Review: Reckless Love by Elizabeth Lowell

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: MacKenzie-Blackthorn, #1
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Tyrell MacKenzie
Heroine: Janna Wayland
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: December 26, 2006
Started On: October 17, 2020
Finished On: October 25 , 2020

What is it about romances written years ago that has the unique ability of reeling you in until you are hooked, line, and sinker? That is what I experienced with my very first Elizabeth Lowell novel, i.e. Reckless Love. The debut book in the MacKenzie-Blackthorn series, Reckless Love tells the story of Tyrell MacKenzie and 19 year old Janna Wayland whose paths cross in the wild land of Utah Territory after the end of the Civil War.

Janna lives alone, in the company of mustangs, under the guise of being a male which serves her well. Tyrell in the meanwhile, is a man who comes from a previously wealthy family, who comes to Utah Territory looking for a wild stallion known as Lucifer, via which he aims to make his fortune. Tyrell dreams of marrying the silken lady of his dreams, and he is not to be waylaid by anyone or anything for that matter.

When Tyrell finds himself attacked and at the brink of imminent death, it is Janna who rescues him, nurses him back to health, and takes him to the one place that is her safe haven and home amidst the chaos that is life in the territory. Tyrell, believing Janna to be a lad, does not take it kindly when he realizes that he has been deceived all along, especially when it had given him cause to question his own sexuality at certain points through his recovery.

The desire that blazes between Janna and Tyrell is fierce and it burns hotter and brighter than Tyrell would have thought possible. Even as he gives in, Tyrell is determined not to lose sight of his dreams of finding his silken lady, and Janna, who has lived in the wilderness all her life understands that making Tyrell fall in love with her would be an impossibility. Determined to make the best of the time they have left, Janna does not ask for more, and is resigned to saying goodbye when their time is up.

However, fate decides otherwise, and Janna is forced to leave the one place that had been hers and become part of the world that is Tyrell’s, nursing a broken heart knowing that Tyrell would never ever be truly hers. It takes a lot for Tyrell to start seeing things differently, as he continues to lie to himself about his feelings for Janna that burns as bright as the sun.

I loved Reckless Love for many a reason. I was in need of a story with an alpha hero of the kind that is hard to find in the romance novels of today. Tyrell proved to be all that and more, making the pages comes alive with his mere presence alone. There is a way about him that makes all that is female in you yearn and yearn big, and that is what Tyrell was for me.

I loved Janna to bits – she was courageous and beautiful in a way that is indescribable. She may have lived her life up till then without the frills and whites to accentuate her beauty, but for me, the purity of her character and soul shone vividly from the onset. I love a strong heroine as much as I do an alpha hero and Janna was that for me in many ways. Ms. Lowell writes with the kind of prose that is reminiscent of earlier works of Sandra Brown and Linda Howard, perhaps one of the main reasons why I felt right at home amidst the magic she wove with Tyrell and Janna.

Recommended for fans of Ms. Lowell and fans of Western themed romances with an alpha hero who makes your heart go wild and heroines you absolutely root for.

Final Verdict: Reckless Love delivers an exquisite cocktail of romance, heat, and angst that is guaranteed to make your insides all warm and fuzzy!

Favorite Quotes

When Ty’s arms tightened around Janna and he whispered her name, her hands crept up his chest to his stubble-roughened cheeks and beyond. Her fingers sought the thick black hair she longed to caress as she had in the days when he had been too ill to object to her touch. She slid her hands beneath his hat, dislodging it, and she shivered with pleasure when her fingers knew again the silky textures and fullness of his hair. She moved her hands slowly, flexing them gently, caressing him and the sensitive skin between her fingers at the same time.
The intimate, changing pressure of Janna’s hands on Ty’s scalp made his breath catch, break and emerge as an almost silent groan. He moved his head slowly, increasing the pressure of her caressing hands, and the sound he made seemed to Janna more like a purr from a very large cat than any noise a man might make.

Heat stole beneath Janna’s skin, flushing her face, shortening her breath. Bubbles of sensation grew slowly inside her, expanding with each warm movement of Ty’s tongue until she shivered and a bubble burst, drenching her with golden heat; and then pleasure gathered again, burst sweetly, made her shiver and moan Ty’s name. The slender hands buried in Ty’s hair flexed and relaxed in the same rhythms of Janna’s tongue—seeking, stroking, finding, mating with the slow, deep motions he had taught her.
The sensuous, searching caresses brought a violent hardening of Ty’s flesh that both shocked and dismayed him, telling him that he was very close to the edge of his self-control.

“Don’t be sorry,” he said huskily. “I like knowing that I’ve pleased you.”
“You do?” she whispered, looking at his lips, wanting to taste him again, to feel his tongue moving within her mouth.
“Yes.” Ty smiled and nuzzled the slanting line of Janna’s cheekbones until he came to the silky edge of her hair. He stripped off her hat and headband, untied the rawhide thongs holding her braids and unraveled them until his hands were full of the cool fire of her hair. He made an inarticulate sound of pleasure as he searched blindly with his mouth for the tempting curves of her ear. “I want to please you, little one. Will you tell me if I do?”
“Y-yes.”

“Will going slow spoil it for you?” Janna whispered. “I don’t want to make it bad for you. I want to please you, Ty. I want that so much I ache.”
“Going slow won’t spoil it. In fact, it can make it so good you feel like dying.”
“It can?”
Janna’s voice was husky with the conflicting emotions racing through her, passion and nervousness and a hunger to touch and be touched that was completely new to her.
“It can,” Ty said. “At least, that’s what I’m told. I’ve never known that kind of pleasure myself.”
Janna tried to speak but had no voice. She licked her lips and tilted her head back until she could look into the darkly luminous green of Ty’s eyes.
“I want to pleasure you like that,” she whispered. “Will you teach me how?”

“Janna,” Ty said, breathing her name as much as saying it, “I hope to God I can set fire to you half as hot as you set fire to me. If I can, we’ll burn down the whole damn plateau.”

“Unbutton my shirt,” Ty said in a thick voice. “You’ll like the feel of my bare skin against your breasts. And so will I.”
The slight movement of Janna’s body when she reached for Ty’s collar button made her hips rock against the hot cradle he had made for her between his legs. He groaned in a kind of exquisite agony, for he had never needed a woman so much as he needed Janna at that instant.
“Again,” he whispered. “Move against me just once more. Just once.”

Janna’s nails dug into the flexed power of Ty’s buttocks and her body twisted wildly beneath his as she whispered again and again that what he had given her was good but not enough. With each movement she became more seductive, more demanding, more welcoming, so hot and sleek that he found himself pressing again and yet again at the fragile flesh that barred total consummation.
Ty groaned and forced himself to move just slightly while his fingers sought and claimed the slick, delicate nub of Janna’s passion. He controlled the instinctive rocking of her hips by settling more of his weight between her legs, pinning her in place while he caressed her, bringing her closer and closer to ecstasy.

And then it was happening, the hot rain and the sheathing, ecstasy bursting with each movement of Ty’s hips; and Janna wept at the perfection as he let go of control and locked himself so deeply within her that she felt the certainty of his climax as the most intimate kind of caress, a pulsing presence that sent her spinning into ecstasy once again, her body caressing him rhythmically in the quivering aftermath of his own release.
Janna’s tiny, ecstatic cries pierced Ty like golden needles, reaching past the flesh to the soul beneath. “Violent pleasure racked him until his muscles stood out like iron. The endless, shuddering release that followed overwhelmed him.

The knowledge of his own helpless response to her shocked Ty. He shouldn’t feel this way. The sweat wasn’t dry on his body from the first time he had taken her. He shouldn’t want her again the way he did right now—need knotting his guts, his body hard and heavy and hot, filled to bursting once more.
He fought to remain still, not to respond, not to move, but the knowledge of the ecstatic consummation he would find within Janna’s body was too new, too overwhelming for him to deny or control it. With a low, raw cry, he fought against the lure of her, but even as he cried out he was moving slowly, surrendering himself to her one hard inch at a time.

“Janna?” Ty asked, holding himself motionless but for the helpless shuddering of his aroused body. “Answer me!”
She tried to move, to take from him what he was withholding. It was impossible. He was too strong, too skilled, and she loved him.
“Yes, damn you,” she whispered achingly. “Yes!”
Ty heard only the agreement, not the pain. He let out his pent breath in a ragged groan.
“I need you,” he said in a low voice. His hips began to move in quickening rhythms as shudder after shudder of tension went through his powerful body. “God help me, I’ve never needed any woman like this.”

Janna trembled as Ty kissed and licked and nuzzled the length of her torso, smoothing her legs apart as he had in the pool. This time there were no hot swirls of water to caress her, only the heat and textures of her lover teasing the humid softness that his fingertips had first discovered.
The first gliding touch of Ty’s tongue brought a startled cry from Janna. It was answered by a reassuring murmur and a kiss both tender and hotly intimate. She tried to say his name, but all that came out was a whimper of shock and pleasure.

“Don’t,” Ty said huskily, biting back a raw sound of need. “You’ll make me lose control.”
“But I’m not even touching you,” she whispered.
“You are in your mind. And in mine. Satin butterfly, hot and sleek and perfect. When you took me into your body it was like being taken into a fiery paradise. You burned me to my soul. You’re still burning in my soul, burning in my body, everything burning. You don’t know what you do to me.”
Ty saw Janna’s shivering response to his words and thought he would lose what little control remained to him.
“You burned me the same way,” she said, touching him with the tip of her tongue. “I’m still burning.”

