Requested Review: Petals and Thorns by Jeffe Kennedy

Format: E-bookpetalsandthorns.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Roland
Heroine: Amarantha
Sensuality: 5
Date of Publication: July 13, 2010
Started On: May 20, 2015
Finished On: May 20, 2015

Petals and Thorns is a novella based on the Beauty and Beast theme interwoven with strong elements of BDSM. Amarantha the heroine finds herself married off to someone known as the Beast, a man too hideous to be seen out in public, who shrouds himself under a cloak, whose voice from the get go has a hypnotic effect on the reluctant Amarantha. All that Amarantha has to do is “suffer” through seven days with the Beast, her husband, and leave with her virginity intact in order for their family to be saved. And while the Beast had agreed to not force her to give up her maidenhood, everything else remains fair game.

Beauty & the Beast is one of my favorite cartoons of all time, the Disney version of course. There is a timeless love story if ever there was one and my interest was piqued enough to give this a go because I wanted to see how the author would interweave BDSM elements into the story.

While the flow of the story was pretty much okay, I found that the Amarantha didn’t pretty much have a choice when it came to the Beast and his command over her body. A virgin without any experience whatsoever to guide her, Amarantha was at a disadvantage from the beginning of their marriage and I found the Beast to be a bit cruel at times in his attempts to make her bow to his will.

While I have read novels whose main theme has been BDSM, I have never remained emotionally hollowed out by any of it and yet I guess Petals and Thorns is going to be the first of its kind for me. One thing I think that led to the fact was that the story while its quite short with just 80+ pages to it, didn’t contain any elements from the Beast’s point of view. I guess that in itself leads the reader to draw the conclusion that the Beast’s ministrations on his wife was a tad cruel. Towards the latter part of the story, that tension eased a bit as readers are able to see that the Beast isn’t as much in control of his emotions & reaction towards Amarantha as he’d like her to believe.

I felt that the Beast and Amarantha, though seemed to be well matched in their desire for one another towards the end, seemed mismatched in other ways. While the Beast appeared to be well read with varied interests in other aspects of life as well, Amarantha didn’t seem as in tune with him in this aspect. I guess it was the lack of her exposure to much in life that made her the innocent she was.

Recommended for those that love hardcore BDSM themed romances.

Final Verdict: Jeffe Kennedy brings to readers the beauty and the beast, BDSM style!

Favorite Quotes

She forced herself to look at him. “I must tell you, I don‘t see how I can ever be your wife in truth. I cannot imagine asking you to—“
“To take your maidenhead? To rend you with my cock so that you scream in agonized pleasure?”
The shock drained Amarantha‘s cheeks of color. Even as the image somehow stirred her.
“Sir Beast, you cannot say such things to me.”
“It seems, my bride, that we must stretch your imagination as well. The only thing I may not do is take you by force. Everything else is open to me.”

“Amarantha…”
She heard the warning in his voice and inched up her skirts, just high enough to slip her hand under. He knew she wore no underthings, and she blushed at it. Amarantha dipped a hesitant finger into her private area, finding it slick and swollen. She nearly hummed at the sensation.
“Now show me.”
If possible, she flushed more deeply, that he might have thought she lingered. She held out a trembling hand for him. It gleamed slick in the sun. The Beast bent over. She felt his hot breath whuffing over her hand.
“You move me, Amarantha,” he finally murmured, his voice rough.

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

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Requested Review: Wildsmith by J. J. Sachs

Format: E-bookwildsmith.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Series: Untitled, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Jason Wildsmith
Heroine: Lucy Albright
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: October 18, 2014
Started On: December 21, 2014
Finished On: December 21, 2014

Wildsmith by J.J. Sachs is a novel that took me completely by surprise, in a wonderful way. Lucy Albright is having a hard time with her boyfriend Kieran James, the best looking guy in the university, who should have been able to knock her socks off and then some. But time and yet again, Lucy finds herself frustrated, left hanging too many times to count and on the verge of screaming herself hoarse from the sheer frustration of it all.

When Lucy’s new professor Doctor Jason Wildsmith revvs her engines in more ways than one, Lucy is at first wary though excitement tinges along with it. The intensity that is Wildsmith is one that Lucy is hardpressed to ignore and finally, Lucy decides to give in and test the waters where Wildsmith is concerned.

What follows is one of the most erotic and mind melting variety of sex scenes with a touch of BDSM that made me go yowza in several places. Wildsmith and the control that he exerts on himself and the sex scenese fraught with tension plus the mindless pleasure that he gives Lucy is one that is addictive; even to the reader. Wildsmith, the name itself conjurs something wild, his bad boy past and the educated mind of his with his “reformed” self one that is damn near IRRESISTIBLE!

