Review: Home to Laura by Mary Sullivan

Format: E-bookhometolaura.jpg
Read with: Kindle for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Untitled Series, #2
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Nick Jordan
Heroine: Laura Cameron
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 1, 2013
Started On: July 27, 2013
Finished On: July 29, 2013

Right after reading and finishing up In from the Cold by Mary Sullivan, I had to go and buy the second book in this sort of series that tells and concludes the stories of the other two Jordan brothers, Nick and Tyler. While Tyler is the middle brother who is the most easygoing of the trio, Nick is the brother who has a chip on his shoulder, not because he had a terrible childhood or was abused; but rather he feels that he is invisible when he stands next to his brothers given the poverty within which they all lived in.

At 32 years of age, Nick is the proverbial story of success. A multimillionaire and CEO of Sanderson Developments, Nick seems to have got it all from the high powered job to a daughter who fulfills the rest of his life. But appearances can be deceiving and of late Nick has to admit that his life has been tinged with an emptiness that he cannot shake off, and it is the  thought that he might end up an empty shell of a man like his ex-father in law, mentor and boss Mort Sanderson that galvanizes Nick into taking action that would save him from a future filled with nothing but a gut aching loneliness and despair.

35 year old Laura Cameron is the owner of the delightful bakery in the town of Accord, Colorado. Lushly beautiful and sensual, Laura yearns for a family of her own, the chance for one which she destroyed the night she slept with her fiance’s brother Nick and he discovered them together. Nick might have been motivated by spite and the need for revenge on his older brother Gabe but Laura had always harbored a secret fascination and attraction towards Nick, something which she buried in the deep recesses of her heart along with the contempt, anger and loathing for the man who wouldn’t think twice and would go to any lengths to get exactly what he wants.

When Nick returns to town with his daughter Emily in tow, Laura and Nick’s paths cross once again, a more vulnerable Laura this time, who just had her “last” chance at a family slip away through her fingers. A one night of incandescent passion once again occurs between the two and this time Laura bears the fruit of their union which Nick wants to vehemently shake himself off from. Amidst the story of misunderstandings and coming to realizations on Nick’s part is also threaded the story of Tyler and Tammy and also the deliciously lovely and sensual story of the Scottish artist Aiden McQuorrie and Laura’s mother Olivia Cameron.

Truth be told, though I am a huge fan of heroes who have a bit of a dark edge to them, oh well who am I kidding, the darker they are the more I like them; I found it impossible to really like Nick as a person, much less a hero. I found him to be vain, self-centered and had a lot to really learn where life and its intricacies are concerned. The way he reacts to Laura’s pregnancy was one which I couldn’t get over from, but I think an honest reaction from a man like Nick who refuses to be tied down and does not want to bear anymore children. I felt like slapping Nick a time or two on his face, just so he would see exactly what was happening, how unfair it was of him to really believe that everything he wanted was his for taking and that deep sense of resentment he had harbored in his heart for his eldest brother something that should never have existed in the first place. The effect of spoiling a child rotten is what Nick is, with just a hint of goodness inside of him, buried under layer and layer of resentment and old hurts that I could not really get on board with.

Laura is the type of heroine that reminded me of Sarah from Sarah’s Child by Linda Howard. She is gutsy, sensual, beautiful and not afraid of being who she is, though Nick makes her regret her impulsive earthy behavior after the night of passion they share. Nick’s one saving grace was the fact that he, be it even out of sense of duty to Laura as a “friend”, takes care of her when she needs it and later on, goes to restore her sense of self confidence where her sensuality and impulsive passion is concerned.

The one bit I loved in the story was the tale of how the very much younger Scottish artist wooed Laura’s mother Olivia. Now, that should have been the center of this whole story which would have made for all sorts of deliciousness in my opinion.

I would still rate Home to Laura a good read because even though there were bits that didn’t work for me in the overall story, the chunks that did work seemed to make up for them.

Recommended for fans of Mary Sullivan & fans of this untitled series set in Accord, Colorado.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | 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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ARC Review: Lost In Kakadu by Kendall Talbot

Format: E-booklostinkakudu.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Hero: Mackenzie Steel
Heroine: Abigail Priscilla Mulholland
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 1, 2013
Started On: June 21, 2013
Finished On: June 27, 2013

Lost in Kakadu is one of the most different romances that I have come across to date. And I mean different in a really good way. I’m a huge fan of romances that comes with the survival in the wilderness theme. I believe that when you really have no option but fight with everything you have to survive, there are no pretenses to be had and you really honestly get to know a person.

Abigail gets on the small plane that is to take herself and husband Spencer along with a handful of other passengers to Kakadu, with a sense of foreboding that she cannot explain; one that her husband ridicules and takes pleasure from. In the end, the feelings of unease that had been coursing through Abigail from the beginning turns into nightmarish reality and the plane crashes with herself and 2 others as survivors.

