Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Causing Havoc (SBC Fighters, #1)Causing Havoc by Lori Foster

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


As always, Lori Foster delivers a beautiful romance with brilliantly-written characters and emotions that are so real you can almost feel them as you read. I'm a little late starting this series, but I'm looking forward to reading more about these charismatic SBC fighters.



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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Secret WeaponSecret Weapon by Opal Carew

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I agree with a lot of the other reviewers. The writing is good, the sex is very hot, but I'm not loving the characters or the romance. DNF.



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Charming the Highlander (Highlander, #1)Charming the Highlander by Janet Chapman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This was...OK. There really wasn't much that I disliked, but I think I know why I didn't love it. I really like time travel romances, and this fits the definition - technically. Part of what I enjoy is seeing how the characters have to adapt to a time that's radically different from their own. But here, that part was skipped. The men have all been living in the present for four years when this story gets going, so readers miss seeing that acclimation. Overall, this one just didn't grab me. I'll see if I like the next book in the series any better, but I think I'll take a break and read something else first.



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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Highland Sinner (Murray Family, #16)Highland Sinner by Hannah Howell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Another great book in the Murray Family series (#16). A few parts were a little repetitive, but still a fantastic read.



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Monday, February 20, 2012

StripStrip by Delta Dupree




Just not feeling these characters at all. DNF.



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Sex LoungeSex Lounge by Rachelle Chase

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Very good. Very hot with a tough of whodunit.



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Friday, February 17, 2012

Born to DarknessBorn to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


WOW! This is an absolute powerhouse of action and heart-pounding romance. I loved the characters, the paranormal world building was smooth, fascinating and easy to follow, and I adored the fact that we got multiple romances all in one book. I have to say, I liked Elliot and Diaz's romance much more than the main romance between Mac & Shane. I will definitely be watching for more books in this series. Put this on your to-buy list for sure!!



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Night Veil (Indigo Court, #2)Night Veil by Yasmine Galenorn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC

3 Kisses, 1 Pepper (M/F, explicit sex)



Night Veil picks up where the cliffhanger in the first book in the series left off. After returning to her hometown to find much has changed, Cicely Waters has also learned a lot about herself and what her true powers are. She always knew that she was a magic-born witch, but now she knows she's part Fae as well. And it's a good thing she's realizing her new abilities, because her long-ago love, Grieve, has been taken prisoner by the Indigo Court, and Cicely must save him. To do so, she must face Myst, the Vampiric Fae queen and ruler of the Indigo Court. Not an easy task, even on a good day. Meanwhile she has an ally who is in a coma because his inner demon is waking up, more people keep disappearing from their small town, friends who become adversaries, and enemies she has to trust whether she likes it or not.



The author’s inclusion of a character list for reference and a music playlist are both appreciated. I’d especially like to see more authors include music playlists in their books, not only because I find it fascinating what they listen to while writing, but also because it’s a way for me to discover fun, new music.



Yasmine Galenorn's second book in the series, Night Veil, will appeal to readers who like a lot of action, urban fantasy, dark paranormal fiction, world building, politics, and intrigue. There are twists galore and the author is undeniably creative, but while I definitely appreciated the ‘dark and creepy factor’ of this book, I personally prefer a lot more focus on the romance and not so much on the paranormal aspects of a story. I had a very hard time getting through this book, but my issues were strictly a matter of taste and are no reflection on the quality of the story. It should be noted that it would be extremely helpful to read the first book in the series before starting this one.





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Recklessly Yours (Her Majesty's Secret Servants #3)Recklessly Yours by Allison Chase

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC

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



Being Queen Victoria's childhood friends, the Sutherland sisters vowed long ago to help her if she ever needed them. Now Victoria has asked Holly to help her catch a thief. A thoroughbred colt that was a gift from the Ashworth family is missing and presumed stolen. In the course of her investigation, Holly encounters Colin Ashworth, a potential suspect despite the fact that the colt was a gift from his family. Colin's father, the Duke of Masterfield, has gone abroad, leaving him to manage the estate and family affairs. The thing is, Colin did steal the colt. His father should not have given it away in the first place, because it's linked to a curse and a lot depends on him returning the colt to its rightful place.



Colin is powerfully attracted to Holly, not just physically, but intellectually as well. They share a passion for horses, among other things. But he doesn’t want to subject her to his emotionally tumultuous family, especially his impossible-to-please father. So he knows he can’t allow himself to fall in love with her. She’s attracted to him, too. What started out as a grand adventure of secrets and intrigue has turned into a tangle of emotions that make her wish she didn’t have a mission from the queen. The villagers’ belief in an ancient curse is explained in such a way that it makes sense for them psychologically and spiritually. Of course my logical side responded best to the scientific reasons for why the colt is special, but the metaphysical side of the story is also very interesting and compelling, even for this non-believer.



