ARC Review: Whose Bed Is It Anyway? by Natalie Anderson

Format: E-bookwhosebadisitanyway
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Men of Manhattan, #1
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: James Wolfe
Heroine: Caitlin Moore
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: October 1, 2013
Started On: September 16, 2013
Finished On: September 26, 2013

Whose Bed Is It Anyway? by Natalie Anderson tells the story of medic and rescue man James Wolfe who comes from a rich family, who works in disaster-ravaged countries, a man paying his penance for his past. The demons that haunt him are many and James refuses to stand still or rather stay in one place for far too long unless of course he is working. Work is his salvation, the only time when he feels at ease with himself. Considered a hero by many, James nevertheless shies away from the limelight, the hero status something he feels he is unworthy of.

Caitlin Moore is running from the present; the spectacle that her life had become in the past couple of weeks. When a friend offers her a place to crash, Caitlin doesn’t hesitate to take him up on his offer to seek refuge in the welcoming blanket of anonymity she’d find out of her home country. What Caitlin doesn’t bargain on is ending up sharing a room and a bed with the most devastatingly sexy man to ever stride into her life.

With an attraction that won’t quit, and with James confined to his home for the duration upon which his supervisor forces him to take a couple of days off, both James and Caitlin decide to do the sensible thing and indulge in a little holiday fling that would give them both a whole lot of fun with no expectations on either side. But the kind of searing hot attraction that James and Caitlin shares does come with a price; the price of emotional entanglements that neither factors into the equation of their holiday affair.

I loved Whose Bed Is It Anyway? from its pretty cover to the couple in the story and the very tantalizing and toe-curling variety of scorching passion in this story. Most of all I loved the hero James, his grumpy and albeit sexy as sin persona which made me salivate a bit and then some over him. His utter focus and intensity is off the charts and adds that extra layer to his character which made James a hero to covet. I loved the fact that though his only aim was to have a holiday affair, the way he is taken unawares with just how much Caitlin comes to mean to him sends him on a tailspin which served to be one of the best bits about the story. And the passion, oh dear lord the passion between Caitlin and James was so well done that I couldn’t have asked for more!

Caitlin turned out to be a beautiful character, on the inside as well as the out. With an inner core of vulnerability from growing up with a family that had been too engrossed in performing their different roles in pursuit of an acting career, Caitlin has lived a life not of the kind that she wants for herself, but one that had been required of her from her father. Scars of the emotional variety lingers in Caitlin’s heart, her wounds never having completely healed over needing an outlet due to the latest fiasco in her life. In James’s arms Caitlin finds that she is safe, treasured and wanted all at the same time, a heady combination for a woman who has never been wanted for herself in her entire life.

I loved the ending of this story which brought a smile to my face and delight to my heart. There is a playfulness to the story, the witty banter and the smouldering passion between James and Caitlin just topnotch and the right amount in my opinion.

Recommended for fans of Harlequin romances and fans of Natalie Anderson. I am definitely going to be sampling more of Natalie’s work in the time to come. And the good news? There are two more books lined up in this series if I am not mistaken. Hoping for just as delicious stories for the other two brothers as this one!

Final Verdict: Snazzy fun, heat, laughter and love. You gotta love the smouldering goodness to this story!

Favorite Quotes

Given her gasp, her mouth was already parted. So was his. Hot, hungry, he lashed out with his tongue, claiming her with no hesitation.

It was all kiss. And not gentle. Not tender. Just raw, rampant hunger.

His fingers began to trail back up her leg, this time sliding under the tee. As he encountered the bare skin of her buttocks he groaned, his body flexing in automatic response—a powerful, passionate thrust that made her gasp even as he plundered her mouth with his tongue. For a long moment they lay locked—straining together, his tongue thrust deep, his blind cock seeking to drive deeper still, while she bore down on him, open and wet and willing.

She fell back on the bed. He fell with her, his lips connecting with hers. She closed her eyes as she sa- voured the glorious weight of him. His tongue stroked deeper this time, seeking knowledge. She let him find it—opening up to let him explore completely. She lifted her hands, exploring the breadth of his back, feeling the strength of his lean muscles. Oh, yeah, the guy was fit. Taut. Hot.

Slowly she looked from his face, to his shoulders and then down to where muscles tapered to slim hips and the trousers slung low. The front of his combats was taut. His hands went to his waistband, undoing the button with a teasingly slow hand. Caitlin tensed. He was getting to the good bit. He unfastened the next button, then rolled down the waistband—ex- posing skin.
Oh my.
Caitlin was entranced.

‘Show me how much,’ she asked. ‘Show me.’
This time he didn’t stop. This time his breathing roughened along with his movements. This time he swore pithy and crude as he told her again how good she felt. How he couldn’t stop. How he wanted more. And he took more. Pushed for her absolute acceptance of him. Driving into her over and over and over.

