UndressedUndressed (The Manhattanites #1) by Avery Aster
* I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
**this review has previously been posted**

Milan’s notorious playboy, Prince Tittoni, seems to have everything—Lamborghinis, exotic women, palaces throughout Europe and business success. Ramping up his fabric company to go global with a new apparel brand, he ruthlessly stops supplying fabrics to the American client who inspired the collection. But once they meet, what’s he willing to give to get her in his bed?

Upper East Side designer Lex Easton has already endured her fair share of hard knocks. She’ll be damned if she’ll let an Italian stud muffin knock her down. So what if she named her favorite vibrator after him? With Fashion Week approaching, she’ll do whatever it takes to secure the fabrics she needs to make her clothing line an international success—even sleep with her rival.

Lex’s Louboutins are dug in deep to win this war. All’s fair in love and fashion!

Inside Scoop: Though the hero and heroine remain monogamous, their Prada-wearing friends indulge in a ménage a trois and other fashionable sexual fun and games.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Lex and her mother, Birdie have had their share of the limelight, with her rock star father leaving them in debt when he passed away.  They have worked hard to make their clothing line, Easton Essentials to become a success. Thanks to Birdie’s addictions, their company is in jeopardy because they have lost their fabric supplier.  It’s up to Lex to convince Prince Tittoni to release their fabrics, she is desperate and willing to do just about anything to save her company.

Prince Tittoni has not had a good history with women so he is gun shy.  He is taken aback when he meets Lex Easton; she is like no other woman he has ever met.  She intrigues him and infuriates him at the same time.  She is outspoken and beautiful but there is still a shyness about her.  The more he is around her, the more of his heart he loses to her.  Will he be able to convince her that together they are stronger both as a couple, as well as a business?

I loved Lex, she is a such a sassy character.  She is not afraid to say what she thinks or stand up for herself.  I don’t know many women brave enough to travel across the world on their own to face a notorious prince that has done them wrong.  I don’t know if she is fearless or if it was truly desperation that drove her.  She was like a momma bear defending her cubs when it came to her company, it’s obvious how much Easton Essentials means to her.

She also has a very private side to her that makes her camera shy around the paparazzi; she had enough of that as a small child.  She is thrown into the limelight while on the Prince’s arm and starts to believe everything will be ok, until the other shoe drops.  It takes her whole Manhattanite crew to fix the PR nightmare in the US while Massimo takes care of the culprits.  Now she has to decide whether she can live the life of a royal princess always in the spotlight.

The story flowed well and was a fast, sexy read.  It’s an Ellora’s Cave story so there is definitely some explicit sexual content and language in it along with a ménage’.  I loved the scenery, fast cars, planes and sexy men and women.  Once they finally hooked up, I kept waiting on the other shoe to drop and I wasn’t disappointed.  The ending was filled with a couple of really neat surprises.

Lex and Massimo are so good together; I loved the back and forth between them. She is fierce and not afraid to say what she thinks where he is refined and has always been told to “avoid conflict” at all costs.  He is comfortable in the spotlight but she hides from the cameras, with Masi’s help she might just learn to accept the spotlight.  Neither have had a good example of what love is but they are willing to take the chance together to figure it out.  I still have to say that the ending was my favorite, Masi has a few tricks up his sleeve and really is a hopeless romantic where Lex is concerned.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, it had enough spice and heat to it while not taking away from the actual story of Lex and Masi.  I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.  I give Undressed 4 Flaming Hearts.   4 Hearts

Storm Bound

Storm Bound by Alice Gaines
*A review copy of this book was received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

Stranded on a steamy tropical island, . . . these three will create their own heat . . .

Christie Lovejoy is normally all business. But when a hurricane bears down on the exclusive resort she’s sharing with two sexy businessmen, it’s time to throw caution to the tropical winds. How often do you find two gorgeous men with the hots for you . . . and the willingness to share?

