Review: Too Hard to Forget by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-booktoohardtoforget.jpg
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Romancing the Clarksons, #3
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Elliot Brooks
Heroine: Peggy Clarkson
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: April 25, 2017
Started On: June 03, 2018
Finished On: June 08, 2018

Too Hard to Forget, the third book in the Romancing the Clarksons series by the impressively talented Tessa Bailey was a delightful read in so many ways. Too Hard to Forget tells the story of the youngest Clarkson Peggy, and how she makes use of the opportunity of the road trip the Clarkson siblings take to make a pit stop which she believes in all probability would allow her finally move on and forget the one man who has ruined her for all others.

Peggy, like her mother Miriam writes at the beginning of the novel, is a character with a million facets to her that you can never truly understand even if you spend a lifetime trying to. Its not that she is difficult as a person, no, the farthest thing from that. Peggy is made of a breed that allows you to see the wonderful bits to her as you watch, wait, and learn from her life.

Peggy might seem like the air-headed and most naive of the bunch, but Peggy’s heart is one that is pure gold. When you think you have finally figured her out, she manages to surprise you yet again.

Peggy turns up at her old university to face her demons head on, believing that she would be able to exorcise the man known as Elliot Brooks from her heart, body, and soul once and for all, and leave him wanting more while at it.

Elliot Brooks, head coach of the Bearcats, and known as the Ki,ngmaker is a man who is devoutly Catholic, continually paying penance for the part of his life that fills him with regret and loathing. Elliot is a man who was raised in a Catholic household as an only child, and has no particularly happy family memories to show him that life could be more than repenting for sins perceived and otherwise.

Elliot’s focus has always been on winning and baseball, and his life had held no room for a wife with whom he had had no particular affection, except for the child that had been born of their perfectly serviceable marriage. It is the death of Elliot’s wife that hits him the hardest, the guilt for all that he had not done, all that he had failed to do, and above all, his fiery attraction to a woman most unsuited for him, that makes him break all the rules.

Even as Elliot gives in, he keeps pieces and chunks of himself from Peggy, until at long last, he drives her out of his life, seemingly forever. Three years later, Peggy is back, more beautiful than ever, and to Elliot, she still represents everything that is sinful, every reason why the Church itself exists as an establishment for sinners to pay their penance and to remind themselves of what is more important in life. It is however a fight that Elliot loses every single time Peggy is within arms distance, a fight he loses to his innermost self which wars against his desire to completely possess Peggy one minute and walk away the next. All because he does not believe that he deserves the kind of light that Peggy has always shed in his life.

Too Hard to Forget is a novel that amazed me at every turn and made me sigh and swoon in equal doses. There is not a single aspect of the story that I would change, and it was undoubtedly precious from start to finish. Peggy’s character wasn’t one that I had warmed up to in the previous books all that much until her own story began in this installment. And once it did, I couldn’t get enough of her. That in its entirety is a rarity because it is usually the hero or the hero and heroine together that I can’t get enough of in most novels. But in this instance, once I fell in love with Peggy’s character, I did so for life, just like Elliot did and was fool enough not to recognize and accept it for what it was.

Peggy’s heart like I mentioned, is one that doesn’t allow her to usually see the bad in people. Perhaps that is where most would call her naive. But then again, the world needs more human beings like Peggy, who would be willing to go out on a limb for those that majority would usually not bother with. Perhaps that is in a way one reason why Peggy follows Elliot into the locker room and the rest, as they say is history.

While Peggy does believe she would find a way to move on from Elliot, it doesn’t really work out the way she had planned or thought it would. In the end, Peggy faces some hard truths about her own self and her need for Elliot’s brand of “love”, making her realize that she is worthy of more than the destructive kind of passion and love that exists between them. But of course, Elliot is not ready to give up without a fight, the fight for the love of his life, a woman he has wronged in so many ways as he has wronged himself by denying the happiness that could have rightfully being his, if only he had had the courage to move past his fears and preconceived notions of what life should be about.

Tessa Bailey’s mark is stamped all over the book, in spades. Dirty talk good enough to drench all your panties, sex scenes hot enough to singe and make you want and want more, and a hero who has control stamped all over his DNA, and loses it so spectacularly for the woman who owns his heart.

I would recommend this for everyone and anyone who loves an obstinate hero and a heroine who you would root for with every fiber of your existence. Yes, it is that kind of book.

Definitely recommended!

Final Verdict: Emotionally nuanced to perfection, Too Hard to Forget is wonderfully smutty, edgy, and made ALL of me clamor for more. This just might be in the run for my favorite Tessa Bailey yet; and that is saying a lot!

Favorite Quotes

“Shut your mouth.” His forehead ground against hers. “Shut your beautiful, ripe, little mouth.”
Desire thickening in her blood like oil, Peggy removed one of the hands he’d fisted on the locker, lowering it to the space between her legs. His nostrils flared, hot exhales bathing her face, eyelids slamming to a close. But she didn’t let his massive presence intimidate her. One by one, she smoothed open his curled fingers, then cupped Elliott’s hand at the juncture of her thighs, encouraging him with a roll of her hips to mold the flesh beneath the built-in panties of her cheerleading skirt.
“It’s okay to need this.”
“No.” His denial was a near-roar. “It’s not.”

With a jagged breath, Elliott grabbed up Peggy’s other leg, drawing it high around his waist as she guided his arousal toward her core. He entered her with a biting slam against the locker door, releasing the vilest of epithets into her ear. “Jesus Christ. This is what sin feels like,” he rasped. “Wrong and right, at the same time. Life and death. Blond, long-legged, and tight.”

The head of his rigid cock pressed against his belt buckle, straining painfully inside his pants. “That’s not how it works,” he rasped. “Prayer isn’t an excuse to sin.”
Peggy’s knee moved up and down the side of his thigh, and just knowing her legs were apart, her pussy out in the open, blasted another hole in his resolve. “No one will know. Touch them. Be as rough as you want,” she breathed. “I remember what you like. How you like to get mad at my body. Frustrated at it for making you want something natural.”
“Nothing natural about what we did.” His touch moved down, stopping a mere inch from her breast, fingers flexing. “You made me behave like a beast. Some of the ways I took you…some of the places…”
She groaned and it broke him. Knowing the memories had caused such a harsh sound of longing brought his clutching hand to her breast, where it kneaded the taut mound once before racing under her shirt. Lust railroaded him, and he was out of his mind with need to feel her bare skin. “Yes, Elliott. More.”

With a possessive snarl, Elliott pressed her to the wall with the use of his mouth, increasing the power of his suck until she cried out, twisting his hair with frantic fingers. She tugged him away with a cracked sob and then her lips were so close. So damn close. The most tempting of fruit. And he descended on their parted perfection like the Apocalypse was upon them.
“How do you do this to me?” he groaned against her mouth. “I can’t even get my dick hard unless I think of you. I bet you love knowing that.” The ensuing kiss was brutal, his tongue driving deep and claiming. “Bet you love knowing that sliver of stomach you showed me today in the car made it necessary to jerk off in my office with the door locked.”

