ARC Review: Anticipation by Sarah Mayberry

Format: E-bookanticipation
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Brothers Ink, #2
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Eduardo Oliveira
Heroine: Blue Sullivan
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 1, 2015
Started On: April 13, 2015
Finished On: April 23, 2015

Blue Sullivan and Eduardo Oliveira (Eddie) have been colleagues and best of friends for more than 10 years. Blue has also been in love with Eddie for all those years, a love that she has kept to herself, her yearning for him something she had tamped down by turning to other places for comfort when necessary. However, nothing prepares Blue for the event that changes her life, a serious accident moments before which Blue is hit with remorse over the fact that she had never come out to Eddie with how she feels.

For Eddie, the moment the colorfully vivacious Blue, who is larger than life in every single aspect nearly loses her life serves as a serious bludgeon to his heart and emotions. The protective feelings that Blue arouses in him is one that Eddie has a hard time controlling, but as Blue’s friend, Eddie wants, no craves to be the one who helps her pick up the pieces.

Blue’s feelings towards Eddie intensifies to a point of no return which results in the hottest, most mind blowing nights of their lives. However Blue has kept her feelings under tight control for all those years for a reason. She doesn’t want to risk the friendship that she values above everything else with Eddie just for a tumble between the sheets. And given Eddie’s track record with relationships, if even one can call it that, Blue decides that she is right to deny them both a chance to see where this facet of their relationship could lead them.

It has been a while since I indulged in a friends-to-lovers romance and I welcomed this book with emotions akin to that of someone reuniting with a close friend who has been away for a long, long time. Sarah Mayberry does a mean friends-to-lovers romance from time to time, well lets be honest, she writes mean romances in whichever trope she singles out her books to be based on and I loved this little number, the second book in the Brothers Ink series.

Eddie, simply put, is the best thing about the story. His patience, endurance, kindness and the love he has in that big beautiful heart of his for Blue is what makes him that much more endearing. It takes a special kind of man or rather person to break down the emotional walls that a would be partner hides behind. Eddie has the added advantage of having being best friends with Blue for the past ten years. With that sort of arsenal in place, Eddie launches the type of mission that would win Blue over, but not without Blue giving him the fight of his lifetime.

Blue is a feisty character whom some of us can relate to, while others would sit back in awe and envy her over the kind of strength she has and the control that she exerts on herself. Life hadn’t been kind to her when she was a child and though a lot of good things had come her way since then, understandably, Blue has a hard time accepting all of it with good grace. Especially when it comes to the thought of losing her very best friend, the man she has loved from afar for so very long.

Blue’s hesitancy to place her trust in Eddie & his love is understandable given the track record Eddie holds for his love life. So opting to dislike Blue over the way she gives a bit of herself and then retreats is definitely not a choice when it comes to her. Blue’s indecision is what lends the story the proper amount of emotional angst that makes a romance worth delving into and while I was frustrated at times, I loved every single bit of it. Eddie’s character not only smoothed Blue’s ruffled feathers but did mine as well.

I would be remiss in my review if I don’t mention the bits of Maggie and Raf included in the story. Though I didn’t overly love their story as much as I did this one, I still enjoyed seeing them settle into the life that they’d found for themselves. Maggie’s story proved to be an interesting one in terms of what she went through. And if you haven’t already read her story, you should! Raf is just as sexy as Eddie! Them Oliveira genes!

I loved and loved the sensuality of the story. There were times when I went “woohoo, go for it girl’ and then there were moments that I nearly swallowed my own tongue from the panting variety of good, hot sex included in the story! What makes a Sarah Mayberry superb is the fact that she knows how to balance out the sex and the emotion and rarely shortchanges the reader on either aspect. And this one has got plenty of Eddie to tide us over!

The fact that both Blue & Eddie took their time to come together as a couple was the one aspect of the story that endeared it to me in a good way. A character like Blue’s is not easy to convince when she has a stubborn streak a mile wide. But in Eddie lies a determined streak perhaps that far outreaches Blue’s stubbornness and I felt like high-fiving with Mayberry over the the fact that she spent enough time on the story and each of their characters, giving it that realistic edge that made their connection & coming together that much more wholesome.

Recommended for fans of Sarah Mayberry, fans of contemporary romances & of course those that like myself love the friends to lovers trope! Can’t wait to read Lena’s story, interesting glimpses of which were included in this story.

Final Verdict: A story that touches deep into the heart of love, the risks it brings & the triumph that follows.

Favorite Quotes

“Haven’t you ever wondered?” she heard herself ask, her voice barely more than a whisper. “About us? How it would be?”
He was so close she could see his pupils dilate as her words hit him, the dark pupil swallowing the green of his irises. Then he spoke, and his words tipped her world upside down.
Every fucking day of my life.

“Tell me what you want,” he said.
Was it really that simple?
She knew it wasn’t, but she was so far gone, reason and common sense left far, far behind. All she could think about was the man looking at her as though he wanted to consume her and the need making her sex ache for fulfillment.
“You. I want you.” The words came from her soul, the most honest she’d ever uttered, and the moment they were out of her mouth the world got crazy.

How many years had he secretly wanted this?
Too many.
He ran a hand over her belly. She widened her stance eagerly as he slipped his hand between her thighs. His breath hissed out against her breast as his fingers slid over slick, plump flesh. She felt so good, so ready. He slid a finger inside her, and she clenched around him, welcoming the invasion.
“Fuck, Blue.” His words sounded like a prayer, fervent and worshipful, and that was exactly how he felt.

“Oh, God,” she breathed, and he felt her inner muscles ripple around his cock. “Oh, fuck, Eddie. Oh, God.”
“Yes. For me. Come for me, Blue.”
As if her body had been waiting for his words, she came apart, bucking against him, her thighs locked tightly around his hips, her head thrown back, her eyes closed.
His own climax hit him simultaneously, and he gave a low, almost pained groan as he thrust himself home. She opened her eyes and leaned forward, biting his shoulder as he came in one long, shuddering rush.

The sound was barely out of her mouth before Eddie moved beneath her, rolling her onto her back, his cock slipping free. She started to object just as he plunged inside her again, his hips working powerfully as he pumped into her. The slam of his body against hers, the satisfaction of having his cock so deep inside her and the primal, unrestrained desperation of his movements were exactly what she craved. He lowered his head and drew a nipple into his mouth, sucking on it hard enough to hurt. The stab of pain pushed her over the edge and she dug her fingers into his ass, holding him deep inside her as she came, hard.

“Get your clothes off,” he said, his voice gravel-rough with need.
She started to object…then she looked at his big, beautifully hard cock and decided that she could fight that battle another day. She whipped her top over her head, then stood so she could shed her pants. Eddie scooped her up, carrying her into the kitchen. He’d barely parked her ass on the table before he was inside her.
“I thought about doing this to you all day,” he said. “Every…fucking…second.”

… love took a part of your soul. Love meant that a phone ringing in the middle of the night could change your life. Love got its hooks into you and never let go. It made you bleed. It made you weak. It made you hurt.
Love was loss, pure and simple. It was risk. It meant casting yourself on the universe’s mercy and hoping against hope that you were going to be one of the lucky ones.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

Rating from the sunny side of life: ★★★★☆ 

Caliber SEAL: GREAT READ!


Books you might like from the same author

April 25th, 2015 by maldivianbookreviewer | No Comments »

Review: Staking His Claim by Tessa Bailey

Format: E-bookstakinghisclaim
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Line of Duty, #5
Publisher: Entangled: Brazen
Hero: Matt Donovan
Heroine: Lucy Mason
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: February 3, 2014
Started On: April 10, 2015
Finished On: April 13, 2015

Tessa Bailey has earned herself the title of being an author who delivers stories that feature commanding heroes who talk dirty unlike any other. If I want a romance that would scorch my e-reader and then some, I look no further than Tessa Bailey, because she has become an author synonymous with that of intensely sexual books that deliver that emotional punch together with it, which is a lethal combination for any romance lover like myself.

Staking His Claim is the fifth book in the Line of Duty series and features Matt Donovan, ex-military and now a cop, whose commanding entry into the novel itself sent my senses haywire. With darker appetites than your average alpha hero, Matt hides his true self from the rest of the world due to the scars his previous relationship has left on him.

Lucy Mason has just finished her Masters Degree and isn’t so looking forward to the downtime that had been planned with her best friend Sasha, when she cancels last minute on her. When Matt turns up to offer Lucy the ride that her brother had promised her, the instant variety of lust that burns fiercely to life between the two makes Lucy live the lie of the mistaken identity (Matt thinking she is Sasha) just a little longer.

While Lucy battles her own insecurities owing to the wildness of her younger years, Matt believes that no woman would be willing to accept his sexual appetites for what they are. Yet, Matt finds that he cannot for the world of himself stay away from Lucy and the instantaneous explosive reaction that she offers to every single touch and command of his, which acts as the balm that soothes his ravaged soul.

What I love about Tessa Bailey is the fact that she delivers on all the sexual tension that makes you hold your breathe in, just barely daring to breathe wondering when the explosion would occur. I sometimes wonder at the tease and retreat game that many authors tend to put their characters through, with sexual tension so thick that it can only be cut through with an axe. I keep thinking, how on Earth do you turn away from something so compelling in the first place, that defies rhyme or reason. Guess their characters are far stronger than I would ever be. And perhaps that is one reason why I am drawn to the stories that Tessa Bailey writes because while you get the full impact of the searing sexual tension, you get along with it sex scenes of the mind blowing and panty melting variety that is unbeatable!

Matt, battling his demons was a facet of the story that touched me to no end. At first, I thought that Matt had been cheated on by his girlfriend for the usual reasons and that was it. But as I delved deeper into the story, there emerged the tale of how Matt had actually found out, and how even then, he had kept on trying until he had nothing left to give. Matt finds himself with the type of emotional scarring that is difficult to get rid of, especially given the fact that Matt is reserved around people and keeps to himself. Lucy coming to his life was like a light bulb moment; totally illuminating and capable of eroding away at the darkness that shrouds his heart and soul.

One point I would like to highlight time and yet again is that Bailey has a way of writing commanding heroes that one can never get enough of. Whenever Matt starts walking towards Lucy in that purposeful manner of his, I swear that every nerve ending inside of me went on the highest level of alert and nothing I did was enough to tamp it down. There’s just something so hot about a man who knows how to take charge & then deliver on all the promises that every stride he takes towards you makes. I couldn’t have asked for more where Matt was concerned! Le Sigh!

Lucy is a heroine that proved to be equal amounts of endearing. I loved her for having a mind of her own, for being able to love and see beyond the surface where Matt was concerned. Her courage and full of life nature gives the story itself a vitality that would not have existed otherwise. While Matt remains all darkness and edge, Lucy is the light that shines through & infuses the story with the color that it deserves.

Few authors can truly make a scorching explicit sex scene really work. Bailey is one of those authors and every single sex scene that I’ve read from hers has never failed to invoke deep emotions within me, which is the number one reason why I’d come back for her books time & yet again, because I know that if I ever were in need of a book that would completely scorch its way through my heart, I’d have to look no further than Tessa Bailey.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: Dirty of the kind that makes you melt – on the spot!

Favorite Quotes

“Take me deep, Sasha. I can’t wait any longer to fuck you. I need you.”
Something akin to panic flared in her eyes just as he drove into her with a hard upward thrust. “Matt—”
Then it was gone, as though he’d imagined it. Hidden behind her expression of shocked pleasure. His vision swam when he finally managed to shift his hips enough to bury himself to the hilt. Never. He’d never felt anything like her. She squeezed every inch of him like a vise, already beginning to contract, milking him before he’d even moved.
“Oh…oh my God. Matt.”

“Matt, please. I can’t wait.”
Without pausing his brutal thrusts, he leaned down and bit her bottom lip. “You come because I allow it. You only do it for me.”
“Yes. Yes!”
“Squeeze me, then. Milk it out of me.”
Lucy raked her fingernails down his ass, yanking him closer as she contracted her inner walls. She kept her eyes open, memorizing the way his jaw went slack, eyes unseeing as he imploded, jerking heavily inside her. His potent reaction combined with the muscled flesh of his backside pumping beneath her palms sent her spiraling over the edge, her surroundings becoming insignificant as he worked her through a stunning orgasm.
“Goddammit, Lucy,” he growled, collapsing on top of her. “I can’t stop this. How can I stop?”

The position made her back arch, displaying her stiff nipples, filling her with seductive power. God, she needed to be filled.
As if he’d heard her internal plea, he drew down his zipper and rolled on the condom he’d removed from his pants pocket. In one swift motion, he dragged her off the counter onto his waiting erection. Lucy screamed in her throat at the sudden fullness. Matt bit into her shoulder and groaned, but wouldn’t allow her to wrap her legs around his waist, pushing her knees down when she attempted to bring them higher.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes

Rating from the sunny side of life: ★★★★☆ 

Caliber SEAL: GREAT READ!


Books you might like from the same author

April 22nd, 2015 by maldivianbookreviewer | No Comments »

Cover Reveal: Petals and Thorns by Jeffe Kennedy

Book Cover

petalsandthorns

Book Blurb

In exchange for her father’s life, Amarantha agrees to marry the dreadful Beast and be his wife for seven days. Though the Beast cannot take Amarantha’s virginity unless she begs him to, he can and does take her in every other way. From the moment they are alone together, the Beast relentlessly strips Amarantha of all her resistance.

If Amarantha can resist her cloaked and terrifying husband, she gains his entire fortune and will be allowed to return to her family and a normal life. But the Beast seduces her at every turn, exposing, binding, tormenting, and pleasuring Amarantha until she no longer knows her own deepest desires. Increasingly desperate to break the curse that chains his humanity, the Beast drives Amarantha past every boundary. But her desire for a normal life may jeopardize the love that will save them both.

Excerpt

The wedding ceremony took place deep in the woods. The chapel looked innocent in its white prettiness, as if a normal wedding took place there instead of this monstrous farce. At first Amarantha had wept. When her father had arrived home on the magnificent stallion, his arms overflowing with luscious red roses and saddlebags full of gold coins, and told the wild tale of the Beast who wanted Amarantha and only her, she’d been at first astonished, then enraged. She’d thought of running away, but her father and sisters had talked Amarantha around. The Beast had promised wealth to restore her father’s fortunes and more. They assured her that the Beast wouldn’t kill her. “He saw your portrait and finds you beautiful,” her father crooned. “It will be a marriage in name only. You need not lie with him” — he snickered — “if the creature is even able to perform as a man. Likely he is too deformed and wants only a pretty wife to look upon. “Remember” — the merchant took his youngest daughter’s slender hands in his as they stepped down from the carriage — “if the marriage is not consummated within one week, then he has agreed to have it annulled and to settle upon you half of his fortune! All you must do is retain your chastity for one measly week, and any ninny can keep her legs closed that long. Remember it every day, and the week will fly by. Soon you’ll be at home again with us, our fortunes forever secured.” “He only has to take her by force,” Anastasia scoffed. “No,” a deep voice rumbled behind them. They started like finches when a hawk flies over. No one had heard the Beast arrive. He stood back, tall and broad shouldered as her father had said, watching from the depths of his cloak. The winter wind caught the black folds, whipping them tight against his massive body, but never stirred around his face. Amarantha couldn’t make out his features, though she thought perhaps she caught the gleam of a white tooth. And was that the shadow of a muzzle? She shuddered, looking away quickly. “No, Amarantha,” the Beast said, “I will never take you by force. I will only take you when you ask me to. That one choice, at least, will always be yours.” Amarantha stirred uneasily inside the confines of her corset. Something about his words seemed…unwholesome somehow. Angelica laughed brightly and clapped her jeweled fingers together in a graceful flutter. “Then we are saved! For, Sir Beast, though we cannot see you clearly, we understand that you are so hideous that no woman would willingly have you. Perhaps your beastly exterior reflects a similarly feral and corrupt heart?” She waved a languid hand at Amarantha. “Else why resort to blackmail to obtain a bride?” “Indeed” — the voice sank into a near growl — “sister of my bride. You are undoubtedly correct. But since blackmail has, in fact, won me a bride, I’m anxious to take possession of her. Shall we?” Amarantha gasped and stepped back when the Beast moved toward her, dark and sinuous. But he only offered her his arm to escort her into the chapel. She took a deep breath, as deep as her tight corset allowed. After the short ceremony, Amarantha kissed her father and sisters good-bye. She couldn’t seem to hear what they were saying to her, only that she had promised to obey this man. This monster. “Do you take this man, Sir Beast… Do you promise to love, honor, and obey?” the chaplain had asked. The word seemed to reverberate in her skull. Obey. Chased by the image of how his eyes had glowed at her sparking amber from the depths of his hood. Love and honor seemed to pale before the other word. Amarantha possessed enough cleverness to avoid shaming him, and she could pretend to love him. Obedience might not be so simple. She almost felt his sigh of satisfaction at her promise, as if something that had pained him suddenly eased. Amarantha wished she could feel the same. In his carriage, they rode facing each other, though Amarantha gazed steadfastly out the window as the forest deepened and thickened. The trees grew more gnarled, the roots thrusting up from the soil only to twist away again, diving into the moist ferns covering the soil. Still, it was easier to keep her eyes on the strange landscape than look at her husband’s shrouded form and wonder what horrors it might contain. “Am I ever to see you?” she asked. “Do you wish to?” Amarantha glanced at his black silhouette. Looked away again. “It occurs to me it might be easier to see you and” — get it over with — “learn to become accustomed to you.” “Consider that I might be so frightening to you that you would be unable to bear coming near me again.” Amarantha trembled. “No” — the Beast chuckled darkly — “these things are best done in stages. I intend to win you over, lovely Amarantha.” “I don’t see how that’s possible.” “Because you are innocent,” the Beast said, his voice nearly a growl. “And you have not discovered how I can make you feel.” “I have. You make me feel fear. And revulsion.” She looked out the window. “Despair, perhaps.” “None of those are real, Amarantha.” She forced herself to look at him. “I must tell you, I don’t see how I can ever be your wife in truth. I cannot imagine asking you to — ” “To take your maidenhead? To rend you with my cock so that you scream in agonized pleasure?” The shock drained Amarantha’s cheeks of color. Even as the image somehow stirred her. “Sir Beast, you cannot say such things to me.” “It seems, my bride, that we must stretch your imagination as well. The only thing I may not do is take you by force. Everything else is open to me.” He settled back in a very masculine satisfaction. “If you intend to keep the bargain that saved your father’s life, that is.” Amarantha bit her lip. Her father had wept even as he handed her into the Beast’s carriage. Had he realized? Her virginity wouldn’t matter at the end of the week if she was dead. “Amarantha.” The Beast leaned forward. She shrank back, but he only laid a gloved hand over hers. “I swear I will not injure you. Your beauty is precious to me. I would not see it marred in any way.” She restlessly moved her hands out from under the black leather of his glove. A mistake, since his hand fell to her knee instead, a heavy weight through the thin cloth. “I will wish to see it, however,” the Beast said, gravel in his voice. Amarantha’s heart stuttered. “See it?” “You, in your naked glory. When we reach the house. In exchange, I will not touch you just yet.” He leaned back again. “I mention it now so that you might mull the idea over.” Amarantha drew in a breath. “I do not think I shall become peaceful with the idea in that space of time.” “You mistake me, my bride. Peaceful is not how I want you.” If he’d intended her to think about it, to imagine herself naked and vulnerable in front of his black-cloaked figure, then he succeeded.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Smashwords | ARe | iTunes

About Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. A fifth series, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, released starting with Going Under, followed by Under His Touch and Under Contract.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary.

Contact Links: Website | FB | Twitter | Goodreads

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!

Jeffe Kennedy is giving away a copy of Petals and Thorns to 4 lucky winners tour wide. (winners can chose between epub, mobi, or PDF)

Giveaway Rules:

  • open internationally
  • use raffle copter to enter
  • open to anyone above 18, and who is legally allowed to enteropen to anyone above 18, and who is legally allowed to enter

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


April 21st, 2015 by maldivianbookreviewer | No Comments »

Requested ARC Review: The List by Joanna Bolouri

Format: E-bookthelist
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Quercus Publishing
Hero: Oliver
Heroine: Phoebe Henderson
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 6, 2015
Started On: April 9, 2015
Finished On: April 9, 2015

The List by Joanna Bolouri is one of those laugh-out-loud variety romances that makes you feel good and break out in laughter even long after you are done. It all starts when the new year rolls in and Phoebe finds herself still pathetically single, going to therapy, trying to take her mind off the ex who had cheated on her and left her in the lurch.

Like many of us, Phoebe is one to make all sorts of new year resolutions that never see the light of day. However this year, Phoebe is determined that she’d stick to her resolution and see it through, even if it kills her. Thus she and her best friend Lucy get together and make a list, a list that would guarantee that she, Phoebe, would have sexual adventures of the kind that she has only read about, and that she would put herself first this time than anyone else.

Next thing you know, Phoebe finds herself with her friends-with-benefits partner, none other than the Irish sex demi-god Oliver himself, who happens to be one of her closest friends. Oliver has no issues with making her scream with pleasure, in showing her how desirable she is. However, both Oliver and Phoebe promise each other that they aren’t an exclusive item, and that’s where all the ‘misadventures’ of Phoebe’s sex life begins.

The List is written in first person, in Phoebe’s point of view. The whole cast of characters tended to give the story a Sex & the City vibe to it that I absolutely loved. I felt like I had come home to characters who could make me laugh, who could make me cry and yet again who could make me smile through my tears through the happy ending it delivered.

One cannot talk about the good stuff in The List without mentioning the hilarity it delivers. The humor. Oh the humor. At times you feel like you’re watching a movie where everything that can go wrong will go wrong, and yet there’s nothing like laughing your way through the good and bad and being able to look back and still smile when you know that you had gone through it all like a champion. That is the sort of tale that The List delivered and I gobbled it all up in just one sitting!

I would be remiss in my review if I were not to mention the impact that Oliver brought to the story. Oliver, the Irish bloke who teaches Phoebe that she is desirable and sexy and that she deserves better than the man she has continued to pine for for the past year. The fact that they’ve known each other for so long makes it even better, that they can be their true selves with each other without any pretenses speaks volumes on just how well suited they are for each other; Oliver is the kind of friends with benefit bloke every girl should have; funny, sexy as hell and practically a God when it comes to making a woman scream in bed!

Only thing that I didn’t like was missing out on Oliver’s point of view. I felt a bit cheated out because of the fact. I’d have loved to see even a glimpse into his mind, how he views Phoebe, the woman he has loved all this while, the woman whose love he’d been willing to forgo just so that he could spare her the hurt that he’d inevitably cause when he screwed things up! This is the one reason that I tend to dislike books written in first person, which is a fad that every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to be following these days. I believe that Oliver’s viewpoint would have made the story more wholesome and given it a whole lot more emotional punch than the story delivers now.

I loved Phoebe. What is there not to love? I loved her courage; it must’ve taken a lot for her to actually take the step towards moving on even when heart kept clamoring for the man who’d cheated on her and hurt her in the worst way possible. Her cluelessness when it comes to Oliver is one that proved costly, but the angst the fact delivered to the story was one that made it all the more better!

Recommended! Couldn’t put it down. Even for a second. Highly readable!

Final Verdict: Fun & provocative. Loved it!

Favorite Quotes

“Take off your trousers.” I demanded.
I took off my skirt and tights, pulled my knickers to one side and slid down on him. Hard. I then whispered in his ear,
“I am going to fuck you so slowly and take every inch of you, until you’re begging me to let you come. Can you feel how wet I am already?”
He raised one eyebrow (man, I love it when he does that) and said, “Good god Phoebe! Keep talking like that and I think I’ll keep you.”
So I did.

We maneuvered round to the front of the car and he took down my tights and underwear. I say ‘took’, it was more of a ripping action, which would have been sexier had I not been wearing industrial strength pants and tights. With some help, they were flung in the nearby hedge and I was flipped over and shagged on the bonnet of the car, quite dramatically, and while it was obvious he wanted me, I could tell he was totally trying to out-shag Stuart so he could then jump up and down in front of me shouting “I’M THE WINNER, I’M THE FUCKING WINNER!!”
As he was kissing my neck he moved his mouth to my ear and said “It’s never this good with anyone else. Is it?”
I answered truthfully: “No. It isn’t.”

He slowly pulled down my bikini bottoms and began licking me, so slowly I felt my knees buckle and my face flush. He undid his jeans, wrapped my legs around his waist and held me up. I could feel the tree scratching my back and he went faster and faster and then he stopped, looked into my eyes and kissed me. I mean really kissed me and all I could do was kiss him back. It was passionate and as he started to move inside me again I cried out it was so intense.
“The thing about Ruth” he said as we fucked, “is that she’s not you Phoebe.”

He didn’t say anything. He walked to the door…and then he stopped. And he locked the door.
We made love right there on the bed. There was no shouting, or gymnastics or laughing. We were slow and quiet and we never took our eyes off each other. He was so gentle and the moment he entered me, I was so grateful to have him back inside me again, to feel him moving his hands over my thighs and to feel his mouth on mine. It was so intense and I came before he did. It was beautiful.
This morning when I woke up he was gone.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | eBookMall | iTunes

Rating from the sunny side of life: ★★★★☆ 

Caliber SEAL: GREAT READ!


April 20th, 2015 by maldivianbookreviewer | No Comments »

Review: Man With a Past by Kay Stockham

Format: E-bookmanwithapast
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Joe Brody
Heroine: Ashley Cade
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: November 24, 2010
Started On: April 2, 2015
Finished On: April 5, 2015

Man with a Past by Kay Stockham is one of those stories that I stumbled across in my quest to find something featuring a widowed hero or heroine. I was utterly convinced to give this a go based on the rave reviews her books seem to receive, noted in particular for her delivery of emotional reads.

Man with a Past deals with ex-convict Joe Brody who returns back to his hometown after spending 10 years in prison for murder. Joe knows that no one would welcome him with open arms but he needs to find a way to stay, at least for his father’s sake.

Ashley Cade is swimming in waters out of her depth, having just moved to the neighborhood. Growing up in group homes has left its mark on her, and the one thing that drives her to strive to make it amidst feeling like the outsider who would never fit in is the dream that she and her husband had shared of bringing up their children in a homey neighborhood which would give them the experiences that they had both never had.

When Joe turns up at her home, Ashley, the one who follows every self-help guide that was ever written has a hard time letting go of her control issues and saying yes to the help that he would provide. The fact that no one else wants to work that hard for such a small pay is one of the reasons she says yes and within no time Joe proves to her that he is more than capable of delivering on his promises where work is concerned.

What troubles both Joe and Ashley from the onset is the attraction that slowly unfurls in both of them, each yearning for the other in a fashion that refuses to be denied. Joe believes deep in his heart that no one would want to be tainted by a man with a past as his and Ashley though she knows that its time for her to move on from the memory of her beloved, has a hard time trusting her instincts when it comes to going all in.

Kay Stockham writes a mean romance, delivering on characters that reach out to you, putting in the angst and emotional factor that makes the story that much more worth delving into. Joe is the character that clutches at your heart right from the very moment he steps into the story. The wealth of pain that he hides in his heart is one that swallows you a whole and you can’t help but feel for him all the way through.

Joe is one of those heroes that all kinds of romance readers would fall in love with without fail. He is sweet, kind and yet a tortured soul that you’d want to soothe no matter what. The fact that he had made something out of himself during the time in prison when he could have let it rot his mind and soul shows strength in his character that is rarely found. That Joe could find it in his heart to be patient when everything and everyone practically worked towards running him out of town was one of the best selling points when it came to his character. And of course, his rough and tough physique that hides the sweet and generous man that he is serves to be the icing on the cake.

Ashley proved to be a strong heroine, who has a hard time coming out of her comfort zone, her mode of survival when she had been growing up. It takes a different kind of strength to shake free the emotional ties that bind and strive to be better, to push yourself out there because you want your child to have the kind of childhood that you’d never experienced. I loved Ashely from her sassy nature to the kind hearted soul that she tries hard to hide, which nevertheless makes itself known time and yet again.

Kay Stockham touches on a lot of sensitive and important issues in this short novel. Deaths of babies associated with vaccination is one of the reasons why some parents tend to forgo vaccinating their children altogether, owing to the fact that certain children can prove to be allergic to certain vaccinations, especially given the circumstances of their birth. I found it quite informative, the concept that Kay explored in this story, an area that I have never yet delved into even with all the reading that I do.

The issues associated with small towns is also one that touched the core issue of someone from outside trying to fit in. Not to mention the tough time that even a wrongly convicted person, having served his “time” has in trying to fit back into society. There’s a lesson to be learnt from each of these issues that Kay has touched and I love an author who can make me think beyond the storyline and well into the issues that are highlighted in the story. All in all, I can honestly say that Kay Stockham is an author I would continue to seek and read because she has the sort of talent that draws the reader in.

Recommended for those that love sweetly emotional reads.

Final Verdict: Emotional, tender & sweet!

Favorite Quotes

Ashley’s laughter ended with a gasp. She pulled away to look him in the eyes, but didn’t put any more distance between them. He stared into the honey-bronze depths of her gaze and waited for her reaction. Waited for her to shove him away and stammer something about how she shouldn’t have hugged him.
Instead her mouth parted and an instant later Ashley raised herself on those sexy, red-painted toes. That was all the encouragement he needed. He pressed his mouth to hers, swept his tongue inside. She tasted hot and sweet, musky.

“What if I want you to?” she whispered. “What if I want you to kiss me?”
Joe turned just enough to glare at her over the shoulder she touched. In her bare feet she nearly met him eye to eye–nearly, but not quite. And although Mac had been taller, Joe was broader, more strongly built. Honed and hardened.
By prison.
“You deserve nice things like that car your date drove. Things I can’t give you.” He swore softly. “Ashley, I can’t give you anything right now because I have nothing to give.”

Still, he did as she asked and she got an eyeful of taut backside and corded muscles. She smoothed her hands up his arms, trailed her fingers to his shoulders, in to his neck and down his spine. She rose to her tiptoes and pressed another kiss to his skin, this one to the tattoo of Josie’s name.
“Ashley.” His voice broke, husky, filled with too much emotion and needing an outlet. Joe turned so fast she gasped, and even though she stood mere inches from the bed, he swept her into his arms to lower her to the surface. Then Joe’s mouth covered hers, his tongue delved deep and she immediately discovered a difference between this kiss and the ones they’d shared before she’d found out the truth.
Joe’s hesitation was gone. Her acceptance of him, of his past, had unleashed something inside him, a fierceness, a tenderness.

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Rating from the sunny side of life: ★★★¾☆ 

Caliber SEAL: GOOD READ!


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April 18th, 2015 by maldivianbookreviewer | No Comments »