Title: Allure (#2 Spiral of Bliss)
Author: Nina Lane
Genre: Erotic Romance
Published: May 14, 2013
Rating: 5+ out of 5 Stars
Guest Reviewer: Maria
After reading Arouse, which was absolutely fantastic, I anxiously and impatiently waited for Allure to release. I must admit, I was a little nervous because I had such high expectations. I am thrilled to say that Nina Lane does not disappoint. In fact, she completely amazes!
“Our relationship, our love, cannot and will never be perfect. It will, however, always belong to us in all its flawed, intense beauty. Perfect in its very imperfection.”
Allure picks up seamlessly where Arouse ended. It is the continuing story of Dean and Olivia West, a married couple, trying to work through their struggles and put their marriage back on track. Nina’s writing is so captivating; I am immediately and completely drawn into their world. The problems they face are so real and relatable. Dean and Olivia are working on rebuilding trust and trying to understand what they want/need from each other, all with the added stress of an unplanned pregnancy. However, taking care of Liv and the baby becomes Dean’s focus.
“I’ll take care of you, Liv. Whatever you need, whatever you want, I’ll do it. We’re going to be fine.”
Things seem to be slowly heading in the right direction, when a family emergency forces Dean to return to his family home in California. Liv wants to go with him. Reluctantly, Dean agrees to let her come because she gives him no choice. He still desperately wants to shield her from anything that may cause her pain, including his family and the past. This need to protect her was once something Liv craved; now, it has become a source of tension. There is a shift in Liv’s character. She goes through a sort of awakening. She no longer wants to be protected from their life. She wants to be an active, equal partner. Her love for Dean is true and strong. However, Liv is coming into her own. She begins to write Liv’s Manifesto, complete with life affirmations. Liv wants to be more independent. She is frustrated that she let her past get in the way of her future.
“Without my husband, I have so little of my own. I don’t know how I let that happen.”
Did I mention that this book is also insanely hot and erotic? We are treated to more of the steamy, sexy scenes that only Nina can write. I love the way she expresses their love, desire, and attraction for each other. Whoever said marriage is the end of hot sex, clearly hasn’t read this book. Dean and Liv are so passionate about each other.
“I need to touch you.” I needed her to touch me, too. “You have no idea what I want to do to you.”
One of the things I love about Allure is the fluid transition from past to present within each character’s POV. I thoroughly enjoyed being inside Liv and Dean’s minds. By writing this way, the reader gets to truly experience the emotions the characters feel. We learn so much more about their past, how they met, Liv’s troubled childhood, and the trauma she experienced, which brought out Dean’s protective side, their insecurities, his feelings of failing her, and fear of losing her. His love for her is so deep and all encompassing. Every time Dean calls her beauty, my heart skips a beat.
“You have me at your feet, Olivia Rose. You know that, don’t you?”
Together, Dean and Liv take us on their incredible journey. Their story is emotional; and just when you think things are going to get better, they are slammed with devastating events that are beyond their control. However, this time, they try to find the strength they need in each other.
“You and me, Beauty, “ he reminds me. “You and me, professor.”
I absolutely loved this novel. It is honest, realistic, and moving. I admit to crying and cheering for Dean and Liv. It is a story about love and personal growth, dealing with the past and finding a way to move forward. I cannot wait for the third book, Awaken, and to see what’s in store for Liv and Dean.
Read the exclusive deleted scene from Allure here!
Read Yesi’s 5-Star Guest Review of Arouse
Title: Friends & Lovers Trilogy: Make it Last, I Choose You, Trust in Me.
Author: Bethany Lopez
Rating 4/5 Star for Series
Genre: Contemporary Romance – novella series
Age Group: New Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours
Make it Last:
In a small town, it’s hard to recover from being dumped by your high school sweetheart. That’s just what Briana has to do after Colin leaves her to follow his dreams. She focuses her energy into her friendships and the pursuit of her own goal of becoming a chef. Just when she finally feels like she’s on the right path, he comes back to town.
