Title: In the Clear (Winter Rescue #1)
Author: Tamara Morgan
Published: November 11th 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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Fletcher Owens is full of secrets.
Few people know he spends his nights volunteering for a Search and Rescue team, saving lives while risking his own. Even fewer know he’s in love with his best friend’s sister. And since he’s not willing to give up their friendship for a chance at something more, that’s exactly how things will stay.
Lexie Sinclair has nothing to hide.
The zany daughter, the wacky sister, the quirky fundraiser for a children’s charity — Lexie couldn’t hide her true self even if she wanted to. So when her brother’s best friend is revealed to be a local hero, she’s determined to stand up and prove she’s ready to be more than just friends.
Poor Fletcher has had feelings for Lexie since he noticed she was all grown up. But her being his best friend’s sister and feeling unworthy of her has kept him from making a move. However, Lexie is tired of waiting for Fletcher to make a move and once and for all she’s going to find out if there can be something between them. What she was not expecting was to find out that he has been keeping things from her.
I liked this story. Although it was short and it dragged a bit in the middle of it, I found myself intrigued by Fletcher and enjoying how flustered he became whenever Lexie was near him. The story flowed nicely, with funny moments and serious, emotional ones too.
I enjoyed Fletcher and Lexie’s rapport and watching as the friendship they had finally became something more. Fletcher’s secrets weren’t over the top, but made him more interesting and complex in a way. I liked that he managed to surprise Lexie even after all the years they had known each other. I liked Lexie too. She was direct, funny and completely determined to get to Fletcher. I admired her tenacity because that man was stubborn!
Of course, they had chemistry abound. That first kiss alone was scorching hot and it only got better as their emotion truly came into play.
All in all, a surprisingly great friends to lovers story.
Title: The Billionaire Bundle
Authors: Nina Croft, Rachel Lyndhurst, Michele de Winton
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: November 11th 2013
Publisher: Entangled – Indulgence
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The Boss and Her Billionaire
Investment billionaire Dylan Johns always gets what he wants. He is used to giving orders—not taking them—until he’s forced to go on hiatus from his investment company. To bide his time and carry out an old dream, he takes a job on a cruise ship—and ends up taking orders from his gorgeous, but frigid, new boss. He is determined to loosen her up with a fun onboard romance, but their no-strings fling turns serious and Dylan is forced to confess his lies. When the affair threatens to shatter Michaela’s own career dreams, she finds herself caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
This story started with a LOT of promise but it lost some of its charm along the way. I think my major problem was with Michaela. Although it was attempted for her to be portrayed ad independent and strong, for me she was just too stubborn and flaky. Now don’t get me wrong i like my heroines to be strong-minded, but Michaela was causing me whiplash with her indecisiveness. One moment yes, another moment no. It was annoying to say the least. It completely messed up my attempt to connect and relate to her.
Other than that, I thought that the story was interesting and unique. I loved Dylan and his determination. I enjoyed how he pursued Michaela and even though I was annoyed by her thought process, I did believe that she was ideal for him. They complemented each other – both were driven, stubborn and independent.
All in all, a good romantic story even if at times it could picked up its pace a notch or two.
“In,” he commanded as he lowered her, then pointed to the shower. She meekly let him push her under the water.
When the water from the shower hit her body, Dylan groaned. “Not bad, Cruise Director.”
Michaela looked down to see the curls of her sex and the thrust of her nipples outlined beneath the translucent white lace, but her nipples were suddenly released as Dylan pulled the cups of the useless wet bra down and greedily sucked at each breast in turn. “Please,” she whimpered, and he chuckled low in his throat. His tongue twisted around her nipple. Oh!
No. Wait. She needed more control. The hot water, the steam, his wet hair under her fingers—it was too perfect for safety. Too close to the fantasy that had played out in her mind only yesterday.
About the Author
Michele was born in the mid 1970’s amid a burgeoning sprawl of vineyards and new retirement homes. With two teachers as parents, her love of reading and books was cemented at an early age. Being a writer however, was not was she was supposed to do when she ‘grew up’. Despite training in law (or perhaps because of it) she has been a dancer, producer, writer, and all round arty type in various countries for most of her life.
Moving into writing full time in 2010 was like being a part of a contemporary romance – perfect! Creating new worlds for her characters, or rather letting those same characters show her their worlds is now a highlight of Michele’s daily life. And falling in love over and over as each hero and heroine allow their true feelings to surface is something very special. What a treat to do it every day! Now back home in New Zealand after travelling extensively, Michele writes from an office where the sound of the tapping keyboard is only rivalled by the whisper of wind in the trees.
