Review: ★Deeper Than Dreams★ by @jesstopper

Review- Deeper Than Dreams DEEPER THAN DREAMS
Series: Love & Steel #1.5
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Jessica Topper
Release Date: August 18, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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Will wedding bells rock out for Louder Than Love’s most beloved couple in this Love and Steel novella?

Falling in love with rock star Adrian “Digger” Graves was a dream come true for former librarian Kat Lewis. But with a little help from friends and family—including Kat’s adorable daughter, Abbey—Adrian has planned an evening and a proposal beyond her wildest dreams.

The night before, Kat witnessed the triumphant reunion of Adrian’s rock band at Madison Square Garden. Tonight, he will escort her to the elegant, ultra-exclusive Library Lion’s benefit. It seems like a fairytale, but even fairytales have a deeper, darker side. When old habits return to tempt her knight in shining heavy metal armor, will Kat’s happily ever after come crashing back to reality?

THIS IS AN EPILOGUE NOVELLA THAT PICKS UP THE DAY AFTER LOUDER THAN LOVE ENDS. This novella is intended to be read after Louder Than Love.

Buy LinksPre-Order
Amazon / iBooks

Review

5 stars

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Adrian Graves, did you go and write me a heavy metal love song?”
“Well now, maybe I did.”
“I thought if love was going to appear in your music, it had to be doomed, damned, or deadly.”
“I’ve learned since that love runs much deeper than that. Deeper than dreams. And if I’ve made even one of your dreams come true tonight, then I am a better man for it.”

Last year I read a book and fell hard for a fictional couple. I swooned, I sighed, and I fell irrevocably in love with Jessica Topper’s incredible writing. Louder Than Love was one of those romances that was just so wonderfully real. I don’t even know how to describe it better than that. It wasn’t angsty, filled with crazy drama, manwhoring rockstars, or anything of the sort. It had two characters each struggling with moving on from their past finding love together. It was perfection.
Deeper Than Dreams teaser- DirtyGirlRomanceI simply adored that book. Now I’m not a reader that typically enjoys follow up novellas for a couple that I loved. Why? Because more often that not, that novella will do something to mess with the couple’s HEA, it will throw in some miscommunication or drama, anything just to justify them getting additional story. But I didn’t think twice before jumping at the chance to read this novella because I already knew it would be nothing of the sort. And you know what? I wasn’t even a little bit wrong.

No one else can take a couple you already loved and then make you fall in love with them even more than you already were in less than 100 pages. But that’s exactly what happened here. This was the perfect epilogue novella for Kat and Adrian. I downright cried happy tears at the end of it. What amazed me even more was the feelings that it was able to bring out in me. It’s not common that you’d read a novella and by the end of it feel like you read a whole book with the amount of emotions it was able to wring from you.
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This is not meant to be read as a standalone, and you absolutely need to read Louder Than Love before this. And if you read and loved Louder Than Love like I did, then this epilogue novella is an absolute must read. I couldn’t think of a better conclusion to one of my most beloved couples.

Jessica Topper also gives readers a lot more Rick if you’ve been curious about him, along with a teaser for his book that will leave you anxious to get your hands on his book in September. I absolutely cannot wait.

Deeper Than Dreams was one of those perfect treats that’s like the icing on an already fantastically delicious cake. Emotional, lovely, captivating, it was everything I’ve already come to expect from this author and more. I simply cannot recommend it enough.


Don’t miss the book that started it all!

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In this powerful debut novel, a young librarian grieves the loss of her husband…and discovers a love that defies classification.

It’s been over three years since a train accident made a widow of Katrina Lewis, sending her and her young daughter Abbey back to the suburban town of her youth…the only place that still makes sense. Lauder Lake is the perfect place to hide and heal.

Recluse rocker Adrian “Digger” Graves survived the implosion of his music career, but his muse has long lain dormant. Until Kat hires him to play at her library—not on the basis of his hard rock credentials but rather, because of the obscure kids’ TV jingle he wrote years ago. In a case of mistaken identity, Adrian stumbles into the lives of Kat and her comically lovable daughter.

Using tattoos as a timeline, Adrian unfurls his life for Kat. But as the courtship intensifies, it’s unclear whose past looms larger: the widow’s or the rocker’s. Will their demons ever rest, or will they break these soul mates apart?

Buy LinksAmazon

READ MY FULL 5 STAR REVIEW


And don’t miss Rick’s story in the upcoming Softer Than Steel

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LOVE & STEEL #2
From the author of Deeper than Dreams and the Much “I Do” About Nothing novels, a story that proves that you have to find yourself before you can find love…

As rock star “Riff Rotten”, Rick Rottenberg has enjoyed all the perks that fame can offer, especially now that he’s reunited with his former band mate, Adrian “Digger” Graves. But despite his success, Rick is a mess. Still reeling from the death of his wife years ago and terrified his demons will end his career, he agrees to seek help for his anxiety.

Burned by a musician in the past, Sidra Sullivan has closed her heart to love. So when Rick walks into her yoga studio, she wants nothing to do with him–until the bad boy shows an unexpected soft side.

As Sidra and Rick work through their painful pasts, they realize just how strongly opposites can attract. But when a crisis threatens the delicate balance they’ve forged, they’ll discover if their love is strong enough to weather another storm or just too broken to survive…

INCLUDES A PREVIEW OF THE FIRST LOVE & STEEL NOVEL: LOUDER THAN LOVE

Buy LinksPre-Order (Releasing September 15, 2015)

AMAZON

Blog Tour, Review & #Giveaway: ★Make Me★ by @mstessabailey

Blog Tour Make Me- DirtyGirlRomance MAKE ME
Series: Broke and Beautiful #3
Genre: New Adult Romance
Author: Tessa Bailey
Release Date: August 11, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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In the final Broke and Beautiful novel from bestselling author Tessa Bailey, a blue collar construction worker and a quiet uptown girl are about to discover that the friendzone can sometimes be excellent foreplay.

Construction worker Russell Hart has been head-over-work boots for Abby Sullivan since the moment he laid eyes on her. But he knows a classy, uptown virgin like her could never be truly happy with a rough, blue-collar guy like him. If only she’d stop treating him like her personal hero—a role he craves more than oxygen—maybe he could accept it.

With the future of her family’s hedge fund on her shoulders, Abby barely has time to sleep, let alone find love. And her best friend Russell acting like a sexy, overprotective hulk any time their Super Group goes out in public definitely isn’t helping her single status. But after a near-tragedy lands Russell in her bed for the night, Abby’s suddenly fantasizing about what he looks like shirtless. Chest hair and tattoos—who knew?

As Russell struggles to keep Abby at a safe distance, she begins to see through his tough-talking exterior—and acknowledge her own feelings. Now she’s ready to turn the friend-zone into foreplay…and make him lose control.

Buy LinksHarperCollins / Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Google Play

Excerpt

Chapter One
Day one hundred and forty-two of being friend-zoned. Send rations.Russell Hart stifled a groan when Abby twisted on his lap to call out a drink order to the passing waiter, adding a smile that would no doubt earn her a martini on the house. Every time their six person “super group” hung out, which was starting to become a nightly affair, Russell advanced into a newer, more vicious circle of hell. Tonight, however, he was pretty sure he’d meet the devil himself.They were at the Longshoreman, celebrating the Fourth of July, which presented more than one precious little clusterfuck. One, the holiday meant the bar was packed full of tipsy Manhattanites, creating a shortage of chairs, hence Abby parking herself right on top of his dick. Two, it put the usually conservative Abby in ass-hugging shorts and one of those tops that tied at the back of her neck. Six months ago, he would have called it a shirt, but his two best friends had fallen down the relationship rabbit hole, putting him in the vicinity of excessive chick talk. So, now it was a halter-top. What he wouldn’t give to erase that knowledge.During their first round of drinks, he’d become a believer in breathing exercises. Until he’d noticed these tiny, blond curls at Abby’s nape, curls he’d never seen before. And some-fucking-how, those sun-kissed curls were what had nudged him from semi-erect to full-scale Washington monument status. The hair on the rest of her head was like a…a warm milk chocolate color, so where did those little curls come from? Those detrimental musings had lead to Russell questioning what else he didn’t know about Abby. What color was everything else? Did she have freckles? Where?Russell would not be finding out – ever – and not just because he was sitting in the friend zone with his dick wedged against his stomach – not an easy maneuver – so she wouldn’t feel it. No, there was more to it. His friends, Ben and Louis, were well aware of those reasons, which accounted for the half-sympathetic, half-needling looks they were sending him from across the table, respective girlfriends perched on their laps. The jerks.Abby was off-limits. Not because she was taken – thank Christ – or because someone had verbally forbidden him from pursuing her. That wasn’t it. Russell had taken a long time trying to find a suitable explanation for why he didn’t just get the girl alone one night and make his move. Explain to her that men like him weren’t suitable friends for wide-eyes debutantes and give her a demonstration of the alternative.

