REVIEW: VANILLA

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BOOK: VANILLA

AUTHOR: MEGAN HART

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Sometimes love takes you by the hand and leads you to run through fields of flowers while butterflies weave you a dress out of rainbows. Other times, love takes you by the throat and chokes you until all you see is the bright, sharp trail of shooting stars right before everything turns to black. The problem is, you can never tell in advance which way the story ends, not until you’re too far into it, and you have no choice but to keep turning the pages.

4 stars

I love Megan Hart. I love the way she writes. The way she doesn’t sugarcoat any of the stories she tells.

The heroine, Elise, is a very sexual character. She has certain tastes that most of us aren’t used to but she enjoys. Some of the things she enjoys I would never think about doing. Yeah, it’s out there!

All in all I thought this was a good read. In my opinion Elise cried too much. It was a little bit of a put off for me but other than that, I enjoyed the story. The other characters were great as well. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to read it.

**ARC graciously provided by Harlequin via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

REVIEW: ENSLAVED BY THE OCEAN

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BOOK: ENSLAVED BY THE OCEAN

AUTHOR: BELLA JEWEL

PUBLISHER: MONTLAKE ROMANCE

PUBLISHED: OCTOBER 14, 2014

BOOK BLURB:

Indigo is running, she has no other choice. She’s done something bad, and the only way to escape it, is to flee her home, and her country. She sets out on a luxury Yacht, to take her to another country with her best friend Eric. But she runs into a problem.

The Yacht catches fire.

She ends up stranded in the ocean, terrified, and scared of the uncertain. Until they show up. The pirates. Terrified, Indigo and Eric have to face the reality that this might be the end for them. These are pirates, they are the criminals of the ocean. What chance have they got of surviving this nightmare?

Then she lays eyes on Hendrix. He’s the Captain, he’s gorgeous, rugged, and mean. He’s planning on keeping her to repay his debt to another man, by selling her. Now Indigo has a crazy ex after her, as well as a pirate she can’t seem to get out of her head.

Come on this heart wrenching, dark, angst and dangerous adventure as two people so opposite, find something so beautiful.

My Review: 3.5 to 4 stars

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It’s against the rules.  You’re not meant to fall for your captor.

Who knew a modern day pirate story would interest me?  When I started the book one evening, I just expected to read a couple of chapters and then go to bed.  Yeahhhhh. Didn’t happen.  In fact, it was well after midnight when I regrettably put up my Kindle.

I might add that there were a few parts in this book that I couldn’t stand.  The heroines name for one.  Indigo. Ugh.  And her best friend, Eric, got on my nerves as well.  I know they were captured, blah, blah, blah but he just didn’t have a personality.  At all.  Lastly,  the cover for this book is all wrong.  She’s described in the book as being blonde but a brunette is stuck on the cover. :/

Overall, I enjoyed the book.  The characters are great, the action is superb, and the passion is HOT! The sex scenes will leave you panting and wanting more. Hendrix (the hero) is dominant and has a rough personality.  I really, really liked him.  I love to read about bad boys.  He’s definitely one of them.  Who doesn’t love a sexy pirate???

I never thought it possible to want someone so much, until him.  I can’t get enough of what he has to offer.  He gives it, and I can’t stop taking. 

…………………………………………………………………………..

“You taught me how to open my heart.”

I swallow and reach up, stroking his face.

“You know what, pirate?” I murmur, meeting his eyes. “You taught me that, too.”

…………………………………………………………………………….

I was definitely intrigued.  Interesting plot, lots of action to keep you interested, and the ending left me wanting more.  All in all, great book.

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***ARC graciously provided by Montlake Romance via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

REVIEW: ALWAYS ON MY MIND

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BOOK: ALWAYS ON MY MIND

AUTHOR: JILL SHALVIS

PUBLISHER: GRAND CENTRAL

BOOK BLURB: 

THERE’S NOTHING LIKE THE REAL THING

After dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper. In an effort to cheer up Jack’s ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib – that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle . . .

No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine – perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their “just friends” rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent. Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?

My review: 2 stars (in fact, I didn’t even finish it)

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Oh my.  Not sure where to begin with this one.

