Monthly Archives: January 2014

Tattoo Tuesday!

Source: mancrushoftheday.tumblr (Colin Wayne)
Source: mancrushoftheday.tumblr (Matt Chapman for DNA magazine)

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Review of “Holiday Heat” – Jaci Burton and Lauren Dane


Jaci’s novella Unraveled – Book Two in Unwrapped & Unraveled
 Entrepreneur Mitch Magruder wants to buy old friend Greta Mason’s rundown motel. Greta loves the motel and intends to hang tight, despite the feelings between her and Mitch. Can a man afraid to commit and a woman bruised by the past find a love worth building a future on?
Sweet Charity by Lauren Dane. 

Eight years after a horrible one night stand, Charity and Gabriel finally find themselves in bed again. Trouble is, he thinks she’s too nice a girl to accept his darker sexual urges, so he’ll only agree to a short term fling. Gabriel’s about to find out that even sweet girls have their limits.
Review

If you’re looking for two novellas that back a punch of oodles, upon oodles of sex, then you won’t be disappointed. Lauren’s tale even features scenes involving BDSM. And if I know my followers, I’m sure this tidbit has peaked some interest to pick it up. 

My only negative comment about “Sweet Charity” is….. I really didn’t like Charity begged Gabriel from the start to have sex with her. I know she was frustrated, sexually and emotionally, but throwing herself at him repeatedly. Yes, she’s loved him for years and knew they were meant together, but for some reason, it soured the story a bit for me. Not enough to put it down though. 😉

As for “Unraveled” – Mitch is sweet, sexy, loving, considerate, great father figure…. Hmm, he seems too perfect and after you read the love story between Mitch and Greta, you’ll understand why Jaci created him this way. Yup, no spoilers on Greta’s backstory. 🙂


Heart rating system – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)  Score: ❤❤❤



Purchase links: Amazon – Print / Kindle

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Review of “Rush” – Maya Banks

Book Summary

When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.
Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires.
As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected.
Review with spoilers!
I wanted to state, before I posted this, I checked the publishing history for both stories I’m mentioning in this critique. Also, I want to apologize if my review upsets any readers or fans of her work but I must say what’s on my mind. With that said, I will make sure and list some positive aspects of the story because I am NOT a heartless bitch. I understand writing is time consuming and handwork so praise should be given as well. 
“Rush” – Berkley trade paperback edition/ February 2013

“Fifty Shades of Grey” by E L James – First published by The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House. Australia. 2011.

“Rush” is the first and only book I’ve read by Maya Banks. I went into it with high hopes because the author was suggested to me based on my taste of erotic romances. 

I’m sorry to say I was more than a little disappointed with it. (No offense to those who liked it.) But, it is way too similar to book one of 50 Shades of Grey.

Let me list a few of those similarities to you.
1.) A billionaire guy, Gabe, asks a woman, Mia,  to read and sign a contract before they engage in a BDSM relationship. (contract not present. Mia, the lead role, only mentions what passages say.) The two people meet to negotiate sections she has issues with before she signs it. (Must state that unlike 50 Shades, the Dom role is a friend of the family. In fact, it’s her brother’s best friend and business partner.)

2.) Gabe’s persistent Mia eats. 

3.) There is a scene where she overindulges in alcohol and he’s there taking care of her. She can’t hold her liquor either.

4.) He drops to his knees and asks her not to leave him – ever. 

5.) There is a male villain who uses personal information about the couple to meet his own agenda. He (the nutso) doesn’t win either.

6.) A friend discovers their relationship and is pissed at first. But then accepts it because it makes her happy. 

7.) Gabe discovered he couldn’t sleep without her in his bed. 
That’s all I can think of right now. 
Positive remarks! 

1.) I did discover Maya can write one helluva erotic scenes. Sorry E L James, but you can’t hold a candle to Maya on this one. 

2.) I loved how Gabe showed Mia he loved her. Electronic billboard message was a brilliant idea – totally different. The marriage proposal was very romantic. Having a billion dollars at your disposal does have its perks. 

3.) Ash intrigues me enough to stick with the series and find out what his future holds. Plus, I want to know his backstory. 

Heart rating scale – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Score: ❤❤ 

Purchase links

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Review of “First Love” – James Patterson and Emily Raymond

Buy from Amazon Hardcover | Ebook | Audio


Book summary

An extraordinary portrait of true love that will move anyone who has a first love story of their own.

Axi Moore is a “good girl”: She studies hard, stays out of the spotlight, and doesn’t tell anyone how all she really wants is to run away from it all. The only person she can tell is her best friend, Robinson—who she also happens to be madly in love with.