Colin knew breaking up with Briana before leaving for college was the right thing to do. He was determined to leave small-town life behind forever, and that included his high school girlfriend. But when a sports injury puts him on the sidelines, he’s forced to return home. Seeing Briana again brings back a lot of memories, and Colin wonders if he made the right decision. It doesn’t take long for him to realize he wants her back, and this time, he wants to make it last.
I Choose You:
Up until now, Nicole’s life has been mapped out for her. She’d go to college, marry Jake and become the upstanding minister’s wife. When she leaves that life to begin again in a small town in Texas, she finally has the freedom to live as she chooses. There, she meets Kent, a guy whose charm and passion make it hard to stick to her morals.
Dodging his father’s fists and protecting his twin sister made Kent into the man he is today. He learned by watching his mother stay by his father’s side that it’s better to keep relationships simple. Then he meets Nicole. Her sweet smile and genuine response to him land like punches to his resolve. After a lifetime of learning to protect his heart, can he finally let down his guard?
Trust in Me:
Roni’s dreams of becoming a contemporary dancer were smashed under the brutal rage of her ex-husband’s fists. Getting divorced and starting over at the age of twenty-two was never her plan, but maybe in Texas, she’ll find her path. When the town’s local player, Rich, opens a Rec Center, she sees a way to rekindle her dancing dreams…and maybe have a little fun with her sexy new boss.
Rich never expected to fulfill his dreams in the town he planned to leave behind, but that’s just what he’s doing. His reputation as a noncommittal ladies’ man might make it challenging to earn respect in the business world, but he’s willing to prove that he’s serious. In fact, when it comes to pursuing Roni, he’s more than willing. But she’s taking a page out of his book, not wanting to risk another relationship. Can he convince her that his playboy days are over and that she can trust him with her heart?
Hi, Today I am reviewing the Friends and Lovers Trilogy by Bethany Lopez. I would classify the genre of these books as contemporary romance and the age category as new adult. Did the word trilogy give a hint as to how many books are in the series? HMMMM, Lopez tried to stump me by calling it a trilogy; but there are more than three love stories explored, which I absolutely loved. The premise of the Trilogy is as follows; a group of early twenty something friends, who love, hook up, laugh, cry and have plenty of good angst together. This group of new adults is trying to find their way in the world and Lopez does an excellent job in providing the path for them to follow.
The first in the series of novella is Make it Last (Briana & Colin), second is I Choose You (Nicole & Kent) and the last is Trust in Me (Roni & Rich). Besides the main couple in each story the characters from previous stories are included as well. I liked getting to know the characters over the span of time; as I was really rooting for them when it came time for them to have their own book. I thought Lopez did a really good job in the camaraderie and sometimes competitive nature of the characters. It is the type of series that I was enjoying while I read it and was sad when it was over. If you are tired of just two people in a story, and want to fill your world with well fleshed out characters, then I recommend this read.
About the Author
Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords
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Title: First, I Love You
Author: Genevieve Dewey
Genre: Drama with romantic subplot
One part Godfather, two parts Emma and a dash of Casablanca mixed together, “First, I Love You” isn’t a detective novel, a gangster novel, a mystery, a romance or a family saga. It’s a little of all of the above.
Imagine being a detective with a mobster for a father, or a mobster with a straight arrow, good cop for a son. This is a relationship that is tricky on its best day. Add in some well-meaning meddling from a mob princess sister, an arrogant DEA agent, and gangsters running a human trafficking ring and you have a recipe for a book that refuses to follow the rules. Told from the perspective and point of view of each the six main characters this is the first novel in a trilogy about love, loyalty, revenge and redemption.
