ARC Review: Life of the Party by Kate Davies

Format: E-booklifeoftheparty
Read with: Bluefire Reader for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Girls Most Likely To…, #3
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Jeremy Wright
Heroine: Tess Bonham
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: July 8, 2013
Started On: July 1, 2013
Finished On:July 1, 2013

Hero: Jeremy Wright moves to Silverton as the hotel manager & finds that he has a reason to stay in the woman he befriends and has crushed on for a long while.

Heroine: Tess Bonham is known as the ‘Life of the Party’, not because she has partied hard but rather the opposite. She’s the one who organises and arranges events and the one everyone depends upon; sometimes to the extent of taking advantage of her.

Storyline: Life of the Party is the 3rd and final book in the Girls Most Likely To… series by Kate Davies. The story revolves around Tess and her hot and wild affair which begins as a friends-with-benefits arrangement, or so she thinks. Little does Tess know that Jeremy has a whole lot of other plans for that involves her that stretches into a long, long while. 

Setting: Life of the Party is set in the small town of Silverton and is told from both Tess and Jeremy’s points of view.

Likes: By far, Life of the Party is my favourite from the series. Main reason being that I loved both Tess and Jeremy, perhaps because they’d both been around a bit in the previous books and I felt like I knew them somehow. Kate has done a wonderful job in creating a believable sense of connection between Jeremy and Tess and I couldn’t have asked for more in a novel of this length.

Jeremy is the kind of hero I love best. He has a wicked sense of humour that got to me right from the very beginning. Though younger than Tess, Jeremy seems very mature and though has been hurt before doesn’t bring along all those nightmares into his relationship with Tess. I am a goner for a hero who utters the endearment ‘sweetheart’ and I found myself practically swooning every time Jeremy flashed that wicked grin of his and uttered hot dirty talk that revved up more than Tess’s engines. 
 
Tess is quite the loveable character in her own right. I loved the fact that she’s the sort of person who goes above and beyond for the people that she cares about. Her self esteem requires a bit of a boost which Jeremy certainly helps along with and I found the way Tess was worried she might mess things up with Jeremy so endearing and relatable! And I loved, loved, loved the way Jeremy brought to life the wicked side of the otherwise prim, proper and conservative Tess. 
 
The fact that Jeremy and Tess can be themselves around each other and still want each other to the extent they do; that’s what made this book a winner in my opinion.

Dislikes: None.

Final Verdict: Jeremy, oh dear Jeremy. You’ve made me a believer of dirty talkin’.

Recommended for: Fans of Kate Davies; fans of the series & fans of older women-younger hero romances.

Favorite Quotes

A grin spread across his face.
“C’mere.”
“Right here?” She looked around, heat crawling up her neck. The sounds of the pub employees moving around outside clearly filtered into the little room.
“Right here, right now.” He held out his hand and she took it, hoping her trembling fingers wouldn’t give her nervousness away. “I’ve been wanting to do this all day.”
He tugged her closer, bringing their bodies into contact, and wrapped his arm around her waist, holding her own hand behind her. Then he lowered his head and kissed her.

“Jeremy,” she said, her voice pleased. “When did you get—”
Her sentence cut off as he pulled her out the door into the alley behind the pub. Turning her around, he pressed her up against the rough brick exterior, stepped between her legs and kissed her.
Within moments, he was achingly, ragingly hard. He rocked into her, letting her feel how much he wanted her, and she moaned into his mouth. He slipped a hand under her thigh, urging her leg up, and she wrapped it around him willingly. They were as close as they could get without losing articles of clothing, and he sure as hell resented the fabric that separated them.

Finally, finally, he moved between her legs, raising her up with both hands beneath her gorgeous ass, and slid all the way home.
They both groaned at the sensation, and he had to stop for a moment, buried to the hilt, as he fought off a too-soon orgasm. It was everything he’d been waiting for—hot and tight and so, so wet. He dropped his forehead to her shoulder and breathed her in. Then he began to move.
Slowly at first, the drag and press of each inch waking nerve endings that had been long dormant.

With the lift of a shoulder, he headed toward his office. “Come on, let’s take a look at the schedule.”
The minute she was inside his office, he had the door shut and Tess crowded up against it. Her hair, so neat and tidy in that auburn topknot, started to slip and loosen. Something inside Jeremy did the same. He kissed her, long and slow, and it wasn’t until she damn near whimpered that he finally pulled away.

