Blogversary & Giveaway: What Romance Has Taught Me

4th

Time flies by so fast. Yet again another year has passed since I started on my journey of documenting the good and the bad about the books that I have read. Me being a romance reader is not something that I see would change in the foreseeable future. I love the nuances that goes along with the stories I pick up to read, the little tidbits that makes my heart beat a bit faster and makes my pulse speed up every now and then. But then romance is one genre that is ridiculed by a lot of people, labeling it as fluff with no substance. So as I mark the 4th anniversary of my blog, I intend to try and write down my thoughts on what romance has taught me and how it has influenced me and my life and in actuality what reading romance means to me.

Believe it or not, romance teaches me how to read people. How to read the subtle and not so subtle changes that move across one’s facial muscles and of course body language between two people that can tell a lot. I don’t know whether it is because I am intuitive to begin with, I have usually been the sort of person to fade into the background and watch the interplays of conversation between people. Sometimes fading away is a necessity, other times I do it out of habit more than anything else, and sometimes it depends on my mood and the people I am with as well. And I think reading romances, especially those with depth is a greater way to increase your ‘knowledge’ on psychoanalyzing than putting yourself to sleep by reading an actual textbook on Psychology!

Another aspect of life that romance has taught me is that, well, like everything else that is fiction, romance too is best left to fiction. We might love it when a hero goes overly possessive about the heroine in the book and cossets her like there is no tomorrow. But in reality, I don’t think I for one would be able to give into that much possessiveness from my partner in life. Like the true love between soul mates that find one another against all odds being a fantasy for most of us (I have to admit that few find it in this world as well) as it happens in romances, I find that rather than keeping my head up in the clouds and driving my expectations beyond what is achievable, reading romances keeps me grounded. It is my escape from reality when I need it, it is the soothing balm that makes the deeply hidden romantic inside of me rejoice and revel in the beauty of selfless giving that is love in its truest form.

It is of no secret that I am someone who loves the English language and the power of words when presented in a manner that can strike the heart with the steepest of arrows. There are authors like Sherry Thomas, Jeannie Lin and Nalini Singh that actually makes me a believer of poetic proses in their books that do not come out at all as flowery, but really touches me unlike any other. It has always been my advice to my friends and acquaintances who rarely read books of any kind and yet complain about the fact their English writing standard is not up to par to read something that interests them. And that is exactly what I do when I pick up a romance novel; I read a subject matter that makes me forget the time & place, that makes me lose myself and in the process it adds to my vocabulary, my usage of the language and in the end I gain much more from the book than just a mere happily ever after and a warm feeling deep inside of me!

Like any other genre of fiction out there, I know for a fact that romance writers put in a lot of hours of research and thought into their books too. For instance, Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series has completely and irrevocably changed the way I feel about paranormal romances featuring shape shifters. Nalini’s world building is beyond complex, but written in a way that even someone who has no understanding of complex and advanced theories of science would be able to grasp what is happening! For me, reading books as such lets me explore the realms of the minds of these authors, makes me go all awestruck and fan-girl the minute I open up a book from the author and in the end I literally and figuratively escape with my mind into a world that is filled with all sorts of brilliant nuances that I wouldn’t forgo for anything.

So as I mark MBR’s Realm of Romance’s 4th blogversary, I am reflecting on the things that makes reading a romance not just a road I take with the hero and heroine towards their happily ever after, but rather a journey of constant learning, seeking and always finding enough to keep me going and coming back for more!

Giveaway!

So as it is the usual custom on my blogversary to give gifts, I have a 50$ Amazon GC to give away! Just share with me what reading romances or reading in general means to you and you will automatically earn an entry into the draw that will take place on August 1, 2013. Please ensure to leave a valid e-mail address via which to contact you in case you are the winner. And don’t forget to spread the word. For sharing is caring!

