Source: NetGalley.com

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Asking For It – Lilah Pace – 5 stars – Excerpt/Contest

June 1, 2015 Berkley Trade, Contest, NetGalley, Read in 2015, Tours 1

Asking For It – Lilah Pace – 5 stars – Excerpt/Contest

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

Asking For It – Lilah Pace – 5 stars – Excerpt/ContestAsking for It by Lilah Pace
Published by Penguin Publishing Group on 2015-06-02
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 336
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

“This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.” 

Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.

Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker...

Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.

This is going to be a very long post as I want to get you excited to read this one….  I was blown away by this title and hope that people will be drawn to it like I was.  This is NOT for everyone and the warning should be heeded.

My review:

I think all of us that have read this struggle with the same thing which is “How do we review this?”  I mean this is an incredible story but the subject material isn’t for everyone but the way Lilah is able to show you how torn Vivienne is about her needs makes the story oddly compelling.  The thing that spoke to me most throughout this book is the way we see her crave the rough usage from our hero even as she finds her needs disgusting and wrong.  She’s got a lot of work to do to realize that while her needs are the same as everyone else’s they aren’t wrong nor are they something to be ashamed of.  The key is that she has to come to an understanding about her past and perhaps finally get someone to believe her about the incident from her past that colors everything.

Vivienne is a character that made me wince, cry and cheer as she finally gets something that makes her stronger.  The ability to find someone that can fulfill her darkest desires unlocks the true woman she is.  She finds strength in this new relationship that makes it where she actually wants her connection with our hero to be more than just the fulfillment of her desires.  As she navigates her own mental recovery she is compelled to understand why her partner is also drawn to this as he seems to be struggling with demons as well.  I am being careful in this review to not spoil things because the way they unfold is the main reason why I adored this story.

Jonah is our dark horse because we don’t get to see his viewpoint in this that often.  His actions speak volumes and what glimpses we get make me want to know more.  He has his own demons to slay but his care of her shines out.  I admit he made me flinch a few times but after the scene when he wants to actually care for her made me adore him.  I look forward to seeing where we go with him in the next book because DAMN is he compelling.

I can’t say it enough but I am BEYOND ready for book 2!!!!

Excerpt:

“It’s okay. This is difficult.” He pauses a moment before adding, “Are you scared?”

Deep breath. Honest answer. “Yes and no. I believe you aren’t going to do anything without my permission. But what we’re doing feels a little like jumping off a cliff. I’ve had this fantasy since – since always, but I never thought I’d act it out with a stranger –”

At that moment, a waiter appears by our sofa. Why do bar waiters only show up when you least want them around? Offhandedly Jonah says, “Bring me whatever she’s having.”

I don’t think he’s even looked at my glass. What if I had some ridiculous tropical drink, the kind of thing served in a pineapple with pink straws and paper umbrellas? The thought of someone as serious as Jonah sipping one of those makes me smile. Finally I’m able to relax a little – but not much.

As soon as the waiter hurries off, Jonah turns to me. “What would it take to make you feel safe?”

I like that he asked this. But how do I answer?

Cut to the chase, I remind myself. Jonah’s blunt honesty is the only way to go. “I’d need you to wear condoms. Unless you want to show me your medical records.”

Jonah nods. “I can get those for you. Can you show me test results too?”

It hadn’t even occurred to me that Jonah also might be concerned about that. “Um. Yeah, sure.”

“No rush,” he says. “I don’t mind wearing a condom at first. Makes it last longer.”

My cheeks flush as I envision Jonah inside me, pounding me, going on and on and on without mercy –

Jonah must know what I’m thinking, because he tilts his head as if he’s relishing the effect he has on me. He murmurs, “What else?”

Another sip of wine steadies me enough to answer. “I wouldn’t want you to tie me up. Not the first time, anyway.”

He smiles. “I like that you’re thinking about the future. I’ll have plenty of chances to give you what you want.”

