Friday, February 12, 2016

When Was the Last Time by Kelly Jensen

Title: When Was the Last Time
Author: Kelly Jensen 
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters: Evan and Paul
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Paul Summerfield is stunned by the gentle reminder it has been over a year since he and his partner, Evan Akkerman, have made love. He vows to take Evan out for Valentine’s Day. Dinner and sex. Lots of sex. There’s only one catch—he’s supposed to be in San Francisco that week cataloging the art collection of an important new client. No problem, he’ll just change his schedule and cut his trip short by a day.

In San Francisco, Paul struggles with regrets and the fear his love is slipping away from him. Every call to Evan seems only to prove the distance between them is increasing. All this, and a key piece of his client’s catalog is caught up in customs. To keep their Valentine’s date, Paul will have to choose between the career he’s built over fifteen years and the man he’s loved for just as long.


My Review:

Romance novels are amazing for reminding the reader about that excitement and thrill that comes from first falling in love, but this isn't that book. No, this book has a much better reminder. This book is for the person who's been in love for years...as a reminder to appreciate what you have, who you have in your life. When was the last time...you kissed passionately? ...said I love you? ...appreciated the touch of a hand?

This book is all about the love that's there in your life, year after year, and how easy it is to take that for granted. That's what's happened for Paul. He has a fairly new business that's kept him crazy busy for the last few years as he's built it and traveled non-stop to make it a success. That's worked for him, but it's been at the cost of his long-term boyfriend, Evan. Paul doesn't even realize it's been over a year since they had sex since Evan mentioned it. But ever since that moment, Paul's been taking the time to realize just what a lousy partner he's been. He's taken Evan for granted and now with the threat that Evan might be unhappy with that, Paul begins to truly appreciate what he has. 

I'll admit this book really spoke to me. I've been married for 23+ years, and so much of what Paul is thinking felt SO familiar. This is an amazing book...just to remind the reader to stop, enjoy the romance in YOUR life. I thought it was phenomenal and truly enjoyed reading it. Then I went and had a nice cuddle with my hubby...because it's so easy to lose that appreciation. 

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

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hiding in Plain Sight by Angela Evans


Title: Hiding in Plain Sight
Author: Angela Evans
My Rating: B+

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Hidden Dangers
Main Characters:Kierra and Bryan
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Evernight
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic


Back Cover Blurb:
Kierra Centerand was once vivacious and outgoing, that all changed the night her stepfather killed her family in an explosion that authorities wrote off as an accident. Now, ten years later Kierra has returned to the small town of Briarview to find answers, confront her demons, and see if she can finally move on with her life. Not much has changed, Briarview is still the quaint, charming, small town Kierra left behind. Only now her high school boyfriend is the sheriff, and her stepfather is somewhere in the town, hiding in plain sight. 

When Bryan Donaldson sees Kierra again for the first time he is surprised, she’s no longer the fun blonde he remembers, but rather she’s shy, prone to panic attacks, and hiding from the world. When Kierra’s stepfather starts making threats, Bryan is determined to keep her safe in his arms, and in his bed, for life.

My Review:
Oooh, I think I have a new romantic suspense author to follow. This was a good book. Confession time...I love second chance at love stories and this was a REALLY good one. 

Okay, so the premise..one night when they were teenagers, Bryan and Kierra had the perfect night making out in the back of his truck at a party. She went home...on cloud nine...and arrived just in time to watch her grandparents house explode with everyone she loved inside it. After that she got caught up in the foster care system and never saw Bryan again. 

In the book, it's ten years later and Kierra is back in this small town to prove that her stepfather murdered her family. Bryan is now the sheriff and willing to revisit all that chemistry that is still there between them. And then the book takes off from there...because Kierra's stepfather is still out there and sees his chance at the girl he didn't get the first time. *cue threatening music here*

But seriously, this was a really good read. It's not super-long, but it's plenty long enough to experience the great chemistry between Bryan and Kierra. That night was the best and worst of Kierra's life and it left deep scars. She is not the same person as that 16 year old girl Bryan knew, but slowly she starts to evolve and come out of her shell...which I loved, but it also terrified me that when her stepfather did attack that she would lose all that forward progression she made. I won't say anything else about that because I don't want to spoil anything, but I love how strong of a character Kierra is even when she doesn't see it...at all. 

