Review: What Not to Expect When You’re Expecting by M.J. Fredrick

Format: E-bookwhatnottoexpectwhenyouareexpecting.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Rick Cassidy
Heroine: Bailey Summers
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 1, 2013
Started On: February 25, 2013
Finished On: March 12, 2013

Hero: Rick Cassidy, middle school history teacher who hires on as the new bartender at Summers to help along his brother and his family to make ends meet.

Heroine: Bailey Summers, owner of the bar and going through a surrogate pregnancy for her brother Mitch and his partner Dean.

Storyline: When Bailey hires Rick as the new bartender for the duration of the summer, she has no idea the complication that her life would become in more ways than one. The timing could not have been worse for her to meet someone that she finds alluring enough to turn her back on all those steadfast rules that she clings on to because she is so very good at being alone and taking care of herself rather than leaning on someone else from time to time. For Rick, Bailey is a complication he would not do without and when these two get up close and personal with each other even with all the odds stacked against them, well, that’s the part of the story that packs an emotional punch that is hard to forget.

Time period: What Not to Expect when You’re Expecting is set in the present time and is told from both Summer and Rick’s points of views.

Awareness between Rick and Bailey: From the moment Bailey and Rick meet, even with all the complications that exists in each of their individual lives, there is this tangible connection and awareness of the sexual and emotional variety that springs forth between the two which paves the way to lend the story some very delicious moments.

Likes: I loved Rick. There is no escaping the fact that Rick is one of the most giving heroes I have ever come across. Its hard not to fall in love with a man who is hot, has a tribal tattoo on one of his biceps and is there for the woman he wants even when his life dictates otherwise. The patience that he exhibits is one I wish I had sometimes and needless to say you need to read the story to get the full effect of Rick into your system and I tell you once you’ve done that there is no turning back.

As always I loved the emotional impact that MJ always leaves behind with her stories. There is always so much heart in all of her stories, and she takes on some very interesting tropes to base her stories on. Acting as a surrogate mother for Bailey’s brother and his partner might be one of the most selfless and giving acts one can perform but that doesn’t mean that Bailey doesn’t have her fair share of doubts and agonizing moments throughout the pregnancy about whether she is doing the right thing for herself. And MJ explores these aspects in depth that lends this story that unputdownable quality.

Dislikes: I wouldn’t say that I disliked how Bailey turned out because there were moments when I could actually glimpse the wonderful and caring person that she is on the inside. But there were times I wished she would open up, just a little bit so that Rick would get a woman who is deserving of all that patience and love he has in abundance.

Recommended for: Those who love contemporary romances that feature slightly unusual tropes. This one’s really good! And for fans of MJ, I know you would know what you are getting yourself into when you indulge in one of her books.

Final Verdict: What Not to Expect When You’re Expecting is a novel that throws a lot of messy emotions into the mix and delivers a read that would keep you engrossed till the very end.

Favorite Quotes

She’d barely turned around when Rick pulled her close, peeling one strap down and kissing his way to her nipple. She gasped and held his head close as desire pinged off every nerve before centering between her legs. She trailed her fingertips down his chest and inside the waist of his trunks, finding him hard and hot, at odds with the rest of his water-cooled body. He groaned against her breast and stretched the leg of her suit to reach her. She bit her lower lip to keep from crying out as he stroked her, then pushed his fingers into her, filling her, thrusting deep, again and again.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords


Score Sheet Review: Leaving Bluestone by M.J. Fredrick

Format: E-bookleavingbluestone
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Welcome to Bluestone, #3
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Quinn Alden
Heroine: Lily Prater
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 4, 2012
Started On: August 7, 2012
Finished On: August 9, 2012


The hero 85 A
The heroine 85 A
Story line 85 A
Emotional Intensity 85 A
Suck me in Factor 85 A
Heat & Sensuality 85 A
Conflicts 85 A
Writing Style 95 A
Quotable Factor 50 A
Ending 80 A
Overall Grade 82 A

Score Sheet Summary

The third and final book in the Welcome to Bluestone series was the story that I most anticipated for when I first read the debut novel of the series. Even though the book didn’t live up to all my expectations, nevertheless MJ Fredrick did a fairly impressive job of tying up all loose ends in the trilogy and delivered a fitting end to a couple who had it going from the very beginning – if only Quinn Alden would let go of his stubborn notions that Lily Prater was not for him.

Ex-military, a bit broody and with one of those tattoos on him that could drive a girl to do crazy things, Quinn was the hero that I drooled over the most in the series. Quinn suffers from survivor’s guilt which makes him turn his back on the searing need that runs through him whenever Lily is around. The bits about the struggle that Quinn goes through to come to terms with his familial ties were ones filled with lump-in-the-throat moments. MJ has a way of bringing that sort of conflict to the forefront & dealing with them that just makes her books that much worthy of indulgence.

