Friday, August 28, 2015

ARC Review: Code of Honor by Missy Johnson

Code of Honor is a hot romance with a stepbrother-like theme, topped off with some mafia action. Overall, I enjoyed it but the story does not end with this book, and it actually ends in a cliffhanger.

Pietro's parents were murdered in his home when he was 15. He knew that his father was involved in the mafia, but the ramifications of that didn't hit home until he didn't have a home anymore. He was taken in by Giovanni Spontagio, an associate of his fathers, and moved with him to Chicago. Instantly he fell in love with Lucia Spontagio, Giovanni's daughter. They were raised together as practically brother and sister, but Pietro always knew his place with Giovanni, that he wasn't considered family as Lucy (Lucia) may have considered him. What Pietro didn't know is that Lucy had feelings for him, too. When Lucy decides to buck her overbearing father's ways and move to New York to pursue ballet, he sends Pietro there to clandestinely look after her.

Of course, Pietro could only keep up that ruse for so long, and the opportunity for their relationship to happen outside of Giovanni's constant hovering is full of hot and sexy encounters, but a lot of love between the Pietro and Lucia. The sex scenes were plentiful and enjoyable! And of course, there were some dangerous moments as well, since we are dealing with the mafia, after all.

Lucia was hard to like at times; despite the fact that she was constantly bucking her overbearing (and dangerous) father's overtures, she still came off as a spoiled silly brat in some circumstances. Pietro was smart but sometimes not necessarily clever. There were some missed opportunities for him to rise in his own power. Together they really had some amazing chemistry, and their love for each other came through clearly. Code of Honor had some scorching moments and should be a good read for anyone who loves a secret relationship trope.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

ARC Review: Bring Me to Life by August Kert

I was not expecting for a zombie to make me feel any emotion, and certainly not believe that he could fall in love with a human, but I became a believer in the sweet and sexy(!) Bring Me to Life.

The dystopian zombie apocalypse world that Bring Me to Life is set in has zombies in different phases; the mindless hordes we automatically think of, and then there are the Remnants, the talking, thinking, and more humane versions of zombies that have started to pop up. When Lyric gets captured by a group of Remnants with their own set of Renfields working for them, she knows that she will do whatever she has to get free. Immediately she connects with Anson, a handsome Remnant whose interest in her does not seem to be strictly dietary. They strike up a deal; she talks to him and helps him figure out memories from his past human life, and he will protect her on the inside.

Lyric's attraction to Anson is depicted honestly; he is pretty hot, despite the grey tinge to his skin, and Lyric fights with herself the deeper she falls for him. Repulsion, lust, confusion, it's all there and I appreciated that authentic touch from August Kert. Anson feels more and more human as he spends time with Lyric. He admire her fight and of course her beauty; he discovers lust and desire for the first time as a Remnant with her and quickly falls in love. Anson was written so intelligently; he has a wish to be great like the men he sees in the books at the compound's library. Even more romantic, he wants to be great for Lyric.

Is there a squick factor? Possibly, but Anson is so sweet, you can forget for moments that he is a zombie of any kind. Lyric is a strong, smart fighter and they make a perfect match. I was intrigued by the thought of a zombie/human romance and I think Bring Me to Life does a great job with the possibilities of such a match.

Monday, August 24, 2015

ARC Review: Tough Love by Lori Foster

Tough Love is a sexy MMA romance with a hero that isn't sure he wants a commitment and a heroine who has plans to change his mind, to delicious results.

Vanity Baker has had her eye on Stack Hannigan for a while and decides the best way to snag him is with sex (all men like sex, right?) She propositions him to be her escort at their mutual friends' wedding and in exchange he is guaranteed a night he won't forget. For weeks Stack was taunted by Vanity's hair, body, hell, her whole essence. When the night of the wedding finally arrives, more happens than either of them count on.

Tough Love was a hot read, with Stack as the giant alpha male with a code, and Vanity as the quintessential blonde bombshell who is looking for a person to call home. I loved these two together. Vanity calls Stack out on his shit constantly, but she isn't a nag or shrill annoyance. Stack realizes that Vanity is going to be more than a one night stand for him, and his territorial posturing with the other MMA athletes at the gym is hilarious. Of course there is the inevitable conflict, and I enjoyed how it played out. Lori Foster does a great job of creating strong characters, and the chemistry she creates with Stack and Vanity is at a constant smolder.

It's always nice to get a glimpse of the background characters, who were great support in this novel. The next couple from the gym are sure to be as hot as Vanity and Stack - I'll be there for sure!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Review: Flash Bang by Meghan March

I am all for a lot of things this book is about; triad relationships, dystopian landscape, and tough as nails heroines. Rowan was raised by her doomsday prepared father with her sister and knew the moment when a strange electromagnetic pulse ended electricity, she needed to get out of Chicago and make it to to them in rural Illinois; her father had been training her and her sister for this moment for years despite the fact that Rowan thought this moment would never come.

