PIERCED by Sydney Landon
Copyright: July 2014
Series: Lucian & Lia, Book 1
Source: Amazon Freebie
My name is Lucian Quinn and I own one of the most successful software companies in the world. I’m twenty-nine, rich and single. Impressive right? I’m also a favorite target for every hungry socialite looking to land the uncatchable catch. Maybe it sounds vain, but the fact that I’m a God between the sheets doesn’t hurt my stock any. What these women don’t know though is that I’m completely screwed up and damaged beyond repair by my past. The only part of me I’ll ever willingly give them is the hour it takes to make them scream…several times.
Then I saw her…
I’m Lia Adams and I’m in my last year at St. Claire’s University in North Carolina. I grew up with an abusive mother, and a twisted stepfather who was worse…so much worse. I’m so close to escaping from my past and making my dreams come true. I’ll do anything necessary to survive, even work as an escort to help pay for my college expenses. The men that I accompany to various events as an escort for Date Night are mostly harmless and just want an attractive woman on their arm for an evening. It has never gone further than that…until him…
“I want you to call into work tomorrow and quit your job. I don’t think you need to bother with notice; it’s not likely you will ever use them for a future job reference.”
I nod my head in agreement, fighting the sleep threatening to claim me when his words finally hit me. What the h***? “Wh—What did you say?” Had I imagined the whole thing?
Without looking at me, he repeats his demand. I shake my head, completely confused. “What are you talking about? Why would I quit my job? Oh, no,” I gasp in horror, “are you trying to get me fired because of tonight? It was just cold medicine!”
His eyes are glittering in the darkness. “Baby, if I wanted to have you fired, I would. I want to f*** you, but not when you’re being paid to be my date.”
Circumstances bring two people that should have never crossed paths together and in the days and weeks ahead, they grow close quickly, each seeing a kindred soul in the other. As ghosts from their past rise to haunt them, they cling to each other as their lives start to spiral out of control. Soon, they realize that they’re both damaged possibly beyond repair. Will their love be what saves or destroys them?
A couple things to say about this one:
TSTL heroine. Unprotected sex with hero after only knowing him a couple days? Knowing he’s a man who “has had many women” No THANK YOU.
Even though I’ve never read Sylvia Day’s Crossfire series, I’ve read plenty of reviews and seen many comments/discussions about it to know Day’s Gideon is a tortured soul who has lots of nightmares about his past. As does this hero. The first time they were in bed together and he was whimpering in his sleep, Gideon was my first thought. Did the author mean for that to happen? Not sure but…..I can’t help where my mind went when I read that scene.
Hero who has a cocaine habit but can function and make great business decisions while high? I don’t think so. We’re really expected to believe that only he, his supplier, his driver (who put him in touch with the supplier) and his friend are the only ones to know about his habit? That he can go through his day acting just fine while high as a kite? Really??
Huge DNF. Thank God this was a freebie at Amazon.
PROVOKED by Riley Murphy
Copyright: May 2015
Publisher: Renegade Publishing
Series: Make Me, #1
Source: Bought from Amazon
When a museum executive secretary, who barely tolerates men, has a run in with an infamous BDSM Master, Neil Cannon, a man who lives to discipline women, there’s little she can do about it. Why?
The Master thinks Charlotte, a.k.a Charlie is her kink-loving, totally outrageous, and continually stirring-up-trouble twin sister. And after what Charlie just did, he has to keep thinking that. At least until she can find a way to climb out of the huge mess her well-meaning intentions have landed her in. She’ll take the punishments the Master intends for her twin. She’ll even put up with him and his misogynistic antics if it means she’ll be able to unlock the secrets that will save her family. All she has to do is behave like her sister. How hard could it be to emulate a fearless, over-confident, rebellious woman, with highly questionable sexual standards?
Neil’s been waiting months for the chance to deal with this audacious sub who’s been jacking up the testosterone levels of his vanilla crew whenever her sports car needed maintenance. That’s why he made the service call himself. He’s confident she won’t be yanking his chain, because if she tries he’s prepared to yank it right back.
Or so he thought until she turns out to be different than what he expected her to be. She starts pushing buttons he didn’t know he had. She’s flipping internal switches, lighting things up, creating a whole new level of dominant need he’s determined to explore, enjoy, and satisfy.
Unfortunately, before either of them can get a handle on the D/s chemistry exploding between them, she takes off. It’s then he discovers that she’s invited a part of his past, that he’s promised to steer clear of, right to his front door.
Now, in order to keep her safe, he must find her, and when he does he has to keep her close. Too close for either one of them to escape the inevitable truth.
