Book Review: Hard Lessons by Annie Oakfield

RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars

HARD LESSONS (The Dungeon Book 1) by Annie Oakfield is an erotic sexual romp through a safe adult playground called The Dungeon. This story contains voyeurism, multiple combinations of participation, but always safe condom use.

Angie Henderson has worked as a mall security guard until she hears of a job opening at The Dungeon. Angie is excited and nervous to be interviewed, but she wants this job to add some excitement to her life. Brothers, Sam and Daniel hire her, but the one rule they say cannot be broken is that she cannot participate. With temptation and inspiration in every area of The Dungeon, how is Angie going to be able to resist?

This is a fun, hot, and steamy erotic read for a fantasy filled evening. Sexual tension release without BDSM or other fetishes. Enjoy!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Cold Blood by Robert Brynzda

RATING 5 out of 5 Stars:

COLD BLOOD (Detective Erika Foster, #5) by Robert Brynzda had me turning the pages as fast as I could read them. This installment not only gave me my usual intense detective story, but more character development involving Erika, her personal life decisions and the contrasting study of the downward spiral of personal life decisions of an average young woman. This book alternates between the present investigation and the past evolution of the evil responsible for all of this violence.

Erika and her team begin working a gruesome case of dismembered bodies being found washed up on shore in suitcases in the present. Erika works the case with Moss at her side, while still dealing with guilt over Peterson, who is still on medical leave. The whole force must also, at the same time, deal with a major betrayal by one of their own which can have major ramifications far into the future.

As you follow the case in the present, you alternately follow Nina in the recent past. Every decision in her life moves her along a path of no return. Our lives change with every decision or fork in the road, every person we meet or fall in love with and this author has written a character that you cannot stop wishing for her to get a break or have someone intervene even with all the death and violence she participates in.

Mr. Brynzda has added more character development, moral and ethical decisions and depth to each main character in book #5 besides an interesting and fast moving investigation. This book is fast paced and engaging, but it is also more graphic in its violence than previous books in the series. He will definitely have me coming back for more.

Another great addition to this series!

Thanks very much to Bookouture and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Smolder by Lisa Carlisle

RATING: 3 out of 5 Stars

SMOLDER by Lisa Carlisle is the revised novella start to her Underground Encounters paranormal romance series which was originally released in 2012 as Smoldering Nights. I love Ms. Carlisle’s various series, but this novella still lacks the depth of character and originality I look for in her books.

Nike is a firefighter who loves to let off steam with her best friend, Maya on the dance floor of Vamps, the local goth night club. On one of their nights at the club, she sees the man she has a crush on from her rock climbing gym. He has a French accent, a gorgeous body and beautiful eyes. She cannot believe her luck when Michel asks her up to accompany him to a private room upstairs, but she is about to get an education in other creatures that coexist with mortals.

Michel is a nightwalker. He does not know what draws him to Nike at the club or the gym and he knows he should not get involved with a mortal, but he finds her irresistible. When he gets Nike to agree to accompany up to the private rooms, they are attacked by an old enemy right when things begin to get interesting.

Michel and Nike go on the run. The attraction is too much to resist and they begin to explore their sexual attraction and also begin to wonder if it could become more. Can they have a future or will Michel’s enemy find them once again and destroy them both?

This novella was a very quick read and a good introduction to the Underground Encounters series. Nike is a strong heroine who can stand on her own which I loved. Michel is sexy and a dream, even with the fangs. There just was not enough depth to the characters due to the shortness of the story, it was very predictable and it ended abruptly. If you have not started this series, it is a fun intro and the sex scenes are steamy, hot and well written.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: A Covert Affair by Susan Mann

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

The second book in the Librarian and the Spy Escapade, A COVERT AFFAIR by Susan Mann is just as much fun as the first! Quinn and James are wonderful together once again on their new adventure through India.

I really feel these books fill an interesting niche. They are action spy thrillers with romance, adventure and interesting, intelligent plots, but they are not as violent or strictly action driven as most in this genre. I like to call these books “cozy spy thrillers” and just what I am looking for to curl up with for an afternoon adventure.

Quinn Ellington has moved to D.C. and is now a reference librarian at the CIA. She will be training at The Farm to become an agent like her boyfriend, James Bond Anderson. Their relationship is progressing and it is because they are close and Quinn has a passionate love of books and knowledge that they are both sent on a mission as husband and wife to the Punjab district in India. To save a kidnapped ambassador’s life, they have to find and return a stolen Sikh library of historic and religious books.

