Review: Take a Chance on Me by Kate Davies

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Tom Cameron
Heroine: Jessica Martin
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 22, 2011
Started On: February 26, 2011
Finished On: February 26, 2011

Take a Chance on Me is my first Kate Davies and it definitely is not going to be my last if Ms. Davies can spin a tale such as this one which contains all the right elements that makes a romance so worth your time. The setting in this romance is a unique one. I say this because I don’t remember reading an adult romance that takes place in a high school, unless it involves high school students. This title took me into unchartered waters and delivered a very well written romance that would stay with me for a long time even afterwards.

Tom Cameron is the head of security at Summit High and prefers his lone wolf lifestyle which serves him pretty well. Four years back Tom had served as a cop until a domestic violence call which had come in a few hours before the end of his shift one night had gone horribly wrong spiraling Tom’s life out of control. Combined with media frenzy and the blame game which had pointed fingers towards him, Tom had lost his job and his marriage had dissolved soon afterwards leaving behind a man who guards his heart in steel barricaded armor and keeps his emotions close to him.

Jessica Martin is the newest recruit at Summit High brought in as a substitute teacher for the remainder of the year. Being a teacher has always been what Jessica has wanted and dreamed about regardless of how much her parents had tried to sway her mind. And irrespective of the fact that her parents are extremely disappointed with Jessica for choosing to do what she loves, Jessica is thrilled at the prospect of being hired even as a substitute teacher and has high hopes and every intention of becoming a full time teacher at Summit High if she plays her cards right. Klutzy and a bit messy in an adorable way, Jessica is a the exact opposite of Tom who keeps his life ordered and without any sort of clutter in it, which is just the way he likes it – or so he thinks.

When Ms. Klutzy and adorable meets Mr. Remoteness himself, sparks fly even from the first encounter itself. Tom who has never had a problem before in brushing aside any of the attempts by fellow staff members to befriend him finds himself tempted something fierce when he locks eyes with the beautiful and green eyed Jessica who makes his heart tumble inside out. Both Jessica and Tom’s intentions to avoid each other at all costs go awry in the most delicious possible ways when both of them find themselves in each other’s arms, heating things up to unbearable levels – something I just loved about this story. It takes a while but these two work through the hurdles and problems in their path to find a love that is long lasting, leaving me grinning from ear to ear at the end.

One of the highlights of the story was both Jessica and Tom. I’m always very much intrigued with heroes who want to isolate themselves and go out of their way to create their lone wolf lifestyle. And when their match turns out to be the exact opposite of themselves, in this case the adorable Jessica who has so much heart and has the ability to draw the man trapped inside of Tom to come out and play, needless to say I love these kinds of stories. And Ms. Davies has done a fine job in creating both their characters and giving them both just the right touch to make me fall in love with both of them. And lord, Tom is a man who certainly knows the art of kissing making my toes curl inward each and every time he decides to kiss his woman into a helpless puddle.

All in all a very satisfying read which has definitely made me curious to seek out the books in her back list and give them a go. Recommended for those who love a good contemporary romance featuring a couple you would root for right from the very beginning.

Favorite Quotes

Then, before she could talk herself out of it, Jessica wrapped one hand around his neck, pulled his head down to hers and kissed him.
Oh, God.
What was she doing?
Horrified by her impetuous move – and by his stunned lack of response – Jessica tried to pull back. Really, she’d only been reacting to the fright of being in a dark, unfamiliar place, wanting to thank him for being so understanding about her silly fear. But the minute her lips touched his, she’d known it was a terrible mistake.
Because she wanted more.
And he wasn’t kissing her back.
Squeezing her eyes shut, which made about as much sense in the pitch black theater as kissing a man she barely knew, she pulled away. “I’m so sor-”
But before she could finish the sentence, he’d hauled her close again and claimed her mouth in a searing kiss.

“We shouldn’t do this,” she murmured, even as her free hand gripped the collar of his jacket.
“It’s a really, really bad idea,” he agreed, dragging his lips across her cheek, her jaw, until finally his mouth descended upon hers. Lips touched, then parted, then touched again, and suddenly her arms snaked around his neck, his fingers tangled in her hair, and the rest of the world faded in a kaleidoscope of  taste and touch and sound.
She bit back a groan as he nipped gently at her lower lip. Her mouth opened slightly as she gasped and his tongue slid between her parted lips.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Samhain

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Review: Sweet as Sin By Inez Kelley

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: John Flannigan Murphy
Heroine: Livvy Andrews
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: January 31, 2011
Started On: February 23, 2011
Finished On: February 25, 2011

My emotions still haven’t settled down from the overload that Sweet as Sin subjected them to. My first encounter with Inez Kelley’s writing came about when I picked up her erotic contemporary novella Lipstick on His Collar which instantly shot her right into the list of authors that I absolutely must look out for. Even then, somehow I missed out on the fact that this was out until I saw someone on Goodreads who has read this story and fell head over heels in lust and in love with the book. And that is exactly what happened to me when I opened this sinful goody and delved into the very wonderful and beautiful story Inez Kelley has brought to life, that touched something deep inside of me & still refuses to let go.

