Forbidden Fruit 1 Anthology

91YLOEXxp7L._SL1500_Title:  Forbidden Fruit Anthology

Series:  Anthology

Author:  multiple

Genre:  Erotic

Blurb:  * One Hot Summer by Lisa M Harley * Weakness by Missy Johnson * Try Me by Stacey Lynn * Educate Me by Lexi Buchanan * Inadmissible Attraction by Rebecca Brooke * Secret Obsession by Olivia Linden * Strictly Off Limits by Jessica Hawkins

Lock & Key by RS Grey * The Naughty Au Pair by Janice Baker * In Too Deep by Morgan Jane Mitchell.

Thoughts:  I am always a bit leery of anthologies….I usually buy them for one or two, then don’t like any of the rest of them.  Yet I hang onto the book because of the ones I do like.  I was tempted to buy this anthology for one author only – Jessica Hawkins.  Followers of the blog know how I raved over her Cityscape series….and the chance to read something totally new and fresh by her?  Oh, I was tempted!…LOL  Then I received a request from author Morgan Jane Mitchell to review her story in this anthology – and an additional one by her (also in the Table 21 series).  I took that as a sign that I was just meant to read this anthology.  You can read my review for her books here:   Morgan Jane Mitchell Table 21 Review Books 1&2

As usual, it was a bit of a toss up though…it was an odd mish-mash of stories swinging anywhere from an older woman and a younger guy (which I won’t ruin the ending for, but I will say doesn’t turn up at all like you expect), sex addicts, and – of course – your typical older man/younger woman scenario – and everything in between.  The downside?  Again, there is only a smattering of stories I like in this anthology.  The upside?  There is a little something for everyone…:)  Well, and it’s only .99!

Overall Rating:  B

 

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Winning Love by Abby Niles

cover51203-mediumTitle:  Winning Love

Series:  Love to the Extreme Book #3

Author:  Abby Niles

Genre:  Romance

Blurb:  Mac “The Snake” Hannon has spent years throwing himself into cage fighting as a way to lash back at the natural disaster that destroyed his future. A call for help has Mac returning to the one place he swore never to return: Kansas—in the height of tornado season.  There he meets free-spirited Gayle Matthews. At first he wants nothing to do with the infuriatingly persistent woman, but the crazy challenges she tosses his way are impossible to resist. As she thaws years of bitterness, bringing back the Mac he believed long gone, he starts to make peace with the past and see the future again. Until he learns she chases his worst nightmare—then he can’t get away fast enough.

Meteorologist and storm chaser, Gayle Matthews is no stranger to being left behind and now believes in living in the moment. She wants to do just that with the handsome extreme fighter with the achingly sad eyes. As she works to replace the sorrow with desire, she finds herself breaking her one rule: have fun but don’t fall in love. When he suddenly pushes her away and she discovers the horrifying reason why, she issues one more challenge: face his fear and come on a chase with her.

Will squaring off with the past lead to a victory for heartache or love?

Thoughts:  T. K.O. – Total Knock Out!  This book was an amazing addition to the Love to the Extreme series!  I have been a fine of Abby’s ever since I read the first book in this series, Extreme Love, and quickly devoured every other book of hers.  I will say, however, that upon starting this one I was having a few doubts – I didn’t really care to much for either character (at least at the very first) – but I reminded myself that this was an Abby Niles book and I had to have faith that it would get better.  And did it ever!  These characters did a complete 180, and had me quickly spellbound into the lives and emotions of these characters.  Once you begin figuring out some of their past, it really begins to come together – and to pull at your heartstrings.

While they seem so completely different at first, they each have more in common than either of them realize.  They have both suffered through tragedy.  The question is will they let their fears run their whole lives, too afraid to take a chance on love?  Abby was a quirky character, but she was fun and exactly what Mac needed to bring him back to the land of the living.  Their interactions were so amusing and brought so much life to the story – it left me with this amazing urge to go sign up for a mud race!…LOL

The plus side is that this is easily read as a stand alone.  The down side?  This one doesn’t feature the MMA aspect very heavily in the storyline.  Out of the three titles in the series, this one falls right in the middle for me.

