Thursday, March 27, 2014

Anything He Wants

Anything He Wants: Atonement by Sara Fawkes

Lucy has found her happily ever after in billionaire CEO Jeremiah and there sex life is roaring, but Jeremiah is distracted by work problems and Lucy is worried. Even a very sexy trip to a BDSM club owned by Gabriel Steele isn't enough to make Jeremiah forget about his work. Between work and his mother picking on her, Lucy is worried that her happily ever after is getting torn assunder. When she can finally get Jeremiah's attention the sex between is as hot as ever and the two have no problems experimenting in the bedroom. Things are so frustrating that Lucy contemplates going to Borneo with her friend to help run their charity. When she finally confronts him, Lucy remains calm and collected and merely tells Jeremiah that she misses him, instead of giving in to her natural instinct to yell and shout. He finally reveals the big secret he has been keeping from her; he is quitting the job that he loathes and he encourages her to follow her dreams of helping people and tells her to open up her own charity right there in Manhattan. Their future is wide open in front of them and the cherry on top is a romantic proposal on the night of Lucy's birthday.

This was another very short novella and the opening scene in a BDSM club was rather off putting and confusing as it was obvious Jeremiah had not discussed what was happening with Lucy. Even though he didn't push her to do anything, it was unnerving that he would spring something like that on her, especially since their sex had apparently never progressed to anything like what they were seeing. I really enjoyed reading about how the two of them dealt with the difficulties in their relationship; perhaps that made it more of a real relationship for me as the entire relationship building process took place in a previous book. The two dealt with some very serious issues and they handled them really maturely and I wish the book had been more about that. The sex was pretty hot, not as scorching as I expected from this series, and the scenes in the club just were not my thing at all. There were also far too many name droppings from previous books and allusions to them which I never liked.

The Vampire Design

The Vampire Design by Vivi Anna

Emily Brooks is a naive young artist who has never been able to harness her talents. When her best friends decide to backpack through Europe she decides to go along in hopes of meeting her favorite reclusive painter, Xavier. Xavier paints women in the throws of pleasure and his paintings sell for millions of dollars and when Emily hears he is at a club she jumps at the chance. He invites her to a masquerade ball and lures her into his painting studio where she discovers his newest painting is missing a subject. He asks her to pose and while she is lying there on the sofa she is overtaken by lust and he captures the moment perfectly. While the two are making love she realizes that he is a vampire and in the heat of the moment she begs him to bite her. Afterward while he is falling asleep he asks her to stay, but when she awakens in the morning he is gone and she is heartbroken. But Xavier saves the day and comes back for her and she decides to stay in Germany and paint now that she has found her passion and make love with her beautiful vampire.

My synopsis above literally included every single thing that happened in this incredibly short novella. There was no character development, no real relationship, and I found Emily's reaction to discovering the man she's sleeping with is a vampire to be a little too ridiculous. She has no fear or anything, rather she is turned on, and while I realize that Twilight has taught us not to fear vampires, it was just too crazy that she had not a care at all about this creature that could kill her. And that she didn't at first think the fangs were false- like it was a natural jump from sharp teeth to vampire. The sex was incredibly hot obviously, but because the novella was so short there was not a lot of it. I did enjoy the happy ending at the end and how, while it wasn't permanent obviously (since he's immortal) it was a nice way for them to continue their relationship.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to Chose a Cowboy

How to Choose a Cowboy by Daire St. Denis

Tessa Savage goes to a ranch to relax and enjoy some nice time, but she does not expect to find two incredibly hunky cowboys who rev her libido. Wade is big, brooding, incredibly handsome and can bring her to a melting puddle with just his words even while teasing her and stringing out the pleasure. Conner is fun loving and adventurous and a relationship with him would be far easier with Conner, but Tessa has no idea who to choose! Wade is domineering and controlling, and perhaps just what Tessa needs, but Conner's flirtatiousness is impossible to turn away from. For a week the three of them sizzle up the pages and on her last night, Tessa knows she finally wants to get what she has been desiring for so long. This is an "interactive" novel and the reader is allowed to choose which cowboy she wants Tessa to end up with, but of course nothing is quite like it seems in this novella where everyone gets exactly what they want. Although the ending may not quite be everyone's happily ever after, it is precisely what Tessa and her two hunky cowboys need.

