Review: Crime of Passion by Lynne Graham

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Rafael Cristobal Rodriguez Berganza
Heroine: Georgie
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 01, 1996
Started On: October 18, 2021
Finished On: October 23, 2021

Crime of Passion by Lynne Graham is a novel that was originally published in 1996. The story begins with 23 year old Georgie finding herself in the most untenable of situations; locked up in a prison cell in Bolivia. Georgie travels to Bolivia in anticipation of meeting her best friend María Cristina Reveron, who is almost ready to give birth to her first child. Even though María had extended the invitation for her to visit many a time during the past four years, Georgie had resisted at every turn, mostly because the wounds inflicted by María’s brother, aka Georgie’s first love had been just too fresh to contend with.

28 year old Rafael Cristobal Rodriguez Berganza holds a very low opinion of the woman to whose rescue he is forced to come to. Similar to Georgie who hates Rafael for the way he had treated her all those years back, Rafael believes Georgie to be too loose with her affections, and Rafael had made it quite clear on the day that he had walked out, that she had failed to meet his standards in every single way possible.

With Georgie’s passport lost, Rafael makes the arbitrary decision to take her home with him until it can be replaced. There is no denying the undercurrents taut with sexual tension that is between the two from the get-go, even when Georgie is spitting mad at Rafael and he goading her at every turn. In the midst of it all, the old hurts and resentments come to the forefront, with each giving as good as they get, that is until Rafael encounters the undeniable proof that Georgie had stayed true to him, when he had erroneously being led to believe otherwise.

I thoroughly enjoyed the heady journey that Rafael and Georgie take towards their happily ever after. A lot of readers might dislike Rafael because he does not comply with modern reader tastes. But for me, he he is the kind of hero that I grew up falling in love with in romance books. Arrogant to a fault, that is until they meet their match in every sense. As a result, Rafael and Georgie’s journey is one fraught with misunderstandings, a whole lot of stubbornness on both ends, a dash of old fashioned patriarchal beliefs guiding Rafael (the moment Georgie threw that at his face was hysterical), and the undeniable sexual chemistry between the two which bursts forth at every turn.

Neither Rafael nor Georgie had stood a chance when they first encountered each other, but the period of separation was perhaps needed in order for them to understand what they have with each other, with maturity guiding them through the most turbulent moments of their reunion. Had they gotten married previously, both of them would have driven each other crazy and not in a good way, with Rafael becoming disillusioned with the image he had built of what his perfect bride would be like, and Georgie miserable, trying to live up to his grand expectations.

While Rafael needed to loosen up a bit, Georgie needed to become more grounded and that is what inevitably makes this second chance encounter worth it in every sense.

Recommended for those who love second chance romances, fans of Lynne Graham, and fans of the alpha heroes who stand true to who they are from the get-go!

Final Verdict: Tempestuous passion guaranteed in every sizzling line; there is none who can bring forth the kind of angst in romance as Lynne Graham!

Favorite Quotes

Many very good-looking men missed out on being sexy. But not Rafael. Rafael was a blatantly sexual male animal, flagrantly attuned to the physical. The air around him positively sizzled. So why the heck was this sophisticated, experienced Latin-American lover having so much difficulty buttoning up her coat? Unwarily she collided with glittering golden eyes, and it was like being struck by lightning.
He was so close she could smell a hint of citrusy aftershave, overlying clean, husky male. Her nostrils flared. Her nipples tightened into painful sensitivity, a spiralling ache twisting low in her stomach. Nearby, someone cleared their throat. She tore her gaze from Rafael’s and met the looks of visible fascination emanating from his bodyguards, standing several feet away. She realised that she and Rafael had simply been standing there staring at each other. Devastated by her overpowering physical awareness of him, Georgie turned away, her throat closing over.

‘Do all your lovers turn you on this hard and this fast?’ Rafael lowered his dark head and allowed the tip of his tongue to slide erotically between her lips, just once, in a darting foray that sent heat coursing through her in a debilitating wave.
‘Every one of them!’ she slammed back in a breathless rush.
‘But I’ll be the one you remember long after I’m gone,’ Rafael completed with predatory assurance, quite untouched by her attempt to repel him, a strong hand splaying across her hips to jerk her into even closer contact, and she stopped breathing altogether as he moved fluidly against her, bringing her into unashamed contact with the hard thrust of his arousal.

