Posts By: Steph

Release Day – Surrender the Dark – Tibby Armstrong – Contest & Excerpt

May 23, 2017 Contest, Excerpt 1

As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.

Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.

After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.

Purchase:

Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01D7CJ3Z0/

Nook – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/surrender-the-dark-tibby-armstrong/1123563499?ean=9780399593352

iBooks – https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/book/surrender-the-dark/id1139530733?mt=11&at=1001lmSp

Kobo – https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/surrender-the-dark-1

GooglePlay – https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Tibby_Armstrong_Surrender_the_Dark?id=1ajFCwAAQBAJ

 

Excerpt:

Benjamin jerked back at the contact with Tzadkiel’s mouth and attempted to shove the vampire away. Tzadkiel, however, was quicker. Hand gripping Benjamin’s nape in a way that spoke of centuries—perhaps millennia—of practice, Tzadkiel held him immobile. The royal purple aura flashed and brightened with something Benjamin’s hunter-senses recognized as desire. Flesh, warm and supple, not marble hard and cold, met Benjamin’s lips.

The vampire kisses like a human.

Benjamin’s first thought struck him as absurd, and then he couldn’t think at all. Lips that had begged him for water, for silence, for life, now demanded passion. Sparks of white and deep mauve obscured the subterranean world around him, focusing his attention on the flash-bang of his arousal. As before, contact with the vampire blew him apart from the inside. Adrenaline, fear, animal instinct, all combined to light his nerves with an awareness he’d only experienced when fighting the heinous creatures. In short, he felt alive.

Lungs burning, Benjamin gasped when Tzadkiel let him up for air, then pulled his nemesis in for more. Drunk with lust, he barely registered voices in the tunnel, or the polite cough and tap on his shoulder. Taste. He needed to taste. Plunging his tongue into a rough and tumble battle with Tzadkiel’s, he tasted his own blood on the vampire’s tongue. Tzadkiel growled and clamped his hand more insistently on Benjamin’s nape, forcing him to open his mouth until every spare inch of his world was filled with a different kind of mayhem. Tinged with smoke and salt and a warm earthy essence, Tzadkiel tasted of nightmares laced with forbidden desire. A one-hit addict, Benjamin couldn’t get enough of the resulting rush.

The cough and tap came again, more insistent this time. Benjamin shrugged it off, refusing to rouse from this wonderful dream, and attempted to fall back to sleep—to fall back into to Tzadkiel’s embrace.

About the author:

Tibby Armstrong has been a romance reader since the age of eleven, when she snuck a very bad historical from her aunt’s shelves. In her late twenties, she fell in love with paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Now she writes LGBT contemporary and paranormal stories with strong relationship threads and a healthy helping of steam.
Website: http://www.tibbyarmstrong.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tibby-Armstrong-1609473992626766/?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tibbyarmstrong

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tibbyarmstrong/

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/bJv_lD

 

Contest:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Haven – Rebekah Weatherspoon – 3 stars

May 17, 2017 NetGalley 1

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Haven – Rebekah Weatherspoon – 3 starsHaven on April 25, 2017
Pages: 228
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

The first in a new series from award-winning author Rebekah Weatherspoon...

A week-long getaway...
City girl Claudia Cade's carefree life is plunged into chaos when a camping trip with her brother in the national forests of Northern California turns into a deadly dash for her survival.

A solitary world turned upside down...
Nature photographer Shepard Olsen has resigned himself to a quiet existence, with only his dog by his side, until a woman in need of his protection shows up on his doorstep and throws his universe into disarray.

Two lives linked by tragedy...
Claudia is desperate to heal from her traumatic loss, but can’t stop thinking about her run-in with evil….or the grizzled mountain man whose quick thinking and good aim saved her life. When she shows up on Shep's doorstep again, she finds she isn't the only one who can't move on.

… saved by bliss.
The two begin an intense, passionate relationship of Dominance and submission, pleasure and pain, but with dark memories haunting them and decisions about the future rapidly approaching, Claudia can’t help but wonder...how long can they be each other's haven?

*** WARNING: This book contains a sexual relationship between a fashionista and a cranky mountain man who are dealing with physical and emotional trauma. And a very big, cuddly dog.***

I admittedly am running late on finishing this title but I am glad that I finally had a chance to finish it.  The challenge is I didn’t love it as much as I had hoped.  I struggled a bit with the idea of their connection and while it didn’t completely pull me out of the story…  there was enough there to make me question things which led to this lower rating.  I will want to read more by Rebekah as this is my first from her but I didn’t completely love this one.

