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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 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: 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: 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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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: Enticed (Pregnancy & Passion, #1) by Maya Banks

Enticed

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Bryony Morgan has come to New York for answers–and she won’t accept a brush-off from the father of her unborn child. She fell for wealthy hotelier Rafael de Luca when he courted her for her beachfront real estate. Then he disappeared. That’s because a crash has left Rafe with selective amnesia. But how could he ever forget a combustible beauty like Bryony? His solution to their stalemate: return to the island where they met, and relive the unforgettable nights in question–until he remembers everything….

“Top Pick! […] An extraordinarily moving romance with wonderfully charismatic protagonists.”
–RT Book Reviews on The Tycoon’s Secret Affair

ENTICED was originally published as Enticed by His Forgotten Lover

 
Enticed is the first category romance that I have read by Maya Banks. Strangely enough, Maya Banks wrote the very first menage book that I read. I guess you can say that she helped to break me into reading erotica. So when I saw Maya Banks’ name on a HQN category romance, I had to grab it.

Enticed is – at first glance – a pretty typical Harlequin Presents story: ruthless business tycoon hero and innocent, financially needy heroine. At first glance.

The biggest differences – to me – was the general lack of angst, lack of conflict and the hero’s grovelling. Which greatly changed the tone of the book for me.

Enticed begins with the hero, Luca, at a public event and suffering from amnesia. He sees a woman glaring at him so he goes to speak to her and she informs him that not only had the two been in a relationship but that he’s going to be a father. The rest of the majority of the book revolves around Luca and Bryony trying to recover Luca’s memory.

There is very little angst in Enticed until the end of the book. There is little to no conflict in the book. I have to admit that the lack of angst and conflict really…made the book slow and boring for me. I was never emotionally invested in Enticed and I can barely remember the MCs names.

Although I found Enticed boring and slow, Maya Banks’s writing is still very polished and a pleasure to read.

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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