Wolf Martin and Jon Carlson have been friends for years, and their taste in women has never overlapped . . . until now. Wolf, Jon, and Christie use the luxurious resort to take the kind of sensual journey that only total isolation will allow. But when the storm recedes, will they be ready to leave their island paradise?

Christie is so proud of the fact that the luxury resort is built to withstand a hurricane while continuing to provide its guests the luxury they deserve.  She will do whatever it takes to prove it to Wolf and Jon, including stranding the three of them on the island during a hurricane.  The storm raging outside wasn’t the only storm the three of them would experience while stranded on the island.  Will her snap decision allow her to experience her greatest fantasies or backfire on her and cost her everything?

Jon and Wolf have been best friends and business partners for a long time.  They are visiting the resort looking for investment property, they never expected to both be attracted to the same woman.  They are competitive in everything they do so when opportunity arises, they make a bet to see who will come out on top.

The three of them have instant chemistry so the scenes between them are extremely sexy.  I love the interaction between the three of them, what girl wouldn’t love the attention of two sexy men fighting for your attention.  I have read a lot of ménage books but this one is different; they are all involved in the seduction but their encounters are one on one with some voyeurism & self-gratification mixed in.

There are some sexy scenes in lots of different locations all over the luxury resort.  The kitchen scene was scorching hot and I’ll never look at making pasta the same again.  Another favorite scene was the one on the beach at the end, it was sexy but there was so much more to it than just the sex.  It is obvious that there is something between the three of them that they don’t want to end when they all leave the island.  They know it’s not a conventional relationship and decide to try and find some creative ways to be together.

Overall I enjoyed this scorching hot novella, it definitely competed with the heat outside LOL.  I will definitely be looking for other books by this author and hope there is another one with these characters.  I give Storm Bound 4 Flaming Hearts. 4 Hearts

MastMaster of the Opera I - Jeffe Kennedyer of the Opera I (Passionate Overture) by Jeffe Kennedy
* I received this ARC free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

In the first tantalizing installment of Jeffe Kennedy’s ravishing serial novel Master of the Opera, an innocent young woman is initiated into a sensual world of music, mystery, passion–and one man’s private obsession. . .

Fresh out of college, Christine Davis is thrilled to begin a summer internship at the prestigious Sante Fe Opera House. But on her first day, she discovers that her dream job has a dark side. Beneath the theater, a sprawling maze of passageways are rumored to be haunted. Ghostly music echoes through the halls at night. And Christy’s predecessor has mysteriously disappeared. Luckily, Christy finds a friend and admirer in Roman Sanclaro, the theater’s wealthy and handsome patron. He convinces her there’s nothing to fear–until she hears the phantom’s voice for herself. Echoing in the labrynths. Singing of a lost love. Whispering her name: Christine.
Passionate Overture is the first installment in this new serial by Jeffe Kennedy. Christine’s dad got her an internship at the Santa Fe Opera House where strange things are going on. She wants to prove that she can be on her own and take care of herself, despite what her father thinks. She is concerned about what happened to her predecessor but she is determined not to let the rumors stop her.

She has reconnected with her childhood friend Roman, who finally sees her as the woman she has become. Things seem to be going well for her at the opera house, until a couple of bizarre incidents spook her. Weird noises, strange dreams and disappearing interns are among some of the issues that she is dealing with.

This story is a modern take on the beloved classic Phantom of the Opera with an erotic twist. The first book has very little erotic elements but it doesn’t disappoint. The author does a wonderful job of setting up the story and scenery around the Santa Fe Opera House without over doing it. The reader has no trouble imagining themselves right in the middle of the book. You are instantly drawn into the ongoing serial wanting to see where the writer will take you next.

The main characters are engaging and evoke emotions in the reader. I like Christy’s character but hope she grows as the stories continues. She wants to prove herself to her family but she comes across meek when she deals with Carla. I am on the fence regarding Roman. I honestly think he’s kind of sleazy and hope that he proves me wrong as we move forward with the storyline. The mysterious “phantom” definitely intrigues me and I want to see more of him.