Abigail is a woman who has led a rich and pampered albeit a confusing and at times a heartbreaking life. She is not the kind of woman who would actually enjoy vacationing in the great outdoors, much less surviving in the wilderness with no hope of rescue coming their way any time soon.

Mackenzie Steel mourns for the loss of his lover, partner and savior who is killed on the trip. The grief that he feels is an undeniable one, but he knows deep inside of his heart that Rodney would want him to survive and to fight to stay alive at all cost. With a woman who surprises and infuriates him in equal turns as company, Mackenzie finds his hands full exploring the lengths to which he is ready to test his comfort zones in order to survive and come out victorious.

As I mentioned earlier, there is no better way to get to know the real person hidden inside than to have to depend on each other for survival. Abigail is the sort of female lead that shows glimpses of a woman who could be so much more but because of the life that she had forced herself to live till now makes it a difficult task to find that woman inside all those protective layers that she had put up to survive.

Discovering the woman that Abigail could become turned out to be one of the best aspects of the story. Neither Abigail nor Mackenzie wakes up the day after the plane crash and turns into soldiers who had been trained to live under the sort of conditions they find themselves under. Rather it is a journey of discovery on what works and what doesn’t, on learning to work together as a team and in the process discover that one can find love of the most beautiful kind even under the most trying and unusual circumstances.

Lost in Kakadu is a portrayal of how much the author Kandall Talbot loves the outdoor and adventures. And I think thats one of the main reasons why the story compelled me to keep turning the pages and let me lose myself in the wondrous journey of self discovery, love and the limits of endurance of the human body that is willing to survive at any cost. I loved the slow awakening of Abigail and Mackenzie’s emotions for one another. A case of depending on each other which had turned into friendship, mutual respect and then a love that defied all odds made for a triumphant read in my opinion.

Charlie and the letters that he had written to his family all throughout his life turned out to be another moving aspect of a story that already had a lot going for it. The epilogue that was tucked in at the end that gave a sense of closure to Charlie and his longing to be reunited with the family he had lost turned out to be an ending that provoked all sorts of mixed emotions from me. But if I were to give it all away here, well, that would mean ruining the journey that is Lost in Kakadu for you.

Lost in Kakadu is a tale of endurance, grief, survival and undying love that comes highly recommended. If you love romances featured in the wilderness and love stories that feels like a journey rather than just a happily ever after, then this one is for you.

Favorite Quotes

His arousal was swift and absolute and he leant toward her upturned face, searching for a sign. He tried to resist the throbbing in his loins but when she didn’t turn away he couldn’t wait a moment longer. As his world blurred into a haze of lust he pressed his lips against hers. She tasted of rain drops. From the very first touch his uncertainty was swept away. Abi parted her lips allowing his tongue to explore the softness of her mouth and the hairs on his neck bristled as her hand clutched his neck pulling him down to her. A groan tumbled from his throat.

He brought her to the brink of no return and then he pulled back, hovering above her on his hands and knees, his breathing ragged. She wanted him … now, and reached up to pull his mouth to hers. Their lips touched with sizzling passion. Their kiss deepened, tongues probing, exploring. She was lost in the moment, savouring the fire deep within her. He eased himself into her and she gasped, digging her nails into his muscular shoulders.
They became one, entangled in an intensity that united them with feverish appetite. Her body came alive, throbbing inside and out as he thrust himself into her.

Purchase Links: Not Available

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Review: On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

Format: E-bookontheisland
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Thomas James Callahan (T.J.)
Heroine: Anna Lynn Emerson
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 4, 2011
Started On: March 6, 2012
Finished On: March 9, 2012

Never have I been so grateful for a recommendation received from the romance discussion forum on Amazon as I was when I finished On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves. By reading the book, you won’t feel that it is a debut novel, such is Tracey’s prowess and mastery with the words that you just want to go on reading, without taking any breaks in between if you can help it.

Thomas James Callahan (T.J.) is sixteen years old and three months into remission from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He is on his way to the Maldives with his 30 year old tutor Anna Lynn Emerson who is to help him catch up on the months of missed school while T.J. had been undergoing treatment.

Tragedy strikes when the sea plane that is supposed to take them to the island which is their final destination crash lands, leaving Anna badly hurt and T.J. with the task of getting them safely to shore. Saying that it is a tough time that Anna and T.J. both undergo, especially during the first couple of days would be an understatement. Being from the Maldives myself, I understand how primitive conditions would be in an uninhabited island, how totally alone you can feel with nothing but the blue skies and the endless seas surrounding you. With no source of fresh water on the island, Anna and T.J.’s main problem lies in the depleting amount of fluids from their bodies. But somehow, part  through luck and partly through trial and error, T.J. and Anna make a life for themselves on the island when being rescued seems like an option that is no longer available for them.

