Tag: megan hart

Don’t Deny Me series by Megan Hart

Megan Hart

Book: Don’t Deny Me

Series: The Don’t Deny Me series (parts 1-3)

Author: Megan Hart

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

“The memories last longer than the time it took to make them.” – Alice to Mick.

Basic story: Alice Clark met Michael McManus one night many years ago at a mutual friends’ party. They flirted, they later loved and life was great. Until it wasn’t. Ten years after breaking up, Alice braces herself for seeing him again at another weekend party thrown by their friends. Over the years she has skilfully avoided social gatherings he’d be at, but sooner or later it had to happen and they would be in the same room again. Convinced that she’s over him, she prepares herself mentally, but can you ever really be prepared to see the man who split your heart wide open?

Mick wants to see Alice again desperately. Over the years, he knows he messed up and just wants another chance to make things right. He isn’t prepared for the intense feelings that flood him when he sees her again. But this time, he’s determined not to mess up his possible second chance…

Why you should read this: Usually I’m not a massive fan of second-chance romances, but that could be because a lot of them are totally over the top and overly sentimental. You don’t get over-sentimentality in Ms Hart’s writing. You get plenty of raw emotion and heartfelt angst, but it always feels honest and real. I really responded to Alice and Mick, as what drove them apart is what plagues nearly every relationship I know of! The lack of mutual understanding – the false assumptions and bad habits that drive the other person crazy. It’s all there! I loved how the books are punctuated with a combination of sent and unsent letters between Alice and Mick. It really showed the differences in how the pair think and it was so obvious to the outsider where they were going wrong.

What you might hate: You may feel that Alice at times was a little belligerent and acted like a petulant child, but in the same way, Mick was completely stunted and couldn’t tell the woman he loved that he loved her! At times I wanted to knock their heads together, while at other times I loved them a little bit more for their flaws.

Rating: 4/5 I loved the periphery characters as well as the main and the sense of history the group of friends had – it was so well-described, I felt part of it. A very enjoyable and off-the-charts sexy read.

Part One is out on 13th January.

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.

Flying by Megan Hart

FlyingBook: Flying

Author: Megan Hart

Format: Kindle ARC

Review by: Onnica

 

Basic story: Every few weeks, Stella boards a plane with her free air miles and goes in search of adventure. One night in a different location; an anonymous liaison with a man she knows she’ll never see again. This suits her life and she has no wish for anything more.

Mother to  a surly teenager, Stella fields her way through life’s difficulties and shared custody. Her free weekends keep her grounded, make her feel wanted and desired and she comes to crave them like nicotine. She doesn’t have to be Stella, she can be whomever she likes. When she meets Matthew on a delayed stop in Chicago, she immediately recognises a kindred spirit. She’s not the only one seeking solace elsewhere and running away from a difficult past. She isn’t prepared for him to see her so intimately. She can’t lie to him. And she has to accept that one time only with Matthew may just not be enough.

Why you should read it: I love fluff and feel good as much as the next person, but sometimes I want a sexy read that also has substance. This is why I constantly return to Megan Hart. (Check out my past reviews if you don’t believe me!) This book has it all; heartbreak, finding love and passion after 40 and learning to trust your heart again, despite your instincts telling you otherwise. Stella is a great character – she’s struggling. She tries to be a good mother and gives all she has, but until she can put the past to rest, there’s no hope for her family.

What you might hate: The book is one of Megan’s heavier stories – parts are actually heartbreaking and at times I had no idea how Stella would pick up the pieces. She is isolated and at times you wonder how much of that is actually down to Stella. What did she do? Matthew was a good character and a challenging one, but at times I wanted to slap him. He was so weak and definitely had alcohol issues that didn’t seem to be addressed. Yet I still loved them as a couple and was rooting for them.

Rating: 4/5 for a sensual, gritty and absorbing tale of love, loss and lust. But not necessarily in that order.

Flying is out on May 1st.

Every Part of You: By Megan Hart

every part of you

Book: Every Part of You (parts 1-5)

Author: Megan Hart

Format: Kindle

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Simone Kahan is a voyeur. For some time now, she’s been checking out the handsome man in the office opposite hers and watching what he and his various female companions get up to after hours. She longs to take the place of one of those women. He seems to know exactly what she would need – if only she were his type. He seems to go for the same tall, blond model-like woman, whereas she is slight, brunette and anything but model-like.

