Monday, December 31, 2012

Veils of Time (MacLeod, #3)Veils of Time by Lynn Kurland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love time travel romances, and overall this anthology was really good. The fourth heroine was kind of a dud, but still not too bad.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dex in BlueDex in Blue by Amy Lane
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an outstanding m/m erotic romance. There was an incredible depth of emotion, character development, drama and just plain good writing. Be prepared for angst and tears with this one. I'm really looking forward to reading more books by Amy Lane.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess (Lords of Vice, #5)All Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess by Alexandra Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hmmm... Certainly not the worst I've read, but not the best either. I didn't have any trouble getting through to the end (which actually says a lot), but I didn't feel like this book had quite the same appeal as the previous books in the series. It didn't engage my emotions.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Devilishly HotDevilishly Hot by Kathy Love
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was considerably darker than what I expected from the cover, but not so dark that it was hard to slog through. Lots of angst that dragged through the whole book,, but it fit the theme & plot. A good read.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kiss Me, I'm IrishKiss Me, I'm Irish by Roxanne St. Claire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All three stories in this anthology were pretty good.

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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Rough PlayRough Play by Christina Crooks
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Hmm. This was an interesting side of BDSM. Parts of it were much, much darker than I generally like to read, and at the same time it lacked some of the intensity I expected. Or maybe it just wasn't as hot as I expected because it didn't get my motor running like similar books have. There were times that my interest waned and I considered DNF'ing it, but somehow it managed to keep just hooked enough to finish it. Some of the raw abuse was like a nasty train wreck - I didn't like it, it was repulsive, but I couldn't quite look away.

Martin had the potential to be a delicious Dom, but he sort of fizzled for me. I had trouble relating to Charlotte, maybe because there were times that she bordered on bitchy and TSTL.

The whole Gorean aspect was completely new to me (had to look it up), and while it added a novel element to the book, I'd be fine if I never read anything more about it.

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Monday, December 3, 2012

A Girl Like YouA Girl Like You by Maria Geraci
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC
3 Kisses, 0 Peppers (sweet romance)

Emma Frazier has a crush on her new boss but her hopes are dashed when he goes home from the bar with the chick who called her "the ugly friend". Emma is a writer for a magazine and the majority of the story revolves around her promise to get a big scoop on NASCAR giant Trip Monroe. He’s been named “sexiest man alive” and is rather elusive.

Trip and Emma went to school together and she assumes he'll be happy to talk to her. Naturally she exaggerates how well she knows him. She drives to her hometown for the weekend, hoping to get some information on him and bumps into old high school heartthrob, Nick Alfonso. He flirts with her and they end up making out. Is Nick the one for her? What will happen with Trip? What about her boss, Ben?

It’s Emma’s sheer dumb luck that makes things work out for her in the end. She's apparently a good writer, but in general she's totally clueless.

What I liked about A Girl Like You: Maria Geraci's writing style is witty and fun. It tends to suck you in so you want to read the whole book in one sitting. I really liked that Emma has two lesbian mothers, and how that issue is dealt with throughout the book.

What I didn’t like so much: The book is written from the first person point of view, so we have no idea what the other characters are thinking or feeling. For me, this is usually a big handicap. Also, per the publisher, this book is classified as "Women’s Fiction", more specifically "Chick Lit". It has romantic elements, but that doesn’t seem to be the main focus of the book. Also, I didn't like Emma or her friends very much. If I had to hang out with Emma for very long, I’d get pretty cranky. I found it nearly impossible to identify with her, and I find that's often the case for me with Chick Lit. Finally, there was zero heat, which really isn't the type of book I usually prefer to read.

There was a very unexpected twist at the end, regarding the "romance" aspect of the book. I won’t spoil it for you, but I’m still deciding if this made the book more interesting or just completely frustrating. If you’re a fan of Chick Lit, you’ll probably enjoy this more than I did.

