Review: Her Dad’s Friend by Penny Wylder’s

Format: E-bookherdadsfriend
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Paul
Heroine: Rachael Holt
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 13, 2016
Started On: August 20, 2016
Finished On: August 21, 2016

“Not a single consequence occurs to me as I type out five little words. I want to fuck you.”

Her Dad’s Friend was my first experience of books by Penny Wylder and I believe that I liked what I read well enough to give other books by her a whirl. A taboo topic definitely, Her Dad’s Friend has the heroine Rachael Holt in love with none other than Paul, her father’s best friend since the beginning. Written in first person from Rachael’s point of view, the story is short, yet has enough emotional depth to it to make it one worth delving into if you are looking for something short and low on intensity. I needed this after reading so many Hoyt novels that had wrung me dry. So it worked well for me when I picked it up when I did.

From the bits and pieces that are revealed along the way emerges the picture where Paul has been a big part of Rachael’s life since she was a child. Rachael having fallen in love with Paul since she knew what that entailed, had been left with question marks in the wake of Paul shutting down his business and leaving town two years back. So on the eve of her 21st birthday, in a drunken stupor, Rachael does the stupidest thing she has done ever – drunk text Paul to reveal the depth of her need for him.

What follows is sexy in a way that makes your toes curl and your senses hum. Just the right touch of sensitivity is in place so that the story does not come off as a turn off. Of course, Paul being as hot as sin, having the patience and knowledge to show Rachael what being in bed with a mature man is like also helped take things a long way. But like many readers who have sampled this book, I also found that the issues that should have arisen from the taboo nature of their relationship were resolved far too quickly. Perhaps owing to the fact that both Paul and Rachael pretty much were in love with one another and willing to do whatever it takes to take that love somewhere gave it the justification needed. So in the end, I reconciled with that fact and loved the story for what it was.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: Penny Wylder takes a taboo trope & gives readers a well balanced tale of love and sinfully dirty sex!

Favorite Quotes

“Sorry,” I say, squeezing past him. “I need to get a glass.”
When he tries to maneuver out of my way, stepping behind me, I press my backside against his groin, pinning him against the fridge.
“Rachael,” he says, voice low and cautious. “We can’t.” There’s no conviction behind his words.
He puts his hands on my hips as if to push me away, but makes no attempt at stopping me as I arch my back and begin rolling my hips, cradling his growing cock in the cleft of my ass.
He groans and leans forward to press his lips against my neck. “We shouldn’t,” he says this time.
Can’t and shouldn’t are two very different things.

“Your skin is so soft.” His low voice is just above a whisper. He kisses the corner of my mouth. “And you taste so good.” The way his lips just barely graze mine sends chills through me. We’re hardly touching and yet I feel him in every part of me. “I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how wet you got the night of your birthday. You smelled so sweet on my fingers. I’m dying to taste you.”
His words and the slow, sensuality of his voice opens a faucet inside of me and soaks my panties. It’s as if his words are a spell and he’s conjuring it out of me. I can’t take it anymore. Reaching up, I grab the sides of his face and push my lips against him. His mouth is so much bigger than mine and he’s forceful and demanding when he kisses me back. Though I’m no delicate flower, I feel dwarfed beneath him. Knowing that he can take whatever he wants from me, fold me in any which way he chooses, has me all kinds of wet.

The heady scent of sex fills the room, pushing me to the brink. My second orgasm rips through me with hurricane force. As my muscles start to contract around his width, Paul lets out a primal roar and unleashes his warm seed inside of me. We stay that way, locked together for several minutes as we come down. We’re breathing heavily. He’s draped over my back, kissing my spine, and then we collapse. He cradles me in a spooning position. I’m glad he can’t see the ridiculous smile I feel stretching my face.
He strokes my hair with his fingers, untangling the sweaty strands. “That was amazing,” he says.
I turn over to face him. His eyes are hooded, face groggy. “It was more than amazing.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

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ARC Review: Cold Hearted by Toni Anderson

Format: E-bookcoldhearted
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Cold Justice, #6
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Darsh Singh
Heroine: Erin Mairead Donovan
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 31, 2016
Started On: April 29, 2016
Finished On: May 04, 2016

Toni Anderson’s Cold Justice series has been an amazing ride so far. With each book, Toni manages to bring to the table a diverse cast of characters and stories that tugs at your heartstrings, while at the same time they deliver on themes that makes you sit up and take notice. Cold Hearted, the sixth book in the series checks in all those boxes and then some.