And don’t forget to wish my blog a happy birthday! xoxo

Giveaway Timings:

  • Giveaway begins: 00:00 hours, July 30, 2013 – Maldivian Time
  • Giveaway ends: 00:00 hours, August 1, 2013 – Maldivian Time
  • Maldivian Timezone: GMT+5

Review: In from the Cold by Mary Sullivan

Format: E-bookinfromthecold
Read with: Kindle for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Untitled Series, #1
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Gabe Jordan
Heroine: Callie MacKintosh
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 5, 2013
Started On: July 27, 2013
Finished On: July 27, 2013

37 year old Gabe Jordan is the ultimate recluse, or so it seems to people who barely know him. The owner of a dogsledding business on family owned property in the town of Accord, Colorado, Gabe is a man who harbours a deep sense of guilt and an ultimate sense of responsibility for those under his care. The nightmares that won’t leave him be makes him retreat into a shell of his own where his world has no colour, joy or the hope of a better future in it until one feisty little redhead comes bulldozing her way into his life.

33 year old Callie MacKintosh is a city girl to the very core, with determination pretty much marking every single line of her small body. She might look small but what she doesn’t make up for in size is more than made up for by the vital energy that surrounds her and the beauty which sees in life no matter how tough things get for her.

Told from the viewpoints of both Callie and Gabe in the third person, Callie and Gabe’s worlds collide when Callie is tasked with swaying Gabe’s mind on selling his share of the family property to his brother Nick who happens to be Callie’s overdriven and overly ambitious boss. Callie has no choice but to go against the very principles she has lived by all her life to do Nick’s bidding, even when she starts to feel more than she should for the man on whom she is supposed to be working her powers of persuasion on.

The reason I love Harlequin Superromances is the fact that yes, they are so much more than a hero and heroine falling in love with each other and finding their happily ever after. Though that forms the basis of the storyline, what is surprising is the depth of characterisation brought into each of these stories that makes these books worth delving into.

In from the Cold served to be a great read, a story that compelled me to keep turning the pages until the very end, not only just because Callie and Gabe enticed me to do so, but because the secondary characters and romance in the book urged me to keep going.

Gabe is a sweetheart of a hero, there is no way on Earth you can read his story and not fall in love with this gentle giant of a man who harbours such a wealth of pain in his heart. And Callie served to be just the right sort of woman who could get him to open up and dare to hope for a future that is not the bleakness that has been his life for far too long. Callie has her own share of worries and demons to deal with and Gabe serves to be the one person who sees through all the protective layers that surround her and see right through to the heart of the woman.

Nick serves to be the villain that is shrouded in shades of grey. His story is up next and I cannot wait to find out what has got to be coming his way. He deserves to be smacked on his forehead a couple of times for being such a selfish person whose drive and ambition to succeed in life is the root of all the problems in the story. But then, I loved the emotional upheaval his character brought to the story and wouldn’t have had it any other way.

The best bit about this read? These are characters that have made mistakes and make mistakes along the way to their happily ever after. These are characters are what you would call real in every sense. And that’s what makes this book a winner for me.

A great read, recommended for fans of Harlequin romances with substance.

Final Verdict: A story that grows on you & makes you burn for the happily ever after.

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

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber SEAL: GREAT READ!

Review: All on the Line by Emma Jay

Format: E-bookallontheline
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Blackwolf Hot Shots, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Callaghan Sinclair
Heroine: Jaci Nichols
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: May 15, 2013
Started On: July 26, 2013
Finished On: July 26, 2013

He did something he never thought he’d do.
He kissed one of his crew.

28 year old Callaghan Sinclair (Cal) is the new crew chief of Blackwolf Hot Shots, one of the youngest to be handed over the responsibility of leading a team as such. Cal doesn’t want to screw anything up that might jeopardize his career as a firefighter and thus keeps his distance from the members of his group until the delectable Jaci Nichols walks into his life and changes the rules by which he lives.

All On The Line is a pretty short novella of just about 50+ pages on iBooks. However that doesn’t diminish the heat and at times emotion packed story that Emma Jay delivered. Jaci is a heroine who really surprised me. For one thing, there is no shyness about her when it comes to the carnal pleasures; rather she is not afraid to admit that she is good at certain things that tends to blow Cal’s mind and concentration to pieces.

