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Archive for March, 2011

Toy Training by Vee Michaels
* I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*

Minerva Richards is a prude. After losing a bet, she takes a raunchy, sex toys class that affects her in unpredictable ways.

Minerva Richards, a local politician, is a woman who has never had an orgasm. Her friends tease her about her prudish nature but cannot get her to lighten up. One night, after a few margaritas, she loses a bet and has to take a sex toys training class at a local adult store.

Though very uncomfortable surrounded by sexy gadgets, Minerva vows to get through the class, if only to shut her friends up.

There she sees Danny, her dogs’ veterinarian, and she’s sure she’ll die from embarrassment. But as the class moves along, her barriers break down and Minerva finds herself doing things she’d never imagined. Can one two-hour class change her views about sex forever?

Toy Training changes the way Minerva looks at sex, while introducing her to a whole new world of “fun”.  Minerva is embarrassed that she lost a bet with her friends that land her smack dab in the middle of a sex toys class.

Minerva has never experienced an orgasm and doesn’t feel like she is missing out on anything.  Her friends are concerned and want her to live life and enjoy herself.  They think the sex toys class is the perfect answer. 

Dressed to hide herself she enters the class.  She is so out of her comfort zone and doesn’t know what to do about it.  She keeps thinking she has to complete the class to shut her friends up.  She is doing ok through most of the class until the instructor gets a little “too hands on” with the toys.  She freaks out and in the process, her disguise comes out.

Danny is surprised to see Minerva there.  He has wanted to ask her out for awhile but was afraid she was say no.  He is amused by her reaction to what is going on in the class.  Danny desires Minerva and wants to share in the activities of class with her.  Will she trust him?

This story was cute but also HOT.  I love that it was about an older woman and she learns that she is still desirable, her age doesn’t matter.  She overcame her fears and learned to enjoy herself with the help of Danny.  She was a little embarrassed about what they did but when she realized no one was paying attention, she was ok.

I thought the bits with the teacher explaining the toys to the group was very entertaining, especially Minerva’s reaction to each one of them.  She was determined to get through the class one way or another. 

Overall I enjoyed Toy Training and give it 3½ Flaming Hearts.

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Compromising Charis by Sahara Kelly
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Charis Forbes-Wilkinson is ruined! At least in the critical eyes of Regency Society. And she is quite content with that state of affairs. Who needs a husband anyway? Unfortunately, an unsolicited offer of marriage appears, sending Charis fleeing into the countryside to meet with a completely unacceptable friend of hers – a gypsy girl.

Fate intervenes, however, in the form of one Sinjun Randall, who is idly tooling his phaeton down the same country lane as Charis. He’s enchanted and she’s fascinated by his handsome smile and easy ways. Finally accepting his offer of a ride – completely outrageous in and of itself – Charis makes her own suggestion. And it’s far more outrageous than a simple carriage trip.

Sinjun agrees without hesitation. He’s found himself entwined in her plans, willing to assist her in her total ruination and completely lost in her expressive eyes. Their passionate interlude completes Charis’s ruination. But rather than ending her future, it marks the beginning of a new and unexpected love…

Compromising Charis is set in a time when it’s not proper for a lady to be alone with a gentleman, much less caught in a compromising position with him.  This is what led to her being classified as ruined.  She was banished to the country after she was caught naked in bed with a young man.

She has had time to explore herself and determine what she likes and wants out of life.  She has learned to be self sufficient (in all ways) and doesn’t need or want a husband.  She has been learning about breeding horses from her gypsy friends and wants to raise her own horses. 

She is brought back to the city because her family received an offer of marriage for her.  The gentleman was willing to “overlook” her youthful indiscretion but that just makes her rebel even more.  She decides to take the money she has saved and run away.  She is going to meet her friend the Jenny and join their ban of gypsies. 

Along the way she runs into Sinjun and she is drawn to him instantly, even though she doesn’t want to admit it.  She tries to act shy so he won’t keep asking her questions but eventually she gives in and accepts a ride from him.  She feels comfortable with him and decides to let him in on her secret.  He plays along with the whole thing, intrigued on where she is going with this. 

She asks him if he would be willing to spend the afternoon “ruining” her because she is very attracted to him.  She figures that she is running away, she might as well enjoy herself before she goes.