I did absolutely ADORE our gruff, to the point hero.  Shepard had me thinking all sorts of naughty thoughts and I’d gladly submit to a Dom with his kind of treatment.  He’s got his own demons but he didn’t hide them.  He’s open in so many ways but he likes his privacy and being where he is.  I wish I could say that I was that centered but he found his home even after the mess with his parents.  I also wanted to slap his ex because no one deserves that kind of treatment.  If you can’t handle something from your partner, OWN THE FUCK UP TO IT… don’t blab their business everywhere like the issue is with them.  I know there are exceptions but for the issue in this case.  Yeah, not down with her behavior.

So… if I liked the hero so damn much why did I have an issue with the book?  Well, it has to do with the heroine… I liked her but… didn’t love her.  I got what she was dealing with, I really did.  I did…  I promise I did but she does something that I’m not as fond of.  She survived an attack that killed her brother, she has a ton of therapy that she needs but isn’t embracing (therapist didn’t mesh) and a host of other things but then she goes back to where everything happened and gets involved with Shepard who saved her.  Yeah, that’s messed up in a lot of respects..  but the thing that bothered me was she wasn’t honest with herself or him.  I get it… I do but that sort of hit me badly.  Yeah, probably because I adored Shep and wanted him to be treated the way he deserves but that’s just the way it hit me.  Now… you need to read the book to see what happens but I was actually quite happy with the ending.

I think that while I did have issues there is enough there that makes me want to keep reading more from Ms. Weatherspoon and that’s a great thing!  I love finding new authors to read and follow!

three-stars

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A Wee Bit of News…

May 15, 2017 Misc Info 3

I’m thankful for so many of you that still follow me and interact with me on Twitter.  This last couple of years have been crazy as I worked towards completing an Associate’s Degree and started a Bachelor’s program which left me little to no time for reading.  I still tried to keep up but honestly I didn’t have the time to spend on the site as I needed to but…

DUN DUN DUN

I am now to a point in my Bachelor’s program where I can start reading for fun again so you will see an increase in postings from me with some fun contests and other things planned but…  this isn’t all that I have up my sleeve now that I can breathe again…

  • New reviewers are coming on board…  I’ll be adding their bios to the page soon but drop me a line if you want to know more about them. 
    • Bobbie – She’s like me in some respects as she likes to read different books but we don’t always agree on things.  You’ve already seen some of her reviews and this will expand as she chooses to share her opinions on titles, genres, etc.  I’m so happy she decided to start sharing more and I look forward to seeing her thoughts on titles.
    • H – well, we haven’t decided on her handle yet but she will be sharing her thoughts on YA titles or anything else that catches her fancy.  I’ll definitely let  you know when she posts her first review on her.  I’m excited to get the opinions of the younger generation and give a broader range of genres for you guys to hear about.
    • Rockie – I think you’ll love her as much as I do.  I first met her at RT in Las Vegas where she fit in perfectly with Jo, Lynda and I.  She’s going to be reviewing Shadow Reaper soon with a paperback giveaway so look for that.  I look forward to her sharing what she’s reading and liking.
  • New things will be reviewed – I’ve finally found that I can stand audiobooks if I listen to them while at the office.  I was using music to drown out noise within my area but discovered that an audiobook works better plus I get to continue my love of stories while still being productive in the office.  I will be posting reviews of these titles as I complete them so keep an eye out for those.
  • Posts will be more regular in nature as I finally use the tools that I’ve learned about over the years.  I will post a formal schedule in the next few weeks but I’m hoping to have at least 3 reviews a week with perhaps a quick notes post that shares quick thoughts from all of us on Sundays.  This is just an idea at this point but I’d like to think that a group post with a couple of thoughts could prove to be interesting to you guys.  

I’m looking forward to seeing what happens as I get more time to be out here but I want to make sure this is clear…

While the site is mine… I run it and own it… any guests or other reviewers on the site are sharing their opinions in their own words.  I will only modify posts to more closely match the basic formatting but will not change the words/opinions of the others.  If they don’t like it, they don’t like it.  The point to this site is to share our opinions of the works and my hope is that by seeing the varied opinions we help you discover new authors or titles.  None of the reviews on this site are targeted at the author or other personal attacks but only on the book.  I want everyone to feel that their opinion is respected and if I edited the reviews for content then I would be doing them a disservice and to be honest… negate what I wanted this site to be.  I love reading and enjoy sharing what I find with others.