Ms. Mann had me completely engrossed in the descriptions of India and especially the Punjab district. Her information on the Sikh culture and history displayed extensive research and it was well paced throughout the story without feeling like an info dump. The Indian characters were believable and empathetic.

Quinn is an empowered female heroine, who uses her intelligence as well as her physical prowess. James is her perfect hunky, spy hero who is also learning to not be overly protective and let Quinn investigate avenues on her own. Their banter is fun and entertaining. The sexual relationship is hot, but not overly explicit. This book can be read as a standalone, but Quinn and James’s relationship changes and grows in each book.

This is a series to follow!

Thanks very much to Kensington Books and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Must Love More Kilts by Angela Quarles

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I LOVE this time-travel historical romance series! The new book MUST LOVE MORE KILTS (Must Love Series, #4) by Angela Quarles did not disappoint. This book focuses on the sister of the heroine from book three and the Highland warrior that she hand-fasts with the first night the sisters appear in the past. Their adventure can be read as a standalone, but there is overlap and I would recommend you at least read book three in the series first.

Fiona Campbell has always loved her family’s Scottish history, myths and legends. She believes her own self-worth is in keeping her ancestors extraordinary deeds and history alive. When Fiona and her sister end up back in 1689 Scotland it is a dream come true. She can become the Fiona of family legend and save their ancestor’s life and finally prove her own worth to her family.

Duncan MacCowan is a strong Highland warrior and faithful friend to the new laird, even though the laird’s sister broke his heart and proved deceitful in his past. When Fiona drops into his life, he opens his heart once again, but she disappears on the night of their hand-fasting. He cannot believe he has opened up to two unfaithful women and will never believe his heart over his head again. Now as this story begins, recovering from a serious battlefield wound, Duncan is surprised to find Fiona returned and caring for him.

Fiona is focused only on the past and believes she has one only one purpose in her life which is to fulfill the legend which say she will save her ancestor from a MacCowan warrior with a specific scar, but the warrior she loves has that scar. She must remain at Duncan’s side wherever he goes. Duncan believes he will never love again, but the attraction between these two just keeps building. Fiona and Duncan both must overcome their personal fears and work together to discover where their destinies lead them in their present versus family legend from the future and if they can tempt Fate for love.

This series just keeps giving me everything I want. The description of the Highlands and its people in 1689 and how two modern women deal with their time-travel. The author’s explanation of the time-travel and parallel histories is interesting and lets me suspend my belief for the story. Fiona and Duncan are wounded and slow to communicate their feelings and yet extremely strong and fearless in other ways and fast to defend their family and friends. The sexual tension builds and there are a few steamy sex scenes that add to the romance perfectly.

I highly recommend this new book and the entire series! I hope there are many more to come.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Hold ‘Em: A Gambling Hearts Romance by Jacquie Biggar

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

HOLD ‘EM: A GAMBLING HEARTS ROMANCE by Jacquie Biggar is a contemporary romance that has a cast of characters that are heartwarming, caring, funny and just all around wonderful! The hero and heroine find they have an instant attraction and even though they are opposites, they both have caring hearts and strong family attachments.

Matthew “Matt” Shaughnessy is a high-stakes poker player winning his way up to the World Series of Poker. Just when he thinks he may have lost a huge stakes game, his opponent cannot cover his makers. What Matt needs is a fiancée to make his dying grandmother happy so a deal is struck.  Gardner offers in payment his daughter’s heirloom wedding ring and one week of Cassandra playing his fiancée on his family’s Texas ranch.

Cassandra Gardner knows her father has a gambling problem, but she never imagined it would lead to her playing the part of a finance on a ranch with a stranger, when she is supposed to be getting married in two weeks in Las Vegas to someone else. She is a city girl through and through and knows nothing about ranching or the great outdoors. She also has very strong feelings against lying to Matt’s grandmother, family and friends who accept her on sight.

Matt has one week to convince his grandmother he is settling down and found the love of his life, which if he keeps enjoying Cassandra’s looks and spirit may be true in reality, but can he keep her on the ranch? Cassandra cannot believe the intense feelings that started as annoyance and now are so much more for this cowboy, but she has a fiancée waiting in Vegas.

Ms. Biggar has written an easy to read, heartwarming, sexy and funny, opposites attract hero and heroine that could walk right off the page and into your heart. There is sexual tension throughout, but Cassandra never breaks her promise to her real fiancée and there is no sex in the story. Matt’s grandmother, brother and sister and his care of them all and the ranch at a young age shows the depth of his character, while they are all interesting characters on their own.

Right now this book is a standalone, but the story definitely is set up for Matt’s brother and sister to have their own stories in the future. I really hope they get them because this is a family that I want to check back in with in the future.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.