Maggie Reads Romance

40 | TV-addict | Compulsive | Introvert | Comfortable | Loving | Living | Enjoying | Working | Baking | Shopping | Traveling | Reading | Socializing | Chronic (e)book hoarder and avid reader. I'm married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. My absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance (from scorching hot erotic to super sweet) and romantic suspense, but I don’t shy away from historical or paranormal romance either. Even the occasional futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is one of the corners of the world wide web where I let you know what books I’m hoarding and reading.

The Fighter's Secretary

The Fighter's Secretary - Ann Mayburn This is the second book by Ann Mayburn I've read. The other one was RS I read last year (GUARDING HOPE). The two stories are very different, this being a BDSM erotic romance, but one thing they have in common is Ann's great writing style. It has a certain roughness to it that's unapologetic and I love that.

Being a novella of not quite 90 pages this was one of those reads where character development and build-up to both internal and external conflicts as well as their resolution was sacrificed in favor of some seriously hot scenes. Though I would have liked a bit more depth and some things, like the conflict and its resolution, happened too quickly I really enjoyed how smoking hot, raw and dirty it was. This made it hard for me to rate this read because as much as I love and appreciate dirty sexy scenes, I also want to emotionally connect with the characters and the romance and I didn't quite manage that with THE FIGHTER'S SECRETARY.

Memorable Scene:
- Dallas watching the security video of Amanda with the clamps > Wow! Smoking hot!

Favorite Quotes:
“Amanda is not my secretary,” came Dallas’s automatic reply. “She’s my personal assistant. If she hears you call her my secretary she’ll have your balls in her purse.”

The way he said her name, like he was relishing the words on his tongue, never failed to send her pulse racing, but she ignored it as best she could.

Dallas was about as dominant as they came and the hidden, submissive side of her nature cried out in longing to kneel at his feet.
An image of doing just that, clad only in those beautiful nipple clamps, flashed through her mind and she imagined nuzzling her face against the crease where his balls met his leg and drowning in his scent while he gripped her hair hard enough to hurt.

[...]she almost moaned when he brushed his rough thumb over her lower lip. The need to draw his thumb into her mouth, to suck on it, to nibble at the tip and taste him tempted her to the point where she parted her lips and a needy little whimper escaped.

Love and Shenanigans (Ballybeg, #1)

Love and Shenanigans (Ballybeg, #1) - Zara Keane When the book opened with the hero's mother texting him she's to busy on the farm to come to his wedding, on the day before the wedding, I knew this wasn't going to be a contemporary romance like any others I've read. And if I thought the groom-to-be's mother was unlikeable...shortly after, I met his fiancée and her parents and was proven it could be even worse. But rest assured, not all family members/secondary characters were . I really liked Aunt Bridie and friends Olivia (Fiona's) and Jonas (Gavin's). Also I must admit someone I wasn't expecting was redeemed in my eyes and I hope this person (cryptic but don't want to give spoilers) gets their HEA somewhere along time too.

After reading a bunch of erotic romances in a row this book was a refreshing welcome. Romance, contemporary romance doesn't always need sexing up to be entertaining. When done right the story, the journey the characters take from the beginning of the book to their HEA and the sensual tension is enough to keep me turning the pages.

LOVE AND SHENANIGANS reminded me of the romances I used to read when I was much younger, the Penny Jordan's and the Sara Craven's. The focus was on the relationships, not only between the hero and heroine but also their relationships with friends and family. I loved all the small plotlines going on next to the romance, like the bookstore and the stuff with the will.

Zara Keane made the small town of Ballybeg come to life for me with her lovely descriptions. Normally I'm not much for descriptive writing as it often hinders the pace and takes me out of the story but in LOVE AND SHENANIGANS it was very well-dosed, functional and complemented the story perfectly. I really liked the writing, it was crisp and clean with an easy flow to it. Funny moments alternated with more emotional and romantic ones, making it a joy to read.

LOVE AND SHENANIGANS is a sweet contemporary romance that's a tad heavier on the storylines than on the romance, especially in the first part of the book . It is wonderfully written with great characters that left me wanting more and luckily for me there will be more!

