Monday, September 1, 2014

Bold by Garrett Leigh


Title: Bold
Author: Garrett Leigh
My Rating: B


Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Blue Boy Studio #3
Main Characters: Kai and Matthew
Release Date: August 2014
Publisher: Loose ID
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic


Story Overview:
Dancer Kai is the sweetheart of Blue Boy Studio. Cute and petite, he’s the slender bottom every top loves to pound. But nothing is ever quite as it seems, and beneath his golden curls and giggles lies something else…an edge no one can quite put their finger on.

Is Kai bored? Or does he crave something more?

Blue Boy Studio is under new ownership. Veteran porn star Jude has seen it all before, and with the help of Kai’s mentor, Cam, they figure Kai needs a change. Enter Matthew, a fellow dancer and the newbie on the block.

Kai isn’t impressed. Matthew is hot, but Jude and Cam’s plans seem beyond his reach. Can Kai really do…that? He doesn’t believe it, but with Matthew along for the ride, it’s time to be bold and find out.

My Review:
Warning: this review may contain bits that could be construed as spoilers, but I tried to talk about them in vague terms of the events that happened in the book, not the outcome to those events.

I've enjoyed this series about the male porn stars and club dancers and this book had some great possibilities. Kai has been a staple of the series, but he's gotten bored and wants to explore something more in his films. That right there was a great set-up which leads him to Matthew, but there were several other things happening in the story that were also great story lines...Cam's cancer and treatment, the hate attack at the club, the new management at Blue Boy Studios and everyone trying to find their way, Kai's testing the waters into BDSM, Sonny's bizarre behavior, the bad roommate situation Kai is in, and then Matthew and Kai's relationship. They were all good story elements separately and I liked all the aspects of each of them. But over all the book, it was just too much and I felt like the book lost it's focus. It felt a little too scattered. It either needed to be a much longer book or some of the side story lines needed to be cut out of it.

But I did enjoy Kai...and I liked the heat he had with Matthew and the new twist with their relationship. I wish there had been a bit more exploration in what they both enjoyed. 

There were several story lines that really felt like they weren't concluded. Who did the attack at the club? Will there be more? What happens now after the earthquake? What's going on with Sonny? There was also a lot of unhappiness and unsettled feelings from the couples from the other two books.

This was one of those books...while I read it, I enjoyed it and liked all the levels of action and emotion to it. But after I finished, it just left me with a bit of a hollow feeling that it wasn't quite finished or written right. But the series has been good, so I'm hoping that this was just a fluke with this one book.  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tease Me, Cowboy by Rachael Johns


Title: Tease Me, Cowboy
Author: Rachael Johns
My Rating: B


Genre: Contemporary Romace
Series: -
Main Characters: Selah and Levi
Release Date: August 2014
Publisher: Montana Born Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy


Story Overview:
Selah Davis loves her life as a journalist in Seattle (or so she says) but on a rare trip home to Marietta to cover the Copper Mountain Rodeo, she confesses to her best friends over drinks that her one regret in life is not sleeping with her high school boyfriend, Levi Monroe. Into the bar walks Levi, also home for the rodeo. When her friends dare her to proposition him for a one night stand, she’s at first appalled… but the more she thinks about remedying her one regret, the less she can get him and their electric chemistry out of her head. Selah’s always been her parents’ good daughter. Would it hurt just for one night to be a little bit bad?

Levi Monroe is ready to settle back in Marietta and start his own rodeo school teaching others the techniques that have made him a star. He doesn’t want any distractions during his last rodeo where he aims to win All Around Cowboy, but when his high school sweetheart – the one woman he’s never been able to forget – comes along and offers to rewrite their history, it might just be an offer too good to refuse.

My Review:
A lot can happen and change over the course of a weekend. This book is a quick little read about former high school sweethearts, Selah and Levi. They haven't seen one another since high school but for Selah, Levi is her one regret. She wishes that he had been the one she gave her virginity to so many years ago. Levi has his own regrets about Selah, but just in that she was the one he let get away. The book takes place 10 years later as they are both in their old hometown for the rodeo. 

