Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

I adore the Alpha & Omega series. From the first novella (also titled "Alpha & Omega"), Charles and Anna have been characters who have captivated and stuck with me. By the time Burn Bright releases it'll be approximately three years since I've read a new Charles and Anna book, so to say I'm excited to read Burn Bright is an understatement.

Title: Burn Bright
Series: Alpha & Omega, Book 5
Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: March 6, 2018

Book Description (from Amazon):

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok's pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.

With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf--but can't stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills--his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker--to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn...

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Review: One Hot December by Tiffany Reisz

One Hot December by Tiffany Reisz
Series: Men at Work, Book 3
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780373799244
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Hard as steel…and hotter still!

Never mess with a woman who carries a blowtorch in her backpack. Welder and artist Veronica "Flash" Redding's playful sense of evil sometimes gets the better of her. Like when her insanely handsome, wealthy, suited-up boss gave her the most sensuously wicked night of her life…then dumped her. Yep, revenge is a dish best served hot.

Only Ian Asher isn't letting Flash get away quite so easily. He's not ready to forget the intensity between them. The searing heat when they touch. And the deliciously demanding control Ian wields in the bedroom. Now he has only the holidays to convince Flash that they belong together…and that even the most exquisite, broken things can be welded back together.

One Hot December is wildly sexy, insanely funny, and quite simply a fantastic read. Every book in Tiffany Reisz’s Men at Work series has been incredibly addictive and Flash and Ian’s love story is no exception. It’s a wonderful romance that is so much fun I cannot help but smile when I think about it.

Flash is an awesome heroine. She’s got a quit wit (and sometimes a quick trigger), a spine of steel, and she’s refreshingly straightforward. She’s not afraid to be different, to speak up for herself, and I loved her strength. Flash isn’t invulnerable, though. She’s been hurt and has had to fight for respect more than once. I admired and adored Flash and wanted to see her find someone she could both love and trust. On the surface, Ian seems like an odd match for her. But the two of them simply click. Beneath the suit and the all-business demeanor, Ian is a funny, caring, deliciously filthy hero. Even though he is a wealthy businessman whose father owns the company he works at, Ian has worked hard to get where he is. He also has some hidden vulnerabilities. His mother died when he was a baby and one of my favorite parts of One Hot December was how Flash helped Ian connect with his heritage through his mother’s faith. The quiet moments of honesty and caring between Flash and Ian give this story its heart and are just lovely.

While I do love the emotional moments of One Hot December, it’d be a crime if I didn’t talk about how incredibly fun and dirty this book is. Humor in romance tends to be hit-or-miss for me, but the banter between Flash and Ian had me laughing out loud. And when Flash and Ian hit the sheets… Well, this book ain’t called One Hot December for nothin’. Ian and Flash could keep you warm in a snowstorm (not literally – please don’t attempt ;-)).

If you love holiday romances (and I admit to being a sucker for them, particularly Hanukkah romances), One Hot December has double the holiday cheer as it celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas. I truly loved reading Ian and Flash’s story. It’s a festive and fun read that is guaranteed to delight all year long.


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, November 26, 2017

Review: Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, Book 12.75
Publisher: Forever Yours
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781455539185
Release Date: December 5, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elizabeth Hoyt Reading Order

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque, really rather loathes Christmas. The banal cheerfulness. The asinine party games. And, worst of all, the obligatory trip to the countryside. His grandmother, however, loves the holiday---and Adam loves his grandmother, so he’ll brave the fiercest snowstorm to please her. But when their carriage wheel snaps, they’re forced to seek shelter at the home of the most maddening, infuriating, and utterly beguiling woman he's ever met…

Sarah St. John really rather loathes rakes. The self-satisfied smirks. The sly predatory gazes. Oh, and the constant witty banter rife with double meaning. But in the spirit of the season, she’ll welcome this admittedly handsome viscount into her home. But as the snowstorm rages, the Yule log crackles, and the tension rises, Sarah and Adam find themselves locked in a fiery, passionate kiss. If love is the true meaning of Christmas, it’s the one gift this mismatched pair can't wait to unwrap.

Adam Rutledge, Viscount d’Arque and admitted rake, loathes Christmas. Sarah St. John loathes rakes. It’s only fitting, then, that the two of them fall in love at Christmastime in the absolutely delightful Once Upon a Christmas Eve. I love a romance where a rake falls for the “on-the-shelf” heroine who isn’t impressed by his charm or good looks so this story was right up my alley.

It’s attraction masked by dislike at first sight when it comes to Adam and Sarah. Adam is used to women falling at his feet, so Sarah’s withering comments ruffle his feathers a bit. While Adam does live up to his reputation when it comes to women, he’s also smart, a genuinely nice man, and a grandson who loves his grandmother very much – how can you resist him? Even someone like Sarah, whose past experiences have given her good reason to distrust charming men, can’t hold out against Adam for very long. She’s his match in every way. She’s quick, intelligent, and clearly loves her family. Sparks strike immediately between these two, and even when they’re bickering the energy between them makes their back-and-forths fun to read. I couldn’t put this story down because Elizabeth Hoyt’s writing had me so wrapped up in Adam and Sarah’s romance. Since this is a novella, they do fall in love rather quickly, but with two such well-suited leads and a wealth of Christmas spirit shining on the page, I didn’t mind the swiftness and simply enjoyed the ride. And what a lovely ride it was. Sarah and Adam’s romance is engaging, sensual, fun, and left me smiling.

Once Upon a Christmas Eve is part of Ms. Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series, but even if you’re new to the books you can easily start with Sarah and Adam’s story. As a fan of the series, I was delighted that Godric and Megs (of Lord of Darkness) played supporting roles and it felt like a little gift to get a peek into their post-happily ever after lives. The only downside of this novella was it brought home once again how much I hate to see the Maiden Lane series end. Ms. Hoyt’s characters are always unique, interesting, and endearing and Adam and Sarah are no exception. If you’re looking for a heartwarming historical romance to get you in the holiday spirit, you definitely want to read Once Upon a Christmas Eve!


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, November 19, 2017

Review: Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night by Stacy Reid

Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night by Stacy Reid
Series: Rebellious Desires, Book 1
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781979375153
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Georgiana Rutherford, the Duchess of Hardcastle, seemingly has it all—wealth, pedigree, and the admiration of the ton, except her heart hungers for a passionate affair. She meets the enigmatic and ruthless Mr. Rhys Tremayne, a man known to low and high society as the Broker. The attraction between them is impossible to deny, but she cannot be feeling it for this man.

Rhys Tremayne has built his wealth and empire by dealing secrets on the black market of the London underworld. He is determined to take his sisters away from the depraved world they’ve known their entire lives, and the duchess is the perfect woman to help sponsor his sisters into society. The only problem is that he wants more from Georgiana, even if the social divide between them ensures she can only ever be his lover in secret.

Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night is sensual, interesting, and completely captivating. Stacy Reid has a way of wrapping you up in her writing, which made it really, really, really difficult to put Rhys and Georgiana’s story down.

