Review: Otherwise Occupied (Evan Arden Trilogy #2) by Shay Savage

Evan Arden is a hit man for a Chicago mob boss. He lives his life day to day with the company of his dog, Odin. He has to work hard to get back into his boss’s good graces, but the target proves to be difficult. As demons of his past begin to haunt him, he seeks the comfort of sleep from an unlikely candidate, but will confiding in her be his undoing?​

​He’s struggling to forget his past, and keep himself Otherwise Occupied.


4.5 Holy Shit Stars

Roses are red, Violets are blue. I’m just a fucked up hit man, and nothing rhymes with that.

This book gets a star just for having one of the best depictions of my home town I’ve read to date.

It gets another star for being entirely in Evan’s POV and being written in such a way that allows you inside his mind in such a flawless way, the story completely enthralls you. The rest of the stars? For an incredibly told story. Period.

The second book in the Evan Arden Trilogy gives us a deeper look at the man behind the job.

This is not a love story or a romance, so don’t be hoping to get that here. You won’t find it.

Months after leaving the desert of Arizona and a woman that captured his interest in a way that no other ever has, Evan is now back in Chicago and trying to get his way back into his boss’s good graces. But being the hit man for one of Chicago’s biggest mob bosses is no easy task, especially when the demons from his past begin to surface

Add into the mix recurring nightmares and lack of sleep, and you have yourself one volatile hit man. He may be good at what he does, but that doesn’t mean it’s not taking a toll on him


Tired of playing this role, tired of just moving through the city like I was some kind of god or demon here to bring Rinaldo Moretti’s version of justice to those who crossed my path.  None of it even mattered to me – all I got out of it was a wad of cash and a twisted idea of loyalty to someone who told me I did a good job and occasionally called me “son.”


Every day finds Evan with an even smaller grasp on his sanity.

So does he finally crack? Guess you’ll have to read to find out because I refuse to ruin this book for you by giving away any spoilers.
What I can tell you, is that it was a whole lot of

Followed by

With an ending that will leave you feeling a little like

I devoured this book. Shay Savage did such a fantastic job in her portrayal of Evan I kept forgetting I was reading a book by a female author. Flawlessly written, with a captivating and suspenseful plot, this story will grab hold of you and leave you at the edge of your seat to see what comes next. It’s no light and fluffy read. The author does not gloss over or sugar coat the dark details. But that just adds to the experience.

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Author Interview and Review: Winning the Boss’s Heart by Hayson Manning

Winning the Boss’s Heart by Hayson Manning

Mason Christian has twelve weeks to flip something old into something new for his Japanese client, and then he’s getting the hell out of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand. Not even his temporary cook and secretary—the feisty, luscious Billie McLeod—will deter him. There’s no denying she makes him feel alive. More alive than he’s felt in three years…

Billie has one dream: save enough money to go to college. That’s why she’s agreed to work for hard ass, all-business-no-pleasure Mason Christian—a man who has every intention of destroying through “modernization” the town’s most cherished historical home. But before she can say see ya, she realizes she’s signed the dotted line and is contractually bound for eighty-four days.  Working with male perfection every day is awesome with a capital A—as long as they can stick to a hands-off policy that gets harder every day…

Author Interview

It’s no secret that I absolutely adored this book. It was such a heartwarming love story with a quirky and sassy heroine and a broken hero that you can’t help but fall in love with. So I am so thrilled to have the fabulous author of the book here with us today!

Hi Hayson, thank you so much for stopping by Dirty Girl Romance Blog. I’m so excited to have you here! 

Hi, Lana. I am super excited to be here. Thanks so much for having me here today. I’ve brought margaritas, mojitos and Maltesers. (I’m thinking today is an M day.)

So after reading and absolutely LOVING Winning the Boss’s Heart I just have to know, what sparked your idea for this book?


I really love sassy women. A woman who knows what she wants and who isn’t afraid of going after it. I always had the idea of Billie in the back of my mind. I love small town settings with a Wuthering Heights broody male like Mason and it all just came together. I have to say this book was draft seven thousand four hundred and twelve. 

One of my many favorite parts of this book was your inclusion of one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride. Tell me some of your favorite movies?

Hear this now, I will come for you. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen The Princess Bride. We used to make Clueless Wonder 1 and Clueless Wonder 2 watch it. They’d groan and stomp out the room like we’d asked them to clean their rooms. Now they think it’s kind of cool. It is cool!

I’m a bit in love with Fast and Furious. All that man candy on the screen? Yum.
An oldie but a goodie I mentioned in Winning the Boss’s Heart and that was Truly, Madly, Deeply. I think I cried so much I dehydrated.
A little Irish movie called Once. Just crept up on me.
I sob through The Color Purple. I just love that film.
All the Harry Potter films.

I loved reading about the beautiful setting of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand and the amazing people that live there. What inspired you to use that particular location? 


Growing up, my parents loved a camper. Dad would hitch the camper to the car, stuff the family in, and we’d drive six torturous hours on gravel roads to this huge beach in New Zealand with a population of around one hundred. There were wild horses that roamed the sands. We’d dine out every night on precooked sausages that would survive into the next century. It was filled with small town New Zealanders. I had the chance to revisit not long ago and to my delight, the town is pretty much the same. Bless old New Zealand, I think we’ve just made four million. Party!

I adored Billie’s quirky personality; she is going on my list of favorite heroines. Was there an inspiration behind her character?


Hayson blushes and wipes a tear. Your words are lovely.
I read a lot. Every day. The Clueless Wonders know not to interrupt unless they have a bone sticking out, a severed artery or a strange man is asking them to come and look for his lost puppy. I’ve been reading a lot of angsty women. I’m not a fan of anyone filled with angst, possibly due to my ancientness. I grew up with a strong mother who told me to stop whining, find a way to get what I want, legally, and get it.

I don’t think I could write a woman who is a doormat either. I wanted to write a feisty, woman who has vulnerabilities but knows what she wants out of life and isn’t afraid to go for it. I try and write characters I could sit down and have a coffee and a laugh with. I hope I got that right with Billie.

What is your favorite part of this book?


