Short & Sweet Review: Tempted by Janelle Denison

Format: E-booktempted
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Blaze #35
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Marc Jamison
Heroine: Brooke Jamison
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: September 1, 2000
Started On: October 20, 2010
Finished On: October 22, 2010

As I finished the last chapter of Tempted by Janelle Denison, my first book by the author, I can still feel the tingles running up and down my body from the wicked and sensuous ride Ms. Denison has taken me on. I am very intrigued about going through the blacklist of Ms. Denison to find out whether all her books are as wickedly sinful as this one!

Storyline: This is the story of Brooke Jamison who just recently got divorced from Eric Jamison, her husband of two years, who unexpectedly finds forbidden frissons of desire exploding within her at the merest touch of her ex-brother-in-law Marc Jamison. Story kicks off when during the celebration of the 35th wedding anniversary of Douglas and Kathleen Jamison, Brooke’s in-laws, a chaste kiss between Marc and Brooke explodes into something more – something that brings out the wild and wanton side of Brooke that she doesn’t even know exists. *Fans self at the thought of that kiss! Whew!!*

The First Meet: There is no mention of how Brooke and Marc first meet, but working under the assumption that Marc is Brooke’s ex-brother-in-law, they most probably must have met each other when Eric had brought her to meet his family.

Time period: This romance has a contemporary setting.

Awareness between the two characters: I don’t think that Marc and Brooke could have been more aware of one another even if they had tried. There are hints within the story that Marc had always envied his brother for finding Brooke to share his life. But the true awakening of the senses begin with that one kiss that turns so hot that everything else just obliterates into nothing around them.

How the relationship grows: Marc and Brooke had always had a comfortable relationship with one another, had in fact being friends when Brooke had been married to Eric. But with that one kiss that propels everything out of control, Brooke who has always been the steady and dependable sort finds herself in a state of panic over losing herself once more over a Jamison. Marc lets her run away from him though he is intrigued on more than one level to find out whether the hint of explosive passion between them could be explored further. A man who believes himself incapable of being faithful in a committed relationship due to his one blunder when he had been a senior in college, Marc is a man who is of the love em’ and leave em’ kind. Three months after Brooke runs off from Marc, these two are stranded together in a snowstorm in a cabin with nothing to do but give into the emotions warring between them as a wild storm rages on outside. It is at this cabin that Brooke lets go of her restraints, learns of the sensual creature that exists inside of her and understands the complex man that Marc is, enough to fall in love with a Jamison, the second time round.

The turning point: The utmost turning point in the story was the first sizzling kiss between Marc and Brooke that begged to be explored further. Their relationship turns into something which cannot be undone when both Marc and Brooke give into this explosive desire between each other which eventually grows into something much more than either of them had bargained for.

Likes: Mmmm… I loved the world of sensual exploration in this story. I have to say that at times I felt like I was reading a novel of the Erotica genre as encounters between Marc and Brooke were frequent and searingly HOT! I loved the fact that Brooke and Marc communicated openly with one another rather than just settle into a vortex of misunderstanding which would have dragged on their problems. I liked the fact that both Brooke and Marc changed for the better during their short and sizzling affair though Ms. Denison doesn’t provide overnight solutions to their problems.

Dislikes: Absolutely none!

Recommended for: Harlequin Blaze line lovers. Though this book was published on the year 2000, this is a lip-smacking good read that should not be missed.

Favorite Quotes

Too soon he pulled back, and she lifted up on her feet to place a chaste kiss on his cheek – the same time he turned his head. Their lips met, momentarily startling them both. Over the past four years she’d shared many platonic kisses with her flirtatious brother-in-law, and this one started as innocently as any, his mouth brushing hers lightly … except somewhere along the way the tenor of the kiss changed, for both of them.
This time his lips lingered a little longer, and his mouth gradually, instinctively, exerted a gentle pressure that surpassed those chaste kisses they’d shared in the past. To her shock, a soft, unexpected moan of pleasure tickled her throat and his tongue stroked along her bottom lip in tentative exploration.
Her mind spun, her senses reeled, and she struggled to keep her perspective on the situation. Desires and denials crashed, confusing her. Nerve endings that had lain dormant for too long sizzled and came alive. And then she did something incredibly shameless – she touched her tongue to his.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble



Review: Yule Be Mine by Jennifer LaBrecque

Format: E-bookyule
Read with: Adobe Reader & Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Forbidden Fantasies, #11
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Sam Kendrick
Heroine: Giselle Simone Randolph
Sensuality: 2.9
Date of Publication: November 22, 2008
Started On: September 22, 2010
Finished On: September 22, 2010

My first book by Jennifer LaBrecque started out pretty good and somehow lost its luster towards the end. The setting of the story is certainly a unique one, quite appropriate in fact for a series entitled as Forbidden Fantasies.