It went like this. Abby was like an expensive package that had been delivered to him by mistake. Someone at the post office had screwed the pooch and dropped off the shiniest, most beautiful creation on his Queens doorstep and driven away, laughing manically. Russell wasn’t falling for the trick, though. Someone would claim the package, eventually. They would chuckle over the obvious mistake and take Abby away from him, because really, he had no business being the one who’s lap she chose to sit on. No business, whatsoever.

But while he was in possession of the package – as much as he’d allow himself to be in possession, anyway – he would guard her with his life. He would make sure that when someone realized the cosmic error that had occurred – the one that had made him Abby’s friend and confidant – she would be sweet and undamaged, just as she’d been on arrival.

Unfortunately, the package didn’t seem content to let him stand guard from a distance. She innocently beckoned him back every time he managed to put an inch of space between them. Russell had lost count of the times Abby had fallen asleep on him while the super group watched a movie, drank margaritas on the girls’ building rooftop, driven home in cabs. She was entirely too comfortable around him, considering he saluted against his fly every time they were in the same room.

“Why so quiet, Russell?” Louis asked, his grin turning to a wince as his actress girlfriend, Roxy, elbowed him in the ribs. Yeah. Everyone at the damn table knew he had a major thing for the beautiful, unassuming number whiz on his lap. Everyone but Abby. And that’s how he planned to keep it.

“I know why,” Ben said, causing Russell’s stomach to catapult itself across the bar. Before he could change the subject, Ben pulled his student-turned-main squeeze closer and continued. “He doesn’t need to give us advice on girls anymore. His powers have been diminished.”

“We’ve slain the beast.”

Ben and Louis toasted their plastic beer cups without a single glance at one other. Why was he friends with these two again? Oh right. The power of beer had brought them together. Praise be to Heineken. Smug as they were, though, Russell knew humor was their way of showing support. If it wasn’t humor, it would be sympathy, aka dude kryptonite.

“What kind of advice did he give you about us?” Roxy wanted to know, shooting Louis and Ben stern glances.

“Uh-uh.” Russell shook his head. “I’m calling bro confidentiality on you both. That includes pillow talk and supersedes any and all forms of sexual coercion.”

Ben adjusted his glasses. “That reasoning, however, should lend some insight into what you ladies missed.”

Honey leaned across the table and patted Russell’s arm. “It all worked out in the end, big guy. Who knows? You might have had something to do with it after all.”

Russell opened his mouth to respond, but whatever he planned to say withered in its inception because Abby spun in his lap again, sending the world around him into slow motion. A left jab of her scent – which after careful consideration he’d termed white grape sunlight – caught him in the chin and he barely restrained the urge to shout oh, come on, at the top of his lungs. Her big hazel eyes were indignant on his behalf, mouth pursed in a way that shouldn’t have been sexy, but damn-well was. She’d snapped her spine straight, hip bumping his erection in the process.

Please, almighty God, just kill me now.

“Russell gives great advice,” Abby protested and Russell would have smiled if he wasn’t busy earning his master’s degree in boner-soothing meditation. She really had no idea her outrage only made her sweeter because it looked so unnatural on her. “Remember the man on the first floor of our building? The one who used to clear his throat loudly every time we walked by?” She waited for Honey and Roxy to nod. “Russell told me the next time it happened, I should just shout TROUBLE at his door. I did. And it hasn’t happened since.”

When Louis and Ben started laughing into their beers, Russell flipped them off behind Abby’s back. What his friends knew that Abby didn’t? As soon as she’d told him the problem, he’d paid a visit to their downstairs neighbor and explained that trouble would find him if he so much as breathed in Abby – or any of her roommates’ – direction again. Hence, the single word being so effective. Russell was trouble.

But as Abby turned a bright, encouraging smile on him, swelling his heart like an inflating balloon, he recognized that his brand of trouble had nothing on Abby’s. She didn’t even know how dangerous she was to his health. Because while Abby was the package that had been delivered by mistake, he’d gone and fallen for her, despite his attempts to simply be her friend.

And maybe it was his imagination, but the loss of her seemed to loom a little closer each day. Like any minute now, she would peer a little closer and realize he was in imposter. Loss was something with which Russell was familiar. Loss had cut him off at the knees at a young age, made him hyper aware of how fast it could happen. Whoosh. Chopped off at the knees. So he was already in damage control mode, hoping to limit the fallout when she inevitably headed for a younger version of Gordon Gekko. For now, it was all about keeping a comfortable gap between him and Abby.

She scooted back on his lap to make room for the waitress who had returned with a round of drinks, and Russell gritted his teeth.

Okay. Comfortable definitely wasn’t the right word.

***

I have friends. I have friends now and it’s glorious.

Six months ago, when Abby Sullivan had placed the ad on Craigslist, seeking two roommates to share her Chelsea apartment, her highest hope had been for noise. Maybe it sounded silly, but apart from the Ninth Avenue traffic trundling past and the occasional shouting match on the street, her life had been so quiet before Honey and Roxy showed up. She’d been hoping for hair dryers in the morning, dishes being tossed in the sink, singing in the shower. Anything but the void of sound she’d been living with, alone in the massive space.

Then, oh then, she’d gone and done something even more impulsive than placing an advertisement for massively discounted rent in cyberspace. She’d blurted upon meeting them for the first time that she didn’t need help paying the rent; she merely wanted friends. Unbelievably, it hadn’t felt like a mistake to reveal such a pitiful secret to a couple of strangers. There had been a feeling when all three of them first stood in the same room that it would work out, like a complicated math equation that would prove itself worth the work.

Now? She couldn’t imagine a day passing without them. The guys had been an unexpected bonus she hadn’t counted on. Especially Russell.

As they walked crosstown toward the Hudson River where they planned to watch the Fourth of July fireworks, Abby smiled up at Russell where he towered over her. She received a suspicious look in response. Suspicious! Ha! It made her want to laugh like a lunatic. All the way back to her furthest memory, she’d been reliable, gullible, sugar-filled Abby to everyone and their mother. Even Honey and Roxy, to a degree, handled her carefully around subjects that might offend her or hurt her feelings. She was too grateful for their presence to call them on it, though. Sometimes she opened her mouth, the words I’m not made of spun glass hovering right on the tip of her tongue, but she always swallowed them. They meant well. She knew that with her whole heart. Maybe someday, when she was positive they wouldn’t vanish at a rare show of temper—the way people always did when she bared a flaw—she’d tell them. Until she worked up the courage however, she would stay quiet, and appreciate her new best friends for the colorful positivity they’d brought into her life.

But Russell? She appreciated him even more for getting mad at her.

Such occurrences were her favorite part of the week. Russell stomping into the apartment, grumbling about her not checking the peep hole. Refusing to go out on a Saturday night until she changed into more comfortable shoes. Giving her that daunting frown when she revealed they’d had a leak in the bathroom for three weeks and hadn’t yet called the super to repair it. He’d had it fixed within the hour, but he hadn’t spoken to her the entire time.

It was awesome.

Because he kept coming back. Every time. No matter what—no matter what she said or did—he never washed his hands of her. Never got so fed up with her admittedly flighty behavior that he skipped a hang out. Or didn’t respond to a text. He was the steadfast presence in her life she’d never had.

No one spoke to Abby at her job. She’d been hired after graduating at the top of her Yale class and placed in a silent power position at a hedge fund. Her father’s hedge fund. So she could understand her co-workers’ reticence to invite her for happy hour. Or even give her a polite nod in the hallway. At first, she’d been prepared to try anyway. Force them to acknowledge her in some small way, even if it was just passing the stapler in the conference room. Then she remembered. When she forced her opinion on people, or had an outburst, they went away, and didn’t come back for a long time.

Her coworkers assumed she sat in her air-conditioned office all day playing Minecraft or buying dresses online. And why wouldn’t they? She’d done nothing to sway that notion. In reality, however, she worked hard. Showed up before the lights came on and stayed later than everyone else. Brought work home with her and often, didn’t get to sleep. She had no choice.

Stress tightened like a shoelace around Abby’s stomach, but she breathed through it. Tonight was for fun with her friends. Tomorrow morning would be soon enough to face her responsibilities.

“It’s the shoes, isn’t it?” Russell demanded, encompassing Abby, Roxy and Honey with a dark look. “This always happens in the eleventh hour. You girls started limping around and we just have to watch it.”

Ben sighed. “Here we go again.”

“No, really. I think I’ve finally figured it out.” Russell swiped impatient fingers over his shaved head. “You ever heard of sympathy pains? When my sister-in-law gave birth, my brother swore someone was firing a nail gun into his stomach. To this day, the guy has never been the same.” He pointed at Abby’s electric blue pumps. “Women wear these evil creations around to confuse us. Sure, they make a girl’s legs look good, but that’s the black magic, my friends. They want us to feel their pain and not understand why.”

Louis turned, walking backwards on the sidewalk so he could face them. “I have to admit, I’m with Russell on this one.” He smiled at Roxy’s outrage. “You could go barefoot and it wouldn’t make a difference to me.”

“I’ll round it out with a third agreement,” Ben chimed in. “I like Honey in her Chucks.”

That statement earned Ben a kiss from Honey and a groan from Russell. “I’m thrilled you assholes have found a way to use my amazing logic to earn points.”

Abby loved the familiar argument simply because it was familiar—a routine she had in common with others—but she had to admit her feet were throbbing. After a night of dancing, the crosstown walk was giving her blisters. She wore heels all day at the office, but they were sensible and low-heeled. Nothing like the stilettos she’d borrowed from Roxy. In fact, now that she’d acknowledged her tired feet, every part of her seemed to sag with exhaustion, as if she’d finally given her bones permission. “I can end this argument right here,” Abby interrupted with a weary, but determined smile. The group stopped to watch as she slipped off her shoes and placed her bare feet back onto the cool sidewalk with a hearty sigh. For some reason, everyone’s gazes swung to Russell who – God love him – was frowning at her like she’d just crashed his beloved truck.

“A new tactic, gentlemen. Take note.” Their four friends laughed at Russell’s ominous tone, but Abby stayed pinned under his scowl. Although now, his scowl had a hint of uncertainty behind it. “Put them back on, Abby. You’re going to step on something. Broken glass, or—”

Abby breezed past Russell. Honestly, he worried constantly for no reason. They were only a few blocks away from the river and the streets were well lit. What was the worst that could—

Her feet left the ground, her gasp cutting off as she was cradled against Russell’s big chest. His expression was hidden, thanks to the streetlights shining blindingly above his head, but Abby knew from experience, he would be annoyed. She couldn’t prevent the smile from spreading like wildfire across her face, feeling as if it reached as far as her chest. It seemed impossible, but somehow she’d earned a place among these people who cared about her. Friends. Good friends. The kind you can’t live without.

Especially Russell. Her favorite.

“You were put on this earth to make me crazy, Abby. You know that?”

“I’m not sorry about it,” she whispered. “Does that make me a bad person?”

“No. It makes you a woman.”

She muffled her laugh with the use of Russell’s shoulder. “Men make women crazy, too. It’s not a one-sided affair.”

He frowned down at her. “What would you know about it?”

That question coming from anyone else might have embarrassed Abby, but for all Russell’s bluster, he never judged her. Not for her lack of a love life, anyway. Shoes were another matter altogether. “I know things.”

Things, huh? Maybe Louis and Ben should spend more time at their own apartments.” His arms flexed as he hefted her higher, with minimal effort. “Do you actually like watching the fireworks or is this just a patriotic custom we’re upholding?”

“No, I love fireworks.” She tilted her head back and looked at the sky. “Everyone forgets over the course of the year how incredible fireworks are. You know? They forget until they’re standing beneath them again. You don’t like them?”

He stared ahead as he answered. “I like that you like them.”

Abby smiled, knowing Russell would have to be extra gruff for the remainder of the night to make up for that slip. And needing to torture him a little over it. “That’s how I feel when you make me watch the Yankees.” She laid a hand against his cheek. “It’s worth it just to see your adorable man eyes light up.”

His sigh was sharp, but she caught the corner of his mouth kicking up. “All this time, I thought you were enjoying it.”

“The blooper reel is my favorite.” Drowsiness settled more firmly over her and she stifled a yawn against his shoulder. “Also, I love when kids in the audience catch foul balls.”

“Crowd. It’s called a crowd.”

She hummed in her throat, eyelids beginning to weigh down. “I knew that. Just seeing if you were paying attention,” she murmured.

Russell chewed his bottom lip a moment, worry marring his features. “You’re so tired lately, Abby. Everything okay?”

“Totally fine,” she lied. “Just going to rest my eyes a minute.”

Positive he would wake her up when they reached the Hudson, she wound her arms around his neck and dozed off. It was the first time she’d slept in three days.

Review

4 starsMake Me-Dirty Girl Romance

Day one hundred and forty-two of being friend-zoned. Send rations.

I love a steamy New Adult romance and I love Tessa Bailey. Add into all that her gift for writing alpha men that I pretty much drool over and it’s really a no brainer. Having not read the previous two books in this series, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. That synopsis ultimately sealed the deal. Construction worker? Friends-to-lovers? Tessa’s dirty talkers? SOLD!

You were put on this earth to make me crazy, Abby. You know that?”
“I’m not sorry about it,” she whispered. “Does that make me a bad person?”
“No. It makes you a woman.”

Russell Hart has been in love with Abby since he first saw her on her front porch all those months ago. Being her best friend has been a special kind of hell for him, especially since her innocent naivety towards all the dirty dirty things he wants to do to her does nothing to diminish his lust. He wants her with a fire that only burns brighter and hotter with each passing day, but he knows that the likes of him will never be good enough for her. Her family can buy anything he owns three times over, how can he possibly provide her with the life that she’s accustomed to?

Abby Sullivan is a good girl. Growing up in the world of the rich and entitled has guaranteed that she’s deathly terrified of ever showing any signs of imperfection for fear that she’ll be left. It’s happened with her friends in high school, and it’s even happened with her parents. So now perfection is what she strives for, even if it means working herself to the bone at her father’s multi-billion dollar hedge fund company. The attraction between her and Russell is always crackling with electricity, until the one night where a dash of alcohol finally brings it raging to the surface.

You like the way I look?” Hands braced on either side of her hips, he leaned down and sucked her left nipple into his mouth. “That’s good, angel. You’re looking at the first man to tongue-fuck your uptown pussy.”

Make Me Teaser- Dirty Girl RomanceAs much as I loved Russell’s dirty mouth and even dirtier sexy ways, he was also an exercise in frustration for me. His inability to believe he can offer anything of worth for Abby and be good enough for her made me want to reach through my kindle and shake the ever loving stubbornness out of him. The man was downright infuriating. Add into that his inability to voice out those concerns with a woman that’s supposed to be his best friend, and I was waffling somewhere between ragey and damn near homicidal. Luckily Abby helped balance things out nicely. I’m always afraid with virgin heroines that they’ll be too naive and mousy for my tastes, but Abby wasn’t that. While she deals with a good dose of her own insecurities, she was also incredibly endearing. I’m not even sure what exactly about her that did it, but she was a heroine I liked from the very beginning.

The sexual chemistry between Russell and Abby was off the walls hot. Make Me certainly delivers on that signature Tessa Bailey steam and then some!

Six months of you sitting on my lap. Wiggling around and laughing, no idea I wanted to fuck you through a wall. Don’t you DARE call me a tease. I’VE been teased. I’m so fucked up, I can’t hear your name without getting hard.”

As much as Russell frustrated me with his thought process, his insecurities were rooted in a very dark place and the more you find out about that, the better you understand him. I equal parts wanted to slap him and hug him…(and definitely do him because HELLO dirty talker!)

I don’t ever want to be inside anyone else, Abby. I want you to unzip my pants whenever you’re wet and know I’ve been waiting- just fucking WAITING- to get inside my girl’s pussy. I want you to forget how it feels to sit down anywhere but my lap, right on top of my dick. Yours. It’s yours. I’m yours.

Having not read the previous two books never lowered my enjoyment of this one and I can definitely attest that it may easily be read as a standalone. I don’t think Tessa Bailey is capable of writing a book that I don’t enjoy the hell out of, and Make Me was no exception.
About the Authorhighres-MJB_5140.jpg

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tessa Bailey lives on Long Island with her husband and young daughter. When she isn’t writing or reading romance, Tessa enjoys a good argument and thirty-minute recipes.

 

 

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Review: ★Flirting With Disaster★ by Victoria Dahl

Review Flirting With Disaster FLIRTING WITH DISASTER
Series: Jackson: Girl’s Night Out #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Victoria Dahl
Release Date: January 27, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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There’s no hiding from sizzling chemistry…

Artist Isabelle West has good reasons for preferring a solitary life. Tucked away in a cabin in the woods, she has everything she needs . . . except a red-hot love life. That is, until a hard-bodied U.S. marshal threatens to unearth secrets she’s spent years protecting. But giving in to the sparks flying between them can only lead to one thing…disaster.

Tom Duncan lives by the letter of the law. But no one has tempted him—or confused him—more than free-spirited Isabelle, who arouses his suspicion and his desire. As their connection grows, and their nights get hotter, they find their wild attraction might shake everything he stands for—and expose everything she has to hide.

 

Buy Links

Amazon / iBooks

Review

3.5 stars

 

I love Victoria Dahl’s writing. Her heroines are just the right dose of assertive and her heroes are always just the right dose of sexy and sweet. The set up for Flirting With Disaster sounded absolutely fabulous, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, it also failed to really fully grab me.

Isabelle West was a difficult heroine for me to truly warm up to at first. Being the loner that she is and comes off to be, it’s hard to imagine ever liking her. However, as the author began to peel the layers to get down tot he true reason for her solitary ways, she begins to grow on you. I also appreciate a heroine that owns her sexuality and knows what she likes and never feels bad about it. This is a woman that’s just find with pleasure for the sake of pleasure. She doesn’t overthink it and she doesn’t look down on herself for it. It’s difficult to find in today’s mainstream romance and I really enjoyed that aspect of Isabelle’s personality.

U.S. Marshall Tom Duncan is a hero that you’ll fall for right away. This is not a manwhore or player or asshole. Which is just another thing to appreciate about Dahl’s heroes. They have this realness quality to them. There’s no overdose of angst or back and forth. The conflict in this story comes from the past that Isabelle is hiding that may now be coming back to haunt her and Tom’s determination to find out what it is and help her through it.

Flirting With Disaster was a lovely slow build kind of romance with a dose of suspense. Unfortunately it just didn’t grab me as much as the previous 2 books in this series have. I found myself losing interest and easily setting the book down several times. As a result this dragged a little and it took me considerably longer to finish that it normally would. I found the addiction of the other secondary characters to be slightly distracting considering nothing ever really came from their presence in the story, if that makes sense.

A good addition to the series, but not my favorite. I’m certainly looking forward to the next one since I enjoy this series and the set up for Veronica’s book sounds pretty damn delicious.


READ THE SERIES IN ORDER

Review: ★Playing for Her Heart★ by Megan Erickson

Review Playing for Her Heart Playing for Her Heart
Series: Gamers #2
Author: Megan Erickson
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 11, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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Grant Osprey just had the hottest sex of his life. Sure, they were both in costume, and yes, it was anonymous, but he never expected her to bolt in the middle of the night without so much as a good bye, let alone exchanging numbers. Or names. All he’s left with are her panties and some seriously X-rated memories…until he meets his business partner’s little sister.

Only Chloe Talley isn’t the bold, sexy vixen he remembers. And she wants nothing to do with him.

Cosplay is Chloe’s only chance to leave her boring, socially awkward world behind. To forget that she’s failing at life and can’t be with anyone, let alone a single-father like Grant. But the raw hunger between them is undeniable. With him, she can be a misbehaving maid. A sexy call girl for hire. Each scene pushes Chloe beyond her strict boundaries, until Grant demands the one character she can’t play.

Buy-Links10Amazon / iBooks / B&N

Review

3.5 stars

He wanted to leave breadcrumbs in their wake to show him the way back. Although something told him, after this night, he might never find his way back to the way things were.

Having absolutely loved Changing His Game, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Grant’s book. Something about single dads never fails to draw me right in and Grant’s joking and easy-going personality just added to the intrigue. Then there’s that sexy nerd appeal of the cosplay (which I never imagined I’d enjoy). Did I happen to mention that Grant also happens to be a very dirty boy? Because that man certainly knows how to get things done in the bedroom.

God, that tongue. What more could he do with that thing? She wondered if he practiced knotting cherry stems. Or maybe he’d worked up to something stronger and could bend paperclips with it.

I loved Grant’s character, but unfortunately there was always a little something missing for me in this book to bring it to a solid four stars. It’s a fun and sexy read, don’t get me wrong, just wasn’t as good as the first book for me. Now that may very well be because I’m not a reader that enjoys the mousy kind of heroines, and Chloe, besides her penchant for role-playing (and not just of the cosplay variety) was a mostly forgettable heroine. Aside from that, I never fully developed a connection for Grant and Chloe together. They definitely burn up the sheets together, but I wanted something more. It almost felt like their connection was solidly based on just sex and then had a sudden turn around to something deeper towards the end. It just didn’t feel like a natural transition for me, I suppose.

But where Chloe didn’t garner much interest for me, her brother Ethan drew me in like a beacon. I love me those broken and broody heroes and man oh man but Ethan fit the bill. I’m absolutely salivating for his book.

I definitely recommend this book for fans of this series. While I may have enjoyed it less than the first book, I still enjoyed it. A perfectly sexy contemporary romance to spend an afternoon with. I’m highly looking forward to the next book.


DON’T MISS THE FIRST BOOK IN THE GAMERS SERIES

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Review: ★Blackmailed by the Hero★ by Julie Patrick

Review BbtH Blackmailed By The Hero
Series: Gone Hollywood #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Julie Particka
Release Date: August 11, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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The wrong bed. The wrong guy. 

Party planner Vicky Stone is on a post-divorce mission. Not only does she intend to land her dream promotion, she’s going to indulge in a night of hot hook-up sex. Preferably with the hunky actor she just met at a work function, no-fraternization rules be damned. Fortunately, his drunken directions included a right that should have been a left, landing her in bed with her brother’s extra-hot, extra-off-limits best friend instead of the unemployment line.

And, oh, he feels good. Too good.

Bad boy Dante Palladino’s forbidden fantasies are about to come true…until Vicky realizes who she’s feeling up. And to find out she risked her job for sex with some loser? Not on his watch. Dante throws down the ultimate, albeit self-serving, blackmail. Vicky will date him-and only him-and her secret will be safe. But Vicky swore never to fall for another guy who could break her heart…and Dante’s on course to do just that.

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Review

3 stars

BbtH-DirtyGirlRomance

I want you, Vicky Stone. I’ve wanted you for five years, and I sure as hell want you to know I thought you were worth the wait.”

First let me preface my review by saying that my lower rating had nothing to do with the book not being wonderful; it was a sweet and sexy romance. It has everything to do with my own personal preference. So please don’t let my rating deter. Three stars, after all, means that I did enjoy it overall, just a few things kept it from being a 4 or 5 star.

Vicky Stone is Evan Stone’s sister from Tempting Her Fake Fiancé. But if you haven’t read that book, don’t worry, because you can easily read this one as a standalone. If you’re looking for a sweet brother’s best friend romance sort of thing, this will definitely fit the bill. But don’t let the title or the synopsis deceive you, because to be quite frank, I didn’t really find Dante to be a bad boy in any sense of the word. Perhaps that’s what kept this at a solid three stars for me; different expectations.

Dante Palladino has had feelings for Vicky as long as he’s known her. Starting his career as a wrestling superstar and moving towards movies now hasn’t exactly meant he’s been a saint when it comes to women. But this is not the bad boy you might be expecting. Sure he’s pierced in all the right places (and I mean THE RIGHT places) but for me that was as “bad” as he got. What he was, was a nice guy that made that evident from the very beginning. His motivation is honorable, even if his means aren’t the best.

I enjoyed this book for the most part, but it was also missing a certain something for me too. An oompf of sorts. It just didn’t have that Brazen feeling. I felt like I was reading a Lovestruck or maybe even an indulgence. Oh fine! It was just too “nice” for me. God! I feel dirty just writing that, but it’s the truth. I needed a little more from this. The conflict at the end felt forced and contrived just to keep pushing the plot, though the resolution of it was sweet. But again, this was a definite case of it’s me and not the book. It was simply just too sweet for my tastes. There. I said it.

If you enjoyed the first book in this series, you’re sure to enjoy this one. My favorite part of the story was Vicky’s best friend, Jade. So I’m really hoping her book will be next. I’m still a fan of this series, it was just that this book simply didn’t wow me. It just was. Not great, not bad, and not anything I’d go back to, but still a fun read.



DON’T MISS BOOK ONE IN THE GONE HOLLYWOOD SERIES

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Review: ★Master No★ by Lexi Blake

Review Master No Master No
Series: Master & Mercenaries #9
Genre: Romantic Suspense, BDSM
Author: Lexi Blake
Release Date: August 4, 2015
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Disavowed by those he swore to protect…

Tennessee Smith is a wanted man. Betrayed by his government and hunted by his former employer, he’s been stripped of everything he holds dear. If the CIA finds him, they’re sure to take his life as well. His only shot at getting it all back is taking down the man who burned him. He knows just how to get to Senator Hank McDonald and that’s through his daughter, Faith. In order to seduce her, he must become something he never thought he’d be—a Dom.

Overcome by isolation and duty…

All her life, Dr. Faith “Mac” McDonald has felt alone, even among her family. Dedicating herself to helping others and making a difference in the world has brought her some peace, but a year spent fighting the Ebola virus in West Africa has taken a toll. She’s come home for two months of relaxation before she goes back into the field. After holding so many lives in her hands, nothing restores her like the act of submission. Returning to her favorite club, Mac is drawn to the mysterious new Dom all the subs are talking about, Master No. In the safety of his arms, she finds herself falling head over heels in love.

Forced to choose between love and revenge…

On an exclusive Caribbean island, Ten and Mac explore their mutual attraction, but her father’s plots run deeper than Ten could possibly have imagined. With McKay-Taggart by his side, Ten searches for a way to stop the senator, even as his feelings for Mac become too strong to deny. In the end, he must choose between love and revenge—a choice that will change his life forever.

Buy-Links10Amazon / iBooks / B&N

Review

5 stars
I unfortunately don’t have the time to write this the full and glowing review this amazing book deserves, but I can’t just give it 5 stars and call it a day either. This was easily, hands down, the best book in the series. I had some high hopes for Ten “Master No” Smith, and all I can say is they weren’t met, they were exceeded. The amazing thing is that nine books into the series, it just keeps getting better and better, which is no easy feat.

First, I would recommend not reading this as a standalone even though plenty of background is given for you to do that easily. This series always has a suspense element arc that is carried on through each book while having it’s own individual HEA. While Mr. Black was taken care of in Ian’s book (Love and Let Die, there is now a new baddie and they’re even more powerful. You get the full gist of this in Jessie’s book in You Only Love Twice. So I highly recommend reading these books in order to truly appreciate what’s going on beyond the romance and all the secondary characters (from past books and new ones just introduced)

What I can tell you is this was so much more than just a romance and also much more than suspense. It was captivating, emotional, heart-pounding, erotic, suspenseful, gut-wrenching. In 2 words? Un-fucking-believably good. I knew Ten had quite the history to him but nothing prepared me for the full dose of what he’d been through.

Faith “Mac” McDonald was his perfect equal and balance in every way. I loved her quiet and unassuming strength. Considering the family she comes from, she was definitely a pleasant surprise. Even though it feels like their “courtship” is quick, it also wasn’t. I’m not sure how Lexi Blake managed to pull that off, but she did. How you can formulate such an intense and believable connections through emails and conversations and a few meetings short after, I have no idea. But not only did she pull it off, she did it flawlessly. I loved it.

Nothing and I mean nothing prepared me for that last 25%. I cried my damn eyes out. I’m talking ugly crying, sniveling, whole body shaking kind of crying. It fucking gutted me. I loved every miserable second of it. The set up for a certain character in this book is nothing short of incredible. I’m pretty sure I’d part with an ovary if not both to get my hands on his book. I mean, OH MY GOD! Are you fucking kidding me? GAH! And his book isn’t even the next one. I think the wait just may kill me. I’m not even kidding. Kill me dead.

If you haven’t yet discovered this phenomenal series yet, you are really missing out. Espionage, heart-pounding suspense, scorching sex, and unforgettable love stories all combined for an absolutely unputdownable read. I can’t recommend it enough. If this book doesn’t make you a die-hard fan of this author, I don’t know what will.


Don’t Miss The Rest of The Series!

The Dom Who Loved Me (Masters & Mercenaries #1)
The Men With The Golden Cuffs (Masters and Mercenaries #2)
A View to a Thrill (Masters and Mercenaries #7)

Review: ★Afternoon Delight★ by Anne Calhoun

Review Afternoon Delight Afternoon Delight
Series: Irresistible #1
Genre: Erotic, Contemporary Romance
Author: Anne Calhoun
Release Date: September 16, 2014add-to-goodreads-button31

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“Anne Calhoun’s romances define the erotic”* and now the national bestselling author of Uncommon Passion serves up a delicious new novella of savory food and hungry men—and one woman’s challenge to get creative with each…

Sarah McCall, food truck co-owner and recent Manhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck’s menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who’s fast becoming her favorite customer.

 

 

 

 

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[Read more…]

Review: ★Strong Enough★ by M. Leighton

Review Strong EnoughStrong Enough
Series: Tall, Dark, and Dangerous #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: M. Leighton
Release Date: August 4, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31

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From the author of the New York Times bestselling Bad Boys novels comes the first in a dark, sexy contemporary trilogy.

Is she strong enough to trust the most dangerous man she’s ever met? And is he strong enough to let her?

How would I describe myself? Well, I’m Muse Harper. I’m a twenty-something painter who loves red wine, quirky movies, and men with a fatal flaw. But that was before I met Jasper King. He became my fatal flaw. Eight months ago, I had a choice to make—abandon everything I’ve ever known to protect my family, or stay and risk someone getting hurt. I chose the former. My plan was working just fine until I found out my father had gone missing.

That’s when I met Jasper. A bounty hunter with the eyes of a tiger and the nose of a bloodhound, he was supposed to help me find my father. What I didn’t know was that meeting him was no accident. Hunting people isn’t all that Jasper does. And helping me was only part of his plan. I just wish I’d found out sooner, before my heart got involved. But even then, I don’t know if I’d have done things differently.

Now, I have another choice to make—trust the man that I’m falling in love with and hope that he’ll do the right thing, or run as far away from him as I can get.

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Review

4 starsStrong Enough- DirtyGirlRomance

I want her bad. But even when that happens, it will be with the knowledge of what’s to come, of how I’ll betray her. What kind of person could do that?
A monster, that’s who.
And I’m that monster.

If the prologue here doesn’t grip you by the throat and suck you right in, we’re not reading the same book, because HOLY SHIT! Talk about your attention grabber. M. Leighton really doesn’t pull any punches and I knew I was in for a page turner from the first chapter alone. Intense, gritty, erotic, with a dash of mystery and suspense, Strong Enough is the beginning of what’s bound to be yet another winner from this talented author.

He doesn’t have to say a word, doesn’t have to move a muscle to exude confidence and capability. And danger. Lots and lots of danger.

Muse Harper left her life to protect someone she loves, but now with her father gone missing, she’s desperate for answers and bounty hunter, Jasper King, may be able to help her with the answers she needs. There’s just one problem; he’s not who he is and has his own agenda that poses a much bigger threat to Muse than the disappearance of her father.

I’m probably the worst thing in the world for you. The worst thing that would feel like the best.

Strong Enough1-DirtyGirlRomanceThe reader is left to assume Jasper’s history and you’re definitely in the dark about his agenda through most of the book, which just serves to make him even more intense than he already is. Jasper was the perfect enigma. He’s deliciously sexy while exuding a raw danger, all wrapped up in muscled tattooed perfection. The man was pure sex on a stick. The chemistry between him and Muse is instant and burns so hot, the pages practically sizzle with it. Jasper knows that he’s deceiving Muse, he may be helping her find her father, but his end game is not one that she expects. The more he gets to know the woman, the more ridden he is with guilt about his inevitable betrayal. Wanting her is not a question, allowing himself to have her is the ultimate taboo.

The kiss is different from his first. That one said wanting me was an inconvenient truth. This one says having me is an inevitability.

While Jasper was a character I fell for right away, Muse took a while to warm up to for me. She’s just a touch away from being almost too naive. She definitely dangles on the very fine edge of it and there’s things she does and says that made me want to shake her. It’s like the woman has absolutely zero self preservation instinct. Jasper may fight his attraction to Muse, but Muse certainly knows what she wants and she’s not as willing to deny herself. She also wants more than she knows Jasper will be able to give her, but that doesn’t stop her from craving.

How do you think love is supposed to work? How does it work for you?”
“It holds you captive, whether you want it to or not. It never lets you go, no matter how much you want to be set free.”

Strong Enough 2-DirtyGirlRomanceAs much as Muse may have frustrated me in parts of the story, I absolutely loved the two of them together. It’s this push pull that exists between them that just makes things even more erotic that they already are. It’s like you’re privy to something that Muse doesn’t know yet and you’re still rooting for Jasper who for all intents and purposes may very well be the bad guy.

I trust my tongue into her pussy. I thrust my finger into her ass. I penetrate her, body and soul, until she pours out for me like she’s making a sacrifice to the god of war. And I drink her in. Her acquiescence, her surrender, her acceptance, I drink it all in.

Fans of her other books will appreciate the appearance of a certain couple here that made me a little giddy to read about; Cash and Olivia. There’s also the introduction of a few secondary characters that I’m already desperate to read about.

The ending gives you just enough to satisfy while also leaving you practically salivating for the next book. An MMA fighter that’s also special ops? Are you freaking kidding me. I don’t think I’d survive the wait. If you’re looking for an erotic romance with just the right amount of edge, Strong Enough is certainly that. The title of this series is quite appropriate, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. I simply can’t wait for more.

Sarò sempre pensare a te.

Excerpt & Review: ★Servicing The Target★ by @CheriseSinclair

STT Review & Excerpt Tour Banner Servicing The Target
Series: Master of the Shadowlands #10
Author: Cherise Sinclair
Genre: BDSM Romance
Release Date: July 28, 2015add-to-goodreads-button31Servicing the Target - cover

A discharged Army Ranger, Ben considers his job as a BDSM club security guard to be an excellent hobby. He’s never been tempted to join in. But everything changes when the notorious Mistress Anne inadvertently reveals the caring heart concealed beneath her Domme armor.

Now, he’s set his sights on the beautiful Shadowlands Mistress. Maybe he’d considered himself vanilla, but she can put her stiletto on his chest any day, any time. He’ll trust her delicate hands to hold his heart. And if she wants to whip his ass on the way to an outstanding climax, he’s just fine with that too.

Sure, he knows she likes “pretty boy” slaves. And he’s older. Craggy and rough. And six-five. Minor hindrances. The mission is a go.

 

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STT - Teaser 1

Excerpt

He’d lied to her because of his own fears.
They’d both messed up.Oh, Ben.Why had he told her he wanted to be her slave? Whatever had possessed him? She’d known he was almost vanilla. Had cautioned him because he was so new to the lifestyle. Told him he was rushing things.Her eyes welled with tears. Her memory of that day was so clear, the joy she’d felt so brilliant. “I’ll be your slave.”And because she remembered so well, she also recalled what had happened before. How Ben had handed her the phone.Joey’d been on the line.She froze as the puzzle came together.Oh. Damn.After a long moment, she rubbed her hands over her face gently. Her skin felt fragile, as if a sudden movement might cause pieces to fall away.Joey’d asked to be her slave again, and Ben had heard enough to worry.She sighed, seeing how events had created the inevitability of this day. Because Ben wasn’t the sort of man who’d allow someone to poach his woman. If he’d been with her longer or understood more about the lifestyle, he’d have known he didn’t want a 24/7 submissive or slave relationship.But Joey had forced his hand.She’d been so stunned—“Yes, Ma’am, this is what I want”—and so filled with happiness, that she hadn’t questioned his motivation.Then, as she tumbled into loving him, she’d seen only what she wanted to see. Love might be blind, but it was also deaf, dumb, and stupid.She pressed her lips together. Her heedlessness had hurt them both.Now what should she do?A half-laugh escaped. The person she’d normally ask for guidance would be Ben. She rubbed her chest where the aching mass of bruised heart muscle hadn’t stopped throbbing. Heknew her. He’d have given her solid advice because he liked her the way she was.

With him, she’d been able to relax and not stay “on” all the time.

Was that because he didn’t need her to always be strong and invulnerable.

He was smart. Easygoing. Deadly. Competent. A survivor of the worst New York could throw at him and war, as well. He didn’t need her to make his decisions.

She blew out a breath, feeling like an idiot. Caught up in the way she always did things, she’d tried to make every choice for her, for him, for them.

He didn’t need her to be in charge.

What about her? Could she cope with a relationship where she wasn’t in control all the time?

Rather than an instant “no,” she heard only silence. As if the answer was…maybe. How odd.

STT Teaser 2

Review5 starsServicing The Target- DirtyGirlRomance

I’m going to hurt you, Ben- because this is what I told you I’d do. And because this is what you obviously want me to do.”

I’m not typically a fan of Domme heroines, but when it’s Cherise Sinclair writing it, it’d be a sin for me not to at least attempt it. Well imagine my shock that I can now say that this may have easily been my favorite Shadowlands book yet. Of course it figures that it would be this author that will not only make fall in love with the story and the characters but also appreciate a strong Domme. If you’re on the fence about reading it, you need to jump off the damn fence and READ IT…or else deVries will come and spank you. Trust me when I tell you that you will to be left disappointed.

Before last night, he’d hoped that if he had a taste of her, got a little closer, his curiosity would be satisfied. Instead, like the first shot of fine whiskey, she’d teased his appetite.
Now he’d set his sights on the woman.
And- as his team in the Rangers had witnessed- he never missed.

I think my hesitancy in reading about a submissive hero was that eventually he’d be too submissive for me. You know what I’m saying here? Like he’d lose some of his alpha, and if there’s one thing I need in my heroes is that absolute alpha vibe. Well, my friends, Ben is ALL alpha. If you don’t fall whips over stilettos for this man from the first few chapters, we’re not reading the same book. Ben has always been the man in the background of this series. The gentle giant that guards the doors of Shadowlands and absolutely vanilla, he’s always been a bit unassuming but you just knew there’s something intense brewing underneath the service. So of course it would take Mistress Anne to bring it to the surface and make him face his true desires.

This was not a man to be underestimated. Give him an inch and he’d take the entire country.

StT-DirtyGirlRomanceBen struggles with his desire for Mistress Anne because while it’s clear he has more…submissive desires in bed, that’s also where it ends. Anne likes the pretty boys and he’s definitely a few years and a few scars away from that, but he’ll gladly submit to her sharp stilettos and whip. But the ultimate deal breaker may be that Anne wants a slave and Ben doesn’t see himself submitting his control so fully.

He’d joined the U.S. Army to protect his country and moved into the Rangers to do an even better job. Anne might be the Dominant, but this soldier operated under his own priorities.

I loved the power play between these two. Ben, while being submissive, never loses his intensity. Being a former Ranger this is a man that protects those he loves with a single minded intensity, and it’s hard for him to turn that off long enough for Anne to take the reins. While on the outside they seem to be the unlikeliest match, together they make a perfect kind of sense. Their chemistry together is absolutely mind-blowing.
As far as Anne goes, well it doesn’t get more kick-ass than her. A fugitive recovery agent by day, this is a woman that knows how to throw a punch to fall a man twice her size. This is not only a woman that makes men shrivel in fear in the dungeon, she certainly handles her own outside of it. What I really loved about her is the vulnerability that was so evident about her. I think that’s what truly made her as endearing as she was. And the fact that Ben saw it and did everything to try and shelter her made me fall for him even more.

She reminded him of a glass knife. Unbelievably sharp, yet frighteningly vulnerable to being shattered. And she brought out every protective instinct he had.

Anne is tough, but beneath the leather and heels is a gentle soul of a woman that didn’t have an easy childhood growing up as an army brat and being constantly undermined by her military father. Being the only girl in the family doesn’t make it easier. But that doesn’t stop her from going after what she wants and leading a team of other agents in her job all while being constantly harassed by her misogynistic asshole of a cousin. She’s always having to prove herself, but she lets it roll off her back. I loved how protective she was of Ben too. I was worried that their relationship dynamic may come off as slightly emasculating, but it was never that. It was always this perfect power balance between them and man did I enjoy that.

Sheena’s face paled, but she still…stupidly…tried to speak.
“Listen, you—”
“Maybe your wimpy friends put up with you touching and hanging on their men, but I don’t. Hands off.” She twisted to put her hand on Ben’s stomach in her own claiming gesture. Why be subtle? “Mine.”

Cherise Sinclair always manages to write an incredible romance that’s laced with an erotic touch of BDSM and this book was no exception. I loved every single page of it and never wanted it to end. What I really appreciate about these books is that they’re so much more than sex or BDSM. At the heart of it, it’s a touching and emotional love story about two people that are imperfectly perfect and yet perfect together. Having read this author’s entire backlist, I can say that without a second thought and mean every word. No one writes an erotic BDSM romance quite like her.

As always all the favorite characters from the previous books make an appearance and even get a POV in this one. I loved getting a little more Z and Jessica, and of course Raoul and Kim was great as well. It felt like the added perk on top of what was already a fantastic story. If you’ve enjoyed the previous books in the series, it’s pretty much a safe bet that you will love this one. And if you haven’t yet discovered this incredible author yet? I’m really not sure what you’re doing with your life.


About the Author

Author PhotoHaving to wear glasses in elementary school can scar a person for life.

Dubbed a nerd at an early age, Cherise Sinclair has been trying to live up to the stereotype ever since. And what better way than being an author?

Known for writing deeply emotional stories, the USA Today Bestselling Author has penned sixteen erotic romance novels, most with a BDSM theme. (Please do not mention the phrase mommy porn in her presence.) Her awards range from a National Leather Award to a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice nomination to a GoodReads BDSM group award for best author of the year.

Cherise lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband. Their two fledglings have left the nest recently to try their wings and hopefully will fly high and strong. The “ascendant erotica queen” (Rolling Stone Magazine) now spends her days writing with occasional supervision from a sadistic calico cat.

Website /Facebook / Twitter /Goodreads / 1001 Dark Nights

New Release & Review: ★The Hotter You Burn★ by @genashowalter

HotterYouBurn_banner The Hotter You Burn
Series: The Original Heartbreakers #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Gena Showalter
Release Date: July 28, 2015
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The Hotter you Burn

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a sizzling Original Heartbreakers tale featuring a troubled playboy and the woman he can’t resist…

Beck O’ckley is ruthless in the boardroom…and the bedroom. He’s never been with the same woman twice, and vows he never will. With a past as twisted as his, meaningless sex keeps the demons at bay. His motto: One and done. No harm, no foul.

Harlow Glass is the most hated girl in town. The beautiful artist is penniless, jobless and homeless. When she sneaks into Beck’s home—her ancestral estate—for food, she’s shocked by his early return…and her immediate, sizzling and intense attraction to him.

For the first time in Beck’s life, he can’t get a woman out of his mind. All too soon, friendship blooms into obsession and he’ll have to break her heart…or surrender his own.

Buy-Links10Amazon /  iBooks / B&N

Excerpt

“I’d like to hire you to paint my portrait.”Harlow almost bounced out of her seat, but caught herself with a single thought. Can’t appear too hasty. “Okay,” she said, playing with the edge of a piece of paper. “If you insist. And if the price is right.” She’d drawn countless images of Beck, but the thought of painting him to scale and seeing him in full color intoxicated her. She could play with different shades of gold, brown and bronze, and even a wealth of greens to get the emerald flecks hidden so deeply in his eyes just right.Maybe Kimberly had nailed it. Maybe Harlow had stared at Beck for reasons that had nothing to do with the job.

“Name a figure.” He slowly, leisurely, walked back to the couch and eased down, the whiskey in hand. “Whatever it is, lollipop, I’ll pay it.”

The new endearment startled her, considering he hadn’t used one these past three weeks. The fact that he’d gone with lollipop, something sweet and edible he’d never called the others…

I’m special to him.

Oh, no, no, no. Red alert! Red alert! That was the true danger of him. Somehow, he made everyone feel special.

“That’s a daring thing to say,” she stated quietly.

“But true nonetheless.”

She placed her elbows on the desk and leaned forward. “Very well. The price is…” Inspiration struck, and she smiled evilly. “You can’t have sex for a week.”

His eyes narrowed to tiny slits, but he appeared far from angry. “Why do you care about my sex life?”

“I care about you, and I think abstinence will help build character.”

He didn’t miss a beat. “You care? Very well, I accept.” No time to celebrate. “With two caveats,” he added. “The week won’t start until the painting is done.” He smiled now, and it was a wicked one. “Also, I want the painting to be a nude.”

Her breath caught in her throat, only to exit on a gust. “I…you…excuse me?”

“A nude. Meaning I won’t be wearing any clothing. If you want to strip down, that’ll be okay too.”

This was punishment for daring to impede his sex life, wasn’t it? “I’ve never actually painted or even drawn what you’re suggesting, and I’m not sure I have the skill.” Or if she would survive.

“I have complete faith in your ability. And as an artist, a professional, I’ll expect you to view me strictly through objective eyes. You can do that, can’t you?”

“Of course,” she said. She could absolutely, one hundred percent view him through objective eyes…if he wore a cloak of invisibility. But even then it would be iffy. “Why do you want a nude?” she demanded, hoping to shame him into retracting his request.

“Maybe I enjoy the thought of disrobing for you.” His voice had gone low and husky, a caress of unfettered temptation, making her shiver. “Maybe I like the thought of your eyes on my bare skin and your hands forming the shapes of my body.”

She gulped. Having only ever dealt with boys, never with men, she had no idea how to respond to so blatant a statement.

“Or,” he said, his voice returning to its normal fun, flirty tone. “Maybe I’m narcissistic and want to immortalize every inch of myself. How is one to know?”

How indeed. “When would you like to start?”

“Tonight.”

I’m going to hate myself for reminding him of this, but… “What about your date? I can’t—won’t—hurt Kimberly.”

“I think we both know she was about to cancel on me. Which makes me wonder what the two of you were discussing.”

Shifting uncomfortably, she said, “I will never betray a confidence.”

“I could change your mind, but I won’t. I admire your mindset.” His gaze dropped to the pulse fluttering in her neck. “I’ll arrive at seven, and I’ll bring dinner.”

“Yes. I’d like that.” A lot. And it wasn’t the thought of food that made her heart race, but the thought of having him in her space. Alone…naked. Within reach.

She sucked in a breath. Oh…crap. The worst had happened, hadn’t it?

Kimberly had figured it out, but Harlow had done her best to deny it until the truth practically vibrated in her bones. How had she ever fooled herself into thinking she could fall for West…when she’d already fallen for Beck?

“What’s wrong, dove?” he asked gently. He came around the desk and sat at the edge, turning her chair to trap her between his legs. “You were twinkles one moment, sullen the next.”

He always read her so well, while she always struggled to make sense of his moods. Life wasn’t fair. “It’s nothing I want to discuss right now,” she said, refusing to lie to him. But she had to talk to someone about this.

Who? She had no confidants, and any secrets she revealed to others could be used as a weapon against her. A game of “humiliate Harlow for sport.”

“What will it take to get you to trust me, hmm?”

Was he serious? “Beck, for the past three weeks you’ve treated me like I’m a carrier of cholera. Why do you want my trust?”

“You’re my friend.”

But I want to be more. “Yes,” she said, and cleared her throat. “You’re right. I am.”

“So talk to me like a friend. Share your past with me. Tell me what changed you in high school.”

Her mouth went dry. Always they circled back to this. “Forget I agreed to be your friend. We’re enemies.”

“You’ll tell me what’s easy, but nothing that’s hard.”

“I don’t like to think about what changed me. It hurts.”

“Pain fades. Rip off the bandage and give the wound a chance to heal.”

“No.” If she told him, she’d have to show him. If she showed him, he’d never want her again. And right now he wanted her. He had to. The way he was looking at her…

He leaned down until his nose almost brushed against hers. “One day, Harlow, you’ll open up to me.”

“One day,” she whispered. “Maybe. But probably not.”

He cupped her nape, the heat of him making her gasp. “Definitely. And in more ways than one. I’ll make sure of it.”

HotterYouBurn_graphic

 

Review
5 starsTHYB-DGR

He couldn’t have her without committing to her. He had to have her, but he couldn’t commit to her. It was the surest way to lose her forever.

I’ll admit, I was a little apprehensive reading this book after not quite loving the first book in this series. But then Beck O’ckley was the hero that really captivated me in The Closer You Come with his one-and-done policy with women. Who doesn’t love an unrepentant manwhore? I certainly do. Then you have the heroine, Harlow Glass, as the most hated girl in town that’s still paying for her high school bullying days all those years ago. Add in some sizzling sexual chemistry with a dash of humor and you have the recipe for the perfect contemporary romance. I loved this book!

Just then she was a woman who’d stepped straight from his sweetest dreams- and his worst nightmares. Someone who changed the rules of the game.

First of all, if you haven’t read the first book in the series, don’t worry, because you can easily read this one as a standalone. However, The Closer You Come does give the background to the three men and helps set up each of their individual books, so it does help to read the series in order.

Beck is the most easy going of his three friends. But beneath his take-nothing-too-seriously demeanor, is the broken soul of a man that’s been through hell and back. Abandoned as a child and going through the system as a foster kid solidified his belief that nothing is permanent. When his friend spent 9 years behind bars for a crime all three of them committed, it also gave him a good dose of guilt that he still can’t shake. Beck has a one night only policy with women. That’s all he has to give them, one sweaty passionate night spent between the sheets and that’s it. No repeats. He’s not lacking for female attention, so imagine his surprise when one particular woman won’t leave his mind and tempts him beyond reason. She’s also the woman that won’t give him the time of day.

The day my panties drop for you,” she said without any sharpness, “is the day I want to be taken behind one of the sheds and shot.”
“Because you’ll know you’ll never have me again and you won’t be able to live with the pain?”

Harlow Glass is the the town’s pariah. Her vicious bullying back in high school made her persona non grata in her small town, and the town residents are not quick to forget. But she’s so much more than she made people believe. This is a woman that’s suffered her own pain and in high school her way of dealing with a verbally abusive father at home is to project that hate outward to hide her pain and powerlessness. Now with the recent passing of her mother, Harlow is down on her luck; penniless, jobless and homeless. On top of it, her beloved childhood home is now occupied by someone else, and one of them is Beck. When she sneaks into the house to steal a pie, she gets more than she bargained for.

Do you know how painful it is to crave something with every fiber of your being? To want it more than you want water to drink?”

The Hotter You Burn had that signature Gena Showalter snarky humor that I’ve come to know and love. The banter between Harlow and Beck had me grinning like a fool for a good portion of the book.

For all you know, my ANYTHING is better than any other you’ve seen.”
“You thinks so?” His gaze dropped to her chest. “Show me.” A croak. But was it a demand- or a plea?
Desire mingled with panic, and she gulped. “Not even if you begged me.”
“I’ve never begged before. But there’s a first time for everything, isn’t there?”

I was afraid that the situation that Harlow is now facing would make her a shy little mouse, but she wasn’t that at all. Beyond her terrible situation, this was a woman that had a backbone. Even if that backbone allowed the town people to shit on her, because she thinks she deserves it after what she’d done. She views it as her atonement.
The push and pull between her and Beck had me going back and forth between wanting to pull my hair out and icing my ovaries, because holy lady blue balls! The tension was almost unbearable at times. But at the same time it was oh so delicious.

Harlow was a sickness, and bedding her was the only cure.

As much as I loved the tension between them, I have to admit that at times it was so frustrating, I wanted to scream. Beck’s inability to believe he can give Harlow anything beyond one night, trying to set her up with her dream man, going on double dates, I wanted to shake the ever loving stubbornness out of the man! Luckily there were the secondary characters that provided the comedic relief this book surely needed to lighten the weight of it.

Trouser snake? Really? “What about man meat? Or even the middle snake?” Harlow suggested.
Jessie Kay nodded thoughtfully. “Or we could go with something simple like the peen. If we wanted to get technical, we’d have to go with the meatsicle. Or the anaconda, but that’s on a case-by-case basis.”
Daphne tried for a stern expression, only to ruin it with a snort. “I am not playing this game. But if I were, I’d suggest we call it the weenie wonka.”

I even found myself warming up to Jessie Kay in this book, which I never and I mean EVER thought would happen.

At the end of it, I loved every part of this book, even the frustrating ones. I loved the snarky, sarcastic humor. I loved the banter. I loved the MCs and all the secondary characters. I loved the story and the romance.

What do you need me to do?” she asked breathily. “Whatever it is, I’ll do it.”
“Just keep breathing, baby.”

This was the perfect contemporary romance to spend a weekend with. It had it all; the laughs, the swoons, the sexy…did I mention the laughs?

Careful. You keep that up, and you’ll find yourself flat on your back, Beck Jr. deep inside you.”
“You mean the Baconator?”
He barked out a laugh. “You’ve named my penis the Baconator?”
“What? I like bacon.”

If you’re like me and didn’t love the first book, trust me and give this book a chance. It had everything I’ve come to love in Gena’s writing. It even has me wanting to read Jessie Kay’s book now, which as much as I hated her in book 1 is saying a hell of a lot.



About the Author

Gena Author Photo 1

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose works have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly. Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television. Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.” Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.

 

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