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Primal (Includes: Breeds, #23; Nightshade, #1.5)Primal by Lora Leigh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The first two stories were OK, but I skipped the rest. Just a little too UF for my taste. I know I'm probably in the minority, but LL's Breeds series just doesn't do it for me, either.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Season for Surrender (Seasons, #2)Season for Surrender by Theresa Romain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Alex's transformation is exquisite. This was really good. 4 1/2 stars.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

More Than a Stranger (Sealed With a Kiss, #1)More Than a Stranger by Erin Knightley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC
4 1/2 Kisses, 0 Peppers M/F sweet romance)

At the age of eleven, Lady Evelyn Moore begins corresponding with her older brother's school friend, Benedict Hastings. Initially her letters are fired by jealousy that her beloved brother has made a friend, and she feels forgotten and replaced. Then he writes back and she starts to really enjoy his biting wit. Despite the fact that they've never met in person, over the next five years they develop a close friendship. Then it comes time for him to graduate and move on with his life, and he knows he has to break off his friendship with his dear friend Evie. He doesn't want to, but he knows it's for the best. He needs to make a clean start.

They meet years later, but Benedict doesn't want her to know who he is because she has every reason to hate him for ending their friendship like he did so he gives a false name. Unfortunately, his life is in a big tangle and he isn't in any position to be in a relationship. So he tries to fight the feelings that quickly resurface for his old friend, the only person who ever wrote to him when he was in school.

Evie has been trying to convince her parents to excuse her from husband hunting. She would rather live quietly in the country and run her family’s stables than deal with the dull and haughty members of the ton. Then Benedict comes along and makes her feel things she would rather avoid. She learned years ago not to trust love, but she is undeniably drawn to this man she thinks she has only known for days.

The prologue for More Than a Stranger immediately grabbed my interest and made it difficult to put down. I know this was going to be a remarkable book. I was especially captivated and amused by the quoted letters that they sent back and forth to each other. I'll admit I like my books to have more explicit heat than this, but really, the quality of the story made up for it. The emotional link between Evie and Benedict absolutely shines. Fans of exceptionally well-written historical romance won't want to miss this exciting debut from Erin Knightly.

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A Lady Never Lies (Affairs by Moonlight, #1)A Lady Never Lies by Juliana Gray
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC
2 1/2 Kisses, 1 Pepper (M/F oral sex)

This is the story of Lady Alexandra Morley and Phineas Burke. My first impression of Lady Morley is that she's a selfish opportunist, and her dishonesty makes her an unlikable character. Finn talks his friends to temporarily moving to Italy with him so he can work on his "horseless carriage" project. Somehow both parties manage to lease the same Italian "castle," so they're going to be spending a lot of time in close proximity. It turns out Lady Morley is having serious financial problems, and her money has been invested in Finn's competition. She thinks she might get some useful information from Finn. Unfortunately, as they spend more time together and start to think they're falling in love, she fails to come clean about her initial scheme, despite having several perfect opportunities to do so.

What I liked about A Lady Never Lies: the book is set in the 1890’s, and the information about the development of the modern automobile is really interesting. A good part of the book is also set in Italy, which is a nice change of pace. I really like extra tall and intelligent heroes like Finn, and the secondary characters were fun to read and added life to the story. Also, there's an interesting twist at the end of the book.

What I didn’t like so much: the dishonest heroine who maintained her deception far too long. It made it almost impossible for me to like her and want her to find happiness. I also had a hard time feeling any real connection between the hero and heroine. Parts of the book seemed to drag (especially near the beginning) and I felt myself wanting to skim big chunks of the book.

This debut by author Juliana Gray will appeal to historical romance readers who are looking for something a little different, enthusiasts of the history of the automobile, and who like to see two people from different classes find happiness.