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

[xrr rating=4.25/5]

Caliber SEAL: AWESOME READ!

ARC Review: Cutest Couple by Kate Davies

Format: E-bookcutestcouple
Read with: Kindle for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Girls Most Likely To… #2
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Marc
Heroine: Bree Oliver
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 29, 2013
Started On: May 4, 2013
Finished On: May 10, 2013

Hero: Marc, finishes high school and acts out on his duty to his country to and joins the military to do his part for the war on terror.

Heroine: Bree Oliver, becomes a single mom right out of high school.

Storyline: Its the ten year high school reunion of Bree’s and Marc’s class. Marc being based nearby decides to come and find out how Bree had faired only to receive the shock of his lifetime; that he is the father of a little boy who looks just like him.

Time period: Cutest Couple is set in the present time and is told from both Bree and Marc’s points of view.

Likes: I loved Marc, for being the standup guy he is. His inherent good character manages to shine through even though this is a very short novella and focus on him is just a tad less than that compared with Bree. And on the hottie side, I am certain Marc in military garb would be enough to fuel a couple of fantasies for long cold nights.

Dislikes: I am disappointed to say that I didn’t like Bree’s character overly much. I found her to be a bit shallow and selfish and I say this with reason. Though I understood that Bree’s fears of commitment with Marc stemmed from valid reasons owing to her childhood, I still was irked by how little of a chance she gave to the guy she dated and knew inside out during the last couple of years of their high school together. It just seemed unfair to say the least that she never really put in much of an effort to reach out to Marc, at least just to let him know that he is the father of their child.

And I certainly would have loved to know more about Marc and his history which I know is asking for an impossibility in a novel of this length.

Final Verdict: A good 2nd installment for the Most Likely to series.

Recommended for: Fans of the series, fans of reunion romances and fans of author Kate Davies.

Favorite Quotes

He tugged her closer, wrapping his free arm around her back, and teased her mouth open with his tongue. She didn’t respond, not at first, but right as he was about to pull away, she whimpered softly and kissed him back.
It had been ten years since he’d tasted her, ten years during which he should have forgotten her mouth, her tongue, her white teeth nipping at his lip. It was an intoxicating mix of the familiar and the new, and he delved in again, wanting more, wanting it all.

Turning her, he backed her blindly into the locker bank. Urging her leg up, he wrapped it around his waist, rocking into her in a steady rhythm that built and built. Her head dropped back, banging against the metal locker with a hollow thunk.
He ripped his mouth away from hers, sliding his lips down her cheek to her jawline, feathering over the column of her neck, until he reached the sensitive spot where her pulse raced right under her skin. He mouthed over it, grimly satisfied with her gasping cry. Then he latched on and sucked.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

[xrr rating = 3.75/5]

Caliber SEAL: GOOD READ!

Requested ARC Review: Most Likely to Succeed by Kate Davies

Format: E-bookmostlikelytosucceed
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Most Likely To…, #1
Publisher: Carina Books
Hero: Nathan Barrow
Heroine: Kelsey Moore
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 25, 2013
Started On: March 7, 2013
Finished On: March 8, 2013

Hero: Nathan Barrow, works in disaster stricken countries for an international relief organization. Doesn’t care much for mixing in with the “right” sort of company & is always focused on the task at hand.

Heroine: Kelsey Moore, works at her mother’s flower shop since high school. Basically thinks herself to be stuck in a rut from which she would never find an escape from.

Storyline: Its the 10 year reunion of Kelsey and Nathan’s batch in high school and Tess, one of Kelsey’s best friends is putting everything she has into making the reunion one that is bound to shake things up. Kelsey who had crushed big time on her high school lab partner Nathan finds a golden opportunity in scratching a 12 year itch she has had for him. For Nathan, it is something that keeps pushing him to return to his hometown that has him looking forward to the reunion and of course bumping into Kelsey is one of the topmost things on his agenda.

Time Period: Most Likely to Succeed takes place in present time in the small town of Silverton and is told from both Nathan and Kelsey’s points of view.

