Publisher: Penguin

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Unexpected – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

June 22, 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.

Unexpected – Maisey Yates – 4 starsUnexpected by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin on 2013-08-20
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 344
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

After spending another family wedding fielding questions about her non-existent love life, Kelsey Noble decides she’s tired of waiting around for things she could go out and get herself. What Kelsey wants is a baby, and she doesn’t see any point waiting for a husband she’s not even sure she wants. But a mix-up at the fertility clinic lands her with a hassle she didn’t count on. A big, muscular hassle in a Stetson and cowboy boots. Cole Mitchell is shocked to discover that a grand gesture from years past has come back to haunt him. Now, thanks to a clerical error, a woman he’s never met is having his baby—and there’s no way he’s going to walk away and forget he has a child. Trying to make nice with the unexpected father of her baby lands Kelsey in Silver Creek, Oregon, dealing with the kind of small town life she left behind years ago. Even worse is dealing with the burning attraction she feels for Cole. She knows adding sex to the mix is a very bad idea, but she’s not sure how long she can resist falling for the last man she ever expected... Includes a preview of Maisey Yates’ novella, Unbuttoned. Praise for UNBUTTONED: “I loved Unbuttoned by Maisey Yates in a big way....I love a feisty heroine and a charismatic hero, especially when they clash. The scenes where they duked it out verbally, all the while undressing each other mentally, were so delicious....Lots of fun.”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books “A sexy, compelling read.... it’s a great start to what looks to be a promising new small-town contemporary series and has introduced me to a new-to-me author who writes enjoyable characters with great emotional depth, witty dialogue, and steamy love scenes.”—Ramblings From This Chick “Maisey Yates is a very talented author and has created the perfect small-town romance about two people that found love once they learned to take a leap of faith.... I can’t wait to see what is in store for the residents of Silver Creek.”—Books-N-Kisses

Nothing like being late on reading something but….  I really enjoyed reading this story of a woman who is so used to being the odd duck in her family that she is amazed to find a family that accepts her as she is.  It also is a good story for anyone who doesn’t conform to the mold their parents try to put them in and to go for what makes you happy.

Kelsey is stuck at yet another wedding and dealing with relatives that keep asking her when she’s going to get married.  She’s been burned by the man she thought she would marry so is in no hurry to have another relationship even as she wishes for children.  She decides to do something bold and get artificially inseminated so she can have the child she yearns for without the hassle of a relationship.  When the sperm donor shows up at her door with information that the sperm she was impregnated with should not have been in the main donor pool she’s shocked and terrified about what this means.  She agrees to go and spend time with him on his ranch in order to figure things out but winds up with more than she imagined.  I loved her strength and enjoyed seeing her really learn what she needs in her life.  She’s smart but so vulnerable to being hurt by this sexy cowboy that you will root for her to get what she deserves.  I liked that she pushed him to really open up and admit what he wanted/felt.  There was something interesting about seeing a woman who claimed to not need the traditional family realize that she really wanted that connection.

Cole was a bit harder at times.  I understood why he was so adamant about not being willing to be in love with Kelsey but I really wanted to slap him.  He’s so sexy when he finally gives in to their chemistry and also when he is caring for her as she struggles with morning sickness.  He’s unfortunately a bit of a jerk as he deals with what his father left him to clean up and what his ex-wife did to him over their way-to-long marriage.  He’s very loyal to those he loves and seeing him struggle to admit what she actually means to him was at times frustrating but ultimately it was a struggle that left him in a wonderful place.

I hope that you will give this series a chance as I have completely enjoyed each installment and am ready to read more from this wonderful little town…

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Intermix for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I’m sorry it took me so long to finally get to it but I really enjoyed the heart of this wonderful town/family.

four-stars

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Unbuttoned – Maisey Yates – 3.5 stars

