Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: All Torn Up, #2 Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Tyler Grace Heroine: Holly Daniels Sensuality: 3 Date of Publication: June 24, 2017 Started On: March 19, 2021 Finished On: March 24, 2021
Holly Grace is five years old when she is kidnapped. Forced into captivity by a man who is the worst kind of predator, Holly is rescued by none other than Tyler Grace the town recluse, who kills her captor and sets her free. Holly sees Tyler as none other than her prince charming, the knight in shining armor who rode to her rescue. Even though Holly does not get to see Tyler for two years after, she waits patiently for their union – because even if Tyler knows it not, he is hers and she is his.
Assimilating back to society takes its time and Holly feels out of place with everything, even when it comes to her family. Being in captivity, solely relying on her captor for eleven long years had left its mark. Holly is determined that one way or the other, she would find Tyler, and it is her quest to find her faithful companion when she was held in captivity which leads her to yours truly, who lives in a cottage in the forest, where Holly finally feels like she has come home.
Tyler has his scars from the past, having gone through a lot of rough patches when his life had changed irrevocably that one fateful night. I found myself thoroughly enchanted by the story as Holly and Tyler found their way to each other even amidst all of what stood in their way. They are two souls fated to be together, something which readers come to know as the story reaches its climax.
I loved Holly for how brave she was through everything, in spite of everything. She goes through the worst kind of tragic experience which had robbed her of the most formative years of her life, and yet she holds onto her hope that her prince would come to rescue her. Some people may find that to be an odd notion for a young girl who is kidnapped at the age of five, but I found it to be what gave her hope that someday she would be freed from the evil clutches of the man who held onto her.
Tyler was just as endearing in many aspects. He is someone who hides himself away because he too is on the fringes of society, on the outside looking in. His regrets are multiple when it comes to his past, and he believes that he would continue to pay penance for it for the rest of his life.
What I had problems with was how the story ended; the epilogue was bittersweet in the way it cheated readers out of a more wholesome look into their shared future together. But having gone back to re-read the epilogue once again makes me think perhaps it was the most fitting epilogue for two individuals who had suffered so much pain to finally find their home in each other.
While Holly’s parents were callous for the most part when she is finally found, realistically speaking, I do believe that her parents were right in getting her the help she required. But it would have been better had they rallied around her and provided better emotional support than they did. But I also understood how Holly’s abduction had destroyed the family as well – and human emotions being what they are can often be messy and chaotic when they somehow find a medium to survive in the aftermath of a tragedy.
There was also the point where the readers do not get to see Tyler embrace his darker side while with Holly. I understood the need to take things slow when it comes to Holly, but at the same time, Holly is someone who wants her prince wholeheartedly, the good and the bad that is within him. And I would have loved to see even one scene, maybe a couple of months into their relationship as they figure things out in terms of physical intimacy and gets comfortable to a point where Tyler could have shown Holly that side of him.
I also felt that the story was a bit rushed from a certain point onward, which is perhaps why the effect that I had hoped for when I picked this up to read did not materialize fully. But even with all that, I still enjoyed Ms. Cole’s voice which stands true to delivering emotional goodness in dealing with difficult subjects such as trauma of the kind that leaves its deep abiding scars on your soul forever.
Recommended for fans of the series, fans of Ms. Cole, and fans of romances of the beauty and the beast theme.
Final Verdict: Holly and Tyler are two halves of one soul, tied together by the invisible thread of fate which propels them towards each other in defiance of everything that may stand in their way!
“Your heart is like a little hummingbird.” He breathes. “It was beating like this the day I found you…” He kisses the valley at the center of my chest, his tongue slowly sending a warm shiver up my spine. “I could feel it against my chest. And it made me want to hold on to you forever.” I reach up to run my hands across his back, my mind growing fuzzy, drunk on his words and his touch. “I’ve always wanted you to.” My whispered words invite his mouth to mine, and he kisses me softly at first, then unapologetically rough and deep, pulling me further into a woozy haze.
His mouth comes down on mine again as his hand gently moves over my breast, pushing the fabric aside. His rough palm grazes over my nipple, and a small sound of surprise escapes me at the sensation jolting through my body from that tiny touch. “I fuckin’ love that sound…” he growls, and he roughly yanks the fabric up to expose my breasts, his mouth and tongue dragging over skin that’s never been touched. Surprise and fear are chased away as he sucks a nipple into his mouth, his tongue flicking over the hard tip, and my entire body responds, craving more of this, more of him, more of everything that feels so incredibly good.
“Can I ask you something?” she asks. “Of course.” “If I asked you to, would you stop doing the fighting?” That’s the last thing I expected her to ask me. “Maybe. Why?” “Because I love your face. And I don’t want it getting hurt anymore.” You skeeve me out. Her words rock me, right into my soul. Right now, she doesn’t know how much her words mean to me, but I know she’s the only person I’ll ever meet that has the true capacity to understand. We’re kinda made of the same ripped-up cloth.
“Holly…” My voices catches in my throat. “I want to.” Her gray eyes lock onto mine as she pulls my shorts down, and I’m powerless under her sweet, sultry gaze and the sudden warmth of her mouth descending on my rock-hard cock. All the way down. My eyes literally roll back in my head as she expertly deep throats me, her lips touching my balls as she takes the full length of my shaft. Oh, fuck. Nothing has ever felt so fucking amazing.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: All Torn Up, #1 Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Toren Grace Heroine: Kenzi Allyster Valentine Sensuality: 4 Date of Publication: November 12, 2018 Started On: March 17, 2021 Finished On: March 19, 2021
“My love, Walk in the rain with me. Kiss me in the misty fog. Let me hold you all night under the hush of the wind. I’m waiting for you. Throwing pennies…making wishes. I’m wishing only for you. Always for you. Come back to me. I’ll fight for you. I’ll fight for us. Wish for me, too…and I’ll make it come true.” ~ Toren Grace
Having experienced the beauty of the written word from Carian Cole, I decided to take the plunge and read some of the books from her backlist which appealed to me. Of course it certainly helped that a pivotal character from this series ended up being featured in Don’t Kiss the Bride, which helped propel me in this direction.
Featuring the May-December trope once again, Ms. Cole pushes things a bit further in Torn by putting in an additional layer which makes the romance between the main protagonists further taboo – the hero being the best friend of the heroine’s father around whom the heroine grows up. With a 15 year age gap between 37 year old Toren Grace (Tor) and 17 year old Kenzi Allyster Valentine when the story begins, Toren is just 16 years old when Kenzi is born.
From the moment Kenzi enters the lives of Tor and his best friends (parents of Kenzi), a monumental bond is formed between Kenzi and Tor. Taking the reader back and forth through the formative years of Kenzi’s life to present day when the romance between Tor and Kenzi buds to life, Ms. Cole certainly does a swell job in terms of building Tor’s character as he materialized in the story.
Tor is rough around the edges, ruggedly handsome, and tired of all the meaningless relationships that has ruled his life up till that point. He had played second fiddle to the woman who holds his affections for far too long. Wanting to settle down and live a simple life is what Tor dreams of, however elusive that dream maybe for him. The one constant in his life throughout has been Kenzi, and at the cusp of womanhood, Kenzi scares him with the at times stray thoughts of illicit nature that enters his subconscious where she is concerned.
Tor is a major part of Kenzi’s life as she grows up. Having parents who became famous musicians a year after she was born had meant that Kenzi too had spent her toddler years on the road on tour with them. When tragedy strikes and Tor is called back home, Kenzi too is left with Tor for the most part when her parents go about their lives, wanting to give Kenzi a more wholesome and grounded experience while growing up. And when tragedy strikes the lives of Kenzi’s parents, it is Tor who picks up the pieces and becomes the grounding force in her life, while her father puts his sole focus on dealing with the aftermath.
When things start changing between Tor and Kenzi, it is mostly to do with Kenzi pushing Tor beyond his limits. Tor resists at first, and puts up walls to keep her at bay. After all, no man in his right mind would say yes to what Kenzi wants, no matter how much Tor too may want the same thing. The conversations between Tor and Kenzi brings to light just how beautiful their bond is. Tor is Kenzi’s confidante, the person she feels safest with.
Resistance by Tor however is futile as Kenzi chips away at the walls and embraces the man who has loved her in every single way throughout her life, showing him that the kind of life that Tor has always wanted for himself could be a reality with her. Tor is love in its purest of forms, there are no two ways about it. He is a contrasting mix of gentle and rough which is so appealing. His love for Kenzi shines through in every single sentence of this book that deals with the couple and I have no words to describe just how perfect it all was.
Kenzi obviously being young does not care overly much about what people may think. But Tor of course does. Kenzi is the one who pushes Tor to give in, promising that they would weather whatever storm that may come, together. This is where my problems with this story began; at first I loved Kenzi for promising Tor that she would be by his side, no matter what. In the end, her words rang hollow as she leaves for an extended period of time given the situation that unfolds as Kenzi’s father finally finds out about Tor and her relationship.
That is where my confusion as to how to rate this book too arose. On the one hand, I loved everything to do with Tor, the relationship between Kenzi and him from years back which had developed into love of the kind that is fulfilling in every single aspect. While I understood why Kenzi takes the advice given by her closest friend to put distance between herself, Tor and her father for things to cool down, the extent of the time she stays away made me feel sad for Tor on many levels.
While I appreciated the fact that she does find firmer footing of her own path in life during the time spent apart, I still felt that Tor was cheated out on some level; how would we readers have reacted had Tor promised the same and ran with his tail between his legs quoting the same reason, and then tries to see whether he could move on or rather tests the waters to see whether what he had with Kenzi was in fact real? I think we would not have been very happy with Tor either, if that were to be the case.
