Review: Reckless Conduct by Susan Napier

Format: E-bookrecklessconduct
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Marcus Fox
Heroine: Harriet Smith
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: November, 1996
Started On: October 07, 2017
Finished On: October 13, 2017

Never have I laughed so hard and so much while reading a romance novel in recent times as I did when I was reading Reckless Conduct by Susan Napier. I would always be forever grateful for having found Susan Napier’s books because they are aboslute gems in the world of Harlequin romances.

Reckless Conduct is a novel that is to be lauded for so many reasons. It has got that oh-so-good-i-am-going-to-die-of-laughter variety of humor going for it. There is a deliciously controlled hero who made every single sense of mine stand on high alert. Then there is the heroine, whose makeover and clumsy antics, plus the way she seems to always find herself in one tantalizing position after another with the hero became one I reveled in. The sense of want and desire that is continuous thread throughout the book was one that I found heady and enjoyable on so many levels.

Harriet Smith, the heroine is someone who has continually being considered as staid, boring, and conventional. However, all of that changes when Harriet decides to have the makeover of a lifetime which turns her from the wallflower so to speak to the stunningly beautiful and curvaceous woman that turns heads as she makes her way to the office on the morning following the makeover.

Marcus Fox is the chairman of the board of Trident Finance where Harriet works. When Marcus enlists Harriet’s expertise on a personal matter, Harriet is forced into close proximity with a man who makes her want to throw caution to the wind, who brings back that edge of spontaneity to her character which had died a painful death under the hands of her ex-fiance’. It also makes her want to flee because she is reluctant to get into something that could spell long term heartbreak for her. That sense of awakening in a heroine as reluctant as Harriet was one of the best aspects of this book.

If you are a fan of Harlequin romances, this is a must read. Susan Napier is brilliant in her execution of romance novels. Her books have foresight and depth to them that few Harlequin authors bring to the table. Her stories are less than conventional and for me that is one reason why I absolutely adore them and indulge in one every now and then.

Definitely recommended. If not for the laughs, for the sheer experience of Marcus Fox in all his glory. Loved the last chapter. Made me want to bawl my eyes out, and smile from ear to ear at the same time.

Final Verdict: Susan Napier wows her readers with unconventional stories that stand out for their sensuality and strong leads. Reckless Conduct is classic Napier in this sense and I cannot recommend it well enough.

Favorite Quotes

‘Not only is Fleet indiscriminate, but he has no respect for the woman’s privacy when he notches up a victory. He’s an inveterate boaster about his conquests. He’s even been known to bet on the outcome of a date. All he’s interested in is having a good time, and he expects the women he goes out with to have the same free-and-easy morals—’
‘Good!’ she snapped, using the element of surprise to grasp his solid wrist and push it sharply away from the control buttons so that the doors sprang open.
‘Good?’ Marcus Fox stayed rooted to the spot as she stepped out onto the thick grey carpet of the executive-suite foyer. ‘What do you mean—good?’
Harriet turned to look at him and was deeply gratified by his censorious expression. At last she had surprised a genuine reaction out of him!
‘I mean good, he sounds like a really hot date,’ she said with a reckless toss of her head.”
“A hot date?’ He repeated the words slowly, as if they were in an alien tongue.
‘Yeah, you know—one where there’s a lot of action.’
‘Action?’ The doors were closing on him and he darted out between them with a startling burst of agility for such a powerfully built man.
‘Fun.’
His black brows lowered even further as he towered over her. ‘You’re going out with Michael Fleet for fun?’ he rumbled.
‘Well, I’m certainly not going out with him in order to have a perfectly miserable time,’ she said sweetly.
He dismissed her dripping sarcasm with an impatient wave. ‘Miss Smith, I wonder if you’ve quite grasped the import of my remarks?’
‘Of course I have,’ she said in exasperation. ‘You’re warning me that by tomorrow I’ll just be another notch on the matchwood that passes for Michael’s bedpost.’
‘Miss Smith!’
‘Mr Fox!”

