Twisted by Emma Chase (Tangled #2)

Twisted by Emma ChaseAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Gallery

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Nikki

There are two kinds of people in the world. The ones who look first, and the ones who leap. I’ve always been more of a looker. Cautious. A planner. That changed after I met Drew Evans. He was so persistent. So sure of himself – and of me.

But not all love stories end happily ever after. Did you think Drew and I were going to ride off into the sunset? Join the club. Now I have to make a choice, the most important of my life. Drew already made his –in fact, he tried to decide for the both of us. But you know that’s just not my style. So I came back to Greenville. Alone. Well, sort of alone….

What I’ve come to realize is that old habits die hard and sometimes you have to go back to where you began, before you can move ahead.

I think the general consensus from readers after finishing this book is this: It’s good but totally not what I was expecting. Which I can say I definitely agree with. There is something that is lost when you turn the tables and read from Kate’s POV that was prevalent in Tangled. I think it’s mainly the comic aspect. Drew was so in your face, so hilariously over the top and full of himself that it made the book stand out in the romance genre as something original. Something fresh. Twisted is a good book, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not really all that funny and it’s filled with enough angst to send a menstruating teenage girl into hysterics. Twisted is one big misunderstanding that’s drawn out into a full length book.

Taking place a few years after Tangled ended, we find that Drew and Kate are still going strong both in their romance and in their careers. They are living in a state of bliss. Drew is still Drew, the over the top, egomaniac that sets Kate’s panties on fire as often as possible. Kate is still the glue that holds Drew together and makes him a better man. All in all, they are the same.

When Kate starts feeling sick I called it right then. She’s pregnant and Drew is going to epically screw something up  because well that’s just him. What follows is something like 200 pages of Drew being a complete ASS and misunderstanding something he sees, which makes him screw up even further by trying to get back at Kate for something he doesn’t understand. Where I once laughed about Drew, I now wanted to rip his big dumb head right off his body. I kept saying, oh Drew, you’re going to be so very sorry. Now, Kate also is to blame for not communicating with Drew further screwing up what they had built. So it wasn’t all Drew…but damn, seriously, you’re adults, TALK. ABOUT. THINGS.

Kate goes back home and reconnects with her family and her ex Billy, who of course is still half in love with her at times. I found I was less invested with this book once Drew disappears for a lot of it in the middle. What I loved most about book one was their back and forth banter and with it missing it just wasn’t as good.

Book three, Tamed is out in July of this year which will feature Matthew and Dee Dee. It goes back to the original time frame and took place alongside events happened in Tangled. I will be back  to see how Evans gets the smart mouthed Dee Dee together with Matthew even if the back and forth time frame is a bit whacked and confusing. Book four, also out this year in the fall goes back to Drew’s POV and I eagerly await the magic that I’m hoping will reemerge with him rightfully back at the helm.

I give Twisted by Emma Chase 3.50 stars!

Flynn’s Kiss by Diane Saxon

Flynn's Kiss by Diane SaxonAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Taliesin Publishing

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Flynn’s scars are not just skin deep. Will Liberty’s damaged soul overcome her fear of rejection in order to save him? Severely scarred during a disastrous mission, ex special forces Flynn Swann is home after three years of avoidance. By his own admission, he’s no good with women and the last thing he expects or wants is the attention of a curvy little brunette, who’s just passing through. With apparently no fear or revulsion of his scarred face, the boisterous woman bounds into his life and destroys all hope of a quiet visit. It is obvious to literally everyone that she wants him—all of him.

Worse still, despite her atrocious taste in fashion and Stetsons, she appears to have won the hearts of the entire town. Scientist Liberty Sophia Glennon is on a mission to find a man before she has to return to the loneliness of the New Zealand outback where she has already spent eighteen lonely months doing research. A ticking hormone bomb, Liberty feels time is running away with her. Outwardly she is a bouncing ball of over-confidence, but inside she is still a frightened little girl with horrific memories of her childhood and a desperate need to be liked. Completely unfazed by his external scars, her seduction of Flynn is not so difficult, but follow-through proves painful as Liberty realizes Flynn’s wounds run further than just skin deep. With apparently nothing in common but their passionate attraction, how will these two damaged souls deal with each other’s fear of rejection?

This is a story about healing emotional scars and creating a feeling of belonging for the hero and heroine. A poignant journey for the two as they move beyond past hurts and pain toward a future together.

Flynn is a former Special Forces operative who had the world in his hands and believed he was invincible until someone betrayed his unit causing his capture and subsequent torture. When he returns home to heal he is betrayed again by a woman he thought would stand by him forever. His cousin Mac helped save him when he was at his lowest point, employing him as a bodyguard and stunt coordinator in Hollywood. Now Flynn has returned home yet again while Mac is on his honeymoon, hoping to deal with the scars people can see on his face and the deeper emotional scars that hurt more.

Liberty is a scientist who was recently in New Zealand for eight months, she has come to stay with her friend Kate since she is between jobs, she needs to make some decisions in her life and thought being on a ranch would be a perfect place to think. When Liberty and Flynn meet, the attraction is mutual and immediate, the sparks fly as their encounters are fast and furious, they can’t seem to get enough of each other, but Liberty wants to feel she belongs and craves the intimacy that Flynn is unable to give.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; there are sexy men, strong women and so much emotion that keeps you turning the pages for more. Liberty is so much fun, she does not know a stranger and seems to make friends everywhere she go, people genuinely like her and you can tell she enjoys life. What you can’t tell until you get to know her more is that she wants to belong somewhere, she was an abandoned child and seemed to be a handful while in foster homes so many abandoned her all over again. She enjoys being around her friend Kate and the people of the ranch; it is a place she can feel at home. When she suffers the rejection from Flynn she is hurt until she realizes what the scars she can’t see do to him.

I really like Flynn, he has so much pain inside, not only from the actual episode that the scars resulted from but the betrayal of the one person who he thought would be there, his fiancé. Liberty wants to help him heal but is not sure she is capable of being that person, several in his family tell him he must return to therapy. The two’s attraction is combustible and their scenes together are amazing, they really have great chemistry.

The secondary characters all add to the story and I laughed out loud when all the men keep using the word “magnificent” when they are around Flynn. Kate is a wonderful friend to Liberty, very down to earth and someone who is always there, Liberty needs that stability.

The plot is fast paced as this is not a long story, but it seems to work as Flynn and Liberty’s attraction is immediate so no time is wasted. I had a hard time with his assumptions of Liberty, when he finds out about her job and the PhD she holds he feels angry and duped, but in reality he just needs to remember what happens when we assume. This is the first in the Disarmed and Dangerous series and there seems to be a set up of future books, Flynn leaves at one point in the story to take care of some business for a mysterious man name Dominic, it feels like an overall story arc that will continue. The drama is light but the emotion is deep and intense, a great story about two people healing each other.

I give Flynn’s Kiss by Diane Saxon 4 stars!

WINNER!

So…I’m slightly late in getting around to pulling the winner for this. I apologize, lol, but life got crazy there for a minute. 

The winner for the print copy of Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley is: 

vepmes

An email has been sent. Please respond within 48 hrs or a new winner will be chosen. 

Thanks everyone! 

The Sweetheart Rules by Shirley Jump (Sweetheart Sisters #2)

The Sweetheart Rules by Shirley JumpAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Berkley

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Rescue Bay veterinarian Diana Tuttle is a great single mom, but she has a harder time taking care of herself. Having been burned in the past by her son’s noncommittal father, the last thing she wants is a man who isn’t in it for the long haul—until a foolish one-night stand from her past walks back into her life.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Mike Stark has never wanted to settle down. But when his ex-wife leaves their two small children on his doorstep, he is forced to become a family man in a hurry. His return to Rescue Bay, Florida and fatherhood isn’t easy, but reconnecting with Diana makes the challenge all the more worthwhile. Except becoming the long-term lover she has in mind may be one commitment too many… Luckily, when Diana’s and Mike’s pasts begin to threaten their future, the Sweetheart Sisters have the perfect scheme to make this second chance last a lifetime.

This is a wonderful story about family, trust and building bridges in relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed this second addition to the series that lets us get to know more about the residents of Rescue Bay, Florida.

Mike Stark is back in Rescue Bay with his two daughters (Jenny 8 and Elle 4) who he barely knows; his ex-wife is going on a long vacation with her new boyfriend and Mike is taking some time off. He comes to Rescue Bay because he can use Luke’s place, there was no way he was staying in the rundown trailer that his ex was living in. Although he is nervous about spending time with his daughters, he is glad that he gets this chance. Mike is also glad he gets the chance to talk to Diana, the two met several months ago when he came to visit Luke, and they shared an amazing night together but he baled in the morning without a goodbye, much to the heartache of both Diana and her son Jackson.

Mike and Diana are still attracted to each other but face mounting obstacles that may keep them apart, but if Greta and the ladies from the Golden Years retirement home have anything to say about it, the two will have their happily ever after no matter what it costs.

This is such an engaging story, filled with humor, family drama and an attraction that will survive it all. Mike and Diana are perfect for each other, they both have their hurtful pasts and current problems that they must get through but according to Greta, Luke’s grandmother and local matchmaker anything can be overcome with love. Greta is hilarious, she goes from trying to get Mike and Diana together to trying to avoid her own happily ever after with Harold who watches her with his puppy dog eyes.

We met Diana in the first book, The Sweetheart Bargain and there were many unresolved issues with her at the end of the book, but I am happy to see that Diana’s story is everything I had hoped it was. The relationship between her and her sister is much better, but she is still struggling with her son Jackson and it is heartbreaking to read as they go through their issues. And then there is the father she never met that comes to visit, she is just going through so much that you really feel for her. Mike adds to her problems by wanting another short fling but then later changes his mind believing he is ready to commit, but she is scared. I do like Mike, he has his own demons to get over, and I like the fact that he is the first to cave; he admits to being in love and wants it all.

The three kids add much to this story; the two girls are so gun-shy about getting too close to their dad that it is heartbreaking to watch. They have had much grief in their short years; the oldest is use to taking care of Elle, unsure of what to think of their father and his structured ways, which made for some comic moments. And Jackson also has struggles; he is not making friends at his new school so goes out and finds his own “friends” and when he believes his father wants a true relationship finally, it is heartbreaking to see the emotions he goes through.

The author lets us live through each of the characters with their POV’s, Jackson, Mike, Diana and even Greta which makes for a great story as we to see how they feel. I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to more in this setting. Toward the end I was trying to figure out which character would be next, and I am happy with the choice, Greta’s stoic doctor, it will be fun to watch him fall.

I give The Sweetheart Rules by Shirley Jump 4.25 stars!

Midnight Pursuits by Elle Kennedy (Killer Instincts #4)

Midnight Pursuits by Elle KennedyAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Signet

My Copy: Sent

Reviewer: Pam

Her job is to stay hidden. Too bad he can’t take his eyes off her. Soldier-for-hire Ethan Hayes is the youngest member of an elite mercenary team. While he may be affectionately nicknamed the rookie, the skills Ethan honed as a Marine make him seriously dangerous. But when a sudden distress call puts him in close quarters with a rival, he finds more than his field skills being put to the test.

Juliet Mason stands out as the master thief in a covert group of assassins and spies. Her latest mission is personal—and it’s gone horribly wrong. Juliet may prefer to work alone, but when the rookie comes to her aid in snowy Eastern Europe, she can’t deny they make a good team. But even up against a powerful enemy, their most challenging task yet may be fighting the passion between them…

I absolutely love this book, the action is exciting, the plot interesting and the romance is perfect with just enough snark, banter and passion between the hero and heroine to put this on my list of best books for this year.

Ethan Hayes is the rookie of a team of mercenaries hired to do jobs around the world; he is on a vacation enjoying the solitude when the phone that Isabel leaves behind rings and he notices that it is from Juliet Mason, a woman who works with Isabel. Believing he will quickly tell her that Isabel is on her honeymoon he is surprised when she can barely speak and then the phone goes dead.

Previously Juliet had rushed to Belarus when she found out her brother had been shot and was in grave danger. She was able to talk to him before he died and finds out that he was shot by his fiancé’s murderer. She learns that their killer is an assassin who was hired by Dimitry Orlov, the corrupt Minister of Defense in Belarus. The assassin is killed by Juliet, but not before he gets a shot off and she is injured. She manages to place a call to Isabel but passes out during the call which alarms Ethan. He travels to find her burning up in a hotel room, so keeps watch while she fights off an infection. She is not happy when she wakes up and finds him there but they agree on a plan, she will get her revenge on Orlov while helping to protect the last three people alive on a list of victims that Orlov wants dead.

This series is amazing, featuring kick ass heroes that are swoon worthy and strong heroines that can hold their own with the best of them. This is the fourth book in the Killer Instinct series and has become my favorite; I truly enjoy the camaraderie between those on Morgan and Noelle’s team and love the trash talk that goes on between the two teams. They have different work missions but seem to team up several times and try to work together without killing each other. I am sure the attitude is because of the relationship or lack of, between Morgan and Noelle, there is some serious history there and I can’t wait to read their story, which is next!

I am not sure how to describe Ethan; he is the rookie of the bunch, just 25 but is a marine and has experienced hurt in his past. Everyone likes him, and would do anything for him; he is the little brother they all take care of. But he can hold his own with the best of them, and he wants to prove it to Juliet when she teases him relentlessly about his lack of experience in the field and what she believes in his bed. He proves her wrong on all fronts as they go from one dangerous situation to another and their attraction is too much for them to ignore. The chemistry between them is powerful and I enjoy the point where Juliet looks at him a bit differently after a passionate scene.

Juliet comes off as a woman without feelings or a conscience, we believe she is willing to go after Orlov without a single thought of the three people still on the list, but we all saw her with her brother and Ethan makes a point to show her that she is not without feelings, it is an emotional scene that cemented how I felt about her.

Several of Ethan’s team members help with the mission including D and Noelle, who show up together engaged in their own interesting relationship. I like D and choked up when he described how he felt about Ethan when his whereabouts were unknown. But D and Noelle’s relationship quickly ends when Morgan joins the fray; there is something between Noelle and Morgan that is undeniable.

The plot progression is perfect, the story unfolds slowly as Juliet is healing and they make plans, the story then goes into overdrive as the team tries to protect the three remaining hits as the danger ramps up, it was hard to put the book down. Midnight Pursuits can easily be read as a standalone since the story is self contained with a wonderful HEA. There are characters from previous books that appear throughout and have important parts in the story but the author weaves them in seamlessly. All in all this is a wonderful book that I highly recommend.

I give Midnight Pursuits by Elle Kennedy 5 stars!

Feature & GIVEAWAY: Cooking Up Seduction by Jenna Bayley-Burke

Cooking up a Seduction Banner 450 x169.

Cooking 300x450Available: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Blueberry Eyed Books

Find Jenna: Website/Goodreads/Facebook/Twitter

Love never tasted so sweet… 

Sexy venture capitalist Cameron Price takes the helm of the Seattle branch of the firm to prove he has what it takes to lead the entire company. Unfortunately, his boss thinks what it takes for a workaholic like Cam is a wife! 

To fend off the matrimonally inclined, Cameron has to think fast. Inspired by the dazzling green eyes of the gorgeous caterer, he proposes the kind of innovative arrangement he’s known for. If Lauren Brody will spend a few weeks on his arm networking at events, she’ll be able to raise the profile of Come For Dinner catering and book more clients than she ever dreamed. 

But Lauren has a plan of her own and tempts Cameron to play along. She convinces Mr. Buttoned-Up-Tight they can have some serious fun on his piano, in his kitchen, and behind closed doors. But it’s dangerous to keep a lid on something so hot. And a relationship was never on Cameron’s agenda… 

 

authorAbout The Author: 

Jenna Bayley-Burke is a domestic engineer, freelance writer, award-winning recipe developer, romance novelist, cookbook author and freebie fanatic. Blame it on television, a high-sugar diet or ADD; she finds life too interesting to commit to one thing—except her high-school sweetheart, two blueberry-eyed boys and a perfect baby girl. Her stories, both naughty and nice, are available everywhere.

 

**GIVEAWAY – Jenna is giving away a $10 Amazon giftcard tour wide! To enter simply click the Rafflecopter link directly below and follow the instructions! 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bewitching Book Tours

Mine To Crave by Cynthia Eden (Mine #4)

Mine To Crave by Cynthia EdenAvailable: Now Amazon/B&N

Type: Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Self

My Copy: NetGalley

Reviewer: Nikki

HE TAKES WHAT HE WANTS.

From the moment that billionaire casino owner Drake Archer sees Jasmine Bennett, he’s obsessed. Consumed by desire for the mysterious redhead, Drake will do anything necessary to claim her. Yet as desire rages between them, danger is stalking ever closer. Drake’s past isn’t dead, and the ex-Special Forces agent will soon have to face the ghosts he left behind. 

SHE’S HIDING SECRETS.

Jasmine isn’t who she pretends to be. She’s a woman on a mission—and she’s supposed to be stealing secrets from the mysterious Drake. Falling for him isn’t on her agenda, but when lust and love tangle together, all the rules get broken. 

AN ENEMY IS CLOSING IN…

When Drake learns of Jasmine’s betrayal…all hell breaks loose. He knows that he should turn his back on her, but it’s too late for him. He can’t let her go, but he can teach her a lesson. No one betrays him…not without paying a heavy price. Drake will destroy all of the enemies on his trail, he’ll bury his past, and he’ll teach Jasmine to want only him…just as much as he craves her.

 

Belonging is something Jasmine longs for but she’s accustomed to never being able to achieve it. When she’s assigned to lift sensitive information from a millionaire playboy she thinks it’s just another job. Until she meets the mysterious casino owner, Drake, and is blown away by the urge to just this once, not finish an assignment.

Getting close to a woman is not an option, even if Jasmine awakens things he swore he’d never feel again. He knows she’s playing him and that betrayal is all he needs to know about the crafty woman. She claims she’s in trouble after not completing an assignment. Drake is in trouble too, from those that are out to get him and the woman who is steadily getting under his carefully constructed facade.

Cynthia Eden is my go to author for very good reason….she’s a sure thing. Mine To Crave is the fourth (and I think final) book in her “Mine” series and it’s just as good as book one! In past books, Drake has always been this dangerous, mysterious man whose past was shrouded in secrecy. He’s the quiet, lethal kind of man who has been letting his past dictate his future for far to long. Generally okay with one night stands as long as the women know the score. Drake always keeps sex separate from emotions. When he meets Jasmine, she awakens all kinds of things Drake isn’t prepared to deal with. She’s unlike the women he normally hooks up with and in the face of her duplicitous actions he immediately assumes the worst based on his own past. What it takes him FOREVER to figure out is why even though he’s got her “all figured out” he continues to help her and feel this burning need for her.

Jasmine’s character is an interesting one because of the fact that she’s not black and white. The woman has done some bad stuff and worked for worse people than readers are generally used to from Eden. However, the reason she’s decided not to proceed with her currant job is a noble one so I had to like her even from the beginning. Knowing that she’s basically signed her own death warrant she tries to go off the grid with Drake but of course that doesn’t happen.

There is a TON of action in this story line with very little downtime. In between the constant fights, running and blowing up of things are some smoking hot sex scenes that are typical of a Cynthia Eden book. Her men are all alpha and so the thought process as things heat up always sets me on edge. Her men have short, choppy, growly and sexually aggressive language and it’s over the top YUMMY! I never feel like I’m missing anything and Mine To Crave was no exception.

I also highly enjoyed how she managed to tie everything up and interconnect all the characters towards the end. Nope. I won’t tell you how. It was just….really a perfect, fitting way to get everyone together. I always love to revisit with past central characters and since these men are so close it was nice to see them all play a large role in Mine To Crave.

I give Mine To Crave by Cynthia Eden 4.50 stars!