Review: All the Missing Pieces by Julianna Keyes

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Chris Sherwood
Heroine: Reese Charlotte Carlisle
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 21, 2020
Started On: December 04, 2020
Finished On: December 05, 2020

28 year old Reese Charlotte Carlisle lives a life mostly in seclusion, ever since her life had changed so drastically upon the scandal that had broken her family apart. With her father in jail, her brother no more, Reese is all alone in the world and she prefers the anonymity her current life affords her. The only voice she allows herself is the meaningless one night stands she engages in on occasion, assuming different identities that suits her when the mood strikes.

On the fateful night she comes across Chris Sherwood, Reese is Denise, a dental assistant who is divorced and loves dogs. Something about Chris shakes her up in a way she does not like, and even though she thinks that she got away scot-free, that is hardly the case.

Before Reese knows it, Chris worms his way into her life and by the time she realizes the blunder she has made, it is too late to walk away unscathed. It is then Reese is forced to face the past she put on the back burner and truly assess what her father had done, putting her at risk and at the mercy of those who may not think twice about putting her in harms way.

All the Missing Pieces is romantic suspense at its finest – the first novel of its kind by Ms. Keyes. I have enormously enjoyed Ms. Keyes’ writing in her contemporary novels such as Time Served and Going the Distance. While her Burnham College series and other young adult novels have been a hit or miss with me, this novel I tell you, hits all those spots and then some.

The brilliance of Ms. Keyes as a writer explodes unto the pages with All The Missing Pieces, and the story clawed its way into my heart from the very start. The Julianna Keyes that I fell in love with when I first stumbled upon Time Served, which resulted in me quickly catching up with her entire backlist of published works, echoes with every single word in the story. Her writing has become more refined and forceful in a way that readers will definitely take notice of in this novel.

All The Missing Pieces is entirely written in the first person from Reese’s point of view. Rather than making the reader feel as if they are losing out on essential details, it somehow adds to the lure the story presents. What I loved most about the novel is that there is no repetition, no tiresome inner monologues, no rehashing details to death in the lengthy read that this turned out to be. I loved the fact that with this novel, Ms. Keyes has let her creativity take her to places where she might never have gone otherwise. I loved the fact that she has created a character that you can root for amidst everything that was happening.

The ending when it finally came, seemed fitting. Some readers however may not like Chris for what he does, but I understood where he was coming from, and it made the connection between Reese and himself all that more meaningful given the history. A brand new start with the man who forced his way into Reese’s life and forged that connection initially based on lies and half truths, coming to her finally as who he is, with no secrets between them was poetic to me.

The most brilliant aspect to the story is how Reese’s character evolves throughout – from the spoiled rich girl to the woman who is on the run from life itself, to becoming the stronger version of who she can be, while tending to the broken girl within, who died a brutal death in the wake of the truth behind her father’s actual treachery.

Never let it be said that authors venturing into new sub genres is a bad thing. Ms. Keyes has proven her talent in weaving a story that stands out amidst everything else. Recommended for fans of romantic suspense!

Final Verdict: With All the Missing Pieces, Ms. Keyes proves her mettle as a writer and her mastery when it comes to shifting through different sub-genres in the world of romance!

Favorite Quotes

“Still think you want this?” he murmurs.
“Let’s find out.”
The last thing I see is the tiny quirk of his mouth before he kisses me. There’s nothing soft or sweet or searching about the way he kisses, and it’s a relief. It says he gets it. He gets that this is one night only, we’re not soul searching, we’re not bonding, we’re not falling in love. This isn’t a getting-to-know-you type of fuck. Th
is is getting-off-and-getting-gone.

I scrape my nails up so I can anchor us together, using him for balance as I slip my other hand between us, feeling the soft rub of the denim, the smooth cotton of his briefs, then, finally, him.
He hisses when I grip him roughly, tugging hard, punishment for making me wait. He gets the hint and pushes two fingers into my panties, tormenting me.
“Do it,” I order. “Hurry.”
He buries his face in the side of my neck, and I feel his lips on the delicate skin, his teeth, the suction. He’s going to leave a mark.

He moves harder. Faster. He plants a forearm next to my head. I can smell him; sweat and laundry detergent. No expensive cologne, no hair products. His five o’clock shadow scrapes my cheek and I wince, but I don’t complain. I just feel it.
He kisses me, messy and unfocused. He seems like the kind of man who should be out here, who does things earthy and raw, who has dirt under his nails and knows how to change a tire and fuck a woman and not ask too many questions.
I wonder who he thinks I am.
The question makes me explode.

There was a time I loved attention. I wanted my picture on every cover, every website. I didn’t care what they said, as long as they said something. Now I don’t want to be seen. I want to be forgotten, ignored, uncared for. And for a long time, I’ve gotten my wish.
A feeling comes over me, one that has nothing to do with sex. One I try and fail to fight. I do my best to keep my eyes on his hand but they rise of their own accord, locking on his in the glass. He’s watching. He’s everywhere.
I shatter. I cry out and clutch at him, and he catches me when my knees give way. Everything inside me is lurching and convulsing in endless, artless waves of pleasure.

He doesn’t make me wait this time, urging my thighs apart so he can have better access. He can have everything right now. Absolutely everything.
Chris does this the way he does everything else, with his own brand of slow and steady and rough and sure. I’m melting so fast I have to lean back to brace myself against the dresser, arching my hips to his face. He doesn’t ease up when I’m moaning and shaking, my stomach flexing, one hand clutching his hair, making sure this doesn’t end until it has to. Until I can’t take it anymore. Until I’m covering my mouth to stifle sounds I’ve never heard before.

I kiss him like there’s a chance everything will be okay, like it’s possible. He doesn’t know this kiss is a goodbye and an apology. He doesn’t know that with every second I’m promising myself I’ll stop, even when my panties are gone and he’s pushing inside and I’m so ready for him.
“Reese,” he mutters, the words slipping through my hair, warm against my scalp. He threads his fingers through mine and rocks his hips, making me shudder. The pressure of him is wonderful, but it’s my name on his lips that does it for me, that feels better than anything else ever could. He tells me to keep my eyes open and this time I do. When he looks back on this moment, I want him to know it was as real as I could allow it to be.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple Books

Review: A Governess Should Never… Tempt a Prizefighter by Emily Windsor

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Governess Chronicles, #1
Publisher: Senara Press
Hero: Seth Hawkins
Heroine: Matilda Griffin
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 09, 2020
Started On: November 26, 2020
Finished On: December 04, 2020

“But had I known such a love as ours existed, I would have searched forever to find you..”

A Governess Should Never… Tempt a Prizefighter by Emily Windsor as the title indicates, brings two very unusual protagonists together; a retired pugilist and his governess, whose backgrounds are as different as night and day. When 31 year old Seth Hawkins seeks a governess for his 13 year old daughter, the last thing he expects is for a lady like Matilda Griffin to apply for the position and turn his entire life upside down.

Matilda is on the run from her guardian, until such time that she regains control of her own life. She seeks refuge in the unlikeliest of places and finds it, by convincing her employer that she is more than qualified in the tutoring that Seth requires for his daughter.

As the days pass, a friendship is forged to life between Seth and Matilda, which kindles the slow burn of desire between them. Seth may be a retired professional boxer, who used his brawn and body to make his way and get out of the poverty ridden life he would otherwise have had to endure throughout his life, but he is a man who is keenly intelligent, with a heart that yearns for love as much as Matilda’s does. Matilda may have grown up in a more affluent household in comparison, but loneliness had been her one constant companion, which she had kept at bay through the books that enriched her life.

Finding common ground between herself and Seth is surprising for Matilda, but it doesn’t stop her from seeking more, to understand the complexity of the man who holds her heart. Their deeply meaningful conversations are one of the reasons this book stands out, especially the frankness with which Seth claims her after all is said and done. He is a gentleman to his very core and the man who answers the need that flares to life in Matilda as a woman of her own right.

