Saturday, April 25, 2015

Saturday Night Special (Wild Irish #6) by Mari Carr

What it’s about
Saturday’s child works hard for a living…

What do you get when you cross a gold-digging stripper, a down-on-her-luck hooker, an estranged husband, his knocked-up wife, a Wayne Newton lookalike taxi driver and one beleaguered Baltimore cop? A typical night in the life of Riley Collins—Vegas style. Riley’s always been the wildest of the Collins clan, but even she bites off more than she can chew during an impromptu trip to Sin City.

Once again, it’s Aaron Young to the rescue. No surprise; Aaron’s been watching Riley’s ass forever—and he’s wanted to spank it for even longer. Tracking her down, Aaron finally gets his wish—after he drags a drunken Riley to a chapel and makes it legit, of course. To say she’s shocked is putting it mildly. But Riley warms to Aaron’s seduction quicker than you can say “all-you-can-eat buffet!” Who knew her mild-mannered best friend was so hot in the sack?

Of course, thanks to Riley’s penchant for picking up strays, the newlyweds will have to sneak in some honeymoon boom-boom whenever they can. But they’ll manage…

Karla’s Review
5 HUGE STARS!! Fantastic! 

Zany crazy fun, the most amusing in the series, but also incredibly sweet and romantic! One of the best friends to lovers books I've ever read. I have one more to go, but I'm going out on a limb and saying that Saturday Night Special is my favorite in the Wild Irish series. Oh, and that epilogue, it was the icing on the boobs…I mean cake! 

I loved Riley and her snarky, sassy, party-girl ways. Aaron is a women’s dream; attentive, sexy, protective, and boy can he burn up the sheets. For years he’s been there to pick Riley up when she falls, but now he reached his limit. He’ll continue to catch her and clean up after her, but as her husband, and he’s not taking no for an answer. Aaron tags along "as Riley served as counselor to every misfit toy on the island", and boy does she ever have knack for attracting them. Some interesting Vegas-style secondary characters with amusing stories of their own had me laughing from beginning to end. Riley and Aaron's Vegas adventure would make a great movie!

The dialogue was fantastic, edgy and witty, and the heat Riley and Aaron put out when they finally connected on an intimate level, could boil water, but the epilogue with the Collins clan, well that just did me in. Such a beautiful, accepting family, that has stolen a piece of my heart! Settling in with this book will make any night special! This could be read as a stand-alone, but I suggest reading all the books in order to get the full experience of this couple and unique family. 

One more sibling, one more book...I’m reluctant to let the amazing, entertaining Collins clan go.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday I'm in Love (Wild Irish #5) by Mari Carr

What it’s about
Friday’s child is loving and giving…

Ewan Collins has had the hots for Natalie for years but she continually rebuffs him, supposedly because of their age difference. When Natalie comes to stay with the Collins family for a week, Ewan decides it’s time to make his move in a serious way.

Natalie’s been in a funk since celebrating another birthday alone. When Ewan proposes to help her “get a life”—seven lessons in seven days—she figures what the hell does she have to lose? Ewan’s plans include tequila shots, fishing, karaoke…and other, more erotic hands-ondemonstrations. But loneliness isn’t Ewan’s only obstacle. Tragedy in her past continually takes Natalie to a dark place her mind can’t easily overcome.

With support, tenderness and love, Ewan plans to win over Natalie one lesson at a time. Starting with lessons of the heart.

 Karla’s Review

5 Stars! Another winner in the Wild Irish series! 

What I love most about this series is that each story fits the personality of the sibling whose being featured, no formula, every book is unique.

Ewan is all about romance, and the fact that Natalie is 8 years his senior, doesn't deter him into wooing her into his arms. Beneath that hard, standoffish, bitchy exterior, Natalie is a women in need of a man that will love her and accept her, and Ewan is that man.
"Personally, I fucking love your personality. I think you’re funny as shit and that caustic wit of yours is top-notch. You don’t offend me, you don’t scare me and, truth be told, listening to you eviscerate someone is probably on my list of top five turn-ons."
He sees right through her and takes her on a journey that shatters her defensive mechanisms. Ewan is incredibly sweet and patient with Natalie, her knight in shining armour, he plays the role so well, and the payoff is big in the end. I also enjoyed how Natalie softened towards Ewan, she embraced the challenges he set forth for her and in the process her heart melted for this beautiful, charming man...*sigh*!

