Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Defying the Odds (Battered Hearts #1) by Kele Moon


When struggling waitress Melody Dylan gives a handsome, lonely stranger a simple gift she has no clue her life is about to take a drastic turn.

The stranger ends up being Clay Powers, a famous UFC heavyweight fighter. Clay’s large build and dangerous fists have always intimidated. People in his hometown keep their distance and Clay is fine with that. Everything changes when a new waitress at the local diner buys him a piece of pie on thanksgiving. Touched by the gesture when it’s obvious she can barely afford to survive, her warm smile and lush body churn up powerful feelings that leave Clay wanting more from her than pie.

Melody is running from her past and the small, country town of Garnet is the perfect hiding place. With an ex-husband after her and scars from her abusive marriage etched deep, the last thing she expects is to fall for a man who makes a living with his fists, but she can’t resist Clay or the tender connection they share.

Finding love in the most unlikely of places, the passion is undeniable, but Clay and Melody know their haunted pasts and unpredictable futures leave the odds stacked against them.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: violence.

I'm keeping this short because there are already so many awesome reviews out there.

Defying the Odds is the first book in the Battered Hearts series and a very, very sweet story. In fact, it's uncommonly sweet given that it's also an extremely hot tale, and readers used to edgier erotica might miss that in this story.

I adored Clay and Melody and loved watching their relationship grow. Wyatt and Jules are also great, in an annoying family members kind of way.

Click here to purchase Defying the Odds from Amazon

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Star Crossed (Battered Hearts #2) by Kele Moon


Heavyweight MMA fighter, Romeo Wellings comes from the hard streets of New York where his family ties to the mafia cause him nothing but pain. His life takes a surprising detour when he crosses paths with the twin sister of his long time enemy. After a steamy one-night stand, he faces the fight of his life, but it’s not in the cage. The secret relationship that blooms between Romeo and his real life Juliet has him battling his family and a dark past rather than let her go. 

The only lawyer in her hometown of Garnet, Jules Conner is also a volunteer Sheriff’s deputy and co-owner of a successful MMA training center. Strong and dependable, Jules is always there for those who need her. Until one forbidden night in Las Vegas with Romeo leaves her feeling so alive she can’t stop reaching out to the sexy, bad boy of MMA, even knowing the forbidden love affair could jeopardize everything.

As the tide rises against them and the people they love work at keeping them apart, Romeo and Jules hold onto a dream for a better life together and vow to go down fighting rather than accept a tragic ending.



I'm so in love with the men of Garnet - and New York! The main characters are great and the supporting cast is just as great. Exciting, poignant, and burn up the pages sexy, Star Crossed is one hell of a read!

I can't wait to read Wyatt's story next!!

Click here to purchase Star-Crossed from Amazon

Monday, January 25, 2016

Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City #1) by Penny Reid


There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn't know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can't help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can't afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can't refuse.

Not at all what I expected....

....and so much more than I had hoped for!

This is, start to finish, a great read. It's laugh-out-loud funny, charming, romantic, with just enough angst to keep me off balance, but not so much that I dreaded reading on. You see, I hate angst-ridden stories. They upset my stomach, give me a headache, and keep me awake at night....but this is one entertaining, 'left me with a smile on my face' read!

I was actually quite surprised - though I don't know why, given the amazing reviews and high ratings. I was expecting something light, fun, and unemotional. I was wrong. That's not what I got - and I'm glad for it! I fell hard for Janie and Quinn, Janie's quirky friends, and Quinn's unconditional devotion. There truly are mannnnnnnny things to love about Neanderthal Seeks Human, so if you've been hesitant to try it, as I was, hesitate no more. I can't recommend this highly enough!

(At the time of this posting, Neanderthal Seeks Human is, once again, free for Kindle readers. See link below.)

Click here to purchase Neanderthal Seeks Human from Amazon

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Heaven Can't Wait (I-Team #1.5) by Pamela Clare


Lissy Charteris and Will Fraser are two weeks away from getting married when Lissy suggests they put a bit of traditional romance into their lives by giving up sex until their wedding night. Though Will thinks it’s a crazy idea, he’s not about to admit he can’t do it. The two end up making a bet, vowing not to be the first to ask for sex. But what starts as a bet turns into a game of no-holds-barred seduction—winner take all.

Heaven Can’t Wait is only about 90 pages, but leave it to Pamela Clare to give us wonderful characters and a fun, sexy story that easily rivals some full length novels I’ve read. This story takes place between Extreme Exposure and Unlawful Contact, but I read it out of order and had no problem whatsoever. I'm giving this 5 stars because, in my opinion, unlike many short stories, this one didn't feel lacking in any way... other than I wish it were longer because it was so good.

Will Fraser and Lissie Charteris are two weeks away from their wedding day and everything is wonderful. They’re madly in love and their sex life is sizzling hot. They’ve begun moving their things into the home they’ll share when they return from their honeymoon and everything, everything seems perfect. Until Lissie gets a phone call from her relationship jaded mother who begins filling her head with doubts about whether she and Will are really in love, or if they’re merely in lust. Suddenly worried that they are doomed to end up unhappy like her parents did, Lissie suggests to Will—under the guise of experiencing an old fashioned romance—that the abstain from sex until after they are married, which leads to some funny, frustrating and incredibly hot scenes and kept the story interesting and moving at a fast pace.

