ARC Review: Christine D’Abo – Sexcapdes

Sexcapades: Petra Clark and Darcy Williams

Sexcapades

Purchase on Amazon: Christine D’Abo – Sexcapades

Expected publication: June 3rd 201

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

Petra Clark’s blog Sexcapades inspires women to embrace sexuality. What readers don’t know is that her advice isn’t based on personal experience. Despite erotic fantasies about the hot guy at her local coffee shop, social anxiety keeps Petra from connecting with real men in the real world. She’s more comfortable as PC, sparring online with her nemesis, the cocky D. Williams.

Counselor by day, blogger by night, Darcy Williams gets a thrill countering PC’s female-friendly advice with a macho slant. And when both blogs are nominated for an award, he’s intrigued by the chance to finally meet the woman who’s been driving him wild with her Sexcapades.

When Petra runs into her coffee-shop crush at the awards party, sparks fly—and so do their clothes. Only after multiple orgasms does she realize who Darcy really is: the competition. Now they’re facing accusations of fraud, with stalking and blackmail thrown in. But perhaps most frightening of all are the feelings growing between them…

Review:

A light quick read that is sure to make you chuckle as well as have you fanning yourself off from the steam that curls up from the pages or screen. I had just read a book with a very insecure heroine that annoyed the crap out of me so I was a bit hesitant to start another that may have had a similar issue this heroine had me cheering for her rather than wanting to throw tomatoes at her. Yes Petra was a bit on the insecure side in the beginning but her turn around was more inspiring then insipid. She is a woman whose self-esteem had been beaten into a pulp by an ex-boyfriend. As a way to rebuild herself she started Sexscapes an online sex/dating advice blog. Her alter-ego is everything she has always wanted to be but has never had the guts to actually be, that is until her coffee shop crush…

Suddenly her unattainable crush is not so unattainable anymore when he walks into the same awards ceremony that she is in and rescues her from herself. All of the sudden she has what she has been looking for… A man that seems to be willing to allow her to let her inner sex kitten out. I mean who doesn’t have an inner sex kitten that just needs a willing victim, opps I mean willing person… Once she lets her inner sex kitten out to play she doesn’t want to put her away again. lol. Darcy is more than willing to be Petra’s victim, ever since her first saw her in the coffee shop a year ago she has been the center of her fantasy’s. Something about her shyness that occasionally gives away to a confident woman tugs at him and the way she looks in shorts doesn’t hurt either. Darcy, is a great combination of sweet and as Petra likes to call him Neanderthal. He is a modern reasonable man with a bit of a throwback macho man thrown in. Perfect! Just how we like them. LOL

What was a night of intense passion turns into an nightmare?? The morning after they realize they are competition and then the media and threatening phone calls start. The pacing in this book is super-fast and keeps you panting for more. This book is a great blend of sexy times and humor. I was totally not expecting the humor, I have read other books by D’Abo and they weren’t as funny as this one. Petra and Darcy definitely have some great banter. Petra and Darcy are great characters apart but together they are even better. They make a great, steamy couple. Each has their own issues and hide behind their online alter-egos but when they are together those issues start to fade to the background. I quite enjoyed these two.

My only question is what happened to the best friend? She just kind of disappeared on a mysterious trip and we never saw her again. What’s up with that??

This book was provided to me through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Rating: 4.5 Romanticals

Review: Laura Kaye – Heart in Darkness

Hearts in Darkness: Makenna James and Caden Grayson

 

Hearts in Darkness

 

Purchase this title on Amazon:  Laura Kaye – Hearts In Darkness $2.99

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

Makenna James thinks her day can’t get any worse, until she finds herself stuck in a pitch-black elevator with a complete stranger. Distracted by a phone call and juggling too much stuff, the pin-striped accountant caught only a glimpse of a dragon tattoo on his hand before the lights went out.

