Review- Flirting With Fire by Kate Meader

Title: Flirting With Fire(Hot In Chicago Series, book #1)

Flirting With Fire

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Kate Meader

Publisher: Pocket Books, March 24, 2015

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Savvy PR guru Kinsey Taylor has always defined herself by her career, not her gender. That is, until she moved from San Francisco to Chicago to be with her fiancé who thought she wasn’t taking her “job” of supporting him in his high-powered career seriously enough—and promptly dumped her for a more supportive and “feminine” nurse. Now, as the new assistant press secretary to Chicago’s dynamic mayor, she’s determined to keep her eye on the prize: no time to feel inferior because she’s a strong, kick-ass woman, and certainly no time for men. But that all changes when she meets Luke Almeida, a firefighter as searingly sexy as he is quick-tempered. He’s also the second oldest of the Firefightin’ Dempseys, a family of foster siblings who have committed their lives to the service—if Luke’s antics don’t get him fired first. When Luke goes one step too far and gets into a bar brawl with the Chicago Police Department, Kinsey marches into Luke’s firehouse and lays down the law on orders from the mayor. But at Engine Co. 6, Luke Almeida is the law. And he’s not about to let Kinsey make the rules.

**

There is electricity in the air when Kinsey and Luke square off. She has a job to do, protecting the the image of the city and the mayor. He is not about to apologize for what he thinks was a justifiable brou-ha-ha. But Luke is made to compromise by his superiors in the department and Kinsey has the job of making the image shine. Of course, being in close proximity fuels their banter which turns to lust. Add in a family of firefighters, each with their own personality and problems and we have an entertaining first book in a new series.

Ms Meader infuses this book with strong personalities that we can believe in and get behind. The Dempsey family, all firefighters in the same engine company, is a mash-up of foster siblings, Wyatt the oldest who is the quiet one, Luke the hot head but protective one, Gage the gay playboy, Alexandra a female firefighter trying to hold her own in a man’s world and Beck who we have yet to meet.

This is a steamy, sexy novel. There is graphic description of both hetero and gay romance. Realistic dialog and characterization makes this a fun read as well as a clever introduction to future books in what promises to be a scorching series.

I recommend this book to those who are interested in contemporary romance and firefighters.

 

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Kindle Book Sale- Slow Hand by Victoria Vane $.99

slow hand 2

Here is Deet’s review of Slow Hand from November 2014:

Title: Slow Hand (Hot Cowboy Nights Book #1)

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Cowboy

Author: Victoria Vane

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Nov. 4, 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

In rural Montana… Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who’s torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He’s on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She’s a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots… Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds-until her father’s death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can’t resist a cowboy with a slow hand…

**

If you have read any of Victoria Vane’s historical romances then you know you are in for a sizzling, sexy treat when it comes to this story. Nicky is emotionally drained by a past that has her abandoned by her father and having a mother who gave her little attention. The attention she gleaned from her romantic encounters was not the kind that produced a feeling of trust and stability. When she meets Wade, who is struck with love-at-first-sight, she doesn’t’ trust what is happening between them.

Of course there will be a happy ending, after all this is a romance novel. How an author gets us to the predictable end is not always an interesting journey. In this case it is full of surprises and very satisfying. Ms. Vane knows her Montana ranching and what it takes to settle an estate so that the entire book seems packed with reality. The sexual tension is so intense as to be quite a relief when the H/h finally manage to connect.

I enjoyed this book on several levels: the feeling of the Montana landscape and the problems facing a rancher, the hot-as-hell attraction between the protagonists and the sense of reading a true life story. I look forward to more cowboys from Victoria Vane.

Coming On June 2, 2015

Sharp Shootin’ Cowboy

(Hot Cowboy Nights, book #3)

Sharp Shootin Cowboy

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Recent Release Review- Behind The Mask by Carolyn Crane

Title: Behind The Mask (book#4 The Associates Series)

BehindTheMask-best

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author: Carolyn Crane

Publisher: Carolyn Crane

Source: Free for review from the author

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description:

Zelda is the silent partner in the clandestine organization known as The Associates. Liza is Zelda’s twin who got involved with a drug lord and was gambled away to another drug lord. Zelda agrees to take her twin’s place and is flown to the jungles of South America. Can she maintain her hidden identity long enough to get some information for her company’s current operation?

Hugo and Paolo appear to the locals as an American gentleman farmer and his son. But Hugo has a secret past and he is on a mission when he saves Zelda from some very bad guys and brings her to his home to be his cook and teacher for Paolo. Can he maintain his secrets as he becomes more enamored of his captive?

**

As with all the books in The Associates series we are thrust into the action with an adrenaline rush and it does not let go until hours after we close the last page. This is a dark and supremely satisfying book. There is violence and torture so be prepared but this will not deter the reader as the pages are flipped rapidly to find out what will happen next. There is little more satisfying then reading an author who knows how to write a story line and plot and keeps us on the edge of our seats throughout the book. Carolyn Crane is this kind of author. BEHIND THE MASK is this kind of book.

Yes, there is romance amid the mayhem. Zelda and Hugo do not want to fall in love but they are the yin and yang to each other and it is inevitable. Zelda fills the empty place in Hugo’s heart and Zelda has been falling in love with this killer since she first saw his blurry photo years ago while trying to capture him and failing. But we readers can’t help but think their love is doomed from the start.

I highly recommend this thriller to all romance fans who like their novels dark, rough and gritty. It doesn’t get any better than this.

The Associates Series (Deet’s Reviews)

1.  Against The Dark

2.  Off The Edge  https://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/review-off-the-edge-by-carolyn-crane/

3.  Into The Shadows https://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/recent-release-review-into-the-shadows-by-carolyn-crane/

 

 

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Review- Say Yes To The Marquess by Tessa Dare

Title: Say Yes To The Marquess (Castles Ever After, book #2)

Say Yes To the Marquess

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Tessa Dare

Publisher: Avon, Dec. 2014

Pages: 390

Source: Purchase for Kindle $1.99

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle

for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and … and …?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She’s inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother–even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride’s cold feet?

  • He starts with flowers. A wedding can’t have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.
  • He lets her know she’ll make a beautiful, desirable bride–and tries not to picture her as his.
  • He doesn’t kiss her.
  • If he kisses her, he definitely doesn’t kiss her again.
  • When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.
  • And no matter what–he doesn’t fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.
  • ***********************
  • I can’t believe I had to give a Tessa Dare book a rating of “2”!! I was truly looking forward to this book and when it popped up on Kindle for $1.99 I jumped on it. This was so over the top silly to the point of ridiculous. It read like a contemporary romance, and might have been better if it had been set in modern times. The prizefighter aspect was a total turn-off for me. I’ve never been a fan of gratuitous violence and a hero who didn’t feel like himself unless he was hitting someone. But not just anyone only other prizefighters, that made it okay. Huh? The side characters were other shades of silly. The heroine was an innocent who turned into a submissive slut during her first night of Sex. Okay, I’ve said enough. I don’t understand all the five-star reviews. This author is much better than this effort.

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KIndle Free until May 26th- Jade Lee’s No Place For A Lady

This book is Free on Kindle until May 26th.  Below is my review from November, 2012.

 

Title: No Place For A Lady (Book #1, The Regency rags to Riches Series)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jade Lee

Publisher: Createspace, 2003/2012

Source: Kindle, $.99

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

The London rookeries are slums, rife with criminals, and shunned by the upper crust.
But someone there intends to murder one of England’s greatest leaders, and Marcus Kane, Lord Chadwick, will follow every clue, even into the bowels of London’s underground. But he can’t find his way alone.

A partner is required.
Fantine (Fanny) Delarive is perfect. She knows the slums better any, has survived its labyrinth alone for years, and knows every criminal lurking in every dark corner.
Then, the investigation detours the pair into the bright ballrooms of the ton.
And Fantine fits in here, too.  Which changes everything.

Lord Chadwick knows a woman of Fantine’s ilk is entirely unsuitable for him. But she’s infinitely more exciting than any well-born lady he’s ever met.
Now much more than an acquaintance with the independent, self-reliant Fantine is required… and it must end with nothing less than marriage.

**

I seem to be on a kick where I’m reading books about the seamier side of Regency England.  Elizabeth Hoyt’s Maiden Lane series is like that and now I’ve discovered Jade Lee’s  Regency Rags to Riches Series.

In this, the first book of the Regency Rags to Riches Series, we are treated to the fantastic Fanny who has grown up in the London slums where she has learned how to survive by her wits and ability to be an actress and disguise herself as a boy.  She is also a spy and works for the crown at the behest of a Lord of the Realm.  She is so fiercely independent that we wonder if she and Lord Chadwick, a fellow spy, can ever find romantic happiness across the social and economic divide.

Jade Lee has created two characters that are personality personified.  They are so deliciously developed we can feel that each of them is an actual person not merely born of the imagination of a superb writer.  Of course, a future Earl is not likely to fall in love and marry a slum girl back in Regency times but we can certainly love the idea that it might have happened.

The sexual tension is sizzling along with the satisfying conclusion.  There is enough action in this book to thrill the adventure loving reader and even some delightful laugh out loud moments that although a mite bit farfetched are none the less delightful and welcome.

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Cover Reveal- Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

How much have we all anticipated this novel?  That was a rhetorical question since I know this one is going to be blown out of the park.  Lisa Kleypas has written a NEW historical romance due to hit the shelves October, 2015. Yay! no wait that wasn’t truly how I feel, this is how I feel YAY!!!!!!!!!  I’ve set myself a challenge to reread Kleypas’ Wallflower series this summer.  Actually it is no challenge it will be pure delight. It may stave off those Kleypas hunger pangs but I doubt it.  If you want to read a fabulous interview with Lisa Kleypas then go here to Jezebel:  http://jezebel.com/an-interview-with-historical-romance-legend-lisa-kleypa-1703917812

cold-hearted-rake

 

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Recent Release Review- 50 Ways To Ruin A Rake by Jade Lee

Title: 50 Ways To Ruin A Rake (book#1, Rakes & Rogues Series)

50 ways to ruin a rake

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Jade Lee

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, May 5, 2015

Pages: 384

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Mellie Smithson has a plan… Mellie Smithson is trapped in the country with no suitors and no prospects on the horizon except, perhaps, the exasperating-although admittedly handsome-guest of her father. Unwilling to settle, Mellie will do anything to escape to London…

Trevor Anaedsley has a problem… Trevor Anaedsley’s grandfather has cut off his funds until he gets engaged. Beset by creditors, Trevor escapes to the country-ostensibly to visit his old tutor Mr. Smithson-where he meets Smithson’s lovely daughter Mellie. The obvious solution is suddenly before him-but will this fake engagement go as Trevor and Mellie plan? Or will they find that even the best laid plans often go awry?

**

Can a bluestocking miss and a down on his luck aristocrat find happiness through manipulation, wild schemes and plans that back fire? Mellie has no shortage of interested suitors but she quickly discovers she has heart palpitations for only one. Trevor finds he can’t stand to see Mellie with any man but himself, could this mean something?

The side characters were well realized. Ronnie, Mellie’s stalker of a cousin was the buffoon. The Duke and Duchess, Radley and Wendy, were back from Lee’s previous novel WHAT THE GROOM WANTS. Eleanor, Radley’s cousin, deserves her own book and Carl Rausch, Who was tempting Mellie away from Trevor was sufficiently smarmy.

Jade Lee gives us her trademark superb writing with a humorous twist in this her latest romance. We know when we pick up one of her books that there will be excellent drama, sublime sensual scenes, characters that jump off the page and spot on plotting and pacing. She does not disappoint in this offering. The surprise was in the humor that runs through the entire story. She writes sexual tension and sex scenes that scorch the pages.

You really can’t go wrong with this fun, satisfying read.

 

 

 

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My 4 year Blogaversary and Thoughts on the Romance Genre Reader

blogaversary 4yrs

Happy 4 year Blogaversary to Me

Obviously you all know I lean heavily toward reading Historical Romance.  I do read other romance sub-genres from time to time and enjoy those also.  That got me thinking about the Romance book reading public in general and I found this chart prepared by the author of DANGEROUS BOOKS FOR GIRLS from information from The Romance Writers of America.

romancenovelreader What particularly caught my attention on this chart, “The Story is the #1 factor in a reader’s purchasing decision”.  In my personal experience that is probably true when it comes to a new-to-me author.  But if it is one of my much-loved authors, I only have to know they have a new book and I grab it. I used to think I wasn’t influenced by cover art but I discovered over and over that is not true.  Several favorite authors have some really rank cover art but fabulous stories and I cringe every time and can’t help thinking they would sell more books if they improved the covers.  Here are Two particularly impressive covers from previous posts. Now if all the publishers could get the models to emote like that then sales would sky rocket.

Chained By Night

This guy looks not happy at all that he’s been interrupted.  And our next guy is all arrogant smerkiness.

The Art of Sinning 3

Do you fall into the categories on this chart? I hit many and miss a few. I am female, I am not between 30-54, I live in the South, My income is not up for discussion at this time (when it totally runs out we can start a collection), I do live with my spouse, I did not read Romance for the first time until I was in my 30’s, yes I read romance for all the reasons listed and because I’m fascinated with historical eras, yes I am a feminist, yes I acquire romance books more than once a month.

Let me know in the comments if you agree with the chart or take issue with any findings. It’s my Blogaversary so give me a treat and comment. :-)

 

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Recent Release Review- The Unlikely Lady by Valerie Bowman

Title: The Unlikely Lady

The Unlikely Lady

Genre: Historical romance

Author: Valerie Bowman

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 5, 2015

Pages: 350

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

FOR THE BACHELOR AND THE BLUESTOCKING…

Certain that no man wants a bluestocking for a wife, Miss Jane Lowndes is careful to wield her books and her spectacles as weapons against matrimony. Convincing her ambitious mama that she’s content to stay a spinster is easier said than done, however. It’s a good thing Jane is not above a bit of manufactured scandal if it will keep her from the altar, and the argumentative, contrary Lord Garrett Upton… ROMANCE IS NEVER BY THE BOOK With the war over, Garrett is determined to enjoy his bachelor’s life while he can, even when it means attending a house party in celebration of a friend’s wedding–and suffering Jane’s notorious disdain. But when a masquerade ball leads to a mistaken kiss, he’s surprised to learn that Jane’s bookish exterior hides a truly passionate soul. When two such headstrong people are determined to remain unattached, can love lead to a happy ending?

**

If you are looking for a lighthearted romance with some steamy kisses and more than you have come to the right book. Jane and Garrett are two of the most likeable protagonists in romance. She is a deep intellectual who discovers her passionate side and he is the thoughtful pseudo-rake who suddenly is captivated by a woman he thought he didn’t like.

Ms Bowman has given us delightful characters all around. Jane’s two friends, Lucy and Cass, are fun to watch in action as they devise plans to bring our hero and heroine together. The dialog between Jane and friends rings true to close friendship and between Jane and Garett the bantering is humorous.

This is the third book featuring the same cast of characters; THE UNEXPECTED DUCHESS, Lucy’s story, THE ACCIDENTAL COUNTESS, Cass’ story. This book can be read as a standalone.

I recommend this book to those who like warm hearted, humorous romance.

 

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Kindle Deal-The Highwayman by Judith James $.99

The Highwayman

This is book #3 of the Rakes and Rogues of the Restoration Series but can be read as a standalone story.

This deal is good for 3 days only in the USA.

(In the UK this book AND Libertine’s Kiss (see below) will be on sale May 11th -May 15th.)

Judith James has a way of bringing the early 18th century to vivid life, infusing it with sublime romance and giving the reader page turning satisfaction.  Here , below, is the first book in this series and my review.

Libertine’s Kiss libertine-kiss-bk

https://ladeetdareads.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/review-libertines-kiss-by-judith-james/

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