Requested ARC Review: The List by Joanna Bolouri

Format: E-bookthelist
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Hero: Oliver
Heroine: Phoebe Henderson
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 6, 2015
Started On: April 9, 2015
Finished On: April 9, 2015

The List by Joanna Bolouri is one of those laugh-out-loud variety romances that makes you feel good and break out in laughter even long after you are done. It all starts when the new year rolls in and Phoebe finds herself still pathetically single, going to therapy, trying to take her mind off the ex who had cheated on her and left her in the lurch.

Like many of us, Phoebe is one to make all sorts of new year resolutions that never see the light of day. However this year, Phoebe is determined that she’d stick to her resolution and see it through, even if it kills her. Thus she and her best friend Lucy get together and make a list, a list that would guarantee that she, Phoebe, would have sexual adventures of the kind that she has only read about, and that she would put herself first this time than anyone else.

Next thing you know, Phoebe finds herself with her friends-with-benefits partner, none other than the Irish sex demi-god Oliver himself, who happens to be one of her closest friends. Oliver has no issues with making her scream with pleasure, in showing her how desirable she is. However, both Oliver and Phoebe promise each other that they aren’t an exclusive item, and that’s where all the ‘misadventures’ of Phoebe’s sex life begins.

The List is written in first person, in Phoebe’s point of view. The whole cast of characters tended to give the story a Sex & the City vibe to it that I absolutely loved. I felt like I had come home to characters who could make me laugh, who could make me cry and yet again who could make me smile through my tears through the happy ending it delivered.

One cannot talk about the good stuff in The List without mentioning the hilarity it delivers. The humor. Oh the humor. At times you feel like you’re watching a movie where everything that can go wrong will go wrong, and yet there’s nothing like laughing your way through the good and bad and being able to look back and still smile when you know that you had gone through it all like a champion. That is the sort of tale that The List delivered and I gobbled it all up in just one sitting!

I would be remiss in my review if I were not to mention the impact that Oliver brought to the story. Oliver, the Irish bloke who teaches Phoebe that she is desirable and sexy and that she deserves better than the man she has continued to pine for for the past year. The fact that they’ve known each other for so long makes it even better, that they can be their true selves with each other without any pretenses speaks volumes on just how well suited they are for each other; Oliver is the kind of friends with benefit bloke every girl should have; funny, sexy as hell and practically a God when it comes to making a woman scream in bed!

Only thing that I didn’t like was missing out on Oliver’s point of view. I felt a bit cheated out because of the fact. I’d have loved to see even a glimpse into his mind, how he views Phoebe, the woman he has loved all this while, the woman whose love he’d been willing to forgo just so that he could spare her the hurt that he’d inevitably cause when he screwed things up! This is the one reason that I tend to dislike books written in first person, which is a fad that every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be following these days. I believe that Oliver’s viewpoint would have made the story more wholesome and given it a whole lot more emotional punch than the story delivers now.

I loved Phoebe. What is there not to love? I loved her courage; it must’ve taken a lot for her to actually take the step towards moving on even when heart kept clamoring for the man who’d cheated on her and hurt her in the worst way possible. Her cluelessness when it comes to Oliver is one that proved costly, but the angst the fact delivered to the story was one that made it all the more better!

Recommended! Couldn’t put it down. Even for a second. Highly readable!

Final Verdict: Fun & provocative. Loved it!

Favorite Quotes

“Take off your trousers.” I demanded.
I took off my skirt and tights, pulled my knickers to one side and slid down on him. Hard. I then whispered in his ear,
“I am going to fuck you so slowly and take every inch of you, until you’re begging me to let you come. Can you feel how wet I am already?”
He raised one eyebrow (man, I love it when he does that) and said, “Good god Phoebe! Keep talking like that and I think I’ll keep you.”
So I did.

We maneuvered round to the front of the car and he took down my tights and underwear. I say ‘took’, it was more of a ripping action, which would have been sexier had I not been wearing industrial strength pants and tights. With some help, they were flung in the nearby hedge and I was flipped over and shagged on the bonnet of the car, quite dramatically, and while it was obvious he wanted me, I could tell he was totally trying to out-shag Stuart so he could then jump up and down in front of me shouting “I’M THE WINNER, I’M THE FUCKING WINNER!!”
As he was kissing my neck he moved his mouth to my ear and said “It’s never this good with anyone else. Is it?”
I answered truthfully: “No. It isn’t.”

