Review: Wired by Julie Garwood

Monday, June 26, 2017

Wired by Julie Garwood
Series: Buchanan-Renard, Book 13
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Romantic Suspense Wired Cover
ISBN: 9780525954460
Release Date: July 4, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Allison Trent doesn’t look like a hacker. In fact, when she’s not in college working on her degree, she models on the side. But behind her gorgeous face is a brilliant mind for computers and her real love is writing—and hacking—code. Her dream is to write a new security program that could revolutionize the tech industry.

Hotshot FBI agent Liam Scott has a problem: a leak deep within his own department. He needs the skills of a top-notch hacker to work on a highly sensitive project: to secretly break into the FBI servers and find out who the traitor is. But he can’t use one of his own. He finds the perfect candidate in Allison. Only, there’s one problem—she wants nothing to do with his job and turns him down flat.

What Liam doesn’t know is that Allison is hiding secrets that she doesn’t want the FBI to uncover. But Liam will do nearly anything to persuade her to join his team, even break a few rules if that’s what it takes. A temptation that could put his job—and both of their futures—on the line…

Wired is a slightly difficult book for me to review. Julie Garwood has written some of my absolute favorite romances and I always look forward to her newest releases. Because I’ve been a fan of hers for more than half my life, it’s disappointing to say that – while Wired isn’t bad and I don’t regret reading it – the story fell flat more often than not.

Let’s start with the good: Allison. Wired is really her story and while some might take issue with how perfect she is (an off-the-charts genius hacker who is also a stunningly gorgeous model with no flaws other than she’s too giving to people who don’t deserve it), this honestly didn’t bother me because I loved her focus, intelligence, and the fact that she’s so confident when it comes to her abilities. She’s a woman determined to make a name for herself in what’s still a largely male-dominated field, so I was willing to suspend disbelief at some of the over-the-top aspects because of this. My favorite thing about Wired is actually her friendship with Jordan (the heroine of Shadow Dance); I loved that the two heroines connected and became friends through their shared intellectual interests.

A heroine as smart as Allison needs a hero who isn’t intimidated by her and appreciates her for who she is, and Liam fits the bill. Liam was a scene-stealer for me in the last Buchanan-Renard book, Fast Track. In that book he practically oozed charisma and hinted at an interesting past that made me incredibly eager to get my hands on his book. Yet in his own story, the intriguing man I’d been so excited to read about was gone, replaced by a rather generic hero without much of a personality. I actually went back and re-read parts of Fast Track to make sure I hadn’t been thinking of the wrong character because I was so surprised. The Liam of Wired is intelligent, handsome, constantly on the move, yet always in the right place at the right time, but that’s about as far as his character goes. There simply wasn’t much to him and I was incredibly disappointed we didn’t get to delve into his character at all. Perhaps in part because of this, the romance between Liam and Allison was a bit of a letdown. There was no chemistry, only a little spark (and that was when they hit the sheets), and there was no natural development in their relationship. It felt like boxes were being checked off in order to fulfill the most basic romance requirements.

The suspense part of this romantic suspense involved not one, but three plots converging around Allison. Between an abusive aunt and uncle harassing her for money, a disgraced FBI agent out to get her, and a former roommate stealing her program, Allison has a lot on her plate. There’s potential in each of these storylines, but over the course of the story they become an increasingly jumbled mess.

Even though I had a number of issues with Wired, I do want to stress that it’s not a bad book. I always enjoy Ms. Garwood’s writing and even though the story didn’t work for me on the whole, it’s still a fun read. Liam and Allison are likeable characters and the scenes where they interacted with past Buchanan-Renard heroes and heroines added a dash of liveliness to the tale. So while I think there were a lot of missed opportunities in Wired, I still believe it would make a pleasant beach read this summer.


FTC Disclosure: I received the e-book edition of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Monday in Review

Monday, June 19, 2017

It’s update time again :)

Below are the newest reviews I’ve written here on Wit and Sin. The master list and categorical lists on the right-hand side are updated as well.

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- The Pleasures of Passion (The Sinful Suitors, Book 4) by Sabrina Jeffries (available 6/20/17)
- Lost and Found Sisters (Wildstone, Book 1) by Jill Shalvis (available 6/20/17)
- The Red by Tiffany Reisz (available 7/11/17)

All other new reviews:
- House Rules (Dossier, Book 2) by Cathryn Fox
- Kiss of the Irish (Foreign Fling, Book 1) by Lauren Hawkeye
- The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
- Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling Trinity, Book 1) by Nalini Singh


Upcoming reviews:
- The Conquering Dark (Crown & Key, Book 3) by Clay and Susan Griffith
- Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, Book 3) by Ilona Andrews
- The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley
- Wild Man (Dream Man, Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
- Ash and Quill (The Great Library, Book 3) by Rachel Caine
- The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, Book 1) by Genevieve Cogman
- The Masked City (The Invisible Library, Book 2) by Genevieve Cogman
- Wicked Ever After (Blud, Book 4) by Delilah S. Dawson
- Fire Bound (Sea Haven, Book 5) by Christine Feehan
- Bound Together (Sea Haven, Book 6) by Christine Feedhan
- At Last by Addison Fox
- Baking for Keeps (Bachelor Bake-Off, Book 4) by Jessica Gilmore
- His Game, Her Rules by Charlene Groome
- All I Want for Halloween by Marie Harte
- Illegal Contact (The Barons, Book 1) by Santino Hassell
- Duke of Desire (Maiden Lane, Book 12) by Elizabeth Hoyt
- Base Instincts (Demonica) by Larissa Ione
- The Volatile Amazon (Alliance of the Amazons, Book 4) by Sandy James
- Breathe (In Vino Veritas, Book 2) by Lauren Jameson
- Linger (In Vino Veritas, Book 3) by Lauren Jameson
- My Fair Lover (Legendary Lovers, Book 5) by Nicole Jordan
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- There You Stand (Between Breaths, Book 5) by Christina Lee
- Yours All Along (Loving on the Edge, Book 6.5) by Roni Loren
- Break Me Down (Loving on the Edge, Book 8.5) by Roni Loren
- Going Dark (The Lost Platoon, Book 1) by Monica McCarty
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- Captive Prince (Captive Prince, Book 1) by C.S. Pacat
- Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince, Book 2) by C.S. Pacat
- Kings Rising (Captive Prince, Book 3) by C.S. Pacat
- His Royal Secret (His Royal Secret, Book 1) by Lilah Pace
- His Royal Favorite (His Royal Secret, Book 2) by Lilah Pace
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Laugh (Burnside, Book 2) by Mary Ann Rivers
- Beauty’s Kingdom (Sleeping Beauty, Book 4) by A. N. Roquelaure
- Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, Book 1) by Nalini Singh
- Fighting the Fall (Beyond the Cage, Book 2) by Jennifer Snow
- The Angels’ Share (The Bourbon Kings, Book 2) by J.R. Ward
- A Reluctant Betrothal (The Grantham Girls, Book 3) by Amanda Weaver
- Single Player (Slices of Pi, Book 3) by Elia Winters
- Takeover by Anna Zabo

Review: The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries

The Pleasures of Passion by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: The Sinful Suitors, Book 4
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Historical Romance The Pleasures of Passion Cover
ISBN: 9781501144462
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Sabrina Jeffries Reading Order

When Niall Lindsey, the Earl of Margrave, is forced to flee after killing a man in a duel, he expects his secret love, Brilliana Trevor, to go with him, or at the very least wait for him. To his shock, she does neither and sends him off with no promise for the future. Seven years and one pardon later, Niall returns to England disillusioned and cynical. And being blackmailed by the government into working with his former love to help catch a counterfeiter connected to her father doesn’t improve his mood any. But as his role as Brilliana’s fake fiancé brings his long-buried feelings to the surface once again, he wonders who is more dangerous—the counterfeiter or the woman rapidly stealing his heart.