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Charmed by His Love (Spellbound Falls, #2)Charmed by His Love by Janet Chapman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC
4 Kisses, 1 Pepper (M/F oral sex)

Peg Thompson is a young widowed mother of four children who are all under the age of nine. The women in her family have lived under a dark curse for five generations: they're black widows. Because of this supposed curse, Peg has no intention of ever marrying again. Duncan MacKeage is no stranger to magic. Not only is he privy to the fact that Mac Oceanus's magic was responsible for the freak earthquake that turned 'Bottomless' into an inland sea, but he is also the son of one of the original five highland warriors who were magically brought here from the twelfth century. A curse, though? He’s charmed, just like the rest of his rough and tumble family; curses don’t worry him at all.

Peg and Duncan strike a bargain for him to buy the gravel from her that he needs to build roads for the new resort. With the income Peg will be able to finish building the house that her late husband wasn't able to finish before he died. Peg doesn’t want to fall for Duncan, not only for his own safety but because she doesn't want to go through the pain of losing someone again. She doesn’t want to put her children thorough that, either.

I accidentally read the third book before this one, and while Charmed By His Love did help explain a lot more of the magical elements of the series, it didn't affect my enjoyment of either book. Nevertheless, if you’re like me you’ll probably want to read them in the proper order. Janet Chapman does a great job of intertwining light contemporary romance with grand paranormal elements. There's a good dose of drama and action and a pleasant focus on the value of family. I’m looking forward to the next book in this heartwarming series.

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Courting Carolina (Spellbound Falls, #3)Courting Carolina by Janet Chapman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC

4 Kisses, 1 Pepper (M/F oral sex)




Alec MacKeage rescues a woman who is being attacked in the woods by two men. This mystery woman (who tells him her name is Jane Smith, which is an obvious lie) asks him to let her stay with him for a week, and he agrees even though it's clear the situation will cause him nothing but trouble. She was kidnapped, but she doesn't want her father notified of her rescue because she's been hiding from him for two years. She can't stay hidden forever, especially considering who her father is.

Titus Oceanus needs his daughter to get married very soon, and has no choice but to force her to choose from his hand-picked suitors. Alec doesn't believe he's good enough for her, even though it's obvious they care for each other and would be very well suited.

Alec seems to know Mac Oceanus (Titus’s son) is a wizard, but he doesn't know his mystery woman's connection to him. Then he suddenly does know who she is. I'm not sure how he figured it out, but it might be partly explained because of who he is, or rather who his relatives are. Alec's uncle Duncan MacKeage, from the second book in the series, is a first-generation descendant from a line of time-traveling highlanders. The time travelers are from a different series, which readers may want to explore because of the connection to this series. Plus time travel romances are just completely awesome, so there's that, too. Back to the point though, Alec's background explains his ability to accept "Jane's" paranormal quirks so easily.

Courting Carolina is another very well-written book in this series. It moves along at a good pace and keeps you interested from the very first page. As in the previous books, more information is revealed as the story progresses, but the paranormal aspects are introduced early. I accidentally read this and the second book in the series out of order, and it all made sense but it would have been much better if I had read them in the proper order.

As a side note, I love that Janet Chapman included some poems written by her ninety-eight-year-old aunt. What a sweet thing to do, helping her see her work published.



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Friday, November 9, 2012

InsatiableInsatiable by Morgan Hawke
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hmmm... This one's hard to review. I didn't love it but I did like it a lot. It was VERY hot M/M/F, and a quick read that didn't tax my brain too much. The issue of force vs. consent at the beginning of the book was a little iffy and I can see how it would be a problem for some readers, but it was written just well enough that it made me OK with it. I loved the emotions between Aramis and Rafael. I thought their interaction with Elaine was sort of "cute", for lack of a better word. They treat her like their child (which she was, in vampire terms) as well as a lover, which could easily be interpreted as somewhat incestuous, but somehow it squeezed by without tripping my "ick" meter. I can't exactly call this a "fluffy" read, but it didn't have a lot of depth, either. And it wasn't "dark", but it had "dark-ish" potential, if that makes any sense. I agree with another reviewer who said it ended abruptly and felt like there should have been more. One final thought... Uh, hello, art department at Kensington...? Could you possibly make the guy on the cover look any less like either of the heroes in the book? This cover is horrible!

