ARC Review: A Governess Should Never… Deny a Duke by Emily Windsor

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Governess Chronicles, #2
Publisher: Sentra Press
Hero: Rhys Cadogan
Heroine: Isabelle Violette de Beaujeu
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 07, 2022
Started On: July 05, 2022
Finished On: July 14, 2022

A Governess Should Never… Deny a Duke is the second installment in The Governess Chronicles by Emily Windsor. Even though this is part of a series, the story is perfectly readable as a standalone.

27 year old Isabelle Violette de Beaujeu is a governess with almost a decade of experience under her belt, having earned an impeccable reputation for herself. Her newest charge is the 15 year old niece of the Duke of Aberdare. Even though 34 year old Rhys Cadogan has a reputation for being mean, moody, and mysterious, it does not deter Isabelle from seeking the position, one more milestone towards making headway in her retirement funds.

From the get go, the Duke’s sheer masculinity takes Isabelle’s breathe away, or so it would have she tells herself, if she weren’t made of sterner stuff. Likewise, Rhys is drawn towards the spirit and fire that is evident when Isabelle loses that rigid control she exerts on herself.

However, a governess has no space to dream about frivolous things like love and desire, especially when it involves the likes of a Duke, who for all intents and purposes is on the hunt for a bride. What neither Rhys nor Isabelle realize is that when it comes right down to it, they are both two halves of one soul, drawn towards a shared future, irrespective of the circumstances that brought them together.

From one breathless encounter to heated stolen kisses, Isabelle comes to the realization of the kindness that is inherent in the Duke, the passion that he hides behind the at times aloof facade of his, and the dreams that he harbors for the kind of love that Isabelle herself yearns for but never hopes to find.

I loved this installment in the series and enjoyed both Rhys and Isabelle. Rhys is the kind of hero that is the right mix of tenderness and masculinity that sweeps you off your feet. His keen intelligence and his kindness draws the reader towards him like a moth to flame, and it is not just Isabelle that falls hopelessly in love with him.

Isabelle is the kind of heroine readers root for in every sense. With a past that still haunts her, Isabelle is someone who has lived true to her values and principles and made a name for herself in her profession. Even when the Duke tempts her so, Isabelle tries to tell herself that it is not for the likes of her, but alas, love does have a strange way of seeking one out when you are least looking for it.

The style of writing that Ms. Windsor brings to the genre is evocative, the portrayal of the yearning of both characters in this novel the kind that makes for an immersive reading experience, and the witty nature of the inner monologues and the dialogues which keeps the pages turning. The secondary characters added vibrancy to the story as it unfolded, many of whom I would definitely love to read more about.

Recommended for fans of Ms. Windsor and fans of beautifully spun historical romances!

Final Verdict: Delightful, sensual, and poignant; Ms. Windsor’s writing is powerful in the way it moves the reader!

Favorite Quotes

I wait. I tremble. I yearn,
Yet to me she cometh not.
I lust. I languish. I burn!
Yet to me she cometh not.

His lips brushed.
Back and forth. Beguiling and mellow and supple and sinful.
The angel admonished one last time, prattling on about all those years of flawless reputation, but instead of dissuading Isabelle from this path of desire, it compelled her to be reckless. Yes, she had been all that was placid and perfect for so long, but she was tired. Tired of suppressing her accent, her upbringing, her nature, her temper, her very self.
So, she returned the duke’s kiss.

Abruptly, she was swung around, her spine meeting the panelled wall, and she was unsure why until he pressed his muscled frame as though he required more pressure, could not get close enough to her…
Now the assault came not from just his ravishing lips, or from his hands which grasped her face, securing her for his kiss, but his hips which recklessly thrust.
She knew he was heavily aroused, had read many a novel for knowledge, but even the most prurient tale failed to convey the sheer elation that surged.
Real, indulgent and utterly wicked.

“Beg pardon,” he muttered, hands tidying her bodice and attempting to push curls into their plait – a fruitless endeavour yet she welcomed it, savoured the sensation of being fussed over for once, till he claimed her wrist and kissed the pounding pulse. “Thank you. Thank you for… My mood was sombre tonight and you fetched light into it with your empathy and touch…Miss Beaujeu.”
She nodded. Knew tonight was at an end for Isabelle.
The clock chimed midnight.
“Good night, Your Grace.”
“Good night, Miss Beaujeu.”
He kissed her hand once more and she twisted away on legs that appeared to be filled with English custard.

“Ça alors!”
He shivered. “You know when you speak in French, it causes the most uncontrollable urges within me.”
“Does it?” She brought her lips to his ear. “Je te désire, Monsieur le duc.”
With a grunt, he strode for the bed. “If you keep testing my limits, Miss Beaujeu, you will find yourself nude and splayed before you can take another breath.”
She laughed as he lowered her to the coverlet, followed her, his perfect mate as she arched beneath him.

His entire weight sank upon her, powerful and possessive, and her legs parted of their accord to accommodate.
Now the kiss grew reckless and tempestuous, both their bodies arching into one another.
With a growl, he reared, twisted off the bed and wrenched at the fall of his breeches, shoving them down. By the flame of the candle, Isabelle glimpsed muscled planes and masculine beauty and an arousal that should’ve scared her but that instead spurred her pulse to race.
He sank upon her again, but now with bare, heated skin, his body tight with sinew, blunt with need.

She leaned up as best she could, gasping as it forced him deeper. “Mon amour. Mon coeur…”
“Cariad, don’t–”
“Je t’aime pour l’éternité.”
With that, any pretence they were civilised creatures vanished as Rhys roared and abruptly arched, his hand grasping her hip as he bucked.
Isabelle sought to retain a grip unto sanity but it was a futile endeavour as his mouth devoured her breast, her throat, and his body demanded she yield also to this madness of desire.

“Love waits, still and swithe,
Love lingers, dusk and bright.
Love waits, it waits for thee,
For thee to fill my night.

So come to me, my soul,
Aside the pounding sea.
Come love and make me whole,
And ‘I’ shall become ‘We’.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: A Ring to Secure His Heir by Lynne Graham

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Alexius Kolovos Stavroulakis
Heroine: Rosie Gray
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 18, 2012
Started On: November 04, 2021
Finished On: November 07, 2021

A Ring to Secure His Heir by Lynne Graham, released in 2012, is a story that many readers would find affinity with, especially those who have problems with older Harlequin romances that feature heroines who are a bit more submissive. The story begins when 31 year old Alexius Kolovos Stavroulakis (Alexius) is tasked to find out more about 75 year old Socrates Seferis’s grand daughter, Socrate being the only person whose orders that Alexius is willing to follow, even if this one fills him with misgivings.

23 year old Rosie Gray is a woman who is used to life’s hardships. Having grown up with a flighty mother who would not win any awards for being a good mother, with an absentee father in the mix, Rosie had grown in foster care upon the death of her mother. Rendered nearly homeless just a couple of months back, Rosie is biding her time with a company whose sole business is office cleaning, the job suiting her quite well, until she is able to get her degree in Business Management.

Even though Alexius is at first reluctant to go ahead with what Socrates wants, he is not one to deny what the old man wants, who had been more of a parent to him than anyone else. Believing Rosie to be someone colorless and shapeless, with zero attributes to attract him at any level, Alexius is taken aback when he actually meets her to find out that instead, Rosie has a way of drawing him to her.

Rosie does not know what hits her when she encounters the altogether too good looking for himself Alexius, who makes her senses all go on red alert. Having no prior experience with men when it comes to sex, needless to say, before Alexius is done with his “mission”, they end up doing the missionary themselves.

Alexius, having gone against his own code of ethics and morals when he does the one-night stand with Rosie, berates himself afterwards for giving in and taking advantage of the granddaughter of the one man who is most valuable to him. But then again, somethings are inevitable and thus begins the at times fraught journey that Alexius and Rosie must traverse through for their own happily ever after.

I loved this novel; both Alexius and Rosie are superb characters, not to mention Socrates who was adorable in his way. It was refreshing to see a hero who did not come out with guns blazing, offering marriage just because he ended up taking the heroine’s virginity. I also admired the fact that Rosie stood her ground, even when it came to her grandfather who wanted to see them married to deal with the consequences of their one night of passion, all because she did not want to settle for half measures.

Rosie with the ambition of making something out of herself is one aspect of her character that I fully supported and admired. Alexius meanwhile, has a hard time reconciling with the feelings that Rosie rouses in him; the lust, possessiveness, protectiveness, and a hint of what he does not want to name, and that for me was one of the most enjoyable aspects of the story! It is always hilarious to see the hero struggle so much with what he feels, and when they reluctantly give in, there is so much love that bursts from within the pages, the reason why I love romance novels so much.

While I admired Rosie for all the characteristics, I also loved Alexius because he did not do a 180 degree turn on his convictions, just because he had met a woman who changed him fundamentally. He took his time to come to terms with his burgeoning feelings, and that is what made this book stand out for me.

Loved the epilogue tucked at the end. It is rare for a Harlequin romance to have one, and I enjoyed this one to the hilt!

Recommended for fans of Harlequin romances, fans of Lynne Graham, and fans of romances that totally captivates you on every level.

Final Verdict: Chock-full of taut sexual tension and goodness at every page turn!

Favorite Quotes

She was unlocking the battered front door when, without even realising it, he put his hand on her arm to stay her. She turned back, colliding with those silvery-grey eyes of his, and her heartbeat hammered so fast she was afraid she might somehow choke on the tightness in her throat.
He wound his hand into her hair and bent his imperious dark head—it was a long way down to her level, he discovered as he captured her lush mouth with his. And that single sweet taste of her went straight to his head like the finest brandy and he kissed her with tortured, driving urgency, hauling her slight body up against him. He wanted her at that moment with a sexual ferocity he had never experienced in his life before.

‘I don’t bite unless you ask me to,’ Alexius quipped, enjoying his ability to read her thoughts from her ever-changing expressions while he wondered what might be responsible for her obvious tension at the prospect of sex.
‘I’m not very experienced,’ she warned him defensively. ‘So, don’t be expecting too much.’
‘I know it will be amazing,’ Alexius fielded with a level of assurance that shook her. ‘You’re a passionate woman.’
‘Did you work that out from one kiss?’ she teased, scanning the high cheekbones that lent his face such strong, sexy symmetry along with the deep-set mystery of his stunning silvery-grey eyes.
‘There were many,’ he reminded her. ‘No, I see your passion in the way you look at me.’

Rosie came up on her knees, no longer content to be passive, and removed his tie for him. Her hands lowered and slid beneath his suit jacket to his shoulders and the sheer heat of his hard muscular flesh burned through his shirt. She paused, gazing at him eye to eye for the first time, loving the blaze of intensity she saw there. There was nothing cool about Alex in this particular mood and he couldn’t hide the fact.
He captured her face between his big hands and claimed her mouth with hungry fervour, his innate need to dominate taking over while a low growl of satisfaction vibrated in his throat.

He kissed her, and she gripped his shoulders, needing him to hold on to as his tongue mated with hers and the wild fever kicked off inside her again. It was like nothing she had ever felt, an insane, intoxicating flood of need that left her dizzy and trembling. Her hands sank into the silky luxuriance of his black hair. He might wear his hair short but there was a lot of it.
Alexius was struggling to contain his hunger and slow down. She was tiny and fragile and he didn’t want to hurt her.

Alexius levelled forbidding icy-grey eyes on her flushed and anxious face. ‘You’re a virgin?’
‘Not any more,’ she pointed out helplessly. ‘My choice, my decision.’
Alexius gritted his teeth in annoyance. The deed was done. Her choice, not his and not a position he was used to finding himself in. But it was the work of a moment to let the dam of hunger he had rigorously restrained flow free and he buried himself deep in the silken welcome of her hot little body.
Her inner muscles clenched round him as tiny little tremors of pleasure began to course through Rosie. She had feared he might stop; she hadn’t wanted him to stop. Now he began to move, harder, faster, deeper and the excitement returned with an intensity that took her breath away.

He wrenched up the skirt and fought with her panties to access the warm, welcoming wetness of his fantasies, and he groaned with satisfaction against her swollen mouth as he got there and discovered that she was as ready as he was. His thumb circled her clitoris and set off a chain reaction through her pelvis that she could not control. She writhed, she moaned, made not the smallest attempt to escape, intoxicated as she was by the way he was teasing her overexcited body. She buried her mouth against his strong brown throat, kissing him, drinking in the glorious hot male scent of his flesh like an addict, all of her senses up and away on a magical tour of reacquaintance. With one finger, he slid inside and she ground down her bottom onto the thrust of his arousal, helpless in the grip of the most driving need she had ever experienced, feeling the gathering storm at the heart of her, rising up through her like an unstoppable force of nature.