It hadn’t even occurred to me before today that Jonah might have been considering a one-time fling. Now that I think about it, that makes more sense than assuming we’d keep playing out this scenario. But I’ve wanted this too long, too much, to assume one night will be enough to get it out of my system. If Jonah’s the right partner for this fantasy, then we have a chance I don’t intend to waste.

Already I sense that one taste of Jonah Marks won’t be enough.

 

Contest:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

five-stars

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Make You Mine – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 stars

May 5, 2015 NetGalley, Read in 2015, St. Martin's Press 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.

Make You Mine – Jackie Ashenden – 4.5 starsMake You Mine by Jackie Ashenden
Published by Macmillan on 2015-05-05
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Gothic, Romance, Suspense
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-half-stars

In the Nine Circles Club, one lucky man gets more than his share of money, power, and women--until he meets a beautiful opponent who plays in the name of love…in Make You Mine by Jackie Ashenden.
He's raising the stakes.
International playboy Alex St. James always plays to win. Whether it's betting on a high-stakes card game--or bedding a high-class socialite--the gorgeous world-class gambler knows how to beat the odds using his brains, his body, and a whole lot of charm. But there's one woman who's immune to Alex's bag of tricks--which makes her the perfect challenge…and the ultimate prize.
She's going all in.

Once a special operative in her native Russia, Katya Ivanov knows what kind of man Alex is. As his personal bodyguard, she's seen him seduce the richest women, place the riskiest bets, and break the hardest players. But to even a score from her past, she's willing to take a gamble on her reckless boss. Even if she has to pretend to be his lover. Even if he drives her mad with desire. And then she never wants this dangerous game to end…

This story made me very happy!  We have a really strong heroine with a hero that can definitely keep up but can’t keep his guard up around a woman who makes him feel.

Alex has a lot of secrets that he has buried for years.  This has cost him his family but also has hardened him to the point where he thinks all he wants is a quick bit of play and then move on to the next no-strings-attached fling.  He plays hard and unless you are paying attention you will see him as a playboy with a ton of money who really doesn’t care for anything.  After dice are found with his stepfather that gain access to an exclusive poker tourney it is determined that he needs to be the one who attends.  Alex wouldn’t have let it be anyone else but now he needs to figure out how to keep protection around him without making the person he is targeting aware of it.  His idea is to use his female bodyguard but when he sees her in something other than work clothes and also spends more time around her…. well…  then it gets complicated.  His story will make you mad, sad and then joyful as we find out his past then celebrate his future with a partner who truly knows him.

Katya is an amazing heroine in many respects.  She and Alex are definitely peas in a pod in more ways than they know so seeing two extremely stubborn people find one another was explosive.  There is so much she has kept buried for so many years in order to make others happy so she struggles with figuring out what it is she wants and needs.  The fact that she is absolutely loyal to those who don’t really deserve it was heartbreaking but I still enjoyed her even with the big chill she presents.  She’s not cold in any way, shape or form but she needed to find someone that could push her to expand her limits.  She’s also intriguing in the way we see her start to feel… be a woman with wants and needs… but mainly open up to someone that deserves it.

I can’t wait for the next story as the pair will be quite entertaining….  he’s going to make it clear to her that she’s HIS….

four-half-stars

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The Confession – Sierra Kincade – 4 stars

May 5, 2015 Berkley Trade, NetGalley, Read in 2015, Readathon 2015 0

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

The Confession – Sierra Kincade – 4 starsThe Confession by Sierra Kincade
Published by Penguin on 2015-05-05
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 368
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

The hot and thrilling conclusion to the Body Work Trilogy, following The Masseuse and The Distraction

Anna Rossi walked away from Alec Flynn to keep her family and friends safe. But she can’t protect her heart from him, no matter how hard she tries…

Time has done nothing to quell Anna’s need for Alec. She knows that she did the right thing walking away; the constant media attention that Alec’s been getting for testifying against Maxim Stein and Force Enterprises is evidence enough of that. But no matter how many times she warns herself that Alec is dangerous, she just can’t stay away—even after her connection to him once again threatens her life…

