Double Review: Taking It All by Maya Banks

Wednesday, August 6

Title: Taking It All *
Author: Maya Banks
Series: Surrender Trilogy #3
Genre: contemporary BDSM erotic romance
Publisher: Penguin
Format: ebook, print, audio
Date/Year: August 5, 2014
Reviewed by: Michele & ElaineReads

*This book was provided to the reviewers by the publisher in exchange for honest reviews.

Summary from the publisher:

In her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there’s only one thing left to do: cross them. And for a married couple taking steps to renew their marriage, the consequences of one single moment of inattention may come at a price the husband never expects…

Chessy and Tate have been married for several years. In the beginning, their relationship was everything she wanted. Passionate. All-consuming. She offered her submission freely and Tate cherished her gift with a tenderness that made her feel safe. Content. Wanted. Loved beyond all measure. But as the years have gone by, Tate has become more immersed in making his business a success, and Chessy has taken a back seat to his business obligations. Growing unhappy with the status of their once blissful marriage, Chessy knows that something has to give, or they stand to lose it all.

Tate loves his wife. Has always loved her. Providing for her has always been his number-one priority. But lately she’s seemed unhappy, and he’s worried. Worried enough that he arranges for a night together that he hopes will reignite the fire that once burned like an inferno between them.

But a business call at the wrong time threatens everything. Chessy’s safety, his concentration, his wife’s faith in him as her husband—a man sworn to love and protect her above all else. Gutted with the realization that he’s going to lose her—has already lost her—he readies for the fight of his life. Whatever it takes, he’ll get her back, show her that nothing is more important than her love. And that if she’ll allow him to prove himself one more time, he’ll take it all. Everything. But he’ll give back far more: Himself. His undying love.


Michele's Musings:

This book contains spoilers for LETTING GO and GIVING IN, the first two books in the Surrender trilogy. You might be able to read TAKING IT ALL as a standalone, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Finally, after all the buildup in the first two Surrender trilogy books, we get Chessy and Tate’s story here in TAKING IT ALL. After Carson Breckenridge died too soon in a tragic car accident, it was more than a year before both his widow Josslyn and his sister Kylie were able to find love and happiness with the two men who were already present in their lives. Now that all their good friends are settled and happy, it’s the already-married Tate and Chessy who are forced to confront their own growing isolation from each other, one that threatens to end their marriage if something isn't done soon.

Tate and Chessy had always been one of the golden couples in their immediate group of friends and family, even as everyone was still in mourning for the loss of Carson. But Tate has been spending too many nights and weekends trying to build up his business and it’s Chessy who has paid the price. She’s put on a brave face for him and everyone else, not wanting to seem ungrateful for all his hard work even as she dies a little more inside each day. It’s only when they make arrangements for a rare night out alone together to celebrate their wedding anniversary that everything comes to a head. When Chessy spells out to Tate exactly why she is so angry with him, he seems to get the message and immediately starts trying to mend the breach before it becomes irreparable. Yet it will still take one more mind-boggling mistake on Tate’s part before he realizes exactly how much he’s failed Chessy, and what he must to do prove himself worthy as both her husband and Dominant once more.

TAKING IT ALL was the perfect mix of nearly everything I love: marriage in trouble, a D/s couple in love, and the steady hand of Maya Banks to make sure it all played out exactly as it should. Add to that another appearance of Damon Roche, my all-time favorite Maya Banks character, and it’s no surprise that I loved this book so much.  Chessy suffered silently for much too long, hoping every day that the man to whom she had given her love and submission would come to his senses and return to her. Tate was genuinely clueless about how much he’d been hurting his wife as he believed he was helping them both by devoting every waking hour to running his company. Even when their initial showdown appeared to have set things right, it was clear that their reconciliation was a tenuous one, and I was just as worried as Chessy that Tate could slip up again. When he did so at the absolutely worst possible moment, I knew that a hero screw-up of this magnitude demanded an equally epic hero grovel, and Maya Banks did not disappoint. This realistic portrayal of a loving D/s couple’s painful falling out and hard-won reconciliation was the heart and soul of TAKING IT ALL, and it’s what made this final book in the uniformly excellent Surrender trilogy the very best one of them all. 

Michele's Ratings:

Overall: 5 stars
Sensuality level:  4









ElaineReads's Musings:


This was the story I was waiting for since the first book in the Surrender trilogy.  I really enjoyed the first book, LETTING GO, with Joss and Dash and it did an excellent job of introducing the characters for the next two books.  I wanted book two to be Chessy’s and Tate’s story because their situation was so compelling.  It wasn’t obviously, but GIVING IN, Kylie’s and Jensen’s story was excellent and I learned more about Chessy and Tate in it.  Finally, with TAKING IT ALL, I get their story.

And I didn’t like it.

Okay, I liked it, but it wasn’t the story I hoped for.  I thought some of the dialogue was stilted and didn’t flow like Maya Bank’s normal writing.  The scene for the anniversary dinner could almost have been lifted from another book by Banks, STAY WITH ME, which by the way is an excellent book.  There were differences of course, but the basis was still the same.

I had a really hard time liking or believing in Tate.  Even after he realized he was losing Chessy, he still was too wrapped up in his business.  The scene where her life was threatened went too far.  I can’t say much without spoilers, but there were other people who would have intervened to help her sooner than they did.

Even after all that, the story was satisfying.  Not only did I get to see how things worked out between Chessy and Tate, but I got to see the development of the relationships between Joss and Dash and Kylie and Jensen.  I feel like I have read one long book rather than three individual ones.  Everything flowed together so well.

Read this book, but only if you have read the first two of the Surrender trilogy.  They really do make a great story and you will like how everything works out for the three couples.

ElaineReads's Ratings:

Overall: 3.5 stars
Sensuality level:  5
(BDSM, menage)







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Review: Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James

Tuesday, August 5

Title:  Hillbilly Rockstar*
Author: Lorelei James
Series: Blacktop Cowboys series
Genre: contemporary erotic romance
Publisher: Berkley NAL      
Format: ebook, print, and audio
Date/Year: August 5, 2014
Reviewed by: Michele

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

Summary from the publisher:

She’s protecting his body and guarding her heart....

