Saturday, November 30, 2013

Try by Ella Frank

Title:  Try
Author: Ella Frank
My RatingA

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance (m/m)
Series: Temptation #1
Release Date: November 2013
Main Characters: Logan and Tate
Publisher: -
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Try – verb: to make an attempt or effort to do something or in this case…someone.

Sex. Logan Mitchell loves it, and ever since he realized his raw sexual appeal at a young age, he has had no problem using it to his advantage. Men and women alike fall into his bed—after all, Logan is not one to discriminate. He lives by one motto—if something interests you, why not just take a chance and try?

And he wants to try Tate Morrison.

Just coming out of a four-year marriage with an ex-wife from hell, a relationship is the last thing on Tate’s mind. He’s starting fresh and trying to get back on his feet with a new job at an upscale bar in downtown Chicago.

The only problem is, Tate has caught the unwavering and unwelcome attention of Mr. Logan Mitchell – a regular at the bar and a man who always gets what he wants.

Night after night Tate fends off the persistent advances of the undeniably charismatic man, but after an explosive moment in the bar, all bets are off as he finds his body stirring with a different desire than his mind.

As arrogance, stubbornness and sexual tension sizzles between the two, it threatens to change the very course of their lives.

Logan doesn’t do relationships. Tate doesn’t do men. But what would happen if they both just gave in and…tried?


My Review:
If you like the sex in your books hot and sizzling then this is a book for you because it excels at that. This is the love story between two men:

1. Tate-- he's the newest bartender at an upscale downtown bar. He's about to finalize his divorce from his wife of 3 years and it's been a year since he had sex. He's thinking that with this new job, he may just want to sample some of the beautiful women that are hitting on him. Until....Logan hits on him. 

2. Logan-- flat-out, this guy is a sexual creature. Men, women, it doesn't matter. He likes sex and likes to have it a lot. His only's just for fun. No relationships. No commitment. When he  sees Tate, he wants him and immediately sets out to pursue him, no holds-barred. 

Tate is reluctantly interested. He's straight. Always has been, but something about Logan calls to him. But as he gets to know Logan, he realizes more and more that this would just be a that would change everything that defines who he is, but one that Logan would likely forget. Is it worth the risk? Tate doesn't think so. 

Logan doesn't take no for an answer and we end up with this sexy little book. Whoa! I do love Tate and Logan. Both really big alpha guys...they take turns getting angry and pushing at each other. But with each push, they get deeper into a relationship...the one thing neither honestly thought they would find with the other. It just develops and I liked the natural feel to that. 

And of course, everything for Tate is new...that makes this book so smexy and such a turn on. I truly loved watching his exploration and discovery (Logan didn't seem to mind it too much either.)

This is the beginning of a series featuring these two and it will be interesting to see where it goes from here. This book was VERY sexually heavy and I'm not sure that level of lust can be sustained over a whole series, but who knows? These guys do get worked up when they disagree and they disagree a lot...hehe. Things also aren't quite settled with the divorce and I foresee some fireworks there. It should be interesting. When does book #2 come out???

Friday, November 29, 2013

Stowaway Bride by Adrianne Wood

Title:  Stowaway Bride
Author: Adrianne Wood
My Rating: A

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: -
Release Date: November 2013
Main Characters: Emily and Lucien
Publisher: Pocket Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
A steamy Western set in the Colorado badlands, featuring an heiress seeking adventure and a businessman looking for a saboteur.

Emily Highfill Grant is living the life most young women would envy: fashionable picnics on Boston Common, parties with eligible bachelors, and the wealth of her grandfather Charles Bertram Highfill assuring her a fine marriage. But what Emily wants more than anything is to go West—and break free of the cage her name and fortune have built for her. When her mother decides to travel to San Francisco, Emily sneaks aboard their private railcar, planning to surprise her once they’ve left the station. But Emily is the one who’s surprised: the railcar has been leased to Lucien Delatour, and she’s now traveling cross-country in a cozy private car with a handsome stranger.

Lucien Delatour hasn’t had it easy. Raised in an orphanage, Lucien built his hard-won fortune with sweat and determination. Now a saboteur’s deadly actions threaten to destroy the rail line that he and his business partner have spent a fortune to create. Racing west, Lucien is determined to prove that the saboteur is his old nemesis—Charles Bertram Highfill.

