ARC Review: Too Wild to Tame by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-booktoowildtotame
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Romancing the Clarksons, #2
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Aaron Clarkson
Heroine: Grace Pendleton
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 06, 2016
Started On: August 31, 2016
Finished On: September 09, 2016

The second installment of Romancing the Clarksons by Tessa Bailey brings us the story of Aaron Clarkson, the driven and ambitious in the family, the one who wants to make a name for himself within the elite political circles. Aaron has to work doubly hard because of the bungling up he had done in the recent past, and this time around nothing was going to stand in his way. Not even the unexpectedly fierce desire he feels for Grace Pendleton, more complication than he currently has the time for.

Grace is a woman who has lived under the shadow of her father’s political career basically her entire life. Hiding in the shadows is what is required of her, and she does a good job of it, that is until Aaron draws her out of the shadows and makes her come alive for the first time in a long while. The scars she carries in her soul runs deep, however, that does not stop her from seeing Aaron for who he can be.

Aaron is a deeply conflicted character as well. There is of course the family dynamics and his complex relationship with his brother Belmont (whose story I am waiting ever so impatiently to read, which I believe is the case for most readers of this series), and there is the ambition that has brought Aaron to this point, something that he simply cannot turn away from. But Grace tests his resolve more than anyone he has ever met, and it was wonderful seeing both of them come together so explosively and tenderly when all was said and done.

I did not really expect to enjoy Aaron’s story as much as I did. In fact, I was pouting with the knowledge that most likely, fans of the series would have to wait for Belmont’s story for a long while. Aaron was in my opinion a paltry substitute for what I wanted. But I was so very wrong as Aaron proved to be a mighty fine hero on his own, giving me something to think about a time or two and of course I loved the way everything turned out in the end. Grace’s backstory was one that was painful to read, something that made me wonder how if ever, would you heal from something of that sort.

Recommended for fans of the series and those who love steamy contemporary romances. I loved the sex scenes in Too Wild to Tame. So wonderfully well done.

Final Verdict: Wonderful storytelling from start to finish. Loved Grace and Aaron!

Favorite Quotes

With a thready apology, Grace shot forward and up, locking her mouth with Aaron’s, memorizing the way his stiffness melted in one big deluge. The way he gave a rough exhale through his nose. That gruff sound that drummed from his throat, a split second before his lips opened, tongue teasing in to taste hers. Just some. The most perfect, slick greeting. The two of them hung there, mouths open, lips wet and fitted together, breath racing, kitchen clamoring behind them.

“I wanted to hold your hand in the woods, too. But this is better. Better. I’m going to…”
“Christ. Do it. Go on, Grace. Fill up my palm with the best you’ve got.” Aaron ducked his head to suck a trail up the side of Grace’s neck, unable to resist a bite beneath her earlobe. Another one. “Girls who get so wet from kissing shouldn’t leave the house without underwear, should they? No. And they definitely shouldn’t leave the house with someone like me. I don’t hold hands. I shouldn’t be allowed within ten feet of you.” He spoke the words angrily into her neck. “This is what I do. I return you home with a dirty secret.”

Aaron’s tether broke. Recapturing Grace’s mouth with an obscene amount of tongue, he backed them toward the bed, satisfaction rippling in his middle when she went down beneath him, her legs falling open in welcome. He draped his body over Grace’s slighter one, eager grunts leaving his mouth as he positioned himself over her pussy and bore down with his erection. Their groans were pain-filled, reaching every corner of the cabin, breaking off when Aaron got back to kissing that addictive mouth, yanking the oversized sweater up, up to her belly, so he could rock against her sex with only his pants and her tights as obstructions.
“Aaron.”
“You were warned,” he reminded her with a strangled shout, delivered into the space above her head. “Three times, Grace. That’s three times more than I’d give anyone else.”

Aaron reached up, fisting the back of Grace’s hair and guiding her down to his mouth, the ensuing kiss voracious, her grinding glides up and down his cock turning into something else. The head of his cock squeezed, followed by his full, aching length…and then he rammed into the back of her pussy. “No…” Aaron growled through the inescapable euphoria of being joined with Grace, nothing between them, but somehow responsibility found a way to grip him around the neck, his words forceful but slurred. “Need a condom. Can’t have y’like this.”
Didn’t matter that he was clean. This…Jesus, this was one privilege no amount of atoning for his past, present, and future could earn. No matter how fucking terrible it would feel to pull out of warm, safe…home. The home he could never live in, but would dream about for the rest of his pathetic life.