Country music star Devin McClain understands there’s a downside to life in the public eye, but the laidback Wyoming cowboy has never imagined he’d attract crazed fans who would do anything to garner his attention. When veiled threats become real, he agrees to hire a discreet security detail. But Devin is shocked when that bodyguard is a hard-bodied woman. He’s even more stunned to be attracted to the steely-eyed stunner.

Former soldier Liberty Masterson’s return to civilian life has been fraught with challenges until she lands a job with a prestigious security firm. But when she agrees to provide personal protection during a cross-country tour, she doesn’t realize she has signed up to masquerade as the playboy star’s girlfriend. Though she’s more comfortable in combat boots than high heels, she has no choice but to appear to be the sexy groupie Devin prefers.

Living in close quarters causes the chemistry between them to ignite, and Devin realizes he wants to turn their charade of a romance into reality. Although Liberty surrenders to his every whim behind closed doors, she fears the sexy country star doesn’t see the real her; and Devin can’t help but worry when the tour ends that there might not be enough between them to build something that won’t fade away....


My Musings:

Although I’m a big fan of Lorelei James’s McKay books, my heart will always belong to her Blacktop Cowboys, and HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR, the latest entry in the series, reminds me exactly why they are among my very favorites.

We’ve already met our hero and heroine in previous stories, but even if this is your first visit to the friends and family in Muddy Gap, you’ll have no trouble diving in to this wonderful romance. Both Devin McClain and Liberty Masterson hail from the same small town in Wyoming, but had never crossed paths until the day she was assigned to be his personal bodyguard. Now he’s got to let this frustrating bossy woman in every aspect of his life while continuing to entertain people all over the country one night at a time. Liberty’s still adjusting to civilian life after multiple tours in Afghanistan, and it’s only by keeping men at arm’s length that she’s been able to deal with the loss of the only man she’d let herself care about. Being around the deliciously attractive Devin every waking moment is wearing her down, and the last thing she needs is to let this man distract her from her duty. But when they finally succumb to their mutual attraction, it’s only a matter of time before a moment of weakness could put both their hearts and lives in danger.

One of the things I love the most about Lorelei James’s Blacktop Cowboys series is how people you only meet briefly in previous books can still be memorable enough to rate a story of their own later in the series. Both Devin and Liberty have been in the background here and there, but they come into their own beautifully in HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR. We knew Devin’s success as a rich and famous singer hadn't changed how he behaved around his childhood friends in Muddy Gap, but that it had kept him from letting any woman get close enough to see the true man inside. That duality is all the more poignant here when we see how the loss of his younger sister had affected his relationship with his family and hindered his ability to love anyone else. But Liberty had just as much trouble trusting and loving for similar reasons after she saw how easy it was to lose a loved one in a war zone. So it was no surprise that it took the forced proximity of living on Devin’s tour bus and her task of keeping him safe before she could let herself give in to the irresistible sexual chemistry they shared. Yet what neither of them could know at that moment was that they had just each found the one person who could save them from their self-imposed solitude forever.

The best part of HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR was how we got to see both Devin and Liberty learn to let love back in, and that the choice they’d each made to keep their hearts safe was the last thing the people they’d lost would have ever wanted for them. There were several times where each had their tenuous hold on this new love tested, and each time they came back to try again was another mini-victory that made me cheer. Even the subplot of the possible threats against Devin’s life which had brought them together was kept at just the right level of suspense so that it worked to move the romance forward instead of forcing it into the background. By the time the tour is over and the threat neutralized, we know that Liberty and Devin will have to be together for the rest of their lives, even if it takes them a little more time to figure it out. And that’s when we get yet another perfectly orchestrated happy ending for two people that deserve every bit of it. HILLBILLY ROCKSTAR not only let me visit Muddy Gap for another sensuous and sentimental romance, it reminded me that you should never give up on love, and that’s just one of the many reasons why it’s among the best romances I've read in 2014.

Ratings:

Overall: 5 stars
Sensuality level:  3.5


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Review: Arrest by June Gray

Monday, June 30

Title: Arrest*
Author: June Gray
Series: Disarm Trilogy #2
Genre: contemporary New Adult romance
Publisher: Berkley
Format: ebook, print, and audio
Date/Year: June 3, 2014
Reviewed by: Michele

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

Summary from the publisher:

Life begins at happily ever after…

For Elsie and Henry, getting married and buying a house is only the beginning of their passionate new adventure. Elsie is flourishing in her job while Henry embarks on a new career as a police officer. Everything, it seems, has finally fallen into place.

Just when it’s all smooth sailing, they face life-altering changes that make Elsie question her ability to adapt. With Henry’s job putting him in constant danger, she watches helplessly while he slips back into his old habits. Elsie must find a way—through any means necessary—to prevent the past from repeating.

With the sand constantly shifting underfoot, Elsie and Henry have to figure out how to strengthen their bond—before they end up losing what matters most…


My Musings:

This review may contain spoilers for DISARM, the first book in this series. You should not try to read ARREST as a standalone, as it assumes you are already familiar with events of the previous book that are not always fully explained in this one.

I enjoyed reading June Gray’s DISARM romance novelettes after they were released as a full length book back in 2013, so when that book was acquired by a major publisher, I was happy that there would be two more books in the series.

ARREST picks up where DISARM left off, with Henry and Elsie newly married and embarking on the rest of their Happily Ever After together. But just because they got past all their previous obstacles doesn't mean that there aren't new ones now that they are finally married. The primary source of their problems now is Henry’s new career as a law enforcement officer. It was bad enough when he was still in the US military and being sent into a war zone for months on end. Now Elsie has to worry about him every day and night, forever dreading a future where he doesn't come home safely at the end of his scheduled shift. Their shared adjustment to this new reality, combined with his reaction to Elsie’s independent career as a web designer and the usual dips and bumps that happen in a marriage, constantly threaten their happiness even as they both know that they could never survive away from each other. The story of ARREST is how each crisis in Henry and Elsie’s marriage ultimately makes them stronger together, and better able to deal with whatever life throws at them next. But the journey isn't easy and when Henry begins to rely on his old destructive coping mechanisms, it will take both of them working as hard as they can to get to the true happy ending they’d thought they already had on their wedding day.

