Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review: Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz

Publication Date: Paperback: October 18th 2016 e-Book: November 1st 2016 by Harlequin Blaze
Purchase links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

A feast she wasn't expecting!

Clover Greene would sooner crawl into her oven than host family for Thanksgiving dinner. Yet another annual ritual of too much food, served with a side of criticism over "Clover's Bad Life Choices." This year, she needs to distract them all—with a handsome fake boyfriend. And she has the perfect guy in mind.

Contractor Erick Fields is the poster boy for sexy single dads, and Clover has been secretly crushing on him for ages. She certainly wasn't expecting Erick to agree to her insane charade…or to add lots of hot, wicked sex to the deal. If they can pull it off, the worst Thanksgiving ever might give them something to be really thankful for!

My Thoughts:
Clover is dreading Thanksgiving where her family have inviting themselves to her house for dinner. She’s the only one of the Greene children unmarried and without kids, a fact that her whole family count as a failure.  Never mind that Clover’s started her own successful business, a garden nursery, doing something she loves, working with plants and nature.  The passive aggressive comments or digs wrapped in weak compliments make family time almost unbearable.

To help get her family to back off, her assistant, seventeen year old Ruthie suggest she get a fake boyfriend for the week. Ruthie has just the man in mind, her father Erick, and with a little luck Ruthie’s hoping it will turn out to be the real deal.  She loves Clover and couldn’t imagine a cooler stepmother or a better woman for her dad. 

Erick has harbored a crush on Clover ever since she took a chance on his daughter and hired her, but he didn’t want to make things awkward for Ruthie, until she obviously sets them up.  So when Clover asks for his help by pretending to be her boyfriend for the week, he jumps at the chance.  Erick makes it clear offering up his body for delicious hot sex is part of the package when you get a “fake” boyfriend for the week!

I adored both Erick and Clover!  Erick was a complete sweetheart, raising a wonderful and spirited daughter, mostly on his own.  The way he bolstered Clover’s confidence, acknowledging and appreciating her accomplishments, and then standing up for her to her family just made me swoon!  Clover was a hard working woman with a lot of heart.  She took a chance on Ruthie hiring her, and channeled all Ruthie’s energy into good instead of anarchy (even if it was for a good reason).

Once again the setting of Lost Lake in Oregon had me itching to rent my very own woodsy cabin for a peaceful, secluded retreat. I want to cozy up by the fire as it quietly drizzles out in the woods or maybe watch the sunrise over the lake with my hubby! I actually started looking through some rentals on VRBO after I finished!

I love how Tiffany Reisz manages to make a romance feel realistic with the normal insecurities that creep in, and yet oh-so-hot! Erick was very good at making Clover realize that she was sexy, accomplished and sweet.  This romance was sizzling, playful and so much fun!  I can’t wait for the final installment, One Hot December, in the Men at Work series!

 4 Suns

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Giveaway Hop: Stuck in a Good Book

Hi there readers! I'm participating in the Giveaway Hop hosted by Valerie at Stuck in Books today! (See below for a list of participating blogs or click HERE) The theme is Stuck in a Good Book!  Have you ever picked up a book so riveting you couldn't put it down?  I'm sure all of us have many times over.  Here are a few I recently lost myself in:

The Woman in Cabin 10 Origins (Alphas, #0.5) In Safe Hands (Search and Rescue, #4) 

I'm giving away $10 to either US Amazon, US Barnes & Noble or up to $10 at The Book Depository, so the giveaway is International as long as The Book Depository ships to your address.  Click HERE for a list of countries included.  Also, don't miss our giveaway for Loving You Easy by Roni Loren!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Review & Giveaway: Loving You Easy by Roni Loren

Publication Date: September 6th 2016 by Berkley
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Three lovers really click in the latest from the New York Times bestselling author of Call on Me—
Cora has an amazing sex life. She’s beautiful, daring, and the most popular submissive in Hayven. Too bad none of it’s real...
IT specialist Cora Benning has figured out the key to her formerly disastrous love life—make it virtual. In the online world of Hayven, she’s free of her geek girl image and can indulge her most private fantasies with a sexy, mysterious master without anyone in her life discovering her secrets. Until her information is hacked and she finds herself working to fix the breach under two very powerful men—one who seems all too familiar...

Best friends and business partners Ren Muroya and Hayes Fox were once revered dominants. Then Hayes was wrongfully sent to prison and everything changed. Ren wants to get back to who they were. Hayes can’t risk it. But when they discover the new IT specialist is their online fascination, and that she’s never felt a dominant’s touch, the temptation to turn virtual into reality becomes all too great…

My Thoughts:
Cora Benning is hasn’t had much luck in the romance department. Lackluster relationships that never really turn her crank, until she starts playing an online game, Hayven, with Dmitry, a dominant player. Soon, Cora is not only playing with him online, but also sharing their day through text messages, becoming close, and she finds herself falling for her virtual boyfriend.  But Cora’s world is jolted when someone from the virtual game of Hayven tracks her down to take her online playing into the real world.  Just how this man was able to find out her identity is frightening, but being a computer security specialist/hacker for hire, Cora is up to the challenge of finding out how her personal information was breached.  And this is what brings her into the world of the Hayes and Ren, the owners of Hayven; two intense and seductive men who turn Cora’s world upside down.

