Book Review: All Jacked Up

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“Pulling off the ultimate con–if they can keep from pulling off their clothes.” (From Amazon.com)

In the 8th book in Lorelei James’ Rough Riders series, we are along for the ride with Jack Donohue and Keely McKay. Keely and Jack have never liked each other. And when I say they have never liked each other, it’s an understatement! They have never been friendly and neither has any desire to know the other anytime soon.

However, fate has other plans and Keely and Jack get thrown together. Keely needs Jack to approve the restoration of an old building that Keely plans to use as her new physical therapy location. Jack needs Keely in order to secure the biggest project of his life. And so a deal is struck – Keely and Jack will fake an engagement in order to get what they both want….but when all is said and done they find what they really want is each other.

What I Thought:

I’ve been reading Lorelei James’ Rough Riders series out of order for the past few days. I’m not finding it hard to follow each book as they all are pretty much self-contained with the exception of the secondary character’s lives (these secondary characters either have already had their own book or will in the future.) Which brings me to the first thing I love about this series. There are so many different characters, so many great personalities, so many cowboys!

Hello, who doesn’t want to read about a sexy cowboy? But I digress because Jack Donohue is a sexy suit wearing business man. Keely is a wild child cowgirl and I loved seeing them go to the rodeo together. The sex scenes were smoking hot and out of the three books in the series that I’ve read so far this one was my favorite. The sexual tension was thick, the story line was great (I’m a right sucker for fake engagement stories,) and the book held my attention throughout.

“Jack braced himself for a new ‘friendly’ warning from another male member of the knife-happy, psycho McKay clan.”

Another tidbit I really loved was the character chemistry between Jack and all of Keely’s brothers: Cord, Colby, Colt, Cam, and Carter McKay. Some really funny moments between them.

If you’re looking for a smokin’ hot erotic romance with an actual fun storyline and drool-worthy cowboys, looks no further!

Final Review: 4/5.

Book Reviews: Kidnapped for Christmas/Yuletide Greetings

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“Plus-sized and practical Jillian Marks is the responsible one in her family. She got all the common sense and her little sister Sabrina got all the skinny genes. When Sabrina plans a custom kinky kidnapping as a Christmas present to herself, Jillian tries to talk her out of it but her ditzy sister won’t listen. Muscular and intense Kyle Stephens is a Dom who is looking for a permanent sub- a curvy woman who can submit in the bedroom but still think for herself. He takes Sabrina’s file but mistakenly ‘naps the wrong sister, grabbing Jillian instead of Sabrina…” (From Amazon.com)

I really don’t have to sum this one up since the amazon blurb pretty much took care of it for me. This is your basic “mistaken identity” kidnapping with a little holiday twist to it. Jillian is level-headed and her sister is most definitely not. Sis plans a little kinknapping but napper Kyle snatches up the wrong sister. Now Jillian is bound and gagged in his dungeon and she’s too turned on to tell Kyle the truth.

What I Thought:

Generally it doesn’t bother me when erotica isn’t realistic because erotica is all about fantasy. However I just didn’t really care for Jillian that much and there was absolutely zero storyline. Without storyline (for me, at least) it doesn’t matter how drool-worthy the hero is or how hot the sex is, it’s just not as much fun to read the book. I also had two pet peeves with this one. Number one, he called her “sweetheart” and “baby” throughout the entire book. From the very beginning and I started getting a little queasy after the first three dozen times. Secondly, (and this is just more of a preference) I don’t like the whole “Master” thing. For some reason it doesn’t pack as big of a punch as Sir does for me. Master sounds fake, forced, and unrealistic to me. And I know that’s being pretty picky of a D/s story but hey, I’m allowed. Bottom line, this one was a bit boring for me to be honest.

Final Review: 2/5.

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“Zach Colvin never believed in Santa Claus, so filling in as Santa at the mall for one of his friends is not making his holiday bright. He’s supposed to be on vacation, not working. When his brother promises to send him a package full of holiday cheer, her never expected it to be a near-naked woman.” (From Amazon.com)

Here’s another short D/s holiday themed novella I read this week. In short, woman meets man online, woman goes to meet man and have steamy one night stand. Woman was tricked, shows up on principal of local high school’s doorstep dressed in basically nothing. Principal happens to be horny and dominant. Good luck for woman who is horny and submissive. Sexcapades ensue. I liked this one much more than above. It was more believable for me, more fun, and much hotter. The whole draw of D/s is the delicious sexual tension and mystery that comes with it and Brynn Paulin was able to deliver. I still had to deal with the whole Master thing in this one but it was more bearable to me. The language was crass and Zach Colvin was hot. The holiday theme was strong and there is even creative use of a candy cane. You can’t go wrong!

