Friday, February 28, 2014

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Joss needs a new apartment. Her roommate has moved to London.  The landlord wants to move in so she is out! She grabs a cab to go see a place on Dublin Street but just as she is getting in a man gets to the cab. They decide to share it. Joss thinks this guy is totally hot.  She has not felt attraction to a man in a long time.  Good thing it's short ride!  She meets Ellie, like each other and Joss moves in.
Joss is damaged goods. Her parents and younger sister died in a car accident when she was 14. She was in two foster homes until she turned 18 and moved to Scotland to go to college. Joss never really dealt with the death of her family.  But she becomes a part of Ellie's family and her emotions get the best of her.  She will have to deal with it now, or else!

I loved this story. It made me cry and cry! I really felt for Joss and Braden.

From the author:
All she wants is the present. But tomorrow is waiting…

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…
Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he's determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won't be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.

For a sample, click here. Or a look inside (you can read more on this one.)
Here's are some bonus scenes from the book.

Pages: 325
Published: 2012

Stranger by Megan Hart


Grace is afraid of commitment so she pays for sex. One night she is waiting at a bar for her "date". A jerk tries to pick her up and a handsome stranger helps her.  She thinks it's her date. They go to his hotel room and have mind blowing sex.  His name is Sam.  After she leaves, her date calls and apologizes for being late. Whoops! But it was sex with a stranger....she just did not know he wouldn't be a stranger for long!

From the author:
I pay strangers to sleep with me. I have my reasons…
But they’re not the ones you’d expect.
For starters, I’m a funeral director taking over my dad’s business. Not exactly the kind of person you’d expect to fork over cash for the lust and urgency only live skin-to-skin contact can create. Looking at me, you wouldn’t have a clue I carry this little secret so close it creases up like the folds of a fan. Tight. Personal. Ready to unravel in the heat of the moment.
Unsurprisingly, my line of work brings me face-to-face with loss. So I decided long ago that paying for sex would be one of the best (and arousing) ways to save myself from the one thing that would eventually cut far too deep.
But Sam was a mistake. Literally. I signed on to “pick up” a stranger at a bar, but took Sam home instead. And now that I’ve felt his heat, his sweat and everything else, can I really go back to impersonal?

Let’s just hope he never finds out about my other life….

Excerpt:
Orgasms are like waves, no two alike. They ebb, flow, rise and crest. And crash. Mine crashed over me so fast it took me by surprise. Hard, almost sharp, the pleasure peaked as I moved on Sam’s cock. His thumb ceased its pressure, easing off just when I needed it to, but in the next moment he’d started doing this little jiggling motion that sent me up and up again. The second climax followed the first without time for me to catch my breath, but when it was over, that was it. Warmth rippled through me and languor crept along my limbs. I put my hand over Sam’s to keep him from moving it.
I didn’t know how close he was, but when I opened my eyes, his were closed. His hands gripped my hips again. His thrusts got harder. Sweat had broken out along his hairline. I wanted to lick it, and the sudden stab of fresh desire surprised me as much as the intensity of my orgasm had.
“Sam,” I whispered. I watched his face contort. “Sam…”
And he came. His face twisted and his fingers clutched, giving me more bruises. He arched and fell back onto the pillow, and let out one last, long and heavy breath.
He opened his eyes a moment later and smiled at me. His hand came up to twine in my hair. He tugged it, pulling me close to kiss my mouth tenderly. His pupils were still wide and dark, with nothing to reflect me.
We disengaged and took care of the things that needed to be done, but I hadn’t yet managed to rouse myself enough to climb out of bed and go to the bathroom when the distinctive jangle of my phone came from my purse.
“Is that Smoke on the Water?” Sam lifted his head to look at me.
“Yes.” I ignored it, too sated to think about getting up for a phone call, even though I knew I should.
Sam’s broad and hearty laugh shook the bed, and I looked over at him. “Awesome.” He made rock horns with his fingers.
I had to laugh, too. He seemed younger with post-sex sleepiness lodged in his eyes and his hair all rumpled. Not that it mattered.
He yawned and of course, unable to help myself, so did I. He kissed my bare shoulder and rolled onto his back again, hands tucked under the pillow, to stare at the ceiling.
“I knew that fortune cookie was right,” he said without looking at me. “It said you will meet someone new.”
“My last fortune cookie told me I was going to find money,” I said. “So far, nothing.”
Sam turned his gaze to me, though his head stayed still. “You’ve got time. I don’t think there’s a statute of limitations on fortunes.”
I rolled my eyes. “I wish it would hurry up, though. I could use some money.”
Sam’s expression shifted, subtly, as we stared at each other. My phone rang again, this time with the less-awesome ring tone that meant I had a message. I couldn’t ignore that, since it was probably from my answering service. Someone must’ve died.
“I have to get that,” I said without moving.
“Okay.” Sam smiled.
I leaned over to kiss him quickly, on the cheek. I felt his gaze on me as I gathered my fallen clothes and my purse and went to the bathroom. I punched in the number of the answering service as I slipped into my panties and juggled the phone while I hooked my bra. The garter-belt and stockings I tucked into my bag, not wanting to bother with them when I was going home.
I took care of the call and finished dressing, then patted some cold water on my face. Sam’s bathroom looked used, a rumpled towel on the floor by the toilet and a small toiletries bag on the sink. He used an electric razor and favored a different toothpaste than I did, but this peek into his private life seemed intrusive and personal and I stopped looking. I took an extra few minutes to freshen my makeup and tie back my hair.
When I came out of the bathroom, Sam had pulled his boxers back on. The remote lay next to him on the bed, but he hadn’t turned on the television. He sat up when I came out.
“Hey,” he said.
My phone beeped again with another message. Someone had called while I was on the phone. I pulled it from my purse but didn’t flip it open. “It’s been great, but I have to go.”
He got up, towering over me even after I put on my heels. “I’ll walk you to your car.”
I shook my head. “No. You don’t have to. I’m fine.”
“But I really should.”
I looked up at him. “Sam, it’s okay.”
We smiled at each other. He walked me to the door, where he bent to kiss me far more awkwardly then he had before.
“Good night,” I said on the other side of the door. “Thank you.”
He blinked and didn’t smile. “You’re…welcome?”
So cute.
I reached up to pat his cheek. “It was great.”
Sam blinked again, those dark brows knitting. “Okay.”
I waved and moved toward the elevator. He closed the door behind me, and I heard the blare of the television almost at once.
At my car I remembered to check my voice mail. Sitting behind the wheel, buckling my belt, I punched in my password and listened, expecting to hear my sister’s voice. Maybe my best friend Mo’s.
“Yeah, hi,” said a voice I didn’t recognize. “This is Jack. I’m calling for um…Miss Underfire. We were supposed to meet tonight?”
He sounded uncertain; I felt suddenly sick. Miss Underfire was the name I used with the agency, the name I used to keep everything discreet.
“But I’m here at The Fishtank, and…well…you’re not. Umm…call me back if you want to reschedule.”
I listened to a very long pause while I waited for the call to disconnect, but it didn’t.
“Anyway, I’m sorry,” said Jack. “Something got messed up, I guess.”
A click, and he was gone, and the pseudo-feminine robotic voicemail message was instructing me how to delete the message.
I closed my phone and put it carefully into my purse. I gripped the steering wheel tight, with both hands. I waited to scream, or laugh, or cry, but in the end I only turned the key in the ignition and drove home.
I’d wanted to sleep with a stranger, and that’s exactly what I’d done.

