Review: Bachelor Number Four by Megan Hart

Friday, May 29, 2015

Bachelor Number Four by Megan Hart
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance Bachelor Number Four Cover
ISBN: 9781609285067
Source: Publisher
Blue Ribbon Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link

It’s been quite a dry spell for Arden Walsh. A widow with two young daughters, Arden hasn’t yet stepped back out onto the dating scene and the closest she’s come to a man recently has been her fantasies of Keanu Reeves. When Arden finally does start dating, it’s one disaster after another. But thanks to the power of social media, Arden reconnects with Shane Donner. Twelve years ago, Arden and Shane had a tumultuous relationship that didn’t exactly end well. In the past, Shane wasn’t the man for her. But if he’s matured since then, Arden has to wonder if Shane could be just the bachelor for her.

I’m a total sucker for a reunion romance, so of course, I snapped up BACHELOR NUMBER FOUR. BACHELOR NUMBER FOUR is more about Arden’s journey than her romance with Shane, and for the most part that works. Arden is the kind of heroine you’d want to be friends with if she were real, so I loved watching her step back out onto the dating scene. The dates – both good and bad – are highly entertaining, but Arden’s scenes with Shane definitely steal the show. The only thing I’d wish for was more time spent on Arden and Shane’s burgeoning relationship. Not that I’d want anything to be cut. Rather, if the story were a bit longer the romance aspect would be more satisfying. I’d love to see where Shane and Arden go past the beginning of their relationship. The sparks that fly between them are hot enough to burn. Whether in fantasy or reality, past or present, the dynamic between Arden and Shane is fantastic and I love that author Megan Hart gave readers a glimpse into the people they were, as well as seeing who they are now. BACHELOR NUMBER FOUR is the first story of Ms. Hart’s I’ve read and it definitely won’t be the last!


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.

Wednesday in Review

Wednesday, May 27, 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:
- The Witch Hunter (The Witch Hunter, Book 1) by Virginia Boecker (available 6/2/15)
- Suddenly One Summer by Julie James (available 6/2/15)
- Midnight Captive (Killer Instincts, Book 6) by Elle Kennedy (available 6/2/15)
- Asking for It by Lilah Pace (available 6/2/15)

All other new reviews:
- Dearest Rogue (Maiden Lane, Book 8) by Elizabeth Hoyt
- Two of Hearts by Christina Lee
- Slave to Sensation (Psy-Changeling, Book 1) by Nalini Singh
- Consumed by Fire (Fire, Book 1) by Anne Stuart


Upcoming reviews:
- Ask Me Why by Jodi Thomas, Marie Force, Virginia Kantra, and Shirley Jump
- Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, Book 1) by Ilona Andrews
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoë 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
- Air Bound (Sea Haven, Book 3) by Christine Feehan
- Earth Bound (Sea Haven, Book 4) by Christine Feehan
- 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
- 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
- The Art of Sinning (Sinful Suitors, Book 1) 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
- Yours All Along (Loving on the Edge, Book 6.5) by Roni Loren
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss
- While You Were Writing (Watkins Pond, Book 2) by Virginia Nelson
- Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince, Book 2) by C.S. Pacat
- 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
- Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge, Book 1) 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
- Shards of Hope (Psy-Changeling, Book 14) by Nalini Singh
- Courtship of the Cake (Much “I Do” About Nothing, Book 2) by Jessica Topper
- The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings, Book 1) by J.R. Ward
- Takeover by Anna Zabo

Blog Tour: Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Dearest Rogue Blog Tour

I love Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane books, but even among all the fabulous stories in the series, Dearest Rogue (releasing today) stands out as one of my favorites. Trevillion and Phoebe's book was fantastic and I'm so excited to be a part of the Dearest Rogue blog tour. My review of Dearest Rogue can be found here, and if you scroll down on this post you'll find an excerpt from Dearest Rogue and a giveaway from Ms. Hoyt's publisher, Forever!

Excerpt from Dearest Rogue:

Dearest Rogue CoverTrevillion woke the next morning as he often did: all at once, at exactly six of the clock, and with a stiff cock. What wasn’t usual was the soft breath against his neck, the small hand draped over his chest, and the face pressed into his shoulder. Apparently his rolled coat had lost the battle in the night to Lady Phoebe and her unconscious stubbornness.

He lay for a moment, simply listening to her breathe. He could feel her soft breast pressed into his side. He’d somehow draped his arm around her so that she lay within his embrace. To anyone entering the room, they’d have looked like lovers, he and Lady Phoebe. He closed his eyes. If he were truly married to her, this was what every morning might be like: sweet and unhurried, full of potential.

But he wasn’t married to Phoebe and they most certainly were not lovers—now or in the future.

The thought was a bitter draught, hard to swallow, harder to keep down: this woman wasn’t for him.

Cautiously he began inching his arm out from beneath her neck.

