Contemporary, Romance, Suspense - Novel
TBR reviewer: Luta Wolf
DEIRDRE TILLING had no way of knowing that attending her friend's party would throw her into a dangerous world of corrupt businessmen and police stings. Of course her sexual romp with undercover DEA agent, AYDEN SCOTT only pushes her deeper into the drug smuggling ring. One thing becomes painfully obvious...their relationship has jeopardized his mission
and now someone wants them both dead.
Deidre Tilling is a twenty-five yr old woman that has it pretty good, a thriving landscaping business and a home of her own. That doesn’t comfort her much late at night when she is all alone. When her latest girlfriend leaves, Deidre calls it quits on love. One hot night in the arms of undercover cop Ayden Scott may change her opinion though. Love has a way of finding you when you least expect it.
This story sizzled on the pages between the heated romance and the suspense. The plot was fast paced but I enjoyed every minute of it. I loved the fact that the author took a chance on having a bi-sexual character. I worried at the beginning that she wouldn’t portray the character well as Deidre is heartbroken over the lose of her girlfriend but quickly falls in with Ayden.
However, I had no need to worry, you quickly realize that Deidre’s feelings for Ayden are true. Deidre isn’t a sex hungry fiend looking to feed on men and women alike. Nope,
while she is passionate, she is also intelligent and honest. In short is just a regular woman, looking for love.
I adored Ayden and not just because he is the quintessential leading man who plays the underdog, okay, that pretty much had a lot to do with it. The romance kept my heart pumping and the suspense held me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to read the next installment of the series.
The condo they entered was utilitarian, the living room furniture leather and heavy wood and very masculine. The whole first floor was visible from the front door where she stood frozen, too flustered by her own audacity to move. Austin closed the door and stepped around her, heading to the other side of the condo and into the small kitchen area.
"Can I get you something to drink?" He ducked his head into the fridge, his jeans pulling snug across a nicely curved ass. "I don't have much. Coffee. Water. Wine." He stood up and looked at her. She almost giggled at the way he tilted his head to one side, sort of that lost puppy, take-me-home kind of look. His blue eyes mirrored her confusion.
"Deirdre, can I get you anything?"
Yeah, those luscious lips between my thighs. Deirdre shook her head. Coffee. She was here for a cup of coffee before she drove home. Nothing more. But her body was screaming for something else. "Wine sounds nice."
"A New York Riesling or an Australian Pinot Noir?" Austin held up two bottles.
No, just coffee. She couldn't drive home with more alcohol in her system. It was rutting season and even this late at night the moose would be on the move. Her little Toyota truck was no match for one of those behemoths. "Whichever one is white," she said, wondering why she was letting her body make all the decisions.
Deirdre walked over to the stereo system, perusing the CDs haphazardly strewn about on the receiver. It was the only thing out of place in his condo.
"I have Mozart and Def Leopard and everything in between. Choose your poison." Austin's voice washed over her shoulder as he stepped up behind her. She could feel the heat of his chest against her back. Not the soft, round, plump feeling of a woman, but the steel power of a man. Heat shot through her veins, hitching her breath and pressing her nipples against her lace bra.
She took the glass he offered, moving to the couch and away from the intoxicating scent of his spicy cologne.
"Something quiet." she said. "After the loud bands at the party, it would be nice." Actually, she needed something to soothe her pulsing nerves. "You live here long?" Deirdre sipped the wine, grateful Austin's attention on the stereo kept him from seeing her shaking hand. What was she doing here?
"A few months. I have some business up and down the coast. When it's over I'll head back to Boston." He turned and lifted his glass of ice water. "Here's to enjoying the beautiful Maine autumn."
"You're not drinking?"
"Too many wild nights. I'm giving my liver a rest."
The quiet strains of piano music filled the room. She recognized the artist as one of her father's favorites. Immediately, her brooding thoughts turned to her family.
There had been so many nights in the last few months she'd sat with her father in the quiet of their home in town. She and her two sisters rotated nights, giving their mother a short reprieve from the hopelessness of growing old. Deidre couldn't count the number of times she'd played the CDs, hoping to give him strength and courage in the memory of who he once was. But it seemed he'd given up on life. Now, they all watched as his body withered its way to death.
