Monthly Archives: May 2016

Pleasure for Pleasure

Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James

428677Description: Fueled by the knowledge that notoriety is better than failure, witty, unconventional Josie does what no proper young lady should—she challenges fate. She discards her corset and flirts outrageously. She attends the horse races and allows an arrogant rakehell to whisk her behind the stables for a surreptitious kiss . . . and is caught!

She doesn’t want to marry the young hellion—but who’s to help? Her chaperone keeps disappearing for mysterious appointments; her guardian is on his wedding trip; and his friend the Earl of Mayne is too busy staring into the eyes of his exquisite French fiancée.

Can a marriage forced by stuffy convention and unwilling desire become the match of the season?

Review: It’s been a long while since I’ve read this series by Eloisa James. Previously, I know I enjoyed the books and rereading Pleasure for Pleasure, I find that enjoyment held true. I actually want to go back and reread the first three books also. I really enjoyed Josie, the heroine. She has gumption and a persona about her that makes her very relatable. She, do to an unfortunate nickname, gets hung up on her weight for most of the book. The hero, Mayne, is able to convince her that she is attractive and that her weight doesn’t define her. This is one of those lessons that are sometimes not addressed in romance novels and perhaps should be. Josie’s weight does not define her as a woman nor should it. Mayne and the other characters in the book, such as her sisters, see passed her weight to the lovely woman Josie is. The problem that I had with the book is Mayne’s engagement and how the tendrils of his relationship with Josie start while he is engaged to someone else.

Pleasure for Pleasure Teaser

I forgot how much I enjoyed watching the relationship between Darlington and Lady Griselda develop. Darlington abandons his hurtful wit and doesn’t let the age difference between them stop his pursuit of Lady Griselda. It is an excellent addition to the main story line. And also allows Josie freedom to get into trouble. Trouble, that Mayne is able to deliver her from. Reading this book makes me realize how much Eloisa James has developed as a writer. While I secretly adore her older books, her writing becomes wittier and more enjoyable with each book I read. I do think her newer books are less awkward than some of her older ones. Now I  want to reread her Fairy Tale Retelling series and perhaps her Desperate Duchesses series before her new book is released. Rereading Pleasure for Pleasure was like reuniting with old friends but after while, you realize why you don’t spend much time with them anymore. 

I’m sure it has been addressed but I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring it up: the cover. The most unfortunate case of an inaccurate cover. Josie’s weight is a major plot point and yet the cover model is quite skinny. Although, I do approve of the sensuality of the cover. It fits with Mayne and Josie’s relationship.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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Filed under Historical Romance, Reviews, Romance Novels

Angel in Scarlet

Angel in Scarlet by Lavinia Kent

28076793Description: From the author of Mastering the Marquess comes another blazingly provocative Regency romance! Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but in this clash of wills, lust is a feast for the senses.

After her dreams of wedding bells are dashed by a man she thought had serious intentions, Miss Angela Ripon must be satisfied. She plans to make him burn for her, and then to reject him as he rejected her. There’s only one woman who can teach Angela that sort of seduction: Madame Rouge—or Ruby, to the men who frequent her house of pleasure. The infamous madam agrees to help, but only after warning Angela that her target has very specific tastes. To trap her prey, she must shed every last inhibition.

Matthew Harkness, Earl of Colton, doesn’t mean to hurt the young admirers who flock to him. He simply isn’t interested in women who are too timid for his dark desires. He judged Angela to be like the others—tender, sweet, and innocent. So how to explain the change that has come over her? Matthew aches to teach Angela all he knows of earthly pleasures. But even as she offers the control he craves, perhaps this angelic beauty has a lesson or two to teach him.

Review: Like most of the books in this series by Lavinia Kent, I enjoyed this read. Lavinia Kent does an excellent job of taking historical romance and making it naughtier. My favorite character in the series would have to be Madame Ruby, the madam of a house of pleasure. Angela, the heroine, visits Madame Ruby to get advice on how to seduce, Matthew, the Earl of Colton. He had been courting her but suddenly decides he doesn’t want to propose marriage because of changes in Angela. However, those changes came from Angela witnessing Matthew with his mistress. Angela wants to seduce Matthew so he will fall in love with her and she can get her revenge. Of course, that is easier said than done and the world Matthew exposes her to starts to intrigue Angeal. Overall, I’m not sure I totally understood Angela’s motivation and I think her plan for revenge was not developed, which actually helped the story as the hero and heroine start to fall for each other.

