Title: Sweet Seduction
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group USA 12/31/12
Length: 304 Pages
Series: Sweet #3
Salon owner Julie Stanford wanted Nathan Tucker ever since she gave him his first massage. Getting paid to feel every inch of his body, stripped, oiled, and spread out in front of her? Stuff dreams are made of. But the sexy guy was oblivious to the signals she was sending—until she finished off his final rub-down with something extra. In fact, the best extra he ever had. Unfortunately, he came around too late. Now Julie’s moving on . . .
The woman was driving him crazy. She lit fire to his insides then ran like a scalded cat. And now she’s going to someone else to have all her fantasies fulfilled? Over his dead body . . . He’s more than willing to give her what she wants, and as soon as he pins the little minx down, he’ll show her his own brand of sweet seduction.
The story continues with this clan of friends, and I am happy to say that it took me MUCH less time to read #3 than it did #2, although i’m surprised why. what we get here is the continued journey of all of these ladies and gents – with a hope at seeing what really lies underneath, and what kinks support that.
This third installment is all about Julie and Nathan – we know that Julie’s into Nathan, but she hasn’t had much luck – partially for lack of trying and partially cause they are both a bit too ‘dense’ for their own good. It’s only after calling in a favor to Damon like Serena did that things get juicy. See – we know that Julie’s really strong minded and independent, and when she’s decided that maybe she needs to fulfill her own fantasies instead of waiting for Nathan to come back to her (since he seems to have moved on) all bets are off. Julie’s desires are in the realm of threesomes and Damon is the guy to set it up. We know that Micah is in to them as well, and it’s just a matter of finding the other guy to work things out.
Where it gets good though is that we know that Nathan isn’t into kink AT ALL but since he learns of what Julie wants and won’t let another guy in on that, he gets involved – in a good way. Julie’s dreams and fantasies are fulfilled – given that it’s not just a threesome, but she wants to be blindfolded so she doesn’t know who the guys are – so the sex is amazing, and Micah and Nathan are good for her. yet, she doesn’t know it’s them.
The question then becomes, will she find out that it was them, how will she find out and what will it mean? The interesting thing separate from this is that she and Nathan start to do a little ‘dating dance’ separate from the sex club, so it’s definitely making things more complex.
True to Ms. Banks’ style – we get some vivid scening and some great depth of these characters and relationships. One of the other great things that i LOVE about her style is that we never leave the other characters far behind. Both Faith and Serena get big roles and their stories continue without taking away from Julie.
The other nice thing that i really like is that the lead in and teaser to Micah’s installment really makes you interested. We never really got the full sense of his history and there in the one chapter that brought us there a bit – well i have to say that i’m really excited to pick up that book. Enjoy!
Title: Sweet Persuasion
Author: Maya Banks
Publisher/Year: Penguin Group USA 12/31/12
Length: 352 Pages
Series: Sweet #2
The man of her dreams would give the orders. For him, she had two words that satisfied them both…“Take me.”
For five years, Serena has run Fantasy Incorporated and has devoted her time to fulfilling her clients’ fantasies. Never her own. Until now…
Her most secret desire is to give ownership of her body to a man. Someone who will command her, pleasure her, and have complete authority over her. So she seeks out Damon Roche, owner of an exclusive sex club and a man strong enough to make her do anything he wants. Anything.
Together they’ll journey into a world she’s only dreamed of. She’s given the opportunity to immerse herself in a different life while her normal one waits for her to return whenever she wishes. Damon has no desire to let her go, however. Serena is the woman he’s long searched for, and it’s up to him to convince her to stay when the game is all over with. He wants their fantasy to become their reality and for Serena to remain his pampered, cherished submissive.
I have to admit that it took me the better part of the week to get through this book, and while i can’t fully blame it on the story, i feel like i might party do so. This week has gotten away from me so apologies to all of you that missed seeing anything from me this week.