Blackmailed by the Italian Billionaire
Olivia Brent is happy with her quiet life in the country, until the loss of her home forces her to search for her estranged father. When she meets the stunningly gorgeous and enigmatic billionaire Luc Severino, her world is turned upside down. Jimmy Brent’s daughter was the last person Luc ever wanted to be with, but she’s the key to finding her father, the man Luc has wanted revenge on for over ten years. He’s willing to use any methods available, including blackmail, to persuade Olivia to help him find Jimmy and put the past behind him. And if blackmail doesn’t gain her total cooperation, then perhaps a little seduction will…
Now this story I enjoyed. I liked the different elements that were added to the romance between Olivia and Luc. I enjoyed the little bit of mystery that was added to it. Those made for a fantastic read along with the explosive chemistry between the main characters.
Luc was awesome. Intriguing and complex with secrets and a hard edge to him, I enjoyed thoroughly. I also liked Olivia and thought that she was right for him. She gave as good as she got but after all was said and done her sweet and considerate side shined through.
Although I attempted to guess how it would all play out, I enjoyed the feeling of not knowing if I was right or not. But most of all I enjoyed how the connection between Luc and Olivia was developed throughout the story and how when they came together their chemistry sizzled.
All in all, a hot little read with some intriguing moments and a couple of interesting characters that grew closer as the story progressed.
She got to her feet, impatient. “Why don’t you just tell me about your big plan? What do I need to do for you to destroy those pictures and let me go home?”
“There’s time for that later.”
“Why not now?”
He frowned at her. “Are you always this impatient?”
Lia thought for a moment. “Yes.”
“Well, sit down again, and I might tell you what’s going to happen. Can I get you a drink first?” he asked.
She cast him a snarky look. “Do I look like an absolute imbecile? Been there, done that, and it’s so not happening again.”
He laughed softly. “Don’t blame it all on the alcohol. You were amazingly easy to seduce.”
“Yeah, but only because I let you. And it won’t happen again.”
He relaxed back in his seat and studied her, his eyes half closed. “Is that a challenge, cara mia?”
She shivered at the sensual promise in his voice then made an effort to pull herself together. “No, it’s not,” she said, “and will you stop calling me that?”
“Calling you what?” he asked. “Cara mia?”
“I’m not your cara, I’m not your anything. I’m here because you threatened me and that’s the only reason.”
“Really?” He got to his feet, moving to stand in front of her. Lia stood up as well, not wanting to be at a disadvantage. A wave of apprehension passed through her, but she stood her ground. She was determined she wasn’t going to be intimidated, but he was just so big, and she’d always been better at dealing with horses than she was humans. Maybe she should treat him like a stallion she was training. Stand up to him, show him who was boss…and if all else failed—castrate him.
“What are you thinking?”
“You were smiling.”
“Really?” Tilting her head back, she stared him in the face. He was watching her through those half-closed eyes, the brilliant green almost hidden behind a thick fringe of black lashes. She dropped her gaze and again wished she hadn’t—his shirt was open, showing the strong, tanned column of his throat and the dark shadow of his body hair. She remembered the feel of it under her fingers, silky and amazingly soft.
Luc smiled, a slight curl of those stunning lips, and all of a sudden, she had a flashback to the feel of them moving on hers, moving on her body. She stared at them for a long, long moment until he laughed softly, breaking the silence.
He reached out and stroked the ball of his thumb across her lower lip, and that simple touch caused the heat to coil low down in her body.
“Don’t kid yourself, cara,” he said. “You want me as much as I want you.”
About the Author
I grew up in the north of England, and after training as an accountant, I spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left me with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. I then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but have now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds.
I share the farm with my husband, four dogs, three cats, a horse, two goats, a three-legged Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, and a handful of chickens. It’s a perfect place to indulge my two great passions, reading and writing.
I write lots of different things, but mainly paranormal and science-fiction, usually with a strong element of romance.
The Spanish Billionaire’s Hired Bride
Blackmailed to marry against his will, Ricardo Almanza needs a wife before he’s thirty, and time is running out. Helen Marshall can’t believe she’s considering Almanza’s outrageous proposal, but she must help clear her parents’ debts or they face financial ruin. The small print on the marriage contract changes to read three months as his wife in every way—including in the bedroom. Has she gotten in too deep, or will she need a new contract addendum, extending their marriage forever?
What can I tell you? I love a stubborn man. Especially if he has some Spanish in him. Lucky for me I got Ricardo and he was paired up with a strong-willed, independent heroine in Helen. I loved their interactions and their chemistry was off the charts HOT.
This was one story that grabbed me from the beginning and wouldn’t let go. So much so that I wouldn’t mind getting to know them more and seeing where their relationship leads them.
All in all, a wonderful story with a handsome and sexy-as-sin Spaniard and a woman who matched him toe for toe. Loved it!
Ricardo’s ears rang with the roar of the crowd as he took Helen in his arms and kissed her hard. She arched her body into his, running her hands through his hair and he felt a burst of shock as she raised her thigh to wrap it around his hip. The skirt of her wrap dress fell open and he hurriedly grasped her leg in an attempt to cover her bare flesh, but the way her tongue was behaving in his mouth told him modesty was not at the forefront of her mind. Her being crushed so wantonly against him exacerbated the involuntary stiffening below his belt. They were in danger of making a worldwide spectacle of themselves. He pulled his mouth away and eased her leg back down to the ground. “Easy,” he whispered harshly into her hair. “You’ve given them enough.”
