March 29th, 2014

Contest Winner: The Hob by Dana Marie Bell

The Hob by Dana Marie Bell
Series: The Gray Court, Book 4
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Erotic Romance
Length: 226 pages

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Summary:

Robin Goodfellow has met his match.

The Gray Court, Book 4

When the Black Queen kidnaps one of the White Queen’s nephews, Robin Goodfellow is sent to ensure that the young prince safely returns to the bosom of his family. True to his role as Oberon’s Hobgoblin, he is ready for anything…except meeting his truebond, the very delicious, very human Michaela Exton.

Michaela has dreamed about a flame-haired rogue named Robin Goodfellow since she was a little girl, but everyone knows Puck doesn’t really exist. In real life, it’s a dark-eyed man named Ringo who makes her heart beat faster.

She is closer to her dream man than she thinks, and nobody knows it better than Robin, who wears the guise of Ringo. But there’s competition for her love in the form of Lord Raven, who holds a secret that will rock the foundation of Robin’s world. As a Black Court delegate does the unthinkable, leaving an enraged, grief-stricken Robin hanging onto his humanity by a thread, only Michaela has the power to bring him back from the killing edge—if she survives.

Warning: This book contains explicit sex, graphic language, Robin Goodfellow and… Really. Do I need to say any more?

Blackraven’s Review:

Dana Marie Bell has penned an enchanting, humorous, intense, passionate story full of fantasy, danger, and love. I knew The Hob’s story would ROCK MY WORLD and Ms. Bell did not disappoint.

Michaela is a breath of fresh air. She cares about her friends, family, co-workers, well except the boss, and has been in love with The Hob since she was a child. Somewhere in the back of her mind, she’s always known that her mysterious, sexy love who knows how to satisfy her physically and mentally truly existed, but she never thought in a million years that she would ever meet the man. Or, has she? Torn between Ringo who appeals to her on more than one level and her unrequited love for The Hob, will Michaela have to choose between the two sexy, mysterious men.

The Hob is…well The Hob. I love this character because he does what has to be done and makes no apologies for it. He’s fierce and protective over the ones he loves, yet there is also a vulnerable side to this strong, stubborn man. Add to that his humor, quick wit, and strong sex appeal and who wouldn’t fall in love with him. But is he ready to find his soul mate?

The secondary characters only increase the depth and complexity of the story. I love catching up with characters from previous books because it seems to bring everything full circle, especially in a series. The dialogue is crisp, the sex almost melted my e-reader, the friendship is loyal, and the love is endearing. I couldn’t get enough of this captivating story full of danger and suspense. If you haven’t checked out Dana Marie Bell’s The Gray Court, then do so immediately because she is a mastermind at writing fast-paced, action-packed, drama filled stories with heart and soul. Her characters are always engaging and her writing skills definitely leave you begging for more.

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by Blackraven!

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March 29th, 2014

Contest Winner: Chasing Morgan by Jennifer Ryan

Chasing Morgan by Jennifer Ryan
Series: The Hunted Series, Book Four
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Length: 432 pages

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Summary:

Book Four in The Hunted Series …

FBI agent Tyler Reed trusts only facts and evidence, until the day a beautiful blonde delivers a life-saving warning … based on nothing more than a vision.

Five years later, the mysterious Morgan Standish has used her talents to help Tyler and the FBI bring down countless criminals. Still, Tyler knows next to nothing about her. She contacts him by phone—and by some sort of psychic connection he’s not prepared to admit exists—but has not shown herself once. Until now.

Morgan’s gift may let her see things others can’t, but it comes at a price. Getting too close to anyone is dangerous, especially the gorgeous, moody Special Agent Reed. For she’s seen the future: if they meet again too soon, an innocent could be lost.

But when Tyler’s latest case forces Morgan out of hiding, she is the one thrust into the path of a serial killer, the Psychic Slayer, who will stop at nothing to protect the secrets only Morgan can see.

AJ’s Review:

Jennifer Ryan is a mastermind at penning stories full of suspense, danger, drama, and fast-paced action that quickly draws the reader into the heart of the story and Chasing Morgan is no exception to the rule. This hard-hitting, action-packed story took my breath away. I knew that Tyler and Morgan’s story would be good just from the build-up during the other stories, but Ms. Ryan simply knocked my socks off and left me salivating for more. I love this series and if you haven’t checked it out, then what are you waiting for because the characters are engaging, yet real, the love is endearing, the sex scenes are sensual, and the friendship, respect, and loyalty that these characters have for one another is simply magnificent. I was captivated by this scintillating story from beginning to end.

Tyler is one sexy, stubborn, torchered alpha male who might miss out on his only chance at happiness if he doesn’t wake up and smell the coffee. In love with a ghost, but too afraid to admit it, Tyler embarks on a journey of settling, which is destructive in and of itself because he runs the risk of not only ruining his own life, but also others. His friends desperately want to help him because they see what Tyler is too afraid to admit…that he’s head-over-heels in love with Morgan.

Morgan is a sassy, intuitive, and psychic with many secrets. I love her caring heart, but also her fierce determination and strength that’s required to stand up to her sadistic family. Use to living a lonely existence, her only lifeline to the outside world has shut her out of his life. Fortunately, Morgan knows some things that Tyler doesn’t, but the one thing she doesn’t know is how all of this will play out. As the danger lurking in the shadows come to the forefront, it will take everything this couple has not to lose their faith, hope, and love for one another. But the cards are still up in the air, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what will happen next.

The secondary characters were simply amazing. Not only did they increase the depth and complexity of the story, but they also added humor and a touch of reality to the plot. It was great catching up on what was happening with the characters from the previous books. Ms. Ryan’s The Hunted series is by far one of the most thrilling, sit on the edge of your seat, biting your nails series that I’ve read in a long time. What a pure delight and I’m hoping that she has more characters in mind because I definitely need more of this series. Please don’t tell me this was the last book because I might just cry. Jennifer Ryan has definitely hit a home run with Chasing Morgan and I’ll definitely be recommending this titillating read to my friends.

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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December 20th, 2013

Contest Winner: Coming Undone by Lauren Dane

Coming Undone by Lauren Dane
Series: A Brown Family Novel, Book Two
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Length: 304 Pages

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Summary:

KEEPING IT TOGETHER

Brody Brown has always been responsible for others. After his parents’ deaths, he gave up a promising artistic career to care for his younger brother and sister. Now, with his siblings grown, Brody owns his own business, has a nice house, makes a decent living, and he’s finally on his own.

Elise Sorenson has come to Seattle with her young daughter to find peace. After years as a world-famous ballerina—and just as many years in a marriage gone bad—she’s looking for neither love nor attention. But she finds both when a handsome, honest man befriends her with no strings attached.

More than friends, Brody and Elise discover in each other what they need—wild, physical passion without commitment. But it’ll take a shadow from Elise’s past to make them look beyond what they need—to what they truly desire.