I enjoyed my first Emily Windsor, even though I was a bit hesitant at first to pick this up because of a number of reviews which weren’t all that positive. But then, I don’t usually rely on other reviews all that much and choose to make up my own mind about what works and what doesn’t for me, and it has served me right for the most part as it did with this one. Like most romance readers, unusual main leads intrigue me in stories, and I am delighted that I did give this a chance.

I loved the slow awakening of desire and the emotions of the more tender variety that burgeoned to life along with it. I loved how both Seth and Matilda were protective of each other, how they saw the best in one another, and how they both yearned to spend the rest of their lives with none other than the other.

Recommended for those who love beautifully spun historical romances featuring the not your usual variety of hero and heroine. You won’t be disappointed!

Final Verdict: There is just something beautiful about historical romances done right, a magic that lingers in the air when you are immersed in the story. That is what I found in A Governess Should Never… Tempt a Prizefighter.

Favorite Quotes

Miss Griffin moistened her lips, and his jaw twitched, an involuntary tremor coursing within.
“May I?” she asked.
At his nod, she took a run for the nearest shelf and brushed a finger reverently over the book spines.
Seth shuddered and watched as her lips unconsciously curved in utter delight.

All might have been fine; it may well have ended there; he would have drawn back.
But her hand clasped his shoulder and then climbed till her fingers twisted in the short hair at his nape, nails lightly scratching, yanking him close and crushing their lips together.
Ferocious need erupted, spiralling his control and grinding it to dust.
He hauled her tight, a hand to her curvaceous rump so that she half-straddled him, a scalding heat upon his thigh, and he kissed down her neck, nipped her throat, the shadows a colluding partner to his endeavour.

“Matilda, I warn you, if you strip to your chemise, I will kiss you.”
“And I shall want you to,” she whispered, knowing it to be the truth.
His jaw firmed. “And if we kiss on this occasion, Matilda, I will not cease.”
“And I shall not want you to.”
His breath hitched, rumbled. “And if I do not cease, then fair warning, I will never let you go.”
“And I shall not want you to,” she whispered once more, conscious of what she was saying, that she wished for a lifetime of adventures with this man.

“May I?” he growled, elegant diction beyond his capability.
She smiled her acquiescence and he tugged laces, then wrenched, kissed the skin above her chemise – smooth and with the scent of meadows.
The corset fell away, in harmony with his breath.
Crisp white linen hinted at curves, shadows beneath implying treasure beyond his most feral imagination.
And oh, how he had imagined. Night after anguished night.

“Seth,” she gasped.
“My beautiful, exquisite Matilda,” he whispered, and with those words – ones no one else had ever applied to her – that tightness released and the rosemary-scented room ceased to be as her eyelids closed, rapture flooding to every tip of limb, submerging her beneath warmth and light.
With a rip of cotton, a heady, muscled weight was upon her, powerful hips and thighs parting her legs further before a thrust against her core, raw and rude and resolute.

“My Matilda,” he bit out, low and agonised. And he dragged back, only to plunge anew, a guttural grunt locked in his throat.
The tightness caused a sharp inhale but the rapture of before still simmered, and as he rocked, gentle and short, that hurtling bliss returned – faster and tauter.
“More,” she gasped, aware he held back from whatever he wished to do, aware his strained arms and clenched teeth hid a sharp longing. So she caressed his back, scratched those magnificent buttocks.
His hips jerked, and a growling Seth began to pound. A broad hand claimed her thigh, hitching it aloft as she cried out, and he plunged deeper.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Once Touched, Never Forgotten by Natasha Tate

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Stephen Whitfield
Heroine: Colette Huntington
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 01, 2011
Started On: November 19, 2020
Finished On: November 21, 2020

Once Touched, Never Forgotten by Natasha Tate tells the story of super executive Stephen Whitfield and pastry chef Colette Huntington, who embark on an affair lasting a period of five months, which leaves Colette in love and pregnant with Stephen’s child. Both of them had entered the affair with eyes wide open, with zero expectations from one another except for the good times in bed. Or so they both told themselves until Colette disappears, ending their affair and leaving Stephen reeling in its wake.

Five years later, their paths cross again, and this time, the secret that Colette holds close to her heart is revealed, which ties them together in a way that Stephen is unwilling to overlook. Demanding that Colette be his, once again it is treacherous waters these two traverse, as emotions run high and love overlooked leads to heartbreak.

I seriously wanted to like the story that unfolded. The writing was good, easing the reader into the story in a way that makes you feel totally at ease. At the same time, the sexual tension was off the charts hot, with Ms. Tate’s ability to take the story from zero to hundred, just like that.

What I had problems with was Colette as a character. I understood that she was only looking out for herself at first, when she resisted Stephen at every turn. Then it was her unborn baby that she wanted to protect from being treated as a responsibility if Stephen were to be put in that untenable position, given what she knows of him and the very scant little discussions they have had on commitment and love up till that point.

At the same time, I felt that Stephen had more heart to him than Colette was willing to give him credit for and was more sensitive than Colette when it comes right down to it. Both come up from screwed up backgrounds, which of course means that each carries a shit ton of baggage when all is said and done. While Stephen understands the psychology behind Colette and what drives her to reject him time and yet again, Colette never attempts to do the same for him, which is where it rankled.

I felt like Colette never did fight for Stephen and the love she supposedly felt for him, being to hung up on her past. Instead, Stephen is the one who does all the chasing, pursuing, and convincing – which means as a reader I felt cheated because I want both protagonists to be in it wholeheartedly, to understand what each other did wrong for there to really be an equal partnership based on love and trust for the long term.

Recommended for fans of Natasha Tate and those who love combustible category romances. Stephen definitely does heat up the pages!

Final Verdict: Affairs embarked on with the best of intentions often leads to emotional disaster – Once Touched, Never Forgotten is all about that and more as Stephen and Colette finds their way back to each other again!

Favorite Quotes

“Do you know I still dream about your hair?”
The low rasp of his voice, soft as velvet, made her tremble. He must have detected the subtle shiver along her flesh because his grip tightened against her shoulders and he dragged her closer. As much as she wanted to pull free, another part of her responded to the demanding strength of his touch, to the command underscoring his nearness.
Lifting her hands to push him away, she froze when her fingertips touched the warm thickness of his wrists. Her thumbs pressed against the channel of tendons at the base of his palms while her fingertips involuntarily recalled the hard landscape of bones and flesh in his forearm. She heard his swift intake of breath, watched his chest expand and rise, and her hands refused to abandon his smooth, hair-dusted skin. Time stretched, grew taut, while the silence beat between them.

Before she had a chance to prepare herself, his warm palms cupped her face and tilted her mouth toward his. Her startled inhale did nothing to deter him, and his dark head dipped toward hers with unerring accuracy. Her fingers flew to his forearms even as the muscled wall of his chest bumped her breasts, pressing her against the closed door while his mouth covered hers. The fiery, voracious, delicious assault of his lips stunned her. Consumed her.

He stared at her mouth, that lush, kissable mouth, while one hand moved inexorably up along the silk spine of her dress and to the back of her arched neck. He wanted to taste every centimeter of her defiant, trembling softness, to explore the fine, delicate curve of her upper lip, to nip at the lush, petal-smooth swell of it until she moaned beneath him.
Just thinking of how she’d respond, he felt the hairs along his arms lift, priming him for the battle he fully intended to win.
She stared at him, her hazel eyes huge and alarmed within her flushed face, while her hands shoved blindly at his shoulders. “Stephen—”
He caught her protest with his mouth, every last sense focused on the exquisite fit of her lips beneath his.

His expression was intense as he walked around the desk and then held her against the back of one of his armchairs. His hands, pressed tight against the base of her spine, were steely against her softness, the iron muscles of his thighs pressing heated awareness along her flesh despite the layers of clothing between them.
Low against her pelvis, she felt the hot, insistent pressure of his arousal, undeniable in its masculine quest for satisfaction. “Stephen,” she gasped.
“Kiss me,” he growled, his hips grinding against hers while a treacherous dampness gathered between her legs. “Kiss me and I’ll consider a compromise.”

