Requested Review: What She Doesn’t Know by Lina Gardiner

Format: E-bookwhatshedoesntknow
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Sloan Brockway
Heroine: Raven Delacoeur
Sensuality: 2.9
Date of Publication: January 29, 2012
Started On: March 27, 2012
Finished On: March 28, 2012

Raven Delacoeur makes her way to an isolated island in the bay of Fundy on the east coast of Canada to find out whether the rumors that her dead husband has surfaced and is living on the island could be true. It has been a year since her husband Barry had tried to kill her and died in the process and Raven would rather forget the lies and deceit than to poke her head into a hornet’s nest. But she cannot help herself from making her way towards an island that is surrounded by fog, where menace and evil seems to prick and poke at her from the minute she sets her foot on the island.

Sloan Brockway is working on a tight schedule to recover an ancient artifact in order to keep it falling into the hands of people like his cousins. The worst thing possible that could happen to him turns into reality when Raven turns up at his doorstep and Sloan is landed with the battle of his lifetime trying to juggle everything and keeping Sloan safe from the men who are relentless in their need to see the entire Delacoeur family buried six feet under.

Raven suffers from an immense loss in her memory owing to the death of her parents eight years earlier. The block in her memory hinders her every effort to find the truth that hovers so close by and yet seems to be unattainable no matter how hard she tries. Trust becomes difficult for someone like Raven who has been betrayed in the worst manner possible by the man who should have protected her at all costs and Raven has a hard time understanding what drives Sloan and whether what he keeps on telling her is the truth.

Before the story is through, Raven goes through a quest for the truth and comes up with more than she bargained for, the secrets that lurks in Sloan’s eyes ones that tends to drive her crazy enough to pursue what is hidden from her with a vengeance that both shocks and thrills her at the same time. Sloan operates on the procedure that if Raven were ever to find the truth behind his association with the men who ruined her life she would never be able to look beyond the surface to see a man who has loved and yearned for her for far too long.

What She Doesn’t Know reads more like an adventurous thriller than a romantic suspense novel. I found myself disappointed by the lack of heat or any sort of passion or connection between Raven and Sloan apart from their joint efforts in searching for a treasure that seems to create a lot of havoc in both their lives. I don’t need a lot of explicitly detailed sexual content in my novels to satisfy my thirst for romance, but both Sloan and Raven seemed too focused on other stuff to really forge a believable connection between them.

On the other hand, I loved the thrill of the chase so to say in the novel and the descriptions of the island that made the setting for the story come alive. But the story seemed to end on a sort of a cliffhanger conclusion where yes Sloan and Raven both express their love for each other but once again the adventure aspect of the story seemed to overshadow the “need” that they both should have for each other if their love for one another is as important to both of them as they proclaim it to be.

Not a bad read if you are the type to be satisfied with your romance without that passionate connection between the hero and the heroine and if you love the treasure seeking kind of thrillers you would love Lina Gardner’s What She Doesn’t Know.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

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Requested ARC Review: The Nurse’s Not-So Secret Scandal by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: Paperbackthenursesnotsosecretscandal
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Medical Romance
Series: Madrin Memorial Hospital, #3
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Hero: Ryan ‘Fig’ Figelstein
Heroine: Roxie Morano
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 6, 2012
Started On: March 26, 2012
Finished On: March 27, 2012

The Nurse’s Not-So Secret Scandal is the 3rd and final book in Wendy. S. Marcus’ Madrin Memorial Hospital series. I am not one who reads much of medical romances but Wendy has a way of putting it out there that just makes her books compelling reads that I want more of. 

27 year old Ryan ‘Fig’ Figelstein comes to Madrin Falls in upstate New York to visit his best friend Kyle. When he meets the larger than life and certainly colorful character that is Roxie Morano, Fig is definitely more than intrigued enough to pursue the attraction that flares to life between them right from the onset.

But things aren’t as easy and lighthearted as they seem to be on the surface. Both Roxie and Fig have their own fair share of secrets and painful pasts that still persists in their lives at present making their struggle to achieve some form of normalcy almost impossible. But through it all, Roxie and Fig manage to wade their own way through the many ups and downs in their not-so-normal-relationship and in the end attain a happily ever after that was so well deserved that I was grinning from ear-to-ear when all was said and done.

