Posts Categorized: NetGalley

Sweeter Than Sin – Shiloh Walker – 4 stars

October 6, 2014 NetGalley, Read in 2014, St. Martin's Press 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.

Sweeter Than Sin – Shiloh Walker – 4 starsSweeter Than Sin by Shiloh Walker
Published by Macmillan on 2014-09-30
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Fiction, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

CAN’T FORGET THE PAINIt took years for Adam to stop drowning his regrets in alcohol, and running the local bar doesn’t make it any easier—especially not when everyone he knows gathers there to discuss the shocking allegations that have shattered his hometown. When another murder rocks sleepy Madison to its core, it becomes chillingly clear that even more vicious wounds are waiting to be exposed.WON’T RESIST THE PLEASURENothing is sacred anymore, and no one is safe, least of all the mystery woman who shows up in town out of the blue, looking like every fantasy Adam’s ever had. She may have her own dangerous secrets, but she can’t ignore the urgent heat between them any more than he can. As a killer’s quest for vengeance explodes into violence, Adam is tempted to lose himself in the delicious promise of her body—until he realizes he’ll risk anything if she’ll give him her heart…in Sweeter than Sin by Shiloh Walker.

I’m loving this series so much and this entry has an amazing balance of suspense and romance.  I loved the fact that we have two people who really have always felt something for one another even though one of them wasn’t really aware of what the other one meant to them even back then.

Adam has buried himself in alcohol and women to dull the pain of not being there for the woman who meant everything to him when she needed him.  As his town starts to unbury the past he is forced to recall the horrifying details of what happened that long ago night and is confronted with someone that he never expected.  I loved how damaged he is and how aware of his own weaknesses but still making the effort to not slip back to addiction.  He’s so strong but shows such a weakness when it comes to his heroine.  I loved watching him work so hard to stay within boundaries with her and truly respect her even as he wants to get the answers he so desperately needs.  His need for her leaps from the pages and you’ll probably want him for your very own….  I have to admit to sighing a few times as his need shines thru.

The one thing I am not going to do is give the heroine completely away.  Her journey is part of the story I wouldn’t trade because as you see her work thru her issues you get to see how much she needs Adam.  She’s got so much guilt and so many secrets that you want to help her but know that she needs to do this by her own terms otherwise she won’t be able to move forward.  She’s very strong and my hope is Shiloh will give us more time with her as she gets on with the life that has been in limbo for so long.  She’s got a strong soul and it shines as it lets go of the secrets and embraces a future with a man that is everything to her.

The story told about this town is not a pretty one or an easy one to read.  As someone who has lived with an abuser as a child it hit me a bit harder than some but I loved that Shiloh went there.  I think while it is something that is disquieting and honestly disgusting in nature it is something that happens every day all over the world.  Only by bringing stories to the public, even fictional in nature, it hopefully will make some people do more research to see what they can do to help victims of these horrible crimes and also bring those perpetrators to justice.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and St. Martin’s Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest opinion.

four-stars

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Afternoon Delight – Anne Calhoun – 4 Stars

September 16, 2014 Intermix, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

Afternoon Delight – Anne Calhoun – 4 StarsAfternoon Delight by Anne Calhoun
Published by Penguin on 2014-09-16
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 110
Format: eARC
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“Anne Calhoun’s romances define the erotic”* and now the national bestselling author of Uncommon Passion serves up a delicious new novella of savory food and hungry men—and one woman’s challenge to get creative with each...

Sarah McCall, food truck co-owner and recent Manhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck's menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who's fast becoming her favorite customer.

Tim Cannon spends his days sprinting from one emergency to the next. He eats like he works—at top speed—somewhere along the line he lost his ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures. Hooking up with Sarah is just another way to cope with the stress of his job, until their afternoon trysts coax Tim into enjoying everything he's avoided.

Can Tim learn to balance his job saving lives with the everyday delights that make life worth living? If anyone can teach him, it’s Sarah....

