ARC Review: Loving You Is Easy by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: E-booklovingyouiseasy
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Loveswept
Hero: Shane Alexander Develen
Heroine: Brooke Ellstein
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: December 9, 2014
Started On: December 4, 2014
Finished On: December 5, 2014

Loving You is Easy is a book that starts off in an intriguing manner. November 2011, Brooke Ellstein, a 7th and 8th grade Math teacher who also happens to be the daughter of a prominent politician in New York starts corresponding with Sergeant Shane Develeen in the manner of pen pals. Fast forward to July of next year and these two meet for the first time, Brooke having fallen for Shane even with his warning that he is not looking for a girlfriend to mess with his head.

Devastation hits Brooke when a photograph in which she posed for Shane finds its way to the Internet. Feeling betrayed at the knowledge that Shane had been home for more than 2 months and never contacted her, Brooke feels like her entire life is falling apart until Shane walks up to her door, a man scarred from the war, with a gigantic chip on his shoulder that won’t quit. Shane’s only reason for showing up is to put things to right or so he tells himself.

From the start, Shane had believed that a classy woman like Brooke would have no place in her life for a man like him. After nearly losing his life on the job and with the scars to prove it, Shane is adamant and steadfast in his belief and need to keep Brooke at arms length and that she doesn’t expect something more to happen between them than just friendship. But then life and love has a way of breaking even the toughest of them and the more Shane learns about the woman that Brooke hides behind the facade of rigid control and discipline that has been her life, the more little shards of doubt begins to penetrate into Shane’s firmly held conviction that they aren’t meant to be.

Loving You is Easy is a book that is easy to read given that Wendy is an author who writes well and portrays a lot of emotions in her stories. Brooke’s past when revealed turned out to be a heartbreaking one, making one question exactly just how much families and their children suffer when either of the parents chooses to pursue a political career. Brooke’s emotional strength was an admirable trait, her closest friends the ones keeping her sane.

Shane is a bit of a grouch and a tad hard to like but given the circumstances he finds himself in, I guess a little bit of anger at the fates was called for. My disappointment with Shane stemmed from his lack of belief in Brooke, who gives him no reason to doubt her. If it had been just one instance, I could have brushed it off and thanked the stars for the angst that the misunderstanding had brought to the story. But more than once and especially under a situation where Brooke had needed his support, I just felt a bit letdown from all that. The saving grace was the fact that he seemed to pick up the pieces and get Brooke back. I would also have loved to see Shane’s issues related to his injuries and the resultant PTSD looked at with just a tad more detail. Judging from how the story had proceeded, I’d like to bet that Brooke’s best friend Neve is going to get her own story pretty soon!

Recommended for fans of Wendy and fans of war torn heroes.

Final Verdict: With a bit of grouch and a whole lot of classy, Wendy’s newest release gives a good read!

Favorite Quotes

“This guy bothering you?” he asked, not at all interested in getting to know the snake trying to slither into Brooke’s life.
“No,” she said, breathing heavily, her cheeks pink, her expression filled with innocence. She had no idea how sexy she looked in her outfit, or how that loser kept dropping back to ogle her butt. “He asked me—”
Shane cupped the back of her head, leaned forward, and silenced her with a kiss. He hadn’t planned it. In fact, the urge struck him completely by surprise. He chose not to fight it, because in that moment he could think of no words to adequately express the fierceness of his feelings. Possessive, protective, and pissed as shit she’d been enjoying time spent with some stranger rather than with him.

“All right. I get it.” Her running mate’s words broke his trance. “Let her breathe.”
Shane let her go, cursing himself for losing control, for being so rough. Without his support she swayed. He caught her. She appeared dazed, her pupils dilated. “Why’d you do that?” she whispered.
“He was bothering me.”

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

goodread

ARC Review: The V-Spot by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: E-bookthevspot
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin Cosmo
Hero: Brody ‘The Bull’ Bullock
Heroine: Emma Masters
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 8, 2014
Started On: October 26, 2014
Finished On: October 27, 2014

CATEGORY SCORE GRADE
The hero 80 A
The heroine 60 B
Storyline 60 B
Emotional Intensity 60 B
Suck me in Factor 60 B
Heat & Sensuality 79 B
Conflicts 60 B
Writing Style 80 A
Quotable Factor 60 B
Ending 70 B
Overall Grade 67 B

Score Sheet Summary

Emma Masters is a nurse, known as the pit bull of the pediatric ward. A little bit on the plus size, Emma suffers a lot from body image issues. On Emma’s 25th birthday, her best friend gets into her head to give no holds barred sex of the panty melting variety a go. And that is how Emma finds herself at a voyeur motel called The V-Spot, waiting for a blind date who turns out to be none other than Brody Bullock, a professional wrestler known as The Bull.

