Posts Categorized: Samhain

Living in Secret – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 stars

March 2, 2015 Read in 2015, Samhain, Sent 0

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

Living in Secret – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 starsLiving in Secret Published by Samhain Publishing on February 24, 2015
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

She always tried to be good, but now he needs her to be bad…

Living In…, Book 3

Lawyers Connor and Victoria Blake had a high-powered marriage to match their meteoric careers—until a secret from Victoria’s past came back to haunt her. A year after it all fell apart, Victoria is ready for a new job, a new town.

Instead of signing the divorce papers, though, her husband has a tempting proposal—one week of no holds barred before moving on with their lives. She’s never stopped wanting him, but he’s always kept the deepest part of himself locked away.

Connor already endured one brutal betrayal in his life, and Victoria’s cut him to the core. But during a naughty game of one-upmanship with a sexy stranger, he sees a different woman, whose warmth and passion he craves like a drug.

In one week they expose dark passions that set them both free. But amidst searing desire that should fuse them together, Connor is coming to the brink of a decision to choose what’s more important. The last secret he’s holding inside, or the woman he can’t let go.

Warning: Contains a man coming to terms with his inner darkness, a woman ready to match him kink for kink, secrets, lies, and a marriage getting its sexy back. Could take readers on a one-way ticket to WTF city.

Where to begin…

Jackie always brings the angsty heroes which I adore even as I cry because of the way they hit my buttons.  I also like her heroine’s strength and the way they won’t take crap from the hero.

Victoria just wants one thing…. her estranged husband’s signature on their divorce papers.  She is getting ready to uproot her life and head to London to begin again but she needs those pesky papers signed.  She’s repressed and seemingly always in control but she hides a deep need to be accepted for who she is and not what people expect from her.  I liked her drive and also enjoyed how she was able to get under our hero’s skin but didn’t like how she expected him to bare his soul but wasn’t willing to do so in return.  She’s at her best when she finally admits what she wants and needs which doesn’t happen completely until the very end of the story.

Connor is intense.  This is the best way to describe him and when you read this story I think you’ll agree.  He’s very driven to be perfect and in control.  He’s also driven to prosecute the lawbreakers and make sure that justice is done but is very passionless when it came to his marriage.  This is a part of his extreme control and hides a man that is very good at being bad.  He craves a chance to let loose and sees using what Victoria needs to get her out of his system.  As he breaks down and gives in to his baser needs he ends up finding out that what is best for him might be to finally tell the story of his past.  I hated what he went thru as a child but liked that Victoria saw the truth behind his actions and didn’t believe the same way that Connor did.

The sex scenes are intense as both of them are so repressed that when the control is gone…. when they finally let their bodies take what they crave and need… *fans self*  LOVED.

 

four-half-stars

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Living in Shadow – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars – Contest!

August 18, 2014 Read in 2014, Samhain, Sent 4

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

Living in Shadow – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars – Contest!Living in Shadow by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-08-12
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 232
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Finding his way out of the darkness could be the biggest fight of his life.

Living In..., Book 1

Law professor Eleanor May is fine with taking over a class for a colleague on sabbatical. She’s not so fine with the hot student who’s always seated front and center. Once upon a time she was that student...and the scars remain eight years after it ended.Yet this guy seems different from the others. Despite the alarm bells in her head warning her about history repeating itself, she is drawn toward the forbidden once again—even though this time it could consume her.

Lucien North’s past is darker than the ink on his skin, a reminder of a time when survival was a fight to the death. Seducing his beautiful professor wasn’t supposed to be part of his plan to put it behind him, but there’s something about Eleanor that’s gotten hold of him and won’t let go.

Together they light up the night, but will their powerful desire lead them to love—or drag them both to the brink of disaster?

Warning: Contains a younger man so hot he might scorch your fingertips, and forbidden lust so tempting, there’s no point in trying to resist. Check your inhibitions at the door—it’s WTFery 101 and class is in session.

So…. imagine you’ve finally managed to move on with your life after years of being in an abusive relationship that makes you suppress your inner desires as they’d been used to hold you captive for so long.  They’d been twisted and torn but in your deepest self you need this in order to feel whole…. Well if you can imagine this then you know our heroine, Eleanor, and can see why she finds the young man at the front of the class she is teaching to be such a threat.  She’s not ready to let go again and trust in someone but he calls to her and she finds that the more she tries to control the situation by pushing him away the less control she actually has.  She’s such a strong character but  her need to submit is something that is core to her mental health that she is finding harder and harder to keep buried.  As she begins to trust this younger man she also begins to heal the wounds inflicted by her ex and even more surprisingly finds that she is healing a younger man with an old soul who needs this bond they share to finally put his own demons to rest.

I’m going to keep Lucien’s story to myself and let you get to know him the way Eleanor does.  I will say he is amazingly hot and oh soooo yummy but his struggle with control will make you want to heal him.  He needs a strong woman who will push him to his limits but one that will yield to him, trust in him and love him enough to stand by him when the truth of his past comes out.  He’s so good at keeping others out that watching him let her in was oh so good.

I always love Jackie’s tortured heroes and heroines so this one was no exception.  They both have such an amazing amount of healing to do and seeing them find their way was very enjoyable.  As always Jackie’s very generous with me and my known grabby hands for all her stories so I can’t help but thank her for this story and the many others she’s sent my way.

