The Will

The WillThe Will
by Kristen Ashley
Published by Indie
on April 8th 2014
Genres: Sexy Romance
Sex: two-stars
Overall Grade: D


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Early in her life, Josephine Malone learned the hard way that there was only one person she could love and trust: her grandmother, Lydia Malone. Out of necessity, unconsciously and very successfully, Josephine donned a disguise to keep all others at bay. She led a globetrotting lifestyle on the fringes of the fashion and music elite, but she kept herself distant.

While Josephine was trotting the globe, retired boxer Jake Spear was living in the same small town as Lydia. There was nothing disguised about Jake. Including the fact he made a habit of making very bad decisions about who to give his love.

But for Josephine and Jake, there was one person who adored them. One person who knew how to lead them to happiness. And one person who was intent on doing it.

Even if she had to do it as her final wish on this earth.

reviewKristen Ashley’s recent books have been disappointments. Some have put it down to her spark being extinguished by too heavy an editorial hand, others have just been a bit bored by her stories. ‘The Will’ comes to us in a huge wave of excitement. So many people have been saying that this is Ashley back to her best, so, as a huge Ashley fan, I was excited to read it.

Josephine has come back to the small town of Magdalene for her beloved grandmother’s funeral. This is where she sees the local hottie, Jake, and his gaggle of kids. Josephine, being aware of general etiquette, refrains from humping his leg but they meet again at the reading of her grandmother’s will. This is where things get interesting, and Josephine finds herself embroiled in a relationship with the aforementioned hottie, attempting to form relationships with his kids, and reconnecting with what she left behind when she fled all those years ago.

It’s such a lovely and charming opening but the usual Ashley features creep in quickly enough. While I enjoy her books, Ashley has some bad habits and these seem to be even more apparent in this book. First of all, the book is too long. A lot of readers were disappointed by the relatively brief books she released with Grand Central, so I guess she felt free to spread her cluttered, overly-descriptive wings in this self-published book. But it’s long, so long that I felt like I was being held hostage by conversations that resolved nothing and incidents that served only to highlight Josephine’s saintliness. Josephine tends to cast a spell on everyone she meets. Every man she meets falls in love with her. Teenagers do away with centuries of instinctual grumpiness and decide she’s wonderful, despite her preaching about eating their vegetables. Oh, and she’s crazy in bed. She can do no wrong. Which brings me to point number two.

I tend not to mind Mary Sues in romance, because a lot of romance is about wish fulfilment, and readers tend not to want excessively flawed, difficult-to-like heroines. But Josephine was so teeth-grindingly perfect that she became unutterably tedious. And had the most bizarre manner of speaking. I guess Ashley wanted her to come across as cultured and educated, but she spoke like a badly trained Lizzie Bennet from a poorly funded Jane Austen am-dram production. She seemed bewildered by common slang (and slang that has most certainly entered the common lexicon) despite working as a photographer’s assistant for years, travelling the world and meeting various celebrities. Are you really telling us that these people think using “alas” with such frequency is perfectly normal?

And yes, “alas”. If I ever hear that word again, it’ll be too soon. Same with “indeed” and “goodly.” Rather than sounding classy, Josephine just sounded like she had an extremely limited vocabulary. And an editor should have pointed that out, along with all-too-frequent instances of using words in the wrong context (the author was fond of using ‘extortionate’ when she meant ‘very’).

So where does this leave us? Ashley writes very sweet books, and readers tend to appreciate her detailed and committed approach. But for me it was a bridge too far. I’m not sure if this book strayed too far into self-indulgence, or if I’ve tired of Ashley’s style. Her fans may well love it but I just didn’t enjoy it.

Eagle


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Once upon a Billionaire

Once upon a BillionaireOnce upon a Billionaire
by Jessica Clare
Published by Penguin
on April 15th 2014
Genres: Erotica, Sexy Romance
Pages: 263
Sex: four-stars
Overall Grade: B+


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As a member of the royal family in a small European country, Griffin Verdi’s presence is requested at the wedding of the century. The scholarly billionaire feels out of his depth in social situations, so a good assistant is required—especially when dealing with royal etiquette.

