Claiming Ana by Brynna Curry (Triple Star Ranch #1)

Claiming Anna by Brynna CurryAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Paranormal Romance Novelette

Publisher: Lyrical Press

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Michelle

The child of a gypsy and fey, small-town veterinarian Dr. Anastasia Brannon has always hidden her magic for fear of ridicule. A red-hot encounter with the new PI in town makes their attraction impossible to deny. Throwing caution to the wind, she indulges her desires but keeps her secrets close.

A man with a shady past and secrets of his own, Howl Raven uses his feral talents and tracking skills to make a living, doing his best to lay low and hide the curse that haunts him every month. So far, so good…until an uncontrollable shift outside the full moon leaves him the victim of a werewolf hunter.

When she finds the enigmatic investigator wounded in the woods near her cabin during a storm, Ana provides medical care on instinct. She may be the only one who can banish the wolf from Howl’s blood, but at what cost?

I went into this book expecting a quick read about a shifter finding his mate. Claiming Ana is exactly that. Brynna Curry is a new to me author and her writing style took some getting used to. I thought the story was good and she can write an alpha character the reader can easily fall in love with. There really wasn’t much back story to this book…we learn about Ana’s and Howl’s secrets as they learn them about each other. I had no problem with that and actually enjoyed how quickly they fell for each other.

Ana is a small-town vet with hidden talents. Thanks to her gypsy ancestors, she has magical powers but she keeps them to herself, knowing how people would react to a “witch”. She is smart and down-to-earth and, and like me, shares a weakness for strays and bad boys, both of which describe Howl Raven.

Howl is a newcomer to town, working as a private investigator to help the chief of police with a case. Unknown to everyone else, he’s also a werewolf being hunted by his cousin. It is through his connection with the chief that he meets Ana. Ana grew up with Chief Cade Murphy and his brothers, and even had a high school love affair with Jace Murphy. The minute he meets Ana, Howl knows she is his mate. He knows nothing about her other than the instant attraction he feels, but with his wolf driving him, he will stop at nothing to have her.

I thought the first half of this book was really good. I liked the way the author developed enough of a supporting cast to make Howl and Ana’s meeting believable. Unfortunately, much of the initial storyline disappeared midway through. There was a lot of emphasis placed on Ana’s history with the Murphy family and her connection with Jace, to the point of Cade warning Howl away from Ana because of his brother’s feelings for her. I didn’t really understand the importance of the Jace-Ana connection. Also, the whole reason Howl came to town was to help Cade investigate his father’s death. Once that was introduced, the author never really touched back on it.

I liked the idea of the werewolf and the gypsy getting together. I could see why each of them would fall for the other, and I’m always a sucker for a hero that instantly knows his mate. I

think Howl and Ana accepted each other’s secrets so easily because of what they each knew about themselves, but I do wish we were given more of their thoughts and feelings instead of just, “Oh, he’s a werewolf.” I thought the part about Howl’s curse was an interesting twist on a shifter story, but I feel like the author never really explained things all that well. The second half of the book was a lot of jumping around between Ana’s magic and Howl’s shifting and the curse that threatened their newfound love, and there wasn’t really enough detail given for me to grasp exactly what was happening.

The chemistry between Ana and Howl was scorching, but I didn’t feel like their romance conveyed enough passion or emotion to the reader. I would have liked the author to continue her writing style from the first half and maybe even make the book a little longer so I would have more time to become invested in the story.

I give Claiming Ana by Brynna Curry 3 stars!

A Promise of More by Bronwen Evans (The Disgraced Lords #2)

A Promise of More by Bronwen EvansAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Historical Romance

Publisher: Loveswept

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Pam

When Beatrice Hennessey sets out to confront Lord Coldhurst, the notorious rogue who killed her brother in a duel, her intent is to save her family from destitution. She’s determined to blackmail the man into a loveless marriage. She’ll make the wealthy Lord Coldhurst pay for the rest of his life. But while greeting his ship, Beatrice takes a tumble into the Thames—only to be fished out by a pair of strong masculine arms that tempt her to stay locked in their heated embrace forever. That is, until she realizes those arms belong to Sebastian Hawkestone, Lord Coldhurst himself.