“I want you,” Janna said, her voice breaking beneath an unexpected, wild burst of pleasure at feeling him so thick and heavy in her hands. “I want to be joined so closely with you that I can feel each heartbeat, each pulse of life…”
Her words shattered into rippling sounds, tiny cries called from her very core as Ty swept her loose pants from her body and merged their bodies with a single powerful motion, giving her all that she had asked for and more, for he had wanted the joining as intensely as she had.
The swift fulfillment was like lightning searching through Janna’s flesh, creating an incandescent network of fire, burning through to her soul. She didn’t know that she called Ty’s name even as ecstasy transfixed her, but he knew. He heard his own name, felt the satin convulsions deep within her body, and he smiled in a mixture of triumph and passionate restraint as he bent to drink from her lips the taste of ecstasy.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

Review: Teacher by Fiona Cole

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Voyeur, #6
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Daniel
Heroine: Hanna
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: June 15, 2020
Started On: September 25, 2020
Finished On: September 29, 2020

Teacher by Fiona Cole is a moving read in many ways, dealing with the difficult topic of recovering from past traumas that had left its weighty mark on both the hero and heroine. Book 6 in the Voyeur series, Teacher is a book that can be read as a standalone without feeling like you have missed out on something major from the previous books. I did not read the first five books for that matter and felt right at home with Teacher, from start to finish.

40 year old Daniel is the owner of Voyeur, a sex club where consenting adults indulge in their wildest fantasies. 26 year old Hanna is trying to live her life as she promised her twin sister Sofia and leave behind the major scars that had been the resultant effect of having being abducted at the age of seventeen and used pretty much in every way conceivable. Therapy had done its job for the most part, but Hanna still struggles with physical intimacy, and comes off as someone who is standoffish to most, when she is just unable to make herself enjoy being in the moment.

At the sex club, around Daniel, Hanna feels safe enough to let her fears go and perhaps think about physical intimacy as something she could enjoy. When the idea takes root, Hanna is determined that she would find her lost self with Daniel who is ready to help Hanna move past her fears and embrace her sexuality as it should be. Daniel tells himself that by helping Hanna, he is paying penance for the biggest failure of his life which had ended in tragedy, and that it would help assuage his guilt.

Daniel and Hanna’s non-relationship is perfectly suited for their needs; Daniel does not want romantic entanglements, the scars from his past having worked him over pretty good and Hanna, who does not like putting herself into situations she has no control over. The sex scenes are hot and steamy, with Daniel and Hanna losing themselves in each other and eventually their hearts to one another.

In the end, I was left with just one single sentiment – every woman should have a man like Daniel to initiate them into the wonderful world of physical intimacy. Reminds me of what Daphne says to Simon in an episode of Bridgerton that is all the rave on Netflix – that it was no wonder their mamas kept everything to do in the bedroom a secret, for if otherwise they [the women] would get nothing done. When it is right between two people, there is nothing like it, nor would there ever be, and that is ultimately what Daniel teaches us readers before the book is through.

Recommended for fans of romances that deal with recovering from tragic pasts and healing in the arms of that right someone. This book delivers in spades!

Final Verdict: In Teacher, Ms. Cole delivers beautifully on how the very concept of healing could be beautiful and utterly sexy both at the same time. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

On my second pass, she lifted up, pushing me inside more.
“Daniel, please.”
The woman panted on the other side of the glass as she rode the man’s cock. Hanna watched enraptured by the control the woman was taking over her lover, and I let her have the same control to fuck my fingers.
“You’re so tight, Hanna,” I groaned against her skin. “So wet.”
The words flew out of my mouth, and I waited, but Hanna was too lost to herself to care. She rode my fingers harder, and I used my thumb to rub at her hard, slick bundle of nerves. Her whimpers grew into moans that sank into my soul. Her pussy tightened, getting ready to come, and I feared I’d come in my pants right along with her.
When the man gripped the woman’s ass and pulled her cheeks apart, exposing every inch of him entering her, Hanna came.

My fingers moved faster and faster. I dug my heels into the mattress and swallowed, trying to get moisture back in my mouth.
Guilt poked at my pleasure that I was fantasizing about Daniel as I played with myself, but then I remembered his deep groan that had rumbled from his chest. I remembered the way his eyes watched between my legs, only sliding closed at the last minute before his cum shot out. He hadn’t even cared that it landed on his shirt and neck, he’d been so lost in his pleasure.
And just like that, I fell. Waves of ecstasy spread from my core over my body, bringing my skin to life. My lips fell open, freeing moans of pleasure I hadn’t even known I was capable of.

My entire focus centered on Daniel’s tongue and the need to come. There was no room for anything else.
“Play with your tits, baby.”
Without hesitation, I did as told. I had no idea my nipples were so sensitive. I should’ve been ashamed of how much I liked the rough pinches and hard tugs, but nothing mattered right then. Daniel pushed his fingers into me and latched on to my clit, sucking hard, and that was it. Pleasure crashed over me, flinging me off a cliff, sending me into a free-fall I never wanted to come back from. I wanted to live in this feeling, this pleasure, this oblivion.
Instead of crashing back into my body, soft licks and strokes cradled me back to earth.
“Beautiful.”
His praise wrapped me in the comfort I’d come to associate just with him.

I wasn’t sure who moved first. I wasn’t sure it mattered. I pressed up as he dipped down, and our mouths connected softly, afraid to break the fragile moment we’d created.
He drank from my lips, stroked them with his tongue, and I happily opened, needing to taste him. Sliding my arms around his waist, I held on tight, letting the intensity of us kissing wash over me.
We kissed and kissed. Not because we were at Voyeur and this was another lesson to help me accept touch. No, this was because I was Hanna, and he was Daniel, and we wanted to.
What that meant, I didn’t know, but I definitely didn’t care right then. Rules be damned.

“Does my cock feel good in your tight pussy?”
Rather than falling back into memories, I clung to him, held his stare, stayed in the present. My nipples pebbled tight and scraped his chest. “Yes. Fuck me, Daniel. Make me come.”
He pulled back until just the head rested at my opening. “Hold on, baby.”
And with that, his control snapped. He fucked me harder, stopping every once in a while to grind his hips to my clit, to suck my nipples, and whisper filthy things in my ear that did nothing but make me wetter. He made me listen to the slapping sounds of our flesh and admit how good I felt.
My nails dug into his back, and I clung to the reality he created—a reality I never wanted to lose.

“You’re a fucking queen. Taking my cock however you want.”
Her lush lip popped free, and she smiled, picking up the pace. She leaned back with the most delicious smirk on her mouth. Her back arched, making her bouncing tits all I saw. Needing to taste her, I sat up and latched on, wrapping my arm around her waist to help her ride me harder.
We lost our rhythm, a mass of need and desire twisted together, racing for the finish.
She whimpered and ground on me with each pass, and I needed her to come before I lost my control and came first. I slid my hand between our bodies, pinching her slick clit between my fingers as I bit around her breasts.
“Daniel, Daniel. Yes. Fuck. I’m coming.”
“That’s it, baby. Feel it. Fuck me.”
She wrapped her arms around my head and went wild, screaming her pleasure, ripping my own orgasm from me.

Sliding my hand up her spine, I buried my fist in her hair and gripped, pulling her head back and held on, fucking her hard now.
“Daniel. Oh, God. Yes.”
Unintelligible sounds of pleasure and begging fell from both our lips as we watched ourselves in the mirror.
“Look at you,” I growled. “Look at your perfect pussy taking my fat cock. Does it feel good, Hanna? Do you like the way it stretches your tight cunt?”
“Yes. More. Please.”
She was wild, her hand clawing at the mattress. One of them coming up to grip her own breast to pinch her nipple. Fuck me, that sight would be blazed in my memory forever.

Lightning fast, he rolled over, pulling me with him and sat up, holding me close, letting me control the rhythm.
This position had soon become my favorite. The control and dominance of it fueled my desire and flooded my veins with more heat. Using my thighs, I rose and fell, grinding down and moving faster.
He sucked on my flesh, and I held on tight, losing all tempo and riding him hard, needing to come. Daniel gripped my hips and helped me. Sweat coated my body, and my muscles ached from pulling so tight, clenching in anticipation of the orgasm to come.
“Come on, baby. Cum on my cock. Squeeze me with that tight pussy.”
Dirty talk once had me running, but now, it sent me over the edge, falling into the most blissful oblivion I’d ever known.
My world exploded all around me to the music of my own orgasm mixing with his grunts and groans.
“Fuck, yes,” he ground out. “Fuck. Hanna.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Thick as Thieves by Sandra Brown

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Ledge Burnet
Heroine: Arden Maxwell
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 25, 2020
Started On: September 04, 2020
Finished On: September 13, 2020

Thick as Thieves by Sandra Brown may not be my favorite book from hers of late, but it is still a worthy read in many ways, the effusive charm with which Ms. Brown lures readers to her books ever so present. The story begins in the year 2000, with a theft of one million dollars taking place, by the following day which, one ends up in the hospital, the other dead, and another in jail. The money goes missing along with one of the men, never to be found again.

Years later, daughter of the man who went missing, Arden Maxwell returns to her hometown, drawn to find out once and for all what it is that had happened to her father that fateful night. Arden comes to town with her own little secret, yet finds herself dealing with a loss that is profound, which drives her more so than ever to get to the truth. However, the forces at play in town includes those that mean her harm, believing Arden to be the only way to find the missing money.

Ledge Burnet whose past is tied with that of the perpetrator, finds himself reluctantly drawn into the world that is Arden’s. When she seeks him out to undertake renovations at her family home, Ledge finds his protective and primal instincts roused, wanting to posses and be possessed by the woman who holds him enthralled.

I enjoyed the combination that is Arden and Ledge, Arden being just the right touch of defiance and vulnerability that meshes well with the totally alpha male that is Ledge. The one thing that I continue to admire, be a fan of, and be irresistibly drawn towards is the unique craftsmanship when it comes to heroes in Ms. Brown’s books. It is effortless, the way in which her heroes always makes me fall and fall hard, and that has always been the case, no matter what.

While I predicted what had happened on the night that changed the lives of both Arden and Ledge’s, I still enjoyed the immersive experience that this book offered and am definitely looking forward to Blind Tiger, which is to hit the book shelves on August of this year!