But Lady Phoebe was never as easy as that.

She murmured something intelligible and curled into him, like a hedgehog resisting being disturbed. He craned his neck, looking down, and watched as her nose scrunched adorably. Her light-brown hair was spread upon her pillow and draped over the side of her face, one strand caught between her lush, rose lips.

Blowing out a silent breath, he let his head fall back to the pillow, trapped by a slip of a girl.
God, but his cock was hard—he could feel the pulse of his blood, hot and insistent. Were he in the bed alone he’d slip his hand downward, over the flat, hard planes of his belly, into the coarse hair below. Fondle his balls, drawn up tight below that jutting flesh, and finally take his cock into his hand. Touch the tip, sensitive and wet, take some of that moisture and spread it down the shaft, squeezing just a bit as he—

“Um?” Phoebe sighed the sound into his neck, reaching up one hand to scratch her nose. “Wha—?”

He swallowed before he could speak. Still, his voice came out a deep rasp. “Good morning, my lady.”

Somewhere, somehow, a god was laughing at him.

He knew the moment she came completely awake, for she immediately froze.

She inhaled, breathed out, inhaled again, and said, “James?”

“Yes?”

“What are you wearing?” Her nimble fingers were already exploring the broadcloth over his rib cage, sliding, feeling their way.

She was going to drive him insane.

Dearest Rogue Cover“My shirt, my lady.”

Her fingers stilled a moment. “Is that all?” Her voice was rather husky, but that might be from disuse.

He cleared his throat. “No, I have on my breeches as well.” Thank God.

“James?”

“I think you ought to cease calling me by my given name, my lady,” he said, sounding to his own ears like a virginal eighty-year-old—rather ironic since the actual virgin in the room was presently slipping her fingers inside the open V of his shirt.

He held his breath as she traced his collarbone.

“Why?” she asked. “I like your name. James is so very practical. I always think one can rely on a James—and I can rely on you, can’t I?”

He cleared his throat again, trying to remember his argument. “Yes, but—”

“You’ve got chest hair!” she exclaimed, as if discovering he had wings. “How very strange that must be. Does it get tangled in your shirts?”

“Ow,” he remarked, because her exploring fingers had caught a few. “No. Not unless I were to decide to wear chain mail shirts.”

“It’s very thick,” she said next. “How far does it go down—”

He rolled off the bed. Rather fast in fact, losing a few of those chest hairs to her fingers as he did. And for the first time he was actually glad she was blind, because if she could see she’d have gotten quite the eyeful. His cock had been more than happy with her curiosity.

She sat up, which did not help matters at all, because as he’d observed last night her chemise was damnably fine. He could see her nipples if he looked.

Only a base cad would look.

They were bright pink and pointed and sat atop the most gorgeous round breasts he’d ever seen. He just wanted to—

He looked away and began dressing.

“What’s the matter?” she asked.

“You know damned well what the matter is,” he surprised himself by replying heatedly. This wasn’t the way to speak to a lady, to an employer’s sister, to—

“No, I don’t,” she said. “Why don’t you come back and we can practice the kissing that—”

“You’re too young!” he shouted. “Too highborn, too reckless with your own safety, too sweet, and too damned young. Stop. Stop baiting me, stop using me as your own personal plaything. I might be your brother’s servant, but I’m a man as well.”

“I never thought you weren’t,” she said quietly. “I know you’re a man, James. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t want a personal plaything. I want you.”



About Dearest Rogue:

Dearest Rogue CoverHE CAN GUARD HER
Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.

FROM EVERY DANGER
Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King's dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she's targeted by kidnappers.

BUT PASSION ITSELF
Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they're confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier's hard exterior…and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.

My Review | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | BAM! | iTunes | Google Play



About Elizabeth Hoyt:

Elizabeth Hoyt
Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weeklyhas called her writing "mesmerizing." She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

Find Elizabeth Hoyt on the Web: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads



Giveaway

Enter here to win a copy of Dearest Rogue!:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Monday, May 25, 2015

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Paranormal Romance Slave to Sensation Cover
ISBN: 9780425212868
Source: Publisher / Purchased by Reviewer
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Nalini Singh Reading Order

In a world that denies emotions, where the ruling Psy punish any sign of desire, Sascha Duncan must conceal the feelings that brand her as flawed. To reveal them would be to sentence herself to the horror of "rehabilitation" – the complete psychic erasure of everything she ever was...

Both human and animal, Lucas Hunter is a Changeling hungry for the very sensations the Psy disdain. After centuries of uneasy coexistence, these two races are now on the verge of war over the brutal murders of several Changeling women. Lucas is determined to find the Psy killer who butchered his packmate, and Sascha is his ticket into their closely guarded society. But he soon discovers that this ice-cold Psy is very capable of passion – and that the animal in him is fascinated by her. Caught between their conflicting worlds, Lucas and Sascha must remain bound to their identities--or sacrifice everything for a taste of darkest temptation...

