Requested Review: Bella’s Point by Elizabeth Seckman

Format: E-bookbellaspoint
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Western Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Jack Owen Byron
Heroine: Isabella Francine Troy Stanley
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 9, 2014
Started On: December 13, 2014
Finished On: December 14, 2014

Bella’s Point by Elizabeth Seckman is a story that takes place in the post civil war era. Isabella Francine Troy Stanley (Bella) comes from a rich family until the war had practically taken everything from her. Life is dangerous for a woman who lives with just her mammy and a young boy on the frontier where anyone and everyone is willing to take advantage of them. And Bella with her “scandalous” past owing to the fact that she had divorced her husband, the difficulties are more so.

The story starts off with a determined Bella, visiting the prison to buy herself a husband. A husband none other than Jack Owen Byron, the man who had been her childhood crush and the star of her fantasies. Even when everyone else disagrees with her plan, Bella is of the mind that she and Jack together can make a home for themselves. However, things are far from that simple as Bella finds out with everyday that comes.

Elizabeth Seckman whips up a story with quite the interesting elements in Bella’s Point. There is Bella, the woman who had grown up the pampered daughter, who had practically everything she wanted or desired for. And then came her marriage, which had nearly destroyed her very soul. At first I was irked by the fact that Bella seemed to break down and cry often, even with that indomitable front that she puts up. But then as I dug into the story and found out what exactly Bella had suffered through, I thought to myself, its a wonder that she is able to be as spirited as she tended to be. Given that back then, no one would have talked about mental issues like depression, I believe that Bella was entitled to her crying sessions, until she had finally gotten the closure that she craved.

Every time I pick up a novel based in the post civil war era, I am hit by the thoughts of just how cruel life had been for people, especially for women and the colored, who had ended up bearing the brunt of societies many cruelties. I can’t help but thank God that I wasn’t born to be a witness to humanity’s vile evilness towards the fellow humans, but then I guess if one were to really look at the society we live in today, we aren’t doing that much better off. Just that we are more “civilized” in our cruelty now.

Jack turned out to be a sweetly wonderful hero. His reluctance to get married to Bella was an understandable one given that he had grown up in a world where there had always been distinct lines between different levels in society. Though I had a bit of an issue with just how suddenly Jack found himself proclaiming his love for Bella, I still thought that the way he took care of Bella, her fears regarding physical intimacy and the rest was really sweet. The one aspect of the story that I think was dragged out a bit more than necessary was Bella’s past and the fate of her ex-husband. I just felt that that aspect of the story could’ve been done and over with a lot sooner and with a fewer pages than was dedicated for it.

Loved the sweet ending to the story. Recommended for fans of Western themed historical romances!

Final Verdict: Ms. Seckman spins a Western themed romance with enjoyable elements!

Favorite Quotes

His body moved slowly in hers in a deliberate deep grind until he felt her body respond. He heard her gasp, her hands digging into his biceps. His rhythm increased until he felt her tighten around him, her body stiffened under him, her thighs squeezed his hips as she held on as his body responded to hers moving in harmony until they had reached that place of peace collapsing together. Neither spoke, neither moved an inch. They lay together, still locked in an embrace. Neither wasted the breath to speak.

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

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ARC Review: Her Risk to Take by Toni Anderson

Format: E-bookherrisktotake
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Her, #2.5
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Caleb Landon
Heroine: Sarah Sullivan
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: December 15, 2014
Started On: December 13, 2014
Finished On: December 13, 2014

Her Risk to Take by Toni Anderson was an absolute delight of a novella. Ms. Anderson voiced some misgivings about writing novellas when she sent this to me. Well let me tell you, those misgivings were completely 100% misguided if Her Risk to Take is anything to judge Ms. Anderson’s talents in penning novellas by. An author who has continuously delivered with her books ever since she began publishing her stories, Toni Anderson is definitely an author you ought to be reading if you aren’t already a fan.

Her Risk to Take is set in the Her series. This is completely readable as a standalone so you need not worry if you aren’t already acquainted with the series. Perhaps, if you are new to Ms. Anderson, this just might be the perfect place to start sampling her writing because Her Risk to Take certainly turned out to be a scrumptious tale told within just 80 or so pages.

Ex-con Caleb Landon (Cal) lives his life, constantly looking over his shoulder, wondering when his past would catch up with him and tear him away from everything that he loves and holds dear to his heart. Though he has done his time for the crime he committed, Cal lives with a guilt in his heart that makes him think that he is not for the likes of Sarah Sullivan, the woman who owns his heart.

Sarah, an ER doctor at the County Hospital, is tired of waiting around for Cal to make a move. She decides to take matters into her own hands and seduce Cal into seeing things her way, hopefully of a shared lifetime together. But Cal is extremely skittish considering the danger that might befall the Sullivan family and especially Sarah if he is to stay around. It is actually when danger comes calling that Cal finds himself reassessing his priorities and taking a good hard look at what he might be giving up if he were to take the cowards way out.