Recommended for fans of thrillers, romantic suspense, and fans of Ms. Brown’s impressive ability to write books that continue to amaze!

Final Verdict: With Thick as Thieves, Ms. Brown delivers a tale that is a page turner on multiple fronts, rendering the reader to be in a constant state of anticipation from start to finish.

Favorite Quotes

Throughout the day, she’d caught herself analyzing that kiss, the manly spontaneity that had sparked it, the bold lustiness of it, and its startling, erotic effect on her.
But all her analyses had left her no better prepared for this kiss. She might have invited it, but he immediately took charge of it. Taking unrestricted possession of her mouth, he slid his tongue along hers. She responded with an involuntary, shivery movement of her breasts against his chest.
A low growl emanated from his throat. His hands grazed the sides of her breasts before coasting down her rib cage to bracket her hips.

He raised his head, looked into her face, pulled his arm from around her shoulders, and swept his thumb across her full, wet lower lip. “You want to know about my interest in you? It has a lot to do with this.”
“Actions speak louder than words.”
Holding her gaze, he slipped his left hand beneath the hem of her top, pressed his palm against her midriff, then moved it up to squeeze her breast and keep it plumped above the cup of her bra while lowering his head to nuzzle her.
He rubbed his face against those tantalizing breasts that for days—seemed like a lifetime—he had wanted to put his mouth to.

“That morning when you came uninvited to my house, you ran your hand—this hand—along the bannister and across the mantel. Appreciatively. Like a caress. You probably weren’t even aware of doing it. But it was so sensual, it took my breath. And ever since, I’ve fantasized you stroking me, just that way.”
Lust as incendiary as lava coursed through him, overtaking everything. In its path, conscience, morality, and honor were consumed, and supplanted by unstoppable desire.
Glass of whiskey still in hand, he curved his arm around her neck, hooking it in the bend of his elbow, and growled, “Your fantasy is a helluva lot tamer than mine.”

She reached between their bodies and wrapped her hand around him. Her eyes widened in appreciation of his ampleness, which made him groan around another half smile. It turned into a grimace of pleasure as she stroked her way up, back down, up again.
Then she caressed the tip. It was full and taut, and already slick. The slow revolutions her thumb made to spread the moisture caused him to hiss and squeeze his eyes shut. “Damn, Arden. Now.”
She did as asked and guided him. He pushed into her, but drew in a sharp breath over her tightness. “Jesus. Are you sure you—”
“Yes.” She clutched his butt and tilted her hips up.

He kept the pace languid, but with each gliding arc, he pushed in a little higher, reaching her where he hadn’t before, and when she said his name on a near sob, he gathered her against him until there was no space between them. Nothing existed except her body and his, his hard and insistent, hers soft and inviting, his inside hers, a perfect coupling.
The chair rocked slowly; they spun out of control.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBooks | Apple Books

Review: The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England, Scotland and Wales by Anne Stuart

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Impeccably Demure Press
Hero: Christopher St. James Constant
Heroine: Miss Bryony Marton
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 14, 2020
Started On: August 20, 2020
Finished On: September 04, 2020

If you are fan of Anne Stuart like myself, and have in all probability read most of her published books you can get your hands on, you would probably jump at the very possibility of a new book being published by a veritable master of the genre. There are very few books by Ms. Stuart that has not satisfied me on all counts, and even then, her stories tend to have that edge and quality to them that makes them memorable. Ms. Stuart is also the maestro when it comes to writing anti-heroes; her ICE series (contemporary) and The House of Rohan series (historical) are testament to this fact.

Published in August of last year, The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England, Scotland and Wales (quite a mouthful, I know), was therefore much awaited to say the least. I had been regularly following up on Ms. Stuart’s blog to see when this baby would be published, and of course once it was, I was so excited that I couldn’t wait to dig in, even with work deadlines looming.

Christopher St. James Constant, third Earl of Adderley (Kit) is a man bored out of his mind, willing to be amused by pretty much anything. The news that his “friend” Sir George Latherby is about to get married rouses him of the boredom and lack of interest in life that plagues him, and so cooking up a nefarious plan to kidnap the betrothed to hasten the nuptials among other things, thus Adderly finds himself in the company of 25 year old Honorable Miss Bryony Marton.

Bryony wants nothing to do with her betrothed or any man for that matter. On the plain side, with scandal having eroded any means of making a good marriage match possible, Bryony has been biding her time until she could escape the confinement that is her every day life. When that “escape” comes in the form of kidnapping, while Bryony could have managed everything if it had been just herself, the fact that her cousin Cecelia is also taken alongside with her complicates matters.

Adderly, while he expects to be entertained to some extent by the events that unfold, he never would be thought it possible to be taken by surprise when it comes to Bryony. Her calm and unflappable demeanor, even under the most trying circumstances leaves him with an indescribable feeling coursing through him. Furthermore, when it would be far easier to have his way with the silly chit that is Bryony’s cousin, Adderly finds himself drawn to the plain looking thing that Bryony is, in a way that he is not at all comfortable with.

In the midst of it, Ms. Stuart also brings to life a secondary romance between Cecelia and Peter Barnes, member of the Bow Street Magistrate’s Court who is hired by Cecelia’s parents to bring her back home, leaving Bryony to her fate.

The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England, Scotland and Wales is a story that brings an abundance of joy to to the expectant fans of Ms. Stuart. It has the hero whose reluctance to accept his feelings towards the heroine prevents him from giving in, and the heroine who at first, with her survival instincts kicking in, knows that the hero heralds the end of her life as she had known it.

While both Bryony and Adderly may not want to accept the heat that is very much alive between them, especially Adderly who knows better, there is no denying nor resisting what is inevitable. Their coming together is explosive in the way only Ms. Stuart can deliver scenes of passion, and the aftermath giving you that ton of angst to keep your adrenaline pumping. While Adderly tries (he truly does), to leave Bryony behind and get on with his life (though there is not much to it without her by his side), towards the end, it is Bryony who musters up the strength required to get them to their happily ever after.

I did love the story as it unfolded, with the main protagonists being endearing in their own unique ways. When it comes to the secondary romance, at first, I did not mind much for Cecelia’s character – I just found her to be a “convenient distraction” from what was springing to life between Adderly and Bryony. I felt quite annoyed by the time Ms. Stuart dedicated to Cecelia at that point in time. But once Peter Barnes came into the picture, I somehow found myself eagerly waiting for the bits and pieces to their story as well, finding Peter to be a hero I would have loved reading about more!

Adderly is an addictive hero – there is no doubt about that. He is lethal to your heart in a way that you foresee, but at the same time, you are unable to prevent him from piercing through and staking his claim on it. Bryony, with her calm and at times motherly nature, is exactly what Adderly needs but resists up till the very last minute. Adderly hides his scars behind the mask of indifference and boredom that assails his life and there is a darkness to his past that he has never really recovered from. The tantalizing bits and pieces to his past that Ms. Stuart dangles is just enough to draw your own conclusions and that is somehow enough to understand where Adderly is coming from.

At the cost of repeating myself, I loved the scenes of passion; they were certainly decadent. Though there was an epilogue to the story (readers deserved one after all the upheavals that we went through), it was a strange one to say the least. But nevertheless, it did serve its purpose, leaving the reader wanting more, and at the same time wondering whether Ms. Stuart would write a story about finding the modern day equivalent of Adderly. As an avid fan of Ms. Stuart, I can only hope!

Definitely recommended for fans of anti heroes, fans of Ms. Stuart, and those who love historical romances!

Final Verdict: Ms. Stuart does it yet again, delivering a delectably phenomenal read, with characters who tug at your heart and incite every sort of emotion conceivable.

Favorite Quotes

He lifted his mouth from hers. “Open up, poppet,” he said, devilment in his eyes. “It’s time you learned to kiss properly.”
“I know about proper kisses,” she said somewhat breathlessly.
“I stand corrected—let me show you about improper kisses.” He dropped his mouth to hers once more, and his tongue touched hers with a slow, languorous stroke.

“Never let it be said I disappointed a lady,” he muttered, and before she realized it, he’d crossed the safe distance that had remained between them, slid his hands through the loose curls on the back of her head and crushed his mouth down on hers.
Cecilia Elliston had kissed seventeen men and boys, and she considered herself a reasonable expert in the matter, but she’d never, ever been kissed like Peter Barnes kissed her. He’d turned her around, pressing her up against the wall, and his mouth slanted across hers, hot and hard and wet.

“I’m not a termagant.”
“Perhaps not. In fact, I’m not entirely sure how sweet you are beneath your calm exterior. I have every intention of finding out.” Before she could sense what he was doing, he’d slid one hand behind her neck and drawn her face to his, his open mouth covering hers.
She’d thought he was calm, poised, playing games with her, but his kiss wiped out any pretense of self-control. With a low growl, he turned her in his arms, so that she was straddling him on the wooden chair, and she could feel him between her legs, that hard part of him that fascinated and frightened her. He used his tongue, kissing her with such a ferocity that she could do nothing but let herself be kissed, as slowly he moved her, back and forth over that solid ridge of flesh beneath his breeches.

He took her hand away from her body and placed it between his legs. “There’s your proof. If you want to swear this night never happened, then be my guest. Most men wouldn’t notice whether you were a virgin or not.”
She tried to pull her hand back, but he held it there. “Night?” she echoed doubtfully.
“All night long,” he confirmed. “Now come here.”
“I am here,” she said stubbornly, trying to ignore the fear and desire that were building anew within her.
“Closer.” Obediently, she crossed the tiny distance so that she knelt between his long legs. “Now kiss me. Kiss me the way I kissed you.”
This was the point of no return, her last chance to say no. She leaned forward and put her mouth against his, and her uncovered breasts pressed against his chest. She tried to retreat, but he put his arm around her, pulling her closer, and he deepened the kiss, his tongue meeting her shy one, coaxing it, teasing it, so that she forgot to think, so lost in sensation that she felt drugged with it. With lust, he said.

