Monday, August 31, 2015

SLICK'S Guest review of Stripped Down (Blacktop Cowboys #6.7) by Lorelei James (1001 Dark Nights)

I really shouldn't be surprised when I read a book by Lorelei James and finish it and think to myself, "damn she did it again" but she always seems to catch me off guard, always seems to surprise me just a little bit more and always seems to make me fall head over heels in love with her characters.  We "met" both Wynton (Wyn) Grant and Melissa (Mel) Lockhart in Roped In but we didn't get a chance to know them very well, but man do we EVER get the chance in this book.  We find out that Wyn is funny and charming and unapologetic about his sexual past.  We find out that Mel's life has been very interesting in more ways than one and in the past 6 months she's made some big decisions that only one other person in her life knows about and we also find out she, like Wyn, has enjoyed exploring her sexual side and she too will not apologize one bit for it (as well she shouldn't).  We see two people who claim marriage, family and happily ever after isn't on their radar realize that it's pretty cool to have someone around when you need to share your load, when life hands you more than you can handle and when your secrets come back to haunt you.  Most of all we see how easy it is to accept someone else in your life when that person understands you, doesn't judge you and flat out fits into your life in a way you never expected anyone to.  Smart and sexy are a given in Ms. James' work, but this book is funny because these two characters are well...characters and they live life to the fullest and even when life throws a wrench into it, these two accept it and just keep on going.
"Come on Melissa. Let's see what kinda dirty, dastardly deeds we can get away with."  "Deal. But call me Mel.  "Mel? Nope. Sorry, No can do." "Why not?"  "Mel is the name of a line cook.  Saying, 'Suck harder, Mel,' or "Bend over Mel,' brings really different images to my mind than 'I'm gonna fuck you through the wall, Melissa."
See...funny and sexy all in the same damn passage!

From the start of this book it was so evident these two were in way over their heads with one another.  They were counting on a "one and done" evening following the wedding of Sutton (Wyn's younger brother) and London (Mel's best friend) but circumstances arise giving them both the perfect opportunity to spend more time together and they jump on it.  I had to laugh when Mel refused to sleep in the same room as Wyn (although she was more than okay with plenty of sexy times) because it threw Wyn for such a loop and because even when he didn't want to admit it, he wanted her in his bed and in his life.  Mel had her reasons and while I questioned why she wanted to keep this secret from him, I could also understand it as well.

I loved how easily these two moved into a routine and the fact that Mel loved working on the ranch and helping Wyn and his brother, Cres out when they needed it most.  (I will also say I am really excited about the possibility of Cres getting his own story next because well, Cres is gay and I will be all over that book in a heartbeat.)  Seriously though back to Mel and Wyn, it was like they were two halves of a whole both in understanding each other and discussing their lives and even their sexual experiences with one another with ease and without jealousy or conflict.  A breath of fresh air to me because while I don't mind a little drama in a romance sometimes there is just too much and I can do without it.  Perhaps it is because these two were a bit older, somewhat settled or simply because they lived their lives without apology but whatever the reason I appreciated the grown up relationship they had going on and loved their off-beat "pet names" that they had for one another.  That's not to say there wasn't a little drama when Mel's secret came out, but I will say that it was warranted drama, it wasn't a contrived plot device; it was real and most of all it was given the proper seriousness it deserved. 

I love when an author can make me smile, make me wish my partner was close by for a quickie, make me sigh and make me laugh out loud and sometimes all in the same paragraph and Lorelei James has done just that in Stripped Down.  While loosely connected to her Blacktop Cowboys series Stripped Down can absolutely be read as a stand -alone story and it is an excellent place to start if you haven't read this author before.  If you have read her, well you are in for 100% pure Lorelei James magic!


Friday, August 28, 2015

IN SUPPORT OF AUTHORS #author #Romance

A Night with local Long Island, New York authors,  Patty Blount, Jolyse Barnett, Jennifer Gracen and Jeannie Moon
 with Book Obsessed Chicks members
Voule Walker, Christine Woinich, myself (Kim Rocha) and Janet Rodman
The Book Review- Huntington, NY

In the past going to the local book store to meet a favorite author was something one could do on a monthly basis. Now however, with bookstores closing and those still around focusing on making their bottom line or concentrating on selling toys instead of books, it's become more difficult for the reader to meet that author. 

Now more than ever, our authors need reader support, especially in a climate where many traditional publishers don't promote well enough, or when an Indie author has to do it all from soup to nuts on their own. It's a daunting task for any author. Most of the public at large has no idea what an author goes through to get published. The trials and tribulations of many of my favorites have made my respect for them multiply by leaps and bounds. 

One of the reasons my book club exists is to help get the word out about those authors who live locally  and those who come to town and are gracious enough to take their time out to visit the Book Obsessed Chicks. Nothing makes me happier than to host an author and have twenty or so new readers waiting to "one-click" that author's book because they enjoyed meeting them during book club. It's a great feeling to help facilitate a new author/reader relationship.