Slowly, he drew her feet wide, planting them beside his spread thighs. He moved to her knees next, his warm hands pressing them open beneath his intense gaze. His nostrils flared and his eyes darkened with arousal as his attention dipped.
Exposed, open, and flooded with a damp, yearning heat, she swallowed against the searing touch of his gaze upon her shadowed flesh. A sweet, shocked tremor of embarrassment and desire leaked through her chest, making it difficult to breathe. She knotted her hands against the supple leather of his chair, gripping the edge of the armrests while he stared at her. She remembered how he’d looked at her every time they’d made love, as if there were no one in his world but her. She could read his arousal in the huge, hard bulge between his legs, in the darkened crests of his cheeks and glittering eyes. And for the first time in over five years she felt beautiful. Wanted.

And still he plied her flesh, his tongue invading her with devastating softness. The savage sensation of losing control, of quivering atop a chasm of release so acute, had Colette fighting for control at the same time as he urged her surrender. Her heart thrashed within her ribs, she could no longer keep her eyes open, and her knees pulled high as she rocked and rocked and rocked against his mouth. Exquisite pleasure twisted high as he consumed her, until the steady slide of tongue and lip and heat became too much, too intense, too … too everything. She catapulted into careening spasms of rapture, contractions cresting in wave after wave as she shuddered and groaned.

Thoughts failed her as she reached the summit, her body trembling and spasming with each delicious stroke. An aching combination of desperation and love filled her heart to brimming as Stephen gripped her hips, drawing out the pulsing pleasure of her inner muscles. Clenching him deep inside, she leaned to balance against the granite plane of his stomach while he found his own bucking release. Watching the play of emotions in his face, knowing that she’d brought him the same intense pleasure he’d brought her, made her want to weep.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Harlequin

Review: Reclaim by Aly Martinez

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Release Series, #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Camden Cole
Heroine: Nora Stewart
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 12, 2020
Started On: November 13, 2020
Finished On: November 18, 2020

Reclaim, book 2 in The Release series by Aly Martinez is a story that I have bided my time for since having read the first installment, Release. The first book ends on a note that makes the reader extremely curious about the fate of Nora Stewart, whose past is entwined with the main protagonists from Release and oh so steeped in darkness – but there was only so much that the reader was privy to at that point.

Reclaim takes us to a time when Nora is 11 years old and meets 12 year old Camden Cole for the very first time. A friendship is forged between the two that fateful summer, and while promises were made, Nora believes that Camden broke them, just like her mother who abandoned their family when she was just a mere seven years old.

What happens next is a series of tragic events that leads to disaster of epic proportions, until years later, Nora and Camden’s paths cross again. With the heaviness of words unspoken between them lingering on, of a love that both feels acutely nevertheless, of so much time wasted while Camden had patiently waited for his one and only, I felt a keen sense of loss even when the story was well and over.

While I understood that Nora’s past required her to come to terms with a lot of things, that she needed to forgive herself and love herself enough to be able to have a long-lasting relationship with anyone, I could not quite understand why neither of them wanted to reach out to the other prior to the time period in which the rest of the story unfolds.

Perhaps, this hollow feeling emerged from the fact that I had a particular vision in mind when I thought of how Nora’s story would unfold. Don’t get me wrong; I did enjoy their story for the most part, but I cannot feel sad about the time wasted, when they could have been together and worked through a lot of the issues together. Perhaps this time apart was needed in part for Camden to also be in charge of his destiny for him to be able to finally be with Nora in a most fulfilling way.

Perhaps due to the time factor, and because the story takes place over periods during which there was too much darkness in especially Nora’s life for there to be light, I missed the sexy scenes of passion that should have rightfully existed between the two. In a way that also left me feeling cheated towards the end.

Recommended for fans of Aly Martinez and fans of The Release series who have been dying to read Nora’s story!

Final Verdict: Nora and Camden’s story is one of missed chances and a love that runs so deep, it stands the test of excruciating trials & hardships until at long last ultimate triumph is reached!

Favorite Quotes

“Do you…” Kiss. “…ever think—”
“Mmmm,” she hummed as my tongue teased at her earlobe.
“…about me…”
She shivered in my arms and moved closer until her core found my length straining against my boxers.
I hissed at the contact, barely able to finish my thought. “…at night?”
Her fingers latched onto my hair and she pulled my mouth to hers, hovering mere millimeters away. “You’re the only man I’ve ever thought about.” Her warm breath filled my every inhale. “Every night, Cam.”
I kissed her hard and fast, sealing my mouth over hers as though oxygen were my enemy.
Fuck. Me.

He entered me with a devastating control, the muscles on his back flexing with every thrust. It wasn’t long before he found a rhythm that drove us both wild. He uttered gravelly words into my neck, my name punctuating all of them, and I clung to him, ripples of pleasure building within me.
Unsure how much longer I could hold on, I locked my legs around his hips and urged him deeper. “Oh, God, I’m close.”
“Give it to me, Nora,” he ordered, his rhythm quickening.
My resolve snapped, and with a shattering climax, I unraveled beneath him.
“Yesss,” he hissed. “That’s it, baby. Oh, fuck, that’s it.”
One last drive and he seated himself to the hilt and emptied inside me.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Beautiful Monster by Sara Cate

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Hero: Alexander Caldwell
Heroine: Sunny Thorn
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: June 09, 2020
Started On: October 26, 2020
Finished On: October 31 , 2020

Love cannot be replaced. The love someone denies you cannot be filled by someone else.

Beautiful Monster by Sara Cate tells a story that surprised me in many ways. Drawn to pick this up because of the huge age gap factor, I found more than enough to keep the pages turning which set my senses humming.

The almost 20 year old Sunny Thorn lives with her mother and elder sister, both of whom drives her crazy in their own ways. Having tried going to college for one semester and failing to fit in, Sunny had yet to go back, and it is when 40 year old Alexander Caldwell moves in next door and offers her the chance to paint a mural at his home that things start to change for both of them.

Alex is a man who is at a loss as to how to turn his life around. Tired of meaningless sex and the trouble he always gets himself into, Alex makes a vow to himself that the next time he sleeps with someone, it would mean something more than just for the sake of having sex. Sunny however tests that resolve of his time and yet again, and even though Alex feels like beating himself up over the fact that he is lusting over someone so young, neither of them can help themselves as the connection between them becomes too fierce to ignore.

One thing leads to another, and Sunny and Alex gets involved leading to a disastrous conclusion that was inevitable at some point. However, it is up to both of them to forge their individual paths back to one another, if their love is worth all that and more.

This is the first time that a romance book has delved deep into the effects of past relationships and meaningless flings on one’s life. Usually, books tend to skim over those details, but in Alex, Ms. Cate has definitely given us a deeper view into how it can actually affect one’s psyche when one loses sight of the boundaries that one must adhere to even in the pursuit of pleasure and happiness.

Sunny’s character was beautiful in so many ways. She might be young age-wise, but she is mature and wise in a way that was telling, why she turned out to be such a good fit with Alex in the long run. Though the age factor does hinder the progress of their relationship at the beginning, it fades into insignificance given how they both feel about each other. I loved Alex as well. Perfect mix of sexy and battle-scarred in the emotional sense.

Recommended for those who love their steamy sex wrapped up in emotional goodness. My first Sara Cate certainly did not disappoint.

Final Verdict: Multi-layered with complex characterization with that dollop of sexy to keep the pages turning; Beautiful Monster made for splendid reading!

Favorite Quotes

“I didn’t give you your birthday present,” he says, holding me so close to his body that I can hardly breathe.
“What is it?”
Moving my hair out of my face, he leans down, his face a breath away from mine.
“Happy birthday, rain cloud.” Then his lips are on mine. They are so soft and warm, and I nearly melt from this unexpected moment. I feel his hands travel up my back until he’s digging his fingers into my hair and tilting my head. His tongue slips through my lips, and I have no idea how I’m still alive because I swear, I haven’t taken a breath in minutes.