Overall I enjoyed the first installment and can’t wait to read the second one in this series. I give Passionate Overture 4 Flaming Hearts.  4 Hearts

Almost MagicAlmost Magic by JM Kelley

*This book is part of my personal library*

When it came to Vivian Burroughs’ unique connection with nature, her grandmother always said, ‘Mediocrity may not burn as bright as a firecracker, but it seldom blows up in your face.’ But the old woman never advised her on what to do when a sexy new neighbor stokes the flames of attraction.
Jack Riley, a still-grieving widower, relocates from the big city to small-town Essex Woods with his young daughter, Elizabeth. His introduction to Vivian leaves him enchanted, but rumors regarding her abilities soon come to light. Is the local beauty a witch or merely the product of an eccentric upbringing by her mother Fred and Aunt Lil, identical twins with a penchant for mischief?
Jack is intrigued by the mystery surrounding the woman, considering the complexities of raising the precocious Elizabeth, a child with frighteningly accurate intuitiveness. As he reluctantly draws closer to Vivian, he also discovers how deep his daughter’s gifts run. Can Jack accept the truth about his own flesh and blood, as well as a second chance at love?

Vivian has always had a connection with nature and now the people of Essex Woods look to her for her herbal remedies. Even though she by most people, there are some that believe her and her family are witches. She has lived with this stigma all her life and it has affected her love life. She’s resigned herself to being alone until a handsome stranger and his daughter move in. There is something about Jack Riley and his little girl that draws her to them.

Jack is trying to do the best he can to raise his daughter when he moves them to the small town. He thinks it will be better for both of them to get away from the city and the memory of his deceased wife. Jack is suffering from insomnia and is worn out to the point that the thinks he’s seeing things when his “wife” shows up at their new house. Elizabeth has a secret of her own though that she is afraid to share with her father because she doesn’t want to worry him. Elizabeth can sense the anguish her mother is causing her dad and doesn’t know how to help him. Maybe the local herbalist can help them both.

Vivian has a huge heart, loves to help people and wants someone of her own to love. She has had trouble dating all her life due to the rumors regarding her family so she spends her time with her flowers and garden.   When a handsome stranger moves to town, she is entranced by him. She is drawn to him and his daughter and loves spending time with them. The best part is he doesn’t put any stock in the rumors, until his is affected.

Jack is searching for something, he just doesn’t know what. He moved to the quite town hoping to give them a new start but that’s hard to do when you are haunted by your deceased wife. He thinks he’s losing his mind and the only time he feels at peace is with Vivian. When he takes a leap of faith and let’s go of his preconceived notions, things begin to look up for the couple.

I love the secondary characters in the book from the nosey neighbor to Viv’s mom and aunt; they just enough humor to have you laughing out loud. The eccentric old ladies are so much fun and speak their mind no matter what. They each have their own special talents and set out on a plan that will surely get Viv and jack together, nothing can go wrong – right? The author does a good job of including the secondary characters just enough so they don’t take away from the main characters but enhance their story.

I think Jack and Viv and good together. He is lost and she is looking for acceptance; together they find what they need. He doesn’t judge her based on the rumors he’s heard, he accepts her for who she is. They are drawn to each other and enjoy each other’s company. I enjoyed how the story between them unfolded; it was full of laughter, love, heartache and tears. They didn’t instantly fall in love but had to fight for what they wanted.

I love this author; one of my all-time favorite books is Drew in Blue by her and this story was right up there. Overall I really enjoyed Jack and Viv’s story and give Almost Magic 4 Flaming Hearts. 4 Hearts

Vampire Most WantedVampire Most Wanted (Argeneau #20) by Lynsay Sands
*A review copy of this book was received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

For Basha Argeneau, anything is better than facing her estranged family. Even hiding out in sweltering southern California. But when a sexy immortal in black shows up determined to bring her back to the clan, she’ll do anything to keep far, far away from the past she can’t outrun.

Marcus Notte isn’t here to play games—especially not with someone as crazy as the infamous blonde. Asked by Lucian Argeneau to bring her back for questioning, Marcus is determined to carry out Lucian’s request—no matter how the seductive little mind-reading vamp feels about it.

Basha doesn’t mind fighting fire with fire, especially with a hot immortal involved. But if he wants to take her away, he’ll have to catch her first . . .

Basha Argeneau, now known as Divine has been on the run from her family for as long as she can remember.  She is afraid that if Uncle Lucian finds her and her son Damian, he will kill them.  She has been considered a rogue for years and is always on the move.  She’s made her home with many different carnivals over the years and now her uncle’s spy has found her.  He’s sexy and she can’t seem to get him out of her head.  He represents a future she dreams about but doesn’t think she can ever have.

Marcus Notte has been going through the motions of life for a while now.  He has always been there to help watch out for friends and family but lately he doesn’t feel like he’s needed by anybody.  When he gets the request to help Lucian look for his niece, he never dreamed he would find his life mate in the process.  Things become complicated when he realizes the true identity of his life mate.

Divine/Basha has tried to live her life helping people to make up for her past.  She was abducted as a child and put through Hell.  She was badly scarred by her experiences but at least she was able to finally get away with her son.  She tried to raise him to be a good person, she just never dreamed he would turn out like his father.  With Marcus’ help, things begin to come out that make Divine question everything that she was ever told by Abaddon.  She’s sure that her Uncle Lucian will never let her or her son live so she has resigned herself to a life without her life mate, alone.

Both Marcus and Divine have spent their life always for others, never really doing or taking anything for themselves.  When they realize they are life mates, Marcus is ready to spend his life on the run if he has to.   He believes that based on circumstances that he can convince Lucian to spare her life, at least he hopes he can.

I have a love/hate relationship with these books because of the nanos they ALWAYS find their perfect mate.  It’s hard not to fall in love with the characters and root for them though.  Both Marcus and Divine have been through a lot over the years but now they have each other and a future together, they are no longer alone.

These are some of my favorite books because they packed full action, love and humor.  Some of my favorite moments are from early books in this series, like the codpiece incident.  There were several comical moments in this book too that had me laughing out loud.  Another thing I love about this series is that each book has an appearance by some of the former characters so you get an update on what is going on in their lives too.

Overall, this is one of my favorite series and I am always excited when a new book is released.  I give Vampire Most Wanted 4 Flaming Hearts.  4 Hearts

Angel of DarknessAngel of Darkness (The Fallen #1) by Cynthia Eden
* I received a copy of this book from Kensington in exchange for an honest review*

Nicole St. James was a nice woman. An innocent, pretty, twentysomething schoolteacher with her life ahead of her. But as the angel of death, it’s Keenan’s job to take that life away. So when a vampire attacks Nicole, Keenan is not supposed to snap and take out the vampire instead. It cost him his wings–but she’s worth it.

Except when Keenan catches up to his pretty schoolteacher, she’s not so innocent anymore. Hot red lipstick, tight black shorts and long white fangs–she’s ready to kick the asses of anyone who helped turn her into a damn bloodsucker. Unless that ass is unusually shapely and attached to a certain fallen angel. Even with all of heaven and half of hell after them, someone will have to teach Keenan about the fun kinds of sin. . .

Keenan is an angel of tasked with the job of escorting souls to another plane when they die. He has always steadfast in his task until he sees Nicole pleading with him for help. That one second of hesitation was going to come and haunt him forever.

When Nicole was attacked by the vampire, she knows her time has come. She sees someone there and begs him to help her; she never dreamed that request would cost her humanity. Now she is determined to survive and live, even though she has enemies on her tale. With the help of the sexy fallen angel, she might find a way.

I liked Keenan’s character a lot. Ms. Eden did a good job of developing his character and letting him grow. He is a total bad a$$ but at the same time he has never experienced any type of emotions or sex. He is complex but vulnerable at the same time. There is plenty of room for growth and you see that growth by the end of the book.

Unlike a lot of people, I enjoyed Nicole’s character. I loved her take charge attitude when it comes to her life and what she is going to get out of it. She is on the cusp of dying and then all of a sudden she is thrust into the “darkness” and has to find a whole new way to survive. For the most part she is able to get herself out of binds but soon realizes that she is better off with Keenan’s help, she can accomplish more.

I think that Kennan and Nicole are good together and find it ironic that the “sweet” girl that Kennan was watching is the one giving him a lesson in all things wicked.  He is experiencing things in his life for the first time and she is there to guide him through it all including the pain and pleasure.  She doesn’t realize that he lost his wings when he “saved” her and seems to have a hard time dealing with that fact.

The book has some great secondary characters that help move the story along.  Sam is unique and you really never know where he stands until the end of the book.  Azrael is determined to save Kennan, no matter the costs but he finds out that a man in love will do anything to protect his woman.  I can’t wait to read each of their books and see where the stories will take us.

I love Cynthia Eden’s books and this one was no different.  I enjoyed the story because it was different than other paranormal books I’ve been reading.  You have to admit the idea of a sexy fallen angel looking for you is pretty hot.  I give Angel of Darkness 4 Flaming Hearts. 4 Hearts

Wild Card by Jamie Wyman

Wild CardWild Card by Jamie Wyman
* I received a copy of this book from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review*

It was bad enough that gods gambled with human souls, but Catherine Sharp’s soul just had to be won by the Greek goddess of Discord, Eris. As if working a dead-end tech support job didn’t suck the life out of her as it was. Now, Cat finds herself performing random tasks for the goddess in her free time.

But when Coyote, the Native American trickster himself, claims to have won her own soul in Mayhem’s weekly poker game, Cat wants in on the action. With five sneaky gods upping the ante, Cat needs to find a way to collect the winning chips that could save her soul. Marius, a handsome yet irritating satyr with his own debt to Eris, might finally come in handy for something. If they play their cards right and work together, Cat and Marius may just get their freedom back. If they don’t kill each other—or fall in love—first.

Catherine Sharp has had a run of bad luck and love which has led to her soul belonging to Eris, the Goddess of Discord. She may have a life but she is expected to be at Eris beck and call. When the Goddess offers her a chance to get her soul back, how can she refuse? She just never expected to be tested by all the players in the game.

Along with Marius she sets out to retrieve poker chips from the five other members of the game. She and Marius are in a battle for her life facing things of nightmares. The more time they spend together, the more she discovers about him that she actually likes. She starts to see beneath his glamour, and that frightens him.

I enjoyed this story and I think Catherine is a strong heroine.  I like that she can take care of herself but isn’t afraid to ask for help when she needs it.  She knows that she needs Marius if she is ever going to complete this task and get her soul back.  Along the way she discovers things about herself that she never would’ve imagined.  With the help of her friends she begins to harness her new found powers while fighting to stay alive. 

The actual poker game at the end was my favorite part of the book.  I would’ve liked to see her be able to win the right to “deal” herself into the game for a chance to win her soul back.  I was happy with the outcome of the game though and I loved the twist at the end.  I have to admit that I loved seeing the Goddess of Discord get a dose of her won medicine though.

I didn’t like Marius very much in the beginning but as Catherine began to peel back his layers, he started to grow on me.  He has a reputation to uphold, hence his attitude but underneath he seems to be a very lonely man/beast.  He turns out to be a good friend to Catherine, even though he has ulterior motives. 

This book combined a couple of my favorite things and I enjoyed it very much.  Mythology has always been a favorite of mine and reading about the Gods was fun.  During a conversation with Loki, the quote about whose hammer Catherine wielded during the battle has to be one of my favorites.  I also loved the techno aspect since my husband is a techno geek himself.  Overall I really enjoyed this book and give Wild Card 4 Flaming Hearts.  4 Hearts