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Archive for September, 2012

 Consent to Love by Abby Wood
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Twenty-four-year-old small-town girl Ana Reynold serves beer at the local bar, tries to keep her beater car running, and dreams of a better life as a painter. If she can learn to make a decent steak, she might get promoted to cook—and earn enough for her real heart’s desire. Right now, that doesn’t include romance.

But when she meets a tall, dark and sexy Native American man named Kane, Ana can’t take her eyes off him—or stop thinking about him. But she’d better. Everyone knows the proud Lakota who raises horses wants nothing to do with a townie barmaid who’ll bring shame to his people.

Except Kane can’t get Ana off his mind. He proposes a red-hot weekend in bed, a no-strings affair to end Monday morning. Yet once Kane brings the outsider onto Lakota land, everything changes…

Ana is a small town girl, born and raised. She works in the local bar as a waitress but is hoping to move up to cook when she completes her cooking lessons.  She paints as a hobby but would love to be able to take lessons and paint full time.  She doesn’t have confidence in her paintings until one sells at a gallery in New York and they ask for more.  Her heart’s desire may be closure than she realizes but what is the cost?

Kane is a Lakota Indian that truly believes his place is on the reservation with his people.  When he was young, he moved off the reservation with his woman but he never dreamed the problems it would cause him.   Ana is different but he is afraid she will grow tired of the reservation and regret her decision.  He regrets pushing her toward her dream, will she ever forgive him?

It is obvious Ana is from a small town.  She enjoys the simple things in life and the slow pace of her town.  People may be small minded but they come together when needed.  She likes working at Chum’s bar but she doesn’t make enough.  She has no desire to leave the town or her people; she would just like a little breathing room.

When Ana first meets Kane at the barn raising, she can’t believe this sexy man is talking to her.  She isn’t looking for love but she is enjoying the attention she is getting from Kane.  Ana lacks self-confidence but she is intrigued with Kane.  She wants to get to know him better and when he offers her a no-strings weekend, she takes him up on his offer.  Neither realized the impact they would have on one another.

Kane is a sexy Lakota Indian that loves his people, land and beliefs.  He tried to move away when he was younger but disaster followed, bring shame to his people.  He swore he would never leave again.  He believes he is meant to marry a Lakota woman but there is something about Ana that he can’t get off his mind.  She is smart, funny and beautiful but oblivious to her appeal, if only she could see herself the way he does.

These two are made for one another.  They both have issues that they will have to overcome before they can have a life together.  She lacks self confidence in herself and he helps her see that she is value.  He needs to overcome his belief that if he leaves Lakota land, bad things will happen.  You see them both grow and adapt as the story progresses.

The author does a fabulous job of describing life in a small town, including the small town beliefs.  You are drawn into the story and become invested in the characters.  The secondary characters are limited but add to the story.

Overall I enjoyed Consent to Love and give it 4 Flaming Hearts.   

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Sapphire by Jeffe Kennedy

Sapphire by Jeffe Kennedy
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

A successful executive, M. Taylor Hamilton is on track with her ten-year plan. Too bad her personal life consists of hitting the gym and grocery shopping. Enter the seductive Adam Kirliss. They may have a working relationship, but everything changes at an office party when he handcuffs her to the rail of a yacht.

Taylor writes off the adventure as too much champagne, but when Adam challenges her to a date, she agrees to meet up with him. And follow his rules. They share a night of exquisite intimacy, brimming with both pain and pleasure. But afterward, fearful of losing her heart, Taylor pulls back emotionally.

Adam is determined to prove that she longs for the loss of control he can give her—and the passionate release it provides. How can he make her see that he wants her, and not just her body?

Taylor has a plan for her life and love doesn’t fit into it.  Her nick name at work is “mad dog” and she plans to be CEO by year eight of her ten year plan.  Everything changes after an encounter with Adam Kirliss during an office party.  He challenges her to trust him and just let go; can she let go of control and enjoy the pleasure he can give her?

Adam has been working with Taylor on a project and he is determined that he is going to break through her barriers.  He sees the need in her to be mastered but he has to get her to let go of her control.  The yacht party was a good start but will she agree to negotiate with him and give him a chance?

Taylor has seen what her mother has gone through over the years just to have a man take care of her.  She is determined to that she will not be like her mother and she will make her own way in the world.  She has a plan and it doesn’t include love or submission, until she meets Adam.  He is a distraction she doesn’t need and the incident on the boat proved her point.

She is a strong, smart woman that knows what she wants out of life.  She has a five year plan to work her way up the corporate ladder, then she will think about settling down.  She comes across as cold and uncaring but there is a very responsive woman under all those layers, it just takes the right man to bring her out.

Adam is not only successful but he is sexy too.  He isn’t looking to settle down but there is something about Taylor that intrigues him.  He is determined to peel back her layers and be the one to make her submit.  He convinces her to spend the weekend with him with the intentions of breaking through her defenses; he never expected to lose his heart along the way.

The sexual tension between these two was obvious from the beginning.  Taylor was stubborn and determined not to submit to Adam but in the end, she was glad she did.  They are good for each other and I loved the ending where Taylor had a little fun of her own.  The scenes between them are very hot – especially the one on the deck of the boat.

Overall I enjoyed this story and give Sapphire 4 Flaming Hearts.   

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 An Engagement Challenge by Kiru Taye
* I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*

When savvy PR consultant Ijay Amadi meets successful Industrialist Paul Arinze, the only things on her mind are to forget the pain of her failed relationship and enjoy the delights his branding touch and soul-searing kiss promise. It’s a one-time only event. Perfect.

However, Paul is annoyed to wake up and find her gone the next morning. He isn’t ready to forget the dark-haired beauty or their scorching night together just yet. So he plans to have Ijay right where he wants her—in Abuja, working on his latest business project by day and enjoying the pleasure of his bed by night.

Except when Ijay arrives, she’s wearing another man’s engagement ring. With the explosive desire between them threatening their priorities and loyalties, the stakes get higher by the minute. Who’ll be left standing at the altar when Ijay walks down the aisle?

Ijay Amadi has just broken up with her long term boyfriend and isn’t looking for another relationship until she meets Paul.  He offers her a night with no strings but neither one realized that their hearts would be at stake.  As Ijay and Paul work together on a promotional campaign, their desires become harder to deny, even though Ijay is engaged to another.

Paul Arnize has been searching for something all his life; he just doesn’t realize that it’s Ijay.  When they meet at an event, he offers her one night because that’s all he can give her.  His mistrust of women makes him cautious but he has sworn to never to marry.  When he awakes to a note, he sets things in motion to get Ijay to Nigeria so he can continue what they started; he just never expected her to be engaged to someone else.

Paul and Ijay are so good together.  Both have been hurt in the past but find comfort in one another.  The sexual tension between them is evident from the first time they meet and sets the pages on fire.  I love that Paul’s tie plays a role throughout the whole book as a reminder of what they almost through away.

Paul is the quintessential tortured hero.   His childhood was far from ideal, filled with heartache and distrust.  His past helped shape the man he has become along with a close knit group of friends and family that are his support system.  He is a successful businessman that has made his own way in the world.  He doesn’t have much faith in women because everyone he has known always seems to have an ulterior motive.  He watched his father have affairs and not remain faithful to his wife, vowing to always be a one woman man.

He never realized something was missing in his life until he met Ijay.  She was the one woman that quelled that restlessness that he had been feeling as of late.  Instantly he felt comfortable with her, like he had known her all his life.  When he found out who she was engaged to, it really hit home how much she meant to him.

Ijay has almost as many issues as Paul when it comes to relationships; although she had a good childhood.  She was dumped by the guy she had been dating for three years and not feeling very good about herself.  Paul was the first man that made her feel loved and cherished, even when he was dominant in the bedroom.   She is engaged to another man but she can’t stop thinking about her night with Paul.

Now that she is with Paul again, it’s everything she can do to remain faithful to her finance.  Armed with the advice of her mother, she decides that she can’t walk away from Paul without seeing where this could lead them.  She already knows that he is kind, caring man that tries to take care of his community and those close to him.  She hopes that he cares about her too.

This book drew me in right from the beginning.  The story was engaging and it was easy to be vested in the characters.  I knew from the beginning that Ijay’s finance was bad news from the beginning and couldn’t wait to see how the story would unfold.  I was pleasantly surprised by a few things in the story and loved the ending; it was a fabulous end that tied everything together.

I had the pleasure of reviewing a couple of Ms. Taye’s books and when I was offered the opportunity to review this one I gladly accepted.  I enjoy her writing style and love being transported to places I have never been.  Her characters are engaging because they are interesting and complex.

I think this is my favorite book yet by this author and give An Engagement Challenge 4½ Flaming Hearts.  

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