Lily is the driving force behind the total turnaround that the sleepy town of Bluestone does. She is like this little ball of energy that never ceases to stop, that never gives up and its her unwavering enthusiasm that is what drew me to her the most. Though at times it was exhausting to even think of all the things Lily gets done, I was impressed and suitably so since I am one of the least energetic people this world has ever had the fortune of seeing.

What I loved most was seeing all the changes that Bluestone sees, thanks to  the collective effort of its citizens, mainly Lily who never falters in her focus on making a name for Bluestone in the grand scale of things. All in all a great addition to the series. Though this is the end to the trilogy, there were characters I met throughout the story that I wouldn’t mind knowing more about – and yes, I am selfish enough to want more books from an author who never fails to deliver.

Recommended for those who love small town romances.

Favorite Quotes

She padded barefoot to the door in her long flannel nightshirt–the nights were chilly already–and opened the door.
Quinn stood there, shoulders tense in his white T-shirt, hands shoved into the pockets of his jeans for the split second before he took them out and grabbed her, dragging her forward, one hand in her hair, the other around her waist. Then his mouth was on hers, hot and hungry, lips firm, almost like he didn’t want to be doing this but had no choice. 


Review: Bluestone Song by M.J. Fredrick

Format: E-bookbluestonesong
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Welcome to Bluestone, #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Maddox Bradley
Heroine: Beth Lapointe
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 18, 2012
Started On: July 23, 2012
Finished On: August 7, 2012

Contrary to what I believed when I first started with the Welcome to Bluestone series, Bluestone Song ended up being my favorite from the trilogy. There is always something about the way that M. J. writes that explores the heart of conflicts ingrained deep inside of familial ties that just earns my wholehearted approval. And Bluestone Song is no exception to that rule.

Country singer and sensation Maddox Bradley returns to Bluestone, the one place that had always felt home to him after fourteen years of being away. He has been to the brink of disaster and back and returns amidst rumors of him turning to the bottle again for solace and comfort. Bluestone holds a lot of memories for Maddox, the primary source of those memories being none other than Beth Lapointe.

Beth has learned a long time back to give up on her dreams and the things that she yearns to do. Beth has had to sacrifice a lot for the sake of her family when her mother had died and alcoholic father had left, leaving her the sole responsible parent of three younger siblings. And fourteen years on, that ingrained sense of responsibility has not faded away as Beth continues to work towards providing a better future for her younger sister and her baby.

Seeing Maddox enter the bar where she works at is the last thing Beth needs with all sorts of trouble brewing at the home front. But there is no escaping the fact that the older and mature version of Maddox is no less lethal on her heart and emotions and she has a tough time trying to control herself around him, to not do anything rash that might end her up with a broken heart all over again.

There is a certain charm to Maddox’s character. His laid-back, easy and open manner and of course those lean good looks of his certainly helps things along. But it is that subtle charm of his, that special way of his in which he seduces Beth and gets seduced by her and just how right it is when he is with her that makes for the best part of the story.

Beth is a tougher nut to crack, no surprise given that she has had to fend for herself for far too long, never having anyone to rely on to share the burden and responsibility with. But the unassuming nature behind Maddox’s character in turn soothes and sets afire something deep inside of Beth that has laid dormant for far too long and it is not long before she says yes to everything Maddox has to offer.

Amidst all that’s happening between Maddox and Beth, M. J. takes readers through the rest of the developments that takes place in the sleepy town of Bluestone, how it comes alive bit by bit, how the efforts made by citizens to revive the town and its economy bears fruit and gives Bluestone that extra edge among other ailing small towns. 

Bluestone Song is the best installment in the series and I couldn’t get enough of Maddox and Beth.

Recommended for those who love contemporary romances in a small town setting. M. J. Fredrick is one author who would never steer you wrong.

Favorite Quotes

He tasted so good, hot and male, just a touch of sweetness from the pop he’d nursed while he waited for her. He pressed his body against hers and she sank into it, just for a minute, savoring the firmness of his chest against hers, his arms around her, the heat of his tongue dipping into her mouth. Every female nerve in her body sparked, and she wanted to drag him with her into the house, pull him over her on the bed, feel all the things his kiss promised, all the things her body remembered.

He felt so good, so hard, so male. His stubble rasped her cheek, and his breath blew hot against her skin as he devoured her, like he couldn’t get enough. Arousal shot through her, at once alien and familiar. He was the only one to ever make her lose her head like this.