The first, tiny wash of pleasure was a shock, and she let out a little gasp as it hit her. He lifted his head, breathing on her tender parts. “You liked that, didn’t you? Stop fighting me and you’ll like it a lot more.” He licked again, and then slid two long fingers inside her.
The sudden invasion shocked her, and she squirmed, but it only seemed to bring her closer to his mouth, as he explored, licked, and sucked with seemingly all the time in the world, and his fingers pumped into her slowly, readying her, and this was all too much…
The sudden convulsion hit her, so fast and so hard that she cried out, but instead of drawing back, he redoubled his efforts, and she felt the nip of his teeth. It was the last thing she remembered, as darkness shut around her, her entire body seemed to explode in tiny pinpricks of reaction, and no sooner had one wave crashed them another rose, and she was crying, thrashing, caught in the maelstrom.

He didn’t move, holding himself just slightly above her so that his full weight wasn’t crushing her, and his eyes were closed, his face cold and hard in the moonlight. Slowly, her body relaxed, beginning to accept his presence so deep inside her, and she wanted what she’d felt before, that glorious, unsettling crash of feelings that had now left her completely. She tried to shift, but his voice came, hard and strained.
“Don’t move.”
She stayed still, wondering when this would be over. Though admittedly, there was a certain…pleasure in being covered by him, surrounded and invaded by all that strength.
“Are we done?” she whispered, uncertain.
His laugh was the last thing she expected, and she could feel it all through her body, everywhere his skin touched her. “We’ve only begun.”

He bit her breast, and reaction slammed down on her, that mindless, blinding delight, multiplied by a thousand candle flames, and he was moving fast now, deep, powerful thrusts that only made her needier. She wanted to tell him, but she’d lost the power of speech, and he was moving so fast, slamming into her, and their bodies were slick with sweat, and she needed…
And she was gone, lost in a storm of sensation that she simply shattered in his arms, holding tightly, as if she were drowning, and he was the only port in the storm. She was vaguely aware that he suddenly pulled out of her, and she felt the heat and wetness on her stomach, and she wanted to cry out. She needed him inside her, she needed everything….

“More,” he whispered hoarsely, and before she realized what he was doing he’d pulled her down onto him, still hard, and she let out a little cry of distress and satisfaction, as she felt him grow within her. “Your turn,” he said in a rough voice, hard hands at her hips, moving her.
She pushed against his shoulders, straightening up, and the sensation was strange, different, wonderful, and he was moving her, in small increments, up and down his shaft, rubbing inside her. Fresh need filled her, and she was the one who needed more, needed more of him, all of him. She didn’t need his hands guiding the rhythm, she’d caught it on her own, and she moved, sure and certain, pulling up high and then sinking down again with a cry of pure satisfaction
.

She came again, harder this time, and the little shriek was music to his ears, but when he went back for more, she pushed him away. “Wait,” she said in a hoarse voice. “Wait.”
“I don’t feel like waiting,” he growled, so close to the taste of her that it was driving him mad.
“Get over it,” she said, and he fell back with a laugh. She was standing up to him. No one ever stood up to him, particularly in bed, and his cock grew unimaginably harder.
She got to her knees on the mattress, looking down at him, and she looked like a hoyden, an angel, and something in between. She looked like a woman without fear, and he wanted to celebrate it, but instead, she pushed him down on the bed and followed with her kiss.

He pulled out, and she let out of cry of desolation. “No!” she moaned, but he simply flipped her over beneath him, so that her face was in the disordered sheets.
“Yes,” he said, pulling her hips up. “This way.” And he pushed inside her from the back, feeling her quim tighten around him once more, rippling in reaction, and finally he was released, let go. He thrust into her like a madman, over and over, until she suddenly shrieked, clamping down around him, and he exploded inside her, filling her with his seed, collapsing over her, holding her beneath him as he spurted, and at the last minute, he latched his teeth onto her neck and bit her like a big cat marking his mate.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Kobo

Review: Sweet Dandelion by Micalea Smeltzer

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Lachlan Matthew Taylor
Heroine: Dandelion Meadows
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 25, 2020
Started On: August 14, 2020
Finished On: August 19, 2020

Sweet Dandelion by Micalea Smeltzer is a new to me author, whose books that I would definitely be checking out from here onwards. Following the aftermath and recovery from a school shooting that had rendered the heroine Dandelion Meadows unable to cope, she is required to take counseling sessions at school, which is how she meets the 29 year old school counselor, Lachlan Matthew Taylor.

Dandelion has been trying to move on from what happened for the past nine months, having lost her mother at the school shooting incident. The trauma is raw and alive within her, and though Dandelion is skeptical of the efficacy of the sessions she is required to take, meeting Lachlan is an experience in itself. From the start, Lachlan is conscientious of her needs. He does not push her into going in directions which is extremely difficult for her, but at the same time, Dandelion finds herself drawn to, and at peace with her thoughts when it comes to the her sessions with Lachlan.

When things start to change between them, even though both Dandelion and Lachlan try their darnedest to not let it happen, somehow, somethings in life are inevitable. It is pretty difficult for Lachlan to reconcile his burgeoning feelings for Dandelion with that of his role as her school counselor and as a result he struggles more than Dandelion does when it comes to the consequences of their coming together. The fact that he is also a lot older than Dandelion is one reason, and even though both Lachlan and Dandelion are lonely in a way that they both alone identify with, there is a whole host of challenges that they both need to overcome, if their love is to survive.

There is a sweet poignancy to the story as it unfolds, and Lachlan, my God Lachlan!, is definitely one for the book boyfriends list. He is sweet, dreamy, kind, has a soul that yearns for love and deep abiding connection with the other half of his soul, loves fiercely and gently at the same time, and is demanding and intense in bed, setting the pages afire. I loved Lachlan from the very first moment he came into the picture, and in a way, he reminded me of Professor Lukas Halstrom, but Lachlan is definitely one of the most unique heroes I have come across and I fell for him hard and fast.

Dandelion has her own growing up to do, even though she has an old soul that yearns for Lachlan in every single way. Even with everyone in her life dead against the thought of Lachlan and her together, Dandelion knows that she would choose to be with him in a heartbeat, if he were willing to take the risk. But then love is never easy to conquer as we would like to think, and there is a lot that Dandelion goes through before she is ready to take that step and understand where Lachlan was coming from all along.

Needless to say, I loved Sweet Dandelion. It is no mean feat to cast two protagonists whose love would be frowned upon and castigated severely by society (and it is usually for good reason), and make it into something so profoundly beautiful that I am at a loss as to how to properly describe the feelings that coursed through me as I delved deeper into their story. The in-depth characterisation, how comprehensively Ms. Smeltzer explored the range of emotions between the two, not to mention that of the secondary characters in the story; all that and more lent this tale an edge that lasted up till the last page was read and done.

There is nary a word nor character that I would do away with in Sweet Dandelion and I believe this is what extraordinary romance books are all about – taking on difficult tropes and working them out in a way that leaves the reader spellbound from start to finish. The TWO (not one), epilogues tucked at the end made up for a lot that happened as the story reached towards its climax and beyond, and I loved and reveled in all o it!

Definitely recommended for those who love romances that sweep you off your feet. Sweet Dandelion is one for the records and Lachlan, definitely a keeper!

Final Verdict: Sweet Dandelion is story that is nuanced, sumptuous, and phenomenal; Lachlan and Dandelion sweep you off your feet on a journey that is worth every obstacle faced along the way to their HEA!

Favorite Quotes

I lean over, closing the short distance between us. The peppermint on his tongue permeates the air and I lick my bottom lip before I press my lips to his. My mouth tingles from the taste of him. He doesn’t move at first, but then a manly growl echoes in his throat. His long strong fingers tangle in my hair. His hold is tight enough to hurt, but isn’t painful. His tongue finds mine and that minty taste is everywhere.
I’ve never been kissed like this before. It’s a ravaging more than a kiss, like he’s a knight claiming his bounty. His stubble burns my cheeks, but I don’t mind the sting—it’s a welcome reminder that this is real, I’m kissing Lachlan, but more importantly he’s kissing me back.

His eyes close once more, murmuring my name.
In a blink his hands are on my hips.
I squeak as he pulls me onto his lap. My hips sink down onto him, a soft moan parting my lips at the feel of him pressed to my center.
“Dani,” he croons.
His hands fist in my hair.
I roll my hips, eliciting another moan from my throat.
“Dani,” a purr this time.
Finally, blissfully, his lips are on mine.

He kisses me with a desperation I mirror with my movements. I’m eager to get closer to him, to feel every part of him.
Our tongues tangle together with a passion we’ve kept chained for months. This is the kind of kiss I’ve seen in movies and read in the books he’s let me borrow. It’s a kiss that changes things. There’s no coming back from this. It doesn’t in any way compare to our first kiss. That was a hesitant, fragile thing, while this is a claiming.

“Lachlan,” I gasp, and he bites my bottom lip, tugging it into his mouth.
His blue eyes meet mine in the dark as he releases my lip. “Let go, Dani, I’ve got you.”
I don’t want to let go, because once I do, I’m afraid this moment between us will be over too. There’s no controlling it once I fall off the ledge into an abyss of pleasure. His hold tightens on my hips, his own rocking against mine.
He pants, letting out a low groan. “Fuck.”
We fall together.
Spinning.
Twirling.
Stars.
Pleasure.

“Why does it have to be you?” he whispers gruffly, moving his lips over my face.
“Kiss me,” I beg, not even caring if I sound wanton.
He does, our dance long forgotten but a whole new one beginning to play out.
His hands move down my body, creating a trail that sends fire spreading through my body. “Touch me,” I beg. “Please.” My voice is achy with need.
“Dani—”
“Please.”
His uttered, “Fuck,” is a deep rumble.