He slowly pulled down my bikini bottoms and began licking me, so slowly I felt my knees buckle and my face flush. He undid his jeans, wrapped my legs around his waist and held me up. I could feel the tree scratching my back and he went faster and faster and then he stopped, looked into my eyes and kissed me. I mean really kissed me and all I could do was kiss him back. It was passionate and as he started to move inside me again I cried out it was so intense.
“The thing about Ruth” he said as we fucked, “is that she’s not you Phoebe.”

He didn’t say anything. He walked to the door…and then he stopped. And he locked the door.
We made love right there on the bed. There was no shouting, or gymnastics or laughing. We were slow and quiet and we never took our eyes off each other. He was so gentle and the moment he entered me, I was so grateful to have him back inside me again, to feel him moving his hands over my thighs and to feel his mouth on mine. It was so intense and I came before he did. It was beautiful.
This morning when I woke up he was gone.

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

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Review: More Than Friends by Jess Dee

Format: E-bookmorethanfriends.jpeg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: More Than, #1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Sebastian Blackford
Heroine: Lucy Lawson
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: May 28, 2013
Started On: August 7, 2014
Finished On: August 7, 2014

I am a sucker for a good friends to lovers romance. I am also a sucker for the good bout of eroticism and romance that Jess Dee can deliver in her books. It goes to show just how out of the loop I have been to have missed out on Jess Dee’s More Than series which debuted in 2013 which I found out about only just last month. When I stumbled upon the series, I wasted no time in acquiring all three novellas and curled up in bed to enjoy the wild ride that only few authors such as Jess can only deliver.

Lucy Lawson has landed in the mother lord of all problems. She has fallen in love with her best friend going six years. Sebastian Blackford has no clue as to the mass riot of feelings coursing through Lucy’s heart, body and soul and feels gobsmacked when Lucy just lays it all out on him, the pent up desire and all that love laid bare for him to see.

Though Sebastian tells himself that he wants nothing more than friendship with Lucy, from the moment Lucy’s admission stamps images full of eroticism in his mind, there is no turning back from the desire that courses through him and practically floors him with the force of his want and desire.

More than Friends is a novella that hit all those spots with just 60 plus pages. The only thing more I could have asked for was a full fledged sex scene after all those scenes that served as foreplay and barely satiated my thirst for more of Sebastian. Its hard not to love all the male that Sebastian is. You’d just have to grab yourself a copy and find out for yourself lest I give too much away in my review.

A book that pulls no emotional punches, More than Friends is a testament to how an author who works for you can make even three short pages worth of a story give all that you want. Recommended for those who love quick, short and hot reads!

Final Verdict: Scorching hot. Sebastian will literally blow you away!

Favorite Quotes

Seb couldn’t help himself. He looked at the tub. And just like that, he was hard again. Painfully hard.
As fast as his head filled with images of a naked Lucy, lying in her bath, immersed in water with her hand buried between her legs, so blood filled his cock.
He saw her, her head thrown back, her neck arched, her breasts bobbing, nipples swollen and distended. And he wanted her. Wanted her with an intensity that blew his mind clean away.

Seb had no idea what made him do it, what clicked in his mind and made him act, but impulse took over. One minute Lucy was wrapped in his arms, pressed against his body, the next he’d backed her against the wall and ripped her top in two. Grabbed the neckline with his hands and torn it clean in half, from the top to the bottom, so it hung open, leaving her white lace bra exposed to his hungry—no, his starving—gaze.

“Other one,” she begged. “Kiss the other breast.”
He did. He kissed it, nipped at it, suckled on it and when a soft keening sound filled the air, bit it.
Jesus, what was it with the biting? When the fuck did he ever bite a woman?
Never, that’s when.
But with Loo it was different. With Loo it was essential. He had to bite. Had to taste her, had to…mark her.
Mark her. Fuck yeah. That’s exactly what he had to do.

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

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ARC Review: Rebound by Sabrina York

Format: E-bookrebound
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Tryst Island, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Cameron Jackson
Heroine: Kristi Cross
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 13, 2013
Started On: June 6, 2014
Finished On: June 7, 2014

Rebound by Sabrina York was my first experience of Sabrina York and boy, what a wild delicious tingly ride that was. Rebound tells the story of Kristi Cross who had just ended things with her a-hole of a boyfriend and turned up at the vacation house she shared with a couple of her college buddies for some much needed downtime. What Kristi doesn’t plan on is sharing quarters with her long time crush Cameron Jackson who has always made her heart beat just a little faster and her palms sweat with lust and wanting.