‘I want you,’ she said.
James swore, grabbing her wrist and striding out of the elevator the second the doors slid open. He un- locked the condo as quickly as he could, pulling her inside and slamming the door. He hauled her close and kissed her like the sex-starved animal he was. Furious satisfaction roared through him as she slid her arms around him and clung, opening instantly for him.

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

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ARC Review: A Terrible Love by Marata Eros

Format: E-bookaterriblelove
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: A Terrible Love, #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hero: Devin Castile
Heroine: Jess Mackey
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: April 26, 2013
Started On: September 22, 2013
Finished On: September 26, 2013

Jess Mackey leads a life that gives her the sort of security that she craves after the brutality of the past that she endured and walked out from. All that Jess wants to do is blend in and be one with the crowd so that no one would notice that she is not whom she pretends to be, day in ad day out.

Jess’s one vice remains to be her love for the ballet and that turns out to be the reason for her to break out from her shell and leave that wall of anonymity behind her after two years of living under its protection. And along with embracing her love for the ballet comes another kind of “danger” calling into her life in the form of bad boy tattoed hotness Devin Castile.

The attraction between Castile and Jess is instantaneous and you can practically feel the heat between them burn the pages with the slightly erotic and very sensuous scenes of passion that leaves you begging for more. In the midst of Jess rediscovering herself and her buried passions, her very much troubled past comes calling in a way that leaves a lot to be desired and forces Jess to face her fears and come out victorious even with all odds seemingly stacked against her.

A Terrible Love is told in the first person from Jess’s point of view. Though my very first book by Mantara Eros, I fond myself totally captivated with the story that was unfolding, her ability to draw the reader in, a testament to her ability in weaving a magical story. A Terrible Love is by no means a light read. There are dark elements to it that makes it a very enjoyable page turner with that hint of menace and danger snipping at your heels all the while.

I loved the hero Castile to bits. He is the perfect combination of danger and sexiness that practically revs up my engines. A hero whose body alone speaks volumes, the way he rides that tough meanie motorbike of his enough to make this girl swoon. And that take charge attitude of his and smouldering I-am-dying-to-take-you-against-the-wall-or-any-flat-surface-available-right-now stare of his was just the right amount to leave me practically sighing all over the place.

Jess turned out to be an equally endearing heroine too. Though at times I was of the opinion that Jess just should’ve trusted her instincts and gone ahead with Castile from the start, I could understand the whys of Jess’s actions when it comes to Castile. The woman who wants no emotional entanglements, whose commitment to the ballet demands that she focus on little else but just that and the fact that Castile makes her feel all too much makes Jess hesitate in putting her heart on the line when it comes to him. And then there is that shred of mystery that surrounds Castile like an invisible aura that drives Jess a bit crazy trying to figure out where he is coming from.

I wouldn’t term the love that flares to life between Jess and Castile as a terrible love. I would label their love anything but that. Combustive, fiery, consuming; all words that I would use to describe the love between them, a love that felt right, a love that just seemed to click in all those places that hums yes when an author gets it right and a love that had me smiling as I turned the very last page. A job I would say very well done by an author who is unfamiliar to me and yet already just a step away from becoming an auto-buy for me. The best bit about looking up this book on Goodreads today? Turns out that the second book in this series is told from Castile’s point of view and its already out. How delicious is THAT going to be?

Final Verdict: One hell of a page-turner. The twists and turns this book takes leaves you drained. Yep, that good!

Favorite Quotes

“May I kiss you, Jess?” he whispers above my mouth.
No. “Yes,” I whisper back against every impulse not to.
He doesn’t take my lips softly but crushes my mouth against his, a storm crashing into the shore, his full lips working over mine, forcing them open, and I groan as he gathers me against him, his huge hands splaying against my lower back in a con- vulsive surge, bringing me into the line of his body.

I don’t know who moves first but before I can take my next breath I’m in his arms, his fingers tearing out my damp braid and plowing through my long hair. He holds my face, slam- ming his mouth against mine until I groan and open it for him. His other hand goes to the small of my back, then dives down to my ass as he lifts me against him, my legs automatically winding around his waist.

“Watch me, Jess,” he says in quiet command, and I don’t look away, can’t. He pulls out torturously slow, then slams his cock so deeply inside me my walls clench around him and he moans softly, the beautiful ebony of his eyes disappearing when he closes them in paused ecstasy.

I grip him hard and pull; he shudders under my touch. “Don’t do that, vanilla girl.”
“Or what?” I ask breathlessly.
And he shows me. Cas hikes me against the wall. “You said just fucking, Jess.”
He grinds his hips against my lower body, his engorged cock splitting my lips apart, and I gasp as an electric surge floods my system, beginning at my sex and spreading like a wildfire ignited. My hips give a responding swivel.

Purchase Links: Amazon | BookDepo | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

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Review: Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookbondsofjustice
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #8
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Max Shannon
Heroine: Sophia Russo
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: July 6, 2010
Started On: September 10, 2013
Finished On: September 13, 2013

Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh is the 8th book in the Psy-Changeling series. This series has come a long way and Nalini Singh has certainly managed to keep up the momentum and the pace of each of the stories in the series which is one reason why the entire set is so coveted by its legions of fans.

