Monthly Archives: July 2015

Her Last Fling: A Bacherlorette Party Confession by Ava Sterling

Her Last Fling: A Bachelorette Party ConfessionHer Last Fling: A Bachelorette Party Confession by Ava Sterling

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Title: Her Last Fling
Author: Ava Sterling
Series: Bachelorette Party Confession
Pages: 16
Publisher: Red Lace Publishing
Date: July 8, 2015

Summary:

Susan is nervous. Who wouldn’t be nervous the night before her wedding?

She spends her bachelorette party with her best friend at a male strip club but ends up leaving early. Within minutes, she bumps into the stripper that gyrated over her lap an hour ago. After a glass of wine, she sees her friend walking past–near enough to spot her sharing a drink with a man other than her fiancé.

In an attempt to evade being caught, Susan rushes in the direction of the stripper’s hotel room. Now she must decide between getting a good night’s sleep for her wedding or being tangled in the sheets with her new mystery man.

Review:

I am not normally one for short stories because they feel rushed to me and there is not enough time for character development. This one, however, is about a one night stand, so it’s meant to be rushed.

I liked the fact that the author didn’t go straight into the sex scenes. There was a build up with some backstory with Susan and her friend, as well as a slow seduction in the bar with Mark. The description of Mark makes it easy to understand why Susan allowed herself to be seduced.

My problem with the story is in the content. Mark seduces a woman who is obviously drunk. As a matter of fact, he keeps pressing more drinks on her. He doesn’t wear a condom and Susan seems to be thrilled by that. Not to mention, she is cheating on her fiance. Cheating is definitely a hard limit for me.

Finally, Susan realizes that her fiance is not all that interested in having sex with her. I think that is supposed to be a rationale for cheating.

Why is she marrying this guy?

Her Last Fling is a quick read with some excellent male stripper scenes. However, I can’t bring myself to like either of the main characters.

I received a copy of this story from the author for an honest review.

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The Closer You Come (Original Heartbreakers, #1) by Gena Showalter

The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers, #1)The Closer You Come by Gena Showalter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: The Closer You Come
Author: Gena Showalter
Series: The Original Heartbreakers, #1
Pages: 434
Publisher: HQN Books
Date: March 31, 2015

Summary:

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter introduces the Original Heartbreakers, where three not-quite-reformed bad boys are about to meet the women who will bring them to their knees.

Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has a dark and twisted past. And now, he has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. But model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty…

Brook Lynn Dillon has always been responsible. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and fun-deprived. Until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, stunningly protective, breathtakingly sexy and as tempting as sin, and the passion sizzling between them is undeniable. But can it melt her resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what they both need.

Review:

Read the prequel, The One You Want, first. It’s not really, really necessary, but it will help you understand some relationships.

I am not sure what to say about this book. I enjoyed it and read it in less than two days. The characters are likable, but the situations they came from can be heartbreaking. These people have real problems, both emotional and physical.
Having said that, it is not a dark book. Brook Lynn brings new levels to the word snarky. One of my favorite scenes is when she gives Jase a tube of Preparation H because he told her she was a pain in his ass.

I loved her . . . and she loves Jase. Now that is a man with problems. Fortunately, Brook Lynn loves him enough to fight for him.

Do we get a happily ever after? Of course. It is a romance after all. What we don’t get is butterflies and moonbeams. Brook Lynn will always have a physical problem and Jase will always have problems with his temper. However, both of them love the other and are willing to fight for the relationship.

Jase’s best friends, Beck and West, are integral to the story as is Brook Lynn’s sister Jessie Kay. They get their own books too. The Hotter You Burn and The Harder You Fall come out in 2015. I can’t wait to read them both.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Nightwalker (World of Nightwalkers, #5) by Jacquelyn Frank

Nightwalker (The World of Nightwalkers, #5)Nightwalker by Jacquelyn Frank

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Nightwalker
Author: Jacquelyn Frank
Series: World of Nightwalkers, #5
Pages: 327
Publisher: Loveswept
Date: August 25, 2015

Summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank comes the final chapter in the Nightwalkers saga! As the momentous showdown with a powerful demon unfolds, a passionate encounter breaks the ultimate taboo.

Kamen is a Bodywalker, an ancient soul reborn in one human host after another. He’s also a prisoner of his own kind: for it was Kamen who released Apep, the deadly god who threatens the existence of their world. To atone for this grievous error, Kamen accepts an urgent mission: to convince the other nations of the Nightwalkers to set aside their centuries-old conflicts and band together. If he fails, all will be lost. And no tribe presents a greater challenge than the Wraiths, the spectral beings who are feared and despised for their lethal deathtouch.

Kamen makes first contact with a stunning, ghostly pale beauty named Geneviève. Part Wraith and part human, scorned as a half-breed, Viève shares the hunger for redemption—and for connection. Her scintillating touch holds the kiss of death, and yet it makes Kamen feel more alive than ever. Soon his lips are pressed against hers, sending Viève into fits of desire and forging a bond that breaches the divide between them. Now they must unite all the Nightwalkers, from Vampire and Shadowdweller to Djynns, and fast—for Apep is ready for war.

