Posts Categorized: Sent

Shattered Valor – Elaine Levine – 5 Stars

February 23, 2013 Read in 2012, Sent 0

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The Blurb:

Every step leads her deeper into danger…

Eden Miller has her life arranged exactly as she wants it–until a reunion with her high school BFFs places her in the middle of a turf war with a ruthless prison gang, their terrorist allies, and the hunters tracking them. Her every move draws her deeper into the danger surrounding Ty Bladen and his team of terror fighters, but his seductive charm and engaging smile make her believe his promises of protection.

A secret is a dangerous thing…

When the terrorists Ty Bladen is tracking infiltrate his remote ranch in Wyoming, he learns the past he buried cannot be so easily escaped. Though he’s recovering from a bullet wound he received in Afghanistan and is hunted by an unseen enemy, he knows he can’t leave Eden alone to face the danger swirling around her, danger he and his team have brought to her–even if the has to risk letting her near his frozen heart. But when she learns his terrible secret, will she stay or will she run?

My Thoughts:

This book made my heart ache for Ty.  To have had to go through everything he did as a child and yet be the man he was with a soft heart just makes you hurt for him.  To see him find his other half in Eden was beautiful.

Eden is in town for a reunion with her high school friends when they cross paths with incredibly horrible men.  As she works to be there for her friends she ends up meeting Ty who pushes all her buttons.  She’s very hesitant to trust anyone but when the bad men end up showing up and causing trouble in her real life she is forced to be back in his company.  She’s quick to believe the worst about his intentions but when she finally lets him in we get a glimpse of how strongly she actually feels about him.  She’s going to be the one who will always be there for him and support him even when he won’t believe in himself.

Ty broke my heart a few times in this one.  Please be ready with tissues as you will need them when you find out what happened to him as a child.  This explains so much about his treatment of Eden and also of letting people close.  He doesn’t believe himself worthy of something real and good but this is a man who deserves every bit of faith and love that Eden gives him.  He’s such a strong man and I adored him even when he was being stubborn.  I don’t want to give away much more but trust me when I say you will cheer when some people get what they deserve although they really deserved much more hell than they got.

Elaine has written an incredibly complex set of characters for this series and I cannot wait until we get more glimpses of all of them.  I truly thank her for the chance to read this as I adored it.

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Holding On – Karen Stivali – 5 stars

February 17, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

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The Blurb:

When you have everything you’ve ever dreamed of, the hard part is Holding On.

British NYU professor Daniel Gardner thinks life can’t get better than the day his three-year-old stepdaughter, Ella, calls him Daddy for the first time. Then his wife Marienne tells him she’s pregnant. Daniel is thrilled, but worried about Marienne’s health. Not wanting to cause her stress he turns to writing to calm his nerves. He pens a screenplay, thinking it’s nothing more than a mental health exercise, but when a colleague reads it and hands it to a producer, it turns into a production contract. Daniel accepts the offer and transfers to a teaching position at Dartmouth, hoping that small town living and a shorter commute will simplify his life.

As he attempts to juggle his new responsibilities he gets an unexpected letter from Roger, the father he never knew. For the first time since they met, Daniel and Marienne are at odds; she wants him to give Roger a chance but Daniel wants nothing to do with the man he thinks abandoned his mother. As Daniel and Marienne struggle they must contend with interference from Daniel’s sexy ex-wife, who appears to want him back, and a handsome, all-too-helpful single dad who desires Marienne as more than a play-date pal. They must both confront deep-seated issues with trust and acceptance if they’re going to find a way to make their marriage work and hold on to the love they share.

 

My Thoughts:

This is another instance when Twitter is your best friend for finding new authors and books to read.  In this case I once again was lucky enough to have the luck to win this from Karen.  I decided to read this immediately after reading Meant To Be and have to say I loved both of them even more.

This takes place a little over a year after Meant To Be and they have been settling in to married life.  Daniel and Marienne have discovered they are having a baby but as the pregnancy progresses Daniel realizes he wants to work closer to home so he doesn’t have to worry if anything happens.  Working in NYC and living in New Jersey has him spending too much time on the commute and as she goes in to labor while he is in NYC during a snowstorm he knows that he needs a change.  Luckily for him an offer to teach at Dartmouth with a trusted mentor comes open and he gets to have a chance to live the life he has always dreamed of.