Now…  is there anything you’d like to see more of out here?  I want to hear from you what you’d like to see.

 

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Cover Reveal – Illegal Contact – Santino Hassel

April 27, 2017 Cover Reveal 1

So…  Tell me what you think about this cover????  *fanning self*  This one definitely needs to be acquired in print for my display shelf… IJS

ABOUT THE BOOK

The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel. 

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Santino Hassell was raised in Brooklyn by a strict Catholic family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school-cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

 

PRE-ORDER LINKS

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/552606/illegal-contact-by-santino-hassell/

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Kelli Ireland Double Release Week! Contest!

April 5, 2017 Excerpt, Harlequin 1

Saturday was the release day of TWO Kelli Ireland books: Conquering the Cowboy and The Immortal’s Unrequited Bride.

Conquering the Bride Kelli’s fourth cowboy romance set in New Mexico and features a rugged cowboy who handles climbing recertification, and Taylor, a search and rescue team lead who is struggling with a traumatic climbing mission gone wrong.

The Immortal’s Unrequited Bride is the third book in the Assassin’s Arcanum Series featuring sexy Irish Druid Assassins and the ladies that love them.

 

Trusting him is dangerous…

When a mission goes disastrously wrong, search-and-rescue team lead Taylor Williams is left with indescribable terror at the prospect of climbing. But she knows she has to face her fear to overcome it. Now she’s at a ranch in New Mexico, where her climbing recertification is in the hands of cowboy climber Quinn Monroe. Only this devilishly handsome rancher is about as friendly as a spur in the backside…

As they prepare for the climb, Taylor can’t ignore Quinn’s rugged physicality. The scorching heat between them helps distract Taylor from her fear, but her growing feelings make spending time with him dangerous. In the end, conquering her past may be a small feat compared to conquering this cowboy…

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay

Excerpt:

Quinn rarely delved into the emotional side of his life. Hell, rarely was actually more like never. It was foreign territory, somewhere he didn’t go. So wandering around there with Taylor, a virtual stranger, left him out of sorts.

Struggling to find his balance, both in the situation and with the woman, he asked the first question that came to mind. “When did you start climbing?”

She blinked up at him, obviously caught off guard. “I, uh…” She shook her head and laughed, the sound slightly self-deprecating. “Last thing I thought you’d ask.”

“What would’ve been the first?”

A shadow passed over her face, piquing his curiosity, but the pallor that followed and settled over her cheeks told him he’d hit on something significant. “Maybe later.”

He shrugged with feigned nonchalance. “Tell me about your first climb, then.”

“I summited on my first climb, though it was admit- tedly an easy attempt. I was fifteen.” She picked at a loose thread on her shirt and didn’t look up when she elaborated on her answer. “It was a stupid thing, really. Our family vacation was to the West Coast, and I was hell-bent on doing something different. I used my allowance to hire a beginner’s guide.”

“Hefty allowance.”

She shrugged, dismissing the observation. “I saved.” Then she looked up and smiled, the move changing the entire disposition of her face. “One of the best investments I’ve ever made.”

Quinn had to clear his throat for his voice to come out as more than an approving grunt. I’ve gone Neanderthal. Great. “So, I take it you liked it?”

Taylor shook her head. “No. I didn’t like it. I loved it. For the first time in my life, I was free. My well-being, my very survival was in my hands and the hands of my belay partner. I was free from the confines of…” Her voice faded even as her gaze darted away again. “Sounds pretty pathetic, I’m sure.”

Quite the opposite, actually. He could relate, having found himself in the same spot, but at eleven years old, not fifteen. “The first time I set foot on a mountain with the sole intent to climb, I was lost to it. When I summited?” He grinned. “I swore I’d never come down. I was eleven. Turned out supper was a bigger impetus to a preteen boy than making a statement about his newfound love, and I ended up back home before dark.”

She snorted. “I feel like a bit of a voyeur, getting such a personal glimpse into your life.”

Quinn chuckled. “It’s not too personal. The entire town watched me grow up and more than half were compelled to provide running commentary. There’s never much pri- vacy in a town this small. Someone’s always got something to say about what you’re doing or how you’re doing it.”

