Monthly Archives: March 2017
Description: Vaughn Johansson is the Nashville Assassins’ star player. He’s brash, cocky, and talented. And he isn’t afraid to let anyone know it. He lives his life on his own terms, never forming romantic attachments, and only allowing his very closest to see his true, caring self.
Brie Soledad has the weight of the world on her shoulders. As the staff reporter for the Assassins, she balances her high-profile job and its heavy travel schedule with being the sole provider for her adult brother with Down syndrome. Sure, she’d like to find love. But who has time for that when there are bills to pay?
Brie has been the match to Vaughn’s gasoline since the day she first held out her microphone to him. They strike sparks off each other, keeping their friends, the team, and the Assassins fans in stitches. Brie’s refusal to fawn over Vaughn sets his teeth on edge and his blood boiling. Especially in that body part…
Brie’s been let down by love before, but she knows she deserves nothing less than real, forever love. Vaughn’s past has left deep, hidden scars, and there are some secrets he cannot bear to reveal. As much as Brie wants him, Vaughn may be too big a risk for her wary heart to take. But he is at his best under pressure. When the delayed call is in effect and he has no choice but to score, Vaughn always delivers.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As usual, Toni Aleo knocks it out of the park! This was a true enemies-to-lovers story with scorching tension and attraction between Vaughn and Brie. Honestly, every fight they had felt like foreplay! However, underneath the attraction, the trust between them took a while to grow. Vaughn had to overcome the losses and betrayals in his past. Brie had to learn to trust Vaughn and depend on him. Overall, an excellent story and a good introduction to new Assassins’ players!
*Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
First we were friends. Then we were roommates. Now I want more…
What can I say about Chess Copper? The woman is capable of bringing me to my knees. I know this about five minutes after getting naked for her.
No one is more surprised than me. The prickly photographer my team hired to shoot our annual charity calendar isn’t my usual type. She’s defense to my offense, a challenge at every turn. But when I’m with her, all the regrets and darkness goes away. She makes life fun.
I want to know Chess, be close to her. Which is a bad idea.
Chess is looking for a relationship. I’ve never given a woman more than one night. But when fate leaves Chess without a home, I step up and offer her mine. We’re roommates now. Friends without benefits. But it’s getting harder to keep our hands off each other. And the longer we live together the more I realize she’s becoming my everything.
Trick is… Now that I’ve made her believe I’m a bad bet, how do I convince her to give this player a true shot at forever?
Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a three-time RITA nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named a best book of the year by Library Journal , best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.
Book 1 in The 1797 Club Series
The Daring Duke
The wild and charismatic Duke of Abernathe is the kind of friend anyone would wish to have. He even formed the 1797 Club, consisting of ten men who would all be dukes. But he has full-throatedly declared he will never marry and no one understands why.
But Miss Emma Liston doesn’t care why. A longtime wallflower with an absentee father who is a scandal waiting to happen, she needs to marry. Now. She decides to take a wild chance and ask the help of her friend Meg’s brother James. She asks him to pretend he’s interested in her just long enough to gain the attention of others. He agrees but is quickly taken aback by how easy everything is with Emma.
When her father returns, threatening her with a terrible future, their courtship swiftly becomes all too real. Will James ever reveal the true man beneath the outer shell? And can Emma discover her own worthiness before it’s too late?
Review: I’d like to start this review by apologizing for the initial blank post. With the snow storm yesterday, I didn’t get a chance to go on my computer and update the scheduled post to include the review. Thank you for your patience and please enjoy my review of The Daring Duke!
The Daring Duke is the introduction to Jess Michaels’ 1797 Club series. The club, consisting of ten dukes or future dukes, gets its name from the year it was founded. James, the hero, creates the group at Eton as a child after being abused by his father. The purpose of the club is for the ducal heirs to learn how to be dukes and support one another. I quite enjoyed this premise and am looking forward to reading the future books. While the titles were all a bit overwhelming at first, this book mostly focused on James and his two best friends. The trauma of James’ childhood would go on to have a lasting impact on him and be his motivation behind later actions.
We meet grown-up James again at a ballroom where we are also introduced to the heroine, Emma. She is a blue-stocking and a wallflower. After recently having re-read Lisa Kleypas’s Devil in Winter and then devouring her new Devil in Spring, I was primed to read about another wallflower. They’re one of my favorite tropes because people always underestimate them. It is clear that Emma is attracted to James but she believes that he will never see her. However, a newly forming friendship between Emma and James’ sister, Meg, means James and Emma are now in each other’s company a lot more. Emma needs to marry soon because of her horrible family while James wants to avoid the ton’s marriage market. While they both are attracted to each other, James comes up with a way for them both help each other. By courting Emma, the ducal James will make her more attractive to other suitors. Once their courtship ends, James can plead a broken heart and avoid the match-making mothers.