Bonds of Justice is the story of J Psy Sophia Russo, who at the tender age of 8 hadn’t been given much of a choice; to either become a J Psy or die. J Psy’s tend to have the shortest lifespan in comparison to either types of Psy in the fact that they have one of the most demanding sort of jobs on their minds and shields that is an essential makeup of Psy. J Psys are brought into retrieve memories of the most vicious criminals who need to remain behind bars for the rest of their life for the safety of the rest of the society. Sophia has always known that the time would come when one day she would have to give in to the fractured state of her shields which would mean her death, to be forgotten along with all the others just like herself.

Detective Max Shannon is one of the best detectives in New York Enforcement, a position that makes one of the most formidable Councilors of Psy, Nikita Duncan request for his services along with that of Sophia for a case of apparent suicides that has struck those closest to her. Already working on retrieving the memories of a psychopathic killer, a case on which Max is the lead the detective, Sophia knows that the fascination that she has harbored for Max just might be her undoing and bring death the inevitable death she is ready to face much closer than before.

Sophia is a scarred heroine if ever there was one. The horrors of her childhood, along with her abandonment issues together with that destructive career she leads makes her a disaster waiting to happen. The fact that the most innocent of touches may render her insane is a fact that hinders the burgeoning feelings that grow between Max and Sophia much more rapidly than either of them envisions. But Max is not a man to give up and neither is Sophia ready to do so on her cop, the only person who for the first time in her life is there for her, no questions asked.

Max is not a man who has led a charmed existence either. Having never known love from the woman who had given him life, Max carries a scar that has never properly healed in his heart ever since he was a child. Sophia and Max are two broken halves that make up a pretty darned fantastic whole and that is one aspect of the story that worked very well for me.

It is the makeup of the Psy along with the politics that governs their world that makes these stories so fascinating to sink oneself into. The NetMind itself is almost palpable in its reality, the treachery that is always a part of the powerful group of Councilors that oversees the affairs of the entire Psy a captivating aspect of every single one of these novels. Nikita is one of the most formidable Councilors, whose daughter Sascha becomes one of the first to defect from the PsyNet which causes the ripple effect that began the the sequence of events that seems to be the undoing of  the world of Psy. Bonds of Justice gives the readers insight into the worlds inhabited by Nikita and the rest of the Councilors, for all intents and purpose who have nothing but attaining power on their minds.

I found myself entirely way too fascinated with Kaleb’s character and Nikita’s too, a side of her that was revealed in this story that I would never have thought possible for a woman like her. While Max and Sophia juggle two cases that demands equal attention and focus from them, neither of them can ignore the heat, the oh so much heat that exists between them. It is almost as if the heat between them might result in them going up in a cloud of smoke; yes it was really that hot.

The villains provided the extra chills that managed to keep me hooked onto the suspense aspect of the story together with the romance and the politics that as always provided an unbeatable combination.

Recommended for fans of urban-fantasy/paranormal romances & fans of Nalini Singh.

Final Verdict: The intriguing insight into the Psy politics alone is reason enough to buy this! Recommended.

Favorite Quotes

Max felt Sophia’s hand tighten on his, wanted only to bend his head even farther and put his mouth on the unsteady beat of her pulse, suck hard. The possessive urge, the violent need to claim her to the core was a gnawing ache in his gut. He wanted the world to know she was his—make certain no one would dare lay a finger on her.

Shivering from the sensation, from the near-painful pleasure of the contact, she stood on tiptoe, trying to get closer. A raw male chuckle.
And then Max kissed her.
This was no brush, no teasing taste. He took her mouth with the contained intensity she could feel thrumming beneath her fingers, his muscles taut, his entire body held barely in check. And she realized he was savagely angry, a tiger no longer on the leash.

He felt it the instant she reacted, modified his stroke to what brought her the most pleasure, lifting himself off her enough that he could stroke downward to rub at the sensitive entrance to her body as well.
She was wet, slick. He couldn’t resist the temptation to dip his finger within. That was all it took.
A choked scream. Her body arching bowstring tight.

He could almost feel the vibrating tension in her, every tendon held taut. “I know who you are,” he said, holding her gaze. “I’m not going to be scared away because of your ‘imperfections.’ ”
A sheen of wet in her eyes, turning the midnight iridescent.
“We fit, you and I,” he whispered looking into that haunting gaze. “Two broken pieces making a whole.” It wasn’t the most romantic of statements, but it was torn from his soul. “I am not losing you.”

That slow, slumberous heat flamed, burned, but she took a step forward, lowered the zipper and then—taking a deep breath—pushed down both the jeans and her panties. Leaning forward to pull them off her feet, she could barely hear anything through the thunder of her heartbeat. Max didn’t say a word until she straightened back to her full height. But then he spoke . . . and she melted.

