Review: Lily by Patricia Gaffney

Format: E-booklily.jpeg
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Leisure Books
Hero: Devon Darkwell
Heroine: Lily Trehearne
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 01, 1996
Started On: October 20, 2018
Finished On: October 24, 2018

Lily by Patricia Gaffney is one of those novels that lifelong romance readers will come across, either in a list of books to avoid, or a list that is at the other extreme end. I believe that with Lily, there is no middle ground to be had. You either fall in love with the story, the heartache, the imperfections, the hero who borders on anti-hero material, and the heroine, who is a pillar of strength with courage of the kind that we would all like to possess.

Lily is the sort of book that one has to experience to get the full impact of what the story entails. It is not the kind of story you can read with your emotions detached from what is taking place. It is not light and fluffy, nor is it humorous. But there is love, an abundance of it, especially from Lily’s end towards a man who is deep in denial, a man who has undergone tremendous pain and betrayal, a man who has been bitten once, and is more than twice shy.

Lily Trehearne is caught in a fix when her last male relative upon the death of her father and becomes the executor of her father’s estate and her legal guardian for thirteen more months, winds up wounded from an act of self-defense. Believing that the death of Reverend Soames would probably see her hanged or worse, Lily flees her home, and finds herself hired as a scullery maid in the household of a viscount.

Lily’s paths cross with Devon Darkwell, Viscount Sandown, the master of Darkstone Manor, the very first night that she arrives at his household. The anguish and rawness of the pain that Devon was leaking from his very pores at that moment strikes something deep inside her. But as a mere servant in a household that is run under the iron fist of Mrs Howe, the housekeeper who hires her, Lily believes that there is futile chance of their paths crossing again.

However, life does not prove to be so “fortunate”, as Lily finds herself rescuing the master of the house, taking care of him, and lying for him when the authorities come calling. Even with Devon feeling like he is waking up from deep sleep of the nightmarish variety when Lily is close to him, Devon does not want to believe in the goodness of the human heart, not with a past that keeps mocking him for his reckless behavior and the price an innocent life had paid for it. Devon’s scars run deep, his wounds never did heal, and it is Lily that pays the ultimate price for it all.

There are many occasions upon which any sensible female would have given up on Devon. But Lily sees beyond the anger, heartache, and the unwillingness from Devon to move on. So love him she does, enough for both of them, or so she thought, until the moment arrives which makes it easy for Devon to kick her loose, all because he was afraid of confronting his own feelings that run amok when it comes to Lily.

What Devon does to Lily in the guise of revenge is pretty much unforgivable, but in the end, he does pay the price for it. Lily is no doormat heroine, though I suppose some might see her that way. But for me, the strongest of us are those who can love, and love so deeply, even when it leaves them vulnerable to a wealth of hurt and pain. That is what Lily endures, time and yet again at the hands of Devon, until truth comes calling, and Devon realizes the fatal mistakes he has made along the way. All because he could not move on from the betrayal that had marked his life so terribly.

Nothing absolves or excuses Devon’s behavior towards Lily, especially that last act of betrayal on his part which nearly costs Lily her life. But once again, it is her own strength and the help of kindred spirits along the way that keeps her going, putting one foot in front of the other, to keep moving, until she is able to live again. Lily definitely makes Devon work to earn her forgiveness. I believe as readers, we might never understand how Lily was able to forgive Devon when all was said and done, but I believe that for someone like Lily, whose heart is pure and her love for Devon the kind that blazes from deep within her soul, it was a foregone conclusion.

Like I said at the beginning of this review, Lily is the type of book where you need to live through the ups and downs of the story to become whole again. Its not easy. But then love is never easy. That is the lesson that Lily leaves readers with. I believe that I as a reader, find profound meaning in that message.

Recommended for those readers who don’t shy away from anti-heroes and the heartache and pain they can cause along the way.

Final Verdict: Lily is the kind of book that will crush your soul, break your heart, and oft times your spirit. Through it all, Lily shows the remarkable strength of true love, the kind that never falters, even in the face of the greatest of tragedies.

Favorite Quotes

“But he doesn’t mind kissing, does he?”
“What?”
He caught her up in his arms again. “Your young man won’t care if we do this,” he whispered, and kissed her hard.
Lily’s resistance crumbled at the first touch of his lips. It was as if they had never stopped, as if that interruption had been some perverse mistake they both regretted and were making up for now. She wound her arms around his neck and pressed against him, every sense engrossed and besieged by his mouth and the fervent stroking of his hands on her back. He dragged her cap off again and filled his fingers with her hair, never stopping the kiss, and she moaned her perfect willingness against his lips and into his mouth.

Lily sighed against his lips, and her breath was warm and moist on his skin, gentle as a blessing. “Dev,” she whispered, so amazed. The straining weight of his body on hers felt perfect. She pulled him closer. They kissed with fierce, greedy passion until the last second. Then they just held on to each other, stunned and humbled, while time stopped and they suffered together the tumultuous recoil of an identical explosion. Lily thought she was lost, that it would never end, and the minuscule piece of herself that was still intact knew a second of panic—no more. But the storm subsided, and time started again, and Devon kissed the tears on her cheeks with such tenderness that her heart cracked open and she loved him.

He didn’t have to tell her to fold her legs back and straddle his lap: she figured that out for herself, almost instantly. But she loved his passionate instructions. Were all men so—talkative? she wondered. His volubility gave her courage. To hide her face she kissed him, then murmured against his lips, “I love the way you feel inside me. It’s like everything is melting.”
He dragged his mouth down her throat, her chest. “Lean back,” he ordered in a guttural murmur; when she did, he took her breast into his mouth and suckled her with greed and thoroughness.
Gasping, she clutched at his shoulders. “I’ve never done this with anyone but you! Do you believe me?”
He answered, “Yes,” immediately. Could it be true? He didn’t care, didn’t care.

She pulled back, and they watched each other’s eyes again, spellbound, gauging. He slid lower on his spine until she lay on top of him, her feet just touching the floor. She braced herself with her forearms against his chest and set the new rhythm herself. Nothing had ever felt like this, this wild mix of power and surrender, control and abandon. Finally it was need, raw and burning and urgent, that overpowered her. “Devon, I can’t—I can’t—!”
Hold back, she meant, but he thought she meant the opposite. He clapped his palms to her buttocks and thrust into her again and again, grunting, breath rasping, and suddenly her whole body convulsed. She shouted out something loud and incomprehensible, and he felt her helpless, uncontrollable quivering for a long, long moment before she softened and finally sank against him. He held her tightly—too tightly, he knew, but God! he couldn’t help it—while he unleashed himself and plunged inside her over and over and over. He thought it would never end. When it did, they were both as limp as rags, and he was incapable of moving.