I loved watching Mason crack when Billie became ill. He tried so hard to deny he had deep feelings for her, but when she became ill, he put his life on hold to care for her. I loved seeing his vulnerabilities rise to the surface and how much he did care for her. I’m a bit of a sucker for the ending and epilogue and any scene with Stanley the dog I was gone.

So what got you into writing in the first place?

I never really loved to read. Turns out because I was faking it. When I was young and came across a word I couldn’t pronounce – sapphire, vertical and don’t get me started on Europe, I substituted a word I could pronounce. Luckily I had a teacher who figured out what I was doing when I was young and I had some fairly intensive remedial reading sessions for about a year. I’m so glad I did. I love to read which turned into words I could write. Hazzah!

Being a huge Romance junky, I know my list for this is pretty big, but who are some of your favorite authors?

I’m in love with my fellow Entangled author Samanthe Beck. I love her mix of wit, sexy times and emotion in her books.
I think I’ve read every Kristen Ashley starting with Motorcycle Man which I adored. Oh, Tack.
I’ve read every Agatha Christie book ever published. I never guessed who did it. Not once.
I started reading John Green so Clueless Wonder 1 and I could have something to grunt about. I started with The Fault in our Stars and laughed and sobbed through the book. We still have differing opinions on the ending of Looking for Alaska which goes for healthy debate at Casa Manning over the dinner table.
Anything in the Beyond series by Kit Rocha. I cannot get enough of those books.

What about your favorite books?

Any book in the Beyond series by Kit Rocha. Them’s are sexy, sure-fire reads
Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley. Did I mention my love of Tack?
Easy by Tamara Webber. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Loved it.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I loved it and hated it in equal measure but is still debated here at Casa Manning.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. A book narrated by Death? Awesome. I read in one sitting.
Falling for the Marine by Samanthe Beck.

What’s your writing process like?


To be honest there are days when I’d rather chisel the stalagmites off the oven, but I have to get my butt in the chair and get ideas flowing. I start the day with an enormous cup of joe, hit the emails, procrastinate, read what I wrote yesterday. Decide it’s rubbish and start again today. Some days the words flow like honey. Some day’s I’d rather enter a bikini contest after chowing down on a box of Krispy Kreme’s. Rather than supply the audience with Pepto Bismol after seeing me in a bikini (shudder) I plonk myself down and make myself write.

Where is your favorite place to write? At home? In your writing cave? Coffee Shop?


At home looking like I’m still wearing a failed Halloween costume where I can hide under the table when anyone approaches. Sad but true.

Any must haves you need during your writing? Coffee? Chocolate? Complete silence or music?


Silence. There are way too many folks talking in my head already. Diet coke or Diet Mountain Dew with enough caffeine to kick me to Mars works.

Any hints as to what you have planned and coming up next? 


I’m in the process of penning an Entangled Brazen (I hope) about a dirty-talking bounty hunter who teams up with a preacher’s daughter PI to catch a man who destroyed both their lives.
Well, that’s the plan. Some days I write slower than a sloth at a sleeping party. 
*Making mental note to stalk Hayson for more news about this* (Seriously though, can that sound any more like my kind of book? Gah!)
Thank you so much for stopping by again! Any words you’d love to leave your readers and fans with?

Thank you so much for letting me hang here with the cool kids. I love your blog and I’m honored to be here. 

Connect with the Author

Review

4.5 Healing Heart Stars
Yeah, he may be one hot tamale on the outside, but she bet old Satan himself was sitting in his heart playing Solitaire.

I fell in love with this book. Hard. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into it. Maybe another stereotypical romance where the rich and jaded boss seduces the naive assistant? Well, that’s not what I got. Not even close. Let me tell you, the synopsis of this book doesn’t even begin to give it justice. It was so much more. I adored everything about it; the hero and heroine, the gorgeous setting, the romance, the quirky humor, and the writing. I read it in one sitting, and that says a lot about it.

Meet Mason Christian:

He’s cold, jaded, rich, and efficiently to the point.

He watched her with those unblinking blue eyes. Didn’t look like the man smiled a whole lot. She resisted the urge to shift in her chair. She doubted his middle name was jocularity or could even form the word “fun” in an anagram.

But behind the unfeeling facade, is the broken soul of a man that’s experienced the worst sort of heartache. I knew I was going to fall in love with Mason, he pretty much had me at “42”

I need a cook and a secretary. If you get the job, I’ll be calling you Forty-Two, as none of my assistants stay. I work long hours and expect the same.”

Meet number 42, Billie McLeod

Billie is my favorite kind of heroine. She was endearingly quirky, funny, yet she also had this core of strength that I really admired about her.

The relationship development between these two characters was probably my favorite part of the story. There was no insta-love or lust. There was no over the top sexual “you’re mine” encounters. It was a beautiful and romantic story about love, forgiveness, healing old wounds, and learning to move on

I loved watching Billie slowly chipping away at Mason’s walls. She wasn’t whiny, intrusive, or naive about his pain. She recognized that his pain ran deep, yet she never let him hide behind it.

Jesus,” he said under his breath.
“Putting yourself out there for salvation?”
“I don’t have a soul,” he replied instantly.
“Yeah, you do,” she whispered. “You only wish you didn’t.”

The author did an amazing job with story telling, able to pain a beautiful picture in your mind of Footsteps Bay, New Zealand and it’s people. Plus this book gets an automatic 3 stars for featuring one of my all time favorite movies, The Princess Bride.

I devoured this story and didn’t want it to end. The last 5% made me tear up, it was just perfect.
Spoiler below, highlight to see

Hear this now. I will always come for you.
Me, you, and Stan. And jam. And all those goddamned pinecones. Stay with me, Billie. You have to. Because if you don’t, hear this now. I will always come for you. And that would make me a stalker. Don’t let me turn into a stalker, Billie.


And then the icing on the already perfect cake was that epilogue. The entire book was wonderful, lovely, romantic, just perfect. It was exactly what I needed. Miss Manning has now been added to my auto-buy authors. I’m really looking forward to all her future books.

**ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review**

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ARC Review: Fear for Me by Cynthia Eden

Fear For Me: A Novel of the Bayou Butcher by Cynthia Eden

She’s the obsession two men share: one wants her love, the other wants her life.