“Lie down,” he commands, and I listen. My mouth feels dry, and the only sound I can hear now is the thrumming in my ears and the shaky intake of our breaths.
Alexander leans over my body, placing a hand next to my head while the other travels up my thigh. “Has anyone touched you here, Sunny?” he asks, his voice shaking.
“No,” I cry, pleading with him to touch me. “Please,” I beg.
“Please what?” he asks, looking into my eyes.
“Please touch me,” I gasp, feeling so vulnerable.
“I will,” he says, teasing me, drawing circles between my legs. “Know why?”
“Why?” My voice is strained.
“Because I want you to know how it’s supposed to feel when a man touches you.”

“Don’t stop,” I gasp, reaching up for his kiss again. My fingers claw at his back, feeling the sheen of sweat there as he picks up speed.
He calls my name as he buries his face into my neck, his fist still clutching my hair as the other engulfs me in a tight embrace. We are glued to each other, lost in a trail of ecstasy when he finally lets out a guttural roar, slamming into me so hard my body seizes again, the warmth exploding between my legs.

“Harder,” she gasps, clutching onto my neck, and I oblige.
“Who do you belong to, baby?” I pull her off the counter, hanging her legs from my hands as I pound her gentle flesh, her moans growing louder and higher.
“You, Alex. I’m yours, all yours.” Her voice is so strained I know she’s close.
“That’s my girl.” I feel her coming, pulsing around my cock, and it practically milks the cum out of me.
Trailing my lips down her face to her mouth, I carry her back to bed, both of us still panting. This time, I don’t have a hard time sleeping.

He pulls into the driveway, and I’m already unbuckling. Just as he puts the car into park, his hands are around my legs. Before I know what’s happening, I’m straddling his hips in the front seat of the car. He crashes his mouth against mine, and I let out a moan when the thickness in his pants rubs against my clit. My panties are so wet already, I’m sure I’m making a mess all over his lap.
“Sunny,” he breathes against my lips, thrusting his hips up against me. “Get a rubber out of the glove compartment.”
My heart beats even faster when I don’t move for the box, and it almost makes me shake with anticipation when I whisper back. “I’m on the pill, Alexander.” The second half of his name comes out in a whimper as he grinds against me again. He lets out a groan and bites my collarbone gently. His fingers stretch my panties to the side, rubbing the pad of his thumb through the moisture pooling there. I’m s
o desperate for him to fill me, I could cry.

“How was your run?” she says with a gasp as I turn her around, her back against my chest.
“Not as good as this,” I murmur with my lips on her shoulder. Cupping her soft tit in my hand, I drag my tongue along the back of her spine. She lets out a heavy sigh, arching her back and pressing back against me like she’s begging me to enter her.
As I slide my dick easily into her folds, I wonder how I went so long without this. When I’m inside of her, it feels so fucking right. And not just because it’s like heaven, but because Sunny and I fit. Every goddamn thing between us is meant to be together.

“Tell me you’re going,” I say with my teeth next to her ear.
She moans in response, and I rear my hand back, landing another sharp sting against her ass.
“Tell me.”
“I’m going,” she cries.
“That’s my girl.” My hands run the length of her body, trying to memorize every inch. “I love you so much it hurts, Sunny.”
“Show me,” she gasps, and I feel her tears run over my fingers as they graze her lips.

Just as we pass a dark alley, I’m swept away from the sidewalk, and I meet his chest with a crash, stealing the breath from my lungs. I don’t even bother gasping for air. All I care about is his lips, so when he leans down, I wind my arms around his neck and pull his mouth to mine.
We kiss each other hungrily, his body grinding against me like it’s the first breath we’ve taken in months. He moans into my mouth as I devour his lips. I will never let him go; I tell myself. Now that he’s back in my arms, there is no way I can let that go.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Reckless Love by Elizabeth Lowell

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: MacKenzie-Blackthorn, #1
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Tyrell MacKenzie
Heroine: Janna Wayland
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: December 26, 2006
Started On: October 17, 2020
Finished On: October 25 , 2020

What is it about romances written years ago that has the unique ability of reeling you in until you are hooked, line, and sinker? That is what I experienced with my very first Elizabeth Lowell novel, i.e. Reckless Love. The debut book in the MacKenzie-Blackthorn series, Reckless Love tells the story of Tyrell MacKenzie and 19 year old Janna Wayland whose paths cross in the wild land of Utah Territory after the end of the Civil War.

Janna lives alone, in the company of mustangs, under the guise of being a male which serves her well. Tyrell in the meanwhile, is a man who comes from a previously wealthy family, who comes to Utah Territory looking for a wild stallion known as Lucifer, via which he aims to make his fortune. Tyrell dreams of marrying the silken lady of his dreams, and he is not to be waylaid by anyone or anything for that matter.

When Tyrell finds himself attacked and at the brink of imminent death, it is Janna who rescues him, nurses him back to health, and takes him to the one place that is her safe haven and home amidst the chaos that is life in the territory. Tyrell, believing Janna to be a lad, does not take it kindly when he realizes that he has been deceived all along, especially when it had given him cause to question his own sexuality at certain points through his recovery.

The desire that blazes between Janna and Tyrell is fierce and it burns hotter and brighter than Tyrell would have thought possible. Even as he gives in, Tyrell is determined not to lose sight of his dreams of finding his silken lady, and Janna, who has lived in the wilderness all her life understands that making Tyrell fall in love with her would be an impossibility. Determined to make the best of the time they have left, Janna does not ask for more, and is resigned to saying goodbye when their time is up.

However, fate decides otherwise, and Janna is forced to leave the one place that had been hers and become part of the world that is Tyrell’s, nursing a broken heart knowing that Tyrell would never ever be truly hers. It takes a lot for Tyrell to start seeing things differently, as he continues to lie to himself about his feelings for Janna that burns as bright as the sun.

I loved Reckless Love for many a reason. I was in need of a story with an alpha hero of the kind that is hard to find in the romance novels of today. Tyrell proved to be all that and more, making the pages comes alive with his mere presence alone. There is a way about him that makes all that is female in you yearn and yearn big, and that is what Tyrell was for me.

I loved Janna to bits – she was courageous and beautiful in a way that is indescribable. She may have lived her life up till then without the frills and whites to accentuate her beauty, but for me, the purity of her character and soul shone vividly from the onset. I love a strong heroine as much as I do an alpha hero and Janna was that for me in many ways. Ms. Lowell writes with the kind of prose that is reminiscent of earlier works of Sandra Brown and Linda Howard, perhaps one of the main reasons why I felt right at home amidst the magic she wove with Tyrell and Janna.

Recommended for fans of Ms. Lowell and fans of Western themed romances with an alpha hero who makes your heart go wild and heroines you absolutely root for.

Final Verdict: Reckless Love delivers an exquisite cocktail of romance, heat, and angst that is guaranteed to make your insides all warm and fuzzy!

Favorite Quotes

When Ty’s arms tightened around Janna and he whispered her name, her hands crept up his chest to his stubble-roughened cheeks and beyond. Her fingers sought the thick black hair she longed to caress as she had in the days when he had been too ill to object to her touch. She slid her hands beneath his hat, dislodging it, and she shivered with pleasure when her fingers knew again the silky textures and fullness of his hair. She moved her hands slowly, flexing them gently, caressing him and the sensitive skin between her fingers at the same time.
The intimate, changing pressure of Janna’s hands on Ty’s scalp made his breath catch, break and emerge as an almost silent groan. He moved his head slowly, increasing the pressure of her caressing hands, and the sound he made seemed to Janna more like a purr from a very large cat than any noise a man might make.

Heat stole beneath Janna’s skin, flushing her face, shortening her breath. Bubbles of sensation grew slowly inside her, expanding with each warm movement of Ty’s tongue until she shivered and a bubble burst, drenching her with golden heat; and then pleasure gathered again, burst sweetly, made her shiver and moan Ty’s name. The slender hands buried in Ty’s hair flexed and relaxed in the same rhythms of Janna’s tongue—seeking, stroking, finding, mating with the slow, deep motions he had taught her.
The sensuous, searching caresses brought a violent hardening of Ty’s flesh that both shocked and dismayed him, telling him that he was very close to the edge of his self-control.