“Sometimes the best pleasures in life are found at the end of a person’s comfort zone,” whispered the Master to the one woman he’s dead set on collaring…
This was my first time reading Riley Murphy. I actually bought PUSHED first then realized there was a book before it so I decided to start that one.
Cat & Charlie are twins. Identical twins. Only thing different is that Charlie got a tattoo of a dove on her *ss in college because Cat was experiencing the college life with guys but telling them that her name was Charlie. To make it stop, Charlie got a tattoo because Cat has a fear of needles and would never get one.
The story starts off with Charlie taking/stealing money and some artifact from a guy she drugged who is now looking for her. At the same time, Cat has issues with the owner of the BDSM club she goes to so perfect solution, in their minds, is that they switch places. Charlie will go to the BDSM club and take Cat’s punishment, which is to stay in the “hole” for a few days so she doesn’t get kicked out of the BDSM club. In return, Cat would stay at Charlie’s house until things calmed down and then they’d get things back to normal.
I will say the book did start out interesting. The whole mistaken identity trope is actually one of my favorites in books. So Charlie meets Master Cannon as “Cat” and knowing how Cat is, is rude and snarky to him. Neil doesn’t take too kindly to being talked to like that so decides “Cat” needs to be taken into hand and given lessons on how subs really act. Things are just getting good, because it turns out, Charlie, who has never been in a D/s relationship took to her first couple lessons like a duck to water but when they’re interrupted, she ended up leaving with Cat. Before Neil realized there were actually two of them.
The money stolen by Charlie was because her mother was ill and was in desperate need of surgery. Charlie and Cat head home, find there’s a whole family secret neither knew about and Neil tracks them down there and realizes there are two Cats. Truth comes out, Charlie wants to continue with the lessons and he tells her no and gives her reasons why.
This is where the book took a turn for me. Charlie became TSTL in some scenes. She gave off a desperate vibe because she kept going after Neil and he would tell her she needed to apologize and she’d give excuse after excuse with no real apology. At that point, I didn’t really care if they had their HEA or not.
In the meantime, Neil and Jude were trying to bring down the baddie and find the big family secret that involved Charlie and her family. Charlie and Cat end up finding a paper with the exact location of where they were headed and decided to go there with Charlie’s assistant. Of course they run into obstacles and again come off as TSTL. At one point, Neil tells Charlie he’s disappointed in her. Next scene is of Charlie jumping into the water to save a girl and when Neil takes that girl with the thought that Charlie would have climbed out herself but instead Charlie waits until they’re out of sight and then lets go and “floats away” because she just knows she’s “disappointed” Neil and they’d never be able to get past that. Are you kidding me? She had to be saved by Neil and then spent the next two weeks moping that he left her in the hospital as soon as she woke up. Cue the little violin music.
Of course this is a romance and they did have their HEA but it was just very meh to me.
In addition to that, the family secret? Once it was recovered? I expected a very emotional scene, like the scene when the secret came out but there was nothing. Just a few scenes where “The Skype” was involved and conversations were had but did I miss it? Did a physical face to face scene happen and I just skimmed it? At the end, I did do some skimming just to make the story pass faster but I would have paused at the reunion scene and yet, it never happened in this book. Do I assume that there’s a book 3 in the future and it’ll involve that character?
Also, for the baddie? While he was the baddie he was not the original baddie the hero thought he was so there’s still the mystery of whodunit (even though the reader has a pretty good idea at this point) and of that person getting caught. Does that happen in book 2? I don’t even know if I want to read book 2 right now. I may take a break and read something else because as Charlie had some TSTL moments, her sister had them too and I really don’t want to read two back to back books with TSTL heroines.
HER UNEXPECTED HERO by Melody Anne
Copyright: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Pocket Books
Series: Unexpected Heroes #1
Would you recognize true love if it sat down next to you? In this unforgettable new spinoff of the Billionaire books from New York Times bestselling indie author Melody Anne, two strangers must look past their painful memories to make way for everlasting love.
Alyssa’s modeling career came to an abrupt end when her manager boyfriend emptied her bank account and ruined her professional reputation. Now she’s heading to a new town in Montana to rebuild her life—if she can even get there (stupid delayed planes!). But things are looking up when she’s upgraded to first class and a mysterious stranger sits down next to her…
Jackson Whitman doesn’t believe in love, or commitment, or forever—not since he lost his wife and daughter. But the beautiful woman sitting next to him at the gate has him rethinking that position. Can he convince her to be his for the night? Or will she convince him to be hers for a lifetime?