Anyone traveling alone during the beginning of the apocalypse is in danger, but a woman even more so; luckily for Rowan she escapes the wrath of some "Deliverance" backwoods crazies into the arms of Graham and Zach, part of an organized group of ex military who are very well prepared for the new world order on a huge ranch. Quickly these three decide to embark on a menage relationship with the agreement that Graham and Zach escort Rowan to her family, however, plans change when outside dangers threaten the ranch and everyone in it.

I wanted to love this book more than I actually ended up liking it. The first half of the book was interesting and hot, but the last half left me a little frustrated; Rowan went from being smart, capable, and yeah, stubborn, to being infected with a little TSTL and a lot of dense. Maybe I just really empathized with Graham's feelings, but some of the finals conflicts didn't feel genuine, so the solutions couldn't feel as genuine either.

However, I did really enjoy the world, and as the first in this series, I can tell there are plenty more stories to tell. I'm interested in taking another look into the Flash Bang universe!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

ARC Review: Anything But Broken by Joelle Knox

I love being a blogger because it means I get an early peek at a book like Anything But Broken by Joelle Knox (aka Kit Rocha aka Moira Rogers aka Bree Bridges and Donna Herren.)

This New Adult read has just the right amount of angst and drama, a serious dollop of heat, and a great hero and heroine that make you root for their romance. College student Hannah has had a crush on Sean for years, but that doesn't matter. He was her sister Cait's boyfriend, and despite the fact that her sister passed away years ago now, he has always been off limits. However, Hannah is back in town to deal with another tragedy; her father has passed away and her mother is only technically alive due to a terrible car accident. Hannah's home life was all about keeping up appearances and never admitting to weaknesses, or perceived weaknesses, and Hannah has been coping with whatever liquor is handy. Sean has mostly moved on from Cait's death, but he still feels incredibly disloyal to have the underlying feelings he does for Hannah. He has done pretty well for himself, but he definitely isn't one of the rich players in town like Hannah's family. He owns his own auto-body shop and races his car during the season in town but can he keep his head in the game when he decides to be Hannah's friend?

Hannah and Sean have such ridiculous chemistry, and don't let the New Adult tag fool anyone; Hannah's virginal encounters with Sean are hotter than some threesome scenes I have read. Their connection is real and the tragedies they both have to recover from are heartbreaking but triumphant. Anything But Broken is not surprisingly a great start to a new series. I can't wait for the second book in the Hurricane Creek series!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Review: Evening Storm

Evening Storm Evening Storm by Anne Calhoun
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Go to Miss Boxy Frown for the full review!

Simone and Ryan are at their best when they are volleying quips back and forth. Ryan is used to hard work, but he is also used to pushing until he gets what he wants. Simone is strong and honest, and fights back with the blunt truth.

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ARC Review: Evening Storm by Anne Calhoun

In Evening Storm, Ryan Hamilton is a Wall Street roller who stumbles upon a Ponzi scheme created by his bank's owners. Without hesitation, he walks into FBI headquarters and decides to share his knowledge; they make him an informant and that's when his ulcers begin. To play the part of the high rolling wolf who wants in on the scheme he makes sure he is seen with lots of noteworthy women, and when he wanders into Simone Demarchelier's exclusive lingerie boutique, he is instantly attracted and intrigued by her. So much so that he takes all of his women there; and so it begins.

Simone is a self made woman, despite the fact that she is part of a powerhouse family of designers in France. She wants to make her own way, and has been successful in New York. It's just that damn Ryan Hamilton keeps coming in with different women, and despite it all they have a connection that even she can't deny. These two strike up what can only be called a sensuous friendship. They are very careful not to cross lines, but they become closer and closer. And Simone can tell that Ryan is holding something back, but he won't tell her what it is.

Simone and Ryan are at their best when they are volleying quips back and forth. Ryan is used to hard work, but he is also used to pushing until he gets what he wants. Simone is strong and honest, and fights back with the blunt truth. They are very sexy together, and they have what seems like an epic romance, until finally Ryan calls her to be at his side during the most difficult time in his life.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

ARC Review: Scandal Never Sleeps

Gabriel Bond has a handful of men he considers blood brothers despite the fact that they aren’t biologically related. They called themselves Perfect Gentlemen in boarding school and the name has stuck all the way into their successful adult lives. When the true womanizing playboy of the bunch, Maddox, ends up dead through mysterious circumstances, it rocks the Gentlemen to their core. After the funeral he meets the sexy and curvy Eve, and their connection is immediate. They decide to have a one night stand that turns into a weekend fling. The problem? Maddox’s murder is being pinned on Gabe, who inherited Maddox’s whole empire, and Eve’s given name is Everly Parker, a protege of Maddox’s and now an employee of Gabriel’s. In Scandal Never Sleeps, Shayla Black and Lexi Blake team up to give us a one night stand coming home to roost with a dash of romantic suspense done right!