Overall this is a sweet little novella. Levi is on the verge of changing his life and moving back home. On the surface, Selah is living the perfect life, but has moments where she questions why she's still working a job that isn't as fulfilling as she'd hoped. She can't change much about the job, but decides that she can change something about her regrets of the past and decides to proposition Levi. The story flows from there. For the most part, I did enjoy the book and liked the two main characters. I liked and found the whole story line of Selah's one regret very believable since I have a similar regret. I liked that aspect of it. 

I will admit though...There was a single action by the hero in the middle of the book that really kind of threw me. It was really immature and it definitely hurt my overall impression of both the book and the hero. Luckily things got back on course after that, and I enjoyed the rest of the book. But I wish that hadn't happened. I would have been much happier with the story without that event. 

It was see these two get a second chance at love and I liked the way the author worked it all out for them. It sounds like there are a whole series of these books. This one works completely as a stand-alone, but it did make me curious about the other stories. Montana cowboys? Heck yeah!

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Devil in Denim by Melanie Scott


Title: The Devil in Denim
Author: Melanie Scott
My Rating: A


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: New York Saints #1
Main Characters: Maggie and Alex
Release Date: August 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot



Story Overview:
Life Just Threw Her A Curveball.

As the team-owner’s daughter, Maggie Jameson grew up in the New York Saints’ stadium—glove, cap, hot dogs, and all. Baseball’s in her blood, and she’s always dreamed of the day when she would lead the Saints to victory herself. That was before her dad had to sell the team to Alex Winters. The fast-talking, fiercely attractive businessman has a baseball pedigree that’s distinctly minor league. Maggie wants to hate him but his skills of seduction, however, are off the charts.

Will Love Be A Home Run?
Alex could never have imagined how much this team means to Maggie. He needs her to help show the players that they’re still a family…even if he and Maggie are at the verge of exchanging blows. But her fiery determination and gorgeous looks prove irresistible to Alex. And much as he wants to relegate their relationship to the playing field—and get the Saints back in the game—Alex just can’t help himself: What he wants to win most is Maggie’s heart…
My Review:
I'll be honest, this is one of those books that I probably never would have noticed without that incredible cover. Several months ago, I spotted it on Amazon and when I saw that it was a sports-themed book, I pre-ordered a print copy on the spot. I've never read this author, but the combination of that gorgeous cover and baseball convinced me. Fast-forward about a month...and the author had ARC's of this book at RWA. Even though I'd pre-ordered it already, I snatched it up...hoping that it would be a good one to review. 

It wasn't a good one...it was a GREAT ONE! OMG, I loved this book...not only is it pretty, but damn, the story is really good too!

Maggie literally grew up with the Saints, a third NYC baseball team that her father owns in this fictional world. She grew up with the team and always knew that someday she'd take over for her father. So, it's a huge surprise for her that right after she graduates from college that her dad has decided to sell the team to the trio of Alex, Mal, and Lucas. 

Alex, Mal, and Lucas have a long history behind them. They played baseball together in college, until a horrible tragedy took the game away from them. Since then, they've left the game, but all three have become highly successful businessmen. They want the Saints and the owner has accepted their offer, but in major league sports, it's not that easy. They need the owners to agree to the sale and that requires the aid of Saint Maggie...the girl who grew up as the darling of baseball. 

There is a lot going on in this story. Not only is the team trying to adjust to the change in ownership, but the new owners are getting their feet wet, too...both with the team and the union. Maggie is not happy with the change in circumstances, but she can't do anything about it. The Saints are still her family and she wants to do everything she can to keep them intact, so she just sucks it up. But complicating that is her love/hate chemistry with Alex. She wants to hate him for what he's taken from her, but the more she works with him and his partners, the more she respects them all. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea to sleep with him...he's her new boss. And then just as they are all settling into their roles, everything changes. Wow...