I also felt that at times Kenzi was just a hidden shadow in the story for the most part. While her love for Tor was a tangible thing, I felt that her parents were just too focused on each other and furthering their career as musicians to care overly much for Kenzi; they left the parenting to Tor for the most part. If Kenzi had been more fleshed out in other ways perhaps, I guess her character would have been more wholesome.
Recommended for fans of Ms. Cole and fans of taboo romances featuring a significant age gap between the main protagonists. Ms. Cole definitely does the subject matter justice when she delivers her stories.
Final Verdict: Tor is the definition of love in its purest form, a beautiful manifestation of what most women want their significant other to be. Sign me up for the next Tor please!
“You’re bleeding.” My voice cracks as I choke back new tears and dab at his hand with the sleeve of my sweatshirt. His hand closes over mine, on top of the big furry dog’s back, and his gaze drifts from our joined hands, up to my face. For the first time I don’t recognize the deep, dark eyes staring back into mine, but I fall right into them willingly as our lips meet. My eyes flutter closed as I tumble further into him, but he quickly jerks away, and we simultaneously suck in a startled breath, staring at each other with wide-eyed shock. Dropping my hand, he grabs the back of my neck, yanking my mouth back to his hungrily, and I clutch his arm to keep from falling backward onto my ass. His lips are warm and demanding, his tongue pushing past my teeth, coaxing my mouth open. My heartbeats turn into soaring butterflies. Nothing has ever felt like this.
Holding her gaze, I yank off my worn T-shirt and toss it to the floor, watching how her eyes take in my bare chest and then drift hungrily to my abs. I want her to run. I want her to stay. “Well, here I am. Show me.” I know every single one of Kenzi’s expressions for every feeling she has ever felt. But I’ve never seen this look of sheer smoldering desire on her face before. Her eyes stay on mine as she steps towards me with zero hesitation, zero doubt. She completely owns her determination to do exactly what I asked – show me. The space between us disappears quickly, and she backs me up against the adjacent wall, her hands coming up to hold my face as she goes up on her toes to kiss my lips. “You,” she says softly. “You are what I’ve always wanted. And yes – way before I even knew what that meant. But I know what it means now.” She lowers her head and kisses my bare chest, right above the tattoo of her words, her lips soft, wet, and warm. “I want all of you,” she continues as her lips move across my flesh. “Your love, your body. Your past, your present, your future. Everything.”
“Make me stop, Kenz. Please…” I beg, knowing I’ll never let her go if she doesn’t stop this. She’s got me too far gone to turn back and her new level of sensual confidence is throwing up way too many green lights. “No,” she says simply, wrapping her arms around me, kissing me just as hungrily as I’m kissing her. “Push me away.” “Never,” she whispers, pulling me even closer. “What’s gotten into you today?” I demand, moving my lips down to suck her neck. “I don’t know…” she breathes, tilting her head back, letting me suck the delicate flesh of her throat. “Being so close to you all day…touching you…I don’t want to stop.”
Reaching up, she pulls the hair tie out of the back of my hair and smiles when my hair falls down into her face. “You like that?” I ask softly, stroking her cheek with the back of my hand. “I’ve dreamed about you on top of me like this, with your hair in my face.” I suck in a quick breath. “You never told me you dreamt about me.” Her hands skim up my chest, over my shoulders, and clasp behind my neck as she stares up at me. “I was afraid it would make you pull further away from me.” “I don’t think I can pull away anymore. It’s a battle I just can’t win.”
Her body is engulfed by mine as I climb back on top of her, and I can feel her trembling beneath me now, either from fear or excitement or probably a mashup of both. My mouth is hard and demanding on hers as I move my body over her, the feeling of flesh on flesh making my cock like a rock between us, pressing against her, seeking her heat. Reaching down between us, I slide my hand between her thighs to gently stroke her pink lips and she’s so fucking wet already that it obliterates any ideas of patience and gentleness I may have had. I want in, and I want it now.
“Are you still on the pill?” I ask against her lips, my fingers expertly strumming over her clit. She nods and moves her hands down to my ass, trying to pull me between her legs. “Yes…” she says breathlessly. “For you.” “Good,” I growl, moving between her thighs. She doesn’t waver at all when I grab my cock and rub the head up and down between her wet lips and over her clit, coaxing her into that crazy place of wanting nothing but sweet release. Of wanting nothing but me.
Time stands still as we rock against each other, our bodies slippery with sweat, her lips pressed against my chest, kissing that spot over my heart that’s forever marked with her words. And now, her kiss. Her touch. Her love. After today, I can never deny the truth again. She completely owns me.
Spreading my folds with his fingers, he gently pushes me down until I’m flush against him with his cock wedged between my lips. “Keep your legs spread and slide yourself back and forth over me,” he coaxes, grabbing my hips and moving me so my sex glides from the base of him all the way up to the head, and then back again. And he’s right, even though he’s not inside me, rubbing along his hard length feels incredible. Leaning back against the pillows, his gaze drifts up my body, not stopping until he reaches my eyes. “That feels so good…” he groans softly, cupping my breasts in his hands again. “Don’t stop, just let yourself go and get off on me. I want to watch you come.”
Grabbing the back of my neck, he gently pulls my head down and kisses my lips. “You’re perfect, Kenzi. Every single inch of you, inside and out. You’re turning me on like fuckin’ crazy.” He kisses me again, always knowing exactly what I need to hear and feel, and I continue to ride along his shaft, arching my back to press my clit against him. “There ya go,” he whispers, his fingers grazing over my nipple, sending more sparks throughout my body and down into my core. “Feel how hard I am for you? For months I’ve been hiding that from you but now I want you to feel every inch of what you do to me.”
He growls against my lips when I let the tip of his cock press against my wet entrance and I get my first taste of real sensual power. He wants me. Maybe even needs me. Angling my hips just the right way, I lower myself down onto him and he inhales sharply, pulling me down hard on him, his cock plunging deep. A small cry sounds in my throat but again, the sensation of pain and want is intoxicating for me, intensifying when he whispers my name and shudders, losing himself in me completely just as I am with him.
I wait at the front door for him with a pounding heart, holding myself back from running to him just in case a neighbor might see me. His long jean-clad legs carry him up the walkway quickly and he shuts the door behind him, his eyes locking onto mine with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on him as he immediately reaches for me, cupping his hand on the side of my throat and bending down to cover my mouth with his, slow and deep. Possessive. I wind my arms around his neck and hang on to him as my legs turn to jelly, threatening to let me melt into a puddle at his feet. This is the best hello of my life.
“Do you want me?” His teeth graze the back of my neck as his finger slowly pushes into me, a small moan escapes my lips. “Always.” “Tell me.” His lips curve against my neck in response and he pushes his palm up against my sex, his middle finger pressing perfectly against my sweet spot. “I want to hear your sweet voice say something dirty.” Without hesitating, I say exactly what I’m thinking. “I want to feel every inch of your cock rammed in me right now.”
“Tor…” Orgasmic delirium has me liquifying under his touch, as if my bones are melting. Dropping the showerhead, he spins me around and grabs my ass, lifting me up and pushing me back against the tile, his stiff cock finding home again as I wrap my legs around his waist. He kisses me with wild hunger, pumping into me while the dangling showerhead spins around, spraying water everywhere. He moans against my mouth and stills, buried deep inside me, his kisses halting to slow, deep, and soft, and I feel him surge and pulse as he comes. I move my pelvis in slow circles against him, milking and caressing him with my tightening walls. Exhaling deeply, he stares into my eyes and loosens his grip on me. “Damn…I love you,” he says, his voice filled with raw emotion. “I love you back,” I say breathlessly, raining kisses over his face and smoothing his wet hair back.
Rolling over onto my back, I pull her on top of me and she’s already a step ahead of me, knowing exactly what I want and need. Her body moves tantalizingly slow on top of me, like she’s savoring every inch, every breath, every touch. She takes my cock into her with a long, smooth descent, then lifts herself up even slower ’til she reaches my tip before lowering down onto me again, repeating this over and over. There’s no rush, no crazy bouncing up and down, no slamming of bodies. Her body dances effortlessly with mine, like we were made to be one since the beginning of time. There’s no rush to reach an end because there is no end. Her eyes fall closed, her pouty lips parting with the ecstasy of my body filling hers as she makes love to me like we have forever. And she made me believe that we did have forever.
He sucks in a breath and watches with dark lust-filled eyes as I slowly slide myself down the wall until I’m kneeling in front of him, holding his gaze as I slowly unzip his jeans and pull them down along with his boxers. His hard cock thrusts out, and I eagerly wrap my lips around the head and slide my mouth down his shaft, filling my mouth and throat with him. He leans one arm on the wall above me and his other hand cups the back of my neck, his thumb slowly rubbing over my cheek as I move my lips up and down the hot length of him. “I love when you suck me.” The deep, breathiness of his voice sends tingles up and down my spine as he thrusts his salty crown against the back of my throat.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: Standalone Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Jude Lucketti Heroine: Skylar Sensuality: 4 Date of Publication: January 31, 2021 Started On: March 15, 2021 Finished On: March 17, 2021
Carian Cole is a new to me author that I found through my Kindle Unlimited recommendations. Being the huge fan of May-December romance tropes that I am, Don’t Kiss the Bride seemed to be right up my alley, with a marriage of convenience theme in the mix.
18 year old Skylar who is going through her last year of high school, is someone who has it tougher than most in life. Skylar makes ends meet by working after school and suffers from an eating disorder brought on by neglect. Her father having left Skylar and her mother to their own devices, she is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to even taking care of her own health, both physical and mental.
As luck would have it, Skylar’s run in with 34 year old Jude “Lucky” Lucketti brings her the fortune of a lifetime. Jude, a sexy, broody construction worker, from the first time he meets Skylar, there is something about her that tugs at his heartstrings and makes him want to protect her. When Jude becomes privy to the extent of Skylar’s plight at home, he offers the seemingly perfect solution: to enter into a marriage on paper only, so that Skylar would be under his care which would get her the help that she needs. They would just be roommates or rather housemates, nothing more, nothing less.