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

Great Read!(1)

Review: To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-booktotastetemptation
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Legend of the Four Soldiers, #1
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Samuel Hartley
Heroine: Emeline Gordon
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: May 1, 2008
Started On: July 23, 2016
Finished On: August 15, 2016

Though the cover on this book leaves much to be desired, the first book in the Legend of the Four Soldiers is one that delivers on all fronts. After a failed attempt at picking up a historical romance from another author, I just couldn’t wait to erase that memory from my mind, which had me returning to Hoyt, an author that has never failed me up till this point. A tall order, I know. She might even have replaced classical favorites like Judith McNaught and Julie Garwood themselves, all because of the way Hoyt crafts her stories that leaves me begging for more.

Legend of the Four Soldiers is centered around four soldiers who returns from war and a terrible incident that marks them forever. Battling with PTSD and worse, these are the stories of the happily ever afters these four soldiers find for themselves. In the midst of each story, true to Hoyt’s trademark, there is an element of mystery happening which makes the book that much more of a page-turner. Each soldier chooses a different path to travel to their ultimate destinations, and in doing so Hoyt once again finds a common theme between the enchanting fairy tale that she begins each chapter with and the actual story that unfolds. That is just one more reason why Hoyt has carved a notch for herself in a genre that is redundantly often overdone with stories that are taxing to read. 

Mr. Samuel Hartley the hero is not from London society, rather he is a businessman from Boston, one of the soldiers that comes seeking Lady Emeline Gordon on the pretense of hiring her services for his sister. But Samuel in reality is seeking the truth of what happened in Spinner’s Falls, to find out who it is that had betrayed their regiment in such an abominable manner. Emeline meanwhile comes off as snobbish and standoffish from the first moment Samuel seeks her out. Perhaps the reason being that Samuel triggers feelings inside of her that she had forcibly buried, never to resurrect, ever since the death of her husband. The scars that have been leftover from the death runs deep, something readers only come to know as the story progresses towards its pivotal moments.

Samuel comes off as someone rather average at first, a harmless soul if ever there was one. Hoyt created a mesmerizing character out of Samuel by revealing his true self as a man who is driven by desire of the kind he cannot control, an alpha man to boot, not willing to take no from the woman who holds his desires captive. Emeline would give just about anything to turn away from Samuel, but she finds herself in a vicious cycle of need that refuses to be denied, a need that sees her getting into one clandestine position after another with Samuel. 

Though the story was a tad slow at the beginning, once things started heating up, I could barely breathe from the anticipation that was coursing through me. I always love the fact that Hoyt never shortchanges readers on the scenes of passion that she so artfully crafts into her novels. They are gems to be treasured. Every single one of them. The way the passion between Samuel and Emeline exploded onto the pages was just as beautifully done. It was dirty, raw, explicit, momentous and beautifully wondrous at the same time. Every scene brings forth the tightly reined in passions of two people who are so well suited for each other, but one or the other is too blind to see it, or refuses to in this case. The number of quotes included in this review attests to what I am talking about.

Samuel’s stubbornly unyielding attempts at winning Emeline over mesmerized me just as much as the scenes of passion did, knowing that to win the heart of someone such as Emeline so well entrenched within the customs of the elite of society would find it hard to break out of the safe existence she had carved out for herself.

Absolutely breathtaking, the fairy tale as well as the story of the love that unfurls between Emeline and Samuel! No two ways about it. Recommended!

Final Verdict: A feast for all your senses; heart, mind, body & soul!

Favorite Quotes

She inhaled deeply and sat back, her face entirely hidden by shadows now. “What difference does it make to you if I do find your affairs to be of interest, Mr. Hartley?”
He smiled wryly. “Touché, my lady. I’m sure a sophisticated gentleman of your society would deny it to his death if he was moved by your interest, but I am made of simpler stuff.”
“Are you?” The words were whispered in the dark.
He nodded slowly. “So I tell you: I am moved by your interest. I am moved by you.”
“You are frank.”
“Can you admit the same?”

“Yes, that’s what I want. A civilized man. An Englishman who knows the rules of society, an aristocrat to help me with my son and my lands. We are perfectly suited, Jasper and I. We are as alike as two peas in a pod.”
She saw the hurt in his eyes. It was very subtle, few other people, perhaps no other person, would understand it, but she saw and comprehended. She was hurting him.
So she drove the knife home. “We will be married soon, and I will be very, very happy—”
“Goddamn you,” he growled, and then he kissed her.

She was panting, almost crying, her mouth working under his, their teeth scraping against each other inelegantly. There was no finesse, no pretty caress in their kiss. This was a display of lust and anger.
She could smell his skin. He wore no powder or pomades or perfume, it was purely him, and she was driven mad by his scent. She wanted to tear the coat from his shoulders, rip off his shirt and neckcloth and bury her nose in his naked neck.

“Samuel,” she moaned.
“Hush,” he muttered.
He was urging her legs apart, and one part of her mind was thinking that his position relative to hers did not put her in the most attractive angle. Then she forgot any doubts, for he was running his thumb along her crease.
“You’re wet,” he said, his voice deep and dark with male satisfaction.
She lifted her head from the wall and almost pulled away at that. How dare he take her for granted?
But he tilted her hips and then…
Oh, God! And then he licked her.