She swallowed as his fingers went to his jeans, as he undid the snaps and peeled the denim down his legs, along with his briefs. Her eyes were riveted to the thick length of his erection . . . to the hand he clasped around it. He stroked once, and her body arched. She couldn’t explain it, didn’t understand it, but the sight of him stroking his own flesh was the most erotic thing she’d ever seen. “Max.” A shuddering plea.

Shaking, she wrapped her other leg around him. The sudden act opened her up, made him slide inside faster than before.
They both cried out, and Max froze above her. “Sophie?”
She ran her teeth up the line of his throat. “Yes.” Always, yes for this man.

Her panties were torn off her, his fingers urgent as he tested her slickness. Lifting a leg, she wrapped it around his hip. He swore, lowered the zipper on his pants, and then the hot, hard heat of him was thrusting into her, pinning her against the wall. She cried out, holding on, holding him tight.

Purchase Links: Amazon | BookDepo | B&N | iTunes

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Review: To Love a Dark Lord by Anne Stuart

Format: E-booktoloveadarklord
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Avon Books
Hero: James Michael Patrick
Heroine: Emma Mary Catherine Langolet
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: December 28, 1994
Started On: September 9, 2013
Finished On: September 10, 2013

So what happens when I finish an Anne Stuart novel and wonder what to read next? Like a junkie with an addict, I WANT the next fix from Anne Stuart which plagues me until I give in. I must be thankful for the fact that there are so many books by her that I have still yet to read. Though I have mostly focused on her contemporary romances to-date, that changed with Never Kiss A Rake that was published this year, that I reviewed previously. Since To Love A Dark Lord is a romance that is loved by many, I thought I would get my next dose of Anne Stuart by plunging into the first ever romance that Anne Stuart attempted to write featuring a dark hero.

James Michael Patrick, the Earl of Killoran is a man who is haunted by too many nightmares, that he has retreated into his own shell, a man who many thinks is beyond redemption or saving. James himself knows that he is as such and he does what he does for reasons that he alone understands. Though lately life has become one bore fest after another and little has provided amusement for him except for hiding his pain behind consumption of spirits, when James stumbles onto Emma who accidentally stabs her lustful uncle to death, life as James knows it changes. Taking the blame for her uncle’s death is something James does on a whim, for the mere amusement the deed brings him.

When Emma is rescued by the sinfully handsome man who doesn’t spare her a backward glance before striding out of her life just like he swooped in to save her from her imminent death, Emma doesn’t know what to do with all the freedom that beckons her after a life spent in enforced solitude from which it had felt that there would be no escape from. Coming to the understanding that her savior wants her to forget him gives her the blow necessary to take her fate into her own hands, which inevitably brings her into the hands of none other than James himself, this time rescuing her to his own intents and purpose to serve as the pawn that would draw out his long time enemy, to enact the revenge that he has been waiting for a long time.

Emma though an inexperienced virginal heroine makes for a swell character. Her gutsy determination in the face of everything that is totally alien to her is to be admired. The fact that Emma understands the pain that is buried deep inside of James was the one factor that had me falling head over heels in love with her. Emma, though she doesn’t know her place in James’s heart or life, nevertheless does everything she possibly can to be there for him, without asking for anything back from him in return.

James of course, turned out to be the type of hero that I absolutely love to read about. There is a certain elegance to the heroes that Anne Stuart creates, even with that coldness that resides inside of them, that aloofness that drives readers crazy to find that one redeemable aspect about him that serves to be the pivotal aspect of the story. And with James, her very first hero with dark elements certainly did not disappoint.

As many reviewers have already pointed out, there is such a wealth of pain inside of James that it is hard not to want to reach out to him and wrap him in your embrace so that you might absorb some of that pain into your own self. James might never wish to think of himself as the knight without all that shining armor who strides to Emma’s rescue time and yet again. But something about Emma calls to him on a baser level, something he fights with every fiber in his being to prevent himself from succumbing to the lure that she presents. If not for the fact that Emma understands all this and more when it comes to James, and is just as helplessly drawn to him as he is to her, James would not have managed to find the sort of love he finally does in Emma’s embrace.

When you read an Anne Stuart, you always tend to have this emotional whirlpool viciously rolling around inside of you. And that tends to expand with the kind of angst that only a dark hero can deliver and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect read that balanced out the darkness, the angst and later on a love that held me enthralled and going back to read the epilogue tucked in at the end time and yet again. I don’t remember how many times I read the epilogue which was short, yet brought to light the life of James and Emma 9 years down the line. If the story hadn’t already been embedded deep into my heart, the epilogue certainly would have sealed the deal for me.

