Publisher: Samhain Publishing

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Living in Secret – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 stars

March 2, 2015 Read in 2015, Samhain, Sent 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.

Living in Secret – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 starsLiving in Secret Published by Samhain Publishing on February 24, 2015
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

She always tried to be good, but now he needs her to be bad…

Living In…, Book 3

Lawyers Connor and Victoria Blake had a high-powered marriage to match their meteoric careers—until a secret from Victoria’s past came back to haunt her. A year after it all fell apart, Victoria is ready for a new job, a new town.

Instead of signing the divorce papers, though, her husband has a tempting proposal—one week of no holds barred before moving on with their lives. She’s never stopped wanting him, but he’s always kept the deepest part of himself locked away.

Connor already endured one brutal betrayal in his life, and Victoria’s cut him to the core. But during a naughty game of one-upmanship with a sexy stranger, he sees a different woman, whose warmth and passion he craves like a drug.

In one week they expose dark passions that set them both free. But amidst searing desire that should fuse them together, Connor is coming to the brink of a decision to choose what’s more important. The last secret he’s holding inside, or the woman he can’t let go.

Warning: Contains a man coming to terms with his inner darkness, a woman ready to match him kink for kink, secrets, lies, and a marriage getting its sexy back. Could take readers on a one-way ticket to WTF city.

Where to begin…

Jackie always brings the angsty heroes which I adore even as I cry because of the way they hit my buttons.  I also like her heroine’s strength and the way they won’t take crap from the hero.

Victoria just wants one thing…. her estranged husband’s signature on their divorce papers.  She is getting ready to uproot her life and head to London to begin again but she needs those pesky papers signed.  She’s repressed and seemingly always in control but she hides a deep need to be accepted for who she is and not what people expect from her.  I liked her drive and also enjoyed how she was able to get under our hero’s skin but didn’t like how she expected him to bare his soul but wasn’t willing to do so in return.  She’s at her best when she finally admits what she wants and needs which doesn’t happen completely until the very end of the story.

Connor is intense.  This is the best way to describe him and when you read this story I think you’ll agree.  He’s very driven to be perfect and in control.  He’s also driven to prosecute the lawbreakers and make sure that justice is done but is very passionless when it came to his marriage.  This is a part of his extreme control and hides a man that is very good at being bad.  He craves a chance to let loose and sees using what Victoria needs to get her out of his system.  As he breaks down and gives in to his baser needs he ends up finding out that what is best for him might be to finally tell the story of his past.  I hated what he went thru as a child but liked that Victoria saw the truth behind his actions and didn’t believe the same way that Connor did.

The sex scenes are intense as both of them are so repressed that when the control is gone…. when they finally let their bodies take what they crave and need… *fans self*  LOVED.

 

four-half-stars

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Living in Shadow – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars – Contest!

August 18, 2014 Read in 2014, Samhain, Sent 4

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

Living in Shadow – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars – Contest!Living in Shadow by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-08-12
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 232
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Finding his way out of the darkness could be the biggest fight of his life.

Living In..., Book 1

Law professor Eleanor May is fine with taking over a class for a colleague on sabbatical. She’s not so fine with the hot student who’s always seated front and center. Once upon a time she was that student...and the scars remain eight years after it ended.Yet this guy seems different from the others. Despite the alarm bells in her head warning her about history repeating itself, she is drawn toward the forbidden once again—even though this time it could consume her.

Lucien North’s past is darker than the ink on his skin, a reminder of a time when survival was a fight to the death. Seducing his beautiful professor wasn’t supposed to be part of his plan to put it behind him, but there’s something about Eleanor that’s gotten hold of him and won’t let go.

Together they light up the night, but will their powerful desire lead them to love—or drag them both to the brink of disaster?

Warning: Contains a younger man so hot he might scorch your fingertips, and forbidden lust so tempting, there’s no point in trying to resist. Check your inhibitions at the door—it’s WTFery 101 and class is in session.