Rate:  A

Hillbilly Rockstar by Lorelei James

cover48516-mediumTitle:  Hillbilly Rockstar

Series:  Blacktop Cowboys Book #6

Author:  Lorelei James

Genre:  Contemporary

Blurb:  She’s protecting his body and guarding her heart….Country music star Devin McClain understands there’s a downside to life in the public eye, but the laidback Wyoming cowboy has never imagined he’d attract crazed fans who would do anything to garner his attention. When veiled threats become real, he agrees to hire a discreet security detail. But Devin is shocked when that bodyguard is a hard-bodied woman. He’s even more stunned to be attracted to the steely-eyed stunner.  Former soldier Liberty Masterson’s return to civilian life has been fraught with challenges until she lands a job with a prestigious security firm. But when she agrees to provide personal protection during a cross-country tour, she doesn’t realize she has signed up to masquerade as the playboy star’s girlfriend. Though she’s more comfortable in combat boots than high heels, she has no choice but to appear to be the sexy groupie Devin prefers.  Living in close quarters causes the chemistry between them to ignite, and Devin realizes he wants to turn their charade of a romance into reality. Although Liberty surrenders to his every whim behind closed doors, she fears the sexy country star doesn’t see the real her; and Devin can’t help but worry when the tour ends that there might not be enough between them to build something that won’t fade away….

Thoughts:  Hillbilly Rockstar was simply amazing!  The intricacies in the relationship between Devin and Liberty really fueled this book….it was joy to read how they went from strangers to lovers….and then to more.  It was honestly a compelling read.

Devin doesn’t want a bodyguard.  Unfortunately, threats make that impossible, and he has no choice.  However, he can make some stipulations – and he doesn’t want a bunch of thugs drawing attention to his situation.  So everyone decides that Liberty would be the perfect choice – she can pretend to be his ‘groupie girlfriend’.  Of course, fitting herself into the role will require a bit of a makeover…..but it’s well worth it to see the look on his face when he sees the ‘new’ Liberty!  And that makeover changes everything.  But will everything fall apart when the tour ends?

Another hit for Lorelei James…Reading how their relationship rapidly unfolds made for a page-turning hit with me!  And it’s a pretty sure bet that it will be for you to!

Rate:  A+

 

Bring on the Heat by Katie Rose

91GKAkEjkQL._SL1500_Title: Bring on the Heat

Series: The Boys of Summer #1

Author: Katie Rose

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Blurb: In Katie Rose’s irresistible battle of wits, a case of mistaken identity lands a female fan in bed with a sexy superstar—and in major-league trouble.
 
House-sitting for a rich and famous friend has its perks, and Darcy Hamel isn’t shy about enjoying them. Especially when it means scoring a ticket to an exclusive fashion show hosted by the New Jersey Sonics. An avid baseball fan, Darcy has always dreamed of meeting the team—especially the starting pitcher whose body is as hot as his fastball. But there’s a catch. The gala is by invitation only. To get behind the velvet rope, mild-mannered Darcy will have to pose as party girl Lydia Logan.
 
Schmoozing is one of the downsides of fame, but Chase Westbrook knows how to liven up even the dullest event. And nothing spices a night up more than a beautiful socialite with a naughty reputation. What Chase doesn’t expect is a hint of sweetness beneath her sultry façade. Flirtation turns to seduction and leaves him aching for more. Chase just doesn’t know who the real Lydia is: the spoiled tease crying foul over some missing diamonds or the alluring woman making a play for his heart.

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Sunday Snippet: Crossing Lines by Alannah Lynne

You know when one of your friends tells you you need to read a book and you say I’ll get to it, and then another friend tells you need to read the same book and then another friend, and so on? Well that’s how this author came to my attention. So I’m passing on the pressure, and also giving you an excerpt of the book.

Mirrored shades served several functions. They looked cool. They protected the eyes. And they provided the perfect cover for sizing up a man’s ass.