His long legs round the couch, carrying me down the hall. He taps the door to his bedroom with his foot and in a blink my back hits his mattress.
His big body is a blanket over mine. With his grip on my neck, our lips are only separated by millimeters. “You’re so fucking beautiful.”
“Show me.”
His eyes flash in the darkened bedroom, only illuminated by the lights emanating from the outside. “Dani—”
“Show me,” I beg, kissing his chin. “Show me.” His jaw. “Show me.” His cheek. “Show me.”
His eyes stare deep into mine.
Looking.
Searching.
Finding.

“I love you,” I murmur, pressing a tender kiss to his lips.
His hands flex against my sides, his jaw working back and forth as his eyes fill with turmoil. I fear he’s going to shove me away, that common sense is going to overtake our feelings, but he doesn’t do that. “I love you, too.” The words are barely above a whisper, but they’re every-fucking-thing and I feel them all the way down to my toes. Saying them once must make him bolder, because he says them again, this time louder. “I love you.” Louder. “I love you.” He begins to punctuate each word with a kiss. “I love you. I love you. I love you Dandelion Meadows. Despite it all, despite myself, I love you.”
Our kisses deepen, fueled by a love that defies the odds.

“Dani,” he growls my name into my ear, turning into a feral sound. “Fuck, you’re killing me baby.”
He applies a little more pressure to my clit, increasing his speed. My orgasm hits like a rocket shooting into the sky. My whole body shakes and when my hands fall from the glass, my body unable to stay upright, he’s there to catch me.
He gathers me into his arms, holding me close, gently now.
He rubs my back as the tremors fade. “That was—”
He silences me with a kiss. Rubbing his thumb over my cheek he stares into my eyes. “Amazing,” he finishes for me.

“Lachlan—”
In a blink he’s upon me, his mouth taking mine prisoner. He’s rough, demanding. His hold on my cheeks is tight and I find my back pressed against the wall.
He claws at me like a wild animal, bunching the tulle of my skirt in his hands, trying to yank it up.
I kiss him back with fervor, a spark igniting into an entire fire inside me from one touch of his lips. I match his desperation, pulling at his shirt, trying to get it over his head.
He tosses the shirt off like he can’t get it far enough away from him.
His eyes are twin sapphires blazing when he looks down at me. His whole body is a taut live wire waiting to go off.
“If you don’t tell me how to get you out of this dress, I’ll rip it off of you.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: His Father by A. E. Murphy

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Sargent Wolf
Heroine: Tempest
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 01, 2018
Started On: July 25, 2020
Finished On: August 06, 2020

Having experienced the high that came with reading Becoming His Mistress, I quickly grabbed a copy of His Father by A. E. Murphy as this one seemed to be right up my alley. Younger heroine who meets the father of her best friend, and bam! The sparks fly and there is no looking back, even when the union is bound to be opposed and face a lot of turbulent times before reaching the ultimate happily ever after.

When Sargent Wolf’s son Maddox brings home his best friend Tempest, with whom Maddox had been backpacking all over the world, the reaction that the first introduction itself triggers in both Sargent and Tempest is one that cannot be denied. Sargent hides his obvious fascination with Tempest’s piercing and more behind gruff indifference, while Tempest tries her hardest to act as if its every day occurrence to meet a man who makes her wet with want with one searing glance sent her way.

Before long, Sargent and Tempest give in to their desire for one another, come what may. There is no denying that they fit like two peas in a pod, with Tempest answering a deep seated need in Sargent for acceptance and love, something that he would not have admitted to even with a gun pointed at his head. However, there are darker forces at play in Sargent’s life that he has to sort out before anything longer term can come of what is between him and Tempest, not to mention facing Maddox once the cat is out of the bag.

His Father, though not of the caliber as Becoming His Mistress, was a compelling read for the most part. I liked both Sargent and Tempest; Sargent is the kind of hero that I love best – gruff, demanding, and reluctant to face the truth of his feelings towards the heroine. Tempest was exactly what Sargent needed – kind and gentle, with a depth to her character which gives her a maturity that most people her age would not have.

There is a particular incident in the story as it reaches a pivotal point, which many readers may find to be a turn off. But I think I understood why what happened took place. There was literally nothing else Sargent could have done at that point in time, but give in. But at the same time, I found the turn the story took to reach that point a bit jarring. While it was understood that Sargent had had a tough time with Maddox’s mother, the whole drug sale affiliation tangent just seemed out of place, even though I suppose it served its purpose towards the end.

I loved the angst factor that came later on, and how Sargent came through at the last minute, lending the emotional depth to the story that I craved when all was said and done. The one thing that I missed was an epilogue – it would have meant so much more for the story had there been an epilogue at the end.

Recommended for fans of those who love age gap romances, when falling in love seems so wrong, but feels so darn right.

Final Verdict: With emotional depth, angst, and scorching hot sex leaping out of the pages, Ms. Murphy hits it out of the ballpark with His Father.

Favorite Quotes

“Jesus,” he whispers when he finally makes contact and slips his finger into the wetness between my thighs. I whimper, shifting on the soft rug as he drags the moisture to my clitoris and rolls it gently, only quickening his pace when I shudder.
I reach out and grab his bare arm as my aching, clenching, and burning body writhes from his touch alone.
“Please,” I beg on a whisper, aching to be filled, touched more, something. Anything.
When his mouth closes around my pierced nipple and his tongue rolls around it I grip the fur rug and come undone.

I crush my lips against hers, making her squeak with surprise. Making myself groan as she accepts me so willingly, tangling her tongue with mine perfectly. I grip her around the back of her neck holding her to me as I pull her closer, forcing her to slide her leg over my lap until she’s straddling me.
Her fingers push through my hair, it feels incredible and sends tingles down my spine and straight to my dick.
When she releases my mouth for a breath I kiss her throat, her collar, then yank down the front of her shirt, popping out the pierced breast so I can suck it into my mouth.
She gasps, and that goes straight to my cock too.

My body is trembling, almost weak as I fight to hold onto my control. She’s so good. She feels so good.
“A little more,” I whisper as her mewls get louder and her grip gets tighter. “I really need you to get there.” I’ve never not lasted the length required.
I’m going to blow it and she’s going to laugh at the experience with the old man.
Fuck that. I am not old. I have better stamina now than I did in my twenties.
I drive into her faster, my hips hammering at a speed I didn’t realize I was capable of.
“God,” she whispers, clutching me tighter.
Her pussy starts pulsing around my swollen dick and I know she’s there.

“Hold tight, angel.”
“To what?”
She gasps when I slam into her so hard she shoots forward, face-planting the mattress. I laugh, but only for a second as she starts to quiver around my hard dick that’s still firmly inside of her tight little cunt. She’s so wet, making it hard to manipulate her clit in the right way. Though I know I must be doing it right because she’s mewling like a fucking porn star and her entire body is shaking.
I pump slowly, circling my hips and then jackhammering into her quickly until I feel her nearing the edge. I’m teasing her but I love it. Her little curses and whimpers and moans are fuel to my already heated fire.

I reach between us for his belt and undo it quickly as he tugs my shorts down to my knees and I manage to wriggle one foot free.
He doesn’t wait, the second I palm him with my hand he nudges inside, filling me completely. I sigh happily, never feeling more aroused than when I’m with him.
His lips touch mine gently as he slowly glides in and out. Pushing himself to the hilt and withdrawing to the tip so slowly it’s all I can do to stop myself from mounting him and riding him in a way I know he loves.

I squeal, not expecting it at all but then I melt because he presses his palm against my clit as his finger sinks inside.
“Sargent.” I hiss his name but I don’t know if it’s because I want him to stop or I need him to continue. Both are tangling together on this web of pure lust, adrenaline, and arousal he’s brought me to.
My head lolls back as he fucks me with his hand, kissing my neck before watching my reaction as I come undone by his touch alone.
I choke out a cry with my orgasm. His satisfied, smug, aroused grin only powers my climax further. I can’t handle it all. It’s too much.

I hardly get the chance to think or protest when she drops to her knees, pulls me free of my clothing and sucks me into her mouth.
“Jees…” I murmur, placing my hand on her head as she goes to fucking town on my cock. Her warm, wet, willing mouth is so soft and perfect. I lean forward and push gently into her mouth. She sucks, licks, grips, and rolls in all of the right places and then she swallows the head of me and I am so glad I came home when I did.
I’m so close, my balls are so fucking tight it’s painful. I want to hold out and fuck her right here, but I also want her to swallow me, not just my dick but everything I give her when I come.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Becoming His Mistress by A. E. Murphy

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Ezra Conti
Heroine: Rose Sinclair
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: October 11, 2019
Started On: July 19, 2020
Finished On: July 25, 2020

Becoming His Mistress by A. E. Murphy is one of those books that hits every single spot when it comes to my craving for a wholesome romance reading experience. Ms. Murphy takes on a trope that few authors dare write because it would not be well received in the romance community. Most of us would like to ignore the romances featuring cheating and/or adultery themes – some go as far as to say that books which take on this would be a definite no for them. However, I am someone who loves it when authors push those boundaries and give us books that are realistic and provide for an immersive experience in the process. Becoming His Mistress was definitely all that and more.

When 23 year old Rose Sinclair chooses to work for 37 year old Ezra Conti, it is because she believes that she can make a difference. That she brings that quality which makes her the perfect personal assistant. Ezra who is happily married and has a daughter is known as someone who has eyes only for his wife. Even as women attempt to get him to notice them, he is a man who is promised to his one and only and that is how he lives his life. Rose knows that she would have no such problems when it comes to Ezra because he is not her type, and married men would never be her thing.

Ezra is unconvinced that Rose would be the best fit for him, until she convinces him to give her a chance. Six months later, their arrangement is one that works in every single sense. While Rose starts to see Ezra in a whole new light she knows that nothing would come of it and she has no intention of following whatever nonsensical feelings that she has for him every now and then. Furthermore, Ezra has never behaved in an untoward fashion and she is content to be part of his life as things stand, that is until with one searing kiss from Ezra one night, everything changes and leaves them both at an impasse on how to go from there.

