Monthly Archives: April 2016

The Beast

The Beast by J.R. Ward

25293695Description: Rhage and Mary return in a new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series “so popular, I don’t think there’s a reader today who hasn’t at least heard of [it]” (USA Today).

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world…and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from…

Review: 

When I read romance novels, I do so with the expectation of the story ending and the couple living happily ever after for ever and ever. In most series, when the previous couple shows up again, they are living happily and everything is sunshine and rainbows. However, that doesn’t work in the world J.R. Ward created with her Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Her characters are larger than life and just because their book is over does not mean their problems stop. In fact, one of my favorite things about her series is being able to revisit previous couples. But instead of just being stagnant, they continue to face real issues that cause problems in their relationship. Over the course of the last few books, there have been hints of issues Mary and Rhage need to face. Needless to say, I was extremely happy that they were getting another book. And only partly terrified for what that would mean for their relationship. I think after reading The Shadows, that would be a common fear. J.R. Ward really pushed the envelope in The Shadows in terms of emotions and what the characters in her books go through. In fact, I think she even opened up the discussion to what is a romance novel (mental note, future post discussion!).

That being said, this book was truly all I wanted it to be. I adored revisiting with Mary and Rhage. The plot around them focused on Rhage’s emotional health and how their relationship could move forward. The issue of children was a big discussion. Both wanted kids but their being together was actually because Mary can not have children. However, neither let this drive their relationship apart too far. Part of this is because of Mary’s therapy background. Although, I think their foundation as a couple also played a role. The plot for the side characters included the usual cast of Assail and his issues, Xcor and Layla, and an introduction of a new human receptionist turned investigator who is questioning the strange goings-on in Caldwell. What I also liked is that the Lessers weren’t really a big part of the book. After the first book, I tend to skip over the scenes with the Lessers. They don’t really seem to change as an enemy and I’m more intrigued by the threats in the glymera. Overall, another excellent book by J.R. Ward. Can’t wait for the next one!

Rating: 4 out of 5!

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Bound Beneath His Pain

Bound Beneath His Pain by Stacy Kennedy

25063632Description: The USA Today bestselling author of the Club Sin novels kicks off a deeply sensual new series by introducing readers to Micah, a man who takes what he wants—until he meets the one woman he needs.
 
Real estate mogul Micah Holt exerts absolute control over all aspects of his life. As a founding member of the Dominants Council that oversees San Francisco’s sex club scene, he keeps his dark side hidden away from the press, who will chase down any hint of scandal. He’s always in command of his world, careful to expose his closely guarded secrets only to those he knows he can trust. Then Allie Bennett shakes his legendary discipline. She’s beautiful, pure, untainted. But is Micah willing to sacrifice her innocence for his own selfish obsessions?

When that sexy smile makes her body burn, Allie tries with all her might to ignore it. For one thing, Micah’s her new boss. For another, he’s as complicated as he is devastatingly handsome. Still, Allie can only fight so much before she gives in to his dangerous games. She knows he’s got dark secrets. But when she discovers the true depth of his pain, Allie must decide how far she’s willing to go to light the way for love.

Bound Beneath His Pain is intended for mature audiences.

Review: 

This was the first book I read by Stacey Kennedy. Honestly, I read it as a filler while I was waiting for Kresley Cole’s new book to be released. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. Allie is a real estate agent, and Micah’s company just bought the company Allie works for. Needless to say, it’s lust at first sight. Their relationship has steamy sexual tension as Allie resists Micah’s pursuit. Her main objection is that she is his employee but in reality, it’s because she does not want to thrust into the spotlight of dating a millionaire playboy in fear of her own secrets coming to light. The sensuality of their relationship is added to by Micah’s dominant desires, although he hides them from Allie. What I liked most about this book is it doesn’t follow the traditional plot of BDSM books. Micah likes to be in control and is clearly a dominant but he is afraid of that side of him and calls it “the beast”. He does not try to persuade Allie into a BDSM relationship but rather tries to hide that side of himself from her. My biggest problem with the book is that there aren’t any repercussions from their workplace relationship. That just seems unrealistic to me. However, it did not detract from my enjoyment of the book. I’m certainly looking forward to the next book in the series, which I hope is about Allie’s best friend and Allie’s older brother!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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One with You

One with You by Sylvia Day

17876897Description: Gideon Cross. Falling in love with him was the easiest thing I’ve ever done. It happened instantly. Completely. Irrevocably.

