Friday, November 30, 2012

Review & Giveaway: The Bite Before Christmas by Jeaniene Frost and Lynsay Sands

The Bite Before Christmas Anthology, which includes:
Home for the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost
The Gift by Lynsay Sands
Published October 25th 2011 by William Morrow
About the book
In Lynsay Sands' "The Gift," Katricia Argeneau knows grey-eyed cop Teddy Brunswick is her life mate. She just needs to convince him they belong together, and being snowbound in a secluded cabin will make this a Christmas neither will forget.

It's "Home for the Holidays" in Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series. Cat and Bones may long to wrap presents and set up a tree, but this Christmas, an evil vampire and long-buried family secrets will threaten to take a bite out of their holiday cheer.
My Thoughts
Home for the Holidays by Jeaniene Frost

Two vampires and a demon, allied together. It was a Christmas miracle alright, but of the macabre kind. Still, I’d take my miracles however I could get them.

I Frost’s way of exploding a scene, and Home for the Holidays just proves that she doesn’t need a full on novel to get you hooked, amped and on the edge of your seat.

In this story, my favorite Urban Fantasy couple come across a demon that claims to be someone from Bones’s past and the entire gang, with the exception of Cat, Ian and Denise, find themselves possessed by black magic. Cat and Ian team together to save their friends, but have to make a few sacrifices along the way. I loved the scenes between Ian and Cat because knowing how much these two are always at odds with each other and the only thing they share is their allegiance for Bones, it was nice to see them work together and deliver some pretty funny scenes.

Overall, there was tons of action and holiday spice and I enjoyed it. Great short story that proves Frost never disappoints!
5 Suns

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and we are offering one lucky Waves of Fiction follower a paperback copy of this book. All you have to do is fill out the rafflecopter and let us know what holiday book you hope to read soon. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Release & Giveaway: Troubles and Treats by Tara Sivec

Today, Waves of Fiction is excited to join Talk Supe for a Promo Blitz for the third installment of the Chocolate Lovers series Troubles and Treats by Tara Sivec.

Be sure to check out a sneak peak of an excerpt from the book, and don't miss out on the giveaway!
Troubles and Treats (Chocolate Lovers #3) by Tara Sivec
Release Date: November 30, 2012
Purchase: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble
About the book

Drew and Jenny have spent years being the envy of their friends with their out of control sex lives - well, not really. Mostly it makes their friends want to throw up in their mouths a little.

With two little kids and two busy lives, for the first time, Drew and Jenny aren't on the same page in the bedroom. Drew will stop at nothing to get his previously amorous wife back in the sack and Jenny will do anything for a full night of sleep.

Carter and Claire, and Jim and Liz are their usual (un)helpful selves and are full of advice for the disconnected duo, wanting nothing more than to help restore order to the usually happy couple's lives.

In the third and final installment of the Chocolate Lovers Series, will Drew and Jenny find the spark that's been missing in their marriage, or will the trouble they're having cause a stickier situation than the time Jenny poured honey all over Drew and he fused himself to a tree?

Excerpt from the Book
Warning: Reading in public may bring unwanted attention due to cringe-worthy facials and hysterical laughter. Unless you're okay with looking foolish in public, feel free to continue.. Oh and it has a bit of fuckwittery Sivec style. =} Enjoy!

Basically, I’m afraid to have sex with my husband. He’s always loved my vagina. He even has a shirt that says “I love my wife’s vagina”. What if having sex with me now is like fucking a bowl of Jell-O Jigglers? That is not at all hot. Especially if they’re green Jell-O Jigglers. I’m not saying my vagina is green, but I’m sure it’s jiggly. I shook it a little when I looked at it in the mirror and it definitely wiggled when it jiggled.

Vagina’s should never jiggle. 
About the Author

Tara Sivec is a best selling author, wife, mom, chauffeur, cheerleading coach, soccer coach, babysitter, short-order cook, genius and albino squirrel hunter. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two kids. In her spare time she likes to read, write and cover things in chocolate. Most of her material comes from real life experiences with family and friends. Lucky for them, the names have been changed to protect the innocent (aka, drunk).
Follow Tara Sivec
Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads  |  Twitter

A random commenter chosen from the entire promo blitz tour will receive a totally awesome swag bag from Tara Sivec. So, be sure to comment about the book, the series, the author... anything Troubles and Treats related for a chance to win!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Author Event and Giveaway: Ellen Hopkins of Collateral

Vromans: Pasadena, CA
November 20, 2012

I had the pleasure of attending Ellen Hopkins’s author event while she was touring Southern California for her newest adult release Collateral that just came out November 6, 2012. One of her tour stops included my favorite independent bookstore Vromans in Pasadena, CA that holds an amazing selection of books and hosts author events throughout the year.
When I attended the event, I had yet to read a book by this author, but knowing that she came highly recommended by my roomie Crystal, and after reading the excerpt of Collateral, I was convinced this book would be a perfect fit for my tastes. 

