Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Review: Secrets of Seduction by Nicole Jordan

Secrets of Seduction by Nicole Jordan
Series: Legendary Lovers, Book 3 / Paradise, Book 5
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Historical Romance Secrets of Seduction Cover
ISBN: 9780425259771
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

The most charming Wilde cousin, Lady Skye has secretly loved the enigmatic Earl of Hawkhurst since girlhood, long before the tragedy that left him scarred both physically and emotionally. When Skye learns that the celebrated hero has returned to England from his self-imposed exile to make a cold marriage of convenience, she brazenly plants herself on his castle doorstep, determined to convince Hawk that she alone is his true mate and destiny.

An elite member of the Guardians of the Sword, Hawk has vowed never again to risk the pain of loving—but that’s before he deals with the most enchanting, annoyingly persistent seductress he’s ever encountered. One night of blazing passion leaves him impossibly torn. Will Hawk choose duty over love, or will he open his heart and let Skye’s healing light penetrate his darkness?

Beauty and the Beast lands in Regency England in the latest Wilde family adventure. Secrets of Seduction is a sensual, fast-paced story that blends author Nicole Jordan’s Legendary Lovers and Paradise series. Liking both series as much as I do, I had high hopes for Skye and Hawk’s story. Yet while I did enjoy Secrets of Seduction, the story was missing Ms. Jordan’s usual spark.

Skye Wilde has always been the least brazen member of her family, but in Secrets of Seduction she sets out to seduce the man she’s had a crush on since she was thirteen. Hawk is a widower, scarred inside and out thanks to the fire that claimed the life of his wife and child. After years of being an agent for the Guardians of the Sword, he has returned to England in order to marry the niece of the Guardians’ leader so that he may become the head of the league. What he doesn’t count on is Skye bursting into his home in the middle of a storm and turning his life upside down. Sparks fly between Skye and Hawk almost immediately, but he’s determined to do his duty and pushes her away, even though he desires her. Skye is equally determined to make him fall in love with her, and urges Hawk to help her find her uncle’s lost true love as a way for them to spend time together (while helping her uncle, of course). Ms. Jordan’s signature heat is well at play in this story, and on one level, Skye and Hawk work. Their explosive desire for one another and developing romance kept me engaged in Secrets of Seduction. Still, I couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed in the story. I never connected with either Skye or Hawk and the Skye Wilde of this story isn’t the same Skye Wilde I had adored in the first two Legendary Lovers books. She was a bit selfish and even slightly calculating, and neither of those traits appealed to me. There could be an argument that her actions and planning were for the greater good, but ultimately Skye simply wasn’t my favorite kind of heroine.

Secrets of Seduction is the third book in the Legendary Lovers series and the fifth book in her Paradise series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. That being said, I loved getting closure on the Paradise series, and my favorite moments of the book were when Skye’s family members showed up. I truly adore the Legendary Lovers series – Princess Charming and Lover Be Mine charmed the heck out of me – so even though I was a bit let down by Secrets of Seduction, I’m still incredibly eager to read the next Legendary Lovers book!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Review: All Fired Up by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy

All Fired Up by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy
Series: DreamMakers, Book 1
Publisher: Vivian Arend
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance All Fired Up Cover
Release Date: April 22, 2014
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elle Kennedy Reading Order

He’s ready to lead the way

Parker Wilson never thought he’d go from battle-hardened soldier to romance expert, but after his stint in the Rangers, that’s exactly what happened. As the owner of DreamMakers Inc., he helps other men win in the love department, using every resource available to plan the perfect date. When a routine recon turns into an unexpected night of passion, Parker’s mission becomes more personal—and he won’t give up until Lynn Davidson is all his.

She’s more than willing to follow

Lynn is a goner from the moment she lays eyes on the delectable Parker. She’s just ditched her boring almost-boyfriend and is tired of sticking to the straight and narrow. It’s time to walk on the wild side, and what better way than in the arms of the most irresistible man she’s ever met? But when their red-hot affair is threatened, it’ll take a team effort to make their dreams come true.

All Fired Up is a deliciously sexy read you won’t want to put down. Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy have kicked off their DreamMakers series with an erotic, fun adventure and I can’t wait to read more.