You can’t read the 1st book in the series i.e. When One Night Isn’t Enough without getting intrigued enough to see through to the rest of the characters that make their way into the story. Wendy has a talent for creating heroines who have the odds stacked against them, who are hard working, loyal and have had a lot of bad happen to them in their pasts. But what makes her heroines special is that drive to be true to who they are, to do their best to make do with a bad situation that fate throws their way. And the plus point as always turns out to be the beautiful men, and yes I use beautiful because there is no other way to describe these guys who go out of their way to win over the women they love.

Roxie Morano is a character of contrasts if ever there was one. She is spunky, has an attitude that may seem off-putting at first and wears colors bold and vivacious just like her character; but underneath all that tough and brave facade is a woman who is torn between the need to do the right thing and making her own way in life, a woman who shoulders more than her fair share of responsibility in looking after a mother who is a disaster waiting to happen. Roxie takes her fun wherever she can find it, a release she needs so badly after working intense hours as a nurse and coming home to a depressing state of affairs that makes her want to howl at times. But even her closest friends at work have no clue as to just how much of a juggler she is in order to present a normal front to the rest of the world.

Fig comes from a totally different side of the equation. As a child Fig had been smothered by the attention he had received from his mother as a result of being a recurring patient of leukemia until he had hit his teens. His past is one that haunts him, his mother continuing to try to rule his life even when he has made it clear that he is more than capable of running his own life. Fig has hangups that you won’t believe a person may have and he knows it, but his attraction for the fireball of energy that Roxie is poses complications on his heart that he would never have thought possible.

Two equally damaged people with a whole lot of baggage meet and ignite the sparks of desire and want that paves the way towards something more meaningful as both Fig and Roxie strip themselves bare emotionally and physically to let each other in, a quest that is doubly dangerous for two people who have had their trust trampled upon by people closest to them. Roxie is all about living in the moment and rushing towards the ultimate explosion of pleasure while Fig is more laid back and has the patience to wait – as good things always comes to those who wait. So when these two meet in the bedroom it is more than fun, it is about exploring the extent to which each can push the other and both discovering sides to themselves that are uncharted waters as well.

Wendy has done a remarkable job with creating a character such as Roxie who is different, someone who grabbed my heart and invaded it with her usual style and flair from the very beginning. Fig like his laid back nature waited and hovered around a bit before plunging that stake into my heart to stake his claim and boy I could definitely understand the appeal of taking it slow and taking your time when it comes to a man like Fig.

The Nurse’s Not-So Secret Scandal is my favorite in the series. And I tell you, Roxie Morano is a character who rocks your boat – in more ways than one. And the best thing about this series? You can read all 3 books as a standalone and never flounder to find your way.

Recommended for fans of medical romances and those who love spunky heroines and yummy tattooed heroes who can show you that patience is a good thing; when it comes to a man like him!

Favorite Quotes

Fig leaned in close, his chest pressed to her back, his palm flat on her belly. “Time to muster up some moxie, Roxie,” he whispered. “Every woman in this bar is wishing she had a body as gorgeous as yours, and every man is wishing he had your long, beautiful legs clamped around his butt.”
Roxie relaxed. Smiled even. “Does that include you?” […]
“Nah.” […] “My wish involves them wrapped around my head.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | M&B

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Requested Review: Uncross Your Heart by Taryn Elliott

Format: E-bookuncrossyourheart
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Plus-Novel
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Series: Untitled Series, Book 1
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: Nathan Patrick Cross
Heroine: Miranda Jayne Lyons
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 23, 2012
Started On: March 24, 2012
Finished On: March 25, 2012

Yep. That’s right people. If you haven’t already heard, I have officially updated my version of the English dictionary to equate the meaning of the word “Temptation” to “Nathan Cross”. And I tell you, I am not kidding! 

Nathan Patrick Cross is a tinkerer whose one invention keeps him afloat enough to pursue his day job as a FedEx delivery guy while he tries to come up with a new innovative gadget whose design keeps eluding his best attempts. The one woman he meets along his delivery route, who manages to get under his collar and leaves him all hot and bothered doesn’t even realize he exists. Every single day that had taken him her way on delivery routes leaves him wanting her to look at him and see HIM just once and Nathan is about  to become cross-eyed with wanting and frustration on how to go about winning himself the woman he desires.

Miranda Jayne Lyons is a woman on a mission. She wants to bury her past deeper than anyone can dig it up and throw it in her face and she does it with a ruthless efficiency that leaves her little time to mingle with other people, to socialize and put her face out there. Through the not so gentle nudging of her co-worker and friend Max, Miranda decides to step into a club even if its the last place she wants to involuntarily go to. 