She sat down with relief, only to find that her narrow skirt shrank alarmingly up her slender thighs. She pretended not to notice. She hadn’t taken into account things like bending and twisting and sitting when she had been burning up the boutiques during the long weekend. She had just stood in front of the mirror and ruthlessly bought whatever the shop assistant had recommended.
Harriet folded her hands in her diminished lap and tried to remember everything she had ever read about miniskirt etiquette. Did one cross one’s legs or slant them primly parallel to the side? The idea of being prim decided her. She slid one knee rashly over the top of the other. The skirt retreated another crucial few centimetres.
Marcus Fox’s steepled fingers collapsed and his voice was slightly hoarse as he began ominously, ‘Miss Smith, I am about to break one of my cardinal rules about not allowing personal problems to intrude on matters of business.’

He rose abruptly from his chair and, against the tinted window, he was suddenly a dark, shadowy figure sweeping across her dazzled vision. Harriet’s heart pulsed erratically in her ears and, even knowing that the width of the desk was between them, she instinctively shied away from his dominance, a slender heel catching against the chair-leg behind her as she did so, half wrenching her shoe from her foot and throwing her off balance.
She stumbled forward several steps, banging her hip as she ricocheted off the sharp corner of his desk. One windmilling hand clipped the eyepiece of the telescope and it teetered on its extended tripod. Harriet whipped around to clasp and steady it, letting out a small cry of pain as a bolt on one of the legs jammed into her knee.
“What on earth—?’ Marcus Fox was there immediately, untangling her from the apparatus and setting them both upright.
‘I’m sorry,’ she gasped, hopping on one leg as she tried to refit her shoe.
He let go of the telescope to support her by her shoulders, half lifting her with easy strength to perch on the edge of his desk while she fumbled. ‘Little fool,’ he said gruffly. ‘What are you wearing heels like that for around the office? You’re an accident waiting to happen.’
‘To stop people like you calling me little,’ she huffed.

“They’re not pantihose,‘ she said absently, thinking gloomily that it didn’t take much to make expensive elegance look cheap and tacky. Maybe black hadn’t been such a flattering choice after all.
‘I beg your pardon?’
He hadn’t moved and Harriet was acutely aware that he was standing between her legs, the fabric of his dark trousers brushing against the sensitive skin of the insides of her knees. This time the threat posed by his proximity was unnervingly real. He was overpoweringly close, his warmth radiating through her like an invisible touch, his clean male scent creating a curious disorder in her senses. He made her feel both fragile and vulnerable and she panicked lest he detect her irrational fear, rashly seeking to repulse him with offensive brashness.
‘I said I’m not wearing pantihose. They’re stockings. See?’ She provocatively lifted her knee to press it against his hip, and flipped back her hem to reveal the lace-trimmed suspender that gripped the opaque band of her laddered stocking. A strip of smooth, naked thigh was also inadvertently revealed—a starkly erotic contrast to the black lingerie.

Feeling safe and yet aware of a tantalising danger, Harriet inhaled and let out a shuddering sigh and wriggled deeper into his lap. The malleable outline against her hip was large, and Harriet felt another wave of prickly heat wash over her as she indulged her sinful curiosity and wondered what it would take to arouse a man of his iron self-control and how different he would feel in his state of excitement.
She imagined what would happen if she was lying like this in his arms but for some inexplicable but necessary reason they were both completely nude. Surely he wouldn’t be unaffected then, no matter how skinny or pathetic he thought she was? He was a man and he wouldn’t be able to help himself. He might fight against his primitive instincts because he didn’t want to hurt her, but he would eventually succumb to the feel of her naked breasts and thighs rubbing against him. He would kiss her fiercely, and smother her small breasts in his big, clever hands, and then he would go thick and hard against her squirming bottom and he would turn her in his lap and—

Intent on preventing him from reaching the bottom of the pile, Harriet hastened forward, but she was too late. His eyebrows shot up as he studied the final cover.
‘Sexual Fulfilment: Erotic Techniques To Enhance Female Pleasure’
‘Give me that!’ Flustered, she tried to snatch it out of his hand.
‘Give you what? Sexual fulfilment?’ he enquired with a wicked grin, easily evading her attack by catching her wrist and pulling her down onto the bed beside him. ‘Why, Harriet, I’m flattered by your eagerness but it’s rude to grab.’
‘I meant give me the book!’ she grated at him, feeling the heat of his thigh against her hip as they bounced lightly together on the edge of the bed.

