Review: A Scandalous Secret (Book #2.5: Scandalous Series) by Ava Stone

Title: A Scandalous Secret Series: Book #2.5: Scandalous Series Author: Ava Stone Format: Kindle Edition, 46 pages Published: August 4, 2011 by Night Shift Publishing  ASIN: 9781466023

Title: A Scandalous Secret
Series: Book #2.5: Scandalous Series
Author: Ava Stone
Format: Kindle Edition, 46 pages
Published: August 4, 2011 by Night Shift Publishing
ASIN: 9781466023

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Chester Peyton, the Marquess of Astwick, has never forgotten his first love. Nor has he ever gotten over her. But now thirteen years later, time has come for him to finally settle down and do his duty as far as both his title and his dragon of a mother are concerned. Everything would be so much easier if Chet’s heart didn’t still belong to the enchanting Scot he gave it to once upon a time.

After following her late-husband’s regiment from one end of the continent to the other, Lady Hannah Campbell returns to London a very different woman than the naïve lass she once was. With her two sons in tow, she now has to navigate the waters of the ton, which seem more foreign than the lands she has traversed the last dozen years. And all the while, she has to keep hidden the scandalous secret that made her flee England so very ago.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Mini-Review:

Chester (Chet) Peyton, Marquess of Astwick has three problems: 1) his meddling mother; 2) his need to marry and; 3) the memory of his first love.

Lady Hannah Campbell has three problems: 1) she is now a widow with two small boys; 2) she is back in England and; 3) the memory of her first love.

Hannah’s return to England is something she thought would never happen and something she is not at all comfortable with. The last time Hannah was in England she was a young woman whose heart and dreams had just been shattered by the man she loved. With no hope of reconciliation, Hannah salvages what is left of her pride and accepts the marriage proposal of Lord Campbell. For ten years Hannah followed her husband back and forth across the continent but after his death she had no choice but to return to her family in England. Within days of her arrival, Hannah is face to face with the one man she thought never to see again.

Chet has spent ten long years comparing every woman he meets to Hannah and none have ever come close to his lost love. The moment Chet sees Hannah again during an “accidental” encounter, every feeling he has harbored comes rushing back and he decides that this time, nothing will stand in his way of having Hannah. No matter what he has to do, Hannah Campbell and her boys are his! But first, Chet and Hannah need to clear the air.

The Bottom Line: A Scandalous Secret is quite the introduction to Ava Stone and her brand of historical fiction. This read has a little bit of everything including a long, lost love romance, total misunderstandings and, secrets that were never meant to see the light of day. As this is only a novella length read, everything plays out very quickly. With that being said, my only real complaint about this read is its length. Though everything plays out in a believable way, I would have very much liked to see Hannah’s story be extended to a full length novel. Hannah is a strong and immensely likeable character as is the Vicountess Staveley, the woman responsible for Chet and Hannah’s “accidental” reunion. A little more of each of these women would certainly not have gone unappreciated.

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Review: A Scandalous Charade (Book #2: Scandalous Series) by Ava Stone

Title: A Scandalous Charade Series: Book #2: Scandalous Series Author: Ava Stone Format: Kindle Edition, 257 pages Published: January 27, 2011 by Night Shift Publishing  ASIN: B004L62JKS

Title: A Scandalous Charade
Series: Book #2: Scandalous Series
Author: Ava Stone
Format: Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Published: January 27, 2011 by Night Shift Publishing
ASIN: B004L62JKS

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

Handsome ladies’ man Lucas Beckford has agreed to help his friend, an impoverished baron, win the affections of an icy heiress. It should be a simple task, especially for a seducer of his reputation. However when Luke catches sight of the enchanting lady, he is captivated with her pretty brown eyes, quick wit, and sharp tongue; and his desire to see his friend marry the girl quickly evaporates. Now he just has to find a way to convince the penniless lord to turn his attentions elsewhere—leaving the Ice Princess to him.

Lady Juliet St. Claire has always believed that her fortune would protect her from ever having to relinquish her freedom in marriage. Though fortune hunters endlessly hound her, Juliet’s outwardly cold demeanor keeps most of them at bay, licking their wounds or patching up their pride. However when Luke charms his way into her life, he easily melts more than just her heart. Unfortunately, the rogue is of the love ‘em and leave ‘em variety, and leaves Juliet’s tender heart in pieces. But when her fortune lands her in danger from an unscrupulous foe, Luke returns to her side, offering his help and protection. Now Juliet has to decide if her heart is strong enough to trust the rogue a second time.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

Round two of Ava Stone’s Scandalous Series is an even better read than the first!! A Scandalous Charade follows Lucas Beckford, infamous ladies’ man and confirmed bachelor. Luke has spent the vast majority of his life chasing tail, drinking, gambling and, generally enjoying every second of his life. Luke is wealthy, gorgeous and, has no intention of ever changing his ways.

Lady Juliet St. Claire is, without doubt one of the most sought after women in English society. She is beautiful and wealthy beyond belief and has always felt her money will be the thing to protect her from the wretched state of marriage. Lady Juliet has never seen a successful nor happy marriage and as such has no desire to give up her independence and engage in such nonsense. With the start of the new social season, Lady Juliet is quickly seeing the flaw in her plan. With her money and her beauty she is constantly being accosted by fortune-seeking “gentlemen” looking to wed and bed the young lady and take control of her considerable fortune. In her determination to avoid romantic entanglements, Lady Juliet has developed the reputation of being cold and impenetrable – a reputation she both despises and holds dear.

When Luke Beckford meets Lady Juliet St Claire everything in his world turns upside down! Juliet is all Luke could ever hope to have in a woman and most disturbingly, with very little effort at all, she has Luke considering things like commitment and monogamy. Dismissing these horrifying thoughts, Luke hatches a plan that will get him closer to Juliet and keep the wolves at bay. Startlingly, Juliet not only accepts Luke’s proposition but jumps at the chance to spend more time with the dashing Luke Beckford. Night after night, Luke and Juliet spin around dance floors and chat with friends and family in an effort to convince all they are a true couple. Within just a few nights all of English society is buzzing and both Luke and Juliet are mostly thrilled with their arrangement.

If emotions weren’t a part of life, Juliet and Luke may have been able to pull off their perfectly plotted plan. The more time each spends with the other, the deeper each falls for the other. Juliet is willing to accept her feelings and move forward with Luke but Luke is a coward and completely ill-prepared to deal with something like feelings. As one would expect from a somewhat reformed playboy, Luke totally and completely freaks out and leaves Juliet with her head spinning and her virtue no longer intact. As if to add insult to injury, Juliet’s estranged family rears their collective and ugly head and add a considerable amount of danger to Juliet’s already devastating life. With few choices and her life in danger, Juliet also pulls a runner.

The Bottom Line: Lady Juliet and Luke Beckford are absolutely, 100% made for one another but their road to an HEA is disturbingly difficult. Luke is perhaps the most charming and most stubborn of men and totally taken aback by his feelings for Lady Juliet. In an effort to spare Juliet anymore pain Luke runs for the hills causing her more pain than he could have ever imagined. Additionally, the dumbass causes himself a considerable amount of pain when he belatedly realizes just how much he cares for Juliet. The give and take – the struggle – between Luke and Juliet is all kinds of fun with her sharp wit and his charm constantly battling for dominance. Adding to pure enjoyment of this read is Luke’s sister, Caroline whose meddling ways are as delightful as they are devious. Caroline is pure joy and without her, Luke and Juliet would have no chance at all. Thank you, Ava Stone for Caroline J In all, I found A Scandalous Charade to be a most enjoyable Regency read and see it appealing to lovers of this genre as well as lovers of HEAs and light mystery.

P.S. A Scandalous Charade has, near the end some repeated parts from book one, A Scandalous Wife. If you have already ready book one, I highly recommend skimming over these parts as you won’t need the information twice. If you haven’t read book one, the information is necessary and you should definitely pay attention. 

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Review: Beautiful Surrender (Book #3: Forever Series) by Priscilla West

Title: Beautiful Surrender Series: Book #3: Forever Series Author: Priscilla West Format: Kindle Edition, 132 pages Published: November 2, 2013  ASIN: B00GEOD2V0

Title: Beautiful Surrender
Series: Book #3: Forever Series
Author: Priscilla West
Format: Kindle Edition, 132 pages
Published: November 2, 2013
ASIN: B00GEOD2V0

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

“What gives you a thrill Kristen?”