INCLUDES A BONUS EXCERPT OF ANNE CALHOUN’S THE LIST, AVAILABLE IN 2015 FOR THE FIRST TIME IN PRINT

Praise for Anne Calhoun

“Anne Calhoun...tugs at your heart.”—Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author

“Uncommonly good storytelling.”—Beth Kery, New York Times bestselling author

“Scintillating sexual chemistry.”—Lauren Dane, New York Times bestselling author *Alison Kent

After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, Anne Calhoun, national bestselling author of numerous novels including Jaded, Unforgiven, and Uncommon Pleasure, landed in a flyover state, where she traded business casual for yoga pants and decided to write down all the lively story ideas that got her through years of monotonous corporate meetings. Anne holds a BA in History and English, and an MA in American Studies from Columbia University. When she’s not writing her hobbies include reading, knitting, and yoga. She lives in the Midwest with her family and singlehandedly supports her local Starbucks.

This is a very quick read but an amazing journey thru New York and food.  Oh and it doesn’t hurt that it is also very very sexy!

Tim approaches everything as yet another task to get thru.  He works quickly and does everything in a frenzy.  His reasons for living this way are made apparent but when he meets Sarah he is surprised how easy it is to just be with her.  He actually starts to live in the moment and slow down to savor things as he spends more time with a woman that captivates him with her ways and makes him crazy in the bedroom.  I enjoyed seeing him brought to his senses and really start to live again after so much time just surviving.  He was sexy as hell but seeing him take the time to show her something new and finally appreciate things around him was my favorite part of this read.

Sarah is intrigued by the man who seems to be going at life like it is something to be sped thru with no appreciation for the gift it really is.  She’s experienced the heartbreak of watching someone she loved die from cancer and this has made her much more appreciative of everything it has to offer.  She savors experiences but is much more mellow than she was before this tragedy.  It isn’t that she isn’t willing to live life it is that she needed time to grieve and now she finds that she wants this compelling man.  She isn’t asking for anything more than time with him and while their time together includes moments of sexual heat there was a huge sense of something bigger that just needs time to firm up.

I appreciated that this story doesn’t have the whole insta-love thing that happens in a lot of shorter reads but that you get a sense that while the words might not be there yet they are definitely on their way.  These two will be a pair that will be long-term and I hope that Anne will show us more of them in future stories.  I loved the pair of them and what they really gave each other that meant more than 3 little words.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and the wonderful team at Penguin that gave me access to this title in exchange for my honest opinion.  Lovely story with a bit of heat but mainly the heart and views of New York made it beautiful.

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Rock Addiction – Nalini Singh – 4 stars (Tour Contest)

September 15, 2014 Contest, NetGalley, Read in 2014, Tours 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.

Rock Addiction – Nalini Singh – 4 stars (Tour Contest)Rock Addiction on September 9, 2014
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

While this book starts out with a very fast sexual encounter between our hero and heroine I had a hard time getting invested in the characters.  This changes after the first 20% of the book so stick with it as the payoff is well worth the slow start.

Molly has reason to hate the limelight and all that it entails.  She’s been thru hell and back because of her father’s inability to keep it in his pants and his choice of lovers.  She’s also seen the nightmare that was her mother’s obsession with her father and doesn’t want any part of public life or to be honest true deep love.  She’s built so many walls around herself that she doesn’t truly live life and while she claims to be happy she knows she really isn’t.  When she’s intrigued by a rock star she puts rules and limits on their interactions that she finds herself chafing at almost immediately.  I loved her honesty and ability to recognize that she needed to change.  She pushes herself to open up and is rewarded by her hero who realized very early on that she was his.  There was something amazing about watching her truly open up and love him with all that she has to give but even better watch how he returns her feelings back to her and cherish it.  She’s a strong soul that took hits at an early age but comes in to her own as she finds her match in Fox.  I also loved how she interacted with the rest of the band and was there for her sister and BFF.  Her advice to David made me giggle especially when Thea reacts…  LOVED!