Keep in mind, Heaven Can't Wait is not a romantic suspense as is the rest of the I-Team series. This is just a glimpse into Will Fraser's happily ever after and a feel good read. I truly love Pamela Clare’s full length novels and the way she gives us characters who are real, whose actions, reactions and emotions are convincing. She gives us stories and people that we can relate to, and this short story is no different. If you’re a fan of her I-Team series, I’d really encourage you to pick up Heaven Can’t Wait, available in ebook format or in an out of print anthology called Catch of the Day, and enjoy Will and Lissie’s sweet, touching and sexy story.

Click here to purchase Heaven Can't Wait from Amazon

The I-Team reading order, so far:

1. Extreme Exposure
1.5 Heaven Can't Wait - a novella found in the out of print anthology Catch of the Day and on ebook
2. Hard Evidence
3. Unlawful Contact
4. Naked Edge
5. Breaking Point
5.5. Skin Deep
5.9. First Strike
6. Striking Distance
6.5. Soul Deep
7. Seduction Game
7.5 Dead by Midnight

Monday, January 18, 2016

SEBRING (Unfinished Hero #5) by Kristen Ashley


Nick Sebring has issues. Born feeling like an outsider in his own family, growing up under the shadow of a brother who could do anything, Nick isn’t that great of a guy. But when this culminates with Nick lashing out to hurt his brother through the woman he loves, Nick turns inward and makes some decisions about the man he intends to be.

And as he does this, he falls in love and truly learns the man that he’s grown to be.

When his love is murdered right before Nick’s eyes, Nick knows he has to avenge her. He knows how he’s going to avenge her. And he has no qualms using Olivia Shade to exact that vengeance.

Olivia Shade has grown up on the outside of her family too. Her problem is that they don’t want her outside. They want her all the way in, right under their thumbs. She pays the price for seeking escape and learns her lesson—she’ll never see a dawn where she wakes up free.

Then she meets Nick Sebring, and even as she fights it, the hope that died years ago starts to blossom. She can find love. She can have a man of her own. She can be happy. She can be free.

Olivia hopes while Nick schemes.

However, as Nick peels back the layers of all that is Olivia Shade, he finds something surprising. He understands its fragility. He falls in love with its beauty. He seeks to protect it.

But he forgets to protect his Livvie from one thing: Nick Sebring.

Nick Sebring is the Unfinished Hero I was most excited to read about, and also the most apprehensive to read about. Truth be told, he’s a man I wasn’t sure was worthy of redemption, let alone a happily ever after. Let’s face it - some of the stuff he pulled on his brother, Knight, and Knight’s woman, Anya… the fact Nick was still breathing by the end of Knight’s story was more than surprising. That said, this is a Kristen Ashley story so I put my full trust and faith in her and she pulled it off. As always!

SEBRING, the finale to the Unfinished Hero series is all kinds of feels. Despair, hope, anger, joy, passion… this one took me through an obstacle course of emotions. And I say ‘obstacle course’ because there were some feelings I wanted to avoid, some I wasn’t looking forward to tackling because I didn’t want to love Nick and Olivia as much as I ended up loving them. But even so, I wish there had been more to Nick’s story. For all that he did, all he endured, all he overcame… I wanted more of that amazing man.

Olivia’s side of things was interesting. The daughter of a drug dealer who helped “launder” the ill-gotten gains? How in the world I’d ever become invested in her, I did not know…but again, trust and faith in Kristen Ashley paid off there, too.

Just a note: the Unfinished Hero series is erotica, and Nick and Olivia’s relationship, from early on, is a sexual one. No, seriously… bunnies got nothing on them. Nick and Olivia were going at it hot and heavy from the start, and the romance didn’t come until later on. So invested was I in Nick, that I wish less time had been given to sex and more time spent getting to know him even better.

The bottom line… SEBRING brings the series to an end, and even though I’ll miss those Unfinished Heroes, I know we’ll be seeing more of them as Benito Valenzuela continues his reign of terror and meets the full wrath of CHAOS which will, no doubt, include the droll-worthy alpha men from Rock Chicks, Dream Man, and Unfinished Heroes.

An ARC was provided by the author for participation in the SEBRING Blog Tour and Giveaway.

The giveaway is over, but for an excerpt of the story, click here: SEBRING Blog Tour Book Excerpt

Click here to purchase Sebring from Amazon

Friday, January 15, 2016

Love in the Light (Hearts in Darkness Duet #2) by Laura Kaye


Two hearts in the darkness…

Makenna James and Caden Grayson have been inseparable since the day they were trapped in a pitch-black elevator and found acceptance and love in the arms of a stranger. Makenna hopes that night put them on the path to forever—which can’t happen until she introduces her tattooed, pierced, and scarred boyfriend to her father and three over-protective brothers.

Must fight for love in the light…

Haunted by a childhood tragedy and the loss of his family, Caden never thought he’d find the love he shares with Makenna. But the deeper he falls, the more he fears the devastation sure to come if he ever lost her, too. When meeting her family doesn’t go smoothly, Caden questions whether Makenna deserves someone better, stronger, and just more…normal. Maybe they’re too different—and he’s far too damaged—after all…

One Life, One Chance, No Regrets

A few years ago I read Laura Kaye’s Hearts in Darkness and fell in love with Caden Grayson and Makenna James, two incredible people whose poignant (but too short) story stole my heart. I truly didn’t think anything could make their happy for now more beautiful, more heartwarming, more…perfect. I was wrong.

