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: Thick as Thieves by Sandra Brown

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Ledge Burnet
Heroine: Arden Maxwell
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 25, 2020
Started On: September 04, 2020
Finished On: September 13, 2020

Thick as Thieves by Sandra Brown may not be my favorite book from hers of late, but it is still a worthy read in many ways, the effusive charm with which Ms. Brown lures readers to her books ever so present. The story begins in the year 2000, with a theft of one million dollars taking place, by the following day which, one ends up in the hospital, the other dead, and another in jail. The money goes missing along with one of the men, never to be found again.

Years later, daughter of the man who went missing, Arden Maxwell returns to her hometown, drawn to find out once and for all what it is that had happened to her father that fateful night. Arden comes to town with her own little secret, yet finds herself dealing with a loss that is profound, which drives her more so than ever to get to the truth. However, the forces at play in town includes those that mean her harm, believing Arden to be the only way to find the missing money.

Ledge Burnet whose past is tied with that of the perpetrator, finds himself reluctantly drawn into the world that is Arden’s. When she seeks him out to undertake renovations at her family home, Ledge finds his protective and primal instincts roused, wanting to posses and be possessed by the woman who holds him enthralled.

I enjoyed the combination that is Arden and Ledge, Arden being just the right touch of defiance and vulnerability that meshes well with the totally alpha male that is Ledge. The one thing that I continue to admire, be a fan of, and be irresistibly drawn towards is the unique craftsmanship when it comes to heroes in Ms. Brown’s books. It is effortless, the way in which her heroes always makes me fall and fall hard, and that has always been the case, no matter what.

While I predicted what had happened on the night that changed the lives of both Arden and Ledge’s, I still enjoyed the immersive experience that this book offered and am definitely looking forward to Blind Tiger, which is to hit the book shelves on August of this year!

Recommended for fans of thrillers, romantic suspense, and fans of Ms. Brown’s impressive ability to write books that continue to amaze!

Final Verdict: With Thick as Thieves, Ms. Brown delivers a tale that is a page turner on multiple fronts, rendering the reader to be in a constant state of anticipation from start to finish.

Favorite Quotes

Throughout the day, she’d caught herself analyzing that kiss, the manly spontaneity that had sparked it, the bold lustiness of it, and its startling, erotic effect on her.
But all her analyses had left her no better prepared for this kiss. She might have invited it, but he immediately took charge of it. Taking unrestricted possession of her mouth, he slid his tongue along hers. She responded with an involuntary, shivery movement of her breasts against his chest.
A low growl emanated from his throat. His hands grazed the sides of her breasts before coasting down her rib cage to bracket her hips.

He raised his head, looked into her face, pulled his arm from around her shoulders, and swept his thumb across her full, wet lower lip. “You want to know about my interest in you? It has a lot to do with this.”
“Actions speak louder than words.”
Holding her gaze, he slipped his left hand beneath the hem of her top, pressed his palm against her midriff, then moved it up to squeeze her breast and keep it plumped above the cup of her bra while lowering his head to nuzzle her.
He rubbed his face against those tantalizing breasts that for days—seemed like a lifetime—he had wanted to put his mouth to.

“That morning when you came uninvited to my house, you ran your hand—this hand—along the bannister and across the mantel. Appreciatively. Like a caress. You probably weren’t even aware of doing it. But it was so sensual, it took my breath. And ever since, I’ve fantasized you stroking me, just that way.”
Lust as incendiary as lava coursed through him, overtaking everything. In its path, conscience, morality, and honor were consumed, and supplanted by unstoppable desire.
Glass of whiskey still in hand, he curved his arm around her neck, hooking it in the bend of his elbow, and growled, “Your fantasy is a helluva lot tamer than mine.”

She reached between their bodies and wrapped her hand around him. Her eyes widened in appreciation of his ampleness, which made him groan around another half smile. It turned into a grimace of pleasure as she stroked her way up, back down, up again.
Then she caressed the tip. It was full and taut, and already slick. The slow revolutions her thumb made to spread the moisture caused him to hiss and squeeze his eyes shut. “Damn, Arden. Now.”
She did as asked and guided him. He pushed into her, but drew in a sharp breath over her tightness. “Jesus. Are you sure you—”
“Yes.” She clutched his butt and tilted her hips up.

He kept the pace languid, but with each gliding arc, he pushed in a little higher, reaching her where he hadn’t before, and when she said his name on a near sob, he gathered her against him until there was no space between them. Nothing existed except her body and his, his hard and insistent, hers soft and inviting, his inside hers, a perfect coupling.
The chair rocked slowly; they spun out of control.

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

Review: The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England, Scotland and Wales by Anne Stuart

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Impeccably Demure Press
Hero: Christopher St. James Constant
Heroine: Miss Bryony Marton
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 14, 2020
Started On: August 20, 2020
Finished On: September 04, 2020

If you are fan of Anne Stuart like myself, and have in all probability read most of her published books you can get your hands on, you would probably jump at the very possibility of a new book being published by a veritable master of the genre. There are very few books by Ms. Stuart that has not satisfied me on all counts, and even then, her stories tend to have that edge and quality to them that makes them memorable. Ms. Stuart is also the maestro when it comes to writing anti-heroes; her ICE series (contemporary) and The House of Rohan series (historical) are testament to this fact.

Published in August of last year, The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England, Scotland and Wales (quite a mouthful, I know), was therefore much awaited to say the least. I had been regularly following up on Ms. Stuart’s blog to see when this baby would be published, and of course once it was, I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to dig in, even with work deadlines looming.

Christopher St. James Constant, third Earl of Adderley (Kit) is a man bored out of his mind, willing to be amused by pretty much anything. The news that his “friend” Sir George Latherby is about to get married rouses him of the boredom and lack of interest in life that plagues him, and so cooking up a nefarious plan to kidnap the betrothed to hasten the nuptials among other things, thus Adderly finds himself in the company of 25 year old Honorable Miss Bryony Marton.

Bryony wants nothing to do with her betrothed or any man for that matter. On the plain side, with scandal having eroded any means of making a good marriage match possible, Bryony has been biding her time until she could escape the confinement that is her every day life. When that “escape” comes in the form of kidnapping, while Bryony could have managed everything if it had been just herself, the fact that her cousin Cecelia is also taken alongside with her complicates matters.

Adderly, while he expects to be entertained to some extent by the events that unfold, he never would be thought it possible to be taken by surprise when it comes to Bryony. Her calm and unflappable demeanor, even under the most trying circumstances leaves him with an indescribable feeling coursing through him. Furthermore, when it would be far easier to have his way with the silly chit that is Bryony’s cousin, Adderly finds himself drawn to the plain looking thing that Bryony is, in a way that he is not at all comfortable with.

In the midst of it, Ms. Stuart also brings to life a secondary romance between Cecelia and Peter Barnes, member of the Bow Street Magistrate’s Court who is hired by Cecelia’s parents to bring her back home, leaving Bryony to her fate.

The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England, Scotland and Wales is a story that brings an abundance of joy to to the expectant fans of Ms. Stuart. It has the hero whose reluctance to accept his feelings towards the heroine prevents him from giving in, and the heroine who at first, with her survival instincts kicking in, knows that the hero heralds the end of her life as she had known it.

While both Bryony and Adderly may not want to accept the heat that is very much alive between them, especially Adderly who knows better, there is no denying nor resisting what is inevitable. Their coming together is explosive in the way only Ms. Stuart can deliver scenes of passion, and the aftermath giving you that ton of angst to keep your adrenaline pumping. While Adderly tries (he truly does), to leave Bryony behind and get on with his life (though there is not much to it without her by his side), towards the end, it is Bryony who musters up the strength required to get them to their happily ever after.

I did love the story as it unfolded, with the main protagonists being endearing in their own unique ways. When it comes to the secondary romance, at first, I did not mind much for Cecelia’s character – I just found her to be a “convenient distraction” from what was springing to life between Adderly and Bryony. I felt quite annoyed by the time Ms. Stuart dedicated to Cecelia at that point in time. But once Peter Barnes came into the picture, I somehow found myself eagerly waiting for the bits and pieces to their story as well, finding Peter to be a hero I would have loved reading about more!

Adderly is an addictive hero – there is no doubt about that. He is lethal to your heart in a way that you foresee, but at the same time, you are unable to prevent him from piercing through and staking his claim on it. Bryony, with her calm and at times motherly nature, is exactly what Adderly needs but resists up till the very last minute. Adderly hides his scars behind the mask of indifference and boredom that assails his life and there is a darkness to his past that he has never really recovered from. The tantalizing bits and pieces to his past that Ms. Stuart dangles is just enough to draw your own conclusions and that is somehow enough to understand where Adderly is coming from.

At the cost of repeating myself, I loved the scenes of passion; they were certainly decadent. Though there was an epilogue to the story (readers deserved one after all the upheavals that we went through), it was a strange one to say the least. But nevertheless, it did serve its purpose, leaving the reader wanting more, and at the same time wondering whether Ms. Stuart would write a story about finding the modern day equivalent of Adderly. As an avid fan of Ms. Stuart, I can only hope!

Definitely recommended for fans of anti heroes, fans of Ms. Stuart, and those who love historical romances!

Final Verdict: Ms. Stuart does it yet again, delivering a delectably phenomenal read, with characters who tug at your heart and incite every sort of emotion conceivable.

Favorite Quotes

He lifted his mouth from hers. “Open up, poppet,” he said, devilment in his eyes. “It’s time you learned to kiss properly.”
“I know about proper kisses,” she said somewhat breathlessly.
“I stand corrected—let me show you about improper kisses.” He dropped his mouth to hers once more, and his tongue touched hers with a slow, languorous stroke.