Another way a reader can help support an author is to join in when there is an appearance somewhere nearby. Authors have so many ways to let us know where and when they will be around. Checking out an author's website or other social media for appearances is the number one way to get to know that author on a level that few ever have the chance to do.  My first experience with an author goes way back to 1993 when I had the great fortune of sitting in on a Q&A with my ultimate favorite, Anne Rice. It was in New York City and Anne Rice was discussing her issues with INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE going from novel to screen. I will never forget that day.  

One of the best ways in which to help a writer is to post a review for their book online. The more reader word of mouth, the better. Don't feel intimidated; just a few words of praise for that book and the author's writing can go so far. Yes, we all have read a book or two that maybe we didn't like, but that doesn't mean someone else won't enjoy it, so think of that when writing down your thoughts, because reviews are subjective. 

Most book lovers aren't able to able to attend a reader/author conference, but there are plenty of local signings that are free and are open to the general public. These events would not be able to continue without reader support. When you discover a local event, I urge you all to try to attend. You won't believe how much you can get out of making an author smile just by your presence and imagine all the new books you'll  be able to find. Personally, my life has become so much more enriched by the authors I have met and the new reads I have discovered. I couldn't imagine my life without these talented men and women and their works that keep my imagination flowing. 

Please support authors in any way you can. 

Historical Romance author, Wendy LaCapra at Lady Jane Salon- NYC
The Book Obsessed Chicks 5th Annual Beach BBQ Bash- July 2015

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Finding Gabriel by Rachel L. Demeter

Desperation and despair makes Colonel Gabriel de Laurent want to end his life. Resolved to end it all, Gabriel winds up along the River Seine on a snowy night with a pistol in his mouth. Unfortunately for him, the pistol does not do its job very well and Gabriel winds up on the brink of death.

Ariah Larochelle has had a difficult life, to say the least. Left an orphan at a young impressionable age then betrayed by her best friend, she has had to fight to survive. Trust is a serious issue with this now mother of a young daughter. Ariah lives among poverty awaiting the return of the husband who left for war years before. When she comes across the barely alive Gabriel, her survival instincts flip into high gear as she takes him to her modest home and tasks herself with saving the stranger's life.

Gabriel's injuries are disfiguring, but that isn't the least of it. Ariah's beloved Dr friend tells her that from the wounds, it is obvious there was no foul play involved,but that what occur ed was bu his own hand. Ariah struggles to understand what could bring someone to do that. Even with all that has happened to her in her short life, survival was always the only choice for her. Nursing Gabriel back to health is a job for a saint, for at first he resents that he is still alive and permanently scarred not only on the outside, but to the very depths of his being. 

The more the inconsolable Gabriel spends time with Ariah and her little family, the more he comes to appreciate the second chance he has been given, but those dark secrets of his past still chip away at his soul and it seems the only one who can bring the light to his dark is Ariah. She holds secrets in her heart as well that have shaped the way she has become, but with Gabriel's presence, Ariah sees that there could be a chance for her to trust and love.

FINDING GABRIEL by Rachel L. Demeter is a gut wrenching tale that tugs at the reader's heartstrings and brings tears to your eyes. This story is not for the faint of heart. It is gritty and real and will evoke emotion. I couldn't put it down. Both Ariah's and Gabriel's stories prior to their meeting are emotional roller coasters.  Ms. Demeter's sweeping description of the times and the characters feelings is brilliant, I felt like I was right there alongside Ariah and Gabriel. FINDING GABRIEL is a story that will remain with me for a while for the journey to that HEA almost broke me. Bravo Ms. Demeter for such a memorable tale.


Rachel L. Demeter

1.       Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Thanks for having me on your lovely blog, Kimberly! I live in beautiful Sunny California with Teddy, my goofy lowland sheepdog, and my high school sweetheart of eleven years. Richard and I began dating during our freshman year and have been together ever since. He’s truly my soul mate and greatest inspiration. I’m so grateful to have found him at such a young age!
I graduated from Chapman University’s film school with a BA in Screenwriting. Even though I’m primarily a novelist, film school deepened my love for crafting fiction tenfold; it taught me to concentrate on plotting, dynamic characters, and effective pacing, as well as the importance of visual storytelling. I wouldn’t trade my college education for anything in the world!
Aside from writing like a madwoman, my interests and pastimes include researching history (especially nineteenth century France and the Middle Ages), reading, singing, cooking, health and fitness, playing the violin, videogames (I’m truly a bit of a nerd at heart!), philosophy, and animals.