“And I was having so much fun,” she whispered back.
His tone was stern. “Later.”
The crowd parted as Ricardo painted on a billionaire playboy smile, and his security team cleared their path to an exclusive restaurant entrance nearby. He didn’t enjoy having to be a performing seal, but sometimes it was unavoidable. However, the last thing he needed was a loose cannon for a wife for the next three months making things even worse. A performance like that would guarantee even more interest in them. He could see the rash of vulgar magazine covers already, with her smooth pale thigh taking centre stage. He suppressed a shiver and was relieved to reach the sanctuary of a private restaurant balcony overlooking Ibiza harbor.
Ricardo ordered champagne and then waited in silence until the restaurant owner left them alone with the menus. “You didn’t need to go quite so far out there.”
“No? It’s what they wanted, what you wanted. We should get some peace now. You said we would.”
“That performance has probably made matters worse. The pictures will go worldwide by morning, and the entire planet’s press will be drooling over what Senora Almanza is going to do next.” He picked up a knife and tapped the handle rhythmically on the table. “And what will your parents think?”
“They don’t buy newspapers or any magazine besides Farmers Weekly. I shouldn’t think they’ll notice.”
“It will be all over the Internet.”
Helen chuckled. “They don’t have a computer or watch anything other than local TV and that gets switched off after the local news.” She twirled her wine glass between her fingers and watched the bubbles dance for a few seconds. “Besides, they think we’re besotted newlyweds, for God’s sake. Where’s the problem?”
There was no problem. The problem was all inside him and the way he had felt when she had flaunted herself that way. The tension knotting his neck and shoulders was a strong as a trawler’s net. “Your bra is showing,” he murmured.
Helen glanced down at the tiny glimpse of black satin and lace that was peeking out underneath the red silk of her dress. “It’s supposed to show. It’s the fashion with this sort of neckline.”
“Oh come on, Ricardo, let’s cut out all the prudery. Playboy billionaires don’t date shrinking violets, do they? Let alone marry one.”
“You surprised me, that’s all. I didn’t think you were like that.”
She bent to whisper across the table. “Of course you didn’t. You don’t know me at all. It’s a marriage of convenience, remember? A marriage to win a bet.”
“To settle a matter of honor.”
“Oh yes, of course, silly me.”
“A marriage for which you’ve been well paid. Please don’t forget that in all your excitement.”
About the Author
Rachel now writes full-time when her children are at school, but is still proud of her law degree and accountancy qualifications. She has worked in the space industry, pharmaceuticals, insurance, a supermarket, a bus station, a railway depot, and a lingerie department.
She lives with her daughter, son and The Exec in Fareham, Hampshire, on the south coast of England and can sometimes smell the sea from her back garden. When not working, her hobbies include rummaging through antique shops and she also has a fondness for wine and expensive lipstick.
Title: Christmas Kitsch
Author: Amy Lane
Published: December 9th 2013
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Genre: M/M New Adult Contemporary Romance
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Sometimes the best thing you can get for Christmas is knowing what you really want.
Rusty Baker is a blond, rich, entitled football player in a high school full of them—just the type of oblivious jock all the bullied kids hate. And he might have stayed that way, except he develops a friendship with out-and-proud Oliver Campbell from the wrong side of the tracks. Rusty thinks the friendship is just pity—Oliver is very bright, and Rusty is very not—but then Oliver kisses him goodbye when Rusty leaves for college, and Rusty is forced to rethink everything he knows about himself.
But even Rusty’s newfound awareness can’t help him survive a semester at Berkeley. He returns home for Thanksgiving break clinging to the one thing he knows to be true: Oliver Campbell is the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
Rusty’s parents disagree, and Rusty finds himself homeless for the holidays. Oliver may not have much money, but he’s got something Rusty has never known: true family. With their help and Oliver’s love, Rusty comes to realize that he may have failed college, but he’ll pass real life with flying rainbow colors.
If it doesn’t make me cry, grin and sigh, it is not a proper Amy Lane story. Yep, I’m convinced of it. And this one? Well, let’s just say that my eldest thought I was having an ‘episode’. According to her, I was laughing out loud one moment, sighing the next, wiping my eyes, swearing, crying and then grinning like the cat that caught the canary. Do you need me to say that I LOVED this book?! I think you get it, but if you’re, for any reason, on the fence about it (*gasp* really?!) let me be clear.
Perfect cover ~ Bah! If you know me, you know I’m a cover slut. So yeah, I judge my books by their covers and this one was perfect.
Awesome main characters ~ I loved how adorably clueless rusty was. His heart was huge and his pain unbearable, but he made me smile and his strength of character, even when things went downhill, was wonderful. Oliver? Oliver was just too much. Loyal to a fault, understanding, determined but never too pushy (and when he was, it made for some fantastic couple of pages!). He was the ideal man for Rusty, even of Rusty took a while to ‘see’ it.