John Flannigan Murphy is the son of a hooker and never knew his father. When Reverend Alan Warner marries John’s mother and decides to “save” her from herself and the world of sin, John’s life takes a turn for the worse when his mother dies succumbing to breast cancer. From 11 years of age till he had turned 16, John had borne the brunt of his stepfather’s hatred towards him and the constant physical and emotional abuse which had known no bounds. Protecting his half-sister Gina at all costs had been their mother’s dying wish which John fulfills too well when he is sentenced to serve time for manslaughter. Now a young adult fiction author who goes by the name of J. B. Flannigan, John is a tormented soul who lives at the very edge of the destructive path he has chosen for himself until he meets his new neighbor who manages to worm her way into his heart and other emotions which has no place in his life; until there is no place to run or hide from how feels.

Sexy, beautiful and vibrant pastry chef Livvy Andrews, owner of Sugar Shack knows from the first moment she lays eyes on the ruggedly handsome John Murphy with his deep navy blue eyes; a man she knows is made for hard work, hard play and heartache right in that very order, Livvy’s instincts are dead on when the first thing she wants to do is bolt and stay as far away from her delectable new neighbor as possible. But Livvy’s fascination for a man who makes her feel things that she has never ever felt before by just merely fastening his blue-eyed gaze on her propels her towards John and his lethal brand of seduction like a moth to flame and before she knows it, Livvy is hopelessly ensnared and head over heels in love with John against her better judgement as well as that of others who are close to her.

John’s only intention when he meets Livvy is to have a hot and heavy affair with her until their explosive affair runs its due course. But his best laid plans go all awry when his 38 year old heart begins to hope for the very first time in his life for things that John has long since decided he is not worthy of, and to him Livvy signifies everything that he doesn’t deserve right from the cinnamon colored curls on the top of her head to her delectable toes and every inch in between that tempts him unlike anything else has in his life.

Piece by piece, with the help of Gina, Livvy begins to piece together the complexity of the man she has fallen for, and is determined to stay beside regardless of whatever John might throw her way to run from the depth of the feelings that develop and overwhelm both of them within such a short span of time. And it is a battle that Livvy almost succeeds in winning until John throws in her face the one thing from her past that would serve as the deal breaker, breaking her heart and very soul in the process.

Told from both Livvy and John’s points of views, the story that unfolds right along with the sizzling attraction between John and Livvy is of the kind that you wouldn’t want to put down even for a moment. Inez Kelley certainly pulls no punches with this one, whether it be the intense connection that springs up between John and Livvy from day one to details of John’s past that are horrifying and heartbreaking to even think of. The side characters are well developed lending a rich feel to the emotionally gut-wrenching story that takes place which left me reeling from the intensity of each and every emotion that coursed through me.

Protectiveness for a boy who learnt to fight his battles from day one and learnt to deal with the evil side of life with his talent for spinning a dark tale to keep the monsters away, surged deep within me and am sure every reader that has picked up this book would feel the same way. I hurt and bled for John as I read along, wanting to love him, to brush the lock of hair that tends to fall on his forehead aside and place a kiss right there and cherish him for everything he has been and everything he is and so much more. Livvy’s character is so very endearing and so beautiful inside and out, and exactly what John needs to face his demons and lay his past to rest, because he deserves nothing less.

There are no magical solutions to ANY of the problems discussed at length in the novel which makes it one of the utmost favorite erotic contemporary romances I have read to date. The characters from John’s stories lend something extra to the story giving it an edge that certainly makes one sit up and notice Inez Kelly’s ability to spin a tale worth re-reading from time to time. I think I can go all night long rehashing what made this story work for me and why I would recommend it to every single person I know, because yes, it is that good. And I couldn’t have asked for more in a hero, a heroine or the very well done love scenes of the wicked and tender variety that took place leaving me hungry for more of the same from the author. If this is what Inez Kelley can do with a full length novel, I say bring it on! I would be one of the first ones to queue up to buy the book – even if it were to be sold in the remotest corner of the world.

Favorite Quotes

He bent and held his lips just above the curve of her neck. “This is what I want  to taste.”She swallowed hard but didn’t move. His lips barely landed on her skin. She still smelled of frosting and his tongue flicked out to taste her. Sugar, Sugar and salt.
Fast and loud, her breath echoed in the room. She tilted her head a fraction, and it was enough encouragement for him. He smiled against her neck. The fight was over. He’d won and his reward would be sugar sweet. A sense of victory swelled through him.
John bit her. Her sharp gasp pierced his gut and hardened his cock. Wrapping one arm around her waist, he cupped her throat and sucked before nipping her again.

John bent, cradled her in his arms and walked down the hall. Something went soft in Livvy’s belly. Although a cliché, being carried to bed by the man she loved touched some secret place in her heart. In one move, John made her feel cherished, desired and so very feminine. He released her legs but their connection wasn’t lost. He cupped her face and dotted kisses along her cheeks. The wind howled, the rain poured and the thunder rumbled but Livvy only heard the beat of John’s heart mirroring her own.