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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Filed under ARC, Erotic Romance, Historical Romance, Reviews, Romance Novels

The Official Essex Sisters Companion Guide


The Official Essex Sisters Companion Guide

By: Eloisa James & Jody Gayle

Releasing May 24, 2016
Avon Impulse

VT-EssexSistersGuide-EJames_FINAL (2)

This is a book no Eloisa James fan should miss! Eloisa revisits the scintillating world of the Essex Sisters with “A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace,” a new story featuring a young lady, Cece, who would rather ruin her own reputation than endure further speculation about whether her children will be “silly,” like her brother, Billy. Happily for fans of Pleasure for Pleasure, Cece’s best friend is Josie, Countess of Mayne!

Just as exciting, the Companion includes not only Eloisa’s original notes about each book and her “extra” chapters, but a 170 page alternate ending to Kiss Me, Annabel. Eloisa discarded this shockingly different plot after writing one draft, and the published novel went in an entirely new direction. Make up your own mind about which is better-Eloisa’s original, or the final book!

Super fan Jody Gayle’s engaging guide includes essays about fascinating historical details, including period fashion designs. Explore the world of horse racing and tour the London theater scene. Delve into the rich history and deep literary tradition that makes Eloisa one of the top writers of historical romance.

The Companion also gives you a sneak peek at Eloisa’s newest full-length novella, “A Gentleman Never Tells”-which springs from the world of the Essex Sisters! What will happen when one of the men who ruined an heiress’ debut by labeling her a “Wooly Breeder” (and Josie Essex a “Scottish Sausage”) decides that it’s time to make amends?


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Kiss Me, Annabel Teaser

Author Info

ELOISA JAMES is a New York Times best-selling author and professor of English literature who lives with her family in New York, but who can sometimes be found in Paris or Italy. She is the mother of two and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight. Visit Eloisa at or on Facebook or Twitter.

Author Links:  Website | FB | Twitter | GR



The Taming of the Duke Teaser

Author Info

, best-selling author and researcher, likens her work to that of a literary archeologist rather than a traditional author. She is dedicated to unearthing publications of the past, and sharing these long-forgotten books … the jewels and riches of the written word. She has uncovered tens of thousands of old publications from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and wants to bring them to life, and send her readers traveling back in time.

Author Links:  GoodReads | Website | Facebook





Much Ado About You Teaser

Rafflecopter Giveaway (Print Copies (US Only) of the ESSEX SISTERS novels including Much Ado About You, Kiss Me, Annabel, The Taming of the Duke and Pleasure for Pleasure)

Link to Rafflecopter Page,



The Boundaries of a Book by Eloisa James

When Jody first approached me with the idea for an Essex Sisters companion consisting of historical essays addressing various aspects of the novels, I imagined contributing a couple of pages. But once we began discussing possibilities that went beyond historical investigation, my contribution grew to include an original novella, extra material that had previously been published only on my website, and this narrative essay, which traces my initial idea for the quartet to an “extra” chapter set a decade after Pleasure for Pleasure, the final book in the series. While Jody and I quickly agreed to include material already available to readers, the really crucial question for me had to do with Kiss Me, Annabel, which exists in sharply different versions.

The original plot of Kiss Me sprang from the fact that my husband is an observant Catholic, whereas I was introduced as a child to a confusing medley of religions, from Lutheran to Buddhist, none of which I now practice. I wanted to write a novel in which hero and heroine are not of one mind with respect to faith.

My editor at the time found the second half of the novel far too dark. The change she requested required me to cut the last nineteen chapters and rewrite them. As it happened, I was reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books aloud to my daughter at the time; I credit those books with inspiring me to reshape my overly dark story into a lighthearted road trip (with a detour into the mysteries of butter churning).

The two endings are so different that I don’t think it’s possible to say that one is “better” than the other. Reading the original draft all these years later, I love the focus on Ewan’s faith, as well as all the drama.  But I might as well add that when I recounted the original plot to my current editor, Carrie Feron, her eyes grew round and she said that she likely would have found the story a bit dark.