Detective Erin Mairead Donovan is persona non grata when it comes to Forbes Pines, a highbrow college town in St. Lawrence County. Erin earned her way into the town’s list of people to be hated with a vengeance when she had been pivotal in the conviction of one of the star students in the college for a string of rapes that had rocked the town.

When a double homicide turns up one victim with eerily similar methods of restraint used by the serial rapist, it shakes Erin to the core and makes her question everything that had been done during the prior investigation. Things get more heated when FBI Agent Darsh Singh turns up to assist in the investigation, who just happens to be the one explosive “mistake” in Erin’s life that had rocked her to the very soul.

With a killer on the loose, someone who is cunning enough to know the ins and outs of the justice system and able to manipulate everything to suite his needs, it is a ticking time bomb that Darsh and Erin have to diffuse, on top of their wild attraction for one another that just seems to burn hotter and fiercer the more they try to ignore the fact.

When Cold Hearted ended up in my inbox, it had come at an opportune time. As I kept turning the pages deep into the night, I realized that Toni had managed to defeat all my fears that had come to light when I had just stopped finding much joy in the books that I had picked up in the last couple of months. It had reached the point where I had been afraid that maybe the romance genre as a whole had ceased to be exciting for me. But Toni made me sit up and recall why I love reading romances, especially romantic suspense in the first place! So from the bottom of my heart Toni, thank you!

People might judge those who read romances all the time, but that does not change the fact that some of the stories that are crafted under the genre are exceptionally well written and well researched and teaches you a thing or two before you are done. Toni’s stories have a way of doing that for me – without fail. Which is why I will always keep coming back for more; because Toni’s stories work in ways most books fail.

I loved Erin and Darsh. Erin is all modern woman. Strong, resilient and stubborn to a fault – it takes a strong man to take on a woman like her. I fell head over heels in love with Erin the minute I came across the following bit in the book. At that exact moment I thought to myself, Erin is my kind of girl!

It might have been a sin in the eyes of the church, but the part of her that wanted to feel ashamed was quickly buried under a mountain of resilience and hard-won independence.
It was none of his damn business.

Darsh makes for the perfect match in that regard. He has his demons to fight. Neither is he perfect in what he is or does. He is charming, hot as a slice of sinfully good chocolate cake that you just want to consume a whole and wonderfully big hearted. He has his own demons to fight, but then who doesn’t? Neither Erin nor Darsh are picture perfect, nor are they meant to be. They work as a whole because they are human – and that is what makes these stories the emotionally well crafted tales they are.

Darsh’s past makes him susceptible in just the same way as you and I would be when it comes to emotional ground. But he was more ready than Erin to take that leap into the unknown, Erin who was more of a mess than she would let herself acknowledge. I’m glad that she found someone like Darsh who was willing to go that extra mile to believe in both of them, until she caught up, or rather was willing to catch up and be with him. 

As I mentioned earlier, Toni’s stories are great reads not just because of the romance and suspense element and the likable characters that they deliver. They are great reads because they are books that tickles your brain cells and makes you think harder and longer about aspects of society that you might not otherwise. 

We all talk about the justice system, how it most of the time fails society at large and how it’s just a matter of how good your lawyer is in spinning a good tale, which seems to be all that matters in the end. Toni was brilliant in the way she laid the story out. In this aspect, the way the villain is crafted was the masterpiece in my opinion.

Though he was the monster no woman should ever cross, the basis of his monstrosity is one that at least I can agree with. How screwed up society can be, how the system can fail you over and over again – these are things that happens in front of us all the time, things that we don’t take much notice of because it is not happening to us or someone we love.

