Monday, April 30, 2012

Jennifer Ashley Giveaway!

Helping me kick off Another Look Book Reviews celebration of “Mature Romance Week” I am beyond excited to welcome Jennifer Ashley. One of my all time favourite historical romance collections is the Highland Pleasures series which is home to the beloved Mackenzie brothers.  Today Jennifer is going to take a wee bit of time from her busy schedule to answer a few questions regarding mature, sexy heroes.

Jennifer, 1000 thank yous for the Mackenzie men! Congratulations on all the success that this wonderful series, Highland Pleasures, has brought to you.

Q - The Duke’s Perfect Wife, the 4th book in the Highland Pleasures series, features a very sexy Hart as the main character. Hart is the eldest of the Mackenzie brothers. What made you decide to write about the oldest brother, Hart, at this point in the series?

Jennifer - I’d decided early on to write the brothers youngest to oldest. Hart I think has the most baggage (though Ian had a hard life too), so it made sense to finish with him.  But mostly, I had to decide an order, Ian’s story was begging to be told first, so I said “youngest to oldest.” Easy! :-)

Q - Hart is, of course, head of the Mackenzie family as well as a Duke with wealth and power. Do you think Hart’s age and experience gives him that extra sexy edge your readers seem to love with this particular Mackenzie?

Jennifer - I do. He’s got it all—wealth, power, title, influence . . . It’s interesting to see a character like that realize he really *doesn’t* have it all. And of course, the heroine is not afraid to help him find that out.

Q - Do you think Hart’s domineering personality comes from his age or more from his background? In other words, do you think Hart would still be the same person if he and Mac (his younger brother) were switched in birth order?

Jennifer - Hart’s background definitely shaped him. He had to be the protector of the whole family, because both his father and mother were ineffectual. He had to make tough decisions and become the head of the family even before he was technically its head. So, of course that made him much harder than his brothers. Oldest siblings often feel the need to control or take care of the younger members of the family.
If he and Mac switched birth order, Hart might still have the need to protect his brothers, particularly Ian, but I think the age difference between Hart and Ian had a lot to do with Hart’s character as well.
I enjoyed portraying the dynamics between the younger two Mackenzies (Ian and Mac) against the older two (Cam and Hart).

Q – How is it different to write about a mature, desirable hero like Hart (who is well established and set in his ways) compared to a younger hero like his nephew Daniel who is still trying to establish himself in the world?

Jennifer - It’s very different. In Duke’s Perfect Wife, we do see a few flashbacks of Hart when he was younger—arrogant, demanding, sure he was right about everything (well, he still is, but even more so then—he wasn’t willing to admit his mistakes). Part of what broke up Eleanor and Hart in the first place was their youth (they were both in their early twenties). They didn’t have the maturity to work things out yet.
With age comes experience and hopefully wisdom. Because of the years between Hart’s break-up with Eleanor and “now,” Hart can look back over his mistakes and learn from them.
Daniel, on the other hand, is just starting to make his mistakes and discover who he is. Telling his story will be quite different—but he’s still a Mackenzie!

Q- There is this one scene in The Duke’s Perfect Wife early on where Hart and Eleanor were still trying to figure each other out. Eleanor has just “accidentally” managed to spill wine on Lady Murchison who was clinging to Hart like a barnacle. I LOVED that Hart and Eleanor discussed that “accident” and Eleanor boldly states, “I disliked watching her touch you.”  (I cheered at the moment) That moment just flows with maturity. No games, just facts. If Eleanor was a younger girl in her twenties, how differently would you have written that scene if different at all?

Jennifer - I enjoyed writing that scene (LOL). Lady Murchison had that wine coming! I’m not sure Eleanor would have done differently in her twenties. She might have been more arch and flirtatious with Hart (who, me? Dump wine on a lady’s gown on purpose? What *can* you mean?).
I like heroines who are straight up with the heroes. Eleanor was jealous and she admits it without stamping her feet, tossing her locks, or running away in tears (or all three).  She pretty much said what she thought and why without embarrassment.

Book Recommendation from Jennifer Ashley– Can you recommend to our readers other books that may have sexy, mature heroes (that you have written or that you have read)?

From Me - Many Sins ofLord Cameron has another mature hero (he’s about two years younger than Hart, and he has a seventeen-year-old son and a tortured past).  