When Emily’s family sends agents to retrieve her, Lucien marries her to keep her safe. But when he finds out who her grandfather is, Lucien can’t help but feel betrayed…and soon he is torn between saving his railroad and saving his marriage.

My Review:
There was a time in my life....a long, LONG time ago...when all I read was historical romance. I'll be honest. Anymore, they really aren't usually my thing and I flat out don't enjoy them as much as I used to. BUT the publisher sent me this one for review so I decided to give it a chance. I was going to read to the 25% point, then if I wasn't enjoying it, I just wasn't going to review it. Well, you're reading my review right now... so guess what?? Hehe...I liked this one.

Through a series of unusual events Emily and Lucien...and Emily's sister, Annabelle...all ended up traveling on the train in the same Pullman car headed toward the west. Emily and Annabelle are trying to protect their reputations so they don't tell Lucien who their family is. Lucien doesn't care who they are...he just wants them gone, until he hurts his ankle and by then he's fighting an attraction to Emily so he uses his ankle as an excuse to keep them close. 

Emily is after adventure and wants to see the world. She's been fairly sheltered but is 20 yo and very confident in who she is and what she's capable of. That comes across the page in a great way. Even in circumstances when she's way out of her element, she squares her shoulders and goes on. She's smart and witty and quick-thinking. I really loved her and her lack of reservation about going after whatever it is that she wants. 

Lucien wants one thing...his railroad to get built. He's been back east looking for investors and has no idea that he's headed back home with his enemies granddaughters in tow. He and his partner, Chuck, are sure that it's Emily's grandfather who's been sabotaging their construction because he wants the railroad for himself at dirt cheap. 

Of course, the revelation of who Emily is comes out at the absolute worst time, but this is romance...what's a little happily ever after if you can't have some good high drama first and the second half of the novel is filled with high drama...from the sabotage that is happening to meddling neighbors and family, Emily and Lucien have to fight for what they finally realize they want. By the end of this novel, I was FULLY INVESTED in their HEA and loved the way that all those final scenes were written. I couldn't put it down. A great novel and a good reminder of why I used to love historical so much!!

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

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Unexpected Rescue by Silvia Violet

Title: Unexpected Rescue 
Author: Silvia Violet
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Jackson and Addison
Release Date: November 2013
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Shrapnel from an explosion tore up Jackson’s leg and ended his career as a Navy SEAL. Being forced into the civilian world was bad enough, but being told he’s crazy is intolerable. No matter what the doctors or anyone else tells him, he knows a supposed ally was responsible for his injury, and that same man is determined to shut Jackson up for good.

When Jackson sees a kayaker clinging to his boat from the balcony of his beach house, his instincts tell him something dire is about to happen. Jackson rescues the injured man and insists on hiding him until a former SEAL teammate arrives. As Jackson struggles with separating reality from soul-shattering flashbacks, the injured man’s compassion and growing trust tear down his barriers, and Jackson begins to wonder if his heart is as dead as he’d assumed.

My Review:
This is a short little book, but it's definitely not short on story or drama. Jackson is trying to get his head and his life back together after being wounded on a mission that went terribly wrong and he lost his SEAL career for medical reasons. He's staying for a short time at a beach house to do that and is on his porch when  he realizes there's a kayaker in trouble. He soon realizes as he rescues the kayaker that he got into trouble because of Jackson. Jackson is the only person who knows that that mission which went wrong was because of a traitor...a traitor who's out to get him now. The kayaker got shot because the shooter thought he was Jackson and the story unfolds from there. 

Jackson is a character that I immediately fell in love with. He does what he has to do to save Addison, regardless of how much damage he's doing to his own already broken body. He knows that everyone thinks he's crazy, but he can't let Addy go into danger just because no one believes him. This is a guy who stands for what he believes in...if he gets arrested for that eventually, or his body doesn't recover, well, that's the price he's willing to pay. How can you not love that about a guy?

The story was good and I liked the added dimension that Sport added to it when he arrived. (Maybe a future story here?? I could definitely get behind that idea.) I loved Jackson, hands-down, his character was incredible. If I could change a single thing...I would like to have seen more from Addy...maybe some scenes from his POV? I feel like I didn't get to know him enough during the story, although what I did get from him I loved. 

