Review: And One Last Thing … by Molly Harper

Format: E-bookandonelastthing
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Lefty Monroe
Heroine: Lacey Terwilliger
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 27, 2010
Started On: September 09, 2016
Finished On: September 10, 2016

Written in the first person, And One Last Thing… by Molly Harper is a book that was entertaining to say the least. Lacey Terwilliger who accidentally stumbles onto the fact that her husband has been having an affair with his receptionist, finds herself in a disaster of her own making. Having missed the signs perhaps, the ones that every magazine that talks about such issues rave about, Lacey is blindsided by the utter feeling of betrayal and shame that hits her when she finds out. However, her humiliation finds an outlet that ends up making a social pariah out of her in her hometown and this is how Lacey finds herself neighboring the taciturn Hugh Jackman lookalike Lefty Monroe who seems to want nothing to do with her.

Lacey’s story is perhaps one that a lot of married women with cheating spouses have gone through. Women who give up their jobs to stay at home and take of their husbands, who eventually find themselves left with very little of their own person, having so perfectly fit into the mold required of them. This novel talks about those insecurities and telltale signs before a marriage that people go through, most that are brushed aside as wedding jitters – however in the end you realize that those were signs that perhaps you should have listened to all along.

In the sometimes painful and humiliating journey of self-reflection that Lacey goes through in order to find herself again, she finds that being alone is something that one gets used to, as long as one is no longer afraid of one’s own company. I found Lacey’s story deep and meaningful in that sense, and not to mention her run-ins with her neighbor who is grouchier than a lion with a thorn in its paw. Filled with tenderly steamy moments, I found the romance just right for the story that unfolded.

Recommended for fans who love chic lit.

Final Verdict: To find deep and abiding love, one must learn to love one’s own self first.

Favorite Quotes

There was a knock on my screen door. Monroe was standing outside, rain dripping from his hair and a smile stretched across his face. The afternoons were his usual writing time, so it was strange to see him out this early.
“You okay?” I asked, opening the door for him. “You’re going to freeze wandering around in the rain like that.”
He dug his fingers into my hair and dragged me against his cool, wet mouth. He tasted clean and spicy.
I dropped the book as he hitched my legs up over his hips and carried me, albeit slowly, into my room. I pushed his sodden jacket back over his shoulders and dropped it to the floor. His shirt followed just before he dropped me on the bed with a playful little bounce. It was at that moment I realized I was wearing my pajama pants with the little candy corns on them. And I just didn’t care.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Great Read!(1)

Review: Until You by Judith McNaught

Format: E-bookuntilyou
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Westmoreland Saga, #3
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Stephen David Elliott Westmoreland
Heroine: Sheridan Bromleigh
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 1, 1995
Started On: January 29, 2016
Finished On: January 31, 2016

Until You by Judith McNaught is one of my favorite books by an author who would always remain as one of those that are unforgettable for me as a romance reader. For myself, authors like Judith McNaught remains as my go to authors when most books of today fails to satisfy me and hit all those spots that need to be petted and stroked when I pick up a romance to read.

Until You is the 3rd book in the Westmoreland saga and tells the story of Stephen David Elliott Westmoreland, Earl of Langford, Baron of Ellingwood, Fifth Viscount Hargrove, Viscount Ashbourne. Well, that was a handful if ever there was one. Stephen is the younger brother of Clayton Westmoreland, the much revered hero of Whitney, My Love, the book that saw Judith McNaught rise to stardom. All the books in the series are 5-star reads for me. However, for some reason, Stephen has always occupied a special spot in my heart, perhaps owing to the fact that he is a hero overlooked by many fans of the author.

Stephen finds himself in a fit of bad luck when an accident makes him responsible for informing the deceased’s fiancée that her intended had met an untimely demise. Unknown to him, Sheridan Bromleigh, the woman who was entrusted by the bride-to-be’s father to safely transport her from America into the hands of her betrothed finds herself in a bit of a fix with the bride having eloped with another man. Sick with fear that she would be imprisoned or worse, not knowing what had happened to the groom in question, Sheridan meets an accident that nearly ends her life, leaving her in the hands and of Stephen himself.

Stephen believes that the woman who has somehow invaded his very thoughts and desires is the fiancée of a dead man, whose death he holds himself responsible for. It doesn’t help matters when Sheridan wakes up with no memories whatsoever of how she got there and what had happened before. Stephen’s reluctant attraction to Sheridan is clouded by the fact that Sheridan is led to believe that Stephen is her intended husband. The fact that she cannot recall any memories of a man as Stephen makes her panicky, but the moments of tenderness that catches Stephen unawares as he unknowingly starts courting the woman he would take as his wife makes her believe in the connection that exists between them.

Truth comes to light at one of those hold your breaths moments and the sheer betrayal that Stephen feels and his ruthless reaction towards it is perhaps the reason why I love Until You so much. It is the way he reacts that gives the book the angst factor, that makes my throat close up, no matter how many times I read this story. Characters from other stories make their appearances, giving a helping hand in a romance that is fraught with tension. Stephen proves to be a hard nut to crack, but then again if he were that easy, I believe I wouldn’t have loved him half as much.

A classic for me, if ever there was one. Recommended!

Final Verdict: Does not disappoint. Ever!

Favorite Quotes

His warm breath in her ear sent shivers up Sheridan’s spine, and she turned her face away from the cause, which brought her lips into instant contact with his. Stephen had intended to kiss her as Burleton might have done, but when her soft lips parted on a shaky breath, his intentions slipped from his mind.
Sheridan knew the moment his arm tightened on her waist and his lips began to move insistently against hers that she couldn’t have been expecting this… not the stormy rush of sensation that made her gasp and cling tighter to him, nor the compulsion to yield her mouth to his searching tongue, nor the frantic beating of her heart when his fingers shoved into the hair at her nape, holding her mouth tighter to his while her body seemed to want to meet and forge into his.