A shared passion for justice first brought Baton Rouge district attorney Lauren Chandler and US marshal Anthony Ross together—when each played their part in bringing down the infamous Bayou Butcher. The sparks flying between the two made it clear they weren’t just a legal dream team. Then desire had to make way for duty, and what they had was done. But it would never be over.

Five years later, it’s none other than the Butcher who gets things started again, when his shocking jailbreak reunites the lawyer and the lawman…and reignites their love. But this time, the pair is in danger of being permanently parted—by a killer with revenge on his mind, and Lauren on the top of his list. As a new wave of terror sweeps through the streets and swamps of Baton Rouge, one man will pit his boundless passion against another’s relentless hate, for the life of the woman who obsesses them both.

Review

4.5 Spine Tingling Suspensful Stars 

He waned her to see him exactly as he was. Far from good. Far from perfect. With a darkness inside that would always burn.

There is one thing I know for sure I’m going to get whenever I pick up a book by Cynthia Eden; spine-tingling suspense and chilling action filled with twists and turns, with a super steamy romance thrown flawlessly into the mix.

I have been a huge fan of Eden’s since her Deadly series, and this book is the perfect example of why. My favorite thing about her writing, is her ability to let you into the killer’s head. I love getting the bad guys POV, it always adds to the experience of the book. Fear For Me is the continuation of the Montlake Series, and I’d recommend reading Die For Me before. Although there is enough background information given that you can easily read it as a standalone.

How thin is the line that separates love from obsession?

5 years ago Lauren and Anthony had a passionate affair. They burned hot and bright, but then Anthony suddenly left, leaving Lauren’s heart in pieces.

But are things truly as they seem?

When the shocking prison escape of a brutal serial killer puts Lauren’s life in danger, they are reunited once more. But this time, Anthony knows that he will be unable to walk away and is determined to make Lauren his at all costs.

I was sucked into the story from the very first page. It kept me at the edge of my seat from beginning to end. Just as I thought I had some idea of what was going on, Eden would throw in a twist that left me not knowing which end was up anymore. I love the unpredictability of her writing.

Although the predominant part of the book was the suspense, the romance was the perfect addition. Eden always has just the right amount of steamy romance in her writing that it never takes away from the mystery and action. It’s flawlessly interwoven into the story.

Lauren, the tough as nails DA, was the perfect balance to Anthony’s dark intensity. The passion between them was explosive. When they finally get together…

Although you know who the killer is from the beginning doesn’t mean a thing. There were so many twists and turns I couldn’t get myself to put the book down until the end. Just as I thought I had nailed down what was happening, another twist was thrown in. And then another. And then another. It kept me guessing until the very end.

If you’re a fan of romantic suspense, you really can’t go wrong with a Cynthia Eden book. A chilling and suspenseful ride from beginning to end.

**ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

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Review Tour & Giveaway: Asking for Trouble by Tessa Bailey

Pretending to be in love has never felt so sexy.
Brent Mason and Hayden Winstead can’t stand each other. She plans exclusive parties for her rich family’s charities. He’s a rough and tumble cop who rigs explosives for a living. Could two people be any less suited for conversation? They think not and prefer to keep it that way.
Unfortunately, their two best friends are deeply, disgustingly in love. Forced together, the mutual attraction simmering beneath the surface of Brent and Hayden’s non-relationship grows with every argument until it explodes into a scintillating night of mind-blowing sex. And it won’t be the last, as far as Brent’s concerned.
Hayden has a secret, though. Her father’s company is relying on a merger to save them from financial ruin, and only Hayden’s marriage to the CEO’s wealthy son can secure the deal. If she’s to protect her family, she’ll have to forget Brent. And he has no intention of being forgotten.

 

If you have any doubt about my ability to fuck the ever-loving sarcasm right out of you, I’ll be more than happy to clear it up.”
No one, and I mean no one can write a dirty talker quite like Tessa Bailey. The woman is the queen of dirty talk and I bow down to her awesomeness. It’s not secret that I have been a huge fan of this series from the very first book, Protecting What’s His, and I swear the series just keeps getting better and better.
I didn’t think anyone could replace my beloved playboy Daniel, but Brent gave him a run for his money. Nothing like a rough and tumble explosives expert with a sense of humor and dirty mouth to make my pervy little heart go all pitter patter.
I knew from the very first chapter that I would love this book. Nothing I love more than the ‘enemies to lovers’ trope. And when it came to Brent and Hayden, you could just feel the sexual tension behind every insult. It was absolutely delicious!
For Hayden and Brent, it was hate at first sight. While they may have to tolerate each other since their best friends are dating, it doesn’t mean they have to like it. But beneath the barbs and insults that they’re constantly throwing at each other, there’s a strong undercurrent of something else: lust.
(In case you’re wondering, YES, Brent reminded me of Ryan Reynolds. It’s the dirty blonde hair, green eyes, sexy with a splash of dirty humor that sealed this particular delicious image for me)

I knew I would love Brent when we first met him in Officer Off Limits. He’s crude, funny, always has a snarky comment, and did I also mention sexy as hell? The man is 6 foot 5 of complete and utter deliciousness. But beneath all the crude jokes, there’s a fantastic man. He works 2 jobs in order to help support his family. So is it any wonder that rick girl Hayden seems to hit his every nerve?
Hayden is not quite the spoiled little rich girl that Brent sees her as. It’s just that that Brent manages to hit all her buttons, and she can’t help but lash out with the only means she has. Right?
But what happens when a dare between two people that are supposed to hate each other, goes a little bit too far?
While Brent never minced his words, I loved that Hayden gave as good as she got. She really gave the poor guy a run for his money. I swear, you could feel the sexual tension beneath all their bickering. 

Aw, what’s wrong, Brent? Jealous? After all, if ever there was someone who deserved to have a jackass named after him, it’s you.”
“Yeah? And what would they name it? How about…Spanky?”
“How about Oversized Dickhead?”
He shrugged. “Didn’t hear you complaining about
my oversized—”
She shot to her feet, jostling the table. “Can I speak with you in private?”
“You need it right now?” He feigned exasperation.“We’re in the middle of dinner, woman. You’re insatiable.”