When Kristi finds out that Cameron might harbor the same sort of feelings towards her, all bets are off in the exploration of their mutual desire for each other which practically burns the pages up! Sabrina York definitely knows to do sizzle well and does she do it ever so well! I liked the emotional aspect of the story that developed at the same pace as the physical aspect. And being a sucker for a friends to lovers romance, well lets just say this book wooed me beyond my expectations.

All the books in the Tryst Island series sounds like they would prove to be entertaining and helluva sexy reads that I would love to check out. If you have got time for a quick sizzle filled read, take this up and indulge. You just might find yourself in need for a swim to cool off after. Recommended!

Final Verdict: Fun, flirty and oh so sexy!

Favorite Quotes

“You too,” he commanded and then all thought escaped him as she complied, yanking her blouse over her head without even unbuttoning it. “Holy fuck.”
All he could do was stare. Stare at her exquisite breasts, full and heavy and cupped in some kind of Victoria’s Secret torture device. Torture for men, that was. Her bra was lacy and black and had tantalizing curlicues that framed her milky globes in a way designed to drive a man insane.

If he wasn’t mistaken—and he didn’t think he was—she’d come. Just then. To a tiny touch.
Holy. Fuck.
Insanity raged.
Need raged.
Pounding passion, a mindless urge possessed him.
He flipped her over and yanked down her panties, so she stood before him, bared to him, bent over the table, legs splayed as far as her pooling jeans would allow. Without a word, he unzipped his jeans, yanked out his cock, and thrust it home.

Cam didn’t bother to worry that anyone upstairs heard. He didn’t care. He didn’t care about anything but swamping her, filling her, flooding her.
And it came. He came.
Hot, scorching, delicious release. Sweet relief, twined with the most powerful bliss he’d ever known.
Because he was in her.
In Kristi.
The way he’d ached to be. Finally.
And she’d been magnificent.

His cock swelled.
His hips churned.
Her body wept.
Sanity fled.
Somewhere in the deep miasma of roiling bliss, she felt the hot rushing tide of his orgasm as he flooded her. She gloried in it. Welcomed it. Jet after jet of scalding passion. All for her.
It seemed to go on forever.

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

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Review: Almost A Bride by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-bookalmostabride
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Montana Born Brides
Publisher: Tule Publishing Group
Hero: Reid Dalton
Heroine: Tara Buck
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 12, 2014
Started On: April 23, 2014
Finished On: April 24, 2014

Almost a Bride by Sarah Mayberry is one of those novels that managed to put a smile on my face, not the least of it because Sarah wrote it; that is always a reason to cheer on. Though this novel is a tad shorter than the SuperRomance novels that Sarah usually writes for Harlequin, the story nevertheless carried the punch that always comes with a book from Sarah and I loved every minute of it.

Tara Buck and Reid Dalton have been partners for over a year at the Bozeman Police Department. Tara who is engaged to be married to her fiancé Simon finds her world turned upside down when she finds out in the worst possible manner that Simon had been cheating on her. Tara, who had always played it safe and done the right thing to avoid just that from happening suddenly finds herself at a loss on how to deal with the vortex of emotions and self realizations that her life becomes from that point onwards.

Reid is a wanderer, one of those people who suffers from itchy feet syndrome on staying around one place for too long. It is a family emergency that brings him back to his parents in Bozeman and from the minute he had walked into the Bozeman PD and laid eyes on Tara, there had been that electrifying connection that had happened between them, which ever since had been forged into a solid friendship, a line that Reid dares not cross, especially when Tara is vulnerable and hurting. But then again, in the matters of the heart, there is no saying what can happen when two people who are obviously meant for each other suddenly finds that nothing is stopping them from exploring what might be.

I loved Reid and Tara. Sarah has a way of creating heroes who are earthy and so sexy that even their mere presence alone makes one hum a bit every now and then. And Reid was just one of those heroes who could electrify a page just by merely walking into it. Yep ladies, he was that good.

Tara was just lovely; no two ways about it. I could actually feel the pain that she must have felt, the sense of betrayal and later on her confusion when the self realizations had started to hit her. What you get when you pick up a Sarah Mayberry is a romance with two rational people, who can actually communicate with each other and solve problems. But that doesn’t mean Sarah doesn’t toss in a bit of angst every now and the to her stories. On the contrary this one had its moments too which I absolutely reveled in.