Former Army Rangers Parker, Dean, and Jack aren’t your usual ex-soldier heroes. Yes, they’re badass and sexy, but rather than go the traditional romance hero route for these two, Mses. Arend and Kennedy have given things a unique twist by having them use their skills to help others in the romance department. What should be a routine assignment – doing recon to find out what a client’s girlfriend likes in order to set up a dream date – gets tangled quickly when (1) the guys learn the client’s a jerk, (2) they discover their subject is no longer dating said jerk, and (3) Parker falls for the woman. Parker is a winning combination of tough guy and romantic – he’s pretty much a dream hero who can make a girl swoon. Lynn is a smart, wonderfully likeable heroine who’s ready to explore her naughty side now that she’s free of her self-imposed restraints. She and Parker have incredible chemistry and it’s easy to become invested in their red-hot romance. Their story moves at a quick clip, buoyed by sparkling dialogue and quality characters you just have to love.

As I previously mentioned, All Fired Up is the first book in the DreamMakers series and Mses. Arend and Kennedy will definitely have you wanting Dean and Jack’s books. There were some point of view shifts that pulled me out of the story a couple of times, but aside from that All Fired Up was a breezy, engaging read. I’m a longtime fan of Elle Kennedy’s work and her signature humor and heat are wonderfully displayed in this book. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading Vivian Arend’s work before now, but I’ll definitely be looking into her backlist.

All Fired Up is an energetic, romantic read with a healthy dose of dirty good fun. I adored Parker and Lynn’s story and cannot wait to read Dean and Jack’s books, Love is a Battlefield and Don’t Walk Away.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Review: Double Take by Leslie Kelly

Double Take by Leslie Kelly
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance Double Take Cover
ISBN: 9780373797998
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Getting under her skin...

When her research about orgasms goes viral, sex therapist Lindsey Smith needs a place to lie low. Substitute teaching on Wild Boar Island, Michigan, promises not only privacy, but an opportunity to not think about sex. Which, thanks to the town's too-tasty police chief, lasts exactly one second.

After the dangerous streets of Chicago, Mike Santori figured the island was a safe, sane place to settle down. Getting hot for the new teacher wasn't in the plan. Especially when he discovers that Lindsey is more than she claims to be. Mike decides to use every sexy trick in the book to strip Lindsey of her defenses and reveal all of her secrets. It's a wickedly sensuous journey, one that pushes both of them beyond their limits…to the heart of their desires.

Double Take is a fast-paced, sexy read with two protagonists who meet when their lives are at a crossroads. Mike’s a cop who tired of constantly putting his life on the line while working for the Chicago P.D. He’s seeing if life in the slow lane as a small town chief of police is for him, and his plans don’t involve being fiercely attracted to Wild Boar Island’s newest substitute teacher. While Mike’s a hot, protective hero who’s easy to like, it’s the subject of his desire who really makes Double Take memorable. Lindsey Smith is a sex therapist who needs to lie low after the media turns her serious research into a meme-worthy joke. I not only adored Lindsey, my heart broke for her. She’s a hardworking, intelligent woman who doesn’t deserve the ridicule heaped on her.

Unfortunately, Wild Boar Island may not be the best place for Lindsey to get a fresh start. Though I’m sure there are plenty of lovely residents in the small town, the ones highlighted in the story made me cringe and overall made the tale slightly less enjoyable. But when the story isn’t focused on Lindsey and Mike avoiding slimy men or self-righteous harridans, it sparkles with humor and steams with sexual tension. Both in bed and out, Mike and Lindsey make a great couple and it was a joy to watch them overcome their internal barriers (most of them Lindsey’s) to get the happily ever after they deserve.

Double Take is erotic, emotional, and ultimately enjoyable. Fans of author Leslie Kelly’s Santori family will be delighted by the cameos some of her past heroes and heroines make. As for me, Double Take is my first Santori tale and I’m intrigued enough by these sexy Italians to take a peek into Ms. Kelly’s Santori backlist.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Review: The Collector by Nora Roberts

The Collector by Nora Roberts
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Genre: Romantic Suspense The Collector Cover
ISBN: 9780399164453
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

As a professional house-sitter and freelance writer, nothing ties Lila Emerson down – not her work, not a home, and definitely not a relationship. She spends her life moving from one job to the next, sometimes crashing at a friend’s Manhattan apartment. And though she can appreciate her clients’ extraordinary homes, their expensive collections, and their adorable pets, Lila has never longed for possessions of her own. Everything she has, including her heart, is portable.