For me, including the original half of Kiss Me, Annabel here definitively transformed this companion from a bunch of complementary essays to something that questioned our conception of a genre novel. Why shouldn’t a book exist in two different versions, as long as each ends happily? Why shouldn’t a reader be able to follow—and take pleasure in—two completely different paths by which the same characters end up in the same place?

Once I accepted that, the temptation to meddle with other parts of the series was irresistible. As I again immersed myself in the world of the Essex Sisters, I found loose ends in Pleasure for Pleasure that, interestingly enough, all had to do with bullying. The novel is a reader favorite, not least because Josie’s experience of being labeled with the horrid nickname the “Scottish Sausage” resonates with so many readers. What happened to the other girls mentioned in the book, who were ostracized along with Josie? What about the young lady deemed unmarriageable because her brother was “silly,” leading everyone to assume that her children would be cognitively impaired? Or the “Wooly Breeder,” so named because she had unruly, curly hair and a father who owned many sheep?

Part of the reason this companion took two years to assemble was that I found myself writing new, discrete novellas to answer those questions. A Midsummer Night’s Disgrace, included here, tells the story of the sister of “Silly Billy,” and her recognition that she was tired of being shunned; instead of silly, she chooses to be scandalous. A Gentleman Never Tells, another new novella, is being published in tandem with the companion; it answers the question of what happened to the “Wooly Breeder,” while also considering the long-term consequences of bullying on the bully. I hope readers will be happy to see that Josie and her husband, the Earl of Mayne, make a brief appearance in the companion, and then reappear in company with their daughter in A Gentleman Never Tells. 




I loved revisiting the Essex sisters! This companion had everything I would have wanted: excellent essays, a new novella, a catch-up with the Essex sisters, and an alternate ending for Kiss Me, Annabel.  Loved it!

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His Wicked Wish

His Wicked Wish by Olivia Drake



The daughter of a disgraced woman and a common actor, Madelyn Swann has been shunned by the nobility. No proper lady would traipse about on a Covent Garden stage, let alone sell herself at auction to the highest bidder. So why in heaven’s name would Nathan Atwood, Viscount Rowley, make a generous offer for her hand?

Turns out Maddy is exactly the type of woman Nathan wants as his wife. Finally, he can embarrass his snobbish and cruel father, the Earl of Gilmore—and scandalize London society—with his beautiful, unsuitable bride. Then he’ll depart England forever and leave his wife behind. Having secret plans of her own, Maddy is happy to play the role … only to find that enjoying her husband’s seduction requires no acting whatsoever. But as she falls madly in love with Nathan, can she persuade him to stay with her for always?


I really liked this book. I read it right after reading a lot of contemporary erotic romances so it was a nice transition back into historical romance. The hero, Nathan, has a difficult relationship with his family. He had been traveling in China, working in the trade, when a letter from his godmother calls him back home. He believes that his hated father has died. However, it turns out that his father recovered and his older brother died, leaving Nathan heir to the earldom. To wound his father, with whom Nathan has a painful relationship, he decides to become extremely scandalous. And what is more scandalous than marrying an actress who is about to auction herself? Our heroine, Madelyn, is of course the actress. She was raised in the theater and is determined to retire and focus on getting intro into society. It turns out her mother is  the daughter of a duke and was disinherited when she married Madelyn’s father. Madelyn wants revenge on her grandfather for the hurt caused to her mother. She agrees to Nathan’s marriage proposal as a way of getting that revenge. Each character is driven by revenge but as they begin to fall in love, that revenge threatens their relationship. Altogether, this was an entertaining read which I would definitely recommend!  

Rating: 4 out of 5! 

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


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The Purest Hook

The Purest Hook by Scarlett Cole

27757900Description: Can a love built on secrets survive?

Rugged, hot, and rock hard, Dred Zander is exactly the type of man that normally sends Pixie running. Not dreaming about running her hands down his washboard abs…and lower. The lead singer and guitarist for the band Preload embodies trouble behind his quick smile and guarded eyes, and Pixie left trouble behind her years ago along with the name Sarah Jane Travers and the pathetic trailer her mom called home. With her abusive past in her past, she has a new life, a new family at Second Circle, and a dream of opening her own business. She needs capital and time. What she doesn’t need is a tempting long-haired rocker or the paparazzi that follow him around.