“I love that you still sound the same when I’m inside you,” – Maddox

When she rose over him again to slam her body against his, he added his touch to the equation, feeling her swell and slicken against his thumb before—oh, man. Nothing could be as beautiful as Beth coming, her whole body going tight, then loose as shudders of pleasure ran through her.
And that was all he was able to register before he finally let go and followed her, his orgasm coming from every atom of his body, and pouring into her heat.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords


Review: Bluestone Homecoming by M.J. Fredrick

Format: E-bookbluestonehomecoming
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Welcome to Bluestone, Book 1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Leo Erickson
Heroine: Trinity Madison
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 31, 2012
Started On: February 17, 2012
Finished On: February 25, 2012

M. J. Fredrick has a talent for creating characters that one can always relate  to. The romance that sizzles is always an added incentive to seek her books out because I for one am always certain that if the book is written by M. J. Fredrick, I wouldn’t ever have a reason to regret my purchase.

Bluestone Homecoming is the debut novel in a series centered around the small town of Bluestone. Leo Erickson is the hotshot war correspondent that had always felt the need to get away and had done so as soon as he could from his hometown Bluestone. And now Leo is back, the first step he takes in making amends towards his son Max whom he had left behind, too taken up on his own grief after the death of his wife to take care of his son’s needs. 

Trinity Madison is the Bluestone Elementary School counselor and is the daughter of a Reverend, still paying for her one indiscretion during her youth, one which her family still hasn’t forgotten and won’t let her forget or forgive herself. When Leo comes into town, her emotions take a leap in a direction it hasn’t for the past 8 years and Trinity is both scared and in anticipation of what could come out of a brief fling between herself and Leo with Leo uncertain of how he wants to proceed with his future.

Leo never takes into account how he well he might settle into small town life, especially with the way Trinity makes him feel deep inside as if he could once again be happy and have a second chance with his son with whom he has a difficult time at first. But Trinity’s secret when it comes out, would it have the power to drive them apart or would Leo be the man Trinity believes him to be deep in her heart, the man who would save her from her endless guilt and give her the love and support that she needs to move on with her life.

Bluestone Homecoming starts out a bit slow, laying down the foundation of the series, introducing the reader to the wholesome and charming and sometimes intriguing characters of Bluestone. Once the story picks up pace and things start happening, Bluestone Homecoming definitely pulled me in and charmed the socks off of me. Leo and Trinity both being likable characters made for an endearing couple, the attraction between them somehow sweet and sizzling hot at the same time. Leo’s relationship with his son Max was one of the most beautiful aspects of the story. That initial awkwardness and the pain both of them have never let out since the death of the woman who had meant the world to them is one that had my heart going out for them. 

Bluestone is a town that has been hit hard by the financial climate and it was heartwarming to see all of them band up together to find a way to generate more income for their small community. Leo finds his footing and his place in Bluestone through this process of helping the town remake its image, in getting involved with ordinary day-to-day life that somehow ends up being moments that he starts savoring once he gets into the groove of things.

Though the ending was a bit rushed, I decided to forgive M. J. because she has got the next book out already and Quinn and Lily’s book which I am counting on to be explosive and already my most favorite couple from the series would be out latest somewhere in March. Couldn’t ask for a better birthday present for myself if Lily and Quinn’s story turns out to be everything I expect it to be and I am certain M. J. won’t disappoint.

Great introduction into a heartwarming series whose characters, the scene and the setting worms their way into your heart before you know it.

Favorite Quotes

He closed the door behind her and turned, blocking her view of the surprisingly neat room to crowd her against the door. “I’ve wanted to do this all week. Even dreamed about it this morning.” And he touched his lips to hers.
She curved into the warmth of his body, wrapping her arms around his shoulders, her fingers tunneling through his hair as he dipped his tongue between her parted lips, stroking, playing, teasing. 

The next thing she knew, he’d turned her so her back was against one of the wider trees. He stroked the hair back from her jaw and kissed her, his mouth hot and hungry. She returned the intensity, her arms around his shoulders, her fingers in his hair, her body pressed against him as if just that could ease the ache coursing through her. His hands molded her waist, bringing her closer, his tongue stroked between her lips in a rhythm that made every nerve sing.

He lifted his head and looked into her eyes as he tugged at her shirt, pulling it from beneath her, pulling it over her head until she lay beneath him in her bra, and an insubstantial one at that. His nostrils flared as he took in the sight of her in the dim light, and he trailed his fingertips over the slope of her breast to touch her extended nipple. She held her breath in anticipation as he paused, then rolled it between his fingers. When he bent his head, she closed her eyes, and let the heat of his mouth become the focal point of her world.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords


Review: Beneath the Surface by M.J. Fredrick

Format: E-bookbeneaththesurface
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Adrian Reeves
Heroine: Mallory Reeves
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 1, 2009
Started On: December 15, 2011
Finished On: December 16, 2011

Beneath the Surface by M.J. Fredrick published in 2009 is trademark M.J. Fredrick. I say this because she presents the reader this time with the unique profession of underwater archaeology, pits a hero and heroine who have been married for 8 long years together once again, delivering that emotional whirlpool that I just flat-out love about her novels.

