Review: Strings Attached (Baseline Sins #1) by Stephanie Julian


Title: Strings Attached
Author: Stephanie Julian
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 11/17/15
Length:   276 Pages
Series:  Baseline Sins #1


The first novel in a steamy spin-off series from the national bestselling author of the Salon Games novels…

On the surface, Sebastian “Baz” Valenti is a rock god with the lifestyle to match. With  his drop-dead gorgeous looks and his band, Baseline Sins, at the top of the charts, he can have any woman he wants. But the constant touring and recording has taken its toll. Now he’s turned to scoring films, a gig that has introduced him to the one woman he really wants but can’t have…

Trudeau Morrison is all business all the time. As the managing director of ManDown Films, it’s her job to keep Baz focused on business too. It’s not an easy task, considering Baz has made no secret of his desire for her. But Tru doesn’t want to get involved with a rock star, even if he is the hottest man she’s ever met.

Trouble is, once Baz gets an erotic taste of Tru, he’s not going to give her up. Now he just has to show her that rock-steady is nothing compared to rock and roll…

My Thoughts

Thank goodness we finally got to have an installment that focuses on Baz since we really got to know about him when Bree and Greg fell in love.  From what we remember from that story, he’s had a rough time coming back from an overdose and then trying to get his head on straight.  all while hiding out at Haven.

So in this first book of a spin off series, we see how Baz comes into his own now that the score for the movie is done, and how that means that he’s open to finding more for himself.  That comes in the form of Tru – Greg’s old assistant turned managing director of their production studio.

Tru is a girl who knows what she wants and gets it.  She’s no nonsense and that’s why she’s gotten on so well with Greg.  She’s become fast friends with the girls from the Salon Games series – Belle, Kate, Sabrina and even Talia that we get to see them pop up again and again in this series.

The relationship between Baz and Tru starts off as most of these do – they hate each other – they know how to push the other’s buttons and not in a good way so you know that it’s going to lead to something hot and steamy.  We see them fight at every turn and to me it’s a question of when they will finally decide to realize that it’s not hate but attraction that keeps them going.

Throughout this story – really what we are seeing is Baz coming to terms with his friendships from the guys in the band, as well as trying to figure out what his next move is since he’s so afraid of what’s going to happen if he screws up and everyone else seems to fear the same.  everyone but Tru that is.  He has a hard time trying to reconnect with his bandmates and that cuts him down a bit while also trying to navigate whatever it is that’s going on with Tru.

In true form of Ms. Julian, we get so much heat and passion when these two come together that it keeps the story going at a fast pace.  There’s so much chemistry that it leaps off the pages and while you want to see them succeed – you know that there’s so much keeping them apart that it’s really a question of who’s going to shove them back in the right direction to make it work.  So, all in all a nice read from this spin off series and i can’t wait to see what’s next.  Have a great day all!

Review: Do Not Disturb (Salon Games #4) by Stephanie Julian


Title: Do Not Disturb
Author: Stephanie Julian
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 6/6/15
Length:   221 Pages
Series:  Salon Games #4


A seductive affair is twisted by secrets in the latest Salon Games novel from the author of Over Exposed.

To the outside world, Dane Connelly is the playboy heir of a media mogul, his life a series of one-night stands with no commitments. Only in the Salon does he satisfy his darker urges with willing partners. Life was perfect…until his best friend fell in love. Now Dane knows exactly what he’s been missing—and exactly who he wants.

Talia Driscoll enjoys creating perfection. She loves bright, glittery parties and fairy tale weddings. But she knows the illusion is short-lived. Nothing lasts forever and everyone lies to get what they want. After all, she lies about her true identity every day.

After an explosive night at the Salon, Dane is determined to sway the reluctant Talia to be his completely.  But the secrets that keep them apart are at odds with the erotic passion that draws them together…

My Thoughts

Here i thought we were going to get a saga about Baz and instead we get another leading lady and gentleman, ones that we’ve really not seen before.

We meet Talia who is the wedding planner for Annabelle, but also in the tight knit group of friends who are all best friends, her belle, kate,and Bree.  That means that we know that we’re going to get a lot of girl power and lot of great insights all around.

We meet Dane, who’s best friends with Jared and also had an interesting bond with Belle and Jared – he’s been a staple part of their threesome for some time now, and there’s a lot of love in there, but lucky for everyone, it’s not a love that will get in the way of the wedding.  and lucky for him, it’ll open himself up to the chance that maybe there’s a girl who’s worthy of more than a one night stand.

So in this next installment, we get to see how Dane conquers his fears of having a relationship, and Talia overcoming her own desire not to have one as well.  She’s got her own dark and secret past that no one knows about and she’s always feared that if she let someone in, they would learn it all and her life would end.

Throughout this story, we get exactly what i love from Ms Julian.  We have a lot of play time in the Salon and hot and steamy isn’t even the right word for it.  If you like to watch, you get an eye ful and it’s soo sexy and passionate that you can’t help but need to take a breath.  Then there’s the fact that the scenes are so descriptive and you feel like you’re right there with Talia and Dane that there’s only so much you can take until they find their way out of their sex haze.  Intense right?

So as you can expect, it’s only a matter of time that Dane’s secret of being part of the Belle/Jared threesome comes out and then it’s a matter of time before Talia’s past comes to kick her in the butt – so it’s really just a question of what that will that do to them, if what they have is strong enough to make it and if they even want to try.  I think that it’s a really well played finale to the story – and i’m guessing that it may be the end of the series – but not quite sure.  All in all, very happy.  have a good night all!

Review: Over Exposed (Salon Games #3) by Stephanie Julian


Title: Over Exposed
Author: Stephanie Julian
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Publishing 7/1/14
Length:   336 Pages
Series:  Salon Games #3


When the cameras are off, the real action begins.

Greg Hicks is a Hollywood power player. For years he’s enjoyed the perks that come with being a top director and producer: the influence, the wealth…the women. But none of his many conquests have ever possessed the incredible sensuality of the young woman he once watched lose all inhibition in front of his camera.

Sabrina Rodriquez’s life is far from a Hollywood dream. Refusing to make the same mistakes as her unlucky-in-love mother, she’s focused on her first real job and avoiding all distractions, especially those of the male variety. Yet a man as compelling as Greg is difficult to ignore. And the desires he awakens are even harder to quench.

While a winter storm rages, a night at Haven Retreat leaves Sabrina’s and Greg’s temperatures rising. As Greg introduces Sabrina to the pleasures of voyeurism and exhibition, she unleashes his most decadent passions—and his creativity. But having Sabrina as a muse isn’t enough. He wants her to take a starring role in his bed…and in his heart.

My Thoughts

It’s clearly been a long time since i’ve been in this series and i’m so glad that i finally came back to it.  I didn’t realize that there were more books, but now that i know that there’s still another, i’m super excited.

In this third installment to the series, we meet Sabrina and Greg.  Greg is best friends with Tyler and Jared, the gentlemen that we met in the first books and the owners of Haven.  Sabrina ironically is best friends with Annabelle and Kate who are engaged/married to Jared and Tyler.  So it’s a nice little circle right?

In this story, we find Greg at the Haven retreat where he’s trying to finish a screenplay for his first directorial job in a decade.  It’s stressful for him and he’s kind of burnt out from all that’s gone on in Hollywood.  Sabrina works for Haven after being lucky enough to get an internship etc care of Kate and Tyler (sort of) and she’s been asked to head out to the retreat to look after Greg since he’s a bit of a mess.

If only it were that easy right?  Mind you the thing you learn quickly on is that they crossed paths a few years ago while Bree was modeling Kate’s lingerie and Greg was the photographer.  There was instant chemistry and attraction but i gathered that Greg pushed her away.  So the question from the first moment they come together in this book is how long is it going to take for them to realize that there’s something amazing there and what will it take to make it happen.

Throughout this installment, we see Sabrina coming to terms with how great she is professionally while also coming to terms with what she is or could be to Greg and what that would ultimately mean since his life is so much different than hers and across the country.  At the same time we see Greg fighting with his inner self since it’s not just Sabrina at stake here, his life is in the process of turning upside down not just with the hopeful success of this film but the fact that his business is getting dicey because of what his partner wants to see in terms of expansion.

True to what i recall from the first two books, we get some incredibly hot scening.  The salon is a place where we get to live out our deepest fantasies and that’s what happens here.  Things that we knew that Greg enjoyed come to play and we see how Sabrina didn’t even know that it was something that she would thrive on.

If all that weren’t hot enough enter Sebastian, a rocker who’s trying to get his head back on straight and comes to stay at the hotel.  Sabrina strikes up a friendship that clearly is more than a friendship from one side (gotta love those love triangles) and it’s interesting to see how that plays out since jealousy seems to be a big thing here.

So all in all, lots of moving parts and lots of great stuff to keep this installment moving . I can’t wait to see what comes in book four and i’m about to download it now.  Happy Sunday all!

Review: No Reservations (Salon Games #2) by Stephanie Julian


Title:  No Reservations
Author:  Stephanie Julian
Publisher/Year:  Penguin Group (USA)  9/3/13
Length:  320 Pages
Series: Salon Games #2


Play by the rules and you’ll never get what you deserve.

Tyler Golden is all about control. It’s an attitude that helped him and his brother build Haven, a boutique hotel in Philadelphia. The only thing Tyler couldn’t control was his fiancée’s death. It left him emotionally guarded, and willing to go only so far with women: satisfying his sexual needs.

Kate Song knows the feeling. Her sole focus is her dream to be a lingerie designer. She’s not about to be distracted by any man. No matter who he is. Or how demanding. Or forceful. Or captivatingly sexy. Or so she thought.

Tyler has the power to make her dream come true. Who can say no to such a dominating personality? Who would want to? Not Kate. Offering her body for submission is one thing. But giving her heart and soul is another. Now Tyler may discover that the one woman who taught him to love again is the one woman he might not be able to keep.

My Thoughts

after reading the first installment of this series (by private invitation), i knew what we were going to get into here with the 2nd book, especially since we had a resolution of Kate’s relationship at the end of book 1.  This one literally picks up off the heels from the first book, where we find that Tyler and Kate are finally going to act on their feelings.

as a quick reminder, Kate is Anabelle’s  best friend and Tyler is Jared’s brother.  Anabelle and Jared have found happiness that was a long time coming in book 1 and it’s nice to see that their happiness is spilling over to the ones that they love.

So in this 2nd installment, we’re diving deeper into Kate and Tyler’s story to see what can be done to make both happy.  From what we learned of Kate, she had been engaged to a man that she just wasn’t in love with anymore.  She had a lukewarm sex life with him and because she’s so passionate about life, that just wasn’t working for her.  We saw that passion manifest itself in her occupation (she’s a costume designer / wedding dress designer on the side) and has a flair for the kinky/sexy.  Tyler on the other hand, we learned that he’s battling his own demons of his past – his fiance Mia keeps haunting him ever since she passed away 2 years ago.  He had shut himself off emotionally from the potential of finding a soul mate and love that it was a nice surprise that caught him off guard when he met Kate.

We are taken on a roller coaster with these 2 where they are completely consumed with the chemistry that they have, and boy is it hot!  but at the same time, they are trying to find themselves in life and figure out what the next path is for them.  Kate’s being offered all these opportunities all at once that she’s been waiting for and doesn’t know what to do about them especially since she’s just found Tyler, and Tyler on the other hand has to make a choice on keeping his family’s legacy alive at the sacrifice of his own happiness, or to be more selfish.

What i love about this story which was nice about book 1 is that we get the involvement of a 3rd player with these couples.  In book 1, we had Dane who was Jared’s best friend and who dabbled with the couple in a menage, and in this installment, we have Greg to fill that role.  the way that Stephanie Julian writes these menages into her stories gives us hope that the series will continue and that we’ll get to see into Dane and Greg and everyone else that we’ve met.  (possibly Sabrina too?)

The one downfall that i have to this story though is that i felt like the ending was resolved a bit too quickly and a bit too nice and tidy for my liking.  I was caught off guard with how abrupt it felt, even though the ending suited the story.  I can only hope that there’s another book to follow that we’ll be able to see how things progress from here with the folks that we’ve grown to enjoy reading about.