Wednesday, January 25, 2017

REVIEW: New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

Summary:

The "star-crossed" lovers theme continues as Bella and Edward find themselves facing new obstacles, including a devastating separation, the mysterious appearance of dangerous wolves roaming the forest in Forks, a terrifying threat of revenge from a female vampire and a deliciously sinister encounter with Italy's reigning royal family of vampires, the Volturi. Passionate, riveting, and full of surprising twists and turns, this vampire love saga is well on its way to literary immortality.

Title:  New Moon
Series:  Twilight Saga
Book #: 2
Author:  Stephenie Meyer
Approximate Book Length:  577 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  13+
Sexual Content:  Mild

Thoughts:

This is my least favorite book in the series. I appreciate the character development of Jacob and the progression of the relationship between Jacob and Bella. What I didn’t appreciate was the level of depression in to which Bella fell and the implication that she might kill herself rather than live without Edward. That being said, it did speak to the hopeless romantic in me.

The biggest problem with this book is that despite the good parts – the beginning, the wolfy parts, and especially the very end – the super depressed and mopey Bella, not to mention the awkward hallucinations, make for a rather boring book.

Bottom Line:

New Moon, while important for overall plot development for the saga, is a slow read. You’ve can’t miss it though.

Rating:



Links:



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

REVIEW: Illicit by June Gray

Summary:

I never meant to be the other woman…

Jake and I felt a connection the moment he walked into my life, an attraction both of us tried so hard to deny. Still, I found myself longing for the very thing I couldn’t have.

I didn’t set out to fall in love with Jake. Not when he clearly wasn’t mine.

He was my mother’s.

Title:  Illicit
Series:  N/A
Book #: N/A
Author:  June Gray
Approximate Book Length:  328 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

So this one is definitely on the taboo side, and I normally keep my guilty pleasures to myself. However, I felt this one was worth sharing. Jakes does cheat on Joss’s mom with Joss, which I didn’t like from a personal stand point, but frankly it was realistic. It’s a painfully awkward situation with no real winning solution. I get Jake with Joss’s mom, but as expected, I get him with Joss so much more. I rooted for them to find a way and was sad when things played out the way they did, though satisfied with the ending. The other situation with Joss’s mom was really emotional. The whole thing with Joss’s dad worked out I guess, but definitely threw me for a loop and struck me as very odd. Overall, I think a tough scenario was written well and rang with a great deal of authenticity.

Bottom Line:

Illicit is a realistic tale of a taboo relationship. It has everything you could ask for – wide range of emotions, great drama, relatable characters, and steamy love scenes. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Rating:



Links:



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Volley Balls by Tara Lain









Volley Balls
(Balls to the Wall Series, Bk #1)
By Tara Lain


Blurb:
A double dose of alpha male might be better than one. Tara Lain’s popular novella, Volley Balls, is now expanded and revised. 

Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lovers’ lives miserable.

For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation—and his attraction—from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male–or two?



Available at

      







Excerpt


David buried his head in Gareth’s broad chest and, much to his disgust, started to cry. The feelings didn’t even make sense. Anger, jealousy, lust, and—yes, fear. At the heart of it all. He started to shake. Gareth pulled him tighter, but it wouldn’t stop. Phil’s angry face stared at him. Screamed at him. His fist descended—again and again. Pain and anger and shame. “Oh God!”

“What, love?” Gareth kissed his hair.

“I was so afraid.”

“Nothing to fear, love.”

“Phil. Oh God. He said he wanted to kill me. I think he would have if Edge hadn’t come.” He burrowed into Gareth’s arms.

“We’re here now, love. Nothing more to fear. You took care of that bastard. He won’t bother you again.”

Edge’s deep voice came from behind him. “If he comes near you, I’ll kill the asshole.”

David sucked in breath and turned in Gareth’s arms. He saw Gareth shake his head, warning Edge. “David took care of him, Edge. He got the police and had him thrown in jail.”

David wiped at his eyes. “Thank you, Gareth. I know I said I could take care of myself, but I lied. I’ve been alone so long. I only got involved with Phil because I was lonely and wanted someone to care about me. Instead, he hit me and abused me. I’m so grateful to Edge for saving me today. I’m so grateful to both of you for not being the kind of man that Phil is. So grateful.” The tears ran down his cheeks again and dripped off his chin.