Alec knows the evidence he has against Max could stop him from hurting anyone ever again. But when it’s revealed that Alec stands to inherit everything from Max’s loss, his testimony is called into question—and Max could walk free putting Anna in harms’ ways once again. Now he’s beginning to wonder if any of this is even worth it—and if he and Anna will ever have a chance at true happiness…

We have finally reached the end of Alec and Anna’s story and while I am sad to see it end I am happy that we finally have a conclusion.  I am happy with the way it played out but still want to have more about their friends and family.

Anna hasn’t been happy since she walked away from Alec to save everyone she loves.  She just wants people to be safe around her even if it means tearing her heart out.  She’s almost ready to run away again when she is abducted.  She ends up having Alec save her but finds out something that truly tears her apart…. is it what it seems or is there more?  I liked her strength in this one even as everything twisted around her.  She’s not willing to play the victim and we get to see more of her struggling to do what is right plus hold on to what she really wants.  They are still hot as hell when they get together but there is more to it this time.  I think I enjoyed it because there was more behind them this time and we saw more of Alec’s vulnerability.

Alec has consistently been a character that I found fascinating.  Under this tough guy exterior is a man who wants nothing more than to be loved and have those he loves be safe.  He is driven to do anything he can to keep Anna and those she holds dear safe even as it means keeping away from her.  I enjoyed seeing his love for Anna shine even as he tried to keep the walls up.  He adores her with all of his being and his ability to give her what she needs is wonderful.

This series grew on me as I found out more and more about them.  I am happy with where it ends up but honestly want to see Amy and Mike… really I want to see where they end up… PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE…

four-stars

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The Talon of the Hawk – Jeffe Kennedy – 5 stars

May 4, 2015 Kensington, NetGalley, Read in 2015 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 Talon of the Hawk – Jeffe Kennedy – 5 starsThe Twelve Kingdoms: The Talon of the Hawk by Jeffe Kennedy
Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation on 2015-05-26
Genres: Epic, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical
Pages: 352
Source: NetGalley.com
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five-stars

A HEAVY CROWN

Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.

Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead…

Pssstttt…  go here before noon on 5/10 to try to win a paper copy of this….  now…  yeah…  you want it…

This was my favorite of the series…  I adored the hero in this and also loved seeing the full picture finally be visible.  We have a chance to see the other sisters but this is definitely a story about a woman who NEVER really got to be herself.  Watching this strong woman be broken apart and then finally allowed to come in to her own was worth every minute it took to read the book.

This story opens with Ursula finally heading back home to report to her father and the news she has isn’t going to be something he wants to hear.  What she doesn’t realize is there is more going on at home and it isn’t good.  She’s unsettled when she arrives and notes that the surrounding area is quiet plus strangers are at the gates.  She’s confronted by these soldiers and realizing they are hired mercenaries does not put her at ease.  She also sees the area bursting at the seams with a populace that seems to be not only frightened but seemingly lacking hope that anything good is coming.  She’s even more unsettled as she sees a strange man standing by her father as he gives her a very public dressing down.  The man unsettles her but she’s still hopeful there is something good still in her father even as he cavorts with a new woman.  As she starts to try to get back in her father’s good graces we get to see her struggle with his increasing madness and obvious corruption.  It takes others pushing her to run for her life to get her to open her eyes about the real peril she is in.  I enjoyed her but truly loved what she becomes as our hero pushes her to lance the deep wounds she has carried since childhood.  This poison was killing her and by finally finding someone that was there for her…  only her… she finally gets to have a partner to carry her burdens.

