Archive | February 2014

Rain on Me. Shelter From the Storm ~ An Erotic Bondage Romance Series, Book 1. Eden Connor

 

Rain on Me. Shelter From the Storm ~ An Erotic Bondage Romance Series, Book 1. Eden Connor

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

I’ve enjoyed some of Eden’s romances before, and love well written, erotic romance. I’ve seen reviews which mention the interracial aspect of this ( and other ) books, but to be honest except when it was specifically mentioned I didn’t notice colour. I think of characters as people, not in terms of race, religion or disability etc…though I can see that the Shibari connection with slavery and ropes could be off putting. I think that’s doing people’s intellect a disservice though, and stretching connections too far. Maybe I’m just an optimist 🙂

Anyway the book….Zinnia, she’s a cop, clearly still escaping from a troubled childhood, and intent on bringing down the machines that caused her father to gamble their money away. The police want her to go undercover to flush out a local bigwig they suspect is behind a massive operation involving gambling. Its become a personal crusade for Zin, and though she’s never done anything like this before she agrees. She doesn’t plan for her attraction to Ray, the Shibari master who’ll be training her though. Luckily he’s just as attracted to her, and there’s some hot and sensual sex scenes that fit perfectly within the story. Ray, there’s demons in his past too, and he sees through Zin’s bravado into what she’s running from. He uses the ropes to help her. I know little about Shibari, but the explanations of pressure points, and the way they release endorphins and have a physical effect was interesting, plus of course the whole psychology of trust and letting go. I love the artistry too – its not just tying someone up to dominate them, but creating an art form. Ray talks about the beauty of it, and the patterns left in the skin fleetingly after the ropes come off. That reminded me of artist Andy Goldsworthy – I love his work, and its mostly photographs of sculptures he creates using natural materials on site. So ice melts, leaves and seeds blow away, sand disintegrates and all that left is the photo. Its the transient nature that makes these works so special, and the skin marks just remind me so much of that. OK that’s my art ramblings done 🙂

Back to the book. I’ve said what I loved, the personalities of Ray and Zin, the sensuality and eroticisms of the sex scenes, the artistry, the way their backgrounds shape what they both are now, and how they act. What about what didn’t work so well? Sadly I felt after all that build up the Hammond connection fell flat, there was little real interaction with him. The whole sting op seemed to just fizzle out, and though Zin took steps to help it survive we don’t know what happened next. Then there’s the question of Hammond’s second wife’s death There was suggestions that it may not have been suicide, and yet we never got further than speculation…I like completion in a story and felt this just seemed incomplete, especially as I struggled often with who was connected to who and why, and who was to be trusted. I got to the end but felt as if I’d missed something essential along the way somehow. It’s priced at £2.76 for 316 pages so a very reasonable price.

Stars: well, that’s difficult to judge, the erotic sensual sex and the artistry of the Shibari was a real five but the story itself…maybe pushing a three – I just felt I’d didn’t quite “get it” that I’d missed something. So I guess it’s a four overall.

ARC supplied by Netgalley

Callum. Melissa Schroeder

 

Callum. Melissa Schroeder

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

I liked the sound of this, clearly there was some paranormal element, some secret about Callum’s family but I wasn’t sure what it was…then when we met him it was clear he was an Alpha male type – but would he be a shifter of some sort, or what? I didn’t know, no clues to begin so was interesting trying to work it out.

Phoebe was attracted to him from the start, despite his brusqueness that bordered on rude. She plays it off and just wants to get on with her work. She’s interested in what they want her to translate, she needs something good and unusual to back up her application for a grant. They’ve been very mysterious about what exactly they need her for, as a linguist specialising in old languages she assumes its to do with that, but no-one is saying yet what it is. She’s promised confidentiality to Callum and family about the mystery object, but hoping there’s some leeway to use whatever it is they need her for to help her studies. Her parents have always dictated the way her life pans out, and they won’t approve of this although its exactly what she enjoys doing, one more reason for her to try to gain the grant, and make her independent of them. She’s got to hold things close to her chest though, so the Lennon’s don’t think she’s double dealing them, but its also clear that they aren’t being forthcoming with all the information she needs, and there’s some serious secrets being kept by all of them.

I liked the family, loved the way Callum and Phoebe spark up together, argue, are borderline rude, and yet that seam of passion runs through all their conversations. Once they gave in – wow- sparks indeed. But as ever that didn’t mean a halt to hostilities, but just more misunderstandings and prejudices. Though its mainly Callum and Phoebe in this book, we meet the rest of the family throughout, and it’s going to be interesting seeing how the next book about another family member plays out. The plot is cleverly written to allow each of them to have their own book, and now we know the story about the curse and what it means for them, the next books can focus more on new plots, and not spend time and words ensuring we’ve all the info and background that we needed in this book.

