Review: Coming Unbound by Lacey Savage

Tuesday, April 30

Title: Coming Unbound*
Author: Lacey Savage
Series: n/a
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Format: E-book
Date/Year: April 2013
Reviewed by: Michele
*This book was provided to the reviewer by the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

Ginny and Cole have struggled to connect intimately since before their marriage. When Cole suggests they surprise each other with the most sexually daring things they can dream up for their anniversary, Ginny reluctantly musters every ounce of courage she possesses to get nipple piercings.

Cole’s surprise?

He’s turned their suburban basement into a dungeon—and hired a sexy Dom to teach them the art of BDSM.

Desperately in love with his wife, Cole’s aware of sensitive sexual demons in Ginny’s past, and will try anything to beat them. Whips, toys, ménage play with the Dom…all these and more could help Ginny find pleasure, break through her issues.

Or, if they’re not careful, possibly just break Ginny.


My Musings:

Ginny loves Cole. Cole loves Ginny. But no matter how mutual the desire and how hot the sex, Ginny can’t orgasm. It’s no surprise that this has driven a wedge in their marriage, since each blames themselves for the problem neither of them seems to know how to fix. Even hours of couples therapy, where Ginny shared details of how her college boyfriend had made her feel dirty and unwanted, hadn’t seemed to help her see that Cole was different and that he could be trusted with her desire and love.

When Ginny leaves town for her annual work conference trip on the week of their wedding anniversary, both she and Cole worry that the end of their marriage might be near. But his suggestion that they celebrate her return with the most outrageously sexual thing they can imagine, the explosive results will either save their relationship or end it forever.

I admit that I was skeptical that Cole and Ginny could have stayed together for more than a year with this serious problem still between them. But as the story progressed, it was obvious that their love for each other had convinced them both that this was a temporary problem and it was only now that they were starting to worry it was permanent. When Ginny actually forgot that her return flight was the same day as their wedding anniversary, both she and Cole were shocked into making one last extreme effort because neither of them wanted to be without the other.

As tormented as Ginny was, I was gratified that there was no immediate magical cure for what ailed her. The progression of events from when she impulsively gets her nipples pierced while away on her trip, to when Cole brings his friend Erik (a Dom for hire!) into their marriage were plotted carefully and written beautifully. Each of the failed attempts along the way showed us just how damaged Ginny had been and made the ultimate discovery of what she needed fit perfectly and the success at the end all the more satisfying. I read “Coming Unbound’ twice and it got me right in the gut both times. I would love to see a story featuring Erik and will definitely be reading more works by Lacey Savage in the future.

Ratings:

Overall: 4
Sensuality level: 4
(light BDSM including sensation and pain play, menage)

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To celebrate the release of Coming Unbound, author Lacey Savage will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.  Here's how you can enter to win:  

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Leave a question or comment for Lacey about this book, the review, or any other burning need to know question you might have (good for 1 entry)
How to enter:
  • Leave a comment at each stop on the blog tour to earn additional entries for the grand prize 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • The winner(s) will be selected randomly from among all of the comments of the blog tour by either the author or by Goddess Fish Promotions who will also be responsible for contacting the winner(s).  Please contact the promoter for all the official rules and disclaimers.
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!






*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Friday Fun: Tessa Dare's Spindle Cove series

Friday, April 26

This Friday I thought I would share with you one of my current favorite historical romance series.  In fact, two of the books in the series have made my favorites list two years in a row.  A Night to Surrender made my favorites list in 2011, and in 2012 A Week to be Wicked was almost (like by a very slim margin) my favorite book of the year.

If you love historical romance, or even if you usually read some other sub genre of romance and just want to give it a try, I highly recommend Tessa Dare's Spindle Cove series.  They are fun, and sexy and emotional with great characters who are interesting as well as unconventional...all around they are fabulous reads!  Tessa won a RITA award in 2012 for A Night to Surrender, which I loved, but funnily enough it isn't my favorite of the series.

Ms. Dare has two new additions to the Spindle Cove series coming out soon, Beauty and the Blacksmith at the end of April, then at the end of May, Any Duchess Will Do (which I've heard is exceptionally good) and to celebrate the upcoming release of both books her publisher, Avon, has reduced the price of the previous books in the series to just $0.99.  You can buy all the backlist books in this series for just under $5.  You can get all six books in the series for about $10 including the two new ones.  That my friends is a fantastic deal that I guarantee you you will not regret! Seriously, I kid you not.  I would pay $5 for just A Week to Be Wicked....in fact even though I read it last year I bought it since it was such a good price.  I didn't have it for the Kindle, and I've been thinking about re-reading it (yes I know I never re-read, but I've been craving this story like you wouldn't believe).

I think these are perfect summer reads, so if you are preparing for summer, now is the time to stock up on these books while they are so cheap. I love a good bargain, and this is a steal! I hope  you enjoy them because I know I did.  I have a feeling that you will be seeing me mention this series at least a couple more times this year, especially if Any Duchess Will Do is as good as I've heard that it is.



Have a great weekend!