Stephen said abruptly, “Since we’ve ruled out rouge and curtsying, what are you interested in?”
You, Sherry thought. I am interested in you. I am interested in why you seem uneasy right now. I am interested in why there are times when you smile at me as if you see only me and I am all that matters. I am interested in why there are times when I sense that you don’t want to see me at all, even when I’m in front of you. I am interested in anything that matters to you because I want so much to matter to you. I am interested in history. Your history. My history. “History! I like history,” she provided brightly after a pause.

Her smooth brow furrowed in bewilderment. “I can’t quite remember what sort of injury it was, however.”
“A head injury,” Sherry provided helpfully.
“Yes, that was it.” Her bright blue gaze darted to Sherry’s head for a moment. “It looks as if it has healed.”
Dr. Whitticomb intervened. “The injury has healed,” he reminded her. “But there is still a troublesome aftereffect. Miss Lancaster has not yet recovered her memory.”
Miss Charity’s face fell. “My poor child. Do you know who you are?”
“Yes.”
“Do you know who I am?”
“Yes, ma’am.”
“Who am I?”

Stephen felt her hand slide up his chest, felt her press closer to him, and he claimed his victory, plundering her mouth with his, teasing and tormenting her, and she responded instinctively. The fires within her that had fueled her tempestuous rebellion earlier, now burned hot and bright with passion, and Stephen found himself in the midst of a kiss that was wildly erotic—and rapidly getting out of control. His hand was sliding over her breast, cupping it, and she was straining toward him in sweet abandon, offering her mouth to him. He told himself to stop and kissed her deeper instead, making her moan softly, and when she kissed him back, tentatively touching her tongue to his lips, it was the gasp of his own breath that he heard.

Every nerve in his body was screaming for release and still he held himself back, driving deeply into her, while the muscles in his arms strained with the rest of his body, refusing to deprive her of the same pleasure she was going to give him any second now. She was whimpering, eyes closed tightly, desperate for something she didn’t understand, afraid to have it. Afraid not to. Sobbing with desire, needing reassurance. He gave it to her in a hoarse whisper. “… Any second now…”
She went up in flames before he finished the sentence, her body clenching his, and Stephen heard himself groan with the extravagant splendor she was somehow making him feel. And then he gave himself over to it, driving toward it… and then past it, climaxing, his body jerking as he poured himself into her.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BookDepo

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Review: Once and Always by Judith McNaught

Format: E-bookonceandalways
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Sequels, #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Jason Fielding
Heroine: Victoria Elizabeth Seaton
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January, 1987
Started On: January 26, 2016
Finished On: January 26, 2016

Judith McNaught is one of the most revered authors in the romance genre, and with good reason. Her books have turned many a romantic soul into romance readers, giving them all something to dream, sigh and moon over. I have read all the published works by Judith McNaught to-date and loved almost each and every single one of them. I have revisited the books that I consider my favorites many a time. Most of those re-reads took place before I established my blog in 2009. So here goes, a review for Once and Always, a tale that for me, stands the irrevocable test of time itself.

Jason Fielding, the Marquess of Wakefield is a man who hides a wealth of pain beneath the formidable exterior of his. Life has taught him time and yet again that love and happiness is not meant for the likes of himself. His failure of a marriage and the consequences left behind in the wake of the disaster that particular venture had proven to be makes Jason a man wary at best of getting entangled with the opposite sex in a way that would lead to anything permanent. Most of all, Jason considers his heart closed off forever. His less than stellar childhood had also taught him that valuable lesson. That is until Victoria Elizabeth Seaton makes her way into his life and changes it forever.

18 year old Victoria is forced to leave the home that she has known all her life that is in America and sail to England where her maternal relatives await her and her sister’s arrival. From the moment Victoria and Jason meet, sparks fly. Victoria being the kind of person who is concerned about the welfare of those around her clashes at every turn with someone like Jason who has closed himself off from caring about what goes on in other people’s lives. Moments of hilarity and mirth fill this novel, at least during the beginning of the “courtship” stage where Jason hardly knows what to do with Victoria and Victoria in turn wants nothing more to do with the likes of him.

Moments of truce disappear into thin air more often than not, especially with Jason’s plans to wed her off so that the Duke of Atherton would stop trying to push him to take her as his wife. Victoria is equally determined to stay unwed, until her beau from America returns for her. But alas, as fate would have it, with more than a little helping hand given by the Duke, Victoria finds herself wedded to an exasperatingly beautiful man, who makes her senses go alive with the merest of touches. Each kiss and caress exchanged convinces Victoria of the fact that when it comes to her and Jason, falling in love is a foregone conclusion. But their future and happiness depends on how soon Victoria can make Jason see that when it comes to her, he would always get nothing but the purest of love.

Once and Always is a wonderful novel to immerse yourself in, if you like romances that deliver a ton of angst that can make you tie yourself up in knots, even when you know that the inevitable conclusion would be a happy one. Jason is a hero whose commanding presence alone makes a woman go gaga over him. Taming someone like Jason is a task for someone who is as strong as Victoria, someone who wouldn’t back down in the face of all the rejections and walls that Jason puts up, all because he can’t bring himself to be that vulnerable towards someone, ever again. But tame him Victoria does, and the result of course is a man whom you would indeed fall head over heels in love with.

This is exactly why Judith McNaught is an author that remains unrivaled in her contribution to the world of romance. Tempestuous, angst ridden and filled with so much love and passion that you would feel like dying if you didn’t read it to its ultimate and very satisfying conclusion, Once and Always managed to keep me spellbound, and God knows how many times I have already re-read this particular book already.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: Jason and Victoria’s love is bold and vivacious; it is all encompassing. Not to be missed!