I couldn’t read all this.  I tried.  I really, really did.  By page 101 I’d simply had enough.

The hero and heroine are supposed to be childhood friends but I found the more I read about them, the more awkward and really uncomfortable it was for me.  I’m sorry.  I’m definitely not one of the hundreds of Goodreads and Amazon reviewers that liked this.  Not even a little bit.  It was a total yawn fest for me.

To quote another reviewer: “The whole premise of the story where a lie is told to his sick mother in order to make her happy about their relationship also felt off.” 100% agree with this.

I don’t know if I’ll read another Jill Shalvis book for a while.

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REVIEW: SOMEBODY TO LOVE

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BOOK: SOMEBODY TO LOVE

AUTHOR: KRISTAN HIGGINS

PUBLISHER: HARLEQUIN

***** My review: 5 breathtaking stars *****

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I’ve never read a book by Kristan Higgins that I didn’t like.  I simply LOVE this one. SOMEBODY TO LOVE made me get all teary eyed at the end and by the time I read the epilogue I had a few tears running down my cheeks. I’m such a sucker for a great romance.  This is definitely one.

This book is pretty long.  It’s about 425 pages or so.  It’s every bit worth the read. Ms. Higgins does a fabulous job letting you get to know the characters and how they interact with each other.  I found myself laughing so much at what would come out of their mouths.

Here are some of my favorite quotes in the book:

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Parker ripped off the jeans, dimly hearing herself shrieking, and ran out of the house, through the grass and right up onto the hood of her car. “Bugger! Bugger! Jeesh!” she yelped.  Her jeans were clutched in her hand.  What if there were more in there? What if a whole family of rodents was in her jeans right now? She whipped the pants against the car, cracking them against the hood again and again and again, shrieking at the remembered feeling of tiny claws.  On her leg. Her skin.  On her ass!

“Hey, Parker” came a voice.  She kept cracking.

“Parker?”

She looked up, her breath stuttering in and out of her chest.

Thing One.  Thing One was here.

“Hi,” he said, as if she wasn’t murdering her jeans against the hood.  “How’s it going?”

“There was a mouse in my pants.”

He raised an eyebrow and smiled.  “Lucky mouse.”

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…………………………………………….

“So you got this? You can hold down the fort and all?”

“Sure, Vin.  You go. Have a great time,” Parker smiled at her cousin.  She couldn’t wait till Vin was gone so she could start cleaning.  The shop was filthy.

“Thanks. ‘Cause I haven’t been laid in God knows how long.” She sighed. “That’s where I’m going. A sex date.  And I cannot wait.”

“Thanks for sharing.”

“This guy? Knows what he’s doing,” her cousin continued, squinting appreciatively as she took a long drag on her cigarette, her face contouring into a sea of wrinkles. “Some men, it’s just in and out, right? Nawt him.”

“That’s… that’s great.”

“Does this little circly thing.  Makes me crazy.” Lavinia stubbed the cigarette out on her palm, then fished her bra strap from where it had slid down her crepey, mole-encrusted arm.  “He might be hairy, God knows, but once you get used to the friction, it’s all good.”

Parker had never thought of herself as a prude, nope, but damn if she didn’t throw up in her mouth a little bit.

“Well, then.  Maybe you should get going.  Um, traffic and all that.” Yes. That fabled traffic of Gideon’s Cove, Maine, where once in a while you had to wait four or five seconds to make a left-hand turn onto Elm Street.

“Good point, kid.” Lavinia punched Parker on the arm fondly. “Have a good day. And thanks.  I’m off to have my orgasms.”

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………………………………………………..

She went blithely into the house.  James continued jamming the crowbar under the shingles, relishing the screech as they tore off.

Then her words sank in.

She couldn’t swim in Maine water.  It was practically ice-cold.  Fifty-two, fifty-five degrees? Maybe?  It was high tide, too, so it’d be even colder.  he tossed down the pry bar and stomped inside, folded his arms across his sweaty T-shirt and stood outside her door, ready to lecture her.

The the door opened, and he forgot what he was there for.

She was wearing a bikini.

“You want to come?” she asked.

His mouth opened, but no sound came out.  Skin. There was a lot of skin.  And…curves.  Breasts.  Shoulder.  Legs.  His mouth went dry.  She gave him an odd look, the scooped up her hair and secured it with an elastic, and his eyes slid down to her rack, because my God, that was a fantastic-

“I know. Cellulite.  I’ve gained eleven pounds this past year.” She stared down at her torso, then sighed.  “Oh, well.  Maybe I can swim some off.  Come on, Beauty.” She grabbed a towel and headed through the kitchen.

Her ass was…well, he was unable to summon actual words at the moment, as there was no blood flowing upward.  And that scrap of fabric-red fabric- thank you, Jesus.  Hard to believe she’d kissed him once, and speaking of hard, she was so beautiful and perfect and luscious, bad enough that he’d had to listen to her shower every morning, and-

But wait, wait, wait.

She couldn’t swim in that water.

…………………………………………….

Lucy looked at her hand for a minute, and twisted her wedding ring.  “It’s just that sometimes, the right guy seems really wrong.  And sometimes, it’s easier to grab hold of an excuse, because really going for it, putting yourself out there… that’s hard.  You know that.  You saw me through that last year.”

Parker conceded the point with a nod.

“So, welcome to the world, Parker.  Loving someone can be terrifying.” She set her glass down gently.  “And it’s worth it.”

…………………………………………….

Please, please give this a read if you like Contemporary Romance.  You’ll find yourself smiling and laughing throughout the story.  Really.  It’s that good.

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Brava, Ms. Higgins!  And thank you for making my heart smile with this story.  It is such delight.

REVIEW: WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOU

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BOOK: WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOU

AUTHOR: RACHEL GIBSON

PUBLISHER: AVON

Book Blurb:

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Gibson returns to Truly, Idaho, and to the fate of sexy SEAL Blake Junger

GIMMEE A B-R-E-A-K!

Ex-high school cheerleader Natalie Cooper could once shake her pom-pons with the best of them. But she’s paid for all that popularity—her husband’s run off with what’s left of their money and a twenty-year-old bimbo named Tiffany. Leaving Natalie to manage a photo store and having to see some pictures she, well, really shouldn’t.

GIMMEE A S-H-O-T!

Then she comes toe-to-manly chest with Blake Junger. Exiled to a remote cabin in Truly, Idaho, Blake wants nothing to do with anyone. Instead, he’s determined to struggle with his demons and win—all on his own. But the last thing he needs is Natalie distracting him with her luscious curves and breaking down the barriers of his heart.

GIMMEE YOUR H-E-A-R-T!

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**** My review: 4 witty stars! ****

Oh my gracious, what shall I begin?  I’m usually a historical romance kinda gal, but this past week I was walking by all kinds of new books in a local store and one grabbed my eye.  Yeah, WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOU has a great cover.  I didn’t even read the back of the book.  I saw the author and smiled.  Rachel Gibson has NEVER let me down.  I immediately bought it.

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If you’ve never read a Rachel Gibson book before let me just say– you simply must!  She is an exquisite author.  WHAT I LOVE ABOUT YOU is another wonderfully written story.  I was laughing before Chapter 1 ended.  Seriously.  And by chapter 3 my husband looked over at me and asked, “What in the world are you laughing at?”  I just  smiled.  How could I possibly tell him about Bow Tie or the massive junk photo? Naw, let him wonder.  I had to keep reading.

Natalie Cooper, the heroine, is a great character.  She can’t keep a secret for the life of her and she has the most precious daughter ever.  I loved, loved, loved little Charlotte.  She’s  a hoss! ❤

I LOVE me some Blake Junger. OMG, couldn’t get enough reading about this man.  He is sex on a stick and then some.  Great hero material, slap-your-panties-to-the-wall-and-they-will-stick hotness, and all around yumminess women can appreciate.

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She wrapped her arms around his neck. “I’m still mad at you though.  You really broke my heart.”

“I’m a handy man to have around if you need anything fixed.  Like broken doors, wiring, and especially broken hearts.” He put his hand on her waist and pressed his forehead to hers. “I love you, Natalie.  I love everything about you.”

