ARC Review: Wait For Me by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-bookwaitforme.JPG
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Outback Bachelor Ball, #3
Publisher: Small Cow Publishers
Hero: Jonah Masters
Heroine: Beth Walker
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 20, 2015
Started On: October 13, 2015
Finished On: October 14, 2015

Any book that Sarah Mayberry publishes, I am all over it. Because simply put, she is one of my favorite authors of deeply moving contemporary romances. Sarah can write the brooding heroes of the variety that can wrench your gut, heart and soul. And when she puts pen to paper to write the heroes of the sweet kind, well let me tell you, they are just as lethal.

Wait for Me is the third book in the series, The Outback Bachelor Ball penned by Sarah and two other authors, Karina Bliss and Joan Kilby. The series is tied around the bachelor ball as is indicated by the title of the series, during which three best friends Beth, Jen and Ellie find their happily ever afters. Of course, I jumped to the 3rd book in the series straightaway – with no regrets. Because the series is written in such a way that no spoilers are included about the two other stories which I intend to read within the course of the week, hopefully.

Beth Walker returns to Australia with a heavy mind and heart, having suffered through the terrible implosion that her marriage had undergone – finding out that her world famous country music husband had been fooling around behind her back, and that would be putting it mildly. When Beth runs into Jonah Masters, with whom she had shared a connection with during the early days of her marriage, Beth in confused by the series of feelings that runs amok inside of her, telling her that her senses weren’t as dead to the world as she thought them to be.

Jonah had never forgotten Beth and the way she had made him feel back then. But seeing Beth so depressed, like the very light inside of her had been exhumed, makes Jonah want to take all of that pain away. Vowing to himself that he would not take advantage of her vulnerability ends up being a moot point when they both end up having the most unforgettable and explosive sexual experience of their lives with each other. However, things are far from rosy and Jonah knows that it would take every ounce of patience that he has got, to wait Beth out, until she is finally ready to move on.

Wait for Me does justice to the length of a novella by delivering the heart and heat that is synonymous with Sarah’s romances. Beth’s humiliation, self recrimination and the ping-pong ball variety of emotions that she goes through is of course relatable. The fact that Jonah walks into her life once again, at a point where Beth feels like she would never ever feel alive is a godsend, perhaps nature’s way of showing her that with the right person, love and a shared existence can be a wonderful thing.

Jonah Masters is a hero that has been superbly created by Sarah. And I say superbly because there is no other way to describe the different emotions that courses through you as you read about him. Sweet, kind and generous without an iota of selfishness to him; sounds just about too perfect, right? But no. He has this endearing fear of flying that I could totally relate to. If there was an invention of the modern world that I secretly wish I didn’t have to use, it would be airplanes. The way that Jonah could just simply be was a trait I found all sorts of endearing. He has patience of the abundant kind, and oh dear Lord, is he sexy! Go on, I know you wanna read ALL about him!

The ending when it came, made me cry. Not because it was sad. But because all my feelings seemed to bubble up to the surface when Beth and Jonah finally got their happily ever after. A book that can make me cry is very, very rare. So that is more than enough reason to pick this little number up and indulge.

Absolutely recommended!

Final Verdict: Sarah Mayberry is definitely the queen of creating sexy, sensitive heroes. Sighing was made for heroes like Jonah!

Favorite Quotes

Jonah turned toward the doorway of what she assumed was the ensuite, his hands on the stud of his jeans. Then he registered her presence and stilled, surprise lifting his eyebrows.
“Beth. Did you want —”
She closed the distance between them and reached for his shoulders as she raised onto her toes. Her fingers closed over hot, hard muscle as her lips found his. His mouth was slightly open, and she took full advantage, slipping her tongue inside to taste him. For a heartbeat she got nothing in return, and she could feel the shock radiating off him. Then his arms closed around her, the action almost convulsive it was so fiercely possessive, and suddenly he was the one in control of the kiss.

“Tell me what you want,” he asked, his voice low and deep and dirty. His fingers curled, applying pressure to her highly sensitized flesh. It felt so amazing, so delicious, her knees went weak.
“I want you to fuck me,” she said, then she closed the distance between them and kissed him again. “I want you to fuck me hard.”

