Geri’s Review: Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

DEVIL IN SPRING
Series: The Ravenels #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Release Date: February 21, 2017

An eccentric wallflower…

Most debutantes dream of finding a husband. Lady Pandora Ravenel has different plans. The ambitious young beauty would much rather stay at home and plot out her new board game business than take part in the London Season. But one night at a glittering society ball, she’s ensnared in a scandal with a wickedly handsome stranger.

A cynical rake…

After years of evading marital traps with ease, Gabriel, Lord St. Vincent, has finally been caught-by a rebellious girl who couldn’t be less suitable. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him. But Gabriel finds the high-spirited Pandora irresistible. He’ll do whatever it takes to possess her, even if their marriage of convenience turns out to be the devil’s own bargain.

A perilous plot…

After succumbing to Gabriel’s skilled and sensuous persuasion, Pandora agrees to become his bride. But soon she discovers that her entrepreneurial endeavors have accidentally involved her in a dangerous conspiracy-and only her husband can keep her safe. As Gabriel protects her from their unknown adversaries, they realize their devil’s bargain may just turn out to be a match made in heaven…

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The night we met, I felt you like an electric shock. Something about you calls to the devil in me.”

This book is everything a historical romance should be. From its unforgettable characters to its sparkling and witty dialogue, Devil in Spring not only met but exceeded my very high expectations. I loved this book and these characters so much.

Lisa Kleypas has a way of capturing emotions without wasting many words. Her characters are vibrant and so full of life. She easy for readers to not only understand and sympathize with these characters but full on fall in love with them.

Dangerous creatures, wallflowers. Approach them with the utmost caution. They sit quietly in corners, appearing abandoned and forlorn, when in truth they’re sirens who lure men to their downfall. You won’t even notice the moment she steals the heart right out of your body—and then it’s hers for good. A wallflower never gives your heart back.”

Pandora might be my favorite Kleypas heroine to date. I still love Evie but Pandora overcame so much more. Her journey was such a joy to read. Actually, there’s a level of joy permeating this book that I was smiling all the way through it. Sure. There were some tense and emotionally fraught moments as well but there was never any doubt about the payoff, which is the HEA.

I have much love for Sebastian (Devil in Winter) and Derek Craven (Dreaming of You) and Hardy Cates (Blue-Eyed Devil) but Gabriel…*heart eyes* He’s Sebastian St. Vincent’s son but he is also Evie’s. Which means, he’s the best of both worlds and it shows. Not to say that he doesn’t have flaws. He’s still very much a product of his generation and lives a privileged life. But he’s also kind and loyal and just so attuned to Pandora’s needs which makes him more appealing. As far as being a romantic hero, he’s perfect.

You guys! The way he treats Pandora and the way he went about courting her heart will seriously melt your heart. It’s one of the best parts of the book and Lisa Kleypas spent a lot of time building their relationship. It’s so good and so romantic.

There were so many scenes and dialogue in this book that I really want to share all of them but I won’t because it would be so much better to experience them yourselves. Trust me you will be laughing and sniffling at all the heartfelt dialogue in this book.

I haven’t even talked about how Seb is with Gabriel (OMG! So cute and lovely!) or Seb with Evie (*swoons*) or Gabriel with Evie (*heart eyes*)! Their relationship with each other is #goals. And Gabriel and Pandora is OTP! Full stop.

She was so endearing, so indomitable, that Gabriel was wrenched with a feeling he’d never known before, as if all the extremes of joy and despair had been compressed into some new emotion that threatened to crack the walls of his heart.”

As for cameos from the Wallflower gang…yes! We do get Evie and Seb as well as Westcliff. I wish we could’ve seen more of the other couples but I really can’t complain. There’s also a great set-up for the next book in the series, which I am now dying to read.

This book made me so happy. It truly did. And it also makes me want to re-read The Wallflowers series again.

There was magic in the world, and it was woven throughout each ordinary day, the same force that pulled the tides and drove the rhythm of a human heart. Inspired”

Blog Tour & Excerpt: The Deep End (Honey #1) by Kristen Ashley

THE DEEP END
Series: Honey Series #1
Genre: BDSM, Erotic Romance
Author: Kristen Ashley
Release Date: March 7, 2017

Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are pleasure slaves committed to fulfilling a woman’s every desire.