AJ’s Review:

Hot. Sensual. Sexy. Breathless. These were only a few of the words that came to mind after reading Lauren Dane’s Coming Undone. Let’s just say by the time this riveting story came to a conclusion, I was completely undone and head-over-heels in love with Brody. Elise was one lucky woman and I’d switch places with her in a heartbeat. :)

I liked Brody from the moment he was introduced in Laid Bare. There is something so sexy about this gentle giant, who protects what’s his and whether Elise knows it or not, she and Rene belong to Brody and he will do whatever it takes to protect them from the past. While the sexual chemistry is off the charts, it’s the swooning and courting that wins me over. Once Brody realizes how much Elise means to him, he begins to slowly court her in a way that is simply sinful, yet sexy and sensual. Yep, it’s completely swoon-worthy. :) I loved how he had the come to Jesus meeting with Raven, yet still helped her realize that she was an important part of his life…just not the most important part because that ship had sailed.

My heart broke for Elise who was just trying to survive the past, the present, and hopefully embark on a future she never thought she would have or realized that she really wanted until Brody. What I loved most about Coming Undone is that Ms. Dane focused on Brody, Elise and Rene’s relationship as a triad because that’s exactly what it was…a relationship with multiple layers. Not only did this increase the believability of the story, but it also increased the depth and dimension of each character. Rene is an amazing little girl who you can’t help but fall head-over-heels in lover with as she brightens up each page with her quick wit, tenacity, perception, and resilience. She knew what her mother needed even before her mother did. :)

The more I learn about the secondary characters, the more intrigued I become regarding their stories. I can’t wait to see who Ms. Dane pairs up next and what trials and tribulations they will have to overcome in order to find their Happily Ever After. I loved Elise’s parents and was excited by the role they played in the book. The dialogue continues to be realistic and fresh, the sex smoldering hot, and the love so fulfilling and joyful that it simply burst at the seams from every page. Ms. Dane once again proves that sometimes you find love when you least expect it, which is definitely the case with Brody and Elise in Coming Undone.

Rated 4.5 Ravens by AJ!

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December 20th, 2013

Contest Winner: Laid Bare by Lauren Dane

Laid Bare by Lauren Dane
Series: A Brown Family Novel, Book One
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, BDSM, Menage a Trois, M/M/F
Length: 320 Pages

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Summary:

It’s been ten years since clean-cut, sexy-as-hell police officer Todd Keenan had a white-hot fling with wild, uninhibited rocker Erin Brown. What happened between them got under his skin—even if love wasn’t in the cards just yet…

Now that they’re back together, picking up where they left off is tough in light of Erin’s troubled past. As Todd earns her trust, their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Todd’s best friend, Ben, comes to play, arousing their deepest fantasies. The passion they share transforms Erin, but it may not be enough to face the evil she thought she had left behind.

AJ’s Review:

Lauren Dane is a mastermind at penning heartfelt stories that will break your heart, yet warm your soul, make your body sizzle, and incorporate several poignant messages the reader will walk away with and Laid Bare is no exception to the rule. What a compelling story full of brutal honesty that’s so real the characters can’t help but leap off the pages. If you’re not in love with Erin, Todd and Ben by the time you’ve finished reading Laid Bare then something is definitely wrong, because this dynamic trio is guaranteed to steal your heart, soul, and body with their amazing story of love.

When Todd first meets Erin, she’s a free spirit who sets his body and soul on fire. Unfortunately, fear enters the scene and prevents this magnificent couple from finding their Happily Ever After. Ten years later, they meet again and the sparks are still there, yet so much more…tragedy, loss, pain, anguish, and regret. In essence two broken souls that are in need of healing. I loved how Ms. Dane allowed the reader to experience all of the tumultuous emotions that was radiating between Erin and Todd. My heart broke for both of them. In addition, the reader was able to witness the difference in both Erin and Todd as they accepted their sexuality and was willing to give one another what they truly needed, both in and out of bed. And as if that wasn’t enough, Ms. Dane incorporated another twist that involved best friends becoming lovers and so much more, which is always a favorite trope of mine.

The sexual chemistry between Erin, Todd and Ben is off the charts, but it’s the love and respect that these three have for one another that won me over. Their willingness to put it all on the line and venture into an unconventional relationship is inspiring. Moreover, their ability to help one another heal and deal with the past, which is dark, dangerous, and simply heartbreaking, is a testament to the complexity of this story and the situation. If you don’t crack a tear or two while reading this compelling story full of compassion and love, then something truly is wrong in my humble opinion. :)

The secondary characters were absolutely amazing and made me want to know more about them as the story progressed. Brody and Adrian are amazing brothers who have stood by Erin no matter what without judgement and that’s an amazing feat in and of itself because often family are our worst critics. Ella was so sweet and I can’t wait for her story. Raven piques my curiosity on so many levels that it’s simply scary. Ms. Dane has created an amazing group of characters with enough drama to give any daytime soap a run for it’s money. The dialogue is refreshing and believable, the sex is scorching hot, and the love is endearing and everlasting.

If you’re looking for a riveting story that will give you a new perspective on life, help you remember the importance of accepting yourself as well as your loved ones, and rev up your sex life, then Laid Bare is the perfect book to read. Ms. Dane has crafted an amazing story in which our heroes and heroine triumph over adversity to find their Happily Ever After. Bravo!

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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December 2nd, 2013

Contest Winner: Weekday Brides Series by Catherine Bybee

Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee
Series: Weekday Brides, Book One
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 206 pages

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Summary:

A wife by Wednesday…a love for a lifetime

Blake Harrison:
Rich, titled, and charming…and in need of a wife by Wednesday. Blake turns to Sam Elliot, who isn’t the businessman he expected. Instead, Blake is faced with Samantha Elliot, beautiful and feisty with a voice men call 1-900 numbers to hear.

Samantha Elliot:
Owner of matchmaking firm Alliance and not on the marital menu…that is, until Blake offers her ten million dollars for a one-year contract. And there’s nothing indecent about this proposal. The money will really help with her family’s medical bills. All Samantha will need to do is keep her attraction to her new husband to herself and avoid his bed.

But Blake’s toe-curling kisses and sexy charm prove too difficult for Sam to resist. It was a marriage contract that planned for everything…except falling in love.

AJ’s Review:

Wife by Wednesday is a sexy, enchanting, entertaining story full of romance, drama, and endearing love. In fact, I loved the whole concept of this book.

Sam’s no nonsense, professional attitude is refreshing even when she encounters the delectable Blake Harrison who simply exudes sex appeal. Let’s be honest, the man has every quality a woman would want and when you add an indecent proposal into the mix, this couple sizzles with lust. Ms. Bybee keeps the plot and dialogue fresh, yet realistic with a few twists and turns that creates havoc for our hero and heroine while bringing them closer together.