She shifted subtly and pulled her knees up, lodging him higher, tighter. Legs locked around his waist, she began to rock him with the same slow, canny, devastating artistry he had taught her. His face was buried in her hair, but she thought she could hear him grinding his teeth. Patient and passionate, she gave herself to him, daring him to reject the gift this time. She knew the instant his resistance began to disintegrate. He raised his head; just for an instant, behind the desire, she caught a glimpse of haggard suffering in his eyes. Her heart contracted. Cradling his dear face, she touched her lips to his in a soft, gentle kiss. He shuddered, not moving, and then suddenly his open mouth slanted over hers and he returned her kiss with all the wild tenderness she had been afraid to hope for. He only lifted his head to grit out a low, hoarse shout when his climax came. It surged through him with a rough, tumultuous violence that she accepted gladly. She held him tightly, needing to shelter him until the storm passed. Afterward, he lay limp in her arms, sprawled across her, his breath rasping. But she could not tell from the heaviness of his body whether what he felt now was satisfaction or defeat.

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

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ARC Review: Dark Water by Tricia Tyler

Format: E-bookdarkwater.png
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Hero: Nick Garrison
Heroine: Evangeline Marie Broussard
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 24, 2018
Started On: September 09, 2018
Finished On: September 22, 2018

There’s a killer hunting in the backwoods bayou town of Barfleur, which is where FBI Agent Nick Garrison is headed, as a favor to his army buddy. Three victims thus far, with no clues whatsoever as to how the killer was selecting victims. That is until heroine Evangeline Marie Broussard (Evie) comes into the picture.

Evie is a gifted psychic, who works as a private investigator. However, working on crimes like the one her cousin Remy Boudreaux is trying to solve takes a lot from Evie. But knowing that there is something she could do to help before the killer strikes again is something that Evie cannot turn her back on. Even if it means facing the scorn and contempt on the face of the FBI agent who comes along for the ride.

Nick has had his run in with psychics and learnt the price for it. He has never forgiven, nor forgotten the way people can abuse a family’s grief for their five minutes worth of fame. There is nothing Nick would love to do better than dissuade the notion that Evie could be of any help in the investigation, at all.

However, even with all the disdain he feels, Nick is man enough to accept and acknowledge the fact that no woman has moved him in the way Evie was, ever since he walked into her life. For Evie, the connection is just as intense. No matter how much she tries to protect herself from the onslaught on her senses, she finds that it is a game she is going to lose, spectacularly.

As the killer draws in, taking someone whom Evie considers to be very dear, it’s time for the hunted to become the hunter. There is no stone that Evie would not turn to get her friend back, which is how she is led right into the lion’s den, with nothing but her wits to use in the fight for her life.

I picked up Dark Water on a whim when I happened across the title on netgalley. I seldom request books on netgalley now because I usually do  not end up reading them, unless they are authors whose work I am already familiar with. However, I have always loved me a good suspense, and with the cover calling to me, I decided to check this one out. I am so glad I did (even though the review is a tad late than I would have liked), because I enjoyed reading Dark Water immensely.

I loved the sexual tension that is palpable and intense throughout this novel. I loved how the author brought the sizzle into the scenes and made me sit up and take notice, even when there was plenty happening otherwise. When sexual tension reaches its peak and the culmination of it all is as explosive as what took place in this story, then the author has done it right.

Nick was a delightful hero. Sexy, broody, and the take charge type with a core of sensitivity that works well when it comes to Evie. His need to create and restore beauty in contrast with the kind of darkness that his job usually invites was a fascinating aspect to him. I loved seeing both sides of him, and it helped me see a long term future for both Evie and Nick because there was so much more than just good sex, hot enough to scorch your reader, between them.

I liked Evie just as much. Her vulnerable nature is evident once you see her through her grandmother’s eyes. The visits that her grandma’s spirit does was a charming facet to the novel. Evie’s preference to be alone was also understandable given the weight of the ‘gift’ that she carries, and how her past has taught her to be stingy with her trust when it comes to love.

The only thing more I could have asked for  was more details on the villain in the story. I wanted to learn about what created the monster residing within, rearing it’s ugly head until the desire to kill is satisfied. A good romantic suspense delves deep into the darkness that manifests within the killer as well, and I felt a bit cheated out on that aspect. Regardless of that little fact, I enjoyed the suspense that went into the story, and how the dots were connected towards the end.

Recommended for those who love the slow heat that comes with romances packed with the Southern charm. This little number certainly delivers. I hope this novel serves as a debut to a “series” because I definitely want more!

Final Verdict: Dark Water delivers a story that thrums with the tightly wound sexual tension and the dark and evil energy of a killer who had lost his way a long time ago. Definitely recommended!

Favorite Quotes

“This is a mistake.” His body gave lie to his words as he settled deeper into her. The rough material of his jeans rubbed against the sensitive skin of her thighs, heightening her senses to a fever pitch. Every move, every shift, sent a craving through her until the only thing left was a deep hungering need for more. An ache thrummed within her lower belly, spreading until it encompassed every part of her. Bon Dieu, she was in serious trouble. He’d barely touched her, and she was ready to explode.
“A mistake? Yes…most definitely,” she said, shaking her head slowly back and forth. It was one her body desperately wanted to make. Giving in to her body’s demands, she rubbed herself against him. She knew exactly what she was doing to him. It was empowering to realize the effect she had on him. He was a prisoner to the same hunger controlling her own reactions.

His grip on her hair tightened. He released her hands, sliding his slowly down her arm and across the length of her body until he cupped her ass, pulling her up and closer. Frantic, she blindly reached for his shirt. Buttons flew until smooth hard muscle lay beneath her fingertips, threatening her sanity. Sucked in by her own body’s traitorous reaction, all she could do was enjoy the ride. She didn’t give a rip at the moment about the little voice of reason inside her.
Jolts of heat ran up and down her spine like little devils racing in a marathon.
Bon Dieu.

He pulled in another ragged breath. Reaching between them, he grabbed the string along the side of her thong and yanked it off without regret. He’d buy her a new one. Hell, he’d buy her a drawer full as long as the last barrier between them disappeared. Catching her gasp with his mouth, he drove his tongue inside as he slid and plunged two of his fingers into her. Hot and wet, her muscles clamped around him.
Fuck!
“You’re so damn tight,” he mumbled against her mouth.
“It’s…it’s been too long,” she gasped, her body writhing beneath his ministrations.
Satisfaction swept over him knowing she hadn’t been with anyone in a long time. He refused to dig too deeply into why he felt that way. If he did, it might scare the hell out of him.
“Sweetheart, you’re killing me.”

“Bon Dieu…I want to feel you inside me now,” she begged. “Please, Nick. Now.”
He claimed her mouth as his own in a quick, bruising kiss. “Tell me you’re ready,” he demanded, not sure he could hold out any longer.
Her legs gripped him tighter, pulling him against her. He meant to go slowly, but the warmth on his cock sent him over the edge. He plunged fast and deep with the first stroke. She closed around him tight and sweet, and the rest of his body wanted to follow. All thoughts of taking it slow fled.