Review:

Do NOT read this book as a standalone. As a matter of fact, you need to read ALL of the Nightwalkers, Shadowdwellers, and previous World of the Nightwalkers before reading this book. You will have no clue what is going on otherwise.

Whew! Now that I have that out of my system. This is a great book, but it is not a standalone. It is the culmination of a fourteen book saga that was broken into three series. Do not be overwhelmed. These are wonderful, engrossing, sometimes funny books and I love them. They are well worth the time invested.

Kamen was one of the primary bad guys throughout the World of the Nightwalkers series. There was some foreshadowing that he was more misled than evil, but he still did horrible things. I never expected to feel sorry for him and come to like him as much as I did. The fact that I was rooting for him by the end of this book and wanting everyone to forgive him is an example of how good a writer Jacquelyn Frank can be.

Of course, if the male lead is the most hated man in the series, then the female lead must come from the most hated and feared species. Vieve is half Wraith and half human. Fortunately, her human half is dominant, so she is not as vicious and untrustworthy as the rest of the Wraith species. And that brings up a small problem I had with the book. Every other species is acknowledged as having good and bad individuals. The Wraith are feared universally. Yes, I understand they have the death touch, but there aren’t any good Wraith?

As I said before, this is the culminating book in a series of fourteen. It has a good solid ending and ties all the threads together. I did see one chance for another spinoff, which would be wonderful because I love the world of the Nightwalkers. We will just have to see.

One other thing, and this has nothing to do with the author or the story. For some reason, the publisher has decided to only release this book in ebook and audio format. The rest of the serie(s) have also been available as paperback. This ruins my set. I have all of the books in paperback, but cannot get this one in that form. Obviously, I am ticked. Will I buy it in ebook form? Of course I will, but I am not happy about it.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Begging for It (Asking for It, #2) by Lilah Pace

Begging for It (Asking for It, #2)Begging for It by Lilah Pace

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Begging for It
Author: Lilah Pace
Series: Asking for It, #2
Pages: 352
Publisher: Berkley
Date: September 1, 2015

Summary:

The provocative author of Asking for It once again explores the dark side of erotic obsession, and the secrets that make it as dangerous as it is irresistible.

Some secrets should only be shared in the dark.

Jonah and Vivienne’s erotic bond—living out raw scenarios of captivity and force—began as no-strings sex between strangers who shared the same desires. Now the intimacy between them is turning into love, but it’s a love built on fantasies so extreme that exploring them makes guilt inescapable. But the risks they’re taking are far more dangerous than they’d imagined.

A stalker is terrorizing the city, and one of Jonah’s ex-lovers names him as a potential suspect to the police. Standing by a man under suspicion could cost Vivienne everything. But when Jonah’s stepfather takes advantage of the scandal to seize control of the Marks family fortune, Vivienne is drawn into her lover’s broken family and twisted past. Only then will she learn how dark the truth really is…

Review:

If you read my review of the previous book in this series, Asking for It, you know I only had one criticism of it. The ending was unresolved. It was not really a cliffhanger, but there was not a “happily ever after.” Now that I have read Begging for It, I am okay with that. A relationship containing so much turmoil as Jonah’s and Vivienne’s requires more than one book to resolve it.

Since it’s hard to discuss the beginning of this book without giving away the ending of the first, I am going to just skip right over that.

Jonah and Vivienne ran into some problems and they are trying to work things out between themselves. Jonah has even attended a counseling session with Vivienne’s therapist. Just when you think progress is being made, Jonah is suspected of being the campus rapist.

Jonah’s stepfather uses the scandal to try and take over the family company which brings Jonah’s siblings into the picture. Talk about a dysfunctional family and they all have plenty of reasons to be.

Although this book is focused on Jonah’s and Vivienne’s relationship, it is also about their relationships with others. The inclusion of friends and family helps them to see that they are not alone and they are not to blame for what happened to them in the past. They need that because both of them, but especially Jonah, have isolated themselves from the world.

Both of these books show an extreme side of sexual kink and because of the rape fantasy, I am sure they are not for everybody. I, however, loved them. I did not think I would. I was hesitant to read the first one at all, but they are amazingly well done.

According to Goodreads, Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author. I can believe it. These books are too well written to be debut novels. Now I want to know the identity of the author so I can read more of her books.

Begging for It has the solid ending I was wanting. There is a sense of completion and hope for Jonah and Vivienne. However, there are also plenty of characters introduced who need their own stories. I really, really hope we get them.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Broken Play (Birmingham Rebels, #1) by Samantha Kane

Broken Play (Birmingham Rebels, #1)Broken Play by Samantha Kane

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Broken Play
Author: Samantha Kane
Series: Birmingham Rebels, #1
Pages: 235
Publisher: Loveswept
Date: September 1, 2015

Summary:

Birmingham Rebels offensive linemen Beau Perez and Cass Zielinski are inseparable, on and off the field. Cass, the captain with the cowboy swagger, is a loose cannon. Beau, the veteran tight end, is cool under pressure. And ever since they were caught on tape in a steamy threesome, their exploits have fueled more than a few tabloid headlines—and naughty fantasies.
Marian Treadwell knows all about the video. And now that she’s the Rebels’ new assistant offensive coach, she can’t look at Beau and Cass without picturing their hard, naked bodies—with her pressed in between. Marian would like nothing more than to indulge those impulses, but she knows better than to get too close to her players, a bunch of adrenaline-fueled alpha males who don’t always follow the rules.
Just the thought of sharing the gorgeous yet guarded Marian drives Cass wild. At first, Beau isn’t sure she’s right for them . . . and lately, all he desires is a little alone time with Cass to explore their new intimacy. But it’s only a matter of time before Cass breaks through both of their defenses. Because when seduction is the game plan, he always plays to win.