Recommended for fans of Sarah Mayberry and those who love friends to lovers romances.

Final Verdict: Sweetly endearing!

Favorite Quotes

Need driving her, she straddled him once again and guided him into place. The exquisite pressure of him filling her, stretching her, made her clutch at his shoulders as she took him all. His hand slid to the back of her neck, squeezing lightly.
“Give me a second,” he said, his voice very low, his hand holding her still.
She understood. She’d expected it to be good, but she hadn’t expected it to be profound.
This felt right. Right and so good and absolutely essential.

He broke from her briefly to push them all the way down, helping her do the same, then he set her on the arm of the couch and slid inside her. She wrapped her legs around him, kissing him avidly as he began to move.
“You feel so good,” he whispered in her ear. “I want to do this forever.”
“Yes.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

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Requested ARC Review: Snowbound With The Soldier by Jennifer Faye

Format: E-booksnowboundwiththesoldier
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Hero: Jason Smith
Heroine: Kara Jameson
Sensuality: 2
Date of Publication: October 1, 2013
Started On: September 29, 2013
Finished On: October 5, 2013

Jason Smith returns to his hometown of Pleasant Valley as a scarred man, willing to do whatever it takes to put his family legacy that happens to be the Greene Summit Resort to rights. What he doesn’t count on is to find out that Kara Jameson, the woman he had broken off their engagement with seven years back happens to be none other than the go-to person when it comes to handling things at the resort. And on top of that, the ferocious sexual attraction that had been between them that comes zinging back to life not to be denied is not something he contended on dealing with.

Kara still hasn’t forgotten the way Jason had walked away without a second glance. The way he had broken her heart which had eventually led to the conception of her beautiful daughter Samantha and the hard years that had followed plus the sacrifices that she had made along the way. Its not easy for Kara to trust Jason once more and to put her heart and that of her daughter Samantha’s on the line while the past still continues to haunt both of them over the way things had ended.

While Snowbound with the Solder started out on an upbeat note, I found that the story waned a bit towards the middle and managed to lose its wow factor towards the end. At the beginning the sizzling tension between Jason and Kara was alive, something that I felt every time I turned the pages. But towards the middle the story lost its focus on that aspect and moved towards the familial bit where Jason wins over the heart of the adorable Samantha and in the process manages to rekindle the love that had never been totally lost when it had come to Kara and him.

The secret that Jason holds close to his heart, the bitterness of it all which had led him to break off his engagement and enlist in the military was one that touched me. I don’t know what I would have done under the circumstances but I felt my heart go out to him on the burden that Jason had carried on his shoulders all throughout the years, obliterating whatever happy memories that he had had of his childhood. It takes a lot for Jason to forgive and move on and that was one aspect of the story that I liked.

I wanted to see more of Kara and Jason in terms of their emotional intimacy being built up enough for Kara to trust him once again. Jason does go for the grand gesture towards the end but somehow I felt that there was something missing when it comes to the couple in question. I also would have dearly loved to see the dreams Jason had for his resort materialize but the story ended right before any of that could happen.

All in all I would say not a bad read but this story could have turned out into a wonderful one if closure had come to all facets of the story that unfolded.

Final Verdict: A scarred ex-military hero who returns to his hometown to find that when it comes to love, sometimes people do get second chances.

Purchase Links: Amazon | BookDepo | B&N | Harlequin

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ARC Review: Life of the Party by Kate Davies

Format: E-booklifeoftheparty
Read with: Bluefire Reader for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Girls Most Likely To…, #3
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Jeremy Wright
Heroine: Tess Bonham
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: July 8, 2013
Started On: July 1, 2013
Finished On:July 1, 2013

Hero: Jeremy Wright moves to Silverton as the hotel manager & finds that he has a reason to stay in the woman he befriends and has crushed on for a long while.

Heroine: Tess Bonham is known as the ‘Life of the Party’, not because she has partied hard but rather the opposite. She’s the one who organises and arranges events and the one everyone depends upon; sometimes to the extent of taking advantage of her.

Storyline: Life of the Party is the 3rd and final book in the Girls Most Likely To… series by Kate Davies. The story revolves around Tess and her hot and wild affair which begins as a friends-with-benefits arrangement, or so she thinks. Little does Tess know that Jeremy has a whole lot of other plans for that involves her that stretches into a long, long while. 

Setting: Life of the Party is set in the small town of Silverton and is told from both Tess and Jeremy’s points of view.

