Requested ARC Review: Wanted by Dee Tenorio

Format: E-bookwanted
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Deadly Secrets, #2
Publisher: Entangled
Hero: Rick Trelane
Heroine: Whitney Jean Peterson
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 21, 2015
Started On: July 24, 2015
Finished On: July 26, 2015

Wanted by Dee Tenorio is the 2nd book in the Deadly Secrets series. Story begins with the murder of one Brody Roberts, a murder that signals to the former Marine Rick Trelane that this is just the beginning of something deeper and darker than what it seems to be on the surface. Brody’s murder is of significance to Rick because of Brody’s “relationship” with Whitney Peterson, the woman whose existence remains the reason for Rick’s sanity, his best friend & the only person alive who could stir him into giving a damn about opening himself up once again.

Whitney holds secrets in her heart. Emotionally dark secrets that she has no intention of sharing with Rick and burdening him with. As it is, Rick holds the weight of the world on his shoulders. The shadows in his eyes, the darkness that he holds close to his heart is one that dissipates rarely, showing glimpses of the man whom Whitney has given her heart to, a long time back.

Reluctance is the name of the game when it comes to Rick. Reluctance to face what Whitney means to him, reluctance to expose himself to feeling anything that could devastate his world all over again. Reluctance to let Whitney in and face head on the explosive, world shattering variety of desire that connects them.

With the body count beginning to rise, Whitney gets promoted from being just a person of interest to a suspect that the police needs to bring in for questioning. And the only one that stands between Whitney and wrongful prosecution is Rick himself, willing to forgo every value that he has promised to uphold in his quest to root out the corruption that had darkened the doorways of the community.

Wanted is a story that contains elements which combined together definitely makes for a page turner. Rick himself is deliciousness redefined. Seeing Rick through Whitney’s eyes was a huge turn-on, the man being just a walking, brooding version of sex on a stick. Whitney is the heroine who is tough enough to nudge Rick towards the road of recovery. Haunted by a past that was earth shattering when it came to light, Whitney’s character just makes you want to bring out the pompoms and cheer her on. I was never more so proud of Whitney than the moment she decided to pursue Rick, to take matters into her own hands so to speak, even with all the memories of a past that continues unleash its claws on her, more recently of late.

Though the villain was not that hard to figure out, the twists that Dee provided towards the culmination of the story proved to be enticing enough to keep me riveted. Only thing more I could have asked for would have to be more scenes of passion between Rick and Whitney. Ones that would have “reaffirmed” the sexiness that defines all that is Rick Trelane.

Loved the thread of humor interwoven with the fabric of the story. One of the reasons that I love Dee’s voice so much is that she has the right touch of sarcastic and witty combined that gives the reader that much needed breather from the rest of the intense stuff happening in the story.

Wanted is a story that deals with difficult subjects with a high degree of sensitivity. The concept of therapy, moving forward, finding happiness; all this gives that much needed hope to anyone who might be going through a tough time in their lives. After all, that’s what romance novels are partly about. They fuel our dreams & hopes of a love that would never abate, will be reciprocated & withstand the test & ravages of time

Recommended.

Final Verdict: Dee Tenorio delivers a dark tale, as promised. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

He had to go. He fucking had to. He had to let her go.
But she chose that moment to turn. To open her eyes. To sigh in relief that he was still there.
The choice was out of his hands.
He moved, drawn toward her like fire to air. He pushed through the kitchen door, colliding against her body and taking her mouth with a fury he couldn’t have held in if God himself commanded it. The taste of her flooded him, sweetness and fire, while her body melted into him. It wasn’t enough. He needed her closer. Needed her wrapped around him.

He heard her cry of surprise, used it to deepen the kiss until the carnality of it almost had him ripping at the fabric of her dress. She did nothing to stop him, either. Instead, she kissed him back, her desperate sounds urging him on. His fingers tightened on her hip, pushing her backward onto the table. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down with her, letting him take, demanding more, until he’d nearly climbed on the table with her.

He gasped against her lips, his entire body tightening like a bowstring being yanked.
She lifted herself higher, pulling back only enough to whisper words she hoped he couldn’t ignore. “I need you, Rick. I need you so much…”
He held out for a beat, two, but then he groaned, turning them so her back was against the wall. They hit it with a slam, his swearing the oddest thing to find sexy. Like the sound of a dam breaking, she thought distantly, the one sided kiss suddenly erupting into something that stole her breath completely.