The little drowned mermaid has an interesting proposition indeed; one that Sebastian is surprised to find quite agreeable. Although he’s had women more beautiful, she is pleasing to the eye, and besides, it’s time he fathered an heir. Beatrice promises to be the ideal wife; a woman who hates him with an all-consuming passion is far too sensible to expect romance. However, it isn’t long before Sebastian’s plan for a marriage of convenience unravels, and he’s caught up in the exhilarating undertow of seduction.

Another great addition to an appealing series with a mysterious woman set on revenge for the sins of the fathers. The Libertine Scholars are a fun loving bunch of entitled lords who now have to watch their backs while a vindictive woman sets out to destroy them.

Sebastian, Lord Coldhurst, has recently returned from exile in the Caribbean, he has received a full pardon from the King for a duel gone wrong several months ago. He had been challenged to a duel by Doogie, Baron Larkwell but something went terribly wrong and what Sebastian thought was a wide shot seemed to have killed him. He has felt guilty about the outcome and has sent money to the family, but there were huge debts to pay and Doogie’s sister is at her wits end. Beatrice Hennessey is out of funds and out of choices and she comes to the docks to ask Sebastian to marry her. He has sworn never to fall in love but thinks that a marriage of convenience might work for him and agrees to her plan.

He is under the assumption that with this marriage he can continue on as he once did, of course that is before he starts to have feelings for Beatrice and she has plans to seduce him. Sebastian has definite ideas about love and marriage so she has her work cut out for her as she plans for their future. Sebastian, Beatrice and the Libertine Scholars search for the reasons behind the threats and blackmailing and as the danger increases they are desperate to find the woman and put a stop her revenge.

This story picks up immediately after A Kiss of Lies ends. Sebastian has sailed back to England, he has been given a full pardon and he is ready to pick up where he left off, finding willing women and hanging with his friends. He is surprised when he rescues a woman from drowning only to find she is proposing. I think Beatrice is wonderful, she is ready to do almost anything to protect her family, swallowing her pride and accepting her fate. She is especially engaging when she decides she wants a real marriage and plans to seduce Sebastian, which has him thinking that this marriage may work. They bring several suspicions to the marriage, he never wants love as he feels it destroyed his parents and she has a huge secret of her own that I wish she would have mentioned to him, it causes trust issues and they fight several times, she believes that it is OK for her to demand trust and truth from Sebastian, but she can’t seem to tell him her secret. I do like that they are able to talk to each other and after a cool down period they realize what really matters, oh did someone say make-up sex! The sexual chemistry between them sizzles as the private scenes they have together are scorching.

I am enjoying the overall story arc of the series, a woman who was wronged by the fathers of these heroes finding revenge, I like how all of the men are baffled and would like to talk to the woman and help her, they do believe their fathers could have done something terribly wrong to her. I am intrigued with each of the men we have met and especially the one we have not met yet, Grayson, whose story is up next. Other secondary characters add much to the story; I really like Sebastian’s sisters and think their relationship with Beatrice is special.

The plot’s pace is fast and works well from the beginning when poor Beatrice is fished from the river to the dangers they face while dealing with a madman and woman bent on revenge, this is a definite page turner. This can easily be read as a standalone, there is an overall story arc but the author brings you up to date effortlessly. I am excited for more.

 

I give A Promise of More by Bronwen Evans 4 stars!

Summoning The Night by Jenn Bennett (Arcadia Bell #2)

Summoning The Night Jenn BennettAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Pocket

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

MAGICAL TRICKS. DEMONIC TREATS. 

After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She’s gearing up for the busiest day of the year—Halloween—when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she’s dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club’s wayward son, she can hardly say no. 

Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members’ children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady’s loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers—and she’d better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.

 

After finishing up book one of this series, Kindling The Moon, I immediately went right into Summoning The Night that takes place merely weeks after the first book ends. Cady is back to running her bar and with Halloween quickly approaching, she and the co-owner Kar Yee are cooking up promotional plans for their demon patrons. She’s just starting to get back into a routine when she is summoned, along with her boyfriend Lon, to the leader of his secret society club, Hellfire. Seems a 30 year old unsolved kidnapping case has reignited with the recent disappearance of magical demon teenagers. With her new found Moon Child abilities that she doesn’t quite trust, the leader of Hellfire tasks her and Lon with unraveling the mystery of the disappearances 30 years ago along with these new ones who also threaten Lon’s own teenage son, Jupe. They know that whoever is behind the kidnappings must have had help from the other realms but they have no idea where to start to track down someone who is proficient at hiding in plain sight. While low ranking, human looking demons reside on earth alongside their unsuspecting counterparts, other realms hold the demons who can essentially bring the world to its knees and Cady knows all about that since she had recently summoned the demon who her parents used to kill leaders of rival occults.

Lon is the only one who knows the real Arcadia and the leader of the Hellfire club is starting to get suspicious of her background. She’s managed to hide her true identity for years but with the her recent near sacrificing at the hands of her own parents, it’s starting to get difficult. He uses what knowledge he does have as a sort of blackmail to get her assistance. I’ve been on the fence about him for awhile. He seems genuine in his concern for the children but he isn’t above using blackmail to achieve his goals, which makes him a wildcard and a constant thorn in Cady and Lon’s side.

Once again, as with book one, the continued world building is supreme. Bennett knows how to entice a reader and paint a picture of the world she envisions with ease. With the appearance of Hajo (a death dowser) readers are given a kind of protagonist who wants to get in Cady’s pants something fierce. He does begrudgingly help Cady and Lon but only after securing something he wants for himself. His presence adds a creep factor that helps move the story line along and gives Lon something to continually grumble about while they try to track down the person responsible for the kidnappings of the past and present.

I think what I love most about these books is the communication between the characters. Right before reading this one I had read a contemporary romance where the characters didn’t talk to each other, they ASSUMED, which of course lead to some nasty repercussions. The characters in Bennett’s series actually talk through their problems. Imagine that, they act like the adults that they are. Seriously, it’s a breath of fresh air. Lon and Cady, though there is quite an age difference, navigate the relationship waters very well. They are continuing to grow as individuals which only makes their relationship stronger. Cady isn’t used to having someone to lean on and she struggles a bit as Lon’s son Jupe grows more attached to her. It’s a foreign feeling to belong but one she’s becoming accustomed to.

While I really loved this book, I have a feeling that something huge is on the horizon for Cady, Lon and even Jupe. As this book ends Cady owes some pretty hefty favors to several people for helping solve the kidnapping case and the leader of the Hellfire club eludes to knowing more about her than he is letting on. It’s just a sense that something is a bit…off. I can only hope that whatever is brewing, Cady will be able to fight it with the help of those she trusts. I also hope that we get to see more of her new found abilities and what she is truly capable of.

Summoning The Night is chock full of action, suspense, a few hot sex scenes and a wisecracking teenage boy who will warm your heart. I am obsessed with this series and I can’t wait to see how Bennett ups the stakes in book three! Bennett knows how to engage a reader and I know you won’t regret picking up this series!

I give Summing The Night by Jenn Bennett 4.50 stars!

 

 

Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton (Hope #2)

Hope Ignites by Jaci BurtonAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Jove

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Logan McCormack likes his isolated life on the ranch, until a movie crew starts filming there.

When actress Desiree Jenkins blows into his life, she wrecks it harder than the Oklahoma winds with her brutal honesty and soft touch. Des knows this is a temporary stay, but she loves the open freedom of the land, and for the first time in her life, Des feels like she might have found a place she can call home, with a man she might be falling in love with. But Logan’s heart is tougher than the soil beneath them—can she convince him that they belong together?