Forced to marry another man after Niall was exiled, the now widowed Brilliana wants nothing to do with the reckless rogue who she believes abandoned her to a dreary, loveless life. So having to rely on him to save her father is the last thing she wants, much less trusts him with…But as their scheme strips away the lies and secrets of their shared past, can she let go of the old hurt and put her pride aside? Or will the pleasures of their renewed passion finally enable them both to rediscover love?

There’s nothing I love more than a well-written reunion romance, and with The Pleasures of Passion Sabrina Jeffries has delivered an excellent one. Niall and Brilliana’s story is lively, engaging, passionate, and so addictive that I read it in one sitting.

At seventeen and twenty-three respectively, Brilliana and Niall were hopeful, naïve, and in love. But when Niall was forced to flee England after a duel, Brilliana refused to run away with him. It’s easy to see why the two of them were first torn apart: they were young, unprepared for what happened, and easily manipulated by those they trusted. Seven years later, Niall has been pardoned and is allowed to return to England while Brilliana is a widow determined to build a good life for her son. Sparks flew between them when they met again for the first time in the previous Sinful Suitors book, The Danger of Desire, but with so much hurt and misunderstanding between them, both are content to merely avoid one another. Fate has different plans for them. Both of them are forced to work together to try and learn if Brilliana’s father is involved in a counterfeiting scheme, and close quarters mean old feelings are sure to surface. Normally I’m not a fan of big misunderstandings or secrets, but surprisingly it didn’t bother me in The Pleasures of Passion. Even though I wanted Niall and Brilliana to open up right away, it was logical why they had trouble trusting one another and why they kept their secrets close to their hearts.

As individuals, Brilliana and Niall are likeable characters; they’re smart, loyal, have good hearts, and they care deeply for their loved ones. As a couple, their chemistry is fantastic. It’s clear that – old wounds aside – the two of them have never stopped loving each other. Because of this, there’s emotion running through every scene, making the pages fairly crackle with energy. I couldn’t put The Pleasures of Passion down because I wanted to see them find the happily ever after that was so long overdue for them. Add in a web of lies and deception the two of them must untangle in order to crack a counterfeiting case, and it’s easy to see why there’s never a dull moment in this book. I absolutely adored Niall and Brilliana’s story and I cannot wait to see what Ms. Jeffries has in store for the intriguing spymaster Baron Fulkham in the next Sinful Suitors book!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis
Series: Wildstone, Book 1
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary Fiction Lost and Found Sisters Cover
ISBN: 9780062448118
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.’s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she's looking for a missing piece she can't find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn't quite fit in right away, she can't help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there’s another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn't a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she's searched so long for.

Lost and Found Sisters is a journey of love, heartbreak, learning to live again, and finding home. Jill Shalvis’s women’s fiction debut has all the humor and heart I’ve come to expect from her work, and it’s all wrapped up in an engaging, emotional story of life after loss.

Quinn’s world was turned upside down after the loss of her sister two years ago, and she has never quite recovered. Though she seems to have the perfect life, Quinn is really just going through the motions. Then she receives some news in the form of an inheritance that will change everything she thought she knew about herself and sends her to the small town of Wildstone. Quinn is an endearing heroine; she’s funny, caring, and wonderfully flawed. I liked that she was in over her head and knew it, but she never backed down from any curveballs thrown her way. She also has a huge heart, and though she’s still grieving at the beginning of this story and is overwhelmed by everything coming at her, she doesn’t close herself off from the people she meets who need her.

It’s difficult to talk about the plot of Lost and Found Sisters without spoiling the story, which I’m loathe to do. Suffice it to say that Wildstone – a struggling town with character and heart – offers Quinn a chance at a new, vastly different life. Love – both romantic and familial – is central to Quinn’s journey of learning to live again, and it’s beautiful to watch multiple relationships develop. Mick, Quinn’s love interest, is incredibly appealing, as one would expect from a Jill Shalvis hero. He’s strong, patient, kind, and funny, but not perfect. He has his own journey to take over the course of the story, as he too is at a crossroads. It was easy to become invested in Quinn and Mick’s romance because they’re both incredibly likeable people with solid chemistry.

As I previously mentioned, Lost and Found Sisters is Ms. Shalvis’s first women’s fiction novel. I should disclose that this isn’t one of my go-to genres, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But since Jill Shalvis is one of my favorite authors, there was no way I was going to skip this book. I’m so glad I didn’t. While it took me a while to get into the story (there’s just enough of a difference in pacing and focus compared to romance that I needed to adjust), I ended up adoring not just Quinn, but every single character in this story. The book is mostly centered around Quinn, but there are multiple characters and plotlines (which again, I can’t talk about without spoiling the story) that bring the world of Wildstone to life. Ms. Shalvis is a master at crafting small towns with quirky characters, and it was easy for me to fall in love with Wildstone and come to care about the fate of the struggling town. All in all, Lost and Found Sisters is a winsome tale with characters who will make you laugh one minute and tug on your heartstrings the next. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the Wildstone series.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Red by Tiffany Reisz

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Red by Tiffany Reisz
Publisher: 8th Circle Press
Genre: Erotic Fantasy The Red Cover
ISBN: 9781537217765
Release Date: July 11, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Never make a promise you don’t intend to keep…

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother’s art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it’s in the red.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting…but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red…

The Red is a fantastically filthy read where the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred. This is not a story for the faint of heart – it’s explicit, uninhibited, and there’s mind games as well as erotic games – but if you’re up for the ride, it’s well worth it. Tiffany Reisz knows how to pack a punch with inventive, incredibly dirty erotica.

Mona made a deathbed promise to her mother that she would do anything to save The Red, her mother’s art gallery. Just when Mona’s at her lowest and ready to close The Red, a mysterious stranger arrives. Malcolm will give her a way to save the gallery if she sells herself to him for one year, giving him carte blanche to do whatever he pleases so long as he doesn’t do permanent damage. It’s a bold, honest, unromantic offer, but Mona takes it, thus beginning a journey that both tangles her up and sets her free.

I loved that Mona was a strong heroine, confident in her sexuality to begin with. She’d have to be, given that her erotic encounters with Malcolm test her every limit and at times make her think she’s losing her grip on reality. It was interesting to watch her change over the course of the story, just as it was interesting to see the layers of Malcolm’s character revealed. I can’t really say too much about either him or the plot because it would spoil the story. Just know that if it seems at times that The Red is going off the rails when it comes to reality versus fantasy, stick around. Ms. Reisz brings everything together in an incredibly satisfying (no pun intended) manner.

The Red travels primarily from one erotic interlude to the next, but it’d be remiss of me to talk about the book and not mention the characters’ love of art. Art – and every character in the book’s passion for it – is central to the tale and breaths even more life into the story. Malcolm and Mona’s passion for art (not to mention the way it inspires them) was wonderful and after finishing the story I had to look up every single piece mentioned in it.