Once in New Hampshire old hurts and doubts start to creep in on both sides.  Daniel has written a screenplay that has been green lighted for production out in California while Marienne meets a single dad with a kid about the same age as her daughter.  Add to this the fact that Daniel’s ex tries to get back in the picture and Daniel’s long lost father appearing in his life, you have the recipe for a severe meltdown.  What I adore is the fact that even when they fight there is a huge amount of love underneath everything that they say and do.  There is no intentional or truly mean behavior on both their parts but they do have major issues with trust that cannot be healed with just words but time and action.

 

Both books are incredibly realistic in that nothing is white-washed over and they have real issues to work through.  I adored them both but my heart was definitely stolen by Daniel.  Thanks again to Karen for giving me this book without asking for review.  I adored both of them.

 

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Amazon

 

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Meant to Be – Karen Stivali – 5 stars

February 17, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

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The Blurb:

Sometimes you’re already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one.

When NYU professor Daniel Gardner’s career-obsessed wife convinces him to move to the suburbs, he hopes it’s a first step toward starting the family he longs to have. Instead of domestic bliss he finds his neighbor,
Marienne Valeti. She loves her freelance design job, but must contend with a growing sense of isolation created by her husband’s indifference. A penchant for good books, bad movies, and Marienne’s to-die-for brownies sparks a powerful bond between them. Passion simmers, but they resist its lure, surrendering only in the seclusion of their minds. Their friendship
helps them weather every hardship, from divorce to widowhood, leaving them both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.

 

My Thoughts:

I won this title a while back from Karen and kept having other titles come up that had to get read yesterday for review.  I finally took advantage of some downtime from work and real life to read this title and let me tell you …  WHY DID I NOT PUT THIS HIGHER IN THE LIST!!!

We have two incredible people stuck in marriages that aren’t working but they both have so much honor to them that they stay in hopes that things will work out.  When Daniel and Marienne meet the first time you can sense the kinship between them as they both have a lot of the same wants and needs.  They are both very family oriented due to bad experiences as they grew up but the friendship they form as they work through being so different from their spouses was beautiful but heartbreaking as you wondered why they stayed with the messes they were married to.  I mean I hated his wife and her husband with an almost maniacal passion.

Daniel is an NYU professor and is very happy with his job and his life in all but one way.  He wants the whole package…  house, wife, kids, basically a real family.  He didn’t really know his father and his mother passed when he was sixteen so he has this need to have a nuclear family made sense to me.  Watching him be more of an involved man when Marienne was pregnant than her poor excuse for a husband made me yearn for everything to fall in to place as you sensed that this is what she wanted as much as he did.  His wife’s way of manipulating everything around her just made me sick and watching him wake up to what was missing was wonderful.  I was cheering when he finally said what he needed to say even though it didn’t get to come completely out.  He’s a wonderful, caring man and any woman would be lucky to have someone that honorable and loving.

 

Marienne made me sad that she felt she was so unworthy she deserved what her husband did to her.  Did he hit her? No.  Did he do anything overtly horrible to her?  No.  But the subtle ways of his uncaring attitude and behavior spoke louder than anything.  Her memories of her wedding day/night made me cry for her.  No one deserves to feel like they are second best in anything let alone the relationship that should be the most important thing in their lives.  She’s always felt that maybe she deserves his uncaring attitude and makes excuses for it.  After you get to see her blossom a bit with Daniel’s friendship it is clear this is a woman who is perfect for him.  She just has so much love and attention to give to the right man if only she wasn’t with her husband.

I loved watching how closely they skirted the lines but never crossed them in honor of their partners.  They were attracted to one another but there is something so inherently honorable about each of them that even when the paths are open to their being together they walk in to it very slowly but they fit so well together that once it happens it does go quickly even with her insecurities.  Daniel was just so patient with her and shows her that he loves her in so many ways that I can’t wait to read the next one.  Actually….  it is pulled up on the Kindle and ready to go.

While I did win this from the author she did not require a review let alone a positive one.  Take a chance on this one it will make you sad but at the same time incredibly happy to follow their journey.

