Friday, April 26, 2013

Amy Noelle--Code Red

Contemporary Romance--chick lit

After getting hurt in college by a gorgeous man, Nicole Magette vowed never to risk losing her heart again. Now she lives a structured and satisfying life. Her work is easy, her friends are her family, and the only consistent men in her life are her two cats, Winchester and Huntington Peabody the Third. She doesn't date, and she hooks up only with losers—men she has absolutely no risk of falling for. But if she finds herself in danger, she has her old fail-safe in place—the Code Red.

In college, she and her four best friends came up with the system as a way to keep away the good-looking bastards that might worm their way past their carefully constructed walls. Seven years later, three of her friends have succumbed to their last Code Reds and are happily married. Now it’s just Nicole and her closest friend, Jen, who are still on their own, and Nic is just fine with that.

That is, until Joshua Daniels is transferred to Nicole’s office from New York and assigned to work with her on a special project. He's everything she's avoided and everything she claims she doesn't want, so why can’t she get him out of her mind? He's persistent, dangerously handsome, and sexy as sin. In other words, he’s her worst nightmare. She turns to her friends to help her resist Josh’s considerable charms and the inescapable draw she feels every time she gets near him. Can the Code Red save her this time, or will Josh send her perfectly balanced life into chaos?

{3 stars}
ARC provided by publisher through Netgalley.
The synopsis says it all, Nicole has been burned so many times she invented this "code red" system to keep from getting her heart broken. But that can only get you so far until you realize that will be a lonely existence and you have to take a chance on the guy in front of you. (Even though he triggers all her "code red" warning bells, and scares you silly) This was a little more vanilla than I usually read. But this is a simple romance, without much more than emotional drama and a decent book for a first time author. Not my usual brand of romance, but still a good read.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Kristen Ashley--Golden Trail (The Burg #3)

Contemporary Adult Romance

Tanner Layne and Raquel Merrick fell in love young, hard and fast and both of them knew a beautiful life they thought would be forever.

Until Rocky left Layne, no explanation, no going back.

Layne escapes The ‘Burg only to come back years later because his ex-wife has hooked herself to the town jerk and Layne needs to make sure his sons get raised right. Layne manages to avoid Rocky but when Layne gets three bullets drilled into him while investigating a dirty cop, he can’t do that because Rocky stops avoiding Layne. They make a deal to work together to expose the dirty cop but they have no idea the strength of their enduring attraction or the sheer evil at work in The ‘Burg.

As Tanner Layne and Raquel Merrick play their game and dance around the pull that draws them together, Layne has to discover the dark secrets buried so deep in Rocky’s heart she doesn’t even know they’re there at the same time untangle a sinister web of crime so abhorrent it has to be stopped... at all costs.

And to do it, Layne has to enlist everyone, including his ex-CIA mentor, Rocky’s detective brother, the town’s unpredictable informant and Layne’s two teenage sons all the while stopping Rocky from doing something crazy and keeping their game secret so Layne won't get himself dead.

{4 stars}

*spoiler alert*
I'm still on the fence with this one. I hated the endearment "sweetcheeks", it annoyed me to no end. So in my mind I switched it to just "sweets" while reading. There were parts where I felt the dialogue was cruel, referring to Gabby as a "fat bitch" and Jasper referring to a girl as "big as a boat". Not what I typically see out of Kristen Ashley. The secret that made Roc leave Layne wasn't as much of an impact as I would have liked, and it fell flat after the big reveal. The Youth Group case was the more emotional ride for me. And honestly, my 2 favorite characters were Layne's sons, Jasper and Tripp. They started out rough, all typical teenage attitude and drama. But they stepped up and really became impressive characters. They played a very important role in the Youth Group case and the story as a whole. I was pleased that they had their (although teenage) HEA at the end. I bumped my rating back up to 4 stars solely because KA has a remarkable way of giving us our HEA and tying everything together in her epilogues that leave us with all our questions answered. I really like that. Not my favorite of this series, but you can't love them all right?? Moving on to Mike's story....

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sophie Oak--Back in Bliss (Nights in Bliss Colorado #9)

Erotic Adult Contemporary Romance

Logan Green is back in Bliss, but only for a few weeks to help out at the sheriff’s office. Everything changes when Seth Stark strolls into town with Georgia Dawson on his arm.