While I’ve said this before, threesomes always give me pause, because I have a hard time accepting it as relationship that could survive and thrive in the real world.  I always think one of the three would end up feeling like a third wheel so I usually take a pass when a story involves a threesome. However, I couldn’t pass on a Roni Loren romance so I gave Loving You Easy a shot.  While it wasn’t my favorite story from Ms. Loren, because of my personal prejudices about ménages, Loving You Easy was still a captivating story!   But I think I would’ve enjoyed the story more if it was just Cora and Hayes.  The close bond they shared first online and then in person was more believable, and adding Ren into the mix, while thrilling, diluted the intensity and rightness of Hayes and Cora. 

Roni Loren is the queen of erotica, IMO. She can light my fires like no other writer, and yet her stories are not just sex, sex, sex, which is why I think they’re so freaking hot! She gives you the heart of her characters, makes you feel what they feel, builds the sexual tension, and then finishes it off with the most deliciously wicked scenes!  Loving You Easy was no exception.

3.5 Suns

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The wonderful people of Berkley generously provided a Paperback Copy of Loving You Easy to one reader.  The giveaway is open to US or CA residents only.  Just fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Review: School Ties by Tamsen Parker

Publication Date: September 20th 2016 by Intermix
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Erin Brewster is nervous enough on her first day of teaching at Hawthorn Hill. But the way Zach Shepherd looks at her with his dark and dreamy blue eyes really throws her off her game. He simply has to walk past her to send her heart racing. Although he’s eighteen and a senior, he’s still just a student—and very off limits. To let her eyes linger over his body, to fulfill her fantasies would be more than inappropriate. It would be career suicide.

Three years after his graduation from Hawthorn, Shep has returned as a member of the faculty—and he hasn’t forgotten his favorite teacher, the prettiest woman he’s ever seen. When they finally have a chance to get to know each other, they realize they share a common interest: kink. In fact, Shep has learned a lot about the subject during his time away and is ready to teach Erin a thing or two. He’ll soon have her begging to be held after class.

As their relationship comes under scrutiny, the ties that bind Shep and Erin may begin to fray. But some bonds grow stronger under pressure...

My Thoughts:
School Ties starts out as a forbidden attraction, although Zach is eighteen, and Erin is only twenty-two, she is still his teacher and therefore any relationship is off limits. The story was definitely captivating with an undercurrent of sexual tension running between Zach and Erin from the beginning, slowly building throughout the story. 

Hints of Erin’s submissive personality and Zach’s dominant nature came through early on, and their effect on each other was thrilling even though they had to wait before acting on anything.  Zach was a complete sweetheart, wanting to take care of Erin, even though his hands were tied.  I will say I was annoyed with Erin several times before the 40% mark, but it wasn’t as if she could’ve had anything going on with Zach, but still, some stupid decisions! And she put up with so much before finally taking action!

There is a little more angst and drama when Zach comes back after three years of college to teach, but the pull is still definitely there, never really forgotten by either one of them. Finding out they share the same kink was a revelation, and what came after was so very delicious after all that build up!  

School Ties was thoroughly entertaining, and I ended up finishing it in one day.

3.5 Suns

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Release Day Launch Excerpt & Giveaway: The Bachelor Auction by Rachel Van Dyken

Publication Date: October 4, 2016 by Forever
Purchase Links: Amazon | B & N | iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

About the book:

Cinderella never had to deal with this crap.

Jane isn't entirely sure that Cinderella got such a raw deal. Sure, she had a rough start, but didn't she eventually land a prince and a happily-ever-after? Meanwhile, Jane is busy waiting on her demanding, entitled sisters, running her cleaning business, and . . . yep, not a prince in sight. Until a party and a broken shoe incident leave Jane wondering if princes---or at least, a certain deliciously hunky billionaire---maybe do exist.

Except Brock Wellington isn't anyone's dream guy. Hell, a prince would never agree to be auctioned off in marriage to the highest bidder. Or act like an arrogant jerk---even if it was just a façade. Now, as Brock is waiting for the auction chopping block, he figures it's karmic retribution that he's tempted by a sexy, sassy woman he can't have. But while they can't have a fairy-tale ending, maybe they can indulge in a little bit of fantasy . .