At the elite Honey club, no boundary will be left untested, and one’s darkest desires will become a sensual reality.

Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him craves the lifestyle offered by this secret, exclusive club.

When Amèlie invites Olivier to surrender, she pushes him to explore his deepest desires as a submissive. As they grow closer and find themselves falling harder than either of them anticipated, the truth about Olivier’s past could threaten the budding relationship they both long for.

Gripping and seductive, The Deep End is the first book in a sensational new series from bestselling author Kristen Ashley.

 

✮✮✮ A delicious world of erotica, BDSM with alpha-subs and their Dommes, and a gripping love story… Welcome to The Bee’s Honey! The first book in New York Times bestselling author Kristen Ashley’s Honey Series, THE DEEP END is a seductive and rich love story. Order your copy today! ✮✮✮

Fall into THE DEEP END and order your copy today!

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She slid out of the booth with murmurings of “good night” and “have fun,” taking her stiletto-heeled-sandal-shod feet with the will of steel her mother had begun the process of instilling in her and her training as a Domme had completed.She could not have her legs give out on her and she could not expose her nervous anticipation.

And she wouldn’t.

But, God, she had not felt like this in years. That sub she’d spied or she’d had who was so promising or such a transcendent experience to play with that she could barely control her own reactions to exploring that promise or again feeling the wholeness, togetherness, oneness with another.

She moved in his direction, no game playing. She didn’t even glance at Stellan in his booth.

Amélie didn’t participate in those games, not ever. There was no reason for her to be coy with a sub.

And she moved with the gait and bearing that it was solely her mother who’d ingrained in her in the sporadic times they’d had together, doing it with an unrelenting fervor that it would take the threat of death to force her to move any other way.

Chin up. Shoulders straight and slightly back. A sway of her hips so subtle, it was elusive. Long, confident strides.

Amélie could walk a catwalk.

She could also make a specimen she was approaching get so hard his cock was aching by the time she made it to him.

She hadn’t even gone halfway when he sensed her approach and she was gratified that his response was instantaneous.

He pushed from the wall.  He turned fully to face her.  And she felt his eyes drop not with the respect a sub owed a Domme, but to take her in from sandals to hair.

Then his gaze locked on hers and he didn’t look away.

He didn’t look away.

He watched her approach not like he was taking the risky liberty he was taking but like it was his God-given right.

Amélie felt her clit quiver.

She arrived at him, stopping several feet away, knowing that the minute her body language made it clear she was going in for the capture, most eyes in the room, if not all, were on her.

She did not care about this.  Not that she’d ever care about this (which she wouldn’t), but because, now close to him, she found to her enchanted surprise, he was not big.

He was colossal.

A mighty beast.

A magnificent beast.

Exquisite.

He was not six foot five.  He was six-six, more likely six-seven.  A mountain of compacted muscle encased in a very fine, very expensive suit.

Taking him in, in proximity, she wanted him more than she’d already wanted him.  She wanted no boundaries.  She wanted everything.  Her diverse skill set, experience, imagination, creativity, and if it came down to it, sheer determination and grit, she’d utilize it all to wring him dry in a way he’d contemplate murder in order to have the opportunity to come back for more.

She was on the verge of speaking when he did.

His direct gaze appreciative, and arrogant smile curving his full lips, he asked, “How you doin’ sweetheart?”

She froze.

Full eye contact. Speaking without being spoken to. Using an unconsented and unearned endearment.

The already damp gusset of her panties soaked to the point her wet crept up the silk of her front and back sides.

But her brows snapped together, her censure clear, and her lips ordered, “Follow me.”


Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better.

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Blog Tour Excerpt & Guest Post: The Bastard Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon

THE BASTARD BILLIONAIRE
Series: Billionaire Bad Boys #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jessica Lemmon
Release Date: February 28, 2017

Beauty and the Beastly Billionaire . . .

 

The Beast

Eli Crane is one tough bastard. After an explosion left him injured and honorably discharged from the Marines, all he wants is to be left alone. Yet his brothers insist he take a greater role in the family business. They’ve hired him ten personal assistants—and Eli sent each one packing as fast as possible. But when beautiful number eleven walks through the door, Eli will do anything to make her stay.