“You’re mine.” He lowered his head until they were nose to nose. “Say it.”
Her breath hitched, and her pupils dilated.
He lifted his hips until only the head of his dick remained inside her. The need to hear her say the words overwhelmed him and scared the shit out of him all at the same time. The need was stronger.
“I want the words, Evie.”
“Yours. I’m yours.” The words tumbled out on a shuddering breath, filling him with relief.
“And you’re mine,” she whispered, her expression fierce.

She tightened her muscles and bit the inside of her cheek, attempting to clamp down on the fire spreading through her. It was neither the time nor the place, and not the right man for God’s sake. Unfortunately, no other man had ever made her feel this way with just one look.
“Fuck. You can’t look at me like that and not expect me to respond,” he said, with an edge to his tone. He stepped in closer crowding her against the vehicle, determination engraved in the lines of his face. Reaching out, he clasped her face with both hands, and his lips crashed down on hers. Fast, deep, and hot. Oh…so very hot.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes

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Review: Psychopath’s Prey by V.F. Mason

Format: E-bookpsychopathsprey
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Kierian McAvoy
Heroine: Ella Gadot
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: April 17, 2018
Started On: September 07, 2018
Finished On: September 09, 2018

Have you ever read a book featuring a serial killer and found yourself sympathizing with the character? Understanding where the serial killer was coming from? Why the character had turned out to be a monster? I have. Countless times. When an author does a great job of characterizing and delving deep into all the main protagonists of a book, and does it well, that happens.

But have you ever read about a serial killer and then fallen in love with him? I haven’t. At least not before V.F. Mason came under my reading radar. I was feeling restless with the lack of books that spoke to me. I would be forever grateful for @mad4rombks for directing me towards these books. I wouldn’t have thought that falling in love with such a character was even possible. Until I found myself deeply immersed in Psychopath’s Prey.

Ella Gadot’s ambition for a long time has been to become an FBI agent. The violence smeared past of Ella’s makes her crave for it. But at every turn, having being rejected, no one is more surprised than Ella when she is offered a position on the behavior analysis unit of the FBI. What makes Ella so good at identifying what makes a particular kind of killer tick perhaps lies in her past, and her association with the darker side of life that most of us are shielded and protected from.

Kierian McAvoy and Ella become part of each other’s professional lives when Ella joins the unit. Or so she thinks. But Ella has been chosen for a purpose. She has been drawn in by a highly sophisticated killer who has never hunted women before. But for some reason, Ella makes him itch to hunt her down, and make her his. He draws Ella in by the only thing that would reel her in. A case that would make her work to find him, and in the end become the hunted.

Told in first person from both Kierian and Ella’s point of view, and the psychopath’s younger version from the tender age of seven on wards, V. F. Mason carries the reader through a journey that bled me raw and I do not think I would ever be the same again. This books is not merely a story. It is an experience. It is a journey you have to take with a young boy who saw nothing but pain and torture inflicted upon him and his mother on a daily basis, until his mother ceased to exist. It is the story of a man who had blocked out parts of his past to deal with being who he is. A psychopath. A killer. Someone who never believed that love was for him.

There was so much about this book that I loved. Like I mentioned before, I picked this up to read at a point in time where my book pile had gotten stale. I’m sure that has happened to everyone once or twice. It happens to me more often than before, now that I have grown older and stories tire me out more often than not. When this happens, you just need something that would spice up your reading list and then move on from there.

Anyone who understands my reading habits and preferences know that I am not someone who likes saccharine sweet books. I’m a romance reader who is old school in many ways. My one vice is that I like darkness in my books. A lot of darkness. I love to find an unexpectedly dark hero in a book that makes mincemeat of my emotions. And I love an equally strong heroine (who doesn’t grate on one’s nerve to prove that she is an equal to the hero) in my books. And that is exactly what Psychopath’s Prey gave to me.

It has become a rarity to find well written books that feature the aforementioned. Mainly because every single thing out there has become a point of contention for someone who doesn’t identify with it. There are so many movements out there to make romance genre “better”. I believe like everything else, the romance genre too is evolving to suit the mass numbers of readers out there, who believe romance to be nothing but light and fluffy. Well, V.F. Mason is here to tell you that romance can be dark, extremely dark, and still make all your tingly parts go haywire from want.

Similarly, with this book, I am pretty certain that a lot of people will harp on factors like ‘how is this possible?’, ‘it made my skin crawl’ etc. The ending is not your typical, the hero conquered his nightmares and they lived happily ever after variety. There is a happily ever after that fits the characters and the story of course, otherwise I would have thrown the e-reader at the wall and stomped on it for effect. I digress. But the point here is that, this is definitely not for everyone. Some would find the concept of a serial killer and a criminal psychologist falling in love an abhorrence in itself. But for me, I found the concept a novelty, refreshing, and sometimes I believe we do identify with what the society doesn’t accept for valid and good reason.

I have always empathized with villains who were shaped out of nightmarish childhoods, that had nurtured a certain need in them. I am not saying that it justifies the pain they inflict on others, but it makes you understand why they are the way they are. Kierien is such a hero. I bled for him every single time his past came up, because it is difficult to detach yourself when you read about a child being subjected to such horrors. Similarly in Ella’s case, she has a childhood that is macabre in another aspect; the one night that had changed her life irrevocably and forever.

If I were to sound gushy, I could go on rambling about what made this book work for me. So I will limit myself to state a few. The way it invoked so much emotion from me, and took me from high to lows and then to highs again. I actually resented the time spent away from reading because in a long while, a book had captivated me thus. For this reason alone, I would recommend this story. Because it’s not everyday you fall in love. In love with a serial killer. Plus, have you seen the cover? *goes into a trance*

Recommended for those that love dark and edgy romances, the not your usual variety. This was definitely captivating in every single sense.

Final Verdict: Definitely not for the judgmental, nor the faint-hearted; exactly why I loved Psychopath’s Prey & Kierian, the very definition of an anti-hero if ever there was one.

Favorite Quotes

While he drags us to my room, I unbutton his shirt and slide it off his shoulders, and then I move to his belt buckle, desperately needing to feel him in my hands.
We do all this while kissing, and finally the back of my calves touch the bed as he locks his arm around me while whispering my name and leaning into my neck for his hungry assault. “I’ve been going crazy with need to fuck you since our last time.” His words send a shock directly to my clit as he rubs against me. I still feel him despite our clothed state. My whimper doesn’t go unnoticed as he drags me closer. “Missed me, Ella?” I nod eagerly. “Is this pussy wet for me? Ready for the one cock that can bring it satisfaction?”

Kierian,” I moan, and he surges deeper, completely owning me with his mouth. His tongue travels over my folds, laving them with the attention and hunger they’ve been denied for so long.
He cups my ass cheeks and laps at my core with his full mouth, making sure to play with my clit with his upper lip. I bite my fist, muffling a groan while my other leg bends on the bed, giving him wider access to work in.
“You. Are. Mine,” he growls against me, digging his fingers into my skin as a hint of pain touches me. “Don’t ever deny me again.”

