Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

4 Stars!
Amazon link- Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward

SPOILER FREE!

Normally I never curse in a review, but today I’m going to so I’m warning you now. This book pushed me over the edge- in good ways and bad, so an F bomb is appropriate at times. I’m also reviewing it spoiler free. My first spoiler-free review ever! See, there is a first time for everything.

Each year we anticipate the release of the new BDB book more than any other book release. Why? Because it’s the Black Dagger Brotherhood, bitch! that’s why. No other books (or males) compare to BDB….at least not for me…and I’m sure that I’m not alone on this one. We stop everything we’re doing for this book. We call out of work- sick if we have to, put off errands and housework, skip feeding the kids, whatever is necessary in order to read the newly released BDB book. Even if we have to stay up until nearly 3:00 am to finish the book and rise at 6:30am for work, then so be it. Yes, that is exactly what I did! Hell, we fans fly across the country to meet the author too!

Tohr’s book is probably the biggest most wanted book of the series. We met and followed Tohr since the beginning of the first book, Dark Lover. We went through the highs and lows with him. We watched him care for John Matthew as if John was his own blooded son. We ached and cried for him when his beloved Wellesandra was shot and killed, and even more so when we thought Tohr was lost to us forever.

There’s a lot riding on Tohr’s book for us hardcore Black Dagger Brotherhood fans. It’s almost as if we expect a certain standard from the WARDen now. She has captivated our hearts from the beginning with these spell binding stories she weaves. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, poof! it does….annnnnd sometimes it doesn’t. Everyone has his or her favorite and least favorite book of this series. We anticipate and expect so much from her now, especially when it came down to Lover Reborn. She needed to do Tohr’s story justice…and she did but she didn’t. I guess I have mixed feelings on it.

The first half of this book irritated me. A total let down and disappointment, really. I understand that Tohr needed to have a very long and emotional journey ahead of him, which is actually what I was looking forward to. But why the hell were there so many other stories in it? I was really starting to get pissed off. Honestly, did we need so much of John Matthew and Xhex? Or Xcor and his Band of Bastards? At one point I thought to myself, whose book am I reading? John Matthew’s book or Tohr’s? That’s how much there was of John Matthew and Xhex in this book. That goes for Xcor as well. I was skimming when it came to Xcor because I was getting so bored with him. Actually freaking skimming a brand new Black Dagger book! To top it off, it moved at a snail’s pace.

When we did have scenes with Tohr, I wanted to reach through the book and smack him upside the head for the way he was behaving. Granted, Tohr was mourning his mate so hard that he wasn’t able to see what was right in front of his eyes in order to save his Wellsie. He was an arrogant, rude bastard at times to No’One, but that was expected. He wasn’t giving himself fully to her and I wanted to scream at him and say, ‘WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE YOU MORON!’ To be honest, the frustration I experienced with his actions was enjoyable. If he was any different, then I probably would have been mad at that too. It gave a little more drama and realization to the story. I know, I know…I just contradicted myself a bit.

No’One. I liked her the moment I met her. I wanted her to have the happy ending I thought she deserved. She lived a very rough and difficult life because of the decisions she made in the past. Having a half-symphath daughter after being raped was not acceptable to her family. After trying to take her own life, she resigned herself to a desolate life and never, ever, craved the touch of another man again. She was happy with her new life for the most part until she moved to the Brotherhood’s mansion. Once there, she came back into the life of two people she thought she’d never see again. Her daughter, Xhexiana, and the man who saw her through her unwanted pregnancy, cared for her and then buried her 200 years ago, Tohr. It’s also where she was asked to help Tohr heal and let go of Wellsie so he can save her. Her unexpected path to recovery was not easy for her either, just like it wasn’t for Tohr. But she wasn’t concerned with her needs. She was solely focused on helping Tohr save Wellsie. She was doing whatever was necessary for him to the point when she began to slowly fall in love with him. She gave him her body and soul…and he stomped on it ruthlessly because he didn’t want to accept what needed to happen.

Just when I had had enough of Lover Reborn, even though I would have never given up on a BDB book no matter how mad I was, the WARDen took me by surprise and locked me in. OMFG! HOLY SHIT GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! did I not see that one coming…or that one coming either! The last 30-40% took me by such shock that it changed my whole opinion and rating of this book. I was ready to give this book a two, maybe three stars. But after what happens you’ll see why I changed my mind. THIS is the J.R. Ward whose writing I fell in love with. There were twists and turns at every corner. I was glued to the book at this point! I never expected so much to happen…it blew my mind. There was one part I would have loved to have details of….but I think that’s going to be saved for the next book…at least I hope will be! In which case I have to say to that I hope they’re hot and steamy scenes….even though they are friends.

Another part in the last 30-40% that had me so worked up, I wanted to get on the horn and yell, ‘FUCK YOU WARDen!’ over and over for what was happening to Tohr….again. It was 2:00 in the morning and I couldn’t call anyone to talk about it. I was so beside myself after reading it. My heart was breaking all over again for this male. It just wasn’t fair! I knew she was going to have an explanation for it and fix it, but I couldn’t see beyond that at that moment. I only saw Tohr and the pain in his eyes. Of course it was fixed, but man oh man I felt like I had Rhage’s beast on my back ready to come out when I read it! That’s what makes J.R. Ward such an incredible writer, my favorite writer.