Soon, all she could hear were her own sighs, his murmured encouragement and the roughening pace of their breathing. Her head fell back, arms crossed behind his head so he didn’t stop sucking that spot on her neck. His thumb sought out her clit again and thought completely disappeared. Passion turned to an inferno. She moved desperately, wanting more, wanting everything. All he was. All he’d ever wanted to be. All she’d never been able to give. That she’d never received. It all blended into a maelstrom until the pressure of it snapped, shocking a cry from them both, leaving them shuddering in each other’s arms.

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

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Review: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookshieldofwinter
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #13
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Vasic Duvnjak
Heroine: Ivy Jane
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 3, 2014
Started On: May 21, 2015
Finished On: June 06, 2015

Shield of Winter is the 13th book in the Psy-Changeling series. The book that comes after the most explosive title in the series, Heart of Obsidian. Shield of Winter tells the story of one of the most enigmatic characters of the elite group of soldiers of the Psy race, the ones that carry out the covert operations as required.

Vasic Duvnkak is an assassin, a soldier and an Arrow. With the volatile changes that had been happening to the three races living on Earth, the Psy world as Vasic has known it is rapidly changing, bringing along with it regrets of the kind written in blood, a conscience mired by a past that cannot be changed. Vasic is drifting further and further away from the roots that had kept him grounded, and until the inevitable end of his life, Vasic is willing to do whatever it takes to continue protecting his race, albeit minus the allegiance to the corrupt elite.

Ivy Jane is an empath, empaths being the Psy that had been brutally and viciously hunted down when the Psy world was initially established. Ivy becomes part of the group that is rounded up by Kaleb Krychek in order to save the Psy from an illness that has been ravaging the minds of Psy, rendering them mad beyond help. Ivy is helpless in the face of the sickness that seems to be accelerating its way through the NetMind, the bio feedback mechanism that is crucial for the Psy to survive.

Ivy and Vasic are both newbies to the world of sensation that had been forbidden for the Psy for so long. Vasic more so than Ivy because of the conditioning, training and torture that he had been subjected to when he had first been entered into the training academy for the Arrows. When Vasic chooses Ivy as the empath that he would protect till the mission ends, Vasic finds in Ivy, for the very first time in his life, a woman who makes him want. Want something more.

The journey of discovery that these two embark upon is a beautifully sensuous one, one that only an author of Nalini Singh’s caliber can deliver. The bloody turn that Psy’s world takes doesn’t detract from the connection that springs forth between Vasic and Ivy, a love that is beautiful in the way it develops.

Though Shield of Winter doesn’t obviously live up to the splendor that is Heart of Obsidian, it nevertheless gives fans of the series a read worth sinking their teeth into. Vasic is the type of hero that we all would love to cuddle, pet and call our own. Not because he’s the cuddly, warm and fuzzy type. But because he is just the opposite. Reserved, a touch cold and aloof, Vasic is the type of hero that makes women want to claim them as their own. Vasic is downright delicious. Though a virgin, Vasic’s focus on “matters” at hand makes everything doubly more so sensual!

Ivy is just the sort of woman that a man like Vasic needs. A man on the brink of crossing over, not caring much about how or when his end arrives. But in Ivy, Vasic finds the sort of strength he never thought he was capable of, the strength and will to focus on living than the inevitable end of the cycle of life. Vasic’s back story is one that would make even the hardest of hearts thaw. Ivy’s equally horrific, but made a trifle bit better owing to protective parents. Beyond the romance, there is of course always the fascinating world that Nalini has created with this series, that in itself a reason enough  to get lost in these books!

Recommended for fans of the Psy-Changeling series. Nalini writes beautifully. That is one reason why these books are not to missed out on!

Final Verdict: In the fall of Silence, nothing will ever be the same ever again. Great storytelling, as always!

Favorite Quotes

Ivy bit down on her lower lip, released the swollen flesh . . . and tugged the top off over her head. Raising one hand to pull back strands of her hair that had curled over her face, she didn’t attempt to hide herself from him, the plump mounds of her breasts cupped by a confection of ivory satin and lace. “That’s not Psy issue,” he said, fighting every single cell in his body not to push the delicate fabric aside and look his fill.
Ivy’s own breathing was unsteady, her breasts rising and falling as if in invitation. “No,” she admitted in a husky tone. “I’ve always liked certain textures against my skin.” Raising one hand, she pushed off a strap.”