Recklessly Yours will especially appeal to readers who are interested in horses and horse breeding, but even if you aren’t into that sort of thing (and to be honest, I’m not), this is still a very good book, filled with intrigue, passion, and love. I liked both the hero and the heroine very much, and Allison Chase provides a nice set up for Willow’s story, which should be excellent.



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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Naughty, NaughtyNaughty, Naughty by P.J. Mellor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Three excellent stories. :)



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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

UnlacedUnlaced by Jaci Burton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Ok, my honest responses to all 4 stories in this anthology:



Jaci Burton: She had me loving every minute of the reunion story until the heroine kept pushing the hero away again & again. And AGAIN. When you know you have your perfect man (and she knew she did because she had known him for 20 years), don't look for reasons to push him away. Kind of a bummer because I've really enjoyed some of this author's other books. 3.5/5



Jasmine Haynes: My favorite story of the book. The heroine almost blew it (for me) by turning him down one too many times, but I can overlook it because the rest of the story was very well-written, emotionally fantastic and smoking hot. 4/5



Joey W. Hill: I've heard so many good things about her books, and now I'm wondering if this is representative of her style or not. I only made it through the first scene in the woods, felt absolutely no connection to the characters and was too bored to continue. 1/5



Denise Rossetti: This really isn't even fair because I skipped this one entirely. The blurb didn't entice me at all, maybe partly because of the mood that I had after attempting the 3rd story. No rating.



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Monday, February 6, 2012

Never Love a Highlander (McCabe Trilogy, #3)Never Love a Highlander by Maya Banks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Beyond awesome! This is just as fantastic as the first two books in the series. If you like hot highlanders, smart heroines, and steamy and heartfelt romance, don't miss this delicious trilogy.



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Friday, February 3, 2012

Sexiest Vampire Alive (Love at Stake, #11)Sexiest Vampire Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Another terrific book in one of my favorite series. Not too heavy, but with enough substance to keep me interested.



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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Accidental Courtesan (School for Brides, #2)The Accidental Courtesan by Cheryl Ann Smith

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC

2 1/2 Kisses

1/2 Pepper (M/F, oral sex)



Lady Noelle was given the task of helping to oversee the school established by her half sister Eva while she was out of town. The school helps troubled courtesans change their lives and teaches them how to prepare for a respectable marriage. When a desperate courtesan named Bliss arrives at the school with a stolen necklace, Noelle agrees to help her return it. But Lady Noelle Seymour is busted sneaking into the Earl of Seabrook's Town house to return the stolen necklace. She goes in the wrong room and encounters the earl's cousin by mistake. Fortunately, he's drunk and she manages to leave the necklace and make her escape. But he remembers her scent, as well as her excuse for being in his room: she's his new courtesan. When he finds her, he insists that she fulfill her promise and become his lover.



The premise of the book sounds intriguing, but for me the story just doesn’t deliver. It’s tolerable if you can get past the witless schemes Noelle attempts. For example, at one point she decides to dress up like a courtesan so she can mingle with other courtesans, in the hopes that she'll gather some useful gossip about a maid they suspect is connected to the plot to steal the earl's necklace. But there didn’t seem to be any reason to think some random courtesans would have any useful knowledge. So to me this just seemed like a pointless ploy to get dressed up like a whore and play amateur detective. As I continued to read, I found Noelle to be immature, impulsive almost to the point of being a danger to herself, and a cock tease. It took a fair amount of self-discipline for me to finish the book. Some of my impatience with this book might be due to the fact that I recently read another historical romance with a very similar beginning, where the heroine was caught sneaking into a bedroom to return a stolen item. Seriously, what kind of idiot would even do that?



Nevertheless, The Accidental Courtesan by Cheryl Ann Smith does have some things that will appeal to fans of historical romance, including passion, mystery and intrigue, a fast-paced plot, and a dashing and worldly hero who knows how to work with his hands.



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Baby It's Cold Outside (Alaskan Nights, #1)Baby It's Cold Outside by Addison Fox

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC.

5 Kisses

1/2 Pepper (M/F, oral sex)



Sloan McKinley's society mom is pushing her to find a husband, so when her best friend Grier needs her help in Alaska, it's a perfect excuse to escape. Grier's estranged father died and she was named as a beneficiary in his will, along with a half sister she had never met. Unfortunately, her half sister is a bitch and the residents of small town of Indigo, Alaska, are mostly siding with her and shunning Grier. Three of Indigo's matriarchs are planning an annual event that's designed to find wives for their three grandsons, none of whom want to participate. The event has drawn a lot of attention to their small town, and quite a few women travel all the way to Alaska to compete for the town’s eligible bachelors.