Marrying him was a dream come true. Staying married to him is the fight of my life. Love transforms. Ours is both a refuge from the storm and the most violent of tempests. Two damaged souls entwined as one.

We have bared our deepest, ugliest secrets to one another. Gideon is the mirror that reflects all my flaws … and all the beauty I couldn’t see. He has given me everything. Now, I must prove I can be the rock, the shelter for him that he is for me. Together, we could stand against those who work so viciously to come between us.

But our greatest battle may lie within the very vows that give us strength. Committing to love was only the beginning. Fighting for it will either set us free … or break us apart.

Heartbreakingly and seductively poignant, One with You is the breathlessly awaited finale to the Crossfire® saga, the searing love story that has captivated millions of readers worldwide.

Review: 

I’ve been on the fence about this series. While undeniably a captivating read, I had a hard time connecting with either Eva or Gideon. I also felt the fourth book was essentially a repeat of the problems facing the hero and the heroine in the third book. Finally, I’m not sure I can support a couple who needs couple therapy within a week or two of dating one of another. Okay, that’s my rant about the issues I have had with the series.

I did think this book was a satisfying end to the series. Eva and Gideon were able to constructively work on the problems facing their relationship. They addressed the external issues and actually worked on the internal ones without just using sex as a fixer. I did appreciate that  both characters worked hard at overcoming admittedly traumatic pasts and were focused on the future. As with the previous books, Sylvia Day knows how to pull the reader into a lush and sensual world. Overall, this book was stronger than some of the previous ones in the series and was a satiating conclusion.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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Debauched

Debauched by Jennifer Dawson

27856368Description: One night in a moment of sheer madness I confessed my secrets to him. All my life I’ve been pretending. Pretending to be the woman I thought I should be instead of the woman I really am. I’ve been faking it and I am good. No one has ever guessed. Except him. He just looked at me and knew.

Chad Fellows is not the man I want, but he’s fast becoming the man I need.

One night in a moment of sheer madness I held her in my arms and let her cry. I did the right thing, letting her walk away, no matter how much she calls to the part of me that wants to rescue her. We are nothing alike, and she’s a mess of complications in a life I’m trying to keep simple. But then I touched her and made her tremble and now I can’t turn away.

Ruby Stiles is not the woman I want, but she’s fast becoming the woman I need.

Review: 

In preparation for this book, I read the first two and a half books in this series. Jennifer Dawson is a relatively new author to me but I loved the other series I read by her. I was pleased to discover that her Undone series is an erotic romance one. I’m always on the look-out for new erotic series. This story follows Chad and Ruby and switches between each of their first person point of view. I’ve recently been reading more romances which have first person heroes, I’m looking at you, Emma Chase, and realize I really like them. It’s intriguing to see the plot and emotions unfold from the hero’s point of view. While most romances do have that, by using third person, these books are more in-depth.

The plot focuses around the relationship between Chad and Ruby. While Chad seems to be a straight-laced IT manager, he is also a dominant. Ruby, who is a graphic designer by day, singer by night, is clearly attracted to him but is afraid of his dominant side. Two of Ruby’s friends are in dominant/submissive relationships and while she is intrigued, she doesn’t think she wants that kind of relationship. A lot of time is spent of Ruby’s hang ups about having a BDSM relationship. What I like most about the story is how she is eased into it. As the reader, it is clear that Ruby has submissive desires which she is fighting. Instead of pressuring her or insisting, Chad sets out to have a normal relationship with her, while slowly exposing her hidden desires. Overall, a sensual read which presents a deeper look into BDSM relationships.

Rating: 4 of 5.