Jaci has the ability to bring the big and brawny alpha to his very knees and though Cal might try to resist the lure that Jaci presents, it is a game that he has already lost when Jaci proves to be as enticing to him out of bed as she is in it.

Recommended for fans of firefighter heroes, fans of delicious erotica and fans of Emma Jay.

Final Verdict: Hot little number that singes! Emma Jay is an author erotic romance lovers must read!

Favorite Quotes

His cock throbbed, what little blood remained in his head roared past his ears, drowning out all good sense. Looping his arm around her waist, he lifted her, and she wrapped her legs around his waist. He pushed against her, against her heat. She curved her hands against his face, her mouth hot and eager, her tongue sliding along his, her teeth nipping his lip.

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

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber SEAL: GREAT READ!

Review: Hostage to Pleasure by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookhostagetopleasure
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #5
Publisher: Berkley Sensations
Hero: Dorian Christensen
Heroine: Ashaya Aleine
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: September 2, 2008
Started On: July 23, 2013
Finished On: July 25, 2013

“And the Psy do not allow the flawed to live.”

Dorian Christensen is one of the sentinels of the powerful DarkRiver leopard pack in San Francisco. Vengeance is something Dorian is all too familiar with, his hatred for anything and everything to do with Psy a visceral burn that never really leaves him. Born latent and unable to shift into his leopard form, Dorian is equipped with the classic good looks of a beach bum, both of which makes Dorian try that much harder to hone his fighting skills and abilities and come out at the top.

26 year old Ashaya Aleine is a 9.9 Gradient M-Psy with the ability to work in the science of genetics which makes her one of the most valuable commodities for the Psy with their plan on completely controlling the thought processes of the Psy population as per the Council’s desires. But Ashaya is a woman who has something to live for; to safeguard her son Keenan for whom she would lay down her very life without a second’s hesitation.

Dorian might not like the fact that his inner leopard seems to be all sorts of interested in Ashaya ever since that fateful night 2 months back when he had had her in the scope view of his sniper’s rifle. Vivid dreams of them turning to each other in need and heat torments him, the fact that he could feel all that for a Psy making him want to crawl out of his skin with the guilt he feels once the dreams subside. When Ashaya crosses his path again, this time around Dorian is willing to put on the charm to get Ashaya out of his system. But what neither Ashaya nor Dorian fail to comprehend is the connection and attraction that leaps to life between them and grows stronger as Ashaya tries to safeguard the sort of secrets that could in fact break the fragile bond & connection between them.

Hostage to Pleasure is the 5th book in the Psy-Changeling series and is told in 3rd person from mostly Ashaya and Dorian’s points of view.

Hostage to Pleasure is a beautiful and wondrous story, the fact that I couldn’t get enough of both Dorian and Ashaya one of the reasons that I loved the book. The fact that Dorian cannot shift is one of the most unique aspects of the story that unfolds, the constant pain he is subjected to because of the fact and especially with Ashaya tempting the inner leopard to come out and play which drives the pain to levels Dorian had previously learned to ignore. Through the haze of the need for vengeance and revenge on the Psy, Ashaya’s at times matter of fact and the other times the actions that reveal the vulnerable and emotional cracks beneath the deep conditioning on her mind as per the Psy mandate, Dorian learns to accept the fact that Ashaya is his mate and that is how it is going to be no matter how much his rational mind might want to reject that sort of deep emotional intimacy with a Psy.

Ashaya’s character was just beautiful. No two ways about it. I think since Sascha in the 1st book in the series, Ashaya is my second favorite heroine in the series! Her need to protect her son is one that knows no bounds, be it even faking her own death to escape the clutches of the Psy that holds her under lock and key to get what they want from her. To think of the amount of years Ashaya must have kept up the pretense that her Psy conditioning is perfect, well lets just say that kind of strength is what makes or breaks a person. Ashaya’s innocence when it comes to pleasures of the flesh and the refreshing way in which she reacts to both the playful and the raw and animal side of Dorian was what made me fall in love with her character.

