ARC Review: Took My Breath Away

*Warning: Contains BDSM elements with M/M spanking scenes.*

Took My Breath Away

Took My Breath Away (All They Ever Needed #2) by Thianna D.
Publisher: LazyDay Publishing
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: December 18, 2013
My Rating: 5 ★★★★★

Synopsis:

Sometimes taking control is what you need to do and sometimes the best thing you can do is give that control up.

In the summer between Logan’s junior and senior years of college, these two will find out more about each other and themselves than they imagined.

While unhappy to be missing four weeks of Christian’s company, Logan is thrilled to spend a month with his father’s relatives in New York.  A naturally gregarious individual, he is used to winning people over and getting things right. Unfortunately, the Mannettes are not what he expects and for the first time in his life, he finds himself seriously doubting who he is.

Christian has regained some of his old self-esteem and is taking on new challenges. Besides growing in the relationship he has with Logan, he takes the time his boyfriend is away to learn more about domestic discipline. He learns a little online but it is actually Gregory, Logan’s father, where he gains most of his information. Including the fact that his natural strength puts him in a leadership position he isn’t expecting.

When Logan returns to a strong, self-assured Christian, it is with complete relief. As discussions turn to domestic discipline and they realize their true roles within their current and future relationship, both of them are able to let their inhibitions go and together their connection grows surprising Logan to an epiphany.

My Thoughts:

This is the second book in the All They Ever Needed Trilogy and it starts out a few months after the end of As Natural As Breathing. You must read the first book before this one as it is the continuation of the story.

I fell even more in love with Christian. Watching him grow into a confident man who truly accepts himself in all aspects was heartwarming. I could feel his struggles and that made it all the sweeter when he was well enough to rescue Logan and be the man that he needed. The relationship between Christian and Logan’s dad was great. I was so glad when he had someone to talk things out with.

I got see the vulnerable side to Logan. There’s a bit more angst in this one with Logan’s family. They really know how to manipulate and get what they want. Logan’s confusion and the war within himself to be strong for his parents was gut wrenching. His emotional and mental anguish was palpable. When Logan finally admitted he needed help and leaned on Christian was wonderful and the love between the two just grew stronger.

Overall a fantastic read and one I will visit again and again. I’m just waiting not so patiently for the third book to come out.

ARC Review: The Professional: Part 1

The Professional part 1

The Professional: Part 1 (The Game Maker, #1) by Kresley Cole
Pages: 140
Publisher: Pocket Star
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: December 16, 2013
My Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis:

ARE YOU READY TO PLAY?

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole comes The Game Makers; a scorching new erotica series about a young woman desperate to uncover the mysteries of her past and the hitman bound to protect her.

From an opulent palace in Russian, to the wicked playgrounds of the mega-wealthy in Paris, to the sultry beaches of Spain, the two lovers will discover that even their most intimate—and forbidden—fantasies can come true…

My Thoughts:

Part one has some seriously hot erotic scenes, action, and humor. It’s well written and did pull me in; the only problem was it didn’t keep me. I was able to put it down and come back later. I really liked Sevastyan in all his scarred and tattooed glory. Natalie is a strong, confident woman. I could say a lot more but given the length of this first installment I don’t want to spoil it.

This is the first part in a serial that ends not only on a cliffhanger, but what felt like the very middle of a scene. I don’t usually like serials and avoid them; but overall this one wasn’t bad. I would’ve given 3 or 3.5 stars had it ended differently. I can’t decide if I was left wanting to continue or just very frustrated at the abruptness of it. If I’d know I would’ve held off until the final two installments were out before I started it. This is definitely a serial (one book broken into parts) and not a series.

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

Book Blast & GiveAway: Mine To Hold by Cynthia Eden

MINE TO HOLD Tour Button LRG

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Mine To Hold

Series: Mine #3
Release Date: October 21, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense
MineToHold

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.

Author’s Note: MINE TO HOLD is a dark and sexy romantic suspense novel. It contains a twisted killer, a hot hero, and a heroine who has been pushed to the edge. Adult language and sexy situations are included. Please consider yourself warned.

AVAILABLE NOW:
All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble / iBookstore | Kobo | Smashwords

About the Author:

Cynthia EdenUSA Today Best-selling author Cynthia Eden has written over twenty-five novels and novellas. She was named as a 2013 RITA® finalist for her paranormal romance, ANGEL IN CHAINS, and, in 2011, Cynthia Eden was a RITA finalist for her romantic suspense, DEADLY FEAR.

