Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Spotlight and Giveaway: He's So Fine by Jill Shalvis

Hes So Fine Teaser

I absolutely LOVE Jill Shalvis's Lucky Harbor series. He's So Fine releases today and it's every bit as sexy, humorous, and entertaining as you'd expect a book by Ms. Shalvis to be. Olivia and Cole grabbed my heart from the start and did not let go :)

You can read my review of He's So Fine here, then scroll down on this page for an excerpt from He's So Fine and a giveaway from Ms. Shalvis!

About He's So Fine:

Hes So Fine CoverFor Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It’s the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she’s rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she’s ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to “save” him. In fact, he’d like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He’s just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole’s heart, or will it be the end of Olivia’s days in little Lucky Harbor?

My Review | Amazon | B&N | iTunes


Excerpt from He's So Fine

“Dry off,” Cole said, and stepped back from Olivia.

She nodded but didn’t move.

“Olivia?” he asked.

Her face was a mask of misery. “M¬m¬my arms won’t w¬w¬work.”

Shit. He quickly and gently pushed her back down to the bench, sat at her side, and began to pile blankets over the top of them both.

“W¬what are you d¬doing?”

“Sharing my body heat,” he said.

“I c¬c¬can’t feel any h¬h¬heat.”

“You will.” Beneath the blankets, he reached for the towel she still had wrapped around her. “Don’t freak,” he warned. “I’m just going to remove the wet towel and pull you into me.”

She opened her mouth, but using her sluggishness to his benefit, Cole quicklystripped the towel away from her, wrapping his arms around her, pulling her into him as two things happened simultaneously. One, she squeaked. Probably trying to formulate her next threat.

And two—holy shit—he realized she was completely, totally, one hundred percent naked beneath the layer of blankets.

And pissed. “Y¬y¬your pants!” she gasped. “Th¬th¬they’re c¬c¬cold!”

“Sorry, but I’m trying to do the right thing here,” he said through clenched teeth. Jesus. He couldn’t see a thing below her neck, but he could sure as hell feel her. His hands were on her hip and low on her back, respectively, not touching anything he shouldn’t be, but damn she was soft, and at the feel of her, his brain clicked off. Just completely flatlined.


About Jill Shalvis:

Jill ShalvisNew York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.


Where to find Jill Shalvis on the Web: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


Giveaway

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Review: He's So Fine by Jill Shalvis

He’s So Fine by Jill Shalvis
Series: Lucky Harbor, Book 11
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance Hes So Fine Cover
ISBN: 9781455529490
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It’s the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she’s rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she’s ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to “save” him. In fact, he’d like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He’s just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole’s heart, or will it be the end of Olivia’s days in little Lucky Harbor?

There are few things I love more than cracking open a new Lucky Harbor novel. Jill Shalvis always delivers a wonderfully funny, utterly charming romance that just makes you happy you’ve read it. He’s So Fine lives up to the Lucky Harbor promise. It’s fast, fun, and has a whole lot of heart.

I’ll admit up front that I love every one of Ms. Shalvis’s heroes, so it’s no surprise that I adored Cole. He’s sexy, handy with tools, a loyal friend, and a genuinely good man. That being said, he’s not without his flaws. Though he’s got a relaxed attitude most of the time, he can be a bit rigid, and I enjoyed watching him grow as a character. Cole meets his match in every way in Olivia, his best friend’s fiancĂ©e’s neighbor who (accidentally) almost drowns him when they first meet. Olivia grabbed my heart from the first. She’s trying to make a life for herself in Lucky Harbor and is doing her best to put her past behind her by keeping it a secret. Olivia has never known true loyalty or real love, which means she screws up sometimes with Cole. But she’s got a wealth of love to give and I teared up a time or two in He’s So Fine when Olivia inched out of her shell and made connections with others. Olivia is a woman who has earned her second chance at happiness, and I wanted her to find it with Cole. The two of them have sensational chemistry in bed and out, and I laughed, sighed, and swooned over their romance.

It wouldn’t be a Lucky Harbor story if I didn’t mention the supporting characters. With each book I look forward to catching up with the residents of Lucky Harbor almost as much as I anticipate loving the main couple’s journey to happily ever after. Fans of the series will surely adore the antics of Lucille, and it was lovely to visit with the twins Pink and Kendra (introduced in Once in a Lifetime) again. Cole’s family – newer additions to the series – delight every time they’re on the page, and I cannot fail to mention Cole’s best friends, Sam and Tanner, and Olivia’s new friends, Becca and Callie. These friendships are integral to He’s So Fine, and they not only provide a lot of the laughs, but are also a portrait of true love and loyalty in their own right.

I did finish He’s So Fine with a few lingering questions (that I can’t address without spoiling things), which kept the story from being a perfect read. Still, as it stands, He’s So Fine is top-notch entertainment. I loved Olivia and Cole and I can’t wait to revisit their romance again and again and 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.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Review: One Night of Scandal by Elle Kennedy

One Night of Scandal by Elle Kennedy
Series: After Hours, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance One Night of Scandal Cover
ISBN: 9781633750791
Release Date: September 8, 2014
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elle Kennedy Reading Order

The wrong man never felt so right...

Ex-fighter Reed Miller has been secretly lusting over his best friend’s girl for months, but he refuses to jeopardize a friendship over a woman—especially one who doesn’t like him all that much. Now that Darcy’s on the market again, it’s even more imperative to stick to his strict hands-off policy. But the sizzling attraction between them is too powerful to ignore, and once he’s had a taste of her…all bets are off.

Darcy Grant is tired of walking the straight and narrow path. She’s on the hunt for passion, and there’s no denying Reed is just the man to give it to her. Although she has no interest in dating a bad boy, and certainly not her ex’s best friend, it’s impossible not to melt beneath Reed’s skillful touch. Now it’s just a matter of setting a few ground rules—and hoping her rule-breaking, sweet-talking bad boy agrees to follow them. But if she lets Reed into her bed, does she stand a chance of keeping him out of her heart?

What happens when you take a sinfully sexy ex-MMA fighter and pair him with an off-limits teacher looking for passion? You get One Night of Scandal, a story rife with emotion and eroticism, two things author Elle Kennedy is a master at weaving into her utterly addictive romances.

I’ve probably said it dozens of times, but I want to know where I can sign up to get one of Ms. Kennedy’s heroes. Reed is my latest fictional crush, and for a good reason. The dirty-talking bad boy with a good heart made me melt. Reed knows he screwed up in the past; at one time he was a selfish womanizer. But he’s changed, and his loyalty to his friends and his desire to be seen for the man he has become made me love him. Falling for his best friend’s girlfriend tears him up inside, so he tries to hide his attraction to Darcy. The yearning and the guilt don’t go away even after Darcy and AJ break up, but some things are meant to be. Darcy’s a likeable heroine who, like Skyler (the heroine of the first After Hours story), wants to find passion. She doesn’t expect to find it with her ex’s best friend, a man who previously avoided her like the plague.

When attraction takes hold of Reed and Darcy, One Night of Scandal gets explosively hot. Yet though the story is ferociously sexy (and with Ms. Kennedy as the author there’s no doubt that it definitely is), it’s the emotional component that makes One Night of Scandal stand out in my mind. It isn’t easy for Reed to make Darcy see him as more than a fling. The two of them are clearly perfect for one another – their closest friends can all see it – but Darcy’s not willing to risk her heart on a playboy and Reed has a reputation to overcome. Every doubt, every heartache, is worth it in the end, as Reed and Darcy make a hell of a couple.

One Night of Scandal is the second story in Ms. Kennedy’s After Hours series, but it can be read as a standalone. Still, anyone who read One Night of Sin should be prepared to fall in love with Gage and Skyler all over again; those two warmed my heart whenever they appeared on the page. As for AJ, he’s a true friend to both Darcy and Reed, and I cannot wait for him to find love. Until he does, I’ll definitely be re-reading both One Night of Sin and One Night of Scandal, because I love the wickedly entertaining After Hours series!


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.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review: Dare to Love by Carly Phillips

Dare to Love by Carly Phillips
Series: Dare to Love, Book 1
Publisher: CP Publishing
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance Dare to Love Cover
ISBN: 9780989311281
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Carly Phillips Reading Order

Since finding out his father had another family on the side, Ian Dare swore to be the upstanding, responsible man his cheating parent had never been. When it comes to his relatives, he gives his all but in relationships he offers the bare minimum. But one glimpse of sensual Riley Taylor arouses his dominant and protective instincts and Ian is entranced. He will do anything to possess her … and does. But any future with Riley must include him extending an olive branch to the half-brother who is a constant reminder of the pain he’d rather forget.