Sinjun is a willing participant and can’t believe his fortune that the fates have brought them together.  He sets out to show her he is not a “chuckleheaded lackwit” in hopes of changing her mind when he reveals his secret.  In the process he receives a surprise that pleases him very much.  They spend a lot of time both in and out of bed getting to know each other and what brings them pleasure.

I liked the scene in the library between the two of them.  It was very sexy and also made Charis feel empowered and somewhat in control.  She has been taking care of herself for so long, I think this was important to their relationship.  He was kind and caring while showing her all kinds of new things they could enjoy together.  

Overall I enjoyed this book.  I give Compromising Charis 3.5 Flaming Hearts.

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Foreplay – The Zodiac Book 1 by Tammy Valentine
* I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*
  
Twelve star signs, four friends, one extraordinary year. Izzy Morgan is a girl on a mission. When her friend Jessica reveals a remarkable talent for identifying men’s star signs purely from their sexual performance, an intrigued Izzy takes up an exhilarating challenge. With Foreplay, you can enjoy a free taste of Izzy as she begins her journey of sexual discovery through the Zodiac.

Foreplay starts our journey through the Zodiac with Izzy and her friends.  When Izzy left to meet her friends for coffee, she never imagined that her love life would change because of it.

During lunch the girls were sharing stories about their men and Jessica starts predicting the guys zodiac signs.  She is convinced that she can tell you what their sign is just by their sexual performance.  Izzy is skeptical but continues to drink in every word she says.

They share a few stories and Jessica keeps guesses the correct sign for the guy.  The girls convince Izzy that her love life needs an overhaul and she should be the guinea pig for the experiment.

They agree that Izzy will go through a dating agency and she will date a guy from each of the twelve zodiacs and they will compare notes and see if Jessica is right.  The other two girls will make sure everything stays fair.

I loved this short story and wanted to see where this bet was going to take us so I bought the next story Aries Unleashed.  I give Foreplay 4 Flaming Hearts. 

You can pick up your copy of Foreplay for FREE from Breathless Press at the link provided.
 http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=8&products_id=175
 

 

 

Aries Unleashed – The Zodiac Book 2 by Tammy Valentine

 

Twelve star signs, four friends, one extraordinary year. After Foreplay, Izzy launches into her journey of sexual discovery through the zodiac.

Twelve star signs, four friends, one extraordinary year. Izzy Morgan is a girl on a mission. When her friend Jessica reveals a remarkable talent for identifying men’s star signs purely from their sexual performance, an intrigued Izzy takes up an exhilarating challenge. Join her as she unleashes Aries, the first sign in her journey of sexual discovery through the zodiac.

 

Aries Unleashed is our first stop on Izzy’s tour of the Zodiac.  The first half of the story is about Izzy getting setup with the dating agency and picking her first date.  The second half is all about the date. 

 

I bought this book because I couldn’t wait to see where our journey through the Zodiac was going to take us.  I was intrigued with Jessica’s “talent” and wondered if underneath it all she was just trying to help her friend Izzy find her someone.

 

Izzy has had such bad luck with guys that she has just about given up on men.  Her friends all have active sex lives and she lives vicariously through their stories.  She realizes that she needs help and is fascinated with the idea of finding the ideal man just based on their zodiac sign.

 

She is nervous about meeting Jessica’s friend at the dating agency but is put at ease right away.  She spends some time visiting with the owner and answering some questions then she waits for the CD to come in the mail with her possible matches.

 

Once the match is made, the date is set up and we are swept along while they have dinner and a nightcap at his apartment.  Things heat up at dinner but it’s enduring as they both seem to be feeling their way through the whole process. 

 

I love the fact that Izzy is a little older and more jaded.  I also love the covers of these books, even for ebooks – they are eye catching.  I understand that the first part of the story is needed to set the story up but I hope the future books in the series focus more on the dates and maybe add in a couple of coffee meetings with the friends. 

 

Overall I really liked it and can’t wait to see where Taurus is going to take us.  I give Aries Unleashed 4 Flaming Hearts. 