Edge stepped closer and tipped up David’s chin with his finger. He did something David hardly ever saw him do. He smiled. “I know I’m a big Neanderthal with no fucking manners, but sometimes that’s a handy kind of guy to have around.” Funny how David hadn’t noticed those dimples in Edge’s cheeks before. Like you could sharpen pencils in them.

David stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Edge in a huge hug. “Thank you. I’m so glad you were there. I’m so grateful.”

Edge chuckled, and the vibration zipped straight to David’s cock. Down, boy.

Another pair of strong arms wrapped around him from behind and made it a group hug. David giggled. “I’m the filling in an Aussie sandwich. If I’d known, it would have been my lifetime aspiration.”




About the Author



Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!


You can find Tara at Lain

               








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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

BOOK PROMO: The Billionaire's Virgin by Jackie Ashenden & Seduction by Calista Fox




Summary:

Lily Hart has taken a temporary position as a live-in butler for billionaire musicians Jackson Sterling and Lexington Alexander. She expected to be on call day and night. But what she did not plan for was that these two billionaires would be as handsome as sin and hell-bent on having her in their bed. Entirely skilled at the art of seduction, they make Lily burn for pleasure in ways she never knew she could.

Jax and Lex have been waiting for a muse, and when breathtaking, sensuous Lily arrives on their doorstep, they know she’s the woman to join them in the seductive web the three of them weave. But passion between three can end in flames, and Lily, Jax, and Lex must decide—is opening their hearts worth the risk?

Title:  Seduction
Series:  Bayfront Billionaires
Book #: 2
Author:  Calista Fox
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

This was an emotionally charged story that was beautifully written. The tension is exquisite and their chemistry radiates from the pages. The love scenes are sexy as hell, and while I feel some of the dynamics among the characters would cause friction for me personally, I love the healing aspect for all three. My only complaint is that the ending felt a little abrupt.

Bottom Line:

Seduction lives up to its title. It draws you in and keeps you in a blissful haze. Definitely worth picking up for a sublime read.

Rating:



Links:



*****************************

About the Author
Calista is a former PR professional, now writing fast-paced, steamy books to set your pulse racing! She has won many Reviewer’s and Reader’s Choice Awards, as well as Best Book Awards. Calista has crossed the country many times over by corporate jet and travels internationally, always with her laptop in tow to capture intriguing story elements and exotic locales! She is also a member of Romance Writers of America and a Past President/Advisor of the Phoenix chapter.

Find the Author:
Website
Facebook
Twitter


~EXCERPT~

Lily dressed in her uniform every morning, hair in a tight bun, and then served Jax and Lex brunch at their location of choice, either on one of the many patios or on the terrace off the music room. She went about her duties while they worked on the sheet music. Then she changed, let her hair down, and slipped into an evening gown for their late-night practice sessions.

She did exactly as they requested, attending to them when needed, but also sitting quietly, getting lost in the compositions and their creative process.

Occasionally the two men went out for dinner and drinks with friends, but she could see with each passing day that they were determined to improve upon what they’d already built. And Lily admired and respected their dedication and commitment to perfecting each arrangement.

It wasn’t just that she was lusting after both men—which was incredibly difficult to contain when she was still trying to be professional—she also genuinely adored Lex and Jax. Liked them more and more as she got to know them better. She was privy to their confidential discussions and she found their international travels enthralling, their views worldly and intelligent, and their philanthropic efforts generous.

Which only served to intensify her desire for them to the boiling point.

Though both gave her lingering glances and neither abstained from suggestive comments, even in front of each other, neither Lex nor Jax had made a physical move on her.

Until one afternoon, toward the end of her first month at the estate.

Lily was hanging Lex’s dry cleaning in his dressing room and returning his polished shoes to the shelves above one of the many racks. Or, at least, trying to. She really couldn’t reach that far even on tiptoe, but all the other spaces were spoken for.

“Here, let me,” he said from behind her, catching her by surprise. And making her pulse jump.

He took the shoes from her raised hand and set them where they belonged. In doing so, his body brushed hers, his chest pressing lightly to her back, his pelvis to her butt. Setting every nerve ending ablaze.

“Have Greta get you a stepladder,” Lex told her in his casual, sexy tone.

“Good idea.”

He lowered his arm, resting his hand at the dip of her waist. He leaned close and drew in a long breath. “You smell so damn good.”

Liquid fire rushed through her veins.

Lily turned to face him. “You’re finally touching me.”

“Yes.” His gorgeous blue eyes shimmered warmly. “And you don’t mind.” It wasn’t even a question.