But Dred has other ideas. Pixie’s sweet hazel eyes, purple hair and kaleidoscopic tattoo of exotic flowers that swirl up her arm haunt his dreams, and he knows she wants him too. He just has to convince her. But as a juicy exposé threatens to expose their pasts, and a blackmailer terrorizes their present, Pixie and Dred have to decide what really matters and fight like hell to keep it.


This book had everything I love in contemporary romances: rock stars and tattooes! Both Dred and Pixie had serious past issues to overcome. She had an abusive past with her stepfather and Dred was a foster child with an addict mother. What I liked most about this book was watching them overcome their past issues and confide in one another. Dred’s band of brothers are clearly going to have their own books, which is great because I can’t wait to learn more about them. After reading this book, I went back and bought the first two books in the series. They focus on the owners/ tattoo artists of the shop which Pixie works at. All around, an enjoyable and a new series to keep my eye on!

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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Filed under ARC, Contemporary Romance, Reviews, Romance Novels

New Book Poster


Just got a new bookish poster for my room. What do you think?

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May 15, 2016 · 18:56

The Ghost

The Ghost by Monica McCarty 

25265859Description: Joan Comyn swore allegiance to Robert the Bruce the day she witnessed England’s barbarous king torturing her famous mother, Scot patriot Bella MacDuff. Now the mysterious beauty slips into men’s hearts like a specter and entices England’s most illustrious barons to unwittingly divulge their secrets, then shares them with her king. Known only as the Ghost even among her Highland Guard brethren, Joan has become the most wanted spy in England.

The man determined to uncover her identity poses her biggest threat yet. Alex Seton once stood with Bruce but now fights for the enemy. Though Joan knows she must avoid the handsome warrior or risk discovery, his knightly chivalry touches a place in her long since buried. When his suspicions grow apparent, Joan realizes she must do everything in her power to stop Alex from revealing her mission and convince the powerful fighter to join forces with the Highland Guard once more. But as the ultimate battle in the great war approaches, will Alex chose love or honor?


Oh my. My heart breaks for the end of this series. I think when I started reading the Highland Guard series, there were three books out. Now, this is the very last one and what an adventure it was. Monica McCarty has combined historical characters and battles with lush descriptions and transports her readers back to medieval Scotland and the Scottish War for Independence. The concept for the series, that Robert the Bruce recruits a secret army of the very best Scottish warriors to help regain his throne, is a brilliant one. While the heroes in the series are larger than life, the heroine are equal brave and intelligent. None more so than the last heroine. Joan Comyn is the daughter of a previous heroine, the historical Isabella MacDuff, Countess of Buchan. Her mother is famous for disobeying her husband and crowning Robert the Bruce at Scone. For this, she, when captured by the English, is hung in a cage from the walls of Berwick castle. Her daughter, Joan, is taken by her father to witness her mother’s captivity. That spurns Joan’s anger against the English. When she gets older, she becomes the last member of the Highland Guard, a spy known as The Ghost. The hero, Alexander Seton, was a former member of the Highland Guard known as The Dragon. However, two years prior to the book, he deflected to the English side. Luckily for Joan, he does not know the identity of the spy. Aside from the history and the chemistry between Joan and Alex, the book presents the question of loyalty. While Alex has regrets about switching sides, he felt that he could no longer engage in the unknight-like guerilla warrior that the Highland Guard was waging. His ultimate desire is the end of the war and the protection of his people who live on the border. While he couldn’t achieve that as a member of the guard, he tried to do so from the English side. The question of loyalty is a prevailing part of the story, adds depth to the historical romance novel. Overall, an extremely satisfying end to the series, even if I didn’t want it to end.

Rating: 5 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: Book Tour


Good Girl

By: Lauren Layne

Releasing May 17, 2016





In this steamy novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines, country music’s favorite good girl hides away from the world—and finds 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.


Link to Follow Tour:

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Lauren_LayneAuthor Info

Lauren Layne is the USA Today Bestselling author of more than a dozen contemporary romance novels.

Prior to becoming an author, Lauren worked in e-commerce and web-marketing. A year after moving from Seattle to NYC to pursue a writing career, she had a fabulous agent and multiple New York publishing deals.

Lauren currently lives in Manhattan with her husband and plus-sized Pomeranian. When not writing, you’ll likely find her running (rarely), reading (sometimes), or at happy hour (often).


Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 



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 personnas, neither of which truly fit him. Both characters are on a road of self-discovery which makes for an intriguing read.


Link to Rafflecopter Page,



A week ago, I had my first burrito baby.

I mean, I didn’t know I was even pregnant. Thank God I have the tabloids to tell me these things.

It happens that way sometimes, at least in Hollywood, land of the flat bellies.

See, if your belly isn’t completely flat, if maybe you’ve put on a few pounds courtesy of a penchant for extra guacamole on your Chipotle burrito . . .

Bam. You’re at the grocery store buying tampons and M&M’s and you glance over, and there you are, all over the rag mags. Pregnant.

Or at least accused of it.

Because the tabloids don’t seem to care that it’s been quite some time since a guy’s been near my . . . ahem. Apparently in Hollywood you don’t need a guy. All it takes to get “knocked up” in L.A. is a tortilla the size of a hubcap and an avocado or four.

Let me be clear: I am not pregnant.

I just like to eat. A lot.

To be honest, up until last week, when I naïvely ordered extra sour cream while wearing a tight-fitting T-shirt that apparently accentuated the fetus that wasn’t there, I hadn’t really thought a lot about Hollywood beauty standards.

I mean, for starters, I’m not Hollywood. At all.

I live in the Hollywood Hills, yes. I rent a Hollywood director’s home, yes. Even did a tiny cameo in a movie a few months back.

But I, myself, am Jenny Dawson.

A country singer.





I get that country music can be polarizing, I do, I really do. But I swear I don’t twang about dead dogs and dusty highways. I just write songs about real life. My life. And then I sing them.

Formerly in the shower, and now on the radio.

Where was I going with this?

Oh, right. Hollywood. And how I’m not it.

It’s not that I hate Los Angeles. Sure, the traffic sucks, and the women of SoCal have more than their fair share of silicone between the shoulders, but the city’s got its good points too. The weather. The ocean. The shopping.

But the paparazzi thing has been getting under my skin.

I’m not one of those girls who moved here to get famous. I was already famous, courtesy of All of Me going double platinum last year.

When my agent and label suggested that some time in L.A. might be good for maintaining my “mainstream” popularity, I didn’t really fight it. See above points about weather and ocean.

But I wasn’t counting on being quite so center stage all the time.

I certainly wasn’t counting on the fact that I’d be embracing the homemade smoothie revolution. And actually, embracing is a strong word. Let’s just say I had to actually read the instructions before I knew how to work the fancy blender. And yes, I may have allowed my weight gain, and the tabloids’ notice of it, to shame me into the land of kale and quinoa.

And there you have it. The backstory of why I’m currently standing in the kitchen of a rented house, wearing yoga pants and a pink sports bra, and trying to work up the courage to ingest the green goo in front of me.




Filed under Books Tours, Contemporary Romance, Reviews, Romance Novels

The Player

The Player by Kresley Cole

25343787Description: In this searing stand-alone installment of the erotic Game Maker series, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole brings readers a tale of a man wracked with dark desires and the beautiful young woman who could sate him at last.

A madman with a shadowed past . . .
In the City of Sin, Dmitri Sevastyan finds her, Victoria Valentine—sexy, vulnerable, and in need of a protector. Obsession takes root deep inside him. Despite a history tainted with violation and betrayal, he will stop at nothing to possess her.

A grifter with nothing to lose . . .
Descended from a long line of con artists, twenty-four-year-old Victoria, a.k.a Vice, needs the score of a lifetime to keep her loved ones safe. She sets her sights on gorgeous and rich Dmitri Sevastyan. Even as the irresistible Russian toys with her body and mind, he tempts her heart.

Love is the ultimate wildcard.
When Vice and her associates maneuver Dmitri into a hasty Vegas wedding, he refuses to protect himself with a pre-nup, trusting her with all that he has. But can she trust him? As secrets unfold, the newlyweds share days of doubts and nights of the wickedest pleasures. Yet once Vice discovers her husband’s past, will she stay to fight for her marriage or cut her losses and run?


Oh. My. God. This book! The plot twists and turns. There’s sensuality mixed with heart. At the center is the ties of family and overcoming past pain. I’m not even sure how to write this review. I want it to be spoiler free and a large part of the book is a spoiler. Let me try to break it down without any reveals.  

