The Brilliance of Erin McCarthy – A Review of “Sweet”

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In book two of the “True Believers” series, we learn more about Jessica and Riley.  Let me tell you…they are worth getting to know!

Jess comes off as a spoiled rich kids while Riley is the older – HOT (if I could make this word flash in neon colors I would) -brother of Tyler.  Riley has moved back home after their mother passed away and Jess is struggling to find a place to stay for one week until her sublet apartment is available.  If you recall from book one, Jess and Riley are a lot like oil and water rather than moth and flame.
At first impression of Jessica in “True,” I really thought of her as the spoiled rich kid that was on this high horse and not a single person could measure up.  I also thought she was a bit slutty and mean.  In “Sweet,” we learn more about why Jessica is this way and that I may have misjudged her entirely.

Riley is super hot (tattoos, muscles on top of muscles, no shirt, low hanging jeans….YUM) and seemed like a loaner in the first book.  In this book we get to know Riley as a person and I have to say…be still my beating heart.  He’s HOT, soulful, intense, loyal, HOT, emotional, caring and did I say HOT.  Like really hot.

Erin McCarthy has a way with spinning a story that hooks you from the start.  You have no choice but to read and read until you finish.  I am in awe of her writing ability and the way in which she writes about average everyday people doing average every day things but with such interesting twists that one has no choice but to become immersed in the world that Erin has created.  Her characters have real life problems (no money, no place to live, drug addict mom, controlling parents, young people trying to find their own way in life) and Erin makes it interesting and heart wrenching.  I just love it.

I really liked this book. I liked it because of the twists that she puts on family dynamics.  Jess comes from this super well off family that wants to control every aspect of her life.  Her brother is a vindictive ass-hat and her mother is so self involved she can’t think of a single other person above herself.  Riley is poorer than dirt but the loyalty and love that he exudes is massive.  He would do anything – absolutely anything – for his brothers.  He gave up his dreams so that he could take care of his little brothers.

I also liked how she drives home the adage that opposites attract.  Rich, high styling, spoiled Jessica and penniless, rough, roofer, Riley.  It’s a stretch of the imagination that these two could hook up but Erin makes it believable and good!

I must admit that I am a big Erin McCarthy fan and would read just about anything she writes.  Trying to remove my bias and provided an honest to gosh rating, I would give this book a solid 4 stars.  Most definitely worth the read.

Review of “Exotica” by Eden Bradley

First let me mention…I love love love Eden Bradley books!!!

This is really a couple of stories in one book with a common theme of the Exotica resort.  It begins when two college girlfriends reconnect after one of them goes through a divorce.  Lilli has been recently divorced and her friend invites her to come to a resort that she manages saying it is the perfect ticket to get her back in the game.  Lilli’s companion for the week long stay is hot and hunky Rajan who happens to be very knowledgeable about Kama Sutra – Lucky Lilli.  Lilli tries for the whole week to convince herself that this is just sex and fun; that there is nothing meaningful going on between her and Rajan.  She believes that the only reason that Rajan is saying the things he says to her is because of his job when in fact Rajan is falling just as hard for Lilli.  And so the wonderful story begins.

Lilli’s college friend Caroline manages the Exotica resort including the hiring of new “companions”.  Caroline is feeling down and out lately and Lilli convinces her that taking advantage of her new themed suite – Arabian Nights – and the new companion hired for that theme is just the thing that Caroline needs.  Caroline is apprehensive about this but takes a leap of faith and decides to heed her friends advice.  Kian is the new companion about to rock Caroline’s world but he has some secrets of his own which may threaten to tear these two apart before they even get started.

I loved this book.  Absolutely fascinating storyline and concept.  I love how Eden creates broken women characters who are really strong underneath and they just need a little encouragement from the right man to bring it out.  Personally, I liked Lilli’s story the best but both were superbly written.  The emotions were heartfelt, the sex scenes were hotter than all get out and the male characters were exotic and hunky.

Definitely worth the read!  4 super steamy stars!

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Review of “Claim Me” by J. Kenner

When I first read “Release Me”, I thought it was just going to be reading a FSOG wanna be.  Boy oh BOY was I wrong.  There is nothing ‘wanna be” be about this series.  The first book was so fabulous, I began to stalk the author page, Amazon, Netgalley and any other site I could find to get the next book “Claim Me”.  Fortunately, Netgalley offered up this book for an honest review and I was fortunate enough to be rewarded with that honor.

 

“Claim Me” starts off where the first book ended.  The painting finishes as does the so called agreement between Nikki and Damien.  However, neither Nikki nor Damien wants their relationship to end.  It begins to develop into something more like love and affection rather than ownership and sex and each becomes addicted to the other emotionally and physically.  There are some bumpy spots along the way, which I will not spoil by reveling here for those of you that haven’t read it yet but I will tell you, you’ll love all the events and “issues” in the book.

 

This book was a complete addiction for me.  I could not put it down without a lot of irritation and frustration aimed at the interruption taking me away from my reading.  I loved all the angst and drama in the book.  I saw the back-story for Damien beginning to take shape as the book progressed and I was just as eager as Nikki to learn what his secrets were.  I was not disappointed and there definitely was an element of surprise as to how his history played out.  After learning about this, you get a better sense of why Damien has to be in control and have so much power.  That control and power makes him über sexy and believe it or not extremely easy to fall in love with.

Nikki is innocent yet broken but you begin to see her strengthen in the book and it’s attributed to the safety and security she feels with Damien and his confidence in her.  What I love most about this couple (and this book) is how they believe in the deep down good of each other and that events or histories do not define who they are deep down inside.  Through this book, the author conveys that everyone deserves love and adoration regardless of their histories, past mistakes and bad decisions.

 

From book one all the way to the end of book two and I suspect book three and beyond (hopefully), you are rooting for this couple to make it.  I had an intense sense of them belonging together and the author conveys that very well from page one of book one where she begins to build such great characters.

 

The book was well written and flowed very nicely.  There was never a moment where I was not wishing I could read faster so that I could get to the next thing.  But then when I got to the end, I was sad because now I’m done and have to way for book three.  Which, of course I will be stalking all the sites again for a hope to get lucky enough to get this opportunity again.

 

Thank you to the Netgalley crew! I really enjoy the opportunities you’ve afford me such as this one!

 

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This is a GREAT!!!!! BOOK… True Love Story by Willow Aster

I learned about this book from my dear sister.  I had just finished reading another beautiful love story and so wasn’t sure if I wanted to read another tear jerking, heart breaking…warming, story but she was persistent so I did.  And I’m so glad that I read this book.  I had never heard of Willow Aster but I’m always up for trying a new author if I get a recommendation from someone that knows what I like and who better than your own wonderful Sissy!

Throughout the entire book, I loved, hated, loved, hated, loved, hated, loved Ian.  He was so angsty and indecisive of what he wanted and Sparrow was so forgiving and gullible at first.  I was soooo happy when she began to have a clue and allowed her subconscious to tell her what she was unwilling to see herself.  Yet I found myself feeling as she did and not willing to overlook the things that she didn’t.  I will say that my heart began to beg her to see Ian’s huge heart when you saw the destruction that the situation caused yet you saw the that he absolutely loved her so much.  I was pulling for this couple from page 1 with a few choice words when I though Ian was being an @$$hat.

The writing was phenomenal…Willow Aster is very good with Angst, I’ll give her that!  She built some great characters and a great story that while you may have heard of love and betrayal as if it’s common as sliced bread, it was never quite like this or this good.

I give this a phenomenal 5 out of 5 stars and would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good love story.  It’s a well written quick read and so worthy of your time.

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Review of “Midnight Secrets” by Ella Grace

This is a new author for me.  I am a creature of habit and typically stick to authors that I am familiar with but in the past month I have discovered a couple of really good authors that I have never read before.  Ella Grace is one of them.

This book, “Midnight Secrets” is a story about two adorable characters, Zach and Savannah in a town called Midnight, Alabama.  Their love begins during a heroic event at Savannah’s prom, then a long dry spell in the middle then more heroics in the end.  The author does a really good job on the time continuum and as the reader, I didn’t miss a beat – she was that good!

The mystery of the story was very well done and I have to say, I was stumped until the reveal, well done!  The love scenes were HOT but tasteful and very romantic.  There were a couple of points in the book where I was thinking..no one in their right mind would be that calm and ready for sex after that, but then it’s a romance novel so there you go.  I don’t want to say cheesy but a couple of points just didn’t fit with the elegance of the storyline almost as if they were forced into the book.

I enjoyed the book very much and would say that I would read the next in this series without question.  I think I’ve just become an Ella Grace fan…I wonder what else she has written.

 

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Review of “House Rules” by Chloe Neill

Wow…Just WOW.  What a great book and such a great series from such a great writer.  This book has Merit and Ethan facing their greatest of foes, the GP. The uber authority of civilized vampires according to Darius (the ego crazy leader of the GP).  Not only does Ethan and Merit have to deal with the GP; they also must deal with a murder/mystery, jealousy, recovery from their previous encounters with dark magic, and lastly settling in to couple-hood.  Of course they are super vampires and manage with ease…ha

This seventh installment in the Chicagoland Vampires series is no different than the other six.  It is very well written and her content editors are superb as I found not one mistake or one sentence that didn’t make sense to me…KUDOS!  The books grabs you from the start and holds you tight until you’ve finished.  I read this book in what equated to a day.  While life interrupted me occasionally, I was addicted to and in dire straights to get back to it as soon as I could.

This is a great book.  Definitely worth the money and the time it takes to read it.

Only have two regrets and they are.  1.  We have to wait until August for book 8.  2.  We are one book closer to the end of this series and that saddens me deeply as I would love to read about Ethan and Merit…FOR-EV-ER!!

My word of advice to the movie maker sout there…MAKE THIS SERIES INTO MOVIES ALREADY.  I think it would far surpass the Twilight series, for sure.

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Review of “Star Crossed” By Kele Moon

You know that feeling you get when you find an author that you absolutely love after reading just one of their books.  Well…I have found her!  Her name is Kele Moon and it was by chance that I came across her book “Star Crossed” on Netgalley.  This books is her second in the Battered Hearts series and remember how I said that some authors are good at telling a back story for readers like me that pick up a book and start reading in the middle of a series.  Well Kele is REALLY good.  I will go back and read her first book in the series simply because of her writing and how much I loved it not because I am confused and don’t know enough about the prior book to get this one.  I really liked this book!

The names were a little cheesy…Romeo and Juliet.  But even with that, the story soared into life from the first pages.  She begins at a specific point and time then goes back in time a bit but never lost me in the story.  I was not confused or frustrated that I had to figure out when we were, the author kept me informed.

The story is fresh and their love story is unique.  Romeo is tough bad boy UFC fighter but your heart bleeds for him and all that he’s gone through and everything he is trying to protect.  Jules is absolutely everything I would want in a heroic leading lady.  She is soft when she needs to be and protects her man when she needs to.  The love scenes are H.O.T.!

I never expected the cliffhanger in the story to be so intense.  I laughed, I cried and I was jumping out of my seat at the injustice of it.  Much to my husband’s dismay, I could not put this book down all day.  It’s the first book in a LONG time that I wanted to flip back to page one and re-read it the second that I finished it.

If you like erotic romance and you’re over 18, get the book, read it!  You will love it too!

 

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