Jude himself comes from a broken family, his father having left their home when he was seventeen. Jude blames himself for the black hole into which he had sunk at that point, running around with the wrong sort of crowd and losing his way. He blames himself for how his sister went missing and it is perhaps one of the reasons why he is so driven to help Skylar by moving her into a better environment where she could recover in peace.
What Jude does not factor into the equation is how he is drawn to Skylar on a level that would be frowned upon by many and shunned by society at large. The fact that Skylar seems to be drawn to him just as much only makes him more determined to stay firm and true to his original plans when they initially said their I do’s. But fate has a way of bringing two halves of one soul together and there is no fighting the tide when the need is as ferocious as the waves that break ashore during the violence of a summer’s storm.
I loved this story for so many reasons. Carian Cole’s writing is beautiful and draws the reader in like an old friend whom you have come to call on after years. Within the pages you find the comfort of the words spoken by that friend, which both ravages and soothes your inner being.
I loved Jude in all his glory. He is charming, sexy, broody, and kindness itself when it comes right down to it. Haunted by his sister’s memories, Jude is someone who is torn between being the platonic husband on paper only to being Skylar’s husband in its truest form. The struggle is only too real when the desire between them pushes all his buttons. Once they give in, there is no stopping where it takes them in their relationship, as fragile as the bond maybe when they start out. When Jude’s past comes calling, it is then and only then the reader is exposed to the darker elements of Jude’s soul which I absolutely loved!
I loved Skylar; who wouldn’t? She is a survivor amidst everything else. She is strong, beautiful on the inside and out, and an old soul at that. She finds affinity with Jude on many levels, desires to be his above everything else, and is willing to understand that the lifeline he offers is the only way she can get herself onto the road of recovery. When Skylar embraced the darkness within Jude, that was when I knew that they would be able to weather any storm that may come their way.
I admired the fact that Ms. Cole did not make light of the recovery of the mental health aspects explored in the story. Skylar’s mother was beyond help – her husband had tried and so had Skylar. There is a point at which those around you can no longer offer you the help you need; when you refuse to acknowledge the need for that help. That is a message that we all need to understand as the world increasingly battles with rising numbers of mental health patients.
Getting over mental health issues is a tough and lonesome journey for the one that suffers from it – no matter how much those who love you may surround you, there would always be aspects of it that you would have to suffer through on your own. Which is why I found Ms. Cole’s take on Skylar’s journey to recovery something I could relate to – there was no magic pill nor therapy session which was the hallelujah moment – but rather it was a process as it should rightfully be. There were triggers which made it difficult for Skylar to push past her fears and those were the moments Jude’s understanding mattered the most, and I loved Jude for being sensitive a soul enough to know when those moments presented themselves.
Society would judge the relationship between Skylar and Jude to be an uneven one; after all, Jude is the one who has the financial independence that allows him to look after Skylar. He is also the mature adult in society’s modern definition, and it was with sensitivity that Ms. Cole handled those aspects of the novel as the story progressed. I found the relationship between Skylar and Jude evening out as Skylar came to her own self when she started to make progress in her recovery. The fact that she is as fiercely protective of him as he is of her made my heart full in ways I cannot express.
During one of Skylar’s inner monologues regarding Jude, she thinks along the following lines, “I’m captivated by the hard and soft sides of him—rough in just the right moments, but so incredibly gentle in the perfect moments, too. Jude may not talk much, but his touch speaks a thousand words.” I was right there with Skylar and found myself nodding along with her sentiments of who Jude is. I don’t think I can sum up his character better even if I tried.
Highly recommended for fans of Carian Cole, those who love age gap romances, marriages of convenience, and heroes whose contrasting sides makes you melt on the inside.
Final Verdict: Don’t Kiss the Bride carries such a surprising mix of sweet tenderness with darkness of the kind that speaks to your heart!
I put my hands on his chest and slide them up to his shoulders. As he bends toward me, I close my eyes and lift one of my feet up into that flirty flamingo pose we see in movies. Our lips touch softly, until he tilts his mouth over mine, capturing my lips with his. A barely audible gasp escapes me and he inhales it with a slow, sensual suck of breath. His hand squeezes my cheek, and then he pulls away, slowly dragging his thumb across my jawline before he turns to Carol and walks off to speak to her.
Neither one of us makes an effort to move. We stay there, quietly breathing together. Our entwined fingers slowly dance against each other. Hers long, soft and thin. Mine thick and calloused. Resistance crumbles, and I turn toward her face, just inches from mine. I don’t know who kissed who. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was her. Doesn’t matter, because my mouth is on hers when it shouldn’t be. But fuck, her lips are soft and sweet, and I can’t resist one more taste of her.
“Is that what you want?” His lips touch my nose, then wait, hovering just a breath away. I nod as we breathe against each other. “Yes.” My answer is a subtle invitation. If he chooses to accept it, then any touching or kissing from this point forward won’t be an oops or an accident. It’ll be a conscious choice. A decision we made together right here on my bed. Fisting my hair, he gently pulls my head back, angling my neck up toward him. My eyes fall closed as he presses his lips to my throat and holds them there, warm and soft, before lightly sucking. My breath catches when he slowly drags his mouth up to briefly touch mine—whisper soft and gentle—before lifting up and bringing his lips back down to the base of my throat. Open-mouthed, teeth grazing.
When I reach for his pants, he nudges my hand away. “No,” he whispers with his mouth against my ear and his fingers buried inside me. “Tonight, I just want to fuckin’ devour you.” In a blink, he disappears under the blanket and quickly lowers my sweatpants. His mouth joins his hand between my thighs. His tongue laps at my throbbing clit, his lips cover me, so warm and wet. I turn into a quivering, wet, orgasmic, lovesick mess. Closing my eyes, I let go of everything, cling to him, and let myself get lost in us.
“Kiss me,” she whispers, pulling on the chain of my necklace. I can’t resist anymore. Grabbing her waist with my free hand, I pull her hard against my body and crush my lips down on hers. Her gasp of surprise fuels the fire she’s already stoked with her inviting touches and perfect words. I move my hand over the curve of her ass and down to the back of her bare thigh, lifting her until she hops up and wraps her legs around my waist. Kissing wildly, I kick the bedroom door shut with my foot, then push her back up against it. Breathless, she snakes her arms around my neck.
Effortlessly, he lifts me up and lays me down on top of his puffy charcoal comforter. I lie back and watch him as he removes my shoes, then stands between my legs as he unzips my shorts and tugs them down, along with my panties. “I think I just want to stand here and look at you all night,” he says, inching his hand languidly up my thigh like he’s got all the time in the world. His eyes sweep over me and he gives his head a little shake. “You’re so fucking beautiful.” I peek at him through my lashes. “I could say the same about you.”
“Touch me,” he says, his voice hoarse with desire. I stroke him slowly, gripping him in my palm and caressing the hot, damp tip. His head bows down, his hair falls over his face, his eyes close. My heart swells with adoration and lust for him. Leaning forward, I put my lips against his flat stomach. His ab muscles flutter deliciously as I rain a slow trail of kisses from hip to hip. I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning, getting an amazing gift in the form of sexy tats and an incredible body all wrapped up with a big red bow of sweetness on top. He groans and grabs my shoulders, pulling me up to meet his lips, kissing me with such hunger I can’t breathe.
“I want you,” I whisper with my lips against his ear. “You’ve got me,” he whispers back. The tear of the foil packet permeates the silence of the dim room, and a few seconds later his hands are on my outer thighs, his fingers digging roughly into my flesh. He pulls me closer and thrusts into me balls deep, stretching me to take his full length. I let out a gasp that’s half-pain and half-pleasure. I don’t even care that it hurts a little, because watching him lose himself inside me is like watching art come to life. The way his tattoos, shiny with sweat, flex with his muscles. The way his long hair flies around his head with every thrust. The rivulets of sweat dripping down the center of his chest. The bite of his teeth into his lower lip as he drives into me. Pure. Hotness.
“Don’t mess with me, Skylar. You’re not gonna like it if I put my hands on you like this.” I reach up and touch his cheek, running my finger over the dark stubble. He stares at me through half-closed, dark eyes. “Try me,” I whisper. Without wavering, I hold his gaze. Whatever he needs right now—I’ll do it. I’ll be it. He’s been my rock since the day we met—never wanting or expecting a thing in return. He’s not drowning his feelings in the bottom of a bottle on my watch. Suddenly, his hand flies up and grabs the back of my neck, pulling me hard to meet his lips. He kisses me ferociously, his tongue carrying the bite of whiskey. He palms my breast, twisting, pinching, and tugging my nipple between his fingers until I cry out.
“I don’t want you looking at me.” The anguish and self-hatred in his voice and in his eyes rip my heart in two. Turning on my side, I reach for him, wanting to kiss all the hurt away. “Lucky—” “Do it or get the fuck out.” With a quiet nod, I flip back over onto my stomach, and he grabs my hips, pulling me up onto all fours and yanking me back to meet him at the edge of the bed. His hands grip my waist and he drives into me hard, fast, and unforgiving. Moaning his name, I clutch the comforter in my hands, head down, as he slams into me, his balls slapping against my wet pussy with each pounding descent. I’ve never had sex from behind, and it’s painfully primal but so intensely erotic. I don’t know if I should be ashamed or proud of myself for enjoying the raw, animalistic sensuality of it. And him.