This novella wasn't too short but there was no pretense that it was about anything but Tessa getting some delicious loving from two hunky cowboys. Tessa lives her life on the go and doesn't settle down and Conner and Wade's proclivities have chased off women in the past, but these background pieces of information are skirted over and aren't really explored as problems they need to work through. Wade is a complete dominant and their are strong themes of dominance and submission throughout their scenes and some bondage, however there is very little of the S&M part of BDSM. The sex scenes are incredibly well written and very hot, really scorching the pages but not for the faint of heart and far from historical romance territory. I also did not like how there was not a happily ever after really and I learned that Tessa features in several other novels and has an apparently insatiable libido. Interesting story, that I would have liked more if it had ended in a relationship.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Taken By Storm

Taken By Storm by Opal Carew

When her car stalls on the highway, Jessica is almost run ver by a very attractive man on a motorcycle who insists he take her back to town. Storm is everything Jessica is not, adventurous, spontaneous, and wandering, while Jessica likes her small-town life in Bakersfield where she is surrounded by family and she is safe and sound. But Storm's wild bad boy ways hold an unbelievable appeal for Jessica, while Jessica's innocence and happiness make Storm contemplate things he would have found unthinkable before her. Storm plays in Jessica's brother's band and she soon learns that dating a musician comes with lots of little annoyance, including groupies and road trips and her relationship with Storm is still new when he leaves for a week. Jessica wonders if she did something to drive him away, while Storm realizes that Jessica is just what he needs to finally stop wandering.

This novel was incredibly short and there really wasn't time for much in the way of getting to know the characters or really in the way of relationship development either. Jessica is a small town girl who likes things steady and safe, while Storm is the ultimate bad boy with no ties to anyone and plenty of tattoos. The book was an average good girl-bad boy story to the point that it became a little stereotypical and they were both so set in their own little "type" that it was hard to see what they saw in each other. Once the opposites attract haze wears off, I just didn't really see there being much left for these too. For a short novella there was a nice amount of very hot sex and it was a nice change just to go back to a couple instead of a the more kinky stuff from the previous books in the anthology.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Three Little Words

Three Little Words by Lauren Hawkeye

Malachi Hunter and Adele Cavanaugh are complete opposites as he is pre-law and she is a wild child, complete with tattoos and dyed bright red hair, but the two nonetheless strike up a friendship and soon a heated sexual relationship. But Malachi is still stuck with the mindset that he needs a perky blonde to help his career, while Adele's insecurities and belief that she could never be good enough for someone like Malachi. When his fraternity brothers make an offhanded joke, their relationship is shattered and Malachi goes off to law school, while Adele drops out of school to work in a cafe. Two years later Mal moves back into town and becomes roommates with Dorian, a member of the band Three Little Words. When Dorian sees Adele in the cafe the attraction is intense and immediate, but she is shocked to go back to his place and see Mal and even more stunned when it only takes one instant for both of them to realize that things are not over between them. Dorian is surprised that he doesn't feel jealous about Mal and Adele's connection, and makes it clear to Mal that he has no problem if they continue seeing each other, while Mal feels the same. Soon Adele is caught up in a very happy triangle with both of her hunky men and she finally feels safe enough to reveal a tragic incident in her past. Both Dorian and Mal know how lucky they are to have found such a wonderful lady and agreed that she was definitely worth twisting societal norms for.