Love in the Light is the sequel to Hearts in Darkness, and both are stories that rocked my world. Both are despairing yet hopeful, tragic yet joyous, deeply romantic and intensely passionate. Makenna is the light in Caden’s dark, she’s the one person who can make him face his demons and not back down. With faith and trust and unconditional love, there’s nothing that can tear them apart and that is what makes this such a wonderful story. Their happily ever after doesn’t come easy but when it comes, it’s a beautiful thing.

Brava, Ms. Kaye! Well done!

Click here to purchase Love in the Light from Amazon

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Some Kind of Wonderful by Maureen Child


Holiday shop owner Carol Baker infuses her business and her life with peace and good will. But she has secrets from her past that make her all the more determined to someday have a family of her own. She never expects a sweltering July heat wave to bring the gift of a baby girl who needs a mother's love...and a man who needs to heal his wounded soul.

Ex-LAPD copy Jack Reilly's back in town--temporarily--to fill in for the ailing local sheriff. Haunted by the tragedy that made him leave Los Angeles, Jack doesn't believe in "forever." His sassy landlady Carol, with her year-round Chistmas spirit, gorgeous smile, and adorable little foster daughter, Liz, begin to bring him back to life. But the past has a way of coming back again, and the dark places of the heart have a way of staying hidden. Still, good things have a way of happening in Christmas--and if the Reillys have anything to say about it, what develops between Carol and Jack will be some kind of wonderful...

The absolutely adorable baby on the cover is what made me decide to pick this one up, but it's Jack, Carol, and baby Liz that kept me turning the pages. Some Kind Of Wonderful is all kinds of heartwarming! It's a romantic, steamy, and sometimes even poignant 'believe in the magic of Christmas' story that can be read any time of year. And I have to say, I hope this is part of a series because there are so many incredible people in the small, quirky town of Christmas, California who need to have their stories told, too!

This is book 1 in my Goodreads Challenge of reading 50 Kindle Freebie books in 2016. All books read in this challenge were free at the time of 'purchase'.

Click here to purchase Some Kind of Wonderful from Amazon

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Acheron (Dark-Hunter #14) by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, Acheron became the sole defender of mankind.

Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he’ll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence.

Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers, and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both. War has never been more deadly... or more fun.

I'm going to be honest here: there really are no words to adequately describe Acheron. No words that can do this man and his story justice. It's one of the most emotional, gut wrenching, heartbreaking novels I've ever read, but at the same time it's inspiring, uplifting and completely amazing - a truly epic adventure.

If you're a fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, (and who isn't?) Acheron is a dream come true. We finally get the answers to so many questions, and get into the heart of the true hero of the series. Acheron's story is so dark, so tragic and so gruesome, but our hero of heroes, at long last, gets his happily ever after!.

In general, the books in this series have fairly intense, explicit sexual scenes, but those parts of the book can be skipped over without losing the story if you're more comfortable doing so. I only mention this because, to varying degrees, sex plays a big part in Acheron's story and some of it is emotionally very dark. Also, I know of a few people who have read this story out of its order and had no problems doing so. That said, I truly believe that Acheron had a greater impact on me, having gotten to know him through the previous books.

The bottom line - This is one of my absolute favorite stories ever, and I can't tell you how many tissues I went through by the time I was done reading it. I came away loving Ash even more than I had before, and respecting him like I respect no other.

Click here to purchase "Acheron" from Amazon

The Dark-Hunter Credo:

We are Darkness. We are Shadow.

We are the Rulers of the Night.

We, alone, stand between mankind and those who would see mankind destroyed. We are the Guardians.

The Soulless Keepers.

Our souls were cast out so that we would not forewarn the Daimons we pursue. By the time they see us coming, it’s too late.

The Daimons and Apollites know us. They fear us. We are death to all those who prey upon the humans.

Neither Human, nor Apollite, we exist beyond the realm of the Living, beyond the realm of the Dead.

We are the Dark-Hunters.

And we are eternal.

Yeah, yeah. Enough of the doom and gloom because, baby, that ain’t us. You want to know what a Dark-Hunter is? We are what the intro says. We’re Mad, Bad and Immortal. We’re ancient warriors with attitudes who fight rough, and play hard.

We are the scary things that go bump in the night. And we love every minute of it. So when you think you’re being watched. You just might be. The question is…is it something evil or is it one of us?

Book Information:

Print Length: 737 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 5, 2008

Click here for the author's list of series and their reading order

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kulti by Mariana Zapata


When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive, shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know.

Or the murderous urges he brought out in her.

“Every single thing that has ever happened in my life has led me here, Sal. Destiny is a ladder, a series of steps that takes you where you’re supposed to go. I am the man that I am, and I have done the things that I’ve done, to get me to you.”

Kulti is one of those difficult-to-review books, not because there’s anything wrong with it but because there is just so much “right” with it. There are so many things to gush about, so many things I want to share with you, but I won’t deprive you of the enjoyment that’ll come as the story slowly unfolds revealing painful secrets from the past, and the peace that can come when you share those secrets with the people who care about you most.

I’ve seen some reviewers say that this isn’t a romance novel, and I might agree with them, but only to a degree. The relationship - both emotional and sexual - between Reiner Kulti and Salomé Casillas is slow to grow, but it happens in such a mature, believable way that it’s one of the things I love most about the story. But make no mistake about it, there’s most definitely a romance here, and it’s beautiful - and hot!