He kissed her deep and hard, burying his mouth in hers, using his teeth to tease her lips apart and his tongue to thrust roughly inside. His hand slid from her upper arms to her ribcage, his fingers splaying up her slender sides, gripping her, supporting her torso while he slowly twisted from side to side, massaging her breasts with the rigid muscles of his chest. With a groan he turned her even further into the heated embrace, forcing her head back with the power of his kiss, lifting his knee to rest his thigh heavily across her sprawled legs, urging her against the hardness between his legs.
‘Kiss me; touch me the way she was touching him.’ He whispered the ragged command into the moist depths of her being, and she felt him tear at his buttons so that his shirt parted across his smooth, hot chest.

“Marcus—’
He bit her throat, his fingers curving into her soft waist as he sucked at her flesh. ‘Yes, say my name; tell me where you want me to stroke you; tell me what excites you…’
Everything excited her. She could barely string two coherent thoughts together, let alone utter any words. All that came from her lungs were gasps and tiny whimpers and moans that seemed to drive him into a greater frenzy.
Harriet clutched at the thick-hewn shoulders under the loose white shirt, her manicured nails biting into the rippling muscle and raking down his biceps, causing him to arch and shudder and rub himself more frantically against her. The heat was coming off him in waves, the muscles in his arms and chest jerking with convulsive tension, his hot mouth ravishing her senses as he hungrily devoured her response to his astonishing explosion of desire.

“I knew you weren’t wearing a bra,’ he muttered harshly, covering the delicate mounds with his palms, cupping and shaping her with his fingers, finding the soft nipples with his thumbs and tracing their outline by feel, circling them over and over again, drawing them out with the gentle pressure of his nails. ‘I could see these shadowed against the cotton… dark, smooth, round discs that I wanted to touch and lick and suck until they were ripe and wet and hard… as hard as I was…’
He nuzzled her mouth as he told her what else he had wanted to do to her breasts with his tongue and hands and body while she had been standing there talking, innocently unaware of his lustful fancies, and his eloquent description made Harriet so dizzy that if she hadn’t been lying down she would have swooned like a Victorian maiden.

He donned the protection without the least sign of modesty or embarrassment and Harriet fleetingly compared him with Keith, who used to fumble around in the dark, as if it was an offence to his masculinity. She even suspected that Marcus lingered deliberately over the intimate task, enjoying having her watching him touch himself, heightening their anticipation of the pleasure to come.
‘Next time you can do it for me,’ he promised huskily, and with a stunningly swift movement caught hold of her ribcage, his thumbs curving up under her breasts as he pulled her down on her knees to straddle his lap, arching his hips so that he slid smoothly inside her in the same fluid motion.
‘Oh!’ Harriet’s hand spread across his chest as she felt him take a heaving breath and arch up again, pushing deeper, tighter, a huge, hard invasion of heat that made her instinctively grip his hips with her knees and rock forward, flexing her inner muscles around him.

“Don’t move.’ This time she knew that his grating harshness wasn’t anger, it was rigid self-restraint. She obeyed, her bottom settling on his iron thighs. After a few moments of absolute stillness Marcus lifted his head and gave her a lazy smile that made her toes curl in her black shoes.
‘What now, Mr Fox?’ she teased him throatily.
‘Now?’ His hands swept down her sides and over her stockings to the knees that were wedged against his hips, and then slowly followed the same course back again.
‘Now, Miss Smith, we stay like this for the next ten hours.’

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: Price of Passion by Susan Napier

Format: E-bookpriceofpassion
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Drake Daniels
Heroine: Katherine Crawford
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January, 2008
Started On: September 18, 2016
Finished On: September 18, 2016

Katherine Crawford learnt earlier on what loving Drake Daniels meant. It meant being happy with the status quo, even as she fell deeper in love with him as their affair went on. Drake being the reclusive kind, is a man who likes his affairs to be short. Very short in fact. However, fact that Katherine had been willing to learn from the cues, Drake’s past affairs, and the vibes that he gives off meant that theirs is an affair that lasts longer than the usual.

Drake as a writer is given to long bouts of disappearances, and it is when Katherine turns up at his private bolt-hole which even his publisher and agent had claimed not to be privy to that the story begins. At first, it is as if Drake and Katherine are complete strangers, however, as the story proceeds, one finds out that that is the farthest thing from the truth.

Katherine comes seeking the real Drake, the one that hides behind the mask of indifference, to understand who he truly is. In the end, Katherine and Drake’s story proved to be one that had me hooked from page one. Susan Napier has always had that ability when it comes to her stories. Which is why, I always give her books the benefit of the doubt even when some of them receive low ratings on reviews. Because Napier writes books that deviate from the expected norm – they do not fit into that neat little box where everything goes as expected. She writes a story that you can sink your teeth into.

