Short & Sweet Review: Mackenzie’s Mission by Linda Howard

Format: E-bookmackenziesmission
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Mackenzies, Book 2
Publisher: Silhouette
Hero: Colonel Joe Mackenzie
Heroine: Caroline Evans
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: August 1, 1992
Started On: October 31, 2010
Finished On: October 31, 2010

I have decided to go ahead and treat myself to the rest of the books on Linda Howard’s backlist which I have left unread for some reason or the other during the Linda Howard crazed fest which I found myself in the first time that I discovered Linda Howard as an author. I remember that I started to read this title after completely falling in love with the 1st book in the series, Mackenzie’s Mountain the first time round. I don’t know why but at that time I couldn’t muster up much interest in the story that unfolded, which now after finishing this story has left me completely dumbfounded as to the reason why I couldn’t continue with the story earlier. Oh well, better late than never I guess!

The Hero: Joe Mackenzie or “Breed” as he is called by his fellow co-workers has always known that he belonged in the sky. Joe had become a legend even before he had graduated from the academy and being the first in his graduating class, Joe had chosen to proceed with fighter jets though his six foot three frame is considered not the ideal height for fighter jet pilots. Like everything else, Joe excels in his chosen field through hard work and his god given talent and at the age of 32 Joe is made lieutenant colonel. When Joe had been young, his father Wolf Mackenzie had served time for a crime that he did not commit, and being a half-breed Joe had suffered a lot at the hands of one of the foster families that had taken him in. Joe thrives on his iron hard control both in and out of the sky and only lets go when he is back at home in Wyoming at his father’s ranch.

The Heroine: Caroline Evans is a 28 year old genius, a bona fide specialist in light amplification and optic targeting together with a PHD in Physics. Caroline had led an unusual childhood being the genius she is. Thirsting for knowledge that leaves her unsatisfied if she cannot get enough, her parents who are both PHD holders themselves had identified Caroline’s gift and nurtured it by providing her the best education possible. That had meant that Caroline had always felt out of place because she had rapidly advanced through the grades to find herself armed with her PHD by the time she turned 21 years old. Having no knowledge whatsoever of men, dating or the etiquette that goes along with the dating scene, Caroline has remained a virgin till now and knows that her best defense against men who come on to her strongly is to act prickly and totally cut them off before anything can happen. And it serves her well, that is until she meets Joe Mackenzie who shatters her very soul just by one piercing look from his light blue eyes.

Storyline: Joe has been assigned the task of ironing out the kinks in a new second generation advanced tactical fighter code named Night Wing which Joe calls as his baby. As the program manager it is Joe’s responsibility to work within the given time frame to push his baby to its limits and to take care of any tactical errors before it could go into full production. When one of the technician’s on Joe’s team suffers a minor heart attack, Caroline is brought in who manages to get under Joe’s skin right from the very beginning. And together with Caroline’s appearance starts a series of attempts to prevent Night Wing from making its deadline to production which needs the vote from the senate to acquire the funding required for its production. Joe who has always put his country first finds himself torn between the woman who sets his senses afire and his sense of duty to his country when all fingers point at Caroline to be the saboteur.

First Encounter: Joe walks in on Caroline whilst she is at the office getting acquainted with her assignment on the day of her arrival to the base. Joe who always walks silently, not because he wants to sneak up on people but because he had been taught that way to walk from the very beginning finds himself face to face with 100% infuriated woman because Joe had scared the wits out of her by letting his presence be known.

Time period: Story has a contemporary setting and takes place at the Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Awareness between the hero and the heroine: I don’t know how she does it, but Linda Howard always delivers on the simmering and sizzling sexuality between her heroes and heroines. Joe and Caroline are no exception to that rule and from the very first moment these two meet, its a battle of sensual delights that meets its heady culmination delivering everything that I as a reader craved for and more.

The turning point: It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Caroline is more than wary of the intense feelings that Joe so effortlessly invokes in her. Having never tasted the headiness of mind blowing passion or lust, Caroline is helplessly ensnared by the sensuality that is an inherent part of who Joe is. When Joe realizes that Caroline’s skittishness is a result of her naivete when it comes to the opposite sex, Joe offers a wicked plan to thwart all the unwanted attention from the other pilots who seem too keen to move in for the kill. Joe would stake his claim on Caroline so that she could work in peace a condition to which Caroline agrees which irrevocably changes life as Caroline knows it in the arms of her fighter pilot.

Ending: Before the story is through, Joe makes the ultimate mistake of doubting Caroline, a betrayal that leaves Caroline reeling from it. Caroline long since having admitted to herself that she has fallen irrevocably in love with Joe feels doubly betrayed by the fact that the man in whose arms she had found joy unlike anything else she has known before can stare at her so coldly and think the worst thing possible of her. Before the ending is through, the actual saboteurs nearly succeed in eliminating Joe and Caroline as potential witnesses to their activities, the series of events which makes Joe take into account his feelings for Caroline.

Likes: Joe Mackenzie from his delectable head to foot. I felt tingles running up and down my spine every single time he seduced Caroline and he seduced me right along with her – Darn the man! I liked the fact that Caroline doesn’t let Joe walk all over her in his attempt to fulfill the role of being the alpha male that he is. And loved revisiting Wolf Mackenzie’s mountain once again, a story that still brings a warm smile to my face.

Dislikes: None.

Recommended for: Fans of Linda Howard, fans of romance stories with a little bit of suspense in the mix.

Favorite Quotes

“Hold out your hand,” he commanded softly, and she obeyed.
His hard, warm hand enclosed her fingers, and he pulled her closer even as he bent. His mouth lightly touched hers, lifted, settled again. He turned his head slightly to adjust the pressure, and somehow the motion parted her own lips, so that they yielded to the molding of his. …
She felt enticed rather than coerced, and his taste was filling her senses. Warm pleasure shuddered up from her depths; with a little whimper she opened her mouth, and slowly he took her.