He swore suddenly, and then he caught her against himself, her bare back pressed to his waistcoat as his cock buried itself in her and began to spurt. It was an odd angle—and erotic—her feet on tiptoe, her legs wide apart, her breasts and belly bare and displayed, impaled on his cock. She heard him groan and reveled in his loss of control. He worked insistently at her bud, splaying his hand possessively over her cunny as he came inside her.
And then she did scream. Waves of almost painful pleasure coursed through her as she convulsed on his cock. He placed his hand over her mouth to muffle the sound, and she bit him, relishing the taste of his skin on her tongue.
Behind her, he caught his breath. “Little cat.”

“I may not be fully aware of all the niceties of your society, but I think that you won’t want that.”
Her mouth had fallen open during this arrogant speech, but now as he turned away, she found her voice. “How dare you presume—”
He caught her by the shoulders, making her indignant sentence end on a squeak. He bent his head and spoke fiercely into her ear. “I dare because you welcomed me into your body not a quarter of an hour ago. Your body rained your pleasure all over my cock, and I want that again.”
He covered her mouth. But this time his kiss wasn’t gentle or soft. It spoke of a man’s desire. He thrust his tongue into her mouth and angled his head so that his lips all but enveloped hers, and her silly body arched into him. She wanted this. She craved this. Intellect and reason fled her brain.

He lifted his head, but his gaze remained on her breasts. “I’ve been thinking of this all day—your nipples, bare to me and what I would do with them. I could hardly walk for the cockstand in my breeches.” His eyes flicked to hers, and she saw that his expression was almost angry. “That’s what you do to me—turn me into a mindless, hungering cock.”
She squirmed at the words, so crude and explicit.
His nostrils flared at her movement and she froze. “Hold them for me. Offer your breasts to me so I can suck them until you come.”

“Will this do?” he grunted.
She didn’t answer, lost in a sea of bliss.
He slammed into her and held still. “Will this do, my lady?”
Her eyes flew open and she glared at him. “Yes!” She clutched at his buttocks, trying to get him to move again. “Yes! Yes! Yes! Just move, damn you!”
And he complied, either chuckling or growling low in his throat; it was impossible to tell, because her eyes had fallen closed again.

She sobbed, helpless and angry, and more angry that she let her innermost feelings show. “Stop.”
He shook his head slowly, pressing into her again, his hard body causing hers to flower open, vulnerable to all the sensations he was making her feel. His eyelids dropped for a second as if he, too, were overwhelmed by what he did. Then he raised them and looked into her eyes. “No.”

He withdrew a fraction of his length, but she felt the friction as his cock pulled against her oversensitive flesh. Then he was bearing down again, grinding, grinding, grinding against her exposed clitoris, and she couldn’t stand it anymore.
She came apart, all the secrets, doubts, worries, and hopes that she had kept tightly bound to herself flying outward, free and unharnessed, exposed to the chill morning air and to him.
To him.
And she looked up in time to see him grit his teeth and tremble, undone as much as she, as he released his seed within her.

But he withdrew his hand from her suddenly, catching her about the waist and lifting and shoving so that her rump balanced precariously on a barrel. Then he was between her legs, and she opened her eyes to watch him frantically rip at his breeches.
“God!” It was a groan. He freed himself and thrust into her, huge and hot, in the same movement. “God!”
She sank her nails into the cloth covering his shoulders and hung on for dear life, wrapping her legs high over his hips. He jerked rapidly in her, thrusting again and again and again. Her orgasm had not fully crested and now it began anew on a higher, sweeter, almost painful note.

She tore at his coat, ripping it off his upper arm, and filled her mouth with clean linen and his shoulder. Her eyes closed in bliss as she bit him. She clung to him while his cock took his pleasure of her. He rode her hard, rode her until she wanted to scream, rode her until he grabbed the back of her head and kissed her, his mouth wide and gasping as he came, his great body shaking. She could feel the heat of his seed flooding within her. And she knew, even as she crested the wave herself, she knew.
This must be the last time.

He muttered something and released her nipple, catching her hips. He pumped into her in quick, powerful thrusts, grunting with each plunge, his cock hard and hot and long within her. His movements, his obvious desperation, prolonged her pleasure, and when she felt his warmth flood her, she was still in bliss. She fell against his heaving chest, his hand tangling in her hair, his breath rasping against her damp temple. She heard his whisper in her ear.”
“I love you.”

