ARC Review: Midnight Fire by Lisa Marie Rice

Format: E-bookmidnightfire
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

Series: Men of Midnight, #4
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Jack Delvaux
Heroine: Summer Redding
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 21, 2015
Started On: September 14, 2015
Finished On: September 18, 2015

Summer Redding is the owner of the political blog/webzine called Area 8. With both her parents dead and being an only child, Summer leads an almost solitary existence. No men that entered into her life since her non-relationship with Jack Delvaux, who was killed in a terrorist attack that had rocked Washington DC, had ever measured up to her expectations. That is exactly who she runs into at a funeral that she would rather not have attended.

For the past six months, Jack had gone underground, disappeared by hiding in plain sight, all for one reason. To bring the perpetrators of the Washington Massacre to justice. Not your usual run of the mill variety of terrorists that mostly hail from Arabic origins. But homegrown and bred terrorists, possibly within the organization that he had dedicated a huge percent of his adult life to serving, i.e. the Central Intelligence Agency.

When Jack and Summer’s paths cross, Jack has no other choice but to come clean. Summer would have thought that given how things had ended with them previously, she would be immune to the tougher & much harder version of the golden boy she had fallen for so hard, years back. What Jack feels for Summer takes him by surprise as well. The feeling of being at home with Summer is one that is foreign to him, but one he realizes that is fates way of giving him a chance to work things out this time around.

When the bad guys come calling for Summer, all bets are off and once again the men from the previous books in the Midnight and Men of Midnight series get together to hunt and root out the bad guys before the fate of the entire country ends up at the mercy of the enemy that wants America to fall. And fall hard.

Midnight Fire is a book that holds the remnants & whispers of the Lisa Marie Rice that I used to know and love. There is a strong alpha hero of course. And then there’s the good sex; this time around on an airplane! The only thing that perhaps was different was the heroine Summer, who was feisty in her own little ways. Not the usually demure type of heroine that Lisa Marie Rice is famous for. For one thing Summer is strong and independent, but that doesn’t mean she is stupid enough to walk into disaster. One thing that stood out for me in this story was how Jack leveled with Summer when danger came calling, how he had just told her how things stood rather than ordering her to stay put. That spoke to me on a level that I wouldn’t have thought possible, but there it was.

Summer and Jack are both likable characters, but I wouldn’t say that there was anything extraordinary about them that touched me except for the fact that they both have the zeal to do what’s right, no matter the consequences. What I miss most from the Lisa Marie Rice novels that I used to love is the sizzling and at time scorching variety of sexual tension that exists between her characters. And Lisa Marie Rice is an author that delivers spectacularly on that. The uber protectiveness that comes along with the sexy, drop-you-down-to-your-knees variety of heroes that graced her novels. The ultra feminine & yet strong in the ways that count heroines who enter your heart right from the get go. Through it all, Lisa Marie Rice was an author that delivered on the suspense aspect as well, though one might not have the hardest time figuring out the bad guys in her novels. All that somehow seems to have changed with the recent novels that have been published and I for one mourn the loss of it all.

Recommended for those who love novels by Lisa Marie Rice. For those that love a strong hero and an equally determined heroine.

Final Verdict: A favorable installment to the Men of Midnight series.

Favorite Quotes

With his hand he silently told her to widen her stance and she opened her legs and oh my God! His fingers found her slick heat and she shuddered. He touched her just so. A Goldilocks touch. Not too hard and not too soft and oh! A probing finger rubbed over her clitoris then dipped inside her heat and she clenched. She clenched with her entire lower body, it was so intense.
She opened her mouth under his and gasped.
“That’s my girl,” Jack murmured.
“Jack,” she whispered.
“Darlin’,” he whispered back.

So hot, so hard, so…right. It was like a homecoming, something she’d wanted, missed for so long. Her legs rose, wrapped around him as tightly as her arms around his shoulders as she savored a connection that was a missing piece of her. As if she’d been half dead and was coming back to life.
Jack withdrew slowly, pushed back in, and it was sheer bliss, her body had missed this, she’d missed him so very much. To her horror, tears sprang to her eyes but her body saved her in the nick of time. She tipped over into orgasm and tears were perfectly normal while climaxing.
And she could pretend it was just sex instead of her heart opening to Jack Delvaux once more.

There was something exciting about being half dressed, having to keep quiet, some whiff of the forbidden. He was thrusting hard. He reached down, opened her up even further with his fingers so that his penis rubbed right…there.
She went up in flames. She clenched heavily once, twice and came with a huge electric rush, wanting to cry out but Jack covered her mouth with his. She couldn’t move and couldn’t cry out and it was as if her body turned in on itself, exploding.