I love Ms. Burton’s books; they are always fun, sexy reads that never disappoint and oh those covers are so good. Hope Ignites has a grouchy hero and a fun engaging heroine with interesting secondary characters that add so much to the story and I just ate it up. I am excited for more stories surrounding this small town called Hope.

Logan McCormack owns a large working ranch, mainly keeping to himself. On a whim he lets a movie crew film on the property and he had regretted his lapse in judgment ever since. His cook/housekeeper Martha is the opposite and is so excited to have them around that when they get invited to watch a taping she drives Logan crazy.

Desiree (Des) Jenkins is the star of the movie and her best friend Colt is the leading man. When they meet the owner of the ranch Des can’t seem to get over Logan and frequently seeks him out. She loves to push his buttons, getting under his skin because she knows there is an attraction between them and she is bound and determined to not let it go to waste. As a child Des moved around a lot as most military families do, she never wanted that nomadic lifestyle yet seems to have picked a career that does just that. She does have dreams of more permanence and saves all her money for her vision. As Logan and Des spend time together the attraction is too great to ignore but what about a future?

This is such a good book; I love the relationship between Logan and Des. Des is a hoot, full of personality and spirit and I enjoy looking through her eyes at everything she sees; she gets such a joy out of it all. I like the way she makes Logan take her on a tour of Hope, even though it is a small town she wants to see it all, it is so cute. This is everything she has dreamed of, settling down in a small town, getting to know the people that live here, really being a part of the community. I love when she visits the high school play auditions she is so down to earth and her excitement along with the kids is so contagious. And Logan, what to say about him, a bit jaded and harden against love, he does not want to fall for the same type of woman his father did and have her be miserable. His mother’s desertion did a number on her sons and it shows in everything Logan does.

The relationship unfolds slowly between the two, Des conspires to be with him as she likes him right away but the funny part is he goes along with it, he likes being around her and although sounds growly when she mentions doing something together, he always does it. She is bold and pushy in a good way and the sparks light up the night when they are together. I adored them! Secondary characters added so much, I really like Colt the sexy leading man that wants to stop living a lie, I have high hopes it works for him. Martha the cook and mother figure around the ranch is loveable and I like how she takes care of everyone but squees with the best of them when she gets to watch the crew make the movie.

There is not much drama or action, just two engaging people slowly getting to know each other and falling in love, the big drama moment is when they must decide on their future and then it seems a little rushed. This can easily be read as a standalone as the author weaves previous characters in seamlessly. I absolutely enjoyed this small town story full of heart and romance and I am eagerly waiting for the next book in the series – or for anything that Ms. Burton writes.

I give Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton 4.25 stars!

Rebecca’s Lost Journals by Lisa Renee Jones (Inside Out #1.1-1.4 and #2.5)

Rebecca's Lost Journals by Lisa Renee JonesAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Gallery

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Includes Rebecca’s Lost Journals #1-4 
(The SeductionThe ContractHis SubmissiveMy Master)
and The Master Undone
In this stand alone collection connected to the Best Selling Inside Out Series, you meet Rebecca Mason, the intriguing woman who penned an erotic journal that changed everyone’s life it touched. This is her story, in her words…..

Rebecca’s Lost Journals…..

Rebecca Mason has known heartache and sorrow in her life, losing everyone she loves. She’s on her own in San Francisco, lost in every way, until she dares to make the decision to chase her dream of working in the art world. It is then that he meets a rich, seductively powerful man who will become the Master she never knew she wanted and change her life forever. He will lead her on a dark, passionate journey where pain is pleasure and pleasure is pain, and where every limit she once had is no more. In this man, she will find solace to her pain, an escape from the ache inside her. And in him, she will discover a darkness she may never escape.