He smoothed the condom on with efficient haste before reaching for her. His hands landed on her hips, lifting her, and she wrapped her legs around him as her back hit the wall and his cock thrust inside her. He was big enough to steal her breath, for the pleasure to approach pain, and when he started to pump into her the friction and pressure was insanely, terrifyingly intense. She tightened her legs and arched her spine, her hands clawing at his shoulders as desire became her whole world.
The feeling of fullness, the slickness of her own arousal, the flex of his muscles as he hammered his body into hers, the growing tension building behind her clit…
Her body arched like a bow as she strained toward infinity…

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

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Review: Behind the Mask by Carolyn Crane

Format: E-bookbehindthemask
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: The Associates, #4
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Hugo Martinez
Heroine: Zelda
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: May 18, 2015
Started On: October 01, 2015
Finished On: October 12, 2015

Ever since I saw a tweet from Carolyn Crane about the release of the 4th installment in The Associates series, I’d been hankering to read it. Behind the Mask is written using one of my favorite tropes, a hero who is dark and edgy, living in isolation and the heroine who comes along, understands him for all that he is & shakes up his life while she is at it. Carolyn Crane is not an author who writes fluffy romances, well at least the books in this series aren’t for the fainthearted. There is only so much of the lighthearted variety of romances that I can take. With the romance genre becoming increasingly filled with fluffy reads, an author like Carolyn Crane who can still stand firm in delivering a read of the sort is a heaven-send for a reader like myself.

Zelda the heroine is actually the silent founding partner of The Associates. A forensic botanist who had served in the CIA, Zelda had retired from the field given how her last mission had gone awry. She returns to the field by her own volition, given that it is her twin sister who would take the fall if otherwise. But things don’t go exactly according to plan and Zelda finds herself confronted with the image of the very man she had spent a better part of her career at CIA tracking down – the infamous Kabakas; a near mythical assassin whose prowess had been legendary.

Hugo Martinez lives up on the crumbling mountaintop villa with the beautiful blood red savinca flowers around his property, with the young boy Paolo that he’d rescued on a mission for companionship. Hugo is a hard man, driven to lead the life he lives after he had been “forced” into retirement. But Hugo is prepared to protect his precious mountaintop villa and surrounding village at any cost, even if it means the infamous Kabakas has to make a comeback.

Taking Zelda as the “captive” who would cook for them might not have been one of his brightest ideas, but then again, the way his soul recognized Zelda from the very first moment is one that he cannot turn away from. Zelda has her mission’s agenda which needs to be fulfilled, but the very thought of turning traitor to Hugo makes her want to hurt someone. The slow awakening of Zelda and Hugo’s awareness for one another, the events that propel Hugo to claim her – those were aspects of the novel that I absolutely could not get enough of.

Romance writing has become such a competitive genre that authors seldom write on those tropes that actually made readers like myself fall in love with the genre in the first place. Everyone wants something modern, something relevant to the current times, something with an edge to be the book they come out with. But there is nothing wrong with using a trope that droves of readers love and adding a twist to it that would make it relevant in today’s circles. In my opinion, the best of romances are those that are able to withstand the test of time. And I wish there were more authors who actually wrote romances as such.

Behind the Mask was a novel that I immensely enjoyed; if you can’t tell that already from the gushy bits and pieces you’ve already read from the review, I’m just putting it out there – I loved Behind the Mask! Carolyn Crane is an author who writes well. Her books are highly readable, her heroes are of the dark and tortured variety and her heroines are ones who can take all that darkness and then some. Hugo and Zelda’s journey towards the happily ever after was filled with dark and horrific moments that most readers might like to forget – but that is in essence what gives this book the edge that makes it the awesome read it is!

I loved, loved, loved Hugo. He is so lovingly crafted that it’s almost as if I could feel the proverbial key strokes that created and wrote him down for this book. Fanciful, I know. Yet, that’s how Hugo’s character came off to me. Beautiful. Lonely. Lost. Hungry. Lethal. And even all those words barely does him justice.

When Zelda was first introduced in the book, I thought that I wouldn’t like her overly much. I like strong heroines, but not the kind that tends to overshadow the hero in her attempt to appear as his equal or more. I was totally wrong in my line of thinking because Zelda turned out to be just perfect. In her vulnerabilities, the way she couldn’t help but be affected by Hugo, the way she actually wanted to and needed to make a difference in Hugo’s life. All that spoke to me on a level that had me rooting for her in a big way.

