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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.
 

 
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DNF Review: Dangerous Secrets (Dangerous #2) by Lisa Marie Rice

Dangerous Secrets

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Small-town librarian Charity Prewitt never dreamed she’d meet and fall in love with a man like Nicholas Ames. The handsome, rich, charming, sexy-as-hell millionaire blew into tiny Parker’s Ridge, Vermont, and immediately rocked her world. Powerful, sensual, the perfect man, Nick knows all the right words—and all the right spots to touch, sending her soaring to dizzying new heights of ecstatic abandon. Never before has prim and proper Charity leapt into bed with a perfect stranger—and now that she’s there with him, nothing is going to drag her away!

But Nick Ames is not who he claims to be. In truth, he is Nicholas Ireland—the one they call “Iceman.” A former Delta Force operator, now a high-level undercover agent, he will do whatever his government asks of him—lie, seduce, betray . . . even kill, if necessary—for the sake of the mission. And this time his mission is Charity Prewitt.

Suddenly one woman has broken down his chilly restraint and ignited his passions completely. And before the erotic dream turns into a nightmare, will Charity be able to melt the Iceman’s cold, cold heart?

Dangerous Secrets is the ninth (9) book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the second book in the Dangerous series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $9.99. I was already aware of the author and the series prior to joining Scribd.

I had to stop around 25% and then I skimmed the rest. This one was really hard for me because it included a trope I despise and it had a bad guy with an extremely compelling and sad backstory.

The bad guy in Dangerous Secrets, Vassily, is a broken man. He was a young, famous and idealistic writer in Russia directly after the fall of the Soviet Union. He and his beloved, a beautiful poet named Katya, were at home in bed when they were arrested by the secret police for no reason and given no trial.
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Review: Dangerous Lover (Dangerous #1) by Lisa Marie Rice

Dangerous Lover

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“I don’t want to be alone tonight.”

Caroline Lake can hardly believe she would ever say these words to someone she’d never met before. When a tall, dark stranger arrives wanting to rent a room in her beautiful empty shell of a mansion, she hesitates. Though she is in dire financial straits, the man looks dangerous—dangerously sexy. She’s overwhelmed by the desire he sparks in her—hotter than anything she’s ever felt before, making her ache to experience his sensuous touch. But who is this armed and mysterious man with danger following in his wake? He’s not who she thinks he is . . .

Jack Prescott has wanted Caroline forever. He has spent the past twelve years dreaming of her, desiring her, while fighting in some of the worst hellholes on earth. Now he’s back, with twenty million dollars in blood diamonds and a relentless enemy stalking him. But this time Jack’s determined that nothing will stop him from finally making Caroline his.

Dangerous Lover is the fifth book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the first book in the Dangerous series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $9.99. I was already aware of the author and the series prior to joining Scribd.

I am pretty well acquainted with Lisa Marie Rice and her characters/style of writing. While I can often find things about her characters/style of writing that bother me – more often than not I am interested and entertained by her work.

Which is why I’m so surprised that this one really didn’t work too well for me at all.

Dangerous Lover is the fifth (?) book I’ve read by Lisa Marie Rice and the second book I’ve read in her Dangerous series (the first was Dangerous Passion). Like the rest of her books, the hallmarks of an LMR book were all there: damsel-in-distress, wealthy but deadly hero, obsession by the hero, short time frame, dainty heroine, large hero. These I expected.

What I did not expect is the…complete lack of real relationship building or real discussion. Or the imbecilic plot-arc of the villain.
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Book Review: Dangerous Passion (Dangerous #3) by Lisa Marie Rice

Dangerous Passion

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Feelings kill faster than bullets.

That is Drake’s creed. A legend, a renegade, a ruthless, powerful enigma understood by no one and feared by all, Viktor “Drake” Drakovich heads up a billion-dollar empire—and shows no mercy to the many enemies who would stop at nothing to destroy him. He is a man with no love and no weakness, until…

Grace Larsen takes Drake’s breath away the first time he sees her—and quickly becomes his obsession. Never before has he burned for someone the way he desires this hauntingly beautiful artist who is plagued by troubling dreams. He aches to possess her, to protect her, to carry her to new heights of sensuous arousal and rapturous release.

But entering Drake’s world means becoming a target—for relentless, bloodthirsty foes have been eagerly waiting for him to expose his weak spot. And the price of their passion may be their lives.

Dangerous Passion is the third book in Lisa Marie Rice’s Dangerous series and the forth book I’ve read by her. Dangerous Passion is also the first book I read using my Scribd trial. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $1.99.

As I’ve read three Lisa Marie Rice books previously – I’m pretty familiar with her M.O. Rice’s heroes – so far – are almost all ex-military (usually some type of Special Forces) or military trained and filthy stinking rich. The heroes are also normally…very large – they are tall, they are muscular, they have big penises and big hands. They are typically very self-possessed and in control of their mind and body at all times – except when it comes to the heroine. The heroes are all obsessed about the heroines to the point of stalker-ish behavior. They are all extremely possessive of the heroines as well. Typically something in the heroes’ past makes them feel unworthy of love or “dirty” in some way – and the heroine make them feel clean again. Continue reading

Reveiw: Something About You (FBI/US Attorney #1) by Julie James

Something About You

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Fate has thrown two sworn enemies…

Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends with a death. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and for nearly ruining his career.

Into each other’s arms…

Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke; the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.

Another winner!

I decided to read Something About You after completing the fifth book in the FBI/US Attorney series, It Happened One Wedding. It Happened One Wedding just charmed me to pieces so I bought the remaining four books in the series ASAP. It was a great decision so far! I really enjoyed Something About You as well.
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Review: It Happened One Wedding by Julie James (FBI/US Attorney #5)

It Happened One Wedding

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SHE KNOWS BETTER THAN TO SAY “I DO”

After a humiliating end to her engagement, investment banker Sidney Sinclair is done with commitment-phobic men. But when her sister winds up engaged after a whirlwind courtship, she’s thrown in to close contact with exactly the kind of sexy playboy she wants to avoid—the gorgeous best man. She’s stuck with him, for better or worse, until her sister walks down the aisle, but that doesn’t mean she has to give in to his smooth advances, no matter how tempting they are…

BUT HE MAKES IT HARD TO SAY “I DON’T”

Special Agent Vaughn Roberts always gets his man on the job and his woman in bed. So Sidney’s refusal to fall for his charms only makes him more determined to win over the cool and confident redhead. Only what starts out as a battle of wills ends up as a serious play for her heart. Because the one woman who refuses to be caught may be the only one Vaughn can’t live without…

I decided I wanted to read this book after it received a Recommended Read tag by Dear Author. Once I made that decision, this book and I did a little dance for some weeks. Amazon and Barnes & Noble sell the ebook version for $5.99…but I have a Kobo. Kobo sells the ebook for $7.99. That made my itchy “buy” fingers slow down. I simply was not going to spend $2 for the privilege of buying the book from Kobo and I almost always compare prices. When you have a book buying habit like mine every penny counts. So I eyed the MMPB a few times. B&N was selling it for $7.99 but Amazon was selling it for $7.19. I stared at it a few times but didn’t buy – I wanted the ebook. Then I saw that Amazon dropped their MMPB price from $7.19 to $6.64. I bought it right away. I have no problem paying more for a paper version but I wasn’t paying $2 more for the ebook just because I own a Kobo and not a Kindle or a nook.

Anyway.

I loved this book! I’ve had a pretty good case of the cranky book fussies lately. Very little has really caught my attention long enough for me to complete a book. It’s been driving me a bit batty, lol. I finally had a chance to crack open It Happened One Wedding on a recent flight and I became seriously annoyed when people (including the suddenly talkative hubby) kept interrupting me. Yaaaay! I love a good read!
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Ravished by Amanda Quick

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From the cozy confines of a tiny seaside village to the glittering crush of a fashionable London soiree comes an enthralling tale of a thoroughly mismatched couple…poised to discover the rapture of love.

There was no doubt about it. What Miss Harriet Pomeroy needed was a man. Someone powerful and clever who could help her rout the unscrupulous thieves who were using her beloved caves to hide their loot. But when Harriet summoned Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, to her aid, she could not know that she was summoning the devil himself…

Dubbed the Beast of Blackthorne Hall for his scarred face and lecherous past, Gideon was strong and fierce and notoriously menacing. Yet Harriet could not find it in her heart to fear him. For in his tawny gaze she sensed a savage pain she longed to soothe…and a searing passion she yearned to answer. Now, caught up in the beast’s clutches, Harriet must find a way to win his heart – and evade the deadly trap of a scheming villain who would see them parted for all time.

Harriet Pomeroy is a “spinster” amateur archeologist – specializing (read: obsessed) in animal fossils. She obtains the majority of her fossils from her explorations of a series of caves located near her home. The area (including the caves) is owned and “ruled by” the Earl of Blackthorne Hall, Gideon Westbrook.

Six years prior to the start of this novel Gideon “lost” his honor – he was engaged to the local Rector’s beautiful young daughter. One day she goes to Gideon and informs him that she is pregnant. He dissolves their engagement…and she goes home and shoots herself. Everyone – including Gideon’s parents – believed that it was Gideon who “ravished” his young and beautiful fiancee who he discards once she becomes pregnant. Gideon’s honor is besmirched throughout his small hometown – he becomes known as “The Beast of Blackthorne Hall” – as well as throughout the entirety of society. He throws himself into his work (managing his family’s many estates) for the next six years, growing more and more bitter.
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