When she left she was terrified. She spent the last ten years learning how to fight and stand up for herself and when it counts, all that training came through. I really did love her. 

The set-up of the story is great, but I also loved the small town the story is set in. It truly becomes its own character and personality, especially in how it evolves in Kierra's viewpoint. 

Overall this was just a really well-done romantic suspense. I definitely recommend it. 

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

Cover Reveal: My Sweet Isabella by Mia Villano


¸.•*¨☆¸.•*´¨ 
☆¸.•´.COVER REVEAL

Title: My Sweet Isabella
Author: Mia Villano
Release Date: TBA

Blurb:

Life changes in a blink of an eye. One minute I was on top of the world. I was the French Ambassador, confident, and ready to marry the woman of my dreams. The next minute I was fighting for my life in a French hospital. I wasn’t supposed to live, but I did. I made it and came back stronger than ever. However, there was a price to pay for living. A price that nearly killed me again. In order to keep Isabella safe I had to let her go. In order to let her go I had to die inside. Without her my will to live was gone. I had to find the strength inside myself to rise above the pain and fight like hell for the one thing in life that made me whole. Could I do it? Would she come back to me? Did she still need me? Could we find the love again that held us both together? My Sweet Isabella is the final chapter in the Ambassador Trilogy.



Read the first two in the series for 99 cents!

The Ambassador and Me: An Unlikely Love Story

Paris: The Ambassador and Me: Part Deux


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Future Perfect by Kelly Apple


Title: Future Perfect
Author: Kelly Apple
My Rating: B+

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance 
Series: Pinnacle Point #3
Main Characters: Logan and Jenna-Lynn
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: 
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Three years ago, Logan Harker quit his job and moved sight unseen to Pinnacle Point. With his cousins living there already, it seemed like a no-brainer.

Somewhere along the way, the no-brainer turned into a WTF?!? With one cousin now haunting the local hotel and the other a sex-crazed zombie, Logan’s wondering if it’s time to hang up his pocket protector and get out of Dodge. He’s all set to turn in his resignation when a new project crosses his desk. Unable to resist, Logan throws himself whole-heartedly into one last, mind-bendingly complex algorithm.

Given he’s planning on leaving, Logan doesn’t expect to see any results. When he comes face to face with a future version of himself it’s a shock. Finding out he’s a bona-fide sex machine in the future blows his mind. Having his future-self lure an intern into a threesome with him is beyond believable.

Faced with the incontrovertible truth of his perfect future self, Logan has to decide if leaving Pinnacle Point without exploring all the possibilities it has to offer is something he’s willing to do. Throwing away this potential future seems downright wrong to his mathematical mind.

And Logan is nothing if not thorough about his calculations.

Warning: This book contains a threesome. Kind of. I mean, is it really a threesome if two of the people are the same person? You’ll have to decide that on your own.
 

My Review:
The premise of this book kills me...I love it so much. Can you have a threesome when one of the people in it is a future version of yourself? That right there is a topic for a philosophy class...hehe.

But seriously, like all Kelly Apple books this one is full of fabulous fun, sexy times, and some jaw-dropping possibilities. Logan is a scientist. He gets caught up in his work a lot...like for days at a time. If it wasn't for Jenna-Lynn harassing him, he would probably die of starvation or of some disease because it's been so long since he showered. 

The only thing that does distract him from his work is the girl herself...she's a serious distraction. If Logan thought he had a chance, he would ask her out in a heartbeat, but a girl like that would never want to date him. At least that's what he thinks until Logan version 2.0 walks in...an older, wiser version of himself who KNOWS better. And then things heat up as only a Kelly Apple book can. 

