Cephalopod Coffeehouse May 2014–SEX. LOVE. REPEAT.


0ed81-coffeehouseHi there! Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.

This has been a totally wild year for me at V’s Reads. Today is my 1 year “blog-iversary” and I think I’ve done well. I went from “the million-ish” ranking as a reviewer at Amazon to #7000-something. I have gained a good batch of friends at Goodreads. I have made almost 260 posts, reviewed something close to 200 books–which I have actually read–and most of all I have proved to myself that I could do it.

See, I am a scientist–by trade. This year was meant to be an “experiment” in “can Veronica squeeze time.” I already read a ton–but blogging? That was a whole different beast. What I have learned in all the reads and posts and reviews has helped me as a writer and a critique partner in my writing group.  Anywho, thanks for following me or checking out my reviews. Hope I’ve offered up something with which you have connected.

To that end, I got my summer reads on early–in preparation for my June blog tour schedule. Still, I’ve had a chance to read some that I picked out just for the heck of it. And that’s how I stumbled across Alessandra Torre’s SEX LOVE REPEAT, a scorching, unconventional romance.

You need a spicy summer read? One to chase away the winter doldrums and put that spark back in your eye? Well, this book may just be for you! (Disclaimer: Hella lotta sex. You don’t like erotica? You don’t crack open this book. Period.)

Sex Love RepeatMy Review:

I would STRONGLY recommend this to any fan of erotica. It is not BDSM. It is vanilla. A whole bunch of vanilla…

Here’s why:

Madison has two lovers. Stewart is wealthy and wants her as a beck-and-call girl. Paul is her live-in boyfriend. They each know there is another man. They each know that Madison loves them both. They each love her.

It never becomes a ménage. This is good, because Paul and Stewart have a lot of history that is almost completely unbelievable, but thoroughly intriguing. I’m not saying more. You need to read the book if you want the juicy details. And, there are plenty of juicy details to be had.

A lot of reviews complain about the epilogue. Meh. There is room in the heart to love more than one person. If you think a character needs to be oblivious in order to be likeable, well, I’m gonna disagree. I think it would be naive to assume Madison couldn’t figure out the connection between Paul and Stewart in two years of dating both of them. And Madison is not naive. Nor is she stupid.

In fact, Madison admits that we, the reader, will likely hate her. She’s probably right. (Too damn lucky, that girl!)

Okay–usually I put a lot more detail in the review, but divulging more will ruin the tension. I loved all the beach/surfing references. The language is beautiful, and I adored Madison. Probably because I was totally channeling her. She has the best of everything. And, she’s surprisingly unaffected by the LA lifestyle. She is a candid narrator, and I respected her feelings for both Stewart and Paul. The smexytimes are graphic and copious–making this a perfect beach read, IMHO.

If you’re interested, you can pick this one up at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and probably your library.

Thanks for popping in! Don’t forget to check out the other blogs featuring their fave reads for May. And, as always, keep reading my friends! 🙂

1. The Armchair Squid 2. The Bird’s Nest
3. Stephanie Faris, Author 4. Trisha @ WORD STUFF
5. I Think; Therefore, I Yam 6. Subliminal Coffee
7. Katie @ Read, Write, Repeat 8. Nicki Elson’s Not-so-deep Thoughts
9. M.J. Fifield 10. StrangePegs — Old Man’s War
11. A Creatve Exercise 12. Romance Under Fire
13. mainewords 14. Kim Karras
15. StrangePegs — A Wrinkle in Time 16. Words Incorporated
17. The Writing Sisterhood 18. StrangePegs — A Wind in the Door
19. My Creatively Random Life 20. V’s Reads

Checking Out All The DANGEROUS CREATURES–A Review

I’m a bit late to the lovefest for Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl–I’ve read some of their separate works, but not the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series they co-wrote. One day I hope to go back and read forward, but, for now, I’m cool with starting their new DANGEROUS CREATURES spin-off.

If you haven’t read the previous collaborations, well, it’s a YA paranormal adventure/romance. All sorts magical supernatural creatures converge in (mainly) rural Georgia. There’s Leah, she’s a Caster–pretty much a witch. Her cousin, Ridley, is a Siren. In these stories there are two sides to magic, Light and Dark. Leah is Light. Ridley was claimed by the Dark side at age sixteen–which caused her parents to  shut her out, literally, from the family.

Since then, Ridley has struggled with her self-esteem. Oh, she’s got tons of bravado, and her body thrums with the Power of Persuasion, but it’s hard to accept if she’s truly loved by anyone–including her “boyfriend” Link, or if it’s simply her powers that draw him near.

And that’s where this spinoff begins.

Dangerous Creatures (Dangerous Creatures, #1)About the Book:

Some loves are cursed…others are dangerous.

Ridley Duchannes will be the first to tell you that she’s a bad girl. She’s Dark. She’s a Siren. You can never trust her, or even yourself when she’s around. Lucky for her, Wesley “Link” Lincoln can never seem to remember that; quarter Incubus or not, his heart is Mortal when it comes to Ridley.

When Link heads to New York City to start a music career, Ridley goes along for the ride-and she has her own reasons. As if leaving small-town Gatlin for the big city, trying to form a band, and surviving life with a partially reformed Siren isn’t hard enough already, Link soon learns he has a price on his head that no Caster or Mortal can ever pay.

My Review:

Ridley, Leah, Link and the Gatlin Gang of partial mortals have finished high school and prepare to leave their small-town world behind. Ridley and Link head north to NYC so Link can find himself a band and get busy getting famous. Ridley, well, she’s in a bit of hot water with a wager-gone-wrong. She has to provide a drummer for a Caster band in New York, or face the wrath of nightclub owner and Dark Caster Lennox Gates.

They arrive in NYC and meet up with the remnants of Devil’s Hangmen, Sampson, Necro and Floyd. And, to Ridley’s great chagrin, Link fits into the band too well. Floyd, who happens to be an adorable Illusionist, is not shy about sharing her attraction to Link…expect the usual salty exchanges and claw sharpening.