Harlan… *fans self* dear stubborn yet sweet Harlan….  only you could reach her even as she tried her damnedest to push you away.  I hated the final fight but knew you would stick by her side until the end unless she definitively said leave but my bet is you would still find a way to help her from afar.  I enjoyed the way you worked past her defenses while still pushing her to be all that she could be.  You don’t want her to completely change but you wanted her to finally be honest with herself and see things without being clouded by blind loyalty.  I adored your ways of showing her your strength but mainly enjoyed how you acknowledged her strength and just held her without judgement when she finally allowed you to know her worst secret.  I loved how you let her get it out and then worked hard to show her nothing of it was her fault.  You didn’t coddle her like a victim (which she was) but you made sure to clearly state who was at fault.  She is a lucky lucky woman to have your devotion.

I will be nice and warn Jeffe now….  I WILL BE GIVING YOU A BIG OLD HUG AT RT.  While I am still not a huge fan of Ami I adored Ursula and Harlan.  This was a perfect end to the tale and while I will always want more…  I am happy with the way this trilogy played out.

five-stars

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Glimmer – Beth Kery – 4 stars

April 28, 2015 NetGalley, Read in 2015, Readathon 2015 0

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

Glimmer – Beth Kery – 4 starsGlimmer by Beth Kery
Published by Penguin on 2015-05-05
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Because You Are Mine, a scorching new novel about forbidden desire…

After graduating from her M.B.A. program, Alice Reed is surprised when she’s recruited for the management training experience at legendary Camp Durand, owned by Durand Inc.’s young, billionaire CEO, Dylan Fall. The company usually recruits from Ivy League schools, not insignificant colleges like Alice’s.

Alice enthusiastically accepts, but she still wonders why Dylan would choose a girl from the wrong side of the tracks for the prestigious program. But after a passionate encounter one night, she discovers exactly why—Dylan wants her, and Alice can hardly resist his fierce sexual appetites, though she is amazed that she could appeal to an experienced, sophisticated man like Dylan.

As Dylan introduces her to thrilling, erotic territory, Alice discovers a delicious new part of herself. Night after night, she steals away to find ecstasy and escape in Dylan’s arms. But behind her lover’s powerfully magnetic facade, Alice senses darkness, secrets from Dylan’s past lurking in his beautiful, lonely mansion—secrets that are starting to haunt Alice. And the ghosts of the truth might tear Dylan and Alice apart forever . . .

This was an interesting story about two people from different places in their lives finding one another.  Well… sort of… in some respects they are this but there is more to this story that I won’t give away.  I found the pairing to be honestly compelling in some ways as we have the fact that he is the CEO of a company that she wouldn’t mind working for but we also have her relative innocence in sexual matters and his experience.  I found the sex scenes to be well done and very inspiring… *evil grin*

Dylan is a very guarded man and is relatively private.  Most people don’t know much about his background or past but he is incredibly driven to be everything that he needs to be in order to keep the company he runs at the top of their game.  I liked seeing him push our heroine out of her shell but when we find out what he’s kept hidden I found him to be irresistible.  He’s got a past that we see before the biggest secret comes out but honestly his beginnings just make him more open to the need for charity and the good the camp does for kids.

Alice….  she’s a hard one to like in some respects.  She’s guarded and more likely to snip at you than to work with you.  Please note that once you find out how she was raised you will understand it.  I enjoyed seeing her struggle with the fact that she has an opportunity most would kill to have but she feels like she doesn’t truly belong.  She also has a sense of failure or inadequacy when she is confronted with the fact she has to help these kids.  I liked her spunk but mainly I appreciated how honest she was about her fears.  She’s very attracted to Dylan and is shocked when she finds that he is just as attracted to her.  She’s also not afraid of the games he wants to play and starts to come in to her own as the story progresses.  Her reaction to the big secret is realistic and I look forward to reading more.

Now…  when I can I get my hands on Glow…  hmmmmmmmmm

four-stars

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Signal Boost – Alyssa Cole – 4 stars

April 27, 2015 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2015, Readathon 2015 0

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

Signal Boost – Alyssa Cole – 4 starsSignal Boost by Alyssa Cole
Published by Carina Press on 2015-05-04
Genres: Apocalyptic & Post-Apocalyptic, Fiction, Gay, General, New Adult, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 158
Source: NetGalley.com
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four-stars

When technology stopped working, the world as they knew it ended.