But when she witnesses a possible murder-suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as Lila knows it takes a dramatic turn.

Artist Ashton Archer knows his charming, clever, and impulsive brother couldn’t have killed his girlfriend – or taken his own life. His hope of unraveling what happened lies with Lila, the only eyewitness. And even buried in grief, Ash longs to paint the woman whose deep, dark eyes seem to hold endless reserves of strength and fiery passion.

Chalking up their intense attraction to the heat of the moment, Lila agrees to help Ash in trying to find out who murdered his brother and why. From the penthouses of Manhattan to grand Italian villas, their investigation draws them into a rarefied circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession…

Like the priceless Fabergé eggs the titular character covets, The Collector is not only gorgeous, but exquisitely crafted. The Master of Romance, Nora Roberts, has woven an engrossing tale of love, family, and the lengths some will go to possess that which they desire the most.

At the heart of The Collector are Lila and Ash. Ashton’s a famous artist from a wealthy – and incredibly large – family, but he’s no spoiled rich boy. Ash puts his heart and vision into his paintings and saves his patience for his (over a dozen) siblings. I loved the juxtaposition of soulful painter and managing brother in Ash. What was even more fun was seeing him thrown a bit off his stride by Lila. She’s a YA author with a promising career and a penchant for people-watching who finds her in a Rear Window type of situation, one which ultimately leads Ash to her. Lila is also the “do it yourself” type to the extreme. She has a way of drawing people to her, but she’ll never let herself count on anyone for anything (with the exception of her best friend, Julie) and she doesn’t have any desire to risk her heart. Ash garners her sympathy from the start because of his heartache over losing his brother, Oliver, but his take-charge attitude rubs her the wrong way even as she finds herself reluctantly attracted to him. Though it’s a tragedy that brings them together, Lila and Ash find what they never knew they needed in one another. Their romance is both lovely and fun – the banter, ups and downs, and slide into love is all classic Nora Roberts (and I mean that in the very best way).

A secondary romance between Ash and Lila’s best friends brings further charm and unexpected moments of delight to The Collector, but what really makes this a well-rounded story is the mystery of who had Oliver Archer killed and the historically significant art Ash’s quest for answers uncovers. The detail Ms. Roberts layers into The Collector brings the lost Imperial eggs to life and I found myself invested in learning the eggs’ history alongside our protagonists. And while there isn’t any heart-pounding suspense in the book, there is definitely building tension when it comes to the assassin who is hunting Lila and Ash. I won’t spoil the story by going into too much detail, but I will say that each stop on the path Ash and Lila follow makes the reader more invested in the journey and the action-packed climax of the book is well worth the buildup.

Though it may sound odd to describe a book containing murder, fanatic collectors, and ruthless assassins as a comfort read, that’s just what The Collector is to me. Reading a Nora Roberts novel is like coming home – her distinctive style and hero and heroines you’d love to have as friends make even her darker books welcoming. Fans of Ms. Roberts old and new are sure to be entertained by The Collector. I, for one, am looking forward to enjoying Lila and Ash’s story for many years to come.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: The Heir of the Castle by Scarlet Wilson

The Heir of the Castle by Scarlet Wilson
Publisher: Harlequin Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance The Heir of the Castle Cover
ISBN: 9780425259771
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

The surprise inheritance: a castle!

When the closest person tycoon Callan McGregor has to a father dies, it's down to him to organize the inheritance of Annick Castle. And the most suitable candidate seems to be stunning lawyer Laurie Jenkins.

Even though she makes the usually brooding Callan's pulse race, this is business—he cannot afford a distraction. But she's a bubbly breath of fresh air who shakes the castle and Callan to its foundations. This time, he's not going to walk away—from either his home or from Laurie...

An unusual potential inheritance bring together a London lawyer and a Scottish social media tycoon in The Heir of the Castle. Author Scarlet Wilson charmed me with this sweet, enjoyable romance and her two endearing protagonists.

