Monday, 29 October 2012

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (29th October 2012)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week.

Oh dear, I think it's fair to say that I'm in the middle of a bit of a reading/blogging slump at the moment, with no books finished last week and only one book reviewed. I'm really going to try harder this week though *sigh*

Books Read Last Week:

Books Reviewed Last Week:
Slow Ride by Lorelei James (Rough Riders #9.5) - Contemporary Erotic Romance - 2/5

Books I'm Currently Reading:
Planning for Love by Christi Barth (Aisle Bound #1)

Books Up Next:
Run the Risk by Lori Foster (Love Undercover #1)

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Review: Slow Ride by Lorelei James (Rough Riders #9.5)

Publisher - Samhain Publishing
Publication Date - 9th November 2010
Genre - Erotic Romance

Source - Free download from Amazon

Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok

Book Info - Keely McKay Donohue is enduring the longest wedding reception of her life: her own. The only saving grace is that Jack Donohue is finally hers. Usually her hunky man gives her everything she wants, so why is her groom denying her the one thing she wants right now?

Jack thought his secretive wait-for-the-honeymoon plan was romantic, until he realizes he’s only put Keely in a fighting mood. If he wants to get back on his temperamental bride’s good side, he’d better find a way to sweep his cowgirl off her boots…fast.

Review - This is only going to be a quick review as Slow Ride is a very short read. I saw that this was available as a free download from Amazon and as I had heard a lot of good things about Lorelei James I decided to give it a try. It was an enjoyable read but as it was number 9.5 in the series there are a lot of people mentioned who I assume I would have heard of if I'd read the previous books in the series. They didn't really have much bearing on the story so it's not as if you need to have read the others first, but it does disturb the flow of reading whenever yet another name is mentioned as you end up wondering who that person is rather than concentrating on the story.

Slow Ride starts at Keely and Jack's wedding reception, where Keely is trying her best to get him to, ahem, consumate the marriage then and there. But Jack has a plan to wait until the honeymoon as he wants to start off their married life in a romantic way rather than with a quickie at the reception venue. Unfortunately for both of them, the honeymoon destination is a day's worth of travel away. What ensues is Keely taking every opportunity that she can to seduce Jack. The author manages to build up the sexual tension really well between the two of them and it was a perfect escalation to that moment where Jack takes Keely for the first time as husband and wife.

But the main problem I had with Slow Ride was that it stops before that happens. Just as Jack and Keely are about to finally get it on, after all that teasing and seducing, building up all that tension, the story just stops and the reader is left hanging. It just felt like a little bit of a let down.

Summary - A quick and sexy read that does a great job of building up the sexual tension for the big moment. However, it would have been much better if the reader got to read about that moment rather than being left hanging.

Monday, 22 October 2012

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (22nd October 2012)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week.

Books Read Last Week:
Hostile Takeover by Joey W. Hill (Knights of the Boardroom #5)
Slow Ride by Lorelei James (Rough Riders #9.5)

Books Reviewed Last Week:
Heat of Passion by Elle Kennedy (Out of Uniform #2) - Contemporary Erotic Romance - 5/5
Hostile Takeover by Joey W. Hill (Knights of the Boardroom #5) - Contemporary Erotic Romance - 4/5

Books I'm Currently Reading:
Planning for Love by Christi Barth (Aisle Bound #1)

Books Up Next:
Run the Risk by Lori Foster (Love Undercover #1)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Review: Hostile Takeover by Joey W. Hill (Knights of the Boardroom #5)

Publisher - Ellora's Cave
Publication Date - 27th January 2012
Genre - Erotic Romance

Source - Received from publisher for review via NetGalley

Rating - 4 out of 5: I really liked it

Book Info - Ben is the last unattached member of the five-man executive team of K&A Associates. The other four, all Masters, have found the submissives of their dreams. That's fine. The sharp-edged lawyer knows he's the most hardcore of them all, with extreme tastes as a Master he satisfies physically through experienced club submissives. He doesn't really need anything more.

Marcie has loved Ben since she was sixteen. He's never behaved as anything more than a protective big brother, a family friend. But now she's twenty-three and starting her career as a corporate investigator. She may be a blood-and-bone-deep submissive, but she won't hesitate to use her aggressive talents to prove she's meant to be his. With a Master as tough as Ben, she'll have to take whatever measures are needed-even if her deepest desire isn't a hostile takeover of his heart, but an unconditional surrender to it.

Reader Advisory: Marcie's sexual journey contains a group scene of female/female sexual exploration. The Masters also share her in a brief group scene. Both these beautifully erotic moments are essential to deepening Marcie's bond with Ben.

My Thoughts - When I saw Hostile Takeover on Netgalley I was very intrigued by both the blurb and the cover. And luckily, I was not at all disappointed by this book.

I have read a few books recently focusing on BDSM - it seems to be difficult to avoid the topic these days in erotic romance ever since the popularity of Fifty Shades - but this definitely seems to be one of the better ones in my opinion. What I liked most about it was that it didn't just focus on the sexual side of BDSM, but gave a lot of insight into the psychological aspects of being both a submissive and a dominant. I found this absolutely fascinating and it's not something I've come across much in this genre. This is the fifth book in the series so I've come to this party very late but, according to the little hints the reader gets about the previous couples from the series, they all seem to have very different types of relationships and I'll be going back to the beginning of the series to see how the author describes the psychological aspects of these relationships.

The sexual aspects of the book were pretty hot but, as Ben is a sadist and hardcore Master, there were some elements that made me feel a little uncomfortable. But this is just a personal thing and I still enjoyed the book as a whole.

I really liked Marcie as a main character. Although this might sound contradictory considering the fact that she is a submissive, she is a very strong and feisty character who knows exactly what she wants in life and will stop at nothing to get it. She challenges Ben a lot and I loved seeing the chemistry and change in dynamics between the two of them that this brings about.

I did like Ben, although not quite as much as I liked Marcie. His background is explained, therefore detailing why he is reluctant to give up his heart to anybody, but this information seemed to mostly be given by others and I didn't really feel as though I got into Ben's head as much as I would have liked to when it came to his past. This meant that I didn't really connect with him as well as I did Marcie. Plus, he does something to Marcie that is pretty unforgivable (I won't go into any more detail than that though so as to avoid spoilers) and this made me like him a little less too. Although he was very sorry for what he did and he did willingly atone for his sins so it didn't make me completely hate him. I can see that this event was pretty essential to the development of the plot though so that made it slightly easier to forgive him.

Summary - An enjoyable Erotic Romance that gives a very detailed and interesting look into the dynamics of a BDSM relationship. A great read!

Other books in the series:
1. Board Resolution
2. Controlled Response
3. Honor Bound
4. Afterlife
5. Hostile Takeover

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Review: Heat of Passion by Elle Kennedy (Out of Uniform #2)

Publisher - Samhain Publishing
Publication Date - 24th March 2009
Genre - Erotic Romance

Source - Purchased

Rating - 5 out of 5: It was amazing!

Book Info - Carson Scott is the king of one-night stands, so a naughty encounter with a sexy brunette in a nightclub supply closet is right up his alley. When his mysterious seductress disappears, he’s blindsided by an unfamiliar emotion—disappointment. One thing’s for sure…if he ever encounters his lady of the evening again, he won’t let her slip away so easily.

Between her catering business, family issues, and her broken heart, Holly Lawson has too much on her plate to think about committing to a serious relationship. Hot, sweaty, anonymous sex with a Navy SEAL…now that sounds like the perfect appetizer to take the edge off. With no plans to ever see him again, she indulges in a fling. Only to come face to face with him weeks later while working a wedding.

Worse, Carson is hell-bent on the one thing she doesn’t want. The R word. She has no intention of falling for him, but in the face of his seductive, mind-changing methods, her resistance is crumbling…

Warning: This title contains a ridiculously hot Navy SEAL, a sassy heroine, and sex in a supply closet. Read only if you have time to take a cold shower afterwards. Graphic sex, explicit language.

My Thoughts - Wow, this book is HOT! The chemistry between the two main characters means that you have to take the warning in the book blurb very seriously - only read it if you have time to take a cold shower afterwards! The sex between Carson and Holly made steam come out of my Kindle (okay, not literally otherwise I may have cried over the loss of my beloved Kindle, but you know what I mean).

I fell for Carson from the first page. He is used to having women fling themselves at him and he has had way more than his fair share of one-night stands. But now that his best friend is settling down and getting married (Garrett from book one in the series) he can't help but think he'd like to do the same. But a one-night stand in a night club supply closet makes him see that his lifestyle is getting a little out of control. He hates himself for succumbing to anonymous sex with somebody he's never going to see again so he vows to stop fooling around and look for somebody to get serious with - ideally the woman from the nightclub who he hasn't been able to stop thinking about since their encounter.