 

So …  how about a quick giveaway???  Two Nook or Kindle copies up for grabs just tell me…  do you love tortured heroes/heroines as much as I do??  I’ll draw the winners on 8/22/14 at Noon Central so get your comments in before then!!!

five-stars

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Nobody – Sarah M. Anderson – 5 Stars

April 6, 2014 Read in 2014, Samhain, Sent 0

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

Nobody – Sarah M. Anderson – 5 StarsNobody on March 31, 2014
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Nobody Bodine came from a nobody and will always be a nobody. He can disappear into the shadows—no one can see him if he doesn’t want them to. He exists on the edge, in neither the white man’s world nor the tribe’s, dispensing vigilante justice when he sees fit. There’s no other place for a man like him in this world.

 

Until Melinda Mitchell shows up on the rez. From the first moment he lays eyes on her, he can tell there’s something different about her. For starters, she’s not afraid of him. She asks where his scars came from, and why he has so many. But more than that, she sees him. For the first time in his life, Nobody feels like a somebody in her eyes.

 

Melinda has come west to run the new day care on the White Sandy Reservation. She’s intrigued by this strange man and his tattered skin, and when she discovers that he’s a self-appointed guardian angel for the boy in her care, she realizes that there’s more to Nobody than meets the eyes. But how far will he go to keep the boy safe? And will she be able to draw him into the light?

NOBODYYYYYYYY!!!!!! Ok I’ve been wanting this story since he first appeared on the page in Mystic Cowboy and while Sarah made us all wait I’m actually glad in a way.  We get so much from this story and having her wait until the time was right was difficult but ohhhhhhh soooooo worth it!

Melinda has always been the odd person out in her family.  She’s always just lived life and while it hasn’t taken her down the same “respectable” path that her sister has gone down she has been semi-content with it.  She comes to the reservation after yet another disastrous relationship but this time she’s convinced that she’ll get her head on straight and do some good.  She’s unsettled by what she discovers as she spends time on the reservation but decides to roll up her sleeves and work on the new center but also finds herself wanting what she sees her sister has with Rebel.  The only man she’s met that stirs her blood is the man no one sees or if they see him they see him as a threat and not a human being.  While she is scared of this man at first she decides to confront those fears and recognizes that in this man there is something special that she should hang on to.  I have to admit that there are times when I wanted to yell at her for the way she was behaving but a bigger part of me saw what the big picture was and how much hurting him hurt her as deeply.  She’s a bit flighty but when she decides something is worth fighting for she does it even as it scares her to death.

Now…  I have to talk about the man who stole my heart in Mystic Cowboy…. continued to perk my interest in Masked Cowboy… I just don’t know why I wanted his story so badly but there is something about this man that just called to me and now knowing his story I just…  *melts*

Nobody is the hero that we as romance readers all want to read about.  Well, we want to have him for our very own even as he rips our hearts to shreds.  He’s such a damaged man who has convinced himself (actually been told by those who should’ve shielded him) that he is nothing.  Actually he’s convinced himself that he is beneath nothing and there is nothing that he deserves more than being scorned or mistreated.  He’s always lived outside the tribe and the law but yearns for something he just can’t put a name to.  This is a man who does nothing but protect the land and people he loves in his own way but others don’t see him as anything other than trouble until he meets a woman who actually sees him.  I just wanted to take him in my arms and try to take away all the pain he has ever felt…  well and do all sorts of naughty things with him as damn the man is sexy!!!  Yes in real life a man like him would scare me to death because of all of his scars but in a book I can get my fill of finding out what makes this scarred, damaged hero tick.

Get ready to have your heart broken over and over watching him struggle with the idea that someone really does see him, wants him and trusts him to be the man that he’s never seen himself as… a lover, partner and ,best of all, human.  The struggle he goes through to understand that he is worth loving and trusting is heartbreaking but so worth the journey that I’m honored to have had the chance to read it and gush over it to anyone who will listen.  You want this story!!!  You really do…  It is worth every tissue you will use as you read it!

I can’t thank Sarah enough for letting me get my eyes on his book early and while I am sad in some respects that his story has been told I am happy that it lived up to every single expectation I had for it.  He’s a hero that you want to cuddle and make everything perfect for then do all sorts of naughty things with.

five-stars

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Perfect Catch – Sierra Dean – 4 stars – Contest!

March 16, 2014 Read in 2014, Samhain, Sent 4

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

Perfect Catch – Sierra Dean – 4 stars – Contest!Perfect Catch by Sierra Dean
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-03-11
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 274
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Is their love a home run, or merely a pop fly? Boys of Summer, Book 2Minor league umpire Alice Darling loves everything about baseball. That means hunky ball players are strictly off limits—dating one would be professional suicide. With a young daughter and a brother to care for, she can’t afford to slip up. Truth is, as a young, stupid, nineteen-year-old townie, she did once date a player. That’s how she wound up with her precious, nine-year-old daughter...and a determination to never make that mistake again. Alex Ross’s arrival in Florida for spring training, though, shakes her resolve in a big way. Alex, a catcher for the Major League’s San Francisco Felons, has never let much get in the way of his game. One look at Alice changes everything, and he finds himself pursuing her with a single-minded purpose that plays hell with his concentration. Booted back to the minors, he returns to Florida with his tail between his legs to work on his swing...and heat things up with Alice. But when rumors of their affair hit the sports blogosphere, Alice’s career is put in jeopardy, and their love starts to look more like a strikeout than a home run. Warning: When a catcher struggling with his swing meets a stubborn single-mom umpire, his bat won’t be the only thing that heats up. Contains car sex, bed sex, sex sex, and a little angst for good measure.