Favorite Quotes

“Have I made another social blunder—like failing to knock?” he inquired in a low, amused voice, his lips offensively close to her cheek as she took her seat. “Is it not the custom in America for a gentleman to seat a lady?”
Victoria jerked her head away. “Are you seating me, or trying to eat my ear?”
His lips twitched. “I may do that,” he replied, “if the new cook provides us with a poor meal.”

Charles pushed her out the door under the guise of escorting her to her carriage, and Victoria halted and swung around on the stairway. Like a beautiful, outraged goddess she stood trembling with wrath, staring down at Jason. “Am I to understand,” she enunciated furiously, “that the engagement you said was ‘off’ was our engagement?”
Jason’s only answer was a tightening of his jaw, but his silence was a tacit admission, and she glared at him with blue sparks shooting from her eyes, heedless of the servants who were staring at her in paralyzed horror. “How dare you!” she hissed. “How dare you let anyone think I would consider marrying you. I wouldn’t marry you if you were—”
“I don’t recall asking you to marry me,” Jason interrupted sarcastically. “However, it’s reassuring to know that if I ever took leave of my senses and did ask you, you’d have the consideration to turn me down.”

Victoria saw something primitive and terrifying flare in his eyes as his hands tightened on her arms. She jerked back, a scream rising in her throat, but his lips covered hers, stifling her voice with a demanding insistence that stunned her into immobility. Like an alarmed rabbit captured in a painless trap, she struggled until she felt his hands stroke soothingly up and down her spine and shoulders, while his lips moved on hers with inflaming expertise.

“William Rogers,” Charles shot back in a challenging voice, “and he’s tall, conservative, mature, intelligent, and handsome. He’s also heir to one of the finest estates in England. I think he would do very well for Victoria.”
“No.”
“No?” Charles burst out. “Why not?”
“I don’t like the way Rogers sits a horse.”
“You don’t like—” Charles bit out in angry disbelief; then he glanced at Jason’s implacable face and sighed. “Very well. The last name on my list is Lord Terrance. He sits a horse extremely well, in addition to being an excellent chap. He is also tall, handsome, intelligent, and wealthy. Now,” he finished triumphantly, “what fault can you find with him?”
Jason’s jaw tightened ominously. “I don’t like, him.”
“You aren’t going to marry him!” Charles shot back, his voice rising.
Jason lurched forward in his chair and slammed his hand on his desk. “I said I don’t like him,” he said through clenched teeth. “And that’s the end of it.”

But in the mounting turmoil of their kiss and unaware of the hardening pressure against her stomach, Victoria let her fingers slide into the soft hair at his nape while her body automatically fitted itself to his—and suddenly everything changed. Jason’s arms closed around her with stunning force, his mouth opening on hers with fierce hunger. He parted her lips, teasing her with his tongue until he coaxed her to touch her own tongue to his lips, and when she did, he gasped, pulling her even closer, his body taut with fiery need.
When he finally lifted his head, he stared down at her with an odd expression of bemused self-mockery on his ruggedly chiseled features. “I should have given you diamonds and sapphires the other night, instead of pearls,” he commented. “But don’t kiss me like this again until after we’re married.”

“You have a very peculiar idea of what being a wife means,” he mocked savagely. “Now, get out of here.”
“Damn you!” Victoria blazed. “I don’t know how to be a wife, can’t you see that? I know how to cook and sew and look after a husband, but you don’t need me for that, because you have other people to take care of you. And I’ll tell you something else, Lord Fielding,” she continued, working herself into a fine rage, “I may not be a very good wife, but you’re an impossible husband! When I offer to play chess with you, you get angry. When I try to seduce you, you get nasty—”
She saw Jason’s head jerk up, but she was so angry she didn’t pay any heed to the stunned expression on his face. “And when I bring you a gift, you go off to London to see your mistress!”
“Tory,” he said achingly, “come here.”

Beneath her she could feel the pulsing of his rigid shaft, the fiery touch of his heated skin, the violent hammering of his heart against her breasts. But instead of taking her, as she expected, he gazed at her with desire raging in his eyes and humbly said the words he had tried to force her to say last night. “I want you,” he whispered. As if he didn’t think he had humbled himself enough, he added, “Please, darling.”
Feeling as if her heart would break with the love bursting in it, Victoria answered him with a melting kiss. It was answer enough.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

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Review: Rebel by Kristina Douglas

Format: E-bookrebel
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Fallen, #4
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Cain
Heroine: Martha
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 26, 2013
Started On: February 8, 2015
Finished On: February 10, 2015

Rebel is the last published book in the Fallen series by Kristina Douglas. Rebel tells of the fallen angel Cain, who returns to Sheol after a long period of time, nursing the need vengeance and revenge that has been haunting him for a long time. Cain is the hell raiser, the angel that everyone at Sheol has a hard time trusting given his penchant for causing trouble and leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. When Martha, the seer of the Fallen “sees” the arrival of Cain, Martha would like nothing more than for her this very vision to be proved wrong.

From the minute Cain arrives in Sheol engulfed in a ball of fire, everyone is shocked and apprehensive of his presence at the same time. Martha more so because of the wicked variety of dreams that had been haunting her for a while now, dreams of Cain and herself getting down and dirty in a way that she and her now dead husband had never engaged before. Nothing scares Martha more than opening herself up to the vulnerability that would be sure to follow if she allows Cain in and Cain certainly makes it hard for her to trust him with her heart when it comes to him.

Cain believes that nothing but boredom makes him seek out Martha. That her dull character would soon bore him and he would be able to move on without much trouble. That Martha is nothing but just one step he needs to cross in order to execute his plan of making the Fallen bleed a success. What he doesn’t bet on is for Martha to show him a side of her that proves to be alluring both physically and emotionally, for her to reach into a side of him that makes him want to lash out and he does, in ways that will exasperate the reader and then some.

While all of the Fallen stories follow a similar pattern, it is Cain’s arrival that heralds a belief change in the entire group that stirs things up in a manner that the occupants of Sheol has never faced before. Martha whose character appears to be a bit of a lackluster one in the previous novels proves to be the most surprising element to the story when she reveals her backbone of steel that has seen and being through a lot in her life. She is the usual no nonsense variety of heroines that Anne Stuart loves to write and she writes them well.

While I totally was on board with the angst that was delivered to the story through Cain’s reluctance to put a label on his feelings where Martha was concerned, I felt that Cain didn’t really have to work for it when it came to winning Martha over. I would definitely have loved to see Cain grovel a bit, so that it would have given readers a more well rounded ending to their story.

While there is no mention anywhere on the continuation of this series, I would like to think that somewhere along the way Anne Stuart would put pen to paper and give the series an ending that readers would love. Lucifer is the fallen angel that is left and the angel which I believe as per how things were proceeding would end up turning things around not just for the Fallen, but for the entire world.

Recommended! And one more thing; the dream sex – totally hot!

Final Verdict: A hell raising angel and a seer whose visions never seem just quite right. Love definitely is a game changer.

Favorite Quotes

He moved then, and his breath was hot against my skin, his long hair drifting against me, his hands on my arms, holding me still. And then his mouth touched my skin, and I wanted to weep.
It was no erotic kiss, no arousing tease of my suddenly tight breasts. It was a soft, sweet kiss against the place where the claws had bitten deep into my flesh, where the scar puckered in such an ugly way. A kiss, a benediction, followed by another, and then another, as his mouth traced the brutal line of scarring, then moved on to the next one, and I was weeping beneath my tightly closed lids.
He said nothing, but I heard his thoughts anyway. You shouldn’t be ashamed of these scars, his voice said in my dream. They’re a badge of honor.

“More.” I didn’t recognize the raw, needy whisper, but I could feel the strange delight of his laugh against my clitoris, and then his teeth, delicately, as he withdrew his long finger and then pushed two inside.
I shattered immediately, my voice hoarse as I cried out. “Don’t . . .
“Don’t . . . stop.”
He didn’t, pushing me over that hill and then dragging me up another, higher, steeper, and I knew the plummet into darkness would be terrifying, and I knew I couldn’t—wouldn’t—fight him. I wanted this. In the private darkness of my dreams, I wanted everything, because nothing was real.

“Take me,” I whispered, my voice hoarse. “Take all of me.” And I moved, baring my neck to him.
He thrust, so deep and hard that it was a kind of pleasure-pain that had me teetering on the very edge. And when I felt his bite sink deep into my throat, I went over, lost in the pulsing of my blood into his mouth, the pulsing of his semen inside me. Lost, forever, until, as I wanted, there was nothing left.

“It doesn’t. It’s just me asking. Come here, Martha. Or turn your back on me. It’s your choice. It always has been.”
I stared at him. “And it doesn’t matter which one I choose?”
His smile was rueful. “Of course it does. I’m ready to explode from wanting you. You’re making me crazy—I can’t concentrate on why I’m here; all I can think about is getting inside you, and each dream only makes it worse instead of taking the edge off. I’m drowning in you, in your scent and your touch and your taste. Come to me, goddamn it.” His voice was ragged at the end of this, and I was hot, trembling.
“No,” I said. Just to see the darkness flood his face. “You come to me.”

I felt the wall against my back, hard, and his hands were up under the shift, on my hips, ripping away the scrap of underwear I wore. He braced me against the wall as I felt his fingers between my legs, testing me, slipping in the wetness of my arousal, and then he fumbled with his jeans. I heard the rasp of a zipper in the darkness, and a moment later he was pressed against me, large and hot and real, and there was no sweetness, no gentle persuasion, there was only the hard thrust of him, pushing in, deep, so deep that I wanted to cry out in sudden satisfaction. Wanted to cry out for more.

“I want you to feel this,” he whispered against my ear. “I want you to be so caught up in you and me that there isn’t room for anything else. Not doubt, not control, not trust or Thomas or any of the thousands of reasons you don’t want this. I want you to think only about why you do. Why you want me inside you. Why it feels like you’d die if you didn’t feel me inside you. And then you’ll understand what I’ve been feeling for the past week, every time I look at you.”

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

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Review: Warrior by Kristina Douglas

Format: E-bookwarrrior
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Fallen, #3
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Michael Angelo
Heroine: Victoria Bellona
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 24, 2012
Started On: January 24, 2015
Finished On: February 8, 2015

He wanted her. Needed her.
He wouldn’t take her.

Warrior by Kristina Douglas is the third book in the Fallen series. Warrior tells the story of Michael Angelo, the angel that has honed himself into a lethal fighting machine. It has been two centuries since Michael had last taken a mate and Michael has no intention of taking one until fate brings to his life Victoria Bellona, the Roman Goddess of War.

Victoria doesn’t believe in the fact that she is a goddess of anything, much less a Goddess of War. However, it is undeniable that her childhood up till now had prepared her in the art of fighting and she aims to fight dirty to gain her freedom from the life she has been subjected to, until she finds herself married off to Michael, a man whose very presence makes Victoria forget herself, until she learns that Michael is one of the Fallen and has no intention of ever truly making her his.

Michael fights a losing battle when it comes to Victoria. Michael’s honorable intentions take a hard hit when it comes to her. When Michael is forced to go after Victoria, all bets are off when both Victoria and Michael finally give in to the hunger that courses through them every second that they are together.

With every searing kiss and scorching touch, Michael knows that there would be no turning back for him when it comes to Victoria. But the Fallen’s number one enemy is still eager as ever to break them up, make them all bow down to him and in the process, destroy what they’ve built millenniums ago. Will Victoria make a difference or will she be the one that helps their enemy finally and once and for all bring them down?