Sam Wallace always found work boots sexy, and as Kevin Mazze stormed across the parking lot, he screamed sex with a capital S. His powerful strides were like those of a lion as he moved with authorial grace through the concrete jungle he ruled, commanding attention and respect.

A sigh slipped from her lips as she followed the roll of his shoulders under his light-blue button-down shirt and the sway of the soft, well-worn denim.

He was the man her mama warned her about.

The one her friend, Cheri, begged her to find. Read more

Series Saturday: The Blackstone Affair by Raine Miller

Carly Phillips and Liza from Blogging By Liza turned me onto this series and I have to say I was addicted from the first book. Some books I enjoyed more than others, but over all I really liked this series. 

nakedBrynne Bennett is living the good life. An American art student at the University of London and part-time photographic model, she’s putting her life back on track with school and lots of hard work. When ultra successful London businessman, Ethan Blackstone, buys her nude portrait, he isn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer. He wants Brynne in his bed and makes plans to keep her there no matter what. His dominant nature captivates and ensnares despite the demons she carries inside her. But there are secrets in this relationship. Huge ones. Can Ethan free Brynne from the past that has marked her? Will Brynne let him or will the specters tormenting her resurface to destroy them both. Read more

One Night With the Quarterback by Jeanette Murray

cover46828-mediumTitle:  One Night With A Quarterback

Series:  Santa Fe Bobcats Book #1

Author:  Jeanette Murray

Genre:  Sports Romance

Blurb:  She’s daddy’s little girl…or she would have been, had he known she existed. Cassie Wainwright thought her father—head coach of the Santa Fe Bobcats—ignored her purposefully. Come to find out, he had no clue she’d ever been born.  Now Cassie is determined to meet the man who’s always been missing from her life. Her mother warns her, being the long-lost daughter of a well-known NFL coach won’t be easy, but Cassie’s determined to stick it out. And before her life turns upside down, she wants one more night of fun.  Starting quarterback for the Santa Fe Bobcats, Trey Owens is tired of being in the limelight. Lucky for him, the beautiful brunette he meets at the club isn’t a local. She has no idea who he is…and she’s down to party.  Tomorrow, Cassie will think about her father. Tomorrow, she’ll think about her future. But tonight is for herself and the hottie she found on dance floor. It’s a matchup made in heaven—if only for a night… Read more

BLOG TOUR: Zombified by Maggie LaCroix

 

Zombified-Large-Blog-Tour-Banner

81dNdYzFwjL._SL1500_Title:  Zombified

Series:  N/A

Author:  Maggie LaCroix

Genre:  Paranormal/Sci-Fi/Romance

Blurb:  Monsters generally know their place: vampires get to be sexy while zombies just decompose. But Maggie La Croix’s Zombified conjures up an entirely different kind of undead raised by good old-fashioned Voodoo. These gorgeous walking corpses don’t eat brain, they don’t stagger, and their bodies are spared the indignities of putrefaction.
Take Henri Jolicoeur. More than one hundred years after his death he is still a bewitching Adonis. But zombification does have its downsides. Henri has a master, a powerful Voodoo priest whose spells keep Henri, his teenage zombie sister, and five other poor souls in perpetual servitude.
That is, until a hurricane devastates their New Orleans home and the zombies are evacuated to the Texas border town of El Paso. The curse is broken. They are free and intend to stay that way. But how can they pass for human when they don’t eat or sleep and they’re reeling from black magic withdrawal? If that isn’t enough, they have a traitor in their midst, their master is hot on their trail, and a mysterious stranger in black is watching.
Enter Josie Cortez, a cowboy boots-wearing reporter at the local newspaper who desperately needs a good story to save her moribund career and get her editor off her back. One look at Henri and his weird little family and she knows she’s struck journalism gold. But strange things keep happening around Henri, things that remind Josie of her own tragic family history with black magic, a history that cost her her beloved mother and led Josie straight to the bottom of a bottle. Josie would rather forget all about that. Forgetting Henri, however, is easier said than done, even if falling for a man without a heartbeat could get her more than a broken heart. It could get her zombified.