Fair warning, review contains SPOILERS. Read at your own peril. ;)
I’m a picky reader. At times, I’m a very picky reader. Unfortunately, I think this book made my nit-pickiness come to life with a bang and I was not expecting that at all. At. All. This is going to be a huge rambling review. I’m sorry for that. I just couldn’t cut it down without taking important parts out…at least, important as I thought they were.
Jackson and Alyssa meet on a flight from Paris to New York on New Year’s Eve. Alyssa is headed home after her former boyfriend/manager ripped her off and left her with nothing to her name. Jackson is on his way home after doing some business in Paris. After several delays, where they end up having a conversation while waiting to board their plane, Jackson has the flight attendant upgrade Alyssa’s ticket to be able to sit next to him in First Class because hey, long flight, why not spend it trying to get her into bed? So there they are, chatting and having dinner on the plane and then their seats convert to beds and they’re alone in this little cocoon where they get all touchy-feely. No full on sexytimes but lots of petting and kissing, etc. Following morning, she gets up out of her seat to go to the bathroom, comes back and “trips” on the hero who was still sleeping in his seat/bed. Hero wakes up, pulls her closer, and starts kissing her. First: morning breath. No. Just No. Second: This plane must have been amazing because not only did they not ever get interrupted by flight attendants, they were never bothered with other passengers, also in First Class.
Anyhoodle, he ends up asking her to spend the night with him once they get to New York. Her flight leaves the following morning so she agrees. They have a one-night stand. She sneaks out the following morning while he’s still sleeping and the next time they see each other is in May. In her hometown. Five months later. His father bought the bar the heroine works at as a gift to Jackson to bring him home. His father and his meddling friends have decided that Alyssa is perfect for Jackson and all they need is to meet and the sparks will just appear between them. Imagine their surprise when Jackson pops up while she’s serving his family in the bar and they see each other. (This happens about 30% into the story.) Alyssa wants no part of him. (We find out at 32% that she’s pregnant but no one knows.) He, on the other hand, does not agree. He wants her and doesn’t see why they shouldn’t be together, although he doesn’t want anything permanent, just sex because he’s been hurt before and he doesn’t believe in love anymore but he still has needs.
Two weeks go by where he keeps trying to get close, he’s at the bar every single day and Alyssa keeps rejecting him. Then comes the day that she’s attacked by a drunk customer and as the paramedics are checking her over, she whispers to them “Please make sure my baby is okay.” (This is at 43% in the story) Jackson overhears since he’s there beside her. He tells her they have some “serious talking to do.”
At 48% into the story, he confronts her while she’s on bed rest to ask why she never told him she was pregnant. Where is the father? Is he still in the picture? Yada yada yada, blah blah blah. He doesn’t even think it’s him since they used protection and she’s “too afraid” to tell him that he’s the father. But. Get this. Jackson still wants her. He doesn’t care that she’s pregnant with another man’s child. He wants her. Wants to take care of her. Treat her like a queen. She’ll never have to worry about expenses, etc. Alyssa declines his offers. She still hasn’t told him he’s the father but he still comes by every single day while she’s on bed rest with gifts and to check up on her.
At 60% he asks her when is she going to stop fighting him. She replies with “Never.” This is after the gifts, the conversations, the days he’s spent visiting her to make sure she and the baby are okay. It’s now been a little over a week since she’s been placed on bed rest and she’s finally able to go back to work. That same evening, her parents’ house catches on fire and while there was some damage, they couldn’t live it in while they did the repairs so the parents lived with their next door neighbor while Jackson took Alyssa to his house since he had “a few extra bedrooms.” Alyssa’s leery about being so close to him but agrees to stay one night. One night ends up being several days. During this time nothing happens between them, although Jackson lets her know he’s up for anything, whenever she’s ready.
At 72%, they’re at a family event and she sees him playing with the younger children. He tells her he loves kids. You would think this is the perfect time for her to tell him “Hey, guess what? You’re my baby daddy!” and yet, nothing. She keeps quiet. Again. At 73% she thinks to herself that she needs to “marshal her courage” to finally tell him once they get back to his house. Once there, they end up having sexytimes so she decides to “tell him tomorrow.”
Two days go by and they’re so busy with the sexytimes that she still hasn’t told him he’s the father. There was a scene where he took her to his favorite spot and told her that he’s never taken anyone there besides family members. You would think that’s the perfect time to bring up the baby. Nope. Again she kept quiet. Then a week passed and still she didn’t tell him.