 

The Beauty

Isabella Sawyer’s employment agency can’t afford to lose Eli Crane’s business. Her plan: to personally take on the role of his PA, and secure her reputation with the wealthy elite in Chicago. But this beauty and her hot billionaire bad boy soon find themselves mixing business with pleasure in the most delicious ways. And passionate, stubborn Isabella won’t rest until she tames this wicked beast . . .

 

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FAVORITE “BEASTLY” HEROES  

#5 ~ Seth, George Clooney’s character from the movie From Dusk Til Dawn. He’s a bank robber who takes a family of three hostage before leading them, unbeknownst to him, to a den of vampires in Mexico. At the end, the body count is high, but Seth emerges as hero in a move that surprises him as much as the audience watching.

#4 ~ Jax Teller from the television series, Sons of Anarchy. The ultimate bad boy anti-hero, am I right? Yet something about his sinister actions is so tempting. Charlie Hunnam’s gorgeous face helps.

#3 ~ Tate Jackson from Kristen Ashley’s novel Sweet Dreams. I’ve never in my life read a romance hero who insulted the heroine quite the way Tate did Lauren. (She overheard him calling her fat! Gasp!) In a brilliant turn of events, Tate completely falls for Lauren during the course of the book, eating all of his early assumptions and falling helplessly in love with her. Watching him step seamlessly into the hero role was incredible.

#2 ~ Negan from the television series, The Walking Dead. I know, I know… he’s not a hero. He’s the worst of the worst, but the way Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays the baddest of them all makes a tiny, evil part of me root for him against my better judgment.

#1 ~ Beast, from Walt Disney’s animated cartoon, Beauty and the Beast. Not only is our hero litearlly a beast, but he also has a heart of solid gold. Like another hero I know, Eli Crane, Beast simply needs a strong heroine who will both stand up to him—and stand up for him.

 

Standing, she smoothed her hands down her pants and flipped her hair. She had planned to quietly finish her work and leave without seeing him again. No such luck. And no hiding that she was heading his way when her heels clicked along the concrete floor.

Well.

The kiss had happened. The button incident had happened. There was no taking it back. Regardless of how either of them felt about it, she was going to continue working here. So. She would deal with the here and now.

Since the sun was shining, Eli’s lair was welcome instead of foreboding. No fire cracked in the hearth today. Also unlike his usual, he wasn’t at his desk. He was at the printer.

“This yours?” He offered a sheet of paper.

“Yes.” She couldn’t keep from explaining. “Pressed the Print button by accident.”

Mi printer es su printer.”

Isa accepted the document and Eli sank his hands into his jeans pockets, his forearms flexing with the movement.

“I wasn’t—”

“I shouldn’t—” they said at the same time.

He pursed his lips and she looked at her shoes. “Go ahead.” She was going to say, I wasn’t offended when you kissed me, but now that she’d had a millisecond to think it through, maybe she should pretend the kiss hadn’t happened. Which was . . . impossible. Standing this close to him, it’s all she could think about.

“I shouldn’t have ruined your shirt,” he said.

“I dared you to.”

“Why?” His eyebrows compressed along with his lips.

“Because you have accepted the role of beast, but I don’t believe that’s who you are.” She let her gaze linger on his face before tracking down his body. “And because I like a challenge.”

“Do you?” He took a wide step toward her.

She matched his move and took one step closer to him. “Yes. I don’t wilt easily.”

He threaded her hair between his fingers, a look of longing and hurt mingling in his eyes. “I was about to lie and say I shouldn’t have kissed you.”

Shivers climbed her spine as she remembered how firm his lips felt against hers. “Maybe . . . you shouldn’t have stopped.”

 

 A former job-hopper, Jessica Lemmon resides in Ohio with her husband and rescue dog. She holds a degree in graphic design currently gathering dust in an impressive frame. When she’s not writing super-sexy heroes, she can be found cooking, drawing, drinking coffee (okay, wine), and eating potato chips. She firmly believes God gifts us with talents for a purpose, and with His help, you can create the life you want.

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Release Tour & Geri’s Review

PUCKED OFF
Series:
Pucked #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: Feb 21, 2017

***A Standalone novel in The Pucked Series***

I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”

I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.

Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.

I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.

At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

I should leave her alone.

But I won’t.

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For the first time in my entire life, I understand what it means to be with someone who will give and not just take.” 