Though not as good as the first two books in the series, it is hard to remain detached from a tale spun by Anne Stuart. She brings the variety of wicked humor and nerve tingling passion alive in her books that are hard to forget. Michael and Victoria, though at the surface might seem like they don’t want anything to do with each other, fights an attraction that burns through their blood, a calling that runs through their soul for each to claim the other. Half the fun lay in Michael trying to resist Victoria and the passion that ignited when he finally succumbed to the inevitability of it all.

Recommended.

Final Verdict: A grumpy & reluctant angel finds his match in the brave goddess of war that entices him unlike any other.

Favorite Quotes

He stood at one end, his face cool and impassive. Such an arresting face on the man. Angel. Whatever he was. Exquisitely beautiful. Exquisitely cold.
In the bright sunlight I could see him clearly for the first time. He was wearing white as all the others were, a loose open shirt, though he’d rolled up the sleeves, as if even a so-called wedding required hard work. I looked at his strong forearms, and for the first time I noticed tattoos snaking their way up beneath the white cloth. The shirt was loose at the neck as well, and there were more markings on his chest, his throat, twining around to the back of his head, markings I hadn’t seen before. I halted, momentarily fascinated, and then Allie caught my arm and gently urged me forward.

She must have heard him come in. She rose on one elbow, looking at him, and the sheet fell away, exposing one small, perfect breast. And he needed to suck at it, to slide his hand between her legs and feel the wetness of her desire. He’d tried everything he could to fight this.
For the first time in his limitless existence, he had lost a battle.

“You’re not paying a debt,” he said. “Are you?”
She hesitated. “No,” she said, and leaned back against the pillow. “And you aren’t doing your duty, are you?”
“No.” He knelt on the bed, straddling her carefully. There was barely enough room for the two of them. It didn’t matter. They were going to be so close they wouldn’t need extra space. “No,” he said again, moving between her legs, lifting them. He took her mouth, her sweet, inexperienced mouth, with his, and then simply pushed inside her, hard, knowing she’d be wet and ready for him.

He pulled out almost completely, and she let out a cry of loss. He slid his hand down her stomach to her clitoris, touching her as he suddenly slammed into her, and she shattered, her body clamping around him. She shrieked against his shoulder, in shock, in pleasure, her fingers digging into him so tightly he would have thought she’d draw blood. That was another arousal, and he thrust, again and again, hard, riding her orgasm, prolonging it, and when she finally fell back, limp, he let himself go, releasing his seed into her, filling her, his head dropping to the pillow beside her as his wings unfurled to lock around them, cradling them in softness.

Darkness. Thick, enveloping darkness, with his strong body surrounding me, his hot, wet mouth on mine. All arguments fled. I wanted this. Needed this. Ever since I’d left his bed, a part of me had been missing, and now it was found again. He had come for me. And I was his.
His tongue slid into my mouth, and I felt unaccountably shy even after last night, but it didn’t seem to matter. When I tentatively moved my tongue against his, he let out a low growl of unmistakable approval, and I wanted to get closer. I wanted him inside me again, I wanted to take his cock into my mouth the way they did in the books I’d read. I wanted everything.

So many contrasting emotions were flooding me that I felt dizzy. Lust and irritation went without saying. But . . . he’d come for me. He’d died for me. He had my blood inside him, making him strong. He had me inside him.
And in willingly giving him my blood, my life force, I was afraid I’d given him more than that. I had given him love.

He shook me again, gripping my wrists so tightly that my hands were growing numb. “Had enough?” he demanded furiously.
“Not even close,” I snapped back.
And then we both froze. He looked down at me, bafflement and rage fading from his face. His mouth was bleeding. “Oh, shit,” he said.
He released my wrists. I didn’t know if he was going to try to pull away, but I wasn’t going to give him that chance.
“Oh, shit, indeed,” I said, my eyes daring him.
His mouth on mine was hard and angry, and I could taste his blood. It should have horrified me. It didn’t.

I shattered, letting out a low, keening wail, and he caught the cry from my mouth, drinking it in. Distantly I heard the clang of his belt buckle and the rasp of his zipper, and then he was inside me, sliding deep, pulling my legs around his narrow hips. I was already wet, aroused, my body accepting, and I clung to him, shocked. I felt like a boat on a stormy ocean, adrift in a tempest of sensation so powerful I could focus only on his body and what it was doing to mine.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | eBookMall | iTunes | ARe
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Review: Demon by Kristina Douglas

Format: E-bookdemon
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Fallen, #2
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Azazel
Heroine: Rachel Fitzpatrick
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: May 31, 2011
Started On: December 11, 2014
Finished On: December 12, 2014

“Who is Sarah?” […]
“My wife,” he said. “She died seven years ago. And I will not replace her with you.”

What happens when you find a series that just begs to be read? On top of that, what happens when it is written by an author who always delivers, even in her not so stellar stories? Well, that is what has happened in the case of The Fallen series written by Kristina Douglas aka Anne Stuart. I finished reading Raziel, the first book in the series just two days back. Being the fan that I am, and given the intriguing ending to Raziel, I just couldn’t help myself but quickly pick up the second book to read.

In Raziel, the first book, we meet Azazel, the Alpha of The Fallen, who has acted as their leader for eons. Giving the secret behind Azazel’s leaving would be spoiling it for readers who are interested so I will just say that it is heartbreaking what happens to Azazel, who leaves Sheol, the hidden realm on Earth in which the fallen angels reside. Anger and fear drives Azazel to seek out the female demon Lilith, who is rumored to be all things evil. Azazel’s fear stems from a prophecy as old as time itself, and he knows that the only way to prevent that from coming true would be to kill Rachel Fitzpatrick.

Rachel is a woman who leads a life even that she can’t remember much. There are echoes of memories that linger around in her mind. She doesn’t tend to stay around one place for long, some age old instinct driving her to run when the time comes. When Rachel finds herself face to face with Azazel who has the weirdest theory about who she is, and wanting to kill her, none other than Rachel is more surprised by the fact that she wants the man whose cold eyes speak of an intention to end her life.

Azazel would be kidding himself if he were to think that he is immune to Rachel. Though she hides behind baggy clothes and assumes a nonthreatening posture, the lure that she presents to mankind itself is one that even Azazel is not immune from. That doesn’t mean that he gives in from the moment he lays eyes on her. Rather he fights and fights dirty to keep her at bay, going as far as to betray her in a way that would have been hard to pull off if not for a writer of Anne Stuart’s caliber.

Mark my words, Azazel is ruthless. Ruthless in a way that some readers might not appreciate. But I think Demon is a perfect portrayal of his character the way the author intended him to be. I hate books where at the beginning of a series, a particular character is portrayed as this tortured and ruthless man that would be hard to take in, but oh so good when all is said and done. And then when his book arrives, from the minute his intended show up, he loses every single character that defines who he is. That is not realistic in my opinion and it cheats the readers out of a lot of anticipation they have been storing up for that particular character. Which is why I love Kristina Douglas aka Anne Stuart. She has no problem with delivering her characters as they are. And she ends up doing quite a fantastic job out of the storytelling with them.

Though I fell in love with Raziel’s story a tad more than I did for Azazel’s, Demon nevertheless is a book not to be missed. It has got a story that you’d either love or hate; there is no in between. Once again, combining first person point of view with view points from other characters in the story in third person, if every story written in first person were to be like this, I definitely wouldn’t have a problem! Recommended!

Final Verdict: Lust, redemption, betrayal and love; Kristina Douglas definitely delivers!

Favorite Quotes

“You are everything that is evil. I should have left you to the Nephilim.”
[..]
“Why didn’t you?” My voice was almost a whisper, as if I knew what he was going to do and I was afraid to startle him. Distract him. Stop him. I knew what he wanted, and God help me, I wanted it too.
His deep-blue eyes were shadowed, and I thought I could see a streak of blood on his mouth. Whose blood? “Because I am a fool and a half,” he whispered as well, the night air all around us. “Because I know who and what you are, and I want you anyway.”
And he kissed me. His mouth was rough, pushing mine open as his hard body pressed me back against the car, and I felt heat, desire, sweep through me, not knowing if it was his or mine.

I kept my mouth shut, wondering whether I could bite him hard enough to draw blood, wondering why my breath was coming fast and my heart was racing. It wasn’t fear. I’d told the truth—I was no longer afraid of him. I remembered his kiss from the dockside, the rush of desire that had suffused my body.
As it did now. My pulse raced, my skin heated; I was wet and ready. I thought, Fuck it, and opened my mouth for him, taking the sweet invasion of his tongue with a shock of pleasure, and I knew I’d been waiting for this, longing for this without knowing it. Longing for him, my enemy.

He brought his hands up to cradle my head, as impossibly the kiss deepened, and I wanted my clothes off—now. I wanted to strip him naked and feel him inside of me, pulsing and thrusting. I could sense it, anticipate it, feel the thick push of him, and I cried out against his mouth as a small climax startled me.

I felt his teeth then, a small bite against my skin, barely painful, and my muffled arousal was suddenly full-force, sweeping over my body. I put my hands on him, on his damp, silky hair, pressing him against me. The room wasn’t dark the way I wanted, but it didn’t matter. It was all right to want him, all right to feel overwhelming desire. There were no witnesses, and he didn’t care what I was feeling. We were doing this, it was out of my control, and his mouth was wonderful against me.

“Oh, God,” I whispered as he licked me gently, carefully, teasing me until I wanted to scream at him. And then his mouth fastened on me with such deep, drawing hunger that I felt a hot spasm between my legs and, straddling him, pressed my naked body against his. He hadn’t lied. He was most definitely aroused, and I rocked against him instinctively, feeling him against my sensitive flesh.

I looked down between us, at the joining. I could see my nipples, tight and hard. See him buried inside me as I felt my body grow accustomed to his. He hadn’t moved, and slowly I raised my eyes to look at him.
For a moment we simply stared at each other, frozen in time, his eyes and mine, more powerfully intimate than the joining between our legs. “Move,” he said, his voice raw.

I dug my fingers into his shoulders, wanting to get away, but he wouldn’t let me. “Do not fight it,” he whispered. “Embrace it.” He slid his hand down my stomach, touching where we joined, and a jolt of reaction swept through me.
I heard my own muffled cry, and he surged up into me again, and again, and he touched me once more, hard, and his voice was a growl.
“Come,” he said. And I did.

Pulling the long skirt up, exposing my legs in the stormy afternoon, so that I felt the rain pelting against them, and I knew I should care whether someone was watching. I did care, just not enough. Not even when he reached for my panties and with one rough yank tore them off.
He put one hand under my butt, lifting me up, pressing me back against the door, and I heard the rasp of his zipper, his muttered curse as he freed himself, and then he pushed inside me, not waiting to see if I was ready for him.
I was. More than ready.

His hands were on my bare thighs, holding me up, and he pushed into me again and again. I could hear the wet slap of our joining, and it was another jolt of dark pleasure. He kissed me, hard, and I could taste blood, his or mine or both, it didn’t matter. He couldn’t get enough of me and I couldn’t get enough of him.

One more crash of lightning, and the sky opened in a deluge. He slammed back into me, and I went over the edge as I felt him jerk and pulse into me. I have no idea why I did it, only knew that I needed to; my mouth opened, and my teeth sank into his strong, powerful throat, breaking the skin, tasting the rich sweetness of his blood.
I heard his deep groan, felt him swell inside me, and then nothing more as sheer sensation washed over me. I shook, convulsing, lost in a place that terrified me, with only his arms and his body supporting me as I flew.