When I arch my back, pushing to meet his thrusts, my walls clench around him again and again as wave after wave of orgasm rolls through me. As I’m reeling from the last of the lingering shudders, I cry out when he suddenly pulls his cock out and pushes me flat down, covering my entire body with his. The length of his stiff shaft wedges between my ass cheeks and spurts hot cum onto my lower back. He bows his head down into my neck and kisses my shoulder blade, biting my flesh and panting heavily, whispering words like wet and tight and so fuckin’ perfect. A shiver of ecstasy cascades down my spine. He stays there for a long time, with his sweaty chest pressed against my back, and I revel in being entirely enveloped by him, trapped in his powerful embrace.
My head falls back against his shoulder and I turn to kiss his neck, nipping at him with my teeth. Water splashes as his hand dives between my thighs like a shark. Two thick fingers zero in on my G-spot, curving upward with precision and rubbing rhythmically. Whimpering, I grip the sides of the tub to steady myself as I rock back and forth, thrusting up into his hand, then back against the ridge of his cock. He grasps the side of my face and turns me to him. Our lips clash, breathless and needy. He crosses his legs over mine, pinning me down. My body is buzzing, my hips rolling up and down, back and forth. The tip of his thick cock pushes between my ass cheeks, nudging my pulsing entry.
He untangles his legs from mine, grabs me beneath my knees, and bends each of my legs up over the edge of the tub, spreading me wide over him. I grasp the slippery sides of the porcelain as he lifts me by my hips, positions me over his cock, then lowers me down onto him. “Holy shit,” I gasp as he spears my pussy hard and deep. Cupping my ass with one hand, he guides me up and down his shaft while his other hand reaches between my thighs, circling and lightly slapping my clit. I feel his lips on my wet back, kissing a trail up my spine to the curve of my neck. His breath is ragged, matching mine, as we move faster and harder, splashing hot water around us in waves as my body plunges deliciously down onto his.
Grabbing her throat, I pull her up to me and kiss her deep, delving my tongue into her mouth until I own her every breath. She pants against my mouth with her small hands splayed across my hips. I pull out almost completely, and she gasps in frustration. Resting the tip of my cock against her entry, I cup her face in my hands and kiss her lips softly, then pull away, hovering just millimeters from her mouth. Slowly, I push into her just a fraction. Her wet lips envelope me, deliciously tight and hot. “Give it to me,” she begs. “Look at me,” I whisper. She opens her eyes and stares into mine, and I watch her eyelids flutter half-closed when I feed my cock into her inch by inch. She looks so fucking beautiful and sensual, it takes all my self-control not to cum instantly.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Thriller/Suspense Series: Standalone Publisher: Montlake Hero: NA Heroine: NA Sensuality: NA Date of Publication: June 01, 2021 Started On: March 13, 2021 Finished On: March 15, 2021
Beneath the Devil’s Bridge by Loreth Anne White is another spellbinding novel from the master storyteller who has the uncanny ability to push just the right set of buttons to keep the pages turning. I continue to be in awe of everything that Ms. White publishes, and it is a foregone conclusion at this point that she will continue to take readers where their comfort zones are pushed in the years to come.
The year is 1997, when 14 year old Leena Rai is found brutally beaten to death with indications of rough intercourse having happened prior to the murder. Investigators in the small town of British Columbia where the story takes place, are hard pressed to solve the case quickly. The investigation speedily concludes with the confession from Clayton Jay Pelley, the school’s guidance counselor.
When Clayton breaks his silence 25 years after he is incarcerated in a podcast series focusing on true crime, retired detective Rachel Walczak who was lead on the case is haunted and taunted by the fact that in their haste to bring a conclusion to the investigation, they may have overlooked many aspects of the case that did not particularly make sense even at the time. But in a small and tight knit community such as theirs, it is a challenge to overlook the ties that bind them, and see each individual as they truly are – where monsters may breed without one acknowledging the fact.
From beginning to end, this story is profound in the way it is told, taking readers between the year of the murder and how it had impacted the lives of all that were affected, to present time when the deep lingering effects of what had taken place still continue to fester in the wounds unhealed.
In the murder victim, we find the typical outcast in a high school setting where teenagers can be brutal in the way they form groups and bully those that do not fit in. A daughter of Indian immigrants, Leena had never had it easy, with a strict father and a mother who had followed wherever her husband led her. Patriarchal households in South Asian settings can be extremely difficult for daughters, especially when you move to a country that upholds more modern values and norms clashing with the traditional ones. Leena is the daughter that is torn between wanting freedom and popularity, between wanting to feel needed and acceptance, and ultimately the one who finds consolation and comfort in a place that she rightfully should not have.
In the alleged perpetrator, Ms. White has forged to life one of the most thought provoking characters she has written of late. A man who society would find it easy to blame and cast aside, whose own demons haunt and taunt him to a point where he was willing to give up everything to control his baser urges. It is difficult to remain detached from his character as Ms. White explores the psychology involved and takes readers on a journey where most may not be willing to be pushed. But I for one reveled in it and admire Ms. White for writing his character as it was told; raw and unadulterated in a way that refuses to give you any reprieve from who he is.
The most shocking elements of the story of course, lies in the “mundane” details of the lives of those in the community as the tale undfolds, traversing through the course of individual and collective lives that had been changed by the events that had unfolded that fateful night two and a half decades back. Rachel, in her bid to find the truth at long last, finds that often, a high price must be paid in the pursuit of it, secrets that many would go to extreme lengths to keep buried for eternity.
I also found myself astounded by and questioned how someone with such a violent streak within them managed to hide in plain sight for so long – after all, the character’s actions at certain points in life must have pointed to that villainous and extremely unhinged aspects within. I guess we would never know. But then again, that is what is so gripping about Ms. White’s work – you can never accuse her of taking on tried tropes and leaving you with the feeling that you have been cheated out on.
I continue to be amazed by how well Ms. White writes, how unique each of her books are, how powerful her characters and villains alike are, how difficult it to cast one character in the role of purely being a hero and the other a villain, and how unforgettable her stories are. Ms. White truly humbles me by pointing out time and yet again that life does not happen in black and white, but in the shades of grey within.
I marvel at the fact that she dares broach sensitive topics and does them justice, her innate ability to dig deep into the psyche of her characters from multiple perspectives. It is truly remarkable the diversity behind her books and I at times do not think that I am even worthy of reviewing such splendor that lies within the pages.
Definitely recommended for readers of all variety of fiction – if you like thrillers with in-depth characterization, Ms. White is a must read!
Final Verdict: Beneath the Devil’s Bridge is magnificent in the way it unfolds, crisp writing & page-turning suspense lending clarity to the shades of grey that rules our lives.
We spend most of our lives afraid of our own Shadow. He told me that. He said a Shadow lives deep inside every one of us. So deep we don’t even know it’s there. Sometimes, with a quick sideways glance, we catch a glimpse of it. But it frightens us, and we quickly look away. This is what fuels the Shadow—our inability to look. Our inability to examine this thing that is in fact our raw selves. This is what gives the Shadow its power. It makes us lie. About what we want, about who we are. It fires our passions, our darkest desires. – Leena Rai
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Historical Romance Series: The Academy of Love, #2 Publisher: Crooked Sixpence Press Hero: Gareth Lockheart Heroine: Serena Lombard Sensuality: 3.5 Date of Publication: March 03, 2020 Started On: February 20, 2021 Finished On: March 13, 2021
The Academy of Love series by Minerva Spencer tells the stories of seven Regency Era teachers who while in pursuit of ork, find themselves immersed in lessons in love of the kind to last a lifetime. A Figure of Love is the second installment in the series, bringing to readers the tale of widower Serena Lombard and 35 year old Gareth Lockheart, a self-made aristocrat in England.
Gareth is a man of few words and controlled emotions. Having grown up at an orphanage and having been at the receiving end of the worst that humanity has to offer, Gareth has the emotional scars to prove it. One of the richest men in England, Gareth knows that taking his businesses to the next level requires that something elusive which would need him to make his entrance into the genteel world of society’s accepted breed of aristocrats.
Designing his country house to standards befitting that of the world he plans to inhabits is how Serena comes into his life. A French emigrant who is the widow of the youngest son of a Duke and Duchess, Serena is someone who defies the conventions and has been working towards making a name for herself as a respected sculptor and landscape gardener.
Neither of them are what they expect each other to be, and for Serena, Gareth is the man who unlocks her passions and makes her want a significant other after years of living through excruciating loneliness. In her heart, Serena is the woman who thaws the heart of the enigmatic man that is Gareth, but in reality, she knows that the secrets that she hides would never let it be so.
I loved this story on so many levels, Gareth being the first and foremost reason. He is the kind of hero that speaks to you in every single way that matters without him having to utter a single word. Ms. Spencer has done a remarkable job in bringing him to life, his sheer presence enough to make you feel as if he is your whole world. His fascination with numbers, his faithful nature even if it may seem unwarranted at that point, all that and more tells you the kind of man he is deep inside.
His passions lie dormant, not because he does not feel them, but because he reserves them for those whom he feels it to be worthy of. In Serena, he finds the woman who shakes him up in a way no other woman has, and he knows that it is futile to deny his burgeoning feelings of desire and need for her, which is when Ms. Spencer with her remarkable flair ushers in the kind of love scenes that leaves the reader in a state of stunned anticipation for more.
Serena was a swell heroine, just the right touch of everything that is needed for Gareth. With a young son in tow, it is the secrets that she carries which puts her and those she cares about in danger. And it is her need to protect Gareth from that ugly reality which lands her in an untenable situation which drives the story to its climax and beyond.
In my opinion, Gareth was the star of this story – there is something about a strong and silent hero that just speaks to me on a level that is indescribable. I loved Serena too, she loves Gareth and all that he is just as fiercely as he does her, and is protective of him in a way that no one has ever been all through his life. I also loved the character of her son – his character meshes well with that of Gareth, which made for enjoyable reading.
Recommended for fans of Ms. Spencer, fans of the series, and fans of Regency Era romances! Romance, suspense, and toe-curling sex – this one has got it all!