2.       What was your inspiration for FINDING GABRIEL?

My lifelong love for tortured heroes/heroines, dark romances, and nineteenth century France. And Finding Gabriel truly embodies my passion for all three.
I had yearned to create a pair of imperfect, emotionally and physically scarred protagonists whose deep affection for each other could triumph over seemingly impossible odds. And Colonel Gabriel de Laurent is very much a haunted soul. His twisted past has hardened his heart and driven him to the brink of desperation. Ariah’s gentle nature and ability to persevere presents the ideal counterpoint to his darkness. Though, like Gabriel, she also suffers from a tragic past.
Nineteenth century France has always been a great passion of mine. It was a time of conflict, political intrigue, art, clashing social norms, and romance. While England’s glittering ballrooms present an elaborate atmosphere, I personally feel these settings can become a bit stuffy and repetitive for readers. In my opinion, Paris lends itself to a darker, freer, more liberating and passionate environment. The characters aren’t as tied down by social norms, and the settings are more rustic and real. Also, I was raised on Paris-set musicals, such as Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera—and they continue to inspire my imagination and characters.
Writing Finding Gabriel was a deeply personal experience and a true emotional rollercoaster. At times, the subject matter forced me into uncomfortable and often brutal territories–and the road to Gabriel and Ariah’s Happily Ever After is certainly paved with an abundance of loss, discovery, hope, and, of course, searing passion and relentless love

Every word emerged straight from my soul; I was connected to both Gabriel and Ariah on such a profound level . . . more than I ever imagined possible. When I typed “The End,” I broke into tears. They were no longer characters, but real people and beloved friends. 
I hope that Gabriel and Ariah's journey through darkness touches your heart as much as it did my own.

3.        What are you currently working on?

Many things! My muse has been kind to me recently. I’m thrilled to say that I have several stories in the works, including a historical romance/horror hybrid set in a Victorian asylum, a medieval historical romance, some contemporary romances, and a horror novel. A Kindled Winter, my heart-warming contemporary holiday romance, is scheduled for release in November 2015—so keep on the lookout! :-)

It’s a very exciting (and busy) time!

4.       Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be?

Absolutely. Writing is my life’s blood, my passion, and my greatest obsession. It has always been and always will be. I’ve actually been a writer before I physically learned to write. As a child, one of my favorite pastimes was imagining stories and characters while my mom would record them for me, Now, at the ripe age of twenty-seven, my passion for creating dynamic worlds is stronger than ever before!

Honestly, I could be nothing else but a writer.

5.       Who was your favorite character to write and why?

Can I cheat and say both the hero and heroine? Gabriel was an absolute thrill to write, since his characterization contains so much sexy darkness and transient light all wrapped up in one rugged package.
But Ariah is also multilayered, and was fascinating to bring to life. Many facets of her character were inspired by my mom (who is my personal heroine). She’s the strongest, most loyal, compassionate, independent, and sincere person I know—and I worked hard to incorporate these traits into Ariah’s persona. Like Ariah, she always protects the ones she loves at all costs and is willing to sacrifice everything for her family and what she believes is right.

6.       Do you have any role models? If so, who?

My grandparents, who shared the most inspiring and heartfelt love story of all. My grandpa was the most morally grounded, generous, and kind person—and not a day passes by that he isn’t in my heart and thoughts.

7.       Where can you fans meet you?

Oh, I absolutely love interacting with my readers. Let’s connect!

Pinterest (Gosh, I’m so addicted to this site!):
Author Newsletter (I shall never spam you or be in a nuisance in any way!):

Official Site:

If you live in the Southern California area, I expect to have some book signings in the upcoming months, and I’d love to meet each and every one of you!

8.       Who are your favorite authors?

To name a few: Gaelen Foley, Elizabeth Hoyt, Lisa Kleypas, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Diana Gabaldon, George R. R. Martin, Judith James, and Stephen King. The list goes on and on . . .

9.       What is next for you?

My contemporary holiday themed romance, A Kindled Winter, which releases in November. It’s my first modern set novel and beta hero!

10.   What would you like readers to know about you?

You guys are the reason why I write. I’m beyond honored and grateful for the opportunity to share my stories with you. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Not Always a Saint (The Lost Lords #7) by Mary Jo Putney

After losing beloved betrothed while he was away studying, Daniel Herbert spends his life attempting to help as many people as possible through his work in the medical field, regardless of ability to pay. Not much else matters to Daniel but his work and his sister, Laurel, who finally finds her true love. When Daniel inherits a barony after the entire line is wiped out, he begrudgingly takes on the title. The one thing he knows he must do, is find himself a wife who will be able to help him manage the Romayne legacy.

Jessie Kelham came from inauspicious beginnings. The actress married an older titled gentleman and with him has a good life and a daughter, until Lord Kelham dies. Waiting in the wings to scoop everything the barony has to offer is Kelham's nephew Frederick, but when the will is read and it just so happens that due to an old edict in the family line, Frederick is not the heir, but Jessie's daughter is.  Now Jessie must protect her daughter from the scheming Frederick and the only way she can think of is to marry quickly. She wants someone older, like her husband was a possibly titled to have the weight of a title behind her for protection .