If you didn’t know from following Sierra Dean on Twitter that she’s a baseball fan then you would definitely figure it out from reading this series.  Baseball players, support staff and fans are lovingly brought to life by her with an eye for not only the good things that come from being in the lifestyle but the harsh realities players and staff live thru in order to be a part of this sport play out over the year.

We got to see Alex in the prior book in the series and I know I looked forward to getting to know this catcher a bit better.  As we get to know him better we find that while he has had the typical love ’em and leave ’em lifestyle of the young, handsome, well-off player he really has a great heart that wants to find his match.  He’s got sisters that serve to keep him in line when it comes to the treatment of women but when he meets Alice he has no clue how to handle a woman that runs so hot and cold to him.  He shows how much he wants to be a part of her life in so many ways in this book but I have to say the way he tries to include her daughter in things melted my heart.  He really does try to treat both of them like princesses and treasures so you will adore this soft side.  He’s also extremely patient as he deals with Alice’s issues that at times I just didn’t see why he didn’t give up but I loved that he was willing to tolerate so much from her as in the end they make a great pair.

Alice is not my favorite heroine in many ways but I liked her and understood most of why she behaved the way she did.  I didn’t always like her treatment of Alex but was happy that she owned her mistakes once she realized what she stood to lose if she didn’t open her eyes.  She loves her job as an ump and being a single mother but finds herself struggling with keeping her home together while fighting an attraction to a ball player.  This attraction could ruin her career as an ump but can’t seem to avoid wanting a man who fits all the things she thinks is horrible.  She’s been burned by a ball player before and paints every single one of them with the same brush.  This of course creates conflict with Alex as she isn’t open with him about her issues and it almost drives a permanent wedge between them as she always jumps to the worst conclusions with him.  My frustration with her revolves around her willingness to forgive her brother for his actions but a man who has treated her with nothing but respect doesn’t get any chances because of his career?  I was happy when she finally wakes up to what she stands to lose if she doesn’t change but jeez it took a while to get there.

I’ve got to thank Sierra for the chance to read this as I loved Alex and learned to love Alice.  I’m ready for more more more…

Now for the fun stuff…  For a chance to win a copy of Perfect Catch in either a Nook or Kindle format tell me…  What MLB team do you cheer for or what sport do you prefer to baseball?  I’ll choose one winner on 3/24/2014 so have your entries in by 3/23/2014 at 11:59 pm CDT in order to be considered.  Include your format preference in your comment.

four-stars

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside – HelenKay Dimon – 3 stars

February 24, 2014 Read in 2014, Samhain, Sent 0

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

Baby, It’s Cold Outside – HelenKay Dimon – 3 starsBaby, It's Cold Outside Published by Samhain on February 25, 2014
Pages: 178
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

He usually gets what he wants. What he wants is her…and all that comes with her.

Men at Work, Book 1

Sex in the office? Lincoln Campbell knows better. His assistant, Thea Marshall, is off limits—until her back hits the door and her clothes come off. The next day brings more than morning-after regrets. It brings damning evidence that Thea stole business secrets.

Three months later, he can’t shake the doubts in his gut, so he heads for Thea’s family cabin by the lake, ready to talk. He’s not ready for the woman who answers the door. She was shapely before…and it won’t be long before she’s a totally different shape.

After Linc escorted her off company property while her protestations of innocence fell on deaf ears, facing off with him now isn’t exactly Thea’s idea of a good time. She needs a few more weeks to plan the drastically different direction her life has taken, but now he’s here—and refusing to leave.

With a storm rolling in and snow piling up, there’s nothing to do but face the past…and try to resist the real man behind the suit.

Warning: A hot businessman who usually gets what he wants. A strong woman who refuses to be pushed around—on the morning after, or any other time. And a cabin where the showdown begins.

I wanted to like this one more than I did but the hero just pissed me off so royally that I couldn’t quite find it in my heart to forgive him completely.  I can’t say that I didn’t understand why he reacted the way he did but dammit she deserved better than what he did to her.

Thea has worked for Lincoln as his assistant for a while now and has always harbored a crush on the man.  She’s understandably shocked when the walls finally come down between them and they spend an amazing night together.  This amazing night turns in to a nightmare the next day when he treats her coldly and then fires her with no explanation as to why.  When she finds out that she’s been accused of corporate espionage she’s shocked but crushed that he wouldn’t even let her defend herself or know what he was accusing her of.  She’s even more distraught to find out that she’s pregnant but knows that she will give this child something special and love it even though the father is a man who she wishes she could forget.  I liked her strength in knowing that she would defend the child no matter what but that she also didn’t plan on not telling him once she was safely past the riskiest time in most pregnancies.

Lincoln …  I’m trying to come up with something nice about him and to be honest he’s a selfish prick most of the story.  He’s such a driven man and finding out about his childhood makes it possible to sort of feel for him but dammit he’s just so selfish and righteous that it just pissed me off.  He’s so willing to believe the worst about the woman who has been his rock that I just wanted to scream at her to run far far away.  I felt for him in some respects but he’s just too arrogant for me to completely soften to him even though I think that once the truth came out he might have actually realized what he almost lost because of his arrogance.  Yes the evidence was pretty damning but it might have been nice if he was at least willing to talk to her and give her the chance to explain that while the evidence was damning it wasn’t 100% conclusive.