Like I said earlier, Her Risk to Take was absolutely wonderful. I loved the pace, the setting and the characters that tugged my heartstrings and made me fall like a ton of hot bricks for them. I loved Sarah. Her dedication, fierceness, spirit and fire were qualities that I adored. There is solid goodness in every inch of her and that is evident in every step that she takes. I loved her take charge attitude and the fact that she was willing to risk it all for love. That in my opinion takes immense courage when the other end of the stick might end up being heartbreak of the kind you might never survive.

That brings me to Cal. Sigh! Cal is the strong, silent type of hero that broods and yet is as gentle as they come, and hotter than sin between the sheets. Cal’s lifelong tendency of thinking that he would never be good enough for Sarah, especially given his dark past gave the angst to this little number. I love a hero who doesn’t say much but feels so so much and Cal fits the picture perfectly. And ladies, he is tattooed to boot, so there is that added deliciousness that just took my breathe away. Needless to say, I flat out loved, loved, loved Cal.

Her Risk to Take delivered the right balance of romance, sensuality, the good variety of angst and love. The danger that came calling was just the icing on the cake for me. Recommended!

Final Verdict: Her Risk to Take; delivers an emotional avalanche of the good kind!

Favorite Quotes

She started stroking him, tip to root, and shivered in anticipation. She’d spent a lot of time imagining this. He seemed to hold his breath. She used her tongue on his back, tracing skin she’d seen but never tasted. Then, just when she thought he was going to say “what the hell are you doing?” he put his hand over hers and increased the pressure of her grip. He groaned and thrust against her palm, and she could feel his whole body trembling. “I’m dreaming.”

Don’t you want me, Cal?” she asked, circling him again with her other hand. The words were supposed to be a challenge, but came out more like a plea. His hands finally moved, grabbing her by the ass and bringing her closer. He sat up as he pulled her down onto him; her eyes closed as pleasure blasted her. She sank down, taking him deep, and cried out as her body exploded. She came that easily.
That’s what happened when you went years fantasizing about a guy and finally got him where you wanted him.

She’d expected Cal to be a gentle, controlled lover—he did everything else with such slow reverence, especially around her. He treated her like she was sweet sixteen and never been kissed. But this was wild, this was ferocious, and she was right there with him, nails scraping his skin, striving to get even closer as he pounded into her body with no more reverence than a stag rutting in the forest.
She loved it.

He shifted her up the bed until her knees were draped over his shoulders, and he was eating her up with small bites and licks until she began trembling on the edge of release. He wanted to torment her for hours, but her hands crept between his legs, and she found him again, her fingers strong and agile—knowledgeable. His eyes crossed, and he almost came on the spot.
She was nothing like he’d imagined. She was infinitely more.

“Enough?” he asked.
“No. No!”
He drove forward until he was planted to the hilt, surrounded by wet molten heat that made him want to weep. They were face to face, his eyes lined up with her eyes. His lips lined up with her lips.
He’d never kissed her.
This was the second time he’d been inside her, but he hadn’t kissed her yet—not properly. He stopped moving, dipped his head, and his heart shattered when she rose up to meet him, kissing him gently, reverently, like he was special.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Kobo | iTunes

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Review: Demon by Kristina Douglas

Format: E-bookdemon
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Fallen, #2
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Azazel
Heroine: Rachel Fitzpatrick
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: May 31, 2011
Started On: December 11, 2014
Finished On: December 12, 2014

“Who is Sarah?” […]
“My wife,” he said. “She died seven years ago. And I will not replace her with you.”

What happens when you find a series that just begs to be read? On top of that, what happens when it is written by an author who always delivers, even in her not so stellar stories? Well, that is what has happened in the case of The Fallen series written by Kristina Douglas aka Anne Stuart. I finished reading Raziel, the first book in the series just two days back. Being the fan that I am, and given the intriguing ending to Raziel, I just couldn’t help myself but quickly pick up the second book to read.

In Raziel, the first book, we meet Azazel, the Alpha of The Fallen, who has acted as their leader for eons. Giving the secret behind Azazel’s leaving would be spoiling it for readers who are interested so I will just say that it is heartbreaking what happens to Azazel, who leaves Sheol, the hidden realm on Earth in which the fallen angels reside. Anger and fear drives Azazel to seek out the female demon Lilith, who is rumored to be all things evil. Azazel’s fear stems from a prophecy as old as time itself, and he knows that the only way to prevent that from coming true would be to kill Rachel Fitzpatrick.

Rachel is a woman who leads a life even that she can’t remember much. There are echoes of memories that linger around in her mind. She doesn’t tend to stay around one place for long, some age old instinct driving her to run when the time comes. When Rachel finds herself face to face with Azazel who has the weirdest theory about who she is, and wanting to kill her, none other than Rachel is more surprised by the fact that she wants the man whose cold eyes speak of an intention to end her life.