“Never let it be said I disappointed a lady,” he muttered, and before she realized it, he’d crossed the safe distance that had remained between them, slid his hands through the loose curls on the back of her head and crushed his mouth down on hers.
Cecilia Elliston had kissed seventeen men and boys, and she considered herself a reasonable expert in the matter, but she’d never, ever been kissed like Peter Barnes kissed her. He’d turned her around, pressing her up against the wall, and his mouth slanted across hers, hot and hard and wet.

“I’m not a termagant.”
“Perhaps not. In fact, I’m not entirely sure how sweet you are beneath your calm exterior. I have every intention of finding out.” Before she could sense what he was doing, he’d slid one hand behind her neck and drawn her face to his, his open mouth covering hers.
She’d thought he was calm, poised, playing games with her, but his kiss wiped out any pretense of self-control. With a low growl, he turned her in his arms, so that she was straddling him on the wooden chair, and she could feel him between her legs, that hard part of him that fascinated and frightened her. He used his tongue, kissing her with such a ferocity that she could do nothing but let herself be kissed, as slowly he moved her, back and forth over that solid ridge of flesh beneath his breeches.

He took her hand away from her body and placed it between his legs. “There’s your proof. If you want to swear this night never happened, then be my guest. Most men wouldn’t notice whether you were a virgin or not.”
She tried to pull her hand back, but he held it there. “Night?” she echoed doubtfully.
“All night long,” he confirmed. “Now come here.”
“I am here,” she said stubbornly, trying to ignore the fear and desire that were building anew within her.
“Closer.” Obediently, she crossed the tiny distance so that she knelt between his long legs. “Now kiss me. Kiss me the way I kissed you.”
This was the point of no return, her last chance to say no. She leaned forward and put her mouth against his, and her uncovered breasts pressed against his chest. She tried to retreat, but he put his arm around her, pulling her closer, and he deepened the kiss, his tongue meeting her shy one, coaxing it, teasing it, so that she forgot to think, so lost in sensation that she felt drugged with it. With lust, he said.

The first, tiny wash of pleasure was a shock, and she let out a little gasp as it hit her. He lifted his head, breathing on her tender parts. “You liked that, didn’t you? Stop fighting me and you’ll like it a lot more.” He licked again, and then slid two long fingers inside her.
The sudden invasion shocked her, and she squirmed, but it only seemed to bring her closer to his mouth, as he explored, licked, and sucked with seemingly all the time in the world, and his fingers pumped into her slowly, readying her, and this was all too much…
The sudden convulsion hit her, so fast and so hard that she cried out, but instead of drawing back, he redoubled his efforts, and she felt the nip of his teeth. It was the last thing she remembered, as darkness shut around her, her entire body seemed to explode in tiny pinpricks of reaction, and no sooner had one wave crashed them another rose, and she was crying, thrashing, caught in the maelstrom.

He didn’t move, holding himself just slightly above her so that his full weight wasn’t crushing her, and his eyes were closed, his face cold and hard in the moonlight. Slowly, her body relaxed, beginning to accept his presence so deep inside her, and she wanted what she’d felt before, that glorious, unsettling crash of feelings that had now left her completely. She tried to shift, but his voice came, hard and strained.
“Don’t move.”
She stayed still, wondering when this would be over. Though admittedly, there was a certain…pleasure in being covered by him, surrounded and invaded by all that strength.
“Are we done?” she whispered, uncertain.
His laugh was the last thing she expected, and she could feel it all through her body, everywhere his skin touched her. “We’ve only begun.”

He bit her breast, and reaction slammed down on her, that mindless, blinding delight, multiplied by a thousand candle flames, and he was moving fast now, deep, powerful thrusts that only made her needier. She wanted to tell him, but she’d lost the power of speech, and he was moving so fast, slamming into her, and their bodies were slick with sweat, and she needed…
And she was gone, lost in a storm of sensation that she simply shattered in his arms, holding tightly, as if she were drowning, and he was the only port in the storm. She was vaguely aware that he suddenly pulled out of her, and she felt the heat and wetness on her stomach, and she wanted to cry out. She needed him inside her, she needed everything….

“More,” he whispered hoarsely, and before she realized what he was doing he’d pulled her down onto him, still hard, and she let out a little cry of distress and satisfaction, as she felt him grow within her. “Your turn,” he said in a rough voice, hard hands at her hips, moving her.
She pushed against his shoulders, straightening up, and the sensation was strange, different, wonderful, and he was moving her, in small increments, up and down his shaft, rubbing inside her. Fresh need filled her, and she was the one who needed more, needed more of him, all of him. She didn’t need his hands guiding the rhythm, she’d caught it on her own, and she moved, sure and certain, pulling up high and then sinking down again with a cry of pure satisfaction
.

She came again, harder this time, and the little shriek was music to his ears, but when he went back for more, she pushed him away. “Wait,” she said in a hoarse voice. “Wait.”
“I don’t feel like waiting,” he growled, so close to the taste of her that it was driving him mad.
“Get over it,” she said, and he fell back with a laugh. She was standing up to him. No one ever stood up to him, particularly in bed, and his cock grew unimaginably harder.
She got to her knees on the mattress, looking down at him, and she looked like a hoyden, an angel, and something in between. She looked like a woman without fear, and he wanted to celebrate it, but instead, she pushed him down on the bed and followed with her kiss.

He pulled out, and she let out of cry of desolation. “No!” she moaned, but he simply flipped her over beneath him, so that her face was in the disordered sheets.
“Yes,” he said, pulling her hips up. “This way.” And he pushed inside her from the back, feeling her quim tighten around him once more, rippling in reaction, and finally he was released, let go. He thrust into her like a madman, over and over, until she suddenly shrieked, clamping down around him, and he exploded inside her, filling her with his seed, collapsing over her, holding her beneath him as he spurted, and at the last minute, he latched his teeth onto her neck and bit her like a big cat marking his mate.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Kobo

Review: Unconditional by Q.B. Tyler

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Cal Michael Grayson
Heroine: Madeline Elizabeth
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 14, 2019
Started On: August 06, 2020
Finished On: August 14, 2020

Unconditional by Q.B. Tyler is my first ever book by the author, and definitely would not be my last. With an age difference of 16 years between the hero and heroine, not to mention the fact that hero is the guardian of the heroine from a tender age, this story is filled with all kinds of forbidden deliciousness that it is hard to put down once you get started. That is if you are a reader like myself who loves tropes of the nature.

The story begins ten years prior to present day, when 23 year old Cal Michael Grayson, a newly minted cop finds himself in a setting of domestic violence that reeks of horrors untold. Soon after, seven year old Madeline Elizabeth comes under his care, the years following which is fulfilling in a way that Cal would never have thought possible.

However, change comes calling when 13 year old Madeline starts to see Cal in a whole different light, chastising herself all the while for the way she feels. There is nothing happening between her and Cal at this point, except for her own sexual awakening, which had been purely due to her own intuitiveness and curiosity playing its role, and Cal had starred prominently as the lead in each and every single one of her fantasies. Things hit a point of no return when Madeline is 17 years old, with just a couple of weeks away from hitting 18.

While Cal would not admit to his changing feelings towards Madeline even at gun point, as always, he is in a fix when it comes to denying Madeline what she wants. Cal is a mass of confusion, want, and self derision when it comes to his feelings towards Madeline and it is not easy to walk away when desire and love for her tugs at his very soul.

Of course there are those in Cal and Madeline’s lives that frown upon the connection between them. After all, it is hard for those observing what is unfolding to understand the true nature of feelings two people have for each other. Obviously the hero being 16 years older, and the fact that he is her legal guardian for that matter makes things doubly difficult. But there was a sensitivity with which Ms. Tyler handled it all which makes for swell reading and I reveled in every single feeling that coursed through me as I read along.

Cal makes it really easy to fall in love with him. After all he is kind, gentle, and wants what is best for Madeline, even if it means cutting his own heart open and letting himself bleed. He would lay down his very life for Madeline and there is no easy way to reconcile with his burgeoning feelings of the amorous variety when it comes to her, his Madeline. But of course, Madeline does not make it easy for him to walk away just like that, and it is she that makes sure that Cal sees her feelings for what they are – feelings of the till death do us part kind which has no beginning and no end.

I found Unconditional to be just purrfect. I believe in the fact that love often finds us at the most inopportune moments, that we have no power over whom we love (though we do have power over what we decide to do with that love), and society would always judge us no matter what – there is just no pleasing everyone. Ms. Tyler does an amazing job of bringing out the emotions, characterization, and the oh dear Lord, hot as sin sex scenes that just fired up the pages.

Loved the epilogue, which was sheer perfection, much needed after all that was said and done. Recommended for fans of taboo themed romances. This one is pretty much it when considering the circumstances.

Final Verdict: Unconditional by Q. B. Tyler conceptualizes the word in every sense as the story is told; the love that unfolds between Madeline and Cal is as beautiful because it is unconditional.

Favorite Quotes

“You should get up,” he tells me, and despite the foot and a half and eighty pounds of muscle he has on me, he doesn’t move me from his lap.
Push him, Maddie.
I press my hands to his chest gently and shake my head back and forth. “But…that’s not what you want.”
“Madeline, up,” he growls and I curl my fingers into his shirt and dig into his chest as I move back slightly so that my sex is right against his dick.
I try to ignore the racing in my heart as my pulsing clit has totally taken control, and before I can stop myself, I’ve rubbed against his cock.
“Maddie, please…” His voice is pained and I was fully planning to stop—maybe, but when I open my eyes, Cal’s are closed and I can tell he’s gritting his teeth.
“Just…do this for me. Please.” I beg as the fire between my legs becomes greater with each stroke.