It's fun. It's sexy. It's quick, but completely entertaining. Another 'interesting' read from Ms. Apple that kept me smiling while imagining the possibilities.

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

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Give Yourself Away by Barbara Elsborg


Title: Give Yourself Away
Author: Barbara Elsborg
My Rating: B+

Genre: Romantic Suspense (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters: March and Caleb
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Samhain
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
Story Overview:
One guy intent on caution. One an adrenaline junkie. Love could be one risk too many.
March is determined to lose the numbness that accompanies a history of loss and blame. Desperate to feel something—anything—the adrenaline junkie base jumps off cliffs, soars on hang gliders, and embarks on dangerous sea-borne rescue missions. But any release he feels is fleeting, and when you play Russian roulette with fate, eventually you come crashing down.
No matter how hard Caleb tries to forget his past, a dark shadow is always behind him. When a bizarre turn of events results in him being trapped in a sea cave, Caleb wonders how his mantra—safety at all costs—could have failed him. On the point of drowning, he’s stunned when March surfaces in the cave.
March’s disregard for the rules saves Caleb’s life but gets March into a heap of trouble. Not least of which is the guy shivering in the boat next to him. March tries to ignore Caleb but it’s already too late. Together, they take small, awkward steps toward love. But Caleb’s past is waiting to sink in its claws…and this time, it could drag him to his death.
Warning: This book contains difficult flashbacks of child abduction and sexual violence, but also the incredible perseverance of two men who never give up on love—or each other. Bring your tissues and a heart that believes in the resilience of the human spirit.
My Review:
Pay attention to the warnings on this book because this is not a book with easy subject matter. While none of the actual attacks happen on the page, the first half of the book is filled with flashbacks to the kidnapping and captivity and even with being aware peripherally, it's still absolutely horrifying what happened to Tye.

The story slowly unfolds. It's obvious that something horrifying happened to these boys, but as the story is slowly told, it's hard to know who is who and what exactly happened. The way that the story is written is brilliant. It kept me completely engaged from page one. Who is who? What happened? Did either of the boys get out? It's obvious that the current day story has something to do with the history story, but as a reader, you don't know exactly how it all fits together for a long way into the book. It was fascinating 

At the same time it was absolutely horrifying. What happened to those two young boys...as a mother, it terrifies me because this kind of thing does happen to children every day.

And then there's the current day story. Caleb has had two boyfriends in the past four years...both of them have been attacked, one was actually killed. He also has mental and paranoia issues so it's hard to know how much of this is real or if he's just building something up in his head. He even questions that. But because he's a bit of a head case, he ends up not paying attention and falls into a sea cave. This is where March finds and saves him...for the first time. 

March has his own issues. He takes unnecessary risks...lots of them...to the point where I'm pretty sure he's borderline suicidal. He's a huge risk taker/adrenaline junkie...just the opposite of Caleb who is so very careful about everything and everyone. 

There are a huge series of coincidences that create the setup for this book. You have to suspend a bit of disbelief for that, but other than that, the book is pretty emotionally satisfying. The characters are appropriately complex, but I loved both of them. I also really loved the epilogue...so, so happy with how things turned out. 

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

Monday, February 8, 2016

Beyond the Stars by Stacy Wise

Title: Beyond the Stars
Author: Stacy Wise
My Rating: B+

Genre: New Adult
Series: -
Main Characters: Jack and Jessica
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy


Story Overview:
Falling for him wasn't in the plans...

Most girls would kill for the opportunity to work for Jack McAlister, Hollywood's hottest actor, but twenty-one-year-old Jessica Beckett is ready to kick him out of her red Ford Fiesta and never look back. She should be spending her junior year in France, eating pastries and sharpening her foreign language skills. Instead she's reluctantly working as Jack's personal assistant, thanks to her powerhouse talent agent aunt.

