Saturday, June 29, 2013

Finding Master Right by L.A. Witt

Title:  Finding Master Right
Author: L.A. Witt
My Rating: B+

Genre: Erotic Romance (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters: Chase and Derek
Release Date: June 2013
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
It's all fun and games until somebody falls in love.

Chase has just arrived at a much anticipated leather convention, and he’s about to lose his mind. Not only is his ex attending, but Chase is also rooming with Derek, a submissive he’s been dying to top. Although Derek is in search of a Dom, he made it painfully clear when the two of them hooked up for a very hot—but very vanilla—night just before the convention that he wasn’t interested in submitting to Chase.

Derek isn’t stupid. No matter how desperate he is to submit to Chase, he wants no part of a rebound relationship. As long as Chase is still pining after the sub who broke his heart a few months ago, Derek’s keeping him at arm’s length. Besides, there’s another Dom at this convention, the gorgeous Master Raul, who Derek is determined to attract.

But when Chase and Derek are confronted with all their kinks, from ropes to leather, bondage to flogging—not to mention each other—they can only ignore their mutual attraction for so long.

My Review:
Okay, straight up, this book truly has one purpose....really hot sex...and I'll admit, it served that purpose really well. This book was hot...and entertaining. I enjoyed it. 

This book covers a little less than a week in time as Chase and Derek attend a BDSM convention. But there are lots of underlying issues between them. They've been friends for a long time. Chase was in a two and half year relationship that ended unexpectedly (to him). Derek is the dungeon man-whore. He truly wants one dom but hasn't been able to find that perfect he flits guy to guy. The night before they left for the con, they slept together, but it was vanilla...something Derek asked for and Chase felt was a slap against him as a dom. They both have feelings for each other, but they can't seem to talk about that.

For the con, they are staying in the same room and the sexual chemistry is through the roof. The two guys act as a committed couple...they just aren't having the sex to go along with it. It truly makes for a great read. I liked the two guys and getting to switch between their POV's as they move throughout their week. 

I'm torn with how I feel about their extra-curricular activities for the week. On the one hand, I think exhibitionism, especially with guys, is the norm for the BDSM lifestyle. And honestly, I was okay with Derek playing when Chase was there supervising. I wasn't as fond of the fact that Chase had his own extracurricular activities which sent Derek into a tailspin...that didn't sit so well for me, but I'll admit I like monogamy in my books. 

But overall, I enjoyed this one. The BDSM con setting worked for me as did the backstory betweeen the two characters.  It was pretty sexy!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Hidden Crimes by Emma Holly

Title:  Hidden Crimes
Author: Emma Holly
My Rating: A

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Hidden #3
Main Characters: Nate and Evina
Release Date: June 2012
Publisher: -
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Cats and dogs shouldn't fall in love. Like any wolf, RPD detective Nate Rivera knows this. He can’t help it if the tigress he’s been trading quips with at the supermarket is the most alluring woman he’s ever met—sassy too, which suits him down to his designer boots. 

Evina Mohajit is aware their flirtation can’t lead to more. Still, she relishes trading banter with the hot werewolf. This hardworking single mom hasn’t felt so female since her twins’ baby daddy left to start his new family. Plus, as a station chief in Resurrection’s Fire Department, she understands the demands of a dangerous job.

Their will-they-or-won’t-they tango could go on forever if it weren’t for the mortal peril the city’s shifter children fall into. To save them, Nate and Evina must team up, a choice that ignites the sparks smoldering between them . . .

My Review:
This book was so good! I'll admit I love a good shifter book and this was definitely one of the better ones that I have ever read.  I haven't read the other two books in this series, but I like this little world that Emma Holly has created in Resurrection. I definitely want to revisit it. 

But at the heart of this story is Nate and Evina. Nate is the 3rd in command of his wolf pack and is a police detective. Evina is the Tiger alpha and in charge of her fire station. Be still my heart....gah, I love first responders and love how Emma Holly made this such a natural thing for her shifters. Seriously....LOVE!

BUT dogs and cats should not mix... LOVE again! I loved how everything about these two together just worked when everyone around them was telling them that it wouldn't. They were so awesome...and did I mention HOT??....together. 

The shifters were great. The characters were fabulous. The story was intriguing. The suspense line was riveting. I loved the addition of Evina's twins and how Nate is such a natural with kids. I even liked the bit that Evina's ex, Paul, adds to the story. I loved everything about this one. I definitely need to read more from this series. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Undead Sublet (audiobook) by Molly Harper

Title:  The Undead in My Bed: Undead Sublet
Author: Molly Harper
My Rating: A
Narrator: Sophie Eastlake

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Half Moon Hollow #1.5
Main Characters: Tess and Sam
Release Date: September 2012
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
In "Undead Sublet" by Molly Harper, executive chef Tess Maitland is banned from her five-star kitchen in Chicago to recover from "exhaustion". Choosing a random rental house in Half-Moon Hollow to spend time in, she's unaware that the house comes with a strange man.

