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 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 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 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: 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 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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