My Captain Lacey mystery series (which I write as Ashley Garder , features a mature hero—Captain Gabriel Lacey, injured in the Napoleonic wars and struggling to figure himself out in Regency London. He’s about the same age as Hart, and he’s got a lot of past to get over too. A romance weaves through the story arc of that series (heroine introduced in book 2). I just love Captain Lacey!

Paranormal romance offers a good range of mature heroes (though these guys can be hundreds of years old!). The one that springs to mind is Curran from Ilona Andrews’ KateDaniels series. He’s been around a while, in charge, and has learned to survive.

Mary Jo Putney has a wonderful novel from a while ago called Shattered Rainbows. That hero (Michael Kenyon) is one of my favourites in historical romance—mature, has been through hell in the war, and is in love with a married woman. Both h/h are mature in that one. It’s just been reissued on Kindle.

Thank you so much Jennifer for taking the time to answer my questions about Hart Mackenzie, mature heroes and for kicking off my 1 year Blog Anniversary with Mature Romance Week!

Giveaway Time – I am giving away any one of the books from the Highland Pleasures series. If you haven’t started the series, it is a MUST read.

As a thank you to all my followers and and a thanks for visiting my blog, there are no hoops to jump through to win a copy of one of the Jennifer Ashley books. No need to follow my blog (but appreciated though :)

1. If you are international, please just ensure Book Depository delivers to your area. 
2. If you are US or Canada, please just mention in the comments below whether you prefer Kindle or paperback. 
3. Tell me which of the Highland Pleasure books would you like? 
4. Don't forget an email address so I can contact you if you win! Winners announced on Wednesday May 9th for all giveaways. 

Come back on Friday for a chance to enter to win $50 Gift Card for online bookstore of your choice. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mature Romance Week - COMING SOON

Stay Tuned and Come back all next week April 30th right through till May 4th

Help me celebrate my 1 year Blog Anniversary with some awesome authors featuring some mature romance and great giveaways!

The Duke's Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley

Hart Mackenzie and Lady Eleanor Ramsey's book 

The Duke's Perfect Wife (book 4 Highland Pleasures) 

By Jennifer Ashley

Book Blurb:
Lady Eleanor Ramsay is the only one who knows the truth about Hart Mackenzie. Once his fiancee, she is the sole woman to whom he could ever pour out his heart. 

Hart has it all--a dukedom, wealth, power, influence, whatever he desires. Every woman wants him--his seductive skills are legendary. But Hart has sacrificed much to keep his brothers safe, first from their brutal father, and then from the world. He's also suffered loss--his wife, his infant son, and the woman he loved with all his heart though he realized it too late. 

Now, Eleanor has reappeared on Hart's doorstep, with scandalous nude photographs of Hart taken long ago. Intrigued by the challenge in her blue eyes--and aroused by her charming, no-nonsense determination--Hart wonders if his young love has come to ruin him . . . or save him. 

**Come back for a chance to win The Duke's Perfect Wife on Monday April 30th***

Oh Hart you have my heart. 

I just loved The Duke's Perfect Wife. This Highland Pleasures series is really fabulous. You must start with The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie though. I would not recommend reading these books out of order. You won't really understand Hart's youngest brother, Ian unless you start at the beginning. Plus I think Ian's book is the most beloved out of the four published so far. So really, you are in for a treat to meet these Mackenzie men. 

One of the biggest draws for me regarding The Duke's Perfect Wife is that the protagonists, Hart and Eleanor are a mature couple. Not senior citizens by no means. They handle situations with definite experience as oppose to a young Highland stud or a flighty lass would. I wish that there were more books like this out there! That does lead me to the one small complaint about The Duke's Perfect Wife though. As drool worthy as that beautiful cover is, I wish they had  a different cover model for Hart. I know that this compliant has zero reflection on the author but I wish the art department made Hart a bit more, well mature. I do like the cover models to match the characters inside the story. Eleanor's portrayal on the cover is very beautiful. 

Another winning formula for The Duke's Perfect Wife is that Hart and Eleanor have a history that dates back to their early young adult lives. I love a book where the characters have a history. You can really see the change in Hart and Eleanor over the years. The couple were betrothed years previously and that engagement was broken. Both of them suffered from that loss. I have to admit I wasn't so agreeable with why that engagement was dissolved but again I think the maturity may have played a part in that. 