 

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

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High Risk – Vivian Arend – 4 stars

February 17, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

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The Blurb:

LIFELINE: an elite search-and-rescue squad based out of Banff, Alberta. Specializing in high-risk rescue missions, this team goes wherever the job takes them…

Rebecca James was once revered for her devil-may-care attitude and backcountry survival skills. But ever since she lost her partner in a fatal accident, patches of her memory have been missing. And until she can recall those final, tragic moments before the accident, she can’t move on.

Since Marcus Landers was permanently injured during a mission, all his energies have been focused on his Lifeline team. When Becki—whom he had an intense affair with seven years ago—arrives in Banff, he’s inspired to reignite the spark they once had. Their mutual ardor slowly awakens Becki’s dormant, haunting memories.

New truths surface until Becki must at last confront her greatest fear. Remembering the past might mean a future without the man she loves…

 

My thoughts:

I really liked this start to the series.  There is smoking hot sexual tension from the word go that when it explodes it is unbelievably hot!

Becki is in transition after a horrific accident took the life of her climbing partner.  She’s on auto-pilot with no memory of exactly what happened as a part of the accident other than just prior and her coming out of the mountain with the people that needed rescuing.  She’s come to Banff to join the Search and Rescue school she once attended as a new instructor.  She doesn’t expect much but ends up finding that sometimes giving up control can end up giving you back your life and control.  She works through a lot of issues with both climbing and the accident.  I felt for her when you finally find out what happened on the mountain and wanted to be able to not only reach through the book but time as well to kill her partner myself.  She’s in great hands now with Marcus and his ability to know what she needs when she needs it.

 

Marcus has his own nightmare that he is struggling with.  He lost a good part of his arm in a job gone wrong but also seems to be just going through the motions in his own life.  Sure he has an incredible SAR team, Lifeline, that he has created and built but….  he isn’t really completely living.  His brother tells him about hiring Becki and Marcus is instantly drawn to a weekend years ago where he and Becki had an amazingly scorching weekend.  He decides to ask her to help train his crew.  I mean they are great at what they do but he wants them to go back to the basics and get back to being the completely together team he knows they are.  If Becki ends up being in his bed again who is he to complain.

 

Watching how dominant Marcus can be was very steamy but watching him help her come to terms with her past in such a patient, delicate way was heartwarming.  This is a couple that I look forward to getting glimpses of again in the future books of this series.  You forget that he only has one hand and that he has his own demons but then Becki helps him come to terms with that as well.

 

This releases March 5th and I cannot wait for more to get their hands on this.  The next pairing promises to be scorching as well since they have a love/hate thing going on in this book.  Everyone on the team already knows what is really going on with them but man this will be a ton of fun to read.

 

Thanks to Vivian Arend for having the Twitter contest that I won this from as I really enjoyed it.  If she so happens to accidentally send me the next one early I would not complain at all…  Hint Hint!!  🙂

 

To pre-order:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

 

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Forbidden Sister – V.C. Andrews – 3.5 stars

February 15, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

Forbidden Sister

 

The Blurb:

When Emmie Wilcox, the younger daughter of Norton and Vivian Wilcox, was seven, her father, frustrated with his older daughter Roxanne’s misbehavior and defiance, told her to get out. At seventeen, Roxy left. Norton forbid her name be mentioned again and refused to call the police to find her and force her to return. Nearly eight years later, Emmie learns that her sister has become a highpriced New York call girl, living in a fancy hotel only a dozen blocks away. She sets out to spy on her sister and thus sets off a series of events and adventures that nearly tear her fragile family apart.

 

My Thoughts:

I have to admit this one took me a bit to get in to.  This is not a fast-paced book but instead is a window in to a family that is fundamentally flawed.  We have a father that is incredibly rigid, a mother that is loving but unable to stand up to him, a daughter that cannot be mentioned and another daughter that is trying so hard to be the perfect child.  I felt for Emmie as she tried to navigate being a teenager while living under the shadow of what Roxy did.

