Review: Whiteout by Adriana Anders

Format: E-Book
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
POV: Third Person, Dual
Series: Survival Instincts, #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Hero: Dr. Ford Cooper
Heroine: Angel Smith
Sensuality: 4
Published On: January 28, 2020
Started On: February 18, 2022
Finished On: February 26, 2022

On the ice, in the antarctic cold, in the middle of freaking nowhere, his tongue showed her how dirty sex could be, his body made her take it, and that dark, raspy husk of a voice broke in to turn the whole thing up a million degrees.

Whiteout by Adriana Anders is the first book in the Survival Instincts series. I have come across this book multiple times since it was published in 2020. I am glad that I finally gave this book a chance because this tale was all consuming on so many levels, be it the suspense factor, the romance, or the breathtaking landscape upon which the story unfolds.

Whiteout takes place in the South Pole where a scientific expedition is ongoing and 31 year old Angel Smith comes in as a cook as part of summer crew. When the story begins, her period of stay is almost over, with her return journey just a day or two away. Angel had needed the remoteness of the location to heal from the wounds that she guards closely and even though she might yearn for a certain someone to look her way, she is done running after emotionally unavailable men. Her sunny disposition and vibrancy might fool everyone, but inside she is a woman who has lost a lot, but has not given up on the potential that life has to offer.

38 year old Dr. Ford Cooper is a scientist on the expedition, who does not like crowds nor too much interaction with the outside world. From the start, Angel rubs him the wrong way, his perception of her being that she is too loud, too enthusiastic, too everything, which annoys him to no end. He is a loner, which means the job at hand suits him perfectly. The fact that Cooper is looking forward to Angel’s departure from the station is indicative of just how aware he is of her presence even if he gives nothing away, even if he might never have exchanged more than a few syllables with her.

When things go awry on the day of the departure, and Angel witnesses the horrific barbarity of a group of individuals who are working towards their own goal which might end up putting the whole world at risk, it is only Cooper and Angel who are left to put piece it together and identify how to best thwart their attempts from coming to fruition.

And so begins their trek through the unforgiving, icy, and harsh terrain of the South Pole in winter, with. As these two fight for their survival and try to outsmart those in pursuit, the circumstances that brings them together forging a bond that is difficult to overlook. Hearts are thawed and healed, desire blooms, and love emerges into the light, willing to brave it out and provide warmth in the cold and hostile environment that seems all encompassing.

Whiteout was a truly phenomenal read in my opinion, up till its end, when the story ended on a weird cliffhanger that paves the way for the second installment in the series, with two different main protagonists, which is why I found it a tad odd. Ms, Anders could have given a more well rounded ending to Whiteout and still ensured that our interest in the series remained intact without giving us such an unexpected ending.

Even if the ending did get in the way of my enjoyment factor, I still loved a lot of things about this story. I loved the breathtaking landscape upon which the story unfolds, that was so vividly brought to light by Ms. Anders. The prose is as such that I felt like I was transported to the setting, where I was witness and party to all that was taking place.

The suspense factor was also well done, reminding me of movies of the same nature, where through large chunks of what unfolds you are left holding your breath, the wait and see factor not an easy one to get through, but definitely why such thrilling movies are so addictive. Whiteout was similar in many ways, and I loved every exhilarating bit of it.

That brings me to Dr. Cooper who demanded nothing less but total surrender of my heart, body, and soul. He is the kind of hero that many romance readers may not find affinity with, but I adored. He is the true definition of a hero who is a loner, who prefers his own company to everyone else’s, who grew up without much affection in his life, who is practical in his approach to life, and who believes that love has no place in his life under any set of conditions. He is as reluctant a hero you will find in a romance, and that is how I often like them.

I loved how sexy and commanding Cooper was, how readers could see and witness his “downfall” when it came to Angel, and how he tried so valiantly even towards the very end to put up a fight and resist what was inevitable. Cooper does not understand his worth, nor his appeal, and I think that was the charm to his character which might not be so obvious to most.