“Don’t be sorry,” he said huskily. “I like knowing that I’ve pleased you.”
“You do?” she whispered, looking at his lips, wanting to taste him again, to feel his tongue moving within her mouth.
“Yes.” Ty smiled and nuzzled the slanting line of Janna’s cheekbones until he came to the silky edge of her hair. He stripped off her hat and headband, untied the rawhide thongs holding her braids and unraveled them until his hands were full of the cool fire of her hair. He made an inarticulate sound of pleasure as he searched blindly with his mouth for the tempting curves of her ear. “I want to please you, little one. Will you tell me if I do?”
“Y-yes.”

“Will going slow spoil it for you?” Janna whispered. “I don’t want to make it bad for you. I want to please you, Ty. I want that so much I ache.”
“Going slow won’t spoil it. In fact, it can make it so good you feel like dying.”
“It can?”
Janna’s voice was husky with the conflicting emotions racing through her, passion and nervousness and a hunger to touch and be touched that was completely new to her.
“It can,” Ty said. “At least, that’s what I’m told. I’ve never known that kind of pleasure myself.”
Janna tried to speak but had no voice. She licked her lips and tilted her head back until she could look into the darkly luminous green of Ty’s eyes.
“I want to pleasure you like that,” she whispered. “Will you teach me how?”

“Janna,” Ty said, breathing her name as much as saying it, “I hope to God I can set fire to you half as hot as you set fire to me. If I can, we’ll burn down the whole damn plateau.”

“Unbutton my shirt,” Ty said in a thick voice. “You’ll like the feel of my bare skin against your breasts. And so will I.”
The slight movement of Janna’s body when she reached for Ty’s collar button made her hips rock against the hot cradle he had made for her between his legs. He groaned in a kind of exquisite agony, for he had never needed a woman so much as he needed Janna at that instant.
“Again,” he whispered. “Move against me just once more. Just once.”

Janna’s nails dug into the flexed power of Ty’s buttocks and her body twisted wildly beneath his as she whispered again and again that what he had given her was good but not enough. With each movement she became more seductive, more demanding, more welcoming, so hot and sleek that he found himself pressing again and yet again at the fragile flesh that barred total consummation.
Ty groaned and forced himself to move just slightly while his fingers sought and claimed the slick, delicate nub of Janna’s passion. He controlled the instinctive rocking of her hips by settling more of his weight between her legs, pinning her in place while he caressed her, bringing her closer and closer to ecstasy.

And then it was happening, the hot rain and the sheathing, ecstasy bursting with each movement of Ty’s hips; and Janna wept at the perfection as he let go of control and locked himself so deeply within her that she felt the certainty of his climax as the most intimate kind of caress, a pulsing presence that sent her spinning into ecstasy once again, her body caressing him rhythmically in the quivering aftermath of his own release.
Janna’s tiny, ecstatic cries pierced Ty like golden needles, reaching past the flesh to the soul beneath. “Violent pleasure racked him until his muscles stood out like iron. The endless, shuddering release that followed overwhelmed him.

The knowledge of his own helpless response to her shocked Ty. He shouldn’t feel this way. The sweat wasn’t dry on his body from the first time he had taken her. He shouldn’t want her again the way he did right now—need knotting his guts, his body hard and heavy and hot, filled to bursting once more.
He fought to remain still, not to respond, not to move, but the knowledge of the ecstatic consummation he would find within Janna’s body was too new, too overwhelming for him to deny or control it. With a low, raw cry, he fought against the lure of her, but even as he cried out he was moving slowly, surrendering himself to her one hard inch at a time.

“Janna?” Ty asked, holding himself motionless but for the helpless shuddering of his aroused body. “Answer me!”
She tried to move, to take from him what he was withholding. It was impossible. He was too strong, too skilled, and she loved him.
“Yes, damn you,” she whispered achingly. “Yes!”
Ty heard only the agreement, not the pain. He let out his pent breath in a ragged groan.
“I need you,” he said in a low voice. His hips began to move in quickening rhythms as shudder after shudder of tension went through his powerful body. “God help me, I’ve never needed any woman like this.”

Janna trembled as Ty kissed and licked and nuzzled the length of her torso, smoothing her legs apart as he had in the pool. This time there were no hot swirls of water to caress her, only the heat and textures of her lover teasing the humid softness that his fingertips had first discovered.
The first gliding touch of Ty’s tongue brought a startled cry from Janna. It was answered by a reassuring murmur and a kiss both tender and hotly intimate. She tried to say his name, but all that came out was a whimper of shock and pleasure.

“Don’t,” Ty said huskily, biting back a raw sound of need. “You’ll make me lose control.”
“But I’m not even touching you,” she whispered.
“You are in your mind. And in mine. Satin butterfly, hot and sleek and perfect. When you took me into your body it was like being taken into a fiery paradise. You burned me to my soul. You’re still burning in my soul, burning in my body, everything burning. You don’t know what you do to me.”
Ty saw Janna’s shivering response to his words and thought he would lose what little control remained to him.
“You burned me the same way,” she said, touching him with the tip of her tongue. “I’m still burning.”

“I want you,” Janna said, her voice breaking beneath an unexpected, wild burst of pleasure at feeling him so thick and heavy in her hands. “I want to be joined so closely with you that I can feel each heartbeat, each pulse of life…”
Her words shattered into rippling sounds, tiny cries called from her very core as Ty swept her loose pants from her body and merged their bodies with a single powerful motion, giving her all that she had asked for and more, for he had wanted the joining as intensely as she had.
The swift fulfillment was like lightning searching through Janna’s flesh, creating an incandescent network of fire, burning through to her soul. She didn’t know that she called Ty’s name even as ecstasy transfixed her, but he knew. He heard his own name, felt the satin convulsions deep within her body, and he smiled in a mixture of triumph and passionate restraint as he bent to drink from her lips the taste of ecstasy.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Review: Love Unexpected by Q.B. Tyler

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Dominic Callahan
Heroine: Stassia Rae
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 12, 2020
Started On: September 29, 2020
Finished On: October 10 , 2020

Love Unexpected by Q.B. Tyler is another romance featuring taboo themes, reason enough for readers like myself to pick it up. Love Unexpected brings to readers the story of 41 year old Dominic Callahan and 18 year old Stassia Rae, with Stassia having fallen in love with Dominic the very moment she had laid eyes on him. She had been just a mere ten years old then. Before long, her dreams of had been crushed by the fact that Dominic had fallen in love with her mother and within a year, they had gotten married.

Years later, Stassia still struggles with her wayward feelings for Dominic, but keeps them under wraps through sheer force of habit that she had cultivated through the years. However, things change when tragedy strikes, leaving Dominic a widower for the second time in his life and Stassia with a gaping hole in her life that would never be filled.

Somehow along the way, lines are crossed, words are spoken that can never be taken back, and before long Stassia is on seventh heaven with Dominic showering her with the kind of attention that she has always wanted. It is a precarious and dangerous road that these two embark on, especially with Stassia’s biological father turning up, trying to weasel his way into Stassia’s life.

There is a lot of sex happening between Dominic and Stassia and little else I would say, apart from the guilt factor rearing its ugly head every now and then. Dominic tries to do the right thing, but finds that he cannot walk away from Stassia ,while for her, it has always been Dominic and no one else. Stassia is not willing to give up what she has with Dominic and she is willing to fight, even if it means fighting with the man she loves, for his love.

I picked this up to read pretty excited about the premise and my past experience with Ms. Tyler’s work. However, I found that I did not feel close to what I experienced through the journey of reading Unconditional. I felt a huge disconnect from both Dominic and Stassia for various reasons. With Dominic, I never did understand his reasoning when it came to wanting Stassia. I wondered when his feelings had started to change, I kept trying to understand why when he had obviously doted on his wife, he did not spend at least some amount of time mourning the loss that was left in her wake.