It's a lovely and believable older woman, younger man scenario. More story than I've read in most full length romances. The sexual intimacy was slow to build, but as in all the books in this series it was scorching hot, but also incredibly tender.  
“I’m going to make love to you, Natalie. I don’t want you to mistake this for anything else.”
Scrumptious! It's Friday and I'm in love with Ewan Collins and this series ! On to Riley and Aaron, their journey to love has been building and I'm looking forward it!  

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sweet Thursday (Wild Irish #4) by Mari Carr

What it’s about
Thursday’s child has far to go…

In high school, Lily was too shy to do anything about her feelings for her best friends, Justin and Killian. Now she’s ready to put to rest her regrets with a proposal that might shock even her oversexed friends—the three of them, together, one night, multiple positions.

K and J are more than a little surprised to see Lily at their ten-year reunion. The plain Jane they remember is now a stunning woman—who wants to have sex with both of them. Who are they to deny her? Even if Killian suspects they might be treading on dangerous emotional territory. The night stretches into the weekend and, as K suspected, none of them want it to end. But he and Lily know people live in pairs, not trios, and they call a halt now, before it’s too late.

Justin, however, knows a good thing when he sees it. He’s ready to fight for what he wants…what they all need. He just has to convince Lily and Killian that unconventional can also be extraordinary.

 Karla’s Review

5 Stars! Delicious! Lip smacking good!

I was immediately drawn into this story that begins with Lilly, Killian, and Justin's friendship in high school and then fast forwards to 10 years later. Three very cool characters that balanced each other out nicely. What starts out as weekend menage tryst, slowly becomes a committed polyamorous relationship, but not without some apprehension from Lilly and Killian.

I adored all three characters, but it was Justin who really touched my heart. He was determined to make Lilly and Killan understand that all three of them were meant to be together, and this made for some awesome dialogue, heated and passionate at times, but also very sweet and heartfelt. And let's not forget about the scorching hot, toe curling intimacy. Mari Carr turned the sex-o-meter on high for this one! Phew!!

Lilly's brother, Chad, who is also Sean Collins' best friend, brought some drama to the story, as he finds it hard to grasp the concept of her relationship with Killian and Justin. We are also brought up to speed on the Collins clan and what they are all up to in their lives. The family is growing and this series moves along nicely as each sibling finds a loving relationship. I'm curious to see if the dad, Pat, will find a love of his own.

A sweet read for a Thursday or any day of the week! Now let's see if I fall in love on Friday!!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Waiting for Wednesday (Wild Irish, #3) by Mari Carr

What it’s about

Wednesday’s Child is full of woe…

Tristan Collins knows Lane Bryce is strictly hands off. She’s smart, funny, kind…and married. But he still looks forward to her once-a-week visits to the family pub where he tends bar. When she fails to arrive one Wednesday, Tris is concerned. When he learns she’s in the hospital, brutally beaten after attempting to leave her unhappy marriage, he’s enraged. Tris vows to protect her, but he doesn’t get the chance. Lane checks out of the hospital and disappears without a trace.

A year later, newly divorced Lane is back, and enjoying her independence too much to embark on a relationship. Tris intends to prove she can have freedom and love, and he’s not above using seduction to do it. The more she resists, the more he sets her body ablaze with pleasure the likes of which she’s never known.

After a lifetime of disappointment, trust doesn’t come easily for Lane. But when her ex-husband reenters her life, threatening her independence, her happiness, she could discover too late that Tristan is the one man worthy of not only her trust, but also her love.

 Karla’s Review

4 Stars! A slow start, but a great ending! Wednesday was worth the wait!

When I first started reading Waiting for Wednesday, I didn't feel much chemistry between Lane and Tristan. Then again they were friends first, and Lane had to work on herself first and deal with her trust issues before she could jump into another relationship. Slowly though, I felt the passion and desire they had for each other, and my goodness, when these two connected on an intimate level, the heat was off the charts. Tristan's unique use of maraschino cherries left my mouth dry and had me craving to quench my thirst, and I'm not talking about a drink!! That man's got some mad bartender skills!!!