I’ll wrap it by saying that if you’re like me and not a big fan of the New Adult genre because of all the drama inherent in its stories, give this one a try. There's drama, yes, but it's not contrived and fits perfectly with this sports themed romance.

Kulti is a stand-alone novel and so well done that you can bet I’ll be looking for more by Mariana Zapata!

Click here to purchase Kulti from Amazon

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Secrets of a Summer Night (Wallflowers #1) by Lisa Kleypas


Four young ladies enter London society with one common goal: they must use their feminine wit and wiles to find a husband. So a daring husband-hunting scheme is born.

Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle's most intriguing--and persistent--admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition . . . but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.

Her friends, looking to help, conspire to entice a more suitable gentleman to offer for Annabelle, for only then will she be safe from Simon--and her own longings. But on one summer night, Annabelle succumbs to Simon's passionate embrace and tempting kisses . . . and she discovers that love is the most dangerous game of all.

Secrets of a Summer Night is a very entertaining story, and I'm adding Simon Hunt to my rapidly growing - but very exclusive - list of favorite heroes! That said, I can't tell you how many times I wanted to kick Annabelle to the curb. Hmmm...did they have curbs back then? Well, if they did, she would have found herself sitting on one, had I had my way. ;)

I enjoyed the devious banter between the Wallflowers, Annabelle, Lillian, Evie and Daisy. I thought they balanced each other and played off one another brilliantly! Best of all? I loved that they were not willing to sit idly by whilst life moved on without them. Their witty insights and plottings made this a laugh out loud read.

Simon Hunt should be given Sainthood for the amount of patience he showed while waiting for Annabelle to come to her senses and realize that he wasn't the bottom of the barrel. I was a tad disappointed in him and his readiness to make her into his mistress rather than make a marriage proposal, but hey, it all worked out in the end which is where it matters most.

Click here to purchase Secrets of a Summer Night from Amazon

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Heaven and Hell (Heaven and Hell #1) by Kristen Ashley


After making a bad decision when she was very young, Kia Clementine finds herself in hell. Then, suddenly, within the time it takes for a shotgun to blast, her hell changes. Completely. Then out-of-the-blue she sees Sampson Cooper, her celebrity crush. A man the whole world knows is decent. A man the world knows is loyal. A man the world knows is good. All of these very unlike her now dead husband.

He’s sitting at a table right next to hers. And she catches his eye.

Terrified of the interest Sam shows in her, Kia finds the courage to go out with him. Not long after, she shares her dark secrets and Sam shares that he’ll stop at nothing to gain her trust.

As Sam leads Kia to heaven, Kia realizes that Sam is living his own hell. But although he gives her beauty and she gives him everything, he withholds his trust.

Even with all the beauty Sam shows her, Kia wants it all. But Sam forces Kia to make a heartbreaking decision and only she can decide.

It’s all or nothing.

No surprises here, I really enjoyed Heaven and Hell and it’s clear that Kristen Ashley knows how to write compelling heroes and heroines, regardless of their line of work. But what I loved most about this book, even more than the others I’ve read by Ms. Ashley, is the way the story enveloped so many characters on such a deeply emotional level. It shows how a single event can devastate so many lives, and at the same time, how those affected can help each other heal.

Sampson Cooper is a tortured man and, no two ways about it, Kia Clementine is a tortured soul, too. This story is so poignant, so moving… and at the same time, so Kristen Ashley in that all the characters are strong, even when they’re vulnerable.

I’m sorry, I know I’m not making a lot of sense, but I can’t really put it into words. Suffice it to say, Heaven and Hell is a wonderful story. Though, from what I understand, it’s a stand alone, there is the possibility for another book and I really do hope we can have Luci and Hap’s story, someday.

Click here to purchase Heaven and Hell from Amazon

Friday, January 8, 2016

Sebring (Unfinished Hero #5) by Kristen Ashley Blog Tour

Welcome to my blog and the Kristen Ashley SEBRING Blog Tour! Below you'll find a blazing hot excerpt and a totally awesome Rafflecopter giveaway! So sit back with a fan, a glass of iced water, and prepare to be WOW'd!

Seriously X-rated Excerpt...

