Review: Too Beautiful to Break by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-booktoobeautifultobreak
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Romancing the Clarksons, #4
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Belmont Clarkson
Heroine: Sage Alexander
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: September 26, 2017
Started On: June 08, 2018
Finished On: June 09, 2018

We have all come across the expression that sometimes, two people in love, they can act as if they are a universe unto themselves. In the fourth and final book of the Romancing the Clarksons series, Tessa Bailey explores that concept with the favorite couple of dare I say, most readers of the series since its debut novel.

Too Beautiful to Break is the story of the eldest sibling of the four, Belmont Clarkson, who literally takes your breath away from the very first moment you lay eyes on him. It is just like Sage Alexendar, the heroine describes him in the book, “Belmont was attractive. Yes. That much was made obvious by the way women got a certain look in their eyes as he passed. He evoked a chemical reaction that started in your stomach, as if he’d tucked his coarse index finger into your belly button and twisted. His height might have made him rangy, if it weren’t for all the muscle, honed from hours working on his salvage boat. His skin had an all-weather texture, bashed with salt water and sunshine, but his inner glow kept it from dulling in the slightest. Dark hair skirmished around his face and collar, no style to speak of, but thick and inviting and gorgeous in its disarray. The first time she’d set eyes on Belmont, she’d thought of far-off places. Grassy moors and mist and trench coats. Things she’d never witnessed, but read about in books. He was the only one of his kind.“, and I don’t think I can do more justice to Belmont’s character than that.

Belmont and Sage’s connection is one that manifests through every word, phrase, and sentence that describes them together in the entire series. Too Beautiful to Break just sets this fact in stone and Tessa Bailey brings to life how two people that are entirely drawn to one another like Belmont and Sage can disappear into a world of their own making. It is like Belmont tells Sage, they are two halves of one whole and I cannot agree more.

While for onlookers and even for us readers who have been following their “relationship” closely since the series began, it feels as if Belmont is the person who needs Sage to keep him grounded. When in reality Sage too, desires and wants that visceral connection between the two and uses it as her lifeline when things get too tough.

Sage is someone who comes from a broken home, with two dysfunctional parents whose entire world only consists of the two of them. Sage had grown up being a witness to the destructive dependency cycle that is her parents. It is the same sort of dependency she identifies with Belmont, a connection which she swears that she is severing for his own good as well, because the past that she had run from had come calling and Belmont has no place in any of it.

Sage comes from a small mining town, where the town’s entire population depends on the income generated from the mines. The fact that Sage had also taken the easy way out and run from a life that continued to bring her down, a life where she had been excluded from the family experience that should rightfully exist in a household that has two parents who are as love in with each other as Sage’s parents are; run Sage had, and run as far as she could.

It comes as a shock to Belmont when their parting brings to light the fact that it was not only him that had yearned for more when it comes to Sage and him. Sage lets him know in no uncertain terms that it is not okay for Belmont to take up such a large chunk of her life and not see her as a woman. Oh boy, does that seem to set Belmont off to finally act on his impulses that had been right about driving him nuts with his burgeoning desire for Sage, and enjoy it, I so did.

Belmont is the kind of man whose quite demeanor hides a wealth of passion inside of him. Belmont has trauma from childhood, the truth behind which he hasn’t shared with anyone, even his mother. Miriam, in the opening lines of the book, talks about how Belmont had grown up right in front of her eyes, become too solemn and forgot how to be a child, because he had carried the heavy burden of the sorrow his mother had carried in her heart for his father whom Belmont has never met.

Sage is adamant that she does not follow in the same path as that of her parents, whose toxic dependency cycle on one another prevents them from actually living and making a life together. So Sage pushes back, and Belmont who has been in love with Sage since forever, doesn’t hesitate to do everything in his power to prove to Sage that when it comes to her, he would move mountains because there is a fundamental truth that will never change – he is hers and she is his.

I found the trope that Tessa explored in Belmont and Sage’s story to be really interesting. I have come across various relationships where two people are just wrong for each other, even if they claim to love each other with everything they have. However, to witness two people who actually flourish, want, and need the other’s toxicity to make their love stronger is a novel concept in the way Tessa explored it in this novel.

I understood Sage and her need to get away from HER dependence on Belmont and vice versa. But that does not mean it doesn’t hurt Belmont, which hurts Sage as well. But what Sage did was important for the longevity and sustainability of their love for each other. You can love someone till your soul aches from it, but to make it stick and work so that you have that love with you for your lifetime takes hard work, commitment, and willpower to not lose essential pieces yourself in the love you have for the other. That I believe is a vital message for anyone and everyone, and I loved how Tessa explored it all with great sensitivity without painting anyone as the “villain” for it being so.

I loved and adored Belmont. I mean, who wouldn’t? He is the kind of strong and silent hero that romance novels often bring to life and we all swoon over. But I believe Belmont is in a league of his own in the understated manner in which he exudes an aura that refuses to be denied. When Belmont is in the room, you HAVE to sit up and take notice even though he has eyes for no woman but Sage. Yes, he is that kind of hero. His vulnerability at the core, and the fact that he was a virgin who had waited to discover the wonders of sex and lovemaking with the woman he loves was somehow fitting when it came to Belmont.

Loved the ending. I believe it delivered exactly the kind of peace and harmony between the Clarkson siblings that Tessa wanted to when she first started out with the series.

Definitely recommended!

Final Verdict: In Too Beautiful to Break, Bailey delivers the kind of love that is all consuming in its ferocity, gentleness, and ability to give. There is a beauty to Belmont’s character, supplemented by Sage’s that is hard not to fall for.

Favorite Quotes

“You are a woman, Sage. You’re the only woman,” Belmont breathed in a rush as he reached Sage, hauling her off the ground with both arms and up against his body—
And then their lips touched for the first time.
Something parted in Belmont’s mind, like clouds after a storm, and so much light shined through, it would have blinded him. Would have, if his eyes had the ability to remain open against the onslaught of euphoria. Need, too. There was always the need, but with his mouth finally pressing against Sage’s, desire grew huge and demanding. Going against every rule he’d given himself, Belmont tilted his hips and let her feel it.

“I stole it out of your suitcase. I broke a commandment and everything.”
“Why?” He breathed into her hair, sinking heat like an anchor in her belly. The shirt came off, her arms dropped to her sides, and she was left in nothing but a bra from the waist up. Inches from Belmont. “Why, sweetest girl?”
A light steam had begun curling in the air like beckoning fingers. Maybe this is a dream. It felt like one of the fevered fantasies she woke from on occasion, sweat slicking her breasts and neck. “Because I like the way you smell and it hadn’t been washed.”
His exhale was gravelly. “Sage.”

His soaped-up palms coasted over her rib cage and down, raking over her hips and moving inward to her belly. When his fingertips grazed the waistband of her underwear, Sage gasped and pushed her bottom back up against his groin. Belmont gritted her name, his vision doubling before swooping back together. “I’ve never been with a woman like this, Sage.” The truth was out, mixing with the shower mist, before he could stop it. “Never touched a woman beneath her underwear. Or her breasts. Never been inside.” He couldn’t swallow, so a choked sound broke loose. “I don’t really have a way to explain how much it’s you. Out of a million women, it would always have been you. My body…the part you feel between my legs…has never ached for anyone else.”
“I—I’ve never been with anyone, either.”

She pushed up with her backside, elevating his groin, inviting him to grind forward, so he did. He did it hard. And firebursts blinked in front of his eyes, the promise of satisfaction riding low and painful in his gut. But nothing compared to the flood of need that almost sank him when she spoke again. “I’ve touched myself, Belmont.” Even in the muted candlelight coming from the bedroom, he saw the pink flush steal up her neck and cheeks. He loved that display of Sageness so much, he licked it. He licked the increasing wealth of pink, up and down, left to right, until she started to whimper. “I know what I like.”
“Show me.”