Laurie’s a heroine who captured my interest and garnered my sympathy early on. She’s an overworked lawyer who’s stressed out and burned-out thanks to the job she never really wanted. She goes to Annick Castle looking for family and a change of environment but finds more than she bargained for. It was fun watching Laurie fall for not only Callan, but the life she could have if she inherited the castle. And speaking of Callan, he too is torn from what he knows when he learns that the man he thought of as a father didn’t leave him the castle that had long been his home. Callan is understandably wary of not only Laurie but all the potential inheritors, most of whom are money-grubbing and callous. Both Callan and Laurie come into their own over the course of The Heir of the Castle and it was lovely watching them develop both as people and as a couple. The two of them complement each other perfectly and it was easy to become invested in their story.

While the question of who will inherit Annick Castle – Laurie or one of her unknown relatives – plays through the back of the story, it’s not the driving force of the novel. The murder mystery game that’s supposed to determine who gets the castle isn’t really explored, nor are Laurie’s relatives major characters in the book. I would have liked to see a bit more of this plot thread, as it had potential and seemed like fun, but The Heir of the Castle is truly about Laurie and Callan’s journeys. As it stands, I really liked The Heir of the Castle and I’m looking forward to reading more of Ms. Wilson’s work.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Review: Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson

Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson
Publisher: Harlequin
Genre: Contemporary Romance Unleashing Mr Darcy Cover
ISBN: 9780373778355
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman teetering on the verge of thirty must be in want of a husband.

Not true for Manhattanite Elizabeth Scott. Instead of planning a walk down the aisle, she's crossing the pond with the only companion she needs—her darling dog, Bliss. Caring for a pack of show dogs in England seems the perfect distraction from the scandal that ruined her teaching career, and her reputation, in New York. What she doesn't count on is an unstoppable attraction to billionaire dog breeder Donovan Darcy. The London tycoon's a little bit arrogant, a whole lot sexy…and the chemistry between them is disarming. When passion is finally unleashed, might Elizabeth hope to take home more than a blue ribbon?

Unleashing Mr. Darcy is pure, unadulterated fun. Teri Wilson’s retelling of Pride and Prejudice both honors the source material and puts a fresh spin on the classic tale. I’m wary of Austen-inspired stories, but Ms. Wilson has made a fan out of me.

Elizabeth Scott is an intelligent, modern woman whose experience with the rich and entitled has left her wary and slightly prejudiced against the wealthy. When she meets proud Englishman Donovan Darcy at a dog show, sparks fly even though they don’t quite like one another. What follows is a charming loves story flavored with Jane Austen and home to a host of adorable dogs. In fact, between the Cavalier King Charles spaniels and the Border terriers in the story, adorable dogs threaten to steal the show from the humans. That being said, Elizabeth is an endearing heroine and Donovan flat-out made me melt. Unlike the original, readers get to peel back the layers of Darcy’s character before Elizabeth does, and meet the thoughtful, irresistible man beneath. As a couple, Elizabeth and Donovan had great chemistry and the banter between them kept Unleashing Mr. Darcy moving at a quick clip. Add in a sweet secondary romance between Donovan’s best friend, Henry, and Elizabeth’s sister, Jenna, and it’s no wonder Unleashing Mr. Darcy left me smiling.

Unleashing Mr. Darcy is bright, fun, and utterly addictive. Pride and Prejudice fans should be charmed by this contemporary retelling, and I recommend Ms. Wilson’s book to Austenites, romance fans, and, of course, dog lovers.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Author Interview: Elle Kennedy

I tend to fly my fangirl flag pretty high, so if you're a regular visitor to Wit and Sin then you probably know I'm a huge Elle Kennedy fan. Her stories range from insanely erotic to dark and gritty and everything in between. Midnight Pursuits is Ms. Kennedy's latest release and the fourth book in her Killer Instincts (romantic suspense) series. My review of Midnight Pursuits can be found here, but what's even more exciting is I got to sit down and interview Ms. Kennedy!