The conclusion to the Surrender Series by Priscilla West.

No one is who they seem to be.

Kristen let Vincent into her heart because he seemed so different from everyone in her conservative world of wealth management. She thought they shared something special, but when she realizes that Vincent has been playing her the entire time, her heart is crushed.

As Kristen’s relationship with Vincent reaches a crisis point, a man from Kristen’s past returns looking for a second chance. Is her ex-boyfriend really looking for redemption or is his goal something more sinister?

Kristen struggles to hold herself together, until she discovers a revelation that will change everything.

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 4½/5 stars

My Review:

**CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOOKS 1 AND 2**

Beautiful Surrender is the final installment of Vincent and Kristen’s story and it begins with a long and winding trip down memory lane. As we discover in the first two books, Kristen fled her life in Boston to get away from a scary and abusive relationship. Thinking she was safe in a new city was her first mistake and though Vincent has taken steps to help protect Kristen, crazy is crazy and her ex comes a calling looking for a second chance. The situation quickly devolves and before she can mace the bastard, Kristen’s ex is attacked by her two neighbors and Vincent.

In the wake of the attack/rescue, Kristen finds her head spinning with trying to understand everything that has happened. Her ex is back, her neighbors are bad ass security guys hired by Vincent and, there is still the matter of the phone snooping and what she discovered at dinner. Kristen feels, among other things, heartbroken, scared and, betrayed. In a move that is sheer cowardice, Kristen refuses to talk to Vincent until she can sort out her feelings. Without so much as giving him a chance, Kristen decides it is time for a break and determines this is what will happen between she and Vincent. Vincent has other plans!

Vincent gets where Kristen is coming from and when he convinces her to rationally and calmly talk about their situation, he is able to convince her that they are far better together than apart. Both knows their relationship is on shaky ground but each wants to make the relationship work. In an effort to build a more solid foundation, Vincent introduces Kristen to his sister and nephew. Kristen takes the opportunity to learn more about Vincent and his past and sees, perhaps for the first time that he is very much committed to her and their relationship and he is a man that can absolutely be trusted.

As fate and Priscilla West would have it, the universe isn’t quite done screwing with the couple. Kristen’s ex is well and truly bat-sh*t crazy and in what is one totally terrifying scene, makes every effort to take Kristen away from Vincent. Seriously, this is one intensely scary scene that not involves extreme violence but a bombshell secret that Kristen intended to share with Vincent in a very, very different manner and setting. It is only when all the cards are on the table, more than a few bones are broken and, the crazy man is finally contained that Kristen and Vincent can focus on nothing but the two of them!

The Bottom Line: I’m truly glad I chose the Forever Series for my first real adventure into the world of billionaires. Vincent didn’t inherit his money and he certainly didn’t have it handed to him and I think that is what made such a huge difference for me where this character is concerned. I very much liked Vincent’s honesty, his intensity, his sex drive, his willingness to be there for Kirsten and help her in any way he possibly could. Though Vincent certainly spends money, he doesn’t use it as a means of controlling Kristen or as a way to bribe (for lack of a better word) her to be with him. In this way, Vincent felt like a very genuine character for me. Kristen on the other hand . . . .bleh!!!! At some point, I think I sort of began to tune her out and only really “listened” to her when she was having sex with Vincent. Clearly, this series and these three reads have been all about the boy for me. J From a purely technical perspective, West creates an entertaining and exciting series. There is plenty to keep the reader involved including loads of backstory (I LOVE backstory!), tense moments, scary situations, dirty awesome sex and, a plot that comes full circle in the end with no cliffhangers or unanswered questions. In all, I found Vincent and Kristen’s story to be well worth the time and effort it took to read about them. 

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Review: A Scandalous Wife (Book #1: Scandalous Series) by Ava Stone

 

Title: A Scandalous Wife Series: Book #1: Scandalous Series Author: Ava Stone Format: Kindle Edition, 302 pages Published: January 26, 2011  ASIN: B004L6273W

Title: A Scandalous Wife
Series: Book #1: Scandalous Series
Author: Ava Stone
Format: Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published: January 26, 2011
ASIN: B004L6273W

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

As the head of his family, Robert Beckford, the Earl of Masten, was accustomed to dealing with various problems his siblings had caused of one sort or another. However he wasn’t prepared when his cad of brother ruined and then abandoned a young lady. To right the wrong, Robert married the girl himself; but his chivalry only went so far. He didn’t want a wife, and most certainly not a scandalous one. So after repeating his vows, he sent her packing, off to a secluded estate and expected her to stay put.

After years of mistreatment at the hands of her family, Lydia was prepared to be an accommodating wife; but her rigid and unforgiving husband asked too much of her. After languishing for years in her opulent prison, Lydia leaves her country estate for the glamour and excitement of London—and unfortunately her husband’s path. 

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

Robert Beckford, Earl of Masten has always been aware of appearances: how he looks, how he is received, how his family is perceived and, above all else, the reputation of he and his family. When Robert’s younger brother, Luke was caught in a compromising position with the young and impressionable, Lydia well, appearances and reputation had to be considered.   Luke certainly wasn’t going to do the right thing and so, in an effort to save everyone the humiliation and protect the family name, Robert Beckford married Lydia.

For five long years Lady Lydia has been hidden away at Lord Beckford’s Blackstone Manor, safely removed from polite society and any gossip that may tarnish the Beckford name. Determined to come out of hiding, Lydia returns to London to stay with her remaining family and spend the season among polite society. After five years of not seeing nor hearing from her husband, Lydia really couldn’t care less what he thinks about her reappearance. She is bound and determined to live her life and find some happiness, no matter the cost. It takes very little time for Robert to discover Lydia’s presence and if it weren’t for appearances, fireworks certainly would have flown.

Robert Beckford is livid over the presence of his troublesome wife and wants nothing more than for her to remove herself and be gone from his sight. Even more troubling is the fact that his once quiet and unassuming wife has grown into a confident and beautiful woman – a woman who will certainly cause more scandal and bring down the family name. In an effort to get Lydia out of town, Robert calls her to his home and announces he will take her on a tour of his various homes and she can choose her next gilded prison. While Robert’s intention is to be rid of his wife he also knows he needs an heir (his brother certainly won’t do!) and decides he will let her know he intends to have an heir from her and then she and the child can live away from him. What Robert doesn’t count on is Lydia’s attitude regarding family and her refusal to be with a man who doesn’t even like her, let alone, love her.

Robert quickly figures out if he wants his heir, he is going to have to get his wife on board and in order to do that, he is going to have to get to know her. What Robert discovers is a woman who not only knows her own mind, is resolute in her belief that a child should have a mother and father and, she is surprisingly kind and forgiving given her experiences. Robert is surprised to discover his wife is quite likeable and before long he finds he wants nothing more than to forget everything about her past and focus on her future with him. More surprising, Lydia is amenable to Robert’s suggestion and when they arrive at his favored home, both are ready to give married life a true and proper go of it.

Things aren’t always easy and while their nights together are generally enjoyable, the days take some work. Robert realizes his wife is a good woman with a troubled past and though Robert wants to forget the past and move forward, the past has a way of coming back to haunt him. Robert does his best to shield Lydia from as much of the scandal as possible but Robert can’t be everywhere all the time and when Lydia’s life is threatened, he is damn near too late to save her.

The Bottom Line: What a fun Regency read! Stone has paired two of the most unlikely people in Robert and Lydia and “watching” them make their way toward an HEA is as times frustrating, at times humorous, at times naughty and, sometimes even sweet. I rather enjoyed the fact that their road to an HEA isn’t smooth and easy but something each had to work at. A marriage isn’t always easy and when the foundation is shaky to begin with well, there is work to be done, trust to be earned and, love to be found. Lydia’s past is constant bone of contention and as Robert grows to like and even love his wife, he works harder than ever to help her overcome that past. The obstacles provide a good deal of drama and entertainment and work nicely with the characters and the overall plot. With a fine cast of characters, A Scandalous Wife makes for a very good start to this Regency series. 

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Review: Secret Surrender (Book #2: Forever Series) by Priscilla West

Title: Secret Surrender Series: Book #2: Forever Series Author: Priscilla West Format: Kindle Edition, 224 pages Published: September 24, 2013  ASIN: B00FFJ52WM

Title: Secret Surrender
Series: Book #2: Forever Series
Author: Priscilla West
Format: Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published: September 24, 2013
ASIN: B00FFJ52WM

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

“What gives you a thrill Kristen?”

I knew that giving in to Vincent Sorenson was a risk, but it was one I was willing to take. I had hidden my heart for so long and for the first time in a long time, Vincent was close to breaking down the walls.

When a trip to Vincent’s exclusive private island reveals the real Vincent underneath the layers of suave nonchalance, I thought we were close to the start of something special.

Just when things were looking up for us, I would discover the one secret that Vincent never intended for me to find.

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

**CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR BOOK #1**

Secret Surrender opens exactly where book one ended, with Kristen tucked safely into Vincent’s arms and life. Waking up to Vincent is something Kristen could certainly get used to but things can’t always be sunshine and unicorns and book two certainly throws some kinks into the budding relationship.

Kristen is still very much all about the discretion but never getting to see Vincent because of work commitments is a little extreme. Vincent is the head of a billion dollar company and he is constantly on the move so alone time with a girlfriend isn’t always easy to come by. Additionally, Vincent’s business constantly puts him contact with some scantily-clad women which of course, causes Kristen’s level of anxiety to rise. Thanks to her past, Kristen has an incredibly difficult time trusting men and though she wants to trust Vincent, she finds it very difficult to do so given his schedule. The time apart is just as hard on Vincent and with Kristen’s past, his level of anxiety about leaving her is higher than normal.

Both Kristen and Vincent want to be together so when it’s possible, they make the time and make the most of the time they have. One of the more impressive and seriously hot moments for the duo involves some dirty cyber time and multiple orgasms. As if that weren’t enough, Vincent also whisks Kristen away to his private island for a weekend of fun, sun, boating, ex-girlfriends and, some really hot sex. As you might well imagine, the whole ex-girlfriend thing puts a serious damper on the weekend and causes Kristen’s insecurities to once again rise to the surface. Though Vincent assures her there is nothing to feel insecure and/or concerned about, Kristen is wary but willing to give her man the benefit of the doubt. As the weekend winds down, Vincent and Kristen leave paradise and return to the reality of their crazy lives.

As book two comes to a close, Kristen is finally allowing herself to trust Vincent and enjoy the crazy ride the two of them are on. In a moment of strength, Kristen decides to throw caution to the wind – discretion be damned! – and invites Vincent to an intimate dinner in the city. All is going well until Vincent excuses himself to go to the restroom and Kristen makes the mistake of looking at his cell phone. What Kristen sees shatters her trust, breaks her heart and causes her to run from Vincent as fast and as furiously as she can. Determined to ignore Vincent, Kristen turns off her cell phone and is fully prepared to yell at him and slam the door in his face when she makes the fateful decision open her apartment door without first looking to see who has come a calling.

The Bottom Line: Secret Surrender certainly does take everything up a notch. From the sex to the action, this book is filled with intense and highly charged moments that will have you flipping virtual pages as fast as you possibly can. As with book one, I am still head over heels for Vincent and loved getting more of his personal story in this read. Vincent doesn’t ever lie to Kristen and though his schedule is crazy and demanding he tells her clearly he is trying to make adjustments and allowances for her being in his life. Vincent’s actions support his words at every turn which leads me to the thing that brought this read down one star rating for me, Kristen. I will be the first to admit that I have no way of understanding the situation Kirsten has come out of and continues to deal with but her attitude gets damn old. Kristen is about as insecure as they come and doubts Vincent at every turn. She has a serious disregard for her personal safety and refuses to acknowledge that she has to deal with her past. Finally, Kristen has a tendency to overreact which causes far more drama than is necessary. Thankfully, Vincent is a patient and understanding man! As book two closes, things are certainly looking bleak for the couple and are about to get a whole lot worse. The final pages of this book are both sad and quite frightening as Kristen’s past literally knocks on her door.

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Review: Forbidden Surrender (Book #1: Forever Series) by Priscilla West

Title: Forbidden Surrender Series: Book #1: Forever Series Author: Priscilla West Format: Kindle Edition, 218 pages Published: November 8, 2013 ASIN: B00EEEVJ1M

Title: Forbidden Surrender
Series: Book #1: Forever Series
Author: Priscilla West
Format: Kindle Edition, 218 pages
Published: November 8, 2013
ASIN: B00EEEVJ1M

Purple Goodreads

Synopsis:

“What gives you a thrill Kristen?”

The minute I saw Vincent Sorenson, I knew he was trouble. Billionaire. Bad boy. And dangerously sexy. He was everything I craved, and nothing I needed.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t just avoid him. The higher ups at my company decided they needed his business, and I was on the team to bring him in. Vincent Sorenson didn’t seem as interested in business as he was in me, but I knew that was a door better left unopened. If I got involved with him, it would only unearth the pain I spent years trying to bury.

I thought I had it under control, but I seriously underestimated Vincent’s seductive charm and silver-tongue. I would soon find out how delicious it would feel to let myself fall into this forbidden surrender.

Source: Netgalley

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

I have been very reluctant to dive into the whole billionaire versus quiet unassuming girl genre for a wide variety of reasons but the most significant has been, of course the quiet unassuming girl is going to go for the hot billionaire, duh!! That crap just doesn’t play well for me so I have intentionally avoided the genre. BUT, I have read other books by Priscilla West and like her so I thought I would give the Surrender series a try. I have to say, pleasantly surprised!

Vincent Sorenson is a billionaire but he isn’t your typical asshole with a ton of money. Oh, he can be an asshole when he needs to be but you would be too if you earned your money the hard way, the way Vincent Sorenson did. Though he seems like a carefree risk-taker with little to no focus on his business, Vincent Sorenson is actually very much a risk-taker but he also knows exactly what is going on with his company all the time at every level. What Vincent Sorenson needs at this point in his career is an advisor for all of his vast wealth and he wants Kristen.

Kristen is damn good at her job but she is a low-level advisor and not yet “qualified” to take on clients of her own. When Kristen unintentionally and totally impresses Vincent Sorenson he agrees to go with her wealth management firm if and only if Kristen is his sole advisor and point of contact.   Vincent is very used to getting what he wants and he wants Kristen. While Kristen is thrilled to have her first real client, Vincent Sorenson is unlike any man she has ever met and when he makes it clear he wants her for more than financial advising well, she is beyond nervous. After a very, very bad dating experience Kristen is not at all a risk taker and being with Vincent presents a great many risks both to her personal and professional life.

Vincent is persistent, seductive, fun, intense and, is willing to provide as much discretion as Kristen needs to feel safe. When you’re a billionaire, discretion is easy and Vincent can easily whisk Kristen away to a secluded island or one of his more remote homes. When the two are in bed together they are they are all kinds of good and the chemistry between then is fantastic. When the two are out of bed, Kristen is uncertain and nervous. How could a man like Vincent Sorenson want to be with a woman like her? What if her past comes calling and negatively impacts her relationship with Vincent? What if Vincent gets bored and decides to take a little risk while he is away on business?

The Bottom Line: Forbidden Surrender is a hell of a first book for a series! One of the primary reasons I hit 5/5 stars on this read is because of Vincent Sorenson. I liked Vincent instantly, from the first moment he is introduced in his South African office. When Vincent begins to press Kristen for more he doesn’t do it in a skeevy or pervy manner nor does he throw a huge amount of cash at her to convince her to be with him. In fact, Vincent is a pretty decent guy and does everything he can to make Kristen feel comfortable and safe with him. In fact, Kristen feels so comfortable she even opens up to Vincent about her past and why she has so many fears and anxieties. With the turn of the last page, Kristen is safely tucked into Vincent’s arms and feeling more secure than she has in years. Vincent had me at hello and I was securely locked in to loving him by the end of this read.

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Review: Last Call (Book #2: Heat Wave Series) by Alannah Lynne

Title: Last Call Series: Book #2: Heat Wave Series Format: Kindle Edition, 230 pages Published: October 1, 2012 by Alannah Lynne  ASIN: B009KEXBC6

Title: Last Call
Series: Book #2: Heat Wave Series
Format: Kindle Edition, 230 pages
Published: October 1, 2012 by Alannah Lynne
ASIN: B009KEXBC6

Purple GoodreadsSynopsis:

Gavin McLeod is a man who has it all. His corporate climb has positioned him as the next CEO at Holden Enterprises. He’s financially stable, allowing him to provide for the grandfather who raised him, and his successful seduction of the sexy bartender last night proves his private life is also on fire. Until the alluring woman in his arms turns out to be a serious road-block to his future. One that could bring everything he’s worked for crashing down around him.

Sunny Black has spent her entire life tending to the needs of others, caring for her younger brother since she was ten, and serving bar patrons night after night. For the first time in years, she thinks of herself and gives in to her body’s demands, taking a trip to the wild side with a customer whose raw sexuality is too strong to deny. The next morning, however, she learns that in addition to rocking her world, the stranger might cause it to crumble.

A game of sexual seduction and corporate chess ensues, with neither Gavin nor Sunny realizing the ending could come in the form of a permanent check-mate.

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

Holy Hannah!! Alannah Lynne’s Heat Wave series is totally heating up in round two of the series, Last Call. As the title suggests, Last Call revolves around a bar and when you throw in a hot bartender, a little mischief and mayhem and, a super sexy property developer you have a recipe for a really good contemporary romance.

As second-in-command at Holden Enterprises, Gavin McLeod is in charge of scouting out properties and locations that might be suitable for Holden’s next luxury resort. For more than a decade, Gavin hasn’t just done his job well, he has done his job exceptionally well and as a result, he is the heir-apparent to the throne. For most of the past decade, Gavin has been OK with the work he’s done but lately things have been a bit off. Gavin wasn’t born and raised into a life of luxury and when he is asked to check out the Blackout bar, he sees a little piece of his childhood coming into the crosshairs.

Anticue Island isn’t home to a lot people but it is home to Sunny Black, her younger brother and, their bar, the Blackout. Sunny has dedicated the bulk of her life to looking after her younger brother and ensuring he has a stable home, a place he can always return to. The Blackout is not only Sunny’s income, it is her home and something she and her brother worked very, very hard to build. The night Gavin McLeod walks into her bar, Sunny knows two things: 1) she is fiercely attracted to him and; 2) he is interested in her bar in a way that just doesn’t seem quite right.

Gavin’s first night in the Blackout puts a whole lot of things in his life into perspective. He realizes exactly how much he hates his job, he realizes how good life was when it was far simpler and, he knows to the cellular level that he must have the woman tending bar. Sunny Black is unlike any woman Gavin has ever met and getting to know her is just as important as his next breath. Breaking through her defenses isn’t going to be easy and once he starts asking questions about the owner of the bar and the possibility of buying the property, well, those defenses get even trickier.

It doesn’t take long before Sunny and Gavin agree to disagree where her bar is concerned but agree to agree on their sexual chemistry. Thanks to everything holy they agreed on that last part J In a very, very short amount of time Sunny and Gavin both realize they are in over their respective heads but just can’t seem to care. Unfortunately for Gavin, he also gets in over his head where his boss is concerned and as more and more evidence comes to light, Gavin figures out that more than his job is on the line. As Gavin and Sunny become closer, Holden Enterprises and its slimy CEO becomes more desperate and the two lovers work hard to keep the Blackout in their possession and their heads attached to their bodies.

The Bottom Line: I really liked this read. In fact, I read most of Last Call in a single sitting and stayed up way too late to get to the end! Sunny is all kinds of feisty and I very much enjoyed her constant mental gymnastics she found necessary to keep seeing Gavin. Sunny is strong-willed, loyal, hard-working and devoted to her brother and her home. Her relationship with the residents of Anticue Island are some of the most enjoyable (and heart-breaking) parts of this read. I generally liked Gavin but had to change his name in my head because his full name, Gavin McLeod is the name of the actor who played Captain Stubbing on The Love Boat and that just isn’t sexy J Weird name issues aside, I liked the drama and the antics throughout this read and the naughty bits may have been even a little hotter than in the first read. If this series keeps going as it is, I can see it becoming one of my favorites!

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About the author and where to find her:

Alannah believes there’s nothing more magical than finding the other half of your soul, experiencing fiery passion, and knowing you’ve found happily-ever-after.  She loves going to work each day (in sweats and a T-shirt) and writing about hot heroes and feisty heroines who torment each other in the most delicious ways before finding their happy ending.  She lives in the coastal region of North Carolina with her husband, who also happens to be her best friend and biggest fan. They have two sons, a dog, and two cats.

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