The plot focuses on Victoria, aka Vice, and her pursuit of Dmitri Sevastyan. Dmitri is the youngest of the Sevastyan brothers. His older brothers have the first two books in the series, both of which I reread after finishing The Player. Like his brothers, Dmitri is a billionaire, though his money comes from his technology and not slightly illegal means like his older brothers. However, Victoria’s family is in the business of scams. Simply put, they are con artists. When the book starts, Victoria’s dad has conned the daughter of a Mexican mobster and the family is on a tight deadline to pay back a lot of money. Everyone is doing their part, including Victoria although her last few cons have failed. Enter Dmitri, the wealthy billionaire. Her sister attempts to seduce him but fails. For Victoria, however, it’s lust at first sight. She and Dmitri hit it off. Like the first two books, the chemistry between the main characters is explosive and it doesn’t take long for their relationship to become physical. Barely any time passes before Dmitri and Victoria are married, sans prenup which is every con man’s dream. However, Dmitri has demons from his past abuse that he needs to overcome. Victoria starts to fall for her husband and is left wondering if everything she holds dear will go up in smoke when he discovers the truth.


As I said, steamy and delicious! An excellent end to the series!

Rating: 5 out of 5!

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Love of the Game




Love of the Game

Stardust, Texas #3

By: Lori Wilde

Releasing April 26, 2016


A sexy sports superstar discovers his body isn’t the only thing that needs healing in this newest Stardust, Texas novel from New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde…

With major league good looks and talent, Dallas Gunslingers relief pitcher Axel Richmond was living the good life. Even if the roar of the crowd could never distract him from the loss of his young son. But now with an injured shoulder and his career on the line, Axel is stuck recuperating at a ranch in Stardust, Texas . . . striking out only with his gorgeous physical therapist.

Kasha Carlyle has one week to get Axel back in action or she can kiss her much-needed job with the Gunslingers goodbye. And any chance to seek custody of the orphaned half-sister she never knew existed. She quickly learns that Axel’s guarded heart also needs healing . . . requiring all kinds of sneaky plays and sexy moves in extra innings.


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Lori WildeAuthor Info

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lori Wilde has sold seventy-eight works of fiction to four major New York Publishing houses.

Her first NYT bestseller, the third book in her Twilight, Texas series, The First Love Cookie Club has been optioned for a television movie. The town of Granbury, Texas, upon which her fictional town of Twilight, Texas is loosely based, honors Lori with an annual Twilight, Texas weekend each Christmas.

A popular writing instructor, Lori is a two time RITA finalist and has four times been nominated for Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. She’s won the Colorado Award of Excellence, the Wisconsin Write Touch Award, The Golden Quill, the Lories, and The More than Magic.
Author Links:  Website | Facebook | Twitter |  GoodReads |Pinterest






Rafflecopter Giveaway ($25.00 e-Gift Card to Choice Book Seller and a Print Copy of LOVE OF THE GAME)

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It starts like this: an unexpected spark, instant attraction, the jolting jab of oh-so-you-feel-this-too? Flash fire in the belly. A corkscrew twist in the center of the chest. A physical ache that punches low and heavy and spreads out hard and fast through muscles and tendons, blood and bone.




Physical therapist Kasha Carlyle had felt it before, this hot flare, runaway-mine-train-express that stirred fear in the dark recesses of her mind. She’d resisted it then. Resisted it now.

But this? This here? This was something more.




Coal black eyes melted her resistance, seared it to ash. In that stopwatch moment when her gaze struck, and stuck to the steely stare of the Dallas Gunslingers’ most valuable pitcher, Axel Richmond.

He’d just completed a physical therapy session with his trainer, Paul Hernandez, and he was sitting on a bench wearing nothing but red workout pants, his bare chest on display. Every glistening muscle was finely etched. Not a drop of fat on him. He was a splendid specimen of adult male in top physical shape, life and passion oozing from his pores.

The only thing that seemed out of place was the black tattoo over his heart that spelled out


One look and everything and everyone blended and blurred as white-hot need transported them into their own little world far from the sports medicine facility in North Dallas, where baseball coaches, managers, administrators, and sports medicine specialists surrounded them.

For a split second.

Then pure panic set it.