Nalini Singh knows how to perfectly balance the suspense, romance, intrigue and the paranormal aspects of the story, all the while forging deep ahead into the fascinating world building she continues to do throughout every book in the series. It takes an author of immense talent to be able to write this many books and still have something fresh and exciting to offer with each new installment & truth be told I am just in utter awe of Nalini’s ability to spin tales that leaves me wanting to become an actual part of the Psy-Changeling world.

The intimacy that Nalini weaves into the story is what makes her stories stand out, the way she brings forth characters from previous novels and appeases the reader’s hunger to know more about them what makes these books unbeatable. Loved, loved, loved the epilogue and I couldn’t have asked for a more fitting end to the story.

Highly recommended for fans of romances! If you haven’t read the Psy-Changeling, you haven’t been reading romance that MUST be read!

Final Verdict: Laid siege on my heart & set it afire with pleasure from beginning to the end.

Favorite Quotes

His taste was inside her mouth, a dark and richly masculine thing at odds with the sheer beauty of him. Protected by the strange, twisting, chaotic shield that blocked Amara, she broke every rule and savored the experience. When his tongue swept against hers, she felt her throat lock. He did it again. Shuddering, she dared explore him in return. His growl poured into her mouth, making her nerve endings sizzle.

She tasted so good, he licked at her with quick catlike flicks that made her pulse turn to thunder. When she couldn’t seem to gasp in enough breath to ask him about the warning, he smiled. “I wasn’t kidding about having you in my bed. Get ready to dance with me.”

He bit her shoulder again, harder this time. She felt her body coat his with another layer of hot dampness even as lights started sparking behind her eyes. “Let go,” he said in a voice touched with a rough tenderness that undid her. “I’ll hold you safe.”
Yes, he would, she thought. So she rode the wave of pleasure, let him ride her through it, and when the next wave crested, she buried her face in his neck, licking at the salt of his skin.
Something very close to a purr rumbled through his chest. And at last, he began to move faster, the hard heat of him a pounding beat inside of her. She held on, was held safe . . . even as she held him safe.

Slipping into her bed, he cradled her against his chest. “You’re wrong. You would’ve pulled yourself together for Keenan, for Amara. That’s who you are.”
“He didn’t understand, she thought. “But I wouldn’t have survived.” She put her hand on his chest, wanting to feel the pulse of his life. “Pieces of my heart, Dorian. You’re in so many pieces of my heart.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber SEAL: OUTSTANDING READ!

Review: Take Me Under by Rhyannon Byrd

Format: E-booktakemeunder
Read with: Kindle for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Dangerous Tides, #1
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Ben Hudson
Heroine: Reese Monroe
Sensuality: 4.9
Date of Publication: June 4, 2013
Started On: July 20, 2013
Finished On: July 22, 2013

34 year old Ben Hudson is the new sheriff of the idyllic holiday beach town of Moss Beach, Florida. Having given up his position as a homicide detective in Miami due to circumstances that had unfolded during his last investigation, Ben moves to town to take things at a more sedately pace. Ben has a reputation for working hard and playing that much harder and is never afraid of going after what he wants. The only thing that scares the bejeesus out of his is emotional entanglements of any sort.

Newly divorced 28 year old Reese Monroe moves to Moss Beach aiming to kickstart her life in a whole new direction. Her marriage to a cheating scoundrel has pretty much dented her ego and eroded her sense of self esteem and the need to escape from the mess her life had become motivates the move more than anything else.

Ben has hungered for Reese ever since the night he laid his eyes on Reese three years back. He has bided his time, always knowing deep inside that if and whenever Reese becomes free from the clutches of her good for nothing husband, he would definitely make his move and leave them both with the scorching imprint of how good things could be with them between the sheets.

Told from both Ben and Reese’s points of view in third person, Take Me Under takes place in its entirety in Moss Beach, Florida.

