Review: As Natural As Breathing

Contains BDSM elements with M/M spanking. If this content offends you, please do not continue.

As Natural As BreathingAs Natural As Breathing by Thianna D.
Pages: 213
Publisher:  LazyDay Publishing
Review Source: Publisher/Netgalley
Release Date: August 7, 2013
My Rating: 5  ★★★★★

Synopsis:

For Christian Darringer, life isn’t worth living. Just back from the Middle East; scarred and with permanent damage to one leg, he does not think anyone will want him for anything. Meeting a gorgeous man he finds himself thinking about constantly is not in his plans. Pulled toward the startling younger man with striking blue eyes, he begins to question a lot of things – especially his sexuality. Not one to hide from a challenge, he plunges ahead only to find himself more than just attracted to Logan who is full of life and joy, he finds himself head over heels in love.

Logan Mannette has almost everything he ever wanted: loving parents, happiness, friends and security. The only thing missing is finding the love of his life, a love that is just like his parents’. When he meets Christian at a party, everything changes. Instantly attracted, he does his best to help this sad man and quickly finds himself feeling more than he has ever felt before. Raised in a domestic discipline household, he holds that ideal as what he wants but his interest in spanking became a fetish and when Christian admits that he wants to be spanked; Logan believes he might have found the perfect man.

Just as everything begins for them, Christian’s past intercedes and one of his brothers makes waves about him dating a man. If it weren’t for Logan’s support, he might fold; but with the love of one amazing man, Christian finds that living his life rather than just existing is as natural as breathing.

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this wonderful love story. I didn’t put it down until I was done. There’s little to no angst, don’t mistake that for no drama or tension there is that just not so much between Christian and Logan.

Christian is home after being injured, by his own men,  serving over sea. Not only does he have the physical injury and PTSD to deal with, he has to face the fact that his own men tried to kill him for standing up for another. He’s at his lowest point when he meets Logan, a young man that can actually make him laugh. Christian has never been attracted to a man and the struggle and growth he goes through to accept it in himself and with Logan was at times difficult to read. But to see the love between the two grow was wonderful. Thianna really made me feel Christians conflicting emotions and fight to accept himself.  It felt that just as Christian accepted his sexuality and comes out to his parents and closest friend, Kelli.  Then his brother, Brian, shows up with all his sanctimonious crap. I really hate Brian and people like him that make all Christians look bad. I really wanted Christian to kick his ass.

I can’t say enough good about Logan. I just love him. He is funny; I had a grin most of the way through the book. He was patient, understanding and compassionate  with Christian which was just what he needed. He may be the younger in the relationship, but with his experience he was the one in the lead, especially with the sexual aspects of the relationship. All I’ll say is  that Logan can give a good spanking 😉 The sexual tension and desire these two have for each other is palpable.

This first story ends with a very satisfying HFN.  I’m looking forward to the continuation of Christian and Logan’s story in Took My Breath Away which is due out on Dec. 18, 2013.

As Natural As Breathing on Amazon

Review: Tempting His Mate

Tempting His Mate

Tempting His Mate (Crescent Moon #3) by Savannah Stuart
Pages:  81
Publisher: CrushStar Multimedia LLC
Review Source: Publisher
Release Date:  November 13, 2013
My Rating: 4 ★★★★☆

 

Synopsis:

She ran from him once…

Wild one night stands are not Ella Hayes’s style, but with her confidence at rock bottom after a devastating betrayal and her painful departure from her jaguar pride, who could blame her for falling into bed with a sexy wolf? She never thought she’d see him again. And never in her craziest dreams did she expect to come face-to-face with him on her first day with the Kincaid wolf pack. Sleeping with Asher had been one of the most intense experiences of her life—but now she wonders if they could have more.

He’s not letting her go again…

Tired of life as a lone wolf, shifter Asher has joined his cousin’s pack. The last person he expected to see was the sexy woman who ran out on him in the middle of the most incredible night of his life. The Ella he meets now is nothing like the wild, sensual woman he let his guard down with, but he likes both sides of the complicated female. But now somebody—or something—sinister is targeting Ella, and Asher moves quickly to get her under his roof and under his protection. Keeping the sexy female safe and proving they belong together are two missions he doesn’t plan to fail. Because this time, he’s playing for keeps.

My Thoughts:

Another well written and enjoyable read in the Crescent Moon series; this is book 3 but can be read as a standalone.