Summer was done, she went lax. Her sex was soft and open to him slick with her juices. Jack’s movements became less rhythmic, jerky, moving in short hard thrusts so fast she was surprised she didn’t burn up from the friction. He gasped, thrust hard one last time and started coming in hot spurts inside her that, impossibly, gave her another climax.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Carina | iTunes


ARC Review: Heat Exchange by Shannon Stacey

Format: E-bookheatexchange
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Boston Fire, #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Aidan Hunt
Heroine: Lydia Kincaid
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 25, 2015
Started On: August 14, 2015
Finished On: August 16, 2015

Shannon Stacey graces her readers with a brand new series with the release of Heat Exchange, the debut novel of the Boston Fire series. Lydia Kincaid is forced to return to her hometown, albeit for a little while, when her sister requires her presence back home. Lydia had walked away from the life she had lived after being through it all. The daughter of a fireman and moving onto become the wife of one had taught her the hardships and the stress related to living the life of the one who stays back and worries about the safety of your loved ones.

Aidan Hunt is one of Lydia’s brother’s best friends, a firefighter himself who knows he should stay away from Lydia for more reasons than one. Lydia is the daughter of his mentor and also the ex-wife of a fireman who had worked in their regiment. Yet, the heat that is between Lydia and himself is palpable, strong enough that it makes staying away an impossible feat.

Lydia can’t believe herself when she starts having the hots for her annoying brother’s equally annoying best friend. Being 4 years older than Aidan, Lydia believes she should be able to shrug off the attraction that simmers in the air between them, but finds herself unable to say no and turn her back on what being with Aidan means.

When I picked up Heat Exchange, I expected a novel that would sweep me off my feet, not my fault entirely when Shannon Stacey is an author who has delivered on that countless times with her novels. Sadly, when it came to Heat Exchange, I found that the book was just okay at best. Nothing in particular about the story stood out for me or grabbed me in a way that would be unforgettable.

I found myself a bit annoyed with Lydia at times. Aidan though, was a sweetheart through and through. Perhaps they are ying and yang under the circumstances, each being the direct opposite of one another. There is a little side story happening alongside that with the main story of Aidan and Lydia; that of Lydia’s sister and her husband who hits a rough patch in their marriage. That story line actually had the potential to be an interesting one, but Shannon nipped that right in the bud by resolving everything together with the main story.

Recommended for fans of Shannon Stacey and those who love reading about firefighter heroes.

Final Verdict: Boston Fire series; set to deliver family drama & hot firefighters with a bite of love.

Favorite Quotes

“Aidan?” she whispered against his mouth.
“About a minute and a half left. I need to feel you, Lydia.”
Then his fingertips slid over her clit and she sucked in a breath. His teeth caught her bottom lip and she moaned, shocked by the intensity of her reaction to his touch. She knew it had been a long time, but she was already teetering on the brink. He slid a finger into her and she scraped her fingernails down his back, wanting more.
The heel of his hand pressed against her clit as he buried two fingers deep inside of her. She broke off the kiss, burying her face against his shoulder.
“You have to be quiet,” he whispered against her ear. “You are so fucking hot, Lydia.”

Aidan drove into her, burying his cock so deep within her she almost came immediately. She cried out, but he covered her mouth with his. The muscles of his back worked as he fucked her slowly and with long, deliberate strokes—almost pulling out completely before burying himself deep again. When she moaned his name, hovering on the brink, he quickened his pace.
“Come for me,” he said, his voice raspy.
And she did.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes


ARC Review: Watch Me by Cynthia Eden

Format: E-bookwatchme
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Dark Obsession, #1
Publisher: Hocus Pocus Publishing
Hero: Chance Valentine
Heroine: Gwendolyn Hawthorne
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 9, 2014
Started On: May 18, 2015
Finished On: May 18, 2015

Watch Me by Cynthia Eden is the debut book in her Dark Obsession series. Cynthia has a way of creating heroes who do the crazy, obsessive and of course uber possessive thing that is one of unique aspect to her romances. With the entire series titled as Dark Obsession, well, that is telling in itself.

Chance Valentine is part owner of the VJS Protection, a private security firm founded by him and two of his friends. While Chance has no family of his own to speak of, his one obsession has from the start being his ex-boss’s daughter, Gwendolyn Hawthorne, from whom he had walked away once before.

When Chance is tasked with investigating a new threat to Gwen’s life, all bets are off this time when Chance encounters Gwen, the inborn need  to claim her as his and never let go, one that he is afraid would get the best of him. No one hurts Gwen had always been his mantra, and it becomes more so when their relationship shoots up to its next obvious level, bringing Chance to his knees and shattering all that legendary control of his.