The ending when it came was one that made me want to howl. I so wanted the story to be done in one book, but the fact that this is the debut book in a series meant that I had to go through the agonizing end and weep over what both Lucy and Wildsmith has to go through to hopefully come out stronger and united when the series is through.

The one thing I did love about the ending though was the fact that Lucy gained enough self confidence to take charge of her sexuality. And though I did love Lucy’s dominant side towards the end, I do wonder how that is going to work with Wildsmith. Somehow I have a hard time conjuring up two dominants together. Even then I couldn’t help but mourn for Wildsmithm, the man who has entered my heart and I don’t think that there is going to be any other for either Lucy or me!

Definitely recommended! I am definitely going stir crazy with curiosity over how J.J. Sachs is going to turn around the story now!

Final Verdict: Erotica that sizzles through the nerve endings; Wildsmith makes the heart pound.

Favorite Quotes

She had gone less than ten yards when he heard the sound of running feet. A hand fell on her shoulder, whirling her round. Arms wrapped around her, and Wildsmith’s mouth fell on hers. With a hunger she hadn’t known she possessed, she answered his kiss.

And still he went on. All restraint gone, he allowed her legs to fall open and grabbed her hips. Hair falling across his eyes, growling with his own pleasure, he pounded his cock into her, pulling on her hips to make sure she took every last millimetre.
She cried out again as a fresh wave of orgasm shattered her, almost weeping as he fucked her with rough, animal wildness.

“Open your eyes, Lucy. I want you to watch this in the mirror.”
She obeyed, instantly.
“You will learn to control yourself,” Wildsmith continued. “Now I am going to fuck you. If you make a single sound, or move, until I give you permission, I will stop and this session will be over.”
How can he be so fucking cruel?
The thought was blown away in a hurricane as Wildsmith gripped her hips and pushed into her.

Fearing to move in case he stopped completely, she could only bite her lip in frustration as he entered her millimetre by frustrating millimetre. Breathing ragged, she fixed her eyes on the image in the mirror to distract herself. The reflection she saw there just made her need worse: Wildsmith rising above her naked body, hair hanging over his face; candlelight gleaming on his skin; jeans hanging open. Her own eyes were fierce and wild; the collar still around her neck making her look like an animal.

Her orgasm was instantaneous; the howl that wrenched from her throat as she arched her back and lifted her head, primal. Her body shuddered and shuddered again, as Wildsmith’s driving shaft finally brought release. Lucy could no longer tell pain and pleasure apart. Every part of her was caught up in a blossoming explosion that ripped through her, touching off fresh, bigger and deeper explosions. It was as if Wildsmith had spent the previous hour setting explosive charges throughout her body and was now triggering a series of ever-greater detonations with the relentless thrusting of his cock.

Purchase Links: Amazon

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Requested Review: Bella’s Point by Elizabeth Seckman

Format: E-bookbellaspoint
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Western Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Jack Owen Byron
Heroine: Isabella Francine Troy Stanley
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 9, 2014
Started On: December 13, 2014
Finished On: December 14, 2014

Bella’s Point by Elizabeth Seckman is a story that takes place in the post civil war era. Isabella Francine Troy Stanley (Bella) comes from a rich family until the war had practically taken everything from her. Life is dangerous for a woman who lives with just her mammy and a young boy on the frontier where anyone and everyone is willing to take advantage of them. And Bella with her “scandalous” past owing to the fact that she had divorced her husband, the difficulties are more so.

The story starts off with a determined Bella, visiting the prison to buy herself a husband. A husband none other than Jack Owen Byron, the man who had been her childhood crush and the star of her fantasies. Even when everyone else disagrees with her plan, Bella is of the mind that she and Jack together can make a home for themselves. However, things are far from that simple as Bella finds out with everyday that comes.

Elizabeth Seckman whips up a story with quite the interesting elements in Bella’s Point. There is Bella, the woman who had grown up the pampered daughter, who had practically everything she wanted or desired for. And then came her marriage, which had nearly destroyed her very soul. At first I was irked by the fact that Bella seemed to break down and cry often, even with that indomitable front that she puts up. But then as I dug into the story and found out what exactly Bella had suffered through, I thought to myself, its a wonder that she is able to be as spirited as she tended to be. Given that back then, no one would have talked about mental issues like depression, I believe that Bella was entitled to her crying sessions, until she had finally gotten the closure that she craved.