She had chosen to wear a halter top sundress with a full skirt, deciding that it no longer mattered if he could slide his hand under it, since she had given him permission to do much more than that, but she nearly had heart failure when that warm, hard hand slipped up under the material and squeezed her bare thigh.
All thoughts of food fled her mind. She stared at him, hunger of another sort building, her need revealed in her suddenly darkened eyes and quickened breath. Joe lightly stroked her inner thigh with his fingertips, then forced himself to withdraw his hand.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo



Review: Now You See Her by Linda Howard

Format: E-booknowyouseeher
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Richard Worth
Heroine: Paris Samille Sweeney (Sweeney)
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: July 29, 2003
Started On: October 30, 2010
Finished On: October 31, 2010

I needed a book to maintain the high I was riding after finishing up the last book I reviewed which happens to be Naked Edge, the 4th book in the delectable I-Team series. And I am so very glad that I picked this one up knowing that Linda Howard never fails to deliver. This is one book that I seem to have missed when I first started on my Linda Howard fest when I discovered her as an author after reading the emotionally gut wrenching story Sarah’s Child by the author. As always, the hero is to die for, his character described in such a manner that it is impossible not to give a part of yourself to him before the story is through. The heroine is not the type to stand back and just let the hero tread all over her, but rather she gives as good as she gets which made this book the winner it is for me.

The Hero: Richard Worth is a self-made millionaire who is described as a Wall Street whiz which made him the rich man he is. Growing up dirt poor in a farm in West Virginia, Richard’s father had died when he had been 3 years old. Now 39 years old, Richard had grown up with his grandfather and mother, both of whom had worked every day of their lives to provide for themselves. From a very young age Richard’s grandfather had instilled in him the need to work and earn your keep which makes Richard the man he is. Joining the army because he had been unable to afford a college education had made him discover that he had a knack for military life. And when Richard had found that he had knack for the stock market which was more lucrative and since money was all he had wanted to make Richard had never looked back. Its been 15 years since Richard has left the army and life had seemed to be going well when he had married Candra his wife of 10 years. Discovering his wife’s infidelity had broken the luster from his marriage and the final straw had come 9 years into their marriage, an act of ultimate betrayal by Candra which pushes Richard to end their farce of a marriage and apply for a divorce. Richard is a man who draws women to him effortlessly but remains faithful to his wife because Richard has always been the sort of man one can truly depend and rely upon.

The Heroine: Paris Samille Sweeney (Sweeney) or sweetie as Richard calls her is a woman who is so immersed in her work as an artist that she rarely takes notice of the opposite sex. Born in Italy, Sweeney comes from parents who found no time for their children but rather pursued their careers, her mother as an artist and her father as a filmmaker. Sweeney shies away from the opposite sex because her experiences with her promiscuous mother whilst growing up had made her wary of turning out to be exactly like her. Now 31 years old, Sweeney is described to have a trim figure, almost medium in height with blue eyes and curly brown hair which she keeps below shoulder length in an effort to control its unruliness. Sweeney had been living in the small town of Clayton in New York when that fateful day in August she had seen the ghost of 10 year old Samuel Beresford who had died of leukemia a month back. Afraid that people would assume that she has lost it, Sweeney wants to move somewhere that is warmer when Candra Worth, owner of the gallery where Sweeney sells her work convinces her to move to New York. The story continues a year after that fateful day when everything changes for Sweeney, someone who equals sameness and normalness to security.

Storyline: Sweeney’s entire world changes the day she starts seeing ghosts. The experiences leave her with a bone deep cold that refuses to leave her. Her work as an artist also changes from the trademark delicacy of her landscapes and still studies to paintings more boisterous and colorful in nature which leaves Sweeney with a feeling of hopelessness as she tries to prevent the changes from overtaking her life completely. Never one to take bullshit from anyone, the final straw comes when Sweeney is invited to Candra’s gallery to do a portrait for an important client of hers, a client who is a strong political figure that grates on Sweeney’s nerves right from the first moment. And when Sweeney’s body decides to take notice of Richard Worth all of a sudden, Sweeney is decidedly at a loss on how to control the sudden and swift change within her towards a man who was in a bitter contest of finalizing his divorce from Sweeney’s friend and mentor for the past year. Sweeney’s actual capabilities come to light when she sleep paints the murder of a person whom she is overtly fond of, the truth which she finds out only a little bit too late. When Sweeney finds herself face to face with another sleep painting attempt of hers, Sweeney is determined that she would finish the painting before its too late to warn whoever it is of her impending death.

First Encounter: There are references to Sweeney and Richard meeting one another on several occasions, most of which Sweeney doesn’t even remember because she has a tendency to desexualize herself and immerse herself in the wonderful world of vibrant colors that her life is. But the day that Sweeney’s body decides to take notice of and wants to claim Richard Worth as her own is the moment that Richard has been waiting for since he has always found Sweeney attractive.

Time period: This story has a contemporary setting and takes place in New York.

Awareness between the hero and heroine: With the first heady kiss between the two there is no turning back though Sweeney refuses to sleep with Richard till his divorce is final which propels him to use his ruthless determination in obtaining his freedom from the woman who he has come to hate, an action which sets in motion a set of events that leads to Candra’s murder. The bone deep cold that takes hold of Sweeney whenever she sleep paints only seems to go away in Richard’s fiery embrace which definitely makes this one heady read!

The turning point: From the moment Sweeney’s hormones become aware of Richard as a man there is no turning back for either of them. Richard is captivated by Sweeney who is the total opposite of Candra and for the first time Richard finds a woman with whom he can be himself with which is an attraction in itself. Sweeney though she tries her damnedest to return her life back to the dull and lonely version it was before finds herself no match to Richard’s quiet determination to win Sweeney over. With each kiss and embrace between the two the inevitable conclusion of which is a combustive joining of their hearts and souls is exactly what Linda Howard delivers – in spades.

Ending: Though the killer is not really a mystery as the story proceeds, nevertheless its an interesting one which brings to light the tangled web Candra decides to weave in order to dig herself out of the hole she has landed herself in. The ending is a fitting one which brings out the killer once and for all, nervous at the thought of Sweeney completing her portrait to point the homicide detectives in the right direction.

Likes: As always Linda Howard creates the best alpha heroes in her stories. Richard has a quiet unassuming strength about him that  totally captivated me and made me wish all his attention were focused on me. Silly I know, but I tend to get silly and all swoony around heroes like Richard. I also loved Sweeney and how she overcomes the fear of the change that takes place in her, how she finally accepts the fact that she has changed for better or worse and tries to make the best use of her talents to help others. Her less than perfect character perfectly complemented Richard in every way which made this book a winner for me.