Interesting secondary characters ~ There were a LOT of characters introduced in this story and each of them added something to the story whenever they came into the scene. I loved Oliver’s dad and Rusty’s sister. But my favorite was Rex, Rusty’s roommate in college. He was truly a character.
Emotions, emotions, everywhere emotions ~ Really, I have to explain? It’s Amy Lane!!! Even with her fun stories she manages to wiggle the emotions in there to get at you. But even though she brought a whole range in emotions, I didn’t find the story angsty.
Surprise, surprise ~ Okay, so I was under the impression that this here was a Young Adult story (serves me right for looking at other people’s shelves!), so I wasn’t expecting anything more than some kissing and roaming of the hands. Er, nope. Well yes, there was that. Just that first kiss was…nevermind. You have to experience it for yourself and what it all entails. I’ll just say this – NEW ADULT! (to those who have it shelved wrong!)
So there you have it – a wonderful holiday read with two of the most engaging characters I’ve read in a while and a story that was as heart-warming as it was entertaining. Ahhh, gotta love M/M Romance (and Amy Lane, <3 her too!).
*I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion and like my fellow reader Heather I bought it too! (It’s Amy Lane, people!!!)
Curl up with this heartwarming Christmas collection!
Jill Shalvis, Dream a Little Dream: Melissa has kept every man at a safe distance-especially firefighter Ian, a sexy friend with sexy benefits. But Ian secretly longs for more. Luckily, ’tis the season for giving love a chance . . .
Kristen Ashley, Every Year: Holidays don’t come easy for Shy and his brother, Landon. But with the magic of Christmas, along with a little help from Tabby and her family, the Cage brothers are about to get the gift of a lifetime . . .
Hope Ramsay, Silent Night: Down on her luck and evicted from her apartment, single mother Maryanne hopes to start over in Last Chance. When the snow begins to fall, it looks like her baby might literally spend Christmas Eve in a manger. And Maryanne might celebrate the holiday with a handsome stranger.
Molly Cannon, Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas: Lincoln is a bachelor who’s set in his ways-until a professional organizer dressed up as Mrs. Claus changes his life, one tip at a time. . .
Marilyn Pappano, A Family for Christmas: War widow Ilena doesn’t mind spending Christmas alone. But when a new doctor blows into town with the winter wind, will she get her secret Christmas wish?
Plus: Excerpts from upcoming novels!
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Dream a Little Dream (Lucky Harbor #8.5) by Jill Shalvis ~ 5 stars
I loved, LOVED this story!!! Then again I’m a fan of Jill Shalvis and especially her Lucky Harbor books.
Melissa is not one to commit and even though, or maybe especially because, she has developed some feelings for Ian she wants to keep her distance from him. Fate had other plans, unfortunately. After a rather dangerous turn of events Melissa admits she needs Ian in her life. Now the problem was in trying to convince him of getting together with her after she rejected him.
Through funny moments, entertaining dialogue and inner musings, Jill Shalvis brought Ian and Melissa’s connection to the page. They already had the basis of it, they just had to admit to what they were feeling and let it bloom. And bloom they did! Their chemistry jumped off the page and when they finally, FINALLY got together it was as wonderful as all the other events that took place throughout the story.
Short, but sweet with all the elements I’ve come to expect of her stories, Dream a Little Dream was my favorite of the set of stories.
Every Year (Chaos #2.5) by Kristen Ashley ~ 5 stars
I enjoyed visiting Shy and Tabby and the Chaos family, including Shy’s brother, Landon. It was good to see Shy and Tabby moving forward in their relationship, but I mostly enjoyed knowing more about Shy and Landon.
As told in Own the Wind, Shy and Landon didn’t have the greatest moments after their parents’ murder. It was touching to see how deeply their hurt was, especially over the holidays. I was especially glad to see how they made the effort to let go of the past and enjoy the moment they shared with their new-found family.
All in all, a great addition to the Chaos series with sweet, tender moments and of course some funny and lustful one’s too!
Silent Night by Hope Ramsay ~ 2 stars
I had a hard time getting through this story. Maybe is was the insta-love concept, the setting or the characters, I can’t put my finger on it. On the one hand it was sweet and ‘holiday-ish’ with its barn and the baby and Mary, which set the mood. But on the other there was the conflicting emotions of two characters that spent most of their time thinking for themselves and not communicating with each other. And if they did, it was implied which kind of turned me off the story because I had nothing to hold on to when I was looking to connect to them.
Although the story was not for me, Silent Night was still a sweet story about a man and a woman finding a chance to start anew together.
Have Yourself a Messy Little Christmas by Molly Cannon ~ 3 stars
This was a fun story. I enjoyed the heroine’s humor and watching Lincoln all flustered over his attraction to her and having his stuff organized. I wish I had seem them interact a bit more, but at least their chemistry was great. Although I didn’t connect to them fully, their banter was entertaining and enough to keep me interested in the outcome of their story.
