Genre: Contemporary

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The List – Anne Calhoun – 4.5 Stars – Contest

March 3, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 2

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

The List – Anne Calhoun – 4.5 Stars – ContestThe List by Anne Calhoun
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-03-03
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, General, Literary, Romance
Pages: 336
Source: the publisher
The List (An Irresistible Novel)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00L9B7CCS" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Who’s on top?

Matchmaker and stationery shop owner Matilda Davies brings people together. For those on her list, Tilda will find the man or woman of their dreams—whether it’s for an hour or a lifetime. But due to a painful past, the British expat has never put her own name on the list. Instead, she limits herself to emotionless and commitment-free hookups. Then she meets Daniel, who wants not just her body, but also her heart…

Daniel Logan hides the soul of a poet under the suit and tie of an FBI agent. Specializing in financial crimes, he pieces together stories of greed and ensures justice is done. He plays by the rules—until he meets Tilda. He’s drawn in by her passion as well as her mysteriousness. Daniel knows that no matter her secrets, he’s the perfect match for Tilda. But even pleasure doesn’t come with a guarantee…

Ok bear with me for a few…  This isn’t an easy book to read or review in some respects.  You need to be patient as you read this as you might be tempted to dislike the heroine but give her a chance.  She’s who she is because of where she came from and what she had to deal with growing up.  I found myself understanding her in many ways because I could see myself in her ways of protecting herself from what she sees as a fundamental flaw within herself.  The hero is someone you will not have any issues with as he is definitely swoonworthy in his devotion to the woman who captivated him from the start.

Let’s start with what I adore about Daniel:

  • His devotion to the heroine even as she tries to drive him away
  • His understanding that it isn’t him at issue but something within her
  • His devotion to his family
  • His acceptance that they are two distinct people and should be free to have their own pursuits
  • His message on the first day *you won’t see it until the end but dear lord*
  • His way of getting her to start seeing him *admittedly loved how sneaky and dirty he was*
  • His naughty as hell side *fans self*

Now let’s see what caused me to like Matilda *Tilda*:

  • Her knowledge that Daniel isn’t at fault
  • Her acceptance that she wants him even as she fears hurting him
  • Her soft heart hidden under the ice that she wears so well
  • Her ability to see what people need even as she won’t see her own needs
  • Her ability to spot something special in things that she herself doesn’t understand but craves with all her being
  • Her love for her grandmother
  • Her wilder impulsive side that is there just waiting for someone to see it and encourage it
  • Her true nature that just needs someone to truly accept her and love her

Now…  the two people who I wish would fall off the face of the earth for what they did to a younger Matilda that made her in to the seemingly cold woman who believes something is wrong with her…  well I am not going to give them away here but trust that you will want to put them in a special spot in hell for what they did to her psyche when she was vulnerable.  This of course also causes Daniel some pain as we see but you’ll love his understanding of what is truly going on and admire how much he was able to let go as much as it hurt him to do so.  This is a man worthy of love and devotion which you’ll see he eventually gets from the one woman who completes him.

 

I adored this story and since the team at Berkeley are so generous…  I have a paperback copy of this one to give away to one lucky commenter.  All you need to do is tell me something about the person(s) that ground you.  We all have someone that has held that place in our heart that we know accepts us as we are…  Mine was my grandfather Sophus who I knew loved me as I was…  Leave a comment by 3/11/15 at 11:59 pm CT for a chance to win the paperback.

four-half-stars

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Quarterback Draw – Jaci Burton – 4.5 stars

February 6, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 2

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

Quarterback Draw – Jaci Burton – 4.5 starsQuarterback Draw by Jaci Burton
Published by Penguin on 2015-02-03
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Playing For Keeps

Grant Cassidy knows how to be a football star—flash that dazzling smile, throw the winning pass, get the girl. But while the hot quarterback loves the game and the lifestyle, no woman has come close to catching his heart. Then he matches wits with a smart, gorgeous model, and Grant finds himself wanting more than a fling.