Likes: By far, Life of the Party is my favourite from the series. Main reason being that I loved both Tess and Jeremy, perhaps because they’d both been around a bit in the previous books and I felt like I knew them somehow. Kate has done a wonderful job in creating a believable sense of connection between Jeremy and Tess and I couldn’t have asked for more in a novel of this length.

Jeremy is the kind of hero I love best. He has a wicked sense of humour that got to me right from the very beginning. Though younger than Tess, Jeremy seems very mature and though has been hurt before doesn’t bring along all those nightmares into his relationship with Tess. I am a goner for a hero who utters the endearment ‘sweetheart’ and I found myself practically swooning every time Jeremy flashed that wicked grin of his and uttered hot dirty talk that revved up more than Tess’s engines.

Tess is quite the loveable character in her own right. I loved the fact that she’s the sort of person who goes above and beyond for the people that she cares about. Her self esteem requires a bit of a boost which Jeremy certainly helps along with and I found the way Tess was worried she might mess things up with Jeremy so endearing and relatable! And I loved, loved, loved the way Jeremy brought to life the wicked side of the otherwise prim, proper and conservative Tess.

The fact that Jeremy and Tess can be themselves around each other and still want each other to the extent they do; that’s what made this book a winner in my opinion.

Dislikes: None.

Recommended for: Fans of Kate Davies; fans of the series & fans of older women-younger hero romances.

Final Verdict: Jeremy, oh dear Jeremy. You’ve made me a believer of dirty talkin’.

Favorite Quotes

A grin spread across his face.
“C’mere.”
“Right here?” She looked around, heat crawling up her neck. The sounds of the pub employees moving around outside clearly filtered into the little room.
“Right here, right now.” He held out his hand and she took it, hoping her trembling fingers wouldn’t give her nervousness away. “I’ve been wanting to do this all day.”
He tugged her closer, bringing their bodies into contact, and wrapped his arm around her waist, holding her own hand behind her. Then he lowered his head and kissed her.

“Jeremy,” she said, her voice pleased. “When did you get—”
Her sentence cut off as he pulled her out the door into the alley behind the pub. Turning her around, he pressed her up against the rough brick exterior, stepped between her legs and kissed her.
Within moments, he was achingly, ragingly hard. He rocked into her, letting her feel how much he wanted her, and she moaned into his mouth. He slipped a hand under her thigh, urging her leg up, and she wrapped it around him willingly. They were as close as they could get without losing articles of clothing, and he sure as hell resented the fabric that separated them.

Finally, finally, he moved between her legs, raising her up with both hands beneath her gorgeous ass, and slid all the way home.
They both groaned at the sensation, and he had to stop for a moment, buried to the hilt, as he fought off a too-soon orgasm. It was everything he’d been waiting for—hot and tight and so, so wet. He dropped his forehead to her shoulder and breathed her in. Then he began to move.
Slowly at first, the drag and press of each inch waking nerve endings that had been long dormant.

With the lift of a shoulder, he headed toward his office. “Come on, let’s take a look at the schedule.”
The minute she was inside his office, he had the door shut and Tess crowded up against it. Her hair, so neat and tidy in that auburn topknot, started to slip and loosen. Something inside Jeremy did the same. He kissed her, long and slow, and it wasn’t until she damn near whimpered that he finally pulled away.

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

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Score Sheet Review: Challenging Carter by Kate Davies

Format: E-bookchallengingcarter.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
Hero: Carter Matthews
Heroine: Dani Williams
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: February 13, 2007
Started On: March 19, 2012
Finished On: March 19, 2012

CATEGORY SCORE GRADE
The hero 90 A
The heroine 90 A
Story line 80 A
Emotional Intensity 80 A
Suck me in Factor 80 A
Heat & Sensuality  90 A
Conflicts 85 A
Writing Style 85 A
Quotable Factor 60 B
Ending 85 A
Overall Grade 82.5  A

Score Sheet Summary

It was my hankering to read a friends-to-lovers romance that led me to purchasing and reading Challenging Carter by Kate Davies. Carter Matthews and Dani Williams are best friends and have been together in business for the past 8 years. While Carter heads Outdoor Sports Equipment, Dani is the Financial Analyst of the company who constantly tries to get Carter to stick to the estimated budget for expenses.

Dani has always been in love with Carter and he has no clue. Dani is an introvert, who feels more comfortable working than socializing. It is Carter’s pestering about a Fitness Challenge that has Dani taking up strip aerobics that gives her that extra edge which starts driving Carter out of his ever loving mind.