Jack is private, prickly, and downright condescending. Jessica pushes his buttons—she's not the type of girl to swoon over celebrity heartthrobs, precisely why her aunt thought she'd be perfect for the job—and Jack pushes right back.

But as she begins to peel away his layers, Jessica is shocked to find she craves her boss's easy smile and sexy blue eyes. The problem is, so does the entire female population. And what started out as the job from hell soon has Jess wondering if a guy like Jack could ever find love with a regular girl like her.

My Review:
I have to admit I have a weakness for movie star heroes, but I was not at all sure Jack was going to do it for me when this book began. He was such a jerk...and it took longer than I expected for that to change. But yeah, he has a seriously jaded view of everyone around him. Being one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood, he's unfortunately used to everyone around him selling him out. He's so paranoid...when I thought about how he got this way, I just wanted to give him a hug. And the sad thing is that this is probably a reality for most actors. 

But I did really love Jessica. She has the feel of such a real girl even though she's dealing in this high-powered world. I loved how klutzy she tended to be, and how she really didn't let Jack push her around even though she really needs to do a good job for him. My heart hurt for her with her roommate/friend situation. But from page one, I loved her and was most definitely in her corner. She is very grounded and handles herself really well even in the most unusual of circumstances. I could see being friends with her. She's just one of those people.

There was a lot to love about this first book from Stacy Wise. It was really easy to read and highly entertaining. There were little tidbits to the story that made it so fun...I loved Leo and his whole aspect of the story. The premise of the story was really well done. I have a son who's at the same stage of college/life as Jessica so I found the whole mono/France/college aspect really believable in how it all played out. I loved that Jessica bakes when she's stressed and how she would bring sweets to Jack's trainer. (I would LOVE to see him in a story, because I really loved him and felt a bit bad for him in how all this played out for him.)

Overall, it was just a great read. I'd recommend it for an afternoon of escapism. 

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

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Thirty Nights with A Dirty Boy by Shiloh Walke

There are actually three parts to this review as there are three parts to the serial novella sold separately. I treated the as separate books for the reviews, but put them all into one post since they all released together on February 2.

Title: Thirty Nights with a Dirty Boy
Author: Shiloh Walker
My Rating: A

Genre: Erotic Romance -Serial Novella
Series: Heroes and Heartbreakers #1
Main Characters:Ella and Sean
Release Date: February 2016
Publisher: Heroes and Heartbreakers
Links to Purchase: St. Martins
Sexual Intensity: erotic


Story Overview:
Introducing Shiloh Walker’s erotic Thirty Nights with a Dirty Boy e-serial! 

Money Can't Buy Love... 
Ella Cruise doesn't like to be touched. A survivor of childhood abuse, she craves security in all aspects of her life: fulfilling work at the nonprofit she runs, more than enough money to live comfortably, and a good friend and confidant. But none of it can ease her longing for intimacy, even if just for a night. When she meets a gorgeous bartender who moonlights as a male prostitute, a bold idea begins to take shape...

But It Can Buy a Night of Passion —or Thirty... 
Sean Lachlan is stunned by the cool beauty's offer: 30 nights of no-strings sex in exchange for all the money he'd need to start over. The deal seems too good to be true, especially since his desire for her is no act, but Sean finds he can't turn her down. Before they know it, Sean and Ella realize they're in deep, their defenses crumbling. Will thirty nights with a dirty boy be enough after all, or will love lead Ella and Sean back to the negotiating table?

Read all three parts in Shiloh Walker's scorching-hot Thirty Nights with a Dirty Boy e-serial!

A HeroesandHeartbreakers.com original novella


My Review:
Whoa, this was one hot little novella considering there's really very little "action" in this section of the story. No, in this segment, we get to know Ella. Ella has very serious 'touch' issues...to the point that she has to wear gloves because she needs that barrier. Touch sends her into debilitating panic attacks...which makes it very hard for her to be sexual. But she wants to be. 