I simply love the fact that Carolyn’s books are dark. The dark of the variety that I adore. Loved the moments of cocooned intimacy between Hugo and Zelda, the time that gave them the opportunity to be drawn towards one another. Hugo’s bewilderment about feeling so deeply about her was adorable. The way he couldn’t keep his hands off of her just outright hot. And as the reader, I just couldn’t get enough.

To finish up, Dax seems like a fine piece of work to contend with. Can’t wait to see what Carolyn puts his dark and tormented soul through to give him a happily ever after!

Final Verdict: Beautifully savage in its rendition. Spoke right to my heart!

Favorite Quotes

“You’re okay,” she whispered, dipping two fingers into the cool salve. Gently she slicked it onto the pinkest, most inflamed-looking skin.
Much to her surprise, he allowed it. Maybe the pain outweighed everything else. He turned back to the fire, breath ragged, as she stroked the salve across his tormented flesh.
She’d thought of Kabakas as many things over the years, but never as a suffering being. Never as an old friend. So human, so compelling.
So fucking beautiful.

“Shhhh,” he said.
She gasped as he pushed his fingers inside her now, thumb stroking her taut nub. He would not take her; he would make her feel good. It was all he wanted now—just that.
He stroked her to a rhythm that matched her soft breath. He could always feel when a woman’s body became his, control switching over, pleasure building.
Mercilessly he drew his rough fingers through her tender folds. She felt like molten silk, and his touch was a tide, pulling her out to sea.

He grumbled about it being a long day, but seeing Paolo play in front of the fire, being a boy in a way that Hugo never had, it made him want to hold him, to care for him.
It was Paolo he wanted to hold, yes, but maybe, just a little bit, it was Hugo’s younger self.
Hugo left, holding his boy to his breaking heart. All these years. It would’ve been so easy to play with him.
So easy to call him by his name.

“He pumped into her slowly, breathing her secrets with his cock. “I’m here,” he whispered as he shoved into her, devouring her. She squeezed her pussy as he thrust, trying to make herself feel extra tight, trying to take over. But he wouldn’t go on autopilot. He wouldn’t get lost. He would stay with her. Keep her there, present and gasping.
“Corazón,” he groaned. He kissed her all over her face and neck as he fucked her.
He fucked her like he cared. Like he was fucking her instead of just fucking. Like a waterfall of dangerous feeling crashing right through her.

“Your hands. At the end.” She grabbed the back of his head and pulled him into a kiss.
Desire surged through him. He’d never wanted anybody more. He flattened her against the wall and kissed her, probing at the seam of her lips with his tongue, knife flat between them.
“Say it again,” she said.
“Zelda,” he grated out. “Zelda.”
He would say it forever, because she was no longer Liza. She was a warrior, his equal, and his enemy.
He kissed the side of her neck and pressed his killer’s body into her.
“Yes,” she said.
And he was lost.

This man, he was so beautiful. Her quarry for so long. “Kabakas,” she gasped, feeling the rising swell of pleasure.
With a wild, tortured look carved onto his harsh features, he pressed his thumbs into her windpipe, cutting off speech, breath. She tried to suck in a breath but it wouldn’t come. She coughed and fought, instinct taking over at last. He tightened his hold on her as he fucked her and choked her, thrusting on and on. The edges of her vision went hazy as she began to come. The orgasm swept through her like fire, filling her head with stars and shattering her mind. She was plummeting, spinning, dissolving into pure pleasure and darkness—perfectly blameless, perfectly free.

“Hugo—”
“Quiet, or I will gag you again. All day I have imagined taking you, making you come over and over and over.” Her blood raced as he pushed her head to the other side, working symmetrically. “When you sucked in my fingers, I imagined them inside you.”
He turned off the water and pulled her up by her hair.
She opened her eyes to see him behind her in the mirror, holding her wet hair, focused down on her with a level of intensity that felt frighteningly primal.
“And I imagined that I would make you come screaming. After that I would take you.” His words came out in gusts. “I can wait no longer.” The furrow between his eyes looked deeper, his cheekbones more sharp-cut, more ruthless somehow. Her killer, her lover.