Ellen Hopkins was such an easy going and entertaining person to meet. I love how she interacted with her audience and how truly excited she was to spend some time talking about her books and her inspiration. She started off by reading from Collateral and shared some updates on her projects. She then ended with taking questions from the crowd.

When asked if the people she interviews for her books have a hard time opening up, she shared that despite the hard topics she tackles, the people she interviews really seem to reveal their feelings and experiences quite easily. Regardless of the somber themes that transpire in her writing, they are a true reflection of real life scenarios and accounts that she’s been exposed to during her field research.

She also shared that her inspiration has always been around writing poetry; and it’s no surprise that her writing style centers around verse. It’s this narrative technique that allows Ellen the ability to catapult the reader into her characters’ lives. However, for each of her books, she tends to experiment with structure, whether it be past and present tense flow or alternating perspectives.

She offered some helpful advice for young writers, which included that writing and publishing your books takes lots of patience. She also advised writers to cross genres and make it a practice to write every day. If you’re experiencing writer’s block, she recommended changing your setting and going somewhere new to write.

Lastly, it was interesting to hear some of her favorite authors. For example, for adult literature she enjoys Stephen King, John Irving and Gillian Flynn. When it comes to YA, she’s a fan of Michelle Hodkin, Veronica Rossi and Laurie Anderson to name a few.

Since this event, I've had the pleasure of enjoying Collateral and I've included my review as well as a chance to win a signed copy of the book. Enjoy!

Collateral by Ellen Hopkins
Published November 6th 2012 by Atria Books
About the book

Written in Hopkins’s stunning poetic verse style, Collateral centers on Ashley, an MFA student at San Diego State University. She grew up reading books and never dreamed she would become a military wife. One night she meets a handsome soldier named Cole. He doesn’t match the stereotype of the aggressive military man. He’s passionate and romantic. He even writes poetry. Their relationship evolves into a sexually charged love affair that goes on for five years and survives four deployments. Cole wants Ashley to marry him, but when she meets another man, a professor with similar pursuits and values, she begins to see what life might be like outside the shadow of war.

My Thoughts
“You can’t patrol unfriendly villages without embracing paranoia. You can’t watch your battle buddies blown to bits without jonesing for revenge. You can’t take a blow to the helmet without learning to duck… Paranoia. Revenge. Bloodlust. These things turn boys into men. But what kind of men?”
As of late, I’ve found myself attracted to books that center on the recent war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s these themes that seem to remind me about the things I tend to take for granted… our freedom, our sense of security, and our ability to live our lives with little to no sense of danger, which comes at the sacrifice of our service men and women. When you combine these elements and couple it with the devastating effect war has on our troops, it calls for an emotional and gut punching experience. And that is a small snippet of what Collateral has to offer.

I have to say, I’m excited to see more authors tackling this tender subject. However, to take a bold step in giving us a glimpse into the lives of these soldiers after they come home is a courageous and awe-inspiring move. To deliver an honest portrayal that shares the pain, struggle and damaging results in such a brutal yet realistic manner leaves me breathless and contemplative for quite some time.

Collateral is a story about Ashley Patterson who is attending San Diego State University. The book takes a glimpse into her undergraduate and graduate years, while she struggles to maintain a relationship with her boyfriend Cole Gleason who is serving as a Marine. Through four deployments and countless months and weeks apart, Ashley knows one thing for certain, she loves her Marine and will wait for however long it takes to see him home and start a life with him. However, war has its harsh realities and to delude yourself that these men and women come back unscathed is ignoring a painful possibility. When Ashley slowly yet surely sees how Cole’s deployments change him as a person, she has to face the fact that the person she loved is not the same person returning home from the war.

Overall, I have to say that Ellen Hopkins’s decision to write this story in verse was an absolute brilliant move. It led for a concise, yet powerful portrayal of one girl’s struggle to hold on to the person she fell in love with and try to bring him back in some semblance of who he once was. There were moments in the story that I wanted to send Ashley a distress signal, but as life will dictate, love is blind and war destroys people on both sides of the fence.

Collateral is my first novel by Ellen Hopkins and most definitely not my last. Her ability to tap into my emotional psyche and alter my reality map left me floored with what she’s able to deliver. This book is awesome and I hope people will give it a try. I was hooked from the first passage and it held my attention and heart through the very end. Brilliant piece of work by an author that’s carved her mark on my bookshelf.

“Be smart, be safe, and if those two things fail, I’ve got your back.”
5 Suns
I am offering a Signed Copy of Collateral to one lucky Waves of Fiction follower. Just fill out the rafflecopter and share a thoughtful comment on my visit, the book or the author. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Review: Hot Ticket by Olivia Cunning

Hot Ticket (Sinners on Tour, #3)
Hot Ticket by Olivia Cunnings
Release date February 5th, 2013 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Purchase Amazon
About the book
There are things in bassist Jace Seymour’s past that he is unwilling to share with anyone. To cover his guilt and anguish, he seeks dominatrix Mistress V (Aggie) to temporarily placate his inner turmoil. Aggie doesn’t have much use for men–besides the power rush she gets when they’re begging for mercy at her feet–but Jace isn’t like her usual clients. His cool defiance and unexpected dominance in the bedroom drives her to distraction and quickly steals her heart. When circumstances threaten Jace’s position in Sinners, Aggie must help him regain his rightful place in the band while showing him that time and love can heal all wounds.