There was a really good amount of character development for such a short novella, however the characters themselves were caricatures. Mal was the fraternity with the posh background who needed a stereotypical lawyers wife, Adele was the "bad" girl with the semi-abusive past who took her frustration out on the world by getting tattoos and dropping out of college, while Dorian was the aimless musician who apparently made a living playing shows in a college town. I would have liked more intricate characters who didn't conform to boring stereotypes. However, I was completely drawn into their relationship and how it developed, which was odd because I admit I am not usually a fan of three-person relationships. While I cannot declare it was a lasting relationship, the book certainly made it clear that a relationship was certainly possible, and even a happy possibility, for them. For a threesome erotica, this novel was surprisingly tame, and definitely could have been a lot hotter, but I actually enjoyed it better this way because it made it clear that the focus was really on the relationship between the three of them. Overall this was a really fun read that changed my perspective of what a true threesome novel could be, but next time I hope to like the characters more.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Complete Abandon

Complete Abandon by Julia Kent

Six months ago Laura gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and since then her life has centered around the baby, to the exclusion of all else, including her very handsome partners, Mike and Dylan. Mike and Dylan are frustrated at Laura's sudden lack of interest in anything sexual, despite their best attempts to get her hot and bothered. Laura's friend, Josie, recommends they check out her e-reader and they are stunned when they find that she's been reading tons of erotica, including some very kinky things. They decide to take Laura up to a ski "cabin" while Josie and her boyfriend Alex spend time with the baby. Alex hopes that this will convince Josie that she's ready for more in their relationship. Once at the cabin, Laura is hurt when she realizes that they've read her e-reader and continues to worry about her baby. Luckily, Mike and Dylan have come prepared with plenty of the gizmos and gadgets from her stories. Slowly, they break down Laura's reluctance and put her insecurities about her post-baby body to rest and break out quite a few of those toys they brought. Soon, Laura is back to her usual outgoing and adventurous self and Dylan and Mike are more than happy to reap the rewards of their work.

This was a sequel to a previous novel that I hadn't read, so I found myself with a complete lack of investment in any of the characters. That means I really didn't care about any of the characters at all and wasn't interested in their problems or what they were going through. The entire book was about sex from beginning to end, and I guess the relationship part of the story was covered in the previous book which meant that all this book was left with was horny people who wanted to have sex. This would have been somewhat acceptable if the sex had been any good, but it surprisingly wasn't. Besides one erotic scene between Alex and Josie, the rest was just blah, despite the use of sex toys and two hunky men. And call me a prude, but I felt it weird that in a threesome there was not any discussion at all of what the two men were thinking and how the whole situation really worked, but perhaps that was covered in the previous book. Overall this was a pretty awful story that may have been made better by reading the prequel, however I certainly don't feel inspired to do so after reading this.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Yield to Me

Yield to me by Sarah Castille

Marcy is an aspiring MMA fighter with dreams of making it big, but she is having some issues breaking through to the top. Her gym director hire's Jax, a former fighter, to be her coach, and Jax quickly realizes that Marcy has trouble when is submission holds. After practicing with her he knows that she has trouble fighting through it because her true nature is to submit to a dominant, which is problematic as he is desperate to become her dominant. A few rounds on the floor has both Marcy and Jax hot for each other and him convinced that her true submissive nature, and her tendency to fight it means she will never be a truly successful MMA fighter. When he confides in the owner of their gym, Marcy is furious and goes after Jax, but the resulting fights leads both of them to a hot, sweaty, and naked round in the ring. Marcy's secrets are revealed, including her past relationships that failed because of her need for domination and Jax knows that Marcy deserves much better than a trainer who can't stay in one place for more than couple months. His leaving leaves Marcy heartbroken, but she still wants to prove him wrong about her fighting abilities. Both know they have found something special in the other and must give up their fears of rejection to find happiness with each other.

