Review: Iron Princess by Meghan March

IRON PRINCESS
Series: Savage Trilogy #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Author: Meghan March
Release Day: April 24, 2018

He’s a mystery. An enigma.

 

His very identity is a secret buried beneath layers of deception.

 

He’s also an addiction I can’t shake. An attraction I can’t fight.

 

And then I found out exactly who he is—a man more dangerous than the devil himself.

 

Now I need him in order to save everything that matters to me.

 

I have to pull back. Protect myself from the danger that haunts his every step.

 

Which would be easy . . . if I could stop myself from falling in love with him.

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He’s big and forbidden, but somehow, that makes him infinitely more striking. And he’s struck me so hard as to knock me completely off-balance.

Sweet mother of god! I feel like I need a xanax, a hug, and a room with padded walls after that ending. How? HOW?! How does Meghan March continue to come up with these mind blowing cliffhangers? Every time I think it was crazy in one book, the next one comes along and BAM! Head exploding!

I should have signed a damn waiver before reading this book. Warning: cliffhanger may cause early labor. Proceed at your own risk. Swear to gawd! I can’t even right now. Can’t. Even. The woman is an evil genius. Clearly.

As for this book? Where do I even begin? You fall deeper down the rabbit hole with Temperance and for every answer you get, you’re left with ten more questions.

He’s a dangerous man. A man I shouldn’t be drawn to. Shouldn’t want more than I want to breathe right now. But I do. And as much as I want to throw my control at his feet, I hang on to a thread, telling myself it matters.

What I love about Meghan’s books is she always creates these extremely tough heroines that are the perfect balance to the immensely intense males that she never fails to hook her readers with. And man oh man, it doesn’t get more intense that this man. I thought Mount was dangerously sexy, but this man? He’s something else entirely. He’s demanding, protective, dangerously lethal, and completely unpredictable. Luckily a good chunk of the story takes place in his POV, and it was one twisted ride being inside his head.

Of course in true Meghan March fashion, it was action packed, suspenseful, and sinfully sexy. And just when you’re lulled into a semblance of control in thinking you know what’s coming, she hits you with the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers! So if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to console myself with a tub of ice cream as I rock myself in a corner until the final installment in this twisty and addicting trilogy.


GRAB THE REST OF THE TRILOGY

SAVAGE PRINCE 

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IRON PRINCESS

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ROGUE ROYALTY

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A New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels, Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She’s also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she’s ever had.

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Review: Locked Box by Eve Dangerfield

LOCKED BOX
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Author: Eve Dangerfield
Release Date: April 15, 2018

Julia Bennett isn’t having a great day.

Funding for her video game is low, her day job is sucking her dry, and to cap it all off she’s locked in a police station with the very handsome, extremely married guy she’s been avoiding at all costs.

Max Connor isn’t having a great year.

He’s getting divorced, his best friend is squatting in his house, and his inappropriate crush on the IT girl is getting way out of hand.

And that was before he locked the two of them in an evidence room.

Surrounded by three decades’ worth of drugs, guns, and floppy disks, Max and Julia are forced to confront the heat that lies between them with dangerous, funny, and occasionally toe-curlingly sexy results.

AMAZON

Going to punish me, Max? Going to make me suffer?”
“Baby, you are gonna get fucked so hard. Once you’re wet enough, I’m gonna turn you over and drill you ’til that smart mouth can’t say anything but my fucking name.”

Stop what you’re doing!!

Right now!

Do you hear that?

That’s the sound of BOTH of my ovaries exploding. Because sweet baby Jesus this book. THIS BOOK. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Eve Dangerfield never fails to make my ovaries happeh.

She serves up deliciously kinky alpha males and sweat inducing dirty talk, and somehow blends it together with a sizzling story and hooks her readers from beginning to finish.

You wanna play this game, sweetheart? You wanna make my dick hard and turn me into a fucking animal? Then you need to understand I can make pleasure hurt twice as bad as pain and I love making horny little brats beg for mercy, so you need to watch what you say to me. Is that clear?”

What happens when you get accidentally locked in the evidence room with a man you’ve been crushing on for years? A whole lot of sexy times, is what. Julia Bennett has been lusting after Max Connor for longer than she cares to admit. But he’s very much hands off, and also very taken. But what she doesn’t know, is Max is also as taken with her and is about to be very divorced. Forced to finally confront the feelings that have been brewing between them for years, Max and Julia give into the undeniable chemistry between them in what turns out to be some of the hottest sex scenes I’ve read in a while. As much as Max tries to reign in his dark desires, they come out full force with Julia and man are they delicious.

But there’s a lot more to their attraction than you’re first led to believe. As you peel back the layers of their history and their connection, puzzle pieces begin to click in place. And what seems like a sizzling office hookup at first, soon turns out to be something much more.

I couldn’t get enough of these two. Julia’s quirkiness was the perfect balance to Max’s intense brooding. Their chemistry was off the charts hot, and the story was addicting. I devoured it in one sitting and then got to enjoy the bonus novella at the end as the icing on top.

#DGRFave & Review: Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

BIRTHDAY GIRL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Penelope Douglas
Release Date: April 17, 2018

JORDAN

He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.

He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.

He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.

I have to stop this. It can’t happen.

My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.

Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.

I am.

PIKE
I took her in, because I thought I was helping.

She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.

As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.

The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.

But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.

And her boyfriend’s father.

Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.

AMAZON

You make my heart pound so hard it hurts, Jordan. You, your mouth, and who you are, it all makes me want to touch you. It makes me not want to stop this.”

When I saw that Penelope Douglas was coming out with a surprise release, I didn’t even blink before adding the book. When I read the blurb, I think a small part of me cringed, while a bigger part of it was screaming GIMME!! See, I love a forbidden romance. But there’s something about the whole father thing that just gives me the blehs too. It takes an immensely talented author to pull off a story like this without making it torrid, pervy and cringe worthy. Luckily for me, Penelope Douglas is that rare unicorn of authors that can not only pull it off, but make you fall in love with it too.

And that’s what I am. Her boyfriend’s father. Nothing more. But deep in my heart, the small ember growing bigger and bigger every day knows that’s a lie.

Jordan is a heroine that’s impossible not to like. Mature beyond her years due to the way she grew up, this is not your typical 19 year old. With a mother that left years ago and a deadbeat trailer trash father, it’s been her and her older sister fending for themselves. With an adorable adoration of all things 80s, Jordan was easy to connect with. While her sister has no problem supporting herself and young child by being a stripper, Jordan wants more. Moving in with her boyfriend’s father rent free will allow her to save up enough to put herself on her feet and to get that more that she craves. But it also brings a whole lot more complications in the form of an interaction to her boyfriend’s young father that seems to only intensify over time.

I think what really made me connect with Jordan is how well Douglas handled this character’s development. There’s glimpses into a teenage girl; enough to make you remember her age. But at the same time, she’s not sheltered and naive. This is a woman that knows what she wants. She’s not shy and afraid to go after it. She’s solid. She’s mature beyond her years. But yet she’s still a young woman.

I simply adored the way the romance unraveled and developed between her and Pike. There was something so real and raw about it. It wasn’t torrid, even though it was forbidden. You understand their attraction. You believe in it. You yearn for it. The tantalizingly slow build makes it even better.

I know everything we’re doing is wrong, and I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to anyone, but right here—right now—I don’t want to be anywhere else. I wish I could die as happy as I am right now.

Pike is a man that was forced to grow up fast when he became a father at 19. Giving up on his dreams to support his new son was not something he ever gave a second thought about. This is clearly a man that wants a relationship with his son but due to circumstances, it’s a struggle. I don’t want to give too much away about the dynamics, but trust me when I tell you that you will understand. You’ll even root for him.

The romance and age difference is handled with tact and done incredibly well. The situation with the boyfriend is as well. There was simply nothing about this book that I didn’t love. This was clearly a book the author wanted to write and was meant to, and it came across vividly clear in the writing. I fell so hard for this story and these characters.

Birthday Girl is a story of forbidden romance, yes. But it’s so much more than that, too. It’s a story of strength and forgiveness. Of making mistakes and learning how to write them. It was raw, and sexy, and unique. I loved every single page of it and cannot recommend it enough.

Excerpt & Review: Lexi Blake Crossover Collection

Discover the Lexi Blake Crossover Collection
Release Date: April 10, 2018

CLOSE COVER by Lexi Blake

Remy Guidry doesn’t do relationships. He tried the marriage thing once, back in Louisiana, and learned the hard way that all he really needs in life is a cold beer, some good friends, and the occasional hookup. His job as a bodyguard with McKay-Taggart gives him purpose and lovely perks, like access to Sanctum. The last thing he needs in his life is a woman with stars in her eyes and babies in her future.

Lisa Daley’s life is finally going in the right direction. She has finally graduated from college after years of putting herself through school. She’s got a new job at an accounting firm and she’s finished her Sanctum training. Finally on her own and having fun, her life seems pretty perfect. Except she’s lonely and the one man she wants won’t give her a second look.

There is one other little glitch. Apparently, her new firm is really a front for the mob and now they want her dead. Assassins can really ruin a fun girls’ night out. Suddenly strapped to the very same six-foot-five-inch hunk of a bodyguard who makes her heart pound, Lisa can’t decide if this situation is a blessing or a curse.

As the mob closes in, Remy takes his tempting new charge back to the safest place he knows—his home in the bayou. Surrounded by his past, he can’t help wondering if Lisa is his future. To answer that question, he just has to keep her alive.

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You look perfect with my rope your only clothing, nothing between us. Do you want to fly, ma chèrie? Because I will take you there.” 

I’m a sucker for a sexy Cajun, and it just doesn’t get any sexier than Remy Guidry. Remy is a great friend, and an even better Dom, but when it comes to affairs of the heart, jaded is an understatement. He doesn’t believe in forever anymore and relationships are most definitely a no go. It also doesn’t matter that he’s unbelievably attracted to Lisa Daley, a previous Sanctum trainee. She’s hands off. He doesn’t do shy little rich girls. He’s had more than his fill of her type in his life.

But when Lisa’s life is in danger, he knows no other man can protect her except for him. And it doesn’t take him long to realize that Lisa is not at all who he thought she was and just how much he misjudged the little spitfire.

Freaking Lisa Daley, with the doe eyes and the slender feminine curves that made his mouth water every time she walked into a room. Lisa Daley, the good girl he couldn’t have because he didn’t do good girls.

I loved the back and forth dance that these two go through in the beginning. I was just waiting for Remy to finally figure out his mistake and watch that grovel happen. Lisa may be sweet and caring, but she certainly isn’t afraid to stand up for herself. I loved that she gave as good as she got with Remy. Unbeknownst to her, the man that she’s been lusting after for months that suddenly becomes her neighbor has an ulterior motive for being there. He’s actually secretly protecting her from a danger that they’re still trying to get to the bottom of.

Of course what would a Masters and Mercenaries book be without a cameo from my ultimate favorite character from the series, Ian freaking Taggard. I will never, ever, get enough of this man and his cutting humor and sarcastic barbs at the expense of his men.

Maybe you’re the one I should be talking to,” Tag replied, obviously relishing the gossip he would share the minute he got into the office. Hell, he wouldn’t wait that long. He’d call Charlotte the minute he walked out the door. “Sub, you have to feed your Dom. He gets cranky and starts speaking French and shit when he’s hangry. When he starts speaking French, I get nauseous because it’s way too French.”

Nothing was more satisfying than watching Remy and Lisa fall harder and harder for each other in the midst of figuring out just who wants her dead. Close Cover offers just the right amount of romance wrapped around a high octane story full of action and suspense. I highly recommend reading the entire Crossover Collection because it was wholly addicting. But nothing hit the spot quite like Remy and Lisa’s book.

He knew what lust felt like, what pure molten sex felt like when it rolled through his body in a volcanic state. This was something more.


HER GUARDIAN ANGEL by Larissa Ione

After a difficult childhood and a turbulent stint in the military, Declan Burke finally got his act together. Now he’s a battle-hardened professional bodyguard who takes his job at McKay-Taggart seriously and his playtime – and his playmates – just as seriously. One thing he never does, however, is mix business with pleasure. But when the mysterious, gorgeous Suzanne D’Angelo needs his protection from a stalker, his desire for her burns out of control, tempting him to break all the rules…even as he’s drawn into a dark, dangerous world he didn’t know existed.

Suzanne is an earthbound angel on her critical first mission: protecting Declan from an emerging supernatural threat at all costs. To keep him close, she hires him as her bodyguard. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that she’s in over her head, defenseless against this devastatingly sexy human who makes her crave his forbidden touch.

Together they’ll have to draw on every ounce of their collective training to resist each other as the enemy closes in, but soon it becomes apparent that nothing could have prepared them for the menace to their lives…or their hearts.

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You deserve to be worshipped.”
“Because I’m an angel?”
“No,” he murmured. “Because you’re Suzanne.”

Two of my favorite authors combining their world and their words into one amazing novella? Could it get any better?! If you’ve read At Your Service, then you’ll recall the mysterious Suzanne. And if you’ve read Nobody Does It Better, then you’d already be salivating for Declan’s story. Hello! A former Air Force Pararescueman turned elite bodyguard for McKay-Taggard? Sign me up!

These previously introduced Masters & Mercenaries characters are deliciously interwoven into Larissa Ione’s Demonica world, and flawlessly so. Suzanne’s mysterious nature is explained once you find out that she’s actually a Memitim, an earthbound angel with a mission to protect their Primori. And the Primori she’s assigned to protect? None other than Declan himself. With Declan completely oblivious to the world that exists alongside the human one, she’s forced to play the part of a spoiled heiress who hires him to protect her from a stalker. When the truth is Declan’s life in a lot more danger from a ruthless demon hunting for his head.

Her Guardian Angel was perfectly paced. So much so, that at times I forgot that I was reading a 120+ novella, but instead felt like I was reading a full length novel. The romance was a slow and sizzling build and the chemistry between Dec and Suzanne was incendiary. There’s plenty of action and a delicious mixing of the two authors worlds, with plenty of Ian cameos. I loved this installment and can’t recommend it enough for any Larissa Ione fan. And if you’re new to PNR, this is the perfect book to whet your appetite with. It was fantastic!


JUSTIFY ME by J. Kenner

McKay-Taggart operative Riley Blade has no intention of returning to Los Angeles after his brief stint as a consultant on mega-star Lyle Tarpin’s latest action flick.

Not even for Natasha Black, Tarpin’s sexy personal assistant who’d gotten under his skin.

Why would he, when Tasha made it absolutely clear that—attraction or not—she wasn’t interested in a fling, much less a relationship.

But when Riley learns that someone is stalking her, he races to her side.

Determined to not only protect her, but to convince her that—no matter what has hurt her in the past—he’s not only going to fight for her, he’s going to win her heart. Forever.

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Justify Me by J. Kenner

Riley sits up and leans forward, his elbows on his knees. “Dammit, Natasha, you know I’m good at what I do—and with all the work I’ve been doing with McKay-Taggart, I’m even better at the bodyguard gig than I was before. I can keep you safe. Don’t be an idiot and turn down my offer.”

He aims those dark eyes at me, and I swallow. With that piercing gaze and his sexy swath of five-o’clock shadow over a strong, rugged jaw, the man really does ooze sensuality. More than that, though, he gives the impression of strength. Of solidity.

Of safety, pure and simple.

And, yeah, some part of me wants to know that he has my back.

I’m going to cave—I know it. I’m not stupid, and now that I’ve seen Riley again, up close and personal, I don’t want Lyle to give in and hire me a rent-a-cop.

I want Riley. I just don’t want Riley.

But I’m damn sure not going to admit it just yet. Do that, and I’ll never manage to erase his smug expression.

He says he wants the job? Fine. He can work to convince me. At least then we’ll be on somewhat even footing.

Not that I’ve ever felt like I’m on even ground around Riley. I’m far too attracted to the man, and always have been.

I’ll let Riley watch over me. But that’s as far as things will go between us. I’ll tell him the same thing I told him when he consulted with Lyle. No passes. No flirting. Business only, or else I’ll shut it down and find my own damn bodyguard.

I don’t say a word, but he must have picked up on my acquiescence, because he looks between Lyle and me and then says, “So fill me in, and we can talk about the best approach.”

I meet Lyle’s eyes, and when my cheeks start to heat with a rising blush, I nod, silently urging him to tell the story.


SAY YOU WON’T LET GO by Corinne Michaels

I’ve had two goals my entire life:
1. Make it big in country music.
2. Get the hell out of Bell Buckle.

I was doing it. I was on my way, until Cooper Townsend landed backstage at my show in Dallas.

This gorgeous, rugged, man of few words was one cowboy I couldn’t afford to let distract me. But with his slow smile and rough hands, I just couldn’t keep away.

Now, there are outside forces conspiring against us. Maybe we should’ve known better? Maybe not. Even with the protection from Wade Rycroft, bodyguard for McKay-Taggart, I still don’t feel safe. I won’t let him get hurt because of me. All I know is that I want to hold on, but know the right thing to do is to let go…

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HIS TO PROTECT by Carly Phillips

Talia Shaw has spent her adult life working as a scientist for a big pharmaceutical company. She’s focused on saving lives, not living life. When her lab is broken into and it’s clear someone is after the top secret formula she’s working on, she turns to the one man she can trust. The same irresistible man she turned away years earlier because she was too young and naive to believe a sexy guy like Shane Landon could want her.

Shane Landon’s bodyguard work for McKay-Taggart is the one thing that brings him satisfaction in his life. Relationships come in second to the job. Always. Then little brainiac Talia Shaw shows up in his backyard, frightened and on the run, and his world is turned upside down. And not just because she’s found him naked in his outdoor shower, either.

With Talia’s life in danger, Shane has to get her out of town and to her eccentric, hermit mentor who has the final piece of the formula she’s been working on, while keeping her safe from the men who are after her. Guarding Talia’s body certainly isn’t any hardship, but he never expects to fall hard and fast for his best friend’s little sister and the only woman who’s ever really gotten under his skin.

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RESCUING SADIE by Susan Stoker

Sadie Jennings was used to being protected. As the niece of Sean Taggart, and the receptionist at McKay-Taggart Group, she was constantly surrounded by Alpha men more than capable, and willing, to lay down their life for her. But when she visits her friend in San Antonio, and acts on suspicious activity at Milena’s workplace, Sadie puts both of them in the crosshairs of a madman. After several harrowing weeks, her friend is now safe, but for Sadie, the repercussions of her rash act linger on.

Chase Jackson, no stranger to dangerous situations as a captain in the US Army, has volunteered himself as Sadie’s bodyguard. He fell head over heels for the beautiful woman the first time he laid eyes on her. With a Delta Force team at his back, he reassures the Taggart’s that Sadie will be safe. But when the situation in San Antonio catches up with her, Chase has to use everything he’s learned over his career to keep his promise…and to keep Sadie alive long enough to officially make her his.

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Larissa Ione is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. An Air Force veteran, she traded in a career as a meteorologist to pursue her passion of writing. She now spends her days in pajamas with her computer, strong coffee, and supernatural worlds. She believes in celebrating everything, and would never be caught without a bottle of Champagne chilling in the fridge…just in case. She currently lives in Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat named Vegas, and her very own hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

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Julie Kenner (aka J. Kenner and J.K. Beck) is the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of over forty novels, novellas and short stories in a variety of genres.

Praised by Publishers Weekly as an author with a “flair for dialogue and eccentric characterizations,” J.K. writes a range of stories including super sexy romances, paranormal romance, chick lit suspense and paranormal mommy lit. Her foray into the latter, Carpe Demon: Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner, is in development as a feature film with 1492 Pictures.

Her most recent trilogy of erotic romances, The Stark Trilogy (as J. Kenner), reached as high as #2 on the New York Times list and is published in over twenty countries.

J.K. lives in Central Texas, with her husband, two daughters, and several cats.

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#DGRFave & Review: The Real by Kate Stewart

THE REAL
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Kate Stewart
Release Date: April 12, 2018

They say it happens when you least expect it.

It did for me.

It started the moment I saw the simple message pop up on my computer screen:

Cameron’s Mac: Hi.

And when I met the eyes of the gorgeous man messaging me from across the coffee shop, I never thought my reply would lead to the most intense, sexual, and passionate relationship of my life.

We both agreed to check our bags at the door and put our future hopes and aspirations on the table.

It worked.

I fell in love with his no holds barred attitude, sexy smirk, and undeniably good heart . . . and for a while we forgot about our baggage. We happily tripped over it to get to the other, neither of us willing to show the contents of our pasts in the off chance it could ruin us.

We built our love on a foundation of gray.

It was life in black and white that threatened to tear us apart.

AMAZON

A kiss can be an introduction, statement, and a promise. I plan to make all three when you let me.

My heart. Oh my poor, cold black heart. It will never be the same again because Kate Stewart stole it with this incredible story. This is hands down, my favorite book by this author to date, and easily one of my favorite reads of the year. I still can’t stop thinking about it.

The Real was a poignant, emotional, and unforgettable romance. It was unique and beautiful. It was gripping and thought provoking. It was absolutely EVERYTHING. It tore my heart out and put it back together and I’ll never be the same again after experiencing it.

We’d spiraled from nothing into everything within a few months. It wasn’t just attraction. It was far more, both unspoken and admitted. And just as sure as I was standing on that porch, I wanted him to know.

Reeling from a terrible breakup with a man she grossly misjudged, Abbie is not eager to jump into another relationship any time soon. She’s afraid to trust again and worst of all, she’s afraid to trust her own judgement. But when a handsome stranger’s message air drops onto her Mac in a coffee shop, what begins is one of the most memorable meet cutes and wooing non-dates I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Cameron is devilishly handsome, patient, sweet and everything that Abbie wants but doesn’t trust herself to have. Their relationship isn’t rushed but the depth of it is unexpected for both of them.

There’s plenty of light hearted moments and giggles with the appearance of Abbie’s BFF who I’m fairly convinced is my spirit animal. The girl was a riot and I loved their friendship and the way she was always there for Abbie in her own quirky and super loud way.

Your resting bitch face is pretty but scary. And in the last year, it’s gotten worse. Your bitch face reads ‘Abandon all hope. You can’t stick your penis here.’ But, by the way, he just looked at you. I think it’s safe to say he gives no shits. He wants to put his penis into your vagina.”

The love between the MCs is a slow burn but it’s powerful and raw and real. It was such a pleasure to read the progression of their feelings. But of course nothing is so simple when it comes to the genius mind of Kate Stewart, and after she lulls you into a state of swoony bliss, she slams you with a two by four of feels.

But while the love between Cameron and Abbie may be real, it’s certainly not black and white. It’s a gray area of beauty and pain. Kate isn’t afraid to broach a subject matter that you don’t commonly find in romance novels and I have so much respect for her for going there. This book is so much more than a mere romance. It’s riveting and thought provoking.