Rhys is known to one and all as “The Broker.” He’s a man who deals in secrets, all so that he can make a life for his family and give his mother and sisters the life they deserve. Though he’s accumulated wealth and power, the one place Rhys hasn’t been able to infiltrate is the social whirl of the ton. Georgiana is the key to getting his sisters into society, but he finds that he cannot use her as a pawn, not when he’s drawn to her like no other. I absolutely loved Rhys. He’s worked and fought his way up the ladder for the sake of his family. He’s tough, but with a loving heart, and he’s got a quick and canny mind that I found incredibly appealing. Even though he deals in secrets and favors, Rhys has a strong sense of honor. Add in a few hidden pockets of vulnerability and the fact that he’s unbelievably sexy and you’ve got one heck of a swoon-worthy hero.

A hero as confident as Rhys deserves a heroine who can knock him a bit off his stride, and Georgiana fits the bill perfectly. She’s been raised all her life to be a proper duchess and now that she’s a widow with a young son, she continues to fulfill the role her parents and late husband set out for her. But Georgiana is unbelievably lonely, even though she’s the darling of society. Rhys is the first man to see behind the mask, to make Georgiana feel completely alive. The pull between them is so strong that she risks everything to engage in a clandestine affair with Rhys. But it’s clear to readers from the start that these two were meant for so much more than a few heated encounters. Rhys and Georgiana have searingly hot passion going for them, but they fit extremely well outside the bedchamber as well. Ms. Reid made the pages of Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night come alive with their chemistry and I loved getting lost in their romance. The divide in Rhys and Georgiana’s social classes is a huge obstacle in their love story and I liked that I really didn’t know how they would get their happily ever after. I won’t say how things work out, but Ms. Reid definitely did leave me smiling by the end of this book.

Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night is the first book in Ms. Reid’s Rebellious Desires series and I absolutely cannot wait for more. From Rhys’s sisters to his best friend, there are a number of characters whose stories I am hoping will be told. If you like engaging, emotional historical romances with a healthy dose of heat, then you won’t want to miss Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night!


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, November 12, 2017

Review: Trouble Next Door by Stefanie London

Trouble Next Door by Stefanie London
Publisher: Entangled: Lovestruck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781979435208
Release Date: November 13, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

McKenna Prescott is the queen of picking the wrong men. When her latest boyfriend dumps her, she decides to devote her time to “exploring herself” (read: drinking wine and ordering sex toys online) and starting her freelance makeup business. That is, until an embarrassing delivery mix-up puts her sexy, gruff neighbor in her path...

Beckett Walsh is married to his job...which is a deal-breaker for the woman he’s supposed to be marrying. Even worse, his would-be father-in-law has pulled support from Beckett's startup and now Beckett stands to lose everything. But the gorgeous, crazy makeup artist from down the hall has an equally crazy but mutually beneficial idea: if he convinces his sister to hire McKenna for her high-society wedding, McKenna will teach him about what women want so he can get his fiancée back.

All he has to do is make sure he doesn’t fall for the wrong girl.

From its hilarious beginning to the sexy and sweet ending, Trouble Next Door is So. Much. Fun! I had an absolute blast reading McKenna and Beckett’s romance – it was energetic, flirty, sexy, and even heartwarming at times.

Beckett is a serious hero in need of a shakeup. His childhood made him crave stability for himself and his family and he’s completely focused on making the app he’s working on a success. To launch said app, he needs funding and since his ex-fiancée’s father was his biggest investor… Well, things aren’t going too well for Beckett at the beginning of this book. I admired his intelligence and focus and the clear love he had for his family. Beckett definitely has his flaws, but at his core he’s a kind, loving man who is trying to do his best. His world is knocked off-kilter by McKenna, which made me grin more than once. She’s bright, sparkly, and has a larger-than-life personality that I absolutely loved. McKenna is stuck working the beauty counter until she can launch her career as a makeup artist. She’s got talent and determination, but after years of her family beating her down because she doesn’t fit their mold, she is somewhat vulnerable. Her passion for her work and her love of makeup shines and was actually one of my favorite things about Trouble Next Door. When an author really enjoys something and incorporates it into the story, it comes through, adding extra life to the book.

As individuals, McKenna and Beckett are great. As a couple, they’re dynamite. Even when they start out as friends, with McKenna trying to help him get his ex back, they have great chemistry. They’re supportive of one another, they actually listen to each other talk about their work and goals, and that’s fantastic. Add in sizzling chemistry that can’t be denied and it’s easy to see why I absolutely hated having to put Trouble Next Door down. The characters, the romance…there’s such a bright, popping personality to this book that I smile even just thinking about it.

Trouble Next Door is the first book I’ve read by Stefanie London but there’s no way it’ll be my last. I loved Ms. London’s writing; the humor, romance, and character growth was on point and I will definitely be glomming up her backlist. There are some books that just make you happy when you read them, and that’s what Trouble Next Door was for me.


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: The Devil of Dunakin Castle by Heather McCollum

The Devil of Dunakin Castle by Heather McCollum
Series: Highland Isles, Book 4
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781979375221
Release Date: November 13, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Englishwoman, Grace Ellington, has made a home in Scotland, but to escape from the meddling people around her who seem to think she needs to wed right away—because women need saving, right? —she volunteers to journey north to aid a friend in childbirth.

Keir MacKinnon, the younger brother of the MacKinnon clan chief, has been raised to strike fear in people, on and off the battlefield. Trained to uphold MacKinnon law, he has hardened into a lethal warrior. Caught in a Highland blizzard with the feisty Grace, Keir realizes the beautiful woman who saved him can also save his nephew’s life.

Sparks fly when he takes her against her will to his home, and Grace’s courage is put to the ultimate test. Is Keir MacKinnon the passionate, kind man she saved in the Highland blizzard, or is he truly the cruel executioner who seeks to solve all issues by the sword?

A kind hero forced to play the beast, a heroine who is braver and stronger than she knows, and a romance that is by turns sweet and sensual makes The Devil of Dunakin Castle a wonderful read. Heather McCollum’s writing charms the heck out of me and I loved getting lost in Grace and Keir’s story.

Grace is a wholly endearing heroine. She’s the wallflower type who finally gets a chance to come into her own and she shines. In the beginning of the story, she’s looking for adventure. She gets more than she bargained for when she’s nearly mauled by wolves, rescued by Keir, then snowbound with an injured Keir, and then kidnapped by the man so that she may use her healing skills to heal his nephew (these are not spoilers as they all happen right at the beginning of the story). Grace faces all these obstacles with determined practicality and strong spirit, which I adored. She has more spine than she knows, which she’ll need if she wants to claim Keir for her own. Keir has been groomed since childhood to be the Devil of Dunakin Castle, the great and brutal defender of the MacKinnon clan. His reputation is larger-than-life, making him feared by all except his family and closest friend who know the truth: that Keir is a good, strong, fair man. My heart broke for Keir, who is forced to be an isolated monster and carry out punishments in the name of his increasingly bloodthirsty brother.

Grace is the first woman not cowed by Keir’s reputation. She sees the man beneath the mask and I absolutely loved that. The two of them have great chemistry from the start. They’re the kind of couple that fits perfectly. But with treachery afoot at Dunakin Castle and Keir’s sworn duty as the Devil in the way, the road to happily ever after isn’t an easy one. I was rooting for them every step of the way and their love story is an excellent mix of sweetness and steam.