He wouldn’t forget her, his warm lady, even if he lived for six decades more. He knew that now, sitting by her cold fire. She would be with him all the days of his life. As he walked the streets of Boston, as he conducted his business or chatted with acquaintances, she would be the ghost beside him. She would sit with him as he ate, she would lie beside him as he slept. And he knew that when his time on this earth was at an end, his last thought as he entered the void would be of her.
The scent of lemon balm would haunt him forever.
So he sat a little longer, watching her sleep. All the days of the rest of his life stretched before him, and he needed to store up these few seconds with her.
They would have to last him a lifetime.

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

awesomeread

Review: The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-booktheserpentprince
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Princes, #3
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Simon Matthew Raphael Iddesleigh
Heroine: Lucinda Craddock-Hayes
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 1, 2007
Started On: May 30, 2016
Finished On: May 30, 2016

I should have known better than to pick up the next Hoyt book to read in the wee hours of the morning. Practically read in one sitting, The Serpent Prince is the final book in the Princes trilogy. The Serpent Prince once again delivers an unconventional romance, bringing together two very different protagonists, one being a Viscount, hellbent on seeking revenge for the death of his brother, the heroine being the sheltered daughter of a retired sea captain, being courted by the vicar of town’s little church.

It is Simon’s revenge seeking ways that lands him on a narrow lane in the town of Maiden Hill. Which is how Lucy finds him and nurses him back to health. Lucy does her Christian duty by Simon, even though her father identifies Simon as a threat to his daughter’s emotional well-being and neatly ordered life.

Simon and Lucy’s attraction to one another is an immediate one, though neither wants to admit to the fact. Simon because has no room in his life to court an innocent maiden the likes of Lucy and Lucy because she knows that getting together with someone like Simon is not for her, a small town nobody. However, fate has a way of bringing together lost souls that seeks and yearns to become whole, and that is exactly what happens to Lucy and Simon as well.

Simon, even though he does right by the woman who makes him want to finally start living once again, is unable to let go of his need for exacting revenge on those he holds responsible for the untimely demise of his brother. Feeling responsible over the fact does not make it any easier to let go, which is perhaps why Simon spends more time seeking that rather than spending an equivalent amount of time and effort on the woman who wants Simon to stop doing something that would only keep tainting his already blackened soul.

While I enjoyed The Serpent Prince immensely, I however did not find myself as enchanted with Simon and Lucy as I would have liked to be. Simon was too focused on his need for vengeance than on anything else, while Lucy seemed confused about what she wanted and needed, or perhaps should want and need. Given her upbringing, I guess it was a given that Lucy would not be able to condone what Simon was actively seeking, however, it is a testament to the strength of emotions that Lucy feels towards Simon that makes her feel so torn between what her heart and mind dictated. In one sense, I felt that Simon took more than he gave back, perhaps a necessity given where Simon’s character was coming from.

To say that I recommend Hoyt’s romances to all romance readers would be an understatement. Hoyt’s work is nothing short of magical in a world where there is too little of it left.

Final Verdict: Enchantment, incredible in its beauty lies in the words Hoyt pens.

 Favorite Quotes

She reached her hand out, hesitated, then touched his cheek lightly with one fingertip. He felt the contact sizzle throughout his body down to his very toes.
“Sometimes I think I know you,” she murmured so low he almost didn’t catch the words. “Sometimes I think that I’ve always known you, from the very first moment you opened your eyes, and that, deep inside your soul, you know me, too. But then you make a joke, play the fool or the rake, and turn aside. Why do you do that?”

She sighed and moved her legs restlessly. If Simon was watching her now, he would see her arousal, the damp prickles on her skin. He would see her nude breasts and erect nipples. The mere thought of being exposed to his eyes made her bite her lip. Slowly, she flicked her fingernails over her nipples, and the sensation made her clench her thighs. If he watched . . . She brought her thumbs and forefingers on either side of her nipples and pinched. Lucy moaned.
And suddenly she knew. She froze for an eternal second and then slowly opened her eyes.
He was in the doorway, his gaze locked with hers—hot, hungry, and very, very male.

Her eyelids drooped at his words. She wanted to taste him, to do things to him that she was only vaguely aware of. More. She wanted more.
“I want to put myself in you,” he said, guttural. “I want to stay inside you all night, to wake with you around me, to make love to you before you even open your eyes.” He knelt above her. His face was not kind, and she gloried in his savagery. “If I could, I’d place you on my lap, darling angel, and hold you throughout dinner, my cock inside you. I’d feed you strawberries and cream and not move. The footmen would come and serve us and never know that my cock was in your sweet cove all the time. Your skirts would cover us, but you’d have to remain very, very still so they wouldn’t guess.”