In any event, it’s been a while since i started this series, so i had even forgot a bit about what made it so good. We had met Faith and Grey in their own story and it was hot and tension filled that i knew that there was something good to be said about the others that we met – Serena and Julie and even Damon, Micah and Nathan. In this 2nd installment, we get to become much better acquainted with Serena and Damon, and start to see what’s next for Julie and maybe Nathan….
This all starts when Serena who has a company that’s job is to fulfill people’s fantasies (on the clean side that is) and she realizes that she has her own fantasy – one that’s a bit more naughty. She goes to Faith for help and the outcome is so much more than she ever expected. Serena wants to be someone’s sex slave and she’s directed to Damon who owns ‘The House’ a BDSM club and someone who’s well versed and capable of finding her a partner.
That partner turns out to be none other than himself since she’s exactly what he needs, and his job to role play with her turns quite real. The issue of course in this story is that the lines become blurred between reality and fantasy for Serena while for Damon it’s always real.
What i liked about this story is that Ms. Maya Banks, our lovely author stays very true to her writing style in the sense that we get great back stories on the characters and very good scening. I think that the downfall for me is that at times they were really predictable and i felt like i could have just fast forwarded a bit to get on with the story. again though, i think more my problem than a problem with the book.
What keeps the story going is that we see Serena challenged by what Damon wants her to do and what she admits to herself that she wants, and it’s hot. It’s always intriguing to me to see a strong woman acknowledge herself as a submissive and then to see what happens when the power is handed over to someone else. Damon clearly knows his way around a woman and around domination and that’s really amazing to see here.
The best bits start to happen towards the end when you’re not sure who is going to compromise on what – and what will happen. we see that a death becomes the downfall of things for Serena and it means that things will become so much more challenging. She feels like she has to walk away from everything that she has and knows, and it becomes a fight for her to keep going.
I’m really excited now to see who’s next in the series and how it will play out since it seems like Julie has a plan for how to get her man, or to get another man, and it’s nice to see that they are all stretching themselves past boundaries that had been set up to see how sexual and passionate they can be when someone else is in control. Enjoy!
Title: Tempted by a Dangerous Man
Author: Cleo Peitsche
Publisher/Year: Pouch Productions 6/19/14
Length: 93 Pages
Series: By a Dangerous Man #4
As Audrey struggles with her role in a recent tragedy, Corbin answers questions that have long haunted her. She is unsettled to learn what happened to the other Audrey and how Corbin became a killer.
Meanwhile, events at home take an unexpected turn, leading Audrey to reevaluate her feelings for her estranged father, and bounty hunter Henry’s obsessions push Audrey and Corbin into a series of impossible positions.
What a great continuation of this series – given that where we were left off in book 3 was a real cliffhanger. To refresh your memory – Audrey was trying to get her hands on all of the photos of her and her brother that were taken to blackmail them in part by their father and mostly by Henry. So – while she was trying to get all copies – and was back in the office – she ran into Zack – the guy that was doing Henry’s dirty work – and ended up accidentally killing Zack.
Fast forward us a few hours – Corbin has come to take care of everything – cleaning up the office – disposing of the body – and getting Audrey out of the area for their final week together before he has to go to work for a month – hopefully for the last time.
So while we take the quick journey of Audrey trying to get past what she’s inadvertently done, we get immersed into the story of the continued evolution of the relationship between these 2. We continue to see Corbins protective side and how he cares for Audrey deeply – but he still has his walls up. While he’s showing her more about the passions and chemistry that they share – he’s also beginning to open up about his past to give Audrey a sense of why he does what he does.
Where that nets everyone out though isn’t the best place since deep emotions tend to make situations even more risky. What happens towards the end though is partly expected – yet very unnerving.
Audrey’s father is in the hospital for reasons unknown, and while it’s not safe for Audrey to be there, she has to be at her father’s side. Corbin goes with her and his identity is recognized by Henry – making things even more challenging for Audrey since this is just when Corbin needs to go off grid and there’s no one around to protect her.
The last few lines though make us wonder what’s going to happen – since we know that Henry is out for blood – and Corbin is still away – with his arrival time past due. Can’t wait to see where this story goes – because it has the right balance of what we need. Hot sex, really good writing, and a tense storyline. Enjoy!