Mallory Reeves comes bearing her divorce papers to get her husband Dr. Adrian Reeves, an underwater archaeologist to sign them, freeing the way for her to get hitched to the man who is willing to give her everything that Adrian had been unable to. Driven by a restless need to prove his worth to the archaeological community and also to prove to his wife that his suspicions regarding the last expedition aren’t unfounded at all, needless to say Adrian is a man who is determined that this time he would not be thwarted in his efforts.

Seeing Mallory, the one woman who had always got him come bearing the papers that would officially separate them as husband and wife pains Adrian more than he is willing to show. But his love for the woman who had shared his life for 8 years, being his equal in everything that they had done together is one that wants her to be happy, even if its not a life that he is part of.

Mallory is not at all prepared for the rush of emotions that lays siege on her when she comes face to face with the one man who always makes her senses go haywire. Handsome and charming with his Scottish burr that always melts her on the inside, Mallory is more than surprised with the strong feelings of melancholy that hits her making her face just how much of her life she is willing to change to accommodate the lifestyle of the man that she is going to marry. Just one dive to see what Adrian is up to makes Mallory yearn to work beside her husband once again, and maybe just maybe, find a way to heal the wounds that have festered for 3 long years during their separation.

Filled with surprising twists and turns and an attraction hot enough to warm you up even at the deepest depths of the ocean, M.J. Fredrick cleverly weaves a story of second chances along with just enough bits and pieces about underwater archaeology and excavation with a creepy villain at the edge to really pump up one’s adrenaline.

Adrian and Mallory are both equally endearing characters, that just makes you fall for them as you discover their pasts entwined from the very beginning. The trials and tribulations they face together along the way just makes their love a that much stronger one, a love worth fighting for even when all odds are stacked against them. With a neat little epilogue tucked at the end, M.J. Fredrick continues to prove to her readers that when it comes to happily ever afters, she certainly is a master at delivering.

Favorite Quotes

She was as soft, as sexy as he remembered. Her taste hadn’t changed, her mouth moved beneath his the same way, as if those three years had never passed. He dipped his tongue into her mouth, and hers rose to meet him, glided along his, so right, so right.

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


Review: Hot Shot by M.J. Fredrick

Format: E-bookhotshot
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Gabe Cooper
Heroine: Peyton Michaels
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 1, 2008
Started On: December 8, 2011
Finished On: December 9, 2011

Hot Shot is one of the earliest novels by MJ Fredrick and nevertheless a great one that makes for a compelling read. There is a reason why I continue to read books from her entire backlist because I know that she won’t disappoint me when it comes to the action, the suspense, the romance and of course the happily ever after that she delivers in her stories. MJ Fredrick tends to write stories that not only deliver a good dose of romance between two likable characters but delivers stories that tend to be quite informative on the chosen subject matter and Hot Shot is no exception as this story deals with the dangerous and arduous task of forest fire fighting.

Gabe Cooper is the leader of the Bear Claws, the best Hot Shot crew in Montana. He is cynical and world weary, the only consolation he finds is in the dangerous and adrenaline pumping job of fire fighting. He is a legend amongst the fire fighting circles and considered the best in the field.

32 year old Peyton Michaels is a reporter from Up to the Minute magazine, who has done a series of successful articles called “In the Line of Duty” that focuses on those men and women who put their lives on the line everyday as part of their duty, just so that the rest of the world can stay safe. Peyton’s latest article brings her to Gabe’s group, as a rookie as well as a reporter, a combination that stirs up resentment on Gabe’s part right from the very first moment.

From the start, danger surrounds them and constantly pursues them at every turn. And in the midst of these life threatening fire fighting and rescue missions, Peyton and Gabe slowly start to find out that the attraction between them is one that won’t be denied, their connection to each other one forged in the midst of danger and at times at their lowest point of endurance.

With a few twists and surprises along the way, Gabe and Peyton hunt the person responsible for starting the fire in the first place, a fire that continues to claim lives even while they are on the hunt. And in the midst of everything, Peyton and Gabe are forced to confront their innermost feelings towards each other and open up about their deepest and darkest secrets so that their love turns out to be a that much sweeter one at the end.

The way Ms. Fredrick creates stories wherein lies complicated relationships, not necessarily between just the hero and heroine is one aspect of her novels that I just love. In Hot Shot, Gabe is the one who has to face his ex-wife Jen, who betrayed him after 4 years of marriage by falling in love with his best friend. To have to work with Jen 3 years after the betrayal when feelings for Jen still courses deep through Gabe creates a mother-load of tension and angst that Ms. Fredrick handles very well. And on top of that Gabe has to confront the way his feelings go into a tailspin for Peyton, bringing down the bitterness, heartache and loneliness that Gabe had hides well from the rest of the world.