“Kierian, don’t tease.”
He bites on my neck harshly as he growls. “No teasing?”
I shake my head, but reply anyway, “No.”
“You want hard fucking only, Ella?”
“Yes!” That’s all I want in this freaking moment. So can he get on with the program already, and—
With one swift motion, he surges inside me, tearing a scream from me that he immediately covers with his mouth. He thrusts deep, deep, then deeper into me, shaking the bed with his force. I wrap my legs around him as he entwines our fingers above my head.
He is slow, steady, and hard. He waits until each thrust shakes my entire system before giving me another one, and each time, the pleasure rises in me higher and higher, my skin flushing, heat spreading through me and reminding me this man is all male.
“Mine,” he says, pounding harder, and I arch my back, completely lost in everything he makes me feel.

Kierian is always so hungry for me, being able to go at it for hours and demand complete submission. In these moments, he is not a compatible boyfriend who understands me; he is a raging beast who wants to own his woman.
“Mine,” he growls right before placing my legs on his shoulders and grazing the walls of my pussy with the tip of his tongue, barely touching me, but it’s enough to send electricity through me and my moan fills the space.

He pushes his tongue deep, sweeping at my walls and tasting me as deep as he can.
He is hungry, domineering. I lock my legs around his neck, my pussy clenching, but it’s not enough.
Kierian needs to get on with the fucking program before I lose my mind!
My hips jerk, lifting to his seeking tongue, as I pull at his hair, shamelessly rubbing myself on his mouth, and he welcomes it.

She grabs my hands and pulls me on the bed, and as I get to it, she flips me on my back while looming over me, her eyes roaming all over my body.
Her fingers trail down my scars and her breath hitches, as if in pain. “They are old.” I feel the need to reassure her, and she smiles sadly.
“They aren’t if they still have the power to hurt you.” Her words stab me like a fucking knife in the heart that suddenly knows how to beat for another person, but she shakes her head. “This has no place for bad memories.” Ella captures my mouth with hers as we entwine in a wet and needy kiss that leaves us alone with raging desire between us spiking the flames.

With one final suck to her beautiful nipple, I push my arms under her knees and thrust into her so hard the headboard hits the wall.
She cries out, but it quickly turns into a moan as I pull back and push in again, digging my fingers into her hips as hard as possible so she’ll be marked by me.
I expect her to close her eyes and get lost in the moment as she always does, but instead, she brings my head closer. Our gazes clash for a moment and then she hugs me, giving me a hot kiss that flames my desire even more.

Purchase Links: Amazon

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Review: Blood Fury by J.R. Ward

Format: E-bookbloodfury.png
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Black Dagger Legacy, #3
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Hero: Peyton, son of Peythone
Heroine: Novalina
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: January 09, 2018
Started On: September 02, 2018
Finished On: September 07, 2018

Blood Fury by JR Ward brings us to the end of the published novels under the Black Dagger Legacy series. This installment also follows the style of the previous two novels by bringing together characters from the Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) series into the limelight. To be honest, (I guess like most readers), I was more interested in Ruhn and Saxton’s story than the main protagonists who happens to be Peyton, son of Peythone and Novalina (Novo), the final characters left without a happily ever after of their own from the new recruits, who happened to form the basis of this series.

Ruhn’s entrance into the series comes from the previous book, Blood Vow. As Bitty’s uncle, Ruhn is welcomed wholeheartedly into the Brotherhood “family”. Ruhn is the kind of character that you fall in love with from the start. His quiet and understated demeanor provokes reader interest from the very beginning. His giving and caring nature is prominent from the way he handled Bitty’s issue, saying goodbye to his past and moving on with an uncertain future, putting Bitty’s welfare and happiness above everything else.

We have all met Saxton, mainly because he was the character with whom Blaylock (now mated to Qhuinn), tried to move on with, given that Qhuinn ignored Blaylock’s armorous feelings and intentions towards him at the cost of hurting Blaylock at every turn possible. Since then, a lot has happened of course, leaving Saxton at loose ends, feeling the loneliness that comes from burying oneself with work to forget what could never be his. Along comes Ruhn and everything changes.

With every layer that is peeled back to reveal Ruhn’s character, I fell more deeply in love. Saxton too exposes painful bits of his past, which made me believe that they perfectly complement each other in every single way that matters. The fire between them was enough for me to reach out for a glass of water – they are combustible together. That is what happens when two characters worm their way into your hearts, and of course JR Ward is a master when it comes to sex scenes that are hot enough to singe in the best way possible.

That brings me to Novo and Peyton’s story that unfolds alongside. Novo is a character that is a bit hard to pin down at first, because she never reveals anything about herself that might expose any weaknesses that she might have. But understanding the betrayal she had faced at the hands of none other than her family and the man who had serviced her needing puts Novo in a whole different light. The pain she carries within herself and hugs close to her lest she allows someone else to come too close once again becomes clear when all is said and done.

Peyton, though richer than probably most of the families of glymera, has no happy moments to think of when it comes to his life and a father who demands from him but never roots for him. Peyton has mastered the art of not giving a damn, and enrolling as a recruit to fight had been the one thing where he had excelled at, against all odds. Though I never truly did warm up to Peyton’s character as much as I hoped I would, I loved the way he handled Novo. Peyton too had his own demons to fight before he could move on. His infatuation and unrequited love for none other than Paradise, who found her mate in Blood Kiss.

I quite don’t know whether JR Ward plans to write more stories under this series, given an interview recently which hinted at the possibility that there might no longer be novels forthcoming from this series. But who knows? One thing is for certain. I would definitely read them because I have mostly loved the books published featuring characters from the BDB series.

Recommended for fans of the series and fans of Saxton. Read this for Ruhn and Saxton’s story; you will definitely fall in love.

Final Verdict: Blood Fury brings closure to Saxton’s character, introducing to readers the fascinating man Ruhn proves to be. Loved both of them together to pieces.

Favorite Quotes

“You don’t want me to answer that,” he heard himself say in a guttural voice.
“Don’t do me any favors.”
“Fine. I want you to take from me. I want your mouth on me anywhere I can get it. And I know better than to think you’ll let me fuck you, but just so we’re clear, the entire time, I’ll be back between your legs in my mind. That honest enough for you? Still want me to come…to you?”
He deliberately double-entendre’d that last one because he was a prick. And he wanted her so badly he was losing his frickin’ mind.

Gently, softly…he brushed over that mouth again and again. At first, there was no response, the lips against his own frozen. But then they parted, and stroked back, with a sweet hesitation.
Saxton’s body roared, his erection straining to get out and be stroked, and sucked. And in return, he wanted to learn every square inch of the male rightfuckingnow. Patience was a virtue more likely to be rewarded than fumbling greed, however.
Saxton inched back and searched Ruhn’s face. “How was that?”
“More,” came the moaned response.