Even though Sam Masden's ex-wife has rented the house out from under him, the divorce settlement allows him access to it for another ninety days. With Tess unable to go anywhere else, and Sam unwilling, a war of epic proportions is declared - and romantic sparks and heavy pots fly.

My Review:

Please Note: this review is only for the novella UNDEAD SUBLET by Molly Harper, although it falls within an anthology with three stories. Personally I believe this novella alone makes the purchase of the anthology worth it, even if you never read the other two stories. 

I love this little quirky town of Half Moon Hollow that Molly Harper has created. In this book, we meet a couple of new characters:
1. Tess is a chef who has successfully run the kitchen in a very successful restaurant. It's a lot of work to run a kitchen and Tess finally broke under the strain of it all...having a nervous breakdown in the middle of the restaurant during service. As a result, she's been forced to take a month off to rest and recuperate. Without family or any other ties, she decides to visit Half Moon Hollow where her chef-mentor lives. She rents a house for a month from a lady getting a divorce.

What she doesn't realize is that the woman's newly-turned vampire husband is still living in the basement.

2. Sam...poor Sam...has gotten a raw deal. He was turned against his will and his wife left him because of it. The world may know there are vampires now, but that doesn't mean that everything is fair and legal for them. Something about being actually dead means that they've lost some rights and Sam's soon-to-be exwife is working to cash in on every single one of those unfair laws. She's NOT a nice person. The problem is....Sam still loves her and is devastated in multiple ways over what has happened. 

Both these characters are stuck in these very unhappy circumstances and I loved the way that the book transitioned for the two of them. At first, they were taking it out on each other, but then they began to see each other as something more than just enemies and start to work together. It was a fun, entertaining, and creative story. I loved the way that the story line moved and evolved. It was really a great story. DEFINITELY one of my favorite from this series!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Care and Feeding of the Alpha Male by Jessica Clare

Title:  The Care and Feeding of the Alpha Male
Author: Jessica Clare
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Bluebonnet #2
Main Characters: Beth Ann and Colt
Release Date: October 2012
Publisher: Berkley
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Beth Ann needed a hero…Beth Ann Williamson has finally had it with her on-and-off fiancĂ© of nine years. The problem? No one in town seems to believe her when she says it’s really over. Now Beth Ann is determined to show the small town of Bluebonnet, Texas, that she can take care of herself. That means opening her own salon and not taking the help that her ex-fiancĂ© seems determined to offer.

Of course, even the best laid plans go awry when she’s stranded in the woods in the middle of a downpour. Some independent woman she is. She can’t even find her way out of the woods without the help of a handsome, but scowling, Marine.

She got more than she bargained for…

A die-hard survivalist, Colt Waggoner’s none too pleased when he’s sent to find the town’s pampered princess. He’s even more annoyed when Beth Ann isn’t grateful for the rescue. Fine, then. He’ll just have to teach the sexy blonde a lesson--a weekend of roughing it out in the wild. Just the two of them, alone, in muddy, wet clothing that needs to come off…

But Beth Ann isn’t the spoiled princess he thought. And when she propositions him for a one night stand, he knows he should turn it down. Because this alpha male might need more than just one night in her bed to satisfy him…

My Review:
When I read the first book in this series, I wondered if I loved it so much because I was out camping at the time (that book is all about the survival school the three guys start in Bluebonnet), but I can easily say now that I just truly like this series. 

Colt is the hero of the story. His family was always at the bottom of the social chain in Bluebonnet. Even though he left, joined the military, and made something of himself, his family is still the same and the people of Bluebonnet haven't forgotten. He has very wrong notions of who Beth Ann truly is. He just knows what he remembers from high school, but she's evolved since then. When he sets out to take her down a few notches, he is in for a surprise as he completely and totally falls for her. 

For Beth Ann, the feelings are mutual, but she's the town darling who's always dated the town prince. The town refuses to see her with someone else. They just know that she is meant to be with Allan, although Beth Ann has sworn over and over again that it's over. They can't stand to not see her with Allan, but to substitute Colt for him is completely unthinkable. These two definitely face some issues with this small town who stays in everyone else's business.

Colt has a hard time seeing that Beth Ann truly cares for him. The town has a prejudice against him and it's colored his ability to see what Beth Ann truly sees in him. It was interesting to watch their relationship develop especially in the public sphere of this small town. At the same time, Beth Ann is dealing with this mess with the town and her ex, her business, which has been her sole means of identity for the last couple of years, is also failing. Everything seems to be falling apart. Her one high point is Colt, but he continues to get in the way of that.