So…. imagine you’ve finally managed to move on with your life after years of being in an abusive relationship that makes you suppress your inner desires as they’d been used to hold you captive for so long.  They’d been twisted and torn but in your deepest self you need this in order to feel whole…. Well if you can imagine this then you know our heroine, Eleanor, and can see why she finds the young man at the front of the class she is teaching to be such a threat.  She’s not ready to let go again and trust in someone but he calls to her and she finds that the more she tries to control the situation by pushing him away the less control she actually has.  She’s such a strong character but  her need to submit is something that is core to her mental health that she is finding harder and harder to keep buried.  As she begins to trust this younger man she also begins to heal the wounds inflicted by her ex and even more surprisingly finds that she is healing a younger man with an old soul who needs this bond they share to finally put his own demons to rest.

I’m going to keep Lucien’s story to myself and let you get to know him the way Eleanor does.  I will say he is amazingly hot and oh soooo yummy but his struggle with control will make you want to heal him.  He needs a strong woman who will push him to his limits but one that will yield to him, trust in him and love him enough to stand by him when the truth of his past comes out.  He’s so good at keeping others out that watching him let her in was oh so good.

I always love Jackie’s tortured heroes and heroines so this one was no exception.  They both have such an amazing amount of healing to do and seeing them find their way was very enjoyable.  As always Jackie’s very generous with me and my known grabby hands for all her stories so I can’t help but thank her for this story and the many others she’s sent my way.

 

So …  how about a quick giveaway???  Two Nook or Kindle copies up for grabs just tell me…  do you love tortured heroes/heroines as much as I do??  I’ll draw the winners on 8/22/14 at Noon Central so get your comments in before then!!!

five-stars

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Moon Shine – Vivian Arend – 4.5 stars

May 29, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 1

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

Moon Shine – Vivian Arend – 4.5 starsMoon Shine by Vivian Arend
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-05-27
Genres: Fiction, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 276
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

When the past hurts, it bites. Takhini Wolves, Book 4Meet Evan Stone. Laid-back, in-control Alpha of the Takhini Wolves. Life’s not perfect, but he’s got a good handle on his world. At least, he did—until the night he ends up in jail, soaking wet and wondering what the hell just happened. The “what” is Amy Ryba, a vengeful female who’s decided it’s long past time to make Evan pay for his sins. Amy has spent years tracking him down, and the last nine months working in secret to destroy him. She’s ready for anything—except discovering the shifter she hates is her mate. Suddenly, Evan’s not so very in control, of himself or his pack. And unless Amy can learn to forgive and forget, she’ll have to do the unthinkable: reject her mate. With two packs watching, one thing is certain. Their personal issues won’t stay personal for long. If Amy and Evan can’t find a way to work together, there won’t be a happily-ever-after for them...or any of the wolves of Whitehorse. Warning: Contains angsty wolves. Lots of angsty wolves causing explosions of all sorts, playing bad pranks, hacking computers, and having angry sex against a wall or two. Not all at the same time, though, because that would be silly.

This review is very hard for me to write as I don’t want to give away everything but at the same time that is the only way I can get across how much I loved this story.

I’m going to try to summarize why this was an awesome read and not give away too much but I will ask that everyone reading this story –  KEEP AN OPEN MIND ABOUT AMY!!!  I know many are disappointed in the fact that Evan is not ending up with Caroline but believe me if you truly keep an open mind about Amy you will understand why she is the only one that could make our precious Evan happy and whole.  She really does match him so well even when you have moments of doubt while reading this please step back and think about both of their actions over the series…  even when we didn’t know who she was…

My niggle with this story and the only thing that bothered me was Evan isn’t his normal man-child self during it but this is what made it real to me and to the characters…  He needed to be pushed out of his comfort zone in order to become the man he is by the end of the book.  I wish we had a bit more time to see the two of them settled so maybe Vivian will give that to us later…  *HINT HINT*  He’s off-kilter most of this story as his long-term plans for his pack and the other in town become more complicated than he ever imagined.  He also has to deal with a series of catastrophes without his trusty Caroline to handle them and this throws him even more off his normal game than even knowing his mate is out there somewhere.  When he meets Amy and discovers she is his mate he has to scramble to figure out what he needs to do in order to be who she needs him to be.  I loved the honor that is innate in him and wanted to shake him at times as his stubborn ways would not see what she was trying to tell him.  As he loses control of his pack and self you feel the pain but if you keep yourself open to what is going on around him you can see why this had to be so painful for him and her.  He takes what she is willing to give him but he is in pain with the need for her driving him to make major changes in his life.  The outcome of this pain is so beyond wonderful and the Evan that emerges from it is more amazing than the one that went in to it which made me very happy!

