Captivated: Letting Go/Seize the Night by Megan Hart and Tiffany Reisz

captivatedBook: Captivated

Authors: Megan Hart/Tiffany Reisz

Publisher: Cosmo Hot Reads

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Letting Go – Colleen goes to the same bar every week, staring at the tumbler of whiskey that she’ll never drink. Jesse the bartender is intrigued by her. She’s always polite and friendly enough, but beneath the surface there’s a sadness that he can’t fathom.

Having control is important to Colleen. Her ex-husband called her controlling, frigid and useless. She knows this isn’t true, but she’s also aware that her needs aren’t ‘normal.’ After getting snowed in at the bar and chatting to Jesse, she impulsively invites him back to hers. Their night turns into a weekend of discovery for the pair and Jesse is determined to show Colleen that it could be so much more…

Seize the Night: Remi O. Montgomery and Julien Brite are the offspring of Kentucky’s two major horse-rearing dynasties. Arden Farms and Capital Hills have been feuding for years and the two are forbidden from making contact with each other again. Despite not seeing each other since the night they were caught together, Remi can’t stop wondering about Julien. As the manager of her family’s stables, she notices some things aren’t adding up. Why do the two families have so much money all of a sudden? When the only person she can turn to to investigate is Julien and her assistant, Remi’s about to be reminded exactly why she couldn’t get over him.

Why you should read this:  If you’re a fan of these two power houses, I think you’ll enjoy these quick reads. Megan Hart is true to form with this tale of a heroine with issues and a caring hero. I loved this story as I have a thing about male-submissive stories that are realistic. Tiffany Reisz is always fun – with in-jokes from her Original Sinners series. She has been quite ambitious re-telling Romeo and Juliet and re-setting it in modern-day Kentucky. It’s quirky, fun and for me, her assistant Merrick stole the show.

What you might hate: A huge fan of both authors, I may have been a little guilty of setting my expectations a little too high. These are short reads so don’t have the depth of their usual novels – be aware of this. They’re fun, sexy and they do their job. No more, no less.

Rating: 3/5 I really enjoyed Letting Go as it was deeper than your average quick read. Seize the Night made me chuckle and it’s fine if you can suspend your disbelief and accept it for what it is.

Captivated is out now.

Night Fever by Jessica Hawkins

night feverBook: Night Fever

Series: Night Fever Serial  book #1

Author: Jessica Hawkins

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Lola Winters leads a very simple life. It’s not perfect but she has Johnny Pace, her steady boyfriend who has been part of her life for the last eight years. Together, they are getting through life, working at Hey Joe, a bar that had its heyday in the 80s, but is now shabby and worn down. When the owner decides it’s finally time to sell up and move on, Lola and Johnny know they have to do something. Lola would do anything for Johnny and knows that if they’re ever going to live life (get married, live beyond pay check to pay check) instead of waiting for the situation to improve – they’ll actually have to make it happen.

Enter Beau Olivier. Wealthy, enigmatic and apparently smitten with Lola the minute he sets eyes on her, he decides to make the couple a deal. If she agrees to spend a night with him, submitting to his desires, then the bar is theirs. Lola is disgusted and so is Johnny. However, when reality dawns, the pair knows that this could be the only chance to getting the future they always wanted. It’s only a few hours after all. How bad could it be?

Lola believes she can put her disgust and her misgivings to one side for the payout. What’s one night of humiliation and submission compared to their dreams finally coming to fruition? Somewhere, deep down though, Lola fears it won’t be that simple and maybe she’ll learn some uncomfortable truths about who she truly is…

Why you should read this: Ok – I know what you’re thinking. You’re concerned that I’m advocating you read yet another story where the heroine sells herself in the style of Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal. True to a certain extent, however, Jessica Hawkins has written a story which incorporates some very uncomfortable themes but makes it a compelling read all the same. Yes, the feminist in me was hesitant about reading this story. Lola essentially agrees to hire her body to Beau in exchange for the answers to her problems, but it is more complex than that. Lola’s about to learn a lot about her relationship with Johnny, who she is and also whether she’ll ever be prepared to go after what she wants. For me, this is a story about self-discovery. It’s hot, it’ll mess with your head a bit and I don’t think you’ll always know who to root for.

What you might hate:  You could be sick to death of the rich-man-poor-girl trope – I know I am, as I’ve read so many mediocre stories which verge on the ridiculous. HOWEVER, this is not one of them. It’s thoughtful, smart and I cannot wait to read the rest of the story, as I truly have no idea how it’s going to end up.