From June 2001 till December 2004 when the devastating tsunami that wrought havoc from Indonesia to Africa serves to be the reason why they get rescued, Anna and T.J. depend and rely on each other and a relationship forms between the two, not surprising given the fact that T.J. had crushed on Anna even from the very start. Anna is the one who remains at first oblivious, for many a reason, one being the fact that she is 13 years older than T.J. For Anna, the protective instinct she has when it comes to T.J. surprises her but she doesn’t make much of it until after T.J. turns 18 and she too starts feeling the stirrings of desire when it comes to T.J. 

The way Anna and T.J.’s relationship progresses is a natural one. No lightning bolt moments in their relationship but rather it is one that is built on mutual affection, trust and a whole lot more than just a simple case of lusting for each other because it is the convenient choice. Both T.J. and Anna are characters who feel real, ones that you can relate to, ones that tug at your heartstrings as you read along. You can’t help but be invested in the outcome of their relationship, their time on the island that subjects them to the harsh reality of life and survival when there remains nothing but each other to look out for.

Being rescued brings along with it its own fair share of doubts and insecurities though both Anna and T.J. know that for them there would always be no love like the one that they have found with each other. The period of separation that they both go through was a much needed one to make their love that much more meaningful and profound and I was deeply moved through everything T.J. and Anna go through, both together and individually as well.

I loved T.J.. No surprises there. He is the kind of hero that you fall in love with immediately because there are no pretenses when it comes to him. He is the what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy and the way he grows into manhood, takes on responsibilities that would otherwise have been foreign if not for the circumstances just made him that much more appealing. He has a protective instinct that naturally comes into play with Anna, a woman he admires and crushes on from afar for far too long. When T.J. realizes the course of change Anna’s feelings towards him has taken, T.J. grabs the opportunity like everything else he does, with a zeal and zest for life that is so charming that you just fall in love with Anna right along with him.

Anna was such a lovely character as well. She is the type of heroine who doesn’t fuss around trying to become someone she isn’t. She is comfortable with who she is. Her regrets in life are ones that had driven her to take the job of tutoring T.J. in the first place. She doesn’t talk down to T.J. just because he is much younger than herself but rather treats him as an equal from the very start. Their coping mechanism for what they both go through are different, but in it lies that desolateness that is a result of the hope that diminishes as the months and years pass on by.

If I am ever to crash on an uninhabited island, I want a T.J. by my side, a man who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to lay his emotions on the line to get what he wants. When the epilogue and the beautiful fitting ending for these two lovely people came about, I was more than ready to embrace it, reveling in the blessings that life had bestowed upon two people who would remain with me forever. 

I have to warn readers like myself who are squeamish with books written in first person that this is indeed written in first person. But Tracey makes it worth your while by giving both characters equal amounts of attention to show you both their viewpoints. A nice touch I must say and I loved T.J.’s take on things. With characters I loved wholeheartedly, this gushy review is a testament to just how much I loved the story. And the story taking place in Maldives? The icing on the cake. 

Beautiful, poignant and real, On the Island is a novel not to be missed! I smiled, I laughed, I cried and I sighed with everything that is in me. There is nothing more you can ask from a book. Grab yourself a copy and indulge – I dare you!

Favorite Quotes

[T.J.] If she had gotten sick, the only thing I could have done was watch her suffer. Bury her next to Mick when she died. I didn’t know if I could make it without her. The sound of her voice, her smile, her– those were the things that made living on the island bearable. I held her a little tighter and thought if she woke up I might tell her that. She didn’t though. She sighed in her sleep, and eventually I drifted off.

[Anna] In February, I woke up from a nap. A bouquet of flowers gathered from the various bushes and shrubs scattered around the island lay on the blanket beside me, a small length of rope wound around their stems.
I found T.J. down at the shore. “Someone’s been checking the calendar.”
He grinned. “I didn’t want to miss Valentine’s Day.”
I kissed him. “You’re sweet to me.”
Pulling me closer, he said, “It’s not hard, Anna.”
I stared into T.J.’s eyes, and he started to sway. My arms went around his neck and we danced, moving in a circle, the sand soft and warm under our feet.
“You don’t need music, do you?”
“No,” T.J. said. “But I do need you.”

[T.J.] I pulled my arms out from underneath her body and tucked her hair behind her ears. “I love you, Anna.”
The surprised look on her face told me she hadn’t seen that coming.
“You weren’t supposed to fall in love,” she whispered.
“Well, I did,” I said, looking into her eyes. “I’ve been in love with you for months. I’m telling you now because I think you love me too, Anna. You just don’t think you’re supposed to. You’ll tell me when you’re ready. I can wait.” I pulled her mouth down to mine and kissed her and when it ended, I smiled and said, “Happy birthday.”