Giselle Randolph meets her younger sister Helene’s husband Sam Kendrick on the Christmas Eve after they both eloped and got married in Las Vegas which was preceded by a courtship of 6 whirlwind weeks upon meeting one another at a resort in the Caymans. In the Randolph family, Helene has always been the beautiful one, the one to whom the male species seemed to be endlessly drawn to whilst Giselle took after her father’s side of the family and had always been the responsible and the studious one.

Sam, a professional photographer now, had grown up as a bastard child with a single mother in public housing and had always had a need a to prove himself by always having the best. When he had encountered beautiful Helene at the resort whilst shooting for a brochure as a favor for a friend, Helene whose beauty had drawn everyone’s eyes around her had made her seem like the ideal wife material for Sam, that is until he walks into a kitchen filled with homely Christmas smells and encounters Giselle with her long brown hair and freckled nose with a bit of flour on her face looking like the hottest mess that Sam had ever encountered.

Giselle cannot believe herself when she responds on such a base level to her younger sister’s husband. The flare of attraction that leaps between the two is undeniable from the start and though both try to ignore the fact somehow Sam cannot help thinking that he ended up marrying the wrong sister just two days after his honeymoon.

The story takes off again, two years later, nearly a week before Christmas Eve with Giselle working for the Life Trendz Magazine and busily preparing for her assignment in Sedona where a new age guru was claiming that on the third day after the winter solstice there was an incredible spike at the energy vortexes in Sedona which helped people fall in love. Giselle had one ulterior motive apart from getting a good story for the magazine; to once and for all get over Sam Kendrick by finding someone else to share her life with the help of the energy vortexes, if that is what it took.

Everyone else thought that Giselle wanted to get over her recent divorce from Barry Treadway, who had been Giselle’s escape route from the intense and forbidden attraction that had played havoc with her hormones and feelings for her sister’s husband. But Sam and Helene’s marriage had lasted only 8 months before Sam had strayed and Helene was now happily married to Danny, a college buddy of Sam’s. The Randolphs were pretty much in line with the opinion that Sam was scum for the way he had treated Helene, though Giselle’s treacherous heart still longed for him.

When Giselle lets Dareen, her friend and photographer at the magazine know about her feelings for Sam during a moment of drunken oblivion, Darren contrives to bring these two together and backs out of the assignment to Sedona which Giselle and himself were to go together. Instead the object of every erotic fantasy Giselle has had for the past two years is to accompany her on the trip, a trip which she had started out with the very intention of forgetting the man who was to be her companion.

Sam wants a chance to test whether the connection that he was sure that they both had felt two years ago was worth something looking into. The flare of reluctant desire in Giselle’s eyes proves to him that she is not as immune to Sam as she would like to be, though the shady truth about how his marriage to Helene ended keeps Giselle at a distance that Sam would like to eradicate once and for all.

With a little magic in a place filled with all the right kinds of energy, Sam and Giselle finally give into the red hot desire that they had felt for one another right from the start. An amulet which tunes Sam into Giselle’s every erotic fantasy certainly helps him along in his intention to be Giselle’s love slave for the trip. And suddenly both Sam and Giselle know that they both want more than just three days together, but rather a lifetime of happiness with one another, but Giselle has to overcome her insecurities and fears about her relationship with Helene’s ex-husband before that is possible.