Bringing Link, a partial Incubus, to Lennox’s Dark Caster club gets Ridley all tweaked out. She knows the danger he faces among full-blooded supernaturals and fears for his safety. It also doesn’t help that Lennox is happy to insinuate himself between herself and her Shrinky Dink. (Yeah, these kids have a lotta ‘pet names’ for each other. I ain’t going into Link’s food-based song lyrics, but they help ground the story firmly in the YA category…)

Seems Lennox has a problem, a powerful adversary that is demanding to be avenged, and Lennox must collect the two people who ticked off his tormenter: Ridley and Link. He will, of course, except that he knows Ridley’s fate. Part of his gift is Sight, and he has seen how Sirens are treated in Caster society. His mother was one, after all. Meanwhile, Lennox is drawn to Ridley–and hopes he can save her from his tormentor’s captivity if only she’d drop Link. After all, that dude is a Dead Man Walking in the Caster realm.

The story is fast-paced with the usual juvenile misunderstandings and new adult wanderings for a life long-dreamed-for, but little-planned. I must say, I enjoyed Ridley. She is completely self-aware of her shallowness, insofar as she finds herself totally unlovable and isolates herself to protect her heart. She loves Link, but she can’t bring herself to acknowledge this and risk further vulnerability. Link, on the other hand, is ecstatic over his new band–and their success–he’s sure Ridley is just being mean when she tells him his adoring audience was being Charmed. Still, he loves her. He just can’t deal with her fears–she’s sure they are in great danger–and her manipulations–she totally lied about how he got hooked up with the band. Lennox is wealthy and sophisticated and everything Link is not, but will he win Ridley away in time to save her? Also, Link’s execution is all but planned–and from the last Caster either Ridley or Link could have suspected. In fact, Lennox risks his own life in order to tip them off.

While the book has a resolution, the story is clearly unfinished. Without question Lennox will be made to pay for his (well-meant) treachery and Link and Ridley can’t seem to get far enough out of the line of fire to prevent attack. I enjoyed the ride, and am sure that fans of earlier books will laud the “Link and Ridley” story for which they clamored. Considering all the romantic tension and simmering desire, the book is wholly innocent with only a few kisses to propel the love stories…so it’s safe for all YA readers.

Having not read the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES books, I was still able to get into this spinoff series. All the main players are quickly introduced and all backstory details highlighted without bogging down the book.

Interested? You can find DANGEROUS CREATURES on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and probably retail outlets like Target and Walmart among other booksellers and libraries. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley for review.

Dangerous Dream by Kami GarciaThere is a (short) linker story DANGEROUS DREAM available which describes Ridley’s brief escape from Gatlin that brought her to the infamous card game in Lennox’s club–the club which cost Ridley some of her powers and locked her into providing Devil’s Hangmen with a new drummer–after she Charmed their current drummer out of his gift. Yeah. Well, the recap was a nice transition piece for me, as I had not read the previous BEAUTIFUL CREATURES novels. My review is here.

You can find DANGEROUS DREAM on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Kami GarciaAbout the Authors:
Kami Garcia is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, Wall Street Journal & international bestselling co-author of the Beautiful Creatures Novels (Beautiful Creatures, Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos & Beautiful Redemption). Beautiful Creatures has been published in 50 countries and translated in 39 languages. The Beautiful Creatures movie released in theaters in February 2013.

Kami is also the author of Unbreakable, the first book her paranormal solo series, THE LEGION. See my review here.

Margaret StohlMargaret Stohl is the author of ICONS, the first book in the Icons Series.


After working with Activision (now Activision/Blizzard) and Westwood Studios (now EA), Margaret became a co-founder of 7 Studios with her husband, Lewis Peterson. She has previously been nominated for “Most Innovative Game Design” at the Game Developers Conference.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!


She’s Trapped With BROKEN GLAMOUR–Review and Giveaway

Broken-Glamour-Tour-Banner copyHi there and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for BROKEN GLAMOUR hosted by AToMR Book Tours. For other stops on the tour, click here. This New Adult romance is the second in the Glamour series by Maggie Marr.

Broken Glamour CoverBROKEN GLAMOUR (Glamour Book #2)

Now Available!

About the book:

Losing it all…is a new beginning
Amanda Legend grew up rich and privileged. Anything was hers for the asking, thanks to her superstar father. That is until Amanda’s honesty about bad behavior from her soon-to-be-new Step Mom, a former school chum, lands Amanda on the outs with her beloved father. No Trust fund. No rarified world. Even if Amanda never wanted the LA lifestyle, she now must survive on her own.

A come-back takes heart….
Ryan Sinclair was nearing the pinnacle of his movie career when he drove his Porsche off Malibu Canyon Road. Lucky to be alive, post rehab he’s ready to start the long climb back to the top. But to prove to Hollywood that he won’t relapse, he’s required to get a sober companion.

A job she never wanted with the man who helped destroy her life…
Amanda Legend may loathe the entertainment world, but she understands the rules. She also knows Ryan Sinclair, understands alcoholics (she grew up around a few) and now, after being banished from her posh lifestyle, needs a paycheck to get to New York. Amanda accepts the job as sober companion to Ryan Sinclair for his first film post rehab. But Amanda must learn to ignore her attraction to Ryan, because falling for a guy like him would pull her back into a world she desperately wants to escape.

Each title in the Glamour series may be read as a standalone.

My Review:

Amanda’s newest stepmother is a real piece of work. Even though Kiley was her best childhood friend, she’s a two-timing piece of nastiness. Oh, and she’s marrying Amanda’s uber-famous action movie star father:  Steve Legend. On the eve of the wedding, Amanda walks in and finds Kiley with a boytoy–drunk/drugged out Ryan Sinclair–and makes the hard decision to tell her father the truth.