The Red is dark, passionate, unique, honest, and interesting. Ms. Reisz doesn’t hold back and readers should prepare themselves for one hell of an adventure.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Silver Silence by Nalini Singh

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Silver Silence by Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changeling Trinity, Book 1
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Paranormal Romance Silver Silence Cover
ISBN: 9781101987797
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Nalini Singh Reading Order

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.

Her would-be assassin has no idea what their poison has unleashed…

Excitement, danger, love, and laughter all come together to create a dazzling story in Silver Silence. Nalini Singh once again knocks it out of the park with this incredibly fun, addictive, imaginative start to her Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Between the unforgettable characters, the unique world, and the twists the story takes, it’s easy to see why I fell head over heels for Valentin and Silver’s tale.

Valentin is one of my favorite Nalini Singh heroes (and given how many fantastic heroes she has written, that’s a tough list to crack). He’s playful, protective, doesn’t give up on people, and has a heart so huge and loving it’ll make you melt. He teases Silver by sending her gifts from “Mr. I. M. A. Medvezhonok” (Mr. I’m a Teddy Bear), and he really is her teddy bear. A huge, loveable teddy bear who doesn’t take himself too seriously and cares so much for those he loves that he’ll internalize any wound to put them first. But Valentin is no doormat; he’s an alpha through and through, one who will protect, fight for, and defend those he loves. I loved everything about Valentin – just thinking about him makes me smile.

A fantastic hero deserves and equally fantastic heroine and Silver is just that. She’s long been a supporting character at the edges of the Psy-Changeling series, and I’ve been incredibly intrigued by her all along. Now that she gets to take center stage, she shines. Silver is a Psy, one whose abilities make it necessary she keeps a strong hold on her Silence, even after the fall. Despite the fact that she looks to all the world to be an ice queen, Silver has a hidden flame that jumps out at you. She’s got a brilliant brain and is phenomenal in her job as the director of EmNet, but she’s so much more. She’s a caring, loving person whose emotions aren’t as buried as she seems to think. I loved how Valentin helped tease the real Silver out, and Silver coming into her full potential was a wonderful journey to watch unfold. As individuals, both Silver and Valentin are incredibly appealing characters. Together? They’re a heartwarming, engaging, unforgettable pair. I was rooting for them through every up and down, every twist and turn, and couldn’t wait to see them get their happily ever after.

Silver Silence is the first book in the Psy-Changeling Trinity series which Ms. Singh has described as “season two” of the Psy-Changeling world. Season one of the Psy-Changeling books – the Silence storyline – was mostly centered in California and often around the DarkRiver and SnowDancer packs. I admit to being a bit anxious at leaving that beloved part of the world behind, but I shouldn’t have been. Silver Silence had a lot of what I loved about the very first Psy-Changeling book, Slave to Sensation. I’d forgotten how fantastic it was to fall in love with a whole new clan, this time the StoneWater bears. The StoneWater clan is warm, welcoming, and filled with numerous bears who grabbed my heart and didn’t let go. While Silver Silence takes us into the new era of the Trinity Accord and all the problems that come with it, I don’t think the Psy-Changeling Trinity series can completely stand on its own. Everything is connected and the world continues to build on itself. You don’t have to have read all fifteen Psy-Changeling novels before diving into this new series, but you should definitely be familiar with the world.

The overarching storyline of this new series involves the new, post-Silence world of Psy, Changelings, and humans, and those who would seek to disrupt the Trinity Accord, whether out of fear or for profit. I can’t say much about the non-romance plotlines without spoiling the story, so I’ll leave it at this: Ms. Singh is a master of world-building. I loved that we not only saw what our heroes were fighting for, but also the logic of the villains. Having fleshed out bad guys makes the fight all the more interesting. I cannot wait to see where Ms. Singh takes readers next!

Silver Silence has everything I love about Nalini Singh’s books: a strong hero and heroine, clever worldbuilding, humor, and a whole lot of heart. It’s a passionate, compelling read that made me smile, sigh, and want to live in the Psy-Changeling world.


FTC Disclosure: I received the e-book edition of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Entangled Historical Romance Q&A and Sale

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Historical Sale Blitz

Hopefully summer frees up a little bit of time for reading. And with Book #1 of these three series on sale for just 99¢, it's time to start a new series (or 3).

To celebrate the sale, authors Robyn DeHart, Ally Broadfield, and Harmony Williams are spending the week with us! To start, we asked them a bit about the characters in their series.

What do you love about the hero & heroine in the first book in the series?

Ally Broadfield (author of the How To series): How stubborn they are. They're a classic enemies to lovers couple, but both of them fought hard against the pull of attraction.

Harmony Williams (author of The Ladies of Passion series): I love the banter between them. Rose can be stubborn but Warren is not willing to back away from the obvious chemistry between them.

Robyn DeHart (Author of The Brotherhood of the Sword series): How stubborn they are. They're a classic enemies to lovers couple, but both of them fought hard against the pull of attraction.

What characters have been your favorite to write? Why?

Ally: Thornbrook and Louisa from How to Bewilder a Lord. They were both secondary characters in How to Bewitch an Earl, and I had no intention of anything ever happening between them. Luckily they had other ideas.

Harmony: Mary's go-getter, brazen, "I'll fix this" attitude is a huge amount of fun to write. She is fearless, even if she is sometimes out of her depth.

Robyn: I love Evie from Undercover With the Earl. She was so fun. I kind of imagined her as Mary, the middle Bennett sister from P&P only with more personality. ;-)



Start the How To series, by Ally Broadfield, with How to Beguile a Duke.

Start the Ladies of Passion series, by Harmony Williams, with How to Play the Game of Love.

Start the Brotherhood of the Sword series by Robyn DeHart, with Undercover with the Earl.

Waiting on Wednesday: Duke of Desire by Elizabeth Hoyt

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series is one of my absolute favorite series. Her characters are always unique and their stories captivating. I was re-reading some of my favorite bits of Duke of Sin last night (because I can't resist Val) and falling into Ms. Hoyt's writing once again made me incredibly eager for the next Maiden Lane book, Duke of Desire.

Secrets in Death Cover Title: Duke of Desire
Series: Maiden Lane, Book 12
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: October 17, 2017
Elizabeth Hoyt Reading Order

Book Description (from Amazon):

A LADY OF LIGHT
Refined, kind, and intelligent, Lady Iris Jordan finds herself the unlikely target of a diabolical kidnapping. Her captors are the notoriously evil Lords of Chaos. When one of the masked - and nude! - Lords spirits her away to his carriage, she shoots him...only to find she may have been a trifle hasty.

A DUKE IN DEEPEST DARKNESS
Cynical, scarred, and brooding, Raphael de Chartres, the Duke of Dyemore, has made it his personal mission to infiltrate the Lords of Chaos and destroy them. Rescuing Lady Jordan was never in his plans. But now with the Lords out to kill them both, he has but one choice: marry the lady in order to keep her safe.

CAUGHT IN A WEB OF DANGER...AND DESIRE
Much to Raphael's irritation, Iris insists on being the sort of duchess who involves herself in his life-and bed. Soon he's drawn both to her quick wit and her fiery passion. But when Iris discovers that Raphael's past may be even more dangerous than the present, she falters. Is their love strong enough to withstand not only the Lords of Chaos but also Raphael's own demons?

