ARC Review: Waiting On You by Kristan Higgins

Format: E-bookwaitingonyou
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Blue Heron, #3
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Lucas Damien Campbell
Heroine: Colleen Margaret Mary O’Rourke
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 25, 2014
Started On: March 24, 2014
Finished On: March 28, 2014

Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins is the 3rd book in her Blue Heron series. All stories are based in the small town of Manningsport, New York and are fabulously good, at least starting from the 2nd book which is where I got my introduction into this series. Each of these stories can be read as a standalone, but then why give up on reading equally good and heartwarming tales of love that can leave you with a tingle or two in the right places and a smile deep in your heart, rather than wasting time on so many lackluster reads out there?

Waiting on You tells the story of 31 year old Colleen who has lived in Manningsport practically her whole life. Co-owner of the best and only bar in town with her twin Connor, Colleen is happy and well adjusted into her crazy life in which she finds the time to play matchmaker and considers half of the happily married younger couples in town to be her success stories. Though her own life could use a dose of all consuming love and lust, Colleen hardly lets it bother her until Lucas Damien Campbell strolls back into town bringing the memories of an entwined past that leaves her with little choice but to convince herself that she is so over Lucas.

Life and circumstances had kept Lucas away and he would be leaving once again when he finishes taking care of what summoned him back in the first place. Though seeing Colleen brings back all the yearning and memories back with a force that rocks and shakes his very world, this time around Lucas is prepared for the effect Colleen has always had on him ever since the very first time their eyes had met across the breadth of a classroom. There is desire and then there is the wanting of the heart which had never stopped clamoring for the one single time love and passion had consumed Lucas in his lifetime.

Colleen would like nothing better than to think of herself immune to all that Lucas is has been and will always be on her senses and her heart. But it is inevitable that with nothing holding both of them back that they would gravitate towards each other sooner or later, and oh but what a delicious way to surrender when it is with the man to whom no one else would ever compare with. But Colleen does put up a good fight, trying to save herself from a heartbreak that she knows is yet again as destined to happen as the two of them getting back together.

When you open a Kristan Higgins, it is not just a story of boy meets girl and they fall in love and lived happily ever after that you get. There is so much more to each of her stories, the heartwarming small town life that she practically brings to life in every single one of her stories part of the charm to a Kristan Higgins. And of course there is her characterization; each and every single one of the characters that appears in her stories has something to contribute towards making a well rounded story; some come with an edge to them while the rest fill in those roles that makes a story wholesome for the lack of a better word. And in Waiting on You, readers get to sample the full scale of just how beautiful a tale that Kristan can weave when she puts pen to paper and starts creating her stories.

One must not forget the fun factor in Kristan’s books and Waiting on You definitely had its fair share of laugh out loud moments. Trust me when I say this, I was laughing so hard during certain scenes in the story that I was starting to question my own sanity a time or two. There are very few authors who can do funny like Kristan does and that is always one reason that I would keep going back for her stories.

For those who steer clear of Kristan’s books because she almost always writes her stories in the first person, here is the chance to sample her stories as the Blue Heron books are all written in third person with both the hero and heroine’s viewpoints included. I would say Kristan has come a long way in terms of how she tells her stories. The level of involvement between her heroes and heroines that definitely takes up a larger chunk than they did in prior books. And then there is the sizzle factor in her books that used to be left mostly up to the imagination and creativity of the reader’s mind. Though even now there aren’t detailed scenes of lovemaking included in Kristan’s books, I’d say her novels of late are more well rounded even in that aspect.

I loved Lucas, no two ways about it. There is no way on this Earth that a straight woman would NOT be moved by the man that Lucas is, his intense gaze alone enough to render a woman into a puddle of goo. Yep, Kristan has created him that well. Trust me on that.

And then there is Colleen. At first, I thought that I wouldn’t end up liking her as much as I loved Lucas, but turns out she proved me wrong and I was in love with her and rooting for her as much as I was for Lucas. There is so much emotion interwoven into the story that I had this huge lump the size of a football field lodged into my throat. Yes, it was that angst ridden at times and that emotional too. I wept for the boy that was Lucas and the man who had to turn his back on the yearnings of his heart because that’s the sort of person he is. A man with a beautiful and loyal soul that refuses to back down, a man who owns up to his responsibilities. Add to that his gorgeous looks, oh well, Lucas practically speaks for his character himself.

Recommended to every single one of you who loves contemporary romances. There is humor, there is love and then there is the sort of emotional sucker punch that you would not be forgetting anytime soon! A good story is one that makes you smile, laugh and cry and then makes you smile from ear to ear through your tears. And that is the reason why Kristan Higgins remains a force to be reckoned with in the genre!

Final Verdict: Laugh inducing goodness & emotional wallop that only Kristan Higgins can deliver!