Final Review: 3/5.

Book Review: Sweet Inspiration

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“What if the legend of Santa Claus is in fact, true? What if Santa has five big strapping sons who help him run his empire? Five single, sexy sons looking for romance…” (From Amazon.com)

Nicholas Klaus is a pastry chef, baker, and he just happens to be Santa Claus’ son. One of five, actually. Nicholas is in New York to taste what has been hailed “the best sugar cookie around” at a quaint little bakery called Sweet Inspiration. The owner? Lucy Brewster. Lucy loves baking for her customers and running her shop…she especially loves seeing Nicholas, who has been stopping in the past couple of weeks. After a tragic accident leaves Lucy on the brink of death, Nicholas makes a snap decision to save her life and Lucy awakes at none other than the North Pole.

What I Thought:

I really truly enjoyed this book. I think Penny Watson did a great job of combining the old school charm of Santa Claus with all new and unique ideas. I immediately loved both Nicholas and Lucy, although their rush to bed and consequently them falling in love was a little unrealistic for me. But hey, so is waking up one day in a little town full of elves!

I also greatly appreciated Watson’s sense for detail. It wasn’t too much, didn’t bore me to death, but was still able to paint a great picture in my head.

“In a room the size of a football field was a model village, complete with cars and trains, houses and bridges, schoolyards and churches, lakes and mountains. And everything was made of gingerbread. Thick layers of creamy icing topped the cottages, sparkling sugar glistened from the frozen ponds, and lights twinkled from inside the buildings. The trains clacked along the tracks, and church bells began to ring.”

Nicholas, his brothers, and even Santa himself also have tattoos. Yup, tattoos! And Santa himself doesn’t look like you might imagine. He’s buff, handsome, and in great shape.

“Trophies, Nike posters and a vast array of fitness equipment cluttered Santa’s study.”

I really liked the fact that so much about the North Pole and the characters there were different from what I would imagine them to be. At the same time, sometimes it got to be a little much and I did find myself yearning for a more “traditional” scene. The book also dragged a lot for me in the middle and I had a little trouble finishing it up. It was a bit predictable but all in all, it was a great full-length holiday read.

Final Review: 3/5.

Book Review: Wild About You

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“it’s not every day that Elsa Bjornberg feels delicate, not when she hosts a home renovation show where she can effortlessly demolish a kitchen. But from the moment she meets Howard Barr, this bear of a man makes her feel like a woman. And the way he looks at her, as if she were a pot of honey he’d like to lick…” (From Amazon.com)

Elsa Bjornberg is tall…deemed “Amazon Ellie” on her home renovation television show, she feels as far from a fragile flower as one can feel. Howard Barr is a bear of a man. No, seriously, he’s a bear. A shapeshifting bear, to be more accurate. Howard has a crush on celebrity Elsa but is too shy to do anything about it. That is, until his employer Shanna Draganesti plays matchmaker and invites Elsa and her crew to come and renovate Shanna’s house. But when Howard and Elsa meets his touch activates a mysterious…and deadly curse.

What I Thought:

I had quite a few thoughts on this book. Firstly, I absolutely love Kerrelyn Sparks’ Love at Stake series. This installment had the same breath of fresh air humor that I love in all the other books. However, I just didn’t feel a great chemistry between Howard and Elsa. It seemed like Sparks didn’t feel it either and it came through in the novel, unfortunately.

I really enjoyed Howard in all of the previous books and I was excited to see him in his own love story. I was a little disappointed in his character though because he wasn’t so much the aggressive alpha-male as he was the moon-eyed boy chasing after his crush. I still love Howard and yes he’s still Hot…Hunky…Handsome Howard! His personality just didn’t seem to quite match what I pictured from his previous cameos.

What I did absolutely love about this book was the fact that we got to re-visit some past characters. I loved Shanna’s parts in the book. Usually when an author “brings back” a character that previously starred in their own book it’s a walk-in/walk-out type of thing. We readers actually got to hear what Shanna was thinking and how she was struggling with becoming a vampire. I loved being able to see more of her children and we even got a little Shanna/Roman action. I was really pleasantly surprised with this.

