Requested Review: Blood Avenged by Gabrielle Bisset

Format: E-bookbloodavenged.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Sons of Navarus, #1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Vasilije
Heroine: Sasa Lambert
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: December 11, 2011
Started On: July 2, 2013
Finished On: July 3, 2013

Hero: Vasilije is a 400 year old vampire; powerful and ruthless with a hidden streak of kindness for those whom he chooses. Vasilije is lonely and restless though it would take a wooden stake through his heart for him to admit the fact – if ever.

Heroine: 27 year old Sasa Lambert has been taking care of her ailing mother so much so that she hasn’t had any time to worry about anything beyond that. Sasa is willing to do pretty much anything if it means helping alleviate the pain her mother is going through.

Storyline: Blood Avenged is the 1st book in the Sons of Navarus series. A run in an old nemesis of Vasilije stirs up trouble which has him turning up in New Orleans to hunt down the killer of one of his vampires. And thats where he runs into Sasa, the human who tempts, infuriates & comforts him on a level no one has in a long, long while.

Setting: Blood Avenged takes place for the most part in New Orleans and is told from the viewpoints of both Vasilije and Sasa.

Likes: Vasilije makes for an intriguing vampire hero. He is this intricate mix of ruthlessness with an inherent kindness that shines through him at the oddest moments. Hell hath no fury like a sire whose vampire has been killed and that’s exactly what Vasilije is and of course the reaction his nemesis expects from him. Vasilije is someone who keeps his emotions close to his chest, something a little bit more difficult to do around a woman like Sasa. I truly loved the fact that Vasilije stayed true to his character even till the end of the book.

Sasa might have started out on the wrong footing but she does try her darnedest to  make things right. Her vulnerability when it comes to Vasilije is one that she continually questions and the only saving grace for her is the fact that even Vasilije doesn’t seem to fare off any better.

Overall, I liked the easy style of writing that drew me in and I am definitely going to delve into the next set of books in the series.

Dislikes: None.

Recommended for: Fans of vampire romances and heroes with a bit of a ruthless streak in them.

Final Verdict: An exciting debut that definitely has whetted my appetite for more!

Favorite Quotes

Desperate to have him inside her, she pulled his mouth to hers and flicked her tongue again over the tip of one fang. In the dark, she was blind to his reaction but every other sense screamed to her that she wouldn’t have to wait a second longer for him to give her what she craved.
With no warning, he thrust into her, filling the empty space completely and taking her breath away.

Sasa stared up at him with wide eyes. “Please tell me you put some kind of spell or something on me. Tell me there’s a reason why every time you’re this close to me I want you more than I’ve ever wanted any other man.”
Her words hit him deep inside and made his cock stiffen hard as a rock. The thought of being inside her right then made his mind race with possibilities. Unable to stop himself, he dipped his head down to let his mouth softly touch hers and slid his tongue between her lips.

In a blur, Vasilije had her hands pinned above her head and was tearing her skirt and panties from her body. Before she knew it, his clothes had vanished and his cock was pressed against her entrance. Seconds later, he thrust his body into hers.
God, she didn’t want to want him like this. She didn’t want to enjoy the sound of his groans so full of desire each time he rammed his cock into her. She didn’t want to love the feel of his mouth, devouring her passion with a need that matched her own.
But she did. She wanted every inch of him, every moment of him, every touch of him.
Her body burned for everything he was.

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

greatread

Requested Review: Officer Off Limits by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-bookofficerofflimits
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Line of Duty, #3
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Hero: Daniel Chase
Heroine: Story Brooks
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: June 10, 2013
Started On: June 16, 2013
Finished On: June 21, 2013

The Brazen line of romances by Entangled Publishing has quickly become a favorite of mine. The sizzling heat packed into these novels are unbeatable. For someone who loves a lot of heat of the tangible variety in her romances, the books that I have picked up to read from the Brazen line so far have proved that the titles do live up to their name and their super smexy, mouth watering cover images.

Officer-Off Limits is a book in the ‘Line of Duty’ series by Tessa Bailey. Mind you, though this is a series, this book reads perfectly as a standalone and not having read the other books in the series I do not have any idea on whether they are loosely or remotely tied to each other. But the one thing I do know is that if hotter than sin cops in the line of duty are your thing, then you’ve definitely come to the right place.

Story Brooks gets dumped by her fiance just a couple of weeks before they are supposed to tie the knot. A kindergarten teacher who has led a pretty much by the book life till now, Story takes the news that her father has been admitted in a hospital in New York as a godsend in the aspect that it provides her with a much needed excuse to get away and think things through and get her life and perspectives in order.

The one thing she doesn’t count on nor expects is to run into her father’s protege and partner Daniel Chase who turns her world upside down and throws her off-kilter on so many levels that Story doesn’t even know what hits her. Daniel is a skirt chaser if ever there was one and though Story knows she should stay away from all the temptation that he offers, her body has other ideas whenever Daniel is in the vicinity. The wealth of dark emotions that Daniel hides behind his facade of being a womanizer is one that tugs at the heartstrings. And when Daniel encounters the beautiful Story with that sad tinge about her, Daniel goes crazy with the need to possess her and mark her as his.

But what is Daniel to do when his mentor warns him away from his daughter and tells him to keep his grabby paws to himself when all Daniel in fact wants to do is get down and dirty with Story in every single manner possible? And what is Daniel supposed to do when all the emotions that blindsides him makes him crave Story on a level that is completely alien to him that he is completely muddled up with possessive streak that completely takes him by surprise.