As I said earlier, this book did start out with a bang and in the end, the heat and steam just wasn’t enough for me. I expected more fireworks from two people who have had a longing and desire for one another for such a long time, and forbidden desires at that. With a little more heat between the two, this could have been a great read. So in the end, it was a disappointed me who finished the story, but all in all not a bad read.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo



Review: Hot Island Nights by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-bookMSRCover
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Mobipocket Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Blaze, #566
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Nathan Jones
Heroine: Elizabeth Jane Mason
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 1, 2010
Started On: September 7, 2010
Finished On: September 7, 2010

What I adore most about novels by Sarah Mayberry is the fact that her books offer more than just a fabulous roll in the bed which the Blaze line of books are famous for. Her books open up a world of possibilities with in depth character development and there is always a story begging to be told from start to finish. This book is no exception to that fact. When one reads the back cover of the book, he or she might be lulled into thinking that this is just your average good girl gone bad story. But it offers so much more and I loved every bit of reading Nathan and Elizabeth’s story maybe as much as or more than Ms. Mayberry must have loved writing their story.

Elizabeth Jane Mason was on the verge of tying the knot with her fiance’ Martin St. Clair within 8 weeks, whom she had been with for the past 6 years. Amidst bouts of panic and  questioning herself on whether she was doing the right thing, Elizabeth was a mess which she attributed towards prewedding jitters. She had always felt that there was something missing in her relationship with Martin who worked for her grandfather at his prestigious law firm. Elizabeth had been brought up by her grandparents when her parents had been killed in a light plane accident 23 years back. Elizabeth had always been the good girl, never giving a reason for her grandparents to worry over, always giving up what she had wanted in life in favor of what her grandparents thought was what she wanted and needed.

All the tension and unease Elizabeth is feeling comes to head when she receives the shocking revelation that John Alexander Mason whom she had always known to be her father was in reality her stepfather. Her actual father was a man named Sam Blackwell of whom she had known nothing about, until she had requested for a copy of her birth certificate to be mailed over so that Martin could apply for their marriage license. The final straw is realizing that even Martin had known about it when her grandfather had taken him into his confidence right after Martin had proposed to Elizabeth. Feeling immensely betrayed by the fact that her family and her fiance had made choices for her that they had no right making, Elizabeth calls off the wedding and heads off to find her real father and to find herself whilst she is at it.

Four days later, Elizabeth arrives in Phillip Island in Victoria Australia, Sam Blackwell’s last known place of residence. When she knocks on the door, the man who opens up the door wearing nothing but a threadbare towel and looking like he had just got out of bed with bloodshot eyes, he literally takes Elizabeth’s breath away with his superb body on display.

Nathan Jones (Nate), is a man who is haunted by memories too painful even to contemplate. Drinking from noon to night till he achieves the perfect balance to embrace the oblivion offered by sleep until the next day, surfing and walking the beach around the island and hooking up with an available woman a night or two is how Nathan prefers to live at the moment. A horrible accident that had taken the life of Olivia his sister whom he had loved more than anything in his life had left him with scars on the inside rather than the outside. Giving up all management rights of Smartsell, the business he and his lifelong friend Jarvie Roberts had built from the ground up so that he could take each day as it arrives, Nathan doesn’t envision his life changing the pattern it had taken since the night that irrevocably changed his life 6 months ago.

When Nathan opens up his door to eye the beautiful woman who stands on his doorstep and finds out that she is looking for his buddy Sam, all Nathan offers Elizabeth (Lizzy as he calls her), is that he would let Sam know that she had come looking for him. Elizabeth is more than infuriated at the gall of the man and his disinclination to help her even when she professed to being the daughter that Sam had never even met. Resigned to the fact that she would have to wait around since Nathan had informed her that Sam was gone for the moment to participate in the Sydney to Hobart yatch race and would only return during new year which was nearly a month away, Elizabeth returns to her hotel and tries to make the best of her stay and loose her inhibitions a bit.

When the sleep that Elizabeth had been craving for after the long journey eludes her, with thoughts of Nathan and his beautiful body crowding into her mind unwittingly which annoys her to no end, Elizabeth decides to go downstairs and check out the beer bar which was full of people as night was settling in. It is there Elizabeth encounters Nate again, whom she can’t help but follow around with her eyes. The red hot attraction that blazes to surface seems to be mutual on both ends, and Elizabeth who has never done an improper thing in her life has wild mind blowing sex with Nathan on the beach before the night is through.

What starts out as an island fling with the only man who had the ability to rock her world slowly turns into something more as the days pass. Elizabeth’s first impression of Nate as a carefree beach bum slowly changes as she realizes the depth of intelligence that he keeps well hidden behind the facade that Nate puts up. Nate in turn faces the fact that Elizabeth and the time he spends in her company is more effective in keeping  those dark memories and dreams at bay than any alcoholic beverage. And though Nathan has nothing more to offer a woman than a fabulous time in bed, he finds himself seeking out Elizabeth and what her delectable body offers him. In true Blaze style Ms. Mayberry knocked my socks off with the sizzling steam these two generate.