“Open them.” I assume he means my eyes and when I do, his gaze locks with mine instantly. His hands move to my hips, gripping them as I move back and forth.
“Fuck. That feels good.”
“Does…it?” He chokes out, and I nod.
“I’m going to come.”
He clears his throat, and when I meet his eyes, they’re filled with lust. “Tell me when.”
I nod and his hands move up my hips and rest under the t-shirt I’m wearing. He strokes the skin just above my belly button as my hips begin moving more erratically as I chase the orgasm that was just out of reach. “I’m going to come, oh fuck!” He wraps his hands around my waist again, moving my body faster against his cock. “I want to wait for you.” I whimper as my toes begin to curl.
“No. Come, Madeline. Come for me, right now.”

“Stop fighting it, Cal. Let go.” I grab him by the back of the neck and pull him closer to me and lean up slightly, letting him know what I plan to do and then our lips touch.
Not in an awkward way like most first kisses are. Not in a slow passionate way like when you kiss your lover after not kissing them in so long. But in a rushed, frenzied way that is aggressive and hard and rough. He bites and I bite back. His tongue sweeps between my lips, and I meet him with rabid urgency. I’m so desperate for his taste on my tongue, I explore every inch of his mouth. It’s sloppy and wet and loud and, quite frankly, the hottest fucking kiss of my life.
He presses my arms above my head, holding them there, and laces our fingers together as his tongue penetrates my mouth in a way I wish his cock was doing to my pussy. He bucks against me with wild reckless abandon, fighting for the orgasm he’s spent God knows how long fighting and then he does. Long and hard.

“Cal,” I moan as his lips find my neck, sucking at the skin and I relish at the idea of having a hickey. My usually flawless skin purple and blue with indents of his teeth in the flesh.
“I won’t mark you here.” His voice is low in his throat and it makes my whole body tingle. “Maybe somewhere less visible.”
“Like…between my legs?” I can feel my cheeks heating with embarrassment or maybe arousal?
“Shit, like exactly there.”
I take deep breaths, trying to slow my breathing as I think about him leaving a hickey. On my fucking pussy. I’ve died and gone to heaven…
Or maybe hell.

“Touch your pussy,” he demands, his eyes are dark and feral, like he’s preparing to rip me apart with his teeth.
“What?”
“Slip your fingers under your leggings. Don’t take them off and don’t show me your pussy. But just finger yourself for me…and I’ll taste you from your fingers.”
My eyes widen and my heart skips a beat in my chest before it returns to the steady thrumming between my legs. “You’re serious?”
He nods and moves to sit against the headboard. “Come here.”
I do as I’m told and he pulls me so that my back is flush against his chest, my ass pressed right up against his cock. His legs are spread and I’m settled between them feeling his cock jump every few minutes. His lips find my ear before he bites down gently. “Pretend it’s me.”
“I always pretend it’s you.”

“You rubbing against my dick until we come is pretty high up on the list of things we shouldn’t be fucking doing.” I can hear the hesitation in his voice but I also hear the lust.
The want.
I can see the war behind his eyes over what to do, so I push him just a little harder.
“Shhh.” I begin to rub against him and I can feel the juices from my orgasm getting all over the inside of my leggings. The seam of the fabric grazes my clit with every swipe and I wonder if I’m going to come again. “You’re so hard. God, Cal. Is it all for me?” I wrap my arms around his neck as I begin to move faster against him. His hands find my hips and begin to control the speed, pushing and pulling me harder on him.
“Yes.” He hisses. “It’s for you.”

“Say my name again.” My voice is so gruff, I don’t even recognize it but the shiver that moves through Maddie alerts me that she does.
“Cal,” she yelps as I bite down on her flesh. I run my tongue over the skin, doing my best to soothe the sting of my teeth. Her hands find the back of my head and she pulls at the hair as she cocks her head more allowing me further access. I love how she opens herself up to me; whatever I want from her she gives me so blindly. She feeds the beast, and if I was a better man, I’d tell her to stop. Tell her to run. But I won’t. Because the beast in me is only responding to the one in her.
The one that’s been unleashed already and doesn’t seem to want to let me go without a fight.

She’s a blank canvas I want to paint with my cum. I want to rain my seed all over her perfect tits, her smooth ass, her gorgeous face. I want to worship her…but I also want to defile her.
I want to use her body, fuck every single one of her holes until she’s so full of my cum it drips out of her. I want to fuck her like she’s a slut. Bend her over every surface in our house and take her so brutally she won’t be able to sit down for a week. I want to hate fuck her for making me feel this way. For turning me into this sick bastard that’s having these thoughts about the girl I raised. And then, when all of that’s done, when I’m done fucking the life out of her, I want to bring her back. Run my lips over every inch of her marked skin, whispering my love and devotion to her in between each kiss as I rock gently into her. Make love to her, teach her the love language that our bodies already know by heart.

“I had plans to lay you out and make love to your pussy with my fingers and my tongue and make you come over and over until you were loose and languid and drunk on me and then I’d take your virginity slowly, making love to you until your body couldn’t take it. But now…” I stare down to where we’re connected, where my dick is an inch inside of her. “I want to take you like a fucking animal. Rut into you like a beast and rip your precious body apart and put you back together a new fucking woman.” I push slightly harder and I watch as the wind leaves her in a gush. “My. Fucking. Woman.”
The word leaves her lips like a prayer and my dick is the holy word. “Yes.”
And then in the shower, her legs and arms wrapped around me like ivy, I press my cock fully into Madeline Shaw, the most important person in my world for the past ten years, just as a scream so sexual and passionate leaves her lips that I almost shoot my seed inside of her.

“Come on my cock, baby. Touch your pretty clit until your cunt creams all over me.”
“Oh, God keep talking.” She moans and I feel her hand moving between us.
“You know what’s going to happen the second we get out of this shower? I’m going to bend you over and lick you from your pussy to your asshole and then back. Settling on your sweet folds until you come so hard you black out.”
“Oh my God!”

She is still riding the high of her last orgasm, with a sensitive clit, so I know it won’t take her long to come again.
“Me too.” She speaks, though it’s muffled as her mouth is full of my cock. I press my lips to her again, my tongue taking a new speed as it rapidly fucks her while I rub her clit in clockwise motions. “Oh God, wait wait wait!” She stops and I smile knowing she’s close.
“I’m there, put your mouth on my dick, Madeline.” I see that she visibly shivers above me when she hears me use her full name.
“Yes, Daddy.” Oh, for the love of fuck.
She puts me back in her mouth and I thrust upwards, exploding down her throat instantly, that one word pushing me over the edge.

“We’ll see each other, baby.” His hand touches my face and traces his fingers from my forehead to my chin. “I won’t be able to stay away from you but for so long.”
I lean down and rub my nose against his. “I’m holding you to that.” I plant a kiss on his lips. “Do you have time to fuck me before you go to work?”
A growl rumbles in his chest and then I’m on my back with my legs wrapped around his waist. I’m wearing one of his t-shirts and a pair of panties that he rips from me instantly. “You call me.” He grits out. “Day or night.” He grips my face and stares down at me, his eyes boring into mine. “You need me, you call me. I’ll come.” He narrows his eyes to emphasize his point. His gaze is hard and demanding, almost daring me to disobey him.
I mean it, Madeline.

I bite my lip at his words and pull him closer, his lips hovering just over mine. “Please,” I whimper and then our lips crash in a dizzying kiss. His tongue rubs against mine and his hands spread my legs so he can stand between them before he lifts me up and I wrap my legs around his waist. “Cal,” I whimper.
“Fuck…” He opens my coat and steps between them, finding the seam of my leggings between my legs making me grateful that I changed out of my leotard before I left. He digs one finger into the seam, pressing against my sex and I moan, only to let out a yelp when he rips them at the center, making a hole in my crotch.
“Cal!”
“Hold on, baby.” He growls as he lowers his sweatpants. He opens the hole wider and moves my panties to the side and before I can protest, he’s inside of me.
Outside.
On the dark road of route fifty-eight.

“Cal!” I throw my head back as he fucks me deeper, harder and faster.
“You’re so perfect, Jesus Christ, Madeline.”
My full name sets my body on fire. My eyes snap open and I quirk an eyebrow at him. He must sense where I’m going because he lets his head fall back and a growl leaves his lips. “Say it, baby.” He grabs the back of my head and presses our foreheads together. “Say it.”
“Daddy,” I breathe out.
“Fuck.”
“Daddy, please.”
“Please what, baby. Tell me what you need and Daddy will take care of it. Whatever it is.”
“I need you to come, Daddy…” I press my lips to his neck before flicking my tongue out and running it along his pulse point. I nibble on his ear. “Come inside me.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: His Father by A. E. Murphy

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Sargent Wolf
Heroine: Tempest
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 01, 2018
Started On: July 25, 2020
Finished On: August 06, 2020

Having experienced the high that came with reading Becoming His Mistress, I quickly grabbed a copy of His Father by A. E. Murphy as this one seemed to be right up my alley. Younger heroine who meets the father of her best friend, and bam! The sparks fly and there is no looking back, even when the union is bound to be opposed and face a lot of turbulent times before reaching the ultimate happily ever after.

When Sargent Wolf’s son Maddox brings home his best friend Tempest, with whom Maddox had been backpacking all over the world, the reaction that the first introduction itself triggers in both Sargent and Tempest is one that cannot be denied. Sargent hides his obvious fascination with Tempest’s piercing and more behind gruff indifference, while Tempest tries her hardest to act as if its every day occurrence to meet a man who makes her wet with want with one searing glance sent her way.

Before long, Sargent and Tempest give in to their desire for one another, come what may. There is no denying that they fit like two peas in a pod, with Tempest answering a deep seated need in Sargent for acceptance and love, something that he would not have admitted to even with a gun pointed at his head. However, there are darker forces at play in Sargent’s life that he has to sort out before anything longer term can come of what is between him and Tempest, not to mention facing Maddox once the cat is out of the bag.

His Father, though not of the caliber as Becoming His Mistress, was a compelling read for the most part. I liked both Sargent and Tempest; Sargent is the kind of hero that I love best – gruff, demanding, and reluctant to face the truth of his feelings towards the heroine. Tempest was exactly what Sargent needed – kind and gentle, with a depth to her character which gives her a maturity that most people her age would not have.

There is a particular incident in the story as it reaches a pivotal point, which many readers may find to be a turn off. But I think I understood why what happened took place. There was literally nothing else Sargent could have done at that point in time, but give in. But at the same time, I found the turn the story took to reach that point a bit jarring. While it was understood that Sargent had had a tough time with Maddox’s mother, the whole drug sale affiliation tangent just seemed out of place, even though I suppose it served its purpose towards the end.

I loved the angst factor that came later on, and how Sargent came through at the last minute, lending the emotional depth to the story that I craved when all was said and done. The one thing that I missed was an epilogue – it would have meant so much more for the story had there been an epilogue at the end.

Recommended for fans of those who love age gap romances, when falling in love seems so wrong, but feels so darn right.

Final Verdict: With emotional depth, angst, and scorching hot sex leaping out of the pages, Ms. Murphy hits it out of the ballpark with His Father.

Favorite Quotes

“Jesus,” he whispers when he finally makes contact and slips his finger into the wetness between my thighs. I whimper, shifting on the soft rug as he drags the moisture to my clitoris and rolls it gently, only quickening his pace when I shudder.
I reach out and grab his bare arm as my aching, clenching, and burning body writhes from his touch alone.
“Please,” I beg on a whisper, aching to be filled, touched more, something. Anything.
When his mouth closes around my pierced nipple and his tongue rolls around it I grip the fur rug and come undone.

I crush my lips against hers, making her squeak with surprise. Making myself groan as she accepts me so willingly, tangling her tongue with mine perfectly. I grip her around the back of her neck holding her to me as I pull her closer, forcing her to slide her leg over my lap until she’s straddling me.
Her fingers push through my hair, it feels incredible and sends tingles down my spine and straight to my dick.
When she releases my mouth for a breath I kiss her throat, her collar, then yank down the front of her shirt, popping out the pierced breast so I can suck it into my mouth.
She gasps, and that goes straight to my cock too.

My body is trembling, almost weak as I fight to hold onto my control. She’s so good. She feels so good.
“A little more,” I whisper as her mewls get louder and her grip gets tighter. “I really need you to get there.” I’ve never not lasted the length required.
I’m going to blow it and she’s going to laugh at the experience with the old man.
Fuck that. I am not old. I have better stamina now than I did in my twenties.
I drive into her faster, my hips hammering at a speed I didn’t realize I was capable of.
“God,” she whispers, clutching me tighter.
Her pussy starts pulsing around my swollen dick and I know she’s there.

“Hold tight, angel.”
“To what?”
She gasps when I slam into her so hard she shoots forward, face-planting the mattress. I laugh, but only for a second as she starts to quiver around my hard dick that’s still firmly inside of her tight little cunt. She’s so wet, making it hard to manipulate her clit in the right way. Though I know I must be doing it right because she’s mewling like a fucking porn star and her entire body is shaking.
I pump slowly, circling my hips and then jackhammering into her quickly until I feel her nearing the edge. I’m teasing her but I love it. Her little curses and whimpers and moans are fuel to my already heated fire.

I reach between us for his belt and undo it quickly as he tugs my shorts down to my knees and I manage to wriggle one foot free.
He doesn’t wait, the second I palm him with my hand he nudges inside, filling me completely. I sigh happily, never feeling more aroused than when I’m with him.
His lips touch mine gently as he slowly glides in and out. Pushing himself to the hilt and withdrawing to the tip so slowly it’s all I can do to stop myself from mounting him and riding him in a way I know he loves.

I squeal, not expecting it at all but then I melt because he presses his palm against my clit as his finger sinks inside.
“Sargent.” I hiss his name but I don’t know if it’s because I want him to stop or I need him to continue. Both are tangling together on this web of pure lust, adrenaline, and arousal he’s brought me to.
My head lolls back as he fucks me with his hand, kissing my neck before watching my reaction as I come undone by his touch alone.
I choke out a cry with my orgasm. His satisfied, smug, aroused grin only powers my climax further. I can’t handle it all. It’s too much.

I hardly get the chance to think or protest when she drops to her knees, pulls me free of my clothing and sucks me into her mouth.
“Jees…” I murmur, placing my hand on her head as she goes to fucking town on my cock. Her warm, wet, willing mouth is so soft and perfect. I lean forward and push gently into her mouth. She sucks, licks, grips, and rolls in all of the right places and then she swallows the head of me and I am so glad I came home when I did.
I’m so close, my balls are so fucking tight it’s painful. I want to hold out and fuck her right here, but I also want her to swallow me, not just my dick but everything I give her when I come.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Becoming His Mistress by A. E. Murphy

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Ezra Conti
Heroine: Rose Sinclair
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: October 11, 2019
Started On: July 19, 2020
Finished On: July 25, 2020

Becoming His Mistress by A. E. Murphy is one of those books that hits every single spot when it comes to my craving for a wholesome romance reading experience. Ms. Murphy takes on a trope that few authors dare write because it would not be well received in the romance community. Most of us would like to ignore the romances featuring cheating and/or adultery themes – some go as far as to say that books which take on this would be a definite no for them. However, I am someone who loves it when authors push those boundaries and give us books that are realistic and provide for an immersive experience in the process. Becoming His Mistress was definitely all that and more.

When 23 year old Rose Sinclair chooses to work for 37 year old Ezra Conti, it is because she believes that she can make a difference. That she brings that quality which makes her the perfect personal assistant. Ezra who is happily married and has a daughter is known as someone who has eyes only for his wife. Even as women attempt to get him to notice them, he is a man who is promised to his one and only and that is how he lives his life. Rose knows that she would have no such problems when it comes to Ezra because he is not her type, and married men would never be her thing.

Ezra is unconvinced that Rose would be the best fit for him, until she convinces him to give her a chance. Six months later, their arrangement is one that works in every single sense. While Rose starts to see Ezra in a whole new light she knows that nothing would come of it and she has no intention of following whatever nonsensical feelings that she has for him every now and then. Furthermore, Ezra has never behaved in an untoward fashion and she is content to be part of his life as things stand, that is until with one searing kiss from Ezra one night, everything changes and leaves them both at an impasse on how to go from there.

While Rose maybe strong enough to walk away from the first kiss, she is not strong enough to withstand the continued onslaught on her senses from the man that Ezra is. Against her best intentions, she gives in, and thus begins the headiest couple of weeks of her life, until the consequences of their actions comes calling. There are no easy answers to the problems that Ezra and Rosie face, and while Rosie loves Ezra wholeheartedly, she loves herself enough to understand that she should not come second to anyone, not even for the love of her life. There is a lot of heartache and pain that these two go through before the ultimate happily ever after.

I am so glad that I stumbled across this book because this was unlike anythingI have read in recent times. Love is not always found in the most convenient of places. Those who have fallen for and given their hearts to people who were not in a place to return that love or maybe act on it would understand this more than those who have never faced such temptation in life. Love is often found where you least look for it and expect it to be found. That is I guess ultimately the best and worst thing about life. The unexpectedness of love, how your feelings can suddenly change towards someone you may have never considered as a potential lover or life partner; all of these factor in when it comes to Becoming His Mistress.

Falling in love with a married man is not something any woman would want to for themselves. And I believe this would be the same the other way around. No woman (except for polyamorous couples I suppose), likes being the third wheel in a relationship; being the other woman. But it happens, a lot more often than we would like to admit. There are many reasons behind it as well, but this is not the time and place to explore the whys and hows. While cheating may never be condoned, it still speaks of the vulnerability of us as humans. The fragility of our emotions. That inherent need in us to feel, belong, and be desired. None of those have easy explanations. That is partly why perhaps this book spoke to me on so many levels as it did with many readers.

I believe that I enjoyed this novel so much because Ms. Murphy did not try to provide miraculous solutions to the challenges that came Ezra and Rosie’s way. The story was realistic even towards the very end, with frank discussions and even fights that stemmed from emotions that could not be smothered just because one may want to cease feeling a certain way. Ezra’s guilt which arose from having fallen in love with another woman plays a huge role in the story, perhaps one reason why the love between Ezra and Rosie did not feel cheap and frivolous in the end. The fact that Ms. Murphy pulled this off without vilifying anyone, that in itself I think is amazing!

Recommended for open minded readers who love sexy, tender, and endearing romances. Thank you Ms. Murphy, for being bold enough to write this.

Final Verdict: Becoming His Mistress is a one of a kind read; there are no words that can adequately describe the feelings that Ms. Murphy manages to invoke with this phenomenal story as it unfolds.

Favorite Quotes

His gray eyes linger on mine and I jump when he pushes a strand of my black hair behind my ear, a tender touch, so sweet and soft. It leaves a burning trail across my skin. “You could never look stupid.”
“I can see every fleck of color in your eyes,” I breathe, leaning closer and trying to count the shards of darker gray that cut through the ring of lighter gray.
He holds his breath and nibbles slightly on his lower lip as I stare into his eyes like a weirdo.
“What are you doing?” he asks, and I put my finger to his soft lips. He pulls it away and absentmindedly kisses the palm. “Wait… are you counting?”
I inhale sharply and immediately stop. “No. Not at all. I don’t count. Who does that?”
“You were counting.”
“Was not.”
“Was too.”
“I wasn’t.” I so was.

“I’m sorry I didn’t kiss you back,” I say quietly, and he pushes my hair back.
“I’m sorry I kissed you at all,” he replies just as quietly, and I know in my heart he means because of how he upset me and not because he didn’t want to kiss me. The look in his eyes is showing me that he still does. I wonder if the look in mine is begging him to kiss me again. I might not say no this time. “Try to sleep.”
I press my forehead to his cheek and close my eyes on his command. He tickles my arm and shoulder as I concentrate on the beating of his heart.
It lulls me to sleep, my forbidden lullaby.

“Please don’t, there are only so many times I can say no,” I whisper.
“Before what?” His own voice is intensely quiet, his eyes on my mouth. “Before what, Rose?”
My breath catches in my throat. “Before I say yes.”
He pulls my face to his, meeting me in the middle and our bodies and lips collide.
I squeak through my closed mouth, startled by the sudden assault, but he pushes me against the door and devours my mouth. His tongue tastes my own when I gasp, and I can’t pull away. My brain is a mass of the desire he projected on me and my body is pulsing with it.

His hands drag across my curves, scraping around my back and hips, grasping at my flesh and holding me tight so I can’t escape.
I’m wet. So damn wet.
He groans again, pressing his erection into my navel while still kissing me, claiming me like I never have been before.
I’ve never felt so out of control before.
When he clicks the lock on the handle of the door all bets are off and I lose all sense of myself. I lose all sense of time and what I came here to say to begin with.
I forget his life and mine. I forget my morals and his. All I can think about is having him in a way I’ve been telling myself I don’t want him for far too long.

He looks up at me again, and while kissing me softly and tenderly, he reaches for my hair, unwinding the knot so it spills down my back in a thick wave. I groan when he teases it free and starts to remove my shirt until it’s on the floor by his.
I lean back on my hands, feeling thoroughly worshipped when he dives and kisses my ribs, hands looking for the zip of my skirt but losing that battle because of how scrunched it is.
I stand and find it at the back, undoing it and letting it fall to my ankles.
There’s no going back now.
I’ve never wanted anything more than I want this.
I stand in front of him in lacy white underwear and stockings attached to a garter belt.
“Fuck,” he breathes, looking down at me, taking time to explore my flesh with his hands. I’ve never felt sexier and more beautiful than I do right now, seeing it mirrored in his eyes. “Keep your heels on.”

Pulling me to the edge of the desk, he lines himself up with me perfectly as my fingers find my clit and start to roll it in fast circles.
“No,” he whispers, pulling my hand away and replacing it with his thumb. “You touch yourself when you’re alone and thinking of me. When you’re with me, it’s my job to touch you and get you off.”
Oh my God.
He starts to sink inside and groans. I ache from his width, but it feels so good.
His thumb rolls my clit, using my own juices to make it slick.
He watches himself vanish into my body. I’ve never felt more connected to somebody than I do now.

“Kiss me,” I beg, my voice hoarse and wanting.
He obliges, fucking my mouth with his tongue as I battle to stay in control of my body.
“Not yet,” I breathe, feeling that familiar burning… except this feels more like a tsunami of crackling lava in my womb. My body feels weightless as he hammers into me, holding my body tight to him now. His thumb is no longer teasing my clit, yet I feel the tingles still, building and spiraling. There’s just something about close sex, having a body against yours as he fills you up perfectly.
I throw my head back with a moan so loud he yanks me back to his mouth and kisses me until it passes. It takes forever and my body shudders with each powerful wave of my orgasm.

“We’re not doing anything,” he replies, his tone hushed too. The way his breath fans across my sensitive flesh has me gripping the counter for support. “Nothing at all.”
His solid length presses against my ass, trapped by the fabric of his boxers. He tugs them down and I feel his skin against mine.
“Nothing,” he grits as I close my legs around it, squeezing it between the apex of my thighs.
He starts thrusting, finding grip between my pussy lips. My wetness makes him slide back and forth with ease, so he removes his hand and massages my breasts instead. He hits my clit every time and I almost scream with the ecstasy of it.
Why does sex feel this good with him? Why do we connect like this?

“Look at me.”
My eyes open slowly and find his in the mirror. His large hands massage my swaying breasts and pinch my nipples.
“What are we doing?” he asks me breathlessly, his eyes dangerous, his lips terse.
“Nothing,” I reply, crying out when a wave of pleasure hits me. I want to come so hard.
He cups my throat and pulls me back against his body. It’s a good thing my balance isn’t terrible, though to be honest he’s doing most of the work, including holding me steady.
“Exactly. Nothing.”

“Tits,” he croaks, getting closer to the edge every second. “I want to come on your gorgeous fucking tits.”
“You sure? I was totally gonna let you come in my mouth.”
His eyes fly down to mine, wide and full of longing. I don’t get a chance to take a breath before he’s pushing past my lips again and coming on my tongue with an animalistic growl. I take him all, every ounce of him, salty, sweet, different. But that’s just him, he’s different.

I kiss him deep and slow as I raise my hips and guide his cock to my entrance.
“To oblivion, hmm?” he asks, smiling until I slowly sink onto him, taking as much of him as I can. His smile vanishes at this point only to be replaced with such an intense look of complete wonder and awe. “Nobody has ever felt like you.”
I rock my hips, kissing his neck and biting his ear as his hands explore and rub every inch of my body that he can reach.
I don’t take my time because we don’t have time. I fuck him faster than I ever have, feeling it build in my womb.
We come, me first and then him, as always. He always waits until I’m done before he lets himself get there. One of the many things I adore about him.

He turns suddenly, sending water crashing over the bath and onto the tiles. His damp lips from the steam of the hot water touch mine and I almost slip under when he hooks a hand around my back and lifts me to give him easier access to my sex.
I gasp when he thrusts inside. My hands grip whatever is available to keep me out of the water. He pulls out just as suddenly so I can turn over and I rest my arms on the sloped back of the bath as he powers into me from behind. Every thrust sends more water out of the bath. He becomes feral, losing control in a way he never has before, driving into me like an animal and not like a man.

“I want you forever. I want to fuck you every single day. I want to taste your sweet lips. I want to fill your womb with my seed and create a life tied to both of us.” He thrusts with each statement, grinding his pelvis against my clit, kissing my neck and whispers the words against my skin. “You’re everything I ever want and need.”
“I love you,” I breathe. “I want to be the only woman you ever need.”
“You are.”
“Then fuck me, prove it, mark me.” I bite into his neck and suck so hard I just know there’s going to be a ring of red there when I lift my head. He cries out and pummels me with his hips, fucking me so furiously the door bangs with each thrust.

I cling to him, claw at him, grip him as I kiss him, devouring him until my lips feel sore but then I just press harder.
There’s a fire between us that flows through us both, burning for each other as we tear at clothes until there’s nothing separating us but our will. Mine is fighting for the winning team, he holds back until I hop up on the table and part my thighs. When he eases into me, all bets are off and he fucks me as hard as he did in his office that first time.
We both moan, groan, hiss, grasp, sigh…
It’s incredible as always.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Entice by Ava Harrison

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Grayson Price
Heroine: River Reed
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 14, 2019
Started On: July 16, 2020
Finished On: July 19, 2020

Ava Harrison is a totally new to me author, who I stumbled across in one of the book recommendation lists that I was going through. With Entice promising all those elements that makes up for an emotionally well rounded read, I was quickly hooked, making Ms. Harrison someone I am going to continue reading in the future.

36 year old Grayson Price has unfinished business to take care of when it comes to Tyler Reed, someone whom he considered once to be an older brother. Unable to say no to his sister, Grayson agrees to the meeting and finds himself with more than he bargained for when he comes face to face with Tyler’s daughter, 20 year old River Reed.

From the onset, there is a undeniable spark between the two which makes things precarious for Grayson in a way that he never would have anticipated. While River may want to throw caution to the wind and explore what it is between them, Grayson would like to believe that he is not ruled by the pure male instinct to claim River as his which scares him to no end.

However, even as Grayson tries to distance himself, none of it is to be helped as fate has a way of drawing them together time and yet again. It also does not help matters when River exposes her vulnerabilities to him, the way she responds to him, and makes him yearn for something that he has not thought he ever would consider as part of his future.

With every kiss and searing glance that renders both breathless, these two embark on a secret “affair” that slowly unfolds into something that neither anticipated. With River and Grayson both bringing their own baggage to the mix, it is no lighthearted joining, and it was incredible to witness the changes that they went through as a couple and individuals to reach their happily ever after.

Entice was a very mature, thoughtful, and meaningful read, all in a way that most taboo romances aren’t. There are very few authors who can do topics like this justice without making you cringe or worse. This is essentially what stood out for me when it comes to my first read from Ms. Harrison, and as I mentioned, definitely not going to be my last.

I enjoyed getting to know both Grayson and River, and that significant point in their past giving added meaning to the connection that is forged to life between them. Grayson was definitely all kinds of hot – the panty scorching variety of hot and I could not have asked for a better placed hero than Grayson in every single aspect.

What I loved the most was how the relationship between Grayson and River was fleshed out, the exploration of deepening feelings between two people who carry emotional baggage to last them a lifetime. The emotional depth added that pull factor to the story which had plentiful sex scenes which were tastefully done and sinfully hot!

Recommended for fans of huge age gap romances exploring “taboo” topics. Ava Harrison does this with a flare which makes for stupendous reading!

Final Verdict: Entice delivers to readers a story that captivates you from the start, with Grayson and River claiming a piece of yourself before they are through!

Favorite Quotes

My eyes are still aimed forward, but I’m watching him. I watch his Adam’s apple bob as I caress the skin.
I watch him swallow.
His chest rising and falling with each pass of my hand.
He looks torn, provoked, on the verge of something.
Something I’m not sure I can decode.
But I do see something I recognize very well. Loneliness. It bursts from him, alive and raw and pulsing like an injured animal. I can smell it. I can almost taste it. We are the same, yet we are nothing alike.