“No.” Otherwise she would have conveniently sidestepped him. And being a gentleman, he would have let her.

Jax, however . . . She sensed that with his more aggressive nature, he’d cajole her into owning up to what she’d said to him on the terrace the night of the party—about her limited engagement at the mansion and the invitation that presented.

Lex was more of the coaxing kind. And she found that equally stimulating. So she gave him a soft smile.

His gaze dropped to her mouth. His expression morphed into a more contemplative one.

“You had valid points that night we discussed you being our muse and how we feel about you. Does it turn you on that we both want you, Lily?”

She swallowed hard. She’d practically been on pins and needles since she’d arrived at the estate. Following the evening when they’d expressed their interest in her . . . she’d all but waited with bated breath for one—or both—of them to corner her like this.

Yes, she’d needed to process. They’d obviously grasped that. But Christ. The fantasies had run rampant night after night. And being in a suite between Lex’s and Jax’s—though additional suites separated them on either side of hers—had her brimming with excitement. She was in such close proximity to them on a floor that offered immense privacy. It’d taken all the willpower she possessed not to leave her bed and climb into one of theirs.

But now here was Lex, pushing the envelope.

So Lily brazenly confessed, “It does turn me on. Even more than when I met you individually. Which is certainly saying something.”

“Good.” His lips whisked over hers in a feathery kiss that instantly tightened her nipples and ignited her insides. He murmured, “Because taking it slow with you has been much more difficult than we’d anticipated.”

“I don’t just jump into things,” she told him.

“We figured as much.”

Lily’s breathing was shallow, her heart racing.

Lex seemed to carefully catalog every reaction she had to him—every reaction he incited.

His grin was a bit cocky now that she was all but swooning under his electric gaze, feeling a little light-headed at the nearness of him. At his mouth, still so close to hers that all she had to do was lean in for another kiss and fall easily under his spell of seduction.

And he knew that was exactly what she was thinking.

He nipped playfully at the corner of her mouth, making her toes curl.

“You’re teasing me,” she whispered, her pussy throbbing at the way he toyed with her and the blatant need burning in his eyes. To claim her mouth? To claim her?

Lily didn’t actually think he’d take her right here and now, in his dressing room in the middle of the day.

But what an amazing fantasy to weave! Lex being so captivated by her that he couldn’t stand another second of the flirtation without giving in.

She’d suspected Jax would be the one to get caught up in the moment and have his way with her if she gave him the right signal. Lex, however, seemed to enjoy the little cat-and-mouse thrill of the chase. Either approach would work with her when it came to these two men. The thought of how varied each would be in tempting her, drawing her in, excited her even more.

She had a feeling everything about their foreplay and eventual conquering of her—if that was what they were both intent on—would provide the sort of double whammy that would leave her limp and boneless.

And thoroughly satisfied.

Prompting Lily to say, “I like the proposition you made. What you and Jax want from me.” She pulled in a long stream of air, looking for a little boost of courage, and then she daringly told Lex, “I’m more than intrigued by the way you two look at me. Not just when you’re taking in the sight of me in a different dress or watching me bend over to grab something from the butler’s pantry.” She crooked a brow at him, wondering if he’d deny it.

Of course, he didn’t. Modern-day scoundrel that he was, Lex’s sexy grin returned.

She should be forewarned by all the zings ricocheting through her body. Yet she wasn’t able to focus on any red flags this time. Especially the way Lex was currently devouring her with his hungry gaze.


*****************************

*****************************


Xavier De Santis: Charming. Disgraced. Playboy.
The headlines are always shouting about the excesses of the so-called Prince Charming of the De Santis family. Problem is, Xavier is everything they say he is.
But now he’s gone too far, and he has has been ordered to clean up his image. Volunteering at a homeless shelter, Xavier sees a bright light amidst all the bleakness. An angel whose luminous face and tragic beauty call to him in ways he can’t explain.

Mia: Homeless. Vulnerable. Virgin.
When the shelter Mia calls home closes, she is left with nowhere to go. Nowhere except the luxurious, glorious palace of a home where Xavier De Santis has invited her to stay. This too-handsome billionaire is dark, dangerous…and also too good to be true. Surely Mia can indulge in her fantasies and escape the hardness of her daily life for just one night?

As one night turns into two, Mia knows that eventually, the magic will end. She can't keep the beautiful clothes. She can't keep the soft bed. And most of all, she can't keep the hard, handsome man who makes her crave his touch with every breath she takes.
Mia doesn't belong in his world. But as Xavier tempts his rags-to-riches heroine with exquisite pleasure and heady desire, Mia may have no choice but to surrender to him completely.


Buy at Amazon


~EXCERPT~

“No.” The word was breathless, her gaze meeting his, wide and dark. She looked surprised, as if she hadn’t been expecting to say it either.

“No?” He found he was almost holding his breath. “No, what?”

“I don’t…I can’t….” She stopped, looking away yet again, her mouth firming.

His patience was hanging by a thread. He was either going to have to get up and leave himself or… Well, shit, he didn’t know what else. Maybe go and get some relief in the shower or something.

“I don’t want to do anything you don’t want,” he said roughly. “So you’d better tell me what it is you do want, sweet thing.”

“I don’t know.” She sounded desperately unsure of herself. “I’ve…never done this before.”

“Sex you mean?” Because he had to get this straight for both of them.

“Yes.” She ducked her head, her shoulders hunching. Which had the unfortunate - well, unfortunate in terms of his restraint - effect of widening the gap in her shirt, giving him a glimpse of the soft curves of her tits and a flash of small, pink nipples.

He dug the fingers of his other hand into the arm of the couch, not giving a shit about the leather. “So…you’re a virgin?”

“I guess.”

“But you know how it all works, don’t you?” A perfectly valid question when he didn’t know what her old bitch of a grandmother had told her. If she’d told her anything at all.

Her head came up at that, annoyance glittering in her eyes. “Of course I do, I’m not stupid.”

He held her gaze. “I didn’t say you were. But I need to know you understand what I want.”

“I know. Believe me, I know. I see it all the time on the streets.”

Xavier let out a breath, a cold ripple of understanding washing over him. Jesus, and he could imagine what she’d seen. Prostitutes probably, and sexual assault. Sex as a transaction, as a show of power. Nothing good. Nothing pleasurable.

“What I want from you,” he said carefully, “is not in any way what you’ve seen on the streets. Do you understand? It’s about pleasure. For both of us.”

Another flicker in her eyes. “Well, yeah. Of course.”

“So you know completely what I’m talking about.” It was obvious that she didn’t - at least it was obvious to him.

She looked abruptly down at her hands again. “I mean… the guys seem to like it.”

And the women didn’t, clearly.

Xavier shifted, turning fully to face her, because if she thought he was going to be one of those assholes on the street, who forced women, who wanted to show off their power by hurting them, or who were just after a fuck for their own selfish reasons, then she was mistaken.

Yes, he wanted her, and maybe by chasing her, it meant he was selfish too, but he didn’t want this only for himself. He wanted this for her as well. He wanted to make her feel good, wanted to cancel out whatever she’d seen on the streets of sex and show her what it was really like.

“Look at me, Mia.”

She shook her head.

He reached out again, gripping her chin firmly and lifting her head up so she had no choice but to meet his gaze. There was confusion in her eyes, and fear, all the same emotions that had been there when he’d kissed her the day before. And desire too. But did she even recognize that? Had she ever felt it before with anyone? If not, then no damn wonder she was so confused.

“The kind of sex I want is about pleasure. For me, sure. But mainly, I want to show you how good it can be for you.” Her skin was so soft against his fingers and he wanted to stroke her, but this was important so he kept still. “Do you want that? Would you like me to show you how good I can make you feel?”

She stared back at him and he could feel the tension in her jaw. “I kind of do,” she said huskily after a moment. “But…I’m afraid.”

“What of? Me?” He had to ask.

“No. It’s more that…I’ve never felt like this.”

“Never felt like what?”

Her throat moved as she swallowed. “Like…I want something.”

This time he couldn’t stop himself, stroking along her jaw with his thumb. “And what you do want, sweet thing?”

Her eyes were very dark. “I think…I want you.”

A deep sense of satisfaction moved through him, along with a sharp triumph that made him want to push her down and give her what she wanted immediately.

But no. He wasn’t going to do that. He needed to be slow, be careful.

Being with someone who was afraid of their own desires was new to him, and he had no experience to guide him. Normally he just made stuff up as he went along using trial and error, but with Mia… Jesus, he couldn’t afford an error.

Already this thing with her was far more complicated than anything else he’d had with other women, and that alone should have made him pull back. Complicated was definitely not what he was after.

Yet… She wanted him. And he was desperate to give her what she wanted.

He stared at her, keeping his grip on her chin firm. “Then you can have me.

Her eyes widened a little. “I… I don’t know w-what to do.”

“You don’t have to do anything. Just keep looking at me and let me do the work.” God, he couldn’t wait. He would show her everything.

Reading out, he flicked open the second button on her shirt.

She tensed, but didn’t pull away, so he kept going, tugging open the fabric. The two halves of the cotton gaped and she shivered.

“Are you okay?” He watched her face carefully.

She gave a little nod, trembling as he reached for the third button and undid it, the fabric gaping even further, revealing those pretty, perfectly round tits. He let himself look as he pulled open the rest of the buttons, measuring the tension in her by the taut feel of her chin in his hand.

Christ. A flush had spread down over her chest, her nipples tight and hard. His cock ached, impatient as always, but somehow knowing that he was in charge of what happened here, that he was responsible for her pleasure made everything easier to deal with.

He was not going to fuck this one up.

He refused.

Sweeping his gaze back to her face, he made sure she was looking at him, as he reached out once more, resting his fingers once again on her throat, letting her get used to his touch. Before easing them down, sliding lightly over her chest, tracing little patterns on her skin.

Her breathing had changed, becoming faster, ragged sounding in the silence of the room. There was a darkness in her eyes, the same kind of darkness he’d seen in them when he’d kissed her, her pupils dilated, an almost glazed look in them.

“Does this feel good, Mia?” He followed the curve of one breast with his fingertip. “It’s okay if it does. You’re allowed to have it. This is yours, it can’t be taken away.” His fingertip reached her nipple then circled around it a couple of times before gently brushing over it. “You know that, right?”

She shuddered, a sound escaping her throat, something small and glistening running down the side of her nose.

A tear.

“No,” she whispered hoarsely.

*****************************

About the Author
Jackie Ashenden lives in Auckland, New Zealand with her husband, the inimitable Dr. Jax, and their two kids and two cats. When she’s not torturing alpha males and their stroppy heroines, she can be found drinking chocolate martinis, reading anything she can lay her hands on, posting random crap on her blog, or being forced to go mountain biking with her husband.

Jackie writes dark, sexy contemporary romance for St Martin’s Press, the titles Mine To Take, Make You Mine, and You Are Mine.

Find the author:
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Friday, January 6, 2017

COVER REVEAL: Fire Balls by Tara Lain


Fire Balls
(Balls to the Wall Series, Bk #2)
By Tara Lain

Blurb:

Renowned artist Rodney Mansfield stands five foot six, has pink hair, six earrings, a black belt in karate—and a desperate yearning for firefighter Hunter Fallon. But Rod, the Runtback of Notre Dame, knows he’ll never land the beautiful “straight gay” guy, so Rod musters his altruism and helps his more masculine friend Jerry attract Hunter. As if a broken heart wasn’t enough, Rod saves Hunter from a firehouse homophobe—humiliating Hunter in front of his dad!

Hunter lives a dream life—his father’s dream. While he’d like to teach literature in college, read poetry in the sun, and find a strong guy to top him, he fights fires for his dad. Hunter hates flamboyant guys like Rodney. So why can’t he resist him? Maybe it’s time to admit this is one flame he has no desire to put out.


Release Date:
February 8, 2017


Available for pre-order at 




Excerpt


Rod glanced over to see how his model was doing. Total heart stop and brain malfunction. Perfect. Every line and curve. Every angle. Hunter’s body was so lean that each muscle stood out against his tan skin like a piece of sculpture. The pose twisted his torso just enough to make his narrow waist seem even slimmer against the breadth of his shoulders and his hard, curved pecs. His legs were long and looked carved from marble. Even his feet arched perfectly. Oh God. Rod wanted to suck each toe in homage.

In the middle of all this art, surrounded by light tan skin and at the end of a happy trail of silken dark hair, rested a magnificent cock, lying relaxed against Hunter’s right leg. He was a low hanger, a real shower. Long and graceful, framed by loose balls and a soft pubic nest, this was a penis of the gods. Rod wanted to paint it all alone in every possible posture. Yeah, preferably erect. Shit, he had to quit staring, or at least pretend the staring was professional and not prurient. Sure, right.

Hunter’s cock might be relaxed, but the rest of his body was vibrating with tension. Rod tried not to think how much he would like that to be reversed. Had to put the guy at ease before he had a coronary.


The Balls to the Wall Series


Volley Balls
Bk #1


Available at

      






About the Author



Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!


You can find Tara at Lain

               




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