Genre: General

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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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Radio Silence – Alyssa Cole – 5 stars

February 3, 2015 Carina Press, 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.

Radio Silence – Alyssa Cole – 5 starsRadio Silence by Alyssa Cole
Published by Carina Press on 2015-02-02
Genres: Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Fiction, General, Multicultural & Interracial, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 169
Source: NetGalley.com
Radio Silence (Off the Grid)<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00N0MYHC2" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

No one expects the apocalypse.

Arden Highmore was living your average postgrad life in Rochester, New York, when someone flipped the "off" switch on the world. No cell phones, no power, no running water—and no one knows why. All she and her roommate, John, know for sure is that they have to get out, stat. His family's cabin near the Canadian border seemed like the safest choice.

It turns out isolation doesn't necessarily equal safety.

When scavengers attack, it's John's ridiculously handsome brother, Gabriel, who comes to the rescue. He saves Arden's life, so he can't be all bad…but he's also a controlling jerk who treats her like an idiot. Now their parents are missing and it seems John, Gabriel, their kid sister, Maggie, and Arden are the only people left alive who aren't bloodthirsty maniacs.

No one knows when—or if—the lights will come back on and, in the midst of all that, Arden and Gabriel are finding that there's a fine line indeed between love and hate. How long can they expect to last in this terrifying new world, be it together or apart?

Book one of Off the Grid

69,000 words

I have to give credit to both Alisha Rai and Bree for getting me to notice and read this title.  I hadn’t really paid attention to it until I saw them on Twitter gushing about the title and then I needed to read it.  I am so glad I took a chance on it because it was AMAZING.

My review is not going to do this justice but you really need to take a chance on this title because:

  1. We have a strong heroine, Arden, who is struggling with finding her place in this new reality.  She’s honest about her issues but also is very open to change.  I loved her struggle with guilt about not spending time with her parents but appreciated that she didn’t use that as an excuse to fall apart.  She is a good person to have on your side because even with everything that is going bad in the world she won’t let it keep her down.  She’s tough, caring and oh so a match for…
  2. Gabriel… dear lord is this man HOT.  I loved his surly exterior as he becomes the man in charge and tries to keep everything as normal as possible in a world where nothing is the way it should be.  Answers are not forthcoming from the outside world but he is not one to fall apart.  His surliness masks a really sweet man who truly loves his family and is fascinated by Arden even as he growls at her like he can’t stand her.  There is so much to this man and I enjoyed getting to see his personality over the course of the story.
  3. John…  bless his heart..  He’s such a sweet, funny man who brought some much needed laughter as he realizes he has NO SOCIAL MEDIA or ELECTRONIC GAMES…  I mean what the HELL man…  How can we all survive without Twitter….  He’s also a good foil for the intensity of Gabriel.
  4. Maggie is also available as a bit of drama but also a nice resource for Arden in this world gone wrong.  I liked how strong she is even as young as she is.  She’s very smart in many ways but we get to see her vulnerability as she struggles with missing her parents and worrying about a boy she was starting to know via social media.  I liked how she showed that she was capable of being more than just the kid sister who needs coddling although I wanted to hurt her when she did something incredibly stupid.

Overall this book kept me enthralled not only because of the sheer chemistry between our main pair but because of the world that they find themselves in.  I want to know more about what exactly is going on … I mean we don’t know exactly what happened or how widespread it is or…. seriously you will be wanting more more more as you read this just because we don’t know.  I look forward to more of this series and will be keeping a close eye out.  I’m also going to be *ahem* slightly stalking Alyssa in order to find out about more stories from her as she kept me engaged every step of the way thru this one.

GO GRAB THIS ONE NOW!!!

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
Goodreads
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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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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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
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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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You Really Got Me – Erika Kelly – 4.5 Stars

January 2, 2015 Penguin, Read in 2014 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.

You Really Got Me – Erika Kelly – 4.5 StarsYou Really Got Me by Erika Kelly
Published by Penguin on 2015-01-06
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The first irresistible novel in a hot new series about a rock star on his way up—and the woman he wants to take all the way... Emmie Valencia has what it takes to be the music industry’s hottest band manager. She just needs to prove it. Determined to discover a killer new band, Emmie is ready to make her move. First stop: Austin, Texas. As a sizzling-hot lead singer, Slater Vaughn has no trouble raising heart rates—but his band’s been flat-lining for years. When Emmie, his bandmate’s sister, crashes with them in exchange for some free management, her industry know-how lands them a spot in the biggest music festival in Texas. But it isn’t just her business acumen that catches Slater’s attention. Emmie is sexy and warm, and—for the first time in his life—he wants more. But as irresistible as Slater is, Emmie is done with musicians. In her experience, a man can’t be a rock star and someone to trust with your heart—but Slater is determined to show her he’s both.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book.  I know I requested it because the premise sounded interesting but the depth that Ms. Kelly brought to this book with both the characters and the inner workings of the music industry was more that I had expected.