ebook432 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Spice (first published December 23rd 2008)

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stately Pleasures by Lucy Felthouse

M/F/M BDSM Erotic Romance 
Alice needs a job. She is interviewing for a temporary job at Davenport Manor. Jeremy, the owner, is extremely good looking and she gets tongue tied around him. But she gets the job. On the first day, she is told to go to Jeremy's office.  When she gets there she overhears him in the office with a lady. It sounds like they are having sex.  She doesn't know if she should knock or walk away. Alice stands there listening.  A man comes up to her and asks what she is doing. He takes her to his office and locks her in. Alice realizes that this is Ethan the head of security.  Jeremy comes back with Ethan and he is mad that she was eavesdropping on him. Alice says she is sorry and that she will do anything to keep her job. Jeremy says, "Anything?". He has a list of things that he and Ethan want to do around the estate.  Alice looks at the list. It is a list of sexual things. Will Alice keep her job and play sex games with the men?
From the author:
Alice Brown has just landed her dream job. Property manager at Davenport Manor, a British stately home. It’s only a nine-month contract to cover maternity leave, but it’s the boost up the career ladder she so desperately needs.
Unfortunately, things don’t get off to the best start, when Alice finds her boss, Jeremy Davenport, in a compromising position. Far from being embarrassed by what’s happened, Jeremy turns things around on Alice and makes her out to be the one in the wrong. So when he and his best friend and head of security, Ethan Hayes, then throw an ultimatum at her, she’s so stunned and confused that she goes along with their indecent proposal.
When the dust settles and Alice has time to think about things, though, she realises that perhaps it isn’t such a bad thing. There are worse things she could be doing to advance her career, after all.
Alice took a deep breath, in through her nose and out through her mouth. Repeated the process once more. Then, realising she could sit there all day doing it and not feel any calmer, she forced herself to step out of the car and close and lock the door.
She bent to peer into the wing mirror of the vehicle and checked her hair and make-up. Satisfied, she straightened, then turned on her heel and walked quickly across the driveway to the great house before her nerve failed her.
Davenport Manor was currently open for visitors, so she walked in through the front door and was met by a smiling elderly lady.
‘Can I help you?’ the woman asked kindly.
‘Yes, please.’ Alice twisted her hands together nervously. ‘I’m here to see Mr Davenport. I’m here for an interview for the property manager’s role.’
‘Yes, of course,’ the woman replied, ‘that’s today, isn’t it? Follow me; I’ll take you to Mr Davenport’s office. But just hang on one second.’
She ducked through the doorway into the next room and spoke with her colleague. Alice guessed she was letting her co-worker know she’d be gone for a few minutes. A few seconds later, she was back. ‘OK, follow me, Miss …’
‘Brown,’ Alice said, then fell in behind the other woman as she led her to Mr Davenport’s office, and the interview that could change her life for ever. It was hardly surprising that she was shaking like a leaf.
Alice quickly felt lost as their journey took several twists and turns along dim corridors – their blinds drawn to protect paintings, tapestries, and furniture from the sunlight – and up a flight of stairs. She had a few seconds to worry about finding her way if she was lucky enough to get the job, then, suddenly, her guide stopped outside a door and turned around.
‘Here you go, Miss Brown. Mr Davenport’s office. Good luck with your interview.’
Alice smiled and thanked the elderly woman, then smoothed down her skirt, which also conveniently helped wipe the nervous sweat off her hands. She stood up straight, gave herself a mental pep talk about being more than qualified for the role, and knocked on the door.
‘Enter.’
Alice knew that voice could only belong to Jeremy Davenport. The posh accent, and the fact he’d said “enter” instead of “come in”, screamed money and an upper-class upbringing. Alice was suddenly nervous of her broad Midlands accent and lowly background, despite the fact she’d worked her backside off to get into a decent university in order to gain a Bachelor of Arts degree and then a Master’s degree. No matter what she sounded like, or what her past was, she had all the skills necessary to do the job she was about to be interviewed for.
Suddenly, she realised that she’d left rather a long pause before opening the door, and she turned the handle before the occupants of the room thought they were about to interview some kind of simpleton who couldn’t follow a simple instruction.
Fixing a polite – but hopefully not inane – smile onto her face, Alice stepped into Jeremy Davenport’s office. Her first thought – which certainly did nothing to help her nerves – was good God, he’s hot.
Jeremy sat behind a desk, with a heavily pregnant woman sitting beside it. Alice barely noticed the woman. All she saw was him. A man with cropped dark brown hair, hazel/green eyes, a jawline you could cut bread with, and lips that looked capable of doing incredibly wicked, sexual things to a woman. Or a man. Alice had no idea what his sexuality was, but she found herself hoping he liked women.
She chastised herself. Even if he did like women, he wouldn’t go for someone like her. A Plain Jane, with mousy brown shoulder-length hair, blue eyes, average height and above average weight. Alice had always known she’d never be a supermodel, so she’d worked extra hard academically, and here she was. About to be interviewed for her dream job.
ebook200 pages
Published January 16th 2014 by Xcite Books (first published December 5th 2013)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 YA Reading Bingo Wrap-Up