As much as I enjoyed the previous book, the way Henry was always retreating from Elsie when he was upset did get to be tiring after a while, so I was worried that I might not be as sympathetic to him when all the new bad things started happening to them both in ARREST. However, I was quite happy to be proven wrong in my concern, as it appeared that Henry has indeed grown emotionally since then. The love he and Elsie have for each other is never questioned, and it never wavers. But as they and we already learned before, love isn't enough to keep them together if they can’t communicate and compromise, and in ARREST, Henry and Elsie must both relearn those painful lessons if they’re going to stay married and happy together.

ARREST also has the advantage of hanging together better as an complete story from the start, as opposed to the previous title. We are shown once again how their past continues to affect their present, but also how they are aware of how easily they could fall back into a vicious cycle of hurting each other, however inadvertently. Being able to see Henry and Elsie take real steps toward a fully reciprocal relationship made reading through all their pain and sadness worth it for the true happy ending awaiting them both. ARREST is an excellent example of how the “marriage in trouble” trope can be realistic without being too depressing. But I’m relieved that the next story in the series will be about someone else, so I can be content in the knowledge that Elsie and Henry have finally earned their HEA and won’t have to suffer any longer.

Ratings:

Overall: 4 stars
Sensuality level:  3.5


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Review: Fall From India Place by Samantha Young

Friday, June 27

Title: Fall From India Place*
Author: Samantha Young
Series: On Dublin Street #4
Genre: contemporary New Adult romance
Publisher: NAL
Format: ebook and print
Date/Year: June 3, 2014
Reviewed by: Michele

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

Summary from the publisher:

The New York Times bestselling author of On Dublin Street and Down London Road returns with a story about letting go of the past and learning to trust in the future…

When Hannah Nichols last saw Marco D’Alessandro, five long years ago, he broke her heart. The bad boy with a hidden sweet side was the only guy Hannah ever loved—and the only man she’s ever been with. After one intense night of giving into temptation, Marco took off, leaving Scotland and Hannah behind. Shattered by the consequences of their night together, Hannah has never truly moved on.

Leaving Hannah was the biggest mistake of Marco’s life, something he has deeply regretted for years. So when fate reunites them, he refuses to let her go without a fight. Determined to make her his, Marco pursues Hannah, reminding her of all the reasons they’re meant to be together.…

But just when Marco thinks they’re committed to a future together, Hannah makes a discovery that unearths the secret pain she’s been hiding from him, a secret that could tear them apart before they have a real chance to start over again….


My Musings:


This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the On Dublin Road series. You can probably read FALL FROM INDIA PLACE as a standalone, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

I’ve been a big fan of Samantha Young’s On Dublin Road series from the very beginning, with each book in turn reminding me why New Adult romances have become so popular in the first place. Her characters have genuine roadblocks in their lives that don’t appear just to gin up extra drama, and their coping mechanisms are completely understandable in the context of each story. And although each story is set in the same world with previous couples continuing to appear as recurring characters, each one is also unique in terms of what brings the main couple together and what threatens to keep them apart.

In FALL FROM INDIA PLACE, the timeline has advanced several years past the last book in the series, and many of the previously featured couples are married with young children of their own. Hannah Nichols, the younger sister of Braden and Ellie, is now all grown up at 22, teaching high school English by day and a weekly adult literacy course at night. Her job and extended family appear to be enough to keep Hannah content, but there’s a lingering sadness there, thanks to the only man she’d ever wanted but could never really have.

Marco D’Alessandro was introduced in BEFORE JAMAICA LANE as the busboy at a local Italian restaurant and Hannah’s first school girl crush. We only got a brief glance at them together back then, but it’s clear in this new book that something significant happened between them in the interim when when Hannah finds Marco’s picture in a box of old things that her mother has asked her to clean out. It’s at that moment that FALL FROM INDIA PLACE begins to tell Hannah and Marco’s entire story in both the past and and present, showing exactly how what they shared before could be the one impossible obstacle to finding that happiness again for good.

One of the things I loved about FALL FROM INDIA PLACE was how we got a complete picture of the adult Hannah living in the present day before Marco was ever mentioned. We see that her love life is practically non-existent, even as her friends from school keep trying to fix her up with eligible men. We also see how she channels her kind and loving nature into her job and interactions with family, while never really having much to do for her own happiness. So when Marco suddenly reappears in Hannah’s life after five years missing in action, it’s like a bolt from the blue for both her and the reader:  Where has he been? Why did he leave? How can she possibly take him back? And that’s when both we and Hannah start to get a much better picture of who Marco was, why he left, and how that made him the man he is now. When Hannah agrees to give March another chance, it becomes obvious that the time apart has made them both better suited to each other in a way they never were before. But the secrets they both still carry from that time are on a collision course toward an inevitable confrontation that will either help them heal completely or split them apart forever.

What surprised me the most about FALL FROM INDIA PLACE wasn't that I was able to eventually figure out what secret each of them was keeping back and how those two secrets would be in such horrible conflict with each other, but that I was actually happy with that outcome and how it was ultimately handled. It proved that being able to see where the story is going to end up isn't a bad thing when the path there is written so beautifully and the actual events play out in a way you might not have expected. That’s what I've loved about every book in this series, and why FALL FROM INDIA PLACE was such a wonderful read for me. I can only hope that Samantha Young can keep up this consistent level of excellence in all the books to come.

Ratings:

Overall: 5 stars
Sensuality level:  3


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Review: Sharp Love by Ava March

Title:  Sharp Love*
Author:  Ava March
Series:  Gambling on Love #2
Genre:  MM Historical Romance
Publisher:  Carina Press
Format:  ebook
Date/Year:  June 9, 2014
Reviewed by:  Andrea

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

Summary from the publisher:

London, 1822

William Drake has lived among thieves, bastards and beggars all his life, doing what's necessary to survive. As a young orphan, that included looking after his best friend, Jack Morgan. But as they grew older, Jack took the honest path, leaving Will behind to fend for himself the only ways he knows how.

When an unsavory errand for his employer brings Jack back to London's underbelly, he needs Will's help. It's there, among the alleys they ran through as children, that the love he's always felt for Will returns. As their nights together grow hotter, Will discovers something new about his old friend—Jack's need to serve extends into the bedchamber.

