Review: Still the One by Jill Shalvis

Monday, March 30, 2015

Still the One by Jill Shalvis
Series: Animal Magnetism, Book 6
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance Still the One Cover
ISBN: 9780425270189
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

Darcy Stone is game for anything—except sexy Navy vet and physical therapist AJ Colten, the guy who’d rejected her when she’d needed him most. Now the shoe is on the other foot and he needs her to play nice and help him secure grants for his patients. Unfortunately Darcy can’t refuse. She needs the money to fund her passion project: rescuing S&R dogs and placing them with emotionally wounded soldiers.

AJ admits it—Darcy is irresistible. But he’s already been battle-scarred by a strong-willed, vivacious, adventurous woman like Darcy, and he’s not making the same mistake twice—until he and Darcy are forced to fake a relationship. Growing closer than they’d ever imagined possible, Darcy and AJ have to ask themselves: how much between them is pretend? What’s the real thing? And where does it go from here?

Still the One is one of those books you’ll open up and find yourself swept away by the story. It has two strong, caring, completely endearing leads and a whole lot of heat, humor, and heart. I’ve read Darcy and AJ’s story twice so far and both times it was nearly impossible for me to put the book down, even when real life demanded my attention. Jill Shalvis’s writing is simply that engaging.

Darcy is among my favorite of Ms. Shalvis’s heroines. She’s got sass to spare and owns her attitude, but don’t let her claims of being a bitch fool you. She’s got one of the biggest hearts there is and if nothing else, you have to love her for her devotion to rescuing S&R dogs and giving them to those in need of emotional support and therapy dogs. Darcy has a lot of love to give, but her parents did a number on her, instilling her with a fear of being discarded that just grabbed my heart and squeezed. Darcy is a strong, easy to love character with a bit of a wild streak and a bruised heart. It takes a heck of a hero to be her match, but of course – since this is Ms. Shalvis we’re talking about – there’s no doubt that AJ is her perfect fit in every way. AJ is a stand-out hero even among the vast number of hot, fun, memorable heroes Ms. Shalvis has written. AJ is a healer, a giver, and a sexy alpha hero. I loved his patience and understanding, his dedication to helping others, and most of all the way he loves Darcy. The two of them have long stuck sparks off one another, but their bickering leads to some excellent sexual tension. There’s plenty of delicious heat in Still the One, but it’s the heart in the story that makes it shine.

Still the One is the sixth book in the Animal Magnetism series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Darcy’s siblings and other Animal Magnetism characters we know and love are wonderful supporting characters and Ms. Shalvis truly makes this feel like a group of people you’d absolutely love to be friends with if they were real. The four-legged supporting cast also deserves a mention; it wouldn’t be an Animal Magnetism novel without some memorable animals who will make you melt.

Still the One has electric chemistry, strong characters, adorable animals, snappy dialogue, and a whole lot of heart – what’s not to love? I’m addicted to the Animal Magnetism series and my only complaint is that I now have to wait for the next book, All I Want.


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: Barefoot in Lace by Roxanne St. Claire

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Barefoot in Lace by Roxanne St. Claire
Series: Barefoot Bay Brides, Book 2
Publisher: South Street Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance Barefoot in Lace Cover
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Kick off your shoes and fall in love again in with the Barefoot Bay Brides! Destination wedding planner Gussie McBain needs a man...specifically, a wedding photographer. Just her luck that the shutterbug she runs into is more used to snapping pictures of glamorous models in couture gowns than brides in white lace. But Gussie's never been one to let bad odds stop her from a good gamble, so she asks for a favor she never dreams superstar TJ DeMille will actually grant.

Tom DeMille lives his life exactly as he pleases—always alone. In fact, he’s got that motto tattooed in Greek on his arm. But when Tom is suddenly saddled with guardianship of his twelve-year-old niece, he'll lose more than his freedom if he can't figure out how to take care of her. Then an alluring young woman with pink hair and a sassy mouth shows up at his door, and he agrees to do the unthinkable...photograph a wedding in exchange for some help with his niece.

As they work together, Tom begins to take down the walls Gussie has erected around herself to discover a truly beautiful and tender woman he knows he could love. But will his own heartache and refusal to lay down roots prevent him from giving Gussie the family life she craves...or could she be the one woman who can finally break his vow of solitude?

Prepare to fall in love with Barefoot Bay all over again in Barefoot in Lace. Artistry and style are a gorgeous backdrop for a romance filled with heartbreak, hope, and new beginnings. Roxanne St. Claire definitely knows how to blend sensuality, emotion, and escapism into a great story and Barefoot in Lace has all these things in spades.

