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Currently Browsing: erotic romance
Sep
16

Review: Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille

Review: Against the Ropes by Sarah Castille Against the Ropes Author: Sarah Castille Reviewer: Nima Rating: A-, 4 Stars What I’m Talking About: I admit, this is not the most well-written book out there—we’ll get to my issues in a minute, but I must also confess that I just really liked it.  Why?  Because it made me laugh aloud.  Because it was sexy.  Because it had a happy ending and the characters experienced significant growth.  Now, perhaps I was just tired and punchy, but I got into bed expecting to read a chapter, meet the characters and doze off.  At 12:30 AM I thought, “I should stop reading and go to sleep.”  At 1:00 AM I was trying very hard not to wake my husband with my laughter.  At 2:00 AM I finally forced myself to put the book down with only a hundred pages to go. The last hundred pages, not quite so funny, but with a building intensity that I finished the next day. My sense of humor is very dry, very sarcastic.  So is main character Makayla.  Against the Ropes is told from her POV so we get to hear the running dialog and commentary in her head that should never come out her mouth.  “I down my amuse-bouche like a shot of tequila.  Bitter, fishy, and frothy.  My mouth is not amused.”  And another gem, “Oh, God.  Someone please put me out of my misery, or at least cover my mouth with surgical tape.”  Makayla and I got along just fine. As a pre-med college graduate, Makayla is not really sure she wants to become a doctor so she’s put off applying to medical school.  She barely pays the bills by working in admitting for a hospital and volunteers as a certified EMT.  She also has a lot of school loans and a debt collector who gives her extensions when she tells him jokes rather than hanging up or swearing at him.  Still, she needs money.  To close the gap between her debts and her income, she takes a job doing first aid at an unsanctioned, underground mixed martial arts (MMA) fight club.  What’s funny about that?  She hates violence.  In fact, because of experiences in her past, it makes her literally vomit.  This is where she meets Torment—that’s his fight name.  “Courtesy of Torment, I have a protein shake, a protein bar, an energy drink, a bucket, and a wet cloth.  He sure knows how to treat a girl.” Torment was...
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Sep
6

Review: No Reservations by Stephanie Julian

Review: No Reservations by Stephanie Julian No Reservations Author: Stephanie Julian Reviewer: Twimom227 Rating: A, 4.5 Stars What I’m Talking About: The second story in Ms. Julian’s marvelous Salon Games series begins with the New Year’s Eve party scene from the first book, By Private Invitation, when Kate Song meets Tyler Golden–only this time we see the scene from Kate’s point-of-view (POV). Kate is attending party with BFF Annabelle while Kate’s finance, Arnie, stays home. Soon enough, the book jumps to present day, which lines up with the conclusion of the first book. This is where we discover Kate telling Tyler that she’s broken off her engagement. Tyler Golden owns one-half of the lush Philadelphia hotel, Haven, along side his brother, Jared (hero from By Private Invitation). After his fiancée died two years ago from a brain tumor, Tyler hasn’t felt a big attraction to any woman, until he meets Kate. I’m just going to come out and say that No Reservations is another wonderful story from Ms. Julian’s Salon Games series and one of the best erotic romance stories of 2013. The author knows how to write amazingly erotic sex scenes with tender romance and real emotions at the heart of the story. Tyler and Kate experience an immediate and intense attraction, which they readily explore right from the start. The pair wants to explore and be free with one another, but also to get to know and understand one another. Even with a few reservations, they allow themselves to go after what makes them feel good. I admire that Ms. Julian allows their relationship to grow and progress almost too smoothly right from the start, only tossing in the occasional realistic bump like “is it too soon to call her or have I waited enough time.” There are no huge road blocks preventing the couple from falling fast, which they do. Experiencing the tale from both Kate and Tyler’s POV, we explore their fears and hopes, which seem to mesh so well. Yet, their story isn’t conflict free as Tyler must make a major decision on the future of his career, and likewise, Kate looks to explore her life-long dream of costume design. Overall, their situations and relationship are handled so beautifully. One of the best things in the story is the development of the characters’ emotions. They build organically and without hinderance. The characters mature and grow in such a way that allows me to be part of their world and brought...
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Sep
2