We get to meet our heroine Emmie at a crossroads in her life.  She has been working as the personal assistant for one of the premiere A/R guys in the music business but that isn’t where she thinks she belongs.  You see she wants to be an A/R guy (gal) and after being made aware of her boss not really planning on promoting her to that job she decides that enough is enough.  She embarks on a quest to prove she has the chops and goes to stay with her brother in Austin TX in order to help him out and find the next great thing.  While there she finds out that maybe just maybe she might have found love with the absolute (in her mind) worst fit for her.  She’s driven and very loyal to her brother but what I liked most was her fears were understandable and while I wanted to hurt her for her lack of trust in what they were feeling  I couldn’t blame her for how long it took her to realize she was wrong.  She owns her fears and concerns which is rare but even rarer that I didn’t find it overwhelmingly annoying.  The work that she undertakes in order to find herself was painful but felt fairly real in pace.  The chemistry she shares with Slater leaps off the page and you can’t help but want these two to finally admit what they need and want to one another.

Slater…. *sigh* …  He’s got his own issues but I loved how he works so hard to not seem interested in his bandmate’s sister.  He tries so hard to keep her at an arm’s distance but he can’t help but be drawn to someone that sees him and not just the rock star.  As they spend more and more time around one another they both find many things in common and ways that help both of them heal from damages inflicted by their childhood.  I loved his heart and how you got to see his talent shine thru the eyes of others.  He has a depth to him that I think was part of my favorite surprise to this story.  His embarrassment when she discovers how much work he actually does put in to the writing and composing was priceless.  I also understood his decision to make it up to her as to where they went from the ultimate angst moment in the story was also very well done.

Overall this was a very pleasant read with a hero that will make you wish you were Emmie.  There is something to be said about a man who really falls head over heels for his woman and isn’t afraid to let her see how much he truly needs her.

Thanks to the team at Penguin for giving me a chance to read this…  Ummmmm when can I have book 2?????

four-half-stars

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The Masseuse – Sierra Kincade – 3 stars

December 10, 2014 NetGalley, Penguin, Read in 2014 1

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

The Masseuse – Sierra Kincade – 3 starsThe Masseuse by Sierra Kincade
Published by Penguin on 2014-12-02
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley.com
Goodreads
three-stars

First in the sexy and suspenseful Body Work Trilogy

Anna Rossi lives by one simple rule: don’t get attached, don’t get hurt. But Alec Flynn doesn’t play by the rules...Anna never takes on a massage client without screening him first, but the paycheck offered by billionaire Maxim Stein is too good to turn down. Stein is the richest man she’s ever laid her hands on, and despite the risks, she trusts that she can take care of herself. After all, she’s handled difficult clients in the past. What she isn’t prepared for is getting caught in a compromising situation by Maxim’s tall, dark, and gorgeous bodyguard—or the desperate desires he awakens in her...Alec is dangerous. The mysterious, hard-bodied man is completely irresistible and won’t be refused, no matter what walls Anna puts up to protect herself. But as Anna falls fast for his careful ministrations and mind-blowing skills, she begins to realize that giving herself over to a man with so many secrets isn’t just putting her heart at risk—it’s endangering her life...

I struggled with how to rate this and review it.  There are a few issues that I had with this book but in the end I did enjoy the read and will want to see what happens to Anna and Alec in the future.

Anna is bending the rules she has regarding meeting a new massage client.  She bends these rules because of the money that it entails and her need to see her dad.  No the rule she is bending isn’t one that involves sleeping with a client but is more a safety issue with requiring a visit at the spa before she will do a home visit.  She ends up getting there really early so is sitting in her car out on the street in a very upper class neighborhood when she meets a man she’d love to sink her teeth in.  As she discovers this man will end up meaning more to her than she ever expected but is he worth it?  I liked her but I think some of my major problems were due to how she comes across.  She’s supposedly a cop’s daughter and big on safety but she lets Alec in way too easily and is way too willing to put aside getting to know him in favor of being with him.  I also didn’t like that she would run away from town the second trouble hits between them instead of finally growing up and putting down roots somewhere.  I get that she has issues remaining from childhood but she ended up with a family that really was there for her and to continue to hang on to the hurt just didn’t completely ring true to me.  I enjoyed her BFF and how she really did provide a grounding influence on Anna.  She really helped Anna realize that some times you need to just let the crap go and make a stand.