I loved both Katherine and Drake. I ached for Drake when his past came to light – a past shrouded in damaging betrayal from those that should have protected the child he had been. A childhood that had been seeped in misery with no one to depend on but himself. Though I felt that Drake and Katherine spent too much time apart for my liking in the story, I enjoyed the escape this read provided when I needed one.

Final Verdict: Delivers an emotionally riveting read.

Favorite Quotes

She thought he was angry, impatient with her nervousness. ‘Uh, no, I—’ The pins fell from her fingers, spearing silently into the grass around her feet as she realised he wasn’t angry at all…far from it! If it was possible, he appeared to be even more aroused than before, prowling towards her stiff-legged, his eyes gleaming black in the muted light, the tension in his voice purely sexual.
‘You playing the tease, Katherine?’
‘No, of course not!’ she denied breathlessly, hypnotised by the fluid play of light and shadow across the shifting planes of his hard body as he continued his hunting prowl across the grass, masculinity personified.

She dug her nails into his arms impatiently. ‘Yes, I’m sure…Drake, I want you—I want you to make love to me here, now!’
He didn’t need a third invitation. Nor was there any long-drawn-out foreplay. He tossed off the covers and swivelled them sideways on the bed, tugging her hips to the edge of the mattress, sliding backwards until his feet struck the floor. Propping himself over her on one braced arm, he opened the fastening of his jeans and pushed himself deeply inside her, uttering a thick, guttural sound of satisfaction as she lifted her hips to guide him home. With a twisting jerk of his hips he seated himself even more tightly between her spread legs, the muscles in his thighs rippling under the denim as he braced his feet against the floor, bent his hungry mouth to her breasts, and began the deep, hard, thrusting rhythm that they both urgently needed, bringing them quickly to a mutual, violent convulsion of groaning ecstasy.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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Review: Accidental Mistress by Susan Napier

Format: E-bookaccidentalmistress
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Michael Webber
Heroine: Emily Quest
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 1, 2008
Started On: January 17, 2016
Finished On: January 18, 2016

You know what happens when you read a book that has worked for you on so many levels and want a repeat experience? That is what happened to make me choose Accidental Mistress by Susan Napier, still riding the high from my previous read, The Love Conspiracy by the same. Accidental Mistress starts in an unusual setting. Emily Quest making a steal of an artifact at a party catering for the needs of the hedonistic rich, not her usual setting on any level. That is where she runs into Michael Webber, a man who lets it be known his loathing for the likes of her.

Story continues two years after, Emily having to turn to her dear old friend Peter Nash in desperate times for the helping hand he is willing to give. That is how once again she runs into the enigmatic Michael, a man who invokes a response from her of the kind she doesn’t want to acknowledge. One thing after another leads Emily to say yes to Peter’s request to take up the offer of lodging at his place for the duration, which means Michael is around – almost all the time.

What starts off as an antagonistic relationship remains so only for a little while, because it is not just Emily that is caught up in the web of desire that proves to be one impossible to turn away from. Even Michael’s cynical and distrustful nature when it comes to most of the members of the opposite sex proves to be of little help when it comes to Emily.

Susan explores two characters that aren’t of the cookie cutter variety and delivers a category romance that keeps the pages turning. Emily’s complicated past makes for one of the facets of the story that unfolds while it often at times gives Michael reason to distrust her motives. But then again, Susan Napier has the tendency to write about heroes and heroines who aren’t afraid of communicating with one another. While there is angst in her books, she still manages to keep the reader from heading straight for the wall in frustration. That is one reason why I will keep coming back for more of Susan’s books!

Though I felt that the ending was a tad abrupt, Accidental Mistress still managed to deliver a read that scored points on many levels.

Recommended.

Final Verdict: Susan Napier writes of characters with depth, which makes all her stories the winners they are!

Favorite Quotes

“Don’t pretend you don’t want this,’ he warned savagely, shifting his stance so that he could palm the fullness of one breast, his fingers spreading to accommodate the lush ripeness overflowing the lace cup and contracting to massage the swollen flesh, drawing a ragged whimper from her love-bitten lips.
‘Oh, yes…’ he taunted with raw satisfaction as his probing thumb found the betraying outline of her lace-encased nipple and scraped a circle around the rigid little knot, ‘you like what I’m doing to you, don’t you, Emily?’ he demanded, lifting his marauding mouth so that he could look down at her dazed blue eyes, the hand behind her neck controlling her feeble attempt to reclaim her disordered senses.