She held her breath and waited once inside. Only a couple seconds passed until he blew through her doorway—sexual and intimidating—kicking the door shut, lifting her off the ground to attack her mouth. Peggy moaned into the kiss, her thoughts going fuzzy when Elliott’s tongue slipped past her lips, his free hand stroking down the side of her face, smoothing her hair in an affectionate gesture that made the last three lonely days worth every second. God. God. His huge presence combined with the passion of the kiss to rock the atmosphere. Thunder boomed outside, but she swore it was happening in her chest, between her legs. The smell of him and rain and…chocolate…was amazing.
“Shit,” Elliott rasped, pulling back. Rubbing a thumb against her lower lip, he dropped a kiss on her forehead, then reached into his jacket to remove a small, crushed bakery box. “This didn’t go according to plan,” he grumbled. “Nothing with you does.”
“What’s in there?”
“A cupcake. For your birthday.” He cleared his throat. “Happy birthday.”

Holy shit. Peggy shoved at Elliott’s shoulders, putting his back up against the bench, his expression rife with lust and anticipation as she applied the latex, sucking in a breath when she felt him pulsing against her fingertips. Using the bench’s wooden back for balance in her left hand, she moved higher on his lap, guiding his erection home with her right. “Oh God, oh God,” both of them groaned in a seemingly endless loop, as she sank down—
With only half his erection inside her, Peggy started to shake, the orgasm she’d spent so long chasing, busting through the dam of her middle and drowning her, dragging her under the churning relief. She felt Elliott’s hands in her hair, his powerful grip steadying her, mouth blocking her scream with a kiss. The kind of kiss you gave someone you might die without. Fast, slow, heads turning, bodies twisting. A full body kiss. “More. Elliott. More.

Peggy contracted her most intimate muscles around Elliott’s girth, listened as rusted epithets married in his throat, felt his fingers dig into the flesh of her backside. “These inches of yours,” she breathed up against his ear, licking the lobe, catching it between her teeth. “They’re the only ones that know the right spot to hit…the only ones that can make me scream. Or feel a damn thing. Please.”
Her back landed on the bench, the wood’s coldness reaching through the back of her jacket to wrap around her spine. But the rest of her…oh God, the rest was so fucking hot, she knew the word fever would forever hold new meaning. Elliott descended on her with the power of a pack of wolves, caged inside one man.
“Get your knees up. Get them up,” he snarled. Without waiting for her to comply with his command, he reached back and pulled her knees even with her hips, just out to the side. And that first drive with Elliott’s full weight on top of her was so glorious, it might have topped the orgasms he’d already given her. The positivity that she was being dominated, that she was prey and couldn’t escape his pinning heaviness, the thick evidence that he was man…it caused starburst to erupt behind her eyes, in her belly, all along her nerve endings.

As if sensing her resolve, Elliott set out to crush it, his mouth stamping down on her possessively, his tongue sweeping into her mouth and letting her taste his frustration. “Touch me,” he urged against her lips. “Skin on skin.”
She shook her head, trying to distract him with more kissing, but he pulled away, those eyes drilling into her, his lower body grinding in rhythmic devastation, sending her so close to the point of no return, she lost her ability to think straight.
“Damn you, Peggy,” Elliott growled, pressing his face into her shoulder. “I need your hands and eyes. I missed them most of all.” Their hearts slammed into each other between them, in perfect time with his rolling hips. But only hers was fracturing, splitting right down the middle, little pieces falling away as he continued. “No one ever touched me like you did. I’ve needed it, baby. I’ve been dead without it. Dead inside. Please.”

You’re making my chest hurt.”
She dropped the fork onto the plate with a clatter. “What?”
Elliott’s gaze cut away, clearly having surprised himself. “The way you’re sitting there…the sun making your skin glow.” He sat up straighter in an abrupt movement that dipped that mattress. “Looking at you makes me want to forget everything else and never stop. Every time I’m with you, I come closer to giving in. Setting aside my responsibilities so I can spend more time looking and listening to each and every damn word out of your mouth. Every time.”
Heart running circles around her rib cage, Peggy set the plate of food aside and threw herself at Elliott, laying across him horizontally, her lower half still twisted in the sheet. “You don’t have to set anything aside, you can just shift them a little.” She smiled into his chest hair. “I’m short. I’ll fit.”

Peggy turned, giving the coach her back, watching him over her shoulder, raising both arms in the air and clapping her hands together. Once. “We are the Bearcats and we want to win.” With a hip roll, she turned, sliding into the V of his thighs, smiling as he sucked in a winded breath. “We did it once before and we can do it again,” she continued, holding his knees for balance as she dipped down low and rose slowly, slowly, bumping her hips sharply to one side, and then the other, until Elliott finally gave in, reaching into his sweatpants, his hand moving in vigorous strokes. “Please don’t make us mad. ’Cause we’ll get nasty and mean,” she whispered against his mouth, before licking at the parted seam. “And we just might decide to roll over your team.”

Her back landed on the kitchen table a split second later, Elliott grunting above her as he shoved down his sweatpants, ripped off her underwear, and rammed home with a shout. “Christ. Christ, what you do to me. It’s the devil’s work.” He mounted her body, dropping his face into the crook of her neck. “When a man loses control of one part of his life, all others follow. All others.”
“And I’m the catalyst?” Peggy whispered, her voice shaking. “Guess you better punish me for it.”
When his hips gave that first rude pump, she felt it up in her throat, choking her and setting her free, all at once.

Elliott wasn’t having it. He slipped his left hand up and down her thigh, moving a little higher with each stroke. “Did you have to change your panties when you came upstairs, baby?” He tucked his thumb just beneath the material of her underwear, dragging it in an arc, stopping just a few inches from her pussy. “When you put on the new ones, I bet you gave your clit a little rub. Just once around with your middle finger. Maybe twice. But you stopped because you felt bad about fingering yourself in someone else’s house, sun out and everything. Did I get that right?”
“Yes,” she breathed, tilting her head to the side, giving Elliott an opening to scrape his teeth up the side of her neck. “How did you know that?”
“I know, because even though you were damp and horny in someone else’s kitchen, you’re a good girl deep down.” He sensed her withdraw at that, just a touch. But he wasn’t finished. “And I know because when your pussy gets wet, that real, aching, slick type of wet, you want to hold out for my cock. Don’t you?

“Yes,” she wailed as Elliott did just that. Tended to her like they had only one minute until the Apocalypse. His stiff tongue raked over her clit, lapping at it, while his middle finger slipped through moisture into her entrance. “Yes
“You don’t need to tell me yes when you’re this wet,” he groaned, stabbing his tongue as far inside her as it could go and drawing it out slowly, until his stubble met her sensitized flesh and scraped, before repeating the move several quick, mind-spinning times, all while his thumb strummed over her clit. “Keyed up in my passenger seat, wiggling around like I was already tongue deep in this soaked pussy of yours. Were you remembering how much I love licking it?”
Elliott pushed two fingers inside Peggy and her hips jerked off the bureau, her bare ass slapping back down into the surface as she cried out, “Oh God. Yes, I remember.”

“My favorite part was afterward. After you’d come enough to be fucking delirious…” A prolonged suck of her swollen nub that had her legs shaking, one knee bashing off the wall. “Then I’d slide you toward me or flip you over, whatever you were begging for, and your cunt would be so shiny for me. Ready for a pounding from my cock. Gorgeous.”
“Ohhh.” Her fingers plowed into his hair and gripped tight. “Do that again. Don’t stop. I need to. I need to—” Her pleas ended with a scream when Elliott pushed his fingers deep, jiggling them rapidly, while his mouth applied the sweetest amount of suction to her clit and sensation exploded below her waist. “Elliott. Jesus Christ.”