At times throughout the book, the courtship plot wore a bit thin. It was obvious to everyone around them that James was starting to care for Emma but he kept denying his feelings. This continued even as they had secretive amorous encounters. Emma, in the meantime, was forced to fend off her overly zealous mother. When Emma’s father returns, circumstances force both James and Emma to truly examine their feelings for each other.
Some additional things I enjoyed about the book: The acknowledgement that Emma’s mother was equally as horrible as her father. She was constantly manipulating her and I was afraid that her horribleness was just going to be brushed aside.
Also, Meg! I adored James’ sister and I can’t wait to read about her again. I have a feeling she’s going to be in the next book.
Overall, this was a really pleasant read. James and Emma were both likable characters who still had personal trauma’s to overcome. This book was an excellent start to the series. It’s clear that all the dukes are going to have books and there were some interesting tidbits dropped about them throughout this story. I’m definitely going to continue with this series.
Rating: 4 out of 5!
Written by Jess Michaels:
USA Today Bestseller Jess Michaels began writing full-time in 1999 after being encouraged by her husband to follow her dream. Since then she has published over 50 novels and novellas under three different pen names with several major publishers, small presses and via self-publishing. Her erotic historical romances have been national bestsellers and won awards from booksellers and readers.
Check out The Clubhouse to join The 1797 Club!
*Received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Good Morning All!
I recently received a Twitter message from an author asking if I accept review request. I usually get my review ARCs from Netgalley or Edelwiess. Other books I review are just books I personally buy or I take out from the library. However, I’ve decided to open my blog up to review request.
Please check out my new Review Request page!
From New York Times Bestselling author Laura Kaye, comes the next steamy standalone romantic suspense in her Raven Riders Series, RIDE WILD! Check out the amazing cover and a note from Laura below!
A Note from Laura Kaye:
I’m so excited to share the newest cover in my Raven Riders series, which is about a different kind of a motorcycle club with a protective mission! Ride Wild is about Sam “Slider” Evans, widowed dad to two little boys. From his very first mention in Hard As Steel, Slider has called to me to write his story – and now I’ll be doing just that! And I think this cover captures him so well! So give it a look, and then be sure to check out Ride Rough too – Maverick’s book is coming April 25 AND if you pre-order, you’ll get a bonus story about Beckett Murda and Kat Rixey from the Hard Ink series having their baby!
So much good stuff coming your way!
Thanks for reading! Now enjoy this cover!
About Ride Wild (Raven Riders #3):
Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders…
Wild with grief over the death of his wife, Sam “Slider” Evans merely lives for his two sons. Nothing holds his interest anymore—not even riding his bike or his membership in the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. But that all changes when he hires a new babysitter.
Recently freed from a bad situation by the Ravens, Cora Campbell is determined to bury the past. When Slider offers her a nanny position, she accepts, needing the security and time to figure out what she wants from life. Cora adores his sweet boys, but never expected the red-hot attraction to their brooding, sexy father. If only he would notice her…
Slider does see the beautiful, fun-loving woman he invited into his home. She makes him feel too much, and he both hates it and yearns for it. But when Cora witnesses something she shouldn’t have, the new lives they’ve only just discovered are threatened. Now Slider must claim—and protect—what’s his before it’s too late.
Pre-Order at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo
Add to your Goodreads!
And don’t miss the first books in the Raven Riders Series!
Get a Bonus Short Story for Pre-Ordering Ride Rough, Coming 4/25/17!
About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty book in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink, Raven Riders, and Blasphemy series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…
12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…
About MASTERING HER SENSES (Blasphemy #2, 2/21/17):
12 Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy…
He wants to dominate her senses—and her heart…
Quinton Ross has always been a thrill-seeker—so it’s no surprise that he’s drawn to extremes in the bedroom and at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, where he creates sense-depriving scenarios that blow submissives’ minds. Now if he could just find one who needs the rush as much as him…
When an accident leaves Cassia Locke with a paralyzing fear of the dark, she’ll try anything to get help. Ready to fight, she knows just who to ask for help—the hard-bodied, funny-as-hell Dom she’d always crushed on—and once stood up.
Quinton is shocked and a little leery to see Cassia, but he can’t pass up the chance to dominate the alluring little sub this time. Introducing her to sensory deprivation becomes his new favorite obsession, and watching her fight fear is its own thrill. But when doubt threatens to send her running again, Quinton must find a way to master her senses—and her heart.
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Laura Kaye’s MASTERING HER SENSES – Review Tour Schedule:
Books in Series:
About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
Once again, Laura Kaye has proven that she can write erotic romance just as well as her romantic suspense series. Mastering Her Senses follows Quinton and Cassie as they navigate turning a casual BDSM relationship into something more. I especially liked the crossover with her Raven Riders series. The focus of the novel is Cassie overcoming her trauma from a cave-in during her job. With Quinton’s help and some extremely erotic scenes, she begins to overcome her fear of the dark. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and my only complaint is I wish it was longer!
unexpected duchess proves that behaving badly isn’t exclusive to the Dukedom.
1845, Lady Sophia’s Drawing Room
“There’s only one solution,” Lady Sophia said, passing the letter to Archie as he felt his stomach drop. And his carefully ordered life teeter on the verge of change. “You’ll have to go to London to sort my goddaughter out.” She embellished her point by squeezing her tiny dog Truffles, who emitted a squeak and glared at Archie. As if it was his fault.
He resisted the urge to crumple the paper in his hand. “But the festival is in a few weeks,” Archie said, hearing the desperate tone in his voice. He did not want to ever return to London. That was the purpose of taking a position out here in the country after leaving the Queen’s Own Hussars a year prior. His family was there, and his father, at least, had made it clear he never wanted to see him again. What’s more, he did not want to assist a helpless aristocrat in some sort of desperate attempt to bring order to their lives. Even though that was what he was doing in Lady Sophia’s employ. But working for her had come to have its own kind of satisfactory order, one he did not want to disrupt.
“There is work to be done,” Archie continued, hoping to appeal to his employer’s sensible side.
Although in the course of working for her he had come to realize his employer didn’t really have a sensible side, so what was he hoping to accomplish?
“Didn’t you tell me Mr. McCready could do everything you could?” Lady Sophia asked. “You pointed out that if you were to get ill, or busy with other matters, your assistant steward could handle things just as well as you.”
That was when I was trying to get one of my men work, Archie thought in frustration. To help him get back on his feet after the rigors of war. And Bob had proven himself to be a remarkably able assistant, allowing Archie to dive into Lady Sophia’s woefully neglected accounts and see into her investments, neither of which she paid any attention to.
Lady Sophia placed Truffles on the rug before lifting her head to look at Archie. Who knew, in that moment, that he was doomed. Doomed to return to London to help out a likely far-too- indulged female in the very difficult position of being a powerful and wealthy aristocrat.
Perhaps it would have been easier to just get shot on the battlefield. It certainly would have been quicker.
“It’s settled.” She punctuated her words with a nod of her head, sending a few gray curls flying in the air. “You will go see to the new duchess and take care of her as ably as you do me. Mr. Mc-Cready will assist me while you are away.”
Archie looked at the letter again. “This duchess is your relative?” he asked. That would explain the new duchess’s equally silly mode of communication. An “unexpected duchess,” indeed. What kind of idiot wouldn’t have foreseen this circumstance? And done something to prepare for it?
“She calls me aunt, but she is not my actual niece, you understand,” Lady Sophia explained. “She is my goddaughter; her mother married the duke, the duchess’s father. It is quite unusual for a woman to inherit the duchy.”
“Quite,” Archie echoed.
“But it happened, somehow, and since I don’t know anything about being a duchess . . .” Because I do? Archie wondered. But there wasn’t anybody else. She wouldn’t have asked Lady Sophia, of all people, unless there was nobody else.
Or if she was as flighty and confident as her faux-aunt. A scenario that seemed more and more likely.
“The only thing Mr. McCready can’t do is attract as much feminine interest as you do, Mr. Salisbury.” She sat back up and regarded him. “Which might make him more productive,” she added. She leaned over to offer Truffles the end of her biscuit.
Archie opened his mouth to object, but closed it when he realized she was right. He wasn’t vain, but he did recognize that ladies tended to find his appearance attractive. Lady Sophia received many more visitors, she’d told him in an irritated tone, now that he’d been hired.
Bob, damn his eyes, smirked knowingly every time Archie was summoned to Lady Sophia’s drawing room to answer yet another question about estate management posed by a lady who’d likely never had such a question in her life.
Archie responded by making Bob personally in charge of the fertilizer. It didn’t stop Bob’s smirking, but it did make Archie feel better.
“And you will return in a month’s time so you can be here for the festival.”
“Sooner if I can, my lady.” If this duchess needed more time than a month, there would be no hope for her anyway. Country life suited him; he liked its quiet and regularity. It was a vast change from life in battle, or even being just on duty, but it was far more interesting than being the third son from a viscount’s family. A viscount who disowned his third boy when said boy was determined to join the army.
Meanwhile, however, he had to pack to head off to a new kind of battle—that of preparing a completely unprepared woman, likely a woman as flighty and often confused as Lady Sophia, to hold a position that she was entirely unsuited for.
Very much like working with raw recruits, in fact.
I really enjoyed this book and Megan Frampton’s take on My Fair Lady. The relationship between Archie and Genevieve was enduring and it was great to watch them fall in love as they navigate the responsibilities of the duchy. Overall, a terrific read!