The connection between Ben and Reese sizzles right from the onset, a very much wary Reese who has no idea of how much of a starring role she has played in the sexy sheriff’s fantasies a little bit taken aback by the zeal with which Ben pursues her. And when it comes to light that Reese has a stalker who might have made his way to her new hometown on her heels, there is no stopping the protective instinct that surges forth in Ben and he becomes more of a force to be reckoned with which means for Reese there really is no turning back.

Rhyannon Byrd is very talented in the style with which she effortlessly blends the erotic and downright dirty sex into whatever genre of romance she works on. It has been while since she has published a contemporary romance and Take Me Under was a novel that I had been very much in anticipation for ever since she announced its release. Though it didn’t live up to all my expectations, Take Me Under proved to be a hot and panty-melting read with a dirty talking hero tossed into the mix.

Ben seemed to be a bit overwhelming to me; and I believe this just might be the first time I’m saying that about a hero, especially someone who looks like Christian Bale of all people. Forceful in his nature, Ben is a man from whom a woman can’t hide, either during the moments of passion or otherwise. And Ben is greedy enough to want everything Reese can give, although he might not be ready for the overwhelming riot of emotions that blindsides him as much as the passion between them does. The only thing that Ben is more afraid of than anything else is opening up the raw wounds that has festered for far too long inside of him.

Reese knows exactly what she is getting into when she says yes to getting down and dirty with Ben, and she goes onto show it in more ways than one, which actually seems to do a pretty good job of annoying Ben out of his stance on no messy emotional entanglements. It was quite amusing to see Ben in a role that he has never found himself in before as he reluctantly comes to the conclusion that without Reese by his side, he might just as well not exist.

I’m pretty much looking forward to Alex’s story, which seems to be in the works if the ending was anything to judge the next book in the series by. Alex certainly looks to be a hero who would be worth all the heartache he would put a reader through before embracing his own happily ever after.

Recommended for fans of Rhyannon Byrd and erotic contemporary romantic suspense.

Final Verdict: Raw & explicit, Take Me Under is a good debut for the Dangerous Tides series.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

[xrr rating = 3.75/5]

Caliber SEAL: GOOD READ!

ARC Review: Escaping Reality by Lisa Renee Jones

Format: E-bookescapingreality
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: The Secret Life of Amy Bensen, #1
Publisher: Julie Patra Publishing
Hero: Liam Stone
Heroine: Amy Bensen
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: July 22, 2013
Started On: July 17, 2013
Finished On: July 20, 2013

His touch spirals through me, warm and sweet, wicked and hot. I shouldn’t trust him. I shouldn’t tell him my secrets. But how do I not when he is the reason I breathe? He is what I need.

Liam Stone is a reclusive billionaire and philanthropist, a brilliant architect whose work is coveted by anyone and everyone who wants to make a long lasting impression in terms of building architecture and landmarks. A man who hugs his own demons far too close to comfort, Liam is a man used to taking charge, going after what he wants and winning.

Amy Bensen is a woman who is on the run, who has been on the run since she’d been 18 years old. Blending in with the rest is what does best, drawing attention to herself something that makes her palpitate in the fear that whatever or whoever she is running from would get the best of her.

Amy and Liam’s paths cross when the unseen danger comes calling once again, requiring her to leave whatever semblance of normalcy she has had for the past couple of years and leave everything behind. With the attraction and sense of awareness that trickles to life between them real and hard to ignore even from the very start, Amy finds herself breaking all her self appointed rules when it comes to Liam and how utterly and thoroughly he wreaks havoc on all her senses. Told in first person from Amy’s point of view alone, Escaping Reality is the first book in the two book series, The Secret Life of Amy Bensen.

Escaping Reality is my very first book by the New York Times Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones. Amy’s story is one that calls out to the reader, one there is no escape from once you start reading. With the turn of each page, Lisa embroils you deeper into the unfolding relationship between the darkly handsome Liam, whose contrasting nature of being demanding in the bedroom and protective out of it tugs at your heartstrings.