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

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ARC Review: Seducing Seven by M.K. Meredith

Format: E-bookseducingseven
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: What Happens in Vegas, #9
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Hero: Blake Turner
Heroine: Sevannah Michaels
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 12, 2015
Started On: October 06, 2015
Finished On: October 12, 2015

The 9th installment in the What Happens in Vegas series from Entangled Publishing features Seducing Seven from the new-to-me author MK Meredith. Sevannah Michaels is a romance author who is in Vegas for the Romance Lover’s Convention when she runs into Blake Turner, someone who is as ambitious as they come. Fate throws Blake in Sevannah’s way, at a time when she needs help to get out from an awkward situation. The sizzle that is felt on both their parts towards one another is one that is inconvenient at best, given that Blake shuns the very idea of romance and happily ever after and that just sets Sevannah’s teeth on edge.

A bet is reached, that Sevannah would make Blake fall for her before the weekend is through. For Blake, an easier bet could not have happened along, but if he were to be honest with himself, the way he is tempted to give in to Sevannah is one that has him questioning everything that he has believed up till now. So thus Blake resists with every fiber of his being from giving in, afraid to even face the prospect that he might be having feelings for Sevannah. For Sevannah, the dilemma is even greater. She has to face the harsh truth of who is actually seducing whom and who was winning, because from where she is sitting, it looks like she was losing, and what a way to lose!

Seducing Seven is a romance that features a likable hero and a heroine who grows on you as the story goes on. At first I was of the mind that Sevannah was just a tad too sure of herself. I sensed a bit of arrogance in the way she thought about herself and that didn’t sit well with me. Well, that lasted for a very short period of time because once I started seeing Sevannah through Blake’s eyes, I saw someone entirely different. Someone sweet, someone who gives as good as she gets, someone who is simply true to who she is and has the courage to face her fears – even be it she might end up with a tattered and broken heart.

Blake makes for a delicious hero. He is handsome, a tad arrogant about how good looking he is, but beneath all that lies a vulnerable core that makes itself known by the time the story is done. What I found a trifle bit odd was the character of the old woman who resided on the same floor of the hotel as Sevannah and Blake. I just couldn’t understand the significance of her role in the story.

Recommended for those that love a lighthearted contemporary romance.

Final Verdict: A romance author who dares a cynic to fall in love; light & fluffy with just the right touch of angst!

Favorite Quotes

He pressed her up against the wall, grinding into her, hoping to relieve the pressure, his dick swelling thicker still, and he growled low in his throat.
The twin thumps of her shoes hitting the floor sounded, and Seven slid her tongue along his lower lip and sucked it into her mouth.
His knees buckled, and he pressed into her more fully to gain some stability. “Fuck.”
“I’m trying.” She smiled against his mouth, then trailed her lips along his neck to his earlobe, biting with a gentle tug, sending shivers down his spine.

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

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Review: Baiting the Maid of Honor by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-bookbaitingthemaidofhonor.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Wedding Dare, #2
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Hero: Reed Lawson
Heroine: Julie Piper
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: June 9, 2014
Started On: September 28, 2015
Finished On: October 01, 2015

Baiting the Maid of Honor is book 2 in the Wedding Dare series. Written by Tessa Baily, my go to author for smut of the kind that delivers, and by delivers I mean truly she does; Baiting the Maid of Honor is a novel that had the classic Tessa Bailey in it. From a larger than life hero to a heroine you can root for, not to mention the out-of-this-world variety of scorching sex scenes, Baiting the Maid of Honor is a novel that delivers on many fronts.

Julie Piper is the type of person who defines people pleasing behavior, not in a bad way mind you. Julie is the kind that is enthusiastic over wedding planning, making people feel better, perhaps because there is a loneliness inside of her that people, those that are even closest to her don’t realize. When Julie encounters the big, bad and brazen Reed Lawson, the antithesis of everything that she looks for in a man, it is not just her hackles that are raised but her desire levels to be taken, possessed and taken yet again.

A SWAT commander by profession, Reed knows what its like to be looked down on as  bug that crawled from under a rock. It had never bothered him prior to this, thick skinned from growing up on the wrong side of the town. But when Julie looks at him that way, something inside of him wants to roar, the beast inside of him wanting to claim her as his and only his. The thought itself frightens him, the concept of being vulnerable to anyone, but even that doesn’t stop him from seeking Julie out, and the more he does, the more he falls for everything about her, not to mention the mind blowing variety of sex that they both have which keeps him coming back for more.