The man that catches Miranda’s eye turns out to be none other than Nathan and Miranda is more than surprised and a bit appalled to say the least when the man whose touch she craves just after one indecent dance turns out to be her FedEx delivery guy. There is no stopping Nathan from the path he weaves towards Miranda and for Miranda, Nathan poses the biggest risk on her heart and emotions as he slowly wields that magic of his around her and brings those walls of steel around her heart tumbling down until she is left reeling from it all.

But the secrets that Miranda hides are far too many, and her hesitancy in sharing them with the man who quickly turns out to mean everything to her breaks the fragile connection and the burgeoning feelings between them until this time it is Miranda who must face her fears and pursue Nathan to show him that with him she becomes the Miranda that she wants to be and loves.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that Taryn Elliot won’t woo you with Uncross Your Heart just because it is her debut novel. Far from that. I was pulled into the story from page one, heck, lets just say from the minute I met Taryn and learned that she is the critic partner of many other great authors out there, I knew instinctively that she would be someone to keep an eye out on. And I was proved right when Uncross Your Heart turned out to be a novel that delivered on every aspect of what I look for when I read a contemporary romance.

Nathan Cross. I can’t even say his name without going into an endless sighing session. He is the best thing about this story and believe me, there were so many good things about this whole novel. The way Taryn brought him to life, adding those little nuances to his character, his charming and easy-going manner, that bottomless gray eyes of his that I won’t mind staring into for a couple of centuries or so – needless to say Nathan charmed my socks off right from the very minute he entered into the story. His utter focus when it comes to Miranda and above all his patience – someone out there should give out Nobel Prizes for patience and I am sure he would come out a winner and with flying colors too! There is not a single thing I would change about the man, maybe except wish for him to turn up as my birthday present tonight at 00:00 hours sharp? Sigh! Well, a girl can always hope.

There were so many fascinating characters that brings life to the story as it unfolds. Miranda’s colleagues and Nathan’s whole family and believe me, if you read Uncross Your Heart, you would want to read all their stories. I am especially keeping my eye on Noah and his broody character – he seems like a guy who would give this old heart of mine a jolt or two if he ever were to get his own story. And yes, I am looking right at you Taryn. You can’t leave a gal hanging after creating so much havoc with my emotions and all.

Miranda is one complex character and she is the driving force behind the story, the secrets that she keeps close to her heart the cause of the rift between herself and the man who as she puts it is her worst nightmare and fondest wish all wrapped up in one. From the minute she is forced to open her eyes and look, and I mean really look at Nathan, she is a goner. And for someone like Miranda whose past makes her susceptible to all sorts of wild behavior, or so she thinks, needless to say Miranda would rather bury her head in the sand and forget that Nathan Cross exists.

But her desire for a man who kisses her senseless, a man who holds himself back because he wants just more than mindless fucking from a woman with whom he would like to base his future on is a temptation that is too hard for even Miranda to resist. The passion that burns between them is of the scorching variety and my God, can Taryn turn on the heat? I couldn’t get enough of the many a variety of scenes, all with that emotional pull that just makes you go all gooey on the insides and warm in places that one would rather not mention. And I loved it all!

What drew me in the most and held my attention was how real both Nathan and Miranda were as they tried to forge a path together towards their ultimate happily ever after. There is no easy road for someone like Miranda to take when she tries to flee from her past, to forget that she ever was that person she is so ashamed of rather than accepting that her past would always be a part of herself and the person she has shaped up to be. Through a lot of soul searching and a painful period of separation from Nathan she does eventually get there and I believe that Nathan and Miranda’s love for each other to be that much stronger because of the fact.

A FANTASTIC debut novel from an author who shows remarkable talent – I simply could not get enough!

Give Uncross Your Heart a shot if you love emotionally gripping and sensual contemporary romances. This is a book that definitely caters to every whim and then some. And if you are like me, you would not be disappointed!

Favorite Quotes

He stilled at her laughter. It was rich and sexy, dark and playful. Something he’d never heard out of her mouth. His vision blurred for a second when she dragged his shirt up enough for their skin to touch. Then she gave up on getting the shirt off and latched on to his mouth again. He groaned as the heat of her skin blazed against his.