[T.J.] I kissed her as soon as we were inside her apartment, and I wasn’t gentle about it, holding her face firmly in my hands and pressing my lips hard against hers. She wasn’t anyone’s to own – I knew that – but right then she was mine.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

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Review: All of You by Rhian Cahill

Format: E-bookallofyou
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing
Hero: Ryan Doherty
Heroine: Claire Jones
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: September 26, 2011
Started On: September 27, 2011
Finished On: September 27, 2011

Rhian Cahill is one of my go-to authors for highly sensual erotica that pleases all the senses. If you are a fan of erotica and have never heard of Rhian Cahill, you seriously don’t know what you are missing!

All of You by Rhian Cahill is a story from a favorite trope of mine. Where older heroines find their happily ever after with younger heroes which makes for very interesting reads.

29 year old Ryan Doherty has had the hots for his next door neighbor, 41 year old Claire Jones ever since he laid eyes on her. The only thing that stops him from making a move is not knowing whether or not Claire feels the same way about him.

Claire knows that she needs to stop making Ryan the centrefold of every delicious, erotic fantasy and dream she has had since Ryan moved in next door. But knowing that doesn’t seem to be helping in her efforts to put Ryan out of her mind. When her best friend comes up with the crazy notion that she should go for it with Ryan and wring every decadent pleasure that she can out of the encounter, Claire finds herself doing just that and more as Ryan pleasures her in ways that she has never thought possible.

Though short, Rhian still manages to tell a story that left me wanting more and desperately in need of a cold shower or two with the dirty-talking Ryan talking up a storm, upping the heat factor of a novella that already far exceeds the scorch meter.

Ryan is of the ultra-studtastic variety, living up to what I imagined him to be and then some. Apart from the way he can seduce Claire of all her inhibitions, the way he cares about her enough to want to protect her and cosset her and look after of her every want and need; well, there’s nothing more that’s needed to be said. Ryan is the ultimate younger hero that every woman should have; protective, dangerously sexy, charming and palpitation-inducing-hot that just makes him perfect hero material.

Claire served to be someone who had the guts at first to put aside everything else and concentrate on just being with a man who makes her feel safe, warm, loved and decadently sexy all in one. But when reality strikes and pierces through the bubble of happiness that she finds herself wrapped up in, she goes in the self-sacrificial-lamb routine which irked me for a bit. But then again, Claire does make up for all of it quite beautifully in the end which totally redeemed her in my eyes.

Hot enough to singe off more than just your eyebrows, with a hero that you would just clamor for to make him your own, All of You is a novella that once again proves Rhian’s ability to spin an erotic story well worth your time & money!

Favorite Quotes

Ryan’s nostrils flared, and his gaze came back to meet hers. The heat and lust swirling in the green orbs delivered another burst of heat to her body. Claire shivered.

The woman had him tied in knots. She hardly gave him the time of day, but all she had to do was breathe in his direction and his dick was raring to go, his body pounding with a need that consumed his every thought.

Sitting on the stool put her eye-level with his throat. The bob of his Adam’s apple as he swallowed tantalized her. What would he taste like if I licked him there? Her body swayed forward, and her tongue slipped out to run over her bottom lip.
Ryan groaned, and Claire’s world tilted.
His lips slammed onto hers. There were no gentle, getting to know you sweeps of his tongue. He thrust into her mouth, meeting no resistance as she gladly opened for him.

Claire squirmed under his close scrutiny—struggled to keep from covering herself with her hands.
“Don’t.” He reached out and touched her clenched fists with his fingers. “Don’t think you need to hide. You’re beautiful. Every inch of you.”
Bringing her gaze up to meet his, she saw the strength of conviction in his eyes.
Whether she thought herself worthy of him or not, he had already made his decision.
And that was all that mattered.

Like a drug, she entered his system and took over, delivering a jolt to every cell and obliterating all else. And like any addict, he took the fix, felt the euphoria and craved more.

Ryan took her mouth with his. Nibbled and licked until she opened for him. His tongue swept inside and tangled with hers. Bold strokes and hot slides stole her breath and drew moisture from her core. He touched her nowhere else, but she felt him in every inch of her body.

Purchase Links: Noble Romance

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Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Format: E-bookbackstagepass
Read with: Kindle for iPhone
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Sinners on Tour, Book 1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Hero: Brian Sinclair
Heroine: Dr. Myrna Evans
Sensuality: 4.9
Date of Publication: October 1, 2010
Started On: June 5, 2011
Finished On: June 7, 2011

In the debut novel of this one of a kind erotic series entitled Sinners on Tour, author Olivia Cunning introduces us to the decadent world of rock, glory, lust and love that makes up the world of the rock n’ roll music group known as the Sinners.

With 5 members to their group, the series kicks off with the story of Brian Sinclair who carries the stage name ‘Master Sinclair’ and meets his match in human sexuality professor Dr. Myrna Evans.