Dislikes: I found myself a little bit put off by the fact that the Epilogue was just a couple of lines which sheds some light on why Sweeney is the way she is. I wanted a longer epilogue detailing the changes that had come about in both Richard and Sweeney’s lives a year on and glimpses of the perfectness of the world they had created together.*pouts a little*

Recommended for: Those who like romantic suspense with a tangy bit of paranormal in it.

Favorite Quotes

His hand on the back of her head, he settled her against him once more. His mouth lightly brushed her temple, and over to her eyelid. “After next week, when you get cold, I’ll be able to warm you from inside out.”
Oh, God, he managed it now. Her heart leaped, and her pulse rate jumped to double time.
“You’re doing just fine as it is,” she gasped.
“The way you shake and shudder, I won’t even have to do any work. All I’ll have to do is set you in place, then lie back and enjoy the ride.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard



Short & Sweet Review: Ride of Her Life by Anne Rainey

Format: E-bookrideofherlife
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Ellora’s Cave Quickies
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: Kyle Wolff
Heroine: Lily Justice
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: August 26, 2010
Started On: October 25, 2010
Finished On: October 25, 2010

Reading a Quickie in between novels is always a good way take a break off from reading a lengthy novel. A Quickie though short can play with your emotions and make you feel so heated at times that you feel as if you need to gulp in a fresh load of air every now and then. I say thank the Lord that at least they are short – otherwise there would be a whole lot of other problems to write back home about. Enough rambling I guess, so on to my review.

Storyline: This story focuses on divorcee Lily Justice who had been married for the past seven years finally gets rid of her good-for-nothing husband when he cheats on her. Divorced for nearly a year and 36 years old, she has no right to lust after the much younger and sexy as sin owner of Wolff’s Body Shop, Kyle Wolff. When her car needs a bit of body work Lily decides to take matters into her own hands so to say and kill two birds with one stone and make Kyle work on her body as well. But unbeknown to her, Kyle too has been lusting after the classy and pretty Lily and had been biding his time to make his move. What follows is an affair that is hot enough to singe one’s eyebrows off with a man who definitely knows a trick or two in making his woman reach out for the stars in bed.

First Encounter: There is no indication of when Kyle and Lily first see one another but they both talk to each other for the first time when Lily brings in her car for a much needed body work to Kyle’s workshop.

Time period: This story is set in Miller Siding, Ohio and has a contemporary setting to it.

Awareness between the hero and heroine: Though Lily nor Kyle had sought the other out earlier, they had both been aware of the other and wanted to experience the fireworks they knew they would both set off together in bed and out of it. Lily and Kyle both had fantasized about being together and with the first light brush of Kyle’s lips on Lily’s there is  no turning back – for either of them.

How the relationship grows: From the first kiss itself, though the passion that rages between Kyle and Lily is red hot, they both know that they want so much more from the other. Though Lily is skittish at the thought of marriage and kids, she doesn’t mind having exclusive rights over Kyle who seems to want the same thing in return from her. Since the story is extremely short, there is not much room to discover how their relationship grows apart from the mind-numbing encounters between the two. But the short and sweet epilogue at the end of the story shows that their relationship proceeds on to the next stage within a span of two weeks.

The turning point: There is no turning back once Lily walks into Wolff’s Body Shop and Kyle takes her on the ride of her life. From the first tender kiss between the two, everything changes for the better between two people who are made for one another.

Likes: Love the cover of the book. Wish the title wasn’t covering up much of the hunky Kyle’s sinfully good-looking body. I liked the fact that the age difference didn’t turn out to be an issue. Most probably if the story had been a lengthier one, that would have been the number 1 issue in the story.

Dislikes: None.

Favorite Quotes

Kyle popped the button on his jeans then slid the zipper down. His heated gaze never wavered from the slow progress her nightgown made up her body. Once she pulled it over her head and tossed it onto the end of the bed, his expression changed. Intense, edgy and ready to pounce, if Lily didn’t miss her guess.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Ellora’s Cave



Short & Sweet Review: Strangers When We Meet by Rebecca Winters

Format: E-bookwhenstrangersmeet
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Superromance #737
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Nicholas Marchant Armstrong
Heroine: Rosie Gardner Armstrong
Sensuality: 2.9
Date of Publication: March 1, 1997
Started On: October 25, 2010
Finished On: October 25, 2010

Harlequin Super Romance always delivers heartwarming stories of love and family life interwoven together. My first experience with this series came when one of my favorite authors Sarah Mayberry wrote for this series. Even then I usually refrain from Harlequin books these days, unless I actually know the author well enough like I do for Ms. Mayberry. I picked up this novel from a discussion thread on Amazon opened up for book suggestions on the theme where military heroes who are presumed dead by their wives suddenly return back from the dead leading to the dynamics that make up a great story. This story played with all my emotions; I felt heartache, happiness, anger and betrayal at times and I say that a romance author has done his/her job well when you provoke all sorts of emotions be it good or bad from your readers. So on with my review.

Storyline: Rosie Gardner Armstrong had married her high school sweetheart Nicholas Marchant Armstrong and never looked back. They had been happy as two people who are as tuned into one another as they are can be. It is when Nick gos off to Iraq during the war to be presumed dead for the past six and half years return from the dead to find that his wife Rosie had met Zachery Wilde and had gotten engaged less than 24 hours ago to the man the story starts. The only thing that had kept Nick going during the long hours of torture during his captivity had been thoughts of his beloved Rosie and son Cody who had now grown into a sixteen year old boy. Even though Nick’s doting parents nor his son shows any hint of knowing about the new man in his wife’s life, the moment Nick holds Rosie in his arms and kisses her, he knows that Rosie had changed and that her soul no longer belonged to him. What follows is a story seeped in heartache and misery for Rosie with all the guilt that surfaces whilst she tries to come to terms with her feelings for the two wonderful men in her life, and the inevitable choice she has to make, either way hurting a man she loves.

The First Meet: Rosie and Nick had first meet one another during a high school sponsored carnival in a pie throwing contest. Nick had been paired with Rosie and from the moment that he sees Rosie amidst all the pie stuffing, peeking out with her green eyes, Nick’s young heart leaps right out and offers itself with undying love for her.

Time period: This romance has a contemporary setting.

Awareness between the two characters: Though there are no steamy interludes between Nick and Rosie, one can’t help but be drawn into the web of awareness between these two characters. It is gut wrenching to read about the confusion and guilt that Rosie goes through because she is engaged to one man whilst married to a man who starts divorce proceedings because he wants her to be happy. Through flashbacks into what their life together had been like, Ms. Winters shows the deep connection between Nick and Rosie, a connection that refuses to go away even with distance and time.