In a secluded cabin, John and his loved ones have survived. He should feel grateful. But his family is in his face 24/7, he has to watch his best friend, Arden, and brother, Gabriel, flaunt their love, and as a techie in a Luddite world he’s pretty much useless. The cabin is brimming with people, but he feels utterly alone.

Until he catches Mr. Tall, Blond and Gorgeous raiding their garden. Mykhail is an astrophysics student, he makes John’s gaydar ping like crazy and he thinks he knows what caused the devastation. He’s on a journey to his university to find answers, and John invites himself along. Partly to get out of the house, and partly because he can’t let Mykhail go without acting on the mutual attraction that’s so obvious even John’s mom is playing matchmaker.

The closer they get to campus, the more Mykhail lets down his walls. But with answers come secrets both devastating and deadly, and before they can save the world, they’ll have to save themselves.

I was so happy to see John got his story.  This is an interesting look at what could happen if we were hit with a flare that knocked out our power grids.

John is restless but loves his family.  He wants something he doesn’t think he’ll find as who thinks that it will be easy for a gay man living out in the middle of nowhere during a world-wide crisis to find love?  He is shocked when he feels the spark of attraction for a man who appears out of nowhere to try to steal food from their garden but when they find out more about the reason behind the failure of the power grid and breakdown of society as they know it … well this just gives John something to do.  He’s driven to go with this stranger and see if he can provide any assistance or at least get more information about what’s out there plus getting to spend more time with this man….  well that’s just a win.

Mykhail was someone I truly felt for.  He’s lived his life pleasing others and trying to be what everyone else wants while suppressing his true self.  I felt for him as he struggles with what he did post-flare but also with who he is.  This is a man who is truly a great guy but with his upbringing he struggles with not only being gay but also going after what makes him happy.  I felt his struggle with his actions but admired the way he did what was right even as it might be what killed him.

Overall I found this to be an interesting story with some parts that were brutal in many respects but sadly I could easily see happening should we ever end up in this same situation.  Stress brings out the worst in many people….

four-stars

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Shoulda Been A Cowboy – Maisey Yates – 3 stars

April 25, 2015 Harlequin, NetGalley, Read in 2015, Readathon 2015 0

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

Shoulda Been A Cowboy – Maisey Yates – 3 starsShoulda Been a Cowboy by Maisey Yates
Published by HQN Books on 2015-03-01
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 111
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars

In this sexy, sweet prequel novella to her new series, USA TODAY bestselling author Maisey Yates welcomes readers to the charming small town of Copper Ridge, Oregon, where it's never too late for second chances.There's not much about his teenage years that Jake Caldwell can be proud of. Except maybe for keeping his hands off cute, kindhearted Cassie Ventimiglia. She was the only one who saw him as more than a tattooed rebel who couldn't wait to leave the ranching life behind. Now he's back in Copper Ridge to sell his father's property—and staying right above Cassie's coffee shop. And out of nowhere, the girl he's never forgotten is offering a whole lot more than fresh-baked muffins…Jake's dark, smoldering appeal hasn't changed one bit. But Cassie has. Following everyone else's rules didn't quite work out. Time to ask for what she's always wanted…and what Jake's more than happy to give: a wild, hot romance that could make a one-time bad boy realize he's back for good.Don't miss Part Time Cowboy, the first in the Copper Ridge series, from HQN Books!www.MaiseyYates.com

Nice quick read from Maisey Yates with a not really a bad guy falling for a not really a good girl.  Well…  they both have their moments but ultimately they are true human beings with wants and needs that don’t fall fully in either camp.