That's where Sean comes in. He's a prostitute who works as a bartender to make his "business connections". For some reason, Ella feels like maybe she can work past her barriers with him. There's a level of chemistry and connection between them that gives her hope...so she hires him. 

That's mainly what this first book is about...them working through the contract. 30 nights for $500,000.00. And it's so sexy, even at this early point. It certainly doesn't hurt that Sean is Scottish and Shiloh Walker does a really good job of sliding his brogue into the dialogue. I do not have an ear for accents, but when I read, I can hear his. It's really well done. 

I'm completely intrigued after this first book. We still have no idea what happened to Ella to make her this way...and there are so many, many ways that this could go completely wrong. I'm completely immersed in the story and ready to read more. Bring on book #2.

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



Part 2
My Rating: A+

Story Overview:
Shiloh Walker invites you deeper into the sensual e-serial Thirty Nights with a Dirty Boy, where some rules are made to be broken...

Haunted by her past, Ella Cruise has no desire for a long-term relationship, but thanks to a contract with wickedly handsome bartender and male prostitute Sean Lachlan, she now has thirty nights to live out every fantasy she's ever had—and more—under the tutelage of a very dirty boy. There's just one problem: Love was never part of the deal...

Read all three parts in Shiloh Walker's white-hot Thirty Nights with a Dirty Boy e-serial!

A HeroesandHeartbreakers.com original novella


My Review:

Wow, what an explosive, electrically charged part 2. Normally, in three part series, the middle section gives you a sense of rest and normalcy. No, not in this one. Wow. My heart is still zinging from the whiplash of emotional trauma and drama in this section. In other words, this one was really, really good.

There's so much more in this section, although it's still a fairly short novella. The scenes get sexier. The emotions get deeper. It's quickly becoming obvious that Ella is getting in over her head emotionally, but Shiloh Walker does a fabulous job of giving the reader glimpses of the exact same thing with Sean even though the book is told entirely from her POV. 

Still, we don't know what's happened to Ella, although through little tidbits the reader is getting a better idea of how both she and Sean got to this point...although NOTHING is clear yet. Besides the emotion. And the deep angst. Wow, I'm loving this. And the addition of Darla and her situation...so heartbreaking, but it's adding so much to the book. I also really love Ella's personal assistant and driver. She isn't close to anyone, but slowly through her experiences with Sean, she's growing. It's a beautiful process to watch, but I have a feeling part three is going to be traumatic. Luckily I have it waiting so I can dive right in.

Be prepared...you are going to want all three of these novellas bought and loaded onto your device so you don't have to even take a breath between them. It's an amazing story...and yes, you need to read all three of them in order to get the full story. 

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



Part 3:
My Rating: A

Story Overview:
The sensational conclusion to Shiloh Walker's erotic serial Thirty Nights with a Dirty Boy...

Ella Cruise knows love isn't for her. Or she did, before her arrangement with sinfully sexy bartender and male prostitute, Sean Lachlan, for thirty nights of fantastic, no-strings sex. But the more she learns about him, the deeper she falls, until she starts to wonder: Can thirty nights be enough when what she really wants is forever?

Read all three parts in Shiloh Walker's scorching-hot Thirty Nights with a Dirty Boy e-serial!
A HeroesandHeartbreakers.com original novella
 



My Review:
And this is the book where all is revealed...and it's even more heartbreaking than I expected...for both Sean and Ella. Gah...no wonder they're both so messed up, but it's because they both have the history that they do that makes them perfect for one another. That became even more clear in this book. They understand the horrors the other has gone through. They wouldn't find that with someone else. But that doesn't mean that they immediately see that. No, there is some more good drama in this one, too. 

And because this book is so focused on the relationship, it seemed like there was a lot less sex in this book. Yes, there is some, and, yes, it's incredibly hot...but this book is really focused on the two characters' mental state. 

I've loved this series. It was a really fabulous read, full of sexy, angst-filled times that I found both emotionally satisfying and completely entertaining. I highly recommend the serial. 

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