How the relationship grows: Nothing that happens within this story is easy to read about – and I don’t mean that in a bad way. When Nick returns from the dead, Rosie who ends up in a state of shock doesn’t know to whom her loyalties lie with. It is Zach who is the ultimate hero in my opinion because he refuses to put Rosie through so much pain and heartbreak and gives her the choice to work things out with her husband who thinks the best thing he can do for Rosie is to let her go completely from his life so that she can start anew with Zach as her husband.
It is to Zach that Rosie runs back to when she realizes that her husband is serious about obtaining the divorce, and it is because Zach who has already lost so much in his life loves her more than his next breathe that he takes her back and resumes their courtship though Rosie is unable to let go of Nick and their shared memories together.
Nick on the other hand tries to smooth out the way for the couple to be because he believes that it is what Rosie wants and needs. Amidst all this however, the connection between Nick and Rosie grow, because both of them still love and yearn for each other as much or more so than ever since the first time each had known the other. There is a lot of drama and angst involved whilst Nick’s parents consider Rosie’s love for Zach a betrayal, whilst Cody tries to adjust to accepting Zach as a permanent part of his mother’s life.

The turning point: There is no sudden revelation that happens within the story to guide Rosie on who to choose in the end. The decision comes to her gradually as she realizes that her feelings wouldn’t change and that it would be wrong of her to choose Zach whilst she was still in love with her husband.

Likes: I liked the fact that this romance doesn’t cut any corners on the emotional upheaval the reader has to go through to reach the happily-ever-after. The character who was most endearing to me through the whole story was Zachary Wilde who really understood the woman he loved, and loved her enough to set her free not once but twice so that she would be able to choose who she wants to spend the rest of her life loving. It just flat-out broke my heart for Zach at the end. *sobs quietly* But I felt a little better once I saw that Ms. Winters didn’t leave Zach hanging high and dry for long as his story was soon published with his own happily-ever-after.

Dislikes: I really didn’t like the way how guilt-ridden everyone made Rosie feel throughout the story. Her in-laws, her son as well as Nick made Rosie feel as if she had betrayed all of them by trying to move on with her life and trying to find happiness with another man. At times, I felt like screaming in frustration at her in-laws because they were so devoted to their only child that for even a moment they never consider just how much of an emotional impact Nick’s sudden return back into her life must be on her. And Rosie refused to stand up for herself, because she felt too guilty at all times because she had believed her husband to be dead and tried to move on, whilst her in-laws and son hadn’t. Totally didn’t sit well with me!

Recommended for: Fans of Harlequin Super Romance publisher series and those who love a story with a love triangle that guarantees to play havoc on all your emotions.

Favorite Quotes

Just then Nick raised his head, and a pair of black lashed, flame-blue eyes no length of time could ever change sought hers over Cody’s shoulder. The secret smile he’d always reserved for her alone shone from his face.
His remembered smile conjured up a myriad of emotions from their frozen prison, and now they nearly overwhelmed her.
“Nick…” she cried, reaching blindly for him.
He met her halfway, clutching her to him so hard she could feel his ribs through his uniform – graphic evidence of the inhumane treatment he’d received in captivity.
His body quaked. “If you hadn’t been here waiting for me, I would have died before my feet touched the tarmac.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Harlequin



Requested Review: All of You by Dee Tenorio

Format: E-bookallofyoudee.jpg
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Lonnigans, Book 1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
Hero: Kyle Wellem Lonnigan
Heroine: Jessica Saunders
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: April 6, 2010
Started On: October 22, 2010
Finished On: October 23, 2010

Reading All of You by Dee Tenorio, the first book in The Lonnigans series certainly entertained me on all fronts. Wickedly sensual with a touch of the trademark Tenorio humor in all the right places (which I came to identify and fall in love with after reading Betting Hearts) and characters who just leaped right out the pages certainly made for an unforgettable read. A huge thanks to Ms. Tenorio for providing me a copy of this story filled with several laugh-out-loud moments together with enough passion to curl my toes inward all the way!

Storyline: Jessica Saunders has been seeing Lucas Lonnigan (twin of Kyle Lonnigan) for the past 4 months in the most platonic relationship she had ever had. Solely focused on her career as a financial lawyer, Jessica is a woman who has sworn off all sorts of things to do with emotions and making herself vulnerable enough to feel anything for anyone apart from herself. When she agrees to see Lucas the fateful night that everything changes, the only thing that Jessica wants is to break things off with Lucas, until in walks a version of the man himself that seems to have personified every wild and wanton craving that Jessica has ever had.
When Kyle who works as an investment banker switches dates with his twin Lucas he has no idea that he is about to meet the one woman who would irrevocably change his life. Kyle who plans everything to death so that his life would go according to his whim finds himself poleaxed by the need to claim and possess his brother’s date as his own, a need that seems to be reciprocated which concludes the night in Kyle having the most fabulous sex of his life – before he is able to tell Jessica (Jess or Jessie as he calls her tenderly) who he really is.
What follows is the story of how Kyle who six months back had suddenly found his life lacking decided that marriage and 2.5 kids were what he needed, tries to convince Jessica that together they could achieve his dreams of a happy home and family. But Kyle finds out the hard way that the woman who rocks his world on so many levels, the woman he wants to claim as his wife and the mother of all his babies, is the one woman on the planet who has no intention of committing herself to a life as the one he has envisioned.

The First Meet: Kyle and Jessica first lay their eyes on one another when Kyle shows up in his brother’s stead for the date which Jessica is determined would end the relationship between her and Lucas Lonnigan.

Time period: This romance has a contemporary setting.

Awareness between the two characters: From the first moment itself, the atmosphere fairly sizzles whenever Kyle and Jessica are in the same room. Regardless of the fact that Jessica doesn’t want anything to do with Kyle who has love and forever written all over his face, the need that sears through her, a need to touch and to be touched that spikes out of control whenever Kyle is around makes it hard for Jessica to lock away her heart and emotions and throw away the key. The harder she tries to push him away, the more relentless becomes the desire within her to feel Kyle’s caress that always soars them away to places they have never been to before.