First there’s a competition for the women to show their “survival skills,” then there’s a bachelor auction where the ladies can bid on the man who has caught their eye. Sloan arrived well before the event, and has had time to get to know Walker Montgomery, one of the matriarch’s grandsons. Walker is a confirmed bachelor, and has no intention of settling down. His family history has taught him that there really is no such thing as happily ever after. But maybe it’s about time he learns what love really is.



I loved Baby It’s Cold Outside and could hardly put it down. Addison Fox is clearly a very talented author, because this flowed perfectly and was a pleasure to read. The character development was excellent, and I really liked how all the characters interacted with each other. I have to say, I especially like a book that has more than one love story line, and this book delivers. I’ll definitely be wishlisting the rest of the series.



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Simply Carnal (House of Pleasure, #7)Simply Carnal by Kate Pearce

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC. 5/5 Kisses, RECOMMENDED READ, 2 1/2 peppers (M/F/M, M/F/M/M, oral sex, anal sex, toys, D/s)



For anyone following this series (and if you aren’t you really should be), Simply Carnal is Helene’s son, Christian Delornay's story. He's seen so much fornicating in his lifetime that it has ceased to be anything special for him. Elizabeth "Smith" comes to the pleasure house owned by his mother, hoping to meet with Helene. Elizabeth is bedraggled, says she's a widow, and is willing to sell her body because she has no other choice. Christian likes her spunk, but says he can’t employ her in her present half-starved condition, but offers her a meal and bed for the night. He says to do any less or to let her starve to death would be bad for business. He has compassion but doesn’t often let it show. A week later she’s still there, feeling fortified by the food, shelter, and safety she has been provided. Helene tells Christian he doesn’t have what it takes to run the pleasure house, and he says he has plans to make the business thrive despite the increasing competition from other establishments.



Then Helene meets Elizabeth and suggests Christian hire her as his assistant. A very straightforward Elizabeth tells him she’s willing to do anything, including the use of her body. He still doesn’t believe she’s fully prepared to see what she would be getting herself into, but she assures him she has plenty of experience in carnal matters. As her situation is revealed, the tension is ratcheted up and so is the explosive passion between Elizabeth and Christian. The depth of characters in this series is amazing. I didn’t even realize how much I had missed some of the secondary characters (Paul, for example) until I started reading this. Kate Pearce has a way of writing very empathetic characters that are also charismatic, sensual and delightfully sexy. And speaking of sexy, Ms. Pearce continues to deliver lava-hot sex, book after book. Grab the oven mitts for this one.



If you haven’t read this series yet and you’re a fan of edgy, erotic historical romance, you have no idea what you’re missing. Simply Carnal has a twisted plot of deception, and life-changing passion. Brilliant!



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Seductive as Flame (Bruton Street Bookstore, #4)Seductive as Flame by Susan Johnson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC. 4 1/2 kisses, 2 peppers (M/F, bondage, rope play)



Alec Munro, Earl of Dalgliesh (I tried to pronounce this in my head and it kept sounding like “dog leash”, which amused me but threw me off a bit), is a notorious seducer and Zelda MacKenzie is an exotic Scottish beauty. They meet at a house party. He's married and has a stepson, but his friends wonder why he hasn’t divorced already. Something about Zelda draws him, and he pursues her despite the fact that he knows he shouldn’t. His normally uncaring wife, who has numerous lovers of her own, is being extra difficult, confrontational and combative with Zelda. What a vindictive bitch she is! But Alec and Zelda manage to share a night of unbridled passion, and he’s shocked and dismayed to find he doesn’t want to escape as he usually does from casual lovers. He wants more of her, despite himself.



Zelda knows the score and understands she can’t ask too much of him, but he’s so incredible in bed that she’s hooked. Alec’s old nanny approves of Zelda for many reasons: she's kind, intelligent, Scottish, a good match for Alec, and she makes him happy. She’s also good with his young stepson, Chris, and Alec is showing an unprecedented interest in her. Zelda is unusual, but I like her even though I’m not sure I would like her in real life. She tends to be bitchy, but somehow it works with her relationship with Alec. They both struggle with jealousy because of how much sexual experience they both have, even when the expertise increases their mutual pleasure. They both tell themselves they need to remember it’s just a casual fling just like any other, but deep down they know it’s more. They definitely hope it’s more. Everyone around them sees it’s more. The reactions of his servants to his uncharacteristic behavior help tell the story of how significant this affair is and different it is from his norm.



Overall, Seductive as Flame is a well-written, fast-paced read that will appeal to fans of steamy historical romances. It’s easy to see why Susan Johnson is such a well-loved author. I liked the whole book, most especially how Alec moved heaven and earth to be with Zelda.



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