Who wouldn’t want to get gussied up with Gussie? The beautiful stylist excels at her job and is one of those genuinely nice characters you wish were real, just so you could be friends with them. But Gussie also has some very real scars that she hides – and I’m not talking about the physical ones. Tom sees beneath the wigs and bravado from the start to the woman within. His determination and care bring Gussie out of her shell and are the catalyst for her deciding to start truly healing from the incident that shattered her life long ago. And speaking of Tom, he’s not without scars of his own, though he guards his ghosts more fiercely than Gussie. Tom is also nearing the end of his rope. He’s just lost his sister and his life is in chaos as he tries to figure out how to balance his life and job with the challenges of raising his niece, a girl who is feeling lost and alone herself. Alex is every bit as important to Tom and Gussie’s story as our hero and heroine themselves. The three of them are clearly meant to be a family, but conflicting wants, views on how their lives should be, and old wounds make things difficult. Ms. St. Claire makes Tom and Gussie work for their happy ending, and the reward is definitely worth the journey.

Barefoot in Lace is the second book in the Barefoot Bay Brides series, a trilogy set in the larger world of Barefoot Bay. That being said, Gussie and Tom’s book can easily be read as a standalone, though I defy you to read it and not want to at least dive in to Gussie’s fellow wedding planners’ stories. Willow and Ari continue to delight and the love and friendship between these three wedding planners is simply wonderful. I finished Barefoot in Lace both wanting to re-read Barefoot in White (Willow’s book) and eager to dive into Barefoot in Pearls (Ari’s book).

Barefoot in Lace is every bit as lovely and romantic as the weddings Gussie puts on. I adored Gussie and Tom and I look forward to revisiting them in the future.


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.

Review: Rebellion of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson

Monday, March 23, 2015

Rebellion of a Chalet Girl by Lorraine Wilson
Series: Chalet Girl, Book 6
Publisher: HarperImpulse
Genre: Contemporary Romance Rebellion of a Chalet Girl Cover
ISBN: 9780007558353
Release Date: March 26, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Always the Chalet Girl…
Year round chalet girl Tash doesn’t do attachments—she’s learned the hard way that relationships of any kind never last. But when self-made millionaire and hit TV star Nathaniel Campbell arrives to spend a month at Chalet Repos, she’s tempted to reconsider her no-strings rule…

Tash and Nate may be from different sides of the tracks, but the connection between them is undeniable! And Tash soon realises that one hot night with Nate will never be enough. But can Nate ever think of Tash as more than a fling, especially once the truth about her past comes out?

The Chalet Girls are back! Set in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier, winter playground of the rich and famous, Rebellion of a Chalet Girl is the latest addition to the fabulous Chalet Girl series.

Rebellion of a Chalet Girl will break your heart and then put it back together. Lorraine Wilson’s newest Chalet Girl story is a powerful, emotional story with a heroine who will grab your heart, a hero who will make you swoon, and a Swiss ski resort you’ll wish you could visit.

I absolutely loved Tash. She’s survived so much and has come out stronger, yet is also deeply vulnerable. Now that she’s finally found solid ground, so to speak, everything is changing on her again. Her best friends are moving on with their lives and Tash desperately wants to understand where she fits in the new landscape of her life and work. Because of all she’s been through and her fear of being hurt yet again, Tash holds most people at a distance. Nate, however, gets under her skin from the moment they meet. The attraction between them is electric, but Tash fears she’s not good enough for the flashy millionaire. She couldn’t be more wrong. I love that Nate saw the real Tash beneath the attitude and that he treasures her for who she is. It isn’t easy for them to make a go of it, but Ms. Wilson makes every obstacle they have to overcome worth it in the end. The only thing I would wish for Nate and Tash is that their story had been a bit longer. Rebellion of a Chalet Girl addresses serious issues, so the story might have felt a bit more organic had Tash’s personal journey and the role Nate plays in it been spread out. Also, I would have like to delve a bit deeper into Nate’s character, as he had great potential. Both these factors could have made this story go from outstanding to amazing.

Rebellion of a Chalet Girl is the sixth book in Ms. Wilson’s Chalet Girl series, but as I had not yet read Confessions of a Chalet Girl, Secrets of a Chalet Girl, Revenge of a Chalet Girl, Secret Crush of a Chalet Girl, or Chalet Girl Plays Cupid at the time of reading Tash’s story, I can safely say it can be read as a standalone. Many of Tash’s fellow chalet girls play supporting roles and I’m definitely looking forward to reading the rest of the series. I can’t say enough how much I loved Tash and I’m looking forward to reading her story over and over and over again!


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: Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, Book 7
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Historical Romance Darling Beast Cover
ISBN: 9781455586301
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elizabeth Hoyt Reading Order

A Man Condemned…
Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown’s soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he’s quickly driven to distraction…

A Desperate Woman…
London’s premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she’s forced to move into a scorched theater with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren’t the only inhabitants—a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there’s more to this man than meets the eye.

Out of Ashes, Desire Flares
Though a scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he’s forced to make a choice: his love for Lily…or the explosive truth that will set him free.

A hero in hiding, an actress with a secret, an adorable young boy, a daffy dog, and a love story that will leave you smiling… What more can you ask for? Darling Beast has all these things and more. Elizabeth Hoyt never fails to entertain and the seventh installment to her Maiden Lane series has all the originality I’ve come to expect from her books.

Quite possibly my favorite thing about Ms. Hoyt’s writing is her unique characters. Lily is an actress who has found herself in reduced circumstances after the theater she works at burns down. She’s also secretly a playwright and a talented one at that. Lily is a mother, a giver, and a woman who makes the best of what she has while trying to get back on her feet. She’s an unusual heroine for the era, which of course makes her a perfect fit for Apollo. Apollo is a viscount who was wrongfully sent to Bedlam and bears both internal and external scars from what was done to him. He’s also an unusual aristocrat to begin with, a beast of a man more at home in the garden than in a ballroom. I was fascinated by the many facets of Apollo’s character and Ms. Hoyt definitely kept me guessing as to how he would be able to clear his name. The two of them complement each other perfectly and it’s easy to root for them to find their happily ever after.

Romance aside, there’s plenty of action to be found in Darling Beast in the form of the mystery plot. Apollo spends much of the story in hiding as he and his unlikely bunch of allies try to find out who murdered Apollo’s friends and framed him for it. Among those allies are Captain James Trevillion, the man who arrested him (and a reoccurring character in the series), and Valentine Napier, Duke of Montgomery. Montgomery in particular brings added spark to Darling Beast – I could not stop grinning every time the raffish, Loki-like duke sauntered onto the page.

Darling Beast is the seventh book in the Maiden Lane series, but it can be read as a standalone. That being said, fans of the series will delight in revisiting some past favorite characters. Ms. Hoyt also sets the stage for future books, particularly in the case of Captain Trevillion and Phoebe Batten, of the upcoming Dearest Rogue. Whether you’re a longtime fan of the series or are just starting out, by the time you finish Darling Beast you’ll be eager to dive into more Maiden Lane books!


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: Beauty Dates the Beast by Jessica Sims

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Beauty Dates the Beast by Jessica Sims
Series: Midnight Liaisons, Book 1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Paranormal Romance Beauty Dates the Beast Cover
ISBN: 9781439188231
Source: Publisher
Blue Ribbon Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link

As a human, Bathsheba normally wouldn’t have much to do with supernatural beings. However, since she works for Midnight Liaisons, an exclusive paranormal dating service, Bathsheba is up to her ears in vamps, weres, harpies and more on a daily basis. When a date with a very important client is canceled at the last minute, Bathsheba is frantic. Beau Russell may be new to Midnight Liaisons, but the were-cougar happens to be head of the Paranormal Alliance. Luckily for Bathsheba, Beau has a solution; Bathsheba will be his date…for a week. When he’s about to go into “heat,” so to speak. It’s almost too much for one human to handle, and that’s before Bathsheba takes into account the fact that humans and supes aren’t supposed to date AND before she begins to feel like someone’s stalking her. But since the hunky were-cougar is determined to have her…well, Bathsheba can’t bring herself to resist.

BEAUTY DATES THE BEAST is a quirky paranormal romp that begins what is sure to be a fun series filled with supernatural delights. Author Jessica Sims has written a fast-paced story that’s got both humor and heat. Beau is a meltingly sexy hero, but his true appeal lies in the fact that he takes his responsibility as the leader of his clan and the Paranormal Alliance seriously. I can’t help it; I love a hero who has a good head on his shoulders. Bathsheba, in turn, is someone who is willing to sacrifice much for those she loves. She doesn’t cry or complain about her sometimes less-than-ideal life, but she isn’t some saintly, unrealistic heroine who doesn’t acknowledge that she’d like luck to turn her way once in a while. Together, Beau and Bathsheba are a great couple, and Ms. Sims made it easy to enjoy their romantic journey.

A dash of danger, paranormal politics and some seriously nasty villains round out BEAUTY DATES THE BEAST. The individual characters and the variety of species Ms. Sims introduces in BEAUTY DATES THE BEAST made me want to learn more about that world. I finished BEAUTY DATES THE BEAST a satisfied reader, but I can’t wait for the next MIDNIGHT LIAISONS book!


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: A Little Wild by Kate St. James

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Little Wild by Kate St. James
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance A Little Wild Cover
ISBN: 9781609286248
Source: Publisher
Blue Ribbon Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link

From Tess Sheridan’s perspective, sex equals trouble and heartbreak. And with her eye on making partner, she doesn’t want any trouble or heartbreak in her personal life screwing things up. Then her best friend dares Tess to let herself go a little wild and find a man she wants to burn up the sheets with. The catch is, Tess has to not fall in love with the guy. Tess is convinced she can win the bet. Then she meets sexy charmer Zach Halliday. Zach turns her on like no other man has, but the laid-back businessman who’s determined to leave his father’s company and forge his own path comes with some big complications. Namely, Tess’s firm represents the Halliday family corporation and her involvement with Zach leads to some sticky situations. It’d be best if she could break things off with Zach - professionally and personally – before she loses her heart and the bet.

Author Kate St. James has delivered sexy characters that’ll surprise you in the wickedly entertaining A LITTLE WILD. Tess is a dedicated young lawyer with a good heart and a strong mind. Ms. St. James makes Tess feel like she could be one of your friends, which makes it easy to become invested in her story. Zach, in turn, has a reputation for being a little wild himself. But underneath that carefree charm is a sharp mind that just needs direction. I loved watching both Tess and Zach come into their own over the course of A LITTLE WILD. Surprisingly enough, their personal growth engaged me more than their hitting the sheets – that’s saying something since Ms. St. James definitely doesn’t skimp on the heat factor. Things get more than “a little wild” in bed, on the phone and elsewhere in this story.

A delightful subplot involving Tess’s best friend Chloe and Zach’s brother Ethan keep A LITTLE WILD going strong even when mistakes and misunderstandings in the main plot threaten to bring the story down. All in all, I enjoyed A LITTLE WILD and I think fans of red-hot contemporary romance will enjoy Tess and Zach’s book.


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.

Thursday in Review

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It’s update time again :)

Below are the newest reviews I’ve written for Wit and Sin. The master list and categorical lists on the right-hand side are updated as well.

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- Playing Knotty by Elia Winters (available 3/16/15)

All other new reviews:
- Soulbound (Darkest London, Book 6) by Kristen Callihan
- Once and Always by Julia Harper
- Ugly Young Thing (Grand Trespass, Book 2) by Jennifer Jaynes
- The Sweetheart Secret (Sweetheart Sisters, Book 3) by Shirley Jump
- The Deal (Off-Campus, Book 1) by Elle Kennedy

Upcoming reviews:
- Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, Book 1) by Ilona Andrews
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoƫ Archer
- The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley
- Wild Man (Dream Man, Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
- Down for the Count (Dare Me, Book 1) by Christine Bell
- Down and Dirty (Dare Me, Book 2) by Christine Bell
- The Professional: Part 2 by Kresley Cole
- The Professional: Part 3 by Kresley Cole
- How to Ravish a Rake (How to Series, Book 3) by Vicky Dreiling
- Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards
- Some Like It Hot (Rising Star Chef, Book 2) by Louisa Edwards
- Hot Under Pressure (Rising Star Chef, Book 3) by Louisa Edwards
- His Game, Her Rules by Charlene Groome
- Captured (Fallen Siren, Book 0.5) by S.J. Harper
- Reckoning (Fallen Siren, Book 2) by S.J. Harper
- One Taste of Scandal (Redcakes, Book 2) by Heather Hiestand
- Darling Beast (Maiden Lane, Book 7) by Elizabeth Hoyt
- Beauty Bites (Biting Love, Book 6) by Mary Hughes
- The Volatile Amazon (Alliance of the Amazons, Book 4) by Sandy James
- Breathe (In Vino Veritas, Book 2) by Lauren Jameson
- Linger (In Vino Veritas, Book 3) by Lauren Jameson
- When the Rogue Returns (The Duke’s Men, Book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries
- How the Scoundrel Seduces (The Duke’s Men, Book 3) by Sabrina Jeffries
- If the Viscount Falls (The Duke’s Men, Book 4) by Sabrina Jeffries
- Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- Before You Break (Between Breaths, Book 2) by Christina Lee
- There You Stand (Between Breaths, Book 5) by Christina Lee
- Caught Up in You (Loving on the Edge, Book 4) by Roni Loren
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss
- Below the Belt (First to Fight, Book 1) by Jeanette Murray
- While You Were Writing (Watkins Pond, Book 2) by Virginia Nelson
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Laugh (Burnside, Book 2) by Mary Ann Rivers
- Festive in Death (In Death, Book 39) by J.D. Robb
- Blood Magick (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 3) by Nora Roberts
- Beauty’s Kingdom (Sleeping Beauty, Book 4) by A. N. Roquelaure
- Nights of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 4) by Nico Rosso
- Secrets of a Gentleman Escort by Bronwyn Scott
- Still the One (Animal Magnetism, Book 6) by Jill Shalvis
- Archangel’s Legion (Guild Hunter, Book 6) by Nalini Singh
- Archangel’s Shadows (Guild Hunter, Book 7) by Nalini Singh
- Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, Book 1) by Nalini Singh
- Takeover by Anna Zabo
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