Thursday, October 27, 2011

In Bed with a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #1)In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This had the incredible passion and depth that I've come to expect from Maya Banks. It's easy to see why she's such a popular author -- she writes what I want to read! This also showcases the fact that she's equally talented in a wide variety of romance sub-genres. The characters face many obstacles in their quest for happiness, and the ending is very satisfying. This was a real page turner, and I'm eagerly looking forward to reading the next two books in the trilogy. Don't miss this one!



*NOTE: I received a free ARC as part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program, but that had no affect on the honesty of my review.



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Saturday, October 22, 2011

KismetKismet by Monica Burns

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


I really, really wanted to like this. I think Monica Burns is an excellent author. I might have pushed through and continued reading if the characters felt like they had a good connection, but they just didn't. What finally made me set this one aside & decide not to finish it is the "rescue" scene. Not only doesn't Allegra recognize that she's been rescued, she isn't even grateful. Stupid, annoying and unlikeable. DNF.



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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to Treat a Lady (Talisman Ring, #3)How to Treat a Lady by Karen Hawkins




Cute, but not my favorite book by this talented author. DNF/skimmed to the end



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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Being with Him (The Being Trilogy #1)Being with Him by Jessica Barksdale Inclan




This is very well written & will appeal to sci-fi romance readers. I just have a hard time getting into sci-fi. DNF & skipping the series.



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Monday, October 17, 2011

A Midnight DanceA Midnight Dance by Lila DiPasqua

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC

3 1/2 Kisses, 2 Peppers (light bondage, explicit sex)





Sabine and Isabelle are twins. In the prologue, Sabine has a big crush on Jules de Moutier. He’s nineteen, from a noble family, and gets a lot of attention from the ladies; she’s fifteen, the daughter of a prestigious theater owner. Eight years later, a lot has changed for both of their families. She blames his family for what happened to hers, as well as what happened to her twin sister. Now she and her two young cousins are out thieving and happen to run into Jules's camp. They plan to give them drugged wine and rob them, but their plan backfires and Sabine (in the guise of Elise) ends up giving Jules her virginity. Despite his kindness, she means to trick him. The survival of her family depends on her getting the silver he has. Given her circumstances it’s understandable, but it doesn’t get their relationship off to a very good start because it’s filled with lies and deceit. Jules’s life hasn’t been a bed of roses, either. His father was accused of treason and executed. He wants to have his family’s name restored. Meanwhile, he’ll amuse himself with the luscious Sabine/Elise.



Part of the way through A Midnight Dance, I was wishing I didn’t have to finish it. Partly it was because it seemed like the pace slowed down and lost my interest, but mostly it was because it’s very hard for me to enjoy a romance when it’s based on deceit and not genuine affection. I had trouble even enjoying the admittedly steamy sex scenes when I didn’t feel any sort of real emotional connection between them. His penis is telling him he's really enjoying her company, but that’s all it is – sexual. Things pick up about halfway through and fortunately I ended up feeling glad I had kept reading. You see more of Sabine’s regret for her dishonesty, and her desire to help Jules. So even though they continue to bicker, you start to see a real affection forming, and that helps make the steamy sex feel more meaningful. I want to mention that I think it’s a monumental stretch to find any connection to the traditional Cinderella story, but I suppose it’s there if you really use your imagination.



Despite the fact that I had a hard time getting through this book, a lot of other readers absolutely love it along with the other books in this sexy series by Lila DiPasqua, so I encourage readers to give it a chance and decide for themselves.





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Spark of Magic (Magic, #1)Spark of Magic by Trista Ann Michaels

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Super hot sex, but story is nacho cheeze.



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Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Hottie Next DoorThe Hottie Next Door by Shiloh Walker

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Three very hot stories, but the ones by Shiloh Walker and Ruth D Kerce were definitely the better ones. All 3 were a little short on character development, but I usually expect that in short anthologies. Excellent for a quick, get-your-blood-pumping read.



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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

How to Seduce a ScoundrelHow to Seduce a Scoundrel by Vicky Dreiling

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Masterfully delicious sexual tension! I had a hard time putting this one down. Can hardly wait for the next book in the series. Nicely done!



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Monday, October 10, 2011

Ecstasy Wears Emeralds (Jaded Gentleman, #3)Ecstasy Wears Emeralds by Renee Bernard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews

4 Kisses, 1 Pepper (oral sex, explicit sex)



Gayle Renshaw corresponded with Dr. Rowan West about an apprenticeship because she wished to become a physician. But she gave the false impression that she was a man, and when she shows up at his home one evening unannounced, it befuddles him. He’s had a long, hard day and this is the last thing he expected to have to deal with. When he tries to refuse to help her, she blackmails him with information from his past. He tries to persuade her to change her mind, but she’s stubborn and he finally agrees, thinking she’ll give up when faced with the hard realities of the profession. In fact, he pushes her extra hard to prompt her to give up. But she’s tenacious and he realizes he enjoys working with her, and even more surprising, he likes her.



Ecstasy Wears Emeralds by Renee Bernard was a good read. I’ll admit it isn’t my favorite in the series because the romance wasn’t quite as engaging as the others (which I loved), but it’s still very interesting because of Gayle’s unorthodox interest in medicine, and the obstacles she faces. It’s always a pleasure to read about a strong and independent heroine, especially when she remains friendly and kind. She ends up being much more likeable than I expected her to be. But I didn’t really feel much chemistry between her and Rowan, which was a little disappointing. This is part of a series, but it can probably be read as a standalone as long as you understand the basic background of the series. The ‘Jaded Gentlemen’ are a group of men who escaped imprisonment in India, and managed to grab some jewels on their way out. Now someone is trying to find the treasure, and will stop at nothing to get them, including hurting loved ones of the ‘Jaded.’