 

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Friendly Fire by Megan Hart
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

After Agent Kendall Frasier’s partner is shot in “friendly fire” during a drug bust, she agrees to take a week’s vacation on a tropical island as part of her psychiatric evaluation. Sand, sun, sea—what could be better to help her work through her guilt? Even if the presence of the man responsible for the shooting, Agent Zane Vincent, seems counterproductive to her mental health.

As Kendall gets to know Zane, and realizes he feels worse about what happened than she does, it becomes impossible to hate him. And their mutual attraction becomes impossible to deny.

Kendall and Zane soon agree to put the event that brought them together in the past—and spend the present exploring their most erotic desires. Do they have a future in the real world when their week in paradise is over?

Friendly Fire is a story about forgiveness and love with lots of hot sex thrown into the mix.  Kendall’s partner is killed in the line of duty and she blames herself.  She had issues with him but didn’t want to see him dead.  She agrees to a weeklong “vacation” that is sanctioned by the bureau where she will undergo physical and psychological testing while trying to enjoy the beach.

Zane is also an undercover agent and the one that shot Kendall’s partner.  They were working a case and Zane tried to stop the slaughter but caught Kendall’s partner with a stray bullet.  Zane now has to live with the fact that he shot & killed another agent, even though it was ruled an accident.  Will Kendall be able to forgive him, will he ever forgive himself?

The air is sexually charged whenever Zane and Kendall get within 10 feet of each other.  Both find the other attractive and interesting but Kendall is angry with him and herself because of what happened with her partner.  Fate puts them in a cabin that shares a balcony and things definitely heat up.

Kendall constantly had to prove herself to her partner at work that she was just as competent as any of the men.  She is used to being alone.  Her job doesn’t allow for much time to date so she has become self sufficient, so to speak.  She doesn’t realize how unfulfilled she is until Zane enters the picture.

I like that she is a strong female lead but she still has a feminine, girly side.  We see that in her delight at simply putting on a dress and makeup instead of work clothes.  She is also comfortable enough with her sexuality to know what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it.  She is still cautious as her and Zane start the dance.

I loved the scene where each was in their own bedrooms; it was very erotic to read.  The scene on the tour was also very hot.  There is good chemistry between the main characters so the story flows nicely.  I wish we had a little more time with this couple.  I would be interested to see if there is any truth to the concerns the doctor had.

The scenery was beautiful, the characters were interesting and the story had plenty of steam, what’s not to love?  Overall I enjoyed Friendly Fire and give it 4 Flaming Hearts.

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Dead People by Edie Ramer
* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Dead People is about so much more than the title suggests.  It takes you on an emotional journey with the main characters as they start to care about each other.  As the romance blooms, there is also a mystery afoot and don’t forget attempted murder.   

The story is centered around Cassie, who is a ghost therapist and has been ridiculed of all her life.  Her father and his family will tell you she is crazy, if you ask them.  She has been alone for so long and used to taking care of herself, she didn’t realize how much she wanted a family until she met Luke and Erin.

Luke has had enough of the limelight and just wants his daughter Erin to have a normal life.  He and Erin have a rocky relationship at best.  She is upset because the judge took her away from her mother she blames him.  The only person she seems to warm up to is Cassie.

Cassie is hired to get rid of the ghost haunting the house Luke and Erin live in.  Isabel was the former mistress of the house and she wants everyone to leave her home.  She has scared Erin and Luke with her actions and they just want their house back.  The longer Isabel sticks around, the more she comes to care for them and when they are in danger she intervenes.

Cassie and Luke have great chemistry.  They are both attracted to each other but don’t want to act on that attraction for different reasons.  Cassie wants love and acceptance and Luke just wants no strings attached.  The sexual tension between them is so thick you could cut it with a knife.

Little by little Erin works her way into Cassie’s heart.  She sees so much of herself in Erin and can relate to the little girl.  She didn’t have her mother growing up and didn’t get any support from her stepmother. 

The cast of secondary characters in this book are colorful and entertaining.  You have Joe the Ghost that is Cassie’s companion.  He was a cop in his former life.  He watches out for Cassie and makes sure she is ok.  Cassie would rather spend her time talking to Joe than to a human male – go figure.  There is also Tricia, the current housekeeper who grew up in the house, her mother and Vanessa, Erin’s mother.  They all add something to the story.

I also loved the story about the house itself.  I’ve always been fascinated with old houses and their history.  The author does a good job of describing both the inside and outside of the house.  The references to Nancy Drew were great because I grew up reading stories such as The Hidden Staircase.

Overall I really enjoyed Dead People.  It kept me entertained from the beginning and I didn’t want to put it down.  I give it 4 Flaming Hearts. 

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Demon Song by Cat Adams
* I received a copy of this book from Tor Publishing in exchange for an honest review*
  
In a world where magic is real and the supernatural is almost normal, bodyguard Celia Graves has survived a vampire attack which made her a half-vampire and awakened her latent Siren abilities. She’s battled a Siren Queen to the death and twice faced down a demon that wants to kill her–slowly. She’s also had her heart broken–twice–by her old flame, magician Bruno DeLuca.Perhaps the worst thing was the discovery that Celia’s life has been warped by a curse laid on her during childhood–the cause of everything from the death of her little sister to the murder of her best friend the same night that Celia became an Abomination.An ancient rift between the demonic dimension and our own–sealed during the destruction of Atlantis–begins to open, threatening to loose all the demons of hell on humanity (including the one personally bent on destroying Celia). Celia’s hellish recent experiences have given her the unique combination of abilities needed to close the rift. But to overcome the curse, which nearly guarantees her failure, she’ll need to join forces with people she no longer trusts…and put people she has come to care about directly in harm’s way. 

Demon Song picks up right where Siren Song left off.  We are transported back into Celia’s world where we’ve come to expect the unexpected.  Celia is still struggling with the task of figuring out why Vicki left all that money to Mick, while keeping her friends safe and running her business.The demons have taken over the California State Paranormal Treatment Facility, aka “the zoo.”  The head demon has plans to destroy Celia unless she can get rid of him first.  She is tired of having to look over her shoulder every time she turns around.  She is doing the best she can to keep her friends safe but unless they can close the rift, there won’t be anyone left to protect.

Throughout the book we can catch glimpses of favorite characters from previous books and several new, interesting ones.  The characters add to the story but do not overload the reader with too much information.  They are interesting and provide an added layer of depth.

With each book Celia grows stronger and stronger.  She is learning to control her Siren and Vampire abilities, while managing to hang on to her humanity.  She refuses to give in and drink blood and continues to drink her protein shakes and blended up meals.

This book is action packed and flows smoothly.  Demon Song has more romance than the first two books in the series.  Both Creede and Bruno make an appearance, along with our paramedic friend Gaetno.  Celia is worried that her Siren blood is calling the men to her whether they are really interested or not.  She comes up with a way to give the men and herself the assurance that the attraction is genuine.

I loved the climax of the story, it had me literally sitting on the edge of my seat and I couldn’t put the book down.  I felt bad for Celia and the sacrifices she and her friends had to make to close the rift.  The very end left me wandering how long we are going to have to wait for the next book. 

I really liked this book and think it’s the best one so far.  I can’t wait to see where Cat Adams is going to take us next.  I give Demon Song 4 Flaming Hearts.

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Tattoo Dream by Em Petrova
* I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*

A husband, wife, and the waitress of their fantasies share an explosive night of passion. But can their hearts survive the heat?

Sascha and Van are happily married. Their successful tattoo parlor should be enough to keep their lives full and enriched, but they both sense a void that only a third in their marriage could fill. Sexy waitress Maggie seems to be just the one they’ve been looking for. At the risk of ruining their friendship with Maggie, the couple makes the move to get her into their tattoo chair with the hopes of getting her in their bed.

Tattoo Dream is not your mother’s romance story.  The reader is drawn into a world where Van and Sascha, a happily married couple, are looking to add a third person to their love mix.  The concept is not new to them, in the past they have shared lovers but they are looking for someone long term.

Sascha and Van have been watching Maggie for months.  They enjoy talking with her, she is intelligent and sharp witted enough to pit herself against Van.  They are infatuated with her body and are dying to get her into their bed.

They are not worried about adding Maggie to their family because they are confident in their love for one another.  The chemistry is hot between the three of them and it’s all about give and take.  It’s not a typical ménage; all three of them give equally to each other.

Over all I enjoyed this steamy short story but I would’ve liked to have a little more character development and build up.  It is a great bedtime story to share with your loved one.

I give Tattoo Dream 3 Flaming Hearts.

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