My Thoughts
This is by far my favorite book of the series.  I knew I would love Jace way back when I read Backstage Pass, the first book in this series and I was not disappointed one bit.

Jace's story takes place right around the same time that Sed's does.  It goes way beyond where Sed's ended but it starts off with his first meeting with Aggie at the strip club where Jessica, Sed's love interest, works.  That is the one thing about these books that bothers me.  The time frame is all so jumbled.  This one wasn't as bad as Trey's story though since this one does happen after Seds we don't get spoilers for future books, but just be aware that when you read these the time frame is a little off.  Anyway so we have Jace who is the rockstar loner of the group.  He doesn't crave attention, he doesn't make a spectacle of himself, and he isn't looking to become famous.  All he wants is to play his music and forget his past.  When he meets Aggie for the first time sparks fly and well so do whips and paddles.  If you loved Fifty then this is your book because Aggie is a domme and let me tell you their scenes were beyond hawt.  Some were more emotional to read but others holey moley!  Before Jace can submit to Aggie though he has to come to terms with his past and his role in his parents lives as well as understand that he is good enough and loved by many. 

It was a very heartbreaking story to read and I have to say that the author did a brilliant job with the characters.  Normally in this genre the male or female always leave and there is some huge make up story, but Aggie never left.  She was his rock and knew exactly what Jace needed when he needed it.  Did they both make mistakes of course there has to be some kind of conflict, but she never left and neither did he.  I absolutely loved that!  I think these two are perfect for each other and it was so amazing to read their story.  Don't get me wrong though, there were a couple of scenes that had me bugging my eyes saying WTF, but this is something that hasn't changed throughout the series and it wouldn't be the same without those moments.  They are rockstars and well I can give them some slack for those moments.  There was of course the threesome that have become standard in this series and I have to say it kinda fit.  With everything going on between Jace and a certain Sinner I think it brought a new level to their relationship that needed it.  I won't say who was the third party in this situation because well I don't want to spoil it for you.

This book was so much fun (a little graphic at times with the word choices lol) and I can't wait to read Eric's story next!  He has grown into another of my favorite characters and I have a feeling his book will be hilarious!

By the way after reading these books if if I was 10 years younger I would so be on the look out for my Sinner!  I can't hear a rock song on the radio without wishing I was younger XD

4 Suns
 *ARC provided by the publisher*

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Blog Celebration Winner

Thank you to everyone that helped us kick off our blog Waves of Fiction last month. We hope you continue to join us as we share our book reviews, author events and giveaways. 

Now to announce the winner of our New Blog Celebration $25 eGiftCard…. Congratulations SARAH! Be sure to check your email for your eGiftCard and enjoy some book shopping! You can go
HERE for more details. 

The Waves Team

Black Friday Book Bonanza Winner

Thank you to our blog hosts Book Savvy Babes for arranging this fun hop! Also, thanks to all of our followers that entered to win the Julie James book bundle. The winner is announced here
They have been emailed to claim their prize. Be sure to stay tuned for our follower appreciation celebration giveaway that includes a book bundle for another one of our favorite authors. We hope you continue to enjoy visiting our blog! 

 The Waves Team

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Waves of Sunday #5

Welcome to our fifth edition of Waves of Sunday where each Sunday we spotlight a book that has been making waves in the book scene or has simply caught our attention causing a riptide on our TBR.

Today we are spotlighting
Hard to Love
Published on December 18, 2012 by Kendall Ryan
Purchase: not yet available
About the book
Cade’s always taken risks…

Cade takes cares of his sick younger sister by doing what he does best--cage fighting and fu--er, starring in adult movies, his newest harebrained moneymaking scheme designed to pay for his sister’s growing medical bills. But when his latest gig finds him admitted to the ER sporting an erection from hell, thanks to the little pill given to him by the director, he can’t get the pretty little nurse who treated him out of his head, even though he knows she’s so far out of his league it should be illegal.

Alexa’s always played it safe…

Tired of being pigeonholed as the sweet, innocent one, hardworking nursing student Alexa has been looking for ways to break out of her Goody Two-shoes image. When her friend suggests the outlandish idea of losing her virginity to the sexy and sure-to-be-skilled porn star, Alexa is mortified. But then when Cade refuses her proposition, she finds herself pissed off and embarrassed. When she tracks him down to give him a piece of her mind, she isn’t prepared for what she finds. Watching him care for his little sister tugs at her heart, and suddenly it’s no longer just about losing her virginity, but about helping Cade. Because Lord help her, she might actually be falling for a porn star…

Crystal's Thoughts
Simply put I am already in love with this book.  I have a soft spot for fighters and well I have a feeling that ER scene will be hilarious and I love comedy in my spice.  Plus how can you not already have fallen in love with a guy who will do anything to help his sister.  I cannot wait to get my hands on this one!  Good find Arlene!