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Sunday, October 28, 2012

Jane Eyre Laid Bare: The Classic Novel with an Erotic TwistJane Eyre Laid Bare: The Classic Novel with an Erotic Twist by Eve Sinclair
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.

Would I have liked this better or worse if I had first read the original classic? I'll probably never know, because I have no interest in reading its predecessor. I have nothing against books that are dark & twisted (though I much prefer those qualities in films, not in the books I read), but this was also dull & plodding. Add to that the fact that it can hardly be considered a romance, and there really isn't much to recommend it. I didn't care at all about any of the characters or their happiness or suffering (and of the latter, there was a surplus). I finished the book only because I had agreed to review it.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Erica's ChoiceErica's Choice by Sami Lee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Supernova hot M/M/F erotic contemporary romance that manages to be a panty-melter and still delivers great story and character development. This is what happens when you pair an excellent author with a top-notch publisher. Keep a glass of ice water handy, and maybe some battery-operated friends. :)

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hunk for the HolidaysHunk for the Holidays by Katie Lane
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I won a free copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads, and here's my honest review:

Despite the fact that the conflict came from "a big misunderstanding" (James is mistaken for her paid escort & doesn't tell Cassandra otherwise), this was still pretty good. Usually I want to throw things at the characters in books like that, because everything could be easily wrapped up with basic, honest communication. But here, if James had been completely honest with Cassandra right from the start, I doubt she would have given herself the chance to get to know him. And he really did try to come clean several times, but his sex drive sort of got in the way. Plus I think he knew their connection would be toast if she knew who he was, and he really did like her for more than just sex. I think both characters were very likable, and neither did anything to annoy me (which is a very positive point, despite how it may sound). The angst was kept to a minimum, which is a plus for me.

This was a light, quick, fairly hot read (nothing too extreme), almost fluffy in that it didn't tax my brain too much, but with enough substance to keep my interest. Winner. :)

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Flirting with FortyFlirting with Forty by Jane Porter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Meh. The ending was a little surprising, even though I should have expected it and would have been rather put out if it hadn't ended the way it did. I think the happy ending made me add a star to the rating here. But I think this is a good example of why the first-person POV doesn't work so well in romances. Too much from one person's perspective (and in this case, waaaaay too much - I ended up skipping big chunks of her repetitive inner dialog) and absolutely nothing from the other person's POV. I think romance readers prefer (and deserve) the emotions and thoughts from both characters.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

More Than a FlingMore Than a Fling by Crista McHugh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Delicious. :)

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Friends With BenefitsFriends With Benefits by Cat Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Friends-to-lovers is always one of my top favorite themes. Really satisfying for such a short story because the emotions were very genuine.

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Her Five Favorite Words (5 Favorite, #1)Her Five Favorite Words by Gina Gordon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hot & very quick - kind of wished it had been longer than just a taste.

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The Lady is a Vamp (Argeneau, #17)The Lady is a Vamp by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I gobbled this one up just like I did the rest of the books in this series. Not too heavy, brain candy.

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Her Best Friend (Harlequin Superromance, #1626)Her Best Friend by Sarah Mayberry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not the best friends-to-lovers I've read, but not the worst, either. The angst did seem to drag a little and I was hoping for a little more fire & spark between them as they decided to finally get together.

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Wicked RideWicked Ride by Gina Gordon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a delicious little slice of erotica. :)

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Laced with Desire (Knights of the Boardroom, #3)Laced with Desire by Jaci Burton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this anthology a whole lot better than the previous anthology by these authors ('Unlaced'). I almost skipped this book because that one left me feeling... meh. I'm glad I gave it a chance. The first three stories were outstanding, and Joey W. Hill's story was especially power-packed with emotion and detail. I didn't get into the last story, but that's just my personal taste.