Seth’s arrival is anything but a happy accident. He always dreamed of a big house on the river and a wife he could share with his best friend, Logan. After building a software empire, his only goal has been to make that dream come true. He just needed the perfect woman.

Georgia is still haunted by the dark, troubled Dom who saved her life. She can’t get Logan out of her head. Her boss brought her to Bliss to help him outfit his new summer home, but when Logan Green walks through the door she discovers Seth has something different in mind.

Seth has a plan for their mutual happily ever after, but he never dreamed that coming home would put all their lives in danger.

[Siren Ménage Everlasting: Erotic Consensual BDSM Cowboy Ménage a Trois Romance, M/F/M, spanking, sex toys, HEA)

{5 stars}
Logan Green is back in Bliss, he isn't exactly happy about it. In Bliss he has to face his past and his demons, even the demons he sees in the mirror. And we finally find out what really happened in that office a year ago.....

Logan's story is a long time coming. If you are a Sophie Oak fan, then you know his history in this series and the hard path we have taken with him. He is our favorite son. And we have all been waiting for his HEA. Sophie Oak does not disappoint (as usual), she gives us exactly what we are looking for with just the right amount of humor (Max is up to mischief again) and smoking HOT bedrooms. I discovered Sophie Oak about a year ago when I sat and read the first four Texas Sirens series books in one weekend. (I felt a little dehydrated after that one...LOL). I fell in love with her writing style immediately. Her books are not for the timid reader, they are "in your face", dream worthy, HOT erotic stories that have a true path and storyline. And though I appreciate the erotic content, I am totally in love with the residents of Bliss. They make you laugh, charm you, and you find yourself routing for their HEA. Love every one of them! Her 2 series, switch back and forth, the characters moving from Colorado to Texas and back. So you really have to start at the beginning of Texas Sirens to fully fall in love with all of them.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kristen Ashley--At Peace (The Burg #2)

Contemporary Adult Romance

Violet Winters once had it all but lost it when her husband was murdered by a criminal madman. During a cold winter night Violet has to leave her warm bed to tell her neighbor to turn the music down. And that’s when she meets sinister, scarred, scarily attractive security specialist, Joe Callahan.

She wants to deny it, but Violet can’t beat back the hunger she feels for Joe so she gives in again and again. Feeling it himself, Joe feeds Vi’s hunger, breaking his own rules to keep her in his bed.

Even though Violet had only one man in her life, she’s sure Joe is giving her the signals and Vi decides she’s ready to take a second chance at life and, maybe, love. But Violet doesn’t know the dark secrets in Joe’s past, secrets so soul-wrenching, they’ve drained him dry. With nothing left to give, Joe’s determined to live his life alone and he breaks Violet’s heart.

Crushed by Joe’s betrayal, Violet comes to terms with the fact that, no matter what signals he gave, Joe was not theirs to win. But Violet’s husband’s murderer is obsessed with her and heartbreak again haunts the door of the Winters home. When it does Joe is forced to face the knowledge that he can’t fight Violet’s pull, she’s under his skin and filled him full to bursting.

Joe needs to win her back and put his life on the line to keep Violet safe. But, having had it all once, can Violet endure losing Joe?

{5 stars}
At peace....perfect title for this book.

I have been working my way thru the Kristen Ashley library for some time, and I have to say they are all wonderful in their own individual ways. KA has a way with humor that I find the perfect balance to the romance and even the life threatening drama. At Peace was a more emotional read for me. I cried with them, laughed with them, and was happy with them when everything came together.

Vi and Joe have a lot of heartache and baggage in their lives, both have had tremendous losses and are just trying to make it thru life without any more. Luckily they wound up being next door neighbors. Joe is a hard as nails, stubborn alpha male who doesn't take no for an answer once he finally decides he wants something. Vi is strong, but emotional (in a good way) and just the balance Joe needs. Most of the book is really about them discovering each other and finding ways to fit their lives together. And both of them need to find peace in their lives. Usually I would get bored with the "normal", but I found this time, it was beautiful. Joe, Violet, Kate, and Keira are great characters. They draw you in, and you become attached and need to know they have their happy ending. For me, it was an emotional ride, but a great ride......loved it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Andrea Smith-Diamond Girl (G-Man #1)

Adult Contemporary Romance
The fall of 2011 finds thirty-five year old Samantha Dennison sending her only child off to college and generally feeling F-R-U-M-P-Y. Her loveless marriage to 'the mannequin' has become intolerable; her daughter and best friend have both advised 'Sammie' to get a life of her own. Her husband has his own agenda which does not include her.

Sammie finally heeds their advice and starts with a Kickboxing/Pilates class; ultimately, learning to pole dance. From there, she is well on her way to finally carving out a secret life and identity all of her own. The thrill of the dance and sexuality she discovers within herself is a potent mixture. She gets a part-time job as a dancer in an Indianapolis Gentleman's Club called Jewels. She becomes the dancer known as 'Diamond' and very quickly catches the attention of a 'bad-boy' biker named 'Slate.'

Slate is the ultimate 'alpha' male; however there is a problem: he simply wants it to be about exclusive sex; Sammie wants and needs more from Slate. Sammie is certain that she has embarked on a dangerous, cougar-type relationship with the twenty-something biker and 'prospect' member of the notorious Outlaw Motorcycle Club. She soon finds out that she is totally out of her league with Slate and the dangerous people he associates with in Indianapolis during the summer of 2012. Something big is brewing in Indy; it ain't about race cars either.

'Diamond Girl' will keep the reader on the edge of their seat from beginning to end; this book has it all: passion, erotica, romance, danger and possibly more . . . much more.

{3.5 stars}
This book turned out to be quite different than I expected. From the synopsis, it read like it would be just another bad-boy-biker story. But it turned out to have a few more twists and turns to it, throwing the storyline in a direction that you don't quite see coming. Sammie "Diamond"s husband is an ass of epic proportions, and Sammie has no idea just what damage he has been causing. Slate doesn't seem like the typical biker bad boy when he keeps warning Diamond to leave the club life for her own safety. Despite the errors in this book, and the cheesy descriptives, I found that I really enjoyed Slate and Diamond's story. It wasn't pretty, it was raw, sexual and in the end nice. It just didn't make sense to me at times how Sammie went from suburban housewife to pole dancer. But once you learn Slate's real story, and the story as a whole, it makes sense. Happy I took the chance and finished the book.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Tessa Bailey--Protecting What's HIs (Line of Duty #1)

Adult contemporary romance

She’s running from the law, and the law wants her bad.

The opportunity was just too damn delicious for Ginger Peet to pass up. The purse full of money she finds—$50,000 to be exact—could give her and her teen sister the new start they need. So she grabs the cash, her gothy sibling, and their life-sized statue of Dolly Parton, and blows outta Nashville in a cloud of dust. Chicago, here we come...

Turns out, Chicago has some pretty hot cops. Hot, intense, naughty-lookin’ cops like Derek Tyler, who looks like he could eat a girl up and leave her begging for more. And more. Tempting as he is, getting involved with the sexy homicide lieutenant next door poses a teensy problem for a gal who’s on the lam. But one thing is certain—Derek’s onto her, and he wants more than just a taste.

And as far as he’s concerned, possession is nine-tenths of the law.

{4 stars}
I really liked this story. It wasn't an over-the-top erotic or alpha dominating story. It was just a story of a girl escaping from a terrible situation, raising her sister, and doing the best she could to make a life for them. They run to Chicago, and in walks their neighbor Derek. He is a very hot, dominating man who knows what he wants even if Ginger doesn't. Throw in a little life or death action and you have a really nice story. The characters are great, charming, and I became attached to them instantly. The story is well written, passion and/or emotion in all the right places, and a smooth running storyline. If this is Tessa Bailey's first book, she did a really good job. I look forward to more of this series. (especially if all her male leads are this HOT)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Kristina Douglas--Rebel (The Fallen #4)

Paranormal Romance

A rebel angel who lives outside the world of the Fallen, Cain makes his own rules. Now he’s returned to make trouble, and he sets his sights on the unreliably psychic Martha. She has no interest in getting romantically involved with Cain, especially when she can tell he has ulterior motives. But when a mysterious figure tries to kill Martha, she and Cain must work together to uncover the villain. The heat between Martha and Cain grows undeniable, even as chaos and disaster threaten the very existence of the Fallen.

{3 stars}
This series started out great, but I have to say as much as I liked Cain, this installment didn't thrill me. It barely moves the series along, and I just couldn't connect with Martha. She was too mousy for my taste, such a polar opposite from Cain. Cain was wounded emotionally when Uriel murdered his wife and child and has never recovered. But somehow Cain finds he can not live without Martha. Their relationship seemed too easy and too impossible to be true. And honestly, it just felt like this was a "bridge" book as we move towards the search for Lucifer. I may have not been in love with this particular book, but I do really love this series for its unique storyline. I have never found another Fallen Angel series quite like this one, it really takes them out of the Heavens and shows their humanity. Looking forward to the next one.

Friday, April 5, 2013

R. E. Butler--Linus & The Angel (Wolf's Mate #2)

Paranormal Romance-shifter

He thinks he'll be alone forever:
Linus Mayfield has a lot of good things in his life: fourth ranked in the Tressel wolf pack, nice house, decent job, and plenty of friends. What he doesn’t have is what he longs for most – a true mate. His first foray into marriage was a disaster and he's certain he'll never be free to love again.

She'll prove him wrong:
Karly is an Angel, a supernaturally perfect mate for one special werewolf. She's spent the last 15 months looking for her mate, only to nearly die before she ever meets him. One icy winter night changes both of their lives forever.

When their past interferes with their future, will all be lost in the darkness, or will he find his perfect angel in time? This book contains plenty of claws and fangs, possessive werewolves willing to move heaven and earth for their mates, red hot werewolf sex, a sweet wolf with a heart of gold and an angel made just for him.

{3 stars}
Liked the first half of this book, Linus was a really sweet character and the story had a unique spin to it. But the last third of the book was too sappy sweet and I found myself skimming it. It was not bad enough to make me want to quit reading the series. But it is really only a time-killer series, so I don't feel like I have wasted any time reading them.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Patricia Briggs--Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7)

Paranormal Romance

Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

(4 stars)

Mercy Thompson is just plain fun. She is like a paranormal nancy drew (for those of you that can remember that childhood series). She is the Coyote mate to the Werewolf Alpha and never seems to stay out of trouble. Car accidents, Fae assassins, kidnappings, and a vampire battle to the death...all in a days work for Mercy. She has a vampire friend who loves scooby-doo, and a fae assistant who has an affinity to metal, and a step daughter who never lets you get bored. Throw in a pack of werewolves and you have non stop chaos, but with lots of humor and fun! Don't let the cover art fool you, this is a great series.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Kristen Ashley--Own the Wind (Chaos #1)

Adult Contemporary Romance

Tabitha Allen has a not-so-secret crush on Parker "Shy" Cage. Shy thinks he knows the path Tabby's on and it isn't a good one. So he decides to teach her a lesson to lead her to the right path.

Unfortunately, he was wrong and his actions wound Tabby, breaking her heart. It's Tabby who then teaches Shy a lesson about casting judgment and Shy Cage learns what it feels like to be invisible. But when tragedy strikes and Tabby's heart is broken again, Shy does what he can in the background to help. Trying to forget her heartbreak, Tabby finds herself in danger. To keep it secret from her biker family, the Chaos Motorcycle Club, she calls Shy to rescue her. But when she lets him back in, she gets much more than she bargained for.

{5 stars}

**If you haven't read the Dream Man series, you really should start there before reading this series so you will know who all the badass Alpha men are**

That now being said, I have waited a loooong time for this one, Tack was my favorite of the Dream Man series, and I was thrilled to find out we would get a whole series around the Chaos MC. I seem to have a growing fondness for Alpha Bikers these days, and Kristen Ashley knows how to write them! Shy and Tab have know each other for years, she is after all, the daughter of the MC President (Tack). Tab had been in love with Shy since she was 16, but he didn't "see" her until she was 19. And still it wasn't their time until tragedy struck Tab's life and she needed Shy. He stepped up and was there for her and so their path began. They both come with baggage and history, but are truly sweet and passionate about each other. And willing to stand up against the Club and their families to be with each other.  Shy shows Tab his softer side that just keeps us girls dreaming. And Tab has the spirit and spine to stand up and fight for who she wants. As with all MC Clubs, there is drama and excitement, and that is where our favorite Alpha's come in. We get a fond reminder of Hawk Delgado and Lee Nightingale, and they come in to help out with some drama. (That's why you must read the Dream Man series). Love this first one, and am already pre-ordering the next one!!!!