Review: The Senator’s Wife by Karen Robards

Format: E-bookthesenatorswife
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Dell
Hero: Thomas S. Quinlan
Heroine: Veronica Honneker
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 12, 1998
Started On: August 23, 2016
Finished On: August 24, 2016

Karen Robards is an author I have good memories of even though I don’t read her as often now as I used to. Some of her books like Wild Orchids has been in my favorite shelf since forever, books that I continue to revisit every now and then because of the sheer pleasure they bring to me. The Senator’s Wife is a novel that might not be very well received by readers of the genre. Looking at the ratings on Goodreads, it is fair to say that it is pretty much true. Published in 1998, Karen Robards puts together a heroine who is married, a hero who would rather not mix business with pleasure and gives a combustible story that contains elements of suspense to it that I absolutely reveled in.

Veronica Honneker (Ronnie) grew up dreaming of a better life. A life where she would not have to worry about money and putting food on the table. She had basically modeled her life to reach that goal. And in becoming a senator’s wife, she basically clinched the deal and shouldn’t have been feeling like an empty shell wondering whether the price she had paid to get where she was had become too high. Someone who has to put up a strong wall of pretense just to get through every single day on the campaign trail to get her husband re-elected is not the life she had in fact envisioned for herself.

Then comes Thomas S. Quinlan to polish up her image, to help get the Senator re-elected. With Tom’s reputation on the line, he can hardly believe it when he starts seeing Ronnie in a light that others seldom see. The way she tempts him to take a walk on the wild side, everything else be damned, is a feeling he certainly does not like or particularly want. But fate has a way of bringing these two together time and yet again, and though Tom might despise himself for lusting after the wife of another man, it is a losing battle that he wages with his inner caveman when it comes to Ronnie.

At first, Ronnie for me was a difficult character to love. She came off as vain, selfish and more interested in materialistic benefits that are to be had in the world. But then, as the story progressed, she started to change, subtly and then more visibly, until I grew to love her as much as I did Tom right from the very start. Tom is a hero who is earthily sexy in a way that few heroes of recent times tend to be. Men depicted as they should be perhaps, what I miss dearly in most romances of today. 

Most readers would definitely not like this story because of the aspects of adultery involved in the novel. But then, I believe that that is life for you. Sometimes your happily ever after starts and evolves from a messy tangle that you think would never sort itself out. It is a hard and treacherous road that one takes. But sometimes, it does give one the happily ever after they would never have had otherwise. Of course, circumstances has to be right for readers to be able to muster up sympathy for the character. I believe that Karen Robards did justice to Ronnie’s character by not painting her in such a light – I liked the story better this way.

Definitely recommended for those that love unconventional stories!

Final Verdict: Unconventional in the emotions it elicits, The Senator’s Wife makes for a compulsive page-turner!

Favorite Quotes

For a moment he just stood there, unmoving, while her hand slid behind his neck and her mouth coaxed his. She watched his reaction from beneath lowered lids. His eyes were open and fixed on her face. When her tongue slid between his closed lips, he stiffened. She could sense resistance in every hard line of his body; she worked her fingers down inside his shirt collar at the back of his neck, caressing his warm skin. At the same time, she drew his lower lip into her mouth and bit down.
Dark color suffused his face. He made an inarticulate sound. Then his lids shut, his mouth opened, and the hand that held hers prisoner between their bodies released its grip to slide around her waist. He took control of the kiss with a thoroughness that dazzled her.

“God, I’ve wanted this,” he said in a low, hoarse voice. Then he was yanking her panties down her legs and rolling on top of her and kissing her with quick, savage movements that told her that he, too, had reached the limits of his control. She wrapped her legs around his waist as he slid between her thighs, so ready for him that she thought she would die if she had to wait another second.
He thrust inside her, huge and hot and hard, driving deep and fast over and over again until she was mindless, crying out at the wonder of it, gouging his back with her nails until at last she came with an intensity that she had never dreamed she was capable of, her preconceived notions of herself and the world shattering into a million pieces as she cried out his name.

Without another word he picked her up and carried her to the bed.
His lovemaking was hard and furious, nothing like the previous times. He demanded and she gave, entering her almost immediately, almost forcing her to a response that was shattering in its intensity. He set the pace, taking what he wanted, manipulating her expertly until she could do nothing but writhe and cling and cry out his name.
The end, when it came, was explosive.
Then he started up again.

She didn’t stop, couldn’t stop. Her hands were urgent, tugging at his snap, pulling down his zipper, reaching inside his boxers until his member was free. He was huge and hot and pulsing and alive, and she took him in her mouth, cupping the vulnerable softness beneath with tender care. She kissed and suckled and nibbled and bit until every breath he took sounded like a groan.
Then his hands clenched in her hair. He pulled her mouth off him, yanked off his jeans, and dropped down on his knees in front of her. He pushed her onto her back in a glowing patch of moonlight, pulling her nightgown up and off as he did so. Lying on top of her, pulling her legs around his waist, he came into her hard.

