Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Animal Attraction by Jill Shalvis

Jade Bennett & Dell Connelly's book

Animal Attraction (Animal Magnetism book 2)

By Jill Shalvis

Book Blurb:Jade Bennett couldn't be happier to escape her past for the quiet ranching town of Sunshine, Idaho. Plus, there's nothing like working for veterinarian Dell Connelly. And though Dell has no intention of settling down, Jade's strength and sass are enticements no red-blooded male can resist.

Animal Attraction was not as witty as book 1, Animal Magnetism. I smiled a lot more in book 1. I missed the quirky main characters and it felt like a really long book. In fact, Animal Attraction is barely 300 pages. I guess not such a great sign if I felt it too long. 

Jade and Dell are likable enough. They were evenly matched for being very closed mouthed with secrets and not opening up about themselves. It was hard to distinguish what they actually talked about since they avoided talking about themselves at all. Besides the obvious attraction to each other's appearance and some mild flirting, it is a wonder they eventually get together. They do finally find a safe topic to connect on and that was having Dell teach her self defense moves. Of course Dell is in the dark on why Jade would need defense lessons and clearly he knows she is spooked about something from her past. Dell is very patient for Jade to open up. 

The pets are center stage once again and for animal lovers, that is just awesome news. Great comic relief and a whole lot of cuteness leaped off the pages. 

We do meet Dell & Adam's mom in Animal Attraction. I was pretty sure I'd despise her if she ever appeared in the stories but it was an interesting direction that Jill Shalvis took. I am still on the fence about my feelings. We still don't know much about her but we do learn that she's in her fifties. When his mom had a conversation with Jade she had mentioned that she was entirely too young to have had her babies. I am not 100% sure about Dell & Adam's age but if I do the math, and the fact that Dell is a full fledged vet with his own practice, let's just say he is 27 years old. Dell is the youngest.  If we just guess his mom is 55 and Dell is 27, that sure doesn't seem like his mom was way to young to have had babies.

Teasers: woman-whisperer, "Boner", spreadsheets, pending departure

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis

Lilah Young & Brady Miller's book

Animal Magnetism (Animal Magnetism book 1)

By Jill Shalvis

Book Blurb:Co-owner of the town's only kennel, Lilah Young has lived in Sunshine, Idaho, all her life. Pilot-for-hire Brady Miller is just passing through. But he soon has Lilah abandoning her instincts and giving in to a primal desire.
It's Brady's nature to resist being tied down, but there's something about Lilah and her menagerie that keeps him coming back for more.

Animal Magnetism was a sweet story that had really likable characters. That includes the quirky cast of animals. Scene stealers is what they all were. 

Lilah is about a perfect as a heroine as you could get. Almost too perfect. She was funny, lovable, pretty and has the biggest heart that you could ever have met. In fact, there is nothing that isn't unappealing about her and maybe that is a bit unappealing in itself. Regardless, I adored her. I feel that the readers really got to know Lilah and there was no secrets about her. What you see is what you get. 

Brady on the other hand was really quiet and also really gorgeous. I could easily picture him in my mind. Honestly, even though he had conversation in the story, I'm wondering if he ever talked. They did have a lot of comfortable silences and Brady is not a talkative character at all. He is a total alpha type of male. Actions more than words. Lilah was a good match for him. 

I loved how they met and it set Animal Magnetism off to a great start. I started smiling from the beginning and I don't think I stopped. It is quite obvious that Jill Shalvis is familiar with pet antics and is no stranger to owning pets with personalities. From kittens to puppies to ducks, each of these furry or feathered creatures were great characters. 

One of the things I really liked about Animal Magnetism was how Lilah played out the ending. Knowing from the start that Brady was leaving she had maintained throughout the story that she wanted a light and fun relationship with no picket fence ending. Of course, Lilah is the type of woman who is a total picket fence girl. Regardless when it was time for Brady to leave, she held it together and didn't dump a typical guilt trip onto Brady and then become a sniveling weakling or become angry towards him. She knew it was coming. Of course her heart was breaking but she was so courageous in allowing him to go without breaking down in front of him.

Great story and I can't wait to move onto the next book. There are some great character set ups that I am eager to read about. 