Loved, loved, LOVED this book. It had everything....a great story, sexy hunky trio of guys, an off the charts sizzling romance, and tons of emotion tying it all together. The book starts off with a bang and I didn't want to put it down the rest of the way through. It's high-drama and high-suspense...just in that the story is so good and so riveting. I HIGHLY recommend it and can't wait for book #2, The Angel in Armani coming out in January. My only question now is who is the hero of that book...Mal or Lucas? Either way, I can't wait!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but I pre-ordered a copy of it, too...so I really am just a reader/fangirl.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

His Secret Superheroine by Patricia Eimer


Title: His Secret Superheroine 
Author: Patricia Eimer
My Rating: A-

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: St. Louis Superheroes #1
Main Characters: Peyton and Dylan
Release Date: August 2014
Publisher: Entangled Covet
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild




Story Overview:
All kindergarten teacher Peyton Pearson wants is a nice, quiet life. Unfortunately, quiet isn't something she's had a lot of after tainted medicine turns her into a superhero. She's single, and saving the city from criminals—which is increasingly dangerous as the anti-superhero movement in St. Louis gains traction. Then there's her hot next door neighbor who makes her think super-dirty thoughts, and has no idea who she really is. 

Police officer Dylan Wilson is trying to make the world safe by working to unmask all superheroes. When his sexy neighbor, Peyton, is evicted, Dylan offers her his spare room, unknowingly opening his home—and his heart—to the city's most reluctant superhero.

Can love survive when the masks come off?

My Review:
I've read and loved Patricia Eimer's Speak of the Devil series, so when I saw that she was starting up a superhero series, I was ready to grab it. This is a fabulous start to that series.

In this world, set in St. Louis...yay, there is controversy over the superheroes. Not everyone thinks they are a good thing and when a superhero goes wrong, who's going to stop them? They have super-powers. As a result, most the superheroes are trying to stay VERY low-key. All except for Peyton's ex...who is loving the adoration and doesn't care if he's risking the other supers out there, like Peyton. 

Unfortunately, Peyton lives across the street from a cop, an extremely sexy cop...Dylan, who is part of the organization who thinks all the supers should be "outed" for the public's safety. Of course, he has no idea that Peyton is a super, even though they are close friends...the kind of close friends who move in together when she gets evicted from her rental just because she used to be married to a super and thus must be a sympathizer. Of course, you know her secret is going to come out.

I really enjoyed the book. It's a creative world and isn't over the top at all. The supers are all normal people trying to make a living. Peyton is a kindergarten teacher and the counselor at her school is her sidekick. The conflict was totally believable and I enjoyed all the action in the story. At the end, I sighed a great big "aww" over Dylan and his worries over Peyton even though they are 'past' that point in their relationship. I liked the side story of Dylan's daughter, Liza, and how it all tied into Peyton's job. 

Once I started the book, I had a really hard time putting it down. It was definitely a good one and I look forward to more in the series. 

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Betting on Julia by Nina Croft

Title: Betting on Julia
Author: Nina Croft
My Rating: A


Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Melville Sisters #2
Main Characters: Julia and Bastion
Release Date: August 2014
Publisher: Entangled
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic


Story Overview:
Small, blonde, bubbly, and with a penchant for all things pink, Julia Melville has always considered herself a nice girl – until she was attacked by a werewolf. Months later, and still in total denial, Julia spends the time between full moons fantasizing that her life is normal. And who could be better to help her with that than her new neighbor, handsome accountant, Sebastian Crane.

For two hundred years, Sebastian, a powerful warlock, has been possessed by a demon. Each day, his soul grows darker, and he knows that soon he will be beyond salvation. But the demon loves to gamble, and he’s made Bastian one final bet—get a good woman to say the words “I love you” and he’ll be free.

Julia wants a normal guy. Bastian needs a good woman. Maybe together they can find something far more valuable…redemption.

My Review:
I really, really enjoyed this book. Everything about it...from Bastion and his push/pull with his demon, Dante...to Julia who has a hate/hate relationship with her wolf that she calls Thing through most the book. I enjoyed how the author created their other sides as separate entities...and both of them are truly at battle within against them, while hiding their existence. It created a fun story with a wonderful amount of conflict to really amp up the suspense of how it was all going to work out. 

Julia is a girly girly. Her favorite color is pink and she tends to wear fuzzy pink sweater sets. She is everything the complete opposite of a werewolf, so she's having a bit of trouble reconciling her new status since her change six months before. In fact, she's decided to just try to ignore the issue. 

Bastion has been living with his demon for 200 years and every day the demon is getting stronger. Bastion is well aware that he's in danger of losing himself. But the demon can't resist a bet and the two of them have entertained themselves for years placing wagers between them...that's usually the only way Bastion gets moments of peace...when he wins some free time where Dante isn't allowed to make himself known within Bastion's head. So when Dante offers a bet to abandon Bastion forever, Bastion can't pass it up...even if it means that the outcome will be to break an innocent girl's heart. He has to get her to fall in love with him. What he should realize though is that he's dealing with a demon...all isn't as it seems. 

LOVED this book. Everything about the story line worked for me and it was scorching hot too. Julia may look innocent, but she hides the soul of a true vixen and I loved that about the story. Warning: there are touches of BDSM in this one so be prepared if you have issues with that. I loved the demon/warlock aspect, but adored the wolf pack drama that continued in this one from book #1. I liked that book too, but something about this one...the political climate in the pack with Julia's relationship with her big brother, Daniel, who's the new alpha...I just really enjoyed it...a LOT. You definitely don't need to read book #1 to enjoy this one. It stands alone beautifully. But I do HIGHLY recommend you pick up this one...it's so good!

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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It's in His Kiss by Jill Shalvis

Title: It's in His Kiss 
Author: Jill Shalvis
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Lucky Harbor #10
Main Characters: Becca and Sam
Release Date: August 2014
Publisher: Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot


Story Overview:
ONE KISS CAN LAST FOREVERBecca Thorpe has uprooted her life and escaped to the beach. Now's her chance to get away from city living, throw caution to the ocean winds, and live in the moment. Especially if the moment includes the deliciously sexy surfer she meets shortly after arriving in Lucky Harbor. Something about the dark intensity of Sam's eyes and the thrill she gets at his touch convinces her to stay awhile.

Boatbuilder and investment genius Sam Brody is a self-made man who knows how dangerous it can be to mix business and pleasure. But he can't resist offering Becca a job just to hear her laugh and have her near. Yet when her brother comes to town asking for help, will he tempt her back to her glamorous life in the city? Or do Sam and little Lucky Harbor have a chance to win Becca's heart?


My Review:
The Lucky Harbor series is one that I've loved, but it's hard to believe that it's already on book #10. With this book, we are introduced to a new crew of three hunky, gorgeous, sexy guys...the owners of a boat charter service in Lucky Harbor: Sam, Tanner, and Cole. 

These three guys met when they all worked on an offshore drilling rig. There had been a fourth to their group, but he died in a drilling accident that also left Tanner hurt.  They knew they needed to do something else with their lives so they all trusted Sam with investing and they eventually saved enough to start the boat chartering company. The guys talents compliment each other perfectly to run the company, but none of them are good with the front-office stuff. They need an administrator and that's where Becca comes in.

Becca is new to Lucky Harbor and just moved into a converted loft in the warehouse across from the charter boat business. Her life is a mess as she seems to be running from "something", but the eye candy out her front window helps to make up for it. I loved how much time she (and neighbor, Olivia) spent ogling the guys out the front windows...LOL. Becca is floundering. As a talented pianist, she has debilitating stage fright so she can't go back to that. There's also something "more" to her background story with her piano playing and her brother that is a mystery throughout most the story. It's obvious early on though that it's something that she has no plans to return to. 