When finally Sam makes contact with Nathan and Elizabeth gets to talk with her father, she knows from the unenthusiastic response that she receives that she is a complication that Sam wants to do without at  the moment. The hurt and dejection that settles on Elizabeth’s shoulders somehow reaches out to Nathan who doesn’t want to rescue any damsels in distress. Nathan offers to take Elizabeth sailing and in the end comforts her by conveying to her that Sam was a rather reclusive man who loved nothing more than sailing the vast oceans.

When Nathan starts to feel things are getting too serious betwee him and Elizabeth he decides to call things off, but in the end the powerful effect of the trauma that Nathan faces every day since the accident propels him to seek Elizabeth’s company. Elizabeth knows that even though they had spent just 5 days with one another give or take a few hours, she had found something she had craved all her life with Nathan and refuses to give up on him no matter how hard Nathan tries to push her away.

Slowly Nathan starts to heal though the guilt he stores deep inside him for surviving the accident and being unable to help his sister fills him with self loathing and anger. Ms. Mayberry doesn’t offer any quick solutions to Nathan’s problems which made this book a winner for me. When tragedy nearly rips the woman he loves from his arms, Nathan once again tries to close himself off of the possibility of being happy and loved and it is Elizabeth’s stubbornness that saves them in the end.

I definitely loved the epilogue which portrays their lives six months after, with Nathan slowly healing and mending with an unwavering Elizabeth by his side. The story ends off with the tale of Martin and Violet, Elizabeth’s best friend who had loathed each other and have got together begging to be told. But I guess it’s too much to hope for their own story even though I would love it if it were to be told. Kudos to Ms. Mayberry for weaving the magic she so effortlessly creates with her characters whom you can’t help but fall in love with before the story is through.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Harlequin



Review: Sex, Straight Up by Kathleen O’Reilly

Format: E-bookssu
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Those Sexy O’Sullivans, Book 2
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Daniel O’Sullivan
Heroine: Catherine Montefiore
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: June 1, 2008
Started On: August 5, 2010
Finished On: August 7, 2010

I read this book upon coming across this title in a discussion forum on Amazon. If I hadn’t come across this title in such a manner, most probably I wouldn’t have given this book a second glance because the cover as well as its synopsis doesn’t do justice to what a great story this book really is. I guess the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” holds true for this title. Not that the book doesn’t have enough sensuality and passion to make your toes curl, but the story that unfolds when you start reading is a lot more than just sex and what goes behind closed doors, but rather how someone who has promised himself that he would stay faithful to the memory of his dead wife for seven long years, finds out that love can happen not only once in your life, but twice.

Daniel’s wife Michelle was killed in the September 11 attacks. An auditor/accountant by profession, Daniel likes his life to be ordered and balanced as the spreadsheets that he works with. The ring that he still wears on his left hand is a testament to his need to stay faithful to the memory of the one woman who was definitely made for him. Seven years on, his brothers Gabe and Sean are tired of the fact that Daniel always seems so haunted with an air of desolate sadness that always hangs around him. And so they together with Gabe’s girlfriend Tessa badger Daniel until he agrees to go to the Hamptons during the weekend to a retreat with a bunch of lawyer friends of Sean.

Catherine Montefiore works in the Montefiore auction house for her grandfather. A little on the curvy side with a talent for drawing which she keeps hidden from her mother and those close to her, Catherine comes across a hunk of a man sitting quietly on the beach of her grandfather’s beach house in the Hamptons. From the moment Catherine lays eyes on Daniel, she knows that he is a man who hides behind a wealth of sorrow that seems to linger all around him. And when Daniel strikes up a conversation with Catherine, Daniel is surprised to find how easy it is to be with the quiet and unassuming woman who all of a sudden seems to be calling to his baser nature.

Before the weekend is through, Daniel and Catherine end up having great sex, which they both know have no chance of growing into something further. And when Catherine sees Daniel put back his wedding ring on, she jumps to the worst conclusions and beats herself up about having the most fabulous sex of her life with a married man.