Review: Friday Afternoon by Sylvia Ryan

Review: Friday Afternoon by Sylvia Ryan Friday Afternoon Author: Sylvia Ryan  Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A+, 5 stars What I’m Talking About: Friday Afternoon, my first journey into the works of Ms. Sylvia Ryan, absolutely hits my top 10 books of 2013.  Ryan’s perfect blend of reality – the reality of actually being a parent – with the fantasy that we, too, can have steaming-hot sex with our long-term partners makes me weep with joy.  This title is off-the-charts HOT!!! I highly recommend this title for anyone that has been struggling with the doldrums of their own sex life within a monogamous relationship.  The way Ms. Ryan frankly discusses the patterns we allow ourselves to fall into is realistic and spot-on, in my opinion.  Even those of us that are in fantastic relationships hit speed bumps.  The modeling of the **RIGHT** way to communicate makes the story so much better for me!  The way Mia and Levi went about remedying their ‘situation’ is nothing short of inspired.  I enjoyed watching both partners use their creativity for their mutual pleasure.  Cryptic, right?  No spoilers here… Character development is always important to me, as a reader.  I’d venture a guess that I’m a character-driven reader, and when stories focus intensely on character development, I’m always happy.  Friday Afternoon was no exception, and exceeded my expectations for a novella.  A shifting point-of-view – something that always has the potential to drive me completely bonkers – expertly executed by Ms. Ryan, illustrated the changes (for the better!) of both Mia and Levi.  The way they both spoke, as narrators of their own chapters, frankly and we were able to see their thought processes.  That was big for me. While I’d love to go on and on about all my favorite (as well as naughty!) things about Friday Afternoon, I’m going to close my review by stating this:  If you’re the parent that’s been doing the majority of the kid duties, you’re 30-something or more, and you feel as though your partner doesn’t want nor need you any longer, Friday Afternoon is the perfect novella to shift your perspective.  Get creative!  Life is what you let it be.  And this title definitely drives home that message. 5 stars: Personal favorite – a must read (A+) About the Book: Before kids and the responsibility of life, Levi and I shared a spontaneous, erotic, and deliciously deviant marriage. Years transformed what we had into something comfortable and worn. It hurts me to think his...
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Aug
29

Review: Ningaloo Nights by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Review: Ningaloo Nights by Tracy Cooper-Posey Ningaloo Nights Author: Tracy Cooper-Posey  Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A-, 4 stars What I’m Talking About: Ningaloo Nights was my first foray into Tracy Cooper-Posey’s Go Get ‘em Women collection, but not my first journey into the page-scorching erotic romance that I’ve come to know and love from this talented author.  With a heat index of 5 out of 5 (seriously, I was blushing IN PUBLIC while reading this one!), be sure the air conditioning is working, and the ice bin is full! Amazon says this to-the-point novella is around 92 pages.  When I was reading a PDF e-arc, at around the 85% mark, the story ended (I was wondering what was going to happen for the next 15-ish percent…) and there’s previews for other titles by the author… You’re warned   Also, there was one oversight on a plot-point that annoyed me.  This is the ONLY reason this title didn’t earn a 5-star rating.  Aaannnddd… I can’t tell you what it is, because it’s spoilerish. In the remote lands of Western Australia, Mason Hayward is a cool drink of water:  refreshing, satisfying and craved every moment.  While he keeps part of himself frozen and locked away from others, he definitely defrosts for Sherry!  With a completely fractured and fragmented heart, Mason mourns a loss so great that he’s isolated himself from society.  He hides behind a misplaced sense of responsibility, and has enough emotional baggage to fill a FedEx Ground truck.  But, he’s hot.  Incredibly built. And is tender and compassionate.  Seriously.  He’s the perfect hero.  One reason why I love novellas.  We get to see chinks in the armor, but don’t have to go through the whole nasty flaws-to-redemption thing.  The inner conflict we saw within Mason was enough to make the plot strong and character-driven. Sassy New York cop Sherry Abandonato watches the search for her missing sister heat up even more than the Australian wilderness in February.  And she has no desire to put out the flames.  I thought that the author’s choice for Sherry’s last name was interesting.  I thought that Sherry had abandonment issues early on in the story.  With the major losses she’s suffered in her life, and now searching for her presumed-dead sister, she should probably be a blubbering, hysterical mess.  Not so.  As spunky as Sherry is, she is able to give herself over to the care of Mason-the-hottie.  And she’s clearly choosing to let him be her guide on the...
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Aug
19

