Review: Searching for Someday by Jennifer Probst

Format: E-booksearchingforsomeday
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Searching For, #1
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Hero: Slade Montgomery
Heroine: Kate Seymour
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 26, 2013
Started On: April 25, 2016
Finished On: May 17, 2016

“No,” she moaned, in one last attempt to deny him.
He lowered his mouth and stopped inches from hers.
“Yes. Oh, yes.”

Searching for Someday by Jennifer Probst is the debut book in the Searching For series. Jennifer Probst is an author that has impressed upon me her ability to write sexy heroes and heroines that practically burns up the pages with just the sizzling chemistry between them. It has been a while since I indulged in one of her books and this just felt like a warm homecoming that I could not get enough of.

Kate Seymour is owner of Kinnections, a matchmaking agency that has carved a niche for itself with the personal touch they offer to their client base. Kate has never had problems with keeping her distance from the men who have come seeking their services, even had there existed attraction on a physical level. That is until Slade Montgomery walks through their doors, brimming with self righteous indignation in his attempts to protect his sister from making a mistake.

Slade is the proper variety of divorce attorney, jaded and cynical with the touch of a bitter past that keeps him grounded in reality when it comes to love and happily ever afters. When his sister signs up to Kinnections seeking whatever ruse it is that Kate and her friends are keeping up in order to wrench money from their clients who pin their hopes and dreams on them, Slade practically sees no way out but to prove that Kinnections is a fraud and he would do anything, even if it means signing up on as their client, which is where the fun begins.

Kate and Slade rub each other the wrong way from the minute they lay eyes on one another. Kate is further more appalled when the gift that has guided her when it comes to matching couples seems to point towards Slade as being her one and only. Denying the bond that exists between them could prove to be detrimental in ways that Kate has never foreseen. But would  straightlaced Slade be able to move past what he deems to be the qualities that his perfect partner should have and see beyond, or would the immeasurable heartache that would come from giving into the connection prove to be more damaging than anything else ever before?

I loved Kate and Slade’s story, not to mention the premise of the whole setup as well. There is always a “magical” aspect to Jennifer’s story that glues everything together, made quite enticing by the fact that Kate and Slade could barely keep their hands off each other. Neither of them might want to give in, Kate in fact goes as far as to set Slade up with the kind of women he is looking for, but when push comes to shove, there is nothing more powerful than the attraction and deeper feelings that stems from the said connection that exists between them.

With each encounter, Jennifer delivers one breathless scene after another, until the ultimate culmination of which practically explodes onto the pages, leaving you gasping for breathe and then some. In Slade, Jennifer has created the ultimate sex on a stick hero personified. And no, I am not even sorry to say that!

What I loved most about the story was the balance it struck. There was the sexual tension that almost seemed palpable, it wrapped itself around me and I was cocooned in the feelings that coursed through both Slade and Kate. Then there are the moments that are shared between Kate and her best friends. Those moments brought smiles to my face, made me think, yeah that’s exactly how friends would react – friends who know everything about you and want the best for you and has your back, no matter what. 

The “adult” moments between Slade and Kate were just as precious, where they are mature enough to talk and listen to each other, even when it takes immense courage to say what needs to be said. That is often rare in the world of romance. Turns out, you don’t have to act like a prick to give a romance its angst factor. Jennifer Probst proves that in spades with this novel. I must not forget to mention the epilogue. That indeed, was a treat!

Recommended for fans of uber sexy tales of love! This one is so so good!

Final Verdict: Makes you believe in love, pain and the worthiness of heartache and sacrifices along the way!

Favorite Quotes

His laugh exploded through the room. The dark, husky tones stroked her like fingers plunging between her thighs and urging her to explode. Kate concentrated on breathing slowly and went back to the puppies in the shelter. “You want to talk about sex, huh? Okay. Let’s talk about sex.” She pretended to be busy scribbling so she wouldn’t have to look up. “I enjoy pleasure. I enjoy sex. I prefer a woman who asks me for what she wants so I can give it to her exactly the way she likes it, because one of the sweetest sounds in life is a woman screaming my name.”

Like Rice Krispies gone berserk, a live jolt of electricity hit her hard, wringing a gasp from her lips. Her insides shuddered, and raw, burning heat poured through her body, lighting her up like the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
His fingers tightened around her waist, and his tongue dove deep between her lips, devouring her in a hungry kiss that drove every other thought from her mind except the need for more.

Refusing to glance in the mirror, he marched out like a penguin on parade and simmered with temper.
“Here. Satisfied?”
Kennedy grinned like the badass she was. But it was the look in Kate’s eyes that froze him to the spot.

She panicked and lost her patience. Desperate to get away and drop the subject, she hurled the words at him. “Fine, I’ll tell you. I’m a witch. I cast wacky love spells on our clients, and I was practicing on you to see what I’d need to create to match you. Satisfied?”
That should do it. She’d read somewhere to wrap a little fact with a whole lot of fiction. He seemed to calculate, weigh, and judge her reaction. Her thighs quivered and moisture drenched her core. God, she loved a brainiac. Was there anything sexier than a man with a sharp mind?
“Know what scares me the most, Kate? I think some of it’s accurate. You did cast some spell on me because ever since I met you, I keep dreaming of burying my face between your thighs and watching you come.”

