Requested ARC Review: Craving Her Soldier’s Touch by Wendy S. Marcus

cravinghersoldierstouch.jpgFormat: Paperback
Read with: NA
Length: Novel
Genre: Medical Romance
Series: Beyond the Spotlight
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Ian Calvin Eddelton
Heroine: Jaci Piermont
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January, 2013
Started On: December 22, 2012
Finished On: February 2, 2013

Being not much of a fan of medical romances doesn’t stop me from wanting to read Wendy S. Marcus’s romances set in the said genre when they come out. Its always a delight to encounter balance in a novel such as a medical romance; equal amounts of knowledge enhancing tidbits about the medical world and enough romance and heat to keep the blood pumping. And with Craving Her Soldier’s Touch, Wendy takes this a step further and includes an emotional depth to her characters that really touched my heart.

Craving Her Soldier’s Touch is about ex-army ranger Ian Eddelton who returns back home after surviving horrific injuries with a hoard of survivor’s guilt wrecking his mind and heart. The only thoughts that had kept him sane throughout had been that of the woman he had left behind in the rush and need to get away from the riot of all sorts of emotions of the deeper kind that she had been able to rouse in him. Though Ian is known as Ice amongst his army buddies, all his cool deserts him when the woman in question is around him.

Jaci Piermont might be a heiress with a fortune waiting to happen but she is one of the most down-to-earth and feisty characters that you would ever find. A community health nurse and Women’s Crisis Center advocate, Jaci is someone who is continuously on the move, always ready to help the neglected and the less fortunate sector of people in the society. Her heartwarming and caring nature together with her competency when it comes to everything she does is totally entwined with the story that unfolds; the story of how Jaci reunites with the man who leaves her in a wake of confusion when he left as he did.

I’d say that with every book that Wendy pens, her writing becomes more appealing and her characters show remarkable depth that makes the story hard to part with. Jaci’s character was one that really shone through in every aspect as her past and what she had gone through comes to light, painting a picture of a woman that has had more than her fair share of trouble in her life. The only thing I felt that slightly lacked in the story was the ‘healing’ aspect of Ian from his injuries as well as the psychological trauma he suffers from. Still, I would say Craving Her Soldier’s Touch made for a great read highly recommend it for fans of the author and fans of medical romances.

Oh and yes, lest I forget, I want to share the bit in the book where my beloved Maldives is mentioned, a lil prezzie that was left for me by the author. Thank you Wendy, for giving me that. ^_^

He twirled one of her curls around his freakishly long, thin, almost womanly index finger and held her in place. “Strolling the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Visiting the beaches of Bali. Shopping in Milan. Skiing in Switzerland. Yachting in the Maldives.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Harlequin


Requested ARC Review: The Nurse’s Not-So Secret Scandal by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: Paperbackthenursesnotsosecretscandal
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Medical Romance
Series: Madrin Memorial Hospital, #3
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Hero: Ryan ‘Fig’ Figelstein
Heroine: Roxie Morano
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 6, 2012
Started On: March 26, 2012
Finished On: March 27, 2012

The Nurse’s Not-So Secret Scandal is the 3rd and final book in Wendy. S. Marcus’ Madrin Memorial Hospital series. I am not one who reads much of medical romances but Wendy has a way of putting it out there that just makes her books compelling reads that I want more of. 

27 year old Ryan ‘Fig’ Figelstein comes to Madrin Falls in upstate New York to visit his best friend Kyle. When he meets the larger than life and certainly colorful character that is Roxie Morano, Fig is definitely more than intrigued enough to pursue the attraction that flares to life between them right from the onset.

But things aren’t as easy and lighthearted as they seem to be on the surface. Both Roxie and Fig have their own fair share of secrets and painful pasts that still persists in their lives at present making their struggle to achieve some form of normalcy almost impossible. But through it all, Roxie and Fig manage to wade their own way through the many ups and downs in their not-so-normal-relationship and in the end attain a happily ever after that was so well deserved that I was grinning from ear-to-ear when all was said and done.

You can’t read the 1st book in the series i.e. When One Night Isn’t Enough without getting intrigued enough to see through to the rest of the characters that make their way into the story. Wendy has a talent for creating heroines who have the odds stacked against them, who are hard working, loyal and have had a lot of bad happen to them in their pasts. But what makes her heroines special is that drive to be true to who they are, to do their best to make do with a bad situation that fate throws their way. And the plus point as always turns out to be the beautiful men, and yes I use beautiful because there is no other way to describe these guys who go out of their way to win over the women they love.