I realized once I finished this book why the WARDen gave so much page time to the other characters. It makes sense now and it wouldn’t have been the same if she hadn’t. So I take back all I said and complained about. This book ended up being one of my absolute favorites of the series, after Lover Awakened, that is. That goes for the snail pace of the book as well. It truly could not have been done any other way. It was just perfect. ❤ I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the future with this series. Just when I thought I've read it all, BAM! Another surprise. I just know it's going to be great! I will be doing another reading of it asap. Gah, I loved this book so much!

Lassiter is my new favorite character. That guy was hysterical! Oh, and if you didn’t know, he’s hung like a horse. :p

After finishing this book, I walked away with some thoughts…not just for Tohr’s story, but for life itself: We take for granted what we have to grab at our fingertips, not understanding the value until it’s gone, possibly forever. Life is so short, yet so long. We need to appreciate what is right in front of our very eyes, for we never know when we may lose it.

Favorite lines:

“Now I know how they make shredded lettuce.” -Qhuinn

I’m an angel first and a sinner second, and I’m not here for long. I’ll never hurt you, but I’m prepared to make you pretty goddamn uncomfortable if I have to, to get my job done. I like sunsets and long walks on the beach, but m perfect female no longer exists. Oh, an my favorite hobby is annoying the shit out of people. Guess I’m just bred to want to get a rise out of folks- probably the whole resurrection thing.”- Lassiter

John’s head cranked over, and he started to mouth, I love her so much. I’d die if anything happened to h–
When he stopped short, Tohr took a deep breath through the pain in his chest. “I know. Trust me…I know.”

Read: Use that symphath side of yours, girlfriend.

Addictions and compulsions were nothing but marching bands of distraction, masking truths that were unpleasant, but ultimately undeniable.

Because there was a lesson in this Fade ceremony tonight: You could lose the ones you loved in the blink of an eye- and he was willing to bet, when it happened, you weren’t thinking about all the reasons that you were kept apart. You thought of all the reasons that kept you together.
And, no doubt, how you wished you’d had more time. Even if you’d had centuries….
When you were young, you thought time was a burden, something to be discharged as fast as possible so you could be grown-up. But it was such a bait-n-switch- when you were an adult, you came to realize that minutes and hours were the single most.

“And if that bastard’s innocent,” Rhage spoke up, “I’m the fucking Easter bunny.”
“Oh, good,” someone quipped. “I’m calling you Hop-along Hollywood from now on,”
“Beasty Bo Peep,” somebody else threw out.
“We could put you in a Cadbury ad and finally make some money–”
“People,” Rhage barked, “the point is that he is not innocent and I’m not the Easter bunny–”
“Where’s your basket?”
“Can I play with your eggs?”
“Hop it out, big guy–”
“Will you guys fuck off? Seriously!”

And he would have had to leave about the time No’One showed up anyways–
“Lassiter. I want to see the front of you.”
“That’s what all the girls say.”
“Do you expect me to roll you over? ‘Cuz I will.”
“Your mate’s not going to like this.”
“As if that’s going to bother you?”
“True. It actually makes it worth the effort.”
With a groan, he shoved his palms into the shimmering silver pool of blood beneath him, and flopped over like the side of beef he was.
“Wow,” she breathed.
“I know, right? Hung like a horse.”
“If you’re really nice–and you live through this–I’ll promise not to tell V.”
“About my size.” -Lassiter and Doc Jane

“I bought these for her back in nineteen sixty-four. From Van Cleef and Arpels? It was supposed to be for out anniversary party, but I don’t what the fuck I was thinking. Wellsie wasn’t a big fan of jewelry–she liked art more. She always said hat jewels were fussy. Anyway, you know, I saw these in a magazine at Darius’s–in a Town and Country. I thought they would go well with her red hair, and I wanted to do something over-the-top and romantic just to prove I could. She didn’t really care for them, but every year afterward, every single year without fail, she took the set out from the gun safe and out them on. And every year–every single year–I got to tell her that they didn’t hold a candle to how beautiful she was–” He stopped short. “I’m sorry, I’m totally rambling.”

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Review & Interview: Marooned in Miami by Sandra Buninno

4 Stars

Stephanie Thomas is a Pharmaceutical Rep in Miami on a business trip. She just went through an emotionally draining divorce. For her, this business trip is more about relaxation than business.  A normally feared and unwanted hurricane decides to hit the city while she is in Miami.  The hurricane traps her in an elevator with the very handsome and very wealthy builder, Jason Royce. Her friends have been telling her to she needs to let loose and have fun…maybe even have a smoking hot one night stand, and the hurricane just may be responsible for spinning the perfect man into the equation.

However, Jason is not so easily wooed.  He promised himself not to let another woman enter his life and get under his skin after some recent girl problems.  He was burned one too many times. But the site of Stephanie and her legs in those stiletto heals heated him up almost to the point of no return. They shared a few drinks and Jason’s temptations take over as he gives in to the smart and sexy acquaintance.

Marooned in Miami was a surprise in many ways. First, this is a novella. I’m normally not a fan of them but this one I liked a lot! Second, the story was very well developed for such a short amount of time allowed. I was able to get a general feel for the characters and found them and the story to be a very pleasant and enjoyable to read. Lastly, the hot and steamy romance between the Stephanie and Jason was believable and left me wanting more. I’m surprised how much I liked this novella. The only problem is that the author left me hanging at the end. Ms. Buninno is such a tease! I want more…and fast!

