Sunday, September 30, 2012

Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2) by Sylvia Day


4.5 Stars!! No shades of grey here…Sylvia Day writes in full blown TECHNICOLOR! She paints Eva and Gideon’s intense, passionate, tumultuous relationship, in rich vivid detail. Just when you think their troubles are behind them, think again! 

“You’re the greatest risk I’ve ever taken.” His pressed his lips gently to mine. “And the greatest reward.”

I was on the fence in the beginning about the plot. I found myself wondering where this was going, and willing the story to move forward, but Sylvia Day was weaving a tale that was very unexpected; a delightful intriguing surprise! My initial annoyance at the story’s pace, the character’s inablitly to commit, namely Gideon, left me grinning in after thought. How it was revealed; painstakingly slow… made for some intense heart-pounding moments. I knew something was coming, but I was never quite sure what it was. The author has the reader suffering along with the characters…and she does a damn good job of it! I feel compelled to read the last half of the book again, to appreciate the way Sylvia Day manipulted the characters and played with the reader’s mind. 

“No one’s ever seen before, Eva. You’re the only one.”

A huge part of this story is the need-based, extremely sexual relationship between Eva and Gideon. It borders on desperation and obsession…correction they ARE are desperately obsessed with one another! Only they can understand, give to each other, what is necessary to heal the pain of the past, but yet I have to wonder if they are only hurting each other more. At times they are sweet and loving, but at a moments notice, that love, insane desire, lust, becomes gritty and raw. You are brought to the edge…each and every time! There is some down and dirty “goings-on”!! WOW! Warning…do not read this in public!!

“It’s what you see in me, angel,” he said quietly, his features softening. “That you can know what I have in me and still want me as much as I want you.”

Eva’s strength and determination to do find out what haunts Gideon, made me appreciate her even more. She’s been somewhat of a strong character, except when it comes to him. Her insane jealousy clouds her thinking and has her actions bordering on stupid. However, she defies him in her quest to find out the truth, takes no prisoners, when she rolls over everyone to get answers. Little more is exposed about Gideon’s past, although there is a heartbreaking moment where we get confirmation of what we already know. He is a contradiction; a powerful confident entrepreneur, yet when it comes to Eva, he is easily shattered. She is the only one who he reveals his vulnerability too. Their relationship is one that is not easily remedied; it makes for a compelling, but somewhat frustrating read. 

My only complaint would be the constant reference to the blessedly endowed Gideon. I have no doubt that he has the goods, you don’t need to tell me multiple times, once, twice…is enough. I get the picture…as a matter-of-fact, it’s a vision I can’t seem to get out of my head, not that I want too! 

While I wouldn't deem the ending a cliff-hanger, so many questions remained unanswered and new ones have come to the forefront. 
However, I was satisfied when I turned the last page; for all intents and purposes it had a conclusive ending, with a little imagination on the reader’s part needing to be thrown in.

Once again, Sylvia Day has earned the right to hold the title “Best-Selling Author.” I have no doubt this book is going to be a hit, it certainly was with me. She has written a sensual, captivating, powerful second installment in her Crossfire series. It is sure to please readers, leave them breathless, and have them eagerly waiting for more!! 


*ARC kindly provided by Sylvia Day and Penguin Group Publishing(USA) via NetGalley*

 


 Want to know more about Sylvia Day?
 

 
 

Karla
 
 


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Angel (The Original Sinners #2) by Tiffany Reisz


Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it - Song of Solomon 8:7

The Angel, book number two in Tiffany Reisz’s fascinating Original Sinners series, echoes time and again--literally and figuratively--with the sentiments of Song of Solomon chapter 8, verse 7.

While book one, The Siren, set the scene for us, The Angel takes us deeper.  We are reunited with our favorite group of sinners approximately one year after the end of The Siren.  

Much of the focus in book two is on Michael, or Angel as Nora refers to him, who will, for the summer, become the protégé of the infamous author, while staying at the country house of Griffin Fiske.  Michael is a young man who has suffered terribly and is in desperate need of a sense of belonging, acceptance and, most of all, love.  His story moved me deeply.

We are also treated to visits with Kingsley and glances inside the notorious Nora Sutherlin/Eleanor Schreiber.  Most surprisingly, though, we spend a good amount of time with everyone's favorite sadistic priest, Soren, who is being considered by the church for a promotion, as well as being investigated by a doggedly determined reporter with a personal ax to grind.  The layers begin to peel back in book two, and the revelations, the glimpses into Soren's life as a child are distressing and horrific.

