Requested ARC Review: Cold in the Shadows by Toni Anderson

Format: E-bookcoldintheshadows
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Cold Justice, #5
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Patrick Killion
Heroine: Audrey Lockhart
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 24, 2015
Started On: October 30, 2015
Finished On: November 05, 2015

CIA agent Patrick Killion is on a mission sanctioned by the President himself, well, sanctioned to the extent where the President would have room for plausible deniability if shit were to hit the fan. Killion has been meticulous in his hunt, edging slowly towards the persons responsible for devastation that had rippled through his country when their Vice President had been murdered. All clues point towards the frog scientist Audrey Lockhart, who seems to project all the characteristics of someone well versed in the art of deceiving anyone who might be looking at her too closely. Or so Killion believes until he learns otherwise.

Audrey’s life as she had known it and the work she had been doing at the Amazon Research Institute at the Colombian rainforest comes to a screeching halt when she is attacked, leaving her life hanging by a mere thread. Killion tries to look on objectively at the “criminal” that he nurses back to health in the time period that follows, until he learns that Audrey is innocent by the time which he wants to, no needs to put as much distance between her and himself. Once the realization dawns that someone has been very clever at leaving tantalizing clues that points directly towards an innocent woman, Killion swears that he would do everything that he possibly can to restore whatever semblance of normalcy that he can to Audrey’s life, a woman who seems to have gotten under his skin in between being a patient on sickbed and running for their lives afterwards.

With the sort of humor that I haven’t encountered in any of her books before, Toni delivers a read that bears all the trademarks of a wonderful one. Killion races against whatever forces are working against him, while Audrey herself won’t stay put without willingly painting a target on her back to lure the very people who had gone to such lengths to frame her and do away with her. The plot twists served to be what made the story stand out and I believe that Toni has done an amazing job out of creating Killion’s story.

I immensely enjoyed everything about Cold in the Shadows. The suspense part was well done. I love a novel that can surprise me, all in a good way, and Cold in the Shadows did that and more. I loved this book that much more for delivering the angst factor, something that is missing in most books these days. The reluctance on Killion’s part to be in a relationship together with his strong determination not to make himself vulnerable to his enemies is as much a part of himself as his charm and considerable good looks. But with the very first encounter and onwards, Audrey changes all that, and breaks down the walls that he had perfected in a lifetime, with every moment they spend together.

Killion the name has always held a fascination for me, ever since after reading the legendary Anne Stuart’s novel Ice Storm, a book that I positively adored. The Killion in the Cold Justice series has proved to be as alluring in his own right, a character that has intrigued me ever since I encountered him in the novels prior to this in the series. Killion has always been in the background, biding his time for his own story, and what a story this has proven to be. Sexy, smart, ruthless and protective. The man is THE package even though he infuriates you as much as he makes you want him. And that I believe is the genius behind his creation. Killion’s wicked sense of humor got to me – big time! There is just something about a man who can give as good as he gets verbally, and that was a huge turn-on for me when it came to Killion’s character.

I loved Audrey for her simplicity, the fact she wasn’t one prone to theatrics, that she was brave enough to walk away and leave it up to Killion to decide where their “relationship” was headed towards. That, in my opinion, takes guts of the kind that few of us have. Beautiful, brainy and bold; loved the fact that she was insightful enough to weather the storm that was Killion. No wonder it took someone special like Audrey to penetrate that thick skin of Killion’s. The man in my opinion deserves nothing but the best and I believe Audrey was just that.

If you are a fan of romantic suspense and haven’t been reading Toni Anderson, you haven’t been reading right. Please go rectify that, as soon as possible. Thank you.

Final Verdict: Cold in the Shadows is the best book in the series yet – and I’m hoping, it can only get better. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

“Hey”—he hung onto the doorframe, clearly reluctant to leave—“what kind of costumes do frogs wear on Halloween?”
“You really think there’s a frog joke I haven’t heard? Jumpsuits. Ha ha.”
His eyes got a wicked gleam in them. “What did one lesbian frog say to the other?”
She shook her head. “Lesbian frog?” The guy was incorrigible. “Fine. I don’t know, what did one lesbian frog say to the other?”
His smile was pure devilry. “They’re right. We do taste like chicken.”
Oh. My. God.