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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Guest Author & Giveaway: Jayne Rylon featuring King Cobra

Thursday, April 25

I'm not a car person.  I really don't care what I drive as long as it is reliable and gets me from point A to point B and doesn't break down and needs little to know maintenance...and gets great gas mileage.  I take that back, I have one car brand that I covet and would buy if I won the lottery (a Tesla in case your interested).  So why is it then that I find romances about motorcycle driving, car club themed books so attractive?  I can't really tell you why in definitive terms, except that I find the heroes incredibly sexy.  Maybe it's all those free oil changes, and flat tire fixes, LOL.  Seriously though, they're HOT!

Author Jayne Rylon is my guest today to share with us five sexy facts from her new book King Cobra, that are sure to peak your interest and get your motor running (sorry I just couldn't help myself, LOL)  I know it did mine!.  Enjoy!

~~~***~~~

Five Fun & Sexy Facts about King Cobra and the Hot Rods series:    
  1. The cover images for the Hot Rods series are by Sohpia Renee of Unique Portraiture.  I fell in love with them when I was planning the series and used them as my inspiration in the Hot Rods bible that I sent to my editor.  I never imagined I’d be lucky enough to have my publisher, Samhain, negotiate rights usage with Sophia.  I adore the covers and am so thrilled to have her artwork representing my characters.  In fact, King Cobra, is Sophia’s boyfriend.  How lucky is she?!
  2. In most of my books, I try to put Easter Eggs for readers familiar with my other books.  In Where There’s Smoke, the hero, Logan, gets drunk on King Cobra alcohol at the beginning of the story.  Most of my titles appear as references in other books somewhere.  Sometimes characters even jump from one series to another.  In Healing Touch, the Men in Blue make a cameo appearance when the doctors need to call the police for help.
  3. Super Nova’s car is based on a green Chevy Nova that my aunt and uncle owned.  It was in mint condition with all original parts when they gave it to my cousin, who was in college at the time.  He was driving home through the onion fields in our town one night and drove through a flooded area, the car was washed into a big irrigation ditch and drowned.  I imagine that Super Nova, Kaige, somehow rescued the car and restored it!
  4. Although I gave some clues about who fathered Joe and Morgan’s baby at the end of Powertools, I got enough email from fans to be more specific in King Cobra.  If you haven’t already guessed, you’ll know for sure after reading this book. The Crew is pretty heavily featured in this series as they give advice to their friends on how to make a polyamorous relationship successful.
  5. The car Eli is driving on the cover of King Cobra is actually a restored classic Beetle owned by the model and his girlfriend, Sophia Renee, who took the photograph.  It was lucky circumstance that the photo of Mustang Sally used in the garage composite on the bottom of all the Hot Rod covers shows her working on a Beetle.  Angela Waters, the cover artist for the series, is also a car enthusiast and spent a great deal of time making sure the lighting in the garage composite matched her experiences.  I love the way the collaboration allowed the covers to turn out!  Can’t wait for you all to see the remaining titles.

Nothing’s sexier than seven men with hot rods.

Hot Rods, Book 1

After Eli’s mother died, his father honored her life’s mission as a social worker by taking in several kids from the wrong side of the tracks. Not all of them stuck, but those who did became Eli’s quasi family.

Their bonds, forged in fires set by their personal demons, are unbreakable—or so Eli wants to believe. Especially since he and Alanso, his best friend and head mechanic, witnessed the overpowering allure of polyamory while visiting the Powertools crew.

Much as Eli would like to deepen the relationships among his foster brothers and sister in the Hot Rods Restoration Team, he’s hesitant to risk everything on a quick romp behind a stack of tires.

But when Eli catches Alanso exploring their mutual fantasy at a known hookup spot in a public park, all bets are off. And Eli must decide if it’s time to jump in full throttle—and trust his instincts to guide him through the night. If the pair can dodge the potholes in their own relationship, maybe they can race together toward the unconventional arrangement with Mustang Sally they both desire.

Warning: Fasten your seatbelts, this is going to be a wild (and naughty) ride!

Read an excerpt from Ch 1


Thanks Jayne for being my guest today and sharing those fun facts about King Cobra and the new Hot Rods series!  If you'd like to learn more about Jayne and the books she writes you can find her at her website www.jaynerylon.com, her blog, on Facebook and at Twitter.  And just as a side note, I have to say that I think Jayne has about the most awesome home office I've ever seen!  I would love to work in that space :)

To celebrate the release of the first book in the new Hot Rods series, King Cobra, Jayne is giving away a prize pack that will include a variety of items including T-shirt, print copy of Pick Your Pleasure, flavored lube, autographed cover flats, playing cards, keychain, & more!  Enter to win and read the rules and restrictions of the giveaway in the Rafflecopter form below.

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Guest Author & Giveaway: Sidney Bristol featuring Bound with Pearls

Wednesday, April 24

I have a birthday coming up in a few months.  I was born in June.  A Gemini, though I don't really believe in astrology.  What I do believe in however is my birthstone, which happens to be a pearl :)  Aren't pearls lovely?

My guest Sidney Bristol things pearls are pretty great too, which is why she centered her newest erotic romance, Bound with Pearls, around a strand of pearls that just happens to be a catalyst for her heroine to find her perfect happy ever after. Enjoy!

~~~***~~~

Thanks so much to the Seductive Musings team for hosting me! I’m touring around the blogosphere celebrating the release of the print version of my first Taboo line book from Ellora’s Cave titled, Bound with Pearls. It’s still a little surreal to see this book in print. It’s one I never thought I would write and I still can’t believe that it’s out there. People are reading it. And they like it! Or at least some do, and that’s fine by me.

As the cover and blurb suggest, this book lives on the kinkier side of things. . The Taboo line focuses on books with a strong BDSM or kink dynamic, and Bound with Pearls is firmly in that realm. The heroine and hero have a decidedly Dominant/submissive relationship. Daniel, the hero of this little tale, takes the alpha role a step farther in the bedroom, which is exactly what our heroine, Christine, is looking for in a man. Through the story, they discover who they are as a Dominant and submissive, but also who they are as individuals away from the kink. I wanted to write about real people, who just happen to be a little, or a lot, kinky.

I can hear you now: So what do pearls have to do with whips and chains and all that scary stuff?

The art department at Ellora’s Cave really did a fantastic job with this book cover. Can I just gush a moment about it? I love the contrast between the beautiful, classic pearls and the black leather cuffs and whip. It’s such a visual statement about the character’s relationship.

I’ve always loved pearls. I think it has something to do with that old country song with the line, “You wore blue jeans with your pearls/That’s when I knew you were my kind of girl.” My fascination with this gemstone has grown the older I’ve become. While I still wear them with jeans and a t-shirt, I appreciate them in a more classic kind of style. I love the retro, housewife image of a woman with her full skirt and a string of pearls. I might be guilty of owning several such strands. In varying colors and lengths.

Do you see a fascination here? Besides simply looking beautiful, there’s a lot of neat history behind pearls, such as…

Did you know pearls are the only gem that’s made by a living creature? Okay, so we can debate how alive an oyster or a mussel is, but it fits the basic parameters. There’s no other precious stone that’s made by something. Sure we can make some synthetically now, but not like the pearl. It’s a creation of life and the natural process.

Pearls take their coloration from the inside shell of the creature they’re “grown” inside. They can be white, gold, purple or black, all depending on the color of the shell! This is how we can get so many shades of beautiful, natural pearls. A little pigment is put inside of the oyster or mussel and out pops a pink, black or chocolate pearl.

Some of the earliest jewelry we’ve found, dating back to 520 BC, was made from pearls.

There are several historical occurrences of entire military campaigns being funded by selling a few pearl earrings. They’ve been that highly valued through history! Other rare stones that we value now are relatively babies in the gemstone world in comparison with the pearl.

I could go on, but you get the gist. Pearls are diverse. They’re a hardy gemstone and they’ve stood the test of time. They’re beautiful, classic and more than a little unique. I mean, no two are the same. They’re as individual as your fingerprint.

I’d like to think that the characters in Bound with Pearls emulate some of those characteristics. Their kinky lifestyle can be beautiful or hard, they’re both unique individuals from pasts that are diverse and complicated, and they reflect the colors of their history. I think pearls are the perfect symbol for them. And maybe their future?





The last thing Christine wants to do is another favor for her sister, but Lucy always gets what she wants. This time it’s Chris playing sub to a demanding Dom. Their relationship begins with a power exchange and progresses to time spent between the sheets. Now emotions are getting complicated and the Dom isn’t just a hunky guy in black.

Daniel’s expectations are turned upside down when he meets Chris. She’s more than a well-trained submissive. She’s a woman with a body he wants to memorize. He’s willing to spend as much time as it takes to learn her, because she might be his match and his muse. He’ll make her come so hard he’s imprinted on every inch, and then he’ll offer her the most precious thing he can, himself.



 
Thanks Sidney for being my guest today!  If you'd like to learn more about Sidney and the books she writes you can find her at her website www.sidneybristol.com, her blog, at Facebook and on Twitter.

To celebrate the release of Bound with Pearls, author Sidney Bristol is giving away a $25 Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance gift card to a randomly selected Grand Prize winner from the tour, and a runner-up will receive an eBook of the winner's choice from Sidney's backlist.  Enter to win and read all of the rules and restrictions for the giveaway in the Rafflecopter form below.

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Click the tour button above to see additional stops on this tour for more chances to win!


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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Review: Bound with Pearls by Sidney Bristol

Title: Bound with Pearls*
Author: Sidney Bristol
Series: Wizard Twins #1
Genre: contemporary BDSM romance
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Format: ebook
Date/Year: April  2013
Reviewed by: Michele:
*This book was provided to the reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:


The last thing Christine wants to do is another favor for her sister, but Lucy always gets what she wants. This time it’s Chris playing sub to a demanding Dom. Their relationship begins with a power exchange and progresses to time spent between the sheets. Now emotions are getting complicated and the Dom isn’t just a hunky guy in black.

Daniel’s expectations are turned upside down when he meets Chris. She’s more than a well-trained submissive. She’s a woman with a body he wants to memorize. He’s willing to spend as much time as it takes to learn her, because she might be his match and his muse. He’ll make her come so hard he’s imprinted on every inch, and then he’ll offer her the most precious thing he can, himself.


My Musings:

Christine is the nice sister, the one who takes responsibility for everything and does things for everyone except herself. When Lucy, the not-so-nice sister, asks her for yet another outrageous favor in a long line of never-returned favors, Christine knows she should say no and hang up the phone. But when Lucy promises to finally give Christine their dead mother’s pearls in return for her help, Christine knows this is one favor she can’t refuse.

Daniel, the ultimate recipient of Christine’s favor, is not as thrilled by this prospect as you might expect. He’d actually been trying to lose that game of Master’s Poker because the prize was an evening with bad sister Lucy, something no one else at the table that night had wanted to win either. Unlike Christine, Daniel and everyone else in the local D/s community knew what a rotten selfish person Lucy was to everyone in her immediate circle. Why would Lucy’s sister be any different?

The title of this book is a not-so-subtle reference to what initially compels Christine to offer herself as a submissive for one night with Daniel, a Dom she’s never met. For Christine, her mother’s pearls are a symbol of all she has lost - her mother, an honest relationship with her father and a sister who won’t treat her like her personal slave. The pearls are the catalyst, but once she and Daniel meet, their instant attraction and the consideration with which he treats her makes Christine finally start to question her priorities and how she really intends to spend the rest of her life.

As for Daniel, his initial take on Christine is shaded by his bias against her spoiled willful sister. But once Christine shares how and why she had come to be there with him, he realizes that the sisters are not remotely alike and that this sister might be the one person who can draw him out of his self-imposed social and emotional solitude. Bound With Pearls is the story of how these two inherently different but well matched people find their way to each other after one unlikely night together that neither had even really thought they wanted.

Although the sexual connection between Daniel and Christine is powerful and immediate, the heart of Bound With Pearls is their emotional connection, which understandably takes a bit more time to develop. One of the things I enjoyed the most is how well Daniel and Christine are matched in terms of what they can bring to the other in their relationship. Christine has almost no self-esteem, yet always seems to trust when anyone else would be wary. Daniel is almost the opposite of Christine, in that his self-esteem is almost too well-developed, yet he rarely trusts when he should, even when his heart tells him it’s the right thing to do. As they learn to trust and love each other, each grows in the ways the other shows them, and by the end of the book, each is more well-rounded emotionally than before they met. By the end of their story, Christine is bound to Daniel by love, something more powerful than any pearls could be.

Ratings:

Overall: 4
Sensuality level: 4


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Review: Claim Me by J. Kenner

Tuesday, April 23

Title:  Claim Me*
Author:  J. Kenner
Series: Stark Trilogy #2
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Publisher: Bantam
Format: E-book & Trade paperback
Date/Year: April 23, 2013
Reviewed by: Michele

*This book was provided to the reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

For Damien, our obsession is a game. For me, it is fiercely, blindingly, real.

Damien Stark’s need is palpable—his need for pleasure, his need for control, his need for me. Beautiful and brilliant yet tortured at his core, he is in every way my match.

I have agreed to be his alone, and now I want him to be fully mine. I want us to possess each other beyond the sweetest edge of our ecstasy, into the deepest desires of our souls. To let the fire that burns between us consume us both.

But there are dark places within Damien that not even our wildest passion can touch. I yearn to know his secrets, yearn for him to surrender to me as I have surrendered to him. But our troubled pasts will either bind us close . . . or shatter us completely.

Release Me is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.


My Musings:

Nikki Fairchild and Damien Stark began their relationship as a game, where in return for one million dollars, Nikki agreed to not only pose for a nude portrait but to also belong to Damien, body and soul, for the span of time it takes for the portrait to be completed. But now that the time, and presumably the game, has ended, is their emotional connection strong enough to continue?

“Release Me”, the first book in the Stark trilogy, was the story of how two reinvented people found the one person who could help heal past emotional wounds. “Claim Me” shows what happens after the artificial boundaries of their original agreement fall away and how what remains will either make their love stronger or break them apart forever.

We found out in “Release Me” how Nikki had been emotionally and physically scarred by her mother’s relentless pursuit of molding her daughters into vessels for her own ambition. That ambition had killed Nikki’s sister, and had taken all of Nikki’s determination and will to survive on her own. As she became more open and trusting with Damien, he was able to show her that love didn’t have to hurt, at least not permanently. As “Claim Me” begins, we see how Damien’s past secrets are even more damaging and painful to him, and by extension, to Nikki as their relationship becomes public. Secrets this awful can’t stay buried forever, and as they emerge, it will be Nikki who provides her hard-won strength to Damien in a way that neither he nor the reader could have possibly predicted.

Once again, J. Kenner has moved the Stark trilogy well beyond the BDSM/Billionaire trope into something more compelling and meaningful. “Claim Me” is a tale of two strong willed personalities who may have come together under somewhat less than noble circumstances but have since cemented a mutual love partnership where each holds the other up when they fall, no matter what. The previous foreshadowing of terrible events to come was nothing compared to what Damien and Nikki suffer, yet the growing strength of their love and trust kept me confident that they would ultimately prevail. I especially loved how the author handled the one giant moment of doubt that I could see coming toward the end of the book, and she earned every one of my sad/happy tears by the final page.

“Claim Me” is that rare and wonderful middle book that actually improves on the excellent predecessor in a romantic trilogy. Once again, J. Kenner pulls off the unlikely feat of providing a cliffhanger with closure, where the reader is still keen to know what happens next, but not angry at being left hanging in the middle of an incomplete scene. I’m fully vested in Damien and Nikki’s future, and trust that the final book “Complete Me” will provide the Happy Ever After ending they and we deserve.

Ratings:

Overall: 5
Sensuality level: 4
(light BDSM, semi-public sex, discussion of child sexual abuse) 

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Review: Lover At Last by J.R. Ward

Title:  Lover At Last*
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Daggar Brotherhood #11
Genre:  Paranormal
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Format:  ebook, hardcover, audio
Date/Year:  March 2013
Reviewed by:  Andrea
*This book was borrowed from the reviewer's local library

Summary from the publisher:

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: The male has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young—just as Qhuinn has always wanted for himself. It’s hard to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. As he’s learned firsthand.

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.


My Musings:


Spoiler free - for the 5 people in the world who haven’t read it yet :)

One full year, that’s how long the anticipation has been building since the last book of the series.  That’s nothing compared to what the people like me, who have always loved Blay and Quinn, have been going through.  We have been waiting years to finally they get their story.  To say this book was eagerly anticipated is an understatement.  Now that the book is finally here, the burning question is, did it live up to all the hype and high expectations?  Well... I would have to say the answer is both yes and no, but mostly yes.

Ward is well known for having many plotlines running throughout her books.  That was especially true with Lover at Last.  There was so much happening, and so many characters being pulled in from past books, that it was right on the edge of being too much to keep straight.  At first I was annoyed when Blay and Quinn’s story was constantly being interrupted by other storylines.  As time went on, and since Blay and Quinn didn’t seem to be making any progress, my interest was grabbed by almost every plotline.  That’s a very good thing since about 60% of the book was dedicated to the them.  They all wove together surprisingly well to set up future books.  I consider that part of the book to be a big success, as I am very interested to see what the future holds for Layla, Saxton, Xcor, Trey, and iAm.

For me, it was the romance between Blay and Quinn which left a lot to be desired.  The first issue being that they only got about 35% - 40% of the book.  As much as I have been looking forward to immersing myself into their romance, to spend so little time there was disappointing.  The second problem was with the development of their romance.  While I did love the angst and drama between them, I would have loved to see a bit more actual romance.  They started out exactly as I expected, in love with each other, but avoiding one another whenever possible.  Then they transitioned to having sex, but they still weren’t sharing anything meaningful.  I was disappointed that it was, once again, a lack of communication which kept them apart for so long.  In truth, that was the biggest disappointment of all.  The book is 600 pages long and it took them about 580 pages to finally connect.  It wasn’t until the epilogue that readers finally get to see them together, happy and planning a future together.  They eventually managed to get where I wanted them to be, but the journey was not as good as it should have been. 

I know this has been discussed to death, but I still have to comment on the sex scenes.  They were not good.  I’ve read a lot of J.R. Ward’s books, and I’ve seen that she can write some of the hottest, most passionate sex scenes imaginable.   Those were missing for Blay and Quinn.  They managed to have great angry sex, but there was never the intimate, caring, lovemaking between them which I wanted to read.  I was disappointed and felt robbed of one of the things I most looked forward to in this book.

There were some parts of it which didn’t live up to my expectations, but in other areas it was fantastic.  The growth and development of so many characters and plotlines were quite good.  Finally seeing the full picture of Quinn’s past was wonderful.   I was disappointed with one aspect,  but I was thrilled with others.  When I combine all of that, I have to say that it was a very good book. 

Ratings:

Overall: 3.75
Sensuality level:  3.5


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Monday's Muse

Monday, April 22

Last week I think we were all struck by the overwhelmingly tragic events in Boston and in Texas.  I don't want you all to think that because I didn't post about it on the blog, that I was uncaring to the suffering of so many victims and their families.  I care about it deeply, and therein lies the problem.   Too much of a bad thing is bad for me.  Is it sticking my head in the sand?  I prefer to think of it as sheltering my heart.

I also like to think of the blog as an escape from the outside world, at least to a certain extent,  much like reading romance novels are to many romance readers.  By keeping the focus of the blog on hopefully great happily ever afters, I am attempting to shelter your romance hearts as well.  I hope you don't mind.
 
Lastly, I'd like to share this week's Muse , who I would be more than happy to have shelter my heart, LOL :)


This week at Seductive Musings:
  • Tuesday:  I'll have a few reviews for you, including Andrea's review of Lover at Last by J.R. Ward
  • Wednesday:  Author Sydney Bristol will be my guest to celebrate the release of her book Bound with Pearls, and I'll also be sharing Michele's review of it as well.
  • Thursday:  Author Jayne Rylon will be here to share with us her new book King Cobra, the first book in her new Hot Rods series.
  • Friday:  Is kind of up in the air.  I may or may not have a Friday Fun post for you.

Finally, I'd like to congratulate all of the authors with new releases this week!



 
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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Giveaway: A Wedding in Springtime by Amanda Forester

Friday, April 19

Historical Romance author Amanda Forester is known for her Highland Romances, but this spring she's venturing into the ballrooms of Regency England with a new trilogy that begins with A Wedding in Springtime (May 7, 2013).  A Wedding in Springtime has received some amazing reviews so far.  Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times have said this about the book:

"Highlander romance author Forester populates her witty first Regency romance with scene-stealingly smart characters". ~Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Forester promises her fans a warm, humorous jaunt through Regency England - and she delivers with a cast of engaging characters and delightful intrigue. "
~ Romantic Times, 4 Stars

I'm all for witty, humorous historical romances with great characters, so I can't wait to read this one!

~~~***~~~

Five minutes into Miss Eugenia Talbot's presentation at court, notorious rogue Mr. William Grant makes her laugh before the queen, ruining her debut. To hush up the scandal, Genie needs to make a brilliant marriage, and fast.  Genie's aunt hires a matchmaker to find a suitor—anyone except the infamous William Grant—but amiable Genie shows a disturbing tendency to follow her heart.  When a traitor creeps closer, threatening to ruin more than just her reputation, Genie and Grant are drawn into a dangerous world of deceit and intrigue, where losing their hearts could mean their ultimate undoing.



To celebrate the release of the first book in Amanda Forester's new Regency Historical Romance trilogy, A Wedding in Springtime, her publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, is giving away (1) one print copy to a lucky Musings follower (US & Canada only).  Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!


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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Excerpt & Giveaway: Short Rides Anthology by Lorelei James

Thursday, April 18

SR-Release-Blitz


Short Rides is an anthology compilation of two novellas and one short story in the Rough Riders world. These are NOT meant to be read as standalone stories, but are a peek into favorite character’s lives after the happily ever after…

The stories included in the Short Rides anthology are:

King of Hearts* — Deputy Cam McKay deals with a murder/suicide case on Valentine’s Day.

Rough Road — Chassie, Trevor and Edgard Glanzer spend a romantic weekend away from the ranch and kids celebrating their anniversary…only to return home to face their biggest challenge yet.

All Knocked Up — Keely and Jack Donohue are having a baby. Given Keely’s raging pregnancy hormones, will Jack need to wear a cup in the delivery room?

*previously published in the Guns and Roses anthology in 2012


Enjoy a special excerpt from each book in the anthology in the Flipbook below:

or enjoy it in a Google document here


To celebrate the release of Short Rides, author Lorelei James is giving away a $100 gift card to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or All Romance.  If you haven't read any of her books yet, this would be a great way to buy them all at once.  Trust me, you'll be hooked and want them all!  Enter to win in the Rafflecopter form below.

 
Visit the other participating sites for more chances to win:

4/17/13

The Risque Redhead Reads
Le'BookSquirrel
Reviewing in Chaos
Sarah Aisling
A Crazy Vermonter's Book Reviews
Hesperia Loves Books
My Keeper Shelf
Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads
Black Raven's


4/18/13

SnifferWalk Books
Talk Supe
Italian Brat's Obsessions
Romantic Book Affairs
Kinky Book Reviews
Busy Moms Book Reviews
THESUBCLUBbooks
Blackraven's Erotic Cafe
Simply Ali
My Fiction Nook
i love lady porn
AJ's Reading Nook


4/19/13

herding cats & burning soup
Happily Ever After - Reads
Harlie Williams, Writer
Momma's Books
Sugar and Spice
Books Books and More Books
Red Headed Bookworm
Jelena's Book Blog
Read Our Lips! Book Review Blog


4/21/13

Delighted Reader
Melinda Dozier
The Rambling Readerista
Under the Covers
Heart Breaking Reviews
Fictional Candy
Read Your Writes Book Reviews


4/22/13

Tyra's Book Addiction
Tattooed Book Review
Reading, Eating & Dreaming
Smut Book Club
For The Love of Reading
Mama Knows Books
Reading Between the Wines
Smardy Pants Book Blog
Book Bitches Blog


4/23/13

Live Read and Breathe
Guilty Pleasures
Regina May Ross's
Rachel Brimble Romance
StoreyBook Reviews
Day Dreaming Book Reviews


4/24/13

What's On the Bookshelf
My Book Muse
Reality Bites! Let's Get Lost!!
Shh Moms Reading
Harlie's Books
Queen of the Night Reviews
Readers Confession
Manic Readers Guest Author Blog
Bookworm Brandee
For the Love of Bookends
Mrs Condit & Friends Read Books
Scorching Book Reviews



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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Guest Author & Giveaway: Rachel Brimble featuring The Seduction of Emily

Wednesday, April 17

I have a soft spot for just about any romance with the word Seduction in it.  Is it any wonder why, LOL.  Add in the fact that it is a historical romance and I'm all in!

Author Rachel Brimble is my guest today to share with us one of the hardest scenes she had to write for The Seduction of Emily, as well as a special excerpt from that scene in the book.  Enjoy!

~~~***~~~

One of the hardest scenes to write in The Seduction of Emily was due to the mechanics of the scene rather than the emotion. As every writer and reader knows, writing is a craft. Something that can be learned. My job, as a writer, is to provide my readers with scenes they can “see”. If I’m doing my job well, it will be like a movie playing out in front of their eyes as they read the words I’ve written, and the ‘pictures’ I’ve created.

I remember writing this particular scene countless times to get it right––and I still worry whether or not I achieved it. It drove me insane! The difficulty came from having four characters onstage and interacting. This was a new challenge and one I hadn’t faced before––or wanted to happen again since.

In order to ground the reader in the scene, it was important they didn’t forget who was in the shop or their pivotal role in that moment. In order to achieve that I had to ‘see’ each of them ALL the time in my mind and ensure the reader did too.

The scene is intense––and very revealing of each characters’ motivation and backstory. Also, a huge moment in the heroine’s life, bringing forth a situation that she has to very carefully weigh what action she takes thereafter.

Fingers crossed, readers like the end result as much me! Here’s an exclusive excerpt for that particular scene – enjoy!
      Emily turned. Katherine re-entered the room before Nicholas could respond. Her friend’s cheeks flamed like two red tomatoes and silver streaks marked her cheeks showing she’d cried.

      Striding forward, Emily took Katherine’s hand. “I’m sorry if Nicholas has been brusque with you. You are my friend and I expect you to be treated as such.”

     Katherine cast a quick glance toward Nicholas, then Will and finally back to Emily. “Everything is fine, honestly. Mr. Milne always shows me the greatest courtesy.”

       Will sniffed. “I’m sure he does.”

      The tone of his voice grated on Emily’s nerves. She was not prepared to stand there while he did nothing but throw out thinly veiled accusations. She turned. “If you have something you want to say, Will, then please just say it.”

      Please, Lord. Don’t let him say it. I want to speak to Katherine alone. Not here. Not like this.

      He opened his mouth to speak, but Nicholas released her and strode forward, making Emily stumble backwards. He stopped toe-to-toe, eye-to-eye with Will.

      Emily looked from one to the other.

      Fury burned in their eyes.

      “Gentlemen, please. There is no need--”

      Nicholas jabbed his hand into the air, cutting her off. “First, I am not happy my fiancée sees fit to call a man she has barely known more than two weeks by his Christian name. Second, I can’t help thinking you suspect me of some kind of wrongdoing with regard to Miss Carter.”

      Will smiled. “If you were really here buying Miss Darson a gift, I’d have no problem with you at all. If she were mine, I’d buy her gifts every day.”

      Emily’s gasp merged with Katherine’s.

      Nicholas trembled. “I should thrash you.” He spat the words through clenched teeth.

      Will’s smile dissolved. “You won’t. It’s not in your nature to strike men, is it?”

     “What the hell is that supposed to mean? You do not know me or anyone else in this town, Samson. You are a nobody. A nobody who is supposed to be looking for his nephew. Yet you seem to spend most of your time alone with my fiancée.”

      Will tilted his head toward Emily. “Look at her, Milne. Does she appear distraught her father has demanded it so?”

      Heat burned Emily’s cheeks. “Stop this. Both of you.”

     Will met her eyes and the anger burning in their royal blue depths made her shiver. He had absolutely no intention of stopping. Or maybe he didn’t know how. The fury came from him in waves, ricocheting from the walls around them. His gaze shot back to Nicholas. “Why don’t we all show a little integrity here?”

     Emily froze. What was he doing? He knew what it would do to her reputation, let alone Nicholas’ unpredictable temper, if he suspected anything between them. If Nicholas learned of their kiss, she and Will would never share another. Despite her insistence there would be no repeat of it, that was suddenly Emily’s biggest fear.

    She took a step forward. “For goodness sake, what on earth do you think you are achieving by behaving this way?”

     “It’s time for some honesty. Time you told your fiancé how you really feel.”

     Anger, disappointment and hurt burned inside her. An ache at the center of her chest was testament to just how little she knew this man she’d come to like too much, too soon. She blinked at the tears that pricked her eyes. “How I feel is I want you to keep you nose out of my relationship with Nicholas. It is none of your concern. This is my life, is it not? You have yours and you will soon leave Bath…God willing, with your nephew. You will no longer know me or anything about me, so you will stop this right now.”

     Trembling, Emily’s heart hammered painfully in her chest and her throat hurt from the threat of tears. Nicholas stood ramrod straight, his face scarlet with anger and his lips white. His hands were fisted at his sides.

     Emily looked to Katherine. “I am sorry to have ruined your morning, Katherine. We shall leave you in peace. I have nothing else I can say, except sorry.”

     Her friend stood pale and immobile, her gaze trained on Nicholas.

     Bitter anger roared in Emily’s breast. Anger toward Will, her father, her mother for dying so young, but most of all for her impossible situation. All the frustration, hurt and desire to have more to live for whirled inside her on a gathering storm. She would not surrender to the scene Will demanded. It would do no good for anyone.


Seduction is a wicked game, and no one plays it better than the devilish Will Samson in Rachel Brimble's captivating new novel. . .

Since girlhood, Emily Darson has accepted that she will marry Nicholas, the son of her father's trusted business partner. The marriage contract safeguards her family legacy, Emily's fortune, and everything she values--except her independence. Only when a sinfully handsome scoundrel enters her life does Emily realize quite how much a loveless match will cost her.

Will Samson has advanced from expert pickpocket to confidence trickster of the highest caliber. Now he has come to Bath to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his mother--the man Emily will soon marry. But from his first glimpse of the enemy's bewitching, spirited fiancée, Will's plan changes.

Amid the ballrooms and salons of elegant society, heated glances explode into scandalous kisses. Revenge is sweet, but surrender will be irresistible. . .

Enjoy this extra excerpt:

His caught breath released in a low whistle. Attraction twitched his groin. “My God, tell me you’re not his.”

His gaze languidly travelled from the tip of the feather in the woman’s hat, to the glossy black hair curled and twisted beneath it. Her eyes were big and dark, her skin as smooth as glass over sweet apple cheeks. The vivid royal blue dress she wore was pulled in at a waist small enough to fit in his splayed hands, her stature poised and proud. She was exquisite.

Will smiled. Although her ample bosom was decently covered, the soft white netting revealed the faintest hue of her flesh. What he wouldn’t give . . . He forced his gaze upward and stiffened. She stared straight at him—and her mouth twitched with amusement. He pulled back his shoulders and flashed her a smile.

She didn’t lower her eyes as he expected.

Intrigued, he tipped her a wink.

A moment passed before she surprised him again. She did not turn away in disgust or demand Milne punch him to the ground; instead the minx winked straight back. Desire hit Will hard in the gut as a bubble of laughter tickled the back of his throat.

Who was she? He revelled in the tinge of pink staining her cheeks and suspected inside, she laughed right along with him.

Their secretly shared moment came to an abrupt end when her companion took her hand and placed it possessively in the crook of his arm. He led her in Will’s direction and Will bowed as they passed.


Thanks Rachel for being our guest today at Seductive Musings!  If you'd like to learn more about Rachel Brimble and the books she writes you can find her at her website www.rachelbrimble.com, her blog, on Facebook and at Twitter.

To celebrate the release of The Seduction of Emily, Rachel is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter from the book tour.  To enter to win leave a meaningful comment or question in the comments below.  Please visit Goddess Fish Promotions for the other tour stops for additional chances to win as well as specific rules, deadlines, or restrictions pertaining to the giveaway associated with the book tour.



Good Luck!!


*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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Review: Mated to the Devil by Eve Langlais

Tuesday, April 16

Title:  Mated to the Devil*
Author: Eve Langlais
Series: n/a
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Amira Press
Format: Ebook & Trade paperback
Date/Year: March 29, 2013
Reviewed by: ElaineReads

*This book was provided to the reviewer by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

Not all pleasures are a sin...

Mina wants to put her seduction by a golden-eyed devil behind her, but the birth of her son, Jacques, renders that impossible. She tries to forget the only man who ever roused her passion, but when she notices her son exhibiting strange behavior—and less-than-human characteristics—she must face her past and learn to trust, and love, again.

Howling drunk, the one thing Remy clearly remembers is seducing Mina. A pity he didn’t think to get her address, especially since he marks her as his mate. When she disappears, he’s got plenty of time to regret, but he doesn’t get a chance to atone until she comes back into his life with an unexpected surprise.

Thrust into the role of father, Remy works to bond with his son while gaining forgiveness. But will he get the chance to truly make Mina his mate before danger threatens their fragile happiness?


My Musings:

I had great hopes for this book. Unfortunately, the entire plot is based on what has to be the most objectionable trope in romance literature. The entire relationship originates with Remy forcing himself on Mina. He, of course, brings her to orgasm and she remembers that night as the most pleasurable of her life.

Mina and Remy meet when she is 19 and he is 22. Mina has been raised by parents who are religious fanatics, and she, of course, is a virgin. While visiting cousins, she attends a college party where she is almost raped by two frat brothers. Although rescued by an extremely drunk Remy, he proceeds to forcibly seduce her.

And that is where my problem with the book begins. Forcible seduction is just another way of saying rape. Mina fights him and begs him to let her go. Remy continues to "seduce" her and ends up impregnating her.

The story picks up five years later. Mina has an adorable little boy who happens to snarl and growl and whose eyes sometimes glow. Because she could never find Remy when she discovered she was pregnant, she has been forced to survive on her own and has no idea what is going on with her son. Remy has tried to find her, but he never found out her name before passing out.

The entire forced seduction aspect negatively colored my opinion of the book which is a shame. After Mina and Remy finally find each other, their relationship develops into a caring and loving one. I loved Remy's joy when he found out he had a son. Pierre, Remy's father, is so proud to be a grandfather and the most likable character in the book. There are indications that a sequel may be coming and I hope it is about Pierre.

Obviously, I liked the book well enough to want to read the sequel. Without the objectionable beginning, I would have rated it a 4 or 4.5. Hopefully, her next book will not contain such jarring content.

Ratings:

Overall: 3
Sensuality level: 3.5
(M/F vanilla sex, but the language is explicit)

For a complete understanding and definition of the ratings at Seductive Musings, click here

Other Reviews:






 *Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

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My FREE Kindle Quest

I've wanted a Kindle for what seems like forever, but haven't been able to afford it (and that's saying something since I can justify the cost of just about ANYTHING that I really want). I've tried winning one in one of the many giveaways that have taken place over the couple of years, but with no luck :( So I've decided to take matters in hand so to speak :) I've now decided that I am going to accumulate enough Swagbucks from my Swabucks searches to buy one...so in essence my new Kindle will be FREE...funded entirely by my internet searches done on Swagbucks. I'll keep you informed of the Great Kindle Quest below (in case you're interested....if not feel free to just skip over this part, but really who wouldn't be interested in a FREE Kindle?)
Goal: $119
Current Swagbucks Amazon Gift Card balance: $90.00
If you'd like to learn how you can earn Swagbucks and earn your own Amazon Gift Cards to buy books, a Kindle or other merchandise sold at Amazon contact me and I would be more than happy to tell you how I plan to go about it. (just so you know you can earn both Amazon.com and Amazon.ca gift cards on this rewards site)
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