Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Masters, a Harlequin Spice Brief series by Lisa Renee Jones

These look like some fun short reads on a summer day...though you may want to be sitting in front of the air conditioner if they are as hot as they sound!

Book 1

Eight years ago, Sarah Michaels locked eyes with Ryan White at a sinful sex club. His dominant presence exuded erotic promises and aroused part of Sarah that she didn't recognize. But Ryan was her family's chief rival in the candy business, the very definition of forbidden fruit.

Since that night, Sarah has tried to deny that she wants what Ryan offers, that she actually wants to be dominated. Yet she can't stop fantasizing about him. When Ryan invites her to his elite club where power and pleasure go hand-in-hand, the temptation to explore her suppressed desires is too strong to resist. Is she ready to give up control to Ryan—a man who might never give it back?

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Book 2
Three years ago, Darla Rogers's ex, Jacob Remington, left on a top secret Special Forces mission and didn't return—at least, not to her. They had broken up after he pushed her to the erotic edge, asking her to trust him completely...and she pushed him away.

Now Jacob is back, revealing his membership in a secret society that enjoys games of dominance and submission. This time, Darla is determined prove she belongs in his world. Even if that means embracing her darkest desires with Jacob and the society's leader....

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Book 3
Book store owner Kim Baker has a serious crush on Dr. Blake Morgan—an attraction that only gets stronger when he shows her an erotic book and invites her on a night of sensual exploration at his private club, the Society.

She's drawn to his sense of power and dominant sexuality...and can't help but fantasize about being controlled by him in every way. But as Blake teaches Kim to claim her pleasure and lose her inhibitions, he may be the one in danger of losing control....

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Nook / Amazon

Review: THE DANGEROUS LORD by Sabrina Jeffries

Historical Romance/ Regency (1820)
Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins

Felicity Taylor is determined to save her friend from a disastrous engagement to an immoral libertine, what she didn't count on, was becoming the main focus of the rakish lord.

When Ian Lennard, Viscount St. Clair, reads of his supposed scandalous and debauched life in a popular gossip rag, he is enraged, and vows to locate this “Lord X” that writes such drivel, to make him pay.

When two stubborn wills collide there will be no quick and concise outcome of events. But maybe there can be a compromise of sorts...


Sabrina Jeffries has written another thoroughly entertaining tale of the misadventures one can find themselves on the road to love. I really enjoyed Ian and Felicity's banter and the sizzling attraction that Felicity mostly tried to deny, but of course, in the end could not.

Ian was just trying to find a bride, but between his uncle and then Felicity's interference, it was becoming the most difficult task. He was easy to like, he just wanted to do what was right, and live a nice unassuming, but content life. Though I really liked it when he showed a hint of a darker side, showing he wasn't someone to mess with.

Felicity on the other hand was not so easy to like. I found her to be an terrible gossip, even if she only spread rumors based on truth, about her enemies. She had a nasty habit of misconstruing events and she wasn't willing to budge even when she could be proven wrong. I was irritated with her stubborn convictions and her lack of trust in Ian. I know that she was trying to make a living to raise her brothers, but that didn't make me like her any better.

Felicity turned Ian's life upside down, especially with her unfortunate assumptions. It was good that she got him to feel and she and her brothers definitely brought some added excitement to his world. Even as annoying as I found her, I felt that they could make a good life together.

Rating: 4

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The Lords of Sheffield Square #1
Historical Romance (Regency)
Avon, an imprint of Harper Collins

Claire Ashcroft is out for revenge. She plans to destroy the man who ruined her family. Yet when she meets the dastardly Viscount, she has to remind herself of her goal.

Grayson Sutherland is enchanted by the lovely widow who is trying to entice him. There is no room in his life for emotional attachment but that doesn't mean he must give up is his pleasure, and he's more than willing to share it with her.

Will Claire succeed in ruining the man who changed her life?

Grayson almost lost himself to a past sorrow, what will it take to make him chance it and reopen his heart?


While I enjoy Samantha James's writing, I did not enjoy Claire and Grayson as a couple. I personally though that Claire's initial plan of revenge was stupid and melodramatic. She had good reason for wanting to ruin Grayson, but really, the whole trope of “I'll make him fall in love with me, and then laugh in his sorry face when I turn him down.” is just so silly. Especially considering the circumstances. If he'd ruined a friend or family member maybe that would have worked for me. But he supposedly murdered her brother, for that I would have expected her to be out for blood or to ruin him financially. I don't know.