Gabe is a legend, a hero, but the labels don’t mean anything to him as long as he can battle the dragon day in and day out and come out winning. Some might label him an adrenaline junkie but in my perspective Gabe had been waiting for something else in his life that would give him the same sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that fire fighting gives, and in Peyton for the very first time he finds a reason to change his life, a woman who accepts him just the way he is.

Peyton is a widow, whose husband’s death is still etched on to her mind as clearly as if it happened yesterday. Peyton’s grief is expressed through her articles, by trying to find out what makes those that put their lives in danger in the name of duty do what they do. And when she meets Gabe, the man who stirs her senses up and makes her come alive for the first time in two long years, she is more than dismayed at the thought that she is once again putting her heart on the line with a man who thrives when danger surrounds him. But as she discovers more about Gabe, the more Peyton comes to understand what drives him, what had driven her husband to constantly confront danger until that very last day, the acceptance and healing that both Gabe and Peyton find together being one of the best parts of the story.

The fire fighting scenes are so realistic that sometimes it felt like the scene was playing right in front of my eyes. And within those adventurous moments, Ms. Fredrick provides a whole lot of information and details about forest fire fighting that made me an instant admirer of the men and women who are courageous enough to battle the fires that rage every year.

Recommended for fans of romantic suspense that feature fire fighter heroes and fans of MJ Fredrick.

ARC Review: Guarded Hearts by M. J. Fredrick

Format: E-bookguardedhearts
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Hero: Ethan Riggins
Heroine: McKenna Spencer
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 5, 2011
Started On: December 2, 2011
Finished On: December 3, 2011

I love books by MJ Fredrick mainly because whether it be contemporary, western historical or romantic suspense, she delivers a romance with a happy ending that clutches at your heart. Guarded Hearts is no exception to the rule and I was ecstatic to receive an ARC of this little goodie from MJ Fredrick last week. Expecting an entertaining read, I wasn’t disappointed as MJ Fredrick delivers well on the romance and the elements of suspense in this novel.

McKenna Spencer is a junior congresswoman who has her heart set on passing a children’s health care bill when her work is cut short late into one night when she receives a phone call from her father to vacate from the building. Her father who is a counterterrorist agent has reason to believe that McKenna’s life is in danger and so she is assigned with a bodyguard who is to stick to her like glue, whether it be night or day.

From the first encounter itself, though McKenna might try telling herself otherwise, she is drawn to the man behind the compellingly good looks, a man who makes her female colleagues’ heads turn just by being in the same room as them. For Ethan Riggins, the mission spells trouble from the start as his immediate attraction to McKenna is a forbidden one on so many levels. But that doesn’t stop him from slowly going out of his mind with wanting McKenna and the answering flare of desire in McKenna’s eyes makes it doubly hard for him to remember why getting tangled up with McKenna is such a bad idea.

Filled with bullet riddled moments one minute and heart thumping variety of over the charts sizzling hot encounters between McKenna and Ethan the next, MJ Fredrick delivers a novel that is hard to put down. And in between all those tense and delicious moments, MJ Fredrick manages to give her characters life, a past which tugs at the reader’s heartstrings and moments of tenderness between the two protagonists that just makes this an awesome piece of romance.

Ethan Riggins was just ultra yummy. I don’t think there is any other word that could describe as effectively what he made me feel throughout the story. He is not superman who switches over to total robot mode in seconds but he is lethal and dangerous when he puts his mind to it, a mind that strays far too much for his liking when McKenna is around. His ability to totally focus on one thing makes him a total hottie, especially so when he turns all that attention on McKenna. And MJ Fredrick certainly knows what she is doing with her tattooed heroes as Ethan too has tattoes on him that would make even a sensible woman swoon.

McKenna is a heroine who has had not the happiest childhood. As a junior congresswoman, her work is her sole focus, and it suites her well enough until Ethan comes strolling into her life. Though she thinks that Ethan is not the one for her, her heart and other vulnerable emotions sing his name, wanting him to be the one who lays claim on her heart and soul. She is stubborn, gorgeous and has a big heart that refuses to back down even when cornered, especially when she has a particular goal that she is working towards. I loved her sense of humor and the fact that she could bring a smile to Ethan’s face just made me a fan of hers all throughout.

Guarded Hearts by MJ Fredrick is a novel that attests to the author’s ability to deliver a well rounded tale of romantic suspense, with two protagonists who would stay with you even long afterwards. Recommended for fans of romantic suspense and fans of MJ Fredrick.