What I loved most about Carson was the way that, after finding Holly again, he did everything he could to let her know how serious he was about being in a relationship with her. I love books that have a hero who isn't afraid to go after the woman he loves and Carson is definitely that kind of guy. He's fun, sexy, charming and a Navy SEAL. What more could a girl want?

Holly is also a great character. She is the mother figure for all of her brothers and sisters since her mother died a couple of years ago and they literally can't do a thing without her. They are constantly phoning her for help with things that they are more than capable of doing themselves, especially since Holly is the youngest of them all. But she does it all with a smile on her face and never complains - her family are everything to her. She is incredibly strong, being able to take on the responsibility of her family whilst grieving the death of her own mother. But I loved how Carson brings out her fun side and makes her realise that it is also time for her to start living her own life rather than running around after everybody else.

Summary - A steaming hot romance with characters that are so easy to fall in love with. I am loving this series and I can't wait to get started on book three.

Other books in the series:
1. Heat of the Moment
2. Heat of Passion
3. Heat of the Storm
4. Heat it Up
5. Heat of the Night
6. The Heat is On
7. Feeling Hot
8. Getting Hotter (released November)

Monday, 8 October 2012

Review: Haven of Obedience by Marina Anderson

Publisher - Sphere
Publication Date - 28th June 2012
Paperback - 336 pages
Genre - Erotic Romance

Source - Purchased

Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok

Book Info - Twenty-something Londoner Natalie Bowen is envied by many, but her personal life is a disaster. Men can't cope with her career success and Natalie thinks she'll never find real happiness.

Then she hears about an exclusive weekend retreat called The Haven, a place that specialises in introducing you to pleasures you could never have imagined. Shocked at the idea, but unable to resist finding out more, Natalie decides it's time to put her fears behind her.

Once at The Haven, Natalie meets the enigmatic and disciplined Simon, a man who is used to getting what he wants. And Natalie may very well have met her match...

My Thoughts - I saw a lot of hype surrounding this book on Twitter around its release date so I was very excited to read this book. Unfortunately though, it did not live up to my expectations at all.

Natalie has booked herself into The Haven as she is fed up of having one failed relationship after the other. The purpose of The Haven is to teach people to completely surrender their control in the bedroom in order to find happiness. Along the way, there are some incredibly hot sex scenes involving pretty much anything you can think of: group sex, exhibitionism, bondage and so on. I will admit to enjoying some of these parts a lot. Also, the authors style of writing was so quick and easy to read I was able to finish this book all in one sitting, even though it was over 300 pages long - something I am never normally able to do.

Well, that's the good part of the review done. Now onto the not-so-good part. The characterisation is severely lacking in this novel. What little we learn about Natalie is all introduced in the first couple of chapters in the book and, to be honest, she comes across as pretty unlikeable. She is spoiled and looks down upon others. Plus, I didn't really feel as though her character grew at all during the course of the book - she just learns how to have great sex whilst still managing to be the same unpleasant person that she was before.

And as for Simon, he was a complete and utter mystery! All we learn about him is that he is a freelance journalist during his working week and that he considers himself to be such an expert in the bedroom that he feels he needs to teach others how to have amazing sex. I would really have liked to get to know him a lot better, to get a better understanding of him, but as the story was told from Natalie's point of view the reader doesn't get to find out much about him.

The romance between the two of them felt rushed and unsatisfactory. As I've already said, Natalie knows very little about Simon so it is difficult to tell why she falls so deeply in love with him so quickly. They spend very little time getting to know each other so, as a consequence, their relationship feels as though it really does all revolve around sex. As Simon gets to have amazing sex with women every weekend at The Haven, and because the story is all told from Natalie's point of view, the reader never gets to see why Natalie is the one woman out of the many that he's met at The Haven to capture his heart.

Summary - If you are looking for a book that will leave you feeling hot under the collar then this is the one for you. However, if you are looking for a believable romance, likeable characters and plot or character development then you may be better off looking elsewhere.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Review: Forbidden Magic by Jennifer Lyon (Wing Slayer #5)

Publisher - Self published
Publication Date -  10th April 2012
Genre - Paranormal Romance

Source -  Purchased

Rating - 3 out of 5: I liked it

Book Info - Wing Slayer Hunter, Ram Virtos, must find his soul mirror witch and convince her to mate with him before his Thunderbird tattoo kills him. But while that witch might be able to save Ram’s life, it is the mysterious Ginny Stone who inflames his passion.