Then something changed.
The air sizzled, the oxygen evaporated and it was suddenly difficult to breathe. What had started slow and languorous, exploded. He angled his mouth over hers, and started kissing her like he was starving, striving to get as close as physically possible. Her blood heated. The needy ache grew until she just wanted him inside her, right now, as fast as humanly possible. No foreplay, no teasing.

“I don’t want you to hate me.” His voice sounded rough in his throat.
“I won’t hate you—not for this anyway.” She gave a half snort, half laugh.
That made him pause for a second. He ran his hand up her body and his thumb found the center of her nipple with unerring accuracy. He scraped his nail over the sensitive flesh and her sex contracted, hard and sharp. “Might spoil you for every other man, Aud.”
God—that ego. “It’s a risk I’m willing to take.”
His mouth dipped to hers. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

She leaned over to pluck a condom off the side table, ripped it open, and slipped it carefully in place.
“Keep your hands at your sides,” she told him.
He eyed her balefully in the darkness. “But I want to touch you.”
“I want to fuck you first,” she said.
She heard his sharp intake of breath. “Audrey,” he admonished.
“Don’t make this into something it isn’t.”

She increased the pace, and he rose up to meet her, his breathing changing, getting shallower and faster. She added a twist and felt him tense beneath her.
Then his grip on her changed as he gritted out. “You’re not there, yet, Aud.”
“I already came, remember?”
“Fuck that.”

She lost all control of the rhythm she’d established, she just held on as he pounded into her, destroying her from every different angle until her body convulsed and exploded around him.
“Hold on,” he warned.
He turned them so they were on the edge of the mattress and her legs were spread wide and he was driving into her, but she was coming again, over and over in endless waves that crashed through her so hard she screamed as she felt him climax inside her, sending even more waves of pleasure through her body.

He pushed inside her slick heat and wondered how the hell people stopped doing this? Why do anything else? She shifted beneath him, taking him deeper and at an angle that blew his fucking mind. Then she wrapped her legs around him, crying out, and all he could do was drive deeper and deeper until his world went white and the earth shattered and he roared out a sound as a corner of his brain realized that walking away from Audrey Lockhart was going to be the most difficult thing he’d ever done.

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

[xrr rating = 4.5/5]

Caliber SEAL: AMAZING READ!

Requested ARC Review: The Highest Tide by Marian Perera

Format: E-bookthehighesttide
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Eden, #4
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Hero: Jason Remerley
Heroine: Lera Vanze
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 17, 2015
Started On: August 29, 2015
Finished On: September 08, 2015

Jason Remerley is a brothel health inspector, who runs into Captain Lera Vanze at The Velvet Court. From the first moment Jason lays eyes on the beautiful red haired Lera, Jason has a deep gnawing need to have her, regardless of the consequences. Lera believes that even a scarred woman like her should be able to fulfill her physical needs, which is why when she encounters a man who entices her more than a simple pay for sex kind of transaction ought to, Lera gets more wary than ever.

Of course Lera finds out, which makes the matter of traveling on the same ship on a mission that seems to be filled with dangers of its own kind doubly perilous. Jason has his own agenda in tagging along on the trip while Lera’s sole mission is to protect Kovir, the Seawatch operator that is recruited for the mission. While The Highest Tide is book 4 in the Eden series, this can be read as a standalone without much of a difficulty. However, I’d still say that this series is best read in its order as each of the books so far has been pretty great reads!

While Jason might not be the type of hero that I’m used to going gaga over, his shrewd intelligence, his focus on doing right by whatever he is tasked with, his determination when it comes to Lena; all of that makes for pretty alluring qualities if you ask me. There is a calmness to him that just feels like an oasis from the vicious storms that rage outside and perhaps one of the reasons I fell for him was that.

Marian has a penchant for writing strong heroines who sometimes tends to outshine the heroes with their abilities & strength of character. Lena was definitely one of them. Scarred with a past to match, Lena was set for a life of sailing warships until Jason came along. Any courtship more presumptuous on Jason’s part would have definitely not worked on Lena. Having encountered Lena in the previous novel, readers are introduced here to her more ‘giving’ side by the feelings of concerns she shows for Kovir, the Seawatch operative under her care, looking out for him like she’d do for a child of her own or such. From a brothel to the high seas, to being stranded in an island strapped with explosives, Lena and Jason’s courtship is definitely one for the books and one that I enjoyed.