Kate clutched at him, digging her nails into his shoulders, and he pressed his body against hers for full contact. She groaned with sheer relief, needing his firm strength to hold her up as her knees gave out. His hips cradled hers, his erection notched between her thighs, and a rush of liquid warmth pulsed between her legs. She tried to shift to get closer, to ease the empty ache that was slowly tearing her apart.

She sank into emerald depths so hot they turned to molten gold, full of power and masculine demand that battled past all barriers and smashed them to pieces. The raw need carved in his features told Kate she was past the point of no return, that this man was meant to claim her, all of her. She sucked in her breath, poised on the pinnacle of a massive change that terrified her to the core. “From the moment we met, I’ve been imagining your face when you come, my fingers inside you, my tongue in your mouth, my dick buried so tight in your heat we don’t know where one of us ends and the other begins. I’m tired of being denied you. Now, come for me, Kate, show me what you’ve been hiding from me all this time.”

Rage and frustration mingled and rushed like a choppy tidal wave through her body. “Fuck you and your games, counselor.” He pushed his knee in the center of her pussy and her legs gave out.
“Oh, I intend to fuck you all right. All day and all night, making you come in so many ways you beg me to stop. But I won’t stop, Kate, I’ll use my dick and my teeth and my tongue to make you scream.”
The shock of his words ripped a shudder from her weak muscles. She cursed him and hated him but gave him the words. “Kiss me. Put your tongue inside my mouth and kiss me properly.”
“About time.”

His eyes blazed. “Give me everything. I won’t settle for anything else.”
She sucked in her breath, suddenly terrified at her vulnerability. What was she doing? Giving her virginity over to a man who believed in nothing but the moment? He’d destroy her, take everything she had, and leave her with nothing. Panic reared. With a cry, she opened her mouth to stop him, but it was too late. He surged inside with one long slide and claimed her.

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


ARC Review: The Professional by Kresley Cole

Format: E-booktheprofessional
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: The Game Maker, #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Hero: Roman Aleksandr Sevastyan
Heroine: Natalie Marie Porter
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: May 6, 2014
Started On: May 3, 2014
Finished On: May 8, 2014

Natalie Marie Porter has been searching for her birth parents for the past six years. Determined and not ready to give up describes her best. Natalie is studious, hardworking and studying her way to acquire her PhD in History. Fixated on her end goal, Natalie lets little get in her way, and she especially does not have time for the the usual run of the mill variety of men that either bores her to death or sparks no interest in her whatsoever.

All that changes the night Aleksandr Sevastyan walks into the bar Natalie and her friends are at, sparking a heat deep inside of her that surprises and shocks Natalie a bit, but not enough to prevent herself from giving into the goading of her friends to make a pass at the man who holds her enthralled. But then a bizarre set of events finds Natalie whisked away to Russia, Sevastyan being the man who had been assigned by her father to protect her at any cost.

Written in the first person from Natalie’s perspective, The Professional is wrought with sexual tension right from the very beginning. Natalie feels as if the very ground she had been standing on had tilted on its own axis taking her along for a wild ride that sets the tone for the whole experience. Though Natalie might be a mere babe in the woods when it comes to the actual reality of hot, wicked and wanton sex, she understands enough to grasp the fact that she and Sevastyan shares the kind of attraction that doesn’t happen often.

Meeting her beloved father and then once again being taken away by Sevastyan to protect her from the danger that surrounds her, Natalie finds herself dependent on Sevastyan for more than just her well being. Sevastyan has the ability to play her like a well strung guitar, the ability to turn her world upside down with just one searing glance from those golden eyes. Sevastyan tries keeping her at arm’s length, to protect her from the darkness that stalks the depths of his soul, that fights and rages to break free from the control her exerts on himself.

It was only after I finished reading this and looked the book up on Goodreads that I realized that The Professional had actually been published before as a set of three short novels. Bearing similarities to 5o Shades of Grey in certain aspects of the story, The Professional certainly dwells into darker aspects of BDSM than 50 Shades which I would say barely skimmed through the subject. Sevastyan is dark. He is the sort of dark that is brusque, uncommunicative and emotionally distant and has a past that he is ashamed of. He is the sort of man who would best be described as sex on a stick. The tattoos, that body and the fighter stance of his all sums up to just that. I can’t even pronounce his name properly but I am woman enough to realize the kind of havoc that a man like him could cause a woman.

I love dark heroes. Anyone who reads my reviews would know that I have a thing for them. The darker the better. And Sevastyan while he did have the essential ingredients that makes a dark hero unforgettable, I don’t think he touched the very heart of me without which my soul refuses to engage when it comes to characters and even people for that matter. Sevastyan is all about control in the bedroom and even out of it, but he does it all because he wants to see to the pleasure of his woman. I think what made it a bit difficult for me to get on board wholeheartedly when it came to Sevastyan was the fact that he plays a dangerous game with Natalie and her feelings; though he certainly rocks her world sexually and then some, he refuses to let her in, perhaps fearful of the fact that she might not find it in herself to be with him if it ever came to that. I find it tiresome when female characters do the constant advance and retreat dance and I felt Sevastyan was doing that more than one half of the story.

Perhaps one reason that I found it hard to get involved with Sevastyan’s character on a level that would have made me fall head over heels in love with him was the lack of his point of view in the story. I dislike reading stories written in first person for that very reason. I feel that the reader is put at a disadvantage when a story is written from just one single character’s point of view and multiple characters points of views can have the opposite effect. I wanted to get inside Sevastyan’s mind, perhaps that was what Kresley intended when she wrote the story this way; to drive her readers crazy with the need to know Sevastyan. But I felt shortchanged in a way in never knowing what he actually was thinking and feeling, especially during crucial moments to the story. All the reader has to guide her through are Natalie’s perception of Sevastyan’s feelings and that I felt played a role in making Sevastyan seem more detached than he should have been.