Independent and always in control, Riley Taylor makes no apologies for choosing men carefully. Relationships have never been a priority and she believes herself hardened to domineering men – until she meets charismatic Ian Dare. He manages to turn a simple kiss into an all out assault on her senses and when he takes control in the bedroom, she’s stunned to discover she likes it. As their affair heats up, they soon realize they complete each other in ways neither imagined. But Riley’s past is closer than she cares to remember, and her struggles with Ian’s dominance might just cost her everything.

Sparks fly bright and hot in Dare to Love. Carly Phillips’s first book featuring the Dare family is fast-paced and enjoyable, but it’s missing the vibrancy and heart I’ve come to expect from Ms. Phillips’s writing.

Riley is a smart, independent woman who’s not one to give up control. Then she meets Ian Dare, and suddenly she’s torn between the desire to protect herself and wanting to give into this dominant, gorgeous man. It was easy to like Riley, though she did a few things (for plot point reasons) that made me want to shake her. As for Ian, I wanted so badly to like him. He’s a hot, rich, successful man who offers the Cinderella fantasy. But though Ms. Phillips knows how to write a swoon-worthy heroes, Ian simply wasn’t my kind of alpha. He crosses too many lines, even interfering with Riley’s job out of jealousy, something that was a turn-off for me (just reader preference). Ian and Riley go from distrust to lust in no time, and I do wish more time had been given to them outside the bedroom, because they seemed to have a few major problems as a couple that were wrapped up fast and left me feeling like they didn’t have as solid a foundation for the future as I would have liked.

Dare to Love is the first book in a series of the same name about the Dare family. The messed up family dynamics involving Ian and his half-siblings and the love between him and his other siblings were my favorite parts of the story. Since Riley’s the best friend of Ian’s half-brother Alex, Ian can no longer avoid the family members he’d prefer didn’t exist. There’s a lot of angst in this plotline and I won’t spoil it, but this is where Ms. Phillips’s writing shines. I want to delve deeper into the Dare family, and that makes me look forward to reading more Dare to Love books.


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.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Review: The Accidental Abduction by Darcie Wilde

The Accidental Abduction by Darcie Wilde
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical Romance The Accidental Abduction Cover
ISBN: 9780425265567
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Harold Rayburn is about to be taken for the ride of his life…

After having his proposal rejected by a beautiful but flighty woman, Harry vows he is done with unpredictable and impetuous women for good. Until beautiful and fierce Leannah Wakefield barrels into his life, inadvertently kidnapping him while on a wild carriage ride and leaving him all too eager to get back in the saddle…

Leannah would sacrifice everything to protect her family. So upon hearing of her sister’s intended elopement, she races across London to stop the ill-advised ceremony before it can happen. However, when her mad journey picks her up an unlikely stowaway, one who ignites her desire beyond all reason, she’s the one who ends up hastily wedding a handsome and secretive stranger.

But as Leannah and Harry immediately encounter opposition, jealousy, and suspicion of their hurried nuptials, they begin to doubt that their unquenchable passion can truly lead to a happy marriage—especially when both the bride and groom have devastating secrets to hide…

A runaway romance gives life and spirit to The Accidental Abduction. Author Darcie Wilde’s sophomore romance is a fast-paced, enjoyable read, though it has its ups and downs, for the characters and the readers.

Leannah and Harry meet by chance, marry in haste so that they can feed their attraction and tamp down on scandal, and then have to face villains, gossip, familial troubles, and the realization that they don’t truly know one another outside the bedroom. It’s easy to like Leannah and Harry – they’re both likeable, dependable people whose staid exteriors hide inner passion. What troubled me about their romance is that they truly didn’t try to get to know one another until the very end of the story, in a bit that was glossed over. Their unwillingness to simply talk and share their troubles with each other leaves them susceptible to the machinations of others. There are multiple villains who plot to ruin Harry and Leannah’s marriage, for reasons that would hold more weight had said villains been better developed. By halfway through The Accidental Abduction there are simply too many characters running about with motivations that aren’t explored as well as I would have liked. This made it harder to get into the story, even though I wanted to.

Though it’s a bit underdeveloped in some areas, The Accidental Abduction has promise. As it stands, it’s a likeable read and there are supporting characters I was intrigued by (namely Meredith and Nathaniel, friends of Leannah and Harry), enough so that I’ll definitely pick up their books, should Ms. Wilde write stories for them. I should note that while The Accidental Abduction is a standalone, characters from Ms. Wilde’s first novel, Lord of Rakes, do appear, which should please fans of that story. The Accidental Abduction was the first book by Ms. Wilde that I’ve read, and I’m looking forward to seeing what she comes up with in the future.


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.