When it comes to Stassia, I just found her to be too immature for Dominic. A romance and/or love between two protagonists who have a huge age gap to contend with, works well when there is a sense of maturity to both characters. I cannot fathom an adult relationship which involves anything less surviving through the hardships that life throws your way. Perhaps Stassia would mature in time but I wanted to see more substance to her character and emotional growth than the story provided.

My inability to connect with both Stassia and Dominic proved to be why I did not end up liking this as much as I thought I would. I really wanted to, but alas, that was not to be the case.

Recommended for fans of Q.B. Tyler and fans of taboo themed romances.

Final Verdict: Love Unexpected perhaps is the most apt way to describe this book; the love that strikes between two people whose feelings would be frowned upon begins just like that; unexpectedly!

Favorite Quotes

“You wore this dress on purpose. To tease me.” My nose is pressed against her skin, smelling her sweet perfume and my hands are still gripping her hips so tightly I won’t be surprised if I’m leaving bruises through her dress. Her hands have found my biceps and she’s squeezing them equally hard as she shifts back and forth between feet. “If I lift your dress up, will your panties be soaked?”
“Yes. Yes. Yes,” she whimpers, assumedly as an answer to all of my questions. “Touch me and see for yourself.”

“Have you come yet?” His pulse flickers in his neck and I can see his tongue dart out to wet his lips.
I shake my head to tell him I haven’t and without another word, he removes my fingers from inside of me. He stares at my hand for a second before they’re in his mouth, his tongue swirling around my coated fingers, and then his eyes find mine. “Put your hands on the headboard.”
“Why?”
“Because, Princess, you need leverage for when you ride my face.”

“Stop thinking so much, baby. I’m here with you. Stay with me.”
“I’m here,” I whine. I’ve been climbing towards the peak for what felt like hours and I know this will be the culmination of the night. The most powerful and most intense orgasm of them all.
“Fuck, this pussy is mine. You know that. Even if we never do it again. Even if you go on and date other men or fuck other men or marry another man. This pussy will always be mine because I laid my claim first.”
“Oh God,” I cry out. My vision blurs as tears well in my eyes and slowly cascade down my cheeks as the orgasm flares in my belly and shoots through me. “FUCK, Dominic!” I scream. I press my face into the pillow and bite down, and scream again, muffling the second sound just as Dominic succumbs to his own orgasm and lets out a guttural groan.

“I see your pulse flickering in your neck. You want this, don’t you?” This is the first time I’m really up close and personal, and he’s right, I do want it. I want to suck his dick into my mouth and down my throat. I want to show him just how far he can go and how good my gag reflex is. I nod and wet my lips before letting my mouth fall open in invitation.
Fuck. He mouths as he continues to stroke his cock from root to tip before moving up one stair to straddle my hips and hold his cock towards my mouth. I lean down angling my head and take one slow lick up his hard shaft. A hard hand grips my hair almost painfully and he jerks his dick towards my mouth.
I move my head back slightly, even though I’m desperate to sheath my lips around him. “Now who wants it?”

“I can’t wait and I’d rather come in your pussy than your mouth.” He drops his dick and yanks me hard into the water before pushing me against the wall of the pool.
I wrap my legs around him on instinct and just as his lips land on mine he enters me. Memories of last night flood through me and I already feel myself building despite the soreness in my sex. I pull at the hair at the nape of his neck, threading my fingers through his silky strands as I feel my orgasm pooling in my belly.
Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.
With each thrust, I feel him everywhere.
Marking me.
Branding me.

She frees my cock and stands, straddling me again and sliding herself agonizingly slow down my length. I groan with every inch she takes of me and the second she’s completely full of me, with that delectable ass resting against my thighs she begins to move up and down using my shoulders as leverage.
She’s been having sex for two days and she’s a fucking goddess. Jealousy surges through me at the thought that someone else will get to see this side of her. That despite the caveman attitude I’ve had, she isn’t mine.
She’s mine in this moment.
That’s all I have.
This weekend.
This moment.

He turns his head and gives me a smirk. “Tell me what you want. We don’t have time for everything.”
“I know.” The thought that I won’t get to feel his tongue in my pussy makes me want to cry but I know I need his dick more. “Fuck me,” I pause, “with that.” I point at his crotch and he unbuttons his jeans and slides them and his briefs down as he moves his seat back. I’m climbing over the console into his lap and sliding down onto him before the seat is even done moving.
“There’s my baby. God, I’ve missed you.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Teacher by Fiona Cole

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Voyeur, #6
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Daniel
Heroine: Hanna
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: June 15, 2020
Started On: September 25, 2020
Finished On: September 29, 2020

Teacher by Fiona Cole is a moving read in many ways, dealing with the difficult topic of recovering from past traumas that had left its weighty mark on both the hero and heroine. Book 6 in the Voyeur series, Teacher is a book that can be read as a standalone without feeling like you have missed out on something major from the previous books. I did not read the first five books for that matter and felt right at home with Teacher, from start to finish.

40 year old Daniel is the owner of Voyeur, a sex club where consenting adults indulge in their wildest fantasies. 26 year old Hanna is trying to live her life as she promised her twin sister Sofia and leave behind the major scars that had been the resultant effect of having being abducted at the age of seventeen and used pretty much in every way conceivable. Therapy had done its job for the most part, but Hanna still struggles with physical intimacy, and comes off as someone who is standoffish to most, when she is just unable to make herself enjoy being in the moment.

At the sex club, around Daniel, Hanna feels safe enough to let her fears go and perhaps think about physical intimacy as something she could enjoy. When the idea takes root, Hanna is determined that she would find her lost self with Daniel who is ready to help Hanna move past her fears and embrace her sexuality as it should be. Daniel tells himself that by helping Hanna, he is paying penance for the biggest failure of his life which had ended in tragedy, and that it would help assuage his guilt.

Daniel and Hanna’s non-relationship is perfectly suited for their needs; Daniel does not want romantic entanglements, the scars from his past having worked him over pretty good and Hanna, who does not like putting herself into situations she has no control over. The sex scenes are hot and steamy, with Daniel and Hanna losing themselves in each other and eventually their hearts to one another.

In the end, I was left with just one single sentiment – every woman should have a man like Daniel to initiate them into the wonderful world of physical intimacy. Reminds me of what Daphne says to Simon in an episode of Bridgerton that is all the rave on Netflix – that it was no wonder their mamas kept everything to do in the bedroom a secret, for if otherwise they [the women] would get nothing done. When it is right between two people, there is nothing like it, nor would there ever be, and that is ultimately what Daniel teaches us readers before the book is through.

Recommended for fans of romances that deal with recovering from tragic pasts and healing in the arms of that right someone. This book delivers in spades!

Final Verdict: In Teacher, Ms. Cole delivers beautifully on how the very concept of healing could be beautiful and utterly sexy both at the same time. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

On my second pass, she lifted up, pushing me inside more.
“Daniel, please.”
The woman panted on the other side of the glass as she rode the man’s cock. Hanna watched enraptured by the control the woman was taking over her lover, and I let her have the same control to fuck my fingers.
“You’re so tight, Hanna,” I groaned against her skin. “So wet.”
The words flew out of my mouth, and I waited, but Hanna was too lost to herself to care. She rode my fingers harder, and I used my thumb to rub at her hard, slick bundle of nerves. Her whimpers grew into moans that sank into my soul. Her pussy tightened, getting ready to come, and I feared I’d come in my pants right along with her.
When the man gripped the woman’s ass and pulled her cheeks apart, exposing every inch of him entering her, Hanna came.

My fingers moved faster and faster. I dug my heels into the mattress and swallowed, trying to get moisture back in my mouth.
Guilt poked at my pleasure that I was fantasizing about Daniel as I played with myself, but then I remembered his deep groan that had rumbled from his chest. I remembered the way his eyes watched between my legs, only sliding closed at the last minute before his cum shot out. He hadn’t even cared that it landed on his shirt and neck, he’d been so lost in his pleasure.
And just like that, I fell. Waves of ecstasy spread from my core over my body, bringing my skin to life. My lips fell open, freeing moans of pleasure I hadn’t even known I was capable of.