Final Verdict: Featuring exquisitely crafted scenes of scrumptious passion that is trademark Ms. Spencer, A Figure in Love is a notable addition to this beautifully crafted series!
He walked her slowly toward the wall, rubbing the stiff length of his erection against her as he pushed, until her shoulders hit the wall, but he kept coming. Stroke. Stroke. Stroke. His stiff length drew an answering pulse from her sex and she imagined his strong, insistent body entering hers, plunging into her with all the strength she knew he possessed. She could feel the struggle of will and desire that raged inside him. The slightest sign from her and he would take her right here, against the wall.
Serena had never been so cold in her life, but when his eyes swept over her, she burst into flames. And when he lowered his mouth to hers, she forgot all about the cold and slid her arms around his taut waist, this time resting both palms on his bottom. He made a muffled sound of approval and pushed closer, the soft leather of his breeches cool and smooth against her belly. He kissed as if he wanted to devour her, his lips demanding, his tongue invading, his teeth grazing and nipping as long, powerful fingers massaged their way down her neck, until they rested on her shoulders.
Serena cried out when he flicked a cold, hard nipple with the hot tip of his tongue, and then was gone. She pushed herself against him. More. He took her in his mouth and suckled her until warmth radiated out from her breast. “So beautiful,” he whispered into the hollow between her breasts, and then moved to her other nipple and tormented her until she had to bite her lip to keep from screaming.
“Unbutton me.” A rush of pleasure shot through her at the sound of his command, spoken in such hushed passion. She pushed a hand between their bodies, tracing the hard length of him thrusting against the soft leather. He groaned and tightened his hold, his fingers sinking into her soft flesh. She stroked him again and again and again, until his powerful body vibrated with need, and then, with a few deft flicks, she opened the flap of his breeches and released him.
They gasped as he sheathed himself fully, the echoes of her climax contracting around his thick shaft. His body jerked and arched, the muscles of his stomach, chest, and shoulders so defined they looked as if they’d been carved from the finest alabaster. Serena leaned forward until her breasts grazed his chest, her hands fisting the blanket on each side of his shoulders as she tilted to take him even deeper. Barely an inch separated their faces and this close to him she saw the fine, icy gray shards that made up his irises. She tightened her inner muscles and his eyes widened, his hands like butterflies on her waist.
“Are you angry with me?” The question stopped him like a stone wall. Before he could think of an answer, she touched him, her hand on his chest as light as a soft breeze. Gareth’s control snapped and he crushed her mouth with a ferocity that left the metallic taste of blood flooding his mouth. His blood, her blood, both, he didn’t know or care. Her fingers plunged into his hair and she yanked him down, meeting his violently ravaging tongue with her own.
“I want to bury myself deep inside you.” He ground his length against her, making her gasp while he whispered in her ear, “But I think you know that, don’t you?” He stepped away, until their bodies were no longer touching and raised his hands, palm out, barely grazing the erect tips of her breasts, caressing them with light, circular motions. She jerked and bucked against him, her back arching, the impressive muscles of her arms like the taut strings of a bow as she clutched the wooden door frame above her head and strained toward him.
“You can release the door frame now.” Triumph and amusement echoed in his words but she didn’t care. She’d do whatever he asked of her to feel that way again. “Touch me.” She fell on his mouth like a starving person, consuming him as he’d just done her, tasting herself on his tongue. He lifted her higher while they kissed, until she felt his hot, insistent crown nudging against her sex. He leaned away from her, just far enough that she could see between their bodies. His stomach, lean, ridged, and sweaty, hers flushed, soft, and trembling. He lifted her higher, until she could see his erection. “Guide me inside you.”
He turned his head and gently bit the side of her breast. She laughed. “Are you going to eat me?” His hot mouth roamed her body above the thin gauze of her gown, nipping and sucking her until the fabric was damp. “When we return to Rushton I am going to tie your arms and legs to the four posts of my bed—tightly, so you cannot move or squirm away. And when you are bound and spread for me, I will take my pleasure. And I will lick and suck and bite every part of you.” The words and the raw, confident desire with which he spoke them sent a crippling wave of lust straight to her core.
He scooped her up in his arms and strode into the adjacent room. She watched him slit-eyed through a haze of pure contentment, laughing when he tossed her onto the bed and positioned himself at the edge. His face was hard and his eyes burning into her as he ripped open the fall on his breeches and freed himself. Serena was already inching toward him when he slid his hands beneath her thighs, jerked her toward him and lifted her hips off the bed, entering her with a savage thrust.
He lifted her skirt and petticoats to her hips, his cock pulsing at the unbearably erotic sight of her serviceable stockings and the plain garters that held them just above her knees, nothing but smooth, naked thigh above them until . . . His mouth flooded with moisture at the sight of her curls. She lifted her eyebrows high. “Novice?” Her thumb swirled his hard, slick head and she grazed him lightly with her nails. Gareth jolted under the intoxicating combination of pleasure and pain. “Dammit, Serena!” “Language, Gareth.” He pushed away her hand and positioned himself at the hot, wet entrance to her body, bringing her down hard. They both gasped and then froze, reveling in their joining.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: The Everyday Heroes World Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Rylan Conners Heroine: Mazey Novak Sensuality: 3 Date of Publication: August 13, 2020 Started On: February 19, 2021 Finished On: February 20, 2021
Flashback by Rhian Cahill is a book set in The Everyday Heroes World, a series of books written by multiple authors. It has been a long, long time since I read anything by Ms. Cahill, who is a favorite author of mine. She is an author whose voice I fell in love with from the very first moment I indulged in the magical effect of her stories featuring heroes who are a tad on the grumpy side, and her penchant for delivery on the sexual heat that permeates and resonates through the stories.
32 year old Mazey Novak (Maz), head of trauma nursing at Anaheim Memorial Hospital Emergency Department in LA decides to make a fresh start when things go awry with her fiance who lies to her every step of the way in their relationship. More than the sense of betrayal she had felt in learning the truth, it had been the looks of disgust from her colleagues and people she had known that had propelled her to move and start anew. When Maz is offered the position of a flight nurse at Mercy-Life, a company specializing in medevac, she does not need much convincing.
Her new life comes with the walking talking temptation that is 39 year old Rylan Conners. Having served in the military for 20 years with the physical and emotional scars to show for it along with a divorce to his name, Rylan is at first skeptical that the new hire would prove to be reliable. Once bitten, twice as shy, Rylan is wary of women who pretend to be something they are not, a lesson that he had learnt to the bitter end when it comes to his ex-wife.
However, from the very start, the easy sense of camaraderie that he finds with Maz along with the simmering sexual tension between them which becomes harder to ignore by the day makes him realize that there is more to Maz than he initially thought. Things come to a head under the most heartbreaking of circumstances, and from that moment onward it becomes more difficult to ignore what feels so right between them. But their fragile bond is tested by fragments of their pasts, each carrying baggage that has left emotional scars on them.
I loved Flashback for the most part which made for pretty easy reading. I loved both Rylan and Maz – both were relatable with feelings that are only too real for people who have held the short end of the stick when it comes to relationships that take everything from you. At the same time, I did miss the searing scenes of passion in the story, something that I have come to expect when it comes to Ms. Cahill’s work.
Recommended for those who love a good contemporary romances featuring likable characters who steals your heart for all the right reasons.
Final Verdict: Flashback delivers on the heart and heat that is synonymous with every book penned by Ms. Cahill.
“Ry.” Her plea was spoken against his chest, her lips brushing a nipple. “I need . . .” “Shh . . . It’s okay.” He tightened his hold. “I’ve got you.” Her hands slipped up his back and curled around his shoulders. “Please.” He didn’t know what she wanted, what she needed, he just knew he’d give it to her if he could. “Anything, Maz. Tell me.” She pushed up on her toes as her hands slid to the back of his head and pulled him down. The next second, her mouth was on his, her tongue thrusting inside to tangle with his. He should have pulled back. Should have thought about what they were doing, why they were doing it, but her mouth was on his, and he’d ached for this very thing for weeks.
And when her back bowed, her pelvis angling in a way that his cockhead slipped between her hot, slick folds, he was powerless to control the needs of his body. In a hard, brutal shove, he drove his cock deep inside her pussy. Covering her mouth with his, he swallowed her jagged cry of pleasure, his guttural groan of relief. His breath stalled for a moment, a split second of time where his mind cleared, and he could think beyond the carnal urges driving his actions long enough for him to believe in that small fraction of a moment that he’d finally found home. He was finally where he was supposed to be.
Fumbling with his fly, she tugged and yanked until the fastening gave way, and she could wrap her hands around the hot length of Rylan. Smooth as silk and hard as steel, his flesh slid over her palm, through her fingers, in a damp thrust of carnal delight. Mazey wanted to taste him, pull him into her mouth, and feel that male power gliding across her tongue. Without thought, without hesitation, she sank to her knees and took the plump crown between her lips. “Fuck! Maz!”
As he pulled her tighter, increased the pressure of his hands, he felt the tremors of Mazey’s orgasm begin, and when she rolled her head on his shoulder and whimpered, writhed against him in ever-increasing speed, he knew they were pushing for pleasure, the burst of satisfaction they couldn’t seem to get enough of. “Ry,” she moaned. “Please.” Unable to resist her plea, he pressed harder, stroked faster. And when she convulsed in his arms, her release taking hold, Rylan bucked his hips, grinding his cock against the top of her ass, and followed her into bliss.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: Standalone Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Zachary King Heroine: Phoenix Hale Sensuality: 4 Date of Publication: May 14, 2020 Started On: February 14, 2021 Finished On: February 19, 2021
“Sex is phenomenal. Love though? Love is scary as fuck.” – Zachary
The Land Where Sinners Atone by V.F. Mason is another dark, anti-hero romance from the author whose books answers the need in me to read stories featuring heroes that most would not even think are worthy of redemption. But I love them more so for the fact. I am no fan of overly sweet romances – I like the darkness, that raw edge, and the tension that courses through you, until you are on tenterhooks unable to turn away from the disaster that is imminent. And for that reason alone, I would always continue to read titles from Ms. Mason, as long as she continues to deliver the variety of heroes that speaks to my heart.