Cynthia is a southern girl who loves horror movies, chocolate, and happy endings.  She has always wanted to write (don’t most authors say that?), and particularly enjoys creating stories about monsters–vampires, werewolves, and even the real-life monsters that populate her romantic suspense stories.

Cynthia’s foreign sales for her books include translations to Japan, Germany, Thailand, Greece, and Brazil.

(Back in the day…) Cynthia graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Alabama where she studied Sociology (because people interest her) and Communication (because she likes to write about said people).  Cynthia has worked as a college admissions counselor, a teacher, and as an editor. But now, Cynthia is thrilled to be spending her days making up stories.

 Connect with Cynthia:
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

The Previous Books in the Mine Series

Mine to TakeMINE TO TAKE
Series:  Mine, # 1
Release Date: June 17, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Sometimes you want someone so much…
Sometimes you need someone so much…
Lust can become love.
And love can turn into a deadly obsession.

Skye Sullivan knows that someone is watching her. Not just watching—stalking her. Months ago, Skye was involved in a dangerous car accident. The accident ended her dancing career and sent her fleeing back to Chicago. Skye is convinced that her stalker caused the crash, and she fears that he won’t stop pursuing her, not until she’s dead.

When someone breaks into her apartment in Chicago, Skye turns to the one man she believes can protect her—Trace Weston. Once, Trace was her lover. Two lost souls, they’d come together in a firestorm of need and desire. But then Trace had pushed her away. He’d joined the military, vanishing from her life. She’d put all of her emotion into dancing, and she’d tried to forget him.

Now Trace is one of the most successful men in the United States. Rich, driven, and carrying dark secrets, he agrees to help Skye. He’ll protect her from the danger that lurks in the darkness, but Trace wants more than to just be a guard for Skye.

He wants her. And he’ll take her. The years have changed him, hardened him. He’s not just a poor kid from the streets any longer. Now, he can have anything—or anyone—that he wants. And the one woman he has always wanted has just come back into his life. He won’t let her go again.

But with the threats mounting against Skye, she suspects that her stalker may be intimately close. He’s a man who knows her too well. As his attacks grow ever more dangerous, she realizes that if she trusts the wrong man, she could be making a fatal mistake.

Lust. Love. Obsession.

Just how far would you go in order to possess the one person you want the most?

Mine to Take AVAILABLE NOW!
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Mine to Keep

MINE TO KEEP
Series: Mine, # 2
Release Date: September 16, 2013
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Love is the most dangerous obsession…

Skye Sullivan is trying to put the pieces of her life back together. She survived a brutal stalker and escaped his abduction, and now she is looking to the future—a future that includes Skye’s lover, billionaire Trace Weston. Skye thinks the danger is finally over for her.

She’s dead wrong.

When Trace’s past comes back to haunt him, Skye discovers that the man she loves isn’t quite who he seems to be. Trace has been leading a double-life. An ex-special forces agent, his military training turned him into the perfect killing machine. He made more than his share of enemies during his time in the military—and as he built his security empire—and one of those enemies is striking back.

He won’t lose her.

Skye is the one weapon that can be used against Trace—his only vulnerability. But he won’t let her go—he can’t. Trace will do anything necessary to protect Skye. Anything. Yet when she discovers the secrets that he’s tried to keep hidden, Skye’s pain and rage may send her running directly into the cross-hairs of a killer…

Mine to Keep is AVAILABLE NOW:
All Romance eBooks | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

TOUR GIVEAWAY:
Cynthia is giving away a $100.00 Amazon gift card at the end of her tour

Click here for a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

MINE TO HOLD Book Blast Schedule – 10/21 – 10/27

10/21 Book Pages and Dripping Ink
bookpagesanddrippingink.blogspot.com

 10/21 Books Books and More Books
http://booksbooksmorebooks.blogspot.com/

 10/21 FicCentral
http://www.ficcentral.com

 10/21 The Not-So-Literary Heiresses
http://www.not-so-literary-heiresses.com

10/21 Vampires, Werewolves, and Fairies, Oh My!
http://vampireswerewolvesfairiesohmy.blogspot.com/

 10/22 Miscellaneous Thoughts of a Bookaholic
http://miscellaneousthoughtsofabookaholic.blogspot.com/

10/22 Nina’s Literary Escape
http://www.ninasliteraryescape.blogspot.com

 10/22 Regina May Ross’s
http://reginamayross.net

 10/22 Recommended Romance
http://recommendedromance.com

 10/22 Snarky Mom Reads…
http://www.snarkymomreads.com

 10/22 So Many Reads
http://www.somanyreads.com

 10/22 Urban Girl Reader
http://www/urbangirlreader.com

 10/23 Book Monster Reviews
http://www.bookmonsterreviews.com/

 10/24 Bookin’ It Reviews
http://www.bookinitreviews.com

 10/24 KT Book Reviews
http://ktbookreviews.blogspot.com

 10/24 Riverina Romantics
http://riverinaromantics.blogspot.com/

 10/24 Same Book, Different Review
http://samebookdifferentreview.blogspot.com/

 10/25 Book Lovin’ Mamas
http://booklovinmamas.com

 10/25 Literal Hotties Naughty Book Reviews
http://literalhottiesnaughtybookreviews.blogspot.com/

 10/25 Musings From An Addicted Reader
http://musingsfromanaddictedreader.blogspot.com/

 10/25 The Reading Café
http://www.thereadingcafe.com

 10/26 Darker Passions
http://darkerpassions.net

 10/26 Inner Goddess
http://www.innergoddessforum.com

 10/26 Where the Night Kind Roam
http://www.paranormalromancenovel.com/

 10/27 Book Bliss
http://bookbliss.com

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.

Follow Terra Haromony:
Website/Facebook/Twitter/Goodreads

ARC Review: Miracle Road

Miracle RoadMiracle Road (Eternity Springs #7) by Emily March
Pages: 352
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine
Review Source: Publisher/NetGalley
Release Date: November 5, 2013
My Rating: 4.5

Description:

Perfect for fans of Robyn Carr and Debbie Macomber, New York Times bestselling author Emily March’s seventh book in the Eternity Springs series is a heartwarming story that celebrates the miracle and joy of love during the holidays.

After tragedy strikes his team, college basketball coach Lucca Romano arrives in the haven of Eternity Springs to reassess his life. Even a winning record and big offers can’t dent the wall of guilt that Lucca has built around himself. Nothing can—except maybe a vibrant new neighbor who won’t give up on him.

Schoolteacher Hope Montgomery believes in miracles. She has to believe—because giving up would mean crumbling under the greatest loss a parent can endure. Hope understands Lucca’s suffering; she lives it herself every day. However, the high school team needs his coaching expertise, so she sets out to draw him from his cold, solitary shell and into the warmth of life in their small Rocky Mountain town. But when a weak moment leads to consequences that shake Hope’s faith, it’s up to Lucca to put aside his heartache and show the teacher that here in Eternity Springs broken hearts can heal—just in time for Christmas.

My Thoughts:

WOW! What an emotionally gripping story. My favorite Eternity Springs novel hands down.  This is a very sweet romance from beginning to end. There was very little angst. It’s a well written and paced story that kept me up all night to finish it. I’m going to give you as much as I can without spoiling the story.

Hope is a kind, loving, tender and wounded woman. She has a big traumatic event from five years ago that she has to deal with in order to move forward. Hope will never get over this; she can learn to live with/through it. I admire her strength and tenacity. I haven’t read about a  stronger heroine in a while. When Hope first meets Lucca she thinks he’s one of the biggest jerks. Then she learns of his past and by just being there for him and being herself she helps him heal. It doesn’t hurt that she will tell him exactly what she thinks of him, his attitude and behavior.

Lucca’s life went off the rails about a year ago and he’s in Eternity Springs to help his mother with her B&B. Lucca shoulders the responsibility for the accident and lives with this burden on him every day. He has no intention of confronting his demons until Hope reads him the riot act one day and forces him to really look at himself. Lucca starts healing and is added in this as he helps Hope deal with her devastating loss. I fell a little bit in Love with Lucca. His character is very believable. He isn’t perfect and has flaws just like the rest of us.

Miracle Road is the seventh book in this series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. Characters from previous books are present throughout the book, but I didn’t feel like I’d missed anything. The earlier characters are brought into this story with just enough background that I felt as if I knew them; but it wasn’t so much that it felt repetitive . I plan on going back to read the books I haven’t read from the series.

Miracle Road on Amazon

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