Anyway…   if you can get past his arrogance there is a good story here and I am looking forward to more in this series where we can hopefully see a bit more of Thea and Lincoln so I can maybe just maybe like him a bit more…

Special thanks to HelenKay Dimon for giving me the chance to read this one early.  While Lincoln didn’t work for me 100% I still can’t wait for more…

three-stars

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Having Her – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars

February 10, 2014 Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 0

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

Having Her – Jackie Ashenden – 5 starsHaving Her by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-02-11
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 333
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Behind every heroine is the pain that binds her. Lies We Tell, Book 2Manga café owner Kara Sinclair has one burden she’s been carrying around so long it’s bordering on pathetic. Her virginity. Getting rid of it, though, means doing the one thing that scares her the most—letting down her guard with a relative stranger. Which makes her best friend’s older brother Vin Fox’s offer too tempting to refuse. Vin barely has room in his schedule to turn around, much less worry about Kara and her crazy quest. When she insists on going ahead with a plan that he considers unsafe, though, enough is enough. If she wants to lose it, she can lose it with him. Bonus: he gets to play out his darkest fantasies, slave collar and all. Kara thought dealing with a known entity like sexy-as-sin, controlling-as-hell Vin would smooth the way. But when it comes right down to doing the deed, not even the safety of a costume can fool her demons. By then the game has gone too far...and the consequences could bind them together forever. Or tear them apart at the seams. Warning: Contains a sexy, brooding “fix you” hero and a heroine who isn’t afraid of anything...except “normal.” More kinky cosplay losts-and-founds than you can shake a riding crop at. WTF Infirmary is booked up; please make an appointment before you read.

If you haven’t read Taking Him yet…  please do so before you read this one.  While you don’t technically have to there is a lot of tie-in between the two stories as they overlap and knowing the prior story does help a bit to get you more in the head of these two.

Kara just wants to get rid of the annoying thing called her virginity but she just can’t seem to do the deed with the men she meets.  When she mentions this plan to her best friend’s older brother she gets more than she expected as he offers to be the partner..  of course this is after some immense teasing on her part but when he offers it becomes something she can’t help but want.  As they come together she has to confront her demons and finally stand up for herself in her private life.  This is a woman who has so many reasons to not let someone in her heart and body but when she finally does the results are amazing and the power she gains over her past was beautiful to watch.  I loved how she finally stood up for what she wanted even as it killed her to do so.  She has so much more strength than she knew which Jackie brings to life in moments that had me crying and yelling at my Kindle.

Vin…  sigh…  Vin…  bless his stubborn soul.  He’s so misguided about what is going on with Kara that it made me laugh at times as both of them really didn’t understand what they were getting in to when they came up with the slave/master arrangement.  He feels an incredible amount of responsibility for everything around him and that leads him to not take care of himself.  As he gets what he needs from this arrangement with Kara he feels an amazing amount of release in their stolen moments but at the same time is suffocating himself with a level of guilt for what he believes to be being selfish.  As he struggles with this guilt the unexpected happens and his reaction to it made me want to hurt him as much as he was hurting Kara.  I understood both sides of the conflict but still wanted to hurt him… (yes Jackie I know you did warn me) … You can’t stay mad at him as you watch him struggle with trying to do the right thing all the time and his actions in the end will make you tear up at the huge amount of (as Maisey Yates says) FEELS that are evoked.

So…. here are a few notes:

  1. Have Kleenex cause you will need them a bit
  2. Have ice cause oh dear lord are the two of them hot hot hot together
  3. Have someone you can talk to as you get ready to bash Vin upside the head but ya know Kara has a few moments as well
  4. Don’t read unless you can sit down and gobble this up in one sitting

 

Special thanks to Jackie for giving me a chance to read this one really early…  You can always send me things cause your dirty heroes with feels are just ummmm HOT!!  Also thanks for not expecting a review of any kind let alone telling me what to write for said review.  I appreciate getting the chance to read both of these stories and will be happy to take more of your dirty heroes off your hands…

five-stars

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Taking Him – Jackie Ashenden – 5 Stars

November 11, 2013 Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 0

Taking Him – Jackie Ashenden – 5 StarsTaking Him Published by Samhain on November 12, 2013
Pages: 209
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

Behind every hero is the damage that made him.

Lies We Tell, Book 1

Computer game designer Ellie Fox can’t wait to start her new job in Japan. But first there’s one loose end in Auckland she needs to tie up: her obsession with her older brother’s best friend, Hunter Chase.

She’s sick of being “kid zoned”. It’s time to make like one of her kick-ass computer game heroines and take matters into her own hands. Except when she finally has Hunter where she wants him, her hands are the last thing he’ll let her use.

Hunter works hard at running the construction firm he co-owns with his friend, and at keeping his distance from his dysfunctional family. Control is his linchpin, but there’s just one spanner in the works—Ellie.

The girl he always looked out for suddenly seems determined to make him see her as a woman. But with a past darker than the angel wings tattooed on his back, the safest place for her is just beyond arm’s length. Or the next heart to suffer damage could be hers.

Warning: Contains a tortured hero, a determined heroine, cosplay kink, and a twisted twist that could cause mental whiplash. Line to the WTF Infirmary forms on the right.