June 22, 2014 Berkley Trade, NetGalley, Read in 2014 1

Unbuttoned – Maisey Yates – 3.5 starsUnbuttoned by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin on 2013-06-18
Genres: Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 104
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Carly Denton has learned to keep her buttons and emotions firmly fastened. Her parents’ constant drama, and an unrequited crush on her brother’s best friend, taught her to keep her passion beneath the surface. But she can no longer avoid the one man with the ability to bring that passion to a boil... Lucas remembers Carly as a freckle-faced tomboy—not a frosty woman who treats him like a burr under her saddle. But when they must work together on a charity project, Lucas is shocked to find their bickering melt into some serious mutual attraction. He’s determined to show Carly that he’s the man for her, if only she’d learn to let loose. Lucas is the last man on earth Carly should give in to. The freedom she finds in his arms has her feeling happier than ever, but is it enough to make her realize that the greatest risk isn’t losing your heart, but losing the chance at happiness? Includes a preview of Maisey Yates’ novel, Unexpected. Praise for UNBUTTONED: “I loved Unbuttoned by Maisey Yates in a big way....I love a feisty heroine and a charismatic hero, especially when they clash. The scenes where they duked it out verbally, all the while undressing each other mentally, were so delicious....Lots of fun.”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books “A sexy, compelling read.... it’s a great start to what looks to be a promising new small-town contemporary series and has introduced me to a new-to-me author who writes enjoyable characters with great emotional depth, witty dialogue, and steamy love scenes.”—Ramblings From This Chick “Maisey Yates is a very talented author and has created the perfect small-town romance about two people that found love once they learned to take a leap of faith.... I can’t wait to see what is in store for the residents of Silver Creek.”—Books-N-Kisses

As a start to a series this was a fun novella.  Carly is soooooo buttoned up and uptight because of her parents’ relationship dramas being played out all over town.  When she has to deal with the one man she has secretly harbored a crush on for years her uptight ways are going to be challenged.  She’s so prickly to our hero most of the book but when she decides to break her rules to have a quick fling with him we see a woman who really needs to live life.  She’s scared of how much he makes her feel but also wakes up to realize that she really isn’t happy as she is but will she reach for the unknown???

Lucas… all I can say is he’s amazing!!!  I loved how dirty he could be when he decided what he wanted was her.  He’s not happy with having to work with the woman Carly has become but when they finally have a taste of one another he just can’t help pushing her buttons.  He really is surprised that she is what he wants forever but is more willing to open up and admit his intentions.  I loved his intensity and how he made her really live life while still being able to hold her head up high in town.  He really was a man that was worth facing her fears for and I’m glad to have read their  story.

If you are looking for a quick read with an amazing hero that can play dirty with the best of them to win his heroine…  well…  check this one out!

three-half-stars

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Rekindled – Maisey Yates – 4 stars

June 18, 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.

Rekindled – Maisey Yates – 4 starsRekindled by Maisey Yates
Published by Penguin on 2014-06-17
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 78
Source: NetGalley.com
Goodreads
four-stars

In USA Today bestselling author Maisey Yates’s latest Silver Creek Romance, a rich girl gets the privilege of starting over—and finding true love. Lucy Ryan got everything she thought she wanted, going from high school queen to Manhattan trophy wife. But none of it was worth staying in a loveless marriage. So now she’s back in Silver Creek—with no money and no place to stay, applying for a job cleaning someone else’s house. And her potential employer is the last person she ever expected to see again. Mac Denton can’t believe the mean girl who once tormented him in high school is now his housekeeper. He looks forward to making her squirm for a few days before she runs back to her rich husband. But Lucy has changed, and he is surprised to find himself attracted to the beautiful, courageous woman she has become. Lucy is finally ready to go after what she really wants from life. And what she wants more than anything is Mac. But is Mac ready to truly forget the past and embrace the future? Praise for the Silver Creek Romances by Maisey Yates “I love a feisty heroine and a charismatic hero, especially when they clash. The scenes where they duked it out verbally, all the while undressing each other mentally, were so delicious....Lots of fun.”—Smart Bitches, Trashy Books “A sexy, compelling read....enjoyable characters with great emotional depth, witty dialogue, and steamy love scenes.”—Ramblings From This Chick “A lot of fun to read.... I look forward to reading the next installment. She provided humor, tension, smexy-times, twisted family dynamics, and a re-enjoyment of life.”—The Book Pushers Maisey Yates is a USA Today bestselling author who divides her time between dark, passionate category romances set just about everywhere on earth and light, sexy contemporary romances set practically in her backyard. She has written many romances for Harlequin, including The Couple Who Fooled the World, as well as the Silver Creek Romances (Unbuttoned, Unexpected, and Untouched) for InterMix. She lives in rural Oregon with her three children and her husband, whose chiseled jaw and arresting features continue to make her swoon.

This was a really quick story with characters that showed how things can be if you let go of the past.

