Tag Archives: love

Review of “The Beast in a Suit” – Elena Kincaid

She’s no damsel. He’s no prince. Can their love still be strength enough to save them both?

Twenty years later, and the hole inside Emeline’s soul only got bigger, mourning the loss of her mother and brother and what could have been. A stranger comes along with changes to a career she loves, but will it be for the better and will he end up changing her, too?

Adam has been closed off to the world for nearly two decades, existing but not living. He doesn’t even realize the shell of a man he’s become until a woman he’s slowly falling for makes him examine his own reflection.

A modern twist on a classic tale filled with desire, passion, and one dangerous obsession.

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“You’re firing me?”

“Of course not,” he replied adamantly, finally turning to face her. “I meant what I said before. You’re very valuable to this company and you’ve more than proven it. I also meant it when I told you that you would do great on your own. I don’t want you to leave.” He took her hand in his. “I want nothing more than for you stay, but I don’t want to hold you hostage. That was unfair of me. Please, forgive me.”

The truth was, she had forgotten about his threat. With the way he turned the company around along with giving her his friendship, not to mention the fact that she was in love with him, she was happy there again. She hadn’t thought about quitting or about going out on her own. The fact that he remembered and was apologizing for it and even willing to let her go without any repercussions stunned her. She had already forgiven him a while ago.

She watched a sly smile form on his lips, a devilish gleam in his eye. “No one should have to work for an asshole.”

“Good thing I no longer think of you as an asshole.” She glanced down at their joined hands. “I would like to stay.”

“You would?” He sounded surprised, hopeful even, and the look on his face confirmed it when she raised her head.

“And what about you, Adam?” she asked. “Do you intend to stay?” She knew it was a premature question, given the fact that it would be some time before he could present a tempting sale, but she felt like she needed to know if he even considered the possibility of actually keeping the company and running it himself.

He reached out and toyed with a strand of her hair. “I’d gotten so used to working with soulless corporations, people who wouldn’t hesitate to stab each other in the back. I guess you can say I’m pleasantly surprised. Publishing Enchanted is more than a company. It’s a family.”

“You’re part of it now.”

“And I don’t think I want to give that up.” He let go of her hair and brushed his knuckles down her cheek. “I have too many reasons to stay.”

They were so close now, their faces mere inches apart. Emeline couldn’t even remember how they had gotten there, but now she only wanted to be closer. “Adam,” she whispered, right before he closed the final distance between them and kissed her.

His kiss was soft, tentative at first, as if gauging her reaction, but when she wrapped her arms around him, he deepened it, moaning into her mouth as their tongues finally met and entwined. Finally, she got her wish and fisted her hand in his thick locks. His hair was soft, just as she’d imagined. Even his beard was soft against her skin. And God, he was such a great kisser, exploring her mouth thoroughly, lips and tongues feverishly connecting.

It was her turn to moan when he pulled her onto his lap and his hands began to roam down her back, her arms, and skimming down the sides of her breasts. He stopped kissing her lips long enough to move down to her jaw, her neck, and then all the way down to that deep V in the center of her cleavage, eliciting another, much louder, moan from her.

She was so lost in him, she hadn’t even realized at first that they were no longer moving, had no idea when they had stopped. Adam took notice of it, too, and paused his attentions to her. They were both panting as they stared at one another, and this time it was Emeline who leaned in and kissed him. She whispered, “Stay,” against his lips, the ache inside her for him too great to be able to part with him.

He practically growled in response and the two of them poured months of longing into their next kiss.

“I’m going to devour every single inch of you,” he said.

Yes, please!

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Emeline and Adam met by chance at a cemetery. He found her asleep, scolded her for her foolishness sleeping out there, and then he offered her money to get cleaned up. Emeline, feeling embarrassed and foolish, declined his offering and left the cemetery. As she drove away, neither had any clue their paths would cross again so soon.

Monday morning, Emeline met the new owner of Publishing Enchanted. He was the man from the cemetery. Their first encounter was a walk in the park compared to today’s events. She was not a fan of the boss or the changes he was going to implement. She even threatened to quit. Of course, her feelings towards him and his direction for the company soon changed. Hate became like and then like morphed into love.