So this summer I was watching the Twitter conversations of a couple authors and became intrigued by the hashtag they were using….  #dirtyeffingvirginhero… as I watched them banter back and forth it became very apparent that I needed to read more about this dirty man and I might have done a bit of begging.  Not too much but you know a bit of begging for a copy of this virgin hero..  Thankfully Jackie was nice enough to give in to my begging and send me this amazing book.  The partner in crime on this was her buddy Maisey Yates who made sure that we all got to see the hashtag and become very interested in this title.  So thanks to Jackie and Maisey for getting him in my line of sight and making me want this ASAP.

 

Ellie has loved her brother’s best friend for years and it hasn’t been made any easier by the fact that he keeps showing up to pull her out of situations he brother feels are inappropriate or ones that he can’t control.  She’s moving to Tokyo in a few weeks so figures that this final bit of distance will help her move on from something that never started no matter how badly she wanted it to.  Her brother ends up sending Hunter to pick her up from a convention and she can’t resist pushing Hunters’ buttons one last time but ends up getting more than she thought when he finally does realize she is not only a woman but one he wants with a fierce intensity.  As she battles his demons to get to know the real him there are times when she’s hurt to the extreme but I loved how she picked herself up and stood up for not only herself but for him.  She’s strong and is willing to fight for the man she knows he is and not the man he thinks he is.  I loved her humor, strength and compassion which are all needed to deal with him.

 

Hunter…  Ahhhhh sexy tormented Hunter…  how much I loved your need to make Ellie yours while at the same time being tormented by the belief that you weren’t the one for her.  You are an amazing man beneath the surface and watching you fight your demons was heartbreaking but gorgeous.  You want to be the one constantly in control but have found the one woman who you can’t control no matter how much you try.  I adore your heart and the fact that you tried so hard to keep away from Ellie knowing that you would cause her pain if you gave in even more than you were already doing by keeping her away from you.  You love hard when you fall and seeing her get you to understand your past was incredibly painful but oh so wonderful!  You needed someone who wasn’t afraid of taking you on and making you finally face the nightmare you lived for so many years.  Your tattoo is beautiful even with the ugliness that drove you to it.  I’m proud of what you accomplished and look forward to seeing more of your growth if Jackie will write us a bit more…  *hint hint*

 

Again special thanks to Jackie for giving me a copy of this to drool over and cry a bit while reading.   She had no expectation of review and in no way colored my thoughts.  I loved my damaged hero Hunter and hope everyone else will enjoy him as much as I did.   And…  Yes he is a dirty dirty boy…  😉

five-stars

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Sponsored Contest – Beauty Bites – Mary Hughes – 4 stars

September 3, 2013 Contest, Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 2

Sponsored Contest – Beauty Bites – Mary Hughes – 4 starsBeauty Bites Published by Samhain on August 27, 2013
Pages: 357
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
four-stars
Beauty Bites (Biting Love Book 6)
Beauty is skin deep…but the beast goes all the way.
When top Minneapolis ad man Ric Holiday is asked to design a campaign for a quaint little town, his first reaction is absolutely not. Meiers Corners is too near Chicago, home of the vampire who turned him as an orphaned boy.
Then the city sends an angel-faced med student with a body made for sin to plead their case. Synnove Byornsson is the ray of sunshine Ric hasn’t felt since he was human.
Armed with determination and a micro miniskirt, Synnove is prepared to crash Holiday’s penthouse cocktail party—and to dislike him on sight. But Mr. All-Style-No-Substance turns out to have a deadly smile, a barely restrained, feral strength, and piercing blue eyes that look at her—not at her cleavage.
Unfortunately Synnove has competition in the form of a sly temptress with a counterproposal. For the first time in her life, Synnove must cash in her genetic lottery ticket and fire back with some sizzle of her own—or her beloved Meiers Corners could become the new Sin City.
Warning: Contains a doctor with a bod for sin, an ad exec with a chip on his shoulder, sarcasm, sex, and a cabin full of annoying friends. Secrets are revealed. One heart-stopping, horrific moment leads to the ultimate of happily-ever-afters.

My Thoughts:

I have to say I really enjoyed this latest entry in the series although it did serve as a reminder that I missed a short story and another full length one somehow.  I’m going to have to go back and grab it so I can make sure not to miss a second of the craziness that is Meiers Corners.

Synnove is at a crossroads in her life when her cousin talks her in to visiting an ad executive in order to persuade him to help the town with a needed ad campaign.  What she ends up getting is thrown in the middle of a battle that has its roots in the 1800s and a war that goes back even farther than that. I liked how she wanted to be something other than the genetic outward gift that she was cursed with but also that she didn’t really understand her full worth.  She pushes back when way out of her element and doesn’t back down when someone larger tries to get their way.  She uses her brain to figure the clues out that end up getting everyone what they want in the end and that takes guts along with the amazing smarts.

Ric was something else.  I enjoyed how hard he tried to keep her at arm’s length but like all the other vampires in this series doesn’t stand a chance against claiming his mate.  He’s got an über protective streak towards his people and her but does try to fight it in order to make her happy.  His conversation with Bo was a wonderful scene that I’m glad Mary included as it puts a lot of things in to perspective for the reader and provides a great moment for Ric to really show how much he cares for Synnove.  His past is something else and I hope that as we see more of this world they both will play a part in the war that you know is coming closer to a head.