Favorite Quotes

He threw up his hands. “I don’t know whether to strangle you or kiss you.”
“Don’t you dare kiss me.”
He kissed her.
God.
God. It was a prayer, as in God help me, because Colleen’s whole body lit up with flares of light and heat and tiny pinpricks of shock. Lucas was hot and hard and strong, and she wrapped her arms around him and held him just as hard, her mouth opening under his, and yes, yes, this was what they were meant to do, this elemental, hard, thought-stealing kiss.

He was locked in from the second he kissed her, something he’d been thinking about doing from the moment he first saw her, something he’d vowed not to do because it was certain that even one kiss would bind him to her.
He was right. The second his lips touched hers, a word came into his head, a word from long ago when his mother was still alive, when Spanish was still spoken at home.
Mía. Mine.
Colleen was his.

Then he stood up, slid his hand around her neck and pulled her in for a kiss.
She didn’t see that coming.
Didn’t pull away, either.
It was a hard, authoritative kiss that seared through her. Good God, the Spaniard could kiss. His five- o’clock shadow scraped her just the right amount, and his mouth, oh, yes, that mouth of his, that fallen-angel mouth…and then it was over, and he stood in front of her, dark and sure and steady when she was lucky to be standing, her legs suddenly warm and wonderfully weak, her special places bursting into song.

He wrapped her in his arms and hugged her against him, tucking her face against his beautiful, smooth warm neck. “Thank you,” he whispered, and her en- tire side electrified.
“Oh, you know,” she said, her voice wobbling. She tried to pull back, but he just held her tighter.
“Have dinner with me tomorrow,” he murmured, his lips so close to her ear. “I promise not to break your heart.”

He sat on her bed and looked at her, his Spanish eyes black and unfathomable in the dim light of the fading day. Turned her hand over and kissed the soft side of her wrist, and looked at her again, his thumb sliding over the spot he’d just kissed, and suddenly, Colleen realized her eyes were full of tears.
“I missed you,” she whispered, and he stood again and kissed her softly, softly, then wiped her tears away and kissed her again.
“Oh, mía,” he whispered. “I missed you, too.”

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

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ARC Review: Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston

Format: E-bookbiteme
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Pride, #9
Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Hero: Vic Barinov
Heroine: Olivia Kowalski
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 25, 2014
Started On: March 23, 2014
Finished On: March 24, 2014

Book 9 in the Pride series, Bite Me is my very first foray into this series. Having read just one book by Shelly Laurenston prior to this, I knew what to expect from her novels in the sense that I knew that if nothing else, the story would keep me entertained all throughout. Though Bite Me can definitely be read as a standalone, I think that the wholesome experience of all the characters that appear in this book can only be had if you read the series in order.

Half-Asian, half-Polish and a honey badger shifter, Livy Kowalski and her family of honey badgers are considered the most devious of shifters. The fact that Livy stands apart from the rest of her brood and doesn’t believe in the way of life of honey badgers had always been an issue of contention when it had come to her parents and extended family. A photographer by profession whose creative juice seems to have dried up, Livy finds it hard to confide in even the people closest to her the fear that churns in her gut every time she thinks of the loss of her zeal for the one thing that helps ground her. And when Livy finds the truth behind her father’s death, it sets off a chain of events which propels her into the life and arms of Vic Barinov, teaching her a thing or two about herself and her passion for the beautiful shifter who gets her juices flowing in more ways than one.

Vic is a crossbreed,  part grizzly bear and Siberian tiger which makes him unique. Vic doesn’t know why he lets Livy burrow all the way into his home and finish off his precious honey whenever she feels like she needs a place to crash, but Vic would rather not admit that he has a soft spot for Livy, the one person who doesn’t even try to invoke that sort of emotion in anyone. That doesn’t stop Vic from trying to cheer Livy up and in the end finds himself embroiled in a passion as deep as complex as the woman Livy is. And in between, there is of course her crazy family to contend with and the chase to bring the man responsible for Livy’s father’s death to justice.

Though I really enjoyed what Bite Me had to offer, there were times that I felt that story dragged a bit here and there. But what made it all worth it was the witty and sarcastic banter that fills the pages, making it impossible to skip even a single page of the unfolding story. I loved both Vic and Livy to pieces, Vic was a mix of alpha and sweetness with a bit of grumpy hotness on the side. Livy was a heroine of the reticent type, whose very thought processes alone made me burst out into laughter.

Recommended for fans of Shelly, fans of paranormal romances with lots of humor and fans of the Pride series!

Final verdict: One word; entertaining!

Favorite Quotes 

“Livy?”
“Yeah?”
Vic leaned his head back, his chin still resting on her chest. “Some days . . .”
“Yeah?”
“Some days you make me want to drive a railroad spike through my head.”
Then he was gripping Livy’s legs again and yanking her lower half up, his cock pressing against her. He paused. Just long enough to make sure he had Livy’s attention. Then he pulled Livy closer and thrust hard. So hard, so mercilessly, that Livy started coming again. And at this rate, Livy wasn’t sure she’d ever stop.

