Wednesday, November 30, 2011

On Santa's Naughty ListOn Santa's Naughty List by Lacey Alexander

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I didn't love them but they weren't the worst stories I've read lately, either. Just nothing special, and mildly annoying.



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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sin ClubSin Club by Rachelle Chase

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


All 3 stories in this single-author anthology were pretty good. Very quick read.



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Monday, November 28, 2011

Mortal Seductions (Mortal, #2)Mortal Seductions by Allyson James

My rating: 1 of 5 stars


A TSTL demon with a split personality? Yep. I really liked the first book, but I'm ready to throw this one at the wall. DNF.



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Friday, November 25, 2011

36 books split between 3 winners + 6 Gift Card Giveaways!

Wow, I caught this giveaway just in time! Go over to the Small Blogs, Big Giveaways blog and check it out. But hurry, today's the last day!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Strictly SeductionStrictly Seduction by Shelley Bradley




There weren't a lot of reviews on here [Goodreads], but I really should have checked on Amazon before I bought this one. I have a feeling the writing is probably really good (I do like Shayla Black/Shelley Bradley MOST of the time), but I think this conflict is too irritating to continue reading. I really dislike it when characters are holding onto resentments that could easily be cleared with a somewhat simple conversation. Communication, honesty -- use them, and get your conflict somewhere else. So far it looks like Brock is going to be dense about the past and mostly acting out of revenge, and that's just a big turn off for me as a reader. DNF.



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Highland Champion (Murray Family #11) (Camerons #2)Highland Champion (Murray Family #11) by Hannah Howell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Pretty good. Maybe more like 3 1/2 stars. It kept my interest (which is good, because not all books do lately), but I got tired of Keira doubting Liam time & again, and after the battle to regain Ardgleann I was surprised there was so much of the book left. It did tie up loose ends and it made sense to continue, but it kind of threw the timing off for me.



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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Four PlayFour Play by Maya Banks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


OK, now seriously... Did Maya Banks & Shayla Black reach into my mind and pull out ALL my deepest fantasies? Wow. Maybe I had a little trouble buying into the ending of SB's story, but for me this was a totally scorching hot WINNER.



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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cops and Cowboys (Cowboys and Captive, #1)Cops and Cowboys by Lora Leigh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Shiloh Walker's story is excellent. Lora Leigh's, on the other hand... Completely, painfully, head-thumpingly stupid. I couldn't make myself finish reading it.



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Monday, November 14, 2011

Marly's Choice  (Men of August, #1)Marly's Choice by Lora Leigh

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Drat. I was really looking forward to this book, but it has turned out to be a big disappointment for so many reasons. First, it took forEVER to get anywhere. The book spent way too much time with Cade wrestling with himself -- the old "I want her. I can't have her. I want her. She can't handle me." Page after page after page. It got old. But Marly is insistent that she wants him and she can take it -- and when he finally FINALLY takes her, she's a total pansy. Oh, it's too much pleasure! I don't think I can handle it! Give me a break. I know you were a virgin, but WTF were you expecting? And seriously... He honestly can't control himself just that ONE time to go a little easy on a virgin he supposedly loves? I'm tempted to keep reading just so I can get to the menage parts with the brothers (whose characters haven't really been developed enough yet at this point in the book, so in my mind they're sitting there like jackals waiting for Cade to share scraps of Marly with them), but I have a feeling I'll just get more irritated & won't be able to enjoy it. Good thing there are a lot more sources of hot monkey sex. :) DNF, but 1 1/2 stars because I at least made it 2/3 of the way through the book before I had to put it down.



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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Whispered SecretsWhispered Secrets by Shiloh Walker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Now that's what I'm talking about! Three mouthwatering short stories of friends who become lovers. Excellent!



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Friday, November 11, 2011

Return of the Warrior (Brotherhood/MacAllister Series, Book #7)Return of the Warrior by Kinley MacGregor




OK, this is probably being WAY too picky, but calling Lutien the "village idiot" and "fool" over & over when he's so blatantly NOT... I can't get past it. I just can't. By page 60 he's already making more sense than anyone else in the story. And maybe there's more chemistry between Adara & Christian if I'd just keep reading, but I don't have the patience to get there. DNF.