A long, low moan reverberated through her chest and into him. He sucked harder, flicking his tongue around the tiny pink tip. She was in the shadows cast by the late-day sun, leaving him little choice but to learn her by touch. He found the water-soft curve of her breast, running his tongue along the heaviest part of her until she filled his mouth. “More,” he murmured, shifting her higher until his teeth scraped along her ribs.

She shut her eyes, digging her fingers into his shoulders as she slid herself down his length. He couldn’t quite stop the quick shout of pleasure as her knees clamped his hips, crowding around him with her warmth. He wanted to hold her there, to drown in her, but she was already moving. She lifted herself higher and he took the clue and sucked her elegant neck, drawing in her scent as she took him inside her again.

She twisted her hips in time to his rhythm, riding his hand. He couldn’t stop himself from dipping inside her heat, groaning when she coated his fingers, his palm—just, God, he wanted all that around him again.

He cupped her cheek, the muscles of his forearm burning with the slow thrusts inside her. “You’re beautiful.” Unable to have even a few inches between them, he caught her mouth, swallowing her moans. Cheek to cheek, he dragged in her scent. Murmuring her name, he held her as she broke. 

She turned into his mouth again and her taste bloomed on his tongue. His stroking gentled until he pulled his hand free, cradling her close. No ghosts, no false starts, just them.

He was her worst nightmare and fondest wish all wrapped up in a damn Boy Scout.

His hair was especially mussed. So much so that her fingertips tingled with the need to grab and plunder the curls and let her mouth work the wicked quirk of his lips that verged on a smile. But it was his eyes that hit her the hardest. A settled gray that would forever be stamped Happy Place in her mind.

 Instead of relying on technique she looked for cues that were individual to the man—her man—the quickening of his breath, a sighing moan and the grip of his fingertips on her hip. Her body listened to his and learned what was right instead of what her experience said should work. And in its place they became a dreamy roll of fluid exploration.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Ellora’s Cave

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Review: Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

Format: E-bookjustoneoftheguys
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Chic-lit
Series: Standalone
Publisher: HQN Books
Hero: Trevor James Meade
Heroine: Chastity Virginia O’Neill
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 1, 2008
Started On: March 22, 2012
Finished On: March 24, 2012

Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins is a book that always ends up in one recommendation list or the other. And the hero Trevor James Meade seems to be a real hit amongst the ladies so much so that I decided to give this book a try because when it comes to Kristan Higgins you are always in for a laugh-fest no matter what.

Chastity Virginia O’Neill is the youngest child and the only daughter in the O’Neill family. She is a plus-sized heroine if there ever was one and a jock to boot, a mark left over as a result of growing up and competing with 4 brothers in the household. After moving back to her hometown of Eaton Falls, Chastity is determined that she would find someone to fall in love with, someone to settle down with and have 2.5 kids with, even if the man who holds the key to her heart remains completely oblivious the ferocity of her feelings towards him.

Trevor James Meade can almost pass off as Chastity’s fifth brother because Trevor is almost like a son to her parents, biology be damned. Chastity falls in love with Trevor during the darkest period of Trevor’s life and she holds her feelings towards Trevor close to her heart, the one time that she and Trevor slept together a memory that she treasures and remembers all too often for her peace of mind.

However Trevor acts as if the thought of her settling down with someone else means nothing to him and goes as far as to encourage her to date and find someone who would provide her with everything her heart desires. And when the sexy new doctor in town notices Chastity and they both start dating, Chastity couldn’t be happier, or so she tells herself until everything starts falling apart around her, forcing Chastity to face the reality of her feelings and move on.

I had a hard time classifying Just One of the Guys as a romance. Chastity and Trevor spends the majority of the book apart from each other even though they live in the same town and run into each other almost every day. There were no romantic interactions between the two except for one very invigorating “nipple” scene that brought to light Trevor’s obvious attraction towards Chastity. I was disappointed because for the whole duration of the novel, Chastity and Trevor both date other people, sleep with other people and Chastity gets ready to even say her I-do’s before she comes to her senses and stops herself from settling for the second best. 

Trevor was delicious, as delicious as everyone raves him to be. And I loved him. I truly did. Kristan managed to do a mighty fine job of bringing him to life through Chastity’s eyes, and I loved how his character turned out to be. But I did want to slap him a time or two because he seemed to stubbornly hold on to his belief that if he and Chastity were ever to get together, he might lose her and that is one moment in time that he doesn’t ever want to face.

The reason why I hesitate to read books written in first person is the fact that the reader misses out a lot on the point of view of the other characters involved in the story. I especially missed having Trevor’s take on things, his feelings or non-feelings towards Chastity and what makes him so hesitant to stake his claim on a woman he seems to look out for in all the little ways that matter.

As always, Kristan gives the reader a healthy amount of laughter, the antics that Chastity gets involved in being moments that still bring a smile to my face. Just One of the Guys is the story of how Chastity as a character grows and becomes more, how she learns to face the truth in the light of the day, regardless of whether she might or might not like what she sees. And I loved the story of how Chastity’s mother moves on, against all odds and against all the stonewalling she receives from both her ex-husband and her children for whom their mother moving on is something of an alien concept.

There were so many emotional moments in the story, some of them rendering me to tears and other times I seriously had a lump the size of an island in my throat. Those were the moments that defined the story for me and I had a hell of an enjoyable time reading Just One of the Guys.

Just One of the Guys is a book that can make you laugh, bawl your eyes out and smile through your tears because Kristan is an author who demands no less, and if you are a fan, I cannot recommend it to you highly enough!

Favorite Quotes

Then before he could break the moment, before he could turn away, I kissed him, and he didn’t stop me. Instead, he pushed my hair out of my face, and he kissed me back, gently, sweetly, his hand slipping behind my head, his lips moving just right against mine, smooth and warm. I gripped his shirt and sighed against his mouth, and knew that as long as I lived, this would be the one perfect kiss that I’d remember forever.

“So you can’t marry Harry, Mom! Not if you still love Daddy!” I sound like a ten-year-old, but I can’t help it. Buttercup comes over to me and puts her head on my lap.
“Love gets used up, Chastity,” Mom says gently, reaching up to smooth my hair. “If it’s not returned, it gets used up.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BoB | Book Depository

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ARC Review: Deadly Is the Kiss by Rhyannon Byrd

Format: E-bookdeadlyisthekiss
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Spin-off from The Primal Instinct Series
Publisher: HQN Books
Hero: Ashe Granger
Heroine: Juliana Sabin
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 20, 2012
Started On: March 19, 2012
Finished On: March 22, 2012

First of all, if you have never read The Primal Instinct Series by Rhyannon Byrd, you might not like Deadly is the Kiss. I say this because the hero and heroine in this novel are characters that you come across and become intrigued with as you read the aforementioned series. Ashe Granger, the vampire hero in this novel has always intrigued me and I have always wanted to know what makes him tick. When Rhyannon announced that Rush of Pleasure would be the last in the series, I wanted to cry out because Rhyannon is an author who brings scorching heat to her books with a shitload of emotion that I just love to indulge myself in. And so you can imagine my reaction when I learnt that not only Rhyannon was sort of continuing in a different line of the series and it was going to be the much awaited book of Ashe Granger!

Ashe Granger is a 2 century old Deschanel vampire and a member of the Förmyndares, an elite, highly skilled group of soldiers whose job was the protection of the Deschanel vampires. Ashe might have made it his life mission to screw through any woman that takes his fancy but ever since he meets the prickly 27 year old Juliana Sabin, Ashe has a feeling that his days of carousing and sleeping through a long line of women were about to be over.

Juliana is still paying for the fatal mistake she made in her youth; falling in love with the wrong kind of vampire. The guilt that plagues her for subjecting her whole family to live in the desolate compound of Wasteland is one that haunts her continuously. And when she receives the news that she and her family are once again in danger, this time the kind that would wipe them from the face of the Earth, she takes the lifeline that is thrown her way and embarks on a journey to seek out the one vampire whom she can’t forget, the one vampire whom she knows would help her out if she manages to convince him of her plight. 

The last vampire that Ashe expects to run into is the one vampire whom he would like nothing better than to get horizontal with and never get up. And through that haze of lust and resentment that Ashe feels, he manages to identify that although Juliana might not be telling him the whole version of her side of things, she is really in danger and Ashe knows that as long as he lives, he would protect HIS woman with every breathe he takes.

Thus begins the game of hide and seek where Juliana and Ashe barely manage to get rid of one group of assassins to run into another, all tasked with the mission of taking Juliana with them. Their grudge is not with Ashe and when he stands in their way to the ultimate prize, all bets are off and Rhyannon gives readers enough fist fights, blood and gore to keep the action alive throughout. With his senses heightened by the danger that surrounds them both, Ashe finds that it is an impossibility for him to keep his hands off of Juliana and he embarks on a mission to quench his thirst for his little convict, all the while thinking that he would be able to walk away, when all is said and done.