The Devil of Dunakin Castle is the fourth book in Ms. McCollum’s Highland Isles series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. I have been reading this series out of order and have had no problems other than I desperately want to find the time to catch up because I love Ms. McCollum’s writing. If you’re a fan of Julie Garwood’s Highland romances, then you’re going to love The Devil of Dunakin Castle. It’s a spirited, delightful read with characters who will easily grab your heart.


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

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Review: Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Once Upon a Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, Book 12.5
Publisher: Forever Yours
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781455539208
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elizabeth Hoyt Reading Order

Miss Mary Whitsun is far too intelligent to fall for the rakish charms of a handsome aristocrat. But when the gentleman in question approaches her in a bookshop, mistaking her for his fiancée, Lady Johanna Albright, the flirtatious encounter only raises more questions. Could Mary, a servant raised in a St Giles orphanage, actually be Lady Joanna's long-lost twin sister? If so, Mary has been betrothed since birth---to the rakishly handsome artistocrat himself…

Henry Collins, Viscount Blackwell, is far too intrigued by Mary to let her go so easily. He's drawn to her sharp mind, indomitable spirit, and the fiery way in which she dismisses him---ladies simply don't dismiss Lord Blackwell. But as Mary makes her first hesitant steps into society, she can't help but wonder if she truly has a place in Henry's world---or in his heart.

Once Upon a Maiden Lane is an utterly charming read! Mary Whitsun was introduced to readers in the first Maiden Lane book, Wicked Intentions, so I was delighted that – as the series comes to a close – the now-adult Mary gets a story of her own. Mary is witty, kind, and an overall endearing heroine. Even though she has grown up under the loving care of Temperance, now Lady Caire, Mary has never had a life all her own and there’s something a bit lonely about her at the beginning of the story. That’s why she’s wary, yet hopeful, when she learns that she might have a family that has been looking for her all her life.

Mary simply shines in this story and comes into her own, though not just because of her change in status. She’s a lovely woman and I wanted her to have the fairytale life and love she so deserves. What happens I will not spoil, but since this is a romance it’s safe to say that a happily ever after is guaranteed. I absolutely adored Mary and Henry’s love story. Henry may be an aristocrat, but he’s no snob. He’s a kind, loving man with charm and good looks to spare. He and Mary had instant chemistry and I cannot count the number of times they made me smile. The two of them fit like lock and key; they have friendship, passion, shared interests, and they just simply work as a couple. As this is a novella, the timeline of the romance is a bit swift, but I didn’t mind being swept away because I was so entranced by Elizabeth Hoyt’s writing.

Once Upon a Maiden Lane can be read as a standalone and is sure to delight anyone who likes a good fairytale-like historical romance. That being said, part of what made this story so satisfying to me was getting to see or hear mention of some of my favorite Maiden Lane heroes and heroines. Temperance, for example, plays a significant supporting role and warms my heart, and of course it takes no time at all for the irreverent Duke of Montgomery to steal the page. I cannot adequately express how much I enjoyed Once Upon a Maiden Lane. It’s a heartwarming story I know I will be reading 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.

Review: Dirty Games by Samanthe Beck

Dirty Games by Samanthe Beck
Series: Tropical Temptation, Book 4
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781640633919
Release Date: November 13, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

A five figure fee. A private villa at an exclusive tropical paradise. Absolute compliance. Top tier celebrity trainer Luke McLean demands all of the above, plus strict adherence to his zero bullshit policy. Especially when faced with six short weeks to whip a spoiled starlet into leading lady shape.

Quinn Sheridan suddenly has half the time she anticipated to turn herself into an action hero for the role of her career. Luckily, her agent calls in a secret weapon, but the demanding, drop dead gorgeous hardass fails to understand SHE’S the client. She has no problem taking direction, but Luke’s definition of cooperation feels more like complete and utter submission. And she’s tempted to give it to him…

Samanthe Beck takes readers on one deliciously naughty tropical getaway in the aptly-titled Dirty Games. While this book has sun, fun, and enough steam to delight anyone looking for a fast and hot read, there’s also a healthy dose of emotion that gives the story heart and makes you want to come back for more.

Quinn Sheridan is a hardworking actress on the verge of making it big, going from popular TV actress to blockbuster movie star. The only problem is, after recovering from a knee sprain she is out of shape and only has six weeks to get into a skintight leather cat suit. When her agent sends her to paradise, it’s not for fun, but for hardass trainer Luke McLean to get her video game heroine-ready. Both Quinn and Luke had me from the get-go. Luke may be strict, but he’s also caring and compassionate. He’s got a good heart and he’s very good with his hands, which makes him a pretty drool-worthy hero. He’s been burned by Hollywood in the past and has no desire to get sucked into Quinn’s world. But there’s something about the spirited, determined actress he can’t help but be drawn to. Quinn is no spoiled diva, but someone who has worked hard to get where she is and who has very real emotional problems that comes from having an addict twin and a mother who enables him. There were times that my heart just broke for Quinn. I loved her mix of strength and vulnerability. She’s not used to being able to count on someone and that sometimes leads her to making mistakes. Her romance with Luke is fast-paced, but the situation Quinn is in means she has to open up relatively quickly to him which breaks down some of his walls in turn. Sparks fly between the two of them from the start, but their trainer-client relationship and all that goes with it means that getting involved is a terrible idea. Terrible idea or not, the sexual tension between them is hot as hell and when that tension boils over… Well, this book isn’t called Dirty Games for no reason.

Dirty Games is has a great mix of passion, fantasy, and emotion. It has all the sparks and sass I’ve come to expect from Ms. Beck’s work and I hated it whenever I had to put the book down. All in all I adored Dirty Games and I cannot wait to revisit Quinn and Luke!


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, November 1, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh


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

I'll say up front that there's no book by Nalini Singh I wouldn't read, so it's easy to see why Cherish Hard is a Waiting on Wednesday pick for me. That being said, even if Ms. Singh was a new-to-me author, this book sounds like it'd be up my alley. I can't wait to "meet" Sailor and Isa!

Title: Cherish Hard
Series: Hard Play, Book 1
Author: Nalini Singh
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Nalini Singh Reading Order

Book Description (from Amazon):

Sailor Bishop has only one goal for his future – to create a successful landscaping business. No distractions allowed. Then he comes face-to-face and lips-to-lips with a woman who blushes like an innocent… and kisses like pure sin.

Ísa Rain craves a man who will cherish her, aches to create a loving family of her own. Trading steamy kisses with a hot gardener in a parking lot? Not the way to true love. Then a deal with the devil (aka her CEO-mother) makes Ísa a corporate VP for the summer. Her main task? Working closely with a certain hot gardener.

And Sailor Bishop has wickedness on his mind.

As Ísa starts to fall for a man who makes her want to throttle and pounce on him at the same time, she knows she has to choose – play it safe and steady, or risk all her dreams and hope Sailor doesn’t destroy her heart.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston


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

I've never read Shelly Laurenston before, but since a couple of friends with similar tastes in PNR love her, I jumped at the chance to read the first chapter of Hot and Badgered. I'm kind of sorry I did, because now I really want to read this book ASAP. In just the first chapter there is action, humor, and several intriguing characters. My interest is definitely piqued and I've got loads of questions, so it's no wonder that my Waiting on Wednesday pick this week is Hot and Badgered!