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Taking the Lead

Taking the Lead by Cecilia Tan

25529964Description: The first book in a steamy new rockstar series that will appeal to fans of New York Times bestselling authors Sylvia Day and J. Kenner.

Ricki Hamilton and her sister have just inherited a vast estate in the Hollywood hills. Unfortunately, with that legacy comes the most exclusive club in Hollywood history, a secret BDSM establishment where only the rich and the naughty come to play. Ricki wants nothing to do with this business, and is trying to find ways to get out of having to run it . . . until she meets Axel―a sexy enigmatic rock star who makes her want to submit to needs she didn’t know she had.

 

Review:

I thought this book had a very intriguing story-line that didn’t totally fulfill its potential. Honestly, the description led me to believe the book would have been raunchier with the sex dungeon as a plot point.  I felt that Ricki spent too much time fighting her attraction to Axel as well as the BDSM minor lifestyle he represented. Overall, I found myself liking Axel more that Ricki. He just wanted her and didn’t want to infringe or control her life. The relationship between them could have developed more. However, I will read the next book in the series and hope it progresses better. Sometimes in series, it takes an author a little while to settle into the world she or he has created. Side-note, I really  liked seeing the side of the emerging rock-star. Too many rock-star books focus on bands already famous and not on ones working their way to the top. This was an interesting change of pace.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Best of My Love

Best of My Love by Susan Mallery

26721599Description: An irresistible new love story from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool’s Gold series, set in a town Library Journal calls “so appealing, readers will want to start scoping out real estate.” 

To overcome her painful past, baker Shelby Gilmore goes on the hunt for a friend—a male friend—to convince her stubborn psyche that men can be trusted. But where in a town as small as Fool’s Gold will the petite blonde find a guy willing to not date her?

Dark, charming Aidan Mitchell puts the “adventure” in Mitchell Adventure Tours…and into the beds of his many willing female tourists. Until he realizes he’s inadvertently become that guy—the one-night Casanova—and worse, everyone in town knows it. Maybe Shelby’s boy/girl experiment will help him see women as more than just conquests so he can change his ways and win back his self-respect.

As Aidan and Shelby explore the secret lives of men and women, the heat between them fires up the Fool’s Gold rumor mill. If no one will believe they’re just friends, maybe they should give the gossips something to really talk about!

Review: 

Susan Mallery is one of my go-to authors for small town romances. She’s up there with Jill Shalvis for creating towns that I just want to move to, find an attractive guy, and live happily ever after. Her new book, Best of My Love, features characters who have been introduced in previous books. Shelby is the sister of a previous hero and Aidan is the brother of another hero. They both have ties to Fool’s Gold, though Aidan grew up there while Shelby moved there. Shelby had a traumatic childhood in the hands of an abusive father. She is trying to move on with her life and recognizing that she has been choosing the wrong type of men to have relationships with due to the scars of her past. In attempt to grow as a person and become more comfortable with men, she decides to have a six month friendship with a man. She presents this friendship idea to Aidan. Aidan runs the local outdoors adventure tour company. He too has a difficult family life, though less so than Shelby’s. He limits himself to relationships with tourists, ensuring short term affairs. When this blows up in his face, he reevaluates his life and takes Shelby up on her friendship offer.

What I really liked about this book is watching the friendship between Shelby and Aidan grow and become strong. Before their romantic relationship develops, there is a strong friendship foundation that they work hard to develop. Each make concessions for the other, such as alternating between girlie and manly activities. This was just a heartwarming book. However, there was nothing which made me sit up and say “This is my new favorite book!”.

 

I’m left wondering if Susan Mallery is planning a spin-off series. Three of Aidan’s brothers (the fourth being a previous hero) have left Fool’s Gold. It seems like she is setting up a potential new series with their stories. If so, I’ll be sure to read it. Susan Mallery books always evoke that warm sense of familiarity you get when you return home after being away for a while.  

Rating: 4 out of 5!