Cassie has always been the good girl.  She has always followed the path of least resistance only ever trying to be something that would be worth all the sacrifices her mother made.  She only ever tried for something (sort of) once and that ended up with the boy she felt everything for leaving after she even expressed an interest.  She’s now divorced, living in a rented apartment and starting her own coffee shop.  She still is in a rut trying to be the good, dependable Cassie everyone expects but the arrival of her high-school crush causes her to do something unexpected.  She tries for what she wants and needs rather than be the person they all expect.  I adored seeing her take this chance and felt for her as she struggles with not knowing what it will bring.

Jake isn’t the bad guy people made him out to be.  Did he steal? Yes… Did he do other things that weren’t good? Yes… but when you see what was actually driving him you understood it.  He has been drawn to Cassie from shortly after they met but knew he wasn’t good for her.  He left because of something else and now is in town only to clean up his father’s holdings so he can head back to Seattle to take hold of what he thinks he needs.  As he spends time in Copper Ridge he struggles with not only his feelings for Cassie but his past and what drove him to where he is now.  I enjoyed his struggle and was happy when we finally get to see the man behind the mask.  He’s a good guy who just needed someone to truly see him.

Overall a nice start to a series and I will have to read more….

three-stars

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The Virgin’s Night Out – Shiloh Walker – 3 stars

April 7, 2015 NetGalley, Read in 2015 0

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

The Virgin’s Night Out – Shiloh Walker – 3 starsThe Virgin's Night Out Published by Shiloh Walker on April 6, 2015
Source: NetGalley.com
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three-stars

Sloane Redding is the shy one, the timid one. The morning of her wedding, she's dumped by the man she'd thought she'd spend the rest of her life with. Humiliated, she turns tail and runs, leaving Nowhere, Alabama for a job in the city. Sloane sets out to remake herself. She succeeds...on the outside. On the inside? Different story. She still the shyRedding. Still quiet, still more interested in standing on the standlines. But all of that is about to change.

The night before her brother's wedding, she strolls in the lone bar in Nowhere wearing wicked red and she's got one goal in mind: to show her ex-fiance just what he lost.

The night before his best friend's wedding, D.B. "Boone" Cassidy walks into the lone bar in Nowhere, Alabama with one goal in mind. Get wasted. Former military, he's spent the past few years as a security specialist and all around troubleshooter. It should have been easy to spot the trouble that night...a sexy woman in wicked red. It should have been easy. Yeah, right.

One thing leads to another and his plans to get wasted turn into a night with the sexy woman in red . Boone gets the shock of his life the next day when he shows up at his friend's wedding to find out he'd just spent the night wrapped around his best friend's little sister...and that isn't the only surprise.

Includes a bonus story, Tempt Me

I just can’t fully explain why this one didn’t completely gel for me but … *sigh* … it didn’t.  I liked the hero, heroine and the other characters in the story but I struggled with the fact that the story felt rushed.  We get a beginning where the two meet, have their interlude, she disappears and then they really meet….  We get a middle where she struggles with the results of their interlude and what to do/say…. and then we get the end where we get more about what he’s gone thru in the middle and where we get our resolution.  It felt a bit rushed but as I said I really did like the characters…

Sloane is the heroine of this one and I admit to understanding where she comes from when it comes to making a change in your life.  She’s decided to come back home and make it clear that her ex is just that… an ex.  I loved seeing her spunk when she in no uncertain terms showed him that she was capable of taking care of herself but when a man at the bar steps in to help… well how can she turn him down.  She also cannot turn him down when he brings out a side in her that has never seen the light of day so when she agrees to go to his room she’s surprised but oh so ready to enjoy what he has to offer.  As the title suggests she is a virgin but she does enjoy herself other than what sets up the rest of the story.  I liked her strength about what she was going to do and how she followed thru but did not agree with the secret she kept.

