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Currently Browsing: contemporary romance
Apr
15

Review: Blizzard by Taryn Kincaid

Review: Blizzard by Taryn Kincaid Blizzard Author: Taryn Kincaid  Release Date: Feb. 20, 2013 Publisher: Decadent Decadent’s Edge Series Genre: Short Story, Contemporary Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:      Mandy Malone ditches her pharmaceutical convention and the married male colleagues hitting on her to hurry home to her waiting family. But she doesn’t bank on the blizzard that forces her off the road and into a deserted rest stop. When she meets another road refugee, their attraction is immediate and molten hot. Suddenly, getting stranded doesn’t seem like such bad luck after all.      Although totally unprepared for Mandy’s unvarnished proposition, Jack is intrigued by the erotic offer of a promising night of no-questions-asked sex. But when he notices the wedding band on Mandy’s finger, will he forego the lure of a torrid clandestine affair, or give in to the fantasy of blazing hot sex on a wintry night? What I’m talking about:      Blizzard is a wonderful vignette from Taryn Kincaid, author of the Sleepy Hollow series. The story is part of Decadent Publishing’s Edge Series, a line of short stories covering different types of romance, all from various authors. Each story is usually a single scene or at most a few scenes over a very short time period, highlighting a sexy encounter.      Being married with kids is a tough and tiring place to be. Add to it a demanding full-time job, and the idea of sex becomes almost a foreign concept. So when Mandy Malone finds herself alone with a handsome man stranded in a rest stop – she wants to get some satisfaction in her unfulfilling sex life. Jack is more than willing to help fill the bill and give Mandy the time of her life.      There is instant chemistry between Mandy and Jack. Lets face it… Most of us married with kids (or even those who are not!) probably have experienced some sort of sexual frustration and the desire to have a passionate encounter. In Blizzard, the reader lives vicariously through Mandy and Jack and their intense meeting. It’s enjoyable; it’s hot; it’s crazy and needy!      This really is a great little story – lots of fun, well-written and entertaining. At first I was wondering how the whole rendez-vous and situation presented would be resolved in such a short space. However, about halfway through the book I figured out where the story was going, and it totally...
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Apr
11

Review: My Wicked Nanny by Ann Mayburn

Review: My Wicked Nanny by Ann Mayburn My Wicked Nanny Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Loose ID Club Wicked #2 Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, BDSM Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       Young nanny Anya Kozlov takes a job at the elite BDSM club, Wicked, in order to pay for her upcoming trip to Paris. Donning a mask to disguise herself she uses the fake name of Dove. On her first night she is shocked when she finds out that the man she is a nanny for and has an enormous crush on, Jesse Shaw, is also a member of Wicked. When Jesse expresses his interest in teaching her about the dark pleasures of Dominance and submission Anya is helpless to resist, even though she is lying to him about who she is.       Jesse can’t seem to get Dove, out of his mind. It’s been five years since his wife passed and for the first time he feels something beyond physical lust or friendship for a woman. He is angry and hurt when he finds out that Dove is really Anya, his meek and mousy nanny. With only a few weeks left before Anya leaves for Paris, Jesse is determined to get her to not only tell the truth, but also mark her heart and soul so that she doesn’t forget him when they are an ocean apart. What I’m talking about:       Anya Kozlov has dreams to travel to Paris to become a fashion designer, and her salary as a nanny isn’t going to get her there soon enough. Her design mentor recommended Anya take a job as a server at a private, exclusive BDSM club so she can earn the cash needed to get to Paris. After passing their extensive background checks and training, Anya is ready to start her new job. She takes the name Dove and dons a mask, keeping the “real” Anya private. However, on her first night when she sees her boss (father of the children she cares for), she’s worried her cover will be blown.       Anya has had a crush on Jesse ever since he hired her. So when he doesn’t realize who Dove truly is, Anya takes up his offer of pleasure. Although Anya wants to come clean about who Dove is, she is too afraid he’ll fire her and hate her. She struggles between her growing feelings and her desire...
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Apr
10