“I want this.” He placed his hand over the juncture of her thighs. “All the time. I want to do this”—he parted her legs and lowered his hips until his hardness nestled in her folds—“all the time.”
She moaned. What was he doing to her?
“Do you want it, too?” He moved, not entering her but thrusting his erection through her wetness. He was rubbing against her bud.
She arched helplessly, whimpering.
“Do you?” he whispered into the hair at her temple. He thrust his hips again.
Pleasure. “I—”
“Do you?” He bit her earlobe.
“Ohhh.” She couldn’t think, couldn’t form the words that he wanted. She could only feel.
“Do you?” He cradled both her breasts in his hands and pinched the nipples as he thrust over her again.
And she came, grinding her hips against him, seeing stars in the darkness of her eyelids, moaning incoherently.

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

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ARC Review: Too Hot to Handle by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-booktoohottohandle
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Romancing the Clarksons, #1
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Jasper Ellis
Heroine: Rita Clarkson
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 17, 2016
Started On: May 06, 2016
Finished On: May 08, 2016

28 year old Rita Clarkson manages to get her siblings Aaron, Belmont and Peggy to agree to go on a road trip on the quest to fulfill the dying wish of their recently deceased mother Miriam, who had been a well renowned chef, a legacy that Rita had managed to burn down to the ground.

Though the siblings had never been close, everyone agrees to go along and that is how they end up with their car broken down in the town of Hurley in New Mexico. To their rescue rides the most handsome man that Rita might have ever laid her eyes on, 33 year old Jasper Ellis, who from the very beginning makes her heart go pitter-patter.

Labeled as the town tramp, Jasper has good reason to not want to go physical the minute he lays eyes on Rita. While Jasper has no qualms about letting Rita know that he is attracted to her and wants to know her in every possible way there is, Rita is the type of woman who does not believe in happily ever afters and does not think much of the concept of dating.

However, Rita is forced to revise her initial assumptions and beliefs when it comes to dating and Jasper, as she finds out what lies beneath the gorgeous surface; a heart and soul seeking redemption and acceptance as he is, not just as the town’s good time guy but as someone worth much more.

The romance between Jasper and Rita takes place amidst the developing stories of the siblings. Belmont who has the whole silent, stoic thing going for him while Aaron is the one with the political ambitions and Peggy the youngest who at first comes off as the airheaded variety of character but as you read along you realize that she is one of the most astute characters in the story.

Rita has her own past from which she is trying to flee, but the walls seem to close in on her the more she tries to do so. In Jasper she finds a man who is willing to help her through it all, even when she does not realize that she needs the help that Jasper is willing to offer.

Jasper’s reluctance to take things up a notch in the physical aspect when it comes to Rita is something he does consciously, exerting effort to do so. Not because he wants to play hard to get or because he is not attracted to Rita. It is in fact because of his vivid attraction to Rita on all levels that he wants the opportunity to take it slow, for it to be different, and I for one liked it.

I loved the emotional wallop this book carried with it. Unlike most of Tessa’s recent novels I’ve read, this one is not just about dirty talking heroes pinning their heroines on every flat surface they can find. Of course there is that too! But there is so much more than just hot sex in this story. In one sense, I’m glad that Jasper kept backing off from the heat because if otherwise the story would’ve lacked the substance it managed to deliver. 

The cast of characters that Tessa has crafted for this series is one I can’t get enough of. Belmont of course has already become my favorite while Penny’s story is one that I’m hankering to read, even now. While Belmont already comes off as the deep one, the connection that he shares with Sage is one that would intrigue any reader. Penny has become as fascinating in one way because beneath the surfaces of all that gaiety lies a heart that bleeds, and I for one am dying to know why. 

I liked how Tessa was patient enough to let Jasper and especially Rita work their way towards one another. Both deeply flawed in ways that makes each of them unable to trust their own selves to do right by their lives. Jasper with good reason of course, but failing to see how far along he has come until Rita manages to show it to him. For Rita, the hurt had been more raw and recent, which had needed someone patient and with foresight like Jasper to heal her gaping wounds. 

A road trip to fulfill a mother’s dying wish that turned the world into the Clarksons’ oyster. This series has so much potential that I for one cannot wait for more!

Final Verdict: Beautifully plotted, all the way. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

He’d be a rougher ride than a bull.
He might as well have whispered that promise out loud because it surrounded him like an aura. Men like Jasper were supposed to be reserved for naughty Internet memes, but here he was. Her own private, moving GIF, only he didn’t loop back to the beginning after three seconds. No, he just kept coming, like he might never stop kissing her once he started. Like he might do a shit ton more than just kiss with that mouth.

“Jasper, I shouldn’t have—”
“That is why you came, isn’t it?” Talking dirty to a woman was just like riding a bike. Jasper rubbed a hand over his stubbled jaw and gave Rita a deliberate, head-to-toe once-over, watching her thighs flex under his notice. His cock gloried in the sight, hardening in his briefs. Right, beautiful. I’ll fit myself between them with enough force to show you who’s taking the lead. “You’re an up-against-the-wall kind of girl, aren’t you?”
“All girls are up-against-the-wall girls,” she whispered

It took her fingers stroking down his forearm to cover the hand cradling her pussy for him to regain awareness of the intimate touch. Oh, and he remembered with a goddamn vengeance. She put pressure on his hand, moaning into his mouth with the universal language for More, keep going. With their tongues tangling together, lips slanting for frantic tastes, he had no choice. He yanked down her panties and slid his middle finger between her wet folds—so wet he tore his mouth away so he could curse.
“God. I would mouth-fuck this little sweetheart for days.”