While Natalie had enough spunk to weather through the absolute storm that is Sevastyan, there were times I found her to be a bit of a handful too. But nevertheless it all worked out in the end for both of them, quite wonderfully so I must say. It has been a long while since I actually read a novel featuring hardcore BDSM aspects. And I have to say that I have never thought that BDSM actually requires a lot from both partners physically and mentally. Kresley actually managed to enlighten me on a subject that is fascinating and yet at the same time I know is not for me. A romance every now and then featuring BDSM to a certain extent is all I can manage of the lifestyle, and even then certain aspects somehow do not sit well with me. Perhaps it is the feminist in me that balks at the thought of being collared for pleasure. But that in no way diminished the impact that Kresley sought for and achieved with the countless scorching scenes of sex included in the story.

I am thinking that Sevastyan’s very interesting brothers might have stories of their own coming out soon. The Professional has definitely intrigued me enough to want to read about them, especially the younger unforgiving one whom I am thinking would make for a forbidding hero at best. Recommended for those who love scorching hot BDSM novels the likes of 50 Shades of Grey. But then again, this is darker and edgier, so consider yourself duly warned.

Final Verdict: Taut & intense; The Professional definitely leaves its mark on you!

Favorite Quotes

“His type,” she continued blithely, “usually make up for any shortcomings with their mouths. True story.”
I told her, “And you better be careful, Jessebel, or else you’ll collect another admirer who clings like lichen.”
“I can’t help it that this is the Bermuda Triangle”—she pointed at her crotch—“when guys venture there, they tend to stay.”
I tapped my chin. “Oh, I thought you called it that because it’s sucked in lots of semen.”

His spellbinding eyes were the color of amber, irises ringed with black.
As I noted additional details—scarred knuckles, tattoos on his fingers under those rings, chiseled jawline clean-shaven—I perceived the heat coming off his big body. Then I got my first mind-numbing hit of his scent.
Crisp, masculine, intoxicating.

I felt cold air between my legs, just as I saw that my robe had come open at the belted waist. Everything below was exposed. My pale skin glowed in the moonlight, the trimmed thatch of red curls stark in comparison.
I was too stunned to react, pinned by his gaze. His lids grew heavy, his nostrils flaring. His broad chest seemed to struggle for breath. I was naked from the waist down but had no way to cover myself. I twisted my arms to free my wrists—until I saw that look of his.
Dark, hungry, molten. Dangerous.

Shaking, I watched as he straightened his ringed thumb from my hip until it reached my mons. He brushed the tip of his finger along the edge of my curls. It was so slow and unexpected, so tender, I couldn’t bite back a moan.
He touched me as if with . . . reverence.
I no longer saw signs of that iron control; instead he looked lost.
Like I probably looked in that moment.

I’d never been more confused in my life. “Are you . . . are you going to kiss me?”
With his accent thicker than I’d heard it, he rasped, “Would you want a man like me to take your mouth?” His thumb ring glinted when he gave another slow stroke.
Good question. I answered myself when words spilled from my lips: “Try it and see.”
“You think I’d stop with a kiss?”
“You assume I’d want you to?”

Inner shake. “I picked you because you were a mystery. I can read men with ease, but not you. That made me curious.”
He rested his hand on the wall above my head, surrounding me with his heat. “When a woman singles me out”—he leaned down to murmur at my ear—“it’s because she wants to get fucked. She looks at the scars and tattoos and knows she’ll get fucked hard.”
I gasped, melting for him.
“Is that what you wanted of me, Natalya?”

“If you tease me again, pet, you will not enjoy the consequences.” He left me, shutting the door behind him.
Note to self: Tease Sevastyan at earliest opportunity, investigate “consequences.”
In that closet, still warmed—and wet—from his attentions, I decided two things:
Aleksandr Sevastyan had to be my first lover. And I’d let him think he made the rules.

Blazing in his gaze was that bone-deep yearning, the one that called to mine. “What do you want from me, Natalie?”
How to articulate it? I want to kiss you until you forget your pain for a time, want to hold you tight against me because I can’t seem to get my body close enough to yours. In other words . . . “I want you to make love to me.”
Before, I hadn’t slept with him because of the future and con- sequences. I wasn’t sure I would live long enough to enjoy the former, so I couldn’t be bothered with the latter.
At my admission, his brows drew tight; he looked like he was unraveling.
I asked him, “What do you want from me?”
I gasped when he fisted the collar of my dampened shirt. “I want what’s mine.” He tore the material from me with one rip, stripping me.

Then his hand trailed down to cup me. He slipped his middle finger inside my spread lips, making me moan, “Yes, yes . . .”
When he felt how slick I was, a defeated sound broke from his chest and a second finger joined the first to open me.
Then he withdrew those fingers to his mouth, his lids sliding closed as he sucked clean my cream. Another dip, another suck. As if he was drinking me one drop at a time.

He strode toward the bed with a predator’s gait, big hands unbuckling his belt—as menacing a gesture as I’d ever seen.
I steeled myself as he reached for me.
He snatched at my hips, flipping me over on my stomach, then shoved his pants to his thighs. Like an animal, he impaled me with one brutish thrust, mounting me.
His cock had to fight against my clamping walls because I was already coming, his rough invasion triggering my release. “Oh, my God!”