Review: Love Irresistibly by Julie James

Review: Love Irresistibly by Julie James Love Irresistibly Author: Julie James  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Berkley FBI/U.S. Attorney Series #4 ISBN: #978-0425251195 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:      HE’S USED TO GETTING WHAT HE WANTS…  A former football star and one of Chicago’s top prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan will do anything to nail a corrupt state senator, which means he needs Brooke Parker’s help. As general counsel for a restaurant company, she can get a bug to the senator’s table at one of her five-star restaurants so the FBI can eavesdrop on him. All Cade has to do is convince Brooke to cooperate—and he’s not afraid to use a little charm, or the power of his office, to do just that.      AND WHAT HE WANTS IS HER A savvy businesswoman, Brooke knows she needs to play ball with the U.S. Attorney’s office—even if it means working with Cade. No doubt there’s a sizzling attraction beneath all their sarcastic quips, but Brooke is determined to keep things casual. Cade agrees—until a surprising turn of events throws his life into turmoil, and he realizes that he wants more than just a good time from the one woman with whom he could fall terrifyingly, irresistibly in love…   What Nima’s talking about:      I am new to Julie James’ books, although she has earned a loyal and enthusiastic following among contemporary romance readers.  Like Kathy Reichs and Jessica Scott, I appreciate authors who have professional knowledge of their characters’ world.  James didn’t just plunk hunky Cade Morgan into the U.S. Attorney’s office; James is an attorney and brings her experience with the legal system to her FBI/U.S. Attorney series giving it a unique authenticity.      Love Irresistibly is book four in the series. While characters from previous books do make appearances, it is a book that can stand on its own.  Don’t avoid it because it’s number four.  There are a lot of things about this book that could have made it cliché, but James’ writing rises above that.  Her main characters are genuinely clever people.  The resulting banter is smart, something that can be difficult to achieve in dialog alone.  The predominant obstacle in this novel is that these two are workaholics.  Their careers are on the rise and they’re not about to slow the assent for something as distracting as a romance.      As their paths...
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Apr
9

Review: Fever by Maya Banks

Review: Fever by Maya Banks Fever Author: Maya Banks      Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Berkley Trade Breathless Trilogy #2 ISBN: 978-0425267066 Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance Format(s): paperback (416 pages), e-book Book Source: Publisher / NetGalley About the book: Jace, Ash, and Gabe: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Jace, it’s a woman whose allure takes him completely by surprise…  Jace Crestwell, Ash McIntyre, and Gabe Hamilton have been best friends and successful business partners for years. They’re powerful, they’re imposing, they’re irresistibly sexy, and Jace and Ash share everything—including their women.  When they meet Bethany, Jace begins to feel things he’s never experienced before: jealousy, and a powerful obsession that threatens him, overwhelms him—and excites him beyond control.  Jace isn’t sharing Bethany—with anyone. He’s determined to be the only man in her life, and it’s jeopardizing a lifelong friendship with Ash. Bethany will be his and his alone. Even if it means turning his back on his best friend.  What VampBard’s talking about: Maya Banks certainly left me Breathless whilst reading the second title in that trilogy!  LOL.  Couldn’t resist… but, seriously.  Fever certainly ratchets up the heat index with the turn of each page. When we left the Breathless hunks, Gabe had proposed to Mia, Jace’s sister.  Jace & Ash were OK with the idea, and neither were threatening beat his ass any longer.  We pick up the story, rather seamlessly, at Gabe and Mia’s engagement party.  The focus has shifted from Gabe and Mia to Jace and Ash, as well as the beauty in their sights for the night.  I have to say, I was really surprised that we had a menage at the beginning.  Yeah.  Starts hot, stays hot!  HEAT INDEX:  4 out of 5.  (I need to blush to issue a 5!) I knew that this story was about either Jace or Ash after reading the first chapter at the end of Rush.  It was obvious from the beginning that Jace would be our focus, however.  I’m not quite sure what drew me to Jace as a hero.  It could be his intent focus, his selflessness, or his compulsion to ‘possess’ Bethany.  Over time, I think that as we grow and we have to control so much in our environment, it’s important to have someone that will simply take over and make sure that everything is ‘taken care of’.  Don’t think I’m...
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Apr
3

