Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance POV: First Person, Single Series: Wildflower Duet Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Thayer Holmes Heroine: Salem Grace Sensuality: 3 Published On: March 23, 2022 Started On: April 10, 2022 Finished On: April 13, 2022
He cuts off my question, pressing me into the corner of the maze, the dried corn stalks rough against my back, and then he kisses me. It’s a rough, searing, soul-stealing sort of kiss. Thayer Holmes has branded himself on me. And I know, without a doubt, that whatever this is, whatever we become, if we grow and flourish like the wildflowers behind our houses, or crash and burn, it won’t matter because when I’m old and gray, lying in bed thinking about my life, he’ll be the best part.
The Wildflower Duet by Micalea Smeltzer was released early last year. Ms. Smeltzer is an evocative writer, whose elegant prose and characterization left me spellbound when it came to the story Sweet Dandelion. Being a sucker for May-December tropes, I was quick to grab this as it was released and I was not disappointed – at least with the first installment of the duet.
Salem Grace is 18 years old when the story begins, having just finished high school and dating the quintessential popular guy you come across in small towns. 31 year old Thayer Holmes moves in as Salem’s next door neighbor, and an unlikely friendship is forged with the single father whose gruff and silent manner should have been off-putting but draws Salem to him like a moth to a flame.
As Salem starts to babysit for Thayer’s son, the relationship between the two deepens to something much more, and a love forges to life, unlike any Salem has known. With Thayer, Salem feels safe from the nightmares that plagues her, and she feels cherished in a way that she has never known. However, tragedy is not too far from their lives when the unthinkable happens, driving the kind of wedge between Thayer and Salem that only time alone would heal. As the story moves to its second installment, Salem returns to her hometown six years henceforth, forced to come home and face the music at long last. This time around, she is older and wiser, and has a secret that she left with all those years ago.
As mentioned earlier in the review, I did enjoy the first installment in the series. Salem and Thayer invoked so many emotions in me that at times I felt chock full of it. Salem’s tragic past had me wanting to hurt someone, a very specific someone, and Thayer was all kinds of appealing. He has his own demons to fight with, but the connection between Salem and Thayer is one that all too real for him to ignore, even with the huge age gap between them.
I could understand why Thayer acted the way he did towards the end of the first installment, because some losses, you never ever fully recover from. The fact that Salem loved Thayer enough to know that and understand that was one reason I loved both of them to bits. But as the story moved to six years later, I found that there was not much essence nor conflict to the story to keep the reader hooked and the pages turning. I would have been happier had the first installment being extended a bit, and this was just a single book story. I believe it would have been more fitting.
Towards the end, I skipped huge parts of the latter half of the second book, just so I could get to the ending. I don’t like reiteration in my novels to the point where I have to force myself to keep my eyes open. That is what happened with the second installment in the series, with mundane details of everyday life thrown into make the pages count. I just sorely wish that had not been the case because if not, this would have been a stellar 5-star read!
Recommended for fans of the author and fans of May-December themed romances.
Final Verdict: The Wildflower duet is a story of tragedy and heartache. It is also one of deep abiding love and hope that gets you through the darkest moments of life!
“I’ll get our drinks.” I head back to the kitchen for them. I grab another Diet Coke from the fridge and turn to get his, but nearly smack into his chest. “Jesus Christ!” My hand flies to my chest. “Don’t sneak up on me like that.” He makes no move to back up. “Thayer?” His brown eyes stare at me intently. “W-What are you doing?” His tongue wets his lips and I realize he’s staring at my mouth. “Are you going to kiss me?” I blurt my thoughts out loud. He towers above me, lowering his head so I’m cocooned with the mini-fridge behind my legs and his body blocking everything else. I know if I wanted to move, he’d let me pass, that’s the kind of man he is. But the fact is, I don’t want to. His voice is deeper than normal when he asks, “Do you want me to?” I swallow. Do I? “Yes.”
“Salem,” he murmurs my name between kisses. I wind my legs around his waist, gasping when I feel the hardness of his erection. We are chaos. Unrestrained passion igniting with a single spark.
“Need to be in you.” He sounds like he’s aching with the same need I am. He shoves his jeans down and his boxer-briefs with them. Thayer Holmes is naked in front of me. I don’t look away. I take in every inch of him. Every. Long. Perfect. Inch.
He doesn’t hesitate. Grabbing the base of his cock, he plunges into me. I cry out, my back arching. He’s so big and I’m so full. “Fucking hell, Salem,” he curses, exhaling heavily. “Am I too tight?” I squeak, because my God, he’s stretching me. He shakes his head, brown hair falling over his forehead. I reach up, brushing it away so I can see his eyes. I need to see them. He can’t hide from me that way. “No,” he rocks slowly out and back in, “it’s just…” His fingers tighten around my hips, angling me up to meet his thrusts. “You feel like mine.”
His hips push into mine and I gasp at the feel of him hard and ready. “Thayer,” I pant. He wraps a hand around my neck. I moan, surprised at how much I like his hand there. “Do you want me to fuck you against the wall, Salem?” God, yes. “Yes.” “Good.”
“Thayer,” I pant, breathless, “right there. Don’t stop.” I fall over the edge, my orgasm rattling me to the bone. His lips press open-mouthed kisses to my neck. He pumps his hips harder, faster into me, and impossibly I feel my body building toward another high. “Thayer!” I scream his name, my orgasm rippling through me.
“If you wouldn’t have chosen a peony, what did you think my favorite would be?” “Sunflowers,” he answers without hesitation. “I guess that’s because you remind me of them. You’re so bright and happy most of the time.” “I didn’t used to be,” I admit mournfully. His finger is warm beneath my chin, lifting my head to look at him. “Who we used to be doesn’t matter, it’s who we are now, what’s in our hearts that matters most. You’re sunshine, Salem, but even the sun doesn’t always shine.” His hand moves to cup my cheek. A sigh passes through my lips as I lean into his touch. “I’m not bright like you, but I promise, when your days are dark, I’ll be your light.”
“You feel so good,” he murmurs into the skin of my neck. “Fucking made for me, Salem.” “God, yes.” I squeeze my legs around him. He rests his forehead against mine, our noses brushing, breath to breath. He makes love to me and I soak in every bit of that, letting it fill me up. This is what it means to be cared for. Cherished. Anything less is second best.
One of his arm winds around my back and he lifts me effortlessly, pressing my back to the shower wall. His erection presses into my core, my hips grinding against him on their own accord. “Yes,” he encourages, guiding my hips with his hands, “get yourself off on me.” He kisses me again, and it’s rough, aching, so desperately needy. My fingers grapple against his slick back. I rock my hips harder, faster. It feels so good. He feels so right. My orgasm shatters through me so fast with so much force that I scream.
I bite my lip, holding back tears. My voice is barely above a whisper when I say, “I never stopped caring about you. I moved on, but my heart didn’t.” He pulls the truck abruptly off to the side of the road. Gravel and dirt kick up behind us as he slams the vehicle into park. He turns slowly in his seat to look at me. “Thayer—” I start to question, but he doesn’t give me a chance to finish my thought. He cups my cheek in one hand, his mouth descending on mine in less than a heartbeat.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Romantic Suspense POV: Third Person, Dual Series: Survival Instincts, #1 Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Hero: Dr. Ford Cooper Heroine: Angel Smith Sensuality: 4 Published On: January 28, 2020 Started On: February 18, 2022 Finished On: February 26, 2022
On the ice, in the antarctic cold, in the middle of freaking nowhere, his tongue showed her how dirty sex could be, his body made her take it, and that dark, raspy husk of a voice broke in to turn the whole thing up a million degrees.
Whiteout by Adriana Anders is the first book in the Survival Instincts series. I have come across this book multiple times since it was published in 2020. I am glad that I finally gave this book a chance because this tale was all consuming on so many levels, be it the suspense factor, the romance, or the breathtaking landscape upon which the story unfolds.
Whiteout takes place in the South Pole where a scientific expedition is ongoing and 31 year old Angel Smith comes in as a cook as part of summer crew. When the story begins, her period of stay is almost over, with her return journey just a day or two away. Angel had needed the remoteness of the location to heal from the wounds that she guards closely and even though she might yearn for a certain someone to look her way, she is done running after emotionally unavailable men. Her sunny disposition and vibrancy might fool everyone, but inside she is a woman who has lost a lot, but has not given up on the potential that life has to offer.
38 year old Dr. Ford Cooper is a scientist on the expedition, who does not like crowds nor too much interaction with the outside world. From the start, Angel rubs him the wrong way, his perception of her being that she is too loud, too enthusiastic, too everything, which annoys him to no end. He is a loner, which means the job at hand suits him perfectly. The fact that Cooper is looking forward to Angel’s departure from the station is indicative of just how aware he is of her presence even if he gives nothing away, even if he might never have exchanged more than a few syllables with her.
When things go awry on the day of the departure, and Angel witnesses the horrific barbarity of a group of individuals who are working towards their own goal which might end up putting the whole world at risk, it is only Cooper and Angel who are left to put piece it together and identify how to best thwart their attempts from coming to fruition.
And so begins their trek through the unforgiving, icy, and harsh terrain of the South Pole in winter, with. As these two fight for their survival and try to outsmart those in pursuit, the circumstances that brings them together forging a bond that is difficult to overlook. Hearts are thawed and healed, desire blooms, and love emerges into the light, willing to brave it out and provide warmth in the cold and hostile environment that seems all encompassing.
Whiteout was a truly phenomenal read in my opinion, up till its end, when the story ended on a weird cliffhanger that paves the way for the second installment in the series, with two different main protagonists, which is why I found it a tad odd. Ms, Anders could have given a more well rounded ending to Whiteout and still ensured that our interest in the series remained intact without giving us such an unexpected ending.