“Watch me,” she commanded.
He groaned and looked down, seeing her palm circle his thick shaft—and then she stroked him, up and down, the sensations creating a mad rush of hot and heavy all over his body. Then she was kissing him, her mouth taking over, her braid slipping free of her shoulder and landing with a heavy thump on his arm.
“Fuck, slow down, I’m going to come—”
“What I say.”
Just as the pleasure was cresting, she went for his throat, those razor-sharp fangs scraping down his skin, finding the right place at his jugular. She struck at the very onset of his orgasm and he barked out her name, the pain and the pleasure mixing, the alchemy ramping everything up until he thought he would blow apart.

As the other male came to a halt with mere inches between their faces, Saxton had to smile a little. “I guess I read this wrong, huh.”
“Yes,” came the growl. “You did.”
Holy from-out-of-nowhere.
Ruhn took hold of Saxton by either side of the throat and yanked him forward, the male’s kiss nothing tentative or shy, nothing experimental. It was full on, tongue pushing inside, that big body thrusting hips and an erection the size of a baseball bat into Saxton and forcing him back against the countertop.

As Ruhn ground his cock into Saxton’s ass, the male said in a guttural voice, “Say no now. If you’re going to, say it now.”
Saxton turned his head to the side, his cheek squeaking over the granite. Opening his mouth, he began to pant.
“Don’t stop. Oh, God…do it.”
All at once, the lights in the kitchen went out, the space plunged into darkness as Ruhn clearly willed it so. The hands that went for Saxton’s fly were rough with impatience—and then his fine loose slacks were hitting the floor. A blunt head probed and then Ruhn spit into his own palm—
The possession was hard and very deep.
The ride was a pounding to the point of violence.
The orgasm that poured into him was soul shattering for them both.

With a shaking he couldn’t hide, Peyton slid into the warm spot her body had created. And he did what he could to keep his hips back, even though there wasn’t a lot of room—it seemed rude to be rubbing all up on her while she was unclipping the—
Her nipples were small and pink and very perfect.
And though he meant to help her with the wires, instead, his fingertips sought out one of her breasts, drifting across her smooth skin. She gasped as he touched the tip.
“I have to taste you,” he said hoarsely.

“I want you in me,” she demanded.
As her hand found his erection, she did not have to ask twice. He rolled on top of her, finding a home as she split her thighs to make room for him. And then he retracted his hips, angled his arousal…
“Oh, fuck,” he groaned as his head entered her.
He slid deep, so fucking deep. And she was tight, like a fist. And she was hot, like raw fire. It was as he had known it to be from before, except so much better. Because she was with him now, hungry as he was.

With a roll of his hips, he ground himself against her and it was then that her eyes got hot behind that mask. And he couldn’t not respond to that. He grabbed her by the ass—hard—and pushed her up against a wall. Clamping a hand on the front of her throat, he squeezed just enough to make her have to work for air.
“Is this what you want?” he said harshly. “Do you want it hard and where people can see?”
“Fuck you.” She bared her fangs and hissed at him. “And yeah, I do.”

“Don’t move.”
When she looked back at him, he released the blade and waited until she nodded. Then he ran his free hand up and down her crack, rubbing the leather, stroking her sex through the pants. That didn’t last long. Taking the razor-sharp blade, he cut into the seam that went right up the center of her, put the knife away, and slid four fingers, two from each side, into the hole he’d made.
It was a clean jerk.
And underneath, her bare, hairless sex was open, ready, wet for him.

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

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Review: Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

Format: E-bookbloodvow.PNG
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Black Dagger Legacy, #2
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Hero: Axwelle
Heroine: Elise
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: December 06, 2016
Started On: August 29, 2018
Finished On: September 02, 2018

Blood Vow by JR Ward is the second book in her Black Dagger Legacy series. As is usual for Black Dagger Brotherhood/Legacy novels, the story is more than the tale of the main protagonists; Elise, blooded daughter of the Princeps Felixe and Axwelle, son of Theirsh (Axe).

Axe is one of the soldier recruits in training with the Brotherhood and it is through them that the opportunity for a high paying bodyguard job comes up. Axe is chosen (he needs the money more than some others do), and falls instantly in lust with Elise, the coveted, protected, and smothered daughter of an aristocrat family.

Axe comes from a lower class family given the Vampire societal hierarchy. Carrying a lot of guilt and anger inside him, his salvation had come from the opportunity to fight and that is what the Brotherhood had offered him. His past is shrouded in abandonment, a father whom he found lacking for all the love and care he had bestowed upon his creations hoping that the wife who had left him would one day come back, and guilt over the way he had abandoned his father when he had needed Axe the most.

Being rich does not provide comfort and love of the kind that makes ones life wholesome. That is a lesson Elise learns day in and day out as her father tries to smother her by being overprotective. The fact that no one in her family wants to talk about the recent murder of her cousin, and everyone wants to bury their grief makes Elise itch to do something about it. Elise realizes that there is a need for trained psychologists who can help their race, and that is what she sneaks out to do every evening when the sun sets; to graduate from university as a certified therapist able to help those who need it the most.

Meeting Axe changes things for Elise as well. She dares take risks she otherwise would never have dreamed of taking, and in doing so finds passion of the kind that moves her in every single way possible. Axe tries to deny himself from tasting the bits and morsels of Elise that is on offer. But it is a battle he loses spectacularly as he gives in to the combustive passion between them, and ultimately finds himself feeling love of the kind that sweeps one off their feet.

Blood Vow also brings to readers the arc that completes Rhage, Mary, and Bitty’s story. I say completes because by the time Blood Vow ends, I believe every aspect of Rhage and Mary’s life that needed resolutions have been covered. But one never knows if something won’t come up in time. It has been a painful journey that Rhage and Mary has taken to reach this point. With Bitty in their lives, it would have seemed like that everything had come full circle. But with Bitty’s uncle from her mother’s side turning up, there is a bit more of the heartache and pain to go through before the happy times arrive once again.

I liked the overall story and enjoyed bits and pieces of it. I did not connect very well with Elise, though she was perfectly sweet and all that is required. But nothing substantial came of her character except her coming clean with her father that she wanted to move out and start out on her own. Her father did not even come to know about Elise and Axe. I would have loved to see that. It would have given the story a much needed closure in that regard. But perhaps, because Elise wanted to strike out on her own and go independent, there did not seem to be much of a point to it.

Rather than the the story of the main protagonists, it often felt like the focus was more on Rhage, Mary, & Bitty. I am not complaining though. But I thought the whole point of going in this direction was to provide readers with fresh characters and their stories, not to delve deeper into, and give closure to all aspects of the main characters that we have come across in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series itself. The scene with Lassiter towards the end was perfect. I laughed so hard, making it a memorable ending.

Recommended for fans of the series, especially those who love Mary and Rhage!

Final Verdict: While the purpose of this series is sort of lost on me, Blood Vow does deliver a story that keeps the pages turning. After all, JR Ward is one hell of a storyteller.

Favorite Quotes

When she was standing in front of him, he purred deep in his throat. “How was dinner,” he asked in a growl. “Did you like it?”
Her lips parted, her breath coming hard. “He was good company.”
“I wasn’t asking about him. How was the steak.”
With that, he reached out and locked his hand on the back of her neck. Pulling her up against him, he arched his hips into her so she felt exactly what he was about.
Elise gasped, her eyes closing as she went limp.