The scenes of passion were of the steamy hot variety. The thing I loved most about this novella was the friendship between Carter and Dani and Carter’s ability to goof around and get Dani to lighten up. This was evident even in the most sensually charged scenes of the story and that is one reason why I loved Dani and Carter’s story.

The one thing that I did miss however was the lack of background story which I know is not possible most of the time when it comes to a novella. But a friends to lovers romance becomes that much more real if their past comes up and delivers those tidbits that makes the characters more appealing and give that extra bite of sexual tension that drives the reader to the very edge. 

If you are looking for a short story to stick in between lengthier reads and if you love the friends to lovers trope, give Challenging Carter a go.

Favorite Quotes

Then he strode across the room and kissed her.
It was a crazy, impulsive act, but the minute his lips touched hers he knew it was the right thing to do.
She tasted like sex and sin and forbidden fruit, and he couldn’t get enough.

It should have been awkward. They’d taken their relationship from casual to over-the-top intimate in six-point-two seconds, without all the typical steps in between.
But all Dani could think, wrapped in Carter’s arms, was that finally she was right where she was supposed to be.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BoB | Samhain

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Score Sheet Review: Flash Point by Shelli Stevens

Format: E-bookflashpoint.JPG
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Holding Out for a Hero, Book 3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Todd Wyatt
Heroine: Caitleen (Kate)
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 8, 2011
Started On: March 5, 2012
Finished On: March 5, 2012

CATEGORY SCORE GRADE
The hero 90 A
The heroine 90 A
Story line 90 A
Emotional Intensity 90 A
Story’s ability to suck me in 90 A
Heat & Sensuality  95 A
Conflicts within the story 90 A
Writing Style 95 A
Quotable Factor 60 A
The Ending 80 A
Overall Grade 87 A

Score Sheet Summary

Flash Point is a novella that I have been meaning to read for quite sometime. Almost a year to the date that it was first published, I managed to find some time to squeeze this novella in between some of my heavy reads and I enjoyed the escape that Shelli Stevens provided with this red-hot novella which combines elements of friends turning into lovers with a hero who is commitment phobic to the extreme and a heroine who is sunny, bubbly and vivacious as they come.

Todd Wyatt might want to go on thinking of Kate as a younger sister. But something vital in their relationship seems to have shifted after that tentative kiss that Kate had placed on him 5 months back and for the world of him Todd cannot seem to get the kiss out of his mind.

Kate has been half in love with Todd almost all her adult life, no wonder when Todd is the type of man that every woman in the vicinity wants to tame and call their own. But Kate knows that Todd is not the type for a long term relationship, but even that doesn’t stop her from staking her claim and taking anything and everything that Todd is ready and willing to give, even if it means that Kate would have to walk away nursing a broken heart when all is said and done.

I loved this installment of the Holding Out for a Hero series. Todd is a fireman who has got his own set of insecurities to deal with and the best thing about him was his possessiveness when it comes to Kate, which even he cannot explain. Kate was just lovely, a heroine that I utterly adored in all the ways.

Highly recommended, this is a novella best read after at least reading book 2 in the series, Command and Control which was the book that intrigued me to look up Todd and Kate’s story.

Favorite Quotes

[Todd] “There isn’t a woman I’m trying to impress with baking. I made that up.”
Kate frowned, stilling in her efforts to free herself. “Why did you say that then?”
“Damn it, to keep this from happening.” His head blocked out the light as it dipped, and then his mouth crashed down on hers.
Shock ripped through her as his lips masterfully parted hers, his tongue plunging inside to taste her.

She teetered to catch her balance, but his arm still held her, kept her from falling. And then his mouth crashed down on hers and her balance went wonky for other reasons.
Kate clutched his shoulders and moaned, parting her lips to his fierce kiss. The smell of his familiar, spicy cologne filled her senses. His tongue explored every inch of her mouth, his hands roving over her body. It was deliberate. A man staking his claim. Every female instinct inside of her could sense it.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Samhain | BoB

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Requested Review: Secretly More by Lux Zakari

Format: E-booksecretlymore
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Etopia Press
Hero: Jay Navarrete
Heroine: Kimber York
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 8, 2011
Started On: December 23, 2011
Finished On: December 24, 2011

Secretly More by Lux Zakari is a novel of one of my favorite tropes in romance. Yes, a friends to lovers story, a trope that I haven’t visited of late. My first Lux Zakari turned out to be a novel that ended on a bittersweet note, the difference in Lux Zakari’s prose and style in presenting her novel what made me an instant fan of hers. So I was expecting more of the same I suspect when I delved into this novel, but boy am I glad that I was proven wrong and was delivered with a happily ever after that had me humming all the while in satisfaction.