Marooned in Miami is a sexy sultry read that heats up in the very first pages until the end.  Sandra Buninno is a new to me author that was quick to add to my auto-buy list. 

Interview with Sandra!

Being born and raised in South Florida, I loved that this book took place in Miami. You really nailed it with the descriptions and feel of Miami. Tell me, why choose Miami?
Miami is very near and dear to my heart. It was the location of one of the most romantic vacations I took with my husband. We stayed at a boutique hotel in the heart of Ocean Drive. I love the allure of South Beach with its perfect combination of old world elegance and trendy vibe.

What inspired you to write this book?
In the case of Marooned in Miami, the story came to me while I was traveling down south on business. A raging storm just hit the area when I finally reached the hotel. As I walked into the lobby a calm serenity took over my senses. The story sparked and grew as I entered the inviting lounge for a drink.
Your next book in this series is called, Lusted in Las Vegas, which I’m eagerly anticipating because you left me hanging with Marooned in Miami! LOL Is this series going to have different destinations with each book?
Plans are in the works to write at least one more novella in a sexy location, entitled Captured in Cozumel. Here’s the beginning of the blurb: What does a kidnapped beauty have in common with a sexy modern day pirate? Find out as their love/hate relationship takes to the high seas.
Will there be more? There’s a good possibility that there will be more destination stories!
  
When will Lusted in Las Vegas be released? Can you give us a little snippet of it?
Lusted in Las Vegas will be released sometime this summer. Here’s a little sneak peek at Stephanie and Jason during some private pool time (yes, there is a cozy grotto in the swimming pool!):
[Stephanie speaks first]
“This feels wonderful.”
“The water?”
Stephanie smiled up at him and skimmed her fingers across the back of his neck, which spread a ripple of shivers down his spine. “Everything.”
She pulled away from his kiss and dove into the pool. Jason could tell she was a natural swimmer as she swam underwater without taking a breath until she reached the other end. She resurfaced at the pool wall and turned around placing her elbows on the pool’s edge. Jason admired how her breasts looked soaked through her bikini top. Her nipples pebbled through the fabric. He licked his lips as he watched beads of water run down her chest and pool in the area between her breasts.
“Do you swim, Jay? she teased.
He gave her an evil smile, slowly sank into the water and swam toward her at the bottom of the pool. When he reached her he circled his hands around her waist and gave the little bows tied at her hips a gentle tug. Her black bikini bottoms slipped off as his head broke the surface and he was suddenly face to face with her.
“You won’t be needing these where we’re going. Oh, and this either.” He reached behind and pulled the string tied around her back. In a split second she was nude in his swimming pool.
“Well, if my bathing suit is not required than neither is yours.”
She placed her hands on his chest and lowered herself down until her head was under the water. Her hands traveled down his chest to the waistband of his trunks. She swiftly pulled them off and dropped his suit next to Stephanie’s discarded bathing suit on the pool deck. Wrapping her hands around his neck, he grabbed her ass with both hands and guided her long legs to encircle his body. Stephanie’s kiss heated his mouth and traveled to his groin. The sweet taste of pineapple lingered on her lips as her tongue entangled with his.
“To your grotto, madam.”
How many books do you have planned for Stephanie and Jason?
Lusted in Las Vegas will be the last story of Stephanie and Jason.

Do you have an other works in progress at the moment? If so, when will they be released?
I’m glad you asked because I’m so excited about my 2012 releases! Beside Lusted in Las Vegas and Captured in Cozumel, I have a new release entitled Sara’s Smile that will be available in May. Here is the blurb:
Have you ever wondered what happened to your first love? Sara has her dream job at a top architecture firm, a swanky New York City apartment and the interest of a sexy builder she just hired for her new project. However, her idyllic world comes to a screeching halt when her first love and the man who has been invading her dreams, Will, turns up where she least expects him.
From the innocence of young love found on the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard to the rekindling of love’s passion in New York City and Santa Monica, SARA’S SMILE will leave you breathless for more.
I also have a short story entitled The Fountain Pen that will be published sometime next winter in the Felt Tips anthology. I’m currently working on another short story, The Satin Rose Experience, which I plan to submit to another anthology.
Why go the erotic romance way instead of mainstream romance? For the record, I love erotic novels!
I love them too, which is one of the reasons I decided to write in the erotic romance genre. I started writing the type of story I wanted to read. I felt somewhat unfulfilled by some of the romance books I read because I wanted to know what happened when the bedroom door closed or the scene faded to black.
Because this is an erotic book, were you nervous at first as to what your family would say to your hot and steamy sex scenes?
Absolutely. The key to writing an erotic book is to not focus on who will be reading the scene. Once you start thinking about what your family, friends, or even co-workers would think about the scene you hold back and it doesn’t unfold and flow. I try to remember that every time I sit down to write. It also helps that I have a fantastic husband who is very supportive of my writing.
  