Review: House Rules by Cathryn Fox

Friday, May 26, 2017

House Rules by Cathryn Fox
Series: Dossier, Book 2
Publisher: Entangled: Scorched
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance House Rules Cover
ISBN: 9781546708414
Release Date: June 5, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

The last thing I expected to find in my dossier was sexy stockings, a plane voucher to London and an invitation to dance at a gentleman’s club. I’m a quiet museum curator for God’s sake. No way, no how am I going to slide down a pole for a bunch of over privileged, narcissistic men—until I see Sean Fraser, my childhood crush, enter the establishment. Since I’m no longer that overweight teen with braces and mousey hair, there is no way he’ll recognize me. Hmmm… Maybe I’ll give him a fake name—and a private dance. That ought to make him finally notice me, right?

What the hell is Kennedy Lane doing sliding down a pole in a private Gentlemen’s club? I'm not sure, and while I know she's hands off, I want her. I’ve always wanted her. She might have been too young for me back in the day. Now, not so much. Hands off leads to hands on after a private dance, and while Kennedy spends the weekend pretending to be someone she isn’t, I know full well who she is. And I’m not quite ready to let her hang up her stockings when the show is over.

Two years ago, Kennedy and her friends put their names in a hat, each friend having to give the person they picked a trip where their most explicit fantasies could be explored. That’s how quiet museum curator Kennedy Lane finds herself in London with a bag of lingerie and an invitation to dance at a gentleman’s club. She has no intention of doing so, until she sees her best friend’s brother, Sean, going into the club. As a teenager, Kennedy was in love with Sean, but not only did he not feel the same back then, he doesn’t even recognize her as an adult. If she’s going to brave dancing on a pole in public, then Kennedy figures she might as well go all-in. She’ll give Sean a fake name and seize the opportunity she’s always wanted: a no-holds-barred erotic adventure with the man of her dreams. Little does she know that Sean knows exactly who she is, and there’s no way he’ll let things end after just one night.

House Rules is deliciously dirty. I’m a sucker for a good “heroine is in love with her best friend’s brother” story, and Cathryn Fox makes this familiar trope feel fresh with her fun and naughty spin on it.

Kennedy is a good girl taking a walk on the wild side. I loved watching her embrace her sexuality and go for what she wants with Sean. She was in love with him as a teenager, and now that he’s finally noticed her, those old feelings are starting to resurface. I was rooting for Kennedy to get her dream guy, because Sean was definitely worth swooning over. Sean is dominant, dirty, and hot as hell. But what really captured my interest was how he was pretty gone over Kennedy. The three year age gap when they were teenagers meant he had to pretend not to see her as anything more than his sister’s friend. But as an adult, Sean makes up for lost time. He and Kennedy are scorching in the bedroom, but there are also some incredibly sweet moments in between all the raunchy ones that balance out the story.

House Rules is the second Dossier story, but it can be easily read as a standalone. The premise of the series is fun and I liked Kennedy and Sean so much that I’m definitely looking forward to more Dossier tales. If you’re looking for fast-paced, well-written erotic romance, House Rules is definitely a good bet.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Sumage Solution by G. L. Carriger

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

I absolutely adore Gail Carriger's work - her books are always funny, imaginative, and entertaining. I can't wait to see what she has in store for readers with her new San Andreas Shifters series, written as G. L. Carriger. Sexy, humorous times with a hot werewolf and a mage who can't do magic? I'm in :)

Secrets in Death Cover Title: The Sumage Solution
Series: San Andreas Shifters, Book 1
Author: G. L. Carriger
Genre: Male/Male Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Gail Carriger, LLC
Release Date: July 18, 2017
Gail Carriger/G. L. Carriger Reading Order

Book Description (from Amazon):

Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?

NYT bestseller Gail Carriger, writing as G. L. Carriger, presents an offbeat gay romance in which a sexy werewolf with a white knight complex meets a bad boy mage with an attitude problem. Sparks (and other things) fly.

Max fails everything - magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages' messes. The job sucks and he's in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there's something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.

Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he's not out. There's a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.

Delicate Sensibilities?
This story contains M/M sexitimes and horrible puns. If you get offended easily, then you probably will. The San Andreas Shifter stories contain blue language, dirty deeds, and outright admiration for the San Francisco Bay Area. Not for the faint of heart (mouth/tongue/etc.).

Review: Kiss of the Irish by Lauren Hawkeye

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Kiss of the Irish by Lauren Hawkeye
Series: Foreign Fling, Book 1
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Genre: Contemporary Romance Kiss of the Irish Cover
ISBN: 9781545552940
Release Date: May 15, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

If Sarah Mercer had ever been asked to describe herself in one word, it would be sensible. After all, she had a steady job. Made prudent decisions. Was in what she though was a logical relationship. But when her fiancé dumps her for an exotic dancer, Sarah decides it's time to change…everything! The first thing on her agenda? To get out of town and take a three month trip to Ireland. She'd always been captivated by the Emerald Isle. And she'd heard that there was nothing like an Irishman with a sexy accent and eyes as devastatingly green as the country's rolling hills to make a girl feel better.

But maybe she shouldn't have hooked up with her new landlord on the first night in town. Cian Murphy wasn't supposed to be her type. His arms and chest were tattooed, and he had piercings everywhere. Still, he made her feel beautiful, sexy…alive for the first time in years. Falling for the Irish hottie was as natural as breathing. But figuring out what she'd do when it came time to leave? Not so easy…

With its hot Irish hero and welcoming small town, Kiss of the Irish is the kind of story that makes you want to pack your backs and hop on a plane to Ireland posthaste. Between the idyllic environment and the engaging characters, there’s no way I could resist this book.

My favorite thing about Kiss of the Irish is the characters. Sarah has always made safe choices, done what she was told to do, and has basically been so beaten down by the people who should have loved her that she has a hard time believing in herself. Despite all of this, there’s still spark and backbone in her. When her jerk of a fiancé dumps her, Sarah leaves Boston for an extended vacation in Ceanmore, Ireland. It’s there she meets her oh-so-hot new landlord, Cian, who is a completely drool-worthy hero. He’s a smart businessman who has a bit of a wild streak, not to mention some sexy ink and piercings. But what I loved best about Cian was how genuinely kind he is. He’s got a heart of gold and while he definitely has the hots for Sarah from the start, he puts her needs first. Her self-confidence has taken a severe hit when she first comes to Ceanmore, and he helps her build herself back up. Sarah comes into her own over the course of this story, and I loved watching her grow as a character. The romance between her and Cian is equally lovely to watch unfold. They’ve got crackling good chemistry and their love story is a good mix of sweet and sensual.