Title: Hot and Badgered
Series: The Honey Badgers, Book 1
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: March 27, 2018

Book Description (from Amazon):

It’s not every day that a beautiful naked woman falls out of the sky and lands face-first on grizzly shifter Berg Dunn’s hotel balcony. Definitely they don’t usually hop up and demand his best gun. Berg gives the lady a grizzly-sized t-shirt and his cell phone, too, just on style points. And then she’s gone, taking his XXXL heart with her. By the time he figures out she’s a honey badger shifter, it’s too late.

Honey badgers are survivors. Brutal, vicious, ill-tempered survivors. Or maybe Charlie Taylor-MacKilligan is just pissed that her useless father is trying to get them all killed again, and won’t even tell her how. Protecting her little sisters has always been her job, and she’s not about to let some pesky giant grizzly protection specialist with a network of every shifter in Manhattan get in her way. Wait. He’s trying to help? Why would he want to do that? He’s cute enough that she just might let him tag along—that is, if he can keep up...

Monday, October 23, 2017

Review: The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman

The Right Kind of Rogue by Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides, Book 8
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781250121714
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Can two star-crossed lovers come together―until death do they part?

Viscount Hart Highgate has decided to put his rakish ways behind him and finally get married. He may adore a good brandy or a high-speed carriage race, but he takes his duties as heir to the earldom seriously. Now all he has to do is find the right kind of woman to be his bride―ideally, one who’s also well-connected and well-funded…

Meg Timmons has loved Hart, the brother of her best friend, ever since she was an awkward, blushing schoolgirl. If only she had a large dowry―or anything to her name at all. Instead, she’s from a family that’s been locked in a bitter feud with Hart’s for years. And now she’s approaching her third London season, Meg’s chances with him are slim to none. Unless a surprise encounter on a deep, dark night could be enough to spark a rebellious romance…for all time?

Meg Timmons has been in love with Viscount Hart Highgate since she was a teenager, but she knows she’ll have to take drastic measures to get his attention. Not only are their families feuding, but Meg is a penniless wallflower and not the well-connected heiress Hart’s father wants him to wed. When she hears that Hart is determined to find a bride, Meg takes the plunge and asks infamous plotter Lucy Hunt to help her capture Hart’s heart. But even the best-laid plans have a tendency to go awry…

The Right Kind of Rogue is part Romeo and Juliet, part Cinderella, but manages to feel like its own story instead of a retelling of either. I adore Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides series and I’ve been highly anticipating Meg and Hart’s book, as heroines who are in love with their best friend’s brother is a favorite romance trope of mine. Yet while I liked this book – mostly due to Ms. Bowman’s writing style, which I enjoy – I didn’t love it like I wanted to.

Meg is a likeable heroine whose rather horrid family makes her a sympathetic heroine. She’s been infatuated with Hart for years, but though she explains why she falls in love with him, I’m not sure why she stays that way. Hart is a good man with some good qualities, but you have to get past the drinking and self-centeredness to find a hero worth rooting for. While I have no problem with a protagonist who starts out unlikeable (it gives them room to grow), Hart took way too long to finally stop being selfish and to appreciate Meg. Most frustrating of all, Hart never took an active part in his own story. Meg bends over backwards for him, and even though she makes mistakes, she tries – something Hart never does. I find stories where the hero and heroine would never have gotten together without tons of pushing from their friends to be frustrating. Which brings me to the third main character of The Right Kind of Rogue: Lucy Hunt. The Duchess of Claringdon (and the first Playful Brides heroine) feels like she has nearly as much page time as Meg and Hart. Lucy starts out as a fairy godmother type, but she turns into a veritable tornado, uncaring of the damage she causes so long as the end result is what she planned. While I like seeing past heroes and heroines pop up in a series (Sarah and Christian of The Legendary Lord were charming in this story), Lucy steals the spotlight in this book and that’s not a good thing.

While I did have some issues with The Right Kind of Rogue, I don’t want to make it sound like a bad book. Ms. Bowman’s light, effervescent style still shines and I was drawn into the story even when I wanted to shake Hart. The romance also has some sweet moments and there is definite chemistry between Meg and Hart. So while Meg and Hart’s romance wasn’t all I’d hoped it would be, I still adore Ms. Bowman’s writing and I cannot wait to read the next Playful Brides book.


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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Review: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane, Book 12
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781455539147
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elizabeth Hoyt Reading Order

A LADY OF LIGHT
Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked-and nude!-Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him…only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS
Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER…AND DESIRE
Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?

All it took was one dance and Raphael de Chartres, Duke of Dyemore, was captivated by Lady Iris Jordan. But she is lightness personified and he’s trapped in the dark. All he has is his mission: infiltrate and destroy the Lords of Chaos, a powerful secret society of rapists and murderers. When Iris is kidnapped by the Lords on the way home a friend’s wedding, Raphael risks his cover to rescue her. To protect her from the Lords, he convinces her to marry him. What he doesn’t expect is that Iris isn’t content to settle for the friendly but passionless marriage he envisions. She’s determined to break down his barriers, and as it becomes increasingly difficult for him to resist her, Raphael has to wonder if there’s a chance their unconventional marriage could become a love match. But if he hopes to find out, he and Iris will have to outwit the leader of the Lords of Chaos who is determined to destroy them.

Duke of Desire has is a dark, emotional book that will definitely tug on your heartstrings. Raphael and Iris’s story starts off with a blast of action, followed by an almost Beauty and the Beast-like period of the two near-strangers-turned-newlyweds getting to know one another, followed by a romance intertwined with a struggle to defeat dangers past and present.

Raphael is a man whose life is consumed by one mission: destroy the Lords of Chaos. Raphael’s father was the leader of the vile society, and he was a monster. Because of his actions, Raphael is scarred inside and out, tortured, and my heart broke for him. His past is dark and author Elizabeth Hoyt doesn’t skirt around the demons that torment him. I wanted to see Raphael heal, to see him find love, and I knew it’d take a strong-willed heroine to break through his walls. Iris is just that heroine. She’s got an inner strength and huge heart that I adored. She doesn’t back down when Raphael tries to push her away, and the two of them were good for each other. Their love story is emotional and rewarding and I liked that they didn’t fall in love instantaneously. Their relationship felt organic and I had a hard time putting Duke of Desire down because I wanted to see them find happiness.

The Lords of Chaos and their path of destruction feature prominently in this book. I won’t spoil what happens, but these are villains who definitely make you want to vomit. Readers should be warned that this is the darkest of all the Maiden Lane books and that childhood sexual abuse is discussed. This is a heavy subject, and Ms. Hoyt treats it with respect. Needless to say, I was as invested in Raphael’s mission to destroy these monsters as I was in his romance with Iris. And though the ending of the story felt a bit rushed, Ms. Hoyt wrapped up both plotlines in a satisfying way.

Duke of Desire is the twelfth full-length Maiden Lane book, but whether you’re new to the series or are a long-time fan, you can jump in without any issues. Ms. Hoyt’s writing is always compelling, and even with such dark subject matter, the themes of love and hope shine through.