Meanwhile, the danger to Gwen’s life escalates, making everyone working the case work against a deadline not of their choosing but the horrific stalker who would do anything to kill off the target.

The Dark Obsession series has resounding similarities to that of the Mine series by Cynthia Eden. Crazy stalker who would do anything to kill & make the heroine’s life practically miserable and an uber alpha hero who has the hots for the woman of his dreams who refuses to give an inch. Even with all the similarities, Cynthia still manages to give a story that kept the pages turning, perhaps owing to the unique twist in its suspense plot which I liked.

To find myself enamored by the guy who readers are led to believe was the villain was a novelty in itself. Though some might guess the actual perp who was carrying out the attacks, I don’t think anyone would have been able to discern the why of it. And that’s where the ingenuity of the plot lay for me.

Both Chance and Gwen were likable characters, both completely fitting the mold that’s Cynthia’s trademark variety of the hero and heroine. Chance with his almost obsessive need for Gwen, who is sweet, beautiful and definitely not a pushover, the kind of heroine that most readers would definitely find endearing.

There were different veins of interesting tidbits regarding secondary characters that signals that some good stories might come out before the series is through. I’m certainly looking forward to Ethan’s story; his character is one that called out to me on a whole different level. I do hope Ms. Eden writes his story sooner than later.

Final Verdict: No one does darkly obsessed heroes like Cynthia Eden does!

Favorite Quotes

He kissed her. Maybe it was because of the adrenaline. Maybe it was because of the desire that he was so sick of holding in check around her. Maybe the why didn’t matter.
Chance let go of his control. His mouth crashed onto hers. Onto those full, make-me-beg lips. His tongue thrust into her mouth and he tasted her the way he’d been dying to for so long.
The lust he felt for her filled him. His cock stretched, aching to sink into her. And he kept kissing her, right there on the ground, with the snow falling around them. He kissed her hard. He kissed her deep. He kissed her the way he wanted to fuck her.
And he knew that they’d just crossed a line, a point of no return.

Her hips arched against him. The long, hard length of his cock pressed against her. She wanted him in her. Wanted them both to be racing toward the edge of oblivion as the pleasure took over.
He grabbed the hem of her shirt. Pushed it up. Threw it someplace. Then his fingers were sliding under the edge of her bra. She needed that bra gone so that she could feel him and—
The bra was gone. He bent his head and his mouth closed over her breast. Her eyes squeezed closed and a moan tore from her when he started to suck her nipple. She was pretty sure that her panties were getting drenched.
And they’d just gotten started.

“Keep looking at me.”
She bit her lip because she was about to go crazy, but she managed to keep looking into his eyes. That finger of his slid deeper and his thumb stroked her clit, right there, the button of her desire.
“I want to watch you come. I want to see your eyes go wild for me. I want to see the pleasure.”
A second finger pushed into her. She was standing on her tip-toes now. Her nails were digging deeply into his arms as she held on tight.
“And that will just be the start,” Chance promised her. “Because before I’m done…”

“Open your mouth for me…”
Helpless, she did. He kissed her. Thrust his tongue into her mouth even as his fingers drove deep into her once more.
She kissed him frantically, kissed him—
He pulled back.
Her eyes were on him.
His fingers slid out, then pushed into her.
She came, gasping hard with the pleasure and still gazing into his eyes as the wave of release washed over her. Her sex clenched around him, her body shuddered and he smiled.
“So fucking beautiful…”
He made her feel that way.

“Don’t be careful with me. You’re the one I want. Show me that you want me, too.” He’d said that he had trouble telling her how he felt. Fine. Gwen wanted Chance to show her instead.
When he kissed her again, his lips were parted. Better…Gwen’s teeth closed lightly over his bottom lip and she bit, tugging.
He growled and his hold tightened on her.
Much better.
“No more lies,” she ordered softly. “Not from you. Not from me. Give me everything you have…” Her tongue licked across his lower lip. “And I’ll give you all that I have, too.” No holding back.
“Everything,” he promised her.
Then he kissed her. Deep. Hard. Wild.

