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.

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