I also fell wholeheartedly for Angel – the things that she had gone through were harrowing not to say the least, and the damage that it had done to her self confidence as a woman is one that can be felt by the readers. But through it all there shines a light from within, where she the beauty of her soul is evident, and that is the ultimate reason why Cooper fell so hard as he did. Angel knows Cooper well, understands the nuances to his character, and yearns for him with every fiber of her existence. But the respect she shows to her own self by walking away from something destructive made me approve of her wholeheartedly, which also led to the ultimate scene of groveling which was satisfying on many levels.

Recommended for fans of romantic suspense. The push and pull factor between the main protagonists alone was enough to keep me hooked!

Final Verdict: Whiteout is the kind of novel that brings out the adventurer in you that you never knew existed. The excitement of the romance and suspense definitely keeps the pages turning!

Favorite Quotes

He went mindless the second his mouth met hers. No cognitive abilities, all nerves and need, this unbearable tightness in his chest, this raging fire in his limbs. He couldn’t slow down to save himself. His mouth wasn’t just on her; he was devouring, prying open, taking everything he could. As wild and out of control as this storm that was trying to end them.
So much softness, but he needed more. He wrapped his arms around her, drew her flush to him, pressed and pulled and lifted, while his mouth ate her up.

When he finally moved, it was a gentle dip, his nose to hers in an achingly slow exploration that shouldn’t have been provocative. She strained for his mouth, but he denied her.
Like a big cat toying with its prey, he stroked his cheek along hers, scruff to soft skin. Just that move made her choke back a moan. How would it be if they could take their clothes off? If skin touched all over?
Deliberately, gently, he ran his nose beneath her ear and a sound escaped him. A tiny, tight-lipped hiss that she’d never have caught if he weren’t so near.

And then, oh God, then he kept her pinned with his mouth, stilling her, while he finally stroked his hand, lazy as a lion basking in the sun, from her head to her neck, then down her side, bypassing the obvious draw of her breasts, to clamp her hip, holding it still when she hadn’t even realized she was fidgeting.
Owning her.
Slowly, as if he had all the time in the world, he shifted above her until she could feel every hard bit of him, put his mouth to hers, and took the kiss from her.

Recklessness edged under his skin. He pressed harder, more desperately, slid his fingers through her hair, tightened his hold.
The deep, consuming kiss, tongues tangling, pushed noises out of his mouth. Painful against his ruined trachea. There was so much to do. He needed to take stock and figure out how they’d live for over two weeks on less than one week of food, but hell, maybe he could live off of this. Off of her.
He barely noticed his erection at first. Then, like his body’d taken over his brain, he moved against her—a slow, rhythmic press of his pelvis to hers.

He lay behind her, utterly still. No arm around her. Just breathing, a little lighter than his usual deep, steady rhythm—faster, too, maybe.
Was he nervous? Or was she imagining it? Projecting, probably.
Her neck grew warm from his exhalations. Was he drawing closer? Was that…
Angel shuddered at the feel of his lips on her nape, and though she wanted to press back into him, she forced herself to wait instead. Let him give without pushing too hard in return. He liked giving, her lone wolf, needed to take the first step in his own good time.

“Can’t stop wanting you.”
“Why would you want to?” She swallowed, for the first time worried about what kind of terrible answer he might come up with.
Instead of something dire, he puffed out a laugh and rubbed his nose gently against her temple. “You mess with my self-control.” A pause and a shift and then his hand was on her hip, just resting there. Slowly, he stroked under her shirt, then up her waist, to where she was braless and more than ready. She gasped, he inhaled, the sounds harsh. “Afraid I’ll lose it.”

“You’re amazing.”
He frowned. Was she kidding? “What are you—”
“You were always such a detached jerk. On the outside.” When he opened his mouth to interrupt, she put a hand to his lips and stopped him. “But it was an act. I get that now.” Straining up, she put her lips to his and kissed him so tenderly he couldn’t hold himself up anymore. He sifted his fingers through her thick, soft hair and gave in. Gently at first, then deeper, their tongues playing, exploring, they finally learned each other’s faces in the murky light of this place. Their bodies did the same, shifting, sliding, pressing together. Skin to skin. Bliss.