“Jane.” It was a whisper, it was a question, and then his mouth was on hers—harsh, forceful, but so inviting she whimpered at the contact and leaned into him, begging him with her body to take what she couldn’t voice aloud.
It was a bad idea.
He was a bad idea.
Ready to be married off.
But here, in this moment, he was hers.
So she kissed him back with as much passion as she possessed, her hands digging into the front of his shirt while his teeth nipped at her bottom lip.
His hands slid beneath her shirt, unhooking her bra with ease as he nudged her thighs apart.
“You feel so soft,” he murmured against her mouth. “Perfect.” Another plundering kiss, his tongue flicking hers before his lips slid down her neck. “So damn good.”
With a moan, she pressed as close as she could against him, nearly riding his leg in an effort to get more of him.
“That’s it,” he encouraged while she clawed at him.
“Brock!” Bentley’s voice pierced the air. “Did you need help?”
Brock froze above her, his face filled with irritation. “Open that door, Bentley, and I’m selling every car you own and replacing it with a Honda!”
“You don’t mean it.” The knob turned.
Jane’s eyes widened in alarm as Brock quickly moved away from her and tossed the blanket…over her head. Right, like that was going to look normal. She pulled the blanket off her face and tried in vain to fix her bra while frantically pulling her hair back into a ponytail.
Bentley entered, took one look at both of them and smiled. “Clearly this room was dirtier than we thought?” He tilted his head at Jane. “Or maybe not dirty enough?”
“Out!” Brock barked.
“Fine,” Bentley grumbled. “I’m leaving. I just thought you should know that Grandfather called and wanted to know how the maid was working out. I told him that you’ve been helping her since she sprained her ankle. He was concerned about her finishing the job.”
“What did you say?” Brock grabbed Bentley by the shirt and gave a little shake.
Bentley held up his hands. “Chill. I told him that she would make a full recovery, that she refused to sue, and that you were taking care of the situation. Because that’s all you’re doing, right Brock? Taking care of the situation…” He peered around Brock at Jane.
Feeling suddenly more naked than she actually was, she covered herself up with the blanket.
What had she been thinking?
It was beyond unprofessional.
Tears burned the backs of her eyes.
 “Thanks, Bent.” Brock sighed, running his hands through his already mussed hair.
Bentley saluted him then added quietly. “For the record, any girl that can get Boring Brock to bend the rules is a keeper.”
Brock bit back a curse as Bentley shut the door.
“Boring Brock?” Jane asked.
“It’s about as bad as it sounds.”
“Well, I’m Plain Jane, so…I understand.”
He turned. “You’ve never been plain a day in your life.”
“I think you’ve already learned that you don’t need to give me pretty compliments to get me to kiss you.”
“You have seven freckles. You press your lips together to keep yourself from saying things you shouldn’t. You hum when you clean, and though I’m not sure what the tune is, it’s familiar. When you eat, you watch people rather than your own food, and I’m just going to come out and say it: you eat like an animal, the most erotic thing I’ve ever seen.”
Jane covered her face with her hands. “It was flattering until you said that last part.”
Brock laughed. “Seeing a woman dig into her food like she hasn’t eaten in weeks? It’s one of the most erotic visions I’ve ever had.”
Emotion flashed across his face as he made his way over to her and kissed her again, pulling away with her name on his lips. “Jane, I want you.”
“Thought I was just the help.” The walls around her heart started to slip; she felt it in the way her body rose against him. He’d noticed things about her nobody ever had, he was helping her, and he was beautiful. Was it so wrong to want this? For herself? Once in her life?
“You’re more than that, and you know it.” His eyes locked on to hers as his deep voice washed over her.
“You’re getting auctioned off in two weeks and you know it.”
He paused, his expression going completely ice cold before he looked away and then back at her. “And if I wasn’t? What then?”
“Then…” She bit down on her bottom lip. “I’d ask you to kiss me again.”
Excerpted from THE BACHELOR AUCTION by Rachel Van Dyken. Copyright © 2016 by Rachel Van Dyken. Used with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

About the author.
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.  She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers! 

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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Review: Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Leave Me by Gayle Forman
Published September 6th 2016 by Algonquin Books
International bestselling author Gayle Forman's trademark humor and insight abound in this masterful adult debut, showing us that sometimes you have to leave home in order to find it again.

For every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, for every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention--meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who's so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn't even realize she's had a heart attack.

Afterward, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: She packs a bag and leaves. But, as is so often the case, once we get to where we're going, we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is finally able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from those she loves and from herself.

With big-hearted characters who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing our fears. Gayle Forman, a dazzling observer of human nature, has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head-on.

My Thoughts
Gayle Forman is one of my favorite authors, so I was really excited to see her publish Leave Me. Then, I read the description of the story, and it completely spoke to me!

I jumped right in with high hopes of connecting with the main character and possibly experiencing some self-discovery of my own. I mean, what over-worked mother doesn't fantasize about a little get-a-away to focus on just yourself? Everything about Maribeth jumped right out at me… works full-time (check), two young and very, very busy children (check), completely over-stretched with commitments to family and friends (check), struggling with medical ailments (recent check)… yes it all hit home. So when Maribeth's medical recovery from a heart attack becomes an imposition on her family, she decides to pack up and leave for some time to heal both physically and emotionally.

The first half of the story really grabbed me because of the similarities I share with the character (minus the heart attack). However, the story suddenly transpired into a mom looking for her birth mother to understand her medical history and why she was put up for adoption. As Maribeth continues her quest, she also grapples with the pain of her breakup in her early twenties to the man she was now married to.

Overall, the story had a little bit of everything, and in the end I sort of lost my connection to the events and emotions of the main character. I was hoping for something different, and unfortunately this didn't quite connect with me like I hoped.

Still looking forward to seeing what Forman publishes next.
3 Suns