As much as I enjoyed Hayden’s character, at times I did get irritated with the way she seemed to hit below the belt with her insults. I understood the why’s of it, but it did still grate with me a bit. I felt that there were times that she should have been going after Bret and smoothing things over, not the other way around.

But Brent, my delicious dirty talking Brent, he just made the book for me. I was a highlight whore every time the man opened his mouth. I highlighted everything he said. The man was the Midas of dirty talk. Everything that came out of his mouth was pure gold.

Spread your thighs wide for me. I’m gonna fuck you until my next thrust is the only thing keeping you sane.


I’m going to cram your tight pussy full over and over again,” he growled. “I’m going to fuck you until your ears ring. I’m going to bite you hard. Mark you. Ruin you.”

I know, right? Might I suggest keeping some ice on hand, and maybe a fan while you’re reading this? My ovaries were doing a pervy little happy dance throughout the entire book.

Jesus, baby.” He groaned loudly, shifted. “Been a while?”
Yes. “No. It’s just you…you’re…”
Brent sat up, putting his face right in front of hers.He bit her bottom lip and tugged. “I’m what?”
When she tried to kiss him, he dodged her mouth. “Say it. What am I?”
“Huge,” she whispered.
“That’s right.” His hands slipped up her back and gripped her shoulders. “And you’re going to take it.”

This series has become a guilty pleasure of mine. Whenever I’m in the mood for a super steamy romance with a sassy heroine,a sinfully sexy hero, lots of dirty talk, and a light but engaging plot, I know I can never go wrong with these books. They always hit JUST the right spot.
Now I am sitting on pins and needles in pervy anticipation of the broodingly quiet Matt to get his book. I can already tell it’s going to be a good one.
Now that is all the gushing you’ll be getting from this girl. Go make your ovaries happy and read this book. And I thank you.

Connect with Tessa Bailey

Giveaway

Want a chance to win an autographed copy of Tessa’s first two books Protecting What’s His & Officer Off Limits? It’s the first time they’ve ever been in print!
She’ll be giving away 3 sets. All you have to do is leave a comment below to enter.  Giveaway ends 12/1.  Limited to US residents only.
Increase your chances of winning by visiting the rest of the tour HERE

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Now Series by Brenda Rothert

The Now Series Blog Tour Kick Off 

 
Now and Then
Now and Again
By Brenda Rothert

Now and Then

Now Emmaline Carson is a sharp, settled graphic designer who loves painting, cooking and girls’ night out with her older sister Layla. But then – in the years before she went to art school in Paris – she was a shy, awkward teenager with frizzy hair, a flat chest and a massive crush on the boy across the street, Cole Marlowe. Too bad her incredibly hot neighbor only had eyes for Layla.

Cole is now a confident, laid-back attorney who’s even hotter than he used to be. He’s planning to stay single while working his way up the corporate ladder – until he’s knocked off course by a chance run-in with Emma.

Everything is different between Cole and Emma now. He finally sees her in a way she only dreamed of, and their hot chemistry is fueled by a growing friendship.

But Emma’s deception of her sister – who wants Cole for herself – and the secret Cole’s been keeping for more than a decade threaten to tear apart what’s only just begun. Because sometimes the only thing standing in the way of now is then

 

My Review

4 Stars

I love the whole childhood crush turned to lover trope. Gets me every time. And Now and Then was no exception.
Brenda Rothert is a new to me author, but is now someone that is going straight to my auto-buy list.
Emmaline Carson was always the shy and awkward sister. How could she ever compare with her perfect, confident, and sexy sister Layla. So even though it’s not a shock to her when the object of her teenage crush seems more interested in Layla, it’s no less devastating.
But that was then. Now Emmaline is settling in good life and a job as a graphic designer, even though she’d much rather spent her time painting. She’s no longer the shy and awkward teenager she once was. It was great to get a heroine that wasn’t still the mousy and shy virgin. Emmaline was a woman that was confident in her own way, and she was not a stranger to men. Her time studying abroad in Paris changed her. But what happens when a chance run in with the crush from her childhood turns into something a little more?
Cole Marlowe is now a successful attorney. But his high school dating years and childhood were not quite what Emma always thought them to be. Although the last thing on Cole’s mind is a relationship during his climb up the corporate latter, he can’t seem to keep his mind off Emma.
Now things are different. Now Emma is receiving the type of attention she always dreamed of from Cole. There’s just one problem; she’s still convinced that she will lose his interest to Layla.
Layla  was a bitch. A huge one! Everything that came out of her mouth made me want to beat her with my kindle. Usually when I read about a character like this, the last thing I’d want to do is read a book with her as a heroine. But here’s the shocker, I cannot wait to read about her and see her fall head over platform heels. The fact that Brenda Rothert managed to do this is no small feat.
I really loved the way that the past and present were interwoven flawlessly in the story. It added a little something to the book, the writing style was one of my favorite things about it.
So what kept this from being a 5 star read for me? Unfortunately Emma drove me up the wall with her behavior and thought process throughout the book. Her constant doubting of Cole, of herself, of Cole’s feelings grated with me. It took her almost until the very end to finally get her shit together. Cole was just wonderful. His treatment of Emma made his feelings so glaringly obvious. And the fact that Emma would chose the word of her sister over his almost made me lose it.
All that aside, this was still a very solid 4 star read, and I did enjoy it. I still can’t believe how much I’m looking forward to Layla’s story. Hope the hero really gives her a run for her money. The bitch deserves it. LOL!!

Now and Again

Once again, 26-year-old Layla Carson has the attention of a man eager to satisfy her. Ben Montrose, the hot, confident cop who gets off on frustrating her, is eager to show her just how arresting he can be. But as a reforming sexaholic, Layla’s sworn off casual hookups, and doesn’t miss the days of her early 20s –much.

Ben’s caught off-guard when the sexy, outspoken attorney turns him on and then turns him down. But the confident former Marine knows he can handle the simple seduction of a beautiful woman. He finds Layla’s weak spot – competition, which he happens to share – and challenges her to a game that could make them, or destroy them.

As they compete to crown the master of seduction, Ben and Layla discover there’s more to their game than power and foreplay. But as the stakes go up, they realize the game has changed, and they both stand to lose more than they bargained for.