Whether you like or love your boss, Elena (author) pointed out being involved with a boss/co-worker never comes without drama. In Emeline and Adam’s case, drama seemed to follow them wherever they went. A coffee shop, charity ball, parking garage, no place is safe when you have a deranged stalker harassing you.

Emeline and Adam each had their chance to come to each other’s rescue in their own way. However, despite everything, feelings were hurt and blood was shed.

Despite the drama, The Beast in a Suit cut the tension with random spots of humor. The bicycle lessons were actually adorable. It reminded me of Phoebe (from the television show Friends) and the less than graceful way she rode a bike.

 

Before I conclude my review, I would like to discuss a couple more things.  

1.) I’m not sure I could train for a triathlon in 2 weeks. I think it’d pass out long before I ever saw the final line.  😀 

2.) I was moved by Adam’s speech regarding why he was holding a charity ball for Cancer Families. Elena (the author) was absolutely on point when she had Adam says these key lines…. 

“Cancer is like an unwelcomed guest, insinuating itself into countless lives and definitely overstaying its welcome.”

“Cancer ravages the mind and body, it incites, fear, and then it leaves devastation behind.”

“No one should have to worry about not being able to afford their medical care, or of not being able to pay their mortgage, or to put food on the table during that trying time.” 

 

I have a friend who is battling cancer. I know the financial burden her family is facing. Physically, mentally and emotionally, her and her family are weighed down by what cancer has brought upon them. If you have any money to spare, please donate to those in need or to any cancer research organization. Desperate families need your help. We need a cure for cancer before more lives are taken, before someone else loses a friend or family member to this terrible disease. 

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

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Elena Kincaid is an award-winning and Amazon best-selling author. She writes Paranormal and Contemporary Romances with alpha males who stop at nothing to protect their women, heroines who are anything but damsels in distress, and stories where the only love worth fighting for is the forever kind of love.

She was born in Ukraine and raised in New York, where she currently lives with her daughter. Her desk is constantly cluttered with journals, sticky notes, and torn-out pieces of paper full of ideas. When not working, Elena loves to spend time with her family, travel the globe, curl up with a good book, and catch up on her shows.

 

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Review of “Lovestruck Two Step: Rhythm & Romance Book 4” – Mariposa Cruz

~~ Rhythm & Romance Book 1-3 ~~

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(Rhythm & Romance Book 4)

Print Length: 63 pages

With her marriage and dance studio wiped out by divorce, Becca Collins reluctantly agrees to teach Two Step lessons at a country bar. Carson Quill isn’t thrilled about spending his Saturday nights playing guitar in a local dive, but a certain dance instructor with long legs and dark curls caught his eye. Does love have a shot in a bar called Last Chance?

 

~~ Short Excerpt ~~

 

“You don’t have to do this,” Becca said quietly as he led her to the center of the dance floor.

“Dance with the most beautiful woman in the room? Of course I do,” Carson replied, taking her in his arms.

He paused for a beat, listening to the vocals, before starting to dance. Becca heard the playful undercurrent of the keyboard while Eleanor and Greer sang in harmony that they weren’t going home alone tonight. Somehow, Carson had mastered the quick, quick, slow steps integral to Two Step just from watching her teach it. He moved easily with the rhythm of the music, smoothly leading her into a turn without rushing the move.

“You’re good,” she exclaimed.

“I always pay attention in class with the right teacher,” Carson replied. He smiled at her, and the rest of the world disappeared. His touch was subtle, yet firm, as he led her in perfect time with the music. No words were needed. Too soon, the song drew to a close, and with his arm circled around her waist, Carson escorted her to her table. With a light kiss on the lips, he thanked her for the dance, then turned and walked back to the stage.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Life is all about curveballs. In Lovestruck Two Step, we witness two people who have faced their own bumps in the road but still push forward.

Becca lost her business, her husband to divorce, a job, and (for a time) she lost herself to depression, self-doubt, and lack of purpose in the world.

Carson, divorced dad, was trying to maintain a relationship with a teenage daughter who seemed to be pulling away in favor of her new step-dad.

