Review- The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle

The King of Bourbon Street

Title: The King of Bourbon Street (NOLA Nights book #1)

Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Erotic

Author: Thea de Salle

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Pocket Star, Feb. 2017

Pages: 280

Rating: 4

Sexy rating: 5+

Violence rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Hotel chain mogul Sol DuMont is about to learn that some of life’s biggest surprises come in deceptively small packages, namely a petite heiress named Rain who is hell-bent on upsetting her family’s expectations in this first book in the all new series by Thea de Salle, set against the sultry backdrop of New Orleans.

Thirty-seven-year-old Sol DuMont is a divorcee and the owner of a mid-sized hotel chain in New Orleans. Since Hurricane Katrina, his fathers death, and the decision that he and his ex-wife Maddy are far better off friends than lovers, he’s lost interest in almost everything he held dear, parties, people, and pushing limits. All his limits.

Then Arianna Barrington checks into his hotel. Twenty-four-year-old Arianna (Rain) Barrington could have been society’s sweetheart. Her family is moneyed, connected press darlings, and make sweeping headlines from coast to coast for reasons both good and bad. But when her mother shoves her at Charles Harwood the obnoxious, entitled heir of Harwood Corp. to cement a billion-dollar business merger, Rain does the only thing she can think of to escape: she creates a scandal so big Harwood doesn’t want her anymore before fleeing to New Orleans for much-needed rest and relaxation. All she wants is jazz piano, beignets, and to sail the Mississippi. What she gets is Sol DuMont, a whirlwind affair, and a hands-on education in sex, power play, and pushing limits. All her limits.

**

This is a really good story peppered throughout with BDSM sex. I think it important that you know this upfront since there is little if any indication in the synopsis. Arianna (Rain) is trying to gain her independence from a controlling Mother so she flees to New Orleans with her brother Vaughan as chaperone.  Sol DuMont is the head of a family-owned chain of hotels, he is the CEO and manages The Seaside in New Orleans where he lives. He and Arianna have instant chemistry and embark on a torrid, erotic affair.  Arianna’s mother, Elise, is not having Arianna’s disobedience and insists on coming between Sol and Arianna.

This is very well written and I could probably have given it 5 stars if I was inclined to enjoy the BDSM sex in this story.  However, that erotica is not my cup of tea but it is well done in this book. There is romance and interesting side characters especially Sol’s ex-wife Maddy who introduced him to the erotic pleasures he now craves and who is featured in the next book in this series, The Queen of Dauphine Street.

 

 

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Review- Little White Lies by R.C.Matthews

Little White Lies

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Light

Author: RC Matthews

Source: Purchase for Kindle, $.99

Publisher: Crimson Romance, March 2014

Pages: 276

Rating: 3

Sexy rating: 5

Violence rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

When attorney Madalyn Russell dumps her fiancé at the altar, she temporarily escapes the scrutiny of her friends and family on her honeymoon cruise. Too bad she forgot she is assigned to dine at the “newlywed” table on the fully booked cruise. Goodbye exquisite cuisine, hello standard buffet fare. Nothing will tempt her to enter that lion’s den. Or so she thinks.

When the board of directors orders devilishly handsome Royce Spencer to seek rest alone on a cruise, he sets his sights on Madalyn and offers a deliciously indecent proposal to her dining room dilemma. He’ll pose as her husband in exchange for companionship during the cruise. Royce is a gifted liar with a great sense of humor that has everyone at the newlywed table laughing and no one suspecting the truth.

Is the opportunity to enjoy all the ship has to offer worth the little white lies they’ll have to tell? What is it about Royce that makes Madalyn want to engage in a fling at the age of thirty for the first time in her life and toss her tightly held beliefs overboard? The whirlwind love affair catches them both by surprise. Is it possible that in the midst of all the little white lies, they will each discover their soul mate? And when Royce is accused of white-collar crime with Madalyn as his key witness, will Madalyn finally learn that life is not always as black and white as it seems?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

**

If you want a light, humorous, sexy romance this is it.  But be prepared for some head scratching disbelief along the way.  It is rather predictable but that’s okay, once in awhile we can handle a book that we know where it is headed. If when you get to the end and the predictability becomes overwhelming then you should take my advice and read this only for the fun of what is transpiring on the page and set aside deep thoughts for some other reads.

 Yes the title is accurate for this book; there are lots of lies, some of them not so little. Royce seems adept at spinning yarns and Madelyn, when she’s not gasping with anxiety over those lies, goes along for the ride. They do have very hot compatibility in the stateroom, lots of chemistry between the H & h.

 

 

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Advance Review- Scandal of The Season by Liana Lefey

Scandal of the season

Title: Scandal of The Season

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Liana Lefey

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Entangled Select Historical, May 30, 2017

Pages: 300

Rating: 4.5

Sexy rating: 4

Violence rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Five years ago, Lord Sorin Latham fled England’s shores to avoid heartbreak and scandal in the form of one Lady Eleanor Cramley. On returning home, he finds the young miss he used to scold for lack of decorum is now a stunning woman who fires his blood. But he must resist temptation or risk losing his honor as a gentleman and the friendship of those he holds dear, including Eleanor.

Lady Eleanor is determined to be the paragon of propriety Sorin urged her to become. But now that he’s back, the man she once thought of as an older brother makes her long to be anything but proper. She must make Sorin see her as worthy of his heart and his desire without losing his good opinion, or her Season will end in disgrace.

**

A new-to-me author, Liana Lefey, has come up with a very enjoyable friends-to- lovers story.  Sorin and Ellie are each afraid that the other sees them as nothing more than a brother or sister and each is endeavoring to show the other that there is more to their feelings.  However they keep getting it wrong until a villain forces their hand.

This is a most entertaining book from an author that I hope to hear more from.  It is well written, historically accurate and a fun read.  The side characters are well developed with a hint of more books to come.

 

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Release Day Review: The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart

The Darkest Corner

Title: The Darkest Corner (Gravediggers, book #1)

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Author: Liliana Hart

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Pocket Books, May 23, 2017

Pages: 368

Rating: 4.5

Sexy rating: 5

Violence rating: 5++

Description from Amazon:

Liliana Hart’s first book in her suspenseful Gravediggers series, featuring an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.
The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise…
Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.
Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s
only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.
Deacon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.

**

This is the heart pounding, breath-holding first book in Liliana Hart’s Gravedigger series.  There are six Gravediggers, American Deacon, Aussie Axel, French Colin, British Dante, Israeli Levi and former Navy Seal Elias.  All are bad-ass, gorgeous and super intelligent. All have been sent to Last Stop, Texas to set up a headquarters for the secret Black Ops organization, Neptune. All are under the thumb of Eve Winter a no-holds barred  supervisor who holds them in check with threats against their lives. Deacon is the leader and their cover in this small town is as assistants at the funeral home where Tess Sherman is the mortician.  Eve Winter bought the funeral home out from under Tess but agreed to the stipulation that Tess remain on in charge of the Funeral Home. Tess and Deacon are attracted to each other but trying to keep their relationship on a professional level.  Deacon is afraid to involve Tess in the danger of their missions, Tess is trying to stave off town gossip. Of course this will fail. But the biggest threat is the terrorists that they need to thwart.

 Wow! This book is why we love Romantic Suspense; it is brimming with action, adventure, sexual chemistry, evil villains and witty dialog.  The characters are well developed so that we look forward to the next books in the series. The action doesn’t ramp up until the second half of the book but never mind that since finding out the back stories of all the players, and side characters from town, is fascinating and we do want to know more of each in future books. We won’t have to wait very long for those books since Books #2 & #3 are releasing in the next two months. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading the rest of the series.

Gravedigger Series: (pre-orders available)

  1. The Darkest Corner (Deacon and Tess) May 2017
  2. Gone To Dust (Miller and Elias) June, 2017
  3. Say No More (Dante and Eva) July 2017

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Advance Review- Charming Ophelia by Rachel Miles

Charming Ophelia

Title: Charming Ophelia (The Muses Salon Series)

Genre: Historical Romance (Novella, e-book)

Author: Rachel Miles

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Zebra, May 30, 2017

Pages: N/A

Rating: 4

Sexy rating: 3

Violence rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

 

Ophelia Elliot has delayed marriage long enough. Now, for the sake of her future, she must choose between three impatient suitors. But she’s determined to use only the most rational of methods to make her decision. And when her dear friend, Sidney Mason, offers to help, how can the discerning debutante resist? Besides, spending time with him is no hardship—his dashing looks and irresistible laughter have delighted her for years. Not that Sidney is a suitable prospect. As a member of Parliament, he’s already married to the state. No matter how chivalrous his attentions, falling in love with him would be most unreasonable . . .

The fact is, Sidney finds Ophelia infuriatingly stubborn—and yet there is no other woman for him. Convincing her that she must marry for love—his love—will be a formidable challenge. So he concocts a clever strategy to expose her suitors’ true natures—and show the strong-willed beauty that when it comes to marriage, it is imperative that she follow her heart—straight into his strong and loving arms.

 

**

 

This is a delightful novella.  The book description gives a true synopsis of the story and the book is entertaining in the ways that Sydney tries to convince Ophelia that there is no other suitor for her hand than he. The “ways” are a bit outlandish but they seem to work. This is a quick and easy, sweet bon-bon of a book.  Sydney is the perfect Hero but I do wonder why Ophelia hasn’t seen his worth before now. I highly recommend this book to all romance readers.

 

 

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Advance Review- Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

Shacking Up

Title: Shacking Up

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy

Author: Helena Hunting

Publisher: Swerve, May 30, 2017(pre-order available)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: N/A (Kindle)

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

***

You will turn pages and not put this book down until you can see how the author unravels the issues, the many issues that are hampering Bane & Ruby’s HEA. The sexual tension is off the charts but circumstances just keep ratcheting up the heat. Yes, this book kept me laughing and swooning all night long.  If you are a fan of movie romantic comedies, as I am, then I guarantee you will love this book.  The characters seemed like real people you might know.  We have Bancroft, Bane, who is a born protector/caregiver/caretaker/hot-as-hell former pro athlete and Ruby, an aspiring actress with a serious cash flow problem.  They meet in a rather awkward way but there is an instant attraction

This is my first reading of a book by Ms. Hunting and I am so impressed with her wit and character development.  This is going on my list of Best-of-2017. Terrific writing and dialog.

 

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Advance Review- The Lady Travelers Guide to Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen by Victoria Alexander

The Lady Travelers Guide

Title: The Lady Travelers Guide To Scoundrels and Other Gentlemen

Genre: Historical Romance/Victorian

Author: Victoria Alexander

Source: free for review from the publisher

Publisher: HQN books, June 1, 2017(preorder available)

Pages: 544

Rating: 3.5

Sexy rating: 5

Violence rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Really, it’s too much to expect any normal man to behave like a staid accountant in order to inherit the fortune he deserves to support the lifestyle of an earl. So when Derek Saunders’s favorite elderly aunt and her ill-conceived—and possibly fraudulent—Lady Travelers Society loses one of their members, what’s a man to do but step up to the challenge? Now he’s escorting the world’s most maddening woman to the world’s most romantic city to find her missing relative.

While India Prendergast only suspects his organization defrauds gullible travelers, she’s certain a man with as scandalous a reputation as Derek Saunders cannot be trusted any farther than the distance around his very broad shoulders. As she struggles not to be distracted by his wicked smile and the allure of Paris, instead of finding a lost lady traveler, India just may lose her head, her luggage and her heart.

***

We do eventually find the lost Aunt Heloise and that is what kept me finishing the book.  India had a most annoying personality and Derek kept me wondering why he was becoming enamored of this impossible woman.

This is a long book that I kept putting down and picking up again after reading something else. It seemed to just drag for me. Since I was not fond of either the H or the h, I just didn’t care all that much.  Can the author write a pretty phrase? Well of course she can! But that wasn’t enough to keep me interested in the story. This could have been a really good book if only it was shorter, and the protagonists were more likeable.

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Review-Devil’s Bargain by Jade Lee

Devil's Bargain

Title: Devil’s Bargain (The Regency Rags To Riches Series, #2)

Genre: Historical romance/Erotic

Author: Jade Lee

Publisher: ePublishing works, Oct. 2012

Source: purchase (Kindle, $.99)

Pages: 300

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5+

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:         

A penniless relation, thanks to the sudden death of her father, Lynette resigns to the inevitable: selling herself into marriage. But to whom?

Viscount Marlock—a carnal, unrepentant, dark-devil of a man—has offered to arrange a profitable match. But for a price. The Viscount commits to teach her all she must know about ensnaring a man—using touch and tongue—opening her to the pleasures of the flesh. In turn, she must obey without question, trusting his whispered promises.

But who will be caught, and who will be saved?

***

The fact that Jade Lee can make us eventually want Adrian and Lynette to have a happily-ever-after is due to her skill as an author.  This is a sordid story but we are made to see the humanity in each of the characters.  Both Lynette and Adrian had much to lose by not completing the agreed upon contract. Only by a serendipitous happening could this conundrum be solved.

I liked this book in spite of my dislike of Adrian, who was acting the pimp.  It is super sexy. Written with in-depth characterization. Side characters, although few, are well developed and add to the narrative. Although book #2 in the series it is definitely a standalone book.  At this writing it is e-book only, with a giveaway price of $.99 on Amazon. I highly recommend this book to all Jade Lee fans, and those who like very sexy stories, you won’t be sorry.

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Release Day review- Here Comes The Bride by Alexandra Ivy

Here Comes The Bride

Title: Here Comes The Bride

Genre: Historical Romance/Regency

Author: Alexandra Ivy

Publisher: Lyrical Press, May 9, 2017 (re-issue)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 495

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 4

Violence Rating: 3

Description from Amazon.com:

A BRIDE FOR LORD CHALLMOND Simon Townsled, Lord Challmond, is off to his Devonshire country estate, where he is sure to be safe from feminine wiles. But he doesn’t count on feisty do-gooder Miss Claire Blakewell—who is as determined to march down the aisle as he is to avoid it . . .

A BRIDE FOR LORD WICKTON Barth Juston, Earl of Wickton, assumes a woman would be grateful to accept an arranged marriage with him. What a shock that beautiful Isa Lawford is not! In fact, she insists she prefers someone else! Now this overconfident lord is about to enter the most perilous battle of all: a fight for a woman’s heart . . .

A BRIDE FOR LORD BRASLEIGH Philip Marrow, Lord Brasleigh, must marry off his troublesome ward, Miss Bella Howe. But determined to wed for love, Bella has run away, and Philip must track her down. Since he has never met her, he plans to play the rogue and scare her back to London. He never expects to ignite an overwhelming passion . . . or find a lady who fights fire with a clever scheme all her own . . .
From the Author: Dear Reader, Long before I wrote my sexy paranormal romances, I wrote traditional Regency romances as Debbie Raleigh. Now I’m delighted that three of my favorites are available once more. This trilogy features three dashing rakes returning home from war. But along the way, a gypsy predicts that love will trap them all. Their high-spirited response? A daring wager! By June the first, whomever Cupid catches must forfeit one thousand pounds and a red rose . . .
I’ve fallen head over heels for these timeless books all over again, and believe that you will too. Alexandra Ivy

***

Comprised of Three distinct books that are intertwined and preceded by prologues that capture the viewpoint of each aristocratic hero. All the heroes are quite similar.  They are returning soldiers, officers who fought against Napoleon, friends who spent some post-war time in Italy and now are back in England redy to assume their responsibilities toward their title and estates.  A Gypsy in Italy blessed them with a charm of true love within the next year.  So our heroes make a bet that whomever of them succumbs to true love will forfeit a thousand pounds and a red rose to the others. The remainder of the books are about our heroes Simon, Barth and Phillip trying their best to avoid falling in love and doing a terrible job of it.

Each book features a feisty heroine determined to not fall in love. Simon’s nemesis is Claire Blakewell a neighbor who seems to try Simon’s patience. Barth’s betrothed, Isa Lawford, is calling off the betrothal because she thinks she is in love with another man. Phillip’s ward, Bella Lowe, is fighting against marrying someone Phillip has chosen for her.

I enjoyed seeing how each arrogant lord was brought to true love by these strong-willed women and how each woman was struck by cupid’s arrow at the same time.  This is not a book with graphic sex scenes.  There is some sexual tension. The stories were well written and developed, with all three lords appearing in each book.  My only criticism is the author’s overuse of the word “absurd”, It appears so often as to be annoying.

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Recent Release Review- The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

The Best of Adam Sharp

Title: The Best of Adam Sharp

Genre: Literary Fiction

Author: Graeme Simsion

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 2, 2017

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 320

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon.com:

Two decades ago, Adam Sharp’s piano playing led him into a passionate relationship with Angelina Brown, an intelligent and strong-willed actress. They had a chance at something more—but Adam didn’t take it.

Now, on the cusp of turning fifty, Adam likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT. But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been.

And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?

Set to the soundtrack of our lives, The Best of Adam Sharp follows along with emotion and humor as one man looks back on his past and decides if having a second chance is worth the risk.

***

It would be very easy to give spoilers for this terrific book so I’m going to be very careful with what I say.  It is a book about love, regret, long term relationships and also if we can let go of the past or get a second chance.  There is a theme of classic pop songs that runs through the story and makes us wonder at the emotional manipulation of music. We are at times rooting for Adam and at other times wondering what he was thinking.  Angelina is selfish, self-centered and we wonder if she is truly a match for our hero.  Claire is not as well developed a character and Charlie and Richard are no match for Adam’s intelligence, although they think themselves superior.

I read this book straight through. Getting out of my reading chair only for snacks, coffee and potty breaks. I loved the author’s THE ROSIE PROJECT and although this one doesn’t have the same humorous intent, it is still a 5-star read.  It is provocative and so intensely sensual you will either admire, dislike or relate to the characters, or perhaps all three.

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