Holding her tight, Vic turned them so that Livy was underneath him. He braced his arms on either side of her, his big, long body looming over her. “Bring your legs up,” he ordered. “High on my waist.”
When she did, he growled and powered into her, his cock buried deep inside her pussy. Livy’s back arched. Nothing she could remember had ever felt this good.

“You make me want to burrow,” Livy told him, her arms moving down to his waist as she snuggled into his chest. “Usually I want to burrow away from people,” she murmured. “You’re the first I’ve ever burrowed toward.”

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

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ARC Review: Mine to Crave by Cynthia Eden

Format: E-bookminetocrave
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Mine, #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Drake Archer
Heroine: Jasmine Bennett
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 10, 2014
Started On: March 9, 2014
Finished On: March 18, 2014

Anyone who has followed the Mine series till now and has read the books in order would know exactly what I am talking about when I say Drake Archer is the type of hero that invokes all sorts of fascinating reactions from the reader. I would have thought that having the sort of painful past that Drake has, he would turn out to be one of the darkest heroes in the series. But turns out Drake is pretty much the usual alpha hero variety that didn’t do much of a job of standing out, at least not for me.

Drake Archer’s past mistakes and betrayals has made him into a man who wouldn’t take any bullshit from anyone. He is especially determined that no woman would get the better of him, again. But that is exactly what happens when the delectable Jasmine Bennett beckons and entices him to let down his guard. And once crossed Drake can make a mean enemy and that is what Jasmine gets saddled with when Drake finds out what exactly she had been up to when she had worked her wiles on him.

Though Jasmine would rather not admit to the fact, Drake gets to her in a way that she hasn’t ever let herself be vulnerable enough to feel. Jasmine’s painful past has taught her to always stay one step ahead of anyone that can hurt her, but all her self-made rules incinerate into dust every time Drake lays his hands or mouth on her, taking her to heights of passion that she has never experienced before.

But danger is never too far, a man who is more than capable of wreaking havoc in the name of vengeance and revenge, seeking to destroy everything to do with Drake and his life. And if he has to kill a lot more people to do that, he is crazy enough to consider the rest as collateral damage.

Cynthia Eden’s books are always good enough even when they are average reads, and Mine to Crave also had its good stuff to offer which kept me glued to the pages in order to experience the high that Jasmine underwent every single time Drake enters the picture. The bits that didn’t work for me were the parts of the story where Drake seemed unable to hold himself in check and seemed to quote the same repetitive dialog to defend his actions to his friends Noah and Trace from the previous books.

While I love myself an alpha and uber possessive hero and don’t get me wrong, Drake was that in spades half of the time, I just found myself a teeny bit disappointed with the fact that the rest of the time Drake acted like someone who hadn’t experienced what being in the battlefield is like, nor does he act like the lethal weapon that he must’ve been honed into after fighting in wars that would have broken down a lesser man. I loved both Jasmine and Drake’s characters but I just don’t think they worked for me on the level that I actually wanted them to, hard as it is for me to say that. But as I always point out when books don’t work for me particularly well, there is always the chance that you would end up loving the heck outta Drake and Jasmine!

Recommended for fans of the series and fans of Cynthia Eden.

Final Verdict: A good 4th fix for the Mine series cravings fans of Cynthia Eden are definitely bound to have!

Favorite Quotes

When she came, Jasmine felt Drake erupt inside of her. Biting her lip, Jasmine tried to hold back a scream. She didn’t want—
“Give it to me,” Drake demanded. “Give me everything.”
So she cried out her pleasure.
And he growled her name.

Her lips pressed lightly to his throat. She kissed him. A delicate, tender caress in the maelstrom of passion that surrounded him.
He came then, with a release so strong that his heart seemed to stop for a moment as the pleasure pulsed through every vein in his body. It swept over him, through him, and it was so good. So incredibly good. He never wanted it to end.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&NARe | iTunes

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ARC Review: Mine to Hold Cynthia Eden

Format: E-bookminetohold
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Mine, #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Noah Robert York
Heroine: Claire Cassandra Kramer
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: October 21, 2013
Started On: October 20, 2013
Finished On: March 9, 2014

Ever since Cynthia Eden started publishing her Mine series, I have been enjoying the ultra sexy and uber possessive tales of love, lust, passion and suspense that keeps me turning the pages in a way that only few authors such as Cynthia can make me. Mine to Hold is the 3rd book in the series. I wouldn’t recommend reading this as a standalone because I think you would miss out on a huge chunk of the makeup of the characters involved if you do!

Claire Cassandra Kramer is barely sixteen years old when falling in love with the wrong kind takes away practically everything and everyone she holds near and dear. Moving past the tragedy hadn’t been an easy road to travel on, nor had it been without its fair share of setbacks. Not when she had managed to make an enemy out of one of the most powerful men in the country. When the last surviving member in her family is brutally murdered in a wake of violence that leaves Claire reeling to find an anchor to balance her, Noah Robert York is the man who steps up to take the place.