Arlene's Thoughts    
HA! I can sense the comedy in this one too Crystal. Talk about mortification! I also like the big brother doing what he has to in order to take care of his little sister. I'm excited to dive into this one too. Having previously read a book by this author I have a sense of what she's able to deliver. Can't wait!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Friday Book Bonanza Giveaway Hop 2012

Today Waves of Fiction is excited to participate in our first Black Friday Book Bonanza! So instead of running out to the stores on Black Friday, we welcome our Waves of Fiction followers to stay in and enter for a chance to win a set of 3 paperback romance novels by one of our favorite authors Julie James.
Thank you to our hosts for organizing this hop, including Heather from Book Savvy Babe, Jenn from The Bawdy Book Blog, and Lisa from Alive on the Shelves.
International Giveaway open to Waves of Fiction Followers
Paperback Copy of the following:

 To see who else is on the Giveaway Hop and enter to win more prizes, be sure to go HERE!

Review: The Marriage Mistake by Jennifer Probst

The Marriage Mistake (Marriage to a Billionare, #3)
The Marriage Mistake by Jennifer Probst
Published November 6th 2012
Purchase: Amazon
About the book: Carina Conte has had a crush on her brother Michael’s best friend, Max Gray, since she was a teenager. Now she’s earned her MBA and come to work at Michael’s new venture, America’s fastest-growing bakery empire. But some things never change: her family still treats her like a child. With three drop-dead gorgeous siblings, she’s still the ugly duckling of the bunch. And Max, the company’s new CEO, still barely notices her.

Max knows Carina Conte is strictly off limits. But hot-blooded lust wins out at a conference when the two share a scorching one-night stand—and are busted by her mother! Now, forced by old-world Italian tradition into a marriage he’s not ready for, Max is miserable—and Carina is furious. Her new husband is about to realize that hell hath no fury like a woman transformed….

The Marriage Mistake was fun, flirty and addictive.  There’s a fair amount of sexual tension and denial that makes it oh-so-satisfying when they finally give in and let go. 

Carina is the naïve heroine longing to break free of her traditional Italian family’s overprotective constraints, and experience life and passion.  She had a mad, intense crush on her brother’s best friend, Max all growing up, one that was evident to everyone including Max.  Max, of course, only looked on her as a little girl and thought her crush was cute.  Carina had to endure the countless girlfriends he went through.  She’s moved to America to take a position in her brother, Michael’s company, but she’s not that little fluttering girl anymore.  When Michael assigns her to work with and learn from Max in La Dolce Maggie, she plans on showing Max she’s long since over him. 

Max is Michael’s right hand man at La Dolce Maggie.  They have been best friends since they were boys growing up in Italy.  When he finds out he’s to train Carina, Max is not happy.  He doesn’t want the distraction and Carina was always so passionate and emotional, really not a fit in a tough business world.  What he doesn’t expect is the Carina that comes through the door.  She’s grown up, confident, and gorgeous.  Not the unsure, volatile girl he remembers.  Max remembers the crush she used to have on him, but there are no traces of it now, and that hurts his ego a little.  This is all for the best though because he has no intention of settling down right now.  However, the feelings Carina stirs up in him are dangerous.  He knows he can’t act on them and ruin the relationship he has with the Conte family if things go wrong.

On one night of weakness they give in to their passions and are caught by Carina’s mother, Mama Conte, who swiftly forces them into a marriage to make things right.  As we’ve learned from the previous story, Mama Conte is always knows best, even though it may take Carina and Max a little while to figure this out. 

I wanted to smack these two upside the head a few times, but that’s what makes these stories so much fun.  The giving in and the pushing away, back and forth, until they finally figure out they’re perfect for one another.  There were all kinds of smoking hot sexual tension in this story!  Ms. Probst certainly knows how to write some spicy scenes.  I loved how Max got all growly and alpha on Carina once he let go, but I loved his sweet side too.  Carina was such a passionate and honest woman, she’s a force to be reckoned with, charming the socks off any who come around her.

This series is so much fun, I can’t wait to read the next one.  Is Carina’s sister, Julietta next?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see. 

A copy of this was provided Simon and Schuster via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

4 Suns

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Review: Unleashed by Cherrie Lynn

Unleashed (Ross Siblings #1) by Cherrie Lynn
Published February 2nd 2010 by Samhain Publishing
Purchase: Amazon
About the book

One week in paradise will make or break them…

It’s not enough that Kelsey’s husband left her for another woman. Oh, no. The “other woman” had to be her best friend Evan’s fiancée. Not only has she lost her marriage, she fears losing Evan to the lingering awkwardness and humiliation that hangs between them.

Evan has no intention of letting that happen. He’s got plans…namely, an extra plane ticket to Hawaii now his future wife is out of the picture. There’s only one person he wants on the trip with him, the one who’s always been there for him. The one he should never have let slip away into the arms of a traitorous friend who shattered her heart.

Kelsey is anticipating a week of fun in the sun with the man who’s always treated her like a little sister. No one’s more surprised when she discovers that Evan has seduction on his mind—and that she’s more than ready for it.