“I always knew…” Gwen whispered. “It would be like this…with us.”
Chance kissed her again. “So did I.” He pulled her against him. Curled his body around hers and made sure the covers were tucked around Gwen.
She smiled as her eyes began to close. She was safe. She was happy. She was—
“It’s what I was afraid of…”
Gwen almost didn’t hear his whisper.
“That I’d have you,” he said softly. “And never be able to let you go.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | iTunes


Requested ARC Review: Midnight Promises by Lisa Marie Rice

Format: E-bookmidnightpromises
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Midnight, #5
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Sean “Metal” O’Brien
Heroine: Felicity Ward
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 19, 2015
Started On: January 12, 2015
Finished On: January 15, 2015

Midnight Promises is the 5th book in the Midnight series by Lisa Marie Rice. I got hooked onto Lisa Marie Rice ages ago when I first stumbled upon her Dangerous series. Lisa has a penchant for creating heroes that are as tough as they come. Demanding in the bedroom, gentle with their lady outside of it and lethal in the art of fighting and willing to lay their last breathe for the women they love. Ah! Those are the books that still linger afresh on my mind because the impact a good novel can have on you is imprinted in the deep recesses of your mind forever.

The 5th book in the Midnight series features a heroine in danger from the Russian KGB, for the secrets that she unknowingly holds in her hands. Felicity grows up in a household where her father had always looked sad, fear of being captured or worse always making him look over his shoulder. Her mother hadn’t fared any better under the life they’d been forced to live and Felicity had borne the brunt of it all.

Her trip to Portland had been a test of sorts, to see whether she could lead a normal life. A bit of a recluse and a genius in computer coding, Felicity is taken unawares when she is attacked in the airport itself. Her ingenuity and quick thinking saves her life and she lands on the doorstep of her friend Lauren, where Sean “Metal” O’Brien takes charge of her well-being and her heart in the process.

Midnight Promises for me held echoes of the Lisa Marie Rice that moved me to sigh over her books and squirm over the rough and oh so sensuous sex scenes she writes so wonderfully. Sean is the hero who has battle scars all over his body to prove that he is a toughie all around. Felicity, while she might’ve had to lead a reclusive life, is classy and beautiful with a heart that wants to trust that there just might be a person out there capable of keeping her safe from harm. And yet I found myself wanting more from both of them.

Though Midnight Promises had potential to be something more, it fell a wee bit short of hitting the mark. Sean and Felicity were likable enough, I just wasn’t able to connect with the rest of the story as much. Some parts of it dragged a bit, and I missed out on how Lisa tends to forge  a connection between the hero and heroine in her previous books that makes it feel like they are in a world of their own, a cocoon of their own making where they are the only ones that exists. But I still would like to say that even with the lack of that, the scene in which Sean makes Felicity his was superbly done; Lisa has a penchant for making the dirty variety of sex sound beautiful and poetic.

Recommended for fans of the series and fans of Lisa Marie Rice. I might be of the very few who found that the story could have been much much better.

Final Verdict: A little bit of the Lisa Marie Rice magic goes a long way!

Favorite Quotes

“She was pure sensation, feeling not thinking. Her brain just switched off, like in sleep only better. Because she was aware of the sensations.
His lips were soft but his stubble was rough against her skin. He somehow moved above her, in a dominant position and that excited her so much it scared her. He lifted his mouth for a second, so close she could feel his breath—actually she felt as if she was breathing through him. When he spoke, his lips were against hers, voice so deep it seemed to reverberate throughout her chest.
“I’m glad you aren’t with anybody. Because you are now.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | Carina | iTunes


ARC Review: Not Quite a Wife by Mary Jo Putney

Format: E-booknotquiteawife
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Lost Lords, #6
Publisher: Zebra Books
Hero: James, Lord Kirkland
Heroine: Laurel Herbert
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 1, 2014
Started On: December 24, 2014
Finished On: December 28, 2014

Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

Not Quite a Wife by Mary Jo Putney is my first read from the author. Book 6 in The Lost Lords series, Not Quite a Wife’s title reminded me of Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas and I expected something similar to that when I requested for the title on Netgalley. And though the story didn’t deliver the exact sort of tale that I was expecting and I found myself a tad bit disappointed in the story, there were aspects to it that worked for me that kept the pages turning.

James, Lord Kirkland is a spymaster and quite a wealthy one at that. Ten years back, James had fallen in love with the Laurel Herbert and married her quite soon after they’d met for the first time. But their love had been a short lived one, or rather a love that had been tested by the other side of his life, a life steeped in violence when required. The fact that Laurel had told him that she never wanted to see him again is the reason James stays away, though his heart bleeds from the loneliness of their separation.

Laurel is the co-founder of a shelter for the abused along with her brother. The life that she had carved out for herself after she had turned away from James is one that she is content with, though the thought that she would never be able to have any children of her own with divorce being a non-option from her estranged husband leaves her feeling bleak. That is until James lands in her life yet again and a sequence of events finds her pregnant with his child.