“What’s it like, always having people around who know you or know what you’ve been up to?”

She appeared fascinated at the intimacies of living out here, so he went on to tell her more about his childhood and what ranch life was like, leaving out most of the hard- ships and sharing the high points.

Several anecdotes in, she held up her hand to stop him so she could catch the breath laughter had stolen. “Uncle. I’m calling uncle already. I can’t take any more.” Wiping her face, she shook her head. “It sounds wonderful.”

“It had its moments,” he admitted, surprising himself a little with the truth. Memories he’d dragged up and let roll around for fun caught him somewhere just behind his heart, and they shocked him. He’d never looked at his childhood like this, never recognized how much he’d been part of a home, not just on the ranch but in the county.

“Sounds like it was a great way to grow up.”

He nodded, unable to put into words everything that rolled around inside his head…and heart. Instead, he slapped on his hat and nodded at her, touching the brim as a matter of courtesy. “I’ve got to finish up chores. The horses and our mammoth donkey, Cob, will be up at the gate ready for their dinner.”

“Your donkey’s name is Cob?” She looked up at Quinn, brow furrowed. “Is it because he eats corn cobs?”

The laugh surprised even Quinn, rolling up from deep inside him, a sound he hadn’t issued since long before the funeral—an authentic, heartfelt, genuine laugh. Ignoring the way Taylor stared at him, he shook his head and rubbed his upper lip. “Cob got his name when he was born. C-o-b stands for cranky old bastard.”

“And he got the name when he was a baby?”

“Sometimes animals, and people, are born as old souls. He was one of them.” Quinn glanced at the door, the per- sonal nature of the conversation making him antsy. “I’ll need to get the stock fed and put up for the night before I can call it a day. My intent is to get started on your ground- work tomorrow after breakfast.”

Her eyes widened. “Okay.”

His internal barometer shifted, dropping into the Trou- ble’s Brewing range. Shifting so he was square in front of her, though several feet away, he asked, “You okay with that plan or is there a problem?”

“It’s fine,” she blurted out, the words all but tumbling over each other.

“Okay,” Quinn said. He needed to get out of here and gain some personal space and, with any luck, perspective. “I’ll see you in the morning, then. G’night.”

Flustered, Quinn pushed through the screen door, crossed the porch and took the cottage steps two at a time. His booted feet hit the pathway with a whump. He didn’t pause and definitely didn’t look back. Rounding the cor- ner of the house, he started across the field toward the barn and the last of his nightly chores. Not that bringing Taylor dinner had been a chore. He’d…enjoyed himself, had enjoyed chatting and talking about things he hadn’t thought of in years.

Ahead, in the near dark, a horse nickered and the don- key’s bray punctuated the greeting with a demand for food. After seeing to those animals he could hang up his hat and crawl into bed…where his mind would likely defy him and drag up Taylor’s image.

Like it did now.

As Quinn walked between the cottage and the barn, twi- light ceded to nightfall and shadows stretched and deep- ened, seemingly in time with each step that carried him farther away from the cottage.

From the surprising comfort he’d found.

From her.

 

A love that endures beyond death itself…

Ethan Kemp is a healer, not an assassin. But he’s found an unexpected home in the Irish stronghold that houses the Assassin’s Arcanum—men who will kill to protect their Druid brethren. Too bad there’s a ghost that won’t give him peace…

Centuries in the grave, Isibéal Cannavan has longed to be reunited with her beloved. Finally, he’s returned to her. She’d recognize Lachlan anywhere, even as an American warlock called Ethan. But her path to reuniting with him in the land of the living runs through hell itself, and she’ll have to take Ethan with her…

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | GooglePlay

Excerpt:

Ethan pressed the heels of his hands to his temples and slowly shook his head. “So much. All of it? At least most of it.” He slid down the wall at his back until he sat, knees bent and feet flat on the floor. “I need to talk to her to be sure, though.”

