Review: Temporary Fiancée by Judy Rogers

Format: E-booktemporaryfiancee
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Andrew “Rand” McNeill
Heroine: Haley Marchand
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: May 25, 2013
Started On: January 28, 2016
Finished On: January 29, 2016

This was a recommendation I picked up, wanting to read a romance featuring a bubbly/klutzy heroine who could move a stoic and seemingly unfeeling hero to fall in love and move past the shroud of loneliness and isolation that he surrounds himself with. Temporary Fiancée features a heroine somewhat similar to what I was looking for and a hero who remains a bit embittered by the past and not ready to move on.

Andrew “Rand” McNeill, the computer wonder kid turned rich and eligible is looking for someone who would stand in as a temporary fiancée so that he can save face during the upcoming negotiations to be held with his ex-fiancée and her father. When Rand contacts the temp hiring agency looking for a secretary to fill in, one who would have no objections to acting as a fiancée, he didn’t have someone like Haley Marchand in mind. Haley is the furthest thing from what Rand conjures to be the perfect someone that would fool everyone into thinking that he had moved on.

Somehow, Haley ends up convincing Rand that she would be able to carry it off and these two find themselves contending with the attraction that springs forth between them. For Haley, the attraction is an unwanted one because Rand behaves like an ass at times, and for Rand, he can’t wrap his head around getting together with someone who is as different from him, someone like Haley who believes that the dog she looks after on occasion is a reincarnated version of some royalty from eons ago.

While Temporary Fiancée is a book that had immense potential and had everything going for it, it fell short of what I expected it to be. The writing appeared to be choppy and a tad juvenile at times. There were moments I felt like rolling my eyes in disbelief over what was happening. The first 3 chapters were really good – I was really hopeful that I was immersing myself in a read that would deliver on all fronts. But from then on, things went downhill and there were times when I wanted to DNF, but I trudged on because of the possibilities the premise presented.

I think the author tried too hard to make Andy and Haley both conform to the stereotypical image of a reserved hero who’d been betrayed once and is bitter about it, and the bubbly, fix it version of a heroine that has got it bad. There’s bubbly and being a fix it and then there’s Haley. She goes way beyond the mark in all three and from a certain point onwards, I was just reading the book for the laughs alone.

Both Haley and Rand came off as childish and petulant rather than the grown ups they should be. Haley, the one who wants to talk everyone’s ears off couldn’t find it in herself to talk about the “great misunderstanding” that occurs in the story. Needless heartache in my opinion. But then again, Rand acts like a jerk most of the time, all owing to how he had been betrayed before. Somehow, rather than finding it all sensual, I found Rand’s attempts to get Haley in bed kind of devious. While the premise was that he couldn’t help himself, but knowing he doesn’t want additional commitment to go with it, he still plays every dirty trick in his book to get Haley into bed knowing fully that she is more vulnerable than he is where they are concerned.

One of the major points of the story that I failed to see was how the involvement of the dog or Phyllis for that matter, added to the plot line except for making it appear more crazy than ever. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the silliness that revolved around those two characters in the story.

Final Verdict: Temporary Fiancée is a book that had so much potential.

Favorite Quotes

She opened her mouth to catch a breath, and he thrust his tongue in, searching for hers. Hot and wet, their tongues dueled in an erotic mating dance. Cursing softly, he lifted her to fit against his growing erection, and they rocked together in a motion so sensual, Haley thought she’d faint from the sheer power of it.
Moving from her lips, Rand’s mouth slid up her neck with gentle, sucking kisses leaving her gasping for breath. Then his tongue swirled against her ear lobe, causing a delicious languor and turning her muscles to jelly. Nothing had ever felt so good.

“I’m hurting you. I’ll stop. Just give me a minute. Don’t move.”
“You are not stopping,” she said, as she levered up then pressed downward on him, rocking her hips.
He whispered a ragged apology, then locked his arms around her waist as he drove himself into her again and again. Once more Haley was filled with a desperate aching need that urged her to move with him.
“Ride, sweetheart,” he urged in a hoarse whisper, cupping her buttocks in his hands. “Ride till you come again.”

Purchase Links: Amazon

Rating from the sunny side of life: ★★½☆☆ 

Caliber SEAL: FAIR READ!

February 7th, 2016 by maldivianbookreviewer | No Comments »

Pick of the Month & Giveaway: A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White

It has been a long while since I have published a pick of the month post. One reason is because such outstanding reads have been few and far in between.adarklure

Loreth was kind enough to answer a couple of questions about the book and writing in general, for which I am grateful. Hope you guys find the interview as insightful as it was for me!

What made the book stand out:

  • A Dark Lure was a book that warranted a 5-star rating from start to finish!
  • The book is intensely emotional – there is no way you can be removed from what takes place in the story!
  • There is darkness, depravity and hope in the story. Nothing can beat that.
  • Dark romantic suspense of the well-written kind is rare in the world of romance today. All the more reason to appreciate it!

Interview with Loreth Anne White on A Dark Lure

MBR: What inspired you to write A Dark Lure?

Loreth: The story was born out of several fishing trips into British Columbia’s Cariboo country and fleshed out around campfires at night. While sitting under a vast northern sky, listening to coyotes cry in the Marble Mountains, and hearing the crack of hunters’ rifle shots at dawn, as all writers do, I began to wonder ‘what if’ there was a human hunter in those dark woods around us. And I began to braid these thoughts with inspiration that came from the real life serial killer, Robert Hanson, the so-called Butcher-Baker of Alaska who abducted, tortured, then set his victims out to be hunted in the wilds.

MBR: A Dark Lure deals with disturbing material. While writing this particular novel, which aspect of it would you say was the toughest to write?

Loreth: I think my greatest challenge came in trying to create a heroine who is both vulnerable, and afraid, yet also incredibly strong, resilient, and brave—a true survivor. Even the strongest of people have fears, yet they face them—I hope I’ve managed to show this. And I wanted to do justice to PTSD.

MBR: Olivia is a woman who has gone through more than most people for that matter would go through their entire lifetimes. Where did you draw inspiration from, in crafting her character?

Loreth: I have long been intrigued by real life survival stories of people who triumph against seemingly impossible odds, while others die when all they needed to do was wait for help. There appears to be some interesting common traits among these survivors, and they’re not what one might imagine … I wanted to show these traits in Sarah/Olivia, yet also show that while people can survive a devastating event, they remain forever changed in some form.

MBR: Are any of the events that took place in A Dark Lure drawn from real life events or experiences?

Loreth: As mentioned above I drew some inspiration from Alaska’s Butcher-Baker case. Other than that, inspiration comes from some of my own real life experiences. For example, like the dead character in the book, Melody (Tori’s mother), I worked as a journalist. And while working for the newspaper in the ski resort in which I live, I covered countless search-and-rescue and survival stories. People go missing in our mountains all the time. Some come back. Some never do, and what happened to them remains a mystery to this day. This in turn led to a personal interest in the psychology of survival. And like Melody, and Olivia, I’m also a mother. Like Tori, I lost a parent at a vulnerable age. And like Olivia, I am rarely without my dog.

I have also done tracking with my dog, Hudson. This was something else borne out of my obsession with people who just go missing, and are never found. Hudson and I have attended several BC Search Dog Association wilderness training camps where we were lucky to have tracking and air scent instruction from some of the best Royal Canadian Mounted Police K9 handlers and BCSDA volunteers. And I’ve done courses in man tracking through the BC Outdoor Association. My husband is also a keen fly fisher, and I do fish with him, too. We often camp at a place called Big Bar Lake in the Cariboo, which was the inspiration for the setting of Broken Bar Ranch.

MBR: What did you, as an author and as a person, learn from crafting A Dark Lure?

Loreth: In writing A DARK LURE I went deeper than my earlier/shorter romances into developing secondary characters and layering story lines, and I learned how much I enjoy digging into this direction. This book also veers further into mystery/thriller territory than my earlier romantic suspense stories which is something I am enjoying.

MBR: Is there any message or messages that you wanted to convey to your reader base with A Dark Lure?

Loreth: I hope the book shows the resilience of human nature, and how important forgiveness is, especially forgiveness of oneself. And how dark and dangerously powerful a sense of shame can be, however unjustified. I also hope to show how love, and how belonging to, or being welcomed into a family/tribe in its many disparate forms can help healing.

A Dark Lure, at its core, is a story of survival and finding the strength to accept oneself in spite of scars both inside and out, and allowing oneself to be loved.