Ella decides to stop at a shifter only bar on her way to her new pack and do something she never does – let herself go and enjoy the alpha wolf that sets her blood to boiling. Ella never expected to see him again, especially as one of her new pack members. She still wants him, but needs to face her insecurities and the resent betrayal from her sister.

Asher is still reeling from a centuries old loss and doesn’t feel as if he deserves another chance at love. Then he runs into Ella in a bar and they have one wonderful night, but he finds her gone in the morning. Surprised to see her across the room as he meets with his new alpha Asher realizes he isn’t going to let her go. Asher pursues Ella with patience and tenderness. He’s the best mix of tough alpha and a caring male. He even opens up and talks about his past and feelings with Ella.

If you’re looking for steamy romance, hot shifters, and a bit of mystery I highly recommend this one.

Review: Fox Yearning 1

Fox Yearning1Fox Yearning 1 by April Hanna
Pages: 42
Publisher: April Hanna
Review Source: Author/NetGalley
Release Date: Nov. 10, 2013
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Synopsis:

This novella is the first installment in a sizzling new paranormal shifter romance series.

Lia has always known that this day would come: Training is complete, her Initiation over…and now it’s time for her First Kill. She’s determined not to fail. After all, she’s a fox spirit– a member of a sacred sisterhood and a supreme sexual predator; the epitome of every man’s greatest dreams… and worst nightmares.

Human men are all the same – so she’s been told. But then she meets biotech billionaire, Alec Konrad, with his demonic good looks and smoldering grey eyes…

Now Lia no longer knows if she’s the seducer or the seduced. It’s one thing to enjoy your sexual prey. It’s another thing to develop feelings for them. She knows the rules: Fox spirits don’t fall in love. Especially not with humans.

My Thoughts:

The first thing you need to know is that this is a serial. This first installment is about 42 pages. I won’t go into detail about plot, the synopsis does fine and being so short I don’t want to spoil it.

Lia is sort of a cross between a vixen and a succubus who isn’t happy with the life she’s been dealt. That and the fact that she can’t bring herself to do what is expected of her where Alex is concerned are about all I know.

I like the basic premise of the story and think the Fox Spirit is a bit unique. It’s enjoyable for what it is, but falls just short of giving enough information and story to get me really hooked. I didn’t connect with the characters very well; I’ll probably read the next installment to see if it lives up to the potential I feel it has.  The one brief intimate interaction between Lia and Alex was fairly hot and well written.

Overall this was an OK and very quick read. I would rec this to anyone who likes serials with a bit of the paranormal.

Review: A Place to Land

A Place to LandA Place to Land by Mary Vine
Pages: 176
Publisher: Black Lyon Publishing
Review Source: Publisher
Release Date: December 1, 2009
My Rating: 2.5 Stars

Synopsis:

She isn’t afraid of the big, bad wolf. But he’s a little concerned about her.

When Uli’s impoverished family left Russia for America, she was only ten years old. From that point on, she’s been determined to make the American dream hers. When Headline Magazine offers the perfect story with which to launch her new writing career, Uli travels across Oregon to find out exactly how wolf and cowboy mix. As she finds her spirit guide in the wolf and her soul mate in the cattle rancher, a mysterious danger seems bent on finding her.

Movie-star handsome, Jackson Holt owns one of the largest ranches in eastern Oregon and like most ranchers, is none too happy with wolves crossing over the Idaho border near his livestock. The last thing he needs is a semi-environmentalist, journalist wannabe dogging his footsteps. Sure, Uli may be bright and sexy, but her need to prove herself and help her family threaten to lead her into the kind of harm he can’t protect her from—when all he wants to give her is … a place to land.

My Thoughts:

Uli is a young woman who has hung on the hurts from childhood. She was ignored and told to leave as a child when her family came over from Russia and she started school not knowing the language of her classmates. It didn’t help that her parents ran a traditional Russian household where the man was in charge and the women were basically subservient. Uli just wants to be a normal American girl and drag her family into the present with her. I could understand her feelings, but it honestly got to be too much. It started to feel a bit over the top with her trying to be someone she wasn’t; Uli actually started to come across as fake. I just couldn’t connect with her. I did like the part where she recognized that her family had the right to live how they saw fit, just as she did.

Jackson is a hardworking rancher and a genuinely nice guy. He didn’t agree with Uli’s article, but he helped her where he could. I liked Jackson but yet again there wasn’t any real connection there and that may have been because I just didn’t feel like I got to know him well.

The relationship between Uli and Jackson was sweet when they allowed it, but they both fought it too hard. Jackson couldn’t change that he was a rancher and had to stay put. Uli had herself painted into such a corner with her feelings of obligation to her family, which she put on herself; her family never asked her to take care of them.  All of this distracted me from what little mystery there was.

Over all this was an alright read for me. It was well written and edited. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a milder romance.

ARC Review: Ménage On 34th Street

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Menage on 34th StreetMénage on 34th Street by Elise Logan and Emily Ryan-Davis
Pages: 122
Publisher:  Carina Press
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: November 21, 2013
My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Synopsis:

Katrina and Liam Holland have the perfect marriage, a home in the trendiest part of Baltimore, and a scorching sex life. As another Christmas approaches, there’s only one thing still on Kat’s wish list: Hunter Croft. But she made peace long ago with his decision to choose the marines over their relationship. Until seeing him again arouses feelings she thought were in the past…

Hunter has spent a decade outrunning his attraction to both Kat and Liam. But now that he’s stateside, his self-control crumbles when he comes face-to-face with the two people who star in all his favorite fantasies. Their reunion is both erotic and emotional—and has Hunter wondering if three’s really a crowd, after all.

Liam can’t imagine his life without Kat. But he can imagine a future where the three of them live and love under one roof. Liam and Kat have shared their bed with other men, but Hunter is the only one who could ever have a place in their hearts. And this holiday season, Liam intends to make their dream a reality.

My Thoughts:

This is a well written, very, very hot ménage. The M/M/F sex was really well done and with more than just a token of M/M sex that I’ve read in other ménages. I’m not sure where to start with this review. I really did like the story, but I have one issue that has me going between a 3 and 4 star rating.

Kat and Liam have a strong and loving marriage; they just occasionally bring in a third. They have both missed Hunter for 10 years, but the way Liam brings him back into the picture could’ve been handled better and Kat lets him know it.  The revelation of what Liam did when Hunter left really hurt Kat and I liked the way that was dealt with. I liked the foundation of trust, openness and sureness of each other within their marriage, but felt they were a bit too anxious, lenient, and maybe forgiving toward Hunter just so they’d have him in their lives. They are willing to rearrange absolutely everything but Hunter, not so much. I mean I get he’s a marine and has to watch his image for good reasons, but come on he’s basically hiding his partners in a closet. That’s what really got to me. Maybe the story ended too soon, it is a quick read. It seemed as if Hunter loosened up at the end, but really only in the bedroom with Liam. A bit more story where Hunter didn’t come across as embarrassed or ashamed of Kat and Liam would have bumped this up to 4 or 4.5 stars for me.

Overall I liked the story and connected with the characters, even if I didn’t like one of them some of the time. If you enjoy a really hot M/M/F that also has depth, real issues that three would face, and intensity in and out of the bedroom this would be a good pick.

 Pre-order Menage on 34th Street

Review: Mine To Hold

MineToHoldMine To Hold (Mine #3) by Cynthia Eden
Pages: 265
Publisher: Cynthia Eden
Review Source: Author
Release Date: Oct. 21, 2013
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Synopsis:

She was one man’s obsession…

Nine years ago, Claire Kramer’s lover brutally killed her family, and he tried to kill her. She escaped, but she’s been haunted ever since that attack. Too afraid to trust another man and too worried that her past will catch up with her, Claire never gets too close to anyone. But then she meets Noah York.

He must have her.

Noah York is a man with secrets. The world sees him as a billionaire hotel tycoon, but Noah has a dark and dangerous side. For years, he worked covert military operations before he built his fortune. When it comes to death, Noah is a master. He knows that he should steer clear of Claire, but the white-hot attraction Noah feels for the delicate beauty is instant—and consuming.

He will never let her go.

Someone else is just as consumed by Claire—someone who will kill to possess her. And if Noah can’t stop the hunter in the darkness, he may just lose the one woman that he can’t live without.

My Thoughts:

I love when a series gets better with each book and the Mine series does just that. This is the third book in the series and it’s about Noah and Claire, they were introduced in the last book Mine To Keep. You don’t have to read the first two books to read this one, it can be read as a stand-alone.

Claire has basically been living in hell since the age of 16 when an obsessed lover attacked her and her family. After he was dealt with his father took on the role of tormentor whenever he could. With his influence he caused Claire to lose one job after the other and for her to be continuously on the move trying to stay ahead of him. Claire has reached the end of her ability to move on, both financially and mentally. She goes to see Noah York for help. All she wants is a job and a chance. He gives her the job, but he also gives her something that no one other than her sister has ever given her. Noah believes Claire about what happen 9 years ago. Claire doesn’t let men get close to her, she can’t stand to be touched; but somehow Noah is different and gets pasts these barriers of hers. Claire is a strong woman; she’s had to be to become the survivor she has. Don’t get me wrong she didn’t make it through life without damage. She’s distanced herself from others so far she seems a bit broken. At first I thought everything that happened to Claire was over the top, but as the story progressed I realized it was pretty believable. I could see how the father of her attacker would blame her. How, as a man with a lot of influence, he’d do everything he could to destroy Claire. Especially if he convinced himself that without her his precious son would never have done what he did. I also saw how it would drive Claire to do the one thing I’d like to believe I’d never attempt.  It’s through the trust and strength of Noah that Claire learns to live and love again.

Noah was drawn to Claire from the first time he laid eyes on her and that’s a new thing for him. He doesn’t do relationships, heck he doesn’t do more than one night with a woman. He will do whatever it takes to make Claire his. I love Noah; he’s so very alpha and sexy. He’s had his own difficulties in his life and you’ll have to read to find out what they are. I won’t spoil it. Noah wants Claire, but he doesn’t want her to know about his dark past and what he’s capable of doing for fear it will push her away. It was when he finally opened up to her and she accepted him that he could deal with some of those issues.

The mystery of who is doing all the killing was very well done. I was left guessing to the end. I would jump from person to person and was surprised by every twist. On top of all that was the very hot and steamy sex, there was this intensity between them that was palpable.

The only thing I need to add/request is that I really hope that Drake gets his HEA next. I got to like him and know just enough about him to really want more of his story.

 

Mine To Hold on Amazon

ARC Review: The Rising

THE RISING-final cover

The Rising (The Painted Maidens Trilogy, #1) by Terra Harmony
Pages: 271
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA
Publisher: Patchwork Press
Review Source: Publisher
Release Date: Nov 7 2013
My Rating:
4 ★★★★☆

Synopsis:

Fifteen-year-old Serena is the youngest member of a dying race. The increasing acidity of the ocean is destroying her home, slowly eating away at the once thriving underwater landscape. But since the night of Serena’s birth, it is an outside force that most threatens their dwindling population. Werewolves, who once served as protectors for mermaids in the Kingdom of the Undine, now seek to eliminate all who dwell in the ocean — and Serena is about to find herself right in the middle of the deadly conflict.

Given the title of Werewolf Liaison, Serena is determined to make things right for her people. When she ventures to The Dry, she meets Liam, the werewolf with hazel eyes, and her whole world gets turned upside down. As Serena discovers the real history between werewolves and mermaids, she is left wondering who her true enemies are.

My Thoughts:

I’ve read about mermaids and werewolves, but this is a wonderfully unique story. I don’t really read a lot of young adult books and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed The Rising. I’m now waiting for the next book to come out. This doesn’t end with a cliffhanger, but you know the story will continue and I’m looking forward to the next book. The underwater world of the Undine (mermaids) is truly brought to life. Look at the cover for just a touch of the beauty in Serena’s world. I loved the way the Undine could manipulate their scales according to their needs or protocol. The connection between the Undine and Werewolves really made the story interesting and gave that added bit of mystery that I like.

Serena is an orphan that would much rather be alone than in the thick political and social world of her people. She isn’t scared to go to dry land and does so even though it gets her into some serious trouble. Serena is basically an outcast, not liked much by anyone. I’m not really sure why that is and wish it had been addressed more fully. She has one person she considers her best friend, but since he left the orphanage before her and took his place in society they don’t see much of each other. Having no one to truly count on but herself her whole life Serena is an independent and strong young woman who will do what needs to be done. Her growth from being in the classroom to accepting and thriving in her role as Werewolf Liaison isn’t without pain, feelings of isolation and rejection; especially when she is betrayed by one who is supposed to be looking out and caring for her. Serena also finds love and feelings of desire for the first time as she faces the difficulties that have been forced upon her.

The secondary characters are pleasantly detailed and come to life. I really ended up liking Kia, although I wasn’t sure about him at first. Liam is still a bit of a mystery, but has promise of being a strong and possibly likable character as we see how he deals with recent events and learns of his place ( or not?) in Serena’s life. I thought I had it figured out and then the direction changed just a bit; I like to be surprised and was glad I liked the new direction.

There’s really not much else I can tell you without spoiling something and I feel one little spoiler may reveal too much as you read. I recommend this if you enjoy mermaids or werewolves with some great action, mystery and a bit of romance.

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