As Alexius switched on the lights, Rosie whirled round in shock, pale blue silk clinging to her lithe body. ‘You couldn’t sleep either?’
‘No.’ Alexius studied her as she opened the doors of the giant double refrigerator to pull out cold meat, which she ate where she stood. ‘I gather you’re hungry.’
Rosie went red and nodded because her mouth was full. It gave her a most gratuitous opportunity to appraise the full impact of Alexius’s raw sexuality, his lean powerful physique sheathed in a pair of worn tight jeans and nothing else. Bare-chested, all that golden skin and rippling muscle on display, he took her breath away and desire swelled deep down inside her. He was badly in need of a shave, for dark stubble covered his lower jaw, framing his beautifully sensual mouth.

‘Thee mou…you’re so beautiful, moli mou.’
Rosie almost laughed out loud but then she saw his eyes and realised that he meant it, truly believed it at that moment and gratification blossomed inside her. For a long, timeless moment they exchanged a look and her heart began to thump really fast in her chest. A hand closed round her wrist and exerted a gentle tug to draw her closer. Brain, she shouted inside her head, heart rate rocketing like an express train, brain, get back here right this minute. His hands closed around her waist as he lifted her to him and their mouths clashed with the frantic, feverish longing that powered them both. She tasted him and she couldn’t get enough of that taste. You weren’t going to do this, her brain reminded her at that point. Shut up, she told it, fingers delving into luxuriant black hair as she strained against him, her body in an electrifying state of anticipation that she couldn’t quell.

‘I’ve waited a long time for this,’ he protested raggedly, running an admiring forefinger down between her breasts to the pale tangle of curls below, brushing her thighs apart while she held her breath, smoothing over the soft skin of her inner thigh to explore the warm wet invitation of her lush opening. ‘And you were definitely worth waiting for, moraki mou.’
Trembling, Rosie rested back, scarcely believing what she was allowing, finally acknowledging that she wanted to be with him so much that she didn’t care about the terms or the absence of promises. He circled the little pearl of nerve endings that controlled her response and reaction jackknifed through her in an unquenchable surge of charged pleasure.

‘You don’t get to come unless I’m inside you,’ Alexius spelt out roughly, eyes bright with intensity, already positioning her for his entrance. ‘And I’m on a knife edge trying to wait.’
The edge of his desperation racked up her arousal even more. He was almost vibrating with eagerness against her, the muscles in his powerful arms bunched with effort, his jaw line hard as a rock.
‘Don’t wait,’ she told him between gritted teeth, her head rolling restively across the pillow, her body keyed to a frustrating high of expectation.
He filled her to the hilt in one swift motion that stole the breath from her lungs in a gasp. Excitement assailed her as she felt herself stretch to accommodate his size.
‘Am I hurting you?’ he husked, throwing his handsome head back, black hair wildly tousled by her fingers as he hitched her legs round his waist.
‘No, that was a wince of pure pleasure,’ she gasped as he sank even deeper into her.

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

Review: The Lost Fisherman by Jewel E. Ann

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fisherman #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Fisher Mann
Heroine: Therese Capshaw
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 14, 2021
Started On: November 01, 2021
Finished On: November 03, 2021

The Lost Fisherman by Jewel E. Ann is the second and last book in the Fisherman duet series. There was no way that I was going to be able to focus on any other book having finished the first book in the series, thanking God that the second one was already out – because when I first started reading The Naked Fisherman, I had no idea that it was going to be a cliffhanger ending; I was just too excited to see the most recent release from the author and plunged right in.

The second book in the series takes place five years after Fisher and Reese go their separate ways, each having confessed to the love they have for each other, but agreeing that it was not their time, or perhaps that it would never be. Reese spends time in Thailand, where she finally finds her calling, choosing to become a midwife nurse.

Having graduated from University of Michigan in nursing, Reese is on the lookout for jobs when she receives the news of Fisher being involved in an accident. Dropping everything else, Reese rushes to Fisher’s side, all the while knowing that it was futile to hope for anything to happen between them.

When Fisher wakes up and is diagnosed with amnesia, Reese decides to stay back and see through his recovery, even if it means observing the recovery from a distance. Fisher failing to recognize Reese hurts deep inside, but at the same time, she is willing to become reacquainted with him, even if it may mean her heart breaking all over again as it did five years before.

This novel too, is told mainly from the perspective of Reese, making it difficult to discern where Fisher was coming from. Nevertheless, it was interesting to observe how Fisher gets drawn to Reese, finds himself unable to deny his burgeoning attraction to her, and wants her in a way that he is willing to put his long-standing relationship with his now fiance on the line, just because.

To be honest, I found The Lost Fisherman to be a bit of a letdown, not that the first book was excellent either, but I still had hope that this one would deliver specifically in areas that I found lacking in the first installment. With Fisher having rejected the notion of having sex with Reese in the first novel, all because he wanted to save her virginity for some future bloke who would be her husband (cue in some eye rolling here), when they finally get the deed done five years later, I was expecting a lot of fireworks to herald in the moment. But alas, it was not so!

Furthermore, I always felt as if Reese was the one who did the pursuing when it comes to Fisher. Not even once was there a mention of how Fisher had actually yearned for her, did something out of character to go after her or because he wanted her that badly, and I felt that Reese always gave in just like that because it was the love of her life. There was also no explanation to Fisher’s borderline creepy behavior when they initially met when Fisher was making Reese feel as if at eighteen years, she should be totally fit for modern society, in spite of having been brought up otherwise.

In fact, if I were to be honest, there was nothing that really proved how much he loved her (that is if he loved her at all). It is only through the epilogue that there is a brief respite from all these misgivings – which I believe is a cop out when all is said and done. The reader is pretty much privy to all the internal monologues, misgivings, and rationalizing that Reese does, and the agony she goes through when Fisher is all about taking his time, but there is nothing whatsoever that shows to the reader, either by action, involuntary reaction, or even a spasm of emotion that passes through Fisher’s expressions, just how much Reese means to her which was hugely disappointing.

Recommended for fans of Jewel E. Ann.

Final Verdict: The Lost Fisherman failed to live up to my expectations in a grand way, but then again, Jewel E. Ann is too remarkable a writer to make the reader experience anything but memorable!

Favorite Quotes

I pulled him to me, lifting onto my toes as my lips brushed back and forth over his. “Yeah,” I whispered before giving his mouth a slow kiss. My right hand reached for his left hand, and I guided it under the hem of my shirt.
Up.
Up.
Up.
“This is the chapter where the lost fisherman makes it to second base.”
Fisher grinned before I kissed him again. His hand cupped my breast, and his thumb slid under the fabric and grazed my nipple.
We knew it wouldn’t go past that. So we took our time kissing, like sipping coffee on a lazy Sunday morning.

His good hand tangled in my hair, deepening the kiss, and I softly moaned. I loved our bubble, but I hated the fate of it, like the fate of every bubble. Eventually, all bubbles popped.
Pulling back, I released his mouth but kept my hold on his neck so he kept his lips close to mine as I whispered, “I’m in. I’m in as long as you want me to be in your life. Even on the days it hurts like hell. I’m in.”
He rested his forehead on mine and blew out a slow breath. “Can I tell you something truly terrible?”
I grinned, lifting my chin and brushing my lips against his as I giggled. “Tell me.”
Fisher dragged his mouth along my cheek, depositing small kisses on his way to my ear. “The only memories of my past I want to get back … are the ones of you.”

That slow kiss took us all the way to the bed. I wasn’t the nervous girl anymore. And knowing he wasn’t getting my virginity didn’t make it feel any less special.
I wasn’t a used sanitary napkin.
I was the woman who put myself first, who loved myself first. I was the girl who left the love of her life to find a life.
There were mistakes.
Lessons to learn.
Tears to cry.
Intimate moments with other people.
Risks to take.
And I did it all.
I did it not because I thought it would lead me back to Fisher; I did it for me. The only gift I cared to give my future husband was the most confident version of myself. A full heart and a humbled soul.

I sat up just enough to let him push into me the whole way. Drunk on the feeling, I couldn’t move. I just wanted to stay in that exact position forever. I’d imagined that feeling so many times, and despite the other men I’d been with, there was no comparing them or anything I’d done with them to Fisher being inside of me.
Him sitting up and kissing me.
Him rolling us again and again.
Arms and legs tangling together with the sheets woven every which way.
The look in his eyes when he moved inside of me—so intense. His strong hands all over my body, laced with my fingers, and tangled in my hair as he kissed me.
The whispered promise of never forgetting that moment—so heartbreaking.

“I love you today,” he said.
That was his reply. The perfect reply.
I nodded toward him. “Thought you were going to shower.”
“After I drive you home.”
I grinned, taking two steps to him then taking his hand and pulling him toward the front door. “You’re one, Fisher.”
“One in what?”
I opened the door, and he closed it behind us.
“Not in anything. Not one in eighty thousand. Not one in a billion times infinity. You’re just one. The one.”

I let Fisher undress me and do all the things. He kissed me in places only he could kiss me and make it feel sexy, make me feel beautiful and desired. When he touched me, it didn’t feel like my body. It felt like an extension of him, and I just got to experience him giving me a thorough tour of it.
Every touch was a silent whisper, all the things he said to me by showing me.
This is how I make you moan.
This is how I steal your breath.
This is how I make you beg.
This is where you make me feel like a god.
Because I don’t remember you, but I know you.
I. Know. You.
Nestled between two open sleeping bags, we made love, we made noise …. and we made new memories.

I reached across the island to grab an apple from his big bowl of them. “You know what I mean. Official.”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Oof …” I sucked in a sharp breath when he pinned me to the counter, my chest stretched over it with a shiny green apple in one hand.
“I don’t know what you mean, because I heard nothing after you bent over my counter.” His fingers teased my outer thighs. “And I discoered you’re not wearing anything under my sweatshirt.”
“Fisher …” I gulped. It was a compromising position I hadn’t been in before. He restrained me using his body and the counter instead of zip ties, but the effect was the same.
“You can’t be in this position…” he hiked the hoodie up, completely exposing my bare butt “…with callipygian tattooed on your very sexy and shapely ass…” his knee nudged my legs apart a little wider “…and not expect me to fuck you.”

“A hand job in front of my friends? Who are you?” Fisher pressed my hands to the wall and yanked my sweatpants down to my ankles followed by my panties.
“I hope … I’m yours,” I said in a shaky breath, rattled by what he was doing to me and how much it thrilled me.
He chuckled. “You’re mine alright.” I liked his fast hands. He was impatient boot-shopping Fisher with his cock out as he thrust into me in a matter of seconds.
“Fishe—” I wasn’t prepared for that quick of an invasion.
He silenced me with his hand over my mouth and a harsh “shh” in my ear. Fisher moved with intention with one hand giving attention to my clit while his other hand snaked up my shirt and used my breast like a handle.
It was quick and dirty … and I liked it.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BookDepo

Review: When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Levi Joseph Paige
Heroine: Parker Joy Cruse
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: June 03, 2017
Started On: July 17, 2021
Finished On: July 23, 2021

When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann, published in 2017, is going to be tough book to review. Not because the book was bad, but because it was exceptionally good and held me spellbound from start to finish. This is going to be a book tough to read if you are the judgmental sort, but if you believe in the fragility of human emotions, if you believe that we are all bound to make mistakes or even find love through those mistakes, then this book is for you.

26 year old Parker Joy Cruse needs independence from her family, even if it means moving a short distance from her parents place – freedom meant freedom. But Parker’s new neighbours turn out to be more than she bargained for, especially when she starts developing feelings for the very married husband of the household.

Parker is the person who basically chairs the “I Hate Cheaters” club, having been on the receiving end of the heartache and pain that she nurses in her heart. Her fractured relationship with her identical twin sister is testament enough to this fact. Parker who sees the world in black and white suddenly finds herself confronting the shades of grey in the midst, having to contend with her burgeoning feelings towards the one man she should not want.

But then tragedy strikes, leaving not just Parker wounded in the wake. However, life happens, and in comes 33 year old Levi Joseph Paige who dominates Parker’s world once again. Unable to grieve openly and publicly over the loss, and when Levi offers her the chance to break free from the circus that is her hometown and well-meaning parents, Parker decides to take Levi up on his offer and travel to Arizona with him.

Thus begins the journey on which Parker comes to terms with the love that she found and lost in such a brief moment in time, and once again confronts the feelings that comes to life with the merest touch from Levi. In Levi, Parker finds the love that she has been waiting for, for the past 26 years of her life. However, Levi is a complex man who harbours his own scars, the blame he shoulders over what took place in the past keeping him in an emotional cage of life’s making. At the same time, Parker’s secret is one that could destroy the fragility of the relationship between them, unless both of them are willing to look beyond and have the courage to face the consequences, bitterness, and the beauty that life is in its glorious complexity.