Step into a world unlike any other with Slave to Sensation. Nalini Singh’s first Psy-Changeling book forever changed my expectations of paranormal romance with its intricate world, powerfully compelling characters, beautiful romance, and ingenious plot.

Sascha is a cardinal Psy whose powers never developed to their full capability. She’s flawed, broken, and running on borrowed time because she’s feeling emotion, something a Psy never should be able to do under the Silence Protocol. Sascha’s shields are rapidly fracturing and it’s only a matter of time before she’s found out and sent to “rehabilitation.” Meeting Lucas Hunter, an alpha changeling for whom sensuality is as natural as breathing, changes Sascha’s world forever. Their journey is one of passionate discovery, the raw desire they feel for one another palpable. Though Sascha is Psy, Slave to Sensation seethes with emotion, and it’s fascinating to watch her come into her own and uncover her true power. She and Lucas are characters who will stay with you forever – smart, compassionate, protective souls who grab your heart from the start and don’t let go.

I first read and fell in love with Slave to Sensation back when it was released in 2006. Countless re-reads later, it’s nearly impossible for me to give an unbiased review of the story. I decided to pick up the book again in anticipation of the release of the fourteenth Psy-Changeling book, Shards of Hope. I’m so glad I did. Slave to Sensation is one of my favorite books in the series, if not my absolute favorite. It’s a testament Ms. Singh’s writing and the story’s staying power. Knowing what is to come for the Psy-Changeling world adds another layer to the reading experience. I’m even more amazed now at how well Ms. Singh has laid out the complex, fascinating world of the Psy-Changelings.

The reason I don’t go too much into the plot of Slave to Sensation is that I will never forget the joy of unpacking the world of the Psy-Changelings not knowing anything other than what the book blurb told me. The experience is one I wouldn’t ruin for the world for others. Suffice it to say to say that Sascha and Lucas’s race against time to uncover a Psy serial killer is rife with action and tension. Everything Sascha and Lucas believe to be true about the Psy is called into question and the implications of what they uncover are staggering and have long-lasting effects. Trust me when I say that Slave to Sensation is a book you won’t want to miss. Sascha and Lucas’s story is the fantastic first step into an incredible world that still manages to amaze me fourteen books later. Run, don’t walk, to get Slave to Sensation!


FTC Disclosure: I received the e-book edition of 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: Midnight Captive by Elle Kennedy

Midnight Captive by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts, Book 6
Publisher: Signet
Genre: Romantic Suspense Midnight Captive Cover
ISBN: 9780451474421
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elle Kennedy Reading Order

Former CIA agent Bailey Jones has spent months trying to forget her night of passion with mercenary Sean Reilly. An elite and methodical assassin, she has no room in her life for a reckless, rule-breaking Irishman, and she’s vowed to steer clear of the tempting bad boy who lured her into his bed under false pretenses.

When Sean is implicated in the robbery of a Dublin bank, Bailey knows something isn’t right. So what if she can’t trust him? There’s no way Sean would end up on the wrong side of the law. In fact, he’s stuck in the middle of a dark and dirty conspiracy that could put his twin brother’s life at risk with one wrong move. And Bailey’s life too when she agrees to help.

As the stakes are raised and Bailey finds herself torn between two brothers, the fine line between danger and desire is crossed…and it’ll take more than a killer instinct to survive.

The action and passion burn bright and hot in Midnight Captive. Elle Kennedy’s sixth Killer Instincts novel is a fast-paced, electrifying read that captivates from beginning to end.

Sean Reilly is the one man Bailey Jones wishes she could forget. The charming, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants Irishman is too reckless, too cocky, and too damn sexy for her peace of mind. He’s been determined to get in her bed since the moment they met, but having suffered at the hands of men who’ve tried to control her, Bailey is reticent to get involved with an alpha male like Sean. Especially since he tried to pretend to be his much more suitable twin in order to seduce her. But when she sees that Sean has landed himself in hot water, Bailey rushes to his rescue and finds herself tangled up in a plot that’s ensnared both Reilly twins. Now she and Sean will have to work together in order to survive ruthless gangsters and an IRA splinter group. Close quarters means that their mutual desire is unavoidable, and when things heat up Ms. Kennedy’s skill at penning sexy-as-hell scenes shines. Working together also forces Bailey to see that Sean doesn’t fit in the box she wants to put him in. Yes, he’s arrogant, stubborn, and has a quick temper when those he cares about are threatened, but he also sees and appreciates all of who Bailey is. He’s not threatened by her strength and power; he’s completely head-over-heels for the former CIA agent turned chameleon. Bickering, sexual tension, and longing bring a wealth of emotion to the forefront for both Sean and Bailey and Midnight Captive is the stronger for it. The two of them are a great fit, battered hearts and all.