Something snapped inside Ford. She watched him go from calculating, to a little lost, then finally a bit…feral.
The thing was, she really liked this animal part. Pounding into her, twisting her body, turning it, bending, pushing, all so he could get closer, deeper. Thrusting into her like he’d die if he didn’t.
And she felt it, too. She needed this thing. Passion, she’d call it, if it hadn’t felt more primal than that.

Each of his hard thrusts scooted the cot toward the metal wall, where it banged like thunder, causing cans and boxes to crash to the floor.
It was hilarious on one level. On another, when she looked him in the eye and he hit that high, bright place just right… No hilarity. Just frightening intensity and a deadly seriousness.
She let out a sound—weak and a little frantic.
He leaned down in response and kissed her again, slowed his movements, twisting his hips, so he got the spot every time and, rather than getting screams now, he forced her into one long, low moan of pleasure.

Around them lay the destruction of a room fucked to pieces, their stuff everywhere. Like a storm had come through.
Above her, Ford’s body heaved. Exhausted and probably overcome.
She wrapped around him and held on to him—this big, tender loner of a man. The man who’d saved her life more than once. Funny how somehow, suddenly, right this moment, she felt like he’d torn it all apart.

“Come here,” he mouthed, as he nudged her up and over him, so perfectly aligned that when she dropped her pelvis, she found him ready, right where she wanted.
Her eyes captured by his, she lowered her body as slowly as she could, needing to feel every second, every millimeter of this coming together. To hold on to, to remember, to unpack it later when she was gone and this man was just a memory carved out of the ice.

When he bent to meet her lush lips with a frantic kiss, it occurred to him that he’d sunk back into her siren’s pull. She was so precious beneath him, her eyes full of life and affection and a good dose of challenge.
I can take you on, the look said. I can turn you inside out and make you like it.
And it was true. The problem was that he didn’t know how he’d find himself again when this was all over.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBooks | Apple Books | BookDepo

ARC Review: Noble Destiny by Katie MacAlister

Format: E-booknobledestiny
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Noble, #2
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Hero: Alasdair Iain McGregor
Heroine: Charlotte Honoria Eveline Benedict
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: June 3, 2014
Started On: July 8, 2014
Finished On: July 12, 2014

Noble Destiny by Katie MacAlister is the second book in her re-published Noble series. I can see why anyone would want these books re-published. These are absolute gems of reads with so much humor and sexy passion to them that one can’t help but be entertained for their money’s worth and then some.

Both the hero Alasdair Iain McGregor and the heroine Charlotte Honoria Eveline Benedict are characters that were encountered in the first delightful romp of a novel in the series, Noble Intentions. Noble Destiny takes off four years after, when Lady Charlotte returns home to England after the Italian husband with whom she eloped with dies and leaves her a widow. Charlotte returns destitute with nary a penny to her name. Worst of all, the ton proves to be unforgiving where her reputation is concerned. Charlotte, not one to be daunted by the “little” things in life decides that if she is to get back into society’s good graces, she would do well to procure a rich husband the likes of Lord Carlisle.

Alasdair (Lord Carlisle or Dare as he would have people call him) has no time for romance or marriage or anything of the sort. Perhaps four years ago he had harbored in his heart to ask for Charlotte’s hand in marriage, but that notion had died a quick death when he had discovered that Earldom had come at a steep price where he had been concerned. But Charlotte once she puts her mind to something is not one to be deterred and her plan to nail Dare as her husband goes somewhat according to plan when Dare resigns himself to his fate where Charlotte is concerned.

What follows is a hilarious tale that would be hard to pull off for most authors but something Katie does rather fabulously. I found myself literally laughing out loud in many places and snorting through the rest as Charlotte’s character leads the reader and Dare along on a ride that is filled with mirth, havoc and oh such wonderful romance that one can’t help but be enchanted throughout.