Both of these characters were going through trying times, obstacles real life people face daily. These plausible scenarios are what will connect readers to Lovestruck Two Step.

People going through tough times like to see hope during their darkest moments. Readers will find that here in Lovestruck Two Step.

This story for me isn’t just about love and romance. It’s also about getting knocked down and finding the strength to get back up and try again.

Becca did dance again. She did teach dance again. Carson kept trying to connect with his daughter and his efforts paid off.

**This was a sweet romance with a HEA.**

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

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Mariposa Cruz balances writing with working as a fulltime corporate paralegal. For her Mariposa Musings blog she has interviewed a variety of real life characters from romance authors to psychics. She works, writes and dances Salsa in Reno, Nevada.

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Review of “Cowboys, Cattle, and Cutthroats” – Gini Rifkin

Ochessa is heartbroken when she finds her brother fatally wounded. His dying words are about a childhood puzzle box, missing legal documents, and a drifter named Nicodemus Breedlove. Ochessa vows to find Will’s murderer—and the man Will described.

No stranger to trouble, Nic’s only concerns are his Stetson, his mule Sadie, and a long awaited chance at retribution. After gaining Ochessa’s trust, and taking the job she offers, life gets more complicated. 

Back on the ranch in Colorado, Ochessa works as hard as any man. Then Nick tempts her into playing even harder as a woman—both are consumed by their growing love for one another. 

Weathering a stampede, a gully washer, and a pack of outlaws, they locate the killer. As Nic’s quest for justice, and Ochessa’s vendetta for Will play out, bullets fly…

Not everybody’s gonna make it out alive.

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Naked to the waist, and bent over the horse trough, his sculpted muscles standing out in sharp relief, Nic scooped handfuls of water over his head. A growl escaped him as he straightened to his full height, and slicked back the dripping mane of dark hair. Arms still raised, he met her gaze, as the excess water trickled happily across his bare chest.

Involuntarily she sucked in a deep breath. The distance between them felt charged with lightning, thunder pounding in her brain, leaving the rest of the world dead silent.

A look of surprise flickered across Nic’s face. His muscles flexed and bulged as he lowered his arms to his sides.

“Good evening, boss.” He emphasized the last word as if were a personal joke.

She swallowed hard, and fought to find her voice. “Time’s a wasting, Breedlove. Why are you still hanging around the ranch? Shouldn’t you be out earning your keep?”

“Well, we all have our own way of doing things, and my way is usually different from the norm.”

“Why doesn’t that surprise me?”

Retrieving his hat, he carefully dislodged a thistle from the battered brim then settled the coveted headgear upon his head. “What would surprise you, Ochessa?” He studied her with an expression that sizzled and danced through her like water on a hot griddle.

“Not seeing you every time I turn around would be a good start.”

“You’re not very good at lying.”

She nudged a dried up cow pie with the toe of her boot. “Maybe not. But I am good at recognizing a load of bull when it comes my way.”

He gave a deep chuckle, and reached for the shirt dangling from the water pump. “Sounds like you’ve been on both ends of the shovel.”

“No more than anyone else, I guess.”

He stood his ground, casually shucking into the article of clothing, his movements so sure, no wasted motion, no hesitation. Did he live his life the same? Taking what he wanted when and where he found it? She imagined him wanting her, taking her, and as his gaze slid down the front of her body, memories of their stolen passion again flared hot in the pit of her stomach.

His eyes brightened as if the same thoughts held him transfixed. Then his expression hardened, and the gleam in his eyes turned to flint. “I should have some information for you soon. I’ll be out of your way come morning.”

The fluttering in her belly turned to a panic. His leaving disturbed her more than running into him at every turn. Yet, it was what she wanted, wasn’t it? Confusion had her at a loss as to how to respond or how to proceed. It felt as if she’d captured a wild creature, and now before ever knowing what made him so intriguing, so unique, she had to set him free.

His mouth softened into a mocking smile. “I’ll be back in a day or two. I’m only going to Denver.”

Apparently her face was an open book, and now she felt the fool. “Don’t hurry on my account. I was only worried Lucky might miss you.”