Everly Parker is the smartest, most capable romantic suspense heroine I have read in a long while. It’s safe to say a common fear of a romantic suspense reader is to have a heroine who is too stupid to live; a heroine who thinks her love will save the day as opposed to actual life skills, so she puts herself unnecessarily in danger. Blake and Black created a fierce creature in Eve, a woman who may have some insecurities about her relationship with Gabe but in the end has a brain and uses it, over and over again. I love her, and I hope the rest of the women in the Perfect Gentlemen series follow in Eve’s footsteps. Eve is the vice president of cyber security in Maddox’s company so she can hack her way into practically anything, and has been doing that since she was a teenager, to the chagrin of her police officer father. He was a single dad so she grew up around cops and ex military men; she knows how to handle a firearm, how to protect herself in hand to hand combat, and how to think critically. She is also a curvy, vivacious redhead who takes no mess from anyone, but is also a compassionate loner who looking for a family to call her own.

Gabe and Eve’s relationship turns from awkward to intense as they try to figure out who killed Maddox and why; their relationship careens like a car on a roller coaster through every discovery and doubt. Quickly we come to understand Gabriel has his work cut out for him if he plans on wooing Everly. Initial misunderstandings and mysteries aside, Gabe makes it his business to claim Eve for himself. A powerful man like Gabriel who has a laser focus on a woman is a sexy man indeed. We know that family is important to Gabe through his relationship with his Perfect Gentlemen to be sure, but also through his relationship with his sister. The familial bond is something he takes seriously, and when Maddox dies, it rocks all of the Perfect Gentlemen to their core. With successful businessmen, politicians (including the President of the United States), and a covert analyst aka operative among them, these men are in influential positions and have dominant tendencies to say the least. There promises to be even more on the horizon from Shayla Black and Lexi Blake; this is the first of the Perfect Gentlemen series and there are a couple of Gentlemen I can’t wait to read about!

There are twists and turns, shadows of doubt, and plenty of sexy times in Scandal Never Sleeps. Gabe and Eve are a perfect match; he is the handsome rich man used to getting what he wants, and she is the hourglassed brainiac used to thinking for herself. The realizations they both have about each other when the chips were on the line were wonderful to read, and any fan of romantic suspense or billionaires should have this on their auto-buy list.

Review: Laid Out

Laid Out Laid Out by Sidney Halston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sexy friends to lovers story about childhood friends who share loss and love, with some MMA action!
The full First Look is available at Heroes and Heartbreakers.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

ARC Review: Stepbrother Mine #3

In the conclusion to this erotic stepbrother trilogy, Mason pushes Dana to the limit to drive her away from him and his deviant needs. In his efforts, he ends up solidifying their bond even more, but there are still forces outside of their relationship that are making Mason want to protect Dana, even from himself.

As a whole, I enjoyed the series and this portion of the story had some of the steamiest scenes I have read in a while. The more we get into Mason and Dana's relationship, the more we find out that Mason's tendencies are not a passing fancy, they are the real deal and he has the goods to prove it. Stepbrother Mine scratches that kinky billionare itch that so many women have, and Mason is so sexy when he is being all alpha and cold (especially when his attraction to Dana makes him lose his composure.) Dana is a virgin, but not a clueless idiot, which I also appreciate so much.

Another sultry read from Opal Carew!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Review: Stepbrother, Mine #2

Stepbrother, Mine #2 Stepbrother, Mine #2 by Opal Carew
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This second entry in the stepbrother trilogy gives us a look at the past and how some of the changes in the present are even more surprising. Mason and Dana are heading to the point of no return, and Dana wants to seal the deal in the worst way. Meanwhile Mason wants to do the right thing, and not make Dana feel she owes him her virginity at the price of her education. There is a meeting of the minds (and bodies) and the flashbacks gave me a bit of whiplash. Overall I did enjoy this second entry just fine, but I am definitely primed to read the third part of this story. It seems like maybe some danger and scandal are on the horizon!

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

ARC Review: Soul of Smoke by Caitlyn McFarland

Kai is a tiny sprite of a person who loves to challenge herself with extreme activities such as rock climbing. On a hiking trip with her best friend they discover a woman badly injured. While her friend runs to get help, Kai ends up helping the woman to her camp where she discovers a fight between two warring factions of dragons. From then on Kai is swept into a secret world of dragons, magic, and war. Along the way she ends up saving Rhys, and as dragons are sometimes known to do with humans, they become heartsworn. Being heartsworn means Rhys is more powerful, but only if Kai complets the bond.

