Review: Private Acts by Delaney Diamond

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Private Acts by Delaney Diamond
Series: Hot Latin Men, Book 3
Publisher: Delaney Diamond
Genre: Contemporary Romance Private Acts Cover
Source: Publisher
Blue Ribbon Rating: 3 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link

While working in Ecuador, Samirah Jamison has vowed to stay focused, meaning no men allowed. But temptation has never been as hard to resist as when it is in the form of hard-bodied artist Miguel Delgado…especially when the sexy-as-sin sculptor seems determined to pursue Samirah at every turn. What harm can there be in a little fling? Plenty, Samirah fears, if her heart becomes involved.

Author Delaney Diamond turns up the heat in PRIVATE ACTS. I definitely added Cuenca, Ecuador to my list of places I want to visit after reading this book. As for the story’s protagonists, Samirah has a bright, open personality that draws people to her, readers included. It’s easy to see why Miguel falls hard and fast for her. It’s equally easy to see why Miguel, with his talented hands, makes Samirah want to break her personal “no men” rule. The sexual tension that brews between them makes the first part of PRIVATE ACTS a lot of fun. That being said, I did have a bit of a problem with Miguel’s attitude change approximately halfway through the story. He goes from being dominant to being all-out overbearing when it comes to Samirah, particularly when he’s determined to “teach her a lesson.” For me, a major chunk of his sex appeal disappeared when Miguel became too controlling. That being said, Ms. Diamond does a pretty good job of redeeming him at the end of PRIVATE ACTS. There’s a scene in the last chapter that definitely went a long way in making me like Miguel again.

PRIVATE ACTS is the third HOT LATIN MEN book, but not having read THE ARRANGEMENT or FIGHT FOR LOVE, I can safely say that PRIVATE ACTS reads well as a standalone. I was intrigued, however, by the teasing hints Ms. Diamond gave regarding Samirah’s sister and brother-in-law’s story, FIGHT FOR LOVE. Given that I liked PRIVATE ACTS overall, I’ll most likely be checking out the other HOT LATIN MEN books.


Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.

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.

Review: By Mutual Desire by Dalton Diaz

Saturday, November 22, 2014

By Mutual Desire by Dalton Diaz
Publisher: Ellora's Cave
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance By Mutual Desire Cover
ISBN: 9781419941207
Source: Publisher
Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link

Kelly and Ryan have been married for ten years, but though they love one another, Kelly’s afraid that Ryan’s refusal to deal with old wounds will eventually tear them apart. When they’re selected to take part in a sex therapy study for married couples, Kelly and Ryan jump at the chance to journey to a tropical paradise where all their fantasies can come true. Can this sexual adventure make their marriage stronger? Or will it tear them apart when Ryan is forced to face the ghosts of his past?

BY MUTUAL DESIRE is a unique erotic romance. Author Dalton Diaz delivers scorching hot erotic scenarios that’ll make you want to turn on the air conditioning even in winter. However, it’s the premise and the emotional components of BY MUTUAL DESIRE that set the story apart.

I was intrigued by the sex therapy study because it focused on couples who’ve been married or committed for ten years or more. There’s a solid foundation to Kelly and Ryan’s marriage, as well as in the relationships of the friends they make. The couples’ time on the island isn’t simply about exploring kinks, but rather strengthening marriages and teaching the couples how to communicate more effectively. In BY MUTUAL DESIRE, Kelly and Ryan lay themselves bare not only physically, but emotionally. There are some heart-wrenching emotional moments in BY MUTUAL DESIRE when deep-buried pain is unearthed and the way Ryan and Kelly face those situations both as individuals and as a couple made their story memorable.

Kelly and Ryan’s story is sexy, kinky, heartbreaking and romantic. BY MUTUAL DESIRE is the first story of Dalton Diaz’s I’ve read, but it definitely won’t be the last!


Reader Advisory: This book contains voyeurism, m/m, group sex and BDSM.

Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.

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.

Review: Since You've Been Gone by Elle Kennedy

Since You've Been Gone by Elle Kennedy
Series: Welcome to Paradise, Book 4
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance Since Youve Been Gone Cover
ISBN: 9781619214750
Source: Publisher
Blue Ribbon Rating: 4 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link
Elle Kennedy Reading Order

For the past year, Austin Bishop has been trying to avoid his family…and the secret he can’t bear to face. He knows he has to go home to Paradise eventually, but that doesn’t mean the young photojournalist is going to rush to get there. When an assignment comes along to photograph small town Main Streets, he grabs at the excuse to take even longer to come home. Then fate throws a curveball at him in the form of a sexy, stranded redhead. Mari Smith is an out-of-work teacher whose car just died on her in the middle of nowhere. Playing knight to Mari’s damsel-in-distress seems like a good distraction for Austin at first, but it’s not long before their new friendship turns into something more. Mari soothes him in a way no one else ever has, and he’ll need her comforting presence if he’s to face what waits for him at the end of his trip.