All in all, it’s a good romance with good main characters. But it’s the secondary characters that make this book.

Final Review: 3/5.

Book Review: Faefever

Quick Note: I seem to get a comment every now and then but there are never any words when I open it up. So if you don’t see a reply or your comment approved, that’s what happened. I’m a little technologically impaired.

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“He calls me his queen of the night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him too.

When MacKayla Lane receives a page torn from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: for answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil that it corrupts anyone who touches it.” (From Amazon.com)

In the third installment in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, we continue with Mac on her hunt for the elusive Sinsar Dubh. Mac starts to recieve ominous packages in the mail containing pages of her sister’s journal…the LM (Lord Master) wants Mac to know he is still thinking of her. But she won’t forget. She’s after revenge – the LM murdered her sister and she has every intention of stopping his madness.

In Faefever, Mac visits Rowena and the other sidhe-seer’s in the abbey as well as trying to align herself with all the powerful players. She and Barrons continue to hunt the Sinsar Dubh. She and V’lane get closer and Mac learns more Fae lore. She also finds a somewhat-ally in Inspector Jayne when she feeds him unseelie and convinces him to phone her whenever a violent crime happens in the city–her way of tracking the evil book.

But it doesn’t seem to matter how hard Mac fights because the walls come tumbling, tumbling down…and Dublin plunges into darkness…

What I Thought:

I love this series. Period. I think I could talk it up forever and not really make much sense but I’m going to try to organize my thoughts. There were some really key things happening in Faefever and I’ll try to skirt over them without giving too much away.

Mac learns more about the Fae. I really love the lore that Moning weaves into this one. V’lane makes for a great storyteller and it’s really awesome to finally know some more details about the Fae. V’lane also gives us a little information on the Lord Master as well.

I also love that there were a couple of relationships that moved forward in this one. We see a lot more of Dani and also Dani and Mac bonding together. I like Dani (which is good considering she’ll have her very own trilogy soon) and can’t wait to see who she grows into.

The Mac/Barrons relationship progresses as well. Mac is drawn more and more to Barrons while at the same time trusting him less and less. We find out that V’lane (as well as others) are afraid of Barrons which really makes one question what the heck is he?? I love the Voice lessons scenes in the book, I think they’re really well done and truth be told throughout all five of the books I’m constantly anxiously awaiting the next scene they star in together.

And hello? Cake scene…

“Cake and candles exploded from my hands, shot straight up in the air, hit the ceiling, and stuck there, dripping gobs of icing. I stared up at it. My lovely cake. Then I was trapped between the wall and his hard body, with no awareness of having gotten there…
Never do that again, Ms. Lane. Do not insult me with your silly rituals, and idiotic platitudes. Never try to humanize me. Don’t think we’re the same, you and I. We’re not.'”

Final Review: 5/5 stars. Did you expect anything less?

Book Review: Wallbanger

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“Caroline Reynolds has a fantastic new apartment in San Francisco, a kitchen-aid mixer, and no O (and we’re not talking about Oprah here, folks…) She has Clive (the best cat ever,) great friends, a great rack, and no O. Adding insult to O-less, since her move, she has an oversexed neighbor with the loudest late-night wallbanging she’s ever heard…Enter Simon Parker…” (From Amazon.com)

Caroline just moved into a new apartment that she’s subletting from her great boss. What could be better? A new kitchen-aid mixer, rent control…oh wait. Yup, how could I forget? She lost her O. Ever since the “machine gun fucker,” Cory Weinstein, Caroline hasn’t been able to find O.

Exhausted from her move in, all Caroline wants to do is get some rest. But it’s impossible when the painting above her bed falls off the wall, hitting her in the head. What the… And then she realizes: her walls are shaking. But it’s no quake. It’s Simon “Wallbanger” from next door, thrusting his hips home and shaking Caroline’s walls in the process.

When this goes on night after night, Caroline finally confronts Simon…and thus begins the story.

What I Thought:

I so badly wanted to fall in love with this book. I think the main issue is that I had such high expectations going in. The reviews on Amazon are A-MAZING (5 stars, holla!) and it definitely is a book being talked up everywhere.