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

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Review: Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward

Format: E-bookloverrevealed
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #4
Publisher: Onyx
Hero: Butch O’Neal
Heroine: Marissa
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 20, 2007
Started On: August 21, 2016
Finished On: August 22, 2016

“You are the male I want to mate with. That’s who you are.”

Lover Revealed is the fourth book in the mind blowing Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J. R. Ward. It tells the story of Butch O’Neal, who is drawn into the realms of the lives of the Brotherhood during the first book of the series. Butch who had been a homicide detective had gotten fired for police brutality and since then become part of the Brotherhood’s fight against the Lessening Society that lives to kill vampires. Butch also has a crush of the size of Mount Everest on Marissa; stating his feelings towards Marissa, a daughter of the aristocratic lineage is putting it mildly. However, having got the impression that Marissa really does not want much to do with him has made Butch decide to make peace with it, which does not mean that he still does not want her in a big way.

When Butch’s life is changed in a way he never thought possible, well, no one thought possible, Butch becomes a weapon against the fight being waged between Lessers and the vampires. While Marissa finds herself chafing more and more at the restrictions that are imposed on her as an unmated vampire of the purest of blood, everything comes to a breaking point eventually which finds Marissa going towards the one man who has always made her feel more than living life in the status of a porcelain doll to be coveted and never touched. In Butch’s arms, Marissa finds herself experiencing what never thought possible, but on her terms.

Which brings me to why I was not so enamored by either Butch of Marissa in the story. I found Marissa to be a bit too unsure of her needs and wants when it comes to Butch. I understood the baggage that she carries with her, having being considered sort of an outcast by her own brethren, not to mention her asshat of a brother who made her believe herself to be less of a woman all because. Wrath was also partly to blame in my opinion, but of course Beth and the way she treated the whole thing later on went a long way towards making things better. However, that did not redeem Wrath’s role in it to my satisfaction.

I liked Butch. I wanted to love him. Perhaps a small corner of my heart does. But the way Butch tried to change and conform into something or rather everything that Marissa wanted from him was a bit hard to take in. Yes, I know that Butch having the vampire blood coursing through him makes it so, makes him react so. But the way he wanted to put his very life on the line for a woman who oscillates between wanting to be with him to being unsure of it in the next second was just irksome. 

Butch’s conformation in the bedroom was also partly the problem. A robust man with heady sexual appetites having to handle Marissa with kid gloves because she’s the beautiful, perfect and serene aristocrat was a bit too much. I understood that Marissa comes from a line of people where no one talks about the wilder side of sex etc. but the whole thing just irked me in a way. There is also the way Marissa let Butch be hurt into thinking that he was defective in some way as to not being able to give her pleasure, even when he had shown her otherwise in previous encounters was something that did not win any points in her favor.

That brings me to my reaction to the series thus far. By the fourth book in the series one would think that the King having ascended to the throne would have at least started on some programs to bring together his race and actually work towards making a difference in steering their kind to lives better lived. Lives that would reverse the dwindling numbers and give them a fighting chance with the lessers. I know that this story takes place just six months down the line, but I would have thought that at least some plans would have materialized somewhere along the way towards it. Apart from fire fighting in the sense in their war against the lessers, that also with no concrete plan to change their modus operandi apart from going out every night to hunt and kill, there seems to be a lack of coordinated effort in the Brotherhood which does not seem to bode well for the future.

All through the book, my fascination was focused on Rehvenge as a character. Now there is a vampire whose story I want to climb into.

Though with everything that did not work for me in the story, it is still a crucial addition to the series that adds value to the novels that are yet to come.

Final Verdict: Compelling enough to keep the pages turning. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

“Who are you, then?”
“No one you’d ever know. Even if I were a vampire, our paths would never cross. I’m a blue-collar kind of guy.” At her look of confusion, he said, “Lower-class.”

His tone was factual, as if he were reciting his height or weight.
“I don’t think of you as lower-class, Butch.”
“Like I said, you don’t really know me.”
“When I lie this close to you, when I smell your scent, when I hear your voice, I know everything that matters.” She looked down the length of him. “You are the male I want to mate with. That’s who you are.”