“You think I hate you?” he growls, taking a step toward me.
“Yes,” I whisper.
He advances, and I step back. “You really think that’s the problem?”
“It’s pretty obvious, to be honest. You haven’t been shy with your repulsion toward me.”
He moves in until my body is firmly pressed against his, his erection pressing against my stomach.
I let out a gasp.
“Repulsion, River, huh?” He grinds up against me. “That what it feels like? Or maybe it’s something else? Do you think my anger is something else?”
“What else can it be?”
“Self-preservation.”

Without a second thought, he crushes his lips to mine.
It feels like a series of fireworks explode inside me at the feel of his mouth. We are all teeth and tongue.
The kiss is desperate, and then he pushes off my lips. “Why do you do this to me?” he rasps. “Why do you torture me?”
I wonder if he will stop it now, if he will go back to pushing me away, but instead, I feel his fingers on my thighs, and his mouth touches mine again.
Each new swipe of his tongue makes me moan into his mouth and then when I feel his fingers teasing the hem of my dress, I swear I might die.

Then I feel him, pressing himself against my heat, probing my entrance. “I need to fuck you now,” he says through gritted teeth. He readjusts his hands to cup my ass as he begins to stroke me. “Tell me to fuck you, River. Tell me you want me inside you. I need to hear you say it.” The soft nudge is enough to make my inner walls quiver. “Dammit, River, say it. Tell me to fuck you.” He pushes forward, just the tip, torturing me.
I can’t resist. I want this. I’ve wanted him for so long that, like him, I can’t wait another minute. I want him to fuck me and make me forget everything else.
“Fuck me. Now!”
With one sudden thrust, he’s fully seated. I moan at the sudden invasion.
It feels so good.

My eyes roam over her body as I make the descent and then part her legs. I angle my body between them and kiss all the way up from her ankles until I meet the inside of her thighs.
I lick her.
Suck her.
Desperate moans escape her mouth. She purrs beneath me, begging me with her movement to pick up my pace, and so I do. I answer her cries and start to flick and then suck in a maddening pace that has her gripping my hair and falling over the edge.

“River, you know that’s not it. You see how they hound Jax. Hell, even you got photographed with him.”
“You knew about that?” I whisper.
“Of course I did. Wasn’t that the goal?” He’s trying hard not to sneer.
I look down and then back up. “I didn’t think you cared at the time.”
He steps into me, and my back hits the distressed and aged brick of the building. He lifts his arm to box me in.
“You think I didn’t care?”
“Yeah.”
“I cared,” he grits out.
“Why?”
“Why? Because you’re mine, not his. Since I first saw you in Malaga, I wanted you, and seeing that my younger brother, someone probably better suited for you, could be with you, drove me insane.”

I stand from my desk and make my way to the other side. Crossing my arms in front of my chest, I wait.
She’s wearing a cotton dress. Slowly, she drops the strap off her shoulder, and once they are both dropped, the dress pools on the floor beneath her. Now she stands in front of me in her ballet flats, a bra, and lace underwear.
“What did you buy?” I hiss.
My heart beats rapidly in my chest.
She turns around and then bends down, and I get a perfect view of her ass. Almost bare except for her thong.
She lifts something. It looks like a scrap of material, and that’s when I look at the label on the bag.
Agent Provocateur.
Fuck.

“Get on the desk,” I grit.
She follows orders well, moving quickly to sit on the edge of the desk.
“Lean back.”
She does.
“Show me.”
Slowly, but as ordered, she spreads her legs.
My lips tip up, and I make my way, more like stalk, over to her.
“I don’t have time to taste you,” I say as I unzip my pants. I don’t bother taking them off or removing my jacket. Instead, I just pull my cock out. “I’m going to fuck you. And you aren’t going to make a peep. Do you understand?”
She nods.
“Good girl.”

Our eyes lock. And then and only then does he slowly push inside me. It feels too good; as though I’m complete once he’s fully engulfed in my heat.
His hands reach to cups my face, and as he starts to thrust, he peers into my eyes.
He moves inside me, never breaking our stare.
Over and over again.
Deeper and deeper.
But he never pulls his gaze away.
Not once.
Not as I cling to him.
Not as I scream my release.
Not as he reaches his own climax.
He never looks away.

“You won’t find anything,” he says. “And do you know why?”
I shake my head.
“Because there is nothing to find. Want to take a guess at the reason?”
Again, I shake my head, this time dropping my head. He doesn’t let me, though. Instead, he cups my jaw and makes me look at him.
“Because all I want is you. All I see is you. I’m obsessed with you.” His words are rough, abrasive. He hates himself for it. I can tell by the way he grabs me roughly and throws me down on his bed. Then he’s on me, pouncing and kissing me, telling me with his mouth, with his tongue, and with his teeth just how much he hates that he wants me.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: How to Love a Duke in Ten Days by Kerrigan Byrne

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Devil You Know, #1
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Hero: Piers Gedrick Atherton
Heroine: Lady Alexandra Lane
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 27, 2019
Started On: June 23, 2020
Finished On: June 28, 2020

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is the debut book in the Devil You Know series by Kerrigan Byrne. Ms. Byrne came to my notice through her Victorian Rebels series, with her penchant for writing dark heroes, unacceptable in the modern times we live, where everything is dissected to the point where the enjoyment factor is taken away in order to publish books that seeks to placate all the notions and theories of those who shape the discourse of the current times.

Either way, Ms. Byrne is an author I choose to come back to because she delivers heroes of the kind I mentioned, with strong heroines who aren’t afraid of accepting the love of their lives for who they are. Of course love in its truest form, tends to change everyone for the better. How love influences the life of even the coldest of us is a marvelous thing, and that is what I have come to expect in her books, though her most recent works haven’t been hitting that spot exactly.

How to Love a Duke in Ten Days is quite a lengthy read – one more reason to love her work; she does not shy away from giving us stories that prolong the delicious goodness that is usually delivered. The series introduces to readers the lives of the Red Rogues, three women who come across one another at L’Ecole de Chardonne Mont Pèlerin in Switzerland. The three redheads being Lady Alexandra Lane and her dearest friends Francesca Cavendish and Cecelia Teague.

The three of them had gotten away with a lot of things then, pursued the sort of activities that were considered to be out of bounds for ladies. They read books that they were not allowed or supposed to read, they go on adventures of their own making, each on the verge of charting their own course in life when tragedy strikes and Alexandra faces the most heinous of crimes that can be committed against a woman on the cusp of adulthood, changing the course of the lives of the trio in a way they never saw coming.

What happens that night servers as a secret that ties them together through the years that leads up to the current events, where the three who have vowed they would not be taking husbands, finds themselves attending the betrothal of Francesca. However, things take a surprising turn when Alexandra offers to take the place of Francesca instead in marriage, something about Piers Gedrick Atherton, the scarred Duke of Redmayne calling to her.

Alexandra being who she is, wants to face her fears of intimacy head on, but matters of the heart aren’t as simple as she thinks them to be and it is a wild and turbulent ride for both Piers and Alexandra before things take a turn for the right for these two. In the midst of it all, with someone going to extraordinary lengths to target the Red Rogues, the secret that they had sworn to keep all those years back coming to haunt them now, there are no easy answers to be had for everything that unfolds along the way.

I enjoyed How to Love a Duke in Ten Days for the most part. I felt that the story was slow going in some places, especially at the beginning, while juggling the characterisation of multiple characters that Ms. Byrne introduces to readers. It is sometimes the norm for the debut book in the series to take that tangent because this is often where the author has to lay the groundwork for the books that would be published down the line in the series.

I enjoyed Alexandra and Piers, and fell in love with both of them at crucial junctures in the story. Piers, even though he remains clueless about his wife’s past, believing that her fear of intimacy comes from being with a brutish looking man such as himself; he is tender and looks out for her pleasure in every sense. But at the same time, the man who he is deep inside, an alpha who is dominant in nature does show up every once in a while, not to mention his childhood and the trauma associated with it affecting his perception of the fairer sex in a large way.

I fell in love with Alexandra the moment that she cast aside her stoic mannerism in the face of an attack that leaves her with the possibility that Piers might be no more. That was the moment that all her walls came crumbling down, that she showed the depth of her feelings towards her husband, the man who wanted to lay the world at her feet for her enjoyment.

Ms. Byrne does a pretty good job of working through Alexandra’s trauma and there are no miracles which suddenly propels her recovery. It is time as well as the man she calls her husband who helps her, once Piers comes to know of what had actually taken place, lending him that insight to take care of Alexandra’s needs in a way that would allow her to test her boundaries and find her comfort zone and be open to the idea of exploring beyond that. I think that, for the most part was why I enjoyed the story that unfolded. The mystery surrounding the events that takes place as attempts to take the lives of the Red Rogues was just a side story for me, which surprisingly I enjoyed towards its culmination.

While I enjoy the concept of strong and independent heroines, I like the concept of strong and alpha heroes just as much, who do not turn putty in the hands of their beloved from the onset. While Piers was alpha in his way, I am of the opinion that his character was tamped down in a huge way to suit Alexandra’s needs for the most part, and as a result he never really did get to revel in the true joy of being who he is; free to unleash the man within, who has a hunger so deep that it would have been breathtaking to watch unfold. That is the tragedy of this book in my opinion, which could have delivered so much more if not.

Recommended for fans of historical romances that offers rich detail and in-depth characterisation that suits modern tastes of readers today.

Final Verdict: How to Love a Duke in Ten Days delivers a splendid story for the most part, delving into the lives of three rebellious women who defy the norms and conventions to chart their own course in life.

Favorite Quotes

Only when she allowed herself to exhale did he press his mouth fully to hers, coaxing it to soften in sweet, aching drags. She felt the impression of his scar. Sensed his hesitation as it caught against her lower lip. And in that moment, she felt the need to encourage him more urgently than she required reassurance.
She lifted her hand from his shoulder to shape it over his jaw. The hair there was wondrously soft, and she tested it with questing fingers as she turned her mouth to press against the tight stratum where his scar interrupted his lip.
At this, he went impossibly still. His own breath catching as he awaited her next move.