What is the day like for you? Do you have a full time job on top of writing too?
I currently have a full time job in Corporate America. I write for a few hours after work each day and try to devote one day each weekend to writing or promoting my book.
Who are some of your favorite authors/books? Are you currently reading anything at the moment?
I don’t have a favorite author but the one that comes to mind is Diana Gabaldon. I am currently on book 5 of her Outlander series. My favorite is still the first – it’s a time travel love story about modern day Claire and her 18th-Century Scottish lover, Jamie. Their love is hardly conventional, always controversial and forever sizzling. Reading this series is a commitment because each book is long and detailed. I do take a break from them once in a while and change it up with a hot, sexy short novella but I always look forward to the continuation of Claire and Jamie’s love story.
Anything else you would like to share with us?
I would like to thank everyone who has read Marooned in Miami! I’ve received so many lovely emails, kind messages on Goodreads and fantastic reviews. The author/reader community is wonderfully supportive and I’m overwhelmed with the well wishes I’ve received.

Sandra has offered to graciously giveaway one commenter with her book Marooned in Miami. All you have to do is leave a comment for Sandra and answer the question. Thanks!


Question- If you were on a business trip and stuck in a storm with a sexy stranger that would rock your world, where would you want your business trip to be?

The Unofficial Black Dagger Brotherhood blog hop

 For me, there are no other books or male characters that compare to Z in Lover Awakened. There is something about that mean alpha male bastard with the tortured soul who does something to me every time I read his book. I never get tired of reading his story or any part that he’s in. Its not even possible for me to begin to explain my love for his book…..because it renders me speechless every time I try.

 Here are some of my favorite parts with Z:

“I was dead until you found me, though I breathed. I was sightless, though I could see. And then you came…and I was awakened.”
“What is your name?” she murmured.
He cocked an eyebrow at her and then went back to staring at his brother. “I’m the evil one, in case you haven’t figured it out.”
“I wanted your name, not your calling.”
“Being a bastard’s more of a compulsion, really. And it’s Zsadist. I am Zsadist.”
“I… What are you saying, Zsadist?” she stammered, even though she’d heard every word.
He glanced back down at the pencil in his hand and then turned to the table. Flipping the spiral notebook to a new page, he bent way over and labored on top of the paper for quite a while. Then he ripped the sheet free.
His hand was shaking as he held it out. “It’s messy.”
Bella took the paper. In a child’s uneven block letters there were three words: I LOVE YOU”
“Sometimes your whole life could hinge on a fraction of an inch. Or the beat of a nanosecond. Or the knock on a door.”
“She is more beautiful than I have words for. And last night, I was blessed beyond measure to serve her.”
 “Tohrment spoke. “Bella’s brother called. He’s tabled the sehelusion request and asked that she stay here for a couple of days.”
Z jacked his head up. “Why?”
“He didn’t give a reason-” Tohr’s eye’s narrowed on Z’s face. “Oh… my God.”
“What the fuck are you looking at?”
Phury pointed to the antique mirror hanging on the wall next to the double doors. “See for yourself.”
Zsadist marched across the room, ready to give them all hell. Bella was what mattered-
His mouth went lax at his reflection. With a shaky hand he reached out to the eyes in the old-fashioned leaded glass. His irises were no longer black. They were yellow. Just like his twin’s.
“Phury?” he said softly. “Phury… what happened to me?”
As the male came up behind him, his brother’s face appeared right beside Z’s. And then Wrath’s dark reflection showed up in the mirror, all long hair and sunglasses. Then Rhage’s star-fallen beauty. And Vishous’s Sox cap. And Tohrment’s brush cut. And Butch’s busted nose.
One by one they reached out and touched him, their big hands gently on his shoulders.
“Welcome back, my brother,” Phury whispered.
Zsadist stared at the males who were behind him. And the oddest thought that if he were to let himself go limp and fall backward… they would catch him.”
“From out of nowhere, Phury felt an overwhelming tide of guilt, like someone had popped the lid off all
his deepest concerns and his fears for the future of the race. He had to respond to it, couldn’t bear the
pressure.
Riding the wave, he found himself saying in a rush, “We live and die for our kind. The species is our first
and only concern. We fight every night and count the jars of thelessers we kill. Stealth is the way we
protect the civilians. The less they know about us, the safer they are. That is why we disappeared.”
“Besides, you think I’m not used to hurting? For me, it’s home sweet home, my brother.”
“The necklace was a good excuse,” he murmured.
For what?”
I thought maybe I could go to Charleston and show up at your front door to give this back and maybe… you might let me in. Or something. I was worried that another male would court you, so I’ve been trying to go as fast as I could. I mean, I figured maybe if I could read, and if I took a little better care of myself, and if I tried to stop being such a mean-ass motherfucker…” He shook his head. “But don’t misunderstand. It’s not like I expected you to be happy to see me. I was just… you know, hoping… coffee. Tea. Chance to talk. Or some shit. Friends, maybe. Except if you had a male, he wouldn’t allow that. So, yeah, that’s why I’ve been hurrying.”
His yellow eyes lifted to hers. He was wincing, as if he were afraid of what might be showing on her face.
Friends?” she said.
Yeah… I mean, I wouldn’t disgrace you by asking for more than that. I know that you regret… Anyway, I just couldn’t let you go without… Yeah, so… friends.”
“Go ‘head.” Those freaky-ass black eyes had stared at Butch with the intensity of a shark. “Crack open that door. Run your little heart out. Run fast, run smart, call for help. Just know that I’ll come after you. Like a hearse.”
“Sometimes IVs and pills weren’t always the best course of treatment for the injured. Sometimes all you needed was the touch of the one you loved and the sound of their voice and the knowledge that you were home, and that was enough to drag you back from
the brink.”
“I must confess. Of all of the brotherhood, he was the one I loved first and he remains the one I love the most. For me, he is just the…one.”
“The chanting grew louder, deep male voice pumping.
She looked to the brothers, the tall, fierce men who were now part of her life. Wrath pivoted and put his arm around her. Together, they swayed to the rhythm that swelled, filling the air. The brothers were as one as they paid homage in their language, a single powerful entity.
But then, in a high, keening call, one voice broke out, lifting above the others, shooting higher and higher. The sound of the tenor was so clear, so pure, it brought shivers to the skin, a yearning warmth to the chest. The sweet notes blew the ceiling off with their glory, turning the chamber into cathedral, the brothers into a tabernacle.
Bringing the very heavens close enough to touch.
It was Zsadist.
His eys closed, his head back, his mouth wide open, he sang.
The scarred one, the soulless one, had the voice of an angel.”
“Sorry to bother you,” Bella said over the wailing. “But she wants her daddy.” 