Review: Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning

Review: Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning Wicked Beat Author: Olivia Cunning Reviewer: B. Rating: A-, 4 Stars What I’m Talking About: Rebekah Bates has worked hard to become a top-notch soundboard engineer, and when she gets the chance to fill in on the crew of one of the biggest rock bands on earth, she won’t let anything get in her way. Not only is Sinners her favorite band, but, for as long as they are on the road, she’ll be close to the object of her desires, and ultimate bad boy, rhythm guitarist, Trey Mills. It’s a fine plan, until the tall, quirky drummer of the band, Eric Sticks, is suddenly the one filling her thoughts—among other things. Joining Sinners years ago was the best thing to ever happen to Eric. Though not originally a drummer, he’s happy behind his kit, and the songs he weaves together have earned the band fame as well as a huge and devoted fan-base. Life as a rockstar is the best—at least, it was until his perfect woman joins the band on the soundboard, and openly lusts after one of his bandmates. Although he learned a long time ago to take whatever he could get where his body and heart were concerned, something about the petite engineer makes him want more. And he’ll do anything to have her. Firstly, I think Rebekah is one of the strongest women yet in the Sinners on Tour universe, and is absolutely one of my favorites. She launches herself fully into every situation in her determination to truly live her life on her own terms, even if she has to reassess that decision later on. For all that impulsiveness, however, Rebekah’s actions sometimes feel like a performance in that she’s trying to convince herself, as much as the men around her, of her own desirability. Having nearly died once, she wants to live. Simple enough. I also appreciated that Ms. Cunning allowed Rebekah’s talents shine early, rather than make her scramble through series of disasters that would have called her capabilities into question before finally proving herself. The battleground that is her fight for respect in a male-dominated profession is certainly present, but not as all consuming as her efforts to find love. Not that that isn’t an extremely important issue, but Rebekah has the skills to do the job. She knows it and owns it. Her heart, however, is a different issue. Eric is even more likable, I was happy to discover,...
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Aug
13

Review: Burn by Maya Banks

Review: Burn by Maya Banks Burn Author: Maya Banks Reviewer: VampBard Rating: A, 4.5 Stars What I’m Talking About: I’m sad to see the Breathless trilogy end.  I’ve loved every moment spent with Gabe, Jace and Ash.  I’ve loved getting to know the objects of their desire.  I’ve loved reading about the way they won over their women.  Maya Banks did a fabulous job concluding a fabulous plot arc with Burn. Ash has always been my favorite of the billionaire trio, whose former motto was “play hard and live free,” and it’s no wonder based on his book.  Er, the book written about him.  Ash pretends with the general public – he likes to have himself portrayed as the care-free bachelor billionaire.  I knew from the beginning of Rush that Ash was more than he seemed.  From his horrible family to the way he shared women with Jace, Ash seemed – to me – as though he were the most intense and determined of the three.  I think I was right. The way that Ash went after Josie – how he was up front and honest with her about every aspect of his life was completely refreshing.  Sure.  He’s got one little thing he holds back, but it’s not a deal-breaker.  I love the way he WORKS to develop his relationship with Josie.  It’s real.  Gritty.  Relatable.  The way **all** relationships should be developed.  I may not completely agree with the whirlwind part, but damn it, I know it can happen. Brittany, Ash’s sister, was a minor character in this book.  I’m a little suspicious that this isn’t THE END of the Breathless characters because there’s a loose end with Britt and Kai.  Unless there’s a new series featuring them… **lighbulb**  Maybe that’s the new series Ms. Banks will be revealing shortly….  Set in Vegas with Caro & Brandon…just a theory, just a theory! I think I like Josie better than Bethany or Mia.  She understood the role of a submissive, at least superficially, and had a good head on her shoulders with regard to where she stood with Ash.  For the most part.  What I liked was her ‘artsy-fartsy’.  Creative type.  Her independent streak.  The way she was completely and utterly in love with Ash. The Breathless trilogy certainly leaves readers gasping for air… with the slow Burn of things heating up, Ms. Banks surely is a master in the art of erotic romance.  Can’t wait to see what new things she has...
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Jul
9