FTC Disclosure: I received the e-book version of this story 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.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Make Me Yours by Rebecca Brooks

Make Me Yours by Rebecca Brooks
Series: Men of Gold Mountain, Book 4
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781640633896
Release Date: October 9, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Claire Collins has always been good—except when it comes to bad boys. Or one bad boy in particular: a tattooed musician as skilled with her body as he is with his guitar. But he wasn’t ready to be a father, so she left him to raise their daughter on her own. Only fate had other plans, and suddenly, Ryan is back in her life, disrupting everything. This time, though, she’s determined not to lose her heart…even if she still craves his touch.

Ryan Thomas never expects to see Claire again—especially not in a small mountain town in Washington on the last show of his comeback tour. But when the lights come on, there she is, more beautiful than ever. One incredible night with her won’t be enough… But he’ll have to prove he’s not the man he used to be, if he wants to keep her—and his family—for good.

Once upon a time, Claire Collins fell fast and hard for bad boy Ryan Thomas. But Ryan was an up-and-coming musician whose alcoholism was making him spiral out of control. When Claire found out she was pregnant and Ryan was too drunk to even talk to her about it, she did what was best for her child and left him. It’s been more than five years since they last spoke, but when Ryan comes to Gold Mountain on his comeback tour to find not only Claire, but the daughter he didn’t know existed, everything changes. The chemistry between Ryan and Claire is as hot as ever. But even though Ryan is Claire’s weakness, she always puts her daughter first. And if Ryan wants a chance at winning the heart of the woman he loves and the daughter who immediately grabs his heart, he’s going to have to prove that he has changed.

There’s nothing I love more than a good second chance romance and Make Me Yours is exactly that. Rebecca Brooks has a talent for delivering wonderfully human characters which is what makes this story compelling.

Ryan is a recovering alcoholic who lost everything. He’s worked hard to remain sober and rebuild his career, and I respected the hell out of that. Ryan is a flawed hero, one who makes a number of mistakes. But he’s also incredibly loving and is working to be a better man. Claire’s life was turned upside down when she got swept up in Ryan’s world the first time. Since leaving him, the businesswoman and single mother has worked her butt off to build a life for herself and her daughter. She’s strong and protective and definitely wary of letting Ryan in her heart again. Upon seeing each other again, the two of them strike sparks. Their romance is both emotional and incredibly sexy (I’ll never look at rock climbing the same way again). I liked that Ms. Brooks didn’t make things easy on them; there are a couple of ups and downs and even when the characters messed up, I could understand why they made the mistakes they did – there’s no false drama in this book.

Make Me Yours is by turns sexy and sweet and I may have sniffled a time or two. I adored Claire and Ryan together and I loved catching up with Claire’s friends, the previous Men of Gold Mountain heroines. All in all, Make Me Yours is an engaging story with characters who grab your heart and don’t let go.


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.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Review: The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne
Series: Victorian Rebels, Book 5
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781250122544
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards―dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants―including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him...more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry―and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…

A seductive earl who has never met a woman he couldn’t charm meets his match in a spitfire American in The Scot Beds His Wife. Kerrigan Byrne’s fifth Victorian Rebels novel is an energetic enemies-to-lovers tale with a delightfully unconventional heroine.

Sam grabbed my attention from the start. She’s full of spirit and strength that I just adored. Sam has had a hard life and at the beginning of The Scot Beds His Wife she makes a split-second decision that changes her life forever. Sam makes difficult choices and takes on the consequences of her actions. She doesn’t back down, but she’s not invulnerable. Life has never given her reason to trust, to hope, and I wanted her to find the home and love she yearned for with Gavin. Speaking of said hero, Gavin was a bit harder for me to like. He’s a man who goes through women like water in order to mask his pain. Like Sam, Gavin is seeking home and he has a childhood that just broke my heart. I understood his determination to get his hands on the land he believes Sam owns, though I wasn’t always keen on his attitude when he was denied. I will admit Gavin’s anger toward his brother Liam also put me off him at times. I tried to see things from Gavin’s point of view, but as I am attached to Liam after reading and loving his book, The Highlander, I just couldn’t work up much sympathy for Gavin and his hostile attitude. To be clear, he isn’t a bad hero. He’s protective and caring of those he lets in his heart and he does develop into a great match for Sam over the course of the story.

Ms. Byrne excels at delivering passionate romances that are just bursting with emotion. For me, Gavin and Sam didn’t quite match up to the previous Victorian Rebels romances in this respect. There was lust between them and definite sparks, but both Gavin and Sam have significant secrets. Sam in particular holds onto her secrets for so long that it drags the romance down a bit because she and Gavin are unable to be truly open with each other. That being said, I did like them together quite a bit even when they were at odds. They’re a fiery pair and by the epilogue I was smiling at their interactions.

While the story never drags, much of the action in The Scot Beds His Wife takes place in the last quarter of the story. And what a final act it is – I was practically glued to the book. Everything I love about Ms. Byrne’s stories comes into play; there’s action, danger, emotion, and a satisfying happily ever after. So while The Scot Beds His Wife may not be my favorite story in the Victorian Rebels series, I still really liked it and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on the next book.


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

Monday, September 25, 2017

Review: A Talent for Temptation by Sabrina Jeffries

A Talent for Temptation by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: The Sinful Suitors, Book 4.5
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9781501144530
Release Date: October 2, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Sabrina Jeffries Reading Order

Widow Meriel Vyse is stunned speechless when someone tries to abduct her on her way to a ball. Fortunately, Quinn Raines, her secret beau, shows up to foil the attack. Unfortunately, as the two of them are struggling with her abductor, Meriel accidentally stabs Quinn with a knife.

Unbeknownst to Meriel, Quinn set up the fake abduction so he could play the hero and win her hand in marriage. But now that his plan has gone disastrously awry, can he convince her that he’s still the man for her?

A Talent for Temptation is a fast and fun romance featuring a hero and heroine who just need that little extra push to be together. Meriel and Quinn have been dancing around one another for quite some time, but her secrets and his uncertainty about her feelings are keeping them from taking that final leap and opening their hearts. When Quinn finally has enough and takes a chance at playing the dashing hero (by setting up a pretend kidnapping), his plan fails miserably but winds up being that aforementioned push he and Meriel needed.

Quinn and Meriel are incredibly sweet together and Ms. Jeffries does a good job of establishing their characters (Meriel’s in particular) in the short length of the novella. I did like Quinn and Meriel together but since we don’t get to see how or why they fell in love, I felt like their romance was missing something. Perhaps with a bit more length, I wouldn’t have felt as if I’d come in at the end of a longer story. That being said, I was still charmed by A Talent for Temptation overall and the story made me eager to read the next Sinful Suitors novel. I cannot wait to see what Ms. Jeffries has in store for Meriel’s brother-in-law, the intriguing spymaster Baron Fulkham.


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: Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh

Archangel’s Viper by Nalini Singh
Series: Guild Hunter, Book 10
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9780451488244
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Nalini Singh Reading Order

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.

Archangel’s Viper is a total rush. Venom and Holly’s story was so engaging that I risked a sleepless night (and being a zombie at work) because I didn’t want to put the book down.