Even if the ending did get in the way of my enjoyment factor, I still loved a lot of things about this story. I loved the breathtaking landscape upon which the story unfolds, that was so vividly brought to light by Ms. Anders. The prose is as such that I felt like I was transported to the setting, where I was witness and party to all that was taking place.
The suspense factor was also well done, reminding me of movies of the same nature, where through large chunks of what unfolds you are left holding your breath, the wait and see factor not an easy one to get through, but definitely why such thrilling movies are so addictive. Whiteout was similar in many ways, and I loved every exhilarating bit of it.
That brings me to Dr. Cooper who demanded nothing less but total surrender of my heart, body, and soul. He is the kind of hero that many romance readers may not find affinity with, but I adored. He is the true definition of a hero who is a loner, who prefers his own company to everyone else’s, who grew up without much affection in his life, who is practical in his approach to life, and who believes that love has no place in his life under any set of conditions. He is as reluctant a hero you will find in a romance, and that is how I often like them.
I loved how sexy and commanding Cooper was, how readers could see and witness his “downfall” when it came to Angel, and how he tried so valiantly even towards the very end to put up a fight and resist what was inevitable. Cooper does not understand his worth, nor his appeal, and I think that was the charm to his character which might not be so obvious to most.
I also fell wholeheartedly for Angel – the things that she had gone through were harrowing not to say the least, and the damage that it had done to her self confidence as a woman is one that can be felt by the readers. But through it all there shines a light from within, where she the beauty of her soul is evident, and that is the ultimate reason why Cooper fell so hard as he did. Angel knows Cooper well, understands the nuances to his character, and yearns for him with every fiber of her existence. But the respect she shows to her own self by walking away from something destructive made me approve of her wholeheartedly, which also led to the ultimate scene of groveling which was satisfying on many levels.
Recommended for fans of romantic suspense. The push and pull factor between the main protagonists alone was enough to keep me hooked!
Final Verdict: Whiteout is the kind of novel that brings out the adventurer in you that you never knew existed. The excitement of the romance and suspense definitely keeps the pages turning!
He went mindless the second his mouth met hers. No cognitive abilities, all nerves and need, this unbearable tightness in his chest, this raging fire in his limbs. He couldn’t slow down to save himself. His mouth wasn’t just on her; he was devouring, prying open, taking everything he could. As wild and out of control as this storm that was trying to end them. So much softness, but he needed more. He wrapped his arms around her, drew her flush to him, pressed and pulled and lifted, while his mouth ate her up.
When he finally moved, it was a gentle dip, his nose to hers in an achingly slow exploration that shouldn’t have been provocative. She strained for his mouth, but he denied her. Like a big cat toying with its prey, he stroked his cheek along hers, scruff to soft skin. Just that move made her choke back a moan. How would it be if they could take their clothes off? If skin touched all over? Deliberately, gently, he ran his nose beneath her ear and a sound escaped him. A tiny, tight-lipped hiss that she’d never have caught if he weren’t so near.
And then, oh God, then he kept her pinned with his mouth, stilling her, while he finally stroked his hand, lazy as a lion basking in the sun, from her head to her neck, then down her side, bypassing the obvious draw of her breasts, to clamp her hip, holding it still when she hadn’t even realized she was fidgeting. Owning her. Slowly, as if he had all the time in the world, he shifted above her until she could feel every hard bit of him, put his mouth to hers, and took the kiss from her.
Recklessness edged under his skin. He pressed harder, more desperately, slid his fingers through her hair, tightened his hold. The deep, consuming kiss, tongues tangling, pushed noises out of his mouth. Painful against his ruined trachea. There was so much to do. He needed to take stock and figure out how they’d live for over two weeks on less than one week of food, but hell, maybe he could live off of this. Off of her. He barely noticed his erection at first. Then, like his body’d taken over his brain, he moved against her—a slow, rhythmic press of his pelvis to hers.
He lay behind her, utterly still. No arm around her. Just breathing, a little lighter than his usual deep, steady rhythm—faster, too, maybe. Was he nervous? Or was she imagining it? Projecting, probably. Her neck grew warm from his exhalations. Was he drawing closer? Was that… Angel shuddered at the feel of his lips on her nape, and though she wanted to press back into him, she forced herself to wait instead. Let him give without pushing too hard in return. He liked giving, her lone wolf, needed to take the first step in his own good time.
“Can’t stop wanting you.” “Why would you want to?” She swallowed, for the first time worried about what kind of terrible answer he might come up with. Instead of something dire, he puffed out a laugh and rubbed his nose gently against her temple. “You mess with my self-control.” A pause and a shift and then his hand was on her hip, just resting there. Slowly, he stroked under her shirt, then up her waist, to where she was braless and more than ready. She gasped, he inhaled, the sounds harsh. “Afraid I’ll lose it.”
“You’re amazing.” He frowned. Was she kidding? “What are you—” “You were always such a detached jerk. On the outside.” When he opened his mouth to interrupt, she put a hand to his lips and stopped him. “But it was an act. I get that now.” Straining up, she put her lips to his and kissed him so tenderly he couldn’t hold himself up anymore. He sifted his fingers through her thick, soft hair and gave in. Gently at first, then deeper, their tongues playing, exploring, they finally learned each other’s faces in the murky light of this place. Their bodies did the same, shifting, sliding, pressing together. Skin to skin. Bliss.
Something snapped inside Ford. She watched him go from calculating, to a little lost, then finally a bit…feral. The thing was, she really liked this animal part. Pounding into her, twisting her body, turning it, bending, pushing, all so he could get closer, deeper. Thrusting into her like he’d die if he didn’t. And she felt it, too. She needed this thing. Passion, she’d call it, if it hadn’t felt more primal than that.
Each of his hard thrusts scooted the cot toward the metal wall, where it banged like thunder, causing cans and boxes to crash to the floor. It was hilarious on one level. On another, when she looked him in the eye and he hit that high, bright place just right… No hilarity. Just frightening intensity and a deadly seriousness. She let out a sound—weak and a little frantic. He leaned down in response and kissed her again, slowed his movements, twisting his hips, so he got the spot every time and, rather than getting screams now, he forced her into one long, low moan of pleasure.
Around them lay the destruction of a room fucked to pieces, their stuff everywhere. Like a storm had come through. Above her, Ford’s body heaved. Exhausted and probably overcome. She wrapped around him and held on to him—this big, tender loner of a man. The man who’d saved her life more than once. Funny how somehow, suddenly, right this moment, she felt like he’d torn it all apart.
“Come here,” he mouthed, as he nudged her up and over him, so perfectly aligned that when she dropped her pelvis, she found him ready, right where she wanted. Her eyes captured by his, she lowered her body as slowly as she could, needing to feel every second, every millimeter of this coming together. To hold on to, to remember, to unpack it later when she was gone and this man was just a memory carved out of the ice.
When he bent to meet her lush lips with a frantic kiss, it occurred to him that he’d sunk back into her siren’s pull. She was so precious beneath him, her eyes full of life and affection and a good dose of challenge. I can take you on, the look said. I can turn you inside out and make you like it. And it was true. The problem was that he didn’t know how he’d find himself again when this was all over.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance POV: Third Person, Dual Series: Standalone Publisher: Mills & Boon Hero: Matthew Riordan Heroine: Rachel Theodora Blair Sensuality: 3 Published On: May 2000 Started On: January 31, 2022 Finished On: February 03, 2022
This time Matt was lying flat on his back on the bed, the muscles of his deep chest straining against the pull of his arms stretched over his head, his crossed wrists bound to the head of the brass bedstead with the narrow silk cummerbund he had been wearing in the earlier photo. Straddling his lower belly was the Valkyrie, flaunting a vast expanse of smooth, creamy skin unmarked by tan-lines, her knees digging into his lower ribcage, her spectacular breasts hovering invitingly above his pillowed head as she arched up to secure his bonds. The crowning salacious touch was the thin black leather whip which lay coiled on the bed beside them.
Susan Napier puts to shame every single stereotype that category romances from Mills&Boon and/or Harlequin have been stuck with. She brings to light characters that were ahead of the times in which some of her stories were written, and Ms. Napier never minded pushing the boundaries of convention that ruled the world of romance, while at the same time delivering stories that have so much wit, heart, and heat!
The Mistress Deception brings together 31 year old Rachel Theodora Blair and 26 year old Matthew Riordan (Matt) one fateful night that ends with “racy” photographs of them taken and sent to both of them. Matt is livid, more so when his father has a heart attack after seeing the pictures, more so because of dreams of his that were shattered.
When these two are thrown together once again, it is only a matter of time before both of them succumb to the red-hot desire that rages between them. Matt who has been groomed by his father in a certain way with the expectation that he would take over the reins one day, and Rachel who would never have thought she would be heading the security company her deceased fiance had left behind, are two lost souls in their own way.
What drew me to the story most was how both Matt and Rachel surprised me in the most unexpected ways. Matt might be the cool sophisticate to everyone else, but underneath all of that lies a romantic soul. Matt’s lack of luck when it comes to love was something that really punched me in the gut, and I fell like a ton of bricks for him because of the way he falls for Rachel and sees her for what she is worth.
Rachel’s back-story is one that is equally emotional. I cannot even imagine the kind of strength she would need to have mustered to do what she had done, at the mere age of fifteen, and how life’s second blow would have literally broken most of us. However, Rachel has a hard time placing her full trust in any man given her past. But there is no reversing the tide from the course it has set upon, and the scenes of passion were as beautiful as they were sensuous in nature, showcasing the wealth of tenderer emotions that they both hold for each other.
Ultimately, it all boils down to the matter of trust as Rachel finds towards the end of the story; that she could choose to trust the best thing that has happened to her or keep sticking to what is safe, when it would not give her what Matt brings to her life – the beauty of love that is all consuming.
Definitely recommended for those who love category romances with unexpected twists and turns and witty banter. This one certainly packs a punch!
Final Verdict: Susan Napier delivers an emotionally gripping story with twists and turns that I never saw coming, with love of the grandest kind paving the way.
‘Matt…’ She tunnelled her hands up between his shoulder blades and raked her trim nails all the way down the length of his back, hard enough for him to feel the sharp scrape through the polished cotton. He arched and shuddered, sensation pooling at the base of his spine and spilling over into his loins. ‘Witch…!’ His hands, which had been gripping the edges of the shelf in a futile attempt at self-control, swooped down to her flanks, smoothing up her thighs and over her womanly hips, tracing the rounded shape of her full bottom through the filmy skirt, snagging his fingers in the soft gathers as he kneaded her against his growing hardness.
Matthew’s rough-shaven jaw rasped tantalisingly across Rachel’s soft lips, and with a stifled sound of frustration she clenched her hands in his thick dark hair, holding his head still so that she could at last find the intimacy that she craved. He resisted only long enough to wrench off his spectacles and shove them blindly into his jacket pocket, then his mouth was settling hotly over hers. It was everything she had wished, everything her dream had promised…sinfully sweet and deliciously devouring; steamy, wet and wonderful.
‘Your subconscious told you I was a blackmailing bitch?’ Her outraged voice bounced off the pitched ceiling. Instead of flinching, he looked her straight in the eye and said with devastating honesty, ‘No, my subconscious was telling me that you were a gorgeous, earthy, incredibly sexy woman to whom I was dangerously attracted. I say “dangerously” because all my logical thought-processes went completely haywire whenever you were in the vicinity. In trying to hide it I guess I might have overcompensated. You may have noticed that I hardly managed to address a single coherent sentence to you whenever we were in a room together…’
‘Am I hurting you?’ She felt a delicious stretching, but no pain, and she shook her head on the pillow. Matt raised himself up on one arm, gazing triumphantly down into her passion-blurred face. ‘Now…’ Looking deep into her eyes, he took her hand and pushed it down between their steamy bodies to cup his virility. ‘Show me…take me…’ He used her fingers to guide him inside her. ‘I want to feel everything you feel. I want it to be you and me, together, every step of the way…’
‘Do you want me to take you like this? Is that it?’ he murmured, stroking her bottom and the curvature of her spine with a possessive hand. He sank his teeth into her shoulder, gently holding her captive as he reached for the replenished supply of protection beside the bed. His chest braced her back, his hands slipping underneath her, one to fondle her swaying breasts, the other to splay across her taut belly, adjusting her to his thrust as he discovered a new and intensely pleasurable thrill to add to his expanding repertoire.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance POV: Third Person, Dual Series: Standalone Publisher: Ballantine Hero: Thompson Cahill Heroine: Sarah Stevens Sensuality: 3 Published On: August 29, 2002 Started On: January 28, 2022 Finished On: January 30, 2022
“Don’t you think she’s hot?” He sighed. “Yeah, I think she’s hot.” In fact, he thought she was hotter than hot; she was scorching. The problem was, he’d already suffered third-degree burns in the relationship wars, and he didn’t have any skin to spare in another losing round.
When I initially discovered the goldmine that is Linda Howard novels, I went a little crazy and binge read everything I could get my hands on and never regretted the fact. Well, I regret it a bit because authors like Ms. Howard are scarce and few authors can live up to her exceptionally well written books featuring heroes of the kind that makes you swoon and palpitate in equal doses. For some reason, I had missed out on reading Dying to Please during my initial bingeing phase eons back, and I was glad for the fact too, because I could enjoy a novel from Ms. Howard and revel in the first time feels as if I were discovering her writing anew.
30 year old Sarah Stevens is butler/security guard to a retired judge who is 85 years of age. Having spent three years with the judge, Sarah is fond of him and looks upon her vocation as more than just her job. With no commitments in her life otherwise to tie her down (which she has worked hard to keep that way), Sarah dreams of traveling the world in style once she is no longer needed in her position.
Things turn a bit harrowing however, when a burglary attempt at the judge’s home is thwarted by Sarah, bringing her to the limelight via a feature done on television following her act of heroism. Amongst those admiring from afar is the villain, who wants Sarah to be his, and he is not going to stop until he fulfills his need to have her, even if it means dispensing of people along the way if need be.
When the judge is killed, leaving Sarah devastated and Detective Thomson Cahill after her as the prime suspect, it takes Sarah everything she has to move past the grief and get herself back together. Cahill whom she had fell instantly in lust with the moment they meet initially after the attempted burglary, Sarah who has no intention of embarking on any serious relationship, especially not with a man who is bitter about his ugly divorce just a year back, finds herself entangled with Cahill in a way that is all consuming.
Fate always seems to have the last laugh as Cahill is drawn to Sarah in equal fervor and before long, they are heating up the sheets and then some as the fire that burns between them consumes them both. Things come to a head however, when Sarah is lured into the lion’s den by the machinations of none other than the killer, who courts Sarah with every intention of making her his, because he is the only one who deserves a diamond like Sarah. Cahill has his work cut out for him as he comes to the realization of the massive blunder he has made when it comes to Sarah, and that it might already be too late for him to make amends if the killer were to have their way with Sarah.
Dying to Please is the kind of novel that offers engrossing characters both main and secondary, and a villain who makes the hair at the back of your neck stand up. The romantic elements are strong, giving the reader the perfect balance of suspense and romance, alongside with sex scenes of the kind that makes your insides hum. I swear to God that authors like Ms. Howard does a better job in rousing the emotions of readers with their love scenes than authors of the most explicit erotica can, and that is certainly saying something. The scenes of passion in this one were off-the-charts hot and it is definitely an experience I would not be forgetting anytime soon!
Sarah was a lovely heroine; equal parts strength and gentle femininity that was appealing on every level. Cahill on the other hand is the kind of hero that you fall for and hard, and at the same time, makes you want to bash your head against the wall as well. But ain’t that the fun part of reading a romance that is well done? Cahill is delicious, undoubtedly so – and the scars he carries from his marriage are all too real and one can understand why he puts up such a fuss when he falls so badly for Sarah. I just wish that Sarah had gone traveling as she had wanted all her adult life, and given the cocky Cahill something to really chew on as he stews back home, dying to grovel at Sarah’s feet to beg for her forgiveness. Now that, would have been fun!
Recommended for fans of finely balanced romantic suspense. Ms. Howard is a master storyteller!
Final Verdict: In Dying to Please, Ms. Howard offers a unique amalgam of elements that makes this romantic suspense stand out in every sense imaginable!
He was big, dwarfing her with his size, her head tucked neatly under his chin. His furnacelike heat wrapped around her. He would be heavy, and probably dominating, but she could also imagine him lying back and letting her set the pace— “Stay,” he said again, as if she hadn’t refused. She hung on to her sanity, barely. “That wouldn’t be smart.” “Fuck smart.” His hot breath stirred over the fine hairs on the back of her neck, making her shiver again. His low voice made the word a weapon to be used, a deeper level of intimacy between them. “It would sure as hell be good.” He stroked her neck where his breath had warmed her skin. “If you like it slow, I’ll be slow. If you like it hard and fast, then that’s the way you’ll get it.”
His hands closed over her breasts, his thumbs rubbing over her nipples. His erection was a rock-hard bulk in his jeans, pushing against her bottom. Her legs threatened to give way beneath her, and she heard her own breathing, shallow and rapid, almost panting. “Easy?” he whispered in her ear. “Or hard?” Hard. Dear God, hard.
His heavy weight bore her down, overwhelming her, the way it had all the previous times he’d pinned her. While she appreciated his efforts not to hurt her, she was as helpless now against him as she had been the first time he’d pinned her. Her only hope had been to remain on her feet, evade him and look for her chance, but he’d already taken her down. Desperately she braced one foot on the mat and pushed, seeking leverage. He shifted to counter her move, and his hips slid between the open V of her legs, the smooth heat of his penis pressing into her labia. He froze, a sound almost like a growl rumbling in his throat. As if he couldn’t help himself he pushed, and the thick bulbous head began to enter her.
Desperately she grabbed the pipe behind her and held on. Spots swam in front of her eyes and her entire body bucked as she came. She heard her own hoarse cries, but they sounded distant, as if someone else made them. For a long, magic moment nothing existed but her body and the firestorm of sensation as her inner contractions peaked, then slowly began to ebb. Her thighs had been clenched around his head but now her legs fell limply open. He was licking her.
“Just a little closer,” he crooned, slipping his thumb inside her again. Then he replaced his hand with his mouth and he kissed her, deeply, his tongue probing, while his wet thumb moved farther down and pushed into her in a bold, shocking thrust that made stars explode in her head. She came again, convulsing, screaming, trying to fight him because the sensations were too sharp to be borne. He held her down, drawing out the moment, holding her at the peak. Finally she collapsed, trembling, her ears ringing as she struggled to find some measure of control.
“Now!” she shrieked, maddened by the completion that lurked just out of her grasp. She fought the cuffs like a madwoman. “Take them off!” “All right, just hold still!” He subdued her, holding her down as he got the key from under the edge of the mat where he’d stashed it. He stretched higher on her body as he reached for the cuffs, forcing his penis deeper, and something very close to a howl erupted from her throat. Alarmed, afraid he’d injured her, he hastily unlocked the handcuffs and started to draw back from her. Sarah lunged upward, locking her legs around his in a vise as she grabbed his ass and pulled him in tighter, as deep as she could take him. There, right there—ah! Her hips pumped as she pistoned herself on him, and she felt the peak coming closer . . . closer . . . She screamed, caught in an orgasm more intense than the others, so intense she couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think, couldn’t see. She heard him make an inhuman sound; then he was thrusting hard, groaning, his arms locked around her as he began coming again.
He gave her what she wanted, coming down on top of her and crushing her into the mattress with the force of his thrusts, his hands under her hips grinding her even harder on him. She came, bowing under him, her heels digging into the backs of his thighs while her nails sank into his shoulders. It was always fast the first time, fast and hard, raw in its intensity. He climaxed right after she did, and as they lay together in the aftermath, she felt herself begin to drift to sleep, so deeply content it went all the way down to a molecular level. This was where she belonged, right here with him. The “here” didn’t matter; it could be anywhere, so long as she was with Cahill.
“Your ex-wife has to be the biggest idiot walking the earth.” He gave her a startled look, then shrugged. “Make that a two-timing, vindictive idiot. What made you think of her?” “You. You’re neat, domesticated, intelligent—” “Keep going,” he said. “—good-looking, sense of humor, sexy—” “And yours.” She stopped, her stomach suddenly flip-flopping. “Are you?” she whispered. He put the milk in the refrigerator and gave her a wry smile. “Oh, yeah.” She took a deep breath. “Wow.” “That’s kind of the way it takes me, too.”
It was a long time happening, but finally her hips began to move to meet him, and her fingers dug into his shoulders. He kept his pace slow, loving the feel of her tightening around him as if she was trying to hold him inside. The pulse at the base of her throat was hammering, and her nipples were tight, flushed with color. Tension coiled in her finely honed body, lifting her to every inward thrust, her legs sliding around his and locking in that way she had of holding him in, as if she couldn’t get enough of him. Her head tilted back, a groan sounding deep in her throat.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Contemporary Romance POV: Third Person, Dual Series: Standalone Publisher: MIRA Hero: Gideon Reese Duncan Heroine: Madelyn Sanger Patterson Sensuality: 3.5 Published On: May 25, 1998 Started On: January 28, 2022 Finished On: January 28, 2022
WANTED: A WIFE for able-bodied rancher. Must be of steady character, want children, and be able to work on ranch. Age 25 to 35 preferable.
Duncan’s Bride by Linda Howard is a favorite of mine from long before. I don’t particularly remember why a review for this delightful book was never written by yours truly, but I aim to rectify it this time around having come upon that sad realization.
34 year old Gideon Reese Duncan (Duncan) is a rancher who lost everything to his ex-wife, having slowly built back his life from the ashes that were left behind in the wake of the departure of the woman who had felt entitled to take half of everything that he had owned. Having crawled his way back to a position from which he could start thinking about a future again, Duncan decides it is time to find himself a wife once again, but this time he is going to be smart about it. There would be no courting her, no seeking love – just a plain old arrangement of convenience where he would get what he wants out of the marriage without the emotional and financial entanglements.
28 year old Madelyn Sanger Patterson (Maddie) is restless with her lot in life and yearns for something that would take her out of the rut her life has become. When she stumbles across the ad placed for a wife, something in her urges her to act and respond to the call. Ultimately, even though Duncan believes that he might be making the wrong choice once again given how drawn to Maddie he is physically, there is no denying fate when something is written down to happen, and that is exactly how Duncan finds himself married to Maddie, a woman who is accustomed to all sorts of comforts in life, someone Duncan has misgivings about her suitability to the kind of life that is ranching.
However, Duncan soon finds out that his wife is not a shrinking violet he thought she would be and is more than capable of living up to the expectations of any rancher looking for a partner who is willing to give it their all. The sexual attraction between the two is something Duncan embraces wholeheartedly, a bonus under the circumstances when he had been resigned to a life of comfort and companionship when he had initially sought to get married.
For Maddie, Duncan is the man who makes everything within her come alive, the missing piece of her soul that perfectly aligns with her desires and needs. While Duncan is a hard man to reach emotionally, Maddie believes that she is making headway, slowly but surely, up till the point where Duncan’s stubborn pride gets in the way, putting her everything they have together on the line. But Maddie being who she is, is willing to give Duncan the kind of fight he would not win easily, and that is one of the many reasons why this book stands out in a big way.
Duncan’s Bride is a story that features a hero that can only be defined as alpha. Once bitten, twice as shy, Duncan guards his emotions closely and his checkbook even closer. Having learnt his lesson when it comes to preying women, Duncan is determined that no one else would get the best of him, not even the surprise that is his mail-ordered bride Maddie. Thwart her attempts he does, especially when it comes to considering her as an equal partner in their marriage, the fear of losing everything once again preying on his mind, when Duncan does not realize that going down that road he is sure to lose what is most precious to him above everything else.
While Duncan at times makes you want to give him a couple slaps (and hard) because of his stubborn nature and that formidable pride of his, that is also part of the reason why this story worms its way into your heart in a way that is undefinable. Maddie is the perfect antidote to the poison that Duncan has consumed even though he cannot see it for what it is, and when the inevitable happens, Duncan obviously thinks the worst, to be proven spectacularly wrong in a way that makes all the heartache worth it. The grovel game in this novel is strong, which gives it the perfect five stars the story so deserves.
Recommended for fans of marriage of convenience trope romances featuring strong, stubborn, and prideful alpha heroes and their equally stubborn and strong women who do not give up. Duncan and Maddie do not disappoint!
Final Verdict: Duncan’s Bride is a story that I will never tire of; the arrogant and virile hero being brought to his very knees makes the angst-ridden pages all worth it!
Vaguely she heard other people around them. It didn’t matter. He was making love to her with his mouth, arousing her, satisfying her, consuming her. He increased the slant of his head, tucking her head more firmly into his shoulder, and kissed her with all the burning sensuality she had sensed in him on first sight. Her heart lurched as pleasure overrode shock, swiftly escalating to an almost unbearable tension. She not only welcomed the intrusion of his tongue, she met it with her own, making love to him as surely as he was to her.
He tossed the washcloth into the basin and took his hat off, dropping it onto the floor. The arm behind her back tightened and drew her in to him as he bent his head, and his mouth closed over hers. It was the same way he’d kissed her in the airport, the way he hadn’t kissed her since. His mouth was hard and hot, urgent in his demands. His tongue pushed into her mouth, and she met it with her own, welcoming, enticing, wanting more.
The sunlight sifted down through the leaves, dappling his gleaming skin, and his eyes were fiercely primitive as he kneed her thighs apart. He looked wild and magnificent, and she made a soft whimpering sound of need as she reached for him. He tore her clothes, and she didn’t care. The seam of her chemise gave way beneath his twisting fingers, and the taut rise of her breasts thrust nakedly up at him. He sucked strongly at her while he shoved her skirt to her waist and hooked his fingers in the waistband of her underpants. She lifted her hips to aid him, but heard the rip of lace, and then he threw the shreds to one side.
He undid her skirt and stripped it down her legs; then she parted her thighs and reached for him again, and he couldn’t wait a minute longer. The sight of those sleek legs opening for him was an image that had haunted his dreams. He’d intended to be easier with her this time, but as soon as he penetrated she made a wild sound in her throat and her hips rolled, and he went mad again.
Green eyes locked with gray. He hooked his fingers in the hem of her skirt and jerked it upward, at the same time spreading her legs and moving forward between them. She sank her hands into his wet hair and held his head while her mouth attacked his with a fierce kiss that held mingled anger and desire. He said, “Maddie,” in a rough tone as he tore her underpants out of the way, then jerked at his belt and the fastening of his jeans. It was just as it had been in the back of the truck. The rush of passion was hard and fast and overwhelming.
He unbuttoned her blouse while she performed the same service for his shirt. When he had undipped her bra he slowly brought their bare torsos together, turning her slightly from side to side so that her breasts rubbed his chest and his curly hair rasped against her nipples, making her arch in his arms. “God, I can’t get enough of you,” he muttered. “I don’t want you to.”
Release left her weak, pliable. She lay back across the hood of the car, breathing hard, her eyes closed. Reese gripped her hips and began thrusting hard and fast, wanting that sweet weakness for himself. Her eyes slowly opened as he drove into her, and she closed her hands around his wrists. “I love you,” she said again. Until he heard the words once more he hadn’t realized how badly he’d needed them, wanted them. She was his, and had been from the moment she’d walked through the airport toward him. He groaned, and his hips jerked; then the pleasure hit him, and he couldn’t think for a long time. All he could do was feel, and sink forward onto her soft body and into her arms.
She felt drained, more exhausted than before. She lay limply as he knelt between her legs and tore at his clothes, throwing them aside. She could barely open her eyes as he positioned himself and then invaded her with a slow, heavy thrust that carried him into her to the hilt. As always, she was faintly startled by the overwhelming sense of fullness as she adjusted to him. His full weight was on her, crushing her downward. There was nothing gentlemanly about him now, only the need to enter her as deeply as possible, to carry the embrace to the fullest so that there was no part of her that didn’t feel his possession.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Science Fiction Romance POV: Third Person, Dual Series: Standalone Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Kurt Teague Heroine: Krisa Elyison Sensuality: 4 Published On: February 18, 2017 Started On: January 19, 2022 Finished On: January 21, 2022
“I know you’re there, little girl. I can smell you.” He had the deepest voice Krisa had ever heard, like someone rubbing a handful of gravel against a stone wall. The blindfolded head lifted and pointed in her direction, that savage grin a white slice in his dark face.
Having grown tired of lackluster novels, I went on a book forage quest on Amazon and landed myself with Planet X by Evangeline Anderson. This is science fiction erotica and I enjoyed every single bit of it to the fullest. Planet X is quite the lengthy read; 460 pages in total, and yet I read this within two days, which says a lot about the enjoyment factor, when I am barely able to sometimes finish a 120 paged novel in five days at times given my busy schedule.
It certainly helped that the story has serious vibes of Pitch Black starring Vin Diesel (huuuge fan, by the way), where a transport ship crash-lands on an inhospitable planet, their survival depending upon none other than yours truly, the dangerous convict on-board. If you have watched Pitch Black at any point in time, the initial description of the hero alone in the story is enough to understand what I mean.
“The prisoner had a broad chest and thick arms roped with muscle that led down to a narrow waist and powerful thighs spread wide in a lazy slouch.”
This is exactly how I recall Vin Diesel when we are first introduced to his character in the movie.
The story begins as Krisa Elyison is traveling aboard The Star Princess, a light tonnage merchant-class cruise ship that carries cargo and passengers from one planet to another. She was traveling from her home planet of Capellia, otherwise known as the Bride Planet, to Lynix Prime where she is to get married to her betrothed whom she had belonged to since she was 13 years of age.
Krisa is looking for a little bit adventure (not too much and just the right amount) before she reaches her destination and settles into the life that had been decided for her from a long time back. However, she gets more than she bargained for when she encounters Kurt Teague, an escaped convict who is aboard the vessel being transported to prison once again. Teague has a reputation that precedes himself, and the little tidbits that Kris learns about him should have lessened her fascination with him, but scared as she might be, she finds herself helplessly drawn towards him.
The unthinkable happens when their vessel crash lands and Krisa’s survival depends on none other than Teague. Teague is a man who was born as a slave on his planet, where freedom had never been an option. However, he had learnt the price of freedom which had earned him the reputation that makes most wary of him.
From the point at which her survival depends on Teague, Krisa fights an internal battle to resist all that is the man of her dreams, Teague who initially just fascinated her because of the dangerous aura around him, turning into someone whose innate qualities she comes to learn and love over the course of the days during which Krisa does her own growing up from the naive young woman she was when she stepped aboard The Star Princess.
However, even as Krisa finally gives into the heat that grows exponentially by the day between them, their future is one that is filled with uncertainty and fraught with danger. After all, what does an escaped convict have in common with a lady who has been born and bred to be the perfect wife of a man who would be able to give her a life of comfort for years to come? That is where the angst factor of the story comes from and I have to say I reveled in every single minute of it.
As mentioned, Planet X was quite the story. There is a whole host of characters that we meet along the way that leaves an impression on the reader. One of the tribes described in the story was fascinating, not to mention the world building, the science behind the plot, and the gadgets explored were all intriguing, which kept the pages turning. Amidst it all, sex of the erotic variety was plentiful.
I also found myself captivated by the adventure, the way Teague was so smitten with Krisa from the very beginning, the way they were so destined to cross paths with each other and fall in love, and the vivid dreams Krisa was having long before, the star of which was none other than yours truly. However, there was something that detracted a bit from the enjoyment factor if you ask me – the dream sex scenes were so plentiful that it took some of the sizzle out of the real thing when Krisa and Teague finally did get together.
Highly recommended for fans of science fiction who also enjoy a healthy dose of smut – this one has plentiful of both!
Final Verdict: Planet X is definitely the kind of story that delivers on the world building, adventure, eroticism, and love of the forever kind!
He was stroking her clit as though he knew exactly how to make her body respond to him, as though he knew her better than she knew herself. Krisa gasped breathlessly and spread her thighs wider, wanting more of him, more of his hands on her body. One blunt fingertip stroked along the side of the sensitive bundle of nerves now, he wasn’t gentle but his very roughness brought her to the edge. The way he knew her body—knew exactly how to make her lose control under his rough and knowledgeable touch—was like nothing Krisa had ever experienced before.
He was so close, so close to taking what must not be taken, so close to giving her exactly what she needed. Krisa moaned helplessly and rode his fingers, opening for him, submitting to him in a way that felt utterly dangerous and utterly right. Her juices made her pussy slippery and wetted both her thighs and his hand, easing his entrance into her virgin cunt. Behind her, she could feel the thick head of his cock rubbing against her inner thigh, then moving higher to slide against her inflamed clit. The broad head pressed against the entrance to her pussy, not quite entering her yet but promising that he soon would, promising to make her his completely…
For a long moment she held those eyes with her own. Krisa knew she should rush up the bank as quickly as possible and wrap herself modestly in the blanket. But something rose inside her, a kind of pride—a wish to defy his expectations. Taking a deep breath and ignoring the panicky feeling in the pit of her stomach, she dropped her arms and stood silently, waiting. Black flickered back to reveal pure, blazing silver as Teague looked over her naked, dripping body. Her long hair trailed down her back and beads of the pinkish water clung to the softly rounded apex of her pussy, the full curves of her breasts and the tightly jutting pink buds of her nipples. “Like what you see?” Krisa asked challengingly.
Still half asleep she thought, His eyes…his face! I can finally see his face! Reaching up she buried both hands in his spiky black hair and pulled him down, wanting to taste the sweet, hot-cinnamon flavor of her dream again. The silver eyes widened and then he was kissing her back, taking control of the kiss and rolling her beneath his big body to press the thick hardness between his legs into the willing wetness between hers. Krisa arched her back and moaned like an animal, feeling the hard length of his cock rubbing against the center of her need. She cursed the stupid trousers that kept them apart, kept him from sliding inside her pussy and giving her what her body was begging for.
Teague must have felt her complete surrender in the way her body moved against his, because the fingers on her nipples became a little less cruel. He whispered into the side of her neck, “That’s right, little girl, give it up for me. Your skin tastes so sweet, and your tits fill my hands just right.” His big hands molded her breasts gently, illustrating his point. Krisa gasped, arching her back to thrust herself closer to him and give him greater access to her body. “Teague!” she moaned his name for a third time but this time the sound coming out of her throat lacked any protest or question—it was pure submission—pure need.
“Should I listen to what you’re saying or what your body is telling me, Krisa?” he rumbled. “Because it seems to me those are two different things.” Leaning down he sucked one tight, pink bud into his mouth while he pinched the other, licking and nipping, until she cried beneath him, arching her back to get closer, to give him more. Abruptly, Teague stopped. He looked up at her, his eyes blazing. “Do you like this Krisa? Like what I’m doing to you? Is it making your soft little pussy wet?”
Krisa felt one large, calloused fingertip tracing the tiny triangular patch which barely hid her sex. She moaned low in her throat as she felt her pussy lips begin to open under his gentle stimulation. He was opening her, spreading her cunt wide without even taking off the Yss panties. Her tender lips felt swollen and hot as they spread and soon the only thing the scrap of fabric hid was her aching clit. “Please,” she whispered, but she wasn’t sure what she was begging for. “So hot…so wet,” Teague rumbled, almost thoughtfully.
Keeping her eyes shut at first, she began to move with a slow, sensual grace that seemed to flow through her limbs, turning them to liquid. Picturing herself as a snake, gliding along, intent on fascinating her prey, she began to glide in a slow circle around Teague, touching him lightly and darting away. Tantalizing…teasing… Teague followed her with his eyes, a low, frustrated growl building in his throat and then, to Krisa’s surprise, he began to follow her lead. She brushed past him, letting her full breasts touch him, her erect nipples just grazing his chest and then turned lightly, intending to make another revolution around the big Feral, only to find herself caught. Teague’s large hands were on her waist and then she felt him join the rhythm of the drums, the rhythm pulsing in her blood. Slowly, sensuously, he turned her so they were facing each other, pulling her body close to his, and began to grind against her.
“That’s right, little girl, open your legs for me,” he whispered roughly, the gravelly voice thick with desire. “I want to spread your sweet pussy lips and feel how wet you are. I’m gonna show everyone exactly how hot I made you—how much you need my thick cock inside your tight little cunt.” “Teague…please!” But she no longer knew if she was begging him to let her go or to touch her, as the large, warm palms on her trembling inner thighs were threatening to do. Her arms remained locked around his neck now of their own volition, thrusting her naked, exposed breasts out into the cool night air, letting everyone see her shame. Yet Krisa wasn’t even sure she could make herself care anymore.
“Who do you belong to, Krisa? Who?” he demanded. He was rubbing harder, his fingers almost rough against her slippery clit, perhaps sensing the rush of sensation she was building toward. “You!” Krisa sobbed, writhing against him wantonly. “I belong to you, Teague—only you!” “That’s what I wanted to hear, little girl,” he growled. He bit the side of her neck possessively, leaving a mark that she knew wouldn’t fade for days. “You’ll be someone else’s once you get to Prime but here on X you belong to me.”
Teague eyed her intended sleeping arrangements with a set jaw and then patted the ground between him and the fire. “Krisa, come here,” he growled in a voice that would not be denied. She realized he hadn’t relinquished the claim he had made on her the night before in the torch-lit circle at the Yss village. Wordlessly, she got up, bringing her blanket to spread in front of Teague’s. She lay down between him and the fire as she had on their first trip through the jungle and tried to relax as he pulled her close. He buried his face in her hair and she could feel his hot breath at the back of her neck as he kissed her there, biting gently with a fierce possessiveness that made her tremble.
As though reading her mind, he stopped sucking her nipples and looked at her face. “Krisa,” he said in that deep, growling voice, “Do you remember what I told you while we were watching that last Yss couple at the feast? That when a man gets a woman hot enough, her pussy gets so wet it starts to open on its own?” Fearing to say anything, Krisa only nodded. “Well, tell me something, little girl,” Teague growled, “If I made you spread your legs for me right now, is that what I’d see? Is your pussy all wet and hot for me?”
“Wh-what do you want me to do?” “I want you to ride my face, sweetheart. That way I can get my tongue deep inside your sweet little cunt. C’mere.” He beckoned her but Krisa held back, unsure. “I don’t understa—” “I’ll show you.” With as little effort as though he was moving a doll, Teague reached for her and positioned her body so that she had a knee planted on either side of his head. Krisa could feel his hot breath licking along the insides of her spread thighs and the tender lips of her cunt, swollen with need and desire.
“Answer me, damn it!” His hips rolled beneath her, thrusting, grinding, spreading the wet lips of her pussy and rubbing ruthlessly against her clit. Pressing deep but not deep enough. Pushing her higher and higher. “You know I want to but I can’t. I just can’t,” Krisa sobbed even as her climax began, overwhelming her. “Damn you, Krisa. Damn you for holding any part of yourself back from me.” Teague’s voice was a deep, angry growl. He thrust roughly against her, rubbing the thick ridge of his cock brutally over her slick, swollen folds and bit her hard on the tender spot where her neck met her shoulder as she came. Krisa cried out as his sharp white teeth drew blood, not much, but enough to mix a bitter zing of pain into the exquisite pleasure of the rough orgasm he had forced from her.