My entire focus centered on Daniel’s tongue and the need to come. There was no room for anything else.
“Play with your tits, baby.”
Without hesitation, I did as told. I had no idea my nipples were so sensitive. I should’ve been ashamed of how much I liked the rough pinches and hard tugs, but nothing mattered right then. Daniel pushed his fingers into me and latched on to my clit, sucking hard, and that was it. Pleasure crashed over me, flinging me off a cliff, sending me into a free-fall I never wanted to come back from. I wanted to live in this feeling, this pleasure, this oblivion.
Instead of crashing back into my body, soft licks and strokes cradled me back to earth.
“Beautiful.”
His praise wrapped me in the comfort I’d come to associate just with him.

I wasn’t sure who moved first. I wasn’t sure it mattered. I pressed up as he dipped down, and our mouths connected softly, afraid to break the fragile moment we’d created.
He drank from my lips, stroked them with his tongue, and I happily opened, needing to taste him. Sliding my arms around his waist, I held on tight, letting the intensity of us kissing wash over me.
We kissed and kissed. Not because we were at Voyeur and this was another lesson to help me accept touch. No, this was because I was Hanna, and he was Daniel, and we wanted to.
What that meant, I didn’t know, but I definitely didn’t care right then. Rules be damned.

“Does my cock feel good in your tight pussy?”
Rather than falling back into memories, I clung to him, held his stare, stayed in the present. My nipples pebbled tight and scraped his chest. “Yes. Fuck me, Daniel. Make me come.”
He pulled back until just the head rested at my opening. “Hold on, baby.”
And with that, his control snapped. He fucked me harder, stopping every once in a while to grind his hips to my clit, to suck my nipples, and whisper filthy things in my ear that did nothing but make me wetter. He made me listen to the slapping sounds of our flesh and admit how good I felt.
My nails dug into his back, and I clung to the reality he created—a reality I never wanted to lose.

“You’re a fucking queen. Taking my cock however you want.”
Her lush lip popped free, and she smiled, picking up the pace. She leaned back with the most delicious smirk on her mouth. Her back arched, making her bouncing tits all I saw. Needing to taste her, I sat up and latched on, wrapping my arm around her waist to help her ride me harder.
We lost our rhythm, a mass of need and desire twisted together, racing for the finish.
She whimpered and ground on me with each pass, and I needed her to come before I lost my control and came first. I slid my hand between our bodies, pinching her slick clit between my fingers as I bit around her breasts.
“Daniel, Daniel. Yes. Fuck. I’m coming.”
“That’s it, baby. Feel it. Fuck me.”
She wrapped her arms around my head and went wild, screaming her pleasure, ripping my own orgasm from me.

Sliding my hand up her spine, I buried my fist in her hair and gripped, pulling her head back and held on, fucking her hard now.
“Daniel. Oh, God. Yes.”
Unintelligible sounds of pleasure and begging fell from both our lips as we watched ourselves in the mirror.
“Look at you,” I growled. “Look at your perfect pussy taking my fat cock. Does it feel good, Hanna? Do you like the way it stretches your tight cunt?”
“Yes. More. Please.”
She was wild, her hand clawing at the mattress. One of them coming up to grip her own breast to pinch her nipple. Fuck me, that sight would be blazed in my memory forever.

Lightning fast, he rolled over, pulling me with him and sat up, holding me close, letting me control the rhythm.
This position had soon become my favorite. The control and dominance of it fueled my desire and flooded my veins with more heat. Using my thighs, I rose and fell, grinding down and moving faster.
He sucked on my flesh, and I held on tight, losing all tempo and riding him hard, needing to come. Daniel gripped my hips and helped me. Sweat coated my body, and my muscles ached from pulling so tight, clenching in anticipation of the orgasm to come.
“Come on, baby. Cum on my cock. Squeeze me with that tight pussy.”
Dirty talk once had me running, but now, it sent me over the edge, falling into the most blissful oblivion I’d ever known.
My world exploded all around me to the music of my own orgasm mixing with his grunts and groans.
“Fuck, yes,” he ground out. “Fuck. Hanna.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Love at First Fight by Carrie Aarons

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Smith Redfield
Heroine: Molly Archer
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 16, 2020
Started On: September 25, 2020
Finished On: September 25, 2020

Love at First Fight by Carrie Aarons, advertised as an enemies-to-lovers romance is how I was enticed into picking this up as my next read. The fact that Ms. Aarons is a new to me author did not stop me from taking the plunge. While I found the main elements of the story to be exciting, I believe that my lack of clear enjoyment in the novel stemmed from the fact that what I expected from an enemies-to-lovers romance failed to materialize in a huge way.

Molly Archer and Smith Redfield are enemies, or at least to Molly, Smith who is best friend to her ex-boyfriend hates her guts. That permanent sneer etched on his face and the barbed references that he directs her way tells a story of its own. So when she turns up at the Hamptons, determined to forget and move on from how her ex had dumped her via a text before his plane took off to Singapore in pursuit of his new job and greener pastures, the last thing she needs is for Smith to be present.

To Molly’s mortification and other feelings she would rather not name, Smith’s presence is a problem she is not ready to deal with in the aftermath of a breakup that had left her vulnerable. But buckle up she does to face Smith, a force to be reckoned with in every sense, and finds more than she bargained for once the veneer of hostility fades and behind it is a man she could fall hopelessly in love with.

For Smith, the path he had chosen when it comes to Molly had been one born out of sheer desperation. It had been either that or do something that would make him the worst human ever, and as a result, being an asshole to Molly had been how he rolled. Forced into enduring each other’s company, feelings of the kind he had wanted to avoid all along rears its head and there is no turning back from that point on.

By the time I was less than half way through the story, I realized that this was no enemies-to-lovers romance, but nevertheless it was sweet in its own way. I did not expect nor want sweet when I dived in, I wanted animosity, seething resentment, and at the heart of it, unbeatable desire and want that would lead the characters to places they had both never been before.

I believe that this novel could have delivered more heat and generated a more intense connection between Smith and Molly had the author chosen to. Another thing that irked me was how the chapters just seemed to end so abruptly; for instance when Molly and Smith visit her folks and she stands up for him when her parents were being rude to him – there was a point in which I thought a groundbreaking moment in the story was just about to happen in the next chapter.

I turned the page and it was as if I had gone into the twilight zone or a parallel universe where things had already moved on from that pivotal point or what was supposed to be one. I seriously did not understand why that was the case and even checked to see whether I had accidentally swiped a couple of pages on the Kindle and ended up one or two chapters ahead of what I should have been reading, but that was not the case.

I wanted the spark and heat, I wanted better flow in the story and not the erratic trajectory upon which the novel unfolded. Alas, while the story had much potential, the delivery sadly, was lacking.

Recommended for fans of sweet romances.

Final Verdict: Love at First Fight is no enemies-to-lovers romance, but rather the story of a love that unfolds for a man who was put in an untenable position prior to having his dream come true!

Favorite Quotes

Molly comes wordlessly, her body shivering with pleasure, her head tipped back into the pillow. She looks like a work of art, something that should be housed in the most famous of museums. Every time I think of delight, of bliss, this is the moment I’ll recall from this point on.
“I always knew … I always knew …” I seem to gasp on the words as my balls contract, cum bursting from my tip.
My climax steals through every cell, every nerve ending, a surprise as I’m still watching Molly unravel. I go still, spilling myself into her. The fact that I’m bare makes it last a lifetime, her pussy pulsing with each twitch of my cock.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Review: Sweet Dandelion by Micalea Smeltzer

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Lachlan Matthew Taylor
Heroine: Dandelion Meadows
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 25, 2020
Started On: August 14, 2020
Finished On: August 19, 2020

Sweet Dandelion by Micalea Smeltzer is a new to me author, whose books that I would definitely be checking out from here onwards. Following the aftermath and recovery from a school shooting that had rendered the heroine Dandelion Meadows unable to cope, she is required to take counseling sessions at school, which is how she meets the 29 year old school counselor, Lachlan Matthew Taylor.

Dandelion has been trying to move on from what happened for the past nine months, having lost her mother at the school shooting incident. The trauma is raw and alive within her, and though Dandelion is skeptical of the efficacy of the sessions she is required to take, meeting Lachlan is an experience in itself. From the start, Lachlan is conscientious of her needs. He does not push her into going in directions which is extremely difficult for her, but at the same time, Dandelion finds herself drawn to, and at peace with her thoughts when it comes to the her sessions with Lachlan.

When things start to change between them, even though both Dandelion and Lachlan try their darnedest to not let it happen, somehow, somethings in life are inevitable. It is pretty difficult for Lachlan to reconcile his burgeoning feelings for Dandelion with that of his role as her school counselor and as a result he struggles more than Dandelion does when it comes to the consequences of their coming together. The fact that he is also a lot older than Dandelion is one reason, and even though both Lachlan and Dandelion are lonely in a way that they both alone identify with, there is a whole host of challenges that they both need to overcome, if their love is to survive.

There is a sweet poignancy to the story as it unfolds, and Lachlan, my God Lachlan!, is definitely one for the book boyfriends list. He is sweet, dreamy, kind, has a soul that yearns for love and deep abiding connection with the other half of his soul, loves fiercely and gently at the same time, and is demanding and intense in bed, setting the pages afire. I loved Lachlan from the very first moment he came into the picture, and in a way, he reminded me of Professor Lukas Halstrom, but Lachlan is definitely one of the most unique heroes I have come across and I fell for him hard and fast.

Dandelion has her own growing up to do, even though she has an old soul that yearns for Lachlan in every single way. Even with everyone in her life dead against the thought of Lachlan and her together, Dandelion knows that she would choose to be with him in a heartbeat, if he were willing to take the risk. But then love is never easy to conquer as we would like to think, and there is a lot that Dandelion goes through before she is ready to take that step and understand where Lachlan was coming from all along.

Needless to say, I loved Sweet Dandelion. It is no mean feat to cast two protagonists whose love would be frowned upon and castigated severely by society (and it is usually for good reason), and make it into something so profoundly beautiful that I am at a loss as to how to properly describe the feelings that coursed through me as I delved deeper into their story. The in-depth characterisation, how comprehensively Ms. Smeltzer explored the range of emotions between the two, not to mention that of the secondary characters in the story; all that and more lent this tale an edge that lasted up till the last page was read and done.

There is nary a word nor character that I would do away with in Sweet Dandelion and I believe this is what extraordinary romance books are all about – taking on difficult tropes and working them out in a way that leaves the reader spellbound from start to finish. The TWO (not one), epilogues tucked at the end made up for a lot that happened as the story reached towards its climax and beyond, and I loved and reveled in all o it!

Definitely recommended for those who love romances that sweep you off your feet. Sweet Dandelion is one for the records and Lachlan, definitely a keeper!

Final Verdict: Sweet Dandelion is story that is nuanced, sumptuous, and phenomenal; Lachlan and Dandelion sweep you off your feet on a journey that is worth every obstacle faced along the way to their HEA!

Favorite Quotes

I lean over, closing the short distance between us. The peppermint on his tongue permeates the air and I lick my bottom lip before I press my lips to his. My mouth tingles from the taste of him. He doesn’t move at first, but then a manly growl echoes in his throat. His long strong fingers tangle in my hair. His hold is tight enough to hurt, but isn’t painful. His tongue finds mine and that minty taste is everywhere.
I’ve never been kissed like this before. It’s a ravaging more than a kiss, like he’s a knight claiming his bounty. His stubble burns my cheeks, but I don’t mind the sting—it’s a welcome reminder that this is real, I’m kissing Lachlan, but more importantly he’s kissing me back.

His eyes close once more, murmuring my name.
In a blink his hands are on my hips.
I squeak as he pulls me onto his lap. My hips sink down onto him, a soft moan parting my lips at the feel of him pressed to my center.
“Dani,” he croons.
His hands fist in my hair.
I roll my hips, eliciting another moan from my throat.
“Dani,” a purr this time.
Finally, blissfully, his lips are on mine.

He kisses me with a desperation I mirror with my movements. I’m eager to get closer to him, to feel every part of him.
Our tongues tangle together with a passion we’ve kept chained for months. This is the kind of kiss I’ve seen in movies and read in the books he’s let me borrow. It’s a kiss that changes things. There’s no coming back from this. It doesn’t in any way compare to our first kiss. That was a hesitant, fragile thing, while this is a claiming.

“Lachlan,” I gasp, and he bites my bottom lip, tugging it into his mouth.
His blue eyes meet mine in the dark as he releases my lip. “Let go, Dani, I’ve got you.”
I don’t want to let go, because once I do, I’m afraid this moment between us will be over too. There’s no controlling it once I fall off the ledge into an abyss of pleasure. His hold tightens on my hips, his own rocking against mine.
He pants, letting out a low groan. “Fuck.”
We fall together.
Spinning.
Twirling.
Stars.
Pleasure.

“Why does it have to be you?” he whispers gruffly, moving his lips over my face.
“Kiss me,” I beg, not even caring if I sound wanton.
He does, our dance long forgotten but a whole new one beginning to play out.
His hands move down my body, creating a trail that sends fire spreading through my body. “Touch me,” I beg. “Please.” My voice is achy with need.
“Dani—”
“Please.”
His uttered, “Fuck,” is a deep rumble.

His long legs round the couch, carrying me down the hall. He taps the door to his bedroom with his foot and in a blink my back hits his mattress.
His big body is a blanket over mine. With his grip on my neck, our lips are only separated by millimeters. “You’re so fucking beautiful.”
“Show me.”
His eyes flash in the darkened bedroom, only illuminated by the lights emanating from the outside. “Dani—”
“Show me,” I beg, kissing his chin. “Show me.” His jaw. “Show me.” His cheek. “Show me.”
His eyes stare deep into mine.
Looking.
Searching.
Finding.

“I love you,” I murmur, pressing a tender kiss to his lips.
His hands flex against my sides, his jaw working back and forth as his eyes fill with turmoil. I fear he’s going to shove me away, that common sense is going to overtake our feelings, but he doesn’t do that. “I love you, too.” The words are barely above a whisper, but they’re every-fucking-thing and I feel them all the way down to my toes. Saying them once must make him bolder, because he says them again, this time louder. “I love you.” Louder. “I love you.” He begins to punctuate each word with a kiss. “I love you. I love you. I love you Dandelion Meadows. Despite it all, despite myself, I love you.”
Our kisses deepen, fueled by a love that defies the odds.

“Dani,” he growls my name into my ear, turning into a feral sound. “Fuck, you’re killing me baby.”
He applies a little more pressure to my clit, increasing his speed. My orgasm hits like a rocket shooting into the sky. My whole body shakes and when my hands fall from the glass, my body unable to stay upright, he’s there to catch me.
He gathers me into his arms, holding me close, gently now.
He rubs my back as the tremors fade. “That was—”
He silences me with a kiss. Rubbing his thumb over my cheek he stares into my eyes. “Amazing,” he finishes for me.

“Lachlan—”
In a blink he’s upon me, his mouth taking mine prisoner. He’s rough, demanding. His hold on my cheeks is tight and I find my back pressed against the wall.
He claws at me like a wild animal, bunching the tulle of my skirt in his hands, trying to yank it up.
I kiss him back with fervor, a spark igniting into an entire fire inside me from one touch of his lips. I match his desperation, pulling at his shirt, trying to get it over his head.
He tosses the shirt off like he can’t get it far enough away from him.
His eyes are twin sapphires blazing when he looks down at me. His whole body is a taut live wire waiting to go off.
“If you don’t tell me how to get you out of this dress, I’ll rip it off of you.”

Purchase Links: Amazon