Jay Navarrete and Kimber York have been best of friends for almost 10 years through which Jay had been head over heels in love with Kimber. Kimber has no clue as to how Jay feels about her. Kimber’s relationship with her guitarist boyfriend Dane which sees its share of downs more than a relationship should sets Jay’s teeth on edge and though he would like nothing better than to come out clean and tell Kimber of his less than friend like feelings he has for her, the thought that Kimber would never ever feel the same way about him stops him cold.

When the opportunity presents itself in the form of a blind folded Kimber who is looking for a sexual escapade that would show her what she has been missing out on in her relationship with Dane is one that Jay cannot turn his back on. And before he knows it, he and Kimber lights up the sheets, each so hot for the other that reality comes crashing down only afterwards. Kimber who is blissfully unaware of the person who rocks her world in ways she has never felt before wants more of the person, her instinctive trust when it comes to her mystery man a surprising one in itself.

Through a lot of misunderstandings, feelings of betrayal and utter hopelessness on both sides, Lux Zakari weaves a tale of friends turning to lovers that makes for a great read, delivering the reader with scorching scenes of passion between a determined Jay and a willing Kimber which just makes the scenes that much more headier. I flat-out loved Jay’s character. He is a bit of an introvert and a nerd, and a cute one at that, someone who is always there for Kimber through thick and thin, someone who would rather cut off a part of his body than inflict hurt or pain on the woman he loves.

It took me sometime to warm up to Kimber. Surprisingly, it was seeing Kimber through Jay’s eyes that I felt myself warm up towards her, the way Jay sums up Kimber’s character that had me seeing her in a whole new light. The ending which was a fitting one for the two of them with a future that looms in front with endless possibilities was a heartwarming one. Recommended for those who love the friends to lovers trope of the erotic variety. Plenty of emotion to go along with scorching sex; what more can a fan ask for?

Favorite Quotes

“Still feel like talking?” she murmured against his mouth.
In response, he tore her panties down with a speed and finesse that left her speechless. She heard him rummage in his pocket and a foil wrapper rip, then he tugged her back in his lap, her knees on either side of him. He kissed her while she felt between them, fumbling for his c#ck and finding it already sheathed in latex. The knowledge that it was in preparation to fuck her made her dizzy with want.

 

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | All Romance Ebooks

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ARC Review: Unwrapped by Cari Quinn

Format: E-bookunwrapped
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Loose ID
Hero: Tristan, Matthew
Heroine: Caitlyn Sachs
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: December 6, 2011
Started On: December 5, 2011
Finished On: December 5, 2011

Reading is a luxury I can barely afford these days, time wise. With my day job taking up the whole day and my new exercise regime taking up quite a patch of the time available for reading, I am too tired most nights to really concentrate on a book and see it through. But Unwrapped by Cari Quinn, which I opened up with quite a few reservations since I have never delved into a ménage themed book before kept me engrossed late into the night, my fascination for the characters, the storyline and of course Ms. Quinn’s fabulous way with the words that just refused to shake off its hold on me.

Caitlyn Sachs is about to turn 25 and has a teeny tiny problem that she wants to deal with and be done over with. Cait has always been the good girl in the family, the one her mother has always counted on to follow the rules. The fact that her childhood had been spent trying to become as different from the rest of her family as possible had led her to be one of the extraordinarily rare women to still be a virgin, and she would like nothing better than to ask one of her best friends to take care of the problem. A couple of thrusts in and out and the one she choses would be done with it is how Cait envisions the encounter would be, not really knowing the complete 180 degree turn her life would take once the cat leaps out of the proverbial bag.

Matt and Tristan have been biding their time, their love for the woman who shares their professional and personal life a visceral part of the bond that keeps them together. So when Cait stumbles upon Matt and Tristan in a position that will forever be etched onto her mind, Matt seizes the opportunity to finally make all their dreams come true knowing that either they would all come out as winners or lose a friendship that means so much to all of them.

