Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Stolen by Shiloh Walker


Title: Stolen 
Author: Shiloh Walker
My RatingA


Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: -
Main Characters: Shay and Elliot
Release Date: November 2012
ISBN: 9780345531902
Publisher: Random House
Links to Purchase:
Amazon  
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Shay Morgan has stayed hidden for a long time. Living a reclusive life in Earth’s End, Alaska, she’s as far away as she can get from the trauma of her childhood and the man who hurt her long ago. But terror takes over Shay’s life yet again when an unknown stalker steals away the fragile peace she’s built for herself—targeting not only her but the one man who’s ever managed to get past the walls she’s built around herself.

Elliot Winter has lived through being falsely accused before—it ruined his military career. Now it’s happening all over again. And this time, his accuser is a twisted impostor who’s targeting his ex-girlfriend, Shay. Despite a fierce mutual attraction, Shay and Elliot broke up because Shay couldn’t let her guard down, couldn’t let Elliot in. But now they both need to trust each other to confront a psycho who seems to know all their secrets.

My Review:

Personally, I would put this book beyond the romantic suspense genre and move it more into the psychological thriller arena.

Shay has one messed up past. A lot of the issue is that even though she has the mental and physical scars, she really doesn't remember most of what happened to her. Her mind has protected her from it. That doesn't change the daily fear that she lives with though. She's basically a hermit, always trying to protect her identity and make herself as non-noteworthy as possible. The one thing that has set her apart is her writing. She took up writing because it was a career she could do without having to interact with people, and became really successful at it. She wrote under a male pseudonym so no one would realize who she was, but now someone is out there impersonating her online and in bookstores and she's not happy about it.

In the midst of all this is her ex-boyfriend Elliot. He broke up with her because she wouldn't share with him her secrets from her past. The break-up has devastated both of them and when she finds herself needing him and confiding in him, he wonders if he wished for much more than he could handle. His devastation at what she reveals is extremely moving. Everything about their relationship truly is. There's a LOT of emotional and physical angst here...you know I love angst right?? Shiloh does it really beautifully. Just the perfect balance of emotional trauma vs. emotional beauty as they find safety in each other. I LOVED that aspect of this story.

Shay has lived through so much and her emotional trauma is such that she doesn't know how to depend on another person. It would have been so easy for Shiloh to have written her character where she made bad moves because of this, but she didn't. She created Shay to be a strong AND SMART character...and she knows and for the most part, accepts, when she needs Elliot. I loved that.

I've always heard how amazing Shiloh Walker's romantic suspense writing is and, although I have several of her books in my TBR pile, I've never had the chance to read one. I am so happy that this was my first because it was a great one. The suspense line is really fabulously written....a great balance between knowing what's going on, but still finding surprise in the little details of why it's happening. In the end I loved that the "bad-guy" was truly evil...to the core and our hero was a true alpha through the pain of it all. LOVE...*sigh*. Just a great read. I recommend it!

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Barefoot in the Rain by Roxanne St. Claire

Title:  Barefoot in the Rain
Author: Roxanne St. Claire
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Barefoot Bay #2
Main Characters: Jocelyn and Will
Release Date: October 2012
ISBN: 9781455508273
Publisher:  Forever
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy


Story Overview:
A Barefoot Bay Novel
They say you can never go home again . . .
When "Life Coach to the Stars" Jocelyn Bloom is embroiled in scandal, the only place she can hide is the one place she wishes she could forget. She left Barefoot Bay-and the boy next door who knew all her secrets-years ago. Now nothing about the tiny island off the coast of Florida is quite how she remembers it, especially Will Palmer. He's even more gorgeous and tempting . . . and still capable of turning her world inside out.
But what if someone is waiting for you?
To Will Palmer, Guy Bloom is more than the elderly, senile neighbor he looks after-he's the last connection to Jocelyn, the woman Will loved and lost. But the reunion with Jocelyn doesn't go smoothly. Shocked by the change in her father's personality, Jocelyn struggles to reconcile her dark childhood with the sweet, confused man who has grown close to Will. Jocelyn has guided countless clients to happiness-but can she escape the rainy days of her past for a new sunny future with Will?

My Review:
If you've been following my book review blog/reviews for any length of time, you probably already know that I am a Roxanne St. Claire fan. I adore her books. I fell in love with her writing through her romantic suspense novels, but am finding that she does contemporary romance just as well. She brings so much emotion to a story...I love that!