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Good Girl

Good Girl by Lauren Layne

28185836Description: Lauren Layne brings all the unpredictable heat of her USA Today bestseller Blurred Lines to an all-new cast of characters! Country music’s favorite good girl is hiding away from the world—only to find herself bunking with a guy who makes her want to be a little bad.

Jenny Dawson moved to Nashville to write music, not get famous. But when her latest record goes double platinum, Jenny’s suddenly one of the town’s biggest stars—and the center of a tabloid scandal connecting her with a pop star she’s barely even met. With paparazzi tracking her every move, Jenny flees to a remote mansion in Louisiana to write her next album. The only hiccup is the unexpected presence of a brooding young caretaker named Noah, whose foul mouth and snap judgments lead to constant bickering—and serious heat.

Noah really should tell Jenny that he’s Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate where the feisty country singer has made her spoiled self at home. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own troubles, and before long, their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. But as sizzling nights give way to quiet pillow talk, Noah begins to realize that Jenny’s almost as complicated as he is. To fit into each other’s lives, they’ll need the courage to face their problems together—before the outside world catches up to them.

Review:

It has been a while since I read a rock-star book with the heroine being the rock-star. Jenny, a famous country singer, is forced to flee Hollywood after the press mistakenly accuse her of sleeping with a married man. She ends up renting a run down house in Louisiana. The house is being tended by Noah, the caretaker who, despite their attraction, seems to dislike her. What Jenny doesn’t know is that Noah is actually the extremely wealthy owner of the house. Noah’s life has essentially forced him to create two personas, neither of which truly fit him. Both characters are on a road of self-discovery which makes for an intriguing read.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Cover Reveal: Twist

twist

Twist

by Kylie Scott

Twist  (Book Two) in the Dive Bar Series by Kylie Scott releases on November 22nd!

Pre-order your copy of  TWIST here:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Q7LCyb

iBooks: http://apple.co/1SDbZvE

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/22fTwKK

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1S0cVg7

 

Description: 

When his younger brother loses interest in online dating, hot, bearded, bartender extraordinaire, Joe Collins, only intends to log into his account and shut it down. Until he reads about her.
Alex Parks is funny, friendly, and pretty much everything he’s been looking for in a woman. And in no time at all they’re emailing up a storm, telling each other their deepest darkest secrets…apart from the one that really matters.
And when it comes to love, serving it straight up works better than with a twist.

 

From Kylie Scott, the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Stage Dive series, comes a fresh, hilarious, and sexy new series. Welcome to Dive Bar, where the tattooed bartenders keep the drinks—and romance—flowing with a perfect cocktail of heartbreak, humor, and sweet, sexy romance.

twist 2

 

Are you ready to get Dirty?

Dirty is Book One in Kylie Scott’s Dive Bar Series releasing April 19th!

 

Pre-order your copy of DIRTY here:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Q7LCyb

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1OYc53N

Barnes & Noble:  http://bit.ly/1MetF1F

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1Mez6t6

 

About the Author:

Kylie Scott

kylie scott

 

Kylie is a long time fan of erotic love stories and B-grade horror films. She demands a happy ending and if blood and carnage occur along the way then all the better. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.

Kylie is represented by Amy Tannenbaum at the Jane Rotrosen Agency, New York.

 

 

 

Stalk Kylie Scott: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Magnate

Magnate by Joanna Shupe

Magnate-300wDescription: Book #1 of The Knickerbocker Club series

New York City’s Gilded Age shimmers with unimaginable wealth and glittering power. The men of the Knickerbocker Club know this more than anyone else. But for one millionaire, the business of love is not what he expected…

Born in the slums of Five Points, Emmett Cavanaugh climbed his way to the top of a booming steel empire and now holds court in an opulent Fifth Avenue mansion. His rise in stations, however, has done little to elevate his taste in women. He loathes the city’s “high society” types, but a rebellious and beautiful blue-blood just might change all that.