All in all, a fun holiday read.
A Family for Christmas by Marilyn Pappano ~ 4 stars
This was a nice story to read. I enjoyed learning Ilena’s story and watching her open up to new possibilities with Jared, the new doctor in town. Their interactions were fun and entertaining and their connection although not completely explored, was developed enough for me to at least believe that they had a chance at something. I would have preferred to see them interact a bit more before emotions came into play, but other than that I wouldn’t change anything about them coming together.
All in all, a heartwarming story of new beginnings for two people who were not looking for a relationship.
*I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.
Title: A Terrible Love (A Terrible Love #1)
Author: Marata Eros
Published: April 26th 2013
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
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Jess Mackey is living a meticulously fabricated lie of necessity. She’s left the secret tragedy of her past behind along with who she was and is forging ahead with a clean slate. But Jess soon discovers that passion can’t be left behind—neither her own, nor that of the one man who sees who she really is…and whose unexpected presence may breach the peaceful life Jess has painstakingly created for herself.
Devin Castile didn’t expect to meet a young woman who may be the missing puzzle piece to his existence…and who is also the victim of a heinous crime. Devin convinces himself that he can remain emotionally distant even while indulging his physical desire for her. But when Jess’s lies begin to crumble in the face of their undeniable attraction and the truth is revealed, one of them might pay with their life.
You know the type of book that captivates you from the moment you start it and doesn’t let go until the very end? And where you come to care a great deal for the main characters even when you don’t fully understand them? If like me, that is the kind of book that you love to immerse yourself into, then this is NOT the book for you.
This story had great potential but it also lacked on some aspects.
First, I didn’t exactly ‘get’ Jess. She had a rough past and what she eventually went through was hard and ugly, but in the present she behaves too ‘casual’ for me to believe she was so unbelievably affected by it all. She is dating one man and then lusting for the other. WTF?! Isn’t she trying to keep a low profile? And for a woman who doesn’t like violence she sure gets into a lot of altercations. Just sayin’.
Now that that is out of the way, I get to tell you about Devin Castille (Cas). He comes in out of the blue to capture Jess’ attention. He’s got everything that sets her all her senses reeling and he’s the last thing she needs at the moment. Try as she might to control her overwhelming attraction to him, he is relentless if a little bit cagey in the manner he pursues her and she gives in.
Devin, Devin, Devin! If only I could meet up with you in a storage closet. Damn, that man was H-O-T! He won a star from me all by his lonesome.
The plot is not overtly complicated but it was intriguing enough for me to wonder how the author would bring it all around later on. It didn’t hurt that I enjoyed Devin so much. I had his role figured out early on, but enjoyed how it was played out nonetheless even if I thought the resolution of the conflict was wrapped up too prettily after all the hoopla that went on throughout the story.
For me, A Terrible Love was an interesting story with a dash of mystery (if you didn’t figure out the roles of the main players from the get go, which I did), a sexy alpha-male type man that fired me up and an heroine that could have been developed a bit more. All in all, an okay read
Title: Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken #3)
Author: Courtney Cole
Published: December 3rd 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Sometimes, one dark moment is all it takes to turn your world black…
For 24-year old Dominic Kinkaide, that moment took place on the night of his high school graduation. One dark incident changed him forever. He’s a hardened actor now, famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured in his own. He doesn’t care about much of anything, except for losing himself in the roles that he plays.
23-year old Jacey Vincent doesn’t realize how much her father’s indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn’t one specific moment that wrecks a person, but rather it’s an absence of moments. She’s like a bird with a broken wing-strong yet fragile, as she tries to float through life, finding acceptance in the arms of random guys, one after the other… to fill the void that her father left in her.
Until she meets Dominic.
After jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, his secret and her issues create a dark and damaged energy that will soon turn their attraction to each other into an explosive storm.
Even though when the clouds have cleared and the dust has settled, both of them are almost obliterated… they’ve learned a priceless lesson.
Sometimes, before we fall… we fly.
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Dominic is spending some time back at home with his family before he starts shooting his next movie. of course, he is getting off on his kinks while there. Then he meets Jacey. Although attracted to her, he is not going to waste his time with her because she’s the same as the others and his sick and tired of the same old game. Not that he’s going to change his ways, but on that particular night he doesn’t want to deal with it. Little does he know that the woman next to him in his precious Porsche is going to tilt his world on its axis, shattering his belief that he can’t ever feel again.
Jacey is trying to change her ways and lead a new life. She’s tired of falling for the wrong man and is determined to put herself first once and for all. Although she tries to ignore her growing attraction to Dominic, she can’t help but try to save him. Even when he’s being a jerk to her she’s still drawn to the man and his sexy ways. He intrigues her and she can’t stay away.
After reading the previous book, If You Leave, I was left wondering what Jacey’s story would be. I recall wondering that I was wondering if she would end up with Bran. Courtney Cole definitely threw me a curve ball on this one.
I loved the way that Courtney Cole brought Jacey and Dom together. Their relationship was turbulent with conflicting emotions running rampant and sexual tension that could cut glass. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Especially since through it all I got to see both Jacey and Dominic grow into their characters.
Each of them had demons they had to deal with and I liked the way the author went about Jacey and Dom’s way of dealing with them. Or not dealing in Dom’s case. Hell, that man was so out of it, conflicted and confused that I just wanted to wrap him up and shelter him from it all. Jacey though, she dealt with her problems head on with her head held high and I admired the hell out of her for it.
I liked that their connection was developed throughout the story. Even if it was not immediate, you could glimpse something there beneath the surface of the walls they kept in place to keep their emotions in check. There was something they each needed from one another. In a weird way, they understood each other and through the ‘friendship’ they developed their connection deepened and led to something more.
Needless to say that their chemistry was off the charts HOT. I enjoyed whenever they got together even when they did nothing but kiss. And when they did have sex? I loved it! Not only because it was hot as hell, but emotions did come into play and made it more enjoyable for me.
My only complaint would bee that Dom’s secret, that dark, painful secret he kept wanting to forget, wasn’t as big a deal as I assumed it would be. Mind you, it’s probably my fault for thinking it was something much more dramatic. However, it was a doozy regardless of my assumptions.
All in all, an edgy, sexy read with complex characters that were drawn to each other even though they tried like hell to stay away from each other.
Title: Until We Burn (Beautifully Broken #2.5)
Author: Courtney Cole
Published: November 21, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Dominic Kinkaide does bad, bad things.
As a 24-year old actor with the world on a string, not many women tell Dominic no. In a life where no doesn’t exist, he stretches the boundaries between what is right, what is wrong and what is downright depraved. Dark and damaged, Dom wants no commitments.
He wants no attachments.
He only wants to disappear into the taboo, into a place where he feels something.
But when the aching need to disappear into the darkness is the only thing he has left, Dominic flounders. In a world that is hollow and sexual, without a guiding light or a reason to breathe, Dominic is lost and broken. He knows he’ll never be fixed. So he makes a decision.
If he’s going to hell, he might as well make it worth it.
**UNTIL WE BURN is a novella (book 2.5 in the Beautifully Broken series) intended to introduce Dominic Kinkaide, to enhance the reading experience of BEFORE WE FALL (Book 3). Please note that because Dom’s lifestyle is wild, this novella contains graphic content and adult material.
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Dominic is a movie star used to getting his way. He likes what he likes doesn’t care about anyone but himself and his family. His kink is what has been keeping him feeling something for the last few years, but he doesn’t think it’s working anymore. Yet he continues with his conquest, fulfilling his need for pleasure and release.
Damn that Dominic and his kinky ways!
I’m so glad I got to know Dominic before I started reading his full story because I think that his behavior might have shocked me just a bit. Not that it was so over the top, but not what I was expecting from Courtney Cole, that’s for sure!
I loved him! Hell, I even enjoyed his arrogant side. But it was those few moments when he let his guard down that did it for me. I’m more than intrigued by his story and I can’t wait to meet the woman who will get under his skin and change his ways (well, hopefully not ALL of them!).
All in all, a very insightful read to prepare me for what’s to come in Before We Fall.
Title: Embracing Love
Author: Delisa Lynn
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance
Lila was nineteen and going off to college, she hated to leave her family and friends behind. She had the perfect life; she had two best friends whom meant the world to her. She had a great boyfriend, she cared a lot for him and was worried about what would happen once she left for NYC and left him behind.
Although Lila and her boyfriend had been friends for years before dating, she suspected he was unfaithful. It hurt her more than she thought it would when she catches him in the act and found out it had been going on for months. The one person she thought, would never be there for her was now her rock. This man she never thought she would feel anything for was now whom she admired, and wanted in her life. What was going to happen once she left?
Lila was excited when she seen a familiar face in NYC and had met new ones. It couldn’t get any better, she had met great friends and stayed in contact with the man she had fallen for. Things change when tragedy leaves Lila feeling broken and not knowing where to turn, when she has lost two of the most important people in her life. What is she to do now that all her dreams where fading. Could she move on and be happy, or should she just give up hope.
Hmmm…where to start? This was a hard read for me to get through.
First, I have to say that I found Lila to be immature, flighty and unlikable. Between her whiplash-inducing thoughts and her utterly unthinkable actions, I was surprised to see myself finishing the book.
I guess I liked Liam. Can’t say much about him since he came off as a bit too perfect – too accepting, too sweet, too unbelievable. For a man who had gone through a lot in life in such a short time, he seemed unperturbed by events. He just shrugged everything off as if of no importance when in reality it would affect a person deeply.
Anyhow, I just couldn’t get into the story. I was laughing out loud at some of the dialogue, shaking my head in denial at some of the stuff that went off and just completely in awe of Lila’s actions and feelings.
The concept behind the story was great, but for me it failed in its execution. It felt rushed and out of sorts. Apparently, it wasn’t the story for me.
All in all, an okay story that could have reached great potential with a little more realistic dialogue, a more emotionally matured heroine and a hero that showed some deep emotion.
About the Author
Delisa Lynn grew up in Columbus Ohio and loves Buckeye football. After working in retail photography for sixteen years, she wanted to take a different path and attended college where she received a diploma in Medical Assisting. She married her high school sweetheart, and moved to the Midwest, missing the east coast they decided to move back and are now residing in Western New York with their fur daughter Sophie. Delisa has always had a passion for reading, and has wanted to write her own novel. Delisa loves the outdoors, traveling, shopping and family time. When not writing, you can find her snuggling up with her fur daughter and reading a good book or watching a good movie. Delisa is currently writing Borrowed, a Novella from Evan Martin’s POV. Also look for Embracing Us and Embracing Hearts, all releasing early 2014.
Title: Take a Chance: Series Bundle (Take a Chance #1-4)
Author: Diane Alberts
Published: November 25th 2013
Publisher: Entangled – Flaunt
Genre: Contemporary Romance
What happens in Vegas…can lead to romance.
It took one wild night for Sergeant Jeremy Addison to realize that Vegas? Was a bad idea.Bloody. Bruised. Dehydrated. Abandoned in the desert, and left to stagger down the road. The only way this leave could get worse was if his savior was his ex-best friend’s sister…and the girl he’d loved since childhood.
The last person Erica expected to find on the roadside was her high school crush. She hadn’t seen Jeremy in seven years—ever since the night he said he loved her, and she ran away. Losing him then had been a mistake, but wanting him now could be catastrophic if he discovered the secret that chased every other man from her life.
But with a tall, tattooed Marine determined to prove he’s always been faithful, can Erica resist his advances…or will she surrender ground and give love a try?
Thomas Jones has come to Vegas to win yet another account for his marketing company. But when he sits across from beautiful and sensual Brianna Falk to deliver his pitch, his desire to leave Vegas as quickly as possible is replaced by the need to get closer to her. Yet she resists his charm.
Brianna knows a date with Thomas could jeopardize her job, but he’s so maddening and insistent, she has a hard time denying him just one date. But that’s all it can be: one date. Because she has to protect her job and her secrets, even if it means giving up a chance at a life she never thought she’d have again.
Even the best-laid plans can go awry.
Single-mom Kiersten Worth knows a bottle of champagne and night of hot, no-strings-attached sex is the perfect solution to her jilted bride blues…and Garrett Kelly, long-time friend and her teenaged son’s sexy basketball coach, is just the stud for the job.
Garrett wants more from the elusive temptress than a casual affair, but he never expects it to come in the form of an unexpected pregnancy.
When he proposes an unorthodox solution—move in and raise their baby together—Kiersten has to decide whether to let down her guard and open her heart to the man who secretly loved her for years, or risk losing his tender embrace for good.
Married in the morning…
Professional heartbreaker Mike Worth thrived on the chase—and dancer Morgan Collins represented the ultimate prize. But there was no way he was going to throw away his single-man status…not even for an elusive redhead with sparkling eyes and mile-long legs. So how did he let one drunken Vegas night end with I do instead of hell no?
Morgan’s life revolved around her career and she had no intention of letting a man interfere—even if Mike made her question all her rules about love. At his urging, she reluctantly agreed to give their spur-of–moment marriage a chance. But once their trial-honeymoon ended, would she choose to follow the dance and leave her unforgettable husband behind?
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Try Me ~ 3.75 stars
Jeremy had a rough night and by the looks of his surroundings it seems he is bound to have even a rougher day. Taking a chance that a stranger might help him out, he tries to hitch a ride. Even in his dazed state he recognizes the voice of the woman who stopped to help — Erica, the woman he never forgot.
I enjoyed the emotions brought to the page by the Diane Alberts. Each emotion that was portrayed by both Jeremy and Erica felt real and revealed a lot about their personalities, struggles and hesitations. It was what truly helped me relate to the characters in a more personal level.
Jeremy and Erica’s interactions were honest and emotional and their chemistry was easily palpable throughout the book. This was what truly sold me the story. I appreciated the way the time the author spent bringing their stories to the front so that there couldn’t be any more misunderstandings between them so that they could move forward once and for all.
Try Me, the first story in the Take a Chance series is a touching story about second chances with great mix of drama and romance.
I look forward to reading more about Erica’s brother, Thomas, in Love Me . I want to get to the bottom of the conflict between Jeremy and Thomas and maybe see him moving on in his life now that he had the chance to make amends with Jeremy.
Love Me ~ 4.5 stars rounded up because of that HOT office sex scene!
Thomas is not looking for a relationship. In fact, he loves them and leaves them ever since he was betrayed by his wife years ago. So when he finds himself admiring the lovely lady who gives as good as she gets before a business meeting, he thinks nothing of it. That is until he finds that Brianna, the woman he was instantly attracted to, is the business associate he will be dealing with to land the account he needs to acquire the promotion he wants at work.
Thrown for a loop, fighting his attraction and working on the job he needs to complete, Thomas decides to have his cake and eat it too. The problem comes when Brianna fights him every step of the way. Never one to back down from a challenge, Thomas sets his sights on having an affair with Brianna for however long he is in town. The only problem — Brianna comes to mean more to him than he ever expected to. All of a sudden he finds himself entertaining notions of marriage and family. Now if only he could convince Brianna to take a chance on him and love him.
Holy cow, I was NOT expecting this!!! Emotions, sexual tension, sizzling-hot chemistry all wrapped up in an intense story of second chances and letting go, Love Me took me by surprise. After reading Try Me , where Thomas appears and makes amends with Jeremy after a huge misunderstanding that tore apart their friendship, I was curious to read Thomas’ story and see him find his happily-ever-after. However, I was not expecting him to be such a complex character.
I loved him! His intensity, his determination and his sexiness. Once he made up his mind he was not to be deterred, even when at times he struggled to come to grips with his new-found feelings of starting a family and remarrying. Especially since his view of marriage had forever been altered by his previous experience. Having been weary of commitment for years, he finally learns to let go so that he could pursue Brianna.
I enjoyed the way Brianna and Thomas were brought together and how they each put their emotions out there on the page for me to truly connect with them and cheer them on to come together. I liked Brianna right away. She was strong and independent and not easily persuaded by a handsome face. She was all proper and business-like but when she let go and opened up to Thomas their connection could not be denied. It was explosive! Damn, that scene in her office? Phew!!! HOT!
Play Me ~ 3.5 stars
Garrett has wanted Kiersten since high school. Although she’s his best friend’s sister, that hasn’t stopped his heart from developing deep feelings for her. He knows that Kiersten has had a couple of rough years and doesn’t want to add to her troubles by admitting his feelings for her. But when Kiersten, in a moment of weakness, offers herself to him he can’t help himself and gives in. Even after they engage in a ‘friends with benefits’ relationship, he still wants more but is scared of how to approach her with his plan. So he hold on and spends time with her hoping one day she may come to feel for him what he feels for her.
Kiersten can’t deny that she’s attracted to Garrett but his reputation as a player precedes him and she’s not in no position to get her heart broken. But now that circumstances have changed for them both, how can she kept her heart out of the equation when the handsome man does everything in his power to win her over?
I liked this story very much but contrary to the previous one, I didn’t feel Kiersten and Garrett’s emotions or chemistry jump off the page as much. I did enjoy their interactions. Their flirtatious banter and honest dialogue lent itself to reveal a side of them they mostly kept hidden. Their emotions, although somewhat tame, still were in present, especially towards the end when everything came to a close.
Even though their chemistry was not as strong as I thought it would be it still was hot to see them together. Especially since Garrett added his emotions to the mix. It was hard to see how affected he was by their situation, but with his sense of humor and care-free attitude he kept the story light and entertaining.
Of course, the introduction of the secondary characters added to the story. I especially enjoyed Mike, although it was a treat to see Thomas and Brianna again.
Although this story might not have been everything I was expecting it still had that romantic quality I’ve enjoyed from the other stories. With interesting and complex characters, humor and some sexy scenes, Play Me was a great read.
Take Me ~ 4.25 stars
Mike doesn’t do relationships, so when he meets the gorgeous Morgan he wants to get with her. She has something that draws him in, especially the fact that she appears unaffected by his charming ways.
Morgan doesn’t have time for a relationship and is not in the lookout for one. She wants to get her career as a dancer on track while she’s young. Of course, she wasn’t planning on meeting the handsome Mike. With his sexy charm and his determination to pursue her, she is slowly but surely letting her walls down. But when she finds herself second guessing her plans, she decides to do what’s best for her, regardless of her feelings for Mike.
I loved this story! It’s not often that I enjoy a story based on the ‘waking up married after a drunken night’ concept. But Diane Alberts outdid herself on this one by portraying each and every one of both Morgan and Mike’s emotions as they made their journey from mistake to true love. I enjoyed watching them fight their feelings for each other and their reluctance to give into the other. Their banter was hilarious and their flirtatious dialogue entertaining as well. However, I mostly enjoyed the moments where they let their guard down enough to be honest with each other regardless of past mistakes.
Needless to say that their chemistry was amazing. The first kiss alone was scorching HOT and had me anticipating what was to come. Every touch, look and moan was perfectly placed. And when emotions came into play? The hotness factor of their sex sky-rocketed!
Once again, I enjoyed visiting with the secondary characters. I enjoyed how Brianna gave Mike a hard time and loved seeing Garrett and Kristen finally have their happily ever after.
All in all, a hot little read with emotional undertones, lots of flirting and off the charts HOT chemistry between two complex and interesting characters.
*I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.