It is when trouble crops up at the Montefiore Auction House over a matter of price fixing with another competitive auctioneer, a crime which seems to be pointing towards Catherine’s beloved grandfather that Daniel’s firm is called in to audit and find out what has been going on. When Daniel and Catherine meet again, Daniel knows that he needs to come clean with Catherine about his dead wife, if for no reason other than the fact that he wants all Catherine has to give, even if he is not ready to let the memory of his dead wife go.

Catherine at first refuses to start an affair in which she knows she would end up getting hurt by falling in love with a man who has nothing left to give, but then again the temptation that Daniel provides is so hard to say no to as well. Once Catherine decides to live a little and go headlong into the affair with eyes wide open, Daniel starts to heal little by little and being happy becomes easier as time passes.

This was a wonderful story, definitely worth your time. Kathleen O’Reilly has done a splendid job with the character development that makes this Blaze an unforgettable one. And oh my! I didn’t know that auditors/accountants could be so HOT!!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo



Review: Indecent Suggestion by Elizabeth Bevarly

Format: E-bookin
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Blaze, #189
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Turner McCloud
Heroine: Becca Mercer
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: July 1, 2005
Started On: July 26, 2010
Finished On: July 27, 2010

Indecent Suggestion is a book that I have been eying ever since I discovered my love for the theme where best of friends turn into lovers. So finally when the e-format was published I managed to get myself a copy and sink into the story that I had been waiting for so long.

Turner and Becca have been friends since childhood and they had managed to stay together and go so far as to work for the same company and work as a team to land advertising projects for their company. One vice of theirs ever since they became teenagers had been their desire for smoking. The opening chapter of the book had me wondering whether the hero and heroine were already going at it even at the start of the book, but I later realized that the chapter was all about their mutual craving for a cigarette.

Thus, it is this mutual craving that they cannot seem to let go of that lands Becca and Turner at a hypnotherapists place upon Turner losing a bet that he could go without lighting a cigarette for 24 hours; a bet Turner loses at the last minute because he doesn’t want to give into the intense craving he has had for his best friend ever since they were teenagers, a fact that he had become adapt at hiding from Becca all too well.

The hypnotherapist, thinking that Becca and Turner are the married couple who have been having problems consummating their marriage puts them under and suggests to them a codeword when heard would drive the couple into a frenzy to have uninhibited sex with one another.

Though Becca and Turner had at moments in time succumbed to light petting sessions back in college and one night after an office Christmas party, Becca had always halted things before they got out of hand, out of the fear that sex would drastically alter their friendship and inevitably destroy what they had between one another.

So it takes Becca completely by surprise when she suddenly starts having cravings to get horizontal with Turner at the oddest moments. Though Turner cannot believe his good fortune when Becca comes onto him at the most inconvenient times imaginable, Turner resists giving into what his body has been clamoring for all his life.

But with like a fire set ablaze, this one burns out of control and its not long before Becca and Turner are having the time of their lives burning up the sheets. And throughout the weeks that follow, Becca comes to realize that it had been foolish of her to have kept Turner at bay for so long and she comes to realize that she might actually be in love with Turner and may have been in love with Turner all this time.

But things turn a bit confusing for Becca and Turner when they realize what the hypnotherapy session has really accomplished and it is up to Becca to convince Turner that what she feels for him is as real as the sun that rises from the East every day and that her love for him would continue to thrive for as long as they live.

I found it tedious at times to read through the numerous detailed sex scenes in the story cos I felt that the character development did not really take place along with the intense love scenes described very well by the author. If the character development had been done a bit more, I would have loved this story and it most probably would have ended up in my re-read pile.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo



Review: Can’t Get Enough by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-bookcgeno
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Blaze, #221
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Jack Brook
Heroine: Claire Marsden
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication:  October 1, 2005
Started On: July 24, 2010
Finished On: July 26, 2010

This book was out of print when I first discovered Sarah Mayberry’s writing style and I guess this was the first book that I had shipped to Male’ because the e-format of the book wasn’t out then and I couldn’t seem to dissuade myself from forgetting about getting my hands on the book. I went as far as even emailing the author in hopes of finding out whether the e-format would be available anytime soon to which she replied that it was up to the publisher to decide when and if they would release the book in e-format.