Love is the most powerful healing force of all. But past demons have a way of ripping open old wounds, and threatening the survival of even the strongest friendship

My Thoughts
Wow! Now that's what I call HOTastic!! Cherrie Lynn has just landed on my "authors to look out for" list after reading her first installment of the Ross Siblings series Unleashed. Holy hot tub is Evan Ross the sexiest fictional man god that ever existed! This book is filled with spicy moments that put the steam before the factor, and I can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Evan Ross is the perfect friend that's been there for Kelsey Peterson since their college days. Having gone through some pretty rough times over the past few years, Evan has continued to prove that he'll always be there to comfort and protect her especially after her cheating husband of four years left her devastated. They take off to enjoy a vacation in Hawaii and after a few lotion rubbing episodes and one too many margaritas, they let their guard down after ten years and stop fighting the inevitable.

This was a fun and quick read that included two very likable characters and a ton of steamy moments. I loved Evan's character a TON and came to really like Kelsey when she finally proved she's willing to fight for what she wants. Cherrie Lynn sure knows how to deliver a heated romance with a plausible plot. I really enjoyed her writing and I'm ready to jump on... errrr... I mean into the the next Ross Sibling installment.

4.5 Suns

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: The Marriage Trap by Jennifer Probst

The Marriage Trap (Marriage to a Billionaire, #2)
The Marriage Trap by Jennifer Probst
Published October 2nd 2012 by Simon and Schuster Digital Services
Purchase: Amazon
About the Book: WIFE WANTED…

Italian billionaire seeks faux fiancée. Willing to agree to anything in return...

In order for his sister to marry, Italian billionaire Michael Conte has to find himself a bride – and fast! When he learns that photographer Maggie Ryan is going to be in Milan, Michael hatches a plan to introduce her to his family as his “fiancée.” Never mind that Maggie is confident, independent, and a control freak. Never mind that she’s everything he doesn’t want in a wife… and everything he wants in his bed!

Convinced that Michael is in love with her married gal pal, Maggie agrees to keep up the ruse if he’ll keep away from her friend. Besides, she’s not attracted to charming, ridiculously hot billionaires who drive her nuts. Once they’re in Italy, however, everything changes – and the sexual tension between Maggie and Michael goes from simmer to naked nuclear meltdown!

But have they found the perfect arrangement… or are they trapped in a make-believe marriage?

My Thoughts:

I knew when I picked up The Marriage Trap I was in for a treat, because I enjoyed The Marriage Bargain so much.  This did not disappoint.  I got sizzling chemistry, a gorgeous locale, and a sweet romance that left a smile on my face.  This was such an addictive and fun read!

We met Maggie Ryan in the last book, The Marriage Bargain, Alexa’s best friend and Nick’s sister.  If you remember, Count Michael Conte and Maggie went on a date, but according to Maggie, all the Count did was talk about Alexa.   When we catch up with Maggie, it’s at Alexa’s birthday party and we get a glimpse of the electricity between these two.  Maggie can’t stand to be around Michael since she suggested a second date, back when they first when out, and Michael turned her down.  Wanting something more from a man was totally uncharacteristic of Maggie, but she felt such a strong connection to Michael.   She firmly believes Michael is hung up on Alexa, and that’s why he’s at every family function, much to her irritation.  She doesn’t want anything to threaten the amazing love her brother and best friend share, so she’s determined to keep him away from them. 

Michael Conte feels a pull every time he sees Maggie Ryan, but he dismissed it back when they first went out.  He values family and friends, and Alexa and Nick Ryan have become very important to him.  He knew he couldn’t take things further with Maggie and jeopardize their friendships if things went wrong, like they usually did with his romances.  He has yet to find someone to capture and keep his attention, but he felt an intense attraction for Maggie that had crash and burn written all over it. 

When a family situation demands that Michael marry, he can’t think of anyone better suited to go along with a fake marriage than Maggie.  With her dislike of him, she wouldn’t get any ideas of romance and wouldn’t see the arrangement as anything but what is was, a temporary necessity, and he has the perfect way to force her to agree. 

While a little predictable, I enjoyed this story completely.  Michael was deliciously alpha-male, and yet surprisingly sweet, with a loyalty to family that would make even the most cynical girl swoon.   Maggie was a bit prickly around the edges, choosing to throw up a barricade around her sensitive heart.  We find out it’s been battered and abused, so you can’t really blame the girl.  As hard as Maggie tries though, she can’t hide the sweet, passionate and caring person she really is underneath it all.  Especially, when she’s around Michael and his family!  Did I mention the smoking HOT chemistry between these two?  Several scenes got my blood pumping!  Here’s a spicy sample: 

 His face tightened with determination. “You’re the one playing games, la mia tigrotta,” he growled. “I’ve wanted you from day one, and I never denied it.  I’m tired of fighting with you when we can be doing other things.  More pleasurable things…for both of us.”

 Oh my.

I just loved it when he called her his “la mia tigrotta,” his little tigress, in Italian!