‘Do what? This?’ Her scalded hurt boiled to the surface and she continued to back away, boldly repeating the action, drawing her arm with taunting slowness across her throbbing mouth, her eyes glowing with electric-blue defiance. To make sure he got the message she mimed a spitting action with her tongue and almost choked as he made a sudden lunge and grabbed her shoulders, snatching her back against his chest.
‘I told you not to do that,’ he growled, sealing his mouth down over hers in another soul-stirring kiss, taking his time over the sensual punishment, not stopping until they were both panting.

She moaned and he tugged the panties down her legs, helping her thresh to get rid of them, digging into the drawer beside his bed to curse his way impatiently into a condom, and then he was rolling over on his back, dragging her with him, setting her astride him, testing the hardness she had explored against her naked heat.
‘Like this, I want to see you, I want to taste you and play with you while I’m inside you,’ he said, cupping her breasts and fondling them, bending his knees to tilt the centre of her body over his erection, groaning as she began to slide down onto his rigid shaft. ‘Yes, that’s right, just like that…now love me…’ he commanded hoarsely.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | eBookMall | HQ

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Review: Love Conspiracy by Susan Napier

Format: E-bookloveconspiracy
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Daniel Bishop
Heroine: Kathleen Kendon
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 1, 1990
Started On: January 16, 2016
Finished On: January 17, 2016

36 year old Daniel Bishop is a financial magnate heading his family business, on the verge of getting hitched to a woman of his mother’s choosing. Daniel remains a bit removed from the machinations of his formidable mother, whose most recent of problems has everything to do with her grandson Todd getting engaged to a woman who is the farthest thing from the impeccable background that she would have chosen and accepted within the folds of her family.

23 year old Kathleen Kendon is unwittingly drawn into the drama that is the Bishop family through Todd, Adelaide Bishop making it clear in too many ways to count that her “engagement” with Todd wasn’t accepted. At all. However, Kathleen is one made of sterner stuff and one who has a chip on her shoulder when it comes to confrontations of the nature. Having being brought up as a State ward in a small orphanage, owing to the death of her parents at a very young age with no relatives to speak of, Kathleen is more than able to stand her ground where the elder Bishop is concerned. But when it comes to Daniel, well, that is another story.

Daniel’s engagement to the female version of himself should have been reason enough for Kathleen to cease thinking about him. But, for the very first time in her life, Kathleen finds herself confronted with desire of the kind that she cannot turn away from, the kind that she knows deep inside, spells trouble for her heart and soul.

Daniel himself is drawn to Kathleen on a level he would rather not be, having learnt his lesson the hard way, years back. But Kathleen answers to a need inside of him that grows stronger each passing day, until all of it comes to head with a satisfying conclusion at the end.

Susan Napier is one of those authors that any fan of romance that clamors for angst and unpredictable storylines must read! The Love Conspiracy had the sort of storyline that signaled to me that all wasn’t what it seemed to be. But when all was said and done, I couldn’t have imagined that things would turn out the way it did. That was enough reason for me to fall in love with the story.

Daniel’s character was by far the most complex. There is a hidden facet to him, the tiger that lies in prowl, ready to spring into action the minute it needs to, that catches you unawares. Daniel tamps down his wild side in the ruthless manner that is required of him when he takes the reins of the family business. But that doesn’t mean that the passionate side of him has been taken completely under submission. No. And Susan Napier shows us in one delicious scene after another, how wrong we can be in our initial perception of a character.

Kathleen was a feisty heroine, who drew the hidden facet of Daniel out and made him embrace it once again. There is a fire to Kathleen’s character that makes people be drawn towards it. The reason I loved her was because she is not afraid to look deep into herself and accept it when she is at the wrong end. Given Kathleen’s young innocence, it is a given that she wouldn’t react very well to the possessiveness that grabs a hold of her when she embraces  her burgeoning feelings towards Daniel, which is not made easier by the fact that he is engaged to another woman, who is far more suited for him in the eyes of everyone else. I loved the bits where Daniel talked to her, tried to make her understand and see things from his point of view. And I loved Kathleen for trying.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: Sizzles your nerve endings with wanton longing!