I was initially skeptical of this story because of the MMA fighting aspect of it, but I was quickly proven wrong. Marcy and Jax were both incredibly well developed characters, and not just for a novella. Marcy's past played an important role in her frustration and her inability to admit to her true sexual nature. I admired her dedication to her craft and her eventual ability to admit her problems and it was incredibly moving at the end when she showed how she had truly come to accept herself. Jax's fear of commitment was, granted, a romance novel stable, but I was able to overlook that cliche because of how dedicated he was to Marcy and truly did just want the best for her and his guilt when he felt that he wasn't doing all that he could for her. The two were close throughout the story and I could really see how they would get along in a true relationship. The sex was absolutely scorching and these two burned up the pages with some kinky sex, but it was also tender and full of love, which was a truly great combination. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and the two strong leads and their loving, and incredibly sexy, relationship made this book well worth reading.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Yours to Take

Yours to Take by Cathryn Fox

Rebecca Andrews is a lawyer whose relationships always fizzle and her best friends decide what she need is a trip to Fantasy Island. When billionaire Quinn Montgomery finds out that the lawyer who beat him at court in a sham of a trial, is set to take a private flight to Fantasy Island, he decides a little revenge, and a little heat, is in order. As a dom Quinn recognized the signs of submission in Rebecca and he knows his own private island is the perfect place for her to succumb to her darkest desires. Rebecca is furious and scared when she discovers Quinn's trick, but also quite turned on and desperate to discover what Quinn has in store for her. Over the course of the weekend Quinn pushes Rebecca's sexual boundaries and she discovers why all her previous relationships had not worked out. However, when the weekend is over, Rebecca fears that their relationship is over as well, until Quinn makes a very romantic gesture that makes it clear their sexy dominant/ submissive relationship is just beginning.

Rebecca was the typical uptight lawyer who just needed to let down her hair and lose control and I found that character a little too stereotypical. Quinn was just a billionaire hero who liked very hot and kinky sex. Unfortunately that truly is as far as the character development went in this incredibly short story. The relationship was developed about equally as well and consisted mainly of the two of them having lots of sex. The sex was quite hot and very kinky, but avoided any of the more harsh aspects of BDSM role play and could be easily consumed by someone new to the genre. Overall this was a well written story that needed a few dozen more pages to make the relationship real to me.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

First Sinners

First Sinners by Kate Pearce

Ian, Earl of Westbrook, is asked to investigate possible treason at the Perry estate and so he attends their house party in the guise of courting their younger daughter. However, it the older sister, Faith Perry, who catches his eye and his interest, especially when he walks in on her in the library masturbating and reading a dirty book. Faith has always been the good daughter and she plans to spend her life as a bookish spinster, but decides that this could be her one chance to experience the sexual pleasure she has been reading about. Ian is all too willing to help the beautiful young explore her sexuality as she appears very eager to experience everything, but he also knows he needs to keep an eye out for suspicious activity. Faith is also worried about mysterious happenings at the estate, but doesn't view Ian as trustworthy enough to confide him. The two are put in a dangerous position when they catch each other searching out something mysterious, and while it does turn into some remarkable sexy time for them, it also leads the villain out into the open to threaten their lives. When Ian fears he may lose Faith, he knows that their relationship is about more than sex and he wants to spend the rest of his life loving, and making love to, her.

This novella was incredibly short and there really was not a lot of relationship building going on, but what was there was fairly strong, if very heavy on the sex. I really liked Faith for being a bookish and in control of his life and willing to take on an adventure. Her decision to engage in sexual activity with Ian was definitely not realistic for the time, but totally in keeping with her character and I rather admired it. Ian was a typical rogue with quite a sexual past, but he was also half-Indian and had a bunch of baggage because of his upbringing and dual cultures and because his exotic-ness has led him to become quite the catch for ladies of the ton. The sex was scorching and varied and was definitely the glue holding them together and had tinges of submission and dominance. Their relationship also formed as the investigating the smuggling, and while it was interesting and certainly provided an air of mystery, it didn't distract from the story. Overall this was a very hot read that could have used some more development of their relationship, but was excellent for what it was.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Kiss for Midwinter