“I loved it…I love you, Livvy.”
She frowned at him. “What?”
He brushed a soft kiss across her mouth. “I said I love you, Livvy.”
She pulled her mouth from his, staring to make sure she’d heard what she thought he’d said.
John fingered a long damp curl before looking at her. And then smiled. “I do, I love you.”
Tears formed before she willed them away. A sob blended with a laugh and she kissed him. She lost count of how many times she said it as she kissed him, but each time he repeated it, imprinting it on her heart.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Carina Press

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Review: This Side of the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Night Huntress, Book 5
Publisher: Avon
Hero: Crispin Phillip Arthur Russel III (Bones)
Heroine: Catherine Kathleen Crawford (Cat)
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 22, 2011
Started On: February 22, 2011
Finished On: February 23, 2011

At long last, the much coveted 5th installment in the Night Huntress series by the amazingly talented Jeanine Frost is out and it is as good or maybe even way better than I envisioned it would turn out to be.

It is as usual Cat’s uniqueness when it comes to being a half-vampire or being a full vampire which she had embraced quite recently that stirs up trouble of all sorts in the undead world. It is when vampires start turning up dead all over the country that Bones and Cat decide to investigate, knowing deep inside that something seriously wrong was brewing up in the world of the undead.

What comes to light is a plan concocted by an old enemy of the 29 year old Cat and her 200+ year old husband Bones, a ghoul leader known as Apollyon whose weapon is creating a sense of distrust and alarm amongst his race against Cat and her abilities to temporarily absorb the power of whichever vampire that she feeds from. Though this fact is not common knowledge, Cat’s very public performances in slaying their enemies have definitely caught the eyes of the prominent members of the undead circle though Cat tries her damnedest to keep the fact that she is different from every other vampire even in full form.

Its kick ass action, witty dialogs that this series is famous for coupled with a lethal dosage of the scorching hot passion and sensuality that has always played a key role in all the Night Huntress novels that greets the reader even from page 1 itself. All our favorite characters who are so much a part of the Night Huntress world as Bones and Cat are come together to make this a delectable addition to an already kick-ass series.

What struck me the most about the 5th book is how much Cat has grown up and continues to grow through each book which makes her stronger and more lovable than ever. Willing to finally open up all of herself to Bones her husband who has her undying love and loyalty was one of the best parts about the story coupled with the sizzling hot usage of candle wax in making Bones lose control! I don’t think I would be eying candle wax ever again without thinking of Bones losing his legendary control whenever it comes to his beloved wife and partner for life and forever. And talk about a blast from the past when Mencheres and Kira’s characters made me want to re-read Eternal Kiss of Darkness all over again to feel the full force of Mencheres’ tamped down power and sensuality.

Needless to say, I loved revisiting the Night Huntress world, what one reviewer has called feels like coming home, which exactly sums up how I felt as I delved into Cat and Bones’ latest adventure. True to classical Jeaniene Frost style, the adventure in this one is non-stop, packed with lots of laugh-out-loud moments when Cat’s wry sense of humor comes into play and let me not forget the intense connection between our territorial vampire Bones and his beloved which seems to just grow stronger with time. It is the way that he loves and cossets Cat without being a total wimpy pussy about it that makes Bones the most appealing vampire hero for me. All in all very highly recommended for all Night Huntress book fans. I know that you would need no further urging from anyone for you to run out and pick this one up! If you are new to Jeaniene Frost, pick up book 1 and let Cat and Bones take you on the wildest ride of your life whilst curled up in your bed. I promise you, it would all be very well worth it.

Favorite Quotes

“You’re being eye-humped by about a dozen women as we speak, but I’m sure you already know that,” I said in a wry tone.
His mouth brushed my neck with the lightest kisses, making me shiver.
“I only bother about one woman’s desires,” he murmured, the breath from his words teasing my ear.

His long-sleeved top was made entirely of black mesh, his crystal skin exposed more than it was covered with the material. Leather pants hung low on his hips, tight enough to hint at his assets, but with enough give that they wouldn’t hinder his movements. The all-black ensemble combined with his dark hair only made his pale skin even more striking by comparison, drawing the eye to the muscled flesh those hundreds of tiny holes revealed.
He caught my lingering gaze where the peep show of his skin ended and the front of his pants began – and flashed me with a wicked grin.
“Hold that thought, luv. With luck, we’ll be back in our hotel room breaking in the Jacuzzi before dawn.”

I smelled smoke right before hearing the “pop,” like a firecracker had gone off. Splatters of something thick coated my back even as a thud reverberated behind me. I whirled around to gape at what was left of the ghoul. His body pitched forward on the driveway, nothing but a smoldering mess left where his head had been.
Much slower, I turned around to see Vlad examining his fingernails, as if his hands weren’t still ablaze in the flames that had blasted the ghoul’s head off moments before.
“What the hell was that?” I gasped.
“Premature inflamulation,” he replied. “Happens sometimes. Very embarrassing. I don’t like to talk about it.”
A snort of amusement came from my right. I swung in that direction to see Bones bestow the most approving look on Vlad he’d ever given him.