Unfortunately for Griffin, he’s stuck with Maylee Meriweather, a pretty, charming, and thoroughly unsuitable woman who doesn’t know a thing about high society—but she sure can kiss.
Well, that's hardly apropos, Griffin. Griffin sounds like that kid in school who always shouted inappropriate and random phrases at inopportune moments. Her lack of polish may sink Griffin, because after all, even his money can’t buy class. Elegance is learned, my friends. Elegance is learned, oh yeah. But through Maylee’s eyes, he’s starting to appreciate the simple things in life—if simple means the most complicated woman he’s ever met. *still lip syncing 'Money Can't Buy You Class'

Maylee is everything Griffin isn’t—and everything he wants—if he can let down his guard and step outside his sheltered world… That's right, Griffin, confident and cool, you know you hold the key. Find your dreams within yourself, and live with dignity

reviewThis is the fourth book in the Billionaire Boys Club series so we all should be familiar enough with the characters by now. This is Griffin’s book. My memory of Griffin from previous books was less about his character and centred more on the enormous stick shoved up his ass, and when we meet him in this book, I find my memory to be pretty accurate.

Griffin’s personal assistant has been struck by illness, just when Griffin has to fly back to his home country to attend his cousin’s wedding. Due to some bad luck and some evil machinations from some meddlesome friends, Griffin finds himself saddled with an unconventional replacement assistant for his trip.

Jessica Clare tends to do simple things very, very well. This is a straightforward odd-couple concept, mixed with fish-out-of-water elements, tied up with some mommy issues. Maylee isn’t the plain and staid assistant Griffin may have wanted, but she’s such a genuine, warm character that I couldn’t help but take her side immediately. I actually resented some of the characters’ actions at the beginning of the book, because I saw them as making Griffin suffer at her expense. She was kind and sweet, and just wanted to do her job well. It was, therefore, an uphill battle to warm to Griffin, because he was so unforgivably rude to her. This, however, leads to a slow-burn friendship between the characters as they feel out each other’s foibles and quirks. But, as with all of Clare’s books, this slow-burn doesn’t come at the expense of hot sex. In fact, the author is such a talent that she can make dry-humping seem like the sexiest thing since God invented rugby players’ thighs.

This was needed after the particularly heavy ‘The Wrong Billionaire’s Bed’. Instead of that drama, we get royalty, chocolate, a priggish (but adorable) dope and a gloriously sweet heroine. A huge treat.

Eagle

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Night After Night by Lauren Blakely

Night After Night by Lauren Blakely


Their world was sex, love, and lies.
He intoxicated her. Commanded. Consumed.
With a dirty mind and a mouth to match, Clay Nichols is everything Julia never knew she wanted and exactly what she cannot have. He walked into her life one night and unlocked pleasure in her that she never knew was possible. Possessing her body, captivating her every thought. Which makes him way too dangerous for Julia to risk her heart, given that she has a price tag on her head. She ran after one mind-blowing week with him, but now he's back, and determined to make her his own.
No matter the cost.

She was a sexy drug to him. Fiery, unforgettable, and never enough, Julia is an enigma, and Clay isn't willing to let her go without a fight. But she's got dark secrets of her own that threaten to destroy any chance of happiness. She’s a wanted woman – the stakes are high, her every move is watched, and yet the lure between them can’t be denied. Can two people burned by love trust again when desire and passion are met by danger at every turn?