Scroll down and see what Ms. Kennedy has to say about the Killer Instincts series, her sexy-as-sin characters, and writing. And for US readers, Ms. Kennedy's publisher is doing a giveaway! The prize is the first three Killer Instincts novels, Midnight Rescue, Midnight Alias, and Midnight Games. To enter, simply comment on this post with your name and email address (so I can contact you for your mailing address if you win) by 11:59PM PST Friday, April 4th.

Q: The Killer Instincts series is darker and grittier than a lot of your other books. What inspired you to write the series? Midnight Pursuits Cover
A: Well, first off, I’m a big fan of romantic suspense. As a reader, I devour RS novels (Iris Johansen in particular!), and it’s always been my first love, writing wise. I knew I wanted to write a RS series, but I wanted it to be different from my light, sexy contemporaries. I love writing dark and gritty, and the Killer Instincts series fits that to a T.


Q: Every relationship in the Killer Instincts series has a different dynamic. In MIDNIGHT PURSUITS you pair up Ethan, a dangerous mercenary with a boy-next-door vibe, with Juliet, a guarded former thief on a quest for vengeance. What did you enjoy writing the most when it came to Ethan and Juliet as a pair?
A: The good guy/bad girl angle! Ethan is so darn sweet, and I knew he couldn’t end up with someone as sweet as him. When I introduced Juliet in Midnight Games, I realized she was the perfect woman for him. She’s dangerous, impulsive and sarcastic, and from the moment they were on the same page, the sparks started flying. That’s when I knew they HAD to get their own book!


Q: With each Killer Instincts book you’ve given more insight into the complex relationship between Noelle and Jim Morgan. Any hints on what’s in store for these two?
A: Well…I mean, they hate each other, so maybe one of them will finally man up and kill the other? Or maybe they’ll wind up in bed? Who knows…


Q: You’ve said that the next book, MIDNIGHT ACTION, is Noelle’s story. Which other mercenaries and chameleons/assassins do you have books planned for?
A: All of them! Derek “D” Pratt is one of my favourites, and I already have his story in mind. Sullivan and Liam are a lot of fun too, and you’ll start to see them in future sub-plots. And Noelle’s operative Bailey will be popping up soon too…


Midnight Pursuits Cover Q: Out of all your books, do you have any favorites of the characters you’ve written?
A: Oh gosh. I love them all. But if I have to play favourites…I’d say Noelle for Killer Instincts, and Dylan Wade for the Out of Uniform series. (those two couldn’t be more different! I mean, Dylan is the most charming man on the planet, and Noelle is just terrifying)


Q: What’s one thing about being an author you wish someone had told you before you were first published?
A: That it’s a JOB. Even on the days when I don’t feel like writing (and there are plenty of those) I have to sit down at my computer and force myself to work, just like any other job. It’s not all fun and games, especially when you’re drowning in deadlines and just want to take a long break!


Q: When you’re not writing, what do you like to do?
A: Read. Garden. Play with my dog. See friends. Marathon TV shows that I don’t have time to watch live. Play board games.

I’m kind of a dork, if I’m being honest.



About Midnight Pursuits:
Midnight Pursuits Cover Her job is to stay hidden.

Too bad he can’t take his eyes off her.


Soldier-for-hire Ethan Hayes is the youngest member of an elite mercenary team. While he may be affectionately nicknamed the rookie, the skills Ethan honed as a Marine make him seriously dangerous. But when a sudden distress call puts him in close quarters with a rival, he finds more than his field skills being put to the test.

Juliet Mason stands out as the master thief in a covert group of assassins and spies. Her latest mission is personal—and it’s gone horribly wrong. Juliet may prefer to work alone, but when the rookie comes to her aid in snowy Eastern Europe, she can’t deny they make a good team. But even up against a powerful enemy, their most challenging task yet may be fighting the passion between them...

My Review | Amazon | B&N | IndieBound



About Elle Kennedy:
A RITA-award nominated author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently publishes with Signet Eclipse, Harlequin Romantic Suspense, and Samhain Publishing. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!
http://www.ellekennedy.com/




Don't forget about the giveaway hosted by Signet! Simply leave a comment on this post (with your email address) before 11:59PM PST Friday, April 4th and you could win the first three Killer Instincts novels (US readers only, sorry)!
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