Off to London Jessie goes in her search for a protector and when she meets Daniel Herbert, the new Baron, she is in for quite the time of it. Neither is what the other had in mind in their search for spouses, but their attraction to one another cannot be denied. Only Jessie has a secret that if comes to light can destroy her carefully configured life. Daniel has a gut feeling that he has met Jessie before, but that's impossible, he would have remembered a lady as beautiful as she. Sometimes the plans one sets out to accomplish change drastically, such is the case with Mary Jo Putney's NOT ALWAYS A SAINT.

NOT ALWAYS A SAINT, the seventh installment of the Lost Lords series is achingly poignant tale of desperation as well as one of passion and desire. Jessie's character has undergone a transformation since her meager start, but now that she has her child, she will stop at nothing to make sure her daughter is safe. Daniel Herbert has always been a character I have loved in the series and couldn't wait for his tale. I am not disappointed in the least. Daniel's life hasn't been stellar either. Estranged from his parents in part because of their treatment of his beloved sister, he is a man of principle and honor. He has always cared for everyone but himself , but the time has come for him to wake up and see what's in front of him, in the form of Jessie. The story is well done and full of depth. I enjoyed this story immensely and hope you all will too. Yet another notch in Ms. Putney's belt for a great read! 


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Mistress of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #1) by Delilah Marvelle

And here is where the School of Gallantry saga begins with a grand entrance with Delilah Marvelle's expertise.

Well known courtesan, Madame de Maitenon's beloved granddaughter, Maybelle would like no part of her grandmother's latest venture of a school for gentleman who wish to learn the art of pleasuring their women. Maybelle wants to travel to Egypt, which has endlessly held her fascination, but leaving her grandmother to her own devices may not be possible. 

Maybelle assures Madame de Maitenon that she has no interest in marriage and wishes to remain free, but when Maybelle spies Edmund Worthington, the Duke of Rutherford across the ballroom floor, her interest is piqued. When Maybelle follows the gentleman out to the garden she has no idea what she's in for other than a tryst. 

Edmund Worthington has been trying to repair the poor reputation his family suffered with the antics of his now deceased father. Edmund strives to perfection, but the very forward Maybelle de Maitenon is the epitome of  temptation that Edmund cannot resist. With her ruination complete and public humiliation evident, Maybelle's exit is thwarted by her grandmother's collapse at the ball and the only person willing to aid is Edmund. Now his mother insists on him taking Maybelle to wife and even though it's absurd to him as she not in his class, he accepts what must be done and proposes... um, well not really well and Maybelle refuses. 

With every passing hour Maybelle seems to be getting under Edmund's very skin and now he is determined to marry her. He enrolls and is accepted in the School for Gallantry, which Maybelle has taken over teaching while her grandmother recovers for her apoplexy, and the hunt is on to make the woman who would rather run from a respectable marriage than be a duchess. 

MISTRESS OF PLEASURE by the indomitable Delilah Marvelle is perfection wrapped up in this passionate tale. Edmund Worthington's seemingly over-arrogant persona is quickly quashed when he meets his match with the hard-headed but desirable Maybelle. The attraction between them is so passionate, it threatens to ignite. Ms. Marvelle's secondary characters are so interesting and add so much to this tale. Delilah Marvelle is never afraid to shock one's sensibilities and push the reader to the very edge. I adore this about her. Her writing is brilliant and Ms. Marvelle has an insight that few authors have. If you have never picked up a novel by Delilah Marvelle before, this is a great place to start.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Forbidden (The Wicked Woodleys 1) by Jess Michaels

Every time I read a book by Jess Michaels, I feel the need for a cold shower and a cigarette afterwards. In the case of FORBIDDEN, the first in the Wicked Woodleys series, I also needed a tissue for a few tears.  

After numerous family disappointments that have shaped his life, Jude Samson has accepted his lot in life. Taken in as family by the Woodleys and treated as a brother, Jude is eldest brother, Edward Woodley's man of business, but ever since he was a young man he has held Woodley sibling, Audrey in the highest of regards. No one knows that beneath his cool demeanor, Jude has the most passionate of thoughts about Audrey. 

When Audrey's sister Claire runs off to marry a rogue who would ruin her, the entire family is affected by her loss, but Audrey the most since the sisters had been so close. Believing that passion is the downfall of her family, Audrey tries her best to hold her emotions at bay. Now in her twenty-fourth year, it is time for her to settle on a husband, but Audrey can only think of the man her family took in so many years ago, Jude Samson.

Noting that Audrey has been discomfited and withdrawn as of late, her mother suggests the two of them depart for the family's country estate, which will be her dower home since Edward has re-married, to help her in renovating some of the rooms to her taste. When Edward tasks Jude with helping the pair in these renovations he unknowingly throws a match into a box of tinder by having Jude and Audrey spend time alone.