Awareness between Nathan and Kelsey: Nathan hadn’t noticed much back in high school apart from the fact that Kelsey had been his one steady friend and the lab partner who sometimes pushed him to have a little bit of downtime from studies every now and then. The reunion opens his eyes to a side of Kelsey that he has not noticed before, an altogether alluring side that makes him want to get horizontal with her and never come up for air. The sexual tension between Nathan and Kelsey is very much a part of the developing storyline, their attraction that makes them both ready to explore the feelings of a stronger variety that emerge later on.

Likes: Though a novella, I felt that Kate Davies did a decent job out of tying up all ends in the romance that buds and fosters between Nathan and Kelsey. Both Nathan and Kelsey are likable characters. For Nathan, Kelsey is the woman who excites him and completes him every single way. And for Kelsey, Nathan is the man who makes her look deep into herself and start realizing her worth as a person; not as the person who lost her way after high school as she likes to think. And of course, even before halfway into the story, I was practically itching to learn more about each character that I encountered along the way and I can’t wait for the rest of the novellas to come out!

Dislikes:

Final Verdict: Great storytelling by Kate Davies. Cannot wait for the stories of Tess and Bree which I am certain would leave me begging for more!

Recommended for: Fans of contemporary romances and reunion romances. And of course, fans of Kate Davies.

Favorite Quotes

And then she was grabbing his shirt collar and tugging him down for a searing kiss, and he stopped thinking altogether.
Groaning into her mouth, he backed her up against the door, slamming it shut behind them. He pressed into her, her soft breasts tight against his chest and his groin easing into the sweet spot between her legs. She moaned and spread her legs as wide as her tight skirt would allow.

Kelsey moaned, wrapping her legs around his waist, hooking them together at the ankles as she rose to meet his thrusts. Her short nails scratched at his back, slipping through the sheen of perspiration that had blossomed. She lifted her head and nosed at the spot where his shoulder met his neck, latched on to it with her mouth and sucked.
Somehow, the knowledge that she was tasting him, marking him, drove him even closer to the edge.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber SEAL: GREAT READ!

Score Sheet Review: Challenging Carter by Kate Davies

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd
Hero: Carter Matthews
Heroine: Dani Williams
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: February 13, 2007
Started On: March 19, 2012
Finished On: March 19, 2012

CATEGORY SCORE GRADE
The hero 90 A
The heroine 90 A
Story line 80 A
Emotional Intensity 80 A
Suck me in Factor 80 A
Heat & Sensuality  90 A
Conflicts 85 A
Writing Style 85 A
Quotable Factor 60 B
Ending 85 A
Overall Grade 82.5  A

Score Sheet Summary

It was my hankering to read a friends-to-lovers romance that led me to purchasing and reading Challenging Carter by Kate Davies. Carter Matthews and Dani Williams are best friends and have been together in business for the past 8 years. While Carter heads Outdoor Sports Equipment, Dani is the Financial Analyst of the company who constantly tries to get Carter to stick to the estimated budget for expenses.

Dani has always been in love with Carter and he has no clue. Dani is an introvert, who feels more comfortable working than socializing. It is Carter’s pestering about a Fitness Challenge that has Dani taking up strip aerobics that gives her that extra edge which starts driving Carter out of his ever loving mind.

The scenes of passion were of the steamy hot variety. The thing I loved most about this novella was the friendship between Carter and Dani and Carter’s ability to goof around and get Dani to lighten up. This was evident even in the most sensually charged scenes of the story and that is one reason why I loved Dani and Carter’s story.

The one thing that I did miss however was the lack of background story which I know is not possible most of the time when it comes to a novella. But a friends to lovers romance becomes that much more real if their past comes up and delivers those tidbits that makes the characters more appealing and give that extra bite of sexual tension that drives the reader to the very edge. 

If you are looking for a short story to stick in between lengthier reads and if you love the friends to lovers trope, give Challenging Carter a go.

Favorite Quotes

Then he strode across the room and kissed her.
It was a crazy, impulsive act, but the minute his lips touched hers he knew it was the right thing to do.
She tasted like sex and sin and forbidden fruit, and he couldn’t get enough.