There is quite the backstory linking Jason to the villain which I found entirely fascinating. Villain was definitely psychotic, not to mention downright scary in his ability to unleash his more sadistic tendencies which gave the story that added edge that Marian’s stories are equipped with. I would say that The Highest Tide is a pretty interesting addition to the Eden series. Marian definitely has got the talent it takes to awe and woo the reader to indulge in her alternate worlds. I for one definitely can’t wait to see where this journey is going to end.

Final Verdict: Marian never fails to amaze me with her ability to create beauty from utter chaos. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

Without looking away from him, she reached for the door and her fingers brushed over smooth hard wood. She didn’t know if she meant to anchor herself with that, something solid to hold on to while she walked out, but her body decided before her mind could. A twitch of muscle, a flex of fingers, and the door swung shut.
Click.
Jason’s eyes dilated, dark with need, and he met her the rest of the way. His free arm went around her waist. Her body jolted from the touch, though that only made her press more closely against his tall frame, and her skin prickled as if a tide of sensation both hot and cold at once had rushed beneath it. The sheet might as well not have existed.

“Ah, Lera.”
The whisper was raw, his voice deepening to a growl, and it made her lean into him, needing more. His thigh pressed between her legs, and she twisted just enough to feel his erection, hard as an anchor against her belly. He shuddered, and his teeth found the softness of her throat in retaliation. Then he sucked on her flesh. Her nipples ached to be mouthed like that, suckled until she was wet and bucking with need, until she pushed him to his knees before her so he could press his face between her thighs, making her cry out before he pulled her down to him and mounted her.

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

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Requested ARC Review: Wanted by Dee Tenorio

Format: E-bookwanted
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Deadly Secrets, #2
Publisher: Entangled
Hero: Rick Trelane
Heroine: Whitney Jean Peterson
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 21, 2015
Started On: July 24, 2015
Finished On: July 26, 2015

Wanted by Dee Tenorio is the 2nd book in the Deadly Secrets series. Story begins with the murder of one Brody Roberts, a murder that signals to the former Marine Rick Trelane that this is just the beginning of something deeper and darker than what it seems to be on the surface. Brody’s murder is of significance to Rick because of Brody’s “relationship” with Whitney Peterson, the woman whose existence remains the reason for Rick’s sanity, his best friend & the only person alive who could stir him into giving a damn about opening himself up once again.

Whitney holds secrets in her heart. Emotionally dark secrets that she has no intention of sharing with Rick and burdening him with. As it is, Rick holds the weight of the world on his shoulders. The shadows in his eyes, the darkness that he holds close to his heart is one that dissipates rarely, showing glimpses of the man whom Whitney has given her heart to, a long time back.

Reluctance is the name of the game when it comes to Rick. Reluctance to face what Whitney means to him, reluctance to expose himself to feeling anything that could devastate his world all over again. Reluctance to let Whitney in and face head on the explosive, world shattering variety of desire that connects them.

With the body count beginning to rise, Whitney gets promoted from being just a person of interest to a suspect that the police needs to bring in for questioning. And the only one that stands between Whitney and wrongful prosecution is Rick himself, willing to forgo every value that he has promised to uphold in his quest to root out the corruption that had darkened the doorways of the community.

Wanted is a story that contains elements which combined together definitely makes for a page turner. Rick himself is deliciousness redefined. Seeing Rick through Whitney’s eyes was a huge turn-on, the man being just a walking, brooding version of sex on a stick. Whitney is the heroine who is tough enough to nudge Rick towards the road of recovery. Haunted by a past that was earth shattering when it came to light, Whitney’s character just makes you want to bring out the pompoms and cheer her on. I was never more so proud of Whitney than the moment she decided to pursue Rick, to take matters into her own hands so to speak, even with all the memories of a past that continues unleash its claws on her, more recently of late.