Audrey's fear of passion is chipped away when she begins to realize that Jude feels as deeply for her as she for him, but only an affair will be possible between these two since Jude has a few skeletons in his closet that could leave him tossed aside by the Woodleys if they find out that he has something to do with Claire's disappearance. Although Jude also feels he is only a servant to the Woodleys, Audrey knows that is not true, but convincing Jude he is worthy of her is difficult. Jude's and Audrey's illicit affair teems with desire, but will it be enough to purge the emotions that bring the two together. Methinks not.

Where does one go after Jess Michaels NOTORIOUS FLYNNS? Why the WICKED WOODLEYS, of course. FORBIDDEN is a not only a tale with great passion, it is also one of familial love and kinship. After Claire's disappearance the Woodleys struggle to keep one another close even with such loss. The Woodleys evident love for one another is alluring and wonderful. Jude is a strong male on a mission, to put his baser feelings for the beauty named Audrey aside. Happily, he fails in that regard and thus he and the fiery Audrey make for a steamy tale. I look forward to more about the Woodleys as I have now adopted them as my own.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Spotlight on Author E.E. Burke and FUGITIVE HEARTS (Steam! Romance and Rails Book 4)


The story of FUGITIVE HEARTS begins with a murder confession gone haywire. Hotel owner, Claire Daines approaches an inebriated Sheriff Frank McGarrity in the town saloon in her nightgown to confess she has just killed her husband. In addition to finding the body of Claire's husband dead, the young Billy, a boy Claire took in to care for is missing and could very well know all that happened the this horrid night.

Claire Daines has always been a paragon in town. The hotel owner is well liked and a hard worker who also cared for her ailing husband, but one night changes everything. Now Frank McGarrity must sift through the vague confession and lies to get to the bottom of what truly happened before sending a woman he has been holding a torch for to the hangman's noose. The new widow however has many secrets and she needs to find Billy before Frank does. 

Before all is said and done Frank and Claire are faced with outlaws and danger in the search for truth and redemption. The more time they search for the truth, the deeper they become entwined in each other's lives and the feelings they share for one another begin to heat up. Can Claire actually trust Frank? Can Frank solve this mystery while falling deep for the winsome widow? Will Billy be able to understand that he isn't to blame for what's going on in his life? All these questions and more are answered in E.E. Burke's FUGITIVE HEARTS.

FUGITIVE HEARTS the fourth book in the Steam! Romance and Rails series is an exciting follow-up to
 A DANGEROUS PASSION. Claire Daines has a lot on her plate with a husband who suffers from his memories of the war, the boy she has taken in due to his poor circumstances and the fact that her husband goes behind her back to sell her hotel. Even a strong woman can only take so much until breaking.  Frank McGarrity has also suffered loss in his lifetime and has ended up using alcohol as his solace. He does his job well but beyond that, his life doesn't have a whole lot of meaning until Claire Daines disrupts his life.

 Both Claire and Frank are strong and intriguing characters with fascinating beginnings. Billy is also a pivotal part of this story and for someone so young, he has a lot going on. FUGITIVE HEARTS is a well written and engrossing tale which takes place during a very unsettling time in US history. Ms. Burke has gone and effortlessly captured the aura of Westward expansion within the railroad and has made it her own. E.E. Burke has given the reader excitement and romance wound up in a gripping tale called FUGITIVE HEARTS


Author E.E. Burke

After reading all four books in the Steam! Romance and Rails series, I asked E.E. Burke what her inspiration for the series was and here is her awesome response 

When I set out to write an American historical romance series, I wanted to focus themes hard-wired into our national identity like ambition and self-determination, and events that figured large in driving rapid cultural changes. The most natural setting for stories brimming with passion and ambition is the most ambitious event in America’s history—the construction of the railroads. The historic events that occurred during the expansion of the railroads across America encapsulate the spirit of the times and make the perfect setting for love stories replete with conflicted emotions. In fact, the Railroad Period makes a perfect backdrop for uniquely American love stories.

Steam! Romance and Rails is a series about passion and ambition. Those are two of the most powerful drivers in human history, and when they come together an explosion is inevitable. These two force are evident in every story, whether it's about an Indian outlaw out to stop white encroachment, or a railroad chief determined to succeed, or a sheriff who'll stop at nothing to get to the truth and uphold the law.

E.E. Burke at RT in Dallas, May 2015

E.E. Burke writes romance from the heart, woven with history the way it really happened in the old American West. Her work has received accolades in numerous contests, including the RWA’s prestigious Golden Heart®.
You can reach her on:


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What to Do with a Duke (Spinster House #1) by Sally MacKenzie

Cat Hutting is surrounded by family. Between her parents and her ten siblings, she has no place to write her book. For as much as she loves her family, she craves solitude and the only way that will happen is if she leaves her family home.

When Marcus, the handsome Duke of Hart appears in the charming village of Loves Bridge, Cat knows that something is up, for the duke hasn't been in Loves Bridge in almost a lifetime. After Marcus receives a letter that there is a vacancy at Spinster House, it is his job to find a new spinster to occupy the house and once Cat discovers this, she knows she has her way out. 