Ivy’s breath was a sob. “Don’t ever give up.” Using her free hand to cup the hand he had around her wrist, she bent her head to press a kiss to his knuckles. “Promise me.”
His entire body in shock at the sweet, hot caress, he nodded. For her, he’d conquer even the dark numbness that had been eating him alive for years. “I promise.” He touched her hair. “Ivy, I was trying to protect you.” He’d never intended this bond to form, never intended to cause her pain. “From the terrible things I’ve done, the destructive choices I’ve made, the broken mess inside me.”
Ivy shook her head, her expression haunted. “It was too late the first day we met. You’re inside me, and I’m inside you. It’s done.”

He squeezed her nape. “Kiss me,” he repeated.
Ivy licked her lips, slid her hands up to his shoulders, and confessed. “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“Neither do I,” he responded, the glittering silver of his eyes on her mouth. “Arrows learn by repetition and practice until the basic skill is honed, at which point we begin to specialize.”
The words should’ve been dry, but they made her breasts swell, her nipples so plump and tight the lace of her bra became abrasive. Because he was talking about repetition and practice when it came to intimate contact. Kissing. Touching. Sex. Her lips parted and he lowered his head.
“Do it again, Ivy,” he murmured, his breath mingling with her own. “Repetition—”
“And practice,” she completed, and brushed her lips over his.

When Vasic broke contact, his forehead pressed against hers and his breath jagged, she caressed his cheek, kissed the clean-shaven smoothness of his jaw. Never had she felt so alive, so pleasured. But below that was a sexual hunger brutal in its ferocity, hard and dark . . . and then she knew. It wasn’t her desire she was sensing. It was his.
Body melting even further, she kissed his jaw again. “I’m picking up your desire. Do you mind?”
“No.” He kissed her again on the heels of that statement, one hand on her lower back, the other on the side of her neck.
Then he licked his tongue against hers.
Her brain exploded.

“Vasic.” Soft breath, Ivy’s lips on his throat.
Fingers tightening into fists, he stood in place, his head bowed slightly and his arms trapping her. Instead of fighting to escape, she kissed his throat again, licked out with her tongue to taste him. It made every muscle in his body go tight, the tattered vestiges of the psychological brainwashing he’d survived attempting to overlay the pleasure with pain, but he didn’t move.
“Vasic,” she whispered again, her kiss damp this time, the sensation going straight to his rock-hard erection. “My Vasic.”

Turning toward her, he braced himself with his palms on either side of her head, his bare skin inches from her, the heat of him smashing against her hungry skin. And his fury . . . that was a stunning thing, the storm in his eyes molten silver.
“I can’t give you what you want.” It came out ice-cold, but those eyes, those eyes . . . “I thought—” He shook his head. “You can’t change the core of a man, Ivy. You can’t take a man christened in blood and make him into something better.”
Ivy narrowed her eyes, furious at the way he continued to see himself. “I don’t want you to change. Haven’t I made that clear?” Rising on tiptoe, she fisted her hands in his hair. “I want you. All of you. Even the part that infuriates me.”

Chest heaving, Ivy stared at him, the suspicion on her face making something twist deep inside him, the strange emotion at once gentle and fierce. “Wait for me in your bedroom,” he said, taking what he needed because Ivy had said he could have it. Have her.
Ivy had fought for his right to have her.
She never denied him, never punished him by withholding the touch he craved—her touch—and he planned to take terrible advantage. Now and always. “I need to make sure everything is secure before I join you.” The mattress on his bed was hard, would discomfort her. “I want you under me, naked and aroused and mine.”

A lazy, affectionate smile that caught at his heart and refused to let go. “I flaked, huh?”
“You needed rest,” Vasic answered. And then he kissed her.
Ivy responded with the lush generosity that had already made him an addict. Sliding her arms around his neck and bending one leg at the knee to cradle him between her thighs, she surrendered her mouth to his desires. And he took, devoured. He hadn’t understood how starved he was of touch until he met Ivy. Now, she was the only one who could ease the piercing ache of his need.