Put your head back on my shoulder,” he ground out. “I can’t see your eyes.”
Danger. She shouldn’t. Being face to face with Belmont brought too much gravity. It would suck her back in, turn her back into someone she couldn’t be. But the gathering of release put a hole in her defenses. This was the man she’d clung to for dozens of hours, quietly begging for more. For all. So she didn’t just put her head on his shoulder, she threw it, using a foot on his knee as leverage to cinch higher. “There. There,” she choked out, peering up into his shadowed face. Shadowed, save his eyes, which practically glowed like blue coal as they raced over her face. “I’m right here.”
“I missed you.” A tremor moved through his huge body. “Don’t keep me banished.”

Sage’s flesh clamped around the thick presence of Belmont’s finger and she broke. She broke right down the middle, her legs jerking, the private, untested muscles low in her stomach convulsing until she screamed. It was like waking up in the bottom of a pool and marveling at the feeling of being encapsulated in cool, fresh heaven, but still scrambling for the air that waited at the top. So much relief. Almost too much to stand. “Oh my God. Belmont. Please don’t let go of me yet.”

Taking a deep breath for the courage to stop after one, Sage grabbed Belmont by the lapels of his jacket, drew him close, and molded their lips together.
He made this sound—mmmhh—and followed it with a groan so long and deep, she got lost in the never-ending vibration of it. His salty ocean eternity scent clashed with the forest, his texture, the heat of his body, exploding her senses. She’d barely processed that her feet had left the landing before they were dangling in midair, Belmont’s forearm slung beneath her bottom, the opposite arm wrapped around her back. So tight, like he’d never expected to hold her again.

Her teeth grazed his tongue and that shock sent searing pressure climbing up his cock. With a strangled shout, he twisted a hand in the hem of Sage’s dress and held it high, at the notch of her throat, watching in awe and disbelief as white ropes tugged from his body, striping Sage’s smooth, slight curves.
“Jesus, Jesus…Sage…I’m all over your belly.” He pushed the words out through clenched teeth. “Look how gorgeous you are.”
His climax seemed to go on forever and Sage’s reaction only made it more potent, more unbelievable. Watching him go over the edge seemed to elevate her to another plane, as well. She was sobbing by the time he finished, her hazel eyes glassy and unfocused.

She watched through a fevered fog as he wiped the sheen from his mouth, side to side, then ripped the material down the middle with the use of his teeth. “We’re two halves of a whole, you and I, Sage. I know there are things we need to work on. Me, mostly. I need work. But I know your heart, sweetest girl. You wouldn’t have given yourself over to me like that if you didn’t believe. In me. In us.” He tucked one half of the handkerchief into her panties, then dragged them up her leg, gently arranging them back in place. “So no more trading places for secrets. Anything you want to know about me, you ask and I’ll tell you. I’ll tear myself down the middle and let you see it all.”

Sage dug her fingernails into the meat of Belmont’s shoulders, loving his satisfied grunt. “You’re so hot,” she murmured against his mouth. “You’re so huge and hot and you don’t even realize it. Some mornings, when you follow me to get coffee and you’ve got the car keys in your hand…you look like the master of the world. And I’ve wanted you to…”
“What?” he prompted hoarsely. “Tell me.”
She pressed herself down, taking another two inches of his erection, stopping just at the point of pain, his strangled groan splitting the air. “I’ve wanted you…to want to…fuck me.”

“Just a little?” she whispered, barely aware of what she was going to ask, until the question was out. “Just a little. I want to remember you taking it.” My virginity. “I want to remember exactly how it felt when—”
“When I push all the way in, Sage?” His hand turned to a fist on her backside, the opposite one making the pew groan within its grip. “I’m only halfway in right now and you’re already trying to close your thighs on me.” His gaze danced over every bit of her face. “Do you really know what you’re asking for?”
“Yes.” Her fingertips skated up his chest and neck, tangling in his hair. “Belmont, please.”

“Oh. Oh, there. Right there.” Her back arched all on its own. “The way you’re sliding on me.”
His sudden focus zapped like an electrical surge, his scrutiny fell over her like a blanket. “I’m not moving. I’ll stay right here.”
“Please.”
“You don’t have to say please to me, sweetest girl.” Belmont’s hair was draping down on either side of his face again, so she could only see the way he bore down on that bottom lip with white teeth, only catch the occasional glimpses of hot blue eyes, but her hands were too busy clinging to his thrusting bottom to tuck the strands behind his ears. “You have no idea, Sage. No idea what it’s doing to me…knowing I can make you feel good this way. Look at you. Do you want me to fuck you harder now?”
“Y-yes. Keep going.”

“Belmont.” Her beautiful eyes held him captive, her thighs gliding up and down his hips in a seductive tempo. “Give me sons. Give me daughters. That’s how it was always supposed to be. From the very first minute.”
Belmont could barely stand the beauty those words unleashed inside him. It was an exhilarating rush through an endless field, Sage at his side. And there wasn’t a single barrier in their way. “I love you so much,” he managed, his hips beginning to flex…and then pump. “Marry me, have our children, never want for anything. Say yes to me, Sage.”
“Yes, yes, yes.”

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

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Review: Too Hard to Forget by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-booktoohardtoforget.jpg
Read with: Kindle Paperwhite
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Romancing the Clarksons, #3
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Elliot Brooks
Heroine: Peggy Clarkson
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: April 25, 2017
Started On: June 03, 2018
Finished On: June 08, 2018

Too Hard to Forget, the third book in the Romancing the Clarksons series by the impressively talented Tessa Bailey was a delightful read in so many ways. Too Hard to Forget tells the story of the youngest Clarkson Peggy, and how she makes use of the opportunity of the road trip the Clarkson siblings take to make a pit stop which she believes in all probability would allow her finally move on and forget the one man who has ruined her for all others.

Peggy, like her mother Miriam writes at the beginning of the novel, is a character with a million facets to her that you can never truly understand even if you spend a lifetime trying to. Its not that she is difficult as a person, no, the farthest thing from that. Peggy is made of a breed that allows you to see the wonderful bits to her as you watch, wait, and learn from her life.

Peggy might seem like the air-headed and most naive of the bunch, but Peggy’s heart is one that is pure gold. When you think you have finally figured her out, she manages to surprise you yet again.

Peggy turns up at her old university to face her demons head on, believing that she would be able to exorcise the man known as Elliot Brooks from her heart, body, and soul once and for all, and leave him wanting more while at it.

Elliot Brooks, head coach of the Bearcats, and known as the Ki,ngmaker is a man who is devoutly Catholic, continually paying penance for the part of his life that fills him with regret and loathing. Elliot is a man who was raised in a Catholic household as an only child, and has no particularly happy family memories to show him that life could be more than repenting for sins perceived and otherwise.

Elliot’s focus has always been on winning and baseball, and his life had held no room for a wife with whom he had had no particular affection, except for the child that had been born of their perfectly serviceable marriage. It is the death of Elliot’s wife that hits him the hardest, the guilt for all that he had not done, all that he had failed to do, and above all, his fiery attraction to a woman most unsuited for him, that makes him break all the rules.

Even as Elliot gives in, he keeps pieces and chunks of himself from Peggy, until at long last, he drives her out of his life, seemingly forever. Three years later, Peggy is back, more beautiful than ever, and to Elliot, she still represents everything that is sinful, every reason why the Church itself exists as an establishment for sinners to pay their penance and to remind themselves of what is more important in life. It is however a fight that Elliot loses every single time Peggy is within arms distance, a fight he loses to his innermost self which wars against his desire to completely possess Peggy one minute and walk away the next. All because he does not believe that he deserves the kind of light that Peggy has always shed in his life.

Too Hard to Forget is a novel that amazed me at every turn and made me sigh and swoon in equal doses. There is not a single aspect of the story that I would change, and it was undoubtedly precious from start to finish. Peggy’s character wasn’t one that I had warmed up to in the previous books all that much until her own story began in this installment. And once it did, I couldn’t get enough of her. That in its entirety is a rarity because it is usually the hero or the hero and heroine together that I can’t get enough of in most novels. But in this instance, once I fell in love with Peggy’s character, I did so for life, just like Elliot did and was fool enough not to recognize and accept it for what it was.