Toni’s stories are great because they deliver the subtle and the not so subtle messages of failures in law enforcement, the justice system – the system as a whole and how people can actually make a difference, if they are willing to wade into the muck and try. For that alone, I would pick anything that Toni sees fit to write.

I recommend each and every single book in the Cold Justice series that has been written. Oh who am I kidding. I recommend every single story by Toni that I’ve read to-date. Because she is one hell of a writer, and she delivers a significantly different story every single time. 

Final Verdict: Here is a genius who gets each book down to pat every single time! Compels readers to keep the pages turning deep into the night, when we all should know better.

Favorite Quotes

Erin smiled and Darsh stared like a fool. He kept forgetting how incredibly pretty she was when she wasn’t spitting mad at him.
“I’m sure she’d appreciate that.” She stood, leaning a hip against the table, crossing her arms, revealing cleavage, badge and sidearm. His skin got tight. His neck hot. “She also tends to be swayed by pretty faces.”
He stilled. Raised his chin. “You think I have a pretty face?”
“No.” Erin gave him a smirk that told him she knew exactly what he was thinking before she gathered up her notes. “But she does.” With that she left the room with an arrogant swagger to her hips.

He wrenched at the sleeves of her shirt until it fell to the floor. She reached behind her for the clasp on her bra and he dragged it from her body and tossed it to the floor. And there she was, half-naked in his arms.
“We’re taking this very, very slowly.”
“No.” She sank her fingers into his hair and kissed him open-mouthed, before breaking away. “I don’t want slow. I want it hard and fast against the wall. Right.” She nipped his lower lip. “Now.”

He wanted to hold back. Wanted to treat her with reverence, but he was beyond slowing down. Her gaze met his. Urged him on. “Do it.”
Part of him wanted to curse her for reducing him to a rutting animal, but the expression on her face wasn’t sordid or dirty. It was lust and want and desire.
He held her steady and rammed into her, over and over, feeling her arousal build again, hearing her cries of passion as she crashed over the edge and his climax exploded and blew out his brains even as she pulsed and spasmed around him.

“You’re so beautiful,” she told him.
“That’s my line.” He rolled them so she was on top. Ran his hands down her sides and then up over her breasts, cupping their soft weight in his palms. She loved how he made her feel, like she really was beautiful. Slowly he started moving beneath her, small thrusts driving her insane with the need to take more. Stretching her, filling her, making her toes curl with pleasure but not enough to push her over the edge. The callouses on his fingers grazed her skin in a way that made her back arch. So good. She’d forgotten. She’d forgotten the long, winding path that could lead to the perfect climax.

“I can’t wait much longer,” he gritted out.
“What are you waiting for?” she gasped. It felt so good. So good.
His eyes heated. “You.”
He hit the spot that made her cry out again in panicked pleasure. Suddenly she was flooded by sensation, each nerve bursting like a firework through her body as white light exploded behind her eyes. His shout of completion chased her as she catapulted through some alternative dimension before landing right back in his arms.

He didn’t stop moving, just walked into the shower and grabbed the woman who’d filled his head with lust from the moment they’d met. He pressed her against the cool glass.
After a moment’s hesitation she kissed him, open-mouthed and sensual. Then she ran soap-slick hands over his back and shoulders. His body couldn’t get enough of her. His brain was struggling too. He lifted her up and her legs went around him and he slid home.

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

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ARC Review: Undecided by Julianna Keyes

Format: E-bookundecided
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Crosbie Lucas
Heroine: Nora Kincaid
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 04, 2016
Started On: March 25, 2016
Finished On: April 01, 2016

Nora Kincaid gets the wake up call she needs to get her act together, when shit hits the fan on her adventurous and party-going lifestyle that she had adapted to during her first year at college. Trying to make the change that would prevent her scholarship being taken away or worse, Nora decides to remove herself from temptations path and make changes in her life which includes moving to a new apartment that advertises seeking a roommate with the same qualities that she is interested in. She turns up only to find that the tenant seeking a roommate to is none other than her one-time drunken closet hookup and campus stud Kellan McVey.