Overall this was a nicely paced story with a pairing that made me laugh at times.  Both of them are stubborn and her tendency to spout medical jargon when flustered should make you laugh a few times as they bust out of her mouth at the most inopportune times.  I really want a story starring his right hand man/partner so hopefully we will get that one soon.  😉

Special thanks to Author’s Angels who allowed me to be a part of this tour and help spread the word about this fun book.  They also provided this to me for review and I’m so happy that I got to get my greedy hands on it as a result.  Please scroll down a bit for a fun contest that is a part of this tour and take advantage of the excerpts below.

Excerpt:

It was all fun and games until the gun hit my skull.
Thud. A bright pain cracked in my brain, telling me the mountainous hostage-taker had brought his own weapon to bear.
Almost immediately something heavy plowed into us, spinning me away from the gun. I staggered to a stop.
My sight cleared to Ric, wrestling the mountain.
The big goon seized Ric with one arm, hugging him close like he was going to give him noogies. But the gun in his noogie hand made reality more chilling.
Ric shimmered, and suddenly the mountain was holding a cloud of mist.
Vampire fighting technique? I cheered before it occurred to me to wonder why Ric hadn’t used it before and why the shadowman helping us hadn’t used it at all.
The edge of Ric’s mist caught a stray beam of sunlight. It instantly combusted—poof. My elation turned to horror.
Ric snapped back into being like a rubber band. His cheek was seared open, exposing red muscle surrounded by blackened, bubbling skin. But he lost no time raising his bound hands, swinging, and whacked the bad guy’s head with fists like a mallet.
The mountain swayed but didn’t go down. Ric spun, once, twice, winding up his whole body behind it, and whacked him again.
Still the guy didn’t go down. My heart tripped double time. The mountain swept his gun toward Ric.
I leaped at them. Went oof when I hit the shadow’s arm, stuck out like a bar. I folded over it like a cheap towel and staggered back.
Ric slid into the rifle.
The mountainous goon opened fire as Ric knocked the gun to the side—the side where the ogre-like head hostage-taker stood.
Ogre Face ducked and covered. A spray of bullets rat-a-tat-tatted a line where his head had been.
Ric chopped his forearms across the mountain’s right wrist. The mountain howled, both arms flying up in defense, right hand dangling with a protruding lump at the wrist presenting as broken. The gun fell to hang from its clip. The mountain groped for it with his left hand.
Ric grabbed the big man’s balls.
The guy shrieked. Ric wrenched. The mountain dropped, curling on the floor like a shrimp. Apparently Ric also had a grip like a nut crusher.
“Stop!”
I whipped around. Ogre Face pointed his gun at my head. He rasped, “You’re dead.”
Terror burned that instant into my head like a snapshot. I stood facing the ogre. About ten feet separated us. Behind me was the hostage-lined bank of windows, the shadowman already running toward them. A few feet to my right, the mountain goon curled on the floor, Ric breathing deeply over him.
Both Ric and I were too far away to stop the ogre from shooting.
“Down!” The shadowman pushed hostages to the floor, starting with the ones in Ogre Face’s direct line of fire. Well, if you didn’t count me.
Ric leaped.
My knees started to bend.
Ogre Face pulled the trigger.
Ric wouldn’t hit him in time, even though he’d leaped before the ogre pulled the trigger.
The gun went off.
———————————————-
I turned.
Ric Holiday in his full sizzling glory was right on top of me.
I stepped back, spine hitting the edge of the elevator shaft. My nipples reached out as if trying to stay in touch. *The erection of the mammary papilla is due to muscle contraction, like the pilomotor reflex which causes goose bumps*—Stupid nipples. “What do you want?” I spoke a bit sharply, but his heat and heady scent had goosed my frustration into borderline rudeness. I flushed but held my place. Well, fused against the corner of the shaft, I had to.
He stared down into my eyes, his own frustrated too. “I want to explain.”
“You made it clear enough. Me and Camille at the O.K. Corral, one week from today.” I looked away. The elevator was leaving.
“Synnove.” He slid two strong fingers under my chin and urged my face back to him. The blue had softened. “I’m sorry.”
“Why? There’s worse?” I scowled, but I had to work at it. Why did he have to be so gorgeous? Why did his fingers have to be so gentle, so warm? “You’re going to make us bikini mud wrestle?”
“Ouch.” He smiled slightly. “I deserve that.”
“No,” I grumped. “You don’t. But you’re getting it anyway.”
The grin slowly widened, making his whole face edible. “The vaunted Byornsson honesty. I’m beginning to see the advantages.”
And I was beginning to see the advantages of hot sexy sizzle. But no way I was admitting that to him. Not lying, just omission, which is not a lie. Mostly.
When my lips parted to say something that was not a lie and definitely wasn’t about how sexy he was, his eyes darkened. “Shh.”
He replaced the two fingers on my chin with two cupping hands, holding my face gently, like it was something precious. Like I was precious.
My lips stayed parted but no words came out.
In that moment of silence, he lowered his head. Slowly, so I could have stopped him.
Should have stopped him.
Did not want to.
*He’s nothing but image.*
*Image and intense pleasure.*
*The lips have one of the highest density of nerve endings in the body…*
*Argh. Shut up and kiss him.*
While I was arguing with myself his warm mouth settled on mine, tongue sliding deftly between my lips. It rasped my sensitive skin, rubbing my lips awake like a thorough toweling. A steamed towel, hot and wet.
Confused feelings fled. I gave a little moan and opened wider.
He swept inside, all spice and heat. He groaned, a sound of masculine hunger. His questing mouth, his hot kiss, said lust plain and clear. Yet his hands were tender on my face, his sweet caress speaking of something beyond sex, a closeness that transcended the physical.
Happiness blossomed in my heart. Our groans were intertwined, mutual. For this one moment, the battle was suspended and we were on the same side.
His fingers tunneled into my hair, holding me firmly while his tongue drove deeper. He pressed closer yet, pinning me to the edge of the elevator shaft with his body, imprinting me with every muscle, every bulge, every place he was hard and primitive under his worsted.
I rippled against him and moaned softly in response. If he could generate this kind of pressure standing, how would the weight of his body feel, pressing me into a mattress?
At the thought I nearly exploded.
He shifted me, his powerful hands urging me away from where the corner of the elevator was digging into my spine and guiding me onto the wall. There he pressed me into vinyl wallpaper and kissed me like he was starving for me. The honest hunger in his kiss undid me. I grabbed his head and kissed him back with everything I had.
A big hand slid up my ribs, sparking a trail of heat, stopping under my breast. The mound throbbed, waiting, wanting, yearning for that hot hand to slide up the curve, to touch my delicate and private flesh. To brand it as his own. My soft moans shortened to whimpers, and I arched to thrust my breast more fully into his hand.
A deep rumbling started, a lion’s purr. His hand moved, fingers barely brushing the bottom curve. I stopped breathing. His fingers skimmed higher, circling nearer, nearer to the hardening tip. I twitched in anticipation, greedy for his touch on sensitive flesh barely covered by a thin blouse and the wispiest scallop of lace. Bless Twyla’s endless supply of sexy bras.
Finally, finally his thumb scraped my nipple. I shrieked into his mouth, jerking against him. My nipple furled instantly, wordlessly urging him again, more, now.
He opened his hand and covered my breast, his heat searing. Slotting the nipple between two fingers, he began to pump and tug gently, rhythmically squeezing, pulling. I thought I’d go insane from the sweet soft tugging.
Until he replaced the hand with his mouth.
His lips closed on my erect nipple through thin blouse and bra, breath wetting the material until he could have been sucking directly on flesh. It was the dream become real; it was better. More aroused than I’d been in my life, I grabbed his ears and beat my hips into him, not thinking at all, just moving. A pressure built between my legs, a hot, heavy throbbing that made me want him on his back and me naked and clamping him between my thighs.
A ding startled me; my eyes flew open. The elevator, which had gone and come back again, disgorged half a dozen professional-looking people.
Bio:
I’ve worked as everything from a cleaning temp to project manager for global clients. Currently I’m an author, musician, and computer consultant. I live in the United States Midwest with a basement full of spare computer parts and several musical instruments including my husband’s romantic cello and my flute for playing bird parts in orchestra…ask me to tell you that story sometime 🙂
Hugs!
Mary

