Requested Review: Petals and Thorns by Jeffe Kennedy

Format: E-bookpetalsandthorns.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Roland
Heroine: Amarantha
Sensuality: 5
Date of Publication: July 13, 2010
Started On: May 20, 2015
Finished On: May 20, 2015

Petals and Thorns is a novella based on the Beauty and Beast theme interwoven with strong elements of BDSM. Amarantha the heroine finds herself married off to someone known as the Beast, a man too hideous to be seen out in public, who shrouds himself under a cloak, whose voice from the get go has a hypnotic effect on the reluctant Amarantha. All that Amarantha has to do is “suffer” through seven days with the Beast, her husband, and leave with her virginity intact in order for their family to be saved. And while the Beast had agreed to not force her to give up her maidenhood, everything else remains fair game.

Beauty & the Beast is one of my favorite cartoons of all time, the Disney version of course. There is a timeless love story if ever there was one and my interest was piqued enough to give this a go because I wanted to see how the author would interweave BDSM elements into the story.

While the flow of the story was pretty much okay, I found that the Amarantha didn’t pretty much have a choice when it came to the Beast and his command over her body. A virgin without any experience whatsoever to guide her, Amarantha was at a disadvantage from the beginning of their marriage and I found the Beast to be a bit cruel at times in his attempts to make her bow to his will.

While I have read novels whose main theme has been BDSM, I have never remained emotionally hollowed out by any of it and yet I guess Petals and Thorns is going to be the first of its kind for me. One thing I think that led to the fact was that the story while its quite short with just 80+ pages to it, didn’t contain any elements from the Beast’s point of view. I guess that in itself leads the reader to draw the conclusion that the Beast’s ministrations on his wife was a tad cruel. Towards the latter part of the story, that tension eased a bit as readers are able to see that the Beast isn’t as much in control of his emotions & reaction towards Amarantha as he’d like her to believe.

I felt that the Beast and Amarantha, though seemed to be well matched in their desire for one another towards the end, seemed mismatched in other ways. While the Beast appeared to be well read with varied interests in other aspects of life as well, Amarantha didn’t seem as in tune with him in this aspect. I guess it was the lack of her exposure to much in life that made her the innocent she was.

Recommended for those that love hardcore BDSM themed romances.

Final Verdict: Jeffe Kennedy brings to readers the beauty and the beast, BDSM style!

Favorite Quotes

She forced herself to look at him. “I must tell you, I don‘t see how I can ever be your wife in truth. I cannot imagine asking you to—“
“To take your maidenhead? To rend you with my cock so that you scream in agonized pleasure?”
The shock drained Amarantha‘s cheeks of color. Even as the image somehow stirred her.
“Sir Beast, you cannot say such things to me.”
“It seems, my bride, that we must stretch your imagination as well. The only thing I may not do is take you by force. Everything else is open to me.”

“Amarantha…”
She heard the warning in his voice and inched up her skirts, just high enough to slip her hand under. He knew she wore no underthings, and she blushed at it. Amarantha dipped a hesitant finger into her private area, finding it slick and swollen. She nearly hummed at the sensation.
“Now show me.”
If possible, she flushed more deeply, that he might have thought she lingered. She held out a trembling hand for him. It gleamed slick in the sun. The Beast bent over. She felt his hot breath whuffing over her hand.
“You move me, Amarantha,” he finally murmured, his voice rough.

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

fairread

ARC Review: Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh

Format: E-bookhourofneed
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Scarlet Falls, #1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Hero: Grant Barrett
Heroine: Ellie Ross
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 9, 2014
Started On: December 7, 2014
Finished On: December 9, 2014

Hour of Need by Melinda Leigh is her debut book in the Scarlet Falls series. Featuring a military hero and a heroine who finds herself in the midst of a mess because she’d just been in the opportune place, Hour of Need is a story that captivated me from start to end. Though I have a bit more time to spare than before these days, I seldom have the urge to stay up late up till dawn, just because I HAD to know how a story ended. Hour of Need did that to me. And that itself tells a story.

Major Grant Barrett is the oldest of the four Garrett siblings. Having spent more than half his life training to become a soldier and dedicating his life to moving up the ranks, Grant is in Afghanistan when he gets the news of the murders of his brother Lee and his wife Kate. Reeling from the impact, Grant makes it home to sort out Lee’s affairs, to determine what to do with their two kids and perhaps find out why Lee and Kate had been killed.

Set in the small town of Scarlet Falls, Melinda weaves a tale that is highly readable, that compels you to turn the pages. Ellie Ross lives next door to Kate and Lee with her daughter Julia and her grandmother. While Ellie and Grant’s paths had crossed before when he’d been on leave the last time, Ellie and Grant both ignore the flare of attraction that is between them, Ellie because she has been burnt before by living in the moment and has no intention of doing it ever again and Grant because he has nothing to offer towards a family life when he is all about the army and making General.