He lifted her with ease and one of her shoes fell off. She opened startled eyes a split-second before he brought his mouth crashing down on hers. She stopped thinking, she started simply feeling. The effect was that immediate. Her hands bit into his broad shoulders as she strained against the hard heat of his muscular length. Her fingers drifted into his hair and she was lost, controlled by an intolerable need that sent the blood pounding at an insane rate through her veins. Slowly, very slowly, he slid her down the length of his body on to her feet again and lifted his head.
‘You go to pieces when I touch you. I like that…I love that,’ Rafael muttered with a ragged groan of satisfaction. ‘It gives me an incredible sexual high no other woman has ever matched. I saw you lying asleep in that cell and every decent thought, every piece of self-restraint fled instantaneously. I’d have killed to get you out of there and into my bed.’

He stared down at her with a raw, sexual hunger that burned through clear to her bones. Heat flooded her in a blinding surge. A hard thigh sank between hers and she quivered violently, the fevered pulse-point of desire thrumming ever higher inside her.
‘You see…’ Rafael muttered thickly. ‘And I haven’t even begun yet.’
As he buried his mouth in a tiny hollow below her fragile collarbone, he let his thumbs rub expertly across her thrusting pink nipples. She jerked, an involuntary moan torn from her, and he lowered his head to employ his mouth and that wickedly knowing tongue on those unbearably sensitive buds. He drove her crazy. Sensation like white-hot lightning licked at every nerve-ending and she twisted and gasped in helpless excitement. She was in thrall to a dark enchantment of the senses and the most extraordinary pleasure.

Rafael groaned something in his own language and swept her right off her feet with bruisingly impatient hands. She captured his hard cheekbones between her palms and stared up at him with dazed eyes, out of focus with passion. He succumbed to the lure of her swollen mouth again somewhere halfway up the stairs and control seemed to go out of the window at that point, because he braced her against the wall and took her lips with a driving, demanding sexuality which reduced her to mental rubble.
‘Madre de Dios…’ he swore roughly against her throat, struggling for breath, and then he carried her up into the bedroom, tumbled her down on the bed and pinned her there with a wildly exciting lack of cool.

He seized on a taut rosy crest with his teeth and the explosion of sensation he released made her cry out, her teeth gritting, her throat extending.
‘Perdicion’ he groaned, lifting his arrogant dark head to look down at her as he dealt at speed with the remainder of his clothing. ‘So long…I have waited so long for this.’
So long, yes, she thought intensely, reaching back up for him with the single-minded motivation of a programmed doll. A relentless hunger seized her as he sealed his virile length to hers. Her whole body flushed with consuming heat and she turned to him, driven by something much more powerful than she was, and let her hands travel through the light mat of curling black hair across his muscular chest, glorying in the freedom to touch him at last.

He penetrated her anxiously parted lips with his tongue and she shuddered, electrified by the intense eroticism of his opening assault.
‘Closer,’ he urged, his breath fanning her cheek, smouldering golden eyes burning down into hers as his hands cupped the swell of her buttocks and lifted her into intimate connection with the hard thrust of his arousal. ‘Sí… like that…’
He crushed her mouth under his and she was electrified by the hunger which leapt into response inside her. Keen and fierce as a knife, that voracious hunger cleaved through her flesh. Her breasts swelled and ached and her nipples pinched into painfully sensitive points. She arched her back like a sensuous cat, desperate for more sensation, her head thrown back, her hands wound round his neck.

He coiled a booted foot round the back of her legs and tipped her down on the grass with such fluid ease and speed that she didn’t have a hope of evading the manoeuvre. A second later, he came down on top of her, one hand reaching instantly for the snap of her jeans. ‘We’ll save the Ferrari for some other time…but here, now, on Berganza soil… this is for me!’
Georgie was so shocked that he had her halfway out of her jeans before she made even a partial recovery. ‘Have you gone mad?’ she shrieked.
Her jeans were east aside. He knelt astride her and slid down the zip on his riding breeches. Georgie stared up at him with a dropped jaw. He shed his polo shirt, flexing powerful muscles that rippled smoothly across his hair-roughened chest. She shivered in the heat, her nostrils flaring at the musky male scent of him.
‘You are mine… like the land.’