Though the villain was not that hard to figure out, the twists that Dee provided towards the culmination of the story proved to be enticing enough to keep me riveted. Only thing more I could have asked for would have to be more scenes of passion between Rick and Whitney. Ones that would have “reaffirmed” the sexiness that defines all that is Rick Trelane.

Loved the thread of humor interwoven with the fabric of the story. One of the reasons that I love Dee’s voice so much is that she has the right touch of sarcastic and witty combined that gives the reader that much needed breather from the rest of the intense stuff happening in the story.

Wanted is a story that deals with difficult subjects with a high degree of sensitivity. The concept of therapy, moving forward, finding happiness; all this gives that much needed hope to anyone who might be going through a tough time in their lives. After all, that’s what romance novels are partly about. They fuel our dreams & hopes of a love that would never abate, will be reciprocated & withstand the test & ravages of time

Recommended.

Final Verdict: Dee Tenorio delivers a dark tale, as promised. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

He had to go. He fucking had to. He had to let her go.
But she chose that moment to turn. To open her eyes. To sigh in relief that he was still there.
The choice was out of his hands.
He moved, drawn toward her like fire to air. He pushed through the kitchen door, colliding against her body and taking her mouth with a fury he couldn’t have held in if God himself commanded it. The taste of her flooded him, sweetness and fire, while her body melted into him. It wasn’t enough. He needed her closer. Needed her wrapped around him.

He heard her cry of surprise, used it to deepen the kiss until the carnality of it almost had him ripping at the fabric of her dress. She did nothing to stop him, either. Instead, she kissed him back, her desperate sounds urging him on. His fingers tightened on her hip, pushing her backward onto the table. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him down with her, letting him take, demanding more, until he’d nearly climbed on the table with her.

He gasped against her lips, his entire body tightening like a bowstring being yanked.
She lifted herself higher, pulling back only enough to whisper words she hoped he couldn’t ignore. “I need you, Rick. I need you so much…”
He held out for a beat, two, but then he groaned, turning them so her back was against the wall. They hit it with a slam, his swearing the oddest thing to find sexy. Like the sound of a dam breaking, she thought distantly, the one sided kiss suddenly erupting into something that stole her breath completely.

Soon, all she could hear were her own sighs, his murmured encouragement and the roughening pace of their breathing. Her head fell back, arms crossed behind his head so he didn’t stop sucking that spot on her neck. His thumb sought out her clit again and thought completely disappeared. Passion turned to an inferno. She moved desperately, wanting more, wanting everything. All he was. All he’d ever wanted to be. All she’d never been able to give. That she’d never received. It all blended into a maelstrom until the pressure of it snapped, shocking a cry from them both, leaving them shuddering in each other’s arms.

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

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Requested ARC Review: The List by Joanna Bolouri

Format: E-bookthelist
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Hero: Oliver
Heroine: Phoebe Henderson
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 6, 2015
Started On: April 9, 2015
Finished On: April 9, 2015

The List by Joanna Bolouri is one of those laugh-out-loud variety romances that makes you feel good and break out in laughter even long after you are done. It all starts when the new year rolls in and Phoebe finds herself still pathetically single, going to therapy, trying to take her mind off the ex who had cheated on her and left her in the lurch.

Like many of us, Phoebe is one to make all sorts of new year resolutions that never see the light of day. However this year, Phoebe is determined that she’d stick to her resolution and see it through, even if it kills her. Thus she and her best friend Lucy get together and make a list, a list that would guarantee that she, Phoebe, would have sexual adventures of the kind that she has only read about, and that she would put herself first this time than anyone else.

Next thing you know, Phoebe finds herself with her friends-with-benefits partner, none other than the Irish sex demi-god Oliver himself, who happens to be one of her closest friends. Oliver has no issues with making her scream with pleasure, in showing her how desirable she is. However, both Oliver and Phoebe promise each other that they aren’t an exclusive item, and that’s where all the ‘misadventures’ of Phoebe’s sex life begins.

The List is written in first person, in Phoebe’s point of view. The whole cast of characters tended to give the story a Sex & the City vibe to it that I absolutely loved. I felt like I had come home to characters who could make me laugh, who could make me cry and yet again who could make me smile through my tears through the happy ending it delivered.