"…Deirdre, yoo-hoo, you okay?" Austin was bent over, intently staring into her eyes, only inches from her nose.
"Sorry, Austin. Drifted off for a moment. What were you saying?"
"I was talking about my consulting firm, but obviously that put you to sleep." He sat on the leather couch, lacing his fingers through hers, pulling her down next to him. "Sit. Enjoy the wine and the music."
Though Deirdre had had only two one-night stands in her lifetime, one in college, and of course, Bobby, she could distinguish genuine interest from lust. It was concern she saw in the cobalt pools of Austin's eyes and the gentle curve of his mouth. She leaned against him seeking solace in the solid feeling of his body.
Ms Pierce is giving away a copy to one lucky winner! Comment below to enter. Contest ends December 2nd.
Contemporary, Romance, M/M - Novella
TBR reviewer: Shyla
Painfully shy, Cole Heath has always had a hard time connecting to people outside of his family. So when he meets Anderson Bester for the first time, he doesn't really think anything of it. He certainly doesn't imagine that he'll end up falling in love.
The hero Cole is a sweet guy who’s failed to realize his own worth due to a condition called, echolalia that makes him repeat the last words any has said to him. Growing up in a world where people can be cruel about the smallest thing has left Cole scared. When our handsome, and bold hero Anderson meets Cole he knows he’s found someone special. He just needs to convince him he’s really interested. Never one to back down from a challenge or be deterred by a little turbulence Anderson shows Cole his condition doesn’t bother him in the slightest as he courts him, and in my opinion helps him come out of his shell.
Do you remember how it felt to be in love for the first time? The sly glances shared with the object of your affections. The feeling of butterflies in your stomach, and rampant hormones that rose to the forefront with the briefest caress or whispered word were the best thing in the world. It’s that illusive time that Sol Crafter ( great name right?) manages to capture
perfectly in Echo. It was that spot-on portrayal that filled me with warmth. Sort of like when you eat a chocolate chip cookie just out of the oven. It allowed me to over look some of the editing errors, and lack of details that threatened to derail from the environment I was submersed in.
If you’re in the mood for a light read with a sweet romance this may be the one for you.
Historical Romance - Novel
TBR reviewer: Nat
Sometimes a bad boy is just a hero in disguise.
Before Lucasta Collyer resigns herself to an arranged marriage she wants one night of discovery…on her own terms…with a complete stranger. But Lucy’s plan for a single night of anonymous passion is destined for trouble. Her fortress heart, once fiercely protected, is breached by John Carver, a blue-eyed, salty-mouthed, yeoman farmer. He also happens to be a self-professed former rogue. John is brazen, arrogant and refuses to obey orders. He's everything Lucasta shouldn’t want yet she can't resist the challenge.
John has never bowed to nobility, nor will he be the plaything of an imperious, icy-tempered, young hussy. Clearly Lucasta needs a lesson in what it's like to toy with with a man, and it's one he’ll gladly teach her. But this rogue might not be as reformed as he wants everyone to believe.
Can Lucasta and John go back to their own worlds and forget one another after their one night together, or will they risk everything for love?
This is the second book of the Taming the Tudor Male in Three Easy Lessons Series.
Once a Rogue, tells the story of Lucasta, a young lady that refuses to enter her arranged marriage being a virgin. But when she decides to spend the night with an escort she didn't imagine he would deny to follow her orders in the bedroom. John, a former rogue, becomes fascinated with the woman in front of him. She's bossy, spoiled and apparently always gets her way - not this time.
As their story progressed their struggle for power receives more and more attention. I loved the tension between them and all the twists Fresina had for this story. The plot was really tight and the characters amazing. I loved the secondary cast of characters too. I would have liked the end better if the last chapter wasn't there, and instead using this material for The Savage and the Stiff Upper Lip (the next book). Jayne has improved immensely since her first published novella, Engraved, that I had the pleasure to review previously and give it 4 stars!
I'll definitely read all the books of this series and the other incredible stories Jayne Fresina will come up with next! She has captivated me and now she has a new fan!
So he was impudent and had a saucy mouth. What did it matter? Only a temporary hire, he was not one of her father’s servants to reprimand. Besides, she rather liked his smile, not to mention that superbly carved body. Lying across the bed, seething with raw energy, he was a gift ready to be unwrapped. Simply put, she’d never seen a man quite so appealing.
She’d rolled the dice and this is where they’d fallen. It was her fault he was there, after all.
Perhaps, just this once, under the anonymity of that leather mask, she could put her hands on his filthy boots, another novel experience to be sure, but over in a few minutes. She grabbed his foot and pulled.
“The laces,” he chided her. “The laces, wench!”
He lay back against the bolster, watching her, offering no assistance whatsoever, just an amused critique.
Once she’d tossed his boots aside she moved on to his breeches, but he sat up, grabbing her hands as she leaned over his sprawling form. “This I’ll do myself,” he warned, serious again.
Walking around the bed, she watched him undress. He was stocky, his thighs were thick and powerful. Afraid to look at anything else, she carefully averted her eyes to the floor boards, but he took a knife from his discarded belt, jumped up and came toward her with a determined stride. She backed away to the wall, alarmed.
There was a small diagonal scar across his left eyebrow, an interruption of the symmetry of his face lending a slight quirk to his expression which prevented those clear, sculpted angles from looking too stern. Even so, with that knife in his hand, when he commanded, “Turn around,” she contemplated running for the window and leaping out.
“Turn around,” he repeated. When she hesitated, he held the knife in his teeth, put his hands on her shoulders and spun her to face the wall. Then he slid the knife’s blade under her corset laces and, with one ruthless motion, cut her free.
Evidently he was not the sort to trouble himself with knots and bows. In a quick burst of wry amusement, Lucy thought of her maid’s face tomorrow when she saw the corset’s sad fate.
With one impatient tug he freed her likewise of her shift. It tumbled down to her wrists and hips, where it came to a whispering halt. She closed her eyes, gathering her courage again. For just a few startled moments, she’d relaxed her guard and likewise the reins. Now her nerves galloped in every direction, almost out of reach.
His breath was on the nape of her neck. And then he touched her.
Oh. She’d forgotten to make him wash his hands.
He stroked lightly down her spine with his fingertips, to the dip of her waist and back again. Then he spread them to her shoulders and down her arms, as if he measured her, as if she were a young filly at auction and he a prospective buyer. It was not at all the way she imagined, having received a brief theory lesson from her knowledgeable maid, she was prepared for a quick “in and out” that might take no more than five minutes at the most.
Head bowed, eyes closed, she murmured, “Blow out the candles.”
Ms. Fresina is giving away a copy to one lucky winner! Comment below to enter. Contest ends November 30th.
Western Romance - novel
TBR reviewer: Shyla
What happens when happily ever after meets reality? Susan and James Williams are drifting apart. After a devastating loss, their lives are thrown into further turmoil when a mysterious stone at a museum hurtles them back to the Old West. Their supernatural experience only intensifies the chasm between them, and when James realizes where they are, in a moment of anger, he pronounces that they were never married.
They go their separate ways, unsure of what this new world holds in store. James settles into a job as bartender. Befriended by local rancher Daniel Miller, Susan soon develops feelings for him. She’s torn between starting a new life in a new time and healing her marriage and returning to the twenty-first century.
Will the miraculous journey back in time help Susan and James reconcile, or has destiny set new roads for them to travel that lead them away from each other?
I want to start off by saying this is a fantastic read! I enjoyed the story and realness Ms. James brought to the tale. But I spent a lot of time being pissed at the lead characters. The husband and heroine James was a weak willed whiner who couldn’t deal with the fact that his wife was strong and independent. Instead of opening his mouth to talk to her about what was going on in his head, he antagonized her, pushing her further away with juvenile antics. If he didn’t want to be treated like a child I suggest he not act like one.
Now I’m a fair kind of gal, so I’ll admit Susan was no saint. She threw tantrums that made her seem more like a student, than the teacher she actually was. I really wanted to shake her and make her see reason. If you want to survive you must adapt, not stubbornly stick to a past that’s no longer relevant
James and his wife, Susan, have been married for the past twenty years, and are in a rough spot in their marriage. With empty nest looming in front of them and a painful miscarriage behind them the duo is barely able to tolerate one another’s presence. A school field trip to the museum with James acting as a chaperon sends the couple back to the 1800’s. It’s here that their marriage completely disintegrates, and James leaves Susan to fend for herself. Yea, you heard me right. After twenty years of marriage, and two children he walks away and leaves her alone in a place neither of them knows a damn thing about.