This is the second of the Barefoot Bay stories and I was surprised by how much I loved Jocelyn. We met her in book #1 and although I was intrigued by her story/issues, I wasn't so sure I was going to like her as a character. BUT that was before I realized just what exactly her issues were. 

And this is where Roxanne's suspense writing skills shine through even though this isn't a suspense novel. The entire story in this book starts on a night 15 years ago between Joss and Will. On the verge of heading to college, they decided to go all the way, but Jocelyn's abusive father caught them and threatened everything Will had worked for. Throughout most the book, you don't really know what happened to Jocelyn that night after he sent her home although you get glimpses. That alone would have kept me reading this book. I couldn't put it down...I wanted to know exactly what happened. 

The most interesting twist to it all though was that now it's 15 years later. Jocelyn has made it a point to never go home and has never contacted Will. The irony, her father has dementia (which has created an entire personality change) and Will, as his next door neighbor, is basically his care-taker and best friend. Everything about this situation is heartbreaking. Will and Joss lost each other 15 years ago because of her father. But now he's this wonderfully nice broken man who likes to do needlepoint and has an obsession with hgtv. He doesn't remember Jocelyn is his daughter, but thinks Will is his son...seriously...HEART.BREAKING.

Neither Will nor Jocelyn has ever forgotten or gotten over what the other person meant to them. Will is one of those guys...just too nice and sweet. He doesn't understand Jocelyn's hatred of her father especially in view of who he is now. Will knew he was abusive to her mother (Will was Jocelyn's refuge when things got bad at home growing up) but he never knew what happened that night after she went home.

There are several great secondary story lines to this book too: Jocelyn's infamous "affair" with a hollywood movie star, Will's floundering baseball career, the resort that Lacey and Clay continue to build (seriously, I want to go stay at this resort when it's done!!!), and all four girls are back in Barefoot Bay.

Zoe's story is next and the angst coming through the snippets you get to see of that story line make my reader's heart happy. I can't wait!

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

Top Off Tuesday: Sexy Trilogy by Linda Francis Lee


I have noticed a new trend lately that I heartily approve of...
re-issuing series books with brand new, super-sexy covers.
This series is a good example of that.
*sigh* 
I do love me some sexy cowboys and these covers are amazing examples!

Suddenly Sexy by Linda Francis Lee
Kate Bloom’s ordered world is turned upside down when notorious bad boy and superstar athlete Jesse Chapman comes home. Seeing him again reminds Kate of all the reasons she harbored a Texas-sized crush on him back when they were kids. But she isn’t a little girl anymore . . . and she’s ready to show this hell-raising playboy just how much she’s grown up.

After a reporter starts digging into his past, Jesse Chapman returns home looking for space. The last thing he needs is a distraction, but that’s just what he gets when he sees his little Katie. Suddenly the girl next door is hot and sexy—and more than even this legendary ladies’ man can handle.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Linda Francis Lee's Sinfully Sexy.



Sinfully Sexy by Linda Francis Lee
Chloe Sinclair has never been bad . . . until she stumbles—literally—into the arms of a gorgeous stranger. To make matters worse, the morning after, her world is rocked completely off its axis when the sensual dreamboat turns out to be the man brought in to save the TV station where she works.

Sterling Prescott is hard-driven, gorgeous as hell, and determined to turn the struggling KTEX into a success. But all bets are off when the shameless wildcat that disappeared on him last night walks back into his life—acting like a squeaky-clean librarian. Life gets truly complicated, however, when Sterling decides to win more than the station—and to show Chloe that being sexy isn’t a sin.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Linda Francis Lee's Simply Sexy.
Simply Sexy by Linda Francis Lee
When life goes awry for wild and sexy Julia Boudreaux, she packs up her stiletto heels and swears off guys who spell nothing but trouble. And to keep her job in television, she decides to create a TV hit—a makeover show. She’s going to turn rugged West Texas men into sensitive guys. Easier pitched than done.

Undercover cop Ben Prescott is so sexy it hurts. Back in Julia’s orbit after a brush with a bullet, Ben steers clear of the woman who used to set his blood afire. She’s changed from Mae West to Mother Teresa, and she’s trying to put him in touch with his emotions. But when life heats up, will this rugged hunk risk everything for a woman who’s about to lose it all?


Join us (Felicia from The Geeky Book Blogger and Amanda from On a Book Bender and Me) as we celebrate those gorgeous hunky covers!! Thanks to Diana from Book of Secrets for creating this fabulous button.



Felicia is hosting the linky for this meme on her blog, so come play along....

*post a cover of a hot guy 
who just happens to be topless

*then go add your link to Felicia's blog.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Resisting Velocity by Trinity Evans and Xoe Xanders


Resisting Velocity
High Velocity #1
Trinity Evans and Xoe Xanders

My Rating: A

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Elysium Fields, LLC

ISBN: 9781301487264
ASIN: B009DB2VOU

Number of pages: 185 pages through Kindle
Word Count: 60,000 words

Cover Artist: Xoe Xanders


Book Description:
As frontman of up-and-coming rock band, High Velocity, werewolf Zane Alexander has everything a man could want: Fame, fortune, friendship, and a pack to call home. Well, almost everything. Despite being able to take his pick of pretty much any woman, he wants the one girl he can’t have—the one girl who’s eluded his every advance.

Charlie Banks has always had a thing for Zane, but being the band’s head of security, she knows firsthand just the sort of guy he is. She’s determined not to become just another notch on his bedpost, but if doesn’t stop the want for a mate curling in her gut. It’ll happen, someday—it just won’t be Zane. She’s decided that it’s time to leave High Velocity, to find a nice little home and settle down to live the rest of her life, away from sexy smiles and ripped bodies of rock stars.

But when someone threatens Zane’s life, she’s the only one he wants to protect him. Except, Zane has a hidden agenda. One that involves claiming Charlie as his mate, once and for all.

My Review:
This is one of those books that I REALLY didn't have room for in my schedule, but when I read the blurb, I knew I had to read it. I am SO HAPPY that I rearranged a few things to make room for this one. It was sooooo good!! Seriously, if you like books about rock bands, you are going to like this book and it has the added bonus that all the members of the band are werewolf shifters. It's a win-win!!

Charlie is head of security for High Velocity, but has decided it's time for her to move on and quit. She's given her two week's notice, but hasn't told the band, who have all become very close to her. She tells them on her last day and they don't take it well, especially Zane...the lead for the band and the alpha of the group. He can't accept her not being with them. He's always wanted her and his wolf just can't accept this. So he hatches a crazy plan with 2 other members of the band to get her to stay. She can't abandon them if they are in danger...especially Zane...so they create a fake stalker.

This was such a good book. There are four members in the band and they are all very unique. I really liked all of them and hope that they all get their own story. Benji is the youngest and the one that was closest to Charlie in this book. I really loved him. He's young and idealistic, but has an amazing heart that suffered a bit of a break here when Charlie chose Zane. I REALLY want his story next. 

There's a bit of a suspense line when the fake stalker becomes real. I figured it out fairly early in the story, but I still really enjoyed that aspect of the story. Overall it was just a great fun read. 

Sexy Rock Stars + Werewolf Shifters = A Really Good and Entertaining Read!!!

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

About the Authors: 

Trinity Evans is an upbeat, slightly off-color author with a wild imagination and a taste for the eclectic. Born and raised in a small-town Americana, she loves the lighter and fluffier side of life with some paranormal spice thrown in. She definitely enjoys the more comical side of relationships. She adores hearing from fans and you can find her at trinityevans.wordpress.com.

Xoe Xanders is a quirky small-town punk princess whose ideas range from dark and dangerous to light and fluffy. She enjoys writing in the vein of paranormal, fantasy, and soft sci-fi, all of it with a romantic edge. She believes that love is love—no matter what gender, race, or color—and writes both straight and LBGT romance. Wanna stalk her? You can find her site at xoexanders.wordpress.com

Trinity Evans Web/Blog: http://trinityevans.wordpress.com/ 

Xoe Xanders Web/Blog: http://xoexanders.wordpress.com/ 

Twitter: @xoexanders

Cover Reveal: Mystically Bound by Stacey Kennedy



Mystically Bound
Frostbite Book Three
Urban Fantasy Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Sensual
Release date: COMING SOON

Tess Jennings’ life is in chaos. Not only has her ghost lover, Kipp McGowen, crossed into the Netherworld, but she’s the newest member of a secret society. And they want her to start work immediately. Upon arriving in White Castle, Louisiana, she is presented with an offer she cannot refuse.

The Grand Master has been murdered and Tess must solve the crime by locating his ghost. The reward—a magical spell to save Kipp. But as Tess dives deeper into the case, the more danger surrounds her. Not everyone wants the murder solved, and she is caught in the crossfire.