Even as he tore my blouse from me like it was tissue paper, he was giving me his mind-numbing, toe-curling lover’s kiss—as if he couldn’t help himself.
As if his mind was saying Discipline her, while his heart was saying Kiss her.
Though my mind screamed Resist him, my heart told me . . . Surrender.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BookDepo | KoboiTunes


ARC Review: The Darkest Joy by Marata Eros

Format: E-bookthedarkestjoy
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
Series: The Darkest Joy, #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hero: Chance Taylor
Heroine: Brooke Elizabeth Starr
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 18, 2014
Started On: February 17, 2014
Finished On: February 21, 2014

The Darkest Joy is my second novel by Marata Eros. I absolutely loved what she brought to the table with her novel A Terrible Love, a story that I adored on so many levels. With that in mind, I requested for a galley of The Darkest Joy from netgalley, its premise and setting one that intrigued me when I read the blurb. And everything seemed to go really well, especially with the opening chapter introducing the reader to a wealth of horror when Brooke’s family is slaughtered while she listens in on as the whole nightmare unfolds.

Five months later, the investigation into the brutal killing behind her family’s death still remains to be solved and Brooke is running, running from the darkness of the memories and the guilt that threatens to swallow her as a whole. Moving to Homer, Alaska seems to be a farthest that she can go to bury herself under the cloak of anonymity, where no one would ask her the pressing questions which she needs to get away from, questions that haunt and plague her even as she flees the guilt ravaging her heart and soul.

When Brooke meets her employer Chance Taylor, it is at first the music he strums effortlessly from his guitar that pierces her to her very soul, reaching deep into the frozen cold that has protected her from her baser emotions for the past couple of months. Leaving her prospective future as a pianist, one who has had a future at the Juilliard well behind her had seemed like a wise choice up till the moment Chance invades her soul and etches a place for himself in her heart.

Chance is the love and leave them type personified, his one true and only love being the sea, the passion for which is satisfied by his occupation as a deep sea fisherman. But the minute Brooke enters the picture, everything Chance has believed in up till then ceases to exist until all he can think, feel and want is Brooke in every single way he can have her. But Brooke’s fear and guilt for a past that cannot be changed, together with a killer that seems to be nowhere near to stopping the litter of bodies that keep mounting proves to be the obstacle that seems to stand in the way of the joy that could be theirs if only Brooke were willing to make peace with the past and move on.

The Darkest Joy is a story that disappointed me on many levels. The opening chapter was the only good thing about this novel, the level of detail that went on to showcase Brooke’s life in Alaska in the chapters that followed sometimes getting so tedious to the point that I skim read large chunks of the novel to pick out the story that should have flowed smoothly otherwise. I found the whole thing with Brooke denying herself the closure that was required, especially turning her back on the authorities trying their hardest to keep her up to date on the developments of the case unbelievable at times. I can understand survivor’s guilt, the fact that someone might want to bury themselves right in the ground with their loved ones when tragedy strikes, but I couldn’t understand Brooke not being moved enough to actually WANT to seek justice for the death of her entire family.

I found Chance to be at odds with what his character was portrayed to be at the beginning of the story. Having lived practically most of his life in Homer, Alaska, everyone who knows him attests to his love em’ and leave em’ lifestyle. But throughout the story, Chance seemed too besotted with Brooke to really live up to any of the traits revealed to be the background of his character. I can understand a man changing for the right woman though it seldom happens in real life, but going against every single facet of his character for Brooke that soon just seemed highly unlikely to me.

When the villain was finally revealed, the surprise came from the fact that it all seemed so hard to take in, the fact that there seemed to be several gaps missing in the tale of how the villain had come to be as portrayed in the story. I believe that the novel could have done away with more than half the story and added more relevant chapters to keep the story flowing in a direction that would have captivated the reader rather than just portraying the sense of guilt that plagues Brooke, keeping her bound with an inability to let go and move on.

The only thing positive for me about the novel was the at times beautiful writing that came to light in bits and pieces as the story progressed. The Marata Eros I remember from my one single experience with her prose is one who writes beautifully well and reaches deep into your heart to invoke emotions that cannot be otherwise. And that was practically the only thing that kept me turning the pages even when I wanted to give up and label this a DNF. But all that being said, you just might find this to be your cup of tea while it didn’t meet any or all of my expectations when I picked it up. Recommended for fans of the author and fans of new adult romances.

Favorite Quotes

But those eyes, those haunted eyes, they’re burned into my brain. Her sadness has caught me like the fish I net. I’ve hit her hook without even knowing I’m in the ocean; saving her has reeled me in inextricably.
And I don’t even know her name.

He looks up and our gazes meet. Chance Taylor steals my breath. His open smile melts me.
I walk toward him.
It feels like a death march.

I feel the tip of him at my entrance, and his knees split my legs farther apart even as he enters me slowly, each hot inch sinking deeper, and I let out a hoarse cry, pressing myself back against him. My hips rise and he puts a staying hand on the back of my head and the other at the small of my back, pinning me in place, and I whimper in surrender.