In the hotel room, Nick heard the knock at the door.
He moved to it, looked out the peephole and felt the corners of his mouth hitch up when he saw her.
Fuck, those big green eyes, perfectly arched dark brows, the olive tint to her skin, the expert way she shaded under her cheekbones…
She was a coldhearted criminal but she was one that was very easy to look at.
And even easier to fuck.
He opened the door.
He was going to say something but he didn’t get the chance when her hand darted out and she caught him under his jaw, using it to push him in and around until his back hit wall.
She stared up at him, her hand wrapped around his jaw, her expression holding an emptiness that was so extreme it was almost like a void he could fall into and get lost forever.
He heard the door swish closed and latch.
Then she was up on her toes, her head moving toward his, those green eyes dropping to his mouth.
She didn’t get her lips to his before his tongue was out, as was hers, both of them colliding and tangling before her mouth slammed to his just as her body pushed in, pressing hard, forcing him tighter to the wall.
He shoved out. Gripping her wrist at his jaw, he yanked it down, twisting and slamming her against the wall, slanting his head to deepen an already deep kiss. Their tongues again clashing before he actually took her mouth.
But he took her mouth.
And like she’d done to his, he consumed it.
His fingers still around her wrist, he yanked it around his back, using his body to shove her tight to the wall, pressing his hardening cock against her stomach.
She arched, and moving quickly, whipped him around so his back was to the wall and she took over the kiss. Tearing her wrist from his hold, she curled her fingers around his throat just as she cupped his hardening crotch with her other hand.
Fucking hell, this woman was hot.
But he was done playing.
And he was done kissing.
Her mouth, that was.
He pushed her away. She struggled to regain control.
She lost this struggle when he caught her hand and dragged her down the short hall into the room.
She lost her footing when he gave her hand a strong tug and she fell into him with a soft gasp.
He let her hand go, caught her hips and threw her four feet onto the bed.
That got him another soft gasp which took his cock from hardening to rock-solid and throbbing.
He bent over her, holding her now intense green gaze, spanning her hips with his hands. Shoving backwards, he found the hook of her skirt, released it and pulled down the zipper.
He moved his fingers to curl them into the sides of her skirt’s waistband. With a vicious tug that took her hips and panties with it, he yanked off the skirt.
Chest to the bed, eyes to her cunt, the black curls neatly groomed with a precision that meant her wax technician was a master with possible OCD issues, they were also glistening with wet.
Having the tussle at the door, seeing the utter perfection of her pussy, smelling her, watching her legs part in invitation, her knees shifting up, Nick couldn’t have gone gentle if he’d wanted to.
Luckily he didn’t want to.
He bent his neck and devoured her.
Fuck, she tasted just as perfect as she looked.
As he fed, he felt her excitement ramp. Tasted it. Ate it. Gave her more. Consumed the result. Drove her to the edge.
And when he had her there, he stopped and moved over her.
Not surprisingly, she used both the pump she already had planted into the bed and the calf she had wrapped around him to flip him and then she was straddling him, pushing up, her hands already to his fly.
Normally, he would not allow this.
Her face flushed with need, her manner urgent, even desperate, all that surged through his blood, his gut, straight to his cock.
So he allowed this.
She tugged his pants down, grabbed his dick, guided it to her and took him home.
At the beauty of her sheathing him, he gritted his teeth against the urge to let go and release way too fucking early. Bucking his hips, he watched how much she liked taking him, her head thrown back, her shining, straight mass of silken black hair swaying.
Then she dropped forward into a hand in the bed by his side, locked eyes with him and rode him violently as he watched until she gave it to herself and she kept doing it until she forced it from him.
Fucking spectacular.
He came down buried inside her, his eyes opening to see her still resting in her hand in the bed, her body moving gently with her still-labored-but-evening breathing, her dark hair framing her oval face, her straight bangs brushing her lashes, her green eyes locked to his trying to brand him, make him hers.
No way in fuck that was happening.
But he’d take more of this.
A lot more.
That said, the woman was going to learn how to give up control.
Not surprisingly, without a word, she swung off his cock, moving immediately toward the side of the mattress.
Nick focused on pulling up his trousers, doing the fly and angling off the bed. By the time he was up and had turned his attention back to her, she was on her feet, facing him, arms twisted behind her to do up the skirt she’d put on.
He held her gaze.
“We got all night, Olivia,” he informed her.
Not even a hint of a response to him calling her the name she hadn’t given him.
Then again, he knew she knew him; she’d make it her business.
She also knew he’d do the same with her, even before he sat next to her the night before.
Her expression might not have changed but his words spurred her to action, this being walking his way.
She stopped. Her eyes still on his, she lifted a hand and touched his chest lightly with just the pad of her middle finger.
It lasted half a second.
Then she dropped her hand, turned and walked away.
He heard the door close behind her and he couldn’t stop his smile.
Fuck yes, a seriously cool customer.
And the hottest fuck he’d had in his life.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Worth Any Price (Bow Street Runners #3) by Lisa Kleypas


What is the price of love?

Nick Gentry is reputed to be the most skillful lover in all England. Known for solving delicate situations, he is hired to seek out Miss Charlotte Howard. He believes his mission will be easily accomplished --but that was before he met the lady in question.
For instead of a willful female, he discovers one in desperate circumstances, hiding from a man who would destroy her very soul. So Nick shockingly offers her a very different kind of proposition -- one he has never offered before.

He asks her to be his bride.

And he knows that this will be much more than a union in name only. For he senses what Charlotte does not yet know -- that her appetite for sensuality matches his own. But what Nick learns surprises him. For while London's most notorious lover might claim Charlotte's body, he quickly discovers it will take much more than passion to win her love.

Lisa Kleypas is one of those rare authors who seem to be able to take mere words on the page and bring them to life, giving us characters who become real to us. They are people we would want to live next door to, people we would choose as our friends and no matter their circumstance, they are honorable, noble people who will always do the right thing—eventually ;)

One of the things I love most about Kleypas’ novels is that her stories are written so that they can be read alone, yet are intertwined in such a way that they can be read as a series. You always have your main hero and heroine in the current book, but in each subsequent novel we have the joy of revisiting those people who we came to love and care about previously. We get to see how their lives have progressed, how their families have grown and how much finding true love has blessed them. In this novel, we revisit Sir Ross Cannon and his wife, Sophia as well as Sir Grant Morgan and his wife, Victoria. What a pleasure it is to see them still so much in love and to watch their affections displayed in subtle ways. In this book, there was one paragraph written so perfectly that in those few sentences we were given a candid glimpse into the depth of the love Sir Ross holds for Sophia:

[Sir Ross had just joined Sophia, Nick and Lottie as they sat visiting and drinking chocolate:]

Sir Ross laughed as he bent to kiss her cheek. It would have been an ordinary husbandly gesture, except for the way he finished the kiss with a soft, nearly imperceptible nuzzle.