Amy is extremely complicated and as much as I know many will be wanting her blood because of the pain she puts Evan thru I also know that she was hurting just as badly.  She has reasons behind her actions and those aren’t perfect but are understandable.  You’ll love her heart and soul as she works so hard to take care of those in her pack while at the same time coming to terms with Evan.  She’s just as shocked by finding him to be her mate and watching her heart struggle with this news was just as painful.  She makes very valid points to him about life in general and just wants him to be open to her ideas.  She aches for love and acceptance which makes her willing to potentially do the unthinkable thing of rejecting her mate.  Vivian does a great job showing her struggles which helped me soften towards this complicated woman with her own wily ways that are in many respects Evan times 1000…  LOL  Add to this her own past that intersects our beloved Evan’s and we get a very complex, strong woman who is his match in ways that Caroline couldn’t be.  This is a great story of two very complicated people finding out what they need is the last person they ever expected it with.

I hated seeing the struggles these two had and the repercussions for their packs but in the end it is what was needed to give two amazing people their HEA.  I am sad to see this series come to an end but know that Evan and Amy are in a strong place to allow their people to grow, be happy and live wonderful lives!

Special thanks to Vivian Arend for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.  Now…  when do we get more BEARS????  Oh… and DRAGONS!!!!!

four-half-stars

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Perfect Catch – Sierra Dean – 4 stars – Contest!

March 16, 2014 Read in 2014, Samhain, Sent 4

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

Perfect Catch – Sierra Dean – 4 stars – Contest!Perfect Catch by Sierra Dean
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-03-11
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 274
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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four-stars

Is their love a home run, or merely a pop fly? Boys of Summer, Book 2Minor league umpire Alice Darling loves everything about baseball. That means hunky ball players are strictly off limits—dating one would be professional suicide. With a young daughter and a brother to care for, she can’t afford to slip up. Truth is, as a young, stupid, nineteen-year-old townie, she did once date a player. That’s how she wound up with her precious, nine-year-old daughter...and a determination to never make that mistake again. Alex Ross’s arrival in Florida for spring training, though, shakes her resolve in a big way. Alex, a catcher for the Major League’s San Francisco Felons, has never let much get in the way of his game. One look at Alice changes everything, and he finds himself pursuing her with a single-minded purpose that plays hell with his concentration. Booted back to the minors, he returns to Florida with his tail between his legs to work on his swing...and heat things up with Alice. But when rumors of their affair hit the sports blogosphere, Alice’s career is put in jeopardy, and their love starts to look more like a strikeout than a home run. Warning: When a catcher struggling with his swing meets a stubborn single-mom umpire, his bat won’t be the only thing that heats up. Contains car sex, bed sex, sex sex, and a little angst for good measure.

If you didn’t know from following Sierra Dean on Twitter that she’s a baseball fan then you would definitely figure it out from reading this series.  Baseball players, support staff and fans are lovingly brought to life by her with an eye for not only the good things that come from being in the lifestyle but the harsh realities players and staff live thru in order to be a part of this sport play out over the year.

We got to see Alex in the prior book in the series and I know I looked forward to getting to know this catcher a bit better.  As we get to know him better we find that while he has had the typical love ’em and leave ’em lifestyle of the young, handsome, well-off player he really has a great heart that wants to find his match.  He’s got sisters that serve to keep him in line when it comes to the treatment of women but when he meets Alice he has no clue how to handle a woman that runs so hot and cold to him.  He shows how much he wants to be a part of her life in so many ways in this book but I have to say the way he tries to include her daughter in things melted my heart.  He really does try to treat both of them like princesses and treasures so you will adore this soft side.  He’s also extremely patient as he deals with Alice’s issues that at times I just didn’t see why he didn’t give up but I loved that he was willing to tolerate so much from her as in the end they make a great pair.