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

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Review: Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

Format: E-bookloverreborn
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10
Publisher: Penguin
Hero: Tohrment, son of Hharm
Heroine: No’One / Autumn
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 27, 2012
Started On: November 30, 2017
Finished On: December 11, 2017

Lover Reborn, the tenth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series brings to readers the much awaited story of Tohrment. Tohrment is the vampire who was bonded & married when the series initially began, the vampire who lost it all when his pregnant wife was killed by none other than a lesser, the mortal enemies of the vampire race. To say that Tohrment feels the loss keenly would be an understatement, so much so that he flees the Brotherhood compound and disappears for a long while, until he is “forced” to return. How he returns and why would be giving away spoilers for fans of the series who are yet to read this installment.

Even though Tohrment returns to the fold of the living, his soul is tormented by thoughts of none other than Wellsie, his beloved shellan, with whom he wants to be, even if it means going unto the Fade himself. However, fate has other plans in store for him when Tohrment begins to take notice of No’One, mother of Xhexania (Xhex), John’s shellan. Tohrment’s past is one that is entwined with that of the painful one of No’One’s.

No’One carries a name that fits the life she has led since her abduction at the hands of a symphath, who had violated her in too many ways to count, rendering her as a persona non grata in the glymera society, furthermore leaving her with a child she had never asked for, nor wanted. Tohrment’s role in ensuring her wellbeing at that rough and tough point in her life is something No’One has never forgotten.

No’One tries hard to not draw attention to herself. Wearing loose clothing with a hood over her head, No’One keeps to herself, does a lot of physical labor which makes the doggen feel helpless to boot, but its a way of life No’One doesn’t seem to want to be willing to give up, until Lassiter seeks her help to bring Tohrment truly back to the land of the living.

At first, the newly forged association between Tohrment and No’One is an odd one. Tohrment doesn’t have any needs beyond ensuring that his dead shellan and unborn child crosses over to the Fade, and in order to do so, Tohrment has to do the hardest thing he has ever had to do – let them go. No’One assures herself and Tohrment with the fact that she has no interest in HIS kind – the male sex in its entirety, which is what allows both Tohrment and No’One to get close enough to each other for the bonds to forge, the attraction to simmer and spill forth like a river gushing ferociously after being denied its passage for so long.

Lover Reborn is a story that has plenty of angst going for it, not only through the story of Tohrment and No’One, but because John and Xhex face the first real test of the limits of their relationship. Being bonded to someone like Xhex is tough business, with both the male and female being similarly aggressive in a manner that leaves very little room for compromising. While I understood Xhex and where she was coming from, it hurt me more to see what John was going through. But, I believe that Ward handled that particular difficult period of their relationship with great sensitivity, and I couldn’t have asked for more in that regard.

Meanwhile, in Tohrment and No’One’s relationship, Tohrment is determined that he keep his distance, even when he is helplessly drawn to No’One in a way he never thought would be possible. But resist he does, until the very end, whereby the explosive nature of his need for No’One foinds its outlet in the most delicious way possible. But Tohrment is a vampire determined in many ways, and his determination to keep clinging onto the memory of his wife is one that starts driving a wedge between No’One and Tohrment, not because No’One complains about any of it, but because Tohrment is torn up about his conflicting and wayward emotions when it comes to both females.

I sometimes felt that No’One is left holding up the short end of the stick when it comes to Tohrment. But then again, with bonding of the kind that the vampires forge, I believe it is pretty difficult to react in any way but. For Tohrmnet, Wellsie had been THE one, and the woman he had thought he would spend the rest of his life with. His fear of losing her, which had in the end become a reality, had been too much for him to take, which is again understandable. No’One playing second fiddle to the preserved and pristine memory of a dead woman was her way of letting Tohrment come to terms with everything. Had No’One being any other way, I guess the relationship would have failed even before it began.

No’One has the kind of patience, empathy, and forgiveness that few can aspire to have. Perhaps it had been forged through the life of continued “penance” that she had lived, never asking for anything for herself, but going along the path of life without wanting much out of it.

One of the sweetest things about this story was the relationship that buds to life between Xhex and No’One, daughter and mother, who for the first time get that opportunity to be together. Xhex who hides her inner vulnerability with the hard shell of the sharply honed fighter that she is, never thought that there would come a day when she and her mother would have a relationship, much less one where she could actually feel loved and wanted. That for me, was one of the most riveting parts of this story.

The end was an angst ridden one for Tohrment and No’One, and I am glad that Ward did justice to both their characters and gave readers an ending worth all the “torment”.

Lover Reborn is also the novel in which Ward makes Xcor’s character a prominent one. I fell in love with him in this story, and it is a love that has only grown in leaps and bounds as the series progressed and ultimately reached his story. The Band of Bastards, whose leader is Xcor, commits the most unforgivable of crimes against the King, for which the punishment is to be death. If that doesn’t get the reader juices flowing to find out what happens next, what would?

Splendid storytelling as always. Forever glad that I decided to give this series a try because I have yet to be disappointed.

Final Verdict: Lover Reborn, just like every single Black Dagger Brotherhood book, is a feast on all your senses. JR Ward definitely knows what she’s doing.

Favorite Quotes

When she came a second time, she had to retract her mouth from his flesh and call out his name. And as he pulsed deep within her, she stopped moving and absorbed the sensation of the kicking and jerking, so familiar, and yet so fresh.
Jesus … what an expression he had … his eyes squeezed shut, his teeth bared, the muscles in his neck straining, all while a streak of delicious red left the puncture marks she had yet to lick closed.
When his lids finally opened, she stared hard at the blissed-out haze in those blue eyes of his. His love for her wasn’t just emotional; there was an undeniable physical component to it. That was the way bonded males worked.

He met her halfway, falling into a jog as soon as he saw her pick up the pace, and they slammed into each other.
Hard to know whose mouth found whose, or whose arms were cinched tighter, or who was the desperate one.
But then, in this they were equals.
Breaking the kiss, she groaned, “My cabin.”
The second after he nodded, she was out of there and so was he … and they re-formed outside her place.
No waiting to go inside.
He fucked her standing up, against her door, in the cold.

When John finally stopped and lifted his head, they were in the far corner, nearly into the living room. Oh, what a picture. Her mate’s face was flushed, his mouth glossy and puffy, his fangs so long he couldn’t close his jaw—and she was likewise wrung out, her breathing ragged, her sex throbbing with its own heartbeat.
He was still erect.
Too bad she barely had the energy to blink—because he deserved one heck of a payback.…
Except he seemed to know exactly what she was thinking. Rising up between her open legs, he gripped himself and began to stroke.
With a moan, she arched and rolled her hips. “Come all over me,” she said through gritted teeth.
John worked himself, his palm locked around his thick shaft, a clicking sound rising up as he pumped. His massive thighs split wide as he shoved his knees farther apart for balance, the muscles in his forearm standing out in harsh relief as he went harder and faster. And then he was barking something in a soundless way, his body going rigid as hot jets splashed all over her sex.
Just the thought of herself wet and messy was almost enough to make her come again. But the sight of him making it happen? Sent her right over the edge once more…

Dearest Virgin Scribe, he was enormous.
As No’One stood in the lee of the great warrior who had come upon her, she felt the heat coming off his massive body sure as if she were in front of a raging fire. And yet… she was not burned. And she was not afraid. She was warmed in someplace so deep, so buried within her, that she did not immediately recognize it as part of her internal makeup.
All she knew for sure was that he was going to take her vein within moments and she was going to let him—not because the angel had requested it of her, and not because she had vowed to, and not to make up for something in the past.
She… wanted him to.