One night they meet in the office elevator and suddenly things will never be the same again. After he initially dismisses Simone as not being worthy of a second look, Elliott Anderson is soon forced to re-evaluate his assessment. She is fun, flirty and bold and nothing like the automatons that Elliott usually prefers. She’s challenging and she could spell disaster for that part of him he insists on keeping locked up. The path to true love never did run smooth and this story will be no exception.

Why you should read it: You follow this blog – you know I’m crazy about Megan Hart. She always gives flawed characters an extra depth of feeling, loss and heartbreak that they need to work through. This story is about opposites. And what you do when you find the right one, but the one doesn’t seem to get it or be on board. I liked Simone’s spunky nature, her willingness to put her heart on the line and take a risk. However, she’s no-one’s fool and when enough is enough, she doesn’t stick around. I have the benefit of having read the whole story at once. So trust me on this – stick with it.

What you might hate: I personally hate serialised books – only because I dislike waiting around for the next episode. If you’re like me, then you may want to wait for all five books to be published so that you can devour them in one sitting. In terms of the story, I didn’t find much to hate – if you don’t get or sympathise with the sado-masochistic world, then you may struggle with Simone’s need for pleasure/pain, but I doubt it.

Rating: I’m giving this series 4/5 as I enjoyed Simone and Elliott’s journey, their ups and downs and their HEA. The pair weren’t perfect – in many ways they balanced each other out and challenged each other. Highly recommend it.

Every Part of You books 1, 2 and 3 are out now. The remaining books will be released in March and April.

New Serial Teaser: Every Part of You by Megan Hart

every part of youToday we’re so lucky to welcome Megan Hart to the blog – she’s launched a five-part series and part one Every Part of You: Tempts Me came out February 2nd. See below for the scheduled releases of the parts 2-5.

Every Part of You: Resists Me, available 2/18/14

Every Part of You: Taunts Me, available 3/4/14

Every Part of You: Denies Me, available 3/18/14

Every Part of You: Takes Me, available 4/1/14

One question I’m always asking my favourite authors is where does the inspiration come from? Here’s what Megan had to say…

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I can’t write without music. I feature playlists for many of my books, and share my favorite artists and songs all over the place. I love music! And, since Every Part of You’s title came directly from the Halestorm song In Your Room, it’s no wonder this five part serial had a lot of musical inspiration while I was writing it.

In Your Room by Halestorm. This bittersweet ballad by the hard rocking band never fails to make me cry. The singer beseeches her lover to “let me in your room” – maybe literally, but certainly metaphorically. And, just as Simone tries to get Elliott to open up to her, the song reminds the object of it that it doesn’t matter what secrets or bad things he might have, she’ll take every part of him.

Use Somebody – Kings of Leon. Wow. What can I say about this song, other than no matter whether or not Elliott would admit it, he’s desperate to find love. He tries to deny his attraction to Simone, forcing himself to pretend he doesn’t need to “use” anybody, but the truth his, she flips his switch in a way nobody else ever has. She’s the one for him, and he can’t get away from her.

Hot and Cold by Katy Perry is also a tongue in cheek tribute to Elliott’s waffling. While Simone has no compunctions about making her desires clear, Elliott not only tries to act like he doesn’t get turned on by giving her the pain she craves, he denies liking it altogether.

Trouble – Cat Stevens. This classic folk song might seem a little out of character for the punk rock Simone or the quiet, staid Elliott, but if you listen to the lyrics, which talk about the singer wanting his lover to set him free, you can see how it fits both characters who are fighting to keep themselves from getting hurt yet aren’t able to let go.

Rev 22-20 by Puscifer is simply one of the best sex songs I know. That’s it. It’s a song made for sexy times. And hair pulling. And hand tying. And pinching. And…you get the picture.

The Fall by Bo Bruce is a song Simone probably wouldn’t like, but it would make her cry. Just like it makes me cry whenever I hear it. If you’ve ever loved someone who simply won’t give you what you want and need…then you understand Simone’s pain. This song perfectly sums it up.

Head Like A Hole, Nine Inch Nails. Well…this is one of those songs that’s not about the lyrics meaning something for the characters. It’s just an awesome song that Simone would totally rock out to while she danced around her apartment in her underwear while Elliott tried to pretend he wasn’t getting turned on. Or that he didn’t like this song, which he really did.

A Thousand Years by Christina Perri.  Love song. The sort of song you dance to with the person who’s stolen your heart and you cry because you’re so happy. That sort of song. When it comes on the radio, Simone has to change the channel because it makes her think of Elliott, that jerk, who won’t admit he’s in love with her! *weeps *

 If you’re reading Every Part of You, take a listen to these songs!

unnamedBlurb for Every Part of You: Resists Me (#2)

 The dance has begun. Simone’s ready to follow all her desires, but reluctant Elliott isn’t ready to take the lead.

After teasing Elliott into going dancing with her, Simone seduces him. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid of asking for it, and Elliott appears to be as eager as she is to see where their passion takes them. The sex is electric, but Elliott is taken aback by his response to her, and when Simone reveals her kink for pain to him, he’s unable to accept it and tells her he doesn’t want to see her again.

 And then they’re both invited to the same party.

Excerpt for Every Part of You: Resists Me (#3)unnamed

 “I like to make you feel good.”

“You did, honey.” The endearment slipped out of her. “Really good. I told you, I like . . .”

“I know what you said.”

“Elliott. Do you think I’m the sort of girl who’d tell you I like something when I don’t?”

“No. I guess not.”

“You’re not used to women who tell you the truth, huh?”

He paused. “It’s not that. I don’t usually ask, that’s all. I don’t see them more than once or twice, remember?”

So he did have a sense of humor. Dry and self-deprecating, but there was nothing wrong with that. In fact, she liked it. A lot.

“I like you,” she told him suddenly. She wanted to tell him she’d liked him for awhile, but as with the scones and everything else, that would mean she’d have to own up to her Peeping Tina tendencies. She waited, but he didn’t say anything. Simone sighed. “Now would be the perfect time to tell me that you like me, too.”

He sighed into the phone with enough force that he’d have ruffled her hair if they’d been together in person rather than talking on the phone. Simone rolled her eyes, trying not to let it hurt her feelings. Reminding herself that he’d called her, and there had to be a reason, if only she could be patient enough to let him get to it.

“I don’t think we should see each other again. That’s all.”

Simone had never been a patient sort of girl. “You woke me up on a Sunday morning to tell me that you don’t think we should see each other again?”

“I wanted to let you know.”

“So you wouldn’t be rude?”

“Yes. That’s part of it,” Elliott said.

Simone chewed the inside of her cheek for a moment. “What’s the other part?”

“I don’t want you coming to my office again.”

Everything inside her went cold. Then hot. Then cold again.

“I see.”

“It’s not you,” Elliott said finally.

“No. It’s you. Definitely you.”

There came a long silence in which she was certain he would disconnect the call. Simone sat with the phone pressed to her ear until he did, without even a good-bye, trying to pretend this didn’t matter. Trying to tell herself it was better to know, no matter how hard it had been to hear.

It was always better to know.

Readers – how important is knowing a story’s soundtrack to you? Comment here to win a copy of Every Part of You: Tempts Me (#1)! (It’s digital only, which means you must be able to get your prize from Amazon.com, BN.com, Kobo.com or iBookstore in the USA) If you already have #1, you’ll be able to choose #2!

Our Top Five Reads of 2013

Happy New Year everyone! Just looking back at all of the books we read in 2013 and I can’t believe how much we got through. The good, the bad and the downright ridiculous – it was all there. As it’s new year, we couldn’t let 2013 pass without a nod to some of the best books to cross our paths.

LickAt No.5, is Lick by Kylie Scott – how I loved this fun, sexy romp – Evelyn and David’s chemistry was HAWT! I loved the absence of angst in this book. No high drama, no broken people. Excellent. Read the full review here.

tear you apartAt no.4, is Tear You Apart by Megan Hart. One of my favourite authors, Ms Hart always puts your heart through the ringer. This book is no exception. A bitter-sweet story about two people too frightened to reach for their own happiness, it blew me away. The writing and the pathos make for a very powerful story. The review can be read here.

Dark LightAt no.3, is a paranormal – something we don’t feature a lot of on Romantic Fiction: Dark Light by S.L Jennings really appealed to me as the story was so original and is also a debut novel. Not bad for a first try eh? The battle between good and evil is not clear cut and the very dark, very sexy Dorian Skotos will have you unsure of whom to root for. We reviewed and loved this book in February and the review is here.

Run-to-YouAt no.2, is a racy little book called Run to You by Charlotte Stein. This is how all would-be erotica reads should be – full of smutty goodness, while retaining a strong story running through it. Janos Kovacs is probably my favourite hero of 2013.

Finally, at no. 1 – after much deliberation and soul-searching, myafterhours favourite read of 2013 is After Hours by Cara McKenna. An author that I’ve come to admire greatly this year, Cara has written a book with a lot of heart, intelligence and one smokin’ hot alpha who goes by the name of Kelly Robacs. The book has humour, depth – it’s set in an asylum for goodness sakes! I loved and enjoyed every.single.word. Our review is here.

Tear You Apart by Megan Hart

tear you apartBook: Tear You Apart

Author: Megan Hart

Format: Uncorrected ARC

Review by: Onnica

Basic story: Elisabeth has been married for twenty-something years to Ross. Her twin girls have flown the nest and are at college. This leaves a lot of time to think about her life and the way things were and how they are now. At a gallery showing she meets Will. Enigmatic, open and interested in what she has to say, Beth is intrigued. Ross, her husband hasn’t noticed her for years. Their life is steeped in routine, non-communication and apathy has crept into their relationship.

Beth comes into contact with Will, an artist, more and more. Meeting innocently through her job it soon becomes obvious that their meetings are anything but innocent. One encounter turns into several and soon Beth is unable to think of much else beyond how alive she feels. Will has woken her up inside in a way that Ross was never able. The only rule is not to become too attached, not to form strong feelings for the other. Each person can walk away any time it stops being fun. But life isn’t like that. Beth has fallen out of love with her husband and her homelife. Routines and housework and an absent husband who takes her for granted press upon her, until she has to ask herself, whether she can give it all up to be happy…

Why you should read this: perhaps this book doesn’t really belong on a romance site, but I felt I needed a change from the usual stuff I’ve read lately. Megan is a super smart writer who isn’t afraid to go to difficult and even taboo places. Infidelity is an ugly topic, but it’s not uncommon – it’s fascinating to delve into the reasons why people find themselves cheating on their partners. I felt for Beth at times and then there were times when I wanted her to pull herself together. The dialogue and the encounters she has with Will are spot on – I couldn’t put it down I was so absorbed in the story and how things would end up. Megan didn’t disappoint – don’t expect a happy ending, but enjoy the journey and if you needed further proof that life isn’t black and white, you will find it here.

What you might hate: the subject matter. I know a lot of people can’t even read about fictional infidelity – and I get it, I do, but I do enjoy reading about human frailty. We make mistakes. It is worth reading for Megan’s ability to write real characters, who are realistic and flawed.

Rating: 4/5 for this bitter-sweet tale of forty-somethings trying to find happiness outside of themselves. I was absorbed from the start and if you enjoy original writing that doesn’t shy away from the darker side of human nature, you should read this! It’s hot – for some of the scenes between Will and Beth my mouth must have been hanging wide open. Even my other half guessed I was reading one of ‘those’ books!

Tear You Apart is out September 6.

Naked by Megan Hart

Naked by Megan Hart
Naked by Megan Hart

Book: Naked

Author: Megan Hart

Reviewed by: Onnica

Basic Story: Olivia Mackey has a very complicated life. She’s an adopted, bi-racial, Catholic/Jewish twenty–something. Her ex-fiancé Patrick effectively ended their relationship when he finally admitted to them both that he was gay. After some time apart, they somehow managed to remain friends and as part of his entourage, she suffers the pitying looks from others and still loves him desperately.

At his annual Christmas party, Olivia is drawn to the mysterious and seemingly gay Alex Kennedy. Convinced he can never be anything to her, she allows herself to openly admire him and gradually, the pair become friends. Ex-fiancé Patrick is not happy and soon he is warning them both off the other. Olivia wants to guard her heart from more heartbreak, but when Alex makes it clear he wants her, how can she resist?

Why you should read it: It’s no secret I am a HUGE Megan Hart fan – she’s a smart writer of erotic fiction and her study of human relationships is always heartbreakingly real. She writes flawed and complex characters every time and nails it. Not only is this book about the blurred lines of sexual identity, but it’s also about human relationships and how our sense of self isn’t easily defined.

What you might hate: A story about sexual ambiguity may not be for everyone, but trust me, it’s a compelling story.

Rating: 5/5 the sexual tension between the main characters is palpable. I was rooting for them from the start, but always with a sense of impending dread. Alex is sex on legs and he appeared in an earlier book, called Tempted, which you may want to read first. Again, how hot is that cover?