This is my cast for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. It wasn’t easy picking them out….honestly, who could fulfill their roles? This is who I’ve kind of seen since the beginning though, but with much more muscle. What do you think?
 

The Mansion


Tohr 2
Tohr 1

Phury
Phury 2 (It’s the hair!)
Wrath
V

Z

Rhage
Rehv

Butch (Yes, Billy Mays is who I’ve always seen as Butch!)

Quinn
Blay

To be entered in the contest, please answer the question and leave it in the comment section. The winner will receive a brand new paperback copy of Lover Awakened. Of course, if you share this giveaway and post the links with your comment, you will get extra points. PLEASE MAKE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR ELSE I WON’T BE ABLE TO LOCATE THE WINNER. Winner will be chosen using Random.org on April 4th.Thanks! 


QUESTION- Which male is your favorite of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series? When you leave your comment, tell me when and how it was that you came to love him. 
For me, it was when Z said, “how about you get off my dick” to Wrath. I was a goner after that. Be careful ladies if you mention Z, my claws come when I hear another female mention his name… 🙂

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves

4 Stars
Amazon link- On the Island

To sum it up: When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family’s summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He’s almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn’t bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family- and a stack of overdue assignments- instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.’s family in the Maldives, when the pilot of their sea-plane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met, but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all, might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man…

Wow.

All I can say is, this book really blew me away. I’ve avoided this book for quite a while, only because I wasn’t into the substantial age difference between the hero and the heroine. Personally, I prefer the hero to be the older one when it comes to my romance novels. But after reading so many great reviews, and hearing so many awesome things, I decided to just jump on in, and give it a try. And all I can say is, I’m certainly glad that I did!

For any of you that are avoiding this book because of the age difference, let me assure you that the romance between T.J. and Anna is very tastefully done. T.J isn’t your typical immature “teenager”… he’s battled through some hardships in life, which has brought about a maturity that most people his age wouldn’t possess.

A few things that I really loved about this story, is how the two main characters interacted on a daily basis, and how their relationship evolved. I was honestly engrossed from start to finish- their story was truly touching- they relied so heavily on each other, because in reality, they were each others’ reasons for surviving.

Tracey Garvis-Graves really did a fantastic job showing readers how tough life can be when thrown into an unimaginable situation. She captivated me with this carefully written story, in such a way, that anyone reading would be able to relate in one way or another. This is more than just your average love story- it’s also a story of survival. …and I’m happy to say, that this is definitely one of those rare books that draws you in until you forget the outside world entirely. 🙂

Sexy Snippet: Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn

  Tuesdays have never been so sexy!Sexy Snippets is a weekly feature hosted by Reading Between the Wines for the 18+ crowd. To join in just grab the button, post a sexy paragraph or two from your current read and share the author & title so other participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like. Then add your post to the linky below so everyone can follow along. Have a sexy good time!  

 

 

 
 
He lowered his lips to her ear, nuzzling the soft, sensitive shell. “And when I make love to you,” he murmured, sending chills skittering madly down her arms, “am I gentle? Or am I rough?” He pushed his fingers in hard when he said the last, driving a gasp from her. His palm connected with her clit and he pressed it firmly, still keeping up his torturous rhythm inside her body. 

In the Flesh by Portia Da Costa

This book was reviewed for Under the Covers.
Beatrice Weatherly is the perfect heroine for a racy historical romance. She’s smart, sassy and very strong willed….the type of woman who will pose nude for a photo and not cower in the corner.  In fact, I liked her even more after that. Since posing nude, men lust for her while wives despise her. After her brother gambles them into debt, she basically becomes shunned from the ton and loses any chance of marrying a suitable gentleman….until Edward Ellsworth Richie shows up.

Richie is a wealthy and tenacious business man. A focused goal driven man, he’s the type who in the end gets what he wants.  One look at the nude photo of Beatrice and Richie decides he wants her. In his eyes, her vivacious figure and sexually provocative mannerisms are a must have.  Richie makes Beatrice an offer she really can not refuse. From her perspective, there really is no better alternative.  Her decision to pose naked has tainted her image, yet this is perhaps the one man who was willing to let that decision slide.  But Beatrice wasn’t truthful to Richie in the beginning of their relationship or contract. Now she’s harboring a secret that could possibly change their agreement and her future.