Four stories happen simultaneously in the Wedding Dare series. Julie’s story is one that is entwined with the other stories as well. I would love to pick up the novel written by Samanthe Beck, Best Man with Benefits. Perhaps one of these days I will. While Baiting the Maid of Honor worked for me on so many levels, I did wish that the backstories of the characters were a bit lengthier. I would have loved to see Julie deal with her family issues – those sounded deep and like ones that would tend to leave emotional scars of the kind that cannot be just shrugged off. However, maybe, the length of the novel didn’t actually give the time to indulge in those issues which definitely was a lacking factor for me.

The rest of the aspects of the story worked, and boy did they work well. A SWAT commander with tattoos over his over the top delicious bod was enough to make this reader go crazy! Reed’s take charge attitude was a definite turn on, not to mention the dirty talking he does, and oh so well. Julie, being the direct opposite to his roughness, feels like the tall and cool glass of water that soothes your parched throat on an especially humid day. She is that to Reed in more ways than one and I loved her for all of it. If there was anything that I would wish to change about the sex scenes, its the way Reed tends to call Julie “baby”. I think almost all of Tessa Bailey’s heroes have a tendency of doing that, and perhaps its just me, but it is kind of off putting.

Recommended for everyone who loves the good variety of smut with the emotional wallop!

Final Verdict: Hot enough to singe your sheets off. Tessa Bailey delivers dirty of one of a kind!

Favorite Quotes

“Help with what?” The sound of wind whispering through the trees nearly swallowed her husky question. “My hair?”
Damn. It hadn’t been his imagination. If she hadn’t turned tail and traipsed her way back inside by now, this instant attraction didn’t end with him. Was it possible a hot-to-trot sex kitten existed under that silk-and-pearls ensemble? Only one way to find out. Settling his hands on either side of her, he brought his body within inches of hers. “I don’t do hair, pixie,” he rasped against her ear. “Unless you’d like it pulled.”

“Aren’t you going to at least kiss me first?” No answer. “I’m not playing coy or anything, mind you…I just reckon, well, that it’s the decent, honest thing to do is all. Under the circumstances.”
He sighed loudly and she felt him rise to his feet. His larger frame crowded her against the door, fitting them together in a way that was blatantly indecent. She felt his arousal, thick at her belly. Her breasts flattened against his chest in a way that felt sinful and divine simultaneously. Warm breath puffed out against the top of her head.
“Kissed where?” His voice was a rough, almost inaudible whisper that bathed her in blistering heat. “Your mouth? Or the slick little pussy you’re hiding from me?”

“Both.” She swallowed hard, unable to keep the image of Reed at bay this time. His mouth. His tongue. She wanted them so bad it pained her. “Kiss me in both places.”
She felt a ripple of shock go through him, and her body answered it. With a loud groan, his mouth came down on hers, hard and punishing. He kissed her almost angrily, forcing her lips apart and sweeping his tongue inside in a way meant to provoke her. Incite her. Julie couldn’t get enough of his hard mouth moving like a brand over hers. She dug her fingers into the collar of his shirt and tugged him down as she pushed higher on her toes to meet him. They kissed furiously until breath ran scarce, pausing to draw air and bite at each other’s lips.

She squeezed his hips between her legs and rode out her orgasm, his hands digging into the flesh of her bottom to help her get as close as humanly possible while her hips bucked.
His hard mouth worked over hers, swallowing her strangled cries, growling and thrusting his tongue deep with each of her frantic movements. When she came down from her climax, breath racing in and out past her lips, she heard his muffled whisper at her ear. “Oh baby, I could have come, just like this. With your fuck-me thighs opened up wide for me on the door. Now?” He laughed darkly. “Nothing will satisfy me unless I taste all that heat first.”

“Would you like me to take off my pants now so you can really be impressed?”
His gruff question jolted Julie out of man-candy fantasyland and she dragged her gaze up from the large swell behind his fly, trying desperately to ignore the needy tightening in her belly. It enraged her that she could still feel desire for him after the stunt he’d pulled. “By all means, take the pants off. It’ll make it much easier when I castrate you.”
Julie ignored the fluttering in her chest when his full lips tilted at the ends, his amusement vanishing just as quickly. “Now that would be one hell of a shame.” He took a measured step in her direction. She refused to give up any ground when he stopped a breath away and dragged his teeth over his bottom lip, eyes tracking over her heaving breasts. “You were enjoying it so much a minute ago. When you rode it like you owned it.”