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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fire In The Blood (Harlequin Blaze #397)Fire In The Blood by Kelley St. John


I started trying to read this, and the whole ghost plot line really got in the way for me. DNF/skipped.

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The Bond That Consumes Us (Eternal Bond, #3)The Bond That Consumes Us by Christine d'Abo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'll admit I'm not normally a big fan of sci-fi/fantasy erotic romance, but this was really outstanding. Possibly the best one I've read so far. I'll be checking out the rest of the series. 4 1/2 stars.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pleasure BoundPleasure Bound by Opal Carew
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow... hot, hot, hot and very satisfying. I found myself feeling a bit skeptical about Zeke and Ty's Energizer Bunny capabilities, and there was a lot more sex than story development, but otherwise I've got no complaints. :) 4 1/2 stars

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Very Merry ChristmasA Very Merry Christmas by Lori Foster


The Lori Foster story was good, but it was the only one I liked. DNF.

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Friday, September 21, 2012

It Happened One SeasonIt Happened One Season by Stephanie Laurens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thought all four stories in this anthology were very good.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Highland Wolf (Murray Family #15)Highland Wolf by Hannah Howell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another really good book in this series. The angst ran a bit high at times, but I still enjoyed it. As a humorous aside, the cover is truly delicious and whoever decided they should put the price sticker right in the middle of Jame's face should be hanged. ;)

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Mr. Right, Next Door!Mr. Right, Next Door! by Barbara Wallace
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This would be good for anyone who likes 'sweet' romances. I read to the part where it should have gotten interesting...and it didn't. DNF.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Tall, Dark and Wolfish (Westfield Wolves, #2)Tall, Dark and Wolfish by Lydia Dare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another great book in this series - loved it. I really enjoy the blending of historical and paranormal. I'm really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

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Monday, September 10, 2012

The Guy Most Likely To...: Underneath It All\Can't Get You Out of My Head\A Moment Like ThisThe Guy Most Likely To...: Underneath It All\Can't Get You Out of My Head\A Moment Like This by Leslie Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Three fantastic reunion stories by three very talented authors. Loved it.

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Hearts in DarknessHearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A hot, vulnerable hero with tattoos and piercings... Does it get any better than that? This was a quickie for sure, and most of the story is about them being stuck in the elevator, in total darkness. The author did a fantastic job of describing everything - I was very impressed. Awesome chemistry between them, too. Great book!

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Outrageously Yours (Her Majesty's Secret Servants #2)Outrageously Yours by Allison Chase
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think this series (or at least this book) would fall into an interesting subgenre that I'd call "cerebral historical romance". I like reading about smart characters, and this book is all about smart. I'll admit it did seem to drag a little bit for me here & there, but overall it was an excellent addition to the series.

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Monday, September 3, 2012

The CowboyThe Cowboy by P.J. Mellor


I couldn't connect to any of the stories in this anthology. Probably just me. DNF

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Under a Vampire Moon (Argeneau, #16)Under a Vampire Moon by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hmmm... I had mixed feelings about this one. I do love this series, and I think that may have helped me look past some issues that would normally bother me more. I think the biggest thing that bugged me was the "beard" ruse. I guess I understand why it was used, and the situation did call for desperate measures, but I dislike that their relationship was initially based on a lie (especially one that was so ridiculous). Also, I didn't feel the chemistry between Christian and Carolyn was quite as successful as the other books in the series. Nevertheless, I thought this was pretty good overall, and worth reading if you're a fan of the series.

A note to anyone who hasn't read the rest of the series yet: You'll get a lot more information and world building if you go back and read at least some of the previous books. I'd recommend that you read them all, and in the intended order, but if that's too daunting at least read some of them. This book really just touched on the basics, which was fine for me because I'm already familiar with the Argeneaus and other immortals in Lynsay Sands' world.