Four years ago, Holly Chang was kidnapped and tortured by an insane archangel. In the time since her rescue, Holly has worked and fought to make a new life for herself, knowing she can never go back to who she once was. I loved Holly’s spirit, her unwillingness to give in or take the easy road. She can stand toe-to-toe with far more powerful immortals and not be dwarfed by their presence. And Holly does all this without ever seeming too perfect a heroine. Her strength shines because we can see how vulnerable she is as well. There’s an otherness inside her, a deadly presence the archangel Uram left within her, and it’s growing in power. Holly is a great character to begin with, but she comes into her own over the course of Archangel’s Viper as the power within her strengthens and she must fight to stay herself. Added to that, someone has put a bounty on her head and to find out who that is, she must work with the one vampire who drives her completely mad.

Venom is one of the most powerful vampires on the planet. He’s also unique because of the way he was Made and he’s sometimes isolated, except from the few people he trusts enough to be close to. I’d been intrigued by Venom for some time and I really enjoyed learning about the man behind the viper eyes. Venom was as deadly and seductive as I’d expected, but he’s also quietly caring and has a hidden vulnerability that broke my heart. I absolutely loved Venom and Holly together. He has never treated her as broken, and his teasing brings the liveliness out of her when the darkness threatens. The two of them are unique and it’s their uniqueness which draws them together in the first place. The romance between Holly and Venom is slow to burn, and though it took a backseat to the main storyline, I honestly didn’t mind. Venom and Holly’s love story felt organic, and I loved seeing how their relationship changed and developed over the course of the story. I was rooting for these two and I liked that I didn’t always know how they’d make it out alive, never mind get their happily ever after.

Archangel’s Viper is the tenth book in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series and I highly recommend reading the series in order. Much of the action in Archangel’s Viper takes place at the same time as the events of the previous book, Archangel’s Heart, and seeing what’s happening with the cast in New York while the rest of the principal characters are in Morocco helps give the world a more complete feel. With the Cascade in effect, there’s no pausing in action anywhere in the world of the angels and vampires we love. I finished Archangel’s Viper a well-satisfied reader and I cannot wait to see where Ms. Singh takes readers in the next Guild Hunter book.


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

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Review: Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis

Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis
Series: Heartbreaker Bay, Book 4
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9780062448088
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

Meet cute…

Run for the hills—temporarily. That’s Colbie Albright’s plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie’s so over it that she’s under it. She’s also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she’s pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won’t be a stranger for long.

Make merry…

Spence’s commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn’t have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot—chemistry he’s got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she’s gorgeous and a great listener…just because she “gets” Spence immediately doesn’t mean he won’t be able to let Colbie go. Does it?

…and hope for a miracle.

Now the clock’s ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.

You know those books that just make you smile when you read them? Chasing Christmas Eve is exactly that kind of story. Spence and Colbie’s romance is flirty and fun with a whole lot of warmth; it’s a holiday romance you can enjoy all year long.

I have a soft spot for nerdy heroes and Spence is a totally sigh-worthy one. He’s brilliant, sexy, generous, and kind – the perfect hero without ever becoming a cardboard character. He’s also quite wealthy and the way people have tried to use him for that wealth has made him wary and his friends protective. Spence was a pretty dreamy hero. He’s not without flaw – he has a huge problem with work/life balance – but I fell pretty fast and hard for him and was eager to see him get his happily ever after with Colbie. Colbie is a quirky, sweet heroine I adored. She’s also a bestselling author who is under so much pressure personally and professionally that she’s ready to crack. An accident involving rogue animals and a special fountain bring Spence and Colbie together and they click right away. Both of them are stressed out by their work, have been hurt in the past, and I liked that they understood one another so well. Colbie and Spence’s romance is both sweet and sensual and their slide into love had me sighing. Though they know from the outset their time together has an expiration date, I was rooting for them to take the leap, open their hearts, and find a way to make things work.

When Colbie flees New York for San Francisco to take a break from her life, she not only finds love, but a whole new group of friends. Colbie fits right in with the Heartbreaker Bay gang and the whole group made me go all warm and gushy. They’re the kind of characters you just wish were real so you could be friends with them. The Heartbreaker Bay cast is truly charming and helps make this story shine. Chasing Christmas Eve is classic Jill Shalvis in that it’s an excellent mix of humor and heart. I finished Colbie and Spence’s book a well-satisfied reader and I can’t wait for the next Heartbreaker Bay story!


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.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Review: Playing with Forever by Amy Andrews

Playing with Forever by Amy Andrews
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby, Book 4
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781976150920
Release Date: September 25, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Country boy, Ryder Davis has the world at his feet. A stellar rugby career, a winning way with women and a beach view that keeps him in blue sky and bikini babes. He's living the dream. The last thing he needs is a Great Dane called Tiny destroying his feng shui.

Dog whisperer, Juliet Morgan is about to start living her dream and she's counting down the days. In two months she'll finally be moving to Italy and no man's going to stop her this time. Not even a rugby superstar with a badly behaved pooch.

But when Ryder skids into the animal shelter looking for help Juliet agrees to assist him with his canine issues. Pretty soon they're assisting each other out of their clothes and tumbling headlong into a sex thing with an expiry date.

Neither of them expected it to become more. But when for now starts to feel like forever Juliet hits the panic button. Ryder knows he has to play the long game and let her walk away. After all it's not over until the final hooter sounds and all's fair in love and rugby.

Amy Andrews delivers the ultimate meet-cute when a hot cowboy/rugby player goes searching for help with the possibly possessed Great Dane he’s dog-sitting. Playing with Forever starts off on a high note as Ryder and Juliet’s initial meeting has all the humor and crackling chemistry I’ve come to expect from Ms. Andrews’s work. What follows is a seriously hot story that’s enjoyable, though not quite as engaging as the first three Sydney Smoke Rugby books because the characters didn’t feel fully developed.

Ryder was a pretty likeable hero who quickly went from a playboy to a man head over heels for Juliet. Ryder is charming, good-natured, and seriously sexy, but I never felt like I got to know his character well enough for him to hold my attention. As for Juliet…I really wanted to like her. She’s a woman with a dream who has been through a lot, but again, I didn’t ever really get a sense of who she was beyond the basics. Because of this, her rather frustrating habit of getting irritated with Ryder over little things made me irritated with her more often than not as the story progressed. Juliet isn’t a bad heroine, but I wanted more. The romance is mostly based on sex and because there wasn’t a lot of depth to Ryder or Juliet it was difficult for me to understand why they fell in love. That doesn’t mean Playing with Forever is a bad story. Ms. Andrews’s writing is so much fun that even with the issues I had with the romance, I still liked the story well enough. The supporting cast – both human and canine – added personality to the story. Tiny the Great Dane threatens to steal every scene he’s in and I adored any scene that featured Ryder’s teammates. So while Playing with Forever had its ups and downs for me, I absolutely love the Sydney Smoke Rugby series and cannot wait for more hot rugby heroes.


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.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Review: All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte

All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781492656531
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

TONIGHT, SHE PLANS TO LET GO.

Dressed up and anonymous, Sadie Liberato feels powerful, sexy and free. Where better to lose herself than a masked party?