I adored the scandalous photography plot that the author, Jennifer Ashley created. I imagine quite a bit of research had to go into investigating photography and the equipment that was required for that time period. It was a fresh new angle and I really had no idea about who the mystery person was that was sending out the nude photographs of Hart. 

Hart is written so that he is a hard, stern and powerful Duke to the public but when he is alone with Eleanor he becomes almost fragile. Only Eleanor can bring out this side of Hart. To see the night and day difference with Hart was so heartwarmly sweet. I love a hero that has such a vulnerable side. Don't get me wrong, Hart is alpha through and through. 

Youngest brother, Ian is thankfully in The Duke's Perfect Wife a lot. I adore Ian and I am always pleased to read an update about him and his wife Beth. 

Teasers: awesome descriptions of a nude Hart in the photos, wedding day blowout, unbreakable brotherly love, secret flower messages

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ellen Reads 50 Shades of Grey - Youtube video

Seriously LOVE this video from YouTube! Ellen reads the erotic novel "50 Shades of Grey" (or at least attempts to). 

I've read lots of erotic novels and I have no idea what has caused this particular story, 50 Shades to take the world by storm. Whatever it was, I love that it has. I hope it opens the eyes of many curious people and perhaps they'll be interested in looking into some other great erotic BDSM books. The book blogging community can recommend some awesome ones. We all have our favourites and there are many different styles of BDSM books to enjoy. 

Here are some that I have read and I consider memorable. 
Anne Rice's Sleeping Beauty series is way out there in fairy tale land. That book series is not even remotely realistic so don't take it as such. Go in with a W I D E open mind. 

I love Shayla Black's Wicked Ties. Probably one of my all time favourite BDSM books. Kinky hot!

Lauren Dane's Second Chances has a true romance mixed in with the BDSM. 

Brynn Paulin has a super sexy erotic series called, Taboo Wishes. I find those are my little guilty pleasures. 

My two favourite Claire Thompson books are about two bisexual men who become masters over a submissive female, Alex. Two Master's for Alex and the follow up book, Two Loves for Alex were awesome reads.

BDSM books are not created equal and the above are just a few of my favourites. You will notice that even though they have BDSM content, they do vary in discipline. If you ask another blogger to give you a short list, you'd get an entirely different list. 

Have you tried a BDSM erotic novel? Do you have some favourites? If you do, please share. I am always interested in trying out a new author that comes highly recommended. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Winner of the Blog Hop

I am pleased to announce that the winner of Hunky Hero Blog Hop and the $15 Amazon Gift Card was


Krista has been confirmed via email and I've sent her the Amazon GC. Happy shopping Krista. 

Thank you to everyone who blog hopped and visited. I got some great book recommendation from you all. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Pirate's Possession by Michelle Beattie

Nate Carter and Claire Gentry's book

A Pirate's Possession

By Michelle Beattie

Book Blurb:

Abandoned by her father and married to a deceitful man, Claire Gentry fled from her life. Disguised as a man, Claire wagers all she owns in a poker game to locate the treasure her father sought. While her disguise holds, it doesn’t protect her when one of her opponents turns out to be the only man she ever gave her heart to.

Nate Carter is no fool. Raised in an orphanage and sailing as the mysterious pirate Sam Steele, Nate is looking to gamble for a map that will lead him to a treasure. But when he looks over his cards, he’s reminded of a past he’d rather forget --- and the woman who could have given him everything he truly wanted.

After Nate wins the map, Claire has no choice but to accompany her old love on his quest. But running for their lives soon replaced running from the past. And if they survive the bloody battle for the treasure, they may just realize that what they really have been searching for isn’t riches --- but each other ..

Simply put, I just didn't enjoy A Pirate's Possession. I found the book lacking interesting characters and just plain boring. If I didn't have such a compulsion to finish a book when I start it, I would have put it down. 

A Pirate's Possession seems to be the 3rd book in a series. It does not actually indicate that information on Goodreads or Amazon but there are definitely carry over characters from the previous two books. I am wondering if I had read those first two books, would my perception be different? 