Fox… *sigh*… where can I get my own version of him???  He knows from the moment he sees Molly across the room that he wants to get to know her.  As he spends time with her he realizes that she is his.  Plain and simple there is no confusion with his intentions from the beginning.  He’s willing to agree to her initial terms but won’t let her put him in the box she seems to want him in.  He pushes her boundaries but all he wants is for her to be honest with him and let him in.  As he gets to know her more and finds out her past, he really shines in how much he works to support her in every way possible.  The lengths he goes thru to make sure she is kept protected from the press in their early interactions spoke volumes to me.  While he oozes raw sex appeal there was something painful in his past that left him cautious in love although it radiates from the page when he interacts with Molly.  While he may not say the words I felt that his actions spoke volumes that those 3 little words wouldn’t have.

I must say I was very pleasantly surprised to see how much I enjoyed this story after the rough start.  I am looking forward to more of David and Thea so….  GIMMEE!!!

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and the wonderful Nalini Singh for giving me a chance to read this as I did end up enjoying it.

In support of this title I also joined the tour and you can enter the tour contest via the Rafflecopter below.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

four-stars

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Virgin – Radhika Sanghani – 3 stars

August 25, 2014 Berkley Trade, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

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

Virgin – Radhika Sanghani – 3 starsVirgin by Radhika Sanghani
Published by Penguin on 2014-08-05
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Virgin<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00HFXK46U" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
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three-stars

For those who grew up on Judy Blume—and graduated to Lena Dunham—a “hilarious”* debut... “Bridget Jones and Carrie Bradshaw, meet your wisecracking, vagina obsessed match. Sanghani's debut is a hilarious, irreverent look at smart-alecky, painfully self-concious, 21-year-old Ellie's relentless mission to rectify a disasterous first attempt at performing oral sex, get deflowered, find the perfect Brazilian wax, avoid her tradition-bound Greek mother's nagging, graduate summa cum laude, be a writer, and fit in...This story for millennials is a wonderful blend of modern agnst with old-fashioned sweetness.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Even Bridget Jones’s Diary could take a page from this novel.

I really struggled to get to the halfway point in this book but that is where I started to actually like it so please be prepared for a very, very slow start.

Ellie is obsessed with the fact that she hasn’t turned in her V-plates and yet others around her seem to have had no issues with losing theirs.  She’s now 21 and convinced that if she just got rid of that pesky virginity she would magically fit in.  I found myself getting frustrated with her whining at the beginning of this book about how out of place she was and how much of her sex life, or lack of one, was due to an incident when she was 17.  I admit to cheering her BFF on when she finally let loose on Ellie with stop the whole “wah wah wah” thing and live your life.  I got that she was awkward but as someone who didn’t lose hers until she was 19 I couldn’t seem to be that sympathetic to this obsession.

Where the story made me enjoy it was with the many insane circumstances she ends up in as she tries to figure things out…

  1. The slipping in her BFFs one night stand’s cum in the tub… *snort*
  2. The experience with shaving down there and getting nicks that ummmmmm aren’t too comfy later… *giggles*
  3. The experience with getting waxed..  *I admit to smothering laughter here as damn that was funny*
  4. The experience with when she finally loses her V plates..  *yeah all of us have been there and had the momentary this is what people crave??? Really???*
  5. The experience buying condoms for the first time… *truly this can be embarrassing if you happen to work for the main drug store in town and it is the only place within walking distance of your apartment plus you don’t have a car*
  6. Computer volume getting stuck when watching a porno so she could learn how to give a BJ and handjob… *seriously this is what headphones are for*
  7. And this was my favorite part…. Mom walking in on Ellie using her computer to check out down there post wax…. *almost choked on the Diet Dew I was drinking*

Overall this is a slow story but the moments above made me laugh and while it was a tough read I’m glad I stuck with it.  I think there are some decent things to take away from this story and the main one to me is…

Be yourself!!!  Until you finally get comfortable with yourself and who you are (flaws and all) you’ll never be happy!  It doesn’t take a man, perfect hair, perfect clothes, perfect body, etc to have a great life…  It takes a sense of self and accepting that you might not be everyone’s cup of tea but you are just fine on your own two feet!