Thoughts:  If you’re looking for something a little different….well, this is it!  I have to admit I haven’t read anything quite like it before.  It definitely provided a change of pace anyway.  It appealed to me because of the zombies – of course!  I mean how often do you get a whole book dedicated to just zombies – at least the ones that fall in love and aren’t mindless individuals looking for human flesh to eat?  If you’re a zombie fan, this is a definite must read – though it may not be quite what you expect.  I was expecting somewhat along the lines of the movie Warm Bodies.

In some ways it was a little similar to that, but in others it was very different.  I was surprised at the amount of the story that dealt with the Hurricane Katrina and the after-effects.  The author inserts this small little band of zombies that make up Henri’s makeshift ‘family’ right into the middle of this real-life disaster, and it made for an interesting outlook for the story.  It’s set right in with New Orleans and the culture there, which I know many people enjoy reading about.  Of course, sticking with the paranormal aspect of it, there is also a lot about voodoo and the like.  All of this made up some of my favorite parts of the book!…:)

Henri was an interesting character, and I particularly enjoyed reading about his path into zombie-hood and some of his flashbacks.  He was a solid, likeable character, and his loyalty to his family really spoke well of his character.  I was a bit more disappointed with Josie.  The further along the book went, the less I liked her character, and I really just didn’t feel the connection between these two characters.  It will be interesting to see if other people respond to her character the same way.

Rating: B-/C+

6 TWCS-Cover-Reveal-Banner

 

High Country Secrets by Jane Carter

51gN1BH6z9LTitle: High Country Secrets

Series: N/A

Author: Jane Carter

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Blurb: How can you be in love with one man and violently attracted to another?

When Jessie Cranfield and Michael D’Larghi take the stage to sing together at a local fundraiser in their hometown, the last thing Jessie expects is the electricity between them. Not only has she not seen Michael for years—but her fiancé is sitting in the audience.

Michael is used to overcoming any obstacle in his path to achieve his goals. Now his goal is Jessie, the former girl-next-door from rural Cooma. But not even Michael can foresee that their attraction might uncover family secrets that could tear both their lives apart forever. Read more

Make it Count by Megan Erickson

81zsPYVe-YL._SL1500_Title: Make it Count

Series: Bowler University #1

Author: Megan Erickson

Genre: New Adult

Blurb: Kat Caruso wishes her brain had a return policy, or at least a complaint hot-line. The defective organ is constantly distracted, terrible at statistics, and absolutely flooded with inappropriate thoughts about her boyfriend’s gorgeous best friend, Alec…who just so happens to be her brand new math tutor. Who knew nerd was so hot?

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The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle

the hot zoneTitle: The Hot Zone

Series: Rainshadow bk 3, Harmony bk 11

Author: Jayne Castle

Genre: Paranormal

The world of Harmony has its wonders, one of them being Rainshadow Island. Just beneath its surface, a maze of catacombs hides a dangerous secret……

Halloween—with its tricks and treats—is a dust bunny’s dream come true. Just ask Lyle, Sedona Snow’s faithful sidekick. But for Sedona, it’s a nightmare. Though her new job managing a small hotel and tavern on Rainshadow is helping her move on from her tragic past, a bizarre disaster down in the catacombs has brought a pack of rowdy ghost hunters to her inn.

And now, Sedona’s ex has arrived on the island, claiming he wants to get back together, just as a newcomer appears to have a strong interest in her. Cyrus Jones is the new Guild boss in town. He has his own agenda when it comes to Sedona, but even the best-laid plans are no match for the passion that springs up on Rainshadow.

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COVER REVEAL: Sinful Rewards by Cynthia Sax + GIVEAWAY

SINFUL REWARDS 4 Cynthia Sax

Title: Sinful Rewards (Billionaire’s and Bikers novella Book #4)

Author: Cynthia Sax

Release Date: October 14th

Blurb:  Four years ago, Bee Carter left her tiny hometown, escaping her tormenters. She concealed her tarnished reputation under a good girl persona, hiding her history from Nicolas, her strong and silent billionaire, Hawke, her tattooed bad boy biker, and Cyndi, her man crazy best friend.