Then he’s fully inside me with a single thrust and I scream my pleasure into his quiet house, absorbed by all that wood and I come until I can’t breathe. The pulses of my orgasm radiate through my tingling body and wash over Chance, grabbing at him as he grows impossibly harder, his own release crashes into him as he pours himself into me.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BookDepo


ARC Review: A Terrible Love by Marata Eros

Format: E-bookaterriblelove
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: A Terrible Love, #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hero: Devin Castile
Heroine: Jess Mackey
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: April 26, 2013
Started On: September 22, 2013
Finished On: September 26, 2013

Jess Mackey leads a life that gives her the sort of security that she craves after the brutality of the past that she endured and walked out from. All that Jess wants to do is blend in and be one with the crowd so that no one would notice that she is not whom she pretends to be, day in ad day out.

Jess’s one vice remains to be her love for the ballet and that turns out to be the reason for her to break out from her shell and leave that wall of anonymity behind her after two years of living under its protection. And along with embracing her love for the ballet comes another kind of “danger” calling into her life in the form of bad boy tattoed hotness Devin Castile.

The attraction between Castile and Jess is instantaneous and you can practically feel the heat between them burn the pages with the slightly erotic and very sensuous scenes of passion that leaves you begging for more. In the midst of Jess rediscovering herself and her buried passions, her very much troubled past comes calling in a way that leaves a lot to be desired and forces Jess to face her fears and come out victorious even with all odds seemingly stacked against her.

A Terrible Love is told in the first person from Jess’s point of view. Though my very first book by Mantara Eros, I fond myself totally captivated with the story that was unfolding, her ability to draw the reader in, a testament to her ability in weaving a magical story. A Terrible Love is by no means a light read. There are dark elements to it that makes it a very enjoyable page turner with that hint of menace and danger snipping at your heels all the while.

I loved the hero Castile to bits. He is the perfect combination of danger and sexiness that practically revs up my engines. A hero whose body alone speaks volumes, the way he rides that tough meanie motorbike of his enough to make this girl swoon. And that take charge attitude of his and smouldering I-am-dying-to-take-you-against-the-wall-or-any-flat-surface-available-right-now stare of his was just the right amount to leave me practically sighing all over the place.

Jess turned out to be an equally endearing heroine too. Though at times I was of the opinion that Jess just should’ve trusted her instincts and gone ahead with Castile from the start, I could understand the whys of Jess’s actions when it comes to Castile. The woman who wants no emotional entanglements, whose commitment to the ballet demands that she focus on little else but just that and the fact that Castile makes her feel all too much makes Jess hesitate in putting her heart on the line when it comes to him. And then there is that shred of mystery that surrounds Castile like an invisible aura that drives Jess a bit crazy trying to figure out where he is coming from.

I wouldn’t term the love that flares to life between Jess and Castile as a terrible love. I would label their love anything but that. Combustive, fiery, consuming; all words that I would use to describe the love between them, a love that felt right, a love that just seemed to click in all those places that hums yes when an author gets it right and a love that had me smiling as I turned the very last page. A job I would say very well done by an author who is unfamiliar to me and yet already just a step away from becoming an auto-buy for me. The best bit about looking up this book on Goodreads today? Turns out that the second book in this series is told from Castile’s point of view and its already out. How delicious is THAT going to be?

Final Verdict: One hell of a page-turner. The twists and turns this book takes leaves you drained. Yep, that good!

Favorite Quotes

“May I kiss you, Jess?” he whispers above my mouth.
No. “Yes,” I whisper back against every impulse not to.
He doesn’t take my lips softly but crushes my mouth against his, a storm crashing into the shore, his full lips working over mine, forcing them open, and I groan as he gathers me against him, his huge hands splaying against my lower back in a con- vulsive surge, bringing me into the line of his body.

I don’t know who moves first but before I can take my next breath I’m in his arms, his fingers tearing out my damp braid and plowing through my long hair. He holds my face, slam- ming his mouth against mine until I groan and open it for him. His other hand goes to the small of my back, then dives down to my ass as he lifts me against him, my legs automatically winding around his waist.

“Watch me, Jess,” he says in quiet command, and I don’t look away, can’t. He pulls out torturously slow, then slams his cock so deeply inside me my walls clench around him and he moans softly, the beautiful ebony of his eyes disappearing when he closes them in paused ecstasy.

I grip him hard and pull; he shudders under my touch. “Don’t do that, vanilla girl.”
“Or what?” I ask breathlessly.
And he shows me. Cas hikes me against the wall. “You said just fucking, Jess.”
He grinds his hips against my lower body, his engorged cock splitting my lips apart, and I gasp as an electric surge floods my system, beginning at my sex and spreading like a wildfire ignited. My hips give a responding swivel.

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


Review: Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

Format: E-bookmr.perfect
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hero: Sam Donovan
Heroine: Jaine Bright
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication:  July 25, 2000
Started On: August 15, 2010
Finished On: August 16, 2010

OMG! Sam Donovan has shot up right into the #1 position on my absolute hottie alpha male list. I have no clue as to why I don’t remember this story as being a remarkable one. Maybe it has got something to do with the fact that when I first discovered Linda Howard as an author I just “gobbled” up all the books of hers that I could get my hands on. And boy, am I glad now that I re-read this one!!