While Nora definitely has second thoughts about saying yes, especially given her dislike towards Kellan’s best friend Crosbie Lucas, uber-jock and renowned campus party boy, the decision is made and she moves in. Things get interesting when Nora gets to spend more time with Crosbie and begins to see a side of him that he seldom shows to the rest of the world, a side that has her falling for him in a big way.

While the title of the book might make one think that this book delves into the love triangle sort of story, it does not. Crosbie and Nora are the couple that begins their journey on uncharted waters for both of them. Nora who has never had the opportunity to call someone her own, finds that in Crosbie, a guy who is sensitive, kind and sexy all in one. Which spells a lot of trouble especially given the secret that she harbors in her heart, forever scared that it might come out and ruin the very thing that has become precious to her along the way.

I loved Crosbie for a lot of reasons. He is considerate, a bit shy with a touch of cocky as well. Crosbie does not understand his worth, is unable to see what he can be and what he is to other people. In that sense, he is just like Nora, the girl who believes that she cannot do it all. That it is either the road to Hell or Heaven when it comes to her and that there is no in between.

The best thing about Crosbie’s character for me was his sense of humor. It was such a turn on and very endearing in a guy like him. The fact that Nora and Crosbie could have fun with each other even during the most sensual moments in the story is a reason why this book was such a hit with me.

Having only sampled Julianna’s book Time Served before, I had no inkling of what to expect from Undecided except the fact that this too would deliver a steamy book to indulge in. Because Undecided was so different from Time Served in a lot of ways, this book being a bit less of everything, however I think it worked for the story that Julianna was aiming for in Undecided. There are times when you need the angst-ridden stories to take you to the very peak of your emotions and then there are those times that you require something a bit mellow in contrast to tide you over. Undecided was that for me.

Final Verdict: Sweet & sexy, with just the right touch of angst. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

“I have wanted to touch these for a long time.”
I laugh, surprised. “What?” I suppose I shouldn’t be so shocked: he’s a guy, these are boobs. It’s like peanut butter and jelly.
He reaches around and I feel his fingers slide under the bra’s lace band, undoing the hooks. “That first day,” he whispers against my hair, “when you showed up with that tight little sweater with the buttons on the front? I think about that a lot.”

He keeps his eyes open, locked on mine, as he unbuttons his own jeans and frees his erection. It’s too dark for me to fully appreciate it, but I see his arm move and know he’s stroking himself. He’d done this last time, too, and I never even got to touch.
“Let me,” I whisper against his lips. My hand replaces his we both groan. He’s thick and hot and hard, everything I want and need.

“Nora,” he murmurs, cupping my face and kissing me. Our chests press together and even through my shirt I can feel the heat of his skin, the rapid thud of his heart. He kisses me deeply, wetly, like it means something, and though I wanted to fuck him, my body has other ideas. Instead I shift and slide slowly, the movement slick with friction and heady arousal, reaching places I didn’t even know existed.

“I wish we had more time,” he mutters, tongue trailing over my neck, teeth nipping lightly. “And a door with a lock he didn’t have the keys to.”
“I know. I know.” I can’t think much beyond the hand he’s sliding under my panties, coasting over the skin of my ass and lower, down between my legs, finding the wetness that waits.
“Oh fuck.”
I echo the sentiment when one of his thick fingers pushes inside. It feels like only seconds before I’m clinging to his neck, my short nails digging into the muscles of his back as I switch between begging for more and swearing I can’t wait any longer.

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

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Review: Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy

Format: E-bookfightingredemption
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Ryan Kendall
Heroine: Finlay Louise Tanner
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 02, 2013
Started On: February 15, 2016
Finished On: February 15, 2016

Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy is a book that came to my notice because it was featured quite prominently in the list of Goodreads Reader Choice award for 2014. I have this tendency to keep delaying reading certain books; God knows why. Finally, this February, I took the plunge and started reading, and I have to say even though I wasn’t as wowed like most readers who have voted for this book have proclaimed to be, I could definitely see where the appeal lies.

Fighting Redemption begins in a way that makes the reader believes that the ultimate worst has happened. But trust me, that is so not the case. From the moment Ryan Kendall returns home, having spent six years in the Australian Army, one look is all it takes for him to know deep in his heart that he needs Finlay Tanner like the very air he breathes.

Fin and Ryan’s story is one that goes way back into their entwined childhood. Ryan getting the short end of the stick when it had come to his childhood. Ryan had always held the dream of getting away from everything and forging his own path. But it comes at the cost of leaving Fin behind, the only woman who has ever mattered and who ever will.

While I could get the whole pain of his childhood that made Ryan the way he is, determined to leave it all behind even when he knew he would never be able to let go of Fin, I always have a problem with heroes and heroines who are willing to go the whole nine yards and beyond with the self sacrificial behavior. I mean, don’t get me wrong; I do get where most of them come from. But putting both their selves in pain that could have been avoided otherwise, and in the meantime ending up with the wrong people because of that and regretting it for a lifetime, those are things that makes me wonder whether the two of them even deserves to be together.

The pain of the separation and the angst of it all might add to the story. But just like certain tropes like heroines getting pregnant and not letting the hero know gets on some readers’ nerves, I guess this particular tidbit in romance novels raises my ire.

While I was not all that moved by how Ryan continued to oscillate between letting Fin be and wanting her for himself, I could certainly see why the story is highly readable in all aspects of it. My problem lay with how I felt watching Fin just give and give until she pretty much had nothing left to give, while Ryan continued to play yo-yo with her feelings.

In my view, Ryan seemed to love the army more – which was perhaps the reason why I had such a hard time loving him like most readers did. Fin was courageous, the kind of woman we call as strong, because they stand up for themselves even when the going is tough and do what needs to be done. For me, Fin was the reason I kept going. Fin in the end made the story!

Recommended for those who love strong heroines and military heroes.

Final Verdict: A soldier’s fight with forgiveness for himself; tugs at the heart!

Favorite Quotes

“Maybe you don’t, but I don’t get it. He was violent towards you.”
She huffed, her exasperation clear. “He wasn’t. We had an argument. You punched him.”
Ryan nodded, drawing in a deep breath of satisfaction. “I did, and I won’t apologise. Not for that, because I’d do it again.”
She stood in front of the armchair Jake vacated earlier that evening and sank into it. “We’re just going around in circles,” she muttered wearily.
He looked at her, drowning in the desolate green depths of her eyes. “I want you, Fin,” he finally admitted. “So damn much I can’t sleep from it. I lie in bed at night and I dream of my lips on yours, my mouth tasting every inch you. I want to fuck you until I go blind from it and even then I don’t think it would ever be enough.”

“Are you happy now?” she hissed as she grabbed a pair of jeans from the shelves.
His eyes on her ass, he muttered, “What?”
She threw the jeans at him and he caught them when they hit him square in the chest. “This. Us. Yes, okay? I want you. Is that what you want to hear? That I dream of you too?” she choked out. “Your hands on me, inside of me, and I ache too.”
Ryan took a step towards her.
“Don’t.” She snatched the jeans out of his hands and tugged them on.
“I’m sorry,” he murmured.
Fin turned, rummaging for a top. She pulled one off a hanger and tugged it on furiously. “You’re sorry. I’m sorry. Everybody’s sorry. Well it’s just one sad, fucking sorry situation, isn’t it?”

“Don’t say his name. Tonight you’re mine. If Ian wanted you as much as he fucking claims he does, he’d be here right now where I am, dragging out every last minute he could get with you.” Ryan’s hands slid down the small of her back and underneath the elastic of her panties until his hands gripped her ass. “He’d be the one touching you.” He leaned in and bit her earlobe sharply before licking it better and she shivered. “He’d be the one tasting you,” he breathed in her ear. “But he’s not here. I am. I’m the one touching you. I’m the one holding you, because you’ve never been his.”