It should have been awkward. They’d taken their relationship from casual to over-the-top intimate in six-point-two seconds, without all the typical steps in between.
But all Dani could think, wrapped in Carter’s arms, was that finally she was right where she was supposed to be.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | BoB | Samhain

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Review: Take a Chance on Me by Kate Davies

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Tom Cameron
Heroine: Jessica Martin
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 22, 2011
Started On: February 26, 2011
Finished On: February 26, 2011

Take a Chance on Me is my first Kate Davies and it definitely is not going to be my last if Ms. Davies can spin a tale such as this one which contains all the right elements that makes a romance so worth your time. The setting in this romance is a unique one. I say this because I don’t remember reading an adult romance that takes place in a high school, unless it involves high school students. This title took me into unchartered waters and delivered a very well written romance that would stay with me for a long time even afterwards.

Tom Cameron is the head of security at Summit High and prefers his lone wolf lifestyle which serves him pretty well. Four years back Tom had served as a cop until a domestic violence call which had come in a few hours before the end of his shift one night had gone horribly wrong spiraling Tom’s life out of control. Combined with media frenzy and the blame game which had pointed fingers towards him, Tom had lost his job and his marriage had dissolved soon afterwards leaving behind a man who guards his heart in steel barricaded armor and keeps his emotions close to him.

Jessica Martin is the newest recruit at Summit High brought in as a substitute teacher for the remainder of the year. Being a teacher has always been what Jessica has wanted and dreamed about regardless of how much her parents had tried to sway her mind. And irrespective of the fact that her parents are extremely disappointed with Jessica for choosing to do what she loves, Jessica is thrilled at the prospect of being hired even as a substitute teacher and has high hopes and every intention of becoming a full time teacher at Summit High if she plays her cards right. Klutzy and a bit messy in an adorable way, Jessica is a the exact opposite of Tom who keeps his life ordered and without any sort of clutter in it, which is just the way he likes it – or so he thinks.

When Ms. Klutzy and adorable meets Mr. Remoteness himself, sparks fly even from the first encounter itself. Tom who has never had a problem before in brushing aside any of the attempts by fellow staff members to befriend him finds himself tempted something fierce when he locks eyes with the beautiful and green eyed Jessica who makes his heart tumble inside out. Both Jessica and Tom’s intentions to avoid each other at all costs go awry in the most delicious possible ways when both of them find themselves in each other’s arms, heating things up to unbearable levels – something I just loved about this story. It takes a while but these two work through the hurdles and problems in their path to find a love that is long lasting, leaving me grinning from ear to ear at the end.

One of the highlights of the story was both Jessica and Tom. I’m always very much intrigued with heroes who want to isolate themselves and go out of their way to create their lone wolf lifestyle. And when their match turns out to be the exact opposite of themselves, in this case the adorable Jessica who has so much heart and has the ability to draw the man trapped inside of Tom to come out and play, needless to say I love these kinds of stories. And Ms. Davies has done a fine job in creating both their characters and giving them both just the right touch to make me fall in love with both of them. And lord, Tom is a man who certainly knows the art of kissing making my toes curl inward each and every time he decides to kiss his woman into a helpless puddle.

All in all a very satisfying read which has definitely made me curious to seek out the books in her back list and give them a go. Recommended for those who love a good contemporary romance featuring a couple you would root for right from the very beginning.

Favorite Quotes

Then, before she could talk herself out of it, Jessica wrapped one hand around his neck, pulled his head down to hers and kissed him.
Oh, God.
What was she doing?
Horrified by her impetuous move – and by his stunned lack of response – Jessica tried to pull back. Really, she’d only been reacting to the fright of being in a dark, unfamiliar place, wanting to thank him for being so understanding about her silly fear. But the minute her lips touched his, she’d known it was a terrible mistake.
Because she wanted more.
And he wasn’t kissing her back.
Squeezing her eyes shut, which made about as much sense in the pitch black theater as kissing a man she barely knew, she pulled away. “I’m so sor-”
But before she could finish the sentence, he’d hauled her close again and claimed her mouth in a searing kiss.

“We shouldn’t do this,” she murmured, even as her free hand gripped the collar of his jacket.
“It’s a really, really bad idea,” he agreed, dragging his lips across her cheek, her jaw, until finally his mouth descended upon hers. Lips touched, then parted, then touched again, and suddenly her arms snaked around his neck, his fingers tangled in her hair, and the rest of the world faded in a kaleidoscope of  taste and touch and sound.
She bit back a groan as he nipped gently at her lower lip. Her mouth opened slightly as she gasped and his tongue slid between her parted lips.

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

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!