The slicing sound of those two sharp halves coming together over and over again so close to his erection made him nearly orgasm. And then she was right where the action was.
She ran those scissors directly up the length of his erection.
Grabbing on to the blankets, fisting them hard, Axe kicked his head back, gritted his teeth, and groaned, “I’m coming—oh, fuck …”
The release was stronger than any he had been having down at that sex club, the sensations so crisp and clean, they were just like those blades, slicing through his body.

Lapping at the tip of him, she opened wide and tried to keep her teeth out of the way—and she must have succeeded, because although he went stiff all over, there were no yelps. Instead, he arched his spine and worked with her as she found a rhythm: Up and down, sucking him, stroking him on the bottom with her palm. Faster … faster …
“I’m going to come—” He groaned and went rigid—but also tried to push her away.
No, she was going to see this through.
As he barked out a curse, she took all of his orgasm, which seemed to drive him mad with passion, his convulsions and the response in her mouth as erotic an experience as she could ever imagine.

“Turn for me?” Axe said in a tone that was so close to a begging.
Rising up on the balls of her feet, she pivoted around, showing him her backside. That was when she hooked her thumbs into her underwear and took it to the floor, bending her body while keeping her legs locked so she showed him exactly what she knew he wanted to see.
He didn’t have to say a word of approval. His pumping purr and those volcanic eyes told her everything she wanted to know.

Using the small of her back and her hips, she began to ride him, and he helped her, countering her thrusts with those of his own, a momentum getting started. Her breasts swayed and her breath caught and the firelight turned everything into slow motion—or maybe that was her brain.
The oncoming release was like a train inside her body, gathering speed, the pleasure compounding on itself, radiating from her sex. And all the time they kissed and locked eyes and—
Her orgasm came first and unexpectedly, like a rubber band snapping, only there was no sting of pain, just a bursting and a welling and round after round of pleasuring contractions that she wanted to get lost in forever. And then Axe was thrusting up hard, going even deeper, a kicking taking over just as it had in her mouth.

As he moved back for her to join him, she lifted her lips so he could kiss them at the same time she put her hands on him.
And not as in on his shoulders or his biceps, his stomach or even his ass.
Axe arched so hard, he threw his head into the back wall of the shower. “Fuck—”
“Oh, God, I’m sorry—”
“Like I care?”
With a guttural sound, he kissed her, his hips jerking as her grip restrengthened, the sex surging between them, going from a low-level burn to a solar flare in a split second. And he was not gentle with her. Desperation made his hands rough as he yanked her against him, and his mouth was brutal on hers, and his need went out of control.
But dearest Virgin Scribe, she matched his desperation with a starvation of her own.

As Elise looked down past her breasts and her stomach, it was an erotic shock to see the huge male crammed into the bottom of the shower stall, his hot eyes staring up at her, his tongue licking free of her core, flashing pink before he went back in again—
Another orgasm racked her body and she ground down on his mouth, working herself against him.
In response, he came at her with even greater intensity.
He was possessed and possessing her … and the erotic pleasure was almost too much for her to handle, the sensations ricocheting through her body, her brain sizzling, her senses on fire.
She didn’t want him to stop.
And he didn’t.

When he bared his fangs, she knew he was going to go for her jugular, and she wanted him there. Turning her head to the side, she bared herself to him—
The strike was brutal, his fangs going in so deep, she screamed—but not in pain, even though it hurt in a delicious way.
This was the marking she had heard about.
This was the owning of the female by the male, the staking of the claim. And sure enough, he held her in place at the throat with his teeth as he marked her from the inside out by coming into her sex.
But he wasn’t done with her.

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

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Review: Tailspin by Sandra Brown

Format: E-booktailspin.png
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Rye Mallett
Heroine: Brynn O’Neal
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 07, 2018
Started On: August 08, 2018
Finished On: August 18, 2018

Tailspin by Sandra Brown was released just August of this year. With elements that made for interesting reading, Tailspin takes readers through semantics involving the fields of aviation and pharmaceutical industry, mainly focusing on the very interesting concept of orphan drugs.

Rye Mallett is go-to pilot when you have cargo that needs hauling, no matter what sort of weather conditions might prevail. This is the reason why Dash, the owner of the airfreight company Dash-It-All finds Rye so useful. Along with the holiday season had rolled in a fog of the kind that had the meteorologists in a tizzy. So was Dash, with a cargo that had to be delivered to Howardville, under conditions that no other pilot taking jobs for him was willing to fly.

Rye makes it, only to crash land because of a sabotage attempt that makes him question the end goal to which he had been serving by taking on jobs that no other pilot would. Discovering that the Dr. Lambert he was supposedly meeting was a woman, and being suspicious enough about her involvement in the whole mess is how Rye comes off at first; surly, unfriendly, and rude; that is until he discovers that things are not quite what they seem.

Dr. Brynn O’Neal is on a mission of her own. A mission that is at odds with what her boss Dr. Lambert wants from her. However, she is willing to go that extra mile, damn the consequences. With Rye finally managing to get out of Brynn what it is that she actually wants to do with the precious cargo that he had been hauling, it is with reluctance that Rye gets involved, only to find that he is drawn to Brynn in a way he never thought possible for a man like himself.

Rye is a man who does not give a damn about much, except for flying, which he describes to Brynn through many of her inquisitive conversations with him, that it had been ingrained in him, that flying is a part of him which he cannot explain. So are the scars that Rye carries deep inside, so much a part of him that he cannot see beyond his ultimate goal – to shorten his sojourn through life on Earth as much as possible.

Taking readers through a journey that involves law enforcement officials who surprisingly were keen on doing their jobs and finding out what was actually going on, a Senator and his wife who were hellbent on ensuring that the drug comes their way and not where Brynn has decided it should go, with Rye and Brynn tossed into the midst of it all, made for page turning reading through the last couple of chapters.

Rye was a marvelous a character, a classic Sandra Brown hero if you ask me. Peeling back the complex layers to him and understanding what makes him tick? That was one of the most enticing aspects to the story. The unfounded guilt that Rye carries in his heart, pushing everyone away, believing that it is his death-wish that defines the risks he is willing to take; all of it & more made him a character worth unraveling.

Brynn’s character managed to surprise me as well, especially certain aspects of her childhood that must have been lonely and painful to endure. But the fact that Brynn had not let it define her life was what made me root for her. She is a strong character, whose moral compass is defined by the compassionate nature of who she is.

Including the voice of Violet, the child patient who was suffering from cancer was a brilliant move. Violet’s point of view was as insightful as they come, giving the story an edge that made it all that much more emotional. One of the things that I found disappointing was that Senator Hunt didn’t get to meet his comeuppance as did Dolores, who met the end of poetic justice at the hands of none other than the man whom she thought was slave to her, when in fact he had been all about loyalty. The twist involving Dolores was definitely not something I had seen coming, which is why Sandra Brown is known as one of the masters when it comes to the genre.