In A Pirate's Possession while reading about Nate it felt like he was an already established character and I felt no connection with him. Obviously Nate was a pirate (as the book is called A Pirate's Possession) but there was really no pirating in this story. There was a treasure map, a ship and a search for that buried treasure. Nate was also known as an infamous pirate, Sam Steele. However that name means nothing if reading A Pirate's Possession. Again I believe that all goes back to this being the third book in a series. I think I was missing out on a lot of assumptions the author was making regarding Nate's character. Hence I really didn't know him nor was really given the desire to be curious about him. 

That takes me to our female lead, Claire. I could not allow for Nate's personality absence to be made up for by having a great female protagonist because quite honestly, I couldn't stand Claire. I thought I was going to love her as she dressed in men's garments and was really used to looking after herself. What she turned out to be in my mind was a whiny, selfish, unforgiving drama queen and even though I didn't really know Nate, I felt he had to deserve better than Claire as his love interest. 

My favourite stories are when the lead characters have a childhood history and I was very disappointed. With Nate and Claire being so supposedly in love and having such a close past relationship, they sure had big misunderstandings and little room for forgiveness. It just frustrated me. 

I adore historical type of romances. I love the addition of items that are historically accurate and the overall feel of being whisked away back in time. Although the story was set in 1660, it could have been 1960. There was just nothing to place me in the year 1660. Yes there was a ship but nothing really to distinguish this ship from being a pirate ship vs a regular modern day sailing vessel. Simply the need to light a candle to see isn't enough for me. 

To wrap up, I didn't like the characters, the lack of an actual pirate or historical type of story line, the bland romance and being a little bit lost with the introduction of characters near the end of the book (that held obvious importance from the previous two books). Serves me right I suppose for discovering that I was reading a book two stories into a series. If I had known that going in, I wouldn't have started it.  Even so, most books of this nature should be able to be read as stand alones but it didn't work for me. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Mercy by Julie Garwood

Dr Michelle (Mike) Renard and Theo Buchanan's book


By Julie Garwood

Book Blurb:
Justice Department attorney Theo Buchanan, devoted to his crime-fighting career, encounters a group of four white-collar professionals calling themselves The Sowing Club. Their sophisticated crimes have amassed millions of dollars in a Cayman Islands bank account. Buchanan follows them down the dark road of their passions and obsessions.

I have to be honest and say I was kind of going into Mercy with low expectations. The ratings on Goodreads and Amazon were not up to the normal Julie Garwood standards but I really did want to move on to the next book in the Buchanan series. You can definitely read Heartbreaker or Mercy as stand alones but I much prefer to read books in order. I am glad I went in thinking it was going to be mediocre because I loved Mercy. I thought it was smart and written beautifully. 

I just LOVED this epilogue. It starts off with the protagonist Michelle as a child. I swear I could have read an entire story of just Michelle as a child. I was that entertained.  The relationship with her father was heartwarming and so sweet. The introduction sent the tone for the entire book and allowed you to understand why a brilliant and talented surgeon (as Michelle grew up to be) wanted to return to her little hick Cajun town in Louisiana once she was established in her medical career. I loved her Daddy. I adored him. 

Theo Buchanan was a pretty typical hero. No real surprises. He was drop dead gorgeous and a high ranking attorney in the Justice Department. He had been so busy in his career taking down bad gangster mob bosses that he really never took any time for himself. He had some wonderful character moments and was as sexy as hell.

The villians were a very interesting group of characters. I just loved how there were all deceptively written and how their criminal Sowing Club group was formed. There were actually times I was rooting for them because they were so close to getting away with murder so many times. Basically, it was trainwreck, a comedy of errors, a complete debacle of problems. I could feel the frustration oozing off the pages. I seriously didn't like the group but I just loved how Julie Garwood kept making them move one step forward; two steps back. Loved it!

I really liked how Theo and Michelle just seem to flow together into a relationship. It was not forced nor were they forced to be separated by the plot. They had an attraction, and they went for it. The strength of the Sowing Club conflict was enough to keep the reader interested which allowed for an actual romance. No pinning away, no silly  misunderstandings, just a great story of two people falling in love while the strife around them was bubbling to a boiling point. Mercy was a really good read. 