Elizabeth Sloane’s mind is filled with more than the latest parlor room gossip. Lizzie can play the Stock Exchange as deftly as New York’s most accomplished brokers—but she needs a man to put her skills to use. Emmett reluctantly agrees when the stunning socialite asks him to back her trades and split the profits. But love and business make strange bedfellows, and as their fragile partnership begins to crack, they’ll discover a passion more frenzied than the trading room floor…

Review:

I just devoured Joanna Shupe’s Magnate. I can honestly say I never thought I would enjoy a book about stock trading so much. Usually, American history is not my thing. I rarely read books set in historical America. However, I’m glad I decided to read outside my comfort zone. I owe the adventure solely to Joanna Shupe’s writing ability. If I hadn’t read her Regency series and loved her plots and writing style, I would have been hesitant to pick up this book. I would have missed out. Kudos to Joanna Shupe for writing about a time period which is not usually covered by romance writers. After reading this book, filled with delicious scandal and powerful millionaires, I’m questioning why more romance novels aren’t set in this time period.

On to the story itself. I fully admit that I really liked the first book in this series, Tycoon. Joanna Shupe did an excellent job of hinting at the millionaires which will be the focus of this series. It centers around a group of businessmen, each focused in different fields, who meet up and aid each other in business matters. The first book focuses on Emmett Cavanaugh, a self-made steel tycoon. He worked his way from the slums of New York into the life of the wealthy. He has all the allure of a self-made millionaire as well as the horrific backstory and trust issues. The story starts with him being approached with a business by Elizabeth Sloane. She is the sister of one of the other tycoons in Emmett’s group. Elizabeth is one of the best romance heroines I’ve read this year. She is determine, smart, and gutsy. She wants to start her own stockbroker firm and needs Emmett’s backing. Elizabeth is a blue blood but wants more than balls and shopping in her life. She’s smart and she knows it. She is perfectly capable of dealing with the stubbornness, and at times, irritatingly masculine nature of Emmett.

What I liked most about this book is the how well Shupe develops her characters. Their motivations are real and heartfelt, even when they are being stupid. What’s more, she takes these characters and creates an undeniable chemistry between them. Emmett and Elizabeth steam up the pages. However, behind that lust is the foundation of a deep relationship, even if it takes the characters a while to realize that. In my opinion,  that’s what romance readers truly want. We want a couple who builds a relationship which we believe will endure once we close the book. Joanna Shupe creates that relationship in this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

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Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

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Rock Steady

Rock Steady by Dawn Ryder

27015386Description: He kept it casual

Superstar guitarist Ramsey’s reputation as a bad-boy rocker is exceeded only by his dedication to his music. He’s worked hard for the success of his hit metal band Toxsin, and he intends to enjoy it-completely. When a jilted groupie gets back at him for a one-night stand with an intimate-and completely inappropriate-tattoo, he needs it fixed, and fast. Sparks fly between Ramsey and his new tattoo artist, and Ramsey finds himself hoping for more than new ink.

Until she made him want more

When a high-profile tattoo job lands Jewel an invite on Toxsin’s latest tour, she can’t say no. It’ll be great exposure, after all. What she’s really worried about is ruining the gig by hooking up with the first guy to completely rock her world. She knows she should resist-Ramsey’s not the kind to stick around for a morning after. But the way he makes her feel-as an artist and a woman-could be worth any risk.

Review:

To tell the truth, I had a hard time getting into this book. For most of the story, I  didn’t really understand the motivations or the back-stories of the main characters.The hero, Ramsey, made stupid choices. He fought with himself over not wanting to be in a relationship with Jewel.  When he made stupid choices which hurt her emotionally, she kept forgiving him. When he did finally come around, he didn’t grovel enough. I truly enjoy a good grovelling scene and I was sadly disappointed.  Also, there were plot points that didn’t seem believable in the story, i.e. why he needed even a personal tattoo artist to travel on tour with him. Honestly, while I did finish the entire book, I was overall disappointed by the plot but I did like the author’s writing style. I usually love both rock-star and tattoo artist novels and really liked that the tattoo artist was a woman. I just felt like some of the plot and the relationship between the main characters was undeveloped. That being said, the things I didn’t like about the book did not stop me from finishing it. I just think it was an average read.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.

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Received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

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