Monday, June 18, 2012

Masters at Arms by Kallypso Masters

Prelude book to Adam, Marc and Damien's own books

Masters at Arms

by Kallypso Masters

Book Blurb:
Masters at Arms begins the journey of three men, each on a quest for honor, acceptance, and to ease his unspoken pain. Their paths cross at one of the darkest points in their lives. As they try to come to terms with the aftermath--forging an unbreakable bond--will they ever truly become masters of their own fates? Or would fate become masters of them? (Book One in the Rescue Me series about the men who own the Masters at Arms BDSM Club.) 

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is an introduction to the series, but does NOT have the Happily Ever After endings that will come in the next three romance novels in the series. Being the back-story that usually is not told in "real time," there are some intense themes in the book, including death of a spouse, incest, torture, a battle scene, and amputation.

OMG Fabulous. An autobuy to the next books. 

I saw Masters at Arms for free on Amazon and I grabbed it. I saw all the fabulous ratings and moved it up on my TBR list. I am so glad I did because it was just fabulous. I didn't understand really what this book was all about so let me explain. Masters at Arms is basically a few small stories that are perfectly set up preludes to each of the male protagonist's own books. What a great marketing tool. As the reader you get the back stories of each US Marine and then you move on to their own books in order. Each of the men served with one another in combat and then remained friends after the war. 
That's not to say that Masters at Arms is a short read at all. In fact, it was more lengthier than I had thought it would be. Or maybe it was because it was so damn good and I was provided such top notch stories, it just felt longer. Regardless, it was fabulous. What a deal for $0.00

My favourite is the first story about Adam. 
Adam has lost his wife to cancer so he already had the sympathy card going for him. He really loved his wife and he is overwhelmed with guilt since he was deployed for so much of his marriage. They did have a D/s relationship and the story really touches on how much he just misses and loved her. 
He is about to give up on life when a 16 yr old runaway drops on his lap and he can't resist but to protect her. 
So, Adam had me for loving his wife so much, missing her desperately and now he can't help himself but step into a hero role. It was adorable seeing Karla (the runaway) hero worship Adam. There is a huge age difference here but as the reader you understand that nothing is going to happen between them for years to come. I am most anticipating their book, Nobody's Hero

Next story is Damian's book. I did get confused because he is referred to as Damian and then other times he is referred by his last name, Orlando. And to just to further add into the confusion, he apparently looks like Orlando Bloom. 
The love interest in this story is so heart wrenching. Savannah is slave to her own father and he prostitutes her out to sadists. Her story is not for the weak of heart. 
I am really looking forward to some happily ever after in their book,   Nobody's Perfect. The story provided in Masters at Arms did not leave off in a good place for them. 

Marc is the other character but I didn't really find him very interesting. I didn't really connect with his story as much as the others and his book, Nobody's Angel is up first. I kind of want to go by it but I am a stickler for reading books in order so I will go there first. I am sure that I will love it because this package deal of Masters at Arms really got to me. 

So what else to you want to know? Yes there is sex, and it is good but Masters at Arms is way more than an erotic novel. The intimates scenes are really secondary to me in this story. There was no sex in the first story, just puppy love. There was hard core BDSM in the second story and then just a bit in the third story. Once the men became friends there may have been a scene or two but I don't really recall since it was not central.  

Teasers: Prepare to want to purchase the next books, cliff hangers all around, Masters at Arms is a fetish club

Blog Hop Winner - Congratulations

Congratulations to the Shameless Summer Blog Hop winner 
Patsy Hagen

I have contacted and confirmed with Patsy and I am boxing up all her goodies including the autographed Jill Shalvis book as I type this note. 

Thank you to all who participated. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

More Than a Cowboy by Paige Tyler

Both stories combined into one book

I purchased "More Than a Cowboy" directly from the author, Paige Tyler at the Reader & Writer Convention in Cincinnati during a book signing event. What a wonderful time to meet authors! Paige Tyler is a new to me author and she did not request this book review. 

"More Than a Cowboy" is one book with two stories.  I'm a fan of sexy cowboy books so "More Than a Cowboy" caught my interest. 

Karleigh & Mav & Holden's book

Karleigh's Cowboys

By Paige Tyler

Book Blurb:
Two ranch hands are better than one!

Karleigh Blake hasn’t take a vacation in years, so when her friend talks her into coming out to her Colorado ranch for some fun and relaxation, she jumps at the chance. Once there, she meets up with two hot and hunky ranch hands named Holden Donnelly and Mav Ryan who definitely know how to show a girl a good time.