Next thing she knows, Amanda’s trust fund has been cut off and she’s locked out of every home her father owns. Seems Daddy is on location in a remote patch of the Amazon jungle and Kiley is managing all joint assets–and boy is she vindictive. Penniless and denied jobs from anyone who knows Kiley, Amanda can’t escape LA to take the New York internship she had lined up. She reaches out to her bestie, Lane, for the support she needs.

Ryan can’t really remember the past year–his scandalous shenanigans are trapped in a haze of booze and drugs–but he knows he walked away from a horrific car crash the night of Steve and Kiley Legend’s wedding. Now out of rehab, Ryan struggles to rebuild his life and career–stone cold sober. His pal, Dillon, takes him in and helps him maintain a clean life.

With a job on the line, Ryan needs to find a sobriety companion–someone who can shuttle him to his many AA/NA/therapy appointments as well as his daily drug tests. He hires Amanda–a woman he’s sharing quarters with in Lane and Dillon’s home as well as someone he’s attracted to–and can’t figure out why she’s so pissed at him. Oh Ryan! You drunken scamp!

The attraction, is, as it turns out, mutual–against Amanda’s better judgment. Earning the money she needs to escape the LA Industry-scene is all she wants to think about, but Ryan is pretty efficient at distracting her. He’s staying sober, and seriously jeopardizing his recovery by pursuing Amanda. It looks as if she may cave, at least until tragedy strikes in the Amazon…

The book is chock full of tension–Ryan and Amanda aren’t a natural couple. He’s the bad boy, she’s the good girl, but the slowly building relationship works. They are together daily for weeks prior to initiating something as seeming small as a kiss–for Ryan, experiencing ANY physical relationship sober is completely foreign. For Amanda, experiencing a PHYSICAL relationship is foreign. Oh, and Kiley keeps digging the knife into Amanda whenever she can.  I know she gets hers, but I would have liked a little more mention of the fallout when Steve returned to eject his philandering wife from his home.

I liked Amanda–she was strong, smart and coped well with the many curve balls thrown at her. Ryan is a believable addict. He isn’t perfect, and he stumbles mightily, but he learns to pick himself up and stand on his own. It’s a solid romance, using a format many readers will find comfortable. Smexytimes are limited, but well-written and steamy.

Interested? You can find BROKEN GLAMOUR on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

hard glam-coverDon’t forget to check out the first book in the series: HARD GLAMOUR.

Lane Channing shows up in LA for an (unpaid) internship with virtually no money–and no way back home to Kansas. She lucks into a job as reader for rising action star, and serious Hollywood bad boy, Dillon MacAvoy. But, as Dillon’s “people” seek to keep Dillon single and “seemingly available” to promote his career, both he and Lane stumble into the Real Deal:  Love. You can find my review here. The book stands alone, but shares characters with BROKEN GLAMOUR allowing the reader peeks at a couple who has survived the meet-cute.

HARD GLAMOUR is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

About the Author

Maggie Marr grew up in the Midwest and made the move to Los Angeles to work in the movie business. She was a motion picture literary agent for ICM before becoming a full time writer. She’s written for film and TV and ghostwritten for celebrities. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and children.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win one of
10 ebook copies of BROKEN GLAMOUR (International)
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!


Happy Book Birthday to DON’T FALL! (and GIVEAWAY!)

Don’t Fall
Released TODAY!
Swoon Romance
Summary from Goodreads:
In which a teenage girl endures the over-protective love of her adoptive mother until she falls for a boy who has her wanting to spread her wings, pitched as a contemporary retelling of RAPUNZEL.
Seventeen-year-old Anya leads a very secluded life in a house on the edge of town with her adopted mother. She doesn’t go to school, but instead has a private tutor. Her over-protective mom keeps her so sheltered that she doesn’t even have a best friend. 
But Anya doesn’t seem to mind. She has her books, her photography, and her daydreams, and would do anything to please her mom. Until one day at the library, the only place she’s allowed to go, she takes a picture of a beautiful boy.
Before long she’s lying to her mom, and sneaking out late at night to meet Zander. But Zander wants more than a secret romance. If Anya wants to be with the boy of her dreams, she will have to risk her relationship with the only other person she’s ever cared about.

A word about “retellings” from Rachel Schieffelbein:
First of all, thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m going to talk a bit about fairy tales and why I wrote this retelling.

I have always loved fairy tales. I grew up on them, and I suppose I’m a bit of a romantic. I love magic, and true love, and happily ever afters. It makes me happy that retellings are gaining in popularity. All those old stories I loved are getting a new light shone on them, new twists, new characters, and new perspectives.

Rapunzel has been my favorite fairy tale from long before Disney made its version of it. (Although the Disney version is pretty cute.) To be honest, I think a big part of why it’s my favorite has to do with fond memories of visiting an elderly neighbor who used to read it to me.

It was a story I really wanted to work with, but making it contemporary had its challenges! So I will tell you now, no one climbs anyone’s hair. It’s the theme of the story I wanted to hold onto. The idea of this girl being locked away from the world, and how she has to set herself free to really find herself.

I love Anya, my Rapunzel. She’s sweet and innocent, but also spunky and fun. I wanted to write her a modern fairy tale, with its own kind of magic, true love, and happily ever after. Hopefully I’ve succeeded, and readers will fall for her and Zander, too.

Interested? You can find DON’T FALL on Goodreads and Amazon. My review will be out next week, so stay tuned!

About the Author
Rachel grew up in a tiny town in Minnesota. She still lives there, with her husband and their four kids. She coaches high school speech and theater, rides Arabian horses, reads as much as she can, and writes stories.
Author Links:
1 ebook of Don’t Fall + $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for stopping in, and keep reading my friends!

Book Blitz Organized by:

Saving the SON OF SET–Review and GIVEAWAY

Son-of-Set bannerHi there and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for SON OF SET brought to you by YA Bound book tours. For other stops on the tour click here. This Upper YA adventure romance is the second book from Kelsey Ketch.

a5725-sonset_cvr_xsmlSon of Set (Descendants of Isis #2)

by Kelsey Ketch

Now Available!