Peggy’s heart like I mentioned, is one that doesn’t allow her to usually see the bad in people. Perhaps that is where most would call her naive. But then again, the world needs more human beings like Peggy, who would be willing to go out on a limb for those that majority would usually not bother with. Perhaps that is in a way one reason why Peggy follows Elliot into the locker room and the rest, as they say is history.

While Peggy does believe she would find a way to move on from Elliot, it doesn’t really work out the way she had planned or thought it would. In the end, Peggy faces some hard truths about her own self and her need for Elliot’s brand of “love”, making her realize that she is worthy of more than the destructive kind of passion and love that exists between them. But of course, Elliot is not ready to give up without a fight, the fight for the love of his life, a woman he has wronged in so many ways as he has wronged himself by denying the happiness that could have rightfully being his, if only he had had the courage to move past his fears and preconceived notions of what life should be about.

Tessa Bailey’s mark is stamped all over the book, in spades. Dirty talk good enough to drench all your panties, sex scenes hot enough to singe and make you want and want more, and a hero who has control stamped all over his DNA, and loses it so spectacularly for the woman who owns his heart.

I would recommend this for everyone and anyone who loves an obstinate hero and a heroine who you would root for with every fiber of your existence. Yes, it is that kind of book.

Definitely recommended!

Final Verdict: Emotionally nuanced to perfection, Too Hard to Forget is wonderfully smutty, edgy, and made ALL of me clamor for more. This just might be in the run for my favorite Tessa Bailey yet; and that is saying a lot!

Favorite Quotes

“Shut your mouth.” His forehead ground against hers. “Shut your beautiful, ripe, little mouth.”
Desire thickening in her blood like oil, Peggy removed one of the hands he’d fisted on the locker, lowering it to the space between her legs. His nostrils flared, hot exhales bathing her face, eyelids slamming to a close. But she didn’t let his massive presence intimidate her. One by one, she smoothed open his curled fingers, then cupped Elliott’s hand at the juncture of her thighs, encouraging him with a roll of her hips to mold the flesh beneath the built-in panties of her cheerleading skirt.
“It’s okay to need this.”
“No.” His denial was a near-roar. “It’s not.”

With a jagged breath, Elliott grabbed up Peggy’s other leg, drawing it high around his waist as she guided his arousal toward her core. He entered her with a biting slam against the locker door, releasing the vilest of epithets into her ear. “Jesus Christ. This is what sin feels like,” he rasped. “Wrong and right, at the same time. Life and death. Blond, long-legged, and tight.”

The head of his rigid cock pressed against his belt buckle, straining painfully inside his pants. “That’s not how it works,” he rasped. “Prayer isn’t an excuse to sin.”
Peggy’s knee moved up and down the side of his thigh, and just knowing her legs were apart, her pussy out in the open, blasted another hole in his resolve. “No one will know. Touch them. Be as rough as you want,” she breathed. “I remember what you like. How you like to get mad at my body. Frustrated at it for making you want something natural.”
“Nothing natural about what we did.” His touch moved down, stopping a mere inch from her breast, fingers flexing. “You made me behave like a beast. Some of the ways I took you…some of the places…”
She groaned and it broke him. Knowing the memories had caused such a harsh sound of longing brought his clutching hand to her breast, where it kneaded the taut mound once before racing under her shirt. Lust railroaded him, and he was out of his mind with need to feel her bare skin. “Yes, Elliott. More.”

With a possessive snarl, Elliott pressed her to the wall with the use of his mouth, increasing the power of his suck until she cried out, twisting his hair with frantic fingers. She tugged him away with a cracked sob and then her lips were so close. So damn close. The most tempting of fruit. And he descended on their parted perfection like the Apocalypse was upon them.
“How do you do this to me?” he groaned against her mouth. “I can’t even get my dick hard unless I think of you. I bet you love knowing that.” The ensuing kiss was brutal, his tongue driving deep and claiming. “Bet you love knowing that sliver of stomach you showed me today in the car made it necessary to jerk off in my office with the door locked.”

She held her breath and waited once inside. Only a couple seconds passed until he blew through her doorway—sexual and intimidating—kicking the door shut, lifting her off the ground to attack her mouth. Peggy moaned into the kiss, her thoughts going fuzzy when Elliott’s tongue slipped past her lips, his free hand stroking down the side of her face, smoothing her hair in an affectionate gesture that made the last three lonely days worth every second. God. God. His huge presence combined with the passion of the kiss to rock the atmosphere. Thunder boomed outside, but she swore it was happening in her chest, between her legs. The smell of him and rain and…chocolate…was amazing.
“Shit,” Elliott rasped, pulling back. Rubbing a thumb against her lower lip, he dropped a kiss on her forehead, then reached into his jacket to remove a small, crushed bakery box. “This didn’t go according to plan,” he grumbled. “Nothing with you does.”
“What’s in there?”
“A cupcake. For your birthday.” He cleared his throat. “Happy birthday.”

Holy shit. Peggy shoved at Elliott’s shoulders, putting his back up against the bench, his expression rife with lust and anticipation as she applied the latex, sucking in a breath when she felt him pulsing against her fingertips. Using the bench’s wooden back for balance in her left hand, she moved higher on his lap, guiding his erection home with her right. “Oh God, oh God,” both of them groaned in a seemingly endless loop, as she sank down—
With only half his erection inside her, Peggy started to shake, the orgasm she’d spent so long chasing, busting through the dam of her middle and drowning her, dragging her under the churning relief. She felt Elliott’s hands in her hair, his powerful grip steadying her, mouth blocking her scream with a kiss. The kind of kiss you gave someone you might die without. Fast, slow, heads turning, bodies twisting. A full body kiss. “More. Elliott. More.

Peggy contracted her most intimate muscles around Elliott’s girth, listened as rusted epithets married in his throat, felt his fingers dig into the flesh of her backside. “These inches of yours,” she breathed up against his ear, licking the lobe, catching it between her teeth. “They’re the only ones that know the right spot to hit…the only ones that can make me scream. Or feel a damn thing. Please.”
Her back landed on the bench, the wood’s coldness reaching through the back of her jacket to wrap around her spine. But the rest of her…oh God, the rest was so fucking hot, she knew the word fever would forever hold new meaning. Elliott descended on her with the power of a pack of wolves, caged inside one man.
“Get your knees up. Get them up,” he snarled. Without waiting for her to comply with his command, he reached back and pulled her knees even with her hips, just out to the side. And that first drive with Elliott’s full weight on top of her was so glorious, it might have topped the orgasms he’d already given her. The positivity that she was being dominated, that she was prey and couldn’t escape his pinning heaviness, the thick evidence that he was man…it caused starburst to erupt behind her eyes, in her belly, all along her nerve endings.

As if sensing her resolve, Elliott set out to crush it, his mouth stamping down on her possessively, his tongue sweeping into her mouth and letting her taste his frustration. “Touch me,” he urged against her lips. “Skin on skin.”
She shook her head, trying to distract him with more kissing, but he pulled away, those eyes drilling into her, his lower body grinding in rhythmic devastation, sending her so close to the point of no return, she lost her ability to think straight.
“Damn you, Peggy,” Elliott growled, pressing his face into her shoulder. “I need your hands and eyes. I missed them most of all.” Their hearts slammed into each other between them, in perfect time with his rolling hips. But only hers was fracturing, splitting right down the middle, little pieces falling away as he continued. “No one ever touched me like you did. I’ve needed it, baby. I’ve been dead without it. Dead inside. Please.”

You’re making my chest hurt.”
She dropped the fork onto the plate with a clatter. “What?”
Elliott’s gaze cut away, clearly having surprised himself. “The way you’re sitting there…the sun making your skin glow.” He sat up straighter in an abrupt movement that dipped that mattress. “Looking at you makes me want to forget everything else and never stop. Every time I’m with you, I come closer to giving in. Setting aside my responsibilities so I can spend more time looking and listening to each and every damn word out of your mouth. Every time.”
Heart running circles around her rib cage, Peggy set the plate of food aside and threw herself at Elliott, laying across him horizontally, her lower half still twisted in the sheet. “You don’t have to set anything aside, you can just shift them a little.” She smiled into his chest hair. “I’m short. I’ll fit.”

Peggy turned, giving the coach her back, watching him over her shoulder, raising both arms in the air and clapping her hands together. Once. “We are the Bearcats and we want to win.” With a hip roll, she turned, sliding into the V of his thighs, smiling as he sucked in a winded breath. “We did it once before and we can do it again,” she continued, holding his knees for balance as she dipped down low and rose slowly, slowly, bumping her hips sharply to one side, and then the other, until Elliott finally gave in, reaching into his sweatpants, his hand moving in vigorous strokes. “Please don’t make us mad. ’Cause we’ll get nasty and mean,” she whispered against his mouth, before licking at the parted seam. “And we just might decide to roll over your team.”

Her back landed on the kitchen table a split second later, Elliott grunting above her as he shoved down his sweatpants, ripped off her underwear, and rammed home with a shout. “Christ. Christ, what you do to me. It’s the devil’s work.” He mounted her body, dropping his face into the crook of her neck. “When a man loses control of one part of his life, all others follow. All others.”
“And I’m the catalyst?” Peggy whispered, her voice shaking. “Guess you better punish me for it.”
When his hips gave that first rude pump, she felt it up in her throat, choking her and setting her free, all at once.

Elliott wasn’t having it. He slipped his left hand up and down her thigh, moving a little higher with each stroke. “Did you have to change your panties when you came upstairs, baby?” He tucked his thumb just beneath the material of her underwear, dragging it in an arc, stopping just a few inches from her pussy. “When you put on the new ones, I bet you gave your clit a little rub. Just once around with your middle finger. Maybe twice. But you stopped because you felt bad about fingering yourself in someone else’s house, sun out and everything. Did I get that right?”
“Yes,” she breathed, tilting her head to the side, giving Elliott an opening to scrape his teeth up the side of her neck. “How did you know that?”
“I know, because even though you were damp and horny in someone else’s kitchen, you’re a good girl deep down.” He sensed her withdraw at that, just a touch. But he wasn’t finished. “And I know because when your pussy gets wet, that real, aching, slick type of wet, you want to hold out for my cock. Don’t you?

“Yes,” she wailed as Elliott did just that. Tended to her like they had only one minute until the Apocalypse. His stiff tongue raked over her clit, lapping at it, while his middle finger slipped through moisture into her entrance. “Yes
“You don’t need to tell me yes when you’re this wet,” he groaned, stabbing his tongue as far inside her as it could go and drawing it out slowly, until his stubble met her sensitized flesh and scraped, before repeating the move several quick, mind-spinning times, all while his thumb strummed over her clit. “Keyed up in my passenger seat, wiggling around like I was already tongue deep in this soaked pussy of yours. Were you remembering how much I love licking it?”
Elliott pushed two fingers inside Peggy and her hips jerked off the bureau, her bare ass slapping back down into the surface as she cried out, “Oh God. Yes, I remember.”

“My favorite part was afterward. After you’d come enough to be fucking delirious…” A prolonged suck of her swollen nub that had her legs shaking, one knee bashing off the wall. “Then I’d slide you toward me or flip you over, whatever you were begging for, and your cunt would be so shiny for me. Ready for a pounding from my cock. Gorgeous.”
“Ohhh.” Her fingers plowed into his hair and gripped tight. “Do that again. Don’t stop. I need to. I need to—” Her pleas ended with a scream when Elliott pushed his fingers deep, jiggling them rapidly, while his mouth applied the sweetest amount of suction to her clit and sensation exploded below her waist. “Elliott. Jesus Christ.”

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

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ARC Review: Too Wild to Tame by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-booktoowildtotame
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Romancing the Clarksons, #2
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Aaron Clarkson
Heroine: Grace Pendleton
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: September 06, 2016
Started On: August 31, 2016
Finished On: September 09, 2016

The second installment of Romancing the Clarksons by Tessa Bailey brings us the story of Aaron Clarkson, the driven and ambitious in the family, the one who wants to make a name for himself within the elite political circles. Aaron has to work doubly hard because of the bungling up he had done in the recent past, and this time around nothing was going to stand in his way. Not even the unexpectedly fierce desire he feels for Grace Pendleton, more complication than he currently has the time for.

Grace is a woman who has lived under the shadow of her father’s political career basically her entire life. Hiding in the shadows is what is required of her, and she does a good job of it, that is until Aaron draws her out of the shadows and makes her come alive for the first time in a long while. The scars she carries in her soul runs deep, however, that does not stop her from seeing Aaron for who he can be.

Aaron is a deeply conflicted character as well. There is of course the family dynamics and his complex relationship with his brother Belmont (whose story I am waiting ever so impatiently to read, which I believe is the case for most readers of this series), and there is the ambition that has brought Aaron to this point, something that he simply cannot turn away from. But Grace tests his resolve more than anyone he has ever met, and it was wonderful seeing both of them come together so explosively and tenderly when all was said and done.

I did not really expect to enjoy Aaron’s story as much as I did. In fact, I was pouting with the knowledge that most likely, fans of the series would have to wait for Belmont’s story for a long while. Aaron was in my opinion a paltry substitute for what I wanted. But I was so very wrong as Aaron proved to be a mighty fine hero on his own, giving me something to think about a time or two and of course I loved the way everything turned out in the end. Grace’s backstory was one that was painful to read, something that made me wonder how if ever, would you heal from something of that sort.

Recommended for fans of the series and those who love steamy contemporary romances. I loved the sex scenes in Too Wild to Tame. So wonderfully well done.

Final Verdict: Wonderful storytelling from start to finish. Loved Grace and Aaron!

Favorite Quotes

With a thready apology, Grace shot forward and up, locking her mouth with Aaron’s, memorizing the way his stiffness melted in one big deluge. The way he gave a rough exhale through his nose. That gruff sound that drummed from his throat, a split second before his lips opened, tongue teasing in to taste hers. Just some. The most perfect, slick greeting. The two of them hung there, mouths open, lips wet and fitted together, breath racing, kitchen clamoring behind them.

“I wanted to hold your hand in the woods, too. But this is better. Better. I’m going to…”
“Christ. Do it. Go on, Grace. Fill up my palm with the best you’ve got.” Aaron ducked his head to suck a trail up the side of Grace’s neck, unable to resist a bite beneath her earlobe. Another one. “Girls who get so wet from kissing shouldn’t leave the house without underwear, should they? No. And they definitely shouldn’t leave the house with someone like me. I don’t hold hands. I shouldn’t be allowed within ten feet of you.” He spoke the words angrily into her neck. “This is what I do. I return you home with a dirty secret.”

Aaron’s tether broke. Recapturing Grace’s mouth with an obscene amount of tongue, he backed them toward the bed, satisfaction rippling in his middle when she went down beneath him, her legs falling open in welcome. He draped his body over Grace’s slighter one, eager grunts leaving his mouth as he positioned himself over her pussy and bore down with his erection. Their groans were pain-filled, reaching every corner of the cabin, breaking off when Aaron got back to kissing that addictive mouth, yanking the oversized sweater up, up to her belly, so he could rock against her sex with only his pants and her tights as obstructions.
“Aaron.”
“You were warned,” he reminded her with a strangled shout, delivered into the space above her head. “Three times, Grace. That’s three times more than I’d give anyone else.”

Aaron reached up, fisting the back of Grace’s hair and guiding her down to his mouth, the ensuing kiss voracious, her grinding glides up and down his cock turning into something else. The head of his cock squeezed, followed by his full, aching length…and then he rammed into the back of her pussy. “No…” Aaron growled through the inescapable euphoria of being joined with Grace, nothing between them, but somehow responsibility found a way to grip him around the neck, his words forceful but slurred. “Need a condom. Can’t have y’like this.”
Didn’t matter that he was clean. This…Jesus, this was one privilege no amount of atoning for his past, present, and future could earn. No matter how fucking terrible it would feel to pull out of warm, safe…home. The home he could never live in, but would dream about for the rest of his pathetic life.

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

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ARC Review: Too Hot to Handle by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-booktoohottohandle
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Romancing the Clarksons, #1
Publisher: Forever
Hero: Jasper Ellis
Heroine: Rita Clarkson
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 17, 2016
Started On: May 06, 2016
Finished On: May 08, 2016

28 year old Rita Clarkson manages to get her siblings Aaron, Belmont and Peggy to agree to go on a road trip on the quest to fulfill the dying wish of their recently deceased mother Miriam, who had been a well renowned chef, a legacy that Rita had managed to burn down to the ground.

Though the siblings had never been close, everyone agrees to go along and that is how they end up with their car broken down in the town of Hurley in New Mexico. To their rescue rides the most handsome man that Rita might have ever laid her eyes on, 33 year old Jasper Ellis, who from the very beginning makes her heart go pitter-patter.

Labeled as the town tramp, Jasper has good reason to not want to go physical the minute he lays eyes on Rita. While Jasper has no qualms about letting Rita know that he is attracted to her and wants to know her in every possible way there is, Rita is the type of woman who does not believe in happily ever afters and does not think much of the concept of dating.

However, Rita is forced to revise her initial assumptions and beliefs when it comes to dating and Jasper, as she finds out what lies beneath the gorgeous surface; a heart and soul seeking redemption and acceptance as he is, not just as the town’s good time guy but as someone worth much more.

The romance between Jasper and Rita takes place amidst the developing stories of the siblings. Belmont who has the whole silent, stoic thing going for him while Aaron is the one with the political ambitions and Peggy the youngest who at first comes off as the airheaded variety of character but as you read along you realize that she is one of the most astute characters in the story.

Rita has her own past from which she is trying to flee, but the walls seem to close in on her the more she tries to do so. In Jasper she finds a man who is willing to help her through it all, even when she does not realize that she needs the help that Jasper is willing to offer.

Jasper’s reluctance to take things up a notch in the physical aspect when it comes to Rita is something he does consciously, exerting effort to do so. Not because he wants to play hard to get or because he is not attracted to Rita. It is in fact because of his vivid attraction to Rita on all levels that he wants the opportunity to take it slow, for it to be different, and I for one liked it.

I loved the emotional wallop this book carried with it. Unlike most of Tessa’s recent novels I’ve read, this one is not just about dirty talking heroes pinning their heroines on every flat surface they can find. Of course there is that too! But there is so much more than just hot sex in this story. In one sense, I’m glad that Jasper kept backing off from the heat because if otherwise the story would’ve lacked the substance it managed to deliver. 

The cast of characters that Tessa has crafted for this series is one I can’t get enough of. Belmont of course has already become my favorite while Penny’s story is one that I’m hankering to read, even now. While Belmont already comes off as the deep one, the connection that he shares with Sage is one that would intrigue any reader. Penny has become as fascinating in one way because beneath the surfaces of all that gaiety lies a heart that bleeds, and I for one am dying to know why. 

I liked how Tessa was patient enough to let Jasper and especially Rita work their way towards one another. Both deeply flawed in ways that makes each of them unable to trust their own selves to do right by their lives. Jasper with good reason of course, but failing to see how far along he has come until Rita manages to show it to him. For Rita, the hurt had been more raw and recent, which had needed someone patient and with foresight like Jasper to heal her gaping wounds. 

A road trip to fulfill a mother’s dying wish that turned the world into the Clarksons’ oyster. This series has so much potential that I for one cannot wait for more!

Final Verdict: Beautifully plotted, all the way. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

He’d be a rougher ride than a bull.
He might as well have whispered that promise out loud because it surrounded him like an aura. Men like Jasper were supposed to be reserved for naughty Internet memes, but here he was. Her own private, moving GIF, only he didn’t loop back to the beginning after three seconds. No, he just kept coming, like he might never stop kissing her once he started. Like he might do a shit ton more than just kiss with that mouth.

“Jasper, I shouldn’t have—”
“That is why you came, isn’t it?” Talking dirty to a woman was just like riding a bike. Jasper rubbed a hand over his stubbled jaw and gave Rita a deliberate, head-to-toe once-over, watching her thighs flex under his notice. His cock gloried in the sight, hardening in his briefs. Right, beautiful. I’ll fit myself between them with enough force to show you who’s taking the lead. “You’re an up-against-the-wall kind of girl, aren’t you?”
“All girls are up-against-the-wall girls,” she whispered

It took her fingers stroking down his forearm to cover the hand cradling her pussy for him to regain awareness of the intimate touch. Oh, and he remembered with a goddamn vengeance. She put pressure on his hand, moaning into his mouth with the universal language for More, keep going. With their tongues tangling together, lips slanting for frantic tastes, he had no choice. He yanked down her panties and slid his middle finger between her wet folds—so wet he tore his mouth away so he could curse.
“God. I would mouth-fuck this little sweetheart for days.”

“Do it,” she moaned, propping her bent legs higher on his hips, using them as leverage to lift off the swing. “I need you. Hard like before.”
“Hard like before, yes. But this time you’ll look me in the eye while I’m ringing your bell. You understand me?” Jasper pressed her back down into the swing, bearing down with his lower body, grinding her into the wood until she whimpered. “And at some point tonight, I’m going to make love to you. The kind of sex that takes an hour of slow rocking and pumping. The kind where we wrap our fingers together, then twine them around the headboard. And I whisper things in your ear I can’t say in the light. Promise me.”

“God, Rita. I can feel that little lace edge of your thong rubbing up and down my cock.” He gave her a full minute of nonstop bucking, stopping only when her pussy locked up, a telltale sign she was near the edge. She wailed and dug her nails into his shoulders when he paused, but she settled when he started a slow bump and grind. “Yeah, beautiful. Fucking is that much sweeter when you’ve driven a man to the point where he wants to jack off in his own kitchen, isn’t it?” He dropped his forehead onto her shoulder and groaned. “I’m not finishing you down here. You’re going to leave your scent in my bed, you understand me?”
“Yes,” she moaned, curling around Jasper as he advanced toward the stairs, still impaled on his dick.

“Jasper,” she whispered, sounding out of breath. “I don’t—”
“Please, just don’t act surprised. I won’t be able to stand it.” His mouth fell to hers, kissing, kissing, like a man mouthing a furious prayer. “You can’t be surprised when the last few days have given me life. Act upset or happy or storm out. But I can’t handle surprised, like maybe you didn’t even consider me for a second.”
“I’ve considered you,” she sobbed. “Of course I have. Just stop talking like that for a second, stop stealing my breath when I’m trying to catch it.”
“No.” He pressed their foreheads together. “I don’t want you to catch it. I want it to stay lost and I want to be the man who steals it. All day, every day. Forever. Stay with me right here.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBookMall | iTunes

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Review: Make Me by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-bookMakeMe
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: New Adult Romance
Series: Broke and Beautiful, #3
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Hero: Russell Hart
Heroine: Abby Sullivan
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: August 11, 2015
Started On: October 18, 2015
Finished On: October 21, 2015

Anyone who loves Tessa Bailey’s books knows what one can do for you. How it can mess you up in ways you never thought possible. Which is why I started reading the Broke and Beautiful series even though I am not much of a fan of the New Adult genre; though if Tessa writes them, I am definitely reading them. Though I missed out on the first book in the series (perhaps I will get around to reading it one of these days – a girl can always hope), I became an avid fan of the series from the moment Ben (the hero from the second book in the series), walked into MY life. Yes, my life. Note the possessive edge!

One cannot read either of the books in the Broke and Beautiful series without being invested in all of the characters. Thus, my heart was clamoring for the story of Russell, oh the big bad Russell, from the moment I laid my eyes on him. The man is a walking talking temptation unto womenkind if ever there was one. Well, of course after MY Ben of course! Abby and Russell’s friendship is one reason why Russell keeps his hands off of his precious Abby. Another being his past – a past that has screwed him up enough to believe that he would never measure up to someone like Abby.

Abby’s past wasn’t a walk in the park on a breezy Sunday morning either. A genius at numbers, something she inherited from her father, Abby’s life defines the word loneliness, until she finds a friendship of the kind she never thought possible with Honey and Roxy, and of course the three gorgeous men that relationship had brought into her life, one of them being Russell, the friend that she can always count on. Abby’s perspective of Russell as the friend she never had takes a dive when a set of events makes her take notice of the man he is – the man who sets her senses reeling, panties wet, and sets an ache tumbling through her that cannot be denied.

Russell is a man who can take torture, and I mean torture of the kind a lesser man would crumble from. But his heart doesn’t allow him to take that step, until of course there is no way that he CANNOT give into the passion between him and Abby. And then comes the heartache. Sigh! While I wanted to give Russell a bit of a good shaking until the chips in his head aligned just right so that he could see what preciousness that he was throwing away by playing noble, I wasn’t too happy with Abby for not realizing that for a man like Russell, the friend who would lay down his life for her – there must have been something that would cause him to behave as such.

But worry not ladies. If anything, Tessa Bailey knows how to write a mean ending and of course makes you pant your way to the finish line! And I mean literally pant your way through it because with all that heat? You won’t have a choice!

Recommended for fans of the series and fans of Tessa Bailey. Though not my favorite, Make Me still delivered a good read!

Final Verdict: Hot dayum!!

Favorite Quotes

Abby didn’t realize she’d closed her eyes until Russell’s heavy tread forced them open, and she saw him standing in her doorway.
Shirtless. Damp. Jeans sitting low on his hips.
A red-hot fist formed beneath her belly button. For Russell? She tried to shoot into a sitting position so fast, the back of her head bashed against the headboard, which really didn’t help her confusion. Not a bit. She wasn’t supposed to notice Russell in that way, right? But when a water droplet rolled down the center of his abdomen and vanished into the waistband of his jeans, she noticed. And she noticed good.

When the orgasm crested over her, Abby’s heels dug into the mattress to push herself back into the welcoming strength of his body, bearing down on his pleasure-giving hand at the same time. And God, even with the wicked climax turning her inside out, she wanted to feel his erection against her backside. Wanted to tempt him to do something about relieving the hunger she sensed in him. Already, his movements were growing uneven, staggered, his breathing ragged at the back of her neck.
“Yes,” he grated. “That’s how I make you come. Hard as fuck when you’re in my bed. That’s the way I do it.”

Long seconds of Abby’s studying his face had passed, as if she could discern what was taking place in his head when even he didn’t have a fucking clue. Those eyes were obscured a moment by her eyelashes, and Russell could feel that gaze move over his erect cock where it tented his jeans, then shoot back up. Hexpected surprise, maybe more confusion. Instead, he got relief and excitement. No. Not that. He couldn’t handle that.
Her sweet, ripe tits rose and fell on a shudder. “I’m sorry I used the situation to my advantage, Russell. It was wrong of m—”
He kissed Abby. Abby. He . . . kissed Abby.

“Abby, attraction is a weak-ass term for what’s going on here. It doesn’t begin to describe what I’d like to do to you.”
“Wh-which is?”
He placed his mouth against her ear, the truth coming out on a rush of breath. “I’d like to bang your little virgin brains out.”

“Come on, I’ll walk you to the train.”
Sti cazza. In another, more appropriate term, screw this. With a silent prayer for courage, Abby found the hem of her sundress and peeled the garment over her head, letting it fall to the floor. “I’m not ready to leave yet.”
[…]
Doubts fell from her consciousness like a cup of overturned paper clips when Russell stalked forward, prowling across the room and shifting the air around her. This impulsive disrobing had started as an act of rebellion, but now a furnace blast hit her head to toe. The raindrops pelted the window in time with her jumping pulse. The fierceness in his eyes told her to expect being pinned against the wall again, but it never happened. Instead, he fell to his knees in front of her, gripped her bottom . . .
And buried his face between her thighs.

Abby buried her fingernails into his ass, her thighs beginning to tremble around him. “I’m going to . . . oh my God, don’t stop. I’m . . .”
Russell dropped his head forward and closed his eyes, putting all his focus into staying right where the fuck he was, not deviating from what was pushing her toward a climax. Just a little longer. Just a little—
“Russell.”
Holy shit. His eyes flew open in time to witness Abby’s tits shaking between them, her teeth buried into her bottom lip as she arched on the chair. Her heels had a firm hold at the small of his back as she rode it out, her pussy squeezing him in tiny spasms that he would crave like air for the rest of his time on earth.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | eBookMall | iTunes

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Review: Baiting the Maid of Honor by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-bookbaitingthemaidofhonor.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Wedding Dare, #2
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Hero: Reed Lawson
Heroine: Julie Piper
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: June 9, 2014
Started On: September 28, 2015
Finished On: October 01, 2015

Baiting the Maid of Honor is book 2 in the Wedding Dare series. Written by Tessa Baily, my go to author for smut of the kind that delivers, and by delivers I mean truly she does; Baiting the Maid of Honor is a novel that had the classic Tessa Bailey in it. From a larger than life hero to a heroine you can root for, not to mention the out-of-this-world variety of scorching sex scenes, Baiting the Maid of Honor is a novel that delivers on many fronts.

Julie Piper is the type of person who defines people pleasing behavior, not in a bad way mind you. Julie is the kind that is enthusiastic over wedding planning, making people feel better, perhaps because there is a loneliness inside of her that people, those that are even closest to her don’t realize. When Julie encounters the big, bad and brazen Reed Lawson, the antithesis of everything that she looks for in a man, it is not just her hackles that are raised but her desire levels to be taken, possessed and taken yet again.

A SWAT commander by profession, Reed knows what its like to be looked down on as  bug that crawled from under a rock. It had never bothered him prior to this, thick skinned from growing up on the wrong side of the town. But when Julie looks at him that way, something inside of him wants to roar, the beast inside of him wanting to claim her as his and only his. The thought itself frightens him, the concept of being vulnerable to anyone, but even that doesn’t stop him from seeking Julie out, and the more he does, the more he falls for everything about her, not to mention the mind blowing variety of sex that they both have which keeps him coming back for more.

Four stories happen simultaneously in the Wedding Dare series. Julie’s story is one that is entwined with the other stories as well. I would love to pick up the novel written by Samanthe Beck, Best Man with Benefits. Perhaps one of these days I will. While Baiting the Maid of Honor worked for me on so many levels, I did wish that the backstories of the characters were a bit lengthier. I would have loved to see Julie deal with her family issues – those sounded deep and like ones that would tend to leave emotional scars of the kind that cannot be just shrugged off. However, maybe, the length of the novel didn’t actually give the time to indulge in those issues which definitely was a lacking factor for me.

The rest of the aspects of the story worked, and boy did they work well. A SWAT commander with tattoos over his over the top delicious bod was enough to make this reader go crazy! Reed’s take charge attitude was a definite turn on, not to mention the dirty talking he does, and oh so well. Julie, being the direct opposite to his roughness, feels like the tall and cool glass of water that soothes your parched throat on an especially humid day. She is that to Reed in more ways than one and I loved her for all of it. If there was anything that I would wish to change about the sex scenes, its the way Reed tends to call Julie “baby”. I think almost all of Tessa Bailey’s heroes have a tendency of doing that, and perhaps its just me, but it is kind of off putting.

Recommended for everyone who loves the good variety of smut with the emotional wallop!

Final Verdict: Hot enough to singe your sheets off. Tessa Bailey delivers dirty of one of a kind!

Favorite Quotes

“Help with what?” The sound of wind whispering through the trees nearly swallowed her husky question. “My hair?”
Damn. It hadn’t been his imagination. If she hadn’t turned tail and traipsed her way back inside by now, this instant attraction didn’t end with him. Was it possible a hot-to-trot sex kitten existed under that silk-and-pearls ensemble? Only one way to find out. Settling his hands on either side of her, he brought his body within inches of hers. “I don’t do hair, pixie,” he rasped against her ear. “Unless you’d like it pulled.”

“Aren’t you going to at least kiss me first?” No answer. “I’m not playing coy or anything, mind you…I just reckon, well, that it’s the decent, honest thing to do is all. Under the circumstances.”
He sighed loudly and she felt him rise to his feet. His larger frame crowded her against the door, fitting them together in a way that was blatantly indecent. She felt his arousal, thick at her belly. Her breasts flattened against his chest in a way that felt sinful and divine simultaneously. Warm breath puffed out against the top of her head.
“Kissed where?” His voice was a rough, almost inaudible whisper that bathed her in blistering heat. “Your mouth? Or the slick little pussy you’re hiding from me?”

“Both.” She swallowed hard, unable to keep the image of Reed at bay this time. His mouth. His tongue. She wanted them so bad it pained her. “Kiss me in both places.”
She felt a ripple of shock go through him, and her body answered it. With a loud groan, his mouth came down on hers, hard and punishing. He kissed her almost angrily, forcing her lips apart and sweeping his tongue inside in a way meant to provoke her. Incite her. Julie couldn’t get enough of his hard mouth moving like a brand over hers. She dug her fingers into the collar of his shirt and tugged him down as she pushed higher on her toes to meet him. They kissed furiously until breath ran scarce, pausing to draw air and bite at each other’s lips.

She squeezed his hips between her legs and rode out her orgasm, his hands digging into the flesh of her bottom to help her get as close as humanly possible while her hips bucked.
His hard mouth worked over hers, swallowing her strangled cries, growling and thrusting his tongue deep with each of her frantic movements. When she came down from her climax, breath racing in and out past her lips, she heard his muffled whisper at her ear. “Oh baby, I could have come, just like this. With your fuck-me thighs opened up wide for me on the door. Now?” He laughed darkly. “Nothing will satisfy me unless I taste all that heat first.”

“Would you like me to take off my pants now so you can really be impressed?”
His gruff question jolted Julie out of man-candy fantasyland and she dragged her gaze up from the large swell behind his fly, trying desperately to ignore the needy tightening in her belly. It enraged her that she could still feel desire for him after the stunt he’d pulled. “By all means, take the pants off. It’ll make it much easier when I castrate you.”
Julie ignored the fluttering in her chest when his full lips tilted at the ends, his amusement vanishing just as quickly. “Now that would be one hell of a shame.” He took a measured step in her direction. She refused to give up any ground when he stopped a breath away and dragged his teeth over his bottom lip, eyes tracking over her heaving breasts. “You were enjoying it so much a minute ago. When you rode it like you owned it.”

“Reed. I’m…I’m going to fall.”
“No. You will not fall. You will stay right there until I’m finished.” His thumb found the sensitive area again and smoothed over it, once, twice, as if coaxing it to life. Then he began to stroke it rapidly with the pad of his thumb. Julie couldn’t form a single thought as the orgasm came hurtling through her system, blasting her with such blissful heat she became unaware of anything but the place Reed made contact with her body. Her head fell forward as she rambled unintelligently, eyes blind as the area between her legs contracted and released over and over again. She felt his teeth sink into the flesh of her ass, then his tongue lick over the spot to soothe the sting.

With one powerful drive, Reed finally entered her. The pressure was so great, so delicious, that Julie bit her lip and screamed, hands scrambling for purchase on the wood bureau top. Through partially blind eyes, she looked up at Reed’s reflection to find an expression of undiluted pleasure on his face. But it quickly transformed into a need for more, as he wrapped her hair around his fist and jerked it back.
“You will never dance like that again. You will never hike your skirt up again. Never.” He pulled out slightly, then thrust back into her hard. “Not unless it’s for me. Is that understood?”
Julie cried out. “Yes.”

“Hiked your skirt up for me, is that right? Did you think you’d get away with that?”
“No.” Her chest shuddered. “I don’t know.”
“You don’t know?”
Julie leaned down and tried to kiss him, but he jerked back, wanting an explanation. She finally answered on a breath. “I didn’t want to get away with it.”
He groaned his pleasure. “That’s what I thought. Mine from the beginning.” Jerking the robe off her shoulders, Reed grasped her buttocks and sat her down on his erection, filling her to the hilt.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes

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Review: Need Me by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-bookneedmetb
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Broke and Beautiful, #2
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Hero: Ben Dawson
Heroine: Honey Perribow
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: April 21, 2015
Started On: April 24, 2015
Finished On: May 10, 2015

From the deliciousness of the cover to what’s inside, Tessa Bailey seems to have outdone herself with the second book in the Broke and Beautiful series that wooed me in more ways than I can count. Tessa Bailey is a master, no a goddess, when it comes to delivering dirty of the good kind. As a reader who always loves a good bout of scorching steam in her romances, Tessa is a godsend from whom I dearly ask never ever to change in the delectable heroes and stories that she continues to deliver.

Having not read book one in the series, I can assure you with 100% certainty that you would be able to carry off with reading Need Me as a standalone. Tessa has managed to do a marvelous job with a trope that can be tricky to pull off, i.e. romance between a professor and his student.

Before you go on building your own assumptions about Professor Ben Dawson who teaches Introduction to Literary Theory, let me do my civic duty and inform you that Ben is worth your time in gold! And yes, I mean it. A man whose words alone seduced me from the beginning, whose control over his baser emotions was a thing of wonder to see break into such absolute mess of a pieces was just exhilarating to watch. I might be a bit too enthusiastic about that fact but lets face it, we all love a hero whose control breaks under the right circumstances and boy, does Tessa deliver a healthy dose of just that!

Honey Parribow, from the small town of Bloomfield, Kentucky has dreams of her own which is why she moves to the big city to make it a reality. Though she misses her home and family overly much, the essence of her being which yearns for things that her hometown would not be able to provide for her makes her stick it out. Not to mention her ‘unhealthy’ obsession with her lit professor Ben makes it all worthwhile.

When a culmination of events brings Ben to his knees and convinces Honey of all that she had firmly believed to be true about her “crush” on the professor, things take a turn that neither of them expects to. Ben finds himself in waters that he has steered clear of all his life. To make the same mistakes that his father had made, to ruin a life that he had built for himself with rigid control, rules and structure that seems to tumble down in the face of all that is Honey Parribow.

With plenty of angst to match and oh god, hot sex of the panty scorching variety included, Tessa takes the reader on a veritable feast for the senses that I just could not get enough of. If you are fan of Tessa, I don’t think you would need any further encouragement from me to take the tumble. If not and you have a thing for tropes like professor/student themes that deliver dirty talking heroes that would want to make you throw yourself at him, then I assure you that you’ve chosen right. Trust me on that.

There were so many aspects that I loved about the story. The emotional roller coaster ride this story took me on is one that is unforgettable. I was driven to laughter, tears & moments of sheer angst that felt so good that I didn’t want any of it to end. Few authors can make a reader feel right from the very beginning of a story till its end. Tessa Bailey is one who can, and does deliver, every single time. Need Me definitely is a story to be reckoned with and I think I’ll forever remember Professor Ben Dawson with a goofy smile and naughty glint in my eyes because every inch of his delicious self demands nothing less.

Ben Dawson is hands down the reason I fell for this story, hook, line and sinker. From the moment his uber controlled self strode into the story with his rules about keeping his personal & private lives separate, I knew that he’d cause me palpitations of the good kind. And oh boy, did he deliver! He delivered all that and so much more that I went into this state where I wished for a professor of my own just like Ben Dawson. But I have a feeling that the world cannot handle more than one of his kind; demanding in bed, a bit of a brood and of course towards the end sweet of the kind that is just potent! Sigh! I guess I can go on waxing poetry over Ben Dawson and even that wouldn’t be enough!

Tessa Bailey knows how to deliver characters that speaks to your heart. She’s yet to disappoint me in that aspect and I loved Honey Parribow to bits and then some. She was the perfect balance of wholesomeness, sexy and all things woman enough to drive the very stoic professor out of his ever loving mind. Loved Honey’s courage, what drives her to pursue her dreams & of course the way she is able to so effortlessly drive the professor to profess all sorts of dirty deeds that he wants to do to her and with her. Oh boy!

Only thing that I wanted more was a bit more of Honey and Ben towards the ending. After such a painful angst ridden of a “separation”, my heart needed the healing and I guess I acutely missed that & felt that the ending was a trifle bit rushed. In all other aspects, Need Me was perfect and I wouldn’t change it any other way.

I cannot end the review without sharing some of the notes that I made along the way while I was reading, which I think would convey more of what I was feeling than a lengthy review would! And forgive me. I went sort of crazy with the quotes. But I tell you, it was ALL worth it!

My God, Tessa Bailey, where on earth did you dream up Ben from!!!

Sigh! What’s with Tessa and the way she makes her men strut around that makes ME want to say, hell yes please, take me now!!!

Tessa Bailey! Oh the things you do to a woman!!!!

Holy shit Tessa!!

Final Verdict: You’re going to fall in love. In love with every single inch that’s Professor Ben Dawson.

Favorite Quotes

She took a deep breath and eased closer to him. The door rattled, telling her he’d backed up and hit it. Good. He couldn’t go any further. She placed her palms on his chest and felt him shudder. Heard him curse in an almost desperate manner. Memorizing every inch of terrain encountered by her hands, she smoothed them higher, over his shoulders, before dragging her fingertips back down the way she’d come. When they reached his hard abdomen, Ben heaved an exhale and tunneled his hands into her hair. It was so sudden and so fierce that Honey’s knees almost gave out.
“What are you doing?” he demanded.
“Touching you. Feeling what you look like.”

“Fuck. I’ve been so hard all day, babe.”
She felt dazed at hearing her straightlaced professor curse. Admit to a weakness. “Why?”
“So many reasons.” His laughter sounded pained, turning into a hiss of breath as she began to stroke him through his pants. “But it feels like it was all for you. I don’t know how to explain that.”
The beating in her chest expanded, reaching her throat. Her limbs felt heavy but pliant at the same time. Coupled with the darkness, the anonymity, his words emboldened her. I’ve been so hard all day, babe. It feels like it was all for you. She went up on her toes and laid her mouth on his ear. “I’ve been soft for you all day, so I guess we’re even.”

“Did you think of me when you put those good girl panties on this morning?” He coasted his hands up the tops of her spread legs, letting his thumbs drag up the sensitive insides of her thighs, taking her skirt higher as he went. “Did you think they’d make my dick hard if I got a peek at them?”
“Yes.” The answer burst out of her in a desperate whisper, as if she’d been holding it in. “I thought of you when I chose them.”

Ben sounded out of breath when he rounded the doorway into the classroom. He stood outlined by the frame for a moment, looking her over from head to toe. Burning her. God, he looked amazing. If possible, his stubble had grown more pronounced during the reading, hair standing out at every direction. Honey trapped a gasp in her throat when he slammed the door behind him and came toward her, moving so fast her heart shot to her throat. His long legs ate up the distance. The weight of his determined gaze had her gripping the large metal desk behind her for balance.

He hauled her body up against his, bending her backwards over his forearm and yanking her back up, as if he couldn’t decide how he wanted her. How to get close enough. His fingertips traced the hem of her dress before slipping beneath to skim up the inside of her thigh. When his warm hand molded to the flesh between her legs and squeezed, Honey broke away with a moan.
“Does it still hurt?” He grated the question at her lips. “Tell me it still hurts so I can lick it better.”
A sharp exhale burst from her mouth. “It still hurts.”

“Do you know what I thought about during the reading, Honey?”
“What?”
Her head fell to the side, giving him room to suck and lick at her neck. “I thought that if we were sitting in the back row, I would have made you sit on my lap. With my dick inside you.” He drove into her tightness, again and again. So wet. So damn wet. Fuck yes. The rhythm was perfect. Steady enough to give her time to come, fast enough to satisfy this urgency she made him feel. “No one would know except us. Unless you moved, even just once. Because then you’d have to keep moving. We’d need it. And we’d have to fuck right there in front of everyone.”

Her lips curved into an even wider smile. “Where I come from, a good story is a gift.”
“You must be buried in gifts, then.”
She looked up at him. “What do you mean?”
Feeling a little uncomfortable, he tried to sit up straighter, but she shook her head and he stilled. “Your papers.” He cleared his throat, and it echoed in the empty classroom. “I’ve read the classics ten times over, I’ve studied and written enough words to drown us both, but I bet I’ve never held anyone’s attention the way your papers hold mine.”

“Come on, babe. I’m right behind you.”
“Ben.”
Sweet fucking hell.
No one came like Honey. She bent forward with her hands braced on the wall, practically giving him a vertical lap dance as her body trembled. Legs spread, hips grinding on his hard dick while she moaned his name. As if she needed to feel every damn part of what their bodies had produced. He’d never get over seeing it. Especially not at that moment, when release clamored in his stomach, successfully finding an outlet right between her gorgeous thighs.

Roxy pulled her knees up to her chest. “So, Professor Ben, huh? Please tell me he slapped your ass with a yardstick.”
“Well it wasn’t a full yard . . .” Honey coughed into her fist. “But it was impressive. It reminded me of that scene in A Few Good Men where Jack Nicholson yells, ‘You can’t handle the truth’ at Tom Cruise. Except Ben was Jack Nicholson and my vagina was Tom Cruise.”

Honey tried not to be miffed that he didn’t appear bothered by the lack of nookie on the table. It made her wonder if he had a plan cooking behind those scholarly looking glasses. “Who was Elmer to you, Honey? Please note that I’m speaking in the past tense.”
“My high school sweetheart.” She pursed her lips. “You jealous of ol’ Elmer, Ben?”
“ ‘Jealous’ is too common a word. His existence is a threat to my sanity.”

He pressed their foreheads together and looked her in the eye. “Listen to me.” He waited for her nod. “You’re going to take me somewhere now where I can see you without your panties on. I’m going to get you off good and hard, maybe a few times. And then, Honey, we’re going to talk.” He bucked his hips into her twice. “But first, I’m going to fuck you so dirty, you won’t be able to look anyone but me in the eye afterward. Have you heard everything I’ve said?”
He removed his hand so she could answer. “Yes. Okay, Ben.”
“Good. I’ll be at the truck.” He stepped back, letting her slide down the wall. “Tell them whatever gets us out of here.”

When her palm brushed over his erection, his head fell back and hit the car on a groan. As she unzipped his pants, she leaned in and licked the column of his neck. “Whenever I fantasized about you during class, I pictured you wearing a tie when I did this.”
“Did what?”
Honey gave him a sly smile in response. Having succeeded in undoing his pants, she slipped her hand into his boxer briefs and stroked his heavy arousal. “You asked me earlier about my favorite position.”
“Tell me,” he panted. “Say it.”
She placed her mouth over his ear. “On my knees.”

He ceased his torture of her breasts to lift his head. “You want me to finger bang you, Honey?”
“Yes. Yes.”
His eyes locked on hers as he drove two fingers inside her. Oh God. She was going to come. Going to come. But she couldn’t, because his touch didn’t move, granted her no friction. Her hips lifted and fell in a plea, but he didn’t grant her request, choosing instead to study the movements of her body like one eyed a juicy steak. “If you move like that when I’m inside you, babe, I will fuck you all the harder.”

“I’m the only one who belongs inside you,” he growled. “Show me why, babe.”
She tightened her thighs around him and ground herself down as the climax shook through her. Her scream was swallowed by his hungry mouth as it claimed her, tongue pushing her lips wide to tangle with hers. His big body, plastered so tightly against her, began to shudder. He ripped his mouth away with a shouted expletive, eyes squeezed closed as his release took him.

Her heels dug into the small of his back. “One thing you do, though, is by far the hottest.”
“Tell me. Tell me now. I’ll never stop doing it.”
Honey’s lips twitched. “When you talk to me in that professor voice.” Her eyelids fluttered, as if just saying it out loud was enough to get her going. Sweet hell. This girl. “You do it all the time, you know. Out of nowhere, your tone changes, and it . . .”
“What?”
“It makes me so wet,” she murmured, hitting him with the full impact of those big eyes. “For you.”

Ben kept her pinned with his body, continuing to speak in the voice he usually reserved for lectures. “That’s a good girl, Ms. Perribow.” He rotated his hips, grinding the base of his cock against her clit. “Now take down your panties and bend over my desk. Stay that way until I’ve dismissed you. Not a moment sooner.”
Honey cried out, her body going bow tight beneath him before it started to shake. Ben watched her with nothing short of awe. Unbelievable. He’d actually made her come just by talking to her. He liked the power of that. A lot. Maybe too much, because his body was now thrumming with the relentless need to be inside her. Now.

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