A Kiss for Midwinter by Courtney Milan

As a young girl Lydia Charingford is seduced by a married man and becomes pregnant, and only the doctor and his assistant, Jonas Grantham, know the truth. Years later, Lydia is living at home with her parents after an engagement is called off and Jonas is the town doctor and decides it is time to marry. Without remembering her from the long ago night, he knows she is the one because of her happy nature and ability to not fawn over one of the most eligible men in town. Lydia knows exactly who he is and has no intention of marrying him and is determined not to let his intrusive into her life make her unhappy. Jonas pursues Lydia for months and nothing he does seems to win her over so he makes a deal with her: he will show her around and if she can find the happiness in everything he shows her she wins a forfeit, but if he wins then he gets a kiss. Jonas takes Lydia on his rounds; to visit a prostitute with several kids, a young boy with a broken leg, and Jonas' senile father who is a hoarder. When she wins he agrees to never speak to her again, but the wager has brought up the past for Lydia and she finally has to confront her feelings about the miscarriage. Jonas has always known that Lydia is the perfect match for him and now Lydia is coming to the realization that the outspoken and blunt Jonas will always be there for her.

I absolutely loved both of these characters and thought they were so perfect for each other. I loved that Lydia was a genuinely happy person and enjoyed life. I liked that she had issues from her past that she had to work through and that Jonas was the one to help her through them. I loved how blunt Jonas was about sexuality and the truth of the world and the conversations they had were hilarious, but also showed how well suited they were and were so honest and forward thinking. Jonas was wonderful and could see himself truthfully, including his flaws such as his compartmentalizing everything in his life. His relationship with his father was touching and so beautiful to read about, and I liked that Lydia helped him through some of his problems. There was some sexy moments, but the book was far more about their emotional connection and while the sex was hot, it was not the focus of this book at all. Overall this was a wonderful book with two very well written characters who had a beautiful relationship. Milan's writing was spot on as usual, if a little slow moving at times.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Lost in a Royal Kiss

Lost in a Royal Kiss by Vanesa Kelly L

Linnet St. Clare leads a busy life taking care of her younger siblings while her widowed mother looks after the royal nursery. Her life also brings her into repeated contact with Sir Anthony Tait, the handsome trusted advisor to the royal family. Linnet has been in love with Anthony for some time, which is convenient because he has decided she will make the perfect wife for him. When circumstances throw them together, Anthony knows it is time to make his move but his passion for Linnet causes him to lose control and Linnet runs away. Luckily Anthony's position means he has immense power and Linnet is forced to turn to him for help once again, and he knows he has one more chance to prove himself worthy of her. But Linnet's dedication to her family, and Anthony's sure-handedness once again throws their happiness in jeopardy and both of them will have to admit their feelings, and make a few sacrifices, before they can find their happily ever after.

This was a very short little novella and much of the meeting and falling in love took place before the actual book, which was a little disappointing. I loved how both of them had such important responsibilities and respected the other's positions. Linnet and Anthony made a great couple and worked so well together to solve the problems that life threw in their way. They were certainly very attracted to each other and the book had several really hot sex scenes, especially considering the length of the story. A little too much was made about the magical-ness of the "L" word and the book was obviously a set up for the next books in her series. However their happily ever after was well deserved and I could really see how their relationship would work.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Duke's Sweet Revenge

The Duke's Sweet Revenge by Jamie Salisbury

George Stoddard, future Duke of Sussex, refuses to believe his father when he claims that Lady Jane Campbell is bad news, but is confronted painfully with his father's truth when he discovers that Jane and his brother Jonathan, conspired to kill the Duke and frame George for the murder. Years later George returns to England, determined to stop Jonathan's marriage to Lady Sarah Davies, whose supposed fortune will prop up the Sussex coffers, as George holds the loans on the Sussex estate. Sarah is in her own financial straights after her father's bad investments and her brother's memory problems, and she is marrying Jonathan so that her vast dowry can pay off the Davies' debt. George kidnaps Sarah on the way to the wedding, planning to hold her only until after the wedding. For the week she is his captive, Sarah falls for the handsome highwayman who goes by "my lord." Her attempts to escape him, including drugging him, bashing him over the head, and escaping out the window in the rain, ignite his temper, but he never loses it with her and he refuses to allow his desire for her get in the way of his mission, even while unable to resist a passionate kiss.