We are now 81% into the story and her excuses just keep piling up. She finally decides to tell him after her shift at work but then his brother tells her that Jackson had to go to Alaska for an emergency business meeting. She heads home and ends up getting into a car accident when she swerves away from a deer that appeared in the road. Jackson’s brother had followed her to make sure she made it home and saw the accident happen. She’s taken to the hospital, where they end up delivering her baby. While she’s in surgery, Jackson makes it back to town because his brother had called him to tell him about the accident. Private jet, yo. Anyway, baby girl is born three months early. She’s two pounds three ounces. Heart isn’t fully developed and she needs emergency surgery but she’s a fighter like her mom.
At 85% Jackson tells Alyssa that she has a baby girl. Alyssa is worried that strangers are with the baby instead of family so Jackson offers to go stay with the baby. No mention that he’s the father.
Two weeks pass and Alyssa is finally released from the hospital. She immediately goes to see her baby girl and finally names her. She names her Angel and Jackson is there too. We are now 87% into the book when she finally looks at him and realizes he’s been there every single day for their daughter and he’s been the first person, besides the medical help, to hold the baby. So she tells him. She finally tells him that Angel is his daughter. She tells him the reason she didn’t tell him before was because she was sure they wouldn’t see each other again. That he didn’t want kids. That she was afraid he’d take her child from her. That she didn’t know how to tell him after waiting so long. That she would lose him. Excuse after excuse was given.
Of course this is a romance book so all is HEA but the excuses got old real fast for me. Not only that but…I felt she should have told him much sooner than she did, no matter how she thought he’d react to the news because he was the father. On the flip side, he was pretty clueless too. I just don’t know. There was just so many “are you kidding me?” moments in this. If she had spent less time rejecting him. If he had just opened his eyes. If they had just talked to each other, really talked to each other. This whole secret baby thing may have worked for me, but this story left me feeling more aggravated than entertained. The only selling point for me to continue with this series were Jackson’s father and his meddling group of matchmaking friends. I’d read another one just to see the shenanigans they come up with next.
Have been having some sleepless nights lately so I find myself browsing online late at night. Have been browsing for books and here is just a sample of what I’ve added lately to my wishlist. :)
ALL AFTERNOON WITH A SCANDALOUS MARQUESSby Alexandra Hawkins
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Lords of Vice #5
Sinfully seductive and wildly wicked, the notorious Lords of Vice are no strangers to desire—or the many pleasures of indulgence…
HE’S NO SAINT
Simon Jefferes, the Marquess of Sainthill, has done the unthinkable—he’s fallen in love. The so-called “Saint” has spent his life gambling, dallying with women, and satisfying his every whim. And he fully intended to continue his wicked ways, until he met the mysterious, exotic, and irresistible Madame Venna—the one woman he can’t have…and the only one he’s ever wanted for more than an evening.
SHE’S NO LADY
The proprietress of the Golden Pearl, one of London’s most exclusive brothels, Madame Venna takes pride in the lush, decadent club she’s created. With a half-mask to conceal her identity, she’s careful to safeguard something even more valuable—her heart. But Saint is determined to tear down the walls she’s built around herself, and to finally expose the truth—that Madame Venna is a woman very much in love…with him.
ALMOST A SCANDAL by Elizabeth Essex
Release Date: July 31. 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Reckless Brides #1
For generations, the Kents have served proudly with the British Royal Navy. So when her younger brother refuses to report for duty, Sally Kent slips into a uniform and takes his place—at least until he comes to his senses. Boldly climbing aboard the Audacious, Sally is as able-bodied as any sailor there. But one man is making her feel tantalizingly aware of the full-bodied woman beneath her navy blues.
Bold, brazen, and beautiful, the Reckless Brides refuse to play by society’s rules of courtship. But—come hell or high water—they always get their man…
A LADY IN DISGUISE
For generations, the Kents have served proudly with the British Royal Navy. So when her younger brother refuses to report for duty, Sally Kent slips into a uniform and takes his place—at least until he comes to his senses. Boldly climbing aboard the Audacious, Sally is as able-bodied as any sailor there. But one man is making her feel tantalizingly aware of the full-bodied woman beneath her navy blues…
A MAN OVERBOARD
Dedicated to his ship, sworn to his duty—and distractingly gorgeous—Lieutenant David Colyear sees through Sally’s charade, and he’s furious. But he must admit she’s the best midshipman on board—and a woman who tempts him like no other. With his own secrets to hide and his career at stake, Col agrees to keep her on. But can the passion they hide survive the perils of a battle at sea? Soon, their love and devotion will be put to the test…
PLAYING TO WIN by Jaci Burton
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Series: Play-by-Play #4
Someone’s going to have to let down their guard…
Football star Cole Riley is notorious for doing as he pleases—on the field and off. He parties hard and fights harder, but if he doesn’t clean up his act, his career is over—so Cole reluctantly agrees to work with image makeover consultant Savannah Brooks. He’s not used to being told what to do, especially by some (admittedly hot) southern belle. As for Savannah, she’s not convinced she can transform this cocky (and aggressively sexy) force of nature. But she’s determined to give it her best shot.
