Tag Archives: Harlequin

Pre-Order Blitz! The Harder You Fall (The Original Heartbreakers #3) by Gena Showalter

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The Harder You Fall (The Original Heartbreakers #3)
by Gena Showalter

A Contemporary Romance
From HQN Books
Releasing November 24th 2015

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From New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter comes another scorching Original Heartbreakers tale featuring an aloof bad boy and the rowdy Southern belle who rocks his world…

Millionaire video-game creator Lincoln West has a dark and tragic past. The sought-after bachelor lives by a rigid schedule and a single rule—one relationship per year, lasting no more than two months. No exceptions. When he gave up the big city for a small town, he hoped to escape the worst of his memories—until a brash beauty dredges up long-buried emotions.

A reformed party girl, Jessie Kay Dillon is determined to walk the straight and narrow. But her love-hate sizzle with West is just too irresistible. They can’t be near each other without tearing off their clothes, but the last thing she needs is to be his next two-month dump. Will she become the one exception? Because as any former girl-gone-wild knows: rules are made to be broken.

 

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“Emotional, heart-tugging, kept me turning the pages!” —Carly Phillips, New York Times Bestselling Author

 

Pre-Order THE HARDER YOU FALL here!

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About Gena Showalter

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Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.  In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she’s appeared onNightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black–if you ask her about it, she’ll talk for hours…hours!  Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books  on her at Website or Facebook page.

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Tour: Push by Claire Wallis *Excerpt and Giveaway*

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Push (Push #1)
by Claire Wallis

A New Adult Romance
From Harlequin MIRA
Released May 1st 2014

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I feel like I am wrapped in a cyclone. Everything is whirling around me, drawing the air out of my lungs and filling me with the best kind of turmoil. Every time his tongue slides against mine, a prickle in my gut tells me how right we are together. How much I need David. How much I need us.

I hope the cyclone never stops.

Emma Searfoss has spent a lifetime trying to escape her abusive stepfather. It’s why she moved far away from home. It’s why she’s kept no ties with her remaining family. And it’s why she’s got a major rage problem. When her neighbor shows up to fix the kitchen in her new apartment, his enigmatic charm calms the fire in her. David is cool and collected, and he makes Emma feel safe for the first time ever. But David has his own chilling past—his six previous girlfriends have all disappeared without a trace. Emma’s walking a dangerous line, but David’s pull is intoxicating. And impossible to resist…

This is a new adult romance with mature content for readers 17 and up.

 

Push

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Excerpt

As I look at his arms, I almost feel guilty. Like I have seen something that was supposed to be private. Intimate even. I only see them for a few brief moments, but they tell me more about David than I suspect he wants me to know. Anyone can see his arms of course, but I feel like I have exposed him somehow. Like my looking at them might make him embarrassed. Vulnerable even. But I know thousands of people have probably seen his tattoos and didn’t think twice about it.

Maybe it’s me that feels embarrassed.

The two of us together in my very small, and very demolished, kitchen is suddenly awkward, and I want to get out. I have to pass him sideways to fit between his body and the wall, and I take care not to touch him as I go by. I put the rest of the food on the table and divvy it all up. He comes around the corner drying his hands with a paper towel.

“How long ago did you move in?” he asks. “I haven’t really seen you around so it must have been pretty recently.” I want to make a smart aleck comment about all the moving boxes sitting around, but I decide that I’d better not.

“I’ve only been here a few days,” I answer as we both sit down. “I start my new job on Monday.”

“Oh yeah?” he asks with what might be a hint of pride in his voice. “Good for you. What’s the job?”

“It’s for the FBI,” I say. “I’m going to be investigating a con-man who swindles women into paying for remodeling projects they didn’t ask for.”

And there it is. His smile. It’s not big, and he doesn’t show his teeth, but still, it’s a smile. And I smile back.

“Wow. Now that sounds like an interesting case, Emma,” he says. “I bet he’s a good- looking bastard.”

“They say he’s a conceited son-of-a-bitch, too,” I add.
”Don’t worry. You won’t be paying for a single penny of your new kitchen.” “How do you know that?”

“Because I play poker with Carl every Tuesday night, and I have already won you your new kitchen. You want a new bathroom too? I can have that for you by Wednesday morning.”

“Ahhh. It appears that the con-man is indeed a conceited son-of-a-bitch,” I say. “But I’m glad he’s spending his winnings so smartly. I didn’t know philanthropic con-men even existed. How unexpected.”

“Con-men are notorious for the unexpected,” he says, and I feel a lump in my throat. The whole time we have been talking I have been watching the birds on his arms in my peripheral vision. I suddenly feel remorseful for taking what could have been a normal conversation and turning it into a series of jokes. He is still smiling, though, which tells me he likes it.

“Unexpected is nice,” I say. Nice? That’s the best I can do? The word seems wrong.

We sit there eating without saying another word. I am looking at my food and not at him. When I glance up a few minutes later, he is looking right at me, and he’s still smiling, even as he eats.