Its well written, plots that work, and people that feel real. Its quite a light read, no deep, dark dangers, or heavy plots to puzzle out, but for me for a one off read it was fun and enjoyable. It’s £1.88 for 236 pages so a very reasonable price.

Stars:Four

ARC supplied by Netgalley

Masked Innocence. Alessandra Torre

Masked Innocence (Mills & Boon Spice)Blindfolded Innocence (Mills & Boon Spice)

Masked Innocence. Alessandra Torre

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

I love well written erotica, that which has a good supporting story. I’d read The Diary of Brad De Luca before part one, Blindfolded Innocence, and at the time as I’d got an ARC I’d not seen the current warnings to read this first. I really didn’t understand it but loved Alessandra’s writing style, so requested this and bought Blindfolded Innocence, its only 59p for 304 hot, sensual, well written and exciting pages and it makes Brad’s diary so much more understandable. So much so that I’ve edited my original review to reflect that.

Anyway, after finishing book one I got straight on to this – that the way I really enjoy these sorts of novels, when I can read them back to back. Sadly part three isn’t out yet – March 25th. After the ending of Blindfolded I thought I knew which way the story would go, I was right – and then again I was wrong… It started as I’d thought, then veered off in a direction that totally confused me. I really didn’t see that coming, and that was perfect. I love books to take an unexpected journey, it makes wondering what’s next a real pleasure. Brad really shone here. I’d thought his serial womanising/swinging needs would cause problems – Julia seemed like she was going top be OK with it, but I’m not sure that the reality would be as she expected. Then that detour started, and it became a trip into danger, with Julia’s life at stake! Along the way though there’s plenty of Brad’s typical hot, erotic sex don’t worry 😉 Some of his secrets from his past come out – that man seems to have many, and I doubt this’ll be the last, though I’m sure the largest one….and the ending, I understood where Julia was coming from with her uncertainties and it was just perfect, Spot on for me in how I’d expect both characters to react.

Great book, now I’m desperate for part three. THE END OF THE INNOCENCE will be out March 25th according to Alessandra’s blog, can’t come soon enough 🙂 and its a series that I know will be re reading so will join my keepers file! This book is priced at £5.59 on the pre order page and Goodreads says its 300 pages. That feels about right, its a decently long read, packed with action.

Stars: cracking read – full five.

ARC supplied by Netgalley

Gorgeous, sexy, and feral, the closer we came to the party, the more intense Brad’s eyes became. He was aroused, I realized. He had taken only one item from Carlos, a black executioner’s hood. I was both scared and excited to see what it would look like on.

We got in the car and I waited till the driver shut the door before I turned to him. “I-”

His mouth was on me before I got the second word out. He cupped my chin in his hand and took my mouth with his. He pulled hard on my neck and I leaned forward, his other hand grabbing to pull me on his lap. I straddled him, grinding against his crotch while we kissed. His hands gripped my ass and then traveled in between my legs, and he pulled away from my mouth with a sexy scowl when he felt my panties.

What’s this?” he murmured, sliding a finger underneath my thong and dipping inside me, causing my eyes to close and my breath to hitch.

I think they’re called panties,” I whispered, pushing against his hand, wanting more than his finger inside of me.

You are already wet…” he breathed in wonder, sliding a second finger in with the first, stretching my pussy tight around his digits and moving them together in wonderful unison.

I groaned and ground against him, and he slowly withdrew his fingers, sliding his wet fingers over my clit and then away, and my eyes popped open, missing the pleasure. I pouted down at him.

I want to keep you hot for the party,” he said gruffly. He looked up at me, smiling in the darkness. “You look so different.”

I tilted my head, grinning. “Good different?”

I like the normal you better. This is good though, makes me feel like I’m with a strange woman.”

I bit my lip and looked at him deviously. “Strange woman can be bad.”

I like bad,” he whispered, and I felt his fingers brush my sensitive skin, once again tugging at the lace of my thong.

Sapphire Blue. G. Doucette.

 

Sapphire Blue

Sapphire Blue. G. Doucette.

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book Reviews.

I thought this book would be a typical erotic romance, but its not. It does have romance, and it has lots of sex; group sex, anal sex, female to female sex but it wasn’t erotic to me. Its a strange book in a way, very different from what I expected and I still have mixed feelings about it. Its very well written, with characters that felt real – and when I began it Mara and Argent seemed headed for the typical billionaire playboy/naive young lady scenario. Then it gets deeper – they have sex on their first meeting, its not lovemaking, just a quick, hot, heavy burst of sex. Their relationship seems to consist of purely that and Mara is unsure of why. When she tries to ask Argent he’s enigmatic ,and very clever at changing the subject til she’s forgotten what she was asking…

Gradually she spends more and more time with him. I had a problem with Argent in that he was so ambiguous, so closed in his emotions that I felt I didn’t really know him. His go-fer/chauffeur tells Mara he’s a good person early on, but there seems to be this air of mystery about him that I never really got past to feel I knew the man behind it. I’d have liked to know a bit more about him and why he is as he is. I liked Mara, though at times I wanted her to assert herself, but it was cleverly done the way she attempts that and is deflected almost without her noticing by Argent. I was surprised when the main thrust of the story came to the fore, its something that made me feel uneasy, well written and described, and in a fantasy setting not unexpected but I didn’t realise the story was going this way, and I’m not sure I liked it. I admire the way it was done – its just the actual storyline I had a problem with. Its quite dark at times, devolves from a simple romantic tale into a dark capture theme, with some sexual story-lines that border on non-consensual sex. Its difficult to explain without giving anything away and it was very well done – its just that I felt it wasn’t really something I enjoy reading. I’ve read dark erotica in the past but in a setting where all comes right and with this novel it does come right, but at a price and in a way I really didn’t expect.

So, if you want something that will surprise you in the story line, something unpredictable – well at least for me, I didn’t see the story going that way – something very sexual but not in an emotional way, then this book is for you. For me : I need something with more passion, more emotion, more actual love than sex, I need to feel spirit, life, sensation within my characters and just didn’t get it here. But as I’m always saying – we all want different things so what I want and what you want can be very opposite ends of the spectrum.

Stars: three – it was a well written book, its just not a storyline I enjoyed.

ARC supplied via Netgalley

The Secret of Ghosts. Sarah Painter

 

The Secret of Ghosts. Sarah Painter

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

I didn’t realise this was a follow on from book one The Language of Spells, which I’ve not read. It was still fairly easy to understand, though if I’d read book one some of the conversations would have stood in better context instead of my having to read between the lines. My bad…Still, it was an enjoyable, escapist read, light hearted romance and a bit of paranormal who dunnit. I didn’t guess how things would turn out, that came as a pleasant surprise, I do enjoy books that can impress me plot wise with how things work out. So many are just predictable and though that works mostly, when the endings are different to what I expect it adds to the reading experience.

I liked Katie, she’s so determined to be a success within the family and so frustrated at the lack of magic so far, that when the ghosts start turning up she sees benefits and a purpose for her, disregarding potential dangers. That can have a drastic effect on her and the family. Max, he was an enigma much of the while, and there was a very subtle, gentle romance building between him and Katie, which was fun and made for a change from the insta love of so many novels. (though I like those as well, properly done, just its good to have variety) Priced at £3.99 for 279 pages its long enough to let the reader get really into the plot. Its not one of those breath holding, heart stopping, peeping round the pages books but more a gentle meander though an adventure, with a side of romance. Though its connected to book one, its a complete novel in itself. I’d certainly be ready to read more from Katie and the family and friends.

Stars: Three and a half, good gentle story.

ARC supplied by Netgalley

Against Her Rules Victoria Barbour

 

Against Her Rules (Heart's Ease)

Against Her Rules. Victoria Barbour

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

So, in the mood for a romance I asked for this one. Its a WYSIWYG book, what you see is what you get. Its as described, a sweet uncomplicated romance. I enjoyed it, its not one full of heart racing, breath stealing, erotic passion, but there are some tender and sensual moments between Elsie and Cam. I liked Elise, understood her dilemma about dating customers, and she was one of those characters where you want things to work out for her. Cam too, he was a good man, but too used to women flinging themselves at him, and Elise’s rejection gave him a shock and made him take a sharp look at himself. That was good, he didn’t like what he saw and realised Elise deserved more, but could he persuade her he was capable of leaving his playboy past and entering a serious relationship. Elise meanwhile is wondering of maybe a quick uncomplicated fling with the Hot Scot is really worth turning down. She’s the one that set the rule, but need it be so fixed? After all there aren’t many chances of meeting men for her, busy as she is and in a small village where she grew up with all the locals. Loved the Asher/Ted part too 🙂 made me smile. Elsie’s family were great, scheming, but in a good way, they just wanted what was best for her. The elderly aunt was a really great character, and her story was so so sad, it made me really feel for her. Sadly in days past its one that was all too common 😦

So overall, a novel I enjoyed, but a one off read only for me. If you’re looking for a well written, feel good romance with spots of humour this is a perfect read. It’s priced at £3.13 for 222 pages

Stars: three and a half.