It was such a small gesture, yet so intimate. It’s moments like these, found in all of Kleypas’ stories, which mean so much to me. I love “seeing” these exchanges rather than being “told” about them. And as I said, in just a few words, we see the depth of the affection Sir Ross and Sophia feel for each other—and this isn’t even their book!

In Worth Any Price, we are given a tale of redemption, of coming to grips with a harsh past, of learning to deal with that past and leaving it behind. Not an easy thing to do for a man who is used to keeping his thoughts and fears to himself, but he finds that painful burden much easier to bear when he finally shares it with Lottie, the only woman who had ever managed to work her way into his heart—and she did so without trying, she was just....herself.

I’m not going to ruin your read of the book by giving away too many details. I’ll only say that Worth Any Price is a story filled with love, hope, trust and the importance of family. It is the story of John Sydney and Nick Gentry—the boys they were and the man they became.

Click here to purchase Worth Any Price from Amazon

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Lady Sophia's Lover (Bow Street Runners #2) by Lisa Kleypas


Why is Lady Sophia looking for a lover?
And could she seduce the most marriageable man in London?

Lady Sophia Sydney would do anything to ensnare the unattainable Sir Ross Cannon. Her goal: to ruin his reputation and cause a scandal that would be the talk of all London. So she insinuates herself into his life by gaining his trust and living in his house.

Every morning, her lush presence tempts him beyond all reason . . . the way she bends over the table to serve him the meals she has prepared . . . the way her hands oh, so gently—yet sensuously—brush against him. Every night, she promises with her eyes—and her body—that the hours before dawn could be spent in unbridled passion instead of restless sleep—if only he'd let her share his bed.

She knows he is falling more in love with her each day. But she never counted on falling in love with him. And she never dreamed he might very respectably ask for her hand in marriage.

I’ll make this short and sweet: This book was a pleasure from the first page to the last. As always, Lisa Kleypas gives us amazing characters, exciting yet believable situations and lots and lots of sexual tension, written only the way she can write it – sizzling hot! Who knew antique exercising furniture could be so much… fun?!?

Click here to purchase Lady Sophia's Lover from Amazon

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Someone to Watch Over Me (Bow Street Runners #1) by Lisa Kleypas


Grant Morgan is one of London's most eligible and unattainable bachelors. He's also a powerful member of the Bow Street Runners, and when he's called to the waterfront late one night to investigate a drowning victim, Grant is stunned to recognize the face of Vivien Rose Duvall, a well-known woman of the night. He's even more startled when he realizes that she's alive. With no one to care for her, Grant carries Vivien to his home and revives her, only to learn that she is suffering from amnesia.

Vivien hesitantly accepts her handsome rescuer's claim that she is his mistress, despite her misgivings about her true identity. Nevertheless, she can't deny the marks on her throat that prove her near-drowning in the Thames was not an accident, and now she must trust the man who claims her as his paramour, for her life is in danger. As Grant searches for Vivien's attacker, the two find themselves falling in love, all the while struggling to stay one step ahead of the evil forces that will stop at nothing to see Vivien dead.

I’ve been indulging myself in Lisa Kleypas’ books for the past few weeks and have come to appreciate her story telling talents. Perhaps because this is the first book in the Bow Street Runners series, it didn’t grab me quite the way her Wallflower series did. I didn’t find the characters quite as charismatic as those in her other books.

It has an interesting plot – a courtesan with amnesia being pursued by someone who is trying to kill her and the man who saved her life and is now protecting her, bent on revenge for some wrong she did him in the past. There was definitely a lot to keep the pace of the story moving quickly which is a plus because it can be tough to lay the ground work for a new series and still keep the reader’s attention. There were only a couple of instances when I wanted to skip through some of the foundation details and get back down to the nitty-gritty of the story.

Someone To Watch Over Me is a story filled with likable characters, though (with the exception of Sir Ross – but that’s another story) I didn’t feel a connection or attachment to any of them. Honestly it wasn’t until the very end of the book that I had my first “Awwww, how sweet” *sigh* moment. It occurred when Grant showed up unexpectedly at White Rose Cottage, surprising Victoria:

“What are you doing here?”
“You took too long,” he muttered with a scowl.
That statement brought a surprised laugh from her. “We agreed I would stay here a week.”
“It’s been a week.”
“It’s been precisely two and a half days,” she informed him.
“It seemed like a bloody year.”
They exchange a few more words then he asks, “And our engagement,” he asked with a set face. “Do you have an answer for me?”

I loved those few sentences more than any others in the entire book because it gave me a real glimpse into him – an overgrown boy used to getting his own way and not sure what he would do if he didn’t. I could really see that frown/scowl on his face as he nervously (though he masked it well) awaited her answer. I wish we had been given more candid peeks into the man who is Grant Morgan. I didn’t find him exceptionally charming but the sexual tension in this book was amazing. Their intimate encounters had me *fanning myself* and checking to make sure no one was reading over my shoulder and what Grant Morgan lacked in charisma, he more than made up for in heat. He is one sensual, sexual man.

Click here to purchase Someone to Watch Over Me at Amazon

Monday, January 4, 2016

Play it Safe by Kristen Ashley


No connections. Play it safe. These were the rules Ivey lived her life by.

Until she hit Mustang, Colorado, a perfectly imperfect town where the citizens were welcoming and one of them included the tall, beautiful, macho man rancher cowboy, Grayson Cody.