Caden Grayson is amused when a redhead literally falls at his feet. His amusement turns to panic when the power fails. Despite his piercings, tats, and vicious scar, he’s terrified of the dark and confined spaces. Now, he’s trapped in his own worst nightmare.

To fight fear, they must both reach out and open up. With no preconceived notions based on looks to hold them back, they discover just how much they have in common. In the warming darkness, attraction grows and sparks fly, but will they feel the same when the lights come back on?

Review:

I have had this book on my Amazon Wish List for months. It was just sitting there staring at me every time I looked at my wish list. I have never read anything by this author before and I wasn’t sure I wanted to give it a chance even tho I’ve been LUSTING over the cover for quite some time. I finally just caved and got the book. Now I am pissed at myself for wasting all that time, because, I freak’n loved this book! I have seriously read it three times since I first read it. Part of that is because it’s fairly short at about 100 pages and it’s good for a quick read when I’m short on time and a larger part because I loved the story.

So basically the book starts out with Makenna rushing to the elevator after a crappy day. Because she is fiddling with so many things she doesn’t get a look at the Good Samaritan holding the elevator for her. Caden is amused at the redhead trying to juggle a million things at once. All he is able to see of her is her gorgeous red hair. Almost immediately the lights go out and all of Caden’s hard work and therapy to get over his extreme claustrophobia goes out with the lights. All of the sudden he is struggling to keep his ish together. It is Makenna’s voice that pulls him out of his near panic.

Caden urges Makenna to keep talking with him, he reluctantly shares his phobia. What I loved about Caden is that he is able to share with Makenna. Despite the dark and the fact that she is a virtual stranger somehow even with the blackness pressing in on him they are able to connect and he opens up to her like he has never been able to before. His story is such a sad one and he is able to find some measure of comfort from Makenna and her kindness. She is so unlike anyone he has ever met and he knows he wants to see her after they leave the elevator, but he fears what she is going to think once those lights come back on. His exterior is a little rough around the edges and he worries that Makenna won’t find him as attractive as he finds her, because she already knows about his sever baggage and his exterior may be too much to overcome in addition to his inner demons…

Makenna is a total sweetheart. She comforts a near stranger while he is bearing his soul. She helps him through a very difficult situation and helps him keep from freaking out. She realizes the gift he gives when he talks about his past and instinctively knows it’s not easy for him. With each new discovery she cares more about this man. She worries about what he may think about her when he finally does see her, she knows he has a tattoo and thinks she may be too boring for someone like him, she’s an accountant after all if that isn’t the epitome of boring she doesn’t know what is. He has such a tragic past; she knows that whatever his face may look like, his inner beauty will shine through.

I loved the whole elevator and not knowing what each other looks like aspect of this book. It’s a bit different because there is no physical attraction to base the relationship off of at first. This forces the two to get to know each other on another level with no preconceived notions based on looks to get in the way. They find that they actually have a lot in common and being stuck in an elevator for hours with nowhere else to go means there is a whole lot of talking going on. In those hours they find out more about each other than people who have dated months. By the time they get out of the elevator something like 6-8 hours later it’s like they have gone through the entire “getting to know you” stage of dating. Lol. It’s like dating on speed! The physical insecurities of both Caden and Makenna are totally realistic and the same worries that any normal person would go through which also add to the realistic element of the story. I personally thought it was cute, and know I’ve gone through the same thing on the rare times I had agreed to a blind date. =)

I truly just loved this book. I even made my friend read it, she had no choice in the matter. LOL. So you should read it too! Come on now, you know you want to! Oh and I almost forgot to note this book is pretty HOT as well. Like burning up the pages hot.

Rating:

5 Romanticals

 

Amanda Sig

Review: Kendall Ryan – Unravel Me

Unravel Me: Ashlyn Drake and Logan (maybe Logan, maybe a different name *wink wink*)

Unravel Me

Purchase this title on Amazon: Kendall Ryan – Unravel Me

Summary:

Psychology student Ashlyn Drake’s neat, orderly life takes a turn for the crazy when she finds the perfect subject for her amnesia thesis – a young man without any memory of his previous life, including the murder he’s accused of committing.

