Posted in Book Review, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Cape May – 4* #Review Chip Cheek @orionbooks @wnbooks @ChipCheek @PoppyStimpson

September 1957

Henry and Effie, young newlyweds from Georgia, arrive in Cape May, New Jersey, for their honeymoon. It’s the end of the season and the town is deserted. 
As they tentatively discover each other, they begin to realize that everyday married life might be disappointingly different from their happily-ever-after fantasy.

Just as they get ready to cut the trip short, a decadent and glamorous set suddenly sweep them up into their drama – Clara, a beautiful socialite who feels her youth slipping away; Max, a wealthy playboy and Clara’s lover; and Alma, Max’s aloof and mysterious half-sister.

The empty beach town becomes their playground, and as they sneak into abandoned summer homes, go sailing, walk naked under the stars, make love, and drink a great deal of gin, Henry and Effie slip from innocence into betrayal, with irrevocable consequences that reverberate through the rest of their lives…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Orion Publishing – W&N Books via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

Told from Henry’s point of view, this story explores his honeymoon with Effie as they discover marriage isn’t quite the fairytale they believed. Disillusioned they are swept away by a glamorous trio of people who they meet in the deserted jet-set resort. What follows changes their lives forever, and explores a way of life that is far removed from the clean, wholesome ideal of 1950s North America.

There are obvious and deliberate similarities between this story and ‘The Great Gatsby’. The glamour, the importance of money, the innocence of the young couple, and the ethos of desperate sadness.

Henry’s innocence and naivety, and the lack of reality he feels in Cape May make him easy prey. Full of sexual innuendo and passion, which highlight the differences between the young couple and their new friends. Most disturbing is the way Clara, Max, Alma, and ultimately Henry and Effie, treat other people’s houses and possessions. They are similarly careless of people’s feelings.

Whilst you may be taken in by their glamour, and their risque way of life, especially against the staid historical background of 1950s America. They also appear shallow, immoral and pathetic as they strive for something decadent to give them their next high.

Even though the characters are not likeable, the story is. I like its authenticity, sensuality and insight. The ending is poignant and full of lost opportunities for happiness. There is an undeniable question of what if they’d honeymooned on Florida?

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Posted in Book Review, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Take Me On – Dylan Rose – 3* #Review @MillsandBoon #Dare #DoYouDare

An erotic wager… 
Who ends up on top?

Kenzie Fox is ready to sell her stake in a rum distillery until she discovers the buyer is Antonio Navedo, the arrogant stranger she’s just shared a steamy night with. Furious, she changes her mind and proposes a sexy wager instead: if she can turn the business around, she gets the distillery. If she fails he gets her shares – and anything he wants in the bedroom…including her heart

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

‘Take Me On’ is more erotica than erotic romance, a series of explicit, risque liaisons linked together with a plot featuring a woman who believes ‘it’s possible to turn round any business opportunity, even if you have no knowledge of the basics of the business.

It’s not a bad read, the chemistry between Antonio and Kenzie is hot, but I like there to be a love story too. The romance and the emotional involvement seems to be more of an add on here, than an intrinsic part of the book.

Posted in Book Review, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Forbidden to Taste – J.C. Harroway -5* #Review @MillsandBoon @jcharroway #DoYouDare #Dare #Romance #PublicationDay #BillionaireBachelors #2

The sweetest pleasures…

…are the most dangerous!

Drake Faulkner would have given anything to marry Kenzie Porter, but his Army buddy best friend Sam got there first. Drake’s avoided Kenzie in the years since Sam was killed in action—he doesn’t trust himself around her. But when she turns up begging for a job at his hotel, Drake struggles to resist temptation. Their powerful chemistry feels risky, but that only makes it harder to stay away…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

The perfect story, if you like your romance hot, your female protagonist realistic, and your male protagonist, sexy but tortured.

Kenzie is a fighter, not through choice, but to ensure she builds a future for her sister Tilly, after their parents’ death. Losing her husband is one more hurt to come to terms with, and she does, but now she needs a chance to shine, and only Drake, her dead husband’s best friend can provide the opportunity, but will he?

Kenzie is Drake’s weakness and always has been. He lost out to his best friend and has hidden his feelings ever since, even when his friend died and she needed him. Now she wants his help, but can he take the risk?

The characters are believable, complex and easy to like and they have a shared history, but this proves problematic when platonic feelings give way to passion. The attraction is mutual and sensual demonstrated by the explicit love scenes, but can they have a future together, amongst the guilt, and fear?

The pacing is fast and mirrors the incendiary attraction between Kenzie and Drake, but this story has depth, emotion and heartbreaking romance. What more do you need from your romantic fiction?