The attraction between Story and Daniel is instantaneous, believable and oh-so-scorching hot that I found myself panting almost throughout every combustible scene in the book. There was not even one inch of Daniel that I didn’t love; I completely took him on board as my book boyfriend and wanted to chant his name to sleep. Yep, that’s how obsessed I was with his character and simply put, I just could not get enough of him. I love my heroes with a bit of a dark edge to them, a tinge of possessiveness and jealousy inside of them that makes certain scenes that arise from the predicament they find themselves in that much more delicious to read about. And Tessa Bailey provided me with just that!

Tessa Bailey is a completely new to me author. But her writing style is one that I felt completely at home with, the ease with which she drew me into the story one that is hard to find these days. There are so many books out there that I want to read but have such little time for; or maybe I have just grown a bit jaded with the usual story lines that seem to fill up the bookshelves. So to find a book amongst all of it which drew me in so effortlessly is one that is commendable at the highest level. One thing is for certain, Tessa Bailey has definitely earned herself a place in my auto-buy list.

The one thing that disappointed me was the lack of an epilogue which would have made the story complete in every sense. One thing I would like to mention is how much I loved Story and her best friend Hayden’s banter. Reminded me of the conversations that I have with my younger sister; outrageous, hilarious and of the laugh yourself to pain in your tummy muscles variety. I would love to read Hayden’s story, to find that man who would shake her world so thoroughly that she wouldn’t know how to be so prim, proper and obedient all the time. Oh well, I trust Tessa Bailey can do the magic and deliver one helluva of a read when the time comes.

If you love a dirty talking hero (and oh my lord, does he talk dirty) with enough action to back that all up, grab yourself a copy and indulge. Be warned, keep a glass of ice cubes, yes CUBES, at your side because trust me, the heat from the novel is of the searing and scorching kind and you wouldn’t ever feel the same afterwards.

Highly recommended.

Favorite Quotes

Story might as well have never been kissed before. All at once, she felt reckless. Wild. Free. Digging desperate hands into his hair, she pulled him closer, begging him to deepen the kiss further. Daniel obliged, sinking his tongue into her mouth with a growl.
As they parted for breath, his voice grated against her lips. “If you keep working that hot little tongue against mine, I’ll have no choice but to fuck you.”

“Say please, baby.”
“Please,” she moaned.
Then he tugged on the thong and her mind went blank, oblivious to everything but the pleasure coursing through her. She shook against him as her orgasm battered its way through her system, prolonged by the calculated tugging of material between her legs. His mouth latched onto hers, absorbing her cries, groaning at her wild response.

He bit her ear hard, pulling it with his teeth. It should have hurt, but instead it felt like an attack on every erogenous zone in her body. Her knees buckled underneath her, but his weight kept her upright.
Daniel laughed darkly, palming her roughly once before removing his hand from between her legs and yanking her dress back down. “Who am I kidding? When I finally get inside you, I’m going to fuck you until your voice is hoarse from screaming my name.”

Then he spoke directly against her ear. “Are you ready to scream, gorgeous?”
With a single thrust of his hips, he buried himself deep inside her. She screamed his name, her hoarse cry mingling with Daniel’s shouted expletive. He didn’t stop to savor the moment, however, his hips angling upward and pounding into her in a demanding rhythm, sliding against her exactly where she needed it.

Outside their car, three doors slammed, an engine started, and the van pulled away.
Story screamed his name as the orgasm rippled through her, light exploding behind her eyes. Half of what she said was drowned out by Daniel’s own hoarse cries of release as he plunged into her one final time and let himself go.

Daniel wore all black, from his dress shirt down to his buffed shoes. Somehow he managed to look fresh from the shower and a little dirty at the same time, a day’s worth of scruff covering his jaw. When he started toward her at the bar, he moved with such sensual purpose that Story saw a woman begin fanning herself at the bar. He looked hungry. He looked determined. And he was there for her.

Biting her lip to keep from screaming again, she used what limited movement she had to meet his advances with her hips.
“Daniel. Daniel, please.” She fought the delicious tingling as it built once more, even as she reached for it in desperation. With a throaty cry, she turned and sank her teeth into his bicep.
“Fuck yeah. Bite me, gorgeous. Mark up my whole body. I want everyone to know who I belong to. Who I get hard for. Just you, Story. Just you.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

fantasticread

Requested Review: Wife in Name Only by Hayson Manning

Format: E-bookwifeinnameonly
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Hero: Rory Hughes
Heroine: Zoe Hughes
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 1, 2013
Started On: May 2, 2013
Finished On: May 4, 2013

Hero: Rory Hughes, cutthroat businessman known as Ice Man in the construction world. There’s nothing he would not do to make a merger, be it even sell his soul.

Heroine: Zoe Hughes, owner of the honeymoon island Last Stop, Paradise. Zoe is all about the simple things, wanting the peace and quiet that fulfillment and love can bring to life.

Storyline: When Zoe walked out on her husband Rory one year back, she had no idea that it would be to salvage the source of her salvation that she would be forced to call her estranged husband and ask him for his help. Zoe needs the publicity to boost her business whilst Rory has the intention of killing two birds with one stone, i.e. win his wife back on his terms and tone down that cutthroat image of his which was affecting his business. But Zoe and Rory never factored into the equation just how much things would change when they are “stranded” on an island with nothing much to do but give into that flaring, scorching hot attraction that has never died between them.

Time Period: Wife in Name Only has a contemporary setting and is told from both Zoe and Rory’s points of view.

Likes: There were lots of things that I loved about this book. For one thing I loved the fact that Rory did not change and turn his life around the minute he laid his eyes on his wife again after one long year. Rory doesn’t know how to bend his own self-imposed rules of trying to attain success at any cost and that’s not something that’s so easy to give up. And it wasn’t just Rory who stayed true to his character. Zoe too holds onto those values that she believes in, the reason that she had walked away from being married to the love of her life being that he had turned into someone that she didn’t or couldn’t love any longer  without destroying herself in the process. The woman she has changed into appeals Rory on so many levels, but even then, old habits are hard to break unless that cold and hard shell around Rory breaks down and he is ready to take the chance he never did before. Sometimes relationships break apart and the couple involved needs a time out from each other, to step back and evaluate and heal which just might pave the way to patching things up between them. And that’s exactly what happens to Rory and Zoe and I loved every minute of the journey that took them to their final destination.

