Score Sheet Review: Flash Point by Shelli Stevens

Format: E-bookflashpoint.JPG
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Holding Out for a Hero, Book 3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Todd Wyatt
Heroine: Caitleen (Kate)
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 8, 2011
Started On: March 5, 2012
Finished On: March 5, 2012

CATEGORY SCORE GRADE
The hero 90 A
The heroine 90 A
Story line 90 A
Emotional Intensity 90 A
Story’s ability to suck me in 90 A
Heat & Sensuality  95 A
Conflicts within the story 90 A
Writing Style 95 A
Quotable Factor 60 A
The Ending 80 A
Overall Grade 87 A

Score Sheet Summary

Flash Point is a novella that I have been meaning to read for quite sometime. Almost a year to the date that it was first published, I managed to find some time to squeeze this novella in between some of my heavy reads and I enjoyed the escape that Shelli Stevens provided with this red-hot novella which combines elements of friends turning into lovers with a hero who is commitment phobic to the extreme and a heroine who is sunny, bubbly and vivacious as they come.

Todd Wyatt might want to go on thinking of Kate as a younger sister. But something vital in their relationship seems to have shifted after that tentative kiss that Kate had placed on him 5 months back and for the world of him Todd cannot seem to get the kiss out of his mind.

Kate has been half in love with Todd almost all her adult life, no wonder when Todd is the type of man that every woman in the vicinity wants to tame and call their own. But Kate knows that Todd is not the type for a long term relationship, but even that doesn’t stop her from staking her claim and taking anything and everything that Todd is ready and willing to give, even if it means that Kate would have to walk away nursing a broken heart when all is said and done.

I loved this installment of the Holding Out for a Hero series. Todd is a fireman who has got his own set of insecurities to deal with and the best thing about him was his possessiveness when it comes to Kate, which even he cannot explain. Kate was just lovely, a heroine that I utterly adored in all the ways.

Highly recommended, this is a novella best read after at least reading book 2 in the series, Command and Control which was the book that intrigued me to look up Todd and Kate’s story.

Favorite Quotes

[Todd] “There isn’t a woman I’m trying to impress with baking. I made that up.”
Kate frowned, stilling in her efforts to free herself. “Why did you say that then?”
“Damn it, to keep this from happening.” His head blocked out the light as it dipped, and then his mouth crashed down on hers.
Shock ripped through her as his lips masterfully parted hers, his tongue plunging inside to taste her.

She teetered to catch her balance, but his arm still held her, kept her from falling. And then his mouth crashed down on hers and her balance went wonky for other reasons.
Kate clutched his shoulders and moaned, parting her lips to his fierce kiss. The smell of his familiar, spicy cologne filled her senses. His tongue explored every inch of her mouth, his hands roving over her body. It was deliberate. A man staking his claim. Every female instinct inside of her could sense it.

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

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ARC Review: Negligee Behavior by Shelli Stevens

Format: E-booknegligeebehavior
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Marco Vargas
Heroine: Brandy Elizabeth Summers
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: May 23, 2011
Started On: May 1, 2011
Finished On: May 1, 2011

Yowza! What a fantastic piece of romance this turned out to be from one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. Negligee Behavior which is to come out on the 23rd of this month pets and strokes all the right places with the right balance of quirky humor, romance and red-hot passion of the body hair singeing variety and I loved every single moment of Marco and Brandy’s journey to happily ever after.

29 year old Marco Vargas co-owns a bar with his friend Sebastian and likes his life the way it is. He definitely never thought that 30 year old Brandy Summers would hijack his motorbike in her crazy wedding attire one hot afternoon in her attempt to get away from her boyfriend Gordon who is hellbent on getting hitched and turn his life completely around.

A feeling of being suffocated and doubts that she should not feel are all that plagues Brandy as she stands beside her boyfriend Gordon in his impulsive attempt to say their I-do’s in a rat-infested Elvis chapel in Vegas. A high school choir teacher by profession, Brandy is the sole heiress to the exclusive lingerie chain Sugar and Spice, the fastest growing lingerie chain in North America. Having grown up surrounded by picture-perfect models all her life, Brandy suffers from self-esteem issues and hides behind a facade of frumpy clothing through which Marco sees the beautiful and desirable woman inside even if its the last thing that he wants to see.

Brandy is as taken aback by the heady desire that takes a hold of her whenever she is around Marco who does so much more than just rescue her when shit hits the fan, as is Marco by the possessiveness that streaks right through him when it comes to Brandy. And when Brandy pulls all the stops and gets a sensational makeover with the help of the mouthy and smart-ass bartender Valerie, there is no stopping the tidal wave of desire that explodes between them.

However, both Brandy and Marco have secrets of their own which they keep from one another for their own reasons, not wanting to do anything that would shatter the fragile bond that forms between them as the days pass by. With enough humor in the right places that had me laughing out loud several times earning me the are-you-going-crazy? looks from my husband, I thoroughly enjoyed this delectable contemporary romance which was fun, sweet and heady all at the same time!

I loved the vivid characters that were brought to life right from the very start, rendering each of them to be a vital part of the story. Some of my favorite characters include Valerie the bartender, Sebastian, co-owner of the bar and Brandy’s mother whose spunky nature was a real surprise. Marco is such a dreamy and sensationally sexy hero that I found myself sighing each and every single time he calls Brandy “princess” and my heart just sped its beat up a notch whenever his primal instincts came out to play.