Liam is a force to be reckoned with. One doesn’t assume the role of being a billionaire after having grown up barely making ends meet without becoming one. His utter focus on Amy and uncovering the secrets that makes her flinch away from life and all the possibilities it has to offer is one that compels the reader to keep turning the pages. There is a darker side to Liam, a side that he mostly hides from the rest of the world. The moment of desperation that revealed that side of him was in essence the point where I felt myself get drawn deeper into his character.

Amy has been running for so long, looking over her shoulder for the danger in pursuit of her, from the bits and pieces of memories that haunt and taunt her for so long that its almost as if she has known no other way of life. Liam is the rule breaker, the man who disturbs and destructs all the plans she has laid out in her mind to play her role in the game of survival that has become her life for the past six years.

Amy might want to turn around and run, run as far away as she can from Liam and all that he comes to mean to her in the short span of time that takes to form the bond between them, but something holds her back, the need within her that spirals out of control every time Liam lays his eyes on her. It is her undying need to be with him and protect him from her at all and any cost that finally makes Amy take that vital step towards seeking answers for the questions that has always been at the back of her mind, never being answered for the lack of courage within her to step in that direction.

Escaping Reality of course concludes with a cliffhanger ending which leaves the reader practically itching to find how the series will conclude, the curiosity which will only be sated coming October.

Final Verdict: Relentless; with the hint of danger & darkness snapping at the heels of the turn of every page, Escaping Reality is an unstoppable page-turner!

Favorite Quotes

His fingers curve around my neck, tugging my mouth near his, teasing me with the promise of a kiss. “You have no idea just how demanding I can be.” And with that erotic promise, his tongue slices into my mouth, a silky, hot caress that seems to touch every inch of my now tingling body. The taste of him, of hot passion and desire, sizzles through my senses, and my fingers splay on the hard wall of his chest.

He advances on me and I swallow the rest of my sentence. I start to back away but he is already in front of me, his hands on my waist. I suck in a breath, and just that fast, I’m on the counter, skirt up, knees apart, and the fingers of one of his hands tunnel into my hair. His mouth slants over mine, his tongue licking into my mouth, and he doesn’t taste tender. Not one little bit. He tastes like the raw, honest passion he’s promised this night will hold. And he tastes like me.

There is just the wild passion consuming us, and he is touching me, moving inside me, and I am going crazy with my hands tied. I want to touch him. I need to touch him.
He is on edge too, his grip tightening around my hips, his face buried in my neck, and with a guttural moan, he pushes harder, deeper, and my sex is one deep pulse around his shaft that begins a wave of pleasure and spreads through my entire body. I am there. I am falling, tumbling, and finally, I crash into that sweet spot.

Purchase Links: Amazon

[xrr rating = 4.25/5]

Caliber SEAL: AWESOME READ!

ARC Review: The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan

Format: E-booktheheiresseffect
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Brothers Sinister, #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Oliver Marshall
Heroine: Jane Victoria Fairfield
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 15, 2013
Started On: July 14, 2013
Finished On: July 17, 2013

He wanted her, everything about her.
Everything except… Her.

Oliver Marshall is a duke’s son born on the wrong side of the blanket. Though Oliver hadn’t wanted for much as far as familial love went, society had never let him forget that he would always be left wanting because his father had never claimed Oliver rightfully as his. Ambitious & driven by the need to prove himself, Oliver is a man at times torn between the desire to do whats right and walk a bit on the darker side for the greater good, or so he tells himself.

Miss Jane Victoria Fairfield or the Feather Heiress as she is famous for has only one goal in mind. Protect her younger sister Emily at all and any cost, even if means making a spectacle of herself in the society. Jane counts herself as a loner, fighting a lonely & dangerous battle if the ones that hold the power in their hands were ever to figure out just how good she is at deceiving them into believing what she wants them to believe. Never quite seeming to fit in, Jane is the one that vividly stands out, a little too loud & bold for society’s comfort.

