Thursday, January 29, 2015

Falling for Jillian by Kristen Proby



Title: Falling for Jillian
Author: Kristen Proby
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Love Under the Big Sky #3
Main Characters: Jillian and Zach
Release Date: January 2015
Publisher: Pocket
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
From New York Times bestselling author Kristen Proby comes the third romance in the Love Under the Big Sky series, featuring a veteran struggling with PTSD and the one woman who can help him recover—and learn to love again.

Jillian thought she was a city girl through and through; the fast cars, high fashion, and glamour—she loves it all. But when her ex tells her he’s having a baby with his new wife (after Jillian struggled for years to get pregnant), she hightails it back to Montana to cry on the shoulder of her best friend, Cara.

But in truth, Jillian would rather be comforted by someone else…specifically Zach, Cara’s brother-in-law. Zach is a veteran of the Iraq War who came back to the family ranch to raise his preteen son after the boy’s mother took off. He’s struggling to re-establish a relationship with his son, and warding off the demons of PTSD, which still haunt him. The last thing he needs is bold, brassy Jillian…but why can’t he keep his hands off her? 
My Review:
I enjoyed this book. This was one of those that simply made me happy that I read contemporary romance. 

Jillian has moved to Montana after having her heart broken. Her brother lives there and she has a huge group of friends there. Zach is not one of those things pulling her to the place though. A while ago when she was home for a visit, they had a one-night stand that was phenomenal, but now has left things a little awkward and stilted between them. But their lives are intertwined. Her best friend is married to his twin and they share the same group of friends so they are constantly in each other's environment. 

I enjoyed the way the book started out with Jillian dating and Zach incredibly and obviously jealous. That sparked off the chemistry between the two just perfectly. And there is a ton of chemistry. 

This story is one of those full of scenes with the group of friends and the families. I love that dynamic to my contemporary romance because it gives such a warm, happy, cozy feeling to the story and setting. This one is also set in Montana in the winter which also, for me, evokes those same emotions...safety, warmth, coziness while snuggling in front of the fire. 

Jillian is trying to learn how to move on with her life and Zach and Seth quickly become integral to that. I love her interactions with Seth especially. Their relationship works so well in this book and I love how he reacts to his dad during the "black moment" of the story. 

It's just one of those books that's good. I don't think it would matter what time of the year it was, what mood I was in...this is a book I could re-read a dozen times and it would still make me feel happier in the end for doing so. Definitely my favorite type of read. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Three Fates of Ryan Love by Erin Quinn


Title: The Three Fates of Ryan Love
Author: Erin Quinn
My Rating: A-

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Beyond #2
Main Characters: Ryan and Sabelle
Release Date: January 2015
Publisher: Pocket Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Two star-crossed souls discover that their fates are intertwined—for better or worse—in the second book in the Beyond series of paranormal romances that began with The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love.

Step into a world of angels and demons, where there are fates worse than death and love larger than life.

Ryan Love’s life is about to go up in flames—literally—when a mystical being named Sabelle appears, claiming to be from the Beyond, the realm of heaven, hell, and mysteries both awesome and terrifying. As Ryan’s family business and home are destroyed in a freak explosion, Sabelle saves him just in time. So why does Ryan feel like she’s the one who needs saving?

Sabelle is a Spinner, or agent of fate, whose sole purpose is to guide Ryan through his life choices. But the time is coming when she must part with him forever and entrust her job to someone else—someone who cares much less about him. And she can’t bear the thought, because each time Ryan touches her she falls more in love with him…

But maybe there is a way to stop the ticking time bomb. She’s heard rumors, and no one knows for certain if it works. It’s forbidden, of course, and dangerous—undoubtedly. Sabelle must leave the Beyond and bind herself to Ryan forever. But how will Ryan react when he learns what she’s done? And are their destinies forever connected, or can Ryan still pave the path of his future?

My Review:
Another book down in this series and I am more and more curious...where did the Love siblings really come from???

This book is about older brother, Ryan, who runs the family bar. He's closing up the bar on a late, rainy night when he finds a naked woman in the alley behind it. She tells him he has to get out now because the bar is about to blow up. 

That woman is Sabelle who has come from the Beyond. She is a seer who is held as a prisoner by the three fates to provide them visions of what is to come. Sabelle has done this job her entire life, but discovered Ryan early and became somewhat obsessed with him. 

Ryan doesn't like anything from the Beyond. As far as he's concerned they are all evil and distrustful and have caused him to lose 2 out of his 3 siblings. He also has his own abilities...he can read when other people lie, but regardless of that, he still doesn't trust Sabelle especially since he's so drawn to her, which is new for him to be that bewitched. 

This is an action-packed book. From the very first page, Ryan and Sabelle are running for their lives. And he's a guy with a conscience. Although he doesn't trust her, he can't abandon her either knowing that she probably wouldn't survive. I loved his character. He's very honest with how he wants her. And she's watched him from the Beyond for years. She knows how he is with women and his mental issues with commitment. His character definitely made the story for me. And the fact that she's been more than a little infatuated with him for years really worked in this one so that she has that connection so much earlier than you would think.

But despite how much I loved about both of them...there was one thing about Sabelle that drove me nuts...her ego and feeling of self-importance. I understood why it was needed for the story, but whoa...it really should have been toned down at least a little. 

There is lots more revealed about the Beyond and we get to see Roxanne and Santo again, which I loved. But the sign of a good series...the more that's revealed, the more questions I have and the more I want to read. What exactly makes the Love children different and what is their tie to the Beyond. I also have a really strong feeling that Reece's side of the story isn't done. I'm ready for book #3.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Beyond Limits by Laura Griffin

Title: Beyond Limits
Author: Laura Griffin
My Rating: A


Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Tracers #8
Main Characters: Elizabeth and Derek
Release Date: January 2015
Publisher: Pocket
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
An FBI agent and a Navy SEAL race against time in New York Times bestselling author Laura Griffin’s newest Tracers novel. “Griffin delivers the goods!” (Publishers Weekly)

FBI agent Elizabeth LeBlanc is still caught in the aftermath of her last big case when she runs into the one man from her past who is sure to rock her equilibrium even more. Navy SEAL Derek Vaughn is back home from a harrowing rescue mission in which he found evidence of a secret terror cell on US soil. Elizabeth knows he’ll do anything to unravel the plot—including seducing her for information. And despite the risks involved, she’s tempted to let him. Together with the forensics experts at the Delphi Center, Derek and Elizabeth are closing in on the truth, but it may not be fast enough to avert a devastating attack…

Following in the bestselling tradition of the Tracers series, including ExposedScorched, and TwistedBeyond Limits pulls out all the stops with Griffin’s most gripping thriller yet.


My Review:
This was the first book I've read from Laura Griffin (I know, I know...I should lose my romantic suspense reader card, but I've seen the error of my ways, I promise) and I really like it. I see why her books always hit the bestseller lists. This book was really incredibly good. 

The heroine, Elizabeth, is an FBI agent who had an assignment go wrong recently and is having a hard time getting back on task in the office. Her jerk of a boss certainly isn't helping things, so it's a huge relief when one of the higher up's reaches out to her to pull her into a special mission to break up a terrorist threat in Houston.

Derek is a SEAL and it was a raid done by his team that led to the discovery of this terrorist cell. He's from Houston and one of his SEAL teammates died recovering the information...so this is personal to him. And that's before he realizes that Elizabeth is on the FBI team. They have a history. It's a brief one, but that connection has stayed with both of them mentally over the last year, so it's a really strong one. 

I loved how the suspense in this played out. Derek is a SEAL and because of that he plays by a different set of rules when it comes to ferreting out information. His entire focus is the end-goal...not how he gets there. Liz is an FBI agent working on American soil. She has to play by the rules...which Derek doesn't accept. I loved to watch them as a team. Derek is this rogue agent type who is constantly dragging Liz along for her badge. It kept me smiling, but especially when his techniques worked. While I'm not a fan of that in real life, it worked so incredibly well for this story. 

Derek is constantly pushing Liz for more. She's not the type to normally give in, but he's persistent and so sure that he's always right...and he usually is. I loved watching him convince her to trust him. It was definitely a gradual thing that grew more and more throughout the book which translated into their relationship, too. The focus of the story is definitely the suspense, but for this romance loving girl, I didn't have a complaint about the romance either. It's all really well done and I would grab up another Laura Griffin read in a heartbeat. I'm pretty sure I have a couple of hers on my to-be-read shelf. I need to go dig them up.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Launch Day Blitz: Blind Faith by Rebecca Zanetti

This is one of my favorite Romantic Suspense series out there and finally, book #3 is available in print. Whohoo!!!


BLIND FAITH by Rebecca Zanetti (January 27, 2015; Forever Mass Market; $8.00)
A betrayal he couldn't forget . . . For Nate Dean, love is a four-letter word. As part of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be ruthless soldiers with an expiration date. They were loyal only to one another . . . until Nate laid eyes on the woman who stole his heart and blew his world apart. Now, years later, his family is still paying the price for his mistake. But as time runs out, there's only one person who can save his family: the very woman Nate swore he'd never trust again.

A love she couldn't deny . . . 
The moment Audrey Madison spies Nate across a crowded ballroom, she can barely breathe. He's just as undeniably sexy as she remembers, yet there's an edge to him now that's as irresistible as it is dangerous. When he asks for her help, Audrey can't refuse. But she has secrets of her own--secrets that, if Nate ever discovers them, may cost them both their lives . . .

Buy Links:

About the author:
New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner - only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She is a member of RWA, has won awards for her works throughout the industry, and has a journalism degree with a poly sci emphasis from Pepperdine University as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho.

Growing up amid the glorious backdrops and winter wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest has given Rebecca fantastic scenery and adventures to weave into her stories. She resides in the wild north with her husband, children, and extended family who inspire her every day-or at the very least give her plenty of characters to write about.

Social Media Links:

“Let’s dance.” He turned her toward the dance floor.
She balked. “No.” God. She couldn’t dance with him, couldn’t be touched by him.
“Yes.” His hold slid down to the back of her elbow, and he ushered her toward where the orchestra was playing “I Will Wait for You” by Michel Legrand. The warmth in Nate’s touch flared her nerves to life in an erotic need she’d worked hard to overcome.
“Nate—”
“Shhh.”  He tightened his hold and drew her into an impressive erection.
She gasped, her face heating, her sex convulsing. Blinking, she glanced up in confusion to see if he was as affected as she was and stilled at the look in his eyes.
Furious. The man was truly furious. Even with the contacts masking his eyes, his anger shone bright.
She tried to step back and didn’t move. Yeah, she knew she’d hurt him when she’d ended their relationship, but after nearly five years, he shouldn’t still be so mad. He’d had freedom for five years, which was a hell of a lot better than she’d had. She’d had pain and fear and uncertainty. She blinked. “What is wrong with you?”
His impossibly hard jaw somehow hardened even more. “Oh, we’ll discuss that shortly.” Threat lived strongly in the calm words. “For now, we’re going to finish this dance. Then you’ll take the north exit and meet me in my car so we can talk.”
“If I don’t?” she asked quietly, wings fluttering through her abdomen.
His hold tightened imperceptibly. “I know where you live, I know your daily routine in working for Senator Nash, and I know where you go when you need time alone. You can’t hide, you can’t outrun me—and you know it.”
The hairs on the back of her neck rose. “How long have you been watching me?” More importantly, why hadn’t she noticed?
“A week.  Long enough to know the two apes toward the doorway are following you, too.  What’s up with that?”  His hold tightened just enough to show his strength.
She shrugged.  “They haven’t made a move, so I’m not worrying about it.”  Not true, and by the narrowing of Nate’s eyes, he could still smell a lie a mile away.  “The commander is having me followed.”
Nate’s jaw clenched.  “Why?”
“Dunno.”  They didn’t have time to discuss it.  “You should go now.”
“No.” He spun her, easily controlling their movements.
Her leg hitched, and she stumbled against him.
He frowned. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing.” None of his damn business, that was. “What do you want to talk about?”
His gaze narrowed, and he spun her again. She tripped again. Her damn leg didn’t move that way.  She glanced toward the doorway and the two soldiers watching her.  They’d straightened to alert stances.  Damn it.
“What’s wrong with your leg?” Nate asked, brows furrowing.
Oh, they were so not going into her injuries on the dance floor. “You almost sound like you care.” She threw his words back at him, gratified when his nostrils flared in irritation.
His gaze probed deep, wandering down her neck. He blinked several times, his chest moving with a harsh intake of breath. “I like your dress,” he rumbled, his voice a low whisper.
With his tight hold, she had no doubt the tops of her breasts were visible. “Nathan, don’t—”
“Don’t what?” His gaze rose to her lips. A light of a different sort filtered through his angry eyes. She knew that look. Her body heated and her thighs softened. His erection jumped against her, and she bit down a groan.
“One kiss, Audrey.”
Her eyes widened to let in more light. “No,” she breathed. One of his hands held hers, the other pressed against her back. Thank goodness. He couldn’t grab her and kiss her, no matter how appealing the thought. “Bad idea.”
“I know.” Nate didn’t need hands. His lips met hers so quickly, she never saw him move.
His mouth covered hers with no hesitancy, no question—as if he had every right to go deep. His tongue was savage and demanding, holding nothing back and accepting no evasion. He tasted of loneliness, anger, and lust. Hard, needy, demanding lust.
The men at the door were watching.
But her body didn’t care—instantly igniting instead of pushing away.  Her heart thundered in her ears, and she fell into his heat, uncaring of whether or not he caught her. He wrapped around her, his unyielding body holding her upright. He caressed her with his tongue, and she met him thrust for thrust, fierce pleasure lighting her on fire.
She forgot where they were, who they were, everything but the desperate need he created.
He broke the kiss, blatant male hunger crossing his face. His breath panted out even as he moved them in tune with the music.
She softened against him, allowing him to lead so she didn’t collapse. Her mind whirled, and she shook her head to regain reality. “Nathan, what do you want?” The question emerged as a breathless plea she couldn’t mask.

That quickly, all hints of desire slid from his face. His chin hardened. “Want? I want to know what happened to the child you were carrying five years ago when you ripped out my heart. Where’s my baby, Audrey?”





Here's the repost of my review that I posted when the ebook was released...

My Review:
A ratingI really love the Dean boys and the whole premise behind this series. Four brothers who were raised in the lab to be nothing more than trained killers, but through the support and strength they found in each other, they become wonderful, loving, caring, protective men. And wow...they are protective...of each other and the women who come into their lives. 

This book is about Nate...one of the most over-protective of the brothers. And Audrey...the daughter of one of the monstrous women who created these men and the environment they grew up in. These two characters actually have a lot in common. For Nate, he never had a family besides his brothers. But Audrey never had anyone and they both desperately long for the sense of love and security that comes from family. But their lives have been constantly shredded and torn apart by those very ties that they desire. To protect, they sacrifice the family they both want so much...each other. I loved that underlying story because it shows the incredible amount of love that the two share. 

There's a HUGE twist in the story. Well, actually there are several of them, but there is one that I simply did not see coming. I expected something along that line, but the way that the author wrote it was so twisted and unexpected...it was a great shocker just in the fact that I was gasping when it came out. I love a book that literally makes me gasp out loud. 

I loved Nate and Audrey. They're both incredibly strong characters simply in the fact that they've had no choice in the matter. As the reader, you can see how much they need and love each other, and for me, that just made me root for them all the more. 

I've adored this series. I love the brothers and the bonds that they share. Every single book in it has been one for my print keeper shelf and I pre-order the print books months in advance of them coming out. This is romantic/military suspense at its finest and I'm going to be sad when the series is over. The Dean brothers have been incredible to read. You could read any of them as stand-alones, but I highly recommend that you read the entire series. I don't think you will regret it. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Too Hot To Handle by Katie Rose


Title: Too Hot to Handle
Author: Katie Rose
My Rating: A-


Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: The Boys of Summer #2
Main Characters: Nikki and Jake
Release Date: January 2015
Publisher: Loveswept
Links to Purchase:


Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Katie Rose’s Boys of Summer series returns for a delicious double-header—with the story of total opposites who are drawn to each other like moths to a flame.
 
Nikki Case is no fan of baseball. Her ex gambled away a fortune on the sport, and now her PR firm has tasked her with cleaning up the league’s most notorious bad boys. The New Jersey Sonics are known for wild womanizing and booze-fueled brawls, so Nikki expects the worst. Her first stop in the battle to win hearts and minds is star hitter Jake Baldwin—a legendary ladies man so smokin’ he threatens to melt her tough-girl armor.
 
Although his teammates prank her without mercy, Jake admires the way Nikki gives as good as she gets. She may be the queen of frost, but there’s kindling beneath those sultry curves—and he’s just the man to ignite it. But when a PR nightmare lands the Sonics in headlines across the country, Nikki is ready to walk. Only then does Jake realize how important she is to the Sonics’ success—and that winning the love of a good woman is no game.
 
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from other Loveswept titles.
My Review:
I don't think you can talk about this book without first talking about the Sonics as a team. They're a pro baseball team from Jersey. And like any pro team from Jersey would be, they're more than a little rough around the edges. As a result, they don't get the best press or the benefit of the doubt when it comes to controversial calls or fines. The owners have decided to change all that by bringing in a new PR rep to change the reputation of the team...Nikki. She has an uphill battle because these guys don't want to change anything about the way they do business and she's decided to switch everything up. They aren't happy with her.

Jake is the shortstop for the team and the unofficial team leader. Where he goes, the team follows. The day Nikki shows up slinging out new rules and ideals, he was late so he has no idea what's going on. Before he knows it, he's agreed to a bet with the team that he can win her over and have her fall in love with him. You know that this isn't going to go anyplace good in the long run. BUT the book is so much more than that and I found myself absolutely charmed by the story line, the guys, and fell in love with Nikki and Jake. 

This book has a slow build with Nikki and the team which I loved. They flat out hate and despise her, but slowly she earns their respect. And that was vital in the way that the story played out. No spoilers, but I just have to say that I loved the team's reaction to when things went bad. Seriously heartwarming. This is a team known for their pranks and they are constantly doing something truly awful to her. I loved how she withstood the pressure and constant mortification. She makes for a great heroine. 

Then there's Jake...this guy. Most the time I loved him, but there were several times I wanted to bean him on the side of the head. Idiot...seriously. There are times when he is just such a man. Ugh. But he's truly a man with a good heart and that came out over and over and over again throughout the story. 

I enjoy sports themed stories and this was a really good one. I liked the Sonics as a team and definitely want to read more of this series. I need to go find book #1, but will definitely keep up with coming releases too. It's one of those that's simply fun to read and set in the gorgeous eye-candy of baseball...it's all good!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Second Lie by Anna Richland

Title: The Second Lie
Author: Anna Richland
My Rating: B

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: Immortal Vikings #2
Main Characters: Christina and Stig
Release Date: January 2015
Publisher: Carina Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy


Story Overview:
A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.

To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.

A man in love with a good plan.

Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.

Secrets that turn deadly.

By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.

Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?

My Review:
I'll admit...I floundered a bit with this book and I hate that because I've adored the other two Anna Richland books that I've read. And in an effort of full disclosure, I need to also state that I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book which had a formatting problem. I'm sure this is NOT a problem in the final e-book, but the issue was... there was no way to see the scene breaks within the chapters to switch to another POV or timeframe in the story. And this is a book that jumps around a lot...both in POV and time-frame points of reference. As the reader, it made it virtually impossible to follow along this complex story line. That was NO FAULT of the author's and since this was an ARC, my rating doesn't reflect that issue...but I do think it may have had an influence over my overall enjoyment of the story.

This is a very complex story line. Both the hero and the heroine are telling and living lies. The hero is flat-out a thief and con-artist. The heroine is trying to make the best of a bad situation. But then she gets caught up in Stig's lies too and things go from bad to worse. 

The premise of this series is brilliant. It goes back to the story of Beowulf and Grendel. The vikings who were there during that epic battle are now immortal after touching the tainted blood that was spilled. But unlike most paranormal stories with a group of men who fought together and ended up in a bizarre circumstance like this, this author took a different tack...her immortals do not work together. After 1500 years, they only call on one another unless absolutely needed...and several of them are simply not nice guys.

But Stig has also lived 1500 years and that's a lot of history. Within this story there are flashbacks to the time of Beowulf, the Titanic sinking, and WWII and that does complicate the story a bit especially when teemed with the fact that the author uses multiple POV's throughout the story...not just the hero and heroine.

At the heart of the story though is Christina. She also has a complex life. She runs a wine acquisitions firm working for a CEO that she made up. She made him up because a young female in the wine business simply just does not have the respect to make it. She comes to London to stop an auction full of fake wines and is surprised to find her "boss" on the premises schmoozing the customers.

I loved everything about this aspect of the story line. I thought the wine auction was interesting. What Stig was trying to pull off was brilliant, but Christina is too smart for him. I loved the story when it was the two of them together. Their conflict felt genuine and loved how they definitely matched wits over and over again. I could have truly loved this book if that was all there had been to it...the wine conspiracy story line. 

But when the story involved the other vikings and the two village men, it went off the rails for me. Like I said, I'm not sure all that is the author's fault, but there did seem to be a bit too much going on in this book and the multiple "other" POV's...just no. I only care about what the hero and heroine are thinking. That's definitely a personal preference, but every time we went into someone else's head, it took me completely out of the story.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cover Reveal: Naughty Beach Fling by Mia Dee


My first erotica cover! Well, Mia Dee's cover. 

Anyone that's followed the blog here knows that I'm a Mia Downing fan. Mia Downing writes erotic romantic suspense. But now she's delving into the straight erotica world as Mia Dee.

(I'll give you a hint...I got to read an ARC of this book and OMG, it's sizzling hot. But not in a skanky way...it's just pure sexiness and I loved it.)

What do you think?



Cover by Designed by D 


Naughty Beach Fling (#1 Are You Watching?)

Blurb for Naughty Beach Fling...
Wendy Anderson’s good girl halo tarnishes in a big way when she discovers a few secrets about her husband’s sexy best friend, Travis Smith. Back in college, Travis made porn films to make ends meet. More surprising, her husband, Justin, used to film them and act as director. While on vacation, Wendy’s imagination goes wild and she can’t help but wonder if the two guys will indulge in some naughty beach fun.

Coming Soon!


Who is Mia Dee???



Shh… Mia Dee is the naughty pen name for erotic romance author Mia Downing. She’s always wanted to bridge over into some naughtier, feistier stories that explore sexual fantasies and situations without the standard romance formula from start to finish. If you enjoy erotica, then this is the place for you!