35 year old Myrna has a painful past from which she still suffers. Marriage to an alcoholic and the preceding divorce which had turned ugly has left its mark on Myrna who wants nothing more than the mindless oblivion the passion between her and Brian provides.

7 years younger than Myra, Brian is a romantic to his very soul who finds his muse as well as the love of his life in Myra. However convincing her that they are meant to be together in every sense of the way might take just more out of Brian than he ever foresaw.

The one thing that struck me the most when it came to Backstage Pass is how Olivia Cunning brings the whole rock scene alive in her story. The stage performances, the lives that each member lives behind the scenes and the roadies that accompany them all together made me feel as if I were part of the story instead of being on the outside looking in.

I found each and every single character that made his or her entrance into the book fascinating in their own right. Though Myrna tended to get on my nerves a time or two I liked her well enough and flat-out adored Brian for his caring as well as dreamy nature. As most female readers would agree, Sed proves to be a character that I found myself drawn towards and thankfully his story has already come out which I will pursue as soon as I find some free time.

Olivia Cunning has definitely penned an erotic romance series well worth checking out, delivering on all sorts of kinky as well as good old fashioned sexual content highly sensual in nature. Though I admit to have skimmed through a couple of the sex scenes because some of them weren’t really for me, fans of erotica who like variety in their sexual content would definitely love this one.

Favorite Quotes

Her hands moved to the fly of his leather pants, releasing his c#ck. When she touched him, he drew a shaky breath through his teeth. “Abstinence is so not my thing.”
His words didn’t have time to register before he lifted her thigh to his hip and plunged into her body. She clung to his shoulders, groaning at the enthusiasm of his strokes.
“Garters under a conservative gray suit, Professor?” he murmured, his fingers running under the straps holding up her stockings. “Do you know how hot that is?”
“I like to keep my smuttiness carefully concealed.”
“You’re not fooling me,” he whispered.

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

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Review: Out of Control by Suzanne Brockmann

Format: E-book
Opens with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Troubleshooters, 4
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Hero: Ken “Wild Card” Karmody
Heroine: Savannah Von Hopf
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 27, 2005
Started On: February 18, 2011
Finished On: February 21, 2011

I have always heard good things about Suzanne Brockmann. My first attempt at reading anything by hers was to read her novel Bodyguard which certainly didn’t make me turn away from her books though it didn’t leave much of a lasting impression on me either. However as everyone knows I tend to get a little crazy about jungle-trek themed romances and this one was recommended as such a read, I have now forgotten on which forum. Regardless of the fact that I have never attempted to read the Troubleshooters series before, I bought myself a copy and did manage to read a couple of pages then and never managed to make it past the prologue before I was distracted by some other title that I just HAD to read. And then last week my emotions decided to play the i-am-not-pleased-with-any-of-the-stuff-you-are-reading game & so I decided to pick this one up where I left off, hoping that the magic that had had earned this book rave reviews would work on me and my totally wayward emotions as well.

Book 4 in the Troubleshooter series stars Navy SEAL Ken Karmody, who gets nicknamed as “Wild Card” because of his ability to think out of the box and come out winning however difficult a problem might be. Ken had certainly not led a charming childhood with an emotionally and physically abusive father, which had in the end toughened him up and made Ken determined to do what he wanted in life. Ken is a genius when it comes to computers and whatnot and beneath his tough SEAL facade lies a heart that yearns to love and claim a woman as his forever. His ex-girlfriend Adele had certainly done a number on him with a continuous on and off relationship with Ken which had gone on for around 10 years until Ken had finally seen the light and refused to bend to her every whim which had pretty much ended things on the relationship front.

Savannah Van Hopf couldn’t be any more different from Ken even if she tried. A rich heiress who works as an appellate attorney, Savannah is the granddaughter of the famous Rose Van Hopf who worked as a double agent for the US and the Nazi during World War II. Savannah had always had a huge crush on Ken even though he hadn’t noticed her much, and it is through Adele that Savannah finds out Ken’s address and travels to San Diego to find him and ask his assistance in locating her uncle Alex who had disappeared in Indonesia without a trace.

From the moment Ken comes across the beautiful and utterly feminine Savannah, he is smitten something fierce and before Savannah can muster up the courage to bring up why she is actually in the neighborhood, these two light up the sheets with intense passion and red hot desire that practically leaps out of the very pages. To say that both fall completely in lust and a little bit in love with one another during that night would not be a lie. However with the morning, the truth comes out completely walloping Ken with intense feelings of betrayal which makes him pissed off at Savannah to no end. However, even with all the intense feelings of dislike churning within him for a woman who still has the ability to make him go a little bit weak at the knees, Ken is not willing to let Savannah travel all the way to Indonesia alone to find her uncle.