The Land Where Sinners Atone tells the tale of 32 year old Zachary King, his family being one of the most influential families in the world, who seeks revenge and vengeance on 29 year old Phoenix Hale, when she is accused of killing the beloved wife of Zachary. With Zachary out in full force to make her pay, the news that the DA cuts her a deal is the last straw for him.
It is punishment enough for Phoenix that nothing in her life would ever be the same again. Her career, the husband who promised to love and cherish her for all eternity, her friends and colleagues, all of them leave her in the dust, and there is no will left in Phoenix to fight to keep them, especially when she has to fight for the survival of someone more precious than all of them put together. But the long arms of the rich who seek vengeance reaches behind the prison walls, and it is heartbreaking what happens to Phoenix to finally break her.
At 32 years old, new evidence that comes to light sets Phoenix free, setting Zachary on her path once again, this time seeking her help to find the actual perpetrator. Zachary makes no apologies for what he did to Phoenix, and his sheer audacity in asking for her help sets Phoenix on the edge, not to mention the fact that he raises her ire in ways she would rather not define.
Ms. Mason weaves a tight plot for the most part, which entwines snippets of the past which shows how Phoenix strikes an odd friendship with a boy three years her senior, and how throughout the years that friendship is conducted via letters and emails. Phoenix at one point wants more, but that had been the first time fate had intervened, forcing her to choose a different path which led her to become an ex-convict who wants the man who put her behind bars in a way she never would have thought possible.
When the truth comes to light of what they mean to each other, of the secret that Zachary hides, and of the true intent and nature of the killer, it is a harrowing couple of chapters until we reach the finish line and turn the pages to the epilogue with bated breathe, praying with everything you are, hoping with every fiber of your being, that everything turns out to be alright.
For the most part, I loved the story that Ms. Mason delivered with this number. Zachary is the kind of hero that takes your breath away from just his sheer presence alone. There is a forcefulness to him, a ruthlessness that is enshrined in his DNA that speaks of violence if ever there is a need for it, and yet at the same time, a gentle side to him that really shakes you up in the midst. Phoenix is not the only one who is flummoxed by the many facets to his character, and as the reader I was feeling it every step of the way.
I think what detracted from my enjoyment of the story somewhat was the fact that I felt the story steered off course towards the end, and I think that it could have been much better had it been otherwise. Zachary too was perhaps not ultimately dark enough for my tastes, because lets face it, Ms. Mason has delivered much darker heroes in her stories such as Psychopath’s Prey, which was my first and most unforgettable book by her.
At the same time, I absolutely adored the bits and pieces on the entwined pasts interwoven into the story up to a point, giving the tale the lighter edge it needed. But even then, I wanted that connection to have come to light differently perhaps, while at the same time I could appreciate that the story’s fast pace meant that things were just happening and that there was no right or wrong time for it to happen. The heat between Zachary and Phoenix is off the charts hot, with their first coming together hot enough to singe the reader.
I fell in love with Phoenix from the very start – she basically makes the story what it is, her character carrying the kind of strength that makes you root for her, admire her, and want the best for her. Her psychology in terms of how she fared from a young age to her chosen career path, and her sheer brilliance at it – all of that and more makes her a heroine who is worthy of all my love and then some!
As usual, stories that depict the psychology of the depraved, the ones who lose their way because of childhood trauma left unaddressed, that is a message that resonates loudly as the story emerges from darkness towards light. We might think it is best for a child who has undergone severe trauma to ignore what happened to them, but the festering wound beneath manifests in different ways in different people. Not all of them turn out to be empathetic soul. Some of them, their souls are left too tainted for them to see the light in anyone else.
Recommended for fans of dark romances featuring anti-heroes and for fans of Ms. Mason’s work.
Final Verdict: Zachary and Phoenix’s coming together is as explosive as the need for vengeance that courses through Zachary, who sets out to destroy everything Phoenix holds dear. Adrenaline rush guaranteed!
I pull her into me, our chests pressing against each other, but before she can dart away from me, I thread my fingers in her hair and arch her head back then whisper against her mouth, “Because of this, right?” And with that, I slam my mouth on hers, connecting us in a kiss. One single kiss. Yet it forever shifts the balance in our relationship and opens up possibilities I thought I’d never want again.
The minute our tongues brush against each other, we moan and goose bumps break on my skin. He deepens the kiss, tilting me back until I’m angling my head to meet every glide of his tongue, the hot, passionate kiss vanishing all traces of guilt away and replacing them with a need so strong I can’t stop tightening my thighs around him. My nails scratch the back of his head as I open my lips wider to deepen the kiss even more… if it’s possible.
One minute, he holds me prisoner, and the next, I yelp when he sends me landing flat on my back across the counter, his body covering mine. Once again, his mouth lands on me, but this time the kiss is different. Any gentleness is gone. Instead, the kiss is passionate and all-consuming, sending waves and waves of goose bumps breaking on my skin while his hard-on digs into my core, sliding up and down, giving me a brief hint of what it can do to me. Fusing our mouths, I hope he’ll end our misery and give us both what we want so much.
Zach steps back, straightening up, takes out a condom from the back of his pants, and lowers the zipper on his jeans before tearing the foil packet open. He easily wraps his hard-on in it. My eyes widen for a second at the thick, long, angry flesh leaking precum at the tip, and then his hands are back on my hips, pulling me closer until I wrap my legs around him and his erection digs against my core. He rubs it all over my center and leans forward, licking away the tears on my cheeks, one by one, then swallows a piercing moan tearing out of my mouth when he thrusts into me, shifting me on the counter a little and stretching me so much I wonder if I’ll survive it.
My hands slide down his back, raking my nails over it, wanting to bring him pain, the same kind of agony mixed with pleasure he evokes in me while my pussy gets tighter and tighter around him, welcoming every drive of his hips until it all finally becomes too much. I arch my neck back, screaming when it finally hits me. A hot flash spreads all over my body, hammering me with pleasure over and over again, almost making me drown in it for how strong it is—it’s nothing like I’ve experienced before. He thrusts a few more times and then groans into my ear, biting on my earlobe. He spills inside the condom and grips my ass cheeks so hard a moan slips past my lips.
“Zach, please,” I whisper. However, he is relentless and removes his fingers, replacing them with his tongue again, giving my core an open-mouthed kiss that should be forbidden for how much it makes me feel. Digging my nails into the back of his head, I place my foot on his shoulder and close my eyes, starting to slowly roll my hips back and forth, finding the friction with him moving rhythmically inside me.
“Zach,” I beg and warn at the same time, wanting to finally reach the blissful oblivion without a care in the world. “I know, darling. But you’ll come on my dick and not on my tongue. Because…” He enters me with just the tip, my pussy clenching around it. He groans above me. “Exactly that. I want the walls of your pussy to squeeze around me so much you won’t ever think this is a mistake. Because no one in this world can make you feel the way I do.” Before I can protest to that, he drives into me with one, swift move. I cry out as the headboard of the bed hits the wall and my body instantly clamps around him.
I’m hot, so hot, as his cock stretches me with each thrust, as if claiming its territory even if both of us know it’s temporary. I palm his head, searching for his eyes, and when I find them, I connect our mouths with an incoherent murmur, and we lose ourselves in the kiss. His movements speed up, the pace pushing me to the brink, then closer and closer until finally it hits me so hard I still before throwing my head back and crying out, my core spasming all over him, sucking him inside and not wanting to let go.
Desire is a weakness wrapped in all-consuming emotion with the power to rule your every single thought. And although you know you will burst into flames if you’re not careful enough, nothing in this world can stop you when it calls your name, demanding surrender and acceptance.
“You are so beautiful. How can a man resist such a beauty?” His grip on my hips tightens, his fingers digging into my skin as his voice drops a few octaves. “Others can look, but no one is allowed to touch you. Do you understand?” The possessiveness lacing his tone and the flash of anger in his eyes snap me out of the haze he created around me, and with a gasp, I move to the side, wanting to escape him when realization of the situation settles in on me. “Especially Sebastian Hale.” Unbelievable. Putting my hands above his, I tug on them, trying to snatch them away from me, but they stay glued on me until I huff in frustration. “Stop this. Don’t act like—” “Like who?” he asks, biting my neck and earning himself a groan from me. “Like a man who is obsessed with every breath you take?” “Like you have rights to this body or me.”
Licking the nipple and coating it in my saliva, I tug on it a little, biting her harshly before instantly soothing it with more licks, all while my palm slides lower and lower until it reaches the hem of her panties. Without warning, I tear them away from her, the flimsy silk barely giving any resistance. “Zach!” she whispers through her moan, but I pay no attention to that, moving to the other breast where I repeat the action while my hand cups her dripping-for-me pussy. The heel of my palm digs into her clit while my fingers rub the walls of her pussy, spreading her juices all over them.
“What do you want, Phoenix?” he asks me again, his fingers threading in my hair and tilting my head back so I can look at him, and I know he sees a challenge in them. I’m done telling him what I want, since he doesn’t listen anyway. I’m going to take what I want.
Holding his stare with mine, I circle his neck, bringing him closer to me until my lips touch his ear, and I whisper to him, “Make love to me, Zach.” His fingers bruise my hips when he settles between them and slams into me, making me cry out. My scream reverberates around the room, and my nails scratch his back. His hard cock stretches my pussy that clenches around him, awakening every nerve in my body as he pushes deeper and deeper and then moves back, only to thrust into me again, rooting inside me over and over again as my body welcomes every jerk of his hips.
This man. The man who I hate and love so much it borders on insanity, but I don’t mind as long as he shares this madness with me. My pussy clamps over him tighter and tighter until he hikes my legs over his hip higher and starts to give me faster thrusts, one after another. I feel the hot flash travel all over me before it hits me full force, sending me flying over the edge with thousands of sensations breaking goose bumps on my skin.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: Standalone Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Callum Moore Heroine: Cadence Sensuality: 3 Date of Publication: September 26, 2020 Started On: February 12, 2021 Finished On: February 13, 2021
Our love is not a sin; it’s salvation.
Loosely tied to the novel Beautiful Monster, Beautiful Sinner by Sara Cate is an absolute gem of a romance of the forbidden variety. 44 year old Callum Moore is a priest in an Irish town, who is left blindsided by his encounter with the 24 year old Cadence, a young American who happens to come to stay at the Ennis Bed & Breakfast that is owned by Callum’s sister.
Cadence comes to the B&B with a group of youngsters touring Europe, the guy she is with whom she considers to be her boyfriend when he is anything but. Waking up the next morning to find that they had all left her behind, and that her “boyfriend” had taken her passport, credit cards, and any valuables she might have had along with him, needless to say Cadence feels like the worst screw up ever.
Having to wait two weeks for everything to be resolved, it is Cadence’s sister that tells her that this could be a good thing, that being alone is perhaps what is right for Cadence to sort out her priorities and just enjoy her ownself. But the mere thought of being alone sends Cadence into a state of panic, especially when she finds herself attracted to none other than the priest of the town, the man who looks upon her so disapprovingly from afar.
Callum is a man who found his calling towards his late twenties, firm in his belief standing true to it all. Cadence presents the first real temptation to ever cross his path since he took his vow of celibacy and that presents problems of the kind that he never thought he would have to deal with. It certainly does not help matters when Cadence proves herself to be made of stronger and sterner stuff than he gives her credit for.
It is only logical that two opposites such as Callum and Cadence, the former being a stickler for what is right and the latter being someone who is free with her affections in a way that does not create a favorable impression of her, would totally clash. And clash they do at first, until they both come to see more in each other and that perhaps in each other lies their future, rocky as the road maybe in the journey towards their ultimate destination.
There is an interesting psychology to Cadence, which Ms. Cate reveals layer by layer. The picture that emerges is of a child who never had a mother figure, who held the roles and responsibilities of acting like the adult in the family even when she was merely a child herself, and later on lost her way somewhere in the middle. Her fear of being left alone makes sense when all of that is put together, the resulting effect being someone who is too free with her love and affection when it comes to those unworthy of it. It takes a whole lot of soul searching and pain for Cadence to understand the same and it was a rewarding journey for the reader as well when she finally achieved the insurmountable.
I find that Ms. Cate has a unique way of writing hugely flawed characters that gives reader deeper insight into what they are, which makes for really intriguing reading. It is easier to judge a character at the surface level; Callum being the priest and the person who gave up his whole life to serve God as the righteous one and see Cadence as just the opposite. Almost always, there are reasons behind why we act the way we do. No one is born a sinner, nor are we saints. We are human, and how we are brought up, the psychology of those around us, the values we are instilled with, all of that and more charts the course of our lives for the most part. Deviating from all of that takes courage, and that is what I found in Cadence as her character grew out of what was holding her back in a big way.
Callum is a super sexy hero – no two ways about it. There is of course, the forbidden lure to him, but at the same time it is the way Ms. Cate has created him, giving him that rough edge with an inner core that is gentle at the same time. Callum is a man who chose his path because he believed it was his calling, but when Cadence comes and puts it all into disarray, he is flummoxed and resistant at first, but there is no stopping the heart from wanting what it wants, especially the forbidden fruit.
Callum also has a take charge attitude in bed that leaves the reader wanting more, and I loved every sizzling second of it. When Callum gives in, he does so spectacularly, and I am pretty certain that no reader would have been left unmoved by what he represents at that point.
The epilogue three years down the line clinched the deal for me with this book, to witness Callum and Cadence living their happily ever after, having reached their destination after all that heartache and angst. Callum teaches Cadence that she is worth everything, and Cadence in return understands that their love is worth it. Nothing puts a bigger smile on the reader’s face than that!
Recommended for fans of forbidden romances featuring two protagonists who are the direct opposite of each other. Ms. Cate has outdone herself with this number!
Final Verdict: Beautiful Sinner is one of those books that as a reader you can never get enough of. Callum makes you yearn for your own forbidden romance and Cadence leaves you with the understanding that your deepest flaws could well become your biggest strength!
With my fingers still at the base of her spine, I lean down until my mouth hovers just above her shoulder. Her hands wrap around my body now, and I know she wants more. I can feel her desire radiating off her skin, and I feel terrible that I won’t be able to give her what she wants. But I’m taking this anyway, this one kiss. With my lips parted, I press my mouth against the crook of her neck. She lets out a sweet little gasp, and I pull her body closer. Maybe I want her to feel what she’s doing to me or maybe I just want the friction against my aching hard-on, but either way, I know what I’m doing is fucked-up.
“So you’ll let those assholes fuck you instead? Is that what you want to be, Cadence?” “Unlike you, Callum, I make my own decisions. I say what I do with my body.” “Not anymore,” he snaps as he crashes his mouth against mine. “You can’t,” I manage to gasp out before his tongue is in my mouth, and I become water, dripping through his fingers. I catch a glimpse of the white square at the collar of his neck just before I open myself to him, and my fighting hands turn into passionate grabs for his shirt and skin.
Her head hangs back, her lips open and her eyes clenched shut. Her cheeks are tinged pink, and my God, the sounds she’s making. I could record them and listen to them every second for the rest of my life. It’s exquisite. Too fucking beautiful to feel bad about. “Don’t stop,” she moans, and I pick up speed. I feel like an animal, overcome with lust and greed. The filthy fucking thoughts in my head are anything but righteous.
Slamming my fingers inside her one last time, I grip her tightly and feel her body explode with her orgasm. Every muscle tightens, and her thighs close on my hand, squeezing them in a vice grip as she stops breathing altogether. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful in all my life.
In just a few long strides, he’s standing right in front of me, and I barely have a moment to register anything before his lips are on mine. The kiss is ravenous and desperate. It’s vindication. It’s everything we’ve been hiding and torturing ourselves with for so long. His lips devour me, trailing down to my neck, my shoulder. His moans are hungry and soon they turn into words. “I’m sorry,” he mutters over and over as he worships my body with his mouth.
I feel the head of him against my core, and I hold my breath, my eyes not leaving his. He enters me with a force that makes me gasp and want to scream. Once he’s buried inside of me, we melt together. My legs wrap around him and his spine curls around me, his head buried in my neck. For a moment we stay still, enjoying this first bonding our bodies, like it’s some ancient ritual. He groans into my skin, and I know the Callum that holds back and plays it safe is gone. The Callum I know, the one who takes and commands and doesn’t apologize is about to take over, and my body pulses in anticipation.
He does it again and again, keeping his eyes on me the whole time. I don’t bother keeping it quiet anymore. When he pulls my leg over his shoulder, I almost fall apart. My moans of pleasure vibrate across the walls of this church set to the perfect rhythm of his heavy grunts. His hands grab my hips as he rockets his body against me, building speed and momentum. My back slides against the floor, and he yanks me back, slamming himself even deeper.
My hands grip the bed sheets as I wait for him to take over. I’ve already memorized his rhythm. With a tight hold of my hips, he fucks me hard until I’m practically lifted off the bed and coming with the force. Just as my climax hits, he lifts my body so I’m flush against him and he pinches my clit until I’m splintered in two, undone with ecstasy.
“Come all over my hand,” I whisper in her ear, and her jaw hangs open like she’s fighting for breath. I’m striking hard now, slipping in a second digit as she writhes. My heavy dick grinds against her just as the conversation outside stops. Any moment, someone will round that corner and see me finger banging my young American employee. The secret will be out, and we won’t have to hide anymore. But then again, I know it’s this filthy thing we’re doing that makes her seize up in my hands, biting back her cries as she soaks my hand. I love the way her thighs clench together as she comes, a vice grip on my wrist like she never wants me to pull it away. We’re both high on the forbiddenness of it.
As I stand up, I stare down at her, and I unbutton my pants, dropping them to the floor. With my hands under her legs, I yank her body to the edge of the bed and enter her in one fluid motion. She barely has the chance to come down from her last climax before she’s writhing again. Watching her beautiful body on the bed, her legs wrapped around me, my chest aches. I love her so fucking much it hurts.
Grabbing her hand, I pull her up, and without pulling out, I lift her body in my arms. She has a drunk, ecstasy-laced smile as I carry her to the bathroom counter. With the large mirror behind her, I see myself as I fuck her. For the first time in a long time, the reflection doesn’t repulse me. It feels right.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance Series: Standalone Publisher: Avon Hero: Maximilian Javier Gunner Zamora Heroine: Lola Faith Carlyle Sensuality: 3 Date of Publication: January 01, 2002 Started On: February 6, 2021 Finished On: February 12, 2021
Rachel Gibson is an author who delivers stories that are rife with humor, filled with tons of sexual heat, and love of the kind that leaves a lasting impression on you. It has been a long time since I indulged in a book by Ms. Gibson, and while I have forgotten just exactly how this landed in my TBR pile, I have not forgotten just how much I enjoyed this number and the emotions that coursed through me as I read along.
30 year old Lola Faith Carlyle is in a bit of a fix, with her naked pictures ending up on the internet, thanks to her ex-fiance’ who does so to bail himself out of financial difficulties. An ex-model who graced billboards and the cover of many a magazine, Lola is someone who dealt with severe anorexia at the height of her career. Having started her own mail order lingerie line two years ago, Lola takes a mental-health vacation to flee from the mess that had come out of the publication of her photos.