“I could see the edge, high above the raging waters. As I peeked over the edge, I saw her. O. She waved at me, diving under the water like a sexual porpoise. Crafty little bitch.”

Here’s my one major qualm that I just couldn’t get past: what the Hell is this sweet and corny stuff? After reading the synopsis I expected hot, steamy, passion-filled sexcapades throughout most of the book. I mean, yeah, it was steamy alright. I loved Simon and Caroline as characters and thought the chemistry was awesome. I just didn’t think the sexual tension was built up to the best of the author’s ability. And really it just comes down to plain preference here, folks. The style of writing was awesome, grammar/spelling was great, easy read. It’s just that I prefer my books to have a little more sexual tension.

“To be fair, I’d never actually heard a whore moan in church, but I had a feeling it sounded a lot like the unholy sounds pouring forth from my mouth.”

So yes, I was a little disappointed that A) we had to wait so long for the sex…Simon’s the Wallbanger for goodness sake – let’s see some wallbanging! and B) the sex we did see was very sweet and tender. Don’t get me wrong: sex needs to be tender sometimes but I like my book-sex rough and wild most of the time.

Now, that being said, this book was absolutely hysterical. I found myself laughing out loud quite a bit. I loved all of the characters and I think it was great how quickly I was drawn to each one. Even the not so great characters like Cory Weinstein were great!

And I loved…loved Clive the cat!

“A paw came out through the crack, and I swear he flipped me off.”

This one is highly recommended, guys. Just because I am a perv and like my sex reading about my sex to be hard, hot, and heavy doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the book. And I really did enjoy it. It’s only $4.99 for the Kindle so pick this one up!!

Final Review: 4/5 stars. (without the “funnies” in this book, the rating would have been a 3)

Book Review: Bloodfever

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“In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh–a million year old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both Fae and Man. Pusued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae prince, and Jerricho Barrons, a man as irrisistable as he is dangerous.” (From Amazon.com)

Book Two in the Fever series starts up pretty much right where Book One left off. Mac is recovering from her confrontation with the Lord Master and we learn of a new inspector of the Garda snooping around in Mac’s business. Barrons uses Mac to hunt down more OOPs (objects of fae power) and Mac begins imagining the Grim Reaper come to see her every now and then. More questions are asked and left unanswered, action begins to take a front and center seat and we begin to see a bit more into Barrons’ and Mac’s relationship.

What I Thought:

Okay, I’m going to try not to include spoilers here so forgive me if it seems a bit choppy. Bloodfever, in my humble opinion is even better than it’s predecessor and definitely action packed. With many (almost all) books out there, an author follows a precise plot of “beginning, middle, climax, end” but with Moning’s Fever series, I always feel, “beginning, climax, climax, climax, climax, HOLY CLIMAX.” There’s no ending to the book because the story continues throughout three more after this one (and possibly more after that, or so I hear through the Moning grapevine!)

A couple of things happen in this book.

We meet Dani. Dani is a Sidhe-Seer like Mac, no more than fourteen years old. Through Dani, we meet Rowena, head of a Sidhe-Seer council of sorts. Rowena happens to be the little old lady from Darkfever. Remember her? We met her the first time during Mac’s first night in Dublin in the bar scene and the second time we met her she watched as Mac was almost raped by V’lane. Jury’s still out on whether or not we can trust her, even after Bloodfever. I like Dani as a character and will be interested to re-read how she evolves during books 3, 4, 5, and Iced.

We see Faery. Which means, we get to go to faery. V’lane takes Mac there at right about the middle of the book for a little “conversation” which lasts about a month in human time.

The shades are becoming more threatening. In Darkfever, I always felt that the Shades (the lowest caste of Unseelie) weren’t really all that scary. I mean, what’s there to be afraid of? Turn on a light and POOF, a buh-bye. But in Bloodfever we are able to see them getting larger, scarier, almost having a mind of their own. We also finally meet a hunter, the one caste of fae Mac is most afraid of.

Mac and Barrons. Need I say more for anybody that’s read this series? You can cut the sexual tension with a knife right from the beginning of the book, it’s so thick. Their relationship does evolve minutely in this second installment and it’s definitely fun to see that happen.

Without giving too much away, I’m going to stop there. I finished re-reading this one last night and am a few chapters into Faefever, book 3 of the Fever series so expect a review on that one soon.

Final Review: 5/5.