 

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and the team at Penguin for giving me the chance to read this.  I’m glad I did even if it took me so long to do so!

three-stars

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In Your Corner – Sarah Castille – 4 stars

June 30, 2014 NetGalley, Read in 2014, Sourcebooks 0

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

In Your Corner – Sarah Castille – 4 starsIn Your Corner by Sarah Castille
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc. on 2014-07-01
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars
"You have to go. I won't be able to control myself. I've wanted you so bad for so long and after I've been in the cage...I can't think straight." He gives a guttural groan and his fist clenches on my hip.

Primitive. Primal. His need speaks to me. I tighten my grip on his neck and rock up to kiss him. He takes over. His kiss is hard and demanding.

"Mine." His voice is raw, savage and for a moment I truly believe he may lose control.

He rules in the ring

Two years ago, Jake and Amanda were going hot and heavy. But when Jake wanted more, Amanda walked away. Jake immersed himself in mixed martial arts, living life on the edge. But that didn't dull the pain of Amanda's rejection-until a chance encounter throws them together.

A high-powered lawyer, Amanda was a no-strings-attached kind of girl. But two years after her breakup with Jake, she still hasn't found anyone who gets her heart pumping the way he did. And then he shows up in her boardroom, hot as sin and needing help...

But can he rule her heart?

Jake is darker, sexier, and impossible to resist. As their chemistry builds, Amanda's not sure if she can stay in control, or if she's finally willing to let him claim her body and soul.

Publishers Weekly Best Summer Reads (Romance) 2014 and starred review!

If you are looking for an intense hero then you have it in Jake.  If you are looking for a heroine who can stand on her own but still needs someone to push her to expand her horizons then you have that in Amanda.  In the pairing you have a couple who really did need help in embracing their true selves that have been buried under family obligation and fear for so many years.

Amanda is a kick-ass attorney who is so stuck on getting approval from her parents that she has basically buried herself in the job path that she thinks will make her father proud.  She’s also so afraid of being in a relationship that she runs from anything that smacks of commitment which is why she left Jake when he pressed for more.  She’s okay with having quick, purely physical affairs and has an arrangement for booty calls from a man she considers a friend.  When she runs back in to Jake and circumstances force them to share the same space again she’s overwhelmed by her need for him even as the rest of her life crumbles around her.  She’s strong but I wanted to slap her numerous times as she seems to be so stuck on what is “proper” versus what is truly right that she almost misses out on finding where she can really do the most good.  I liked her willingness to help others and that is what saved her from annoying me too badly.  She’s got a good heart even as she behaves stupidly.

Jake is so growly during many sections of this book but I loved how much he was willing to prove to Amanda that what they had was worth fighting for.  He really proves how much he believes in her even as she turns away from him.  I also appreciated how he worked on turning down the possessive and aggressive need to go caveman on her.  He wasn’t perfect but he did try which to me counts for a lot.  As he pushes her to embrace who she really is there is also a push for him to be who he really is and to quit trying to be the perfect son.  I liked how he really did start to practice what he was preaching to her and how it ended up working out for him with his family business.