The various characters that you meet in the story just makes it more intriguing. The web of mystery in the story is finely wrought and it has been a while since the villain turned out to be a surprise for me and Hour of Need managed to do just that. There are multiple threads in the story that takes the story to its ultimate conclusion. There is the Barrett family reunion, the siblings having drifted apart as each had sought to live lives of their choosing. Then there is the aspect of the story that deals with looking after Lee’s children, not an easy job given that no one in the Barrett family has much experience in dealing with kids and babies. It was heartwarming to see how it all came together and I felt this warm glow inside of me because Hour of Need, though it deals with a disturbing subject, somehow managed to make me feel good too.

Like I said above, Hour of Need is a story that deals with a disturbing subject. Bullying and its effect on the young ones, how it can go so wrong that there is absolutely no going back. I liked the fact that Ms. Leigh portrayed the aspects related to bullying in a way that it drove home a message and also delivered that edge to the story which made the heart pound. It’s like you know that the only way down is by jumping and by jumping the only inevitability is a terrifying death that awaits you.

Now lets talk about Major Grant Barrett *rubs hands together in glee*. From the moment you meet Grant, he holds every cell of yours attentive to him and him alone. There are heroes who are sexy without making an effort; Grant is one of those. He walks in, the room feels charged and that is because Ms. Leigh does a fantastic job out of creating and keeping the sexual tension between Ellie and Grant in pace with the rest of the story. Ellie’s tendency to mistrust Grant at first was definitely in line with her character, and realistic if you ask me. All in all, I would have to say, both Ellie and Grant are characters that you’d love.

With a beautiful ending of the heartwarming variety, Hour of Need leaves me with just one question. Are Hannah and Detective McNamara going to get their own happily ever after? The evil person that I am, I would love to explore the tension that is between them.

Final Verdict: Disturbing, spine tingling & heartwarming! Definitely recommended.

Favorite Quotes

A small shudder passed through him, followed by a wave of need he couldn’t explain or deny, except that his soul was an empty shell. He pressed his lips to hers and let the taste of her fill the void inside him. Instead of resisting, she clutched his shirt and let him in. What started out tender and innocent shifted. desire warmed him and pooled low in his groin. A hungry groan eased out of her throat.

“We shouldn’t do this.” With an answering groan, he slid his hands under her shirt. his rough palms scraped up her rib cage.
But it wasn’t enough.
“Definitely not.” She pushed him away and ripped her shirt over her head, flinging it over her shoulder. her bra followed. Cool air rushed across hot skin. Her nipples budded as if he’d touched them. She’d been holding back on her impulses her entire life. Baring her body to him was liberating.

“You know I’m not staying in town. I have to go back. This isn’t a good idea.”
“I know.” But Ellie cupped her own breast and raised a playful eyebrow at him. She brushed a thumb across her nipple and reveled as grant’s mouth dropped open. She’d never been a bad girl, not even in high school. She’d simply made one mistake. But now she felt positively wicked.
It felt wonderful. Freeing. exhilarating.

Hands clutching the backs of her thighs, he lifted her and entered her with one steady, wet slide. The fit of their bodies was perfect, combining to make one whole being.
“Yes.” This was what she needed. him. She clutched his shoulders. “Grant.”
The heat of his skin fused with hers. His mouth was on the side of her neck, his lips near her ear. he retreated and surged into her again. Her body responded with an electric wave of pleasure that started in her center and spread outward through her limbs.
“Ellie.”

He nudged inside her, intending to be gentle. But pleasure flooded him, and his body surged into her without input from his brain. She bowed backward.
“I’m sorry.”
“Why did you stop?” She arched, her heels digging into his ass, pulling him even deeper.
“I thought I’d hurt you.” he panted, his muscles shaking with the effort of holding still.
“Obviously not.” her hips moved beneath him. “Now stop thinking. That’s an order.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

amazingread

Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Format: E-book
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

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Anything You Want by Erin Nicholas

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Marc Sterling
Heroine: Sabrina Rose Cassidy
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 15, 2011
Started On: May 17, 2011
Finished On: May 18, 2011

Anything You Want by Erin Nicholas is exactly what the doctor ordered for my restless craving to read something evocative and different. A huge shout out of thanks to Cari Quinn, one of the most fabulous authors out there who was wonderful enough to recommend this to me when I was feeling down in the dumps, wondering what to read to get myself out of this funk which I have found myself in lately.

Sabrina Rose Cassidy is down on her luck, stranded in a strange town, with no money and no means of getting herself back home to Justice after 4 whole years of being away, trying to find that elusive something that would fulfill her and curb the restlessness that has always been a part of her. Now pregnant, Sabrina wants to do the right thing, make the right decisions for the first time in her life, even if it means going back and facing all those whom she left behind when she left to pursue her dreams.

When Marc Sterling receives a call meant for his best friend Luke Hamilton, the last thing he expects is to hear the voice of Sabrina, the woman who broke his best friend’s heart and left town right after rejecting his marriage proposal. Not wanting  to subject Luke to Sabrina’s brand of charm is what has Marc hopping into a car and travelling 6 hours to reach the woman who makes his hackles rise just by existing. But what Marc doesn’t expect to happen is for Sabrina to stir his senses up and give him the fastest hard-on in history and to see the unexpected flare of desire burn in Sabrina’s eyes right back at him.

For two people who has a history of being unable to tolerate each other’s presence, the forced intimacy Marc and Sabrina are subjected to has both of them re-evaluating how they see each other, each finding qualities in the other that draws them in like a  moth to flame. Back home in Justice, Luke does the expected which has Marc reeling in sheer frustration amongst other things, knowing that he possibly cannot want to possess the woman whom his brother is set on marrying.

Anything You Want is a contemporary romance that has got everything going for it. In-depth character development that had me falling in love with each and every single character that came up in the story, wonderful dialogs that had me smiling, and of course the sexual innuendos that fly between Sabrina and Marc which just ups the sizzling heat factor in the book makes this a story of the cannot-put-down-for-the-life-of-me kind.

Marc is a wonderful hero, who starts out resenting Sabrina and her dependent nature on Luke which Marc knows is of the destructive kind, but later finds himself hopelessly ensnared by the different facets of the woman Sabrina really turns out to be. Sabrina is a heroine who starts out looking as a self-centered woman who knows just how to keep Luke dangling after her, but her character as it unfolds is so much more complex, layer after layer which Marc unfurls to find the passionate woman inside.

Sabrina is a woman who is faced with a tough choice. On one side is the man who offers her the security that she craves, the choice she knows that she should make in order to give her baby everything he or she deserves. On the other side is the man who makes her insides go weak just by walking into the room, whose way of calling her “Seattle” has her wanting to jump his bones each and every single time. He is the man who understands her, who wants to set her free so that she can do what it is that she loves doing, and never ever have to wonder “What if?”.

I don’t think I can do an adequate job of outlining just how much I loved everything about this story from its heartwarming characters and setting to the very well done sex scenes of the toe-curling variety that I just reveled in. Now I can’t help but want to find out whether Luke and the very unusual Kat gets their story, which I am hoping fervently that it does come out because it is so obvious that they are meant to be together.

Very highly recommended for fans of contemporary romances featuring a hot-as-sin hero and a heroine who finds where she belongs – in the arms of the man she least expects to find the cure for her restless wandering.

Favorite Quotes

He kissed like a god, had made her come within five minutes of touching her – a definite record – and was now telling her father that any guy would be lucky to have her.
She’d just fallen a little bit in love with Marc Sterling.

“What should he be doing?” She was very interested in Marc’s opinion on this.
He moved in a little closer. “He should be telling you that you are the sexiest thing he’s ever seen. That he passes by as close to you as possible whenever he can just to smell your hair. That when you laugh it makes him want to French kiss you up against the wall. He should buy you something you’d really appreciate – like cinnamon massage lotion. That he could lick off, slowly and thoroughly, after rubbing it all over your body.”

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

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Caliber Seal: AMAZING READ!

Review: Waiting for it by Rhyannon Byrd

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Hero: Jake Farrel
Heroine: Taylor Moore
Sensuality: 5
Date of Publication: March 31, 2004
Started On: May 28, 2010
Finished On: May 29, 2010

I picked this book up because I always love a romance that tells the story of two characters who have a shared past history together. This novel is about Jake and Taylor who both met one another during their high schooling years when Taylor moved to Jake’s town.

From the first moment Jake and Taylor laid eyes on each other it changed their worlds. However, Jake’s best friend Mitch had worked towards creating enough misunderstanding between the two that Jake leaves town without once looking back at the heartbroken Taylor he leaves behind.

Life moves on and Taylor marries Mitch, who makes for a miserable husband all through. Mitch sleeps around on Taylor, a fact that she knows though she never thinks of leaving him until she walks in to find Mitch in bed with the town whore which finally propels her to leave Mitch after 10 years of miserable existence with him.

A year later, Jake returns claiming that he has always loved Taylor and that he has waited around all these years till Taylor could be his. Though Taylor loves Jake to distraction, she is not ready to trust Jake with her heart though she is more than willing to trust him with her body for the multitudes of raunchy rides Jake takes her on. The whole book is basically porn, most of the pages which I skipped through cause too much of anything gets to be tiring.

I skimmed through more than 90% of the book to unravel the actual story behind, a story that appealed to me and would have made for a better read if the emotional and background development of the characters had been given more depth rather than just focusing on the whole sexual aspect of the story.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Jasmine Jade

[xrr rating=2/5]

Caliber Seal: MEDIOCRE READ!