I would be remiss in my review if I were not to mention the secondary romance that takes place in To Love a Dark Lord. The romance that buds to life between the 23 year old Nathaniel Hepburn, a distant cousin of sorts of James whom he takes under his wings in order to teach him a thing or two about depravity, who ends up falling in love with the very unusual and extremely beautiful Lady Barbara Fitzhugh. Theirs was a romance that moved me to tears, Barbara’s story one that I wished I had gotten to read in a full length novel just dedicated to her and Nathan.

Recommended for those who love their heroes dark and a bit twisted. And definitely for fans of Anne Stuart.

Final Verdict: If you are fan of Anne Stuart, this is an absolute must-not-miss!

Favorite Quotes

The house was still and quiet. And somewhere, faintly overhead, he heard the sound of music. Emma was playing again, something soft and lilting and unexpectedly sad. A moment passed before he recognized it. It was an old Irish lullaby, one he’d heard from his nurse thirty years ago.
And James Michael Patrick, the fourth Earl of Killoran, the man without weakness, honor, or decency, closed his eyes in quiet desperation.

It wasn’t one kiss, it wasn’t twenty, it was a long series of unending kisses, leading one into another, so that she barely had time to begin to regain her sanity when he stripped it away once more. He kissed her eyelids, the side of her mouth, the beating pulse at the base of her neck. He kissed her nose and her chin, he bit her earlobe, and then he covered her mouth once more, kissing her with a devastating thoroughness that had her damp and trembling in his arms.

He kissed her temple, her cheekbone, her angular nose. And then in the shadowy night his mouth sought hers.
It was light and darkness, sin and forgiveness, hell and redemption. She put her arms around his waist, pulling him closer, closer still. She could feel the warmth of his strong back through the fine linen shirt; she could taste brandy on his mouth. His hand was between them, against her breast, and she hated the layers of cloth that separated them.

She started past him, and he kept his focus inward, thinking of nothing at all. He would have made it if her chemise hadn’t brushed against his hand. If she hadn’t paused one dangerous second too long.
He caught her, no longer caring what he was doing. She cupped his face, reaching up to kiss his mouth, and it was the last straw. He ripped at her clothes, ripped at his, a maddened beast, shoving her down on the hardwood floor, covering her with his strong body.

He reached down and caught her thighs, lifting them up around him. It was too late now. He’d fought it, and her, and now he was the one who had lost. He’d given in to a need so powerful it overwhelmed all others, and all he could do was revel in the feel of her hot, tight body around his, the furious pounding of her heart against his bare chest, her fingers digging into his back, scratching at him, tearing at him, as he thrust into her again and again, searching for a part of him he’d lost long, long ago.

He understood her choked, breathy little cry, so different from the studied sounds she usually made. He knew her restlessness, her heat, and her need. He knew how to love her. And when the first explosion hit her, it was so powerful, so unexpected, that she screamed, clutching at him, and his formidable control vanished, and he pushed deep, holding her, filling her, giving to her instead of taking.

He thought he could prolong it, but he was helpless against the tide of need that swept over him. He needed her, needed to take her in this bed, this house, this land. He needed to thrust deep and fill her with his seed. He needed to claim her, and claim his heritage. He’d fought it for too long.
He lifted himself above her, staring down at her as the bed rocked beneath his powerful, rhythmic thrusts. Her eyes were open as well, looking up at him, and then her eyes fluttered closed as her body convulsed around him, and he came as well, rigid in her arms, no longer fighting it, and her, and his own lonely heart.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

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Review: Never Kiss a Rake by Anne Stuart

Format: E-bookNeverKissARake
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Scandal at the House of Russell, #1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Hero: Adrian Bruton, Earl of Kilmartyn
Heroine: Bryony Arielle Josephine Russell
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 20, 2013
Started On: September 5, 2013
Finished On: September 9, 2013

Anne Stuart is on the list of my utmost favorite authors though I discovered her books a bit late in my reading life. The one reason I love her books is how unabashedly honest she is with her characters and she brings to the romance genre the darkest heroes that you would encounter that makes them that much harder to forget and move on from after you are done reading a tale from her.

Never Kiss a Rake is her latest release and my very first historical romance from her. Book 1 in the Scandal at the House of Russell series, this series is focused on the 3 sisters of the Russell household who suddenly find themselves destitute with nowhere to turn to when their father is killed. Bryony the eldest of the three is determined that she would get to the bottom of everything and erase the black name from her family name that would provide the opportunity for her sisters to marry and lead respectable lives.

To embark on the journey which would bring her to the truth, Bryony takes the position of housekeeping at the home of Adrian Bruton, the Earl of Kilmartyn. While secrets shroud him and the life he shares with his wife, Bryony is definitely not prepared for the way she yearns for the beautiful man that Adrian is. Bryony is shocked to say the least with the wanton desire that takes a hold of her and refuses to let go, until she succumbs with her heart, body and soul to the man who holds all her senses enthralled.