Noah doesn’t even begin to understand what it is about Claire that makes him act like a caveman, but she tends to bring out feelings inside of him that is alien to a man who changes women as often as he changes his shirts. Not one to dwell on the emotions much, Noah decides to take each day as it comes and protect Claire from anyone who dares to even think about hurting her. Though handling people with kids gloves on is not exactly Noah’s territory, he would die trying to be just that for Claire until Claire stands up to him and lets him know that she can more than handle all the man that he is and then some.

Though not as good as the first two books (perhaps I am biased because there is little a man can do to live up to Trace Weston) whose love for his wife Skye is the reason for this series to come into being, I found to myself that once I let go of my expectations about what the story should be, I managed to enjoy what Claire and Noah’s story had to offer. Like almost all Cynthia Eden romances, Mine to Hold also features an uber creepy killer with stalker tendencies that at times makes Noah doubt whether Claire could actually be seeing who she claims to be seeing everywhere she turns. Turns out yes, there is obsession and then there is obsession of the kind that can get you killed and that is exactly the fate Claire would have suffered if not for the fact that Claire is stronger than everyone gives her credit for.

Recommended for those who love Cynthia Eden’s romantic suspense novels and those who have enjoyed what the Mine series have had to offer till now and have been waiting for the rest of the books just like myself!

Final Verdict: Noah and Claire share a love that absolutely consumes!

Favorite Quotes

She met him, thrust for thrust. The rhythm became wild, so hard. He was in her so deep.
No pain.
Only more pleasure.
So much pleasure that the whole world seemed to explode. She wasn’t sure if she screamed or not. She only knew that after years of being cold, it felt as if she were in an inferno.
One that swept her up, hollowed her out, and left her aching for more…more pleasure.

She liked the way he tasted. Liked the way he hardened impossibly more beneath her mouth and she—
Claire was on her back in the bed.
Noah was over her. He had her wrists pinned to the bed. Damn but that man had moved fast.
He stared at her, locked his gaze with her—and took her. He filled her, every inch, and she gasped as the pleasure surged through her.
Her legs curled around his. She arched up against him.
He plunged. Fast. Hard. Deep.

His mouth pulled from hers.  He stared into her eyes. “I want to fuck you.”
“Th-they’re waiting…”
“Let them wait.”  He jerked on the panties, hard, and they tore.  He needed her. There. Right there.
No foreplay. No sensual build-up to release.
He had to take her.

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

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Spotlight & Giveaway: Honor and Innocence: Against the Tides of War by Glen Hierlmeier

Book Blurbhonorandinnocence

Honor and Innocence: Against the Tides of War, a historical romance novel by Glen Hierlmeier, will be released March 2014. This book takes the reader through the devastation left by World War II across the European and Asian continents following its main character Hank Fischer, who was drafted to the American Army in 1945 shortly after his high school graduation.

During his service, Hank befriends a German prisoner-of-war, Max, who tells Hank of his twin sister, Roberta, also in captivity. An unlikely romance buds between her and Hank, leaving Hank conflicted between his allegiance to the American Army and his love for Roberta. Hank decides to break out Max and Roberta, and together they make a desperate flight through war-torn Germany where they witness first-hand the destruction post-war Europe has endured. Leaving Max behind in Switzerland, they make their way to the port city of Trieste, where they board a ship and depart to the seas, dealing with pirates, facing adversity, making new friends, and desperately seeking a safe refuge in a place where their love can flourish.

Follow Hank and Roberta on their intense and captivating journey from country to country as they seek refuge. Read as they make their way through bombed-out cities filled with dead bodies, giving a rare glimpse into the tragic consequences of war, as they remain together bound by love.

About Glen HierlmeierGlen

Glen graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, then earned a Masters of Business Administration at The University of Wisconsin at Madison. He served in the US Air Force on the Manned Orbiting Laboratory space exploration program and on the design phase of the development of the F-15 fighter aircraft. After leaving the Air Force, Glen returned to Wisconsin and became Vice President of the largest bank in his home state, First Wisconsin National Bank. In 1979, he moved on to become President and CEO of several real estate development and management companies. Glen retired in 2009 to devote full time to his grandchildren and his writing. Glen is the author of Honor and Innocence, We Had to Live: We Had No Choice…, and Thoughts From Yesterday: Moments to Remember.

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Website

Excerpt

Chapter 23

… and Forever

There was little rest for Hank again that night.  His heart and his mind were being pulled in different directions.  He had made commitments to Max and Oliver, then to Captain Stein, and now to Roberta.  He had always been trusted by everyone, a pillar of integrity.  Now, he would surely destroy that reputation.  As he tossed and turned, and scolded himself for getting himself into such a quandary, his thoughts kept going back to Roberta, warm thoughts full of wonder and excitement.  But, as the night progressed, doubts began to creep into his head.

