Publisher: Penguin

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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
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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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Broken – Laura Wright – 4 stars

October 7, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent, Signet Eclipse 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.

Broken – Laura Wright – 4 starsBroken by Laura Wright
Published by Penguin on 2014-10-07
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Western
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

The Cavanaugh brothers left behind River Black, Texas, long ago. But after their father dies, bequeathing them the Triple C, a cattle ranch that sustains their small town, they return—and confront the painful memories of their childhood home and the truth about their sister’s murder... For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls... Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Refusing to allow her heard to led her to disaster, she chooses to focus solely on work. But after Sheridan is rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her vow to keep her heart penned wavers. Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed....

I loved this story of a man who has convinced himself that he doesn’t deserve to have love and a woman who has convinced herself that opening herself to a relationship would be akin to disaster.

Sheridan is lonely…  she chooses to keep herself at a distance from relationships of any kind because of watching the destruction that was her parent’s marriage.  She’s smart but she just has so many walls up at the beginning of this story you aren’t sure if they will ever come down.  As she starts to open up to having friendships we get to see a woman that is very wounded and passionate who needs someone to cherish this with all of his heart.  I loved seeing her build friendships and let people get close to her outside of the office.  I also loved that when she decided to take what she wanted she went full in.  There are no partial measures with her when it comes to James and I found that I loved that.  She also wasn’t willing to settle for nothing less than everything from him and even though it killed me to see her do what she did it was the right choice.  She deserved everything from her partner and it took a very strong will to not be willing to take anything less.

James… *fans self*…  he’s definitely easy on the eyes and when he lets himself have what he “knows” isn’t for him you see a man that loves deeply but is still so haunted by his past that he almost loses the one thing that means everything.  He’s a good man struggling with a massive load of guilt from his sister’s death and an incident with an ex that he doesn’t believe he deserves love.  He is so afraid of losing another person he loves or them being hurt because of him that he pushes everything away.  He’s got a lot of heart and dear lord is the man sexy as hell when he gives in to what he wants.  I loved his sense of right and wrong even as I wanted to slap him for keeping people at a distance.  When he finally lets people in we get to see what most of us would love to have..  a man that is devoted to his partner and his family.

I liked seeing more of what happened in the family’s past and am looking forward to finding out who killed their sister.  I think this family deserves that closure after the hell they lived thru after the murder.

Special thanks to the team at Signet Eclipse for letting me have this book early.  I am ready for Cole’s story now..

four-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
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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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Afternoon Delight – Anne Calhoun – 4 Stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praise for Anne Calhoun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Linger – Lauren Jameson – 5 stars

September 3, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent, Signet Eclipse 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.

Linger – Lauren Jameson – 5 starsLinger by Lauren Jameson
Published by Penguin on 2014-09-02
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 304
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

From the author of Breathe and Blush comes a blisteringly hot new novel about baring it all.... On her last night in Nevada before embarking on a yearlong veterinary internship, Scarlett Malone is celebrating—and looking for one night of incredible pleasure. But the man who draws her eye is not her usual type: He’s a cowboy whose alpha-male tendencies tempt her beyond belief. Scarlett can’t understand why she wants this man and no one else, but she’s determined to entice him to submit.... Dr. Logan Brody lives an isolated life in rural Montana, running a ranch and suppressing his submissive tendencies. Only on his occasional trips does he give into his hidden urges. He can’t deny his scorching attraction to Scarlett or that she makes him want more, but he never lets anyone break him down fully. He’s hers for one night and one night only. But when Scarlett shows up at Logan’s door as his intern for the year, he realizes that the walls around his heart are about to crumble—and that this sexy dominant woman has no intention of letting him keep control....

This was so much more than I had expected but so worth the ride.

Scarlett is hitting her favorite club one last time before she leaves Vegas for an internship in Montana.  She’s a Domme and will miss the club where she can fulfil her sexual needs but is going to enjoy this one last evening to the fullest.  What she doesn’t expect is to meet her match in a submissive that is her match in every way.  As she feels this intense connection with a man who exudes Alpha until you reach his core that craves submission in the bedroom, she struggles with knowing that this is only a single night.  After their intense scene she tries to forget him until he appears in front of her again as her boss for this internship.  I loved her strength and willingness to push him as they struggle to figure out a balance.  She really epitomizes what a Dominant should be in that while she wants nothing more than to be with him in every way she denies her own sexual need for him in order to push him to open up and let down his walls to her.  She really does want to heal him in more ways than one and to do so has to force him to acknowledge his part in the relationship and be honest with both of them.  Her pain as she has to deny them both what they crave screams from the page but is honestly the only way this would have worked long term.

Logan.. my dear damaged man… he knows at his core he needs to be mastered in the bedroom although every single other part of his life he is Alpha thru and thru.  When he meets Scarlet at the club in Vegas he’s shocked by how much she makes him want to let her in completely.  Of course Logan being who he is knows he can’t let her do that so puts up walls every single time she gets close to his core.  As he starts to work with her on his ranch he craves her in a way that he can’t explain but is so caught up in keeping the nightmare he lived thru bottled up that he almost drives her away.  He’s so stubborn in his battle to be strong that you want to hurt him but little by little he begins to understand what both of them need.  He’s such a good man that you really want him to finally break down because he deserves happiness.  I will admit to being a bit jealous of Scarlet because who wouldn’t want to be served in every way by such a beautiful male.  He’s rough, dirty and oh so meltingly sweet in his adoration of this woman who wants nothing more than to be his Mistress and partner.

I will definitely have to pick up the rest of this series and keep my eye out for more entries as this one had kept me from not just a heat level but a deeply loving place of healing for both our hero and heroine.

Special thanks to the team at Penguin/Berkeley for giving me a chance to read this.  I adored this new-to-me author and look forward to more.

 

five-stars

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Virgin – Radhika Sanghani – 3 stars

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

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

Virgin – Radhika Sanghani – 3 starsVirgin by Radhika Sanghani
Published by Penguin on 2014-08-05
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary Women, Fiction, General, New Adult, Romance
Pages: 304
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

three-stars

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Riding the Wave – Lorelie Brown – 5 Stars

July 1, 2014 April 2014 Read-A-Thon, Read in 2014, Sent, Signet Eclipse 0

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

Riding the Wave – Lorelie Brown – 5 StarsRiding the Wave by Lorelie Brown
Published by Penguin on 2014-07-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 336
Source: the Author
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five-stars

The gray-green swells of San Sebastian haven’t changed in ten years, but Tanner Wright has. The last thing he expects to find back on his home turf is the love of his life.... With a make-or-break world championship on the line, professional surfer Tanner Wright has come back to the coastal California hometown he left a decade ago, carrying only his board and the painful knowledge of his father’s infidelity. Now that Hank Wright is dead, Tanner intends to keep the secret buried to spare his mother and sister the burden. The last time Avalon Knox saw her best friend’s brother, she was fourteen and he was a twenty-year-old surfer god. She’s never understood or respected the way Tanner distanced himself from the family that has embraced her. But now she has the professional chance of a lifetime: to photograph Tanner for the competition—if he’ll agree. Out on the waves, they find in each other passion that’s impossible to resist. And Tanner’s not the only one trying to move forward from his past. As the competition heats up, secrets get spilled, and lust takes over. How close can Avalon get to this brooding surfer...without getting burned?

Once again I have to applaud the hot read from Lorelie…  She has a winner on her hands with this one in that Tanner and Avalon not only have heat but there is such a wonderful love story in the way they finally found each other.

Tanner has been away for many years in order to spare his mom and sister the pain of his dad’s secret life.  He’s arrogant but at the same time hiding so much pain that it will take your breath away to read.  His arrogance leads him to do something that he believes is best but by doing so will it cause him to not only lose the family he loves but the woman who becomes everything to him.  I liked his intense love of his family but also agreed with something said by his mom in the book.  He needs to learn to let go and as much as it hurts not try to play God even if it is with the best of intentions.  As you watch him work thru this issue you are also treated to seeing the heat that sparks between he and Avalon but what I loved most was seeing the feelings that develop as they discover one another.

Avalon was a treat.  She is strong, sarcastic and has so much love to share with the world that you can’t help but want anything to make her happy.  As she opens her heart to the man that has always held it you see someone who struggles with not believing in herself enough to stand up for what she deserves.  She keeps secrets but I understood why even as I knew it would cause her so much pain when it was discovered.  I loved her ability to sacrifice something vital in order to try to heal a family that means more than everything to her.  Her willingness to push Tanner was refreshing even as we know it hurts her to do.  As she finds out everything about the secret he was hiding you feel her pain in the betrayal of the man she thought of as a surrogate father but more you feel the pain as she struggles to understand how she might be able to help everyone heal.

I loved this story and am looking forward to more from this series…  My guess as to who Sage is going to end up with will hopefully prove true as watching that fight should prove fun.  If my guess proves out the reactions will prove to be priceless…

Thanks to Lorelie for sending me a copy of this with no expectations of review let alone expectations of a good one.

five-stars

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Mercy – HelenKay Dimon – 5 stars

June 26, 2014 Berkley Trade, Read in 2014, Snagged at RT 2014 0

Mercy – HelenKay Dimon – 5 starsMercy by HelenKay Dimon
Published by Penguin on 2014-05-06
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
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five-stars

After she infiltrated his business and betrayed his trust, a disavowed CIA agent must seek sanctuary in the bedroom of a man who will either help her, kill her, or bring her to her knees... Becca Ford is on her own. Eight months after she headed up a sting operation to take down millionaire club owner Jarrett Holt, the other agents in her special ops team have been eliminated under odd circumstances, and she needs a place to hide. Jarrett is a man who prefers darkness to light. He deals in the only truly valuable currency—information—and his supper club caters to an exclusive clientele. It was an uncharacteristic moment of weakness when he let a woman into his life. But it’s not luck that the criminal charges disappeared . . . as did the evidence. When Becca returns to the club seeking his help, Jarrett doesn’t want to hear her story. But he does want her body, and demands that she give it to him. He’ll keep her safe—for now—but it’ll be in his bed and on his terms, until he says they’re done.

When I saw this sitting on a table at RT after the Bad Boy Bingo game I was excited.  It made my day when I asked HelenKay if I could perhaps steal it for my very own and she let me!  I had heard about this title from many of the people I follow on Twitter but hadn’t snapped it up yet so this was such a WIN.

Becca and Jarrett have a chemistry that will grab you from the first time you see them together until the end of the story.  They have a long way to go before they admit exactly what the other one means to them but considering how they met, how it ended and their own screwed up pasts it makes a lot of sense.  These are two people who do not trust easily and cannot let go of the crap that screwed everything up until they get an answer.  While they do play games with one another in order to protect themselves you can see behind that to the fact that they are truly mean to be once they get done with all of this surface crap.  I loved seeing that even as they were trying so hard to hurt one another there was a deeper core of caring that ran under it.  They just couldn’t keep their hearts out of everything they did even at their cruelest moments.

There is a bit of a mystery as to who exactly has been pulling the strings that caused the operation that Becca was on to implode so badly and all signs point to only a couple of people being the reason behind the op and the staging which is the root of why Jarrett has such a hard time trusting Becca again but as she works to uncover the secrets she also realizes that he was set up and finally completely believes in his innocence as far as drugs and such go.  When she puts herself in a position to protect him even as she lies to herself about what he means to her all of her secrets finally come to the surface and we get the heart we were looking for from both of them.

Add a heartbreaking side story with Jarrett’s second-in-command and a man who has a major problem being human or having any feelings other than anger….  which by the way I can’t wait to see more of them cause ya know..  HOT!!!  What you get with this book is characters that do some majorly dirty things to one another both in and out of the bedroom and a story that I personally want to see continue.  I want to know more about all of them and am looking forward to BAST!!!!!  He’s going to be something I just know it…  😉

five-stars

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Untouched – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

four-stars

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