She shook her head and wrapped her legs around his hips, squeezing him. “Fuck me, Ryan.”
Ryan drew back and looking into her eyes, slammed in again. “Nothing, Fin …” he breathed.
“Nothing?”
“Nothing…” he slammed in again “…has ever felt more beautiful than you do right now.”
Christ. He didn’t just love her, he fucking adored her. He’d give his life for her if he had to.

“I forced you to have sex with me,” she whispered.
He froze.
Straightening his back, he looked down at her, his eyes searching her face. “Is that what you think?”
Fin nodded mutely.
“That’s so far from the truth I can’t believe you’d even think it. I have a thick skin, baby,” he told her, his wide shoulders crowding her back against the cool tiles, “but you’re under it. You’re buried in there so deep it’s like I was born with you in my soul.” His eyes slowly ignited as he slid soapy hands over her hips. “When I’m near you I’m consumed by you—your smile, your eyes, your heart. Even though we’ve never been together, you’ve always been mine, and even if I never get to keep you, you’ll still be mine.”

He pulled away. “Turn around.”
She turned blindly, giving him her back.
“Brace your hands against the wall and lean forward.”
“Ryan?”
“You can trust me, Fin.”
Fin nodded. She’d never trusted anyone more than she did Ryan. When she did as he asked, he grabbed her hips, yanking her back further. One hand fell away, and then he was there and pushing inside her. A moan broke free and she didn’t even know if it was him or her.
With both hands back on her hips, he slid all the way in. “Oh fuck,” he breathed. “My beautiful Fin.”

Ducking his head, Ryan took her lips hard, his tongue thrusting inside her mouth and tasting her wildly. Tearing away, he looked at her for a long moment, his chest rising and falling heavily against her own. “I want to say I love you too, but it doesn’t seem enough.”
With a shaky hand, she brushed away the silky strands of hair that caressed his forehead. “Say it anyway,” she whispered.
“I love you, Fin. I’ve always loved you. Right from the moment you walked up those steps at school, you tripped your way right into my heart. I won’t ever stop. I’ll love you longer than the stars that live in the sky.”

“If you keep looking at me like that, we won’t be going anywhere except inside where I can fuck you hard enough to block out the entire world.”
Fin’s mouth went dry. The soft streetlight cast Ryan half in shadow, adding a dark intensity to the hard planes of his face. His wide shoulders and the tanned muscles roping his arms and chest were illuminated flawlessly. Her eyes fell to the waistband of his jeans, and her hands, now on his hips, eased the hem up slightly on his fitted shirt, baring a small sliver of skin. She skimmed her hand across his warm, taut stomach, letting her hand slide around his torso and glide up and over his back.
Fin looked up at him from beneath her lashes as Ryan shuddered beneath her touch. “I want you.”
He exhaled audibly, dipping his head and sweeping her lips up in his, their pressure hard and wild as her heart thumped madly. She dug her fingers into his bare skin and he groaned. “I want you too. All the damn time.”

Oh God, what this man made her feel. Even as her legs trembled, aching from their straddled position over his hips, Fin felt she could keep moving like that forever.
Ryan scraped his teeth over her skin, biting the tender skin before pulling free. Both hands now on her hips, he slammed inside her, her body jolting with the force as pleasure shattered her apart.
“Fuck,” she heard him mutter as her body clenched around him. Her eyes fluttered open to find him watching her intently. His lips were parted, his cheeks flushed, and when he came, all his muscles pulled tight as he ground his body inside her, growling her name wildly.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

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Review: Eye of the Beholder by Emma Jay

Format: E-bookeyeofthebeholder
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Historical Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Grayson Adams
Heroine: Sarah Dusenberry
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: May 07, 2011
Started On: January 08, 2016
Finished On: January 08, 2016

Eye of the Beholder is an erotic romance written in a historical setting. Sarah Dusenberry is 21, and her mother is desperate that she find someone suitable to be married off to. Sarah’s average looks and her strong willed nature makes her a less an ideal candidate for the gents of the ton when it comes to choosing a bride, which is the reason why Sarah spends her time at the balls glued to the wall, as if on the outside, looking in.

Grayson Adams, the youngest son of the Baron of Cricksham, is a man who leads a double life. A man who has made a fortune in painting and selling erotic art, Grayson has been feeling out of sorts of late, as if in need of a new muse that would get his creative juices flowing. A well placed advertisement gets Sarah on his doorstep, a woman who has intrigued him even before she turns up willing to be the model that he is looking for.

Fact that Sarah is a virgin makes it difficult for Grayson to act on his desires where she is concerned. But Sarah has no such qualms when it comes to the man whose touch sets of such wanton and wicked desires in her. As these two become entangled with want for each other which is strengthened by other feelings which none of them wants to put a name to, Grayson’s deception could end up being the obstacle that could break the two apart even before they can get started.

Eye of the Beholder has an interesting premise, which could have been really good if it had been a full length novel. I wish that Emma Jay would write full length novels like Two-Step Temptation which I loved so. I have always said in my reviews of her books that Emma Jay has the ability to draw a lot of emotions from the reader apart from the excellent portrayal of eroticism she strives for in her stories.

While the overall story worked for me, Eye of the Beholder had certain elements that didn’t, because it seemed a tad unrealistic for Sarah, a virgin brought up in a society that shuns wicked behavior of the sort to give up all her inhibitions, just like that, even though she had been seeking adventure for a long time. It was hard for me to understand where she was coming from because for someone who has never been exposed to pleasures of the flesh, she certainly was ready to give up all that societal indoctrination for the man who sends her senses humming. In a contemporary setting, yes, it might have worked, but with a virgin heroine in a historical setting, I just remained a bit unnerved by that.

All that aside, Eye of the Beholder provided me with the kind of read that I wanted when I picked it up. Something short that would wet my appetite for more!

Recommended for those that love erotic romances in a historical setting.

Final Verdict: Short and succulent enough to sink your teeth into.

Favorite Quotes

“Is your curiosity quite satisfied?” he asked, managing not to sound breathless after his orgasm, tucking away his cock as she wiped herself clean.
She lifted those dark eyes to him. “More curious than ever, I’m afraid. I can cancel my plans for tomorrow, return and you can show me more.”
“I can show you no more,” he said sharply. “You are a virgin, which is how you will leave me, each and every time.”
“But I want to know.”
“Then find a husband.” He tossed his own cloth aside and strode toward the door.

She didn’t have a chance to respond before he cupped his hand around the back of her head and covered her mouth with his. His lips were dry and warm before his tongue swept over her lower lip, sending sparks all along her body. He angled her head and his tongue probed her mouth for a moment before he straightened, his thumb still caressing her jaw. His ragged breathing dusted across her skin and for a moment she feared he’d walk away, but then his mouth was on hers again, harder, demanding, and his hands were on her skin, bringing her body closer so that the tips of her breasts rasped against the rough linen of his shirt.

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

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Requested ARC Review: Cold in the Shadows by Toni Anderson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Favorite Quotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[xrr rating = 4.5/5]

Caliber SEAL: AMAZING READ!

Review: Love Bites by Maggie Osborne

Format: E-booklovebites
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Trevor d’Laine
Heroine: Kay Erickson
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 27, 2014
Started On: October 24, 2015
Finished On: October 28, 2015

My fascination to do with Maggie Osborne is something that I would never deny. From the moment I picked up her novel Silver Lining, there was no looking back for me. To me, Maggie Osborne is synonymous with novels that takes you to places where authors normally don’t. Her unusual heroines with their inner core of strength, and very real faults; they make for the kind of characters that you root for, from the very bottom of your heart. Every review I have done of a book by Maggie Osborne has always ended with me bemoaning about the fact that she stopped writing. So imagine my delighted surprise when I found that this book was released on Smashwords late September of last year!

Love Bites is Maggie Osborne’s first foray into romance of the paranormal variety if I am not mistaken. Because I have not read her complete set of novels, I might have missed out on other genres that she ventured into way before. That being said, Trevor d’Laine is the vampire in this novel, a vampire with his own talk show, delivered at night of course. His advertisement for a live-in assistant, a Renfield to his vampire, is what brings Kay Erickson to his doorstep and into his life.

Trevor is determined that he would never ever fall in love again. Years of loneliness that has passed since the bleakness that is his past makes him wary of taking that step. And there is that secret that he carries around in his heart, of why he became a vampire in the first place that would never make him want to take a step to reverse all of it. But all that changes when Kay begins to get under his skin in a way he didn’t think it was possible, and makes him lose perspective on what he has believed to be true ever since he turned into a vampire.

Kay lives in a bubble of her own making until meeting Trevor changes everything. Every single thing she has believed about life, love and lust takes a hike upon meeting Trevor. And that proves to be a game changer for someone as steady, dependable and perhaps a bit boring like Kay, but someone who yearns for adventure, love and passion of the kind that would blow her mind. In Trevor she finds all those things, but the danger that becomes all too real when it comes to the mission they embark upon makes the situation doubly precarious.

While I liked Love Bites, I can’t say that I fully loved the story or could accept where it eventually led me to. Perhaps it has got something to do with Maggie Osborne’s take on the vampire lifestyle. Vampires are made out to be characters who cannot stay true to what they are, because there are so many drawbacks to their lives, the soul deep loneliness and inability to love for one? I just couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just stay the way they were and still be able to love, feel and whatnot.

The other thing was the gravity of the sacrifice Trevor makes to be with Kay. Obviously with all the “negativity” with which Maggie Osborne paints the life of a vampire, Kay didn’t or wouldn’t have wanted to become one. Why become one when the love that made you want to take that step withers away after centuries of being together? Revealing Trevor’s sacrifice would mean giving away a huge spoiler, but let me just say this – I cannot help but question whether or not Trevor would regret the sacrifice he made somewhere down the line. I just cannot help but sigh a little bit with regret over what could have been if otherwise.

I would say Love Bites has a “happy ending” depending on the way you look at it. Well, it was a happy ending in one sense. But in another, it just seemed an uneven happy ending to me! While Trevor was an absolute darling, I couldn’t bring myself to love Kay wholeheartedly. But Maggie Osborne’s writing? Absolutely magical in places where it mattered.

Recommended for fans of vampire romances. This one definitely has a unique take to it!

Final Verdict: Maggie Osborne’s take on vampirism. Definitely worth a look!

Favorite Quotes

Kay’s heart stopped as she stared up at him. He no longer reminded her of an impish boy wearing plastic teeth. This was a man. An aroused man staring at her throat, listening to her blood accelerate in her veins. His shoulders swelled, and his expression was sexy and dangerous and wildly exciting.
A great thrill of weakness spread through her limbs and she couldn’t catch her breath. As if her body had become heavier, her hips sank in the water and her toes found the bottom of the pool. She stood on shaking legs, breathless and unable to move, and gazed helplessly into his glowing eyes.
The desire she saw there set a match to her trembling body and lit her on fire.

The cool touch of his hands on her burning skin, the feel of his hard full thrust straining the thin material of her swimming suit, the mesmerizing smolder in his flaming eyes, the touch of his hand stroking her breast, all combined to render her frantic and helpless. Dizzy erotic hungers whirled in her mind, scalded her thoughts.
Gasping for breath, blood pounding, all she could think about was the desire that knifed through her like a hot blade. She wanted him to rip aside her swimsuit and plunge inside of her, wanted him to sink his teeth into her bared throat and take from her whatever he needed. She wanted… oh God, she wanted!

He yearned to taste her life, her soul, to drink her into him. He craved the rapture of fulfillment that her blood could give. Swept by passion, he saw only the thin tissue of rosy skin between him and the rich red blood that roared in his ears.
As he approached climax, his mouth opened instinctively and his teeth extended a final distance, a reflex beyond his control. His body shook with an urgent need for release, driven by an almost desperate need to suck and drink.
As his body erupted, Trevor veered away from her bared throat and he buried his teeth in the pillow beside her head. Trembling violently, he collapsed on top of her, pushing the torn pillow aside. Her arms stole around him, and she held him tightly until both of them stopped shaking.

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

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