Hank couldn’t deny how he felt; he felt fantastic, incredible.  He had met the girl of his dreams—love at first sight.  He couldn’t wait to see her again.  She was everything he had always imagined she would be, everything he hoped for in a woman.  Yet, he began to wonder, is this real?  Could it be possible for two people to be in love when they’ve only known each other for two days?  Was he being foolish?  Had the events of the past five months and his absence from the comforts of home made him vulnerable in a dangerous way?  A frightful pang of fear shot through his gut as he thought: Is she just using me? Does she see me as her way out of confinement? Am I being fooled by her? Maybe she doesn’t care about me at all; she only needs me to get what she really wants.  Why should I trust her?  I don’t really know her.  Oh, what a fool I must be to fall for the first beautiful woman who shows an interest in me, who caresses me.  Am I that vulnerable?  Am I that foolish?

Thoughts of Roberta dazzled and confused him; nothing in his young life had ever left him so unsure of himself.  No amount of concentration overcame the cascade of emotions flooding his chest.  He tossed and turned long into the night, soaked his pillow through with his sweat, though he wasn’t warm, and felt his pulse exploding his temples; alternating between visions of pure, romantic love and sheer foolishness.  The pull on his heart skidded back and forth like a tug of war.  That is…until he recalled his mother’s words, spoken on his eighteenth birthday, just after a high school sweetheart informed him that another man had won her heart.

Hank, you are such a precious son.  I adore you.  I am sad when you are sad, but you must know this pain you feel will pass.  Sometimes love is fleeting, it may disappear as quickly as it appears.  You have your whole life ahead of you.  I know you will meet the woman who will love you completely, and for your lifetime.  I have no doubt.  Love between a man and a woman cannot be easily defined; love comes in many forms and is never the same for everyone.  Almost always love charges into your life like a cosmic experience, even magical, it is so difficult to predict or understand.  Sometimes that special feeling in your heart really is true love—sometimes not.  When love comes suddenly, we can be swept off our feet.  It’s a dazzling experience that confuses us.  That’s often called love at first sight, but it’s never really love at first sight.  If it happens to you, don’t take it for granted, it’s very special and you won’t want to lose it.  It’s one of the best feelings you will ever have, and I believe the best beginning for true love.

Don’t be deceived, true love has to be built; it takes a lot of hard work and may take a very long time.  When two people stop working on their love, it fades, no matter if it’s the first month, the first year, the tenth or the twenty-fifth.  There will always be difficulties and complications, that’s how life is, not just marriage.  Use those difficulties to work on making your marriage stronger.  Don’t expect not to have challenges, welcome them and be ready to take them on together.  Everything really worthwhile in your life will require hard work.  Your marriage is the one very most worthwhile jewel you will ever have.

Laying silently in the darkness, eyes wide open, thinking warm thoughts of his mother, a smile came across his face.  Of course, he thought, mother is right.  I have to work on it.  Tomorrow I’ll have to find out if Roberta truly feels the same way about me.  Sleep finally came.

He should have been exhausted the next morning, with little sleep and tormented the whole night through with all his mixed emotions, but his adrenalin had taken over.  Hank needed to get things resolved, and though he wasn’t sure how to do that, he needed to attack his demons head on.  By the time he met with Oliver and Max in the evening he wanted to have his life back on track.  Since he was drafted there had not been a dull day in Hank’s life.  He never knew quite what to expect, and that day would be no different.  It would begin with his report to Captain Stein.

Hank was surprised to see the Captain waiting for him.  Stein motioned Hank to his office as soon as Hank appeared in the doorway.  Hank’s curiosity was aroused.

“Hank, we have to release everyone except the SS Officers.  The staff and family are being released as soon as possible.   We’ll have 30 days to hold the officers and unless we can get enough evidence they participated in war crimes we’ll have to release them too!  Something about the Geneva Convention says we can’t hold them unless we have sufficient evidence to take them to trial.  It’s foolish as far as I’m concerned.  What kind of fair trial did the millions of dead Jews get?”

Hank was stunned again.  His first emotion was that he was losing Roberta, but his first thought was that might be best.  He had to set his feelings aside and listen to Stein without revealing his feelings.

“I’m sorry, sir.  I know how important this is to you.  It really would be a shame if guilty men went free.”

“Ya, well, there’s nothing we can do about it but work our butts off to get the evidence we need to hold the bastards.  That’s our job, and by God, we’re going to make sure every last one of them hangs for what they’ve done.  Did you get anything out of the girl?”

“I thought I was really close…I mean…I think she was beginning to trust me.  I needed more time; maybe a few more days, but I’m not sure she knew anything.”