Today, she’s returning home… and she’s not alone. Some of her deepest darkest secrets will be revealed. Trust will be tested. Clothing and inhibitions will be discarded. Bee and her hometown will never be the same.

When her past and her present collides, will any of Bee’s relationships survive?

Buy Links: Amazon   B&N

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the chance to win a $25.00 Amazon or B&N Gift Card or Digital Set of SINFUL REWARDS Book One and Two!  GIVEAWAY

Sunday Snippet: Linger by Lauren Jameson

If you’ve never read a Lauren Jameson/Lauren Hawkeye book you have missed out on some amazing reads. In her latest erotic romance Lauren shifts the balance and gives an Alpha Male who’s a submissive in the bedroom. Now this normally isn’t my cup of tea, but it’s Lauren so I’m reading it, and so should you because it’s freaking awesome. So here’s a snippet from the book. 

Scarlett perched on a barstool inside In Vino Veritas, sipping at the glass of buttery chardonnay that Luca had gifted her.

After the encounter outside, she had been unable to stop herself from searching for the handsome stranger once she was inside. A few male submissives had tried to catch her eye, but she found herself strangely uninterested.

“Look at me.” Scarlett whispered. She’d been watching the man for a good five minutes, but he hadn’t yet looked her way. He hadn’t looked anyone’s way, actually, seeming focused on his drink.

As if he’d heard her speak, though, he turned and met her stare. Scarlett’s fingers clutched on her wine glass briefly before relaxing, and butterflies began to do a wild dance of excitement in her belly.

He reminded her of a tethered animal, restrained but only just. A heavy rock settled on top of the butterflies in her gut when she realized that the chances of this man being her type—being sexually submissive—were slim indeed.

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Series Saturday: Alpine Woods Shifters by Sondrae Bennett

Sondrae Bennett is a new to me author but one of Sarah’s favorites so when she put this series on the list for us to spotlight this year I had to check it out. While I haven’t had a chance to get to them yet, they are on my TBR list. 


artic windsNothing will stop a wolf once he’s found his mate…not even her own doubts. After her skulk abandoned her four years ago, Samantha knew she would never truly be wanted. When she accidentally stumbles into a wolf town and is asked by their premier to stay, she believes it’s the novelty of an arctic fox motivating him. She knows she’ll be on her own again once he tires of her. Jason finds himself pulled to Samantha from the moment she faints in his arms. His wolf is calling to him, telling him he’s found their mate and the heat he feels for Samantha is impossible to resist. But his little fox is loaded down with emotional baggage and doesn’t believe she’s worthy of love. Can he overcome her fears? Or will pack jealousies and the local foxes convince her she doesn’t belong with him before he has a chance?
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Hard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye

hard to hold on toTitle: Hard to Hold on To

Series: Hard Ink bk 2.5

Author: Laura Kaye

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Edward “Easy” Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves–which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight. He may have just met her, but Jenna’s the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can’t describe how he makes her feel–and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to.

Thoughts: First I have to say I have mad cover lover for this book. I loved the fact that they didn’t white wash the man and we see the starkness between Easy and Jenna on the cover.

I’m going to warn you this book isn’t an easy read. In fact it has one of the hardest most powerful scenes I’ve ever read in a book where the hero has been to war, and considering how many books I’ve read with heroes who are soldiers that’s saying something. I would put this scene up there with Butch and V in Payne’s book with the spoon. It’s that powerful.

This story takes place in the 72 hours after the end of Hard as You Can and for the first time we really get to see Easy and what he’s going through. It isn’t pretty in fact there were times I almost wanted to stop reading but I knew I couldn’t because the content was so powerful.

As much as this Easy and Jenna’s story its really Easy’s story. Yes they talk about what happened to Jenna, and she has to deal with a lot of stuff which she does, with Easy at her side.

If you’re going to read one romantic suspense book this year this is the book you should read.

Grade A+