It’s always nice to revisit characters from past books, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.



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Virtue and Vice (Order of Solace)Virtue and Vice by Megan Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews

5 Kisses, 2 Peppers (anal play, sex toys, public sex)



Notsah Mevoot stole a loaf of bread, and ran for her life. Looking for a place to hide from her pursuers, she stumbles into a small private room where a young man is pleasuring himself. But it’s not just any man; it’s Jarron Bydelay, prince and heir to the throne of the Second Province. The prince shows her mercy when Erekon, the captain of the king’s guard, catches up to her. The prince is afflicted with a pox that makes blisters on his face, and because of his condition, the king sheltered him when he was growing up. So as an adult, he is unaccustomed to and uncomfortable with social situations.



Ten years after Notsah's run-in with the prince, his pox has cleared (though he’s still prone to breakouts, especially when he’s stressed) and he has ascended to the throne. She has changed her name to Redemption, or Demi, and has returned to court as a Handmaiden of the Order of Solace. Her role is as simple as it is complex. She is to give him everything he needs and make him happy, including sharing his bed, but it’s so much more than that. She has been extensively trained in a wide variety of areas. When she has helped him find absolute solace or when he decides it’s over, he can end their association. But he may never want it to end.



Virtue and Vice is full of passion and political intrigue. The setting is a fantasy realm, which isn’t usually my favorite sub-genre but this one is amazing. The setting and language resemble a historical romance, and there’s just enough of the unusual to set it apart as a fantasy realm. I find the whole notion of the Order of Solace intriguing, and Demi's peaceful and calm character is enjoyable to read. I also love a damaged hero, and King Jarron is fantastic. At first I was ready to diminish the severity of his illness as being glorified acne, but later found out it’s much more serious than I realized and it definitely explains his refusal to marry and beget an heir.



Megan Hart has created a rich setting, likeable characters, a fascinating plot – it’s just a really terrific book. I will absolutely be going back to read the others in the series, and if I picked up the hint correctly about the next book I can hardly wait to read that one, because it will be very interesting. Do not miss this book!



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Always the BridesmaidAlways the Bridesmaid by Dakota Trace

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews
4 Kisses, 2 Peppers (M/F oral sex, sex toys, public sex)

Jenna Smith is in a friend's wedding when she hears the whispers. She knows they’re saying she’ll always be the bridesmaid and never the bride. She used to date the best man. People are saying he wouldn’t have dumped her if she had just gone on a diet and lost some weight. Even her family took his side! It couldn’t possibly have had anything to do with the fact he cheated on her, and that she caught him in bed with not one but two women. No, everyone wanted to blame her for the breakup. There’s one bright point to being in this wedding—the groomsman she’s been paired with.

Dr. Noah Absolom has always been attracted to larger women, the ones who don’t look like they’ll break when you embrace them. He’s especially pleased to be paired with Jenna for this wedding. When the situation with her ex threatens to make an uncomfortable day even worse, Noah encourages Jenna to get revenge with his help.

I thought Always the Bridesmaid was really good. It was odd to me when a new character was introduced close to the end of the book; this kind of threw me off. I was also a little disappointed with the heroine losing weight at the end; it’s a mixed message—is it okay to have what’s considered to be a Rubenesque figure or not? Overall the characters were intelligent, had amazing chemistry, and the romance and emotions were very believable. Dakota Trace is definitely an author to watch.



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One Good ManOne Good Man by Rie McGaha

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


My TwoLips review is posted here:



http://www.twolipsreviews.com/content/in...



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Desire's Edge Desire's Edge by Eve Berlin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews

5 Kisses, 2 Peppers (M/F BDSM, oral sex, anal play, public sex)



Dante and Kara knew each other back in high school, and they both had secret crushes on each other. Now they've bumped into each other at a party and they feel an instant and almost overwhelming attraction to each other. Dante is a sexual dominant, and Kara has always secretly craved submission. Her last boyfriend told her she was a freak for wanting those things, but for Dante she's the perfect woman. But when Monday morning comes, she discovers he’s the new junior partner at the law firm where she works. She knows it’s a bad idea to continue their affair, but how can she give him up?



Part of the allure of a dominant hero is the delicious intensity he lavishes on the heroine, and Dante is outstanding. I half expected the pages to go up in flames, that’s how scorching hot the book was. I really love that Dante and Kara are honest with each other (well, most of the time) and eventually talk about their blossoming emotions, instead of just letting their fears lead them and pushing each other away. It’s realistic and pleasurable to read without being too frustrating or full of angst. They have excellent chemistry and a tenderness and respect for each other that I crave as a romance reader. If you’ve ever had even the slightest interest in BDSM, Dante and Kara will make you feel deliciously gooey inside.



Interestingly, I expected a lot more work-related conflict from this book, but I wasn’t disappointed that it wasn’t there. Desire’s Edge focused on the relationship building and Dante and Kara overcoming their fear of intimacy (plus a whole lot of delicious hot monkey sex). Eve Berlin is one of my new favorite authors for mega-steamy romance, and I can hardly wait for her next release.



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