“Come on, Corporal, of course she knows things.  I’ll bet she knows plenty.  We’re losing a good opportunity by letting them all go.  It makes our job harder.”

“What will we do now?”

“We’ll get busy interrogating the officers.  The British have been at it for weeks.  They have files on all of them.  The Russians are sending men to help too, and we’re getting some young Army lawyers by next week.  Today, you and I are going out there to go through files.  We’ll make a list of the ones that look like they were in charge, in some position of leadership, the higher the better, then we’ll start meeting with them.  I want to get the top guys.”

Hank didn’t know what to think.  His emotions all melted together in a jumble of confusion.  All he could do was follow orders for the moment, until he could sort through all the feelings bombarding him.

Within a few minutes he and Stein were on their way to the compound, where they came upon a blur of activity.  Those who were being released were jubilant as groups of them gathered in the streets to celebrate.  There was pitched cheering, yet, others pushed against the fence separating them from officers, loved ones and former employers who they would be leaving behind.  There was sadness and tears, as well as questions about what may lay ahead for each of them, the uncertainty for those who were released to communities that may not still exist, and for those who remained in custody, facing the possibility of imprisonment or death.

As Stein and Hank walked into the officer’s compound, Hank did his best to keep Stein from seeing him looking among those being released through the fence.  In spite of his doubts, his heart told him he was in love and he was growing desperate about losing Roberta so soon, thinking she could be gone forever, and wishing he could know for sure if what they had begun was truly love, or whether he was just a fool.  They were moving too quickly for him to see clearly.  He couldn’t find her.  They were up the steps and into the meeting hall, leaving behind any chance he might see her again.  He was numb, unaware of anything going on around him.

“Hank, Hank, come on, get moving.  Pay attention!”  Stein gave him a nudge toward the stairway leading to a room above, where they spent the rest of the morning poring through files, assessing information that had been gathered by the British, looking for clues to help them decide which officers they would interrogate first.  Stacks of files were set aside, awaiting the lawyer’s arrival.  Hank couldn’t focus his attention; all he could think about was that he may be losing the one person who was right for him, the one he would commit his life to.  Convicting German criminals wasn’t important to him at that moment.

By noon Stein was satisfied they had enough files to get started.  They were loaded in the back of the truck and about to leave.

“Captain Stein, I’d like to see if I can find Roberta and make an appeal to her to give us the information you believe she has.  Once she is gone, it will be lost.  I think it’s worth a try.”

“If you think so, Hank.  There can’t be any harm in trying.  In fact, I like your attitude.  Go ahead, get what you can, and jump on another truck heading back later.  I’ll see you in the morning.  Good luck.”

Hank felt relieved that Stein went along with the idea, but he felt a tinge of guilt for taking advantage of Stein’s trust in him. 

Trucks loaded with released detainees were rolling out the gate as Hank walked over to the camp.  He ran alongside each truck calling Roberta’s name but got no response.  Others were still loading near a barracks building to the rear.  He ran into the building asking each person he came to about Roberta until an older woman stopped him.

“Yes.  Roberta was here.  But she has gone.”

Hank’s world came to a sudden stop.  He just stood there as people pushed past him toward the trucks.  He lost her.  She was gone.  Maybe she didn’t love him after all.  Maybe she just didn’t need him anymore.  He really didn’t know what to think.  He only knew this was the worst day of his life.

As he walked back toward the gate past the office where he had met with Roberta, the guard who had brought Roberta to the meetings called out to him.

“Corporal!  Corporal Fischer!  Come quickly.  There is someone who wants to see you.”

Hank wouldn’t allow himself to believe it could be her.  He hurried into the building and found the front office area empty, but the door to the room in back was ajar.  He slowly opened the door and there sat Roberta.  She leaped from her chair and into his arms with a scream of delight.

“Oh, Hank, Hank!  I knew you would come for me.  I knew it in my heart!”

“They told me you had left.  I thought you were gone!”

“I couldn’t go.  Where would I go without you now that I have found you?  I love you, Hank, I love you!  I feel like I have loved you since always, and forever.”

Her arms wrapped tightly around his neck and her lips found his.  Her words washed away any doubt.  He had never known such elation.  He was in love.  It was real.  He was sure of it.

“I love you, Roberta.  I love you, too!”

Giveaway!

If you like what you have read so far and would love a copy of your own, the author is giving away a Kindle copy of the book to one lucky winner. To enter just leave your email address as a comment and I will get back to you if you are the winner!

Giveaway will remain open from 00:00 hours March 20, 2014 till 00:00 hours March 21, 2014, Maldivian Time. And if you are wondering, Maldivian time = GMT +5.