Teasers: New football coach in town, no cards with all the food deliveries (this made me giggle lots), iron fence to keep Lois out, gunfire battle in the swamp

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood

Nick Buchanan and Laurant Madden

By Julie Garwood

Book Blurb:
Bless me father, for I will sin....
In the still shadows of the confessional, a madman tauntingly reveals his plan for a murder he is going to commit, pulling Father Thomas Madden into a twisted game by disclosing his next intended victim: Tom's sister, Laurant. In a frantic race to protect her, Tom calls upon his best friend, elite FBI agent Nick Buchanan, to track the predator who is closing in on Laurant. Now, as an electrifying attraction grows between Laurant and Nick, so does the danger -- and one false move will cost both of them everything that matters.
Julie Garwood's books are my comfort reads. I have read and then re-read numerous historical romances of hers. However this is the first time that I have ventured out to her contemporary series. I was impressed. I liked Heartbreaker a lot.  I have to say though after Heather from The Book Reading Gals told me that Nick Buchanan was a descendant from one of my all time favourite heroes, Brodick Buchanan from Ransom, I got especially excited. 
Nick was a wonderfully well rounded hero in Heartbreaker. I liked him right away. Nick is not an over the top alpha hunky male and instead he is a confident realistic man who works for the FBI. He is a part of the missing children's unit of the FBI so that says a lot about his character. He has seen some disturbing things that would burn out the normal citizen or send them to rounds of treatments in a psych ward.  

Laurant was awesome. Firstly what a cool name Laurant is. I've never heard it before and it really suited this lovely character. Laurant is a long legged French beauty that really has no idea how pretty she is. My biggest attraction to Laurant's character was how smart and sensible she was. She knows that a crazy killer is after her and she is just plain logical about it. She recognizes that Nick is a true professional and she trusts every single call he makes. She may not like it but she gets it. Laurant makes no stupid moves and even though she get thoroughly frustrated with the barriers Nick throws her way, she goes with it. Oh how I loved that! It was so refreshing to read that an intelligent woman recognized that she was in peril and made no stupid or careless moves. That is the beauty of Julie Garwood's writing style. The reader is treated to a solid plot and the story does not get clouded by frivolous climatic moments forced to move the novel forward. The strength is all in the well crafted writing. 

For the majority of the story, the reader is treated to a bit of a mystery trying to figure out who the "Heartbreaker" killer is and then a suspenseful build up as the story draws to climax. Laurant and Nick's feelings slowly escalate forward and they become a well developed pair. Part of the FBI cover was to appear like a newly engaged couple. It was great to read how they were trying to fool everyone that they were in love and all the while, they were actually falling in love. I smiled frequently. 

Heartbreaker was a great story and I am getting ready to start the next book in the Buchanan series. I'm not normally a romantic suspense reader but I really enjoyed the change. 

Teasers: Father "What a Waste", donut boy runner, creepy hidden camera, cute matching fishing shirts

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hunky Hero Blog Hop - $15 Amazon Gift Card

Hunky Hero Giveaway Hop

Oh! A blog hop that is all about the Hunky Heroes. I'm in! Thanks Riverina Romantics for hosting. I hope this particular topic interests you *winks*. So a fun thing to do was list my top 3 hunky heroes and then giveaway a $15 Amazon Gift Card for you to either try one of my favs or perhaps you discovered a new potential hunky hero on this hop. 

Who are my favourite top 3 Hunky Heroes? 

Hands down my #1 is Jamie Fraser from  Outlander by my favourite author, Diana Gabaldon. This beautiful picture from a talented artist completely captures Jamie and his wife Claire in utter perfection. The artist is "Captivated2" and her work is featured on Deviant Art

My very close #2 is the highland warrior Brodick Buchanan from Julie Garwood's Ransom. I have yet to find a picture that actually captures what I see in my mind for the magnificent hero. He is alpha all they way but loves deeply. 

Ok I am cheating on my #3 because I can never pick just one from J. R Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood. I love Wrath but I also love V. I love V and Butch together and Rhage is so sweet with his Mary but Zadist is...Oh brother do you see what I mean! 