Against all common sense, Ashlyn’s drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Perhaps it’s that he’s so incredibly male, and even handcuffed to his hospital bed he could pass for a cologne ad – Scent de Insanity. Or perhaps it’s because she’s spent too many lonely nights studying. Either way, she’s determined to help him solve the mystery of his past. She begins to unravel who he was before, using his cryptic tattoos, and his paintings that scream of a dark past as her only clues. When she finally learns his secret there’s no telling which one is the real him, the gentle lover she’s fallen for or the troubled man with a dark past.

Review:

This book is a quicky read. It probably only took me a few hours to read, but those were an enjoyable few hours spent curled up with this story. I liked both characters but for me Logan aka John Doe was the stand out character. His mysterious past pulls you in and gets you wondering. You also want to unravel the mystery that is Logan.  You want to know where he came from, why no one is looking for him, does he family, a job? We know he is extremely talented and intelligent not to mention super sexy, sure he may be homicidal but even homicidal people have friends and family. The more that is revealed the more you want to know.

Ashlyn is a sweetheart; she takes such good care of Logan. She has such a big heart and it definitely comes through. But for me, she kind of got a bit obsessive compulsive and kinda pulled a Bella Swan and all about fell apart when Logan was gone and worried constantly. I really wanted her to lighten up a bit. She’s kind of that naive friend that we all have that you love to death but sometimes you wonder how they have managed to get through life with such a thin skin.  But when it comes down to it you root for this girl and want her to be happy and find her happily ever after.

There were some large issues that don’t really get resolved or maybe resolved isn’t the right word, maybe isn’t explained sufficiently for my taste is better… Of course Logan’s life is a mystery but with Ashlyn its hinted that she had a miserable childhood, but the brief explanation that her father was mostly emotionally absent doesn’t really doesn’t explain why exactly she had a childhood so miserable that she needs to mention it on several occasions. The way Ashlyn feels about her childhood you would expect something more traumatic like abuse.  The warehouse, what in the world happened there?!? What happened with Ashlyn’s thesis, since it was published in a publication does that mean her thesis was accepted and she got her doctorate? Inquiring minds want to know!

Overall, I would recommend this title for a quick light read. It is a great read to fit in before you start another full length novel. There is this great part at the end of the book with Ashlyn’s best friend that will have you cracking up. In fact I quite enjoy Liz, she had a great sense of humor. I’d like to see a book for Liz and then maybe we can get a revisit from Logan and Ashlyn!

Rating: 4 Orchids

Amanda Sig

Rachel Gibson – Lola Carlyle Reveals All

Lola Carlyle Reveals All: Max Zamora and Lola Carlyle


Summary:
Formal bathing suit and lingerie supermodel Lola Carlyle is taking a “mental health” vacation after naked pictures are leaked on the internet by her scumbag ex-fiancé. She is asleep when the boat she is on is “commandeered” Max Zamora who claims to be with the United States military, as if she could believe that. He has obviously been beaten and is probably some sort of criminal. Max has had the shittiest day started with his delayed flight and ending with being discovered after all if his intel was bad by a Columbian drug cartel. Max was barely able to escape with his life and now he has to deal with a supermodel and her yippie dog. To make a bad day even worse she melted the shit out of the navigation panel when she shot it with a flare gun. Now they are stuck at sea, with a drug cartel after Max. The chances of them being rescued alive are slim to none…

Review:
This is actually a re-read for me. I don’t remember this book being as funny as it was this time through. I’d have to say the re-read was better than the original run through. Max is a sexy ex-Navy SEAL who now works for the part of the government that does not exist. He’s a real man’s man who is like MacGyver. Give him some duct tape and a few random items and he will try to make something of use with them. He doesn’t think love is for him and doesn’t have to try so hard to remain detached from his “lady friends”, that is until Lola. Lola is surprisingly funny and sassy! She doesn’t take shit from the big bad Max Zamora and holds her own in life or death situations. With Lola you get a glimpse of a recovering bulimic, which sheds some light on the incredibly demanding fashion industry and the media’s idea of what a woman should look like. I for one am glad that Rachel Gibson went there and put out how incredibly unrealistic media’s and fashions idea of what a woman’s body should look like and the lengths some woman will go to too meet it. Gibson is saying it’s ok to have curves!