Favorite Quotes

He remained still for a moment, not long enough for her to wonder if she’d made a mistake. Then he took charge, wrapping his arms around her, cupping his hand over the back of her head, loosening her hair from its style so it tumbled against her sensitized skin. His lips were firm, like the rest of him, and demanding, his tongue stroking along her bottom lip and into her mouth. His breath came hot and heavy against her cheek, and his erection pressed against her hip. Raindrops fell from his skin to hers, and she marveled that she could feel the warmth of him in those drops.

Holding his gaze, she lifted her hips to bring him inside her.
He choked out a groan as he buried himself deep, his body pressed against hers, his length filling her, stretching her, more delicious than she’d imagined. He moved in long, sure strokes, deep, measured.
Controlled. Focused.

He lifted his head, lifted her thighs, and plunged into her, deeper, harder than before. He lowered his mouth to the curve of her throat, lips pulling, teeth scraping as he closed his hands over her hips and opened her wider, thrusting deeper. He sat back on his heels and pulled her over him, guiding her, his mouth slamming down on hers, the kiss verging on violent, his fingers tight on her ass and she came again, locking her legs about his hips, holding him deep inside as pleasure rippled through her.

ARC Review: Three Days, Two Nights by MJ Fredrick

Format: E-bookthreedaystwonights
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Nathaniel Reis
Heroine: Teresa Bonner
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: October 24, 2011
Started On: October 17, 2011
Finished On: October 17, 2011

With Three Days, Two Nights which is set to be released from Carina Press on the 24th of this month, MJ Fredrick once again proves the reason why I just flat-out love her stories so much. She has a talent for giving depth to her characters and has a way with squeezing out every bit of feeling from the reader that just makes for a heady reading experience.

Three Days, Two Nights is a novella, though short that managed to satisfy me in every way that counts. Nathanial Reis is a retired Air Force pilot, who owns an airfield in Florida, who is ever so determined that he would win over the affections of his ex-wife Teresa Bonner (Tess) who walked out on him a year ago. Nat had lost sight of what was important; the happiness that had been such a visceral part of their marriage which had started to fade away from the moment Nat had focused on making a name for himself as an Air Force pilot.

Tess had walked out on her marriage because their marriage wasn’t working anymore and her leaving had served to be the slap on the face that Nat had needed to understand that his priorities needed to change if he were to win over the affections of Tess all over again.

The plan to do so runs into a little bit of trouble when Tess and Nat finds themselves stranded in an island in the middle of nowhere; Tess wanting nothing more than to get away from the forceful presence of Nat that keeps reminding her of all the good things that had made their marriage and relationship so hard to walk away from. As Nat brings on the heat, Tess finds herself succumbing to the ever present desire that remains, that seems to be stronger than ever. With physical intimacy of the mind blowing kind, the walls that Tess has built around her emotions and heart starts crumbling down, the assault that Nat lays on her senses proving to be the pivotal point in Nat’s attempt to win his ex-wife back for good.

Three Days, Two Nights is a steamy and tender novel at the same time, delivering scorching scenes of passion that just about took my breath away. Always in love with a man who has a well placed tattoo that just makes the man that much sexier, I found myself totally head over heels from the moment Nat’s armband tattoo came to light. The significance of the tattoo which when later revealed turned out to be such a sweet gesture that I was sighing all over my e-reader and wishing for a man just like Nat to sweep me away!

I loved the way Ms. Fredrick was able to shed light onto so many facets of their marriage that hadn’t worked out and yet managed to show the good things between them that had drawn Nat and Tess towards each other in the first place. Its the way she brings forth the emotions between her characters that has me time and yet again seeking out her books and of course the beautiful cover of this novella is worthy of a mention in the review.

Beautifully done, delivering on the sensual and romance aspect, Three Days, Two Nights is another winner by one of my favorite authors, one I cannot recommend highly enough.

Favorite Quotes

“I need you to help me lift the plane so I can put this under it.”
She stared. “You’ve clearly mistaken me for the Incredible Hulk.”
The familiar charming grin flashed as he glanced at her legs. “No. Never that. It’s not as heavy as it looks.”

His sleeve rode up, revealing an armband tattoo that hadn’t been there before. She was not the kind to get turned on by tattoos, normally, but this one, on the hard-muscled arm of the man she’d once loved, the man she was stuck here with—dangerous. Too dangerous.

Instinct, memory, something, had her taking a step toward him. She slipped on a mossy rock and floundered. He clasped his hands around her upper arms but instead of helping her gain her feet, he drew her closer so she braced her hands against his chest. Her fingers flexed briefly in the hard muscle beneath the crisp chest hair and every womanly sense in her came alive, everything she’d forgotten, everything she’d pushed aside.

[Tess] “Your penis has forgotten we’re divorced,” she muttered.
“My penis always had a thing for you,” he said.
The way the words rumbled in his chest, vibrated against her back, shouldn’t have turned her on, but her body remembered him, too, the fit of him, the slide of him, the way he fit, just right. Better than the damn vibrator, which didn’t include his weight over her, his hands on her body, his mouth on her breasts.

He captured her wrists and pinned them to the tree before covering her mouth with his.
This was no gentle kiss, but one filled with hunger long denied, lips crushing, tongue sliding deep, as if he couldn’t get enough of the taste of her.

He leaned forward to rub his lips against her collarbone, up her throat, his lips soft, dry, his stubble adding just enough roughness to arouse. She inclined her head, offering, inviting, pleading. He gripped the back of her thighs, pulling her closer, his hands on her ass as he thrust into her, meeting her rhythm, finding their rhythm, the one they’d always been so good at. His hands were familiar on her skin, knew just where to touch. The cadence of his breathing, the taste of his mouth, all brought back how good they’d been together.

He braced his feet apart and lowered his mouth to her throat and lapped the droplets of water from her skin. “I want to feel your mouth on me. I want you to touch me. Christ, Tess, I’ve missed you.” He followed the slope of her breast and hovered above her nipple, waiting.
Finally her lips caressed the column of his throat, her tongue making trails over his skin, her mouth moving down to his chest, across his pec to his nipple, which she bit. Punishment, he knew, but a turn-on anyway.

He angled his mouth across hers, his kiss gentle, seductive, but sweet in a way that made her forget they were standing naked in the middle of the ocean. It was a kiss that explored more than the physical. He seemed to probe her emotions as well, and laid his own out for her to do with what she would.

Review: Midnight Sun by M. J. Fredrick

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Self Published
Series: Standalone
Hero: Marcus Devlin
Heroine: Brylie Winston
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 6, 2011
Started On: August 7, 2011
Finished On: August 8, 2011

Midnight Sun is the latest contemporary romantic suspense release by M. J. Fredrick. Midnight Sun starts in a deceptively simple manner and lulls the reader into a false sense of security before the adventure aspect of the novel kick starts with a bang and refuses to let up until towards the very end. The story starts off with Brylie Winston leaving the hotel room in Hobart, Australia where she spends the night with a man for the first time in a year and half, always paying heed to the caution that rules her life until she meets the charming Marcus who manages to practically knock her proverbial socks off with his sheer charm and sexuality.

Come morning, Brylie more than regrets succumbing to Marcus’s well-played seduction which had sent her senses spiraling as she finds out that Marcus is none other than her boss and the youngest son of the Delvins who owns and operates the ice breaker turned cruise liner on which Brylie acts as head chef. For Marcus, the cruise trip to Antarctica is his way of saving face after his latest scandal and when he finds out that the red head who rocked his world the night before works for him, things start looking up for Marcus until he finds out that Brylie has no intention of indulging in a repeat performance.

However, Marcus is not one to give up and before long, Brylie finds her defenses crumbling in the face of Marcus’s true personality that comes to light as they spend time together. But before their purely sexual acquaintance can go any further, the cruise liner comes under attack by pirates who are willing to do anything to see that their demands are met. Its by pure luck that Marcus and Brylie manage to hide and outwit their captors until Marcus is forced to give himself up, sacrificing himself for the rest of the passengers on board for whom he feels responsible. Its the sheer bravery and quick thinking on both Brylie and Marcus’s part that eventually saves the day and not a minute too late at that.

Midnight Sun is a well rounded addition to M. J. Fredrick’s already impressive collection of romantic suspense novels. This one offers a hero who is not well versed in the art of defense and guns and the whole lot but still manages to think on his feet and tackle the problems they face, even though his family thinks of Marcus as someone who will never take responsibility seriously. Marcus suffers from “itchy-feet-syndrome” and it is only when it comes to Brylie and the hair raising couple of days that they go through that Marcus finds his anchor in life. It is the situation that both Brylie and Marcus finds themselves in that eventually creates the unbreakable bonds of intimacy which otherwise may not have happened.

Brylie is a trademark M. J. Fredrick heroine. Smart, capable, independent and yet vulnerable because of her past, Brylie is a heroine worth admiring as she on many occasions proves herself beyond capable in handling a chaotic situation with both feet planted firmly on the ground. Though Brylie tries hard not to fall for Marcus, she is no match for his arousing kisses and touches that at the same time serves as the healing balm to soothe her wounded heart and pride. And Marcus in turn finds in Brylie a reason to strive to be more and give love and commitment a shot in his otherwise sporadic existence.