All Claire and Grayson seemed to do was fight. Their enjoyable times together were few and far between the pages. I don't mind a few misunderstandings between couples, especially when they are first dipping into a relationship. But after awhile it just gets old. I understand that they both had some pretty hefty issues between them. The deck was stacked against them for finding happiness. I want to see more of them learning and trying to make their relationship work. I don't need love at first sight, but I want to feel like there is a believable future between them, and unfortunately I just wasn't feeling it. And don't get me wrong, I don't mind a good argument even after they've been together for awhile—you can't get along and agree with anyone all the time, but Claire and Grayson went beyond that. I didn't finish this book feeling that they would be happy with each other.

Rating: 3

Review: COLLISION COURSE by Zoe Archer

8th Wing #1
Science Fiction Romance
Carina Press

The life a smuggler suits Mara Skiren just fine, but when the 8th Wing coerce her into rescuing a downed pilot, she has no choice but to agree. What she didn't foresee was that she would be taking on a partner.

Commander Kell Frayne, of the elite Black Wraith Squadron knows he needs Mara's help to breach the Smoke Quadrant and to successfully complete the mission to save his downed comrade and the stealth spacecraft that disappeared with her.

What neither of them anticipated was their mutual attraction. Can they complete their mission without becoming emotionally entangled?


Kell and Mara are a sizzling duo, and I find nothing sexier than two strong characters not afraid to work together, even though they had to sometimes butt heads to find the right solutions. They both had to learn to compromise, but it just made things hotter between them when they finally came together. I also loved the little twists of humor Ms. Archer threw into the storyline.

Zoe Archer created a captivating universe and I loved entering her new world. She was able to keep a complex backdrop from overtaking the story and characters, without skimping on the details. I love exotic setting for romances, and I think outer space is about as exotic as they come. I've been fascinated by science fiction romance since I was a kid watching Buck Rogers and Star Wars, and I will be looking for more.

Rating: 4.5

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Review: RED HEAT by Nina Bruhns

Men in Uniform #1
Romantic Suspense/Action-Adventure/Military
Penguin Group

Julie Severin hates all things Russian, since it was the Russians that killed her father. As a CIA analyst, she works mostly behind a desk, studying Chinese intel. Now her superiors are assigning her on a Top Secret undercover case to find a missing micro card filled with Chinese design secrets. 
Captain Nikolai Romanov knows there is more to the beautiful reporter than she is saying. Can he discover all her secrets?


Well, I'll start with the good. I loved the awesomely unique setting of this book. I have never read a book where the majority of the story took place on a submarine. Nikolai was absolutely delicious, and I gobbled up the pages just for glimpses of him. And I will admit that the sizzling heat between Julie and Nikolai steamed up the book, as I was interested in their storyline and romance, but...

The bad, which completely took me out of the story and made me so frustrated was that Julie was a twit. This woman had so little sense. She has got to be the worst spy ever. I understand that she was thrust into the undercover situation with little to no training, which made this part of the book so unbelievable, and just made me cringe. She couldn't keep a secret, she pretty much told Nikolai everything with barely any prompting. I just couldn't take her.

Now despite all of that the writing wasn't bad—just Julie was. I am looking forward to Clint Walker's story this winter. I only hope he gets a smarter heroine than Nikolai.

Rating: 3

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Soulfire #2
Paranormal / Humor
Sourcebooks Casablanca

Reina Knight is trying to become a full-fledged Reaper, but she seems to be having a wee bit of a problem, mostly because she's to compassionate. She needs to harden up, because if she can't reap souls, she loses her chance of saving her sister.

Jarvis Swain, the Lord of Hate, needs to save his brother, the Lord of Love. But can't do it without Reina's help. She seems to sooth the animosity he projects.

Together they will fight to prevent their siblings demises, but can they succeed?

Stephanie Rowe has a wonderfully creative talent in her writing, which draws me into her hysterically funny mythical world. While I'll admit that TOUCH IF YOU DARE started out pretty slow for me—mainly because I had get into a more humorous mindset-- once it started rolling I found it difficult to put down.

Jarvis and Reina both have their share of silly slap-stick moments, but Ms. Rowe kept the book from getting cheesy by throwing in some very intense emotional moments. I couldn't help but root for Jarvis and Reina, as they fought for their siblings and each other. Jarvis really had a low opinion of his self-value, I liked how Reina continued to show him that he wasn't all hatred, and even that sometimes there were good reasons to feel such a passionate emotion. I know that sounds off, but trust me, when you read the book, you will understand (I hope).

I loved seeing all the side characters that were first introduced in KISS AT YOUR OWN RISK, they are definitely a lively crew. I also liked that the characters aren't really what you would normally expect. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone again in the next installment of the Soulfire series.

As a side note, even though this is the second book of a series it can be read as a stand alone.