“Ease yourself, warrior,” she told him.
“Oh, Jesus…”
“Now.”
As she commanded him, a thrall appeared to come over him: Below his waist, under the sheeting, one of his knees came up toward his body, his thighs splitting wide as his grip secured that vital place that defined him as uniquely male.
What happened next defied description. He worked himself against the balled sheeting, rolling his hips, pushing down, his body gathering momentum—
Oh, the sounds: from the rasp of his breath to his moans to the squeak from under the table.
This was the male animal in the throes of passion.
And there was no going back.
For either of them.

“Take from me,” he commanded, his jaw locking, his chin lifting, his throat becoming even more exposed.
As she brought her head down, she shook from head to foot, and she struck with no grace whatsoever—
This time, the moan came from her.
His taste was like nothing she could recall, a screaming roar in her mouth, over her tongue, down her throat. His blood was so much purer and stronger than that which she had had, and oh, the power of him. It was as if the potency of his warrior’s body poured into hers, transforming her into something so much more than she had ever been before.
“Take more,” he urged in a rough voice. “Take everything.…”

The first touch of her sex was nothing but a passover that had her crying out for more. The second was a slower shift. The third was a—
She shot her hand down and covered his, pushing him against her heat.
His moan was unexpected, suggesting that the feel of her might have made him orgasm himself—yes, she could tell by the way his body spasmed that he had found another release, his hips jerking beneath the blankets in a way that made her think of penetration.
Repeated, vigorous penetration.

And then his hands were upon her. Through the linen shift, his palms burned as they stroked her breasts and continued lower. Parting her thighs even farther for him, she pulled up the sheath and got what she wanted, his touch going to her core, massaging her, bringing her to that knife edge of release—but no farther.
“I want to kiss you,” he growled against her mouth. “But I can’t wait.”
She thought he was kissing her?
Before she could respond, he lifted his hips from her and worked with rough urgency at the front of his leathers.
And then something hot and blunt was bumping … nudging … slipping against her.
No’One arched up and called his name—and that was when he took her: As her voice echoed to the high ceiling, his body claimed hers, pushing inside, making its way, hard yet satin soft.

Abruptly, he slowed down and snagged the tie that secured the plait of her hair, ripping it off and freeing the lengths. Shaking the thick waves out of their confines, he drew them over her shoulder and his own, blanketing them both.
Something about that undoing led to his own undoing: Two pumps later and his body pitched off its ledge, the release taking over everything until he cursed on an explosive breath.
Careening through the pleasure, he squeezed her hard and put his face into all that blond, breathing in, smelling the delicate shampoo that she used. Shit, the scent of her cranked him even higher, until his orgasm abruptly became the rough-and-tumble kind, racking his body, throwing his balance out of whack, rendering him temporarily blind.

They landed in the warm water as one, soft, invisible arms gathering them into a temperate cushion, and insulating them from gravity’s heavyhanded pull, sparing them both any kind of hard landing.
As his head went under, he found her mouth and claimed it, kissing her under the surface as he planted his feet and pushed up so that they found the air. …
In the process, his cock found her core again.
She was right there with him, linking those legs of hers around his hips once more, echoing his rhythm, kissing him back. And it was good. It was … right.

As she strained against him, pumping herself faster and faster, her frustration made her wild.
She bit him.
In the shoulder.
Scored him. With her nails.
The combination should have had him stopping and demanding more civilized behavior. Instead, with his blood flowing onto her, he let out a roar so mighty there was a crash in the room, as if it had rattled something off the wall.
Then he orgasmed. And thank the sweet Virgin Scribe for his release. As he jabbed into her and his erection kicked violently, she finally caught that elusive ride herself, her body rocking with him, the headboard banging.

Coming out of the bath, he found her still on the bed. She had curled away toward the windows and was lying on her side with the sheets drawn around herself.
He saw her naked.
Utterly. Fucking. Naked.
The image made his body get instantly hard, his sex punching out from his hips. And as if she sensed his arousal, she moaned in an erotic purr and undulated. Reaching behind herself, she pulled back what covered her and moved her upper leg forward, exposing her glistening sex.
“Oh, hell,” he groaned.

“Jesus,” he groaned. “How’m I supposed to leave you?”
“Don’t,” she said.
No asking twice on that one. He took her from behind again, lifting her hips, gripping them, and tilting her pelvis so he could get in deep. He ended up with a forearm around her midsection and his weight balanced on his other hand, working her, pounding her until their bodies slapped together and the bed made that noise again. He came on a curse, his orgasm exploding out of him as if he hadn’t had sex in months.
And still he was hungry for her. Especially as she found her own release.

Xhex grabbed the doorknob, twisted hard enough to break the thing off, and shoved her way—
Holy. Shit.
John was by himself on his bed, lying on top of twisted sheets, his naked body gleaming in the light that bled in from the bathroom. One hand was between his legs, his big fist locked on his thick cock … the other was gripping the headboard for leverage as he worked himself, his teeth bared, the muscles in his shoulders and neck standing out in stark relief as he strained.
Shiiiiit. His lower abdomen was slick from other orgasms, and yet he seemed starved for release.
Fevered eyes met hers as his hand stilled. Go, he mouthed. Please …
She quickly stepped inside and shut the door. This was not something anyone else needed to see.
Please! he demanded.
Please, indeed, she thought to herself, her own body responding, her own blood starting to pump.

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

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Review: Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-bookdukeofpleasure.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #11
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Hugh Fitzroy
Heroine: Alf
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: November 29, 2016
Started On: December 06, 2016
Finished On: December 12, 2016

Elizabeth Hoyt is an author who writes with a flair that grabs the reader from the start, her heroes and heroines having that edge to their characters that makes a world of difference when it comes to the world of romance, especially today. When I “discovered” Hoyt’s books, I devoured them in a frenzy that left me stunned, because it had been so long since an author has had that effect on me.

Duke of Pleasure, which is the 11th book in the Maiden Lane series came out almost towards the end of 2016. It was a book that I had been waiting for quite eagerly, just like the legions of fans of the Maiden Lane series out there. While Duke of Pleasure didn’t quite live up to all the expectations that I had for the novel, it however, in classic Hoyt style, delivered a read that made me sigh and swoon in all the right places.

With a Maiden Lane novel, you get not just a romance that is beautifully crafted, but an adventure that goes along with it, which is one reason why these novels are so damn good. Duke of Kyle, aka Hugh Fitzroy is a man tasked with a very important case, not just by anyone, but the King himself; bringing down the Lord of Chaos, a group consisting of the very upper echelons of society participating in most vile and despicable acts for revelry of their own. A mission easier said than accomplished, all things considered.

Following a lead deep into the recesses of the filth of the city is where Kyle encounters none other than the Ghost of St. Giles “himself”, someone who fights and defends the weakest members of society, the ones that law enforcement officials seldom bother protecting. From the moment Kyle witnesses the grace with which the Ghost fights, his interest is one that is piqued in earnest, more so given the fact that he sees the Ghost of St. Giles as the woman she is under the mask and costume she wears.