It is in Indonesia that the real adventure begins when Ken and Savannah are kidnapped by Russian goons at gun point right from the airport itself. Barely managing to escape them, Savannah and Ken are forced to survive in the jungle that grows densely throughout the Parwati island of Indonesia. To survive and outmaneuver everyone who is after them, Savannah and Ken are forced to endure each other’s company which in turn makes each of them discover why they had fallen for each other so hard in such a short span of time.

This book was so frigging good that I believe I have dug myself into a hole from which I won’t be able to escape anytime soon. Since I haven’t read books 1 – 3 in the Troubleshooter series and jumped straight into book 4, I was a bit overwhelmed to say the least when characters kept leaping right into the pages from left and right. However, a couple of chapters in, I was totally captivated by the ease with which Ms. Brockmann makes each and every character count, how she makes them come alive and how effectively she makes each and every one of their stories matter.

What I loved most about Out of Control was the rich banter between Ken and Savannah. Ken has the quirky character of coming out and saying whatever leaps to his mind without thinking much about it and Savannah’s responses to his remarks totally made my day. Ken is sexy, witty, a little bit of a nerd and has such a big heart that you can’t help but fall completely in love with him. The way he seriously asks his friends about women’s ability to have multiple orgasms had me cracking up so hard that I was laughing all throughout that conversation.

And Savannah is not an unforgettable character either. Though she has been brought up by a snotty mother who would rather see her married off to some royalty than see her happy, Savannah is tough beneath her picture perfect exterior and loyal to a fault. And I loved every single thing about her character from the way she interacts with Ken to her vulnerable nature which she strives so hard to hide.

And that takes me to my favorite couple from the series – yes, though I have not read the series in order, I have discovered that I have a strange fascination for Molly and John, whose characters complement each other perfectly. John is totally the kind of alpha male that slightly borders on being gamma, which makes him just the perfect kind of hero to base all my dreams upon. And his reluctant fascination with Molly which ends up being one of the best parts of the story is one worth savoring. Their happily ever after finally comes in book 9 of the series and this alone is the reason why I am determined to make my way through the rest of the books, because I am that much fascinated with their story.

And that brings me to Rose’s character. Her adventures in the form of a memoir which continue throughout the story makes for a fascinating read. Her work as a double agent and the story of how she meets up and falls in love with Mr. Van Hopf who is an Austrian prince adds something delightful to an already 5 star read.

Needless to say, highly recommended for romantic suspense fans because I just flat-out loved this one.

It was only after I sat down to write the review that I saw that this book has received around 7 AAR awards between 2002 and 2007. Definitely deserves them all!

Favorite Quotes

He pulled off his shirt – Savannah helped.
He pulled off her shirt – she helped him with that, too.
God, he loved everything about women, but he especially loved breasts. Savannah was not voluptuous in any sense of the word, but she was so perfectly feminine, he briefly considered weeping with joy at the sight of her, lying there, bare-breasted in his bed. But that would’ve taken way too much time.
Instead he kissed her, caressed her, licked her, touched her. She smelled like his soap, like the chlorine from his pool, like his clean laundry on top of her fancy perfume. She smelled like he’d already, at least partially, claimed her as his own.

“What have you got in there?” he asked. “Maybe we should take a minute and do a quick inventory, see what we’ve got, see if we can somehow lighten our load.” He went through his pockets, pulling everything out and dumping it in a relatively dry spot in front of her. “Knife, keys, wallet, passport, a couple squashed power bars – that’s good, we;re bound to get hungry – and … oops.”
Condoms.
He was carrying around a half a dozen. He stuffed them back into his pocket, but not before she saw them.
He gave her a weak smile. “I just, you know, always carry ’em.”
That was a lie and she knew it.
“If we get bored, we can use them to make balloon animals,” he added.
She was not at all amused.

That caught his (John’s) attention. “If I can’t see you tonight, when can I see you again?”
“You can certainly come to tea, but the tent flaps will be up.” (Molly says)
“I’ll come to tea. But let me rephrase the question – when can I make love to you again?”
“I don’t know. I’ll try to find some other excuse for taking out the boat and —”
“Now,” he said, his breath hot in her ear. “How about right now?”
“I have to get back,” she said, but she sounded far less convincing than she had the first time, particularly when he unzipped her shorts and pushed both them and her panties down to her knees. And then God, he was inside of her, and all she could say was yes.

Rose watched Savannah and Ken slip into an elevator. They were in each other’s arms again before the doors had fully closed.
Her granddaughter was infinitely lucky. Rose knew this firsthand. She’d had a husband who had loved her an eleven, too.