36 year old Lieutenant Commander Maximilian Javier Gunner Zamora could not be more different from Lola if he tried. Officially listed as retired from US Navy, Max owns a security consulting firm which takes him on missions paid for by the US government in ways that leaves them the luxury of plausible deniability if ever shit were to hit the fan, Max is someone who leads a life on the edge. The latest mission that Max is on goes awry and he is on the run for his life when he encounters none other than Lola, and is forced to take her hostage.
At first, the animosity between Lola and Max reeks from the pages. Max is no fan of delicate women and Lola has an aversion to everything that Max represents. But as these two face off and also work through their differences to make it out alive in one piece, the attraction that simmered below the surface from the get-go bursts forth and there is no stopping the tidal wave of desire that overtakes them both.
Max is wary of the way he reacts to Lola, being someone who hates weakness of any kind, be it towards imbibing in alcohol or women who makes a man lose his mind. But in Lola, for the first time, Max finds someone who might bring him to his knees and reform the adventure seeking soul inside of him that lives for his next mission. Max is a commitment-phobe if ever there was one, while Lola seeks to find someone worthy of investing and giving her all, and Max is definitely not it.
I loved the coming together of Lola and Max. Even through their distrust towards each other at the beginning, the reluctant conversations between the two were revealing of where they were both coming from. I enjoyed this facet of the story rather than Ms. Gibson developing their characters via narrative writing. I also loved the fact that Max tries to polish his language around Lola, just because. Max has an innate need to claim Lola for his own in a way that is all consuming, and that is one of the reasons behind the angst factor in the novel which I adored.
The only reason why this did not earn 5-stars was due to the lack of an epilogue. I loved the fact that Lola was willing to meet Max halfway when it came right down to it. Love often comes with making difficult choices, which may in the short and long run mean living with and loving someone who time and yet again puts their life on the line. Asking a man to give up what they love is just as unfair as a woman being forced to give up on doing what they love, all because their partners cannot handle the total package.
What makes Ms. Gibson’s books such fun is the fact that she writes heroes who are alpha to their very core, a bit chauvinistic, and all male where they are concerned; this makes it extra entertaining when they fall so hard for the woman who changes everything!
Recommended for fans of contemporary romances that makes you laugh and squeal in delight. Ms. Gibson always hits the mark just right!
Final Verdict: Lola Carlyle Reveals All is a highly delightful romance of two opposites who clash and love just as fiercely. There is nothing left to do towards the end, but surrender heart, body, and soul!
“I want to go home, Max.” He stared down into her face and brushed his warm palm up her spine. “I’ll make sure you get home,” he said. Then, for the second time in less than twenty-four hours, he lowered his mouth to hers. “How?” she asked against the soft brush of his lips. “I’ll think of something.” Then he kissed her. This time there was no question of his intent. The firm press of his lips to hers made his intentions perfectly clear. He wasn’t helping her breathe, and he wasn’t asking permission. His finger plowed through the sides of her hair, brushing it back from her face and lifting it from her shoulders. He held her face in his palms, tilted her head back, and took advantage of her parted lips. His tongue swept into her mouth, warm and slick, instantly possessive and consuming.
The yacht rode the waves of the ocean, pitching the deck starboard before righting once again. Max spread his feet wide and let the natural rise and fall of the yacht grind his hard penis against her. The erotic rhythm drew a deep groan from his chest and left her aching for more. He slid his moist mouth to the side of her throat, and Lola leaned her head to one side to give him better access. The tip of his tongue touched her ear, then he whispered her name, a warm caress filled with rough longing.
“Do you want to know what I thought about you that first night?” “Honey, I think that flare gun pointed at my chest said it all.” He wrapped his hand around her lower calf and tugged. Before she knew how it happened, she was on her back and he was over her, his hands planted on the ground on each side of her head. “And despite you having tried to kill me, I want you more than I’ve ever wanted any other woman.” He lowered his face to hers. “But I think you know that,” he said right before he kissed her.
The languid kiss seduced and teased until her every thought narrowed and focused on the liquid warmth of his mouth. Heat flushed her breasts and stomach and pooled between her thighs. She ran her hand up the taut flesh of his arms, over his shoulder, to the side of his neck. She slipped her fingers through his short fine hair and he groaned into her mouth. Max pulled back from the kiss and looked up into her face. His harsh breath caressed her cheek as his blue eyes burned into her. The way Max stared at her, all dark intensity, made her feel beautiful and desired and alive with anticipation.
He sucked in his breath. “You’re not a screamer, are you?” Not tonight she wasn’t. “I’ll control myself.” That seemed to be what he needed to hear, and he cupped her between her legs. “Jesus,” he groaned, “you’re already wet.” His fingers slid beneath the crotch of her panties, and he parted and touched her slick flesh. She whispered his name, then turned her face into his shoulder. The tips of his fingers brushed her where she was most sensitive, and she bit the hard muscle at the top of his arm. “Lola.” “Hmm?” She kissed the spot she’d bitten. “Nothing. Just Lola.” With each stroke of his fingers, he fed her intense desire and shut out everything but her need to feel him inside of her.
With unsteady hands, she brought his face to hers. Their gazes met and held as he began his entry. He pushed the broad head of his hot penis inside of her, then his hips rocked back and forth. A slow and easy rhythm, giving her time to stretch and adjust before he grasped her thighs, and with one final thrust, he buried himself fully. Lola gasped and grabbed hold of his shoulders. He filled her completely, the heat of him burning her up inside. A moan she could not control poured from her throat and she wrapped one leg around his waist. Max sucked in a breath and held it. Beneath her hands his muscles had turned to stone. “Lola,” he whispered against her cheek. “God, you feel incredible. So hot.” He pulled halfway out, then lunged forward. “So good.”
“Lola, open your eyes and look at me.” She managed his request, but barely. Her whole world was focused on where his body joined hers and the intense rush of sensation that had taken over and was forcing her to meet each plunge of his hips. “I want you to look at me. I want to see your eyes when I make you come,” he said, then he got his wish as the first wave of orgasm took hold and pulled her into its fury. Her body arched and she clung to him as his body drove her into the vortex of hot, mind-numbing pleasure. She opened her mouth, and he kissed her, swallowing her long moan, taking everything she had, then demanding more.
He took her jaw between his fingers, tilted her face up, and lowered his mouth to hers. He pressed kiss upon hot kiss on her lips, then his moist tongue invaded her mouth and spread fire through her blood and warmed the pit of her stomach. She combed her fingers through the sides of his hair and held the back of his head. Standing within the partially refurbished parlor of his home, Lola felt the instant he lost control. The kiss turned hotter, wetter, feeding. He kissed her as if she alone were responsible for the breath in his lungs.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Historical Thriller Series: Sebastian St. Cyr, #1 Publisher: NAL Hero: Sebastian Alistair St. Cyr Heroine: Kat Boleyn Sensuality: 3 Date of Publication: October 03, 2006 Started On: January 31, 2021 Finished On: February 01, 2021
What Angels Fear by C.S. Harris is the debut book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. Having read Ms. Harris’ books under the name Candice Proctor prior to this, and seeing the rave reviews that her historical thrillers were receiving, I decided to give this a go and immerse myself in the remarkable storytelling that I knew Ms. Harris would certainly deliver.
The story begins with 18 year old Rachel York murdered inside a church, mutilated, and sexually molested with a significant clue pointing to none other than 28 year old Sebastian Alistair St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, the only remaining son of Alistair St. Cyr, the Fifth Earl of Hendon.
With England at the cusp of political change, the atmosphere rife with discontentment of a disgruntled populace, it is Sir Henry Lovejoy, chief magistrate for Westminster at Queen Square that is tasked with bringing Sebastian to account and close the case as soon as possible. However, Sebastian does not make it easy for Sir Henry, by going underground and setting out with his own investigation in order to clear his name.
With Sebastian’s experience from the five years he spent in the military intelligence, equipped with an acute sense of hearing and sight which serves him well, Sebastian’s journey takes him to none other than Kat Boleyn, the woman whose rejection had been responsible for his stint in the Napoleonic Wars. With the assistance from Kat and a scrappy few individuals that he can rely on, Sebastian digs deep into the murder which reeks of sadism and the escalating hunger of the perpetrator whose aura of violence reeks of darkness that has been festering for a long time.
I loved my first taste of Ms. Harris’ writing, which I undoubtedly had absolute faith in even before I turned the first page. The attention to detail, the darkness within, the tight plot – all of that and more contributed towards making this an excellent read. Sebastian and Kat’s relationship was another intriguing factor in the novel, with Sebastian learning that everything may not have been what it had seemed to be years ago.
Sebastian is definitely the kind of hero I want to know more about and I will be continuing with this series in the time to come.
Recommended for those who love historical thrillers. This debut novel in the Sebastian St. Cyr speaks for itself.
Final Verdict: With What Angels Fear, Ms. Harris sets the stage for a series that is sure to win the hearts of readers across the globe who love an enthralling thriller that is utterly absorbing!
Fevered hands tore away cloth, found the pleasures of smooth warm flesh beneath sliding fingers. And in that moment, he didn’t care about the nature of her association with Leo Pierrepont. He didn’t even care about the things she had said on that dark day six years before. He needed her. With a soft sigh, Sebastian buried himself inside her. They moved as one, slowly at first, the tempo rising as he felt the coldness and the fear inside him fade away into the gentle rhythms of her body and the warmth of her keening breath mingling with his.
The night around them lay quiet and dark, filled only with the ragged twining of their breath and the crackle of the fire on Kat’s bedroom hearth. Hands trembling, she clutched Sebastian’s tensing body to her, her legs tightening around his waist as she felt the shudders start to rip through him, heard him say her name in a tortured cry, felt his body pulsing so deep within her own.