Rowan’s eyes narrowed. “Explain.”
“I’m not sure how.”
“Try.”
Cool air brushed over his forehead, and Ethan knew she hovered at his side. Listening.
Letting his head fall back, he gently thumped his skull on the stone wall. “I remember her, us, growing up together. I remember days playing by the loch, nights by the campfire telling scary stories. I remember Iz curling up next to me for protection. Gods, I ate that up.” He smiled. “She knew it, too. She always seemed to know. “There was my first magick and then hers, our skills growing in tandem. There was our first kiss,” he mur- mured, closing his eyes, “and the night I proposed to her, thinking to be romantic. Our wedding day…and night. “Four years we were married, Rowan. Before that? I called her my own for every day I knew her as Lachlan. Marriage only added another level of knowing. Of… intimacy.” Ethan couldn’t stop the pained, animalistic sound that escaped him.
“And then?” Rowan asked.
Grief and rage and loss warred within him, none more dominant than the other, until revenge settled into the mix. “She was taken from me,” Ethan said with cold quiet. “Her life was cut short by Sean, a man who thought it his right to give and take as he saw fit. My brother,” Ethan spat even as he clutched his shirt over his heart and pulled. “He… Gods, save me, I saw…”

“Enough,” Rowan said gently, not looking at him but, seemingly, at nothing.

Ethan knew better. He looked in the same direction, resented that he couldn’t see her, hear her, touch her. Pressing his hand flat over his chest, he bowed his head. “I can’t even kill him, seeing as he’s probably already dead.” He sighed. “I can’t remember.”

A heavy, male hand landed on his shoulder. “Sean Cannavan was cast out of the Arcanum and shunned by all Druids when I was a wee lad. It was never known why by any of the elders. There’s a chance your brother lives, but if he does? He’s lost everything, Ethan. Sean was infamously banished. The decree set down by the Elder’s Council said he was never to be acknowledged by a Druid again. He was sent into a life of absolute exile, Ethan. Not much you can do that’s worse than that.”

Ethan smiled, slow and sure. “You’ve never seen me lose my temper.”

“No one’s heard from him in centuries. As far as I know, he’s presumed dead. How do you intend to avenge someone who’s already dead?”

He glanced at Rowan. “Helps to have a friend who sees dead people.”

“I won’t be responsible for helping you strike out blindly. Only heartache comes from foolishness.”

Ethan shot to his feet and gripped Rowan by the bi- ceps, ignoring the man’s pointed look. “If she was yours? If you could set to rights your own loss? And if not that, at least deliver some semblance of justice that might, might, let you sleep at night?”

Rowan went rigid as he closed his eyes. “Aye, man. I’d do whatever was necessary.” Then he looked at Ethan. “Whatever was necessary.”

“Then you’ll understand that I need to borrow your power. I need to talk to her.”

The giant Druid’s eyebrows shot to his hairline at the same time a cold gust of air blew over Ethan.

He spun toward the disturbance. “Isibéal?”

The window to his right exploded outward and rained glass down the side of the keep, the merry, tinkling sound in direct opposition to the violent war of emotions that raged within him.

Isibéal was gone.

Ethan stared out into the night sky and rested one hand over his heart.

He would find a way to touch her, hold her, save her from an eternity of nothingness and avenge the wrong done her—them—if those were the last things he did.

And they very well might be.

About Kelli

Kelli Ireland spent more than a decade as a name on a door in corporate America. Unexpectedly liberated by Fate’s sense of humor, she chose to carpe the diem and pursue her passion for writing. Ever a fan of happily-ever-afters, she discovered she loved being the Puppet Master for the most unlikely couples. Seeing them through the best and worst of each other while helping them survive the joys and disasters of falling in love? Best. Thing. Ever.

You can find out more about Kelli by visiting her website at www.kelliireland.com.

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Master Professor – Tara Sue Me – 3.5 stars

April 4, 2017 NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Master Professor – Tara Sue Me – 3.5 starsMaster Professor by Tara Sue Me
Published by Penguin on April 4th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General, Contemporary Women
Pages: 304
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars
four-half-flames

The New York Times bestselling author of the Submissive novels launches a new erotic romance series...

Students are begging to be held after class...

Andie Lincoln is madly in love with Terrence Knight—her childhood friend-turned-Hollywood’s newest golden boy. But he’s a Dominant and wants her trained as a submissive before he’ll consider a relationship with her. He enrolls her at the RACK Academy with strict instructions for her teachers: Do whatever you need to, but don’t take her virginity.

Fulton Matthews, the director of incoming students, is enthralled by Andie. Though he questioned her enrollment at first, watching her discover her submissive nature is hotter than his most intense fantasy. Under his control, her sexual awakening brings him to his knees.