I would definitely follow this author if more books come out and this becomes a series....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Operation Christmas by Barbara Weitz

Title: Operation Christmas 
Author: Barbara Weitz
My Rating: B 

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: -
Main Characters: Jess and Madeleine
Release Date: November 2013
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: g-rated

Story Overview
Lieutenant Jess Grant is home from Afghanistan with a physical injury that has stripped away his confidence. Yet he hopes to reconnect with a young war widow he knew in high school. His "Operation Christmas" project is just the excuse he needs to visit her family's bakery.

Madeleine Belmar struggles with Christmas, works for Scrooge, and is nowhere near ready for a new relationship when she runs into Jess. Her rejection and his persistence create a confusing mix of attraction and fear she seems unable to navigate.

When Jess sees she won't budge, he leaves their fate up to Madeleine. Between her meddling family and angelic intervention, Jess will get a helping hand. This Christmas will be one they will never forget.

My Review:
If you are looking for a sweet little Christmas book which embraces the season, the emotions that so many deal with at this time of the year, and a touch of Christmas magic....this is the book for you. 

The first half of this book is pretty tough. Madeleine lost her husband while he was serving in the military two years ago. She's never really recovered from that. That same week of her husband's death, Jess had his own military that he survived (one of the few who did) with only the loss of his arm. But he's still haunted by his loss too. Both these people are having a hard time readjusting to life and that makes it really hard for them to connect for the first half of this book, no matter how hard Jess is trying to make it happen. 

There are other normal life complications, jobs, volunteer work, life stresses...all those things that everyone has to deal with, but also seem to become so much more difficult at this time of the year.

There are some real highlights to this book...Jess's friend, Tamara (I think I have her name right, but am not sure). She was awesome. I loved how she would tell both Jess and Madeleine the honest truth and call them on stuff. Then there was Jess's little sister, Crystal...loved their straight teenage honesty. There's a quick little bit of conflict at the end, but the resolution to that story line was PERFECTION. I really, really did like that bit in the epilogue. Most of the story takes place in Madeleine's family bakery....those smells with the Christmas lights that are present in all of Jess's places provide great ambiance for this Christmas story.

Like I said, just a sweet little read to make you think about the miracles that so often happen this time of year.

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

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

Title: Hard As It Gets 
Author: Laura Kaye
My Rating: A 

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Hard Ink #1
Main Characters: Nick and Becca
Release Date: November 2013
Publisher: Avon
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...

My Review:
I preordered this book AGES ago, because there is not a thing about this set-up that I don't love...and I'm so thrilled to say that the book lived up to my anticipation of it. Seriously, I really didn't think it would because I've been waiting for this book for so long!

There was so much about this book that was so incredible, but first can we talk about Rixey??? Whoa...I love a tattooed bad boy and this one is awesome. He's had a hard year and has been floundering ever since he was kicked out of the Army. Twelve years as special ops...he gave everything to the military and his team and got kicked in the teeth for it....all because of one man, Becca's father, his ex-commander. So to say he's not exactly receptive when she comes to him for help is putting it mildly. But at his heart, Rixey is still that good guy and he can't turn his back on her if she's really in trouble. That's Rixey.

Then there's this tough girl. She's learned how to be tough and stand up for herself, but everyone needs help sometime and right now she's all alone and doesn't know who to turn to so she can save her brother, Charlie. I loved how no matter how hard she was knocked down, she popped right back up swinging and that includes at Rixey, if need be. She's not a girl that can be pushed around. She's tough and always manages to crawl her way out of situations. That she's a badass nurse just makes her all that much better. 

Then there's the team... who've all been kicked down just as hard as Rixey. They are AWESOME and I can't wait to get every single one of their stories...and hopefully Jeremy and Charlie, too!!

The set-up of the whole story is great. It looks like getting the reputation of the whole team back is going to be the over-arcing story line for the entire series and although I'm pretty sure I know what exactly went down with Becca's father, I still am really looking forward to all the books. And the fact that it all takes place in this awesome tattoo parlor/entire building set-up...LOVE!!! 

GREAT first novel in the series. I highly recommend it. Start the series now so you can enjoy them all as they come out...

Top Off Tuesday: Branded by Laura Wright

Yum...I've already added this one to my wish list.
Hot cowboys and shocking secrets. 
I think it sounds incredible.
It looks even better...

Branded by Laura Wright
releasing June 3, 2014

Story Overview:
In the small town of River Black , Texas , sits the Triple C—a working cattle ranch that sustains the town. But it also holds painful memories and shocking secrets for the Cavanaugh brothers...