I liked everything about this story. The plot was woven really well. I wasn't surprised by any of it, but I enjoyed every single minute of it. Jessica Clare simply writes fun, entertaining, and did I mention hot???...OMG! books. I love the town of Bluebonnet and cannot wait for Grant's story. His history is so tragic, but the sexual chemistry is sizzling between him and Brenna. I can't wait to see it explode!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dead Man and the Restless Spirits by Lou Harper

Title:  Dead Man and the Restless Spirits
Author: Lou Harper
My Rating
: B+

Genre: Paranormal Romance (m/m)
Series: #1
Main Characters: Denton and Bran
Release Date: July 2012
Publisher: -
Links to Purchase:
Lou Harper's website (which will have links)
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Dying sucks hairy monkey balls, even when you're not the stiff.

Denton Mills has a secret: he can see dead people. Or rather, how they died. It's quite a drag in a city like Chicago, teeming with the echoes of the no-longer living. Rather than whine about it, Denton has learned to live with his troublesome talent. His adaptability comes in handy when he meets his enigmatic new neighbor.

Bran Maurell catches Denton's eye right away, but unfortunately Mr. Tall, Dark, and Mysterious is as standoffish as he is alluring. However, after an unexpected introduction from Bran's cat brings the two men together, Denton discovers they have a mutual interest in the spirit world. Herbalist by day, Bran moonlights as a witch, performing house cleansings for a fee.

From Bran, Denton learns that his knack for interacting with the dead qualifies him as a necromancer. It makes good business sense for them to team up and rid Chicago of its pesky spirits one grateful client at a time. Amongst ghostly adventures the attraction between the men is impossible to ignore. They seem like perfect partners—unless Bran's not-so-little secret comes between them.

Warning: men loving men, ghosts with attitudes, and a portly feline with hidden talents.

Note: Denton also plays a small but important role in Spirit Sanguine.

My Review:

I really enjoy the way that Lou writes her books. They are broken down into sub-novels that tell different stories in the overall suspense line while slowly building the romance through all the shorter stories to tell one big romantic stories. I love that. You get three mini-mysteries following the same couple as their relationship deepens. 

This book is about Denton and Bran. Denton is an outgoing necromancer. He's a smaller guy, but he makes up for it with big personality. His neighbor is the dark, mysterious, sexy Bran...who is pretty much just an unfriendly guy. I'll admit, I was partway into story number two and still wondering if I was ever going to actually like Bran's character. He's really cold and somber, BUT as the layers of why he's that way is revealed, you slowly begin to see what Denton sees in him. I really enjoyed that Lou Harper was able to twist my perceptions about Bran to such an extreme. Honestly, I remember thinking that I was going to finish this book that I was really enjoying without even really liking one of the characters... But she made me enjoy AND understand him.

But my love for Denton's character was there from page one. He's a normal guy....well, a normal guy who has a connection to dead people. But honestly, I could see meeting him at the grocery store and talking to him. You can't help but fall in love with him and his self-doubts about Bran and why exactly this gorgeous guy seems (kind of) interested in him. And as he begins to really get to know who Bran really is, you fall in love with him even more. He's just such a nice guy...which makes him such a good pairing with Bran. Bran becomes more and more human as Denton forces him out of his protective shell. Seriously, I loved Denton's character. 

Another really fun thing about Lou's books are the whole basis of the story. In this one, Denton is a necromancer. Bran, as a witch, recognises Denton's abilities and that he can do much more with then than he realizes. Bran begins to have Denton assist him on some of his cases that he's been hired for his skills as a witch...usually ones that deal with ghosts of some sort. It made for a fun (and slightly creepy) backdrop which makes this book (and Lou's other books) so different from most of the other books out there. 

Also, it should be noted, that I LOVED the addition of Bran's mother to the story. OMG, to think that he came from her is so funny. She was definitely a humorous twist to the story.

I continue to love Lou's books and her style of story telling. They are simply sweet m/m romances with a decidedly horror-like backdrop. It's such a huge contrast that it really works. I like this one and the other books that I've read by Lou Harper.

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

The Newcomer by Robyn Carr

Title:  The Newcomer
Author: Robyn Carr
My Rating:

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Thunder Point #2
Main Characters: Coop and Sarah; Mac and Gina
Release Date: June 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Single dad and Thunder Point's deputy sheriff "Mac" McCain has worked hard to keep everyone safe and happy. Now he's found his own happiness with Gina James. The longtime friends have always shared the challenges and rewards of raising their adolescent daughters. With an unexpected romance growing between them, they're feeling like teenagers themselves-suddenly they can't get enough of one another. 

And just when things are really taking off, their lives are suddenly thrown into chaos. When Mac's long-lost-and not missed-ex-wife shows up in town, drama takes on a whole new meaning. They're wondering if their new feelings for each other can withstand the pressure...but they are not going down without a fight. 