“What?” I ask.
”Are you going to tell me what your new job really is?”

“I’m going to work for a company that designs telecommunication systems for office buildings. I’m an electrical engineer.” He actually looks pleased, and it surprises the hell out of me. “Welcome to Geek-ville,” I add as I shrug my shoulders. Oh God.

“Geek-ville?” he asks, half laughing. “I think that shit is awesome.” I must look shocked at his reply because he shrugs his shoulders too.

“And how long have you worked for Carl?”

“Almost two years. He owns a couple of apartment buildings, and I do all the maintenance for them in exchange for my rent.” Oh. David lives here? In this building? “It’s a pretty good deal. I just do some odd side jobs to pay for food and stuff, and I usually end up kicking ass on poker night so I’m good. I’m really a carpenter, but I’ll do whatever the hell he needs just so I don’t have to get some nine to five shit union job.”

“I’m not looking forward to nine to five myself, but I think it will treat me pretty well.”

“I’m sure it will,” he says as he gets up from the table. “I’m going to get a few more things done in here, and then I’ll get going.”

He goes back into the kitchen, and I follow behind him carrying our plates. As I drop them into the sink, he hooks his tool belt around his waist and nestles it down onto his hips. I glance at the birds again, knowing that his eyes are on the belt clip and not me. They are breathtaking.

“Do you live in this building?” Really, Emma? Do you really want to go there? I curse my curiosity and tell it to go fuck itself.

“Yes,” he says. “Right above you, but two floors up.” That explains how he knew which apartment was mine and exactly where the kitchen was. It doesn’t explain why he used the door buzzer.

“Oh. Then why did you use the door buzzer this morning?” I ask.

“Because intercom introductions are my thing.” He holds his arms out in front of him and adds, “If you saw me through the peephole in your door, would you open it?”

“Yes…but only because of the tool belt.” I mean it as a joke, but I’m not sure he’s going to take it that way.

He chuckles and says, “Works every time.”

 

About the Author

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Claire Wallis has penned hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles over the last ten years, with science playing the lead role in almost all of them. Though non-fiction writing will forever be her first love, fiction has unexpectedly swooped in, hooked her by the soul, and become her true love. As a result of this coup d’état, Claire’s writing career has made a complete U-turn, and instead of rocks, plants, insects, and microbes, she is now putting human characters in the lead.

Claire’s previous jobs include working at a limestone quarry, hawking vegetables at a farmer’s market, clerking at the dollar store, and convincing new mothers that they need to renew their subscription to that parenting magazine in order for their child to survive. She lives in Pennsylvania with her amazingly awesome husband and son.

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New Release: Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5) by Katie McGarry *Excerpt*

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Breaking the Rules (Pushing the Limits #1.5)
by Katie McGarry

A Young Adult Contemporary Romance
From Harlequin Teen
Released December 8th 2014

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A summer road trip changes everything in this unforgettable new tale from acclaimed author Katie McGarry.

For new high school graduate Echo Emerson, a summer road trip out west with her boyfriend means getting away and forgetting what makes her so . . . different. It means seeing cool sights while selling her art at galleries along the way. And most of all, it means almost three months alone with Noah Hutchins, the hot, smart, soul-battered guy who’s never judged her. Echo and Noah share everything–except the one thing Echo’s just not ready for.

But when the source of Echo’s constant nightmares comes back into her life, she has to make some tough decisions about what she really wants–even as foster kid Noah’s search for his last remaining relatives forces them both to confront some serious truths about life, love, and themselves.

Now, with one week left before college orientation, jobs and real life, Echo must decide if Noah’s more than the bad-boy fling everyone warned her he’d be. And the last leg of an amazing road trip will turn . . . seriously epic.

 

BTR available now

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Excerpt

Echo

There’s nothing like the rush of being chased by the great Noah Hutchins…

I hold my breath and strain to listen past the late-day birds singing in the branches above. The fine hair on the back of my neck rises as if Noah has appeared behind me and deliciously blown over my skin. I close my eyes. He’s so near I can imagine his body wrapped around mine.

Noah is wily and good at seeking, but I’m crafty and better at hiding. I edge to the side again and in painfully slow movements look behind me and…

“Gotcha.”

I scream. Loudly. My heart ramming through my chest. Birds’ wings beat together as dozens of them take to the sky. The moment I spot the laughter in Noah’s chocolate-brown eyes, my scream quickly morphs into a fit of giggles. He reaches for me, but I stumble back from the solid arm attempting to sneak around my back.

“You’re not getting away this time.” Noah’s deep voice vibrates down to my soul.

Noah’s arm slides one way and in a maneuver so slick it seems choreographed, I slip to the side, once again barely dodging his grasp.