Although some may disagree, I think it’s the chance that makes this story so intriguing. I mean, yes they are married…temporarily. So, when their emotions begin to join in the fun along with their libidos, sparks begin to fly and the race is on to find their Happily Ever After whether they want to admit it or not. The hurdles that this dynamic duo had to overcome was realistic and only increased the depth of the plot. The secondary characters were a mix of naughty, nice and downright nasty, which kept the reader as well as our hero and heroine on their toes. I loved that Ms. Bybee allowed the story to play out without forcing our characters into a relationship or down a path that they wouldn’t have normally taken.

If you’re looking for a romance with a whole lot of spice and everything nice, then Wife by Wednesday is definitely the book to read. Not only is it a quick read, but also an enjoyable one and a great way to spend an afternoon.

Rated 4.5 Ravens by AJ!

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Married by Monday by Catherine Bybee
Series: Weekday Brides, Book Two
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 306 pages

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Summary:

Sequel to Wife by WednesdayThe New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling novel that launched Bybee’s Weekday Brides series

Carter Billings:
Sandy blond hair and Hollywood good looks, Carter could have any woman he wants. When he makes his bid for governor of California, he knows he must settle down and become a family man. His choice for a running mate between the sheets: matchmaker Eliza Havens.

Eliza Havens:
Eliza’s happy that her best friend has a wealthy, adoring husband. It’s the husband’s best friend—sexy, dashing Carter Billings—that drives her crazy. No man has ever squabbled with Eliza this much…or made her heart race this fast. Matching couples is how she earns a living, but long-held secrets mean getting married isn’t an option. Until now.

AJ’s Review:

ABSOLUTLEY BRILLIANT! Ms. Bybee amps up the fun and the pleasure in Married by Monday. I love the unrequited love trope and when you add a touch of danger and suspense to the plot, things begin to heat up.

Eliza Havens is a woman of mystery who knows how to take care of herself. She’s experienced things that will shock her friends, but when this damsel in distress decides to stop running, her friends have her back.

Carter Billings is sex on a stick and has eyes only for Eliza. If he could get past her defenses, sharp tongue, and dark secrets, these two would burn up the pages with their uninhibited desires because the sexual chemistry simmering below the surface is smoldering.

What I enjoyed the most about Married by Monday is the fact that Catherine Bybee incorporates plenty of twists and turns to make each story in the Weekday Brides series unique. You can’t help but fall in love with these characters. The dialogue and humor is witty, the sarcasm is in abundance, the sex is decadent, and the love is everlasting. The secondary characters continue to be a joy to read about as they provide our heroine and hero with advice and bring us up to speed with what’s going on in their lives.

Married by Monday is a compelling story full of pure unadulterated lust, good clean fun, sinful pleasures, genuine friendships, a touch of danger, and an overwhelming abundance of unconditional love. The characters will entice you, the danger will pique your curiosity, and the love will keep you coming back for more. Bravo Ms. Bybee! You’ve hit a home run with Married by Monday and I’ll definitely be recommending your Weekday Brides series to my friends.

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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Fiance by Friday by Catherine Bybee
Series: Weekday Brides, Book Three
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense
Length: 341 pages

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Summary:

From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee comes the newest installment in her popular Weekday Brides series.

Gwen Harrison:
The beautiful, high-born daughter of an English duke came to America to take over her sister-in-law’s matchmaking business. But just because she’s the boss doesn’t mean she can’t fantasize about making her own perfect match with bodyguard Neil MacBain. Will the enigmatic man who haunts her dreams cost her more than she bargained for?

Neil MacBain:
The retired Marine can’t deny the effect blue-blooded Gwen has on his troubled soul or his battle-hardened body. But as a client, Gwen is off-limits—until a threat from Neil’s past returns…and Gwen is caught in the crossfire. Now to keep her safe he will risk it all: his career, his life…and his heart.

AJ’s Review:

Just when I thought it wasn’t possible, this series gets better and better with each installment. Catherine Bybee pulls out all of the stops in Fiance by Friday with our stubborn Marine, Neil MacBain, and our feisty Brit, Gwen Harrison. Yes, I described Neil as a Marine instead of “retired” or “former” because once a Marine always a Marine, and this sexy, alpha male has no problem proving that when the woman he loves is in danger.

Gwen is a hoot, especially when the other women begin Americanizing this proper British lady who has her eyes on the sexy, stubborn, off-limits, possessive, protector, Neil McBain. I loved Gwen and McBain’s snappy comebacks, intense passion, and vulnerabilities, which made their characters come to life. The action is fast-paced and it quickly becomes difficult to determine who is friend and who is foe. Ms. Bybee does an excellent job of keeping the reader in suspense as she weaves a complex tale of lies, deceit and betrayal.

Although the reader is afforded a few snippets of our former couples in the series, Catherine Bybee’s primary focus is on our hero and heroine as they risk it all to catch a killer from McBain’s past while conquering their fears in order to find their Happily Ever After. Fiance by Friday is entertaining, suspenseful, and sweet, yet full of explosive passion that will make your toes curl. The dialogue is crisp, the danger is imminent, and the love is free-flowing. If you haven’t read Catherine Bybee’s Weekend Brides series, then you’re definitely missing out. So grab your copies today.

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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November 13th, 2013

Contest Winner: Only Yours by Susan Mallery

Only Yours by Susan Mallery
Series: Fools Gold, Book 5
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 381 pages

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Summary:

Man’s best…matchmaker?

Montana Hendrix has found her calling—working with therapy dogs. With a career she loves in a hometown she adores, she’s finally ready to look for her own happily ever after. Could one of her dogs help her find Mr. Right…or maybe Dr. Right?

Surgeon Simon Bradley prefers the sterility of the hospital to the messiness of real life, especially when real life includes an accidentprone mutt and a woman whose kisses make him want what he knows he can’t have. Scarred since childhood, he avoids emotional entanglement by moving from place to place to heal children who need his skillful touch. Can his growing feelings for Montana lead him to find a home in Fool’s Gold, or will he walk away, taking her broken heart with him?