Azazel would be kidding himself if he were to think that he is immune to Rachel. Though she hides behind baggy clothes and assumes a nonthreatening posture, the lure that she presents to mankind itself is one that even Azazel is not immune from. That doesn’t mean that he gives in from the moment he lays eyes on her. Rather he fights and fights dirty to keep her at bay, going as far as to betray her in a way that would have been hard to pull off if not for a writer of Anne Stuart’s caliber.

Mark my words, Azazel is ruthless. Ruthless in a way that some readers might not appreciate. But I think Demon is a perfect portrayal of his character the way the author intended him to be. I hate books where at the beginning of a series, a particular character is portrayed as this tortured and ruthless man that would be hard to take in, but oh so good when all is said and done. And then when his book arrives, from the minute his intended show up, he loses every single character that defines who he is. That is not realistic in my opinion and it cheats the readers out of a lot of anticipation they have been storing up for that particular character. Which is why I love Kristina Douglas aka Anne Stuart. She has no problem with delivering her characters as they are. And she ends up doing quite a fantastic job out of the storytelling with them.

Though I fell in love with Raziel’s story a tad more than I did for Azazel’s, Demon nevertheless is a book not to be missed. It has got a story that you’d either love or hate; there is no in between. Once again, combining first person point of view with view points from other characters in the story in third person, if every story written in first person were to be like this, I definitely wouldn’t have a problem! Recommended!

Final Verdict: Lust, redemption, betrayal and love; Kristina Douglas definitely delivers!

Favorite Quotes

“You are everything that is evil. I should have left you to the Nephilim.”
[..]
“Why didn’t you?” My voice was almost a whisper, as if I knew what he was going to do and I was afraid to startle him. Distract him. Stop him. I knew what he wanted, and God help me, I wanted it too.
His deep-blue eyes were shadowed, and I thought I could see a streak of blood on his mouth. Whose blood? “Because I am a fool and a half,” he whispered as well, the night air all around us. “Because I know who and what you are, and I want you anyway.”
And he kissed me. His mouth was rough, pushing mine open as his hard body pressed me back against the car, and I felt heat, desire, sweep through me, not knowing if it was his or mine.

I kept my mouth shut, wondering whether I could bite him hard enough to draw blood, wondering why my breath was coming fast and my heart was racing. It wasn’t fear. I’d told the truth—I was no longer afraid of him. I remembered his kiss from the dockside, the rush of desire that had suffused my body.
As it did now. My pulse raced, my skin heated; I was wet and ready. I thought, Fuck it, and opened my mouth for him, taking the sweet invasion of his tongue with a shock of pleasure, and I knew I’d been waiting for this, longing for this without knowing it. Longing for him, my enemy.

He brought his hands up to cradle my head, as impossibly the kiss deepened, and I wanted my clothes off—now. I wanted to strip him naked and feel him inside of me, pulsing and thrusting. I could sense it, anticipate it, feel the thick push of him, and I cried out against his mouth as a small climax startled me.

I felt his teeth then, a small bite against my skin, barely painful, and my muffled arousal was suddenly full-force, sweeping over my body. I put my hands on him, on his damp, silky hair, pressing him against me. The room wasn’t dark the way I wanted, but it didn’t matter. It was all right to want him, all right to feel overwhelming desire. There were no witnesses, and he didn’t care what I was feeling. We were doing this, it was out of my control, and his mouth was wonderful against me.

“Oh, God,” I whispered as he licked me gently, carefully, teasing me until I wanted to scream at him. And then his mouth fastened on me with such deep, drawing hunger that I felt a hot spasm between my legs and, straddling him, pressed my naked body against his. He hadn’t lied. He was most definitely aroused, and I rocked against him instinctively, feeling him against my sensitive flesh.

I looked down between us, at the joining. I could see my nipples, tight and hard. See him buried inside me as I felt my body grow accustomed to his. He hadn’t moved, and slowly I raised my eyes to look at him.
For a moment we simply stared at each other, frozen in time, his eyes and mine, more powerfully intimate than the joining between our legs. “Move,” he said, his voice raw.

I dug my fingers into his shoulders, wanting to get away, but he wouldn’t let me. “Do not fight it,” he whispered. “Embrace it.” He slid his hand down my stomach, touching where we joined, and a jolt of reaction swept through me.
I heard my own muffled cry, and he surged up into me again, and again, and he touched me once more, hard, and his voice was a growl.
“Come,” he said. And I did.

Pulling the long skirt up, exposing my legs in the stormy afternoon, so that I felt the rain pelting against them, and I knew I should care whether someone was watching. I did care, just not enough. Not even when he reached for my panties and with one rough yank tore them off.
He put one hand under my butt, lifting me up, pressing me back against the door, and I heard the rasp of his zipper, his muttered curse as he freed himself, and then he pushed inside me, not waiting to see if I was ready for him.
I was. More than ready.

His hands were on my bare thighs, holding me up, and he pushed into me again and again. I could hear the wet slap of our joining, and it was another jolt of dark pleasure. He kissed me, hard, and I could taste blood, his or mine or both, it didn’t matter. He couldn’t get enough of me and I couldn’t get enough of him.

