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Currently Browsing: contemporary romance
Feb
27

Review: My Wicked Valentine by Ann Mayburn

Review: My Wicked Valentine by Ann Mayburn My Wicked Valentine Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: Feb. 12, 2013 Publisher: Loose ID Club Wicked #1 ISBN: #978-1623002541 Genre: Contemporary Romance, BDSM, erotica Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:      Lucia Roa needs a miracle to keep her fledgeling event planning business from going under. When she gets word about the opportunity of a lifetime to do a Valentine’s Day party for an elite club in Washington D.C. she jumps at the chance, only finding out that the party isn’t for just any club, it is for the premier private BDSM club, Wicked. Desperate for a chance to make the social and professional connections that this job would offer, she agrees to a most unconventional business arrangement with the handsomest man she’s ever met.      CEO Isaac O’Keefe swore off relationships years ago after having his heart broken and his bank account emptied by his gold digging first wife. He thought he’d managed to keep his heart under lock and key, but when Lucia walks into his office he is instantly drawn to the fiery beauty in a way he’s never felt before. He convinces Lucia to take the position as event planner for Wicked’s Valentine’s Day Party, but in order to make the event a success, something he needs to happen to secure his place on the board at Wicked, he must give her a crash course at all the dark pleasures BDSM has to offer. What starts out as a business partnership quickly turns into something more as Lucia breaks down every wall around his heart without even trying. Isaac must then make a choice, push Lucia away and continue to live a safe, but lonely life, or open himself up again to the greatest pain and pleasure in the world. Love. What I’m talking about:      Lucia Roa is excited, but extremely nervous, for her interview to plan a major party for the rich and powerful Isaac O’Keefe. She is going in blind, at the urging of her mentor, Mrs. Florentine, not knowing who or what the party is for. So when Isaac tells Lucia that the party is at a BDSM club and that she’s too young and inexperienced, Lucia is determined to prove he’s wrong. And within a few pages, Isaac is determined to bring Lucia into the fold – with him showing her the ropes (pun intended).      The pair set up an unconventional business arrangement...
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Feb
6

Review: Hot Ticket by Olivia Cunning

Review: Hot Ticket by Olivia Cunning Hot Ticket Author: Olivia Cunning  Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Sinners on Tour #4 (reading order Book 3) ISBN: #978-1402245831 Genre: Erotic Romance Format(s): paperback (400 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book: He needs her to mask his pain… When Jace walked through the doors of Aggie’s dungeon, the last thing he expected was to find self-forgiveness and the love of a remarkable woman. But when a terrible accident sidelines Jace during the band’s tour, the burdensome chains of his past wrap ferociously around his heart. She needs him to forgive himself… Determined to crack through Jace’s armored shell, Aggie must go beyond her usual methods to mend his heart to love again. What B is talking about: Jace Seymour is carrying quite a few demons from his past, and only one thing is guaranteed to give him any relief. When he finds exactly what he’s looking for during a bachelor’s party at a strip club, he’s all for a little temporary distraction, but as with everything else in the Sinners’ world lately, nothing goes according to plan. Desperate to escape his memories, he seeks out a different kind of pain, but it seems that his angel in leather is more than he bargained for, and just might be the answer to his prayers. Aggie has worked hard for the life she has: she’s independent, confident, and has a great gig making men literally beg at her feet. She’s happily single and intends to stay that way, thank you very much. But, when she assumes her newest client, a gorgeous, blonde bass player with a taste for what only her skills can deliver, is just like so many others she’s broken, she’s in for a surprise. Jace is unlike any man she’s ever known, and she’s determined to do everything she can to help him, even if it leaves her with a broken heart. This was a really enjoyable story to read, and is possibly my favorite Sinners story to date. Jace is not only the most introverted member of the band, but one of the most interesting. As an extremely skilled bassist playing in a band he’s always loved, Jace should have confidence in abundance, yet he never allows himself to truly feel a part of everything, choosing instead to keep his bandmates and anyone else he meets at a distance. He’s been made a fighter by his own circumstances, and is viciously...
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Jan
29