“I didn’t mean to do this, didn’t mean to leave a mark.” His warm breath on the sensitive skin of her neck sent a tremor of desire along her nerves, but his words made her heart sink. So he didn’t want her the way she wanted him. “It’s all right,” she said again, dully. “You were…upset.” Teague gave a short bark of laughter. “Upset, huh? Yeah, I guess you could say that.” He leaned down and placed a soft, warm kiss over the bruised skin and Krisa shivered helplessly against him, feeling her body react to his touch as it always did. Teague kissed her neck again, lapping softly at the hurt spot with a warm, wet tongue, as though he could kiss the bruise away.
“Krisa,” he breathed, a low, tormented sound that was barely audible above the low beat of the drums and the high wailing of the flute. “I’m beggin’ you…don’t do this.” “But I want to,” she whispered back. The stone floor was hard on her knees but she barely noticed it. Teague’s hands pinched into her shoulders, trying to keep her back from him, but she ducked her head forward. Remembering what she had seen at the other Yss feasts they had attended, she stroked her cheek lightly along the heated length of his cock. His musk was strong here—intoxicatingly spicy. Delicious.
“Teague,” she breathed softly. “Teague, please…” The sheets were rough under her palms as she gripped them tightly between white-knuckled fingers, bracing herself against what she knew was coming. Teague had promised to ride her hard and she knew he wasn’t lying. The big Feral had been waiting for this moment for a long, frustrating time. With so much tension and passion built up between them, it was bound to be a rough ride. She fully expected to be sore from the coming onslaught when all this was over. She wasn’t disappointed. With a muted roar, Teague drew almost all the way out of her slick channel and thrust back in, driving his thick cock into her tight, wet cunt like a battering ram, forcing a cry from her lips as he repeated the action again and again.
The feel of him pulsing into her, claiming her body completely, coupled with the stinging pain of his bite, sent a second wave of orgasmic pleasure racing through Krisa’s veins. She moaned helplessly, a scrap of paper caught in a flood, carried away on the tide of sensation and need. Teague held her tightly for a moment, his broad chest slick with sweat and pumping like a bellows against her back. Then slowly, not withdrawing from her body, he lowered them both to the bed where he wrapped warm arms around her as though he never intended to let her go. “You’re mine, little girl,” Krisa heard him growl softly in her ear. “Mine now, don’t forget it.”
Teague loomed over her, a large, warm shadow in the darkened bedroom just beginning to grow light from the dull, bronze radiance of Planet X’s hidden sun. His eyes were a soft, glowing silver, filled with love and need, as his big body moved over her, inside her. As he stroked into her, he caressed her legs, sides, arms, neck—every part of her he could reach and he buried his hands in her hair to pull her close for hot-cinnamon kisses. She reached the peak just moments before he did, felt her pussy spasm around his cock and heard Teague’s low groan as he cradled her close and let her climax trigger his own. He pulsed into her, pressing deep, filling her with his seed. She was whispering something over and over in a low, breathless voice. Krisa didn’t understand what she was saying until Teague pulled back and whispered, “Love you too, little girl. Always. Don’t forget it.”
“Teague,” she moaned, tugging on the spiky hair. “Teague, please. I need more…need you inside me…” She didn’t have to ask twice. She never knew how he managed to get his clothes off so quickly, but in what seemed like the next heartbeat he was naked under her and she was sitting astride him, her wet, open pussy poised above the thick club of his cock. He didn’t need to ask if she was ready, he had made certain of that already. It was with a feeling of relief that bordered on pain that Krisa felt him pierce her, felt the thick cock spreading the lips of her pussy to make room inside her for him, felt large hands encircle her waist and bring her down firmly as he thrust deep to fill her with himself.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novella Genre: Historical Romance POV: Third Person, Dual Series: Standalone Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Maximilian Thomas William Bradley III Heroine: Lady Violet Littleton Sensuality: 3.5 Published On: June 07, 2021 Started On: January 02, 2022 Finished On: January 08, 2022
“I’ll see myself out,” she said and turned to the door. “You are not leaving until you agree never to return.” She paused and tried to remember this was for the best. Either way, win or lose, she couldn’t pursue Max like a hound after a fox forever. “I won’t return until you invite me.” Glancing over her shoulder, she gave him a heated look from under her lashes. “Because you will come looking for me, Your Grace. And when you do, I’ll be waiting.”
My Dirty Duke by Joanna Shupe is my first foray into the author’s writing and I am happy to report that this story was mesmerizing and that I loved every aspect of it.
18 year old Lady Violet Littleton falls in love with the Duke of Ravensthorpe, Maximilian Thomas William Bradley III (Max) at a tender age. At the time, it is his tenderness that catches her heart. It is only when Violet turns of age that she starts to understand the reasons behind her fascination with the Duke who makes her heart race, her insides yearn with longing. Max is the man who stars as the centerfold of her dirtiest fantasies.
Violet bides her time looking on at the Duke, who also happens to be her father’s closest friend. Though the Duke stops visiting their home since her debut, Violet has no qualms about “spying” on Max whenever she encounters him at society functions. However, her secret longings are laid bare for the Duke to see when she spies on him during one of his garden trysts, leaving Violet with little else to do but be honest about what she wants from him.
Max’s resistance to Violet stems from a lot of things; he is old enough to be her father and he has sworn off marriage since the death of his wife during child birth. After all, a man like him should not pursue an innocent like Violet without noble intentions. But resistance does prove to be futile once he has a taste of Violet and the passion that she invokes in him which he has denied for too long. But fiery passion alone cannot be enough, especially for Violet, and facing a shared future might prove to be Max’s undoing in every sense.
As mentioned earlier, I loved everything to do with this story. I had just one problem; I wished for this to have been a full length novel which would have delivered the kind of angst and emotions that a short length story does not allow the time for. However, even with that limitation, Ms. Shupe did an amazing job out of carving out her characters and giving them life in a way that speaks to the hearts of readers.
Max is such a compelling hero – he is kind, forthright, and a deeply sensual man who carries a wealth of guilt associated with the death of his wife. I would be giving away too much if I were to delve into the reasons behind the guilt but needless to say, Violet is exactly what he needs, even if Max might believe otherwise. The guilt is one huge aspect that makes him resist any of kind long-lasting relationship that could lead to marriage, and Violet spells trouble with a capital T for him in that regard.
Violet’s quiet determination and strength was what drew me to her the most; the way she never cowered from going after what she wanted, knowing full well that heartbreak would be the result. She also was independent in a way that drew me to her; she was her own person and her love for the Duke was just a part of that same personality. She was intuitive in a way that makes her perfect for someone like Max, who guards his heart closely. I loved the gauntlet that she threw at Max, something which proved to be the tipping point in the story. The steam between the two just cements the emotional goodness and that is why this made for a tantalizing read when all was said and done.
Definitely recommended for fans of historical romances laced with passion and endearing characters to boot!
Final Verdict: With My Dirty Duke, Ms. Shupe proves to readers the kind of riveting read that a talented author can provide, even through a novella! Splendid read!
He made no move to assist her, only held perfectly still as she slipped one brace over his shoulder, then the other. When she finished, she sat back on her knees and waited for him to continue with instructions. “My shirt.” His collar and necktie had already been removed, so she leaned in once more and set to work on the small buttons on his chest. His lean muscles rippled beneath her fingers, the carefully leashed power betrayed by his rapid breathing. When enough buttons were loosened, she dragged the expanse of fabric over his head, Ravensthorpe lifting his arms to help. The thin garment he wore underneath was of the finest cloth, and it outlined the thick muscle and sinew, the flat planes and elegant grace. Another wave of heat rolled through her, centering between her legs. More.
She worked hard then, moving faster to show him without words how much she wanted to please him. He grunted and rocked his hips, lost in the moment, until he suddenly lifted her up and away from his erection. In a blink, she found herself on her back, Ravensthorpe leaning over her, pressing her into the floor an instant before he sealed his mouth to hers in a punishing kiss. This was no sweet melding of lips as described by poets and schoolgirls. No, he devoured her, his mouth immediately opening to give her his tongue. She took it eagerly, widening to allow him in, reveling in the slick heat as his tongue twined with hers. This kiss was a battle, a test. He was showing her all the passion, all the lust inside him, and she had to prove that she could accept it. Prove that she wanted it.
“Spread your legs. Show me.” Those pale thighs parted, revealing her pussy, and he couldn’t breathe. Goddamn beautiful. Arousal glistened on the petals, with more gathered around the entrance. He traced the soft flesh with a fingertip, relishing the slick her body produced for him. “Is all this for me?” She watched him with wide eyes as he brought the finger to his mouth and sucked the sweetness onto his tongue. “Oh, my darling girl. I fear I’ll never get enough of your taste.”
She was close, her body stretched like a bowstring, her chest pumping in a desperate plea for air. Max needed to feel her inexperienced walls clamp down, if not on his shaft, then on his finger. He carefully slid the tip of his smallest finger inside her cunt, and her slick walls sucked him inside as if starved. God, how he wished . . . No. He could not even contemplate it. Then it happened. Her thighs shook around his head, her cries ringing in his ears as she found her peak. The release went on and on, her body completely his in that moment, and the satisfaction he experienced as she climaxed on his tongue was incomparable.
Strong fingers wrapped around her arm and began pulling her deeper into the gloom, helping her down the stone steps. She didn’t need to see his face to know it was Max. His presence surrounded her, a feeling of safety and danger, arousal and comfort all at the same time. She went willingly, eagerly, unconcerned with getting caught. Strong fingers wrapped around her arm and began pulling her deeper into the gloom, helping her down the stone steps. She didn’t need to see his face to know it was Max. His presence surrounded her, a feeling of safety and danger, arousal and comfort all at the same time. She went willingly, eagerly, unconcerned with getting caught. Once on the ground, he tugged her into an alcove hidden underneath the stairs. Before she could see his face, he was on her, the muscular length of him flush to her front, her back against the rough stone. But he didn’t kiss her. He put his mouth near her ear, his warm breath coasting over her skin. “Happy, little mouse? For two weeks I’ve tried to forget you. A goddamn fortnight, yet here I am—all because I cannot get the taste of your pussy out of my head.”
He was so beautiful with his chiseled jaw and the few silver threads at his temple, his skin taut with excitement. She reached her other hand down to his testicles, rolled them in her palm, and Max let out a drawn out, “Fuck.” Hot breath hit her cheek as he began to talk. “We haven’t long. Your father is in the card room and he’ll come looking for you when he’s done. I have the taste of you in my mouth. Would you like the taste of me in your mouth, as well?”
“I expected to be torn in two. Instead I feel . . . full.” She wriggled, causing him to shift inside her, and he screwed his eyes shut, struggling not to spend before they even got started. “I like it,” she said. Dear God. Max gave a thrust of his hips, his shaft dragging along her sensitive tissues, and Violet purred. “Goodness, I like that even more.” He was done for. Any civility he possessed disappeared and Max snapped, driving into her again and again.
He leaned over her, snarling in her ear as his hips worked, his cock plunging in and out of her channel. “You like this, my little mouse? You want more?” “Oh, Max, yes. Please.” “You’re going to let me fuck you whenever I want, aren’t you?” He couldn’t seem to stop talking, especially when her walls clenched every time he did. She likes my dirty words.“Your cunt was made for my cock. I’ve never had better.”
Title: Nightwolf by Karina Halle Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Paranormal Romance POV: First Person, Dual Series: Spinoff, The Dark Eyes Duet Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Wolf Eriksen Heroine: Amethyst DeMille Sensuality: 3.5 Published On: November 22, 2021 Started On: December 30, 2021 Finished On: January 02, 2022
She tastes like eternity. Like life among the stars. Like something that could sustain me forever, like her blood has always belonged with mine.
Night Wolf by Karina Halle is a spinoff from her The Dark Eyes Duet. Having never read the duet, and being a sucker for romances in the friends-to-lovers theme which are hard to find these days (especially well written ones with all the feels), I decided to give this one a go as I like Ms. Halle’s style of writing.
Almost 30 year of age, Amethyst DeMille is in love with Wolf Eriksen and has been for a long time. Having become friends with Wolf since she met him in her early twenties, Amethyst knows that a future between the two is futile in many ways, even if her heart tells her to take that leap of faith and her body hums its own tune every single time that Wolf is in her vicinity.
All of that stocked up sexual tension between the two comes to head when Amethyst requires Wolf’s protection from an evil force that seems to be targeting her, the “forced proximity” proving to be the accelerant that puts fuel to the low simmering fire that has burned between them for months. Ultimately, no matter how much Wolf might try to resist the lure that is Amethyst, the overwhelming nature of their desire overtakes them both leaving them with little choice but to confront the tenuous nature of their shared future.
While I liked the overall premise of the story, somehow it came off as disjointed. Wolf’s past which was laid out at the beginning of the story in which one could see that he was affected strongly by the untimely demise of his father, had no correlation to what takes place in the present world. I expected some sort of coherence to the story-line in that arc which failed to materialize.
Additionally, I felt that there was too much focus on an aspect of Amethyst’s life that detracted from the main theme – something I understood after reading the author’s note at the end of the story. Grief over losing two very important people in Ms. Halle’s life was a huge part of how this story came together and I guess that explains to a large extent the direction of the book plot when all was said and done.
I also thought that Wolf had more potential to his character than was explored. It is almost as if he was a half fleshed out character – perhaps because I read this as a standalone without pursuing the duet first, I am thinking I might have missed out on more of him. Either way, I thought Wolf deserved more than he got out of the story.
Recommended for fans of Ms. Halle’s books!
Final Verdict: A disjointed plot and characters that failed to live up to their expected potential rendered this a disappointing read.
You could feed on me.” He swallows hard, shaking his head. “I wouldn’t. I would never.” “You mean you’ve never thought about it?” I ask, my tone both playful and serious. “About biting me, feeding on me.” Fucking me… He stares at me, his look growing more intense by the second. He may have not heard that thought, but he felt it. He adjusts himself, as if uncomfortable. “I’m a vampire, Amethyst. Of course, I’ve thought about it.” He closes his eyes, breathing in deep through his nose. “But it would be violent.” “Maybe I like the violence of it.”
“As I said before,” he says in a gruff voice, his hands skimming down the sides of my waist, his eyes glued to my parted lips. “You’re a tease.” Oh baby. I give him a wicked smile in response, straddling him deeper until I can feel the long hard length of him pressing up against me, only thin wet fabric between us. My god. I can feel him. I can’t believe this is happening. “Did you ever think that you’ve been the tease in this situation?” I manage to say. He tilts his head, appraising me, gaze flicking up to meet mine. “In this situation at the moment?” His voice is even lower now, making my nerves dance. His eyes sharpen with intensity. “I’m definitely not teasing.” And at that, he brings his hand over my stomach, sliding his lengthy, strong fingers down beneath the band of my underwear, and fucking hell am I glad I got a bikini wax a few weeks ago because his finger slides over my clit and I immediately gasp. Holy jeez.
I bite down on my tongue, gripping his shoulders, trying to meet his eyes. Fuck, he’s so beautiful. And he’s staring at me like I’m some goddess from above. “That’s it, baby, look at me when you come,” he says in a deep, gruff voice, and then I’m letting go, into the freefall. I come hard on his hand, rocking my hips into him, his fingers diving deeper, leaving no inch unexplored. I cry out, a string of expletives that ring out across the night, and it feels like my soul is being torn in a million little beautiful pieces, softly floating down from those stars. Holy shit. I mean, holy shit.
His tongue lashes me, mouth moving hard and fast, ravenous, and even though he’s not feeding, he’s feasting on me all the same. The hot, thick pressure in my core is molten, spreading throughout me, and my nerves feel like they’ve been stretched like a tightrope, moments from snapping, and, and… “Oh, fuck!” The cry rips out of my throat, something deep and dark and primal, and I’m writhing on Wolf’s face, the water splashing over the tub as I thrust my hips up, helping his tongue fuck me deeper until I lose all control. I come so hard, I’m slipping down in the water, gasping for ragged breath, trying to hold myself up, yet succumbing to oblivion as my limbs jerk and shake, as if my mind has been pried open and the contents won’t stop spilling out. The water goes above my head. Then everything goes black.
I throw my head back and bellow, the sound being torn out of my chest while I stiffen, nearly falling over. I thrust hard, once, twice, into her bruised, plump lips, then still, my heart beating so fast it might burst through my veins. For a moment all I hear is the blood in my head, the ragged gasp of my breath, the flutter of birds in the branches that I must have startled when I started roaring like a beast. Then I look down through heavy eyes to see Amethyst smiling up at me, wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, and swallowing me down with pleasure. That’s going to be burned in my brain forever.
He’s kissing me. Wolf is actually kissing me. Never mind the fact that I’ve had his cock in my mouth, and he’s had his tongue inside me. A kiss is still something to be anticipated and revered and worshipped. A kiss still has the power to bring you to your knees, to give you butterflies, to change your life, and I think this kiss is doing just that. It’s changing my life, for better or for worse, there’s no coming back from this. It’s just too easy, it’s just too good. All that chemistry between us that we’ve been stockpiling for years is finally spilling out in the way that it always should have.
“Please,” I whisper. He leans in, just enough to brush his lips over mine. “Please what?” he asks roughly. “Kiss me,” I say, my eyes closing, taking in his scent, the cool feel of his fingers, my pulse skipping against my skin. “Fuck me.” I pause, my eyes opening to meet his. “Claim me.” Fire ignites in his pupils and he moves so fast that the world becomes a blur. His mouth covers mine and he’s pushing me backward and I’m stumbling as I go. Then I’m pressed up against a tree, my hair tangling in the ragged bark, and his hands are roaming over my body, leaving fire and ice in their wake.
“I’m going to fuck you long and hard and rough,” he murmurs in a deliciously raw voice. “But not until you’re dripping down your legs. Got it?” My heart beats like mad at the base of my throat and I find myself nodding. Holy moly, that sounds like a challenge. “I’m not sure I’ll be able to take you,” I find myself saying, and I’m too turned on to be the slightest bit bashful about it. He gives me a small, wicked grin. “I’ll make it work.”
“I think you’re a greedy fucking girl, that’s what I think.” His grin is carnal, like the predator he is. “That’s what I know.” Suddenly he plunges his fingers in deeper, moving them in such a way that they drag across every swollen nerve inside me and I’m set off like a bomb, the orgasm tearing through me again like fireworks. This time I haven’t even caught my breath or gathered my thoughts before Wolf is picking me up by the waist and lifting me up against the tree. I have just enough time to wrap my legs around him before he shoves his massive cock inside me. FUCK! I holler like an animal, still throbbing, still fucking coming, and he’s already squeezed inside me to the hilt, pushing all the air out of my lungs, making me feel like he’s impaled me to the tree.
“Focus, baby,” Wolf says in this deep voice that makes me want to do everything he says. “Just think about how good I feel. Fuck it, tell me how good I feel.” “You feel so fucking good,” I tell him, reaching out and pressing my hand against the hard planes of his back, marveling at his strength while I pull him in deeper, my nails digging through his shirt. “Fucking me so good. I can barely handle you, you’re wedged in so tight.” His nostrils flare like primordial lust runs through him and he lets out a tense growl. He leans in quickly, kissing me hard, lips tender but the movement rough, like he’s fucking my mouth as much as he is my cunt, and I’m completely lost to him.
Then reaches around me, the length of his thick arm going up over my spine, a barrier between me and the tree, and starts fucking me again. Harder than before. Just a burst of animalistic power that can only belong to a vampire, feral and wild and dangerous, and I am at his mercy. I completely submit to him.
I brace myself with my hands against the wall and lean forward so that my breasts are in his face. He immediately responds, his tongue lapping up the swell of my breast in strong, broad strokes. I groan, my eyes closing, succumbing to the sensations of his mouth on my skin, but then he’s wrapping his lips around my nipple and sucking in hard and it creates lightning that shoots out along my nerves, straight to my core, like I’m plugged into a star system.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Romantic Suspense Series: Untitled Series, #2 Publisher: Self-Published Hero: Rafael Roza Heroine: Vee Roza Sensuality: 3 Date of Publication: July 28, 2022 Started On: July 14, 2022 Finished On: August 03, 2022
The Night Blossoms by Leylah Attar is a novel that is closely tied to The Paper Swan that was published in 2015. While The Paper Swan was dark, gritty, and breathtaking, The Night Blossoms, like its main male lead is a different ball game altogether, which was spellbinding in a totally different way.
When Vee Roza’s husband Rafael goes missing after a heated argument between the two, never does Vee think that this would in fact be the pivotal event which brings the secrets that she hides to the forefront, test her to her very limits of endurance, and in the end show to the readers the strength of her character.
I went in expecting the kind of immersive experience that was The Paper Swan. Don’t get me wrong; this book was engrossing in the way Ms. Attar unfolded the layers to her characters and revealed all that was simmering underneath. While I would have loved for more darkness in the story, I did enjoy the tumultuous journey that was the Rozas’ before and even after they said their I do’s.
With The Night Blossoms, Ms. Attar shows to readers what resilience really means when it comes to relationships, especially after marriage. Vee and Rafael do not find each other under the most heartwarming circumstances; they both lead equally tough lives, especially during their most formative years. One would think that they would catch a break, but turns out, life wants to test their love to a point where most of us would just probably give up and walk away.
I loved Rafael – his character was one that shone through in many ways. Ms. Attar explores a fascinating trait in Rafael, something which I do not want to particularly reveal in my review. Understanding what it means to live with that sort of “gift” perhaps, is something beyond my capacity as I cannot imagine the impact something like that would have on one’s physical and mental well-being.
Rafael’s smartness is what got me – when he started talking about concepts of physics, I wanted to be sitting in his class, soaking all of it in. We would all be so lucky to have educators who are as enthusiastic as Rafael is when it comes to imparting knowledge that is akin to a gift given for life.
Vee’s character was a tougher nut to crack for various reasons, and I think Ms. Attar wanted it that way. Even when the story is told from Vee’s point of view, there is always a part of herself that she keeps in the shadows, as if penetrating her secrets would threaten her very existence. Her fears and insecurities were all too real and I felt them, which attests to the brilliance that is behind Ms. Attar’s writing.
Recommended for readers who love romantic suspense. You will have to read The Paper Swan first to have an appreciation for the characters, and if you like myself love dark romances, The Paper Swan is definitely a treat!
Final Verdict: The Night Blossoms is tale that captivates the reader on multiple fronts, of love of the kind that prevails and grows in strength through the worst life has to offer.
“Yvette? Did you hear what I s—” Her kiss was breathless. Clasping her fingers behind his neck, she drew him close. The air expelled from Rafael’s lungs. He angled his mouth to taste her. His lips trailed to her throat, to the pulse under her skin. A wild surge of pleasure gripped him when her hand slipped under his waistband and untucked his shirt.
“Don’t fall in love. Not with me.” “Why not? You’re smart and strong and determined. You can do anything you set your mind to.” He stroked her hair. “Why do you hate yourself so?” Slipping out of reach, she gathered the blanket to her chest and sat. “You will too, when I tell you the truth.” “Fine. Let’s have it.” He grinned. Bit by bit, she revealed the details. Bit by bit, Rafael’s world careened out of orbit. Everything shifted. Everything changed. By the time Yvette was done, nothing was the same again.
Format: E-Book Read with: Kindle Paperwhite Length: Novel Genre: Historical Romance Series: The Governess Chronicles, #2 Publisher: Sentra Press Hero: Rhys Cadogan Heroine: Isabelle Violette de Beaujeu Sensuality: 3 Date of Publication: July 07, 2022 Started On: July 05, 2022 Finished On: July 14, 2022
A Governess Should Never… Deny a Duke is the second installment in The Governess Chronicles by Emily Windsor. Even though this is part of a series, the story is perfectly readable as a standalone.
27 year old Isabelle Violette de Beaujeu is a governess with almost a decade of experience under her belt, having earned an impeccable reputation for herself. Her newest charge is the 15 year old niece of the Duke of Aberdare. Even though 34 year old Rhys Cadogan has a reputation for being mean, moody, and mysterious, it does not deter Isabelle from seeking the position, one more milestone towards making headway in her retirement funds.
From the get go, the Duke’s sheer masculinity takes Isabelle’s breathe away, or so it would have she tells herself, if she weren’t made of sterner stuff. Likewise, Rhys is drawn towards the spirit and fire that is evident when Isabelle loses that rigid control she exerts on herself.
However, a governess has no space to dream about frivolous things like love and desire, especially when it involves the likes of a Duke, who for all intents and purposes is on the hunt for a bride. What neither Rhys nor Isabelle realize is that when it comes right down to it, they are both two halves of one soul, drawn towards a shared future, irrespective of the circumstances that brought them together.
From one breathless encounter to heated stolen kisses, Isabelle comes to the realization of the kindness that is inherent in the Duke, the passion that he hides behind the at times aloof facade of his, and the dreams that he harbors for the kind of love that Isabelle herself yearns for but never hopes to find.
I loved this installment in the series and enjoyed both Rhys and Isabelle. Rhys is the kind of hero that is the right mix of tenderness and masculinity that sweeps you off your feet. His keen intelligence and his kindness draws the reader towards him like a moth to flame, and it is not just Isabelle that falls hopelessly in love with him.
Isabelle is the kind of heroine readers root for in every sense. With a past that still haunts her, Isabelle is someone who has lived true to her values and principles and made a name for herself in her profession. Even when the Duke tempts her so, Isabelle tries to tell herself that it is not for the likes of her, but alas, love does have a strange way of seeking one out when you are least looking for it.
The style of writing that Ms. Windsor brings to the genre is evocative, the portrayal of the yearning of both characters in this novel the kind that makes for an immersive reading experience, and the witty nature of the inner monologues and the dialogues which keeps the pages turning. The secondary characters added vibrancy to the story as it unfolded, many of whom I would definitely love to read more about.
Recommended for fans of Ms. Windsor and fans of beautifully spun historical romances!
Final Verdict: Delightful, sensual, and poignant; Ms. Windsor’s writing is powerful in the way it moves the reader!
I wait. I tremble. I yearn, Yet to me she cometh not. I lust. I languish. I burn! Yet to me she cometh not.
His lips brushed. Back and forth. Beguiling and mellow and supple and sinful. The angel admonished one last time, prattling on about all those years of flawless reputation, but instead of dissuading Isabelle from this path of desire, it compelled her to be reckless. Yes, she had been all that was placid and perfect for so long, but she was tired. Tired of suppressing her accent, her upbringing, her nature, her temper, her very self. So, she returned the duke’s kiss.
Abruptly, she was swung around, her spine meeting the panelled wall, and she was unsure why until he pressed his muscled frame as though he required more pressure, could not get close enough to her… Now the assault came not from just his ravishing lips, or from his hands which grasped her face, securing her for his kiss, but his hips which recklessly thrust. She knew he was heavily aroused, had read many a novel for knowledge, but even the most prurient tale failed to convey the sheer elation that surged. Real, indulgent and utterly wicked.
“Beg pardon,” he muttered, hands tidying her bodice and attempting to push curls into their plait – a fruitless endeavour yet she welcomed it, savoured the sensation of being fussed over for once, till he claimed her wrist and kissed the pounding pulse. “Thank you. Thank you for… My mood was sombre tonight and you fetched light into it with your empathy and touch…Miss Beaujeu.” She nodded. Knew tonight was at an end for Isabelle. The clock chimed midnight. “Good night, Your Grace.” “Good night, Miss Beaujeu.” He kissed her hand once more and she twisted away on legs that appeared to be filled with English custard.
“Ça alors!” He shivered. “You know when you speak in French, it causes the most uncontrollable urges within me.” “Does it?” She brought her lips to his ear. “Je te désire, Monsieur le duc.” With a grunt, he strode for the bed. “If you keep testing my limits, Miss Beaujeu, you will find yourself nude and splayed before you can take another breath.” She laughed as he lowered her to the coverlet, followed her, his perfect mate as she arched beneath him.
His entire weight sank upon her, powerful and possessive, and her legs parted of their accord to accommodate. Now the kiss grew reckless and tempestuous, both their bodies arching into one another. With a growl, he reared, twisted off the bed and wrenched at the fall of his breeches, shoving them down. By the flame of the candle, Isabelle glimpsed muscled planes and masculine beauty and an arousal that should’ve scared her but that instead spurred her pulse to race. He sank upon her again, but now with bare, heated skin, his body tight with sinew, blunt with need.
She leaned up as best she could, gasping as it forced him deeper. “Mon amour. Mon coeur…” “Cariad, don’t–” “Je t’aime pour l’éternité.” With that, any pretence they were civilised creatures vanished as Rhys roared and abruptly arched, his hand grasping her hip as he bucked. Isabelle sought to retain a grip unto sanity but it was a futile endeavour as his mouth devoured her breast, her throat, and his body demanded she yield also to this madness of desire.
“Love waits, still and swithe, Love lingers, dusk and bright. Love waits, it waits for thee, For thee to fill my night.
So come to me, my soul, Aside the pounding sea. Come love and make me whole, And ‘I’ shall become ‘We’.”