MBR: Are you currently working on any projects? If so, would you care to share some information regarding that with us?

Loreth: I have a book coming out August 16 – IN THE BARREN GROUND. It’s a dark, atmospheric romance and police procedural with gothic/horror overtones set in a remote fly-in community just south of the arctic circle.

I’m also working on a more mainstream suspense/thriller, which I hope will appeal to those readers who enjoyed A Dark Lure, as well as a new romantic suspense police procedural series.

MBR: Looking forward to all of it! So excited! Thank you so much Loreth, for taking the time!

Giveaway!

You can choose either one of the following. Just state which one you would like in your comment below the post!

  1. One e-copy of A Dark Lure by Loreth Anne White.
  2. A US$ 10.00 gift certificate from either Amazon or B&N.
  3. A paperback version of A Dark Lure to those residing in US.

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Tell us the darkest romantic suspense you have read, to-date!
  2. Specify the number or which of the 3 options of the giveaway you would like!
  3. Leave a valid e-mail address as a way for me to contact you in case you are the winner.

Giveaway Timings:

  • Giveaway begins: 00:00 hours, February 4, 2016 – Maldivian Time
  • Giveaway ends: 23:59 hours, February 5, 2016 – Maldivian Time
  • Maldivian Timezone: GMT+5
February 4th, 2016 by maldivianbookreviewer | 3 Comments »

Review: Deadline by Sandra Brown

Format: E-bookdeadline
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Hero: Dawson Andrew Scott
Heroine: Amelia Wesson née Nolan
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 24, 2013
Started On: December 26, 2015
Finished On: January 27, 2016

Deadline by Sandra Brown is another masterpiece by an author whose books rarely turn out to be a miss where I am concerned. Whether it be just plain romance or romantic suspense, Sandra has a way with putting the story out there that leaves the reader on tenterhooks. Deadline was such a book for me. While I felt that there was a brief lull towards the middle of the book, the revelations at the end that knocked me off my feet, made up for it in more ways than one.

Dawson Andrew Scott is a news reporter for NewsFront. His recent stint in Afghanistan, covering stories in the region had come with its own price. Suffering from PTSD which Dawson refuses to talk about or seek help for, it is Dawson’s godfather and FBI Agent Gary Headly that comes to his rescue with the tantalizing lead on a possible story that acts effectively as bait where Dawson is concerned.

Dawson turns up at the Chatham County Courthouse to follow the developing story on a murder trial that involves Marine Captain Jeremy Wesson, a decorated war veteran who is presumed dead. When Amelia, widow of Jeremy and mother to his two boys takes the stand to give her testimony, Dawson feels as if he has been sucker punched in his solar plexus. The reaction he has towards Amelia is one that he knows can cloud his judgement when it comes to following the particular vein of the unfolding story that he is interested in.

Dawson maneuvers his way into Amelia’s life without knowing just how close to danger he is skirting. Though Dawson resists the connection that exists between him and Amelia from the onset, the series of events that reaches its explosive conclusion is one that refuses to let Dawson remain unaffected. The ending when it came, delivered a book worth every moment of agony and helplessness that both Amelia and Dawson are subjected to throughout the story.

Deadline is a book that delivered one of the most explosive endings that I have read from Sandra Brown to-date. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I reached that point, having had to go back and re-read the passage a couple of times before the reality of it all could actually sink in. It was that good, that riveting and I truly never saw that coming, which was the best part.

Dawson is the hero of the variety that Sandra Brown excels at. Earthy, sexy and alpha in a way you can’t help but be drawn towards. Dawson’s character grows on you because of the PTSD he battles, and because he has that quality which ensnares you helplessly as you read on. Amelia’s finest quality is her protectiveness towards her sons. Having dealt with a husband who had suffered from PTSD and made life a living hell on Earth for her before, makes Amelia wary of putting herself in the same position again. But as circumstances would have it, none of what Amelia sees nor has experienced is what it seemed to have been and before the story is through, Amelia finds herself falling for a man who is determined to do just the opposite. Amelia’s adorable kids gives the story that wholesome edge which gave it the charm factor.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: The explosive ending alone, carves in stone, the sheer genius that is Sandra Brown.

Favorite Quotes

“Pictures of me and my children, taken by a total stranger. You bet they made me uncomfortable. Especially since you failed to explain the reason for them.”
“I didn’t explain?”
“No. And I asked.”
“Oh. I took them so I could study you.”
“As part of your research?”
“No, so I could get to know you.”
“I don’t want you to know me.”
It could have been a trick of the lights along the dock, reflecting off the water. Or his gaze really did move down to her mouth when he said in a low and stirring voice, “That’s too bad.”

“Then why are you here? I told you that I wouldn’t cooperate with any story you intend to write. Why don’t you just go away and leave us alone? You weren’t even all that interested in the story of Jeremy Wesson. You said you were about to reject it and move on to something else more interesting. Why didn’t you?”
“Fair enough. You want to know why?”
He slid his hands under her hair behind her neck and drew her forward until her body was flush against his, his legs sandwiching hers, their faces not quite touching. “Why didn’t I leave this goddamn story alone?” He brushed his thumbs across her lower lip. “Because you walked into that courtroom.”

Her head tipped back. Taking that as encouragement, his kisses on her neck became more fervent. By the time they reached her ear, there was intent behind them, and she responded. Tension escaped her on a sigh. Her body settled, ever so slightly shifting closer to him. Tentatively she placed her hands on his shoulders.
He eased his head back and looked into her eyes. “I’m not him, Amelia. I’m not like him. I swear to you, I’m not. I have it under control.”
“I’m not afraid you’ll lose control.” Her voice was low and husky, and he wished it was something he could touch, stroke, taste. “I’m afraid I will.”

With a rasped curse, he cupped her head between his hands and claimed a kiss that was unapologetically deep from the start. There was no buildup to the intimacy, because he’d been thinking about making love to her mouth from the moment he saw her in the courtroom.
She didn’t shy away, but kissed him back in kind, with heat, her fingers alternately kneading his shoulders and tugging handfuls of his hair. Her unrestraint was as much a surprise as it was a delight.

Amelia rubbed against him seductively, each movement sweetly feminine and small but breath stealing. He wasn’t as subtle. His hands roved selfishly and impatiently, greedy for the feel of her skin. He pushed his hand into the loose waistband of her pajama bottoms and caressed the curve of her hip. In response, her thighs shifted, separated. He fit himself into the notch.

“Hmm?”
“We can’t.”
“I know.” But he didn’t stop at her collarbone. He continued down, placing soft kisses on her chest.
“Really,” she said weakly.
“I know.”
Through the thin cotton tank top, his hand cupped her breast and pushed it up to swell above the neckline. He rubbed his rough cheek against it, then turned his face into the plumpness and kissed it open-mouthed. Hard with arousal, he fit himself into the V between her thighs. The sensation was so intense, she gasped.

Ten minutes later, Dawson rejoined her in the kitchen. He went straight to the glass of tea she had dutifully poured and drained it without taking a breath.
“Well?”
“Well,” he said, stretching out the word, “they’ve both experienced what I assured them was a perfectly normal biological phenomenon.”
“Ah. I thought that might be it. I’ve noticed that phenomenon on occasion, but always pretended not to, as any lady would.”
“Hunter experienced a rather, uh, stubborn one today. He was afraid it signified something terribly wrong with him, which he wanted to keep from you so you wouldn’t worry or get upset.”
“That sweetheart.”
“Grant was just as considerate of your feelings. He felt you should be told about the affliction in case they both died of it and you found them dead in their beds without knowing what had killed them.”

She fumbled with the buttons on his fly and then her hand was claiming him, her fingers tightly squeezing, massaging their way up until her thumb was at the tip, pressing—
“Jesus.” Gasping with pleasure, he ground his forehead against the wall behind her shoulder in an effort not to come. “Wait, wait.”
The fabric of her skirt was as light as air against his hands as he slid them beneath it. He worked his fingers under a wedge of lace. She was soft and warm and wet. He quickly rid her of the underpants so he could luxuriate in the femaleness, the snug, silky, wonderful feel of her.
She pressed down hard on his exploring fingers, moaned his name, whispered, “More.”
He lifted her up to straddle his thighs and thrust into her, fully, completely, and without caution.

He fucked her. He gave, took, told her with every stroke what he hadn’t been able to convey with words, communicated what he’d felt from the moment he saw her enter the courtroom, and knew, in that instant, that he’d been blessed and doomed in the same heartbeat.
He changed the angle and the tempo to favor her. She clutched handfuls of his hair and squeezed his hips with her thighs. And when her orgasm pulsed around him, he came and came and came.

“So, is that it?” she purred. “Have we run out of fantasies?”
“Hell, we’re just getting started.” Sliding his hand beneath her bottom, he tilted her up. “Going real slow, like now.” He kissed her, his tongue sliding into her mouth with the controlled intensity with which he was pushing into her. He pulled out, almost entirely, before sinking into her a little deeper than before. And again.
She made a small, wanting sound and breathed his name. “What exactly do you call this particular fantasy?”
He buried himself inside her fully and, just as he kissed her again, whispered, “Making love.”

With very little movement, he pumped into her rhythmically while in shockingly coarse terms he described how it felt to be enveloped by her and the pleasure his fingers and mouth derived from pleasuring her. Soon his lyrics changed to those of poets, but the subtext was as erotically charged.
When both were on the brink of implosion, his voice became rough with emotion. His breaths became bursts of air against the back of her neck. In the language of raw need, he gasped, “Squeeze me. Tighter.” His body strained, and each shudder was marked with the harsh, choppy cry of a man in the throes of release that went beyond the physical. Finally, as his body relaxed and enfolded hers, he sighed her name like a benediction.
She fell asleep with all those wonderful words echoing in her heart.

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

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

Caliber SEAL: GREAT READ!

Books you might like from the same author

February 3rd, 2016 by maldivianbookreviewer | No Comments »

Review: Once and Always by Judith McNaught

Format: E-bookonceandalways
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Sequels, #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Jason Fielding
Heroine: Victoria Elizabeth Seaton
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January, 1987
Started On: January 26, 2016
Finished On: January 26, 2016

Judith McNaught is one of the most revered authors in the romance genre, and with good reason. Her books have turned many a romantic soul into romance readers, giving them all something to dream, sigh and moon over. I have read all the published works by Judith McNaught to-date and loved almost each and every single one of them. I have revisited the books that I consider my favorites many a time. Most of those re-reads took place before I established my blog in 2009. So here goes, a review for Once and Always, a tale that for me, stands the irrevocable test of time itself.

Jason Fielding, the Marquess of Wakefield is a man who hides a wealth of pain beneath the formidable exterior of his. Life has taught him time and yet again that love and happiness is not meant for the likes of himself. His failure of a marriage and the consequences left behind in the wake of the disaster that particular venture had proven to be makes Jason a man wary at best of getting entangled with the opposite sex in a way that would lead to anything permanent. Most of all, Jason considers his heart closed off forever. His less than stellar childhood had also taught him that valuable lesson. That is until Victoria Elizabeth Seaton makes her way into his life and changes it forever.

18 year old Victoria is forced to leave the home that she has known all her life that is in America and sail to England where her maternal relatives await her and her sister’s arrival. From the moment Victoria and Jason meet, sparks fly. Victoria being the kind of person who is concerned about the welfare of those around her clashes at every turn with someone like Jason who has closed himself off from caring about what goes on in other people’s lives. Moments of hilarity and mirth fill this novel, at least during the beginning of the “courtship” stage where Jason hardly knows what to do with Victoria and Victoria in turn wants nothing more to do with the likes of him.

Moments of truce disappear into thin air more often than not, especially with Jason’s plans to wed her off so that the Duke of Atherton would stop trying to push him to take her as his wife. Victoria is equally determined to stay unwed, until her beau from America returns for her. But alas, as fate would have it, with more than a little helping hand given by the Duke, Victoria finds herself wedded to an exasperatingly beautiful man, who makes her senses go alive with the merest of touches. Each kiss and caress exchanged convinces Victoria of the fact that when it comes to her and Jason, falling in love is a foregone conclusion. But their future and happiness depends on how soon Victoria can make Jason see that when it comes to her, he would always get nothing but the purest of love.

Once and Always is a wonderful novel to immerse yourself in, if you like romances that deliver a ton of angst that can make you tie yourself up in knots, even when you know that the inevitable conclusion would be a happy one. Jason is a hero whose commanding presence alone makes a woman go gaga over him. Taming someone like Jason is a task for someone who is as strong as Victoria, someone who wouldn’t back down in the face of all the rejections and walls that Jason puts up, all because he can’t bring himself to be that vulnerable towards someone, ever again. But tame him Victoria does, and the result of course is a man whom you would indeed fall head over heels in love with.

This is exactly why Judith McNaught is an author that remains unrivaled in her contribution to the world of romance. Tempestuous, angst ridden and filled with so much love and passion that you would feel like dying if you didn’t read it to its ultimate and very satisfying conclusion, Once and Always managed to keep me spellbound, and God knows how many times I have already re-read this particular book already.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: Jason and Victoria’s love is bold and vivacious; it is all encompassing. Not to be missed!

Favorite Quotes

“Have I made another social blunder—like failing to knock?” he inquired in a low, amused voice, his lips offensively close to her cheek as she took her seat. “Is it not the custom in America for a gentleman to seat a lady?”
Victoria jerked her head away. “Are you seating me, or trying to eat my ear?”
His lips twitched. “I may do that,” he replied, “if the new cook provides us with a poor meal.”

Charles pushed her out the door under the guise of escorting her to her carriage, and Victoria halted and swung around on the stairway. Like a beautiful, outraged goddess she stood trembling with wrath, staring down at Jason. “Am I to understand,” she enunciated furiously, “that the engagement you said was ‘off’ was our engagement?”
Jason’s only answer was a tightening of his jaw, but his silence was a tacit admission, and she glared at him with blue sparks shooting from her eyes, heedless of the servants who were staring at her in paralyzed horror. “How dare you!” she hissed. “How dare you let anyone think I would consider marrying you. I wouldn’t marry you if you were—”
“I don’t recall asking you to marry me,” Jason interrupted sarcastically. “However, it’s reassuring to know that if I ever took leave of my senses and did ask you, you’d have the consideration to turn me down.”

Victoria saw something primitive and terrifying flare in his eyes as his hands tightened on her arms. She jerked back, a scream rising in her throat, but his lips covered hers, stifling her voice with a demanding insistence that stunned her into immobility. Like an alarmed rabbit captured in a painless trap, she struggled until she felt his hands stroke soothingly up and down her spine and shoulders, while his lips moved on hers with inflaming expertise.

“William Rogers,” Charles shot back in a challenging voice, “and he’s tall, conservative, mature, intelligent, and handsome. He’s also heir to one of the finest estates in England. I think he would do very well for Victoria.”
“No.”
“No?” Charles burst out. “Why not?”
“I don’t like the way Rogers sits a horse.”
“You don’t like—” Charles bit out in angry disbelief; then he glanced at Jason’s implacable face and sighed. “Very well. The last name on my list is Lord Terrance. He sits a horse extremely well, in addition to being an excellent chap. He is also tall, handsome, intelligent, and wealthy. Now,” he finished triumphantly, “what fault can you find with him?”
Jason’s jaw tightened ominously. “I don’t like, him.”
“You aren’t going to marry him!” Charles shot back, his voice rising.
Jason lurched forward in his chair and slammed his hand on his desk. “I said I don’t like him,” he said through clenched teeth. “And that’s the end of it.”

But in the mounting turmoil of their kiss and unaware of the hardening pressure against her stomach, Victoria let her fingers slide into the soft hair at his nape while her body automatically fitted itself to his—and suddenly everything changed. Jason’s arms closed around her with stunning force, his mouth opening on hers with fierce hunger. He parted her lips, teasing her with his tongue until he coaxed her to touch her own tongue to his lips, and when she did, he gasped, pulling her even closer, his body taut with fiery need.
When he finally lifted his head, he stared down at her with an odd expression of bemused self-mockery on his ruggedly chiseled features. “I should have given you diamonds and sapphires the other night, instead of pearls,” he commented. “But don’t kiss me like this again until after we’re married.”

“You have a very peculiar idea of what being a wife means,” he mocked savagely. “Now, get out of here.”
“Damn you!” Victoria blazed. “I don’t know how to be a wife, can’t you see that? I know how to cook and sew and look after a husband, but you don’t need me for that, because you have other people to take care of you. And I’ll tell you something else, Lord Fielding,” she continued, working herself into a fine rage, “I may not be a very good wife, but you’re an impossible husband! When I offer to play chess with you, you get angry. When I try to seduce you, you get nasty—”
She saw Jason’s head jerk up, but she was so angry she didn’t pay any heed to the stunned expression on his face. “And when I bring you a gift, you go off to London to see your mistress!”
“Tory,” he said achingly, “come here.”

Beneath her she could feel the pulsing of his rigid shaft, the fiery touch of his heated skin, the violent hammering of his heart against her breasts. But instead of taking her, as she expected, he gazed at her with desire raging in his eyes and humbly said the words he had tried to force her to say last night. “I want you,” he whispered. As if he didn’t think he had humbled himself enough, he added, “Please, darling.”
Feeling as if her heart would break with the love bursting in it, Victoria answered him with a melting kiss. It was answer enough.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N

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

Caliber SEAL: OUTSTANDING READ!

Books you might like from the same author

February 2nd, 2016 by maldivianbookreviewer | No Comments »

Review: Night of the Phantom by Anne Stuart

Format: E-bookphantomofthenight
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Ethan Winslowe
Heroine: Megan Carey
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 01, 1991
Started On: January 25, 2016
Finished On: January 25, 2016

Be it a historical, paranormal or contemporary romance, Anne Stuart is a master at crafting tales so superbly that you enjoy every single minute of the ride. Night of the Phantom was a story that according to Anne Stuart, was inspired by Phantom of the Opera. I guess it shows in certain elements of the paranormal and mystical variety included in the story. Didn’t detract at all from the storyline, but rather added to its charm, making Night of the Phantom the winner it is.

Ethan Winslowe is a recluse who lives in a forgotten part of the country that people seldom talk about. However, as reclusive as he is, Ethan is a genius in the field of architecture, and it is his splendorous designs that Megan Carey’s father used to rise to the position of fame and glory that he enjoys. Things go awry however, when Megan’s father begs her to take his place to meet Ethan who has threatened to bring the whole Carey corporation down. Megan, having never been able to say no in the face of her father agrees, albeit reluctantly. A decision that she regrets from the moment she steps foot in the godforsaken town.

Megan’s entrance into Ethan’s carefully structured plans is hardly a welcome one – at first. However, when Ethan realizes the perks of having Megan at his mercy, Ethan changes his plans accordingly, all the while knowing that Megan might prove to be detrimental to the heart that he keeps closed off from the rest of the world. Ethan enjoys the darkness, revels in the darkness that is his life. Megan, whose heart had craved romance and adventure when she had made plans to go traveling prior to having had to come see Ethan, finds her soul reaching out to that of Ethan.

Night of the Phantom turned out to be such a good book, one that I just had to finish in one single sitting. Anne Stuart’s books have a way of making me lose out on precious sleep, not something I would ever regret, given how well written her books are. Ethan makes for a darkly alluring hero. Hidden in the shadows with the darkness of the night wrapped around him, Ethan beckons your soul in ways you would never think possible. 

There’s a surreal and ethereal edge to the story as it unfolds. Timeless in the way Ethan and Megan circle each other; Megan frightful of her wanton desire for a man who doesn’t trust her enough to show his face and Ethan, frightened by just how much he needs, wants and lusts after Megan, all of which hides the deeper emotions that he fights to keep at bay. The town’s reluctance to harbor an individual as Ethan in their midst, regardless of what his presence means to an already dwindling community was one that proved to be another facet of the novel that fascinated me.

The ending when it came, was perfectly fitting to the story and the characters. Megan being the one to finally go after Ethan didn’t detract from the fact that someone as reclusive as Ethan had made the decision to go after her as well. That in my opinion, was the most wonderful ending they could have been given.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: Anne Stuart takes you away on a journey of darkness and splendor!

Favorite Quotes

She paused for a moment, stretching like a contented cat as she stepped out of her fallen dress. She felt sinful, sensual and deliciously evil as she stood there in her shocking underwear and her high, high heels. If he hadn’t needed life-support systems before this little act, he would now.
Leaning over so that her hair fell in her face, she slowly unhooked one sheer black stocking. Sliding it down her leg, she stepped out of her shoes with a trace of regret. Men were supposed to find high heels unbearably erotic. She wanted Ethan Winslowe to suffer.
The next stocking followed. She unfastened the garter belt and tossed it in the corner beneath the video camera with all the aplomb of an elegant stripper tossing her clothing to a hungry crowd.
For the first time in her life, she didn’t feel ten pounds overweight. She felt luscious.

“Stop fighting me, angel,” he whispered, and his hand brushed her skin, the soft, sensitized flesh of her stomach. The row of tiny buttons had disappeared and her nightgown was open to the night air. “Stop fighting yourself. Give yourself to me.” And his hand moved between her legs and touched her.
What strength she had in her legs vanished and she sagged against him. It happened with shocking speed, scarcely had his long, deft fingers found her than she dissolved, lost in a darkness of sensation and despair. She opened her mouth to say something, but nothing came out but a strangled gasp of surprise, of release, of an astonished pleasure so intense that what little existed of reality vanished, and her last, amazed thought was that, for the first time in her life, she was going to faint.

“You’re lying,” he said bitterly. “I know revulsion when I see it.”
“Do you?” She stopped thinking. He was tall; she was barefoot and tiny. She reached up, cupping his face with her hands, both sides of his face, and pulled him down to her, kissing him full on the mouth.
For a moment, he froze, and she could feel the shock trembling through his body. Stillness washed over them, a silent eternity.
And then he pulled her against him, hard, slanting his mouth across hers, kissing her back with a passion that was devouring, frightening, filled with such longing that she felt as if she were going to be sucked up into a vortex of emotion.

“You could have gone with Palmer. If you’d asked again, Salvatore would have let you go.”
“I didn’t want to go.”
“I live in darkness,” he said, still not touching her, his voice low and urgent. “In the shadows, in the warmth and safety of the night. If you come to me, you’ll live in shadows, too.”
She lifted her head to look around, and her hair rippled down her bare back. “The moonlight is bright enough for me,” she said quietly.
He reached out then, his hands cupping her face, his thumbs caressing her cheeks. “I must be mad,” he whispered. “You’ll destroy me.”
“I’ll love you,” she said, but the words were silent.
“You’ll destroy me,” he said again, closing his eyes in sudden despair. And then he kissed her.

He knew how to judge her reactions perfectly, the shift, the restlessness, the ripple of reaction, the strangled breathing. He knew when she was just on the edge of explosion, and he knew how to expand that edge, to draw her over it, willingly, tumbling to her doom with no more than a strangled cry. He knew how to prolong it so that she was clawing at his shoulders, sobbing frantically, certain her body could take no more until he showed her, with inexorable determination, that it could.
And yet it wasn’t enough. She convulsed against his mouth, her body going rigid in reaction, and still she pulled at him, tugged at him, wanting more and more of him, wanting him, not his mouth, not his hands working their fiendish magic, she wanted all of him.

He had his face turned away from her so that all she could see was his unmarked profile, the sheath of long hair between them. His muscles were bunched, slippery with sweat beneath her hands, and she was loath to give up holding him, touching him, but she had to. Reaching up, she caught his face, turning him to look down at her, full face, his bisected beauty mesmerizing her. She kissed his mouth, his nose, she kissed the marked side of his face. Pushing his hair out of the way, she kissed the side of his neck where the mark continued down between their joined bodies.
For a moment, he stilled the hypnotic, powerful rhythm of his body and she was afraid she’d gone too far. She met his gaze fearlessly and she said the words she’d only thought, the words that would be her death knell. “I love you.”

She had no sense of where they were, and she didn’t care. Inside the door, he released her, ripping off her clothes with the same shaking passion that suffused her body. She was trembling so hard, she couldn’t help him, didn’t want to help him. All she wanted was to touch and kiss his body, to possess it, possess him, until there was nothing left between them, no secrets, nothing held back.
And then she was naked, wet with rain and sweat, shaking with fear and desire, and he was naked, wet with rain and sweat, and he lifted her up in his arms, pushing her back against an unseen wall and entered her, driving deep with a fierce thrust that made her cry out in instant, shuddering satisfaction. He wrapped her legs around him, holding on to her hips as he drove in and out, in and out, like someone possessed, and his mouth against hers, the words that tumbled forth, love words, sex words, angry and despairing and tender, simply fanned the flame higher and hotter until she thought she might explode from the power of his thrusts, the power of his love.

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Rating from the sunny side of life: ★★★★½ 

Caliber SEAL: AMAZING READ!

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February 1st, 2016 by maldivianbookreviewer | 2 Comments »