How the relationship grows: Kyle basically has his work cut out for him when he decides to woo the emotionally skittish woman who has captured his heart so effortlessly. Enlisting the help of Jessica’s less than conventional secretary Dory Pierson, Kyle refuses to let Jessica shut him out and neatly send him into her past. Jessica who has severe abandonment issues and bolts at the merest hint of vulnerability in her well placed armor doesn’t know whether to scream in frustration or to give into a need that has grown inside of her regardless of how much she doesn’t want to acknowledge her changing heart. Jessica thinking she would be able to have a purely sexual affair with the man who rocks her universe by the merest kiss embarks on one with Kyle who determinedly works for a future which he envisions is what they both need.

The turning point: The first pivotal moment in Kyle and Jessica’s relationship comes when they have heart jolting sex the night they first meet. With the first searing kiss, Kyle is a goner and though Jessica too feels the jolt that shakes the very foundation of everything she has so doggedly worked for till that moment, that night changes everything for better or worse. The final turning point comes in a moment of clarity for both Jessica and Kyle when a certain chain of events nearly ends Kyle’s life as he knows it lending both of them to understand that what they feel for one another cannot be ignored nor denied any longer.

Likes: At first I thought that I would end up hating Jessica  for what she puts Kyle through by being so emotionally unavailable – yes, I haven’t read about any heroine who gives out that impression more than Jessica does. But she definitely surprised the hell out of me with her vulnerability and the need that she has to love, to be loved and to be wanted – a need that she ruthlessly tries to tamp down on at the merest hint of its existence. Kyle’s patience with Jessica and how he determinedly works for a future that he thinks is what they both need had me rooting for him all the way through. I liked the fact that overnight solutions weren’t provided for the problems that seemed to hold back these two from attaining their happily ever after. And of course who wouldn’t love a man like Kyle Lonnigan who definitely knows the secrets to keeping his woman happy. *wink*
And ooh yes, I am definitely very much interested in reading about the grumpy, anti-social twin aka Lucas Lonnigan. He promises to make a very good story!

Dislikes: None.

Recommended for: Romance lovers who love a sassy heroine, a hero who knows what he wants and is not shy about going after it, and for those who love romances with a high dosage of sensuality in the mix. I pretty much loved the book from page 1 till the end.

Favorite Quotes

He grabbed his jacket. “So that’s it then? Thanks for the rug burn, see you later?”
She froze for a second – just one – before she finished locking her cabinet and stood up silently, evidently determined to act like he wasn’t there. Even so, she was beautiful. Her spine was iron straight, fine shoulders rolled back, her mane of hair falling slightly tangled.
How the hell did that work? She was trying to shove him out of her life, trying to kick him in the balls really, and he still thought she was beautiful. If this wasn’t love, maybe it was malaria.

“Jess -”
“No, you have to listen to me. I’m not ready for what you seem to want out of your life. I know you want to find someone and get married and have kids as quickly as humanly possible. You want happily ever after. That didn’t go away just because someone pointed a gun at you. I’m having anxiety attack at the
happily, I stop breathing at the word ever and I’m pretty sure I’ll be unconscious by the time I get to after.”

He kissed her again, still drowning in the flavor of her when she guided him into her wet slit. With a sigh, he slid home.
It was exactly that too. Home. Exquisite liquid heat, tight and throbbing comfort and demand, give and take, all at once. The most perfect feeling he’d ever experienced. His whole body trembled and so did hers, as if they were truly one.
“Oh my,” she whispered, her eyes open wide, shimmering in the blue light of the moon through her filmy curtains. He didn’t know how long he stared down into her eyes, watching emotion after emotion across her face. Elation, fear, confusion, denial and then a careful mask that showed nothing at all.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Samhain



Short & Sweet Review: Tempted by Janelle Denison

Format: E-booktempted
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Blaze #35
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Marc Jamison
Heroine: Brooke Jamison
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: September 1, 2000
Started On: October 20, 2010
Finished On: October 22, 2010

As I finished the last chapter of Tempted by Janelle Denison, my first book by the author, I can still feel the tingles running up and down my body from the wicked and sensuous ride Ms. Denison has taken me on. I am very intrigued about going through the blacklist of Ms. Denison to find out whether all her books are as wickedly sinful as this one!

Storyline: This is the story of Brooke Jamison who just recently got divorced from Eric Jamison, her husband of two years, who unexpectedly finds forbidden frissons of desire exploding within her at the merest touch of her ex-brother-in-law Marc Jamison. Story kicks off when during the celebration of the 35th wedding anniversary of Douglas and Kathleen Jamison, Brooke’s in-laws, a chaste kiss between Marc and Brooke explodes into something more – something that brings out the wild and wanton side of Brooke that she doesn’t even know exists. *Fans self at the thought of that kiss! Whew!!*

The First Meet: There is no mention of how Brooke and Marc first meet, but working under the assumption that Marc is Brooke’s ex-brother-in-law, they most probably must have met each other when Eric had brought her to meet his family.

Time period: This romance has a contemporary setting.

Awareness between the two characters: I don’t think that Marc and Brooke could have been more aware of one another even if they had tried. There are hints within the story that Marc had always envied his brother for finding Brooke to share his life. But the true awakening of the senses begin with that one kiss that turns so hot that everything else just obliterates into nothing around them.

How the relationship grows: Marc and Brooke had always had a comfortable relationship with one another, had in fact being friends when Brooke had been married to Eric. But with that one kiss that propels everything out of control, Brooke who has always been the steady and dependable sort finds herself in a state of panic over losing herself once more over a Jamison. Marc lets her run away from him though he is intrigued on more than one level to find out whether the hint of explosive passion between them could be explored further. A man who believes himself incapable of being faithful in a committed relationship due to his one blunder when he had been a senior in college, Marc is a man who is of the love em’ and leave em’ kind. Three months after Brooke runs off from Marc, these two are stranded together in a snowstorm in a cabin with nothing to do but give into the emotions warring between them as a wild storm rages on outside. It is at this cabin that Brooke lets go of her restraints, learns of the sensual creature that exists inside of her and understands the complex man that Marc is, enough to fall in love with a Jamison, the second time round.

The turning point: The utmost turning point in the story was the first sizzling kiss between Marc and Brooke that begged to be explored further. Their relationship turns into something which cannot be undone when both Marc and Brooke give into this explosive desire between each other which eventually grows into something much more than either of them had bargained for.