AJ’s Review:

I absolutely adored Montana and Simon’s story. Some may base it on the Beauty and Beast fable, but I view it as two people trying to figure out where they truly belong; but instead, have been hurt by people who should have loved and cared about them unconditionally. Fortunately for Montana and Simon, they belong together. Well, that’s if they survive their initial first meeting, ignore the meddling of the busy bodies in Fools Gold, conquer their fears and rise above their vulnerabilities, embrace the passion that’s smoldering below the surface, and listen to what’s truly in their hearts desire. :)

I knew that Montana would have an amazing love story full of trials and tribulations. What I like most about her is her feistiness. Yet on the flip side, I also love how Susan Mallery allows the reader to witness Montana’s vulnerabilities and fears. It’s obvious that she deeply loves her family, but with such a group of overachievers, I could see how she would struggle to find her calling in life. Moreover, add to her complex family dynamics that she’s an identical triplet and things really begin to heat up. But Montana is one heroine who you can’t help but root for because not only is she extremely likable, but it’s also easy to see how Simon would fall head-over-heels in love with this vibrant woman, even if he denies it at every turn. :)

My heart simply broke for Simon once I learned everything he had endured as a child. It was easy to identify with his reasoning behind keeping his distance from his patients and Montana given all of the tragedy in his life. However, I must admit that there were times I simply wanted to shake some since into him. Not only was his job difficult, but it also had to bring back devastating memories of his childhood. I loved how protective he was of his patients and admired his talent to help people in need. Ms. Mallery’s vivid descriptions of Kalinda’s burns and her situation made it obvious that she had either spent some time in a burn unit or she had definitely done her homework on the subject. I’ve been in a situation where a young child has suffered third and fourth degree burns and I will never forget the smell of her skin burning. Ms. Mallery’s depictions of Kalinda’s situation took me back to those moments and that’s a testament to her writing skills.

The secondary characters always bring humor and more drama to the lovely town of Fools Gold and that’s no different in Only Yours. I enjoyed the close bond that Dakota, Montana, and Nevada shared and it has been great watching each of them grow into the women they wanted to be as they find their soul mates. The chemistry between Montana and Simon is off-the-charts and with the turn of every page, it was wonderful watching their relationship and love for one another blossom.

Susan Mallery continues to write stories that are compelling, fun, humorous, and full of love, heart and soul. The characters are engaging and compassionate, the dialogue is believable, and the love is endearing. In my humble opinion, Ms. Mallery has not only hit another home run with Only Yours, but she’s also done an excellent job of showing how quickly one’s life can be turned upside down by a single incident. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for Nevada and Tucker. :)

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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September 27th, 2013

Contest Winner: It Had To Be You by Jill Shalvis

It Had To Be You by Jill Shalvis
Series: A Lucky Harbor Novel
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Spicy
Length: 327 pages

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Summary:

Ali Winters is not having a good day. Her boyfriend left her, everyone in town thinks she’s a thief, and now she’s about to be kicked out of her home. Her only shot at keeping a roof over her head and clearing her name is to beg for help from a police detective who’s as sexy as he is stern….

After a high-profile case goes wrong, Luke Hanover returns to his hometown for some peace and quiet. Instead he finds a bombshell brunette in a heap of trouble. As he helps Ali put her world back together, the pieces of Luke’s own life finally seem to fall into place. Is this the start of a sizzling fling? Or are Luke and Ali on the brink of something big in a little town called Lucky Harbor?

AJ’s Review:

Jill Shalvis is a mastermind at creating witty stories with humor, drama, lust, and ultimately love. It Had To Be is a testament to Ms. Shalvis’ amazing writing skills of penning complex, in depth characters who have a sense of humor, especially when things begin to go South.

I absolutely loved Ali who is feisty, strong-willed, prideful, and at times vulnerable. She loves as fiercely as she protects her family and friends. But in It Had To Be, she’s the one who needs protecting, so when Luke enters her life unexpectedly, things begin to heat up exponentially. :)

Luke is sexy, intelligent, stubborn, and hiding from the world, as well as his past. While he has fond memories of Lucky Harbor, it’s taken him ten years to return to the only place he’s ever considered home. In needed of a little piece and quite, Luke isn’t sure what to do when the whirlwind known as Ali embarks on his horizon. The sexual chemistry between Ali and Luke is off-the-charts hot. These two understand one another on a deeper level than neither is willing to admit. But as cupid, the busy bodies of Lucky Harbor, and family members impede on their “relationship”, the humor is plentiful, the suspense is intriguing, the sex is hot, and the love is endearing.

As for secondary characters, Lucille and her posse are always a hoot, but it was the men who took over in this Lucky Harbor installment. The elderly men at the Seniors Center had me laughing until I cried, especially as they kept bribing Luke to help Ali. I also loved Ali’s mother and sister. Those women are not only a hoot, but also a force to be reckoned with when one of their own is in trouble. I sure hope Ms. Shalvis has a story in mind for Ali’s sister. :) I can still hear Ali’s mother calling her Ali-gator, which was absolutely adorable. :) On the flip side, I wanted to pummel Teddy for the lying, cheating, snob that he was. What an ass-hat!

It Had To Be is an amazing story that in some ways reminded me of how Sawyer and Chloe ended up together. A feisty woman who always finds trouble, and a strong, sexy, man of the law who will do anything to keep her safe. :) The dialogue is not only believable, but also like a breath of fresh air on a spring morning when everything is right in the world. In addition, the suspense is intriguing and will keep you guessing until the very end; the plot is well-developed, the characters are three-dimensional and full of life, and the passion is explosive. If you’re looking for an entertaining read that will warm your heart and put a smile on your face, then check out Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series. I can’t get enough of these characters and can’t wait to see what Ms. Shalvis has in store for Jack and Leah in Always On My Mind. :) My hat goes off to Jill Shalvis for creating such a special group of characters and stories that readers will enjoy for years to come.

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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September 2nd, 2013

Lovestruck Contest Winner

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LOVESTRUCK GIVEAWAY HOP

It is time to hop again! The Lovestruck Giveaway Hop is here and we want to take a moment to thank all the bloggers and authors that are joining us this time around. This is our second year running the LOVESTRUCK Hop and we wouldn’t be able to do it (or any of our hops) without you.

Giveaway Hop Hosted by Under the Covers Book Blog, runs August 14 – August 20

Love-struck: (adjective) having a passionate or overwhelming feeling of love; smitten

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September 2nd, 2013

Contest Winners: Dark Waters by Toni Anderson

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Danger once again laps at the shores of Barkley Sound, the Graveyard of the Pacific…

Since her rocky childhood and its abrupt, brutal ending, schoolteacher Anna Silver hasn’t given her trust easily. But when her estranged father gets in over his head — again — and winds up dead, his last message to Anna is as clear as it is insistent: she’s in danger and Brent Carver, the man with whom he shared a prison cell for five years, is the only person she should turn to for help. With nowhere else to go and with her father’s killer on her trail, Anna flees to what she hopes is safety.

Tucked into the west coast of Vancouver Island, Brent Carver’s isolated home hasn’t seen many visitors. And his friend’s daughter is the last person he ever expected to grace his doorstep. She’s in trouble, and he can’t deny her protection…just as he can’t deny his attraction to the independent beauty. As their passion sparks into flame, the perfect storm brews off the coast of his island home, bringing with it a sadistic killer hunting Anna and the secrets she’s come close to uncovering.

SHADOW K.

LEXXIE

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August 5th, 2013

Contest Winner: Only Mine by Susan Mallery

Only Mine by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool’s Gold, Book 4
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 378 pages

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Summary:

Her town’s lack of men may make headlines, but it isn’t news to Dakota Hendrix. The beautiful blonde has bigger problems to deal with, such as overseeing the romance reality competition filming in Fool’s Gold. Screening eligible bachelors is a difficult enough task, but Dakota hits an unexpected snag when a sexy stranger comes to town.