Lucy was the spoiled rich kid who used to look down her nose and be mean to those that weren’t of her social class.  As a result when she comes back to Silver Creek after an abusive marriage she expects to be the butt of many jokes and revenge.  Her parents have let their displeasure with her leaving her wealthy husband rule their decision to not help her get her feet back beneath her so she is forced to seek a job as a housekeeper for the son of their former maid.  She’s been beaten down by the words her ex used to undermine her so when she finds someone that champions her and wants to do harm to him she melts a bit.  I liked how she acknowledged that she was wrong in her treatment of others all those years ago but I really loved that when she finally woke up to who she really was inside that she demanded to be treated the way she truly deserved.  She wants to be treated and seen as an equal partner and deserves nothing less.

Mac was swoony even as he had his head in his ass.  I loved how even though she treated him like garbage when they were younger he didn’t treat her that way.  I appreciated how much he was willing to tolerate her attempts at cooking and encourage her to spread her wings.  He really was supportive of her finding out who she really was and seeing his acceptance made her so much stronger.  I didn’t like how he was unwilling to open his eyes to what they were building but I understood why he struggled.  He really is a great guy under the stupidity and seeing him fall for her was wonderful.  He’s no slouch when it comes to sexy times and I found myself a bit jealous of Lucy getting such a sweet man who knows how to steam things up.

Overall a sweet story with a good message that some of us need to hear.  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Penguin Publishing for the chance to read this. I’m working my way thru the rest of the series now so I can read the upcoming one that Maisey was kind enough to give me at RT.

four-stars

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Hard Time – Cara McKenna – 4.5 Stars

April 21, 2014 Uncategorized 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.

Hard Time – Cara McKenna – 4.5 StarsHard Time by Cara McKenna
Published by Penguin on 2014-04-15
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 191
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

In this all-new novel from the author of After Hours and Unbound, a woman with a rocky past finds romance in the last place she’d ever expect... Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier. Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more. When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real...until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny. Praise for Cara McKenna and her novels “Cara McKenna is my go-to author for gritty, hot love stories full of honest emotion.”—Victoria Dahl, USA Today bestselling author “McKenna writes dark, lush, erotic romance.”—Heroes and Heartbreakers “Sweet, smoking hot, standout erotic romance.”—Beth Kery, New York Times bestselling author Before becoming a purveyor of smart erotic romance, Cara McKenna worked as a lousy barista, a decent designer, and an over-enthusiastic penguin handler. She loves writing sexy, character-driven stories about strong-willed men and women who keep each other on their toes...and bring one another to their knees. Cara now writes full-time and lives north of Boston with her bearded husband. When she’s not trapped in her own head, she can usually be found in the kitchen, the coffee shop, or jogging around the nearest duck-filled pond.

This book was not 100% comfortable and it isn’t meant to be.  It was raw, thought provoking and sensual as hell.  I found myself torn about how to rate this but I found that while I wasn’t completely comfortable with everything in the story I found it to be honest and made me think about my own prejudices about felons even as I know I personally would gladly commit a felony should I ever meet up with someone from my past that still has an impact on my life more than 20 years later.  I’m going to make this review fairly short and try to keep things as general as possible because I think if one spills to much about the story it ruins some of what made me think hard not only as I read this story but after I read it.

Annie is in many ways a truly naive, innocent woman.  Sure she’s had a relationship or two but even with the abusive last boyfriend she’s still incredibly sheltered.  As she starts to work around inmates once a week the blinders begin to come off but she still falls in to a secretive relationship with an inmate that pushes her boundaries and makes her want something that she isn’t completely prepared for.  I liked her strength but also found her to be a bit too wet behind the ears for me.  I understood her motivation but at the same time there is a part of me that was screaming “WAKE UP GIRLIE!!!!  Grow up and live outside your head!”  Luckily for her she ends up with someone that has good intentions and really does feel something for her.  I think her strongest point in this story is her belief in him and need to see him safe.

Eric was an intriguing character that weaves a masterful spell with his words as raw as they are.  I found myself incredibly drawn to him as we find out more about him but finding out why he was in prison and the details surrounding his crime definitely cemented my understanding of this strong yet sensitive soul.  He’s raw, dirty and at the same time has such a strong sense of duty to people that he really sacrifices everything for.  I appreciated his ownership of what he did but I also wanted to scream at him for putting himself in jeopardy out of a sense of duty to someone who really didn’t comprehend the cost he would endure.  He’s very compelling and you will find yourself drawn to learn more about this complicated man from not only his writings but his choices after he gets out for parole.