Review: Too Hot to Handle by Victoria Dahl

Review: Too Hot to Handle by Victoria Dahl Too Hot to Handle Author: Victoria Dahl Release Date: March 26, 2013 Publisher: Harlequin Jackson Series #2 ISBN: 978-0373777464 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pages), e-book Book Source: NetGalley About the book:       This good girl’s going bad….       Merry Kade has always been the good girl. The best friend. The one who patiently waits for the guy to notice her. Well, no more. Merry has just scored her dream job, and it’s time for her life to change. As the new curator of a museum in Wyoming, she’ll supervise a lot of restoration work. Luckily she’s found the perfect contractor for the job.       Shane Harcourt can’t believe that someone wants to turn a beat-up ghost town into a museum attraction. After all, the last thing he needs is the site of his dream ranch turning into a tourist trap. He’ll work on the project, if only to hasten its failure…until the beautiful, quirky woman in charge starts to change his mind.       For the first time ever, Merry has a gorgeous stud hot on her heels. But can she trust this strong, silent man, even if he is a force of nature in bed? When Shane’s ulterior motives come out, he’ll need to prove to Merry that a love like theirs may be too hot to handle, but it’s impossible to resist. What VampBard’s talking about:       Why hasn’t anyone insisted that I read something by Victoria Dahl before?!?!  Her writing is smart, sassy and sultry.  Definitely hot, and it doesn’t insult my intelligence.  I picked up Too Hot to Handle, the second title (with a novella tossed between) in her Jackson series via NetGalley.  I’d always been curious, because Ms. Dahl is so wonderfully outspoken and passionate on Twitter, as to how her books would communicate her passion.  O. M. G.!  Happiness.       I think I clearly identified with the heroine, Merry, in Too Hot to Handle.  I saw her as someone that every woman on the planet should aspire to become.  Ultimately, as a mom and a teacher and just one of those general people that like to be nice, etc., Merry exemplifies everything I’d like my daughters to be – pretty confident, predominantly OK with who they are, and accepting.  As a mom, that’s one of the reasons I adored Merry.       Shane treated women – and Merry especially...
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Apr
1

Review: Lush by Lauren Dane

Review: Lush by Lauren Dane Lush Author: Lauren Dane Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Berkley Trade The Delicious Series #3 ISBN: #978-0425256084 Genre: Contemporary Erotica Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Mary Whaley has her hands full running a successful catering company and overseeing her supper club. She has everything she ever wanted—or so she thought. When she meets ridiculously hot and very dirty rock star Damien Hurley at her friend’s engagement party, the attraction she feels is overpowering—and she isn’t about to deny herself.        Damien is used to a hard and fast life. He and two of his brothers started a band when they were fresh out of high school—then they hit the big time and stayed there. He’s also a legendary madman on the stage and in the bedroom. But when he meets Mary, something clicks, and the bad boy starts thinking he may have finally found something good.        What begins as a series of fleeting trysts soon gets much more complicated. Damien can’t figure out why Mary doesn’t want more from him. And before long, it’s Damien who wants more from Mary. But it turns out Mary is no stranger to celebrity news, and he’s got a very big job ahead of him: proving that he’s worth more than a one-night stand… What Nima’s talking about:       Lush visits the next member in a group of friends who call themselves “Delicious” in the Delicious Series.  It lays out the relationship of Mary Whaley, the younger sister of Cal Whaley who found his happily ever after with Mary’s friend Juliet (and Gideon Carter in a three-way relationship) in the previous book, Tart.  The course of this book reverses the traditional romance where a couple moves slowly from shy glances across a crowded room to steamy and can’t live without the other sort of fairytale.       Instead, Mary is immediately attracted to bad-boy rocker Damien Hurley and gives herself up to a hot and heavy one night stand.  She tells herself that she’s too busy building her catering company to nurture a relationship, but still has “needs.”  Damien Hurley is just the right guy to scratch that itch.  Over the course of the story it goes from all about the physical chemistry to deeper, sweeter emotions.  The story does develop a kind of depth that is missing at the beginning of the book.  ...
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Mar
27

Review: Wrecked by Shiloh Walker

Review: Wrecked by Shiloh Walker Wrecked Author: Shiloh Walker Release Date: April 2, 2013 Series: Barnes Brothers #1 Publisher: Berkley Sensation ISBN: 978-0425264454 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): paperback (320 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher / NetGalley About the book:      In the nineties, Abigale Applegate and Zach Barnes were the most beloved sitcom child stars in the world. Then they grew up and left Hollywood behind…      Whatever happened to Abigale Applegate?      She’s been wondering the same thing.      With her Hollywood dreams long gone, Abigale now has a nice, neat, uncomplicated life—until the day her perfect fiancé needs to talk. Dumped, a little more than shattered, and totally confused, Abigale turns to Zach, her best friend since forever, to help her pick up the pieces. He does it with a gift—a copy of Wreck This Journal. She can vent her frustrations, and sketch out a new plan. Zach just hopes he’s part of it. Because he’s been in love with Abigale his entire life.      When the journal falls into Zach’s hands, he discovers Abigale wants a new man. And fast. Nothing more than a hot distraction. Zach has a strategy, too. He’s going to be that man. It’s his last chance. Abigale might be out to shake up her life, but Zach’s out to reinvent it. Now, all he has to do is convince Abigale that life can go as planned. What VampBard’s talking about:      I simply adored Wrecked.  There’s no other way to put it.  If I’d had a 3-hour block to sit and read, I would have finished it in one sitting.  This sweet friends-to-lovers story was just what I needed to heat up a cold & dreary weekend.      The fact that I completely love and identify with a book by Shiloh Walker isn’t anything new.  The woman needs to stop rooting around in my head for story ideas. Kidding.  She needs to tap me on the shoulder and remind me that the story is out of my psyche next time, however, before I begin reading.  My connection to her characters, this time her female character, is simply amazing.  I felt as though I was walking in Abigail’s shoes for the entire story.  Her situation, and the way she figures out Zach needs to be a part of her life, was a situation with which I could completely and utterly identify.  As the story unfolds, we see how a whim...
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Mar
11

Review: Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox

Review: Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox Along Came Trouble Author: Ruthie Knox   Release Date: March 11, 2013 Publisher: Random House/ Loveswept Camelot Series #2 ISBN: #978-0345541611 Genre: Contemporary Romance Format(s): e-book (350 pgs) Book Source: Publisher About the book: An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth. Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?  What Nima’s talking about: After finishing Along Came Trouble, I think we may have to officially classify me as a Ruthie Knox groupie.  Her contemporary romance novels are clever, funny, sophisticated, and well, let’s just put it out there—hot.  Along Came Trouble is the romance of Clark sibling number two, Caleb.  It is set some years after Amber and Tony find their happily ever after in How to Misbehave.  In fact, they have three kids when they show up near the end of Caleb’s story.  This particular tale is the one that Knox says was the impetus for the whole Camelot Series and started with a lazy daydream about Justin Timberlake.  That’s as promising an inspiration as I’ve ever heard. The book opens with single mom Ellen Callahan, resident of Camelot, Ohio, entirely annoyed by some stranger in her flower beds.  Ellen’s brother Jamie just happens to be a mega-famous international pop star—and he’s in love with Ellen’s pregnant next door neighbor Carly.  Caleb, hunky ex-military police with his own security company, has been hired to ensure Ellen’s safety and privacy when the paparazzi descends on the little hamlet of Camelot in search of a story about her, her son, or her famous by association neighbor.   I liked Caleb. ...
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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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