My body his slave, I came apart as his name pushed out past my lips. It was his name that wrote itself across my heart; it was his eyes that spoke to my soul. It was Cameron. I lost myself, trusting him with every minute. His sex was my undoing.

I don’t have enough words to tell you all the ways I loved this book. It simply needs to be experienced. I can’t recommend it enough. This NEEDS to be on your TBR. It needs to be read. And it will surely be going on your favorites shelf right along mine.

Review: Fast Burn by Lori Foster

FAST BURN
Series: Body Armor #4
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Lori Foster
Release Date: March 20, 2018

For the woman who’s his perfect match, he’s willing to break the rules…

The moment Brand Berry meets beautiful, driven Sahara Silver, the connection between them is electric. It’s also something he can’t pursue. Sahara wants him, sure—to join Body Armor, where his MMA skills, size and cocky attitude make him perfect for her elite crew of bodyguards. For Sahara, the agency always comes first, and Brand needs more. Yet when she’s kidnapped by men searching for her missing brother, he doesn’t hesitate.

Somewhere along the way, flirting with Brand for the sake of business turned very personal. Despite his refusal to join Body Armor, it’s Brand who steps up when Sahara needs him most. Now there’s no more time for games, and no point denying the hunger they both feel. They’ll escape together or not at all. But if they survive, can Sahara finally surrender control to claim this blazing passion?

AMAZON

Yes, Sahara amused him. She also kept him on a keen edge of lust. And when she smiled in that certain way, he had no idea what to expect…but he knew he had to be ready.

It’s been entirely too long since I read a Lori Foster book. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even bother to read the blurb before adding this book. When I’m in the mood for a steamy contemporary romance with a dash of suspense, Foster always hits the spot. Now here’s my confession…
And I’ll warn the reading order OCD squad to look away right now for fear of your head exploding…
Because this was the first book I read in this series.
*pause for dramatic effect*

What can I say? I love to live dangerously.

But you know what? I had absolutely no trouble getting right into the thick of it and fully invested in the Body Armor series.

If you know me at all, then you already know that I love me a strong and kick-*ass heroine. And Sahara Silver was the epitome of it! Running an elite bodyguard agency, Sahara is no slouch herself. She’s sassy, determined, a wiz with a firearm, and tenacious when it comes to what she wants. And what she wants is the sinfully sexy MMA fighter, Brand, to join her agency. But Brand isn’t one to mix business with pleasure, and he knows that the fiery chemistry between Sahara and him will prevent any business relationship she hopes to have. He won’t sign with her agency, but he will give into her other advances.

I loved the way Sahara is a boss lady at work, but she lets Brand take the control in the bedroom without losing any of her spark. I loved Brand’s sweet, protective, and deliciously sexy nature. And I absolutely loved the two of them together.

The romance takes place in the middle of the mystery of Sahara’s missing brother finally coming to a head. Everyone believes the man dead, but Sahara knows it can’t be true. With plenty of baddies jumping out of the shadows, Brand and Sahara never see a dull moment. And with a sizzling romance tying it all together, Fast Burn was certainly one delicious burn. It was well paced, with great characters, and plenty of steam. It hit the spot just right for me and satisfied my Lori Foster craving.

Review: Escort by Skye Warren

ESCORT
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: March 20, 2018

I’m an escort, which means this date is nothing more than a mutually enjoyable transaction. There shouldn’t be any surprises, not for one as jaded as me, but when I walk into the penthouse suite of L’Etoile, everything changes.

1) For one thing, Bea is heartstoppingly gorgeous. Pale green eyes and endless freckles. Curves I want to spend all night exploring, as if her body was made for me.

2) Her innocence makes me want to use my entire inventory of bedroom tricks on her and then invent a few more.

3) Except that… she’s a virgin.

I can initiate her into the world of desire without letting her get attached, can’t I? A few hours of tutoring, and at the end of the night a small fortune will be deposited into my bank account.

But once I realize one night with her won’t be enough, I’m the one who’s screwed.

AMAZON

It’s been a few weeks since I read this book, and I still struggle with how to rate it. It’s turned out to be those middle of the road books for me that I simply don’t know how I feel about. Did I love it? No. Did I hate it? No. Did I like it? Almost, but not quite. So how do I even rate something like that? The struggle was definitely real here, y’all. But ultimately, with it being a middle of the road read, I’m going with a middle of the road rating. I didn’t love it, nor did I hate it. While it kept me engaged enough to finish, it will be one of those books that I’ll likely forget about.

I adore Skye’s writing and while this had her usual lyrical flow, it wasn’t quite what I expected being used to her spine tingly sort of dark romance. Hugo Bellmont may be a sexy hero, he’s also not the intense alpha male that I’ve come to expect from Skye. Perhaps it was my expectations that got the best of me here, but if you’re expecting a dark read with an intense alpha, this book isn’t quite that. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed Hugo. He had this unassuming intensiveness to him that came from his caring and protective side, it just wasn’t enough for me to fall in love with him like I have with most of Skye’s other heroes.

I loved that it was loosely tied into Skye’s Engame Trilogy and Masterpiece Duet world. But it was nothing like those books. I struggled to really feel the connection between the two MCs. It didn’t feel forced, but it was a little too quick for me to truly buy into it. The story, while engaging, wasn’t one that kept me riveted to the pages. And just when I was finally started to get truly invested in things, it ended.

I will say that while this book didn’t quite do it for me, it certainly was a good hook if we’ll be getting more in this world. There were a few other secondary characters that were introduced that I’m definitely intrigued with. While I still love Skye Warren, you just can’t love every book, and this book unfortunately was that for me. I’m clearly the odd man out with my opinion, so read it and judge for yourself.