Supermodel Katrina Koslova might live in a world of glitz and camera flashes, but she works hard to provide for the family that relies on her. She doesn’t have time for fun—much less a boyfriend—but Grant seems determined to be the exception to Katrina’s rule.

Their explosive chemistry is undeniable, but Katrina’s afraid to let go and rely on anyone but herself. Grant intends to ease her fears and prove he’s a man of style and substance.

Ummmmm I can’t say enough about the covers for this series…  talk about needing a towel to wipe up the drool but the story in this one was lovely.

We have two people who aren’t really looking for the ONE but find it when they get paired up at a swimsuit shoot.   Grant comes in to the photoshoot thinking let’s get this over with so I can head back and relax before the football season starts.  He isn’t overly fond of these shoots but they do pay well and he is smart enough to know that football doesn’t last forever.  PR is SOOOO not his thing but hey stuck in a tropical paradise isn’t a bad way to earn some dollars but he is surprised by a connection he feels with Katrina and even more surprised by how much he wants to get to know her better.  I mean he can have any woman he wants but there is something about her that causes him to want to pursue her.  He doesn’t get very far because the one thing Katrina does well is focus and ignore men vying for her attentions.

Katrina is used to doing everything with extreme control.  She has had to raise her younger siblings from an early age and her focus is on keeping the modeling career going in order to provide for them.  She has no time or desire to pursue a relationship or to be honest even have fun.  Her life revolves around her siblings and nothing will take her focus from that.  When she meets Grant she’s struck by their chemistry and the fact that she wants…  simple as that… she wants….  This is not something she is comfortable with and it leads to tension between them as Grant works hard to get her to let him in.

I liked both of their focus on family and that it means everything to both of them.  The romance between the pair builds nicely and has moments where the issues seem a bit too difficult to get over but I loved how compromise and valuing each other ended up being central to it working.  Grant does sort of walk all over barriers to get to Katrina but it was meant well and honestly was what she needed in order to really embrace living for herself and not just wrapped up with her siblings.

Her siblings were priceless and good kids so I loved their part in helping her realize that they would be ok with Katrina having a life….

Now for the fun stuff… I can’t believe I’m going to do this but I must get better about letting paper copies go so…  If you’d like to win my finished review copy of this title…  What sport do you find you love most?  One commenter will be lucky enough to win as long as they’ve entered by 11:59 pm US Central Time on Feb 11, 2015.

four-half-stars

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Last Hit – Jessica Clare/Jan Frederick – 5 stars

February 5, 2015 Berkley Trade, Read in 2015, Sent 1

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

Last Hit – Jessica Clare/Jan Frederick – 5 starsLast Hit by Jessica ClareJen Frederick
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-02-03
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Thrillers
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

From two bestselling authors—the first in a deliciously bold new series that takes readers to the most dangerous edge of desire . . .

Nikolai: I have been a contract killer since I was a boy. For years I savored the fear caused by my name, the trembling at the sight of my tattoos. The stars on my knees, the marks on my fingers, the dagger in my neck, all spoke of danger. If you saw my eyes, it was the last vision you’d have. I have ever been the hunter, never the prey. With her, I am the mark and I am ready to lie down and let her capture me. Opening my small, scarred heart to her brings out my enemies. I will carry out one last hit, but if they hurt her, I will bring the world down around their ears.

Daisy: I’ve been sheltered from the outside world all my life. Home-schooled and farm-raised, I’m so naive that my best friend calls me Pollyanna. I like to believe the best about people. Nikolai is part of this new life, and he’s terrifying to me. Not because his eyes are cold or my friend warns me away from him, but because he’s the only man who has ever seen the real me beneath the awkwardness. With him, my heart is at risk . . . and also, my life.

*hangs head in shame* Yes I know Mel..  I know..  bad Stephanie for not reading this earlier…  I’m just a bad, bad girl…  *snickers*

Anyway I have to say I am mad at myself for not deciding to pick this up earlier but I am glad I finally read it because man oh man is Nikolai something else.  There is not a lot of sexy times in this book but you know what…  IT DOESN’T NEED IT!  There is so much tension in this book that you won’t miss the main event and will be happy when these two finally have that moment.  This book is more about two on the surface different people that really are the perfect match.  We have sweet, virginal (yes… VIRGINal) Daisy, who is so naive and overwhelmed by life in the real world, and Nikolai, who is  jaded and in his eyes filthy not fit for anything good.