Review:

The description above describes this book, but it leaves out more than it tells.

Beau is a recovering drug/alcohol addict and still sees himself as a screwup and not worthy of anyone’s time. Cass is the person who pulled him out of his addictions and has taken responsibility for his continued soberness.

And they’re in love and neither will admit it.

Sharing women is the only way they can be close to each other without acknowledging the truth.

Marian has been in the football world her entire life. Her father is a college coach and she has worked in the sport since she was a child.

She has also discovered just how entitled some players can be. She knows that they cannot always be trusted.

She has always fantasised about being with two men, but she thinks there is something wrong with her for wanting it.

Obviously, the three of them are made for each other.

I love Samantha Kane’s books, especially her Brothers in Arms series. There is wonderful m/m/f sex, but the emotion is what sets her books apart.

I think this series is going to be even more emotionally satisfying that the Brothers in Arms and that is hard for me to believe.

There is a twist towards the end that for a minute I thought was going to be more than I could accept. But it worked. Man, did it work.

Time for a cold drink and a fan to cool things off.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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The Lure of the Moonflower (Pink Carnation, #12) by Lauren Willig

The Lure of the Moonflower (Pink Carnation #12)The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Lure of the Moonflower
Author: Lauren Willig
Series: Pink Carnation, #12
Pages: 528
Publisher: NAL
Date: August 4, 2015

Summary:

In the final Pink Carnation novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla, Napoleon has occupied Lisbon, and Jane Wooliston, aka the Pink Carnation, teams up with a rogue agent to protect the escaped Queen of Portugal.

Portugal, December 1807. Jack Reid, the British agent known as the Moonflower (formerly the French agent known as the Moonflower), has been stationed in Portugal and is awaiting his new contact. He does not expect to be paired with a woman—especially not the legendary Pink Carnation.

All of Portugal believes that the royal family departed for Brazil just before the French troops marched into Lisbon. Only the English government knows that mad seventy-three-year-old Queen Maria was spirited away by a group of loyalists determined to rally a resistance. But as the French garrison scours the countryside, it’s only a matter of time before she’s found and taken.

It’s up to Jane to find her first and ensure her safety. But she has no knowledge of Portugal or the language. Though she is loath to admit it, she needs the Moonflower. Operating alone has taught her to respect her own limitations. But she knows better than to show weakness around the Moonflower—an agent with a reputation for brilliance, a tendency toward insubordination, and a history of going rogue.

Review:

I resisted reading this book. Not because I didn’t want to read it, but because I did. The Lure of the Moonflower is the last of the Pink Carnation books and I don’t want the series to end. I adore these books. I love the historical sections and I love Eloise and Colin in modern times. I have been dying for Jane’s, aka The Pink Carnation’s, book, but I don’t want it to be over.

-sigh-

It’s over readers . . . and it’s a great ending. All the ins and outs get tied up. It seems like everyone from the previous books either shows up or is at least mentioned. We even get a wonderful “after the book” section telling us what happens to the kids. Don’t call it an epilogue. You’ll understand why if you read it.

There is a twist in Eloise’s and Colin’s storyline that I did not see coming, but it so fits with everything that has gone before.

Jeremy is still smarmy, Colin’s mother is still a pain, Serena is still helpless and needy, and that’s just the modern day characters.

In case you’re wondering, Miles is still addicted to ginger biscuits and Miss Gwen still wears purple and carries her parasol.

This is such a satisfying ending to the series.

Read it! Read it, but not unless you’ve read all the others. I mean it. Right now. Start reading.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge, #1) by Jill Shalvis

Second Chance Summer (Cedar Ridge, #1)Second Chance Summer by Jill Shalvis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Second Chance Summer
Author: Jill Shalvis
Series: Cedar Ridge, #1
Pages: 386
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Date: June 30, 2015

Summary:

Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .

The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .

Review:

There are some authors you read because you know their books will make you feel good. Jill Shalvis is one of those authors.

Although there is strife in her books, there is also humor and the characters are always likable.

This first book in her new series is no exception.

I loved Aiden and Lily. They try so hard not to form a relationship because of their past together, but lust/love will find a way.

The secondary characters are great and I can’t wait for their stories. I have already preordered book two in the series, My Kind of Wonderful. Book three, Nobody But You, is not available to order yet, but I will definitely get it as well.

The only thing missing in this series is an animal to love. I have gotten used to those characters in Shalvis’ books as well and this one does not have one. Oh well, the humans are great all by themselves.

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