Alec… I adored Alec or what we saw of him.  I at times was frustrated with his lack of communication with Anna but when you finally got his story and what was going on it made sense even as it frustrated you.  He’s growly and possessive but it worked for me even as it wouldn’t in real life.  He’s almost stalkery but again when you get the full story it made sense even as it set off alarm bells in my head.  He’s also extremely vulnerable to Anna and even as he tries to push her away he is also wanting to keep her as HIS.  I felt for him as we found out more about his childhood and melted when we got to see him with his dad and Anna’s father.  He’s a good man who made some mistakes but is honestly at his core just a wounded man wanting to have something real and normal.

 

There are definitely times when I was frustrated while reading but overall I did like the main pair which is why I will grab book 2 when it comes out.

three-stars

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Razed – Shiloh Walker – 4.5 stars

December 8, 2014 NetGalley, Penguin, Read in 2014 0

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

Razed – Shiloh Walker – 4.5 starsRazed by Shiloh Walker
Published by Penguin on 2014-12-02
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 320
Source: NetGalley.com
Razed<img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=booaholano0c-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B00JJXTOP6" target="_blank">Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Tattoo artist Keelie Jessup can handle that someone else has claimed the man of her dreams. She’s just not pleased with her remaining options... Keelie doesn’t believe in the “perfect man.” But the men who are worth the trouble are usually taken—like her business partner Zach Barnes. After a string of bad luck and the lost chance with Zach, Keelie decides that maybe flying solo—and living with suppressed desires—is the key to happiness. As a photographer, Zane Barnes has an eye for the human form, and his eyes can’t get enough of Keelie’s curves. Unfortunately, Keelie is like most women—always fawning over his little brother, Zach. Zane is about ready to give up, but then a few stolen moments at his brother's wedding have him thinking maybe there's a chance there after all. Now he just has to prove that the perfect man does exist...for her.

*happy sigh*

Yes I adored this one…  I loved how much Zane desired the real Keelie and how much Keelie needed Zane even as she tried to hide it.

Keelie is reeling from realizing that she had been mistaken about her feelings for Zach, her business partner and friend, but mainly trying to figure out how to heal what her actions did to them.  She’s shocked when the man who has been the bane of her existence (not really but…) suddenly begins to appear like the man she thought she’d never find.  When he physically touches her she realizes she’s in trouble and when he kisses her…  well…  all bets are off.  She does what she’s good at though and works hard to deny what she feels for him even as things begin to crumble around her.  Her past is catching up with her and this time she can only hope to survive it or maybe she can finally put the demons to rest by facing up to things that she couldn’t control then.  I loved her strength and once she finally made a decision how she took control of what she needed to do but didn’t like her not always including Zane.  I understood it, I really did but a part of me had wished that she would have let him in a bit more.  She’s a hard one to get to understand as she’s great at putting up walls but I did love her loyalty to those she loves and what she was willing to do to make things right even though nothing was her fault.

Zane was just *sigh*  He’s so willing to go to the bat for Keelie but he’s also aware enough to know that even as she pulls away from him that it isn’t 100% about him.  He was so patient with her need to stand on her own to fight this battle that I couldn’t help but love him.  He’s always appeared to be the one that just settles and deals with things but in reality he’s just a very patient man who wants to get his ducks in a row before he makes his move.  He’s known for years that she was the one for him but now he’s tired of waiting for his moment and decides to go for it.  I loved his story and how much he’s done for others that people aren’t aware of.  I hope Shiloh writes about him telling his mom about his secret…  That will be a fun moment *winces* as he is soooooo going to get grief.  Overall he’s a great guy who wants nothing more than to have his Keelie be happy, healthy and his.

 

This is not a pretty story in many ways because of the topics it hits on but I enjoy that Shiloh doesn’t run away from tough material.  She builds strong heroes and heroines with stories that aren’t perfect but in many ways shed light on things that many people are lucky enough to never experience.  As someone who lived through some things that I wouldn’t wish on anyone else and yet still didn’t live a life that was as horrible as many others have had to deal with I love these sorts of tales.  Zane and Keelie are definitely a perfect match for one another and hopefully you’ll go check them out as well.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Penguin for providing me a copy of this to read in exchange for my honest opinion.

four-half-stars

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Love Bites – Angela Knight – 3 stars

September 17, 2014 Penguin, Read in 2014, 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.