Brody is tired of the life that he has been leading, the meaningless hookups that leave him feeling a bit hollow, the women who only look up to him because of who he is. Brody wants someone who would look beyond all that, someone like Emma whom he would have no issues with taking home to see his mother, only if Emma would give him the time of day.

Emma’s insecurities regarding her body is the one constant factor that gets in the way of the seduction that Brody plans for her. Emma was a tough nut to crack, and Brody, well, Brody is a patient man if ever there was one. I had a bit of a hard time with the way Emma lashes out at Brody at the beginning and lets say all throughout the story, for no apparent reason on his part. I couldn’t find any reason why Emma had to be so hard on Brody because if he were to be any sweeter, I would have grabbed him for myself and left Emma alone. But even then, Wendy being the skilled storyteller that she is, managed to give a read worth sinking myself into. I wished the story had been longer, to carve out Emma’s character just a little better so that I would have loved her as I did Brody.

Recommended for those that love stories featuring plus sized heroines and sweet heroes!

Final Verdict: Meet Brody, the hero that redefines sweetness!

Favorite Quotes

Emma lifted her hips.
He stopped. “Damn it, Brody.”
The next thing Emma knew he moved, her legs were back together and her panties were coming down. “Wait.”
Brody stopped again. “Which is it?” he asked. Touch you or wait?”
To hell with feeling self-conscious. Emma needed his touch, needed to come. “Touch me.”

So close.
He hit a spot inside her that released a surge of something spectacular. Emma froze, hoping he’d do it again. “Right there.” She panted and prayed, her body tense, waiting. He nailed it again. “Oh God.” And again. “Oh God.” And again.

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

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Requested Review: The Group Seduction by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: E-bookthegroupseduction
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Hero: Jack Cristy
Heroine: Annabella Cristy
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 19, 2013
Started On: September 8, 2014
Finished On: September 9, 2014

The Group Seduction by Wendy S. Marcus is a short novel that really hits on the head on an issue that many a married couple, especially with kids face. Wendy explores the rut that many couples fall into, years down their marriage; the sexual desire and physical intimacy that goes wan and then the realization that hits a trifle bit too late for some couples.

Annabella and Jack have been married for 17 years. With three kids, Annabella is hard pressed to find the time to feel sexy let alone get intimate with her husband. But once she realizes the perilous road her marriage has turned, Annabella decides to take matters into her own hands and set out to seduce her husband. To find strength in numbers, Annabella confides in and plans with three of her best friends who are in a similar situation and designs the “group seduction” scheme to finally steer the physical aspect of their relationships in the right direction.

Though the novella is entitled The Group Seduction, there is no orgy no any sort of group sex happening. For me, The Group Seduction embodied 90% of relationships as they proceed through the years. Most become too involved with the daily grind of taking care of the kids, making sure that the household is run smoothly and of course if both partners occupy full time jobs there is that added stress factor on the relationship. While a couple is trying to survive and make their way, they start losing the essential bits and pieces of what made them work in the first place and if a couple doesn’t realize this before its all too late, sometimes, these relationships end up with the partners going their separate ways.

I admired the heck out of Annabella for having the courage to come up with such a bold plan even with all her misgivings. She is not perfect, neither is Jack. Their marriage is fraught with the usual discontentment that couples have with each other and I applaud Wendy for bringing all that forth without glossing it over in the story. The point to be made here is that a marriage or any sort of long term relationship is a lot of hard work and effort put in by both partners. Love is the emotion that makes all of the shortcomings a non-issue, and sex is a pretty important part of any healthy relationship to cement that emotional and physical intimacy. And for Annabella to have planned for this even with all  the worries clouding her mind drives home the point just how much her marriage means to her.

Jack turned out to be a lovable hero too. The fact that he realized what was happening to his marriage and grabbed with both hands the chance to become different and make things right was the reason I fell in love with him. The only regret I had while reading The Group Seduction was the fact that I wanted a longer length novel for this subject matter. Romance authors seldom write on married couples who have hit a rut and want to make changes. I guess couples having problems is not as sexy and romantic as a romance novel ought to be? But I think we all learn a thing or two even through the books that we read for pleasure. And done right, this sort of theme could drive home a lot of important messages as well as deliver a good bout of angst ridden romance for readers.

