‘Seven Years to Sin’ by Sylvia Day

syts sd1STORY: The longer the resistance…

Seven years ago, on the eve of her wedding, proper Lady Jessica Sheffield witnessed a licentious scene no innocent young miss could imagine. Shocked, yet strangely titillated, she’d held her silence regarding scandalous Alistair Caulfield, and walked down the aisle as expected. But through years of serene, unremarkable marriage, Caulfield’s image remained burned into her imagination, fueling verysdc illicit dreams…

…the sweeter the reward

Alistair ran far from the temptation of the prim debutante with the fire of passion in her eyes–all the way to the West Indies. As a successful merchant, he has little in common with the rakehell youth she knew. But when newly widowed Jessica steps aboard his ship for a transatlantic passage, seven years’ worth of denied pleasures are held in check by nothing more than a few layers of silk–and the certainty that surrender will consume them both…

sdc7REVIEW: I can honestly state that this is one of the hottest prologues I’ve ever read!

Lady Jessica Sheffield grew up in an abusive home, so it is no wonder that to our hero, she always appeared ‘cool as a marble statue’. In trying to protect herself as well as her younger sister, this young woman learned early on that hiding her emotions and suppressing her passions was essential to her survival. On the evening before her wedding to a man of her father’s choosing, she shares with our hero a moment that will haunt her for the next seven years.

Alistair Caulfield, on the other hand, was the youngest of four brothers, yet grew up craving affection. As a young man, he hid that need by behaving badly. He realizes that after their unique encounter, his life would never be the same.

I was really moved by these two characters as each slowly comes to the realization that their love for each other should be given a chance.

This story is one that features well-developed and very vivid characters with moving and poignant dialogue. As usual, Ms. Day gifts us with a secondary love story that is as much moving as the first—that of Hester, Jessica’s younger sister, and Michael Sinclair, her brother-in-law.

The romance between Alistair and Jessica is truly not to be missed. SEVEN YEARS TO SIN is a definite keeper!

BTW: I love this books original cover the best.

Melanie for RRAH

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‘An Almond for a Parrot’ by Wray Delaney

aafap wdSTORY: ‘I would like to make myself the heroine of this story – an innocent victim led astray. But alas sir, I would be lying…’

London, 1756: In Newgate prison, Tully Truegood awaits trial. Her fate hanging in the balance, she tells her life-story. It’s a tale that takes her from skivvy in the back streets of London, to conjuror’s assistant, to celebrated courtesan at her stepmother’s Fairy House, the notorious house of ill-repute where decadent excess is a must…

Tully was once the talk of the town. Now, with the best seats at Newgate already sold in anticipation of her execution, her only chance of survival is to get her story to the one person who can help her avoid the gallows.

She is Tully Truegood.

Orphan, whore, magician’s apprentice.

Murderer?

REVIEW: What made me want to read this story was its title and book blurb. I should have passed on it and here’s why.

You’ve heard me say this many times but it ‘s worth repeating: I read books because I love stories that offer me characters that are complex and that are driving the said stories. All else, plot, pace and setting is secondary to me. I have to be vested in the characters in order to care for their story. If I’m not vested, the story will almost always fail to grab me.

That said, I’m not surprised that I found this story lacking. I found the heroine, if she can even be called that, unrealistic. I felt that the author couldn’t make up her mind how many “heartaches” to saddle her with, so she just gave her all she could think of, from physical and sexual abuse, child marriage and prostitution and oh, let’s not forget that she can communicate with spirits.

I also found the erotic part of this story to be so ridiculous that all it did was to make me laugh and keep me away from some vegetables. I’ll leave it to your imagination to figure that statement!

In all honesty, I have to say just skip this one.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Release Me’ by J. Kenner

rm jkSTORY: He was the one man I couldn’t avoid. And the one man I couldn’t resist.

Damien Stark could have his way with any woman. He was sexy, confident, and commanding: Anything he wanted, he got. And what he wanted was me.

Our attraction was unmistakable, almost beyond control, but as much as I ached to be his, I feared the pressures of his demands. Submitting to Damien meant I had to bare the darkest truth about my past—and risk breaking us apart.

But Damien was haunted, too. And as our passion came to obsess us both, his secrets threatened to destroy him—and us—forever.

*Release Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences. 

REVIEW: To say I didn’t like this story is an understatement. I have to say that there were things that just didn’t ring true to the characters presented and even the dialogue was way over the top.

“He’s tall and so handsome that the word is almost an insult. He is Jason and Hercules and Perseus – a figure so strong and beautiful and heroic that the blood of the gods must flow through him, because how else could a being so fine exist in this world?”

Seriously?! Description like that only makes me laugh. I’ve seen many men in my life and I never thought to describe them in such “prose”.

And who really says this?!

“His mouth is at my ear, his voice so carnal, so full of lust, it makes my clit throb. “I’m going to fuck you, Nikki. Pleasure? We’re going to blow the roof off pleasure. I’m going to make you beg for it. I’m going to claim you. I’m going to tease you. I’m going to torment you. And you’re going to come for me like you’ve never come in your life.”

No one. Ever! I’ve never read ‘Fifty Shades of Gray’ and I probably never will (I did see the movie!), but I think it must have been better than this story.

Sometimes it’s good to read a bad story to appreciate all the good ones you’ve read. However, if you’re into erotica, I have a feeling you just might like it.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘Just One Night’ by Kyra Davis

jon kdSTORY: Kasie Fitzgerald knows who she’s supposed to be. She’s a rising-star-workaholic at a global consulting firm. She’s the fiancée of a well-connected man who’s won the approval of her parents. People know that she’s reliable, serious, proper, cautious, pragmatic, and yes, a little predictable. She’s who Dave and her family want her to be.

But as her thirtieth birthday looms, buried feelings begin to resurrect. Her friend takes her to Vegas for one last wild and crazy night. In a dress much shorter and sexier than anything she has ever dared to wear before, she hits the blackjack tables. And meets him. Under the tailored clothes it’s clear that this is a man who is intense, powerful, and maybe even a little dangerous. With a touch of trepidation she accepts his invitation to get a drink, and before long, she’s in his hotel room.

She never gets his full name. Perhaps his anonymity is one of the reasons she’s able to give herself over to him and to the moment so completely. Perhaps it’s why she’s just had the most exquisite and passionate sex of her life. Shaken by her own behavior, Kasie tries to chalk it up to one crazy night. But when the mysterious gentleman she’s just had a fling with shows up in her office—as the CEO of a firm her company does a billion dollars of business with a year, demanding that she handle his account, and so much more—things will never be the same again. And there’s no telling where this will go…

REVIEW: The above blurb would have you believe that the heroine knows herself. No. She does not. She’s all over the road and I didn’t like her one bit.

As a matter a fact, I hated the plot. I also didn’t like that the story has only heroine’s point of view. I truly think the reader would have benefited by knowing at least Dave’s and Robert’s point of view.

Listen, if you’re into erotica and a heroine who’s cheating on her fiancé, I think you’ll love this story, otherwise, skip it.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

‘The Bourbon Thief’ by Tiffany Reisz

tbt trSTORY: When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

REVIEW: Cooper McQueen is a very wealthy man who loves a good bourbon. While sitting in his bar, he sees a lovely dark-skinned woman walk in. When she asks for a shot of Red Thread bourbon, she is told that it has not been made in many years. Cooper introduces himself to the woman, who calls herself Paris, and after some conversation, she agrees to meet him at his vast estate, Lockwood. She tells him she is a rich widow from Kentucky. When he teasingly asks her if she is after his money, she responds that he is after his bourbon – most specifically his prized possession of a one-million-dollar bottle of Red Thread Bourbon. It is the first bottle ever made. She claims to be part of the Maddox family who were the makers of Red Thread bourbon. She has inherited the business and begins to tells Cooper the story about the beginning of the Maddox family as follows:

Tamara Maddox, has just turned 16. Tamara and her mother, Virginia, have lived with her grandfather ever since her father passed away. Her mother and grandfather are always arguing. Tamara is spoiled and bothers Levi Shelby all the time demanding to ride her horse. Levi is much older than Tamara and works in the stables of her vast estate. When Tamara asks Levi for a birthday kiss, her mother catches them and is furious. She is given a choice of sending Levi away or she will shoot her beloved horse. Her mother explains to her that when her grandfather passes away, she will be the only Maddox left and it will be up to her to keep Red Thread going. But her grandfather has a even better plan to ensure the Maddox blood survives. When the truth comes out about the different family members, the shock is enormous.

After a night of violence at her home, Tamara runs away with Levi and thus begins her life of healing from the many disturbed members of the Maddox family.

This book is one that is quite mesmerizing. Starting from slave days to the present, we see the extent that men and women will go to to get what they want in life. The story is brutal at times, but expresses love as well. This historical novel is very good. I had some qualms about the character of Paris because I felt her actions conjured up racism where I don’t think it belonged in the story.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

Spotlight on Lavinia Kent and ‘Sarah’s Surrender’!

ss lkBOOK BLURB: Five years ago, Miss Sarah Swilp had been deeply in love with Jonathan Perry, the second son of an earl. But when Jonathan inherited his aunt’s lands and money, he turned cold, demanding Sarah’s maidenhood and uttering those unforgettably cruel words: “You do know I won’t marry you.” She refused, of course, and that spoiled everything. Now, just as she’s agreed to a marriage of convenience, Jonathan reappears—and after Sarah gets one look at his lean, hard body, the embers of desire burst back into flame.

Over time, Jonathan has learned quite a bit about the art of pleasure—though nothing has ever given him so much joy as the husky timbre of Sarah’s laugh. It had hurt to leave her, but what other choice did he have? Perhaps he’d been too afraid of ending up like his brother, targeted by a woman seeking a title. Seeing her again, Jonathan can’t help wondering what might have been if only Sarah had surrendered to red-hot lust. Fortunately, judging by the wicked look in her eyes, it may not be too late to find out.

Sarah’s Surrender is intended for mature audiences.

BUY LINKS: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo

TEASER: 

Mr. Meyers had been right. She did have no choice. She’d been so foolish to pretend she did, to hope that a knight might show up at the last moment and save her.

She took one step down, ignoring the urge to see if Jonathan was still watching her.

Mr. Meyers was not so bad. He had all his teeth. He wasn’t mean, or at least she didn’t think he was. These things were hard to tell from public appearance. Papa had taught her that.

Another step.

And he wanted to marry her. She wasn’t quite sure why, although she rather thought he liked the fact that she had no choice, that she would be forced to always be grateful to him. And he thought she was obedient. Papa was always telling his friends how good she was at doing whatever was demanded. If only he knew the truth—but perhaps it was best that he didn’t.

She hadn’t liked the look Mr. Meyers got on his face at Papa’s words, but what choice did she have?

And he liked her breasts. There was no mistaking that.

Another step. Keep ignoring Jonathan. Perhaps he wasn’t even there anymore. No, don’t think about him.

Think only of Mr. Meyers.

How did you tell a man you were now willing to marry him?

She braced her shoulders. You just did it. It was no different than most of life. You just did it.

How many things had she done just because there was no choice?

Too many to even begin to count.

She should be well practiced by now. It should not be this hard.

Only it was.

She’d had dreams, so many dreams. And none of them had included marrying a man her papa’s age, a man who clearly would never regard her as a person, let alone someone special.

Perhaps she was misjudging him. He must hold her in some esteem if he wanted to marry her.

Three more steps down.

She could do this.

There was no choice.

She hurried down the remaining steps and without giving herself time to think positioned herself a few feet from Mr. Meyers.

She felt his eyes fall upon her, felt the icy flicker as his gaze swept up the green gown and stopped at her chest.

Pulling a deep breath in, she let her breasts swell against the bodice.

He licked his lips, glanced once at her face, and then turned and walked away.

A cold knot formed in her belly.

REVIEW: I am such a huge fan of this author but for some reason she’s writing now this genre that I’m just not a fan of. I love her prose, her characterization and her plots. They are interesting and entertaining and the dialogue is wonderful, BUT then comes the explicit, erotic stuff, and I am put-off. Especially the BDSM stuff. I’m not into it so you may think I didn’t like this read, yet I’m going to surprise you and tell you I liked it a lot. I just skipped all the explicit sex parts.

Am I recommending it? Of course I am! To all my bookworms that are into the BDSM and erotica, you’ll love this one very much, and for all those that are not, you’ll still like the set up and the journey these two go through in order to be together.

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

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LaviniaKentAUTHOR BIO: Lavinia Kent never knew that most people don’t make up stories in their heads to pass the time. She still has a hard time understanding how those who don’t survive the doctor’s waiting room or a grocery store line without another world to escape into.

Growing up in New York state and Wisconsin, Lavinia graduated from Wellesley College and, for reasons that are still not quite clear, also holds an MBA from Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown University. Lavinia has remained in Washington ever since.

She lives under the gracious (and usually benign) rule of Erzsebet, the cat, along with her husband, three children, one cockatiel, two rats, and Erzsebet’s younger, subordinate tomcat, otherwise known as The Golden Snitch.

As the mother of three, Lavinia finds “leisure time” to be ever-elusive, but when she is not reading romance novels, she watches far too much HBO and reality television. It must also be noted that she has an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Buffy and Doctor Who.

Lavinia was a two-term president of the Washington Romance Writers and is proud to be a four-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart nominee.

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