Though I am not new to the erotica genre, I am a virgin when it comes to ménages and sex between more than two heterosexual partners. And I don’t really know how to express on what I was expecting when I delved into Cari Quinn’s latest because lets face it, if the author is Cari Quinn my response has always been “Hell yes!”. So there I was, gingerly turning the pages, as skittish as a new born colt, prepared to flee the minute things got to be too much for me. But I should have trusted Cari a bit more because underneath the very hot and well done encounters between two sexy as sin heroes and one very virginal heroine, Cari managed to give me the angst, the emotion and the conflicts that she handles so very well in her stories, something that I crave for in my romances.

As much as the off the charts scorching hot sex got to me (and believe me it did), it was the emotional impact of the novel that had me glued to the pages, foregoing sleep just so I could experience the magic that is the combination of Cait, Matt and Tristan. The complexities of such a relationship, its impact on their loved ones and other such questions I have always had about such an arrangement even long before I read this were answered and though I know that this is fiction, it was heartwarming to see Cari give all aspects of at times their complex relationship equal amounts of time and attention.

I loved both Tristan and Matt. They are both so different from one another but yet they are a case of opposites attract, their relationship forged out of their mutual desire for the woman who shares their lives, though Cait might be totally clueless at first. I loved Tristan’s intensity, the way he has that no holds barred attitude towards their sexual encounters as well as the other more complex aspects of their relationship. It is Matt who serves as the peacemaker, the one who formulates, plots and plans and kicks into gear the weekend of decadent pleasure that is initiated to win over Cait’s affection.

Cait is the glue that holds their three pillar relationship together. Though Cait might crave for “normalcy” and wants to write off their weekend as a one time thing, deep down inside she knows that without Matt and Tristan in her life, she might as well be buried six feet under. And I loved Cait’s character because she knows exactly what her two lovers want and need from each other and has the guts to prick and poke at them until they are ready to give in.
I have that first encounter between Tristan and Matt that Cait spies on etched which would be onto my mind forever. The power and restrained violence of the encounter (whew!), needless to say, I could totally become a m/m fan girl if that is what the genre entails.

Though I would always remain a m/f fan girl at heart, I am just thankful that my first attempt at reading a ménage featuring sexual acts between the two males involved didn’t scar me for life. In fact in true Cari Quinn style, Unwrapped charmed and enticed me to look beyond the surface to find out that underneath all the panty-drenching hot sex, there is ALWAYS plenty of emotion and character development happening in her novels that just makes Cari’s style of erotica unbeatable.

For those who love ménages of the m/m/f variety, Cari Quinn’s Unwrapped is definitely a treat for your senses. And for those who love their erotica not just for the sake of panty melting hot sex, Cari Quinn definitely delivers on the emotion and angst that undoubtedly makes this book a winner all around.

Favorite Quotes

Idly, he (Matt) twirled a lock of her hair. “You think I coerced him the way you obviously believe I do with women?”
“You got him into bed. Not the other way around. Right. That’s why he was inside you, ramming away.”
“You’ll learn, sweetness, that sometimes the one on the bottom isn’t any less powerful than the one on top.”

At first it was the complete antithesis of the kiss she’d shared with Matthew. That one had been crazy, emotional. Uncontrolled. This was a gentle mating of lips. Soft, sweet, and easy. He didn’t press for her to grant him access, but she gave it, opening for him with a low moan.

Trying to get himself back in line, he kissed the inside of her knee. She touched his hair, reaching down to loosen his ponytail like he’d done with hers. She brushed her fingers over the back of his neck, saying more with that one gesture than she could have with a thousand words.I want you. I trust you. I love you.

He (Tristan) pushed her onto her back and braced his arms on either side of her shoulders as he ranged his body over hers, nudging his cock against her in the most intimate way possible.
With the slightest flex, he’d be buried inside her—without a condom. And she didn’t even possess the strength to tell him no.

He (Tristan) ripped his mouth away and raised above her, his expression positively lethal despite his ragged panting. “If I didn’t love you, I’d do it and hope to God you got pregnant. Even though it would be stupid for a lot of reasons, I’d do it.” He swore and grabbed a fistful of the pillow beside them. “Christ, I can’t think when I’m around you.”

Deaf and blind to all but her pants and her hazy bluebell eyes as she rocked into bliss, he clenched her hips as if she held his life in her hands.
Like she already held his heart.

He framed her face between his palms and met her eyes. Everything inside her slid into place, key into lock. Then he lowered his head and took her mouth in a kiss that felt more like oral f#cking than it did an easy mating of lips and tongues.

Purchase Links: LooseID 

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