‘Ahora… now.’
He lifted himself and plunged inside her in one devastating thrust of possession. Her every sense was screaming for the release that only he could give. Her nails dug into his back and then he was moving on her, inside her, with every powerful stroke of his hips reinforcing his dominance. As the heat of passion spiralled out of control, she cried out in ecstasy as he drove her to a shattering climax.
Still in a satiated daze, Georgie lifted her heavy eyelids. He reminded her of a primitive golden god, surveying a pagan sacrifice spread out before him. An aching vulnerability swept her as she collided with tawny tiger eyes that revealed nothing of his thoughts.
‘Rafael?’ Involuntarily her hand reached up to smooth one hard cheekbone.
‘Enamorada…’ With a curiously harsh laugh, he took her startled, reddened mouth with his own and it began all over again…

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBooks | Harlequin | Apple

Authors, Publishers, E-books and Piracy

ebook-piracy-300x411Living in a corner of the world where reading is not everyone’s favorite past time, also hindered by the fact that little variety is available to voracious readers like us who tend to read a lot and that also costing an arm or a leg to acquire a book you covet, needless to say, reading can become quite an expensive habit out here in the Maldives. And reading through a discussion thread on a forum the other night, I found that we Maldivians are not alone in this. There are other countries out there who do not have many book sellers willing to furnish their stores with an abundance of paperbacks or hardcovers, maybe because of the fact that a very small percentage of the population actively take an interest in reading and continue with it long after they finish school and start working.

When I first discovered the concept of e-books and that they existed back in 2006 (yes, we are kind of slow on the uptake over here) needless to say I was ecstatic. I first stumbled upon a collection of e-books whilst googling out of boredom at work on a slow day. It was as if I had struck gold, and to this day I can still feel the buzz of excitement I felt upon the discovery. Back then I didn’t give much thought as to whether people sharing e-books over the Internet was right or wrong, I was just a happy book lover, ecstatic over the endless supply of books to read.

But as the buzz started to fade off, I realized that actually very few books are freely available on the market, and that as technology progressed, e-book readers that worked on the computer such as Microsoft Reader and Mobipocket Reader protected the content that was purchased by making it available only for the owner of the e-book. As with any sort of restriction that is laid out in terms of technology or otherwise, workaround solutions that enabled users to strip the protective features and share their e-books with whomever they pleased cropped up as well – a nightmare for authors and publishers likewise. What struck me as the most ironic thing when it comes to the sale of e-books is the fact that certain e-book sellers restrict the sale of e-books region wise. Somehow, I always managed to find another seller who is not so picky and managed to obtain the book I wanted, but it was cumbersome as hell to always look for an e-seller who wouldn’t discriminate based on the region where I was purchasing my books from.

Then came the reign of e-book readers, handheld devices on which books published in the e-format could be read. When Amazon released its Kindle, I was practically drooling over here on the other side of the world. But as usual, like as with most good things in life, Amazon preferred to sell its Kindle to American users alone. And when Amazon announced that it was releasing Kindle’s International version, I was almost about to jump up and down with joy; until I found out that Maldives wasn’t international enough for Amazon.

Somehow, knowing that all I needed was a USB cable and a computer even if we didn’t have Whispernet over here, I managed to purchase a Kindle from a seller on Ebay who wasn’t so picky with the region stuff. After much nail biting and worrying over the late delivery, I finally received my Kindle and I don’t think you would have found a happier person on Earth at that very moment!

With the large content of e-books on Amazon, I was happy and content with the fact that I was set for life with my Kindle. Never would I have to worry that such and such book was not available for me to buy and download and sink into. But then, as all good things do tend to end, this particular euphoria abandoned me with a feeling of futile hopelessness in its wake, when Amazon refused to sell me their e-books, because once again I was attempting to purchase their content from Maldives – God forbid!