I wanted to make my list a TOP 10 but I'd run out of room. 
However other honourable mentions include:
Ranger from Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum  series

Ford from Jill Shalvis' The Sweetest Thing

Please link back to Riverina Romantics to see the complete list of 115 awesome blogs participating. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wild Wild West by Charlene Teglia

3 short stories of 3 separate couples

Wild Wild West

By Charlene Teglia

Book Blurb:
In one of the most searingly erotic novels ever penned, Charlene Teglia breaches uncharted territory.  But reader beware: this tale is hotter than hell.  The faint of heart should turn back now…

 Three sexy city girls from Seattle are enjoying a night out at a chic coffee house in downtown Missoula, Montana, the heart of the old West.  When a gang of cowboys mosey in looking for trouble, they find trouble of the best kind… and these boys are primed and ready to ride.  There's Gabe, the hard-bodied rancher with a wicked imagination.  Chet, the rodeo cowboy who's charmed the pants off more than a few country girls and vows to remain a bachelor for life.  And Reuben, the former Army ranger with a taste for edgy sexual games.  As the couples embark on a scorching night of passion and play, they experience the most exquisite pleasure--and discover kinky new thrills they never dared to imagine.  Because when it comes to knocking boots, cowboys do it best…

One of things that drew me to Wild Wild West was the book quote "In one of the most searingly erotic novels ever penned...". Once I finished Wild Wild West I immediately went right back to the book to see who the heck provided that quote and noticed that it was not a quote at all but rather just part of the book blurb. Wow that was deceptive. I think that quote really leads the reader to certain expectations and then as a result once the book is completed, disappointment. I'll talk a bit more about that in a second. 

My other major draw to Wild Wild West was the cowboy lure. Yes I do have a weakness for cowboy and highlander stories. I admit it. But honestly, these 3 male protagonists could have been doctors, teachers or auto mechanics. The only thing that made them cowboys was that they wore the Stetsons, boots and lived on ranches. I once again felt a bit of disappointment. Very little of the story was actually about the ranch or their occupation. Not even bit of a drawl or a tiny slipped in 'darlin'. I don't like forced, "y'alls" but there was nothing to distinguish these guys as cowboys. Oh wait, they lived in Montana. 

Wild Wild West is three separate stories that run parallel  to one another. The three women are friends and the three men are friends. Their stories only slightly overlap which was great because you do get three separate stories. 

Story One
A Man's World is His Bondage - Gabe & Willow's story
Hot title right? Gabe is a man of few words. He is a teacher and a rancher. Oh yes, he knows Byron's poetry word for word. He meets Willow at a poetry reading at a coffee espresso house and they have an immediate attraction. They decide to hook up and Gabe has a bit of a kink with ropes. Their sex is actually quite vanilla except that he likes her tied up. He constantly says exactly what he is going to do and then does it. His dialogue consists of, "I want to..." & "I'm going to..." 
Gabe is not much of a talker. I did like the strong silent type vibe he gave off. He had a sexy commanding presence. I don't think I could have tolerated and entire book of Gabe and Willow so this short story was a great premise for this couple. 
Teaser: Favourite scene involved a porch swing. 

Story Two
Ready to Play - Chet and Jolie's story
Of the three stories I may have liked Chet and Jolie's the best. After reading a mostly silent Gabe, Chet was rather a chatter bug. 
Their sex was really vanilla with no special props but very very constant.  I am not quite sure how realistic Chet and Jolie's encounters could have been in the real world but they were fun. 
Teaser: Favourite scenes was their first encounter in a truck and at a dance.  

Story Three
Reuben's Rules - Reuben & Laura's story
I would have thought that the best would have been saved for last but I was beyond disappointed with this last story. Due to the misrepresented book quote, and a little spoiler in the previous story that Laura was wearing a collar, I thought Reuben's Rules was going to be the smoking hot story here. This last story would not even be fair to say it was a D/s story let alone a BDSM or the leather play that was indicated. So what Reuben liked to be in control? That doesn't mean a collared relationship. It wasn't even a fantasy D/s story. I think I may have liked Reuben's Rules if Charlene Teglia had left out the BDSM and collar thing. It was just so much of a reach and tease that I was just mad when I finished. 
Also, how does a sheep farmer just take off to Hawaii for a weekend? Again a huge reach. It should have been explained.
Teaser: Favourite scene was actually the beginning of the story when Reuben reached over Laura to a high shelf to get a bag of coffee beans for her.  

What I did like about Wild Wild West was:
  • The female protagonists were great women who knew what they wanted and went for it. They were not inhibited and readily gave their trust and themselves over. They honed in on their instincts and listened. Yep, I'm a fan of kick ass chicks. 
  • The idea of 3 short erotic stories that combine friend's lives with a slight overlap. I've read a few stories like this and I really like them. 
  • I did like that even though Wild Wild West is listed as erotic, there was plenty of references to condoms. There may have been a bit too much of the constant reference but it was good to read that erotic doesn't mean to be careless. 