Can you tell I’m steaming? Above all else I’d think loyalty would be foremost after twenty-years of marriage. I thought James’s behavior once they were deposited in the past were unforgivable. Maybe it’s the vindictive bitch in me, but if my husband did that to me I’d be done for good, after I gave him a swift kick to the genitals and a punch to the face once he hit his knees.
Despite the kinks mentioned about the story was engaging, well written, and full of unexpected twists and turns. She has a way of making you care about the characters, and what happens to them. I just think she went overboard with the animosity between the hero/heroine. It made it pretty impossible to recover from. (At least to someone who can hold a grudge like me).
I really recommend this story to someone looking for romance with substance, and realness you can truly relate to. Job well done Ms. James.
That god-awful dry sense of humor.
Opening her mouth, she formed a sarcastic retort before realizing the kids might have been listening. Thank the Lord, they were enraptured by the guide’s story and not paying any
attention to the old folks squabbling in the background.
Harry favored Susan with a toothy grin she now realized held wisdom behind it. “C’mon up here, Miz Williams, Mister Williams.” His hand beckoned, calling them to where he stood.
“You come touch the stone. You come find your destiny.”
Susan figured she owed him a little bit of cooperation. Not that she believed a word of that legend nonsense. Reaching for James’s hand, she dragged him with her toward the stone. “James, please.”
He threw her a heavy sigh before he complied.
“That’s it,” Harry said. “Come on up here, folks. Come touch the stone.”
James withdrew his hand from Susan’s and circled to the opposite side of the boulder. He leveled a hard stare at her, one that piqued her already bad humor. Before she could say a word, a noise startled her.
A hum. It started out as an annoying hum, like radio static or a swarm of cicadas. The sound quickly scattered her thoughts, sending them tumbling like autumn leaves on a windy day.
Steadily increasing in volume, the noise whirled and twirled in her head. Then suddenly, there were voices.
Your destiny, they whispered as a chorus in her mind. Find your destiny.
Shit. I’ve gone schizophrenic, right here in the middle of the stupid history museum. A history
teacher’s version of a nervous breakdown.
The whispers became louder. Come with us. Come to us.
Squeezing her eyes shut, her hands flew to her ears as the sounds drowned out everything around her.
Now! Come to us now!
Susan didn’t want to listen to the frightening voices. Where was James? She needed James.
She opened her eyes, searching desperately for her husband. The museum had vanished. There was nothing but her and James and the damned boulder, all bathed in a nearly
blinding white light. Wind started to whip around them, ruffling her hair and clothes and knocking her purse from her shoulder. She let the heavy thing drop to the floor without a fight. Wind, hell it was a hurricane. In the middle of the museum? Her eyes wouldn’t focus well, but she could see the hazy shape of James reaching out for her. “Make it stop, James. Please.”
“Susan!” His voice barely rose above the eerie voices and the sound of the wind. His hand was there, just out of her reach. She stretched out her arm, trying to grasp him, needing to
grasp him. “Take my hand, babe!”
Suddenly Harry was there, standing between them. “It’s time.” He grabbed both of their hands, smiled, and then slapped their palms to the rock.
Ms. James is giving away an ecopy to one lucky winner! Comment below to enter. Contest ends November 27th.
Horror - novel
TBR reviewer: Mark
Set in a dystopian, religiously-demented American Empire, the city of Las Vegas is no longer a city of sin. Now called Necropolis, it is a city that eats sin. The vampires of Necropolis wait
patiently for the Empire's weekly drop off of guilty Penitents; sinners and criminals full of fresh blood.
Hank Evans is one of those Penitents and he would gladly let the vampires take every drop of his blood if it weren’t for one detail: Toby. Toby is Hank’s only son. Now, Hank must do whatever it takes to escape the city of the dead and save his son from an Empire as bloodthirsty as the vampires it uses to keep its people in line.
Shining In Crimson is a modern-day horror tale set in an alternative future where the government of The United States Of America has been replaced by a heavily religious Imperial Empire that holds its citizenship under dictatorial rule. Most serious crime, including crimes of morality, are punishable by death though not by execution. Instead criminals are dropped off in what was once the center of sin and immorality, the city formerly known as Las Vegas; there to be fed on by the Vampire population that live there as part of an agreement with The Empire. Hank is just one of these criminals, arrested for being caught with a prostitute, but Hank is different. Because Hank intends to survive....
From the moment I read the synopsis for this novel, the first in an upcoming series, I was intrigued. It sounded exactly my sort of thing, right up my alley and something I could really sink my teeth into (no pun intended). Unfortunately, after the first seventy pages or so and the initial excitement of the main character being dropped off in a city heavily populated by nothing but Vampires, everything started to go to down hill! The whole plot became overly convoluted, there were flashbacks galore as characters shared each others memories and experiences from one moment to the next and it quickly became increasingly difficult to separate who was who as everything else just seemed to descend into cliche!
This was a book with so much potential and a real chance to attempt something different with the whole Vampire genre but instead the author retreads old ideas and seemingly forgets about the aspects of this book that so attracted me in the first place. The whole idea of Las Vegas as Necropolis goes largely unaddressed other than as a basic premise and there is little reference as to how The Imperial Empire managed to seize control of the good ol' USA in the first place which, to me, would have been an excellent angle to explore! I know that this is the first part in a series and these things may be gone into further in subsequent volumes but for me, the author lost a real chance and opportunity to hook me in and keep me interested beyond about the halfway mark!
Overall, that which was mentioned above ruins any chance Shining In Crimson had of being outstanding by not living up to the potential it promises from its initial premise. I really wanted to like this. It is a bad sign of a novel when you no longer find yourself caring about the characters and, with a hundred pages to go, I began seriously wondering whether I cared enough to go on. The answer to that question was yes but it was a very close thing.
Would I read any more in this series? Probably not. Life is too short to waste on books that don't live up to potential.
Paranormal, erotica - novella
TBR reviewer: B.H.
Curses, spells, fairy tales...no thanks! Sakaria Thorpe prefers the reality of running a café over the nonsense of make believe. But is it really make believe?
When she finds herself cursed to be a shapeshifting cat, she becomes a believer. Good thing she’s able to fit shapeshifting into her schedule. Life’s fine until she discovers she will be
cursed to be a cat forever if she doesn’t find a man to break the spell by midnight on Halloween.
Desmond Fields sticks to routines and cold hard facts. He falls for the beautiful but quirky Sakaria the minute he sees her behind the counter.
Now Sakaria must convince Des of the improbable, that the woman he’s falling for needs him to recognize her inner feline in order to break the spell. Time’s running out and Sakaria is getting desperate...will true love save the day?
Sakaria Thorpe has everything a girl could want, her own business, a house, and an awesome best friend. All that’s missing is a nice guy that she could spend the rest of her life with but things go down the drain after a bad date. The date doesn’t like that Sakaria isn’t interested so he curses her to be a cat forever. Sakaria’s only chance is for her true love to recognize her in cat form.
What grabbed my attention from the beginning is that this is a cat shifter book. Sure they're out there but rarely are they done so well with a large amount of detail. The author literally takes us through what it might be like to walk in Sakaria’s paws, and I admit that there were things that I hadn’t thought about before.
I loved all the characters even the secondary, mostly because the author didn’t go with the typical stereo type. Each character was three dimensional. Sakaria for instance was far from the stereo typical African American Heroine. Despite her being a successful business woman, she is such a procrastinator and though she occasionally shows some attitude it’s only when provoked. Desmond Fields is far from the normal leading man, he is attractive but it’s in the normal average guy way and he works at home as an insurance accountant not some rich self-made millionaire.
Basically this is a story about your average normal people put in a non-average abnormal situation. It made for a hysterical plot.
This was a sweet, well written, and humorous story that I absolutely recommend.
Fantasy, erotica - novella
TBR reviewer: B.H.
Captured, confused, and determined to find her way to her happily ever after, Nakedella sets out to win her freedom from the midnight demons in any way she can.
After weeks of confinement in the Lair of the Midnight Demons, Nakedella wins her freedom with an exhibition that would make a virgin burst into flames. She negotiates with spirits, and brokers a treatise with the sun in an effort to reach her goal. Doing whatever she can to wake stone prisoners is a bit of a stretch. With her happily ever after just out of reach will Nakedella ever find her way to The End?
This is the continuation of the last Nakedella adventure. She’s still on a crazy quest to free the Stone Sultan. After she rescues the sun’s daughter from the demon harem another mission awaits her. This one is more intriguing, she has tasks, find a way to bring the stone men back to life. She dances and teases, it’s a rather unique and entertaining idea. More details would have brought these scene to a peak but as is, they are hot fun. That goodness rises a level when Nakedella grows a penis...
No, I will not tell you more, buy it and find out. I recommend them in order though.
The Stone Sultan has a twist of his own, not a good one for our sex loving Nakedella. Although this is the ending of the Nakedella series she adds a tid bit that may mean more stories in the same fantasy style. She wants to open a school: Nakedella’s School for Ladies of Flexible Moral – Virgins need not apply. LOL.
Nakedella 5 had a lot of new and interesting twists that I really enjoyed. This was a good
addition to the series.
Mystery, thriller - novella
TBR Reviewer: B.H.
The Ghetto is the hottest attraction in Atlantic City, an adult fun house where the frights aren’t supplied by skeletons and goblins popping out of the dark, but by ghetto scenes
played out in front of the audience. When a loud mouth patron and his companion are executed, the audience howls with delight. After all, it was all part of the show. Or was it?
I thought this was such a unique concept. New and dark, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I think it could have been great if only the author and editor knew a little something about POV and head hopping.
Oh my God, I hate head hopping. The author, unless this is their first publication and even then, should know not to head hop. Now if she didn't know, the editor should have! This was such a disaster as far as editing goes and it cut a brutal gash into the story. Then there's all the character introductions, add that to the head hopping and it's a mess.
The bottom line: cool plot, but needs a lot of work.
M/M, Science Fiction - Novel
TBR reviewer: B.H.
Space has no fury like an intergalactic sex fiend given free reign. From the twisted, seductive mind of director John Bruno comes DEEP PROBE, penned by best-selling authors A.J. Llewellyn and D. J. Manly.
DEEP PROBE, a hot M/M science-fiction tale set on a planet far, far away features six astronauts on a rescue mission to a distress signal. They find no signs of unusual life. One of the crew. however, pockets a mysterious green rod. He soon finds it has a mind and sexual tastes all of its own…
After reading and loving AJ Llewellyn’s novel Back to Black, I went through his titles. Deep Probe instantly caught my attention. Astronauts stuck in space with a rod that has a mind and desires of its own. *Grins wickedly* Yes, I just settled back in a comfy chair in front of the fireplace and immersed myself into this unique tale. The beginning, I’m just going to call it...a sex bag was introduced, very cool concept.
After that, it went all downhill...nude.
I’ve never said this about an erotic before but TOO MUCH SEX! Yes, those scenes are well written and scorching hot but where’s the story? This is only 89 pages and if you were to take out the sex scenes, it would probably be 6 or 7 pages. That is a ridiculous amount of naked men. (And I love me some hot nude guys.) The plot was so unique and had such possibility but it was drowned out by the sex.
First, big thanks to all those wonderful readers who took the time to comment and enter! Second, thanks to the fantastic authors that joined us! Third, let's announce those winners...
TBR's Thanksgiving Blog Hop Winners!
Waltz of Seduction by Natasha Blackthorne - Booklover0226
The Pendulum by Tarah Scott - Tammy Ramey
Once Upon a Mate by Christine Kirchoff - Barb Battaglia
Winter in Paradise by T.C. Archer - Jess Angil
Playing For Keeps by Carolyn Rosewood - Drain Bamaged
Pushing Her Boundaries by Julia Barrett - Julie Witt
Fixed by Tristram La Roche - Christina Cessna
Christmas Eve at the Powers That Be Cafe by Xavier Axelson - Roger Howell
The Cahokian by Zoe Saadia - Pomma Wolf
Amongst The Ruins by Saewod Tice - Renee Bennett
Big Prize Winner - T.T. Miller
- Once Upon a Mate by Christine Kirchoff
- Fairy Flavor by Anna Keraleigh
- Midnight Seduction Man Love Edition Anthology
- One book from our Prize List
- Bookmark by Shyla Colt
We want to thank you for joining The TBR Pile's blog hop and our fabulous authors!