Roxie Morano is a character of contrasts if ever there was one. She is spunky, has an attitude that may seem off-putting at first and wears colors bold and vivacious just like her character; but underneath all that tough and brave facade is a woman who is torn between the need to do the right thing and making her own way in life, a woman who shoulders more than her fair share of responsibility in looking after a mother who is a disaster waiting to happen. Roxie takes her fun wherever she can find it, a release she needs so badly after working intense hours as a nurse and coming home to a depressing state of affairs that makes her want to howl at times. But even her closest friends at work have no clue as to just how much of a juggler she is in order to present a normal front to the rest of the world.

Fig comes from a totally different side of the equation. As a child Fig had been smothered by the attention he had received from his mother as a result of being a recurring patient of leukemia until he had hit his teens. His past is one that haunts him, his mother continuing to try to rule his life even when he has made it clear that he is more than capable of running his own life. Fig has hangups that you won’t believe a person may have and he knows it, but his attraction for the fireball of energy that Roxie is poses complications on his heart that he would never have thought possible.

Two equally damaged people with a whole lot of baggage meet and ignite the sparks of desire and want that paves the way towards something more meaningful as both Fig and Roxie strip themselves bare emotionally and physically to let each other in, a quest that is doubly dangerous for two people who have had their trust trampled upon by people closest to them. Roxie is all about living in the moment and rushing towards the ultimate explosion of pleasure while Fig is more laid back and has the patience to wait – as good things always comes to those who wait. So when these two meet in the bedroom it is more than fun, it is about exploring the extent to which each can push the other and both discovering sides to themselves that are uncharted waters as well.

Wendy has done a remarkable job with creating a character such as Roxie who is different, someone who grabbed my heart and invaded it with her usual style and flair from the very beginning. Fig like his laid back nature waited and hovered around a bit before plunging that stake into my heart to stake his claim and boy I could definitely understand the appeal of taking it slow and taking your time when it comes to a man like Fig.

The Nurse’s Not-So Secret Scandal is my favorite in the series. And I tell you, Roxie Morano is a character who rocks your boat – in more ways than one. And the best thing about this series? You can read all 3 books as a standalone and never flounder to find your way.

Recommended for fans of medical romances and those who love spunky heroines and yummy tattooed heroes who can show you that patience is a good thing; when it comes to a man like him!

Favorite Quotes

Fig leaned in close, his chest pressed to her back, his palm flat on her belly. “Time to muster up some moxie, Roxie,” he whispered. “Every woman in this bar is wishing she had a body as gorgeous as yours, and every man is wishing he had your long, beautiful legs clamped around his butt.”
Roxie relaxed. Smiled even. “Does that include you?” […]
“Nah.” […] “My wish involves them wrapped around my head.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | M&B


Review: Once a Good Girl… by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: E-bookonceagoodgirl
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Medical Romance
Series: Madrin Memorial Hospital, Book 2
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Kyle Karlinsky
Heroine: Victoria Forley
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 1, 2012
Started On: February 19, 2012
Finished On: February 19, 2012

25 year old Victoria Foley is a perfectionist when it comes to everything that she does. Always the good girl whose childhood had been the furthest thing from ideal, Victoria’s only rebellion as a teenager had come when she had gotten involved with the bad boy of the town and ended up pregnant at the age of sixteen.

26 year old Kyle Karlinsky left home under duress and is now back, partly with the intention of showing those who had thought he was good for nothing that things had turned out quite well for him in the end. Holding a doctorate in Physical Therapy, Kyle is surprised when he encounters Victoria at the Madrin Memorial Hospital working as a nurse and not as the doctor that she had dreamed of becoming ever since he had known her.

The biggest surprise of all comes from the fact that Kyle is a father to an 8 year old boy and the fact that Victoria had never deemed it important enough to seek him out to let him know. Naivety and mistakes on both sides in believing the lies that had been fed to them both to drive them apart comes out into the open to clear up the air, but would Kyle be able to convince the prim and proper Victoria that his wild and impulsive nature is just what she needs in her life forever and ever?

Wendy has a way of writing heroes that are heartwarming, sweet, sexy and endearing and Kyle is no exception. Kyle has a lot of hurt bottled up inside of him, anger at the double standards that had existed in his hometown that had always found a reason to blame him for anything bad that happened. I loved him for his innate kindness, that inner strength that refuses to back down from a challenge, and of course his understanding of the woman who brings a whole new meaning to the word complex, but whom he loves with every fiber of his being.