Needless to say, I loved this story to pieces. Jewel E. Ann is an author who knows how to draw out the intricate emotions of readers; you can love or hate what she makes you feel – I choose love because I read for the pleasure that stories bring, especially how they engage all my emotions and leaves me wanting more. When Life Happened is that kind of book, and I would not have it any other way.

The title of this book aptly describes what the story would deliver – but don’t be fooled into thinking you would be able to predict what would happen. I for one have never come across an author who dared to do what she did with this story, and boy, did she deliver it well. I was sucker-punched and left to gasp in the wake of the immensity of the feelings that were coursing through me. I was expecting a miracle to happen at any moment, but then again, that is not what life is about, is it?

I kept asking the what-if questions, even towards the latter end of the book, but I guess that is also in reality what life is like. Some people prefer to live in the what-ifs, and let life pass them by, while those that prefer to be grounded in reality move on and make peace with their lot in life.

When Levi stepped into the pages, I was once again shaken up by just how quickly he laid claim to my heart. Parker who lost her self worth at one point in time, finds not one, but two men in a short span of time, both who recognizes the value of Parker and wants to lay down the entire world at her feet.

The angst and heartbreak towards the end broke my heart, but I believe it was pretty much needed to bring the collective emotions of Parker and Levi full-circle. They both needed to accept, heal, and move on individually to be able to love each other and sustain their love through life’s curve-balls that would come in time.

Recommended for those who want to read a romance that would sweep you off your feet and engage all your emotions. This one delivers in spades!

Final Verdict: When Life Happened teaches us of life’s unpredictability, about the shades of grey in the midst, and about the endless possibilities that is life! Loved this in a way that is indescribable!

Favorite Quotes

“Out of control hormones are no excuse.” She rinsed the plates and set them beside the sink.
“Desire is very powerful.”
Parker reached for the handle to the fridge. “I don’t buy it.”
Before she could make sense of what was happening, Gus whipped her around and pinned her to the refrigerator door with his body, chest to chest. He pressed his hands flat to the door on either side of her head as she flattened hers to it just below her hips.
She tried to speak as his eyes stripped every ounce of her confidence. His warm breath touched her lips as he licked his, hovering an inch above hers. When her mouth opened to protest or scream, nothing came out.
“Parker,” he whispered in a deep, throaty voice.

“You’re what?” His hand moved up her shirt, stopping at the edge of her bra as his knee moved a fraction.
So. Fucking. Wrong.
“Confused,” she whispered.
“And?” His fingers caressed her abdomen.
Her muscles clenched. “Gus …”
She looked up at him and blinked, sending tears running down her cheeks.
He pressed his knee into her until her hips involuntarily bucked against it. She grimaced and more tears filled her eyes as her body betrayed her again.
“Tell. Me.” He gritted his teeth and stroked her again with his leg, and again her pelvis rocked into it.
As she squeezed her eyes shut, her hands gripped his shirt, warring between the need to push him away and something else too terrifying to admit.

“But, Parker?”
As she turned toward his voice, he grabbed her arm, yanked her into the garage, and pinned her against the wall.
“If you’re going to tell Sabrina about our kiss, it sure as fuck isn’t going to be the lame, drunken kiss at the bar.”
“Wha—”
He silenced her by smashing his mouth into hers, delivering a kiss that obliterated every thought in her head. When his tongue probed into her mouth, sliding against hers, she tried to push him away. He cradled her face to deepen the kiss even more and when he moaned, she did the unthinkable—the unforgivable: she laced her fingers through his hair and kissed him back.
Gray. A terrible color. The murky water where sinners thrived. Parker Cruse was a hypocrite. A cheater. And in need of another change of underwear.

“Parker …” He kissed her hard again. She released her breasts and threaded her hands through his hair. His hands began to unfasten his navy cargo shorts, exposing the hard bulge barely contained by his briefs.
“N-no …” She broke their kiss. “Not sex.”
Gus’s hands gripped the counter on either side of her as his forehead rested against hers. “Jesus, Parker … o-okay.” His ragged breaths washed over her face. He nodded against her. “No sex.”
“No sex.” Her voice quivered as her hands clawed at his back.

Her arms and legs pulled him closer as her heels dug into his backside—every move greedy and mindless. Gus released the back of her head and slipped his hand under her bottom so he could thrust harder against her, each vying for more friction.
“I’m going to … stop …” She dropped her head to his shoulder and her teeth dug into his firm flesh.
He growled as she bit harder, returning the favor as he sucked the sensitive skin along her neck, rocking their bodies together over and over.

Parker saw Levi, but she felt Gus. Pieces of him lingered everywhere. She could close her eyes and taste him on her lips, smell the hint of leather and spice cologne in the crook of his neck, feel every muscle of his back beneath her fingertips, and hear his “I love you” echoing over and over.
He was the wind. The moon sketching shadows. The shiver along her skin at night when she shut off the lights and whispered his name. He promised her everything and left her with nothing. How could nothing—a deep, hollow hole—feel like something so tangible, like her pain had its own pulse.

He jabbed her entrance with the head of his cock.
“Jesus…” she gasped “ …Christ …”
He pressed his hand to her back, pushing her forward until her hands rested on his legs.
“Flub up?” He chuckled. “I’m not that drunk. Hold on, this could be a rough ride.”
He lifted her up a couple inches and jerked her back down onto him.
“Fuck!” Her chin dropped to her chest and the second his right hand slid between her legs, she saw the stars.

Levi toed off his sneakers while he removed his shirt dropping it to the ground next to her bra. Parker’s breath caught when he feathered his fingers down her arms.
“How do you do that?” she whispered.
“Do what?” He clasped her hands slowly bringing them above her head and then back behind his.
“Make me feel like you’re the first man to ever touch me?” She fisted his hair and arched her back as he ghosted his hands back down, under her arms, around to her belly, teasing them just below the waist of her panties before inching up to her breasts. She moaned when he cupped them, and then she pushed them even more into his hands.
“Because…” he dipped his head and pressed his lips to her shoulder “…my touch is the only one that will ever matter.”

Levi crawled between her spread legs, kissing his way up her body. She played with his hair again like her fingers couldn’t get enough as he tasted his way up her abdomen. Her lips parted, eyes locked on his. He hooked his arm under her knee as his mouth covered her breast. Watching her eyes the whole time, he pushed inside of her.
She sucked in a sharp breath, eyes heavy but still focused on him, as her hands curled into his hair.
Pulling back slowly, he plunged into her harder.
“Levi …”
The bed jerked beneath them.
He kissed his way along her neck up to her mouth. “I think it’s pretty clear,” he whispered.

“How I feel about you, it hurts in here.”
The slightest flinch flashed across his face. Then he pressed his lips to her hand. “I’m going to take the pain away … you’ll see.”
He plunged into her the rest of the way.
“Levi …”
“How does it feel?” He kissed her neck.
“Levi …”
Gripping her hips, he set the pace.
“Like a drug,” she whispered just before her mouth crashed to his, catching the ultimate wave of addiction.

“Tell me, Mister World Traveler, what is your greatest memory, the one you’ll never forget?”
He squatted down in front of her, resting his hands on her legs. “That’s easy. Overcast sky. Barren field. Blue pick-up truck. Pizza. Twelve-pack of beer. And the woman who owns my world.”
“Liar,” she whispered as her heart nearly exploded.
He laid a sound kiss on her lips then grinned. “No Lie Levi.” Standing, he walked to the door. “I love you. Don’t you ever fucking forget it.”

“Don’t tease me again, Levi.” Parker blinked open her eyes. The games were over. She saw nothing but love in his eyes. “Make love to me, Levi, but do it like—”
“Like you’re the last woman I’ll ever want for the rest of my life.”
Parker couldn’t breathe from the impact of his words. She was going to say “like we usually do,” but he had to step in and remind her one last time that after twenty-six years, her heart had found its rightful owner.

As soon as her dress fell below her breasts, he gripped them, kneading them until she arched her back, breaking their kiss. “Levi …”
She released him from his briefs and stroked him. He hissed in a breath, leaving one hand on her breast. His other hand grabbed the crotch to her panties and pulled it to the side as she guided his erection to that very spot.
“Stop.” He pulled back a fraction. His hand on her breast moved to the back of her neck, and he rested his forehead on hers. “I love you back,” he whispered through ragged breaths. “I love you back so fucking much I’m certain it’s the only thing I have ever done in my life that’s one hundred percent selfless. But this isn’t us. I don’t want to have pissed-off-at-the-world sex with you.”
“Levi …” She panted, holding tight to his cock. “I kinda need this to happen.”
He nodded, still leaning into her forehead with his. “Agreed.” He laughed a little. “But it’s I-love-you sex. I-need-you sex. My-whole-fucking-world-revolves-around-you sex.”

“Levi …” she whispered breathlessly as her heart pounded in anticipation.
“Shhh …” He eased off her panties, ghosting his lips along the back of her legs and over the curve of her ass.
“Fuck!” Her muscles clenched. “Did you just bite my ass again?”
He chuckled while his tongue glided over the spot. As he stood, he lifted her right leg and plunged into her. Bending over her back, he whispered in her ear, “My whole … fucking … world.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: The Doctor by Nikki Sloane

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Nashville Neighborhood, #1
Publisher: Shady Creek Publishing
Hero: Greg Lowe
Heroine: Cassidy Shepard
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: August 29, 2018
Started On: June 13, 2021
Finished On: June 14, 2021

The Doctor by Nikki Sloane, debut book in the Nashville Neighborhood series is my very first read from the author, giving me a taste of her titillating writing style which drew me in from the start.

19 year old Cassidy Shepard has been dating her boyfriend Preston Lowe for three years, with their senior class having even voted them “Most Likely to Marry Their High School Sweetheart”. However, Cassidy starts to feel a change in how Preston sees her and treats her, and the final straw comes as both of them are back home for the holidays and Preston’s callous attitude just becomes all too much.

Usher in Greg Lowe, none other than her ex-boyfriend’s father, the savior in every form when it comes to Cassidy’s inner turmoil over the breakup. Greg is a trauma surgeon working long hours, who is mostly never around and looks younger than he is. A simple touch from Greg offered as comfort, changes the dynamics between the two and lets Cassidy know that the heat that she feels with his touch is not just one-sided.

Thus starts the sexiest and at times raunchiest affair that I have come across in a book of late, which definitely kept the pages turning. Though initially when the transition from father of the ex-boyfriend to the new lover happened just like that, I was a trifle bit apprehensive that the story line would not work. But somehow, when all was said and done, Ms. Sloane did make it work.

At some point in the story, I was of the mind that every woman should have a Dr. Lowe teach them or show them the wonders of sex and lovemaking as it should be, by making their partner feel cherished, desired, and coveted all at the same time. But alas, real life does not offer Dr. Lowes’ in abundance.

Since the story is mainly told from the first person point of view (Cassidy’s), the way Greg feels is a bit hard to decipher, except of course that when it comes to the kink, of which he has a lot up his sleeve. The doctor definitely knows his way around the bedroom and then some, if you ask me. But through the conversations that takes place on the side, there emerges the picture of the man that Greg is deep inside; sensitive to the needs of his son to a point where he had neglected living a life of his choosing.

While Cassidy (as expected), acted bratty at certain points through the story, Greg seemed to take those things in stride, which I guess is love in its truest form? You accept the person as they are because life without them would just not be worth the heartache and loneliness.

Fabulously hot sex (explains the number of quotes with this review), with just enough of a plot line to keep the emotions engaged. Recommended for those who are looking for their next smutty read. This one delivers in spades and Ms. Sloane definitely deserves the title of Queen of Smut!

Final Verdict: Sexy, commanding, thoughtful, and sensual describes Dr. Lowe; every woman deserves one, in bed and out of it!

Favorite Quotes

Warning sirens blared in my mind, but it was useless. His gentle, hesitant kiss roared loudly through my body, drumming back any other sound. His soft lips moved against mine, cautious and testing, and I answered back. Even more, I encouraged. I opened my mouth to welcome his seeking tongue.
He drew in a sharp breath through his nose as our reckless kiss deepened, but it didn’t stop his exploration of my mouth. Behind my back, his palm urged me into him, and his grip on my face firmed. His lush tongue dipped past my lips, slid against mine, causing goosebumps to burst down my legs.
I couldn’t think, breathe, or even move as he kissed me, because I worried I’d break the spell.