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The Object of LoveThe Object of Love by Sharon Cullars




Honestly, I was hoping for a good cougar story and it looks like it's just going to be too angsty to enjoy. DNF.



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Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Lost Duke of Wyndham (Two Dukes of Wyndham, #1)The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Not my favorite JQ book, but pretty good. I think I'll take the advice of other reviewers & wait a bit to read 'Mr. Cavendish, I Presume'.



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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Highland Conqueror (Murray Family, #10) (Camerons, #1)Highland Conqueror (Murray Family, #10) by Hannah Howell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Outstanding! Fast-paced and a wonderful depth of character and emotion. I loved everything about this one. Now I need to check out more of her books.



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Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Devil & Ms. Johnson The Devil & Ms. Johnson by Hannah Murray

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I'd say 4 1/2 stars for this one -- it was really good. The chemistry is great, the drama/suspense is well done & doesn't detract from the romance, and the sex is SCORCHING hot. I zipped right through this one & was left feeling very satisfied. Another winner from Ellora's Cave!



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Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Naughty ListThe Naughty List by Jodi Redford

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Can we say "book-gasm"? Super hot, nice depth of emotions, intense heroes, only a little frustration with the heroine pushing away happiness, and did I mention SUPER HOT? I'll admit it was very similar in plot to many other HEA threesome books I've read, but I like the author's style and sense of humor, so I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good m/f/m erotic romance.



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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3)Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I liked this better than I expected to. As I was reading, I kept thinking, "Leighton is leading her on. He has every intention of marrying someone else. She needs to move on & stop putting herself out there." But somehow Sarah MacLean made it really work, and the book was very enjoyable. Maybe it was because I liked seeing the Duke thaw just as much as Juliana did, and because she was persistent without being a total doormat.



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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage (Highland Pleasures, #2)Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I seriously love this series... The characters have real depth and the emotions are exquisite. See my reviews for books 1 & 3 in the series for more raving. Don't miss this fantastic series!!!



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Redeeming the RogueRedeeming the Rogue by Donna MacMeans

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews

4 1/2 Kisses, 1/2 pepper



When Arianne finds out the late Duke of Bedford was not really her father, it explains his moodiness and anger toward her and her brothers. But she realizes this revelation will probably have some very negative repercussions on her life, and she’s right. She lost her virginity in Vienna to a man she thought intended to marry her, but when the blackguard found out the old Duke wasn’t her father, he dumped her for someone else.



Michael Rafferty intercepts a ruffian with a message for a lady in a green dress, and Rafferty ends up insulting Arianne. He’s being sent by the Home Office to America in the guise of a diplomat to investigate a murder, but he needs a hostess to make him appear legitimate so they hire an actress to play his wife. Having lived her whole life in diplomatic circles, Arianne goes along to give social and etiquette instructions that will make them seem like believable diplomats. But when the actress proves not only unreliable but also traitorous, Arianne decides to take her place as his wife, despite the negative impact such a decision will have on her reputation.



Arianne and Rafferty smolder! The sexual tension is thick and I really like them together. Despite their seeming social differences, they’re a lot more alike than it appears. Donna MacMeans is a skilled author who weaves a tight and engrossing tale of tenderness and intrigue. I liked that a good part of the book took place on the ship or in the United States; it’s a little different than what I normally read and it was a pleasant change of pace. I’ve really enjoyed all the books in this series. Redeeming the Rogue has some very interesting historical details and historical romance fans will love it.



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The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (Highland Pleasures, #3)The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews

5 Kisses, 2 peppers (explicit sex, violence)



Ainsley Douglas has been caught in Cameron Mackenzie's bedroom for the second time. This time she’s been tasked with searching for letters meant to blackmail the queen. But she has caught his attention once again, and this time he’s less likely to let her go.