At first Charlotte comes off as this vain heroine whose one sole aim is to acquire a husband rich enough to support her and good looking enough to match her in looks and of course who would give her wonderful looking babies. Her penchant for mixing up words leaves people around her perplexed, trying to keep up where the conversations with her takes them and let me tell you that it takes one hell of a writer to pull off that sort of character. I was prepared to dislike Charlotte for her vanity but then I should have trusted the author a bit more to lead me on a journey of discovery where Charlotte was concerned. She had redeemed herself multiple times over by the time the novel had seen to its ultimate conclusions and I don’t think I could have asked for someone more perfect for Dare than Charlotte.

And Dare. Oh my sweet Lord, Dare. The man is sexy personified through and through. Good looking enough to have tons of ladies tumbling after him with a body to match, Dare is not one to give into the frivolous nature of the many that constitute the ton, nor does he have that much of a use for what the ton thinks of him and his reclusive manner when it comes to hanging out with the ‘in’ crowd. Dare spends his days and nights tinkering away in his workshop, making enough money to pull the family name through his only goal in mind. And  then comes Charlotte into his life and the woman moves him to do things that he wouldn’t have thought himself therwise capable of.

One of the most interesting aspects of Charlotte’s character is her innocence coupled with her “knowledge” on matters of the carnal variety. I so loved how Charlotte responds to Dare on a physical and emotional level, the physical ones giving such delightful tension to the story. There were times I had to fan myself by seeing Dare through Charlotte’s eyes, the fantasies that man moves Charlotte to harbor is one that turned out to be such a delightful aspect of the story.

If you are worried about not having read book 1 in the series before this, worry not. This can be read perfectly as a standalone. But Noble Intentions too is a novel worth indulging in but comparing the two, Charlotte’s story wins hands down! With a couple of surprising twists to the story with a delectable cast of secondary characters, Noble Destiny is a novel very well worth your money. Most highly recommended for fans of romances!

Final Verdict: A deliciously sexy & honest to goodness laughter inducing romp!

Favorite Quotes

He was coatless, cravatless, his shirtsleeves rolled up to expose muscled forearms that were as bare as the day he was born. His shirt gaped at his neck clear down to the top of his waistcoat, exposing a tanned column of throat that made Charlotte’s mouth suddenly go dry.

Her breath caught in her throat, her nipples hardened and clamored for Dare’s touch, joining a veritable cacophony of cries for attention from numerous other parts of her body. She wanted his hands on her flesh, touching her, warming her, easing the ache that he started so deep inside her. She wanted it all, and she wanted it right at that moment. She took a step toward him. His eyes glittered darkly as he moved toward her, making a soft noise deep in his chest that answered the look in her eyes.

“Since you have no dowry, and no family to pay for the wedding, you will practice the utmost economy and organize it to my scriptures. Strictures,” he corrected himself. “Good God, your tongue is contagious!”
“There’s nothing wrong with my tongue,” Charlotte snapped, at her limit for being insulted and yelled at. “Which you’d know if you took the time to kiss me. You didn’t even do so when you offered for me, you beastly man, you!”

She didn’t have time to think of just what she’d do to his chest before his mouth took possession of hers.
“Dare! You can’t!”
“My lord!”
“Lady Charlotte, you mustn’t!”
“My lady!”
“Oh, Batsfoam, do something!”
“Short of warming up his lordship’s bed, I am at a
loss as to what you’d have me do, miss.”

He was everywhere, surrounding her, overwhelming her, one hand pulling her hips close to him, his thighs hard against her legs, her breasts aching and heavy again, pressed tightly against his chest. One hand tangled in her hair, pulling her head back until she was bent over his arm. But it was his mouth that captured and held her attention, his mouth that demanded and gave, coerced and teased until her eyes felt as if they would roll back in her head.

Charlotte was suddenly desperate to touch his flesh. She tugged at the shirt until it pulled free of his trousers, slipping her hands beneath to where his flesh beckoned and called to her.
“So hot,” she breathed, running her fingers over every muscled bulge and valley, tracing the line of his ribs, overwhelmed with the sense and feel and scent of him until she had to lean forward and press her face against his shirt. “You make me feel so hot, husband. You make me feel as if I’m on fire.”