Jaine Bright works at a computer related company called Hammerstead Technology. And it was a Friday ritual for Jaine and her three friends Marci Dean, Luna Scissum and T.J Yother to meet up at a local bar and grill called Ernie’s after work for a girls-only unwinding session. Out of the four, Marci was living in with a boyfriend named Brick whom the rest didn’t seem to think much of. Jaine who had been engaged three times and all three times the engagements had gone awry, was wary of men at best and steered clear of them. That is until her drunken looking neighbor who had the gall to suggest she quiet down in the middle of the day so that he can catch up on his beauty sleep whilst he comes home every night at the most odd hours banging and clanging his way through the street, making Jaine regret her decision to buy a house in the nice quaint neighborhood she was living in. And she had just discovered that her neighbor who seemed to vibrate with fury whenever she was around was a cop. Whilst T.J was the only one of them who was married, and that to her high school sweetheart, Luna was in an on an off relationship with a football star, who didn’t seem to have a faithful bone in his body.

So it was no wonder that on that particular Friday, when all four of them were bummed out about the men in their lives, as a joke, the four of them came up with a list of qualities that they require their Mr. Perfect to have. Things like being faithful, nice and dependable makes their way to the top of the list whilst the bottom of the list tended to get a little raunchy. A little harmless fun between friends on a Friday night turns into a nightmare when Marci during a moment of weakness shares the list with the editor of the newsletter of their company bringing all four of them into the limelight.

Meanwhile, at the home front, Jaine’s sister Shelley was pissed off at Jaine because her mom had entrusted the care of Booboo, her parents pet cat to Jaine. And David, Jaine’s brother was pissed off at her because their dad had entrusted the care of his vintage car to Jaine rather than David. And when the list leaks out and becomes a national sensation, Shelley and David seem to be equally pissed off with Jaine. And to top everything off, Jaine sights her “detestable” neighbor Sam naked, and oh boy does she fall hard and fast in lust with every luscious inch on display! And it doesn’t help matters when Sam says stuff like if he starts kissing her, it wouldn’t end up being JUST a kiss, which has Jaine all hot and bothered.

The dialogues between Jaine and Sam cracked me up big time! The conversation they have right after Sam and Jaine kiss for the first time (and boy that was one of the HOTTEST kisses ever!) is one to be savored. Jaine has on her mind to torture the sexy cop who seems to occupy her thoughts throughout the day, but eventually the joke is on her when Jaine is as frustrated as Sam is to hit the sheets. And when they do get round to have wall banging sex for the first time, Sam’s reaction afterwards had me laughing so hard!

Things with the list create enough of a spectacle such that Marci’s boyfriend Brick leaves in a huff and T.J’s husband blames her for ruining his image in front of his work buddies. A rift that had been growing for the past two years suddenly become a gulf big enough that their marriage seems to hit the rocks for the first time with T.J unwilling to apologize for some harmless fun she had with her friends.

But the list brings out the worst of a psychotic killer and suddenly what started out as a bit of fun between friends ceases to be that. When Marci is murdered in her home, bludgeoned to death with a hammer and sexually assaulted, Sam’s protective instincts kick in and thus starts a race against time to find the killer who lurks so close by.

I loved every single minute of reading this book. A quick page-turner with witty banter between all characters, a spunky heroine who grabs life by its “balls” and a sexy hero who makes my toes curl just thinking about him with a villain who just managed to creep me out because I was all alone in my room was enough to make my day! Highly recommended for fans of romantic thrillers. You cannot go wrong with this one!

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Review: Rainwater by Sandra Brown

Format: E-bookrainwater
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hero: David Rainwater
Heroine: Ella Barron
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 3, 2009
Started On: August 13, 2010
Finished On: August 14, 2010

Sandra Brown has taken a leap and written a story that is so different from her usual books and this story has touched me so deeply that I can’t help but think about it every few seconds. I found myself unable to sleep long after I finished the book, a bittersweet pain that clutched at my heart and refused to let go.

The year is 1934, the period of a great drought together with economic depression that has hit the Americans hard. Ella Barron runs her boardinghouse in Texas and makes sure that life runs smoothly, as smoothly as it can under the circumstances. With an autistic son in tow, life is hard for Ella, during a time period when autism and its symptoms weren’t widely known. With a husband who had run out on them long time back, Ella makes do with what she earns from renting her home to boarders.

When the town’s doctor comes calling one day with a distant cousin of his in tow, Ella can hardly refuse to accept him into her home. And when she finds out that David Rainwater is terminally ill from cancer and is just biding away his time until death comes calling, she can’t help but look out for him. From the very beginning David shows an uncanny interest in Solly, Ella’s son and makes quite a progress with him, something Ella hadn’t been able to do which makes her at first jealous and then later thankful.

Things are hardly idyllic during a period of drought and economic depression. With hooligans ruling the town and employing scaring tactics to keep a stronghold on its residents, it is Mr. Rainwater who steps up and stands up to the group who intimidates and at last resort to murder. Meanwhile, no matter how hard Ella tries to keep Mr. Rainwater at a distance, nothing can prevent the deep awareness that crops up between the two, and the connection that these two establish during a few chance encounters after the rest of the household has gone to bed.

Throughout the book I kept praying for a miracle that would take away David’s cancer, and kept hoping that Solly would come to be a remarkable man with his uncanny aptitude for numbers. But the bittersweet ending in which David gives up his life for Solly when Ella and David had just professed to love one another kept the tears coming.

Reading the epilogue requires a healthy amount of tissues I have to tell you. Life after the death of Mr. Rainwater who leaves all his property to Ella who makes a name for herself in the business world, and Solly who dies at the age of 32 having never reached his full potential but having had a life as best as he could. And to find out that the antique store owner is none other than Mr. Rainwater’s son sealed the deal for me.