Cam was accused of killing his late wife, but was exonerated by his brother Hart's testimony. He tries to fill the emptiness of his life with meaningless trysts with married women and widows who understand it’s purely physical. He’s also raising a son and realizing that’s harder work than he expected it to be. Ainsley is not Cam's usual type of woman. She makes him feel alive and that draws him to her. He was deeply hurt by his late wife. When they married she wanted to continue to carry on with lovers as if they weren’t married. She did not want to be a mother and Cam had to protect young Daniel from her rages. Ainsley is like a balm to Cam’s soul; she’s exactly what he needs to start healing after all the damage his wife did.



I adore Cam and Ainsley! The love that blossoms and grows between them is stunningly beautiful and very real. I cried for all the horrible pain Cam suffered at the hands of his late wife, and his relationship with Ainsley was just what I needed as a reader. These Mackenzie brothers are absolutely delicious and so likeable! I’m glad to add Jennifer Ashley to my list of favorite historical romance authors. The Many Sins of Lord Cameron and this whole series are definite must reads.



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The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, #1)The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews

5 Kisses, Recommended Read

2 peppers (oral sex, sex in public)



Beth Ackerley is a widow who is engaged to Sir Lyndon Mather, a handsome man who's marrying her mostly for her money. She doesn’t find him particularly exciting, but she’s had enough drama in her life already and is looking for comfort. When her fiancĂ© introduces her to Ian she knows life with him would not be calm, but full of drama. Lord Ian warns her about Mather's character and convinces her to break her betrothal. As Beth and Ian grow closer, he tells her he's incapable of love, and wants her to explain love so he can understand it. He understands desire but not love. Fortunately, she’s exactly the right person to teach him the true meaning of the word.



Ian is an unusual man. As I am the mother of an autistic child, it quickly became apparent to me that his character falls somewhere on the autism spectrum. Of course that wasn’t a term or concept that was known or understood at the time this story was set, so Ian was persecuted by people who don’t understand him, punished as a child for being difficult, locked away in an asylum for a large part of his life and, thankfully, fiercely protected by his brothers.



The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie was absolutely breathtaking. Jennifer Ashley did a phenomenal job of writing a realistic portrayal of an autistic man without being overdone or satirical. His mannerisms and characteristics are so realistic they brought tears to my eyes more than once. I felt a real connection between Ian and Beth, and suspense that kept me deeply engrossed in the plot. I can’t say enough good things about this outstanding book. As a mother, I was left feeling optimistic that my son might someday find someone as genuinely loving and caring as Beth. And as a reader who appreciates honest characters, Lord Ian provided the ultimate honesty from a hero who can't lie. That's perfection. Please, don’t miss this book!



Recommended Read.



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Season for TemptationSeason for Temptation by Theresa Romain

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews

4 1/2 kisses, 1 pepper (oral sex)



James is engaged to marry Julia’s sister Louisa, but from the moment they meet, they feel a spark of attraction between them. The betrothal of convenience happened quickly and James and Louisa don’t know each other very well. It isn’t that Louisa isn’t a good person or that she doesn’t deserve James; in fact she and Julia are very close. But Louisa has social issues and doesn’t feel ready to get married. She hates trying to socialize with London’s high society. She’s kind, intelligent, and serious, but just not right for James, who is starting to realize he’s falling in love with Julia. But honor compels them to stick with the betrothal and so they go back to London to try and find a suitable husband for Julia. But James knows his heart isn’t in it, even if he can’t yet admit it to himself. It’s a little frustrating that they don’t see the obvious solution sooner, but one of their main concerns is to remain honorable so James stays with the plan to marry Louisa.

The use of misunderstandings in the story pushes the angst a bit for my liking, but at the same time they enhance the plot. This conflict is the kind I usually like; it's based on struggling with loyalties and honor, and trying to do the right thing. This conflict was centered on the relationships between the main characters. Season for Temptation is Theresa Romain’s debut Regency romance, and I liked it a lot. I think she’s a very talented author and I’m looking forward to reading more of her books. This will appeal to historical romance fans who enjoy intelligent, likeable characters.



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