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four-stars

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Diamond Dust – Vivian Arend – 5 stars

August 21, 2013 Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 0

Diamond Dust – Vivian Arend – 5 starsDiamond Dust Published by Samhain on August 20, 2013
Pages: 273
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
five-stars

She can’t shift, but she can shake their world.

Caroline Bradley is having one hell of a week. Her wolf lover has sniffed out his mate, making her an instant free agent. Not only that, Takhini territory has been overrun with aggressive bear-shifters electing a clan leader, and the wolf pack is feeling the effects—pushing her diplomatic skills to the limit.

Tyler Harrison is a grizzly on a mission. If he’s going to win the majority of the bears’ votes, he needs one final thing: a female companion. The only woman in town with influence over wolves, humans, and more bears than he’d like to admit, is Caroline.

Despite the sexual pull between them, though, Tyler’s not seeking a permanent relationship. And Caroline isn’t looking to be anyone else’s political pawn. But she should have remembered that when shifters are involved, changes happen in the blink of an eye.

Warning: Billionaire bear hero plus kick-ass human heroine equals a sexually volatile power struggle. Get ready for what might be the naughtiest game of tag that’s ever been played in the great outdoors.

My Thoughts:

Ok my fan-girl crush on Vivian Arend continues with this latest installment in the Takhini Wolves series.  I mean seriously I can’t wait until the RT convention in New Orleans to get a chance to see her in person again.  I have to say there was a part of me to see Evan and Caroline part ways even though I knew it was coming I was happy to see her get what she truly deserved.  Now when are we getting Evan???  Huh?  Huh?  I mean come on…  LOL  I also have to mention that I’m glad Lillie pushed Viv to write a book with BEARS!!!  Cranky, grumbly BEARS!!!!  Did I mention BEARS??  Oh sorry lost my train of thought there…

When Evan scents his true mate Caroline knows things are going to change but she isn’t aware yet how big the changes are.  She finds out about Evan after she gets caught in an embarrassing situation and is helped out by a man who she is definitely instantly attracted to.  She thinks it can’t go anywhere because of her arrangement with Evan but when circumstances change she decides to roll with it and maybe have a bit of fun with this stranger.  She’s disappointed when the shifter in question marginalizes their attraction and claims that she is there as a political ally and this is going to be a business only arrangement.  Maybe it is time for her to take the time off away from things once this week is up and re-group to figure out what path she should take now.  She’s so used to either doing things for someone else she loves/cares about or being used by others to improve the situation for themselves that she just wants someone or something just for her.  I liked getting to see behind the facade she presents in order to survive being a full-human in the company of shifters and really appreciated how she tried to draw the lines with her grumpy bear at the beginning.  She isn’t being heartless but trying to protect herself from wanting to have something more than what is being presented to her.  She’s strong with a huge heart that has been hidden from everyone for years out of self-preservation.