Kiss of the Irish is the first book in Lauren Hawkeye’s Foreign Fling series, and by the time I finished Saran and Cian’s story, I wanted the next book. I’ve got my fingers crossed Cian’s sister, Ainsley, and her best friend, Nell, get books, because those two were utterly delightful. Their kindness and humor rounded out the story and they were as important as Cian was in bringing Sarah out of her shell. All in all, Kiss of the Irish was an utterly delightful read and I cannot wait to read more of Ms. Hawkeye’s work!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical Romantic Suspense The Girl Who Knew Too Much Cover
ISBN: 9780399174476
Release Date: May 9, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool…

The dead woman had a red-hot secret about up-and-coming leading man Nick Tremayne, a scoop that Irene couldn’t resist—especially since she’s just a rookie at a third-rate gossip rag. But now Irene’s investigation into the drowning threatens to tear down the wall of illusion that is so deftly built around the famous actor, and there are powerful men willing to do anything to protect their investment.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago…

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

Secrets and murder pair excellently with '30s Hollywood glam in The Girl Who Knew Too Much. I’m a longtime Amanda Quick fan, and the setting of this story is what drew me in first. I loved seeing her delve into the world of 1930s Hollywood; the mix of glamour and dirty, dangerous secrets was incredibly appealing. Add in the setting of a gorgeous hotel marred by murder, a former magician hero whose career-ending injury hasn’t robbed him of all his tricks, and a reporter heroine with a few things to hide of her own, and I was hooked.

Irene knows as much about creating a new persona as any silver screen star. She had to run fast and far from a past that even now threatens to shake her world. I liked Irene. She’s a smart reporter with an eye for detail, she’s loyal to those who deserve it, and she’s good at thinking on her feet. She may have come to Burning Cove Hotel to get the scoop on an up-and-coming star, but when she finds a dead body in the hotel spa, her agenda quickly changes. Her partner in crime-solving is none other than the hotelier himself, Oliver Ward. Oliver was once a famous magician (and I may or may not have geeked out over the tricks of his trade), but during one of his performances something went horribly wrong, seriously injuring Oliver and ending his career. He’s made a new life for himself as the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, and he has no intention of letting a murderer hide on his property. He and Irene make a great team. They click, to put it simply, and they have an easy chemistry that makes their slide into love appealing to read about.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much has a bit of a slow burn mystery, mostly because there are a lot of players in the game and a number of secrets. It takes time to get to know everyone, but the various characters and personalities added a lot to the world. And things definitely heat up when the mystery deepens and the danger becomes more prominent. While I can’t say much without spoiling the story, I will say that I loved seeing how Ms. Quick put all those puzzle pieces she laid out together. The world of 1930s Hollywood, the shine and the grime of the entertainment industry, made The Girl Who Knew Too Much incredibly interesting and I hope Ms. Quick returns to this era again.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Waiting on Wednesday: Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

Whenever I'm asked what my favorite series is, there's no hesitation - the answer is always J.D. Robb's In Death series. Eve and Roarke never fail to entertain me, so it's no surprise that this week's Waiting on Wednesday pick, Secrets in Death, is one of the books I'm most eager to read this year.

Secrets in Death Cover Title: Secrets in Death
Series: In Death, Book 45
Author: J.D. Robb
Genre: Futuristic/Mystery/Suspense
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: September 5, 2017

Book Description (from Amazon):

The chic Manhattan nightspot Du Vin is not the kind of place Eve Dallas would usually patronize, and it’s not the kind of bar where a lot of blood gets spilled. But that’s exactly what happens one cold February evening.

The mortally wounded woman is Larinda Mars, a self-described “social information reporter,” or as most people would call it, a professional gossip. As it turns out, she was keeping the most shocking stories quiet, for profitable use in her side business as a blackmailer. Setting her sights on rich, prominent marks, she’d find out what they most wanted to keep hidden and then bleed them dry. Now someone’s done the same to her, literally―with a knife to the brachial artery.

Eve didn’t like Larinda Mars. But she likes murder even less. To find justice for this victim, she’ll have to plunge into the dirty little secrets of all the people Larinda Mars victimized herself. But along the way, she may be exposed to some information she really didn’t want to know…

Sunday in Review

Sunday, April 30, 2017

It’s update time again :)

Below are the newest reviews I’ve written for Wit and Sin and Joyfully Reviewed. The master list and categorical lists on the right-hand side are updated as well.

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- Never Trust a Pirate (Playful Brides, Book 7) by Valerie Bowman (available 5/2/17)

All other new reviews:
- Emergency Attraction (Love Emergency, Book 3) by Samanthe Beck
- The Legendary Lord (Playful Brides, Book 6) by Valerie Bowman
- Gauntlet (Arena, Book 2) by Holly Jennings
- A Teaspoon of Trouble (Bachelor Bake-Off, Book 1) by Shirley Jump
- Midnight Target (Killer Instincts, Book 8) by Elle Kennedy
- The Librarian and the Spy (Librarian and Spy, Escapade 1) by Susan Mann
- Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, Book 1) by Julia Quinn
- A Recipe for Romance (Bachelor Bake-Off, Book 5) by Lara Van Hulzen


Upcoming reviews:
- The Conquering Dark (Crown & Key, Book 3) by Clay and Susan Griffith
- White Hot (Hidden Legacy, Book 2) by Ilona Andrews
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoë Archer
- The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley
- Wild Man (Dream Man, Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
- Ash and Quill (The Great Library, Book 3) by Rachel Caine
- The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, Book 1) by Genevieve Cogman
- The Masked City (The Invisible Library, Book 2) by Genevieve Cogman
- Wicked Ever After (Blud, Book 4) by Delilah S. Dawson
- Fire Bound (Sea Haven, Book 5) by Christine Feehan
- Bound Together (Sea Haven, Book 6) by Christine Feedhan
- At Last by Addison Fox
- Baking for Keeps (Bachelor Bake-Off, Book 4) by Jessica Gilmore
- His Game, Her Rules by Charlene Groome
- Base Instincts (Demonica) by Larissa Ione
- The Volatile Amazon (Alliance of the Amazons, Book 4) by Sandy James
- Breathe (In Vino Veritas, Book 2) by Lauren Jameson
- Linger (In Vino Veritas, Book 3) by Lauren Jameson
- The Pleasures of Passion (Sinful Suitors, Book 4) by Sabrina Jeffries
- My Fair Lover (Legendary Lovers, Book 5) by Nicole Jordan
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- There You Stand (Between Breaths, Book 5) by Christina Lee
- Yours All Along (Loving on the Edge, Book 6.5) by Roni Loren
- Break Me Down (Loving on the Edge, Book 8.5) by Roni Loren
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- Captive Prince (Captive Prince, Book 1) by C.S. Pacat
- Prince’s Gambit (Captive Prince, Book 2) by C.S. Pacat
- Kings Rising (Captive Prince, Book 3) by C.S. Pacat
- His Royal Secret (His Royal Secret, Book 1) by Lilah Pace
- His Royal Favorite (His Royal Secret, Book 2) by Lilah Pace
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband (Rokesbys, Book 2) by Julia Quinn
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Laugh (Burnside, Book 2) by Mary Ann Rivers
- Beauty’s Kingdom (Sleeping Beauty, Book 4) by A. N. Roquelaure
- Lost and Found Sisters (Wildstone, Book 1) by Jill Shalvis
- Rock Addiction (Rock Kiss, Book 1) by Nalini Singh
- Silver Silence (Psy-Changeling Trinity, Book 1) by Nalini Singh
- Fighting the Fall (Beyond the Cage, Book 2) by Jennifer Snow
- The Angels’ Share (The Bourbon Kings, Book 2) by J.R. Ward
- A Reluctant Betrothal (The Grantham Girls, Book 3) by Amanda Weaver
- Single Player (Slices of Pi, Book 3) by Elia Winters
- Takeover by Anna Zabo

Review: Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman

Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides, Book 7
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance Never Trust a Pirate Cover
ISBN: 9781250121691
Release Date: May 2, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

The rules of engagement were never so scandalous…

A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…

Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust―and win her heart―as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts…and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?

From the halls of an elegant Mayfair townhouse to the high seas, Never Trust a Pirate is a delightful Regency romp. Valerie Bowman has a fun, breezy writing style that never fails to entertain me and her characters are always jam-packed with wit and charm, so it was easy for me to fall into this seventh Playful Brides novel.

Cade Cavendish is the black sheep of his family. Having grown up poor with an abusive father, he’s much more at home on his ship or in a tavern than he is at a ball. Cade is fun, a shameless flirt with Danielle, and though he plays the rogue he’s got a good heart and a strong sense of loyalty. Cade would run circles around your average society girl, which is why it’s a good thing Ms. Bowman pairs him with an unconventional heroine. Danielle has been on her own since she was thirteen. She’s been a smuggler and a spy, and she’s more at home on a ship than in her latest role as lady’s maid to Cade’s sister-in-law. I loved that both Cade and Danielle were spies, had secrets, and were able to throw one another off their strides. These two don’t fit in in the stuffy world of the ton and I loved that they never really tried to conform. Whether they’re trading secrets or hunting a common enemy, they make a good team and it was fun to watch Danielle shock Cade with her spy skills. Danielle is Cade’s equal in every way and that made their love story all the more interesting. I was well and truly hooked into their romance, which was sensual, energetic, and just plain fun to read.

Never Trust a Pirate is the seventh book in the Playful Brides series, but if you don’t mind spoilers for The Irresistible Rogue (Rafe Cavendish’s story) then it can be read as a standalone. I’ve been reading this series out of order, and though all of the books I’ve read so far have had a lighthearted feel, Never Trust a Pirate is definitely the most casual. The relationships and interactions between the characters in this book was a bit more informal than I’m used to in a historical romance (even taking into account Cade and Danielle’s upbringings), which did draw me out of the story a couple of times. As far as complaints go, it’s a fairly minor one as far as I’m concerned when there are such delightful characters to keep me entertained. I know I’ve used the word “fun” multiple times to describe Never Trust a Pirate, but that’s honestly the best word for Cade and Danielle’s story. It’s sexy, engaging, sparkling good fun and I cannot wait to read the next Playful Brides tale!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Legendary Lord by Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides, Book 6
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance The Legendary Lord Cover
ISBN: 9781250072597
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

THE MAKING OF A LEGEND

When Christian Forester, Viscount Berkeley, flees the stuffy ballrooms of London for his Scottish hunting lodge, the last thing he expects to find ensconced before his fire is an incredibly beautiful woman. But the plight of lovely young Sarah Highgate, who has run away from an unwanted betrothal, inspires an eminently practical exchange. He’ll safeguard her reputation with the ton while she advises him how to best attract a proper bride

As the undisputed belle of the season, Sarah has enchanted plenty of suitors. Still, she isn’t interested in marriage, especially not to the pompous bore her father has chosen for her. But her hasty escape seems reckless now that she’s estranged from her family and has no one to count on besides Christian. Turning the luckless lord into such a catch has another unplanned consequence for Sarah: Has he run away with her heart?

Christian Forester, Viscount Berkeley, is always the groomsman, never the groom. After helping a number of his friends find happiness, Christian is determined that next season, he will be the one walking down the aisle. Imagine his shock when the belle of the season, Lady Sarah Highgate, practically falls into his lap… Or rather, his Scottish hunting lodge. Sarah’s the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, but for once Christian isn’t uneasy around a woman and it’s not too long before it’s all too easy for him to imagine Sarah as his. There’s just one problem: she’s engaged to another man.

Sarah has been raised to do one thing: marry well. But the announcement of her betrothal a narcissistic marquess leaves her feeling like the walls are closing in around her. On impulse, Sarah flees to Scotland and winds up in the wrong house. Fortunately for her, Christian is a gentleman, and when he agrees to help save her reputation she offers to make him the most sought-after bachelor in London. But the longer she’s around Christian, the more Sarah regrets her decision… Because the new “catch of the season” has already caught her heart.

Valerie Bowman has a light, effervescent style that makes the pages of The Legendary Lord fly by. It’s a fast-paced, engaging story that I hated to put down, even when reading it a second time. I was so excited to see Christian get a book of his own. He’s long been a good friend to many a Playful Brides protagonist and it was time for him to find a love of his own. He and Sarah hit it off immediately, and the unconventional setting of the first part of the book means they get to know each other far better than they would have had they been in London. Both Christian and Sarah are kind, likeable people who charmed me from the start. They’ve got natural chemistry and the scenes with just the two of them (not including an adorable dog) in Scotland made it easy to fall into their burgeoning romance, which made me eager to see them end up happily married.

It wouldn’t be much of a story if there were no obstacles in Sarah and Christian’s path, and to me, this is where The Legendary Lord faltered slightly. The obstacles in and of themselves were understandable. Once they return to reality (aka London), there are the problems of Sarah’s engagement, her strong sense of duty, and the fact that Christian isn’t one to make waves. But my pet peeve in romance is a hero and heroine who are mostly passive when it comes to getting their happily ever after. It bothered me a bit that I felt like – if it weren’t for their friends (Lucy Hunt in particular) – Christian and Sarah would never have ended up together. On the one hand, their actions (or lack thereof) did give others a chance to repay Christian for the kindnesses he’s done them, and I appreciated that. On the other, I wanted to see Sarah and Christian fight a bit harder for each other because it was a bit unsatisfying to feel like things could have very easily gone a different way if not for Lucy and co.’s interference. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed The Legendary Lord. Ms. Bowman’s writing never fails to entertain me and I was thrilled to see Christian finally find love. I cannot wait to see what comes next in the Playful Brides series, for there are a few characters whose stories I am dying to read.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Librarian and the Spy by Susan Mann

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Librarian and the Spy by Susan Mann
Series: Librarian and Spy, Escapade 1
Publisher: Zebra Shout
Genre: Contemporary Romance The Librarian and the Spy Cover
ISBN: 9781420143300
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Shelve under: Libraries, Spies, Falling in Love, London.

Adventure-hungry Quinn Ellington solves mundane mysteries for library patrons while indulging her taste for intrigue with her favorite spy novels. But her latest research project entangles her in a mission to decode the whereabouts of a weapons cache from a priceless work of art before arms dealers beat her to it. Her adventure is filled with fast cars, stolen treasures, international intrigue, and a budding romance with suave, handsome “insurance” agent James Lockwood. Daring rescues and intense covert flirting ensue.

The Librarian and the Spy is a cute story with a fun premise that didn’t quite meet its potential. It’s a book I desperately wanted to like, mostly because author Susan Mann includes enough detail about Quinn’s job as a librarian to delight my bibliophile self. But while there’s a wonderful amount of trivia in this story, the actual plot dragged, the romance was missing spark, and the characters never came alive on the page. It took me a long time to get into this story, mostly because the plot took some time to find its footing. And while Quinn and James are certainly likeable, they never felt three-dimensional to me. Their romance is sweet, but again, was missing something. I felt a lot of the romance was a case of tell rather than show, which could have been part of the problem. As for the action, there was no real sense of danger or excitement when it came to the espionage work, and overall I was just left wanting more.

The Librarian and the Spy isn’t a bad book, only disappointing in that it could have been so much better had the characters and the world come to life. It had the potential to do so, for Ms. Mann’s writing definitely shines in any scene involving research. I absolutely loved those bits because I could feel Quinn’s excitement come through the page and I loved the way her mind worked. There’s also a fun twist at the end of the story that left me smiling and feeling optimistic about Quinn’s future. So while The Librarian and the Spy wasn’t quite my cup of tea, there is enough potential to the series that I’d like to read A Covert Affair.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Entangled: Select New Releases

If you love laugh-out-loud romantic comedies and swoon worthy contemporary romance, Entangled Publishing Select Contemporary has you covered! Enjoy two new amazon releases from Avery Flynn and Meg Benjamin today!

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About THE NEGOTIATOR

Wanted: Personal Buffer

Often snarly, workaholic executive seeks “buffer” from annoying outside distractions AKA people. Free spirits with personal boundary issues, excessive quirks, or general squeamishness need not apply. Salary negotiable. Confidentiality required.

Workaholic billionaire Sawyer Carlyle may have joked he needed a “buffer” from their marriage-obsessed mom, but he didn’t need a waiting room filled with “candidates” to further distract him. (Thanks, bro.) But when a sexy job applicant shooes his mom and the socialite in tow out of his office, Sawyer sees the genius of the plan. And the woman. In fact, Miss Clover Lee might just get the fastest promotion in history, from buffer to fake fiancé…

This “free-spirit” might look like hot sunshine and lickable rainbows, but she negotiates like a pitbull. Before Sawyer knows what hit him, he’s agreed to give up Friday nights for reality tv, his Saturdays for flea markets (why buy junk still baffles him), his Tuesdays and Thursdays for “date nights” (aka panty-losing opportunities if he plays his cards right). And now she wants lavender bath salts and tulips delivered every Monday?

Yup, she’s just screwing with him. Good thing she’s got this non-negotiatable six-weeks-and-she’s-gone rule or Sawyer may have just met this match…

 

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo


About Avery Flynn:

Avery Flynn is an award winning romance author. She has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter

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About LOVE ON TAP:

Wyatt Montgomery knows a barrel of legendary Zoria imperial stout will help his Denver gastropub stay on top. The only problem is the brewery that made it is no longer in business. When Wyatt hears the brewmaster has only one barrel left, he won’t stop until it’s his. He doesn’t consider what this mythical barrel might cost him. And he certainly doesn’t anticipate his reaction to the heart-stoppingly beautiful brewmaster he needs to convince to sell him the beer.

When Wyatt rushes into Bec Dempsey’s small-town cooperative offering to buy the last barrel of her precious Zoria, she’s thrown for a loop. She’s been burned by city-slickers before, and she’ll be damned if she’ll let it happen again. But when things start heating up between them, Bec decides to make Wyatt a counteroffer. One she hopes he won’t refuse.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

 

About Meg Banjamin:

Meg Benjamin is an multi-published author of contemporary romance. Her books have won numerous awards, including an EPIC Award, a Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion from Virginia Romance Writers, the Beanpot Award from the New England Romance Writers and the Award of Excellence from Colorado Romance Writers. Although she began writing in Texas, Meg now lives in Colorado with her hubs of many years and two rather large Maine coon cats (well, partly Maine Coon anyway).

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog

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Entangled: Otherworld New Releases

I am thrilled to help celebrate the release of four new and fantastic Entangled titles! This week is a great week for paranormal romance and scifi romance lovers because we have new releases from N.J. Walters, Sasha Summers, Heather McCorkle, and Kalli Lanford!

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About Drakon's Prey by N.J. Walters:

Valeriya Azarov turned her back on the family business to write and illustrate children’s books. But with a sister who leads the Knights of the Dragons, it’s impossible to get away from the secret society whose mission is to destroy and enslave dragons. When information falls into her hands along with the opportunity to save at least one of the ancient creatures, she can’t turn away any longer.

When a woman moves into the cabin above Tarrant Cooper’s secret underground lair, he’s both suspicious and intrigued. He hasn’t lasted four thousand years being careless, so when he suspects her of being a part of the Knights, the plan is to kidnap her and find out how much the organization knows about him and his brothers.

He’s drawn to Valeriya, but trusting her could get him killed. Even if she’s a pawn in the war between drakons and Knights, giving her his heart would mean forever.

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads | Entangled

Connect with N.J. Walters

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About Falling for the Billionaire Wolf and His Baby by Sasha Summers:

When Jessa Talbot’s boss offered her a promotion, she agreed—no questions asked. Her family needed the money, but fighting the attraction she feels for her brooding employer is tough. Worse, she instantly bonds with his infant son she’s caring for. But this is a temporary solution and she can’t get attached to either of them.

Finnegan Dean is cursed. He’s a nicely dressed monster, the wolf inside always looking for a way out. But there are two things he and his wolf agree on. They must protect baby Oscar and Jessa—his mate. While the wolf hungers to seal their bond, Finn fights the instinct. After all, if he really cares for her, he’d never doom her to the life he lives.

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads | Entangled

Connect with Sasha Summers

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About Once Bitten by Heather McCorkle:

One night was all it took to change everything. One moment of weakness, and now I’m becoming. Werewolves were supposed to be things only seen in movies, not things that exist in real life. Instead of med school and homework, my life is filled with a laundry list of things that were once impossibilities. Groups fighting over whom I belong to. The possibility of dying if I don’t learn everything before the next full moon. Figuring out how to survive in a world I never knew existed. But the biggest danger? Ty: history professor, super sexy Viking werewolf, and the man who’s been assigned by the Council to teach me how to survive becoming a werewolf.


Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads | Entangled

Connect with Heather McCorkle

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About Starstruck by Kalli Lanford:

My father, the king, has condemned my friend Lestra to death for treason, and I’ve joined with her brother Slaine, the most beautiful male Enestian I’ve ever seen, to save her. Although even being seen with him is forbidden, for Lestra and the promise I made to my brother, I’m willing to take the risk. But time is short, and if we’re caught, we’ll be labeled traitors and executed.

To enlist help for our daring rescue, Slaine leads me into a dark, dangerous underworld where an uprising against the crown is brewing. And if the rebels discover I’m Princess Murelle, even Slaine’s status as a commander and vow to protect me with his life might not save me.

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads | Entangled

Connect with Kalli

Review: Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Midnight Target by Elle Kennedy
Series: Killer Instincts, Book 8
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Romantic Suspense Midnight Target Cover
ISBN: 9781101991312
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Elle Kennedy Reading Order

Four years ago, Cate’s entire life changed when she discovered she was the daughter of a supersoldier. But Jim Morgan’s overprotectiveness has pushed her away. These days, she’s working as a freelance photographer and living the dangerous life Jim never wanted for her.

When Cate snaps a photo linking a corrupt South American politician with the leader of a notorious drug cartel, her mercenary father leads a team to rescue her—only to get shot and critically wounded in the process.

As Morgan’s operatives rally together on a revenge mission, they’re faced with new alliances and old heartaches. Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton, the man who broke her heart two years ago, while Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port resurface after years apart to finally try to deal with everything they’d left unsaid.

Soon it’s all-out war between the cartel and the mercenaries—with two couples caught in the middle of the blood feud. Love and redemption are within their reach...but first, they have to make it home alive.

Midnight Target hits the ground running and never lets up. Emotions are high, sexual tension runs hot, and the action is top-notch. As the final book in the Killer Instincts series, the stakes are bigger than ever with the full force of Jim’s mercenaries and Noelle’s chameleons all out for blood when Jim is critically wounded. Elle Kennedy definitely knows how to send her badass heroes and heroines off in style, and this is one hell of a satisfying end to the series with almost all of our favorite characters getting a moment or two to shine and not one, but two sexy-as-sin romances taking center stage.

Cate Morgan grew up in a gilded cage, a prisoner of her maniac grandfather until she was found by her father, Jim. Cate’s cut from the same cloth as her father. She’s a thrill-seeker, someone who – even as a teenager – knew she wasn’t cut out for a normal life. But Jim wants her wrapped in cotton, and his overbearing protectiveness pushed her away. Now a photojournalist on assignment in South America, Cate’s life takes a turn when she snaps a photo of a supposedly dead drug dealer. With killers hot on her heels, she has no choice but to call her father. And when Jim’s wounded rescuing her, Cate is forced to work with David “Ash” Ashton – the one man she wants nothing to do with. Ash broke her heart, and nothing makes her madder than the fact that she’s still attracted to him.

Ash has had it bad for Cate for years, but he knows he can never have her. Their difference in ages and the fact that he’d never do anything to lose the respect of Jim, the man who gave him a chance, a job, and a home, makes her off-limits. But with blood running hot and danger around every corner, the sexual tension between them is about to boil over. Cate and Ash are two people clearly meant to be together, and I loved the flashbacks that showed their history, built up the tension, and had me rooting for these two to get together. It isn’t easy for them. Ash’s loyalty to Jim means he tries to push Cate away, and he hurts her in the process. But readers can see how completely head over heels he is for her, and the fact that he’s so totally in love with her just melted my heart. They come into their own both as individuals and as a couple in Midnight Target and their growth is fantastic to watch.

As previously mentioned, there’s a second romance in this book and it’s the one I’ve been waiting for: Liam Macgregor and Sullivan Port. For the past few books Ms. Kennedy has been ramping up the tension between these two smokin’ hot mercs and I’ve been dying for their story. It’s been two years since Liam and Sully last saw each other and when they reconnect…holy smokes. Attraction, longing, anger, fear, and love are all intertwined and bottled up in each of the men. Their confrontations are insanely hot and you could power a whole village with the emotional charge from their scenes. Every minute Ms. Kennedy made us wait for their love story was absolutely worth it because Liam and Sully rocked. The angst, raw desire, and pure want between them packs one heck of a punch and I stayed up way too late reading Midnight Target because I could not put the book down until Liam and Sully got their happily ever after. Nobody can mix passion, anger, and love together quite like Elle Kennedy, and Liam and Sully are perfect examples of her talent.

I could spend pages going on about Liam and Sully because they rank right up there with Jim and Noelle when it comes to favorite couples of mine, but it’d be remiss of me not to mention the action outside the two romances. The mission is personal this time for all the characters and the upped stakes definitely kept me engaged. Ms. Kennedy isn’t afraid to make things dark and gritty, and with a drug lord targeting first Cate, then the entire team, the suspense is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat. The world these mercs and assassins live in is bloody and grim, but it makes the characters and romances shine all the brighter in contrast.

Midnight Target has raw passion, high stakes, boundless energy, and two powerful love stories. It’s a stellar read fans old and new of the Killer Instincts series are sure to enjoy. Every obstacle the protagonists face is worth it when there’s an ending as satisfying as the one in this book. I loved Midnight Target and I cannot wait to read it again and again!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Teaspoon of Trouble by Shirley Jump

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

A Teaspoon of Trouble by Shirley Jump
Series: Bachelor Bake-Off, Book 1
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance A Teaspoon of Trouble Cover
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Type-A chef Carolyn Henderson has walked away from her job at a trendy NYC restaurant after an abrupt family tragedy. Now, as a guardian to her four-year-old niece, Emma, and a very disobedient mutt – kids and dogs are so not her skill set – moving back to Marietta, Montana seems the best temporary option. But when confronted by her parents’ declining health, Carolyn has to face reality. And she’s going to need some serious help. So who better to ask than Matthew West, a blast from her high school past... and as hunky and helpful as ever.

Vet – and very eligible, if reluctant, Bachelor – Matthew West can’t believe his luck when his high school crush stumbles through his door. Dogs, kids, and gorgeous damsels in distress. Carolyn needs help with the pup, and he needs help whipping up delicious concoctions for the Bachelor Bake-Off. So she wants to make a deal: dog obedience lessons for cooking tips... but Matthew wants to broker quite a bit more…

Carolyn’s life was turned upside-down when her sister died. Now the successful New York City chef finds herself guardian to her four-year-old niece who comes with a disobedient dog, and that’s on top of grieving herself. In an attempt to sort out her life, Carolyn travels to her parents’ house in the small town of Marietta…a place Carolyn couldn’t get away from fast enough once upon a time. Coming home was never in Carolyn’s plan, and neither was getting knocked off her feet by her first love, the seriously handsome veterinarian Matthew West. Matthew’s got the skills to solve Carolyn’s easiest problem – the dog she can’t seem to control – and in turn she can help him learn to bake for the Bachelor Bake-Off. The only problem is, the longer Carolyn’s around Matthew, the more old feelings come to the surface. But she’s got a life in New York and a traumatized little girl on her hands who she has no idea how to mother. She simply doesn’t have time for falling in love with Matthew all over again. Too bad for Carolyn, her heart has different ideas than her brain…

A Teaspoon of Trouble is an interesting story. I loved that author Shirley Jump wasn’t afraid to deliver a struggling, flawed heroine. Carolyn was definitely my favorite thing about this book because she was so imperfect. She’s grieving, overwhelmed, and her whole life plan has just changed. She doesn’t automatically know how to become a mother to her niece, even though she loves the girl. She doesn’t want to give up the career she worked so hard for. She doesn’t want to stay in her idyllic hometown. In other words, she’s realistic and relatable, for better or worse. I could have read a whole book about Carolyn’s personal journey because there’s quite a bit of depth to her and she has a heck of a lot on her plate.

As much as I liked Carolyn, wanted to see her find love with Matthew, and for the two of them and her niece to become a family, the romance is where A Teaspoon of Trouble fell short for me. Matthew is a too-perfect hero who is definitely dreamy, but I would have loved more depth to him (or at least a flaw or two). He’s never fallen out of love with Carolyn and if the story hadn’t taken place directly after the death of Carolyn’s sister and the resulting upending of her entire life, I would have been more at ease with their fairly light romance. But the love story felt more like an afterthought to the beginnings of a much deeper book. Had the story been longer, perhaps the romance could have developed more organically. The bones of an entertaining romance were there (Matthew is a seriously hot guy who is good with kids and dogs, after all), but it just didn’t meet its potential. As it stands, I did enjoy Carolyn’s journey and the romance was sweet, if rushed, so I’d say I liked A Teaspoon of Trouble overall.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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