Favorite Quotes

‘Ah,’ Kat nodded sagely. ‘You like your sex dressed up. I bet you insist on having the lights off, too. Or do you close your eyes in case you see anything nasty? How do you know you’re not asleep? How does she know?’ She laughed, exhilarated by the brief flash of temper that penetrated his coolness, and the novelty of saying such wicked things with impunity. He was asking to be shocked.
‘I’m very articulate. I tell her.’
‘W … what?’ Kat’s laughter died in her throat. Her eyes widened on his bland face.
‘I like to describe what I’m doing, and what it feels like, and what I want her to feel,’ he continued in the same soft, measured voice. ‘Most women find it … instructive … as well as arousing. I don’t, however, talk in my sleep.’

‘Don’t crowd me, Daniel-‘
‘The hell I will! I’ll do more than crowd. You’ve had your fun tonight, Kathleen. Now it’s my turn .. .’
There was a rough, cold, aggressive passion in the threat that prompted her to struggle until he put his mouth against hers. The contact burned so much that the recoil was instant and mutual. There was no sound but Kat’s ragged breath. Daniel wasn’t breathing at all. Oh, dear heaven, no! was her last thought before the face above her cleared of its dark, rigid shock and displayed instead a hungry curiosity that swept resistance before it. The second kiss was equally tumultuous, but this time there was no drawing back. The thrust of his tongue in her mouth allowed no polite preliminaries; it was a furious battle for ascendancy, Kat’s arms rising stiffly to lock around his neck, her fingers sliding up into the thick black hair at his nape as he wrapped her breasts and hips against his lean hardness. His hands spanning her waist, Daniel suddenly swung her around, pushing her backwards over the thick carpet until Kat walked into the side of the padded brown leather couch half-way across the room. He arched her over the high back, tipping her hips into his until she gasped into the dark, echoing cavern of his mouth.

Belatedly she began to struggle, to deny his conquest, hands tugging helplessly at his iron wrists as his hands contracted around her sweetly aching breasts. Watching the frantic passion of her struggles, Daniel felt a bolt of pure energy explode inside him, generating immense’ heat. Colour poured into his face as a groan tore loose from the cramped vault of his chest, his eyes closing as he bent his head, no longer laughing, no longer triumphant, suddenly as helpless as she against the physical onslaught, a violation of mind and will.
His mouth parted fiercely against hers, his hands on her breasts no longer subtle and skilled but rough and eager, seeking to assuage the need generated by blood boiling violently through his heart and loins. His body moved against hers as if he would merge them through the constricting cloth by sheer force of desire. A tremble began to shiver through Kat’s body until she cried out with the agony of building tension. He swallowed her cry, driving more deeply with his demanding tongue, a searingly graphic representation of the act that, in their minds, was already taking place.

She arched against him, trembling, and his groan was muffled against her skin as his hands moved druggingly over her.
‘Daniel yes .. .’ he corrected her in a rasping whisper, moving his lips against her bare shoulder where the torn strap had fallen away. He tugged at the stretchy fabric, pulling the damaged edge down over her white cotton bra. Her nipple was a dark point against the thin white cotton. He found it with his teeth as he cupped his hand around her lush fullness, his thighs tightening around her trapped leg, forcing her hips into intimate contact with his potent maleness. Kat’s fingers dug into the taut muscles ridging his waist as he roughly pulled aside her bra and began to suckle the creamy flesh beneath.

She was awash with pure sensation, the slide of silk beneath her, the brush of his sweater against her sensitised breasts and belly, the musky male scent of him seducing her willing heart and mind. .
‘That’s right, kitten … burn for me, ache for me .. .’ he whispered as he nipped her skin. ‘This is what I’ve been thinking about all day, why I couldn’t concentrate … I was thinking of you, waiting for me in my bed … But we’re not going to hurry. We have all night, and the first time should always be slow and easy . . . a glorious, long-drawn-out agony of sighs.’