While Midnight Captive is the sixth book in the Killer Instincts series, it can be read as a standalone (if you don’t mind minor spoilers from previous books). Morgan and Noelle’s mercenaries and assassins are now officially a joint team, which of course means we get plenty of time with the characters we’ve come to know and love. Ms. Kennedy also teases out the growing subplot involving Liam and Sully, and man, I am hoping these two delicious mercenaries get their own story one day.

Each book in the Killer Instincts series so far has been a raw, exhilarating, action-packed read and Midnight Captive is no exception. Bailey and Sean’s romance is fantastic and I can’t wait to see what’s waiting for readers in the next Killer Instincts book, Midnight Revenge!


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: Suddenly One Summer by Julie James

Suddenly One Summer by Julie James
Publisher: Jove
Genre: Contemporary Romance Suddenly One Summer Cover
ISBN: 9780425273760
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has seen enough unhappy endings to swear off marriage forever. That doesn’t mean she's opposed to casual dating—just not with her cocky new neighbor, who is as gorgeous and tempting as he is off-limits. But once she agrees to take on his sister’s case, she's as determined to win as ever—even if that means teaming up with Ford…

Investigative journalist Ford Dixon is bent on finding the man who got his sister pregnant and left her high and dry. He’s willing to partner with Victoria, despite the fact that the beautiful brunette gets under his skin like no other woman. He might not be looking to settle down, but there’s no denying the scorching attraction between them. Still, the more time he spends with Victoria, the more he realizes that the one woman as skeptical about love as he is might be the only woman he could really fall for…

Mix equal parts sass, smarts, passion, problems, emotion, and entertainment and you have Suddenly One Summer. Julie James has managed the impossible – to deliver a story that feels light and breezy but has three-dimensional characters who have very real problems. Ms. James has a unique way of balancing style with substance and the result is a fabulous story.

Since her home was broken into, high-power divorce lawyer Victoria Slade has been forced to acknowledge she has a panic disorder. For a person determined to always appear to have it together, this is both frustrating and frightening. I loved watching Victoria unpack her issues; she’s a realistic, sympathetic character whose mix of strength and vulnerability make her relatable and endearing. While she works with a therapist on coping mechanisms, Victoria temporarily rents a condo, which just so happens to come with an arrogant, too handsome for his own good neighbor. Ford Dixon is charming and he knows it, and he and Victoria definitely start off on the wrong foot. Their mutual antagonism is hilarious, and when you add in their mutual attraction… Well, let’s just say that Ms. James knows how to make sparks fly. The pages of Suddenly One Summer practically fly by as Ford and Victoria snap and smolder. When Victoria decides to team up with Ford and help him track down the father of his sister’s child, things only get more interesting. The sexual tension heats up, but it’s complemented by Ford and Victoria’s growing respect and understanding for one another. And though neither of them is looking to fall in love, that’s exactly what happens. Of course, when you have a stubborn hero and heroine, things aren’t going to be easy. The ghosts of their pasts, secrets, and the dreaded “big misunderstanding” are obstacles that threaten Victoria and Ford’s burgeoning relationship.

Suddenly One Summer is a standalone novel, but characters from Ms. James’s FBI/US Attorney series do appear. You don’t have to have read that series in order to appreciate the characters, but after finishing up Ford’s book I’m definitely moving his best friend Brooke’s story, Love Irresistibly, up in my “to be read” pile. As with all of Ms. James’s books, Suddenly One Summer shows the author’s knowledge and attention to detail regarding her characters and plot, adding depth and a sense of realism to the book.

Julie James has an effervescent style that grabs your attention from the start, but it’s her intelligent, fully developed characters and sensual love stories that take her books to the next level. Suddenly One Summer is a truly entertaining story that is sure to delight any contemporary romance fan.


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: Asking for It by Lilah Pace

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Asking for It by Lilah Pace
Series: Asking for It, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Asking for It Cover
ISBN: 9780425279519
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Lilah Pace Reading Order

Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.

Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker...

Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.

Asking for It isn’t for the faint of heart. It tests the limits, of its hero and heroine and of its readers. It isn’t light, it isn’t easy, and it won’t make you swoon, but it is one hell of a story. Lilah Pace has crafted an intriguing, smart story of two broken souls finding what they need in one another and the sexual and psychological journey that follows. I wouldn’t call it a romance, not yet, but there is the beginning of a love story that is truly powerful.