It starts as two separate rolls in the hay, and she’s concerned she isn’t going to be able to hide that she’s sleeping with both of them. She's surprised when the two cowboys compare notes and decide they don’t mind sharing her – as long as they can do it at the same time!

Nothing lifts my spirits than reading about a woman taking what she wants. Those are my favourite types of erotic stories. Society wouldn't even bat an eyelash if a man decided to do what Karleigh did by taking two lovers. 

Fitting the story is called Karleigh's Cowboys

Karleigh is on vacation and she has been so busy working in her New York life that when the chance to just let loose and experience some wild sexual encounters comes up, she just goes for it. I loved that her decision was guilt free and she just let herself do it. Her thoughts were not heavy nor did they bog down the story. Instead the author, Paige Tyler wrote Karleigh to unabashedly take on Holden one night and then Mav the next. Why not? All consenting adults right. 

I loved what Holden and Mav's reaction was on the third night after discovering what Karleigh had done. As reader, I just went with their lustful reactions and a super hot threesome ensues. In fact, the confrontation was so hot that it moved my rating of a 3 (Liked) up to a 4 (Really Good). 

Teasers:  cowboy boots, pony tail love, hot picnic, barn spankings

Heather & Clint & Blaine's book
And The Ranch Hand Makes Three

By Paige Tyler

Book Blurb:

In this sequel to Karleigh’s Cowboys, Heather Collins and her husband Clint hire hunky new ranch hand Blaine Saunders. While he clearly has the qualifications to work on a ranch, Heather and Clint are more interested in how good he is in bed.

Clint gets turned on by watching his wife have sex with other men, and since Heather is more than happy to oblige, she doesn’t waste any time seducing Blaine. She and the new ranch hand go from knocking boots in the barn to put
ting on a show for her husband before finally engaging in a kinky threesome that involves bondage, spanking and some scorching hot sex for all three of them.

Wow the second half of "More Than a Cowboy" was even hotter than the first half. And The Ranch Hand Makes Three dabbles in a little of each of the erotic genres. There is voyeurism, bondage, spankings, orals, threesomes and a whole lot more. Clint and his wife, Heather have some serious kink fetishes and their new ranch hand, Blaine was very happy to oblige. 

I liked that Paige Tyler wrote that the hunky Blaine was all new to this sort of kink. Although he was not virginal by no means, I did like that he had never spanked before nor had he participated in a threesome with a married couple before. The initial offer made to him by Heather, made him have to think about it for few days. The delay helped with the climatic group finale. (Which was extremely hot). More Than a Cowboy was really good book with two really great stories so it is a perfect fitting for my 4 heart rating. I am going to have to look up what other erotic stories Paige Tyler has put out. 

Teasers: Shower smut,  new uses for a saddle, duel crop & strap paddling

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Gideon and Eva's 1st book

Bared to You (Crossfire book 1)

by Sylvia Day

Book blurb:
Our journey began in fire...

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness—beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily...

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other's most private wounds... and desires.

The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart..

A new book trilogy to get sex-cited about! I will fully admit, I'm excited. 

Bared to You is marketed to the hoards of "Fifty Shades of Grey" book lovers and rightfully so. There are many easy comparisons but Bared to You is much more polished and put together; however no less addictive. I NEED book 2, now. I have told myself over and over again that when there is a trilogy book series, I shouldn't start them until they have all been published. I know this fact about myself yet here I am cancelling out summer by the calendar and counting the days until October when book two shall grace my shelves. 
Here is my plea to Syliva Day on Twitter and her reply *giggles*

Since Bared to You seems to be riding the coat tails of the popular E.L. James series, I'd like to point out my thoughts on that. The first thought on my mind is although you do have a young emotionally fractured billionaire male, Gideon and a recovered abuse victim college grad female, Eva, I could easily place this awesome couple in their own story and separate out from Fifty Shades. The same romance formula is present but it is a familiar plot used by numerous authors. It is the talent of the writing that separates out the weeds from the blooms and Sylvia Day's Bared to You is a bouquet. 

Gideon and Eva are powerfully drawn to each other and both are really emotionally immature. They have major hurdles to over come if they want to be in a relationship and I've never read a romance couple try so hard. It is not an easy task for them to hold on to one another when they both feel that they are broken people. Every time Eva gets upset she runs away and Gideon is just so freaked out about how much he has fallen for Eva. Their constant wavering about making it work is what caused me to keep reading and reading. 