Teasers: helicopter date, kitten about to pounce on morning wood, mistaken for a raccoon, skinny dipping in a mystical love lake

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bound by Blood by Cynthia Eden

Jace Vaughn & Morgan LaBeaux's book

Bound by Blood (Bound book 1)

By Cynthia Eden

Book Blurb:It’s an Immortal War…
Vampires and werewolves have been blood enemies for centuries, but now a new threat is rising...demons are escaping from hell and those demons are intent on wiping out both the vamps and the werewolves.
In order to stop the demons, pureblood vampire princess Morgan LaBeaux agrees to the treaty offered by werewolf alpha Jace Vaughn. She'll mate with him, share her blood with him...and in return, the wolves will aid the vampires in this battle.
But Morgan doesn’t realize just how dangerous the wolves can truly be. Jace has been waiting years to claim her. He’s set a trap for his princess, and now that he has her, Jace doesn’t plan to let her go. He’ll send the demons back to hell, and he’ll keep his vampiress—forever.

I totally was not feeling this book. Bound by Blood's storyline and character development made no sense to me. Going with the premise of the story, Wolfman and Vamplady marry to solidify and unite forces in order to battle the Demons. 

She was to marry to save the vamp nest. How many years long do you think a marriage would last in the paranormal realm? Hundreds of years maybe? That was my guess. Then imagine my surprise when this bit of information is shared, 
"She wasn't supposed to have sex with him. The Council has been adamant about that. Drink him, yes, take his power, give him hers, but sex? Forbidden."
Now come on. Does that even make sense? The Council agrees to marry off their precious Vamp Princess for unity sake but then no sex? It is so, well, dumb. Who would insist on a marriage to take place but no sex. I swear you could hear my eyes roll. 

Then in the course of one day, she loves him. Morgan didn't know Jace previously. She was bartered away for the good of her people and it only took one day. Yep. He stalked her for years behind the scenes so I can imagine that his lust level was high and he claimed to have loved her from afar but it was all way way waaaaay to quick for me. Also, I don't know but the whole "love from afar" thing was just creepy to me. 

Then I got confused once again. A trusted council member traps her inside a burning house. Supposedly this action was to see if she could or would burn badly after she had a chance to drink Jace's blood. But you see, why the hell would he take a chance on that if that same Council member planned on (and needed to) setting Morgan up as a sacrifice to the demons in hell? Talk about a complete contradiction. 

Once again, my confusion ensured regarding the plans of each of the Wolf and Vamp groups. The Alpha and Council members never figured out each other's evil plans toward one another. They never considered their opposition schemes? Not very good leaders if you ask me. How do you lead people you are suppose to protect if you don't consider your enemies strategies? 

So basically, the story, the pace, the characters were all just a big fat turn off for me. Paranormal or not, the story has got to make sense to me. Good thing Bound by Blood was only a $1 purchase on Amazon. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Rock Hard by Olivia Cunning

Sed Lionheart & Jessica Chase's book

Rock Hard (Sinners book 2) 

By Olivia Cunning

Book Blurb:An ultimatum can break your heart.... 

Every night lead singer, Sed Lionheart whips thousands of women into a frenzy with his voice alone. But the stage is the only place Sed feels any passion since he lost Jessica...
If you’re not willing to break all the rules...
It shattered her heart, but law student Jessica broke off her engagement to Sed, determined to be successful on her own terms. But no other man can ever hold a candle to Sed...
Then a chance meeting and tortuously close quarters lead to uncontrollable flares of passion and rediscovery of their unique penchant for public encounters. Now, in addition to the risk of mutual heartbreak every time they get together, they’re in danger of truly scandalous public exposure...

Rock Hard did not rock my world the same way that Backstage Pass did but it was still a highly enjoyable book. 

Sed is the lead singer of The Sinners. To be honest, Sed is not one of my favourite guys. He lives up to his bad boy image and I don't think it's even an act. He encompasses a rock star persona through and through. He constantly puts his foot in his mouth and is quite unapologetic about it. Even through all of this attitude, his weak spot is Jessica. I understand that Sed means well enough but his way of getting his point across often fails and is met with people being put on the defensive. 

Jessica confused the hell out of me. She is a stubborn woman who doesn't let up very easily. I felt myself siding with Jessica and then Sed and then Jessica and then Sed. If there was ever a rock star couple meant for each other's personalities, it is Sed and Jessica. Some of the things that really bothered me about Jessica was regarding this law degree she was so passionate about. I was totally confused about her situation. She is so smart, practically head of the class but then when faced with not having enough funds for school in the autumn, she becomes a stripper instead of getting some sort of internship or something "law-y". There has to be some sort of paying job that would involve a law student. As much as I thought the sex video was a perfect angle to include in Rock Hard, Jessica's reaction was a bit off. I don't really picture Jessica as a lawyer. 

Additionally with Jessica, I am not quite sure when her feelings about Sed changed. I was super annoyed that she was getting together with him with the purpose to try and break his heart. Seemed rather childish and high schoolish to me. Not something I'd expect from a 2nd year law student. 

One of the things I loved about Rock Hard was that the story seemed so much more than just a romance between Sed and Jessica. The previous couple Brian and Myrna were present a lot and the rest of the band, Eric, Jace and Trey never left the storyline. It was like reading a book about a concert tour. FABULOUS. I hope that theme keeps up throughout the entire series. 

I cannot wait for Trey's book. I think I am leaning towards him being my favourite so far. Trey was in Rock Hard a lot and had his own side story and it was excellent. 

Rock Hard has lots and lots of sex. Jess and Sed sure have enough smoking chemistry to heat up the pages. The scenes are super hot but too frequent. I prefer the quality over the quantity. In the first book, Backstage Pass, the sex was very adventurous. It seemed in Rock Hard the theme was more focused on the setting and frequency. (On top of the Eiffel tower in Vegas,  hotel rooms, vehicles, sail boats etc and how many organisms can a guy give a woman anyhow?) Sed has unprecedented stamina. 

There was one lingering question I did have, if anyone knows, please respond. What was the significance of the groupie in Sed's dressing room at that last concert. I kept thinking she was going to do something to injure him but maybe I was reading too much into it. I just didn't know what the relevance of that scene was.  

I am so happy I only have to wait until Nov 1st for Trey's book. I am very excited about that!

Teasers: bouncer fight with lots of physical ramifications, sex video, 10 for the big O, dual proposal

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Myrna Evans & Brian Sinclair's book

Backstage Pass (Sinners on Tour book 1)

By Olivia Cunning

Book Blurb:Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance...
For him, life is all music and no play...
When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius...

She's the one to call the tune...

When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on...

Then the two lovers' wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory...and sin..

A friend texted me a few months ago and said that she was reading a filthy sexy book. This friend loves smut a lot so for her to even mention how smoking hot Backstage Pass was, definitely made me look it up. Of course I purchased solely based on her few comments and I just now finally have gotten around to reading it. Guess what message I sent back to her on Twitter? I Tweeted back:

"OMG "Backstage Pass" is a filthy delicious book."

I read a lot of sexy smutty books. Having said that, Backstage Pass is so far the most erotic of 2012. (and that's with the 50 Shades and Bared to You included) I also completely fell in love with the story line. I mean, who does not love a smoking hot rock star that is a "romantic retard". I even loved Myrna. I adored that her character was 35, hot and a professor. She had her dysfunctions but that just added to the story element.

I thought it was really cool how Olivia Cunning gave her male character a regular name like Brian and her female character a really old school name like Myrna. I bet a lot of thought went into her character's names and the decision totally worked. 

How can I possible review Backstage Pass and not make a mention about the erotic nature of this story. Because wow, it was very erotic. Firstly, it was all excellently written and really really hot. There was a little bit of everything here. Brian and Myrna are a very adventurous couple. They are uninhibited, highly creative and pretty much willing to experiment and try anything. The trust built quickly between them and it was infectious. I just loved this couple.

Ok so basically I adored the entire band. All those musicians had awesome personalities and I can't wait to read each of their books. I am most definitely adding them all to my Goodreads list. In fact, I'm  pushing all my TBR books aside and I'm getting the next one in the series right now. 

Also how much do I love that there is a website set up just for the fictional band, Sinners. I love the fake bios, pictures and information. 

Teasers: awesome rock concert vibes, sex for a music muse, interesting to use ketchup as a sex food, lots of bus-tour sex 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Jocelyn "Joss" Butler & Braden Carmichael's book

On Dublin Street

by Samatha Young

Book Blurb:
Four years ago, Jocelyn Butler left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Edinburgh. Burying the grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without any real attachments has worked well for her so far but when Joss moves into a fantastic apartment on Dublin Street, her carefully guarded world is shaken to its core by her new roommate's sexy older brother.

Braden Carmichael is a man who always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Jocelyn in his bed. Knowing how skittish Joss is concerning any kind of relationship, Braden proposes a sexual arrangement that should satisfy the intense attraction between them without it developing into anything 'more'. An intrigued Jocelyn agrees, completely unprepared for the Scotsman and his single-minded determination to strip the stubborn young woman bare... to the very soul.

Wow I loved On Dublin Street. I was totally into the story and I couldn't put it down. It drew on a lot of emotions, had very sexy well written scenes and held a strong friendship theme. 

Poor Joss had a gut wrenching past that left her an orphan in her tender teen years. Guilt weighing hundreds of pounds made it difficult for her to move forward from her emotional past and added complications in her adult life with relationships; even regular friendships. I really felt for Joss. I liked that the author Samantha Young allowed us into Joss' head so we could figure out why she comprehended as she did. I could relate to a lot of her thought processes. 

Here is a great example:
"Despite my tendency to keep eighty percent of myself to myself, I liked being surrounded by people." - see this I could totally relate to.

Braden. Mmmmmm Braden. Please meet my new book boyfriend. He's a dirty talking, sexy, understanding, possessive and a very patient Scot. 

Love this line:
"Babe, nice lingerie is for seducing a man. I'm already fucking seduced."

Oh oh and this one:
"I know you love me Jocelyn, because there's no fucking way I can be this much in love with you, and not have you feel the same way. It's not possible."

Braden has a wee bit of baggage in his background as well but he deals. Falling for Joss has to be torture because she gives almost nothing back verbally. She gives as good as she gets in bed but is constantly pushing Braden away emotionally. It's exhausting. Finally Joss opens up the steel vault door of her emotions to let a bit of light in but it costs her panic attacks and she is constantly in her mind contradicting herself. She is so afraid to love for fear of losing. Even her friendships she keeps at arms-length. A very lonely life she has chosen to lead.

The Prolouge is gripping and had me sucked into the story. The secondary characters were immensley important to the plot and held a lot of weight throughout the plot. My heart pounded throughout the story. The pace of their relationship and her healing was perfect. It was not rushed and then BAM all the hurt is fixed because Joss is sexually satisfied in bed. I liked the little chapter snippets of Joss with her counselor. It substantiated Joss' frame of mind at any given time and also allowed the reader to understand Joss' reasoning for her actions. (even if I wanted to shake her into wellness) The mind is a very tricky thing.  

The sex is hot and steamy but I am not wanting to rate this as erotic romance because the story is so much more. If their intimate scenes were left out of the story, it still would have been a five star rating for me. I call it is a sexy story with intense steamy scenes. 

The other thing I loved about On Dublin Street is that it takes place in modern day Edinburgh, Scotland. With the exception of Joss, the characters are Scottish but the reader is not forced to endure a book full of "Aye's",Scottish-isms and forced stereotypes. For instance there is a wedding but the men are not all in kilts. (ok I may have pouted at that) Having said that, you can tell the story is in fact authentic Edinburgh. It was brilliant. 

I'm totally checking out more stories by this new to me author, Samantha Young

Book Trailer

Teasers: naked introduction, fuck buddies, breaking wind in tickle session, long overdue therapy sessions

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Winner - Hot in Handcuffs Blog Hop

The winner of the Hot in Handcuffs Blog Hop was 

Joy Flynn

She has been contacted and I am happy to have sent her the Amazon Gift Card!

Enjoy Shopping!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Love in a Nutshell by Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly

Kate Appleton & Matt Culhane's book

Love in a Nutshell

By Janet Evanovich & Dorien Kelly

Book Blurb:Kate Appleton needs a job. Her husband has left her, she’s been fired from her position as a magazine editor, and the only place she wants to go is to her parents’ summer house, The Nutshell, in Keene’s Harbor, Michigan. Kate’s plan is to turn The Nutshell into a Bed and Breakfast. Problem is, she needs cash, and the only job she can land is less than savory.
Matt Culhane wants Kate to spy on his brewery employees. Someone has been sabotaging his company, and Kate is just new enough in town that she can insert herself into Culhane’s business and snoop around for him. If Kate finds the culprit, Matt will pay her a $20,000 bonus. Needless to say, Kate is highly motivated. But several problems present themselves. Kate despises beer. No one seems to trust her. And she is falling hard for her boss.
Can these two smoke out a saboteur, save Kate’s family home, and keep a killer from closing in…all while resisting their undeniable attraction to one another? Filled with humor, heart, and loveable characters, Love in a Nutshell is delicious fun.

Can you say "plot holes"? Sometimes I wonder how a book by a super famous author could have slipped passed editors with large plot holes. *shrugs* Love in a Nutshell is a super fluffy story (meant in a nice way) but with very predictable characters. 

To start off, I am not sure where Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly's style differ. I adore Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series and there are lots of lines and situations that could have been Stephanie's words. Additionally, the story is full of quirky characters and of course pets with personalities. 

I did have lots of smiles but no out and out laughing. Some great lines like, 
"No, in fact I like vegetables. Especially French Fries."

I did like that both Kate and Matt had pretty cool families. Here is a major plot hole though that I don't think was answered but was glaringly obviousness. As Kate struggles to hold on to her family home (30 yrs in the family) it appears to be mortgaged to the max (I have no idea why her parents didn't have a better financial handle on that situation) and she is months behind in her mortgage payments. Additionally her parents seem to be quite wealthy yet knowingly give her the home. The Nutshell in such ruins. If fact, there are numerous comments regarding Country Clubs, retiring in Florida and mink coats in storage that didn't offer the reader any reason why her parents had left that financially maxed, dilapidated family home in her possession. I can't imagine her parents borrowed against the home to secure their champagne taste while in retirement all the while fully knowing how it would drain their already broke daughter's bank account. That bugged me and bugged me. 

I was also baffled on why Matt would not have installed security cameras in his business when he knew that someone was trying to sabotage him. He is a smart guy but maybe the reader was not to think of that as an option. (which also bugged me because Ranger in the Plum series owns a security company so the thought must have come to the authors' minds at least once)

Regarding the sabotage mystery, although I really didn't know who the culprit was, there was hardly any clues or an investigation going on to solve it. I'd like to say that the lack of investigation was because Kate and Matt were too busy getting their romance fired up and going but that was really light too. It just seemed like the entire book lightly touched on all plots and no depth was created. I wanted more. 

Love it a Nutshell is a total beach or vacation read. Nothing too intense and light n' fluffy with a bit of wit. I was actually looking to read just a book like this one so it fit my bill. However I found once I was into the story, I wanted more. 

Teasers: Kamikaze Karaoke, beer gas, house full of bees, poodle with attitude

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Whisper of Roses by Teresa Medeiros

Sabrina Cameron and Morgan MacDonnell's book

A Whisper of Roses

By Teresa Medeiros

Book Blurb:As she peered over the edge of the gallery, Sabrina Cameron trembled at the sight of the sun-bronzed giant striding into view. But she never recognized the stranger...not until the moment she found herself surrounded by arms of warm steel—and drowning in smoldering green eyes that had once held cool disdain but now shimmered with passion. Morgan MacDonnell, the boy, had been her tormentor. Now it looked as if Morgan, the man, would prove infinitely more dangerous...

Though hatred divided their clans, Morgan MacDonnell had come to Cameron Glen hoping for a truce...only to find that by evening's end the only way to avert bloodshed between the two families was for him to marry his enemy's daughter. But even as Morgan spirited Sabrina away to his rugged fortress, his battle would not be won. For this delicate rose of a girl would put up a bold fight...and the spoils of victory would be nothing less than a heathen MacDonell's heart.

Originally Published 1993

 I wanted to love this story. I really did. I was so in the mood for a "take me away to the Scottish Highlands" type of book. I have to admit, more than the first half of the book was outstanding. 

I was reading away and wondering to myself why A Whisper of Roses was not rated higher because I was immensely enjoying the story, loving the characters and totally enjoying the 1730 time period. So where did it go wrong for me? The story got really derailed and then went on far too long. A Whisper of Roses was 407 pages but it easily could have been edited down by 100 pages. In fact it if was, I think it would have been a memorable classic. Such a shame. 

The magic of Teresa Medeiros' writing was present but you can tell it was an early Mederios' style. I was swept away to the cool Highlands during a brisk wintertime season and the characters were immensely interesting but on and on the story went and then it moved in another direction. 

The Prologue was fabulous. In fact I didn't want it to end. The story started out with Sabrina and Morgan as children and the background that was written was a solid foundation for the rest of the book.

There were some great lines as well. I think this one was my favourite as it captured Morgan's personality perfectly. 

"Then with what tender phrases do you woo the lasses?" 
"Bend over usually does it."

I am glad I read it, I just wanted to love it. 

Teasers: barefoot Highlander, Pookah over the cliff, Clan betrayal, motherhood surprise

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hot in Handcuffs Blog Hop

Hi! Welcome to the Hot in Handcuffs Blog Hop at Another Look Book Reviews. Thanks to "Under the Covers" for hosting. 

My favourite giveaway on Blog Hops are to award an Amazon Gift Card and for my international friends, a choice of a book from Book Depository (as long as delivers in your area) So that is my prize today. The book is up to $15. 

Since this Blog Hop is all about smutty books, I'd love for you to select your own because erotic book styles vary. I have lots of suggestions in my "Books Reviewed" tab interested.  

On my book review blog, I like to review all genres of Romance books. I especially like to breath new life into books that have already been published for years. Check out my "Book Reviewed" tab to see the type of books I love and to see if I have reviewed some of your favourites. Thanks for stopping by!

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