Adrian is a man who is bound by circumstance to the life he leads. While he doesn’t trust Bryony to be who she says she is, Adrian cannot help himself with the way he yearns for her and wants her to succumb to the desire that is a visceral part of the fragile relationship that forges between them. With a killer who lurks freely amidst them, counting the days until he can complete the path of revenge he has chosen which gives this romance the edge that it requires, Never Kiss a Rake though it doesn’t offer the usual darkness and depravity that is part of Anne Stuart novels, nevertheless proved to be an entertaining read that kept me up late into the night.

I loved Adrian. What’s not to love about an Irish hero whose good looks alone is enough to make a woman swoon from his utter beauty alone? And then there is the way he gets under Bryony’s skin, the way he slowly seduces her into giving into the explosive passion that bursts into life between them from day one. Adrian is not the dark type of hero that Anne Stuart usually creates, but he is the perfect fit for someone matter of fact and practical like Bryony who needs more than her fair share of beauty and love in her life. And that in my opinion is what makes this book a winner.

Recommended for fans of Anne Stuart and historical romances with a bit of suspense in the mix.

Final Verdict: Anne Stuart is a master in storytelling, whichever genre she chooses to write.

Favorite Quotes

Her breasts were hot, there was a tight feeling in her belly, and she wanted… she wanted… she couldn’t name what she wanted. She could only feel it.
And he was feeling it too, she knew it. That look was holding him captive as well, unable to move, staring down at her with fathomless emotion, need and doubt and surprise.

He moved closer, blotting out the fitful light, and she thought, now I am going to be kissed, really kissed, and she closed her eyes, preparing herself.
Instead, his mouth moved to her ear, and his teeth bit down on her earlobe. Instead of pain, warmth flooded her body, and her eyes flew open again. “Just so you know there are other, surprising places that can be almost as much fun as lips,” he whispered, before his mouth closed over hers.

Before she could say anything he kissed her again, no teasing this time, just a hungry demand, and she felt her body tremble with longing that she didn’t understand, could only feel. She wanted this man. She wanted to stay here, lie beneath him, have him push between her legs and take her as a man took a woman. It was wrong, it was selfish, and it didn’t matter.

Bryony tasted of cognac and salt tears and sweet, untutored lust. She tasted of the redemption he could never have, the fiery hell he was heading for.

She sucked in her breath. She could feel him everywhere, he possessed her, owned her, and she wanted to weep with the beauty of it. Because as she was his, he was hers, shaking in her arms, thrusting, a deliberate pace that began to grow faster.

He cursed, a low, guttural sex word, and twisted his hips against her, and the darkness hit, turning everything into a cataclysmic explosion that rocked every inch of her. She was barely aware that he’d pulled out of her, that warm wetness spread over her belly, and she would have cried out, but her voice was strangled in her throat, and then he covered her mouth with his, swallowing the last of her protest, the last of her passion, and she wanted him back inside her.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

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ARC Review: Cake by Lauren Dane

Format: E-bookcake
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Gregori Ivanov
Heroine: Wren Davis
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: September 15, 2013
Started On: September 5, 2013
Finished On: September 5, 2013

Gregori Ivanov is an artist whose bad boy image keeps at bay and hides his true nature from the clamoring fans who always seems to want one thing or the other from him. His marriage and the divorce that had followed suite, together with the destructive relationship he tends to have with his ex-wife seems to have driven up the walls that protect his heart and emotions with iron bars.

Wren Davis is an art student, working as a part-time messenger to pay the bills which brings her to the home of the ultra gorgeous Gregori who makes her want and crave for him in a way she has never craved anyone ever before. The friendship and the flirty relationship that has been going on between Gregori and Wren for the past year or so reaches its breaking point and tumbles over when Gregori is driven to take a bite of the woman who has been driving him slowly crazy for the past couple of months. Wren is determined that she would make Gregori give in to the heat and obvious connection that is way more than just physical between them. And Gregori finds out the hard and delicious way that he is indeed no match for a determined Wren from getting all that she wants.

Cake though a short read proved to be an explosively good one. There is of course the hero Gregori who made me practically salivate with that bad boy charm of his and that predatory soul that comes to life within him when Wren is in the picture. Gregori might want to resist Wren with everything that he is for all the wrong reasons and that is exactly what gives this story the edge it required.

Wren was a lovely heroine. I loved her for her independence and her resilience when it came Gregori which made her put her foot down and work for the man she had fallen for. While the sex was of the scorching hot and panty melting variety, it is the connection between them outside of the bedroom that made my heart melt and made me root for them big time!

With just the right amount of body tingling variety of scorching hot sex and a hero who slips to  muttering in Russian in the throes of passion, I couldn’t have found a better way to spend the one hour it took to devour this scorching goodie! Highly recommended!

Final Verdict: Sizzling chemistry and a Russian hero = Win!

Favorite Quotes

He tasted like…well like everything she’d imagined he’d taste like. The spice of the Turkish tobacco in the French cigarettes he smoked. A little bit of vodka. Some cinnamon, probably from the gum he’d been chewing. And something else she couldn’t define but was all his anyway.
Heat raced through her veins. She nipped his bottom lip and he groaned again. She laved the sting with her tongue and tasted the kiss, the need between them and it was her turn to groan.