What can I say?  What.  Can.  I.  Say.  This book is absolutely captivating in every way.  The story, the emotion, the sexuality, all of it combines to make The Angel, in my opinion, an even better book than The Siren!  My expectations were fairly high after the first book, and usually that means I'm setting myself up for disappointment.  Happily, that was SO not the case here.  If anything, I believe Tiffany Reisz's writing is only getting better and better.  There was so much *feeling* in this story.  It truly allowed you to immerse yourself into the lives of the characters.  This story felt deeper and darker than The Siren, and it made for a remarkable reading experience.

One point I *have* to make, and it must stand by itself.  When I finished The Siren, I was, against my better judgment, thoroughly intrigued by the character of Soren.  However, as intriguing as he was, he made me very uncomfortable and somewhat sick to my stomach.  I would see certain comments from readers that they found him sexy and thrilling, and, for the life of me, could not understand how that could be.  I finally decided that Soren would just be one of those characters that I somehow found interesting even while I disliked him intensely.  So, try to imagine my utter shock and surprise when, while reading The Angel, I suddenly found myself thinking at one point, Holy hotness, Batman, that freakin' priest is sex on a stick!!  Uh....yeah.  No joke.  Talk about a wicked brew of emotions!  By the end of The Angel, I couldn't get enough of Soren.  His sadistic nature still frightened the bejesus out of me, but, in addition, I was feeling sympathy and horror *for* him.  Tiffany Reisz, what have you done to me?!

This series is complicated, uncomfortable, shocking and somewhat horrifying....all in the best possible ways.  It's also sexy, surprisingly funny at times, full of feeling and highly addictive.  

5 stars, easy! 

 Want to know more about Tiffany Reisz?









Elizabeth



Rebel Heart by Caroline Wilson



Rebel Heart is a story of lies, deceit, love and hope; full of emotions that failed to make it all the way to my heart. In times of war, a young woman with a tragic past decides to spy for the Confederacy when she meets the love of her life, Alex. Everything is not as it seems and Julienne has to flee to the Continent to save herself. Can she escape her past and make a new start while her heart still belongs to the man who betrayed her?

The premise of this story is beautiful as is the historical setting. Caroline Wilson brings history to life in Rebel Heart and I thoroughly enjoyed that part of the book. Unfortunately, neither Juli nor Alex could endear themselves to me in any way. The idea of a sheltered woman seeking revenge and becoming a spy was a fabulous one but being a courier for the Confederates a couple of times doesn’t make one a spy in my opinion. The transformation from a sheltered woman into one hardened by war, loss and grief never happened for Juli and therefore the heroine did not live up to her promises. I expected an adventurous, smart and fierce young woman but most of the time Juli acted rashly and selfishly. Alex was a bit of a mystery to me at first. I did not understand why a British aristocrat would engage in the American Civil War. I know he had problems with his father but his dream was to go back to India. Why then work for the American government?

At the same time I could connect better with Alex. He had a good heart and genuinely loved Juli. He was smitten with her from the start and never wavered in his faithfulness to her. The one character I really loved was Lord Ashby, a friend of Juli’s. He was dimensional and mysterious; I could never quite figure him out. A hero and villain at the same time, he was a great and necessary edition to keep the story going.

Overall, I did enjoy Rebel Heart. The setting was chosen perfectly while the characters sometimes lacked in depth and realism. Especially with the strong historical background I would have expected a more realistic plot and characterization. The love story between Alex and Juli fell flat at the beginning with no chemistry detectable but it evolved in the course of the story and I felt their love in the end. I am curious about Caroline Wilson’s upcoming books and will gladly read more of what she produces. Rebel Heart is a good debut from a promising new voice in the romance world.



 Want to know more about Caroline Wilson?
Goodreads         blog
 





 

 
Steffi
 
 
 
 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway Hop: Winners!!!



 
 
The Grand Prize winners in the Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway Hop are:

Shadow Kohler- prize pack of books

books4me- prize pack of books

Maria Durst- $40.00 gift card to winners choice of book store

 


 

Congratulations!

 

Taryn has not heard back from these winners:

 

Kelly Jamieson winner of Cake Cookie Dough Personal Lubricant- Melissa (from House of Millar)
Rhian Cahill winners for one book from her backlist- Cathy M (from In Love with Romance) and Pam (from BlackRaven's Erotic Cafe)
Vivian Arend winner of paperbak- Joy (from Lori's Book Blog)
Erin Nicholas winner of Cotton Candy Flavored Baby Powder and Just My Type book- Di (from Close Encounters with the Night Kind)
  Jayne Rylon winner of Red Light District series- Allie (from Close Encounters with the Night Kind)

Gina Gordon winner of Bare Naked Designs series- Natasha (from Swept Away by Romance)

 

ALL WINNERS: Please send an email to Taryn@mysecretromancebookreviews.com and she will get your prizes off to you.

 
Also, if you have not received your prize, please don't hesitate to email Taryn again. :)

 

Thank you!!
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Divorced, Desperate and Delicious (Divorced, #1) by Christie Craig


4 1/2 Stars!! Sweet, sassy, sexy fun! Very enjoyable, feel good read!

Lacy stumbles upon Chase as he's running from someone who wants to frame him for murder. Initially he forces her, albeit rather nicely, to help him, but when she sees for herself that he's telling the truth, she not only helps him, but falls in love with him too.

Unlucky in love and in a sexual funk, Chase shows Lacy that there's truth in the magazine articles that she's been reading about multiple orgasms...boy does he ever, over and over!! Filled full of delicious, witty dialogue, a plot that's over-the-top crazy, it was one heckuva ride! The secondary characters were amusing, especially Lacy's friends and her nutty mother. They had some interesting conversations...let's just say they are all in need of some good lovin'. Add to the mix, her adorable pets and the book was just about a perfect read for me, it missed the mark by not having an epilogue. However, you can see the set-up coming for the next two books, so I'm hoping to see these two again. 

If you are a fan of Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, Rachel Gibson, Susan Donovan, and authors that write zany, sexy books then this one's for you!


 Want to know more about Christie Craig?






Karla



Friday, September 21, 2012

Tempt Me (One Night With Sole Regret #2) by Olivia Cunning


For me, this book was a waste of time. I should have just stopped when I knew it wasn't working for me.

For the life of me, I can't figure out what's the point of this particular novella. I get that this series is a single night devoted to one of the Sole Regret's bandmates, but this book made little to no sense, as there was absolutely no resolution whatsoever at the end.

The book starts with what should have been a compelling and sexy plot, but ends up being anything but. Although the characters had depth (reason I gave it 2 stars), the story focused on the tedious repetition of the hero and heroine's insecure feelings, irrelevant conversation that should have progressed the plot but didn't, and copious amounts of sex.

As I mentioned in my status update on Goodreads, there's a lot of backdoor lovin' in this book. In fact, so much I started to wonder if the hero forgot he was with a girl and the heroine forgot she was a girl. So not my cuppa!

I was really looking forward to reading this book, but, unfortunately, Tempt Me ended up being a huge disappointment, for me anyway
 


 


 Want to know more about Olivia Cunning?
webpage      twitter      facebook      blog
 

Tempt Me is available at

Amazon       B&N







 
Kristen
 



Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway Hop: Thank You!




The Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway is drawing to an end. I know, I know, we're sad too!
 

This past month has not only been an experience for some of us bloggers, but to readers as well. We've found many new authors to read during this hop- which is what we were hoping for. And what's better than that?! More books, more authors and more friends!

 
To the fabulous 26 authors who graced our blogs with their Sweet, Sexy and Scorching book- THANK YOU for being part of this giveaway hop! Thank you for all the time you took to write up your Guess Who posts for the blogs and all the giveaways you have graciously donated. We also wanted to thank all the bloggers who participated in the month long hop. Thank you for your patience with working out any kinks we may have had. Without you, this couldn't have happened! YOU GUYS ARE ALL ROCK STARS!

 
Readers, friends and followers- Thank you so much for stopping by each day to all the blogs! We hope you enjoyed this hop

 
Because...
 

Wait for it...

 

We will have another one like this in the new year! Yes! During this hop, we had authors contact us to tell us how much they enjoyed participating and would love to do another one. We've also had some say they would like to join the next time we have one too! Yay!! 

 

 
Today is the last day to get in your entries for the Grand Prize. Three winners will be chosen for the magnificent prize!
 

Thank you all again!

 
 
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lumberjack in Love by Penny Watson


 
I didn’t expect a lot of Lumberjack in Love. I just wanted a quick read between books, something light and funny. While A Lumberjack in Love is exactly what I was searching for it is also so much more, I absolutely fell in love with Penny Watson’s writing!

City-girl Ami is visiting her sister and her family in Vermont. She isn’t one for traipsing around in the woods but for her family she endures the visits in the boonies. When she meets mountain man Marcus Anderson, Vermont starts looking better and better but is she willing to give up her city life for one sexy lumberjack?