“You’re too slow,” I taunt as I gain traction and sprint for the field of untamed wildflowers. The white-and-yellow daisies brush against my legs as I push forward. My skirt swishes against my thighs, and I love how the smooth material grazes my skin. Clean air fills my lungs, and my blood beats manically in my veins. Never in my life have I felt so alive. So high that I’m soaring.

“I’m letting you win,” he calls out.

“You are not.” I slow and pivot to watch as he struts behind me. The tall grass and flowers reach his jean-covered legs. For once, his dark hair doesn’t hide his eyes, and I love the spark of naughtiness in them. “You’re sore that you’re losing.”

He flashes the type of grin that encourages tingles. “You’re becoming cocky, Echo.”

I laugh, and the sound causes his smile to widen. Even though he’s slow in his approach, his wide gait closes the distance between us faster than I’d like. I steadily walk backward, unable to tear my eyes off the fluid way he moves. “Now, now. Out of the two of us, we both know you own that title.”

“Own it, wear it, I am it. I’ve never claimed differently.”

Nope, he never has. Noah is exactly who I see. A few months away from Kentucky, away from home, the rough foster kid is evolving into a man.

“Hey, Echo.” Noah gestures with his chin that he has something important to say, and I stall, watching as his gaze falls to my midriff. “Your tank rode up.”

I peer down and in a heartbeat realize my mistake when grass rustles and Noah grabs my waist. In a dizzying circle, my arms wrap around his neck and somehow we both end up on the ground. Me on top. Noah on the bottom. As always, Noah becomes my safe place to land.

With a wink, Noah rolls us, reversing our positions, but I don’t complain. I dream of his body over me. The heavy sensation is familiar and addictive. Noah skims his nose along the side of my neck, and the pleasing tickle causes me to suck in air.

“I won,” he whispers against my skin.

I find myself in a waking dream as I savor his caresses. “Did not.”

Noah presses a kiss to that sensitive spot behind my ear. A stream of warmth floods my body. Longing for more, I twist to expose my neck.

“Did, too.” His hands roam, sliding to my side. I melt and tense at the same time. We’re in the wide open, but I can’t stop the way my body molds to his. My fingers bunch the material of his shirt as I play with the idea of removing it. We’re far from the walking trail, far from the campsite. How many people, besides Noah and me, allow themselves to wander to the point of being lost?

“You said you could find me in five minutes,” I say softly. “That was longer than five minutes.”

“Echo,” he says as he raises his head. His fingers begin this little dance. Moving up then slowly down. Each down is slightly lower and promises very wicked things.

“Yes?”

“I’ve got you beneath me and not a person in sight. That’s winning.”

A peacefulness unfurls within me. I have to agree. That is winning.

Beauty Girl Outdoor. Teenage Model Girl Posing in Sun Light

 

And don’t forget to read the first books in the Pushing the Limits Series…

Pushing the Limits (Pushing the Limits, #1)

Crossing the Line (Pushing the Limits, #1.1)

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)

Crash into You (Pushing the Limits, #3)

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4)

 

About Katie McGarry

Katie McGarry was a teenager during the age of grunge and boy bands and remembers those years as the best and worst of her life. She is a lover of music, happy endings, reality television, and is a secret University of Kentucky basketball fan.

Katie is the author of full length YA novels, PUSHING THE LIMITS, DARE YOU TO, CRASH INTO YOU, TAKE ME ON, BREAKING THE RULES, and NOWHERE BUT HERE and the e-novellas, CROSSING THE LINE and RED AT NIGHT. Her debut YA novel, PUSHING THE LIMITS was a 2012 Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction, a RT Magazine’s 2012 Reviewer’s Choice Awards Nominee for Young Adult Contemporary Novel, a double Rita Finalist, and a 2013 YALSA Top Ten Teen Pick. DARE YOU TO was also a Goodreads Choice Finalist for YA Fiction and won RT Magazine’s Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award for Young Adult Contemporary fiction in 2013.

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Tour: As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2) by Ann Aguirre *Q&A and Giveaway*

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As Long As You Love Me (2B Trilogy #2)
by Ann Aguirre

A New Adult Contemporary Romance
From Harlequin
Released September 30th 2014

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Most people dream about getting out of Sharon, Nebraska, but after three years away, Lauren Barrett is coming home. There are the justifications she gives to everyone else—missing her family, losing her college scholarship. And then there’s the reason Lauren can’t admit to anyone: Rob Conrad, her best friend’s older brother.

Football prowess and jaw-dropping good looks made Rob a star in high school. Out in the real world, his job and his relationships are going nowhere. He can’t pinpoint exactly what’s missing until Lauren comes back to town, bringing old feelings and new dreams with her. But he’s the guy that women love and leave—not the one who makes them think of forever.

Though she’s terrified of opening up, Lauren’s ready to take that chance. Because the only thing more important than figuring out where you truly belong is finding the person you were meant to be with.

AsLongAsYouLoveMe

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Author Q&A

Where do you find your inspiration?