When Axi spontaneously invites Robinson to come with her on an impulsive cross-country road trip, she breaks the rules for the first time in her life. But the adventure quickly turns from carefree to out of control after the teens find themselves on the run from the police. And when Robinson suddenly collapses, Axi has to face the truth that this trip might be his last.

A remarkably moving tale very personal to James Patterson’s own past, FIRST LOVE is testament to the power of first love—and how it can change the rest of your life.

Review 

I usually don’t review teeny bopper books but, as a JP fan, I decided to spend a few lines telling you about it – the high and low parts for me.

First, I will say the first half of the book didn’t excite me. I’m sure it will appeal to the younger crowd though, despite the fact there are no vampires or whatever else the teenagers are raving over these days. (Over 30 so I’m not up on what’s hip anymore. People still say hip, right? *big smile*)

However, the second half reminded me of something you’d view on the Hallmark Channel – sweet in a sad sort of way. I’ll admit, I will probably be one of those people who would TIVO it. Gosh, I’m such a sap.

If you decide to read it, pass it on to a younger person, discuss your opinions on it and then come back to visit us. I’d love to hear the views on the book from different generations.

Heart rating system – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)  Score: ❤❤❤

Buy from Amazon: Hardcover | Ebook | Audio

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Review of “Hope Flames” by Jaci Burton

Book One in the Hope Series

Purchase links
Amazon.com (print) 

Amazon.com (audio) 
Blurb~

When it comes to love, they already know the rules…by heart.
Thirty-two and finally setting up her veterinary practice in the town she once called home, Emma Burnett is on her own and loving it. Independent and driven, she’s not letting any man get in the way of her dreams. Not again.
That’s fine with Luke McCormack. Divorced and hardly lacking in female company when he needs it, he’s devoted to the only faithful companion in his life—his police dog. Still, there’s something about Emma he can’t shake.
When a series of local break-ins leaves Emma vulnerable, she seeks help from the first man to spark her desire in years. And now they’re giving each other something they thought they’d lost forever… hope.
Review~ 
Last year, I read my first book by Jaci and quickly became a fan. From what I’ve read of her works so far, I find all her stories highly engaging, characters – relatable. 
Case in point, Emma and Luke both bring baggage to their budding relationship and who can say they can’t relate. His is an ex-wife and Emma is an ex-boyfriend. Of course, his ex didn’t turn out to be a delusional person who definitely could benefit from hardcore therapy or a frying pan to the head. Sorry, I watched “Tangled” recently with my youngster and the “weapon” seemed appropriate here. (watch the movie if you don’t get the reference)

My only gripe about the book was how Jaci wrapped up the Emma/Vaughn storyline. Based off their past (not divulging spoilers), I expected more “bang for my buck.”Read the story and let me know if you agree or disagree with me. 

Heart rating scale – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Score: ❤❤❤❤


Also, check out the novella that started the series! 


In Jaci Burton’s “Hope Smolders,” struggling divorcee Jane has put her personal life on hold to raise her kids—until she runs into Will, her ex’s former best friend, who convinces her it’s time to start having fun again.

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Review of the Fifty Shades trilogy – E L James


Amazon Purchase links
Book I – US | UK
Book II – US | UK
Book III – US | UK

Blurb ~


When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.


Review ~
Since the buzz of the movie has showing up on every entertainment network/magazine, I decided to dive back into the trilogy and refresh my memory on things I might’ve skimmed over or forgotten about the first go around. Also, I wanted to see if my opinion of the series had changed at all. 

After the second read thru, my thoughts hadn’t budged at all. I still find Ana a tad bit whiny. Plus, I thought she apologized to Grey way too many times. She constantly wondered if he was mad at her. Maybe it was her lack of experience which made her seem immature or maybe it was her age. With that said, I’ve known a few people freshly out of college who had more confidence than her. Again, I fall back on her “lack of experience”.

I did like book II and III had more of a plot than book I. Of course, the first book was all about setting up for the rest of the trilogy so in all fairness, E L did a good job laying it all out for her readers. The contract papers — yeah, I could never be a lawyer because I found it dry rather than entertaining. 

Favorite scene occurred in book II, Fifty Shades Darker. Grey dropping to his knees in the submissive pose was a powerful moment (for me, at least). 

I also like the bonus scene where we got to see their first encounter (interview scene) through his eyes. Very nice idea E L or her editors had there. 

I’m still debating watching the big screen take of the series because I’m usually disappointed with the outcomes. However, my curiosity is peaked how they will portray some of the BDSM scenes. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the trilogy and upcoming movie. Please leave us a comment below! 

Heart rating system – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤❤


Amazon Purchase links
Book I – US | UK
Book II – US | UK
Book III – US | UK

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