I love how the Collins family rallies around each other, although the circumstances that brought them all around made me sad, when the heart of this family, Pat, becomes ill. He's always been there for his children and now they will do anything to make sure that all his needs are met. He's a huge part of this series, and I adore this warm, kind, charming devoted father.

There was a nail biting ending that involved Lane's ex, and then an amazing epilogue that made my heart skip a beat. It was beautiful...I love this family!!

Looking forward to seeing how Sweet Thursday can be! Corny...I know, but I amuse myself!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ruby Tuesday (Wild Irish #2) by Mari Carr

What it’s about

Sky Mitchell is hiding out in Baltimore, seeking peace and solitude while he struggles with a career decision. Lead singer of popular rock group The Universe, he’s thinking of going it alone. Wandering into an Irish pub, he’s ecstatic to discover the breakout single for his solo album—but the songwriter doesn’t want to sell. One musical challenge later, not only does he win the song, but also a writing partner to complete the rest of the album.

Teagan Collins has never aspired to fame and fortune. She’s content taking care of family, friends and neighbors, and singing in her family’s pub. Working on an album with Sky tests her patience…and her libido. The hot rocker plays her body like a fine instrument, their desire deepening with each song they write.

But someone doesn’t want Sky to go solo, and is repeatedly trying to sabotage the couple’s efforts. Undaunted, Sky wants Teagan to join him onstage at his farewell concert to sing her original, “Maybe Tomorrow”…

 Karla’s Review
5 Stars! Excellent! 

A complete story in a sweet little package. Opposites attract when the rocker, Sky, meets the folk-singer, Teagan, and they are  perfect together. Fantastic funny dialogue, a sweet passionate romance, a delightful Irish family, and even a tiny bit of suspense. You get it all in this charming novella. 

Just a side-note, the first book had more of a BDSM theme, whereas this one had one scene with light spanking and bondage, just some playing, nothing too serious, but still a hot steamy read! This is after all a Mari Carr book, and she knows how to sex it up!

One more sister and four brothers to go, what a way to countdown the week! Love spending time with the Collins clan!

Goodbye Ruby Tuesday...I'm gonna miss you! Off to Waiting for Wednesday!

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Monday, April 20, 2015

Come Monday (Wild Irish #1) by Mari Carr

What it’s about

Monday's child is fair of face...
After the death of her mother years prior, Keira Collins became a surrogate parent to her six younger brothers and sisters, her own dreams put on hold. At twenty-seven, she's finally pursuing a college degree. Between classes, working at the family pub and still tending to siblings, she's no time for romance. So why is she spending all her rare free time fantasizing about hot Professor Wallace bending her over his desk? Will Wallace recognizes Keira's unfulfilled desires, her habit of hiding her beauty, her obsessive need to command every aspect of her life. But Will has needs of his own-and they run far darker than Keira's. As he initiates her into his lifestyle, offering sweet punishments and sweeter rewards, Will's sexual authority slowly strips away some of her precious control. The one thing Keira's not ready to relinquish...

Karla’s Review
4 Stars! What a way to start the week!

First up in this series of novellas is Keira and Will. She is the oldest Collins siblings, and has been helping to raise her younger brothers and sisters since their mother's death years ago. Will is her college professor and is mutually attracted to her, but she's his student and a relationship would be tabbo, so he keeps himself in check until the semester ends. Then all bets are off and the two of them act on their desires. WOW! Will's into the BDSM lifestyle, and he eases Keira into it. Okay that's an understatement...more like hurls her into it! However Keira embraces the lifestyle, and the two of them get their kink on pretty fast. Very HOT! 

I enjoyed the whole family aspect, how they work together and have each other's backs. I'm looking forward to seeing if the BDSM theme plays throughout all the books, or if the author designs their sexual proclivities around their personalities and desires. Should be interesting.

 Monday, good to me!

Connect with Mari Carr
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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Win by Submission by Melynda Price

What it’s about

To win her heart, he’ll be in for the fight of his life.