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

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Review: Loving Mercy by Teresa Bodwell

Format: Paperback
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Book 1, Untitled Series
Publisher: Zebra Books
Hero: Thaddeus Buchanan
Heroine: Mercy Clarke
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 1, 2005
Started On: January 24, 2011
Finished On: January 25, 2011

Hanging out at bookstores is one of my favorite ways of passing the time. Take me to a mall, show me a huge bookstore with loads of books to salivate over and I promise you wouldn’t find anyone else happier than myself at that very moment. Since Maldives is such a drag for book lovers like myself, coming to India where bookstores are as frequent as their chai (tea) stalls, needless to say I am in book heaven at the moment. So when I stumbled across this book cover at a used bookstore, I picked it up on a whim, based on its cover alone and because the back synopsis promised this book to deliver a good American-Western romance.

27 year old Mercy Clarke is one of those determined heroines who love their independence, who has had a bad marriage with her now deceased husband Nate and wishes to remain single and shoulder all the responsibilities of her family’s cattle ranching business in Colorado. Six feet tall Mercy always feels as if she were a giraffe in a menagerie and refuses to open up her heart to the possibility of love. Mercy still sports her wedding ring two years on after her husband’s death and is still haunted by the memory of how things ended up with him before his death. With a father who has been disabled from the accident that killed her husband and a younger sister to take care of, Mercy is a woman who takes her responsibilities very seriously and is determined that she would keep the family ranch no matter how much it costs her to do so.

23 year old Thaddeus Buchanan (Thad) is an ex-veteran who served in the civil war, who had his whole family taken from him in a war that has made little sense to him always. His only living relative is his sister Clarisse who lives up in Colorado and Thad is determined to reach her and make a home for himself up in the Colorado mountains. Easy going and charming, Thad is more than 6 feel tall, broad shouldered, blond haired with azure eyes and has a killer dimple in his right cheek when he smiles.

It is Thad’s determination that he reach Colorado that ends him up in the company of the prickly as a thorn Mercy Clarke in the town of Albiene where Mercy travels to auction off her cattle to pay off the debt on her ranch. From the first encounter between Thad and Mercy, Thad is totally captivated by Mercy and her independent nature. Though Mercy would rather cut off an arm than admit that the handsome and charming Thad gets to her more than any man ever had in her life, Mercy is determined that nothing come out of her inconvenient attraction to a man who seems too easygoing to her. But things take a turn when Mercy realizes that Thad is in reality her best friend Clarisse’s younger brother and that alone makes her enter into an agreement to take Thad along for the ride.

It is during this journey that these two make to Colorado that feelings Mercy had thought that she would never ever feel again crop to the surface and makes her give in to the heady desire she feels for a man that she knows is totally not for her. Thad who wants marriage and a family of his own knows that Mercy doesn’t want that role in her life nevertheless finds himself at the mercy of his feelings for her. Amidst danger from men who are after the money that Mercy had made in the auction, these two discover within one another their better halves but a lot of internal battles are waged within themselves to finally conclude that their lives would not be complete without the other.

I am someone who always loves a good American-Western romance. However, I felt that this one didn’t deliver what I was looking for. Thad was a hero I could have liked, hell I could have loved him to bits if he were a bit more assertive and if he could have just stood up for what he felt half the time. I love an independent heroine as much as the next girl but Mercy tended to get on my nerves a bit during the first half of the story and later on redeemed herself by following up on what she felt for Thad. I loved the fact that this was a romance between an older heroine and a younger hero but that didn’t factor into much of the story. This could have been a really great story if it had hit all those spots which you crave to be petted and stroked as a reader. All in all not a bad read though I wouldn’t recommend anyone to sit and read through this book except if you like myself want to discover whether the underlying does justice to a drool-worthy cover.

Favorite Quotes

As sure as roses will have thorns, love will bring you pain.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Abe Books

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Short & Sweet Review: Ride of Her Life by Anne Rainey

Format: E-bookrideofherlife
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Ellora’s Cave Quickies
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: Kyle Wolff
Heroine: Lily Justice
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: August 26, 2010
Started On: October 25, 2010
Finished On: October 25, 2010

Reading a Quickie in between novels is always a good way take a break off from reading a lengthy novel. A Quickie though short can play with your emotions and make you feel so heated at times that you feel as if you need to gulp in a fresh load of air every now and then. I say thank the Lord that at least they are short – otherwise there would be a whole lot of other problems to write back home about. Enough rambling I guess, so on to my review.

Storyline: This story focuses on divorcee Lily Justice who had been married for the past seven years finally gets rid of her good-for-nothing husband when he cheats on her. Divorced for nearly a year and 36 years old, she has no right to lust after the much younger and sexy as sin owner of Wolff’s Body Shop, Kyle Wolff. When her car needs a bit of body work Lily decides to take matters into her own hands so to say and kill two birds with one stone and make Kyle work on her body as well. But unbeknown to her, Kyle too has been lusting after the classy and pretty Lily and had been biding his time to make his move. What follows is an affair that is hot enough to singe one’s eyebrows off with a man who definitely knows a trick or two in making his woman reach out for the stars in bed.

First Encounter: There is no indication of when Kyle and Lily first see one another but they both talk to each other for the first time when Lily brings in her car for a much needed body work to Kyle’s workshop.

