Weekly Wrap-Up

This week at Smexy….

A review – Enslaved by Elisabeth Naughton (pnr)
B+ review – The Gravedigger’s Brawl by Abigail Roux (m/m pnr)
B+ review – River Road by Suzanne Johnson (urban fantasy)
B review – Alchemystic by Anton Strout (urban fantasy)
B review – Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis (contemporary)
B- review – Checkmate by R.L. Mathewson (contemporary)
C+ review – One Night with a Hero by Laura Kaye (contemporary)
C review – Barefoot in the Rain by Roxanne St. Clair (contemporary)
D review – Construction Beauty Queen by Sara Daniel (contemporary)

Guest Author HelenKay Dimon
The Hot & Cold Blog Tour with Elle Kennedy and Vivian Arend
May discusses: Series, Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run
Interview with Jill Shalvis
Top Ten Reasons to read Leave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn 
Smexy’s Top Ten

News From Mandi: I started the week with Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones. Stalker storylines are not my favorite, but this one worked pretty well for me. What I was disappointed in were the glossed over sex scenes. Great sexual tension and build up, bad payoff. Nice hero and heroine though. Review coming soon.

Next I went historical with The Importance of Being Wicked by Miranda Neville. This starts a new series about four badly behaved art collectors. In this one, the heroine is badly behaved. Widowed, she likes to live it up and doesn’t care much about her reputation. When she meets ‘Lord Stuffy’ aka the Duke of Castleton, she falls for him. The problem is, I was never fully convinced they were a match. They were so different – would they really be happy forever and ever? I’ll talk more about it in my review coming at the end of this month.

I didn’t finish Man of Her Dreams by Teresa Blue. The heroine breaks up with her fiance early in the book and I wish more emphasis had been put upon that loss. She also clings to this stuff doll, which seemed a tiny bit odd to me. Just not my cup of tea.

As I blogged about earlier this week, Leave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn is a hot and steamy erotic read that I definitely recommend. Look above for the link.

I finished the week with A Taste of Ice by Hanna Martine. I didn’t like this one as much as book one, but I’ll definitely be continuing with this paranormal romance series. I like this author’s voice. Review coming in later December.

I’m currently reading Getting Hotter by Elle Kennedy and let me tell you – she knows how to write erotics y’all. I am loving this book! The Navy SEAL hero Seth is such a bad boy…..so well done. The book comes out this Tuesday, I’ll be sure to blog about it.

News From Helyce:  Not too much to report this week.

I did read and very much enjoyed My Kind of Christmas by Robyn Carr.  Virgin River is my most favorite fictitious place to visit and I was very happy to get back there.  In this story, we get to know Patrick Riordan.  Patrick is a navy pilot who is in Virgin River grieving the loss of his best friend who died in a plane crash during a mission. He just wants some alone time, to grieve before he has to make a decision to either continue on and take a new assignment, or get out.  He also has a promise to keep; to take care of his friend Jake’s wife and son. A promise he doesn’t take lightly, and has every intention of keeping.  He doesn’t count on meeting Angie LaCroix, though.  Angie has also come to Virgin River for some peace and quiet.  She survived a horrific car accident and it changed how she looks at life.  She’s not sure the goals she had before her accident are still important to her.  When these two meet, sparks fly and as both have someplace to be or something to do after Christmas, they enter into a relationship of sorts knowing that there is an end date.  But best laid plans and all; their meeting will change the course of both their lives. Loved this one! Because it’s Christmas time, we get a reunion of sorts and see a lot of character’s from previous books.

I also started Dex In Blue by Amy Lane.  This is the sequel to Chase in Shadow which I loved.  I thought I was in the mood for Ms. Lane’s  unique brand of angst, but I kept getting distracted by my life, so I had to put it down. I liked the direction it was going, however.  Timeline wise, we begin before Chase in Shadow, so we get some background into how Johnnies came to be. I hope to pick it back up this weekend.

I fell on the Cherrie Lynn bandwagon this week after seeing Mandi’s tweets and subsequent Top Ten Reasons to read Leave Me Breathless this past week.  Something about the author’s name rang a bell for me, so I checked my Nook and found that I had in fact read Rock Me a while back.  While I had given it a high rating, I couldn’t remember the story, so I spot read it and quickly remembered why I gave it such high marks.  It was Brian-pierced, tattooed, bad boy, Brian. Yup! Having been reminded of who exactly Macy is, I’m very excited to read the next book, which I have already started and plan to read until I can’t keep my eyes open anymore.

After this erotic-rom-fest, I will be reading Nightbred by Lynn Viehl.  I cannot wait to get back to this world too!’

Tori News:  Sarah Mayberry’s Within Reach is a wonderful emotional roller coaster ride as a widower tries to deal with losing his wife and his strengthening attraction to her best friend. This is my third book by Mayberry and I find myself enchanted with her writing. J

Just Ask by Mia Downing is a sexy GRY story with plenty of steamy MM loving in the romantic locale of the Fuji Islands.

All In, book #2 in the Blackstone Affair by Raine Miller was a HUGE disappointment after book #1. This one is told from Ethan’s POV and frankly, it does not work.

A fellow blogger and friends expressed shock and dismay to learn I have never read Linda Howard’s MacKenzie series. So she gifted me the collection and commanded me to read. LOVED! We start with Wolf’s story, which in my opinion, was the best. Each additional story revolves around Wolf’s children and what happens when they meet the love of their lives. All fast paced, well plotted, romantic suspenses. The only one I didn’t like was Chance’s story. Not enough groveling and man, did Chance need to grovel.

I adore Moira Rogers so I was shocked to see I actually missed a series by her. I read the 1st book in her Down & Dirty seriesWild Cardand loved the short erotic PNR. There are 2 more in the series which I now have waiting on me. Wild Card is free right now on Amazon.

For RT magazine I read The Best Erotics for 2013. An anthology of one night erotic scenes between couples that encompass new love, old love, and second chance love. Enjoyed it overall though there were a few stories that left me feeling meh. Review will appear in Feb issue.

I read a few holiday romances this week, which always make me happy. Jill Shalvis’s Under The Mistletoe is a cute novella about Mia (Tara and Ford’s daughter) and her new man Nick. Fast paced with a perfect balance of angst and humor. Holiday Kisses-A Holiday Romance Collection is a collection of stories about second chance love. I liked the first story, This Time Next Year by Alison Kent, but the rest of the stories had heroines who annoyed me. I admire a strong heroine but these women just bulldozed over their loved ones, decided they knew best.

My YA read for the week was The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan is a psychological YA thriller about a young girl who is sent to a posh reform school and finds herself under the spell of a cult leader. Enjoyable though matter of fact in it’s telling. Corrigan does a great job of showing us the evolution of a cult leader and how easy it is to succomb to their emotional manipulation. Review to come.

I re read Anne Stuart’s Black Ice for an article I was writing and yup, it’s just as creepy and disturbing this time around as it was the first time I read it. Like anti heroes? This one has that and more. I’m also re reading Patricia Brigg’sMercy Thompson series because it’s just that good and and I want to be ready for the Frost Burned, which releases in March 2013.

This weekend I hope to finish Karen Robards’ Shiver and Sara Reinke’s Once Bitten.

News From May: This week I read a book that delighted me! The Lady Most Willing is another group effort by James, Quinn, and Brockway– only this one worked! With details that made me think of the classic film 7 brides for 7 brothers, this was such a fun read. Full review to come!

Next up I am reading Kept by Shawntelle Madison, second in a new series that I have strong hopes for! Review to come.

Now, lets hope I survive the pre-thanksgiving madness!

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