Thus a pact is made; all that James asks of her is to give him a chance, give them a chance to find out whether they can make their relationship work, for the sake of their unborn child. I loved the premise of the story. It is rare to read historical romances where the lead heroine ventures into issues such as taking care of the abused and the less fortunate in the society. Laurel’s heart is a pure one, and James sees nothing but good in her. She is the light that brightens up his otherwise dark soul and when she took leave, that light had been extinguished from his life for ten long years until James is given the chance to make things work again.

And yet, the violence that is part of James’s life is one that comes to light yet again, driving Laurel to seek a way to move past that particular factor that repels her very core. Though I understood that Laurel’s upbringing hadn’t really prepared her for violence of the sort that James is familiar with, I found myself liking her a little bit less because of her attitude towards James, a man who had been nothing but kind, loving and ardent when it comes to her. I found that for someone like Laurel who is smart and has seen the dark side that life has to offer in the eyes of the abused that comes seeking shelter with her, yet she cannot seem to see past the violence that shrouds James’s life.

I loved James. For me, he was the only reason the story worked to the level it did. He is kind, loving, strong, sweet, loyal and yet lethal as well. The lack left behind by Laurel in my opinion was partly taken care of by James, whose character I absolutely adored. The one unique aspect to the story that I liked was the music that James and Laurel makes together. That opened a doorway to reconciling a lot of issues that existed between James and Laurel.

Recommended for fans of Mary Jo Putney.

Final Verdict: Not Quite a Wife; a story  that explores a second chance at love & marriage.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBookMall | iTunes


Requested Review: Bella’s Point by Elizabeth Seckman

Format: E-bookbellaspoint
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Western Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Jack Owen Byron
Heroine: Isabella Francine Troy Stanley
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 9, 2014
Started On: December 13, 2014
Finished On: December 14, 2014

Bella’s Point by Elizabeth Seckman is a story that takes place in the post civil war era. Isabella Francine Troy Stanley (Bella) comes from a rich family until the war had practically taken everything from her. Life is dangerous for a woman who lives with just her mammy and a young boy on the frontier where anyone and everyone is willing to take advantage of them. And Bella with her “scandalous” past owing to the fact that she had divorced her husband, the difficulties are more so.

The story starts off with a determined Bella, visiting the prison to buy herself a husband. A husband none other than Jack Owen Byron, the man who had been her childhood crush and the star of her fantasies. Even when everyone else disagrees with her plan, Bella is of the mind that she and Jack together can make a home for themselves. However, things are far from that simple as Bella finds out with everyday that comes.

Elizabeth Seckman whips up a story with quite the interesting elements in Bella’s Point. There is Bella, the woman who had grown up the pampered daughter, who had practically everything she wanted or desired for. And then came her marriage, which had nearly destroyed her very soul. At first I was irked by the fact that Bella seemed to break down and cry often, even with that indomitable front that she puts up. But then as I dug into the story and found out what exactly Bella had suffered through, I thought to myself, its a wonder that she is able to be as spirited as she tended to be. Given that back then, no one would have talked about mental issues like depression, I believe that Bella was entitled to her crying sessions, until she had finally gotten the closure that she craved.

Every time I pick up a novel based in the post civil war era, I am hit by the thoughts of just how cruel life had been for people, especially for women and the colored, who had ended up bearing the brunt of societies many cruelties. I can’t help but thank God that I wasn’t born to be a witness to humanity’s vile evilness towards the fellow humans, but then I guess if one were to really look at the society we live in today, we aren’t doing that much better off. Just that we are more “civilized” in our cruelty now.

Jack turned out to be a sweetly wonderful hero. His reluctance to get married to Bella was an understandable one given that he had grown up in a world where there had always been distinct lines between different levels in society. Though I had a bit of an issue with just how suddenly Jack found himself proclaiming his love for Bella, I still thought that the way he took care of Bella, her fears regarding physical intimacy and the rest was really sweet. The one aspect of the story that I think was dragged out a bit more than necessary was Bella’s past and the fate of her ex-husband. I just felt that that aspect of the story could’ve been done and over with a lot sooner and with a fewer pages than was dedicated for it.

Loved the sweet ending to the story. Recommended for fans of Western themed historical romances!

Final Verdict: Ms. Seckman spins a Western themed romance with enjoyable elements!

