This week at Smexy….
A review – Any Duchess Will Do by Tessa Dare (historical)
B+ review – Rocky Mountain Rebel by Vivian Arend (contemporary)
B review – Blood Trade by Faith Hunter (urban fantasy)
B- review – Driven by K. Bromberg (contemporary)
C+ review – Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson (urban fantasy)
C+ review – Blood of Isis by Elizabeth Otto (paranormal)
C review – Racing for the Sun by Amy Lane (m/m contemporary)
C review – Wanderlust by Skye Warren (contemporary)
C- review – The Marrying Season by Candace Camp (historical)
D review – The Stolen Luck by Shawna Reppert (fantasy m/m)
D review – Screwed by Laura Plissner (new adult)
News From Mandi: I finished Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley and loved it. Loooooooved it. Starting Sweet Dreams by her next.
The Look of Love by Bella Andre was okay. It’s the first of her Sullivan series and introduces us to all the siblings. I found the story nice and sweet – but I felt emptions and something else was missing. It just kind of bounced along and I wanted a little more. Review coming.
Captive by debut author KM Fawcett is an action-packed paranormal. The hero and heroine are both humans who have been kidnapped to an alien planet to breed alpha gladiators. It’s a cool concept. I think the romance was a little flat and I wanted a little more with the aliens but this is a fun book. Review coming.
I had to DNF Reverse Cowgirl by Jayden Wilkes. The erotic tone just wasn’t for me – it felt out of place for the characters for some reason. Just didn’t flow.
The Elusive Wife by Callie Hutton was a rec from Tori and it’s a cute historical. The hero and heroine have an arraigned marriage and the hero shows up drunk for the wedding. (very humorous scene) Later he leaves and doesn’t remember what his bride looks like, and then she kind of goes into hiding in London as he tries to track her down. There are some very funny scenes in this one. I’d probably give it a B-/C+ range – I wish some of the scenes had played out longer – I feel like they were abrupt. Cute though.
I’m currently reading Forbidden Fires by Jodie Griffin. Nice start!
Tori’s News: I didn’t do my wrap up for last week so this will be a long one.
Ilona Andrew continues to elevate their convoluted world of magic and romance in their Kate Daniels series with their July release of Magic Rises. We see new risks being taken and a distinct turn in the arc. Well worth the wait. Review to come.
Mandi told me I HAD to read The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen and she was right. A delicious NA that addresses abuse and shame between to people whose secrets both draw them together and drive them apart. This is a trilogy so the ending, while not a huge cliffie, doesn’t leave you with an HEA or even and HFN. I’m looking forward to book two which release Aug 6.
Christine Feehan has always been a hit and miss for me and this is proven in her latest release, Leopard’s Prey. I found the hero crossed the line one to many times for me with his unattractive alpha traits and the multiple plot lines suffered due to the overwhelming empathise placed on the romance. Review to come.
Callie Hutton’s The Elusive Wife was a impulse request and I’m so glad I’m impulsive. A delightfully romantic and humorous regency romance that follows a clueless Earl and his attempts to get his wife to forgive him for being a complete arse. The engaging storyline and dynamic characters made this a keeper for my romance shelf. Review to come.
Jennifer Ashley is an auto buy author for me and her latest release, Tiger Magic, just solidifies that. I adored this PNR that has a hero that reminded me of Lord Ian from her Highland series. A well plotted storyline that takes the series to a new level and introduces some new characters I can’t wait to meet in their own books. I feel all Ashley fans will fall in love with the hero in here as much as I did. Review to come.
I DNF’d Love Rehab by Jo Piazza. Will I found the premise interesting, once I started reading, the superficial aspects of the story and characters wore me down.
Lord of Wicked Intentions by Lorraine Heath is a sensual dark historical romance that appealed to my romantic side. Though I didn’t read the first two in the series, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment or understanding. The hero and heroine will both tug at your heartstrings and you’ll find yourself practically ripping the book in half as you cheer for their HEA. Review to come.
Still by Mary Calmes is an enjoyable abet short M/M romance that tells the story of two men who separate after seventeen years of marriage and their rocky journey back to one another. A well written story that would have been served better had it been longer. Review to come.
Some reviewer friends of mine heard of my aversion to military romances and recommended Suzanne Brockmann’s Troublemaker series to me. I have read the first two in the series, The Unsung Hero and The Defiant Hero. Both were fun to read with a fast and well written storyline, the multiple plots, and a cast of personable characters. Though I will admit I really didn’t like the heroine in The Defiant Hero. She fell into the TSTL category. I’m looking forward to reading more in the series as I can.
Rock The Heart by Michelle A. Valentine was okay but offered up nothing new in the overly saturated NA rockstar genre. I found the heroine to be a whiny immature woman who always chooses to believe the worse of the man she supposedly loved. I never understand that plot device. It’s part of a series so maybe both will mature by book two but I wouldn’t bet on it.
The Fighter’s Block by Hadley Quinn was a fast predictable read. An NA with an MMA hero who straddles the beta/alpha line and falls in loves with the damsel he rescues from an abusive boyfriend. I was a little put off by the heroine’s sleeping with hero right after he rescues her in beginning of book. It felt like she was rewarding him and it dampened my enthusiasm for the rest of the story.
Tessa Dare’s Beauty and The Blacksmith is a delightful novella that takes us back to Spindle Cove and gives us a smoking hot romance between Lady Diana and the town’s sexy blacksmith. Who knew durty could be so much fun? This helped lower my impatience for her soon to release next Spindle Cove novel-Any Duchess Will Do. Dare has revealed that this is it for Spindle Cove as of now, though she may revisit the series in the future. She has a new series releasing in 2014 that I am looking forward to reading.
Erin Kern’s Here Comes Trouble is the first book is a small town contemporaries that revolve around a family of siblings. Each book is formulated to give each sibling their HEA. A low key storyline and pleasant somewhat one dimensional characters makes this book a perfect beach reading. My one issue is both the H/H had a similar problem (intrusive annoying parents) and it felt weird that neither spoke to one another about it.
As a true fangirl of Jennifer Estep’s I was pleased to not only received Heart of Venom to read (which May and I will be joint reviewing) but I also received Midnight Frost AND the accompanying novella, Spartan Frost, which gives us Logan’s POV after the events in Crimson Frost. Frankly, it was an Estep read a thon and I was in heaven. :) All three installments are fantastic and well worth the read. Reviews to come on all three books.
This weekend I will be reading Reckless Viscount by Amy Standas, Sweet Thing by Renee Carlino, and hopefully Jenn Bennett’s Binding The Shadows.