Weird things. Random things. Everything. The world is pretty awesome when you get right down to it. True story, I was driving to pick my kids up from school and I saw a man trudging down the sidewalk. He was dressed up, but disheveled, as if the day hadn’t gone as he’d planned. In his hands, he carried a mixed bouquet of pink and red roses. He paused for a second outside a house, but he didn’t ring the bell. Instead his shoulders slumped and he put the flowers in the rubbish. Then he walked on. Watching that, I thought, that’s a story.

That’s kind of how I operate. I get ideas from snippets of conversation, from a vignette I see, from the way people dress and talk. Sometimes books come to me in incredibly vivid Technicolor dreams. I pretty much always have an incredible backlog of ideas that I haven’t gotten to write yet. It’s enough to keep me busy for the next ten years.

How did you come up with the idea for this story?

It all started with I Want It That Way, and I knew I had to tell all the roommate stories before I was done. Lauren’s story grew out of my white-hot desire to write a best friend’s older brother story. It’s just so deliciously forbidden and awkward, but then, how awesome would it be to have your best friend as your sister in law?

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That gender roles are bullshit. Rob isn’t weak for needing Lauren to build up his self-esteem and Lauren isn’t dirty for being sexually empowered.

How would you describe the 2B Trilogy to someone who has not read the first books but is intrigued by the concept?

You can’t plan love. It happens when it happens. And these are college-age romances.

What are your current projects?

I just finished the first draft of Public Enemies, which is book 2 in the Immortal Game Trilogy. Next I’m writing Breakout, the final book in the Dred Chronicles.

 

Read the First Chapter of As Long as You Love Me HERE!

 

The 2B trilogy

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I Want It That Way

As Long As You Love Me

The Shape Of My Heart (11/25/14)

 

About the Author

Ann Aguirre
Ann Aguirre is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling author and RITA winner with a degree in English Literature; before she began writing full time, she was a clown, a clerk, a voice actress, and a savior of stray kittens, not necessarily in that order. She grew up in a yellow house across from a cornfield, but now she lives in sunny Mexico with her husband, children, and various pets. Ann likes books, emo music, action movies, and she writes all kinds of genre fiction for adults and teens, published with Harlequin, Macmillan, and Penguin, among others.

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Bonds of Courage (Wicked Play #6) by Lynda Aicher *Series Review*

 

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Bonds of Courage (Wicked Play #6)
by Lynda Aicher

An Erotic Contemporary Romance
From Harlequin/Carina Press
Released on June 16, 2014

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Book Six of Wicked Play

Pro hockey player Holden Hauke has kept his sexual needs buried for years. After a near miss over a picture of him bound to a spanking bench resulted in a mid-season trade, he’s kept his image clean. But with the season over, he’s ready to surrender control. And he’s found just the woman to help him—if only he can convince her to give him a chance.

Bending men to her will is nothing new for Vanessa Delcour, aka Mistress V—she’s a full-time rep for pro athletes, a part-time owner of exclusive sex club The Den, and an experienced Domme. But when Holden Hauke comes looking for a discreet partner, Vanessa’s concerned about his motives. Touching his training-toned body during a scene wouldn’t exactly be a hardship, but taking him on crosses barriers between work and play that she’s had in place for years.

From their first intense encounter in Mistress V’s playroom, Hauke knows he can’t let this chance slip away; he’s found the woman he’s always needed. Submissive or not, he’s willing to push her every limit to prove how good they can be together.

 

Buy the Book

Bonds of Courage (Wicked Play, #6)

 

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Review

4 stars

Holden has a need to be dominated–one that he has denied for too long. Although he accepts his need he doesn’t want to shout it’s still not something he can openly pursue because of his career. That’s how he finds himself at The Den being interviewed by Mistress V.

Vanessa keeps a tight control on her life. She separates her Domme persona from her business one and not once has she let them collide. But there’s something about Holden that pushes all her buttons and tests all the boundaries she has set for herself.

Once again, Lynda Aicher brings to the page a lust-filled, emotional tale of trust and acceptance.

I loved the characters, especially Holden. His submission was a beautiful thing to see and when paired with Vanessa’s conflicted emotions it made their story a fantastic read.

I enjoyed Holden’s acceptance of his needs and his easy and laid back personality. He was intense when it came to his desires but yet so understanding, open and caring when it came to Vanessa that I couldn’t help but cheer him on in his pursuit of something more with her.

As for Vanessa, I have to say that I admired her strength of character. Her past and conflicted emotions were the one thing that kept me interested in the outcome of her story. I admit though, that there were times when I wanted to shake some sense into her, but eventually she came to realize that Holden was not only the perfect sub for her but the man she needed at her side.

Of course, their chemistry was off-the-charts hot. I enjoyed their scenes and the intensity in which they came together. And when emotions came into play? Ufff! Amazing!

Although Bonds of Courage is the sixth book in the Wicked Play series it can certainly be read as a stand alone. However, I recommend reading all the previous books since they all are a great addition to the series.