Gear Blackstone's cheating ex and scheming best friend have managed to spin his life into a serious downward spiral. At least with a mask on he can cut loose for one night. And cut loose he does—with the sexiest, snarkiest chick he's ever met.

After a scorching-hot encounter, Sadie and Gear are desperate to find each other in real life. But can the heat last when the masks come off?

All I Want for Halloween is anything but ordinary thanks to its unique characters. I love heroines in particular who break the mold and Marie Harte definitely delivered with Sadie. Sadie is a breath of fresh air. She’s blunt, often cranky, has no patience for BS, and isn’t exactly what you’d call a people person. I loved that she is confident and outspoken and I honestly just plain liked her. She was hurt in the past pretty badly and I was rooting for those walls around her heart to come down. Gear is her perfect match. He’s equally blunt and grouchy and has also been burned in the past by people he trusted. Nevertheless, he falls fast and hard for Sadie and doesn’t give up even when she’s wary of trusting him with her heart. I loved that these two wonderfully flawed characters actually like things about one another that others might not. Their romance is not only seriously hot, it’s fun.

The road to happily ever after isn’t always a smooth ride for Sadie and Gear, but luckily for them they both have family on hand to support them when the going gets tough. Neither the Liberato nor the Blackstone clan is your average family, and I adored that about them. The entire cast (discounting evil exes and backstabbing former best friends) is irreverent, good-hearted, and charmed the heck out of me. I liked them all so much that I hated to say good-bye at the end of the book; I really hope Ms. Harte has stories in store for Sadie and Gear’s siblings (especially if the attraction between their brothers turns into something more). All I Want for Halloween is the first book I’ve read by Ms. Harte and it’s a total treat. I can’t wait to read more of her work.


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

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Make Me Yours by Rebecca Brooks


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

I love Rebecca Brooks's Men of Gold Mountain series. The stories are sexy and entertaining and the characters are wonderfully flawed (I have a soft spot in particular for flawed heroines). The teasers for Claire's story have me really excited to read it, which is why my Waiting on Wednesday pick this week is Make Me Yours.

Title: Make Me Yours
Series: Men of Gold Mountain, Book 4
Author: Rebecca Brooks
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Release Date: October 9, 2017

Book Description (from Goodreads):

Claire Collins has always been good—except when it comes to bad boys. Or one bad boy in particular: a tattooed musician as skilled with her body as he is with his guitar. But he wasn’t ready to be a father, so she left him to raise their daughter on her own. Only fate had other plans, and suddenly, Ryan is back in her life, disrupting everything. This time, though, she’s determined not to lose her heart…even if she still craves his touch.

Ryan Thomas never expects to see Claire again—especially not in a small mountain town in Washington on the last show of his comeback tour. But when the lights come on, there she is, more beautiful than ever. One incredible night with her won’t be enough… But he’ll have to prove he’s not the man he used to be, if he wants to keep her—and his family—for good.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Review: Untold by Shannon Richard

Untold by Shannon Richard
Series: Country Roads, Book 7
Publisher: Forever Yours
Genre: Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781455565122
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Shannon Richard Reading Order

Sometimes love has a plan of its own…

Brie Davis came to Mirabelle, Florida, for one thing: the funeral of her birth mother-a woman she never had a chance to know. Now Brie must sort through her mother's life to get the answers she was denied. She plans to leave as soon as she can…except the sexy veterinarian makes Brie's pulse beat faster than she's willing to admit.

Finn Shepherd knows Brie's only in town for a short while, but he can't stay away. Instead he finds himself looking for more reasons to keep her close. Finn's already had his fair share of heartbreak, yet Brie makes him want to take that risk again. Now all Finn has to do is convince her to take a chance on him…before she disappears from his life forever.

Shannon Richard’s Country Roads comes to a close with the heartwarming Untold. Finn and Brie’s story has everything I’ve come to expect from Ms. Richard’s books: a sweet (with a dash of spice) romance, endearing characters, and a story that can tug on your heartstrings at the most unexpected moments.

Finn Shepherd had his heart broken eight years ago and he’s never wanted to risk that kind of pain again. Then Brie Davis comes into town and just plain knocks him off his feet. Brie is in Mirabelle for the funeral of her birth mother – the infamous Bethelda Grimshaw. Brie never knew the woman, but now she’s inherited everything, including some animosity from people Bethelda hurt. Brie is a charming heroine with a good heart and a deep-seated need to know where she came from. I adored her from the first and wanted her to find happiness in Mirabelle and with Finn. Finn is a caring, loving, sexy hero whose past has made him wary of entering a relationship. When he and Brie decide to enter a no strings attached affair while she’s in town, it’s clear that these two are going to find themselves entangled sooner rather than later. Finn and Brie fit like lock and key; they’re truly perfect for each other on every level. I loved watching them fall into a relationship and fall in love almost without realizing it. Their romance is by turns sweet and sensual and I was rooting for them to get the happily ever after they so deserved.

Untold is the seventh full-length book in the Country Roads series and though it can be read as a standalone, there are some minor spoilers for the previous books in the series. As a fan of the series, I was thrilled to briefly visit with past Country Roads heroes and heroines and see where they are now. Ms. Richard also gave me something I didn’t know I wanted: a look into the life of Bethelda Grimshaw. I absolutely hated Bethelda in previous books because she was so cruel. Learning about her alongside Brie ended up tugging on my heartstrings more than I expected. Ms. Richard doesn’t excuse Bethelda’s actions in any way, but I really did like getting a greater understanding of the character.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know the residents of Mirabelle throughout the Country Roads series. While I’m sad to see the series come to a close, Finn and Brie’s romance is really a great ending. Untold is simply a lovely story from beginning to end.


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.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: Going Dark by Monica McCarty

Going Dark by Monica McCarty
Series: The Lost Platoon, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 9780399587702
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Like Rome’s Lost Legion, a SEAL platoon goes on a mission and vanishes without a trace.

After walking into a trap on a covert op in Russia, the men from top secret SEAL Team Nine are presumed dead. Not knowing whom they can trust, and with war hanging in the balance, the survivors must go dark and scatter around the globe.

Marine ecologist Annie Henderson joins her new boyfriend on a trip to the Western Isles of Scotland to protest a hazardous offshore drilling venture. When she realizes that she may be swept up in something far more dangerous than she’d intended, there is only one man she can turn to…

She and the mysterious but sexy dive boat captain haven’t exactly gotten off to the best start, but something about his quiet confidence makes her think that he’s the kind of man she can depend on. Because he’s gruff and guarded, she can tell Dan Warren has secrets. But she could never imagine how high the stakes are for him to keep his cover, even as he risks everything to protect her…

When things go horribly wrong on a mission in Russia, the surviving members of SEAL Team Nine are ordered to scatter and go dark. It’s been two months since everything went to hell, and Senior Chief Dean Baylor is now living under the radar in Scotland, working as a dive boat captain. He doesn’t need any complications, especially if they come in the form of beautiful marine ecologist Annie Henderson. Annie is on the Isle of Lewis to protest a potentially hazardous offshore drilling venture, but when she learns the activists she arrived with are up to something dangerous, she has no one to turn to for help except for the even more dangerous looking dive boat captain. It’s the second time in two months that things go south for Dean, but he’s not about to let anything happen to Annie, even if it means risking blowing his cover.

