ARC Review: Loving You Is Easy by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: E-booklovingyouiseasy
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Loveswept
Hero: Shane Alexander Develen
Heroine: Brooke Ellstein
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 9, 2014
Started On: December 4, 2014
Finished On: December 5, 2014

Loving You is Easy is a book that starts off in an intriguing manner. November 2011, Brooke Ellstein, a 7th and 8th grade Math teacher who also happens to be the daughter of a prominent politician in New York starts corresponding with Sergeant Shane Develeen in the manner of pen pals. Fast forward to July of next year and these two meet for the first time, Brooke having fallen for Shane even with his warning that he is not looking for a girlfriend to mess with his head.

Devastation hits Brooke when a photograph in which she posed for Shane finds its way to the Internet. Feeling betrayed at the knowledge that Shane had been home for more than 2 months and never contacted her, Brooke feels like her entire life is falling apart until Shane walks up to her door, a man scarred from the war, with a gigantic chip on his shoulder that won’t quit. Shane’s only reason for showing up is to put things to right or so he tells himself.

From the start, Shane had believed that a classy woman like Brooke would have no place in her life for a man like him. After nearly losing his life on the job and with the scars to prove it, Shane is adamant and steadfast in his belief and need to keep Brooke at arms length and that she doesn’t expect something more to happen between them than just friendship. But then life and love has a way of breaking even the toughest of them and the more Shane learns about the woman that Brooke hides behind the facade of rigid control and discipline that has been her life, the more little shards of doubt begins to penetrate into Shane’s firmly held conviction that they aren’t meant to be.

Loving You is Easy is a book that is easy to read given that Wendy is an author who writes well and portrays a lot of emotions in her stories. Brooke’s past when revealed turned out to be a heartbreaking one, making one question exactly just how much families and their children suffer when either of the parents chooses to pursue a political career. Brooke’s emotional strength was an admirable trait, her closest friends the ones keeping her sane.

Shane is a bit of a grouch and a tad hard to like but given the circumstances he finds himself in, I guess a little bit of anger at the fates was called for. My disappointment with Shane stemmed from his lack of belief in Brooke, who gives him no reason to doubt her. If it had been just one instance, I could have brushed it off and thanked the stars for the angst that the misunderstanding had brought to the story. But more than once and especially under a situation where Brooke had needed his support, I just felt a bit letdown from all that. The saving grace was the fact that he seemed to pick up the pieces and get Brooke back. I would also have loved to see Shane’s issues related to his injuries and the resultant PTSD looked at with just a tad more detail. Judging from how the story had proceeded, I’d like to bet that Brooke’s best friend Neve is going to get her own story pretty soon!

Recommended for fans of Wendy and fans of war torn heroes.

Final Verdict: With a bit of grouch and a whole lot of classy, Wendy’s newest release gives a good read!

Favorite Quotes

“This guy bothering you?” he asked, not at all interested in getting to know the snake trying to slither into Brooke’s life.
“No,” she said, breathing heavily, her cheeks pink, her expression filled with innocence. She had no idea how sexy she looked in her outfit, or how that loser kept dropping back to ogle her butt. “He asked me—”
Shane cupped the back of her head, leaned forward, and silenced her with a kiss. He hadn’t planned it. In fact, the urge struck him completely by surprise. He chose not to fight it, because in that moment he could think of no words to adequately express the fierceness of his feelings. Possessive, protective, and pissed as shit she’d been enjoying time spent with some stranger rather than with him.

“All right. I get it.” Her running mate’s words broke his trance. “Let her breathe.”
Shane let her go, cursing himself for losing control, for being so rough. Without his support she swayed. He caught her. She appeared dazed, her pupils dilated. “Why’d you do that?” she whispered.
“He was bothering me.”

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


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 


Requested Review: Insatiable by Cari Quinn

Format: E-book
Opens with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Loose Id
Hero: Shawn Griffin
Heroine: Rachel Cooper
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: February 15, 2011
Started On: February 15, 2011
Finished On: February 15, 2011

I was so very psyched to wake up this morning to see Cari’s message on Twitter that she was sending over a copy of Insatiable, her debut novel on LooseID for review. Add to this the fact that this one is of my favorite theme/trope where friends turn into lovers coupled with the fact that today is a state holiday over here, I was in book heaven right from the very first moment I loaded this book onto my Kindle and entered Rachel and Shawn’s world where they both made me practically insatiable to learn everything about them and to reach their happily ever after.