With the solution to his troubles in front of him, Marcus sees the end in sight until the rules set up by the first spinster are discovered and thwart Cat's search for quiet. She is not the only spinster vying for a place in Spinster House, two of her friends also covet the spot and they will do what they must to achieve that end, even if it upends the Duke of Hart's carefully cool existence. Did I mention the curse? Ah well you see, the first spinster cursed the Hart dukedom when her love for Marcus' ancestor lead her to her end. The curse cites that no duke shall live to see his heir's birth and Marcus has seen this curse work so convincingly over the generations. Only true love can break the curse, but Marcus believes that true love is a fallacy. 

Cat doesn't believe in the curse and finds that Marcus' belief is a detriment. Marcus is attracted to the feisty Cat, but knows that any relationship between them is doomed, but he simply can't get her out of his mind! Cat protests her interest in the duke, but their attraction simmers making this story too good to pass up.

WHAT TO DO WITH A DUKE by the incomparable Sally MacKenzie is a delightful tale teeming with excitement, mystery and humor.  Not only are the hero and heroine delightful, but the colorful cast of characters in the Hutting family and their surrounding neighbors add to the enchanting story.
Ms. MacKenzie knows well how to play on the reader's emotions right down to the final word. This first book in the SPINSTER HOUSE series WHAT TO DO WITH A DUKE is a must read for fans of historical romance. 


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Guest ARC Review of Jennifer Fusco ~ FIGHTING FOR IT (The Ringside Series) ~ (Author Debut)

The first in a sexy new series where the hard-hitters of Las Vegas’s Stamina boxing gym are K.O.-ed by the women they never saw coming...

After suffering a devastating loss during his last fight, heavyweight boxer Jack Brady’s whole career went down for the count. Now, his late manager’s daughter has inherited his contract and Jack is pleased to discover that the girl he fell in love with as a kid has grown into a strong, sexy woman—until she makes it clear that Jack has no choice but to get in the ring.

Daniella Chambers is determined to get her father’s failing gym back on track with Jack’s upcoming fight. She knows Jack’s got the talent to become champion and decides to force the unmotivated fighter away from the neon lights of Vegas to train in the seclusion of her lake house. But when they take a time out from their sessions to steam up the bedroom, the urge to win gets all tangled up with their desires.

Now, Jack’s fight is swiftly approaching, and the fate of the gym isn’t the only thing on the ropes...

This was an amazing read. It is so easy to like Jack and Danni, especially due to all of the problems they faced. I really liked the dynamics for their relationship because Jack was really sorry for pushing Danni away but still tried to put Danni before his own happiness. Danni was a woman who thrived in the combative world of boxing. She took the place that her late father left her and wouldn't back out even though the odds were against her. These two fight for the happiness of the other and they will battle anyone who got in the way of the others success. All in all Ms. Fusco wrote a great book that was hard to put down.

PS: This book contains a lot of sizzling sex scenes

Monday, August 10, 2015

My Enchanting Hoyden (Once Upon a Rogue #3) by Julie Johnstone

When a family tragedy leaves sisters Jemma and Anne Adair in the hands of their seemingly cold and unfeeling English grandfather who uproots the young ladies from their home in America to London.  Their grandfather is quick with his wishes to see both ladies married and he has even picked out the prospective groom for Jemma. Jemma, however, is no simpering female and has decided to foil her grandfather's plans with her willful resistance and her clear mistrust of the male population after the betrayal from the man she loved.

Philip De Vere, Lord Harthorne is struggling to survive the financial difficulty left by his father. His mounting debts have made it almost impossible to care for his family and something must be done before his poor mother expires from the horror of the possibility of being destitute. Philip always thought he would marry for love, but the lover of poetry finds his dreams dashed when he realizes the only way out of the situation is to find a woman with a large dowry to marry.

In typical Jemma fashion, a bet becomes the beginning of a fascinating chase when Jemma and Philip meet. Philip has never seen a lady like Jemma. A hoyden of the first order, Jemma lets no man close and Philip is no exception, until she agrees to help him with lessons in becoming a rake if he assist her in foiling the plans Jemma's grandfather has for her with the repugnant man he has given leave to court her. The more time they spend in each other's company, the more it is clear to many surrounding the pair that Jemma and Philip are perfect for one another. Unfortunately, neither sees anything but the task at hand and even though Philip finds Jemma to be captivating and is drawn to her, he has nothing to offer her and Jemma still struggles with her mistrust of men. 

Making both Philip and Jemma see what is right before them is a task worth reading in MY ENCHANTING HOYDEN by JULIE JOHNSTONE. This wonderful story by Julie Johnstone, one of my very favorite authors, has a menagerie of fabulous characters who add to the alluring tale of two people who resist the inevitable. Jemma has good reason to be wary of men, but meeting Philip makes her think twice about her perceptions. Even with the despair of Philip's financial problems he finds out that sacrificing love for family comfort may not be all that it's cracked up to be.  If you are looking for a story with hope and depth of feeling, Julie Johnstone's ENCHANTING HOYDEN is for you, as are all the stories that Miss Johnston writes.