This story was not all about the spice, though.  It was satisfyingly sweet romance that had me sighing with pleasure in the end.  As a bonus, we get a glimpse of Alexa and Nick, still going strong, and now with cute baby Lily.  I can’t wait to read Carina and Max’s story next in The Marriage Mistake!

 4 Suns

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: Friends With Partial Benefits by Luke Young

Friends With Partial Benefits

Published June 23rd 2011
About the book:
Jillian Grayson is a disillusioned divorcée and best-selling romance novelist who can’t write a chapter without her hunky male heartthrob suffering ED, an STD, or even worse. Brian Nash is a tennis-obsessed, college senior who’s unlucky in love and the roommate and best friend of Jillian’s son, Rob. When Rob brings Brian home for spring break and he meets the surprisingly young and also tennis passionate Jillian, their shared interest quickly develops into an intense mutual attraction. After nearly giving in to their feelings, they hatch a plan, while under the influence (of something more than just the perfect Miami night), to be Friends With Partial Benefits complete with rules to define the boundaries. Will the lonely pair continue with this distinctive relationship, actually explore their desires or will they discover all of it is a really bad idea?

Filled with passion, longing, surprises and humor, the first book in Friends With… Series is hard to put down and will leave you laughing out loud and slightly sleep deprived.

My Thoughts:
This was a fun, entertaining read that I enjoyed. I was sucked in immediately and unable to put it down, finishing it in one day (which is really hard for me to normally do). What interested me most about reading it was the fact that it's written by a man - and that always makes me curious. Luke Young can write romance well, I have to give him credit.

Rob and Brian are college roommates (seniors) and best friends. Rob's mom, Jillian is a smutty romance novelist and divorcee - but she's hot and young (she got pregnant with Rob in high school). Brian (who's an older student at the age of 26) is struggling in his relationship with his current girlfriend (if you can call her that) and needs a break from her. So he goes home with Rob on Spring Break.

Staying at Rob's house (while Rob is constantly out with his girlfriend, Laura) - Brian spends a lot of time with Jillian. Both huge fans of tennis (and Jillian having a spectacular tennis court) - they find themselves with a lot in common. They play tennis together and talk and start a friendship - while there are other underlying feelings rising to the surface. There is an attraction that can't be denied. I thought that the age difference would bother me - but I ended up being okay with it. Their connection and attraction meant so much more then the fact they are 12 years apart in age. I loved these two together. The sexual tension between the two was palpable and had me holding my breath at times. And Brian - what a sweetie. He cooks, he's hot, he's sweet. SWOON.

One of my favorite parts of the book...
He leaned in close to her and put his hand on her neck. A shiver went through her body as he whispered, "If I don't get inside you soon, I'm going to die."

Swoon, right?

Without giving much away - things go down with Rob, Laura, & Brian's girlfriend (Natalie) that make the story interesting. I really wanted to shake Brian and tell him to wake up at many points in the story. Things worked out how I hoped and Brian was just adorable.  Only a slight cliffhanger that will leave you wanting more and thankfully this is the first book in a series that are all available.  I'll be looking to get my hands on the rest of them soon.

A cute romance with some spice (not overly done) that I enjoyed and would recommend if you want a fun, quick read.

Thank you, Mr. Young, for the opportunity to read your book!

3.5 Suns

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Waves of Sunday #4

Welcome to our fourth edition of Waves of Sunday where each Sunday we'll be spotlighting a book that has been making waves in the book scene or has simply caught our attention causing a riptide on our TBR.
Today, we're excited to spotlight:
Exposed to You by Beth Kery
Published November 6th 2012 by Berkley Trade
Purchase: Amazon
About the book

Losing control is just the beginning…

“What would you do if the sexiest man in the world was bent on bringing you unbearable pleasure again and again? Joy Hightower wasn’t sure she could survive the experience…or live without it."

It’s not often you’re hired to paint a body tattoo—and what a body—on a total stranger at a Hollywood film set. A reserved and careful art teacher, Joy would never forget it. In a rare fit of raw desire she gave herself completely, knowing she’d never see him again, or ever repeat such a shameless, naked impulse.

Little did she know, the man with whom she shared that lightning bolt of lust was star Everett Hughes. For Everett, women and sex came as easily as fame. But how could he hope to convince the guarded Joy that beneath the hard body and sexy façade of celebrity was a real man who wanted only one, real woman?

In the heat of an intoxicating affair, Everett endeavors to break down her barriers, gain her trust, and expose himself as the real deal. But can Joy do the same, and reveal to him the vulnerable woman who longs to be loved, wanted, and desired forever?
Arlene's Thoughts
I think the thing that caught my attention about this book is that it seems like Joy meets Everett when she's called to paint a body tattoo on him for a movie role. That seems pretty intimate and well, who knows where it can all lead. I take that back... I'm sure we can all assume where it leads. >.< If the book is as promising as the early ratings I'm seeing, well I can't wait to jump right in. :)

Rachel's Thoughts
This book was not on my radar until Arlene brought it up.  I'm always intrigued by stories that involve musicans, actors, or celebrity types.  How do they pick one special person when they have so many people willing to throw themselves at their feet?  I'm curious what it is about Joy that has Everett pursuing her.  I really want to pick this up now, too! Leave to Arlene to tempt me with another book!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Review: If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones
Published August 24th 2012 Gallery Books
Purchase: Amazon
About the book

When Sara McMillan finds a stack of journals in a storage unit, she’s shocked and enthralled by the erotic life the writer led. Unable to stop reading, she vicariously lives out dark fantasies through Rebecca, the writer—until the terrifying final entry.