Likes: Mmmm… I loved the world of sensual exploration in this story. I have to say that at times I felt like I was reading a novel of the Erotica genre as encounters between Marc and Brooke were frequent and searingly HOT! I loved the fact that Brooke and Marc communicated openly with one another rather than just settle into a vortex of misunderstanding which would have dragged on their problems. I liked the fact that both Brooke and Marc changed for the better during their short and sizzling affair though Ms. Denison doesn’t provide overnight solutions to their problems.

Dislikes: Absolutely none!

Recommended for: Harlequin Blaze line lovers. Though this book was published on the year 2000, this is a lip-smacking good read that should not be missed.

Favorite Quotes

Too soon he pulled back, and she lifted up on her feet to place a chaste kiss on his cheek – the same time he turned his head. Their lips met, momentarily startling them both. Over the past four years she’d shared many platonic kisses with her flirtatious brother-in-law, and this one started as innocently as any, his mouth brushing hers lightly … except somewhere along the way the tenor of the kiss changed, for both of them.
This time his lips lingered a little longer, and his mouth gradually, instinctively, exerted a gentle pressure that surpassed those chaste kisses they’d shared in the past. To her shock, a soft, unexpected moan of pleasure tickled her throat and his tongue stroked along her bottom lip in tentative exploration.
Her mind spun, her senses reeled, and she struggled to keep her perspective on the situation. Desires and denials crashed, confusing her. Nerve endings that had lain dormant for too long sizzled and came alive. And then she did something incredibly shameless – she touched her tongue to his.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble



Short & Sweet Review: Shaken by Dee Tenorio

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
Hero: Dr. Grant Sullivan
Heroine: Julia Sullivan
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: October 19, 2010
Started On: October 20, 2010
Finished On: October 20, 2010

Reading Shaken by Dee Tenorio literally shook me to the core as waves of emotions crossed over me throughout the quarter of an hour it took me to read the story. Shaken is heartbreaking to read, yet shows beautifully how a deep abiding love between two people can overcome even the greatest tragedies in life. Since this is a pretty short story I will be doing the short version of my review as well.

Storyline: Dr. Grant Sullivan, a cardio thoracic surgeon has been married to his beautiful wife Julia (Jules as he calls her in moments of passion and tenderness) for the past eight years. The story kicks off in the midst of the divorce proceedings which was taking place after Julia had walked out on him 2 months back. Tragedy had driven them apart and Grant would give anything to get back his wife to rightfully where she  belongs. When Julia walks out upon reaching a stalemate in the proceedings, Grant follows her onto the elevator which stops as an earthquake strikes leaving the two stranded alone for hours, giving them the perfect opportunity to air their grievances and move on.

The first meet: Grant and Julia first meet one another when Julia comes in for a consultation for her mother. From the moment Grant who is ten years older than Julia lays his eyes on her, he is a goner.

Time period: Present day.

Awareness between the two characters: Considering this is a pretty short story, Ms. Tenorio has done a splendid job in creating both characters in the story. Grant being ten years older doesn’t detract from the fact that he is handsome and as appealing as they come. From the first page itself, even with an 8 year old marriage between them, Grant and Julia are as aware of one another as two people can ever be. Every touch, each searing kiss is so tastefully done that it lent the story the jolt that kept me turning the pages until the very end.

How the relationship grows: Grant and Julia’s relationship had been pretty much perfect until tragedy had marked them both and driven them apart day after day until Julia had finally walked out. Julia who had cried and mourned during the past couple of months had felt that Grant really had not grieved for their loss, and that had been the ultimate betrayal in her eyes which had made her doubt the very foundation on which their marriage is based – the true love they have for each other. Before the story is through their relationship alters for the better and goes through the healing it deserves so that two people who deserve one another as much as these two have a second chance at being together.

The turning point: For me there were two turning points in the story. Even though Julia thinks she possibly cannot let Grant turn every opportunity they have together into a mind numbing orgasmic fest, she lets go because she sees the need in her husband’s eyes, a need so strong that he literally shakes with it. The second turning point comes when Grant finally lets go and grieves for their ultimate loss, a loss that had wrecked him in guilt for the past year which had left him unable to really mourn or cope with his feelings.

Likes: Even though this story literally screams tragedy with a capital “T”, I loved every bit of it. The tragic parts weren’t overdrawn, nor were the emotions held back either. The red hot sensuality that these two so effortlessly wield just makes it the icing on the cake. Grant is the epitome of a tortured hero, the scars going through so deep that he doesn’t know whether he deserves to grieve for his loss. Julia, who complements Grant in all the ways is a strong heroine who doesn’t step down from facing the harsher moments of life, and that makes her that much more appealing as a heroine. Loved the story, loved the characters and absolutely loved the epilogue! (Always a sucker for a good epilogue – yes, I am)

Dislikes: None.

Recommended for: All romance lovers who doesn’t shy away from a good dose of sensuality in the novel. Those who love a tortured hero would cry buckets over this one.

Favorite Quotes

“I miss you,” he murmured, his hands settling on her arms. His head nuzzled against hers, almost as if he were breathing her in. “I miss you so damn much, Jules.”
She shook, tears already blinding her. “Grant, no -”
“I know, I’m sorry. I’m so fucking sorry.” But he didn’t move away. If anything he was closer.

“Yes, I do. I can’t even breathe anymore without you.” Down. She felt him drawing them both down to the floor. She went, her body flowing into his, over his. He lay back on the carpet, pulling her with him, fitting her mouth to his, not to kiss, but to breathe her in. “You’re air to me Julia, You’re the fucking air.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Samhain



Short & Sweet Review: Home for a Soldier by Tatiana March

Format: E-bookhomeforasoldier
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Resplendence Publishing LLC
Hero: Rory Sullivan
Heroine: Grace Celements
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 18, 2010
Started On: October 17, 2010
Finished On: October 18, 2010

Yesterday was a good day. I say this because I got to stay at home suffering from stomach cramps (which was so not a good thing) and got to finish 3 titles by the time I was ready to sleep. The best part was all the 3 books that I chose to read yesterday were awesome and entertained me to no end.

Home for a Soldier is a title that I stumbled upon quite accidentally I think on one of the discussion forums on Amazon. From the first chapter itself, I was hooked line and sinker and couldn’t make myself put the book down to go to sleep knowing I would pay for it when I had to wake up early next morning for work. Nevertheless the story of how a marriage of convenience between straitlaced Grace Clements and ex-soldier Rory Sullivan develop into something more was totally worth it. So here is my short and sweet review of a romance that took my breathe away from the moment Rory Sullivan stepped into the picture.

Storyline: Grace Clements, a woman as straitlaced as they come is someone who is totally clueless when it comes to what is regarded as normal behavior of the female species. She is lonely and broke after having lost her job as a statistician for an insurance company. Someone who solves simultaneous equations for entertainment, Grace finds herself once again stepping into solve her sister Debbie’s problems when she agrees to a marriage of convenience with Rory Sullivan who is to ship off to Iraq the next week. All Rory wants from the marriage is someone  to live in the apartment which belonged to his beloved grandparents so that he wouldn’t lose the apartment prior to his return. What they both didn’t bargain for is for love to enter into the equation and muddle things up so wonderfully.

The first meet: Grace and Rory first meet one another when Grace flies to Vegas for their marriage. Grace is horrified upon landing to find a drunk Rory with a signboard announcing he was waiting for Grace whilst his army buddies surrounded him creating enough of a ruckus for Grace to wish that she could just disappear.

Time period: Present day.

Awareness between the two characters: From the first moment that Grace is plastered to the hard masculinity of Rory, both can’t help but feel the first stirrings of desire and longing for the other. With Rory at first distrustful of Grace thinking that she would walk out on him and leave him in the lurch, Rory tries to keep Grace plastered to him at all times especially with him suffering from the mother of all hangovers. A dare that Rory can turn every No that comes out of Grace into a Yes ends with both of them reeling from the impact of the heady attraction between them. Ms. March does a wonderful job in maintaining the sizzle between Grace and Rory at a simmer throughout the book which explodes out of control now and then, no matter how much Rory tries to distance himself from his delectable wife.

How the relationship grows: Grace never thought that she would fall in love with her husband and nor does Rory think that Grace would bring down the thick armored wall that he has built around his heart 10 years ago when tragedy had struck his family, the result of which had been Rory joining the army. Their wedding night becomes the stuff that dreams are made of before Rory slinks off into the night without even saying goodbye. A heartbroken Grace who knows that there is no turning back for her when she has so irrefutably fallen in love with the one man who doesn’t want emotional commitment gets the chance seduce Rory into falling in love with her when Rory’s departure date is delayed by 3 days. Though Rory tries to push Grace away, he can’t help but be drawn towards the warmth and goodness that radiates from her and it is during this brief period of time that the first cracks in Rory’s special armor appear. E-mails exchanged between the two go a long way into letting both of learn about each other, something that wouldn’t have happened so easily if both of them had been living together. And when Rory is injured while on tour and comes back home, it is a delighted Grace who meets a gruff Rory who wants to keep Grace at arms length making Grace work hard for whatever she can get from Rory. The relationship, though a difficult one, grows over time throughout the story making this book the wonderful story it is.

The turning point: There were several turning points within this story. Grace and Rory’s unforgettable wedding night meant that both of them couldn’t forget the magic that they had shared which makes Grace determined that she would win the love of her husband until she finds out that the woman Rory calls out for in his nightmares and in time of need is not Grace. The final turn for the better comes when Grace walks out on Rory when he refuses to open up his heart for the possibility of something long and lasting between them.

Likes: I loved Rory, his flaws and all. The tender loving care that he bestows upon Grace even when his heart is reluctant to embrace loving anyone made me fall in love just a little bit more with him. Of course his war torn soldier body is totally drool worthy and makes loving him just a teeny tiny bit easier regardless of the way he kept pushing Grace away. And I totally loved Grace as well for her understanding and unwavering love for a man who continually refused to see what was standing right in front of him. And I applaud Grace wholeheartedly for leaving Rory which went a long way into making him realize just what he had put Grace through during the short  period that they had been together. And I very much enjoyed reading the correspondences between Rory and Grace after Rory goes off to Iraq. Gave something a little extra to this beautiful story. And oh yes, loved the love scenes. Very tastefully done! And before I forget, the way Rory wins Grace back – the guy totally knows how to grovel and win the love of his life back! Sigh!

Dislikes: None.

Recommended for: Anyone who loves romances.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Resplendence Publishing



Short & Sweet Review: A Little Bit Naughty by Anne Rainey

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Tahoe Nights Story
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Leo Prentice
Heroine: Amanda Harding
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: October 9, 2010
Started On: October 17, 2010
Finished On: October 17, 2010

I was eyeing the Lake Tahoe series long before its release, when I received my weekly newsletter from Books on Board. I find that an enticing cover always goes a long way with a romance and this one has got the enticing thing covered on all bases. When I found out that this a friends to lovers story, I didn’t waste anytime in obtaining a copy and sinking into this short yet sweet story. Since the story is quite short, I will do the short and sweet version of my review for this book.

Storyline: Leo Prentice, owner of the Prentice Construction and Amanda Harding, owner of The Book Attic are best friends. Amanda is always a little bit wary of her family’s annual reunion. Being the only girl in her family, Amanda doesn’t look forward to going to another reunion all alone and facing the endless criticism from her family because she is not married with 2.5 kids at her feet. When she confesses her worries to her best friend Leo, he proposes the most intensely wicked plan – Leo would pretend to be her fiance for the duration of the weekend. But somehow, both of them end up with more than each bargained for.

The first meet: Leo and Amanda had met one another three and a half years back at a grocery store.

Time period: Present day.

Awareness between the two characters: From the first kiss that takes place between the two, there is a constant hum of awareness of one another that hangs around the two. Leo and Amanda had never thought of each other as more than friends before. But suddenly, with that one kiss that had shaken each to their very core, the prospect of exploring what they have together becomes more and more exciting. Since the novel is extremely short, there is not much time spent on building the awareness into a frenzied pitch which would have made this book extremely good.

How the relationship grows: Leo and Amanda have been best friends for the past couple of years. They have a standing date with each other to have lunch on Wednesdays and Fridays and have never missed out on the said date. Their relationship had grown over the years to the extent that they each knew the other well enough to embark on a journey that would take their relationship to the next level.

The turning point: For me the turning point in Leo and Amanda’s relationship came about when Leo kisses Amanda for the first time, to convince her that their charade as pretend lovers could work. And the rest, as they say is a foregone conclusion! *winks*

Likes: I loved Leo as the hero. Wish that he had gotten a longer story of his own. Always a sucker for a man who works with his hands and has got a killer body and growls tender nothings in his lover’s ears. Sigh! Basically loved Leo from his head to foot!

Dislikes: The fact that this is a short novel. *pouts*

Recommended for: Those who would love a quick great read of the erotica genre and those who love books of the theme where friends turn to lovers.

Favorite Quotes

Leo closed the few feet separating them and took her by the shoulders. “A weekend in Lake Tahoe with your best friend,” he whispered. “How is that wrong?”
She placed her hand on his chest and looked away. “It’s a lie though. It feels wrong to pretend we’re in love when we aren’t. Besides, I don’t think we can pull it off. They’ll see right through us, then it’ll be even more of a mess. Not to mention embarrassing.”
“See through us, huh?” She nodded and looked up at him. Their gazes caught, held. Leo cupped her chin in his palm. “Let’s see if we can’t make this look like the real deal,” he growled, as he placed his lips on hers. He tasted the sweet sauce from their lunch and something else. Something warm and spicy. He tasted Amanda. Angling his head, Leo pressed a little harder. Her plump lower lip tempted him to lick and nibble. He held back, barely. She whimpered and swayed forward, pushing her ample breasts against his ribcage. Ah, hell, that felt good. Too damn good.

“You, um, got excited when you kissed me.” Amanda studiously kept her eyes on his face.
Leo cleared his throat and released her hand. He pushed his fingers through his hair, making a mess of the dark, shiny strands. Amanda had an urge to push her own fingers through Leo’s gorgeous hair. “Excited. Yeah, that’s one way to put it.”
She frowned. “Well, how would you put it?”
He made a left hand turn. “Turned on,” he bluntly stated. “Aroused. Hard as a damn rock. Ready to push you against the wall so I could get a better taste.”

Damn! now I wish for an against the wall scene! Sigh!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Samhain



Short & Sweet Review: The Multi-Millionaire’s Virgin Mistress by Cathy Williams

Format: E-bookmm
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Mobipocket Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Presents Extra #90
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Alessandro Caretti
Heroine: Megan Reynolds
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 21, 2010
Started On: October 3, 2010
Finished On: October 4, 2010

First of all let me just cringe over here a bit from the hideous title of the book. *Shudders*. Moving on, here’s my short and sweet review.

Storyline: Megan Reynolds born and raised in the countryside of Scotland would love nothing more than to settle down with the man she loves in a small house surrounded by a white picket fence in the country teaching at a small school. But she rather unfortunately falls head over heels in love with Alessandro Caretti who is half-Italian and half-English who is the polar opposite of Megan in everyway. Alessandro who had grown up witnessing two parents who had literally worked to their deaths to provide for him has a deep seated driven need to succeed and make a name for himself in the richest and most powerful circles of the world. In Alessandro’s skewed perspective Megan doesn’t fit into the world that he is trying so hard to fit into and when Megan strives to surprise Alessandro by popping out of a birthday cake whilst Alessandro is in a meeting with the wheelers and dealers who could turn his life around, Alessandro breaks things off with a heartbroken Megan and leaves her behind to pursue his ambition of making a name for himself by moving to London. The story continues seven years later when Megan moves to London and it turns out that Alessandro is engaged to the mother of one of her students – a woman who is more suited to Alessandro than Megan could ever hope to be.

The first meet: A 25 year old Alessandro had met 19 year old Megan at a bar to which one of Alessandro’s university colleagues had dragged him off to claiming that Alessandro needed a break from his books.

Time period: Present day.

Awareness between the two characters: There is always a constant hum of awareness between Megan and Alessandro that is palpable. Even when Alessandro is breaking things off with Megan at the beginning of the story, the sexual zing between them ends up in a sinfully seductive scene after which Alessandro being the massive jerk he is at the beginning continues with his intention of breaking up with Megan. When these two meet again seven years later on Alessandro’s turf, its as if they had never been apart. Even though Alessandro is engaged to marry Victoria, a woman who is as career-driven and focused as he is and would fit seamlessly into his ruthlessly driven life, the simmering attraction that sizzles between Alessandro and Megan is something that cannot be ignored. Though encounters between Alessandro and Megan are far and few in between and not explicit, it still manages to draw in the reader into a web of sensual awareness between the two characters.

How the relationship grows: Things between Alessandro and Megan pick up where they left off when Alessandro turns up on Megan’s doorstep one night soaked to the  bone claiming that things between him and Victoria were over and that he wanted to explore what Megan and he still had together. Megan agrees on the condition that their affair be only a sexual one, not wanting to put her emotions and her heart on the line the second time round. Alessandro finds himself getting more and more frustrated with the distance that Megan seems to want to keep between them. And when Megan finds out the actual reason behind Alessandro and Victoria’s break-up Megan walks out on the man who fills her heart so completely but keeps such rigid control over his heart and emotions that would always prevent him from ever making himself vulnerable enough to feel an emotion such as love.

The turning point: The turning point in Alessandro and Megan’s relationship comes about when Megan walks out on Alessandro after they embark on a purely sexual relationship with one another seven years after the breakup.

Ending: I liked the way that this story moved gradually forward, without Alessandro just abruptly declaring his undying love for Megan when he had been so reluctant of love and other touchy feely emotions from the very beginning. A journey that takes them through a seven year separation hardly seems to have made Alessandro more malleable but rather more ruthless and cynical than before. Megan who has been hurt so bad by the fact that Alessandro thought nothing of just walking away from what they had had together seems to have grown a backbone or two for herself during the period of separation. Megan fights for what she wants, though she still feels heady with love and desire whenever Alessandro is around. The fact that she has the courage to walk out on him the second time round and Alessandro has to pick up the pieces of their relationship and work towards wooing Megan who seems reluctant  to give an inch made this book a winner for me. Loved the fact that Alessandro couldn’t manage to stay away from Megan though he tries his damnedest to do otherwise.

Likes: The fact that this story surprised me with the rare depth of character development that takes place for a Harlequin romance. I loved the fact that this story takes place with a believable time frame giving both Alessandro and Megan time to work through their issues to attain their happily ever after.

Dislikes: The immensely cringe-worthy title of the book. I wouldn’t have given this book a second glance if not for a recommendation from a friend who had actually managed to forget this hideous title but remembered the profound effect the story had on her.

Recommended for: Those who love Harlequin romances. This proves to be a little bit different from the usual rich guy stakes out the virgin heroine and terrorizes her until she succumbs to ever lasting love.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Harlequin