Lumberjack In Love is a short novella but I devoured every single word. Not for one minute did I have the feeling that the story was cut short or not well developed. It felt like a 300 page book squeezed into one funny, sexy and delightful short package. Ami and Marc have amazing chemistry but they are also both hilarious and witty, I could not get enough of their funny banter! Once Marcus realizes what they have is special, he does not give up and shows Ami the time of her life. The sex scenes are sensual and super steamy, there is humor, wit and charm; Lumberjack in Love swept me right off my feet. Penny Watson did a fantastic job with this book and I would give it an infinite amount of stars if I could.

Marcus, I’m heading your way. Maybe you’ve got some sexy lumberjack friends for me.
I highly recommend this fabulous book by Penny Watson, it was everything and more!
 


Karla also read Lumberjack in Love and here is what she has to say about it:


Like melted butter and warm maple syrup on a stack of flapjacks…this was DELICIOUS!! Marcus and Ami were a delightful couple, total opposites, or so you think. The steam rises to the top quickly and then the sweet sets in, along with the fun. Wonderful witty dialogue, accompanied by a plot that requires no thinking, it’s just amusing, charming, and warms you to the soul. An enjoyable read as these two try to find common ground on which to build their relationship. Vermont’s not that boring after all, not when you have a hunk of man like Marcus and his wondrous beard to keep you entertained…YOWZA!!!

My only issue was the ending, it was somewhat abrupt and just a two page epilogue would have been nice; a peek in to Marcus’ and Ami’s future…so I guess I’ll just have to imagine one. I see pink, lots and lots of pink!


If you’re looking for a feel good read, that will heat you up and leave you smiling, then this is the book for you, and who doesn’t want to smile! Nicely done Penny Watson!






Want to know more about Penny Watson?
 
webpage      twitter      Goodreads      blog
 

Lumberjack in Love is available at











 
Steffi and Karla
 
 
 
 

Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway Hop: Nine Naughty Novelists

 
 

Over the last few weeks we have introduced you to hopefully “new to you” authors and shown you backlists of authors you already knew. Since this is our last week we decided to go back and resist some of those authors, but not like a recap more like a homage to Author Group Blogging. Why you ask? Well quite a few of the authors we’ve highlighted happen to be part of Author Group Blogs. So without further ado let’s get started!!
 

 

 
 
 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sweet, Sexy, Scorching Giveaway Hop: International Heat




Who is International Heat?


These erotic authors, artists, editors and reviewers span the globe to bring you lots of International Heat.

We’ve featured Jess Dee, Lexxie Couper, Rhian Cahill, Jayne Rylon and Mari Carr in the last few weeks of the Sweet, Sexy Scorching Hop. Now we’re going to call roll and introduce you to the whole group, posse, gang ummmm  gaggle? Rotflol You get the picture. They are an entertaining crew of amazing authors.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Forty Shades of Pearl by Arianne Richmonde



Story Rating: 4 Stars
Character Rating: 4 Stars
Romance Rating: 5 Stars
Heat Level: 4 Stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars

 
 
Well, this book was really a surprise and I have to say that I liked it a LOT!  It is written in first person narrative, using the heroine Pearl to tell the story. I have to confess, that I have not read very many books written in this format, but Arianne Richmonde pulled it off very well.
 

The story was one that kept me interested, because the heroine is a 40 year old woman who had been divorced for over 2 years and had not dated in all that time. Her ex-husband was not enthusiastic in the bed, leaving Pearl to believe that she can't have the big O with penetration.  
 
Alexandre is the hero; he is French, 25 years old, very rich and absolutely gorgeous. Once he sees Pearl he has to have her. They start out with a date and have a wonderful time, and then it's over…or is it? He ends up sending her a beautiful antique pearl necklace that has so many different colors of pearls, hence the name of the book, Forty Shades of Pearl.    
 
As the book moves along we get a very romantic story, and oh yes, the heat is on. The sex/love scenes in this book are extremely sensuous and well done. Of course Alexandre proves to Pearl that she can have the big O in many different ways and multiple times.
 
We also have some angst in this story, but everything works out fine and the ending is good. However, it's not quite finished. It looks like this will be a continuous series, as Arianne has plans for 2 more books. I hope we don't have a long wait, because I for one, plan on reading them when they are released.
 
I recommend this book for those who enjoy a wonderfully written first person narrative, romantic erotica, and lots of dialogue and plenty of well-done descriptive scenes. At a price of $2.99 you get a lot of book for the money, and it will for sure have you clicking at Amazon to get your copy:-)
 

Thank you to Arianne Richmonde for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
 
 


Want to know more about Arianne Richmonde?
webpage           twitter           facebook




Forty Shades of Pearl is available at












 
Kathleen