I came across this challenge somewhere....it's great if you like a bingo challenge.


YA Reading Bingo Choices - BINGO! 2/26/14

The First Book in A Series - Few Are Angels by Inger Iversen
A Book That Became A Movie - Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
A Book Set In The Future - Divergent by Veronica Roth
A Book Set In A High School - Fallen by Lauren Kate
A "Classic" YA Book - The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Last Book of a Trilogy - Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
A Book You Heard About Online - Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
A Book With A Color in the Title - The White Glove War by Katie Crouchand Grady Hendrix
A Book With A Female Heroine - Ash by Malinda Lo

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ash by Malinda Lo

Ash loves her mother so much she lays on her grave at night. She starts to see the fairies and the Wild Hunt. This is not a good thing. Her father goes away for business and after a few months he sends word home that he has remarried. He comes home with her stepmother and her two daughters. Now we know that Ash is Cinderella. But this story is different with the back story of the fairies.
Ash spends what little spare time she has in the Wood. She meets the King's Huntress.  The woman is kind. Ash becomes fascinated by this woman.  Kaisa teaches her to ride horses. They spend a lot of time together when the family is in the city husband hunting.
Ash asks a favor Sidhean, a fairy that is always around her. He tells her there will be a price. She goes to the ball and sees Kaisa. Ash has feelings for both Kaisa and Sidhean.  Will she have to chose between them?

At first I was not sure that I would like this but I did.  I like how the author wove the fairy tales and fairies into a well known story. I like that the ending was different too.

From the author:
In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, re-reading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.
The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love—and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.
Entrancing, empowering, and romantic, Ash is about the connection between life and love, and solitude and death, where transformation can come from even the deepest grief.
Excerpt:
Chapter 1
Aisling’s mother died at midsummer. She had fallen sick so suddenly that some of the villagers wondered if the fairies had come and taken her, for she was still young and beautiful. She was buried three days later beneath the hawthorn tree behind the house, just as twilight was darkening the sky.
Maire Solanya, the village greenwitch, came that evening to perform the old rituals over the grave. She stood at the foot of the mound of black soil, a thin old woman with white hair bound in a braid that reached her hips, her face a finely drawn map of lines. Aisling and her father stood across from each other on either side of the grave, and at the head of it, resting on the simple headstone, was the burning candle. Aisling’s father had lit it shortly after Elinor died, and it would burn all night, sheltered by the curving glass around it. The gravestone was a plain piece of slate carved with her name: Elinor. Grass and tree roots would grow up around it as the months and years passed, until it would seem as if it had always been there.
Maire Solanya said in her low, clear voice, “From life to life, from breath to breath, we remember Elinor.” She held a round loaf of bread in her hands, and she tore off a small piece and ate it, chewing deliberately, before handing the loaf to Aisling’s father. He pulled off his own piece, then passed it to his daughter. It was still warm, and it smelled like her mother’s kitchen after baking. But it hadn’t come from her mother’s hands, and that realization made a hard lump rise in her throat. The bread was tasteless.
Maire Solanya took the loaf from her, its crust gaping open, and placed it on the gravestone next to the candle. Aisling couldn’t shake the feeling that her mother had merely gone out on an errand and would come home at any moment and wonder what the three of them were doing. It didn’t seem possible that she was buried there, at the foot of the hawthorn tree, in the ground. She had seen her mother’s body after she died, of course, but her face had lost all of the vibrancy that made her recognizable. And it was easier to believe the village rumors than to sit with the ache inside herself.
She remembered those rumors now, while she stood with her father and Maire Solanya in a tense silence, waiting as the sun set over the Wood. Everyone had always said that Elinor had some magic in her, and everyone knew that fairies—if they existed—were drawn to that. So Aisling’s father had ordered all the old rituals, even though he did not believe in them, just in case. She was not entirely sure what she herself believed, but she knew that her mother would want them to do these rituals for her, and that was enough.
When the sun slipped below the horizon, the greenwitch said, “Sleep in peace, Elinor,” and scattered a gold powder over the grave to bind Elinor to the earth. On the freshly turned soil, the gold glittered like fairy dust.
Read more here.