Sam and Becca are hot together and I loved that there wasn't the push/pull of their sexual tension throughout most the book. They hook up pretty quickly and I liked that. But then that complicates things when she goes to work for him. I loved her for her honesty though. This isn't a girl who pulls her punches and she's constantly telling Sam like it is. There are a lot of questions for both these characters about each other and loved the tit for tat relationship they had. Neither really wants to share their background, but they manage to make it work. I love how alpha and protective that Sam is and I enjoyed the musical touches that added to the story through Becca.

There was that overall mystery to what happened to Becca before that sent her fleeing. Something about that story line just lacked that extra 'umph' when it was all revealed. I was a little disappointed in that part after the build-up, but overall that didn't affect how much I liked the book. I just wish it had been a bit more.

Overall, this was a pretty good installment to the series. It wasn't my favorite in the series, but it was still a fun and entertaining read.  I liked the set-up with the guys, the charter service, and the apartment lofts. I'm definitely excited to read the other two guys stories. 

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

The Homecoming by Robyn Carr

Title: The Homecoming
Author: Robyn Carr
My Rating: A-


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Thunder Point #6
Main Characters: Seth and Iris
Release Date: August 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy


Story Overview:
In a small town, reputation is everything. In her latest novel, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr explores the burden placed on a young man returning home to face his mistakes—the first step in claiming the life he was meant to live ... 

At the age of nineteen, Seth Sileski had everything. A superb athlete and scholar, handsome and popular, he was the pride of Thunder Point. Destined for greatness, he lost it all in a terrible accident that put an end to his professional football career when it had barely begun. The people in his hometown have never forgotten what might have been. 

Seth has come to terms with the turns his life has taken. But now he's been presented with an opportunity to return home and show his father—and the people of Thunder Point—he's become a better, humbler version of his former self. 

Winning over his father isn't the only challenge. Seth must also find a way to convince his childhood neighbor and best friend, Iris McKinley, to forgive him for breaking her heart. With his homecoming, will Seth be able to convince the town, his family and especially Iris that he's finally ready to be the man who will make them all proud?

My Review:
I think that this has been my favorite book in this series so far. I really liked this one!

Seth has come home for two reasons...
1. To find some way to connect with his father who has never forgiven him for losing his chances at his NFL career.
2. To reconnect with his childhood and adolescent best friend, Iris. They had a disagreement their senior year in high school over the prom and things have never been the same between them since, even though they were best friends since the age of four. 

Everything about the backstory in this one worked for me. Seth was king as a teenager. He literally had life by the balls...fabulous football player and charming with great looks. The problem...he was a teenager so he had the lack of maturity that went along with all that too. Ultimately that cost him a whole heck of a lot, but he's older now and has definitely learned from his mistakes.

One of those mistakes was Iris and unfortunately, Seth has no clue the depth of what he really did on that night before prom...he was drunk and doesn't remember. But Iris wasn't drunk and she can't forgive or forget the fact that she was the only one putting forth an effort in their very one-sided relationship. That night was the final straw for her. 

This book is all about second chances and making things right after everything goes completely wrong. Like I said before, everything about the back stories here worked for me. Seth is the character with the huge emotional character arc on this one, but a lot of that growth happened before the book ever started. He is so conscious of how he screwed everything up when he was younger. He only wants to fix that. There is so much to admire about this guy...his relationship and support of Oliver, his entire career choice which was never easy after his injury, his realization that he's never had a woman affect him like Iris and he knows that's something precious that he threw away. 

But Iris isn't a pushover. She knows that her heart is in jeopardy when it comes to Seth. Her feelings for him, no matter how mad or hurt she was, have never completely dissolved. I definitely felt for her as she was just trying to protect her heart from shattering again...even in the midst of their rekindling friendship. I also love how up-front she is about everything...even though it can be humiliating. She's not afraid to put herself out there as long as it involves complete honesty.

There's also several side stories going on that I also really enjoyed...the high school abuse, Troy's crush on Iris. I'm hoping Troy and Grace connect eventually. I love Troy and think there's so much more to him that hasn't been revealed yet. 

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