Requested Review: Secretly More by Lux Zakari

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Etopia Press
Hero: Jay Navarrete
Heroine: Kimber York
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 8, 2011
Started On: December 23, 2011
Finished On: December 24, 2011

Secretly More by Lux Zakari is a novel of one of my favorite tropes in romance. Yes, a friends to lovers story, a trope that I haven’t visited of late. My first Lux Zakari turned out to be a novel that ended on a bittersweet note, the difference in Lux Zakari’s prose and style in presenting her novel what made me an instant fan of hers. So I was expecting more of the same I suspect when I delved into this novel, but boy am I glad that I was proven wrong and was delivered with a happily ever after that had me humming all the while in satisfaction.

Jay Navarrete and Kimber York have been best of friends for almost 10 years through which Jay had been head over heels in love with Kimber. Kimber has no clue as to how Jay feels about her. Kimber’s relationship with her guitarist boyfriend Dane which sees its share of downs more than a relationship should sets Jay’s teeth on edge and though he would like nothing better than to come out clean and tell Kimber of his less than friend like feelings he has for her, the thought that Kimber would never ever feel the same way about him stops him cold.

When the opportunity presents itself in the form of a blind folded Kimber who is looking for a sexual escapade that would show her what she has been missing out on in her relationship with Dane is one that Jay cannot turn his back on. And before he knows it, he and Kimber lights up the sheets, each so hot for the other that reality comes crashing down only afterwards. Kimber who is blissfully unaware of the person who rocks her world in ways she has never felt before wants more of the person, her instinctive trust when it comes to her mystery man a surprising one in itself.

Through a lot of misunderstandings, feelings of betrayal and utter hopelessness on both sides, Lux Zakari weaves a tale of friends turning to lovers that makes for a great read, delivering the reader with scorching scenes of passion between a determined Jay and a willing Kimber which just makes the scenes that much more headier. I flat-out loved Jay’s character. He is a bit of an introvert and a nerd, and a cute one at that, someone who is always there for Kimber through thick and thin, someone who would rather cut off a part of his body than inflict hurt or pain on the woman he loves.

It took me sometime to warm up to Kimber. Surprisingly, it was seeing Kimber through Jay’s eyes that I felt myself warm up towards her, the way Jay sums up Kimber’s character that had me seeing her in a whole new light. The ending which was a fitting one for the two of them with a future that looms in front with endless possibilities was a heartwarming one. Recommended for those who love the friends to lovers trope of the erotic variety. Plenty of emotion to go along with scorching sex; what more can a fan ask for?

Favorite Quotes

“Still feel like talking?” she murmured against his mouth.
In response, he tore her panties down with a speed and finesse that left her speechless. She heard him rummage in his pocket and a foil wrapper rip, then he tugged her back in his lap, her knees on either side of him. He kissed her while she felt between them, fumbling for his c#ck and finding it already sheathed in latex. The knowledge that it was in preparation to fuck her made her dizzy with want.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | All Romance Ebooks

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Requested Review: Coercion by Lux Zakari

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Erotica
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Lyrical Press Inc.
Hero: Michael Vartanian
Heroine: Valerie Mercer
Sensuality: 4.5
Date of Publication: August 2, 2010
Started On: May 18, 2011
Finished On: May 18, 2011

I didn’t know what to expect when I delved into Coercion by Lux Zakari but I have got to say that it certainly held my undivided attention throughout which had me going from the start to finish in one sitting, just taking a timeout for toilet breaks in between. I was utterly riveted and fascinated with everything that was going on and for the world of me I couldn’t have dragged myself away from the story that unfolded.

I have a hard time defining Coercion as a romance because simply put, this is not a romance novel. But, Coercion is a story that combines the power of love, the ability of mind numbing lust to obliterate everything else and the lengths to which humans would go to possess the ones that they love.

Valerie Mercer is an only child and an introverted and insecure one at that who in her aim to change her life for the better sheds 25 pounds and emerges with a new look just in time for the start of the new semester. Though guys who have never noticed her before seems to be doing the total opposite, the only guy that Valerie wants to be noticed by is the one and only Michael Vartanian, the proverbial bad-boy of Kenton.

Michael is the only son of a Reverend, whose mother just one day upped and left and never returned. Michael doesn’t seem to care about anything in his life apart from being with his on and off girl friend Kim Breza (Breeze) and getting his kicks from indulging in the forbidden.

When circumstances at first drives Michael to seek Valerie, she is more than willing to be driven out of her senses right up against her mother’s car. And though Michael has no intention of returning any of what Valerie so obviously feels for him, time and time again Michael seeks her out, and makes use of her only to discard her once the deed is done. There is nothing on Earth that Valerie wouldn’t do to keep Michael by her side, to earn his love and approval, even if it means going against each and every belief that she has upheld till now.

In the end, there is no happily ever after for either of them, but nevertheless it was a fitting end to the volatile stream of emotions that this novel seems to be able to invoke in abundance, leaving a bittersweet tang in the air, which had me wistfully wishing for a novel that would portray the new Michael that would emerge from what follows the conclusion of this story.

Coercion is a novel that delivers well in the angst department, drawing me in until I was as helplessly ensnared in the story as Valerie seems to be with Michael. Michael is a hero not many readers would be willing to take. But I applaud Lux Zakari for having the guts to come out and write such a hero and send out a huge thank you to Lyrical Press for publishing this novel as it is. Because whilst happily ever afters and rosy kisses at the end are all well and good, Coercion is a novel that rings true to real life in so many ways which makes this book all that much better.

Whilst Michael makes you want to sit back in horrified fascination it is Valerie that you want to shake up well and good to make her see that it is Valerie that gives Michael the ability to screw up her life in more ways than one. In the end, Coercion does leave one with the valuable lesson that in order to be loved for who you are, you need to love yourself for who you are – all that more.

I loved this utterly fascinating piece of work and would recommend this highly to readers who want something a LOT more different than the usual romance novels that your erotica generally delivers. This ones made of much more and if you are a reader like myself this one would leave you definitely wanting more of Michael, no matter how unlikely it may seem. And that is a testament to Lux Zakari’s ability to spin a well rounded tale which certainly lands her in my list of authors to look out for in the future.

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

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!