Soon, Tess finds herself knee-deep in a hunt for a spell, a race to locate a killer, and a journey to the beyond. Will Kipp finally take a living breath, or will Tess take her last?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

No Reservations by Lilly Cain



Title: No Reservations
Author: Lilly Cain
My Rating: B




Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: -
Main Characters: Travis and Alicia
Release Date: October 2012
ISBN: e-book
Publisher: Carina Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Amazon  
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Travis Morgan is thrilled to encounter the one woman who's never failed to get his blood pumping. Seeing Alicia Davis again brings it all back: their fierce academic rivalry, and the fact that he never followed through on his erotic fantasies about her.
Alicia can't resist Travis's smoldering sensuality—or the opportunity to finally bed the man who starred in so many of her lustful daydreams in college. Unable to avoid the temptation to best Travis one more time, Alicia plans to submit to one night of pure pleasure and then leave Travis empty-handed and craving more.
When Travis wakes up and realizes Alicia's played him, the gloves are off, and the game heats up as they each try to emerge on top—by whatever means necessary...
15,000 words

My Review:
Okay, big hint when going into this book. It's only 15,000 words and erotica. No, there's not a whole lot of story line to this one, but what is there is pretty decent. Back in college when Travis and Alicia knew each other, they had a competitive relationship. When they reconnect so does that relationship. Their bedroom play definitely has an edge to it that reflects that, which is fun. They have moments of playfulness, especially at the end of the novella that I really loved.

I'll admit I was a little confused about what exactly happened in college that had Alicia out for revenge in the first place, but once I decided to ignore that, I was able to sit back and enjoy the book. It's pretty hot, especially the massage scene...just don't expect much depth to it. But you know, for an hour's read, this one was pretty good.
I received a complementary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Pursuing the Times by Lauren Baratz-Logsted



Title: Pursuing the Times 
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
My Rating: A


Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: -
Main Characters: Mercury
Release Date: August 2012
ISBN: ebook
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Links to Purchase:
Amazon  
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
All that popular Chick-Lit author Mercury Lauren wants is to have one of her books reviewed by the New York Times Book Review - just one - and she'll do almost anything to get it. In this contemporary romantic comedy, with a nod toward Pride and Prejudice she crosses swords and hearts with the Editor-in-Chief of the NYTBR in a madcap adventure that takes her from her home in Westport to a yoga retreat to a golf course in Florida. Will she get what she wants and will she finally be happy if she does? Only one thing's for certain: nothing will stop her from Pursuing the Times.

My Review:
I would be hard-pressed to tell you the last time I laughed out loud as much as I did throughout this book. This book is so good and so funny and so entertaining. I honestly loved every minute of reading it.

Mercury, flat-out, is crazy. She's an author, so part of that is just the norm for her, but she is obsessed with getting her Chick lit books reviewed by the New York Times. Standing in her way is Editor-in-Chief of Reviews, Frank. Unfortunately, Mercury had a run-in with Frank and didn't realize who he was, but just knew he was bad-mouthing her and her genre, so she took offense and pushed back...rather rudely. LOL!! I love the scenes between the two of them. Their confrontational chemistry is sizzling and you can definitely tell that there's some sexual chemistry added to the mix too.

But back to the crazy part. When I say Mercury is obsessed, it's a very real thing. This girl needs to locate her filter, but then the book wouldn't be near as fun as it is. There are some great side characters in this book too. I loved Nick. He's a literary best-seller...the kind of writer the NYT loves to feature. Unfortunately, he's also just a really nice guy too so Mercury can't hate him although she'd really like to. But they end up as friends and that friendship is a really sweet aspect of this book.

This is just a fabulous book. As both a romance reader and author, there was so much about it that I could relate to. Mercury is fighting a mindset that the literary world has about Chick-lit and that it's not good writing. She writes comedic, light-hearted books with a touch of romance. Just because they're light-hearted does not mean that they aren't good writing. Shakespeare wrote comedies about the human condition. That's what she's doing too, but since being labeled as "chick-lit", the validity of her writing has been shunned...even by her family.

Like I said before, I was constantly laughing out loud and reading passages from the book to my husband. Even he commented about how much I was loving this book, so yes...I really did love it. Below is one of the passages that I read to him. I think it will give you a good idea of the flavor of the writing...so much fun!

"Of course, the moment after being cheered up by seeing my books on the shelves -- I was a published author! I was still a published author! -- I always immediately grew depressed. Why were the books on the shelves? Shouldn't they be sold out? And if not sold out, then shouldn't there be an eye-catching display, perhaps a pyramid of them, right at the front of the store?"

Mercury is definitely a different character, but she was one that I absolutely fell in love with. She's human...and making very human mistakes. Yes, she's slightly crazy and there are things that she does that make you cringe, but in the end you can't help but laugh at her antics. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for something to make you laugh this week!!

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