Bared to You is an erotic novel and I love that there is a great story attached. Their intimate scenes are well crafted and smoking hot. They are not a raunchy couple but pure lust makes it impossible for them to keep their hands off each other. Now having said that, Bared to You was practically half way done before they experienced their first encounter. This statement is not a complaint because I love to really get to know my characters. There are no BDSM scenes in Bared to You but it does imply that there may be book 2. We will have to see how that plays out. There is enough kink and fire brimming between Eva and Gideon that it could go either way. 

Bared to You leaves the reader on a semi cliff hanger. Nothing to pull your hair over but there is an urge to want to pick up book two and dive in right away. Is it October yet? Are you looking forward to the next installment as I am? 

Teasers: steamy scene at the family home, a heavy unrevealed back-story to come, sexy limo ride, major jealous streaks 

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Start of Something Good by Gracie Lee Rose

Jamie Sutherland & Joesph Scarbrough's book

The Start of Something Good

By Gracie Lee Rose

Book Blurb:
Jamie Sutherland, coffee shop owner and serial ruined-relationship survivor, moves into a beautiful loft apartment for a change of scenery. What she doesn’t plan on getting is an eye-full of her handsome next-door neighbor—in nothing but a towel—arguing with his significant other in the hallway.

Joseph Scarbrough's world crashes down on him one cruel morning when his childhood sweetheart rips his heart out of his chest and walks away. His humiliation isn't complete until he turns around to pick up the pieces and sees a beautiful brunette who just witnessed his Dear John moment. 

Caught in an awkward situation, the two backpedal into their separate worlds. But fate seems determined to make their worlds collide on a regular basis. Is it destiny just being clumsy when it comes to the two unlikely neighbors or is it the start of something good?

The Start of Something Good is a sweet little read that in only 109 pages, allows you to peak into the beginning of something really good for Jamie and Joseph. 

The first time Jamie meets Joseph she is in a bit of a predicament. The lucky girl encounters Joseph wearing nothing but a towel but unfortunately he's in their loft apartment hallway being dumped by his girlfriend. What's a girl to do? Yeah, Jamie did exactly what I would have.  She eavesdropped while she stumbled with keys and took her time getting into her apartment. She got busted and that's the beginning of their friendship. 

I did wish that Jamie felt better about herself. She did have a touch of low self esteem thinking she wasn't good enough looking for Joseph. Joseph is described as a hot looking guy but he never indicated anything but pleasure by being around Jamie. He seemed to light up in her presence. 

I really liked that Jamie was being wary of becoming the rebound girl. She realistically was careful of monitoring her feelings. I think that her sense was a very honest reaction. Joseph is so sweet that it is tempting just to fall head over heals for him. He is wounded after his hallway breakup and I'm a sucker for a person that needs some fixing and attention. 

After some flirting over coffee and unpacking boxes I got the sense that Jamie and Joseph started to really enjoy each other's company immensely. It was cute to read all about their blooming feelings. 

The Start of Something Good is big on flirting & sweetness and low on heat so it is a great read to share with a teen, your mom or grandmother. Great little story to share around. 

Teasers: drunken feelings shared, fortune cookie predictions, hallway bump, tree house getaway

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Inamorata by Margaret Ethridge


By Margaret Ethridge

Book Blurb:
Sequel to Paramour.

After twenty-five years of cooling his jets in a wall sconce, Frank DeLuca figured the afterlife owed him a break. Hadn’t he been a model ghost? He didn’t possess little kids, screw up the television reception, or throw random objects across the room just to get attention. Hell, he never even made creepy noises in the dead of night.

All he asked was a peaceful existence where someone would turn him on every once in a while. The light, that is. He needed just a little bit of light in his afterlife.

Instead, he got a sullen, silent little boy who cried for his mommy every night. The kid came with a set of hyper-tense grandparents whose marriage was crumbling under the weight of old insecurities and words left unspoken. As if that weren’t enough to drive a guy to hide out in his light fixture, providence tossed in a little spitfire of a girl who flipped his switch in every way. Gina Ferro turned out to be the kid’s mother. She also happened to be a ghost.

Thrown together by Fate and bound by history, Frank and Gina must learn to trust each other with the keys to their pasts in order to unlock their eternity. 

I was in the mood for a totally different type of romance novel to read and Inamorata completely did the trick! 

Inamorata is a sequel to the first book, Paramour. You could read Inamorata as a stand alone but there is a lot of of time shared in this book with the previous main protagonists, Cam & Brad. You would not be lost but I think you'd get more understanding about our hunky light fixture ghost, Frank. 

The first two chapters are dark and awfully emotional. Gina Ferro is killed at the hands of abuser and my heart bled for the pain she experienced. It was a tough read but understanding that Gina is to be the newest ghost character in Inamorata, I understood that I needed to accept why she didn't move on to wherever the next stage in life takes us. Her duty to protect her toddler son, Jaden was courageous if not heartbreaking. I could not put my Kindle down. 