He had thought her the devil incarnate? Dare tore his lips from the soft curve of her throat and watched as she arched her back, her eyes wide with amazement as ecstasy claimed her, her song of rapture filling him, binding him to her until he couldn’t tell where she ended and he began. Her love swept over him in a wave of heat so strong, it burned her name from his tongue as he gave way before it, pouring his life into her.
Soft, meaningless words were pressed into his flesh with gentle kisses and sweet breath. She wasn’t a devil; she was an angel.
And he would never let her go.

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


ARC Review: Noble Intentions by Katie MacAlister

Format: E-booknobleintentions.png
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Noble, #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Hero: Noble Edward Benjamin Nicholas Britton
Heroine: Gillian Anne Honoria Leigh
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 6, 2014
Started On: May 1, 2014
Finished On: May 3, 2014

Gillian Anne Honoria Leigh is the penniless half-American nobody who has already been shelved as a spinster by the ton. Her penchant for blurting out what’s on her mind or rather speaking out aloud her musings on a particular subject together with her close relationship with leaving disaster in her wake makes her the persona non grata when it comes to prospective bride material.

Noble Edward Benjamin Nicholas Britton, twelfth Earl of Wessex, otherwise known as The Black Earl is shunned by the ton at large as the man who killed his wife and continues to live a reclusive life. Noble makes his way back to London to find a biddable wife who would do as he asks and give him the peaceful life that he seeks more than anything else.

Gillian is the farthest thing from peace and quiet and even though Noble understands that, it doesn’t stop him from claiming her as his wife. Something deep inside of him that responds to her on a level that he doesn’t even want to begin to understand makes him ask for her hand in marriage and the deal is sealed just like that.

Noble had a plan in place when he got married to Gillian who seems to have her own plan in place to shred his plan to pieces, bit by bit, together with that legendary icy control of his which lies in tatters every time Gillian sets her eyes on him. Gillian knows that for Noble to heal and get over his painful past, Gillian would have to make certain ‘sacrifices’ which Noble might not appreciate until later on. What ensues is a tale of hilarity the likes of which I haven’t read of late in a historical romance and I didn’t care much for the picture I made breaking out into laughter at odd intervals.

Gillian practically made the story in my opinion. She’s the type of heroine that I fall in love with almost instantly. She makes no pretenses about who she is, doesn’t try to change herself to fit into the requirements of the society and the ton. Her outrageousness is the likes of which I haven’t come across in a novel before; she trumps the unusual heroine category by that much. Her acceptance of her husband and trust in him was enough to win my wholehearted approval and the way she simply accepts Noble’s child as hers earned another round of applause for her from me.

Noble prides himself on the control he has over his heart and emotions. The ice around his heart and soul is one that protects him from succumbing to feelings that would leave him vulnerable and that’s exactly the reason why he plans on keeping Gillian as far away from himself as possible. But then he should’ve known better where Gillian was concerned as she follows him and turns his life upside down in more ways than one. Gillian is determined that she be the of one to protect her husband from the danger that seems to threaten his life and her methods definitely aren’t the classic moves you’d expect from the ‘refined’ wife of an Earl.

The love scenes in this book are worthy of being mentioned because together with the enthusiastic responses that Noble and Gillian have towards each other, there again is the hilarity factor that makes the scenes that much more memorable. There yet again Gillian surprised me with her ability to look past the warnings of the dire experiences that women tend to have their very first time. Gillian made every other woman look like a wussy by embracing the whole aspect of surrendering herself to the man who has the ability to make her forget her name with just one searing heat filled glance alone.

The mystery factor was an interesting facet to the story, the atrocities that Gillian discovers along the way one that shocked me and broke my heart for Noble’s son who had been subjected to a trauma that no child should ever have to undergo. But knowing that with Gillian he would be in good hands is the saving grace, the little epilogue tucked in at the end one that put a huge smile on my face. Recommended!