Yet they can go only so far. Andie belongs to another, and Fulton is bound by a contract that strictly forbids relationships between teachers and students. But when Terrence comes to collect his prize, Fulton discovers it’s not easy to let Andie go. . .

I really wanted more from this story… more time with the characters, more details, more about the school, more about the secondary characters…  you get the point.  I am looking forward to more in this series but let’s chat about this first one.

We start this story by meeting Andie who is a virgin and is dating Terrence, a man she’s known forever but only recently made the transition to dating.  He’s a huge star but he has a secret he only recently shared with her…  he’s a Dom.  So we learn that he’s arranged for her to enter this school that teaches the BDSM community and, in particular, Doms/Subs.  She’s unsure but she knows she wants Terrence and as she researched the BDSM community she found that this kicked off a new level of fantasy she never imagined.  She’s a bit of a mystery as we start the story because you wonder why she was so willing to do this and not demand more from the man she supposedly loves.

When we meet Fulton Matthews we don’t get the best impression of him or how he treats others.  He’s very opinionated but he does own up to mistakes and the fact that he judged her before he really gave her a chance.  He’s got his own issues to work through as the story progresses but I did enjoy getting to know him.  I also enjoyed the fact that he was honorable even as he was hoping for things to go his way.  He’s drawn to her even as he knows he shouldn’t be but he really tries to not cross the line.  I also have to admit that he made a lot of valid points with her but mainly he did what was right which was to not interfere when Terrence comes to visit.  He did piss me off in the later stages of the book but that’s to be expected as we have to have the bad to make the good that much sweeter.

I had issues with this whole idea, no matter how presented, of “taking a break” or “granting a pass” in order for your lover to be trained to be perfect for you.  I just don’t think that this is an idea that sits well with me but I did enjoy the book.  I am definitely ready for more of this series and cannot wait until we get more of the others stories… yeah… I want to know more about the lover/best friend and what happened.

three-half-stars

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The Mistakes – Elizabeth Brown – 3.5 stars

April 3, 2017 NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Mistakes – Elizabeth Brown – 3.5 starsThe Mistakes on April 4, 2017
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

The Mistakes - An Sexy Office Rom-Com

It started as a promise.
A momentary lapse in sanity had me agreeing to two months of celibacy.
Then Mark Bishop showed up. My new boss was cocky, arrogant, and unfortunately, sexy as hell.
My first mistake?
Thinking I'd last two months.

Book III in the Off-Limits Series - Winnie and Mark's story. Can be read as a standalone.

Warning: This story contains mature humor, a lot of cursing, and of course, sexual situations. It’s intended for adult readers who enjoy that kind of thing.

This is my first read of this author and I will definitely go grab more as I had fun reading the story of a woman who only does flings and a man who wasn’t looking for anything but when he found the one will do anything to keep her close.

We start this story with the heroine panicking because of something stupid that should wake her up but… it doesn’t.  She then makes a deal with her friend to not have sex for two months but that goes up in flames when she meets a stranger at the reception.  She thinks it won’t come back to haunt her but after she starts work at her grandfather’s law firm she runs in to the man who gave her one incredible night.  Yeah, he’s her new boss… SURPRISE!  He’s not exactly happy to see her either but there definitely is an attraction that they try to fight but it does not last long.  I liked her but I did get frustrated with the fact she wouldn’t open up and talk to him/others about how she is struggling.  She’s strong but she really wants to have a family that is stable and hers.  I like how she pushed him to be honest with himself and opened him up to being more relaxed.  She also has a fun business that I was happy to see become something that will let her be her own person outside the family business.

Mark was such an ass initially but the one thing he never really did was lie.  He didn’t always tell her what she was to him but he didn’t lie about it.  He knew she might bolt so did what he needed to do to make sure that she slowly started to understand what she meant to him.  I also love how his grandma makes sure he sees what is happening and how he needs to grab on to it with both hands.  I liked how he worked hard to include Winnie and Lucy but also respected her decisions when it came to telling her family.  It did lead to some tense moments but he really did what he could to make sure Winnie was happy.  He’s also quite opinionated in the bedroom but I’d be quite happy with that kind of attention.

Overall, this was a nice story with a great amount of chemistry between the pair.  I will be going back to read the others in this series and hope others will give this a try.

three-half-stars

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His Alone – Alexa Riley – 4 stars

March 31, 2017 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

His Alone – Alexa Riley – 4 starsHis Alone by Alexa Riley
Published by Carina Press on March 28 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 166
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars
five-flames

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR

Ryan Justice may be her boss, but nothing will stop him from making her his. New York Times and #1 ebook bestselling author Alexa Riley entices with a brand-new, full-length novel.

She thinks I'm perfect. A good boss, a good man. She thinks that I play by the rules.

She has no idea who I truly am. Why I'm really here.

Paige Turner is trying to outrun her past, but there it is, tossed back in her face anytime she manages to get two steps ahead.

She has no idea what a man like me will do to get what he wants.

Her need for Ryan got in the way of revenge, took her off course. Redirected her focus. Before she knew it, he'd made his way into her life. Into her heart.

I'm dirtier than she knows. She thinks I'm good to the core, but she doesn't know the things I've done. The things I would do for her.

True love doesn't let secrets as big as these stay buried. And when the truth about Paige's father is finally exposed, Ryan will do anything to fix everything. Paige has always been his—and his alone.

This book is approximately 75,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!

I have to say that I was looking forward to this story after reading Everything for Her…  it does not disappoint!  Paige and Ryan definitely have chemistry and when they finally allow it loose it definitely does not dim.

Paige has proven herself to be a great friend (yes, that may have begun as a job but) and is trying to learn how to be a sister but she isn’t quite willing to open her heart or her life up to anyone.  She’s attracted to Captain (Ryan) who happens to be her boss but she thinks he’s too good for her.  She takes on guilt for things that weren’t her fault and is trying to find revenge on someone who deserves it but honestly isn’t worth the damage she is doing to herself.  I liked her and especially liked how she pushed Ryan’s buttons while making sure that once she claimed what was hers she let everyone know it.  She’s not afraid to get dirty but she is terrified of the need she feels to have a true family.  She wants love so badly that she hides from it until forced to admit that is what she craves.  I loved how she ultimately got everything because one man decided that he would make it his mission to give the world to her.

Ryan, aka Captain, isn’t the perfect guy Paige believes and we get to see there is more to him at the beginning of this book.  He’s so damn growly and sweet with Paige that you can’t help but swoon.  Everything he does is to keep her safe even if it means keeping her away from him for years.  I loved how we got to see their first meeting as a bonus chapter from his point of view as this shows us how hard it was for him to be patient.  I also loved how we got to see his struggle with waiting to claim her until she really was his.  I felt for him as his secret was exposed but he knew it might go down the way it did and while it hurt he still did what needed to be done.  I admit his ways of showing his dirty side made me swoon as much if not more than his gentle ways of showing how much she means to him.

The epilogues to this story will make you smile as they show how much these two have gained over their years together and laugh as his protective side does not diminish over time.  He’s definitely growly and possessive but with a heart of gold when it comes to those who mean everything to him.  Paige is his world and seeing that it remains true for years in the future made me smile.

four-stars

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Everything for Her – Alexa Riley – 4 stars

March 30, 2017 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Everything for Her – Alexa Riley – 4 starsEverything for Her by Alexa Riley
Published by Carina Press on January 1st 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Pages: 379
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars
five-flames

"I devour every single delicious word Alexa Riley writes." —#1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Maya Banks

New York Times bestselling author Alexa Riley's first full-length novel shows just what happens when a strong, possessive man finds the woman of his dreams

I'll never forget the way she looked, so confident and sure of herself. I watched her from a distance. She wasn't ready for me yet. I didn't approach her and I didn't disturb her, but I never once took my eyes off her.

Mallory Sullivan is ready to start her new life. After graduating at the top of her class, she's landed one of the most coveted internships in the United States. Hard work and determination have gotten her to this moment of living the life she only dreamed of growing up in foster care.

From the start, I knew that she would be my greatest achievement, so the day I let her go, I set down a path for her. A path to me.

She never expected Oz to be the greatest culmination of those dreams. But sometimes fate determines who you fall in love with. Who makes you lose control. Who owns your soul.

And then you realize it wasn't fate at all…

I've wanted to care for and protect her since the first moment I saw her. I've constructed everything in our lives so that at the perfect moment, I could have her, could give her the life she deserves.

The time has come.

This book is approximately 97,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you're looking for with an HEA/HFN. It's a promise!