Alice is not my favorite heroine in many ways but I liked her and understood most of why she behaved the way she did.  I didn’t always like her treatment of Alex but was happy that she owned her mistakes once she realized what she stood to lose if she didn’t open her eyes.  She loves her job as an ump and being a single mother but finds herself struggling with keeping her home together while fighting an attraction to a ball player.  This attraction could ruin her career as an ump but can’t seem to avoid wanting a man who fits all the things she thinks is horrible.  She’s been burned by a ball player before and paints every single one of them with the same brush.  This of course creates conflict with Alex as she isn’t open with him about her issues and it almost drives a permanent wedge between them as she always jumps to the worst conclusions with him.  My frustration with her revolves around her willingness to forgive her brother for his actions but a man who has treated her with nothing but respect doesn’t get any chances because of his career?  I was happy when she finally wakes up to what she stands to lose if she doesn’t change but jeez it took a while to get there.

I’ve got to thank Sierra for the chance to read this as I loved Alex and learned to love Alice.  I’m ready for more more more…

Now for the fun stuff…  For a chance to win a copy of Perfect Catch in either a Nook or Kindle format tell me…  What MLB team do you cheer for or what sport do you prefer to baseball?  I’ll choose one winner on 3/24/2014 so have your entries in by 3/23/2014 at 11:59 pm CDT in order to be considered.  Include your format preference in your comment.

four-stars

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Baby, Be Mine – Vivian Arend – 5 stars

February 24, 2014 Read in 2014, Sent 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.

Baby, Be Mine – Vivian Arend – 5 starsBaby, Be Mine by Vivian Arend
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-02-25
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 177
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

What the mind forgets, the heart remembers. A Thompson & Sons StorySince the moment Katy Thompson transformed from annoying tagalong to desirable woman, Gage Jenick has awaited his chance. When she kicks her boyfriend to the curb, he doesn’t hold back—in spite of the next-day work assignment that will take him completely off the grid for two long months. After a head injury sustained on a storm-swept road, Katy can’t remember her own email password, much less how the little pink “positive” on the pregnancy stick got there. Barring an influx of midi-chlorians, she’s at a loss to explain what happened, or when...or with whom. Suddenly Gage is back in her life as if he has a right to be there. While she vividly remembers the crush she had on him, she’s no one’s charity case. But another thing she’d forgotten was just how stubborn Gage can be—especially when her domineering ex tries to stake a claim...Warning. An unforgettable night that gets forgotten. A crazy redneck ex, and a hero who’s ready to take on the world, and his past, for his heroine.

Once again Vivian gets me to *sigh* and adore her writing.  This one was just a wonderful story of love, understanding and trust that will make you happy sniffle while reading it.

Gage finally has his moment to get what he’s wanted for years.  Katy is finally single and he can now make the move he’s been wanting to make since the first time he realized she was more than just his friend’s little sister.  Of course the thing that really sucks is he is leaving the next day to head to the oil fields for 6 months but he has to take his chance now and hope that she feels the same way about him.  They have their moment and the next morning he leaves to work but doesn’t know what happens at home as that same day he’s offered a chance to take a 2 month remote job which means he can get home much earlier to live the life he never thought with the woman who has always mattered.

Katy has spent the past two months recuperating from an accident that left her with no memory of the night she shared with Gage but a pregnancy that she didn’t expect and because of the accident doesn’t know who the father is.  When Gage comes back in to her life she has no clue that they made plans to be together and isn’t seeing his interest in her as anything other than one of pity.  She puts Gage in his place and is determined to do it on her own and in her own fashion but her psycho ex is also trying to say that the child is his.  She’s strong but feels like such a failure that because of the accident she can’t remember anything nor can she complete tasks that to most people would be easy.

The relationship between Gage and Katy has some of the most steamy times but also there is so much pain and longing as they try to work on making something real while things conspire against them.  You see how much Gage wants to control everything and make it all easy for his love but really does temper his need for her by letting her set the pace.  He tries to barrel through everything in the beginning but really does learn from his mistakes and owns them.  He just wants her nothing more and seeing this strong man be so willing to put himself out there for her was just…  *sigh*  Katy also owns up to her mistakes and understands that he is working so hard to be what she needs but also let her be strong on her own two feet.  She’s there for Gage as things spiral out of their control and seeing her faith in him when he needs it most was sniffle-worthy.