Final Verdict: Hilarity & mayhem with a dollop of love & passion. Excellent combination.

Favorite Quotes

Wessex stared at her for the count of seven. Then, as if he couldn’t help himself, he asked, “What is it you wish to do?”
“This,” she replied, and threw herself on him.
Unfortunately, having his newly betrothed fiancee spring upon him was the last thing the Black Earl was expecting at that moment and, caught off balance, he fell backwards against an incidental table, knocking over both the table and a large vase of flowers. The vase struck him squarely on the head, rendering him unconscious.

She lifted her head to find herself staring at his genitals. Joy filled her at the sight.
“You were right, Noble. You are not broken. You look just fine now. More than fine.” She reached out a hand to hold his silky hardness and delighted at his gasp of pleasure. “Look, you bounce when I do this.”
A shudder ran through him.

She kissed him with all the fire and passion that had been smoldering in her ever since she had first seen him. She kissed him with every last ounce of love and devotion she possessed. She kissed him with an intensity that was readily apparent to those who stood by in astounded silence, watching them. She kissed him with abandon and joy and the warmth that only Noble could generate in her. It wasn’t technically a perfect kiss as far as kisses went, but it was a monumental one in the eyes of the ton. It was a kiss that turned the tide of public opinion about the Black Earl.
And then she fell into the waterfall.

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


Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Format: E-bookbackstagepass
Read with: Kindle for iPhone
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Sinners on Tour, Book 1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Hero: Brian Sinclair
Heroine: Dr. Myrna Evans
Sensuality: 4.9
Date of Publication: October 1, 2010
Started On: June 5, 2011
Finished On: June 7, 2011

In the debut novel of this one of a kind erotic series entitled Sinners on Tour, author Olivia Cunning introduces us to the decadent world of rock, glory, lust and love that makes up the world of the rock n’ roll music group known as the Sinners.

With 5 members to their group, the series kicks off with the story of Brian Sinclair who carries the stage name ‘Master Sinclair’ and meets his match in human sexuality professor Dr. Myrna Evans.

35 year old Myrna has a painful past from which she still suffers. Marriage to an alcoholic and the preceding divorce which had turned ugly has left its mark on Myrna who wants nothing more than the mindless oblivion the passion between her and Brian provides.

7 years younger than Myra, Brian is a romantic to his very soul who finds his muse as well as the love of his life in Myra. However convincing her that they are meant to be together in every sense of the way might take just more out of Brian than he ever foresaw.

The one thing that struck me the most when it came to Backstage Pass is how Olivia Cunning brings the whole rock scene alive in her story. The stage performances, the lives that each member lives behind the scenes and the roadies that accompany them all together made me feel as if I were part of the story instead of being on the outside looking in.

I found each and every single character that made his or her entrance into the book fascinating in their own right. Though Myrna tended to get on my nerves a time or two I liked her well enough and flat-out adored Brian for his caring as well as dreamy nature. As most female readers would agree, Sed proves to be a character that I found myself drawn towards and thankfully his story has already come out which I will pursue as soon as I find some free time.

Olivia Cunning has definitely penned an erotic romance series well worth checking out, delivering on all sorts of kinky as well as good old fashioned sexual content highly sensual in nature. Though I admit to have skimmed through a couple of the sex scenes because some of them weren’t really for me, fans of erotica who like variety in their sexual content would definitely love this one.

Favorite Quotes

Her hands moved to the fly of his leather pants, releasing his c#ck. When she touched him, he drew a shaky breath through his teeth. “Abstinence is so not my thing.”
His words didn’t have time to register before he lifted her thigh to his hip and plunged into her body. She clung to his shoulders, groaning at the enthusiasm of his strokes.
“Garters under a conservative gray suit, Professor?” he murmured, his fingers running under the straps holding up her stockings. “Do you know how hot that is?”
“I like to keep my smuttiness carefully concealed.”
“You’re not fooling me,” he whispered.

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