Brandy is such an endearing heroine who earned my wholehearted approval right from the very start with her quirky comebacks and sensitive nature at the core. The way she grows and blossoms as the story progresses along was one of the best parts of the story. And as I have been telling Ms. Stevens on Twitter, anyone who reads Negligee Behavior would definitely want to read the story of Sebastian and Marco’s younger sister Elena. There is this vibe between them that definitely has the makings of another breathtaking romance which I am definitely looking forward to! *hint, hint*

This one definitely makes it to my “favorites” list of contemporary romances for 2011 and I recommend it to everyone who loves a good contemporary romance with a sexy as sin hero and a heroine who you would most definitely relate to and delivers so much fun that you would wish the story to never ever end.

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

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Review: Command and Control by Shelli Stevens

Format: E-bookcommandandcontrol
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Holding Out for a Hero, Book 2
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Trevor Wyatt
Heroine: Megan Asher
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: December 21, 2010
Started On: December 23, 2010
Finished On: December 23, 2010

My first book by Shelli Stevens was Dangerous Grounds, the first book in the Seattle Steam series which I read long before I started this review website of mine. But Dangerous Grounds has always lurked somewhere at the back of my mind as a book that I enjoyed immensely and I just might give in and revisit Gabe and Madison one of these days. So when I found out by following Ms. Stevens on Twitter that her latest release is all about a tortured hero who needs healing in all the ways possible, I didn’t hesitate to get myself a copy and indulge. And indulge is what I did as this short story delivered on all fronts and made all my senses come wonderfully alive with the raw sensuality between Trevor and Megan.

The story kicks off when Trevor walks into a coffee shop in his small hometown of Wyattsville to overhear the most notorious gossip in town declare that his ex-fiance Megan Asher was getting married. The streak of possessiveness that strikes through Trevor when he hears that someone else might claim his Megan is overwhelming to say the least. And it is with all this jealousy and possessiveness lurking close to the surface, almost ready to explode that Trevor confronts Megan to find out whether there was anything to the rumors floating around town.

Megan can’t believe it when without any warning Trevor walks in demanding to know whether the news that she was getting married that was circulating around town could be at all true. It is true that Megan had been the one to walk out on Trevor and their engagement but it had been Trevor who had really left their relationship after coming back injured from tour duty in Afghanistan, a man too haunted by memories that he had refused to let go or get professional help for him to heal. But leaving Trevor and trying to get over him certainly hadn’t worked at all when all Trevor had to do was just walk in for all her senses to come alive and slap her on her head for walking out on him.

With Trevor determined to win back what he rightfully considers as his, the heat is on as two people who have always shared a combustible passion between them fires up the pages in this delectable read. But compatibility in bed and out of it and a love that can last a lifetime certainly doesn’t seem to be enough when Trevor still ends up walking out on Megan afraid that by staying he would only end up hurting her. And it is Megan who remains undeterred in her conviction that she would help exorcise whatever ghosts that haunted Trevor and move them closer to the happily ever after that they both so much deserve making this book a lipsmackingly good read.

Likes:

  1. Trevor Wyatt of course! Was there any doubt in any of your minds about that? ^_^ Sexy, broody, tortured to the max and a possessive streak a mile wide when it comes to Megan, Trevor just makes my heart go thud, thud and my knees all wobbly with his mere presence. From the opening scene itself, everything feminine within me rejoiced in Trevor’s jealousy over the mere idea of anyone else claiming his Megan as their own. I definitely loved me some Trevor!
  2. Megan Asher. She definitely lives up to her character as in she is beautiful, smart, knows what she wants and doesn’t hesitate to work for what she wants no matter what happens which turned out to be her most endearing quality. Megan was wise enough to know what Trevor needs so that their relationship would have a standing chance  the second time round. Her plan to help Trevor certainly worked out well enough for her and for me as well. ^_^
  3. The hot, hot, hot sensuality between Trevor and Megan. I think my Kindle heated up a degree or two as Megan and Trevor, both with their take charge attitudes just simply combusted after a 1 year separation. Car smexing, shower smexing and smexing of the kinkier variety takes place, all very hot and all very well done!
  4. I loved the tidbits of Trevor and Megan’s shared past that made their forays into the story. Lent this story something extra of the wicked variety as well as in terms of character development.
  5. Command and Control certainly made me sit up and take notice of Kate and her crush on Todd Wyatt the youngest Wyatt of the 3 brothers. I have certainly added Flash Point, the 3rd book in the Holding Out for a Hero series which is to be published on March 2011 to my wishlist.

Dislikes: Though I know novellas are supposed to be pretty short, I just felt the ending was a bit too rushed. Of course things ended on a happy note but I would have loved it more if the ending had been just a tad longer.

Favorite Quotes

Trevor groaned and slid a hand into her hair, holding her head still as their lips met and parted, then his tongue slid deep to rasp against hers.
Heat exploded inside her, rocketing through her blood and making every one of her nerve endings tingle. She kissed him fervently, fumbling to undo the buttons on his shirt.
Tearing his mouth from hers, Trevor said, “We should go inside.”
“That would take too long.” She leaned down to bury her mouth against his neck. Her tongue flicking out over the pulse, finding the familiar salty taste of his skin she’d been craving for over a year. The taste of Trevor.
She closed her mouth around his flesh and sucked, wanting to leave her mark as if she were a sixteen-year old girl claiming the quarterback.

Recommended for: Fans of contemporary erotica. This one is hot and sizzling good!

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

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