This is a quick read and one that has me ready not only for more of this pair but to see what we have in store with the rest of the Thompsons.  Thanks to Vivian Arend for giving me the chance to read this early!!  Keep em coming cause you know I’ll read anything you throw my way….  and yes I adore her but she has no say in what I think of her writing nor did she have a say in this review.  🙂

five-stars

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Having Her – Jackie Ashenden – 5 stars

February 10, 2014 Read in 2013, Samhain, Sent 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.

Having Her – Jackie Ashenden – 5 starsHaving Her by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2014-02-11
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 333
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Behind every heroine is the pain that binds her. Lies We Tell, Book 2Manga café owner Kara Sinclair has one burden she’s been carrying around so long it’s bordering on pathetic. Her virginity. Getting rid of it, though, means doing the one thing that scares her the most—letting down her guard with a relative stranger. Which makes her best friend’s older brother Vin Fox’s offer too tempting to refuse. Vin barely has room in his schedule to turn around, much less worry about Kara and her crazy quest. When she insists on going ahead with a plan that he considers unsafe, though, enough is enough. If she wants to lose it, she can lose it with him. Bonus: he gets to play out his darkest fantasies, slave collar and all. Kara thought dealing with a known entity like sexy-as-sin, controlling-as-hell Vin would smooth the way. But when it comes right down to doing the deed, not even the safety of a costume can fool her demons. By then the game has gone too far...and the consequences could bind them together forever. Or tear them apart at the seams. Warning: Contains a sexy, brooding “fix you” hero and a heroine who isn’t afraid of anything...except “normal.” More kinky cosplay losts-and-founds than you can shake a riding crop at. WTF Infirmary is booked up; please make an appointment before you read.

If you haven’t read Taking Him yet…  please do so before you read this one.  While you don’t technically have to there is a lot of tie-in between the two stories as they overlap and knowing the prior story does help a bit to get you more in the head of these two.

Kara just wants to get rid of the annoying thing called her virginity but she just can’t seem to do the deed with the men she meets.  When she mentions this plan to her best friend’s older brother she gets more than she expected as he offers to be the partner..  of course this is after some immense teasing on her part but when he offers it becomes something she can’t help but want.  As they come together she has to confront her demons and finally stand up for herself in her private life.  This is a woman who has so many reasons to not let someone in her heart and body but when she finally does the results are amazing and the power she gains over her past was beautiful to watch.  I loved how she finally stood up for what she wanted even as it killed her to do so.  She has so much more strength than she knew which Jackie brings to life in moments that had me crying and yelling at my Kindle.

Vin…  sigh…  Vin…  bless his stubborn soul.  He’s so misguided about what is going on with Kara that it made me laugh at times as both of them really didn’t understand what they were getting in to when they came up with the slave/master arrangement.  He feels an incredible amount of responsibility for everything around him and that leads him to not take care of himself.  As he gets what he needs from this arrangement with Kara he feels an amazing amount of release in their stolen moments but at the same time is suffocating himself with a level of guilt for what he believes to be being selfish.  As he struggles with this guilt the unexpected happens and his reaction to it made me want to hurt him as much as he was hurting Kara.  I understood both sides of the conflict but still wanted to hurt him… (yes Jackie I know you did warn me) … You can’t stay mad at him as you watch him struggle with trying to do the right thing all the time and his actions in the end will make you tear up at the huge amount of (as Maisey Yates says) FEELS that are evoked.

So…. here are a few notes:

  1. Have Kleenex cause you will need them a bit
  2. Have ice cause oh dear lord are the two of them hot hot hot together
  3. Have someone you can talk to as you get ready to bash Vin upside the head but ya know Kara has a few moments as well
  4. Don’t read unless you can sit down and gobble this up in one sitting

 

Special thanks to Jackie for giving me a chance to read this one really early…  You can always send me things cause your dirty heroes with feels are just ummmm HOT!!  Also thanks for not expecting a review of any kind let alone telling me what to write for said review.  I appreciate getting the chance to read both of these stories and will be happy to take more of your dirty heroes off your hands…

five-stars

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