30 year old Shawn Griffin is an esteemed architect and the only child of the Griffins who own an architecture firm known throughout the West Coast. Born and bred in Calvin Bay of California, Shawn is blessed with surfer good looks, feline green eyes and golden hair from his mother and a laser-like focus and intensity from his CEO father. Shawn’s only regret in life is the fact that he had turned down his best friend’s proposal that they become intimate when she had been 16 years old and curiosity had taken a hold of her that in turn had driven her into another man’s arms. Shawn is a man who is biding his time for the right moment to woo the love of his life into his arms forever, a man who has been infatuated with his childhood friend and best buddy since forever and been in love with her for at least half a dozen years.

28 year old Rachel Cooper is the youngest child of the Coopers who publish the magazine for tony fashionistas in the West Coast. A middle school music teacher, Rachel had met Shawn minutes after entering into this world, thanks to the lifelong friendship between their families. Shawn had become her best girlfriend, regardless of the fact he is a guy, long before she had even realized that being his best friend was what she wanted. Apart from the one time when she had been 16 years old and had found feelings of an alien kind inhabiting her body whenever she had been around Shawn, Rachel had never considered opening up her heart to Shawn in the forever kind of manner until the connection and attraction that has always simmered between them comes right up against her, with no holds-barred when Shawn decides to focus his laser-like intensity on winning her affections.

It is when Rachel decides to go on a no-holds-barred sex vacation to New York and rekindle the flames with her high school boyfriend that all hell breaks loose and Shawn unleashes all his pent up longing and desire to claim Rachel as his. Rachel is as skittish as commitment phobic heroines come and add to the equation her tendency to ALWAYS go against what her parents gently prod her and urge her to do, when Shawn and her getting married and having a couple of beautiful babies is what both their families have always hinted at all their life.

Shawn has his work cut out for him when he follows Rachel to New York and competing with the Harley riding ex-boyfriend of Rachel’s seems to require his undivided attention. With Rachel as skittish as a wild horse that needs taming when it comes to facing the intense nature of the feelings that sweep them both away on a  journey of sensual awakening that just lights up the reader’s world in a kaleidescope of colors, Shawn is in it to win and make Rachel face what she has always longed for ever since they had both grown up. When tragedy comes calling, it is then that both Rachel and Shawn needs to decide whether theirs is a love that can weather all storms and come out triumphant in the end.

There are so many, many good things about this delectable novel. First of all, I love the fact that this is by far the longest story by Cari Quinn I have had the fortune of reading and that fact alone is enough to make this girl happy. I love Cari’s style of writing, the sense of humor that she injects into her stories and the fact that her characters all come alive and she makes us feel for them in every way; and to go through all this in a longer novel by her was just in that fact alone awesome! I would say that Cari Quinn has outdone herself with this one and I hope she continues to wow me and take my breathe away with stories that are going to follow this one.

When I always pick up an erotic romance, rarely do I expect it to deliver much apart from good smut to send my heart racing and a big goofy grin on my face due to the happily ever after the romance delivers. However, when you pick up a novel by Cari, you definitely know that you will be getting much, much more than just that. Likewise, Shawn and Rachel are both just lovable characters that I fell in love with right away. Their relationship shown through many a conversation and good memories they have of each other shows that they are friends in the truest sense. And oh my ever loving Lord I tell you, the heat between these two is enough to light up the entire Maldives for centuries to come. I found myself holding in my breath, with my heart racing and thudding to keep up with the action between the sheets and many a wicked position these two found themselves in along the way. All in all, very well done, a story that definitely ends up as a favorite of mine in this theme/trope.

And don’t for the love of God get me started on Shawn Griffin or I wouldn’t be able to control myself. The guy just totally made my day, hell he made my whole month by practically lighting up the pages with his very presence and making me swoon damn near every time he comes up with one romantic plan or the other to woo the woman of his dreams into his life always and forever. Shawn definitely knows what good, hot loving is all about and also knows just how to cherish the woman he loves which makes me long for things better left unsaid. *grin*

There is not a single thing that I would change in this story and am so very ecstatic that Cari picked me as one of the reviewers to receive a copy of this beautiful, heartwarming and very sexy story. If you love a good friends to lovers story with plenty of red, hot loving that can leave you breathless and wanting for more with well developed characters and a story that delivers on all fronts, buy yourself a copy and indulge. I dare you not to want a Shawn Griffin of your own halfway through!

Favorite Quotes

“So go.” Shawn lifted his hands to her face. “In a minute.”
Rather than swooping in to ravage, he stretched his fingers over her cheeks, cradling them in his palms as his lips brushed hers. With that first taste, as wicked and dark as her wine red lipstick, heat coursed through his veins to gather in his groin.
It took all his will not to crush her against him as her fingers curled over his shoulders. But when her tongue slipped between his lips to war with his, he nearly lost his shaky grip on the torrent of need choke-chained inside him.

Then Rachel walked into the room, her short geisha girl outfit revealing a mile and a half of leg, and his muscles locked as if he were a wolf that had just scented his mate.
She wasn’t the most beautiful woman in the crowd. Wasn’t the most alluring or even the most striking. But to him, she was the only.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Loose Id


Review: Firsts by Rosalie Stanton

Format: E-bookfirsts
Read with: Adobe Reader
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: LooseID
Hero: Wesley Manor (Thorn)
Heroine: Savannah Evans
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 3, 2009
Started On: December 5, 2010
Finished On: December 5, 2010

This has got to be one of the best “friends-to-lovers” themed romances that I have had the fortune of coming across. Anyone who knows me at all would know that I absolutely adore romances of this theme. I wish I had not let this one sit in my to-be-read pile for as long as it did. This is my first Rosalie Stanton and it definitely, absolutely won’t be my last if she pens contemporary romances like this one.

This story kicks off in the midst of the conversation that takes place between Wesley Manor (Thorn) and his best friend Savannah Evans, when she drops the bombshell that she wants to get rid of her virginity and that she wants Thorn to take care of the matter for her. Thorn had fallen head-over-heels in love with Savannah since he had first seen her pretty round face with chocolate ice cream smeared across her mouth when he had first moved to the States with his father. The move to the States which 3 year old Thorn had viewed with nothing but intense dislike had suddenly vanished at the sight of Savannah and the friendship that had developed between them had been as natural as a new born babe takes to breathing.

Thorn works hard at keeping his feelings of the baser nature and his love towards his best friend, the woman who is the other half of his soul from ever finding it out. But the proposal that Savannah drops in his lap shocks the bejesus out of him, and knowing how he is helpless when it comes to denying anything that Savannah wants, Thorn agrees to being the guy who would pop her cherry so to say, all the while knowing that he wouldn’t be able to walk away with even one tiny piece of his heart intact.

With the first sizzling kiss that Thorn places on Savannah, her world as she had known it comes crumbling down at her feet. Something she had thought would be a simple enough matter suddenly seems more complicated than she realized as Savannah comes to accept the truth regarding her feelings for her best friend, the guy who had always stood by her, with her and beside her, no matter what. I just loved Thorn and Savannah to pieces! ^_^

I loved:

  1. Thorn. From his bloody British accent (which I hear every time he says the word “love” or “kitten”) to his sweetness to his take charge attitude in the bedroom which totally made my day, Thorn is one drool and sigh worthy hero definitely worth your time in gold. I would love me a British accented Thorn if one exists in real life! ^_^
  2. Savannah. I loved her right from the very beginning. Her ability to come out and say what she is feeling without being coy about it, the way she owns up to her feelings without beating around the bush, the way she is oh so perfect for Thorn in bed and out of it sealed the deal for me.
  3. The feelings that swept through me as I read this short novella. I found myself laughing out loud at the conversations and witty banter that takes place between Thorn and Savannah and the one conversation that took place between Savannah and her girl best friend Allison. I found myself holding in my breathe as Savannah and Thorn coursed through previously unchartered waters in their relationship, how Thorn takes care of Savannah in all the little ways during their journey of discovery which made me fall for him just that much harder. *Sigh*
  4. The short and sweet epilogue at the end. If Ms. Stanton can fit in a short but meaningful epilogue into a novella, I wonder why Ms. Stuart cannot. Maybe Ms. Stanton can teach a thing or two about writing a beautiful epilogue to Ms. Stuart one of these days? ^_^
  5. Ooh and definitely heart the cover!

I did not like: This novella was absolutely perfect in every way!! Wouldn’t change even one teeny, tiny part of it!

Favorite Quotes

She inhaled sharply. “Kissing? Is…? Do we really need to…? We need kissing?”
This time when he grinned, every bit of it was genuine. “Come on, Savannah,” he purred. “If I’m gonna be inside you, a little kiss couldn’t hurt.”
Everything switched to autopilot. He felt nothing but the drive: pure adrenaline pumping through his veins. Thorn drew back, cupping her cheeks and softly brushing his lips against hers. And instantly the doors blockading his desire swung open, and he about fell to his knees. After so many years coveting her, wanting this, watching her flirt and play and look at him like he was anything but a living, need-having man, he had her taste in his mouth. Her soft, perfect mouth against his, resisting before a sigh rushed through her body and her lips parted. His tongue seized the invitation, delving inside warm, wet perfection, and he nearly tumbled apart when she moaned. She tasted like chocolate milk, smelled of her magnolia body spray, and felt so damn good in his arms, there was no way he’d make it out alive with even a shard of his broken heart.

Recommended for: Fans of the contemporary erotic romances that revolve around the theme where friends  turn to lovers. This is one yummy read! ^_^

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | LooseID