His hands slid down, covering them, and I cried out with the sensation, a raw, rough sound, and then I made no sound at all as his mouth closed over one taut nipple, drawing it in tightly, his tongue dancing across the beaded top as he sucked, and I wondered if I could come simply from his mouth at my breast. And then I remembered his hoarse, one-word command, “Come,” and my body went rigid as a small climax caught me.

The pull of his mouth at my neck, sucking, drinking, lost in my taste, the sweet hot rush as he filled me were too much. I was dying, and I didn’t care. We would die together, destroyed by a desire that was elementally wrong; they had warned us, and neither of us had cared. I was dying, and I was in his arms, and that was all that mattered.
There were feathers, feathers closing around me, soft and blessed, drawing in the darkness, and as I tumbled back to earth I let myself rest in their gentleness, at peace.

His hands slid down to cover my breasts, his fingers plucking my nipples, and the banked fire roared to life again. I pressed my butt against him, rubbing, and his sudden growl was pure animal need. Something that vibrated within me as well. I turned in his arms, and he kissed me, his mouth still tasting of the salt water, and I wanted to drink him in. Wanted to suck at him, as he had sucked at me, and I knew what I was going to do.
“Oh, God,” he muttered weakly, and I remembered he could read my thoughts. My body heated with a rush of embarrassment, but he only laughed, low in his throat, and shoved the covers off me.

“I want …” she whispered in that lost, broken voice that filled him with shame and sorrow, “… I want to change positions.”
He managed a crooked smile. “Of course,” he said, starting to turn and pull her on top; but she resisted, pushing at him.
“No,” she said. “There’s another way.”
He held very still. “There are many other ways,” he said finally, his own voice sounding as damaged as hers.
“I … I …” Embarrassment colored her voice, and he knew she couldn’t find the words.
“You want me to guess?” he said with strangled amusement.

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Review: Raziel by Kristina Douglas

Format: E-bookraziel
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Fallen, #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Raziel
Heroine: Allegra Watson
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: January 25, 2011
Started On: December 1, 2014
Finished On: December 10, 2014

Kristina Douglas is Anne Stuart writing paranormal fantasy genre. And whichever genre that Anne Stuart chooses to write, and if there is romance in it, its definitely a reason to pick it up. I’ve been meaning to give this series a go and finally managed to do so and ended up getting wowed beyond my wildest imaginations.

The Fallen series is focused on the concept of the fallen angels that is believed by Jews and Christians. Though I found reading about fallen angels which is not something we believe in Islam a bit unsettling at the beginning, I just set aside my misgivings and gave up to the heady ride Kristina Douglas delivered with Raziel, the debut book in the series.

Allegra Watson (Allie), a biblical murder mystery writer finds herself meeting her death, escorted by the most beautiful male specimen that she has laid her eyes on to her intended destination. Raziel and the other fallen angels lead a seemingly endless life, a life includes ferrying souls to either Hell or Paradise at the behest of Uriel, the archangel. Though Raziel has never had any problems with any of the people that he has transported for centuries, he finds that when the time of reckoning comes, he is unable to send Allegra on her way.

Allie finds herself in the most bizarre of circumstances with Raziel, a man who infuriates her, astounds her and electrifies her with the need that pulses through her every time he is around. Bound to each other by something that neither of them wants to acknowledge, Allie’s arrival to Sheol, the hidden world in which the fallen reside is not a welcome one for many. With danger looming closer than ever, Allie finds herself entirely captivated by Raziel and what he does to  her heart, mind, body and soul. With surprising twists to the story, Ms. Douglas manages to deliver a story that is unputdownable at best!

The power that Anne Stuart holds over her readers is legendary. With contemporary romances and romantic suspense, she continues to push the comfort zone of many a reader and publisher too if her writing history is anything to judge that fact by and under the pseudonym of Kristina Douglas, Anne Stuart practically eviscerates every preconceived notion of how the fantasy genre ought to be written. She smashes through the walls and leaves utter destruction of the kind you love to indulge in and I as a reader couldn’t have asked for more!

Allie whose name Allegra Watson made me snicker a bit to myself (Allegra = an antihistamine + Watson = a personal care store in Malaysia), fits the mold of heroines that Anne Stuart is famous for writing. Definitely not of the doormat variety, Allie continues to push at Raziel’s carefully laid out world of black and white, splashing it with beautiful, bold and vivid colors while Raziel continues to fool himself into thinking he is man enough to resist her charms. Snarky with a heart of gold, Allie was a heroine I definitely fell in love with and rooted for in the biggest way possible.

Raziel is one of the oldest of the fallen angels and pretty set in his ways. Raziel had sworn off women and the concept of finding a mate to share his life with because of the pain it brings to the heart to lose the one you love. While the fallen are subjected to live their life for eternity, their mates aren’t magically given the same “gift” and thus Raziel’s conviction that he is better off with just relying on his hand for company. But with the arrival of Allie into his life, Raziel knows in his heart that his days as a loner are numbered and that before she is through, she would end up blowing his heart into smithereens if he is not careful.

Raziel as a hero is beyond sexy, the kind of man that Anne Stuart so boldly brings to life time and yet again. Given the fact that this is fantasy, Anne’s creation goes a step further and delivers a mouthwatering version of the alpha male, Raziel is practically good enough to eat! His wings, oh man, those are a sight to behold and yes, you have to read the book to understand the full impact of Raziel.

This book is written in first person, from both Raziel and Allie’s points of view. The fact that I forgot to even complain about it when I initially wrote the review explains the fact that Ms. Douglas found a way to make the first person PoV work. By providing the points of view of both the hero and heroine. I actually never felt any of the frustrations that I usually feel with books written in first person and perhaps that is why I forgot to write it down when I first drafted the review.

