obvious capabilities, he flirts with her and is happy when she clumsily returns his advances.
Making their way to her hotel room, they give in to the scorching attraction crackling between them, and he unknowingly gives her the first positive sexual experience of her life.
The situation quickly deteriorates, however, when a misunderstanding leads Rygard to be cruel to Kat, but before the situation can be corrected, Ryagard is attacked by creatures from the alien world that his last mission had taken place on. Out for blood and revenge, the attackers are as astonished as Rygard when Kat assumes her feline form to defend him, and she quickly earns the respect of the attackers. They are given a choice -- Rygard can die now, or they can work together to right the wrong that Rygard's team committed, and Kat attempts to shoulder aside her hurt to participate in a mission that could very well result in her being enslaved again.
To make matters worse, Rygard's allegiance to the military requires him to report Kat's existence as a shifter -- and in doing so, he would certainly be risking her very life.
Apart from the ending (*grumble grumble*) I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Kat is made of awesome and Rygard is a deeply honorable man with some baggage as well, and together I think they make a perfect match. The sensuality level was perfect for this length of a story, and the secondary characters all added to the story rather than distracted.
I was very happy to receive word that there is at least a slight possibility of a sequel, and there is absolutely no question in my mind that if one is released, it will be promptly added to my "must buy" list. I admit, I can't help but hope that the kindred alpha at least makes a reappearance, though I do hope he gets his own heroine and keeps his paws off of Kat ;)
Recommended for fans of tough heroines with a traumatic past, a new take on shapeshifting, and of vaguely ambiguous endings. 3.5/5, simply because I'm withholding a half a star because of the ending lol ...more
Expected Release Date: August 30, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira AThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 30, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Mira Author’s Website: brendanovak.com My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 2, Bulletproof series Series Best Read In Order: Works well as a standalone, but read Inside first anyway. Steam Level: Steamy
Laurel Hodges has been on the run for the past four years. Having been hunted by members of a ruthless street gang, The Crew, in order to exact revenge on her brother, Virgil, she entered the Federal Witness Protection Program (WITSEC), hoping that they would be able to protect her and her two young children. When a corrupt official leaked her location, she was attacked and barely escaped with her life. Abandoning WITSEC, she has once again changed her identity and moved her family to the small, idyllic town of Pineview, Montana.
Always careful to never reveal too much about her past, or to leave trails that could lead The Crew to her or her brother, she now exists as Vivian Stewart, and has finally begun to rebuild a life for herself and her two children.
Sherrif Myles King, Vivan's handsome and widowed next door neighbor, has been strongly hinting that he wants to date her, yet Vivian is still too wary about becoming involved when she knows that she and her children may have to pick up and leave at any moment.
Just as she gives in to her longing for companionship, however, her past comes roaring back into her life when a gruesome murder shocks the small community.
Knowing that she cannot risk putting Myles in danger, she attempts to distance herself from him, but Myles refuses to stand back and let something amazing slip through his fingers. When The Crew brings the fight to their front door, Myles and Vivian team up to make their final stand.
As much as I enjoyed Inside, the first novel in this series (which also RECEIVED A 5/5 STAR RATING FROM ME), I think I may have actually enjoyed this one even more. Despite my intense disappointment that Vivian/Laurel didn't end up with Rex as her hero, I quickly fell in love with Myles and realized that Rex never would've made an ideal mate for her. I was also thrilled with the way Rex's situation was handled, and that he wasn't made out to be a bad man. I'd fallen in love with him myself over the course of the first novel, and sincerely hope that he will feature heavily in the next novel, In Close, due out in October.
Ms. Novak has an incredible skill for allowing you inside of her character's minds and motivations, and never makes things purely black and white. All of her characters, even ones who seem that they should read as though they had no depth, are painted in a wide array of shades of gray, making you care about people that you normally wouldn't think twice about, and rooting for characters that by all rights you should absolutely hate.
The love scenes were fairly tame in terms of detail, but the emotion behind them helped to create a very strong sense of eroticism, and most importantly, you could feel the romance behind every action, even when the characters themselves were resisting it.
The suspense was incredible, with several surprising twists, including some revelations about various characters that have played a part throughout the series thus far.
Overall, I simply could not put it down. The suspense, the action, and the romance all sucked me in from the very beginning and would not let me go until the very last page.
Don't forget to CHECK OUT THE AUTHOR'S WEBSITE as well! If you purchase this book before September 7th, send her the receipt and she will send you a free autographed copy of Inside, the first book in the series! This is an incredible opportunity, because as I mentioned, while this book might work well as a standalone, I do suggest you read Inside first not only because the main characters of the first book play such a large part in this one, but also because it was such an amazing book to begin with.
Even better, however, is the fact that the Kindle version is only $4.10 at the time that this review is being published, and both digital and print formats (with the exception of used copies) are included in this promotion! So, you can get the kindle format of this book AND an autographed print copy of the first book for an insanely low price, so long as you snag In Seconds before September 7th, 2011.
With both of these novels ranking very high up on my favorites list this year, this is an opportunity that you should not let pass you by.