One cannot talk about the good stuff in The List without mentioning the hilarity it delivers. The humor. Oh the humor. At times you feel like you’re watching a movie where everything that can go wrong will go wrong, and yet there’s nothing like laughing your way through the good and bad and being able to look back and still smile when you know that you had gone through it all like a champion. That is the sort of tale that The List delivered and I gobbled it all up in just one sitting!

I would be remiss in my review if I were not to mention the impact that Oliver brought to the story. Oliver, the Irish bloke who teaches Phoebe that she is desirable and sexy and that she deserves better than the man she has continued to pine for for the past year. The fact that they’ve known each other for so long makes it even better, that they can be their true selves with each other without any pretenses speaks volumes on just how well suited they are for each other; Oliver is the kind of friends with benefit bloke every girl should have; funny, sexy as hell and practically a God when it comes to making a woman scream in bed!

Only thing that I didn’t like was missing out on Oliver’s point of view. I felt a bit cheated out because of the fact. I’d have loved to see even a glimpse into his mind, how he views Phoebe, the woman he has loved all this while, the woman whose love he’d been willing to forgo just so that he could spare her the hurt that he’d inevitably cause when he screwed things up! This is the one reason that I tend to dislike books written in first person, which is a fad that every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be following these days. I believe that Oliver’s viewpoint would have made the story more wholesome and given it a whole lot more emotional punch than the story delivers now.

I loved Phoebe. What is there not to love? I loved her courage; it must’ve taken a lot for her to actually take the step towards moving on even when heart kept clamoring for the man who’d cheated on her and hurt her in the worst way possible. Her cluelessness when it comes to Oliver is one that proved costly, but the angst the fact delivered to the story was one that made it all the more better!

Recommended! Couldn’t put it down. Even for a second. Highly readable!

Final Verdict: Fun & provocative. Loved it!

Favorite Quotes

“Take off your trousers.” I demanded.
I took off my skirt and tights, pulled my knickers to one side and slid down on him. Hard. I then whispered in his ear,
“I am going to fuck you so slowly and take every inch of you, until you’re begging me to let you come. Can you feel how wet I am already?”
He raised one eyebrow (man, I love it when he does that) and said, “Good god Phoebe! Keep talking like that and I think I’ll keep you.”
So I did.

We maneuvered round to the front of the car and he took down my tights and underwear. I say ‘took’, it was more of a ripping action, which would have been sexier had I not been wearing industrial strength pants and tights. With some help, they were flung in the nearby hedge and I was flipped over and shagged on the bonnet of the car, quite dramatically, and while it was obvious he wanted me, I could tell he was totally trying to out-shag Stuart so he could then jump up and down in front of me shouting “I’M THE WINNER, I’M THE FUCKING WINNER!!”
As he was kissing my neck he moved his mouth to my ear and said “It’s never this good with anyone else. Is it?”
I answered truthfully: “No. It isn’t.”

He slowly pulled down my bikini bottoms and began licking me, so slowly I felt my knees buckle and my face flush. He undid his jeans, wrapped my legs around his waist and held me up. I could feel the tree scratching my back and he went faster and faster and then he stopped, looked into my eyes and kissed me. I mean really kissed me and all I could do was kiss him back. It was passionate and as he started to move inside me again I cried out it was so intense.
“The thing about Ruth” he said as we fucked, “is that she’s not you Phoebe.”

He didn’t say anything. He walked to the door…and then he stopped. And he locked the door.
We made love right there on the bed. There was no shouting, or gymnastics or laughing. We were slow and quiet and we never took our eyes off each other. He was so gentle and the moment he entered me, I was so grateful to have him back inside me again, to feel him moving his hands over my thighs and to feel his mouth on mine. It was so intense and I came before he did. It was beautiful.
This morning when I woke up he was gone.

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

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Requested ARC Review: Midnight Promises by Lisa Marie Rice

Format: E-bookmidnightpromises
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Midnight, #5
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Sean “Metal” O’Brien
Heroine: Felicity Ward
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 19, 2015
Started On: January 12, 2015
Finished On: January 15, 2015

Midnight Promises is the 5th book in the Midnight series by Lisa Marie Rice. I got hooked onto Lisa Marie Rice ages ago when I first stumbled upon her Dangerous series. Lisa has a penchant for creating heroes that are as tough as they come. Demanding in the bedroom, gentle with their lady outside of it and lethal in the art of fighting and willing to lay their last breathe for the women they love. Ah! Those are the books that still linger afresh on my mind because the impact a good novel can have on you is imprinted in the deep recesses of your mind forever.

The 5th book in the Midnight series features a heroine in danger from the Russian KGB, for the secrets that she unknowingly holds in her hands. Felicity grows up in a household where her father had always looked sad, fear of being captured or worse always making him look over his shoulder. Her mother hadn’t fared any better under the life they’d been forced to live and Felicity had borne the brunt of it all.

Her trip to Portland had been a test of sorts, to see whether she could lead a normal life. A bit of a recluse and a genius in computer coding, Felicity is taken unawares when she is attacked in the airport itself. Her ingenuity and quick thinking saves her life and she lands on the doorstep of her friend Lauren, where Sean “Metal” O’Brien takes charge of her well-being and her heart in the process.

Midnight Promises for me held echoes of the Lisa Marie Rice that moved me to sigh over her books and squirm over the rough and oh so sensuous sex scenes she writes so wonderfully. Sean is the hero who has battle scars all over his body to prove that he is a toughie all around. Felicity, while she might’ve had to lead a reclusive life, is classy and beautiful with a heart that wants to trust that there just might be a person out there capable of keeping her safe from harm. And yet I found myself wanting more from both of them.

Though Midnight Promises had potential to be something more, it fell a wee bit short of hitting the mark. Sean and Felicity were likable enough, I just wasn’t able to connect with the rest of the story as much. Some parts of it dragged a bit, and I missed out on how Lisa tends to forge  a connection between the hero and heroine in her previous books that makes it feel like they are in a world of their own, a cocoon of their own making where they are the only ones that exists. But I still would like to say that even with the lack of that, the scene in which Sean makes Felicity his was superbly done; Lisa has a penchant for making the dirty variety of sex sound beautiful and poetic.

Recommended for fans of the series and fans of Lisa Marie Rice. I might be of the very few who found that the story could have been much much better.

Final Verdict: A little bit of the Lisa Marie Rice magic goes a long way!

Favorite Quotes

“She was pure sensation, feeling not thinking. Her brain just switched off, like in sleep only better. Because she was aware of the sensations.
His lips were soft but his stubble was rough against her skin. He somehow moved above her, in a dominant position and that excited her so much it scared her. He lifted his mouth for a second, so close she could feel his breath—actually she felt as if she was breathing through him. When he spoke, his lips were against hers, voice so deep it seemed to reverberate throughout her chest.
“I’m glad you aren’t with anybody. Because you are now.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | Carina | iTunes

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Requested Review: The Farthest Shore by Marian Perera

Format: E-bookthefarthestshore
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Eden, #3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Hero: Alyster Juell
Heroine: Mirande Tayes
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 26, 2014
Started On: December 15, 2014
Finished On: December 20, 2014

Alyster Juell is the captain of the steamship Checkmate, involved in a race between Denalait ships and a Dragan schooner. Captain Alyster appears in the second book of the series, i.e. The Deepest Ocean, my favorite Eden book thus far. Alyster’s excitement over the race is a given and when he finds a stowaway on board, none other than Mirande Tayes (Miri), one of the reporters that he had met the previous night, Alyster’s first reaction is to distrust her on every level.

The truth about Miri’s past and where she comes from is the reason behind Miri’s fate that ends her being onboard Alyster’s steamship as a stowaway. Miri bargains with Alyster to keep her onboard until they reach a port where she can make her way. Alyster who has misgivings about a reporter he distrusts is left fighting an attraction born out of respect for Miri proves her mettle and shows him that she is unafraid of hard work to make her way when required.

Meanwhile, the war that has waged for years between the Tureans and the Denalaits rears its ugly head in the midst of the race, the Tureans willing to use every dirty trick under their sleeve and then some to “win” in a war that has seen its fair share of casualities and damages on both sides. The war has done nothing but create a divide the likes of which we find in the real world today, racial divides that seem insurmountable at best which is the situation that comes to light between Miri and Alyster.

Marian’s ability to create and combine the creepy with the mystic, the romance with the world building continues to amaze me with every story that I read from the Eden series. The Farthest Shore combines all of the above to give a spellbinding read that keeps the reader on tenterhooks until the very last page.

The fate of the little girl under the Turean command, that holds so much power in her hands is one that filled me with unease and fascination quite at the same time. I cannot help but want to read her story somewhere along the way, perhaps Marian might end up giving readers like myself one sometime in the future.

Alyster as the hero is a bit of a laid back version compared to his brother who has a reckless streak a mile wide. The commanding side to Alyster is a direct contrast to his beta-ish nature, both of which makes for a compelling hero. Though Alyster has a hard time coming to terms with who Miri is, the honesty with which he and both Miri handle the situation is one that deserves a mention. Miri is a courageous heroine, whose penchant for being truthful and upfront with Alyster before anything serious could happen between the two of them endeared her to me in more ways than one. Waiting for more stories from the world of Eden.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: Marian’s world building of Eden offers endless possibilities for fascinating tales of intrigue, excitement & danger!

Favorite Quotes

“A lot can happen in a few hours.”
“Alyster…” she began. She wasn’t sure what she intended to say, perhaps just tell him that it was the wrong time and place for whatever he was trying to do—and she knew now that he didn’t only want her to trust him. She also knew that she should not have said his name for the first time like that, in a voice that showed altogether too much need, betraying both a loneliness and a longing that she had never allowed herself to show before. But by then it was far too late.

He’d shaved, so the skin grazing her ear was velvety-rough, his teeth hard against her earlobe.
That time it was she who made a sound instead, a whimper she couldn’t stifle, and her arms went up around him.
“Yes,” he said, his voice as raw as if he had fought not to say anything at all, and when he kissed her again there was no gentleness about it. But she didn’t need that now. She needed to forget about everything, needed the pain of the past and the darkness of that night wiped out in a desire so fierce she couldn’t think any longer, needed him.

“I’ve never known a woman quite like you,” he said quietly.
Again she hesitated. Only the faintest edge of moonlight from the open hatchway showed the soft waves of her hair and one shoulder in the darkness.
“A woman who was half-salt?” she finally replied, and he had the impression she’d used the pause to make certain only a cool edge of disdain showed in her voice. He didn’t think he’d allow her the chance to get a shield up again. He didn’t think he wanted there to be anything between them again, at least not for that night.
“Half-idealistic and half-exasperating and all remarkable,” he said, and closed his hands around her shoulders, pulling her against him.

Over a rushing sound in his ears, he heard her groan low in her throat, and he managed to break the kiss so they could breathe again. They were both panting as if they’d been nearly drowned.
As he wanted to drown in her, wanted to sink into her until she was gasping and helpless under him. There was no need to search for her mouth a second time. She kissed him back, one arm sliding up around his neck, and her fingers caught in his hair. He shuddered, and his mouth went to her throat.

“Do you want me?” He barely recognized the sound of his own voice.
In the darkness, he heard her swallow, and the sound made him take a quick step back before he could lose the last vestiges of control and push her up against the wall. “Yes.” The word sounded like a sigh, albeit a sigh dragged out of her with a fishing gaff.
A tension he hadn’t realized was present drained out of him. “Then come to my cabin,” he said, and walked away.

A whimper trapped in her throat, she bent her knees, trying to force his mouth closer to her, but she might as well have been trying to shift a mountain. He made a sound that might have been a laugh if it hadn’t been so raw with need, and buried his face between her thighs. The roughness of the stubble on his face made his mouth feel more sensitive and sensual, and he impaled her with his tongue.
The world vanished in a soundless explosion. Her body jerked in a climax so fast and hard she couldn’t even scream. Her spine locked rigid, her head fell back as wave after wave of clenching release slammed into her, and he drew out the last shudders as he licked her swollen, spasming flesh.

“Now,” she whispered, but he only shifted position, and his tongue played slowly over her other nipple. She squirmed, unable to bear the ache between her thighs. “Alyster, now—” He came into her deep and hard, stretching and filling her. She cried out, a sound as much plea as it was pleasure. Her arms tightened around him to hold him where she needed
him, her hips rose to meet his fierce thrusts, and she was close, so close, so—
“Miri,” he groaned against her ear, and that was enough. Everything in her tightened at once, clenching and rigid, and Alyster pulled back before driving in again, faster now as if he had lost all control too.

“Ride me, Miri,” he whispered, and she lifted herself above him. The slick slide of his naked flesh against hers made him set his teeth, and when he pushed back into her, it felt even better. She braced her hands against his chest, rising and falling again and again, meeting his thrusts in a rhythm that was steadily growing faster, more out of control.
“Now—” The muscles of her face tightened too, her eyes closing as she surrounded him and withdrew, relentless as the tide. Her thighs were trembling against his hips, squeezing them, as she impaled herself completely. “Alyster—”
Yes, Alyster thought and thrust up as hard as he could. It was enough.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | Samhain | eBookMall

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Requested ARC Review: Cold Light of Day by Toni Anderson

Format: E-bookcoldlightofday
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Cold Justice, #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Matthias Lazlo
Heroine: Scarlett Wilson Stone
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 16, 2014
Started On: November 11, 2014
Finished On: November 18, 2014

Toni Anderson is an author you should be reading if you are a fan of well plotted suspense. Toni is an author whose self-published books in the genre has provided me with some of the best reads in suspense that I have read lately and Cold Light of Day is a book that testifies to all that I have just stated above.

Scarlett Wilson Stone joins her best friend Angelina LeMay to attend the annual Christmas party that is hosted by the Russian Ambassador to the United States for one reason alone. She wants the chance to do something to clear her father of the charges of treason for which he has been spending the past 14 years of his life in prison. Scarlett & her mother are the only ones who had believed in her father’s innocence. When Scarlett’s little mission goes horribly wrong, the reaction is swift with life threatening consequences that Scarlett never foresaw.

Former SEAL and FBI Special Agent Matthias Lazlo cannot believe that he had been tricked by a pair of brown eyes that he had felt had seen right through to his soul. A moment that had lasted long enough to make him think of thoughts better left unsaid, Matt is relentless in his attempt to hunt down Scarlett and bring her in, more in a need to protect her than anything else.

Though Matt doesn’t believe Scarlett’s proclamation of her father’s innocence, as the attacks on their lives begin to mount, Matt has to believe in the possibility that someone wants the truth to be buried six feet under, never to surface ever again. What doesn’t help matters is his fierce attraction to Scarlett whose intelligence, devotion and vulnerability strikes him in his very heart making him susceptible to a whole lot more than just being taken down by the enemy.

Toni Anderson explores a mean plot in Cold Light of Day. It kept me on tenterhooks that had the nail biting edge to it with the stakes rising as the story progressed. Toni writes suspense of the variety that makes the heart pound. Add to it the espionage factor explored in this novel and you’ve got yourself the likes of books from authors like Robert Ludlum. The plus point for voracious romance readers like myself is that Toni writes as good a romance as the suspense plot in her novels.

Matt is a hero readers would absolutely adore. I could have sat with the book in my hands and read about just him alone and it would most probably have been enough. He is downright sexy, effortlessly so and there is nothing more deadly on the female senses than that if you ask me. Scarlett proved to be a great heroine. Toni creates heroines who are intelligent and capable, yet with enough sense in them to know when to advance and when to retreat. That in my opinion is an essential factor to writing heroines that grabs the heart.

Final Verdict: Cold Light of Day reads like a puzzle you’d never figure out. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

Scarlett Stone…
“Why do I recognize that name?” asked Matt.
Alex Parker appeared in the doorway. “Because she’s the daughter of Richard Stone.”
“Richard Stone the spy?” Frazer ground out.
Holy motherfucker. That was the sound of shit hitting the fan.

We might only have one night…we might only have an hour.
The thought made him push a little bit deeper, a little bit harder. She tilted her pelvis and wrapped her legs around his hips and, dear God, he couldn’t go easy, and he couldn’t go gentle. He thrust into her, only grateful she seemed to be enjoying his lack of technique and finesse.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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