Overall this was a steamy, hot read with some fun characters and interesting potential stories for future releases.  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Sourcebooks for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest opinion.

four-stars

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Avenge Me – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

June 27, 2014 Harlequin, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

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

Avenge Me – Maisey Yates – 4 starsAvenge Me by Maisey Yates
Published by Harlequin on 2014-06-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 272
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

TEN YEARS AGO ONE DEVASTATING NIGHT CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR AUSTIN, HUNTER AND ALEX. NOW THEY MUST EACH PLAY THEIR PART IN THE REVENGE AGAINST THE ONE MAN WHO RUINED IT ALL. Austin Treffen was born into a world of privilege, but behind its gilded doors lies a corruption so sordid New York's elite would never believe it—especially as his infamous philanthropic father is at its core! With everything he believed in shattered, how can Austin take down his father—risking his family name and those he loves—without any proof? Until one earth-shattering night with Katy Michaels unlocks not only their deepest, most passionate desires but also the key to bringing Jason Treffen's reign to an end. But with an intense sexual attraction that combines a heady mix of exquisite pleasure and sublime pain, will they satiate their thirst for revenge and each other…or lose themselves forever in the darkness?

Austin is back to playing prodigal son to the press and his father but in reality he is doing this for only one reason.  He wants to find the evidence he needs to destroy his father for once and for all.  He’s got a lot of work to do in order to accomplish this because his father has made a name for himself as a man who defends women against abuse while secretly using his power and influence to sexually abuse, harass and manipulate women that are vulnerable.  Austin also struggles with his own dark desires to control women but as we learn his desires are not twisted or sick but just ones of being sexually dominant.  He doesn’t want to control every move or destroy women but instead drive them both to a satisfying conclusion.  When he is drawn to a woman at his first big party with his father in 10 years he acts out a fantasy encounter that has him wanting more from her even as he doesn’t know her.  As he finds out who she is and what her agenda is he realizes that he has found someone that can give him the information he needs to bring his father down but he also finds that this is a woman he can’t live without but he has to finally realize that he isn’t his father.  Seeing his struggle to separate his need for dominance in the bedroom from his father’s sick behavior was hard but he needed to finally understand that consensual domination is not twisted or sick but healthy.

Katy has been missing a big part of her life since her sister killed herself.  As she found out what drove her sister to jump she is driven by a need to bring down the man behind it.  She doesn’t count on feeling something for the man’s son nor did she count on the one time she let herself have something for her own pleasure that it would be with the son of her target.  She’s understandably upset at the way Austin takes over her life once she loses her job and apartment but is more upset at how he makes he want things that she thinks she can’t ever have.  She’s always taken care of her little brother and had to fight for every little scrap of stuff she’s gotten so ending up being a jobless, homeless individual that is at the mercy of a man like Austin isn’t easy for her.  She’s surprised when she starts to fall for the man behind the facade of wealth and privilege but struggles to get him to see who he really is.  I liked her strength and willingness to fight for what she believed in even though she didn’t always feel like she deserved anything.  She’s a strong character in many respects so I appreciated that.

Overall this was a sexy story with a lot of drama as things start to come to light which will continue to play out over the next couple of books.  I enjoyed this one and the series as a whole so special thanks to NetGalley.com and Harlequin for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

four-stars

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The Saint – Tiffany Reisz – 5 Stars – Tour Contest!

June 25, 2014 Contest, Harlequin, NetGalley, Read in 2014, Tours 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 Saint – Tiffany Reisz – 5 Stars – Tour Contest!The Saint by Tiffany Reisz
Published by Harlequin on 2014-07-01
Genres: Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

Before she became Manhattan's  most famous dominatrix, Nora Sutherlin was merely a girl called Eleanor… Rebellious, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn't want to break. She's sick of her mother's zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she'll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Marcus Stearns—Søren to her and only her—and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Eleanor is consumed—yet even she knows being in love with a priest can't be right. But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. When she vows to repay him with complete obedience, a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets that will change everything.  Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed.  Everything is about to begin.

I tend to start all my Tiffany Reisz reviews with this disclaimer…

Please please please do not read this book unless you have an open mind and can truly embrace the idea of a Catholic priest as a sexual being.  This is not a series for everyone so I will not be offended if you choose to skip this one because you can’t get past Søren being a priest.  Also this book does have an underage female lead for a good portion of it and that I know can trigger issues with many people.