Rating 4

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review:THE SECRET MISTRESS by Mary Balogh

Mistress #3 (prequel)
Historical Romance (Regency)
Random House

Lady Angeline Dudley is excited to embark on her first season in London. After a lifetime in the country she is eager to make new friends and with her love of color and hats, anxious to visit the London shops. She knows that she will have to marry, and hopes to find a nice staid husband, unlike her scandalous, but loveable, brothers. 
Edward Ailsbury, the Earl of Heyward found life much simpler before he inherited his title, after the tragic and untimely demise of his rakish brother. Edward strives to be everything his brother was not, most apparent is his serious take on life. He has no time nor patience for frivolity. He is ready to take his place in the House of Lords, and he knows he must marry for the title, hoping to find a serene, proper lady.
Do opposites really attract?


Mary Balogh has weaved a truly a delightful tale in THE SECRET MISTRESS. Angeline and Edward are polar opposites. Angeline knows from the get that Edward is what she wants, but it takes some major work for Edward to see that Angeline is not only what he wants, but also what he needs.

Edward is an absolute stick-in-the mud, while Angeline is a bit of a hoyden encased in bright and shinny packaging. Ms. Balogh had her work cut out for her to make the passion and chemistry spark between these two, and she fully succeeded. I loved seeing Edward crack under Angeline's antics. They are a perfectly matched pair. I really enjoyed this whole book. I thought Angeline was so sweet as she tried to pair Edward off...but loved how that turned out, adding another sweet spin of romance to the story.

Rating 4.5

The Secret Mistress (The Mistress Trilogy)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Review: THE MARRIAGE BETRAYAL by Lynne Graham

Volakis Vows #1

Harlequin Presents
192 pages

Tally Spencer is stunned to be pursued by Sander Volakis, though she gets it. She is not his usual type, and he's just looking for some fun. When Tally discovers she's pregnant, after they broke up, Sander balks at first, though eventually does a complete turn around and asks Tally to marry him. What caused his about face? Can they have a future of love and happiness?


Lynne Graham is one of my favorite HP authors. She has a great knack for blending humor, passion and drama perfectly in a quick read. Sander is your typical high-strung arrogant ass of a HP hero. Oh, and of course he's a Greek Tycoon. :) I really liked Tally, she didn't let Sander walk all over her, sure she got sucked into the whole affair, but she was intelligent enough to see when things were off, and confronted Sander about it. This book had the added “surprise, I'm pregnant” theme going for it, which added to the drama, especially when Sander is blackmailed into marring Tally. There was a huge trust theme going on throughout the whole book. Whereas Tally is very trusting, Sander, of course, is not.

This is the first category romance that I've ever read were the couple is featured in this book AND a book next month, so this is just the Happy For Now book, but if I didn't know that I would have been perfectly happy with the way this book ended. But I do know, and now we have to WAIT for their Happy Ever After. I hate waiting. I was kinda bummed when I realized that this was a HFN ending, until I really thought about it and realized that YAY I get to read MORE about Sander & Tally! Don't forget to look for BRIDE FOR REAL next month, for the conclusion of their story.

Harlequin Presents are my crack. How else can I explain it, they are my quick easy fix when I want to loose myself, but don't have time to get wrapped up into a thicker book. I refer to them as my “popcorn” reads, as I can finish one of these in about the same time as I could watch a movie. These are something that I tend to glom onto, and usually read about 4 or 5 in row, until I get my fill.

Rating: 5

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Contemporary  (humor)
Forever, an imprint of Hachett Book Group
432 pages 

Bernadette Hogan can't believe what she has gotten herself into, of all the crazy situations she could imagine getting pregnant by her infuriating boss was not even a blip on her radar. This is so not like her, she already has her plate full. 

Jeremy is willing to try to make things work, even though he is still reeling from the shock of that he let things get so out of hand. But how can an independent woman and a self-made millionaire learn to compromise without chewing each other to pieces?


In BLACK TIES AND LULLABIES, Jane Graves had penned a delightfully entertaining tale with a fascinating cast of characters, keeping me laughing and smiling all throughout the book. I loved following Bernie and Jeremy on their journey to love and happiness.
Bernie was a great heroine! This is the first book I've read where the woman has been the muscle. Jeremy was no slouch, but Bernie definitely could handle her own in a fight. I loved that she was independent and more than capable of taking care of herself, no matter what the situation, but I also like watching her learn that it's okay to lean on someone elses shoulder.

Jeremy was an irritatingly arrogant guy, but you could sense the loneliness he kept so well hidden. I loved watching him grow emotionally, learning how to love and be loved. Bernie and Jeremy are definitely a couple I can picture living Happily Ever After, forever.

I can't wait for Ms. Graves' next book! Her characters and stories are always very humorous and well plotted.

Rating: 5