While Rose maybe strong enough to walk away from the first kiss, she is not strong enough to withstand the continued onslaught on her senses from the man that Ezra is. Against her best intentions, she gives in, and thus begins the headiest couple of weeks of her life, until the consequences of their actions comes calling. There are no easy answers to the problems that Ezra and Rosie face, and while Rosie loves Ezra wholeheartedly, she loves herself enough to understand that she should not come second to anyone, not even for the love of her life. There is a lot of heartache and pain that these two go through before the ultimate happily ever after.

I am so glad that I stumbled across this book because this was unlike anythingI have read in recent times. Love is not always found in the most convenient of places. Those who have fallen for and given their hearts to people who were not in a place to return that love or maybe act on it would understand this more than those who have never faced such temptation in life. Love is often found where you least look for it and expect it to be found. That is I guess ultimately the best and worst thing about life. The unexpectedness of love, how your feelings can suddenly change towards someone you may have never considered as a potential lover or life partner; all of these factor in when it comes to Becoming His Mistress.

Falling in love with a married man is not something any woman would want to for themselves. And I believe this would be the same the other way around. No woman (except for polyamorous couples I suppose), likes being the third wheel in a relationship; being the other woman. But it happens, a lot more often than we would like to admit. There are many reasons behind it as well, but this is not the time and place to explore the whys and hows. While cheating may never be condoned, it still speaks of the vulnerability of us as humans. The fragility of our emotions. That inherent need in us to feel, belong, and be desired. None of those have easy explanations. That is partly why perhaps this book spoke to me on so many levels as it did with many readers.

I believe that I enjoyed this novel so much because Ms. Murphy did not try to provide miraculous solutions to the challenges that came Ezra and Rosie’s way. The story was realistic even towards the very end, with frank discussions and even fights that stemmed from emotions that could not be smothered just because one may want to cease feeling a certain way. Ezra’s guilt which arose from having fallen in love with another woman plays a huge role in the story, perhaps one reason why the love between Ezra and Rosie did not feel cheap and frivolous in the end. The fact that Ms. Murphy pulled this off without vilifying anyone, that in itself I think is amazing!

Recommended for open minded readers who love sexy, tender, and endearing romances. Thank you Ms. Murphy, for being bold enough to write this.

Final Verdict: Becoming His Mistress is a one of a kind read; there are no words that can adequately describe the feelings that Ms. Murphy manages to invoke with this phenomenal story as it unfolds.

Favorite Quotes

His gray eyes linger on mine and I jump when he pushes a strand of my black hair behind my ear, a tender touch, so sweet and soft. It leaves a burning trail across my skin. “You could never look stupid.”
“I can see every fleck of color in your eyes,” I breathe, leaning closer and trying to count the shards of darker gray that cut through the ring of lighter gray.
He holds his breath and nibbles slightly on his lower lip as I stare into his eyes like a weirdo.
“What are you doing?” he asks, and I put my finger to his soft lips. He pulls it away and absentmindedly kisses the palm. “Wait… are you counting?”
I inhale sharply and immediately stop. “No. Not at all. I don’t count. Who does that?”
“You were counting.”
“Was not.”
“Was too.”
“I wasn’t.” I so was.

“I’m sorry I didn’t kiss you back,” I say quietly, and he pushes my hair back.
“I’m sorry I kissed you at all,” he replies just as quietly, and I know in my heart he means because of how he upset me and not because he didn’t want to kiss me. The look in his eyes is showing me that he still does. I wonder if the look in mine is begging him to kiss me again. I might not say no this time. “Try to sleep.”
I press my forehead to his cheek and close my eyes on his command. He tickles my arm and shoulder as I concentrate on the beating of his heart.
It lulls me to sleep, my forbidden lullaby.

“Please don’t, there are only so many times I can say no,” I whisper.
“Before what?” His own voice is intensely quiet, his eyes on my mouth. “Before what, Rose?”
My breath catches in my throat. “Before I say yes.”
He pulls my face to his, meeting me in the middle and our bodies and lips collide.
I squeak through my closed mouth, startled by the sudden assault, but he pushes me against the door and devours my mouth. His tongue tastes my own when I gasp, and I can’t pull away. My brain is a mass of the desire he projected on me and my body is pulsing with it.

His hands drag across my curves, scraping around my back and hips, grasping at my flesh and holding me tight so I can’t escape.
I’m wet. So damn wet.
He groans again, pressing his erection into my navel while still kissing me, claiming me like I never have been before.
I’ve never felt so out of control before.
When he clicks the lock on the handle of the door all bets are off and I lose all sense of myself. I lose all sense of time and what I came here to say to begin with.
I forget his life and mine. I forget my morals and his. All I can think about is having him in a way I’ve been telling myself I don’t want him for far too long.

He looks up at me again, and while kissing me softly and tenderly, he reaches for my hair, unwinding the knot so it spills down my back in a thick wave. I groan when he teases it free and starts to remove my shirt until it’s on the floor by his.
I lean back on my hands, feeling thoroughly worshipped when he dives and kisses my ribs, hands looking for the zip of my skirt but losing that battle because of how scrunched it is.
I stand and find it at the back, undoing it and letting it fall to my ankles.
There’s no going back now.
I’ve never wanted anything more than I want this.
I stand in front of him in lacy white underwear and stockings attached to a garter belt.
“Fuck,” he breathes, looking down at me, taking time to explore my flesh with his hands. I’ve never felt sexier and more beautiful than I do right now, seeing it mirrored in his eyes. “Keep your heels on.”

Pulling me to the edge of the desk, he lines himself up with me perfectly as my fingers find my clit and start to roll it in fast circles.
“No,” he whispers, pulling my hand away and replacing it with his thumb. “You touch yourself when you’re alone and thinking of me. When you’re with me, it’s my job to touch you and get you off.”
Oh my God.
He starts to sink inside and groans. I ache from his width, but it feels so good.
His thumb rolls my clit, using my own juices to make it slick.
He watches himself vanish into my body. I’ve never felt more connected to somebody than I do now.

“Kiss me,” I beg, my voice hoarse and wanting.
He obliges, fucking my mouth with his tongue as I battle to stay in control of my body.
“Not yet,” I breathe, feeling that familiar burning… except this feels more like a tsunami of crackling lava in my womb. My body feels weightless as he hammers into me, holding my body tight to him now. His thumb is no longer teasing my clit, yet I feel the tingles still, building and spiraling. There’s just something about close sex, having a body against yours as he fills you up perfectly.
I throw my head back with a moan so loud he yanks me back to his mouth and kisses me until it passes. It takes forever and my body shudders with each powerful wave of my orgasm.

“We’re not doing anything,” he replies, his tone hushed too. The way his breath fans across my sensitive flesh has me gripping the counter for support. “Nothing at all.”
His solid length presses against my ass, trapped by the fabric of his boxers. He tugs them down and I feel his skin against mine.
“Nothing,” he grits as I close my legs around it, squeezing it between the apex of my thighs.
He starts thrusting, finding grip between my pussy lips. My wetness makes him slide back and forth with ease, so he removes his hand and massages my breasts instead. He hits my clit every time and I almost scream with the ecstasy of it.
Why does sex feel this good with him? Why do we connect like this?

“Look at me.”
My eyes open slowly and find his in the mirror. His large hands massage my swaying breasts and pinch my nipples.
“What are we doing?” he asks me breathlessly, his eyes dangerous, his lips terse.
“Nothing,” I reply, crying out when a wave of pleasure hits me. I want to come so hard.
He cups my throat and pulls me back against his body. It’s a good thing my balance isn’t terrible, though to be honest he’s doing most of the work, including holding me steady.
“Exactly. Nothing.”

“Tits,” he croaks, getting closer to the edge every second. “I want to come on your gorgeous fucking tits.”
“You sure? I was totally gonna let you come in my mouth.”
His eyes fly down to mine, wide and full of longing. I don’t get a chance to take a breath before he’s pushing past my lips again and coming on my tongue with an animalistic growl. I take him all, every ounce of him, salty, sweet, different. But that’s just him, he’s different.

I kiss him deep and slow as I raise my hips and guide his cock to my entrance.
“To oblivion, hmm?” he asks, smiling until I slowly sink onto him, taking as much of him as I can. His smile vanishes at this point only to be replaced with such an intense look of complete wonder and awe. “Nobody has ever felt like you.”
I rock my hips, kissing his neck and biting his ear as his hands explore and rub every inch of my body that he can reach.
I don’t take my time because we don’t have time. I fuck him faster than I ever have, feeling it build in my womb.
We come, me first and then him, as always. He always waits until I’m done before he lets himself get there. One of the many things I adore about him.

He turns suddenly, sending water crashing over the bath and onto the tiles. His damp lips from the steam of the hot water touch mine and I almost slip under when he hooks a hand around my back and lifts me to give him easier access to my sex.
I gasp when he thrusts inside. My hands grip whatever is available to keep me out of the water. He pulls out just as suddenly so I can turn over and I rest my arms on the sloped back of the bath as he powers into me from behind. Every thrust sends more water out of the bath. He becomes feral, losing control in a way he never has before, driving into me like an animal and not like a man.

“I want you forever. I want to fuck you every single day. I want to taste your sweet lips. I want to fill your womb with my seed and create a life tied to both of us.” He thrusts with each statement, grinding his pelvis against my clit, kissing my neck and whispers the words against my skin. “You’re everything I ever want and need.”
“I love you,” I breathe. “I want to be the only woman you ever need.”
“You are.”
“Then fuck me, prove it, mark me.” I bite into his neck and suck so hard I just know there’s going to be a ring of red there when I lift my head. He cries out and pummels me with his hips, fucking me so furiously the door bangs with each thrust.