Certain something sinister has happened, Sara sets out to discover the facts, immersing herself in Rebecca’s life. Soon she’s working at the art gallery Rebecca worked at and meeting Rebecca’s friends. Finding herself drawn to two dangerously sexy men, the manager of the gallery and a famed artist, Sara realizes she’s going down the same path Rebecca took. But with the promise of her dark needs being met by a man with confident good looks and a desire for control, she’s not sure anything else matters. Just the burn for more.

My Thoughts
Sweet painful HELL!!! Who ends a book like that?!?!?!? Need the next one.... NOW!!

"We stare at each other and his scrutiny is so intense that I feel as if he's crawling inside me and searching my soul for confirmation I've spoken the truth."

Woah! This book was seriously intense and addicting! If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones kept my attention from the first sentence all the way to the painful cliffhanger at the end. Jones sure knows how to deliver a dark and erotic story filled with a cast of complicated yet alluring characters. This book blends a perfect mix of mystery, seduction, and intrigue to keep you reading late into the night and screaming for the sequel when you stumble across the last paragraph. I can't believe I have to wait so long for the next installment!

In this story, we meet Sara McMillan who's come across a journal filled with erotic entries by someone named Rebecca Mason. Sara immediately becomes captivated by the painful yet sensual events that unfold in this diary and when she attempts to seek out the owner, she discovers that this gallery director is missing. Eventually, Sara lands herself a job in the same gallery Rebecca last worked at with the intention of trying to find out what happened to her. Sara soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous power-play between the elusive yet controlling gallery owner Mark Compton and the complicated and seductive artist Chris Merit. Trying to decipher who she can trust and why they each want to control her, only manages to lead her down a dark and dangerous path.

The words Jones commits to page are nothing short of addictive and alluring. This author knows how to deliver hypnotic storytelling that leave us craving for more. I was definitely attracted to the cast of characters in this story. Both Mark and Chris prove to be equally elusive, yet captivating and I can't quite figure out who to fall for and who not to trust.

I have so many questions about Sara and Chris's past, as well as the whereabouts of Rebecca and Ella that I can't wait to get my hands on the next book. If I Were You has shot up my list of most anticipated sequels. Most definitely enjoyed this tale of seduction and mystery.

5 Suns

Friday, November 16, 2012

Review: Double Time by Olivia Cunning

Double Time (Sinners on Tour, #5)
Double Time (Sinners on Tour #5) by Olivia Cunning
Published November 6, 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Purchase: Amazon
About the Book
Olivia Cunning delivers the perfect blend of steamy sex, heartwarming romance, and a wicked sense of humor in this menage story featuring the hottest guy in the Sinners band.

Trey Mills, the notoriously sexy Sinners rhythm guitarist, gives up his bisexual lifestyle and is swept into a hot, heady romance with Reagan Elliot, a female rock star sensation. But when Trey encounters Reagan's sexy bisexual roommate, Ethan Conner, he can no longer deny who he is or what he wants. Reagan heartily agrees to a solution that opens up a hot new world of sexual experience--and love--with the two men she wants the most.
My Thoughts
This rating is totally just for Trey. He is by far the hottest member of this group in my opinion and he deserves every one of those 3 stars. His story is definitely spicy and leaves nothing to the imagination but I am glad things ended the way they did for him. I honestly can't imagine his story being any different. I lurve this man and he deserves his happiness anyway he can get it. I also loved Reagan. She was hilarious and gave Trey a run for his money. Some of their conversations were some of the best I have ever read. Very laugh out loud funny. This rock star world needed a female musician and she was a wonderful addition. Ethan helped round out this trio and I can't see Trey and Reagan without him. And if I am being completely honest this story felt more rock star to me than the other 2 so far especially now after finding out the outcomes of all the band members. Which I am a little confused about since this is the third book in the series and we haven't yet read Eric and Jace's stories, but we get to see their HEAs. This book felt more like a series ending one than the third one in a set of 5.
My reason for taking away 2 stars is 1.Brian ticked me off and 2.Way too many babies! I will start with Brian. He was so mean to Trey! I expected way more from him when certain things were revealed. His band members were there for him through a lot and he was so self involved in this one and way too selfish. I just wanted to strangle him! I can't say much more because I don't want to give away what happens, but I am still upset over how Brian handled the situation. When I read first started reading this series every time I heard an alternative song I would get a smile on my face because these books were hot and they tend to leave an impression. Now though when I hear one all I see is babies! Rock stars need to party and have lots of smexin going on, not changing diapers and hearing biological clocks ticking. This series started out a certain way and I know characters are supposed to evolve and all but I didn't want these particular characters to grow up that much. Not yet anyway.
So I will definitely still read the next book, but I don't know if I will be as excited as I was with the previous ones.