Favorite Quotes

His body moved slowly in hers in a deliberate deep grind until he felt her body respond. He heard her gasp, her hands digging into his biceps. His rhythm increased until he felt her tighten around him, her body stiffened under him, her thighs squeezed his hips as she held on as his body responded to hers moving in harmony until they had reached that place of peace collapsing together. Neither spoke, neither moved an inch. They lay together, still locked in an embrace. Neither wasted the breath to speak.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords


Review: Burn For Me by Shiloh Walker

Format: E-bookburnforme_2
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Secrets & Shadows, #0.5
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Hero: Tate Bell
Heroine: Ali Holmes
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 1, 2014
Started On: November 20, 2014
Finished On: November 21, 2014

If you’ve read my review of Break for Me, you’d already know that I bought the rest of the novellas in the Secrets & Shadows series, because I was that much intrigued to read the stories of all the Bell children. Burn for Me is the story of the eldest, Tate Bell, the only boy from the three kids.

The three novellas focus on the main story of their mother’s unsolved case of disappearance and the affect that it had had on all their lives. Tate is haunted by the vivid memories of the night in question and the anger that is deep inside of him is one that is eating away at his soul. It tampers with life in ways that he would rather not acknowledge. It definitely has a dampening effect on his sort of love life with Ali Holmes, the only person with whom he had felt whole with throughout the years.

Ali knows that there is no future to be had with a man like Tate. Three years of a friends-with-benefits relationship finally takes its toll and it is when Ali decides to take the plunge and cut off ties with Tate that sets the ball rolling towards Tate facing his demons and realizing the impact his version of the truth had had on him and his family.

I was pretty excited to read Burn for Me. The scorching hot start definitely was a plus point, but I found that excitement sizzling down till the latter part of the book where the emotional punch of the storyline pretty much kicked me in the gut. I didn’t find myself enamored with the love affair between Tate and Ali. Perhaps because theirs was an affair that had started prior to the story that has the reader missing out on the fun and excitement that goes along with relationships at their beginning. Or because I just found myself at odds with the way Tate calls Ali “Ali-girl”.

What pulled me in towards the end of the story was not the romance between Tate and Ali, but rather the emotional intensity of what takes place between Tate and his father. I was almost moved to tears by the emotions the last couple of pages brought to life. The pain and suffering of not knowing for fifteen odd years has left its mark on each member of the Bell family. And Tate having carried around the sort of anger that can totally annihilate a person and still finding the strength to move past that was one that was moving in itself. For me, Tate’s father made the story. His love for his son is one that touched my heart in all the ways that matter.

Recommended for fans of Shiloh Walker and those who like short stories that don’t leave you hanging.

Final Verdict: Walker delivers the story of a father’s enduring love that knows no bounds.

Favorite Quotes

Tangling her hands in his hair, she arched and whimpered as he shifted his angle, moving so that the head of his cock stroked the bundled bed of nerves buried deep inside her and that small adjustment had her panting. Heat blistered her and pleasure consumed her.
He surged against her, harder. Faster.
She climaxed around him, muffling her sob against his shoulder.
His mouth covered hers, swallowing down that ragged, breathless sound.
Then he stiffened, coming inside her.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes


ARC Review: Shattered Witness by Anna DeStefano

Format: E-bookshatteredwitness
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Hero: Cole Marinos
Heroine: Shaw Cassidy
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 11, 2014
Started On: November 5, 2014
Finished On: November 6, 2014

Previously published under the name of Her Forgotten Betrayal, Shattered Witness by Anna DeStefano is a standalone romantic suspense of the contemporary genre. Shaw Cassidy, CEO of Cassidy Global Research wakes up at the hospital, suffering from amnesia after a terrible assault on her at her office premises. Three weeks later, Shaw finds herself living atop High Lake Mountain, trying to summon her elusive memories through rest and recuperation.

FBI Special Agent Cole Marinos insinuates himself into the investigation surrounding Shaw Cassidy for one reason. Shaw had been the only woman he had ever loved, her betrayal being the reason that had sent him away from her life 15 years back. While the whole investigation centers around the fact that the agency thinks Shaw has been selling groundbreaking research to enemies of the US like Iran, Cole believes in Shaw’s innocence. With her memory in tatters and the whole investigation riding on the return of her memory, Cole finds himself going above and beyond the call of his duty when he finds himself protecting Shaw once again, a role he swore to himself that he would never again partake in.

From the moment the presence of Cole penetrates through the fog of sheer terror that surrounds Shaw, her trust in him is an inexplicable one. Her need to move close to him one that embarrasses her on so many levels, making her think that the lonely existence that she had lived up till then had made her that desperate for affection. However, when her memories start rolling back in, Shaw realizes that there is more to Cole than meets the eye, their shared past one which makes her realize just how much Cole had sacrificed for her years back. Racing against a ticking clock and a villain who knows far too well what Cole and Shaw are up to, Cole finds himself taking the risk of losing the woman he loves more than his own life all over again by trying to clear up Shaw’s name and getting to the bottom of who it is that is toying with the both of them.