as

He opened the door and gestured for her to enter the car, watching the whole time as she stepped inside and crossed her legs, giving him a very brief preview of where the stockings ended. He shook his head approvingly, and she shot him a look that said nothing short of come and get it. He took her suitcase as the driver emerged, scrambling to deposit the black carry-on into the trunk.
After he got in the car he hit the partition button, closing them off from the driver, with the tinted windows shutting them off from the whole wide world.
She looked at him, her pretty green eyes meeting him straight on. That beautiful face, that divine body, and that naughty, naughty mouth; it was hard to believe he’d only spent one night with her. She stared at him as if she was as famished as he was. As if she needed the same thing.
“You look like you need to be fucked right now.”
“Do I?”
“You sure do,” he said, raking his eyes over her, perched in the leather seat so properly, and so damn sexily at the same time. He ached to touch her but savored the tease, so he kept a distance between them, drawing out the tension as the car pulled into afternoon traffic.
“And I suppose you think you can solve that problem?”
“I don’t think so. I know so. And I intend to. But not yet.”
“You gonna toy with me?”
“Been thinking about it.”
“Like a cat playing with a mouse,” she said, her voice nearly a purr.
“You’re hardly a mouse.”
“I know,” she said, and ran her index finger across her bottom lip then around to her top, so suggestively he nearly tossed his plans to wait out the window. He wanted her now. He wanted her bad, especially with the way her hot gaze was locked on him as she parted her lips, and ran her tongue along her teeth.
A challenge; one that he planned to meet. A low rumble worked its way free of his throat as he moved to her, his body next to her, just a trace of contact. Slowly, so as to torture her, he reached for the belt of her coat, taking his time untying it.
Her breath caught as he started to open her jacket, first one button, then the next, then another. As he worked his way up her chest, undoing the final button, she rolled her eyes in pleasure, closing them briefly as he slid a hand over her right breast, squeezing her.
She stifled a gasp, biting her lip.
“Don’t pretend you’re not turned on.”
“I’m not pretending,” she whispered.
“Then let me hear you moan. I want to hear everything.” She opened her eyes, as he cupped her breasts over the fabric of her clingy sweater. “Are you wet?”
“Yes.”
He glanced down at her short black skirt, already rising up to show more of her strong, shapely thighs. He desperately wanted to slide his hand under her skirt right-the-fuck now, but patience would be rewarded. “When did you start getting wet?”
“The exact moment?”
“Yes.”
“On the plane.”
“What were you thinking about at thirty thousand feet that was getting you wet?” he asked as his hand drifted down the front of her sweater, traveling over her flat belly.
“About all the things you might say to me.”
“You like the way I talk to you?”
“Why don’t you check and see how much I like it?”
“Why don’t you wait for me to check,” he fired back as he reached under her sweater, spreading his hand across the soft, sweet flesh of her stomach. She moaned as he touched her, and he wasn’t sure he was going to be able to get enough of those sounds this weekend. He might have to spend the next forty-eight hours making her gasp and moan, groan and scream, because her noises were better than a cold drink on a hot day. The sounds she made fed him.”

good

The prequel to this book is FREE right now! As for this one it will go live tomorrow but if you pre-order today its only 99 cents… the price will jump to $2.99 tomorrow so if this sounds like something you want I would hop on that pre-order ASAP.

Pre-Order Links: Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaAmazon AustraliaiBookB&N

NOTE- B&N will be a live release and will be 99 cents on release day.


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Unfixable

UnfixableUnfixable
by Tessa Bailey
Published by Entangled Publishing
on April 14th 2014
Genres: Sexy Romance
Pages: 260
Sex: four-stars
Overall Grade: B+


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He’s the last thing she wants...but the only thing she needs.

Willa Peet isn’t interested in love. She’s been there, done that, and has the shattered heart to prove it. Ready to shake the breakup, she heads to Dublin, Ireland. But there’s a problem. A dark-haired, blue-eyed problem with a bad attitude that rivals her own. And he’s not doling out friendly Irish welcomes.

Shane Claymore just wants to race. The death of his father forced him off the Formula One circuit, but he’s only staying in Dublin long enough to sell the Claymore Inn and get things in order for his mother and younger sister. He never expected the sarcastic American girl staying at the inn to make him question everything.

But even as Willa and Shane’s fiery natures draw them together, their pasts threaten to rip them apart. Can Shane give up racing to be with the woman he loves, or will Willa’s quest to resurrect the tough-talking, no-shit-taking girl she used to be destroy any hope of a future together?

reviewWe met Willa Peet in ‘Protecting What’s His‘, the first book in Bailey’s Line of Duty series. That series came out under Entangled’s Brazen stable, however, and this book is an Entangled Embrace release, so expect content more in line with Embrace’s NA MO (less filth, basically). We learnt about Willa’s shitty childhood in ‘Protecting What’s His’, but here we get a broader view of its effect on her and her relationships.

She’s decamped to Ireland from Chicago for a month to hone her skills as a photographer. It’s also an opportunity to get over a break-up with her perfecter-than-perfect boyfriend, Evan. Their break-up (and Willa’s reasons for instigating it) give us more of an insight into Willa than any lengthy exposition ever could.

When she arrives in Dublin, she meets Shane the Ride. Shane the Ride, as luck would have it, owns the inn she’ll be staying at for the duration of her trip. They have some great back-and-forth and set the scene for some standard Bailey chemistry.