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Lady Overton's Perilous Journey (Honorable Rogue Book 1) by Vikki Vaught

Anissa, the widowed Marchioness of Overton will do anything to protect her son from the wiles of her deceased husband's uncle, Lord Howard's machinations, even leave all she holds dear behind in England and set sail for America. Anissa swears her young son to silence of who they really are and asks the Captain Alex Hawks to allow the lady and her son passage on his ship. The handsome Captain reluctantly agrees to do so discovering soon that Anissa is not all she admits to being. 

As the ship sets sail to a commotion on the docks, Alex immediately understands that Anissa and her child are fleeing from something serious and although he is hesitant, he will stop at nothing to keep Anissa and her son safe from harm. He does not however ensure that she will come to no harm from him as his attraction to her builds daily and Anissa feels that spark of attraction as well.  As a widow, Anissa has the freedom to do as she wishes, but risking her son's life and his inheritance keeps her wary of that attraction to the Captain. 

When Alex discovers the true reason for Anissa's flight he vows to keep her safe by means of using his family's help. Opening up his home to Anissa and the young boy for months only brings the two people from different walks of life closer. Alex believes he can never be good enough for Anissa but his feelings for her could his good sense. Love has a way of seeping in and changing everything and Alex and Anissa are not immune to the effects.

When danger in the form of Lord Howard, comes seeking his prize, Alex has no idea how dangerous an enemy he has. Anissa and her son have come to mean so much to him that losing either one of them would tear out his heart. Now all he has to do is eliminate the danger and restore Anissa and the young Marquess to their proper places.

LADY OVERTON'S PERILOUS JOURNEY by VIKKI VAUGHT is a wonderful story with intrigue and romance. The Captain is a perfect Alpha and his protectiveness towards Anissa is stirring. Lord Howard's hatred towards Anissa and his nephew's heir makes this story fascinating and a nail biter. This is the very first book by Vikki Vaught that I have read and it will not be my last as I have enjoyed the journey that this talented author has taken readers like myself on. Ms. Vaught is eloquent and her evident love for historical romance shines.


Undone by His Kiss (Regency Charms #2) by Anabelle Bryant

Author Anabelle Bryant is one of the best new voices in historical romance and with UNDONE BY HIS KISS she has cemented her place to my "must read" list.

After severe disappointment in the relationship area, Miss Emily Shaw decides to bask in independence by renting her own room and creating the League of Virtuous Equality, where women can learn how to support themselves in their freedom from a male society. Guarding her heart from another scathing ache, Emily has no time to ponder love until the unthinkable happens in the form of a man named Jasper.

Jasper St. David isn't looking for love, but when he comes face to face with the conundrum named Emily, his strength to hold her determination and light at bay is sheer nonsense. Being in such close quarters to one another puts a chink in his apparent armor and only makes his ardor for Emily rise. Jasper's struggles for acceptance from his family also makes him wary where Emily is concerned, but the chase that ensues is quite charming and will bring the reader back for more. 

UNDONE BY HIS KISS by Anabelle Bryant is one of those stories that you can't put down. Miss Bryant's writing is intelligent and gripping. This second book in the Regency Charms series is a fabulous follow-up to the first book, DEFYING THE EARL, which is also a must read. My only issue with this series is how long I will have to wait for the next one... Anabelle? I am waiting! 


Saturday, August 8, 2015


I read a lot of gay romance, a lot and so when I finally got to meet Damon Suede last week and actually talk to the man I knew I wanted to read something he'd written and he suggested I start with Hot Head.  This book was written in 2011 and Mr. Suede has released more books since then and if I'm not mistaken this was his first published work and it was good.  Having read many, many gay romance books I appreciate the fact that this book has been somewhat of a front runner and lead the way for other gay romance books to be accepted and published.  While I did enjoy this book at times the story seemed to be a little long winded, especially at the beginning and to be honest I wanted more once these two men realized that in each other they had found what had been missing in their lives.  I wanted to see how their fellow firefighters accepted or didn't accept their intimate relationship, I wanted to know how the rest of Dante's family reacted to their news and Griff's father and more important I wanted them to discuss what they saw in their future if Griff's dream of having children with Dante was something they both wanted.  To be honest, I also would have like a few more steamy intimate scenes between them once they professed their love as well.  All in all, this story had good bones; the characters were charismatic, and their story compelling.

Griff and Dante have been friends for years honestly they are even closer than friends because Dante's large Italian family pretty much adopted Griff after his mother died and his father couldn't seem to find the time to parent him.  They've been through a lot together including the aftermath of 9/11 in which Dante was hurt and Griff saved him.  Griff married and divorced and now years later he's fighting the fact that he wants his best friend to be more than a friend something he is sure his very heterosexual friend would balk at.  Throughout this book we see time after time that Griff will do anything for Dante because truth of the matter is he loves the guy (and there isn't anything brotherly about that love).  When Dante needs money he ends up doing some online porn and ends up getting Griff involved where they share some very erotic scenes together all in the name of earning money (or so Griff thinks).  I'll admit that the back and forth between these two with them both running away and refusing to talk about what was going on with them drove me a bit nuts and I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that while this bugged me I can't help but wonder if because this book is written by a gay man rather than a woman writing gay romance that this is more accurate in how men react.  Keep in mind that's not a bad thing; it is simply me trying to figure out if this is normal for two men trying to figure out a relationship and men are just not as good at talking about admitting to or talking about their feelings. 

There were some interesting secondary characters including Alek the man who ran the porn site who was professional, polite and as it turns out a good guy.  Tommy, a paramedic whose life is turned upside down in this story but begins to understand that true friends are worth so much and I'm so hoping at some point we'll get his story.  Dante's large family who add some Italian flair, a whole lot of love and gives excellent advice even from one of the youngest in the bunch.  All of these add a whole lot to this story not to mention help these two men see things from different sides and offer some sage advice when the time is right.

It took Dante and Griff a long time to get to their happy place in this story and even after they both finally admitted they wanted one another there were still a few tense times as they worked through Dante's hot jealousy but like I said I wanted to see more of them after this point and yes, now is the time to point out that I'm just a nosey, greedy beyotch.  It's okay I can take it. 

I enjoyed this story and after speaking with the author I could hear his voice in this book and because of his exuberance for gay romance and romance in general I will be checking out this other offerings.  As for Hot Head; it was funny, touching, and downright sexy and it is NEVER a bad thing when two people find love especially two people who had denied themselves for so long.


Friday, August 7, 2015

Regency Rules Are Made to Be Broken

There’s no question that Regency romances dominate the historical romance space. For lots of romances the HEA happens due to a sweeping romantic gesture from one partner to the other. Never one to conform to the norm, historical romance authors Grace Burrowes and Jane Ashford are here to share how they break the mold in their latest titles, Tremaine’s True Love and Married to a Perfect Stranger.

                Grace Burrowes, author of Tremaine’s True Love: When Nita realizes that she and Tremaine envision incompatible job descriptions for her as his wife, she breaks the engagement. Tremaine accepts his rejection gracefully (when Nita’s looking). Part of what he loves about her is her ability to make up her own mind, to think for herself, to bring strength to the union, and not just a pretty pair of dancing slippers.
                To hang around and wheedle, or to inveigle Nita’s siblings into changing her mind would be to disrespect her, and also to hurt her. Nita’s rejection of Tremaine is her head overruling her heart, and he knows this.
                Tremaine also knows that Nita’s own family has failed to grasp how unique she is, and when they won’t defend some of the choices she’s made, Tremaine steps in—even after he’s been jilted.
                He leaves her, but he never stops protecting her or trusting her integrity, and thus the door opens for the happily ever after.

Jane Ashford, author of Married to a Perfect Stranger: The moment that John displays his love for Mary is a quieter, but perhaps deeper recognition. Mary and John are not much respected by their families. They’ve both been dismissed as negligible personalities. As they fall in love during the story, they give each other the gift of acknowledgement and admiration, which lets them both come into their power as individuals. This all culminates for Mary when John praises her artistic talent – her ability to capture the essence of a person in her portraits. The moment is especially moving and significant because this very talent had previously gotten them in trouble with the powerful Lady Castlereagh and threatened to ruin his career.

Title: Tremaine’s True Love
Author: Grace Burrowes

He’s had everything he could ever want…until now

Wealthy wool magnate Tremaine St. Michael is half French, half Scottish, and all business. He prowls the world in search of more profits, rarely settling in one place for long. When he meets practical, reserved Lady Nita Haddonfield, he sees an opportunity to mix business with pleasure by making the lady his own.

Nita Haddonfield has a meaningful life tending to others, though nobody is dedicated to caring for Nita. She insists the limitations of marriage aren’t for her, then Tremaine St. Michael arrives—protective, passionate, and very, very determined to win Nita’s heart.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Grace Burrowes has written over thirty-five books and has won numerous awards including a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award. Grace is a practicing family law attorney and lives in rural Maryland.

Buy Links:

Title: Married to a Perfect Stranger
Author: Jane Ashford

Time and distance have changed them both…

Quiet and obliging, Mary Fleming and John Bexley marry to please their families and John immediately leaves on a two-year diplomatic mission. Now John is back, and everything they thought they knew about each other was wrong…

It’s disconcerting, irritating—and somehow all very exciting…

Jane Ashford discovered Georgette Heyer in junior high school and was captivated by the glittering world and witty language of Regency England. Her romances have been published all over the world. Jane has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award by RT Book Reviews. She lives in Los Angeles, California.

Buy Links: