Requested Review: Beautiful Bad Man by Ellen O’Connell

Format: E-bookbeautifulbadman
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: American Western Historical
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Caleb Sutton
Heroine: Norah Gifford Hawkins
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 29, 2012
Started On: November 18, 2012
Finished On: November 25, 2012

From one of the best American Western Historical romance authors comes another fantastic installment, this time a book entitled Beautiful Bad Man, a most appropriate title for a book that delivered a story that was beautiful and fascinating as the hero in the story truly was, a book that made me sigh and yearn in all the right places as Ellen once again wove her special brand of magic on me.

Ellen O’Connell writes stories that are gritty and realistic. She is not an author who pulls any punches when she delivers novels that depict the harshness of life as it was back then. But amidst all the violence and chaos, Ellen still manages to give the reader something that turns out to be that much more precious and beautiful because of the fact and Beautiful Bad Man is no exception to this rule.

Norah Hawkins and Caleb Sutton meet under the most unusual and trying circumstances just for a brief moment in time as young adults. Years later, these two happen to meet again by a quirky twist of fate. Though both Norah and Caleb had never actively sought to think about each other as the years had passed on by, both had in fact wished the best for each other, and had somehow envisioned the other living the sort of life that would bring peace to the other’s mind. However, reality couldn’t be further from those dreams as Caleb finds himself facing a disillusioned woman who is ready to collapse from the lack of will to fight for what she wants. For Norah the jolt is a stronger one. Norah being someone who always has a clear cut vision on what is right and wrong finds herself confronting a man whose eyes show nothing but coldness, in it lying the truth of how survival of the fittest always means that you lose something precious and vital inside of you to come out as the winner in the game of survival.

A partnership forged between two people who couldn’t be more different from each other even if they tried would seem to be a venture doomed for failure right from the very start. But that is exactly the opposite of what happens as Norah starts to discover those startling qualities about the man she married, the man that she slowly starts to fall in love with as Caleb unknowingly shows her just what it is like to be married to someone who truly appreciates Norah and all that she can offer in the truest fashion.

Caleb is someone who believes himself not worthy of beauty or kindness that life has to offer, no wonder owing to the harsh brutality that he had suffered during his childhood. But Norah awakens in him something that runs sure and deep into his soul, a yearning to reach out for the impossible and hold on for as long as possible. 

The constant danger that both Norah and Caleb fight together to safeguard what is theirs brings these two closer and seals a relationship that already takes them to new heights in the physical sense. Norah is the type of heroine that I love to read about. The type of heroine that Ellen is so good at creating. And thus its no wonder that I fell in love with Norah right from the very start.

Caleb is a hero that is truly beautiful and bad, both at the same time, somehow making those two words strung together just that much more meaningful. Caleb is a hero in every sense. A bit alpha, a bit headstrong, just a tad stubborn and a total softie when it comes to his wife and their dog Early without even realizing the fact himself. 

If you haven’t read an Ellen O’Connell, its high time you did. She writes characters and stories that you would not forget anytime soon. A must read if you are a fan of American Western historical romances. Highly recommended!

Favorite Quotes

“The times they’d coupled by early morning light or with a lamp still burning, his face stayed a handsome shadow. In bright sunshine she saw every detail — the way the water had made dark spikes of his lashes, the way those lashes were half-lowered over eyes turning liquid with passion. She had not drowned in the shallow creek. She would lose herself forever in his eyes.”

“She expected his weight, the familiar. He turned her on her side to face him, draped her leg over his, and entered her, his eyes locked on hers. She shut her eyes, invaded in some impossible way beyond the physical.
He moved inside her slowly. She moved with him, giving herself to the pleasure. One arm held her close, one hand rubbed a nipple.
“Norah.” His voice was hoarse and deep, his words in the rhythm of their movement. “Look at me. Let me know you know it’s me. You want it to be me.”
“I know. You’re the only one I ever wanted.” She opened her eyes and let him see the truth.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords


Review: Suddenly You by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-booksuddenlyyou
Read with: txtr
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin SuperRomance
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Harry Porter Neville
Heroine: Phillipa White (Pippa)
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 30, 2012
Started On: October 18, 2012
Finished On: November 17, 2012

Sarah Mayberry’s final book for the year 2012 was certainly a delightful surprise and a wonderful. wonderful read. I say a delightful surprise because most of the time I mope around a little after reading Mayberry’s latest release because the wait for the next book always seems so long. However, since life is so busy at the moment, I hardly got a chance to worry about this and it was by sheer luck that I came across a tweet that mentioned the release of this book at the end of October. And of course from that moment on, Suddenly You was the one constant on my mind until I managed to grab myself a copy from the Harlequin E-book store before the actual release date set for the book.

Harry Porter Neville is the ultimate version of a bad boy that we women would all love to have. A body to die for with tribal tattoos on the delicious package he presents, Harry leads the ultimate bachelor life with no commitments and no worries; just the way he likes his life to be. Working a job that lets him earn enough without having to shoulder much of a burden, Harry is comfortable where he is and wouldn’t want anything to interfere in his life, or so he thinks til he runs into Pippa once again, quite by chance.

31 year old Phillipa White (Pippa) is a single mother, struggling to make ends meet and just barely getting by. With her daughter Alice just six months old, being a mother, working to make ends meet and attending classes is all Pippa is capable of juggling for the time being. When her car breaks down on her, the last person she expects to come riding to her rescue is her ex’s best friend Harry.

This chance meeting changes a lot of things for both Harry and Pippa who have always been comfortable in each other’s company. Though neither of them had ever had the hots for each other when Pippa had been dating Steve, the new ‘status’ of their relationship brings to the front a lot of other feelings that are both frightening and exhilarating at the same time for both Pippa and Harry.

For someone like Harry who might like his no strings attached life as much as the next guy, deep inside Harry is someone who takes his commitments seriously and takes care of what’s his. And of course the bro code which dictates that he never even look at the ex of his best friend in a way that goes beyond casual friendship, for Harry to start noticing all sorts of appealing tidbits about Pippa disturbs Harry more than he can imagine. However, as these feelings that start to grown in both of them fight to reach the surface, Harry and Pippa both fool themselves into thinking that their affair would run its course and die a natural death before either of them could get emotionally involved.

I just loved the way the story unfolded and fell in love with both Pippa and Harry almost instantly. Its hard not to fall for two people who are obviously of the best caliber, people whose inherent kindness you can feel just like that. Sarah is marvelous in creating characters who always warm the heart and both Harry and Pippa together with Alice delivered just that.

The conflict that Harry finds himself is one that made for an engrossing mix of emotions. On the one hand Harry feels that he is betraying his closest friend, the friend with whom he has a shared history that goes a long way back. On the other hand, Pippa invokes and awakens in him a desire that he can’t deny, emotions that he tries so hard to suppress but in the end, the temptation that proves to be the fiery hot attraction between the two of them means that neither Pippa nor Harry can turn their backs on each other. And the deeper, much sweeter connection that is forged right alongside with it just made me want to go into an eternal sighing session while reading.

There is nothing more satisfying in the world than that moment when you reach the ending of a book that has thrilled you in every way. And Suddenly You certainly did that from the rough on the exterior and soft on the inside hero Harry to Pippa whose endearing character warmed my heart to the sparks that flew between them and the tangible sexual connection that felt oh so good to read about and to witness the explosion that burst forth when things got too hot to handle.

A must-read if you are a fan of contemporary romances. And a should not miss if you are a die-hard fan of Ms. Mayberry like myself.

Favorite Quotes

He reached for her at the same moment she closed the distance between them. Her breasts hit his chest as his arms closed around her and she tilted her head for his kiss. Harry’s mouth found hers unerringly, his tongue sliding into her mouth in a heated rush.
He tasted like desire. She moaned her approval as her body went up in flames. Dear God, it had been so long, and this man knew how to kiss.

Then Harry pushed her shirt up and pulled her bra down and lowered his head to her breasts and she lost the ability to think coherently. He didn’t just kiss her breasts, he consumed them—tonguing her nipples and drawing them into his mouth and shaping her breasts with his hands. He feasted, eyes tightly shut, utterly obsessed with the task at hand.

He slid inside her, big and hot and long, and she was gone just like that, her body throbbing around his in a breathtaking climax. 
He started to thrust, his body hard with need. She pressed kisses to his neck and shoulder and finally his mouth. He plunged in and out of her, every muscle tense. She gripped his shoulders and inhaled the smell of sex and felt herself climbing again.
“Yes,” she panted.
Harry’s fingers pressed into her hips and ass as he intensified his efforts. She arched her back and tilted her hips…and then she was there again, his name on her lips as she came and came and came. He lost it, burying himself deep and staying there. She throbbed out the last of her climax as he shuddered into her.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Harlequin