One more crash of lightning, and the sky opened in a deluge. He slammed back into me, and I went over the edge as I felt him jerk and pulse into me. I have no idea why I did it, only knew that I needed to; my mouth opened, and my teeth sank into his strong, powerful throat, breaking the skin, tasting the rich sweetness of his blood.
I heard his deep groan, felt him swell inside me, and then nothing more as sheer sensation washed over me. I shook, convulsing, lost in a place that terrified me, with only his arms and his body supporting me as I flew.

His hands slid down, covering them, and I cried out with the sensation, a raw, rough sound, and then I made no sound at all as his mouth closed over one taut nipple, drawing it in tightly, his tongue dancing across the beaded top as he sucked, and I wondered if I could come simply from his mouth at my breast. And then I remembered his hoarse, one-word command, “Come,” and my body went rigid as a small climax caught me.

The pull of his mouth at my neck, sucking, drinking, lost in my taste, the sweet hot rush as he filled me were too much. I was dying, and I didn’t care. We would die together, destroyed by a desire that was elementally wrong; they had warned us, and neither of us had cared. I was dying, and I was in his arms, and that was all that mattered.
There were feathers, feathers closing around me, soft and blessed, drawing in the darkness, and as I tumbled back to earth I let myself rest in their gentleness, at peace.

His hands slid down to cover my breasts, his fingers plucking my nipples, and the banked fire roared to life again. I pressed my butt against him, rubbing, and his sudden growl was pure animal need. Something that vibrated within me as well. I turned in his arms, and he kissed me, his mouth still tasting of the salt water, and I wanted to drink him in. Wanted to suck at him, as he had sucked at me, and I knew what I was going to do.
“Oh, God,” he muttered weakly, and I remembered he could read my thoughts. My body heated with a rush of embarrassment, but he only laughed, low in his throat, and shoved the covers off me.

“I want …” she whispered in that lost, broken voice that filled him with shame and sorrow, “… I want to change positions.”
He managed a crooked smile. “Of course,” he said, starting to turn and pull her on top; but she resisted, pushing at him.
“No,” she said. “There’s another way.”
He held very still. “There are many other ways,” he said finally, his own voice sounding as damaged as hers.
“I … I …” Embarrassment colored her voice, and he knew she couldn’t find the words.
“You want me to guess?” he said with strangled amusement.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes

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ARC Review: Deadly Fallout by Katie Reus

Format: E-bookdeadlyfallout.png
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Red Stone Security, #10
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Sawyer McCabe
Heroine: Zoe Hansen
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: December 9, 2014
Started On: December 11, 2014
Finished On: December 11, 2014

Deadly Fallout by Katie Reus is the 10th book in her Red Stone Security series. Do not be put off by the fact that this is the 10th book in an ongoing series. I am here to attest to the fact this is completely readable as a standalone since I myself picked Deadly Fallout as my very first introduction into the series.

Dr. Zoe Hansen is a surgeon, is forced to move her job and start afresh after a stalker gets too close to comfort. But 7 months later, Zoe finds her newfound peace once again shattered by the very same man. When her stalker gets murdered, Zoe would think that the days of her having to look over her shoulder are over. But far from it as Zoe finds herself saddled with a more vindictive version this time around, who is willing to play dirty to get to her.

Sawyer McCabe is the freshest recruit to the Red Stone Security. Having served as a SEAL for most of his life, his retirement from the military comes at a time he had wanted to. When Sawyer finds out that Zoe with whom he has a bit of a shared “past” with is in danger, every muscle in his body gets ready to fight, to fight to save the woman who has the power to bring him down to his very knees.

Deadly Fallout is such a great book. I ended up finishing it in one sitting because it served a story that begged the pages to be turned. Both Zoe and Sawyer are characters you’d definitely fall in love with. I did. Zoe is a heroine who is strong and independent in the truest sense. Able to stand up for herself but not stupid enough to want to prove something to everyone that she can do it all alone. Tough, smart and loyal; an unbeatable combination when it comes to a heroine. Flat out loved her!

Sawyer, oh my dear Sawyer; there’s something about heroes named Sawyer. Strong, honorable and sexy to boot, Sawyer is the type of hero to suck out the oxygen in a room just by walking into it. There’s an intensity to him that is hidden but the fire that burns and consumes him when it comes to Zoe breaks it all out to the forefront and that in itself was a mighty heady and delicious experience.

The villain was easy enough to figure out towards the latter part of the book but nevertheless the stalker crazy element to the whole thing gave the story the edge that it required. Definitely quite the interesting side characters that I would love to get to know better. Perhaps I will pick up a book or two in the series and give them a go. Some of the plots sound quite intriguing! Definitely recommended!

Final Verdict: Delivers fast paced suspense & scorching sexual heat!

Favorite Quotes

Without thinking, she leaned forward and brushed her lips over his, softly. He stiffened slightly and she wanted to die of embarrassment. Maybe she’d made a mistake, misread the—
Sawyer crushed his mouth over hers, moaning into her mouth like a starving man.
She clutched his shoulders and suddenly found herself flat on her back on the bed, one of his thighs between her legs as they kissed.