Again this isn’t an easy read but I’m glad I took the chance on it.  I was pushed a bit with some of the themes in the story but ultimately it made me think and perhaps look at some things a bit differently.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Intermix for giving me the chance to read this one in exchange for my honest review.  I now have a new author to glom so….  😉

four-half-stars

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Before You Break – Christina Lee – 5 stars

February 26, 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.

Before You Break – Christina Lee – 5 starsBefore You Break by Christina Lee
Published by Penguin on 2014-02-18
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Love & Romance, Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 144
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

A sexy, emotional New Adult romance about a bad boy on the edge and a good girl about to lose control... A college baseball star isn’t supposed to have skeletons in his closet. But Daniel Quinn is hiding a guilty past so dark he refuses to let anyone get close. Except there’s something about gorgeous, studious Ella Abrams that goes beyond the electric attraction between them—something that makes him want to open up. Ella has suffered enough heartache and guilt to fill one of her psychology textbooks, but she keeps that part of herself hidden behind a bubbly exterior. Until she receives an anonymous call while working a suicide helpline and the voice on the other end touches something inside of her that she can’t ignore. Soon Ella and Quinn’s physical connection heats up, even as their deep and revealing hotline talks intensify. But by the time Ella realizes that her seductive jock and her sensitive caller are the same guy, it might be too late to save him—or to stop herself from falling too far...

There was something beautiful about this story.  It might have been that both Quinn and Ella have so much pain in their short lives that is abated by the time they spend together or it might be due to the fact that Ms. Lee doesn’t shy away from a very tough topic.

Ella loves the fact that she is in school and around people that she cares about but her relationship with her boyfriend is falling apart which might not be such a bad thing.  She’s starting to notice his frat brother and isn’t quite certain what to think about the fact that he has shown her more kindness and attention than the man who is supposed to be there for her has in quite some time.  She works for a local suicide hotline and when she gets a call from someone needing help she finds herself more interested in the man on the phone than she knows she should be.  As she finally makes some decisions about her love-life she finds herself spending more and more time around Quinn but knows there is something he hasn’t told her but that it is something huge.  She opens up to him about her brother’s suicide and how that has impacted her life in so many ways including the boyfriend she stayed with because of his ties to her brother.  As she and Quinn start to get closer there is a secret that both of them hold which could split them apart or finally bring them the love and sense of being whole that they both crave.  I loved her journey in this and the strength she shows when the truth comes out is amazing to read.  She’s something else and seeing her find what she needed was beautiful.

Quinn…  where do I start with him.  He’s sexy..  well hell that’s a given..  but what you’ll love about him is his heart.  He’s such an amazingly sweet man with this need to belong.  He wants to have someone love him for him but the truth is he doesn’t feel he deserves it.  He made a mistake that cost him dearly and because of that one mistake he’s living a life he doesn’t really want to out of a sense of survivor’s guilt.  We get to see him work through his feelings for Ella and his belief that he doesn’t deserve her plus his sense of responsibility for a horrible accident.  I loved how strong he really is as he works through everything but I especially loved how he tried to take care of her first but was willing to show her his vulnerabilities when he needed to.  There was something special about watching him slowly start to rebuild himself and let people help him when they needed to.  He’s got an amazing soul and seeing it heal on his journey in this book was sigh-worthy.

This was a fairly deep story in that we have a character that is suicidal and one who harbors guilt about what they believe they could have done to stop a suicide.  It could have been a very dark story but instead by seeing their journey it showed that even in the darkest times there can be hope and hope should be what you reach for.

I’d like to thank Intermix and NetGalley.com for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

I’ll also close with this…  If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide or need help coming to terms with someone close to you who has chosen this option please please please get help…  Speak to someone you trust or reach out to your local suicide helpline.  You can also reach out to:

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five-stars

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Sponsored Contest – All of You – Christina Lee – 4 stars

September 17, 2013 Contest, Intermix, NetGalley, Read in 2013 0

Sponsored Contest – All of You – Christina Lee – 4 starsAll of You Published by Intermix, Penguin on September 17, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she’s perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother’s bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, all Avery can handle is a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.

When she meets smoking hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won’t accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straight-laced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.

Bennett sees something special in Avery and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him, too.

So she needs to make a choice—let Bennett go or finally let him in.

AoYbanner

My Thoughts:

A nice twist on the whole one virgin in the couple.  I liked that this time the hero was a virgin and the heroine was more experienced.