Moonlighting at night as the Ghost of St. Giles, Alf resumes the role of the boy that she has been as far as she can remember. Having grown up on the streets with no one to look after her, Alf is as tough and resilient as they come, amassing a wealth of secrets along the way in the tasks that she carries out for those who seek out her help. Having rescued Kyle once, Alf is drawn to him in a way that is foreign to her, something that she has never let herself open up enough to experience before.

Finding out that Alf and the Ghost of St. Giles are the one and the same not only stuns Kyle, but makes him realize just how much he has been deluding himself when it comes to the slumbering beast inside of him. Having succumbed to passion’s wily nature before and paid for it, Kyle is a man who is the classic example of “once bitten, twice shy”. Feeling the tendrils of desire that rocks the iron bars of the cage within which he had locked that side of himself does not settle very well with Kyle.

Alf on the other hand, innocent in terms of the guileless nature behind her desire for a man who takes her breathe away, is just two steps short of falling head over heels in love with a man who is far above her station in every single way. But the heart has a way of wanting what is wants, consequences be damned, and that is how Alf finds herself taken in by the powerful embrace of the Duke who wants her, and at the same time seems to wage an inner battle with himself every single time he succumbs. The quest to root out the evil of the Lord of Chaos also comes with a price, one that both Kyle and Alf might have to pay in terms of the lives of the ones they both hold near and dear to their hearts.

While I found myself enamored by the characters of both Kyle and Alf, I felt that there could have been more to their coming together than what was delivered in the story. I just felt a lack that I cannot quite put my finger on. Maybe it stemmed from the fact that the hero from Duke of Sin, the 10th book in the series was ruthless in a way that spoke to me on so many levels, and I was perhaps hoping for the same or more from Kyle. Either way, even with the tiny bits and pieces of misgivings that I had, I nevertheless enjoyed the journey which Hoyt delivered amazingly well.

I just loved the inside cover of this book so much so that I decided to include it in my review. Let the drooling and sighing begin!

dukeofpleasure2

Recommended for fans of the series & historical romances that deliver reads worth sinking your teeth into.

Final Verdict: The Maiden Lane series by Elizabeth Hoyt is decadent in a way few historical romances ever are. Duke of Pleasure delivers everything that a reader could want when they sit down with one of Hoyt’s books.

Favorite Quotes

A tall man in a ragged brown coat and a filthy red neckcloth stepped forward. Hugh half-expected him to make some sort of a speech, he looked that full of himself. Instead he drew a knife the size of a man’s forearm, grinned, and licked the blade.
Oh, for—
Hugh didn’t wait for whatever other disgusting preliminaries Knife Licker might feel were appropriate to the occasion. He stepped forward and smashed the bottle of very fine Viennese wine over the man’s head.
Then they were on him.
He slashed and felt the jolt to his arm as he hit flesh.
Swung and raked the sword across another’s face.
Staggered as two men slammed into him.
Another hit him hard in the jaw.
And then someone clubbed him behind the knees.
He fell to his knees on the icy ground, growling like a bleeding, baited bear.
Raised an arm to defend his head…
And…
Someone dropped from the sky right in front of him.
Facing his attackers.
Darting, wheeling, spinning.
Defending him so gracefully.
With two swords.

He slid on cobblestones as he ran to the lane. Someone yelled from behind him. And then he was in another narrow passage. There was an abrupt right-angle turn, and he took it, ignoring the yowl of a cat as he raced by, and then he burst into a courtyard.
The Ghost was there.
On the ground, her half cape a black whirl as she danced with her swords, their prey cornered. Something caught his attention about her movements—something not quite right—but as he watched, she knocked aside the man’s knife and placed her long sword against his throat and the thought died.
She smiled.
And he was amazed that anyone thought her a man.

Hugh watched her sheathe her swords. He touched his finger to her chin, feeling soft skin, and tipped up her face. He couldn’t tell the color of her eyes in the dark and behind the ugly half mask, but he saw the glint of moonlight in their depths.
“Who are you?” he whispered, that strange wildness still in his veins.
She didn’t answer.
So he did what he’d wanted to do since he’d first seen her tonight, there on the rooftops of St Giles: he bent and covered her mouth with his. Her lips were soft, so soft, and she tasted of wine and honey. He angled his head, drawing her slim body closer, sliding his tongue along her bottom lip until she opened her mouth beneath his.

She leaned a little closer and pressed her mouth to those pretty, pretty lips and inhaled his breath.
For a moment he was still beneath her, and then he moved, his hands rising slowly to grasp her arms.
She drew a little back, watching him.
His eyes opened, black and drowsy, staring into hers. He seemed entirely unsurprised to find her in his library, kissing him.
She smiled and for the first time that night felt herself settle. She placed her hands on his shoulders and straddled his lap. Knelt on the chair and bent her head to his again, opening her mouth over his, her palms on either side of his face.
The book tumbled to the floor.
She skimmed over his upper lip, feeling the odd prickle of his stubble. Caught his lower lip between her teeth.
An ember fell on the hearth.
Something sparked, and he took charge of the embrace. He opened his mouth beneath hers, angling his head, kissing her slowly, lazily, lushly, as if he had all the time in the world.

At that moment Alf opened her eyes, and he inhaled silently.
Her eyes were sleepy and a little dazed. Her cheeks flushed from sleep and, no doubt, the warmth of his sons, snuggled so close to her. She looked at him and seemed to become aware almost at once, her brown gaze sharpening. There was the mocking amusement he’d seen from the lad, Alf, the biting wit.
But now it was in feminine form.
She stared at him, and her soft pink lips—God, he’d been a blind fool to ever have thought that the mouth of a boy—smiled. Full and warm. Like sunshine. Like joy and hope.
The smile of a woman. Lethal as a spear to the chest.
Dangerous. Seductive.

He held her fast with his gaze and demanded, “You’re not what, Alf?”
Her pointed chin jerked up and she glared at him. “I’m not female. Not anymore. It’s been too long. I’ve been a boy too long.”
“My cock would beg to differ.”
Her mouth dropped open. “Wha—?”
He grabbed her wrist and dragged her over the bed, and thrust her hand crudely against the sheet covering his crotch. “Do you feel me? I’m hard for you.” He ground his cock up into her captive palm. “And I assure you I’m not at all interested in boys or men. Only women.”
Only you, a treacherous part of his mind whispered, but he ignored it. He was doing this for a mission, just that. It had nothing to do with the two of them. With the desire to see her bloom into the woman he wanted deep in his conflicted soul.
She stared down at her hand over his cock and her fingers flexed once.
He bit back a groan, and the thing within him, the thing locked away, rattled its chains.

She looked up at him, this powerful man. “What do you want from me, guv?”
“I don’t know,” he muttered, sounding angry—whether at her or himself, she couldn’t guess—and his hands pulled her against his hard body.
He bent and took her mouth, sliding his tongue against her lips until she parted them. Until she let him in with a relieved sigh. She’d missed this. Missed him. She’d wondered if he’d decided he was done with her.
Apparently not.
His fingers brushed over her bare neck, ticklish and sweet, even as he thrust his tongue inside her mouth again and again.
“Alf?” The call came from outside the room.
For a second more he continued to ravage her mouth as if he couldn’t tear himself away from her, and then Kyle lifted his head. His lips were reddened, his eyes dark.
Carefully he tucked a lock of her hair back inside her cap. “I don’t know what the hell I want from you.”

“I’ve hardly seen you,” he said moodily.
“I thought that was what you wanted,” she replied, her small expressive face closed. “You kissed me and then said you didn’t know what to do with me. You avoided me.”
“That hardly matters.” He flung up a hand irritably. “I didn’t know where you were.”
She lifted her chin. “I didn’t know I was supposed to be telling you everywhere I go, guv. You never mentioned.”
“Didn’t I?” he growled, taking that chin in hand.
He glanced at the windows. The boys were chasing the puppy down the graveled path. He bent and took her mouth, hard and fast and not nearly enough.
Not nearly enough.
When he raised his head again it was to breathe words across her parted lips. Words he didn’t stop to think about. Words that came straight from that part of himself he’d thought he’d locked away deep inside: “I’ll say it now, then. You tell me where you are and what you’re doing until such time as I’m done with you, do you understand?”
“Oh, I think I understand, guv,” she whispered, and though her words were a concession, her tone was not.

With her hand she squeezed the part of his cock that didn’t fit in her mouth and then began stroking up and down.
“They’re gone,” he muttered, his breath hitching, his hips rolling in little pushes he couldn’t seem to stop.
Oh, he wanted her. He wanted her.
She looked up at him and sucked harder.
It was dark, but she could just make out the glitter of his eyes. He was watching her. Down on her knees, with his cock in her mouth, sucking him.
His nostrils flared and that beautiful upper lip curled.
She rubbed the tip of her tongue underneath the head of his penis and he gasped. Slid his hand down her face in a caress.
Touched the corner of her wet, stretched lips with his thumb.
And came, flooding her mouth with his bitter seed.

He pressed into her, wide and thick. Hot, so hot.
There was a pinch.
But she kept her eyes on him, staring. His lush mouth was almost grim, and his forehead shone with sweat. He’d propped himself up on his elbows above her.
He thrust again, more of him entering her—stretching her—and she saw him clench his teeth.
She wrapped her legs around his hips and stroked the back of his leg with one foot.
He jerked and his hips met hers, his entire length buried inside her. She was stuffed full of him.
He inhaled through his nose and his nostrils flared.
She raised her head and whispered in his ear, “Are you going to fuck me now, guv?”
“Little devil,” he breathed.

“Ride me,” he rasped.
She blinked, not fully comprehending, but he was spreading her legs farther apart, taking away his knee and lowering her to his cock.
Oh, if she’d thought it large before, that was nothing to how proud he was now. A dark, angry red, heavy and full, thickest at the middle, and the foreskin stretched taut about the ridge of the head. She wanted to stare. To look her fill and perhaps feel it with hands and tongue.
He had other ideas.
He took hold of himself as she watched and rubbed his prick against her wet quim. “Sit.”
She could feel him at her entrance—there—big and waiting. She leaned a little forward, placing her hands on his shoulders and meeting his eyes.
Staring into his eyes as she tilted down and felt him breach her.
His nostrils were flared, his gaze implacable. “More.”

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Review: This Side of Heaven by Karen Robards

Format: E-bookthissideofheaven
Read with: Kindle for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Dell
Hero: Matt Mathieson
Heroine: Caroline Wetherby
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: July 1, 1991
Started On: September 21, 2016
Finished On: September 21, 2016

32 year old Matt Mathieson, is the widowed and single father of two boys, going two years since his wife had died. Determined never to marry again, Matt’s life and that of his small family changes drastically when his wife’s sister turns up on his doorstep, having traveled all the way from England.

22 year old Caroline Wetherby is the beautiful half sister of Matt’s deceased wife. Having being left destitute with the death of their father who had made his life in the gambling halls throughout the city, Caroline travels all the way to America to find refuge with her sister, someone she has not seen in 15 long years. Wary of what would happen, telling herself its a mistake, she nevertheless has no choice, only to turn up and realize that her sister is no more.

Though Matt does not want much to do with Caroline, a small part of him is unable to turn away from Caroline’s need for a place to stay. The practical side of his character tells him that they all need a female presence around them, that his boys need a motherly influence in their lives. Against the wishes of his boys, Matt offers her shelter in return for her services as a female of the household, never knowing truly, how Caroline would prove to him that she is unlike any woman he has known before and would ever come across again.

This Side of Heaven has a trope that I love reading about. The reluctant and widowed hero, who for whatever reason believes that he would never remarry and the woman who turns up and throws his life into complete disarray. That was one of the reasons why I picked up this title, plus the point that I am a fan of Karen Robards, mostly of her earlier works. Though some of her books have failed to deliver on a large scale, the ones that do, do so remarkably well, which is one reason why I keep revisiting her older titles every now and then.

Though I liked the story that unfolded, the slow sizzle of awareness between Matt and Caroline, the story that I envisioned for them failed to materialize in between. On the plus side, Matt was not a hero of the asshole variety, as most heroes tend to be in earlier historical novels. However, their coming together was not the joyous and fireworks filled affair I thought it would be – at first. Nevertheless, Matt & Caroline were characters that grew on me.

Though the ending where Caroline nearly meets her maker at the hand of the villagers who see her for something else other than what she is proved to be sort of anticlimactic, I would still recommend This Side of Heaven because I enjoyed reading this in one sitting.

Final Verdict: Though not Robards’ best, This Side of Heaven delivers a great read!

Favorite Quotes

Matt looked at her for a long moment without answering, his face dark and his eyes restless. Then he laughed, a short, harsh sound that had nothing of amusement in it. “What does that mean, my poppet? Are you sure you want to know? But I’m going to tell you, since you’ve asked, whether you want to hear it or not. It means that you’ve been a raging fever in my blood for months. I can’t think, I can’t work, I lie awake nights going mad with wanting you. Is that enough to send you flying back to the house, or do you want to hear more?”

He kissed her as if he was starving for the taste of her mouth, kissed her as if he’d been hungry for eternity and, now, having been offered the sustenance he sought, was determined to have his fill. This was no gentle wooing, but a hard, needy taking, and Caroline could do nothing but cling to his shoulders and open her mouth to his and yield.

“Trust me, poppet,” he whispered in her ear. Caroline was briefly reminded of Eve and the serpent, who must once have murmured something very similar. But then his long fingers were moving lower yet, sliding down between her legs to touch her there so gently that the fire that ignited inside her as a result was almost shameful, and she no longer entertained any rational thoughts at all. Because surely that undemanding pressure should not in itself be enough to create such an inner burning! It was like liquid fire, a most pleasurable liquid fire that made her breathing quicken until she was almost panting and her body writhe against the hand that caressed her and the hard male body pressed close against her back.

“God in heaven!” he muttered as her lips brushed the whitened ridge and were withdrawn. The grin disappeared entirely in favor of a grimace as his eyes flared and turned dark “Then he was pushing her back down and lowering himself atop her, kissing her as if he would steal her very soul, his hands everywhere, caressing and arousing and possessing, lifting her legs to encircle his waist even as his body staked the most primitive claim of all.

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

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Review: Phantom Lover by Susan Napier

Format: E-bookphantomlover_susannapier
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Adam Blake
Heroine: Honor Sheldon
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 01, 1994
Started On: September 19, 2016
Finished On: September 20, 2016

25 year old Honor Sheldon finds herself in a bit of a pickle when she is picked up by a police car for skulking around Adam Blake’s house. Being the plain sister, the one that every guy considers as their buddy without their girlfriends or wives getting jealous over her, Honor is intrigued and ultimately seduced by the letters she exchanges with a mysterious man. To find out later that the letters had in fact being written for her beautiful sister Helen is the “icing” on the cake which the rather aggravating Adam delivers altogether too scornfully.

A turn of events however finds Honor as the house guest of a very reluctant Adam, battling with feelings of fierce longing that he rouses in her, even when he is being rather obvious about his despise for everything that she is. Adam finds himself at loose ends when it comes to Honor, the way she knows things about him that he would rather not have anyone know – his very intimate thoughts that Honor was privy to which makes him itch on the inside.

Adam and Honor’s journey to their happily ever after is one fraught with several bouts of arguments with one another, which means engaging in clever dialogue, and one where secondary characters seemed to get more than their share of the story. Although overall I did like the story, this is definitely not one of the best by Napier. However, when it comes to great authors like herself, they make even their “not so best” books somehow work for the readers. This was one of them for me.

The ending was one that I loved. Especially the pictures that Adam sent to Honor towards the end, plus the letter.

Final Verdict: Though not Napier’s best, delivers an altogether funny & charming read!

Favorite Quotes

His hand moved down and suddenly he was weighing her in his large palm, his fingers curving under her breast to her ribs while his thumb rode the upper swell. ‘Look how perfectly you fill my hand…’
Honor bit her lip to stop herself moaning at his throaty murmur of gratified discovery of her size. His thumb moved experimentally against the thinly sheathed peak and this time the sound escaped her control, along with an explicit shiver that arced along her nerves, transmitting an unmistakable message to the man who held her.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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Review: Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt

Format: E-booklordofdarkness
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Maiden Lane, #5
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Godric St. John
Heroine: Margaret Reading
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 26, 2013
Started On: June 24, 2016
Finished On: June 27, 2016

Lord of Darkness delivers the story of the second Ghost of St.Giles, Godric St. John, who made for a brief but rather intriguing secondary character in Wicked Intentions, the first book in the series. The idea that more than one Ghost of St. Giles is in operation took root during the debut book and solidified with the delivery of Winter’s story that precedes this one.

Godric marries Lady Margaret Reading under “duress”, thinking that he would more or less be able to live his chosen life with a wife he would have little to do with. Godric has no intention of being drawn into the shaky emotional grounds where love takes root and loss is a given when you give your heart irrevocably to someone else. Godric mourns the death of his first wife, who had lived a life of illness, withering away in front of his very own eyes, taking a huge chunk of his heart and soul when she had finally being laid to rest.

After 2 years of residing in the country, Margaret Reading (Megs) decides that it is time for her to seek out her husband, for the sole purpose of getting herself with child. For that to happen, Megs has to get over the fact that Godric can never replace the love of her life, whose untimely demise at the hands of a mad man known as the Ghost of St. Giles is something she is looking to avenge. On the first night of her return to London, Megs runs into none other than the infamous Ghost, whom she has every intention of killing without knowing the true identity of the man behind the mask or the circumstances that had led to the murder.

Godric puts up a valiant effort in the face of the onslaught that Megs wages in order to get her husband to bed, long enough to put his seed to good use. But in doing so, Megs finds that it is more difficult than she thought to keep her heart and emotions separate from the physical aspect of a relationship that her body betrays her in every manner possible. But Megs is determined to keep her husband at a distance in the face of the war that Godric wages when it comes to giving her pleasure of a kind that she never thought she would find with anyone else.

While Godric is determined to weed out the true killer who was behind the murder of his wife’s lover, every kill Godric makes in the name of the Ghost, the avenger and protector of the weak that works in darkness, he sheds one more piece of his soul to the abysmal darkness that has become his friend ever since his wife had departed from his life, or perhaps even since before. Whether the real danger comes from his wife, determined to hold a piece of herself back from him, or from the dragoons captain equally fervent in his pursuit of the dastardly Ghost of St. Giles, or from the inquiries Godric makes as the role of savior he has taken upon himself for the weakest, remains to be seen as the novel reaches its ultimate culmination.

While Lord of Darkness delivers two protagonists who are mourning lost loves in their own right, the wealth of grief that Godric harbors in his heart was one that got to me. Not that the pain that Megs had undergone was any less, but Megs had the time to heal in a way that Godric never gave himself the opportunity to. For me, Megs was the toughest character to like or even perhaps love in this story. While I understood that she did not want to betray the memories of the first man that she ever truly loved, I couldn’t quite accept the way she tended to hold pieces of herself back from Godric in bed and out of it in a way that continued to kick Godric where he hurt the most.

Godric yes, is a big boy who can handle himself. But the fact that he capitulated towards his wife’s needs sooner than Megs did was telling in a way that didn’t quite sit well with me. Godric is a very giving man, perhaps too giving. Godric’s long and painful journey nursing his wife in her long journey towards an ultimate death should clue in characters to the sort of honorable and faithful man that Godric is. To have that kind of soul once again give and give until Megs realizes in her own time that she mirrors and echos Godric’s feelings was just a little too late in coming for me.

I also had a teeny problem with where Godric’s feelings of love for his wife suddenly emerged from. Though story delivers a connection that had been forged between Godric and Megs way before she had turned up at his home in London, I wanted something more for both of them. Something more tangible and tension of the kind that could have made the book that much better in my opinion. This is a trope that could have delivered a ton of angst if it had been steered in that direction, but nevertheless Hoyt manages to deliver a read that takes your breathe away and then some, even with all the teensy problems that I had with the heroine.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: With each book, Hoyt delivers enchantment of the kind that stays with you forever!

Favorite Quotes

When his breath caught, when his pace quickened, so that her hips sank beneath his into the soft mattress, she swallowed, straining her eyes to see in the dark. When he suddenly stilled, buried deep in her throbbing flesh, locked with her in animal intensity, she wanted … so much.
But all she received was what she’d asked for.
His seed.

She gripped his arms as he shoved resolutely against her, seating himself fully. She looked up, trying to see something of him in the darkness. An expression, perhaps how he held his head.
But he was simply a large male shape.
And yet … she knew it was him. Would’ve known it blindfolded. Whether by scent or some more primitive means—perhaps an alchemy of souls—she felt him bone-deep.
Godric. Poised above her.
Godric. Withdrawing his cock in one long, pulling slide.
Godric. Flexing his hips back into her with a final twist at the end.
He was overpowering her senses, laying claim to her soul.

It caught her by surprise when it came, no slow buildup, no warmth diffusing through her body. This was fast and hard, a fire sweeping through limbs already weakened by the previous orgasm. She was dimly aware of her hands scrabbling at his sides, his shoulders, as she tried to urge him to do something. She was going to expire, to die, if he didn’t pick up his pace, didn’t take his cock and ram it into her.
And whether because he could sense her extremity or because he was there himself, he did it. He let her legs fall and braced himself on his strong, straight arms and slammed his hips into her, making violent, urgent, blissful contact with her. The bed rocked, the headboard banging rhythmically against the wall, and any other time she would have been mortified, but right now … right now she was in paradise. White light obscured her vision as bliss flooded her being, seizing her, shaking her, giving her life.
She could fly like this, perhaps live eternally.

He’d made it worse for himself; he knew it the moment her fingers curled into her pretty cunny. Her lips parted moistly, her head thrown back as she began to stroke herself, and it took everything he had to keep from spilling. To watch her pleasure herself as she rode his cock and not end this too soon.
“That’s it, darling,” he whispered low, coaching her, wanting to see her bring herself to fulfillment. “It’s sweet, isn’t it? Touching yourself, letting me watch. Do you like it? Do you enjoy putting on a show for me? Parting your pretty lips, letting me see how moist you’ve become, fucking yourself on me?”
The crudity seemed to jolt something within her. Her eyes widened, her back arched, and he felt the muscles of her sheath grip him tight, so tight.
Right before he lost control himself.

He seemed to take forever, widening her, burrowing into her swollen tissues. Then he made a final shove and she felt the fabric of his leggings brush firmly against her bottom.
He held himself there and she could hear the sound of his rough breathing in the quiet of the room. She bit her lip, mirroring his earlier grimace. She couldn’t seem to catch her breath—and he hadn’t even started to move.
And then he did, a slick, hard slide that rubbed against something wonderful inside of her. She couldn’t help the squeaking cry she gave, and as if her hips moved of their own accord, she began bumping back against him.
He huffed a rough laugh. “So impatient.”

His breath caught and he swiveled his hips, grinding against her, leaning close over her, whispering low in her ear. “You’re touching yourself, aren’t you?”
She swallowed, closing her eyes in bliss. “Y-yes.”
“God,” he muttered, and she wondered if he’d finally lost the power of speech.
Perhaps he had, for he suddenly planted one hand over her shoulder and shoved hard into her, pressing her into the mattress. He was pushing her body up the bed with quick, forceful jabs that spread her apart, made her see a starburst behind her closed lids.
A spike of near-painful pleasure bloomed between her legs, flowing and expanding through her, a river of sweet completion. She moaned, loud and low.

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

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Review: Warrior by Kristina Douglas

Format: E-bookwarrrior
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Fallen, #3
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Michael Angelo
Heroine: Victoria Bellona
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 24, 2012
Started On: January 24, 2015
Finished On: February 8, 2015

He wanted her. Needed her.
He wouldn’t take her.

Warrior by Kristina Douglas is the third book in the Fallen series. Warrior tells the story of Michael Angelo, the angel that has honed himself into a lethal fighting machine. It has been two centuries since Michael had last taken a mate and Michael has no intention of taking one until fate brings to his life Victoria Bellona, the Roman Goddess of War.

Victoria doesn’t believe in the fact that she is a goddess of anything, much less a Goddess of War. However, it is undeniable that her childhood up till now had prepared her in the art of fighting and she aims to fight dirty to gain her freedom from the life she has been subjected to, until she finds herself married off to Michael, a man whose very presence makes Victoria forget herself, until she learns that Michael is one of the Fallen and has no intention of ever truly making her his.

Michael fights a losing battle when it comes to Victoria. Michael’s honorable intentions take a hard hit when it comes to her. When Michael is forced to go after Victoria, all bets are off when both Victoria and Michael finally give in to the hunger that courses through them every second that they are together.

With every searing kiss and scorching touch, Michael knows that there would be no turning back for him when it comes to Victoria. But the Fallen’s number one enemy is still eager as ever to break them up, make them all bow down to him and in the process, destroy what they’ve built millenniums ago. Will Victoria make a difference or will she be the one that helps their enemy finally and once and for all bring them down?

Though not as good as the first two books in the series, it is hard to remain detached from a tale spun by Anne Stuart. She brings the variety of wicked humor and nerve tingling passion alive in her books that are hard to forget. Michael and Victoria, though at the surface might seem like they don’t want anything to do with each other, fights an attraction that burns through their blood, a calling that runs through their soul for each to claim the other. Half the fun lay in Michael trying to resist Victoria and the passion that ignited when he finally succumbed to the inevitability of it all.

Recommended.

Final Verdict: A grumpy & reluctant angel finds his match in the brave goddess of war that entices him unlike any other.

Favorite Quotes

He stood at one end, his face cool and impassive. Such an arresting face on the man. Angel. Whatever he was. Exquisitely beautiful. Exquisitely cold.
In the bright sunlight I could see him clearly for the first time. He was wearing white as all the others were, a loose open shirt, though he’d rolled up the sleeves, as if even a so-called wedding required hard work. I looked at his strong forearms, and for the first time I noticed tattoos snaking their way up beneath the white cloth. The shirt was loose at the neck as well, and there were more markings on his chest, his throat, twining around to the back of his head, markings I hadn’t seen before. I halted, momentarily fascinated, and then Allie caught my arm and gently urged me forward.

She must have heard him come in. She rose on one elbow, looking at him, and the sheet fell away, exposing one small, perfect breast. And he needed to suck at it, to slide his hand between her legs and feel the wetness of her desire. He’d tried everything he could to fight this.
For the first time in his limitless existence, he had lost a battle.

“You’re not paying a debt,” he said. “Are you?”
She hesitated. “No,” she said, and leaned back against the pillow. “And you aren’t doing your duty, are you?”
“No.” He knelt on the bed, straddling her carefully. There was barely enough room for the two of them. It didn’t matter. They were going to be so close they wouldn’t need extra space. “No,” he said again, moving between her legs, lifting them. He took her mouth, her sweet, inexperienced mouth, with his, and then simply pushed inside her, hard, knowing she’d be wet and ready for him.

He pulled out almost completely, and she let out a cry of loss. He slid his hand down her stomach to her clitoris, touching her as he suddenly slammed into her, and she shattered, her body clamping around him. She shrieked against his shoulder, in shock, in pleasure, her fingers digging into him so tightly he would have thought she’d draw blood. That was another arousal, and he thrust, again and again, hard, riding her orgasm, prolonging it, and when she finally fell back, limp, he let himself go, releasing his seed into her, filling her, his head dropping to the pillow beside her as his wings unfurled to lock around them, cradling them in softness.

Darkness. Thick, enveloping darkness, with his strong body surrounding me, his hot, wet mouth on mine. All arguments fled. I wanted this. Needed this. Ever since I’d left his bed, a part of me had been missing, and now it was found again. He had come for me. And I was his.
His tongue slid into my mouth, and I felt unaccountably shy even after last night, but it didn’t seem to matter. When I tentatively moved my tongue against his, he let out a low growl of unmistakable approval, and I wanted to get closer. I wanted him inside me again, I wanted to take his cock into my mouth the way they did in the books I’d read. I wanted everything.

So many contrasting emotions were flooding me that I felt dizzy. Lust and irritation went without saying. But . . . he’d come for me. He’d died for me. He had my blood inside him, making him strong. He had me inside him.
And in willingly giving him my blood, my life force, I was afraid I’d given him more than that. I had given him love.

He shook me again, gripping my wrists so tightly that my hands were growing numb. “Had enough?” he demanded furiously.
“Not even close,” I snapped back.
And then we both froze. He looked down at me, bafflement and rage fading from his face. His mouth was bleeding. “Oh, shit,” he said.
He released my wrists. I didn’t know if he was going to try to pull away, but I wasn’t going to give him that chance.
“Oh, shit, indeed,” I said, my eyes daring him.
His mouth on mine was hard and angry, and I could taste his blood. It should have horrified me. It didn’t.

I shattered, letting out a low, keening wail, and he caught the cry from my mouth, drinking it in. Distantly I heard the clang of his belt buckle and the rasp of his zipper, and then he was inside me, sliding deep, pulling my legs around his narrow hips. I was already wet, aroused, my body accepting, and I clung to him, shocked. I felt like a boat on a stormy ocean, adrift in a tempest of sensation so powerful I could focus only on his body and what it was doing to mine.

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