There are a few other stories swirling around the plot of Inamorata. There are exciting updates included in Inamorata regarding Cam and Brad's new life together, the aftermath of Gina's death experienced by her parents Elise and Nick, the reaction of her young son Jaden living without his mother and then of course the main reason I couldn't wait to read Inamorata, Frank and Gina. 

I'll be honest and say that a book dealing with a horrific and senseless death at the hands of an abuser, a toddler clutching a stuffed bunny rabbit and consequences that entire devastating impact has on a young woman's parents isn't really what I would normally gravitate towards in the romance genre. There were times that I was just plain sad and a bit drained.  Yet at the same time Inamorata dealt a lot with healing and reclaiming one's life. I liked that the setting was a real as it could be for fiction and the fact that Elise and Nick lost a daughter meant that there was a negative effect on their marriage. There is a blame game if not a massive guilt trip by her parents. It was a joy to read about their journey on how they were slowly reclaiming their marriage and their love for one another. 

Frank and Gina are caught in an afterlife relying on the living to bring them together. Someone needs to turn on Frank's light fixture for him to appear and Gina needs her son, Jaden, to touch the stuffed bunny where she resides. It's all about the timing which worked out pretty well until Jaden started to outgrow his need to clutch his bunny. It was a great healing mechanism once again to read about his recovery but also a bit angsty as a reader because you weren't sure how much longer Gina would be making appearances. It was like a looming double death. 

Inamorata is a well written book that made me want to skip lunch and dinner until it was finished. It was great to read my favourite ghost, Frank get some happiness of his own. 

Teasers:  Chevettes are not Chevells, incredible coincidence,  dryers are like hell, ghost sex

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Shameless Summer Giveaway Hop

Couldn't you just stare at that picture all day???

Welcome to my stop on the Shameless Summer Giveaway Hop hosted by Michelle's Book Blog, Red Hot Books & Romance Around the Corner! I'm so happy to have you here. Take a moment and visit around and check out some of my book reviews. Did I review a book that you read and we were similar?

I am going to try something a bit different this hop. I'd like to giveaway an awesome SWAG bag from the Reader's & Writers Convention I attended this past weekend in Cincinnati....AND an AUTOGRAPHED copy of The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis!

ALL THIS = 1 Prize!

There are 2 Tshirts (sz L), 3 books including the autographed Jill Shalvis, a ton of bookmarks & bookcover swag, romance trading cards, a hot calendar, pens, magnets and a super cool canvas bag that all the goodies came in. (+ more stuff)

If you love SWAG, this is your prize!

Due to the weight of shipping, this stop will only be US or CAD.

This was me meeting HelenKay and Jill at the conference
Could my smile get any goofier? 
Check out this LINK to all the other awesome bloggers participating!


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Mine to Hold by Shayla Black

Tyler Murphy and Delaney Catalano's book

Mine to Hold (Wicked Lovers book 6)

By Shayla Black

Book Blurb:
A friend’s duty.

Tyler Murphy was an LAPD detective, single and happy—until a near-fatal tragedy crippled his friend, fellow detective Eric Catalano. While he supported Eric, he also became a shoulder for Eric’s wife, Delaney, to cry on. But with one naughty suggestion from Eric, a drunken night with Delaney spilled into erotic abandon. Before it was over Tyler saw his best friend’s wife as a woman and yearned for more. When Eric struggled to deal with the aftermath, Delaney begged Tyler to leave. Crushed, he fled to Louisiana, hoping to escape his longing for the one woman he could never have again…and unaware of what he’d left behind.

A lover’s desire.

After two years of living with regret, Tyler finds Delaney on his doorstep, her husband having abandoned her long ago. She’s protecting a shocking secret and desperately needs refuge from a killer determined to see her dead. As they fight to stay alive and catch the stalker, they struggle to resolve the guilt of their past pleasures. But they can’t deny that what was once a spark is now a flame burning out of control. To possess Delaney — body and soul — Tyler must heal her pain and thwart the evil that’s a mere breath behind her…

ARC review
Mine to Hold is a wonderful addition to the Wicked Lover's series. Mine to Hold is book 6. You can read it as a stand alone but there are so many awesome updates regarding the previous couples included that it would be more meaningful if you are a fan of the series. Plus they are OH so good. 

I've always said that Shayla Black should win a prize for the best first lines of her books. Mine to Hold is no different.

"Tyler, are you aware that all the girls at Sexy Sirens have nick-named you Cockzilla?"

Got your attention right?

The first two chapters push all your curiosity buttons. You need to know how, what, why and when. 

Delaney shows up at Tyler's house under mysterious circumstances AND she is toting along a beautiful baby boy... that just happens to be Tyler's. Oh yes, you need to know what the heck is going on. I will be the first to admit that I am not a fan of books about secret pregnancies but Mine to Hold is so much more than that story line. There is drama, action, angst, mystery and of course, hot steamy romance. 

One of the many things I loved about Mine to Hold is that Shayla Black answers questions the reader has through the heroine, Delaney. She makes Delaney pose these questions herself. 
I'll give you an example. 
Delaney needs Tyler to watch over their baby boy, Seth. Tyler's house is full of company when she arrives. The visitors just happen to be each of the previous couples. *squee* Delaney picks up on the fact that a few of the couples have an alternative lifestyle and questions whether or not Seth should be left near people who freely discuss and use floggers and whips. 

This thought process that Delaney experienced is completely spot on and is what would be expected of a parent. I would have been so disappointed if Delaney didn't question herself doing the right thing or if she paid no attention. I simply loved that Shayla Black addressed the exact thoughts I was having through Delaney's inner thoughts. This occurrence happens numerous times. Outstanding.

I loved the back story that was written regarding Delaney and Tyler. You want to know and understand how Seth came to be. I thought it was creative and added a lot of insight to how the couple's personalities came to be in their present day situation. I felt for both of them and it was very easy to dislike Delaney's ex-husband, Eric. 

As Delaney and Tyler make their way by ever-changing vehicles from Louisiana to LA, you can read how they're becoming reacquainted with one another and their feelings for each other are like simmering electric wires. They cannot deny their chemistry as hard as Delaney tries.

Their intimate scenes are incredibly sexy and emotional. Delaney has been so lonely that your heart breaks to read about how she is affected by just experiencing a hug or a touch by Tyler. She is so worn down from running, single parenthood and loneliness. Tyler has been trying to compensate from his past rejection of Delaney. I love how quickly he just wants to embrace it all, Delaney and Seth. 

What Mine to Hold also does is set a perfect stage for Xander's book. What a trip that guy is. I cannot wait to see what Shayla Black has in mind for him. 

Teasers: One drunken night, betrayal, disastrous kitchen trickery, Tyler's Angel. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Fabulous - Lori Foster's Reader & Author Get Together Convention

For my second year I was lucky enough to attend the Annual Reader & Author Get Together hosted by Lori Foster & Duffy Brown in Cincinnati. The best word to describe the jammed pack event was, "FABULOUS". I had such a great time. 

After a 7 hr car ride (I won't talk about the brake fluid or the allergic reaction I had that left me a cyclopes) we arrived safe & sound and eager to meet & greet. 
Look at the awesome goodie bag we were provided at the sign in. I am participating in a blog hop starting June 8th and I am going to give away the entire Reader & Author Convention welcome bag as a prize. (as well as the autographed copy of The Sweetest Thing by Jill Shalvis that I was able to score) 

HelenKay Dimon, Me & Jill Shalvis

Why yes, I did totally act like the fan girl that I am. 

One of my favourite annual activities at the Get Together are the numerous workshops and chat opportunities. HelenKay Dimon and Jill Shalvis hosted a great group discussion about Contemporary Heroes. It was fun and interactive. I took a wee video snippet if you are curious about what the discussions were like. Included are some great thoughts that HelenKay and Jill shared about heroes in romance books. 

Some more random pictures....

Authors Renee Vincent & Margaret Ethridge (I love these two)
Me with the fabulous Vicky Dreiling

Ruth Hartman, Kim Jacobs, Patricia Marie Warren & Margaret Ethridge
Another fabulous workshop was hosted by Sue Grimshaw from Random House. She wanted to talk with readers to find out what we like and what we want to read in romance books. There was no shortage of conversation here! (I got in my 2 cents that contemporary romances don't always have to end with a marriage and a baby) 

In the video snippet, Sue talks about the fabulous Loveswept series. Awesome deals! 

The Marriott was awesome, the food was great, the basket raffles were outstanding, the volunteers rocked and everyone was just so damn nice. I loved meeting fellow book bloggers that I chit chat with on Twitter and my "to be read" reading pile just got a whole lot bigger. (good thing I scored some free books)

I am sure you are curious about the something that was not awesome. I mean cause everything was just awesome. Well, it could be that the wait for a drink from the bar took a long time but it didn't seem to hold back Madison J Edwards and I. LOL

Cheers to a FABULOUS weekend event!