Title: Seduce Me
Author: Georgia Le Carre
Publisher/Year: Georgia Le Carre 5/29/14
Length: 193 Pages
Series: The Billionaire Banker #4
Lana has chosen Billie and her friend Julie Sugar to be her bridesmaids and preparations are under way as the big day draws ever closer for the besotted couple. Billie loves Lana and would do anything for her, but Julie’s feelings are more concealed as she hides a shocking secret from her friend.
Though Lana believes she has sidestepped Blake’s treacherous ex to win her man, storm clouds are never far away where Victoria is concerned.
Will all go smoothly for the lovers on their big day?
Or is there unforeseen drama that may yet still spoil the couple’s happily ever after?
For the final installment of Blake and Lana’s story – i think that we get the nice ending – a culmination of their love and whatnot. Their wedding is upon us and we know that she’s going to be nothing short of the most beautiful bride ever.
What’s nice about this story is the full on introduction not only to Julie, but we really get to know Vann (aka Quinn) – and that’s something that i’ve been waiting for since we never really got to get a story out of him aside from knowing that he’s the brother that we like more.
What Ms Le Carre does really well here is that we don’t feel like one story is taking too much away from the other. We still have the concerns and fears of the Brotherhood that plagues Lana – but we get to see a really hot and sexy story line develop with Julie and Vann -with some great undercurrent of jealously and hatred from Julie to Lana.
So…all in all i think that it works. The chemistry between Julie (Sugar) and Vann is hot. Vann has taken it upon himself to teach Julie what it is to be a wanted lover – so that Julie could draw Jack in and away from Lana, yet, it’s his skill and compassion that makes things get even more complicated. Also – the fact that maybe he’s not what he seems makes things even better. He shows Julie how to perform to make her lover infatuated with her, and it gives her a sense of worth and value that makes her even sexier – and confident.
So – a win win in my eyes – and to know that while Blake and Lana’s direct story is over – there are still so many others that we will continue on the journey with that it’s quite alright by me. Masquarade i believe is the next on the list – so when that comes out in August – i’ll be in line to read it! Enjoy!
Author: Georgia Le Carre
Publisher/Year: Georgia Le Carre 4/29/14
Length: 39 Pages
Series: The Billionaire Banker #2.1
The COMPILATION includes…
The first two chapters of Forty 2 Days told from Blake Law Barrington’s POV,
bonus teasers, excerpts and a Q & A with Blake.
Not quite a novella – but always nice to get a reverse POV on things that we’ve read before. The good thing about this series though i have to say is that you don’t have to have it fresh in your mind to be able to pick right back up – that’s how compelling the story is. So when we get jostled around a bit through a few installments to get Blake’s POV, it’s not hard to remember exactly where we are in the story.
so…not enough to make me take pause before diving into the next book, but a nice way to spend the last 30 minutes or so.
Title: Undressing the Billionaire
Author: Melinda Hale
Publisher/Year: Melinda Hale 4/21/13
Length: 144 Pages
Series: Her Billionaire #1
When billionaire CEO Ric Denton donates a substantial sum to keep a cafe in business, Gabrielle Langley is stunned by his generosity, and his looks. After losing both her mother and sister, she has kept her feelings locked away, driven only by routine. Ric tempts her to break free. But giving in leads to more than just a one night stand.
Ric doesn’t do relationships. Gabrielle is a distraction, a way to dull the pain from his past. Their chemistry is intense, the sex an addiction. And he will keep it that way. But Gabrielle can’t fight her feelings, knowing that an admission will end it all. Undressing the billionaire is becoming too hard to resist.
On paper this seems like it would be a great story – the premise is a good one – the guy who has all the power and money in the world swooping in to save something that the girl who doesn’t have much may lose – well that’s the start of the kind of relationships that we’ve come to appreciate in this genre.
We meet Gabrielle when she’s working in a cafe in a part of town in Cali that’s really down on it’s luck. all the stores around are closing and her cafe is one of those that’s in jeopardy. that all changes on the day that Ric walks into the building. They are quickly drawn to one another and for reasons unknown, he donates enough money to keep the shop open for a while, and they are forever linked. or at least for now.
So where we go on this journey is what trips me up a bit. there’s enough tension between them that you’d think that it would get steamy fast – but it doesn’t. There’s also enough anxiety with the plot line that you’d get sucked in, but it’s a slow build. We quickly learn that Gabrielle’s father is dying from a terminal disease, and while we know it affects Gabby since he’s the only family that she has left – the result isn’t as dramatic as i would have thought.
We also learn that there’s a bit of a dark story and past for both characters and that’s something that i always hope will affect how stories progress. but again, we don’t really see that happen so much here.
What does happen though is that there’s a clear chemistry between these 2 and even if they don’t want to admit to each other what they are or what they can be, they still realize that there’s something hot and passionate there that they should continue to explore.
Honestly, it’s not until the very end that i’m really drawn in – where we see things get a bit more complex for these 2. There’s an ultimatum of sorts issued, and another guy there who’s sort of vying for Gabrielle’s affections – so it’s nice to see it amped up a bit.
Since i don’t like to give up on series – i’m going to stick with this one since i think that we’re starting to get somewhere now….
Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher/Year: Henry Holt and Co 7/8/14
Length: 339 Pages
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.
I wasn’t sure what i was getting myself into with this story – just that it sounded interesting and very different from what i’ve been reading lately. I’ve been a sucker for books like this before, YA but a bit of fantasy – and if you remember the Graceling series – this is kind of where i was going.
So in this story – we are united and introduced to our leading lady Lia – on the day of her arranged marriage – one that she’s not overly excited about. She’s getting the traditional Henna tattoo on her back and sorting through things in her head about what’s to come. If she’s going to be stuck in this marriage to someone she’s never met or if there’s something different out there for her.
Turns out that she’s decided that she wants more – and she flees – with her aide and they run for a village far far away that Pauline her aide was born in. They spend several weeks there, working and hiding out – all while they get to know the folks in the village – along with 2 strangers that have arrived – separately but seemed linked in a way. These 2 become our leading men – Kaden and Rafe – one that’s an assassin that’s been sent to kill Lia and one that’s the prince that she fled from.
What i liked about this book is the style of writing – i’m sure it was intention but each chapter is from someone different’s POV and you’re never entirely sure who is who until the latter 1/2 of the book. We get names at the headers of some, and then titles like Prince or Assassin on others. I kept trying to work through things in my mind to resolve which was which.
The undertone of this story is that there’s a history that first daughters are gifted in the sense that they can see visions or hear things that was made to save civilization after all was destroyed. there’s a fierce war going on between where The princess and prince came from and where the assassin came from – all because of things that we don’t yet know, but we do know that the gift that Lia is supposed to have is feared.
Throughout this story – she thinks that she doesn’t have the gift – and it’s not until she meets some nomads who tell her otherwise, and she realizes that her tattoo isn’t coming off and that there’s more to it than she believed. She’s also managed to translate some texts that she stole from home that seem to be very valuable that she begins to think that there’s more to her life than what she knows.
The other bit to this story is what’s not necessarily the point – but what i got out of it anyway. we get a coming of age story – of a princess who’s lived the life that her family expects – yet she chooses for herself the path that she wants and gains her own strength. That’s something that we get a lot in stories like this – in the YA genre – but it’s still important none the less. the other bit is that we see a lot of internal conflict of our leading men – they know what’s right and wrong – but is love or loyalty more important?
That’s kind of where we are left off at the end of this first installment. no one is safe – and you don’t know yet who’s able to protect whom and who even wants to. I like that we see a happy reunion of sorts – but i don’t know if it will be short lived or if someone will come to their rescue.
So i guess it means now that i’ll have to wait until 2015 to read the next installment unless our friends at Netgalley bestow the 2nd ARC to me as well. enjoy!
Title: Perfect Rhythm
Author: Opal Carew
Publisher/Year: St Martin Press 7/1/14
Length: 32 Pages
Series: His to Claim #6
Rafe Ranier was my boss and secret crush. A rock musician by night and head of a billion dollar empire by day, Rafe could have any woman he wanted. But I was just the shy secretary he never noticed. For years I obsessed over him, until I finally realized I had to walk away. I needed to break from the secure life I’d always known to discover who I really was.
I never expected Rafe to follow me.
Now I’m on the road with his band, Savage Kiss, and all my secret fantasies are coming true. But I fear I’ve made a huge mistake, because if I get any more attached to a man I can never truly have, my heart will be broken beyond all repair.
We left off this series when we just got the news that Rafe/Storm was in an accident while riding his motorcycle at 4am after he felt the need to get away and clear his head from what’s going on with Melanie and what it means for their future.
So, this final installment in the series is really the make or break it point – the questions that need to be answered are whether Melanie and Storm will be together and in what capacity, If storm will stay with the band or choose to go back to the company and take his place and what will be next for Melanie since she’s definitely having a time at finding her footing.
The great thing about this story is that you don’t have to get wrapped up in the stress and tension of the accident since you know how that’s going to net out. I think that what we instead get out of it is a definition of everyone’s relationships. The accident brings Dane and Storm back together to talk through what they felt is a fear from what their father did to them, and that’s really what was the block in Melanie and his relationship.
The other good thing is that we see Storm get a hold of his Dom side – we see that he’s confident in the role when he can trust himself, but we don’t quite know how receptive to all that Melanie will be.
We get a bunch of make up sex, and a bit of on the mend sex – while all trying to DTR (thank you MTV for that one) – and well, a nice conclusion to a story with characters that we’ve been so invested in. I think that the end was expected – but the journey was a nice one – so i’m really glad that i was able to get my hands on the complete series and i can’t wait for what’s next from Ms. Carew.
Title: Saved by a Dangerous Man
Author: Cleo Peitsche
Publisher/Year: Cleo Peitsche 5/21/14
Length: 86 Pages
Series: By a Dangerous Man #3
As Audrey struggles to keep Corbin’s identity secret, the rest of her life spins out of control. Rival bounty hunter Henry suspects she’s playing him for information, changes at work leave her stunned, and her father crosses her one time too many.
Audrey doesn’t approve of what Corbin is, but he proves that he’s been paying close attention to what she needs. When an unexpected situation explodes, Corbin can reassure her, but only the other Corbin, the one with secrets and a dark past, can save her.
I thought that this was the last book in the series – but clearly I was mistaken. We continue the journey with Audrey and Corbin and see where things can go with them. What’s nice about this installment is that we get to see new risk added in to the scenario. While we see that this couple is growing closer and their sex is getting hotter there are forces coming between them.
If you’ll remember, at the end of the last book, Henry – the other bounty hunter that Audrey had spent some time with had intel on where corbin was – in Florida, and offered Audrey the chance to come with him to watch him catch the guy, while also having his own ulterior motives – meaning that he still wants Audrey even if she’s turned him down.
Against Corbin’s wishes, Audrey goes with Henry, and she soon learns that it was a very bad choice. Because of various things happening, Henry now suspects Audrey of some less than savory things, and this means that Corbin has to come in and protect her once again.
Not such a bad thing for a short while given that it means that we get to see some hot scening, but still not ideal.
Where this takes us though is back to ‘the real world’ where things continue to get even worse. We learn that Audrey and Rob’s dad is up to no good in the sense that hey may have unknowingly revealed Audrey’s secrets – and the question then becomes who will be the first to notice and what will that mean for everyone’s safety. That’s where we are left off in this third installment. Someone has been killed, someone knows Corbin’s identity – and we don’t know who is safe and what they will have to do while they try to be safe.
All in all, a great way to make tension and passion work….yet again. I can’t wait to see where this goes since we know that emotions are tied together even more – love and lust are confused, and sex is mind-blowing.