Review: Kiss Across Chains by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Review: Kiss Across Chains by Tracy Cooper-Posey Kiss Across Chains Author:  Tracy Cooper-Posey   Release Date: June 29, 2013 Kiss Across Time #3 Publisher: self-published ISBN: 978-1927423967 Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (318 pgs), e-book Book Source: author About the book:       When dying becomes an act of love.       It is four years since Taylor and Brody almost lost Veris during the First Crusade. Now they know how to control time jumps, they have settled into a very nearly perfect, nearly human life, raising their daughter Marit.       When Brody defies Queen Tira to protect Marit, the three of them jump back three days in time to collect evidence the queen set up Brody for a drug bust in retribution. The jump sends them back to Brody’s personal nightmare: Fifth century Constantinople.       While Brody survives as a flogged slave, Taylor masquerades as the wife of an aristocrat and searches for Brody to release him. They must wait for Veris to find them before jumping home and Taylor watches each brutal chariot race, wondering if this will be Brody’s last. Brody once died in the Hippodrome and he is human this time, too…. What VampBard’s talking about:       Ms. Cooper-Posey creates the perfect blend of present-day paranormal menage romance with history.  Intriguing and indulgent of my desire to know the details, I found myself longing for stolen moments from ‘real life’ to spend with Taylor, Veris and Brody.       I was completely captivated with the third book in the Kiss Across Time series.  Much like the first two.  While I believe that Kiss Across Chains could work as a stand-alone title, I definitely would recommend the backstory that goes along with the series.  Read. Them. In. Order.  Ms. Cooper-Posey has done a phenomenal job weaving present-day and history in a seamless, silken web that keeps the readers ensnared.       I think what keeps me so engrossed in this trio is the inner conflict that the characters need to overcome in order to restore the timeline to some semblance of their present-day once they time travel.  I really like their ‘today’.  Marit, biological daughter of Veris and Taylor – conceived during a jump – is growing up, and naturally she has a nanny, Mia.  Mia is definitely able to take care of herself as well as Marit.  Alexander joins us from the last title.  It seems as though Veris and Brody...
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Jun
7

Review: My Wicked Devil by Ann Mayburn

Review: My Wicked Devil by Ann Mayburn My Wicked Devil Author: Ann Mayburn  Release Date: May 21, 2013 Publisher: Loose ID Club Wicked #3 Genre: BDSM, Contemporary Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:      After a motorcycle accident left her with a fractured pelvis, former dare devil and actress Kira Harmony cannot have sex without pain. Unwilling to give up on her dreams of someday having a normal love life, she has come to Club Wicked to find a Dom. And not just any Dom. Kira is looking for the best sadist she can find, a Master who can help her learn how to turn her pain into pleasure and help her escape the prison her body has become.      Lord Bryan Sutherland has always had a taste for meeting the needs of masochistic submissives. When Kira contacts him, her plea for his help intrigues him. He’s always loved curvy redheads, and they certainly have an explosive chemistry together, but he doesn’t know if it is possible to establish the kind of trust needed in order to train her mind to convert agony into ecstasy. That trust is sorely tested when Kira continually pushes herself too far and refuses to safeword out.      Bryan must make a decision; continue to train Kira and run the risk of seriously hurting her, or walk away from the uncontrollable woman who holds the key to his heart. What I’m talking about:      Kira, former Hollywood actress and friend of Master Hawk, is a new member at Club Wicked. Injured performing a motorcycle stunt on a movie shoot, she cannot have intercourse without experiencing a lot of pain. Now a size 16 and uncertain of her own appeal and sensuality, Kira hopes that she can find a Master who will help teach her how to derive pleasure from pain.      Lord Bryan is THE Master sadist at Club Wicked. When Kira witnesses him performing a scene, she is immediately taken with his raw sexuality and dominance, and she realizes he is the Master for her training. Masters Hawk and Jesse help put the pair together for a “get to know you meeting,” and their fierce attraction is instantaneous. Yet Brian is cautious, knowing the skeletons from his past may end up harming Kira.      Ms. Mayburn returns to her Club Wicked series with another intense and deeply romantic tale. Although it can be read stand alone, this series is fabulous, and...
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Jun
3

Review: Kiss Across Swords by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Review: Kiss Across Swords by Tracy Cooper-Posey Kiss Across Swords Author: Tracy Cooper-Posey Release Date: May 25, 2013 Publisher: Self-Published Kiss Across Time #2 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic, Historical Elements Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       To save them all they must win back one reluctant heart…again.       Taylor Yates never dreamed growing up she would end up happily living with two drop-dead sexy vampires and time-hopping through their thousand years of personal history. Her life is complete…or is it?        When she finds herself at the siege of Jerusalem during the first crusade, Veris doesn’t know her at all and doesn’t want to. Worst of all, he and Brody are total strangers, and Taylor drives a wedge in deep between them by trying to seduce Veris at their first meeting—not something a lady of the day does if she wants to keep her head.       Taylor and Brody must woo Veris using the customs of medieval England, win his heart and his full commitment before Jerusalem falls in four days’ time—or when they return to their own time, their lives as they know them will be gone… What VampBard’s talking about:       Ohhh Emmmm Geeee!  This was my mantra as I burned through the second book in the Kiss Across Time series.  I couldn’t get enough of the sensuality and intimacy between Brody, Veris and Taylor.  Kiss Across Swords is definitely a must-buy for connoisseurs of paranormal menage with a historical bent.  Pretty specific audience, huh?  Not really.  The series would be a great introduction to any of these genres for the novice reader.  I’ll walk y’all through my thought process on this one!       We definitely have to classify the series as paranormal.  Veris and Brody are centuries old vampires.  However, even if you’re not into paranormal/ vampires, don’t worry.  It’s really not something that is ‘in-your-face’ throughout the storyline.  Some biting, some feeding (and feedings are off-stage), but nothing obnoxious.  Historical elements.  Um.  Hello?!?! this story takes place, almost in its entirety, during the Crusades!  There is DEFINITELY a historical influence to this title, and Ms. Cooper-Posey did some great research with regard to garments of the time, and available resources.  Menage erotica is a gimme.  Threesome in detail.  Even when it’s just M/M or M/F, the well-written scenes bring something to the story – their purpose is clearly to get the reader further immersed in the relationship...
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May
23

Review: Kiss Across Time by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Review: Kiss Across Time by Tracy Cooper-Posey Kiss Across Time Author: Tracy Cooper-Posey Release Date: May 1, 2013 Publisher: self-published Kiss Across Time Book #1 ISBN: 1927423864 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic Format(s): paperback (162 pgs), e-book Book Source: author About the book:       A single kiss can change more than one life…or two.       Taylor Yates is fired for insisting the 5th Century Arthurian poet, Inigo Domhnall, existed. When she hears Domhnall’s lyrics in a death metal song, she engineers a meeting with lead singer, Brody Gallagher. An unintended kiss sends them spinning back to the poet’s time, when Saxons were pillaging King Arthur’s Britain.       Brody’s all for kissing her again. More, he wants her to kiss his friend and lover, Veris, to see what will happen. When Veris’ kiss sends them back to the time of the Vikings neither man is willing to let Taylor simply walk out of their lives.       But Brody and Veris are more than lovers and sexual playmates, as Taylor learns when they investigate the kisses that send them across time. The secrets they share have the power to completely alter her life. What VampBard’s talking about:       This is the paranormal version of The Time Traveler’s Wife…except everyone can travel, and it happens DURING SEX!!!!  How freakin’ cool is that?!?!  HEAT INDEX:  4.75 – Holy Smokin’ Hotness! **fans self**       This is gonna be a down-n-dirty review, my friends.  With only 162 pages, Kiss Across Time packs a powerful punch.  World-building, character-building, and the construction of powerful and intricate relationships are carefully woven into the novella.  Each fact, detail, sensory impression are purposeful and meant to tantalize the reader.  And tantalize, Ms. Cooper-Posey did.       I’m pretty sure that the hot rockstar vamp and his partner-in-immortality were two of the most intuitive characters I’ve read in a long time.  Brody and Veris are magnetic personalities.  I was simply drawn to them, and cannot wait to read more about them!  With Arthurian, Saxon and Viking references, the historical aspect wasn’t over-done, and greatly added to my enjoyment of the title (because I’m a bit of a Viking, Saxon and Arthurian legend geek, naturally).       Taylor, the professor-next-door that was canned from her university position before being granted tenure because she dared to think differently.  I was really intrigued by the premise of Taylor’s thesis, and would LOVE to spend time hanging out with...
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