I cling to him, claw at him, grip him as I kiss him, devouring him until my lips feel sore but then I just press harder.
There’s a fire between us that flows through us both, burning for each other as we tear at clothes until there’s nothing separating us but our will. Mine is fighting for the winning team, he holds back until I hop up on the table and part my thighs. When he eases into me, all bets are off and he fucks me as hard as he did in his office that first time.
We both moan, groan, hiss, grasp, sigh…
It’s incredible as always.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Entice by Ava Harrison

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Grayson Price
Heroine: River Reed
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 14, 2019
Started On: July 16, 2020
Finished On: July 19, 2020

Ava Harrison is a totally new to me author, who I stumbled across in one of the book recommendation lists that I was going through. With Entice promising all those elements that makes up for an emotionally well rounded read, I was quickly hooked, making Ms. Harrison someone I am going to continue reading in the future.

36 year old Grayson Price has unfinished business to take care of when it comes to Tyler Reed, someone whom he considered once to be an older brother. Unable to say no to his sister, Grayson agrees to the meeting and finds himself with more than he bargained for when he comes face to face with Tyler’s daughter, 20 year old River Reed.

From the onset, there is a undeniable spark between the two which makes things precarious for Grayson in a way that he never would have anticipated. While River may want to throw caution to the wind and explore what it is between them, Grayson would like to believe that he is not ruled by the pure male instinct to claim River as his which scares him to no end.

However, even as Grayson tries to distance himself, none of it is to be helped as fate has a way of drawing them together time and yet again. It also does not help matters when River exposes her vulnerabilities to him, the way she responds to him, and makes him yearn for something that he has not thought he ever would consider as part of his future.

With every kiss and searing glance that renders both breathless, these two embark on a secret “affair” that slowly unfolds into something that neither anticipated. With River and Grayson both bringing their own baggage to the mix, it is no lighthearted joining, and it was incredible to witness the changes that they went through as a couple and individuals to reach their happily ever after.

Entice was a very mature, thoughtful, and meaningful read, all in a way that most taboo romances aren’t. There are very few authors who can do topics like this justice without making you cringe or worse. This is essentially what stood out for me when it comes to my first read from Ms. Harrison, and as I mentioned, definitely not going to be my last.

I enjoyed getting to know both Grayson and River, and that significant point in their past giving added meaning to the connection that is forged to life between them. Grayson was definitely all kinds of hot – the panty scorching variety of hot and I could not have asked for a better placed hero than Grayson in every single aspect.

What I loved the most was how the relationship between Grayson and River was fleshed out, the exploration of deepening feelings between two people who carry emotional baggage to last them a lifetime. The emotional depth added that pull factor to the story which had plentiful sex scenes which were tastefully done and sinfully hot!

Recommended for fans of huge age gap romances exploring “taboo” topics. Ava Harrison does this with a flare which makes for stupendous reading!

Final Verdict: Entice delivers to readers a story that captivates you from the start, with Grayson and River claiming a piece of yourself before they are through!

Favorite Quotes

My eyes are still aimed forward, but I’m watching him. I watch his Adam’s apple bob as I caress the skin.
I watch him swallow.
His chest rising and falling with each pass of my hand.
He looks torn, provoked, on the verge of something.
Something I’m not sure I can decode.
But I do see something I recognize very well. Loneliness. It bursts from him, alive and raw and pulsing like an injured animal. I can smell it. I can almost taste it. We are the same, yet we are nothing alike.

“You think I hate you?” he growls, taking a step toward me.
“Yes,” I whisper.
He advances, and I step back. “You really think that’s the problem?”
“It’s pretty obvious, to be honest. You haven’t been shy with your repulsion toward me.”
He moves in until my body is firmly pressed against his, his erection pressing against my stomach.
I let out a gasp.
“Repulsion, River, huh?” He grinds up against me. “That what it feels like? Or maybe it’s something else? Do you think my anger is something else?”
“What else can it be?”
“Self-preservation.”

Without a second thought, he crushes his lips to mine.
It feels like a series of fireworks explode inside me at the feel of his mouth. We are all teeth and tongue.
The kiss is desperate, and then he pushes off my lips. “Why do you do this to me?” he rasps. “Why do you torture me?”
I wonder if he will stop it now, if he will go back to pushing me away, but instead, I feel his fingers on my thighs, and his mouth touches mine again.
Each new swipe of his tongue makes me moan into his mouth and then when I feel his fingers teasing the hem of my dress, I swear I might die.

Then I feel him, pressing himself against my heat, probing my entrance. “I need to fuck you now,” he says through gritted teeth. He readjusts his hands to cup my ass as he begins to stroke me. “Tell me to fuck you, River. Tell me you want me inside you. I need to hear you say it.” The soft nudge is enough to make my inner walls quiver. “Dammit, River, say it. Tell me to fuck you.” He pushes forward, just the tip, torturing me.
I can’t resist. I want this. I’ve wanted him for so long that, like him, I can’t wait another minute. I want him to fuck me and make me forget everything else.
“Fuck me. Now!”
With one sudden thrust, he’s fully seated. I moan at the sudden invasion.
It feels so good.

My eyes roam over her body as I make the descent and then part her legs. I angle my body between them and kiss all the way up from her ankles until I meet the inside of her thighs.
I lick her.
Suck her.
Desperate moans escape her mouth. She purrs beneath me, begging me with her movement to pick up my pace, and so I do. I answer her cries and start to flick and then suck in a maddening pace that has her gripping my hair and falling over the edge.

“River, you know that’s not it. You see how they hound Jax. Hell, even you got photographed with him.”
“You knew about that?” I whisper.
“Of course I did. Wasn’t that the goal?” He’s trying hard not to sneer.
I look down and then back up. “I didn’t think you cared at the time.”
He steps into me, and my back hits the distressed and aged brick of the building. He lifts his arm to box me in.
“You think I didn’t care?”
“Yeah.”
“I cared,” he grits out.
“Why?”
“Why? Because you’re mine, not his. Since I first saw you in Malaga, I wanted you, and seeing that my younger brother, someone probably better suited for you, could be with you, drove me insane.”

I stand from my desk and make my way to the other side. Crossing my arms in front of my chest, I wait.
She’s wearing a cotton dress. Slowly, she drops the strap off her shoulder, and once they are both dropped, the dress pools on the floor beneath her. Now she stands in front of me in her ballet flats, a bra, and lace underwear.
“What did you buy?” I hiss.
My heart beats rapidly in my chest.
She turns around and then bends down, and I get a perfect view of her ass. Almost bare except for her thong.
She lifts something. It looks like a scrap of material, and that’s when I look at the label on the bag.
Agent Provocateur.
Fuck.

“Get on the desk,” I grit.
She follows orders well, moving quickly to sit on the edge of the desk.
“Lean back.”
She does.
“Show me.”
Slowly, but as ordered, she spreads her legs.
My lips tip up, and I make my way, more like stalk, over to her.
“I don’t have time to taste you,” I say as I unzip my pants. I don’t bother taking them off or removing my jacket. Instead, I just pull my cock out. “I’m going to fuck you. And you aren’t going to make a peep. Do you understand?”
She nods.
“Good girl.”

Our eyes lock. And then and only then does he slowly push inside me. It feels too good; as though I’m complete once he’s fully engulfed in my heat.
His hands reach to cups my face, and as he starts to thrust, he peers into my eyes.
He moves inside me, never breaking our stare.
Over and over again.
Deeper and deeper.
But he never pulls his gaze away.
Not once.
Not as I cling to him.
Not as I scream my release.
Not as he reaches his own climax.
He never looks away.

“You won’t find anything,” he says. “And do you know why?”
I shake my head.
“Because there is nothing to find. Want to take a guess at the reason?”
Again, I shake my head, this time dropping my head. He doesn’t let me, though. Instead, he cups my jaw and makes me look at him.
“Because all I want is you. All I see is you. I’m obsessed with you.” His words are rough, abrasive. He hates himself for it. I can tell by the way he grabs me roughly and throws me down on his bed. Then he’s on me, pouncing and kissing me, telling me with his mouth, with his tongue, and with his teeth just how much he hates that he wants me.

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: Sheltered by Charlotte Stein

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Deeper than Desire, #2
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: Tyler Vandervoort
Heroine: Evie Bennett
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 09, 2012
Started On: June 06, 2020
Finished On: July 06, 2020

Nineteen year old Evie Bennett comes from a strict household that translates into the kind of nightmare that a lot of kids often live through. Evie has no freedom to be who she wants to be, explore what it means to be a young adult, and make choices about her life and future as anyone at that age would want to. Life is tough, but Evie knows no other way, that is until fate comes calling.

When Evie meets Tyler Vandervoort, her whole world changes from the onset. With Tyler, the very opposite of everything that she is, Evie finds the freedom to explore her own sensuality and give free rein to the deep seated desire that he rouses in her. With every kiss that leads to unbelievably hot make-out sessions (which should be illegal because the buildup is too much to handle at times, I kid not!), Evie finds herself drawn to Tyler in a way that makes it hard to walk away from.

In the end, choices have to be made, one might say hard choices, but when it comes right down to it, I would say that it was a choice that needed to be made under the circumstances. Tyler might be the boy from the wrong side of town in the way he presents himself, but as the story continues and reaches its climax, Evie starts to realise that there is more to Tyler than meets the eye, and that they may have more in common than she initially thought.

As is the case with every Charlotte Stein story, there is not much else going apart from the sexual tension and culmination of all that desire that is between the main protagonists. Perhaps one of the reasons why this story was a bit thin in terms of characterisation and depth, which seemed to lack more so than the previous two books that I have read and loved from Ms. Stein.

But as always, Ms. Stein is able to draw you in and keep you riveted to what is unfolding in a way that few authors manage to do, especially when it comes to creating sexual tension of the kind that is all encompassing.

Recommended for fans of Ms. Stein’s work. There is a charm to her prose that is nothing short of mesmerising.

Final Verdict: Sheltered brings to readers the story of two protagonists who may seems worlds apart, but in each other finds a calling and solace that proves to be their undoing.