Ok now that I have warned people I have to say “I FREAKIN ADORED THIS BOOK!!!”  Tiffany once again made me cry and scared the hell out of me while at the same time giving me moments that made me laugh my ass off plus moments that were sexy as hell.  She’s great at taking my emotions thru the wringer but I wouldn’t trade one tortured moment of it!

Like usual my reviews of this series tend to be on the shorter side because while I want to gush and tell you everything that made me love the book I don’t want to spoil your own enjoyment of it.  We start this story in a dark place with Nora struggling to find her bearings after some extreme pain.  She ends up being comforted by a younger man who will prove to be someone you will fall in love with.  He’s amazing in so many ways and the fact that he is willing to submit to Nora in every way she needs is just icing on the cake.  I loved getting to see the story of how Eleanor and Søren came to be the people we met in The Siren by virtue of the stories Nora tells this sexy man.  Seeing his reactions to the story made it even more real in many ways and I appreciated the way this unfolded.

Some of my favorite moments:

1. The desk and Eleanor… yes that scene where she… and ….  (I’m a tease and I know it)

2. When she first meets Kingsley

3. Søren drunk

4. The bed scene… the one where S does… and damn was that HOT as hell.

5. Kingsley…  well hell I love seeing Kingsley so ya know this isn’t a surprise

6. Nora and her young man… What can I say I loved this even as something else had to give because of it but :-X

 

Ok I think I am going to end this review on that because I really want you to get to have the same fun I did while reading it.  The surprises and emotions that will come as you read this with no spoilers is sooooooo worth it.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Harlequin for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  Also make sure to enter the tour wide contest below….
a Rafflecopter giveaway

five-stars

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Up to Me – Christi Barth – 4 stars

June 24, 2014 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

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

Up to Me – Christi Barth – 4 starsUp to Me by Christi Barth
Published by Carina Press on 2014-06-23
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 224
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

Ella Mayhew's always appreciated the beautiful view of Seneca Lake from the spa window of her family's hotel.But the view improves dramatically when a hot stranger runs across the grounds—shirtless. He's the first man to kickstart her hormones in the three years since she lost her parents, and she doesn't even know his name.

Graydon Locke's on his umpteenth undercover assignment. The routine's always the same: assess a business, recommend it for closure, then roll out before anyone discovers his decisions impact hundreds of lives. He's always believed nothing good comes out of small towns. Why would this one be different? Then he makes two classic rookie mistakes—falling for the sweet, sexy girl who owns the very business he's on the verge of axing. And letting the town's residents get involved in both his life, and his relationship with Ella.Ella's the best thing to ever happen to Gray, but he's lied to her from the start. If he pulls the plug on Mayhew Manor, the entire town may crumble. Ella couldn't save her parents, but it's up to her to save their hotel. Even if that means turning her back on true love.100,000 words

I loved this small town and the people who we get to see poke their noses in to our pair’s relationship.  I cannot wait to see more and am happy that this story made it possible for us to get such a great view of the town.

Ella loves living on Seneca Lake even as the loss of her parents weighs on her every decision.  She’s happy being the masseuse and being around the manor but there is a part of her that hasn’t moved on with her life.  She’s shocked when she meets a man who flips all of her switches even before she starts to get to know him.  As she starts to branch out and take a chance letting him in she also starts to reclaim the life she put on hold because of misguided guilt.  I really enjoyed watching her journey to becoming a woman not afraid to live and take control of her own destiny even as things seem to fall apart around her.  She’s got such loyal friends that mean the world to her and have stepped up to be there for her as she dealt with some really heavy things.  I especially loved how she found the strength to finally let go of letting the journal make her decisions for her.  While it served its purpose it was time for her to stand on her own two feet to become someone her parents would have been so proud of.