When the Cavanaugh brothers return home for their father’s funeral, they discover unexpected evidence of the old man’s surprising double life—a son named Blue, who wants the Triple C Ranch as much as they do. The eldest son Deacon, a wealthy businessman who couldn’t wait to leave the ranch and move on with his life, is looking to use his powerful connections to stop Blue at any cost. He never expected the ranch’s forewoman, Mackenzie Black, to get in his way.

Mac knows Deacon means to destroy the ranch and therefore, destroy her livelihood. But as the two battle for control, their attraction builds. Now Deacon is faced with the choice of a lifetime: take down the Triple C to feed his need for revenge, or embrace the love of the one person who has broken down every barrier to his heart.

It's so fun to see so many people get excited about this meme.
(But honestly, we're looking at gorgeous men and talking about can that be a bad thing?)
If you want to play along, we have a plethora of Top Off Tuesday buttons for you to choose from:
created by Deb at HEA Romances with Kick

created by Missie at The Unread Reader

created by Diana at Book of Secrets

Pick one...or all and post it to your blog post.
Then find you a gorgeous cover featuring a gorgeous male specimen and head on over to The Geeky Book Blogger and post your link. We can't wait to see what good books you've found!
Hosted by Geeky Book Blogger's Book BlogOn a Book Bender, & Smitten with Reading (me!)

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Awakening: Britton by Abby Niles

Title:  The Awakening: Britton
Author: Abby Miles
My Rating: A+

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: The Awakening #3
Release Date: November 2013
Main Characters: Brit and Val
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
"I would lick that man up one side and down the other."

Half-shifter and lead SPAC agent, Val Calhoun, has listened to women gush over the Don Juan of the precinct for the last four years. Yeah, Detective Britton Townsend is hot and has stunning blue eyes, but that foul mouth he saves only for her? What a waste of good looks. And no way does Val want that mouth anywhere near hers.

When the shifter community is threatened, Val is assigned to the case…and fails. So the High Council turns to the rogue shifter they'd sentenced to twenty years as a human--that same obnoxiously sexy Detective Townsend. And sends the two arch-enemies deep into the North Carolina Mountains-—together, and alone.

Being stuck in a tiny honeymoon cabin with Miss Castration and only one bed is definitely not Britton's idea of a good time. But the High Council doesn’t take no for an answer. After his shifter abilities are restored, Brit is once again susceptible to the dreaded, irreversible bonding instinct, the Drall. Thankfully, all he’s ever felt for Val is intense loathing, no reason to worry. Right? All he has to do is solve this case pronto, and he can go back to his footloose Casanova ways. That is, if they don’t kill each other first. Or worse...fall in love.

My Review:
OMG, I loved this book. Hands down, this is the best in the series so far and I really didn't expect that. We had glimpses of Brit and Val together in the last book so knew that their relationship is really contentious, but I had no idea just how deep it went. 

This is a deeply emotional book. Britton was a shifter, but while on the job at the SPAC, he broke the save a child's life. But according to the council, a law is a law and they are there for a reason. So he was punished with 20 years of separation from his Jaguar. They took away his shifter side so now he's a human. This book takes place four years after that time and Brit has learned to adjust. He used to be the head of SPAC, now he just works for the normal PD and Val has his job. That doesn't change the fact that he originally had the SPAC job because he was the most expert tracker...until the Council took away his shifter abilities. But now there is a job too big for Val to handle and they need Brit back on the job...but he only gets his abilities back temporarily. 

This book is heartbreaking because Brit's shifter status is only temporary. After the case is over, he loses his Jaguar again. As if the punishment wasn't cruel enough to begin with. To tease him with it like this truly is above and beyond cruel and when he realizes what this means for him and Val...well, let's just say I spent a lot of the end of the book with tears in my eyes. 

Abby Niles did such a brilliant job of writing this book. I was 110% invested emotionally with these characters and what was happening to them. The other books in this series have both been good and emotional too, but something about this one just went above and beyond. So freaking good!!!

If you like to read Shifter books, I recommend this entire series, but especially this novel. You absolutely could read this one without having read the other two. The Hero and the heroine in this one are both police detectives so both of them are absolutely badass. I haven't talked about Val, but OMG, I loved her and what she did at the end. She is definitely a heroine that you can love because of her convictions and passions. 

Finally, just BUY THIS BOOK. I don't think you'll regret it. If it comes available in print, I plan to buy it for my keeper shelf.

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