“Do it,” she moaned, propping her bent legs higher on his hips, using them as leverage to lift off the swing. “I need you. Hard like before.”
“Hard like before, yes. But this time you’ll look me in the eye while I’m ringing your bell. You understand me?” Jasper pressed her back down into the swing, bearing down with his lower body, grinding her into the wood until she whimpered. “And at some point tonight, I’m going to make love to you. The kind of sex that takes an hour of slow rocking and pumping. The kind where we wrap our fingers together, then twine them around the headboard. And I whisper things in your ear I can’t say in the light. Promise me.”

“God, Rita. I can feel that little lace edge of your thong rubbing up and down my cock.” He gave her a full minute of nonstop bucking, stopping only when her pussy locked up, a telltale sign she was near the edge. She wailed and dug her nails into his shoulders when he paused, but she settled when he started a slow bump and grind. “Yeah, beautiful. Fucking is that much sweeter when you’ve driven a man to the point where he wants to jack off in his own kitchen, isn’t it?” He dropped his forehead onto her shoulder and groaned. “I’m not finishing you down here. You’re going to leave your scent in my bed, you understand me?”
“Yes,” she moaned, curling around Jasper as he advanced toward the stairs, still impaled on his dick.

“Jasper,” she whispered, sounding out of breath. “I don’t—”
“Please, just don’t act surprised. I won’t be able to stand it.” His mouth fell to hers, kissing, kissing, like a man mouthing a furious prayer. “You can’t be surprised when the last few days have given me life. Act upset or happy or storm out. But I can’t handle surprised, like maybe you didn’t even consider me for a second.”
“I’ve considered you,” she sobbed. “Of course I have. Just stop talking like that for a second, stop stealing my breath when I’m trying to catch it.”
“No.” He pressed their foreheads together. “I don’t want you to catch it. I want it to stay lost and I want to be the man who steals it. All day, every day. Forever. Stay with me right here.”

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

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ARC Review: The Buried by Shelley Coriell

Format: E-booktheburied
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: The Apostles, #2
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Theodore “Hatch” Hatcher
Heroine: Grace Courtemanche
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 21, 2014
Started On: October 25, 2014
Finished On: October 26, 2014

The Buried is my first Shelley Coriell and of course my first foray into her The Apostles series. The Apostles is comprised of the very best in law enforcement, skilled at weeding out killers of the most heinous variety. Not having read The Broken, book 1 in the series didn’t affect me in any way when I was readingThe Buried, though I did feel the need to check out the former afterwards so it is quite safe to say that this can be read as a standalone.

Grace Courtemanche is a public prosecutor riding the high of having won one of the toughest cases of her career. Forced to go on vacation by her boss to take some time off, Grace however is plunged into the midst of a murder that is in the process of happening when the first victim aka Lia Grant calls her from a hole in the ground, where she has been buried to face her imminent death. From the minute Grace hears the desperation in Lia’s voice, she knows deep in her heart that life as she knows is never going to be the same again.

Theodore “Hatch” Hatcher is lured back to Cypress Bend by just one phone call. And what makes him stay is more than just the knowledge that he has a 13 year old son that he had never known up till now, but rather the fact that his ex-wife, the only woman that he had ever fallen head over heels in love with was being stalked by a meticulous killer playing a game in which only one can come out as the winner.

Grace is not at all prepared for Hatch to disrupt her life all over once again. But Grace is a woman who knows to play along with those that are on her team, especially given the circumstances. As the game surpasses level 1, the rules change leaving Grace, Hatch and the team scrambling to catch up in this deadly game of burial which somehow keeps coming back to Grace.

For a fan of romantic suspense like me, The Buried certainly did give me a page turner. Grace and Hatch were wonderful characters. Hatch is sexy, confident in his own skin and quite the charmer. The only problem Hatch has is with settling down and though Grace tempts him in ways no woman ever has or will, Hatch has a hard time making up his mind about doing the forever thing once again.

Grace turned out to be a surprisingly lovely heroine. Called the blonde bulldozer or justice seeking missile by those who know her work, Grace is one determined woman if ever there was one. Strong and confident in her abilities, Grace has a softer side to her that complements well with that edge of hers and I fell like a ton of bricks for that woman.