This is an epic adventure of a whirlwind week in the life of an adrenaline junkie and an ancient diverse group of dragons. They are fighting for the greater good of mankind and dragonkind together as their enemy would like to wage chaos and war for everyone and not hide dragons behind the veil of magic any longer. Rhys has a smoldering appeal that  Kai is helpless but to be attracted to, and Kai's loyalty and kindness fuel her attractiveness to Rhys. However, he won't deceive her about what it means to be heartsworn, as it is a lifelong commitment that would take her away from her family and friends.

This was the first part of a great adventure. If you enjoy fantasy and dragons, this one is for you.

Review: Falling Under

Falling Under Falling Under by Lauren Dane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some of my favorite books to read are about grown ass folks having a grown ass romance, and I loved Falling Under for this among many other reasons. Duke Bradshaw is a chill, sexy, tall glass of water with a hint of grey at the temples, and co-owns Twisted Steel bike shop with his best friend Asa. He has had a big time crush on his next door neighbor, pinup sexy redhead Carmella, for about a year. When an opportunity comes to have her work at the shop, he snaps it up and indulges his curiosity to get to know her...and much more. Carmella is not great about letting people in; her home life has never been anything nice and she takes care of a manipulative but unstable mother. Letting Duke in can be a disaster since he is her boss, her neighbor, and they have a similar circle of friends, but her attraction to him is real and she decides to go for it.

I love Lauren Dane's heroes. They are hot, complicated without being creepy, and fall insanely in love with their heroines. Falling Under is such a great read! I mean, Duke has a tool kit and knows how to fix stuff...and does it!! Insant ovary explosion right there.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Review: The Escort

The Escort The Escort by Laura Marie Altom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this sexy read about jilted lovers who come together (literally!) He just happens to be a male escort.

Stay tuned for the First Look at Heroes and Heartbreakers!

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Review: Make You Burn

Make You Burn Make You Burn by Megan Crane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A full First Look is coming from Heroes and Heartbreakers!
This is a fiery matchup between an all grown up biker princess and the gritty man who has come back after ten years to take his place as president of the MC.

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Saturday, August 1, 2015

ARC Review: Stepbrother Mine 1 by Opal Carew

Dana is in serious trouble. Her mother, a serial marrying evil jerk, has decided that Dana doesn't need to pursue her Master's degree and should go out and get a real job. She has cut Dana off financially with no warning, and refuses to co-sign any student loans for Dana as well. In desperation, Dana takes advice from a friend and decides to auction off her virginity on a website that specializes in wealthy clientele. What Dana doesn't know is that her stepbrother Mason, from a couple of her mother's marriages ago, is a Dom and bored with his slaves. When his friend tells him about the exclusive virgin website, he isn't interested, but decides to browse anyway. Imagine his surprise at seeing Dana's picture there. He acts immediately and purchases the rights to Dana's virginity.

When Dana and Mason reunite after years apart, we learn more about Dana's teen years and their life as a family (if you can call it that) together. Mason, a hardworking young man ten years Dana's senior, took an interest in her. A welcome interest considering the selfish people they were raised by. Dana had a terrible crush on Mason, but when she turned 18, he left the home and shortly after that their parents divorced. She hasn't seen him in years, but when they meet up again, the sparks fly like she wished they would have when she was a girl.

This is part one of an erotic trilogy, full of passion and dark chemistry. I'm excited to read the next chapter in this series!

ARC Review: Insider by Olivia Cunning

Fans of Olivia Cunning's Sinners series will love the band members from Exodus End. In this first book from their series we meet Toni, a creative multimedia journalist who is set to inherit her mother's publishing empire, whether she wants to or not. While her mother was out conquering the world, a young Toni home schooled and raised her younger sister with special needs. Now, finally, she has the opportunity to do some things for herself; lose her virginity, travel with the band Exodus End for a month, and create an interactive travel journal that the fans would love. However, Toni has to get the band to open up and trust her. Bass player Logan Schmidt is a womanizer of the highest level. He loves women and as soon as Toni steps on the tour bus, everyone can see Logan has his sights set on her. They have an instant attraction and great chemistry, but what they both weren't counting on was feeling something more.

This was a super sexy rock star romp of a story. Olivia Cunning's rock stars are carnal, charming, yet vulnerable in some way. Logan and Toni both have family issues that are integral to who they are; these unexpected similarities bring them closer together when they both assumed their relationship would be temporary and without strings. However, as time passes and Logan becomes deliciously and uncharacteristically jealous of every person who even looks at Toni, they both realize that maybe something more is there.