Love Bites – Angela Knight – 3 starsLove Bites by Angela Knight
Published by Penguin on 2014-09-02
Genres: Fiction, General, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

The New York Times bestselling author explores her most daring side yet in three tales of seductive vampires and the women who love them. In the brand-new “Oath of Service,” Angela Knight introduces the Doms of the Round Table and a kinky circle of pleasure, pain, and power as she returns to her “sexy as hell” (Heroes and Heartbreakers) Mageverse world for a new twist on the Arthurian legend. Morgana le Fay finally gets what’s coming to her in this novel-length story. After a fight with a dragon goes wrong, Morgana takes an Oath of Service to Percival, vampire Knight of the Round Table. Percival and his partners, Cador and Marrok, decide to give Morgana a taste of bondages and submission she’ll never forget. What they don’t know is that the lovely witch is keeping secrets that could destroy them all. To make matters worse, the dragon is plotting a deadly revenge.... In “Be Careful What You Wish For,” a beautiful vampire and her two vamp lovers lock horns with a wizard with the ugly habit of refusing to take no for an answer. When he casts a spell on Beau and Decker, Amanda finds herself the object of both men’s lust. She’s had some yummy threesome fantasies along the same lines, but since the men hate each other, she figured it was never going to happen. But when it does, things get a lot more kinky than Amanda expects. In “The Bloodslave,” Angela Knight’s classic “must read...highly erotic” (*The Best Reviews) novella, a female mercenary comes under fire during a hunt. The beautiful, virginal, and very human Verica is captured by three hungry alpha vampires driven deliriously feral by her purity. But they desire more than her warm blood. They want her body, leaving Verica more vulnerable than ever before—and loving every minute of it.

Overall this set of stories has definitely got plenty of sex and heat covered but if you are looking for a story with your sex the only one of the novellas that delivers is the first one…  I didn’t mind any of the other stories included but they really weren’t memorable and the issue of consent in the third story left me a bit uncomfortable in many respects.  While the second story had questionable consent as well there was a reason behind that which made it acceptable where the third story really didn’t have that for me personally.

My favorite of the stories was Oath of Service where we get yumminess in the form of Percival.. yes for those of you who are fans of Arthurian legend…  that Percival.  In this story he is personified in a vampire/shapeshifter who is a Dom down to his soul.  He has been getting driven crazy by Morgana for centuries and finally has a chance to get her out of his system by virtue of her behavior in their last mission.  I enjoyed his struggle to keep her at arm’s length and his attempts to ignore that she means more to him than just an itch.  He’s strong, protective and I would not mind spending some time with him other than his enjoyment of inflicting pain…. although… hmmmmm maybe *snickers*

I enjoyed how the story of Morgana Le Fey gets a workover in this tale as it made her much more acceptable as a heroine.  Once again an author turns what we know from previously recorded legends and gives us a different view of a character we all thought we knew.  I liked her willingness to do what it takes to keep people safe even as it comes at a massive cost to herself.  She needs Percival and his team more than he knows but she also craves this man who has held a part of her since their one incredible encounter centuries ago.  She’s always kept him at arm’s length and plans to again but due to circumstances around them is unable to keep her guard completely up.  I enjoyed her spunk and really loved when she finally was honest with herself and him.

While I did enjoy the times with her, Percival and the other knights together to me the story was more enjoyable when you got just the two of them.  They truly have a connection that lept off the page even as it was incredibly brutal initially the love and true feelings they had for one another shone thru the brutality.  They really had to push each other fully in order to get to where the story ended.  Two very strong people coming together should not have a sweet, gushy story and we got it in this tale.

 

Ok..  quick thoughts on the other 2 stories…

Be Careful What You Wish For – Quick, hot and edgy but I think it suffered a bit for its brevity.  While you are told that there is a history between the characters the fact that they were put in to a bad situation didn’t help me get connected to them.  I did not like that she was basically forced to do something she didn’t completely want to do in order to keep her men sane but I understood it and it didn’t make me as uncomfortable as it could’ve.  I think I would’ve enjoyed a longer treatment of this as I’d like to see her relationships with both heros not to mention more of them post this incident.  I’d like to see if they could come to a long term triad after this…

The Bloodslave – This one gave me a very hard time to like.  In all honesty it made me very uncomfortable as the heroine was forced into the liaison and had no real say in what happened to her.  Granted she might have agreed to what happened had she been given time with the men but this one just didn’t work for me because I couldn’t get past the consent issue….

 

three-stars

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