Will has never fully abandoned his dream of escaping London with Jack. But what could the Duke's driver want with a dishonest cheat like him, beyond a bit of rough sex? It takes the gamble of Will's life to find out if he can win Jack's heart…

Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: D/s theme and elements, and male/male sexual practices.


My Musings:

SHARP LOVE is the second book in the GAMBLING ON LOVE series.  It is closely related to the first book, ALL IN WITH THE DUKE, but could easily be read as a stand alone.

This book tells the story of Will and Jack.  They are lifelong friends who met in an orphanage when they were very young.  They had a tough start in life and over time grew to trust and depend on each other.  As boys and adolescents, Will and Jack were an inseparable team, at least that’s what Will thought.  Jack apparently had other ideas.  While Will perfected his less than savory moneymaking strategies, Jack decided to take a different path and has worked his way into an honorable position.  He works as a driver for a duke.  As grown men, they’re still best friends but there is some animosity on both sides over the lifestyle the other chose.

One of the more interesting aspects of this book for me was that Jack and Will are both common and poor.  I’ve read so many historical romances where one of the main characters is a Duke, a Lord, or at the very least is a self-made man.  I rarely get the opportunity to read about two ordinary guys in a historical romance.  I understand why, it’s hard enough to give two men a HEA in a historical romance in the first place.  It’s even more difficult to come up with a believable HEA ending for guys who aren’t of the gentry class and don’t have enough money to do whatever they want.

Now, getting back on the topic of Will and Jack.  I liked them.  Even though Will was an unsavory character and an admitted thief and cheat, I still liked him a lot.  Jack was a good guy and I did like him, but he was on the verge of being a sanctimonious jackass at times.  Jack and Will being together made sense and it worked for me.  They didn’t have a quick or easy romance, they definitely had to work for it, and I liked that.

I said before that this book was closely related to the first book, but that it could also be read as a stand alone.  I say that because the two books run concurrent to each other.  Jack works for the Duke and was repeatedly referenced in ALL IN WITH THE DUKE.  In fact, a couple of the scenes from ALL IN WITH THE DUKE were repeated in SHARP LOVE, but they were done from Jack’s viewpoint rather than the Duke’s.  It might sound confusing but it brought the two books together brilliantly.  I read a lot and have a tendency to forget characters and events between books.  I thought it was a great way of bringing the reader back into the world without any long and drawn out backstory being awkwardly thrown into a conversation. The neat thing is that it would also work in reverse.  If someone reads SHARP LOVE first, it’s the perfect glimpse into the story of the first book.  It will give the reader just enough information about what’s happening with Tristan and the Duke to make them curious without giving away their story.

As always with Ava March, the quality of writing was excellent.  The plot was strong, and the story flowed very well.  I thought the periodic mingling of this book with the previous book was brilliant.  The characters were genuine and believable, and they had a good romance which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.  The only letdown for me was that I never got emotionally invested, even though it was a very good book and I enjoyed reading it.  I had to mention that, but please don’t let it discourage you from reading SHARP LOVE.  It’s a very enjoyable book and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of MM historical romance.

Ratings:

Overall: 3.5 stars
Sensuality level:  3


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Review: On the Way Home by Skye Warren

Title: On The Way Home *
Author: Skye Warren
Series: n/a
Genre: contemporary New Adult erotic romance
Publisher: self-published
Format: ebook
Date/Year: May 20, 2014
Reviewed by: Michele

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

Summary from the publisher:

Clint

For eight months I’ve been deep undercover as a special operator in the Army. On the plane ride home, all I want is a hot shower and a long sleep. But a Dear John text message leaves me stranded. I need a ride and a place to stay, and the pretty stewardess is more than willing.

Della

It’s supposed to be a simple trade—the passenger in seat 34B for my sister. But the sexy soldier is more than I can handle in all the best ways. He trusts me, but I can’t save him. No one can. Sometimes trouble has a way of following you home.

On the Way Home is a dark new adult romance intended for readers over eighteen.


My Musings:

On the surface, the premise of Skye Warren’s ON THE WAY HOME seems simple. Clint is a soldier returning from a recent tour in Afghanistan, where he’s witnessed the worst of humanity, thanks to the undercover operation he was supporting there. Now all he wants to do is get back to a normal life, although he’s not quite sure if it’s still there for him. Della is the flight attendant on his plane home who has been warned she can only save her captive sister if Clint is handed over as compensation. Fate practically delivers him into her hands without much effort on her part. But how can she give this handsome stranger to someone she knows will kill him? And what will happen if she changes her mind?

There have been so many dark and angsty New Adult romances released in the past few years that I’ve just about sworn off them for good. But the beauty of reading is that there's always at least one writer out there who can make me love something I've vowed to hate forever. And apparently for dark and angsty New Adult romance, that writer is Skye Warren. Della’s tragic history is never played for sympathy or cheap sentiment, only as a necessary backdrop to why she would even consider turning Clint over to a known murderer. Clint is shown as the more sympathetic character whose weariness has caused him to let down his emotional guard, however briefly, and his temporary weakness may well be a fatal misstep.  But when Della decides to reach out just once to take what she sees within him, it’s the shock of their unusually compatible souls recognizing each other that forces the reader to cheer for them both to prevail.

The road to their happy ending takes a series of twists and turns that might seem improbable in a less skilled writer’s hands, but it all makes sense by the end, and that feeling of rightness makes the journey there worthwhile and completely satisfying. Their road to love was dark, but not too dark, and it was beautiful to see Della and Clint both find security and happiness in each other. ON THE WAY HOME is yet another extraordinary story from Skye Warren and I loved every moment of it.

Ratings:

Overall: 5 stars
Sensuality level: 3.5


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Review: Forgotten Sins by Rebecca Zanetti

Thursday, June 26

Title: Forgotten Sins*
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Series: Sin Brothers, Book 1
Genre: Romantic Suspense, contemporary
Publisher: Forever
Format: ebook, paperback, audiobook
Date/Year:  January, 2014
Reviewed by: Blue

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

Summary from the publisher:

His Secrets Can Destroy Her

From the moment Josie laid eyes on sexy, mysterious Shane Dean, she was in love. Their desire ignited a passionate affair, and within weeks, Shane had slipped a ring on her finger. It seemed her every fantasy was coming true . . . until her new husband disappeared without a trace. Now, two years and one broken heart later, Josie is shocked when the hospital calls: Shane has been found . . . at a crime scene with no memory of how he got there.

Her Love Can Save Him

Shane can't remember the blue-eyed angel at his bedside-or who he even is-but he knows something isn't right. His hearing is razor sharp, his physical strength incredible, and the urge to protect Josie overwhelming. For powerful enemies are hunting him, and Josie is the key to discovering why. As Shane struggles to unravel his past, dangerous new truths come to light. Can he protect the only woman he's ever loved? And can Josie trust a man she thought she knew-one who carries such a deadly secret?


My Musings:

FORGOTTEN SINS opens with a brief, heartbreaking scene of four young boys who are virtual prisoners in a sort of military camp.  At risk of great punishment, they sneak off at night to watch television and see what they can of the real world beyond their borders.  This is their first exposure to families and mothers.  They note that mothers look so “soft” and wonder why there are none in their lives.  They also decide that they are a family.

Shane was one of those boys, and it’s now twenty years later.  He wakes up injured in a hospital, with no memory of what happened, or even of his life.  It appears he was attacked and may have been the one who killed his assailants.  The authorities contact his wife, Josie, and she comes to the hospital.  Shane doesn’t remember her at all, but he likes what he sees.  Josie, however, has not seen her husband for two years since he deserted her and is in the process of filing for divorce.

Josie never stopped loving Shane. She was aware he is in some secret military-like organization, and goes off on missions, but he never gave her any details.  Two years ago he told her he would be back, but he never contacted her or returned.  Tired of that kind of life, she decided to end the marriage and get on with her life without Shane.  Now, because of his injuries, he needs her, and she agrees, though stating it’s only temporary.

Josie had a soft heart, and I liked her very much, although it was annoying when she had her  moments of doing stupid things in the face of danger.  Shane was to die for.  He is pure alpha, and as his memory returns, we learn his reasons for not returning to Josie.  He’s bound and determined to protect her now, and is torn between whether she’s safer with him or without him.  This whole book was fast paced and riveting.  We received some clues and bits and pieces of the story of these four boys, but all the answers will come in the upcoming three books of the Sin series.  I can’t wait to read them!


Ratings:

Overall: 4 stars
Sensuality level: 3.5


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


Other Reviews:

Book Binge (2 out of 5)
Avon Romance (4)
Goodreads (avg rating as of 6/25/2014 = 4.02 stars)



*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: Naughty Bits Part II: The Training Session by Joey W. Hill

Tuesday, May 20

Title: Naughty Bits Part II: The Training Session*
Author: Joey W. Hill
Series: n/a
Genre: contemporary erotic romance
Publisher: Penguin
Format: ebook
Date/Year: May 20, 2014
Reviewed by: Michele
 

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

Summary from the publisher:

Fear is no match for lust in Joey W. Hill’s sexy new novella about a woman who sheds her shame to embrace her pleasure…

Madison may have ditched her well-ordered Boston life to run Naughty Bits, her sister’s North Carolina lingerie shop, but she didn’t expect to throw herself into such chaos—or to become intimate with the sexiest man she’s ever had the pleasure of meeting. After spending a night observing a submissive’s training session, Madison is ready for Logan to teach her how to feed her own deep fantasies—and get rid of all her lingering fears…

Madison’s aching desire to submit is unlike anything Logan’s ever experienced before, and he’s determined to be the man to make her relinquish control. Still, Logan’s unsure if Madison is ready to take that first step to becoming his—until she shows up at his door ready to be commanded. Luckily for them both, Logan’s got more than a few surprises up his sleeve that he knows she’ll enjoy…



My Musings:

Wow. After I finished reading Part 1, I knew when Logan and Madison’s first real scene together was going to be amazing, but THE TRAINING SESSION blew me away. I think it helped Madison to have Troy there as a buffer while she got used to seeing Logan in his true element as a confident and unforgiving Dominant. The first quarter of Part 2 is this training session where Troy learns how to control his reaction to what he receives from both Logan and Madison, although by the end it wasn’t clear where Troy’s training stopped and Madison’s started. When the scene is over, Madison realizes she can’t go back to the person she was before. Not just in terms of her sexual nature, but in the way she approaches life as a whole.

As Madison lets go of all her old rules and expectations, she begins to relax more within herself, starting to feel more liberated even as she grows closer to Logan. This freedom to embrace her true nature without fear immediately improves her interactions with customers who come into the Naughty Bits shop. Not only does her new approach result in better sales, but more importantly, she can now sell customers what they really need, even when they don’t know what that is when they first walk in. Madison’s new open attitude also gives her the courage to walk right into Logan’s hardware store next door to request a second date. Logan assures her there will be no sex, but by the end of their first evening alone, there will be no question about what is yet to come. For the only rule Madison has now is what her sister said in her last letter: Trust Logan.

Every expectation I had for this next installment was more than fulfilled, as I loved seeing Madison finally take the necessary steps to liberate herself from all the bad memories and inhibitions that had held her back her whole life. Not only does she learn to stop fearing what she feels, but in the process, she learns to be the person that her shop customers need to guide them toward their own emotional and sexual liberation. Each scene between Madison and Logan showed exactly how he is slowly leading her to trust both herself and him to always take care of her completely. As for me, I will continue to trust Joey W. Hill that each future installment of NAUGHTY BITS will be just as compelling as the previous ones.

Ratings:

Overall:  5 stars
Sensuality level: 4.5
(multiple BDSM scenes with 2 and 3 people, including oral sex and anal play)


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Review: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Friday, May 16

Title:  Shield of Winter*
Author:  Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling series #13
Genre:  paranormal romance
Publisher:  Berkley
Format:  hardcover & ebook
Date/Year:  June 3, 2014
Reviewed by:  Andrea
 

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

Summary from the publisher:

Assassin. Soldier. Arrow. That is who Vasic is, who he will always be. His soul drenched in blood, his conscience heavy with the weight of all he’s done, he exists in the shadows, far from the hope his people can almost touch—if only they do not first drown in the murderous insanity of a lethal contagion. To stop the wave of death, Vasic must complete the simplest iand most difficult mission of his life.

For if the Psy race is to survive, the empaths must wake…

Having rebuilt her life after medical “treatment” that violated her mind and sought to stifle her abilities, Ivy should have run from the black-clad Arrow with eyes of winter frost. But Ivy Jane has never done what she should. Now, she'll fight for her people, and for this Arrow who stands as her living shield, yet believes he is beyond redemption. But as the world turns to screaming crimson, even Ivy’s fierce will may not be enough to save Vasic from the cold.


My Musings:

This book is part of a series and is best enjoyed when read in sequence. I would strongly advise against trying to read this as a stand alone.

Silence has fallen and the Psy race is in chaos.  An uncontrolled disease is slowly taking over sections of the NetMind.  Once infected, it can send those affected into a mass psychotic and murderous rage.  If it’s not stopped, it will destroy the entire Psy race.  Kaleb Krycheck has an idea which may save the Psy, but he desperately needs help.  He believes that the long hidden and sidelined Empaths are the key to healing the NetMind.  It’s a bold and dangerous move, as a particularly dangerous segment of the Psy are set on eliminating anyone within the E classification.  Kaleb cannot ask the vulnerable E-Psy to step up without offering them protection.  For that, he turns to the Arrows.

Ivy is one of the E-Psy asked to help.  As a child, her Silence was always fractured.  As a teenager under the old system, she was rehabilitated.  It left her mind fragmented and barely functioning.  It has taken years of hard work under the protective shields of her parents for Ivy to mend the damage done to her mind.  When a cold and lethal Arrow appears with the proposal from Kaleb, it gives Ivy hope that maybe she isn’t as broken and useless as she was led to believe.  What they’re asking of her is an unbelievably dangerous and difficult task, but one she is willing to take on if it will give her the chance to regain everything which was stolen from her as a teen.

Vasic is a familiar character to those of us who follow this series.  He is the ultimate Arrow, but lately he has been showing signs of cracking.  Those close to him can see that he is dangerously close to the point of self destruction.  They decide that Kaleb’s new project is perfect for Vasic.  He can lead the mission, protect the vulnerable E-Psy, and will benefit from the emotional stability naturally extended to those in close proximity of them.  What nobody counted on was the connection between Ivy and Vasic.

If you’re a fan of the Psy-Changeling series, you’ll know that most of the books have a strong romance which runs alongside whatever crisis is causing strain among the three different races trying to live together in relative harmony.  SHIELD OF WINTER is no different.   While the romance between Ivy and Vassic is strong, most of the other plotlines struggled to hold my interest.  I think my biggest issue was that there was so much going on and too many people involved.  The many plotlines also had varying levels of development.  Therefore, I was pulled into some and had only a minor interest in others. 

I desperately wanted the focus to be on the disease of the NetMind and the actions of those involved to stop it.  I hated it when I found myself resenting some of the characters I had formerly loved because they didn’t seem to be doing anything to stop the violence and deaths of so many innocents.  For example, I was angry with Sasha Duncan through most of the book.  She is a cardinal E and has the most developed E talent within the Psy race, yet it took her until almost the very end to take an active role.  Most frustrating of all was that I don’t think my anger at Sasha was the author’s intention.  I believe it was simply a result of too many plotlines and characters being packed into the story.  Honestly, it would have taken an epic book to fully develop every plotline and give everyone involved their due. 

While the romance between Ivy and Vassic was quite good, the rest of it fell short for me.  I had a difficult time connecting with a few of the characters and was angry with a couple others.  With all of that going on, I wasn’t able to fully get behind the fight to save the Psy race.  I was frustrated by the lack of action on the part of the E’s and that made portions of the book feel as though they were dragging.  I did enjoy SHIELD OF WINTER, but it was close to being equal parts frustrating and interesting.  If you’re a fan of the series, you should definitely read it.  Just don’t get your hopes up too high.

Ratings:

Overall: 3.25 stars
Sensuality level: 3.5


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Review: Ghost Seer by Robin D. Owens

Thursday, May 15

Title: Ghost Seer*
Author:  Robin D. Owens
Series: Ghost Seer, #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Format: ebook
Date/Year: April 1, 2014
Reviewed by: ElaineReads  
 

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


Summary from the publisher:

There’s just something about Clare. Apart from the ghosts…...

When her eccentric aunt passes away, no-nonsense accountant Clare Cermac inherits more than just a small fortune. She receives the gift of communicating with ghosts. While Clare may not believe in spirits, it’s hard to overlook the shadowy talking dog appearing on her bed or spectral cowboys tipping their hats to her in the streets of Denver. And when she locks eyes with sexy—and living—Zach Slade, there’s certainly no ignoring him either.

A former deputy sheriff, Zach is leaving a painful past behind in Montana for a new life in Denver as a private investigator, a job that has him crossing paths with beautiful Clare. Not that she minds. After the restless ghost of a Wild West gunman demands her assistance, Clare finds herself needing Zach more and more—and not just for help.


My Musings:

I am no stranger to the writings of Robin D. Owens.  I discovered her Celta series several years ago and absolutely love them.  Her “fams” in particular are wonderful.  I was delighted to discover she was starting a contemporary series with GHOST SEER.

Clare was thrilled to inherit a fortune, including a beautiful old home, from her weird Aunt Sandra, but was not happy at all when she found out there was a catch.  Along with the money came a gift . . . the ability to see and interact with ghosts.  Clare is an accountant.  She is very practical and rational.  She does not believe in ghosts!  Unfortunately, this is not a gift that can be returned.  If she does not help the ghosts “cross over,” she will either weaken and die or go insane.  She is trapped!

Zach is an ex-cop, but only because he was badly injured in a shooting and unfit for active duty.  He does not want to be a private cop because he has always served the public.  He doesn’t want to only help people who can pay for his help. Oh yeah, he doesn’t believe in ghosts either.  So, of course, they meet and are immediately attracted to each other.  Clare definitely needs Zach’s help, but he’s not sure he wants to get involved with a crazy woman.

Zach and Clare are obviously the main characters, but my favorite character is Enzo - a ghost dog that used to belong to weird Aunt Sandra.  His purpose is to help Clare learn her new job of ghost seer.  That’s when he’s not chasing squirrel essence in the park of course.

I loved this book and cannot wait for the sequel, GHOST LAYER to be released in September.  My only criticism is I thought the sex scenes (and they were really good sex scenes) went on too long.  I was ready for the plot to move on.

Ratings:

Overall: 5 stars
Sensuality level: 3


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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: Once Upon a Billionaire by Jessica Clare

Wednesday, May 14

Title:  Once Upon A Billionaire*
Author: Jessica Clare
Series: Billionaire Boys Club #4
Genre: hot contemporary romance
Publisher: Penguin (InterMix)
Format: ebook
Date/Year: April 15, 2014
Reviewed by: Michele

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

Summary from the publisher:

The Billionaire Boys Club is a secret society of six men who have vowed success—at any cost. Not all of them are old money, but all of them are incredibly wealthy. They’re just not always as successful when it comes to love…

As a member of the royal family in a small European country, Griffin Verdi’s presence is requested at the wedding of the century. The scholarly billionaire feels out of his depth in social situations, so a good assistant is required—especially when dealing with royal etiquette.

Unfortunately for Griffin, he’s stuck with Maylee Meriweather, a pretty, charming, and thoroughly unsuitable woman who doesn’t know a thing about high society—but she sure can kiss. Her lack of polish may sink Griffin, because after all, even his money can’t buy class. But through Maylee’s eyes, he’s starting to appreciate the simple things in life—if simple means the most complicated woman he’s ever met.

Maylee is everything Griffin isn’t—and everything he wants—if he can let down his guard and step outside his sheltered world…


The Billionaire Boys Club is breaking all the rules. Don’t miss other novels in the series from InterMix.


My Musings:

Jessica Clare’s Billionaire Boys Club is a relatively new romance series that I’ve enjoyed from the very beginning, with a 5 star read for me in its second book, BEAUTY AND THE BILLIONAIRE. So it’s with great sadness that I have to say ONCE UPON A BILLIONAIRE was so not of the same quality that if it had been the very first book, I probably wouldn’t have continued with the series. Although the romance ended up in the right place when all was said and done, its ill-conceived hero and heroine affected my enjoyment of their HEA to the point that I almost feel guilty for having liked any of it at all.

Griffin Verdi, aka Viscount Montagne Verdi, younger brother of the Duke of Calcaire in the ruling family of Bellissime, is a member of the Billionaire Boys Club, but that’s all due to his own financial skills, not his royal bloodline. His snooty family all but disowned him after he moved to America, but they’re still happy to spend the money he sends them. All he asks in return is to be left alone with his work and his passion for archaeology, but even that is more than they can manage. Now that he’s required to attend his beloved cousin’s wedding as she becomes the first Bellissime Crown Princess to marry a commoner, it’s just Griffin’s bad luck for his sole personal assistant to be too sick to accompany him there. Desperation forces the proud billionaire to turn to his good friend and fellow club member, Hunter, for help. And payback is what prompts Hunter’s girlfriend, Gretchen, to surprise Griffin with the one woman who could unsettle him to the point of madness.

Maylee Meriweather may hail from a no-account Arkansas trailer park, but that doesn’t mean she can’t handle her boss’s last-minute call to help Griffin on his trip. She doesn’t have the fancy clothes, fancy laptop, or fancy anything to keep up appearances in Griffin’s circle. All she has is a can-do attitude, plenty of gumption, and an otherworldly ability to take away a person’s pain after a burn or other related injury. But when nervous flier Maylee mixes mojitos with her “happy pills” on Griffin’s private plane, her bedraggled appearance and drug-induced behavior threaten to end any chance of them getting along before they even land at their destination. Still, there’s something about Maylee that Griffin can’t seem to resist. If he could just manage not to insult her with every word out of his mouth, they might find something together that goes well beyond their temporary working relationship.

The plot of ONCE UPON A BILLIONAIRE is a fairly standard romance trope:  egotistical billionaire is thrown together with a sweet tempered woman totally below his standards, they clash on superficial differences but eventually succumb to their mutual physical attraction, ending up with an HEA only after the prerequisite Big Misunderstanding. It’s light and fluffy and utterly predictable, unlike the last two books in the series, and yet that’s not what bothered me so much. What made me nearly stop reading more than once was how both the hero and heroine were so broadly defined that it bordered on offensive in some spots.

Let’s begin with our billionaire hero, Griffin Verdi. From the first page of ONCE UPON A BILLIONAIRE, he comes across as the worst sort of condescending rich guy, barely civil to the other men he considers friends, and outright rude to Hunter’s girlfriend, Gretchen. It’s true that Gretchen gives as good as she gets, but it’s not like Griffin isn’t capable of basic courtesy to anyone not in his inner circle. Or is he? We’re led to believe that this innate boorishness stems from his royal upbringing, and yet he has a constant inner monologue about how much he hates his own relatives taking advantage of him and others without even so much as a simple thank you. So why wouldn’t he try to behave better than the people he resents? I suspect it was all in support of the conflict between him and his intended heroine. And yet for me, Griffin was nothing more than a faded copy of a Harlequin Presents hero. The arrogance and incivility were there, but any compelling reasons why a woman would find him irresistible in the face of such nonsense were missing in action. Even so, Griffin’s portrayal wasn’t half as problematic as what was in store for Maylee, the woman he supposedly learns to love.

Maylee Meriweather isn’t just from another world, she’s from an entirely different universe. Any woman not born and bred as royalty would be a challenge for Griffin, but a hick from the sticks is beyond the pale. Yet what I objected to wasn’t the extreme contrast per se, but the way Maylee was written as a cartoon character straight out of Dogpatch USA. She’s already a personal assistant to another billionaire, but she dresses like a bag lady and keeps track of her boss’s schedule on Post-It Notes. Every other word out of her mouth is “Lordamercy!” and she loves to tell everyone she meets that she was named for her Nana and PeePaw. Later we learn that her younger sisters are named Alabama and Dixie after their Daddy’s two favorite songs. (What, no brother named Skeeter?) Best of all, Maylee is a self-proclaimed “burn talker” who helps injured people by asking them to give the pain to her as she rubs the location of their burn. (Of course she is.)

This ongoing litany of outrageous personal details prompted a constant side-eye from me as the book went on, especially once it became obvious that Griffin would have been a complete jerk to Maylee without them. It really wasn’t necessary to portray her as an egregious example of nearly every possible stereotype of young women born and raised in the American South. And yet all that was missing by the time we met Maylee’s beloved drooling hound dog in Mama’s trailer back home was a moonshine still in the backyard and a visit to the local Waffle House. But because Maylee is the personification of the sweet but naive girl fresh off the turnip truck, she’s also able to win over every other person she meets with her kind and considerate demeanor, and even manages to help the Crown Princess of Bellissime herself with a curling iron burn on the night before the big wedding. Maylee also secretly hands out cash tips to everyone providing services to Griffin on his behalf, even though we’ve already been told that she’s barely getting by financially due to her need to send most of her salary to her family back in Arkansas. It’s this deep-seated kindness that ostensibly makes Maylee such a great personal assistant in spite of all her shortcomings in appearance and social behavior. It’s also apparently why she continues to take care of Griffin in spite of the cruel way he treats her right up until he decides she’s worthy of his affection after all.

Just because Maylee also gets the good end of the sweet Southern girl stereotype doesn’t make the rest of it even remotely acceptable. And just because Griffin finally pulls his head out of his ass after seeing himself in his mother and brother’s poor treatment of Maylee doesn’t mean his earlier abominable behavior is in any way excusable. There’s a way to depict a romance between a hero and heroine from vastly different worlds without potentially insulting readers, and then there’s what this book did. But I’m not quite ready to give up on the Billionaire Boys Club series, and I’m hoping very hard that the next book, ROMANCING THE BILLIONAIRE, will be a triumphant return to form. I don’t think I could handle this level of disappointment again.

Ratings:

Overall: 3 stars
Sensuality level: 3


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Review: It Happened One Wedding by Julie James

Tuesday, May 13

Title: It Happened One Wedding*
Author: Julie James
Series: FBI / US Attorney #5
Genre: contemporary romance
Publisher: Jove
Format: ebook, print, and audio
Date/Year: May 6, 2014
Reviewed by: Michele 

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

Summary from the publisher:

SHE KNOWS BETTER THAN TO SAY “I DO”

After a humiliating end to her engagement, investment banker Sidney Sinclair is done with commitment-phobic men. But when her sister winds up engaged after a whirlwind courtship, she’s thrown into close contact with exactly the kind of sexy playboy she wants to avoid—the gorgeous best man. She’s stuck with him, for better or worse, until her sister walks down the aisle, but that doesn’t mean she has to give in to his smooth advances, no matter how tempting they are…

BUT HE MAKES IT HARD TO SAY “I DON’T”

Special Agent Vaughn Roberts always gets his man on the job and his woman in bed. So Sidney’s refusal to fall for his charms only makes him more determined to win over the cool and confident redhead. Only what starts out as a battle of wills ends up as a serious play for her heart. Because the one woman who refuses to be caught may be the only one Vaughn can’t live without…


My Musings:

Julie James’s FBI / US Attorney romance series is yet another one that I’ve been intending to catch up with, even though I’ve only read the first (excellent) book so far. But when a fellow reviewer posted on Twitter about how much she had enjoyed reading IT HAPPENED ONE WEDDING, I knew I wanted to read it immediately. And just as I had anticipated, my impulsive jump into this latest book in the series was rewarded with a delightful romantic confection that will finally get me to make time to read all the books preceding it.

Sidney Sinclair had always taken pride in her ability to determine the best course of action based on all available evidence. But when her self-confidence was shaken by her fiance’s betrayal, Sidney chose to move on from that debacle for a new challenge in her career, the one thing that’s never let her down. So when her latest first date with yet another guy more interested in himself quickly crashes and burns, the last thing she wants is the attentions of an irresistibly handsome man who’d been observing her from the sidelines. She wouldn’t have even remembered their brief encounter if she hadn’t discovered only moments later that they were about to become family. But as she and her soon-to-be brother-in-law are constantly thrown together as the wedding draws near, Sidney slowly starts to let down her guard, at least in the bedroom, though not quite allowing herself to hope that this man might be the one she’s been looking for all along.

Special Agent Vaughn Roberts knows that in his line of work, it’s better to keep romantic relationships short and sweet. Any woman who would make the mistake of thinking he could offer more than a few weeks of hot sex isn’t anyone Vaughn would want to know better. It’s in that spirit that he makes a move on a hot redhead who clearly hadn’t had any luck with the guy she’d just dispatched from the coffee shop. And when the redhead turns him down flat, Vaughn doesn’t let it bother him much, at least not until she’s introduced to him an hour later as the sister of his own brother’s fiancee. Now the challenge of getting past Sidney’s rules for acceptable men is all that Vaughn can think about, not realizing that she’s working her way into his life as much as he is in hers. But how can two stubborn people get past the rules they’ve set up for themselves to embrace a true love that always seems to be just out of reach?

Even though I haven’t read all the books in this series, I never had any problem with IT HAPPENED ONE WEDDING as a standalone story. The character development for Sidney and Vaughn was handled almost seamlessly, as we were shown exactly what motivated their actions, even as they were both confronted with facing why they couldn’t trust each other to be the person they need. As the story progressed, it became obvious that it was good that Sidney had rejected Vaughn’s initial advances. If she’d said yes, they would have had a brief intense affair, only to be faced with seeing each other at every family gathering for years to come. Being forced to interact as friends and allies in the family wedding plans was the best possible way for both Sidney and Vaughn to accept their own needs as something to embrace, rather than hide away from forever. By the time they finally realized that they were meant to be together, each had already proven to the other all the ways they were perfectly matched, making their own HEA so touching and real that I was crying and laughing in equal amounts during the last few chapters of the book.

IT HAPPENED ONE WEDDING is proof that a contemporary romance featuring a high-powered business executive and successful FBI Special Agent doesn’t have to rely on over-the-top suspense or hackneyed battle-of-the-sexes conflict to make it a book you’ll never forget. It also features some of the most effortless dialogue you’re likely to find in a contemporary romance, and scenes that could be funny and sad without ever descending into slapstick or pathos. If this is what I can expect as a reader of Julie James, then I’ll be adding her to my author auto-buy list, for IT HAPPENED ONE WEDDING is easily one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Ratings:

Overall: 5 stars
Sensuality level: 3


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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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