It was Tuesday, May seventeenth, and the second week of Kasha’s three-month probationary period at her new job working with injured major league baseball players.

And she was already falling in lust.

No. No. This simply would not do. Keeping her job was essential.

Now that she had Emma to consider, she urgently needed the bump in salary to pay off the student loans that had gotten her through her PhD. Not to mention the excellent health insurance coverage. Finding out about Emma had changed everything.

Quickly, Kasha peeled her gaze from Axel’s and studied the insignia on the wall above his head—the blue and green Gunslingers crossed dueling pistols logo—but she didn’t see a darn thing. Purposefully, she slowed her breathing, and forced herself to listen to the conversation.

“I wish we had better news,” Dr. Tad Harrison, the lead physician on the team, said to Axel.

Dr. Harrison had been the one to hire Kasha, and the one to caution her that only thirty percent of probationary employees made it past the first three months. “It takes a special breed to work with these ballplayers. They’re long on arrogance and stubbornness and always think they know best.”

“I have a lot of patience,” she’d said because it was true.

“I heard they call you the Exorcist in your current job,” Dr. Harrison had said. “Why is that?”

She couldn’t keep from smiling. “My colleagues say I have a talent for taming difficult clients.”

“And do you?”

“I consider physical therapy a calling.” She folded her hands in her lap, and said without a hint of ego. “I was born for this work.”

Dr. Harrison stroked his chin. “That’s what Rowdy said too.”

Rowdy Blanton was the field manager for the Gunslingers. He was also Kasha’s brother-in-law, married to her younger adoptive sister, Breeanne, and he’d recommended her for the job.

“If I hire you,” Dr. Harrison had continued. “It will be on your own merits, not your relationship to Rowdy. He got you this interview, but that’s as far as nepotism goes.”

“As it should.” Kasha bobbed her head.

The uncertainty of the job was why she hadn’t yet rented an apartment in Dallas. Every day, she made the one hundred and thirty-five mile, one-way trek to the stadium from her hometown of Stardust.

While she was optimistic, she was also practical. She’d learned that fate could derail even the best intentions and you had to be ready to flow whichever way the current took you. For the next three months, until she solidified the job, she would keep making that drive.

For Emma.

Her thoughts took off in a hundred different directions at once. Stalled. Spun. Gathered momentum like an encroaching hurricane. Realizing her mind had wandered, she forcefully shut down the unproductive thoughts and directed her attention back to the patient.

Axel Richmond.

One more look and Kasha was on fire and she hated it. The last thing she wanted right now was to meet a guy, especially this guy. Whose stark dark hair was drenched in the heady sheen of sweat.

He was as sexy as ten kinds of sin, and twice as handsome, and he was studying her through heavily lidded eyes as if she was the most fascinating creature he’d seen in years.

Um . . . yes . . . that’s why her mind had wandered. To keep from dealing with the feelings his hot-to-trot gaze churned inside her.

She let out such a long sigh that everyone in the room swiveled to stare. She kept her face blank and examined her fingernails, pretending she’d discovered a ragged cuticle.

From the moment Axel had strolled into the therapy room with his pro-athlete swagger and princely sense of entitlement, she’d been mesmerized.

Spellbound by the way his fitted T-shirt hugged his intricately muscled body. Then he’d stripped off the shirt, giving her an even more arresting view. A thick head of lush brown hair curled around his ears, and those powerful thighs strained at the seams of his workout pants.




I really liked the first this two books in this series and the third was no exception to the rule. Kasha is the sister of the other heroines, all of whom were adopted. Axel is a Texas baseball player. They meet, and attraction flies, when Kasha beings to work as a physical therapist for Axel’s baseball team. Axel is recovering for an injury and Kasha offers an alternative treatment which leads to them spending a great deal of time together, with passion burning.

Both Axel and Kasha bring a lot of baggage with them. Kasha has a painful past which is being brought to light. She is the process of gaining guardianship of her mentally disabled younger sister. In addition, Axel lost a young son to cancer. His driving goal is to pitch at the World Series for the Yankees, a promise which he made to his son. Both Kasha and Axel have let their past influence their lives. However, the potential of their relationship has them questioning what they truly want from life and if they are strong enough not to let the past stand in their way. Intertwined in the heartbreak of the past is humor and a steamy relationship. Overall, truly a couple to root for and an excellent read.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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