Rating:
3.5 Orchids out of 5

Rachel Gibson – Daisy’s Back In Town

Daisy’s Back In Town: Jackson Parrish and Daisy Lee Monroe
 
Summary:
Daisy, Jackson and Steven grew up together in Lovett, Texas. They were the best of friends growing up, until.. Once summer Daisy came back from visiting relatives looking all grown up and the most beautiful thing they have ever seen. Immediately Jackson and Steven noticed the change and all of the sudden Daisy was a potential wedge between the two friends. They made a pact that neither one of them would peruse Daisy, but Daisy was having none of that when she set her sights on Jackson. For months Jackson and Daisy carried on behind Steven’s back. Their affair was a fire; it was hot and out of control. The passion was fiery and the jealously was intense.  The rollercoaster relationship was scary for both Daisy and Jackson who did not know how to handle their intense feelings.  When tragedy struck Jackson’s family he felt like he was drowning and told Daisy he needed space. Daisy received some disturbing news of her own. Scared out of her mind Daisy went to Steven and he suggested they get married and she go to Washington State with him. Not knowing what else to do, she agrees.
15 years later Steven has passed away after a long hard battle with cancer. Daisy has returned to Lovett, with a letter for Jackson and news that she has been avoiding telling him for 15 years. Now if only she can get Jackson alone for a minute so she can do what she has come to Lovett to do. Jackson is having none of Daisy! She blew his whole world apart when she ran off with his best friend 15 years ago just days after both of his parents were killed. That was a wound that he thought was closed up, but with Daisy’s return he realized that Daisy and Steven’s betrayal cut deeper than he thought and even worse whenever Daisy is around the fire still burns hotly enough to scorch these two…
Review:
As per usual Rachel Gibson shines with this book. I have read this book several times. Jackson is actually one of my favorite males from all of Gibson’s novels. He is a good old boy, who is tall, gorgeous and restores vintage American cars. And drives a Shelby! I have a secret weakness (well I guess it’s not a secret anymore) when it comes to classic muscle car! And it’s even worse with Mustangs. I still remember watching “Gone in 60 Seconds” and Eleanor! There is this one scene with Jackson, Daisy and a custom Lancer, and that’s all I’m saying! Daisy seems a little cowardly but she seems to find her backbone by the end. However, if I had the history that she has with Jackson, I don’t think I would have been all that forthcoming either and would drag my feet.  It’s one of the things I like about R. Gibson, her characters are believable, and they have faults and insecurities just like real people. I think that’s one of the reasons a reader can relate so well to the characters of any of R. Gibson’s books. As with all R. Gibson’s books there is her trademark humor present. When you least expect it, she’ll throw in a one liner or some smart a$$ comment and there you are laughing. And her secondary characters are no slouches either; they have their own personalities and hold their own. In this novel some honorable mentions have to go to Daisy’s mom and sister, they are also quite funny and eccentric. This is a must read from R. Gibson’s collection.
What I don’t like: The only problem I have with R. Gibson’s writing is that we only get one book a year! That’s just not enough! I mean can we work out a once every 6 months, or even every 9 months?!?! I mean I need my fix!!
Rating:
5 orchids out of 5