My beefs with the stories and my reasons for awarding Wild Wild West a 2 (Okay) rating. 
  • I did not like the fake quote that completely misrepresented the book. 
  • The amount of the sex the couples had just wasn't realistic. A dude cannot go that many times in one hour. 
  • Super light (if it can even be considered) D/s story that was misrepresented. 
  • The cowboys were just an occupation that is guaranteed to draw in a certain genre of readers but there was really nothing in Wild Wild West to actually substantiate the cowboy love. 
I would recommend Wild Wild West to someone just starting out with romance erotica. Wild Wild West is not really outrageous or deeply erotic. Yes there is lots of sex but large and part, it is very tame. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart by Sarah MacLean

Juliana Fiori and The Duke of Leighton, Simon Pearson's book

Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart
(Love by Numbers book 3)
By Sarah MacLean

Book Blurb:
She lives for passion

Bold, impulsive, and a magnet for trouble, Juliana Fiori is no simpering English miss. She refuses to play by society’s rules: she speaks her mind, cares nothing for the approval of the ton, and can throw a punch with remarkable accuracy. Her scandalous nature makes her a favorite subject of London’s most practiced gossips…and precisely the kind of woman the Duke of Leighton wants far far away from him.

He swears by reputation.

Scandal is the last thing Simon Pearson has room for in his well-ordered world. The Duke of Disdain is too focused on keeping his title untainted and his secrets unknown. But when he discovers Juliana hiding in his carriage late one evening–risking everything he holds dear–he swears to teach the reckless beauty a lesson in propriety.

She has other plans, however; she wants two weeks to prove that even an unflappable duke is not above passion.

The Love by Numbers series by Sarah MacLean is fabulous. Eleven Scandals is the final book regarding the St. John siblings. I have to admit to loving Nine Rules and Ten Ways a bit more than Eleven Scandals but I highly recommend them all as historical must reads. 

Eleven Scandals is full of scandal and Juliana is just the perfect character to pull off all these highly inappropriate actions. I think a lot of us modern women will relate to Juliana on one level or another. She kept me highly entertained throughout Eleven Scandals

The Duke of Leighton is a man in need of an exciting woman like Juliana. He is stiff and proper but he is not a prude. He just knows what is expected of him and he lives up to his respectable role as a Duke. He takes his role within the ton very seriously and has earned a nickname as the Duke of Disdain. It was quite enjoyable reading about how Juliana manages to slowly chip away all that built up hardness. Juliana is the only person who can see past all that ice. If you enjoy a story where opposites attract, then you are going to LOVE Eleven Scandals

I really liked the passion game that Juliana had dared Simon to partake in. I also enjoyed their little word play game as well. They are both extremely good manipulators. 

During Eleven Scandals the Duke does become engaged to another woman and I found myself a little uncomfortable for the betrothed woman. Simon did have good intentions to live up to his duty but I still wasn't pleased he went through with his engagement. It felt wrong. He was using the poor Lady and all the while he had strong feelings towards Juliana. I did feel and understand his confusion and his pain. It was clear he really did feel like he was wedged into a corner with no way out. It was if he was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.  I was pleased that Sarah MacLean did include as part of a chapter a brief conversation between the Lady and Juliana to demonstrate that the Lady was just as prepared to go through with her marriage duty as Simon was. And she really did just see it as a duty. There was no love match there. It was creative and talented writing to show her not as a villain or victim. I rather admired her. 

There are some beautiful kissing scenes. They were highly charged and quite memorable. The Duke was sure showing some great restraint. When Simon and Juliana finally give in to their mutual passion, I have to admit it was a very moving and loving scene. I will also claim that as far as historicals romances go, I felt it was one  of the best virginal first times I have read in a long time. I just love Sarah MacLean's writing. 

Teasers: carriage hideout,  the grape, return of the long lost mother, "one night"

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Up Close And Personal With Some Of Our Favorite Historical Romance Writers: Blake, Chase And MacLean | RT Book Reviews

Up Close And Personal With Some Of Our Favorite Historical Romance Writers: Blake, Chase And MacLean | RT Book Reviews:

'via Blog this'

I love these little snippets of interviews especially when they involve some of my favourite authors. I'm reading Sarah MacLean's "Eleven Scandals" book right now and I'm simply loving it. (as I have all her books)

Great article. Wish I was there at the RT Convention too. I can't wait until June when I get to attend the Lori Foster event in Cincinnati. I wish there were closer convention and some in Canada.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors by Molly Harper

Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors (Jane Jameson book 4)

By Molly Harper

Book Blurb:
Just as Jane Jameson’s unlife seems to be stabilizing, fate sinks its fangs firmly into her butt. Despite her near-phobia of all things marital, her no-frills nighttime nuptials to her sexy boyfriend Gabriel are coming along smoothly. But the road to wedded bliss gets bumpy when a teenage acquaintance is fatally wounded in front of Jane’s shop and she turns him to save his life. The Council pronounces Jane responsible for the newborn vamp until he can control his thirst. 

Jane’s kitchen at River Oaks barely holds enough Faux Type O to satiate the cute teen’s appetite and maintain Gabriel’s jealous streak at a slow simmer. As if keeping her hyperactive childe from sucking the blood out of the entire neighborhood isn’t enough to deal with, the persnickety ghost of Jane’s newly deceased Grandma Ruthie has declared a war on the fanged residents of River Oaks. Suddenly, 
choosing monogrammed cocktail napkins and a cake that she can’t eat seems downright relaxing in comparison. 

Tensions inside the house are growing…and outside, a sinister force is aiming a stake straight for the center of Gabriel’s heart. Most brides just have to worry about choosing the right dress, but Jane fears that at this rate, she’ll never make it down the aisle for the wedding all nice girls dream of…

What a delight is was to return to Jane Jameson's world at the Hollow and River Oaks. 

I was just introduced to Molly Harper's "Nice Girls" series this year so my wait for book 4 wasn't all that long...thankfully. Regardless, it was worth the wait. So many fun and wacky cool things happened in this book that I don't know where to start. Okay I can't hold this news in; Gabriel and Jane get married!! *throws flower pedals* 

This is one of those book reviews that I simply want to say how much I loved the book and end it at that. With the exception of the obvious wedding, I don't want to give away any spoilers. 

Jane's witty and humourous personality blazed all through Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbours. Page for page the book held my smile. I love that Molly Harper didn't decide to draw out Jane and Gabriel's dating life over a dozen books and just gave the fans what they craved. I know some great stories can come from them being a married couple and I hope Molly Harper continues with more of the series. 

The characters really drive these "Nice Girls" stories and book 4 happily included all the friends that we have come to love. We even get introduced to a few new ones that perked my interest. It seems that River Oaks inherits a new teenage resident, Jamie. We were briefly introduced to Jamie in a previous book and in this book 4, Jane needs to turn the teen into a vampire in order to save him. Jamie becomes Jane's childe (I need to figure out how to say that word) and it makes for an interesting story line that comes across as giving birth to a teenager. As Jamie becomes Jane's full responsibility, I grew to really like their relationship. It added a great maternal element to Jane and it suited her. I also adored all the tense moments and then the fatherly type of relationship Gabriel had with the testing teen. Jamie opens the door for some potentially funny family dynamic future stories. 

Even though Jamie is a teen in his last year of school, I felt he was pretty mature for his age. Considering he was disowned by real parents for now being a vampire, he seemed to hold it together really well. I was actually a bit surprised on how well he was holding up considering he was brought up in a really close family. I was really frowning on the treatment he received from his mom and dad. I also gathered that he is really good looking and was popular at school so I was curious why he wasn't trying to seek out some of his buddies. At that age, friends are everything. Lots of story still to be told there for sure. 

Throughout the planning stages of the wedding Jane is stressing out about her mom, her newly formed relationship with her sister, her newly dead relationship with her wicked grandmother, siring Jamie and oh yes of course, someone trying to kill either Jane or Gabriel. So a typical time at River Oaks. I loved reading every moment and every sarcastic funny conversation. So worth the read. 

You could read Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors as a stand alone but I would not recommend missing out on all the fun it took to get to book 4. 

Teaser: swoon worthy proposal, poison arrow that can hurt vampires, wicked Grandmother, touching father/daughter moment