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Friday, August 31, 2012

Ride the Fire (Firefighters of Station Five, #5)Ride the Fire by Jo Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been looking forward to Sean's story since the first book in the series, and I wasn't disappointed. This was just as enjoyable as the rest of the series. The villain was a bit predictable (OK, a lot predictable), but I don't really mind. I read more for the romance and characters than for the suspense. Again, all characters were immensely likable and intelligent. Not one of the books in this series has a TSTL or bitchy heroine, and for that I'm grateful. Definitely recommended!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Line of Fire (Firefighters of Station Five, #4)Line of Fire by Jo Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this one as much as the others in the series with one little nitpick... When the hero discovers the villains are up to no good and the hero is in imminent danger, they decide to go have brunch with his parents and then stop for some nookie in the woods before they go to give her brother (the cop) a heads up. That's just dumb and irresponsible.

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Hidden Fire (Firefighters of Station Five, #3)Hidden Fire by Jo Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm pretty sure the guys of Station Five are psychopath magnets... Parts of this fantastic book are dark & disturbing, but that's nothing new in this series. Deep, genuine emotions, hot sex and very likable characters. I'm truly enjoying this series.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Under Fire (Firefighters of Station Five, #2)Under Fire by Jo Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holy geez... Poor Zack is whacked around so much in this book that you can't help but feel for the guy. Still, a really good book in a series I'm enjoying very much.

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Trial by Fire (Firefighters of Station Five, #1)Trial by Fire by Jo Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked everything about this book. The hero was hot & intense and genuinely NICE (despite being pretty emotionally damaged in childhood), and the heroine was patient, intelligent and loving. I've got the whole series, and if they're all as good as this one I've found another author to add to my short list of favorites.

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Trial by Fire (Firefighters of Station Five, #1)Trial by Fire by Jo Davis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really liked everything about this book. The hero was hot & intense and genuinely NICE (despite being pretty emotionally damaged in childhood), and the heroine was patient, intelligent and loving. I've got the whole series, and if they're all as good as this one I've found another author to add to my short list of favorites.

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Sinner (Return of the Highlanders #2)The Sinner by Margaret Mallory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Very well-written and hard to put down. The main thing that kept me from fully loving it was the unrelenting mistrust of the heroine.

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Hot in HandcuffsHot in Handcuffs by Shayla Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4 stars because I really enjoyed the first two stories. I skipped the 3rd one partly because I just wasn't into it (that much violence tends to be a buzzkill in a story that's supposed to be sexy), but also because I was frustrated by the heroine almost immediately. If you're investigating a serial killer, you really ought to use ALL the tools at your disposal, especially dreams that might give you an advantage.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Double DeliciousDouble Delicious by Christiane France
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this M/M/F quickie. The author packed a lot of feeling into such a short story. The ending felt a little open-ended, almost unfinshed, but overall it was quite good.

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Destiny (Serendipity, #2)Destiny by Carly Phillips
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews
4 Kisses, 1 Pepper (M/F, oral sex)

Nash Barron knows he needs to stay away from Kelly Moss for the sake of his shaky relationship with his half sister Tess. Kelly is Tess's half sister too, but Nash and Kelly aren't related.

Nash's older brother Ethan deserted Nash and their younger brother, Dare, after their parents died, and Nash still hasn't forgiven him. Both Nash and Dare were put in foster homes, but not together. Nash was placed with a well-to-do family, and Dare was basically put in the town's slum. Nash always felt angry and guilty for having a better foster home than his younger brother, and he resented his foster parents for not being willing to take his younger brother, too. His guilt has followed him his whole life.

Kelly has her own secrets, and her past is catching up with her. She’s afraid of how Nash’s feelings for her will change if he discovers what she’s hiding. But their attraction to each other is too strong to be ignored, and when they find themselves being thrown together time and again, they realize resistance is futile.

I like the secondary romance of Annie and Joe, but I wish it had been more complete. We were left hanging. I also really like how calm and accepting Kelly is with Nash. She gives him the feeling of security and acceptance that he needs.