So when I stumbled upon this book in one of the book shelves at home, I decided to go ahead and re-read this (as if I don’t have plenty of books already on the to-be-read pile) and I have to say I enjoyed the book immensely even the second time round.

Claire Marsden and Jack Brook work for the same company and right from the very first moment that Claire lays eyes on the handsome, charming and devilish Jack, her lips form a perpetual straight line of disapproval. His whole effortless charm and the way the female population tend to swoon around him grates on every nerve that Claire has and it gives her a great jolt of pleasure every time that she gives him the icy cold shoulder wherever and whenever she encounters Jack.

Jack for the world of him couldn’t understand why Claire gave off the dislike vibe so much when around him. Jack sees Claire as someone who is so uptight that he mentally imagines her as someone who would likely iron her underwear. And the tight little frown that she always has whenever their eyes meet makes Jack wonder whether the woman was born with a set of lips. Jack thinks Claire could use with some loosening up and Claire thinks Jack could use with someone bringing him down a peg or two from the high horse he is on.

But things change drastically when these two are stuck in a sweltering elevator for hours. Suddenly Claire notices that Jack is not at all what she imagined him to be and that what her best friend had talked to her hours before about Jack being pretty good in the bedroom department keeps flitting through Claire’s mind. Jack is thrown for a loop when he realizes that Claire is actually HOT and that he is panting like a dog in heat when Claire strips down to her bra and skirt to escape the stifling heat. Before they know it, Claire and Jack have the best sex of their lives and right after gets rescued.

Jack, who is frighteningly commitment phobic knows that Claire is not the sort of woman who would opt for a casual role in the hay but would want more than he is prepared to give. Claire who was brought up by her father, had for all of her life tried to win his attention by trying to be the best in everything as she possibly could. Starved for affection and love, Claire can’t help but want Jack to show her that what she experienced in the elevator with him is not a one time thing but the forever kind of thing.

Jack wants to avoid Claire at all costs but the fact that they are forced to work together on a project does not help matters along. Jack wants nothing more than to strip Claire of her boxy suites and bury himself in her hot little figure and lose himself in the red hot sensations that Claire evokes. Its a battle of the wills with these two right from the start which makes this book one hell of a read.

If you want to read a romance with witty dialogues between the characters with enough sexual tension to blow you away, this is the book for you. Highly recommended for those who love the Harlequin Blaze line.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo



Review: My Fake Fiancee by Nancy Warren

Format: E-bookMSRCover
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Blaze, #553
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: David Wolfe
Heroine: Chelsea Hammond
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 1, 2010
Started On: July 20, 2010
Finished On: July 21, 2010

This is one of the best Harlequin Blaze books I have read recently. Nancy Warren does a superb job of character development and keeps up the sizzling sexual tension between the characters that made this book a gem to sink into. And what clinched the deal was the fact that instead of one happily ever after, we get to read about two happily ever afters, both stories adding to the charm of this book.

David Wolfe, is an insurance broker who finds himself in a bit of a fix when the vice president position at the firm where he works is up for grabs – for those who have a significant other by their side. Thus, thinking it harmless, David starts mentioning of his non-existent fiance around the firm and before he knows it, the board of directors at his firm wants to meet this fiance of his that they have been hearing about. David knows that the fluffy dolls he dates is not the wifely material that the firm is looking for. But David is loathe of anything to do with commitment ever since the woman he was engaged to left him to be with her old boyfriend and thus decides to put his mind to finding the perfect woman who could pretend to be his fiance until the position of vice presidency is his to claim.

Sarah Wolfe, David’s younger sister is as driven as David, but a divorce lawyer. Sarah has been best friends with Chelsea Hammond since Chelsea moved into the neighboring home when they were teenagers. From the moment Chelsea had laid her eyes on David, there had been room for no other in her heart. Though David barely noticed her back then and life had taken both of them in different directions, Chelsea always remembers the vivid crush that she had on David with fondness. Now back home after spending time in Paris at the Le Cordon Bleu, Chelsea had always wanted her own catering business but the lack of capital is preventing her from starting out on her own. Salvation comes in the form of Sarah’s neat plan to throw in Chelsea to act as a doting fiance for David. Chelsea in turn gets to reside in David’s beautiful home and make use of the fabulous kitchen which David has no time for.

David can’t believe his eyes when the sexy alluring woman who catches his eye whilst waiting for Chelsea to turn up for the dinner is actually Chelsea herself. And when a kiss of chance explodes white hot desire within David for Chelsea, he is all in for starting a wildly satisfying affair with his fake fiance. But Chelsea has other plans knowing that she wouldn’t survive with her heart intact if she gives into the desire that courses through her whenever David is around. But before long Chelsea succumbs to David’s searing touch and kisses, and what Chelsea thought and planned to be a one time thing barely scratches the itch she has for David.

The ever commitment phobic David doesn’t know what hits him when he starts wanting the domesticity that Chelsea effortlessly wields in his home. Thinking that succumbing to his heart’s wants and desires would prove to be dangerous, David does all that is in his power to push Chelsea away emotionally though he craves to be with her with a burning intensity that leaves him breathless.

On the other end, the driven and focused Sarah finds herself exchanging e-mails with a man whom she has never met before and finds herself getting intrigued at the thought of meeting him up and seeing where things could lead. Mike, a yoga instructor and someone who walks through life only at the pace that is suitable for him couldn’t be any more different from Sarah. Mike is tired of all the relationships that he has had with women that had revolved more or less around only on sex. What Mike is looking for is something a bit more permanent and at first Sarah is doubtful whether she is ready for what Mike has to offer. But as things proceed, Sarah finds out that Mike’s brand of slow loving is what she really needs.

David and Chelsea’s happily ever after doesn’t come that easily. David has to exorcise his phobias and open himself up to all the feelings that reside within him for the woman who brings all the color and taste into otherwise his bland life before a true happy ending can be achieved.

I loved both the stories, especially the character development, the sizzling tension between the characters and the tastefully done love scenes that contributed towards the storyline rather than taking the reader’s focus away from it. If all novels by Ms. Warren are as tastefully done as this one, which I am going to check out, I would no doubt be a top fan of Ms. Warren.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo



Review: The Soldier by Rhonda Nelson

Format: E-book
Read with:  Amazon Kindle & Mobipocket Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Uniformly Hot!, Book 7
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Adam McPherson
Heroine: Winnie Cuthbert
Sensuality: 2.5
Date of Publication: June 27, 2009
Started On: June 29, 2010
Finished On: June 29, 2010

Adam and Winnie’s story actually starts in the novel Letters from Home which I reviewed earlier. Adam is the younger brother of Levi, the hero from Letters from Home and best friend of Natalie, now Levi’s husband. Winnie stars as the other best friend of Natalie and the she is one in whom Natalie confided all her deepest and darkest desires about Levi when she thought Levi was well beyond her reach.

As usual with small towns, Adam and Winnie too had grown up together. Winnie is quite athletic, a bit on the tomboyish side but the pastries and cakes that she makes seem to be little pieces of heaven. Adam was serving a tour in Iraq when a roadside bomb had torn apart his leg. Now back home recuperating from his injury and wanting nothing more than getting well enough to return back to life the only way he knew it, Winnie is a temptation that Adam thought he could resist.

Though Adam had never been interested in Winnie though it was a public secret in their hometown that Winnie had carried a torch for him like since forever, Adam is hit hard by the intense feelings Winnie ignites in him right before he was to leave for his tour. But knowing that Winnie was someone who was grounded in her hometown and happy there and himself, a man who would always belong to the military makes him shy away from taking things any further.

However, once Winnie realizes that Adam is not as immune to her as he would like to be, she takes matters into her own hands so to speak and before long, even with all the reservations Adam has, he and Winnie are heating up the sheets. However duty comes calling and though Adam knows that he would now never be the same after getting a glimpse of how fulfilling life would be with Winnie makes him have second thoughts.

This time round, maybe cos I didn’t have such high expectations, this story I guess made for a pretty okay read, but considering it is from the Blaze line which is all about the sizzle and smoking hot passion, this novel too fell short. And I just can’t get over how the book cover doesn’t depict the smoking hot hero as described in the book which is a total letdown in itself. Yes, I do place importance on book covers as well.