When Oliver’s ambitions collide in the path that Jane walks upon, Oliver is decidedly torn on whether to carry through with the nefarious task designated to him, which would be oh so easy if it were’t for the fact that Jane and her plight seems to echo a bit too closely with what Oliver had experienced during his childhood and adolescence. Somehow, the woman that Oliver bluntly says is the opposite of what he wants as a wife begins to grow on him, the taunting memories and dreams on the impossible woman for him being oh so deliciously right for him driving him to the brink of wanting that refuses to be denied. But the ultimate question lies in whether Oliver would be courageous enough to take that step towards accepting the fact he needs Jane in his life or would he walk on the path society dictates and leave Jane behind, even if it tears him into bits and pieces on the inside.

Set in Cambridgeshire of England in 1867, The Heiress Effect is the second full length novel in the Brothers Sinister series. Told from viewpoints of multiple characters, The Heiress Effect can be read as a standalone though I’d recommend reading at least The Duchess War before proceeding with The Heiress Effect.

You know those books that are hard to part with, not because it didn’t give you what you wanted but because it delivered exactly and rightly what you wanted that they are hard to let go? Well, The Heiress Effect is a book of the sort that makes you want to soak up and wallow in the emotions left behind in the wake of the story for a day or two before even attempting to pick up another book to read.

Courtney Milan skyrocketed her way to my auto-buy list of authors right after my very first novel from her which was the first book in the series. Ever since, I’ve been waiting a tad impatiently for the rest of the books in the series to come out and Courtney certainly have made the wait worthwhile. There are authors who can draw you into the story just be the prose & at times poetic and hypnotic writing style that begs a reader to lose themselves in the unfolding story. And Courtney definitely is one of them.

There are so many things I loved about The Heiress Effect. Namely Jane’s character that surprised, beguiled and made me fall in love just like that. The strength of her character and the burdens she shoulders all alone is admirable, her honesty refreshing and the way she cannot help but talk a person’s ear off when nervous endearing. The fact that Jane stayed true to her character, even towards the beautiful little epilogue tucked at the end which takes place 6 years down the line was what made the story in my opinion. I’ve seen very few authors manage to keep a character true to who they are, and so Courtney, I bow down to the refreshing honesty the story brought forward.

Oliver is definitely not the type of hero you’d go gaga over because of his good looks, rather you go crazy over him in spite of all of that. He might not be handsome in the classical sense but he more than makes up for it by that sheer intensity of his character alone. He has this way of saying certain things like, “Keep talking Jane”, which might be a very innocent statement given the circumstances and all, but the way he says it goes deep and I was sighing over his fascination with Jane and how out of character she makes him feel.

The secondary romance tucked into the story was a delight to read as well, not to mention other characters such as Oliver’s younger sister Free and his aunt Freddy that lends the story an extra richness that at times brought tears to my eyes. Courtney Milan just doesn’t write a romance, she paints a beautiful masterpiece everytime she puts pen to paper and that’s exactly why I’d always keep coming back for more. I cannot wait for Sebastian’s story to come out. I have a feeling that the pages are practically going to explode from the sheer force of his character alone which I am absolutely looking forward to!

Recommended for fans of Courtney Milan, fans of the series and practically EVERYONE who loves a good romance that can make you sigh and swoon in all the right doses. This one’s for you!

Final Verdict: Poignant, beautiful and poetic, there are few authors who can rival what Courtney Milan brings to the genre.

Favorite Quotes

She kissed him back, lips to lips, and then tongue to tongue. She kissed him until he wasn’t sure who was kissing and who was kissing back. The kiss took on a life of its own, roaring through his blood. As if somehow, if he kissed her hard enough, he could avoid the past and the future altogether. He might stay in the present forever.

And then there was just him—his weight, his breath, his body bearing her down, joining with her so intimately. His hands, turning her face up to his, and his kiss, warm and sweet on her lips. There was no other time at all.
Just now.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

[xrr rating=4.75/5]

Caliber SEAL: FANTASTIC READ!