ARC supplied by Netgalley

Hold On To Me Against All Odds 2 Elisabeth Naughton

 

Hold On To Me. Against All Odds 2. Elisabeth Naughton

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

I’d read the first in this series some time ago, and was interested to see what book two would be like. Its got the same magic blend of suspense, danger and romance as the first, and was a really good read. Mitch is a great guy, he’s in love with Simone, even though its taken time to get her to unwind and trust in him. He feels she’s still holding something back – little does he know just how right he is!

Simone been protecting her daughter Shannon from the shadowy dangers that may have killed her husband for years now. She’s just about accepted that as nothing has threatened them for so long its safe to take a chance with Mitch when – bang- everything hits at once. She’s panicking, doesn’t know what to do or where to turn, and acting on impulse she makes plans to leave everything and run…Shannon is ten now though. She doesn’t know what’s upset her mum, but doesn’t want to leave Mitch. She knows he plans to ask her mum to marry and is all for it. She unwittingly sets things in motion that bring in the rest of the family, including those from book one. The dangers pile up, Mitch and Simone are at loggerheads most of the while, as they are both still keeping secrets from each other and can’t seem to get past the breakup but are both deeply in love with each other. They need to find a way to get back to where they were, but with danger round every corner that’s difficult. .

Its a sensual romance, and an addicting adventure full of shoot-outs, bombings and danger at every turn. They don’t know who they can trust and can’t afford to get it wrong as their lives are at stake.

I really enjoyed this. I do like suspense but I need a strong side of romance with it and got that here 🙂 Its priced at £3.08 for 300 pages and as usual is full of Elisabeth’s trademark quality writing and plotting. Its a book that will no doubt reveal more clues on second and subsequent readings.

Stars: Four and a half, great read.

ARC supplied by Netgalley

Adam’s Fall. Liv Morris.

Adam's Fall Cover Author Liv Morris

Synopsis

Kathryn’s mesmerized me with some kind of tantric magic. I’m bewitched without an ounce of fight left within me. She knows my dilemma, my hesitancy to surrender and loosen the grip I have on my past, and she’s won.” An excerpt from Adam’s Apple (Touch of Tantra #1) An erotic bestseller.

Adam and Kathryn’s tantric love story continues once again told in his point of view…

When roguish playboy Adam Kingsley meets the stunning Tantra instructor Kathryn Delcour, he falls hard, becoming captivated by her strength and beauty. An intense sexual chemistry sizzles between them from their first shared glance to the soul cleansing Tantra session they experience together.

While Adam recovers from injuries after saving Kathryn’s life, she instructs him in the sensual practice of Tantra. He becomes her willing student as their tantric lovemaking brings Adam to sexual highs he never dreamed were possible.

But Adam’s life takes an unexpected turn when newly exposed secrets surrounding his birth father force him to make a seemingly impossible choice. Avenge those he loves and let everything he holds dear crumble around him, or allow the guilty to go free. With Kathryn by his side, Adam faces the fight of his life.

Adam’s Fall is the concluding book in the Touch of Tantra series.

Adam’s Fall. Liv Morris.

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

I found Adam’s apple slow to start but once it got going it was a good read, and I was keen to see where Liv would take the story. We left them with Adam just having been shot, and Simon killed. For a CEO of a well known company that’s going to have huge media impact, and we pick up with poor Adam trying to recover from the shooting and control the possible impact on his company. Its a sad thing, but very true, how volatile the financial services market is that something like this can impact on it so badly.

Anyway, Adam is now – how can I put it? Besotted with Kathryn and trying desperately to protect her as well as his company. While it was good to see him in love (though he’s not quite ready to admit that to himself yet) I did miss the cocky, arrogant, impetuous bad-boy character we first met….Still, with Kathryn’s help he had learned so much about himself, and we learn even more about both him and Kathryn in this book. She’s still got some hot and sensual Tantra moves to show him, and they are really well written, ( I know nothing about Tantra, I’m assuming they’re accurate) and a change from the eternal fixation on pure penetrative sex, its good to see how couples can be sensual in a different way. Enhances the reading and adds variety. Adam learns that rather than knowing everything about sex, he really knows very little, she takes him on a journey he can’t believe!

I felt there’d be more to come out in this book, and again Liv surprised me. We had a hint of what might develop looking back, but I missed it at the time 🙂 There are some real up and down moments, backstabbing, betrayals and edge of disaster actions that come out. Adam needs to steer a careful course, and think carefully about the risks, and what sacrifices he must make.

I loved the ending – I do like one that feel Complete. You know, the sort where everything is explained, and you know what’s happened and where the characters are going next.

Stars: Four, hot and sensual and with a decent story behind it.

ARC supplied by Netgalley

Bittersweet Darkness (The Order 3) Nina Croft

 

Bittersweet Darkness (The Order 3) Nina Croft

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

This series has hooked me right from the first book, and now I’ve read three I understand book one even better, first books have a hard task, setting characters, a current plot and needing an over them to pull each book together. Though I loved it I understand everything so much better now that the world they are operating in is clear in my mind.

This one, book three has Detective Faith Connolly still trying to find the killer of a young girl in the last book. Of course she can’t, as he was a vampire and is dead, but hard as she pushes him as she’s human her ex colleague Ryan can’t tell her that. He was involved, being her then partner in the police force, and being more open minded that Faith (Vampires Do Not Exist!) he’s been recruited by Christian Roth’s Security organisation, which is also a cover for the order. That’s undergoing some changes, and Ryan is partnered with Ash ( demon Lord Asmodai) on a new formed committee spearheading changes. Ash has recently found his daughter Tara, who he’d thought dead. She’s partner to Christian Roth, and holds Ash responsible for her best friends death. Its all themes from earlier books that run through the whole series and bind it together tightly. Faith gets enmeshed in danger, Ash gets involved with Faith, far more closely than he expected, there’s ever present danger not only from the Angels but from the UK government, and Faith is used by them. She’s so on the side of good its a while before she realises what’s happening, that Ash and co are the good guys and the Gov spooks the bad ones, and by then she feels Ash and his colleagues will never believe her when she says she was trying to stay on the side of right. She can’t just walk away though, and puts herself in danger trying to help. Not only that she’s another serious problem facing her too – and it’s one that she can’t walk away from.

Its the usual mix of danger and romance, sexy, hot males and sensual encounters. Having to convince a human that the supernatural is real without terrifying them, trying to look at a problem from the outside as Faith is, and decide just who is on the side of right, who can she trust, and all the while coping with that other problem hanging over her like the Sword of Damocles. What I love about Nina’s writing is that its not dumbed down as so many paranormals are, it’s intelligent and well scripted, and yet is easy to follow, it takes the reader along with the action, the plots are all connected in some way, and what seems like a minor detail – a throwaway comment- turns out to have major impact. Each book is connected by an overall theme, and yet is a standalone with a plot that is just for that story and complete. I don’t know how long this series is planned, but I hope there’s lots more to go, as I feel its so fresh its got potential for a good few books yet 🙂 and I’m hoping of course! Its priced at just £1.25 for 251 pages, so a good length to get really into the characters and the situations they faced, and a bargain price!

Stars: five.

ARC supplied by Netgalley

Hot Rock. Annie Seaton

 

Hot Rock. Annie Seaton

Review from Jeannie Zelos Book reviews.

Rock Star romance – I do love those and the Bad Boy heroes 🙂 and I know I enjoy Annie’s writing style, so this was a must-have.

So Megan takes the trip of a lifetime from Australia to UK for the Glastonbury festival to reteach empirical evidence for her Doctoral thesis. She’s just left when she discovers a cheating ex has copied her work, and made some spurious accusations about her that threaten her career. Fortunately her sister and brother in law can deal with it, he’s a solicitor so he promises to keep her informed via phone and web. Curious things happen though – she bumps into someone whose the dead spit of her teenage idol 70’s star Davy Morgan, living next to the cottage where she’s staying. He tells her that’s his nephew and he just plays in a local band…then there’s the spotty phone and internet reception, the weird lady in the village store who blames everything on the Solstice…and the curious stones at the rear of the cottage where Davy disappears one day. Thinking he’s injured she rushes after him and …

Yes. I didn’t realise but its a time slip novel ( I love those) so the characters not only have distance to contend with, but time as well. I loved the way Annie let them find each other at the end – it fitted so well, and was really apt with the theme of the novel. I enjoyed the way Megan was desperately trying to convince herself she wasn’t really back in the 70’s ( and who wouldn’t? It defies logic..) and the way Davy was so protective of her. It made for a touching and fun romance. Its not deep, dark drama and probably not one I’d re read but its a fun, shortish read, and a great escape for a couple of hours. I did feel the problems over her thesis and work were really not necessary, and as its a shortish novel that issue would have been better spend on the romance aspect itself. Maybe I missed something? But I didn’t feel that really added to the story. It’s priced at £1.23for 132 pages on kindle.

Stars: Four, good gentle romance, solid plot but not quite enough drama for a five from me.

ARC supplied by Netgalley

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