When the sparks start to fly, Savannah lays down the ground rules: no personal complications. If she can turn off the tingle she feels every time Cole gives her a hot stare with his gorgeous baby blues, he can turn off his desire as well. But for two people determined to have it all, a hands-off policy can only last so long before one of them yields.
CHARMED BY HIS LOVE by Janet Chapman
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Series: A Spellbound Falls Romance #2
New York Times bestselling author Janet Chapman takes you back to the magical town of Spellbound Falls, where Duncan MacKeage is about to uncover great love with hidden dangers…
All Duncan MacKeage wants is to keep his crew building roads and bridges up the mountain to the fancy resort overlooking Spellbound Falls’ new inland sea. He doesn’t want anything to do with his own family magic or with the beautiful widow, Peg Thompson, and her tribe of little heathens. But when Duncan is tasked with keeping an eye on the widow Thompson, trouble starts.
Because of a family curse, Peg fears that giving in to her desires will mean killing off another lover. But Duncan—the strong, handsome man buying her gravel—is unbelievably tempting and determined to take care of her. Torn between her head and her heart, will Peg find the strength to break free of her black-widow curse? Or will pursuing their attraction put these lovers in harm’s way?
ONE MORE KISS by Mary Blayney
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Mary Blayney, the acclaimed author of Courtesan’s Kiss, returns to the Pennistan family with this new historical romance—the delectable story of a free-spirited beauty with no interest in marriage who gets more than she bargained for when a seductive kiss leads to the possibility of love.
Dispatched by their ambitious father to snag a titled husband, Beatrice Brent and her twin sister, Cecilia, attend a house party with an array of eligible gentlemen. Defiantly ignoring her father’s wishes, Beatrice flirts shamelessly with Lord Jessup Pennistan, a gamer with scandal in his past—and the one man her father has warned her against. But when flirting goes too far, Beatrice suddenly finds herself engaged and, worse, estranged from her family. Though convinced that her fiancé’s wicked ways will bring nothing but heartache, Beatrice is powerless against Jess’s masterful seduction and the anticipated delights of the marriage bed.
A gambling man who has lost more than his family is willing to forgive him for, Jess quickly realizes that compromising Beatrice was the best mistake he ever made. But to keep her he must right the wrongs of the past, reclaim his lost fortunes, and place the boldest wager of his life. For now he has everything to win . . . and everything to lose.
NEVER SEDUCE A SCOT by Maya Banks
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
This sinfully sweet new romance from Maya Banks features a remarkable woman whose rare gift teaches a gruff Scottish warrior how to listen with his heart.
Eveline Armstrong is fiercely loved and protected by her powerful clan, but considered “touched” to outsiders. Beautiful, fey, with a level, intent gaze, she doesn’t speak. No one, not even her family, knows that she cannot hear. Eveline taught herself to read lips and allows the outside world view her as daft, content to stay with her family. But when an arranged marriage with a rival clan makes Graeme Montgomery her husband, she accepts her duty—unprepared for the delights to come. Graeme is a rugged warrior with a voice so deep and powerful she can hear it, and hands and kisses so tender and skilled he awakens her deepest passions.
Graeme is intrigued by his new bride, whose silent lips are ripe with temptation, whose bright, intelligent eyes can see into his soul. As intimacy deepens, he learns her secret. But when clan rivalries and dark deeds threaten the wife he has only begun to cherish, the Scottish warrior will move heaven and earth to save the woman who has awakened his heart to the beautiful song of a rare and magical love.
HOW TO ROMANCE A RAKE by Manda Collins
Release Date: July 31, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Ugly Ducklings #2
You can lead a wallflower to the ball, but you can’t make her bloom—unless one daring young bachelor turns up the heat…
DANCING WITH DANGER
What’s a nice girl like Miss Juliet Shelby doing at a place like Lord Deveril’s ballroom? With her shy demeanor, she’s a total stranger to the dance floor and a source of mockery for the ton. So imagine her surprise when Deveril gallantly comes to her defense—and offers to teach her to dance! Juliet can hardly believe the most handsome bachelor in London would notice her, until he takes her in his arms and sets her heart ablaze…
PLAYING WITH FIRE
Lord Alec Deveril has never felt such a spark of attraction for an unmarried lady before. Unlike the “fashionable” ladies he’s accustomed to, Juliet possesses a generous spirit, a fiery intelligence—and an explosive secret. Deep in the London underworld, a dear friend has vanished, and Juliet fears the worst. Deveril insists on helping, escorting her through the darkest alleys in town. But he too is hiding a shocking secret—and the only way he can defeat the devil in his past is to seduce the angel in his arms…
THE SCOUNDREL TAKES A BRIDE by Stefanie Sloane
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Series: Regency Rogues #5
Lady Sophie Afton wants one thing and one thing only: Revenge against the man who ruthlessly killed her mother fifteen years before. Painstakingly preparing herself for the task and awaiting just the right moment, she approaches Lord Carmichael armed with the skills required of a spy and the knowledge that the Corinthians have reached an impasse in her mother’s case despite all the progress made by her dear friend Viscount Hardwicke. The Rook was only the beginning. Another man cut her mother’s throat, but it will take a woman to bring his identity to light.