*I received this title in exchange of my honest opinion.

 

Series Review

 

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Bonds of Trust (Wicked Play, #1) — 3.5 stars

Cali has finally decided to explore the idea that she might be a submissive, so she becomes a member of the most exclusive sex club in town. Although scared of taking this step, she knows that it’s the only way she can ever be true to herself after years of being what everybody expected her to be. What she wasn’t expecting was to have one of the owners take an interest in her. Not only does Jake bring her submissive side to the surface, he also wakes up feelings she had thought long forgotten – love and longing.

I loved the premise of this story very much, it’s not often that we get an “older” woman as a main character, much less having her try something new at this stage in her life. That was what I liked best of Cali. She felt real, with insecurities and needs that had been unfilled for a long time, but strong enough to go after what she wanted. Then to pair her up with Jake, a self-proclaimed wanderer who’d never stayed long enough in one place, and you know that what you’re going to get is one intense story.

Bonds of Trust is a great start to a series with the introduction of the club setting and the additional characters that appeared in the story.

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Bonds of Need (Wicked Play, #2) — 4 stars

Kendra is running from her past and her needs. A natural submissive who needs pain to gain her pleasure. She doesn’t want to need the pain and feels shame that she does, but her desire to fulfill those needs are greater than her will to not engage in the lifestyle, so she heads out to The Den once and for all. Once there she is fully determined in her mission. With her set of rules to keep her safe she finally approaches a Dom.

In a set of events that are packed-full of emotions, she finds herself not with the Dom she approached but with Deklan. A quiet man that exudes confidence and sexiness just by the way he stands, Deklan is a partner in The Den. A Dom who’s focus is on training submissives, he sees something in Kendra that he can’t help but want to explore. So with their set of rules all laid out they venture forward to help Kendra accept her needs without shame or fear.

And what a journey that was!!!

This time around the author delivered in all fronts. The story not only had the sensuality I’ve come to expect, it also had the range in emotions, a little bit of angst with a little humor mixed in and the wonderful development of a romance. This was not insta-love. This was a relationship based on trust earned and acceptance of needs. They talked, they laughed and they shared intimate moments and what came out of it was a beautiful coupling.

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Bonds of Desire (Wicked Play, #3) — 2.75 stars

Allison is an independent, young lawyer who makes her own decisions and doesn’t see the appeal of letting herself submit to a man to gain her pleasure. Like she said, that’s what vibrators were for. However, she does feel drawn to Tyler and Seth both for different reasons. She admits that she’s attracted to Set, a partner in The Den and a practicing Dom. She just doesn’t think that they have anything in common except their mutual attraction. When she meets Tyler she feels not only an instant need to protect him, but sees something in him that pulls at her – his quiet dominating way.

I had great hopes for this threesome. I thought that the concept had a great chance of bringing to the page a whole range of emotions and depth in characterization, instead I was left feeling flat. The connection between the three was thin at best and not developed thoroughly within the story. There was a lack of dialogue, but a lot of inner pondering that in reality didn’t help in me relating to any of the characters. Just when I thought I had a beat on who that character was, the story veered in another direction. It felt like I had to wade through a lot of ramblings just to get a sense of who each character was.

I believe that it is because of this that I couldn’t buy Allison’s sudden change of heart and acceptance of their relationship. Don’t get me wrong, they had chemistry to boot. The sex scenes were good, even if I felt they were cut short sometimes. It was hot seeing them together, but it would have been even better if their connection were stronger. It was just that connection, that time of truly getting to know each other that was missing. Maybe with a few more pages of dialogue and a lot less pages of pondering and wondering and more time spent together, this relationship would have been more believable to me.

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Bonds of Hope (Wicked Play, #4) — 4 stars

Quinn arrives at The Den to get some training for a movie role. She is tired of what her life has become and wants a chance to make a change. The Den is both shocking and exciting and she wants to learn more.

Marcus is not keen on ‘babysitting’ a movie star, especially now that he is a partner in the club. He has his hands full with his clients and has not time to waste. So when Quinn requests to experience the lifestyle, he goes full out. What he wasn’t expecting was how this experience will affect them both.

Once again, Lynda Aicher managed to deliver a sensual yet emotionally driven story. Neither Quinn nor Marcus are in search of love, but when they start their training and their emotions come into play, both of them must deal with the reality that is their life.

She’s an actress, he’s a Dom. She’s not strong enough to speak of her feelings and too inexperienced in the lifestyle to compromise on his career. He’s too stubborn to let go though and when tragedy strikes, he’s there ready to change his life in order to have her.

I liked that the author developed their connection over time and that their relationship wasn’t immediately a physical one. They had their scenes, but mostly they talked and shared and when the time came for them to ‘train’ it was packed full of sexual tension and excitement. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

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Bonds of Denial (Wicked Play, #5) — 5 stars

Rock has been fighting his sexuality since he was fourteen years old. This was made essential when he lived under his father’s thumb and then when he went in the service. Forced to deny himself the pleasure of another man’s company, he has lived his life lacking any emotional involvement other than those of friendship. But his need to give into his desires strengthened ever since he first laid eyes on Carter at The Den.

Carter is an escort and although it has worked out for him for a decade he can’t wait to get out. However, his fear of failure has him questioning his decision to renew his contract. He’s glad that at least his ‘work’ has become routine, especially now that he has a few regular who make it easy on him to continue with this trade. That is until one appointment with an unknown ‘john’. Although rattled by the man who paid for his services, he is a professional and will do what it takes to bring pleasure to the conflicted man he encounters.

Little do these men know that their meeting will lead to a journey where the strongest of the two will crumble and the one that was in a tattered state would be the one to save them both.

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this story!

Lynda Archer brought together all the elements I have come to expect from the M/M genre to make this an intense romantic read. She took a difficult subject and brought all the emotions and consequences it entailed and blended it together with need, lust and longing to bring forth a story of acceptance and new beginnings. I loved it and enjoyed from start to finish. The dark, the light and everything in between.

Full Review

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About the Author

Lynda Aicher has always loved to read. It’s a simple fact that has been true since she discovered the words of Judy Blume at the age of ten. After years of weekly travel as a consultant implementing computer software into global companies, she ended her nomadic lifestyle to raise her two children. Now, her imagination is her only limitation on where she can go and her writing lets her escape from the daily duties of being a mom, wife, chauffeur, scheduler, cook, teacher, volunteer, cleaner and mediator. If writing wasn’t a priority, it wouldn’t get done.

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Review: Definitely Naughty by Jo Leigh

naughty

Title: Definitely Naughty

Author: Jo Leigh

Published: November 26, 2013

Publisher: Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin

Genre: Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis

Single Gal Seeks Naughty Inspiration

Aubrey Hayes @windowUndresser

Window dressing at Le Muse lingerie = best job ever. LOVE. But must design The Ultimate Window Display Of Hot Sex before Xmas. #panic 24h

A Hot Guys Trading Card just fell from the sky. Could this beautiful piece of man be my muse? It’s raining men. #hallelujah 23h

OMFG, Detective Liam Flynn even hotter in person. May explode into a million pieces of lusty lady bits. #HandcuffMeNow 15h

It’s on. Have convinced the über-hot cop to be my naughty muse until Xmas. Two weeks of sex, here I come! *ahem* 14h

Muse Plan already working. Creative juices flowing. And Detective Liam Hotness is the best “inspiration” ever. Owe the Fates BIG time. 8h

But I only have him until Christmas. Keep it together, Aubrey—and DON’T fall for him. #SexNotLove 3m

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Review

3-stars

Aubrey is uninspired and it is definitely not the right moment to lose her muse. She has a big display for Christmas Eve Eve and is willing to go to great lengths to get her muse back. As luck may have it, her inspiration lands on her hands in the form of a Hot Guys Trading card, featuring Liam Flynn.

Liam is a loner focusing on his career as a Detective for the NYPD. When a stranger calls him and tells him about the card she has in her possession his only motive for seeing her is to get the card back and make sure the woman is not a stalker. To his surprise, he is as drawn to her as he is weary. Of course, he can’t resist but take advantage of Aubrey’s offer. Who’s he to deny an artist her muse?

The first thing that caught my attention was the concept behind the story and although the author did a great job of executing it I think that some elements got lost along the way. I wish Liam and Aubrey’s connection would have been explored more on the page. Most of their interactions took place off page, so I couldn’t really see if their initial connection had anything to build upon. What I did get to experience was cute, but not something that would lead me to believe that they had something lasting.

Their chemistry was good though and that coupled with their easy camaraderie kept me interested in their story. They exchanged some emotion-filled moments and some tender ones too, which I appreciated. I just wish I could have gotten a little bit more of their story as individuals so that I could connect to them fully and feel invested in their relationship.

So all in all, a good romantic read.

*I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.

Cake by Lauren Dane

Rating: 4 stars

Publisher: Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin (September 17, 2013)

Synopsis: She won’t be satisfied with just one bite…

Art student-slash-bike messenger Wren Davis pursues what she wants. And what she wants now is Gregori Ivanov, rock star of the Seattle art scene. With his tattoos, piercings and sensual sneer, Gregori is the ultimate bad boy. Wren’s gotten to know the man beneath the body art, too—and it only makes her crave him more.

But Gregori loves women like he loves cake and champagne—intensely, but only for the moment. And after Wren experiences just how scorching sex with Gregori is, she’s determined to show him that just one taste won’t be enough…

Review: This story was everything I have come to expect from Lauren Dane. There were the great characters that were easy to relate to. Both Wren and Gregori were easy going and passionate. They were both hesitant about relationships, especially Grigori who avoided them like the plague.