Favorite Quotes

He tasted like cinnamon, again, and every now and then he’d pull away, just a little—just enough to make her want to drag him back. Before giving her a teasing lick with that perfect, curling tongue of his.
It set all the nerve endings in her upper lip on fire. She had to stop herself from reaching up and rubbing something like normal feeling back into the area, before the urge to writhe against him grew too strong.

“Evie, stop,” he said between kisses. She should have been relieved. She should have, but really all she could feel was the heavy and constant ache between her legs. How warm it made her feel, how daring.
And of course it only got worse when he said, “God, baby, you’re so greedy.”
It didn’t even humiliate her. Somehow he made it sound like the sweetest, sexiest compliment, and when she pushed a hand through his hair and tried to get him to kiss her again, his lips parted. A ripple seemed to go through his body, as though it affected him as strongly as it affected her.

He lifted his shirt again—farther this time. If he’d been facing her she would have been able to see his chest hair, but as it was she had to make do with acres and acres of honey-colored skin. All of it so soft seeming she could hardly control herself.
Would he mind, if she just leaned down and kissed the almost apparent ridges of his spine? She suspected he would, but after a moment of staring and staring at the little black knot he’d had inked in the middle of his back, she stopped trying to control herself altogether.
She kissed him there, open-mouthed and wet. Tasted his warm skin, then licked when he tried to sort of shift away.

The longer she went at this, the looser and more relaxed about it he appeared to become. He even turned his head after a little while and found her mouth with his, kissing in a way that forced a fresh flood of slickness to soak through her already embarrassingly wet panties.
He did it with a lot of tongue. And he kind of moaned at the same time, though the moans didn’t stop at her mouth. They vibrated down, down through her body to her oh-so-sensitive nipples and her swollen sex, searching out that little bud that she never on pain of death touched.

“I want you to look at me,” he said, which seemed like the most unbearable thing of all. She had to rub through all of this mortifying mess, while he watched her and she watched him?
She couldn’t. She couldn’t.
“I can’t.”
“You can. Here. Here. Like this,” he said, then covered her hand with his and urged it over her slick mound. Of course, the effect was immediate. That little bud swelled beneath her fingertips, pleasure jerking upward from it too quickly. Her toes curled, her back arched, she tried to tell him no again.
But he just pushed her hand down harder, until she couldn’t stop herself from circling that stiff shape. Just a little—no one would have to know. Except for Van, of course, who seemed to be breathing far, far too hard.

Words actually wanted to come out this time, but she didn’t have the breath to lend them. Everything had seized up inside her, so tightly that for a second she panicked. This wasn’t like the orgasms she’d had prior. The orgasms prior hadn’t hurt the way this one was doing, and they hadn’t made her stop breathing, and oh God, what if a person could die of coming?
She was sure she’d heard that on the news, one time. Sure. But no matter how tense and out of control her body got—by this point, she’d practically started rutting against his mouth—he didn’t let up.

She hadn’t the first clue about how to do this thing. He’d had tricks, and ways of going about it, and the magical ability to transport her into transcendental ecstasy. She had some vague idea about maybe sucking him a bit.
The two didn’t match up. He was going to laugh at her efforts, even though he didn’t seem to be laughing now. He didn’t even crack a smile when she looked up at him—he just stared down at her with that tortured, overheated gaze. Mouth a mean line. Shoulders hunched, body still shaking.
And then he told her all the things she most needed to hear.
“Just suck me,” he said. “God, just put your mouth on me.”

She didn’t know how such a thing was possible, but it happened, even so. And all the way through, she hung on fiercely, most of her moans more like grunts. Thighs squeezing too tightly around his body. Hands grasping at parts of him she probably shouldn’t have been grasping.
And best of all—she felt herself clench down hard, on his still-working cock.
“Oh Jesus, Evie,” he panted, almost automatically. Swiftly followed by a tightening of his grip on her back, her ass. His face pressing against the side of hers, as he moaned all hot and wet right into her skin.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Apple Books

Review: The Duke’s Treasure by Minerva Spencer

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Arrangement, Anthology
Publisher: Kensington
Hero: Beaumont Halliwell
Heroine: Josephine Loman
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: January 28, 2020
Started On: June 22, 2020
Finished On: June 22, 2020

The Duke’s Treasure by Minerva Spencer delves into a marriage of convenience between 35 year old Beaumont Halliwell, Sixth Duke of Wroxton and 23 year old Josephine Loman. Beau having returned from war to find his family impoverished and in need of finances of the kind that Josephine’s father has to offer in return for his hand in marriage. These two are opposites in every way, with Beau being sinfully good looking from the ton while Josephine is plain and has no beauty to offer.

As she enters the marriage, Josephine carries a secret close to her heart that she vows never to let be known. That she has fancied Beau from way back when they had first met, the incident which had not even registered for Beau. With the marriage having taken place, Beau expects nothing more from his wife than bed-sport and companionship, having no expectations beyond that when it comes to a union that he had been forced into.

However, from the very first night of their marriage, Beau is taken by surprise when it comes to the chemistry that sizzles between them, and how different his marriage turns out to be from the get go. However, trouble is not afar, as his past comes calling, trying to win his affections over once again, creating friction in the fragile ties being forged between him and his spouse.

This was a very sensible marriage of convenience story for the most part, with communication between the Beau and Josephine doing away with the misunderstandings that would otherwise have been plentiful in a marriage such as theirs. For the most part, Beau is the one who gets ahead of the misunderstandings that may arise, because he chooses to explain to Josephine where he is coming from and comes clean on whatever secrets that maybe buried in the half truths that comes to light during the course of their marriage.

The story did actually have the fundamentals in place to deliver a good and healthy dose of angst, but in the end, even without it, I enjoyed the story that Ms. Spencer delivered via this novella. The heady sensuality that was interwoven into the story made it so, the connection between Beau and Josephine an undeniable one that made for scrumptious reading. The only thing I could have wished for was for this to be a full length novel, which could have been ideal for bringing a healthy dose of conflict and angst to the story.

Recommended for fans of historical romances with that bite of sensuality that takes you by surprise, all in a good way!

Final Verdict: The Duke’s Treasure is a surprisingly delicious morsel of a story, recommended for those who love a healthy dose of sensuality in their stories!

Favorite Quotes

“Yes, Josephine, take what you want—use me,” he whispered as a second finger joined the first, the uncomfortable burn only momentary before the friction was pleasurable, the motion hypnotic.
Jo hadn’t even noticed he’d lowered his body over hers until she felt the puff of hot air on her sex. Before she could move or close her legs or do anything, his tongue pushed between her folds and his lips closed around her throbbing peak. Jo sobbed as he sucked, his hand still moving in controlled thrusts, until her hips began to buck wildly.
He gave a breathless laugh and pulled away just as a wave of pleasure slammed into her. And then again and again.

“You’re small—so tight,” he purred, his hips beginning to pulse, only lightly at first. “I want to fill every part of you,” he hissed, his thrusts smooth and strong. “Tilt your hips, Josephine—take me deeper, as deep as you can.”
Jo did as he bade and he groaned, his hips beginning to drum.
Jo clenched her teeth but reveled in the signs he was losing control—his movements less precise, his breath coming in harsh gasps, and the part of him that was inside her was so very hard. This was all her doing; she was the reason he looked less and less like a cool aristocrat and more like a feral, earthy, primitive savage.

“Did you wear this hideous nightgown to express your displeasure?”
She gave an adorable gurgle of laughter. “Yes, is it terribly obvious? I just thought—”
“I want it off. Now,” he said, standing and lifting her to her feet along with him. “Do you want to dress in a way that pleases me, Josephine?” he murmured as his fingers made quick work of the few buttons.
“Yes, of course.” Her voice was flatteringly breathy.
“Then you will wear this for me in the future.” He lifted her gown over her head and flung it aside.
“I want you waiting for me in nothing from now on.”

“Watch me as I take you,” he ordered her, his heavy-lidded eyes dropping to where he was pressed against her opening. And then he entered her in one smooth thrust.
Unable to look away from the place where they were joined, Jo cried out as her body struggled to accustom itself to his thick length.
“Beautiful, isn’t it?” he gritted, holding her impaled for a long moment before pulsing his hips in sharp thrusts. “I’ve thought about being inside you all day long,” he said while they stared at the mesmerizing sight of his slick shaft sliding in and out of her body. “Did you think of me today, Josephine? Did you want this?” He lifted her hips up until only his crown was inside and then brought her down hard.
“Yes,” Jo gasped, shuddering at his powerful assault.

“You are so wet for me,” he murmured into her neck, biting and kissing and licking while he pulled her tightly against his chest and drove her ruthlessly toward her climax.
When she began to shake and cry out he kneed her thighs apart and entered her with a punishing thrust, riding her hard while teasing another orgasm from her just before burying himself to the hilt and emptying deep inside her.

“Have you pictured yourself spread out on a bed like that ever since, Josephine? Naked, exposed . . . vulnerable,” he whispered, his hand never stopping. “Am I the man in your fantasy? I hope so. Am I cruel? Wicked? Relentless?”
Jo bit her lip hard enough to taste metal. She would not—she would not—
“I would tie your wrists . . . restrain your ankles . . .” he murmured, his voice hypnotic, his breath coming in rapid, heated puffs on her throat. “If I had you bound that way . . . what do you think I would do . . . Josephine? Do you think I’d make you . . . come?”

“Shhhh, I’m not going anywhere, my lovely, needy darling,” he whispered, positioning something bigger and hotter against her entrance. “This is what you want,” he told her.
“Yes.”
“Yes,” he agreed, “and I’m going to give it to you. Hard.”
He took her with agonizing slowness, making her feel each and every inch, his body sinuous and undulating, his thrusting slow, lazy, deep.
“Tell me the way you want it,” he said, his voice strained, his body slick with the effort of resisting his own need, but his motions smooth, thorough, controlled.
“Please,” she whispered.
“Tell me,” he ordered through gritted teeth.
“I want you . . . hard, Beau.”

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