Carmichael cannot refuse her. And just at the moment Sophie believes she’s on the cusp of experiencing the defining moment of her life, Nicholas Young appears. The younger brother of her betrothed, Nicholas had disappeared years before into the wild of the East Indies, where, if rumors were to be believed, he’d made his fortune through questionable means. In truth, Sophie had given little thought to her childhood friend. Until now. There was no denying that she adored Langdon Young, Nicholas’s older brother and the man she was meant to marry. But the moment Nicholas stalks back into her life, Sophie knows she will never belong to another. His touch inspires desire, his kisses need, and his skin on hers brands Sophie for life.
Aided by her Corinthian counterparts, with Nicholas at her side, Sophie delves into the dangerous depths of the London crime world in search of what she’s longed for her entire life. Or is it? Can revenge mean more than love?
STOLEN by Shiloh Walker
Release Date: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Ballantine Books
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.
LONE RIDER by Lauren Bach
Copyright: November 2001 (So long ago that it looks like the author no longer has a website)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Source: Purchased it when it was first released. (yes, it’s been in the TBR for almost 10 years!)
TROUBLE JUST ROLLED IN…
A WOMAN IN DESPERATE NEED OF RESCUE
A deserted stretch of highway, a young woman stranded in a fancy car, and the sound of motorcycles in the black night….Tess Marsh’s cross-country trip ends all too suddenly when Dallas Haynes finds her. From his sexy bedroom eyes to his black leather jacket and dusty jeans, he spells trouble, but so does the nasty-looking biker gang that surrounds them. Within minutes, Tess is on the back of Dallas’s Harley, and at the mercy of a man who breaks through all of her defenses and makes her want him–good or bad, right or wrong.
AN UNLIKELY SAVIOR IN LEATHER AND JEANS
Dallas’s mission doesn’t need another complication, yet from the moment he sees her he wants her with a rough, hungry passion that can hurt them both. Claiming her and abducting her is the only way to protect her from the gang. Then all hell breaks loose, and Dallas and Tess are on the run with no place to hide–except in each other’s arms.
Found this book in my TBR the other day when I went looking through my stash for MOUTH TO MOUTH by Erin McCarthy because it was mentioned on Twitter the other night when recommended reads came up. I knew I had it in the TBR so I went looking for it. Found LONE RIDER instead. The TBR, she’s out of control. This ended up being my first read for Wendy’s TBR Challenge of the year.
I vaguely remember buying this not long after it was released because it was getting a lot of buzz online on the loops. Not sure why it sat in the TBR this long, though.
I have this thing about lone women getting stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night. I always wonder, “Do you not check before you go on a road trip to make sure you have enough gas?” I don’t know why but this is like a huge pet peeve of mine. Yes, I know its fiction (I do!) but there’s that part in me that just can’t stop from asking that question when I see it happen in books. It’s just a huge moment for me.
Anyhoo, not long after Dallas saves Tess from the side of the road and takes her to his cabin hideout, we find out that Dallas Haynes is not what he appears to be. He’s actually an undercover FBI in the biker gang to get the information he needs to be able to bring down the leader. We know that but Tess does not. She thinks he’s what he looks like…a bad-ass biker who claimed her for his own to save her from one of the other bikers.
There were a few things that bugged me about this book.
1. That Tess, even though Dallas wasn’t really a bad guy, slept with him without protection. Hello? Seriously? You don’t know him from Adam but you have sex with him without protection?
2. That she didn’t stop to connect the dots about Dallas before his “unveiling”. Was she really that clueless?
I wouldn’t say this is a book I’ll ever reread again but it was an OK read for me. Nothing really stood out. Just found it to be a blah read. Filled with suspense and keeps you guessing until the end, LONE RIDER gets a 3 from me.
ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Jill Shalvis
Copyright: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Source: Received book from Publisher
This alpha male is going to bring out her wild side…
Sunshine, Idaho, is a small and sunny town—the perfect home for man and beast. Well, maybe not for man, as pilot-for-hire Brady Miller discovers when his truck is rear-ended by what appears to be Noah’s Ark.
The co-owner of the town’s only kennel, Lilah Young has good reason to be distracted behind the wheel—there are puppies, a piglet, and a duck in her Jeep. But, she doesn’t find it hard to focus on the angry, gorgeous stranger she’s collided with.
Lilah has lived in Sunshine all her life, and though Brady is just passing through, he has her abandoning her instincts and giving in to a primal desire. It’s Brady’s nature to resist being tied down, but there’s something about Lilah and her menagerie—both animal and human—that keeps him coming back for more…
I don’t want to jinx myself but so far this month, (yes, 17 days in), I’ve read more books (17 of them) than I had most of last year when I tallied my monthly reads each month. I’m not kidding when I say it’s been a while since I’ve been in the double digits, months, in fact. I know the why of it, things here were a bit with my daughter’s health issues but I think *knocking on wood* we’ve finally turned a corner and have started moving in the right direction and making progress. I’m not saying we’re closer to the end of the tunnel yet, we still have a lot to do before we get there but…we’re making progress and for that, I’m thanking God every day.
I started this late Friday night and by page 8 I was giggling. The scene with Brady, Lilah and Abigail the duck was hilarious. I have no words for how much I loved this book. I loved everything about it and it was such a cute & fun story. The chemistry was to die for. I couldn’t put it down once I started and I found myself staying up until 4am reading it until I reached the end. I love Jill Shalvis’ humor. For those looking for a fun sexy read, ANIMAL MAGNETISM is it….it’s a must-read!
I’m hoping we will see more books in the future…namely Dell and Adam’s stories. Pretty please??
HERE TO STAY by Catherine Anderson
Copyright: January 25, 2011
Series: Coulter/Kendrick/Harrigan Series #12
Source: Received ARC from Publisher
Mandy Pajeck had a tough childhood — an abusive father, a mother who left, and a younger brother, Luke, who depended on her when she was just a child herself. Now twenty-eight, Mandy remains devoted to Luke and feels responsible for the accident that took his sight. When she meets handsome Zach Harrigan and his mini guide horse, she thinks she’s found the ticket to her brother’s happiness — and maybe her own.
Of the five Harrigan siblings, Zach is the hellion who parties hard and takes nothing seriously. But lately his life has felt empty. So, employing his skills as a horseman, he begins training a mini guide horse for the blind, never expecting that the project will lead him to beautiful, tenderhearted Mandy. She’s everything he’s ever wanted in a woman. But though she’s charmed by Zach’s patience and compassion, she can’t bring herself to fully trust him. And when Zach urges her to confront the truth about her mother’s disappearance, the secrets they uncover are so shocking that even Zach’s steadfast devotion may not be enough to win Mandy’s heart.
Read more like a General Fiction book than a Romance Book. Story was more focused on the relationship of the heroine and her 19 year old blind brother than it was on the heroine and the hero. Am really sad to say that as I used to love Catherine Anderson’s books but the last few have just not done it for me. Find them boring at times and the romance between the characters taking a back seat to whatever “issues” are going on in the book.
Also, not that I have anything against praying but I noticed God and praying was mentioned several times throughout the book. At one time, during a discussion of praying, I found myself checking the spine to make sure it wasn’t labeled Christian Fiction and I had somehow missed it. I’m not one for CF books…find them too preachy at times and that’s not what I want in the books I read.
The brother was a brat. That’s all I can say about him. A spoiled brat. Yes, he was blind but that he refused to help himself and made his sister do everything for him because he wanted to “control her” just made me want to take a bat to him. There was nothing good about the messed up relationship they had.
The heroine was a wuss. She let him get away with too many things without calling him out on it.
The only redeeming quality about this book was the hero. He made this book for me.
Can’t even begin to tell you how excited this news makes me. Have been waiting until all the info was finalized and now that it is, I’m sharing, yay!!
In December, Carina Press is releases a Holiday Romance Collection anthology with four of my favorite authors. Jaci Burton, Lauren Dane, Megan Hart & Shannon Stacey. In one anthology! *feels faint* I’m usually not a big fan of anthologies as I never actually read all stories in them, just the ones I want to read so color me excited that this will be one I’ll actually read from cover to cover. I’m a sucker for small town settings…just adore them.
Mark your calendars for December 6th and add all of these to your TBB list. You will have the option to buy each book on it’s own or the whole collection together for a discounted price.
Big Star, Small-town Christmas
Country singer Riley Jensen would never have returned to her small Missouri hometown if her publicist hadn’t come up with the scheme to tape a Christmas special there. So she never would have known that the man who broke her heart at eighteen—causing her to flee to Nashville—was now a widower with a seven-year-old daughter. Riley has ten years of angst-filled hit songs and Grammy awards to prove she doesn’t need Ethan Kent. But suddenly, she can’t help thinking of all she gave up by running away…
Ethan Kent knew Riley had the talent and the drive to make it as a singer. He also knew she wasn’t going anywhere if she stayed in their nowhere town for him. Then one night and one huge mistake sent her running on the road to fame. Which doesn’t mean he ever stopped loving her…
But with so much separating them, can Riley and Ethan find their way back together one magical country Christmas?
Their First Christmas, Bound Together…
All Jude wants for Christmas is Rori, all to himself. It’s their first holiday season as a couple, and staying home, seeing friends and family, means they’ll be surrounded by the memory of Rori’s late husband. It’s time for Jude and Rori to create their own traditions. Time for them to fully explore their most intimate desires to dominate and submit.
Rori is thrilled when Jude whisks her away to a luxury resort in the mountains. Spending Christmas away, just the two of them, is the perfect time to show him she’s ready to give herself to him completely…
Newlyweds Leah and Brandon Long are finally taking a honeymoon. But just two days into their Christmas-in-Vail vacation, Leah gets run down by an out-of-control snowboarder, severely spraining her ankle. Being stuck indoors isn’t so bad though: the luxurious chalet boasts a hot tub and cozy fireplace. Besides, sitting with her feet up while Brandon serves her in every way a man can serve a woman is exactly how both of them like to spend their time.
Leah would be in heaven, if only Brandon didn’t insist on bringing up the idea of a family. She knew that kids were part of the package, but she’s not ready to make any plans just yet. Still, with kinky sex and deep conversation the only things on the agenda for the next week, Leah can’t avoid the discussion for long. Will she be ready to take her marriage to the next level in the New Year?
House-sitting for her parents seemed like a good idea, until the microwave blew up and the lights went out.
Now Chloe Burke thinks upgrading the electrical system of her childhood home while they are away would make the perfect Christmas gift. Fortunately, there’s an electrician in town who can get the job done by the holidays.
Scott Quinn has wanted to get his hands on the Burkes’ wiring for almost as long as he’s wanted to get his hands on their daughter. Chloe didn’t notice Scott back in high school, but she’s noticing him now, and soon they’re indulging in a little festive fun: no strings, no expectations. After all, Chloe plans to get out of this goldfish bowl of a town and back to her real life in Boston by New Year’s.
But Chloe and Scott discover they enjoy each other’s company just as much out of bed. Could their holiday fling turn out to be the real thing?
And, here’s the cover for the whole bundle.
I’m just in love with the covers. They’re all so lovely, aren’t they?
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ONE LITTLE GIRL NEEDS A FAMILY
One rain-slicked night, six-year-old Holly lost the only parent she knew, her beloved mother Victoria. And since that night, she has never again spoken a word.
ONE SINGLE MAN NEEDS A WIFE
The last thing Mark Nolan needs is a six-year-old girl in his life. But he soon realizes that he will do everything he can to make her life whole again. His sister’s will gives him the instructions: There’s no other choice but you. Just start by loving her. The rest will follow.
SOMETIMES, IT TAKES A LITTLE MAGIC…
Maggie Collins doesn’t dare believe in love again, after losing her husband of one year. But she does believe in the magic of imagination. As the owner of a toy shop, she lives what she loves. And when she meets Holly Nolan, she sees a little girl in desperate need of a little magic.
…TO MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE
Three lonely people. Three lives at the crossroads. Three people who are about to discover that Christmas is the time of year when anything is possible, and when wishes have a way of finding the path home…
I don’t ask much when it comes to my books and reading. Give me a story that will knock me off my feet. Make me cry. Make me smile. Make me feel good. A story with characters that will forever live in my memory. A book I can gush about to friends. I got all that with CHRISTMAS EVE AT FRIDAY HARBOR.
There is nothing I didn’t love about it and it has to be said — Lisa Kleypas is a freaking rockstar with her stories. She’s an author that never fails to hook me and keeps me coming back for more. I won’t say more about CHRISTMAS EVE AT FRIDAY HARBOR except that if you buy and read one book this holiday season, make sure it’s this one. You will not regret it. Heck, buy it and give it as a gift to any reader. It’s that heartwarming and beautiful. It’s one I gladly add to my Keeper Shelf.
I eagerly await the stories for Sam and Alex.