Victoria is a heroine who is a bit hard to get into. She is ambitious, there is no question about that, but her love for her son surpasses any other ambition she might have and it is her desire to give him a sound future that has her juggling a hectic career amidst the hurdles of being a single parent. She is fiercely loyal and independent and has a painful past from which she still suffers, something that Kyle with his gentle yet searing touch heals and that was indeed one of the defining moments of the story. I loved the beautiful marriage proposal tucked inside the epilogue and cannot wait for the 3rd book in this series to come out.

If you loved medical romances with heart, give Wendy S. Marcus a try. She is an author who definitely knows what she is doing.

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



Score Sheet Review: When One Night Isn’t Enough by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: E-bookwhenonenightisntenough
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Medical Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Dr. Jared Padget
Heroine: Allison Elizabeth Forshay
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 1, 2011
Started On: November 28, 2011
Finished On: November 30, 2011

The hero 100 A
The heroine 70 B
Story line 90 A
Emotional Intensity 100 A
Story’s ability to suck me in 100 A
Heat & Sensuality 100 A
Conflicts within the story 85 A
Writing Style 90 A
Quotable Factor 90 A
The ending 100 A
Overall Grade 92.5 A

Score Sheet Summary

I found this novel quite by chance up on Goodreads. Look beyond the totally bogus cover and you discover a story well worth delving into. Though medical romances aren’t my favorite type of romances to read, I make time for them occasionally and  this is one time I am very glad that I made the exception to read one. I loved When One Night Isn’t Enough, the story has two likable characters, granted I loved the hero more and sometimes wanted to hit the heroine on the head for her innate stubbornness.

Dr. Jared Padget is such a dreamy, charming and sexy hero. Those killer dimples together with his totally drool-inducing body clad in scrubs and more so out of it, and the way he is such a total sweetheart when it comes to Allison was the reason I loved him so wholeheartedly. Beneath the charming exterior that he presents to the rest of the world lies such a tortured mess that I felt like bawling my eyes out for him. No female who had entered his life had shown him a reason to trust them with his heart, but nevertheless with Allison the fact that he was willing to let go and try just made him an all around fantastic hero for me.

Though Allison proved to be a bit too stubborn a time or two during the story, she too served to be someone you can relate to. Her past is not an easy one to escape from either and that is why she has enough reasons to judge Jared as her past has taught her to. So in the end, because Allison came through for Jared I forgave her and came to love her a little as well.

I expected a light-hearted, fluffy read with a little bit of medical procedures tossed into the story when I picked this up, but in the end I was surprised and not unpleasantly I might add, because the story delivers so much more than that. It is light-hearted at moments but deep inside the story deals with a lot of emotional baggage, and a tissue or two might come in handy while you are at it!

Recommended for fans of category romances, ones where hunky doctors and cute nurses get down and dirty with a lot of emotional angst thrown into mix!

Favorite Quotes

He had no desire to talk, or move. So he sat, with her still straddling his lap, in no hurry to leave, enjoying the feel of her in his arms, which he tightened around her, slipping his hands under the bottom of her sweater to warm them. They fit together like two distinct halves purposely manufactured to become one seamless whole, a feeling he wouldn’t soon forget.

And there it was: the brilliant I-care-about-you smile he’d waited months to see directed at him.He knew in that instant that one would never be enough to last him a lifetime, as he’d originally thought. Because in that quiet moment, in her straight white teeth, her curving lips and sincere blue eyes, he’d found serenity.

“I love how you feel in my arms, how you respond to my touch and how your face takes on an expression of pure rapture when we make love. When we’re apart I ache to be with you. There is no doubt in my mind that what I feel for you is the truest, deepest form of love possible.”

Review: Houston, We Have a Problem by Erin McCarthy

Format: E-bookhoustonwehaveaproble
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Florida Doctors, Book 2
Publisher: Kensington
Hero: Dr. Houston Hayes
Heroine: Dr. Josie Adkins
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publisher: October 18, 2005
Started On: May 8, 2011
Finished On: May 13, 2011

Though I have had this book in my to-be-read pile for ages, I finally took the plunge after reading the enthusiastic review that my friend Zahu posted on Goodreads. We both (and I guess more than half of the romance reading population) have a thing for hot and tortured heroes who exert rigid control over their emotions and suddenly along comes the bubbly heroine who seems to bring down the walls of reserve that the hero has built so painstakingly over the years within just a couple of minutes. I absolutely love these types of books and though this book didn’t deliver on all of my expectations, nevertheless it turned out to be one hell of an entertaining read.

