Double Review: Drawn to You and The Hooker (Books #1 and 1.5: Swanson Court Series) by Serena Grey

Title: Drawn to You Series: Book #1: Swanson Court Series Author: Serena Grey Format: Kindle Edition, 330 pages Published: December 10, 2014 by Raven Press  ASIN: B00QU63A9Q

Title: Drawn to You
Series: Book #1: Swanson Court Series
Author: Serena Grey
Format: Kindle Edition, 330 pages
Published: December 10, 2014 by Raven Press
ASIN: B00QU63A9Q

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

He thinks she’s a hooker.

She thinks she’s in love with someone else.

After one memorable night, Rachel Foster cannot stop thinking about sexy billionaire hotelier Landon Court, and the way his touch set her body on fire. But as far as she knows, she’s never going to see him again, and that’s okay, because she’d rather not risk falling for him anyway.

For Landon, one night is not enough. He wants Rachel, and he’s not prepared to back down. He always gets what he wants, and she will not be an exception.

Unable to resist her attraction to Landon, Rachel decides to give him what he wants, but on her own terms.
One week. Just sex. No commitment.

What happens when love is not allowed, but everything else is?

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

There are misunderstandings and miscommunications and then there is what happens the night Rachel Foster decides to not pay attention and randomly hits the penthouse button in the elevator. When the doors open, Rachel is dressed to the nines, totally upset and, is taken for a hooker by the totally gorgeous man standing in the penthouse. As far as Landon Court is concerned, the hooker in the elevator is not his normal fare but she’ll do and he really must talk to his brother about actually listening to him. Landon specifically said he wasn’t interested in a hooker but who turns down a woman who looks like the lady in the elevator?? No sane man, that’s for sure.

Rachel Foster certainly isn’t a hooker but her heart is broken and maybe, just maybe a night of no-strings sex is just what she needs. The lickable man in the penthouse already thinks she’s easy so, what the hell!! Two very dirty rounds of sex later neither Rachel nor Landon can feel their legs and she is ready to get the hell out of dodge. The sex was amazing but Rachel isn’t stupid. The man thinks she’s a hooker and even though he asks her to leave his number, she knows she will never see him again. Until she does. Landon Court is not used to being denied and one night with Rachel the “hooker” just isn’t enough. When you’re a billionaire, you can set things in motion to your liking and within the week, Rachel finds herself once again face-to-face with the best sex of her life on two legs.

Landon is clear from the beginning, he is interested in Rachel and wants to be with her. Rachel is also very clear, she isn’t looking for anything beyond sex and if Landon can’t stick to that rule then there is really no point in them continuing their association. Not willing to give up so easily, Landon agrees to Rachel’s terms but ups the ante. Rachel is to accompany Landon to San Francisco for one week where he will continue to oversee the refurbishment of his latest hotel and she will write the article about the refurbishment and the imminent opening of the site. Determined to keep her emotions out of the mix and just enjoy the week, Rachel packs her bags and sets off for will turn into one of the best and worst weeks of her entire life.

From the moment they set foot in San Francisco, Rachel knows she will be hard-pressed to keep her emotions in check. Landon is at once commanding yet sweet, forceful yet tender and, beautiful but with an edge. He is the perfect man in every way but Rachel is terrified of putting herself on the line yet again. Her heart is already broken so no matter how much Landon impresses her, she is absolutely unwilling to take a chance. Unfortunately, Rachel’s recent heartbreak isn’t strong enough to overpower her emotions and feelings related to Landon and when the time comes, a fresh new wave of heartache sweeps through her as she walks away from the man she loves.

For three whole days . . . .

I’m not telling you the rest, you have to read it for yourself :)

The Bottom Line: Holy sh*tballs, Batman!! Drawn to You is all kinds of sexy and emotional and I loved pretty much every minute of this read. I could go on and on about the things I really enjoyed about this book I am going to stick to the one significant factor that stood out for me. In a fine (and unusual!) twist, Serene Grey has given us a character in Landon Court who is not like all the rest. Landon is the one who wants more, from the beginning. Landon is the one who is willing to take a chance and ride the wave (and Rachel!) until it melds calmly with the rest of the ocean. Landon is the one who ultimately can’t walk away and even though he has some issues that he totally needs to work on, he is willing to do so if it means he can have Rachel. I LOVED THIS!! Usually it’s the girl pushing for more and more but not this time and I congratulate Serena Grey on offering something different!! As to the other bits and bobbles of this read: the plot is quite solid, most of the characters are quite likeable (except Rachel’s cousin, she sucks so hard!) and, the naughty bits are all kinds of panty-dropping good. By the end of this read, I found myself taken on quite the ride from the serious highs to the serious lows and everything in between. I’m not telling you how this one ends but I will tell you, I am cranky as Hell that book two isn’t ready to go yet :)

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Title: The Hooker Series: Book #1.5: Swanson Court Series Author: Serena Grey Format: Kindle Edition, 31 pages Published: December 30, 2014 by Raven Press  ASIN: B00RI0JFGK

Title: The Hooker
Series: Book #1.5: Swanson Court Series
Author: Serena Grey
Format: Kindle Edition, 31 pages
Published: December 30, 2014 by Raven Press
ASIN: B00RI0JFGK

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

One night.

One girl.

She’s a hooker.

She also the girl I can’t forget.

Who is Rachel Foster, and what do I have to do to get her back in my bed… and keep her there.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Mini-Review:

**SPOILERISH!!**

Alright, I am the first to admit that on occasion, I am flat out wrong. In this instance, I am wrong and here’s what I am wrong about. . . . .I don’t tend to enjoy reading a story a second time from a different perspective but in this instance, I thoroughly enjoyed The Hooker.

The Hooker is not a full-length novel but rather a novella that re-tells the first several chapters of Drawn to You from Landon’s perspective. This installment opens with Landon at dinner with his younger brother, Aidan discussing the merits of paying for sex rather than not. Form Aidan’s perspective, a hooker is all kinds of no-strings attached and the best thing a busy man not looking for a commitment can do for himself. Aidan is so convinced of his position that he offers Landon a hooker for his birthday. Though Landon is amused by his brother’s theory, he is no mood to entertain and politely refuses Aidan’s offer.

In a foul mood and looking for an outlet, Landon is on his way out when the elevator into his penthouse opens up. Standing there and looking as confused as he is, is a beautiful woman who is most certainly the hooker Landon expressly told his brother not to procure. With little more than the essentials dealt with, Landon avails himself of the hooker’s services and finds that after two rounds of mind-blowing sex, he must see her again, no matter the cost.

The Bottom Line: Though I likely won’t be diving into too many more retellings of a previous read, I did very much enjoy this read. This isn’t just a retelling of the first few chapters of Drawn to You, it is a totally new perspective on Landon and his state of mind in the first few chapters of Drawn to You. Not only do we get to see how frustrated and tired Landon is but we also get a bit more insight into his feelings regarding his younger brother. Finally, we also are privy to exactly how it is that Landon goes about finding his “hooker.” In all, a fine follow-up to the first full-length installment of the Swanson Court Series.

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About the author and where to find her:

Serena Grey is a bestselling author of romance. Ever since Fifty Shades of Grey and the Crossfire series, she’s had a thing for hot sexy billionaires and constantly tries to help them find happily-ever-afters in her books.

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Spotlight: Donovan #4 (Billionaire Club) by Vanessa Stone

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Title: Donovan Series: Billionaire's Club Author: Vanessa Stone

Title: Donovan
Series: Billionaire’s Club
Author: Vanessa Stone

Purple GoodreadsSynopsis:

Memphis is still upset about Donovan keeping his father’s secrets. But her anger subdues after going horseback riding together like old times. She can’t help but realize how much she’s still in love with him. When Donovan tells Memphis to meet him at the lake he never shows up because of a secret he learns from his mother. When she asks his mother where he is, she only says he went back home but won’t say why. Did Donovan decide to leave for forever?

Donovan #1: Amazon

Donovan #2: Amazon

Donovan #3: Amazon

Donovan #4: Amazon

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Once Upon an Alpha

Review: Last Call (Book #5: Cocktail Series) by Alice Clayton

Title: Last Call Series: Book #5: Cocktail Series Author: Alice Clayton Format: Paperback, 176 pages Published: January 6, 2015 by Gallery Books  ISBN: 1476766762

Title: Last Call
Series: Book #5: Cocktail Series
Author: Alice Clayton
Format: Paperback, 176 pages
Published: January 6, 2015 by Gallery Books
ISBN: 1476766762

Purple GoodreadsSynopsis:

Simon and Caroline are back for another round of baking, banging, and big life changes. Settling in, but never settling down, Caroline has finally struck a balance between the professional and the personal. As one of the top interior designers in San Francisco, she travels all over Northern California between nook time with Simon.  Perpetual globetrotter Simon has cut his frequent flyer miles in half over the last year, preferring to balance his professional and personal life, as well.  The next step in their lives seems preordained—toasts, veils, and the aisle of rose petals. But when an accident on a photo shoot in Southeast Asia brings Caroline the most terrifying phone call she could ever imagine, she has to ask whether “till death do us part” is a more realistic prospect than faces most couples.  It’s been a grand adventure, and Caroline and Simon wouldn’t go out without the best surprise ending ever. One part sexy, one part laughter, a dash of exotic locales, and one pink nightie, mixed with passion, and you’ve got Last Call. Served with a side of Clive.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end and the end of the Cocktail series has arrived. On one hand, I am very sad to see this fantastic series come to an end yet on the other hand, I am glad to see the series come to an end before it becomes played out and stale. Last Call is one of the best endings to a series that I have encountered in a very long time. Clayton has done absolutely everything necessary to give her characters (and fans!) the ending they all deserve.

Over the course of the series we have followed Caroline and Simon (aka Wallbanger) through the ups and downs of their relationship, through the ups and downs of life and, through the disappearance and reappearance of one smug little cat. Last Call finds Caroline and Simon at the wedding of one of their best friends and facing the same question over and over from nearly everyone. When are they going to take the plunge and join the ranks of the blissfully wedded. Though Caroline is somewhat freaked out by the concept of marriage, Simon is not and soon, Caroline is sporting her own engagement ring.

Before long the wedding planning is in full swing and the closer they get to the date the more stressed out each becomes. Between Caroline’s mother and the tiny dynamo professional organizer known as Mimi, the wedding has become over the top and beyond what both Caroline and Simon originally wanted. With just a few week left before their big day, Simon leaves everything in Caroline’s capable hands and jets off to Southeast Asia for a photo shoot. Just one more job before the wedding and honeymoon.

In a most unusual and unexpected turn of events, Clayton throws a HUGELY GINORMOUS monkey wrench into Simon and Caroline’s lives. When the phone call comes in, Caroline is devastated, terrified and, absolutely desperate to get to Simon. Getting to Southeast Asia in as little time as possible seems to take all the time in the world and once she arrives, Caroline isn’t sure her happy future is going to happen at all. Oh, there is certainly going to be a future but with the condition Simon is in the quality of that future is in serious question.

The Bottom Line: Though Clayton throws some serious curveballs into this final read, they make total sense to the plot line, the characters and, the series. Simon and Caroline have faced some obstacles in their past but they have faced nothing like they do in Last Call. I have the greatest respect for Clayton and her decision to throw such a huge obstacle in the path of such beloved characters. The struggle brings Caroline and Simon closer together and in the end, it brings them to a moment that has been a long time coming and is so well deserved. Very often fans are left completely disappointed by a series’ end but in this case, I found myself not only completely satisfied but totally and completely thrilled with how the Cocktail series has ended. Well played Alice Clayton, well played. 

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About the author and where to find her:

Alice ClaytonALICE CLAYTON worked in the cosmetics industry for over a decade before picking up a pen (read laptop).  She enjoys gardening but not weeding, baking but not cleaning up, and finally convinced her long-time boyfriend to marry her.  Now, about that Bernese Mountain dog.

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Spotlight and Sweepstakes: His to Take (Book #9: Wicked Lovers Series) by Shayla Black

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Title: His to Take Series: Book #9: Wicked Lovers Series Author: Shayla Black Format: ebook, 400 pages Published: March 3, 2015 by Berkley Heat  ISBN: 069814029X

Title: His to Take
Series: Book #9: Wicked Lovers Series
Author: Shayla Black
Format: ebook, 400 pages
Published: March 3, 2015 by Berkley Heat
ISBN: 069814029X

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Racing against time, NSA Agent Joaquin Muñoz is searching for a little girl who vanished twenty years ago with a dangerous secret. Since Bailey Benson fits the profile, Joaquin abducts the beauty and whisks her to the safety of Club Dominion—before anyone can silence her for good.  At first, Bailey is terrified, but when her captor demands information about her past, she’s stunned. Are her horrific visions actually distant memories that imperil all she holds dear? Confined with Joaquin in a place that echoes with moans and breathes passion, he proves himself a fierce protector, as well as a sensual Master who’s slowly crawling deeper in her head…and heart. But giving in to him might be the most delicious danger of all.  Because Bailey soon learns that her past isn’t the only mystery. Joaquin has a secret of his own—a burning vengeance in his soul. The exposed truth leaves her vulnerable and wondering how much about the man she loves is a lie, how much more is at risk than her heart. And if she can trust him to protect her long enough to learn the truth.

HisToTakeTease2

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About the author and where to find her:

Shayla BlackYou know what they say about curiosity and the cat…but if you still want to know, read below.

Shayla Black (aka Shelley Bradley) is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 40 sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances produced via traditional, small press, independent, and audio publishing. She lives in Texas with her husband, munchkin, and one very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading and listening to an eclectic blend of music.  Shayla’s books have been translated in about a dozen languages. She has also received or been nominated for The Passionate Plume, The Holt Medallion, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and the National Reader’s Choice Awards. RT Bookclub has twice nominated her for Best Erotic Romance of the year, as well as awarded her several Top Picks, and a KISS Hero Award.  A writing risk-taker, Shayla enjoys tackling writing challenges with every new book.

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Review: The Jeweler by Beck Anderson

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Title: The Jeweler Author: Beck Anderson Age/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Format: ebook, 1st, 208 pages Published: October 28, 2014 by Omnific Publishing   ISBN: 1623421446

Title: The Jeweler
Author: Beck Anderson
Age/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: ebook, 1st, 208 pages
Published: October 28, 2014 by Omnific Publishing
ISBN: 1623421446

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Fender Barnes profits from an institution he doesn’t believe in: marriage. He’s a talented designer, but a reluctant jewelry store owner, thanks to his pop’s retirement. He’s cynical, he’s jaded, he’s not entirely certain about the concept of love, but he’s happy to sell an eager young guy an engagement ring for his fiancée to be—until moments after the transaction when that eager guy is hit by a car and killed, and Fender’s conscience pays a rare visit.

He retrieves the ring and decides to find the woman his customer intended to marry. That woman turns out to be Ginger Stevens, twenty-something ski instructor, who—despite being full of guilt and self-doubt after the death of her boyfriend—is someone Fender finds he quite enjoys being around. He’s smitten.

Which is all well and good, except that after he meets her, Fender can’t do it. Though it’s right there in his pocket, he can’t tell her about the ring. Instead, he embarks on a long, ridiculous quest to find a way to tell her the truth he knows she deserves. Aided by advice from Pop and the antics of his best friend Sam, Fender tries desperately to juggle his budding romance with the reality he knows could ruin it.

Will he find love or foul it up? Can Ginger move out of the past to embrace what the future has to offer? Meet this unlikely pair in Beck Anderson’s heartfelt and fabulously funny second novel, The Jeweler.

Source: Author

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review:

Fender Barnes spends his days enabling those lost in love. Couple after couple comes into his jewelry store buying and enhancing love in the form of diamonds in platinum settings. With the divorce rate being what it is, Fender has very little respect for love and even less for the institution of marriage but he has to pay the bills and so he continues to enable the fools in love. Case in point, the guy who comes in right at closing time to buy an engagement for his girlfriend. The guy is intent on buying “the perfect” ring and thus ensuring a happily ever after and Fender is intent in dumping a custom ring that was never claimed. Though Fender gets his way, the man does not for seconds after leaving the jewelry store, the man is struck down on the sidewalk by a car.

For months following the death of her boyfriend, Ginger Stevens has struggled to get back on her feet. Though she misses her boyfriend, part of the struggle comes from facing the fact that he may not have been her forever man. Ginger is somewhat of a free spirit with a love of skiing, skate boarding and, nature. For the time she was with her boyfriend, Ginger often gave into his desires for her life and abandoned some of the things she loved in favor of her relationship. With his death, Ginger has slowly begun to reclaim her life and some of the reclamation includes working as a ski instructor. On the mountain, Ginger can not only support herself but indulge in two of the things she loves most, nature and skiing. Her clients range from dynamic and fearless kids to free-wheeling blue hairs who love to spend the day with Ginger as much as on the slopes.

Convinced he should give Ginger the engagement ring that was meant for her, Fender arranges a private ski lesson and quickly figures out two things, he actually likes Ginger and, he is a terrible skier. Braking Ginger’s heart is the last thing Fender wants to do and with every encounter, he falls a little more in like with her and finds yet another excuse not to give her the ring. As the weeks drag on, Ginger becomes increasingly more interested in Fender but knows he is hiding something. When the truth finally comes out, Ginger has to not only deal with the knowledge that she was more than just a girlfriend, the harsh reality of what her answer to “Will you marry me?” would have been and, her now totally confused feelings for Fender.

The Bottom Line: The Jeweler is Anderson’s second novel and like her first, I found it to be a decent though not overly exciting read. Ginger is not necessarily broken by the loss of her boyfriend but more by the truth of her feelings for him. She feels guilty over her true feelings and liking Fender only enhances her guilt. Fender is basically a lost soul with no belief in love until he meets Ginger but he meets her under false pretenses and out of fear of losing her, waits far too long to tell her about the ring. Like Fix You, The Jeweler is a sweet love story that holds very few surprises. With that being said, this sweet, heartfelt romance will appeal to lovers of the genre and fans of HEAs.

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About the author and where to find her:

Beck Anderson loves to write about love and its power to heal and grow people past their many imperfections. She is a firm believer in the phrase “mistakes are for learning” and uses it frequently to guide her in writing life and real life.  Beck balances (clumsily at best) writing novels and screenplays, working full-time as an educator, mothering two pre-teen males, loving one post-40 husband, and making time to walk the foothills of Boise, Idaho, with Stefano DiMera Delfino Anderson, the suavest Chihuahua north of the border.

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Excerpt and Sweepstakes: The Mathews Family Series by Beverly Preston

MATHEWS RELEASE DAY

 

Beverly Preston writes the perfect romance hero: sexy-as-hell good guys, the kind you want to screw your brains out and put a ring on your finger.” Sinfully sexy, emotionally rich contemporary romance series! Stunning love stories set in exotic destinations such as Bora Bora, Greece, Italy and more. Laugh, cry and fall in love with The Mathews Family one Happily Ever After at a time: with a Hollywood A-list actor, a sexy contractor, an Italian winemaker, and a dream-come-true architect.

 MATHEWS TEASERExcerpt:

Seconds after hearing the click of the front door shutting, his mouth was at her ear. His fingers slipped beneath the straps on her shoulder, lifting the dress above her head and tossing it on the end of the bed.

Spikes of sensual energy gathered between them. Reed nuzzled the rasp of his stubble into the sensitive spot on her neck and her skin came to life beneath his firm yet gentle touch. Tremors chased down her spine and desire ached between her thighs. Never in her life had JC been so completely in tune with the bodily forces filling her physically and emotionally.

A slight giggle dissolved into a soft gasp as one arm crossed beneath her breast, pulling her closer. Gooseflesh covered her body as his lips traversed the slope of her neck and shoulder, revisiting receptive areas he’d pursued the night before.

“I don’t understand,” she murmured. Reed pressed the shape of him, rearing and stiff, against the small of her back. Her head listed back against his chest, followed a soft ambiguous cry of need. “How do you do that to me?”

He turned her to face him, cupping the tender curve of her breast. “Darlin’, in few minutes, you’re not gonna give a damn.”

Heat.

Heat spread everywhere, engulfing her senses in flames of desire. Draping her wrists over his shoulder, she raised on her tippy-toes, searching for his lips. Reed resisted her fervent urges, pulling back, not allowing her the passionate kiss she yearned for. He stared into her eyes, capturing her spirit with his ice blue eyes. Zings of pleasure chased though her and JC feared she might melt before they even started.

Unspoken words drifted between them.

Reed’s unconditional acceptance disarmed her. He accepted her commitment phobias, occasional neurotic tendencies, her fears of love, her mishaps in life and bad judgments. He understood her implicitly and appreciated her exactly as she was.

Her heart pounded. Excitement and nervousness mingled through her emotions. Her eyes drifted shut as she leaned into his chest and his hands played over her slowly, tortuously igniting a new passion within. She quivered and stumbled, falling onto the chaise behind her.

He started toward her hungrily, but she shook her head.

“No?” he asked with a questioning grin.

“No.” She shook her head again. “This isn’t exactly how I pictured this. You make me too damn nervous.” She pointed toward the bathroom. “Can you please give me two minutes?”

He bent, securing her to the hide with his thigh between her legs, possessing her mouth with long, intimate licks of his tongue. “I’ll give you three,” he assured, releasing her from his kiss and sauntering into the bathroom.

JC leapt to her feet, pacing in circles in nothing more than her white cheeky panties. “What the hell is wrong with me?” Stopping midstride, she shook out her trembling limbs. “You can do this! Pull yourself together.”

She took a few deep breaths, trying to ward off the tension looming close the surface of her thoughts. Her limbs felt weighted and encumbering, restricting her body from its natural rhythmic flow of sensual language. He’s just a man. I’ve kissed dozens of men! You’ve already had sex with him. Don’t be chicken!

She bent over, tousling her hair through her fingers and flipped her head back, letting the long caramel layers cascade down her back in sexy loose pieces.

JC plopped onto the chaise, strumming her fingers on the hide. Yeah, but damn what a man!

Nestling back into the hide, she draped her hands above her head. Unable to find the right position, she fidgeted awkwardly. “This is not comfortable,” she grumbled. “Oh, my God. What is wrong with me?”

Irritated by her own anxiety and gracelessness, she flopped to the opposite end of the chaise. Her long legs and feet dangled over the arched back and her head hung over the foot of the lounge.

Sunbeams pushing through the glass door swept across her body. Her eyes drifted shut and she drew in a deep, full breath of air and then another. The scent of his skin lingered with the warmth of the sun, caressing her senses and calming her nerves.

She startled when Reed gently placed his hand on the outside of her thigh. His naked hip brushed against her skin when he sat beside her. Her eyes remained closed as the coolness from his hand slid along her waist to her breast, resting on top of her heart.

“I know…” she panted breathily. JC placed her hand over his. “Just feel you in here.”

“That’s right, darlin’”

“I don’t know why you make me so nervous.”

“Just relax.”

Feeling his avid stare burning through closed lids and the weight of his hand dip to her breast, she slipped her tongue across her lips sensually.

“You make me nervous too,”—his breath fractured—“JC.”

Her eyes opened when he called her by name.

“We’ll figure it out together.”

Feelings of passion and adoration flourished, stringing tightly around her heart. She nodded.

“Goddess,” he hummed, wiggling his brow. The back of his hand traced lazily over her jaw and earlobe. He leaned closer, nearly kissing her before halting. “You’re beautiful. Inside and out.”

mathews family box set

Meet the men of The Mathews Family in this sexy, romantic box set!

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About the author and where to find her:

BEVERLY PRESTON#1 Bestselling Author, Beverly Preston has been a stay at home mom for 21 years, although she prefers the title Domestic Engineer. Along the way, Beverly worked side by side with her husband Don, the love of her life, designing, building and selling custom homes. As her children begin to venture out on their own, she’s left to shed a tear—for a minute—wonder what’s next in life, and embrace the feeling of empowerment that surely must’ve been wrapped in a present she received on her fortieth birthday. If Beverly isn’t at home riding her spin bike, you’ll find her spinning richly emotional and sinfully sexy romance stories.

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Review: Fix You by Beck Anderson

Title: Fix You Author: Beck Anderson Age/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance Format: Paperback, 1st, 258 pages Published: September 17, 2013 by Omnific Publishing  ISBN: 1623420474

Title: Fix You
Author: Beck Anderson
Age/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback, 1st, 258 pages
Published: September 17, 2013 by Omnific Publishing
ISBN: 1623420474

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

When Kelly Reynolds’s husband died, he left her—the awkward, cautious one—to raise their two young boys. She’s pieced herself back together, barely. Now she takes refuge in her routine: running her kids around and running the trails near her Idaho home.

Two years after her husband’s death, a chance encounter on a run brings Andrew into her life. But Andrew is Andy Pettigrew, the Andy Pettigrew, famous actor. Kelly hates risk, and a love affair with Andrew is certainly tempting fate. She doesn’t fit into his Hollywood world. She doesn’t own a pair of Louboutins, and she couldn’t walk five paces in them if she did. Andrew oozes cool. She reeks of dork.

But despite this, they click. It may be inexplicable, but it works. However, it’s also becoming clear that Andrew struggles with the pressures of his fame. Kelly’s hold on a so-called normal life is already tenuous, and as much as she might want to indulge the fantasy, she doesn’t know how either of them is supposed to cope with stalkerazzi and tweet-happy fans with camera phones. She and Andrew both have secrets that seem impossible to keep.

Beck Anderson’s witty, engaging writing yields an emotional tale of love, loss, and all the little things that make up a life. In the end, what is it that really holds us together? Kelly must decide if love can fix two people who might be broken beyond repair.

Source: Author

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review:

There is a large portion of the population that has what Mr. RoloPolo and I affectionately refer to as the “Freebie List.” For those of you who don’t know what a Freebie List is, it’s the list of celebrities we get to run away and sleep with the moment they knock on out front door. Don’t judge, you know you have one too :)

For Kelly Reynolds, if there ever was a Freebie List, it and its playfulness died two years ago with her beloved husband, Peter. For two very, very long years Kelly has done the best she can do every day to survive. Her two young sons, Beau and Hunter have gone a long way to help heal her wounds but a love taken too soon is hard to just get over. In an effort to save herself and her sanity, Kelly takes up running and it is on one of those early morning runs that Kelly runs into a man that is on many women’s Freebie List.

Andrew Pettigrew is handsome, charming and, one of Hollywood’s hottest commodities. He is internationally known, often chased by the paparazzi and, has a past that often comes back to bite him on the butt. As long as Andrew is busy, life is good and the demons can be held at bay. Turns out, a widowed mother of two who enjoys a good morning run and hot tea can also help hold the demons at bay. From the moment he meet Kelly Reynolds, Andrew is taken with her. With little to no thought about the absurdity of their situation, Andrew pursues Kelly with every intention of making her his own.

Being the girlfriend of a celebrity is no easy task what with the keeping it a secret, trying to make time to see one another and, dealing with all of the media that often includes your boyfriend with other women. To be fair, Kelly comes with her own baggage but being with Andrew is helping her work through some of those issues. For several months, Kelly and Andrew make things work but before either can even begin to think about an HEA, things fall apart in a very spectacular and public way. Andrew’s demons come back in full, ugly force and rather than stand beside Andrew, Kelly allows her own demons to control her life and her feelings and she runs from the thing she wants the most.

The Bottom Line: Fix You is a sweet love story about two very broken people doing their best to keep themselves and their lives together. From the beginning, Kelly is a hot mess who is, at times just barely hanging on. Andrew is much the same but with a much greater capacity for hiding how truly broken he really is. That the two would find one another and ultimately be able to find happiness is pretty astounding given what each has been through and carries with them on a daily basis. From beginning to end, there aren’t really any big surprises or plot twists but that’s OK. At the end of the day, Fix You is a simple romance about two people from very different worlds who find acceptance, forgiveness and, healing through love.

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About the author and where to find her:

Beck Anderson loves to write about love and its power to heal and grow people past their many imperfections. She is a firm believer in the phrase “mistakes are for learning” and uses it frequently to guide her in writing life and real life.  Beck balances (clumsily at best) writing novels and screenplays, working full-time as an educator, mothering two pre-teen males, loving one post-40 husband, and making time to walk the foothills of Boise, Idaho, with Stefano DiMera Delfino Anderson, the suavest Chihuahua north of the border.

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Excerpt: Taz (G-Man Series) by Andrea Smith

 

Title: Taz Series: G-Man Series Author: Andrea Smith Expected publication: March 31, 2015

Title: Taz
Series: G-Man Series
Author: Andrea Smith
Expected publication: March 31, 2015

Purple GoodreadsSynopsis:

Taz: My life is finally perfect. My dreams have all come true. I’m where I want to be with the bureau; having the career I’ve been planning since I did my stint in the military. I’m married to the one and only woman I’ve ever loved; my heart beats for her alone. Together we’ve made beautiful babies that I adore. I’m thirty-three years old and I’m complete.  Then one day, it all changes. Slate recruits me for a temporary assignment that is underneath the radar for a reason. The bureau hasn’t sanctioned it as a priority, but Slate feels it is because of who is involved: Sue Ellen Reynard. Yeah, remember her?

Lindsey: Our lives were perfect. Taz and I had everything we’d ever hoped for: family, careers and an everlasting devotion to one another. Suddenly nothing is the same. In a single moment, my biggest fear is realized by one phone call from Slate: an ‘agent is missing’.  My agent; my Taz . . .

This is just the beginning of our long journey. Will things ever be the same again?

taz 1

 Excerpt from Taz (G-Man Series):  

Lindsey:  I took a shower and dressed for bed. Part of me hoped that Taz would tap on my door and suggest we continue what we’d started earlier, but the other part of me prayed he wouldn’t.

What would that serve?

I crawled into our huge bed and, for some reason, it felt emptier than it had over the past couple of months.

I tossed and turned for a few minutes, punching my pillow several times to get it just right and then squeezing my eyes shut, trying to force sleep to descend upon me.

As if that would erase the vision of my husband’s face, his eyes closed, calling Talia “baby girl” as she fucked him, that had now become etched in my brain.

Fuck that bitch!

He was my husband!

He was my lover!

His cock belonged to me, not her. By denying him what I desperately wanted every bit as much as he did, I was allowing that bitch to fuck me over!

I am not a weak person.

It’s time I claim what’s always been mine.

I threw the covers off of me and traipsed down the carpeted hallway to his room, not bothering to knock on the door.

I caught him by surprise as I threw the door open, and saw him standing in front of the tall dresser, rooting around for something to wear. He was fresh out of the shower; a white towel slung low on his hips.

He turned around as he heard my intrusion. I didn’t pause in my mission, making my intent perfectly clear as I closed the distance between us, and with quick swipe of my hand, yanked the towel from his body.

I didn’t miss the quirk of his brow as my eyes perused his body, loving every inch of it, and knowing it was meant for my enjoyment alone. It was my playground; my turf, and I sure as hell was claiming it again.

“Lindsey?”

“On the bed, Taz,” I said, meaning business. “I’m the only one that rides your cock.”

A slow, sexy smile graced his lips The rugged appearance he now rocked as a result of his beard and dark, spiky hair caused me to take a deep breath as his arms reached for me.

taz 3

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About the author and where to find her:

andrea smithI was born and raised in southern Ohio, and with the exception of a brief stint in Dallas, TX, have been an Ohioan most of my life. My dream has always been to write a novel, and back in the early eighties I tried to do just that, having been influenced by authors such as Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Rosemary Rogers and Laurie McBain. I remember writing to all of them through their listed publishers, and the only response I received was from Johanna Lindsey (who lived in Hawaii at the time.  Ms. Lindsey advised me to continue with my dream; and to submit to various publishers again and again. Of course, at that time, publishing e-books yourself was not on the horizon; there were vanity publishing houses of course, but she advised me to avoid those.  So my dream was put on the back-burner for more than 25 years until June of 2012 when suddenly I no longer had a reason not to write a novel. My sons were grown; I found myself without a career (blessedly) and the creative juices flowed once again.  I finished my first novel, “Maybe Baby” in September of 2012; the next two books in the “Baby Series” titled “Baby Love” and “Be My Baby” were published in early 2013. I learned a lot in my first endeavor with self-publishing. I’ve made so many friends as a result that it is over-whelming.  In the spring of 2013, I had an idea for a different type of Alpha, and wrote Book #1 of the “G-Man” Series, titled “Diamond Girl.” This book was well-received, and I followed it with Book #2, “Love Plus One.” These are stand-alone books.  I am finally doing what I love and I sincerely appreciate the wonderful readers who provide feedback and take the time to comment. I hope that with each book, my writing has grown and improved as I strive to publish quality fiction.

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Review: The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland

Title: The Passion of Artemisia Author: Susan Vreeland Format: Paperback, 352 pages Published; January 2003 by Penguin Books   ISBN: 0142001821

Title: The Passion of Artemisia
Author: Susan Vreeland
Format: Paperback, 352 pages
Published; January 2003 by Penguin Books
ISBN: 0142001821

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Recently rediscovered by art historians, and one of the few female post-Renaissance painters to achieve fame during her own era, Artemisia Gentileschi led a remarkably “modern” life. Susan Vreeland tells Artemisia’s captivating story, beginning with her public humiliation in a rape trial at the age of eighteen, and continuing through her father’s betrayal, her marriage of convenience, motherhood, and growing fame as an artist. Set against the glorious backdrops of Rome, Florence, Genoa, and Naples, inhabited by historical characters such as Galileo and Cosimo de’ Medici II, and filled with rich details about life as a seventeenth-century painter, Vreeland creates an inspiring story about one woman’s lifelong struggle to reconcile career and family, passion and genius.

Title: Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting Artist: Artemisia Gentileschi Medium/date: oil, 1630s Image source: Wikipedia

Title: Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting
Artist: Artemisia Gentileschi
Medium/date: oil, 1630s
Image source: Wikipedia

Source:  Purchase

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

As some of you know, I am an Art Historian in my “real” life and one of my favorite genres is historical fiction related to art and artists. Susan Vreeland is hands-down one of my favorite authors and when she wrote The Passion of Artemisia, she found a fan for life in me. I hate being asked who my favorite artist is because I could never, ever choose just one but I do have a top twenty-ish list and Artemisia Gentileschi has been near the top of that list for many, many years.

Artemisia Gentileschi was a woman far, far ahead of her time and her place and despite the all of the significant odds against her, she was able to succeed in a time and place when women were little more than property. Artemisia was born to paint and from an early age her father trained her in order to enhance her own innate talent. Intent on being a painter for the rest of her life, Artemisia’s path was set until the moment she was raped by one her father’s colleagues. For more than a year, Artemisia endured a very public trial to determine her guilt or innocence. Yes, you read that correctly, her guilt or innocence was on trial, not her rapist’s. For all intents and purposes, the allegation alone was enough to taint Artemisia and her reputation for life. By all accounts, Artemisia didn’t allow the rape nor the trial to defeat her but to empower her and inform her art for the rest of her life.

Along with her trial, history also tells us that Artemisia did things that no woman before her ever had. First and foremost among her accomplishments was being the first woman admitted to the prestigious Florentine Academy. Following her admittance to the Academy, Artemisia spent her time and her life in the service of her patrons. From Rome to Florence to Venice to Naples and, to England, Artemisia worked for some Europe’s most important citizens including the Medici Family and the King of England. She tended toward large canvases featuring strong, determined and completely capable women as seen through the eyes of and interpreted by a woman who refused to be known as a victim but rather as a preeminent painter.

The Bottom Line: This is my second reading of Vreeland’s Passion of Artemisia and as with the first reading, I was simply blown away. Vreeland has a singular ability to bring history to life. Vreeland takes the historical information that remains and turns it into a living, breathing human being, an individual whose impact on the world of art is nothing short of significant. Reading Vreeland’s account of Artemisia’s life reminds me of the fact that nothing is impossible!! Artemisia survived an unspeakable horror and rather than allowing that event to define her life, she rose above all that was done to her and succeeded in a way that no woman before her ever had. If her accomplishments during her own lifetime weren’t enough – and they certainly were – Vreeland’s accounting in this modern age is finely crafted reminder of what genius looks like.

Title: Judith Slaying Holofernes Artist: Artemisia Gentileschi Medium/date: oil, 1611-1612 Image source: Wikipedia

Title: Judith Slaying Holofernes
Artist: Artemisia Gentileschi
Medium/date: oil, 1611-1612
Image source: Wikipedia

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About the author and where to find her:

Susan VreelandSusan Vreeland is an internationally renowned best-selling author and four-time winner of the Theodor Geisel Award for Fiction, the San Diego Book Award’s highest honor. She is known for writing historical fiction on art-related themes, including Girl in Hyacinth Blue, The Passion of Artemisia, Luncheon of the Boating Party, and Clara and Mr. Tiffany. Her books have been translated into 26 languages. She lives in San Diego, California.

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Spotlight and Sweepstakes: Left to Forever by Roe Valentine

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Title: Left to Forever Author: Roe Valentine Second Edition Published: February 24, 2015 by Chart House Press

Title: Left to Forever
Author: Roe Valentine
Second Edition
Published: February 24, 2015 by Chart House Press

Purple Goodreads Synopsis:

Realist Dr. Carla Harris believes that people create their own fate through hard work and careful planning. She believes in playing things safe. But, while preparing for her upcoming nuptials, she’s forced to confront the most reckless thing she’s ever done…her estranged husband, Jacob.  Idealist Jacob Moreau believes in soul mates as much as he believes in saving endangered companies. When his long lost wife reenters his life seeking a divorce, he is convinced more than ever they are meant to be together. And he will do—and lose—anything to have her again.  She thought she had her life planned to perfection. He thought they made perfect sense together.  Would marrying Jacob be the craziest thing she’s ever done, or divorcing him?

Note – LEFT TO FOREVER is a re-publishing of ALMOST MARRIED.
Note – Contains explicit content. Intended for readers over 18 years old.

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About the author and where to find her:

roeRoe Valentine was born into the right family. Not only does the name Valentine suit her, but her grandmother, unknowingly, introduced the young Ms. Valentine to her first romance novel. She hasn’t read anything else since. She calls herself a romantic at heart and believes that love conquerors all.  The San Antonio native, who now lives in Houston, attempted to write her first contemporary romance novel when she was nineteen years old. That attempt didn’t take, but her story has a happy ending. She kept pursuing the dream until she landed her first publishing contract in 2013. When not busy writing or reading love stories, Roe can often be found in a yoga class or chatting with friends at her favorite coffee shop. Enjoying margaritas with some girl-talk isn’t unusual for her either. For a night in, she watches reruns of her favorite TV shows and, of course, romantic comedies on her Roku, usually with a glass of wine.

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