3 Suns 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Author Event & Giveaway: Darynda Jones-Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Darynda Jones visits Southern California to promote her latest in the Charley Davidson series, Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet, November 9, 2012.
The entertaining Darynda Jones

I was thrilled to hear Darynda Jones would be stopping in Southern California as I've heard so many great things about her Charley Davidson series.  I am new to the Charley Davidson series, I'm almost done with the audio of the first book (thanks Arlene!), so it was nice to hear about some of the backgroud story behind Charley. I found out some interesting tidbits as well. Here are some fun facts:
  • The funny T-shirts lines that are usually the title to each chapter, are in fact T-shirts.  She used to have to scour the internet for new ones, but now that she's been doing this for a while, readers send her all kinds that she ends up using.  She writes the book up first then divides it into chapters, and then selects the appropriate T-shirt title. 
  • Darynda knows who Charley will eventually end up with.  She doesn't know when she's going end the series, she's not ready to say goodbye, so it may take a while for Charley to get there.  Just from the first book, I already have my heart set on Reyes! Oh, man! Talk about SUPER HOT, and the ultimate bad boy!
  • Darynda has plans for a spin-off series, but is holding off because she feels she'd have to end Charley sooner than she wants.  Mr. Wong has a huge role in the spin-off and we'll finally find out his backstory.
  • There might be a romance brewing between Uncle Bob and Cookie! 
  • The titles were purposely numbered, because Darynda hates going into a bookstore and trying to figure out the order of books in a series.  There is no confusing what number in the series First Grave on the Right or Third Grave Dead Ahead is.  I like that!
Darynda was so much fun, I had a blast laughing and cracking up the whole evening!  I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet her.

Now for the good part!  We would like to offer one lucky reader a SIGNED copy of Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet.  The giveaway is INTERNATIONAL and will fun for three weeks.  The only requirement is that you follow the blog.  Just fill out the rafflecopter below.  Good luck and thanks for stopping by! 

 Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson, #4)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Leave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn

Leave Me Breathless (Ross Siblings, #3)

Leave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn
Published November 6th 2012 by Samhain Publishing

About the book:
It's Valentine's Day, but Macy Rodgers isn't feeling the love. Aside from a torrid, one-night fling in a backseat a few months back, her love life has been sorely lacking, but fortunately she has devious friends who feel like playing Cupid. Wouldn't they be shocked to learn that the match they've made for her is the same one that steamed up the back of that '69 GTO...

Seth "Ghost" Warren has just returned to town after an extended absence. Between his grandmother's failing health, his job as a tattoo artist, his band's gigs, and a crazy ex that won't leave him alone, he's stretched thin. Cautious cowgirl Macy is the last thing he needs thrown into the mix.

She's all country, he's all heavy metal—and Macy knows that if anyone can propel her out of her rut, it's Seth. But when their worlds collide, it's anyone guess if they'll survive with their hearts intact.

Warning: Contains explicit sex, graphic language, road trips, troublemaking exes, emotional baggage, and an unconventional but exceptionally hot hero tatted and pierced for your pleasure...

My Thoughts:
This book was scrumptious and I devoured it!

Ghost - you have my heart and I can honestly say you may have a slight edge over Brian from Rock Me (I know...*GASP*). I'm a sucker for a bald head, facial hair, and tattoos. The minute he walked into the bar in the beginning with all of his hotness, I was a goner. I couldn't get enough of him. Not only was he irresistible and sexy - he was sweet, charming, and family-oriented. His love for his grandma and sister was an added layer to the perfection that is Seth Warren.  And he drives a 1969 GTO convertible.  HOT.

There's no denying this is one of the hottest books I've ever read.  The steam was oozing from the pages it was so hot. And it wasn't just all about that (although no complaints - those were some good scenes) - it was also tender and sweet and funny at times. There was a connection between Macy and Seth that just couldn't be denied and it kept my heart racing. I loved them together. It made it hard for me to put this book down.

But Macy and Seth had their fair share of issues. After having a severe horse-riding accident, Macy loses her identity and ends up with serious self-esteem issues. And Seth is still hung up on how his first love broke his heart, many years before. Wrong assumptions, trust issues, and drama ensue - but what book doesn't have that? It's what keeps a reader reading and many times I found myself holding my breath and reading frantically to get to the end where I hoped everything would be okay.

For all of the frustrating drama (which was a very small part of the book, thankfully) - it was worth it because of the relationship that was built between Seth and Macy. I would've liked to have seen an epilogue of their lives down the road, but I have hope that maybe there's going to be another book in the series where we'll get a glimpse of how they're doing. I loved how Brian and Candace (from Rock Me) made their appearances in this book. I would rate this one a full 5 suns if I didn't feel the ending was slightly lacking. I LOVED this book up until the very end when I felt it fell a little flat. But, overall, a fantastic read that went right onto my favorites list!

4.5 Suns