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Review: Letters from Home by Rhonda Nelson

Format: E-book
Read with:  Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Uniformly Hot!, Book 6
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Levi McPherson
Heroine: Natalie Rowland
Sensuality: 2.5
Date of Publication: May 27, 2009
Started On: June 28, 2009
Finished On: June 28, 2009

Rhonda Nelson has been one of my authors to look out for in the Harlequin Blaze line. Her book The Specialist which I read sometime ago, which sports one of the hottest heroes on the cover, had me interested in her style of writing which is not hard to love. And the first title in this multi-author series titled A Few Good Men by Tori Carrington  which was a collection of short stories that were pretty hot as is the norm with novels by Tori Carrington, I found my interest piqued after reading the synopsis of this book which sported the storyline of an army ranger receiving letters filled with x-rated fantasies from a lady X and his intention of finding out who the woman with the ability to fire up all his juices were.

The story is told from the viewpoint of the hero as as well as the heroine as is the norm with most of the romances of today. Each chapter starts with a snippet of a letter that had been written by Natalie who starts to pen down her wildest fantasies about Levi whom she had fallen in love with so long ago, but never had the courage to do anything about it because there had been no sign of any interest in Natalie from Levi’s side.

To Natalie’s surprise and much happiness, Levi responds to her letters and a relationship forms between the two. Levi has no idea that the woman who plays a leading role in all his X-rated fantasies of late is none other than the best friend of his younger brother Adam.

Opportunity strikes for Levi to find out who lady X is once and for all when Adam gets injured on tour, (whose story I am very much interested in, I would say even more so than Levi and Natalie’s story from the glimpses I got into Adam and Winnie’s (Natalie’s best friend) interactions in this novel itself) and Levi gets a week off to come back home and visit his recuperating brother.

I found myself strangely dissatisfied with the pace of the book. I thought that the story developed too slowly for a book of the Blaze line and the heat that I was expecting between the Natalie and Levi just never realized. From the letters that started off this novel I was pretty much expecting great chemistry between Natalie and Levi and I just ended up disappointing myself.

Although the storyline is not half bad, this one just didn’t do it for me. I will give Winnie and Adam’s story a try though, because theirs COULD be a great story too. I hope Rhonda Nelson who has got the talent to make a story really good, has done a better job with their story than with Levi and  Natalie’s story which could have been more intense and thus made for a better story all around.

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Review: Anything For You by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-bookAnything For You
Read with: Amazon Kindle

Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Blaze, #278
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Sam Kirk
Heroine: Delaney Michaels
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: October 1, 2007
Started On: March 28, 2010
Finished On: March 29, 2010

This is my all time favorite book from Ms. Mayberry and this is my first read as well as the book that got me hooked onto Ms. Mayberry’s style. After reading through all sorts of books by Ms. Mayberry this past week, I just couldn’t help myself but revisit the story of Sam and Delaney which the author has done a really splendid job of creating. Of course it helped a lot since Sam and Delaney are both best of friends who have known each other since childhood. And that history combined with the explosive, combustive chemistry between the two makes this story a memorable one long after you have finished reading the book.

Like I said, Sam and Delaney are best of friends. They grew up together and have their own business together, publishing an extreme sports magazine for the past 8 years. And for 16 years of her life Delaney has been in love with her best friend. But Delaney gets her wake up call that her life is wasting by whilst she moons over Sam and her unrequited love, when she goes off for vacation and spends time with her sister Claire and her kids. Delaney wants it all, a husband and 2.5 kids to come home to at the end of the day. Knowing that while she is part of Sam’s life, no man would even come close to being special enough for her to get married to, Delaney makes plans to effectively remove herself from Sam’s life.

Sam feels like his whole world has turned upside down when Delaney tells him that she wants out of the business. And to top it all, Delaney has had a makeover which is making Sam notice all sorts of sexy things about Delaney which makes him feel ashamed of the fact. Explosive passion that bursts between the two leaves Sam feeling more out of sorts even though he can’t help but want Delaney more than he had ever wanted any woman in his life.

Delaney knows that Sam doesn’t do commitment. Having had to deal with a set of parents who used their kid to wrangle all sorts of bitter arguments when Sam was growing up, Sam doesn’t believe that any relationship could work or was worth working for. His only steady relationship in his life had always been Delaney and that fact alone makes him want to bury his head in the sand rather than face the fact that he was finding Delaney irresistible.

Its a passion filled ride for these two willful characters that Ms. Mayberry has created and I for one loved each and every bit of their story. Most probably would end up re-reading this book again somewhere down the line. For now the satisfaction of the happy ending in this book is enough of a glow for me to last this night through!

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