Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Every Night I'm Yours (The Spinster Club, #1)Every Night I'm Yours by Christie Kelley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was the first book I've read by this author, and it was really good. The angst threatened my patience a few times, but the sincerity and depth of the hero's love more than made up for it.

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Desire Becomes HerDesire Becomes Her by Shirlee Busbee
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This started out good but I found myself losing interest in the smuggling plotline about half way through the book. It overshadowed the romance. There were also a lot of characters to keep straight, and while I believe this can be enjoyed as a standalone book, reading the previous books would probably be helpful.

I received a free copy of this book as part of the Early Reviewers program on the LibraryThing web site.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne (Fairbourne Quartet, #1)The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne by Madeline Hunter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews. 3 Kisses, 1 Pepper (M/F oral sex)

Emma Fairbourne's father passed away and left her an auction house. But women don't run auction houses. Before his death, her father had sold half of the business to Darius, the Earl of Southwaite. Now Darius is insisting the business must be sold. He doesn't want his involvement to become public knowledge. He and Emma are both coming to the same worrisome conclusion that her father may have sourced some of the goods he sold at auction from smugglers. Emma starts to rationalize the illegal activities when she hypothesizes that her father might have started dealing with smugglers in order to protect her brother Robert, who was supposedly missing at sea and presumed dead.

What I didn't like about The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne: Emma and Darius are at odds for the first half of the book. He's autocratic and she's manipulative. The primary emotion between them throughout most of the book is mistrust, and while they really do have good reason, it left me feeling lukewarm about their romance. Unfortunately, the majority of the book felt very draggy to me. It lacks the intensity of desire and emotion that usually makes me love a book. I thought the ending and resolution of the missing brother felt like it was missing something; it didn't live up to the big build-up it was given throughout the book.

What I did like about this book: The whole Outrageous Misconception thing was particularly funny to me, in part because that was how Emma referred to it in her head, and because I got the impression it left Darius feeling discomposed and that doesn't seem to be something that happens to him very often. I like that Emma is so forthright much of the time, at least when she isn't deliberately hiding something. I enjoyed seeing the affection blossom between Emma and Darius. I liked that she couldn’t completely hide her attraction from him, and he realized he would get better results with smiles than with frowns. I was interested enough in learning the truth about Robert that it made me want to finish reading the book. I like Madeline Hunter's writing style overall, and the ending did leave me feeling mostly satisfied.

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Spellbound Falls (Spellbound Falls #1)Spellbound Falls by Janet Chapman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews. 4 Kisses, 1/2 pepper (very mild love scenes)

The first thing I noticed about Spellbound Falls is that it has a tasteful cover you can read in public without blushing. For my personal reading preferences, sometimes that’s a good thing and sometimes not. This time it was a winner.

Olivia Baldwin, who operates a summer camp along with the parents of her late husband in Spellbound Falls, Maine, seems to attract the attention of men who are either too old or too young for her, and they don’t always take no for an answer. But then Mac arrives on the scene and rescues her from a dangerous situation. My first impression of Maximilian Oceanus is that he's a self-assured and take-charge kind of guy. But he's facing a challenge that tests his confidence: he's learning to be a father to his six-year-old son, Henry, a child he didn't even know existed until recently. So he made arrangements to arrive early at Camp Inglenook and to stay all summer, because the camp has programs to help parents and children connect.

The chemistry between Mac and Olivia sizzles. He's calm and patient, and they're very good together. Then odd things start happening that make Olivia wonder not only what’s going on, but also how she’s going to be able to protect her heart when Mac leaves at the end of the summer.

Janet Chapman has written a pleasantly family-oriented book and there are some nice surprises waiting for you near the end of the book. It’s heartwarming, and has more than a touch of paranormal, which is revealed little by little as the story progresses rather than giving it all to the reader up front. For supporting characters, Olivia and Mac’s children, Sophie and Henry, are fun characters who add a lot of depth to the story, and I hope we'll hear more about Mac's sister, Carolina, in future books. I think this was a good start to a new series by this popular author.

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Crash Into You(Loving On The Edge, #1)Crash Into You by Roni Loren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews. 4 1/2 Kisses, 2 Peppers (M/F/M bdsm, menage)

Brynn and Reid have a history, and it's not necessarily good. Ten years ago they were lovers, but they both betrayed the other and hearts were broken. Now they not only find out they're co-workers, but Brynn needs Reid’s help to find her missing sister. But here's the thing... it looks like her sister might be involved with a secretive BDSM club, which brings back vividly tempting memories of Brynn and Reid’s previous time together. And no matter how much her body may crave Reid's touch, she can't let herself get involved with him again.

But the only way to gain entrance to the club is as a sexual submissive. Reid offers to take her, but their bad blood isn't the only thing standing in her way. Brynn was a victim of rape, so the thought of giving that kind of power to anyone is a big problem for her. Adding to their difficult past is the fact that Reid's father was a convicted serial rapist, so when they first met ten years ago, Reid was fighting against his dark sexual urges because he was afraid he would become just like his father. Crash Into You goes back and forth between their scorching past and their tension-filled present.

I was hooked on Reid's seductive passion and Brynn's hot longing right from the start. These two are obviously meant to be together; they just need to find a way to get past their issues. Roni Loren has written an edgy and intense beginning to what promises to be a really great series. It’s suspenseful, captivating, and very pleasurable to read. I'll definitely be following the series.

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Not Wicked Enough (Seducing the Scoundrels, #1)Not Wicked Enough by Carolyn Jewel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

Lily Wellstone is visiting her widowed friend Eugenia, sister of the Duke of Mountjoy. She has come to Bitterward to cheer her friend and help boost her out of her depressed funk. She finds herself attracted to the duke, despite the fact that she knows she can never fall in love again. Besides, he's all but betrothed to someone else, so nothing can ever come of it. Still, she is attracted to him and it turns out he is to her as well.

Lily and Mountjoy are so good together, tantalizing readers with their verbal foreplay and passion. Mountjoy was not groomed to be a duke from an early age as so many other noblemen were. He was raised in a much more earthy and simple environment, but he's no novice when it comes to pleasing women. He knows as well as she does that he shouldn't start anything with Lily, but the pull is too strong and they give into temptation. For her part, Lily is practical about their affair, knowing it won't last beyond her visit.

It amuses me that the duke's attire is such an important issue in the story. Lily takes great pride in dressing fashionably at all times, and it tweaks her that he dresses in what would be the then equivalent of grunge.

I really liked Lily and Mountjoy together in Not Wicked Enough. Of course it's obvious to the reader that they belong together long before they realize (or admit) it themselves. I wasn't fully sold on the supposed reasons for them to not be together so the conflict in the story felt a bit weak to me, but I enjoyed the journey nonetheless. I should also mention that there's a smattering of paranormal with the addition of the gypsy medallion and some possible shared dreams, but it's a very minor part of the story that isn't explored very thoroughly. Overall, this is smart, passionate, and very well written. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series from Carolyn Jewel, especially because of who I suspect will be the hero and heroine in the next book.

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