“Reed. I’m…I’m going to fall.”
“No. You will not fall. You will stay right there until I’m finished.” His thumb found the sensitive area again and smoothed over it, once, twice, as if coaxing it to life. Then he began to stroke it rapidly with the pad of his thumb. Julie couldn’t form a single thought as the orgasm came hurtling through her system, blasting her with such blissful heat she became unaware of anything but the place Reed made contact with her body. Her head fell forward as she rambled unintelligently, eyes blind as the area between her legs contracted and released over and over again. She felt his teeth sink into the flesh of her ass, then his tongue lick over the spot to soothe the sting.

With one powerful drive, Reed finally entered her. The pressure was so great, so delicious, that Julie bit her lip and screamed, hands scrambling for purchase on the wood bureau top. Through partially blind eyes, she looked up at Reed’s reflection to find an expression of undiluted pleasure on his face. But it quickly transformed into a need for more, as he wrapped her hair around his fist and jerked it back.
“You will never dance like that again. You will never hike your skirt up again. Never.” He pulled out slightly, then thrust back into her hard. “Not unless it’s for me. Is that understood?”
Julie cried out. “Yes.”

“Hiked your skirt up for me, is that right? Did you think you’d get away with that?”
“No.” Her chest shuddered. “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
Julie leaned down and tried to kiss him, but he jerked back, wanting an explanation. She finally answered on a breath. “I didn’t want to get away with it.”
He groaned his pleasure. “That’s what I thought. Mine from the beginning.” Jerking the robe off her shoulders, Reed grasped her buttocks and sat her down on his erection, filling her to the hilt.

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

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ARC Review: Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston

Format: E-bookbearmeetsgirl
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Series: Pride, #7
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corp
Hero: Lou “Crush” Crushek
Heroine: Marcella “Bare Knuckles” Malone
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 27, 2012
Started On: September 23, 2015
Finished On: September 27, 2015

Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston was a tough read for me to get into. There were those multiple conversation threads that I got lost in and the various characters that appeared out of nowhere which plunged me further into the abyss. I have read a lot of books midway into a series and still managed to get the gist of the characters involved without much of a problem. And those reads have at times even persuaded me to pick up a book that was published before that particular book in the series. But alas, Bear Meets Girl wasn’t one of those reads.

Lou “Crush” Crushek wakes up from a party, not his usual lifestyle mind you, wrapped up in the arms of a woman who instantly puts him on the edge. Marcella “Bare Knuckles” Malone (Cella) can’t help but have a little fun with the uptight polar bear until it all comes to the point where Cella is the one in need of Crush’s help to keep her well meaning family’s ministrations to help find her a “suitable” mate at a minimum.

Amid all this, there is some plot to hurt the bear population, Crush becoming a part of a new police force from his usual undercover work that has him going down in a bit of a spiral towards depression. Crush and Cella are two very contrasting characters, perhaps reason why I was drawn towards the book in the first place after reading the blurb. Cella, while is all out outrageous, Crush is the opposite. Someone who likes to keep to himself, who considers his home the haven of quiet & solitude that he requires after coming home from work. Cella and Crush do make the right fit, but I just couldn’t find myself all that interested in the rest of the story that was happening.

I skimmed through more than half of the story to just read the bits where Crush and Cella are together. Their dialogues with each other were refreshing. Their connection towards each other interesting, something that the author could have worked a bit more on to make the story more enticing. Because the rest of the stuff that was happening in the story just made my head whirl.

So given all the things that didn’t work for me in the book, one might ask, why did I still trudge on through the story? Well, there’s a magic to Shelly Laurenston’s writing that always makes me request her books even though the stories seem to come wrapped in a whole lot of characters and interactions between them, that tends to take away the focus from the main couple in the story. Which I seldom like, if at all. Bear Meets Girl having the exact same problem shouldn’t be a surprise, but then I keep hoping that this would be the time I would be proven wrong. I couldn’t skim through the rest of the chunks of the story fast enough to get to the bits where Crush and Cella were the focus. They make for a great combination. There’s enough spark, charm & adorableness to their coming together that makes it hard not to fall in love with them.