When the date of the wedding passes, George lets Jane go, but not before warning her about Jonathan's true intentions. Jane calls of the wedding with Jonathan, but agrees to pretend things are still find to placate society. Meanwhile Jane discovers who George really is and George continues trying to gather evidence against his brother. He finds that he cannot stay away from Jane, even though he knows she deserves so much better than him and feels massive amounts of guilt over everything. Jane knows that she could make George back into the man he used to be and is determined to help him clear his name, even if it means making dangerous decisions. George is furious at himself, and at Jane for putting herself at risk and for continuing to go out into society even while he remains convinced that he will never marry her. Jonathan is becoming suspicious of Sarah asking questions and enlists the help of his henchmen to put a stop to it, by any means necessary. It will take the love of a good woman to help George work his way out of his conundrum and to feel like he belongs in real society and deserves a happy life.

Sarah is a likable heroine because of her dedication to her family, her love for her mentally disturbed brother, and for her common sense approach to most of her life. Unfortunately the one area of her life she doesn't approach with common sense is her relationship with George, because she falls, and succumbs to a man who treats her abysmally for much of the book. George's demons certainly excuse a fair amount of awful behavior, but his treatment of Sarah is reprehensible. He uses her like a whore at times, and then hugs her loves her which is something someone very manipulative would do. He accuses her of sleeping around and froths at the mouth at the thought of her marrying someone else even while insisting he will never marry her. What brought this book down an entire heart for me though was Sarah's completely stupid behavior with regards to her own safety. She knows that Jonathan is dangerous and possibly deadly and that someone is after her, and yet show ventures out on her own. I couldn't even excuse her because she was just trying to help George.

Their relationship was toxic for much of the book with George pushing him away because of his dangerous tendencies and past, punctuated with brief moments of passion that ended with him treating her poorly again. I just did not see how they would function normally as George spent the entire book worried about hurting her to the point that he hurt her even more. His obsession with how dangerous he was got old very quickly and ended up being next to nothing. Some of the more interesting parts of this book were told from Jonathan's, and other villains, point of view, but the ending to that subplot was abrupt and confusing. Supposedly Jonathan was caught red-handed, but I couldn't figure out how. There was a secondary romance involving a woman who eventually married Jonathan and another man, and she acted just as stupidly and naively as Sarah and I ended up disliking her quite a bit and wondering how pathetic a man would have to be to fall in love with someone that ridiculous.

Rating: Despite it's problems, I was prepared to give it 3 hearts, but the stupid decisions made by the heroine and other woman (repeatedly) dragged this book down to a VERY low 2 hearts.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Luckiest Lady in London

The Luckiest Lady in London by Sherry Thomas

Felix, the Marques of Wrenworth, has buried his emotions and become the Idea Gentlemen by showing only his strengths to the rest of the world. Louisa Cantwell needs to marry a wealthy man as her mother's annuity will run out upon her death and she needs to provide for her other sister's, especially her youngest, Matilda, who is epileptic. She has narrowed her choices down to only a couple man, and has quite deliberately crossed Felix off of her list of choices because he is so far above her station and she does not waste her time. Felix notices right away that she has dismissed him and it is such a unique experience that he can't help but be both miffed and intrigued. He finagles his way into her company and while there is certainly a spark, he knows that she still veils her interest in him. He knows that his attraction for her won't be satisfied with mere friendship so he offers her the position of his mistress and then tells her unsavory details about the two different men she is currently thinking of marrying. Louisa wants Felix desperately but refuses to become his mistress, but just as she about to succumb to his unsavory proposition Felix decides that the only way to deal with his infatuation is to marry her.