Ginny has been deeply fascinated by Ram for months, but dared not act on it or she’d be torn from her mortal life on earth and thrust into her dreaded destiny as a half-breed angel. But when her beloved brother’s soul is at stake, she must do the one thing she both fears and desires…

Take Ram to her bed.

My Thoughts - I am a big fan of this series so I was really looking forward to reading this latest instalment.  It started off with a lot of promise.  Ram is as drool-worthy as all the other Wing Slayer Hunters in the series (read my reviews here to find out exactly how drool-worthy they all are).  He's strong, determined and sexy.  He's trying to recover from the fact that his soul mirror, the witch that he is destined to be with, has disappeared and wants nothing to do with him.  But, although he's angry at her for doing this, he isn't heartbroken.  Not when he's been in love with Ginny for so long.  He refuses to chase after his soul mirror and instead puts all of his effort into proving to Ginny how he feels about her and in keeping her safe from her evil father.  I loved how he knew exactly what he wanted even though according to destiny he is supposed to be with somebody else.  This is a man who makes his own rules.

Ginny is also a great character.  She is strong and independent, and wants nothing more than to stay on earth and live her life, rather than being taken by her evil angel father.  Because of her father's hold over her she's lead a lonely life, with only her brother, another Wing Slayer Hunter, to look out for her.  She is incredibly loyal to her brother, so when she is asked by her father to risk it all to keep him safe, she doesn't even have to think for a second about her decision.  This bravery  and loyalty were the things that really made me fall in love with Ginny.

The romance between Ram and Ginny is passionate, deep and electric.  Literally so as Ram's tattoo has a tendency to shoot out electric currents when he touches her.  They love each other and are determined to be together despite the fact that things look pretty hopeless.  I really couldn't help rooting for them as a couple.

The plot had me glued to the edge of the seat and I read the whole thing in one night (it's a pretty short e-novella).  My only problem with it - and it was such a big problem that I felt I needed to deduct two whole stars from the rating - was the ending.  The story just stops.  Dead in its tracks.  It was not wrapped up in any way and it left me feeling short-changed.  I like to read novellas, something quick and entertaining.  But only if they actually have an ending.  This one stopped so abruptly I thought that maybe only part of the book had been downloaded to my Kindle.  However, I have since found out that a lot of people felt the same way so I'm sure that's not the problem.  I assume the story will be continued in the next book in the series, but by the end of a romance story I like to know how things are going to turn out between the hero and the heroine.

Summary - Another great instalment to one of my favourite series.  However, it was let down considerably by the ending.

Other books in the series:
1. Blood Magic
2. Soul Magic
3. Night Magic
4. Sinful Magic
5. Forbidden Magic

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Review: Just One Night by Eve Gaddy (Rebels With A Cause #1)

Publisher - Bell Bridge Books
Publication Date - 29th August 2012
Genre - Romantic Suspense

Source - Received from publisher for review via NetGalley

Rating - 3.5 out of 5: I liked it

Book Info - They spent one passionate night together, a night neither could forget . . .

But it isn’t until Bomb Unit Detective Alexandra “Alex” Sheridan is assigned to investigate architect Luke Morgan about the bombing of his new building that Alex is forced to face the man–and feelings–she’d run from earlier. Drawn to the charismatic man who'd soothed her grief with their shared passion, she finds herself wanting more from him.

As the case progresses, however, she questions his innocence and his feelings for her. Can she trust him, ignoring his past and the evidence pointing to his guilt? Or will she have to be satisfied with just one night?

My Thoughts - I really liked the sound of Just One Night when I found it on NetGalley, so I was thrilled when my request to review it was accepted. But, although it was an enjoyable romantic suspense, I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I thought I was going to.

First of all, the good points. I enjoyed the mystery elements of the plot and found that there were some good twists in the storyline that I wasn't expecting. And the pacing of the book was good, with a good balance between romance and action that really helped to hold my interest.

I liked Alex a lot as a character. She is good at her job,strong, loyal and willing to put her neck (and her job) on the line for the man she has fallen in love with. But there is also a more vulnerable side to her that comes through when she talks about a partner of hers who died on the job, and she still feels a lot of guilt over her death.

However, where this book fell a little short for me was with the hero, Luke. He held so much potential - a strong, sexy ex-military man, the kind of man every woman swoons over. But he just seemed so inconsistent in his feelings towards both Alex and the investigation into the bombing of his building, that I had trouble liking him as much as I wanted to. Don't get me wrong, he's very charming and sexy at times. But at others I found him to be incredibly frustrating. He admits to himself that he is falling in love with Alex, and then in the next sentence admits he would seduce her to clear his name in the bombing, which I don't see as a very attractive trait in a man. Plus, he withholds a lot of information from Alex about his past - information that is very important to the investigation - and this made it obvious he really had trouble trusting Alex, even though she is doing everything she can to clear his name. Luckily, he does pull through in the end and do the right thing, so he's not all bad. I just wish I had been able to connect with him as a character much sooner in the story.

Summary - A strong romantic suspense plot, with a likeable heroine. The book was just let down in some places by an inconsistent hero. But this is definitely worth a read if you are a fan of the genre.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Review: Calling the Shots by Christine D'Abo (Long Shots #4)

Publisher - Carina Press
Publication Date - 8th October 2012
Genre - Erotic Romance/BDSM/Menage

Source - Received from publisher for review via NetGalley

Rating - 5 out of 5: It was amazing!

Book Info - He's had a wild ride, and now sex club owner Josh Scott is looking for a change of scene. But first, he's determined to bring two friends together, and he's willing to be a third wheel to move things along...

Beth Norris is eager to be set up with hot bartender Oliver Stephenson, but she's equally attracted to matchmaker Josh. Soon she's fantasizing about both men at once—and about being the one to call the shots in the encounter...

Ready to move on with his life post-divorce, Oliver is conflicted by the realization that he's attracted to women and men. Or more specifically, to Beth and Josh. He tries to keep his distance, but it's not long before the chemistry between the trio combusts in a night of mind-blowing sex.

In the light of day, it's clear something deeper than desire is growing between Josh, Beth and Oliver. But though Josh has helped others find love in unconventional relationships, is he willing to take a chance on one himself?

My Thoughts - Whilst browsing around NetGalley a few days ago the seriously hot cover of this book caught my eye straight away, so I was very happy when I got approved to review Calling the Shots. And luckily for me, I loved the book just as much as I loved the cover!

I loved the dynamics between the three main characters: Josh, Oliver and Beth. They have all been hurt in the past and have a few issues surrounding relationships and commitment, but when they get together it all just somehow works. They all complement each other so well and have grown so close working together over the last few months that they help each other to work past their issues. It is obvious right from the start that they all care about each other a great deal.

And when the three of them get into the bedroom the temperature increases dramatically! I must admit that I am fairly new to the erotic romance genre and this one was probably a bit more hardcore than any of the others I'd read before and I wasn't sure how I'd feel about some of the content, but it didn't bother me in the slightest. In fact, I ended up loving it a lot more than some of the others I've read from the same genre.

There is a lot of interaction between Josh and Oliver and never having read any books before containing m/m sex scenes I wasn't sure how I'd feel about it. But the author wrote the scenes so well and, having Beth there with them, it all worked really well and I enjoyed the sex scenes a lot! Also, all the other BDSM books I've read in the past have had a male dominant/female submissive theme. But in Calling the Shots, both Josh and Beth are dominants and I loved watching how they both used this dominance to help each other realise their fantasies and to overcome some of their issues.

As well as the romance between the three characters in this book, there is also some suspense thrown in in the form of escalating vandalism in the sex club where they all work. This part was written very well and, without taking away from the romance elements, added real depth to the storyline. It was not at all obvious who was behind the vandalism and the twists in the storyline kept me turning the pages until late in the night.

Summary - I absolutely loved the characters and the romance between them.  Calling the Shots is the first book I've read by Christine D'Abo but it most definitely will not be my last.

Other books in the series:
1. Double Shot
2. A Shot in the Dark
3. Pulled Long
4. Calling the Shots

It's Monday! What are you Reading? (1st October 2012)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey that gives us all a chance to list the books that we read last week and what we hope to read this week.

Books read last week:
Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz (Dark Legacy #1)
Calling the Shots by Christine D'Abo (Long Shots #4)
Just One Night by Eve Gaddy (Rebels with a Cause #1)

Books reviewed last week:
Heat of the Moment by Elle Kennedy (Out of Uniform #1) - Contemporary erotic romance - 3.5/5
Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz (Dark Legacy #1) - Paranormal romantic suspense - 4/5

Books I'm currently reading:
A Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day (Renegade Angels #1)

Books Up Next:
Hostile Takeover by Joey W. Hill (Knights of the Board Room #5)

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