Rating: I’m giving Night Fever 5/5 for the up and down of my emotions while reading it and the engaging writing style that drew me in immediately. More please!

Night Fever is out on November 4th.

Third Time Lucky by Pippa Croft

Third time lucky

Book: Third Time Lucky

Author: Pippa Croft

Series: Oxford Blue, #3

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Lauren is preparing for her final term at Oxford and has more to worry about than her studies. After things ended badly with Alexander, she didn’t expect to be drawn back into his life so quickly. Following a mission that went wrong, he teeters on the brink on life and death and Lauren is listed as the person to call in an emergency. Scared for his life and what she’ll do without him, Lauren is once again tested. Is her love for him enough to see them through?

As Alexander recovers slowly, Lauren is relieved, yet anxious not to lose her heart and control of her life to him. Establishing boundaries and focusing on her work are paramount to her, yet the pull of Alexander is too strong to resist for long.

Amidst the idyllic surroundings of Oxford, Lauren is once again faced with Valentina – the ex from hell and her machinating ways. Cousin Rupert is also keen to do Valentina’s bidding and ruin Lauren’s life. Will Lauren end up with her man, or will life back in Washington pull her back to the life waiting for her?

Why you should read this: If you read The First Time We Met and The Second Time I Saw You and liked them, you’ll definitely want to check out the third and (perhaps) final installment of the series. I really liked Lauren even more in this book. She’s focused and despite being young, she has learnt not to spend all her time with Alexander. He’s been selfish in the past and she’s gone along with it. It was good to see her backbone. Alexander continues to smolder and brood, but he’s also more of a person in this book. He’s hot and delish – everything you want in a hero, but he’s also imperfect and Lauren enjoys taking him down a peg or two. He needs it!

What you may hate: I’ve seen a couple of comments from readers not happy with the way it ended. I guess it’s not an ending for some readers if the characters haven’t been married off with a corny wedding ceremony with a whole troop of kids! I disagree with that. I liked the ending. It was full of hope and leaves the door open to another book, but what’s wrong with readers using their imaginations?

Rating: I was happy to see the bad guys get what was coming to them and the couple in a good position for their future HEA. I love not knowing what’s going to happen. I give this book 4/5.

Third Time Lucky is out in the UK now – print copies in the US will be out in November.

The Scientific Method by Kris Ripper

Book: The Scientific Method

Author: Kris Ripper

Series: The Scientific Method

Format: Kindle

Review by: Judith

Plot: Will Derrie only wants one thing out of sex: to be dominated. Too bad it never works out for him. He and his latest girlfriend have predictably boring and far too vanilla sex until Will can’t take it anymore. But what can he do? He fantasizes and dreams and ultimately hopes that one day someone will figure out that he’s not messed up in the head for wanting something with a bit more kink. Will’s brother finally forces Will into getting what he wants since he knows Will would never do it on his own. He sets Will up on a coffee date with Mistress Lucy, a Dom friend of a friend, and thinks that she can solve all Will’s problems. Or at the very least, beat them out of him. What Will’s brother doesn’t bank on is Lucy bringing along, Hugh Reynolds, a male Dom who intrigues Will far more than he thought possible. As Hugh helps him search inside himself, Will learns that being dominated isn’t so kinky after all…

What you’ll like: this is ultimately a journey of self-discovery that doesn’t start out as pure smut. We see Will transform from a weak, unsatisfied boy into a man who knows what he wants and goes after it. The sex is ho-ho-HOT! And in the end, it’s not about romance or love. It’s about the journey that brought Will into accepting who he is and who he could be through domination and submission. Awesome story-telling from Kris Ripper and an action driven plot. Well, if you use “action” as a euphemism for sexy smut.

What you might hate: some people hate m/m. Some people also hate BDSM. Some people even hate smut. This book has all three. It’s a book where not a whole lot happens and Onni called it a bit clinical at first. (Judith totally disagrees BTW).

Rating: 5/5 The first book was free and I devoured it…and promptly bought the other 7 in the series and really haven’t come up for air in the last week.  So so so deliciously good.

It Happened One Night by Phillipa Ashley

it-happened-one-nightBook: It Happened One Night

Author: Phillipa Ashley

Format: Kindle

Review by: Onnica

 

Basic story: Sophie McBride has loved Adam Templar for as long as she can remember. Friends since childhood, their relationship grew from her awkward admiration for him to their first heart-breaking, all-encompassing love. Despite their youthful vow to stay together, family tragedy succeeded in breaking the two up. Ten years later, Sophie has remained in the village, despite having wanted to move away to university. She has a budding business of her own and life continues peacefully. Until Adam returns…

Adam Templar has not returned to the village of Langmere since Sophie turned him away. Now a director, he is filming a biopic of a famous local poet in the village. He knows he’ll see Sophie sooner or later but nothing can prepare him for when they do come face-to-face again. Add an insecure girlfriend, a rakish co-star and a village full of gossips into the mix, life for Sophie and Adam is about to change forever.

Why you should read this: I loved this book from start to finish! It was so down to earth, so sweet and had real humour to it. There was also quite a moving back-story too, which will tug at your heart strings. I couldn’t wait to find out all of the family secrets – they are juicy! The action takes place amid the filming of a costume drama and the descriptions are so authentic and rich, I felt as though I was right there in with the action.

Sophie is a great heroine. She’s making the best of her situation and doesn’t dwell overly on the past. She isn’t bitter about the past, but she is torn between family loyalty and her feelings for Adam. Adam is a cool customer – we don’t know what happened between the pair straightaway and he keeps his feelings close to his chest throughout the book, until the end. For me, it was more what he didn’t say, that made me take notice.

What you might hate: The only thing I hated about this book was Adam’s evil girlfriend Victoria! Ok, so she isn’t evil but she’s a cow. A truly horrid character that provided drama, some great scenes between her and Sophie and I couldn’t wait for her to get her just desserts.

Rating: 4/5 for me. I will definitely be re-reading this book. Loved it hard. So nice to read something set not very far from me in the world. Thoroughly satisfying.

It Happened One Night is out now.

Control by Laura Marie Altom

controlBook: Control

Author: Laura Marie Altom

Series: (A Shamed novel #1)

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

 

Basic story: Ella Patton (who also goes by the name Julie Smith) has run away from everything that was wrong with her life, and she intends to keep running from her abusive husband Blaine, until she’s on the other side of the country. Working in a snack truck in a Walmart, she plans her future carefully. Stay for a few more months and she’ll have enough to leave the state. She’s best alone, has no need to put her faith and hopes in another person.Trusting people only gets you hurt.

The night she meets Liam Stone, she is amazed that she feels something. She had thought Blaine had destroyed every last part of her. But one thing remains: desire. The pair struggle with their mutual spark, neither wanting to take risks and dive in, but both unable to resist.

Liam Stone is in town for a couple of days until his vehicle is repaired. A dot-com billionaire and founder of Zoogle (imaginative, right?) he has the world at his feet. When he sets eyes on ‘Julie’, he knows he has to have her. The usual shows of wealth fail to impress her and she brings out his long-buried insecurities. He is resigned to making her leave with him. The only question is how…

Why you should read this: This is the first book I’ve read by this author and I have to admit that it was different to the usual. There was high drama, plenty of angst and lots of chemistry between the pair. Where this deviates from other billionaire and beggar-girl stories is that Ella has known wealth too but she chose to walk away from it.

What you might hate: Ok, I’ll be honest. I don’t think I would have carried on reading had I not committed to reviewing this book. I found it really depressing. I found the constant arguments and misunderstandings between Liam and Ella gave me whiplash. I didn’t really connect with either character on a deep level and I just wanted it to be over. Abuse is a serious issue obviously, but I have read better versions of this trope. The heroine is damaged and I can totally understand that, but her propensity to run at the merest hint of trouble grew really tiresome! And the crying – all.the.time…

Rating: 2/5 for me I’m afraid. Not a fan of the characters and unfortunately, I’m not curious enough to see what happens in book two Possess, which is out in December. If you do read it, let me know what you think.

Control is out now.

Torture to her Soul by J.M. Darhower

JMDarhower coverBook: Torture to her Soul

Author: JM Darhower

Series: (Monster in his Eyes #2)

Format: uncorrected ARC

Review by: Onnica

**This review contains a few spoilers from book 1 – so make sure you’ve read it first!**

Basic story: The action picks up from where Monster in his Eyes left off. Karissa is struggling with who Naz really is and his connection to her ever-diminishing family. So she does what any self-respecting adolescent would do – she ignores him. Naz is content to ride out the storm for as long as it takes, as long as Karissa stays with him. Despite not being able to trust her, he’s adamant their wedding plans and the future they had planned will go ahead as scheduled.

Naz has more things to worry about than Karissa’s cold treatment. His associate and father-figure Ray is displeased with their relationship and makes his feelings clear on the subject: she’s a Rita and needs to be dealt with. There’s no way Naz is going to stand by and allow Karissa’s to be hurt. It’s not in his nature. So even if that means taking on ‘family’, so be it. She may not want to be protected by him, but sometimes the adage better-the-devil-you-know is accurate.

As the pair struggle to find some middle ground, the road to reconciliation is a rough one. Karissa’s about to face the biggest betrayal in her life and must decide whether she can really be with Naz forever, or whether he really is a monster after all…

Why you should read it: I was a huge fan of Monster in his Eyes – the plot, the twists and the smut were delicious. If you read and enjoyed it, how could you not want to read Naz and Karissa’s next instalment? Naz is back and as dark and brooding as ever. This book is his story, told from his point of view. You’ll get to know him inside out – the good, the bad and the downright terrifying. What I liked and appreciated was the humour in the book. Naz can be dry and witty at times and when he teases Karissa by mimicking her or repeating her questions back to her is actually very endearing. The story isn’t heavy all the time and I was grateful for these moments of comic relief.

What you might hate: Ok! deep breath. So, one of the things I liked about Naz as a character was that he didn’t say a lot, but what he said meant something. He wasn’t a massive talker. But jeez – his internal monologue? I lost count of how many times he said he was a bad man over and over and that he’d never let Karissa go. He did go on a wee bit. Secondly, the ability to suspend my disbelief in certain plot lines was not easy – the ultimate betrayal I alluded to before – personally, I don’t see anyone being forgiven or coming back from that. But hey, I’m not in the mob so what do I know? What about Karissa? She’s a typical nineteen-year-old so I didn’t expect too much from her, but she surprised me by finally growing up and facing her problems once and for all. In the end, she has the power over her life and the choices are hers.

Rating: a tricky one as I was super-excited to read this and expected it to be on a par with book one. If I’m honest, for me it wasn’t and it felt a lot longer than the first book. However, I was glad to see how it all ended for the pair. I expected a Greek tragedy at the end, but somehow they managed to get their HEA. Was I a bit disappointed? Perhaps by the repetition at times, but all in all, a heart-stopping thrill ride of a book that I give 3/5.

Black Lies by Alessandra Torre

black_lies_official_cover

 Book: Black Lies

Author: Alessandra Torre

Format: Kindle edition

Review by: Onnica

Synopsis: Brant: Became a tech billionaire by his twentieth birthday. Has been in a relationship with me for 3 years. Has proposed 4 times. Been rejected 4 times.

Lee: Cuts grass when he’s not banging housewives. Good with his hands, his mouth, and his body. Has been pursued relentlessly by me for almost 2 years, whether he knows it or not.

Go ahead. Judge me. You have no idea what my love entails.
If you think you’ve heard this story before, trust me – you haven‘t.

Basic story: When Layana Fairmont met Brant Sharp, eccentric genius and all-round enigma, she thought she’d found the man of her dreams. Empire-building has consumed him and he has always had a predilection for escorts rather than relationships. All that changes the night they set eyes on each other. Layana has been trying to escape from the social confines she was born into, but soon realises that she isn’t really built for more. With Brant in her life, she feels as though she has a happier future until she learns the secret…

Still reeling from the revelations, Layana meets Lee – the polar opposite of Brant. He’s crude, poor and a manual labourer. He despises both her and Brant’s wealth but beneath it all, his heart is hers. Struggling to reconcile her love for these two men, Lana knows her time is almost up. She will have to choose, or the choice may be made for her…

Why you should absolutely read this: Oh dear God, you absolutely need to read this book! It’s smart (Alessandra Torre writes incredibly well and engagingly) and I honestly didn’t see the twist coming. I was wary of Lana – what was her angle, why was she so greedy and underhand. Then I was completely in her corner. She’s a fighter, ready to fight for her happiness, despite the odds stacked against her. Both Brant and Lee provide some very sexy times and I guarantee you won’t be able to put this book down until the very end. I was sneaking in chapters at work – I was hooked!

What you might hate: You may hate Layana in the beginning – she comes across as a spoilt and selfish young woman. Stick with it and you’ll change your mind. I can’t say too much – the secret is too good. If you haven’t read any Alessandra Torre before, then note – she’s a very naughty woman. If erotica isn’t your bag then maybe steer clear of this one. The difference between her and other authors is that she always provides a damn good story around the smut. It isn’t shoehorned in.

Rating: a resounding 5/5 – I loved every second and I will certainly re-read. Well done Ms Torre.

Cover Reveal: Night Fever by Jessica Hawkins

It’s turning into a busy old week on the blog! Check out this new cover of one of my favourite authors and friends, Jessica Hawkins.

Coming Soon

Night Fever
by Jessica Hawkins
Night Fever Serial #1
Publication Date: October 14, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Novella, Romance, Serial

Copy of NIGHT FEVER JESSICA HAWKINS AMAZON KINDLE EBOOK COVER

Lola Winters’ heart already belongs to Johnny, but for him, she’d sell the devil her soul. Unfortunately, the devil wants something else.

Beau Olivier is the kind of wealthy that buys anything—even people. When he makes Lola a proposition, she finds herself tempted into a seduction that will have her walking the line between comfort and humiliation, desire and resistance. He would own her—for one night. She would be his—for a price. It was wrong. It was scandalous. It was the opportunity of a lifetime.

Sex, music, neon on the Sunset Strip—right in the middle of it all, he would have her. Come sunrise, he would let her go. At least, that was the plan.

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About Jessica Hawkins

Jessica Hawkins grew up between the purple mountains and under the endless sun of Palm Springs, California. She studied international business at Arizona State University and has also lived in Costa Rica and New York City. Some of her favorite things include traveling, her dog Kimo, Scrabble, driving aimlessly and creating Top Five lists. She is the helpless victim of an overactive imagination that finds inspiration in music and tranquility in writing. Currently she resides wherever her head lands, which lately is the unexpected (but warm) keyboard of her trusty MacBook.

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Monster in his Eyes by J.M. Darhower

monster.png

Book: Monster in his Eyes

Author: JM Darhower

Series: (#1, Monster)

Review by: Onnica

BlurbIgnazio Vitale is not a good man.

I suspect it, the first time I see him, sense the air of danger that surrounds the man. He has a way of commanding attention, of taking control, of knowing what I’m thinking before I even do.

It’s alarming and alluring. It’s dark and deadly. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted but the last thing I truly need. Obsession.
It doesn’t take him long to draw me into his web, charming me into his bed and trapping me in his life, a life I know nothing about until it’s too late. He has secrets, secrets I can’t fathom, secrets that make it so I can’t walk away, no matter how much I beg him to let me go. I see it sometimes in his eyes, a darkness that’s both terrifying and thrilling. He’s a monster, wrapped up in a pretty package, and what I find when I unmask him changes everything.
I want to hate him.
Sometimes, I do.
But it doesn’t stop me from loving him, too.

Basic story: Karissa Reed, freshman in college has no idea how her life is about to change. On a night out with a friend she drinks from a glass that has been roofied and then passes out. A stranger helps her and she wakes in his bed. Her saviour is a man named Ignazio Vitale. Older and wiser than Karissa by eighteen years, she finds herself drawn to him. Naz is straightforward, direct and commanding. She feels safe with him.

Naz is a man on a mission. He has Karissa in his sights and nothing will keep him from her if she wants him. And she does. He gives her the choice: tell him to go and he will. If she wants him to stick around, then it’ll be for the long haul. Naive Karissa jumps in with both feet, with no idea of the repercussions her decision will make.

Why you should read this: Wow, this story has it all. Gangsters, sexy times and family secrets galore! The pace of the action moved along quite nicely – I felt as though I got to know the characters very well. Enough to see what made them tick. Naz is a great (anti) hero. He’s serious, yet playful at times. He has a big neon sign over his head screaming DANGER! His intensity is well…intense. I don’t think it’s over the top, but boyfriend definitely has issues.

What you might hate: Not into stories about the mob? Then best to avoid. I don’t read many set in this environment, so it was a nice surprise of a book for me. Karissa is eighteen. Call me old-fashioned but considering the nature of the relationship, I would have felt more comfortable, had she been older. At least twenty! However, I don’t think the purpose of the book was to feel comfortable. The pair are messed up and we’ll have to wait and see whether they can make it work. Karissa is your typical adolescent: whiny at times, petulant and naive. She’ll have to do some growing up and quick.

Rating: Despite my misgivings about certain elements to the book, I loved it. I read it twice. So the decision is easy: 4/5 and let me have the sequel Torture to her Soul immediately, if not sooner!