She climbed into his lap and he drew a shaky breath.
“I felt just how much you wanted me then.” She rolled her hips, grinding herself against his cock. “I feel it now. Question is, Gregori, do you enjoy me as much as you enjoy cake? And how can you know unless you take a taste?”
She brushed her lips over his mouth and his eyes snapped open. “Indeed.”
His muscles, which had been tense, loosened and then he pounced. He wrapped his arms around her, hauled her closer and kissed her.

She grabbed his waist, working his pants open. He swore when she took him in her hand, fisting, sliding up and a down a few times.
He muttered in Russian, drawing aside the straps from her camisole and bra, kissing the bare skin he left behind.
More muttering in Russian. Hearing it made her so hot.
“What? What are you saying? You’re giving me a complex.”
He snorted, tipping his head to look into her face. “I can’t get at all of you adequately here.”

“He’d better not fuck and dash.” Zoe sniffed as she cracked her beer open.
“He’s not what he tries to portray to the outside world. He’s a nice guy. Yes, he’s bossy and imperious and totally spoiled. But there’s more to Gregori than what you see at first glance.”
“Speaking of that. So… equipment wise you’d say? Standard? Deluxe? Premium?”
“Presidential suite.”

He drove her up fast. Relentless and when she came it was hard, rushing up from her toes to the top of her head as she clamped down around him. She heard the growl, a snarl of a sound as he followed, the hand at her hip tightening just shy of pain.

He watched the ghost of their reflection in the window, the way her lip caught between her teeth. Wanton. Even as he had her, he wanted more. He knew even as he came that he’d want her again within minutes.
She tightened herself around him and he growled. “Don’t think I didn’t miss this.” “You’d better have.”
She pushed back hard and fast, tightening up again and it was too much, he tumbled down, coming, his head back on a snarl of her name.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N 

awesomeread

Blog Tour & Guest Post + Giveaway: Untamed by Jane Shoup

Guest Post

untamed_The first novel I wrote, Jayna Incarnate, was, at heart, a bodice ripper featuring a beautiful, twenty-something woman who falls into the clutches of a notorious sea captain (feel free to read pirate into that) named Shoale. Wow, was he was a terrific bad guy! A dark, complex, determined alpha male, obsessed with possessing the heroine.  The premise of the book was more complex than that, of course, involving time travel and daring escapes and true love found in the Scottish highlands. It was good enough to get an Eppie nomination under the category of mainstream novels. It’s not currently on the market, but I plan to rework it and get it back out there because … did I mention what a delicious bad guy Shoale was? Mackenzie MacAndrews is equally as wonderful in the role of the good guy, but somehow the good guy doesn’t resonate as strongly.

Hmm.

Upon hearing that erotic romances sell well, I wrote nearly a half dozen. In the first of them, an area in a now-wooded area in modern day time was the same place where a horrific Revolutionary war crime occurred. On Halloween evening in 2004, the fabric of the time/space continuum is lifted and a lonely, disconnected woman steps back in time to 1783 and into the life of a man who is haunted by his past, restrained by eighteenth century manners and yet consumed with desire for woman he believes he willed to him.

Another erotic romance was a rather twisted, modern day tale of abduction where the tables eventually get turned. The review from The Romance Studio said the book, ‘will have people talking. What would you do if a man kidnapped you and then went about trying to make every one of your dreams come true?’

Untamed, my newest release, is the authentic reimagining of the legend of Tarzan. Once again, there is a strong, complex alpha male and an abduction and a torrid love scene. Still another of the erotic romances was also abduction for the sake of revenge, because a man believes his true love betrayed him.  Anyone sense a recurrent theme in the vicinity? What’s astonishing is that I didn’t see the pattern until I was probably a dozen books in. Once I saw it, it glared right back at me like a crazed, hairy monster. Unblinking. Unrepentant. Insatiable.

As a side note, and not that I’m disagreeing with the fact that I desperately need therapy, but, in my own defense, I have written books that involved no abductions or forced captivity. Not many of them, but some.

Before I wrote Untamed, I put a lot of thought into where and how to begin the story. The question became, if the story was true, how did it come about? I wanted a logical base, and so I researched until I found it. The next effort was to flesh out this man who’d been abandoned in an African jungle as a six year old and spent the next twenty years cut off from civilization. Civility and language is buried deep within in his mind, but he’s lived according to his most basic needs for two decades.     When he sees a woman in the camp of men – a camp of men scouring the jungle for him – he senses she is his mate, and sets out to make it happen. There is no question as to morally right or wrong – not until much later when he’s being reintroduced to morals and the rules and expectations of society.