After an illegal kick during a CFA title fight fractures Cole Easton’s spine, doctors say there’s nothing more they can do for the bitter Vegas fighter. They say it’s a miracle he can walk, if that’s what you call his crutch-dragging limp. Unwilling to give up on him, Cole’s manager sends the injured fighter to the best physical therapist he knows: his niece, Katie Miller. When Cole arrives in the small town of Somerset, Wisconsin, he quickly discovers his sly manager may have had reasons other than rehab for sending him to this frozen tundra.

After a year of running from an abusive ex-boyfriend, Katie has returned to her hometown to care for her father, who’s recovering from a stroke. When Uncle Marcus calls in a favor, she reluctantly finds herself taking on a rancorous MMA fighter, broken at the height of his career. He’s insanely sex-on-a-stick hot—and everything she loathes in a man.

If Cole thinks his fighting days are over, he’s dead wrong. To save Katie from her past and to win her heart, he’ll be in for the fight of his life.

Release date: April 28th

 Steffi’s Review
3 stars!

When Cole Easton gets injured during a CFA title fight, his whole life falls apart. Not expecting to walk again, there is no thinking about ever being able to start fighting once more. His manager is not about to give up so easily, though, and sends Cole into the capable arms of his physical therapist niece, Katie.

Katie knows what Cole needs and she is certain she can get him back into shape. Getting the ex-fighter to cooperate though, is another matter, especially when he keeps sending her those hot looks. Katie has a dangerous past and is still dealing with the trauma. Everything is catching up to her quicker than she thought but Cole is willing to protect Katie with everything he’s got.

I am always in for a good fighter romance and was looking forward to Win by Submission. Unfortunately, I felt the fighting aspect, as well as the process of going through the physical training and the huge strain it must have put on Cole, was left out. I was missing these aspects of Cole’s life when all I was getting were Katie’s problems and her struggles. While those were important as well and a significant part of the book and Cole’s and Katie’s relationship, I felt they took over the story and my interest waned slightly. At the same time, Melynda Price manages to make the story suspenseful, romantic and fun all at once. While Win by Submission wasn’t a hit with me, I will still check out the author’s next book and keep an eye on how the series develops.

*A copy was provided by the publisher via NetGalley*

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Available for pre-order

Friday, April 17, 2015

Flashback Friday Favorite: Letters to a Secret Lover by Toni Blake

What it’s about

The last thing she needs right now is a man

Lindsey Brooks had it all—an awesome job doling out advice to the lovelorn, a fabulous high-rise apartment, and a to-die-for fiance. But then she got dumped—wearing nothing but a Kiss the Cook apron—and desperate to escape, she retreats to a tiny Montana town to reclaim a family treasure. She never dreamed anyone would try to stop her – or that he’d be sexy as sin.

Too bad she finds such a hot one …

Rob Colter isn’t into relationships—but Lindsey sees Rob as the perfect guy to help her “get back on the horse.” The sex horse, that is. Unfortunately, he comes complete with a mysterious past, which gets even more mysterious when she finds his passionate letters to another woman – whose name happens to be tattooed on his chest.

And too bad he has so many secrets …

Now Rob’s dangerous past is about to catch up with them both. And if that’s not horrible enough, Lindsey is falling for him – hard. For a girl who usually has all the answers, Lindsey is up to her neck in trouble.

Karla’s Review

5 Stars!! I loved this book. Look past the cover and read this!

Yes…the book had a lot of smokin' hot sex, but there is also a great story to go along with it. Two very endearing characters, Rob and Lindsey, lots of humor, a little suspense, and some really terrific feel good moments. When you can’t wait to get home to read and get lost in their world, you know you've hit on something good. I couldn't stop thinking about these two.

I want to move to Moose Falls, canoe on Spirit Lake, have drink at the Lazy Elk, get a room at the Grizzly Inn, eat at the Lakeside Café…sounds good right…oh, and find a Mr. Sexy Flannel of my own. Ahhh! 

This was the first book I ever read by Toni Blake, and since have read many and enjoyed lots of them, but Letters to a Secret Lover is still my absolute favorite. It's at the top of my comfort read shelf, and never fails to make me smile!

*A side note - No horses in this story, so I never understood the cover, and while I try not to judge a book by its cover, I know some readers might "read" too much into it and shy away from it...don't! It doesn't even begin to do this story justice, it what's inside that counts!*

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Snow Angel Cove (Haven Point #1) by RaeAnne Thayne

What it’s about
New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne welcomes you to a small town full of big surprises that are both merry and bright...