The twist at the end when it came was a definite shocker, one that rendered me into a place where I found it really difficult to see the villain in just black and white. The thought that kept crossing my mind was, if I had been subjected to the same would I have turned out any different. And I guess that is a question that would haunt me for a while yet and I always say this, books that makes you question your feelings and emotions, especially when it comes to villains, those are the ones that makes reading books such as this one worth seeking out!

Recommended.

Final Verdict: Secrets of a buried past that kills at will & keeps the pages turning!

Favorite Quotes

You should have told me.” His mouth and jaw barely moved as he spoke.
She tried to ease away, but he moved with her. “Told you what?”
“Hmmmmm, where should I start?” With his free hand, he jammed a finger in the air. “One, you received threats from a convicted felon. Two, you received nine phone calls from a girl presumably buried alive. And three, as we speak, a forensic team is sifting through dirt in your backyard looking for human bones.”
“It’s none of your business.”
“Oh, Princess. Dear, dear Princess.” He moved closer, a big, graceful, golden cat. He stopped a hairsbreadth from touching her, but the heat of his skin warmed her, nipping at the chill that had set in yesterday with Lia’s phone calls. When he spoke, his breath fanned her face in a low, rumbling half-purr, half-growl. “You have been and always will be my business.”

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ARC Review: Law Man by Kristen Ashley

Format: E-booklawman
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Dream Man, #3
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Mitchell James Lawson
Heroine: Mara Hanover
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 11, 2012
Started On: December 26, 2013

Finished On: December 30, 2013

Law Man by Kristen Ashley tells the story of Mara Hanover who has had an impressive crush on her very hot police detective neighbor for the past 4 years. Mara suffers from a lot of self esteem issues owing to the way she’d grown up and of course her scumbag of an ex-boyfriend. Mara thinks herself to be below par in looks and believes that she has nothing of interest to offer for a man like a Detective Mitch Lawson who practically makes her knees shake every time he smiles at her.

It is when Mara’s past comes calling that she starts to realize that Mitch and his  interest in her wouldn’t fade away just like that and most surprisingly he just might be staying around with her and helping her take care of her problems in a way that she’s never ever been looked after before. Mitch definitely has his work cut for him when he has to convince Mara to give them a chance, and to slay the dark demons of Mara’s past from which she seems unable to let go of. Told mostly from Mara’s point of view in first person, Law Man has the one thing going on for it that is trademark Kristen Ashley, and that is Mitch.

There were so many moments that Mitch made me sigh out involuntarily because he has that quality about him that just makes you want to sit and stare into open space and dream of a happily ever after. That is most definitely because Mitch is the man who makes Mara stand up and take notice, and he most definitely is the man whose stubbornness outsmarts that of Mara’s which was crucial in making her see that with Mitch there definitely existed more than just a possibility of something more.

Mara, I had a hard time warming up to. I found the constant retreating game that she played throughout up til more than halfway into the story tiresome after a while. But there were issues she had to deal with in order to become whole, and I guess one cannot blame her for believing in something that had been drummed into her since childhood. I also wouldn’t have minded the story being cut short by 1/4th or so of its content since it seemed to drag on way too much in certain places.

I wanted more moments of Mitch and Mara together, to be a part of the magical connection that seems to exist between them. In the end I definitely skipped pages towards the latter half of the book to reach the ending. The epilogue meanwhile was just wonderful and that certainly made up for a lot of things that didn’t work for me. Recommended for fans of slow moving romances and fans of the series and the author.

Final verdict: Mitch Lawson will definitely have you humming, in more ways than one!

Favorite Quotes

“His eyes got dark. I liked the way they got dark and liked it so much I lost focus. And since I was paying attention to his eyes getting dark, I missed his lips getting closer. At the last minute I pulled back, my head hit the door and his lips brushed mine.
He didn’t move his mouth when he murmured, “’Night, Mara.”
“Goodnight, Mitch,” I murmured back, my breath starting to come hard and my heart beating harder.
He smiled against my lips.
Then he let me go.

“If I’m your Mitch, you’re my Mara,” he whispered against my skin, his words making me shiver again because I liked that idea, a whole lot. Then I felt his tongue glide along my throat as his hand glided back up my side, and I shivered yet again. He moved slightly away and held my eyes as his hands went to my wrists at his chest. He moved them around him and down, not releasing them, but still managing to pull his shirt out of his jeans and shove my hands up under so they encountered the hot, sleek skin and hard muscle of his back. He felt so unbelievably good I involuntarily made a noise in the back of my throat. His thumb swept over my nipple, and I liked that a whole lot more, so my back arched hard, and a long, deep moan glided up my throat and into his mouth. That was when leisurely and gentle got lost. As my moan slid into his mouth, Mitch slanted his head and deepened the kiss. It was harder, demanding and, God, so, so good.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes

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Review: Never a Gentleman by Eileen Dreyer

Format: E-bookneveragentleman
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Drake’s Rakes, #2
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Richard William Price Manners Hilliard
Heroine: Grace Georgianna Fairchild
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 1, 2011
Started On: December 2, 2013
Finished On: December 3, 2013

Everyone who knows my reading tastes know that I am someone who loves an angst ridden romance. Never a Gentleman, book 2 in the Drake’s Rakes series landed in my TBR pile because I kept getting recommendations of the fact that this is a  book that offers a healthy dose of just that. Since I was already on a historical romance reading binge the last couple of reads, I decided to finally take the plunge and see what the fuss was all about.