Vivienne is a rape survivor who fantasizes about being taken by force. She’s disgusted by herself, her fantasies, but she also realizes that she can’t control them. When she meets Jonah, a sexy earth sciences professor whose needs fit her own, it seems almost too good to be true. What happens is a shattering journey of sexual exploration. Though Jonah and Vivienne agree to remain mostly strangers, it soon becomes impossible as their encounters lead to emotional investment. The fantasies they enact are harsh, but they’re also followed by true tenderness, more so as the story goes on. One of the things I loved most about Asking for It is the amount of care Jonah and Vivienne take before they become involved. Every step of the way they are clear and careful in their wants and expectations. There’s absolutely zero doubt that their relationship is safe, sane, and consensual. Though I have read plenty of erotica and BDSM romance that is clear about all three of those factors, Ms. Pace definitely tops anything else I ever read in this respect and does so incredibly smoothly, leaving no room for concern when such highly volatile fantasies are involved. I loved this because not only are we sure Vivienne is safe, Ms. Pace focuses on ensuring Jonah’s safety as well. Both of them have their limits, and that comes into play.

Both Vivienne and Jonah carry deep emotional scars, but in Asking for It we mostly explore Vivienne’s past. Vivienne was raped as a teenager, and though it doesn’t define her (Ms. Pace makes both Vivienne and Jonah three-dimensional characters with lives, jobs, and friends that are fully integrated into their story) it does heavily impact her feelings toward herself and her intimate needs. Vivienne’s personal journey of recovery, of addressing not only her rape but the betrayal that followed, is powerfully emotional. I loved seeing her work on the healing process every bit as much as her relationship with Jonah. As for Jonah, we only begin to glimpse his history in Asking for It and I cannot wait to learn more in the sequel, Begging for It.

Asking for It is the first part of Vivienne and Jonah’s story, so it’s only fair to warn readers that the book doesn’t feel complete – I definitely finished it wanting to dive right into Begging for It. That being said, I highly recommend Asking for It, though not for everyone. Ms. Pace takes great care and shows a deep respect and sensitivity toward her characters and the subjects she handles, but there are depictions and discussions of rape (to be clear, NOT perpetrated by Jonah). This book could prove a trigger for some readers, so this is one case where the reader advisory should definitely not be taken lightly.

Asking for It is raw, emotional, and deeply compelling. Its hero and heroine are strong, battered souls who will grab your heart and not let go. I devoured the book in one day, unable to rest until I got to the very last page, and still I look forward to more. Vivienne and Jonah’s journey isn’t an easy one, but there I have no doubt that something beautiful will come out of the darkness and the hope and promise in the story left me feeling well satisfied until I can continue their journey in Begging for It.


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: All I Want by Jill Shalvis

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


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

Jill Shalvis's books are So. Much. Fun. I'm always incredibly excited for her books to be released because they're guaranteed to be funny, heartwarming, and pure pleasure to read. All I Want is the next book in Ms. Shalvis's Animal Magnetism series, a series that has hot guys, smart heroines, and cute animals... What's not to love? If you've never read Jill Shalvis's work before, I highly recommend picking up any book from either her Animal Magnetism or Lucky Harbor series. Trust me, you won't regret it. Mere mention of the books makes me want to re-read both series, a good distraction since my WOW pick is some time from being in my hands, and I really want to read Zoe's story.

All I Want Cover Title: All I Want
Series: Animal Magnetism, Book 7
Author: Jill Shalvis
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Jill Shalvis Reading Order and Reviews

Book Description (from Jill Shalvis's website):

Pilot-for-hire Zoe Stone is happy to call Sunshine, Idaho, her home base. But her quiet life is thrown for a loop when her brother’s friend Parker comes to stay with her for a week. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife special agent is a handsome flirt with a gift for getting under her skin. And the situation only escalates when Parker hires her to fly him around the area while he collects evidence on a suspected smuggler.

Now she has to live and work with the guy. But when they’re in the air, she sees another side of him. He’s driven, focused, and sharp. And while he enjoys giving commentary on her blind dates, she quickly realizes with a shock that it’s Parker who gets her engines going.

Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
Series: The Witch Hunter, Book 1
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Fantasy The Witch Hunter Cover
ISBN: 9780316327008
Release Date: June 2, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king’s best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she’s accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth’s witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

The Witch Hunter is a spellbinding supernatural adventure. Virginia Boecker’s debut fantasy is imaginative, spirited, and wholly entertaining. I dashed through the pages of The Witch Hunter, as eager to unravel the world of Ms. Boecker’s making as I was to follow Elizabeth’s journey.

Elizabeth is an interesting, wonderfully flawed heroine. She’s a witch hunter, devoted to her calling not just because magic is perceived to be evil, but because being a witch hunter gives her a family and ties her to her best friend, Caleb. Though she’s undeniably strong, her fear of dying alone has made her vulnerable and she doesn’t let herself question her work even though she’s smart enough to know that all is not right. When she’s sentenced to death and is subsequently rescued by Nicholas Perevil, the man who should be evil incarnate, Elizabeth’s world is turned upside down. She enters a world of witches and seers, of magic and ghosts, revenants and pirates. Old loyalties are tested by new ties and it’s not easy for Elizabeth to come to terms with what must be done now that the blindfold is off.

Once she’s forced to question everything she ever believed to be true, the real adventure begins. The action doesn’t stop as Elizabeth uses her talents honed as a witch hunter to help the very people she would normally be hunting. With each new discovery made, it becomes more and more clear that something is rotten in Anglia, and it’s up to Elizabeth and her newfound allies to root it out. Along for the journey is a fascinating group of characters who are sure to endear themselves to readers. Nicholas’s Reformist cohorts include a loveable pirate, a feisty witch, a fool who is anything but foolish, and more. But my favorite character in The Witch Hunter (aside from Elizabeth) is John, a healer who is pure goodness itself. John grabbed my heart from the start and didn’t let go, and it’s no spoiler to say that he and Elizabeth fall for one another. In a world where innocence is swiftly corrupted, there’s a sweetness to their romance I couldn’t resist and I hope to see much more of them in the sequel.

The Witch Hunter moves at a fast pace and Ms. Boecker beautifully balances action with character development. I do have to note that the language seemed a bit modern for a story set in the sixteenth century, even taking into account that it’s a fantasy tale. Whether or not this bothers you depends on reader preference. I noticed it, but I enjoyed Ms. Boecker’s writing so much that it didn’t bother me in the slightest. My only complaint is that I finished the book and wanted to jump right into the sequel. Alas, I’ll have to be patient, but I have no doubt that it’ll be worth the wait. If The Witch Hunter is any indication of her talent, Virginia Boecker is an author to watch. I can’t wait to see what Ms. Boecker has in store for Elizabeth, John, and all the characters I’ve come to love.


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: Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt

Monday, May 18, 2015

Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, Book 8
Publisher: Vision
Genre: Historical Romance Dearest Rogue Cover
ISBN: 9781455586356
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elizabeth Hoyt Reading Order

HE CAN GUARD HER
Lady Phoebe Batten is pretty, vivacious, and yearning for a social life befitting the sister of a powerful duke. But because she is almost completely blind, her overprotective brother insists that she have an armed bodyguard by her side at all times-the very irritating Captain Trevillion.

FROM EVERY DANGER
Captain James Trevillion is proud, brooding, and cursed with a leg injury from his service in the King's dragoons. Yet he can still shoot and ride like the devil, so watching over the distracting Lady Phoebe should be no problem at all-until she's targeted by kidnappers.

BUT PASSION ITSELF
Caught in a deadly web of deceit, James must risk life and limb to save his charge from the lowest of cads-one who would force Lady Phoebe into a loveless marriage. But while they're confined to close quarters for her safekeeping, Phoebe begins to see the tender man beneath the soldier's hard exterior…and the possibility of a life-and love-she never imagined possible.

Dearest Rogue has everything I look for in a romance – smart characters, a passionate love story, engaging dialogue, a vibrant supporting cast, fast-paced action, and an overall story you just don’t want to end. Elizabeth Hoyt is a historical romance virtuoso and her writing shines in this eighth Maiden Lane book.

Phoebe is like sunshine; she brings brightness and warmth to all those around her. She’s also blind and living in a time where society in general is more apt to try and take advantage of her or see her as less than she is. Because of this, her brother tries to wrap her in cotton and make sure that no harm will ever come to her. But Phoebe is a lively, curious woman who can’t thrive in a cage, and she doesn’t take kindly to her brother restricting her movements even more and making the dour Captain James Trevillion her guard dog on top of it. Only having Trevillion around isn’t exactly the hardship Phoebe thought it would be. Trevillion is serious and protective, to be sure, but the wounded former dragoon is also the man who definitely made this reader swoon with his love for Phoebe. Trevillion sees Phoebe for the vibrant, intelligent, sensual woman that she is and the two of them bring each other to life. Trevillion’s time as a dragoon gave him a purpose and was a welcome distraction from the ghosts of his past. With Phoebe in danger, however, he’s very worried he’ll fail her and that just about broke my heart. It was lovely to watch him heal with Phoebe’s help. The two of them simply fit like lock and key.

It’s no simple matter for Phoebe and Trevillion to get their happily ever after – the differences in their age and social class can’t simply be ignored in the eighteenth century – but Ms. Hoyt is never one to go the traditional route when crafting her romances, and I’m glad of it. Trevillion and Phoebe’s romance just about made me melt – it’s passionate, charming, emotional, and captivating all at once. Only sheer exhaustion kept me from reading Dearest Rogue all through the night. As it was, I picked up the book and finished it immediately upon waking, unable to resist the lure of Phoebe and Trevillion’s romance.

Outside the romance there is the not-so-small matter of who is trying to kidnap Phoebe and why. Though readers will likely guess who is behind the kidnapping attempts, that doesn’t make the storyline any less interesting (in fact, I’d say it’s more so because of this). The kidnapping plotline brings with it appearances from past Maiden Lane heroes and heroines. I loved revisiting the men and women who endeared themselves to me in past books and it was a true delight to get a peek into their lives now. Dearest Rogue also furthers readers’ acquaintance with Valentine Napier, Duke of Montgomery, an intriguing, scene-stealing manipulator who is impossible to resist.

The Maiden Lane series is filled with wonderful stories that I absolutely love and I can’t pick just one to be my favorite. That being said, Dearest Rogue definitely ranks as one of my favorites in the series. The only issue I had with the book is that it left me wanting to dive right into the next story, Sweetest Scoundrel. Ms. Hoyt sure knows how to tease readers, because I know I’m not the only one who’ll be clamoring for more after the introduction of Eve Dinwoody (heroine of Sweetest Scoundrel). While I wait, I’ll be sure to re-read Dearest Rogue. In fact, upon finishing I was already looking forward to diving into Phoebe and Trevillion’s book again – it’s just that addictive.


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: Consumed by Fire by Anne Stuart

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Consumed by Fire by Anne Stuart
Series: Fire, Book 1
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Romantic Suspense Consumed by Fire Cover
ISBN: 9781477828472
Release Date: May 26, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Evangeline Morrissey remembers the last time she saw her husband: it was during their honeymoon, right before he stole her elderly aunt’s earrings and abandoned her. Now, five years later, the enigmatic man who’d broken her heart and destroyed her trust is back. But she’s not the same naive young woman who fell for him so easily.

Marrying Evangeline and letting her think he was nothing but a common thief had been James Bishop’s plan all along. As an assassin for the Committee, a covert agency dedicated to stamping out international crime, he had no business even thinking about marriage. But it was the only way to protect Evangeline after she’d unwittingly wandered into his operation against a group of human traffickers, placing herself in grave danger. And now that James’s vigilant watch over Evangeline’s life has revealed to his enemies that she’s his one true weakness, he must set out to have, to hold, and—above all—to protect his bride.

Nobody writes romantic suspense like Anne Stuart! The Fire series starts off on a high note with Consumed by Fire, a dark and complex romance with a dangerous hero and a smart, scarred heroine. James and Evangeline’s story is rich, compelling, and has an edge to it – exactly what I’ve come to love and expect from Ms. Stuart.

The Fire series is a spinoff of the Ms. Stuart’s Ice series, the premise being an American branch of the infamous Committee is being set up. Like his Ice counterparts, James is a truly deadly hero who won’t ever be a sappy romantic. He’s an alpha male with none of the posturing and he’ll break his own heart by hurting Evangeline if it’s for the greater good. In the hands of a lesser author, James would be a terrible hero, but somehow Ms. Stuart makes him wildly compelling. Like Evangeline, I was drawn to him, even though he’s someone I’d never want to cross paths with, were he real. As for Evangeline, she’s a strong, capable woman who was nearly broken by James in the past. Though she comes to understand his reasons, that doesn’t mean she’ll welcome him back into her life with open arms. Their relationship is tumultuous, with passion, hatred, and love all blending together. Their love story isn’t pretty, it isn’t sweet, but damn if it isn’t sexy, emotional, and impossible to put down.

There’s plenty of action in Consumed by Fire outside of the romance as well. Someone is targeting Evangeline and the reasons why go back to when she and James first met. I can’t say more without spoiling the story, so suffice it to say that very real danger lurks around every corner. Ms. Stuart doesn’t pull her punches and if Consumed by Fire is any indication, the Fire series will be as wildly, wickedly entertaining as the Ice series (though you don’t have to have read the first series in order to follow along). Evangeline and James do not disappoint and I can’t wait to see what happens next for the Committee’s newest batch of operatives.


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: Two of Hearts by Christina Lee

Monday, May 4, 2015

Two of Hearts by Christina Lee
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Genre: Contemporary Romance Two of Hearts Cover
ISBN: 9780451473257
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Christina Lee Reading Order

Dakota Nakos was always the resilient, strong-willed achiever. But when her father dies and she’s entrusted with the family’s casino, she feels vulnerable, scared, and more than a little emotional – not exactly the best time to see an old lover she’s never really gotten over.

Dakota once meant the world to Shane Garrity. Then suddenly he left town to train as a U.S. Marshal, and their love for each other crashed into a memory. Now he’s come home for her father’s funeral, and one look at the girl he left behind stirs up both memories and regrets, and reignites a fire he feared he'd lost forever.

Dakota may be the same driven girl she always was, but she's also changed in ways neither could have anticipated. She’s not just a young woman searching for own identity in the Native American community in which she was raised, but one questioning her new life outside her father’s shadow. Above all she wonders if Shane can push past her weakened defenses to rekindle what they once had, or whether the intense blaze between them will ultimately reduce her heart to ashes.

Two of Hearts is an engaging story of finding and fighting for home, wrapped up in a passionate reunion romance. Dakota and Shane have sizzling chemistry and author Christina Lee delivers incredibly hot scenes in Two of Hearts. On its own, this could make the book a highly entertaining read. But it’s the way Dakota and Shane are as individuals and how that plays into their rekindled romance that makes their story shine.