Shattered Witness is a well written novel. Anne DeStefano has a writing style that draws you in. The one thing that really stood out for me was the villain in the story. Surprising? I know. Though the villain is pretty easy to figure out for the reader, the villain would have won if not for Cole’s intervention. The plan all along had been to discredit and let Shaw take the fall or perhaps even send her to the loony bin. With years of meticulous planning, it would have been achieved had not Cole come riding to Shaw’s rescue. I like a good villain in a suspense novel and I got that in Shattered Witness.

Though Shaw and Cole are well created characters, I found myself on the side of feeling an intense dislike for Shaw. Though it did mellow a bit towards the very end of the story, I found Shaw to be a bit too self-involved perhaps? I could relate to her not being able to be there for Cole the one time he had needed her, which had been the reason why he had walked away all those years back. But from the moment Cole enters her life once again, and though he lies to her about him being an agent of the government which is something he had to do given her fragile frame of mind, Cole is nothing but sensitive to her wants and need for protection. His actions spoke louder than words. But the minute Shaw found out, the only thing she could find to do was lay the blame of them not working out this time around because of Cole and his deception. Ah!

Cole is one of those sexy and protective heroes that ladies will definitely love. However, I wanted him to man up a bit and make Shaw see the error of her thinking. One minute she is scared out of her mind, the next minute she’s the one that initiates the physical intimacy between them and towards the third act, she is throwing all the blame his way. In my opinion, from the very beginning Cole had loved Shaw more than the other way around. Or perhaps it is the protective streak in Cole that is a mile wide that goes to work the minute he sees the woman he loves in danger. Either way, I thought Cole to be a bit of a pushover; sorry to say that, which is why the impact of his character wasn’t as powerful on my emotions as I wanted it to be.

Even with the elements of the story that didn’t quite work out for me, I managed to enjoy the what Shattered Witness has to offer. Judging from the reviews that this story has received up till now, I think I am in the minority of those who feel this way about both Cole and Shaw. Recommended for fans of romantic suspense novels featuring protective heroes. Cole is definitely someone you’d want by your side when there is a mean villain out to get the best of you and you have absolutely no idea as to why.

Final Verdict: A villain that brings the story to life; there’s always a first time for everything.

Favorite Quotes

Breaking her vow not to scare Cole away by doing what she’d longed to since first setting eyes on him, she kissed him. Those inviting lips, chiseled cheekbones, and the lids of his bad-boy eyes. She tasted him . . . and . . . she remembered.
It burst to life within her—a savory mixture of needing and wanting and having. It wasn’t a beginning, the molten desire that consumed her. It held the full-on rage of completion. It was a craving for something she’d denied herself for too long, something that could own her forever in ways that would refuse to let her go.

She brushed his lips with hers. His breath rushed in. Her fingers dug into his biceps, determined to keep him with her if he decided to move away. His body tensed beneath her touch. His mouth inched away, and she prepared to beg. But then his lips crashed back to hers, this man who’d become a bridge between her dreams and her reality. And she was lost, swept along by the need pouring into her from his kiss.

Purchase Links: Amazon


Review: Chemistry With Calvin by Katie Allen

Format: E-bookchemistrywithcalvin
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Human Design, #3
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave Publishing
Hero: Calvin Scott
Heroine: Lauren Mayes
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: October 8, 2014
Started On: November 5, 2014
Finished On: November 5, 2014

Katie Allen is an author that I discovered a little bit earlier on to when I started my review blog. Katie is a superb writer of erotic romances. One of these days I just might give her books like Breaking the Silence another go and do a review. That was actually my very first book by Katie which I loved to pieces. Of late however, Katie has been focusing more on writing erotica of the m-m variety which I am not a fan of. Chemistry with Calvin that came out recently seemed a good place to once again revisit a favorite author of mine and that’s how I ended up reading this in one sitting.

Chemistry with Calvin is the third book in the Human Design series, the first book of which is Experimenting with Ed which still sits neatly in my TBR shelf in my iBooks. That being said, Chemistry with Calvin can be perfectly read as a standalone since I wasn’t any worse off having started with book #3 in the series.

Calvin Scott works as the mailman at the firm where Lauren Mayes works. Calvin being a man who keeps to himself with a huge beard covering most of his face and a don’t-come-near-me vibe that keeps most people away, Lauren cannot explain why she has such a fascination for the man. There is just something about Calvin that makes Lauren seek him out, something about him that calls to her inner woman that has a hard time keeping herself down.