Step into the world of Thunder Point, a little town on the Oregon coast where newcomers are welcomed, hearts are broken and mended, and the dramas of everyday life keep the locals laughing, crying and falling in love.

My Review:
I'll admit. I don't know what to do with this series as far as reviews go. I set the book down at the 29% point when I was reading and decided at that point, that this simply wasn't a series for me. By the end of the book, I changed my mind, but these are books are NOT typical romance. And that doesn't make them bad, but the reader needs to go into them knowing that. These books are far more along the lines of a soap opera. They tell the story of a bunch of character concurrently and in this particular book, it meant throwing as much drama at those characters as humanly possible.  It is definitely not my favorite style of all, but I will admit the book kept my interest and was entertaining overall.

This book continues the story of the couples that we met in book #1, Gina & Mac and Sarah & well as all their teenage kids and we see a LOT of drama through the teenage lives in this one.  Seriously....think soap opera going into this book because there is a LOT of drama from a LOT of different angles. Truly it got to be a little bit much for me. BUT that being said, like with soap operas I found myself riveted to the story. There's a reason I never turn them on in the first place. 

And this review is sounding like the book, meandering all over the place. So, the review:

1. Overall, I DO really like these characters and the setting of Thundering Point.

2. I wish that Robyn Carr would settle though and focus on one main story per book. Maybe then it wouldn't feel so soap opera-ish.

3. There are WAY TOO MANY POV's in this book...that's just a personal pet peeve. But seriously, stick to 2-4 and the book would feel much more cohesive.

4. The Newcomer?? Wtf?? Who was that supposed to be? My only guess was that it was Coop because at one point at the end of the book they call him that, but the first book was The Wanderer which was also him and that makes it sound like the series revolves around him and it totally does NOT! I did not get the title.

5. The next book in the series is The Hero and from the description follows Spencer, who we meet in this book. I really liked him as a character, but am really torn as to whether or not I will read more in this series. That book will also have to take place at least six months into the future to work for me with his story line that we saw in this book. 

Overall, to me, this book was disappointing, but Robyn Carr is an amazing writer. She weaves the story amazingly well so that as you read, you are in this small town with these characters. My issues with the book were purely based on the subjective things, not on the writing. This is simply not a style of book that I enjoy.

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

Two of a Kind by Susan Mallery

Title: Two of a Kind
Author: Susan Mallery
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Fool's Gold #12
Main Characters: Felicia and Gideon
Release Date: June 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery welcomes readers back to Fool's Gold, where a one-time fling could become the real thing...

Felicia Swift never dreamed she'd hear a deep, sexy voice from her past in tiny Fool's Gold, California. The last time Gideon Boylan whispered in her ear was half a world away...on the morning after the hottest night of her life. Her freaky smarts have limited her close friendships, and romance, but she came to Fool's Gold looking for ordinary. 

Gorgeous, brooding Gideon is anything but that. Black Ops taught Gideon that love could be deadly. Now he pretends to fit in while keeping everyone at arm's length. Felicia wants more than he can give-a home, family, love-but she has a lot to learn about men...and Gideon needs to be the man to teach her.

As these two misfits discover that passion isn't the only thing they have in common, they just might figure out that two of a kind should never be split apart.

My Review:
I think this may be my new favorite book from this series. I loved this book!! Honestly, there are not any other two characters who need love and a good hug more than Felicia and Gideon.

Felicia built a bomb at age four, terrifying her parents with her extreme intelligence so they abandoned her to the educational system. Basically donating her like a thing to the university. Yes, she's incredibly intelligent, but she's paid for that intelligence in so many ways. She's NEVER had love and acceptance. She's so freakishly smart, she's socially awkward. At age 16, she forged documents and tried to lose herself within the military. They soon recognized her abilities and put her to work organizing the Spec Ops teams and that's how she met Justice, Angel, and Ford. She's in Fools Gold getting their new security business off the ground and organized. What she doesn't realize is that Gideon, the man she gave her virginity to, is also in Fools Gold...until she hears his sexy voice over the radio.

Gideon wants nothing more than to fade away into obscurity. He was captured and tortured for two years and feels that there's not enough of him left to offer to anyone. He knows he's a shell of a man now. He watched the other three men on his team slowly die and they all had something to live for. He didn't. This book shows survivors guilt at its strongest. My heart just ached for his character. He's been through so much and withstood so much pain. 

As a reader, there is so much angst in this book and it's done so incredibly well. There's a lot of emotion, but there were also a ton of laughs. Felicia makes comments throughout the book that will honestly just have you bursting out in giggles because they are so honest and so unexpected. She even got Gideon to laughing.

There's a twist in the middle of the book that I did not see coming, but it was brilliant. Love Carter. Honestly, this book was fantastic before his character joined in, but after that, I was sold. LOVED THIS BOOK!! Read it. You won't regret it!!