Lifelong romance addict JC Harroway lives in New Zealand. Writing feeds her very real obsession with happy endings and the endorphin rush they create. Website

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Posted in Book Review, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

The Good Girl – 5*#Review- Christy McKellen @MillsandBoon @ChristyMcKellen #PublicationDay #Dare #DoYouDare #Romance

One week of pleasure…

With an Italian bad boy!

Academic Juno Darlington-Hume wants a top-quality education—in sexual pleasure! Renowned Italian playboy Alessandro Ricci agrees to show the gorgeous virgin almost everything he knows… From magical Florence to the golden Tuscan countryside, he’s taking her to ever higher peaks of ecstasy, letting her get closer than any other woman. But he’ll never take the one thing she truly wants to give him—her heart.

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

There’s no denying this story is full of sensual romance, it’s a sizzling read, as Alessandro teaches Juno everything she needs to know. This story also has emotional depth. What starts out a purely physical encounter, deepens with self-realisation and trust into something much deeper and dangerous for the playboy and the naive woman.

Both Juno and Alessandro have low self-esteem. She is clever but feels socially inept, in comparison to her successful sisters and remote father. He uses his looks and sexual prowess to hide the inadequacy he feels. He’s artistic but is forced to deny his true skills, by a family concerned only with status and wealth.

The vulnerability of both characters makes the final conflicts they face, appear insurmountable, but the self-development they achieve from their emotional relationship makes them brave enough to strive for what they really want and need.

A sensual romance with good character development and a lovely romantic ending.

Posted in Book Review, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Untamed 4* #Review- Caitlin Crews @MillsandBoon @megancrane

Buttons are made to be undone

One wicked touch at a time…

Self-made businesswoman Lucinda Graves is determined to add a tropical hotel to her company’s empire—and devastatingly handsome owner Jason Kaoki is willing to negotiate… But only if Lucinda rises to each challenge he sets! Lucinda passes every test, but as each dare grows hotter and wilder than the last will she be able to keep her eyes on the prize?

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review

My Thoughts…

Sizzling hot from the start and I don’t just mean the weather. Lucinda finds that doing business on a remote Pacific Island has a completely different set of rules.

Lucinda and Jason are successful and rich, both have known physical and emotional hardship and it has left its scars. Relationships have not featured in either of their lives to date. Both players, they embark on a series of sensual games. They both want to win, but neither expect the prize to be so life-changing.

This is an intense story, concentrating on the couple. There are some surprisingly poignant moments as their earlier lives are revealed. The romance is hot and explicit as expected in the Dare series. There is romance too, but it follows in the wake of their physical awakening.

The ending chapters are romantic and allow the reader to see how far the characters have developed since their first meeting. This is part of a series but reads well as a standalone story.

A story for those who like glamorous, hot romantic stories,

Posted in Blog Tour, Book Review, Romance, Romance -Dark and Steamy

Rachael Stewart 5*#Review- Mr One-Night Stand- #DAREblogtour- @MillsandBoon @rach_b52 #DoYouDare

One night only. 
Just think of the possibilities

The second she sees Mr Oh-So-Delicious, Jennifer Hayes knows she needs one night of crazy. No names, no strings, no rules. Except that Jennifer’s naughty one-nighter is actually Marcus Wright—her new business partner! Now they’re mixing business with all kinds of pleasure. But when it comes to falling in love her sexy Mr Wright is either Mr Wrong or the best mistake of her life…

Amazon UK

I received a copy of this book from Mills&Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

My Thoughts…

#Dare books always score top marks for hot and steamy romance and uber glamorous couples, but sometimes its hard to believe the situations they find themselves in. ‘Mr One-Night Stand’ creates the right set of circumstances for it to be believable, and that makes it so enjoyable to read.

Marcus is losing patience waiting for a business client, Jennifer is at her wits end with her business partner, who is late for a meeting. Neither are looking for the instant sexual attraction they experience as they lay eyes on each other. The quick progression of their encounter works, they are confident in all their abilities and used to getting what they want. They both know the rules but they are about to find out that no strings sex, doesn’t always come without complications.

The hot, sensual romance is well-written, but the one-night stand is not what it seems, and leads to both business and personal complications for the power couple. Marcus is running scared from love, it makes you weak and he can’t take the risk. Jennifer hasn’t time for love her commitments are too great.

The gradual realisation that they’re in too deep is fun to read, and you have to empathise. The conflicts they face are realistic but so worth the pain. The ending is worthy of such a deserving couple. Loved it!

Extract

CHAPTER ONE

Patience—he wasn’t known for it. Why should he be when he’d worked his entire life to ensure he got everything he wanted when he wanted it?

Flicking his wrist, he checked the time. Eight twenty-five.

Where the hell were they?

If being late was a last-ditch attempt at angling for more money, then Tony Andrews was an even bigger fool than Marcus had had him pegged for.

He waved away the approaching waitress who was eyeing his empty glass. He’d already indulged in a whisky and filled his one-drink-while-on-business quota. He wasn’t fool enough to indulge in more. Although the girl’s perfect parting pout made clear that it wasn’t just a drink being offered.

Not tonight. He smiled back.

He might be considered an arrogant ass by many, but no one could accuse him of lacking in manners.

Even his questionable childhood hadn’t beaten those out of him—much as his father might have tried.

It was hardly her fault he wasn’t up for it. She had appeal aplenty if surgically enhanced assets and peroxide hair were your thing.

But tonight was about work.

And work was work.

Sex was sex.

Never should the two be mixed. Not if you wanted to stay focused and come out on top.

He watched as she weaved her way back through the intimate arrangement of tables, breaking his gaze to scan again the people occupying the circular floor space of the exclusive rooftop venue. Andrews had chosen it for convenience, it being located only two

blocks down from his London HQ.

Very convenient for Andrews—not so sodding convenient for him. He rolled his shoulders and rechecked his watch.

What the hell was he doing?

He should’ve left ten minutes after the hour, not

sat there like some obedient monkey.

But then, he wasn’t there simply to catch up with

the man he was in the process of buying out. He was

there to be introduced to Andrews’ business partner—

soon-to-be his partner—Jennifer Hayes, before they

signed on the dotted line.

Not that the introduction would make any difference;

the deal was as good as done. But professional courtesy made him stay. That and the fact he was curious to meet her—the exec who’d turned a business into the largest successful start-up the industry

had seen in years.

He was convinced Andrews hadn’t been responsible for it. It was a wonder the man could still see straight, with his mounting gambling debts and outside work attentions. And then there was the drink problem. No one had confirmed it, but Marcus was sure he had one. He knew the signs well enough, thanks to dear old Dad.

So, yes, he doubted Andrews had done a full day’s work in years—and that meant one thing: Miss Hayes was the one carrying the company; she was the one he was effectively buying into.

He’d read her profile, noticeably devoid of any pictures, and figured her to be late thirties, early forties. A woman with shrewd business acumen, a bearing that bordered on cold, and a definite force in the boardroom—all of which he’d respect her for. So long as they were on the same page.

It intrigued him that he hadn’t come across any pictures. Not even a professionally enhanced shot used to support all those public accolades. Maybe she didn’t go in for that kind of vanity. Or maybe Andrews did all that for her. He was certainly everywhere. Even the

Forbes article he’d thrust into his hands at a charity auction last month, when he’d put forward his proposition, had highlighted the success of the business but featured Andrews alone, his greased back hair and cocky grin filling half the page.

The memory of that expression goaded Marcus

further now as he waited and waited, fingers drumming on the tabletop, his patience hitting breaking point.

Seriously—enough was enough. The papers would

be taken care of in less than twenty-four hours regardless. He might as well meet her then.

Tugging at the cuffs of his shirt, he made to stand

up just as the cables of the glass elevator started to

shift. New arrivals?

He settled back and waited for them to come

into view.

It wasn’t Andrews. That was immediately obvious.

The small, balding lift attendant was being dwarfed by a statuesque redhead who made even the impressive lift look small. He wasn’t the only one noticing either. Her hair was pulling every eye in the room. Its cascading waves ran down her back, glinting in the ambient light, impossible to ignore.

Its dramatic colour was a striking contrast to the black dress that clung to her curves before halting modestly at the knee. His gaze dropped lower still, to her exposed calves, to the subtle shimmer that teased with the possibility of stockings. And then came her shoes, her severe black stilettos…

Heat assaulted his groin.

Fuck me.

He wasn’t going anywhere. Not just yet. Andrews could have the extra time for free

sdr
Posted in Book Review, Romance -Dark and Steamy

4* Review – J C Harroway -Forbidden To Want @jcharroway @MillsandBoon

One delicious hook-up deal 
One rule—no falling in love

Mia Abbott never backs down from a challenge—especially one posed by sexy widowed billionaire Kit Faulkner. He’s dark, dangerous, damaged—and pure, raw sex appeal. And for the next three weeks, he’s also Mia’s boss. The rules of their wicked engagement? No romance. Only one night together isn’t enough. They’re about to discover that the most forbidden things are also the hardest to give up…

Amazon UK

My Thoughts…

Why is it, you always want most the thing you’re forbidden?

When independent, driven, emotionally scarred Mia meets damaged, grieving, hurting Kit, they discover a no-strings sexual encounter is not the simple solution. A high-charged emotional story, ‘Forbidden to Want’ is full of angst, heat and hope. Set against glamourous billionaire lifestyle background this story is a great escapist read if you enjoy your romance emotionally raw and sensually hot.

Something to keep you warm in the cold winter nights ahead, well- written sensual romance.

I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon via NetGalley in return for an honest review.