Both Felix and Louisa look forward with great anticipation to the wedding night as their entire courtship had contained some barely veiled references to adventurous bed play. Felix's childhood was filled with his father's desperation over Felix's mother's inability to love and he has carried the fear of rejection with him ever since and wears his shield of strength against any signs of weaknesses, including love. When he discovers that he is indeed falling for her and that Louisa could use sex to control him and he starts to push her away. Louisa is heartbroken to realize that she has the marriage she had hoped to avoid, especially as Felix makes it clear that he does not care for her. It takes a house party to remind Felix why he wanted to marry her and to discover that falling in love can be the greatest sign of power and not the weakness he has always feared. Unfortunately Louisa discovers his nefarious plans to get her to become his mistress and she believes his protestations of love are selfish in nature. Felix will have to prove he can care about someone more than he cares about himself for Louisa to be able to admit her love for him in return.

Thomas' books are always a tad on the subdued side and have a lot of emotional upheavel that creates a lot of angst and second thoughts and passion. Her characters lend themselves to rocky relationships because of past hurts, both in previous relationships and in their current one. Louisa's cold and calculated method of going about finding a husband, instead of making me dislike her, made me admire her because of her confidence and her common sense in realizing what she needed to do to save herself and her family. I especially liked how open she was about her sexuality and her expectations about sex, and how she wasn't scared of admitting to her needs and desires, but only with Felix. It really showed that they were comfortable and trusting of each other. Felix's fear of love was understandable because of the incredible back ground and development Thomas did of his childhood, which was much more comprehensive than the typical hero back story and was done with Thomas' trademark thoroughness. It made my sympathasize with his fear instead of thinking him hardhearted.

Felix and Louisa spent a lot of time throughout the novel together; good times, bad times, and in between times. They flirted, they flirted some more, they moved in together and arranged a house party together, they gave each other the cold shoulder, they purposely tried to hurt each other, they called a truth and put on a happy face, they couldn't keep their hands off each other, they deal with betrayal, and they finally were able to recognize their own feelings for each other. It was a truly remarkable way of showing how well they would work together on a daily basis and how they would deal with the ups and downs of any relationship. The sex between them was hot and frequent and was both at times romantic, heart breaking, and sexy and it was a really nice way to bring together two people who were very sexually attracted to each other and very open about their sexual needs and wants. I really liked how the phrase "I Love You" didn't solve all of their problems and Louisa and Felix both demanded more from each other.

Rating: This book perfectly hit the spot for me and I loved both Louisa and Felix and found their relationship perfectly well written.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Romancing the Duke

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

Isolde Ophelia Goodnight lives in the mind of millions of Englishman as the beautiful and imaginative daughter of famous storyteller Harry Goodnight, but the reality is quite different as Izzy is plain and destitute. When she receives a letter that she has inherited a Gostley Castle, she rushes there only to find that the very handsome and mysterious, Duke of Rothbury, is in residence and the former owner is in no hurry to give up his familial estate. Ransom Dane has shut himself up in his crumbling and decrepit castle ever since a duel with his former fiance's new husband left him scarred and mostly blind. He is not a fan of this loud and energetic woman taking over his life and trying to force him into society and his castle into the 19th century. Izzy knows this is her last chance as she is completely without funds and the fan's of her father's novel, while numerous and generous, are not people whom Izzy enjoys depending on. When Ransom realizes that something must be horribly wrong with his solicitors and his funds, he hires Izzy to read his correspondence and discover the truth of what has been going on.

Ransom is not at all impressed with Izzy's army of fans, who still believe she is the little girl from the stories, but is quite impressed with Izzy herself. What little sight he has left and the way that she is helping him acclimate to real life now, makes him wonder if he is deserving of the love the world has denied himself since his mother died in childbirth. But Izzy has hope for him and as she fixes up his castle, and provides quite the temptation to him, he starts to believe that their is hope for him as well. When Izzy's fans, the Moranglian Army, comes to visit, Ransom wants her to claim her independence from the little girl from the fairy tales. But when Ransom's solicitors attempt to take control of his fortune by having him declared insane, it will take Izzy, Ransom, and the entire Moranglian army to carve out a happily ever after for Ransom and Izzy.

This story was Beauty and the Beast with some twists that nicely avoided the whole Stockholm Syndrome element as Izzy was free to leave whenever she wanted. Izzy was very interesting and I love how she was independent and capable, but also felt a need to live up to the expectations of her father's fans by pretending to be something she wasn't. It was both frustrating and admirable, but was well explained by Dare who is remarkable at writing characters motives and back stories. Ransom was definitely dark and brooding locked up in his crumbling castle, determined to shut himself off from the world. He was both heroic, especially when some truths about him are revealed, and difficult to like because he repeatedly pushed Izzy away. However, there were many times when he showed how wonderful he was by sticking up for Izzy and only wanting what was best for her, even if he did come across as surly while he was doing it.

Izzy's exuberance and positive outlook in life, even with all that life has thrown at her, was in direct contrast to Ransom's inability to see anything but the worst in everyone and everything. With Izzy's help, he was able to overcome a lot of that, but it just seemed a little off that two people who were so different could form a real connection. They spent quite a lot of time together, fixing up the house, getting to know each other, flirting madly, and preparing for the competency hearing and I really liked seeing how they acted together under so many different circumstances. There was a lot of heat between them, and they were always madly flirting and making inuendos about sex, but there was truthfully very little sex and it was rather boring and not what I expected from Dare.

Rating: Two very different protagonists who had an almost unbelievable romance, but I did like the modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Frost of Springtime Book BLAST!!!

The recent release of The Frost of Springtime, by debut author Rachel L. Demeter, transports readers to the war torn streets of nineteenth century Paris. Driven by paradoxical characters, steamy encounters, and a compelling storyline, it’s a bittersweet tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love. Described as “poignant,” emotionally devastating,” and “beautiful,” The Frost of Springtime is sure to please historical and romance readers alike. Available now in both eBook and paperback. Currently Amazon Prime members can read the Kindle edition for free!

Publication Date: February 14, 2014
Black Lyon Publishing
Formats: Paperback, Kindle eBook
Genre: Historical Romance/Historical Fiction

To rescue her was to rescue his own soul.

On a cold Parisian night, Vicomte Aleksender de Lefèvre forges an everlasting bond with a broken girl during her darkest hour, rescuing her from a life of abuse and misery. Tormented by his own demons, he finds his first bit of solace in sheltering little Sofia Rose.

But when Aleksender is drawn away by the Franco-Prussian war, the seasons pass. And in that long year, Sofia matures into a stunning young woman—a dancer with an understanding of devotion and redemption far surpassing her age.

Alongside his closest friend, Aleksender returns home to find that “home” is gone, replaced by revolution, bloodshed, betrayal—and a love always out of reach. Scarred inside and out, he’s thrust into a world of sensuality and violence—a world in which all his hours have now grown dark, and where only Sofia might bring an end to the winter in his heart.

Inspired by the 1871 Paris Commune, The Frost of Springtime is a poignant tale of revolution, redemption, and the healing power of love.

Read an Excerpt

The heat of their bodies mingled as one. With each breath, Aleksender drank in the sweet essence of his beloved ward. His mind swam with unorthodox visions and desires. He inclined his head, lost to the power of her nearness, entranced by everything that was Sofia.

“Alek, my Alek …”

Each word infused Aleksender with a delicious and undeniable warmth. Intoxicated by roses and wintertime, he found it difficult to speak, difficult to think. Breathless, he swallowed and met the haunting depths of her eyes.

“Please,” she dreamily murmured, “I want you to kiss me again…”

Watch the Trailer

Amazon Kindle (free in the Prime Lender's Library!)
Amazon Paperback
Barnes and Noble
Black Lyon Publishing


Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and high school sweetheart of ten years. She enjoys writing dark, edgy romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and examine the redeeming power of love. Imagining stories and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mom would jot them down for her. She has a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances.

Whether sculpting the protagonist or antagonist, she always ensures that every character is given a soul. Rachel strives to intricately blend elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some common themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.

Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.


The Frost of Springtime
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