Favorite Quotes:
“Nowadays, every female over the age of twelve is going around with bare bellies and bosoms on display.”
“Now, Bridie,” Olivia said with a wicked grin. “Surely not every female over the age of twelve. I’m sure the ladies of the Ballybeg House and Crafts Society would be scandalized to learn one of their leading members was displaying her blubber to the world. Are you planning on starting a trend?”
A chortle resounded in Bridie’s throat. “Blubber? Why, I’ll give you blubber!” She pulled up her plus-size blouse and grabbed a substantial handful of flesh from around her midriff. “This, here, is what a genuine Irish woman looks like. If you two had eaten a decent meal of meat and potatoes every day when you were growing up, you wouldn’t be the scrawny beanpoles you are today.”

“Ah, Fiona. Isn’t the knight in shining armor supposed to slay the dragon and rescue the princess?”
She gave him a playful shove. “You’re reading the wrong fairytales, Maguire. In Celtic mythology, the heroines kick arse.”

Long For Me

Long For Me - Shiloh Walker 4,5 stars

While reading BREAK FOR ME (the 2nd novella in this series) there were revelations that made me realize this third novella that were going to break my heart and right in line with my expectations the start of this novella left me teary-eyed.
But I also knew that Shiloh Walker, though she'd first break me with this novella, she'd also piece me back together.

Chris and Guy's story is a heartbreaking but beautiful one. It concludes the story arc that began in the first story and lived up to my expectations in every way possible. The suspense, if you can call it that since everything was pretty clear in the previous story, mixed perfectly with the romance and there were some really hot moments.

As much as I loved these short novellas I'm definitely ready for full length in this series now. Not in the least to satisfy my curiosity for the next suspense arc.

Memorable Scene:
- the memorial service for Nichole > one of the few times an opening chapter made me cry

Fave Quotes:
To her, crazy was sitting there with words trapped inside you and not saying them because it was impolite or because people might think you were weird.

He wasn’t about to tell her that the only woman he wanted to take care of was her, that the only woman he wanted was the woman he’d never have.

He twisted her head around, easing his hold on her hair. "Years, Chris. I’ve wanted you for years. You’re not going to make me rush this."

First Night

First Night - Lauren Blakely 3,75 stars

This was short and scorching! A quick introduction to a couple that set the pages on fire! Clay and Julia are definitely in the running for a top spot on my list of favorite couples!

Despite being not even 60 pages long the story was well written, giving me enough to satisfy my need for a quick hot read AND enough for me to recognize the full story (that will be told in 2 more and hopefully longer installments) has a lot of potential.

At the end one question kept going through my mind: What does Julia do every Tuesday night that she initially feared Clay was a cop that was on to her?

Fave Quotes:
She froze in her spot simply because the voice was rough and gravelly, and sent a charge through her with its masculine sexiness.

Softness was for kittens, pillows and pretty cashmere sweaters. Sex needed to be hard, hot and oh-so-rough around the edges. She didn’t want to be coddled or cuddled. She wanted to take and be taken.

“Come back to my hotel. Spend the night with me,” he said softly. “I want to curl up with you. I want to wake up with you. I want to make love to you before I leave.”


Mercy - HelenKay Dimon I had been looking forward to this book ever since March when I came back from the big hiatus. From the moment heard about it, it went on the wishlist. Erotic romantic suspense is like my two favorite subgenres went and had a baby and I am always complaining that there aren't more books/series like Shannon McKenna's books. So when I heard about this new HKD series I knew I had to read it.

I love it when you, as the reader, you are privvy to things the hero or heroine isn't and especially with Jarrett's POV HelenKay Dimon provided me with this privelege. I knew exactly what Jarrett felt and what he allowed Becca to see/know. On the outside Jarrett seems cold and hard cool but he deep inside he feels and cares, no matter how loud he may protest that. I got to give it to him: the man demonstrates an admirable amount of self-control and 'I don't give a damn'. Jarrett's refusal to kiss Becca first had me a bit confused but it didn't last very long plus when it was explained I totally got it and holding back from the beginning made that first actual kiss in the book scorching.

