Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Review: The Earl Next Door (The Bachelor Lords of London #1) by Charis Michaels

This is so much more than your typical historical romance read. So much more! This story made me think. As a woman in modern times, I take for granted that women didn't always have a voice. Piety's story shows me the frustrations of living in such a world. A world where a woman can't choose what to do with her own money and needs a man to decide for her. To protect her fortune from her selfish, money hungry mother and vile, abusive step-brothers, she runs from America to England, constantly waiting for them to show up at her doorstep, because sooner or later they will...and do.

Oh her strength and tenacity to accomplish things in a foreign and man's world is empowering. She's a forward thinker. And yes, I know it's fiction, but I couldn't help but feel like this...women like this are who set the precedent for our time. Our voice. Our choice.

For all that Piety has had to endure, she has remained true to who she is. She wins her neighbors over with her caring and unselfish heart. Anyone who bothers to get to know her can't resist her charms. And she IS charming and sincere. One neighbor in particular, Lord Falcondale, learns this valuable lesson.

Trevor, Lord Falcondale, is broody and determined to not have anything to do with Piety. He has plans of his own that don't involve a woman. It doesn't matter how attracted he is to her, he believes he is not fit to be anyone's anything. He has his own ghosts to deal with. He knows his past will catch up with him and is determined to stay ahead and out of reach of it. But, he doesn't run soon enough.

Between both their hunters, this book is full of non-stop action that hooked me and kept me on edge. And of course the romance was a sizzling, slow burn.

What a fantastic debut from Charis Michaels! I am very much looking forward to her next book.

American heiress Piety Grey is on the run. Suddenly in London and facing the renovation of a crumbling townhouse, she’s determined to make a new life for herself—anything is better than returning to New York City where a cruel mother and horrid betrothal await her. The last thing she needs is a dark, tempting earl inciting her at every turn…

Trevor Rheese, the Earl of Falcondale, isn’t interested in being a good neighbor. After fifteen years of familial obligation, he’s finally free. But when the disarmingly beautiful Piety bursts through his wall—and into his life—his newfound freedom is threatened…even as his curiosity is piqued.

Once Piety’s family arrives in London, Falcondale suddenly finds himself in the midst of a mock courtship to protect the seductive woman who’s turned his world upside down. It’s all for show—or at least it should be. But if Falcondale isn’t careful, he may find a very real happily ever after with the woman of his dreams…

Friday, March 25, 2016

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: All Chained Up (Devil's Rock #1) by Sophie Jordan

Prison hot, a term a friend of mine used once, and when I read Sophie Jordan’s latest, All Chained Up, that term came into clear focus for me. Knox Callaghan is prison hot! Now, I understand the whole convicted felon thing may not be for you, but once you learn how he got there, you may change your mind. It certainly changed mine.

Briar is a nurse. She and her boss are volunteering at the prison till they hire a new doctor. Of course being in that facility and interacting with the convicts can be daunting, but Briar puts on a brave face and does her job. Enter Knox. The physical attraction she feels to him is electrifying, and unnerving. She doesn’t do bad boys. And really how more bad can you get than prison? But damn, she can’t get him out of her head. Especially when he saves her life.

Knox feels the heat between them too. One encounter and the sexy little nurse is under his skin. After overhearing a plan to storm the infirmary and assault the pretty nurse, Knox feels overwhelmed to protect her. Putting his own plan in motion, he guarantees himself a spot in the room when the assault is to take place.

Even as he was hauled off her and dragged away, she felt connected to those eyes, that face, that man.

Knox is soon up for parole, and because of his heroic actions, this time around he’s granted it. He’s now a free man. A man Briar never expected to run into on a quick ice cream run to the local store…at night. The attraction is still there for them. The heat. The sizzle. Her body is at odds with her head. She wants this man, but he was a felon, he was in jail for a reason. Libido in charge, she invites him home with her.

Maybe she didn’t realize that he was the wolf and she the lamb. That inviting him over meant he was going to devour every inch of her.

I have to say this is Sophie Jordan’s hottest book by far. And while the sex between Knox and Briar certainly burn up the pages, there is so much more to them. Real feelings develop. But Knox–sweet, hardheaded man–doesn’t think he deserves a woman like Briar. He thinks he’s tainted. He couldn’t be further from the truth. He’s exactly what she needs and vice versa. They make each other better and stronger. They belong together.

She was his. And he was hers. She felt that, too, even if she couldn’t say it out loud.

This book made me fan myself, swoon, made my heart ache, my pulse race, and in the end left me with a big sappy smile on my face. What a great start to a new series. I need book 2. Now. How much longer till July?

Some men come with a built-in warning label. Knox Callaghan is one of them. Danger radiates from every lean, muscled inch of him, and his deep blue eyes seem to see right through to Briar Davis’s most secret fantasies. But there’s one major problem: Briar is a nurse volunteering at the local prison, and Knox is an inmate who should be off-limits in every way.

Knox feels it too—a shocking animal magnetism that drives him to risk his own life to protect Briar’s. Paroled at last, he tries to resist her. She’s too innocent, too sweet, and she has no idea what Knox is capable of. But a single touch can lead to a kiss—and a taste . . . until the only crime is denying what feels so right . . .

Sophie Jordan took her adolescent daydreaming one step further and penned her first historical romance in the back of her high school Spanish class. This passion led her to pursue a degree in English and History.

A brief stint in law school taught her that case law was not nearly as interesting as literature - teaching English seemed the natural recourse. After several years teaching high school students to love Antigone, Sophie resigned with the birth of her first child and decided it was time to pursue the long-held dream of writing.

In less than three years, her first book, Once Upon A Wedding Night, a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Nominee for Best First Historical, hit book shelves. Her second novel, Too Wicked To Tame, released in March 2007 with a bang, landing on the USA Today Bestseller's List.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Review: Intrusion (Under the Skin #1) by Charlotte Stein

I believed I would never be able to trust any man again. That kindness was only for fools and would lead me down that same terrible path into darkness. I thought so with every fiber of my being-and then I met Noah Gideon Grant.

Everyone says he's dangerous. He never comes out of his house-a place that looks like it could be featured in Serial Killers Monthly. But the thing is … I think something happened to him too. I know the chemistry between us isn't just in my head. I know he feels it, but he's holding back. The pleasure he gives me is unreal-if only I could give something in return. If only he would let me in. I think I can make him feel something good. And for the first time in forever, I want to.

He's made a labyrinth of himself. Now all I need to do is dare to find my way through.

This one is a strange one for me to review. I honestly didn’t really get the plot. Was there a plot?

Noah is a recluse. He’s a brilliant profiler that got a little too close on a case in which he was left severely emotionally damaged. He’s withdrawn. Keeps to himself and others.

Beth is a survivor of her own terrifying ordeal. She has kept to herself as well and lives a monotonous life because of it. She and Noah have similarities that can connect them in that sense. They can understand each other.

This story is told in first person, which is completely fine when told well. However, there was way too much inner monologue for me. Too much telling and not enough showing. A lot of inner ramblings. After the second or third-ish encounter they just fall into a relationship. One moment she’s sitting at his table eating pie, and in the next, time has passed and she’s practically moved in. We are told this.

Then, the last chapter came out of nowhere to me. Certain players from their past weren’t quite done with them. Huh? Not once did I get a sense that either one of them were still in danger from their encounters. Yet, in the final chapter their lives were on the line. I was a bit lost and flipped back a few pages thinking I missed something. Nope. Nothing was set up to alert us to imposing danger.

Overall, this story missed the connection for me. Show me the relationship evolve. Show me the fear or worry that their lives weren’t safe. Show not just tell a story.

Unfortunately, this is a 2 star read for me.


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