Every time I pick up a novel based in the post civil war era, I am hit by the thoughts of just how cruel life had been for people, especially for women and the colored, who had ended up bearing the brunt of societies many cruelties. I can’t help but thank God that I wasn’t born to be a witness to humanity’s vile evilness towards the fellow humans, but then I guess if one were to really look at the society we live in today, we aren’t doing that much better off. Just that we are more “civilized” in our cruelty now.

Jack turned out to be a sweetly wonderful hero. His reluctance to get married to Bella was an understandable one given that he had grown up in a world where there had always been distinct lines between different levels in society. Though I had a bit of an issue with just how suddenly Jack found himself proclaiming his love for Bella, I still thought that the way he took care of Bella, her fears regarding physical intimacy and the rest was really sweet. The one aspect of the story that I think was dragged out a bit more than necessary was Bella’s past and the fate of her ex-husband. I just felt that that aspect of the story could’ve been done and over with a lot sooner and with a fewer pages than was dedicated for it.

Loved the sweet ending to the story. Recommended for fans of Western themed historical romances!

Final Verdict: Ms. Seckman spins a Western themed romance with enjoyable elements!

Favorite Quotes

His body moved slowly in hers in a deliberate deep grind until he felt her body respond. He heard her gasp, her hands digging into his biceps. His rhythm increased until he felt her tighten around him, her body stiffened under him, her thighs squeezed his hips as she held on as his body responded to hers moving in harmony until they had reached that place of peace collapsing together. Neither spoke, neither moved an inch. They lay together, still locked in an embrace. Neither wasted the breath to speak.

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

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Requested Review: The Group Seduction by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: E-bookthegroupseduction
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Hero: Jack Cristy
Heroine: Annabella Cristy
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 19, 2013
Started On: September 8, 2014
Finished On: September 9, 2014

The Group Seduction by Wendy S. Marcus is a short novel that really hits on the head on an issue that many a married couple, especially with kids face. Wendy explores the rut that many couples fall into, years down their marriage; the sexual desire and physical intimacy that goes wan and then the realization that hits a trifle bit too late for some couples.

Annabella and Jack have been married for 17 years. With three kids, Annabella is hard pressed to find the time to feel sexy let alone get intimate with her husband. But once she realizes the perilous road her marriage has turned, Annabella decides to take matters into her own hands and set out to seduce her husband. To find strength in numbers, Annabella confides in and plans with three of her best friends who are in a similar situation and designs the “group seduction” scheme to finally steer the physical aspect of their relationships in the right direction.

Though the novella is entitled The Group Seduction, there is no orgy no any sort of group sex happening. For me, The Group Seduction embodied 90% of relationships as they proceed through the years. Most become too involved with the daily grind of taking care of the kids, making sure that the household is run smoothly and of course if both partners occupy full time jobs there is that added stress factor on the relationship. While a couple is trying to survive and make their way, they start losing the essential bits and pieces of what made them work in the first place and if a couple doesn’t realize this before its all too late, sometimes, these relationships end up with the partners going their separate ways.

I admired the heck out of Annabella for having the courage to come up with such a bold plan even with all her misgivings. She is not perfect, neither is Jack. Their marriage is fraught with the usual discontentment that couples have with each other and I applaud Wendy for bringing all that forth without glossing it over in the story. The point to be made here is that a marriage or any sort of long term relationship is a lot of hard work and effort put in by both partners. Love is the emotion that makes all of the shortcomings a non-issue, and sex is a pretty important part of any healthy relationship to cement that emotional and physical intimacy. And for Annabella to have planned for this even with all  the worries clouding her mind drives home the point just how much her marriage means to her.

Jack turned out to be a lovable hero too. The fact that he realized what was happening to his marriage and grabbed with both hands the chance to become different and make things right was the reason I fell in love with him. The only regret I had while reading The Group Seduction was the fact that I wanted a longer length novel for this subject matter. Romance authors seldom write on married couples who have hit a rut and want to make changes. I guess couples having problems is not as sexy and romantic as a romance novel ought to be? But I think we all learn a thing or two even through the books that we read for pleasure. And done right, this sort of theme could drive home a lot of important messages as well as deliver a good bout of angst ridden romance for readers.

Recommended for everyone, especially those in long term relationships and marriages. I loved how much The Group Seduction made me think!

Final Verdict: A close to the heart read!