Nothing short of a miracle can restore Eliza Hayward's Christmas cheer. The job she pinned her dreams on has gone up in smoke—literally—and now she's stuck in an unfamiliar, if breathtaking, small town. Precariously close to being destitute, Eliza needs a helping hand…for her sick young daughter's sake as well as her own. But she's not expecting her holiday hero to almost run her down with his car! 

Rescuing Eliza is pure instinct for tech genius Aidan Caine. At first, putting the renovation of his lakeside guest lodge in Eliza's hands assuages his guilt—until he sees how quickly he could fall for her. Having focused solely on his business for years, he never knew that what his life was missing was Eliza and her little girl. But is he willing to risk hoping for a yuletide romance that could lead to forever?

 Karla’s Review

4 Stars! A lovely read! 

A charming story with some familiar characters in a new setting and while the story takes place around the holiday season, it can be read any time of year. 

My heart went out to Aidan Caine and the circumstances that had him rethinking about the important things in life. What a good, kind, sweet man, and I hated how the residents of Haven Point misjudged him and held him responsible for near collapse of their town. He had so much to deal with and they just added to his misery. I was glad that he had Eliza and her adorable daughter, Maddie, who came unexpectedly into his life, but I wish Eliza had gone to bat for him sooner. I did feel bad for her, she was dealing with a lot herself, but I didn't like how she was so critical of Aidan. He opened up his home to her and did everything to make up for what happened earlier in the story, when it clearly wasn't his fault. When she finally understood the enormity of what he was dealing with, his own scary life changing circumstances, she did come around and gave him the support he needed and was so deserving of. These were two people who clearly needed each other, and their romantic journey was a sweet one,

Oh my, the Caine's from the Hope's Crossing series come for a visit and what a delight it was to catch up with them, most especially my man Dylan! He was my absolute favorite in that series along with his new wife Gen. I didn't realize they would play a role here, and it was a pleasant surprise to connect with them again. 

I was a little disappointed with the ending, and while it was satisfying, it came on suddenly and I never really got to enjoy Aidan and Eliza as a couple. I'm hoping as the series moves forward that we'll see them again, along with that cutie Maddie. I have no doubt we will since the next book focuses on Aidan's best friend, Ben, and the town mayor, McKenzie, who befriended Eliza.

There is sexual tension, but this is a clean romance. Frankly, these stories really require nothing more than some smooching, and thoughts and expressions about the desire the main characters have for each other. It's enough, the story itself had plenty of impact.

The author does a wonderful job endearing the reader to the characters and their plight, engaging emotions, and bringing the hometown feel and sense of community into the story. A pleasant thought provoking book about family and friends, finding true love, and grabbing a hold of life before it passes you by! 

*A copy of the book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley*

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Lord of the Abyss (Royal House of Shadows, #4) by Nalini Singh

What it’s about
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

As the dark Lord who condemns souls to damnation in the Abyss, Micah is nothing but a feared monster wrapped in impenetrable black armor. He has no idea he is the last heir of Elden, its last hope. Only one woman knows—the daughter of his enemy.

Liliana is nothing like her father, the Blood Sorcerer who’d cursed Micah. She sees past Micah’s armor to the prince inside. A prince whose sinful touch she craves. But first she has to brave his dark, dangerous lair and help him remember. Because they only have till midnight to save Elden.

 Kristen’s Review

4 Enchanted Stars!

Lord of the Abyss is a bit different from the Nalini Singh books that I'm use to reading. This creative love story reminded me of a fantastical fantasy you read to children. It was a wonderfully whimsical story that was well written, enchanting, romantic, passionate, and featured a lovable cast of motley characters. 

However, as much as I enjoyed the author's storytelling, I did not enjoy listening to it. In fact, the narrator almost ruin the story for me. I felt she read the book too slowly and was irritatingly breathy. I should have stopped listening and switched to reading once I realized the narration wasn't working for me. For some reason, I never seem to learn that lesson. 

Still, I was charmed by this delightful story and its wonderfully unique characters.

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