Omaha Detective Tommy Gates has kept his gangster father at arm’s length his whole life. Mickey Downey has spent the better part of the last two decades trying to find ways to get back the son he lost through Witness Protection. Now Tommy has taken an opportunity to work on a Federal Human Trafficking Joint Task Force in Chicago where his father lives. Tommy’s sister Kiki and his mother Mary see this as an opportunity to build a relationship between the two. Tommy’s new DEA partner James Hoffman sees it as an opportunity to gain leverage over Mickey Downey. Tommy’s other partner, FBI Agent Ginny Sommers wants to keep Tommy’s family as far from the case as possible. When Kiki and James join forces, sparks fly and it sets fire to a maelstrom of unexpected consequences for everyone involved. Read More…
Author: Kitty Thomas
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Rating: 5/5 Star
Faith Jacobson was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After witnessing a mob hit, she’s only moments from death when Angelo Raspallo decides to give his brother an unlikely gift.
Leo has avoided involvement with the family business, but it doesn’t make him a saint. He’s troubled and ashamed by his darker sexual desires, one of which is to own a slave. But when his brother throws Faith at his feet, repainting the scenario to make Leo the hero rescuing her from certain death, his moral fortitude will be tested. If Faith were kinky, it would be easy to live out his fantasy, but she’s not—not even a little bit. Even the mildest spanking sparks terror in her that Leo can’t bear.
The gift soon becomes a burden as he fights with himself over how to handle the addition to his home. He could release her, but his brother doesn’t do loose ends. The only thing keeping her out of the bottom of the harbor is Leo’s mercy. She’s like a beautiful piece of art he keeps in a glass case but can never touch. Is possessing her enough?
Author’s Note: Mafia Captive has more of a love theme than many other Kitty titles, though the work is still quite psychologically dark. Readers may also notice a “new adult” flavor as Faith is just out of college and trying to find her place in the world when she is thrust into Leo’s life and home. Read More…
Title: Until I Break
Author: M. Leighton
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Release date: May 13, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Adult
Event organized by: AToMR Tours
Laura Drake is an author. She writes bestselling paranormal romances that continue to top the charts. She is sharp. She is confident. She is in control.
And she doesn’t exist.
Samantha Jansen is the woman behind the wig, the woman most of the world doesn’t know exists. She is shy. She is insecure. She is nothing like her main character or her alter ego. She is scarred—deeply scarred—by a past she can’t let go of and a present she can’t make peace with.
Samantha’s dreams are consumed by one man, the broken hero from her books. Mason Strait is both her wildest fantasy and her most terrifying nightmare.
When Samantha meets Alec Brand, a corporate consultant, it is as though Mason has come to life. Alec is handsome to a fault, as elegant as he is arrogant, and more intense than any man has a right to be.
Samantha is soon sucked into a world that mirrors the fiction she writes. Just like her main character, Daire Kirby, Samantha finds herself unable to resist the forbidden lure of Alec. And just like Daire, she also finds that she is faced with taking a chance on a man who could either set her free or destroy her.
The scale tilts toward destruction when Samantha finds out that Alec is as much a work of fiction as Mason. And he has scars of his own, scars that could ruin them both.
I know from lots of experience to let Ari sort out all the clamoring and select the next person to ask a question. So, patiently, with hands folded demurely in my lap, I wait.
It’s odd, the comfort that I feel in the wig, glasses and heavy makeup. My Laura Drake get-up is much more than a disguise, it’s a shield—a protective barrier that keeps the world out and the tender Samantha Jansen (the real me) in.
As my eyes drift through the crowd again, they’re drawn to the back of the room, to a latecomer. I feel my jaw go slack and, slowly, the earth stops spinning, grinding to a halt. For a moment, it’s as though the entire world is as breathless and reverent as I am.
My first thought is that someone has managed to find the exact image I have of Mason Strait, the one that’s only ever been in my head and in my darkest dreams, and send him here as a publicity stunt. Read More…
Title: After Math (Off the Subject, #1)
Author: Denise Grover Swank
Rating: 4.25/5 Star
Release date: March 12, 2013
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Tour organized by: AToMR Tours
Scarlett Goodwin’s world is divided into Before and After.
Before she agreed to tutor Tucker price, college junior Scarlett was introvert, struggling with her social anxiety and determined to not end up living in a trailer park like her mother and her younger sister. A mathematics major, she goes to her classes, to her job in the tutoring lab, and then hides in the apartment she shares with her friend, Caroline.
After junior Tucker Price, Southern University’s star soccer player enters the equation, her carefully plotted life is thrown off its axis. Tucker’s failing his required College Algebra class. With his eligibility is at risk, the university chancellor dangles an expensive piece of computer software for the math department if Scarlett agrees to privately tutor him.Tucker’s bad boy, womanizer reputation makes Scarlett wary of any contact, let alone spending several hours a week in close proximity.
But from her first encounter, she realizes Tucker isn’t the person everyone else sees. He carries a mountain of secrets which she suspects hold the reason to his self-destructive behavior. But the deeper she delves into the cause of his pain, the deeper she gets sucked into his chaos. Will Scarlett find the happiness she’s looking for, or will she be caught in Tucker’s aftermath?
After Math by Denise Grover Swank is a really good new adult read. Why you ask? Yes, you in the back; I heard you ask the question, don’t try to deny it. The book is about two socially dysfunctional young adults who, because of tragic childhoods, are scarred adults in their early twenties.
The female character Scarlett is a math whiz, who uses numbers to cope with her panic attacks. Those attacks are brought on because of normal social situations, which for most people might be awkward but for Scarlett they are debilitating. Scarlett also find solace in numbers, as numbers are safe, and as long as you know the rules, math will never disappoint. Scarlett is the type of person who wants to, needs to blend into the wallpaper of life. She is happiest when she is not seen and has her numbers to keep her company. Scarlett does interact with people, but it is obvious that she is extremely uncomfortable.
The male character of Tucker seems at first to be the opposite of Scarlett. He is the star soccer player and a fame whore; but appearances are not what they seem. Tucker has been just as wounded by life as Scarlett; his coping mechanism of ‘life of the party’ is a mask. He has filled his life with parties and one-night stands trying to fill the void in his life. He is living with unrealistic pressure and self-hate; and his self-destructive behavior is a cry for help that no one cares to hear.
Neither of these two characters are living genuine lives; they are hiding from themselves and the world, each for their own reasons…Tucker because he believes he is unworthy of love, and Scarlett because she is incapable of love, that something inside of her is truly broken. It is not until their two worlds collide that they truly begin to live.
What I liked about this book is that each of these two people learned from one another about how to live. The girl doesn’t suddenly take off her glasses and is cured of her social awkwardness, and the guy doesn’t transform overnight, but they work at the people they want to become. In their own way they both strive to truly reach for happiness, even if that happiness comes with a price. Are they willing to pay the price for happiness or are they too scared to live? Guess you’ll have to read the book to find out.
About the Author
Denise Grover Swank lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. She’s a gypsy who can’t live in one place too long or stay in one genre. She writes contemporary romance, urban fantasies without vampires and werewolves, young adult science fiction, and romantic comedy mysteries set in the south. Denise has six children, three dogs, and an overactive imagination. She can be found dancing in her kitchen with her children, reading, or writing her next book. You will rarely find her cleaning.
You can find her at:
Synopsis of The Demon Song
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. At least, that’s how it seems to Sofia Rivera when her attempt to help a friend ends in a blood-soaked confrontation with creatures that aren’t even supposed to exist. With a group of rogue vampires determined not to leave a single witness to their violence hot on her heels, Sofia finds herself saddled with an immortal bodyguard—Phenex, the fallen Angel of Song.
While the vampire king roots out the corruption threatening to take down his underworld kingdom, Sofia will have to deal with a fallen angel whose dark beauty is often at odds with his ornery nature. Slowly, Sofia and Phenex give in to the strange attraction neither can deny. And as the darkness closes in around them, Phenex begins to wonder whether even the wickedest Fallen might find his own happy ending…and his heart.
“We need to talk,” Sofia said.
Phenex raised his eyebrows and said nothing. He hadn’t expected her to be so direct. Probably he should have.
“About this morning,” she added.
Sofia’s mouth tightened ever so slightly. “You know what part.”
“Maybe.” He plucked out a melody absently, watching Sofia try to figure out how to deal with him. “There were a number of parts to this morning.”
“Only one part involved you almost biting me.” She paused, and then her voice dropped. “Among other things.” Read More…
~ Synopsis ~
There are two sides to every love story. Now hear Will’s.
Colleen Hoover’s New York Times bestselling Slammed series has brought countless readers to their knees with a whirlwind of love, passion, and heartache.
Layken and Will’s love has managed to withstand the toughest of circumstances and the young lovers, now married, are beginning to feel safe and secure in their union. As much as Layken relishes their new life together, she finds herself wanting to know everything there is to know about her husband, even though Will makes it clear he prefers to keep the painful memories of the past where they belong. Still, he can’t resist his wife’s pleas and so he begins to untangle his side of the story, revealing for the first time his most intimate feelings and thoughts, retelling both the good and bad moments, and sharing a few shocking confessions of his own from the time when they first met.
In This Girl, Will tells the story of their complicated relationship from his point of view. Their future rests on how well they deal with the past in this final installment of the beloved Slammed series.
~ Review ~
What can I say? Colleen Hoover does it again! This Girl is BUTTERFLYING AWESOME!!! I have to admit, I was nervous, wondering if this book would live up to the series and my expectations. I had just read another book from the male character’s POV and had been a bit disappointed. Not true with This Girl. This is how another POV should be written. Yes, it is Slammed and Point of Retreat told by the wonderful, amazing man that is Will Cooper. I loved being inside his head and living the story through him. This book is not just a retelling of the first two novels in his voice. It is so much more. Ms. Hoover brilliantly connects the past and present. We are privy to things we didn’t know happened and why. Some good, some not, but it is their beautiful journey to their happiness after overcoming so much sadness, heartache, and obstacles in their way. Read More…
135,789. That’s how many subscribers sixteen-year-old West Ryder has on his web vlog series. But he only has eyes for one of them.
As one of the internet’s most prestigious video bloggers, West talks about high school relationships under the name “Sam Green.” As far as he knows, no one from school, not even his best friend, Cat, has seen his videos. But the highlight of the whole thing is Harper Knight, who comments every day at exactly 2:02 in the afternoon. He doesn’t know anything about her aside from the occasional deep philosophical messaging on why pizza tastes so delicious, but as stupid as it sounds, he might be falling for her. So when they finally agree to meet in real life, West’s hope for romance seems more and more in reach. But that all changes as soon as he arrives at their meeting spot and sees Cat walking toward him, wearing the same “I <3 Sam Green” T-shirt Harper promised she’d have on.
To his alarm, West realizes he is falling in love with the best friend who has always been a sister to him. Read More…
Title: Connected (Connections #1)
Author: Kim Karr
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: March 22, 2013
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Guest Reviewer: Yesi
What if a ‘Once in a Lifetime’ could happen twice?
Suffering from a past full of tragedy, Dahlia London’s soul has been left completely shattered. Happily ever after is a far cry from reality in her world. But, when she is reconnected with her past, the bonds that form are irrefutable.
When River Wilde, lead singer of The Wilde Ones, comes back into Dahlia’s life, the intensity that fires their relationship combined with underlying feelings that have never died lead her to believe she has met her soulmate.
Struggling with confusion as old connections fade and new ones begin, Dahlia’s grief begins to lift–but guilt remains. River wants to be the one to mend all that is torn within her.
But with a past that is never really gone, can their future survive?
*****TORN will complete the duet. Due out October 1st, 2013!*****