Now let's talk about the secondary romance, m/m with Wade and Eli. I liked it but several times when they really got to the sex part ...the POV jumped to Jarrett and Becca. This kinda bothered me because although I can't say I'm an avid m/m reader (to the contrary even: I rarely read m/m), I think if you're incorporating it into your book, you should take it all the way.

While on the subject, this book was pretty hot. I loved the chemistry between Becca and Jarrett and their romance was complicated, erotic and intense. But have to mention that I noticed that like with Wade and Eli, Becca and Jarrett also had a few love scenes where the actual deed was kept off the page. Made me wonder if this was publisher/editor-induced or that the author intended for the book to have this much behind closed doors sex...

The suspense part kept me on my toes during the entire book. Like Becca, Jarrett and Eli I wanted answers and I had my suspicions but granted I flip-flopped a bit between the theories in my head. My first suspicion was right but I did think it was wrapped up rather too easily and I missed a big showdown with the person behind everything. However I really liked how the suspense and romance mixed together and made the book more poweful as a whole.

MERCY is the kind of book that makes you want to read faster so you can get to the conclusion and figure everything out. And at the same time you want to read slower so you can savor the sexiness of it all. Despite some minor issues I really enjoyed it and I look forward to the next book, which will be Sebastian and Kyra! YAY!

Memorable Scene:
- Wade and Jarrett discussing Jarrett taking Becca on a birth control > Funny and also a pivotal moment in the story
- the standoff scene in the conference room > this iswhere I felt thesuspense and romance came together perfectly

Fave Quotes:
“I need to talk to you.”
“Last time we talked you were on your knees with my dick in your mouth while your team broke in and arrested me.”

Calling on his formidable will, he brought the shields crashing down again, careful to drain any show of interest from his face. With a thin-lipped frown back in place and the mental reel of her past treachery playing in his head, his control clicked together like a series of lock tumblers.

“Natalie.” He slid onto the stool next to hers while Wade took up his regular position behind the bar, only a few feet away.
“I’ve asked you to call me Ms. Udall.”
Jarrett nodded. “And I’ve declined.”

He kissed her. Not quick. Not searching for another round. This was long and lingering, testing her in small nibbles before deepening the touch to a blinding kiss she felt to her toes.

Despite everything and regardless of the passage of time and the festering anger, he loved her. Right down to the dark lonely place in his soul. And it fucking sucked.

The words rumbled against Wade’s skin. This side of Elijah, a little rough and full of need, broke Wade’s will every time. He didn’t have a shield for this. Couldn’t figure out how to say no and mean it.

Taking a slow walk around the room, he ended back at her feet. With one knee on the bed and his hands on her ankle, he drew her legs up until he lay between her thighs and her feet balanced against the mattress. “Now, we play.”

Knowing the Score

Knowing the Score - Kat Latham Another NTM author, sports romance this time, has won me over and earned herself a spot on my auto-buy list. Through great writing, loads of humor, sexy love scenes, history tidbits, charity work stuff, the rugby backdrop and witty characters that have depth to them as well as complex secrets and back stories Kat Latham captured my heart with KNOWING THE SCORE.

From the first to the last page I was completely immersed in the story of Caitlyn and Spencer. A story that seems light, sweet and fun on the surface but also blew me away with some intense issues that offered more serious counterparts to the wit and romance.

It's been a while since I read a virgin main character but have to say I really liked how the author incorporated the whole virginity issue and the how and why into the romance. The big conflict came late in the story and I felt like there was a lot to resolve in those last few chapters but it still didn't bother me enough to gove this book less than 4 stars.

I found out the next story is about Liam, the team captain and since I really liked him in this book I can't wait to read the next!

Memorable Scenes:
-the lunch at the pub with the virginity talk > awesome, funny and sweet!
-the camping scene > so sexy it pushed away any claustrofobic feelings the idea of that tent might have summoned.

Fave Quotes:
She barely heard him. He’d wound her up by mentioning the tongue debacle. “You’re ridiculously good looking. You’re beyond beautiful. And there’s something seriously wrong here that Plain Jane is reassuring Adonis of his attractiveness.”
He snorted. “I’m tempted to find the closest private spot and show you exactly how attractive I think Plain Jane is. [...]"

“Hey, I’ve had body issues,” he tried to reassure her.
“Having too many women want to touch your body is not an issue.”

She ached to learn all of his noises. To know him so well she felt his pleasure and pain as her own.

Break For Me

Break For Me - Shiloh Walker A cop heroine and a DA hero...Shiloh Walker brought my favorite professions I love to read about and watch in TV shows together as a couple in a fast-paced, emotional and sexy novella.

No one writes sexy love scenes that make you shiver and tingle like Shiloh Walker does. That first scene (against a door, one of my fave love scene settings) was sexy and intense *sigh*

But let's not forget the suspense that goes along with the romance. After all this is a romantic suspense series. Both blended together perfectly and what started in the first novella and came to a cliffhanger-ish climax at the end of it took root in this second one and kept me just as riveted to the pages as the romance did. The end made me cry and I know the next novelaa is going to kill me! And I can't wait!

Memorable Scene:
- Jensen's account of her family's situation and past to Dean in the bar > tears in my eyes

Fave Quotes:
“When a man’s been dying for a taste of something for as long as I have, it’s hard to think straight, especially in a moment like this. I think maybe we should–”
She pressed a finger to his lips. “I think we should stop thinking. I’m tired of it.”

“There aren’t enough hours in the night for what I want to do to you,” he murmured, pressing a kiss to her neck, her shoulder. “But that’s not going to stop me from trying.”

If I Stay

If I Stay - Tamara Morgan As an avid reader of contemporary romance I know there are many different layers within the subgenre. From light and fluffy sweet to sexy and hot to dark and intense. However Tamara Morgan's contemporary romances are hard to put into a distinct category. She always manages to surprise me with her characters, storylines and writing.

Every time I think I have her pegged, she gives me a book like IF I STAY. A book where nothing is like it seems to be. A book that encases some heavy issues and deep emotions in light humor and funny situations. A book with deeply and multi-layered characters that I enjoyed peeling off layer after layer to get to the core of them. A book I took a long time reading compared to the books I read before it because I wanted to savor it and get to the core of the characters without rushing through it.

What I always love about Tamara Morgan's books is the humor! Dry, witty and never fails to make me laugh, smile or grin. And of course I always love the characters who deliver the humor in all its splendidness. In IF I STAY I loved Amy's bluntness and how she practically had no filter and just spoke what she thought. There were times I was just as in shocked awe of Amy as Ryan reluctantly was, moments when I would go: Did she really say that? Though I loved Ryan and all the other characters, Amy totally made this book for me because underneath her 'sunny disposition' (as Ryan called it) there was a vulnerable, compassionate woman and I really wanted her to get her HEA.

I really enjoyed this first book in a new Tamara Morgan series. She delivered on the premise (a modern day version of Downton Abbey and Upstairs,Downstairs) beyond my expectations. Her books never cease to surprise me and move me. I can't wait for the next in this series.

Fave Scenes:
- the scene in the dance studio > emotional, funny and sexy
- the Candi/Dirk scene > hot bit of role-playing!

Fave Quote:
His arms crossed and he actually had the nerve to square his stance and glare at her. Glare. Please. She was a nanny now. No one out-glared the nanny.


Obsession - Jennifer Lyon 4,5 stars

The conclusion to the trilogy that was Kat and Sloane's story.
Even more than the second book you need to read the forst two books prior to this one. It starts right where book 2 ended and had me worried for a while. How on earth was this story going to end well.

What I loved about this book and both the other ones were the secondary characters that were pillars of the story but never took away from Kat and Sloane. Sometimes these types of erotic romance stories tend to only focus on the main couple, and I thought the balance between the main couple and the characters surrounding them was perfect.

With the conclusion of the trilogy the story of Kat and Sloane is told and I really enjoyed it. From the three books I loved thr first and third and liked the second. I loved the romance and the sexy scenes were hot and dirty. I loved the characters and how they developed throughout the books. Kat has been added to my favorite heroines list and Sloane has been added to my favorite dirty talkers.

I loved how everything involving Kat's attack and Sloane's plan for revenge was solved though resolution of the attack thing felt a bit rushed. This however did not lessen my enjoyment and I'm keeping my eye on Jennifer Lyon because she completely took me by surprise and I liked this first encounter a lot.

Memorable Scenes:
- the scene in the bed with Drake > beautiful illustration of Kat's character development
- the sex scenes > the one when Kat tries to spar with Sloane and the dirty dance sex lesson one!! Ms. Lyon made me wait for them as I was already halfway through when the first one came (no pun intended) but they were so worth the wait! OMG!

Fave Quotes:
Sloane had trained his body into a lethal and fiercely controlled machine, but one look from Kat—one single glance—and she ripped his control to shreds and f*cking owned him.

“Kitten, you get one chance. Walk away. Or I’m coming after you.” Slowly, he started pulling the tape off one hand. The way he purposely unwound that long strip of tape dried her mouth. Tingles popped out on her skin, and her nipples pebbled. “And?”
Sloane looped the first strip of tape around his neck like a towel and started unwrapping the second hand. “I’ll take you to the mat, rip your clothes off and give you the full force of me as I f*ck you.” Sloane tossed that second strip away and fixed his hard gaze on her. "Run.“


Possession - Jennifer Lyon Since I waited to read this trilogy after all three books were released, after finishing THE PROPOSITION I dived straight into POSSESSION (book 2).

Kat and Sloane are seemingly polar opposites. Kat grew up rich and tore herself away from that to lead a more simple life. Sloane grew up poor and fought himself (literally) to the life of wealth he now leads. But they also have a lot in common in their wish to deal with their pasts, their passion, their strength and their unwillingness to give themselves to another emotionally.

THE POSSESSION deepens the relationship that started in the first book and shows more of Kat and Sloan's back stories. Though I thoroughly enjoyed this second book of Kat and Sloan, I did miss a bit of the intensity and sensuality that was prominently present in the first book. And even if I felt the intensity was toned down a bit, I did feel that the story is moving forward, slowly and surely, towards an explosive conclusion.

Memorable Scenes:
- the limo ride after the winery date > made me want to rethink my not being a wine drinker
- the spanking scene > Djeezus! That was hothothot!

Fave Quotes:
“I stretched. I’m ready to work.”
“Not yet.” Huskiness coated his voice.
“No?” She tilted her head up.
“Not until I kiss you.” He brushed his mouth over hers, kissing his way to her ear. “And you burn for me like I’ve been burning for you. For three f*cking days.”

Helpless beneath the power of his pleasure, he held on to her stare, the connection between them feeding him, filling his cold barren loneliness. He craved that bond even more than he did his release.

White-hot sensations electrified her. Kat’s entire body bowed as her orgasm exploded. Totally exposed and vulnerable, she had no defense. No control.
She had nothing as she flew apart in warm pleasure shocks. It just kept going, peaking and easing, mixing with the feel of Sloane’s arms wrapped around her, his mouth brushing over her lips, cheeks and eyes. “I’ve got you. I won’t let you go.”

The Proposition

The Proposition - Jennifer Lyon 4,5 stars!!

New-to-me authors seem to be determined to hijack my reading schedule and consume my time with their fantasic books and Jennifer Lyon just joined her predecessors like Cara McKenna, Elyssa Patrick and Charlotte Stein with the first book in the Plus One Chronicles. I bought all three parts when they released, intrigued by the blurb of THE PROPOSITION (book 1) after someone tweeted about it when it released. As it's a serial I knew I would be reading it only after last book was released. This happened during the "big hiatus" so they sat there for a while...waiting for me to get to them. Then, when browsing through my Kindle app, THE PROPOSITION jumped at me...demanding to be read!

So I did and now I'm kicking myself for not reading these books sooner! This first book turned out to be awesome! A strong, self-proclaimed broken, brave, resilient heroine who is trying to recover from a violent assault a few years earlier and a dirty talking ex-UFC turned tycoon hero with a dark violent score to settle with someone in his past. Kat is scarred, both physically and emotionally. Sloane, who isn't free of emotional scars himself, helps her heal and find the strong, sensual woman deep inside her.

The chemistry between Kat and Sloane is sizzling and sexy scenes were ripe with sensuality and heat. In erotic romance there's filthy dirty and beautiful sensual dirty, THE PROPOSITION and Jennifer Lyon's writing fall in the latter bracket for me.

Memorable Scene:
- when Kat brought Sloane cupcakes to the gym > a scene that spoke volumes about the characters and the story! I think this was the moment I fell hard for Sloane

Fave Quotes:
He wasn’t classically handsome, more like savagely beautiful.

The weight of every eye in the ballroom pricked her nerve endings. Including his. Especially his. That stare rode her back from her shoulder blades to her ass, leaving a trail of shivers comprised of a mix of want and fear.

“How can a man who made eating cake look like he’s going down on a woman he’s starved to taste manage to turn sex into a business proposition?” [Kat]

Oh Lord, his shoulders and arms, pure brawn that begged to be explored. Touched, stroked and squeezed. The sheen of sweat covering his chest made her think of long licks…
Get a grip! She didn’t do instant lust like this. Hadn’t ever thought of licking a sweaty man.

Power Play

Power Play - Charlotte Stein 4,5 stars!!

There are times in a romance reader's reading life when you come across a book that floors you in so many ways, words fail to accurately describe your thoughts. A book in a subgenre that is normally not what you prefer to read. A book in a narrative that you always shout from the rooftops that it's not your thing. A book that is from an author you've never read before. A book of which a casually read excerpt grabs you immediately and intrigues you to the point that you don't care about all of the above trepidations.

POWER PLAY was such a book for me. Far from an easy, quick read it took me quite a while to finish it. This was mostly due to the style of the first person narrative. This is my least favorite narrative in reading. I've explained it before: I don't like reading this narrative for several reasons, most prominent one being that I only get one person's POV and in my romance reading I prefer both main characters' POVs and if there are secondary ones I'm an even happier reader. Recently I've read several books in first person narrative (mostly from fave authors who've gone the 1st person route) and I've discovered one 1st person isn't the other.

It took me a few chapters to get into Charlotte Stein's writing style and I suspect it's because her 1st person style (at least in this book, since I haven't read her prior to this book) is to go deep into the character's head and lay open all the feelings and thoughts. This influences the pace and for me it made the pace much slower than the fast-paced books I love to read. I had to switch gears and get into a slower paced mindset and once I did that the beauty of this book and the talent of the author telling this story smacked me square in the face.

Once the interactions between Eleanor and Benjamin really started (the elevator, the stationery cupboard, the meeting room after the effed up PPT presentation), that's when I started to find it impossible to set this truly fascinating book down. That's when I started to enjoy scenes that normally are pretty far from my comfort zone and I started anticipating the next happenings just as much as Ben and Eleanor were anticipating their next dirty encounters. And yes, I'll admit I would have loved a direct peek into Benjamin's thoughts and POV during some of the scenes but Stein did a brilliant job of giving me sufficient satisfying glimpses through Eleanor's.

And here I was so mesmerized by this book, the writing and the dynamics between Benjamin and Eleanor I almost forgot to tell you how freaking hot this book is! Dirty, filthy hot! Stein didn't pull any punches and penned down a feast for lovers of dirty talk like yours truly. But what made it extra hot for me was the wonder and seemingly innocent way Benjamin reacted to every dirty thing Eleanor said to him and his own seemingly naïve deliveries. I say seemingly because as much as Benjamin appeared to be clumsy, innocent or naïve, I didn't believe it for one minute. Benjamin knew exactly what he was doing, what he wanted and how to get Eleanor to give it to him.

POWER PLAY and Charlotte Stein managed to not only broaden my boundaries and horizon when it comes to erotic romance, she also utterly trampled my dislike for the first person narrative, which goes to show that narrative is neglectable when the author has a great voice in which she delivers the most exquisite dirty erotic romance.

Fave Scene:
- the scene when they are at Eleanor's place > OMG! Red-hot doesn't even come close to describing this! Charlotte Stein fried some of my braincells and owes me a pair of panties...they have melted!

Crossing the Line

Crossing the Line - Karla Doyle I was warned about this book. First by the author on Twitter when I bought the book and she warned me this one was different from her other books, darker...then by some of the GR reviews I skimmed when looking up info on the book. And finally by the warning at the beginning of the book:
“Crossing the Line is a dark contemporary romance that contains explicit sex and mature situations that may not be comfortable for all readers.”

Now let it be known that warnings like these don't scare me off at all. If anything it'll make me want to read the book even more. So when I finished Karla Doyle's other book I'd bought along with this one, I knew I was staying with the author and reading the book she warned me about.

I love reading (erotic) romance novellas about married couples as often the relationship is already established and ongoing and there's more room for depth and conflict. Well CROSSING THE LINE definitely fits that bill. This is a story about a happily married couple that has been through ups and downs in their 10-year relationship. Now, because Derrick can't (or won't) fulfill Hanna's fondest wish, he decides to bring in a third (his best buddy) in order to fulfill her sexual fantasy of a threesome. Things start out sexy and dirty and hot and then things started falling apart. Derrick assuming things and driving Hanna to do things I didn't want her to do. Jeremy doing things I didn't want him to do. This all was breaking my heart and many tears fell and sobs were uttered while reading those final chapters.

When groveling time came, Karla Doyle didn't take the route I was fearing she'd take. The route that is expected by many romance readers, the route that is par for the course in many a romance novel's HEA. And I applaud her for this because that route would not have worked for this book, these characters and this marriage.

So I'd been warned about this book and it still took me by surprise! From the blurb and the above-mentioned warnings I suspected this ménage was going to wreak havoc on my emotions and oh boy, did it ever! Sweet Lord, this book ripped my heart out of my chest, crushed it to dust and then pieced it back together but it never went back to its original state. It's my favorite Karla Doyle book to-date and a 2014 favorite for sure!

Memorable Scenes:
- the swimming pool scene > my oh my... Seriously hot!
- the scenes where shit hit the fan > I bawled like a baby
- the end > perfect end to a beautiful story

Fave Quotes:
Jeremy’s lips grazed the shell of her ear, his deep, smooth voice filling her head and sending a string of sparks zinging through her body.

Her taste—not some artificial mint or fruit, just this delicious, indescribable thing that was one-hundred-percent, pure Hanna—worked its way through him. Starting on the tip of his tongue, it filled his head, spread through his body like a sweet-hot streak that made every inch of him more alive than any adrenaline rush. As it had since their first kiss.

Cup of Sugar

Cup of Sugar - Karla Doyle It's been quite a while since I read a Karla Doyle book (with the big hiatus and all) so when I was looking through my huge collection of ebooks and my eye fell on CUP OF SUGAR the choice of what to read next was easily made.

I loved this book! Not only did I love Conn's romantic ways, Nia's sometimes shyness and the sizzling chemistry between them, I also completely fell for their families. Sara made me laugh, Curtis made me melt (hot cop alert!) and Lindsay was the proverbial big sister. Add in sweet and funny parents and I was done for!

CUP OF SUGAR is a funny, sexy and a quick read with wonderful characters, really hot sex scenes and crisp, fast-paced writing. Doyle's writing always satisfies and CUP OF SUGAR was no exception. I went through the book really fast because I just couldn't stop reading.

Memorable scene:
The night in the motel > my favorite scene of the book because it was both cute and hot!

Fave Quotes:
There were more stray women around his house than there were stray cats. Of course, his massive dog kept the felines at bay. Whereas Conn’s massive everything attracted the women.

Good god, the crap rolling around in her head. In the course of a week, she’d gone from an in-control, hot-neighbor-avoiding woman to pining, marathon-masturbating nut-ka-bob.

Hard Time

Hard Time - Cara McKenna This book has been pulling me towards it ever since I read the blurb somewhere (link on Twitter? Goodreads? Don't remember...). So when it released I immediately bought and even started reading it the same day, even though it was not bext on my reading list. But something, some instinct, gut feeling, whatever you may call it, screamed at me to read this book.

Then I opened it on the ereader was first person narrative! How had I overlooked that? If you follow me and my reviews you will know I am not friends with 1st person narrative. The more POVs the better for me. So I started reading with a healthy amount of trepidation and then something happened... I was mesmerized by the story, by Annie, by Eric, by the letters, by the writing, by the emotions, I couldn't give a rat's behind about the narrative.

This was OMFG, discombobulating good. The kind of good that turns me into an incoherent blabbering twit, unable to explain why it is so good!
Come on, people! A convicted felon, 1st person narrative. No way I could imagine I was going to love this book so much it is now in my favorite books top 10 ever! Not just of 2014, EVER!! Of all the books I've read from the time I started reading romance at 13!

If your looking for fluffy, lovey-dovey, keep walking because HARD TIME is full of rawness, intensity, realistic conflict, smoking heat and characters you fall in love with. It grabs you by the throat and holds you there, in awe from the first sentence to the last.

There are no memorable scenes to list because this entire book is memorable! Just when I would think something was my favorite part, the next scene would take my breath away and the one after that would make me cry with emotions choking me up and this repeated itself constantly. There's no choice to be made when everything is amazing and captivating. EVERYTHING!

Fave Quote:
A man, touching a woman for the first time since his freedom had been taken away.
A woman, touching a man for the first time since she’d been robbed of her desire.

Four Weddings and a Break Up

Four Weddings and a Break Up - Elyssa Patrick A 2014 favorite!
This book was a lovely first encounter with Elyssa Patrick's writing. I've followed her on Twitter almost from the first moment I ever signed up but never got around to reading any of her work so when the opportunity presented itself to read this standalone contemporary romance (one of my fave subgenres) with a fake relationship trope (one of my fave tropes) early, I grabbed it with both hands and have absolutely no regrets about that.

In a vast sea of small town contemporary romances I think FOUR WEDDINGS AND A BREAK UP stands out and that is due to Elyssa Patrick's excellent writing and voice. This book gave me warm fuzzies in many ways and that is always a good thing. It is one of my most favorite contemporary romances of 2014!

Her writing is wonderful! The way she immediately drew me into the setting and made me root for her characters, the way she used humor that varied from subtle to laugh-out-loud, the references to music, movies and TV shows I love, the way she made Cape Hope and its inhabitants come alive, the way she tackled some heavier subjects and incorporated them in the romance, the sexiness of the love scenes and the way they fit the story perfectly...I devoured it all and felt an instant click with this book! It was a perfect mix of romance, humor, sexiness, emotions and even a little heart-stopping suspense!

Memorable Scenes:
- the scene in the car after the first dinner with Ginny's family > oh boy, holy hotness!
- the night of Deb's wedding > how romantic turns to scorching in a heartbeat, then to heartbreakingly emotional and back to scorching again
- the bathtub scene with the eye-stabbing incident > OMG! I died laughing :)
- the final chapters > Sobbed my way through them...those chapters killed me!

Fave Quotes:
Wes let himself feel all these things, until the secondhand hit the twelve, signaling a full minute had passed. And then, like everything else he did in his life, he stopped and hid his underbelly under a virtual suit of armor so thick that one would wonder if there were any chinks.
No one ever needed to know that there were so many chinks, it would take only the smallest scratch to unravel all he tried so hard to hold together.

But reaching for her water meant looking away from him. And that seemed almost criminal. Punishable by death.
Plus, why hadn’t he moved away? Why was he still standing there, dripping wet? Didn’t he know that she was on the verge of doing very bad things to him?

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Katie Porter
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