Filled with adrenaline pumping moments and those sensually stirring scenes of passion that never fails to evoke all the right kind of emotions, Midnight Sun is recommended for those who love romantic suspense in unusual settings. And believe me, Antarctica is as unusual as it gets!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble


Review: Where There’s Smoke by M. J. Fredrick

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Series: Standalone
Hero: Seth Escamilla
Heroine: Lauren Stokes
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 11, 2008
Started On: August 4, 2011
Finished On: August 5, 2011

Where There’s Smoke is MJ Fredrick’s first published title and is of the friends-to-lovers trope that I adore. Combining together the complications that arise when two people who have always been friends find themselves in unchartered territory together with the added complications of two families who have been friends and much more through the years finds betrayal of the worst kind lurking right amongst them, Where There’s Smoke is a contemporary romance that delivers a lot of emotional angst which I absolutely reveled in.

26 year old Lauren Stokes is an only child whose parents have never been overly demonstrative with each other or with their daughter. Lauren had always got her fix of coddling from her best friend Seth Escamilla’s mother with the two families going a long way back with both their fathers being best friends and working at the same fire house.

Seth who is a fireman himself works under Lauren’s father and has always followed his own father’s footsteps all his life. The one secret that he knows about his father puts a severe strain on their relationship and it definitely does a number on his confidence about his ability to remain faithful to one woman for a long period of time.

When Seth starts noticing the little details about his best friend Lauren like how wonderful her hair smells and how much of a bliss it would be to have her long legs wrapped around him in a lover’s embrace, Seth knows that he should keep his distance and forget that he ever thinks of getting hot and heavy with the last person in the world he would want to hurt.

Lauren doesn’t know exactly when her feelings for Seth started to change but she has been living with the fact that a drop-dead gorgeous specimen of a man like Seth would never settle for a woman like her and has resigned herself to being his friend for the rest of her life until Seth’s  changing feelings towards her puts things in a whole new perspective.

Suddenly, it is all Lauren and Seth can do to keep their hands off each other and when they stop trying to resist the pull that is between them, boy do the sparks fly then. Seth brings such a wicked quality to the sensual journey that they both take together and there were times when I wanted to call up the fire department because of the high level of steam these two generate in the bedroom. And that dancing scene at the wedding reception; I swear my insides were still sizzling even two hours afterwards!

But of course, things hardly remain the same when sex enters the equation of a life-long friendship and it is these changes that are hard for Seth to take in as he starts to doubt his ability to be good enough for someone like Lauren. The easy camaraderie that has always existed between them starts to wan as Seth pulls away from their relationship, wanting to spare Lauren the hurt of his betrayal when he ends up doing just the opposite.

Filled with family drama that tends to put more strain on their “relationship”, it is a tough road that both Lauren and Seth takes towards their happily ever after, especially for Seth who does a lot of soul searching to finally accept who he is in reality.

Where There’s Smoke is a novel that brings home the fact that no matter how old you might be, the skirmishes between your parents can always inevitably hurt you, no matter how much they might try to spare you the pain. It also brings to light just how painful a betrayal it would be to find out that the person who has shared your life for so long is not the person you really thought they were and it just hurt a place deep inside of me to read about it.

Where There’s Smoke is not just simply a romance novel that tells of how one day Seth and Lauren finds themselves undeniably in lust with one another and things proceed from lust to love in zero seconds flat. Rather than that, MJ Fredrick puts forth the complexities involved in the change of dynamics from a life-long friendship to something much more and how eventually these two work things out.

The only reason that this one doesn’t get a five-star rating is because I would have definitely loved a bit more grovelling on Seth’s part before Lauren had given in to his declaration of love in the end. And would have dearly loved an epilogue to show how life fares for those left behind in the wake of all the drama that unfolded in the story which would have made this a more satisfying read all around.

Favorite Quotes

Lauren opened the door. No high-heeled boots today. She looked fresh out of bed, rumpled, messy in a sweatshirt and plaid flannel pants, fluffy slippers. His Lauren.
And instead of being relieved, he stepped inside, cupped her face in both his hands, and kissed her.
Oh, man. She was minty and soft, and her lips parted in surprise under his. He had enough wits to give her a couple of seconds before he tilted her head and took the kiss deeper. She made a sound that might have been protest, and he started to pull back, but then she wound her arms around his neck and brushed her tongue over his lower lip. He accepted the invitation.

Her voice had dropped, soft and low, and curled through his blood, which traveled south in response. He took a step closer, trailing his fingers up the collar of the jacket to her throat. Her lips parted in surprise, in unquestioning invitation, his own tingled in anticipation.

He opened his eyes to see her rise over him, drag her teeth over her bottom lip. He’d never seen anything so sexy. He gripped her hips and lifted his own, thrusting into her body once, twice, three times before shattering, completely losing himself, his mind and soul fragmenting, his body melting into the mattress.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble