Book Blurb :
He bought her with cold, hard cash, but can she stop him from stealing her heart?
Blackmailed to marry against his will, Ricardo Almanza needs a wife before he’s thirty, and time is running out. A notorious playboy, marriage is the last thing he wants, but his stepmother’s sexy, debt-ridden personal assistant is the perfect solution. He makes her a business deal she can’t refuse—one million euros for three months as his wife. He might even enjoy being married to her…if she doesn’t kick the crap out of him again.
Helen Marshall can’t believe she’s considering Almanza’s outrageous proposal, but she must help clear her parents’ debts or they face financial ruin. The small print on the marriage contract changes to read three months as his wife in every way—including in the bedroom. Has she gotten in too deep, or will she need a new contract addendum, extending their marriage forever?
An arrogant billionaire, a stubborn heroine, a crazy stalker, and a spoiled stepmother: this book has it all, and was a quick read. Helen agrees to a contract marriage with Ricardo to save her parents’ farm. Ricardo agrees to the marriage in order to honor his father’s dying wish. Neither expect to fall in love, but gradually we see them begin to turn their contract marriage into a love match.
Rachel Lyndhurst made this book a delightful read. Her descriptions of the locations, food, and smoking hot sex made me feel like I could actually picture what was going on instead of just reading it.
There were a couple of things I felt should have been clarified in the book. For one, some of the misunderstandings between the couple were just ridiculous. It seemed throughout the book they spent more time making assumptions about each other, and never at any time did they ask one another to clarify. They just let the misunderstandings continue to build, and never really seemed to address them. Second, I felt the ending was off; really, she ate so much her wedding rings did not fit? They were only together a month at that point; I hardly think she gained enough weight from all that food that her clothes still fit but her wedding rings did not. This book badly needed an epilogue, especially since you are left with the impression she is pregnant. Instead of feeling like the book was at an end, I was left feeling like there was going to be a sequel.
I loved how quick this book was to read, I finished this book in an hour and a half. I gave this book 3 stars, it would have been 4 stars had it of had an epilogue or some kind of closure at the end.
Source : Entangled Tour
Released : October 15th 2012
I have the extreme pleasure of presenting to all our followers one of my favorite authors, one you have to add to your To Read list; you won’t be sorry, I promise you. Catherine Bybee caught my attention with some of her paranormal novels and has sustained my interest for several years now. Her romance novels will take your breath away. Catherine is the type of noteworthy author that slips in close to your heart and refuses to move from there. I had the pleasure of reviewing more than one book of hers as Wife by Wednesday, Married by Monday, Highland Shifter, and her latest novel, Not Quite Dating. I really hope you’ll love her books as much I have.
Catherine, welcome to Confession from Romaholics. It’s an honor having you here. *Tossing Confetti!!!*
*Picking up piles of colored paper and tossing them back at ya*
Thanks for having me… and wow, what an introduction. *blushing*
1. Share a little about yourself. What brought you to writing romance novels? Were you bitten by the writing bug at an early age?
I remember those first Silhouette novels I read… I thought… “I can do that.” I put pen to paper and sketched out a few scenes back in high school but didn’t take it further. It wasn’t until a handful of years ago that I sat down to seriously ‘finish’ a novel. From then I was lost.
As for what has brought me to writing romance novels… I love the genre. I have read outside of romance, but I always return to it. I want my fix… my HEA. Don’t give me dead people at the end of a book… not the hero or heroine anyway. Yeah… I love romance.
2. When do you write? Do you have a schedule you adhere to or kind of write on the fly when you have time? Have you set up an area of your home to devote to your writing or are you a kind of laptop-on-the-go kind of gal?
I’m living the dream of a writer. I write full time. I have an office all to myself with a door that I can shut everyone out. I used to write on my laptop but found the small keyboard and space just wasn’t working for me. I will transfer data over and take my laptop with me once in a while… but for the most part I write at home in the same space.
When I’m on a deadline I do write on a schedule and try like hell to make my word count that I set daily. Other times I’m promoting or getting interviews like this ready. I’m at it all the time. Between writing, promoting or even publishing some of my work… I’m always working.
3. Do you plot out your stories before you write and have your book all figured out beforehand? Or do you write them with more liquidity and let the story reveal itself to you?
Most of the time I’m a pantser… I’ll have a sketchy idea of a plot and an idea of my characters and what’s going to motivate them, but no real idea of how the book is going to flow.
Now that I’m writing for bigger publishers they will often want a full synopsis of the work so I have to plot things out. Even then it changes. And I’m lucky enough to be able to let the work ebb and flow the way the story wants.
4. When you conceptualize, what comes first: characters or story? And what character, from all that you have created until now, is your favorite and why?
Characters. Nearly always. Sometimes I’ll have an opening scene and by the time the scene is written I know my characters. But since I write series books… I tend to know the characters really well before I sit down to write their story. And that helps a lot!
5. How do you create the sassy dialogs from The Weekday Brides Series? I love novels that are able to make me laugh, have great characters and a wonderful storyline, and your series has everything. How do you create this kind of framework where your stories are so much fun and engaging? Believable, witty dialog is not easy to come by in so many romance novels. Do you say yours aloud or test it out with a friend?
I don’t have a ‘method’ for how I write my dialogue. I’m a talker by nature. I’m a Chatty Cathy to those who know me. I think for me, dialogue is the easiest way for me to move a story forward without slowing the pace. A conversation between two, three people or even a conversation with oneself in their head, is they way to sprinkle in back story.
Back story is always needed, but when does anyone stop in their day and think to themselves… “Well now, the reason I don’t trust men is because my dad abandoned me as a child.”
No… that doesn’t happen. It’s more like two women sitting around eating popcorn and saying.
“Your problem is your dad.”
“How can that be… the man hasn’t been seen since I cut my first tooth.”
“And that’s why he’s the problem. Not all guys are gonna run off at the first sign of responsibility.”
See what I mean? Dialogue is just easy for me. *shrugs*
6. Again, with the focus here on my favorite series, The Weekday Brides Series, what is your inspiration to create these wonderful stories? I understand you worked as a nurse a southern Californian Emergency Room that sustains the believability but is there something more?
You know what… I just love the old romance novels where the men were rich and titled… and the women were a little needy but strong. Recently there has been all this talk about people getting married for the camera… Kardashia. Hollywood stars. I don’t know how true any of that is, but how fun to explore in a book.
And tell me something, sister…if you were young, single and a guy like Blake came along asking for a year long anything for 10 million… would you say no? Hell no. Now the trick is to keep the ‘marriage of convenience’ theme going throughout the series and keeping it fresh… so far so good. And I just finished writing Fiancé by Friday and that plot is very fresh. So is my ideas for book four. So stay tuned.
7. You started by publishing with The Wild Rose Press. What made you choose this publisher and what made you, later, move to self-publishing Wife by Wednesday and Married by Monday? I understand that now you are editing Wife by Wednesday and Married by Monday and publishing them with Montlake Romance. What does this change mean for your readers? Will there be differences between the two editions?
Great questions. I started much like everyone else out there. I was an insecure writer piling up rejection letters and wondering if I was wasting my time. The Wild Rose Press was doing this digital thing…which for me was a new concept. And they promised to put into print any book over a certain word count. That clinched it for me. I wanted a print book in my hand. So I went with them for several titles.
When I decided to try writing contemporary romance, I targeted Harlequin. The best rejection I ever received was the one for Wife by Wednesday. Because I decided to try my luck at self publishing. And well… most of my readers know how that went. Why did I try self publishing? Because everyone I saw who was writing contemporary romance, that wasn’t erotic, wasn’t selling anything. The books cost too much for new readers to try a new author. And I knew I could bottom the price of the book to find readers. Boy did I!
As for why the shift to Montlake… Simple. I had several publishers asking for the rights of my Bride books and Montlake made the best offer… and who other than Amazon to know exactly who and how many readers I had for my series? Montlake has given me something I struggled with…editorial feedback and a publisher backing me. I don’t have to stress about the actual publishing portion and can concentrate of writing again. They have also been a dream to work with. They really listen to their authors. Really listen. And they even sent me flowers on my release day. It’s a simple thing to do…but it’s an impressive thing to do.
When the books are re-released with Amazon, they will have copy edits to a much finer level than I achieved on my own. I missed things editorially in both these books and boy did some of my readers rip me up for it. Because Montlake understand the new model of publishing, they aren’t charging ten bucks for a digital read. In fact, most are under five bucks. That is important. Very few authors are going to find thousands of readers willing to dish out 10 bucks for an e-copy of a book. I know I don’t.
The change for my readers is this… The books won’t be on the Nook or iBooks. My guess is once Apple and B&N and Amazon all work out their ‘this is my pie not yours’ thing…then Montlake titles will be available on all formats. Until then… Kindle. Of course all my readers can buy a print copy of the book at B&N.com or download a Kindle app on their iPad and read it that way. There are ways around this issue. So far only a few people have even asked about the format for Not Quite Dating.
8. What can you tell us about the creation of your series Not Quite? Would you tell us about the next book in the series, Not Quite Mine? Will Katelyn Morrison and Dean be the main characters?
I wanted a more ‘family’ type of romance when I set out to write Not Quite Dating. I have kids… I’ve waited tables… I wanted a Christmas story I could fall in love with while writing. I think I did that.
Yes, Not Quite Mine is all about Katie and Dean. Think Mother’s Day Romance. A second chance at love and life… these two will make you cry. Fair warning. *rubs hands together* You’re gonna love it.
Not Quite Enough is about Monica. More on that one later.
9. What are your plans for the future? Would you tell us what you have coming out for new releases? And what about the wonderful The Weekday Brides Series? I really love this series (as if it isn’t already apparent!) and I can’t wait for the next book. I’m not above begging if it would mean I’d get the next book sooner!
Fiancé by Friday is coming in May. One whole month earlier than predicted. That’s another reason I love Montlake. Normal production on a book is over a year. And I have had the freedom to do what I want with this book.
Neil…grrrrr! Wounded hero and sassy British Gwen! There is a lot of romantic suspense in this one. If you enjoyed the added suspense in Married by Monday… you’re gonna flip over this one. My critique partner, who has read everything I’ve written…even the four not yet published manuscripts in my hard drive, said and I quote, This is the most exciting one you’ve ever written. *sigh*
And the cover! That you’ll see soon. But it’s perfect!
I’m such a tease… *tosses forgotten confetti at you for effect* You can always ask Montlake for an ARC when they become available for an early review. They’re open to that.
Thanks for coming, Catherine, it has been a sincere pleasure having you here.
I had a great time…Chatty Cathy and all.
Let your readers know that I’ll be at the Romantic Times Convention in Kansas City this year. I love talking with my readers to friend me and follow me and sign up for my newsletter. I send out one a month. With five new books coming, it’s probably the best way to avoid missing the next one in the series.
Book Blurb :
Waitress and single mom Jessica “Jessie” Mann is practical to a fault. Even if she had time to date, which she doesn’t, she’d be determined to provide her son with a more secure upbringing than the one she had—and that would mean a husband with big bucks. When Jack Morrison—a sexy-as-sin, seemingly broke customer with a cowboy hat and a seductive grin—tries to flirt with her, she shoots him down. She doubts a carefree dreamer like Jack can provide the financial stability she needs. Yet with Christmas just weeks away, and Jessie not wanting to spend it alone, the charming Texan is proving hard to resist.
As the heir to the Morrison luxury hotel empire, Jack is used to being fawned over. But Jack needs someone who will fall in love with him—not his wealth. He’s set his sights on Jessie, though her hardened heart just might get in the way…To be sure, he conceals his true identity and offers to help Jessie find the rich husband she seeks. But Jack’s daring charade may rob him of the holiday wish he wants most of all…
Book Trailer http://youtu.be/C_2YYrSQv10
Jack Morrison is tired of being wanted because of his family’s portfolio. And when one of his best friends is about to marry, he decides to find a woman who would want him for himself, not for the money he has.
Jessica Mann wants to marry a rich man. All her money is going to bills and care for her son, Danny, and she wants to give him the childhood he deserves, and to be there with him whenever he needs her. So in her plans there is no room for the attractive and poor Texan who she just served along with his friends.
Jack allowed a slow and delicious smile, complete with dimples, to spread over his face. A smile meant only for her.
Smiles like that should come with a warning label.
The Texan accent pulled a warm and fuzzy blanket over her insides.
Still, although Jack is told to back off as Jessica is searching for a rich husband, Jack is charmed. He knows that she is not that type of woman, especially once he discovers her gold heart
Not married, raising a son on her own, and having to work graveyard to do it. No wonder she was looking for a wallet and not love. Heather’s words hovered in his mind. Every woman is going to be with you for your money, Jack. But this woman, Jessie, didn’t have a clue about his wallet. And if she was so money hungry, why did she routinely foot the bill for her customers’ pancakes? There was more to this beautiful woman than she was letting on. Suddenly the challenge of winning her over besieged him.
Jack tells Jessica he will help her find a rich man so he can spend time with her and figure out why she attracts him so. And he feels more than attraction … Jack has feelings for Jessica.
“I’ve decided to help you.”
“Help me what?” She hadn’t asked for any help.
“Help you find the rich man of your dreams.”
Jessie’s jaw dropped. “What?”
“You said you only want to date rich men. Well, I know where you can find men like that, and I’m going to help you hook up with one.”
So he invites her to a big Christmas cocktail party that takes place at The Morrison hotel where Jack tells Jessica that he is working as a waiter, when, in actuality, his father owns the hotel. He buys her a dress and shoes and tells her that a client paid for them and never came to get them. The cocktail party is an employee/employer swap that suits Jack very well.
Jessica starts to have doubts about all that hunting she is doing for a rich man and her feelings for Jack are growing, especially after they share their future plans and dreams on her way home. Not only that, but they share the best kiss of their life, too. I loved this conversation between Jessica and Monica, Jessica’s sister.
“That was Jack, right? Holy shit, is he cute or what?” Monica practically squealed when she spoke.
“That was Jack.” Lethal lips and all. Oh man, his kiss had been to die for. Knock-her-on-her-butt delicious. And completely wrong. “It wasn’t a date.”
“Sounds like a date to me.”
Jessie had spent the whole night in Jack’s presence, driven home with the guy, talked about their past, their futures. That kiss wouldn’t be forgotten any time soon. “Not quite a date.”
Monica pushed in between the covers of her bed with a catty smile. “If what I saw is ‘not quite dating,’ I want some.” She air quoted the dating statement and then turned off the light. “Good night, Mo.”
“Night, sis. Have amazing, ‘not quite kissing’ dreams.”
Jack knows he loves Jessica, but he has lied to her about his identity and is not sure that after she discovers his true identity Jessica will forgive him.
Jack’s main goal in life was to wiggle under her skin until she couldn’t live without him.
He already knew he could spend every day with Jessie and never get enough.
When Danny gets sick and Jessica’s car is broken, she calls Jack. He stays with her at the hospital and decides to spend the night with her in case she needs him. Yet, when he almost tells her the truth …
He should just go in there and tell her the truth.
Jessie, he’d say. All my life all I ever wanted was for a woman to want me for me. For who I am and not my name or the money I make.
Then I walked into your diner, and you took my breath away. I had to know that you would love me for me. I can’t let you go on thinking I’m some dreamer who couldn’t make you happy if you gave me half a chance.
How hard could those words be? They sounded good to him, and he’d been fantasizing about saying them for weeks.
… Jessica seduces him. However, in the morning, when Jack asks her to marry him, she rejects him and breaks his heart.
Jessica knows she can’t marry Jack, although she loves him deeply. He has dreams that can’t come true if he is stuck with a wife and a child. And although the rejection is breaking her heart, she has to do what is better for him.
Sooner or later he’d realize that marrying a woman with a child would be a burden and he’d hate the fact that we’d hold him back. He has so many ambitions, Mo.
But Jack’s sister, Katie, will make sure what happened to his father (his wife and love of his life left him and he suffered ever since then) won’t happen to her brother, so she contacts Monica and tries to figure a plan to set them together, this time for good.
When Jack realizes that Jessica rejected him for his own good, he goes back to her prepared to tell her the truth, but an encounter at The Morrison of Jack with Katie and their father appears on TV and Jessica discovers his identity. Not only that, but the press discovers Jack’s plans for marriage and Jessica thinks Katie is the one Jake wants to wed!
Now Jack has to make Jessica believe that he is the same man she fell in love with.
I enjoyed reading this story, as I always do with Catherine Bybee’s books. It has depth, great characters and a wonderful story … everything a breathtaking book should have. Although I missed the humor from Weekday Bride Series, this book didn’t let me down and won’t let you down either.
First of the Not Quite Series, the story made me crave the next in the series; which I think will be Katie and Dean’s story. I really, really hope their story will be released soon as, from the short tease at the end of this book, it sounds like it will be as good or even better than Not Quite Dating, if that’s possible! 5 couples
Series: Not Quite Book One
Publisher : Montlake Romance
Source : Bewitching Tours Provided for Review
Released : November 2012
New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the novels Wife by Wednesday and Married by Monday. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.
Book Blurb :
Is she his worst nightmare…
No relationships, that’s billionaire Garth Solen’s rule—especially not with a woman like his new employee Melissa Bencher, who thinks with her heart and not her head. But all bets are off when Melissa tries to make her jerk ex-boyfriend jealous by suggesting that she’s dating her gorgeous boss. How could she have imagined all the trouble one impulsive act could cause?
…or a dream come true?
To protect his ailing grandmother, Garth is forced to play the part of Melissa’s adoring fiancé. Now they’re trying on rings and posing for the paparazzi. The game is clear: for one month, they play the part of an engaged couple, and then they part ways. No emotions. No entanglements. But when it comes to matters of the heart, Melissa’s never been good at following the rules…
When Melissa sees her ex, Mark, at a convention for the robotics and artificial intelligence community for the first time since they broke up, she lets him think she has a relationship with her new boss, Garth Solen.
She hadn’t said they were dating. She’d suggested it, but she’d never actually said it.
It’s true she has a crush on Garth, but he is a very private man. In the three months she worked for him, he has kept her at distance. Truth be told, she is fascinated by the man who has been dubbed the human computer because Garth is one of the most brilliant businessmen and inventors of his time.
In meetings, he’d spend half the time pacing around the room. He didn’t slow down and didn’t explain things twice.
It was like working for a tsunami.
Or a tornado.
Except way, way hotter.
She has no way of knowing her ex will try to humiliate by telling a reporter that Melissa is about to marry Garth. Mark does it expecting she’ll be publically rejected by Garth, as he is a very private man. Mark doesn’t know that because of Garth’s Nan, who’s recovering from pneumonia and whose only wish is to see Gareth happily married, that Garth will keep the engagement for three weeks. It is the projected time needed for his Nan to be recovered enough to hear the truth. Well, that is how it was supposed to go, anyway.
So he and Melissa go to buy rings and although Garth knows he shouldn’t have feelings for Melissa, as he still smarts from the pain of rejection from a woman in his past, he starts to fall for her.
He shouldn’t feel anything at all, and instead he felt a surge of possessive pleasure at the act of marking and branding her as his, wearing his ring.
The crush Melissa carries for the man turns into something deeper and scares her.
It was one thing to nurse an unrequited crush on her boss. It was another thing to fall for a bossy, emotionally unavailable pretend fiancé. The problem was, the more she got to know him, the harder it became to invent reasons not to like him.
Garth’s Nan sends them to Seesaw, the house where her late husband proposed to her and where Garth’s father proposed to his mother. There, Melissa discovers the man Gareth has been hiding from the rest of the world. She loves the house that feels like it could be home, but she is certain she won’t be back after her fake engagement ends.
Don’t get too comfortable, missy. On a scale of “highly unlikely” to “not in a million years,” coming back here rates a solid “when pigs fly.”
Still, what chance they have to turn what’s between them into something real disappears when Garth meets Melissa’s family, as he doesn’t know how to be social amongst people, so he retreats.
What to say?
Probably not, “This is all a fraud—I’m screwing your daughter and I have absolutely no plans whatsoever to marry her.”
Garth stared back, ticking through his mind all of the places he’d rather be.
On the Titanic, while it was sinking.
In a medieval torture chamber.
Melissa loves Garth. She understands that Love didn’t ask permission. It wasn’t sensible or logical. It did as it wished, and damn the consequences. However, will Garth understand that it’s better to risk losing his heart than losing his chance at real happiness?
I loved the characters. I loved Melissa, the impulsive down-to-earth woman who has a crush on her boss; and Gareth, with his tough exterior hiding a loving and nice person within. Not to mention Gareth’s Nan, Jess, Tori and the rest of the characters you will discover while reading The Boss’s Fake Fiancée.
Although I didn’t connect with the story and characters, the end was breathtaking. I loved it!!! That end makes it impossible to give this story less than 5 couples!
Source : Entangled Tour
Released : October 14th 2012
Book Blurb :
Being in the wrong place at the wrong time seemed to be an occupation of Minuets. Crippled in a car accident at nineteen, walking in on her husband and his lover at thirty. Coming across a bank robbery at forty and just recently losing her job at forty eight because her boss was having a bad day. Minuet thought it couldn’t possibly get any worse. She was mistaken. Who would have thought finding a gorgeous hunk of a man on the forest floor in need of her aid would be a bad thing?
Holding the man’s head in her lap and promising to find him aid Minuet finds herself looking down the business end of a futuristic weapon. Before she can explain she means the man no harm she is shot and killed by his comrade. When Minuet opens her eyes she finds herself on a strange ship in a strange body married to a strange man. Her ‘husband’ Chason hates her, his best friend Rance is in love with her and the only way she can prove she is not a Zain spy out to enslave the planet Zanuth with her dancing is to be at the right place at the right time.
Minuet is walking thru the forest with her leg brace courtesy of a car accident that had left her crippled at nineteen, and remembering all the times she has been in the wrong place at the wrong time, when she spies a man dying. She wants to save him, if it is possible, or at least let him know he isn’t alone, when another man comes forward and shoots her.
The description of the scene after Minuet wakes charmed me and made me burst into laugh. First, she notices her breasts, then her voice, and her gazelle feet.
Miss High and Miss Perky had replaced Mrs. Saggy and Mrs. Floppy. Minuet sat, thoughtfully thinking. Boob job? At my age? Did I get drunk and not remember?
That wasn’t her voice; she talked to herself often enough, so she would know. Her tone was softer, even sexy.
How come my feet are cute? She didn’t have cute feet. Her toenails were always yellow, and she had wide, flat feet. No hair. Not even bangs on her ankles where she could never reach. When the heck had she shaved her legs last? What year was that? Certainly not this year.
Still, Minuet doesn’t realize that she has another body until she sees a reflection of the most beautiful woman she had ever seen … only to stick out her hand and hit a wall made of steel.
She waved her hand. The woman’s hand waved. Minuet scratched her head. The woman scratched her head. She pinched herself and watched the woman cry out when she did. The nude woman was her reflection!
Now the question is: if Minuet has another body … where is her own? The only thing of hers is the color of one of her eyes.
I love Minuet’s experiments on her new body and her reactions too. This book turns out to be a wonderful read.
Remembering she has died, Minuet is sure she must be in Heaven’s infirmary.
“Oh, thank you, God,” Minuet said and hugged her new body. “Mine, all mine. I’m so incredibly hot.”
But then Chason, an absolutely gorgeous man and the man who shot her in first place, comes and tells her that he thinks she is a Zain spy and intends to torture her.
Wow, not only an interesting and wonderfully written story, but it has wonderful humor, too. Here is an example, from when Minuet runs from Chason without being used to her new and gazelle feet:
My, but the ground is so far away from up here.
Then, when she hits the table and sees stars:
Oh my, aren’t they pretty.
Chason’s friend, Rance, comes and they all have to run from pirates. They get to the planet Zanuth and Minuet discovers that Fallon, the real owner of the body she has now, is Chason’s wife and Rance has promised Fallon that if she has sex with him, he will prove her innocence … prove she is not a Zain spy.
The attraction Minuet feels for Rance is strong and when he undresses, she can resist claiming his body.
Mine, all mine.
Minuet discovers that Fallon is actually dead and that her body is lost. She has to learn to dance (the Zain enslave the men dancing) and go to save Chason’s brothers or she will be claimed by Chason’s father to bear him children. If she has success, she will be hunted and claimed by an alpha … and Chason and Rance have a chance of claiming her.
The Zain find their passion in dance that is an outlet for their hatred for men. In it, they hypnotize the men into making them do what they want. Meanwhile, Minuet finds her passion in loving Chason and Rance; so she can save them all.
Now is up to Chason to claim her … if he can catch her.
Wow!! I loved the story. The characters are awesome and very real, especially Minuet. These are the lines I loved most from the book, although, truth be told, I loved the entire story.
Minuet loved to see her breath. It was real; it was there. It was nature’s way to prove a point—just because people couldn’t see something didn’t mean it didn’t exist. If given a chance, in one way or another, it would show itself.
I find most ménage books are based on the sex and not in the mix of the sex with story, so they lack, and feel artificial. Not this story. It’s the perfect mix of torrid scenes, outstanding characters, interesting storyline, a bit of humor and the magical style of C.L. Scholey. The results are incredible, you shouldn’t miss this book!!! 5 couples.
Publisher: Whispers Publishing
Source : Manic Readers
Released : October 8th 2012
Book Blurb :
Ex-animal control officer, Autumn Reynolds always had a soft spot for injured animals. So when one shows up on her porch with a gunshot wound, she has no choice but to help it. But she gets caught in the maelstrom when the injured wolf turns out to be a hot werewolf and the shooter comes back to finish the job. Now she’s going to become a wolf, or die trying. Fortunately, she has her own Alpha-male who owes her one. However, Autumn fears if she does survive, she might lose her heart in the process.
Conner Grayson owes the beautiful woman his life and feels obligated to help her through her first change. Though he recognizes her as his mate, as her Alpha, he won’t deny Autumn the right to choose once she becomes a wolf. That is, if he can resist the overwhelming need to claim her as his own.
Autumn Reynolds just moved to Elbe after getting an early cop pension courtesy of a run in with a baseball bat that cracked two vertebrae and bruised her spinal column while in the line of duty.
For the past few months everyone had been afraid to touch her at all, like she might break or something. And the doctors, well they were the only ones that couldn’t seem to keep their hands to themselves. Damn sadists.
When she finds a wolf half dead with a gunshot wound, she tries to save him. She is surprised to see his friendly mood and astonished to discover minutes after that he is a werewolf.
When Conner Grayson is shot by cousin, Bear, he fights to survive. With the help of Autumn, he does. I loved the description of what Conner is feeling in his wolf form:
Things were much simpler as a wolf. He thought in basic terms. If he liked someone he licked them. No political agendas. No manners. Simplicity. Usually the human side of him kept a tight rein on his animal instincts, but his human side was weak right now, and the animal took charge. He liked it. He liked her. If he were stronger, the slow lapping of her flesh would have led to other things, but for now, he meant only to show her that he trusted her.
I loved the rules Autumn sets after discovering he is a werewolf:
You can stay. But know this, I am not Little Red Riding Hood. If you try to eat me, I will shoot your ass. Do you understand?”
Remember our bargain, no eating the zoo keeper.
The attraction Autumn feels for him has her with some hot dreams (in them, she remembers every detail of his naked body, although she saw it just for a few seconds). In the morning, he is human again, preparing their breakfast and telling her:
My name is Conner Grayson. Not ‘fella.’ Not ‘boy.’ I’d appreciate it if you used it no matter how many legs I’m standing on.
Unfortunately for him, Bear wants to finish what he started. In his attempt to kill him, he has bitten Autumn, exposing her to the genetic material that causes Lycanthropy.
Conner knows Autumn is his mate, but he doesn’t want to take the choice of mate from her. If she survives he, as the Alpha, will present her to his pack just like every other wolf.
Kelly, Bear’s wife, is not happy to see that he failed in his attempt to kill Conner, nor is she happy that Conner seems to want Autumn as his mate. She wants to be the Alpha’s mate and tries to kill Autumn. Her dare ends in death.
Conner is there when Autumn changes back to human. He is there to comfort her and they finally mate.
I loved this short story. I found the humor delicious, the characters deep enough and the descriptions wonderful. However, the scene where Autumn sees Conner for the first time seems a bit rushed. She doesn’t freak out, she accepts it too easily to give reality to the scene. 4 couples
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Source : Manic Readers
Released : October 24th 2012
Welcome to the world of Sydney Harbor Hospital (or SHH…for short—because secrets never stay hidden for long!)
Treating her client’s problems is what relationship guru Ava Carmichael does best, but no amount of therapy could fix her own barren marriage. Feeling utterly helpless, Ava pushed James away. But when he returns, grappling with issues of his own, suddenly it’s time for Ava to take the advice she so passionately teaches…and apply it to herself!
Ava and James have been separated for a few months whilst James was interstate teaching at a hospital. Ava has being thinking that she needs to divorce him after she gets the nagging feeling that James is seeing someone else. James agrees. A devastating diagnosis for James drives an even bigger wedge between the couple until Ava discovers a little surprise that could change their present and rethink their future.
This is the final book to the series Sydney Harbour Hospital and ends on a nice note with a reunion story.
Ava and James met when they were 18 and 21 respectively and they have not had eyes for anyone else until now, it seems. James is calling someone in Brisbane and will not reveal who it is and his secrecy causes heartbreak for Ava and strain in their relationship. She’s a sex dysfunctional counsellor but she cannot solve her own sexual problems. Talk about ironic, she claims that they have not had sex in over a year and the miscarriages she suffered are part of the problem of the heartbreak that Ava is having over James coupled with the fact that a few of her friends are pregnant.
With so many HEAs from the previous books, it’s not easy for Ava at work as she is seeing friends and colleagues pregnant and happy while she is wallowing in despair. James has his own problems that are making everyone wonder what is happening to the once happy couple, especially James’ meddling mother.
However, I would not call it a full-blown wallowing, as friends of hers are having their own crises and she has to be there for Emily and Finn. Theirs is a secondary storyline that is featured throughout the book and it provides Ava some relief and comfort as she gets to offer some kind of sense of counselling to her friends and not focus on her problems whilst Emily and Finn provide a soundboard for her to vent her own frustrations.
I did not treat this as a medical category romance as it is more a contemporary romance that had medical elements in it. The book was more focused on the characters, their relationships and interactions. While Ava’s family members are not present, James’s mother very much is and thinks that Ava is abandoning James because she cannot handle his diagnosis. Rather than being a straight reunion story, the book is about the surprises and challenges that the couple face on the path to a decision about their future.
4 couples .
Publisher : Harlequin Australia
Source : Publicist provided for Review
Released : October
Book Blurb :
Only the hottest sex can cool a wolf in heat…
After her sister is bitten by a werewolf, geneticist Sophia Reece begins researching shape-shifters and isolates a gene she calls Furry Beast–FB for short. But in her excitement over her discovery–dancing in the lab is never a good idea–she has a teeny little accident with the samples, one canine, one feline, and winds up landing on the syringes, pointy side up.
Werewolf Chase is head over heels in lust with Sophia. He can’t stop thinking about the human’s sexy body or how badly he wants to get her naked. But she acts as if he has fleas. So why, all of a sudden, does she stare at him like a wolf in heat? And what smells like cat?
When she experiences her first mating heat, Sophia isn’t prepared for the new feelings she’s experiencing, and her secret desire for Chase refuses to remain under wraps. For Chase, this is his wildest fantasy come true–to finally get his hands on the curvy, caramel-skinned Latina. But when some serious predators come sniffing around her research, Sophia will have to find out what she’s really made of, and Chase will have to decide if he’s man–or wolf–enough to make things permanent…
What’s the worst thing that could happen to geneticist Sophia Reece, who is trying to give her sister the choice between having her wolf or not? Having it too … or at least, having both wolf and cat.
Sophia has a major crush on Chase, the alpha of the Black Meadows pack. She met him after her sister Julia married River, Chase’s brother.
Mmm, man-candy Chase… He was her biggest temptation. If she had an affliction it was called Furry Beast Alpha, or FBA for short.
Side effects included, but were not limited to: making a woman stop, stare, and drool on the spot; panties somehow finding themselves off and thrown his way; and finally, if said subject were to smile, blacking out from sudden excitement.
She was still unable to figure out how one minute he could be smiling at her, and the next she would be sitting down on a chair counting fuzzy bunnies running across her field of vision.
Thank goodness she still hadn’t gone as far as the panty throwing, but she was tempted … God, she was tempted. Every single time she got near him, her hands itched to tear off the little slip of lace, wave her arm in the air, and yell “pick me, pick me!”
Sophia is thrilled about her discovery, she’d finally singled out the particular chromosome in the DNA strand that made shape-shifters shift and just in a few weeks she’ll be able to let her sister choose between having her wolf or not. In the midst of her elation, she has a tiny accident … the syringes that are holding the DNA of both werecat and werewolf penetrate her skin. It’s a minute amount, but it’s enough to change her into a dual shifter.
What she doesn’t know is that Chase wants her … and thinks she can’t stand him. In heat, Sophia soon discovers how bad Chase wants her and they mate.
Until this moment, the story is very good. Although the relation between the main characters is rushed and there is no depth to their relationship, the hilarity of different likes makes you laugh and scream for more. Here you have some of those lines:
Oh good Lord, help me not attack this man and tear those shorts off that sexy ass.
Here she was, ready to beg him to cuff her to the nearest tree and spank her ass until she stopped being a bad girl. Of course, just the thought of him spanking her made her want to be bad.
Was she going to grow a tail now? Want to sniff people’s asses? To pee on trees to mark her territory? Would she want to piss on Chase to claim him as her own?
In the second part of the book we have Sophia going home after four days of lovemaking and finding out that her home office had been completely trashed, and Chase scents multiple hyena shifters in her house. They go to her laboratory and meet up with a group of hyenas and have to kill them.
This scene is a bit to sanguinary for my tastes, as Sophia’s nails morph into claws and she rips the throat of one of the hyenas in human form wide open. The hyenas are after her research, but she keeps it all in cold storage, a vault secured by finger and voice recognition with a shutdown backup.
The hyenas kidnap Chase’s cousin and want Sophia or threaten to kill his cousin. Communicating via telepathy, Chase discovers where she has been taken and saves his cousin and Sophia … killing another person.
A few weeks later, they discover who is behind the takeover of Sophia’s research and learn why and Chase kills yet another person. This made me wonder … am I reading a romance or a horror ebook?
I liked the first part of the book more than the second. The second part has less of those hilarious lines I liked so much, and the lack of depth between the characters is glaring.
Oh, I love to read about the main character changing in his/her fury alter ego, but Sophia doesn’t change … huh?
Although this book is the marked as the first of the Black Meadow Pack series, it seems that Julia and River’s story is actually the first one, as it gives some details of what happened to them and details how they met. I prefer to keep the reading order, so this is another strike against the book and the series.
In the end, I’m giving it 4 couples; and I’ll keep an eye for Milly Taiden’s next release as the dialog was pretty good and had exactly the type of humor I love to be entertained by.
Publisher: Etopia Press
Source : Purchased
Released : September 7th 2012
Book Blurb :
Two men–Kenyon, a street cop looking for a permanent, loving relationship, and Teo, a social worker and player in his off hours–come together as they try to help a seven-year-old boy abandoned on the streets by his mother.
Neal, a young boy, abandoned on the streets by his mother, is found by policeman Kenyon Hagerty, bonding instantly with him. Social worker Teo Marino becomes involved when the boy is placed in the care of Human Services.
Kenyon is looking for real love while Teo is the consummate playboy, moving from one man to another. And yet these two men, truly yin and yang, are drawn together.
When the body of the Neal’s mother is discovered, murdered, and later Neal’s father tries to kidnap him from the children’s home where he’s living, Neal runs away, looking for Kenyon who he believes will adopt him. The two men must make a decision regarding Neal’s life, and their own.
This is a simple, sweet romance that has a small twist. Love always finds a way to sneak up on people and this time it hits Teo and Kenyon. Teo isn’t sure he’s ready to settle down yet, while Kenyon has been holding out, waiting for love. Yet when they come together with a common bond being Neal, neither can ignore the sparks of attraction that seem to encompass them. They must work together to keep Neal safe from his disillusioned father who happens to believe he’s a vampire.
While Kenyon and his partner Pat are out on patrol canvassing the area, they happen to spot a young boy hiding under a loading dock. Something inside Kenyon reaches out to the boy; his protective instincts seem to kick in instantly. With some gentle coaxing from Kenyon, we learn that young Neal is 7 yrs old and has been living in the alley for 5 months with his mother, who is currently missing.
It’s doesn’t take long until social services kicks in, sending Teo to check out young Neal. Armed with the right questions, and a soothing personality, Teo manages to get Neal to open up. It’s amazingly sweet how quickly Neal becomes attached to Kenyon, believing Kenyon can accomplish anything. It’s as if Kenyon becomes Neal’s safety blanket.
The mystery only seems too thicken at each turn, while every lead they attempt to check out falls through; it’s as if Neal and his mother never existed. The questions surrounding Neal’s father, if anything, start becoming more and more bizarre. Why was his mother trying so hard to keep them hidden from this man? And why does he only want Neal because of what Neal is … and what is Neal? When the find a woman’s body the next day, at first they don’t connect it to Neal, not until Teo calls them to come over, claiming Neal is distraught. Kenyon, on an off chance, decides to show Neal a picture of the woman, and Neal confirms it’s his mother.
It doesn’t take long before Teo and Kenyon start having nightly dinners together, discussing Neal. I’ve always found it funny how one of the main characters always usually assumes the other is straight if the other character is a cop. This time it’s Teo believing Kenyon is straight.
What? Kenyon hates to be hit on? What kind of man is this? I’ve never heard of such a thing. Haha! Well, good thing Teo is creative or well resourceful! Yet here Kenyon is after having dinner with Teo and he winds up going out to a club and runs into—whom else? Teo! The attraction between them is slow building, as both seem to be fighting it, unsure if either wants to take the risk. I love how Teo just sort of takes the initiative and pursues Kenyon. Through the connection of working together to help Neal, they have started to spend more and more time together.
All is quiet in the search for finding out who Neal’s father is, until someone tries to steal the boy away from the home. The mystery around who this man is just seems to intensify. When he shows up again and attempts to steal Neal, the calvary shows up. It’s all very anticlimactic at this point and passes over so quickly you almost wonder if you’ve blinked and missed something.
As things calm down, Teo and Kenyon are able to focus on seeing just where things between them might lead. On a leap of faith Teo begins to plan for future dates, which not only surprises Kenyon but Teo himself. And before they know it, a month has gone by and they still like each other! While their jobs make it difficult to see each other as often as they like, the do manage to sneak in moments. But when Teo decides to test his feelings for Kenyon in an idiotic way, he risks far more than he imagined, especially when he gets caught in a less than desirable position from Kenyon, even if it might all be a misunderstanding.
Lucky for Teo his friend Jersey decides to smooth the waters. Heading over to Kenyon, he makes sure to give Kenyon all the facts, than leaves the ball in his court to make the next move. After finally clearing the air and finding a peaceful balance between them, they move on, or rather, move in together. Sudden you ask? Well, maybe yes, but then no one ever said matters of the heart couldn’t be. I really like that Kenyon’s partner Pat is just an easygoing, understanding guy and just wants his partner happy, gay or not, and as they are both cops, it’s wonderful to see that within a police force.
When Teo gets a call the Neal has run away, emotions monetarily fly. Neal is found quickly and shows up at Kenyon’s station as if he belongs there. Neal so badly wants to belong to Kenyon and Teo and it goes both ways, they, too, have had their hearts stolen by young Neal.
I found this to be a sweet romantic story, which has its struggles and rewards. It has a wonderful group of side characters, and I loved Kenyon sisters at the end! While it does have a hint of the paranormal, it’s faint and mostly just smoke and mirrors: a man whose mind has become warped into believing he’s a vampire and a young boy who seems to show slight psychic ability but goes no further.
I give Yin and Yang by Edward Kendrick 4 couples. This is recommended to anyone looking for a romance with a kid who captures your heart and a couple who seem to find love where they never expected it and manage to find a HEA ending.
Pubisher : Silver Publishing
Source : Publicist Provided for review
Released : October 20th 2012
Where to buy
Book Blurb :
Seven years ago, Jase awoke with the mystical power to heal people—and no memory of his past. The only clue to his identity is the number forty tattooed on his arm. Driven by a mission he doesn’t understand, Jase follows his visions to those he’s meant to save. He is convinced that the fortieth person he’s drawn to—a little girl named Macy Pearl—is the key to finally learning the truth…
Social worker Lucas Jacobson has made a promise to protect Macy, orphaned when her parents were brutally murdered. So when Jase shows up in Naples claiming he’s there to heal the child, Lucas is wary, despite his attraction to the enigmatic stranger.
Then Macy is abducted, and Lucas has no choice but to trust in Jase. Scouring the city from its glitzy resorts to its seedy underbelly only deepens the mystery—and draws the two men closer. But Jase is certain of one thing: if Macy dies, a dark fate awaits them all.
I can’t even begin to fathom what it would be like to wake up somewhere and have no clue as to who you are. This is precisely what happens to Jase when he wakes in the middle of a park. With the smell of burning leaves, and a quiet yet insistent voice asking if he’s alright, from where he’s been asleep on a park bench. Jase comes face to face with a young boy named Christian who finds him, and along with his grandmother Helen, they extend a hand of friendship and help. It’s Helen that gives him the name Jason, the name of her son that died in the war.
Jason’s world is crumbling away at the edges; he can recall what he sees or hears, yet anything personal about himself remains elusive, just beyond his reach. It’s when he goes to clean up that he notices a tattoo on the underside of his arm: 40. Then it’s like a flash, like a vision – nothing about him, but what could it mean … is it the future, maybe? When he touches Helen it’s immediate and he knows that Helen is sick, and dying. With a little faith, Helen places her trust in Jase and through the touch of hands he literally draws the cancer out of her body and into his own, before crushing it completely with the force of his will.
When sleep finally claims Jase, he dreams of unfamiliar faces, 40 faces …then awakes to screaming—his own. Without understanding why he must leave, he somehow knows someone else needs his help.
Lucas has been called to a scene to pick up a little girl named Macy, her parents have just been brutally murdered in front of her. With some gentle coaxing and patience, he slowly encourages a small amount of trust from Macy. Lucas takes her to the nearest hospital where a trusted acquaintance works. As young Macy is being checked out, a disturbance down the hall draws the police officer who’s been keeping a vigil to go check it out. After a moment Lucas follows and almost runs right into Jase.
Seven yrs have elapsed since Jase woke up in the park and he’s finally come to the 40th person to help, believing the dream has lead him to young Macy. The end is so close Jase can almost taste it. Will his memories return? Will he remember these last 7 years and all he’s done and everyone he’s met? So close, but first he has to find a way to get around Lucas, someone he can’t seem to influence with his powers of persuasion that he also obtained with the healing powers. Just when things are starting to go right, two guys wearing dark hooded coats show up, but who are they after, Macy or Lucas?
They make it to a police station hoping they’ll be safe and talk to the detective in charge of Macy’s case. Yet, everything just seems to pile on with no reprieve as they are forced again to make a run for it. Gaining a few moments of solace in a condo, they hope to remain hidden long enough to figure out their next move. The evening’s events have taken their toll. With Macy sound asleep on the couch Lucas and Jase take a moment alone together. With the need for human contact proving to be far too great to pass up, along with a build up of strong yet uncertain attraction, they come together. Finally Jase is able to share his story with Lucas.
Thinking they are relatively safe they lay low, but they also let their guard down. After waking from a nap they realize Macy is missing, someone has snatched her from where she was sleeping. To top it off, Jase can’t sense her, it’s as if she’s vanished into thin air. It becomes a frantic race to try and find Macy before it’s too late, late for what they don’t know. Jase has no idea what will happen if he doesn’t save Macy’s soul. But is it truly Macy’s soul that Jase is meant to save? Who was that guy behind Macy in the dream that lead him here in the first place?
I struggled in the beginning but once the story took off I couldn’t put it down. Jase’s story really pulled me in. How he must have felt waking up not remembering who he was or anything about his past! Then with a vision to suddenly realize he could heal with touch. His journey is long and draining. When he finally makes it to the last one, he’s on a high knowing that at any moment he’ll have his memories back, although somehow knowing something bad has to come before that, makes for a very humbling and an engrossing read.
With Lucas working with Jase, albeit reluctantly at first, they set out on a crazy week of mystery, hope, and new possibilities. Macy is very wise for a 7yr old, almost impossibly so. But nonetheless, she manages to wrap everyone around her little finger as they all seem to trip over themselves to keep her happy and safe. Well … almost everyone. So, if you’re looking for a romance that has a mysterious twist dealing with saving souls, then this is definitely for you!
I give 40 Souls to Keep by Libby Drew 4 couples. Enjoyable and Recommended.
Pubisher : Carina Press
Source : Net Galley
Released :November 19 2012
Where to buy