When danger comes calling and Lauren rapidly falls into the mess, Calvin is left with no choice but to take Lauren with him to a safe place. With government agents who would stop at nothing chasing them across the country, Lauren finds out that with Calvin she has found just a tad bit more than she bargained for.

The attraction between Lauren and Calvin is one that sizzles right off the charts. Calvin is one who cannot remember a past that goes beyond his capture by the government agency that had experimented on him. And Calvin would do practically anything to not fall into their clutches once again. Though Calvin finds Lauren to be an utter distraction, he can’t help but be drawn towards the woman who cannot stop talking, who gets under his skin in more ways than one and brings out an animalistic side of him that Lauren definitely knows how to provoke.

The dialogs between Calvin and Lauren were at times laughter inducing. Calvin and his reluctance to get involved doesn’t prevent him from getting busy with Lauren in many other ways. And I totally found Calvin’s bossy kisses a huge turn on.

Recommended for fans of the series. Though in my opinion this is not the best of Katie Allen, it still has certain elements to it that testifies to the great writer she is.

Final Verdict: Chemical explosions of the scorching variety guaranteed!

Favorite Quotes

Air left her lungs in a rush as she clung to his shoulders, digging her short nails into his skin. It had to hurt but it only seemed to incite him further. He raised and lowered her, bringing them together with quick, almost violent thrusts. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move, couldn’t do anything except hang on and enjoy the ride. The rougher he fucked her, the more she enjoyed it, which would probably bother her if she weren’t flying toward an orgasm that promised to be more mind-blowing than any she’d ever had before.

“Babies, needles, psycho scientists!” Her hands flew in frantic circles. “We got the jumbo-sized box—how could we forget to use a condom?”
“Shit.” Cal sat up next to her. “You were touching me.”
She bounced out of bed and felt the evidence of their condom-less deed trickle down her thigh. “So it was my fault.”
“Fuck no.” He paused. “But your hands were touching me. Everywhere.”
“And you grabbed me and just popped it in, all bare and naked and possibly baby-making.” She started pacing.
“Fine. It was my fault.” He tracked her with narrow, hungry eyes. “It was my fault I fucked you bare. My fault you felt so incredible, so hot and wet and tight around my cock, I had to come in you. My fault I wanted to mark you, make you smell like me, make you mine.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | EC | eBookMall


ARC Review: Her Holiday Man by Shannon Stacey

Format: E-bookherholidayman
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Will Broughton
Heroine: Christina Forrester
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 3, 2014
Started On: October 29, 2014
Finished On: October 29, 2014

Will Broughton returns to his hometown, this time for good, after a couple of years away from home. The thought that his mother would be all alone during the coming holidays and even though Will knows she would put up a good front to not let anyone know how alone she was feeling is what makes Will’s decision for him. After the tragic death of his wife and unborn child, Will had found it hard to put up with the sympathy and pity of the people he’d known all his life and he’d taken off.

Christina Forrester has basically lost everything that she has known in her life. Coming from a wealthy family and marrying into even a wealthier one, Christina had never had to worry about where her next meal would come from. That is until financial ruin and scandal leaves Christina the sole caretaker of her son, juggling a job to make ends meet. The minute she meets her kindly neighbor’s son Will, Christina knows that the essence of what makes her a woman had not died along with the ashes to which her entire life as she had known it had burned to crisp right in front of her. Will makes her want thing she would rather not, and ignoring the mounting feelings hardly seem to work when the answering light of desire burns in Will’s eyes.

Will doesn’t want to do serious. Will believes that his heart wouldn’t be able to take being torn apart a second time. But even then, Will does find it hard to stay away from Christina and her adorable son. Feelings Will had thought had died along with his wife comes back in full force and it isn’t long before Will is battling his inner needs with more cold showers than he can count. The holiday spirit explored in the story lends a helping hand along the way to make both Will and Christina take a second chance at love and happily ever after.

I liked Her Holiday Man and the story it had to offer though it didn’t make my heart race and pulse pound. This was a slow moving romance, sometimes brought to mind novels of Betty Neels that I used to read a long time back. Will is the type of hero readers would swoon over. He is gentle, giving and handsome. Christina turned out to be a beautiful woman, inside and out. One would expect someone like Christina to be spoilt due to affluent life she had led but turns out Christina had just gone through the motions of her life and had never known that life could be more rewarding when you are surrounded by people who genuinely care about you.

Recommended for fans of Shannon Stacey and those who love feel good holiday romances.

Final Verdict: Slow and sweet!

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo