Review: Tell No Lies by Tanya Anne Crosby

Format: E-booktellnolies
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Aldridge Sisters, #2
Publisher: Kensington Publishers
Hero: Ian Patterson
Heroine: Augusta Aldridge
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 1, 2014
Started On: July 31, 2014
Finished On: August 1, 2014

What lengths would you be willing to go to get your share of 37 million dollars worth of inheritance money? Well, turns out pretty much about anything. Even if it means spending time with your estranged family, and letting your dead mother control your family’s actions from beyond the grave.

Of the three sisters, 34 year old Augusta Aldridge is the middle child, the one who gets saddled with restoring the family home. Each of the three siblings gets a task to be fulfilled within a year, which had to be done with the three of them living together in the same house for the duration. Though Tell No Lies does read as a standalone, I think I did miss out on vital aspects of the back story by having jumped straight to reading the second book in the Aldridge Sisters series.

Ian Patterson, falsely accused of the series of gruesome murders that had rocked the headlines of this small town had been a priest before, someone who had been genuinely willing to take on his vow of celibacy because that’s what he had thought he had wanted to be. However, all that changes due to events that had propelled him to travel to Secessionville to seek answers for the questions to which the law enforcement are hard pressed to answer. Being falsely accused of committing the murders, Ian is almost at that point of helplessness when Augusta comes to his rescue.

Augusta knows in her heart that Ian couldn’t have murdered those women. But what if she was wrong? The one point that works in Ian’s favor is the fact that when the last murder had been carried out, they’d been together, lost in a swirl of desire that Augusta craves to taste again. But fear of the repercussions her actions might bring to her family prevents her from coming forward while the real killer continues to hold another victim to toy with.

Tanya Anne Crosby is a new to me author. But right from the start, Tanya’s ease with the words drew me in and I was engrossed in this tale of family secrets, murder and a searing attraction that continued to wreak havoc on my emotions. The only regret that I truly had was that I hadn’t read the first book in the series, Speak No Evil. If you are hearing about this book for the first time, I would definitely recommend that you read book 1 for a more wholesome experience.

As I was reading I couldn’t help but wonder why authors have stopped writing romantic suspense the likes of this one. Some of my favorite reads in the genre have been based in the South, the setting itself lending a charm and a sultry edge to the story that one is hard pressed to find these days. I am definitely going to check out more books by Tanya! Recommended for fans of romantic suspense.

Final Verdict: Great combination of fatal southern secrets, murder and romance. Recommended. 

Favorite Quotes

As he stood there watching Shaw disappear behind the security doors, he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that every last trace of the man he used to be—the man he was trying to be—was gone.
Who was he now?
Someone he didn’t know.
Someone he didn’t want to know.

Wide-eyed, Augusta stared at him. Naked and unashamed, he rested his hand once again on his erection, stroking it seductively, waiting for her answer. His hair fell back behind his shoulders, and the earring in his ear gleamed wickedly. A day’s worth of golden whiskers glittered on his face. He was easily the most beautiful man she had ever known.
Augusta couldn’t have walked away from this moment if her life had depended upon it.
She was lost—body and soul.

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

greatread

Review: Silver Falls by Anne Stuart

Format: E-booksilverfalls
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: MIRA
Hero: Caleb Middleton
Heroine: Rachel Chapman Middleton
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 1, 2009
Started On: July 30, 2014
Finished On: July 31, 2014

Silver Falls by Anne Stuart is one of those novels by her that I have tried to steer clear of because of the bad reviews this one has received. Even fans of Anne Stuart seems to have one reason or the other for giving this a bad rating which made me reluctant to pick this up for a read because I didn’t want to ruin the fascination that I harbor for Anne Stuart as an author. Perhaps I should have trusted a bit more in an author, even whose novels that can be classified as “mediocre” have wooed me more than any other author in the romance genre. From the moment I picked this up to read till I was done and beyond, I couldn’t help but wonder why most readers found this read to be so lackluster.

Based in Silver Falls of Washington where its always gloomy and always rains, Silver Falls tells the story of a creepy serial killer and the heroine Rachel Chapman Middleton and her daughter who gets caught in the web of deceit that the killer weaves so thoroughly. Up till four months prior to the start of the story, Rachel had brought up her daughter Sophie all by herself, having led a nomadic existence, traveling all over the world which had seemed to suite them both. Tragedy sends Rachel into the arms of David Middleton, who materializes at just the right time and woos Rachel into believing that its time that she settle down somewhere in order to give Sophie a more stable home.

When the murder of a young girl sends fear rolling through Silver Falls, along with it comes home the black sheep of the Middleton family; Caleb Middleton. A war correspondent who has traveled extensively around the world, Caleb comes home to put the demons that have haunted him to rest once and for all. The truth that has been staring him in his face for more than half of his life, a truth that he had been unable to get on board with and come to terms with, Caleb realizes that he has already left it to chance for far too long.

The minute Caleb crosses paths with Rachel, his brother’s wife, sparks fly between the two. Rachel doesn’t want to care overly much about how Caleb makes every cell in her come alive with his presence, nor does she want to acknowledge the fiery attraction that simmers and makes her want Caleb and no one but him. Caleb’s intentions aren’t that clear to Rachel who suspects him of being the one behind that vague sense of discomfiture and feeling of being unknowingly hunted that had been the norm ever since Rachel had moved to Silver Falls. And when the inevitable happens, there is no going back for Rachel who would do anything to keep her daughter safe.

Silver Falls is a tad different from most of Anne Stuart’s romantic suspense novels. From the beginning of the story, readers know who the killer is. Didn’t make an iota of a difference where the creepy factor was concerned as Anne Stuart managed to reel the me in with that hypnotic talent of hers that only she is capable of weaving. The town itself and the killer whose seemingly normal facade that fools Rachel into believing otherwise sent chills up and down my spine and I enjoyed the thrill that aspect of the story gave me.

One factor that seems to have not worked for most readers turned out to be Rachel. She was too stubborn and TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) in a lot of readers’ opinions. But I think Rachel fit into the mould of a typical Anne Stuart heroine. They tend to be pretty stubborn, independent and refuse to give into the hero’s demands until there is no fight left in them. And I think Rachel being a wife together with the fact that she thought she was doing what was best for her daughter played a huge role in her reluctance to face the truth which was glaringly obvious to everyone but her.

I loved Sophie. It would be hard for anyone to find fault with someone who is as intelligent, sweet and the perfect daughter for someone like Rachel. Sophie is wise beyond her years; there is a grace and poise to her character that is charming in itself. Caleb of course turned out to be sexy and just the right amount of “bad boy” in my opinion. Caleb might think he is just using Rachel to further his agenda, but as it turns out he is way more smitten and drawn into Rachel than he would like to admit. Caleb is a bit more toned down than the usual variety of Anne Stuart heroes. Nevertheless he appealed to my senses just the same.

Recommended for fans of Anne Stuart.

Final Verdict: Creepily hypnotic! Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

“Kiss me back and I’ll let you go,” he said softly.
“Fuck off.”
He kissed her anyway, and she remained stonily still, as his other hand trailed up her back to the perfect, sensitive spot just beneath her shoulder blades, and she felt her treacherous body soften.
Oh, the hell with it. She kissed him back. She opened her mouth, slid her arms around his waist, pulling him closer still, and kissed him, with all the hunger and need that had been locked in her body for months, years. She kissed him because she couldn’t have him, kissed him because he showed up too late, kissed him until she felt his cock swell against her belly and the fierce need became his own as well.

“I tell you what. You can hate me. You can have me arrested. But you’ll be alive, and that’s all I care about.” And before she realized what he was doing he’d pulled the bedspread away from her, wrapping his body in it as well, and he was kissing his way down her body, his mouth latching on to her breast, sucking it into his mouth so hard she arched up off the bed. The pleasure was so fierce she couldn’t deny it anymore. She wanted, needed more, and when he moved to her other breast she almost came from the power of her response.

They moved without words, hands and mouths and bodies intertwining, stroking. She sank down on her knees in the narrow tub and took him in her mouth and he put his hands in her hair, holding her there for moments that she found unbearably arousing. He stopped her before she finished, pulling her up so that she straddled him, wrapping her legs around his waist, taking him deep inside, and it was slow and sweet and gentle, and when she came she cried.

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

greatread

ARC Review: Should’ve Been Home Yesterday by Inez Kelley

Format: E-bookshouldvebeenhomeyesterday
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Country Roads, #3
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Webb Hawkins
Heroine: Molly McCreedy
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 21, 2014
Started On: July 18, 2014
Finished On: July 30, 2014

Ever since I started reading Inez Kelley’s Country Roads series, I’ve been hankering to read the story of the enigmatic Webb Hawkins, CEO of Hawkins Hardwood. The hint of a past entanglement between himself and Molly McCreedy, the owner of McCreedy’s Diner suggested a story that could prove to be explosive at best. And though Should’ve Been Home Yesterday didn’t live up to all my expectations, it nevertheless managed to give me a story well worth my while.

Should’ve Been Home Yesterday starts twenty years prior to the present day and highlights the relationship that exists between Webb and Molly. Webb and Molly’s older brother Clay had been inseparable during their childhood. Webb being ten years older than Molly never sees her as anything more than a sister even though Molly considers Webb hers even at the tender age of ten. People might call her love for Webb a childhood crush or a fascination that would fade away as she would grow older, but for Molly, in the depths of her heart she had known even then that there would none but Webb for her.

Present day finds Molly pregnant with Webb’s baby and Webb wanting to do the right thing by marrying her. Webb might want to keep his distance where Molly is concerned, and he had been doing a swell job out of it until imbibing in too much alcohol had shattered his ironclad control and the inevitable had happened. Though Molly has her misgivings, she is the optimistic sort who would like to believe that Webb feels something more for her than he lets on and that it could grow into something wonderful and beautiful, like the love that blooms in her heart for him. And that is why, Molly finds herself entering into a marriage with the love of her life by shoving aside any apprehension about the union that she might have.

Webb has always found his solace in his work. Building up his business had taken his mind off of the terrible mistake he had made in his past, thinking that he could have a chance with Molly when she’d suddenly surprised him by growing up. The Molly that he is married to stirs up feelings that he would like to turn his back on. With the Eco-terrorist who had managed to make his life a living hell the past couple of months still continuing to haunt and taunt him, Webb believes that his attention needs to be focused on where it is important; on his business and the people who work for him rather than his newly wedded wife who moves him to distraction.

Molly understands only a trifle bit too late that Webb had never intended for their marriage to get real. But she certainly doesn’t make it easy on Webb to just ignore her and be, but rather Molly’s understanding of who Webb is thaws that control of his that Webb clings onto and makes him realize that with Molly, there is no detachment to be had when it comes to him. And what Webb doesn’t realize is that unbeknown to him or Molly, the danger that surrounds him has been closing in on the most important person in his life and that he might lose her before he can even declare just how much of a fool he has been trying to keep her at arms length all this while.

Should’ve Been Home Yesterday follows the pattern that has been set for the previous books in this series. Every chapter begins with an interesting fact or tidbit that is related to the setting and the story which I have absolutely enjoyed in each of these books. Molly and Webb’s relationship certainly had its moments. Webb’s deep reluctance to open himself up emotionally lent the story the right amount of angst, and of course the groveling that he had to do to win back the affections of his wife later on served to be the healing balm that their relationship required. Inez makes the story doubly interesting by working in tidbits of Molly and Webb’s shared past into the unfolding events which gives the reader just enough of a background to connect with Molly and Webb.

As I finished reading Should’ve Been Home Yesterday, I couldn’t help but want to read the stories of Finn, Bob and Zane Miner. They all show promise as characters well worth being given their own stories and I would definitely love it if at all there is a possibility of that happening. Dear Inez, please take that as a hint and write them happily ever afters? The one thing that continues to draw me when it comes to Inez is that her stories always provide beautiful quotes for my collection and Should’ve Been Home Yesterday was no exception to the rule. And though my favorite in the series by far has been Jonah and Zury’s story, Should’ve Been Home Yesterday is full of the good bits that makes it a great read! Recommended.

Final Verdict: Inez’s Country Roads series continues to deliver beautiful stories, well worth your reading time!

Favorite Quotes

“Molly.”
The hesitation in his tone speared through her and she spun, rising to her knees to face him. His hands stayed still, sliding in the soap film around her waist. Bared to the navel, with nothing hiding the rest of her but a thin layer of floating bubbles, she locked eyes with his. One wide black pupil nearly obliterated the brown iris, his real eye reacting to the desire he held back. His glass eye stared at her with sightless fixation. Beneath the collar of his shirt, thick cords stood out in his neck.

Molly reached up and circled his neck, stepping closer than she had when they danced, and brushed her lips against the corner of his mouth. The touch of lips on lips was like a summer lightning strike, all-powerful and shocking. His hands rose, settling on her hips, the sun-warmed skin smooth beneath his calluses. He forgot everything except Molly. He dipped his head and kissed her.
She melted. There was no other word he could think of.

Molly bucked as the crest of his cock’s head grazed her clit. “Holy shit.”
She added a wiggle to her swing and his control slipped. Holy shit was right. He’d never been so turned on and he wasn’t even inside her. Tongues swirling, lips sealed, their hips moved together. Friction had never been so intense, so hot and drugging. The muscles in groin grew tight as climax approached but he gripped her ass and rocked harder, driving against her clit faster, needing her to go with him. She whimpered as a quake bloomed. She drove down hard, grinding on his cock as she exploded.

A low groan rumbled in his chest, taking their kiss to high heat. He delved his tongue deep, sweeping along her lips, then plunging inside. He tasted of mint, a cool underlying accent to the intensity of his kiss. Beneath her knees, the plush couch was soft but her focus was on the firm thighs between hers. His hands slid up her legs, hooked around her ass and tugged her forward.
It was every Christmas, every birthday, every Valentine’s gift wrapped into one when he wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. This was her dream, Webb sober, loving her openly, their lives entwined.

Molly had no breath to answer. She was trapped in a cycle of pleasure, of taking him over and over, wanting him deeper and never wanting to let him go. The rhythmic squeeze she kept around him drove her closer but she needed him to peak with her, to trip over that edge. She didn’t want to go alone. Together. She needed them to go together.
Yanking one hand from the cushion, she raked his back with her nails. Webb arched hard, driving so deep into her she shattered with a cry.

Her fingers tightened, pulling his hair but he ignored the pain, needing to taste her climax. Lightly, quickly, he fluttered his tongue across the hood then curled low and speared the pulse beneath. Easing his hands under her ass, he kneaded each globe and urged her knees further apart with his shoulders. Spread beneath his mouth, Molly was his for the taking and he took, without mercy, hungrily, and without relenting. He wished he could claim her heart as easily, was worthy enough to claim it.

Her hand turned, skating up his chest, delving through his chest hair. Every instinct he had begged him to drive home hard, to take her fast and deep, but he swallowed them. He needed this, this slow connection, this reconnection. He wanted to draw it out, gorge on it, grow drunk on nothing more than his wife. Teeth gritted for restraint, he pressed into her slow and steady until he could go no farther. A twitch bloomed along his cheek as he soaked in her velvet grip.
Molly’s fingers bit into his chest as her mouth fell open with a low exhale. “Oh God, I love how you feel inside me.”

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

greatread

ARC Review: Into the Shadows by Carolyn Crane

Format: E-bookintotheshadows
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: The Associates, #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Thorne McKelvey
Heroine: Nadia Volkov
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: July 16, 2014
Started On: July 14, 2014
Finished On: July 17, 2014

“I’m the loser who will never deserve you, but I’ll always fight for you”

The quote above practically sums up the psychology of the delicious hero in the story. Shoot me for saying this, but the reason I picked up Into the Shadows by Carolyn Crane from Netgalley hinges on the fact that the cover is so bloody hot! And I say that in the best way possible. Having never experienced Carolyn’s writing nor the fact that there are two books prior to this in The Associates series to which this book belongs to didn’t stop me from requesting for it. And though I am always a bit apprehensive about trying out new authors, I think Carolyn seduced me rather beautifully with this novel of hers.

Thorne McKelvey, the hero is deep undercover in one of the most vicious gangs in Tampa, Florida. Thorne has no illusions about who he is. He is a man who is only fit for violence, crime and would never be good enough for anyone, let alone someone like Nadia Volkov with whom Thorne had shared a blissfully happy three months until things had headed south between them. Even then, though Thorne had felt like his insides were being shredded into bits and pieces, the fact that what he has always believed about himself had only been proven by what had gone down only helps cement his belief that he would never be good enough.

Nadia has had a lot on her plate since the death of her father and the discovery that her mother needed rescuing. The knowledge that her father had lied to her all his life had been bad enough but knowing the situation into which her mother had been thrust into makes Nadia wish that her father were alive so that she could throttle him to death herself. Life had changed so much for Nadia the night Thorne had left her, and being responsible for a tiny human being who depends on her for everything makes her vow more fervently than ever that she would find and rescue her mother, whatever it took.

Trouble comes calling when Nadia’s under the cloak missions lands her on the radar of the very gang that Thorne has infiltrated, the leader of which is a man Thorne has been hunting since the night his life had changed so drastically, tied up in a desert surrounded by scorpions. There is a beauty to the savagery that is hinted at in Thorne’s character, the web of temptation that he casts on the reader that much more potent because of the fact. And when once again Thorne and Nadia find their paths inevitably merging, the long held secrets come out together with the desire between them that had not abated but grown stronger during the period of separation.

Into the Shadows is a story that I enjoyed overly much while reading. Though I did feel at times that I had missed out on what makes up the group of people known as “The Associates” on which these stories are based on by having never read the previous two books in the series, it didn’t completely distract me from what this story had to offer. While the present events unfold at a fast pace, the flashbacks into the shared past between Thorne and Nadia continued to provide the required fodder to make an emotional connection with both of them. All that I have left to say is, what the cover depicts? Totally one hundred percent true. You would have to investigate on your own to find out more. Recommended!

Final Verdict: Pulse pounding tension & heat at the turn of each page!

Favorite Quotes

“You don’t want a brute, and I’m going to fuck you anyway,” he whispered.
He defiled her with his hands and the truth as his doomed love for her bloomed dark in his heart.
Something ripped open then, a kind of freedom.
And though he’d never bitten her earlobe before, he was connected to her in a new way now, and he had to bite her like an animal. So he bit her. Hard. She broke apart above his hand, undulations pulsing against the pads of his slowing fingers.

He felt it rip through her before she even made a sound, bright ecstasy convulsing around his fingers, and he kept on. Her coming was the most soft and sweet thing ever.
He wanted her good and soft, because his cock felt like a slab of granite and he wouldn’t be gentle. He hadn’t fucked a woman for two years, not since he was last with her. No woman but Nadia was worth fucking.

“Baby.” He positioned himself at her entrance, and then he entered her, filling her, head a thick swell of iron.
She let out an anguished gasp, feeling as though she’d been waiting forever to feel him inside her again. He sucked in a breath when she made the sound and shoved his cock all the way into her, a fat, thick invasion.
She felt drugged, handled. She was his, now.

And then he cried out. The vibration of his orgasm radiated through him, through them both.
She panted, feeling him, lost in her love for him.
Their lives were all fuck off to each other, their speech was all fuck off to each other, but their bodies had different ideas.

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

greatread