Recommended for everyone, especially those in long term relationships and marriages. I loved how much The Group Seduction made me think!

Final Verdict: A close to the heart read!

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

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Requested ARC Review: Craving Her Soldier’s Touch by Wendy S. Marcus

cravinghersoldierstouchFormat: Paperback
Read with: NA
Length: Novel
Genre: Medical Romance
Series: Beyond the Spotlight
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Ian Calvin Eddelton
Heroine: Jaci Piermont
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January, 2013
Started On: December 22, 2012
Finished On: February 2, 2013

Being not much of a fan of medical romances doesn’t stop me from wanting to read Wendy S. Marcus’s romances set in the said genre when they come out. Its always a delight to encounter balance in a novel such as a medical romance; equal amounts of knowledge enhancing tidbits about the medical world and enough romance and heat to keep the blood pumping. And with Craving Her Soldier’s Touch, Wendy takes this a step further and includes an emotional depth to her characters that really touched my heart.

Craving Her Soldier’s Touch is about ex-army ranger Ian Eddelton who returns back home after surviving horrific injuries with a hoard of survivor’s guilt wrecking his mind and heart. The only thoughts that had kept him sane throughout had been that of the woman he had left behind in the rush and need to get away from the riot of all sorts of emotions of the deeper kind that she had been able to rouse in him. Though Ian is known as Ice amongst his army buddies, all his cool deserts him when the woman in question is around him.

Jaci Piermont might be a heiress with a fortune waiting to happen but she is one of the most down-to-earth and feisty characters that you would ever find. A community health nurse and Women’s Crisis Center advocate, Jaci is someone who is continuously on the move, always ready to help the neglected and the less fortunate sector of people in the society. Her heartwarming and caring nature together with her competency when it comes to everything she does is totally entwined with the story that unfolds; the story of how Jaci reunites with the man who leaves her in a wake of confusion when he left as he did.

I’d say that with every book that Wendy pens, her writing becomes more appealing and her characters show remarkable depth that makes the story hard to part with. Jaci’s character was one that really shone through in every aspect as her past and what she had gone through comes to light, painting a picture of a woman that has had more than her fair share of trouble in her life. The only thing I felt that slightly lacked in the story was the ‘healing’ aspect of Ian from his injuries as well as the psychological trauma he suffers from. Still, I would say Craving Her Soldier’s Touch made for a great read highly recommend it for fans of the author and fans of medical romances.

Oh and yes, lest I forget, I want to share the bit in the book where my beloved Maldives is mentioned, a lil prezzie that was left for me by the author. Thank you Wendy, for giving me that. ^_^

He twirled one of her curls around his freakishly long, thin, almost womanly index finger and held her in place. “Strolling the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. Visiting the beaches of Bali. Shopping in Milan. Skiing in Switzerland. Yachting in the Maldives.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Harlequin

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber SEAL: GREAT READ!

Requested ARC Review: The Nurse’s Not-So Secret Scandal by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: Paperback
Read with: Paperback
Length: Novel
Genre: Medical Romance
Series: Madrin Memorial Hospital, #3
Publisher: Mills & Boon
Hero: Ryan ‘Fig’ Figelstein
Heroine: Roxie Morano
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 6, 2012
Started On: March 26, 2012
Finished On: March 27, 2012

The Nurse’s Not-So Secret Scandal is the 3rd and final book in Wendy. S. Marcus’ Madrin Memorial Hospital series. I am not one who reads much of medical romances but Wendy has a way of putting it out there that just makes her books compelling reads that I want more of. 

27 year old Ryan ‘Fig’ Figelstein comes to Madrin Falls in upstate New York to visit his best friend Kyle. When he meets the larger than life and certainly colorful character that is Roxie Morano, Fig is definitely more than intrigued enough to pursue the attraction that flares to life between them right from the onset.

But things aren’t as easy and lighthearted as they seem to be on the surface. Both Roxie and Fig have their own fair share of secrets and painful pasts that still persists in their lives at present making their struggle to achieve some form of normalcy almost impossible. But through it all, Roxie and Fig manage to wade their own way through the many ups and downs in their not-so-normal-relationship and in the end attain a happily ever after that was so well deserved that I was grinning from ear-to-ear when all was said and done.

You can’t read the 1st book in the series i.e. When One Night Isn’t Enough without getting intrigued enough to see through to the rest of the characters that make their way into the story. Wendy has a talent for creating heroines who have the odds stacked against them, who are hard working, loyal and have had a lot of bad happen to them in their pasts. But what makes her heroines special is that drive to be true to who they are, to do their best to make do with a bad situation that fate throws their way. And the plus point as always turns out to be the beautiful men, and yes I use beautiful because there is no other way to describe these guys who go out of their way to win over the women they love.

Roxie Morano is a character of contrasts if ever there was one. She is spunky, has an attitude that may seem off-putting at first and wears colors bold and vivacious just like her character; but underneath all that tough and brave facade is a woman who is torn between the need to do the right thing and making her own way in life, a woman who shoulders more than her fair share of responsibility in looking after a mother who is a disaster waiting to happen. Roxie takes her fun wherever she can find it, a release she needs so badly after working intense hours as a nurse and coming home to a depressing state of affairs that makes her want to howl at times. But even her closest friends at work have no clue as to just how much of a juggler she is in order to present a normal front to the rest of the world.

Fig comes from a totally different side of the equation. As a child Fig had been smothered by the attention he had received from his mother as a result of being a recurring patient of leukemia until he had hit his teens. His past is one that haunts him, his mother continuing to try to rule his life even when he has made it clear that he is more than capable of running his own life. Fig has hangups that you won’t believe a person may have and he knows it, but his attraction for the fireball of energy that Roxie is poses complications on his heart that he would never have thought possible.

Two equally damaged people with a whole lot of baggage meet and ignite the sparks of desire and want that paves the way towards something more meaningful as both Fig and Roxie strip themselves bare emotionally and physically to let each other in, a quest that is doubly dangerous for two people who have had their trust trampled upon by people closest to them. Roxie is all about living in the moment and rushing towards the ultimate explosion of pleasure while Fig is more laid back and has the patience to wait – as good things always comes to those who wait. So when these two meet in the bedroom it is more than fun, it is about exploring the extent to which each can push the other and both discovering sides to themselves that are uncharted waters as well.

Wendy has done a remarkable job with creating a character such as Roxie who is different, someone who grabbed my heart and invaded it with her usual style and flair from the very beginning. Fig like his laid back nature waited and hovered around a bit before plunging that stake into my heart to stake his claim and boy I could definitely understand the appeal of taking it slow and taking your time when it comes to a man like Fig.

The Nurse’s Not-So Secret Scandal is my favorite in the series. And I tell you, Roxie Morano is a character who rocks your boat – in more ways than one. And the best thing about this series? You can read all 3 books as a standalone and never flounder to find your way.

Recommended for fans of medical romances and those who love spunky heroines and yummy tattooed heroes who can show you that patience is a good thing; when it comes to a man like him!

Favorite Quotes

Fig leaned in close, his chest pressed to her back, his palm flat on her belly. “Time to muster up some moxie, Roxie,” he whispered. “Every woman in this bar is wishing she had a body as gorgeous as yours, and every man is wishing he had your long, beautiful legs clamped around his butt.”
Roxie relaxed. Smiled even. “Does that include you?” […]
“Nah.” […] “My wish involves them wrapped around my head.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | M&B

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Caliber Seal: AMAZING READ!

Review: Once a Good Girl… by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Medical Romance
Series: Madrin Memorial Hospital, Book 2
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Kyle Karlinsky
Heroine: Victoria Forley
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 1, 2012
Started On: February 19, 2012
Finished On: February 19, 2012

25 year old Victoria Foley is a perfectionist when it comes to everything that she does. Always the good girl whose childhood had been the furthest thing from ideal, Victoria’s only rebellion as a teenager had come when she had gotten involved with the bad boy of the town and ended up pregnant at the age of sixteen.

26 year old Kyle Karlinsky left home under duress and is now back, partly with the intention of showing those who had thought he was good for nothing that things had turned out quite well for him in the end. Holding a doctorate in Physical Therapy, Kyle is surprised when he encounters Victoria at the Madrin Memorial Hospital working as a nurse and not as the doctor that she had dreamed of becoming ever since he had known her.

The biggest surprise of all comes from the fact that Kyle is a father to an 8 year old boy and the fact that Victoria had never deemed it important enough to seek him out to let him know. Naivety and mistakes on both sides in believing the lies that had been fed to them both to drive them apart comes out into the open to clear up the air, but would Kyle be able to convince the prim and proper Victoria that his wild and impulsive nature is just what she needs in her life forever and ever?

Wendy has a way of writing heroes that are heartwarming, sweet, sexy and endearing and Kyle is no exception. Kyle has a lot of hurt bottled up inside of him, anger at the double standards that had existed in his hometown that had always found a reason to blame him for anything bad that happened. I loved him for his innate kindness, that inner strength that refuses to back down from a challenge, and of course his understanding of the woman who brings a whole new meaning to the word complex, but whom he loves with every fiber of his being.

Victoria is a heroine who is a bit hard to get into. She is ambitious, there is no question about that, but her love for her son surpasses any other ambition she might have and it is her desire to give him a sound future that has her juggling a hectic career amidst the hurdles of being a single parent. She is fiercely loyal and independent and has a painful past from which she still suffers, something that Kyle with his gentle yet searing touch heals and that was indeed one of the defining moments of the story. I loved the beautiful marriage proposal tucked inside the epilogue and cannot wait for the 3rd book in this series to come out.

If you loved medical romances with heart, give Wendy S. Marcus a try. She is an author who definitely knows what she is doing.

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

[xrr rating=4/5]

Caliber Seal: GREAT READ!

Score Sheet Review: When One Night Isn’t Enough by Wendy S. Marcus

Format: E-book
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Harlequin Medical Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Dr. Jared Padget
Heroine: Allison Elizabeth Forshay
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 1, 2011
Started On: November 28, 2011
Finished On: November 30, 2011

CATEGORY SCORE GRADE
The hero 100 A
The heroine 70 B
Story line 90 A
Emotional Intensity 100 A
Story’s ability to suck me in 100 A
Heat & Sensuality 100 A
Conflicts within the story 85 A
Writing Style 90 A
Quotable Factor 90 A
Satisfaction with the ending 100 A
Overall Grade 92.5 A

Score Sheet Summary

I found this novel quite by chance up on Goodreads. Look beyond the totally bogus cover and you discover a story well worth delving into. Though medical romances aren’t my favorite type of romances to read, I make time for them occasionally and  this is one time I am very glad that I made the exception to read one. I loved When One Night Isn’t Enough, the story has two likable characters, granted I loved the hero more and sometimes wanted to hit the heroine on the head for her innate stubbornness.

Dr. Jared Padget is such a dreamy, charming and sexy hero. Those killer dimples together with his totally drool-inducing body clad in scrubs and more so out of it, and the way he is such a total sweetheart when it comes to Allison was the reason I loved him so wholeheartedly. Beneath the charming exterior that he presents to the rest of the world lies such a tortured mess that I felt like bawling my eyes out for him. No female who had entered his life had shown him a reason to trust them with his heart, but nevertheless with Allison the fact that he was willing to let go and try just made him an all around fantastic hero for me.

Though Allison proved to be a bit too stubborn a time or two during the story, she too served to be someone you can relate to. Her past is not an easy one to escape from either and that is why she has enough reasons to judge Jared as her past has taught her to. So in the end, because Allison came through for Jared I forgave her and came to love her a little as well.

I expected a light-hearted, fluffy read with a little bit of medical procedures tossed into the story when I picked this up, but in the end I was surprised and not unpleasantly I might add, because the story delivers so much more than that. It is light-hearted at moments but deep inside the story deals with a lot of emotional baggage, and a tissue or two might come in handy while you are at it!

Recommended for fans of category romances, ones where hunky doctors and cute nurses get down and dirty with a lot of emotional angst thrown into mix!

Favorite Quotes

He had no desire to talk, or move. So he sat, with her still straddling his lap, in no hurry to leave, enjoying the feel of her in his arms, which he tightened around her, slipping his hands under the bottom of her sweater to warm them. They fit together like two distinct halves purposely manufactured to become one seamless whole, a feeling he wouldn’t soon forget.

And there it was: the brilliant I-care-about-you smile he’d waited months to see directed at him.He knew in that instant that one would never be enough to last him a lifetime, as he’d originally thought. Because in that quiet moment, in her straight white teeth, her curving lips and sincere blue eyes, he’d found serenity.

“I love how you feel in my arms, how you respond to my touch and how your face takes on an expression of pure rapture when we make love. When we’re apart I ache to be with you. There is no doubt in my mind that what I feel for you is the truest, deepest form of love possible.”

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

[xrr rating=4.5/5]

Caliber Seal: AMAZING READ!