The journey these characters take is one of discovering your worth, your heart and finally living free from the tethers of your past.  I adored seeing Nikolai struggle with small talk and how to court Daisy.  He’s so used to just having sex as a form of stress release and it meaning nothing than a way to take the edge off that trying to woo someone is just a foreign concept to him.  This is a man who has no friends but has only existed to kill and earn money.  He has a heartrending past and watching him finally become fully human was beautiful.

Daisy is fully human but has spent her life being isolated from the outside world by a man who was battling his own demons.  I loved her enthusiasm about even the tiniest things and appreciated that she didn’t hate her father but wanted to do nothing more than help him.  Her guilt where he was concerned is honest and raw which I appreciated.  I also liked that she understands how naive she is but doesn’t use it to throw up her hands and quit.  She’s stubborn and strong which shows as things come to light.  Her ability to see Nikolai as a human being is tested but thankfully she sees thru to his core personality even as she feels betrayed.

I personally cannot wait for Daniel and Reagan’s story to unfold next plus look forward to seeing more of Nikolai/Daisy in later stories.  If you are looking for a book that is more about tension and building a relationship even if it is shrouded in lies then this one is for you.

 

five-stars

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The Distraction – Sierra Kincade – 4 stars – Contest

January 29, 2015 Berkley Trade, Contest, Read in 2015, Sent 4

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

The Distraction – Sierra Kincade – 4 stars – ContestThe Distraction by Sierra Kincade
Published by Berkley Publishing Group on 2015-02-03
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Literary, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
The Distraction (The Body Work Trilogy Book 2)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00L9AXY7G" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

The seductive story that started in The Masseuse continues...

Anna Rossi knows that opening your heart only gets you hurt. But Alec Flynn is just too good to resist…

It’s been three long months since Anna’s seen Alec, since he saved her life and lit up her soul with unquenchable desire. Being without him has left her on edge, but his bravery has motivated her to change her life and go after what she’s always wanted—a job where she can help people. She can’t wait to show Alec the woman she’s become in his absence, or to prove how much she’s missed him…

Three months away has done nothing to slake Alec’s need for Anna. Unfortunately, it hasn’t made his life any less dangerous. The last thing he wants to do is hurt Anna, but if giving her up is the only way to save her, he’s not sure he can do that either. He’s determined to have her for as long as he can. Except his past is creeping up on him faster than he knows, and this time he may not be able to keep her from becoming collateral damage…

I just can’t give up on this story even as things in the relationship between Anna and Alec set off big old warning bells in my head.  She’s obsessed with him so ignores everything and everyone who is concerned about how much pain he has brought to her just by being involved with her.  I get it but at the same time there is something that isn’t healthy about their relationship but circumstances are what is causing a majority of the issues as they can’t spend much needed time getting to know one another outside of their amazing chemistry.

I enjoyed this installment more than the previous one because we did get to see how much they truly need one another outside of the bedroom.  Alec is willing to do so much in order to protect Anna and you can feel how badly this whole mess is hurting him because he knows it is killing her.  He’s growly and protective but I did get a bit fed up with his inability to just lay his cards out on the table in the name of protecting her.  Honesty is something they both desperately need but both of them keep so much from one another that it causes conflict every single time it is revealed.  I got why he did it..  I honestly did but at some point I would hope that he would just realize that it always comes out in the worst way possible.

Anna is stronger in this story than the previous one and I appreciated that immensely.  I liked the spine we got to see as she stands up for herself in most ways and definitely does so in the end.  I look forward to seeing more of this side of her develop and hope that the conclusion will keep her spine stiff enough to not settle for anything less than she deserves.  Her willingness to see the good in people is severely tested in this story and my hope is she will still be open to people but a bit more open to listening to her inner self when something isn’t quite right with the facade presented to her.

Overall I enjoyed this one and hope that we not only get the final resolution for Anna/Alec but also get to see Amy happy with ummmm well read this one and you’ll see who I hope she can find happiness with.  She and her daughter deserve happiness and I’d love to see it with XXX…. *snicker*

 

So I’m going to start something new with this review…  In this case my review copy was a paper copy provided by the wonderful people at Penguin/Berkeley Publishing and I am running out of space to keep every single copy of a book that I get no matter how much I love them so…  You get to start winning some of them…  YAY!!!  In this case to win my copy of this book comment below by Wednesday, February 4 at 11:59 pm US Central with something you’ve done in the name of love/lust/extreme like that isn’t something you would normally even consider doing….  

four-stars

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One Night of Trouble – Elle Kennedy – 4.5 stars

January 28, 2015 Entangled Publishing, Read in 2015, Sent 0

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

One Night of Trouble – Elle Kennedy – 4.5 starsOne Night of Trouble (Entangled Brazen) by Elle Kennedy
Published by Macmillan on 2015-01-05
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 237
Source: the publisher
One Night of Trouble (Entangled Brazen) (After Hours)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00R19EZH2" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
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four-half-stars

A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

No More Mr. Nice Guy…

The moment AJ Walsh sees the sexy, tattooed pixie walk up to his bar, it's lust at first sight. He's always been labeled the "nice" guy―opening doors, buying flowers, and never, ever having one-night stands. But with this wicked little angel with red lips and unfathomably dark eyes? Oh, yeah. Tonight, "nice" has nothing to do with it...

Brett Conlon is trying to convince her family that she's put away her reckless wild girl side for good. Nothing―and no one―could be better for her reputation than golden boy AJ Walsh. So they make a deal: if he plays The Good Boyfriend for her family, he can be a very, very bad boy with her. Now their one naughty night is about to turn into a whole lot of trouble...

I can’t believe January is almost over already…  This means that my month of Elle Kennedy is at an end but you can still try to enter the wonderful contest by checking out my first post this month – here.

I’ve enjoyed each of these stories and am not ready to give these guys up but hey that’s what rereads are for right????

AJ has always been the good guy you can count on.  On the surface he’s perfect from opening doors, paying and in general being a gentleman but…. he’s BLAND…. Yes I said it..  sex on a stick with an MMA past and the man is ummmmm boring.  Well unless you look a bit deeper… if you look deeper you get a man that is a bad boy in all ways with a heart of gold that just needs someone to kick his ass and show him that he’s worthy even if he’s always tried to live up to a memory.  I liked his good boy side but dammit GIVE ME THE BAD BOY!!!!!  I loved why he was behaving the way he was but it wasn’t fair to him or his family because everyone was losing out on the wonderful man kept in check for fear of disappointing them.  He also was good for Brett as he showed her that a little bit of a wild streak wasn’t a bad thing.

Brett has her own issues…  She wants to be seen as responsible and capable of running her own location of the family tattoo chain.  She’s smart and funny but made mistakes in trusting someone who wasn’t good for her.  She’s a bit impulsive when we first meet her but trying hard to keep that side of her under lock and key but this man just calls to her wild side and she can’t keep him at arm’s length for long.  She knows AJ as the golden child as she went to school (a couple of years behind) with him and always had a bit of a crush on him.  As she gets to know the man inside the image she finds that maybe they can help one another out but they aren’t really building anything real …  or are they??

There’s something wonderful about discovering who you really are and getting someone that not only gets the real you but celebrates it.  I enjoyed seeing them both find their match and themselves in this story.  Now…  what to read next???

four-half-stars

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The King – Tiffany Reisz – 5 stars

January 22, 2015 Harlequin, NetGalley, Read in 2015 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.

The King – Tiffany Reisz – 5 starsThe King by Tiffany Reisz
Published by Harlequin Enterprises, Limited on 2014-11-25
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 448
Source: NetGalley.com
The King: The Original Sinners Book 6<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00L0XO1VK" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this potent threesome can raise him to his rightful place as ruler of Manhattan's kink kingdom.

 

Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side—handsomely paid in both bills and blackmail fodder—Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act or chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive apathy—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret. A man he can never have, but in whose hands Kingsley is reborn to attain even greater heights of sin. He plans to open the ultimate BDSM club­: a dungeon playground for New York's A-list that'll change the scene forever.

 

The club becomes Kingsley's obsession—and he's enlisted some tough-as-nails help. His new assistant Sam is smart, secretive and totally immune to seduction (by men, at least). She and Kingsley make a wicked team. Still, their combined—and considerable—expertise in domination can't subdue the man who would kill their dream. The enigmatic Reverend Fuller won't rest until King's dream is destroyed. It's one man's sacred mission against another's….

I was a little late reading this due to a bit of a reading slump that took up most of my October, November and December…  I’m going to apologize to those who might have been interested in knowing my feelings on this one back when it first released but hey…  things happen..

Now..  I keep trying to forget that we only have 2 more stories after this one about our beloved Nora, Søren and Kingsley *whimpers* and this one helps remind me why I love this series, Tiffany’s writing and the world of the Original Sinners.  Like the others in the White Years we see glimpses of the current day interspersed with memories of the past and how they made the personalities in to those we fell in love with in the Red Years.  This one focuses on Kingsley and his complex relationship with Søren.  We get to see how the Eight Circle came in to being and finally get to see Sam.

Kingsley is at a crossroads in his life where all he does is indulge in self-destructive behavior doing nothing but being a playboy and running a not so clean club.  While he has some of the New York elite in his pocket he isn’t the power broker we see in the Red Years.  He’s still a bit lost after nearly being killed and missing something major from his life.  He likes to play but he hasn’t found something to truly make him feel alive until a figure from his past starts to make an appearance in his life once again….  Søren…  the man he loves and in some ways hates…  It hurt to see the vibrant King we know and love in the Red Years as such a shadow in the beginning of this.  I loved getting a glimpse of his pain in most ways but it wasn’t easy to read at times because of the pain.

I enjoyed seeing Søren and getting a glimpse of what was going on while the story told in The Saint was unfolding.  King was enjoyable as he realized how much his former lover would have to deal with if he ever opened his eyes to the other side of his precious Eleanor.  I also loved hearing about the readings that both Søren and Kingsley had from their Domme teacher as we know they ended up being fulfilled in a way that made me extremely happy.  I also enjoyed the story of Sam and how she plays a critical role in what becomes The Eighth Circle.  She was a character I want to see more of and I hope that Tiffany will give us a bit more of her in a short story or extra.

I have two favorite moments –

  • How the name of the club came to be – let’s just say there’s some fun that was had by King …  *snicker* and a certain other person.
  • Kingsley holding baby Fionn.  Seriously it was a beautiful moment and the love Grace shows for everyone is inspiring.

Once again this story has moments of hot sex but this story is more about how things came in to being and about the heart behind our trio.  I love these stories because of the story and the sexual aspect is secondary.

five-stars

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One Night of Scandal – Elle Kennedy – 4 stars

January 21, 2015 Entangled Publishing, Read in 2015, Sent 0

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

One Night of Scandal – Elle Kennedy – 4 starsOne Night of Scandal (Entangled Brazen) by Elle Kennedy
Published by Macmillan on 2014-09-08
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 230
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...The wrong man never felt so right...Ex-fighter Reed Miller has been secretly lusting over his best friend’s girl for months, but he refuses to jeopardize a friendship over a woman—especially one who doesn’t like him all that much. Now that Darcy’s on the market again, it’s even more imperative to stick to his strict hands-off policy. But the sizzling attraction between them is too powerful to ignore, and once he’s had a taste of her…all bets are off.Darcy Grant is tired of walking the straight and narrow path. She’s on the hunt for passion, and there’s no denying Reed is just the man to give it to her. Although she has no interest in dating a bad boy, and certainly not her ex’s best friend, it’s impossible not to melt beneath Reed’s skillful touch. Now it’s just a matter of setting a few ground rules—and hoping her rule-breaking, sweet-talking bad boy agrees to follow them. But if she lets Reed into her bed, does she stand a chance of keeping him out of her heart?

Yep it is that time again for me to post the review for the second story in this HOT series.  For a chance to enter the giveaway from Entangled Publishing for One Month of Elle Kennedy click here.

Now for my thoughts on this entry…  ummmmm HOT sums it up but you already figured that since I said the series was hot.  There was something about this one that made me a very happy reader and I think it was due to the fact that the main pair really didn’t know what to think of one another but had such chemistry that they couldn’t resist even as they struggled with what to do about her ex-BF and his best friend … yeah they broke the rule surrounding exes and best friends as we are talking the same man in both cases.  Anyway what we get is a heroine who needs to find someone that brings out the passion in her and a man who wants to find someone he can share his life with.

Darcy thinks she wants a good guy.  You know the good guy that you could bring home to mama and that everyone comments on how great of a wholesome guy he is.  Well what she actually needs is a bad boy who can get her passionate side to come out but is really a good man underneath the bad boy exterior.  She gets it in spades when she decides to go against her better judgement and explore the chemistry she has with her ex’s best friend.  I liked how she was strong and self-sufficient plus that she really wanted to make sure that her ex was ok with everything before she completely crossed the line with Reed.  I did not like that she wasn’t honest with Reed about how she was feeling and it led to some tension between them.  I got why she played the game she did but I didn’t have to 100% like it.

Reed was a surprise in many ways.  He’s hidden his lust for his best friend’s GF under a facade of cold indifference but when he finds out that she’s an ex well that just makes things interesting.  He’s a stand-up guy though and really does mean to check with his buddy before he crosses the line but he just has trouble keeping himself in check when it comes to her.  I liked how he was honest about many things and was willing to take the cues from her as they worked their way through their attraction.  I also melted at his work with kids and the way that he really was a nice guy underneath the bad boy persona.  He’s wonderfully dirty though and I wouldn’t mind it at all if he were standing by me right now putting moves on me… (if a certain someone is reading this…. ummmm… yeah…  you know I adore you but *fans self* heh).  Mind you I would be looking over my shoulder to see who he was really talking to but hey we can have those momentary fantasies right???  LOL

Overall this was a hot read with a couple you just know is in it for the long haul even as they try to deny it…

four-stars

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Rocky Mountain Romance – Vivian Arend – 4.5 stars

January 15, 2015 Read in 2015, Sent 1

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

Rocky Mountain Romance – Vivian Arend – 4.5 starsRocky Mountain Romance by Vivian Arend
on 2014-10-21
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance, Western
Source: the Author
Rocky Mountain Romance (Six Pack Ranch Book 7)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00MS7HIQ2" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

~~**From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Vivian Arend.**~~

Second chances are the sweetest—and the hottest.

It took a spectacularly embarrassing break-up to knock Steve Moonshine Coleman off his lazy butt. In the ten months since that night, he’s changed his ways. Now that Melody’s back in town, it’s time for this sweet-talking cowboy to convince her to get back in the saddle with him.

A return to her veterinary position in Rocky Mountain House was always in the cards for Melody Langley. Getting back together with Steve? Never part of the plan. He had lots of potential but zero ambition, and there’s no way she’ll accept anything less than a man who can keep up with her, in and out of bed.

But the new-and-improved cowboy is impossible to resist, so Melody issues a challenge. Three months to prove he’s reformed. Three months of Steve orchestrating one sexual indulgence after another—‪wicked distractions from the old boys’ club Melody faces at work and Steve's growing responsibilities‬.

He’s got one shot to prove with more than words what’s in his heart and soul.

Warning: Fifty percent less angst, twice as much filthy-talking, dirty-daring cowboy. Get ready for a whole lot of make-your-knees-weak wooing from a man intent on proving he’s got what it takes, and the woman ready to push him way past his limits.

I hate that it took me so long to read this book but when I did…  as usual..  I loved it.  Vivian has a way with making you love her cowboys and appreciate the strength that her heroines have.  Both of the characters have vulnerabilities and the way you get to know them as the story progresses makes you cheer louder when they finally get everything together.

Melody is back where she considers home and doing what she loves best, taking care of animals, but she also is back where she had her heart broken.  Well maybe not broken but hurt by someone that meant more to her than he knew or seemed to feel about her.  She’s determined to not let him mean anything to her now so why is she driving in to town via roads that are on his family’s land?  She gets to see him much sooner than she expected and is trying to convince herself that he doesn’t make her want to do all sorts of things with him (which I heartily agree with) but she’s surprised by his more mature behavior.  I liked that she was cautious with him but that she also let him in even as other things were getting crazy.  She’s strong but open to letting things fall where they may and doesn’t tend to let the little things throw her.  I also appreciated that she wasn’t willing to be a doormat but also didn’t immediately fly off the handle at situations she was placed in.  She takes her time and evaluates the situation then tries to take the path that will support change but not offend and allow everyone to save face.  She also is willing to admit to her own shortcomings when push comes to shove and that was appreciated.

Steve admits he was a bit of a child when he and Melody imploded.  He didn’t take things too seriously but now he’s changed and realized that he may have lost the one woman who was/is his world.  He’s not too proud to admit that he made mistakes but he wants a chance to prove he’s not the same boy that she knew.  He’s grown up and is all man now but he’s a man who wants a partner.  He doesn’t want it to be all about him but all about them and what they can build.  He is extremely happy when Melody returns and starts his campaign to get her to give them another chance as soon as he sees her.  What we get to see is a hero that will do all in his power to prove to his heroine that he is it for her.  I loved his family and their “assistance” but mainly that he was willing to listen to those around him to really figure out what Melody needed and wanted from him.  He listens to her but at times it does take a third party to open his eyes to what it could look like to her.  I liked how willing he was to admit to his mistakes and try to fix them by opening his mind up to other opinions but mainly that he listened to her when he was making plans for them.

I hope you will give this series a shot as it has been such a wonderful set of stories centered around a family that truly knows what it means to work, love and enjoy life.

four-half-stars

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One Night of Sin – Elle Kennedy – 4 stars

January 14, 2015 Entangled Publishing, Read in 2015, Sent 0

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

One Night of Sin – Elle Kennedy – 4 starsOne Night of Sin (Entangled Brazen) by Elle Kennedy
Published by Macmillan on 2014-08-04
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 162
Format: eBook
Source: the publisher
One Night of Sin (Entangled Brazen) (After Hours)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00LRXRO4Y" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

A sexy category romance novella from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…Sometimes it’s good to be bad…When it comes to sex, good girl Skyler Thompson always plays it safe, choosing stable and sedate over wild and thrilling. She doesn’t do one-night-stands, but one look at sinfully sexy Gage Holt and she’s willing to reconsider. He makes her want to be bad for once in her life, and she’s prepared to take what she wants.Danger follows former MMA fighter Gage Holt like a shadow. Despite his successes as part owner of Sin, an exclusive nightclub in Boston, Gage can’t risk getting involved with a woman, especially one as sweet as Skyler. Still, he can’t resist a taste—and it’s so damn good he has to see her again. As addicted as he is to her, Gage knows there’s no future for him and Skyler—not with his past lurking in the dark corners of an MMA cage. But Skyler’s tougher than she looks, and she’s ready to fight for her man.

To enter the contest associated with the month of Elle Kennedy Tour go here.

I have to start this with…  Can I have a Gage for my very own????  He’s yummy even as he tries to portray himself as a cold asshole.

Skyler is the classic good girl who has always tried to be the good girl but man oh man is she not really one.  She’s good from the outside the bedroom perspective and likes to live a clean life but when she finds someone that makes her motor run as hot as Gage does she finds out that she really needs a bad boy to get to her true self.  I liked her being open to exploring her wilder side with Gage but I really liked that she saw thru to the real man under the grumpy exterior and was willing to fight for him even as they had issues.  Her issues with her stepfather were realistic in many respects and I appreciated when she finally opened her eyes and heart to what he wanted and who he really was.  She’s a good match for Gage and I was happy to see them bring out the best in one another.