This is a book that explores the end of childhood innocence and also is everything truly perfect under the facade that money and status create.  Emmie grows up in a hurry as tragedy strikes her immediate family but she has an amazingly strong backbone when her friendship is exposed to be a false one, her new romantic interest proves to be scum, and her classmates all show themselves to be unworthy of her time and attention.  There is a boy who could have been found to be a great friend/something more but that was not explored as the story takes some unexpected turns instead.  I liked seeing her realize that life isn’t pretty at times but what matters is family and your own heart.

Roxy comes across as extremely cold but as you get more glimpses of her I just felt incredible sadness for her.  She didn’t have a childhood due to her inability to play the company line at home and had to grow up quickly in the world of high-priced escorting in New York.  She’s forced to examine what truly is important when Emmie comes back in to her life and while she was cruel at times to the fragile teenager she actually did mean well and ultimately did the right thing by her.

I found this to be an interesting read even though it took a bit for me to warm up to it.

 

Thanks to Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books for letting me have a chance to read this early in exchange for my honest review.

 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

 

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Anything for You – Jessica Scott – 5 Stars – Contest!

February 6, 2013 Contest, Read in 2013, Sent 2

The blurb:

From the author of Because of You comes an all new Coming Home short story.

Sergeant First Class Shane Garrison has spent a year recovering from his combat injuries. A year spent in the arms of the woman of his dreams. But loving Jen comes with a price: every time he touches her, he faces the uncertain fear that loving her might mean losing her forever.

Jen is a breast cancer survivor and with Shane, she’s found a man who loves her despite her scars. But her scars may be too much for their love to survive.

As their love grows, so does the risk to Jen’s life. And Shane must make the toughest decision any man can make to save the woman he loves.

 

My thoughts:

I’m going to start this off by saying – You cannot read this without reading Because of You.  Please don’t try it…  really…  don’t do it.

Ok now that the warning is out there I get to gush over getting to see two characters I fell in love with in Because of You again.  I adored their initial romance and knowing that the love they share is still going strong made me extremely happy.

Do they still have problems?  YES

Do they truly love one another? YES

Do I want to see more of this amazing pair?  OH DEAR GOD YES

Did I sniffle a bit at the obstacles thrown in their way?  Oh yeah…  Jessica made me a bit weepy.

 

Jen is a breast cancer survivor which due to her age and the type she is at a high risk for a recurrence.  While she wants to have everything with Shane this may just not be a good idea with this history.  This is a story of two people who truly know what it means to love and are willing to make compromises even if they aren’t really able to sit down and discuss them in a timely fashion.  I adored the love that shows through everything even when things look bleak.

 

I can’t really say more than that other than read Because of You so that you get the entire picture of the hell they both have been through to get a love that most people only dream of.

 

Thanks to Jessica for sending me a copy of this without the guarantee of a review.  I adored this …  so much so I am going to do a giveaway.

 

Ok…  One lucky commentor is going to get a chance to get Because of You and Anything for You in a Kindle or Nook format just by saying they love reading romances about military men and the women that love them.  Just put a comment below by 2/9/13 at 11:59 pm CT and I’ll pick one lucky winner.

 

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Wayward One – Lorelie Brown – 4 Stars

February 3, 2013 Read in 2012, Sent 0

Wayward One

The Blurb:

He’ll protect her with every vicious bone in his body.

During her ten years at the prestigious Waywroth Academy, Sera Miller clung to a strict code of propriety to shield herself from rumors that she isn’t an orphan at all. She’s a bastard. Now she wishes she had never allowed her friends to talk her into snooping into the mysterious source of her tuition.

Her benefactor isn’t the unknown father she dreamed of one day meeting, but Fletcher Thomas—underworld tycoon, gambling den owner, and a man so dangerously mesmerizing that he could spark the scandal Sera has worked so hard to avoid.

Fletcher is only two steps away from leaving the life of crime he inherited from his father. First he plans to join an aboveboard railroad consortium, then claim the one thing his ill-gotten gains have kept safe all these years—Sera.

With every wicked caress, Sera fights harder to remember society’s rules and reject the painful memories his touch resurrects. Accepting Fletcher’s love means accepting her past—a risk too great for a woman who has always lived in the shadows. No matter how safe she feels in his arms.

Warning: This book contains a do-gooder heroine, an accidentally charming hero with tendencies toward caveman-itis, inappropriate household décor and fabulous sex against a wall.

