ARC supplied by Netgalley.
I was in the mood for something light and romantic, so opened up Last Call. It’s a fairly typical romance, with a bit of a mystery behind the love side. Gavin is sent out to a small seaside village by his boss, thinking he’s to scope out a popular bar and see if it will work as a format in the chain of resorts his boss owns. He meets bar owner Sunny and there’s instant hot and compelling attraction between them, and though there are some problems initially they soon embark on a hot and sexy evening. Sunny feels she can give herself a break after years of looking after her younger brother, and setting the bar up to provide them with a home and income, and have a brief ,quick affair. Gavin isn’t sure what he’s doing but can’t seem to stop himself from flirting with Sunny and wanting to make love to her. Problems arise when the next day she finds out that Gavin may have ulterior motives, and Gavin discovers that his boss doesn’t intend him to scope the bar but to ensure that Sunny sells it, and that he’s expected to play the hard sell. Gavin is concerned that Max has a reputation for skirting legalities, and isn’t sure just how far he will go to get what he wants. It seems Max has risked far too much on this deal and can’t let it fail. Having become close to Sunny Gavin is concerned for her safety after some of Max’ secrets are revealed.
There follows a mystery that needs sorting, decisions by Gavin as to what he’s going to do, some stalking by his boss’ daughter who’s convinced she can get him to love her if she just keeps trying, proof of bribery, arson and double dealing. Its a story that’s got a lot going on.
I loved Gavin from the start, a sexy man with a sense of humour is always good, and of course Sunny, she’s a strong and independent woman and after so many wimpish, helpless, fluttery eyed heroines (you can tell they irritate me can’t you !!) it’s great to see someone who makes things happen, gets on with life and doesn’t wait for a man to rescue her. Gavin and Sunny have some hard decisions to take, but also face physical danger and not just an emotional fallout if things go wrong.
I thought Callie, Gavin’s “stalker” and boss’ daughter was a real bitch at first, but she grew up a lot in this short tale when she faced up to what was happening that she’d been turning a blind eye to. I ended up feeling sorry for her and respecting how she’d dealt with the blows.
Some good fun characters, smoking hot and sensual sex scenes, humour (peppermint liqueur!) and an entertaining mystery in this book. I enjoyed it as a one off read but its not one I’d re read. Its well written and edited, and I love how tiny details like the leaking sink and the bracelet have such a major impact at the right time. I’m always looking for little details like that as they add so much to the holistic feel of the story.
At £5.36 for 228 pages it’s quite expensive on my personal VFM scale as its not one I’d re read but then others want to read this type over and over so may see the price as reasonable.
Stars: four from me.
Gavin McLeod is a man who has it all. His corporate climb has positioned him as the next CEO at Holden Enterprises. He’s financially stable, allowing him to provide for the grandfather who raised him, and his successful seduction of the sexy bartender last night proves his private life is also on fire. Until the alluring woman in his arms turns out to be a serious road-block to his future. One that could bring everything he’s worked for crashing down around him.
Sunny Black has spent her entire life tending to the needs of others, caring for her younger brother since she was ten, and serving bar patrons night after night. For the first time in years, she thinks of herself and gives in to her body’s demands, taking a trip to the wild side with a customer whose raw sexuality is too strong to deny. The next morning, however, she learns that in addition to rocking her world, the stranger might cause it to crumble.
A game of sexual seduction and corporate chess ensues, with neither Gavin nor Sunny realizing the ending could come in the form of a permanent check-mate.
ARC supplied by Riptide.
I’ve recently discovered M/M romance, I love all good romance and find that the M/M genre can be very sensual and erotic, and the romantic side can be very moving. However as with any romance I don’t want pages and pages of just sex, but a decent, interesting storyline and Riptide excels at this type of book. Its the first time I’ve read any of Anne’s work, and I enjoyed the way she wove together a sensual romance, along with a mystery plot involving the two main characters, and yet included lots of other people to keep the story fresh and interesting. I’m a UK reader so sometimes the intricacies of the US higher education system and the ages of the students take some working out. Add in the Fraternities and Sororities and it takes me some time to work out how everyone fits in some stories. Thankfully however Anne manages to give that information as part of the story, so it was easy to follow and work out how it fitted to the plot.
This isn’t just a simple romance, but included a fire and potential bomb threat, the mystery of who and what’s behind it, homophobic stances and bigotry, kidnapping and the subtlety of mental bullying by way of expectation of older family members, and of course the ever present dangers and risks of “coming out” as Gay, and what affect it has on the life of that person. I always feel how difficult a decision that must be, people want to just be what they feel they are, but the weight of others expectations and the influence upon schooling, employment, friends and family must make that a very hard choice, and one that needs strength. Anne shows us here just what can happen when that decision is made.
The characters are excellent too, from Collin, the gay but not Out young man who seems to be one of the respected and responsible students, the typical frat brothers, Monty, Collins uncle and a typical homophobic bully, to paramedic Eric and his supportive friends. Eric is older than Collin and worries about that, he’s a lovely man though and the attraction between them just can’t be denied. He quickly falls in love with Collin but though Collin cares deeply for him he’s not sure if its actually love he feels. Eric takes care of him, supports him when he needs it and in general is the perfect boyfriend. The other students quickly accept him, and when of necessity Collin has to reveal his sexuality to his friends and family Eric is very supportive. The fallout however is what Collin expected from his uncle, though his friends were very accepting, but a number of them were gay anyway so had guessed about him. The fire and bomb threat was thought to be homophobic and related to the House’s (TAG) recent change in policy in openly welcoming gay members, many of the alumni were convinced it would lead to trouble and quick to blame the fire on it.
The way Anne describes the way the students gathered to see the fire and disasters it produced was typical of what happens, chairs are set out, drinks brought and people set in for the show as if its their entertainment right. Some people just want to watch the drama of anything played out regardless of how the people involved feel. I think that shows people at their worst, sadly it happens in reality and added a touch of real life to what is a fictional story. Little elements like that added to the reality of the novel. There were some pretty sensual sex scenes too, but they fitted well within the story arc and were well written, not the stomach cringing scenes we sometimes see. Still, one moan, a personal prejudice here, I hate “twee” expressions and every time Eric called Collin sweet thang or baby (another of my triggers…) it felt wrong to me. I think its a US/UK thing – here we rarely use the term Baby as one of affection other than for kids; Honey, Darling, Sweetheart – all of those I can deal but Baby – and now Sweet Thang – no thanks 🙂 just spoils the moment for me.
At £5.45 for 329 pages its not a cheap book, but as with all Riptide publications it has a good story line which makes it well worth reading and re reading. To me that makes it good value. I’d rather pay more for a book I’ll enjoy and re read, than have a cheap one that is really a waste of my time reading it as far as enjoyment goes, and will be dumped soon as finished.
Stars; good solid sexy read and four stars from me.
ARC provided by Netgalley.
This was a fun read, part romance part light-hearted thriller, quick and easy to read. It’s one of those books that don’t need to much concentration and you can just enjoy the writing and humour without worrying about who is who, and where they fit in the story. Sometimes we need a book like this, one which will entertain and leave us feeling good. Everyone needs a fun escape from the realities of life sometimes.
Anyway Alice inherits a condom company from her godmother. She’s had little contact with her and so finding out about the company came as a shock, not least because of her very strict church going parents who’d instilled in her the notion that sex was not talked about. Her boyfriend, a lawyer, sees it as disgraceful and wants her to pass up on it, he’s worried it will reflect badly on him. He’s a selfish individual, and Alice seems to be with him for security rather than love. Having seen poverty as a child security is ultra important to her. However she has to stay with the company for six months to inherit the money she’s been left, and the current manager James ( ah James ….Mr sex on a stick!!) has agreed to stay for that time and show her the ropes. Through a series of disasters the necessity for the companys’ latest condoms need testing quickly, but as there’s been a leak somewhere Alice and James need to do the testing. Alice is very lacking in sexual experience, calls herself an almost virgin, and there was certainly nothing more than a mild kiss between her and her boyfriend. Still, that relationship is gone now, he left when Alice said she was staying.
She gets engrossed in the running of the company, and the board of elderly but very active and funny members. She sees that rather than something to be ashamed of, which was her first reaction to the company thanks to her parents and her strict upbringing, that its actually a good thing, condoms are needed for many reasons and certainly the area needs the employment it brings. She and James have great fun testing (lots and lots of fun!!) and she becomes very attracted to him, but all the while she needs to keep reminding herself that he’s leaving to travel at the end of the six months.
There’s some great characters here, from the board of oldies, the anti condom group in the village, James family, and of course Alice and James. Its easy to see where the story is going, but its a fun time getting to the conclusion and some interesting , humorous, sexy diversions along the way.
Its a well written story, with some amusing sub plots and some spicy sexy moments between James and Alice. Amazing value at only 57p for 266 pages, its a one off read for me, but for lovers of light-hearted romance it may be one for the keeper files. Its certainly good quality of writing and an entertaining and amusing read.
Arc provided by author
I need to start with a caveat. When I agreed to review these books I didn’t realise they were an ongoing series, of short novellas rather than a traditional type of series, and that’s something I never read, although I love traditional series. Still, I started with book one on Saturday and quickly became engrossed in the world of Witchwood. The description covers the storyline that’s going to be revealed over a series of books, and each are a reasonably priced quick read. As I said its not how I prefer to read, but I’m a quick reader, I’ve friends who only have limited time to read and I’m sure they’d enjoy this type of book. It’s certainly worked for womens magazines for many years, I can recall my mothers ones serialising books back in the sixties so though its new to e-books the format certainly works.
Its a beautifully descriptive book, full of evocative mystery and mood setting. I really feel as if I’m one with whatever scene Patti sets. I do feel its aimed at the Young Adult market and that’s a genre I only dip into occasionally, but this is so well written that it will appeal to older readers too looking for something a bit different. I enjoyed the characters, there are a lot of them and I did find it difficult remembering just who was who, and where they fit in the tale but then for an ongoing series we need lots of people to carry the story and keep it interesting. The basic plot is laid out but its early in the series so far, and though I’ve an idea where the story is going its very open as to what adventures are going to be revealed, and what sort of magic and mystical creatures it will contain.
What’s incredibly useful is the info at the end of the book on the witches calender, the herbs used in spells, crystals and their meanings, animal symbols and a host of other interesting details that will help the reader follow what promises to be a complex series.
Even though I don’t usually read books in this format I found the world and people Patti has created to be engrossing, and the writing style is just perfect for the story that’s slowly being revealed. Its like drawing back a curtain to expose another world, each glimpse tantalises and seduces the reader into wanting more. Alexandria is the perfect heroine for this tale, she has a blend of innocence, combined with intelligence and a strong sense of morality. With the evil I feel is coming she will need to be able to draw on all her strengths to do the right thing.
Overall even though its not my preferred type of reading I can see how this series will appeal to young adults and others who have limited time for reading. Its an exciting story broken down into easily read bite sized instalments. Though my star rating is a three and a half-only because of my personal reading preferences, I can see that for the right reader this will be a five star series.
ARC supplied by publishers.
I’ve read and loved Candace books before , enjoy her quirky sense of humour, so jumped at the chance to review this one. Its a fun, fantasy romance, the title gives some strong clues what to expect 🙂 and we meet the Tiger very quickly! Ainsley is escaping from danger, she’s discovered her brother and uncle have been involved in some dodgy deals, and when she’s shot at she simply runs…flies to Montana with the little cash she has on her, buys a cheap truck and simply drives. Turning into what she thinks is an ordinary small town she thinks she sees a tiger…and crashes the truck. She’s no money, only the clothes she’s wearing and the truck is going to be costly to repair. Despite being an heiress and very rich in her own right she daren’t access her money for fear of being tracked, so she goes to nearest bar on advice of the sheriff who rescues her from the truck and seeks a job. Luc, bar owner takes one look at her Louboutins and short skirt and says says “no”, but she’s not put off. She can see they need the help, they’re clearly short staffed so she picks up a tray and starts working. He agrees to let her stay til her truck is fixed and then she’ll leave.
Luc’s a great guy, had his share of heartbreak in the past when his wife and son died in an accident, and he’s not opening himself up to that kind of hurt again no matter how tempting to him Ainsley is. Then he finds out she’s been in an accident and hurt, and that she’s on the run and his protective side comes out. There are some funny moments when Ainsley puts the bar of shifters in their place when fights break out, some tender moments when inevitably she and Luc get together, and some really sad, heartbreaking ones when things go wrong. Its a great story, short and sweet and nothing unexpected but a fun read with some emotion to make you feel good at the end.
I didn’t enjoy it as much as Take it like a Vamp, the story is a bit too light and open for me but it was an enjoyable read and one lovers of paranormal romance looking for something light will enjoy. Its priced at £2.63 for 129 pages so on the upper end of my VFM scale, and its a one off read for me but if its one you’d re read that increases the value of course.
Stars: four. A fun novel.
Brazen Books, who brought us Wrong Bed Right Guy, Officer Off Limits, Seducing Cinderella, and Tempting the Player – to name just a few – is turning 1 this month, and they’re celebrating in a big way. They’ve got a ton of great things going on this week, including Twitter parties, FB events, and even a huge sale! Full deets below:
Epic Giveaways – Don’t miss the Brazen Bash on Thursday, July 25th from 7 to 10 pm EST where you can comment to win a $50 prize pack, $75 prize pack, or $125 prize pack. Prize packs will be a combination of Gift cards from Amazon/B&N, Adam & Eve, and Sephora! You can find out more details on the Brazen Facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/BrazenBooks
Q&A’s with NYT bestselling authors – Twitter Chat with Laura Kaye @laurakayeauthor Tuesday, July 23rd from 9 to 10 pm EST. Twitter Chat with Katee Robert @katee_robert Wednesday, July 24th from 6 to 7 pm PST. They’ll be using the hashtag #BrazenBash so you can easily join in the conversation.
Photo contest – Be sure to check out Brazen’s Tumblr page to share your favourite pictures of swoon-worthy men that remind you of the heroes in Brazen books! Either post your picture to your own tumblr using the tag “brazenbash” Or you can submit your photo directly to the Brazen tumblr page here http://brazenbooks.tumblr.com/submit. Make sure to tweet your tumblr posts as well using #BrazenBash
Surprise 99 cent sale! – They’ve dropped the price of 8 of their top-selling titles for 1 week only – and it could happen at any moment this week. So be sure to keep your eyes peeled! Tell your mom, your sisters, your co-workers!
ARC supplied by publisher
I’m a sucker for a sweet romance. Sometimes I want deep, dark, thinking novels, then others I just want to relax with something gentle and not too taxing, a nice easy read but with some sexy spice to keep it on the edge. One Hot Knight ( and Yves is all that) delivers that. Its a fun read, easy to follow and with a novel storyline (hah! Unintended pun ). Regina, dog parlour and doggy play-date arranger 🙂 finds a ragged, hungry St Bernard in the park. She takes him back to work, bathes and feeds him, and is astonished when on a last trip round the park before going home he turns into a naked man. A very Hot naked man! She’s shocked – who wouldn’t be, and scared, but after he changes back to dog then man again she believes what she’s seeing and takes him home. He tells her about the curse he’s under and that the reprieve he has is temporary, dependent upon his wearing the jewelled collar. After nine hundred years as a dog Yves is keen to break the curse permanently. I thought here we’d simply go on a search for the magic needed to sort things out – though how I’ve no idea 🙂 that’s why I read and not write….but Christy takes it further, with bringing some of the past into the present including the witch that made the curse. Its a question of whether Regina and Yves can find the fix before the witch makes things worse. There’s lots of humour in the book, some sizzling, smoking sex scenes, and some tears in parts too.
Its not a great in depth read, but for those times you want to escape into another world without too much mental effort its perfect. Its priced at £2.18 for 149 pages, so OK VFM esp if its the sort you’d re read. For me its a one off but then my preference is for longer, deeper novels, but I do enjoy these lighter ones as a change and a diversion from the darker books.
Stars: well written, easy to read its a four star from me.
ARC supplied by author.
Romance, shape shifters, mystery and magic – I love all of those, so dived eagerly into this book. I wasn’t disappointed. Brandy has created a cast of characters who feel real, who I can empathise with, dislike some of them, and actually care about what happens. That’s important to me, if I don’t feel for the people in a novel I don’t enjoy it. I want to feel “in” the book, as if I’m with them and in this magical world of Edenton I lost myself into another place for a few hours (I’m a quick reader so may be lots longer for others ). The world created is very realistic in as much as a fantasy world ever is, and I need to feel that what happens is actually possible. Here we’ve vampires, were creatures, mages and druids each with their own special talents. The action revolves around the town of Edenton and its supernatural inhabitants. Fallon was a great female lead, strong and independent and yet hurt in past by lovers so she’s wary of getting involved again. Then there’s Brody – he’s the strong silent type and just what she needs, but is he still grieving and can she accept him into her life. There’s action and adventure too with battles against the dark vampires and mages, kidnappings, danger and deception, and lots of magic.
Each author puts their own spin on the supernatural, here the weres and vamps are fairly conventional, but a big spin is on the tattoos. Fallow as a druid can weave magic wards to protect others into her tatts, and she has some on her body that can come alive, such as a sword that comes to hand from a tattoo when she needs it. She’s also able to shape-shift. I’m not sure if that’s connected to the tattoos, certainly she has a bird one and can change into a bird and in one battle there’s mention of her snake tattoo growing bigger and then she becomes the snake. Its an interesting variation, and one I like for its possibilities. I have seen similar works before but very few and its fun to get a new(ish) spin in a well used format.
There’s some sex here too, steamy and sensual it fits the novel and is an essential part of lifting it up to that upper rating. Romance can be done without sex of course, but some books and types call for it to be included and it works well here. Of course it helps that Brody is one Hot Alpha Male 🙂 I enjoyed the book, its well written and the plot kept me engrossed. Its a nice balance of action, romance and everyday life problems. I enjoyed the character of Darcla (?) the woman with a strong, heavy crush who was convinced Brody was for her….and out to make it happen. We need a few good “bad” people to add spice to the mix. Its bland when everyone is good.
I look forward to reading more in the series, I think we’ve just tasted the potential in this book and there’s so much possibilities from Edenton and its inhabitants. Priced at £1.99 for 256 pages it good value.
Stars: 4.5 – its not quite a five, building a new series is difficult with so much to introduce – I think the series has five star potential.
I loved the Ultimate Power series, and also Painted Faces. Power is a fantasy series whereas Painted is contemporary romance, much like this one.
Its great too finding a good read that’s also a standalone novel ( as is Painted) as there seems to be a rash or duos/trilogies and so few stand-alones that can satisfy without leaving reader on tenterhooks waiting months – years even, for next part. A huge thanks to L.H. Cosway for keeping to a traditional romance format 🙂
Lana falls in lve with her best friends twin brother at a very early age, but he’s a typical teen boy and to great excess. He bullies her verbally and is incredibly cruel to her, tormenting her at school and at home where he and Sasha live opposite her. He really does make her life a misery and seems to thrive on her pain, but she keeps quiet and finally he moves away to London and she picks up her life. His behaviour shadows her though, she has little confidence and is always looking to see hidden meanings in comments.
Then years later she stays in London with Sasha for the summer. Robert isn’t supposed to be there but the day she arrives he’s there having had an acrimonious split for his on/off girlfriend. Sasha says he can only stay if Lana is OK with it, but she knows how close the twins are and how upset Sasha will be to say no to him.
Robert seems to be different though, Lana picks him up on things she’d have let go before and they have a few angry spats finally coming to an agreement. Gradually he wears her down and a romance develops. Is it true though, or is this an extension of his former cruelty.
Its a fantastic romance full of emotion, a fascinating psychological look at bullying and its motives and makes us all look at past behaviours. I loved it – I loved Pained Faces too and feel L.H.Cosway is not only a superb fantasy author but one that writes excellent contemporary romance too.
Great value too £1.36 for 367 pages.
Stars: five, great contemporary romance to keep you engrossed.
Out later this month are some great books I’ve been lucky to get ARCs of includingthese:
Starting with my favourite from wondeful Tiffany Reisz is The Mistress – a fabulous five star read. Out on the 30th July…put some time aside as once you start you won’t want to stop!
She is addictive…irresistible
Nora Sutherlin, Dominatrix-turned-literary-star, is held prisoner by two dangerous men. Under different circumstances she would enjoy this immensely. These men aren’t lovers, however, but tools of vengeance from an old adversary. Possessor of the hearts of two men, she plays her hardest hand. But her captor isn’t interested in play. Or pity.
In Nora’s world, however, no one is ever truly powerless. Her friends and lovers will do anything to save her – even if the only certainty seems to be sacrifice and heartbreak. The stakes are high in a dangerous game of love, lust and passion
‘Dazzling, devastating and sinfully erotic’ – Author Miranda Baker
‘Stunning. One of the best novels I have ever read. I am simply in awe and feeling richer for the experience.’ – Good Reads Reviewer on The Siren
‘This book made me feel everything.’ – Author Courtney Milan on The Siren.
The Original Sinners: The Siren, The Angel, The Prince, The Mistress
Then more from Nikki and Michael, in Dancing with the Devil. This is first in the sereis and its been revamped (Ha!!) and re released. this is out 30th July. I’ve been lucky enough to get ARCs of four of this series and its a real trear, a series to enjoy and re read. all four will be out by the end of October so its great to be able to start a series and not have to wait ages for next book 🙂
For 300 years, Michael Kelly has existed in the shadows, learning to control the death cravings of a vampire. Nikki not only breaches his formidable barriers with her psychic abilities, but makes Michael believe he may finally have found a woman strong enough to walk by his side and to ease the loneliness in his heart.
Finally- the ending to the fabulous Stark Trilogy ( and thanks to an author who knows that trilogy means three books 🙂 not four or five, I’m sure most people will get the reference here, I was Cross and Fired up over that fiasco….I hate readers being treated like idiots and money makers.)
Our desire runs deep. But our secrets cut close.
Beautiful, strong, and commanding, Damien Stark fills a void in me that no other man can touch. His fierce cravings push me beyond the brink of bliss – and unleash a wild passion that utterly consumes us both. Yet beneath his need for dominance, he carries the wounds of a painful past. Haunted by a legacy of dark secrets and broken trust, he seeks release in our shared ecstasy, the heat between us burning stronger each day.
Our attraction is undeniable, our obsession inevitable. Yet not even Damien can run from his ghosts, or shield us from the dangers yet to come.
Sweet Young Thang
then there’s One Hot Night , thats releasing on 22nd and on my list for today/tomorrow depending on how quickly i get through the current books 🙂
Yves Sucat was a Crusader trapped in a canine body…until a beautiful twenty-first century dog groomer offered the missing link to break his spell. But Regina Patterson was no fluffy-headed female who would instantly melt at Yves’ silvery seduction. The more time he spent with the tender-hearted blonde, the less he was able to keep his paws—hands!—off of her.
Do You Remember – I loved this one, I’m a real Mandy Baggot fan 🙂
First Love. First Loss. Last chance?
2005 was the most traumatic year of Emma Barron’s life. It was the year her mother died and the year she met Guy Duval. Eight years on, she’s an English teacher with a doting boyfriend and a young son. Life’s been hard but now it’s comfortable. She’s settled and content…so why would she risk it all for another chance with the man that broke her heart?
Guy’s an international renowned footballer newly signed to a top UK team. But behind the confident facade is a man determined to drown the horrors from his childhood with fame, success and money.
Unable to confide in her best friend, Ally, Emma tries to hold her life together as her heart is pulled apart. Did she turn her back on love too soon?
Neither of them know what really happened on 5 September 2005 and as events are slowly revealed can anyone cope with the truth?
Lions, Tigers, and Sexy Bears Oh My! (Entangled Covet) I’ve read this one, its a light and funny romance, nothing deep and dark, just a way of escaping for a couple of hours and smiling at the antics of the heroine.
The Marraige Merger I’ve now read a few from this series and they’re a sweet fun read.
Her sisters have found wedded bliss with their wealthy, wonderful dream men, but not Julietta Conte. She’s stayed on terra firma as top executive of the family’s corporation, La Dolce Famiglia bakery. Work is her passion, and her trendy Milan apartment her sanctuary . . . until Sawyer Wells, a masculine masterpiece in a suit, lures her out of hiding with an irresistible offer: an exclusive partnership with his international chain of boutique hotels.
Julietta’s been burned before—and trusting her brotherin- law’s friend, whose powerful gaze alone has her rethinking the best use of a conference room, is the riskiest proposition. But with a once-in-a-career chance to take the bakery global, will she mix stone-cold business with red-hot seduction?