This book is clearly NA when compared to the Line of Duty series (the focus is on Willa’s coming to terms with who she is, Shane’s difficulties with his family, his mother’s issues). We get less full-on dirt and more soul-searching than in Bailey’s previous books. But it’s done with a maturity and adult likability that so many NA books lack. The sex is hot (it’s Tessa Bailey, she’s incapable of writing unhot sex), the peripheral characters are interesting and the whole thing comes together as a lovely, feel-good jaunt. It’ll make you happy, which is rare and pretty great, no?

Eagle

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Playing with Fire

Playing with FirePlaying with Fire
by Renee Graziano
on April 8th 2014
Genres: Sexy Romance, Suspense
Pages: 304
Sex: two-stars
Overall Grade: D-


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I bought this extremely overpriced ebook because the reality show Mob Wives is a guilty pleasure of mine. I watch maybe a handful of shows because I’m a reader as you can see from my blog. Last season on the show Renee, out of nowhere, said she was writing a dirty book… I use the terms writing and dirty loosely here, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

Generally I don’t talk about authors personally when I do a review because: A I don’t generally know them and B my review is about the book, not the author. While reading this story though I had a hard time disconnecting the two because I felt somewhat like I know the author because of her reality show. I don’t think I have a disdain for Renee from watching her on TV. I think she’s crazy, needs medication, and the show would probably be shit without her so I like her on it. But some of it just seemed to blur together for me.

Our heroine, Reign Grazi, has grown up in the mob world and seems to know everything about everything. She is so fucking observant and catches every little thing that I’m convinced she works for the CIA as a super spy or something. Anyways, one night while attending a party she meets Nick Fattelli. He’s handsome, charming, and seems to be a little bit mysterious. After having a very brief conversation they are out the door and headed back to Reign’s place for some sexy times. Upon arriving at her place someone tries to take her life, but Nick saves that day! Apparently he is an assassin by night… don don don BUT an investment banker by day.

This is literally the story. Someone wants to kill Reign and Nick wants to stop them and find out who wants her dead. While that is happening the author tried to bore me to death. Seems the mob is stepping up their skills because I would have flipped on anyone to have been done with this book. I was so sad when the first assassin failed at killing Reign and the story wasn’t over. I found myself actually cheering for the villain to kill her already. Why you ask? Because this book was one ginormous ego stroke.

I couldn’t stop my brain from comparing the author, Renee, to the heroine, Reign, because there were just too many similarities. Take for example their very similar names, both having a son that is their world, both having an ex-husband that betrayed them, and both creating a clothing line. I think Reign was a depiction of who and what Renee really wants to be because Reign is classier, smarter, and a lot wiser. Having all of these characteristics in a heroine is good, but they are beat into us repetitiously in this book. The author wants to make sure we know how awesome Renee is and how much she knows about living in the higher circles of life because she goes into great detail to make sure we know. Hmmm. Must be because I give two shits about what everything looks like or what they are wearing or eating or drinking… Nope, I sure the fuck don’t. Focus. Tell the story here. Make me connect with the characters on an emotional level. Oh that’s right, the story could have been told in about 30 pages, but the author choose to weigh it down with details that didn’t matter or add to the characters.

One thing we do learn is that Reign has trust issue because her ex-husband betrayed her, but I never got her pain for it. She was just all “I don’t trust easy…. I can’t love again” and I felt nothing for her or Nick. There was absolutely no emotion to them nor did I feel a connection between them. Then, I shit you not, the author let me know the butter smelled like it had a hint of garlic, but pretty much skipped the first actual sex scene. But to be honest, it doesn’t really matter because the sex was vanilla as vanilla can be. This is by no means an erotica story at all. Nick was the worst lover ever. He seemed to be able to get it up often enough, but he sure wanted to make sure he got off. His whole “you cum, I cum” motto made me want to punch him in the face. Listen Nick, this is a romance for women. You eat that pussy until you have lock jaw and while doing this you think about how much you love doing it. I feel sorry for the author if she drew from her own sexual experiences with men because she has had some terrible selfish lovers then.

Maybe she was trying to make the romance seem real, but that really messes with the whole “this is fictional romance.” Where are the passion and fire? Why haven’t you connected me to any of it? There was no alpha male or uncontrollable need to have each other. Generally, in suspense the passion is as high as the suspense, so in this case she nailed it because there was no real suspense or “oh shit moments” so I guess that works…??

The one and only thing I liked about this book was a side character, Sal. Sal was awesome and Reign totally shot him down for “family issues.” Whatever. It sucks when you love a side character and your heroine is all like “No, we can’t be together. I’ll go be with Mr. No Passion over here.” Yeah, that is pretty much how that went. It drove me crazy that Sal pined away for Reign when he could do so much better. But nope, the author wanted you to know everyone wants her because she is hot shit (for what reason I don’t know!) *cries* Poor sweet Sal.

This ebook cost over $10 and comes in at 300 pages. I know. Who the fuck does Renne Grazinao think she is? If her true intentions were to break into our market (yes I’m talking to my fellow dirty book readers) than she came in with a slap to the face. She is NOT Joey Hill, Maya Banks, or Julie Garwood so I have no clue why she thinks it’s ok to drop that price on us and ever more so when the book was shit. No joke. It was boring as fuck. So I’m guessing we aren’t her target audience and she is going for fans of her show and trying to jump into a market that is doing well right now. But maybe she had no choice to charge that to break even because she has a pretty good editor and I have no clue how much a ghost writer cost. If I have learned anything from this experience it’s don’t read fiction written by reality stars.

Mistress M


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The Obsessed Series

The Obsessed SeriesThe Obsessed Series
by Deborah Bladon
Published by Indie
on February 21st 2014
Genres: Erotica, Sexy Romance
Pages: 328
Sex: three-half-stars
Overall Grade: C-


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It’s hard not to miss this series with it being all over Amazon. The author broke the book up into three parts, essentially making it a trilogy. When I first saw it I wanted to read it because I’m a sucker for an obsessed hero, but I waited. I don’t do that part book bullshit, so when the 3rd and final book released I picked them all up. I had high hopes because well, it has a pretty cover, was popping up on Amazon lists, and well like I said… the title of the book is Obsessed. Enough said. This review is going to cover this story as a whole because it is just one book coming in at a little over 300 pages all together.

Ivy is coming out of a long term relationship where she found out her fiancé was a cheating bastard. She’s heartbroken and is having a hard time getting over it. It doesn’t help that he wants her back and is constantly popping up and trying to sweet talk her. It’s dragging out her pain and she just wants to be free. Where once Ivy thought she had it all, she now is trying to pull her life back together and make sure her jewelry designs continue to thrive. One night her best friend drags her out to an art show where she meets the handsome and charming Jax Walker.

There is something about Jax that sucks Ivy in. While this is the first time she has ever met him, Jax has had an eye on her for a while. Now it seems everywhere Ivy goes Jax is popping up. Not only in her personal life, but also in her business life as well. The author did a wonderful job at keeping me guessing about Jax. I was never quite sure what he was up to or what he was playing at. He often comes off hot and cold and at times it annoyed me. In fact, everything in the book seemed so bi-polar. I spent a huge chunk of it not liking anyone to be honest.

“That’s the truth. Anything else leaving your lips is a lie.”

The story is essentially about revenge and obsession. We catch early on that Jax is making a play for something. What that is we aren’t really sure. I knew he wanted her because their sex together was always hot and needy or soft with sweet words from Jax. But sometimes I wasn’t sure how obsessed he was and I even felt for a lot of the book his obsession wasn’t good enough… until the end where everything is revealed at once. Everything falls together and you have that “OH” moment that turns into that “ohhhhh” (second oh is a sweet gushy oh.)

“I need to taste you now, beautiful.” His hands race up my thighs reaching my center. He rips my panties off and instantly enters me.

Overall, I wasn’t satisfied with what I got. I really felt like this book was in part a ploy for sales and another part unfinished. Not unfinished as in there’s not an ending, just unfinished because there was a lot of depth left out. The characters are somewhat transparent and I wanted to smack them all at one point or another. I didn’t care for a lot of their actions and reactions and they often seemed to jump out of character. As for the ploy for sales, the author knew where the story was going from page one because everything tied together. I wonder if she wrote the book then just randomly pulled it into three parts. This way she can tag it with a .99 price tag, but have the same book essentially taking up multiple spots on Amazon so it’s catching the eye more with the similar covers. We are all a sucker for the .99 deals on our books, but in reality this is one will cost you $2.97.

Mistress M


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