His fingers curled around her nape. Are you going to be mad at me for this our entire life?
She nodded. You should’ve waited for me.
I never dared dream of you, Ivy. I never thought a man like me deserved such a gift.
Petting his chest, she said, You’re my gift, too, you know. I’m so glad for you every instant of every day. Even when I’m really, really angry with you.

“I need to ask you some highly personal questions.”
Judd reached down to pack the snow into a ball. “I’ve been hoping for a long time that someone else in the squad would get to the point where a discussion like this would be necessary.” Rising, he threw the snowball with a fast arm. “Ask.”
“How do you control your telekinesis while intimate with your mate?”
“I broke a damn lot of furniture at the start, including two beds.” A curious glance. “What are you doing?”
“Traveling around the world.”

“This will likely hurt.” He didn’t like the idea, but it was a biological fact they couldn’t escape.
Ivy wrapped her legs around his hips. “Love me, let me love you.”
He gritted his teeth, guided himself to her, and began to push. She was slick and hot and so tightly stretched around him that he felt he’d rip her open. “Ivy.”
Clutching at his shoulders, she gasped, “So . . . you’re built in proportion, then.”
The unexpected words gave him the breathing room he needed. Kissing her on that sweet, soft, generous mouth, he said, “Unfortunately.”
A sensually feminine smile. “I have a feeling that won’t be the correct description once we begin to do this on a regular basis.”

“Leaving them tangled around her thighs, he squeezed one cheek with a blatantly possessive touch, then dipped his hand between her legs. “You’re liquid.” Crushed rocks and sexual heat, that was his voice.
Ivy’s answer required no thought. “Because it’s you.”
Movement behind her, the back of his hand brushing her buttocks. The sound of a zipper. Fabric being pushed down. And then he was gripping her hips to tilt her farther forward as he pushed into her with relentless focus. Making incoherent sounds of need, she was hardly aware of the world altering between sand and the wall and back over and over. Every cell in her body was focused on Vasic, on feeling the thick intrusion of him stretching her flesh.
This position permitted nothing else.

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

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ARC Review: Under Contract by Jeffe Kennedy

Format: E-bookundercontract
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Falling Under, #3
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Ryan Black
Heroine: Celestina Sala
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: July 7, 2015
Started On: July 19, 2015
Finished On: July 24, 2015

Celestina Sala (Tina) is practically at her wits end when she runs into the rich and darkly enigmatic Ryan Black, for whom she had done some contract water landscaping work a couple of years back. Ryan believes that Tina crosses his path this time due to serendipity, that it was nature’s way of giving back to him Tina, a “free” Tina by the looks of her ringless status, something that had prevented him from acting out on his attraction to her the first time around.

Tina finds herself in dire financial circumstances owing to the twisted turns her life had taken recently. Divorced and saddled with two nieces, Tina finds herself at a loss when Ryan proposes to her something that entices her as much as it makes her feel like she’s bowing down to world’s oldest profession of prostituting her body for a living.

As Ryan sees it, the contract between them is pretty simple. Never having had the urge to settle down, Ryan knows that his darker desires are not meant to be imposed on just anybody. But in Tina he believes that he has found a woman who would suite him perfectly, in bed and out of it. But convincing Tina of the fact, well, that’s the interesting part.

Under Contract by Jeffe Kennedy is the 3rd book in her BDSM contemporary erotic romance series Falling Under. I first encountered this series on Netgalley when the 2nd book came out, which proved to be a hit with me. Though I didn’t love Under Contract as much as I did Under His Touch, this still managed to give a good read that kept the pages turning.

Jeffe Kennedy definitely has a way with writing BDSM romances. They might follow the usual tropes but she always has something special to give you, that definitely leaves you wanting more. Jeffe’s stories answer to that need in me for dark stories. Darkly emotional tales. And I hope she never stops writing them. Because very few authors actually do.

I liked Ryan and Celestina well enough. Both having suffered through their own tragedies. Only thing I missed and wanted to see was that impressive control of Ryan’s shatter into pieces where Celestina was concerned. Perhaps I’d have to satisfy myself with the way he laid himself bare to her emotionally, risked it all to let her see that she wasn’t in his life just for the kink they both equally enjoyed and got off on.

Though I enjoy a good emotionally well balanced BDSM romance, I admit that the the whole master/slave concept is definitely not for me. I thought I’d have to grit my teeth over how Ryan kept Celestina from achieving fulfillment, I even jotted down “Ugh. This denial thing.” And then within the next couple of pages, I was proved so brilliantly wrong that I swear had it not been for the AC running in the room, sweat would’ve popped out on my forehead from the combustive heat of it all. Fabulous delivery Ms. Kennedy. Just utterly fabulous!

Under Contract proved to be quite educative in other aspects too. I’ve been encountering news on the drought that has hit California in recent times & would never have thought on how badly actually it is affecting the lives and livelihoods of people in the area. This book actually managed to drive home the point that none of it is easy. I love books that prove insightful in little ways that most might perhaps consider unimportant. And this was one of those books for me.

One little aspect that touched the techie inside of me was how the contract between Ryan & Tina was managed, using a nifty little app that allowed Ryan to key in what he wanted and allowed Tina to select what she was willing to accept. I’ve always held the belief that it is a bit “embarrassing” & perhaps a bit tacky that in books like the Fifty Shade of Grey that lawyers were involved in drawing up a contract of the kind that would have definitely meant people outside the intimate circle of the couple knowing what they were up to. Perhaps that is just the prude in me, but this way? Totally worked!

And man. The cover though! Makes me want to take a bite out of it. That fab looking.

Recommended for fans of BDSM themed erotic contemporary romances.

Final Verdict: Emotional with sex torrid enough to leave a permanent blush all over you!

Favorite Quotes

He spoke quietly, the sound part caress, part scraping over her nerves. “I want you, Celestina. I want the feel of your skin under my hands, to see your spectacular body naked and feel you writhing under me. I want to hear you out of breath from ecstasy instead of nervousness, for you to gasp my name in my ear as you come. I want to push you past every boundary you ever thought you had and for you to go there because I made you. I want you to do things you think are wicked and discover how much you like them. Most of all, I want to be there with you, so I can savor your scent, the hot clasp of your body, lick up your sweat and tears, drink in every small sound you make as you lose yourself to the pleasure I can give you.”

A soft moan arose out of her depths and he made a sound in return, of agreement, and deepened the kiss so she had to tip her head back until it hit the high wooden edge of the chair. He pursued, the kiss going from gently sensual to fiercely sexual.
Rather than frightening her, the increasing demand released some of her nerves, much as he’d promised. As if the power of the kiss broke through her barriers, the careful shell of numbness she’d wrapped herself in.

He helped her wriggle into the sheath dress and zipped it up. “Wait,” she said, her mind clearing. “My bra?”
Loving the way her brow creased in consternation, he pocketed it. “I thought I’d keep it, a souvenir to get me through a dull afternoon.” Unable to keep his hands off her, he massaged her breasts through the light crepe, rolling her nipples so her head dropped back on a moan. “I’ll put my hand in my pocket and remember how this felt, how you shuddered and moaned for me. And you, when your naked nipples brush against your dress, you’ll remember this, too.”

He pushed the chains aside to flank the outsides of her labia, making her struggle anew as they scraped over her sensitized tissues. Managing to roll on a condom, he positioned himself at her hungry entrance, bracing himself on his elbows over her, to find her mouth waiting for his. She arched her back, body begging for the penetration even as her lips pulled at his, pleading moans coming from deep in her throat.
He thrust into her, going momentarily blind with the searing sensation, both at the tight clasp of her body, like liquid fire, and her shuddering response. She wrenched her mouth away, gasping his name. And he answered, reverentially, “Celestina.”

Then he pulled out of her, ditched the condom and came around to her head. He stood over her, his chest still pumping with his harsh breaths, then brushed her sweat-drenched hair back from her forehead. He pressed a finger against her mouth and she opened, drawing it in and sucking on it as he seemed to want. A smile of tenderness softened his face and he replaced the finger with his mouth, drawing on her with a greedy hunger.
Lifting his head, he caressed her throat, spanning it in one big hand.
“Mine,” he whispered.
In that moment, it was utterly, obviously true. Nothing else existed but this, belonging to him. His slave. She could deny him nothing. Not even her shredded heart.
“Yours,” she answered.”

Once he had the vibrator in place and securely strapped on, he entered her again, holding the control in one hand and one of the nipple clamps with the other. She shuddered, anticipating.
Simultaneously, he yanked off the clamp and flipped the switch to the highest setting. Celestina convulsed, screaming indeed, as her body shot into intense orgasm, bucking against his cock and milking him so hard that he nearly came with her.

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

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