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

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Requested Review: Satisfaction by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-booksatisfaction
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Small Cow Productions
Hero: Rafel Oliveir
Heroine: Maggie Hendricks
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: February 28, 2014
Started On: March 2, 2014
Finished On: March 4, 2014

Looking at the gorgeous cover, what do you see? I see a guy hot enough to lose a few nights of sleep over and then some. There is  no true lover of romance who isn’t appreciative of a cover like this gracing the book that you are reading, sometimes just to turn over and gaze at the wonderfulness of it all and get back to reading. And yep, you guessed it right. That is exactly what I ended up doing, getting distracted by the thoughts of this uber gorgeous cover from my reading, but oh what a wonderful way to be distracted.

Satisfaction by Sarah Mayberry turned out to be a surprise read for me. I say surprise because I didn’t know this was coming out and Sarah Mayberry gave me quite the wonderful of surprises when she mentioned this one was on the way.

Satisfaction tells the story of Rafel Oliveir and Maggie Hendricks who meet under the most unlikely of circumstances at best. Rafel is the joint owner of the tattoo parlor, Brothers Ink from which Maggie’s friend gets just more than a tattoo, which propels Maggie to seek out the amazing God in bed who could perhaps finally be able to give her what she has been missing out on all her life.

Maggie faces the problem of never being able to climax, and when I say never, I mean yes, never! Desperate times calling for desperate measures is what finds Maggie pursuing a man who doesn’t even know she exists, someone who might never even turn her on for that matter. But apart from turning herself into the hands of a group of medical professionals for pricking and prodding, Maggie’s only hope lies in the man who is going to give her her very first orgasm, or at least that happens to be the plan until a couple of laugh inducing moments turns the meeting into the sort of disaster that Maggie had never foresaw.

Rafel’s intrigue in Maggie multiplies by tenfold when he learns of Maggie’s unique “condition”, and what at first turns out to be a quest to give unparalleled pleasure to Maggie turns into much more as both of them start to spend time together and begin to learn of whats underneath the surface of each others characters. While each encounter between these two brings them closer together, it is Rafel’s past that might actually stand in the way of their future together, unless Maggie is willing to believe in and fight for the man who has invaded her heart and soul.

Sarah Mayberry is an author who always tends to explore uncharted waters in the world of romance. The concept that she explores in Satisfaction is also one that I have never come across before. I most probably would never have known that there is a condition called anorgasmia that prevents a person from achieving orgasms. And that alone made this book unique in its own right. I felt so much for Maggie, her struggles seeming almost palpable, her frustrations with being unable to just let go and let her body take over was something that made me at times want to cry for her.

I would say I loved Maggie for a lot of reasons. She is the type of heroine readers fall instantly in love with. Her struggles, fears, dreams and hopes are real, so real that you can practically feel all those emotions she is going through. And through all that, her love and need for the man who turns her life around shines through, the angst of the probability of having Rafel snatched away from her after having found in him someone whom she could see herself sharing a life with, that was in essence what made the story work for me.

Rafel’s mission to give Maggie the best sex of her life doesn’t come without a few knots to untangle along the way. Rafel is sexy personified, I don’t think Maggie could have had a man whose more sexier than sin than Rafel even if she tried. Rafel’s beauty as a character doesn’t come from just his good looks alone. It stems from the man he is, his gentleness, the way he cares about Maggie and shows it to her every step of the way and cossets her in a way she has never been cosseted ever. I always say this time and yet again, Sarah creates some of the best modern alpha heroes out there and I have loved practically all of them.

Though there came about a brief lull in the story towards its middle, all the other aspects worked quite well to give a well rounded story that was sexy & filled with emotion which turned out to be beautiful. I wouldn’t mind reading the story of Rafel’s brother. Sounds like he would definitely deliver a juicy tale hot enough to scorch.

Recommended.

Final Verdict: Sweet, sensuous & heartwarming; Rafel & Maggie will definitely end up in your heart.

Favorite Quotes

His thigh was against hers, her left breast pressed to his chest. His hand remained on her back, and she could feel the imprint of every finger through the fabric of her dress.
“Yes.”
He leaned closer, his breath a warm rush past her ear. “Have you missed me, Maggie?”
Her heart slammed hard against her rib cage. Turning her head, she closed her eyes and inhaled the scent of his warm, smooth skin.
Oh, she remembered this. How good it was. How he made her feel.

“Do you know what I’m going to do to you, Maggie?”
She blinked slowly, shockingly aware of how exposed she was and how much it excited her. “Yes.”
“Tell me.”
“You’re going to lick me.”
“I’m going to fuck you with my mouth.”

He was so desperate to be inside her again his hands were shaking as he took a few seconds to roll on a condom. She arched her hips toward him, and he found her entrance, so slick and ready for him.
Then he was inside her, and she was moaning with pleasure, and he was moving, pumping into her, awash with sensation.
The softness of her breasts.
The wet heat of her around his cock.
The small sound she made when he scooped a hand under her ass and encouraged her to angle her hips so he could penetrate more deeply.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Smashwords

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Requested Review: Waiting for Jo by S.R. Bradshaw

Format: E-bookwaitingforjoe
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Josephine O’Shea Trilogy, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: William Bennett
Heroine: Josephine O’Shea
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 28, 2013
Started On: October 23, 2013
Finished On: October 23, 2013

Josephine O’Shea (Jo) is smart and beautiful who seemingly has everything going for her. Apart from her crappy boss at work and the snazzy boyfriend James that had broken up with her a couple of months back and of course the stalker who wouldn’t quit, Jo seems to lead a charmed life. But as we all know, appearances can certainly be deceiving.

When Jo is summoned by her ex-boyfriend for drinks, this being the ex that she still has feelings for, it would have been a crime to go and see him without a few expectations of her own. But they are pretty much nipped in the bud when all that James offers her is a position at his law firm together with a couple of mixed signals that leaves her more confused than ever. It also marks the beginning of her relationship with William (Will) who makes for an interesting addition to the story that certainly stirs things up in more ways than one.

Waiting for Jo is written in the first person and told entirely from Jo’s point of view. Jo is a confused character at best, someone who faces the dilemma of choosing between two guys, one the ex who doesn’t seemingly really care what happens to her, and Will the one who goes out of his way to care for her wellbeing from the very beginning of their acquaintance even before their relationship turns into something more.

Mostly while reading romances, I have almost always felt like hitting the hero on the head a time or two to make him see the error of his ways and show him what is right in front of him. And of late I think I have come across many heroines of that variety too and Jo seems to fit the bill quite well. I felt like waving a red flag in front of her and showing her just how wrong she was in dillydallying between James and Will without really trying to stick it out with the guy who in actuality really cared about her. There are elements that would be considered as cheating in this story, so readers who find that to be a factor needs to take that into consideration before reading this one.

The stalker when revealed managed to surprise me and turned out to be someone that I dismissed initially as the person who could have been putting in all that effort to scare Jo out of her wits and submit her to the stalker’s every whim. Goes to show that when it comes to people you can never truly know what they are capable of.

I don’t know what Ms. Bradshaw has in store for Jo and Will as she tossed in a quite cool epilogue to finish off book 1 of this trilogy and it seemed like Will and Jo were truly on their way for the long haul. We shall see when book 2 comes out.

Final Verdict: Book one of the Josephine O’Shea trilogy delivers suspense and drama with a tinge of heat!

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

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Requested Review: Choosing Chase by Julie Raust

Format: E-bookchoosingchase.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Old Enough to Love You, #1
Publisher: Self Published
Hero: Chase Cole
Heroine: Teresa
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: August 12, 2013
Started On: September 26, 2013
Finished On: October 17, 2013

Choosing Chase is a novella in the Old Enough to Love You series that features a sexy as sin hero who is younger than the heroine, who embarks on a mission to make her see once and for all that he is the one for her.

Teresa has had it with relationships when she had been widowed and left behind by a husband who had not found her to be his number one priority towards the latter part of their marriage. Bit by bit, Teresa’s confidence had eroded away under his callous disregard until Teresa had all but convinced herself that nobody would want her as she is, much less a man like Chase who could practically choose anyone to be his life partner.

Chase and Teresa has been friends for over two years, the whole period during which Chase has been biding his time to find his way through the armor that holds Teresa’s heart in an ironclad grip that doesn’t show any signs of relenting. But Chase is a man who has two years worth of determination fueled more so by the frustration he has suffered both sexual and otherwise when it comes to Teresa. And when the opportunity presents itself for Chase to make his case, oh boy, does he make his case, Chase does so with an enthusiasm that makes it an impossibility for Teresa to walk away.

Julie Raust is a new to me author and the one reason I accepted her request for a review is the fact that the trope of friends turning to lovers is one of my favorites. Though a new voice in the genre, Julie managed to draw me into the story that unfolded all the while giving enough tidbits about Teresa and Chase’s entwined past to keep the emotional aspect of the story real which went a long way into making the sexual connection between Chase and Teresa seem tangible and worthwhile.

Sounds like the next book in the series is going to have a lot of fireworks in the mix with two of Chase and Teresa’s friends being the main protagonists. Recommended for those who love erotic romances. This one’s short enough to wet your appetite for whats to come.

Final Verdict: Choosing Chase has the ingredients that makes an erotic romance a worthy read!

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

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