Summary from Goodreads:

“. . . the Sons would never just let him go—alive.”

Seth O’Keefe has broken the laws of his god. He never thought he would sacrifice his own future to protect a Daughter of Isis. But when the Sons of Set discovered Natti is the Secret Keeper, he had no choice. Now, Seth and Natti are on the run from his father, who wants nothing more than to see Seth dead. With no allies, Seth turns to the Daughters of Isis for help, hoping they would protect Natti. But when they meet the Daughters, he discovers a secret that puts both their lives in more danger. Low on options, Seth sees only one possibility for survival. He must help Natti solve an ancient puzzle and find the secret name of Ra.

Natara “Natti” Stone is having a hard time swallowing the truth. She can’t believe what she has learned in the past twenty-four hours: Seth is a Son of Set blessed with charm; she is a Daughter of Isis blessed with a sliver of Ma ‘at; the locket her grandmother gave her holds an ancient Egyptian secret linking to Osiris and Isis. That along with being tortured and brutalized by the Sons of Set, she can hardly hold herself together. Thank God for Seth’s touch! That warm, tingling sensation that drowns it all out. Yet her heart struggles to stay focused. She must quickly embrace her destiny before the secret name of Ra falls into the wrong hands.

*Note: Content for Upper YA*

My Review:
Wow! This escape tale is quite the fast-paced adventure, with a heaping helping of romance on the side. Natti is nearly killed by the Sons of Set, whose leader is none other than Seth’s father Sean. Seth brings Natti back from the brink–with no small help from healing powers he’s always had and never understood.

Natti struggles with the nightmares of her captivity–but also with the overwhelming influence of Seth’s Charm–see, as a Son of Set he has a gift to Charm any and all in his eyesight or grasp. He can make them do whatever her wants, even rewrite all their memories or lead them to their deaths.

Only, with Natti, his power isn’t complete–he can compel her, to a point. And he’d like to compel her into bed, once she’s healed. Still, the more time he spends on the run with Natti, the more he knows he can’t corrupt her with his dark soul. Doesn’t mean they don’t struggle with keeping celibate, however.

He decides that getting her into the protection of the Daughters of Isis society is the best course of action, but Natti’s resistant. She wants to find the secret name of Ra and use it to keep the Sons fo Set from raising Set…

Seth’s plans would be perfect, if only Sean wasn’t dogging their trail with the full force of law and disorder on his side. No, Seth and Natti are under constant pursuit, narrowly escaping capture time and again. Good thing Seth’s got that super healing power!

So, the book is fast-paced, the sexual tension is constant, and the girl saves her own day–for the most part. What’s not to like? If you ever had an Ancient Egypt fetish, or you liked The Mummy movies, this book will intrigue. Seth is a whole lot more likable in this book, than DAUGHTER OF ISIS. The book ends with a resolution, but not completion. So much more is at stake in the next episode–clearly we have mortals doing battle for the gods of Egypt and it’s gonna be one heck of a showdown.

Interested? You can find SON OF SET on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.

144d6-daughterofisisIf you haven’t yet read the first book in this series, you can pick up DAUGHTER OF ISIS on sale this week for &.99. This action pack adventure/romance will have you turning pages late into the night. It’s a bit of all right, matter of fact. You can read my review here. Let’s just say, that it’s safe for mature YA readers, K? K. 

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Kobo * Smashwords

d4281-kelseyketchAbout the Author

During her high school years, Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps. Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble Café in Cary, North Carolina. She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at Ketch’s Book Nook, and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate. Son of Set is the sequel to Daughter of Isis, her debut novel.

You can find Kelsey on her website, Goodreads, twitter and Facebook.


Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win:

a SON OF SET prize pack including:

was scepter pendant (created specially by SilverspotStudio),

a hieroglyphic tote bag,

and a Son of Set journal (INT)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and keep reading my friends!



Hi there! Just to spice things up I thought I’d share a couple of titles I picked up on the cheap and found amusing. One is a box-set of three paranormal ménage books, the other is a spicy contemporary romance. Both are $.99 at the time of this posting…

PS: I don’t make any money off my recommendations–I just devour books so I jump at the chance to get them cheap or free…and I like to pass on my ‘finds’ to you!

Eternally Yours Vampire Menage Collection (3 Books)About ETERNALLY YOURS:

Three vampire ménage novels by Tracey H. Kitts, combined for the very first time into one smoking hot collection. That is what you’re getting with the Eternally Yours Vampire Ménage Collection.

The Eternally Yours Vampire Ménage Collection includes:

1. Bitten
2. Necromancer
3. Diary of An Incubus

Sandra Ashton is a witch who suddenly finds herself dating three vampires. So, what do you do when you’ve got three immortal beings professing their undying or is that undead love for you? You agree to what they like to call, “joint custody.”

Jane Masters has no idea she’s a necromancer. Luis and Henri are the vampires responsible for the power mingled in her blood. Though her love life improves dramatically after meeting them, Jane faces a more urgent situation than dating a vampire or two. As Luis and Henri reveal the details of her past life and the source of her power, they learn there’s a killer on the loose and Jane is next on the list. As for her newly discovered past with the vampires, her heart remembers them. But will she survive to love them this time?

Jewel Mathers needed a good story for her next novel. She turned to the ancient journals in desperation. But fame and fortune comes with a price … and a couple of hot vampires.

My Review:

This three book set features three separate ménage vampire romances. Yes, ménage and vampire. It’s a two-fer of guilty pleasures. Each features a completely different set of heroines and lovers. It is all M/F/M with a heavy emphasis on the female being the center of all action and desire.

If you’ve never read ménage, this might be a fun way to test the waters. The romances are slower to develop than traditional ménage and the multiple scenes happen at the end of each, following a clearly solid primary romance. Also, they aren’t sloppy and the language is less potty-mouth than many I’ve read.

Interested? You can find ETERNALLY YOURS on Goodreads and Amazon. Current pricing is $.99, but may go up.

Vanilla on Top (Walk on the Wild Side, #1; Heather and Tony, #1)It’s wild that there are so many BRAZEN imprint books on sale through the end of May. Now’s your chance to snap up so really fun romances just in time for summer…


Discover your inner bad girl, and set her free…

Heather Pierce is done being a wallflower, both personally and professionally. Desperate to live a different life for one night, she attends a speed dating event. Maybe here, anonymous unless she chooses otherwise, she can become someone new. When a man way out of her league sits across from her, Heather gathers her courage and takes charge of what she wants, secretly fearing he won’t desire the real person she’s desperate to hide.

Top acquisitions officer and international playboy Tony Carmine is about to close the biggest deal of his career. But then he meets Heather at a speed dating event…and discovers losing control may be exactly what he needs. Her blossoming sensuality occupies his every thought, consuming him with the need to possess the most intriguing lover he’s ever encountered—until he walks into the boardroom and sees Heather on the other side of the negotiating table.

My Review:
Who doesn’t love a woman-empowerment romance? Heather has had enough of being taken advantage and decides she’s going to get the upper hand on her next partner. Tony shows up at a speed dating event on a lark as a friend’s wingman and is undone by the dominating gal he meets. There’s a word for a woman who gets a guy she just met to submit to her command for oral pleasure. I believe it’s “Bravo.”

Tony and Heather hit it, hard, and get caught up in something neither of them expected. Tony had never anticipated how erotic submission could be, and Heather charges forward in a “fake it ’till you make it” gambit to keep herself emotionally safe and sexually satisfied. This is NOT a BDSM book, it’s simply some super hot sexyplay that any couple could enjoy. There is a commitment to mutual pleasure–even when it is temporarily withheld.

But soon this liaison gets real. Tony turns up as a buyer for Heather’s company–and Heather fights to keep the business from being gobbled up. Being at odds in the board room might stifle a lesser couple’s sex drive, but not here. Table tennis, anyone?

I love the alternating viewpoint–mostly because I adore getting to know each character. Heather is so insecure, yet she acts to strong. Tony’s strong, but vulnerable with Heather. The role reversal really worked for me–and I’m gonna snap up the sequel just to see how these two move forward together.

Interested? You can find VANILLA ON TOP on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The sequel, VANILLA TWIST is also on sale for $.99 through the end of May, so click it while you can…

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends! 🙂

arbitrate = great (A review)

Hi there! A few weeks back I lost an entire weekend to Megan Thomason’s YA dystopian series daynight. Now I’m here to catch you all up. Just in case you needed a tense, state-sponsored love-triangled, YA romance to pass the time this Memorial Day.

daynight centers it’s activity on Thera, a parallel planet where the land exists as a mirror image of Earth’s and it’s so incredibly hot that all activity occurs in the cooler nighttime hours. Kira is pulled into the Second Chance Institute, thinking it will land her a college scholarship. Instead she ends up on an otherworldly adventure with supremely deadly consequences.

The second book in the series, arbitrate, is about a clean as a book can be–for having a love-square with a married couple…and whoo-boy is the tension crackling. (FYI–not a stand-alone, per se. I mean, you could read it that way, but it’ll be kinda confusing at first.)

Clean Slate Complex (Daynight, #1.5)In order to set the mood, you can download the free companion story, Clean Slate Complex, which is a standalone but has some overlapping characters in arbitrate. My review is here. In it we learn of some shady dealings on Earth that are bringing a whole lotta Second Chancers to Thera.

Particularly we learn a lot about Alexa, a former homeless girl who is now the spokesperson for the Clean Slate Complex, a division of the Second Chance Institute. It all sounds so benign, but it is a giant leap in the other direction. Also, we get some insight into Joshua Black. He’s a Theran daynighter whose parents run the CSC. He’s a cousin to both Ethan and Blake, and they are (potential) suitors to Kira.

In daynight we thought Kira was going to be okay. She was cleaved to her new mate, and going to protect those she loved most….well, maybe not so much.

Arbitrate (Daynight, #2)About the book:

It’s one year later. Everything has changed.

Remember The Second Chance Institute (SCI). Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. They’ve stepped up their game on Earth and on Thera—infiltrating political parties, preying on the downtrodden, and planning offensive maneuvers. And they’re handing out more “second chances” than ever before. The SCI’s abuse of their charter leads to Arbiter oversight and bitter consequences.

Remember Kira Donovan. Broken, burdened, and evading those who wish her harm, Kira enlists the Arbiters’ help when forced to return to the clutches of the SCI and her angry, estranged love.

Remember Blake Sundry. Exiled, determined, and packing an agenda, Blake seeks assistance on Earth and Thera to use his newfound knowledge to bring down the SCI.

Remember Ethan Darcton. Overworked, emotional, and holding a grudge, Ethan hunts down his stolen property, but finds himself in awkward territory, stuck between the Arbiters and the SCI.

Full of action, competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, arbitrate is book #2 in the award-winning, bestselling daynight series.

My Review:

The second I finished daynight I one-clicked both Clean Slate Complex and arbitrate. Then I tucked in for a long weekend of neglected household duties and insomnia. I had thought Ethan and Kira would be a strong couple, facing down Ethan’s formidable mother and building a life together–particularly after Kira’s forced impregnation. Not happening.

No, a year later the babies are born, Kira’s in hiding after having survived something like 17 assassination attempts. Meanwhile, Ethan’s the lapdog of the daynighters. His half-brother, Blake, is on a mission to rescue one of Kira’s babies from a kidnapper. Oh, and Blake’s leading the new resistance on Thera to secure legal status and housing for exiled Therans and Second Chancers.