I realize after reading this why I am not so much of a fan of bittersweet endings, one of the reasons why I tend to stay away from books written by Nicholas Sparks. But I wouldn’t change even one sentence of this wonderful book, because this is a story that makes you think, makes you fall irrevocably in love and in the end cry for all the things that could have been. Highly recommended for all types of fiction readers. This is not just a romance, but a story about life, its hardships and its bittersweet offerings.

Until next time! *Sniff*

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Review: After the Night by Linda Howard

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hero: Gray Rouillard
Heroine: Faith Devlin
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: December 1995
Started On: July 3, 2010
Finished On: July 5, 2010

Linda Howard takes us on one wicked sensual ride in this novel where the wealthy Gray Rouillard clashes with the poor town outcast Faith Devlin. Everyone in the small town of Prescott, Louisiana knew that Faith’s mother Renee the town whore, a sensational beauty who with a glance can leave men wanting is Guy Rouillard’s mistress. From a very young age, Faith had been addled with taking care of her mishap family with a drunken lout of a father and two elder brothers who were well on their way on continuing their father’s legacy and an elder sister who was quickly following in the wake of their mother. And then there was the youngest in the family, a child addled with Down’s syndrome who needed continuous care and attention.

The Devlins live on the outskirts of Rouillard’s property and regardless of the fact that they never paid their rent the Devlins were tolerated because of the relationship between Guy and Renee. Faith has always worshiped the town’s golden boy from afar. Faith’s childhood was a mix of spending endless hours just watching Guy and his friends while away their time and taking care of the endless chores that await her at home. Faith has never had illusions that a Devlin would ever be deemed good enough for a Rouillard but she yearns to shout out to the world that she is different from the rest of her family.

And one fateful night, life as the Devlins and Rouillards know it come to an end when Renee and Guy run away together leaving their families to pick up the pieces. Gray cannot fathom the reason why Guy had to abandon everything and run away with the town whore and overnight Gray grows up and is left to bear the emotional and financial upheaval that his father has left in his wake. Gray is furious with the trashy Devlins and orders them to evacuate the Rouillard’s property, an order  to which Faith’s family doesn’t pay a heed. However the full extent of the impact of Guy’s abandonment together with the fact that the Devlins were just continuing life as they know it drives Gray into a mass of seething rage which sees him ridding the town of the Devlins once and for all.

Faith would never forget the night that her mama never came home and how she and the rest of her family were driven out of their only home like a bunch of outlaws in the middle of the night. And twelve years later, Faith returns to Prescott, Louisiana to find the truth about what actually took place the night Renee and Guy left in the middle of the night forever changing the lives of both families. Faith’s return to town stirs up the gossip and the anger within the Rouillard’s family and Gray feels sucker punched by the intense need to get horizontal with Faith as soon as he lays eyes on her.

Faith knows that she would never be able to deny Gray but she would rather die than be labeled as the mistress of Gray Rouillard. Gray is torn between his family and the white hot desire that runs through his veins whenever he and Faith come across one another and of course it doesn’t help one bit when he realizes that Faith turns putty in his arms. The coming together of Faith and Gray is so explosive that you would feel the scorch of the heat generated as you read through. And whilst the relationship between Gray and Faith continues to unfold till its inevitable conclusion, someone in Prescott doesn’t like the questions that Faith keeps on asking in order to piece together what actually happened that fateful night.

Packed with explosive sexual tension between two strong characters that reminded me of Aqua Man with his long hair, wide shoulders and the oh so sexy diamond stud in his ear and Faith with her cat like green eyes and red hair with the effortless sensuality that drives Gray out of his mind that bore a strong resemblance with Aqua Man’s wife in the Justice League cartoon series, this book is one that each contemporary romance lover must read!

My favorite scene in the book would have to be the one where Gray corners Faith in the ladies room in the courthouse, and man do the pages sizzle then! I would love one wicked Gray Rouillard served on a plate please!

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Review: Daniel’s Bride by Linda Lael Miller

Format: E-book
Read with:  Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hero: Daniel Beckham
Heroine: Jolie McKibben
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 1, 1992
Started On: June 24, 2010
Finished On: June 25, 2010

I have been following and reading up stories on the theme where heroes were previously married or dote on someone else apart from the heroine with whom the hero has to enter into a marriage mostly for conveniences sake. Daniel’s Bride is one such novel, one when I started reading I had the inkling that I had previously read it and halfway through I knew with certainty it was so.

Jolie is about to be hanged for a crime which she didn’t commit when Daniel saves her from her fate by agreeing to marry her then and there. Jolie realizes that she would rather get married to a total stranger than die and pay for a crime she never even knew was happening until it was a trifle bit too late. Daniel marries her and whisks her off to his farm where Jolie discovers that her brand new husband is a man who has vowed never to love again.

Daniel has been grieving for his dead wife and two children, one who had died without even being born into the world. Daniel knows that he needs children to continue the family line and it was with this practicality in mind that he saved beautiful Jolie, who unnervingly had the power to skim right through his thoughts no matter how hard he tries.

Its a hard life for men and women back in the 1800’s and when you read through the book, you find yourself in awe of those who have lived under such hardships in the past. The preparation of a simple meal back then took hours and though the description makes one think Jolie embraces the hard life effortlessly, I felt twinges in my back from just reading about the backbreaking work she does on a daily basis.