Time period: This story is set in Miller Siding, Ohio and has a contemporary setting to it.

Awareness between the hero and heroine: Though Lily nor Kyle had sought the other out earlier, they had both been aware of the other and wanted to experience the fireworks they knew they would both set off together in bed and out of it. Lily and Kyle both had fantasized about being together and with the first light brush of Kyle’s lips on Lily’s there is  no turning back – for either of them.

How the relationship grows: From the first kiss itself, though the passion that rages between Kyle and Lily is red hot, they both know that they want so much more from the other. Though Lily is skittish at the thought of marriage and kids, she doesn’t mind having exclusive rights over Kyle who seems to want the same thing in return from her. Since the story is extremely short, there is not much room to discover how their relationship grows apart from the mind-numbing encounters between the two. But the short and sweet epilogue at the end of the story shows that their relationship proceeds on to the next stage within a span of two weeks.

The turning point: There is no turning back once Lily walks into Wolff’s Body Shop and Kyle takes her on the ride of her life. From the first tender kiss between the two, everything changes for the better between two people who are made for one another.

Likes: Love the cover of the book. Wish the title wasn’t covering up much of the hunky Kyle’s sinfully good-looking body. I liked the fact that the age difference didn’t turn out to be an issue. Most probably if the story had been a lengthier one, that would have been the number 1 issue in the story.

Dislikes: None.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Ellora’s Cave

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Review: Flat-Out Sexy by Erin McCarthy

Format: E-bookflat-out sexy
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Adobe Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fast Track, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Hero: Elec Monroe
Heroine: Tamara Briggs
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 4, 2008
Started On: September 7, 2010
Finished On: September 8, 2010

I normally don’t like romances that deal with race car driving or anything of that sort. But seeing rave reviews of this series on a lot of book review sites and countless recommendations of these titles got my interest piqued enough to give these books a go. And I am so glad I did! Though I had reservations about reading a book by the author since her book Heiress for Hire kind of fell flat on the sensuality department, this book literally set my heart racing everytime Elec and Tamara got together.

Tamara Briggs, widow of the famous race car driver Pete Briggs who was killed in a wreck in Talladega is ready for the dating scene two years on. Though she has her reservations about her appeal after bearing her babies, Petey and Hannah both of whom she loved more than anything else in the world, Tamara needs to feel that connection and is so lonely of being alone since her husband died. A sociology professor and 32 years old, Tamara ventures into the dating world by going out with anthropology professor Geoffrey Ayers who couldn’t be less suited for her even if she tried. When her friend Suzanne points out that fact and some more, Tamara knows that she had thought wrong when she started going out with Geoffrey just because she wanted someone safe this time, who wouldn’t end up getting killed on the racetrack. Tamara had sworn that she wouldn’t date a race car driver again and that she didn’t want to put her or her kids through the pain of losing someone like that again.

Resolving to break things off with Geoffrey before the party is through and she has to fulfill the expectations Geoffrey has of them sharing a bed  together, she bumps into a guy spilling her wine glass all over him to look up and see a man who makes her go weak at her knees. The attraction that sizzles right from the very beginning is not one sided. 25 year old Elec Monroe feels like his world had tilted on its axis when sexy and beautiful Tamara runs into him. Elec who has been rendered infertile a couple of years back, dates women who wouldn’t want anything more than to live in the moment because he doesn’t want the pain of being rejected by a woman he has come to care about because he wouldn’t be able to provide her with children. But when Tamara bumps into him all his rules change in an instant and he is smitten right from the very beginning.

Tamara has a lot of valid reasons not to start something with the only man who is able to touch her in all the right ways and make her feel good about herself. For one thing he is younger than herself, she doesn’t want the hassle of getting together with a race car driver and putting her heart and emotions on the line again, and she has her kids to think about and her in-laws who have been together with her through every step of the way and helped her through adjusting to life being a single mom. The Briggs who were like family to the Monroes had had a falling out with them and Johnny, Pete’s father hated them with a vengeance which also gave Tamara a pause every time she thought of her and Elec getting together.

But reason always seems to fly out through the nearest window whenever Elec is within her sight. Red hot need obliterates everything else and Tamara knows that she and Elec share more than just fabulous sex with one another. Elec shows Tamara that he is not just after her delectable body but something much more and that he is with her for the long haul. Elec is kind, passionate, sweet and a very endearing hero and Tamara herself suites him to a tad.

I loved the smooth flow of the story, the passionate scenes which were done so tastefully and contributed towards making the love between Elec and Tamara richer. The side characters Ty & Imogen (whose story is next in the series) and Ryder and Suzanne (whose story is in the 3rd book of the series) all contributed towards making this book an instant winner with me. Can’t wait to sink into the next one in the series! Highly recommended for all contemporary romance lovers!

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

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