Recommended for fans of abused heroines on the run, of small town law enforcement taking on big-city criminals, and of allowing yourself to love again despite all the obstacles life tries to throw at you. 5/5 Stars...more
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Blaze AuThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: Available Now! Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Blaze Author’s Website: http://www.vickilewisthompson.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Sons of Chance Miniseries Series Best Read In Order: No Steam Level: Hot
This is actually two books in one — Cowboys Like Us followed by the full-length story, Notorious.
The main book, Cowboys Like Us, follows Logan Carswell, who is a self-proclaimed “washed up baseball star”, after sustaining a serious knee injury during a game. Unable to play any longer, he finds himself adrift, with his girlfriend having left him now that he’s no longer a pro-ball “star”, his big-league friends rarely returning his phone calls, and the only career path available seeming to be sportscasting, which is something he simply can’t see himself doing.
Leaving Chicago behind for a few days to attend a friend’s wedding, Logan can’t even relax in the manner to which he’s become accustomed — the prescription painkillers that allowed him to dance at the reception can’t be mixed with alcohol, and being in a small town prevents him from hooking up with even the most willing of women, because he can’t bring himself to leave a woman behind to face the small-town judgement that would result in her having had a weekend fling with him.
However, his plans to behave are obliterated when he meets Caro Davis, the wholesome yet sexy bartender who has forgotten how to relax since her grandmother has moved to an assisted living community. With her grandmother and her job literally taking all of her time, she hasn’t had time for men, but when it becomes clear that the incredibly hot Logan Carswell is interested, well, all bets are off.
While Caro’s belief that she wouldn’t be subject to pity after Logan left annoyed me, I found her determination to engage in an affair and let the rest of the town go hang was a bit refreshing. I also loved that Logan was a gentleman from the start, even though he intended for their time together to be a simple fling.
I think the fact that this was actually two books in one threw me off, and made me feel as though the ending were rushed, even though it really wasn’t. I still had so many pages left before the end of the book that when the resolution and even epilogue presented itself, I was taken a bit by surprise.
Overall, this was definitely hot little read, perfect for summertime. 3/5 Stars
Keywords: Affair Turns To Love, Bartender, Contemporary, Harlequin Blaze, Professional Athlete, Secret Affair, Small Town, Steam Level: Hot, Vicki Lewis Thompson, Western Romance.
[b]BONUS STORY — Notorious[/b]
Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
Feeling stuck in her small hometown, and suffering from an unrequited crush on the sexy Noah Garfield, nineteen year old Keely Branscom shocked the town (and her family) by posing nude as the centerfold of Macho Magazine. Disgusted with her behavior, her father was understandably angry, but his harsh words were only the nudge Keely needed to leave her podunk town far behind.
Now, years later, Noah is in Vegas for his best friend’s bachelor party and wedding, when he literally bumps into Keely outside of a strip joint. A few arrogant assumptions later, and Noah is determined to play White Knight to Keely’s Damsel in Distress, only Keely isn’t looking for a white knight. Instead, she realizes that this is her only opportunity to exact some revenge on the serious Noah for turning her down when she was younger, and is determined to show him what he’s been missing all these years.
Overall, this one was surprisingly enjoyable. I don’t typically go for such brazen heroines, but the sexual tension and chemistry between Keely and Noah was enough to make the devil sweat. The misunderstanding about her career amused me, as did Noah’s determination to show her that someone could want her for more than just her body, especially when he started to justify his desires to himself by making it sound as though he would be doing her a favor by sleeping with her.
A very easy, sexy read, this too would be perfect for a lazy summer day. 3.5/5 Stars
Keywords: Affair Turns To Love, Childhood Friends to Lovers, Contemporary, Mistaken Identity, Reporter, Secret Identity, Unrequited Love, Harlequin Blaze, Small Town, What Happens In Vegas, Family Issues, Steam Level: Hot, UST Galore, Vicki Lewis Thompson.
This is the first time I’ve read a Harlequin that was essentially two books for the price of one. For less than $4 on the Kindle, you can enjoy both the sexy city-slicker-turned-cowboy Logan, and the staid rodeo rider Noah whose determination to not take advantage of the one woman he wants the most leads to some of the tastiest tension I’ve read in a Harlequin in a while....more
Expected Release Date: June 20, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: HarlequiThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 20, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: Carina Press Author’s Website: http://elysemady.wordpress.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
You know, it's been a long time since I've read a straight up contemporary romance, and I'd forgotten just how good they could be. There are no billionaire moguls and their virginal brides, no werewolves, no vampires, no ladies maids. or garden trysts, just realistic people with realistic problems, trying to make a go of things.
Leanne Galloway has worked her entire life towards one goal -- gaining recognition and tenure in her academic career. Only a short time away from not only completing her studies, but of possibly winning the Walter's Prize, the most prestigious award in her field that brings with it both recognition and funding, Leanne has neither the time nor the inclination to pursue a romantic relationship.
Brandon Myles has worked his way up from dancer to backstage manager at the Foxe's Den, a male exotic dance club, in order to pay for his post-graduate studies in dance. When the main act is a no-show, Brandon takes the stage in his place, and is shocked at an immediate connection he makes with one of the women in the audience. Shaking off his attraction, he ends his dance and heads backstage.
Guilted into going to the bachelorette party of her slutty childhood nemesis, Gillian, she's literally counting the minutes until she can leave, when Gillian sends a note backstage to one of the hot dancers suggesting a no-strings-attached hookup. Determined to retrieve Gillian's note before the dancer reads it, she literally bumps into Brandon as she attempts to sneak out of his dressing room.
Both of them are stunned by their incredible sexual tension and immediate attraction, and one thing quickly leads to another, resulting in a scorching hot encounter on the dressing room couch.
Writing it off as an uncharacteristic one-night stand, Leanne is horrified to discover that Brandon is also a graduate student on the same campus as she is, and immediately worries about her reputation, since right or wrong, women are held to higher standards for their personal life in academia than men are.
Attempting to play it cool and perhaps even "just be friends" doesn't work with the incredible chemistry between them, and soon they are navigating the unfamiliar waters of a new relationship, all the while trying to balance family, work, school, and the very real fact that Brandon's job as an exotic dancer could ruin both of their academic careers.
In the end, I adored this story. It was angsty without being melodramatic, incredibly hot without devolving into erotica, and the HEA was one of the more satisfying ones I've read in a very long time.
Recommended for fans of hunky heroes who feel they aren't quite worthy of the heroine, of intelligent heroines finally learning how to balance work and play, and of incredibly satisfying yet realistic resolutions, all liberally drenched with some hot, hot luvin'.
Expected Release Date: June 20, 2011 Publisher: Carina Press Imprint: N/A AThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: June 20, 2011 Publisher: Carina Press Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.karenwritesromance.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Merry Widows Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Hot
At 31 years old and a widow, the Dowager Lady Renwick has never been able to indulge in satisfying bed sport. Her deceased husband was much older than she was, and let’s just say he was no master of the sensual arts. Finally out of mourning, she decides that it’s time for her to indulge in an affair — and who better to do it with than the incredibly sexy Garrett Walker, a known rake who is also every matchmaking mama’s dream?
Garrett enters into the affair knowing that Lady Julia is only a temporary amusement. What he didn’t expect, however, was her beautiful responsiveness and his own possessive pride in teaching her about carnal enjoyment. In a very short time, he realizes that not only does he not want his affair to end the Season, but that he also can’t imagine spending his life with anyone other than Julia.
Sometimes you just need a good historical novella, and this story came to me at the perfect time. While I of course enjoy longer works, I did feel that this was just the right length for the story that needed to be told. The chemistry between Julia and Garrett was wonderful, and I’ve always been a fan of the “affair that turns to love” plot line. The chemistry was wonderful, the love scenes were very well done, and while their relationship progressed very quickly, I never doubted their feelings for one another.
Recommended for fans of widows daring to be scandalous, young rakes blindsided by love, and a sweetly romantic Grand Gesture.
Oh my! Let me start my review with a slight tangent: One of my all-timeThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Oh my! Let me start my review with a slight tangent: One of my all-time favorite regency romance heroes, is Lisa Klyepas’ Derek Craven from Dreaming of You. Born in the gutters, he’s pulled himself up by whatever means necessary — thievery, deceit, violence, you name it, and at the time the heroine meets him, is a successful, albeit somewhat shady, owner of a gaming hell.
Well, I’m sorry Derek, but you need to step aside for my new favorite hero, Roman.
*swoon* Oh Roman is absolutely everything I adore in a regency romance – a self made man, ruthless, cunning, at times gleefully violent, but also incredibly loyal and protective. Lowborn and from the streets of London, he is never afraid to get his hands dirty, cheerfully admits to bribing the police force, and in fact, the first time we meet him, he’s beating the holy hell out of someone (who in the end, deserved it, but still). He rubs elbows with men from all walks of life, from whoremongerers to royal dukes, and has no qualms about using whatever means are at his disposal (regardless of legality) to manipulate those around him as needed.
Then we have Charlotte. I’m not typically a fan of the stuffy-young-miss-turned-wanton heroine in romances, but I have to make an exception for Charlotte. The way Ms. Mallory writes this character, with her slowly cracking facade, makes it so you can’t help but to sympathize with her. She has known her entire life that she is to have a loveless, strategic marriage, just like her parents, and that it is up to her to be absolutely perfect in everything. Outside of saving her family from her father’s uncontrolled gambling, such a marriage will ensure that her vibrant younger sister will be accepted into society, and as such will have the freedom to, well, choose.
I have to say, that while I’m not necessarily going to go back and read the first book in the series, Seven Secrets of Seduction, I am dying to read Andreas’ book, In Total Surrender, due out September 27, 2011.
Overall, I loved it. This is probably one of the best regency romances that I have read all year, and Roman is firmly (heh) tucked away as one of my all-time favorite regency heroes. A VERY solid 5/5 Stars....more