Ethan’s shattered when he hears that Kira died in childbirth–she hadn’t thanks to Jax, Ethan’s other half-brother–but Ethan seeks solace from Alexa, an Earthling daynighter who works for his uncle’s Clean Slate Complex. To Kira, Ethan seeking any companionship is a huge betrayal–even if Ethan thought Kira had died.

So, yeah. Theran politics is a total mess. And, they aren’t content to screw up their own planet. No, Ethan’s other uncle is a US Senator, campaigning for the presidency.

Jax, an arbiter, has a lot of powerful abilities, skills that half-arbiter Ethan is trying to hone. It was Jax’s teleportation that saved Kira time and again, and his blood transfusion that brought her back from the brink of death. In seclusion, Kira bonds with her babies, surviving tormenting daymares of her many close calls. Ethan learns that she’s still alive and wishes to “claim” her, but Kira won’t have him. In fact she arranges, with the help of the arbiters, to command the first ever Theran divorce.

Free of any suitors, Kira is able to focus on motherhood and her recovery–all the while Ethan, Jax and Blake drift in and out of her life.

The machinations run ultra deep in this book. The Genitors, those who create life on both Thera and Earth, are not happy with the manner in which Second Chancers are being “harvested” for Thera, nor are they best pleased with the new militaristic changes on Thera. They give Ethan the chance to fix things–before they step in, and wow, do they make a huge impression.

Joshua Black and Blake become conspirators to bring down the Theran power structure, but in completely different ways. Truly, I can’t even sum up 75% of the book in a single blog post, but I will tell you I adored the book. Kira does find a happily ever after–discovering the power within herself to protect her beloved children, and accepts a cleave (husband) who loves her absolutely and unconditionally. Blake has some serious issue that he works through, and I’m glad we’ll see more of him.

Ethan started out the story with such a bright path and ended up in pretty dire straights–but we can tell he’s going to bounce back in the third book.  Plot twists and turns will keep you turning pages well into the night. For all the “Love Square” this is a completely clean book–barely kissing, folks–so it’s safe for upper YA readers.

Interested? You can find arbitrate on Goodreads and Amazon.

Megan ThomasonAbout the author:

Bestselling, award-winning author Megan Thomason lives in paradise aka San Diego, CA with her husband and five children. A former software manager, Megan vastly prefers writing twisted tales to business, product, and marketing plans. When she isn’t typing away on her laptop, she’s reading books on her phone–over 600 in the last year–or attending to the needs of her family. Megan’s fluent in sarcasm, could potentially benefit from a 12-step program for road rage, struggles with a Hot Tamales addiction, loves world travel & fast cars and hates paperwork & being an insomniac.

You can find her on her website, Goodreads, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in! And, keep reading my friends! 🙂


Swooned for The DUKE IN DENIAL–A Review

What if following your heart could cause your death?

Hi there! Welcome!

Today’s book is one I’ve been waiting to share until it was released. It’s an historical M/M romance and I adored it. Allow me to tell you more about THE DUKE IN DENIAL by Alexandra Ainsworth.

The Duke in DenialAbout the book:

Sebastian Lewis never expected to become a duke. But with the sudden deaths of his cousin and uncle, Sebastian’s position changes. He is determined to fulfill his new responsibilities with grace, even if it means remarrying, and even if the attractions of women, so often lauded by poets, fail to interest him.

Captain William Carlisle, newly returned from India, is elated when he meets Sebastian. Nobody knows of his inclinations, but his harrowing experiences in battle have prompted him to reach for the type of companionship he longs for. He thinks Sebastian might feel an attraction as well, but to his dismay, he discovers that Sebastian is courting his sister Dorothea.

After a semi-arranged engagement and a disconcerting romantic tangle with William, Sebastian escapes London to look after his manor, only to face mysterious thefts, a headless ghost, and the arrival of his fiancé, her brother, and his family. Sebastian’s new estate sits on the south coast, England’s most vulnerable location, and Napoleon has set his sights on conquering the area. Amid this growing turmoil, Sebastian must sort out his feelings for his fiancée’s brother and keep his home safe . . . and determine if he has the courage to reach for his own happiness in the process.

My Review:
Sebastian is a newly entailed Duke following the untimely deaths of his uncle and cousin. From his remote northern estate, he’s thrust upon the London scene as one of the biggest “catches” of the season. A widower who recently lost his young son, Sebastian hopes to marry quickly and get settled in his new duties; his focus has always been outward, caring for his estates and the people who work them. Not a romantic, he expects to have cordial relations with his wife-to-be, Dorothea, his dead cousin’s fiancé. She’s a beautiful woman, yet Sebastian isn’t attracted, much. He’s really not sure why–or why all the men around him act like such lecherous fools…

Then he meets William and Sebastian’s unhappy to sense an attraction to another man. William is an army Captain, newly returned from duty in India where he was injured. He’s recuperating and spending time with his younger sister, Dorothea, who it seems will soon wed a Duke.

Yes. That Duke.

Sebastian and William had shared some lovely moments before learning that they were to be joined as brothers-in-law. William, who understands his sexuality, is attracted to Sebastian and playful in his banter without being overt. Sebastian just senses an instant connection to William–he’s much more down-to-earth than the London aristocracy-but knows his attraction is unnatural, unacceptable and illegal in these Victorian times. The more William approaches, he harder it is for Sebastian to step away, however. Dorothea knows her brother well, and suspects there is more than filial interest behind William’s attentiveness to her fiancé.

Still, the seal is broken. The attraction simmers so much that William is almost compelled to break off his sister’s engagement–ruining her chances for another match.

Sebastian is determined to deny this passion he feels for William, and to marry Dorothea, but in the mix we get a whole lotta drama. Sebastian’s new estate has become the scene of some untoward rumors. The few staff not scared off the ghost are afraid of Napoleon’s army invading. And his new neighbor, Sir Ambrose, seems determined to steal Dorothea away.

It’s a lovely trip into the past, with the added bonus of a steamy romance. Sebastian is so determined to do right by everyone but himself–and William is unwilling to let go a man with whom he can share himself completely. Supporting characters help to round out the story in ways that were fun and surprising. I adored Sebastian’s cousin Penelope, and her mother–both of whom were outspoken women. Dorothea’s almost mercenary desire to marry Sebastian was at reasonable–considering Sir Ambrose’s unwelcome advances.

The resolution of the ‘ghost’ had just enough breadcrumbs such that I could predict the culprit and still enjoy the revelation. And action picks up steadily, a whole espionage subplot takes over the climax leaving Sebastian being thoroughly bereft of love, for a time. It may sound like there’s broken hearts, but the end is a superlative HEA. In the upper crust of Regency London, it is the appearance of propriety that is important, and William and Sebastian are able to make a life that works for them without upsetting the social applecart. Dorothea’s reputation was also spared.

The steamy scenes were so well done, sexy not sloppy, and I’m always enchanted by ‘first times’. Sebastian’s complete naïveté of all things homosexual was nearly comical–getting picked up by a man and having a drink in a mollyhouse was a real blunder. One he was grateful that William saved him from. I enjoyed the slow burn of the romance. The characters were equally introspective, and cautious, about moving forward into relations fostering an exquisite sexual tension. The dialogue and language was appropriate for the period, which I treasured.

Interested? You can find THE DUKE IN DENIAL on Goodreads, and Amazon. I received a copy of this book via NetGalley for advanced review.

About the Author:

The Duke in Denial is her debut novel. You can find her on her website, Facebook and twitter.Alexandra Ainsworth lives on the south coast of England. An ardent Anglophile, Alexandra left her home in New England several years ago to move to the real England, spurred on by promises of good tea and green countryside. She still gets a thrill from living in the same country as all her favorite regency romance characters. 

Thanks for popping in! And, keep reading my friends! 🙂


Sneak Peek! FALL TO YOU by Lexi Ryan


Hi there! Today I’m hosting a sneak peek of Fall to You by Lexi Ryan. This New Adult contemporary romance is the second book in the Here and Now series. It is not a stand-alone and is intended to be read following Lost in Me. Hanna’s story concludes in book three, All for This.

Disclaimer: The books are sexy. Mature Audiences only! And the except below…well, it’s a sexy non-sex-scene. If you like ’em hot, read on!

To give you a sense of what’s happened, Hanna suffers a fall and serious brain injury. When she wakes up, she learns that she’s got amnesia erasing her memories of the past year. She also learns she’s engaged to her childhood crush, and dating a sexy rock star. Problem is they are two different men….

FallToYou Amazon GR SWNew Adult Contemporary Romance
Available June 2, 2014
Pre-order on iBooks

About This Book:

Torn between two men…
When I woke up after the accident, I couldn’t remember anything from the last year—including my relationship with Max Hallowell or anything about Nate Crane. Now my memories are returning, but instead of answering my questions, they’re leaving me with more.

The man who broke my heart and wants to be my future…
Max is all I ever wanted, and now he wants to marry me. He’ll do everything he can to fill my life with love, family, and security. I need those things now more than ever. But can I trust him?

The man who stole my heart and wants to let me go…
Nate never made me promises, and I never asked him to. I’d been on the rebound, looking for a distraction, and he made me feel beautiful and wanted when I needed to feel those things most. He says he has to let me go, but what if I can’t let go of him?

With every revelation and every passing day, I feel more like Alice down the rabbit hole. I’m falling. Who will catch me?

Sneak Peek:

Three Months Before Hanna’s Accident
I haven’t slept all night with a woman next to me since before my son was born, yet here I am, holding her like I’m some closet romantic who doesn’t plan to send her on her way in a couple of hours. I loved every fucking minute of sleeping with her in my arms. I love how she reached for me in her sleep, how she rubbed her ass against my cock as if trying to wiggle a puzzle piece into place. And maybe a puzzle is the right analogy, because her body fits so damn perfectly against mine that I feel like something’s missing when she rolls away.

She’s on her back now, a hand reaching out, fingers resting on my bicep as if she’s afraid I might escape. The women I take to my bed tend to react that way, but I know it has little to do with my mad bedroom skills. For them, it’s about status, a notch in their bedpost of celebrities. What’s it about for Hanna?

The air conditioner cycles on, parting the curtains and bathing her in morning light that reminds me I should be urging her out of my bed. Only I don’t want her to go anywhere. I’m too enthralled by the dark smudge of her lashes against her cheeks and the soft parting of her full lips. She has these faint freckles across the bridge of her nose, another detail in this study in contrasts—the sweet, insecure virgin who doesn’t understand her own appeal and the wanton goddess who sucked me so hard and pulled my dick so deep she’s no doubt ruined me for all other blowjobs. And the way she responds when I touch her…

Hanna’s a virgin, but she was made for sex. Damn, how I envy the man who will get to introduce her to that pleasure. Will it be the ex? Max?

Something flames in my gut at the thought, but I ignore the flare of jealousy. She still loves him. I’m nothing more than the rebound guy, and I should be glad for that because I can’t offer her more than this.

“Mmm,” she moans, her eyes fluttering open and closed again as if she can’t quite convince them to greet the day. “What are you looking at?”


She pats her hair before tugging the sheet up to cover her bare breasts. “Not much to look at before coffee. I’m probably a mess.”

“A beautiful mess,” I growl, tugging the sheet back down. “Don’t interrupt me. I was trying to play connect-the-dots with your freckles.”

She raises a brow but doesn’t try to re-cover herself. “How’s that work?”

“Well, they obviously start here,” I murmur, touching the bridge of her nose. “Then they pick up again here…” I drag my finger down her nose, over her soft lips, and to her collarbone, where a few more freckles are sprinkled.

“Not much of a treasure hunt.”

“Oh, you see, the amateur might think that’s the end of the trail, but I am an expert at connect-the-dots, and I don’t give up so easily.”

“Oh. Good. I was worried.”

I shake my head and press a quick kiss to her lips. “I won’t let you down. But are you ready for the next part?”

“I don’t know? Is it hangman? I’m not sure I want you playing hangman with my freckles.” Her smile damn near bowls me over.

“Still connecting the dots, but you see, it’s about intuition when the going gets tough like this, and for my intuition to work at its best, I need to stop searching with my fingers and take over with my tongue.”

She giggles. “Oh really?”

I climb on top of her, resting on my elbows, and she instinctively draws up her knees so my torso rests between her thighs. My cock aches, demanding that I slide up her body and get closer. Fuck. It wants more than to be close. It wants inside her. Tight and hot and deep. But I ignore it and lower my mouth to the freckles on her collarbone.

The taste of her skin on my tongue makes me hungry for more. I want to lick her clit again, to slide my tongue inside her until she loses control and rocks her hips in that sweet rhythm of fucking.

Instead, I trail my tongue down between her breasts and to the lone freckle beneath her sternum. “Found it,” I murmur before gently nipping her skin.

She arches toward my mouth. “Your tongue has a rather impressive intuition.”

“Oh, and it’s not even done yet.”

I’ll tell you…this book packs some serious heart. Oh, and heat, too!

My review to come in June!

About the Author
Once a college English professor, I now write full time. I live in rural Indiana, where, when I’m not writing, I get to hang out with my husband and two kids–a six-year-old boy and a two-year-old hellion, er, girl. Not surprisingly, reading and writing remain my favorite activities, though both come in bits and pieces these days, not the big hunks of time I enjoyed before I had children.
When I’m feeling virtuous, I like to go running (I use that word liberally. I’m really, really slow) or do yoga. Don’t worry, I’m always careful to balance out such activities with a hearty serving of ice cream or a chocolate martini.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Book Blitz AND Giveaway! HEART SHAPED ROCK


Heart Shaped Rock
Release Date: May 2014

Summary from Goodreads:
Sometimes a shattered heart needs to sing to love again.
Sixteen year old singer-songwriter Shaynee Sullivan hasn’t so much as touched her guitar since her mom died six months ago. In fact, Shaynee hasn’t felt like doing much of anything lately, except maybe playing Whack-a-Mole on her “emotionally intelligent” brother’s head.
But when she meets a gorgeous and surprising rocker named Dean, her shattered heart begins to mend . . . and then burst at the seams. Heart-wrenching, heart-warming, and sometimes even heart-racing, Heart Shaped Rock will leave you laughing through tears and rooting for love in all its forms.
Hear the original music performed in Heart Shaped Rock at www.LauraRoppe.com. All music available on iTunes.

Available from:

Amazon * B&N * Kobo * iTunes

“If you liked the music collaboration of Maybe Someday, you’ve got to check out Heart Shaped Rock.”
New York Times best-selling author of Maybe Someday, Colleen Hoover

“Laura Roppé has written a moving and emotional novel of first love, accurately capturing the voice and mind of a dramatic and emotional sixteen year old girl caught in a maelstrom of grief and loss, love and heartbreak. And then there’s Dean…you’ll just have to read the book, ‘cause I can’t do him justice in a few short sentences.”
Jasinda Wilder, New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of Falling into You

How about a little taste?
“I’m Dean,” he says, extending his hand.
I put my hand in his and immediately feel a current of electricity jolt through my body. I jerk my hand away.
“I’m Shaynee,” I say, sounding more confident than I feel. “I recently learned I’m supposed to say my name when someone says theirs. So, there, I did it. I said my name. It’s Shaynee.” Oh God, I’m rambling.
He laughs a masculine, guttural laugh.
I freeze. I know that laugh. Oh my God. I look down at his clothes. Jeans. Combat boots. He’s not wearing the leather jacket, but . . .
Another plume of smoke from the bonfire hits and envelops us. Again, I cough ferociously. But he isn’t coughing at all.
When the smoke clears, he lets out his breath. “You’re a bonfire rookie, Shaynee.”
When he says my name, my stomach flips over and that electricity from our handshake bounces throughout my body.
He turns to look at me, flashing a wicked grin, and I finally see those startling blue eyes in the flickering light confirming what I already know. Motorcycle Boy.
“When you see smoke coming,” he says, “you gotta hold your breath ‘til it passes.”
“Or, hey,” I say, “here’s an idea—we could just move back a bit.”
“What, and sacrifice warmth?” He grins.
“It is a bit of a Sophie’s Choice, isn’t it?”
Dean laughs like he actually understands my movie reference.
Gah, is it super-duper hot out here tonight? Am I sitting way too close to the fire? Is my hair burning? “Actually, holding my breath is my superpower,” I blurt. “I can hold my breath all day long.” God, I sound like such a dork.
“Well, that’s a handy superpower. You could totally team up with Aquaman and fight underwater crime and stuff.” He shoots me a crooked smile. “And make some really beautiful tadpoles.”
I can’t take it anymore. I have to call a spade a spade. “You’re the guy on the motorcycle.” It’s a statement, not a question. “Motorcycle Boy.”
“Yes, I am. And you’re the girl with the walkie-talkie. Walkie-Talkie Girl.” He laughs.

 Check out the musical trailer!

About the Author
Laura Roppé is an award-winning singer/songwriter, author, audio book narrator, speaker, and former attorney from San Diego, California. In 2011, Billboard Magazine ranked her as Number Three on its chart of the Top 50 “uncharted” artists in the world. In May 2013, Laura began hosting Amazon’s weekly podcast, “Kindle Love Stories,” for people who love hearing about love stories, romance, and happily ever afters.

Her first book is the non-fiction memoir, Rocking the Pink. Her latest is a YA-teen romance novel entitled Heart Shaped Rock, featuring a soundtrack.

Author Links:

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