From the party, he knew the layout of her house so he moved quickly across the tile—until she lifted up against him and impaled herself on him.
He sucked in a breath, his head snapping back from hers. Groaning as he filled her, she arched her back against him, her nipples stroking his chest with the movement. They weren’t going to make it to the living room. “Wall or floor?” he managed.
“Wall.” He loved that she didn’t even pause in her answer.

“Come for me,” he murmured as he pulled out of her again, almost fully, before sliding back in with a groan. She was so damn tight. “I want to feel you coming on my cock.”
It was like his words set something off inside her. Her breathing hitched and her inner walls, which had already been incredibly tight around him, started rippling. She buried her face against his neck and bit down lightly, groaning against him as she found another orgasm.

She hadn’t made it past the threshold before he was behind her, on her, his big hands clutching her hips as he tugged her back flush to his torso. His skin was hot against her back. The skin on skin was too much and not enough.
He let out a soft growl as his hands slid up her hips, spanning her waist and stomach before cupping her breasts. He didn’t touch her nipples though, just held her gently.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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Review: Raziel by Kristina Douglas

Format: E-bookraziel
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Fallen, #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Raziel
Heroine: Allegra Watson
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: January 25, 2011
Started On: December 1, 2014
Finished On: December 10, 2014

Kristina Douglas is Anne Stuart writing paranormal fantasy genre. And whichever genre that Anne Stuart chooses to write, and if there is romance in it, its definitely a reason to pick it up. I’ve been meaning to give this series a go and finally managed to do so and ended up getting wowed beyond my wildest imaginations.

The Fallen series is focused on the concept of the fallen angels that is believed by Jews and Christians. Though I found reading about fallen angels which is not something we believe in Islam a bit unsettling at the beginning, I just set aside my misgivings and gave up to the heady ride Kristina Douglas delivered with Raziel, the debut book in the series.

Allegra Watson (Allie), a biblical murder mystery writer finds herself meeting her death, escorted by the most beautiful male specimen that she has laid her eyes on to her intended destination. Raziel and the other fallen angels lead a seemingly endless life, a life includes ferrying souls to either Hell or Paradise at the behest of Uriel, the archangel. Though Raziel has never had any problems with any of the people that he has transported for centuries, he finds that when the time of reckoning comes, he is unable to send Allegra on her way.

Allie finds herself in the most bizarre of circumstances with Raziel, a man who infuriates her, astounds her and electrifies her with the need that pulses through her every time he is around. Bound to each other by something that neither of them wants to acknowledge, Allie’s arrival to Sheol, the hidden world in which the fallen reside is not a welcome one for many. With danger looming closer than ever, Allie finds herself entirely captivated by Raziel and what he does to  her heart, mind, body and soul. With surprising twists to the story, Ms. Douglas manages to deliver a story that is unputdownable at best!

The power that Anne Stuart holds over her readers is legendary. With contemporary romances and romantic suspense, she continues to push the comfort zone of many a reader and publisher too if her writing history is anything to judge that fact by and under the pseudonym of Kristina Douglas, Anne Stuart practically eviscerates every preconceived notion of how the fantasy genre ought to be written. She smashes through the walls and leaves utter destruction of the kind you love to indulge in and I as a reader couldn’t have asked for more!

Allie whose name Allegra Watson made me snicker a bit to myself (Allegra = an antihistamine + Watson = a personal care store in Malaysia), fits the mold of heroines that Anne Stuart is famous for writing. Definitely not of the doormat variety, Allie continues to push at Raziel’s carefully laid out world of black and white, splashing it with beautiful, bold and vivid colors while Raziel continues to fool himself into thinking he is man enough to resist her charms. Snarky with a heart of gold, Allie was a heroine I definitely fell in love with and rooted for in the biggest way possible.

Raziel is one of the oldest of the fallen angels and pretty set in his ways. Raziel had sworn off women and the concept of finding a mate to share his life with because of the pain it brings to the heart to lose the one you love. While the fallen are subjected to live their life for eternity, their mates aren’t magically given the same “gift” and thus Raziel’s conviction that he is better off with just relying on his hand for company. But with the arrival of Allie into his life, Raziel knows in his heart that his days as a loner are numbered and that before she is through, she would end up blowing his heart into smithereens if he is not careful.

Raziel as a hero is beyond sexy, the kind of man that Anne Stuart so boldly brings to life time and yet again. Given the fact that this is fantasy, Anne’s creation goes a step further and delivers a mouthwatering version of the alpha male, Raziel is practically good enough to eat! His wings, oh man, those are a sight to behold and yes, you have to read the book to understand the full impact of Raziel.

This book is written in first person, from both Raziel and Allie’s points of view. The fact that I forgot to even complain about it when I initially wrote the review explains the fact that Ms. Douglas found a way to make the first person PoV work. By providing the points of view of both the hero and heroine. I actually never felt any of the frustrations that I usually feel with books written in first person and perhaps that is why I forgot to write it down when I first drafted the review.

I loved the ending provided, a look into their lives 5 years on, and a torturous peek towards what’s coming. There’s a sadness to the story, an inevitability to their shared lives and yet the happiness that radiates from it outshines it all. And that my friends is what superb storytelling is all about. Combining witty banter, heady sexual tension with highly erotic and sensuous delivery and enough fantasy and gore to feed the appetite, Raziel is a book that is a definite must read! I went a bit crazy with the quotes, forgive me. Not! Haha!

Final Verdict: Bold & unapologetic, sweeps you off your feet, big time!

Favorite Quotes

Kicking him in the shin and running like hell seemed an excellent plan, but I was barefoot and my body wasn’t feeling cooperative. As angry and desperate as I was, I still seemed to want him to touch me, even when I knew he had nothing good in mind. Angels didn’t have sex, did they? They didn’t even have sexual organs, according to the movie Dogma. I found myself glancing at his crotch, then quickly pulled my gaze away. What the hell was I doing checking out an angel’s package when I was about to die?

Her smile was faint, lovely, one of the most erotic things about her. “Now,” she whispered.
He didn’t hesitate. His fangs slid down and sank into her neck, finding the sweet spot he knew so well. The blood was thick, rich in his mouth, and he felt the spasms begin to take over, felt her own helpless response as his wings unfurled. He rolled onto his side, taking her with him, his teeth never leaving the gently throbbing vein, his cock deep inside her as his wings clamped around them both, locking them together as he gave himself over to the only kind of death he’d ever know.

“Were you sent here to torment me?” he whispered, sliding his arm around my waist, pulling me against him. “Did he know exactly what I needed, what I couldn’t fight?”
He? Who? But before I could ask the question, he kissed me again, and I was lost, needing to get closer to him, needing his skin beneath my fingers. His tongue was in my mouth, and I welcomed it, reaching between us and pulling his shirt apart so I could touch his skin, his hot, smooth skin. His heart was racing, and I wanted to put my mouth against it, wanted to taste his flat nipples, wanted my mouth all over him.

He started to pull out, and I clutched at him, suddenly terrified he would leave me.
But he was already pushing back into me, deeper than the first thrust, slick and sure, deeper, thicker, harder, and when he pulled back I let out a cry, desperate.
This time he slammed into me, all the way in, pushing me hard up against the wall, and my body suddenly shattered. I let out a muffled scream, burying it against his shoulder, against the smell of clean cotton and warm skin, and another wave hit me, and then another, until I was sure I couldn’t take any more.

I lay perfectly still beneath as he took care of me, my eyes closed, just wishing he’d go away and leave me. He was going to, sooner or later, and he might as well get it over with.
“I’m not going away,” he said.
“Stop reading my mind!” I cried, my voice catching on a sob. I didn’t tend to become emotional after sex, but this was an anomaly on every front.
He cursed under his breath. And then he simply moved over me, between my legs, and before I realized what he was doing he’d pushed inside me again, fully hard, and I let out a little yelp of shock as I shifted to accommodate him.

He lifted his head to look down at me, and I stared up into his strange eyes, mesmerized. I no longer wanted to hide, to look away. He was invading my soul again, just as he had earlier, only this time he was invading my body at the same time, and I wanted more.
“There’s a limit to what you can take, Allie,” he whispered in my ear, reading me again. “I don’t want to hurt you.” And he began to move, a slow, sweet slide, and I found I could make noise after all, a deep, longing moan, as I slid my arms around his back and held him close, feeling his muscles bunch and release against my hands, wanting the feel of him, the taste of him, all around me.

He reached behind him and took my arms, slamming them down on the mattress as he rose up, pumping into me. The second climax hit me, and then I couldn’t stop. I needed nothing more than the steady movement of him inside me to bring me to a place I hadn’t believed existed, and I threw myself out into the stars as his hands pressed down on mine and the iridescent darkness closed around us once more.
I could feel him inside me, coming, and I arched back, wanting his mouth on me, wanting his teeth on me. Please, I thought, and I felt his mouth against my neck and the first sharp bite of his teeth.
And I was complete.

“I can’t,” I said in sudden fear. “I really can’t.” And I tried to get off the bed.
He caught me at the edge, pulling me back underneath him so that I was facedown on the bed, my mouth against the linen sheets that smelled of lavender and spice and something even more elemental. “Yes you can,” he said with simple truth, and he slid his arm under my stomach, pulling me up to my hands and knees.

He pounded into me, a heavy dark rhythm that was like drumbeats from the heart of Africa. The drums of the gods. And I couldn’t stop the shudders rushing through me, mini-climaxes that were building, and his hand went between my legs, his fingers touching me, and I screamed, putting my head down, my face into the sheets as I gave in to the wildness and power, the animal need washing through me. I gave myself to him with complete trust, no longer thinking, no longer doubting. He would keep me safe, he would stop when I had more than I could handle, he would know.

His cock inside me seemed to swell, and I cradled his head against me, running my fingers through his thick, curling hair, whispering to him, soft words, love words.
And then he pulled away, rising up, and I could see my blood on his mouth, see the glitter in his eyes. He stared down at me, not moving, and I felt his climax deep inside me, giving me back what he had taken from me, and I joined him, flinging myself into the darkness with only him to guide me.

“Are you always going to be able to read my thoughts?” I asked with a trace of asperity.
“I can try not to. When you’re feeling strong emotion, it will come to me, and it will go both ways. In day-to-day life, I can shield you.”
“And in bed? I’m assuming we’re going to do this again?” I held my breath, waiting for the answer. Was he still fighting it? Should I still fight it?
It was a long moment before he spoke, an endless one. “As often as possible,” he said.
I knew his thoughts, knew what he wanted. Now. Again. “Yes,” I said. “Yes.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes

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ARC Review: Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh

Format: E-bookhourofneed
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Scarlet Falls, #1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Hero: Grant Barrett
Heroine: Ellie Ross
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 9, 2014
Started On: December 7, 2014
Finished On: December 9, 2014

Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh is her debut book in the Scarlet Falls series. Featuring a military hero and a heroine who finds herself in the midst of a mess because she’d just been in the opportune place, Hour of Need is a story that captivated me from start to end. Though I have a bit more time to spare than before these days, I seldom have the urge to stay up late up till dawn, just because I HAD to know how a story ended. Hour of Need did that to me. And that itself tells a story.

Major Grant Barrett is the oldest of the four Garrett siblings. Having spent more than half his life training to become a soldier and dedicating his life to moving up the ranks, Grant is in Afghanistan when he gets the news of the murders of his brother Lee and his wife Kate. Reeling from the impact, Grant makes it home to sort out Lee’s affairs, to determine what to do with their two kids and perhaps find out why Lee and Kate had been killed.

Set in the small town of Scarlet Falls, Melinda weaves a tale that is highly readable, that compels you to turn the pages. Ellie Ross lives next door to Kate and Lee with her daughter Julia and her grandmother. While Ellie and Grant’s paths had crossed before when he’d been on leave the last time, Ellie and Grant both ignore the flare of attraction that is between them, Ellie because she has been burnt before by living in the moment and has no intention of doing it ever again and Grant because he has nothing to offer towards a family life when he is all about the army and making General.

The various characters that you meet in the story just makes it more intriguing. The web of mystery in the story is finely wrought and it has been a while since the villain turned out to be a surprise for me and Hour of Need managed to do just that. There are multiple threads in the story that takes the story to its ultimate conclusion. There is the Barrett family reunion, the siblings having drifted apart as each had sought to live lives of their choosing. Then there is the aspect of the story that deals with looking after Lee’s children, not an easy job given that no one in the Barrett family has much experience in dealing with kids and babies. It was heartwarming to see how it all came together and I felt this warm glow inside of me because Hour of Need, though it deals with a disturbing subject, somehow managed to make me feel good too.

Like I said above, Hour of Need is a story that deals with a disturbing subject. Bullying and its effect on the young ones, how it can go so wrong that there is absolutely no going back. I liked the fact that Ms. Leigh portrayed the aspects related to bullying in a way that it drove home a message and also delivered that edge to the story which made the heart pound. It’s like you know that the only way down is by jumping and by jumping the only inevitability is a terrifying death that awaits you.

Now lets talk about Major Grant Barrett *rubs hands together in glee*. From the moment you meet Grant, he holds every cell of yours attentive to him and him alone. There are heroes who are sexy without making an effort; Grant is one of those. He walks in, the room feels charged and that is because Ms. Leigh does a fantastic job out of creating and keeping the sexual tension between Ellie and Grant in pace with the rest of the story. Ellie’s tendency to mistrust Grant at first was definitely in line with her character, and realistic if you ask me. All in all, I would have to say, both Ellie and Grant are characters that you’d love.

With a beautiful ending of the heartwarming variety, Hour of Need leaves me with just one question. Are Hannah and Detective McNamara going to get their own happily ever after? The evil person that I am, I would love to explore the tension that is between them.

Final Verdict: Disturbing, spine tingling & heartwarming! Definitely recommended.

Favorite Quotes

A small shudder passed through him, followed by a wave of need he couldn’t explain or deny, except that his soul was an empty shell. He pressed his lips to hers and let the taste of her fill the void inside him. Instead of resisting, she clutched his shirt and let him in. What started out tender and innocent shifted. desire warmed him and pooled low in his groin. A hungry groan eased out of her throat.

“We shouldn’t do this.” With an answering groan, he slid his hands under her shirt. his rough palms scraped up her rib cage.
But it wasn’t enough.
“Definitely not.” She pushed him away and ripped her shirt over her head, flinging it over her shoulder. her bra followed. Cool air rushed across hot skin. Her nipples budded as if he’d touched them. She’d been holding back on her impulses her entire life. Baring her body to him was liberating.

“You know I’m not staying in town. I have to go back. This isn’t a good idea.”
“I know.” But Ellie cupped her own breast and raised a playful eyebrow at him. She brushed a thumb across her nipple and reveled as grant’s mouth dropped open. She’d never been a bad girl, not even in high school. She’d simply made one mistake. But now she felt positively wicked.
It felt wonderful. Freeing. exhilarating.

Hands clutching the backs of her thighs, he lifted her and entered her with one steady, wet slide. The fit of their bodies was perfect, combining to make one whole being.
“Yes.” This was what she needed. him. She clutched his shoulders. “Grant.”
The heat of his skin fused with hers. His mouth was on the side of her neck, his lips near her ear. he retreated and surged into her again. Her body responded with an electric wave of pleasure that started in her center and spread outward through her limbs.
“Ellie.”

He nudged inside her, intending to be gentle. But pleasure flooded him, and his body surged into her without input from his brain. She bowed backward.
“I’m sorry.”
“Why did you stop?” She arched, her heels digging into his ass, pulling him even deeper.
“I thought I’d hurt you.” he panted, his muscles shaking with the effort of holding still.
“Obviously not.” her hips moved beneath him. “Now stop thinking. That’s an order.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

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ARC Review: Loving You Is Easy by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: E-booklovingyouiseasy
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Loveswept
Hero: Shane Alexander Develen
Heroine: Brooke Ellstein
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 9, 2014
Started On: December 4, 2014
Finished On: December 5, 2014

Loving You is Easy is a book that starts off in an intriguing manner. November 2011, Brooke Ellstein, a 7th and 8th grade Math teacher who also happens to be the daughter of a prominent politician in New York starts corresponding with Sergeant Shane Develeen in the manner of pen pals. Fast forward to July of next year and these two meet for the first time, Brooke having fallen for Shane even with his warning that he is not looking for a girlfriend to mess with his head.

Devastation hits Brooke when a photograph in which she posed for Shane finds its way to the Internet. Feeling betrayed at the knowledge that Shane had been home for more than 2 months and never contacted her, Brooke feels like her entire life is falling apart until Shane walks up to her door, a man scarred from the war, with a gigantic chip on his shoulder that won’t quit. Shane’s only reason for showing up is to put things to right or so he tells himself.

From the start, Shane had believed that a classy woman like Brooke would have no place in her life for a man like him. After nearly losing his life on the job and with the scars to prove it, Shane is adamant and steadfast in his belief and need to keep Brooke at arms length and that she doesn’t expect something more to happen between them than just friendship. But then life and love has a way of breaking even the toughest of them and the more Shane learns about the woman that Brooke hides behind the facade of rigid control and discipline that has been her life, the more little shards of doubt begins to penetrate into Shane’s firmly held conviction that they aren’t meant to be.

Loving You is Easy is a book that is easy to read given that Wendy is an author who writes well and portrays a lot of emotions in her stories. Brooke’s past when revealed turned out to be a heartbreaking one, making one question exactly just how much families and their children suffer when either of the parents chooses to pursue a political career. Brooke’s emotional strength was an admirable trait, her closest friends the ones keeping her sane.

Shane is a bit of a grouch and a tad hard to like but given the circumstances he finds himself in, I guess a little bit of anger at the fates was called for. My disappointment with Shane stemmed from his lack of belief in Brooke, who gives him no reason to doubt her. If it had been just one instance, I could have brushed it off and thanked the stars for the angst that the misunderstanding had brought to the story. But more than once and especially under a situation where Brooke had needed his support, I just felt a bit letdown from all that. The saving grace was the fact that he seemed to pick up the pieces and get Brooke back. I would also have loved to see Shane’s issues related to his injuries and the resultant PTSD looked at with just a tad more detail. Judging from how the story had proceeded, I’d like to bet that Brooke’s best friend Neve is going to get her own story pretty soon!

Recommended for fans of Wendy and fans of war torn heroes.

Final Verdict: With a bit of grouch and a whole lot of classy, Wendy’s newest release gives a good read!

Favorite Quotes

“This guy bothering you?” he asked, not at all interested in getting to know the snake trying to slither into Brooke’s life.
“No,” she said, breathing heavily, her cheeks pink, her expression filled with innocence. She had no idea how sexy she looked in her outfit, or how that loser kept dropping back to ogle her butt. “He asked me—”
Shane cupped the back of her head, leaned forward, and silenced her with a kiss. He hadn’t planned it. In fact, the urge struck him completely by surprise. He chose not to fight it, because in that moment he could think of no words to adequately express the fierceness of his feelings. Possessive, protective, and pissed as shit she’d been enjoying time spent with some stranger rather than with him.

“All right. I get it.” Her running mate’s words broke his trance. “Let her breathe.”
Shane let her go, cursing himself for losing control, for being so rough. Without his support she swayed. He caught her. She appeared dazed, her pupils dilated. “Why’d you do that?” she whispered.
“He was bothering me.”

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

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