Destiny by Carly Phillips is a story about family, trust, commitment, secrets, and how they affect the people we love. It’s engaging, fast-paced, and full of passion and tenderness. There are some neat twists and surprises that readers will enjoy. This can be read as a standalone book but will be even more enjoyable if you’re reading the series in order.

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Passion Wears Pearls (Jaded Gentleman, #4)Passion Wears Pearls by Renee Bernard
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews
5 Kisses, 1 1/2 Peppers (M/F, oral sex, wax play)


Eleanor Beckett's parents are dead and she's barely making ends meet as a seamstress at Madame Claremont's dress shop. Her treatment there is deplorable, but she has little choice. She has nowhere else to go, and her survival depends on making a respectable living.

Josiah Hastings is an artist and a member of a group of men known as the Jaded. They were imprisoned and barely managed to escape with their lives and a handful of jewels that are worth a small fortune. Now their lives are in danger again as they're hunted and in danger from the jewels' owners. But Josiah has another lasting physical consequence of his imprisonment; he's losing his eyesight.

Josiah rescues Eleanor from being kidnapped and raped, and then champions her when her ruthless pimp of an employer and landlady kick her out in the street. When he sees her, he doesn't ever want to stop looking. To his failing eyes, Eleanor is beauty and vivid color in a world that is becoming increasingly gray due to his failing eyesight. He knows he has finally found his elusive muse, but doesn't want to scare her right after her assault. But he can’t let the opportunity slip by, and he asks her to model for him. In exchange, he’ll pay her an exorbitant fee, and he promises he won’t do anything inappropriate. Normally, Eleanor would never have considered posing for an artist. It isn’t a proper thing for a respectable young lady to do. But while she’s wary of Josiah’s proposition, he does seem like a nice man—especially after saving her from certain ruin—and his promise of compensation would allow her to live her life independently and without financial stress.

One of the things I really like about Renee Bernard is her intelligent dialogue. Her characters are smart, her plots are smart, and her books are just really good all around. Passion Wears Pearls is a book for readers who want a brilliantly well-written historical romance with passion, action, intrigue, and a fast pace that will keep you glued to every page. The mystery facing the Jaded continues in the next book in the series, and I can hardly wait.


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Party of Three (H.O.T. Cops, #2)Party of Three by Lacey Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews
5 Kisses, Recommended Read
2 Peppers (M/F/M, M/F, oral sex, public sex, double penetration)

Mira and her workaholic boyfriend's relationship was nearing a breaking point. Despite how much she loves Ethan and how great their chemistry is, she was seriously considering leaving him when he suddenly told her he wanted to take her away for a romantic weekend for her birthday. But that's not all he has planned for her. He knows he's been too wrapped up in work lately, and knows their relationship has suffered for it. So he has decided to fulfill Mira's fantasy of a hot threesome. And it's not just anyone he's invited to join them—it's Mira's ex-boyfriend, Rogan.

Mira has some trouble allowing herself to really let loose. She enjoys sex but has never done anything like this. She's afraid Ethan's opinion of her will change if she does this; that he'll think she's a slut, despite the fact that it was his idea. Then things start getting complicated. She loves Ethan, but being with Rogan reawakens the old feelings she has for him. He didn't treat her particularly well when they broke up, and she knows she needs to remember that. At the time he felt smothered and wasn't ready to give her the commitment she wanted. Now he's realizing what he gave up, and wishing he could have her again, all to himself.

Mira’s feelings for both men are understandable. Ethan is perfect in so many ways, but Rogan has an undeniable bad boy appeal. As I read, I wasn’t completely sure who I wanted to root for, and I realized this was the rare romance where the ending wasn't necessarily a foregone conclusion.

Party of Three reinforces my love for Lacey Alexander’s writing. What she writes is scorching hot and the emotions in her books go bone deep. This was an erotic roller coaster ride of delectable kink, and I’m dying to read the next book in the series.

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