Review: The Boy & His Ribbon by Pepper Winters

THE BOY AND HIS RIBBON
Genre: Coming of Age, Romance, Contemporary
Series: The Ribbon Duet #1
Author: Pepper Winters
Release Date: April 1, 2018

“What do you do when you meet your soul mate? No wait…that’s too easy. What do you do when you meet your soul mate and have to spend a lifetime loving him in secret?
I’ll tell you what you do.
You lie.”

REN

Ren was eight when he learned that love doesn’t exist—that the one person who was supposed to adore him only cared how much he was worth.
His mother sold him and for two years, he lived in terror.
But then…he ran.
He thought he’d run on his own. Turned out, he took something of theirs by accident and it became the one thing he never wanted and the only thing he ever needed.

DELLA

I was young when I fell in love with him, when he switched from my world to my everything.
My parents bought him for cheap labour, just like they had with many other kids, and he had the scars to prove it.
At the start, he hated me, and I could understand why.
For years he was my worst enemy, fiercest protector, and dearest friend.
But by the end…he loved me.
The only problem was, he loved me in an entirely different way to the way I loved him.
And slowly, my secret drove us apart.

AMAZON

He touched you deeper than any hand could reach. He affected you harder than any spoken word ever could.
He cared with his entire soul and committed with entire being.

Before I get into all the fantastic things about this book, I want to address the one negative piece. I’d like to get it out of the way with, because if I’m being perfectly honest, something that I thought could ruin the story for me actually ended up being nothing but a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of things. So confession time. I actually DNFd this book originally. Twice. Now, now, stow away those pitch forks and tomatoes and allow me to explain. See originally, I stopped reading at 20%. I felt compelled to push myself and ended up getting to 37%, only to stop again. As beautifully lyrical as the writing was and as unique as the story itself was, the amount of detail and the somewhat verbose nature of the first half of this book was difficult for this picky reader to get past. The story follows the main characters over the span of 18 years. And the reader is privy to every minute detail of their life. While it sets the stage and truly allows you to get to the heart of who these characters are, for this reader that has a penchant for instant gratification, it was a struggle. So what I’m telling you is, it’s definitely a me thing. If this level of detail and description doesn’t bother you, you won’t bat an eyelash at this. But for me, I felt like a good 20% of the overall book could have been trimmed and not lost anything in the process. But again, that’s a ME thing.

So getting to the good. For the first time in all of my reading history, I felt compelled to finish. There was just something so unique and gripping about this story, that I simply couldn’t bear not knowing how it all comes together. And I have never been more grateful for pushing myself through. Because that final 60%? It turned everything around. It made me fall in love with this captivating, emotional, and unforgettable story. It made me connect with this wonderfully unique, multi-layered characters. It had me eager to reveal layer after layer of detail that the story offered. And it had me riveted to the pages from that point on.

I was never lacking for love. I never felt unwanted or hurt or scared. He was my entire universe, and he treated me like I was his in return.

The author warned that this is completely different from her usual dark romance. And it totally was. Though I will say, it did have that touch of the signature dark undercurrent that Winters carries in her writing style.

You get introduced to the main characters as just children. With the heroine being just a baby at one years old, and the hero being a mere boy of ten. It takes them on an unforgettable journey of struggle and nightmares, wrapped in a unique sort of bond that ultimately shifts into a love unlike any other. Over the course of the next eighteen years, you get a peek inside adult Della’s head through a letter that she pens for her school. You get glimpses of how she saw their truth and the life they led. And you see a child’s bond that slowly, naturally, and surely begins to morph into a woman’s adoration and love.

I will always love you, Della Ribbon. Until the day I die and even past that.

This is not a romance, though it carries undercurrents of one. This is the set up of what’s truly looking to be one epic romance in the second part of the duet. But what this book does is set that stage. It builds the blocks of the foundation that their feelings are based one. It takes you into the dark underbelly of the horrors that these characters survived and came out stronger from. It spares no detail. It leaves no stone unturned. And it’s not afraid to give the gritty, emotional, and painful detail of the mistakes that both Della and Ren make along the way.

If you’re looking for something different, unique and compelling, this book is certainly that. Will I be reading the next one? Absolutely! And if you’re anything like me, don’t judge it but the somewhat slower pace of the beginning. Because the hook of this unique story is so unsuspecting, you’ll never see it coming. And before you know it, you’re glued to your kindle, incapable of setting it down until the very last page.

Review: Love And Other Words by Christina Lauren

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Christina Lauren
Release Date: April 10, 2018

The heart may hide, but it never forgets.

The first women’s fiction novel from New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Autoboyography, Dating You / Hating You).

Macy Sorensen is settling into an ambitious if emotionally tepid routine: work hard as a new pediatrics resident, plan her wedding to an older, financially secure man, keep her head down and heart tucked away.

But when she runs into Elliot Petropoulos—the first and only love of her life—the careful bubble she’s constructed begins to dissolve. Once upon a time, Elliot was Macy’s entire world—growing from her gangly teen friend into the man who coaxed her heart open again after the loss of her mother…only to break it on the very night he declared his love for her.

Told in alternating timelines between Then and Now, teenage Elliot and Macy grow from friends to much more—spending weekends and lazy summers together in a house outside of San Francisco reading books, sharing favorite words, and talking through their growing pains and triumphs. As adults, they have become strangers to one another until their chance reunion. Although their memories are obscured by the agony of what happened that night so many years ago, Elliot will come to understand the truth behind Macy’s decade-long silence, and will have to overcome the past and himself to revive her faith in the possibility of an all-consuming love.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

Other people have a falling-out. What we had felt like a rupture.

I don’t typically read women’s fiction, unless of course it’s penned by the talented duo that is Christina Lauren. Then I don’t even think twice about jumping into the story. Though truth be told, while the story encompasses friendship, life and loss, the romantic element is very much at the heart of everything. So even though it wasn’t the steamy romance that I’m used to from theses authors, the emotional connection that I developed to these characters and their story was more than enough to make up for it.