Bonus Story included:

Master Undone in his POV… 

I told him goodbye, and I will not call him. I know if I do, it will be my undoing, and I’ll once again be caught up in his spell. I will once again be . . . lost.

In her private journals, Rebecca laid bare her soul, revealing her obsession for the one man whose erotic demands captivated her imagination–and enslaved her forever. Now, with Rebecca no longer in his life “he” is lost, questioning everything he thought he knew about himself and about control he holds in such high regard. One women will reach out to heal him and then turn away, leaving him haunted. She is nothing he thought he wanted and somehow everything he needs. He tells himself to forget her but he cannot escape his desire for her. He has to have more..

 

**********CONTAINS SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THE SERIES**********

 

Rebecca’s Lost Journal’s are diary entries from the mysterious Rebecca who we now know was murdered shortly after leaving Mark in the Inside Out series. These were meant to be read in conjunction with the series, but really they kind of stand on their own. It’s a weird mind set to get into because as diary entries, these read a lot differently than a regular book would. Personally I find first person POV harder to read for whatever reason. Something about it pulls me from the story every time and it just takes me longer to finish a book wrote that way. However, I did enjoy this look into Rebecca’s mind and how she ended up where she was when she met her demise.

It’s easy to see early on that Rebecca’s feelings for Mark were growing quickly. Even when presented with a contract to be a submissive and to only refer to him as “Master” Rebecca wanted to please him. She was really indecisive and came across as totally naive for most of the book. Mark took advantage of her lack of knowledge and pushed her boundaries constantly. He’s a character you kinda love to hate in a way. He’s sexy but his controlling and domineering personality make him a man who refuses to bend. His need for control rides him and even when presented with losing Rebecca he couldn’t seem to tell her he cared about her on a level that surpassed D/s.

Of course the sex scenes are very well done, even wrote as diary entries. Rebecca’s slips into story telling mode quite often which helps the transition in the writing style. The scenes were, as expected, very hot as she delves into the true nature of being a submissive and what it entails. The confusion and pull she feels are palpable.

The Master Undone, told from Mark’s POV left me confused in a way. He obviously cared about Rebecca immensely and yet shortly after he learns of her death he’s already becoming obsessed with a new woman, one that will be unwilling to bend to his need for control as easily. It was like a slap in the face for him to rebound as quickly as he did. I was slightly affronted on Rebecca’s behalf.

These are very short novellas when added all together only have roughly 200 pages combined. Lovers of this world Jones has created are sure to enjoy these as they are spicy reads through and through. It was nice to be able to tie everything together surrounding Rebecca and see things from her perspective. Seeing Mark through Rebecca’s eyes was something that I think Jones did on purpose to pique more interest as a full length book from his POV draws closer to release.

 

I give Rebecca’s Lost Journals by Lisa Renee Jones 4 stars! 

Kindling The Moon by Jenn Bennett (Arcadia Bell #1)

Kindling The Moon by Jenn BennettAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Pocket

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . . 

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.

Cady wants nothing more than to live her quiet life and stay under the radar. Sure, no one knows who she really is and that makes being friends extremely hard, but it’s for their own good that they don’t know the truth. She’s made a good life for herself co-owning a popular demon bar and staying under the laws radar. No one needs to know her parents are famous occultists accused of the murders of several high ranking, rival occults leaders. As their daughter, she’s also wanted and could be held accountable for the murders herself if ever found.

When her parents show back up in the last place she expected she’s told to figure out the truth or pay for their sins herself. Her search for answers leads her to a man named Lon who is reluctant to help her out. But he holds stolen books no one has seen in years that may give her some insight into the demon she believes is responsible for the murders. With time quickly running out, Cady has to figure out the past in order to save her future.

Having read my share of urban fantasy in the past few years I went into Kindling The Moon with an air of “ok, just one more UF to put on my read list”. Instead what I got was something magical and completely original. Jenn Bennett hooked me within the first chapter and I devoured the entire book in less than a day. Which, never ever happens around my house. My kids may have made themselves peanut butter and jelly for dinner because mommy had her nose stuck in a book….again.

The world building that Bennett accomplishes early on, is simply perfection. She’s created a world where humans live blissfully unaware of demons, even marrying them on occasion with no idea of what they are. Demons on earth are pretty low level. They look like humans, talk like humans and may have a knack that they use in their daily life. Mind reading, healing abilities, empathic, even the power of persuasion. If you can think of it, chances are a demon has that ability. For the most part they are low key, they don’t have a lot of power and they stay below the grid. The only thing that makes them known to other demons is a ring of color that floats above their head that humans can’t see. Except Arcadia can because she’s human but also a experienced magician, meaning she can hold her own against the demons that are patrons of her popular bar. Even more strange is that she has her own unique aura ring which is unheard of for a human, but Cady is something more. Conceived during a sexual ritual held at a sacred time, Cady is the Moon Child, though she has no idea what that even means.

Cady is given an ultimatum. Find the truth out about who killed all those occult leaders and pinned it on her parents, or give herself up in their place. Knowing she doesn’t have a lot of time (two weeks to be exact) she turns to a long time friend who gives her the name of an elusive man named Lon who holds books in his collection that may aid her in finding the demon she believes did the killing at the bidding of someone else. He’s much older than her, has a wise cracking teenage son and is a experienced demon in his own right. While they don’t instantly hit it off, they become close over time with Bennett weaving a bond between the three of them that gets tested time and again. My first love is always romance and I found the Bennett gave me the perfect balance between the world she created and the emotional aspect between Lon and Cady that I crave. Where as a lot of UF gives the romance a backseat, almost as an afterthought, Bennett makes it central to the story. Cady is used to being alone, feeling unloved by her parents who quickly sent her away, and lonely because no one knows the real her. So, bringing Lon and his son into the picture gives her a much needed sense of belonging.

This is definitely a book I can recommend not only to urban fantasy readers but also to romance lovers too. There is plenty of action to satisfy and even some humor to break up the tougher scenes. Lon’s teenage son, Jupiter is just so hilariously cute and he rounds out the family so well as Cady integrates into it. This is a book and world you’ll want to revisit again and again!

 

I give Kindling The Moon by Jenn Bennett 4.50 stars!

First Night & Night After Night by Lauren Blakely (Seductive Nights #0.5 and #1)

First Night by Lauren BlakelyAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: Free Amazon Download

Reviewer: Nikki

It was only supposed to be one night… 

When the sinfully handsome man walks into her bar in San Francisco, Julia Bell simply wants a break from the troubles that keep chasing her. That escape comes in the form of sexy, confident and commanding Clay Nichols, who captivates her mind AND turns her inside out with pleasure. The attraction is electric and they share one scorchingly hot night together, but they also discover there is more than just off-the-charts chemistry; the connection between them runs deep. Clay never thought he’d return to New York with this woman still on his mind. But he can’t get her out of his system, and he needs more of her…He wants more than just the first night…

 

Night After Night by Lauren BlakelyAvailable: May 18, 2014 Amazon/B&N

Type: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Self

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

“You are being rewarded for turning me on. But we’re doing it my way. You teased the f&*k out of me, and now I want to watch you squirm. Crawl up on my bed and get on your hands and knees.”

Their world was sex, love, and lies.
He intoxicated her. Commanded. Consumed. 
With a dirty mind and a mouth to match, Clay Nichols is everything Julia never knew she wanted and exactly what she cannot have. He walked into her life one night and unlocked pleasure in her that she never knew was possible. Possessing her body, captivating her every thought. Which makes him way too dangerous for Julia to risk her heart, given that she has a price tag on her head. She ran after one mind-blowing week with him, but now he’s back, and determined to make her his own. 
No matter the cost.

She was a sexy drug to him. Fiery, unforgettable, and never enough, Julia is an enigma, and Clay isn’t willing to let her go without a fight. But she’s got dark secrets of her own that threaten to destroy any chance of happiness. She’s a wanted woman – the stakes are high, her every move is watched, and yet the lure between them can’t be denied. Can two people burned by love trust again when desire and passion are met by danger at every turn?

 

First Night Review: There isn’t a whole lot I can say about First Night since it was so short, but knowing I had Night After Night on my review pile when I stumbled upon this free on Amazon I immediately started reading it. It was included in the full length review file I got for Night After Night too so I would assume that means it’ll be included in the finished file as well. First Night starts the character building process by introducing readers to Julia and Clay who are set up to meet at Julia’s bar. Their immediate connection is astoundingly magnetic. I’ll admit, 90% of the 54-ish pages that is First Night is sex…but it’s well wrote, molten sex that made me want to pick up Night After Night as soon as possible. Which I totally did.

I give First Night by Lauren Blakely 3.75 stars! 

Night After Night Review: One night with Clay and Julia has found herself hooked even though she swore it was nothing more than a fun, sex filled excursion. When Clay calls and invites her to New York for the weekend she doesn’t think twice about jet setting across the country on the promise of dinner and some bondage. Her past follows her though and she quickly finds herself having to dance around the truth with a man who despises lies of any kind.

The only thing Clay asks of Julia is honesty. Having her keep things from him doesn’t set well with a man who has been down that road before. Craving her body is one thing but without honesty he’ll have to walk away. Even if it’s the last thing he truly wants to do.

I loved Night After Night even if by the end I was grumbling that book two isn’t set to release for a few more weeks. There is a cliffhanger sort of ending that left me desperately wanting the next installment to find out where these two people go from here. While the prequel focused mostly on the sex and chemistry between Clay and Julia, Night After Night gives more of a look into who they are and what has formed their personalities.

Julia tries her best to separate her growing feelings for Clay from the connection they have between the sheets, but she finds it’s a losing battle. She can’t tell him the truth about what keeps her on a leash back home and she knows that being dishonest with him will have things ending much quicker than she’d like. Having to pay off the debts owed by her ex has Julia using her poker skills in high stakes games held in secret. The man holding the reins threatens everything that matters to Julia so she desperately tries to keep her budding relationship under wraps and her family and friends out of harms way. She wants to tell Clay everything but doesn’t want to make him a target because he’s got the means to pay off her debts and that’s the last thing she wants. She’s very self reliant and asking for help is a foreign concept for her. I really like her character and her ambition to do everything on her own….even if it’s slowly dragging her down.

I wish Clay would have been a bit more understanding about Julia’s secretiveness even if I understood why he wasn’t. His ex had a major pill problem that she constantly lied about but it was obvious that wasn’t Julia’s problem. He’s very black and white and doesn’t give her much a chance to mollify his concerns. Which was surprising since he’s a lawyer. Also surprising was his ability to open himself completely to Julia right from the beginning. He’s an open book to her and his constant smexy talking really amped up the sexual energy.

The sex between these two is combustible, so incredibly hot I think my Kindle was starting to overheat! As an erotic romance, the sex plays a huge part in the plot progression as their kink slowly turns into growing feelings and needs. I loved how dominant Clay was and how he didn’t blink an eye at letting Julia have power over him as well. He’s not a switch but rather incredibly confident in the power he holds over her body…which in turn made this reader smolder over the pages and *maybe* drool just a little.

I can’t wait to find out where these two go from here. As the mobster tightens the leash on Julia and Clay offers her an ultimatum it leaves her with little wiggle room with either of them. How much is she going to be willing to risk in order to keep Clay in her life, maybe permanently?

I’m not one of those bloggers who will freeze your computer screen with mindless gif filled, girly screaming, fan freakouts…but if I was, I’d totally do it for this book. Hot glorious sex mixed with a perfectly paced plot, Night After Night is sure to soar to the top of the charts!

I give Night After Night by Lauren Blakely 4.25 stars!