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Review: The Heat is On (Out of Uniform #6) by Elle Kennedy

The Heat is On

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As a Navy SEAL, Matt O’Connor specializes in Bad Boy. At least, that’s what he thinks…until he finds himself face down on the floor during a bank robbery, arguing with a sexy, bad-girl blonde who wields her sharp tongue with surgical precision.

Just like that, Matt begins to wonder if maybe the idea of settling down with one woman isn’t as crazy as he thought.

Savannah Harte is addicted to first kisses and whirlwind romances. Once the thrill is gone, though, she’s outta there. She’s eager to follow the adrenaline rush she feels with Matt into the nearest bed, but when tangled sheets begin to feel like tangled heartstrings, her first instinct is to cut him loose. There’s only one problem: Matt’s not going anywhere. And not even a steamy threesome seems to dull her growing feelings.

Which leaves Savannah having to decide what she wants more. The casual thrill of now…or the scary thrill of forever.

Product Warnings: This title features a hot threesome with explicit sex, a bad-girl heroine, and two Navy SEALs guaranteed to make you sweat.

Meh.

There was a lot to like about The Heat is On…but there was also a lot I didn’t like. And frankly, I’m going to chalk part of it up as a learning experience.

The Heat is On is one of those rare romance books where gender roles are slightly reversed. Savannah, the heroine, doesn’t like relationships – her drug of choice are relationship firsts: first kisses, first dates, first fucks, etc. As soon as a guy Savannah is dating starts getting serious, she starts packing her bags. This works for her until she meets the hero, Matt.
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Review: Gotcha! (Tall, Hot & Texan #1) by Christie Craig

Gotcha!

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Macy Tucker was five years old when her beloved grandfather dropped dead in his spaghetti. At twelve, her father left his family in the dust. At twenty-five, her husband gave his secretary a pre-Christmas bonus in bed, and Macy gave him the boot. To put things lightly, men have been undependable.

That’s why dating’s off the menu. Macy is focused on law school, and putting herself through—which means being the delivery girl for Papa’s Pizza. But cheesier than her job is her pie-eyed brother, who just recently escaped from prison to protect his new girlfriend. And hotter than Texas toast is the investigating detective. Proud, sexy…inflexible—he’s a man who would kiss her just to shut her up. But Jake Baldwin’s a protector as much as a dish. And when he gets his man—or his woman—Macy knows it’s for life.

Gotcha! is the second Christie Craig book that I’ve read, the first being Divorced, Desperate and Delicious. I enjoyed both Divorced, Desperate and Delicious and Gotcha! – but they are both rather similar books. Both books have a police officer hero and a divorced 30-40 something heroine. Both books have the hero being forced to stay with the heroine (almost 24/7) due to some type of police/murder case and both books have the heroine do something so incredibly stupid (in the name of plot humor?) that it made me want to rage.

I really liked the hero, Jake, in Gotcha! but I wasn’t that big a fan of the heroine Macy. Macy was…a little TSTL and a little too stubborn about her police protection. She almost gets killed several times but refuses to take the necessary precautions to keep herself safe. I’m never a fan of that.
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Review: The Best Kind of Trouble (Hurley Brothers, #1) by Lauren Dane

The Best Kind of Trouble

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She has complete control…and he’s determined to take it away

A librarian in the small town of Hood River, Natalie Clayton’s world is very nearly perfect. After a turbulent childhood and her once-wild ways, life is now under control. But trouble has a way of turning up unexpectedly–especially in the tall, charismatically sexy form of Paddy Hurley….

And Paddy is the kind of trouble that Natalie has a taste for.

Even after years of the rock-and-roll lifestyle, Paddy never forgot the two wickedly hot weeks he once shared with Natalie. Now he wants more…even if it means tempting Natalie and her iron-grip control. But there’s a fine line between well-behaved and misbehaved–and the only compromise is between the sheets!

I loved this book. LOVED.

I can’t put my finger on exactly what touched me so much about The Best Kind of Trouble. Like Mary Poppins, it was practically perfect in every way. The Best Kind of Trouble is a reunited lovers story – the best kind, at that. Natalie and Paddy didn’t break up on a sour note and they shared great times together. The Best Kind of Trouble is a rockstar story – which I normally avoid – but the story takes place in a small town that shelters the group from the constant attention of the paparazzi. The Best Kind of Trouble (and the entire Hurley Boys series) follow a rock group…but the series seems to be more about family than about stardom. OMFG. LOVE.
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Review: Parlor Games Anthology – Fallen Angel by Jess Michaels

Parlor Games

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Do you dare open the door and enter a place like no other?

In these three historical tales of sensual awakening, nothing that stimulates and titillates is taboo, ecstasy comes in many sizes, and pleasure is its own reward . . . a world of seduction and sensation, where inhibitions are unlaced and desires long corseted are gloriously freed. . . .

Fallen Angel – Jess Michaels

London’s greatest beauty and most notorious madam employs the services of a disgraced Bow Street Runner to keep her safe from a stalker . . . and satisfied after dark.

 

 
Meh. Really, really meh.

Parlor Games was the third book I read using my Scribd trial. Scribd introduced me to Jess Michaels via the book Everything Forbidden – and suggested this title since I read Everything Forbidden. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99. Since this story is part of an anthology I that already priced – I’m still counting this as book 3.

The heroine, Arabella, is being threatened. After receiving multiple written threats and surviving several attempts on her life, Arabella calls on Valentine, former Bow Street Runner, to protect her and pretend to be her lover.

Most of the short story focused on the sexual power plays between Arabella and Valentine – they both have been hurt by relationships – but these sections felt a little forced. To be honest, the entire story felt a little forced – especially the HEA. I did not believe in the HEA and I really didn’t enjoy [the story] that much.

I was able to figure out the antagonist from the first moment they were introduced on page. Meh.
 

 
90 Day Scribd Trial
3rd Book Read
Current Price of Book: $9.99
Total Cost of Books read: $21.97
Total Amount Saved: -$5.00 (price of all books read minus price of service ($26.97))

Review: Kiss at Your Own Risk (Soulfire #1) by Stephanie Rowe *spoilers*

Kiss at Your Own Risk

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He needed a killer woman…
Blaine Underhill is one lucky man after having recently escaped a century and a half of imprisonment at the hands of an evil witch. Now he’s determined to save his still-enslaved friend, but in order to do so, he’ll need the help of one of the world’s most lethal women.

She was drop dead gorgeous, literally…
Trinity Harpswell is sick and tired of being a Black Widow. Having managed to go three years without accidentally killing anyone she loves, she’s one short week away from freeing herself from this killer curse forever.

When Blaine tracks her down and convinces her to help him, little does Trinity know that the next seven days are going to be murder!

 
Kiss at Your Own Risk is the tenth (10) book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the first book in the Soulfire series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $5.79. Stephanie Rowe is a new to me (NTM) author that I discovered using the Scribd recommendation engine.

I don’t know what to say…this wasn’t what I expected it to be. At all.

Let’s start with worldbuilding: it didn’t exist. That’s not completely fair – the world building existed but it was not explained to the reader in any way. You really just have to go with the flow for this one…and my extensive experience with reading paranormal romance (PNR) tells me that the author’s world in this series is one in which magic in all its PNR shapes and sizes are run of the mill, everyday activities. Ok. So let’s walk into the book with that assumption.
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Review: Undeniably Yours (Kowalski Family #2) by Shannon Stacey

Undeniably Yours

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One-night stand + two percent condom failure rate = happily ever after?

Bar owner Kevin Kowalski is used to women throwing their phone numbers at him, but lately he’s more interested in finding a woman to settle down with. A woman like Beth Hansen. If only their first meeting hadn’t gone so badly…

Beth’s tending bar at a wedding when she comes face-to-face with a tuxedo-clad man she never thought she’d see again. She tries to keep her distance from Kevin but, by last call, she can’t say no to his too-blue eyes or the invitation back to his room. Then she slips out before breakfast without leaving a note and, despite their precautions, pregnant.

Kevin quickly warms to the idea of being a dad and to seeing where things go with Beth. After all, he’s not the player she thinks he is. But she’s not ready for a relationship and, given his reputation, it’s going to take a lot to convince her to go on a second date with the father of her child…

Well, this book just…felt like it went on forever. And it annoyed me greatly – well, the heroine annoyed the living shit out of me.

I really, really dislike books where the reason the hero and heroine don’t get together is because “reasons.” In Undeniably Yours the reason the H/h stay apart the entire book is because the heroine doesn’t want to do permanent relationships. Because her parents hovered and smothered. Although she has a good relationship with them. And she’s pregnant. And broke. Because reasons! And feelings!
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Review: Exclusively Yours (The Kowalski Family #1) by Shannon Stacey

Exclusively Yours

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When Keri Daniels’ editor finds out she has previous carnal knowledge of reclusive bestselling author Joe Kowalski, she gives Keri a choice: get an interview or get a new job.

Joe’s never forgotten the first girl to break his heart, so he’s intrigued to hear Keri’s back in town–and looking for him. Despite his intense need for privacy, he’ll grant Keri an interview if it means a chance to finish what they started in high school.

He proposes an outrageous plan–for every day she survives with his family on their annual camping and four-wheeling trip, Keri can ask one question. Keri agrees; she’s worked too hard to walk away from her career.

But the chemistry between them is still as potent as the bug spray, Joe’s sister is out to avenge his broken heart and Keri hasn’t ridden an ATV since she was ten. Who knew a little blackmail, a whole lot of family and some sizzling romantic interludes could make Keri reconsider the old dream of Keri & Joe 2gether 4ever.

This book has been an interesting experience for me. There was a lot of negative impressions/views about Keri (the heroine) at the beginning of the book and those negative views were not initially tempered by Keri’s own voice. Other than the basic character introduction and [plot] motivation, the reader is told about Keri from the view of Joe (the scorned ex) and his twin sister Lisa (the scorned ex-best friend). Not to beat about the bush, the initial view of Keri is…pretty atrocious. Seriously. The reader learns that Keri dropped Lisa – her best friend – in high school when she became popular and that Keri dropped Joe – her high school sweetheart – as soon as the diploma hit her hot little hands. Then Keri leaves town and doesn’t see or speak to them again…for almost 20 years. The reader learns that Lisa was really hurt by Keri’s actions and that Joe was devastated: he withdraws from his family and friends and becomes an alcoholic.

Let’s be honest, Keri sounded like a bitch and I have a hard time rooting for bitches. I was about five seconds from DNF’ing this book at chapter one…until I thought about something: Keri was 18 when she moved away…Joe became an alcoholic at 18?! WTF, yo! That’s…a bit much to try to put on a kid’s shoulders. Having that thought really was the only thing that kept me from tossing this one.
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2014 Book Purchases: May

I always start the draft for these monthly book purchase updates at the beginning of the month. It gives me a chance to look back over the previous month and encourage myself to do better throughout the coming month.

Update: I went over my book budget by $1.22. That’s not too bad. Not too bad at all… But I still need to work on my spending.

 
 
Cordelia's HonorBook: Cordelia’s Honor
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Cost: $0.58
Format: Trade Paperback
Date Purchased: 07-May-2014
Notes: Omnibus Edition, FoF read Shards of Honor as a group for April 2014
 
 
Howl's Moving Castle (trade)Book: Howl’s Moving Castle
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Cost: $4.75
Format: Trade Paperback
Date Purchased: 07-May-2014
Notes: Gift
 
 
FederationsBook: Federations
Author: John Joseph Adams (Editor)
Cost: $0.01
Format: Trade Paperback
Date Purchased: 08-May-2014
Notes: Picked up on a whim from the library, discovered a short (sequel to The Ship Who Sang) in the Brainship series by McCaffery. HAD to purchase ASAP. Review Here
 
 
BounceBook: Bounce
Author: K.M. Jackson
Cost: $0.99
Format: ePub Ebook
Date Purchased: 12-May-2014
Notes: Dear Author strikes again…
 
 
Bone RiderBook: Bone Rider
Author: J. Fally
Cost: $1.10
Format: ePub Ebook
Date Purchased: 13-May-2014
Notes: Damn Dear Author review! Had to buy after reading the review.
 
 
Beast Master's PlanetBook: Beast Master’s Planet: Omnibus of Beast Master and Lord of Thunder
Author: Andre Norton
Cost: $0.21
Format: Hardback, Omnibus
Date Purchased: 16-May-2014
Notes: Andre Norton Collection
 
 
Blood SongBook: Blood Song (A Raven’s Shadow Novel)
Author:
Cost: $6.94
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 16-May-2014
Notes: FoF May 2014 Group Read, borrowed from library but decided to purchase
 
 
It Happened One WeddingBook: It Happened One Wedding
Author: Julie James
Cost: $6.64
Format: MMPB
Date Purchased:
Notes: OMG! LOVED IT. Found a new author! Review Here

 
 

 
 

May 2014 Totals:
Total Books Purchased: 8
Total Amount Spent: $21.22
Malazan Books Purchased: 0
(M) Amount Spent: $0
(O) Amount Spent: $21.22
Potential Sales Abandoned: 0
Money Saved (Lost Sales): $0.00
May Budget Available (not including Malazan purchases): -(1.22)

Review: Alta (Dragon Jousters #2) by Mercedes Lackey *Spoilers*

Alta

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National best-selling fantasy legend, Mercedes Lackey created a vivid, dynamic fusion of the Upper and Lower Kingdoms of ancient Egypt with the most exciting, authentic and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined.
In the second novel in Mercedes Lackey’s richly-conceived Dragon Jousters series, the dragonrider Vetch escapes to Alta, the subjugated land of his birth. There, he hopes to teach his people to raise and train dragons-and build an army that will liberate his homeland.

NOTE: This review will contain spoilers for the first book in this series, Joust. If you haven’t read Joust, please do not read this review unless you are ok with spoilers.

This one is cute. I enjoy this book but not as much as Joust.

Alta continues the story of the serf Vetch from Joust. In Alta, Vetch is no longer known as the serf “Vetch.” He is “Kiron, son of Kiron,” a displaced but well-born son of Alta and a dragon rider. Kiron arrives in Alta, gets settled and becomes a jouster-in-training almost immediately. He is also given lessons: reading, writing, philosophy and history. Throughout the book the reader can see Kiron’s change from unlettered serf to educated noble by the way he speaks and carries himself. I felt Lackey did a good job showing Kiron’s maturation.

Kiron has achieved his goal: he is no longer a serf – he is a free Altan and dragon rider. But in Alta all is not what he expected: there’s something rotten at the core of Alta and Kiron seems to get into the midst of things very quickly.
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Review: Brianna (Celestial Passions #1) by Judy Mays *spoilers*

brianna

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Brianna did what any other decent human being would do-rescue a pair of aliens her boss was about to dissect, and get them back to their space ship. In the process, she was captured by an alien scientist and became a experiment herself-a sexual experiment.

Captain Alalakan don al’ Chardadon was not about to let Dr. Rodak don al’ Bakom conduct his ridiculous sexual experiments on an inhabitant from a newly discovered world. Even if it meant he had to marry the Earth woman to protect her. Marriages were easily dissolved on his planet, and this alien was very beautiful. Besides, he wanted her-in his bed, on the floor, against the wall, or anywhere else he could think of.

Brianna had to choose-marry the captain or try to find another way to escape Bakom. Easy choice. Even though he was an alien, Char was the most desirable man she’d ever met.

So, Brianna finds herself hurtling through space married to a very sexy alien-with a very flexible tail-from a planet where hedonism is the norm and there are three sexes: male, female, and hermaphrodite.

But Bakom wanted Brianna too, and is willing to do anything to get her back.

Have you ever read a Romance novel and thought to yourself, this is the most ridiculous cliched bullshit I’ve ever read? How did this get published?? I’m obviously in the wrong business…

Well, this is almost that book. But it’s not. Because this book is a cliched ridiculous mess on purpose (which makes it funny). This book has it all: beautiful red-haired “spitfire” heroine (with green eyes, of course); handsome and rich hero; being kidnapped by aliens for weird alien sex; princesses; cat people; assassins….

Well, you get the point. It’s like…everything is here. There is no way this wasn’t written tongue in cheek. How does Brianna communicate with these people from a different galaxy? They use a Medirian ghena instead of a Babel fish…but it’s the same thing and performs the same function. There are also several hints in the book that shows that Mays is writing a comedy.
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