Review: Rush by Maya Banks

Review: Rush by Maya Banks Rush Author: Maya Banks  Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013 Publisher: Berkley Trade Breathless Trilogy, Book #1 ISBN: 978-0425267042 Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance  Format(s): Paperback (416 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book: Gabe, Jace, and Ash: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Gabe, it’s making one particular fantasy come true with a woman who was forbidden fruit. Now she’s ripe for the picking…  When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.  Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires.  As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected. What VampBard’s talking about: While reading Rush, the newest offering from Maya Banks, I was driven – often – to the term ‘Holy Hell’.  I’m not gonna lie.  I ran the gambit of, “I LOVE this book,” to “Um.  Wow.  Not sure,” to “this better resolve – quickly – or I’m outtie.”  I finished.  I pondered.  I learned… and I quickly became thankful for my own life and relationships. First and foremost:  BDSM is prominent.  The D/s roles are a central figure and major plot point.  The sex is hot, intense, and PLENTIFUL throughout this book.  It’s not over-done.  It’s an important aspect of the main characters’ relationship, although it’s not the ONLY aspect of their relationship.  There were a few things that made me uncomfortable while reading, and one situation that had the potential to be a deal-breaker (as in, I would have stopped reading), but this situation...
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Jan
24

Review: How To Misbehave by Ruthie Knox

Review: How To Misbehave by Ruthie Knox How to Misbehave Author: Ruthie Knox    Release Date: Jan. 28, 2013 Publisher: Loveswept Camelot Series Introductory Novella ISBN: #978-0345545305 Genre: Contemporary Romance, Novella Format(s): e-book (99 pgs) Book Source: Publisher About the book: As program director for the Camelot Community Center, Amber Clark knows how to keep her cool. That is, until a sudden tornado warning forces her to take shelter in a darkened basement with a hunk of man whose sex appeal green lights her every fantasy. With a voice that would melt chocolate, he asks her if she is okay. Now she’s hot all over and wondering: How does a girl make a move? Building contractor Tony Mazzara was just looking to escape nature’s fury. Instead, he finds himself all tangled up with lovely Amber. Sweet and sexy, she’s ready to unleash her wild side. Their mutual desire reaches a fever pitch and creates a storm of its own—unexpected, powerful, and unforgettable. But is it bigger than Tony can handle? Can he let go of painful memories and let the force of this remarkable woman show him a future he never dreamed existed? What Nima’s talking about: I love dependable authors.  I know that when I open the pages of a new book, it’s not going to be a waste of my time or money.  Ruthie Knox has proven to me that she is a dependable author.  She’s apparently proven it to Random House as well because she’s been green-lighted to embark on an entire series, the Camelot Series, based in the imaginary little hamlet of Camelot, Ohio, about an hour outside of Columbus.  It’s one of those insignificant places that you fly over while going from one coast to the other without knowing what you’ve missed—unless you are among the lucky few who’ve lived there.  I’m originally from the west coast and now make my home in one of those historic little gems of Ohio, but really, this story would have been at home in just about any small, Midwest town. How to Misbehave is a novella, our appetizer to the main course of the series to come.  The series follows the Clark siblings—Amber, Caleb, and Katie.  Blessedly, we do not have to wait a year between books.  Caleb’s story, Along Came Trouble, is due out in March, and Katie’s story, Flirting with Disaster, follows in June.  According to the author’s end notes however, How to Misbehave was not written first.  Knox wrote it last.  Amber...
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Jan
23

Review: Island Pleasures by KT Grant

Review: Island Pleasures by KT Grant Island Pleasures Author: KT Grant  Release Date: Jan. 25, 2013 Publisher: Decadent Publishing 1 Night Stand Series Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source Author About the book: Carly Kimball, columnist for the popular magazine, Chit-Chat Weekly is going undercover to reveal the truth behind Madame Evangeline and 1Night Stand. She’ll infiltrate the Grand Turk Castillo hotel and resort to find the proof she needs for her article.  But Carly is in for the biggest shock of her life when she comes face to face with a man from her past, Quinn Alfasi, who she shared one passionate night with back in college. Quinn never thought he’d see Carly again, and now six years later she’s come back into his life with the purpose to take down his employer. He’ll do whatever he has to in order to expose her as a liar and a fraud. But then his friend Woody shows an interest in Carly and has a plans to seduce her whether Quinn likes it or not. Quinn won’t allow Carly to fall for Woody even if he has to team up with his Lothario best friend to claim Carly as his own.  Carly is in danger of not only giving up on her mission, but also falling for the adorable Woody. But then there’s Quinn, the one man she has always loved and has never forgotten… What I’m talking about: Carly Kimball is trying to get ahead at her tabloid newspaper, so she attempts to find some dirt on the 1 Night Stand match-making service. Believing it’s a front for an escort service run by the Castillo brothers, Carly attempts to infiltrate one of their hotels by pretending to be her twin sister, Cassidy. However, Carly isn’t fooling anyone, especially Woody and Quinn, two friends of the sisters from college. Island Pleasures is a delightful romp in an exotic locale. I enjoyed the descriptive details of the luxurious hotel, island setting, and delicious men.  Carly was a mixed bag for me. She certainly isn’t cut out for the undercover work. She is only fooling herself, believing that Woody and Quinn are buying her story. She comes across a bit green… especially when she uses her own credit card to secure her stay at the resort! It bothered me at times that she came across so naive; I wanted her to be strong and successful, not down on herself. Quinn is a confident man, but unsure...
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Jan
23

Review: Beautiful Scars by Shiloh Walker

Review: Beautiful Scars by Shiloh Walker Beautiful Scars Author: Shiloh Walker  Release Date: Jan. 15, 2013 Publisher: Samhain Publishing Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book:      Some scars cut right to the heart.      Three years after her divorce, Chaili Bennett is over her ex. Her only problem now? Of the few men she’s dated since, no one “gets” her. Not like Marc Archer—a man who’s never seen her as more than a friend.      Marc Archer needs a date for a last-minute charity event, and he needs it fast. Not that women aren’t throwing themselves at his world-famous face and body, but sometimes it’s less messy—as in less personal—to use his sister Shera’s escort service.      The last woman on earth Marc expects to see in his sister’s office is Chaili. There’s something different about her, but nothing pleases him more when Shera sets them up. That simple date quickly evolves into much more as they both discover the other fills a deep, secret need they’ve shared with no one else.      Though Chaili insists one night is all she wants, Marc isn’t walking away now. Not until he discovers what put the shadows in her eyes. And the scars on her soul.      Warning: This book involves soulful songs, soulful sex, a soulful singer and lots of heartbreak. But no worries, there’s a happy ever after. What VampBard’s talking about:      In the synopsis for Beautiful Scars, the reader is warned, “This book involves soulful songs, soulful sex, a soulful singer and lots of heartbreak…”  Thanks for the warning, but I still wasn’t ready for the emotionally-charged story into which I was plunged head-first.  When it feels like an author takes a peek into my soul, reaches for the strings of my heart, and plucks them like a skilled harpist, that’s exactly when I know that this is one of the titles that will be on my top list for 2013.      The synopsis for Beautiful Scars gives us a concise overview of the plot.  There’s a lot that happens, but one of the most important over-arching themes in this title is that of meaningful relationships developing from truly knowing a person on the INSIDE.  I’m so sick of the porcelain doll, or even the reluctant butterfly, that is pure perfection snagging the rich, hottie.  We ALL have scars we bear.  In this day and...
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Jan
3

Review: By Private Invitation by Stephanie Julian

Review: By Private Invitation by Stephanie Julian By Private Invitation Author: Stephanie Julian  Release Date: Dec. 31, 2012 Publisher: Berkley Trade Salon Games #1 ISBN: #978-0425262870 Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:      Antiques dealer Annabelle Elder’s life is nowhere near as passionate as the erotic art she collects. A cheating ex-boyfriend and her business have seen to that. So when she attends a New Year’s Eve party at Haven Hotel, she sees a chance to blow off some steam. But she never expected to meet anyone like Jared—or to experience such passion in his arms…      Handsome, rich, and charming as hell, Jared Golden brought his Midas touch to Haven Hotel—and created an anything-goes pleasure palace on one floor to cater to his special friends and their very special desires. After falling in lust with Annabelle at first sight, seducing her was easier than he expected. What he didn’t expect was to be seduced in turn…      But unrestrained passion in the bedroom is not the only spark between Annabelle and Jared. Their mutual attraction is confounded by their separate pasts. Caught in an ever-growing web of painful secrets and sensual fantasy, will they be able to face the truth about themselves and trust in true love? What I’m talking about:      I have been a big fan of Stephanie Julian’s paranormal stories for several years, so I was excited to have the opportunity to review her latest release, By Private Invitation. Starting this book I had no idea what it was about, but knowing Ms. Julian, it would be sexy!      The first chapter not only sets the stage for the reader, but it grabs ahold and doesn’t let the reader go. Right up front, we learn that our hero, Jared, is a pleasure seeker and part owner of a hedonistic pleasure hotel. He clearly enjoys sexual exploits outside of the norm. He has a private room known as the Salon, where friends can experience their inner most sexual fantasies, by invitation only. In addition, we learn that his family has been “cursed in love” when a ring and pin were stolen. And… hmmmm… Is that the missing pin that our heroine Annabelle is wearing?! Annabelle is ready for a night of pleasure after having a lousy year in the romance department.      There is just something special about By Private Invitation that captured my imagination and warmed my...
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Dec
24

Quickie Review: Adore by Ann Mayburn

Quickie Review: Adore by Ann Mayburn Adore Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: Nov. 20, 2012 Publisher: Decadent Sam & Cody #3 Genre: GLBT, m/m, Contemporary Romance, Novella, holiday Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Sam and Cody have settled into married life, live in their dream house, and are more in love than ever. There is just one thing missing from their lives to make their home complete. A baby to share their love with. Adoption is hard enough, but the struggles and hardship of trying to adopt as a gay couple may be too much for the men to handle. When a series of setbacks leave both men with broken hearts and wounded souls, it will take a Christmas miracle to give Sam and Cody the strength to give adoption one more try. What B is talking about:       Four years into their marriage, Cody McPherson and Sam Dunham have decided that their little family needs just one more thing to be absolutely perfect: a baby to share their loving home. But when the birth mother of their son changes her mind at the last minute, everything they hold dear is threatened as the grief and prejudice they face as a homosexual couple trying to adopt nearly tears them apart. Fortunately, things often happen for a reason, and Cody and Sam discover that one closed door could lead them to more happiness then they’d ever dared to hope for.       I thought this was a very sweet story that makes some exceptionally valid points about the intolerance still faced by homosexuals in our society. Cody and Sam are capable, understanding, loving men who would be great fathers, if only they received the same consideration in the system as heterosexual couples. I was very happy for them in the end, though, and agree with them that things turned out better than they could have imagined. Of course, one of my favorite things about Ms. Mayburn’s stories are the scorching hot sex scenes she writes for her characters, and Sam and Cody get their share. These two are not only great guys, but they’re really, really hot. Adore is sweet, sexy goodness all around, and I’ll be rereading it again very soon. B’s Rating: Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)     Purchase Info: Adore (Story 3) Reviews in the Series: Want (Story 1)  ...
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Dec
18

Guest Review: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Guest Review: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young       Today I would like to introduce to you one of my good friends, Nena. Recently, Nena started her own book blog, the good, the bad and the ugly, and I adore her quick and easy format for reviewing books. Please help me welcome Nena to That’s What I’m Talking About!       Hello readers! I’m very excited to stop by That’s What I’m Talking About and introduce myself and my book review blog.       First off, I have to tell you a little about myself, my favorite pastime is to get myself lost in a good story. Recommendations are a must for me as a reader, because I don’t ever read book blurbs or synopses. I like to immerse myself into a story without any preconceived ideas, expectations or knowledge.       Over the summer I was given a book recommendation by a friend that knows what I like so I went ahead and bought it without thinking twice (buy-it-with-one-click compulsion, anyone?)       To say the least, I loved the book and when I went to search for more information about the author, I discovered the world of indie books. I had stayed away from self-published titles for a good reason but after reading that book, I knew there had to be more diamonds in the rough and I embarked myself on a quest to find them!       Goodreads is a great place to go and find treasures, but along with the gems I found, I came across a lot of not-so-precious rocks. The star rating proved to be flawed, and it quickly became meaningless to me. If I was going to read a book I wanted to know what were its strengths, what things could be improved, and ultimately I wanted to have a final statement of the book as a whole, so, the good, the bad and the ugly book review blog was born. The good, the bad and the ugly blog has a simple format, and today I would like to share with you one of the best books I read this past summer.       On Dublin Street by Samantha Young was self-published on August 31, 2012, and it quickly made its way to the top on Amazon’s best selling romance books, climbing ahead the Fifty Shades of Grey books which held the three top spots all summer. On Dublin Street surprised the publishing industry keeping the number one spot...
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Nov
27

Review: The Final Piece by Maggi Myers

Review: The Final Piece by Maggi Myers The Final Piece Author: Maggi Myers  Release Date: Nov. 15, 2012 Publisher: self-published ISBN: 978-1480055544 Genre: Contemporary Romantic Fiction Format(s): Paperback (312 pgs), e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book: Elizabeth Bradshaw has spent her life picking up the the pieces of her delicate past and hiding them. Her secrecy has worked until the day Beth receives word that her only confidant, Tommy, has been killed. Devastated, she leaves her new life behind to embark on a pilgrimage home for Tommy’s funeral. When faced, yet again, with more pieces to pick up and pack away, Beth begins to question the choice to keep everyone in life at arm’s length. As Beth reconnects with Ryan, Tommy’s nephew, she begins a journey that will unearth her secrecy and teach her grace, love and forgiveness. What VampBard’s talking about: The Final Piece, debut novel by Maggi Myers, contains a little bit of everything.  Even though Ms. Myers works with a substantial amount of material, she manages to remain true to her story throughout.  As a reader, I was drawn in by the beautiful descriptions provided for and by the main characters.  We saw the point-of-view shift between Beth and Ryan a few times throughout the story, and it was neither awkward nor distracting.   I knew before picking up this title that Ms. Myers would be writing about some sensitive topics.  She deals with child molestation and rape in a substantial, thoughtful, and compassionate manner.    If The Final Piece had only this sensitive material, I would recommend an older young adult audience.  Ms. Myers brings to the forefront the process of healing from childhood atrocities.  Later in the title, after Beth has graduated college, we see some explicit love-making scenes.  This raises the rating to Mature Audiences for me.   The Final Piece needed at least one more editing drive-by to catch a few errors in usage and mechanics.  I also noted a couple plot inconsistencies that could use some tidying-up.  This would be the H.S. English teacher side piping in, and it did tarnish the reading experience for me a tad, lowering my rating by at least ½ star.   Beth is one of the strongest female main characters that I have read in a long time.  Beginning the story when she is a teen, we watch Beth grow up and move on with her life.  After being a child of using parents, Beth is forced...
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