“You have to leave already?” I murmured, blinking at Bones through the bright slants of sunlight that peeked out from the gaps in the drapes. “But you barely slept.”
The grin Bones flashed me was quintessential cat-that-got-the-cream, though that expression was probably better suited for me at the moment.
“I know,” he said, the words drawn out with the warmth of remembrance.
I sat up, dragging the sheet with me. “I’m serious.”
“Kitten” — Bones paused from pulling on his shirt — “four hours of sleep while holding you is far more beneficial to me than eight hours of endless tossing and turning because you’re not there.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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Review: Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann

Format: E-book
Opens with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Troubleshooters, 4
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Hero: Ken “Wild Card” Karmody
Heroine: Savannah Von Hopf
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 27, 2005
Started On: February 18, 2011
Finished On: February 21, 2011

I have always heard good things about Suzanne Brockmann. My first attempt at reading anything by hers was to read her novel Bodyguard which certainly didn’t make me turn away from her books though it didn’t leave much of a lasting impression on me either. However as everyone knows I tend to get a little crazy about jungle-trek themed romances and this one was recommended as such a read, I have now forgotten on which forum. Regardless of the fact that I have never attempted to read the Troubleshooters series before, I bought myself a copy and did manage to read a couple of pages then and never managed to make it past the prologue before I was distracted by some other title that I just HAD to read. And then last week my emotions decided to play the i-am-not-pleased-with-any-of-the-stuff-you-are-reading game & so I decided to pick this one up where I left off, hoping that the magic that had had earned this book rave reviews would work on me and my totally wayward emotions as well.

Book 4 in the Troubleshooter series stars Navy SEAL Ken Karmody, who gets nicknamed as “Wild Card” because of his ability to think out of the box and come out winning however difficult a problem might be. Ken had certainly not led a charming childhood with an emotionally and physically abusive father, which had in the end toughened him up and made Ken determined to do what he wanted in life. Ken is a genius when it comes to computers and whatnot and beneath his tough SEAL facade lies a heart that yearns to love and claim a woman as his forever. His ex-girlfriend Adele had certainly done a number on him with a continuous on and off relationship with Ken which had gone on for around 10 years until Ken had finally seen the light and refused to bend to her every whim which had pretty much ended things on the relationship front.

Savannah Van Hopf couldn’t be any more different from Ken even if she tried. A rich heiress who works as an appellate attorney, Savannah is the granddaughter of the famous Rose Van Hopf who worked as a double agent for the US and the Nazi during World War II. Savannah had always had a huge crush on Ken even though he hadn’t noticed her much, and it is through Adele that Savannah finds out Ken’s address and travels to San Diego to find him and ask his assistance in locating her uncle Alex who had disappeared in Indonesia without a trace.

From the moment Ken comes across the beautiful and utterly feminine Savannah, he is smitten something fierce and before Savannah can muster up the courage to bring up why she is actually in the neighborhood, these two light up the sheets with intense passion and red hot desire that practically leaps out of the very pages. To say that both fall completely in lust and a little bit in love with one another during that night would not be a lie. However with the morning, the truth comes out completely walloping Ken with intense feelings of betrayal which makes him pissed off at Savannah to no end. However, even with all the intense feelings of dislike churning within him for a woman who still has the ability to make him go a little bit weak at the knees, Ken is not willing to let Savannah travel all the way to Indonesia alone to find her uncle.

It is in Indonesia that the real adventure begins when Ken and Savannah are kidnapped by Russian goons at gun point right from the airport itself. Barely managing to escape them, Savannah and Ken are forced to survive in the jungle that grows densely throughout the Parwati island of Indonesia. To survive and outmaneuver everyone who is after them, Savannah and Ken are forced to endure each other’s company which in turn makes each of them discover why they had fallen for each other so hard in such a short span of time.

This book was so frigging good that I believe I have dug myself into a hole from which I won’t be able to escape anytime soon. Since I haven’t read books 1 – 3 in the Troubleshooter series and jumped straight into book 4, I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least when characters kept leaping right into the pages from left and right. However, a couple of chapters in, I was totally captivated by the ease with which Ms. Brockmann makes each and every character count, how she makes them come alive and how effectively she makes each and every one of their stories matter.

What I loved most about Out of Control was the rich banter between Ken and Savannah. Ken has the quirky character of coming out and saying whatever leaps to his mind without thinking much about it and Savannah’s responses to his remarks totally made my day. Ken is sexy, witty, a little bit of a nerd and has such a big heart that you can’t help but fall completely in love with him. The way he seriously asks his friends about women’s ability to have multiple orgasms had me cracking up so hard that I was laughing all throughout that conversation.

And Savannah is not an unforgettable character either. Though she has been brought up by a snotty mother who would rather see her married off to some royalty than see her happy, Savannah is tough beneath her picture perfect exterior and loyal to a fault. And I loved every single thing about her character from the way she interacts with Ken to her vulnerable nature which she strives so hard to hide.