I admit that I am losing my mind a bit but I would’ve sworn that I already posted this earlier in the year.  Yeah ummmm nope I didn’t so here I am getting ready to post this the day before I post my review for book 2.  I swear I cannot wait until next February when I will be done with school and can get back to doing more reading and blogging.

This book was interesting to me as if I had a man do one iota of what Oz does I would be creeped out and run as fast as possible in the other direction.  In this book we meet a man who has been busy plotting revenge on his scumbag of a father when he comes across the one person who would end up mattering more than revenge ever would.  He’s driven to protect her and give her all the perks he can while keeping her away from him until she’s ready and he’s ready to finally make her his.  He moves faster than he expected because he just can’t help himself but as you get to know him you see what drives him to be so obsessive.  He absolutely is not good at expressing his true feelings so this is a barrier when it comes to Mallory and Paige but Mallory gets him to be more open as she works on making him wake up to what is truly important.

Mallory annoyed me a bit with how naive and sheltered she was but I got it.  I really did understand where it came from and liked when we saw the spine that she kept buried during a decent chunk of the book.  She’s definitely a sweet person but she isn’t the wallflower or pushover others have seen in her.  I liked how she just wanted to prove herself and what she was capable of without others paving her way.  I also appreciated how she was hurt by the realization that the internship was not due to merit but due to Oz wanting her to be near him so he could pursue her.  She isn’t willing to just be the pampered princess but really wants to be a valued member of a team who pulls her own weight.  As she processes the secrets that Oz and Paige have kept from her we see a woman emerge who is more aware of what she wants, who she is and what she needs to do.  I liked her and really enjoyed seeing her again as Paige finds her way.

four-stars

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Forever Mine – Erin Nicholas – 3.5 stars

March 29, 2017 Grand Central, NetGalley, Read in 2017 1

I received this book for free from NetGalley.com . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Forever Mine – Erin Nicholas – 3.5 starsForever Mine by Erin Nicholas
Published by Grand Central Publishing on March 28th 2017
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Romantic Comedy
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars
three-flames

Maya Goodwin doesn't believe in holding back. Ever. As a cop, she never hesitated to throw herself into harm's way to save someone. Even after an injury on the job forces her to retire, she's not afraid to keep risking it all to get the life she wants. With a new career teaching martial arts to kids already underway, she's looking forward to the future - and taking a chance on the unbelievably hot Dr. Alex Nolan.

Maya - daring and spontaneous - is the exact opposite of what Alex always thought he wanted. But when a nine-year-old daughter he never knew existed shows up on his doorstep, Maya is the one who helps them hold it together. With love on the line, will the guy who's always played it safe be willing to take the biggest risk of all?

I enjoyed this title but I wasn’t happy with the hero in many ways.  I liked him… I just didn’t like him…  yeah I know this is a direct contradiction but you’ll see…

Alex is trying to make up for not being in his daughter’s life for her first 9 years through no fault of his own.  He had a one night stand and the mom didn’t tell him until she needed help managing the disease that both he and his daughter have, hemophilia.  He’s reeling by this intense attraction he feels for the woman who might be able to help him understand the superhero universe his daughter loves.  He wants to be there for his daughter and perhaps try for something with his former fling but this attraction to this woman is hard to ignore.

Maya is just as thrown by her instant attraction and connection to Alex.  This attraction allows her to get distracted in the oddest moments but as with everything else she does…  she rolls with it and jumps in.  She’s not afraid to take risks but is also confused by his hot/cold routine.  I liked her and her openness as it was refreshing compared to Alex’s tendency to keep things compartmentalized.  She also has a wake-up call in this story as she has to confront her own tendency to do things without regard to long term consequences.  You’ll enjoy her personality and what she does for those she cares for.  I really liked her so the way Alex behaved pissed me off even as I liked him.

Alex has a lot to learn about life as he doesn’t share his own diagnosis of hemophilia and this hinders him in so many ways he didn’t realize.  He almost lost something important to him because he is so damn shut down.  This is why I say I liked him but…  I just didn’t like him…  I got it… I really did but I wanted to just hurt him many times in this book.  Maya deserved better than the way he treated her but as always the hero does wake up and I think the epilogue helped me come to terms with him.  He did try but dammit he made me mad…  LOL

I need to go back and read more by Erin as I enjoyed this one plus…  she’s sort of local for me.  Gotta try to support NE/IA writers as much as I can…  😉

three-half-stars

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