I gripped the edge of the counter and moaned as he stirred careful circles over my clit. The tiniest touch from him caused me to flinch and shiver. Ecstasy rocketed up and down my spine like lightning. His mouth was pressed against the side of my neck, and my hair fluttered with his rapid, uneven breathing.
Like last time, I was both feverishly hot and frigid cold. My nipples tightened and protruded through my unlined bra and tank top, as if wanting to be closer to him. It sent me into chaos. The way his skillful fingers stroked and touched me, I was going to melt into a puddle.

Could he read my thoughts through my eyes? “If I kiss you,” he said, “that’s it. I don’t think I’ll be able to stop.”
I exhaled softly and stared at his lips. I was here, ready. Desperate. “Then, kiss me.”
He moved fast, sealing his mouth over mine and stealing all the air from the room.
The kiss was explosive. Heat flared from where his lips met mine, spreading outward like wildfire, engulfing me. I cased his neck with my hands, pretending to steady him when I was really stabilizing myself. Everything went weak inside me. My bones turned to jelly.

“Fuck.” He whispered it as he began to drag the panties down and nuzzled his face into the cradle of my lap.
“Oh my God.” I gripped his broad shoulders. His lips followed the descent of my underwear, kissing each new spot of my flesh he revealed.
I was going to explode. Burst into a million pieces and flutter to the ground like burnt confetti. His mouth inched along the top of my slit, and something like panic gurgled in my system. I wasn’t supposed to do this, but dear God, how I craved the slippery slide of his tongue, desperate for him to go lower.

I clutched at the comforter beneath my body—like having a physical handle on something would help. The sensation was too intense. I wanted to control it, but I’d have better luck holding back the waves of the ocean. He had his mouth on me, and part of him was inside my body.
Claiming me. It made me want more. I shouldn’t, but I wanted all of him.
This thought was my undoing.
“Shit,” I groaned, locking up as the orgasm surged. Heat flooded through my veins, searing my nerves. I fell into a million pieces while pleasure roared up and down my body, leaving me cold and flushed as it subsided.

He was right at my entrance and began to push, easing inside. I locked my legs around him so tightly, his hipbones dug into the insides of my thighs. Greg’s eyes were as dark as coffee, and the color deepened as he advanced. He watched intently, studying every breath I swallowed as he claimed me.
Oh, shit, the uncomfortable stretch felt good. A delicious shiver tore through my body. I reached up a hand to cup the side of his face and held on to him, even as my lips rounded into a silent moan.
“Fuck,” he uttered so quietly, it was a ghost of a word.

I arched off the mattress, pushing myself into his hands, wriggling against his hips beating against mine. Gone was the unsure girl I’d been before. Beneath Greg, the sexual woman I’d always wanted to be came alive.
He looked stunning as the fading light from outside played across his chest, his expression intense and focused. I didn’t bother holding back the whimpers and sounds of enjoyment, and he didn’t either. He grunted and sighed as he rutted into me, both taking and giving pleasure.

I was slick between my legs, and faint sweat clung to my skin. It was the same for him. It beaded at his forehead and glossed his face. We looked so good together. I tightened my hold on the smooth post of dark wood, bracing myself so hard, my muscles strained.
My pulse thundered as he slipped one hand down, his fingertips searching my slit. He strummed there, making me gasp.
“Shit,” I cried out, arching back so my head rested on his collarbone. Even with my head tipped back, I watched the mirror through my half-lidded eyes. How could I not? His powerful body behind mine, fucking me into oblivion, was a sight to behold. I’d never forget it as long as I lived.

“You want to hear about my fantasies, Cassidy? Because there are a lot, and they are very, very bad.”
Just like me.
I nearly said it out loud, but I’d turned to liquid under his mouth. I couldn’t catch my breath as I swallowed a gulp, so I nodded enthusiastically. “Tell me. I bet I want to do them all.”
He made a sound like I’d stroked a hand over his erection, even though I hadn’t yet, and his face took a dark, sexual cast. It was primal and gorgeous.
Greg’s mouth slammed into mine, his tongue pushing past my lips and invading. This kiss wasn’t like the others. It was blistering, and punishing, and rewarding. He shoved a hand up my shirt and gripped my bra-covered breast, all while his mouth fucked mine.

“Show me,” he commanded again. “You put on that dress, so I’m not the only one with bad thoughts.”
The wickedness of his order had me trembling against the dresser, and the brass pulls on the drawers rattled quietly. I stared at the glide of his hand over himself, each pass making him harder and bigger. A dull ache inside me burned, and I grew hot and slick between my legs.
The dress was supposed to make me feel powerful, yet I was powerless to stop the sigh from seeping from my lips, or the way my hands clawed at my skirt, hitching it upward.

“What happens to bad girls, Cassidy?”
I froze. I hadn’t realized we were playing a game, and now it was clear it was my turn. My move. I could answer any way I wanted. Tell him bad girls got sent home, or put in time-out . . . or fucked.
I balled the sheets into my fists, closed my eyes, and pressed my cheek to the bed. Hopefully he wanted the answer I was going to give.
“They get punished,” I breathed.
It was immediate. There was a whoosh of air, and the smack of skin registered before the sensation of his spanking did. The sting radiated up my backside, rippling outward. I bit down on my bottom lip. No one had ever hit me before. Not Preston, not my mom, and certainly not the father I’d never met.
“You deserved that,” Greg said in a seductive tone, “didn’t you?”
“Yes,” I panted.

And then he was there, nudging. The tip of his hard dick pushed and intruded, one delicious inch at a time.
“Oh, Jesus. Oh, God,” I babbled through my short gasps of breath. “Yes, that’s it.”
His sigh was heavy with satisfaction, and I felt it mirrored inside me. He slipped deeper as his hands grasped my waist and pulled me back onto him. All the way until his pelvis was pressed flat against my ass, and he was so hard inside me I couldn’t see straight.
We stayed motionless, me bent over the bed and him standing behind, just breathing and enjoying the way it felt. Fuck, it felt so good. He throbbed inside me, and my body squeezed in reply. And even though we weren’t moving, blood thundered through my veins. My pulse sped along, banging loudly in my ears.

“You like that?” he asked darkly.
“Yeah.”
He did it again.
And again. His hold on my hair began to ache, but I said nothing. As his tempo picked up, his grasp on my arm tightened, drawing me further back toward him so my spine was shaped like a U. He pounded into me, our bodies slapping together with a punishing, angry rhythm, and it was sexy. I listened to the sound of us fucking and grew wetter and hotter.
“Fuck, your pussy is insane.”

My whimpers of enjoyment swelled and grew frantic. Tingles raced up and down my legs. Every inch of my skin felt alive. The slap of his body against mine hit all the right spots, inside and out. My mind focused in on a single need, the desperate release of tension.
“Oh,” I gasped.
“Uh huh,” he encouraged. “I’m gonna come. You’re going to make me fucking come, Cassidy.”

Greg leaned forward, set his forehead against mine, and watched me intently as he tugged at the knot behind my neck. Tension went out of the strings. He caught one and used it to peel the wet cup away from my breast, exposing my already-erect nipple to the night air.
His arms wrapped behind my back, causing me to arch upward, and I stared at the stars in the sky above us as his mouth closed on my breast. He licked, and sucked, and bit softly at me, and I made all the quiet cries of pleasure he’d told me he loved hearing. I couldn’t stop myself, even if I had wanted to. The empty ache between my legs was constant and throbbing.

He’d untied my bikini top slowly, but now he attacked the knots at my hips, yanking them open. I gasped as he jerked the fabric away, tossed it into a heap, and nuzzled his face between my legs. The rough, coarse ends of his beard brushed against my inner thighs. I clenched a hand on the back of his head, holding on as his tongue probed the most intimate part of me.
His kiss was electric. It jolted me with a shock, and I cried out on every long, deliberate lick he delivered. I moaned as he fluttered and massaged the tip of his tongue against my clit. Sparks shot across my skin, making me convulse. Greg wrapped a hand around each of my thighs and pushed them back toward me, opening me further to him.
The pleasure was intense. Like nothing I’d ever felt.

“This is my fantasy,” he said. He rubbed the tip of his cock on my slit, making me squirm and shift. I needed him inside me. Couldn’t he see how desperate I was? His gaze moved along my body until it connected with mine. “My fantasy,” he continued, “every day since I saw you out here with him.”
My mouth dropped open in surprise then rounded into a silent moan as he pushed himself into me. It felt like he was everywhere. Inside my body, inside my mind, inside the deepest recesses I didn’t allow myself to go. It couldn’t be his fantasy—because it was mine. I tried to tell him, but his first thrust was so powerful, all I could do was grab the cushion beneath us and hang on.
“I was jealous. So unbelievably jealous.” Greg widened his knees, which were tucked under my spread legs, and pumped his hips a second time. I recoiled with pleasure, and a victorious look lit up his eyes. “Watching him get to fuck you, when I wanted it to be me. I wanted it to be like this.”
Oh. My. God.
I was a stick of dynamite, and his confession cut the fuse in half. One spark and I was done for.

“I wanted it to be you,” I said in a blur. I hadn’t even admitted it to myself, and now here I was, saying it out loud. “After I saw you—” How far should I go with this? Should I tell him all of it? “I closed my eyes and imagined I was with you.”
“Oh, fuck,” he said and descended upon me.
The intensity of our movements went wild. Finding out our dark appetites matched each other was liberating, and we reveled in it. His rhythm changed from seduction and passion, and crossed into a territory that was more primal.

“You’re flushed. Breathing hard.” He seized my wrist, pressed his index finger to my pulse point, and peered down at his watch, counting the seconds. “Your pulse is elevated.”
I had no idea my wrist was an erogenous zone, but in Greg’s hands, every inch of my skin felt that way. I swallowed a breath. “I’m having a reaction to something.”
God, his expression was corrupt and victorious as he walked me backward toward a wall. He feigned concern. “Any idea what’s causing it?”
He wasn’t playing fair, but I liked it. “No . . . Doctor.”
The second the words left my mouth, we burst into flames. His lips slammed against mine at the same instant my back hit the wall. His hands were on my waist, then under my shirt, sliding over my belly and skimming upward. I clenched the lapels of his coat as our tongues tangled with each other, battling for control. He won, of course.

“I want you to take off your clothes, get into my bed, and make yourself come.”
I gasped, but he wasn’t finished.
“You,” he said, “playing with yourself in my bed? Fuck.” He smoothed a hand down his leg, straightening the swell that threatened. “That’s my fantasy. I want you rolling around in my sheets, making them smell like you. Make that whole room smell like sex by the time I get home.”
My mouth hung open, and then I closed it with an audible snap.

I jammed my hand in between my body and the bed, fumbling toward his expert fingers to slow him down and control the pace, but I was much too late. My climax hit me like a gunshot and ricocheted through my body, burning a thousand degrees. A desperate cry burst from my lips as pleasure flooded my core. It was followed by spiderwebbing tendrils of satisfaction, sweeping along my limbs as I convulsed beneath the crush of his strong body.
“Yes,” he murmured. “Yes.”
And then the muscles in his chest went rigid. His body locked up for a half-second and began to shudder in mindless jerks. I could feel every throb of him as he spurted his orgasm, wave after wave. It was intense and overwhelming.
I went hazy in the aftermath.

“I’m not going to touch you.” He declared it loudly, his voice ringing in the cavernous space, traveling up to the balcony of the second floor.
Anxiety ratcheted inside me. “What?”
“I’ve spent the last year wanting you, but I wasn’t able to touch. Tonight, you’re going to see what that’s like.” His gaze drilled deep down into me. “You’re going to watch what you do to me.”
“I don’t understand,” I sputtered, shifting on my heels as I stood before him, only an arm’s length away.
“You know how many times I imagined you coming to me? How badly I wanted you to seduce me?” He rolled his shoulders back in the chair and widened his legs, getting comfortable in his seat. “That’s my ultimate fantasy, Cassidy.”
Oh. My. God. My chest tightened. “You want me to seduce you?”
The smile that curled across his lips was like the devil’s, and it was fucking hot.

Since I understood the game now, I went in for the kill. I closed the space between us, threaded a hand through his thick hair, and lifted my leg, pulling his lips to where my body was hot and slick. His eyes went wide and then closed, happy to fulfill my request.
I hooked one leg over his shoulder.
My knee threatened to buckle at the first swipe of his tongue, and the grunt he gave was erotic. I held my tenuous balance as he stroked and massaged my clit with his velvet tongue, giving me the most intimate of kisses. The scene played out before me. His head was right beside the black band at the top of my thigh-high stocking, his mouth moving over my bare, pink skin.

The bra slid away from my body, releasing my breasts, and I dropped it delicately on the floor. It cost more than my last paycheck, after all. Greg tipped his forehead toward me, letting it rest against my collarbone, and I arched instinctively into him. The whiskers of his beard pressed in the valley between my breasts, and—good God—it felt so good when I moved, rubbing my heavy, tingling skin against his face.
He sighed, and the beautiful sound reverberated through my core. “Fuck,” he said, long and low.
Between my parted legs, I felt the swell of his hardening dick, and I swiveled on him, grinding against what I wanted inside me. The chair beneath us creaked, but not from my movement—it was his tight grip on the wood.

My moans and whimpers swelled as the heat inside my core surged. I writhed on him, casting my head back as I jerked his face into me, yanking on his suitcoat. I crushed his head to my heaving chest, undulating like a girl possessed, and shivered as his mouth locked around one of my nipples.
“Oh, God, yes,” I cried.
The stream of words came from him rapid-fire. “That’s it, fuck me.”
His hands suddenly moved. One gripped my thigh, and the other slid onto the small of my back. His palm and fingers pressed into me so hard, my bare skin dented around it. He pushed and pulled, urging me to ride him faster.
“Come on me.” His words were law—no alternative. And as the orgasm dug its hooks in, pulling me upward, he sensed it. “Fucking yes.”

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

Review: From the Embers by Aly Martinez

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Eason Maxwell
Heroine: Bree
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 28, 2021
Started On: May 15, 2021
Finished On: May 17, 2021

From the Embers by Aly Martinez is one of my favorite reads from 2021. Discovering Ms. Martinez through her book Release has been a godsend. Stumbling across authors like Ms. Martinez is why I spend countless hours sometimes, looking through title blurbs of authors I have never read before. Books like From the Embers makes all the bad books you come across worthwhile in the long run.

The story begins at the point where the main protagonists, Bree and Eason Maxwell are married to each other’s best friends. Bree a businesswoman prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom of two when their family’s finances had given her the freedom to do so, and Eason, a songwriter whose marriage seems to be on a perilous path all because he was just not doing enough to keep his wife satisfied on all fronts.

All that changes in a heartbeat when an explosion takes the lives of both Bree’s husband and Eason’s wife, leaving them both bereft, hurting, and bewildered in the wake of the heartbreaking loss. Eason might have carried Bree to safety from the explosion, but it is Bree who finally sees him for who he is, as they are both forced to rely on each other to get through the days ahead. However, as these two navigate the circumstances of the new reality that they have been thrust into, dark secrets come to the forefront, threatening to crumble the foundations upon which the bond between Eason and Bree is forged to life.

Bree had never been Eason’s fan – she had always found Eason lacking, all owing to the fact that she had viewed Eason through the lens of her best friend’s viewpoint. All of that changes when Eason becomes her rock in the turbulent times that faces them both, the family they become as they leave the painful night behind them and starts the slow and painful process of moving on.

Both Bree and Eason are wonderful characters; every single character that you come across in the book is special. Kids often have a tendency to annoy me in books – but Ms. Martinez makes it all work, bringing the right mix of cuteness and wholesomeness to the mix. The plot was well done; at first I was a bit skeptical thinking that what comes to the forefront was just too easy – but in the end Ms. Martinez surprised me with the plot twist that brought a different edge to the story as it reached its climax.

Eason was perfect. Bree was perfect. The secondary characters were perfect. This story was nothing short of perfect. Recommended for those who want a story that would sweep them off their feet on a journey that is all consuming!

Final Verdict: Beautiful, surreal, and utterly spellbinding; From the Embers makes for an explosive read in every single sense!

Favorite Quotes

“I don’t hide anything from you.”
“Good,” she said. “Let’s keep it that way.”
My throat got thick, and as hypocritical as it was, I hoped the sweat breaking across the back of my neck and the tempo of my racing heart were both hidden. Her proximity suddenly felt suffocating, which was almost as confusing as it was intoxicating.
Together, we stood there, surrounded by white lights and unspoken emotions. There were gratitude and respect, but most of all, there was love. Maybe not the conventional or romantic variety, but it was there all the same.

“Look, I know this is going to complicate the hell out of things. But being with you is the only thing that feels right in my life. I’m gonna be real honest: I’m mad at them. I’m hurt. I’m embarrassed. And I can’t even begin to imagine the agony that’s going to follow over the next few weeks as we sort this shit out with Luna. But there are two things I know for sure: I want you, Bree, and I’m not waiting one fucking second longer to make my move.”
In one swift motion, I rolled over and tucked her beneath me. Smoothing the wisps of hair out of her face, I added, “I can’t wait any longer to kiss you from head to toe, to make you feel good and know for sure it was because of me.”

After unwrapping her like a candy and sampling the sweetness between her legs, her hands balling the sheets beside my shoulders, I nearly lost my mind.
Just before I tipped the scales out of my favor, she annihilated them altogether by rolling on top of me. “In my dreams, you said I wasn’t ready. But I’m ready, Eason. I’m so damn ready for you.”
She’d had dreams.
About me.

Every day, Eason was easygoing and laid-back, but in bed, he was a completely different animal. He was powerful and strong, almost unyielding in the way he ravaged my body with his. He was bold and sure, confident in knowing everything I needed even before I could anticipate it myself. He was demanding and gentle, but above all else, he didn’t hold back.
Eason gave. I took.
He went harder, faster. I begged for more.

“I swear to God, Bree, your fucking body was made for me.” His hips twisted as he pushed deeper. “I can’t go much lo—”
I silenced him with my mouth on his. “Shhh. Then don’t. Give it to me. Give me everything.”
Breaking the kiss, he went up onto his arm, looked down at where our bodies were crashing into each other, and then pressed his forehead against my shoulder as the most erotic moan rumbled through his chest. “Fuck.”
His heavy weight collapsed on top of me as he pumped and twitched his release. For as ugly and tainted as the world could be, the sight of Eason losing himself in an orgasm would forever be one of the purest and most beautiful things I could experience.

Purchase Links: Amazon | BookDepo

Review: Hate Me by Ashley Jade

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Black Mountain Academy
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Trenton Knox
Heroine: Aspen Falcone
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: January 28, 2021
Started On: March 30, 2021
Finished On: April 01, 2021

“He tastes like cinnamon and uninvited desire…wrapped in pure evil.”

Hate Me by Ashely Jade is a novel that would be hard to take in for a lot of readers because it deals with a bullish hero who comes off as the worst of the lot at the initial stages of the story, until Ms. Jade slowly reveals his backstory and allows us to peek into his most formative years and the toll of constant physical and emotional abuse from a very tender age. Growing up with a vicious psychopath has its consequences, and that is what Ms. Jade shows us through this mesmerizing story.

The main protagonists, Trenton Knox (Trent) and Aspen Falcone meet at a very young age. The first meet does not go exactly as one would envision it would, with Aspen walking away crying with a bloodied nose and Trent hating the very essence of the girl who for the very first time sees right through to him and the misery that his life was.

Through the years, there are countless encounters between the two, until fate leaves Aspen fatherless and her mother remarries none other than Trent’s father, bringing everything full circle. That is when the story actually begins, with “Stray” as Trent loves to call Aspen finally landing on his home turf.

For Aspen, whatever notions she had before of Trent starts to change slowly as for the first time, she starts to see what Trent’s life must have been like through the years. However, Trent does not make it easy to understand him as he pushes her away at every turn, even though the sizzling connection between them roars to life with a ferocity that refuses to be denied as the story progresses.

Aspen’s life is no walk in the park either once her father passes on, with a mother who only cares to keep up appearances. With little or no emotional support in her life, Aspen takes on paths that are only attractive to someone who has nowhere else to turn to. It feels at first as if Aspen switches from one path to destruction to another when the attraction between Aspen and Trent reaches its climax, but there are undercurrents at play in the story that needs to reach their conclusion before anything long lasting can come to fruition between the two.

I enjoyed Hate Me for the most part; it was captivating through the bigger chunk of the story and had me anxious to find out what would happen next. Additionally, the way Ms. Ashley spun Trent’s arc was gripping, with the layers to his character exposed as the story delved deeper into the combined lives of both Aspen and Trent. Some of the scenes of abuse or the aftermath of it were difficult to read, but nevertheless it was needed to show the depravity of monsters that live in society, taking up revered positions in the community.

The only thing that I could not wrap my head around was the ultimate conclusion of the arc of Aspen’s mother’s character – without giving way to spoilers, all I have to say is that I did not find what happened to her sitting well with me at the end. The only reason why this book did not get a higher rating was because I could not understand that particular ending.

Ms. Ashley gives us a realistic happily ever after once all is said and done, with both Aspen and Trent doing some needed healing and growing up before coming together once again.

Recommended for those who enjoy stories that brings together difficult to understand heroes and the heroines whose spunk and courage definitely makes them stand out!

Final Verdict: Trent and Aspen are two halves of one jagged soul; each beautifully broken in a way that only those who are survivors can be.

Favorite Quotes

“What is your prob—”
I don’t get to finish that sentence because his hand slides to the back of my neck and his mouth crashes against mine.
What the hell?
Everything freezes…except my heart, which feels like it’s exploding.
It’s my first kiss..
The fact Knox is the one doing it is just…weird.
I should probably stop him. I hate his guts and he doesn’t deserve to kiss me.
But I can’t…because he’s kissing me like he just swallowed poison and I’m the antidote.
At first there’s no tongue. Just greedy lips.
But then he growls, low and deep, and everything changes.
I rest my hands on his shoulders, my knees going weak as the fingers on my neck tighten and he coaxes my mouth open to feed me his tongue.
He tastes like cinnamon and uninvited desire…wrapped in pure evil.

“Do you want my jacket?” Leo offers.
I shake my head, my nipples puckering as I fight to keep my breathing in check. “No. Thank you.”
The woman turns to him again. “What is it you do for a living?”
I’m thankful for her nosiness, because Knox curls his fingers and an orgasm tears through me so fast my head spins as I clutch the chair for dear life.
That’s when I feel a sharp pull on my panties. I’m in no position to protest, so I don’t as he wrenches my thong off before tucking the silky material into his pocket.

I spread her pussy with my fingers, stretching it as far as it will go before I lower my mouth and thrust my tongue deep inside her, extending it as far as I can.
Liquid heat fills my mouth as she squirms below me.
“You know why Leo didn’t know I made you come last night?” I flick my tongue ring against her swollen clit and she moans around my cock. “Because he’s never done it before.” I suckle the sensitive bud as she gags on my dick and the sounds of me eating her fill the jeep. “He doesn’t have a clue how you look when you come.”

His lids lower, and his hand grazes my bare knee. “Why are you down here, Stray?” Ever so slowly, his calloused palm moves up my inner thigh. “What is it you really want?”
An electrifying tremble breaks free and I suck in a sharp breath when he cups me between my legs.
I hate how his touch feels like both damnation and deliverance.
Right and wrong.
Bad meets evil.
His free hand trails down his sculpted stomach until it disappears under his sweatpants.
My heart speeds up, pumping hard against my ribs when he pushes them down his hips and his weighty cock bobs out, slapping against his abdomen.
“Is this what you want?”

Rising on my knees, I slowly lower myself onto him. He’s so big, so thick, it aches as I stretch around him. My eyes flutter closed when I sink down and he fills me to the hilt, my skin tingling and my nipples puckering as I relish the sensation.
Slowly, I start to ride him. I suck in a breath when his grip on my hip tightens, and he bites his lower lip and groans.
He looks so sexy…so hungry. Like he wants this even more than I do.

I gasp when the sharp tip of the knife pierces the top of my breast. “Knox—”
In one fluid movement, he wraps an arm around my lower back and shifts us into a sitting position.
Groaning, he inclines his head and licks the blood from the small cut he made. “Every part of you tastes good.” Squeezing my tits in his big hands, he sucks a nipple into his hot, wet mouth. “So fucking good.”
I tilt my head, arching my back and closing my eyes…getting lost in the feel of his warm lips on my skin and his cock pumping deep inside me.
I hold on to him for dear life as his thrusts pick up speed.
Oh, God.

“Stop.”
But he doesn’t. Instead, he grabs the back of my neck, turning my face up to meet his before he kisses me like I’m the air he needs to breathe in order to survive.
He explores every inch of my mouth, leaving no stone unturned.
I feel the armor I’ve built around me begin to crumble like cheap plywood with every hungry stroke of his tongue.

I hiss when he spreads my ass cheeks and holds them open—exposing all of me—before I feel the head of his cock nudge my entrance. “Tell me you don’t want this.”
“I don’t want to want this,” I whisper, the last of my willpower shattering like glass.
Because everything was so much easier when I hated him.
His gruff voice cuts through the air. “That makes two of us.”
With that, he pushes forward until he’s buried deep inside me.
“Fuck.”
His thrusts are fast and brutal—punishing—yet rewarding at the same time.
I scratch at the seat, tearing the upholstery as he gives it to me exactly the way I need it.

His nose skims the length of me and he inhales deeply, his long fingers tightening around my hips. “I don’t give a fuck.”
He proves his point by licking and kissing my pussy the same ravenous way he does my mouth.
The vulgar sounds of him eating me fill the kitchen, causing my skin to tingle and my head to spin as he continues drawing incredible sensations from my body.
I place my hand on his head, keeping him right where I need him as he stabs his tongue between my legs. He makes tiny circles, causing the metal from the barbell to graze my inner muscles.
I whimper as pleasure coils my insides, and he shoves two fingers inside me before attacking my clit with his mouth.
“Oh, fuck.”

I trail my palm down his chest. “Because you wanted it to be my mouth around your dick?”
His lids grow heavy as his eyes track my every movement. “What are you doing?”
Moving my hand lower, I undo his belt buckle, release his fly, and slip my hand inside, grazing his length through his boxers. “Giving you what you want.”
He raises an eyebrow in challenge. “What makes you sure I want this?”
Tugging on the waistband of his boxers, I reach inside. He’s warm and hard for me. “It feels like you do.”

He playfully tugs my t-shirt. Or rather, his t-shirt. “Take this off.”
I fold my arms around his neck, not quite ready to put an end to his kiss. “Why?”
“Because I want to watch you shower.” Reaching down, he grabs a handful of my ass and squeezes. “I want you to pretend you’re all alone while I watch you play with yourself.” His fiery mouth slides down my neck. “But you’re not allowed to come.” He sucks the sensitive skin above my throat. “Not until my cock is inside you.”

“Knox.” She utters my name like a warning and a plea.
Standing up, I work my cock inside her pussy while I finger her tight little asshole. “How does it feel?”
“Full.” Her teeth saw along her lip as she closes her eyes. “I can feel you everywhere.”
Good.
Pumping my finger, I thrust deeper.
The walls of her pretty cunt squeeze around me, milking my dick as I give it to her harder.
But it’s not enough.

He drops me on the bed and kneels in front of me, his rough hands immediately going to the zipper on my jeans. I raise my hips as he tugs them off. My shirt, bra, and panties follow shortly after.
I reach for the hem of his shirt and bring it over his head.
I need to feel his skin on mine.
I need to feel him inside me…owning me, claiming me, fucking me.
Making everything make sense again.

His thrusts deepen as he kisses my cheeks, my chin, my lips.
Our skin sticks with sweat as we rock into each other and he presses his forehead against mine.
Oh, God.
This is so different…so intimate.
He holds my gaze as we exchange the same breath. “Aspen.”
There’s so much stark emotion contained when he says my name—hate, love, want, desire, obsession—all of it tangled into one.
Just like us.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Torn by Carian Cole

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: All Torn Up, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Toren Grace
Heroine: Kenzi Allyster Valentine
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 12, 2018
Started On: March 17, 2021
Finished On: March 19, 2021

My love, Walk in the rain with me. Kiss me in the misty fog. Let me hold you all night under the hush of the wind. I’m waiting for you. Throwing pennies…making wishes. I’m wishing only for you. Always for you. Come back to me. I’ll fight for you. I’ll fight for us. Wish for me, too…and I’ll make it come true.” ~ Toren Grace

Having experienced the beauty of the written word from Carian Cole, I decided to take the plunge and read some of the books from her backlist which appealed to me. Of course it certainly helped that a pivotal character from this series ended up being featured in Don’t Kiss the Bride, which helped propel me in this direction.

Featuring the May-December trope once again, Ms. Cole pushes things a bit further in Torn by putting in an additional layer which makes the romance between the main protagonists further taboo – the hero being the best friend of the heroine’s father around whom the heroine grows up. With a 15 year age gap between 37 year old Toren Grace (Tor) and 17 year old Kenzi Allyster Valentine when the story begins, Toren is just 16 years old when Kenzi is born.

From the moment Kenzi enters the lives of Tor and his best friends (parents of Kenzi), a monumental bond is formed between Kenzi and Tor. Taking the reader back and forth through the formative years of Kenzi’s life to present day when the romance between Tor and Kenzi buds to life, Ms. Cole certainly does a swell job in terms of building Tor’s character as he materialized in the story.

Tor is rough around the edges, ruggedly handsome, and tired of all the meaningless relationships that has ruled his life up till that point. He had played second fiddle to the woman who holds his affections for far too long. Wanting to settle down and live a simple life is what Tor dreams of, however elusive that dream maybe for him. The one constant in his life throughout has been Kenzi, and at the cusp of womanhood, Kenzi scares him with the at times stray thoughts of illicit nature that enters his subconscious where she is concerned.

Tor is a major part of Kenzi’s life as she grows up. Having parents who became famous musicians a year after she was born had meant that Kenzi too had spent her toddler years on the road on tour with them. When tragedy strikes and Tor is called back home, Kenzi too is left with Tor for the most part when her parents go about their lives, wanting to give Kenzi a more wholesome and grounded experience while growing up. And when tragedy strikes the lives of Kenzi’s parents, it is Tor who picks up the pieces and becomes the grounding force in her life, while her father puts his sole focus on dealing with the aftermath.

When things start changing between Tor and Kenzi, it is mostly to do with Kenzi pushing Tor beyond his limits. Tor resists at first, and puts up walls to keep her at bay. After all, no man in his right mind would say yes to what Kenzi wants, no matter how much Tor too may want the same thing. The conversations between Tor and Kenzi brings to light just how beautiful their bond is. Tor is Kenzi’s confidante, the person she feels safest with.

Resistance by Tor however is futile as Kenzi chips away at the walls and embraces the man who has loved her in every single way throughout her life, showing him that the kind of life that Tor has always wanted for himself could be a reality with her. Tor is love in its purest of forms, there are no two ways about it. He is a contrasting mix of gentle and rough which is so appealing. His love for Kenzi shines through in every single sentence of this book that deals with the couple and I have no words to describe just how perfect it all was.

Kenzi obviously being young does not care overly much about what people may think. But Tor of course does. Kenzi is the one who pushes Tor to give in, promising that they would weather whatever storm that may come, together. This is where my problems with this story began; at first I loved Kenzi for promising Tor that she would be by his side, no matter what. In the end, her words rang hollow as she leaves for an extended period of time given the situation that unfolds as Kenzi’s father finally finds out about Tor and her relationship.

That is where my confusion as to how to rate this book too arose. On the one hand, I loved everything to do with Tor, the relationship between Kenzi and him from years back which had developed into love of the kind that is fulfilling in every single aspect. While I understood why Kenzi takes the advice given by her closest friend to put distance between herself, Tor and her father for things to cool down, the extent of the time she stays away made me feel sad for Tor on many levels.

While I appreciated the fact that she does find firmer footing of her own path in life during the time spent apart, I still felt that Tor was cheated out on some level; how would we readers have reacted had Tor promised the same and ran with his tail between his legs quoting the same reason, and then tries to see whether he could move on or rather tests the waters to see whether what he had with Kenzi was in fact real? I think we would not have been very happy with Tor either, if that were to be the case.

I also felt that at times Kenzi was just a hidden shadow in the story for the most part. While her love for Tor was a tangible thing, I felt that her parents were just too focused on each other and furthering their career as musicians to care overly much for Kenzi; they left the parenting to Tor for the most part. If Kenzi had been more fleshed out in other ways perhaps, I guess her character would have been more wholesome.

Recommended for fans of Ms. Cole and fans of taboo romances featuring a significant age gap between the main protagonists. Ms. Cole definitely does the subject matter justice when she delivers her stories.

Final Verdict: Tor is the definition of love in its purest form, a beautiful manifestation of what most women want their significant other to be. Sign me up for the next Tor please!

Favorite Quotes

“You’re bleeding.” My voice cracks as I choke back new tears and dab at his hand with the sleeve of my sweatshirt.
His hand closes over mine, on top of the big furry dog’s back, and his gaze drifts from our joined hands, up to my face. For the first time I don’t recognize the deep, dark eyes staring back into mine, but I fall right into them willingly as our lips meet. My eyes flutter closed as I tumble further into him, but he quickly jerks away, and we simultaneously suck in a startled breath, staring at each other with wide-eyed shock.
Dropping my hand, he grabs the back of my neck, yanking my mouth back to his hungrily, and I clutch his arm to keep from falling backward onto my ass. His lips are warm and demanding, his tongue pushing past my teeth, coaxing my mouth open. My heartbeats turn into soaring butterflies. Nothing has ever felt like this.

Holding her gaze, I yank off my worn T-shirt and toss it to the floor, watching how her eyes take in my bare chest and then drift hungrily to my abs. I want her to run. I want her to stay.
“Well, here I am. Show me.”
I know every single one of Kenzi’s expressions for every feeling she has ever felt. But I’ve never seen this look of sheer smoldering desire on her face before. Her eyes stay on mine as she steps towards me with zero hesitation, zero doubt. She completely owns her determination to do exactly what I asked – show me.
The space between us disappears quickly, and she backs me up against the adjacent wall, her hands coming up to hold my face as she goes up on her toes to kiss my lips.
“You,” she says softly. “You are what I’ve always wanted. And yes – way before I even knew what that meant. But I know what it means now.”
She lowers her head and kisses my bare chest, right above the tattoo of her words, her lips soft, wet, and warm.
“I want all of you,” she continues as her lips move across my flesh. “Your love, your body. Your past, your present, your future. Everything.”

“Make me stop, Kenz. Please…” I beg, knowing I’ll never let her go if she doesn’t stop this. She’s got me too far gone to turn back and her new level of sensual confidence is throwing up way too many green lights.
“No,” she says simply, wrapping her arms around me, kissing me just as hungrily as I’m kissing her.
“Push me away.”
“Never,” she whispers, pulling me even closer.
“What’s gotten into you today?” I demand, moving my lips down to suck her neck.
“I don’t know…” she breathes, tilting her head back, letting me suck the delicate flesh of her throat. “Being so close to you all day…touching you…I don’t want to stop.”

Reaching up, she pulls the hair tie out of the back of my hair and smiles when my hair falls down into her face.
“You like that?” I ask softly, stroking her cheek with the back of my hand.
“I’ve dreamed about you on top of me like this, with your hair in my face.”
I suck in a quick breath. “You never told me you dreamt about me.”
Her hands skim up my chest, over my shoulders, and clasp behind my neck as she stares up at me. “I was afraid it would make you pull further away from me.”
“I don’t think I can pull away anymore. It’s a battle I just can’t win.”

Her body is engulfed by mine as I climb back on top of her, and I can feel her trembling beneath me now, either from fear or excitement or probably a mashup of both. My mouth is hard and demanding on hers as I move my body over her, the feeling of flesh on flesh making my cock like a rock between us, pressing against her, seeking her heat. Reaching down between us, I slide my hand between her thighs to gently stroke her pink lips and she’s so fucking wet already that it obliterates any ideas of patience and gentleness I may have had. I want in, and I want it now.

“Are you still on the pill?” I ask against her lips, my fingers expertly strumming over her clit.
She nods and moves her hands down to my ass, trying to pull me between her legs. “Yes…” she says breathlessly. “For you.”
“Good,” I growl, moving between her thighs. She doesn’t waver at all when I grab my cock and rub the head up and down between her wet lips and over her clit, coaxing her into that crazy place of wanting nothing but sweet release. Of wanting nothing but me.

Time stands still as we rock against each other, our bodies slippery with sweat, her lips pressed against my chest, kissing that spot over my heart that’s forever marked with her words.
And now, her kiss. Her touch. Her love.
After today, I can never deny the truth again. She completely owns me.

Spreading my folds with his fingers, he gently pushes me down until I’m flush against him with his cock wedged between my lips.
“Keep your legs spread and slide yourself back and forth over me,” he coaxes, grabbing my hips and moving me so my sex glides from the base of him all the way up to the head, and then back again. And he’s right, even though he’s not inside me, rubbing along his hard length feels incredible.
Leaning back against the pillows, his gaze drifts up my body, not stopping until he reaches my eyes.
“That feels so good…” he groans softly, cupping my breasts in his hands again. “Don’t stop, just let yourself go and get off on me. I want to watch you come.”

Grabbing the back of my neck, he gently pulls my head down and kisses my lips. “You’re perfect, Kenzi. Every single inch of you, inside and out. You’re turning me on like fuckin’ crazy.” He kisses me again, always knowing exactly what I need to hear and feel, and I continue to ride along his shaft, arching my back to press my clit against him.
“There ya go,” he whispers, his fingers grazing over my nipple, sending more sparks throughout my body and down into my core. “Feel how hard I am for you? For months I’ve been hiding that from you but now I want you to feel every inch of what you do to me.”

He growls against my lips when I let the tip of his cock press against my wet entrance and I get my first taste of real sensual power. He wants me. Maybe even needs me.
Angling my hips just the right way, I lower myself down onto him and he inhales sharply, pulling me down hard on him, his cock plunging deep. A small cry sounds in my throat but again, the sensation of pain and want is intoxicating for me, intensifying when he whispers my name and shudders, losing himself in me completely just as I am with him.

I wait at the front door for him with a pounding heart, holding myself back from running to him just in case a neighbor might see me. His long jean-clad legs carry him up the walkway quickly and he shuts the door behind him, his eyes locking onto mine with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on him as he immediately reaches for me, cupping his hand on the side of my throat and bending down to cover my mouth with his, slow and deep. Possessive. I wind my arms around his neck and hang on to him as my legs turn to jelly, threatening to let me melt into a puddle at his feet.
This is the best hello of my life.

“Do you want me?” His teeth graze the back of my neck as his finger slowly pushes into me, a small moan escapes my lips.
“Always.”
“Tell me.” His lips curve against my neck in response and he pushes his palm up against my sex, his middle finger pressing perfectly against my sweet spot. “I want to hear your sweet voice say something dirty.”
Without hesitating, I say exactly what I’m thinking. “I want to feel every inch of your cock rammed in me right now.”

“Tor…” Orgasmic delirium has me liquifying under his touch, as if my bones are melting. Dropping the showerhead, he spins me around and grabs my ass, lifting me up and pushing me back against the tile, his stiff cock finding home again as I wrap my legs around his waist. He kisses me with wild hunger, pumping into me while the dangling showerhead spins around, spraying water everywhere. He moans against my mouth and stills, buried deep inside me, his kisses halting to slow, deep, and soft, and I feel him surge and pulse as he comes. I move my pelvis in slow circles against him, milking and caressing him with my tightening walls. Exhaling deeply, he stares into my eyes and loosens his grip on me.
“Damn…I love you,” he says, his voice filled with raw emotion.
“I love you back,” I say breathlessly, raining kisses over his face and smoothing his wet hair back.

Rolling over onto my back, I pull her on top of me and she’s already a step ahead of me, knowing exactly what I want and need. Her body moves tantalizingly slow on top of me, like she’s savoring every inch, every breath, every touch. She takes my cock into her with a long, smooth descent, then lifts herself up even slower ’til she reaches my tip before lowering down onto me again, repeating this over and over. There’s no rush, no crazy bouncing up and down, no slamming of bodies. Her body dances effortlessly with mine, like we were made to be one since the beginning of time. There’s no rush to reach an end because there is no end. Her eyes fall closed, her pouty lips parting with the ecstasy of my body filling hers as she makes love to me like we have forever.
And she made me believe that we did have forever.

He sucks in a breath and watches with dark lust-filled eyes as I slowly slide myself down the wall until I’m kneeling in front of him, holding his gaze as I slowly unzip his jeans and pull them down along with his boxers. His hard cock thrusts out, and I eagerly wrap my lips around the head and slide my mouth down his shaft, filling my mouth and throat with him. He leans one arm on the wall above me and his other hand cups the back of my neck, his thumb slowly rubbing over my cheek as I move my lips up and down the hot length of him.
“I love when you suck me.” The deep, breathiness of his voice sends tingles up and down my spine as he thrusts his salty crown against the back of my throat.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BookDepo

Review: Don’t Kiss the Bride by Carian Cole

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Jude Lucketti
Heroine: Skylar
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: January 31, 2021
Started On: March 15, 2021
Finished On: March 17, 2021

Carian Cole is a new to me author that I found through my Kindle Unlimited recommendations. Being the huge fan of May-December romance tropes that I am, Don’t Kiss the Bride seemed to be right up my alley, with a marriage of convenience theme in the mix.

18 year old Skylar who is going through her last year of high school, is someone who has it tougher than most in life. Skylar makes ends meet by working after school and suffers from an eating disorder brought on by neglect. Her father having left Skylar and her mother to their own devices, she is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to even taking care of her own health, both physical and mental.

As luck would have it, Skylar’s run in with 34 year old Jude “Lucky” Lucketti brings her the fortune of a lifetime. Jude, a sexy, broody construction worker, from the first time he meets Skylar, there is something about her that tugs at his heartstrings and makes him want to protect her. When Jude becomes privy to the extent of Skylar’s plight at home, he offers the seemingly perfect solution: to enter into a marriage on paper only, so that Skylar would be under his care which would get her the help that she needs. They would just be roommates or rather housemates, nothing more, nothing less.

Jude himself comes from a broken family, his father having left their home when he was seventeen. Jude blames himself for the black hole into which he had sunk at that point, running around with the wrong sort of crowd and losing his way. He blames himself for how his sister went missing and it is perhaps one of the reasons why he is so driven to help Skylar by moving her into a better environment where she could recover in peace.

What Jude does not factor into the equation is how he is drawn to Skylar on a level that would be frowned upon by many and shunned by society at large. The fact that Skylar seems to be drawn to him just as much only makes him more determined to stay firm and true to his original plans when they initially said their I do’s. But fate has a way of bringing two halves of one soul together and there is no fighting the tide when the need is as ferocious as the waves that break ashore during the violence of a summer’s storm.

I loved this story for so many reasons. Carian Cole’s writing is beautiful and draws the reader in like an old friend whom you have come to call on after years. Within the pages you find the comfort of the words spoken by that friend, which both ravages and soothes your inner being.

I loved Jude in all his glory. He is charming, sexy, broody, and kindness itself when it comes right down to it. Haunted by his sister’s memories, Jude is someone who is torn between being the platonic husband on paper only to being Skylar’s husband in its truest form. The struggle is only too real when the desire between them pushes all his buttons. Once they give in, there is no stopping where it takes them in their relationship, as fragile as the bond maybe when they start out. When Jude’s past comes calling, it is then and only then the reader is exposed to the darker elements of Jude’s soul which I absolutely loved!

I loved Skylar; who wouldn’t? She is a survivor amidst everything else. She is strong, beautiful on the inside and out, and an old soul at that. She finds affinity with Jude on many levels, desires to be his above everything else, and is willing to understand that the lifeline he offers is the only way she can get herself onto the road of recovery. When Skylar embraced the darkness within Jude, that was when I knew that they would be able to weather any storm that may come their way.

I admired the fact that Ms. Cole did not make light of the recovery of the mental health aspects explored in the story. Skylar’s mother was beyond help – her husband had tried and so had Skylar. There is a point at which those around you can no longer offer you the help you need; when you refuse to acknowledge the need for that help. That is a message that we all need to understand as the world increasingly battles with rising numbers of mental health patients.

Getting over mental health issues is a tough and lonesome journey for the one that suffers from it – no matter how much those who love you may surround you, there would always be aspects of it that you would have to suffer through on your own. Which is why I found Ms. Cole’s take on Skylar’s journey to recovery something I could relate to – there was no magic pill nor therapy session which was the hallelujah moment – but rather it was a process as it should rightfully be. There were triggers which made it difficult for Skylar to push past her fears and those were the moments Jude’s understanding mattered the most, and I loved Jude for being sensitive a soul enough to know when those moments presented themselves.

Society would judge the relationship between Skylar and Jude to be an uneven one; after all, Jude is the one who has the financial independence that allows him to look after Skylar. He is also the mature adult in society’s modern definition, and it was with sensitivity that Ms. Cole handled those aspects of the novel as the story progressed. I found the relationship between Skylar and Jude evening out as Skylar came to her own self when she started to make progress in her recovery. The fact that she is as fiercely protective of him as he is of her made my heart full in ways I cannot express.

During one of Skylar’s inner monologues regarding Jude, she thinks along the following lines, “I’m captivated by the hard and soft sides of him—rough in just the right moments, but so incredibly gentle in the perfect moments, too. Jude may not talk much, but his touch speaks a thousand words.” I was right there with Skylar and found myself nodding along with her sentiments of who Jude is. I don’t think I can sum up his character better even if I tried.

Highly recommended for fans of Carian Cole, those who love age gap romances, marriages of convenience, and heroes whose contrasting sides makes you melt on the inside.

Final Verdict: Don’t Kiss the Bride carries such a surprising mix of sweet tenderness with darkness of the kind that speaks to your heart!

Favorite Quotes

I put my hands on his chest and slide them up to his shoulders. As he bends toward me, I close my eyes and lift one of my feet up into that flirty flamingo pose we see in movies.
Our lips touch softly, until he tilts his mouth over mine, capturing my lips with his. A barely audible gasp escapes me and he inhales it with a slow, sensual suck of breath. His hand squeezes my cheek, and then he pulls away, slowly dragging his thumb across my jawline before he turns to Carol and walks off to speak to her.

Neither one of us makes an effort to move. We stay there, quietly breathing together. Our entwined fingers slowly dance against each other. Hers long, soft and thin. Mine thick and calloused.
Resistance crumbles, and I turn toward her face, just inches from mine.
I don’t know who kissed who. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was her.
Doesn’t matter, because my mouth is on hers when it shouldn’t be. But fuck, her lips are soft and sweet, and I can’t resist one more taste of her.

“Is that what you want?” His lips touch my nose, then wait, hovering just a breath away.
I nod as we breathe against each other. “Yes.”
My answer is a subtle invitation. If he chooses to accept it, then any touching or kissing from this point forward won’t be an oops or an accident.
It’ll be a conscious choice. A decision we made together right here on my bed.
Fisting my hair, he gently pulls my head back, angling my neck up toward him. My eyes fall closed as he presses his lips to my throat and holds them there, warm and soft, before lightly sucking. My breath catches when he slowly drags his mouth up to briefly touch mine—whisper soft and gentle—before lifting up and bringing his lips back down to the base of my throat. Open-mouthed, teeth grazing.

When I reach for his pants, he nudges my hand away.
“No,” he whispers with his mouth against my ear and his fingers buried inside me. “Tonight, I just want to fuckin’ devour you.”
In a blink, he disappears under the blanket and quickly lowers my sweatpants. His mouth joins his hand between my thighs. His tongue laps at my throbbing clit, his lips cover me, so warm and wet.
I turn into a quivering, wet, orgasmic, lovesick mess.
Closing my eyes, I let go of everything, cling to him, and let myself get lost in us.

“Kiss me,” she whispers, pulling on the chain of my necklace.
I can’t resist anymore.
Grabbing her waist with my free hand, I pull her hard against my body and crush my lips down on hers. Her gasp of surprise fuels the fire she’s already stoked with her inviting touches and perfect words. I move my hand over the curve of her ass and down to the back of her bare thigh, lifting her until she hops up and wraps her legs around my waist.
Kissing wildly, I kick the bedroom door shut with my foot, then push her back up against it. Breathless, she snakes her arms around my neck.

Effortlessly, he lifts me up and lays me down on top of his puffy charcoal comforter. I lie back and watch him as he removes my shoes, then stands between my legs as he unzips my shorts and tugs them down, along with my panties.
“I think I just want to stand here and look at you all night,” he says, inching his hand languidly up my thigh like he’s got all the time in the world. His eyes sweep over me and he gives his head a little shake. “You’re so fucking beautiful.”
I peek at him through my lashes. “I could say the same about you.”

“Touch me,” he says, his voice hoarse with desire.
I stroke him slowly, gripping him in my palm and caressing the hot, damp tip. His head bows down, his hair falls over his face, his eyes close. My heart swells with adoration and lust for him. Leaning forward, I put my lips against his flat stomach. His ab muscles flutter deliciously as I rain a slow trail of kisses from hip to hip. I feel like a little kid on Christmas morning, getting an amazing gift in the form of sexy tats and an incredible body all wrapped up with a big red bow of sweetness on top. He groans and grabs my shoulders, pulling me up to meet his lips, kissing me with such hunger I can’t breathe
.

“I want you,” I whisper with my lips against his ear.
“You’ve got me,” he whispers back.
The tear of the foil packet permeates the silence of the dim room, and a few seconds later his hands are on my outer thighs, his fingers digging roughly into my flesh. He pulls me closer and thrusts into me balls deep, stretching me to take his full length. I let out a gasp that’s half-pain and half-pleasure. I don’t even care that it hurts a little, because watching him lose himself inside me is like watching art come to life. The way his tattoos, shiny with sweat, flex with his muscles. The way his long hair flies around his head with every thrust. The rivulets of sweat dripping down the center of his chest. The bite of his teeth into his lower lip as he drives into me.
Pure. Hotness.

“Don’t mess with me, Skylar. You’re not gonna like it if I put my hands on you like this.”
I reach up and touch his cheek, running my finger over the dark stubble. He stares at me through half-closed, dark eyes.
“Try me,” I whisper.
Without wavering, I hold his gaze. Whatever he needs right now—I’ll do it. I’ll be it. He’s been my rock since the day we met—never wanting or expecting a thing in return. He’s not drowning his feelings in the bottom of a bottle on my watch.
Suddenly, his hand flies up and grabs the back of my neck, pulling me hard to meet his lips. He kisses me ferociously, his tongue carrying the bite of whiskey. He palms my breast, twisting, pinching, and tugging my nipple between his fingers until I cry out.

“I don’t want you looking at me.” The anguish and self-hatred in his voice and in his eyes rip my heart in two.
Turning on my side, I reach for him, wanting to kiss all the hurt away. “Lucky—”
“Do it or get the fuck out.”
With a quiet nod, I flip back over onto my stomach, and he grabs my hips, pulling me up onto all fours and yanking me back to meet him at the edge of the bed. His hands grip my waist and he drives into me hard, fast, and unforgiving. Moaning his name, I clutch the comforter in my hands, head down, as he slams into me, his balls slapping against my wet pussy with each pounding descent. I’ve never had sex from behind, and it’s painfully primal but so intensely erotic. I don’t know if I should be ashamed or proud of myself for enjoying the raw, animalistic sensuality of it.
And him.

When I arch my back, pushing to meet his thrusts, my walls clench around him again and again as wave after wave of orgasm rolls through me. As I’m reeling from the last of the lingering shudders, I cry out when he suddenly pulls his cock out and pushes me flat down, covering my entire body with his. The length of his stiff shaft wedges between my ass cheeks and spurts hot cum onto my lower back. He bows his head down into my neck and kisses my shoulder blade, biting my flesh and panting heavily, whispering words like wet and tight and so fuckin’ perfect. A shiver of ecstasy cascades down my spine. He stays there for a long time, with his sweaty chest pressed against my back, and I revel in being entirely enveloped by him, trapped in his powerful embrace.

My head falls back against his shoulder and I turn to kiss his neck, nipping at him with my teeth. Water splashes as his hand dives between my thighs like a shark. Two thick fingers zero in on my G-spot, curving upward with precision and rubbing rhythmically. Whimpering, I grip the sides of the tub to steady myself as I rock back and forth, thrusting up into his hand, then back against the ridge of his cock.
He grasps the side of my face and turns me to him. Our lips clash, breathless and needy. He crosses his legs over mine, pinning me down. My body is buzzing, my hips rolling up and down, back and forth. The tip of his thick cock pushes between my ass cheeks, nudging my pulsing entry.

He untangles his legs from mine, grabs me beneath my knees, and bends each of my legs up over the edge of the tub, spreading me wide over him. I grasp the slippery sides of the porcelain as he lifts me by my hips, positions me over his cock, then lowers me down onto him.
“Holy shit,” I gasp as he spears my pussy hard and deep.
Cupping my ass with one hand, he guides me up and down his shaft while his other hand reaches between my thighs, circling and lightly slapping my clit.
I feel his lips on my wet back, kissing a trail up my spine to the curve of my neck. His breath is ragged, matching mine, as we move faster and harder, splashing hot water around us in waves as my body plunges deliciously down onto his.

Grabbing her throat, I pull her up to me and kiss her deep, delving my tongue into her mouth until I own her every breath. She pants against my mouth with her small hands splayed across my hips.
I pull out almost completely, and she gasps in frustration. Resting the tip of my cock against her entry, I cup her face in my hands and kiss her lips softly, then pull away, hovering just millimeters from her mouth. Slowly, I push into her just a fraction. Her wet lips envelope me, deliciously tight and hot.
“Give it to me,” she begs.
“Look at me,” I whisper. She opens her eyes and stares into mine, and I watch her eyelids flutter half-closed when I feed my cock into her inch by inch. She looks so fucking beautiful and sensual, it takes all my self-control not to cum instantly.

Purchase Links: Amazon | BookDepo

Review: Beautiful Sinner by Sara Cate

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Callum Moore
Heroine: Cadence
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 26, 2020
Started On: February 12, 2021
Finished On: February 13, 2021

Our love is not a sin; it’s salvation.

Loosely tied to the novel Beautiful Monster, Beautiful Sinner by Sara Cate is an absolute gem of a romance of the forbidden variety. 44 year old Callum Moore is a priest in an Irish town, who is left blindsided by his encounter with the 24 year old Cadence, a young American who happens to come to stay at the Ennis Bed & Breakfast that is owned by Callum’s sister.

Cadence comes to the B&B with a group of youngsters touring Europe, the guy she is with whom she considers to be her boyfriend when he is anything but. Waking up the next morning to find that they had all left her behind, and that her “boyfriend” had taken her passport, credit cards, and any valuables she might have had along with him, needless to say Cadence feels like the worst screw up ever.

Having to wait two weeks for everything to be resolved, it is Cadence’s sister that tells her that this could be a good thing, that being alone is perhaps what is right for Cadence to sort out her priorities and just enjoy her ownself. But the mere thought of being alone sends Cadence into a state of panic, especially when she finds herself attracted to none other than the priest of the town, the man who looks upon her so disapprovingly from afar.

Callum is a man who found his calling towards his late twenties, firm in his belief standing true to it all. Cadence presents the first real temptation to ever cross his path since he took his vow of celibacy and that presents problems of the kind that he never thought he would have to deal with. It certainly does not help matters when Cadence proves herself to be made of stronger and sterner stuff than he gives her credit for.

It is only logical that two opposites such as Callum and Cadence, the former being a stickler for what is right and the latter being someone who is free with her affections in a way that does not create a favorable impression of her, would totally clash. And clash they do at first, until they both come to see more in each other and that perhaps in each other lies their future, rocky as the road maybe in the journey towards their ultimate destination.

There is an interesting psychology to Cadence, which Ms. Cate reveals layer by layer. The picture that emerges is of a child who never had a mother figure, who held the roles and responsibilities of acting like the adult in the family even when she was merely a child herself, and later on lost her way somewhere in the middle. Her fear of being left alone makes sense when all of that is put together, the resulting effect being someone who is too free with her love and affection when it comes to those unworthy of it. It takes a whole lot of soul searching and pain for Cadence to understand the same and it was a rewarding journey for the reader as well when she finally achieved the insurmountable.

I find that Ms. Cate has a unique way of writing hugely flawed characters that gives reader deeper insight into what they are, which makes for really intriguing reading. It is easier to judge a character at the surface level; Callum being the priest and the person who gave up his whole life to serve God as the righteous one and see Cadence as just the opposite. Almost always, there are reasons behind why we act the way we do. No one is born a sinner, nor are we saints. We are human, and how we are brought up, the psychology of those around us, the values we are instilled with, all of that and more charts the course of our lives for the most part. Deviating from all of that takes courage, and that is what I found in Cadence as her character grew out of what was holding her back in a big way.

Callum is a super sexy hero – no two ways about it. There is of course, the forbidden lure to him, but at the same time it is the way Ms. Cate has created him, giving him that rough edge with an inner core that is gentle at the same time. Callum is a man who chose his path because he believed it was his calling, but when Cadence comes and puts it all into disarray, he is flummoxed and resistant at first, but there is no stopping the heart from wanting what it wants, especially the forbidden fruit.

Callum also has a take charge attitude in bed that leaves the reader wanting more, and I loved every sizzling second of it. When Callum gives in, he does so spectacularly, and I am pretty certain that no reader would have been left unmoved by what he represents at that point.

The epilogue three years down the line clinched the deal for me with this book, to witness Callum and Cadence living their happily ever after, having reached their destination after all that heartache and angst. Callum teaches Cadence that she is worth everything, and Cadence in return understands that their love is worth it. Nothing puts a bigger smile on the reader’s face than that!

Recommended for fans of forbidden romances featuring two protagonists who are the direct opposite of each other. Ms. Cate has outdone herself with this number!

Final Verdict: Beautiful Sinner is one of those books that as a reader you can never get enough of. Callum makes you yearn for your own forbidden romance and Cadence leaves you with the understanding that your deepest flaws could well become your biggest strength!

Favorite Quotes

With my fingers still at the base of her spine, I lean down until my mouth hovers just above her shoulder. Her hands wrap around my body now, and I know she wants more. I can feel her desire radiating off her skin, and I feel terrible that I won’t be able to give her what she wants. But I’m taking this anyway, this one kiss.
With my lips parted, I press my mouth against the crook of her neck. She lets out a sweet little gasp, and I pull her body closer. Maybe I want her to feel what she’s doing to me or maybe I just want the friction against my aching hard-on, but either way, I know what I’m doing is fucked-up.

“So you’ll let those assholes fuck you instead? Is that what you want to be, Cadence?”
“Unlike you, Callum, I make my own decisions. I say what I do with my body.”
“Not anymore,” he snaps as he crashes his mouth against mine.
“You can’t,” I manage to gasp out before his tongue is in my mouth, and I become water, dripping through his fingers. I catch a glimpse of the white square at the collar of his neck just before I open myself to him, and my fighting hands turn into passionate grabs for his shirt and skin.

Her head hangs back, her lips open and her eyes clenched shut. Her cheeks are tinged pink, and my God, the sounds she’s making. I could record them and listen to them every second for the rest of my life. It’s exquisite.
Too fucking beautiful to feel bad about.
“Don’t stop,” she moans, and I pick up speed. I feel like an animal, overcome with lust and greed. The filthy fucking thoughts in my head are anything but righteous.

Slamming my fingers inside her one last time, I grip her tightly and feel her body explode with her orgasm. Every muscle tightens, and her thighs close on my hand, squeezing them in a vice grip as she stops breathing altogether. I’ve never seen anything more beautiful in all my life.

In just a few long strides, he’s standing right in front of me, and I barely have a moment to register anything before his lips are on mine. The kiss is ravenous and desperate. It’s vindication. It’s everything we’ve been hiding and torturing ourselves with for so long.
His lips devour me, trailing down to my neck, my shoulder. His moans are hungry and soon they turn into words. “I’m sorry,” he mutters over and over as he worships my body with his mouth
.

I feel the head of him against my core, and I hold my breath, my eyes not leaving his. He enters me with a force that makes me gasp and want to scream. Once he’s buried inside of me, we melt together. My legs wrap around him and his spine curls around me, his head buried in my neck. For a moment we stay still, enjoying this first bonding our bodies, like it’s some ancient ritual.
He groans into my skin, and I know the Callum that holds back and plays it safe is gone. The Callum I know, the one who takes and commands and doesn’t apologize is about to take over, and my body p
ulses in anticipation.

He does it again and again, keeping his eyes on me the whole time. I don’t bother keeping it quiet anymore. When he pulls my leg over his shoulder, I almost fall apart. My moans of pleasure vibrate across the walls of this church set to the perfect rhythm of his heavy grunts.
His hands grab my hips as he rockets his body against me, building speed and momentum. My back slides against the floor, and he yanks me back, slamming himself even deeper.

My hands grip the bed sheets as I wait for him to take over. I’ve already memorized his rhythm.
With a tight hold of my hips, he fucks me hard until I’m practically lifted off the bed and coming with the force. Just as my climax hits, he lifts my body so I’m flush against him and he pinches my clit until I’m splintered in two, undone with ecstasy.

“Come all over my hand,” I whisper in her ear, and her jaw hangs open like she’s fighting for breath. I’m striking hard now, slipping in a second digit as she writhes. My heavy dick grinds against her just as the conversation outside stops. Any moment, someone will round that corner and see me finger banging my young American employee. The secret will be out, and we won’t have to hide anymore.
But then again, I know it’s this filthy thing we’re doing that makes her seize up in my hands, biting back her cries as she soaks my hand. I love the way her thighs clench together as she comes, a vice grip on my wrist like she never wants me to pull it away. We’re both high on the forbiddenness of it.

As I stand up, I stare down at her, and I unbutton my pants, dropping them to the floor. With my hands under her legs, I yank her body to the edge of the bed and enter her in one fluid motion.
She barely has the chance to come down from her last climax before she’s writhing again. Watching her beautiful body on the bed, her legs wrapped around me, my chest aches. I love her so fucking mu
ch it hurts.

Grabbing her hand, I pull her up, and without pulling out, I lift her body in my arms. She has a drunk, ecstasy-laced smile as I carry her to the bathroom counter. With the large mirror behind her, I see myself as I fuck her.
For the first time in a long time, the reflection doesn’t repulse me. It feels right.

Purchase Links: Amazon