Then there was that explosive chemistry between them. Once again, Lauren Dane delivered in that respect. Their connection and chemistry was easily palpable with each of their interactions. It was both frustrating and entertaining to watch them with each other. One step forward, two steps back. Repeat and then BOOM! All that unleashed passion, which made for a nice read.

All in all, Cake was a short, quick and sexy read that left me wanting more simply because the characters were intriguing and their story one that was both hot and romantic. Another winner for Lauren Dane!

I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

Tear You Apart by Megan Hart

Rating: 5 stars

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (August 27, 2013)

Synopsis: Their passion will consume everything and everyone in its path.

I’m on a train.

I don’t know which stop I got on at; I only know the train is going fast and the world outside becomes a blur. I should get off, but I don’t. The universe is playing a cosmic joke on me. Here I had my life—a good life with everything a woman could want—and suddenly, there is something more I didn’t know I could have. A chance for me to be satisfied and content and maybe even on occasion deliriously, amazingly, exuberantly fulfilled.

So this is where I am, on a train that’s out of control, and I am not just a passenger. I’m the one shoveling the furnace full of coal to keep it going fast and faster.

If I could make myself believe it all happened by chance and I couldn’t help it, that I’ve been swept away, that it’s not my fault, that it’s fate…would that be easier? The truth is, I didn’t know I was looking for this until I found Will, but I must’ve been, all this time. And now it is not random, it is not fate, it is not being swept away.

This is my choice. And I don’t know how to stop.

Or even if I want to.

Review: “Happiness is overrated. Maybe we are not built for it. Maybe the best we can hope for is to be… Content. To be resigned. To muddle through life and be grateful for the good, and work through the bad. Maybe that is what I will have for the rest of my life, this good life to which I am resigned, to which I am grateful.”

Elizabeth is a forty five year old married mother of two grown girls. Now that her daughters have moved out and her husband continues to travel for his job, Elizabeth starts to question her place in life. She is not ungrateful, nor is she searching for some excitement in life. She just ponders and wonders, if her life could be more fulfilled.

“I don’t remember the first day I resented this. I don’t remember wondering why all the years I’d made the effort were not reciprocated. Nothing jumped up and bit me or slammed like a door in my face. That’s not how it happens. What happens is you get married, you raise your kids, they go off to school, and you look at your spouse and wonder what on earth you’re supposed to do with each other now, without all the distractions of having a family to obscure the fact that you have no idea not only who the other is, but who you are yourself.”

Her saving grace is her time at work, where she gets to interact with other people and do something for herself, rather than for her husband or her daughters. Through her work, she meets Will. They are drawn to each other immediately and although both hesitate, a love affair starts.

Never before have I connected to a character the way I connected with Elizabeth. I am so conflicted over this story. On the one hand, I don’t condone infidelity of any kind but on the other, I could understand how she went ahead with it. And that right there is why I loved this story so much! It made me question many things I though unquestionable.

Megan Hart did a wonderful job in drawing me into the story. By no means was this an easy read. It was as painful as it was enlightening. I could easily feel Elizabeth’s longing for something more, her hesitation at continuing the affair and her heartbreak when all was said and done. I can’t judge her, not really. Many of her thoughts have been my own and many of her actions have been pondered by me at one time or another.

“He was my ocean, and I didn’t know if I would drown until I learned how well I could swim.”

But mostly, I appreciated the fact that the author didn’t ‘romanticize’ this story. The characters came across as real, their struggles were of the common kind and the life they led was as ordinary as that of you or me. There was no happily ever after or driving away into the sunset, but there was raw honesty, instant attraction, yearning and heart break.

“Love, when it goes, can sometimes burn to ash. And sometimes it can leave nothing.”

This was my first Megan Hart book, but it certainly won’t be my last.

I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2) by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)Rating: 3.25 stars

Publisher: Harlequin Teen (May 28, 2013)

Synopsis: Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. “Dance with me, Beth.”

“No.” I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again….

“I dare you…”

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk’s home life, they’d send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom’s freedom and her own happiness. That’s how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn’t want her and going to a school that doesn’t understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn’t get her, but does….

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can’t tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn’t be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won’t let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all….

Review: Ryan is a popular baseball player out with his friends before the start of Baseball season. That night they had played a couple of games of dare and now it was Ryan’s turn again. Leave it to his friends to dare Ryan to get the name and phone number of the girl who just walked into Taco Bell. Ryan doesn’t lose. He’s a winner through and through and he is determined to get Beth’s phone number. Nevermind the fuck-off vibes she throws, her foul language or her wardrobe.

“I like you. I. Like. You. I’ll admit you’re annoying. Sometimes you agitate me to the brink of insanity, but you can throw it back at me like no one else. When you laugh, I want to laugh. When you smile, I want to smile. Hell, I want to be the one to make you smile.”  

Beth doesn’t care for jocks. She lives her life on her terms – getting drunk and high with her friends whenever she pleases, swearing and rebelling. Although, she lives a troubled life filled with pain, loss and heartache, she is strong and she has no time to waste on the handsome, blond jock that approaches her.

“Emotions is evil. People who make me feel are worse. I take comfort in the stone inside of me. If I don’t feel, I don’t hurt.”  

I enjoyed the way Katie McGarry went about bringing these two together. She brought all the elements necessary for me to make this a very enjoyable read. But even though I liked Ryan and what he portrayed, I never did connect to him fully. This in turn turned me off their story a bit. It wasn’t until he showed a backbone and stood up for himself that I started to see him in a new light. Eventually, I could see how he and Beth could make this relationship work.

“I won’t let you go.” I blink. As if he could stop me. “You won’t let me go.” “No, I won’t let you go. You’re mine and I don’t lose.”  

I could clearly understand where Beth was coming from, though. Her pain felt real and what she went through affected her tremendously. She made mistakes, but she never made excuses for them. She was loyal, honest and in one way or another broken. My heart went out to her, especially because she was such a smart, independent girl.

I felt that the secondary characters added to the story. Their interactions with Ryan and Beth revealed a lot about them individually. I could have smacked Allison, Ryan’s parents and Beth’s mother for the immature way they behaved, but if their actions or words were to be taken out of the story, I don’t think this story would’ve had the same impact as it did. I loved Isaiah, though. I could easily see how deeply he cared about Beth. I can’t wait to read his story, Crash Into You.

Although Dare You To is the second book in the Pushing Limits series, it can certainly be read as a stand alone. I am looking forward to reading book one, Pushing the Limits, simply because I’m curious to read Noah’s story.

I received this title from the publisher in exchange of my honest opinion.

Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek #4) by Brenda Novak

Home to Whiskey Creek (Whiskey Creek, #4)Rating: 2.5 stars

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA (July 30, 2013)

Available at: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Synopsis: Sometimes home is the refuge you need-and sometimes it isn’t Adelaide Davies, who’s been living in Sacramento, returns to Whiskey Creek, the place she once called home. She’s there to take care of her aging grandmother and to help with Gran’s restaurant, Just Like Mom’s. But Adelaide isn’t happy to be back. There are too many people here she’d rather avoid, people who were involved in that terrible June night fifteen years ago.

Ever since the graduation party that changed her life, she’s wanted to go to the police and make sure the boys responsible-men now-are punished. But she can’t, not without revealing an even darker secret. So it’s better to pretend….

Noah Rackham, popular, attractive, successful, is shocked when Adelaide won’t have anything to do with him. He has no idea that his very presence reminds her of something she’d rather forget. He only knows that he’s finally met a woman he could love.

Review: Adelaide returned to Whiskey Creek to take care of her grandmother and look out for the family restaurant. She has managed to stay away from the town she ran away from when she graduated high school, but within hours of her arrival her past has come back to haunt her.

Noah rescues Addy after she was kidnapped and left at the bottom of a mine. The same mine that collapse and took his brother’s life fifteen years ago. As soon as Addy learns Noah’s identity she vows to stay away from him. She fears what for what would happen if he or anyone from the town discovered her secret. However, she wasn’t expecting Noah to be so insistent. The more she rejected him, the more he came after her.

You could say I’m torn about this story.

On the one hand, I enjoyed Addy as a character and how she handled herself. It was interesting to see how everything played out for her – her dealing with returning home, the kidnapping, her confession and the aftermath of it all.

On the other hand, there was Noah and Addy’s lacked of chemistry, the many characters that confused me and the whole Braxton issue that added nothing to Addy and Noah’s story.

Okay. Since I read When Summer Comes, I could follow along with some of the characters and knew who Baxter was, so I’m going to overlook the whole bunch of characters. Although, to be honest, I don’t think they added much to this story.

Now to the other aspects of the story.

The writing was good. I especially liked Addy’s struggles and how she went about dealing with her issues. I did like Noah. He was a player who had a change of heart and finally accepted that he wanted more than what he was used to doing with the women he was with. But still, his change of heart and the way he fell in love with Addy was not realistic to me. I couldn’t really feel their connection and their chemistry was lacking. Even when they were together it felt forced. So there went the romance aspect of the story for me.

There was also the whole family interactions between Addy, her grandma and her mother. That was very revealing and helped me understand more about Addy’s actions and frame of mind. Then there was Noah’s interactions with his family, especially in regards to his brother’s death. This revealed a lot about Noah too. This was another part of the story I found interesting. I can’t help but think that if Addy and Noah would have taken more time to know each other, then their romance could have been more believable and not seem as forced.

All in all, Home to Whiskey Creek was a nice story about letting go of the past and risking a new beginning.  This is the fourth book in the Whiskey Creek series and although it can be read as a stand alone, I wouldn’t advise it. There were a lot of characters included in this story and not much backstory to give you enough of an understanding about their dynamic.

I received this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange of my honest opinion.