Avery isn’t looking for anything other than someone to scratch an itch and she is enthralled by a man she sees at a party.  The only issue is he doesn’t seem to be interested in her but his friend is and she is a bit stunned to find that even though the friend would scratch her itch she doesn’t really want him.  Instead she heads home alone to think about this stunning man only to find her mystery guy lives upstairs from her.  She’s startled awake later by strange noises and a man attempting to break in but of course our lovely mystery man comes to save the day.  As she spends more and more time around him she finds herself wanting more than to just scratch an itch which terrifies her due to her past.  I liked how she handled his announcement and even though I did find myself frustrated at times with her pushing this amazing man away I was happy when she finally let him in.  She’s been burned so many times and to see her finally let her walls down for him was nice to see.  I liked her strength and her own acknowledgement that what she’s been doing maybe isn’t what she wants but fear held her back for so long.

Bennett is one sexy man.  I loved his reasoning behind being a virgin still and appreciated that while he was one he didn’t look down on others who chose to have sex.  I understood why he felt the way he did and adored how persistent he was with Avery.  He showed an amazing amount of patience every time she pushed him away but when he first saw her he knew there was something special there and didn’t want to risk letting it go.  I liked that he didn’t accept her reasoning during the last conflict but he’s such a great guy he is willing to wait everything out because in his heart he knows they have something rare.  He’s sexy, protective without being smothering and tattooed…  who could resist???  I would love to have met someone like him when I was younger to build a relationship with.

Overall this was a nice read and I would gladly read more about them or more about their friends…

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Intermix for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I’m also quite happy to be a review stop on the blog tour for this release.  Thanks SubClub Book Blog for inviting me.

Be sure to enter her great contest!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Christina Lee

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Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives near Cleveland with her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything.

New Adult/Young Adult author. NA Contemporary Romance, ALL OF YOU, releases September with Penguin. BEFORE YOU BREAK in 2014. Repped by Sara Megibow.

Also the creator of Tags-n-Stones (dot com) jewelry.

How to Contact the Author:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorChristinaLee
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Christina_Lee04
Website: http://www.write-brained.com/

four-stars

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A Simple Twist of Fate – HelenKay Dimon – 4.5 stars

July 16, 2013 Berkley Trade, NetGalley 0

A Simple Twist of Fate – HelenKay Dimon – 4.5 starsA Simple Twist of Fate Published by Penguin on July 16, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

The Hanover brothers are doing their best to live down the legacy of their con artist father…but they still have a knack for getting in trouble where romance is concerned.

As the lawyer of the family, Beckett Hanover ought to be sorting through the many claims filed against their family estate—which the brothers have recently inherited from their grandmother. But something about the housekeeper, Sophie, keeps stealing his focus…

Little does he know, as he flirts, what else she intends to steal. The truth is Sophie took the job with one purpose in mind: to help her aunt. But she never expected to find a man like Beck or get sidetracked by the handsome hottie's sweet talk and broad shoulders. Between her secret and Beck’s past, the two are headed for one risky romance.

My Thoughts:

I have to admit I was looking forward to reading this one at the end of the previous book.  We knew who the main pair was just because of the heat we witnessed but I can say we got more than expected in this one.

Sophie is keeping a big secret from the Hanovers but it is a secret that isn’t hers to share and it puts her in a bind when she starts to want something with Beck.  She knows he doesn’t like secrets and can’t blame him for his feelings but also knows she can’t spill it no matter how much she wants to.  She’s such a hard person to get to know and watching her get flustered around Beck was funny as hell.  She’s got a smart mouth but behind this tough girl exterior you have someone that desperately wants somewhere to belong and a family that really loves her.  She has a sad back story and hearing about how her aunt and uncle treated her as a child made me feel for her.  I understood her motivations and really loved how she worked so hard to protect and defend the Hanover brothers even as they didn’t completely trust her.  Watching her develop a friendship with Leah and Malory was heartwarming as you understood how badly she needs to be loved and feel like she belongs.

Beck was something else.  He always needs to be the one who makes things right and can make sense out of things that make no sense.  Unfortunately his father left a trail of things that don’t add up and he feels driven to figure it out in order to make it right.  He tries so hard to ignore his attraction to Sophie but as we all know in romanceland this never ever works.  He works to get her to trust him but at the same time really has trouble letting her in and trusting her with his own inner secrets and issues.  I loved watching him work so hard to ignore his feelings and the level of denial he’s willing to go to was just funny at times.  The interplay with his brothers will have you rolling on the floor especially after the bathroom scene.  I almost spit out the drink I had when I read the scene and loved noone was willing to let it go.  He did frustrate me at times with his attitude but I did understand it even when I wanted to slap some sense in to him.  He needed to grovel a bit more at the end I think but his gesture meant the world to her and it leaves us in a very intriguing place.

I left this book desperately wanting the next one as dear lord I need to know who the FBI agent really is (I have a theory) and need to know what is under the freaking concrete slab already.  The next book should prove to be interesting as there are some bombshells dropped in this one that made me wish we could dig up Charlie and kill him all over again.  The man was truly evil and deserves to be in a truly deep circle of hell for all the pain he caused so many people.

Special thanks to Penguin/Berkeley and NetGalley.com for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  I am beyond ready for the next one so feel free to send that to me ASAP.  😉

four-half-stars

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Enthralled – Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook, Lucy Monroe – 4 stars

June 29, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

Enthralled – Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook, Lucy Monroe – 4 starsEnthralled Published by Penguin on July 2, 2013
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon

Four authors leave the reader enthralled. Leigh's stubborn Breed meets her match, and can deny neither him nor herself. Day introduces the League of the Black Swan, and a woman cursed to kill the man she loves. In Brook's steampunk Iron Seas world, a man bereft of everything finds his marriage in jeopardy, and sky pirates stealing his wife. Monroe unleashes a werewolf's passions on the body, mind, and soul of his prey, his lover, his lifemate.

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this from Alyssa Day and I cannot thank her enough.  I’m definitely going to need to grab all of the new series her short story introduces because the world intrigues me.  I also enjoyed the other stories in the anthology which should keep fans of those authors happy with views of the worlds they do best.

Devil’s Due – Lora Leigh – 4 stars

Interesting story of the dealer of death, Devil, and his mate, Katie, dealing with not only finding their mate but also people who want her dead.  There is little to no real tension between the two of them as far as sexual.  I mean they do fight the attraction in some respects but there isn’t a drawn out issue with will they end up together… actually it is more the situation that drives them apart a bit rather than denial or fighting the pull of the mating instinct. I enjoyed the little prequel as to how she was rescued as a child and also how they both fill something that is missing in each other.  This is a good pair that will be equals in most ways which you can’t always say about all the Breed pairings…

Curse of the Black Swan – Alyssa Day – 4.5 stars

I enjoyed this story of two lonely people finding love in each other when they had both written off ever finding someone.  We have a fire demon that keeps his nature secret from his fellow firefighters because everyone knows that fire demons are insane and evil.  We have a woman doomed to spend every third night as a swan singing in a fountain to satisfy a family curse and if she ever meets her soulmate she’ll have a daughter who will be doomed to the same fate.  I enjoyed the pacing of this one and the world that we see where things are not always as they seem but humans and Fae exist in a bit of an uneasy half-world.  This has interested me in grabbing the full length story so I can read more of this world.

Salvage – Meljean Brook – 4 stars

What if the husband who ran from you for years washes up on shore at the brink of death from a bullet wound?  How would you cope with asking for a divorce while you still acknowledge that you want him with all your soul but you need the closeness that he can’t seem to provide?  This is what we see in this well done short story.  They really do love one another but due to something her father said when they were first married he has always felt like he had to be out at sea to provide her with everything she deserved but he missed that all she needed was him.  While he has been out at sea he’s been missing the amazing woman his wife has become, she’s built a business from the ground up and is standing on her own.  They both do truly love one another and when his recent salvage find brings an insane man to kidnap and force them to reacquire the salvaged treasure they realize exactly what they mean to one another and what drove them apart was a series of misunderstandings.  We are left with a couple that is in such a strong place that you can’t help but cheer their reunion.

Ecstasy Under the Moon – Lucy Monroe – 3.5 stars

This was a story of two cultures and how individuals look beyond the distrust that they have for one another to build a union that bodes well for the rest of the reconciliation process that is in progress.  Our hero is such an amazingly patient man with his heroine and watching how he works to earn both her trust and her family’s respect was beautiful to see.  I loved how she slowly came out of her shell and I really adored how she didn’t completely judge him just based on his species but felt comfortable enough around him to override her well-deserved fears.  She’s been damaged and the cost to her and her people was grave but his ability to be patient with her made it possible for there to be a happy ending and shows how love can heal deep wounds.

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