Graydon was such a fun character.  He’s got secrets of his own and when he meets Ella he is so torn between doing what is right with her and what is right by his job that it causes major conflicts and issues for him.  His reaction to the way the town protects Ella was wonderful but he saw that in many respects it was stifling the inner self she needed to let loose.  I also enjoyed his entry in to the journal and found it quite telling how much faith he put in the town when push came to shove.  This is a man who needed to find somewhere he could belong and a life that was filled with things that made him happy.  He was like Ella in that he was so stuck in his past that he wasn’t really living life to the fullest.

Watching them fight what they were feeling for one another was fun and seeing how everyone rallied around them both made me laugh a few times.  There was a good amount of heat but honestly the way that the relationship took its time to fully develop was the best part of it.  If you like small town romances where the town and its residents play a part in the story then this will be right up your alley.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I cannot wait for more of this series!

four-stars

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Untouched – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

June 24, 2014 Intermix, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

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

Untouched – Maisey Yates – 4 starsUntouched by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin on 2014-01-21
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 313
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

In the Silver Creek romance Unexpected, Cole Mitchell found love in the last place he ever thought to look. Now, in USA Today bestselling author Maisey Yates’ newest novel, Cole’s little sister Lark is determined to have her turn... Having never left the family ranch, Lark Mitchell needs a little adventure—or at least a romance that isn’t confined to the internet. Her older brothers Cole and Cade have always been too good at protecting her innocence, but even they can’t stop her from taking a second job—where her boss just so happens to be the kind of bad boy she craves. Too bad he’s also the one guy in Silver Creek she should never touch... When Quinn Parker introduces himself, Lark tries to quit on the spot. Everyone knows Quinn was behind the accident that ended Cade’s rodeo career. But when he holds her to her contract, she can’t help wanting to get even closer. As she begins to see the man behind the gossip, she sees that not all of the things people say about him are true...even if there’s plenty about this bad boy she has yet to discover.

Oh the fun that was had in some respects with this book but the angst…  the sheer angst…

Lark just wants to spread her wings a bit without her well-meaning but over-bearing brothers putting their noses in every bit of her business.  She decides to pursue a job that isn’t family related and ends up working for the man that they believe almost killed her brother Cade.  As she struggles to keep her family out of her job in order to avoid Cade paying her way out of the mess, she also has to struggle with her attraction to the one man she should never get tangled with.  I loved seeing her loyalty to her family but I also appreciated the way that she was willing to actually listen to her intuition when it came to Quinn’s involvement with her brother’s attack.  She was a very sympathetic character in that all she wanted was to be taken seriously by people and to be loved but allowed to be free.  She just needed someone to push her out of her comfort zone in order to actually truly start living life to the fullest.  I enjoyed her quirks and the way that she pushed Quinn to also start believing he deserved to be happy even though his past made him think the worst of himself.  She’s a fun character who put up with a lot more than she should have when it came to both Quinn and her family but I did understand it.

Quinn….  now this man is an asshole but I appreciated that he doesn’t apologize for that.  He knows he is and owns up to this ummmm character flaw.  While he will piss you off with his treatment of Lark you also can see that he even knows it is wrong.  He struggles with wanting to do the right thing by her and believing that he isn’t capable of doing the right thing for anyone.  His actions after their first time say a lot even if he won’t admit it.  He’s such an interesting character in that his past has definitely shaped his present to the point where he isn’t sure of who/what he is any more.  I was pissed at him for a good portion of the book but I think that looking at how he was raised I was able to forgive him much faster than I might any other character in these stories.  He really is a good guy under the asshole exterior and when he falls… he falls so hard.