He kissed her lips, soft and sweet and filled with the same longing that filled her heart.  “I love when you look at me like you are right now,” he said.  “I love that you make me want to look at a future and not my past.”  His soft, smoky eyes looked into hers.  “You’re my here and now and my future.  You’re my life and my love and my woman.”

Natalie has a best friend named Delilah (the secondary characters rock).  She’s SO funny.  I laughed just about every time she opened her mouth.

“Please,” Lilah whispered in her ear, “get laid by that man.”

“He just came here to return Charlotte’s hat.”

“Bullshit. He looks at you like you’re sex on a stick. His eyes got so hot, I’m surprised your clothes aren’t singed. Now pull your stick out and get in there,” Lilah said, suddenly sounding like football coach. “Take notes. Take pictures. Take one for the team and tell me everything.

A big shout out to Ms. Gibson this morning.  I really needed this book the last couple of days.  It left me smiling and laughing more than I thought possible.  When a book makes your heart smile then it’s definitely a keeper.  And so, without further delay, this little jewel is being placed onto my to-keep-forever-dont-you-dare-touch bookshelf.  Brava, Ms. Gibson!

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** And thank you for making swoon worthy heroes that I melt for!

Review: Forged In Dreams and Magick (Highland Legends #1)

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Book: Forged In Dreams and Magick (Highland Legends #1)

Author: Kat Bastion

Pages: 338

Pub: 2013 

Blurb: 

 

The award-winning debut in the Highland Legend Series:

 

Isobel MacInnes wakes up in present day California, lunches in medieval Scotland, and by ten days’ end, falls in love with a man and his country, only to lose them in a heart-wrenching twist of fate…

 

Found in the arms of her second soul mate…

 

Forced to balance the delicate strands of time between two millennia…

 

Shocked by revelations rewriting the very foundations of history… of everything.

 

Isobel, a rising-star archaeology student, is dropped into two ancient worlds without warning… or permission.  Her fiery spirit resists the dependency thrust upon her.  Amid frustration at her lack of control, she helplessly falls in love. Twice.

 

She struggles to adjust to the unimaginable demands of two leaders of men — a laird in the thirteenth century Highlands and a Pict chieftain in a more ancient Scotland.  Isobel transforms from an academic, hell-bent on obtaining archaeological recognition, to a woman striving to care for those she loves, and ultimately… into a fearless warrior risking everything to protect them.

 

***Scorching (explicit) sex scenes.***

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4.5 stars!

 

What a completely fun and exciting page turner! Very few authors portray the Scottish Highlands as colorfully as Kat Bastion. Her stellar debut is a complete triumph!

 

I cannot believe how fortunate I was to get ahold of this jewel.  A time travel that is set back in Scotland & two different heroes??? Yes, please!

 

The characters are fabulous. Iain and Velloc are the two heroes in this book and they are completely irresistible.  I found myself loving Velloc a lot more than I did Iain. I couldn’t help it. Velloc stole my heart. 

The secondary characters are awesome as well and I cannot wait to read their stories. 

 

My most favorite books to read are about Highlanders but after reading “Forged In Dreams and Magick”  I can only hope that Ms. Bastion writes a series with just Picts! Oh my, I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed Velloc and all the history she wrote into his part of the story.

 

This is a book not to be missed! 

 

 

***ARC graciously provided for by Kat Bastion via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*** 

Review: Layers Deep (Book One)

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Book: Layers Deep

Author: Lacey Silks

Oh my goodness!  I don’t know where to begin…. 

This book left me breathless!

He took a deep breath of courage and then exhaled, saying, “I should have done this yesterday.  If I don’t taste your lips, I won’t get any work done.”

I couldn’t even reply.  In an instant, my words were muffled by his mouth, and everything inside me shut down.  My body went limp, melting into the seat as my arms flopped at my sides.  His hands cupped my face, the pads of his thumbs caressing my cheeks back and forth as his tongue spread my lips, sliding into my willing mouth.  He explored inside me, tending to every nook.  The longing of his soft kiss pulsed through my whole body, and I forgot who I was and where I was.  I had no strength to resist him.  I could no longer deny Cross and responded to him, opening my mouth wider, letting my tongue dance with his.  A hint of scotch flowed to me as he lingered around my gums and moaned deep inside me.  If I had ten tequilla shots, all at once, I doubted they’d knock me off my feet as hard as Cross had.  The world spun, the car spun, and when he finally pulled away, I couldn’t believe what had happened and how much his kiss awakened the woman inside me.