Full disclosure: This my first Helena Hunting book ever. And I know it’s already the 5th book in the series and all that but this was marketed as a standalone. Not only that, the blurb/summary for this book spoke to me. This is my kind of book.

Lance is an NHL defeseman known for his excesses and hotheadedness on and off the field. Despite being successful at hockey and surrounded by people everyday, Lance still feels lonely and isolated. It’s a theme throughout his life.

His pain and loneliness was exacerbated when he got into an ill-advised relationship with their team trainer. The relationship crashed and burned and it left Lance more broken than ever.

I kept hoping she’d decide I was enough. Stupid, huh?”
“It’s not stupid, Lance. Sometimes it’s hard to tell your heart not to want someone, even if all they do is hurt you.”

Enter Poppy, a woman who shares a history with Lance. For Poppy, Lance is her “what could have been.” She has this idealized version of Lance that is far from who he is now. The problem is Lance doesn’t quite remember her.

What I really loved about this book is the way Lance and Poppy’s story sort of came full circle. Not just their love story and how that developed but also with their character arcs. Poppy is the perfect foil for him. She’s light to his dark. She’s everything that Lance craved and wanted for in so long but never succeeded in attaining.

There’s something about a broken hero who strives to be good but fails most of the time. He’s also the kind of hero who made mistakes and has to pay for those mistakes. Lance embodies that perfectly.

You’re all the good things I didn’t know I was missing.”

My only complaint–and this is probably because I’ve never had a chance to meet her before this book–is Tasha. She’s bordering caricature villain. The only perspective we got is from Lance, which isn’t flattering to say the least.

Again, maybe those who’ve read the book will have deeper understanding about her character but for me, meh. Despite all the “bad” things she’s done to Lance, her character is uninteresting. And while her presence served as a conflict at the beginning of the story, it got weaker and weaker towards the middle and through the end.

Despite my issues, this was a book that captured and held my attention from beginning until the end. Lance and Poppy’s HEA was well earned and well deserved. And that sweet epilogue was just icing on top.

My darling girl. I’ve never had someone who was just mine, body and soul—mine to protect and hold and love. And that’s what Sarah is . . . she belongs to me now. We belong to each other.

Armed with my clipboard, I walk down the hall to the waiting room. Lance is impossible to miss. Despite the fact that he’s wearing a sweatshirt and the hood is covering half of his face, he’s more than six feet of broad, hockey-playing man.

He’s so wide his shoulders encroach on the chairs on either side, which would explain why no one is sitting next to him. He’s slouched down so his head rests on the back of the chair, and his hands are clasped in his lap, a baseball cap hanging off one knee. His lips, plush and soft—I know since I’ve had them on mine; it might have been a decade ago, but I remember it clearly—are parted. He looks like he’s asleep.

I clear my throat. “Lance Romero?”

He doesn’t move.

Bernadette, the receptionist, gives me a meaningful look.

I clear my throat again and call his name a second time. He jolts awake and the hood falls back, exposing his face. It’s not in good shape. He has a black eye and bruises on his left cheek. There’s a fly bandage across one eyebrow.

Sadly, he’s still hot.

He blinks a few times, yawns, and smacks his lips, his tongue touching the split in the bottom one. His gaze sweeps the room and finally lands on me. Heat explodes in my cheeks and courses through my limbs, warming me from the inside out as he starts at my sneaker-clad feet and roams up over my yoga pants to my company-issued T-shirt before stopping at my face. I can’t look directly at him for more than a couple of seconds. I sincerely hope he doesn’t remember me. I cannot go there and also be professional.

I’m sure the smile he gives me has melted many a panty off a slutty bunny. Mine stay right where they’re supposed to, wedged up my ass.

I force a polite, professional veneer. “I’m ready for you now.”

NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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#DGRFave & Geri’s Review: Pretty Face (London Celebrities #2) by Lucy Parker

PRETTY FACE
Series: London Celebrities #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lucy Parker
Release Date: February 20, 2017

Highly acclaimed, award-winning author of Act Like It Lucy Parker returns readers to the London stage with laugh-out-loud wit and plenty of drama

The play’s the fling

It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.

Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He’d be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily’s suddenly rising career, it’s threatening Luc’s professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they’re not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…

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This was Luc Savage. Award-winning, career-making, ego-curdling Luc Savage. Get-in-my-way-and-I’ll-crush-you-like-a-bug Luc Savage. And her driving instinct was to touch the tips of her boots to his—and then stand her ground until he stepped back first.”

Sometimes I feel like the book goods are smiling down at me and they send me a book that ticks all of my “how romance should be” boxes. Reading Pretty Face by Lucy Parker is definitely one of those times. And oh my gosh, I don’t have enough words to express how much I love this book.

WARNING! Long, gushy review ahead! #Sorrynotsorry

Luc Savage, one of London West End’s premier director/producer is restoring the Queen Anne theatre and capping it off with a new play. Problem is Luc lost not one but two of his female leads, and he’s desperate to find a replacement.

One of the names considered playing the role of Elizabeth is Lily Lamprey. Lily is famous for playing a dumb, conniving bimbo on Knightsbridge, a label that spills over onto her personal life. It doesn’t help that she looks the part: curvy, blonde and a voice that rivals Marilyn Monroe’s—seductive, breathy and totally inappropriate for theatre. Naturally, Luc is not thrilled and made his opinions about Lily known.

If she was as vacant as she looks on screen, she wouldn’t be able to tie her own shoes.”

But even with Luc’s prejudice, he couldn’t quite deny that there’s some raw talent there. He also can’t deny his attraction to her the moment they meet. And Luc doesn’t want to risk the success of his play and his theatre. So he vowed to keep things professional between them, which worked spectacularly for, um, about 5 minutes.

They released each other’s hands; their eyes met again. Game on.”

Pretty Face is full of laugh-out-loud dialogue, quick witted banter and scorching chemistry between Luc and Lily. Despite her appearance, Lily is a hard worker and resolute. I love her so much. She’s not all cowed by Luc or anyone else for that matter really.

Lily knows a thing or two about double standards and being judged based on your looks. But she had a goal: West End. And she’s willing to work her ass off to get there but she won’t ever compromise herself to get it even though she’s insanely attracted to Luc.

Giving in to their feeling could have repercussions on their career, especially on Lily’s. Something that Lily and Luc was all too aware of. Lily had been accused of sleeping with most of her male co-stars, so giving in to her attraction to Luc would give people the ammunition to write Lily off as the bimbo who got the part because she shagged the director. It’s terribly unfair and it made me even more emotionally invested in the romance between Lily and Luc.

Luc and Lily ended up becoming of my favorite couples of all time. I have a weakness for grumpy, taciturn heroes with hidden sweet side, and Luc fits the bill perfectly. And Lily is just awesome. She’s aware of her looks without being conceited about it, and she’s geniunely a nice person. The evolution of their relationship, including the conflict organic and real. The conflict also felt organic. And their banter is beyond hilarious!

How old is Trix?”

“Twenty-six.”

“I see,” Luc said. “And you’re also twenty-six?”

Lily narrowed her eyes slightly. “Yes.”

“Mmm. And Dan is—”

“Not twenty-six.”

“No. I’d say he’s somewhere around my age.”

“Quite possibly. Are we going to arrive at your point anytime soon?”

“No point.” Luc’s voice was bland. His experssion was not. “Just an observation.”

“That some of us are twenty-six and some of us like to make leading comments?” 

The writing is stellar. I can’t believe this is just her second book because Lucy Parker writes like a seasoned pro. Her characters are nuanced and there’s an emotional depth to them. It’s funny without trying too hard to be comedic. It’s just perfect.

I don’t throw out comparisons to Atticus Finch lightly. He was my first boyfriend.”

“He’s fictional.”

“When I was ten, that was a minor drawback, easily outweighed by the staunch devotion to human rights and penchant for natty waistcoats.”

Gah! I have so many highlights I could share but I won’t or else this review would never end. I didn’t even touch on how well written the secondary characters were and how much they add to the story. Just go, pick up the book and enjoy this spectacular romance from Lucy Parker. You won’t be sorry!

 


Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes, and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and art galleries, and doodles unrecognizable flowers when she has writer’s block.

When she’s not writing, working or sleeping, she happily tackles the towering pile of to-be-read books that never gets any smaller. Thankfully, there’s always another story waiting.

Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well. A family friend introduced her to Georgette Heyer, and the rest was history.

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