I was quite pissed off to say the least because compared to other e-book sellers, Amazon tended to sell at the lowest prices imaginable. I made a note of complain and received the following reply from their customer service.Since publishers give us eBook rights on a country by country basis, availability and pricing of titles from the Kindle Store can vary by your home country or region. We are actively working with publishers to get the rights to all titles for every country and adding selection every day.” This was back in June and to this day, I haven’t managed to purchase any content from Amazon for my Kindle.

When publishers open up their mouths and complain or talk about the legal ramifications of piracy and its effect on their income and that of the authors, I believe this is one critical point that they ought to ponder upon as well. I am all for paying up and actively owning what I read, but if I meet these kinds of restrictions from every e-book seller website that I come across, I wouldn’t want that to stop me from reading what I want now would it? Any techno savvy person would needlessly search for other avenues, and maybe even come up with ways on their own to share whatever content that they have with other fellow readers. Maybe its the wrong way to think but discriminating e-book buyers by region – yes, I would call it discrimination, is not actively helping curb piracy and its aftereffects. I for one hope that this discrimination stops here and now, and that we readers in regions unknown (it’s not like we come from another planet or something!) would also be able to access and buy content at equal prices as those who are lucky enough in this instance to live in the US, UK or other developed countries.

Stripping DRM from Mobipocket Books

mobipocketreaderThough stripping DRM from ebooks and sharing them with your friends or other book lovers is illegal in many countries, I believe that the owner of the book ought to have the freedom to read the e-book on whatever device that he/she wants. Since I purchased my Kindle I have had very few problems with different formats because it is always possible to convert most formats into the .prc (Mobipocket Reader) format that is readable on Kindle. However, these .prc books need to be DRM free, otherwise you would not be able to read them on Kindle which for me is a hassle.

Since prior to purchasing Kindle and using it to read all my e-books, I have managed to make quite a collection of e-books of .lit (Microsoft Reader) format as well as .prc format. Long back I have learnt the trick to stripping the DRM from Microsoft Reader e-books, but the methodology involved behind stripping Mobipocket Reader ebooks of their DRM feature has always continued to elude me. Until the need to do so had me searching the Internet and I came across a very useful article on how to do so here.

Though it might seem a daunting prospect to tangle with Python scripts and use the command prompt on your computer for someone who is not that computer savvy, it is actually pretty simple when broken down into a couple of steps that even a very newbie user of the computer could follow.

I hope that the link provided in this post helps owners of e-books of the Mobipocket Reader format with removing the DRM feature in them to enjoy their e-book on whatever e-book reader that they may choose to read.

Happy reading everyone!

Kindle on your PC!

There is good news after all now for those of us who are unlucky enough to live in Maldives. I say unlucky cos Amazon doesn’t sell Kindle to those who live in our country, and I also had to get mine from Ebay from a reseller who I guess was the only seller who provided international shipping. Anyhow I am kind of twiddling my thumbs at work today having nothing much to do. Since I would rather not be caught reading on my Kindle without a care at work, I opted to find out whether there was anyway in which I could read the Kindle books that I had purchased from Amazon on my computer and voila I hit pay dirt when I came across the information that Amazon is now offering Kindle for PC Beta, a free software that allows you to download your Kindle books and read it on your PC. Now how cool is that!

The application is quite simple and with a few cool features. If you are connected to the Internet on your PC, you would be able to view all your purchased Kindle version books under “Archived Items” and download them for reading as well. And the “Shop in Kindle Store” button opens up the Kindle store in your default browser so that you can browse and shop for books to your hearts content. With Amazon releasing Kindle versions of all major bestsellers and even some of those rare out-of-print versions, this is one treasure any e-book lover shouldn’t forgo. And the best thing about Kindle books are that it comes cheap, very cheap compared to the hardcover versions that usually come out during the first release of a bestseller. With each book under 10 US$, with cool book management features you cannot go wrong in trying this out!

As with anything that’s a beta version, I am pretty sure that there must be a couple of bugs lying around within the application. But am sure that given time, the Kindle for PC could become one of the major e-book readers out there, outbidding Microsoft’s MS Reader and Mobipocket Reader from Mobipocket SA.

So happy reading everyone! And until my next review which should be up pretty soon!