33 year old Dr. Houston Hayes has a huge problem that won’t go away in the 27 year old surgical resident Josie Adkins who is driving him completely nuts with her klutziness that brings to light just how much he wants Josie flat on her back, with him on top. Houston has never had a problem with the rules he has imposed on himself to never enter into a long term relationship and to never get involved with a co-worker. But the minute Josie Adkins steps into the picture, all Houston’s heart is capable of telling him is that rules are meant to be broken.

Josie is appalled that she has the Dr. Hayes-induced Dropping Medical Equipment Syndrome whenever she is around Houston. Her friend Sara keeps telling her that its the haze of lust that takes a hold of her whenever she is in Houston’s vicinity that plays havoc on her usual capable self.

When Houston proposes to Josie one single night of passion to get rid of the inconvenience of having the hots for each other all the time, Josie is reluctant because she is not the type to get physical in a relationship without her emotions getting involved. But every inch of Houston from his short black hair, to his gorgeous blue eyes, and all down the length of his muscular, toned body that screams power and control has Josie saying yes to abandoning herself to his lethal brand of seduction that has Josie screaming much more than yes long before the night is through.

But what was supposed to be just one night of passion cracks open the walls of reserve that protects Houston’s emotions and though he would rather die than admit to the fact, being over Josie is the farthest thing that Houston feels. Josie though she promises herself that she deserves someone who loves her and wants to commit to her, nevertheless finds herself falling for the complete opposite of what she needs though Josie is still strong enough to say no where it counts. Houston is a man who has a lot of issues with his past, his childhood playing a major role in how his character is portrayed in the story. For Josie and Houston’s problem to be totally over, they both do a lot of intense soul searching and makes some hard choices before achieving their much needed happily ever after.

I absolutely loved what Erin McCarthy delivers in the humor department in the story. From the first line itself, this book was a continuous laugh fest with Josie’s quirky comebacks and her sense of humor which is evident from the way she thinks out aloud about stuff. Houston is a delicious hero, and yes I say delicious in the best possible way. He is tortured hotness and broodiness in one package and his lethal brand of seduction left me breathless at all times. With borderline erotic sexual content, this book is recommended for fans of contemporary romances that delivers on character development, humor, love and rapid heartbeat inducing love scenes guaranteed to fire up your insides.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo


Review: The Italian Doctor’s Wife by Sarah Morgan

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Medical Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Nico Santini
Heroine: Abby Harrington
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 20, 2010
Started On: May 30, 2010
Finished On: June 2, 2010

Although I read romances of various genres, medical romance is one that I tend to stay away from. I remember that the last time I read a medical romance was way back in the 90’s when I first started reading romance books. Back then, maybe it was because of my reading preferences at the time, I found myself bored with the whole aspect of medical romances where doctors fell in love with nurses.

I picked up this book with that thought at the back of my mind, that most probably I would give up reading this book halfway through. But to my pleasant surprise I found myself intrigued by the various medical literature to be found in the book, which might have something to do with the author having being a nurse herself.

This story is about nurse Abby Harrington who chooses to have a baby through an anonymous donor at an insemination clinic. To Abby’s shock, Nico Santini, the eldest brother of Abby’s best friend Lucia, who is one of the most successful pediatric heart surgeons, seeks her out and drops the bombshell that he is the father of Rosa.

Nico thinks that he donated the sperm to a couple in their late thirties and instead is angered to find out that he was betrayed into thinking that by his own sister and thinks Abby to be in cahoots with Lucia in deceiving him. Nico plans on filing for custody of Rosa thinking Abby to be an unfit mother to raise a child of his, when he is  ultimately proved wrong by just how loving Abby is with Rosa.

However the tabloids somehow find out that Abby and Nico have a baby together which propels Nico’s proposal for Abby to marry him. Abby agrees to the marriage in terms of it being a marriage of convenience but to her immense surprise and pleasure finds out that Nico has other plans in mind.

I found this story to be a charming one where misunderstandings were resolved by conversing like rational adults rather than swimming in a pool of them until the reader is ready to scream in frustration. And of course the vivid details of open heart surgery procedures carried out proved to be quite informative and made this story though short an interesting read.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Harlequin