Double Review: Sapphire (Facets of Passion #1) and Platinum (Facets of Passion #2) by Jeffe Kennedy

Format: ebook Published: October 24, 2011 by Carina Press  ISBN:  1426892497 (ISBN13: 9781426892493) Edition language: English Series: Facets of Passion #1
Format: ebook
Published: October 24, 2011 by Carina Press
ISBN: 1426892497 (ISBN13: 9781426892493)
Edition language: English
Series: Facets of Passion #1

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

A successful executive, M. Taylor Hamilton is on track with her ten-year plan. Too bad her personal life consists of hitting the gym and grocery shopping. Enter the seductive Adam Kirliss. They may have a working relationship, but everything changes at an office party when he handcuffs her to the rail of a yacht.  Taylor writes off the adventure as too much champagne, but when Adam challenges her to a date, she agrees to meet up with him. And follow his rules. They share a night of exquisite intimacy, brimming with both pain and pleasure. But afterward, fearful of losing her heart, Taylor pulls back emotionally.  Adam is determined to prove that she longs for the loss of control he can give her–and the passionate release it provides. How can he make her see that he wants her, and not just her body?

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

**This title is classified as erotica and is for 18+ readers only**

 Meet M. Taylor Hamilton, a high-powered, highly successful control freak who lets nothing and no one slip past her cool exterior.  Taylor has cultivated a reputation and a life that allows for little beyond her work, the gym, and her home.  She fully intends to make CEO within eight years (not the standard ten!) which means there is absolutely no time for a relationship – of any kind.  Adam Kirliss is a highly successful business man, top-notch negotiator, and dead sexy individual who has set his sights on none other than the Ice Queen herself, M. Taylor Hamilton.  For months he has worked alongside Taylor in fierce negotiations and now that the work is done, it is time to melt the Ice Queen.

The fun begins almost immediately with Taylor and Adam both attending a cocktail party to celebrate the successful conclusion of their business deal.  Lots of dirty deeds can happen in dark corners if one allows themselves to explore such avenues.  Adam stirs feelings – dark and naughty feelings best left to the night – in Taylor and so she allows him his fun and allows herself one seriously erotic and powerful orgasm.  As far as Taylor is concerned, this is a one-time thing, a fling and nothing more; tomorrow morning it is back to business as usual.  Adam however has vastly different plans for the Ice Queen and begins another significantly more erotic set of negotiations.

Adam and Taylor’s time together is a highly charged night and day full of sensuality, sex, and eroticism.  Adam reveals his kinky side in an effort to thaw the Ice Queen and Taylor experiences a total loss of control that frightens her as much as it excites her.  Adam proves to be a skilled and imaginative lover the likes of which Taylor has never encountered.  Though she thoroughly enjoys her time with Adam, the loss of control and Adam’s admission of wanting far, far more than a one-night (and day) stand causes her to panic and run.

The Bottom Line: Though I did enjoy this read, I discovered my kink comfort level is not quite as high as what Kennedy offers in Sapphire.  Though there is nothing completely disturbing, I found the straight sex scenes with no toys and/or bindings to be far more enjoyable.  Taylor is initially a very cold and unyielding character whose transition to a more relaxed and sexual being is worth hanging on for.  Adam is initially a bit too domineering for my taste but does reveal that he also has a very caring and kind nature I was glad to see emerge in the end.  For those of you who like your reads to end in a HEA, there is indeed one for Taylor and Adam and I must say, it is quite a delicious ending.

One final note:  Sapphire is the first novella in the Facets of Passion series though they can be read out of order as I did.  Honestly, novella two, Platinum is a far more satisfying read if you are a reader like me who enjoys only the smallest bit (or a different kind) of kink in your reads. 🙂

Format: ebook, 117 pages Published: February 25, 2013 by Carina Press  ISBN:  1426895135 (ISBN13: 9781426895135) Series: Facets of Passion #2
Format: ebook, 117 pages
Published: February 25, 2013 by Carina Press
ISBN: 1426895135 (ISBN13: 9781426895135)
Series: Facets of Passion #2

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

Althea Grant’s Charleston gallery might be suffering from the bad economy, and her artistic aspirations have gone nowhere, but she’s doing just fine, thank you. When bad-boy sculptor Steel rides up on his motorcycle looking to rent studio space, his infusion of cash is more than welcome. But his art is raw, visceral, sexual—and completely inappropriate for her pastel world of watercolor landscapes.  Steel, fascinated by Althea’s rare albino coloring, sees in her the key to his next piece: a metal satyr designed for bondage games. Moving into her gallery basement is the first step; seducing the cool Southern belle into modeling for him is the second.  As Steel peels away her careful manners and tasteful outfits, Althea begins to realize her life isn’t just fine at all—it’s as pale and washed-out as the watercolor paintings she’s failing to sell. Can she transform her life and accept her most secret desires?

Source:  Netgally and Carina Press

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

**This title is classified as erotica and for 18+ readers only**

Althea Grant is a prim and proper southern lady.  She wears prim and proper clothing, her hair in a flawless chignon, she has a proper southern boyfriend her parents can be proud of and, she owns an art gallery that sells nothing which could possibly be deemed anything other than proper.  Until the day Steel walks into her gallery, Althea Grant is certain she is living the life she is meant to live.

Steel is not prim and proper.  Steel is big, built and beautiful; he rides a motorcycle and wears his leathers like a second skin; he is a bit brutish but totally honest about his desires and; he is an up-and-coming sculptor whose work is superb and exudes sex and sensuality just as he does.  Steel needs a place to work and Althea’s gallery has a basement she is willing to rent out so long as Steel doesn’t interfere with her business or her life. HA!

From the moment Steel and Althea meet there is an undeniable chemistry Steel is more than willing to investigate and Althea is more than willing to ignore.  The problem is, Steel is a very, very hard man to ignore and he brings Althea’s prim and proper (read: boring) life into sharp focus.  Once the clarity sets in, Althea begins to make some major changes in her life.  All manner of naughty happens in the basement of the gallery as Althea comes to understand a little rough and tumble can indeed fit quite nicely into a prim and proper southern lady’s life.

The Bottom Line: Kennedy does a fantastic job of managing her time and space and though this is a novella, both the plot and the characters are fully developed.  I very much enjoyed “watching” Althea open up and begin to explore her desires with Steel.  Steel, though ravenous for Althea knows he must push her only so far with each of their encounters.  Kennedy writes a mean sex scene and varies each encounter enough to avoid redundancy and keep the reader fired up and flipping pages furiously.  Seriously, the sexy, naughty bits are freakin’ awesome in this one.  While the sex is all kinds of great, the true growth and development of each character is my favorite part.  At the risk of being spoilery, I like both Steel and Althea and am quite pleased with how their story turned out.

One final note: this is the second installment in the Facets of Passion series though it can be read as a stand-alone.

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Surrender Your Love (Surrender Your Love #1) by J.C. Reed: Spotlight and Giveaway

Format: ebook, 324 pages Published: March 15, 2013 (first published March 11th 2013)  ISBN13: 9781482334302 Edition language: English Original title: Surrender Your Love Series: Surrender Your Love #1
Format: ebook, 324 pages
Published: March 15, 2013 (first published March 11th 2013)
ISBN13: 9781482334302
Edition language: English
Original title: Surrender Your Love
Series: Surrender Your Love #1

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Synopsis:

Meeting Jett was like lightning. Dangerous. Better left untouched. And better forgotten. But lightning always strikes twice.

Brooke Stewart, a realtor in New York, doesn’t do relationships. When she’s sent to a remote estate to finalize a real estate deal, she discovers her new boss is no other than the guy she left naked in bed.

Sexy, dangerously handsome, and arrogant Jett Mayfield attracts trouble, and women, like a lightning rod. But the night he meets Brooke he gets more than he bargained for. The green-eyed millionaire playboy isn’t used to taking no for an answer, and he isn’t about to start now.

When he proposes two months of no strings sex, Brooke is intrigued and accepts his proposal. Little does she know Jett’s determined to claim the one woman he can’t have, pulling her deeper into his dangerous world.

A man who doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.  A woman afraid to surrender to love.  Two lives that are about to cross…and secrets laid bare.

About the author and social media links:

Jessica C. Reed is a contemporary fiction author, but her greatest achievement are her two children. She spent half of her life in the beautiful mountains of Wyoming and would like to go back one day. When she’s not typing away on her keyboard, forgetting the world around her, you can find her talking on the phone and watching way too much TV.

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Olive Branch Mystery Week: Hosta La Vista, Baby! by Gale Borger: Review

Format: Kindle Edition, 37 pages Published: June 14, 2012 by Echelon Press  ASIN: B008BSVDGI Edition language: English Series: Olive Branch Mysteries #5
Format: Kindle Edition, 37 pages
Published: June 14, 2012 by Echelon Press
ASIN: B008BSVDGI
Edition language: English
Series: Olive Branch Mysteries #5

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Synopsis from Goodreads: A flower show is boring duty for the Olive Branch garden crew. That is of course, until the Hosta Queen is found pushing up daisies under the judge’s table!
Is it another clue in the hunt for a serial killer? Or will this dead flower mean the end of The Olive Branch investigation team?

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

**contains spoilers for previous episodes*

The final published episode of the Olive Branch Mysteries series finds the gang once again in Bean’s hospital room trying to decide what their next move will be.  It’s waaay after hours and the little delinquents have snuck in with Mt. Dew and pizza – the necessary snacks needed to discuss the latest developments in their investigation.  Unfortunately, the kids are unable to come up with a new course of action and are forced to break up the evening’s meeting without any clear plan.

Luckily, they have a detective on their side and he just happens to have a plan 🙂  Pone’s dad approaches the kids with the intention of having Spaz enter the Hosta Queen pageant as a contestant and the boys working in the wings to help protect her.  The Hunnicut’s are big supporters and participants in the pageant and while everyone, especially Spaz initially balks at the idea, they eventually agree it is a good plan.  Ollie and Bean’s mom both convince Spaz she is the ideal candidate and convince her they will be by her side throughout the entire process.  For Spaz, the idea of dressing up and showing off is completely foreign but something she is willing to try of means catching a killer.  The boys talk all kinds of trash about Spaz being able to pull it all off until they see her all primped and prettied up – the moments of babbling and speechlessness when the boys see Spaz in her finery are priceless.

Spaz’s entry into the competition starts out as just a means to an end but Spaz quickly figures out she has a real shot at becoming the Hosta Queen.  That is, of course if she can survive the pageant.  On at least three occasions Spaz is involved in a very-near-miss “accident’ which does leave at least one girl seriously injured.  The near-misses make Spaz more determined than ever to get through the pageant and uncover the identity of the killer; unfortunately the pageant committee isn’t inclined to agree and cancels the competition.  The final moments of episode five reveal the Hunnicut’s daughter, Val has been admitted to the hospital after an apparent overdose.  The doctors aren’t sure she will recover and the gang is more convinced than ever of the Hunnicut’s guilt where the dead girls are concerned.  The only problem?  No one is quite sure which Hunnicut is the culprit . . . .

The Bottom Line: I very much enjoyed these short, easy-to-read episodes.  Gale Borger has a smooth and easy writing style that is always infused with witty dialogue and excellent humor.  Borger’s characters are realistic, relatable and, more fully developed from episode to episode.  The continuity and flow of the plot is in no way negatively affected by the breaking up of a larger novel into small episodes (aka novellas).  I can easily and quite comfortably recommend this series to readers of nearly every age group as the there is no bad language or naughty bits that would not be suitable for YA readers.  I am quite looking forward to the conclusion of this series though, to date, there is no release date noted for the sixth episode.

Olive Branch Mystery Week: You Say Tomahto, I Say You’re Dead by Gale Borger: Review

Format; Kindle Edition, 33 pages Published:  February 14, 2012 by Echelon Press  ASIN: B0079OX6LK Edition language: English Series: Olive Branch Mysteries #4
Format; Kindle Edition, 33 pages
Published: February 14, 2012 by Echelon Press
ASIN: B0079OX6LK
Edition language: English
Series: Olive Branch Mysteries #4

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Synopsis from Goodreads: Pone and Bean have found a girl (it’s not the first one), but it disappears from the compost pile on the Hunnicut estate before the police can get there. Where did she go? Who killed her? Was she a dead prostitute, or was she just a girl in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Looking for a corpse that has taken a hike is no easy task–that is, until a trip to the hydroponic vegetable operation yields more than tomatoes!
The Olive Branch Garden crew finds teamwork is a must when they’re one player down, and searching for clues is no easy task when you’re up against the money and power of the Hunnicut family.
But what the heck is up with Cash, and whose team is he playing for?

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

**contains spoilers for previous episodes**

Boy does episode four open with a bang!  Bean (aka Ryan O’Sullivan) is recovering in the hospital after having been shot while trying to protect Spaz (aka Evie).  To say Spaz has taken some serious notice of Bean doesn’t even come close; she even sucks up her fear of hospitals to go visit him!  Typical of Borger’s style, this should-be-serious scene is cut through with awkwardness, witty banter, and humor.   I laughed out loud during the exchange between Spaz and Bean’s mom, Maureen as well as when Bean explains to Spaz exactly what happened to his hair 🙂

When things once again get serous the kids determine they are still committed to finding out who killed Spaz’s friend and at least one other girl.  By accident, the kids learn two things: 1) the Hunnicut’s own a company called You Say Tomato, I Say Tomahto and; 2) the company is need of some new employees.  True to form the kids decide they are just the replacements the company is looking for and set out to acquire new jobs.  Almost inexplicably the kids are once again in the right place at the right time and overhear Tomahto’s secretary discussing the disappearance of yet another young girl.  Obviously a little snooping around is in order and the kids set out to do just that!  While masquerading as employees, most of the group runs into a whole lot of nothing but a legitimate business.  Cash, on the other hand runs into a very, very irate and drunk Mrs. Hunnicut.  Based on what he overhears from the Mrs., Cash is led to the company’s dumpsters where he makes a grisly discovery, yet another dead girl.

Once again, the cops are called and Pone’s dad sweeps in to lead the investigation and ensure the kids get back to the Olive Branch safely.  The conversation between the detective is one of the highlights of this episode 🙂  Cash, justifiably shaken up by his discovery decides to see himself back to the Olive Branch but not before checking in on Bean at the hospital.  This episode leaves us with the two boys discussing the very real possibility that Mr. Hunnicut is not the killer after all . . . .

To be continued in episode five, Hosta La Vista, Baby!. . . .

Cover Reveal: The Winemaker’s Dinner: Dessert (The Winemaker’s Dinner, #3)

Title: The Winemaker’s Dinner: Dessert (The Winemaker’s Dinner, #3) Author: Dr. Ivan Rusilko Publisher: Omnific Publishing Genre: Erotic romance Age Group: Adult Expected release: April 30, 2013
Title: The Winemaker’s Dinner: Dessert (The Winemaker’s Dinner, #3)
Author: Dr. Ivan Rusilko
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Genre: Erotic romance
Age Group: Adult
Expected release: April 30, 2013

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Synopsis:

Left on bended knee, with nothing but a ring in his hand and a gaping hole in his chest, Ivan Rusilko lost everything when Jaden Thorne said, “I can’t.”  Now, six months later and despite her endless attempts to reach him, finding forgiveness for Jaden’s indiscretion is last on his list of things to do. Dr. Ivan is married to his career now, and his professional success is taking him places he’s never been before. But even the glow of accomplishment can’t heal his devastated heart. Determined to recover, to move forward at any cost, he now finds moments of respite in distractions that leave him emotionally bankrupt. He’s empty, a shadow of his former vibrant, life-loving self. On the outside, he may seem to be the man he always was. But inside, a terrible desire threatens to rip him apart and ruin him forever.  Meanwhile Jaden is haunted by the memory of the moment she saw the light wither and die in Ivan’s eyes. She knows it died at her hand. After months of trying to explain herself, of begging for mercy, she takes herself back to Miami, back into Ivan’s path, for one last chance at redemption. Can she entice him back into her arms? Convince him to give her a second chance? She’s determined to do whatever it takes to find forgiveness—even if all that’s left is forgiving herself.  In this final book of The Winemaker’s Feast Trilogy, The Winemaker’s Dinner: Dessert, author Dr. Ivan Rusilko is writing solo, drawing freely on his own life and love experiences to craft a heartbreaking and wildly erotic tale about lost hope, desperation, contrition, and—if it’s possible—the quest for a perfect ending to a real-life love story. True to its title, Dessert serves readers an indulgent, decadent last course, rich with twists, turns, and tantalizing truths.   Love is beautiful, guys like this really do exist, and the power of real romance is something we can all believe in.

IvanBW3About the author and where to find him:

Dr.Ivan Rusilko, DO, CSN, PT, is an accomplished weight loss, wellness, physical enhancement and sexual health physician affiliated with the prestigious MIAMI Institute in Miami, Florida. A certified sports nutritionist, champion bodybuilder, international male fitness model, and former Mr. USA 2008 and 2010, Dr. Ivan graduated from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2010 and sits as the national media and public relations expert and spokesperson on diet, exercise and sports nutrition for the American Osteopathic Association (AOA).  Dr. Ivan has been a feature health writer and lifestyle coach for numerous magazines and online publications including The Washington Times and Quarter Life Health.

With his debut novel, The Winemaker’s Dinner: Appetizers, co-authored by Everly Drummond, Dr. Rusilko is excited to offer a male voice in a predominantly female authored genre. Always one with a story to tell, he hopes to continue writing, exploring new genres and projects.  He is proud to bring two of his passions, his medical wellness and sexual health background and writing together in this unique project. He hopes that The Winemakers Feast Trilogy will help spark an enthusiasm and ignite liberation among women, inspiring them to celebrate their sensuality and focus on their sexual health in order to achieve a better quality of life.

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Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing the cover reveal.

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Olive Branch Mystery Week: Kill Me Over the Garden Gate by Gale Borger: Review

Format: ebook Published: May 30, 2011 by Echelon Press  ISBN:  0012912093 (ISBN13: 2940012912091) Series: Olive Branch Mysteries #3
Format: ebook
Published: May 30, 2011 by Echelon Press
ISBN: 0012912093 (ISBN13: 2940012912091)
Series: Olive Branch Mysteries #3

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Synopsis from Goodreads: Closing in on a suspect is easier said than done for the Olive Branch garden crew. While Pone and Shroom use up their last “get out of jail free” card, Spaz has Bean stashed under the bed at the Hunnicut mansion.
Val’s mom, Silvia Hunnicut arrives home unexpectedly. What does this hold in store for Frankie’s weekend plans? Cash plays the inside guy, Pone and Shroom grab their monkey suits and go under cover at a formal dinner, and Bean is about to flip his purple wig. He and Spaz are both up to their high heels in trouble!
The cops finally have their warrant, but will it be a corpse they find when they pass through the garden gate.
While the Olive Branch crew sees how the other half lives, a shot in the dark means life or death to one of them. Will this be the end of the Olive Branch Garden crew? Or will the bond of friendship hold them together?

Source: Purchase

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

**contains spoilers for previous episodes**

At the end of episode two, Spaz and a whole host of other underage girls are trapped in Hunnicut’s mansion and all of the boys except Bean were arrested for breaking into Hunnicut’s property.  Since there was another dead girl on the property it isn’t surprising that Hunnicut doesn’t wish to press charges and further invite a police investigation into his world.  But, what happened to Bean?

Episode three finds Bean in quite the quandary.  Bean was able to find a better hiding place than the other boys and avoided being arrested but now he, like Spaz is trapped on the property.  When he finally comes out of hiding in the shed Bean tends to the un-potted plants and flowers before deciding it is now up to him and him alone to rescue Spaz.  A whole lot of luck comes into play as Bean sneaks into the mansion and makes contact with Spaz.  Realizing it is going to be basically impossible to hide a teenage boy among a group of teenage girls, Spaz finds an ingenious way to “hide” Bean in plain sight.  I’m pretty sure Bean would have much preferred to be arrested 🙂

The situation is getting desperate for several reasons: 1) the perv party is about to begin – that is, all of the underage girls are meant to parade around and “entertain” Hunnicut and his old-fart friends; 2) Mrs. Hunnicut, a vile and mean drunk has returned home early from her trip and; 3) Pone and Shroom have disguised themselves as waiters in order to get into the perv party and check on Spaz.  Much to their great surprise they find they are also checking up on Bean 🙂  The perv party is one of Shroom’s finest moments and I have to say I was so proud of him, his words and his behavior.  Shroom really can be a team player 🙂

Cash is also present and accounted for as the plus one to the Hunnicut’s daughter, Val.  Cash and Val have been friends for quite some time and with the presence of her wretched mother, Val really needs a friend to lean on.  This little sub-plot gives us some insight into Cash’s character and the fact that Val has no idea what goes on in her own home – the words completely oblivious come to mind.  By the time the party ends, the boys, minus Cash has decided to meet in the small cottage on the property and convince Spaz it is beyond time to get the hell out of Hunnicut’s house.  As you might expect by now, things go from bad to worse in short order: the cops have arrived to arrest Hunnicut for murder when they discover the boys in the cottage; Hunnicut catches the boys and Spaz together in the cottage and begins slapping the kids around; the cops burst in to protect everyone and arrest Hunnicut and; Bean gets shot . . . . .

To be continued in episode four, You Say Tomahto and I Say You’re Dead . . .

Cover Reveal: Nissa: A Contemporary Fairy Tale by Bethany Lopez

Title: Nissa: A Contemporary Fairy Tale Author: Bethany Lopez Genre: Contemporary Fantasy  Age Group: Young Adult Cover Designer: B Design;   alliebbooks.wordpress.com Expected release date:  April 23, 2013
Title: Nissa: A Contemporary Fairy Tale
Author: Bethany Lopez
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Cover Designer: B Design; alliebbooks.wordpress.com
Expected release date: April 23, 2013

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Synopsis:

At 900 years old, Nissa is finally ready to follow her mother’s path and become the best Fairy Godmother she can. She’s not thrilled when her first assignment turns out to be a teenage human girl with self-esteem issues, but she knows she has to start somewhere. Her assignment has dealt with bullies since her freshman year and they haven’t let up. If Nissa can’t help her regain her self-confidence her future is bleak.  To complicate matters Nissa experiences all the signs that she’s met the being fated for her. This impossibility distracts her from her purpose. After all, fairies and humans aren’t meant for each other. How can her heart believe otherwise? Can Nissa successfully complete her first assignment as a Fairy Godmother? Will the fates allow Nissa and Levi to be together? And even if they do, will Levi believe Nissa once she reveals the truth?

Bethany LopezAbout the author and where to find her:

Bethany Lopez was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in Michigan and San Antonio, Texas. She went to High School at Dearborn High, in Dearborn, Michigan, which is where she has set her Young Adult series. She is married and has a blended family with five children. She is currently serving in the United States Air Force as a Recruiter in Los Angeles, California. She has always loved to read and write and has seen her dream realized by independently publishing her novels through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

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Last, but certainly not least, thanks to Julie at AToMR Tours for organizing this cover reveal.

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