Monica McCarty starts off her Lost Platoon series with a bang. Going Dark is an intense, interesting, and engaging romantic suspense. I’ve enjoyed Ms. McCarty’s historical romances in the past, so I was thrilled to discover that she’s every bit as adept when it comes to romantic suspense.

What sets Going Dark apart from a lot of the military romances I’ve read lately is the characters. Badass heroes are a dime a dozen, but while the members of SEAL Team Nine are definitely strong alphas, they’re not over the top (which I was grateful for). Dean is a strong, resourceful, straight-shooting conservative hero. He’s both sexy and endearing, but he doesn’t have the best opinion of people like Annie, who he considers liberal academics in their ivory towers. Annie is a liberal vegetarian marine ecologist who is an idealist at heart. Though she can be naïve, Annie won me over because she truly has a good heart and is trying to make the world a better place. The two seem like total opposites, but they actually fit one another perfectly. I loved that they were able to discuss their different ideologies and that they actually listened to one another when they were disagreeing. Ms. McCarty did a great job of showing where Dean and Annie came from and the events that shaped them and their beliefs. It’s not an easy thing to do, particularly given the current political climate, which is why this really stood out to me. I read most of Going Dark in one sitting because I really enjoyed the dynamic between Dean and Annie.

The suspense plotline involving eco-terrorists balanced out the romance and kept the story moving at a good pace. While I enjoyed this storyline, I’m definitely more invested in the overarching series plot. I want to know who betrayed SEAL Team Nine and why. One of the people looking for answers is Colt, a former member of Dean’s platoon. The subplot involving Colt and his ex-wife, Kate, had me on the edge of my seat. The two of them made such a strong impression that they almost threatened to steal the show. I say almost, because Dean and Annie were definitely the heart and soul of the story and they really left a good impression on me. I finished Going Dark a well-satisfied reader and I cannot wait to see what Ms. McCarty has in store for the rest of the Lost Platoon.


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 3, 2017

Review: Under Pressure by Cathryn Fox

Under Pressure by Cathryn Fox
Series: Dossier, Book 3
Publisher: Entangled: Scorched
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 9781974565368
Release Date: September 4, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Veterinarian, Reese Scott can't believe it when her dossier contains vouchers to Mexico to go cage diving with sharks. And when not being intimidated by sea creatures, she's supposed to be having hot monkey sex with a stranger. So why would her best friend Cole Rayburn be involved in her adventure?

Except when Cole takes his shirt off, and she sees he's filled out in all the right places, she can't help but want a closer look…touch. Too bad he'll always see her as the tomboy from next door. When she finds herself inside a shark cage and in his arms, she knows she has to do something about it.

But what if she tries to seduce her best friend and he rejects her? More importantly…what if he doesn't?

Under Pressure is a fast-paced, seriously hot friends-to-lovers romance. As that is one of my favorite romance tropes, I was eager to dive into Reese and Cole’s story. Author Cathryn Fox did not disappoint – Under Pressure was the perfect mix of sweetness and spice.

Reese and Cole have been best friends for years, but each is too fearful of damaging their friendship to let on how much they want the other. An adventure-filled vacation is just the push they need to take the leap from friends to something much more. Ms. Fox did a great job of establishing Reese and Cole’s bond in a short amount of time. Because Cole and Reese do have such a strong foundation, it’s not unbelievable that they fall in love so quickly as they’re pretty much there to begin with. There’s no false drama in the story (which I appreciated), only two people understandably wary of damaging the most important relationship in their lives.

As individuals, Cole and Reese are incredibly likeable. As a couple, they are smokin’ hot with excellent chemistry in bed and out. And when you add in that they can also be quite sweet together, it’s easy to see why they’re such an easy couple to root for. All in all, Under Pressure is a quick and sexy romance that will leave you smiling. I adored Cole and Reese and I’m looking forward to more of Ms. Fox’s Dossier tales.


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, August 30, 2017

Review: My Fair Lover by Nicole Jordan

My Fair Lover by Nicole Jordan
Series: Legendary Lovers, Book 5
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Historical Romance
ISBN: 9780553392579
Release Date: August 29, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Lady Katherine Wilde believes she has crushed any lingering romantic feelings toward Brandon Deverill, who spurned her six years ago. And now that the rough-edged rogue needs polishing to claim his inheritance, she’s willing to strike a practical bargain: Kate will mold the brash privateer into an acceptable English nobleman if Deverill will safeguard her from brigands on a voyage to recover lost family treasure. However, the soul-melting kiss that seals their agreement just may reignite blazing passion.

Brandon’s fortitude was sorely tested when he turned Kate away from his bed all those years ago. Even a rake such as he wouldn’t seduce an innocent beauty before sailing into battle. But now that he’s inherited a title and must take a suitable bride, he sets his sights on Kate. Though he fiercely desires her, true love is a notion that baffles him—until their adventure turns perilous and Brandon realizes he’d gladly trade his life to save the woman who has captured his heart.

Six years ago Lady Katherine Wilde was in love with Brandon Deverill and attempted to seduce him. At the time he was about to leave to fight in a war against the British, so Deverill chose to do the honorable thing and turn her away. Now there’s peace between their countries and Deverill has inherited a title, which means he needs a suitable wife. Who better to find him a wife than consummate matchmaker Kate Wilde? Kate agrees to his plan in exchange for Deverill taking her to France and helping her search for what’s left of the ship her parents died on. She will model Deverill into the ideal English gentleman and introduce him to the perfect candidates for matrimony. What she doesn’t know is that he has no plans to mold himself into the perfect husband for some strange woman – he fully plans on seducing and wedding Kate. All he needs to do is convince her to give him a second chance and they could have a love that is truly legendary.

The ultimate matchmaker finally meets her match in My Fair Lover. Though this fifth book in Nicole Jordan’s Legendary Lovers series gives a few nods to the story of Pygmalion, Kate and Deverill’s story is more of a second chance romance than a twist on a literary legend. As I happen to be a sucker for a good second chance romance, I didn’t really mind this, particularly since My Fair Lover started out with such promise.

Deverill and Kate have fantastic chemistry at the start of the book. She is determined to be proper and not to let him seduce her, while he is equally determined to tempt her, challenge her, and ultimately win her back. Their back-and-forth was charming and the dialogue was flirty and fun. But once things started to get steamy between Kate and Deverill, the book, well, lost its steam. The obstacles in the way of their happily ever after – both internal and external – felt a bit forced as it was clear the two were meant to be together, wanted to be together, and the reasons they weren’t were fairly thin. The snappy connection that characterized Kate and Deverill’s relationship in the beginning gave way to sensual scenes that were entertaining but not as original or fun. In addition, the storyline involving Kate’s search for her parents’ sunken ship, a pirate with a grudge against Deverill, and the pirate’s lovelorn mistress just fell flat. Perhaps a shorter format would have served the characters better, but as it stands Kate and Deverill were delightful together and I was rooting for them to get their happily ever after. So while My Fair Lover had its ups and downs for me, I did finish the story a satisfied reader.


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.