What intrigued me the most was the concept of orphan drugs as discussed in this book. I know that a lot of research must have gone into writing about it, in order for readers to understand pharmaceuticals that are usually bogged down in a lot of technical jargon. This novel brings to picture the stark reality of how major pharmaceutical companies operate, how they let profit margins dictate the sanctity of human life, and above all, the dirty machinations of the political elite, who would stoop to any level, just so that they can come out at the top.

Recommended for fans of romantic suspense, and of course, fans of Sandra Brown.

Final Verdict: Firmly entrenched in the subject matter of aviation & orphan drugs, Sandra Brown delivers a high octane tale of danger, lust, love, & intrigue in equally cataclysmic doses.

Favorite Quotes

The instant Rye slid his tongue between her lips, he acknowledged that he’d been waiting for any excuse to kiss her.
He heard a little catch in her breath, felt a small puff of it against his lips. Both were sexy as hell and encouraging. He angled his head. The deeper he explored, the better she tasted, the more carnally his intent was channeled. Somehow he’d known her mouth was made for this.

She made a purring sound as her body went lax. Her head was back, her eyes closed. She was biting her lower lip. He whispered, “Is that permission to continue?”
She opened her eyes and, clasping his head firmly between her hands, brought it to hers. Their mouths came at each other hungrily. This was no coy kiss. Her tongue was giving and receiving, and the way she drew his in was as erotic as hell.
The caveman in him was awakened with a vengeance. He wanted to claim her mouth, possess it, and to inflict pain on every other man who’d had so much as a sampling of it. He wanted to kill the wild Hendrix boy.

He withdrew his hand and stretched out on top of her. He kissed her neck, ravenously, but a bit awkwardly, as he fumbled with the wrapper and got the condom on.
Then—God, finally—he pushed into her in one long, uninterrupted glide, until he was completely, solidly embedded. Seized again by a primal possessiveness, he clamped the slender cord of her neck between his teeth and held it for several heartbeats, then raised his head and looked down into her face.
Her cheeks were flushed. Catching the dim light, her eyes shone silver as they looked into his. Breath rushed past her lips, made swollen and red and damp from kisses.
“Pride be damned,” she whispered. “I wanted this. I wanted this.”

With his nose, he pushed her hair aside and placed his lips against her ear so that she would hear every panted word, each curse, praise and blessing, every syllable of the sex-talk chant that urged her toward her orgasm, and his inarticulate, mating growl when he allowed himself to come.
The only thing he wished he could take back, the one thing he wished he hadn’t said where she could hear it, where he could hear it, spoken on a serrated sigh as he sank onto her in sweet repletion: Brynn.

Raising his head, and looking her up and down, he whispered, “How did you know that this is my favorite fantasy?”
“It is? Since when?”
“Since I walked in that door.”
With a groan, he stamped his mouth over hers, slanting it to the perfect angle. The forceful thrust of his tongue was no less thrilling and exciting than it had been the first time he’d kissed her. More so, if that were possible. It reignited her craving for his mouth, his hands, him.

He panted, “If you don’t ride me, there is no God.”
Smiling, she combed her fingers up through the fan of light brown hair on his chest as she bent over him and took him into her mouth. Sensations aroused by his elementally male scent and taste were intensified by the low animal sound of pleasure that vibrated through his entire body. She drew on him until he huffed her name and tugged her head up by handfuls of her hair.
“Now.” He took himself in hand, so that when she stood on her knees, he guided himself into her. As she sank down on him, he released a long exhale. Through the squint she was coming to identify with him, he looked at her with thrilling, possessive greed. “Damn, this is hot.”

Their motions grew increasingly fast and urgent. He jackknifed up, burrowed his face into the open jacket, and sucked her nipple into his mouth. He worked his fingers down between them where they were joined, gathered moisture on the pads of them, then feathered, pressed, encircled. Again, again, and again until she came apart.
Her orgasm was long and intense. While aftershocks continued to ripple through her, he lay back down and carried her with him. Then, with his hands splayed over her bottom, grafting her to him, he thrust high and came.

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

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Review: Going Hard by Cari Quinn

Format: E-bookgoinghard.jpg
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Boys of Fall, #9
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Rafe Martinez
Heroine: Hollie Bennett
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: July 08, 2016
Started On: July 26, 2018
Finished On: July 27, 2018

It has been ages since I have read a Cari Quinn. I was so excited, having discovered this book authored solely by hers truly, I even made a note of it when I started reading. Going Hard is classic Cari Quinn, and delving deeper into the story made me realise all anew that very few authors have her ability to combine good sarcasm and undeniable heat in a way that melts your panties off.

Almost 25 year old Hollie Bennett is a librarian, who is looking to experience and sow her wild oats. She refuses to feel guilty and she knows what she wants. Or does she? With Rafe Martinez, her long-term childhood crush having turned out to be a disappointment in bed, Hollie turns her sights to other “prospectives”, and ends up in one hilarious situation after another.

Rafe is determined to give Hollie the space she needs. Having being rejected, and with “good” reason, Rafe keeps his distance until four months later, he turns up to give Hollie the “guidance” she needs in going after what she wants. However, little by little, the iron-clad control of Rafe’s slips away under the enticing package that Hollie has always been for him. Before Rafe knows it, they have both given in, and pleasure comes calling in every single way they could go about it.

Going Hard was an interesting story from the beginning. It was a novelty to begin a romance novel where the hero and heroine had done it before, and the heroine had in fact NOT liked it. Hollie has fantasized about Rafe ever since she had been hit by hormones of puberty. But Rafe had never looked her way, having being her brother’s best friend all the while. Rafe had always considered Hollie to be off-limits, his upbringing having drummed into him to be a man who is respectful and nothing like his philandering father.

It is Rafe’s sister who finally makes him see what he has been doing to himself, by denying one side of his nature because of what has been required of him. Rafe is a man who hides his intense passion behind a facade of control that he has perfected over time. Given that he is not much of a ladies man (unlike most heroes we encounter in books), his foray into the world of women and sex is also limited. But that does not mean he is not lethal and potent when he decides to unleash that side of himself. The torrent of feels when he does decide to let go? One of the best aspects of this story.

Recommended for those who love intelligently crafted stories that makes you laugh out loud one minute and whimper from want the next.

Final Verdict: I have sorely missed the snark and full throttle passion that is Cari Quinn’s signature. Add in Rafe, a man who talks dirty in Spanish when he finally loses control; sign me up for the next one please!

Favorite Quotes

“Rafe,” she said with a startled glare.
He hauled her into the darkened space. She was actually surprised there was one in this place. Everything seemed neon and bright, not to mention filled to the brim with people.
Though it was a weeknight and had to be heading toward eleven. And huh…sometime between game three and four, the pool area had cleared out.
He braced his arm against the wall beside her head and used the rest of his body to block her into the corner. “Why the fuck are you wearing a padded bra?”
Shock muted her for a moment before she managed to sputter out a laugh. “It’s none of your damn business.”

Her fingers went right for his hair and held him there. Not that she had to worry about it, because he didn’t seem inclined to move. He tugged the other, rolling it between two fingers as he sucked strongly on the first.

Her entire body lit up like the jukebox next to them.
No way.
She rolled her hips against him as a restless hunger built in her lower belly. He slid his knee between her legs and she moaned when the seam of her jeans brushed her clit.
His hot breath fanned over her chest and along her ribs as he licked a path under her breast to the one he’d neglected and tasted that one, too.
“Can you come from this?” he asked. “I never have before.” Was that her voice? It was needy and dark, just like she felt.

“I want to see your perfect tits stretching against my shirt while I feed you.”
Eyes wide, she fell silent.
He rooted through the picnic basket and came out with a sprig of fat red grapes. Knowing full well which hand he was using, he broke off a few and set them on his thigh, then reached for the bottle of wine. He held the grapes over the edge of the blanket and splashed some wine on the fruit before he shifted back to Hollie. Her full lips were damp and trembling, so he traced the bottom one with a grape. “Open up for me, belleza.”
She did as he asked, biting into the grape. Once she’d chewed and swallowed, he slipped his finger inside, nearly shuddering at the wet flick of her tongue against his skin.
“Tastes good?” She nodded, and he knew she understood he wasn’t just referring to the fruit.

Without waiting for him to answer, she kicked the remnants of their lunch out of the way and rolled onto her belly between his legs. She reached for his zipper and yanked it down, following the path with little kisses she trailed down his stiff length.
He fisted his hand in her hair to slow her down—he was the one who should be on his knees for her, not the other way around—but she took it as encouragement instead.
“God, yes. Pull my hair.” She shivered and wriggled on the blanket, causing his shirt to ride up her back. Christ. Her firm, bare ass tormented him, and the agony only got worse when she crossed her ankles and flexed her taut cheeks.
When she pried down his boxers and pulled him out, he didn’t offer an admonishment. More like a groan of fucking relief as her warm, wet mouth slid over the swollen tip. His hand tightened in her hair again, almost unintentionally, and she moaned around him, deeply enough that he pulled hard.

“Mojado,” he said against her ear, pushing his fingers deeper until they could go no further. Then he flexed them, moving against that spot inside her that made her shudders intensify.
“What…” She paused and took a breath, tipping back her head until their eyes met. “What does that mean?”
“Wet. All this, for me.” He pulled his fingers out, achingly slowly, and she gasped. He pressed them against her quivering lower belly and they gleamed wetly, damp up to his knuckles with her excitement.

“Touch me,” he growled, nipping her clit.
She hesitated. He felt it, because even her hips retreated slightly. Just enough to let him know she was uncertain.
He’d have to take the lead. Fuck, he wanted to.
“Put your hands on me,” he commanded. “Grip my shoulders, pull my fucking hair. Dig your nails into my skin. If you don’t, I’ll think you’re not liking this and I’ll stop.” He tugged lightly on one of the downy curls between her legs and met her gaze. “Or maybe I’ll just turn you over on your belly and spank your tight little ass. How about that?”
“Is there an option for both?” she whispered, making him cut off an oath.
Fuck, he hadn’t meant to go there, but as always, when they were naked, things got out of hand. But her eyes were so big and blue, and she was quaking underneath him.

She wasted no time in climbing astride him again. “I like to imagine me being on top.” She ran her hands up her torso to her breasts and his cock bobbed against her inner thigh. Even through the latex he could feel the steam coming off her pussy. “Being confident enough to reach down and do this,” she said, grabbing hold of him and guiding his dick to her slit. “To just slide on down and take…ahh, fuck…take what I need.”
He groaned, his hips lifting of their own accord. Remaining still and letting her do what she wanted took all his control and then some.
But the brightness in her eyes, the way her hand shook as she brought him inside—so worth it.
“Cup your breasts and ride me. You took the reins, now use them,” he said, voice low, his hands curling into the sheets to keep from forcing her down harder on his cock. Her show, her way. For now.

He jerked out and drove home again, his stroke smoother the second time. She clawed at the sheets when he repeated the move, then closed his hand around the back of her neck and hauled her up on her knees. He needed a better angle. Had to go deeper. He leaned down and bit the side of her neck and she spasmed around him. Aftershocks, maybe. But then she grew even wetter and hotter and bent her head between her supporting arms, and he realized she’d come again.
Three times. He’d made her come three times.
“Fuck, belleza.” He rammed into her again, unable to check his strength. She went down to her belly on the mattress again, her knees not able to keep her up, and he couldn’t slow himself down enough to correct her position. He just kept fucking her, his fingers branding her skin, his teeth grazing whatever flesh he could reach.
“God, come.” She reached back and dragged her nails down his side. “Come.”
His balls tightened and he tried to warn her. To reel back his aggression. But he couldn’t stop from fisting his hand in her hair and dragging her off the bed to bite down on her shoulder as he jerked and exploded inside her.

He swiped his cock through her folds and hiked her up the bed a little. She tried to maneuver for him, but he tucked his arm under knee and flattened her into the bed as he filled her in one thrust.
If there was a way for her eyeballs to do the slots thing like Vegas, then it was happening. Holy fuck. He drove into her with and unflinching rhythm. Each thrust was long and hard. She curled her other leg around his hip and pulled him as tight as possible.
The heat of him and the heaviness of him was almost suffocating. Or was it the friction?
She couldn’t think.

She hooked her arm around his neck and fused their mouths together. Her shout was buried under his driving tongue and ceaseless hip action that left her shaking around him. He ripped his mouth free from her and his head tipped back.
The veins in his neck flexed and pulsed. She wanted to taste all of that. She latched her mouth to his shoulder and bit down as her entire body clenched around his.
He jerked over her. His cock pulsing inside of her. She could actually feel him swelling and filling her.
Fuck. Stunning.

He gripped her hair. The lick of pain only pushed her closer to the edge. “Hollie I’m going to come down your throat if you keep that up.”
“Do it.” She tighten her grasp around his shaft. “I want you to.”
He groaned. “Are you sure?”
She sucked on him and swayed again. God, she was so close and she hadn’t even touched herself. Her nipples ached with each shift of the material. She took him deeper as her nails spread across his belly for balance.
Rafe hissed out a breath and his body tensed. The veins came out in his arms and neck. She took him deeper. When the splash of warmth hit her tongue she took him deep again.

“Fuck. So fucking beautiful.”
His fingers slid over her slit and she jerked in reaction. “Too much.”
“What?” He rolled her onto her belly and gripped her ass. “Oh, fuck me.” He buried his face between her legs and she rolled onto her knees as he thrust inside her with his tongue.
“Rafe,” she managed to gasp out. He held her still and eased two fingers into her pussy as she screamed. Her body shook as pleasure and pain went to head-to-head in her body. He gentled the strokes and pleasure won out as she found herself in his arms.

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