My Review

4.5 Redeeming Stars
I’ll admit, I’m surprised how attracted I am to your combative nature. But you’re under my skin now. I don’t want a compliant woman – I want you.
I knew just one thing going into this book; how much I absolutely HATED Layla in book 1. How do I even describe the way she came off in that book? Ahh yes!
Think I’m exaggerating here? Not even close. Then there was Layla’s penchant of sleeping with pretty much every hot guy that crossed her path. Honestly!
She was selfish, arrogant, rude, and pretty much everything I should hate in a heroine. But see here’s the thing, I have never anticipated a book more than with her. There’s nothing more I love that a good story of redemption and imagine my surprise when I ended up liking Layla more than her sister Emma, from book 1. 
After too much alcohol and a case of feeling sorry for herself lands her in the bed of yet another nameless man, Layla knows she’s finished with that part of her life. She’s done with meaningless sex and hookups. She’s sworn off bad boys, but she knows that deep down she may not be the kind of woman that the ‘nice guys’ would go for.
But of course, life never quite works out the way you plan. So when Layla meets Ben, the super sexy cop that isn’t shy about making his intentions known, she finds that resisting the bad boys is not as easy as it seems. 
Ben was just…he was so….gah! *dreamy sigh* I frigging LOVED Ben. Did I happen to mention that along with being super sexy, a cop, the man also drive a motorcycle and has tattoos? Because let me just tell you, I about orgasmed from the sexy overload that was him.
When Ben first lays eyes on the outspoken and gorgeous attorney, he knows what he wants. He’s not the type to settle down, but he wants Layla, even if it’s only for a short while. But Layla is not at all what he thought her to be.

You’re the kind of girl who makes a list about her perfect man, and it has things like ‘dreamy’ and ‘sweet’ on it, and I bet every ‘i’ is dotted with a heart.” 

Layla was only taken aback for a second. “How do you know my list doesn’t have ‘big cock’ and ‘filthy mouth’ on it?” she said, raising her brows at Ben.

His lips parted in surprise. “Does it?” he asked, his gaze darkening a shade. 
“Fuck yes.”


Knowing that the combustible attraction between them is going to be impossible to resist, Ben is determined to have Layla. So when he finds her weak spot with competition, he challenges her to a game that just might make them or destroy them.

This book was so much more than the synopsis. I did’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did. Layla and Ben were both such strong characters, yet both of them had their own hidden vulnerability that threatened to destroy them.
The two of them together burned up the pages
But beneath the sexy words and sexual tension, there was a fantastic story about 2 broken souls. I loved the relationship development between Layla and Ben. I am not a fan of insta anything, and I was so happy to see that didn’t happen here. Even though I thought my ovaries might explode from all the sexual tension at times, it was well worth the wait. Because when these two finally get together…
I loved that Layla was a converted bitch. It was a refreshing change from all the mousy and introverted heroines I’ve been reading about lately. She was confident, outspoken, and yet she had this layer of vulnerability to her that you couldn’t help but like.
If you enjoy steamy contemporary romances with dirty talking, sexy heroes and confident and outspoken heroines, that you really need to check this book out. A big rec from this girl!

Buy Links

Now and Then (Book 1)

Amazon I Barnes & Noble I Smashwords

Now and Again (Book 2)

Amazon I Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Brenda Rothert lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three sons. She was a daily print journalist for nine years, during which time she enjoyed writing a wide range of stories.

These days Brenda writes New Adult Romance in the Contemporary and Dystopian genres.

Where to find Brenda:

Author Website I Goodreads I Facebook I Twitter

Giveaway

Brenda Rothert is giving away:
3 ebook bundles for the Now Series (books 1 and 2)
1 ARC for Now and Forever (book 3)
5 – $5 Amazon gift cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Beg (Songs of Submission #1) by C.D. Reiss

Beg (Songs of Submission, #1)Beg by C.D. Reiss

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Book Synopsis

This novella is the first in a series
My name is Monica. I’m a singer born and raised in Los Angeles. 
I’ve stopped dating. When I cut a record, or win a Grammy, maybe then I’ll be with someone, but every man in my past has done everything he could to make me submit myself to him, and it’s gotten in the way of my career. I won’t do it again.
But there’s Jonathan. He owns the high-rise hotel where I work, and he is gorgeous and charming. I refuse to fall in love with him, even though when he asks me to submit to him, I want nothing more.
****GRAPHIC LANGUAGE, SEX, AND ADULT SITUATIONS****

My Review

4.5 Begging for it Stars
   “I won’t hold you to it. We can wait, or we can call it off.” 


   “A bet’s a bet.” 



   “You sure? I can be demanding.”  


   “So can I.” 

    He stepped back and smiled. “Not tonight, you’re not.”


I’ve had this book sitting in my kindle for the past few months. So why haven’t I read it before now? Because I am a friggin idiot, that’s why! Yes, I’m woman enough to admit this. And admit it I will. (And shout out to SueBee and Allison for giving me the last friendly push I needed. You guys are filled with awesome and I heart you both!)

But enough of that, and let me talk about this book. This is the first novella in a series and I am completely and utterly captivated and sucked in. How do I review a short novella? By giving you my reactions to every addicting morsel.

Jonathan

Yes, he’s another sexy billionaire. But, he’s also a redhead. He was not crazy possessive, slightly insane, or insanely domineering. He was a sexy as hell enigma. The man was fucking hot. Period. I want to lick him.

Monica

NOT another meek and introverted virgin (THANK FUCK!). I knew from the first few pages that I will really like Monica, and I was not wrong. She was independent, owned her sexually, knew when to tell someone off, yet the way she gave in to Jonathan never came off as weak. I’d do it too. In a freaking heartbeat.

The writing??


Please,”
“Not yet.”
“Jesus, Jonathan. What do you want?”
“I want you to want it.”
“I do. My God, I do.”
“No, you don’t. Not enough.”
I knew what he wanted, and I was willing to give it to him.
“Please. I’m begging you. I’m begging. I’ll do anything you want. I’ll be anything you want. Just don’t—”
He drove his dick into me with a ferocity that shocked me and turned the last word into a cry.

Do you really need my reaction here? Well, if you’re curious, let me confirm those suspicions.

I am sucked in, addicted, and completely blown away. Seriously Ms. Reiss

That is all the gushing ramblings you’ll be getting from this girl, because I am off to lick…err…read more Jonathan. And I thank you

Buy Links

This is available at both Amazon and B&N. 
However, while it’s still a freebie at Amazon, Barnes & Noble lists it at $.99

Review: Heaven’s Sinners (MC Sinners #2) by Bella Jewel

Heaven's Sinners (The MC Sinners, #2)Heaven’s Sinners by Bella Jewel

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Book Synopsis

Spike knows tragedy, he knows that feelings are better left hidden. He refuses to put his heart out there again, it’s a pain he’s not willing to ever let himself feel. He’s got a mission. He’s got a goal. Nothing is going to get in his way. He will seek his revenge.
But then there’s Ciara, the sister of his deceased wife. She’s beautiful and damned determined to throw herself into his life in hopes they can reform an old friendship, but Spike won’t hear of it, and Ciara refuses to give up.
Who will win the battle of wills?

My Review

4.5 I loved Spike’s spikes Stars
“When are you gonna see there’s no point in fightin’ for something that don’t wanna be fought for?”
“I won’t, because everyone deserves to be fought for Spike. Even you.”

I really wasn’t sure what I was walking into when I started this. I was not a fan of the first book. At all. And that’s putting it mildly. However, I thought that the author had potential once she worked through the kinks, and I was damn curious about Spike and his spikes.

What? The man has spikes in a certain area of his body, and rumor had it he liked his women to remove them…with their mouth. You saying you wouldn’t be curious?! Well either way, my pervy little mind was intrigued so of course I had to read it. I’m so glad to say that I was not disappointed with this one. I loved it!

Years ago, Spike and Ciara used to be friends. They weren’t just close friends, they were inseparable.

While both had feelings for the other, youthful ignorance, fear of ruining their friendship and mistakes kept them apart. Young Ciara loved Spike, but her inability to see his feelings for her drove him right into the arms of another woman…her sister. Then one night something that was already rocky, takes a turn for the worst and Chey, Ciara’s sister, gets killed in the crossfire of Spike’s mistake in crossing another MC.
Unable to work through her feelings of guilt, grief, and love, Ciara takes out her hurt on Spike and blames him for everything.

Now, having realized her mistake, Ciara is back. She wants Spike’s forgiveness but most of all she wants to get back the boy that she knew simply as Danny. And she’s willing to fight for him this time.

You know what’s so pathetic about this situation?” I rasp, my hands shaking. “It’s that no matter how angry I am at you, no matter how many times you spit hurtful words at me, or how many times I keep telling myself to walk away, I can’t. I want to save you. I want that friend that I know is in there. I can’t walk away, Spike. I hate you, and yet I can’t walk away.”

Spike is working through regrets and grief of his own. He once loved Ciara with everything that he had, but her ignorance pushed him away, and her blame wounded him deeply. He’s no longer the boy that she once knew.

Don’t want you to fuckin’ save me, Ciara. Don’t want you in my fuckin’ life. When will you get that through your head? I don’t want to be in your life. I didn’t chose you, I chose her. You need to fuckin’ move on. I am not the same person I was before.”

But feelings from their past are not that easily forgotten, and even though Spike does everything he can to drive Ciara away, the pull between them is too strong to ignore.

This book had everything that I found lacking in the first. Emotion, great relationship development, and a story that I truly grew invested in. Spike and Ciara’s relationship was filled with angst, emotion, and so much steam I felt like I needed a cold shower and a cigarette after every single encounter.

Come for me Tom Cat, fuckin’ come around my cock.”
“God, Spike, yes.”
“Say my name baby, fuckin’ say it.”
“Spike,” I rasp.
“No, the other one. Say my real name,” he growls, thrusting harder. “Danny,” I scream, my orgasm tearing through me like liquid fire. “God, Danny.”

This story might now be for everyone. There are a few things that I can see some might be uncomfortable with. One, is Spike’s treatment of Ciara. He is incredibly cruel and callous to her at first. You can see that it stems from his hurt and grief, so it didn’t bother me too much.

There is also elements of voyeurism in this book. If that’s something that makes you uncomfortable, this might not be for you. My pervy little mind ate it right up, so you will be getting zero complaints from this girl.

This is not a story about perfect love. It’s a raw and gritty story about 2 people learning to forgive, move on, and find their way back to each other. Their road was not a smooth one. It was filled with pain, mistakes, and grief; and I devoured it in one day.
I loved that Ciara wasn’t some meek little mouse. She had her moments where I wanted to smack her, but I really loved the way that she fought for Spike and stood up to him. Spike was just sexy as sin, him and his delicious piercings.
This book turned out to be such a pleasant surprise, and I’m looking forward to Jackson’s story next. Especially with that ending…

Buy Links

ARC review: Mine to Hold (Mine #3) by Cynthia Eden

Mine to Hold (Mine, #3)Mine to Hold by Cynthia Eden

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Book Synopsis

She was one man’s obsession…
Nine years ago, Claire Kramer’s lover brutally killed her family, and he tried to kill her. She escaped, but she’s been haunted ever since that attack. Too afraid to trust another man and too worried that her past will catch up with her, Claire never gets too close to anyone. But then she meets Noah York.
He must have her.
Noah York is a man with secrets. The world sees him as a billionaire hotel tycoon, but Noah has a dark and dangerous side. For years, he worked covert military operations before he built his fortune. When it comes to death, Noah is a master. He knows that he should steer clear of Claire, but the white-hot attraction Noah feels for the delicate beauty is instant—and consuming.
He will never let her go.
Someone else is just as consumed by Claire—someone who will kill to possess her. And if Noah can’t stop the hunter in the darkness, he may just lose the one woman that he can’t live without.

My Review

4.5 Steamy and Suspenseful Stars

After so many years of going through the motions of life, she actually made him feel alive.

There are 2 things I am almost guaranteed when I pick up a book by Cynthia Eden: A steamy romance with a protective and possessive alpha hero that is to die for, and a suspenseful story that will keep me at the edge of my seat from beginning to end.

After being introduced to Noah and Claire back in Mine to Keep I just knew that their story would be sizzling. And I was not disappointed.

After a horrific tragedy in her teens that cost her both her parents, and the recent brutal murder of her sister, Claire is running. That’s all she knows how to do, move from place to place and make no attachments. Especially to a man. But then when she has no other choice, she finds herself turning for help to the only man that has tempted her in over 9 years.

Noah is rich and successful, but beneath his expensive suit he is a man with a dark past and even darker secrets.

He doesn’t hold on to any woman for longer than a night, but for some reason he can’t seem to get Claire off of his mind. He knows that he must have her. And when Claire’s past comes back to threaten her, he knows that he will stop at absolutely nothing to protect her.

I loved this book. Noah was the perfect combination of dark and broody, possessive, and sexy as hell.


I wanted to fuck you from the first moment we met.”
She tried to suck in a deep breath.
“You feel so good.”
“Will you scream for me again?”

I also liked that Claire wasn’t a meek little mouse. She’s been through so much in her life, and she is still vulnerable from her past but she still had this strength at the core of her. I thought she was the perfect match for Noah and his past. I loved watching their relationship develop.

One of my favorite things about Cynthia Eden’s book is that she not only gives you dual POVs, but she also give you a peak inside the villain’s head. It really spikes up the suspense of the story.

I have to admit that I had a feeling who the bad guy was around the 20% mark, so I wasn’t all that shocked when the truth was revealed. But then when you think everything is all sunshine and rainbows Ms. Eden throws in a twist and a hell of a shocking surprise at the end.

Mine to Hold was my favorite book out of the series, and I can’t wait for future installments.

On a side note:
Please please please for the love of all that’s holy, can we get a book for Drake. How can you tease me like this, Cynthia? You give me hints and peaks at a damaged and broken man and expect me to wait patiently?!! I’m dying! DYING over here! And no, I’m not exaggerating dammit! I need, must have Drake’s book.
Now I am off to internet stalk the author to find out if and how soon I can get my hands on the deliciousness that is Drake. And I thank you

**ARC courtesy of publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

Buy Links

Connected reviews


Blog Tour & Giveaway: Cage by Harper Sloan

Synopsis:

**Warning** This book is intended for a mature reading**
Alpha heroes you’ll want to kidnap and keep, heroines to root for, and sizzling love scenes with emotional punch.” Carly Phillips, NY Times Bestselling Author

Greg Cage was born to protect. While growing up, he was his mother and sister’s shield against the world…until he failed. For the last decade, he has carried that guilt and need for vengeance

around…until it was stripped from him. Now, with his best friend getting married and no longer needing his protection, he is even more lost, completely adrift, and desperate for some control. All he has ever known was how to protect: his family, his friends, and his country. Can he go against everything he has ever known, and give up that control?

Melissa Larson will never let anyone hold the reins in her life. She has been the rock in her family for more years than she can remember, and the fight to keep them together is her main priority

right now. She has always been fiercely independent and proud. The last thing she will ever do is ask for someone else’s help. But when that choice is out of her control, forcing her to rely on others to save her and her family, and pick up the pieces that are left, will she be able to let someone else be her strength?
The second Greg locks eyes with Meli, he knows that she is someone he needs. Someone he craves. Meli knew the second she met Greg that he would be nothing but trouble and heartache. Her life takes an unexpected turn, and that bitch Fate is back to wreak more havoc on another

member of the Corps family. All hell breaks loose, leaving Greg no

choice but to call in a favor. He hooks back up with his old friend Braxxon Breaker from the Breakneck MC. Together, they make sure that nothing threatens anyone Greg loves again.
CAGE is a complete story with a HEA.

My Review

4.5 Sexy Beast Stars

Having her in my arms feels like coming home. I am not one to believe in all that love at first sight bullshit, but even as cynical as I am, I can recognize something bigger than lust at work.

Before, this was all about the game. Enjoy him while I can and stay away from any kind of attachments. But now, I feel like it would be impossible to walk away.

Whose pants, you ask? Well Greg Cage’s of course. No need to think about decor, as Cage has already decorated the ahem…facilities very well. And yes I mean exactly what you’re thinking about. Don’t worry about bringing refreshments, as you will be getting drunk on all his sexy Alpha-maleness. I would suggest bring a few packs of ice for those moments (and there will be quite a few) where your ovaries will feel like they are about to catch on fire.

In Axel, I got very sweet and tame vibes from Cage. Boy was I in for a surprise when we got to see what he was really like. And let me just say, mama like! The book starts off with a bang

And I do mean a bang! And what a ride it was.

Axel definitely still holds the number one spot for me (until Maddox finally gets his book. What? I happen to have a thing for the broken and broody assholes), but Greg did give him a run for his money.

What really made this book for me though, was the heroine. I love me a kick ass heroine, and Melissa had it in spades. She is still dealing with the pain of losing her sister, but she still maintains this strength about herself.

One thing I have learned is you never hide who you are. If you want something, you fight for it. When you think you have fought hard enough, fight a little more. Don’t ever let anyone or any situation make who you are.”

It was so refreshing to read about a heroine that didn’t have any insecurities about her looks, and gave as good as she got. Greg may have his way with words, but Meli definitely put him in his place and made him work for it.

Name’s Greg Cage. Most of my friends call me Greg, some call me Cage, but you can call me whatever you want.” Really? Is he for real right now?
“Does that line ever work for you? And why would I call you Cage? Sounds like something you stuff a rabid animal in.

Greg is a man that hasn’t exactly been the relationship type. That’s not to say that he doesn’t secretly long for it when he sees the love between his friends Axel and Izzy. When he first sees Meli, it’s a case of insta-lust and he is determined to do everything to make her his.

While Meli doesn’t exactly make it easy for him, Greg certainly has a way with words. And when the man has his goal in mind, he pulls no punches.

Your body wants this as bad as your mind does. I can feel how wet you are. Come on beauty, let’s get out of here.”I feel his hand slip around the front of my body, back under my skirt, and his fingertips brush against my screaming core.
“Do you taste as good as you feel? Warm and juicy? Like a ripe peach that’s mine for the picking?”

And let me just tell you, when these two finally get down to business…WOWZA!

I am not usually a fan of almost insta-love, but somehow with Greg and Meli it just worked. It was not a instant thing, but it was a fairly quick transition from lust to love, yet it felt smooth. It just worked for them.

Greg is still dealing with regrets and past pain of his own. But he is trying to work through it and make amends for his past mistakes. He still has an edge about him with his dirty talking ways, but he also had this incredible sweet side.

I can’t make you promises, Beauty. I can’t sit here and tell you that I’m worth letting those walls down for. But, I can tell you that if the way I feel for you now keeps growing, there isn’t an army strong enough to pull me out.

We also get some more glimpses at all our favorite boys, including my deliciously broody Maddox. And of course some more Axel and Izzy and their newest little addition…that apparently doesn’t fall too far from the tree.

Nate is all ‘alpha baby’.”
“He is constantly saying ‘mine’. But does he say it about normal things a one year old would claim? Noooo, not Axel Reid’s baby. His baby claims boobs, Izzy. I took him with me to the mall the other day, and when we ran into Victoria’s Secret to get some new boyshorts, because hey, they were on sale so why not? Anyway, we walk in and he starts pointing to every mannequin, every sales lady’s chest. Then when I’m checking out, he pulls my top down and screams ‘mine’. You have issues with that boy if he is already chasing tits at one.”

Then there was Mandy:

And that is all I will say on that subject.

This book was not as angsty as the first one was, but it was still filled with plenty of action, steam, and suspense. There was a super sweet epilogue, and a quick sneak peek into Beck and Dee’s book.

This series has become an auto-buy favorite for me. Harper Sloan really knows how to write one hell of a sexy Alpha hero. And Greg Cage was no exception. I am now a little spoiled. I will be expecting every hero I read from now on to have the “trifecta of vaginal bliss.”

Now that is all the ramblings you will be getting from this girl. I am off to pout about the fact that I have to wait until book 5 to read about my beloved Maddox. And I thank you!

Buy Links:

About the Author

Harper lives in small town Georgia just a short drive from her hometown of Peachtree City. She (and her 3 daughters) enjoy ruling the house they dubbed ‘Estrogen Ocean’, much to her husband’s chagrin. Harper has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books; you can almost ALWAYS find her with her ereader attached. As an ex-reviewer and blogger, Harper’s passion for reading runs deep. It wasn’t until ‘Axel’ decided to take up residence that she realized her true calling.

She started using writing as a way to unwind when the house went to sleep at night; and with a house full of crazy it was the perfect way to just relax. It didn’t take long before a head full of very demanding alphas would stop at nothing to have their story told.

Social Links:

Goodreads  I Amazon I Facebook  I Twitter I Pinterest I
Instagram @harper_sloan

a
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Review: Love Plus One (G-Man 2) by Andrea Smith

Love Plus One (G-Man, #2)Love Plus One by Andrea Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars







4.5 I want Taz to call ME his ‘baby girl’ STARS





“I’m not looking to get hurt, Taz. I’m just looking to get laid.”



She was a fucking contradiction in terms. She was soft and sweet; lusty and sexy; reserved and abandoned at the same time.

Well, it’s official my friends; Andrea Smith has a new stalker auto-buy fan in me. While I really enjoyed her Baby Lite series, this book pretty much blew it out of the water for me. I thought I knew what I was in for, I though I was prepared for what was coming, boy was I fucking wrong! But before I get into all that, let’s talk about a few other things.

While I have not yet read the first book in this series (something I will be rectifying immediately), I had no issues understanding what was going on. I knew right away when I began reading that this book was going to be right up my alley.

I mean let’s see…
Sexy bad-boy, slightly assholish and manwhoring hero:
Said hero also having tattoos:
He was a sexy as hell FBI agent:
Heroine that I didn’t want to strangle:
A fantastic plot:
And enough steam to feel like my reader was going to catch on fire: YUP!

A year ago, Lindsey Dennison’s life changed irrevocably. Her father turned out to be not quite the man she always thought him to be. She had to deal with the fact that her father’s criminal activity led to federal bust, and his ultimate run from the law. Her parent’s marriage is over, and her mother is now married to the man responsible for the the bust.
Her mother never even hinting to the problems that she was having in her marriage certainly hasn’t helped with the shock that Lindsey has been dealt. But she’s trying to deal with it, to move on with her life. So she focuses all her energy on her first year of college. She’s not looking for happily ever after, she just wants to finish school and begin her career. There’s just one pesky little issue that she’d like to deal with before all that; losing her virginity.

But Lindsey doesn’t feel that way. She’s not looking for rainbows and unicorns and a happily ever after. She just wants to get it over with, and who’s better fit for the job that her step-father’s sexy partner, Trace “Taz” Matthews.

Taz is not into relationships. He likes his sex hot and dirty, and he likes his women disposable. But he’s 10 years older than Lindsey and he knows that his partner and best friend’s virginal step daughter is definitely off limits.

But there’s just one problem to his plan to stay away from her; he can’t seem to stop thinking about the little spitfire.

So they come to an arrangement. Taz will help Lindsey learn all she needs to about sex, and then they will both move on without looking back.

But things never quite work out the way you plan them, and Taz and Lindsey find themselves dealing with what looks to be a budding relationship.

I really liked that the progression of Lindsey and Taz’s relationship didn’t feel rushed or forced. Even though it might have been lust at first sight, both Taz and Lindsey struggled with their feelings, and it took them some time to deal with things.

As I’ve come to associate with Andrea Smith’s books, the story was filled with steam, action, suspense, and twist and turns. Just when I thought I was OK with how things were developing, and thought I knew what was coming Andrea went and swept the rug right out from under me. HOLY FUCKING HELL! When I got to the 80% mark of this book…I have no words. I’m pretty sure it was just

Shortly followed by

And after just left me

Please be warned that the book has a very brutal and graphic rape scene. If you are not comfortable reading that, I would advise against reading this book. The last 20% will leave you reeling.

Was this book perfect? No. There were times where I wanted to slap some sense into Lindsey, and times where Taz did or said some things that had me shaking my head. But something about it just worked for me. I loved it. And now I am eagerly anticipating the 3rd book’s release in December 2013.

But that is all the ramblings you’ll be getting from this girl for now. I’m gonna go read me a sunshine and rainbows book next to deal with the HOLY HELL DID THAT JUST HAPPEN last 20% of this book. And I thank you

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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