On the run for a decade, Ivey knew she was supposed to play it safe. But she was tired of being on the run. She wanted a normal. She wanted real. She wanted a home.

And she wanted Grayson Cody.

And Grayson Cody wanted Ivey.

No one who looked at them couldn’t see they belonged together. There was one man in this world for Ivey and one woman in this world for Grayson Cody.

So they fell in love.

But just as quickly as they fell together, they were betrayed and torn apart. Separated for years, Ivey was certain her life would not include her rancher cowboy. Until the town of Mustang reached out to her when Gray was in trouble. Even though she thought he broke her heart, she charged in to help. Then Gray and Ivey discovered they were betrayed and, not only that, Gray had an enemy who would stop at nothing to defeat him.

Okay, I love cowboys, and I love Kristen Ashley’s books, so a Kristen Ashley book with a cowboy hero?? Yeeeehaw!!!!!!!!!! Hell yeah, I loved it!

Play it Safe is heartwarming, heartbreaking, funny, exciting, burn up the pages hot and even though it’s about fifty thousand pages long… it was still too short. There’s a fantastic supporting cast of characters who need their own stories told, but most definitely, both Lash and Freddie. Those guys are all kinds of awesome!

I know I sound like a broken record, but I just can NOT get enough of Kristen Ashley’s writing because even though the writing isn’t perfect, the stories are! And I don’t know about you, but when I sit down with a book, looking for a chance to escape real life, I’m not looking to find it through perfect grammar and punctuation. I’m looking for that escape through characters and story lines that grab hold and don’t let go, and KA delivers. Every. Single. Time!

Click here to purchase Play It Safe at Amaon

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Once More, My Darling Rogue (Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James #2) by Lorraine Heath


They are England’s most eligible bachelors, with the most scandalous reputations. But for the right woman, even an unrepentant rogue may mend his ways…

Born to the street but raised within the aristocracy, Drake Darling can’t escape his sordid beginnings. Not when Lady Ophelia Lyttleton snubs him at every turn, a constant reminder he’s not truly one of them. But after rescuing her from a mysterious drowning he realizes she doesn’t remember who she is. With plans to bring her to heel, he insists she’s his housekeeper—never expecting to fall for the charming beauty.

While Ophelia might not recall her life before Drake, she has little doubt she belongs with him. The desire she feels for her dark, brooding employer can’t be denied, regardless of consequences. So when her memory returns, she is devastated by the depth of his betrayal. Now Drake must risk everything to prove she can trust this rogue with her heart once more.

Once More, My Darling Rogue is the 2nd book in the Scandalous Gentlemen of St. James series, and it's an intriguing story with compelling, relatable characters and a beautiful happily ever after! Lorraine Heath writes historical romance like nobody's business! Her stories are fun, sexy, poignant, romantic, and always... always guaranteed to leave me with a smile on my face and a *sigh* in my heart...and Drake and Ophelia did precisely that! Their witty banter and sexual chemistry made this a hard one to put down, and I can't wait to read more in this amazing series!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.

Click here to purchase Once More, My Darling Rogue from Amazon

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Texan's Wager (Wife Lottery #1) by Jodi Thomas


Thrown off a wagon train with two other women and trying to avoid jail for a murder they committed, Bailee Moore agrees to enter a "wife lottery"--a ploy concocted by the Cedar Point sheriff to secure wives for the men in the small Texas town.

For the sensible Bailee, however, marrying Carter McKoy is like exchanging one life sentence for another--especially since her new husband hasn't even seen fit to utter a single word in her presence. But still, she can't help thinking that something about this strong, silent farmer could be the key to leaving her troubled past behind...and making a worthy wager with her heart.

"Be my wife, all my life."

That’s all that Carter McKoy asked of Bailee Moore, the woman who would become his wife if he won the Wife Lottery. That wasn’t too much to hope for, was it? And in truth, he didn’t even expect his name to be chosen. After all, there were probably 40 men waiting, hoping to be one of only three names drawn in the lottery, and Carter’s life had been anything but lucky. So why expect that to change now? Well, much to his surprise - and dismay, things were about to start looking up. And I thank Sheriff Riley for his part in that.

I’ve come to realize that if I don’t connect with the hero, if I don’t become invested in him as a person, and if I don’t feel like he’s overcome some… some… something in his life, the story just won't make it to "keeper". The poor heroine could go through hell and back and it won’t mean much to me unless the hero is amazing and has done the same. Well, dear readers of my review, I assure you - Carter is a keeper and so is his story.

The Texan’s Wager is a fast paced, comfortable read – easy, but not dumbed down. It isn’t a deep, dark tale, but it's one of the most poignant stories I’ve ever had the good fortune to come across. The Texan's Wager is a really sweet story with the key ingredients that still, after years have passed since reading it, give me fond remembrances of a beautiful happily ever after.

The bottom line:

Tormented hero – Check!
Great heroine – Check!
Believable, gut wrenching and heartwarming story – Check!
A happily ever after with a heroine worthy of the hero and vice versa - Check!

I wish I could tell all there is to know about Carter, but to do so would take too much away from the story, because his past is told in small bits and pieces beginning with his very sad childhood right up to the present time. But I will say that this man, this Carter McKoy who very seldom talks, speaks volumes with this actions and he now holds a place of honor on my Top Heroes shelf.