Rachel Gibson – Truly Madly Yours

Truly Madly Yours: Nick Allegrezza and Delaney Shaw

Summary:
Set in small town Truly, Idaho is too small for both Nick Allegrezza and Delaney Shaw! When Delaney moves to Truly with her mom to marry the big man in town Harry who is Nick’s biological father.  Harry refuses to recognize Nick as his son but adopts Delaney as his own daughter. Delaney is not so sure that she got the better end of that bargain; Harry is incredibly difficult to live with and expects nothing less than perfect! Growing up Nick terrorizes Delaney until one summer when Delaney is 18, suddenly their fighting turns into more and Harry catches them.  He ships Delaney off to college early, suddenly feeling freedom for the first time in her life Delaney goes wild and takes off to never set foot in Truly again, well until Harry passes on and she goes home for the funeral. Contrary even in death Harry sets his wills so that Delaney can’t leave Truly for one year or she wont inherit the millions he left her.  Now all of the sudden Nick and Delaney are stuck in the same small town once more and it’s still not big enough for the two of them. !  Nick and Delaney hate each other as well as they love each other but are millions in land and cash enough incentive for these two to work things out to the wills satisfaction?


Review:
This book is seriously hilarious at least it is to me. J I laughed through most of the book!  Nick and Delaney give as good as they get and the back and forth between the two is highly amusing! Delaney is a woman who knows who she is and is not willing to lose that even for her mother. She has come a long way and worked hard to be comfortable with who she is. She has a very sarcastic sense of humor and I can definitely relate. Nick is the consummate “bad boy” from the leather jacket, bad attitude right down to the motorcycle, but what you don’t expect is the slightly venerable side of the man whose own father didn’t want him.  It us very touching to see this “bad boy” with a softer side as well. If you have not already read Rachel Gibson I suggest you start immediately. J

Rating:
5 orchids out of 5

Stephenie Meyer– The Host

Stephenie Meyer– The Host


Summary:
Earth has been invaded! If I had ever read or seen the movie of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” I would imagine it would be similar to this tale. Beings from another planet have come to Earth and silently invaded the human population before they realized what was really happening, once the people of Earth did realize what was going on there was a resistance. Eventually humans lost the war and the aliens had taken over the planet only they didn’t realize that there were some whose minds were so strong that they could not be taken over. 

Melanie is one such human on the run for years with her little brother and her companion Jared they think they are the last untouched humans left on Earth.  When Melanie thinks she sees her cousin she risks detection to find her. Melanie is caught and captured by her enemies and Wanderer is placed into Melanie’s body. Wanderer has been on many planets and is the most experienced soul they have and they need her to extract Melanie’s memories so they can catch any remaining resisters. Melanie’s mind is too strong and she shuts down her brain before Wanderer can get any information.

Months pass with Wanderer and Melanie sharing a brain, they have come to some sort of peace with a common enemy.  Both Melanie and Wanderer want to find Jared and her little brother they set out to find Melanie’s crazy uncles hiding spot which was the original destination before Melanie got captured. They are nearly killed but they find the general area of the secret location and then Melanie’s Uncle finds her! Once Melanie/Wanderer is brought into the underground caverns she is almost killed again but this time by the love of her life Jared! As it turns out there are more survivors all hiding underground and Jared is one of them! He is not happy to see a turned Melanie. It is decided the Wanderer can stay (for now) and from here it is struggle to gain acceptance among these distrustful humans. You watch the battle of the humans struggling to accept their enemy and the battle between Melanie, Wanderer, Jared and Ian (one of the survivors). It’s the oddest love squares I have ever had the pleasure of reading about.

Review:
At first it took a while for me to get into the story, but once I did I couldn’t let go! Stephenie Meyer really has a way for grabbing you into the story with her writing even if it isn’t necessarily your thing. If you enjoy Stephenie Meyer’s style of writing from perhaps reading the Twilight Series this book will not disappoint!

Just a note: I have no plans to review the Twilight Series, I feel that it has been done enough and I don’t need to include my thoughts on the series as well. If you would like a review please leave a comment and I will post one but only if it is requested.