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

When you look back on the history of the Old West, you’ll see more men recognized than women. However, women did have a great impact on this time period much like they do today.

No matter the era, women are strong, fierce, warriors who can hold their own in a fight. In Cowboys, Cattle, and Cutthroats, Gini brought us Orchessa Starr. She had more skill with a firearm than a rolling pin. She ran a ranch and was well respected for her leadership. She was strongly independent, brave, and fiercely loyal to all those around her. She’s the type of character, a woman, I’d loved see portrayed more in books.

Nic, the drifter, was your typical male character you’ll see in many stories. He was adventurous, charming, flirtatious, and brave.

They might’ve had their differences, at first, but they came together to make one dynamic team.

Gun battles, outlaws, mystery, death, deception, romance, and love…. Cowboys, Cattle, and Cutthroats was a very well written Old West story.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely.

 

Heart Rating System

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score:  ❤❤❤❤

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Where the past and the present meet adventure and romance:

Gini Rifkin’s characters are courageous and passionate, and when they meet sparks fly and danger often threatens. Her settings include the American West, Medieval England, Victorian England, and contemporary fantasy. When not reading or writing, she has the privilege of caring for a menagerie of abandoned animals including ducks, geese, goats, rabbits, donkeys, and cats. Her writing keeps her hungry to learn new things, and she considers family and friends her most treasured of gifts.

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Author Showcase – G.E. Stills (Child of the Stars)

For the 18+ reader: Strong language and descriptive sex scenes.

Elvie is not only cautious but she’s a workaholic. Winning an all expenses paid Mexican getaway is just the type of vacation she needs to get away from work and escape reality. She craves whimsical romance and adventure. What she gets is far more than she ever imagined in her wildest fantasies. Once on the island, Elvie meets Thad who is both handsome and exotic. She feels an instant attraction to him not realizing just how much her life changed the second she encountered him. Romance takes on an entirely new meaning for Elvie when she becomes intimate not only with Thad, but his best friend, Giann. This is completely outside her normal existence, but at the end of the week, she learns her adventure is just beginning. Now she is flitting among the stars, living a new life, and destined for a new world. 

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For a time she sat at the table sipping her coffee. Elvie reached up and fingered the diamond settings of her collar and smiled while her thoughts drifted over all that had taken place in such a brief time. Just a few days earlier she had been getting ready for a sad return to the reality of her real estate job and never seeing Thad again. Now she was married to two fantastic men who loved and cherished her. She was onboard a for real spaceship, not the ones from her childhood fantasies, and now she was fliting among the stars. On the way back to their rooms she stopped and activated one of the view screens located in the corridor.

Elvie gazed out at the blackness of space and the millions of pinpoints of light that permeated it. “I’ve really done this,” she whispered to herself. “I’ve consented to leaving Earth to be with these wonderful men. Just as my tattoo says, I’ve truly become a child of the stars. And compared to their age, I really am a child. Leaving Earth to live among the stars isn’t the only thing I’ve consented to. I’ve agreed to be their baby factory.”

Gentle fingertips glided across one of the dimple dermal piercings on her back making her aware she was no longer alone. Moments later Thad’s chin rested on her shoulder. “Good morning, my precious gift,” he said. He embraced her, and his hands moved down along her curves. He laced his fingers together just below her navel and rested them on her lower stomach. “Are you okay?” he asked and brushed his lips to her shoulder.

Her grip around her mug tightened and shivers raced along her spine. “I feel fantastic.”

“Sore?”

“Not anymore. I used some of that miracle paste Giann gave me.”

“No regrets?”

“None. Just feeling a little melancholy about leaving my home forever, but being with the two of you is the only thing that matters to me now.”

“You mean everything to us as well, precious.”

“It’s strange, we’ve only known each other for a few days and yet being separated from either of you has become unthinkable. I’ve come to think of you as my men.”

“That is part of the bonding process we are going through. We are joining in mind just as much as we were physically joined last night. Giann and I, think of you as our woman as well. Speaking of, I see our woman didn’t conceive last night.”