Finn Anderssen will do anything to keep his twin brothers—the perfect contestants—off the show. Despite Dakota’s better judgment, she finds herself drawn to the mysterious outsider. Like her, Finn knows about heartbreak and how a family can fall apart, so she doesn’t dare to hope for anything more than a fling. After all, even in the Land of Happy Endings, finding true love is never as easy as it looks on TV.

AJ’s Review:

Only Mine by Susan Mallery has quickly become one of my favorite books in the series. Between the drama of a reality show, the quick wit and temper of Finn Anderssen, the calming, soothing balm of Dakota Hendrix, the wanting and longing for a child and family, and the sizzling sexual tension that’s emanating in the air between more than one Anderssen brother, you can’t help but be drawn into this complex, riveting story about love, loss, second chances, and living life to the fullest.

Like the rest of the Hendrix women, when Dakota was upset in Finding Perfect, I thought it involved a man. Little did I know this amazing woman with big a heart and a huge capacity to love was dealing with much bigger problems. In this installment of the Fool’s Gold series, not only is light shed on Dakota’s problem, but it’s brought to the forefront when Dakota’s dream quickly becomes a reality. There’s only one problem, is she ready to embrace her dream? Moreover, as she quickly falls in love with the sexy, stubborn Finn, will he become a part of her Happily Ever After or break her heart into pieces. Guess you’ll have to read the book to find out.

Finn is sexy, intelligent and has done a commendable job raising his younger brothers, but now he has to do the toughest thing a parent ever has to do and that’s let his brothers go, which is easier said than done. As these three battle back and forth regarding what they each want and need in life, Finn eventually realizes that he has to let his brother’s make their own decisions and trust in the fact that he’s raised them well. There were times that I wanted to smack all three of them upside the head for their inability to communicate with one another. Men!!!!! Need I say more? Yet, there were other times that I simply wanted to give them a hung and tell them “trust in one another and their hearts”. Their fears were palpable, which only increased the believability and depth of the story. Susan Mallery is a mastermind at combining fiction and real life situations in her compelling stories to the point where the reader can’t help but fall in love with her amazing characters.

The secondary characters were interesting to say the least in Only Mine. I wanted to smack Jeff, the producer, upside the head because he was a jerk, plain and simple. Laney gave me mixed feelings because I wasn’t sure how much she was out to truly help Sasha with his dream. I loved Stephen and Aurelia who simply leaped off the pages and quickly found a place in my heart. It’s never easy standing up to a parent, but Ms. Mallery handled the difficult situation with finesse and class. I’m a firm believer that the heart loves who it loves, so I was very happy for Stephen and Aurelia and that’s all I’m saying because I don’t want to ruin the story for those of you who haven’t read it. The dialogue was fluid, fresh and believable, the characters were engaging, each situation was dynamic and could change at a moment’s notice which kept this reader engrossed from beginning to end, and the love scenes were sensual, yet raw and full of emotion and unbridled passion. I simply couldn’t get enough.

If you’re looking for a complex, heartfelt story that’s full of ups and downs, romance, humor, hopes and dreams for the future, and everlasting love, then pick up a copy of Only Mine by Susan Mallery. Just when I think her Fool’s Gold series can’t get any better, she proves me wrong and leaves me begging for more. I can’t wait to read Montana’s story, Only Yours, which is up next. Woo-hoo! :)

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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July 28th, 2013

Contest Winner: Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery

Just One Kiss by Susan Mallery
Series: Fool’s Gold, Book 11
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages

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Summary:

He won’t hesitate to put his life on the line…but will he ever risk his heart?

Falling for Justice Garrett was a high point in Patience McGraw’s otherwise awkward adolescence. Even after he disappeared, Patience never forgot the boy who captured her heart. Now he’s back in Fool’s Gold, California, and her passion for him is as strong as ever. But how can she trust that he won’t abandon her again—and her daughter, too?

When bodyguard Justice Garrett was a young man, witness protection brought him to this idyllic town and he never forgot its warmth, or the sweet beauty of his childhood friend. He’s returned to open a defense academy, and the Patience he once knew is all grown up. He can’t resist her smile, or her curves. But Justice’s past doesn’t make him husband, or father, material.

Patience and Justice think they’ll succumb to just one kiss… Then one more… Okay, just one night together. But they might learn that falling in love is beyond anyone’s control.

If you’re a fan of Fool’s Gold, you’ll love Ana Raquel and Greg’s delicious romance, featured in Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold Cookbook, along with her favorite recipes from the land of happy endings

AJ’s Review:

Just One Kiss is an excellent addition to Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series.. I simply adored each of these amazing characters who had overcome obstacles in their lives and were still able to embrace their fears and go after their own Happily Ever After. When I think of Just One Kiss, several words come to mind, which include but are not limited to, unrequited love, star-crossed lovers, unbridled passion, acceptance of one another, and most importantly second chances.

Patience McGraw is a strong woman with gumption, quick wit, a kind heart, and an unconditional love for her daughter, Lilly, as well as her mother, Ava. It was my pleasure to get to know this amazing woman who not only received a chance to persue her dream, but also a second chance with the love of her life. Who says that teenage crushes can’t turn into Happily Ever Afters? :) Definitely not Patience because the sexual chemistry simmering between her and Justice was hot! hot! hot! :)

Justice is sexy, dangerous, vulnerable, and afraid of losing the only woman who has ever held a place in his heart. Even at a young age, deep down he knew that Patience was the one for him. But life and unfortunate circumstance separated the two. Yet, time heals all wounds and broken hearts, especially when you’re given a second chance to find your Happily Ever After with the woman of your dreams. That is…unless the past comes back to destroy any possibility of a future for Justice and Patience.

I loved these characters and they’re easy compatibility. It was obvious that these two were meant to be just as soon as they laid eyes on one another. Ms. Mallery is a mastermind and creating in depth characters with heart and soul who are not only are alluring, but also are charismatic enough to quickly find a place in the reader’s heart and Patience and Justice is no exception to the rule. I loved their easy interaction, the way they knew one another, and the way they trusted one another when things started going south. Moreover, I loved the interaction between Patience, Justice, Lilly, Ava and Steve. It was obvious that they truly loved one another despite their regrets regarding the past. While each of Susan Mallery’s stories is filled with love and happiness, they also contain poignant messages that the reader can apply in real life and that’s one of the biggest reasons that I enjoy reading this series and Just One Kiss.

The secondary characters are alwasy amazing and bring a bit of humor, drama, and uniqueness to each story, especially Felicia. I can’t wait for her and Gideon’s story. Moreover, I appreciated the fact that Susan Mallery didn’t shy away from the difficult subjects of abuse. The dialogue was realistic, the characters were engaging and believable, the setting was simply amazing and makes me want to visit Fool’s Gold every time I read one of these riveting stories, and the love is endearing. You can’t help but have a smile on your face after reading a book in the Fool’s Gold series, which is a testament to Susan Mallery’s writing skills.