I loved the ending provided, a look into their lives 5 years on, and a torturous peek towards what’s coming. There’s a sadness to the story, an inevitability to their shared lives and yet the happiness that radiates from it outshines it all. And that my friends is what superb storytelling is all about. Combining witty banter, heady sexual tension with highly erotic and sensuous delivery and enough fantasy and gore to feed the appetite, Raziel is a book that is a definite must read! I went a bit crazy with the quotes, forgive me. Not! Haha!

Final Verdict: Bold & unapologetic, sweeps you off your feet, big time!

Favorite Quotes

Kicking him in the shin and running like hell seemed an excellent plan, but I was barefoot and my body wasn’t feeling cooperative. As angry and desperate as I was, I still seemed to want him to touch me, even when I knew he had nothing good in mind. Angels didn’t have sex, did they? They didn’t even have sexual organs, according to the movie Dogma. I found myself glancing at his crotch, then quickly pulled my gaze away. What the hell was I doing checking out an angel’s package when I was about to die?

Her smile was faint, lovely, one of the most erotic things about her. “Now,” she whispered.
He didn’t hesitate. His fangs slid down and sank into her neck, finding the sweet spot he knew so well. The blood was thick, rich in his mouth, and he felt the spasms begin to take over, felt her own helpless response as his wings unfurled. He rolled onto his side, taking her with him, his teeth never leaving the gently throbbing vein, his cock deep inside her as his wings clamped around them both, locking them together as he gave himself over to the only kind of death he’d ever know.

“Were you sent here to torment me?” he whispered, sliding his arm around my waist, pulling me against him. “Did he know exactly what I needed, what I couldn’t fight?”
He? Who? But before I could ask the question, he kissed me again, and I was lost, needing to get closer to him, needing his skin beneath my fingers. His tongue was in my mouth, and I welcomed it, reaching between us and pulling his shirt apart so I could touch his skin, his hot, smooth skin. His heart was racing, and I wanted to put my mouth against it, wanted to taste his flat nipples, wanted my mouth all over him.

He started to pull out, and I clutched at him, suddenly terrified he would leave me.
But he was already pushing back into me, deeper than the first thrust, slick and sure, deeper, thicker, harder, and when he pulled back I let out a cry, desperate.
This time he slammed into me, all the way in, pushing me hard up against the wall, and my body suddenly shattered. I let out a muffled scream, burying it against his shoulder, against the smell of clean cotton and warm skin, and another wave hit me, and then another, until I was sure I couldn’t take any more.

I lay perfectly still beneath as he took care of me, my eyes closed, just wishing he’d go away and leave me. He was going to, sooner or later, and he might as well get it over with.
“I’m not going away,” he said.
“Stop reading my mind!” I cried, my voice catching on a sob. I didn’t tend to become emotional after sex, but this was an anomaly on every front.
He cursed under his breath. And then he simply moved over me, between my legs, and before I realized what he was doing he’d pushed inside me again, fully hard, and I let out a little yelp of shock as I shifted to accommodate him.

He lifted his head to look down at me, and I stared up into his strange eyes, mesmerized. I no longer wanted to hide, to look away. He was invading my soul again, just as he had earlier, only this time he was invading my body at the same time, and I wanted more.
“There’s a limit to what you can take, Allie,” he whispered in my ear, reading me again. “I don’t want to hurt you.” And he began to move, a slow, sweet slide, and I found I could make noise after all, a deep, longing moan, as I slid my arms around his back and held him close, feeling his muscles bunch and release against my hands, wanting the feel of him, the taste of him, all around me.

He reached behind him and took my arms, slamming them down on the mattress as he rose up, pumping into me. The second climax hit me, and then I couldn’t stop. I needed nothing more than the steady movement of him inside me to bring me to a place I hadn’t believed existed, and I threw myself out into the stars as his hands pressed down on mine and the iridescent darkness closed around us once more.
I could feel him inside me, coming, and I arched back, wanting his mouth on me, wanting his teeth on me. Please, I thought, and I felt his mouth against my neck and the first sharp bite of his teeth.
And I was complete.

“I can’t,” I said in sudden fear. “I really can’t.” And I tried to get off the bed.
He caught me at the edge, pulling me back underneath him so that I was facedown on the bed, my mouth against the linen sheets that smelled of lavender and spice and something even more elemental. “Yes you can,” he said with simple truth, and he slid his arm under my stomach, pulling me up to my hands and knees.

He pounded into me, a heavy dark rhythm that was like drumbeats from the heart of Africa. The drums of the gods. And I couldn’t stop the shudders rushing through me, mini-climaxes that were building, and his hand went between my legs, his fingers touching me, and I screamed, putting my head down, my face into the sheets as I gave in to the wildness and power, the animal need washing through me. I gave myself to him with complete trust, no longer thinking, no longer doubting. He would keep me safe, he would stop when I had more than I could handle, he would know.

His cock inside me seemed to swell, and I cradled his head against me, running my fingers through his thick, curling hair, whispering to him, soft words, love words.
And then he pulled away, rising up, and I could see my blood on his mouth, see the glitter in his eyes. He stared down at me, not moving, and I felt his climax deep inside me, giving me back what he had taken from me, and I joined him, flinging myself into the darkness with only him to guide me.

“Are you always going to be able to read my thoughts?” I asked with a trace of asperity.
“I can try not to. When you’re feeling strong emotion, it will come to me, and it will go both ways. In day-to-day life, I can shield you.”
“And in bed? I’m assuming we’re going to do this again?” I held my breath, waiting for the answer. Was he still fighting it? Should I still fight it?
It was a long moment before he spoke, an endless one. “As often as possible,” he said.
I knew his thoughts, knew what he wanted. Now. Again. “Yes,” I said. “Yes.”

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

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