Click here to purchase The Texan's Wager at Amazon

Friday, January 1, 2016

"Don't Let a Slip Become a Fall" ~ My New Year's Goal for 2016

I don't usually make this kind of post, but I'm doing so this year so that if anyone else out there feels as I do, they'll take comfort in knowing they're not alone.

Don't Let a Slip Become a Fall.

I can't remember where I saw that phrase, "Don't Let a Slip Become a Fall", but I wish I could. And I also wish I knew who first said it so I could thank them, because those 7 simple words appeared on my computer screen when I needed them most. I've been struggling with many aspects of my life lately: My ongoing battle to lose weight, my attempts to not allow others to make me feel unimportant and, most importantly, my relationship with my Savior - all of these things have suffered because I often feel overwhelmed and unworthy of ever becoming the person I want to be.

I am and always have been hard on myself when it comes to setting and achieving goals. If I make a single "slip" I give up. For example, if my goal is to lose a single pound per week, should a week go by that I don't lose that pound, it's nigh unto catastrophic. The rational, reasoning part of my brain knows that weight loss or gain fluctuates for everyone, and to just let it go. But the emotional part of my brain starts panicking. I berate myself. I start listing all the things that are "wrong" with me and why "it's no wonder..." I failed. Then it happens... the slip becomes a fall. And that's why my goals for 2016 are goals I know I can reach. Not easy, not hard. Attainable.

Don't set myself up for failure.

Goals are great, as long as they're realistic. Sometimes 'conditions' make it difficult to reach our goals in a certain amount of time. Hey, as the saying goes; life happens. So, rather than striving to lose "x" number of pounds per week or month, my goal will be to eat healthier. I'll make gradual adjustments to my diet that will become permanent changes. For example, I'll consume fewer processed foods. I'll eat less sugar, and I'll drink more water. Notice I didn't say I'd cut out processed foods or sugar, or drink only water. Small steps.

Only I can define the person I am or the person I become.

The fact that you're here reading this post likely means you're following my blog for the book reviews. (Thank you for that, by the way!) I find that over these past few years the way books are published and reviewed has changed dramatically! More and more authors and publishers are turning to bloggers to help get the word out about books or promotions or whatever. They'll usually offer bloggers an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I've loved this part of my life because, thanks to the generosity of publishers and the incredible talent of authors, I've been taken to worlds I'd never otherwise be able to visit, and eras I'd never otherwise experience. But along with these amazing fictional journeys, there have been moments that were crushing. I recently had an email exchange with a big name publisher's representative who informed me that - and I'm paraphrasing here - my blog is too small to be considered for an ARC, that I don't have enough followers across social media - they're looking for people with 1,000 or more - and that my 2,300+ friends and followers on Goodreads are irrelevant. Why, with all the positive experiences I've had, was this was such a blow, I don't know - wait, yes I do. It's because every review I write is based on an emotional reaction to a story, and comes from the heart. I'm not a professional writer, my grammar sucks almost as bad as my knowledge of proper sentence structure. I'm more than a bit self-conscious about the way I express myself, so, after putting myself out there, when I'm told that my blog is insignificant and that my reviews are irrelevant, it cuts deep. Even though I have amazing relationships with many authors and major publishers and I treasure those relationships, the comments (ignorant comments, truth be told, if she thinks Goodreads is irrelevant to authors and the success of a book) from this one representative gutted me. This is something I will be working on. I want to learn to not allow someone else's opinion of me tear me down. The truth is, only I can allow them to hurt me, and only I can stop it. I won't let someone else's slip become my fall.

Punishments and Consequences are two entirely different things.

I'm saving this for last because it's the most important to me, and the thing in my life needing the most relationship with my Savior. Some people call it a "walk" and others call it a "journey". Regardless of what you call it, it's the same thing - a relationship.

It's interesting to me that I turn to Him in times of joy, giving thanks for all that I have. I turn to Him when I'm upset, worried, nervous... but when things get really rough, I tend to shut down all prayerful communication. I think there's part of me that feels that when things are that bad, I've done something wrong. I deserve whatever anguish I'm experiencing,  and asking for help is unacceptable. The thing is, when I really stop and think about it, many of the things we look at as a punishment from on high are nothing more than consequences for our actions. If you drink too much and have a major hangover would you say God is punishing you for drinking, or is it nothing more than a consequence of over imbibing? Punishment and Consequence are two very different things though often times people who have trouble accepting responsibility for their actions or poor choices prefer to blame someone else, including God, when those choices get them into trouble.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this... God is a just God, a perfect Father who wants the best for His children. He allows us to make our own decisions and to learn from our mistakes when our choices are poor ones. Just as when a finger is put to a lit candle's flame and becomes blistered, that is a consequence of an action, not a punishment for breaking some unknown 'thou shalt not touch the candle's flame' commandment.

The bottom line: Satan's greatest tool against me is discouragement. I am the only one who can give him that kind of control, and I need to take that control back. I'm going to study the scriptures more diligently and when I read that my elder brother, Jesus the Christ, died for everyone's sins, I'm going to keep reminding myself that His death, His ultimate sacrifice, was for my sins, too. I am worthy of that gift He offered, and to say I am not is making a mockery of His atonement. He died for us all and for Him I will live.

I found this image making the rounds on Facebook and had to share.

If you made it this far in my somewhat rambling post, thank you for reading. I'm sending out wishes for a peaceful, joyous, love-filled New Year. May all your dreams come true and may you become (if you aren't already) the person you've always wanted to be.