If you’re looking for an entertaining story that’s full of twists and turns to keep you enthralled in this riveting, dangerous plot until the end, then Just One Kiss is definitely the book to read. While the danger is palpable, the love is endearing and everlasting. You won’t be able to put the book down because I know I didn’t. In fact, I read Just One Kiss in one sitting and thoroughly enjoyed ever minute of it. With lovable characters who are flawed but willing to embrace their fears, young girls who remind you the importance of trusting your heart, and swoon worthy love scenes that will make you tingle all over, Just One Kiss is exactly what the doctor ordered to make a sunny, summer day even more enjoyable, so pick up your copy now. You won’t be sorry! :)

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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July 9th, 2013

Contest Winner: Then, Again by Karen Stivali

Then, Again by Karen Stivali
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 206 pages

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Summary:

Sometimes you have to lose it all to find what you really need.

Photographer Kay Turner is dealt a double whammy when she flies home for her grandmother’s funeral to find her boyfriend with another woman. Now with two losses to mourn, she retreats to her newly inherited beach house to clear her head.

Everything at the beach is familiar: the sounds of the ocean, the scent of her grandmother’s perfume—and the irresistible smile of James Margolis. The man Kay spent her adolescence pining for is every bit as charming as she remembers.

James always thought of Kay as “a nice kid”, but he feels something very different for the woman she’s become. Especially when he asks if she’d be willing to part with some of her grandmother’s recipes for his new restaurant—and they wind up sharing much more than culinary secrets.

But as their relationship deepens, Kay finds herself caught between the demands of her dream career as a travel photographer, and a chance for happiness with the one man she’s wanted for a lifetime.

Product Warnings: This foodie romance contains sensual scone baking, a heroine who discovers one bad apple hasn’t spoiled her appetite, and a delicious hero you can’t help but crave. Blend well, serve hot.

AJ’s Review:

Karen Stivali is a mastermind at creating compelling, entertaining stories that have grit, depth, genuine, charismatic characters, fluid, believable dialogue, and emotional entanglements that will keep the reader engrossed from beginning to end. The plot is complex and well-developed, the characters are three-dimensional and simply leap off the pages, the witty banter is humorous, the passion is explosive yet endearing, and the small town antics and gossip will have you laughing until you cry. I have yet to read a Karen Stivali story where I haven’t immediately fell in love with the characters, as well as the plot.

In Then, Again, Ms. Stivali has crafted real characters, with real problems, in the real world, so you can’t help but identify with Kay and James. Kay is intelligent, sexy, kind-hearted, lonely, and at a crossroad in her life. When tragedy strikes and Kay reunites with James, she’s forced to reassess everything that’s become comfortable in her life. I loved how Ms. Stivali brings Kay’s fears and hopes to the forefront while allowing the plot to play out. The reader is kept guessing up until the very end whether or not Kay and James will find their way to one another, which is a testament to Ms. Stivali’s writing skills.

James is not only sexy, he’s a man who knows how to please a woman. While they say a way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, the same could be said for Kay. I mean really, who doesn’t love a man who can cook both in and out of bed and is willing to wear a sexy apron and nothing else in the kitchen? :) As the cooking heats up, so does Kay and James’ romance. Unfortunately, just as this dynamic duo begins to get their groove on, the hustle and bustle of Kay’s job intrudes on their relationship bliss. Will Kay leave James to pursue the career opportunity of a lifetime when the offer is presented, or will she go after the Happily Ever After they both so rightfully deserve? Is there enough room in their relationship for each of them to get what they both want romantically and professionally? Guess you’ll have to read the book to find out.

There were several secondary characters that made this riveting story standout. First, we have Rosalie and Trixie, who’s witty banter and humor had me laughing until I cried. The family dynamics between these two spunky sisters was amazing as they provided support and a sounding board for Kay. It was obvious that these two women had lived and loved passionately and only wanted the same for Kay. It was also obvious that they had no problem enjoying James’ assets. : ) Second, we have Patricia, who at first I had a hard time warming up to. It was obvious that she wanted James back, I just wasn’t sure how far she as willing to go. In the end, she sort of redeems herself, I guess. Well, actually the verdict is still out. Maybe Ms. Stivali can turn this into a series and give Patricia her own story. Besides, I’d love to know how James’ brother and his wife got together. Given his brother’s directness and sense of humor, I bet it would be one heck of a story. Third, we have the busy bodies in town who knows everyone’s business. It’s obvious that Ms. Stivali has either lived in a small town or knows someone who does because she has the small town antics and gossip mill down to a “T”. Finally, we have James’ niece and nephew who were simply adorable and added another dimension to our hero and heroine.

Then, Again is a captivating story with genuine characters who have heart and soul. The fears and hopes of Kay and James are palpable, the dialogue is fresh, the flirting is sensual, the phone sex is hot and uninhibited, the emotions are raw, and the unbridled passion is full of lustful desires that would make any woman swoon. If you haven’t read Then, Again by Karen Stivali, then pick up your copy today because this is one blossoming romance that entails delicious food and decadent desires that you don’t want to miss.

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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I write erotic romance (published by Ellora’s Cave) sexy women’s fiction (published by Turquoise Morning Press) and sensual contemporary romances (published by Samhain Publishing). I can also be found on twitter attempting witty banter.

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July 9th, 2013

Sinful Sirens Contest Winners

SINFUL SIRENS BLOG HOP

Hosted by Guilty Pleasures and Under the Covers
Blog hop runs from 12:01 AM May15th through to 11:59 PM May 20th, 2013.
Are you a Sinful Siren?

We know you are! So come and join us at Under the Covers and Guilty Pleasures for our Sinful Sirens blog hop. We are back for a second year and this summer we want to heat things up until the only way we can cool down is with a dip in the ocean. Entice other sirens by sharing some of your favorite scorching hot reads!

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Her powers could save her island…or bring their love crashing down.

Hawaiian Heroes, Book 4

Despite her successful career, Lalei Kai-Ho’omalu has always considered herself mere decoration in a dynamic Hawaiian family, with none of their powerful gifts. Destined for life in the background as a useless, upper-crust wife.

Desperate to escape her mother’s latest matchmaking attempt, Lalei acts on her sizzling attraction to a guest at her cousin’s island wedding, making him a bold offer he can’t refuse.

A no-strings, no-holds-barred affair on Nawea Bay with the sexy Hawaiian beauty is just the break California Realtor Jack Nord needs from his fast-paced career—and an inner darkness he’d like to forget. Just for a while.

Their very public liaison is the shocking declaration of independence Lalei intended—with unintended consequences. Stirred to anger by developers set on carving her family’s unspoiled ancestral lands into a resort, Lalei discovers she has the supernatural power to stop them.