Her hips tilted up sharply. “Butch…”
“That’s it. Come for me.”
“I can’t… I can’t…” She shook her head back and forth, getting trapped between what her body wanted and what her mind was having trouble assimilating. She was going to lose the momentum unless he did something fast.
Without even thinking or knowing why it would help, he buried his face in her throat and bit her, right over her jugular. That was what did it. She cried out his name and started convulsing, her hips jerking, her body flexing all along her spine. With profound joy, he helped her ride the orgasm’s pulses and he talked to her the whole time—although God only knew what he was saying.

He bit her palm. “Tell me you want this. Tell me you want me.”
“I…” Her body undulated on the bed.
“Tell me you want me.” He nailed her harder with his teeth. Shit, he wasn’t sure why he needed to hear it from her so badly, but he did. “Say it.”
“I want you,” she gasped.
From out of nowhere, a dangerous, greedy lust slapped hold of him and his control shattered. With a dark sound that came from his gut, he clamped his hands on the insides of her thighs, split her wide and literally dove between her legs.

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

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Review: Her Dad’s Friend by Penny Wylder’s

Format: E-bookherdadsfriend
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Paul
Heroine: Rachael Holt
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 13, 2016
Started On: August 20, 2016
Finished On: August 21, 2016

“Not a single consequence occurs to me as I type out five little words. I want to fuck you.”

Her Dad’s Friend was my first experience of books by Penny Wylder and I believe that I liked what I read well enough to give other books by her a whirl. A taboo topic definitely, Her Dad’s Friend has the heroine Rachael Holt in love with none other than Paul, her father’s best friend since the beginning. Written in first person from Rachael’s point of view, the story is short, yet has enough emotional depth to it to make it one worth delving into if you are looking for something short and low on intensity. I needed this after reading so many Hoyt novels that had wrung me dry. So it worked well for me when I picked it up when I did.

From the bits and pieces that are revealed along the way emerges the picture where Paul has been a big part of Rachael’s life since she was a child. Rachael having fallen in love with Paul since she knew what that entailed, had been left with question marks in the wake of Paul shutting down his business and leaving town two years back. So on the eve of her 21st birthday, in a drunken stupor, Rachael does the stupidest thing she has done ever – drunk text Paul to reveal the depth of her need for him.

What follows is sexy in a way that makes your toes curl and your senses hum. Just the right touch of sensitivity is in place so that the story does not come off as a turn off. Of course, Paul being as hot as sin, having the patience and knowledge to show Rachael what being in bed with a mature man is like also helped take things a long way. But like many readers who have sampled this book, I also found that the issues that should have arisen from the taboo nature of their relationship were resolved far too quickly. Perhaps owing to the fact that both Paul and Rachael pretty much were in love with one another and willing to do whatever it takes to take that love somewhere gave it the justification needed. So in the end, I reconciled with that fact and loved the story for what it was.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: Penny Wylder takes a taboo trope & gives readers a well balanced tale of love and sinfully dirty sex!

Favorite Quotes

“Sorry,” I say, squeezing past him. “I need to get a glass.”
When he tries to maneuver out of my way, stepping behind me, I press my backside against his groin, pinning him against the fridge.
“Rachael,” he says, voice low and cautious. “We can’t.” There’s no conviction behind his words.
He puts his hands on my hips as if to push me away, but makes no attempt at stopping me as I arch my back and begin rolling my hips, cradling his growing cock in the cleft of my ass.
He groans and leans forward to press his lips against my neck. “We shouldn’t,” he says this time.
Can’t and shouldn’t are two very different things.

“Your skin is so soft.” His low voice is just above a whisper. He kisses the corner of my mouth. “And you taste so good.” The way his lips just barely graze mine sends chills through me. We’re hardly touching and yet I feel him in every part of me. “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how wet you got the night of your birthday. You smelled so sweet on my fingers. I’m dying to taste you.”
His words and the slow, sensuality of his voice opens a faucet inside of me and soaks my panties. It’s as if his words are a spell and he’s conjuring it out of me. I can’t take it anymore. Reaching up, I grab the sides of his face and push my lips against him. His mouth is so much bigger than mine and he’s forceful and demanding when he kisses me back. Though I’m no delicate flower, I feel dwarfed beneath him. Knowing that he can take whatever he wants from me, fold me in any which way he chooses, has me all kinds of wet.

The heady scent of sex fills the room, pushing me to the brink. My second orgasm rips through me with hurricane force. As my muscles start to contract around his width, Paul lets out a primal roar and unleashes his warm seed inside of me. We stay that way, locked together for several minutes as we come down. We’re breathing heavily. He’s draped over my back, kissing my spine, and then we collapse. He cradles me in a spooning position. I’m glad he can’t see the ridiculous smile I feel stretching my face.
He strokes my hair with his fingers, untangling the sweaty strands. “That was amazing,” he says.
I turn over to face him. His eyes are hooded, face groggy. “It was more than amazing.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

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