My thoughts:

I will warn you I tend to be a bit biased when it comes to Lorelei’s books whether they are just her or her collaboration with another author that results in the naughtiness of Katie Porter.  I did receive this one from Lorelei but as always she doesn’t ask me to write nice reviews or honestly even to review the books.  I just love them enough to let you know that this is a really nice book full of snark, heat and enough love to make you smile.

Sera has always held out hope that the benefactor paying for her schooling is actually her father taking care of a bastard daughter.  She’s held out hope that she isn’t an orphan but in one moment finds out the man paying her bills is a bit of a rogue.  He runs gambling halls and other scandalous enterprises which of course will not do.  She sets out to find out why he is paying for her to make her way but ends up getting more than she bargained for when she also gets persuaded (hmmm more like persuades him) to put things to rights in his household so he can live more like a respectable gentleman than rogue.  She’s uptight, judgmental and very stuck in appearances to society but under all this is a woman who has a heart of gold with a streak of rebelliousness that fits our hero perfectly.

Fletcher… sigh… Fletcher… He’s not an easy man to pin down.  I mean we have a man who operates on the dark side of society due to his birthright.  We have a man that takes care of his people and wants to better their positions.  We have a man who is such a sweetheart to Sera even to the point of holding himself away from her as to not taint her with his current enterprises.  He wants her so much not only for the air of respectability but ultimately for the woman she is under all the prim and proper.  He’s attempting to finally come out from under his dad’s reputation and make his world in the respectable parts of society but has his best laid plans thrown for a bit of a loop when Sera takes matters in to her own hands.  These two are definitely meant for one another and the snark that goes between them was fun to read and enjoy.

There is a bit of heat in this but not too much to override the sweet story of two people finding something precious that makes them perfectly suited for their times and environment.  They are a fun pair to read and I thank Lorelei for giving me the chance to do so.

As always…  She can give me more any time as I will be happy to head back to this period and little group she has created.

 

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A Little Harmless Fantasy – Melissa Schroeder – 5 Stars

January 27, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

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The blurb:

What starts out as simple fantasy among friends, becomes an overwhelming need that none of them can deny.

Maura Dillon has always been someone who lived life on her own terms. From the time she in college she knew she had different needs than most of her friends. But she never thought she would find herself torn between two very sexy men, or that they would want to add her to their relationship.

Zeke and Rory have known each other for years. Their casual relationship has spanned a decade, but now that they are living together things are on a whole other level. Add in their mutual attraction for Maura and things are just getting out of hand.

Rory understands their desires and suggests a week in Hawaii. No rules, no limits, no regrets. But as their nights are filled with unimaginable erotic pleasure, there is someone lurking in the shadows. Someone who wants revenge, and will stop at nothing to succeed.

Warning the book contains the following: Two sexy men who are hot for each other and the heroine, more Hawaiian scenery, a Dom who thinks he can control everything, two lovers who know he can’t, and scenes that push even Harmless Addicts over the edge

My thoughts:

Ok, I have to start this off with a wow is it hot!  You have two people hopelessly in love with one man who end up finding that maybe three is better than two.

Mel gives us a strong heroine with a lot of issues to work through but at her core she is deeply in love with her ex-Zeke.  They love each other but Maura knows she needs to have a Dom to be completely happy and Zeke is just not that person.  Love for one another makes them split up as they both know the fundamental need she has would not be fulfilled and neither would be happy as they kept hurting each other.

Zeke has one of the loves of his life back in Rory but he knows something is missing.  You can see the love the two men have for one another and watching Rory with Zeke was beautiful.  Even though there is a lot of pain and angst in their past there is a huge amount of love between these two that shines through the hurt.  Rory proposes a way to get Maura out of Zeke’s system by having them spend the week in Hawaii together as a triad but ends up finding what it was that Zeke fell in love with.  I loved seeing the three of them work through their issues and especially seeing Rory deal with realizing what he is capable of.

This is a very hot read but a huge amount of heart, pain and love behind all the main players actions.  This is a ménage a trois that will work long-term and fulfill each partners basic dreams and needs to an extent most people never find.

I have to thank Melissa Schroeder and Brandy Walker for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  You want this one…  you truly do.  All three partners have their private moments together and as a part of the triad which is a rare thing to see.

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Haunted Sanctuary – Moira Rogers – 4 Stars

January 23, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

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Ok I have to admit this – I’M A MOIRA ROGERS/KIT ROCHA ADDICT AND I’M PROUD!!!

 

For any that know me this is not a surprise but for others it may be a bit of a shock.  I adore Bree and Donna no matter what hat they are wearing and am looking forward to more from this series.

 

Jay is the local sheriff and an all-around good guy with a bit of a secret.  He’s a werewolf who happens to be an Alpha but without a pack to call his own.  He’s always had a crush on Eden but can’t spill his secret nor does he think it would be possible to walk away from her if he takes a taste so he just keeps his distance while still spending time around her.  I mean this is a small town so being friendly is part and parcel of being sheriff.  After investigating a disturbance at her family property he finds out not only does she know about weres but due to an attack is surprisingly becoming one faster than anyone expected.  These two strong people become an amazing pair not only from a relationship perspective but also become the Alpha pair for a new Sanctuary town that they decide to declare.  If you have read any of their Red Rock series you will understand the concept and appreciate what the pair with helpers is trying to do in the violent world of werewolves.

 

I really enjoyed the length of time between them realizing they both wanted each other and when we finally get to see them consummate the relationship as it made for some fun tension.  Not to mention I laughed out loud so many times at the ways they were interrupted just because you felt so badly for them.  I mean poor Jay had to have immensely blue balls for the sheer amount of near misses..  😉

 

This is not a flowery love story as the world werewolves reside in is bloody, power crazy and demented outside of Sanctuary towns but seeing Jay and Eden work to rescue her cousin from his descent to madness plus how much the others rally around each other was heartwarming to read and feel.  You will get a feeling about a couple of pairs that might be coming down the pipeline and really want all this small motley crew to succeed in their new pack structure.  All of them deserve it considering the hell they have been through.

 

This is a great read and I cannot recommend the authors enough for it and others they have entertained me with over the past year.

 

In the spirt of honesty I received my copy directly from the author as a result of a charity item I won last year.  This in no way colors my review nor was one expected in return.

 

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Lead and Follow – Katie Porter – 4 Stars

January 5, 2013 Read in 2012, Sent 0

Lead and Follow

This was another case of me getting lucky and having an author send me a hot read.  I knew going in that it would be hot as the writing team of Katie Porter never disappoints…  They know how to write very strong characters that go after what they want and need.

 

This is a hot friends to lovers story where you just want two very stubborn people to let down their walls and admit that what they need is standing right in front of them.  Dima and Lizzie have been competitive ballroom dance partners for years.  They know each other better than anyone else will probably ever be able to but even with all of this intimacy they have never been able to open up to one another about their true feelings.  I mean they are friends who live, train, and travel together but neither wants to ruin the friendship they have to find out if they could be more.  Lizzie gets hurt and is unable to compete which leaves Dima at loose ends.  He decides to try out working/dancing at a local club to keep himself in the game.  He learns that while he enjoyed ballroom this new style of dancing and performing fulfills something deep inside him.  He gets the rush of performing but also gets to express his creativity outside of the rigid rules ballroom entails.

 

Lizzie is very shocked to see her partner wasting his talents on this new style of perfuming and isn’t shy about telling him that she doesn’t feel it is the right thing.  She reacts strongly but it is more driven by fear of losing him to this new life than being truly offended about the dance.  She wants him for more than a friend but is so frightened of losing her other half she can’t take the risk.  She tries to push him by making moves on the bartender but Dima knows it is fear talking and not what she really wants.  Even while with the bartender he knows she is thinking of him and imagining him there.  I loved how he pushed her almost to the breaking point but was willing to take that risk to have the woman who holds his heart and soul.  The scenes with Paul were incredibly hot but at the core of this story is a wonderful friendship that morphs in to the thing everyone I think wants….  A partner in everything….

 

Again..  thanks to Katie Porter for giving me the chance to read this with no expectation of a review let alone a glowing one…  Ya’ll can send me anything… (Hint Hint)

 

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