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Review: Once Burned (Night Prince #1) by Jeaniene Frost

Once Burned

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She’s a mortal with dark powers…
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person’s darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude…until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world’s most infamous vampire…

He’s the Prince of Night…
Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all—but whatever you do, don’t call him Dracula. Vlad’s ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him—a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

I think I know how the heroine of Once Burned, Leila, feels: I don’t really know how I feel about Vlad. He’s scary, he’s handsome, he impales people, he’s sexy. He’s a freaking scary ass, incredibly sexy, horribly arrogant and domineering man…and I decided to re-read Once Burned in honor of the soon to be released movie Dracula Untold. The handsome man on the cover even has a passing resemblance to the actor playing Dracula in the upcoming movie.
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Review: The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire #1) by Jennifer Probst

The Marriage Bargain

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A marriage in name only…

To save her family home, impulsive bookstore owner, Alexa Maria McKenzie, casts a love spell. But she never planned on conjuring up her best friend’s older brother—the powerful man who once shattered her heart.

Billionaire Nicholas Ryan doesn’t believe in marriage, but in order to inherit his father’s corporation, he needs a wife and needs one fast. When he discovers his sister’s childhood friend is in dire financial straits, he offers Alexa a bold proposition.

A marriage in name only with certain rules: avoid entanglement. Keep things all business. Do not fall in love. The arrangement is only for a year so the rules shouldn’t be that hard to follow, right?

Except fate has a way of upsetting the best-laid plans…

 

The Marriage Bargain is the eleventh (11) book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the first book in the “Marriage to a Billionaire” series by Jennifer Probst. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $7.99. Jennifer Probst is a new to me (NTM) author that I discovered using the Scribd recommendation engine.

I’m not really sure what made me read The Marriage Bargain. The book only came on my radar due to Scribd’s recommendation engine…and since Scribd really doesn’t carry the majority of the books I’m looking to read…I am substituting books I’d normally pass (or borrow) so that I get the most use of my Scribd trial. But the cover of The Marriage Bargain looks…sexy. 🙂
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Review: Cat’s First Kiss (Forgotten Goddesses #2.5) by Stephanie Julian

Cat's First Kiss

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A short visit with Cat

Since taking on the powers of the Etruscan Goddess of the Moon, Catene’s life has been upended. Her parents don’t know how to help her. And Tivr, Etruscan God of the Moon, has seemingly deserted her. Amazing what a first kiss can do.

This story takes place after HOW TO WORSHIP A GODDESS and before GODDESS IN THE MIDDLE

 

 

This is a short (very short!) interlude in the Forgotten Goddesses series. I purchased this one myself as it was not available via Scribd.

I was not too happy about this short. I was expecting short but I wasn’t expecting what I got: 14 pages and atrocious formatting.

Cat’s First Kiss takes place after How to Worship a Goddess where Cat takes over the mantle of Goddess of the Moon. During How to Worship a Goddess the reader learns that Cat is destined to become the new Goddess of the Moon as well as the fated mate of the God of the Moon (Lucy’s son from How to Worship a Goddess). During that book the reader also learns that Tivr was avoiding Cat because she was so young and he is a couple hundred years older. Of course, none of this was explained to Cat. She was simply hurt that someone she loved so much was actively avoiding her.

The story is a total of about 14 pages. My book was so badly formatted that it shows up as 130+ pages: there was about 1 paragraph per page. 😦 The constant need to flip pages made me want more story. Which I did not get.

Other things I did not get in this story: any real discussion between Tivr and Cat. No, let me back track that a bit. NO real discussion between Tivr and Cat. He asks her to forgive him for being an ass, they kiss and it was over. That’s it. So yeah, I was expecting at least a little more – especially with all the loose ends left dangling around from How to Worship a Goddess.

Another thing I want to rant about: the cover. OMFG. I am so sick to death of this same freaking couple on every freaking NA romance that has ever NA’d (the books Easy, Reckless, the entire Devoured series, Walking Disaster, etc). Enough! The guy on the cover is turning into the Fabio of NA romance. And it’s driving me batty.

Review: What a Goddess Wants (Forgotten Goddesses #1) by Stephanie Julian

What a Goddess Wants

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Tessa, Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, is desperately fighting off a malicious god, but her powers are weakening. She needs a hero and fast, because only sexual energy can give her strength. So she seeks out Caligo, whose sexual prowess is legendary.

Caligo is a fabled Cimmerian warrior determined to stay away from spoiled goddesses who trample hearts after they’ve had their fun. But there’s something irresistibly hot and inviting about Tessa, and he knows he’s her only chance to escape the encroaching darkness.

 

 
What a Goddess Wants is the sixth book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the first book in the Forgotten Goddesses series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $10.09. Stephanie Julian is a new to me (NTM) author that I discovered using the Scribd recommendation engine.

I’m not sure what made me decide to read What a Goddess Wants – it surely wasn’t on my radar. Once I cracked open the book I was a little hooked! There are a lot of things to enjoy about the Forgotten Goddesses series and I have a special soft spot for mythological people/creatures pulled into the modern era.

What a Goddess Wants starts with Caligo catching a beat-down of epic proportions. We learn that Caligo is one of the famed Cimmerian warriors (i.e. Robert E. Howard’s Conan) and he is experiencing the rewards of those who deal with the Roman gods: betrayal. The experience hardens Caligo toward gods and goddesses so he was decidedly upset to arrive home one day to find a sleeping goddess – Tessa – on his couch.
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Review: Dating Cupid by Eve Langlais

Dating Cupid

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Roxanne knows where she’d like to shove Cupid’s arrow.

Tired of cheating men and false promises of love, Roxanne launches a campaign against Cupid’s Dating Service. But it’s hard to smear a company when you’ve got the hots for the owner.

Maverick Eros is more than the CEO of CDS, he’s Cupid himself. However, forget the media images of a chubby diapered cherub because the god of love is actually six feet plus of yummy, muscled male.

When they meet, sparks fly–the lusty kind–but they both know from experience, love hurts. In the end though, they’ll learn that love will have its way with them with or without the aid of Cupid’s arrow.

I love this short story and I’ve read it numerous times. 😀

It’s a little cheesy, lots of fun and there are laugh out loud moments. I adored both characters and I thought the plot was adorable, as well. The book is totally a one, two punch of “insta-lust” and “insta-love” but it totally works for the book! Langlais has a very different and hilarious take on the old Greek story of Cupid and Psyche.

Roxanne, demi-goddess and daughter of Lady Luck (Fortuna/Tyche), is having a terrible time finding a mate. For years, no matter who she dates it always turns out badly. At the urging of friends and family, Roxanne signs up for the popular Cupid’s Dating Service (CDS) – but when that goes horribly wrong she ends up boycotting the service. Until the day Roxanne meets the CEO, Maverick Eros. From the moment that Roxanne and Maverick meet they are attracted to each other – love at first sight – but past hurts cause them to mistrust and miscategorize their feelings.

Roxanne and Maverick fight their attraction but the instant they see each other again, the sparks fly.

Dating Cupid is a romantic comedy but Langlais still manages to put some real substance in the characters and their situation. Roxanne has been hurt by men who were supposed to love her and Maverick was duped by his cuckolding ex-wife, Psyche. Both characters had to find it within themselves to trust that this “love” thing was actually real.

One of the more interesting aspects of Dating Cupid for me was the change to the story of Cupid and Psyche. Greek Mythology says that Cupid and Psyche were star-crossed lovers who are finally united after much trial and tribulation. Dating Cupid turns Psyche into a devious schemer who used and never loved Maverick and Roxanne stars as Maverick’s true love – and they are finally united after much trial and tribulation.

This is a short but fun story that I only wish was longer. Recommended!

Review: Everything Forbidden (Albright Sisters #1) by Jess Michaels

Everything Forbidden

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YOUR DAYS AND NIGHTS WILL BELONG TO ME

For summers Miranda Albright has watched—aghast, yet shamefully titillated—as her wicked neighbor Ethan Hamon, the notorious Earl of Rothschild, “entertained” a succession of lovers on the grounds of his estate. Now that her father has passed on, leaving behind a mountain of debt, Miranda must do the unthinkable. For Ethan has promised to sponsor her younger sisters, financially and socially, at a scandalously dear price: Miranda must offer herself to him completely for three full months, with no remorse and no restraints.

Ninety days and nights of unbridled sensuality await her in the arms of a rogue who views her submission as no more than a grand erotic game. But neither Miranda nor Ethan realize that fire blazes behind her innocent blush. And once her passion is unleashed by his lips and his touch, it is the student who will school the teacher in the ways of forbidden pleasure … and love.

 

Everything Forbidden is the second book I read using my Scribd trial, introducing me to Jess Michaels. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99. I have to admit that I would have never read this book without the Scribd membership – the price is waaay to high for my blood – especially for a NTM author.

I’m not really sure what to say about it – the blurb covers it all pretty well, lol. I did like this one – I liked it quite a bit. My enjoyment was less about the plot and more about the execution, however – which was close to flawless.

The sex was steamy, the heroine was likeable and the hero wasn’t an alphole. What more can a girl ask for in an historical erotic romance? As a character, Miranda was quite interesting and rather brave – but she didn’t have any stand out characteristics that made her particularly memorable past the reading of the text. Ethan was the same – great for the read but not a “dreamy” hero that I pondered about or squeed over. Marianda’s sisters, Penelope and Beatrice, and her mother left a more lasting impression to me – but only because the impression was decidedly negative.

There’s no tension in the book – no push and pull between the H/h and very little (read: none) sexual tension. Even the final Big Mis was resolved very quickly and with no on page tension. I like a little tension in my romances…

I enjoyed the final ending – no epilogue – when the “I love yous” were said. I thought it was tooth-achingly sweet but it worked for the couple.

 

 

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Mastered Anthology Review: Ink Reunited (Montgomery Ink 0.6) by Carrie Ann Ryan

Mastered: 10 Tales of Sensual Surrender

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From the streets of New Orleans and the heat of Midnight Ink, comes the happy ever after for a character whose story was begged to be told.

Sassy Bordeaux is the Midnight Ink receptionist, honorary godmother, best friend to many, and matchmaker expert. In the past two months, she’s watched eight couples fall in love, make mistakes, and find their happy endings. Though she might have had hand in each of those, she’s yet to find the peace she’s desired. When the men from her past come into Midnight Ink, she’s forced to face what she left behind and what could happen if she lets go of her pain and finds a future she deserves.Ink Reunited

Rafe Chavez and Ian Steele remember their time with Sassy like it was yesterday, yet have worked hard to move on. Or at least try to. Now they’re both back in New Orleans for the woman they loved and for the connection they shared with each other. It will take more than the usual groveling, pleading and begging for these three to overcome their history, but once they take that step, the streets of New Orleans will never be the same.

I’m not sure how I feel about this one. Ink Reunited is the second or third book I read in the Mastered anthology and…I feel two ways about it. I enjoyed it but…it wasn’t emotionally satisfying.

When reading Ink Reunited…I had this feeling that…I had been dropped in medias res. I didn’t…feel like I was getting the full story. Everything in the book sorta reminded me that there was a lot of information about the heroine, Sassy, that I just didn’t have access to. I realize that Ink Reunited is a part of a series but it felt like a part of a series that could not stand alone. Other reviews talk about how excited they are about reading Sassy’s story…so I’m almost positive that I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the other stories set in the Midnight Ink world.
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