But when Jack learns his lover can bring down the rain and throw bolts of lightning, whose side will he take? The money-making machine? Or the woman born to protect her island home?


Product Warnings

A wahine whose real estate may be too hot to handle, and a Realtor who’s determined to seal the deal.

PrincessAndThePornStar-The72lg

She’s got the moves. He’s got the heat. Will their hearts catch the rhythm?

Rachel Taylor’s manager has to be kidding. A porn star dancing beside her in her next music video? She didn’t claw her way back from near obscurity in the pop music world only to become a laughingstock all over again.

Yet the moment she meets Lee, a.k.a. the infamous Buck Harder, their chemistry sizzles. There’s much more to the man behind the stage name than the obvious attributes that make him so successful, and soon she’s fantasizing about sharing more than just a stage.

In only a few steps, they find a perfect, dance-floor groove hot enough to melt the camera lens. But when the video’s release blows up in their faces, her record label exercises an obscure but ironclad clause—stay away from each other. Or else.

Meeting in secret seems the most delicious solution. But they can’t hide this kind of heat for long…and when the paparazzi sniff them out, she realizes choosing to stay with the man she’s fallen for could cause her to fall off the pop music map—permanently.


Product Warnings

Let’s just say there’s a reason Buck Harder went into his line of work, and it ain’t his pretty smile. Wink wink.

LANAN R.

ELIZABETH K.

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May 2nd, 2013

Contest Winners: The Assassins Hockey Hop by Toni Aleo

Toni Aleo a wife, mother of two and a bulldog, and also a hopeless romantic is the author of the fabulous Assassins Hockey Series — Join us for the celebration of the re-release of The Assassins Hockey Series including: Taking Shots; Trying to Score and Empty Net – on sale 4/23/13:

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May 2nd, 2013

Contest Winner: Short Rides by Lorelei James

Short Rides by Lorelei James
Series: Rough Riders
Publisher: LJLA, LLC
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Western/Cowboys, Anthology
Length: 169 pages

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Summary:

Short Rides is an anthology compilation of two novellas and one short story in the Rough Riders world. These are NOT meant to be read as standalone stories, but are a peek into favorite character’s lives after the happily ever after…

The stories included in the Short Rides anthology are:

King of Hearts* – Deputy Cam McKay deals with a murder/suicide case on Valentine’s Day.

Rough Road – Chassie, Trevor and Edgard Glanzer spend a romantic weekend away from the ranch and kids celebrating their anniversary…only to return home to face their biggest challenge yet.

All Knocked Up – Keely and Jack Donohue are having a baby. Given Keely’s raging pregnancy hormones, will Jack need to wear a cup in the delivery room?

*previously published in the Guns and Roses anthology in 2012

AJ’s Review

PURE GENIUS! are the two words that come to mind after reading Lorelei James’ latest release in the Rough Riders series, Short Rides. Ms. James is a mastermind at combining fantasy, fiction, and real life situations to pen compelling stories that warm your heart, put a smile on your face, and heat up your body in all the right places. Short Rides is the perfect compliment to the Rough Riders series for readers who need a quick fix of some of their favorite characters.

King of Hearts

In King of Hearts, Ms. James delves into the difficult subject of PTSD and the struggles that veterians deal with on a daily basis. She handles this difficult topic with finesse, class, and reality as Cam McKay’s struggles with PTSD pushes itself once again to the forefront of his mind after he’s called to the scene of a murder/suicide. What increased the depth of this short story is how Ms. James focused on the importance of family and friends to help victims of PTSD. Add a few smoldering love scenes, some rambunctious kids who will steal your heart and put a smile on your face, and a loving wife who’s determined to help her man fight his demons and you have an awesome short read that will keep you engaged until the very end.

Rough Road

In Rough Road, we get a glimspe of how things are going for Chassie, Trevor and Edgard Glanzer. I love this polyamorous relationship and was excited to see how things were going with this dynamic trio and their children. While things are great on the homefront, outside of it is another story. Chassie, Trevor and Edgard knew that the untraditional lifestyle they had chosen to lead wouldn’t be easy, but when it begins to affect their children, these three must ban together and allow some family members to assist in making the hardest decision of their lives. Ms. James has created a riveting story that entails bigoted people who don’t understand how much love the heart can handle. Instead, they pose their views on the Glanzer family and begin instilling hate in their children. Rough Road is as real as it gets and there are individuals and families dealing with these same issues at some level on a daily basis. I loved how Ms. James didn’t sugarcoat the situation. She emphasized that life is hard and unfortunately, we can’t protect our children from everything. But it’s imperative that we stand up for what we believe not only for our own sakes, but also for our children even when things get tough. Furthermore, she emphasizes that no one person or family is an island of it’s own, so it’s important to ask for help from your larger family when the going gets tough because if you’re a McKay or West, they have your back. :)

All Knocked Up

All Knocked Up is the perfect title for this at times hiliarious, riveting story as the reader is allowed to witness how Jack and Keely have grown over the years. The witty banter and sarcasm still exist in this dynamic duo’s realtionship, but also the unwavering love that these two have for one another. I must admit that Keely and Jack are two of my favorite Rough Riders’ characters, so I was estatic to see how they were doing. The chemistry is still smoking hot after four years of marriage and the start of a family. Ms. James does an excellent job of showing how a couple’s life changes once they begin having kids and it ranges from the mother’s body after childbirth, to their sex life, to the early morning feedings, and simple exhaustion of it all. But more importantly, Ms. James shows how a man and woman who desperately love one another can work through anythng as long as they keep the lines of communication open.

I absolutely loved Short Rides and hope that Ms. James will do more of these short anthologies that bring us up to speed with our favorite characters. The dialogue remains crisp, witty, and fluid, the characters are genuine, flawed, and lovable, and the situations are as real as they come. If you haven’t picked up a copy of Short Rides, then do so today. Ms. James has hit a homerun with her first self-published anthology and I for one want more of them. Bravo Ms. James and thanks for bringing a little more joy into my world with your Rough Riders series.

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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May 2nd, 2013

Contest Winner: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Imprint: HarperTeen
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishing
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Length: 464 pages

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Summary:

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

AJ’s Review:

SEDUCTIVE and WICKED are the two words that come to mind after reading Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. Although Ms. Higgins is a new author to me, she quickly enveloped me in her battle of good versus evil and I loved every sinful moment. The characters are a contradiction of naive and experienced in regards to the dark side of the world we live in every day. The good versus evil trope is always a favorite of mine, probably because I love to root for the underdog, and believe me when I say that Anna, Kaidan and the rest of the gang are underdogs when compared to their fathers, The Dukes.

In the grand scheme of things, Anna Whitt falls on the naive side. She’s just discovered that she’s a Nephilim, but not just any old Nephilim. Anna is special because instead of being part human, part demon; she’s part angel, part demon, which definitely makes things interesting. Anna has been sheltered from her past and the ugliness of the real world since birth, but when she meets Kaidan and embraces the powerful attraction they have for one another, her past is slowly unveiled and begins to invade Anna’s present and possible future. I loved that Ms. Higgins increased the characterization of Anna by allowing her to meet her father and form a relationship. The bond that these two develop is simply heartwarming.

Kaidan would definitely fall on the experienced side. He’s the son of lust and knows how to turn on the charm. Add to that his bad boy sexiness and powerful presence and you have one drool-worthy hottie that all of the women faun over. But in all honesty, Kaidan has eyes for only Anna, which is problematic since Nephilim are forbidden to interact romantically. So, the most prominent question that hovers in mind my is whether or not Anna and Kaidan will be able to defy the odds and survive the Dukes in order to have their Happily Ever After?

The secondary characters were absolutely amazing. I loved their quick wit, hearty banter, sarcastic comments, and fierce attitudes when it came to who they were and what they were placed on this Earth to do. While they all have different powers, the one thing they have in common is that they aren’t happy taking orders from the Dukes, yet they’re terrified to go up against their fathers. The dialogue is crisp, the emotions are off the charts, and the sensual chemistry between Anna and Kaidan is intense. But one of the things that makes Sweet Evil so enjoyable, yet unpredictable, is just when you think that you have everything figured out, Ms. Higgins incorporates a few more twists and turns that puts our heroine in a love a triangle. Moreover, as Anna develops a bond with her father, you can’t help but like the Duke. I couldn’t help wondering if later on down the line, Patty, Anna’s stepmom, might end up with Anna’s father. :) The only other relationship that was just as fascinating was that of Anna and her best friends. It was obvious that they cared deeply for one another.

Wendy Higgins has penned a riveting story that will leave you with conflicted emotions on more than one occasion. Moreover, Ms. Higgins ability to seamlessly combine religious myths that hold powerful messages with the present day culture and teenage drama makes for a tantalizing read, which is a testament to her writing ability. The characters are complex, well-developed and three dimensional. The plot and world building is fascinating and will leave the reader with more questions than answers. The suspense in regards to what will happen next has enough angst to keep the reader on the edge of their seat until the every end. In fact, I was sad for it to end and can’t wait to find out what happens next in Sweet Pearl. The other thing that I loved about Sweet Evil is the title. You don’t realize how perfect the title is until you read the book because although Anna is sweet and it’s obvious that she has embraced her angel side the most, one must never forget that she’s part demon and also has a bit of evil running through her veins.

If you’re looking for a dark, seductive, deliciously wicked story that’s all-consuming and will leave you breathless and hungering for more with the turn of ever page, then Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins is a MUST READ. I’ll definitely be recommending this precious little gem to my friends.

Rated 5 Ravens and a Recommended Read by AJ!

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May 2nd, 2013

Contest Winner: Locked by Maya Cross

Locked by Maya Cross
Series: The Alpha Group, Book One
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, BDSM
Length: 120 pages

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Summary:

Who is Sebastian Lock?

The bar Sophia Pearce is in doesn’t look like much. The wine is bad and the decor worse. But when a sudden attack of curiosity leads her to sneak past security and into the back room, she discovers something unimaginable. The most lavish party she’s ever laid eyes on, in the most unlikely of places.

But that’s nothing compared to what comes next, to the man she meets back there. Sebastian Lock. Gorgeous, commanding, and radiating charm, he is exactly the sort of silver-tongued rake Sophia has sworn to avoid. Unfortunately, he doesn’t care much for her promises.

Every instinct tells her to run, but the chemistry between them is as inescapable as gravity. Soon, he’s opening her eyes to a whole new world of pleasures, pleasures she never thought she’d enjoy.

There’s just one problem. Sebastian is more than he seems. Between the famous company he keeps and the almost paranoid secrecy of his employers, he’s a puzzle Sophia can’t quite solve, and his insistence on keeping things casual forces her to confront the demons of her past.

Can she learn to trust again? Or will Sebastian’s privacy tear them apart?

Note: This book is the first part of a trilogy that is designed to be read in order, much like The Blackstone Affair. Sebastian and Sophia will get their happily ever after, but not until the last book. I am working hard to make sure you aren’t left hanging for too long!

This is a 35,000 word novella, or about 125 pages (roughly half a full length novel). It contains light BDSM and erotic content and is intended for readers aged 18 and over.

Lockout (The Alpha Group Book Two): Due May 2013

Unlocked (The Alpha Group Book Three): Due June/July 2013

AJ’s Review:

Maya Cross is a new author to me, but she packs a punch with her debut novel, Locked, the first book in The Alpha Group series that’s short and sexy with an exciting edge that’s guaranteed to have you begging for more. The characters are well-developed, the plot is intriguing and mysterious, the sexual tension is arousing, and the sex scenes are smoking hot. I can’t wait to learn more about Sebastian and Sophia as their relationship progresses.

Sebastian Lock simply exudes power and raw animal magnetism. The man is intelligent, gorgeous, and enigmatic. He’s definitely one puzzle that I wouldn’t mind trying to solve both in and out of bed. The moment Sebastian and Sophia met, sparks flew all over the page. It was obvious that their mutual lust for one another was going to set the pages of my e-reader on fire and trust me when I say that Ms. Cross did not disappoint.

Sophia is smart, sexy, strong-willed, yet intrigued enough by Sebastian to explore the feelings that he invokes in her to give up control. I loved the way she wasn’t afraid to state what she needed out of the relationship upfront. In my opinion, Sophia is a woman with gumption, but she’s also vulnerable. I can’t wait to learn more about her past and who hurt her so badly to the point that it’s difficult for her to trust men.

While the primary focus of the story was on Sophia and Sebastian’s relationship, I must admit that I enjoyed the scene in the bar with Sophia and her friends. It’s obvious that these women genuinely care about one another. However, I must admit that I’m a little curious to see whether or not Sophia will open up more about her casual relationship with Sebastian to her friends. The dialogue is crisp, the plot is well-developed, the character are three-dimensional for such a short read, and the sex is smoking hot. As far as cliffhangers go, Ms. Cross definitely knows how to leave a reader with her mouth hanging open and a stunned expression on her face. In fact as the story concluded, I ended up with more questions than answers. For example, what does Sebastian Lock really do for a living? Who broke his heart and swore him off of real relationships that are messy, meaningful, and full of depth? Can he truly be monogamous with Sophia? Guess I’ll have to read Lockout to find out. :)

Locked is the perfect short read to engage in on a quite Saturday afternoon. Ms. Cross has incorporated enough humor to put a smile on your face and enough scorching hot sex to make your body warm up in all the right places. So, pick up a copy of Locked today and become acquainted with Sebastian and Sophia. You won’t be sorry.

Rated 4.5 Ravens by AJ!

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