Purchase Links: Amazon

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Score Sheet Review: Savage Courtship by Susan Napier

Format: E-booksavagecourtship.jpeg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Benedict Savage
Heroine: Vanessa Flynn
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 1, 1995
Started On: April 5, 2014
Finished On: April 6, 2014

CATEGORY SCORE GRADE
The hero 80 A
The heroine 80 A
Story line 60 B
Emotional Intensity 75 B
Suck me in Factor 70 B
Heat & Sensuality 70 B
Conflicts 65 B
Writing Style 80 A
Quotable Factor 50 C
Ending 70 B
Overall Grade 70 B

Score Sheet Summary

Benedict Savage is a successful architect, going on 34 when that vague sense of dissatisfaction that has been plaguing him for quite sometime makes him seek refuge in Whitefield House, a property that he had inherited from an uncle who had left it to him, a property that had come along with his deceased uncle’s female butler Vanessa Flynn.

Finding a mystery woman in Benedict’s bed is what kick-starts the story, a woman who disappears by the next morning leaving Benedict flummoxed by the whole thing until he discovers who it is that had been gracing his bed that night. Thus follows a series of twists and turns, a lot of advancing on Benedict’s part and retreating on Vanessa’s part which culminates of course in a happily ever after.

Susan Napier has some very good Harlequin romances out there, in fact she is one of those Harlequin authors who is on my auto-buy list. The aspects that worked for me includes the hero; his intensity is hard not to take notice of. Then there is the novelty of a heroine who is taller than the hero in the story; as most romance readers know, that is something that rarely happens in a romance.

The sexual tension though was a vital presence in the story, I got a bit tired of the continuous back and forth drama that was happening and in the end skim read through chunks of the story later on. Recommended for die-hard fans of Harlequin romances.

Favorite Quotes

“Say it.’ He took off his glasses and threw them away in a gesture of reckless intent that made her heart pound.
‘All right, damn it—Ben!’ she retorted wildly. ‘There, I’ve said it. Ben, Ben, Ben—’
Her provocative chant was suddenly smothered. There was no tentativeness, none of the explorative gentleness that had characterized his last kiss. This time he was all aggressive, dominating male. The kiss was hot and hard, swallowing her anger and feeding it back to her piece by defiant piece.

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

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Review: Tempt Me Not by Susan Napier

Format: E-booktemptmenot
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Lucas Grey
Heroine: Victoria Bailey
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: February, 1993
Started On: May 8, 2013
Finished On: May 10, 2013

My respect for Susan Napier and her ability to continually surprise me with how different and engaging her stories are continues to grow with each book I read from her. Tempt Me Not is a novel that did all of that and more and as a reader who adores romances that really reaches out to me and grabs my emotions at full throttle, I definitely couldn’t have asked for more.

Meet Victoria Bailey, a woman that most people have tended to overlook all throughout her life. The surprises that Victoria as a character continues to give to the developing story was one reason that Tempt Me Not was so hard to put down. Victoria is a woman who exerts a huge amount of control on her emotions, wants and needs. But that control seems to chip away when she meets Lucas Grey, the temptation that he offers being something even that she cannot ignore.

Lucas turns out to be one of those ever patient heroes that makes you fall in love with them because that’s the sort of understanding required by a hero for a heroine such as Victoria who is quite ‘skittish’ by nature. All the while it drives Lucas absolutely mad to make a little bit of progress with Victoria only to find that the next day she is back with more armour in place to protect herself from him.

Victoria finds herself at an impossible impasse when what has been holding her back all throughout the years ceases to be no more and the guilt that has always been a part of her conscious ever since Lucas invaded her life leaves giving free rein to the sensuous and wanton side of her nature that comes undeniably alive for Lucas.

Though sometimes it feels like Victoria gives Lucas a hard time just to play coy with his obvious interest in her, there is a valid and solid reason behind Victoria’s reluctance to do something that she would never be able to forgive herself for putting both herself and Lucas through.

In the end, all the twists and turns seemed to give me a gut wrenching satisfying read, my emotions going haywire with all the conflict that seemed to evoke all sorts of jumbled up emotions inside of me. Highly recommended for those who love romances that gives you something different to enjoy.

Favorite Quotes

She shifted in his arms, but only so that she could lift her own hands to his shoulders, reaching out for the forbidden fruit that she had glimpsed that afternoon with an abandoned eagerness that would have shocked her if she had been capable of conscious thought. The kiss deepened abruptly to a kind of consummation, a woman accepting the savage thrust of a man inside her body. The gentle eroticism with which Lucas had begun the assault was swiftly overtaken by a primitive need to stake his claim, to stamp her with the image of his sexuality.

Purchase Links: Amazon

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