Having never read an Eileen Dreyer before I didn’t know what to expect when I first delved into the story. Eileen tends to set an adequate pace for the story though I found the flow a bit tedious at times, perhaps because I have been spoilt rotten by the likes of authors such as Sherry Thomas and Courtney Milan whose beautiful prose alone makes me want to sink myself into the story and never come up for air.

My first disadvantage I believe was the fact that I didn’t read the first book in the series. I think I did miss out on the beginning of the “relationship” that blossoms between Diccan and Grace, a pair that is as different from each other as night and day. While Diccan is heralded for his uber good looks, his suave charm and the beautiful women he beds with, Diccan is a man whose diplomatic career looks to be promising as long as he carries out his duties perfectly in order to save the country and the Queen. Meanwhile, Grace is the spinster daughter of an army general, who dies a while back, leaving her alone to pursue her dreams for the first time in her life. Grace is plain looking, doesn’t seem to have anything striking about her features that would make people notice her except for the fact that she limps when she walks, which Grace would rather people never notice.

When Grace and Diccan are “forced” into entering a marriage of convenience, Diccan in the “noble” reason of saving Grace’s virtue while Grace does so to save Diccan’s reputation which is a necessity for his career; only Grace enters the marriage with hope unfurling in her heart that if she tries hard enough, she would able to win the affections of her husband.

Diccan who never thought he would feel anything for his plain and mousy looking wife is first appalled and then taken aback when he finds himself enamored by the woman he has married, the spell that she weaves on him one that is seemingly hard for him to turn away from. But then alas, duty calls, for which philandering seems to be a requirement, infidelity that would in return save England, his duty being to the country which would always come first.

I tried so hard to find any redemptive qualities to Diccan and came up short except for the time that Diccan refused to leave Grace’s side when she falls violently ill towards the latter part of the story. Even then, I couldn’t find it in me to like him much and neither did I like Grace for putting up with a lot of things that went on in her marriage. True to Grace’s character, her patience is the noblest of its kind, the lengths to which Grace goes in order to fit into the life that Diccan leads, even accepting his dalliances by demanding that he give her the same kind of pleasure that she actually witnesses being bestowed upon Diccan’s mistress.

Believe me, I am someone who loves dark heroes and by dark I mean the type that most readers tend to shy away from because they don’t fit into the feminist agenda that most readers of romance have these days. If I am being blunt, I found Grace to be a doormat heroine throughout most of the story, hiding her true passion and the fire inside of her for a man who pretty much neglects her as soon as she starts to mean something to him; all of course in the name of saving the country.

I found Diccan to be a tiresome hero at best. I just didn’t find him to be an alpha hero; I tend to call a hero alpha when he is decisive and able to take things in stride and do what is needed without petty excuses to make himself feel better. And while I can take cheating in a romance as long as there is even a dim light at the end of the tunnel which paves the way for redemption on the hero’s part, I am all for it. But the excuses that seemed to focus around Diccan being the savior of the country making him the kind of neglectful hero he was made him a complete turn off for me in most of the ways.

While certain readers seem to have fallen in love with the story, I would say that this could have definitely done much, much better! Dark heroes I am all for it, alpha asshole heroes; I can definitely live with them, but the kind of excuse of a hero Diccan turned out to be? I just don’t think I would ever be able to love someone like him.

If you are planning on reading Never a Gentleman, I would caution you to read book 1 first. Perhaps then Grace and Diccan’s character might make the impression that the author was going for on you.

Recommended for fans of the author.

Favorite Quotes

Not a kind word. Not a caress. His eyes were closed and his hands were fisted in her hair. She swore he was growling, and the sound reverberated in her chest. She felt impaled, split, the pressure of him inside her unbearable. Yet her body tightened, seeking him, reveling in his loss of control. She lifted up, arching to fit him inside of her. She closed her eyes, all her focus on the unbearable fullness, the sliding, searing pleasure of him as he pumped into her, the abrasion of cloth and buttons and stays as he took her on the hard wood floor.

He never asked. She never begged. He simply shifted and she spread her legs to welcome him home. He kissed her again, long and deep and wicked, and then he drove into her, and she forgot everything else. She forgot needing or belonging or having. She forgot pride and self-respect and a lonely woman’s despair. For these moments he was hers, and she let him be.

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