In my opinion, Bear Meets Girl is too seeped in details of all else that’s going on that it detracts the reader from the most alluring factor of the story; the couple in question & how their coming together works. I’m not saying other characters & scenes are not required to make a story more wholesome. No. It’s just that when a story gets bogged down with too much of past characters & extended family & whatnot, the reader who spontaneously picks up a book to read in the middle of a series can get a little lost in the midst of it all.

Recommended for fans of the author & fans of the Pride series.

Final Verdict: Bear Meets Girl; a story worth trudging through only because of Crush and Cella.

Favorite Quotes

She invaded his mouth with her tongue, fingers digging deep into the back of his neck and head, kind of holding him there. Crush’s entire body loosened, his arms falling away from his chest and to his sides, then reaching around her waist and pulling her off the chair. The chair ended up be- tween them, so Crush kicked it out of the way. Keeping a solid grip on her, he returned her kiss. But he wanted more.
Without thought to anything but the demands of his body, Crush pushed her up against his refrigerator, his body pin- ning hers there. He let his hands slip from around her waist and travel up until they could grip her breasts, fingers squeezing while his thumbs circled her nipples through her shirt and bra. Her entire body shook and then her hands were pressed against his chest, pushing him back.

Malone turned, saw them, and ran over. When she was about ten feet from Crush, she launched herself at him, hit- ting him hard, her legs wrapping around his waist, her arms around his neck. “Hi!”
“H—”
She didn’t let him finish, her mouth pressing against his, arms tightening around his neck. And for those few seconds Crush forgot about everyone else.
When she finally pulled her mouth away, Crush still had his eyes closed.
“I’m glad you came.”
Wait. He had? When?
“I was afraid you were going to bail on me.”
Oh! Came as in attend. Got it. He was there. He was okay.
He could handle this. Her. Whatever.
“I promised.”
“You did.” Still wrapped around him, she leaned back a
bit and gave him a once-over. “You’re kind of overdressed.” “I see that now.”

He wasn’t sure, but then she leaned in, sniffed his neck, and gently scraped a fang across his jugular. The last of Crush’s restraint snapped, his hands tightening around her waist. He lifted her up, pulled her in closer, and while staring into her eyes, slammed her down hard on his cock, at the same time bringing up his hips.
The feline roared, her head dropping back, her arms wrapping around his neck. She held on tight, breathing in deep and taking a moment before she looked at him.
Panting hard, they watched each other.
“Well,” she sighed, “that does feel good.”

She knew what he was doing, the tricky bastard. With every twist and tug and tease of her breast, her pussy tightened around his cock like a vise. His growling grew harsher, louder, and the vibration of it against her flesh had her nearly out of her mind. She panted, she mewled, she might have hissed a few times. Then she was coming. Coming so very hard that she cried out.
The bear lifted his head to gaze at her with those black eyes.
“You all right?” And she wondered if he realized he was still growling at her.
Unable to answer since she was still panting, Cella nod- ded.
“Good.” Remaining inside her, Crush slowly stood, releasing her arms so that he could carefully lift her legs and drape them over his forearms. “ ’Cause I’m not really done yet.”

“I need you to calm down, ma’am.”
Cella’s body began to shake, her knees weakening. “What is this?” he asked, fingers pressing, stroking. “Can
you tell me, ma’am? It’s better you come clean now rather than let me find out later. I can help you now.”
She shook her head, unable to find any words with her body unraveling.
“I don’t think you’re listening to me, ma’am.” He sighed, shook his head. “That’s a real shame.”
Cella didn’t know what he was saying, what was going on. She only knew what she felt and what she felt was that monumental orgasm ripping through her, so strong, she nearly threw the three-hundred-pound bear off her.

While Cella tried to get her breath back, the bear removed the cuffs, his hands rubbing her wrists. He stretched out on the floor and Cella collapsed on top of him. They lay in silence for long minutes until Cella admitted, “You have the biggest cock . . .”
Crush laughed, his hand slipping into her hair, massaging her scalp. “Why, thank you.”
“Just felt I should share that.”
“I have to admit, Cella, I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of your after-sex pronouncements.”

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