“It will probably take time to get the birth control medicine out of my system.” She laughed. “With the amount of semen you and Giann put in me, I feel certain I’ll get knocked up soon.”

“Good morning,” Giann said in his baritone voice. He pinched her chin between his fingers and turned her head to kiss him. His lips were soft and his face scratchy with a morning growth of beard. Together they were arousing. Everything either of these men do is arousing.

“I’m going to get some coffee,” Giann said. “Do you need some more?” he asked her.

She rested her head back against Thad’s chest while he continued to caress her, stoking the embers inside her again. “Yes please,” she said.

“I’ll bring you a cup as well, Thad,” Giann said and strode away.

When he returned, the trio stood gazing at the display and taking sips. “Where’s Earth now?” she asked.

Giann reached out and twisted a knob located below the screen. The view magnified and narrowed to a smaller section of space. He punched in numbers on a keypad located next to the knob. One of the tiny points of light began to pulse slowly.

“Earth’s sun is hard to see and Earth itself is too small to locate, but that pulsing star is Earth’s sun.”

Elvie gazed at the tiny point of flashing light among the vast number of other points and sighed.

“How about we begin your first flying lesson?” Thad asked to pull her away from her melancholy thoughts.

 

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Normally zany and often naughty talking, G. E. has a serious and compassionate side if you can find it. He cares deeply for his friends and hasn’t met an animal yet he didn’t like. He is terrified of heights so hasn’t braved the tramway ride in his home town. He lives in the southwest while longing to live by the sea. He often says, “We have the sandy beaches but where is the water?”

He heeds the call of the many characters that pop into his mind and demand to have their stories put in print. Their tales are both serious and humorous. A multi-published author his stories cover many genres including contemporary romance, paranormal romance and science fiction. His stories are both erotic and non-erotic in nature. G.E. is the leader of a local writers group and in addition hosts a meeting of his own locally on fiction writing bi-monthly.

G.E. Stills loves to hear from his readers and can be contacted at any of these sites.

Website / Blog
Personal Facebook Page / Facebook Author Page
Twitter / Amazon Author Page  / Goodreads / Google+

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Author Showcase – Lauren Blakely (Unzipped) (Birthday Suit)

Wanted: Dating coach to help hot nerd win back the woman of his dreams…

Picture this –
 I’m ready to win back the love of my life, and I’m going big this time. We’re talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I’m good and ready this time around. After all, if you’re going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops.

There’s only one little problem.

My college girlfriend isn’t the one who shows up when I play my “I’ll do anything to win you back” tune.

The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn’t live here anymore. But she’ll help me win her back. Anything for romance, anything for a guy so willing to go big for love. And that’s what I want at first. Until I get to know my new “romance coach” and discover she’s funny, clever, and keeps me on my toes. And boy, do I ever need that.

Now I don’t want to win anyone else’s heart. I want the woman who’s been helping me all along.

Trouble is – she thinks I’m in love with someone else, and when we take off on a road trip, everything I think I know about women is about to be unzipped and turned inside out.

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There is no rule in the Man Code as unbreakable as this: no matter how beautiful, smart, clever, and witty she is, do not—under any circumstances—fall in love with your best friend’s woman.

Yeah. So there’s that. Look, it’s not like I didn’t know I screwed up by falling for her.>Also, for the record, unrequited love sucks big time.

And, I might have cut myself some slack by now, given everything that went down in the last few years, but Lulu just walked back into my life in a big way.

*** There are three things I’ve never been able to resist—my friends, my family, and chocolate.

Leo Hennessy? He was nowhere on that list. He’s been a true friend—a friend who walked through hell and back with me.

Now, I’m stepping into my new future. I didn’t expect it to include a riddle-filled, race-against-the-clock scavenger hunt across New York City.

With Leo.

Suddenly, I’m looking at this man with new eyes…

But my life spun out because of a man once before, and I can’t risk my fresh start, no matter what the temptation. And Leo is most definitely a temptation of the sexiest, sweetest, and most dangerous variety.

More irresistibly delicious than chocolate…

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A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that’s hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than 100 times, and she’s sold more than 2.5 million books. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter! 

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