How much I loved the chemistry between Zoe and Rory, I can go on talking about that for ages. From the minute Rory sets foot on the island and sets eyes on his beautiful wife, the attraction that has always been a big part of their relationship flares up and neither can deny the heat that scorches them both and leaves them burning for more. I loved the fact that the author doesn’t drag the attraction between the two until the reader is ready to throw the book at the wall because the characters have something called too much self control. My theory is simple. If you have that combustive a sexual chemistry and the timing is right, there’s no way on Earth you can walk away from that kind of heat unless of course you are a self-proclaimed saint. And even then I highly doubt that you can walk away from the kind of chemistry that zings between Rory and Zoe. And yes, it is THAT good and yes, Hayson certainly does deliver on all aspects! Just look at the quotes section and I am certain I can make a believer out of you.

One more thing that grabbed me  was the setting for the romance. It felt like I was lying in a hammock and taking in the scenery myself all the while. It takes good descriptive writing in my opinion to be able to transport a reader into the setting of the story and I believe Hayson did it perfectly.

Dislikes: I thought that the ending where Rory is hit by an “epiphany” which makes him return to his wife was a bit cliche’ but somehow Hayson made it work and the story got a thoroughly happy ending at the end. If it had been me, I would have loved for them to go through a bit of a separation again, just for both of them to discover that being together completes each other. That in my opinion would have been the perfect ending.

Recommended for: Those who love steamy romances featuring married couples who get a second chance at making things right.

Final Verdict: Sinfully good!

Favorite Quotes

His eyes flicked from her visibly hardened chest and back to her lips. His hands cupped her lower back, and he pulled her closer. Sparkles of deep, dark, and delicious want coursed through her veins. With his thumb, he drew circles over the thin fabric of her dress. Before she could help herself, a deep moan escaped from the back of her throat.
She stilled at his sharp intake of breath. Heat pooled between her legs.

A burn started throughout her body, heating her blood to boiling point.
His hand slid from her forearm, up over her shoulder, causing a long cascade of goose bumps. Her name escaped him in a long groan as he bent his head toward hers.
Their mouths clashed. Hot, burning need flowed from her mouth to his and back again. Their tongues twisted around each other in a familiar tango. She sucked in his lower lip and her body sagged when he groaned in her mouth.
She wanted him. Anything to override the powerful current that had heat pooling in a slick between her legs.

Her head fell to her chest then she arched back to meet him. Her body struggled to catch up as he stretched her to her limit. She widened her stance to accommodate all of him. The pressure building in her sex had her hands ripping into the bark of the tree. Inches away from release, she closed her eyes at the pressure building. Her body gave one final arch before she convulsed around him and screamed his name.

“I’ve found what I’m looking for, Rory. Have you?” she whispered.
“I know what I want right now.”
His eyes darkened. His eyes traveled from her chest, and a knowing smile curled his lips before his gaze landed on her mouth and stayed there. She squirmed at the warmth traveling between her legs.
“What do you want?” She licked her lips.
“I want your mouth on mine. Your legs wrapped around my hips, your shorts off, and your sweet body pulsing around me.”

The sensation of his hand working, kneading, and rubbing her overwhelmed all thought. His erection at her opening drove her over the edge. She screamed as the mother of all orgasms rocked her body. She arched, then plunged backwards, driving her body onto him. She moaned as she strained to accommodate the length of him. The pleasure mixed with pain was exquisite. He stilled, kissing the back of her neck but not moving inside her. Her hips instinctively started rocking, but his fingers gripped her hip, stopping her. Her head arched against his shoulder, her breath coming in long, ragged bursts.

She stuck her hand on her hip. “Curves? Really? That’s not going to get you another biology lesson anytime soon.”
His eyes darkened, and that deep pulse in the corner of his neck kicked into life.
“How about now?”
She moistened suddenly dry lips. “No, not now.” Her body did the sexy-times dance it did whenever he had that look about him. “I know what you’re thinking. Your whole body responds. Your pupils dilate, you wet your lips, your breasts push against your top.” His gaze dropped downward to her belly and below. “And I know exactly what’s going on down there. You’re all hot, wet, and mine.”

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

awesomeread

Requested Review: A Touch of Confidence by Jess Dee

Format: E-bookatouchofconfidence.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain
Hero: Jack Wilson
Heroine: Claire Jones
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: October 2, 2012
Started On: March 16, 2013
Finished On: March 29, 2013

Hero: Jack Wilson, a high school English and history teacher whose one single passion has always been teaching who finds himself in uncharted waters when he has to take over the reins from his grandfather at his property management business.

Heroine: Claire Jones, shares ownership of the Li’L Books and Bits with her two sisters Maddie and Julia.

Storyline: Wanting to expand their business since Li’L Books and Bits is doing so well, Claire has a deal to rent out an ideal space for their second shop through Wilson Property Management when things go all awry and the space that should have been rightfully theirs goes to someone else because the new sexy giant who turns up to takeover the day to day arrangements of the business mucks things up on the first day of his job; who turns out to be none other than Jack Wilson.

Time Period: A Touch of Confidence is set in the present time and is told from both Jack and Claire’s points of view.

Likes: It’s being a while since I’ve read anything by Jess Dee and I found myself falling in love all over again with the way she writes. Jess is an author who always does a superb job out of her storytelling and A Touch of Confidence is no exception.

One of the things I loved about the story is that Claire is a plus-sized heroine with a bunch of her own insecurities to deal with. Picture perfect heroines get tiresome after a while and meeting Claire was a refreshing change from the books that normally make their way to my reading pile. I loved how Jack dealt with Claire’s insecurities when it comes to her image and  the sense of confidence that he instills in her in every way.

I loved the give and take factor entwined in the story. Both Claire and Jack have an equal amount of presence in the story and both their natures fit in together just perfectly. I just love it when that happens and the story that unfolds focuses equally on both characters.

And the heat! Oh my stars the heat! You’ve just gotta read to find out for yourself what I mean.

Dislikes: I felt the ending of the story was a bit abrupt. I was thinking that there would be a couple more pages to smooth out the ending.

Final Verdict: Heat, a hero that quotes Shakespeare and the unwavering strength of love; Jess Dee’s remarkable talent shines through – as always!

Favorite Quotes

Claire yanked at his shirt, pulling the tails from his pants, letting her hands creep beneath the cotton.
Holy shit. Hot male flesh pulled taut over rippling muscle.
He felt so damn good, a moan of appreciation escaped her throat. Jack kissed her harder, more thoroughly, and Claire couldn’t get enough of the wet heat of his mouth.

He tore his mouth from hers, panting hard, but didn’t stop their erotic dance. His eyes brimmed over with lust, with a hunger so raw it sent a hot chill up her spine.
“I swear, Claire, I may only have known you a day, but it feels as though I’ve been waiting for you my whole life.”

She meant to be polite. Honestly. But the second she caught a whiff of his aftershave, of that gorgeous, woodsy scent, her manners scattered, her words vanished and instinct took over. She grabbed his tie, yanked him forward, and stole his lips in a blistering kiss.

He buried a second finger inside her, loving the smooth slide, glorying in the spasm that ripped through her inner walls, trapping his fingers for just a second.
“Oh, dear God. That feels good.”
Fuck, she was wet. So wet. So tempting. He rubbed his thumb over her clit, and his name tore from her throat.

“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Samhain| BoB | Kobo

greatread

Requested Review: Hard Irish by Jennifer Saints

Format: E-bookhardirish
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Weldons, #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Jared Weldon
Heroine: Roxanne “Rocky” McKenna
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 17, 2012
Started On: February 07, 2013
Finished On: February 10, 2013

Hard Irish by Jennifer Saints is the much anticipated and awaited 3rd book in the Weldon brothers series. I love Jennifer’s books, whichever pseudonym she chooses to write them under because she provides an unbeatable combination of romance and sensuous delights together with just enough suspense to keep the ball rolling in her stories.

Jared Weldon and Roxanne “Rocky” McKenna’s encounter happens quite by chance. Though Jared goes seeking her out and unknowingly stumbles into her life, blindsided by the desire and need that she invokes in him makes Jared hesitant to spell out his real reason for wanting seek her out. And when Jared is certain that someone is out to get Rocky, there is no stopping Jared from doing all that he can to safeguard the woman he begins to fall helplessly in love with, one scorching kiss and searing touch at a time.

Hard Irish brings to the forefront the lovable Weldon family together with the ultra-appealing four brothers 2 of whom I am already hopelessly in love with. Jared finds himself in a bit of a fix when he can’t come out with the truth about who he actually is, but he has no choice but to play along for the duration it takes to keep Rocky safe.

Rocky is a woman who has had a bit of a tough time of things of late. With her father out of commission after a stroke strikes him down, Rocky takes the lead role in their business and gets things going. As a divorcee who had a tough time with her ex-husband, Rocky has her own issues to deal with, emotional scars that are left behind from a relationship that had done more damage than good.

Added to the mix is the thick plot of a deranged killer intent on finding out the secrets that Rocky’s mother had taken to her grave, secrets for which Rocky just might have to pay with her life and the lives of the ones that are near and dear to her.

A good read, I recommend the 3rd book of the series to those who have enjoyed the Weldon brothers so far and those who love books by Jenni.

Favorite Quotes

“May God give you…For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”
—Irish Blessing

The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we can never give enough of is love.
—Henry Miller

I know the depths of sin.
The wretchedness of the depraved.
I know the darkness within
I’ll never escape it, even in the grave.
Though I know it is wrong
And I’ll pay with my soul
I could not turn away from
The love that made me whole.
So I stole every moment of time
And lived in the shadows
To love this child of mine
Before facing heaven’s gallows
I was part of the unforgivable
Blood stains my hands
Still I pray for the impossible
That in the end mercy will stand.

She didn’t have a chance to breathe before he caught her in his arms and planted his mouth on hers, instantly hot and demanding.
She opened to him, meeting the thrust of his tongue with hers, groaning deep from within as her starving senses found succor for her every want. His tongue tangled with hers, leading her in a seductive dance unlike any other.

Her body tightened like bow. She was going to explode. “Take me,” she whispered. “Hard. Give me everything.”
“Hell,” he cried out. His control snapped. The bed shook with his frenzied thrusts, banging the headboard against the wall. She arched and rocked, slamming herself against him. “Come,” he demanded. “Come with me.”
She clenched hard, squeezing his penis with the muscles of her sex and screamed as a mind-stealing orgasm captured her body and her soul. Her vision dimmed, her heart thundered, and her body shook. Wave after wave of pleasure crashed over her, leaving her quivering, replete.

Purchase Links: Amazon

goodread

Requested Review: The Marriage Trap by Jennifer Probst

Format: E-bookthemarriagetrap.jpg
Read with: Adobe Reader for iPad/iPhone
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Marriage to a Billionaire, #2
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Michael Conte
Heroine: Maggie Ryan
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 2, 2012
Started On: January 24, 2013
Finished On: February 2, 2013

On the surface, both Maggie Ryan and Michael Conte seems to  have everything going for them. Maggie is a successful photographer of male models and someone who is in absolute control of every aspect of her life. Though the fact that sometimes she yearns for the kind of love that her best friend Alexa has found with her brother Nicholas; the kind of love that would make her belong in every sense, well, Maggie ain’t going to focus on that.

Michael is a billionaire whose success is legendary. But coming from an Italian family means familial customs do take precedence over certain modern principles and that is how Michael finds himself scrambling to come up with a woman who would pose as his wife for a short duration of time. Michael doesn’t want the hassle of emotions or any untoward demands to cloud the arrangement. And Maggie seems like the perfect choice until Michael realizes that he should have known better and that with Maggie nothing would ever be as simple as he thinks it to be.

So amidst the charade these two set out on, Maggie finds a side of herself that she thought she had suppressed far too well for it to exist after all this time. She finds herself a slave to the scorching desire that had drawn her to Michael in the first place. Michael had known from the very first encounter with Maggie that she was the kind of woman who could get under his skin and really tempt him to look beyond the aspect of just appeasing his physical needs. And that is exactly what happens when these two fight, kiss and make up in true lovers-who-can’t-get-enough-of-each-other fashion.

Though The Marriage Trap started out with the feel of characters who seemingly lead these perfect lives, its far from that. True, materialistically neither Michael nor Maggie needs much from the other. But emotionally they are both vulnerable in their own way, complementing the other in ways that neither would have thought possible. Maggie’s childhood consists of memories of being passed off from one nanny to the other. There is this gaping hole in her heart that she refuses to acknowledge though sometimes the emptiness inside of her is enough to make her question what she really wants.

Michael, though he comes from one of the most loving close-knit families, the sacrifices that he has made along the way to step up to the plate and be everything he is expected to be had changed a part of himself that he had not been able to get back. And with Maggie he finds himself willing to take the chance again to be free deep inside of his heart, to reach out and grab the happiness that he yearns for.

Maggie turns out to be what Michael needs in his life, for him to open his eyes and realize that while he had been playing the role as the head of the family and big brother, all his sisters had grown up and were more than capable of making their own choices. For a man like Michael who is used to taking charge, that is not an easy conclusion to come to. Likewise Maggie finds herself continuously challenged by the man who is her pretend husband, someone who shows her all the reasons why surrendering all of herself to him could be the best thing to happen to her ever.

Filled with spine tingling moments of the sensuous variety, The Marriage Trap is a good read that is recommended for those who love romances of this variety.

Favorite Quotes

With one final plunge, Maggie shattered.
She screamed his name, and heard his hoarse shout right behind her. The world broke around her in jagged pieces, and she rode out the pleasure to the very end. When she collapsed on top of him, and his arms came around her, one word echoed over and over in her mind, her heart, her soul.
Home.
Then she closed her eyes and slept.

She moaned. He caught it and pressed a bit deeper, and Maggie opened her mouth and gave in.
He plundered and commanded in complete thrusts, reminding her of how he’d claim her body if she gave him a chance. She tried to surface and gain control of the kiss, but her mind crumbled and her body sang. He murmured her name, and her legs got shaky as she held on to him for dear life and kissed him back.

He moved. Each motion claimed her for himself, told her of his emotions and need for her to belong to him. The last of the fight eased from her body and she matched him thrust for thrust, her heels digging into his back as they climbed higher and higher. She exploded beneath him and he let himself go. The unbearable pleasure wrecked him, overtook him, and threw him over the edge. When the storm finally passed, Michael realized his life would never be the same.
And he didn’t want it to be.

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

goodread

Requested Review: No Flowers Required by Cari Quinn

Format: E-booknoflowersrequired
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Love Required, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Brazen)
Hero: Dillon James
Heroine: Alexa Elizabeth Conroy
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: August 23, 2012
Started On: December 2, 2012
Finished On: December 7, 2012

No Flower Required by Cari Quinn is book 2 in the Love Required series. Alexa is the owner of Divine Flowers, a flower shop that had come under her ownership when her boss and mentor for twenty years, who had owned the shop before, had died, leaving the shop and all its financial woes to be borne by none other than Alexa. Alexa is more than up to the challenge, and her furious anger towards the Value Hardware chain that seems to be intent on running small businesses like hers to the ground surely does add to her problems which seems to mount right in front of her day after day.

When Alexa runs into Dillon James, the attraction that takes her unawares right from the start makes Alexa wary of Dillon but nothing and absolutely nothing can prevent her from wanting him in every way possible. Though Dillon knows the wisest thing would be to stay away from Alexa, owing to the fact how she feels about his family and the fact that she doesn’t have a clue as to who he is really, all good intentions fly out the window with a warm and willing Alexa in his arms making his head spin and reel with heady desire that neither of them can deny.

Though both Dillon and Alexa may try hard to not let things between them escalate further than just a casual romp in the bed, things become much more complicated than that when feelings from both sides enter the equation making their “relationship” anything but casual. As combustive is their sexual chemistry, so are the feelings of the emotional variety that starts to grow and foster and before they both know it, both Dillon and Alexa become the most important people in each other’s lives – but with Dillon’s secret still looming over their heads, the question of the hour becomes, would their love be able to withstand the havoc that the truth would bring to the equation?

First of all, let me just say, WOW! I just loved, loved, loved No Flowers Required and felt like hugging Cari to pieces after reading Dillon and Alexa’s story. And goodness me, was this story hot!! I felt my cheeks heat up more than once and don’t even ask me what was happening elsewhere as Cari pretty much scorched up the pages with undeniable heat and passion that just made this story that much more memorable.

There is no denying the fact that I loved Dillon and Alexa and all the characters that came forth in the story. And oh yes, I am dying to read Cory’s story, who happens to be the more ruthless older brother of Dillon who already owns a place in my heart after seeing the glimpses of him Cari threw into this story along the way. The fact that Dillon wears a tool-belt and is the hottest thing around since sliced bread, and I mean that in the best way possible, is more than reason enough to love him to bits. No, seriously, Dillon is such an amazing hero. He might be misguided into thinking that keeping the truth of who he actually is would work in his favor, i.e. show him the honest and real woman in Alexa when Dillon has time and yet again being pursued for his family name instead of the man he is. But Dillon more than makes up for that blunder by being there for Alexa, time and yet again, even when his own work demands him to be elsewhere, and the sweet things he does for Alexa just made me sigh and wish that all men were like Dillon when they materialize into this world. Oh well, a gal can always dream.

Alexa is a woman who knows the effect she has on men and what she has to do to achieve what she wants from them. But none of that seems to work on Dillon and that throws her into unfamiliar territory which brings out the vulnerable side of her that few rarely see. Though Alexa tries hard not to let Dillon matter in her life, the fact that he puts her needs above and beyond everything else shatters the walls she has so painstakingly built over the years to keep people at bay and before she knows it, she is head over feet in love with Dillon and there is literally no turning back from the way that he makes her feel.

Though I know Alexa had her reasons for giving Dillon such a hard time towards the end, I still felt like she was a bit too hard on him. Maybe that’s because I was so in love with Dillon and was already measuring up every man in my life up to him. All kidding aside, No Flowers Required is a fantastic book, a romance worth your money and time if a fantastic cast of characters and good storytelling is what you are looking for. And if fantastic hot bouts of loving are your thing, look no further for No Flowers Required provides that in abundance, enough to wet your appetite for much much more before you are through. Highly recommended!

Favorite Quotes

She moved whip-fast, slamming her hands on his chest and him against the door before his brain caught up. The watering can clattered onto the ground. She spared it a brief, puzzled glance, then fisted her hands in his T-shirt and arched up, her mouth coming closer—
Fuck it.
He fused his mouth to hers, and dammit, it was even better than he’d expected.

He hissed upon meeting the thin strip of fabric between her cheeks, somehow not surprised she’d gone the thong route. Her flesh burned his palms, hotter than even the rain that now pelted them with the force of countless tiny nails. But she was all he could feel, all he could taste as they consumed each other with ravenous kisses.

She had him.
And, oh shit, did she have him. Lock, stock, and fully loaded barrel, ready to blow.
Her hands were on his cock, working it in rough pulls through his jeans. He yanked down the shoulder of her tank top and feasted on the swell of flesh that plumped over the top, using his tongue to trace her damp nipple. Slick with rain, fragrant with her summery floral scent. Sunshine in the middle of the storm.

With a circle of his finger she stilled in his arms. With another she came back to life, clutching him deeper. Tempting him with small rocks of her pelvis. Drawing him to claim her there, first with his fingers, then his cock. That last joining would be both the beginning and their end.

Once more he pulled back in a futile attempt to prolong the inevitable, but she gripped him deep and tight, ripping a shout from him when the first gush of her release took him under. Her orgasm rippled all the way through him, as strong as the lash of rain against his back and neck. He drove into her over and over, his climax firing pinwheels of light behind his closed lids. An explosion of white-hot energy, unleashed.

He didn’t answer, and apparently he didn’t need to breathe either. He just latched onto her sex and used his tongue to drive her out of her mind, sweeping up and down as quick as a brushfire. Never landing anywhere long enough to truly make her burn, just igniting a million little sparks along the way. She arched against him, her need spiraling higher with each swipe.

Again and again he hit that spot inside her, the one that made her legs jerk and tremble in his grip, and she whimpered when he sank in deep and his balls slapped her ass. After that she didn’t hear anything but her own endless moans, erupting from her lips while she bowed up to meet his downward slides. He pulled her legs up high, embedding himself to the root inside her, and she screamed, her sheath spasming so hard with her climax that he shouted an oath and followed her.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

fantasticread

Requested Review: Need Me by Cari Quinn

Format: E-bookneedme
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Erotica
Series: Unveiled, #3
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: Antonio Marcus Griggs
Heroine: Marcia Galvin Daly
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: September 14, 2012
Started On: November 26, 2012
Finished On: December 2, 2012

I ‘blame’ Cari Quinn for daring me to go where no author has ever enticed me to go. That is to dip my reading toe into the world of ménages and God forbid, enjoy them too while I am at it. Thought I’ll never become an auto-buyer of every ménage romance that is out there, I’ll still make that exception for a few select authors out there, who I know would always make whatever trope they explore work for me, and Cari Quinn has always been such an author for me.

Need Me by Cari Quinn is the 3rd book in the Unveiled series. The 2nd book in this series is an absolute favorite of mine and the hero Spencer someone I always remember, yes, because he is that very good! And of course with the cast of all the characters Cari introduced along the way enticed me enough to want to read Need Me as well, although this story explores heavily on the ménage aspect, which I might have totally skipped altogether if it hadn’t been for Cari.

Marcia Galvin Daly is about to hit her 40th birthday soon and dating Antonio Marcus Griggs (Tony), a guy who is younger than her by almost 10 years and adores her to no end. Marcia is as wild as they come, a woman best accepted as who she is, because Marcia is someone who refuses to bend to the rules and mold herself into something she is not and pretend to be someone she would never be.

When Marcia realizes that she has developed a forbidden attraction towards Tony’s best friend Caleb Parker and knows that she doesn’t have what it takes to turn away from the temptation that he offers, Marcia does the next best thing and decides to write a sex manual of sorts that would let her explore possibilities in her sex life that she has not tried out yet. When her boyfriend Tony offers her exactly what she wants; a night with him and Caleb in the mix, Marcia thinks that it would just be one night of torrid sex; nothing more nothing less. However things change, not in the way Marcia expects them to, and forces both Marcia and Tony to accept and realize the true nature of their feelings for each other and in the end gave me the sort of ending to this story that I just loved.

First of all, let me just say that Caleb Parker is hot, and I don’t think there is any scale on the hotness meter that he would fit into. He has this broody, edgy quality to him that just begs and entices a woman to want to explore the depths of pleasure she is bound to find in his arms and I for one couldn’t find it in myself to fault Marcia for her attraction to him because Caleb’s character demands nothing less. The fact that Caleb’s character remains a ‘mystery’, as in his feelings are not explored in depth in the story just made his character that much more alluring and I’m absolutely dying to see where Cari leads him to. Am pretty sure that either way his story is one that is going to end up being an explosive read, one that would be a definite panty drencher.

That brings me to Tony’s character. He is such a sweetheart that its hard not to fall in love with him right from the very start. The fact that Tony understands and accepts Marcia, the woman he loves unconditionally is reason enough to love Tony. And of course there is this totally sexy, take-charge attitude in him which he lets loose around Marcia that is such a turn-on that even Caleb seemed to fade away in comparison during those moments.

Marcia is the character that stirs things up and makes things happen in the story. She is the rule changer in the game and though she starts out thinking that one night of hot torrid sex with Caleb in the mix would not change anything, she finds that the dynamics of her relationship with Tony changes along with it and that she is willing to do whatever it takes to belong to Tony and him alone and that he alone makes her want to move past her fear of committing herself to one man for the rest of her life.

Not surprisingly, though the bits where Caleb, Tony and Marcia made the ménage thing work in the hottest way possible, it was those moments between just Marcia and Tony alone that I loved best. So much emotion in their lovemaking that it moved me in ways I’d never have thought possible and I’m just going to put it out there and say that those moments turned me on more than the most explicit moments in the story.

Cari Quinn always has that ability to make me smile, squirm, hum and sigh at all the right moments and in all the right places. Need Me delivered exactly a dose of just that and I’d recommend this to everyone who has loved the Unveiled series so far and of course those who love Cari’s books and also those who love ménage themed romances. Hot doesn’t even begin to cover what Caleb adds to the mix.

Favorite Quotes

Her lids lowered, her thick dark lashes sweeping her cheeks. As if she’d been waiting for permission, she lifted her hips against him and knotted her fingers in his hair. She yanked his face closer, parting her lips for him to invade her mouth. With sexy and slow pulls on his tongue, she wreaked her own brand of havoc on his mind and heart.

She flicked her tongue over his lips and sank into his hot, endless kisses. Every inch of her body belonged to him, her every molecule and nerve in sync with his. So good. No, it was better than good. This was the best sex of her life, with the man she loved and who loved her right back.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Ellora’s Cave

awesomeread

Requested Review: Beautiful Bad Man by Ellen O’Connell

Format: E-bookbeautifulbadman
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: American Western Historical
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Caleb Sutton
Heroine: Norah Gifford Hawkins
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 29, 2012
Started On: November 18, 2012
Finished On: November 25, 2012

From one of the best American Western Historical romance authors comes another fantastic installment, this time a book entitled Beautiful Bad Man, a most appropriate title for a book that delivered a story that was beautiful and fascinating as the hero in the story truly was, a book that made me sigh and yearn in all the right places as Ellen once again wove her special brand of magic on me.

Ellen O’Connell writes stories that are gritty and realistic. She is not an author who pulls any punches when she delivers novels that depict the harshness of life as it was back then. But amidst all the violence and chaos, Ellen still manages to give the reader something that turns out to be that much more precious and beautiful because of the fact and Beautiful Bad Man is no exception to this rule.

Norah Hawkins and Caleb Sutton meet under the most unusual and trying circumstances just for a brief moment in time as young adults. Years later, these two happen to meet again by a quirky twist of fate. Though both Norah and Caleb had never actively sought to think about each other as the years had passed on by, both had in fact wished the best for each other, and had somehow envisioned the other living the sort of life that would bring peace to the other’s mind. However, reality couldn’t be further from those dreams as Caleb finds himself facing a disillusioned woman who is ready to collapse from the lack of will to fight for what she wants. For Norah the jolt is a stronger one. Norah being someone who always has a clear cut vision on what is right and wrong finds herself confronting a man whose eyes show nothing but coldness, in it lying the truth of how survival of the fittest always means that you lose something precious and vital inside of you to come out as the winner in the game of survival.

A partnership forged between two people who couldn’t be more different from each other even if they tried would seem to be a venture doomed for failure right from the very start. But that is exactly the opposite of what happens as Norah starts to discover those startling qualities about the man she married, the man that she slowly starts to fall in love with as Caleb unknowingly shows her just what it is like to be married to someone who truly appreciates Norah and all that she can offer in the truest fashion.

Caleb is someone who believes himself not worthy of beauty or kindness that life has to offer, no wonder owing to the harsh brutality that he had suffered during his childhood. But Norah awakens in him something that runs sure and deep into his soul, a yearning to reach out for the impossible and hold on for as long as possible. 

The constant danger that both Norah and Caleb fight together to safeguard what is theirs brings these two closer and seals a relationship that already takes them to new heights in the physical sense. Norah is the type of heroine that I love to read about. The type of heroine that Ellen is so good at creating. And thus its no wonder that I fell in love with Norah right from the very start.

Caleb is a hero that is truly beautiful and bad, both at the same time, somehow making those two words strung together just that much more meaningful. Caleb is a hero in every sense. A bit alpha, a bit headstrong, just a tad stubborn and a total softie when it comes to his wife and their dog Early without even realizing the fact himself. 

If you haven’t read an Ellen O’Connell, its high time you did. She writes characters and stories that you would not forget anytime soon. A must read if you are a fan of American Western historical romances. Highly recommended!

Favorite Quotes

“The times they’d coupled by early morning light or with a lamp still burning, his face stayed a handsome shadow. In bright sunshine she saw every detail — the way the water had made dark spikes of his lashes, the way those lashes were half-lowered over eyes turning liquid with passion. She had not drowned in the shallow creek. She would lose herself forever in his eyes.”

“She expected his weight, the familiar. He turned her on her side to face him, draped her leg over his, and entered her, his eyes locked on hers. She shut her eyes, invaded in some impossible way beyond the physical.
He moved inside her slowly. She moved with him, giving herself to the pleasure. One arm held her close, one hand rubbed a nipple.
“Norah.” His voice was hoarse and deep, his words in the rhythm of their movement. “Look at me. Let me know you know it’s me. You want it to be me.”
“I know. You’re the only one I ever wanted.” She opened her eyes and let him see the truth.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords

fantasticread

Requested Review: Ashes and Wine by Taryn Elliott

Format: E-bookashesandwine
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Untitled Series, Book 1
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Hero: Royal James Andreas
Heroine: Tessa Winter
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: June 28, 2012
Started On: August 14, 2012
Finished On: August 24, 2012

Royal James Andreas is a man who is conflicted with his need to seek the comfort and love that he craves from Tessa Winter, the delectable owner of the store As You Wish and his need to be strong for his father and family that seems to drain every little bit of emotion that he has left to give. 

Tessa cannot figure out the reason why Royal seemed to be so in tune with her when they had first met and changed into a more reserved version of the man since then. Though it hurts her with how much she craves for Royal and his touch, Tessa knows that if he is not willing to meet her halfway, it would never even begin to work out in the first place.

When the overwhelming need to touch and to feel becomes too much for even a man like Royal to deny, it in the end pushes both Tessa and Royal into a new territory in their relationship. The way that Tessa takes charge of the relationship and is there for Royal through those moments when he does need her more than the air he breathes was something to behold. I liked the fact that Tessa didn’t wallow in self-doubt and pity and let what she wanted to do go to waste. She took charge and stuck to what she was dealt with which made me admire her strength and tenacity very much so. And Royal, (dreamy sigh), Royal was just the right touch of alpha and softness that just made me melt in all the right places.

The one thing that struck me was the way Taryn completely surprised me with this story. I found the writing and prose to be poetic, mesmerizing and beautiful and haunting at times even. There were bits when tears sprang to my eyes, when my heart literally ached from all the emotions that Taryn managed to invoke in me as the family struggled to come to terms with the imminent loss in their lives that was about to hit them with the strength of a hurtling freight train. 

Taryn doesn’t cut any corners with the emotional aspect of the novel and it shows, even in the haunting music that Royal plays, which Taryn so vividly brings to life and made it in such a way that I couldn’t help but strain to hear the music that speaks of so much heartache, longing and conflicted emotions. The bits where Royal and his father butt their heads, the conflicting wayward riot of emotions that courses through Royal after each draining encounter made for superb reading and I loved every minute of the story that Taryn has created so remarkably well.

The romance and sensuality aspect of the novel makes for quite a stirring read as well. There were those bits that just made me go “Oh dear God, just do it already you two”, just so that both Royal and Tessa would find relief from the sheer intensity of their need for each other. 

Taryn, you have earned my utmost respect for the sheer emotional wallop you packed with this novel, for the mesmerizing way you have presented the story and for the appealing cast of characters that you have managed create, all of whom are so darn likable that I want to read ALL their stories like right now. And please hurry along with Alaric and Mercy’s story? Because you have managed to give a glimpse into their relationship which just practically makes me itch to read their story.

Poetic, haunting and mesmerizing; Ashes and Wine is a novel not to be missed if you love your stories with enough emotion wallop to tie you up in knots. Beautiful is how I would describe Ashes and Wine, a story that just begs the reader to cry their heart’s out and at the same time rejoice in the beauty that is love, because Taryn Elliott demands nothing less.

Favorite Quotes

The tip of his tongue flicked along the roof of her mouth before sliding along hers possessively. The chain reaction of shivers, followed by a bone-deep burn, only made her want more. 

He kissed her like he’d never get enough of her. Deeper, darker, and with an overwhelming intimacy that left her trembling. The hard crush of his chest trapped her hands between them. Her fingertips dug into whatever she could reach, but it wasn’t enough. She wanted to explore the crinkle of hair beneath his shirt, wanted to feel his skin under the pads of her fingers. She wanted everything.

The first strains of the haunting melody halted conversation. The hollow knock against the body of the guitar was like a heartbeat. Steady and controlled, his long fingers manipulated the strings along the fretboard. A simple instrument shouldn’t have so much power.
Sad and lonely, the song reached inside and carved Tessa’s heart out. No words were needed. 

When he opened his eyes, he found Tessa instantly.
Her bright cap of copper hair was up in a chignon, leaving her elegant neck bare. A soft wool sweater and skirt hugged her curves, complemented by heeled boots. She was beautiful—almost untouchably so, with her creamy skin and dancer’s body. But then she smiled, and he was hers for as long as it lasted.

Her lips found his one more time before she drew away. Their fingers tangled, and he held on for another precious second.
Mistake. This was a mistake.
But she’d be the best mistake he’d ever made.

He rose up and their kisses lost any semblance of finesse. She fisted her hands in his hair and cried out his name. She pressed her cheek to his. Her full body tremor ended with that cracked moan that was quickly becoming addicting. She’d completely steeped herself in him, in their mutual pleasure, and her surrender was sweeter than anything he’d ever known.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

fantasticread