Boone was someone I would’ve loved to get to know better.  I think what we saw of him was someone who was already attached to Sloane before they met but he doesn’t know what she looks like at all.  When he runs in to the woman at the bar he can’t resist tasting her or taking her…  finding out she’s a virgin… well that was a surprise!  As he deals with an unexpected issue he is struck by the fact that he wants to know her but she’s gone by the time he gets back out there.  He finally sets eyes on Sloane at her brother’s wedding and while he knows he isn’t the man she deserves he is still drawn to her.  He is a man who has his own issues to deal with but we don’t realize how badly he is hurting until we see him at the end.  He does see her briefly before things go to hell but even then they both don’t show/tell each other what they want.

I have always enjoyed stories from Shiloh so I was sad this one just didn’t work for me as much as I had hoped.  Please don’t get me wrong…  the story wasn’t horrible but I just felt that it was a bit rushed and wish we had more time with the main characters.

 

three-stars

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The Virgin – Tiffany Reisz – 5 stars

March 30, 2015 Harlequin, NetGalley, Read in 2015 0

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

The Virgin – Tiffany Reisz – 5 starsThe Virgin by Tiffany Reisz
Published by Harlequin Enterprises, Limited on March 31, 2015
Pages: 416
Source: NetGalley.com
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Goodreads
five-stars

The controversial story before the story continues in the critically acclaimed and award-winning series The Original Sinners.

For years, Kingsley Edge warned Eleanor the day would come when she, the mistress of a well-respected Catholic priest, would have to run and hide. She always imagined if that day came she'd be running away with Søren. But instead, she's running from him.

Knowing Søren and Kingsley will their use their influence to bring her back, Eleanor alone, penniless and scared takes refuge at the one place the men in her life cannot follow: the abbey where her mother has taken orders. Behind the cloistered gates of the convent, Eleanor hides from the man she loves and hates in equal measure

She cannot, however, hide from her true nature. When Eleanor befriends a young virginal nun, she faces a startling sexual awakening. But Eleanor can't stay forever, and the lure of her real life beckons beyond the locked gates. But to follow her fate means to leave Kyrie behind, a sacrifice Eleanor refuses to make

The lure of the forbidden. The temptation to sin. The price of passion has never been higher, and Eleanor will have to pay it if she ever wants to go home again.

What do you get when you have a woman who isn’t so good at holding her tongue and a convent?  What happens when the thing you never expected happen …. happens?  What do you do when all that you know is up in the air and things look their worst?

These questions all get answered in this book and we get to go on a journey where a King meets his Queen and a young woman finally realizes who she is along with who she isn’t.

We also get to see Juliette’s reaction to Kingsley in a kilt and to see the start of the wedding that we all have been cheering for.  By the way I can’t say I would blame Juliette in the least not to mention the sight of Kingsley and Søren in kilts might make me a bit … ummmm…  yeah…  If you didn’t know who Tiffany had in mind for the two men above let me clue you in… For Søren – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau  and for Kingsley – Gaspard Ulliel

*Gives you a few minutes to cool down*

Again I am going to be careful to not give spoilers as I adore this series and the twists/turns are what make me happiest as I read these.  We get to see Nora start to evolve in to the woman we know in The Siren and the path she is on is one that all of us go thru in our lives.  I mean we all have those moments where we just don’t know what to do…  We don’t know who we really are nor do we have any idea of what to do with the rest of our lives until if we are lucky we have one of those moments where everything becomes clear.  Granted most of ours don’t involve discovering you are a switch in love with one of the most clearly dominant men known….  Also most of ours don’t involve running to a convent where you discover love and also what you are meant to be in the next part of your life.

I adored watching Elle become more and more her own person but mainly watch her mature in the time she has in hiding.  She’s starting to wise up and realize that things aren’t always so determined but that she not only has talent but is also her own person outside of the relationship that has defined her since she first met her priest.  She’s also good at realizing the best thing for her is outside the walls but the best thing for someone else is not the same…  This made me sad but also quite happy as it was the right decision and truly made for the right reason.