I don’t understand the reason why so many readers have taken a dislike towards Ashe’s character. For me, he was real, he was exactly how I envisioned him to be. Ashe is a vampire who has been cheated on by the one woman he trusted and as they say, once bitten twice shy. And for someone like Ashe who works tirelessly in enforcing the law amongst vampires, falling for someone who is nothing more than a convict in his eyes sends him into a whirlpool of conflicting emotions. Ashe fights it all, and oh does he fight, but the fiercest battle of all is one which he wages with himself, torn between the Burning he feels for Juliana and his need to walk away with his emotions intact.

I loved Ashe from his delicious and mouthwatering physical form to what he was deep inside. He might not like the deck of cards fate has dealt him with but above everything else he is a man who believes in justice and fairness and that is how he finds himself agreeing to help Juliana even when he knows that Juliana doesn’t trust him enough to divulge the entire truth. His desire and need for Juliana is a wondrous thing, it is an all encompassing one that refuses to back down, especially with Juliana within arms reach. Ashe’s insecurities are there for all to see, his fear of being cuckolded that plays into his possessive instincts bringing out the jealousy that gives him the extra edge which I just loved. I don’t know about anyone else, but I just flat-out loved Ashe and everything he stood for.

Juliana Sabin is a heroine who I fell in love with right from the very start. She doesn’t want Ashe knowing the truth of how her family’s banishment came about and her reasons are many. And in her own way, Juliana does what she does with the noble intention of protecting the man who means far too much to her than anyone else has in her life. Juliana knows that by giving up her body to a man who plays her like a master would be akin to disaster when she has to walk away from him when the danger is finally no more. Though the thought of leaving Ashe leaves her reeling, I loved Juliana because she takes her chance to indulge with Ashe wholeheartedly and gives herself up to him with everything she has to give.

The one thing you can always count on in novels by Rhyannon is that thread of scorching sensuality and heat that is abundantly woven throughout the story. There were times when my e-reader practically singed my fingertips for the amount of heat that Ashe and Juliana generates, their desire for one another the stuff that happily ever afters are made of.

Loved the sappy ending, giving that much needed happily ever after to two people who most definitely deserve it and I can’t wait to find out whose story Rhyannon comes up with next. Kudos to another book that kept me entertained, made me hum in all the right places and gave me a reason to smile when all was said and done! And as a reader, there is nothing more you can ask for!

Favorite Quotes

With a hoarse curse on his lips, Ashe shuddered against her. The night felt warmer, the air heavier…richer, as it pressed in on them. Lust spilled through his veins in a thick, decadent slide, more potent than any narcotic as it poured through his system. His tongue flicked against the velvety softness of her lower lip, coaxing her to accept him…to kiss him back. She shivered, blinking, then relented, her lips parting with a sigh…inviting him in, and he couldn’t resist, sliding his tongue against hers in an explicit kiss that was wet and deep and hungry.

She cried out as he quickly shoved a hand into the front of her panties, the sharp sound becoming a breathless moan when he cupped her warm sex in his palm and gave a predatory growl. Her delicate hands were on the sides of his neck, clutching him to her, her tongue sliding against his in a way that made his blood boil. Heat poured off him in blistering, sweltering waves as he shoved two thick fingers inside the slick, narrow opening of her body, stretching tender tissues, surprised by how perfect and small she felt. By how tightly she gripped him.
“I knew,” he groaned, nipping her mouth with his teeth as he pushed his fingers deeper into that hot, melting honey. “I fucking knew you were going to feel like this.”

Keeping his fingers locked around her arms, he stared her right in the eye, his chest rising and falling from the jagged force of his breaths. “I want you in a bed, Juliana. I want hours on top of you, under you, beside you. Hell, I want it all. And I want to be able to drift off, knowing that I can roll back over at any time and sink right back into you.” His voice dropped even lower. “So stop arguing and get back on the damn bed.”

The next thing Juliana knew, he had her braced against the back wall of the shower, one hand under her bottom, the other tangled in the back of her wet hair, holding her in place as he took her mouth with what seemed to be an urgent, desperate craving, and claimed her body in the same way. His c#ck found her soft notch, his first thick thrust so hard and deep it shoved the air up out of her lungs, her thoughts fracturing beneath the violent surge of sensation.

He rubbed his thumb over the smoothness of her cheek, thinking she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever known. “You don’t think you’re worth killing for?”
Her laugh was brittle. “Hardly.”
For a moment, there was only the sound of their breathing and the wind gusting through the trees. And then he said, “I disagree.”
She stared up at him, trembling, her eyes filled with the questions she couldn’t put into words.
“I mean it,” he rasped. “I would kill for you. Easily. Without remorse. Again and again.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Harlequin | Book Depository

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Review: Her Perfect Getaway by Emma Jay

Format: E-bookherperfectgetaway
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Bridesmaids in Paradise, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Max Sullivan
Heroine: Elizabeth Black
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 19, 2012
Started On: March 21, 2012
Finished On: March 21, 2012

Elizabeth Black, along with her girl friends make their way to Hawaii for a week of relaxing and fun before Elizabeth’s friend Haven (from Two-Step Temptation) is to say her I-do’s in about 5 weeks time. Elizabeth is high-strung, a workaholic with a constant need to please her father and someone who hasn’t had a vacation in 3 long years.

Max Sullivan (Sully) the sexy and sinfully mouthwatering specimen of the male form turns out to be their guide for the duration of the trip. With an easy going laid-back  nature and a charm that puts everyone at ease right from the start, combined with his potent good looks, Elizabeth finds herself totally turned on by the different facets of his character that comes to light by the minute. Elizabeth thinks that her unruly attraction towards their guide would cause all sorts of problems but these worries fly out the window when she learns that Max too feels the same tidal wave of desire towards her.

A week is all they have got in a land that could be called Paradise on Earth and both Max and Elizabeth certainly make the best use of their time, the sex between them turning hotter and more irresistible with each passing encounter. Elizabeth might want to tell herself that her feelings aren’t involved at all, but as she gets to know the complex man beneath all that charm and good looks, Elizabeth starts to fall for Max bit by bit until there is no turning back.

Oh, how I loved this little story that just sucked me right in and got me feeling all blue to see it end. I wanted to continue reading about two people who completely made me fall in love with them and I wanted all good things to happen to both of them. Max, Oh.MY.GOD. Max, (takes a deep breathe), he just took my breathe away. From the minute he walked into the picture in flip flops and that beautiful mouth of his curved in a welcoming smile, everything female in me clamored to be his. Yes, I tell you, I was a goner from that moment on. I just knew then and there that Max with his beautiful hibiscus tattoo and his tendency to drive a motorbike (GOD YES), lets just say I may as well have took my heart out and wrapped it up in a neat bow and handed it over to him.

Max was such a swell character not because of his sheer good looks alone. It is his different facets that demands nothing less that makes him so irresistible. And that sexy Australian drawl of his whispering words in Japanese? Oh man, even though I know next to nothing in Japanese, I just know that Max would make it worth my while. And you’ve gotta love a man who can make you laugh and turn you on all at the same time and Max did just that to me, (darn it), I mean Elizabeth. 

So before I turn this review into a total drool fest about Max, I should mention how much I loved the way Emma brought to life the beautiful Hawaii. I wanted to hop on a plane then and there and zoom my way across to Paradise on Earth, to experience the heady culture and to mingle with the beautiful people and to just let all my worries melt away. Hopefully someday, even if it is just to experience the magic that Emma creates so beautifully in the story I will one day visit Hawaii, and of course I wouldn’t say no to a guide or two like Max to keep me company and surf through uncharted waters and gaze off into the sunset. *sigh*

Elizabeth is a bit of a tough cookie in the story. She suffers from ill placed guilt issues when it comes to her father, someone who makes sure he exploits those feelings that burgeon to life inside of her whenever he is around. The turning point for Elizabeth’s character comes during Max’s visit to Texas and Elizabeth stands up to her father and lets her feelings be clearly known. I loved that she was the one to take the plunge, to finally express her need to see whether their relationship could mean something much more than either of them bargained for and for that reason alone I loved her wholeheartedly, maybe just a tad less than I do for Max.

Though I would have loved a sappy ending with a lot of mushy expression of feelings tossed into the mix, somehow, the ending in the story seemed to fit these two people and seemed a realistic end to their story. The one thing you won’t tire of are the scenes of passion of the explosive and at the same time tender variety that just goes straight to your blood and pumps it up and makes you sigh all over at the same time. It was those moments of desperation that seems to hit both Max and Elizabeth, their need for each other something that neither can deny that I reveled in, during those moments that I practically drooled and salivated over my e-reader.

As a reader, I couldn’t have asked for more except wish that Max and Elizabeth’s story could have continued on for a long, long while.

Highly recommended for fans of erotica featuring sinfully sexy heroes who makes you hum on on the insides just by sheer instinct alone. And for 0.99 $, this is more than worth a story to indulge in, if only to see Hawaii through the eyes of the author. And of course Max. How could I ever forget him. *sigh*

Favorite Quotes

Vaguely she was aware of her moans floating across the backyard as her entire body tightened around him, then released, sending bits of her consciousness flying in all directions like the stars in the sky above. Her nails dug into his shoulder through his shirt as she anchored herself to him, as the orgasm pulsed through her. She felt the ripples of his own climax inside her, and then he collapsed over her, bringing both legs into the hammock and pulling her against his side.
“Perfect,” he murmured, and in a few minutes, his breathing evened out.

The gentleness of his mouth on hers surprised her, the slow caress of his lips and tongue not unlike the waves below them. She curved her hand around the back of his neck and let herself float on the rhythm, let her fears drift and her body take over. 

He entered her with a practiced thrust, his mouth finding hers, filling her with her taste and arousal so strong. She curled her fingers over his muscular ass and spread her legs wider, searching for the rhythm to match his. God, so perfect, the angle, the tempo. He looked down at her as she found it, as she met him stroke for stroke, so good, so hot, so deep.

She’d practically ripped his clothes off before they got into her apartment, had him inside her before the sound of the door closing had stopped vibrating through the apartment. He’d pressed her to the door and pounded into her until he couldn’t stand up. He’d carried her to the bedroom, where she took over, riding him until he curled his body up to embrace her, so that his breath was on her lips when they reached their climax together.

The next thing she knew, his cock nudged at her entrance. 
“Condom,” she managed.
“Taken care of.” He guided her hand to the base of his shaft so she could feel the sheath. “Ride me, Elizabeth.”
With a shift of her hips, she brought him into her, igniting desire she thought spent as he stretched her, stroked her inner walls.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

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Score Sheet Review: Challenging Carter by Kate Davies

Format: E-bookchallengingcarter.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
Hero: Carter Matthews
Heroine: Dani Williams
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: February 13, 2007
Started On: March 19, 2012
Finished On: March 19, 2012

CATEGORY SCORE GRADE
The hero 90 A
The heroine 90 A
Story line 80 A
Emotional Intensity 80 A
Suck me in Factor 80 A
Heat & Sensuality  90 A
Conflicts 85 A
Writing Style 85 A
Quotable Factor 60 B
Ending 85 A
Overall Grade 82.5  A

Score Sheet Summary

It was my hankering to read a friends-to-lovers romance that led me to purchasing and reading Challenging Carter by Kate Davies. Carter Matthews and Dani Williams are best friends and have been together in business for the past 8 years. While Carter heads Outdoor Sports Equipment, Dani is the Financial Analyst of the company who constantly tries to get Carter to stick to the estimated budget for expenses.

Dani has always been in love with Carter and he has no clue. Dani is an introvert, who feels more comfortable working than socializing. It is Carter’s pestering about a Fitness Challenge that has Dani taking up strip aerobics that gives her that extra edge which starts driving Carter out of his ever loving mind.

The scenes of passion were of the steamy hot variety. The thing I loved most about this novella was the friendship between Carter and Dani and Carter’s ability to goof around and get Dani to lighten up. This was evident even in the most sensually charged scenes of the story and that is one reason why I loved Dani and Carter’s story.

The one thing that I did miss however was the lack of background story which I know is not possible most of the time when it comes to a novella. But a friends to lovers romance becomes that much more real if their past comes up and delivers those tidbits that makes the characters more appealing and give that extra bite of sexual tension that drives the reader to the very edge. 

If you are looking for a short story to stick in between lengthier reads and if you love the friends to lovers trope, give Challenging Carter a go.

Favorite Quotes

Then he strode across the room and kissed her.
It was a crazy, impulsive act, but the minute his lips touched hers he knew it was the right thing to do.
She tasted like sex and sin and forbidden fruit, and he couldn’t get enough.

It should have been awkward. They’d taken their relationship from casual to over-the-top intimate in six-point-two seconds, without all the typical steps in between.
But all Dani could think, wrapped in Carter’s arms, was that finally she was right where she was supposed to be.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BoB | Samhain

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