It was fun watching Lark tie Quinn up in knots but I really liked how she came in to her own decisions that might’ve hurt her family but were right for her even as they seemed so wrong to outsiders.  She’s got a great head on her shoulders and once she learned to trust in that everything else played out as it should.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Intermix for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I truly enjoyed it!

four-stars

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Unexpected – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

June 22, 2014 Intermix, NetGalley, Read in 2014 0

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

Unexpected – Maisey Yates – 4 starsUnexpected by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin on 2013-08-20
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 344
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley.com
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Goodreads
four-stars

After spending another family wedding fielding questions about her non-existent love life, Kelsey Noble decides she’s tired of waiting around for things she could go out and get herself. What Kelsey wants is a baby, and she doesn’t see any point waiting for a husband she’s not even sure she wants. But a mix-up at the fertility clinic lands her with a hassle she didn’t count on. A big, muscular hassle in a Stetson and cowboy boots. Cole Mitchell is shocked to discover that a grand gesture from years past has come back to haunt him. Now, thanks to a clerical error, a woman he’s never met is having his baby—and there’s no way he’s going to walk away and forget he has a child. Trying to make nice with the unexpected father of her baby lands Kelsey in Silver Creek, Oregon, dealing with the kind of small town life she left behind years ago. Even worse is dealing with the burning attraction she feels for Cole. She knows adding sex to the mix is a very bad idea, but she’s not sure how long she can resist falling for the last man she ever expected... Includes a preview of Maisey Yates’ novella, Unbuttoned. Praise for UNBUTTONED: “I loved Unbuttoned by Maisey Yates in a big way....I love a feisty heroine and a charismatic hero, especially when they clash. The scenes where they duked it out verbally, all the while undressing each other mentally, were so delicious....Lots of fun.”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books “A sexy, compelling read.... it’s a great start to what looks to be a promising new small-town contemporary series and has introduced me to a new-to-me author who writes enjoyable characters with great emotional depth, witty dialogue, and steamy love scenes.”—Ramblings From This Chick “Maisey Yates is a very talented author and has created the perfect small-town romance about two people that found love once they learned to take a leap of faith.... I can’t wait to see what is in store for the residents of Silver Creek.”—Books-N-Kisses

Nothing like being late on reading something but….  I really enjoyed reading this story of a woman who is so used to being the odd duck in her family that she is amazed to find a family that accepts her as she is.  It also is a good story for anyone who doesn’t conform to the mold their parents try to put them in and to go for what makes you happy.

Kelsey is stuck at yet another wedding and dealing with relatives that keep asking her when she’s going to get married.  She’s been burned by the man she thought she would marry so is in no hurry to have another relationship even as she wishes for children.  She decides to do something bold and get artificially inseminated so she can have the child she yearns for without the hassle of a relationship.  When the sperm donor shows up at her door with information that the sperm she was impregnated with should not have been in the main donor pool she’s shocked and terrified about what this means.  She agrees to go and spend time with him on his ranch in order to figure things out but winds up with more than she imagined.  I loved her strength and enjoyed seeing her really learn what she needs in her life.  She’s smart but so vulnerable to being hurt by this sexy cowboy that you will root for her to get what she deserves.  I liked that she pushed him to really open up and admit what he wanted/felt.  There was something interesting about seeing a woman who claimed to not need the traditional family realize that she really wanted that connection.

Cole was a bit harder at times.  I understood why he was so adamant about not being willing to be in love with Kelsey but I really wanted to slap him.  He’s so sexy when he finally gives in to their chemistry and also when he is caring for her as she struggles with morning sickness.  He’s unfortunately a bit of a jerk as he deals with what his father left him to clean up and what his ex-wife did to him over their way-to-long marriage.  He’s very loyal to those he loves and seeing him struggle to admit what she actually means to him was at times frustrating but ultimately it was a struggle that left him in a wonderful place.

I hope that you will give this series a chance as I have completely enjoyed each installment and am ready to read more from this wonderful little town…

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Intermix for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I’m sorry it took me so long to finally get to it but I really enjoyed the heart of this wonderful town/family.

four-stars

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