And that takes me to my favorite couple from the series – yes, though I have not read the series in order, I have discovered that I have a strange fascination for Molly and John, whose characters complement each other perfectly. John is totally the kind of alpha male that slightly borders on being gamma, which makes him just the perfect kind of hero to base all my dreams upon. And his reluctant fascination with Molly which ends up being one of the best parts of the story is one worth savoring. Their happily ever after finally comes in book 9 of the series and this alone is the reason why I am determined to make my way through the rest of the books, because I am that much fascinated with their story.

And that brings me to Rose’s character. Her adventures in the form of a memoir which continue throughout the story makes for a fascinating read. Her work as a double agent and the story of how she meets up and falls in love with Mr. Van Hopf who is an Austrian prince adds something delightful to an already 5 star read.

Needless to say, highly recommended for romantic suspense fans because I just flat-out loved this one.

It was only after I sat down to write the review that I saw that this book has received around 7 AAR awards between 2002 and 2007. Definitely deserves them all!

Favorite Quotes

He pulled off his shirt – Savannah helped.
He pulled off her shirt – she helped him with that, too.
God, he loved everything about women, but he especially loved breasts. Savannah was not voluptuous in any sense of the word, but she was so perfectly feminine, he briefly considered weeping with joy at the sight of her, lying there, bare-breasted in his bed. But that would’ve taken way too much time.
Instead he kissed her, caressed her, licked her, touched her. She smelled like his soap, like the chlorine from his pool, like his clean laundry on top of her fancy perfume. She smelled like he’d already, at least partially, claimed her as his own.

“What have you got in there?” he asked. “Maybe we should take a minute and do a quick inventory, see what we’ve got, see if we can somehow lighten our load.” He went through his pockets, pulling everything out and dumping it in a relatively dry spot in front of her. “Knife, keys, wallet, passport, a couple squashed power bars – that’s good, we;re bound to get hungry – and … oops.”
Condoms.
He was carrying around a half a dozen. He stuffed them back into his pocket, but not before she saw them.
He gave her a weak smile. “I just, you know, always carry ’em.”
That was a lie and she knew it.
“If we get bored, we can use them to make balloon animals,” he added.
She was not at all amused.

That caught his (John’s) attention. “If I can’t see you tonight, when can I see you again?”
“You can certainly come to tea, but the tent flaps will be up.” (Molly says)
“I’ll come to tea. But let me rephrase the question – when can I make love to you again?”
“I don’t know. I’ll try to find some other excuse for taking out the boat and —”
“Now,” he said, his breath hot in her ear. “How about right now?”
“I have to get back,” she said, but she sounded far less convincing than she had the first time, particularly when he unzipped her shorts and pushed both them and her panties down to her knees. And then God, he was inside of her, and all she could say was yes.

Rose watched Savannah and Ken slip into an elevator. They were in each other’s arms again before the doors had fully closed.
Her granddaughter was infinitely lucky. Rose knew this firsthand. She’d had a husband who had loved her an eleven, too.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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Review: Pursuit by Elizabeth Jennings

Format: E-book
Opens with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Matthew Sanders
Heroine: Charlotte Court
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 1, 2008
Started On: February 17, 2011
Finished On: February 18, 2011

Elizabeth Jennings is a pseudonym used by the very talented author Lisa Marie Rice who is one of my utmost favorites. I love her style of writing and definitely her heroes who are larger than life, who are besotted to the point of obsession with the heroines, who swoop in to save the day. But mind you, her heroines aren’t dimwits either. Though they won’t win any contests in the feminist department, what they are is feminine to the core with backbones of steel that guides them through the very rough and turbulent times the story takes them through. And I do love me a good Lisa Marie Rice novel anytime! So it was a delightful surprise to find out that Lisa Marie Rice has a couple of romantic suspense books published under the name of Elizabeth Jennings and this one has been sitting in my TBR pile for quite sometime until yesterday when I finally took the plunge to find out what LMR’s books are like under the pseudonym Elizabeth Jennings.

34 year old Lieutenant Commander Matthew Sanders (Matt) is an ex-navy SEAL who has served in the worst hell holes of the world to protect his country. A man who has led groups of special ops soldiers through the worst and stickiest of situations, Matt’s life in special ops is brought to a grounding halt when he is injured whilst on duty in Afghanistan. Matt takes his broken body up to Baja Sur Mexico to heal from injuries that had nearly taken his life and meets his guardian angel, the woman who changes everything in his life for good.

Heiress Charlotte Court is the uber beautiful and artist daughter of Phillip Court of the Court Industries. Charlotte had been away in art school in Italy when her father who is as down-to-earth and impractical as they come had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Leaving her carefree world behind to take care of her father, Charlotte is pursued by the ambitious and cunning CEO of Court Industries Robert Haine who believes that the vast wealth is wasted on the Courts who really do not appreciate money and the finer things in life that it brings along. Haine’s plan is a dangerous one, to seduce Charlotte into his life, marry her and in turn inherit the billions to her name once her father is dead and gone. But Charlotte who is just more than a pretty face ignores his attempts and finally drives Haine to take matters into his own hands to claim the ownership of  the Court Industries once and for all.

On the fateful night when Charlotte’s world is turned upside down, in a span of a few minutes, she witnesses the murder of her father and takes a bullet to her shoulder before survival instincts kick in and Charlotte runs for her life. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, with the police on an all out manhunt for Charlotte in association with the murder of the most precious person in her life, Charlotte has no choice but to run – and run is what she does from upstate New York to the beaches of Mexico.

It is on her 3rd day in Mexico that she eyes Matt, struggling to put one foot in front of the other just by sheer force of will and this is how a fragile bond between two broken people are formed; two people who have already been to hell and back, forced to endure what would have brought down a normal person.

From the moment Matt eyes his beautiful and broken Guardian Angel, he is smitten to the extent that everything else that surrounds him ceases to exist. And when Matt gets his chance to get up close and personal with his Angel, the protective instincts that kick in full throttle takes him by surprise and Matt wouldn’t have it any other way. With Charlotte refusing to divulge why and who it is that she is running from, Matt does the next best thing – toughen his Angel up so that she would be able to protect herself if the need arises, though he has no intention of leaving her side even for a minute.

But Haine has a more cunning plan in effect as he deploys one of the most lethal weapons that the US government has trained to-date, to hunt and kill the lone woman who stands in his way of inheriting a company which he turned around from the brink of bankruptcy, a legacy worth billions of dollars which he figures rightfully belongs to him.

Similar to books by Lisa Marie Rice, what captured me the most even with this story is how she brings to life every single scene/moment in the story. From the larger than life hero Matt to the beautiful and fragile heroine Charlotte to the sizzling attraction between them, I couldn’t have asked for a more eloquent characterization nor description. And Matt proved to be just the kind of hero that anyone who is on the run for their life would want by their side. His strength which he tones down in spades for the woman he loves; and his firm stand on using whatever means by his side to protect her at all costs is something to be savored in any hero. And Charlotte’s art; I felt like I was in the room with her whilst she was lost in creating beautiful artifacts which would stand the tests of time, the detailed descriptions which I believe has got something to do with the fact that the author herself spent so much time in Italy amongst such talented people who were trying to make a name for themselves in the competitive world of artists.

Though the underlying story is quite the same where the heroine is beautiful, hero is besotted right from the  very beginning and in the end love triumphs all, I still loved this story which grabbed me right from the very start. There are subtle differences however to the stories that are authored under Lisa Marie Rice to this one. Books under LMR tends to be more about the intense connection between the hero and heroine such that the air practically vibrates with electricity whenever they both come into contact. However in this story even though the romance aspect is not placed on a back burner, the suspense aspect of the story is given as much attention and time in the story making it balanced in terms of romance and suspense.

Recommended for fans of Lisa Marie Rice who haven’t tried out books authored under Elizabeth Jennings, and those who love  their romantic suspense with a larger than life hero who would lay down his life to protect the woman he loves.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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Requested Review: Creative License By Lynne Roberts

Format: E-book
Opens with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Caleb Anderson
Heroine: Lily McPherson
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: February 15, 2011
Started On: February 17, 2011
Finished On: February 17, 2011

I came across this title when Cari Quinn did an author interview on her blog on its release day. Even as swamped as I was with books to read, the blurb of the book caught my interest and I was keeping it in mind to squeeze this read in somewhere to sample my first Lynne Roberts as Cari seems to have pretty much loved the story and of course the hero, Caleb. So it was a delightful surprise to wakeup yesterday to find that Ms. Lynne wanted me to review her latest release which turns out to be the book which I was hankering after as well! So onto the review without further ado.

Caleb Anderson is an artist hoping to make it big, barely making ends meet as he lives in San Fransisco following his dreams. The son of a father who was a teacher and a mother who had owned a day care, Caleb is as middle class as they come. With dimples in his cheeks, a body that can rival that of a Greek God’s and wicked green eyes and long dark blond hair, Caleb is every girl’s romance hero personified coupled with his fierce tenderness towards the woman he got married to, one drunken night in Vegas, 3 years back.

Lily McPherson is the blue blood daughter of an investment banker and a socialite who has had her life mapped out in front of her since she had turned 16 years old. Lily has a ten year plan which features law school, internship, marriage, children and then a home office, all in that order. In a relationship with Stewart, the son of her boss with both their families expecting their engagement soon, Lily though she feels as there is something missing in her life doesn’t let melancholy feelings get the best of her as she hides the passionate woman she is behind a facade that fools everyone around her.

Lily’s one indiscretion in her otherwise perfect and spotless life had come in the form of a hasty Vegas marriage to the wickedly sinful Caleb. The 12 hours and 22 minutes that they had been married had been the most fun and carefree moments of her life, but panic reined its ugly head as she had woken up in bed with her brand new husband and a big fake diamond ring on her finger. 3 years later, Caleb calls out of the blue bearing news that turns her world upside down – their annulment had not gone through due to a careless clerk who had not filed the proper papers. And it is Caleb’s request that she travel to San Fransisco to help him out in a matter which requires her presence that finds Lily travelling on a 6 hour flight to her one & only glorious mistake.

With 4 days of togetherness looming in front of them, even from the first moment Lily eyes her husband looking as delicious as ever, sparks fly and desire denied for so long burst forth refusing to be brushed aside any longer. And along with their explosive passion, so does rise feelings that both have refused to acknowledge till now. But once their precious time together comes to an end, it is up to Lily to decide whether she would turn her back on a life full of happiness and laughter with the man who sets her senses afire and heart aflutter by her side or head back to the bleak colorless life that awaits her in Boston, the “perfect” arrangement for someone like her.

Things that made this book rock my world:

  • Caleb Anderson. He is everything that induces drool to drip down the sides of your mouth and so much more. His wicked sensuality in bed and out of it is enough to make this girl smile for an eternity and couple together with the fact that he is such a great guy out of it makes him the best thing about this story – hands down!
  • The very hot and well done love scenes in the book. Especially the shower scene which just took my breath away!
  • Lily McPherson. She is such a mass of contradictions who wants to do right by what is expected of her in the high and mighty world which she has been brought up in. Her vulnerability when it comes to Caleb is what made me love her and root for her in the end knowing that this girl who might be all ice on the outside and has a heart of gold and a fiery spirit lurking on the inside wouldn’t let me down.
  • The very hot cover. Certainly has got MY creative juices flowing! *wink*

Things that could have made this book better?

I think Creative License is just perfect the way it is! Loved my first Lynne Roberts to bits which I managed to read in just under 2 hours, because yes, it is that good!

Favorite Quotes

“So, what does he look like?” (Sharon, Lily’s elder sister asks)
“Tall, a little over six foot, the greenest eyes you’ve ever seen and long dark blond hair.”
“Long hair? You married the cover of a romance novel?”

Lily paused behind a wall of people watching for the machine to eject their luggage. Something like gravity prickled her spine, and she turned to look behind her. Lily’s breath caught in her throat. Caleb walked toward her. She’d never forget that sexy stride. His blond hair was pulled back, emphasizing high cheekbones and bronzed skin. The shadow of stubble along his jaw only improved his rugged good looks. Her hand itched to stroke his face, to feel the rough texture against her skin. Lily’s stomach did a quick flip and she had to remind herself to breath. Splashes of color decorated the jeans encasing Caleb’s long legs. A white T-shirt stretched over his muscled chest but a long-sleeved flannel shirt hid his arms from view.

Recommended highly for those who love their erotica with a lot of emotion wrenching goodness in the mix. A story that is just not well done erotica, but so much more.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Samhain

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Review: Skin Tight by Ava Gray

Format: E-book
Opens with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Skin, Book 2
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Søren Frost
Heroine: Mia Sauter
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 1, 2010
Started On: February 16, 2011
Finished On: February 16, 2011

Those who have read Skin Game, Book 1 in the Skin series would know what I mean when I say that the hooker scene featuring the enigmatic Addison Foster totally reeled me in on his character and made me impatient to find more about him and what tragedy it was that was driving him to seek the destruction of whoever it is that he is seeking. And it is during the aforementioned book 1 that Mia and Addision come in contact with each other which made me totally itchy from the need to read Skin Tight. And thank God for the fact that this title had already been released by the time I decided to indulge in the Skin series or I would have been in deep trouble if not! Though Skin Tight can be read as a standalone, I would advise you to read book 1 first because you really need to see Addison in his element in book 1 to really appreciate and feel for his character in his own story.

Søren Frost or Addison Foster is a man who has lived by so many personalities and names in the past few years that he has almost forgotten who he really is. Originally from Denmark, Søren’s parents had arrived in America as immigrants when Søren had been 3 years old. It is two years later that Søren gets vaccinated by “free” vaccines passed out by The Foundation whose main agenda had been experimenting on humans to create a superior race which would profit them with millions and billions of dollars in the times to come. Søren’s ability lies in making those who come in contact with him live or believe him to be what their fantasies want him to be. Unable to bear with the loneliness of being single all his life Søren had taken the plunge and got married to a woman who had never seen him for who he really is but called him James all throughout their marriage. Piece by piece, shard by shard, Søren had crumbled and fallen apart so much that he had turned into a shell of the man he had once been until his daughter Lexie had been born who had been his single most priced “possession” in his otherwise bleak world. When Lexie had been taken away from him in a horrible car accident, leaving just a brainless body behind who requires a life support machine, Søren’s fury knows no bounds as he vows vengeance on The Foundation who has turned him into what he is, nearly driving him to take his own life at one time. It is when Mia accidentally stumbles into his life that color begins to seep into his otherwise gray world, thawing the blocks of ice that has surrounded his heart and locked away his emotions for far too long.

Mia Sauter is the daughter of a feminist American mother and an Iranian father who had tried and failed to convince the woman he had fallen in love with to marry him so that they could become a proper family. Mia had never known any happiness during her childhood, either at home or school where she is ridiculed for being geeky and nerdy and not being interested in the usual things that kids her age are forever losing themselves in. Mia’s carefree photojournalist mother resented Mia’s existence which had reined in her constant need to roam and travel around the world and later had turned to the bottle to cure all her woes. Mia, a woman who has a way with numbers and computers becomes a forensic accountant specializing in corporate embezzlement and it had been her ingenuity in stealing from others that had made her so successful in finding out those who were stealing from the big corporations who were willing to pay huge sums of money to sniff out those leeching money from them. Like Søren, Mia too has no place she would call home and constantly travels from one place to another as her career demands from her though she yearns for someone to love her and ride into the sunset with her as Reyes had done for Kyra.

It is when Mia rushes in to save Kyra that she meets the enigmatic Søren, then known as Addison and the attraction that flares between them is hard to ignore for Mia though Søren makes a convincing job of showing that attraction is the furthest thing he feels for her. When Søren feeds her to the wolf and leaves her alone in captivity till Kyra and Reyes comes along to rescue her, Mia is more shattered than she should be about a man with eerie glacier blue eyes ringed with silver, who seems to affect her in ways no other man has ever had.

When Mia stumbles across Søren once again a year later when she takes up a job at Micor Technologies she doesn’t know whether to consider him friend or foe; but neither is she immune to the strong feelings of the baser nature that Søren still seems to be able to invoke in her – feelings that he seems to feel for her in spades this time around. With secrecy surrounding Søren’s every move, Mia is hopelessly ensnared in Søren’s plans of revenge against The Foundation without having a clue into the kind of world that she has stepped into.

As the body count begins to rise, so does Mia’s need for answers from the man who is such a bundle of contradictions, who steals her heart regardless of the continuous pep talks that she subjects herself to. And Søren is not much better off when Mia steals the key to his heart and unlocks the steel fortress that has surrounded it for so long and it is then Søren has to decide whether his love for Mia should triumph over his need for revenge or whether he should walk the Earth as a lonesome shell for the rest of his life.

Things that made this book rock my world:

  • Søren Frost. He is undeniably one of the most broken heroes that I have come across and that made me fall for him that much harder in the end. I felt his pain, anguish and sorrow at things he couldn’t change regardless of how much he wanted them to and when he is confronted with baring his soul once again, I understood what was driving him to deny his feelings even though it was clear for all the world to see how he really felt about Mia. Seen through Mia’s eyes, Søren is a character that any romance reader would feel for and fall head over heels in love with and I was in no way an exception to this rule.
  • Mia Sauter. I didn’t care much for Kyra in Skin Game and was prepared to not feel much for Mia as well. But Ava Gray has done a splendid job with her heroine in this one and I couldn’t help but admire and love her all the more because even with all the secrecy that shrouded Søren’s character, she accepted him for who he is and loved him for the man he is inside trying to break free from the emotional shackles that had bound him for such a long time. Loved Mia for seeing the man underneath all the ice and breaking it apart so that Søren could live and love once again.
  • The stimulating conversations between Mia and Søren. Though Søren is hardly the type for jovial conversations, Mia’s wry sense of humor is hard to ignore and it is those moments that she manages to steal a rusty smile from our hero that belong in the most unforgettable moments in the story. Loved the dialogs!
  • The insane Dr. Jasper Rowan who lends this story the heinous villain it needs. He is just what the doctor ordered to make this story of the spine tingling variety.
  • Trey and Gillian’s characters to whom we are introduced to in this story. I did some quick digging to find out that their story will come out in July of this year and let me tell you – the cover alone would make me buy the book, let alone the fact I am highly intrigued to find out more about both of them!

I can’t think of anything that could have made this book a more intriguing one than it already is. I would say, it is just damn near perfect the way it is!

Favorite Quotes

“I’ll share if you like.” He cut into his mushroom with surgical precision, using both knife and fork in the European fashion, reinforcing her belief that he hadn’t been born in the United States.
“In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a vegetarian.” Mia lifted her glass and took a sip.
“Hm. Does that mean no oral sex?”
She nearly spat her wine.

“Are you suggesting a partnership?” she asked. “To what end?”
“You can get into the lab. I need to see what’s there.”
Her expression hardened. “Why?”
There was no help for it. He had to tell the truth. “I suspect Micor is conducting illegal experiments on human beings. I want to stop them.”
“What are you, Batman? You go around righting wrongs?”
Despite his tension, he smiled. “Something like that. But latex gives me a rash.”

She bit him lightly on the ear, earning a shudder. “I don’t have any protection. I’m on the pill, but it’s not one hundred percent.”
“I don’t care,” he breathed. “I’ll take my chances.”
“Are you sure?” In answer, he pulled her atop him. She settled, thighs framing his hips. “I guess you are.”
He lifted up, rubbing against her heated flesh in long strokes. “Now. Take me, nothing between us this time.” It was both a plea and a demand. “You’re mine, and I’m yours. I won’t lose you again. Oh, God, Mia, you’re my breath and bone. You’re the song I sing.”

Recommended very highly for fans of romantic suspense who love a tortured and broken hero and a feisty heroine who has the guts and what it takes to bring the said yummylicious hero back to the world of living. Ava Gray’s characters will certainly never leave you bored as they never behave in the way you expect them to.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo

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