Shane is a strong, protective hero who’s nearly at the end of his rope with his job as a U.S. Marshal. I loved that Shane was not only over the moon about Dakota, but also isn’t afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. He’s open about what he feels for her, his need to protect her and her family, and damn if that isn’t sexy. Shane is a wonderfully self-aware, genuinely kind and giving hero. Dakota is as drawn to Shane as he is to her, but she’s also got a hell of a lot on her plate. Dakota’s a smart, determined woman fighting for her legacy in the wake of her father’s death. Though her mother is Dutch, Dakota has always identified as Native American and is now feeling a bit lost in her own community. Since her father’s murder and her mother’s inheritance of their family’s casino, some people have – whether out of fear, distrust, or because of the manipulation of others – started making Dakota feel like an outsider. One of my favorite things about Two of Hearts is watching Dakota find her voice in the Native American community. Ms. Lee’s research dedication to showing the beauty of Native American culture and the struggles the Nation faces shows and I really loved the care she took in weaving this throughout the book.

Though Dakota and Shane are undeniably the heart of Two of Hearts, Ms. Lee gives depth and attention to a dynamic supporting cast. I absolutely loved Shane’s fellow Marshals, Charlie and Alex, and I have my fingers crossed in the hopes that one or both of them will get a book. It’d also be remiss of me not to mention Dakota’s brother and sister-in-law, Kai and Rachel. Kai and Rachel are the two characters whose clear love for one another brought a smile to my face every time they were on the page. Of course, this isn’t surprising since they happen to be the hero and heroine of Whisper to Me, part of Ms. Lee’s Between Breaths series. Two of Hearts isn’t part of the Between Breaths series, nor is it a New Adult book like Whisper to Me. Dakota and Shane’s book takes place a years after Kai and Rachel’s story, and I’m sure fans of Whisper to Me will love seeing Kai and Rachel a few years into their marriage.

Between Dakota and Shane’s steamy romance, the wonderful supporting characters, and the attention given to Dakota’s heritage, there’s a lot to love about Two of Hearts. Add in a dash of suspense revolving around the murder of Dakota’s father and it’s easy to see how a reader can get swept up in this book. I loved Two of Hearts and I hope Ms. Lee continues to write more compelling adult contemporary romances.


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.

Christina Lee Book Order

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Click on series title to jump to a particular reading order:

Between Breaths
Stand Alones


Between Breaths

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

1. All of You
Bennett and Avery
My Review

2. Before You Break
Quinn and Ella

3. Whisper to Me
Kai and Rachel

4. Promise Me
Nate and Jessie

5. There You Stand
Cory and Jude

top


Stand Alones


Two of Hearts
Shane and Dakota
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Review

"Beneath Your Layers" (in the When We Met anthology)
Blake and Chloe
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

top



Please note: This page was written by me, so as always, please visit the author’s website for up-to-date, author-verified information as well as for information books that have not yet been included to this list.

http://www.write-brained.com/

Saturday in Review

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Welcome to May! Summer reads are right around the corner, but in the meantime, 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:
- Grave Phantoms (Roaring Twenties, Book 3) by Jenn Bennett (available 5/5/15)
- Walking on Sunshine (Cricket Creek, Book 8) by LuAnn McLane (available 5/5/15)

All other new reviews:
- Don’t Walk Away (DreamMakers, Book 3) by Vivian Arend and Elle Kennedy
- A Scoundrel by Moonlight (Sons of Sin, Book 4) by Anna Campbell
- The Mistake (Off-Campus, Book 2) by Elle Kennedy
- The Liar by Nora Roberts
- Secrets of a Gentleman Escort (Rakes Who Make Husbands Jealous, Book 1) by Bronwyn Scott

Upcoming reviews:
- Ask Me Why by Jodi Thomas, Marie Force, Virginia Kantra, and Shirley Jump
- Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, Book 1) by Ilona Andrews
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoë 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
- Air Bound (Sea Haven, Book 3) by Christine Feehan
- Earth Bound (Sea Haven, Book 4) by Christine Feehan
- 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
- Suddenly One Summer by Julie James
- 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
- Midnight Captive (Killer Instincts, Book 6) by Elle Kennedy
- 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
- While You Were Writing (Watkins Pond, Book 2) by Virginia Nelson
- Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince, Book 2) by C.S. Pacat
- Asking for It by Lila Pace
- 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
- Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge, Book 1) 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
- Shards of Hope (Psy-Changeling, Book 14) by Nalini Singh
- Consumed by Fire (Fire, Book 1) by Anne Stuart
- Courtship of the Cake (Much “I Do” About Nothing, Book 2) by Jessica Topper
- Takeover by Anna Zabo
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog contents © Wit and Sin 2010. Blogger Theme by Nymphont.