There have been many comments on the ‘love’ scene between the untamed man and Arianna, the female protagonist. Some positive; ‘I loved the rawness,’ some feeling it wasn’t necessary. And it’s not the first time a scene I wrote caused controversy, but, as an author, it is vital to be true to a character. I want to write characters well enough that they come alive on the pages. More than that, I want them to direct each action and scene. It doesn’t matter if I, as the writer, like what they’re doing or saying or thinking or not. What’s important is that it’s true to them. The question – the only question – is what would this character do at this time?

In Untamed, Arianna is just as interesting a character study as Zan. She’s an outsider of sorts in that she’s a transplant from America. She came to live with an uncle at the age of nine, so she’s able to blend perfectly, but she’s still ‘an American, whose father is in trade,’ as her suitor, Marshall Derringer, reminds her.

She’s spirited and intelligent and self-aware, but some of that awareness came from mistakes she made in the past, mistakes born of a desire to please the father than eagerly gave away custody of her.  She’s also living in a century in which women are not fully in control of their destiny. In 1908, things were changing for women – fashion, opportunities, expectations, but amongst high society, there was often a fierce resistance to change. It was still expected that women would marry correctly and according the wishes and best interest of their family.

Most young women her age were fixated on their appearance and their apparel, their position in society and on the man they would (or did) marry. Arianna isn’t immune to these pressures, but she has the advantage of having been taken in by an uncle who is a renowned photographer and avid adventurer and who is open minded enough to allow her to tag along.

Like most of us, she’s fumbling her way along toward what feels like the right path, but there are so many complicated roundabouts and unexpected forks in the road. The sudden obstacles and difficult choices are what make us who we are, and both Zan and Ari face a lot of them.

For as many stories as I’ve created that feature some form of forced captivity, I’ve written even more in which two ‘outsiders’ strive to come together to form a perfect union. Untamed is one of them. At least, I don’t think that’s something I need therapy for.

So What’s The Book About You Ask?

In 1908, on a mission to find a new breed of ape in central Africa, an unfathomable thing is discovered – a wild, white man, living amongst gorillas. Local villagers call him matokeo ya utafutaji kwa, the untamed one.

Joining the team of hunters and trackers searching for matokeo ya utafutaji kwa is Arianna Day, the 21-year-old niece of the expedition’s leader. She catches the untamed one’s eye and, believing she is meant for him, he takes her captive and claims her for his own, body and soul.

When Arianna is rescued, the untamed one is captured, and they are sent their separate ways: the wild man to learn language and social skills he’d long forgotten, Arianna back home to England to try to fit back into her old life. A promising marriage proposal awaits, but thoughts of the untamed one haunts her.

Amidst the backdrop of London in the summer of 1908, as the Olympic Games are hosted and the Franko-British Exhibition is held, the now-civilized wild man returns home, with his original name restored: Sebastian or ‘Zan’ Shaffer. He and Arianna are drawn together again only to be ripped apart by social convention and Marshall Derringer, the man determined to have her as his wife.  But Zan is not the only one with an untamed heart…

About Jane Shoup

janshoupOriginally from Southern Indiana, (born in Evansville, grew up in Newburgh,) I now reside in Greensboro, North Carolina. My day job is that of a real estate agent, although the goal is become a full time writer … who actually eats regularly and pays the bills. I’m exceedingly proud of my young adult daughters, Mackenzie, Allyson and Hayley. They’re lovely and wacky and smart and basically my favorite people on earth.

If I had to describe myself . . . I’d say upbeat, highly imaginative, passionate, restless, easily bored, humorous, stubborn, spiritual and truly blessed.

I love writing. I love getting caught up in another time and place. Honestly – it’s often a disappointment to have to return to reality. My favorite genre tends to be whatever I’m working on at the moment. I write historical fiction, action/adventure, suspense, fantasy and more, all of it with an element of romance to it.

That’s about it, but if you want to know more, read my stuff. I’m in every page.

untamedblogtour

Participating Blogs

My Love For Films and Novels (9/9)

Bound 4 Escape (9/9)

Maldivian Book Reviewer (9/10)

House of Books (9/10)

I Choose Forward Motion (9/11)

Girl Who Reads (9/11)

BS Book Reviewers (9/12)

Indie Authors You Want To Read (9/13)

Musings from an Addicted Reader (9/13)

Swept Away by Romance (9/15)

K T Book Reviews (9/16)

Review from Here (9/16)

Links

Jane Shoup’s Website: http://janeshoup.com/

Jane Shoup on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jane-Shoup/338170666219714

On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18159631-untamed

Diversion Books: http://www.diversionbooks.com/ebooks/untamed

Giveaway

Jane Shoup is giving away an e-copy of Untamed to one lucky commenter on this blog post. Tell us your most favorite romance set in the wilderness and why you loved it so.

Don’t forget to leave a valid email id to contact you with if you happen to be the winner.

Giveaway starts: September 10, 2013 – 00:00 hours MVT

Giveaway ends: September 11, 2013 – 00:00 hours MVT

MVT -> GMT +5

Best of luck and don’t forget to help spread the word!