Tyler is intrigued by a woman who he found in the hot tub of his hotel suite.  He can’t afford to get distracted right now as he needs to win the bear conclave’s leadership vote but something about her calls to him.  When he finds out who she is and exactly how good she is at shifter politics he has to have her on his side.  He also wants to engage in some healthy side activities but is positive it will just be for the week of the conclave and nothing more.  He isn’t looking for anything permanent but as he spends more time around Caroline he finds himself getting thoughts that he never expected.  This is compounded by the fact that his bear is incredibly drawn to this feisty woman and others at the conclave have doubts about him being a good leader since he isn’t attached.  As we get to know him we see him struggle with what is considered acceptable in bear society as he is confronted by a woman who demands to know why bears love to claim instinct versus humanity.  As he looks at bear culture from this new vantage point he is ashamed of what he sees and is willing to stand up finally to this old pattern.  I loved how he struggled initially with what to do to make Caroline happy but he did truly listen to what she was saying it just didn’t always sink in quickly.  He has so much growth from the initial man who honestly wanted to do nothing more than look at life as a business to a man who lets himself love and live life outside of work hours.  I adored his cranky attitude at the beginning and how Caroline wouldn’t accept this from him.

This is a pair that is truly well-matched and I cannot wait to get glimpses of them in the future but…  ahem…  now when do we get Evan’s story again?  Oh…  and when can we have more BEARS!!!!!!  😉

Special thanks to Fatin who contacted me on behalf of Viv to see if I wanted an ARC of this title..  I really appreciated it and ummmmm just assume yes to anything by Viv you ever get in your hands again.  I’ll take em…  🙂

 

 

 

five-stars

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Masked Cowboy – Sarah M Anderson – 4 stars

August 5, 2013 Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 2

Masked Cowboy – Sarah M Anderson – 4 starsMasked Cowboy Published by Samhain on August 6, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
four-stars

He hides from the world…but he can’t hide from her.

Men of the White Sandy, Book 2

Moving her veterinary practice out west is a chance for Mary-Beth to start over. But her resolve to learn to hold her tongue goes out the window when she meets Jacob, a Lakota cowboy who says next to nothing—especially about the black leather mask covering half his face.

Sometimes he seems to be almost flirting. Other times, it’s as if he’s angry she exists. But there’s no mistaking the heat that flares between them.

Jacob still isn’t sure who—or what—carved up his face and killed his best friend three years ago. All he knows is the thing was after a child he now hides with his silence. A medicine woman’s granddaughter he would die to protect.

Outspoken, sexy Mary Beth reminds him of how lonely his life has become. But he can’t forget how much he stands to lose if any distraction allows a monster to rise again and destroy the last hope of his people.

Warning: This book contains a masked cowboy with a lot to hide, a woman who shoots her mouth off at all the wrong times, and the wanton destruction of a certain pair of panties during explosive sex.

My Thoughts:

Just like Mystic Cowboy Sarah takes us back to the White Sandy in Masked Cowboy.  We get to see Rebel and Madeline again but this is about Jacob and his lady-love Mary-Beth with a side visit to the reservation.  We get to see who has been behind the poisonings and find out more about the town that surrounds the reservation.

Mary-Beth has always kept moving away from things that seem too much like relationships.  She always leaves her romantic entanglements and isn’t looking for anything other than the chance to get her new veterinary practice off the ground away from everyone she knows.  When she gets to see the show that a masked cowboy puts on she’s incredibly drawn to this mysterious sexy man but is more intrigued by the little girl she sees him pick up.  Who is this little girl and how can she help with her?  As she gets drawn in to the mystery of poisoned animals and the little girl she also finds herself spending more time with a man who gets under her skin in a way she never has experienced.  I liked how outspoken she was and especially appreciated how much she was unwilling to let Jacob treat her as if she didn’t matter.  She pushed him to open up to her but in a way that you were rooting for and not one that turned you off.  My heart broke for her at the end but man Jacob knew what to do even if it didn’t seem like it at first.

Jacob is obviously hiding something as he wears a mask but he also keeps to himself and doesn’t let many people close to him since the incident that left him scarred.  He’s got a child no one knew about and is working for a man no one likes but there has to be more to the story than people understand.  What we find out is a man who is stuck in a holding pattern protecting everything he holds dear from a man bent on destroying the reservation.  He hides behind the mask because of the damage he sustained when he lost his first and only love but also uses it as a crutch to keep others at bay.  He’s determined to keep Mary-Beth at a distance because he doesn’t believe himself worthy of love but after a stormy interlude in a remote cabin he just can’t do it.  When the worst thing imaginable almost happens to Mary-Beth he reacts in such a heart-warming way that you can’t help but want him for yourself.  The level of trust he puts in her very early on was amazing and seeing her return his trust with equal abandon was wonderful even as they both kept a bit distant.  Your heart will break for the hell he has been through at the hands of an insane individual but will sing when you see him let Mary-Beth in.

This is a couple who don’t have an easy path to love but it is a love you know will last as it is built on mutual respect and need plus a good dose of friendship.  I cannot thank Sarah enough for sharing a copy of this with me early for review as I really enjoyed it.  I’m ready for more in the series especially…  Nobody!!!

four-stars

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