ARC Review: A SEAL’s Kiss by Tawny Weber

Format: E-bookasealskiss
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Uniformly Hot, #4
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Aiden Masters
Heroine: Sage Taylor
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 18, 2014
Started On: March 18, 2014
Finished On: March 18, 2014

A SEAL’s Kiss by Tawny Weber is one of the best Harlequin romances that I have read in a long while. And I believe this to be my very first Tawny Weber as well. I found myself impressed with the way Tawny drew me into the story right from the very beginning, entertaining me with a wit that I found irresistible, a hero that I could have drooled over forever and a heroine that spoke to me at every single level.

Sage Taylor is a free spirit if ever there was one. A single child, Sage has always been confident of her wanderings that it would someday lead her to the contentment and bliss that she has been seeking for her whole life. One by one her friends get hitched and Sage who shivers at the mere thought of tying herself down to one man much less settling down somewhere, finds herself at odds with her matchmaking friend when her friend’s determination to find Sage someone makes her blurt out that she is already engaged, and to none other than her lifelong friend, Chief Petty Officer Aiden Masters.

Aiden is a Navy SEAL to his very core, discipline stamped on every noble piece of his soul. Highly intelligent, Aiden had been Sage’s college professor father’s protege until Aiden’s career choice had meant that he lived long periods of time away from home. A man who seldom finds any logic to emotion, Aiden finds himself continually surprised by just how much Sage has always disturbed him on a level that he would rather not acknowledge. And suddenly with a fake engagement to the woman he has always held at an arm’s length starting to feel more and more real by the minute, Aiden knows that his control being shattered is a foregone conclusion with the fire burning hotter and brighter between him and Sage than he has ever felt it with anyone else.

Two equal opposites finding out that there had always existed between them a fire of the sort that can never ever completely burn out, finds more than they bargained for in a fake engagement that brings forth emotions and feelings all too real that they both cannot just brush aside. Each with their own versions of cold feet and hangups to deal with, Aiden and Sage provides two very well rounded characters that made the story that much more appealing.

I so so loved Aiden. He is broody, a little bit grumpy and a helluva lot sexy that I didn’t know whether to sigh or just start whimpering in agony over the fact that he would never materialize from the book itself and just sweep me off of my feet. Yes, Tawny did a splendid job out of breathing him into life, a character that practically leaped out of the pages and straight into my heart and certain other unmentionable zones of the body too! As you can guess, I just flat-out adored him to pieces.

Sage too turned out to be the exact version of heroines that I tend to love. Giving, courageous and sassy which is a combination that I find hard to resist, Sage was exactly what Aiden needed to snap out of that rigid control of his and take a breather every now and then. Sage might be the one that comes off as flaky with no direction in life, but her courage is an unwavering factor to her character that allows her to take chances that could bring even someone like the big and tough Aiden to his very knees. Without each other, Aiden and Sage makes for two halves that are enticing in their own right, put together they are combustible in every single way that makes them hard to resist.

I loved the sensuality interwoven into the story, not too much but just the right amount, that sizzling sexual vibe between Aiden and Sage kept alive throughout. Though the lack of an epilogue was sorely felt, especially when I loved both Aiden and Sage so much, A SEAL’s Kiss nevertheless turned out to be a beautiful read that put a huge smile on my face. Recommended!

Final Verdict: A little bit of grumpy, a whole lot of hot with just the dash of sweet; Aiden is one sexy SEAL to fall in love with!

Favorite Quotes

Then, before he could push her away or even demand an explanation for the crazy public behavior, she planted that full, usually babbling mouth on his.
And Aiden forgot everything.
His demand for information.
His reasonable argument.
Her tongue slid, hot and tempting, over the seam of his lips.
And he straight-up forgot his own name.

Always willing to give her body what it wanted, she curled her fingers tighter around the back of Aiden’s neck. She slid her tongue along the crease of his lips, tasting.
Testing.
He tasted damned good.
For a second, she thought he was going to just stand there. Stoic and sweet, simply tolerating the move but not rejecting her so as not to hurt her feelings.
Then he gave a low growl.
The sound sent those tingles into high gear. Sage’s heart sped up. His mouth opened over hers.
Hot and swift, his tongue swept in. Took over.

His hand shifted. It only needed to move an inch, and he had her breast beneath his fingers.
God, she felt good.
Full, soft, her nipple beaded and hardened against his palm.
Their kiss exploded.
Hot, wild, it went over the edge, taking Aiden with it.

Still holding her, he carefully, as if she were precious treasure, laid her on the edge of the bed.
His eyes met hers.
She was so damned beautiful.
He slid into her wet heat, her body gripping him so tight he almost cried with the intensity of the pleasure.
This, he realized as he plunged, was home.He’d finally come home.

Aiden exploded.
His body. His mind.
His heart.
Every piece of him blew to bits as he lost himself in her body. He lost track of time. Black edged his vision but he never lost sight of her face. Of those eyes.
He loved her. Dammit.

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

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Requested Review: Satisfaction by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-booksatisfaction
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Small Cow Productions
Hero: Rafel Oliveir
Heroine: Maggie Hendricks
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: February 28, 2014
Started On: March 2, 2014
Finished On: March 4, 2014

Looking at the gorgeous cover, what do you see? I see a guy hot enough to lose a few nights of sleep over and then some. There is  no true lover of romance who isn’t appreciative of a cover like this gracing the book that you are reading, sometimes just to turn over and gaze at the wonderfulness of it all and get back to reading. And yep, you guessed it right. That is exactly what I ended up doing, getting distracted by the thoughts of this uber gorgeous cover from my reading, but oh what a wonderful way to be distracted.

Satisfaction by Sarah Mayberry turned out to be a surprise read for me. I say surprise because I didn’t know this was coming out and Sarah Mayberry gave me quite the wonderful of surprises when she mentioned this one was on the way.

Satisfaction tells the story of Rafel Oliveir and Maggie Hendricks who meet under the most unlikely of circumstances at best. Rafel is the joint owner of the tattoo parlor, Brothers Ink from which Maggie’s friend gets just more than a tattoo, which propels Maggie to seek out the amazing God in bed who could perhaps finally be able to give her what she has been missing out on all her life.

Maggie faces the problem of never being able to climax, and when I say never, I mean yes, never! Desperate times calling for desperate measures is what finds Maggie pursuing a man who doesn’t even know she exists, someone who might never even turn her on for that matter. But apart from turning herself into the hands of a group of medical professionals for pricking and prodding, Maggie’s only hope lies in the man who is going to give her her very first orgasm, or at least that happens to be the plan until a couple of laugh inducing moments turns the meeting into the sort of disaster that Maggie had never foresaw.

Rafel’s intrigue in Maggie multiplies by tenfold when he learns of Maggie’s unique “condition”, and what at first turns out to be a quest to give unparalleled pleasure to Maggie turns into much more as both of them start to spend time together and begin to learn of whats underneath the surface of each others characters. While each encounter between these two brings them closer together, it is Rafel’s past that might actually stand in the way of their future together, unless Maggie is willing to believe in and fight for the man who has invaded her heart and soul.

Sarah Mayberry is an author who always tends to explore uncharted waters in the world of romance. The concept that she explores in Satisfaction is also one that I have never come across before. I most probably would never have known that there is a condition called anorgasmia that prevents a person from achieving orgasms. And that alone made this book unique in its own right. I felt so much for Maggie, her struggles seeming almost palpable, her frustrations with being unable to just let go and let her body take over was something that made me at times want to cry for her.

I would say I loved Maggie for a lot of reasons. She is the type of heroine readers fall instantly in love with. Her struggles, fears, dreams and hopes are real, so real that you can practically feel all those emotions she is going through. And through all that, her love and need for the man who turns her life around shines through, the angst of the probability of having Rafel snatched away from her after having found in him someone whom she could see herself sharing a life with, that was in essence what made the story work for me.

Rafel’s mission to give Maggie the best sex of her life doesn’t come without a few knots to untangle along the way. Rafel is sexy personified, I don’t think Maggie could have had a man whose more sexier than sin than Rafel even if she tried. Rafel’s beauty as a character doesn’t come from just his good looks alone. It stems from the man he is, his gentleness, the way he cares about Maggie and shows it to her every step of the way and cossets her in a way she has never been cosseted ever. I always say this time and yet again, Sarah creates some of the best modern alpha heroes out there and I have loved practically all of them.

Though there came about a brief lull in the story towards its middle, all the other aspects worked quite well to give a well rounded story that was sexy & filled with emotion which turned out to be beautiful. I wouldn’t mind reading the story of Rafel’s brother. Sounds like he would definitely deliver a juicy tale hot enough to scorch.

Recommended.

Final Verdict: Sweet, sensuous & heartwarming; Rafel & Maggie will definitely end up in your heart.

Favorite Quotes

His thigh was against hers, her left breast pressed to his chest. His hand remained on her back, and she could feel the imprint of every finger through the fabric of her dress.
“Yes.”
He leaned closer, his breath a warm rush past her ear. “Have you missed me, Maggie?”
Her heart slammed hard against her rib cage. Turning her head, she closed her eyes and inhaled the scent of his warm, smooth skin.
Oh, she remembered this. How good it was. How he made her feel.

“Do you know what I’m going to do to you, Maggie?”
She blinked slowly, shockingly aware of how exposed she was and how much it excited her. “Yes.”
“Tell me.”
“You’re going to lick me.”
“I’m going to fuck you with my mouth.”

He was so desperate to be inside her again his hands were shaking as he took a few seconds to roll on a condom. She arched her hips toward him, and he found her entrance, so slick and ready for him.
Then he was inside her, and she was moaning with pleasure, and he was moving, pumping into her, awash with sensation.
The softness of her breasts.
The wet heat of her around his cock.
The small sound she made when he scooped a hand under her ass and encouraged her to angle her hips so he could penetrate more deeply.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Smashwords

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