 

Layers Deep is wrought with emotion, intensely sensuous, and so very well written that I could not put it down.  This book is very well written.  Extremely riveting characters (even the secondary ones) have you turning page by page until the last. Allie and Tristan were interesting and engaging.  The love scenes were hot! I was truly ensnared.  The plot was suspenseful and intricate.  The ending left me with my mouth hanging open and wanting to read the next story. Brava, Ms. Silks!  I’m waiting in limbo!

 

***ARC graciously provided by MyLit Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review***

Review: Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen)

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I’m on a roll with Contemporary & Erotica Romances as of late…. but oooh how I’m loving them!

My rating: 4 stars

Book: Escaping Reality (The Secret Life of Amy Bensen)

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Publisher: Julie Patra Publishing 

**Book does have cliffhanger ending.**
**Sexual content for 18+**

I don’t know even where to begin. This book had me twisted every which a way until I finished in the wee early hours this morning. It left me scratching my head with more questions I wanted answered than anything.

Amy Bensen is an interesting and yet frustrating character. At times I completely sympathized with her and then other times I wanted to slap her upside her head. I really, really did. She doesn’t trust people (except for one… she blindly trusts a stranger she calls her guardian angel) and then she meets Liam Stone.

Ah, yes. Liam Stone. Tall, dark, and sexy. Oh, and he’s a billionaire. Yeah. He’s dominant, and completely smitten with Amy (I’m still unsure exactly why– at times her character comes across as a little boring). It’s all a little “50 Shades” but that’s ok. He comes with his own sort of baggage. His character is interesting though. I liked reading about him.

The beginning of the story had me captivated and I kept turning page after page. The love scenes are 5 stars worthy. I believe that the author has a great plot to work with and I definitely want to read the next book. Two BIG thumbs up!

**ARC graciously provided by Julie Patra Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Review: Married For Christmas

 

I LOVED this book! Noelle Adams is an author to watch out for. She took a huge risk writing a story like this but I loved everything about it. What a great pleasure it was to slip into this story. I absolutely could not put it down!

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Book: Married For Christmas

Author: Noelle Adams

This is a story about a marriage of convenience for both characters. It’s passionate, heartwarming, and made my heart smile. The emotional conflicts are so clearly defined, the humor mixed in with the sorrow, and the romance between Daniel and Jessica is passionate and believable.

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This story is a contemporary romance. While faith is an important part of this book, the author writes outside the box. It has sex, passion and a few curse words here and there. And it is one of my favorite books of this year!

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“Oh, honey, please don’t cry. I know I’ve hurt you. I know I’ve let you down. But I want to be the husband you need, that you deserve. I was in love with you long before we married. Did you know that? I’ve been fighting the feelings for so long, but it’s always been a losing battle… But it was the wrong battle, and I surrender completely. Please give me the chance to show you how much I love you, how much I know what a blessing you are. I want to wake up every Christmas morning and know–and know for sure, absolutely–that everything broken in this world will one day, finally be made whole. I want to know it for sure, because you’re in my arms.”

With a groan, he pulled her into his arms again, but this time the hug only lasted a minute because he pulled away enough to kiss her.
They kissed urgently, clumsily, rather wetly. She clawed at his shoulders and clutched at his hair and couldn’t seem to get him close enough, deep enough.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good contemporary romance. It will absolutely make your heart smile.

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***ARC graciously provided by the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Review: Geek Girls Don’t Date Dukes

3.5 stars

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I think this was such a cute love story! I loved it because it was a time travel romance (which is what I love to read) and I think that Gina Lamm does a great job of letting the story come alive.

The characters were engaging and I loved the hero. He was one of those characters that you simply fall for within a few chapters. The heroine was a bit immature in parts and she cursed more than I thought she should have but it didn’t take away from the plot.

If you love time travel romances you simply must give this book a go! It’s fun, witty and has a happily ever after.

**ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**