Right from the start Jolie is drawn to the quiet enigmatic man that Daniel is. A man of few words, Daniel introduces her to the wonders of sensuality and before long she is in love with Daniel. Daniel doesn’t like the fact that he continues to be enchanted with his wife and decides to send her along to San Fransisco so that she may start a new life as a divorcee once the harvesting period is over.

But the best laid plans have a way of getting over one’s head as two children who have no where else to turn to end up living with Daniel and Jolie. Little by little, the rigid structure Daniel has built around his heart starts to crumble, but it is a battle that is hard won for Jolie. And to make matters worse, the outlaws who actually committed the crime for which Jolie was prosecuted for starts turning up around the farm when Daniel is not around, keeping Jolie at a loss as to how to get rid of them before they destroy the family that she has found for herself and holds so dear.

This story is one that moves slowly, like a cup of hot tea warms your insides on a cold day. Sometimes I got frustrated with Daniel because he rarely shows how he feels towards Jolie and the ending of the book too seemed a bit empty to me because maybe I was wishing that Daniel would profess his undying love to the woman who would walk to the ends of the earth for him. But anyhow, its a good story which makes me more appreciative of all those gadgets that eases the hardships that we too might have had to face if it weren’t for their invention.

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Review: Son of the Morning by Linda Howard

Format: E-booksonofthemorning
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hero: Black Niall of Scotland
Heroine: Grace St. John
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 4, 2009
Started On: June 18, 2010
Finished On: June 19, 2010

This is one of the books that I skipped when I went through my initial Linda Howard reading phase around 2 to 3 years back. This story is a mix of contemporary romance, mystery and suspense together with the aspect of time traveling thrown into the mix.

Grace St. John is a scholar specializing in ancient manuscripts. Grace is happily married to her husband Ford an archaeologist and living together with her brother Bryant who himself shares the same profession as her husband. The most recent stack of documents that land in Grace’s hands has her running for her life before the night is through. Witnessing the murder of her husband and brother within seconds of the other, Grace knows that her boss Parrish would stop at nothing to get his hands on her and the papers.

Overnight the scholarly Grace has to learn to keep her wits about her and transform herself into a person she barely recognizes. Grace doesn’t want to give into the gut wrenching pain that is barely kept at bay and it is the vow of vengeance and revenge on Parrish that keeps her going. Grace knows that the answer to everything lies in the bundle of papers that she had blessedly enough had the mind to take away with her and so starts her quest for answers whilst being a part of the underground community.

Before long, she is dreaming of the larger than life Scot warrior described in the papers known as the Black Niall of Scotland entrusted with guarding the lost Celtic treasure which is fabled to  hold unlimited power. Her shared dreams with Niall border on the verge of reality and Grace fears that she is being unfaithful to her dead husband Ford as the nights shared with Niall is the only time she feels alive.

Back in 13th century, Niall has his own share of problems always fighting and slaying those who dare to encroach on his territory. And the vague sense of a woman watching him from time to time and his unbearable hunger to claim her is keeping Niall on edge, more so than usual.

Once Grace discovers why Parrish and his Foundation of Evil wants their hands on the papers which holds the location of the elusive treasure, Grace knows that she alone cannot fight Parrish and finish off the foundation. To do what she must, Grace follows steps noted down in the papers on how to travel through time and finds herself in the midst of a battle and within seconds she is captured along with Niall.

Thus begins a journey of discovery of love that knows not the bounds of time, a man who would die protecting what is his and a woman who would travel to the beginning of time itself to belong to her warrior whose searing touch is unlike any she has known.

I kind of had mixed feelings about the novel whilst reading. A large chunk of the book passes by without Niall and Grace setting eyes on each other. Their only form of communication though both of them have no clue is through their vivid dreams of one another. Niall is a man to contend with whose presence makes the story come alive. Mind you, Grace is no whimpering heroine herself. What she accomplishes within a short period of time after the death of those whom she loves, I was in awe of her and was rooting for her all the way through.

Fans of Linda Howard ought to try this one out. Cos this surely is quite different from her usual stories.

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



Review: White Out by Linda Howard

Format: E-bookwhiteout
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Upon A Midnight Clear Series
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hero: Tanner Price
Heroine: Hope Bradshaw
Sensuality: 2.5
Date of Publication: November 29, 1999
Started On: June 17, 2010
Finished On: June 18, 2010

Believe me, once you get addicted to Linda Howard’s writing style, you would find it difficult to let go. It happened to me once before, when I first realized how great a writer she is. And of course the wonderful alpha male heroes that she creates with strong heroines who don’t grate on your nerves by their simpering idiosyncrasy or trying to prove that they are as good as the next guy bodes well with me.

This too is a short story, pretty short I would say, in fact shorter than the book that I reviewed the last time. Anyhow this story is centered around Hope Bradshaw who has been widowed for five long years during which she has devoted most of her time taking care of her dead husband Dylan’s dreams.

The story kicks off when a fierce blizzard is brewing up and Hope is alone at home with her faithful dog Tinkerbell as a companion when a stranger shows up in the midst of the snowstorm barely alive. Hope saves his life and before she knows it, she has given into the quick and hot attraction that flares up between the two.

But news from the outside world intrudes in on the couple making Hope doubt that Tanner is who he claims to be. Scared that he might be one of the escaped convicts the media was reporting about, Hope takes matters into her own hands and finally figures out who  the villain and who the hero is before this short story is through.

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