Sadly, I’ll never know how or if Beatrice tells Richie her secret because this was a DNF for me…a did not finish book. This book has everything I like in a romance novel when it comes to the main characters. This story even had potential.  However,  the problem is that the story moved incredibly slow and there was hardly a plot. I tried for nearly two weeks to read this book but I just couldn’t do it anymore. I could not connect with the characters at all no matter how hard I tried. What I wrote in the first two paragraphs is basically what happened- with constant repetitiveness. There wasn’t any obstacle to overcome or challenge whatsoever. It was the offer Richie made to Beatrice and that’s it. So you know how the story will end. One thing I enjoyed about this book, besides the cover, was the author’s writing style.  While the plot did not intrigue me, I did enjoy her writing style very much and plan to read other books by her on my to be read list. Unfortunately, I just can not finish this one.


Interview & Giveaway with author Regan Walsh

My Secret Romance is happy to have Regan Walsh on the blog today! Please give her a warm welcome and check out our interview.
Hi Regan! Welcome to My Secret Romance!
Thank you so much for having me here today.  

Did you create Whisper Cape as a stand alone or are you planning on extending it into a series?
I have to admit, I started out writing Whisper Cape as a stand alone, but when I got to the end, I decided to make it a series. My characters become so much a part of my life that I wasn’t ready to give them up. So, right now there are two more books in line.

There are more characters (within the Sectorium) that could get a story. Will we be seeing their stories anytime soon?
I don’t know about all the characters at the Sectorium, because there are always newcomers discovered. Some do make another appearance and I do have plans for one particular character. I can’t really say who, yet, as it is still mingling around in my head.

Why did you choose Oregon as your location for Whisper Cape?
I wanted some place beautiful, yet mysterious. The Oregon coast has it all, abundant forests, plush hillsides, sweeping cliffs and mysterious rolling fog. So is Northern California, which would have been easier for me to research,particularly since I live there, but I wanted a very small town, and Oregon seemed to fit better for that.

Have you written any other books? Or are you working on any at the moment?
I’ve written a young adult book, Allusive Aftershock. It is still in the editing stage and I am currently writing the second book in the Whisper Cape series, Reflections.

What inspired you to write Whisper Cape?
I can’t say it was one thing. I wanted to write something paranormal but wasn’t sure what. I thought about a ghost story since our house at the time seemed haunted and I do believe the ghost in the house had a large influence on my imagination, but I didn’t want to scare myself. My imagination can get pretty bizarre. I was always a huge fan of the TV series, Charmed. I didn’t want to write about witches, but their powers seemed really cool.

Who is your favorite character in Whisper Cape and why?
I would have to say Cael. He was easy to write because he is my perfect fantasy man.Gerry holds a close second, particularly since he is now my leading man in the second book. I like writing about men and writing from their POV. Maybe because I can make them be however I want them to be.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
Nora Roberts. Her Circle Trilogy is my favorite.
J.R.Ward
Richelle Mead
There are more, but these three stick out in my mind right now.

Have you always been a fan of paranormal?
Yes, actually ever since elementary school when I read The Littlest Witch.

Did you always want to be a writer?
No. When I was little, I always said I wanted to be a mommy when I grew up. So I did that first. I did like making up stories though, and I did write our sixth-grade class play. It was a flop.

Thank you, Regan, for taking the time out to answer our questions.
Thank you for giving me some time on your blog with this great interview.

Regan has graciously offered to give a copy of her book Whisper Cape away. For a chance to win, please leave a comment on this post and on the review for Regan’s book to be entered in the drawing. The winner will be chosen on March 30th. Thanks!


Want to find out more about Regan? Look for her at these spots:

 

Whisper Cape by Regan Walsh

Amazon link- Whisper Cape by Regan Walsh
 

Whisper Cape: A fictional town on the Oregon coast, home to Addison McKenna, a human being with supernatural powers who has yet to discover them.

If somebody were to use that as a tag line for a television show, I would watch it. Whisper Cape is a joyful read from beginning to end! This is what I would call a paranormal romance story: A REAL Paranormal Romance story.

Addison is your normal girl of 26. She is now on her own after her father recently died from an animal attack. Thru the first few chapters she doesn’t know anything about her father’s secret life, her own powers, or the mysterious guy she almost ran over on the highway. Instead, she’s focused on rebuilding her life, possibly dating and meeting new people. Her best friend, Darcy, is the best supporter a friend could ask for. What I liked about Addison is she proved to be a fighter. I love characters with strong personalities that standout. But she wasn’t alone.  Gerry and the rest of the crew of the Cliff Hanger played important roles in her development as an independent woman. All of them play a special part in Addie’s life.


Cael’s character is wonderful also. His attraction to Addie is notorious. But he doesn’t want his feelings for Addie to interfere with his duty, yet he can’t deny (and neither will you if you read this story) that he is absolutely head over heels for her. It’s so sweet how loving and caring he is. Mrs. Walsh creates this story with characters who have the strength to be tough when the opportunity arises and loving and caring when they need to be. That is Cael indeed.  His powers are way more developed than Addie’s. Cael takes on the task of training Addie as much as he can. He wants her to be aware of her of powers so she can use them and defend herself. Cael and Addie’s love is magical in many ways. The attraction they have for each other is undeniable. Mrs Walsh knows how to write beautiful love scenes: absolutely delicate and sensual, just as they should be. The more they fell in love with each other, Addie and Cael became one.

Addie gets support from Gerry and Maia.  Maia is her aunt, who happens to be her only living relative left. She is eleven years her senior and also plays the role of her sister, mother, friend and confident. They love each other unconditionally. Maia’s boyfriend Gerry is the owner of the Cliff Hanger, the bar where Addie works. He also protects her with what seems to be “brotherly love”.  Addie’s friends, Jared and Darcy, are great examples of second chances at love. The side story going on with them is really emotional and heartfelt, as well as reflective.

One of the coolest things about this book, I think, is the suspense. It involves a lot of mystery that leaves you wondering who or what is the bad guy. Yes, WHO or WHAT. This supernatural being which is described as a “demon” can take any form and has powers beyond imagination. But what he lacks is a master mind. He isn’t capable enough to achieve his goal of stealing the one thing he came to Whisper Cape to get. I suspected several of the characters throughout the story. I  kept on thinking the villain would just pop out from anywhere at any moment. In the end, it was somebody who you really were not paying attention to. I loved that! The way Mrs. Walsh threads the plot with suspense and mystery will keep you guessing until the end of the book!

Overall, this book was a great treat.
This story will capture your heart and keep you turning the pages until the very end.  It’s packed with sensual romance and suspense with a great story line that keeps moving. I would love to have that fireball power Addie has to toast some bad guys 🙂

18 & Over Book Blogger Giveaway Hop

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My Secret Romance is so excited to be part of the 18 & Over Book Blogger Giveaway Hop! I have two sizzling excerpts from the very cool author, Liz Crow. One lucky winner will in both of these books!
Book 1: Floor Time

She turned away from him, hoping to marshal her strength and tell him to leave. As she made her way down the office hallway she knew by heart even in the darkness, she could smell him on her and knew at that moment, without a doubt, she would fuck him, right then in that office. 
They had been building towards it for too long.  Her brain knew to keep quiet; it would not be heard over her body’s clamor. Her baser need for him took over, and when he put a hand on her shirt and firmly tugged her back to him, she let him, shutting her eyes and praying she wasn’t making a huge mistake.
She started to turn but he grabbed her from behind. 
“Don’t turn around,” he whispered.  “Let me show you what happens next. Just leave it all to me.” 
She relented and leaned back into his body. His lips claimed her neck. His hands rubbed both nipples at once. She bent her knees and moaned, raised her arms and put them behind her, around his head. He managed at some point to lose his expensive cufflinks and roll up his sleeves exposing tanned, strong forearms. He released each breast from their cup; caressed, rubbed, and pinched the aching, hard nubs of sensitive flesh. His lips and teeth remained on her damp skin. 
She began to move, rubbing against the heat of his erection pressed against her back. He groaned, and increased attention to her nipples, continued to use his lips to caress the back of her neck. A small fire burned wherever he touched her. She imagined she could come against the seam of her jeans, the pressure of his straining zipper against her, both of his hands on her nipples and his mouth in her ear and on her neck.
 “Mmm… I have been dreaming of doing this to you for weeks.”  The words caused every nerve in her body to tingle. She closed her eyes.
He turned her around to face him, his hands on her upper arms. Before she could whimper about her poor lonely nipples he crushed his mouth on hers, pushing her up against the wall. Her left leg lifted and encircled his waist as her engorged clit begged for contact
Oh my God, I am dry humping this grown man in my office.
 He reached down and slowly unzipped her shorts, never removing his lips from the skin of her neck. He was muttering, something about “You smell exactly like I thought you would,” but she couldn’t be certain as her brain started fogging up like the inside of a car window, obscuring all rational thought. 
 Jack reached a hand down, brushed the outside of her panties. She moaned and leaned her head back against the wall. Sweat dripped slowly between her breasts as her breath caught in her throat. She sensed him grin against her skin as he leaned down to find the moisture and lap at it, his fingers lightly teasing her clit. 
“Somebody is really happy to see me.” His voice had an edge to it she loved.
 Sara realized that she was moving her hips, thrusting toward him as though drawn by a magnet. She started to reach down, needing to feel his flesh, but he grabbed her hands, lifted them up over her head, pinned her wrists against the wall. 
“No, baby, let me. Just lean back and relax. I’m in charge.”
Everything in her struggled against him, tried to resist, but the firm grasp he kept on her wrists was one of the most erotic sensations she’d ever experienced. She bit her lip as Jack slid her shorts down. He reached inside her panties, forming two of his fingers and thumb into a delicious double stimulator.  Slowly, he moved against her swollen nub and slipped into her pussy as his lips traveled from her mouth, to her neck. 
  He manipulated her and maintained his control, seemingly without much effort, still holding her wrists captive over her head.  She started lifting off, becoming as light as air, reaching the edge of extreme pleasure, while part of her tried to maintain her control. The man she’d been dreaming about for months was there, touching her, holding her captive against her office wall, and his lips, dear God…  Eyes closed, head and arms up against the wall, she finally gave in to the pure, shuddering pleasure of it. Ignoring how much further she’d be willing to go with him; her usual reservations abandoned in his arms.

Book 2: Sweat Equity

“Just this once Jack.” Her voice broke. “Then we’re done. Do you understand?”
“Hmmm…we’ll see about that.” He pushed her up, ran his hands down her body, then stood, burrowing into her psyche with his deep stare. He ran a finger across her lips. “Leave it to me. Deal?” She nodded, not trusting her voice.
He reached over for the champagne but bypassed it, instead taking a cube of ice and putting it against her lips. He smiled, let it trail a chilly line down her neck. She shivered, loving and hating the pleasure/pain of this, knowing it was only the beginning.  “Hey!” she shuddered and jumped away when he let the cube drop down between her breasts.  His grin nearly broke her in two. Dear Lord she’d missed him too.Something happened as she took the step between them, closing the chasm she’d created a few short months before. He grabbed her hand, brought it to his lips, sucked each finger into his mouth then pressed a kiss to her palm. She closed her eyes.
“Look at me Sara.” His voice had a low grumble to it she recognized, and if she’d been wearing panties, they’d be damp at the sound of it. “I’m going to only say this once before we start. Before, our play was just that. I let you keep some control. Tonight will be different.” She swallowed hard and started to speak. He put a finger over her lips.
“Shh…let me finish.” He held her close, putting his lips to her ear. “I’m in complete control. I will not hurt you, but I’m going to push you a little.” His hand roamed down her back, cupped her ass. She gasped when he pressed into her, his need obvious, hard and urgent against the clingy, now irritating fabric of her dress. “Ready?”
She nodded and he released her, but didn’t touch her again. She ran a nervous hand up her arm, started to unlatch the halter top. He put a hand on her then, nearly bringing her to her knees with lust. “Stop. Let me.” He flipped it open with one hand; she let the dress drop to the floor. “Oh yes. Perfect.” He cupped one breast, ran his other hand down her hip and back up.  “Leave the shoes on.” He took her hand and led her to the strap hanging from the ceiling. When he tugged her arms up she started to resist.
“Jack, I’m…I’m scared.” Her lip trembled. A tear slipped down her cheek. “Not of this,” she jerked her chin at the paraphernalia. “Of you.”
He smiled, slipped out of his jacket, and without word, keeping his gaze locked on hers, pulled her arms up, fastening her wrists in the buttery soft leather. She shivered as he ran both hands down her arms, slanting his mouth over hers, owning her with his lips and tongue. Her pussy responded, sending zings of pleasure shooting through her body. “Oh God,” she gasped when he dropped to his knees in front of her, pulled one of her legs over his shoulder. “I’m, oh Jesus, Jack,” she tugged at the restraint, the leather making a creaky sound tightening as she squirmed. He sucked her clit hard, making her hips buck against him. It hurt, and was, at the same time, the most exquisite feeling on the planet. Just as the room lightened around her, the climax roaring up from her core, he released her. She could hardly catch a breath, watched as he reached for a strawberry, dredging it through the cream and held it to her lips.
She opened her mouth, reached out her tongue but he kept it out of reach. She could smell it, the heavy richness of the white coating the deep red strawberry. He grinned, popped it into his own mouth, but before she could whine he had another one, had it pressed to her lips. She bit into it, letting it drench her senses, the cream running down the side of her mouth. He leaned in and licked it from her neck, but forcing her leg down when she tried to wrap it around him. 
 “Huh-uh Sara. Not yet.” He took the champagne bottle and took a drink right from it, held it to her lips and smiled as she gulped at it. One more strawberry followed, fat, bloated and delicious. Sara had the immediate sensation of drowning, in his eyes, his voice, wanting more than anything for him to kiss her again. “Kiss me. Please?” She whispered, licking her lips as he released his cufflinks and rolled up his sleeves.
In a blink he was at her mouth, teasing, licking, tracing the line of it with his tongue but staying out of reach. She whimpered, but he kept at it, teasing, letting his palms flit over her enervated skin, bringing every nerve ending she had to strict attention.
The room lightened, got fuzzy around the edges. Then he was gone again leaving her gasping. The blindfold covered her eyes. A rich cinnamon, gingery exotic scent filled her nose. “I know you don’t like this.” His voice hovered at her ear. “The blindfold. But I need you to wear it. Give over to your other senses.” She felt his fingertip trace her neck, across her collarbones, to one aching nipple then the other. It reached her stomach, then lower, making her groan when he reached her pulsing clit, pressing there, then even lower, filling her, stretching her body, making her shudder. 

Excerpts provided by the author. Thank you!

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Show No Mercy by Cindy Gerard

3.5 Stars
Amazon link- Show No Mercy

I want to start off by saying that I did enjoy this book. The suspense is great, the romance is good, although I do like a little more in my books. and the characters were easy to connect to…..but I was so lost.

The only problem I had was that even though this is the first book in the Black Ops series, it’s really not….you have to read the last book in the Bodyguard series Into the Dark to be able to follow what’s going on. I was so confused. I had no clue how Jenna and Gabe met. I kept going back to the beginning of the book trying find where they met and it was no where to be found. At one point I thought I was losing it! I didn’t know why Jenna was held captive or how Nate and Juilana met. I didn’t know any of the smart comments Jenna had made to Gabe to why he would call her hotshot. It was very frustrating. I was under the impression that this was a separate series when it is actually a spin-off series and you really need to read the other books to know this one. Thank goodness a friend who had already read it explained it to me. I was about 120 pages in when I thought that if I started it over it would make sense and but she explained it to me just in time. So, with that being said, I would highly recommend you read the Bodyguard series before starting the Black Ops series. I only started this book because I was waiting for the rest of the Bodyguard books to come in the mail, figuring it be ok since it is a different series. Nope.

I will say that I do like Cindy’s writing a lot and I will be reading more of her books…but I will be making sure I have the order correct next time.