The youngest Bishop brother meets his match in the fast-paced, fun and emotional SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE. I’ve adored every Bishop brother book in the WELCOME TO PARADISE series and Austin’s is no exception.

Austin had his world turned upside down a year ago when he uncovered a family secret, and it’s been eating at him ever since. He’s always been close to his family, but now he feels like an outsider and he doesn’t take it well. Strangely enough, one of my favorite things about SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE is that Austin doesn’t handle his altered view of his family well. Author Elle Kennedy does an excellent job of making Austin a realistic character, and there are plenty of ups and downs for the whole Bishop family as Austin struggles to cope with what he knows. Mari is the catalyst for Austin’s change for the better, and I loved her for it. In fact, there’s pretty much nothing not to love about Mari. Her exuberance and zest for life is infectious, leaping off the page and bringing sunshine to the story. Her relationship with Austin is sexy as hell – as one might expect from an Elle Kennedy book – but more than that, Mari and Austin are simply a great fit. I loved watching these two swiftly fall in love.

SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE is the fourth book in the WELCOME TO PARADISE series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Of course, all your favorite heroes and heroines are back from WELCOME TO PARADISE, TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT and BORN TO BE WILD, and it was lovely to see the whole Bishop family together. Whether you’re an old fan of this series or are just diving in with Austin and Mari’s book, you’re sure to adore SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE.


Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.

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.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy by Julia Quinn

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

I fell in love with Julia Quinn's writing many years ago (seriously, if you haven't read her Bridgerton series...do so ASAP. Run, don't walk ;)). JQ is still one of my absolute favorite authors and I can't wait for her final Smythe-Smith book. I'm sure it will be as funny and entertaining as all her stories.

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy Cover Title: The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet, Book 4
Author: Julia Quinn
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: January 27, 2015
Julia Quinn Reading Order

Book Description (from Julia Quinn's website):
Sir Richard Kenworthy has less than a month to find a bride. He knows he can't be too picky, but when he sees Iris Smythe-Smith hiding behind her cello at her family's infamous musicale, he thinks he might have struck gold. She's the type of girl you don't notice until the second—or third—look, but there's something about her, something simmering under the surface, and he knows she's the one.

Iris Smythe–Smith is used to being underestimated. With her pale hair and quiet, sly wit she tends to blend into the background, and she likes it that way. So when Richard Kenworthy demands an introduction, she is suspicious. He flirts, he charms, he gives every impression of a man falling in love, but she can't quite believe it's all true. When his proposal of marriage turns into a compromising position that forces the issue, she can't help thinking that he's hiding something . . . even as her heart tells her to say yes.

Review: Getting Lucky by Susan Andersen

Friday, November 14, 2014

Getting Lucky by Susan Andersen
Series: Marine, Book 2
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance Getting Lucky Cover
ISBN: 9780380819188
Source: Publisher
Blue Ribbon Rating: 3 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link

Lily Morrisette’s first thought upon meeting her roommate Glynnis’s brother? That he’s sexy as sin. Her second thought? That he’s a jerk. But as frustrating as she finds Zachariah Taylor, Lily’s not about to let the overprotective Marine ruin his baby sister’s trip to meet her fiancĂ©’s parents. So when Zach jumps in the car, Lily goes along for the ride. Their road trip allows Lily to see beneath Zach’s rough exterior, but just as she starts to fall for him, they learn that Glynnis has been kidnapped. The ransom note is only the beginning of Lily and Zach’s troubles. Their budding romance might not have a chance to survive the hornet’s nest of secrets, lies and schemes they’ve just stepped into.

GETTING LUCKY is an entertaining story to curl up with on a rainy afternoon. This second book in author Susan Andersen’s MARINE series features some interesting characters and a fairly engaging puzzle for the protagonists to figure out. Lily is a girly-girl who gets more than she bargained for on this road trip with Zach. While she does a few things over the book which leave me scratching my head, overall Lily’s a likeable heroine. Zach isn’t quite as charming — to be honest, he was flat-out unlikeable for the first half of the book — but Ms. Andersen had me warming up to this sexy Marine by the time GETTING LUCKY ended.

Zach and Lily have good chemistry, but I’m not sure I was as invested in their romance as I wanted to be. A hero and heroine who frequently lock horns just aren’t my cup of tea, so that may be where my lack of enthusiasm stems from. The character that really hooked me into GETTING LUCKY was Jessica, the cousin of Glynnis’s fiancĂ©. Jessica is a wallflower who — with help from Lily — comes into her own and watching her growth and her relationship with her husband were the high points of GETTING LUCKY. I could have read a whole book about Jessica; she was just that endearing.

A dash of suspense comes not from the kidnapping plot but from another storyline involving a Colombian with a grudge against Zach. This thread of the story was actually the weakest link of GETTING LUCKY and I felt like the book would have been stronger without that plotline. All the same, I enjoyed GETTING LUCKY and I’m interested in reading Ms. Andersen’s other MARINE books.


Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.

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.

Review: Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Retribution by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark-Hunters, Book 20
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Paranormal Romance Retribution Cover
ISBN: 9780312546595
Source: Publisher
Blue Ribbon Rating: 4 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link
Sherrilyn Kenyon Reading Order

William Jessup “Sundown” Brady was a notorious gunslinger in the nineteenth century…until the day he was murdered by his best friend. He was brought back to life as a Dark-Hunter by Artemis, and it’s his job to protect mankind from soul-sucking Daimons. Now it’s the twenty-first century, and Jess is tasked with a special assignment; eliminate the monster that’s assassinating Dark-Hunters. Jess is ready and willing to protect his brethren, but he gets a hell of a shock when he comes face-to-face with the killer.

Abigail Yager is a human who was raised by the Dark-Hunters’ enemies after her parents were slaughtered. She’s out for one thing; the blood of Dark-Hunters and Jess Brady’s in particular. When she’s thrown into Jess’s path, however, Abigail finds that he’s not the monster she thought him to be. She also starts to question her belief that Jess is the one that murdered her parents. Caught between opposing supernatural species, Abigail must learn the truth and outwit a darker power that’s out to destroy them all.

Pantheons collide in the fast-paced RETRIBUTION. Author Sherrilyn Kenyon adds a fictionalized version of Native American beliefs and legends to her DARK-HUNTER series in RETRIBUTION and for the most part, it works. I love that Ms. Kenyon takes readers out west where Dark-Hunters and Guardians will have to defeat some very powerful evil before Time Untime – Ms. Kenyon’s version of a Cherokee twenty-twelve prophesy. It’s a change from the other plotlines running through the series and though Time Untime doesn’t fit seamlessly with the other overarching storylines, it’s interesting enough that I didn’t mind it while reading RETRIBUTION.

As for the characters, well, I’ve been waiting a long time for Sundown’s book and thankfully, his heroine is everything I’d hoped she would be. Abigail may be narrow-minded at first, but she’s been essentially brainwashed since coming to live with her adopted family when she was a traumatized child. Once she falls in with the Dark-Hunters, Abigail’s strength shines. Jess, in turn, is a little more tame than the first time we met him in DANCE WITH THE DEVIL, but nevertheless, he’s every bit the hero I knew he would be. It was wonderful to watch these two fall in love, even though it wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination.

Ms. Kenyon has delivered another solid DARK-HUNTER novel that fans, both old and new, of the series will likely enjoy. I finished RETRIBUTION a well-satisfied reader, and I cannot wait to continue with the Time Untime legend in Ren’s book, TIME UNTIME.


Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.

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.

Review: Far Too Human by Anitra Lynn McLeod

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Far Too Human by Anitra Lynn McLeod
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Male/Male Steampunk Romance Far Too Human Cover
ISBN: 9781609287641
Source: Publisher
Blue Ribbon Rating: 3 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link

Jonathan P. Quiverbottom lives a solitary life, and he’s happy that way…for the most part. The straight-laced inventor hates to have anything interrupt his neat, orderly existence. But when he rents a man-of-all-work bot from a factory, determined to discover how the creations are made, Jonathan’s well-ordered existence comes tumbling down around him. For the bot has the face and body of a man Jonathan once knew - most intimately.

Marcus cannot remember how he became a man-of-all-work bot, but he does have vague flashes of his life as a con man. And he very clearly remembers his one meeting with Jonathan. Lust sparks instantly between the two men, but how can they have a future with one another when society forbids it?

Author Anitra Lynn McLeod puts the “steam” in steampunk with the red-hot FAR TOO HUMAN. Jonathan is delightfully fussy in a way that may drive most people of his acquaintance away but was endearing to me, the reader. Marcus, in turn, presented an engaging mystery. He was a con man but is now a man-of-all-work bot…or is he? The questions Jonathan has about Marcus’s appearance on his doorstep are made all the more interesting by the fact that Marcus himself is in the dark about why he, in particular, was chosen to fulfill Jonathan’s order.

The title FAR TOO HUMAN references Marcus’s humanity, which has not been diminished by his enhancements. And another thing that hasn’t been diminished…his ability to drive Jonathan mad with lust. I liked the dynamic between Jonathan and Marcus. Marcus definitely took sexual control, but Jonathan was the more dominant party in intellectual pursuits. The pair fit one another, and though they did tend to get a little too effusive at times for my taste – the talk during the sex scenes bordered on purple prose - I cared enough about them as a couple to be invested in FAR TOO HUMAN. All in all, FAR TOO HUMAN was a charming story with heroes whose quirks were quite endearing.


Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.

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.
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