Pages: 264
Published: 2009

Friends With Partial Benefits by Luke Young

I got this book free on amazon. Here's the link. I liked this book.  Jillian is such a nice person and deserves to have someone in her life.

Jillian is an author of sexy books. She caught her husband in the pool with another woman. She kicked them both out. She is lonely. It's been awhile since the divorce.  Her best friend Victoria keeps telling her to date. Jillian dates a few but they are duds. Her writing is starting suffer. She needs something in her life.
Her son Rob is coming home for spring break. His roommate Brian is coming along. Brian is stunned when he sees Jillian for the first time. Then he learns that they have a love for tennis in common. Jillian and Brian start to have the hots for each other. Being Rob's mother and friend keeps them apart - but for how long?

From the author:
Jillian Grayson is a divorced, best-selling romance novelist who can’t seem to write a chapter without her male heartthrob suffering ED, an STD, or worse. Brian Nash is a tennis-obsessed, college senior who’s unlucky in love and currently fixated on a super-flexible, super-crazy, ex-ballerina co-ed who’s toying with his emotions. He also happens to be the roommate and best friend of Jillian’s son, Rob.
When Rob brings Brian home for spring break and Rob meets the surprising youthful and also tennis-passionate Jillian, an intense connection forms and grows — on and off the court. Setting aside the (significant) age difference and the small matter of Jillian’s son, they are a perfect match. As they struggle to fight their feelings, tennis becomes their sex replacement until the on-court heat becomes way too intense. Something has to be done and so they hatch a plan to be “Friends With Partial Benefits,” complete with rules to define the boundaries.
It’s the perfect plan…Jillian finds the inspiration to write again while Brian’s broken heart is quickly on the mend. Except, the pair finds it increasingly difficult to keep up their ideal arrangement. It’s just that it’s complicated.Really complicated. And potentially a really bad idea…

Friends with Partial Benefits Excerpt

READER ADVISORY:
This excerpt contains content some readers may find objectionable, including explicit sex and language.
Jillian Grayson sat up in bed, typing away on the keyboard of her laptop computer. She wore a nightshirt that wasn’t all that sexy, but what she was typing was… or at least it started out that way…
Dallas lay in bed, unable to sleep and wondering if Katrina was suffering the same fate—and for the very same reason. Did she want him as much as he wanted her? Katrina was but a few steps away, yet he dare not go to her, for he was a guest, and then there was Katrina’s mother, who was just across the hall. For Dallas, sleep came minutes later, but it would be short- lived, for soon Katrina stood over him, completely nude and pondering how to proceed…
Dallas must have been in a deep sleep, since he didn’t feel it when Katrina peeled the sheet carefully off him, exposing his muscular body, six-pack abs, and sizeable manhood. She quivered when his impressiveness sprang into view. For a long time, she kneeled next to the bed, just studying his body and savoring his scent. Taking his sex into her hand, Katrina worked it until it was rigid while she watched him sleep. When Dallas woke, he looked into her eyes, swallowed hard, and whispered, “I’ve been waiting for you.”
Just as fast as his sex expanded, it lost its firmness and flopped against his leg. Katrina looked down at it in disappointment and then moaned in frustration. “What’s wrong?”
Dallas said sheepishly, “Sometimes that happens to me. Sorry. Ever since I cheated on my wife with that whore in the pool, I haven’t been able to—”
Jillian stopped typing and thought she might be heading in the wrong direction with this. How did her ex-husband get into the story? But then again, most men are assholes, she thought.
Picking up the glass of wine from her nightstand, she took a long sip and then replaced it. She highlighted the last paragraph about Dallas’s problem, hit one key, and it was gone. Just like his boner. She laughed out loud.
Jillian wasn’t exactly in the correct frame of mind to write at the moment, especially on this particular subject. She stared straight ahead and wondered about the likelihood of Dallas slipping in the shower, striking his head, and dying instantly. Or maybe an earthquake could strike, and Dallas’s amazingly perfect body would be trapped under a giant beam.
Read more here.

Here's a video... based on this book.
ebook - 232 pages
Published: 2011

Monday, February 24, 2014

Intentions of the Earl by Rose Gordon

Brooke and her family came to London to visit family and try to find husbands for the girls. Brooke cannot fit into the way society works.  She meets a man named Benjamin Collins, Duke of Gateway. He wanted to have his way with her and she said no. He wants revenge so he gets Andrew to ruin her publicly in exchange for getting his father's estate back.
Andrew meets Brooke and they start courting.  He tells her right away that he has no money. She has no money either but they start having feelings for each other. She loves the way he kisses her. He cannot get her out of his mind.  Will he go through with the plan to ruin her? What is going to happen?

I liked this book. I found Brooke hilarious.  I love how she started busting on Andrew right away.  They fell in love in a nice normal way.

From the author:
Will he secure his future by ruining hers, or will she ruin his plans by securing him? 

A new twist on the old fortune hunter plot puts an impoverished earl in a position to gain his fortune only by ruining an innocent's reputation without offering marriage. The innocent he's selected, however, has no plans to settle for anything less than marriage and will go to almost any length to secure him.

With no other means for an income, the impoverished Andrew Black, Earl of Townson, makes an agreement that will put a definite end to his eight year poverty streak. But, in order to gain his fortune he must do only one simple thing: ruin an innocent young lady’s reputation enough to make her flee to America.

Brooke Banks isn’t interested in marriage, or so she thinks. She came to London to have a good time, and that’s exactly what she’s doing.  Widely known for her tendency to flout the rules, she suspects nothing when a handsome stranger appears on her doorstep.

Thirteen days, a handful of kisses and one scandalous situation later, Andrew and Brooke will have to choose to stick to their original plans, or decide if a life together is worth the risk.

This is the first book in the series and can be found in eBook format for FREE at the following places:

          

Excerpt:
London, England

May 1812

Smack!

“Ouch!”

“You deserved it, you lecher,” Brooke Banks exclaimed, scrambling to get off the secluded bench where she had been kissing Benjamin Collins, Duke of Gateway.

“What was that for?” Gateway demanded, rubbing his cheek.

“You have to ask?” Brooke crossed her arms. “I came out here to see the gardens, not have you maul me in the shrubbery.” Why did he, like all men, assume her agreement to go into the gardens translated into permission for him to touch her person—specifically her chest?

“I wasn’t mauling you,” he spat. His face looked like it had been carved from marble with his mouth clamped so tightly that white lines had formed around the ridges and his eyes had transformed from warm, blue candle flames into hard, cold chips of ice.

“You’re correct; you didn’t maul me. Yet. I felt your hand drifting from my shoulder. Don’t think for one second that I didn’t know its intended destination.”

Gateway snorted. “And are you trying to tell me you didn’t want me to touch you?”

“You know I didn’t,” Brooke snapped. She clutched her skirt with both hands, twisting the fabric to refrain from striking him again.

“So you say, but your actions suggest differently,” he responded slyly.

“What are you talking about?” How could her actions have possibly been so misconstrued they would suggest she wanted him to grope her?

Still sitting on the bench, Gateway leaned his shoulders back up against a tree and folded his arms. “Well, Miss Banks,” he drawled. “I recall us sharing an unusually close dance, immediately followed by you calling me ‘Benny’. This not only shows familiarity by calling me by my Christian name, but goes one step further, because someone could think you have a special nickname for me.” He shrugged and cocked his head, leering at her. “That’s what gave me the impression you enjoyed my company and would further enjoy it in the gardens, where it’s dark.”

“It was a waltz,” she cried. “You’re supposed to dance close. I’m sorry if you took that as encouragement to make further advances, but they were not welcome.” She chose to leave off the bit about calling him “Benny”. There was no way she could defend herself on that score.

“You didn’t protest my kisses,” he said smoothly.

Brooke flushed. He was right, she hadn’t protested his kisses. Not to say she enjoyed them, because she hadn’t. But she hadn’t stopped him, either, which he probably took as encouragement. “Once again, I’m sorry you mistook that as encouragement for your amorous urges.”

“I didn’t mistake anything. You, miss, are nothing but a tease.”

“And you, sir, are no gentleman,” she exclaimed, heedless to his sneer.

“I never claimed to be.” His eyes flashed fire.

“Well, do try to be one just now and escort me back inside,” Brooke said with feigned sweetness.

Gateway pushed up off the bench and offered her his arm.

When they were safely inside the ballroom, she flashed the duke a winning smile and said cordially, “Thank you, sir. The gardens were beautiful.”

Instead of responding or even acknowledging she’d spoken, the duke dropped her arm as if he’d been burned and mumbled something about a careless American chit teasing the wrong man as he huffed off toward the other side of the ballroom.

Brooke gave his comment, or what she’d heard of it anyway, about two seconds worth of thought before shrugging it off and greeting her frowning sister. “What is that frown about, Liberty?” she asked innocently.

“You know what the frown is about. If you don’t, then you’re hopeless,” was her sister’s low reply.

Liberty might be four years younger than Brooke, but she had a way of acting as though she were the older sister. That was especially true when it came to things like social proprieties. She freely gave lectures, thinly veiled as “discussions,” when she felt circumstances dictated such.

Knowing this was one of those occasions, and there was no chance of escaping Liberty’s lecture, Brooke decided to get it over with. At least if they had the “discussion” here, in the ballroom, surrounded by a couple hundred people, there was a chance it would be brief. The other option would include being railed against for hours on end once they got home. Turning to Liberty, she flashed another innocent smile. “Whatever do you mean?”

Liberty was no fool; no one could live with Brooke for nineteen years without knowing her tactics. True, Liberty wouldn’t make a scene. But she had never been one to forget or to change her purpose just because a crowd was present. Looking at Brooke with all the confidence of a queen, Liberty declared, “You break every rule there is, and you don’t give a fig about it.”

This wasn’t a new concept, and despite their many conversations, nothing had changed. Brooke felt like pointing that fact out, but it would just make this drag on longer. “I know. I’m sorry.”

“No, you’re not,” Liberty snapped, slapping her fan on her palm for emphasis. “You’re never sorry. You say you are, but you’re not.” Her lips thinned. “You must have broken at least ten rules with the Duke of Gateway alone.” She let out a deep breath. “And that’s just what I saw while you were in here. Who knows how many others you broke while out in the gardens?” 


Kindle Edition282 pages
Published February 13th 2011 by Parchment & Plume, LLC

From Russia With Love by Ian Fleming


This is the fifth in the James Bond series. For me the beginning of this book was boring. It wasn't until the character of Tatiana was introduced that I liked the story. SMERSH has decided to hit the English.  They decide to kill James Bond.  They will trap him with a woman. The British SS was caught with their pants down. Will James make it out alive?

From jamesbond(dot)wikia(dot)com:
From Russia with Love differs from Fleming's previous Bond novels in that the first one third of the novel revolves around SMERSH's executioner, Red Grant, as well as the organization, SMERSH, itself. This is also the first novel in which Bond receives a gadget from Q-Branch, although Q himself is not in the novel.

The book contains a series of elaborate plots and counterplots, between the British and the Russian intelligence agencies. It begins with SMERSH, the Soviet assassination agency, seeking to redeem itself from a series of failures that have made some within the Soviet government begin to criticize the organization. SMERSH plans to commit a grand act of terrorism in the intelligence field. For this, SMERSH has targeted British secret service agent, Commander James Bond. Due in part to Bond's defeat of Le Chiffre detailed in Casino Royale and Mr. Big in Live and Let Die, Bond has been declared as an enemy of the Soviet state and has been issued a "death warrant" for immediate execution ("To be killed with ignominy").

Mainly through the agency of Lev Kronsteen, the chess-playing master planner, and Colonel Rosa Klebb, SMERSH lays a trap for Bond, by setting pretty young cipher clerk, Corporal Tatiana Romanova, to pretend to defect from her post in Istanbul, claiming to have fallen in love with Bond, from a photograph. As an added incentive, Tatiana will provide the British agent with a Spektor decoder, a prize much coveted by MI6. The ultimate goal is to set up James Bond for assassination, and cause a scandal, but SMERSH doesn't count on Tatiana actually falling in love with 007. The confrontation between Bond and Grant takes place on board the Orient Express on the journey from Istanbul to Paris, when Grant is shot by Bond. Later, after successfully delivering Tatiana to the West, Bond has a final encounter with Rosa Klebb which leaves her dead and 007 poisoned.

Read an excerpt here.

Pages: 259
Published: 1957

Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014 Erotic Romance Challenge


Challenge runs from January 1, 2014 until December 31, 2014



The goal is to read at least 12 Erotic Romances in 2014! 
  • Level 1--12 erotic romances
  • Level 2--18 erotic romances
  • Level 3--24 erotic romances
  • Level 4--30-60 erotic romances
Added a couple extra levels for yall super readers ;)
  • Level 5--61-80 erotic romances
  • Level 6-- 81-100+ erotic romances
**Note**You can change your level at any time. It's just a starting point :)

**Note** I'll be adding a check list of ideas for those that would like to use that-- ex- BDSM, menage, dark erotica/romance, etc.

    What counts!
    • Every erotic romance you read and review in 2014
    • They can be any type of erotica-- paranormal, historical, m/m, contemporary, etc
    • All erotic romances over 100 pages in length--audio, ebook, print
    • Re-reads, cross overs from other challenges
    To Join! 
    • Grab the challenge button and create a post or page on your blog to track progress.
    • Non-bloggers you can use your Goodreads, LibraryThing, etc profiles. Just create a 2014 Erotic Romance Reading Challenge shelf 
    • Link your blog starting post/page or your Goodreads/etc challenge shelf in the linky below. 
    • We also have a closed FB group for the challenge. To join click HERE

    I think I will start with Level 3--24 erotic romances:

    I am going up to Level 4--30-60 erotic romances:

    Level 5--61-80 erotic romances
    61. Afterburn/Aftershock by Sylvia Day
    62. Sweet Filthy Boy by Christina Lauren
    63. Taken by Kelli Maine
    64. Fatalism by LK Collins
    65. Essentialism by LK Collins
    66. Turbulent Passion by GL Ross
    67. Burning Desire by GL Ross
    68. Reckless by Skye Jordan
    69. Rebel by Skye Jordan
    70. Filthy Beautiful Lies by Kendall Ryan
    71. Filthy Beautiful Love by Kendall Ryan
    72. When I Break (Boxed Set) by Kendall Ryan
    73. Breathless by Eve Carter
    74. Legend by Jennifer Kohout
    75. Teaching Maya by Tara Crescent
    76. Driven by K Bromberg
    77. Fueled by K Bromberg
    78. Crashed by K Bromberg
    79. Raced by K Bromberg
    80. Surrender by Melody Anne

    Level 6-- 81-100+ erotic romances

    81. Submit by Melody Anne
    82. Seduced by Melody Anne
    83. Scorched by Melody Anne
    84. Club Prive Parts 1 and 2 by MS Parker
    85. Love Me Once, Love Me Twice by Sandy Sullivan
    86. Ricochet by Skye Jordan
    87. Rocky Mountain Heat by Vivian Arend
    88. Arouse by Nina Lane
    89. Allure by Nina Lane
    90. Awaken by Nina Lane
    91. Everything For Us by M Leighton
    92. Break the Sky by Nina Lane
    93. Sweet Surrender by Maya Banks
    94. Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks
    95. Take a Breath by Jaimie Roberts
    96. Sweet Seduction by Maya Banks
    97. Tamed by Emma Chase
    98. Tempting A Sinner by Kate Pearce
    99. Dual Domination by Pavarti K Tyler
    100. Hooked by KC Falls
    101. Sweet Temptation by Maya Banks
    102. The Beast Boxed Set by Jaden Wilkes
    103. Deviant by Callie Hart
    104. Sweet Addiction by Maya Banks
    105. Taken Hostage Boxed Set by Annika Martin
    106. A Kiss Is Just A Kiss by Linda Barlow
    107. Masters At Arms by Kallypso Masters
    108. Nobody's Angel by Kallypso Masters
    109.  Nobody's Hero by Kallypso Masters
    110. Nobody's Perfect by Kallypso Masters
    111. The Professional by Kresley Cole
    112. Her Secret Dom by Samantha Cote
    113. Owned by Georgia Le Carre
    114. Forty 2 Days by Georgia Le Carre
    115. Besotted by Georgia Le Carre







    2014 Paranormal Scavenger Hunt

    Goal-21 items found in books.

    The Rules

    Basic Idea:
    Find each of these things in a book that you have read in 2014. You only need to find 21 items. The items do not have to be a major part of the book so if you see a statue of a private detective it would count as one of your items.
    You can be creative and interpret your word in a different manner: For instance, in the case of magical transportation, you can count the Hogwarts Train. If you are unsure of whether or not an item would count, just ask.
    All kinds of books count in this except for rereads. If you have read it in the past year it will not count. Any type of book will count as long as it is over 32 pages. So you can read a biography, a graphic novel, audiobooks, a childrens book..whatever you want to read is fair game.
    You can not use the same book for multiple items. If you find a book that has a magic potion and a ghost, you have to decide which item you want use it for.
    Post your items as you find them. It is ok to cheat off other people if they post something that you have read.

    The main idea for this challenge is to have fun so enjoy :)

    The list of items:
    Dracula -  Miss Dimple Picks a Peck of Trouble by Mignon F. Ballard
    Wings -  Dragon's Keep by Janet Lee Carey
    Sidhe - Ash by Malinda Lo
    Assassin - Stardust by Mimi Strong
    Private Detective - Blue Twilight by Maggie Shayne
    Crown - Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy
    Burger -  Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstrong
    Stake  -  A Cursed Embrace by Cecy Robson
    Alpha -  The Billionaire Wins the Game by Melody Anne
    Magic Potion
    Sword - Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Gargoyle-  The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch
    Corset-  Lost Horizon by James Hilton
    Royalty - Her Dark Curiosity by Megan Shepherd
    Scientist  - Buried in a Bog by Sheila Connolly
    Sheath  - The Twilight Before Christmas by Christine Feehan
    Zombie  - Domino Falls by Steven Barnes and Tananarive Due
    Bookstore - On Dublin Street by Samantha Young
    Curse - Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
    Full moon -  Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
    Ruins - Truly, Madly by Heather Webber
    Ghost  - The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
    Kilt -  How to Marry a  Millionaire Vampire by Kerrelyn Sparks
    Coffee  - Stately Pleasures by Lucy Felthouse
    Magical transportation Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
    Druid  - Murder Past Due by Miranda James
    Start Date: January 01, 2014
    End Date: December 31, 2014

    Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis

    This is the first book in the Horngate Witches series. Max is the Prime Shadowblade for a witch named Giselle.  30 years ago, they were best friends in college. Giselle is a witch and she transformed Max into a Shadowblade without her permission. Max hates her with a passion.
    Giselle sends Max to a town called Julian because she can tell something bad is happening. Max goes there and see some Red Caps hurting a Blue Hag. There are some Shadowblades there that belong to another witch. Max gets in and helps the Hag. But she is seen by Alexander, the Prime Shadowblade. She tells him her name and says she will see him at the Conclave.
    Something is up with the Guardians who rule the earth.  They are angry at the humans and want to restore the earth's natural magic. Max and Giselle will be right in the middle of whatever is coming.  Will they survive?
    I have never read this author before but I loved this book. Max is kick ass!

    From the author:

    SOMETIMES YOU CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES. AND SOMETIMES, THEY CHOOSE YOU…

    Once, Max dreamed of a career, a home, a loving family. Now all she wants is freedom…and revenge. A witch named Giselle transformed Max into a warrior with extraordinary strength, speed, and endurance. Bound by spellcraft, Max has no choice but to fight as Giselle’s personal magic weapon — a Shadowblade — and she’s lethally good at it. But her skills are about to be put to the test as they never have before….
    The ancient Guardians of the earth are preparing to unleash widespread destruction on the mortal world, and they want the witches to help them. If the witches refuse, their covens will be destroyed, including Horngate, the place Max has grudgingly come to think of as home. Max thinks she can find a way to help Horngate stand against the Guardians, but doing so will mean forging dangerous alliances — including one with a rival witch’s Shadowblade, who is as drawn to Max as she is to him — and standing with the witch she despises. Max will have to choose between the old life she still dreams of and the warrior she has become, and take her place on the side of right — if she survives long enough to figure out which side that is….

    Excerpt:
    Chapter 1
    Max’s phone rang. It was set to a high-pitched tone that most humans couldn’t hear. But being human hadn’t been Max’s problem since 1979. She eyed the cell, then reluctantly picked it up out of the console. The caller ID said it was Giselle. Instantly Max’s body seized tight. All the Zen detachment she’d scraped together on the long drive from the covenstead in Montana shattered apart as craptastic reality returned in a shitflood.
    She drew a deep breath. Her lungs felt like rocks. She exhaled slowly before flipping open her phone. “Yeah?”
    “Where are you?”
    Max grimaced. Just the sound of the witch’s voice ignited familiar hate in her gut. It was like a bottomless volcano. She swallowed the heat down, tasting its bitterness with determined satisfaction. She banked it like a campfire. It belonged to her — the only thing that did, and the witch-bitch could never take it away. “Coming into Barstow. Why?”
    “I want you to go check out a nasty little murder near Julian. It tastes of both the Uncanny and the Divine.”
    “Don’t you think that’s a little stupid? You can’t just go fucking around in another witch’s territory. It could mean war if I get caught. Are you ready for that?”
    Giselle didn’t hesitate. “It’s a risk I have to take. Thevision was — ”
    She broke off and Max wondered what it was she’d stopped herself from saying.
    “It was too powerful to ignore,” Giselle continued. “I have to know what’s going on there. Just look around and get out.” She gave a pained sigh. “And, Max, I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but do not accidentally on purpose let anyone see you.”
    “Why would I do that?” Max replied all too innocently. “I couldn’t anyhow. You tied me up in compulsion spells. They would never let me do anything you didn’t want me to do, right?” Except there were ways around the spells. And Max had made herself an expert at them. “Besides, you know how I feel about you. Your wish is my fondest command.”
    Silence. “Then I wish you wouldn’t be such a pain in my ass all the time. Stop trying to sabotage everything I do. This is important, Max. Don’t screw it up.”
    The tense uneasiness in Giselle’s voice triggered a cascade of alarms inside Max. It was like a switch was flipped inside her as her compulsion spells took over. Her anger cooled instantly and every one of her magically heightened senses strained to hard alertness. She sat up in her seat. If one thing was true about Giselle, it was that the witch-bitch didn’t get nervous. As far as Max knew, she didn’t have the gene. Just what had been in that vision? What sort of apocalypse was going down in Julian?
    There wasn’t any point in asking. Giselle would already have told her if she was going to say anything. “Anything else I need to know?” Max asked, turning businesslike as she allowed the predator inside her to take over. Cold detachment slid over her like armor, and her mind focused into sharp, clear lines. It wasn’t that she couldn’t feel. She just didn’t want her emotions to interfere with what she might have to do. She gave a slight shake of her head. No, it was that her spells wouldn’t allow her feelings to get in the way, which only made doing what she had to do that much worse. Better to become ice and deal with the thaw later. Much later.
    “There’s an orchard north of town,” Giselle said, interrupting her thoughts. “That’s where it’s going to happen.”
    “Going to?”
    “In a couple of hours, give or take. It’s fixed, you can’t stop it. I’ll see you in San Diego tomorrow.” Giselle stopped, but didn’t hang up. Then: “Max — be careful. This might be ugly.”
    The phone went dead. Max looked at it a moment, hesitating, then speed-dialed a number. Oz answered in one ring.
    “Max? What’s wrong?”
    “Does something have to be wrong for me to call you?” she asked, then winced. Ask a stupid question…
    “I’ve been with Giselle almost as long as you have. In all that time, you’ve never called me except when the shit’s in the fire. So what is it?”
    Max lowered her phone to her lap, thinking. Oz said her name impatiently. She stared down the freeway. Should she say anything? But the undiluted worry in Giselle’s voice prodded her. She lifted the phone back to her ear. “I’ve got a feeling something bad’s coming, and I can’t shake it. Just make sure you and your Sunspears stick tight to Giselle. Have my Blades do the same.”
    She could almost hear his grin. “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you actually cared about her.”
    “Don’t make me kick your ass. I told you, if anybody gets to kill Giselle, it’s going to be me. In the meantime, keep her in one piece until I get there.”
    “When is that?”
    “By morning, if nothing goes wrong. I’ve got a stop to make first.”
    Max didn’t give him the chance to answer or ask questions. She snapped her phone shut and dropped it back onto the console before swerving off onto the shoulder and grinding to a dusty halt in the desert darkness.

    Read more here.

    Pages: 387
    Published: 2009