Now…  my favorite part of this was….  Kingsley meeting his Juliette…  I loved seeing our jaded and oh so weary King meet the woman who we know holds a big part of his heart and is his match in every single way.  Her story made me sad but it also sheds light on why they work so well together plus seeing King floored is something precious.  He’s very much a man who still hasn’t decided what he wants to be but in meeting her…. well…  we get to see the man we all adore as he steps up to be what he has always been meant to be.  I loved his journey and how this plays out as Nora is also having her own awakening.

The way the two stories weave together is amazing and it kept me enthralled from beginning to end.  The slight breaks as we get to see a bit of present day helps keep you from being overwhelmed but seeing two key figures finally get on the path that will ultimately bring them complete happiness was wondrous and beautiful even as it was angsty and painful.

As much as this pains me to say… only one more book to go….  I can’t wait for The Queen as much as I curse it as it will be the last book for a while (I’m holding out hope for more) from Tiffany with these characters as the primary focus.

 

five-stars

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The Companion Contract – Solace Ames – 4.5 stars

February 10, 2015 Carina Press, NetGalley, Read in 2015 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 Companion Contract – Solace Ames – 4.5 starsThe Companion Contract on February 9, 2015
Pages: 233
Source: NetGalley.com
Buy on Amazon
four-half-stars

Control. Submission. Power.

Amy Mendoza knew she'd never have a Cinderella story. She walked away from the ashes of her childhood on her own, and signed her first porn contract the day she turned eighteen. The money's been good, but it's time to walk away again before the life drags her down. When a mysterious stranger offers her an unusual contract—sexual companion to a recently relapsed rock star—she accepts.

Amy quickly and gratefully falls into an easy rhythm of control and submission—but it's not her client who keeps her up at night. Emanuel, lead guitarist and the man who hired her, occupies her thoughts—and soon, her bed. Their connection is intense, and although Amy knows sleeping with Emanuel isn't what she's there for—isn't what she's being paid for—what's between them is too strong to ignore. But there's more to Emanuel than Amy knows, and submitting to him might come at too high a price…

89,000 words

Wow… This was something unexpected that made me very happy as a reader.  The subject material isn’t fluffy and the heroine is definitely not the normal type but she’s very honest and open with her flaws/strengths.  I enjoyed reading the nuances and relationships that are in flux throughout this story but also enjoyed the threads that weave through the characters showing how lives evolve over a period of months.  I think what struck me most was the fact that Solace is not afraid to show you the dregs and low points but also makes the high points realistic for the characters.  There is not a perfect happy ending for all of the characters but there is an ending for them that shows they are on the path to being fulfilled.  There is no magic bullet that makes everything better but hard work and some pain can make it possible for you to find what you need.

Amy was a very strong character who is at a crossroads in her life.  She isn’t completely fond of being a porn star but hey it pays the bills and honestly her issues aren’t with the sex but that she’s feeling a bit burnt out.  She’s approached by someone she has idolized from afar to be a sober companion for a band member but this isn’t a “Hey let’s keep you on the straight and narrow” type companion…  This is a keep him sexed up and happy so he stays off drugs companion.  She’s happy to be used in this manner but she also does her part to be the other type companion.  I liked her no nonsense approach but loved seeing her internal struggle with what she wants from her idol and what she thinks is going on.  She’s smart as hell and extremely practical but is incredibly vulnerable behind her walls.  As she gets involved with our hero we get to see more of this vulnerability but strength.

Emmanuel is something else.  He isn’t easy to read but you can sense his enjoyment of Amy even as she was fulfilling the contract.  Their relationship actually builds nicely thru the story.  We get to see them interacting outside of the bedroom before they actually have sex which builds the tension.  Sure she gives him a blowjob really early in the book but most of the book is them building up to their eventual pairing and not of them being paired from moment one.  I enjoyed that buildup as we get to really see what makes them tick apart and together which made the final outcome very worth the wait.  He’s very complicated but for Amy he just is someone who also has flaws but deserves adoration and love.

I am going to have to get the rest of the stories out today by Solace and keep my eyes open for more.  This was a very well done story of recovery and owning one’s self no matter what your life’s path is…

four-half-stars

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