Beneath the clever ministrations of his fingers, something inside her core melted, twisted with exquisite, rapturous heat. His fingers were so incredibly wet, gliding over every tender recess, leaving sweet trails of pleasure in their wake. Teasing her, driving her to the brink of. Of …
Something.
Alexandra’s hips lifted from the bed, as a visceral jolt seized her. “Piers?” she gasped.
“Let it come, darling,” he breathed. “Don’t fight it. Embrace it.” All his movement centered on the throbbing peak then, awakening from her body an unholy delight.

“It wouldn’t do to spend our honeymoon apart,” she said, turning from him. “But if that is your wish—”
He seized her arm, pulling her back into their intimate posture, his breath hot against her ear as his body melded to hers. “Do you have any idea, wife, what ten minutes in your company does to me?” His whisper was almost like a snarl in its animalistic intensity. “Do you really think I can smell your scent, that I can watch you knowing what lies beneath your shapeless dresses, and keep myself from tasting what is mine?”

“I don’t see why … we couldn’t make some sort of arrangement,” she offered breathlessly.
“Arrangement?” The word sounded indecent from his voice.
“We could … trade favors. Without intercourse. It could … help us to further our acquaintanceship.”
And, if they were lucky, they could teach each other a little about trust.
“I have one condition,” he murmured into her ear.
“What’s that?”
“You let me use my tongue.”

“Where did you go?” she whispered gently. “You’re miles away.”
“I was visiting the future,” he said casually.
“Oh?” Her brows rose. “And what did you see there, pray?”
“You,” he murmured, inhaling her vaguely tropical scent. Sweet and citrus. Intoxicating.
“And what was I doing?” she inquired.
He leaned in as low as he could while maintaining their waltz. “You were screaming my name.”
She blanched and would have stumbled had he not such a solid hold upon her. “W-what?”
“You were crying out blasphemies to every god you don’t believe in while you came apart in my arms.”

“Piers!” she gasped against his mouth.
“I like it when you say my name,” he growled. “I’ll like it even better when you moan it.”
“What—what are you doing?”
“I’m going to make you come.”
“Come.” She whispered the word as though testing it, and the husky, illicit sound of it almost broke his last vestige of restraint. “Like—like you did last night? With your fingers?”
Christ, was she trying to kill him? “Is that what you want?”
She paused, her short, hard breaths breaking against his. In that moment, he would have given his left eye to see her expression. “I would,” she said breathlessly. “I want…”

He gripped her hips. Ruthlessly pinning her still as he focused wet, rhythmic darts of his tongue across the trembling peak of her clitoris. The sensation of it seized every one of her muscles with such arching force, she’d not realized what his other hand was about to do.
Until his finger sank inside her.
She clamped her other hand over the first, unable to contain her scream. The pleasure locked her muscles. Held her captive in a dizzying, almost terrifying summit.

Tonight in the dark, a part of him had entered her, if only for the briefest of blissful moments … and she’d drenched him with her sweetest release.
At once, his cock was no longer in his trousers. He dipped the finger into his mouth, then another, searching for the trace of her flavor. Leaving moisture on his fingers, he brought them down to his pulsing sex, spreading what he could over the steely length of him.
He wanted this to be her hand. Soft and small where his was large and rough.
Or her mouth. Hot and wet and welcoming.

The climax began as a burn in his spine, spilling down his entire frame like an avalanche. Inevitable. Unstoppable. Overpowering.
As the shocks of release became surges, he made a sound only an animal could have. Bringing her drawers down to his hips, he spilled liquid heat on the snowy-white linen. The sight of it inflamed him further as pulse after pulse was pulled from his very core for such a length of time, he wondered if it would ever cease.

He was like a human incinerator, immolating her with his carnal heat.
Alexandra felt light-headed, not only disoriented by the swiftness of his kiss, but by the change in him. This was no patient, roguish seduction. This man grinding her against his very powerful, very naked body heeded no rules and brokered no patience.
He’d become a creature of raw, animalian need.

Alexandra looked down to where she straddled his thighs, where the formidable shape of his sex tented the sheet.
“I—I don’t know how to please you,” she confessed, suddenly daunted.
He gazed up at her with a patience so tender, so genuine, it released a swell of emotion inside her. “Don’t you know by now, Alexandra, that everything you do pleases me? To look at you pleases me. To touch and kiss you pleases me. The scent and taste and shape of you is the greatest pleasure I’ve ever known. Anything you do beyond that…”
His words died on an indrawn hiss as she reached between them and uncovered him, curling her fingers around the jutting base of his erection. It was warmer than she imagined. Hotter, even, than his fevered body.

He dipped his finger lower, wickedly testing where their bodies were joined, gathering the abundant moisture there and swirling it around her throbbing hood.
Her lips tore from his as her spine arched and flexed, her head dropping back on her shoulders as a hoarse, guttural cry broke from her.
She convulsed around him, over him, her sex milking at him in voluptuous, rhythmic waves. Her unbound hair brushed the small of her back, and her clasping fingers tore at his own locks as she shivered and shuddered in a long, extravagant release.

He slid into her with one fluid, beautifully deep motion, settling into another deliberate, controlled rhythm. His alert eyes searched her face, gauged her expressions.
She felt his hesitancy. His lingering restraint, and she brought her hands around his waist and lower, pressing him deeper.
“More,” she whispered, feeling him tense, seeing the question in his eyes. “More,” she repeated, lifting her hips to meet his.
His thrusts quickened, driving deeper, pressing her higher.
She loved this, the softness of the mattress at her back, the hardness of him on top of her. She felt safe. She felt … glorious.

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

Review: Reborn Yesterday by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Phenomenal Fate, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Jonas Cantrell
Heroine: Ginny Lynn
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 17, 2020
Started On: June 20, 2020
Finished On: June 21, 2020

Reborn Yesterday is Ms. Bailey trying her hand at a new sub-genre in romance. I have to say that Ms. Bailey takes to this change exceptionally well, crafting characters that are to die-for and bringing to the forefront a love that knows not the bounds of time nor reason. The debut book in the Phenomenal Fate series, Reborn Yesterday is beguiling in the way it is told, with Ms. Bailey’s talent in delivering panty-drenching sex scenes enmeshed deeply within the story that unfolds.

25 year old Ginny Lynn is the funeral home director at P. Lynn Funeral Home in Coney Island. It is through her job that she “meets” Jonas Cantrell; the extraordinarily handsome deceased man ending up on her embalming table. When Jonas “wakes up”, it is to find himself at the receiving end of a joke that his friends play on him every birthday, with this year’s prank changing the course of his life in a way that he never saw coming.

Humans are not supposed to know of the existence of the likes of Jonas, vampires who hug the shadows of the night close to them. For the most part, Jonas has never had trouble walking away from a human, wiping their memories of him when it comes to that crucial moment. However, with Ginny, none it works the way he plans it, and before he knows it, Ginny is in his life; his to love, his to protect, his to call mate for life.

Romance readers who have ventured into the urban-fantasy genre or read paranormal romances must have gone through their fair share of worlds built around vampires, ghouls, angels, and whatnot. Ms. Bailey’s take on the vampire world carries itself differently, though the basics of vampirism itself remains the more or less the same. I found myself totally enchanted and intrigued, and I loved every single second of being part of the journey that was Jonas and Ginny’s towards their happily ever after.

I loved Jonas – no questions about it. I fell head over heels in love with both protagonists early on in the story and there was no looking back for me. Jonas has a savagery to him that is tamped down, and yet at the same time, there is nothing he would not do, no stone that he would leave unturned, if harm were to befall his one and only.

At the same time, Ginny, who is thrust into a world she is clueless about, having never led a life of excitement up till that point, finds herself drawn to the danger and thrill of it all, her fate being entwined with that of Jonas from the beginning. If I had to use one word to describe this book I would choose the word exquisite; Reborn Yesterday had everything going for it in all the ways it matters.

Recommended for fans of Tessa Bailey, fans of vampire romances, and fans of romances in general. This was beautifully delivered from start to finish.

Final Verdict: There is a tender savagery to Reborn Yesterday that is in direct contrast with and yet meshes well with what Ms. Bailey delivers in the new sub-genre of romance she has taken to writing like a fish to water. Keep em’ coming Ms. Bailey!

Favorite Quotes

Their tongues greeted each other like star-crossed lovers, demanding and bereft over their separation. Ginny’s eyes flew open to find the same wonder blazing in Jonas’s, before his lids drooped along with hers, the kiss taking over, sensations making demands and hunger sinking in its claws.
At the next slide of their tongues, Ginny’s knees drew up involuntarily and Jonas rolled forward with a growl, locking their lower bodies together. Pressing. Straining. The vast difference in their strength was obvious. As it was also obvious that he tried valiantly to hold his in check, his body shaking with the effort.
Unfortunately, Ginny’s body couldn’t seem to stop tempting that inhuman strength. Her inner thighs rode up and down his hips and thighs, sobs catching in her throat, releasing into his hot, seeking mouth. Lord, his mouth. It was at once skilled and frantic, like he knew damn well what he was about, but couldn’t keep up with the onslaught of lust.
Yes. God, this was lust.

Their hands wrestled above her head, only to be pinned by Jonas. His hips rocked, the hard ridge of his sex riding to the start of her feminine flesh—and pressing down. Right there. Even through the material of her dress, she caught enough friction to cry out—and the threadbare sound did something to Jonas.
He leaned harder into the kiss, befuddling her senses with long, sensual slants of hard lips over soft, animal groans kindling in his strong chest, his fingers locked so tightly with Ginny’s above her head, she knew his willpower waned.
Good.
More.
Good.
Never stop.

With a growl of pure hunger, Jonas lowered his head and licked the trickle of blood from her neck, bringing it into his mouth and swallowing the way someone might with a fine wine. Almost immediately, his body fell forward on top of her. He caught himself with shaking arms right before he could crush her.
A throttled rendition of her name left him. What was that sound?
There was a muted throbbing between them and at first she thought it came from her own rollicking heartbeat, but no…no, it came from Jonas.
He balanced on one hand, tearing at the left side of his chest with the other.
Was his heart beating?
“Mate,” he gasped, fangs elongating another fraction of an inch. “Mate.”

He leaned down and licked the side of her neck, long and slow. “Mine,” he breathed, planting a hot, open-mouthed kiss over her pulse. “Inevitably, undeniably mine. May God help us all.”
Ginny braced herself for pain—and she got it. The shocking sting made her body jolt and twist, but a flood of numbing warmth ensued so quickly afterward, she stilled. As if on command. Stilled and felt the sharp fangs sinking into her. Heard Jonas’s muffled exclamation against her skin, followed by an exultant groan.
She’d been caught.
Possessed.

A volcano of bliss erupted inside of her, trapping a gasp in her throat. His words stabbed at her composure like little daggers and she bore down, prolonging the rush of relief by grinding up and back on his thickness. “Oh Lord, oh Lord, oh Lord,” she whimpered, raking her nails down his back. “It feels so good.”
“Remember that feeling,” he said, pressing his bared teeth to her cheek. “You only get it from your mate. Ever.”

He wore jeans. Dark ones, much nicer than the pair he’d donned the night they met. Along with boots, a white shirt and an overcoat of soft, chocolate brown.
Flowers. There were flowers in his hand.
For her.
“Ginny,” he breathed, stopping in front of her. “I’m sorry I’m late.”
She nodded. Or shook her head. Hard to be sure.
He handed her the flowers, then cupped her face in his hands, brushing her cheekbones with adoring sweeps of his thumbs. Their lips met and they both shuddered, the cellophane crinkling beneath her grasping fingers. Ginny didn’t have to look around the room to know they were the center of attention and she couldn’t have cared less anyway. She only saw Jonas.

His muscles bunched on a rasp of her name, his fangs slicing out.
“Need.”
Knowing exactly what he meant, she relinquished her right hand’s grip on the bedclothes, sank it into his hair and instinctively drew him to her thigh. “Yours. It’s yours. I’m yours.”
With an expression rife with possession and unholy thirst, Jonas pressed a second finger into her body and bit down hard on her inner thigh, groaning brokenly at the taste of her.
Ginny whipped headlong into an orgasm.
It was all the more brutal and beautiful for its unexpectedness.

He stroked into her deep, the new angle allowed that slick, thick part of him unfettered access to that spot—and she couldn’t move her hips to meet him or grind up, she simply had to take it. There was a loud sound coming from a distant land and it took her several guesses before she realized it was the entire bed rebounding off the wall.
The wildness of it was her undoing.
Or maybe it was watching Jonas sink his fangs into the small of her wrist, followed by the further swelling and jerking of his flesh inside her. Knowing he was close to finding unimaginable pleasure after a lifetime of going without. His body stiffened at the same time as hers, his mouth released her wrist and fingers clutched at skin eagerly, pulling one another’s bodies closer any way they could.

Her thighs wrapped around his hips automatically, her toes digging into his taut backside. No choice but to cling, squeeze him between her legs. Her core was so sensitive, so exposed. “Jonas, Jonas, Jonas.”
“You don’t want to make love, Ginny.” His teeth raked over her nipple, tonguing the sting while he made blistering eye contact. “You want to fuck, don’t you?”

“I’m incapable of denying you anything. Anything.” He reached down and fisted his thickness, notching the smooth head inside of her—and ramming himself home to the tune of Ginny’s strangled cry. For a moment, Jonas said nothing, his mouth open against her ear. Then, “You’re even tighter when you’re pissed.”
A tickle roared downward in her belly, her thighs jerking violently as the orgasm whipping through her. “Oh my God.” She squirmed, desperate for an anchor, a branch to grab onto while being shot down the raging rapids. “Oh my God.”

He slammed his mouth down on top of hers, kissing her with the passionate brutality she was starving for, the door rebounding hard off the frame behind her. Bambambambambam.“I’m sorry, my love,” he said hoarsely. “My fucking life.”
Ginny pitched over the edge so fast and so hard, her climax was almost painful. Her thighs shook around Jonas’s hips, her body arching off the door, her scream echoing off the bathroom walls. He pressed his forehead to hers, looking her in the eye as he followed her off the cliff, hips jerking wildly, Ginny on his lips. Behind him, the bathroom bulbs shot sparks and went out, leaving them in the barest light where it crept in from beneath the door.

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Review: Cold Wicked Lies by Toni Anderson

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Cold Justice: Crossfire, #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Payne Novak
Heroine: Charlotte Blood
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 08, 2020
Started On: June 13, 2020
Finished On: June 14, 2020

Cold Wicked Lies is the third book in the Cold Justice: Crossfire series by Toni Anderson. Ms. Anderson is one of my go-to authors for romantic suspense because, for the most part, she always strikes the right balance when it comes to juggling romance and suspense, delivering emotive and intelligent reads that speaks to the heart.

In Cold Wicked Lies, highly skilled operative and HRT leader Payne Novak finds himself forced to work with FBI negotiator Charlotte Blood in trying to end a standoff between law enforcement and a sealed off compound that is an implosion waiting to happen. While Charlotte tries to defuse the situation by doing what she does best, Payne who finds it difficult to not take charge in any given situation is forced to take a step back and watch Charlotte work her magic.

Not being a believer in the soft tactics, Payne is in for a surprise where he finds himself filled with admiration for Charlotte and all that she stands for, not to mention the slow simmering attraction that flares to life between them, which needs very little to ignite into undeniable passion.

While the danger inside the compound mounts, it is up to Charlotte and Payne to sift through the seemingly straightforward picture that emerges at first from the ground, with one wrong move having the potential to tip the scales in the wrong direction.

I loved Cold Wicked Lies for many reasons. I found both Charlotte and Novak to be refreshing in a way that was endearing. While the antagonism between the two is tangible at the beginning of the story, it is evident as the story progresses that they are both skilled professionals, able to put their personal feelings aside and work for the best outcome possible when it comes to their jobs. That won points from me for both of them.

On the other hand, I loved how Toni brought to light the reverse “sexism” that can exist in society. Whereby we women can judge men based on their looks, the way they carry themselves etc. when we as a gender cry foul at them for doing the same thing to us. Perhaps it is true what they say, we do become what we hate if we are not careful about where our personal prejudices take us.

I definitely love how Toni can create such strong and independent heroines without sounding preachy about it. She manages to drive home well intended messaging across to her readers without us wanting to turn our e-readers off. Because lets face it, we are bombarded enough as it is on social media and all available platforms about what we should be thinking, how we should be thinking, and where that thinking should lead us to. Freedom of conscience, anyone?

I also loved the angst and the surprising twists and turns that the story took, along with the heart thumping variety of mind blowing scenes of passion in the mix. A few well placed words here and there, with deft touches in terms of characterization, and Toni manages to do what most erotic novels fail to bring out in readers; the ability to feel for their characters and be the moment right alongside with them as the tension mounts, the heat builds, and the explosions happen.

While I would have loved to read a bit more on the pasts of Charlotte and Novak, nevertheless, I enjoyed Cold Wicked Lies for what it delivered in spades, leaving me with the urge to read the next one in the series, right after.

Final Verdict: Cold Wicked Lies is Ms. Anderson just as I love her books; informative and intriguing, featuring relatable and earthy characters, while delivering a well paced and sensually charged read!

Favorite Quotes

He angled his mouth across hers, and she opened willingly, tangling her tongue with his, absorbing him. He wished he could capture the feeling in a bottle and keep it with him forever. That silky volcanic heat. The sharp edge of teeth, the sweep of her tongue into his mouth.
His pulse crackled along his veins. His hand found its way to her breast, molding the cotton of her shirt over the perfect handful of flesh. He reveled in the hard press of her nipple against his palm.
Blood headed south, and his dick was so hard he was in danger of passing out. She brushed against him and holy shit, that felt better than the past five years of his sex life.

Her fingers wrapped around the length of him, and she made a little pleased humming sound that for some reason made his cheeks burn.
He cupped her ass, rubbing her clit against his hard length, and feeling her push against him.
“Wanna be fucked against the wall, Charlotte?” he whispered. His hand slipped along her seam, his fingers easing inside and finding her hot and ready. “Or on the bed?”
“Both,” she whispered back, taking a gentle bite of his ear lobe.
His knees almost dissolved.

The effect of slow, sensual thrusts dragged out the erotic sensation, and the need to climax built inside him in small incremental steps up a very long spiral staircase.
He wanted to give her endless pleasure. Wanted to make this good for her. His competitive spirit was finding an outlet he hadn’t thought of before. He didn’t simply want to have great sex with Charlotte Blood. He wanted to be the best lover she’d ever had.

She started to make a sound, and he kissed her harder, holding her breath captive in his lungs, swallowing her groan, feeling her shatter around him a second time.
It broke him. He drove harder, but the noise was too loud, so he pulled them away from the wall, planted his feet wide apart and held her in place, as he pounded into her deeper and harder.

His eyes never left her face, searching it for clues as to what worked for her and what didn’t.
Spoiler alert. It all worked for her. The perfect complement of fullness and friction.
She gripped his ass and pulled him even closer, fighting him every time he tried to retreat. It turned into a beautiful synchrony of frenzy, and an orgasm ripped through her. She opened her mouth to scream, and Novak planted his hand over her mouth as he pounded harder. The lack of springs in the mattress meant they were almost silent, and she wasn’t sure she’d have cared even if they hadn’t been.

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