Macy Sorensen is a woman that seemingly has her life together with a loving finance and a budding medical career. But then everything comes to a screeching halt when she bumps into the one man that she never forgot or gotten over; Elliot Petropoulos. The boy that was once her everything, her confidant, her best friend, her escape, is now a man. And while it’s clear there’s a reason for their ultimate rift, the reader is left to wander what could possibly happen to tear apart such a strong bond. The story is told in alternate parts past and present, truly engrossing the readers into the connection that these two develop and share from the time they’re just children. You get to experience them becoming friends, to developing feelings, and ultimately falling for one another. Christina Lauren did such a phenomenal job with the development of these characters and their sweet and budding love. You don’t feel like you’re just reading it, you truly feel engrossed in their experience. It’s beautiful, emotional, and so incredibly real. It’s a coming of age sort of feel with the addition of true adult feelings in the aftermath. It was, for lack of a better word, beautiful.

Elliot clearly never got over Macy, and Macy clearly never got over whatever it was that made her turn away from him. Years apart did nothing to heal the wounds or dim the love they had for each other. The story is brimming with emotion and overrunning with the rawness of their love for each other and pain of their past. It was magnificent and almost painful to read at times. It had me riveted to the pages, eager for just one more morsel to truly understand what could possibly go wrong to tear them apart.

This had all the makings of an epic 5 star read for me, until the big reveal happens. Man did I struggle with my feelings about it. And while I can understand how something like that could happen in the circumstances they had, it still felt like a betrayal to everything I had learned about these characters. I’d be lying if I said a part of me didn’t absolutely hate it. Because I did. I hated it and it ripped my heart apart at the same time. But after sitting on my rating and review for over a week, I decided that I can’t discount everything else this book made me feel, including the ultimate reveal of the truth. I may have hated it, but it also made me feel. It made me feel right along with the characters, and even though a part of me can’t help but still feel like it was in part unnecessarily OTT, I get it. I truly do.

Love and Other Words was a beautifully crafted coming of age story and second chance romance. It was emotional and all encompassing. It made you feel everything. So much of it. And it left a bit of a gaping hole in your heart at the end, even while mending bits and pieces of it. I hated it and I loved it, and I still can’t stop thinking about it.

Review & Excerpt: The Secret Thief by Nina Lane

THE SECRET THIEF
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Nina Lane
Release Date: April 3, 2018

Behind his beautiful eyes

Lay a thousand secrets and lies.

But my own secrets are all laid bare

The twisted reality of a disgraceful affair.

I once deciphered the mysteries hidden in art
Then mistakes and desire tore me apart.

Now I’m shipwrecked at the end of the earth
Desperate again to prove my worth.

The lighthouse keeper is a stranger to me

Yet one night with him sets me free.

We find ourselves united by the stars above
Both of us needing the salvation of love.

Until our secrets and shame continue to build

And what was flourishing will soon be killed.

AMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N | KOBO | GOOGLE

The minute Flynn opens the workroom door, my whole body zings with excitement and anticipation. Even with his dark frown, the remoteness surrounding him like an aura, the clipped tone of his voice, I react to him as if he were stroking my hair and whispering sweet nothings in my ear.Jeremy hadn’t come close to eliciting anything even close to this…which is exactly the reason I’ll go out with him again, if he asks me. Jeremy is solid, grounded, honest. Everything about Flynn is a mystery and a fantasy. I’d gotten caught up in a fantasy with David—whose “mystery” had been a lie—and I’d paid the price.

Never again.

“How was your weekend?” I set my satchel and lunch bag on the desk.

“Fine. Yours?”

“Great.” I give him a once-over, looking for evidence of an encounter with a chick, but while he looks edible in his worn jeans and T-shirt, like a warm, rumpled bed I could nestle right into, his demeanor is as impassive as ever.

Does he ever smile? Every now and then I’ve caught a glimpse of amusement, a twitch of his mouth, but I’ve yet to see him fully smile.

“Any special instructions for today?” I turn on the laptop computer and open my notebook.

“Stay away from Jeremy King.”

Shock bolts down my spine. I jerk my head up to stare at him. He’s watching me with a narrowed gaze, his mouth set in a stern line.

“Um…what?” I can’t get another word out.

“Stay away from him,” Flynn repeats. “He’s not good for you.”

Irritation breaks past my shock. “How would you know who is or isn’t good for me? You’ve barely said twenty words to me the whole week I’ve been working here.”

“I don’t need to say anything to know the facts.” His tone hardens. “I don’t want you around him.”

“Well, you have no right to tell me that,” I retort. “How did you know I went on a date with him anyway?”

His jaw tightens. “You think people around here don’t take notice when their favorite son is out having dinner with the new girl in town?”

Christ. I experience a sudden longing for the cold anonymity of a big city.

“I know people are talking about me,” I snap. “But I refuse to let gossip dictate what I can and can’t do. And for your information, Jeremy knows about what happened to me, and it didn’t seem to bother him.”

“That’s not the point. You can’t work for me and see him.”

My shoulders tense. I focus on the computer, hitting the key to bring up the database software.

“My date with Jeremy has nothing to do with my work here,” I reply stiffly. “I didn’t, and won’t, tell him anything about the job or the fact that you’re my employer. You don’t need to worry about breach of contract.”

“This isn’t about the damned contract.” His voice is suddenly sharp.

He steps closer to me, his soapy, warm scent filling my nose. I hold my ground, not wanting him to see me weaken even though I’m melting inside at his nearness. Impassive though he is on the exterior, I can almost feel the energy coursing through him, his heavy strong heartbeat, the rush of his blood.

“I don’t want you around King,” he repeats.

“Does your animosity have something to do with him wanting to sell the lighthouse?”

“I’m not answering questions.” His gray eyes turn the color of metal. “I’m telling you to stay away from him.”