Now Gage is what I really liked in this story.  Mind you I liked his naughty, naughty ways but his heart was what made me happy.  He’s a great guy in a bad situation and seeing him just want to do what was right in order to protect his family was wonderful although you wanted to slap him for taking so much abuse because of a weak brother.  I think that his brother finally had grown up by the time we met him in this story but the damage he caused was already done and to be honest a bit unforgivable.  I also appreciated that we got to see Gage called to the carpet by the men who know him best.  He deserved to have his eyes opened but I think what made me happiest was seeing this gruff man fall hard for the woman who looked sweet but has a spine of steel to stand up to his domineering ways.

The story is hot as hell with sweet moments and a hero that will make you swoon.  He has some major moves on him…  *snicker*

 

 

 

four-stars

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Ahead in the Heat – Lorelie Brown – 4 stars

January 6, 2015 Read in 2015, Sent, Signet Eclipse 0

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

Ahead in the Heat – Lorelie Brown – 4 starsAhead in the Heat by Lorelie Brown
Published by Penguin on 2015-01-06
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Ahead in the Heat: A Pacific Blue Novel<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00KWFZ8DW" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Sean Westin finds himself on the beaches of San Sebastian as he recovers from a bad break. But he’ll need more than sand and swells to heal his heart....The surfing World Championship Tour is under way, and Sean Westin is desperate to make his mark—until a stupid display of machismo in Bali leaves his shoulder busted. He has six weeks to get back on the waves or he may be looking at the end of his career.Annie Baxter is the best physical therapist in the business, and she knows it. After almost joining the pro circuit herself, she’s wary of working with big stars and their huge egos. But Sean is making her an incredible offer—full funding for her after-school skate center for underprivileged kids—and she’s finding him hard to resist....As intense therapy sessions turn into passionate intimacy, Sean unleashes a wild side of Annie that she’s suppressed for years. Only, Sean’s keeping secrets, and when his hidden history comes to the surface, everything—even Annie—might get torn away.

I really enjoyed reading more about the surfing world and the characters that inhabit it per Lorelie’s imagination.  There is something interesting about seeing a bit of the behind the scenes action that takes place on tour but mainly I enjoyed the heat between our main pair.  I look forward to more of this series and hopefully will also see more of the people we’ve seen thus far including hoping Nate gets someone for him that isn’t a total…

Annie once had a dream of becoming a professional surfer but due to an incident in her past she turned sour on not only the industry but surfing in general.  She now devotes her time and energy to her physical therapy business with a side of helping at-risk teenagers.  She’s driven but incredibly lonely and locked within herself but when she meets Sean she finds she wants something more.  She turns him down as a client until he makes an offer she cannot refuse but as she spends time with him she realizes that she can’t be his doctor but needs to see where the chemistry they share goes.  I liked her strength but mainly I enjoyed her intuition when it came to seeing behind the walls that Sean has built around his life.  She has her own issues that need to be worked out but she at least tries to be honest with herself and him even as she fights her own internal battle.

Sean was something else.  He may show the world that he’s a carefree playboy but in reality he’s a strong man who overcame a horrible childhood.  The scars of his childhood still haunt him and watching him struggle to keep them hidden from the world and Annie was painful.  He’s desperate to get back in the game after an injury but finds himself unable to keep Annie at a distance.  His drive to succeed is legendary but he still has a massive stressors as someone is digging in to the past he desperately wants to keep hidden.  I enjoyed his strength but mainly loved his heart in the ways he tried so hard to do what he needed to do in order to keep Annie happy.  Now mind you… he messes up…  so does she..  but both of them really just wanted to make the other one happy which made it a bit more palatable.

Overall a story with a nice amount of heat and a real dose of heart that will make you happy as they find one another to be exactly what they always needed.

four-stars

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