My pulse races. “You don’t have that right.”

“I’m your boss.”
“That doesn’t mean you can make that demand.” The words snap out of my mouth without thought. “And if you think you can threaten to fire me over this, then step back, mister, because I’ve been through the worst wrongful termination I can imagine. And even though my employer fucking won that battle, I still have plenty of fight left in me. I’ll put on my gloves and go another round with you, if I have to.”

Wow. Go, Eve.

I’m breathing fast, and my knees are quaking with sudden fear that he’ll make me prove my bold statement. I dig my fingernails into my palms. The air between us sparks with electricity. I force myself to hold my ground, to look directly at him and—

Admiration flashes in his eyes, like a silver comet streaking across the sky. His stern expression doesn’t change, but that brief glimpse of warmth eases the tension knotting my shoulders.

“I’m not going to fire you.” His voice is measured and controlled. “But I will not have you seeing King.”

“You don’t like him, so that means I have to stay away from him?” I ask. “Sorry, no. He’s one of the few people in this town who has been nice to me, and I enjoyed our date. I refuse to discount the possibility of Jeremy being my first real friend here.”
Flynn’s jaw clenches. “He wants to be more than your friend.”

“I know.” I put my hands on my hips and look him in the eye. “He even kissed me.”

Anger crashes over his features, and a vein throbs in his forehead. If I didn’t know better, I’d think he was jealous.

But I do know better. He’s mad because I’m refusing to do something he wants me to do. Despite, or maybe because of, his isolated lifestyle, Flynn is clearly a man accustomed to getting what he wants.

“He kissed you.” The word grind out of his mouth like broken glass.

“Yes. And I kissed him back. Like our date, it was nice. Nice hasn’t been the norm in my life lately.”
“I could kiss you,” Flynn retorts, his hands fisting. “But it wouldn’t nice.”

“Oh yeah?” My heart kicks into gear, blood rushing through my veins. “What would it be, then?”

He pulls in a breath, his gaze settling on my mouth. “Hot.”

“Prove it.” Borne of my endless nighttime fantasies, the dare flies out of me without thought of the potential repercussions.

Before I can take another breath, he grabs my shoulders and pulls me against him. I freeze, stunned by the reality of a moment I’d imagined more times than I can count—the sensation of his body against mine. And God, he feels exactly the way I’d imagined, a solid wall of heat and muscle pulsing with life. Rock-hard arms that could wrap around me so tightly nothing would get past them.

He stares down at me, his steel-like gaze sparking with intent like iron striking stone. I can’t move, can’t breathe, can’t think.

Then his mouth crashes down on mine, an onslaught, a possession, a claiming. Hunger bursts through me, a desire so sharp and intense it destroys all my defenses in one fell swoop. I moan, everything inside me weakening and aching for more. He slides a hand to my lower back, fitting our bodies together. I yield everywhere, my curves softening against him, any thought of resistance dissolving in a haze of disbelief and craving.

I part my lips tentatively, let him inside. My head spins with the taste of him—something decadent and forbidden. Our tongues touch, breath mingling. Arousal floods me, swift and hard, as if all the fantasies in which I’ve indulged have primed me for this moment. I bring my hands up to his face, his stubble coarse against my palms, slide them down to the sides of his neck where his pulse throbs heavily. He’s like the sea—mysterious, unpredictable, powerful. I could get lost in him, drown, let him sweep me away to a distant land where no one knows who I am and what I’ve done.

He lifts his head, breaking our kiss and stepping away from me at the same time. Heavy breaths saw from his chest, and his eyes are darkened to black. I bring a shaking hand to my mouth, suddenly unsure if the kiss just happened or if I’m like Alice in Wonderland, spinning downward, lost in my intricate imagination.

 

When I first came to Castille, I’d thought I was running away. But now, my body and soul reawakened, my intellect inspired, my heart open… maybe all along, I was simply coming home.

What a perfectly swoony and incredibly written treat this book was. Having never read a Nina Lane book before, I had no idea what to expect. And now I’m seriously kicking myself for waiting so long to experience this talented author. The Secret Thief was a beautifully crafted tale that kept me riveted to the pages, desperate for more, and incapable of setting it down for even a second.

My impenetrable, stern lighthouse keeper. My mysterious crush. My hot fantasy. My beloved lover. My secret thief.

When a mistake costs her almost everything; her career, her self worth, her respect and life as she knows it, Eve finds herself back in the small town of Maine where her beloved uncle left her his house upon his passing. Desperate to start over, she never expects for her life to take an entirely different turn when she meets a mysterious stranger.

I honestly don’t want to give too much away about this book, because it’s an almost out of body experience to discover the story’s mysteries on your own. The author wove so much beauty into this romance, and being a huge fairy tale fan myself, I absolutely adored the added history that she indulged the reader with.

The plot was perfectly balanced with bits and pieces of some of my favorite fairy tales and their history, along with a well paced, slow burn romance that I simply couldn’t get enough of. I was desperate for more and more tidbits of knowledge about the mysterious Flynn. His history, his broody exterior, and the secrets that he was so clearly hiding kept me glued to the pages well into the night.

The Secret Thief wasn’t just a book. It was also so much more than a romance. It was an experience. A beautifully crafted, incredibly developed, and perfectly paced experience unlike any I’ve read before. If you’re looking for a story that’s different, sexy, and will keep you up all night reading, then look no further. Because this is an absolute must read!

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane writes hot, sexy romances about professors, bad boys, candy makers, and protective alpha males who find themselves consumed with love for one woman alone. Originally from California, Nina holds a PhD in Art History and an MA in Library and Information Studies, which means she loves both research and organization. She also enjoys traveling and thinks St. Petersburg, Russia is a city everyone should visit at least once. Although Nina would go back to college for another degree because she’s that much of a bookworm and a perpetual student, she now lives the happy life of a full-time writer.

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