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Lord Savage

Lord Savage - Mia Gabriel 3.5 Cocktails

Erotic and historical, not usually two things that mix well. Ms. Savage does an interesting job with this story. Mrs. Evelyn Hart is a widow, so it’s perfectly acceptable for her to attend balls, and attempt to live a little after her arranged marriage. She attends balls hoping to find something exciting, she finds that when she spies Lord Savage in the garden. She is invited to a week long party in the country. There begins her sexual awakening.

This is a story with BDSM elements, she’s paired with the very man she spied upon, Lord Savage has his Innocent, or sub to his Dom. He’s dark and brooding, gives her more pleasure than she’s ever known. He only seems to want her for the week, while Evelyn seems to be yearning for a closeness that just isn’t there.

There are a lot of convoluted parts where rules come into play, rules that only seemed to exist when convenient to the story. I did find myself enjoying the story, and I may even pick up the rest of the trilogy at some point. It did have a great blend of the repressed Victorian with the out there sexuality of BDSM, and I did find myself intrigued by the contrast.

Reviewed by Sheri for Cocktails and Books

The Arrow

The Arrow - Monica McCarty 4.5 Cocktails

The Arrow, by Monica McCarty, is a thrilling continuation of her Highland Guard Series. Gregor McGregor is a legendary marksmen with Robert the Bruce’s Highland Guard who’s been forced back home because his identity has been compromised. When he comes home Gregor realizes Cate, the orphan he helped save years ago, has grown into a desirable woman. A note about the series, each book can be read as a standalone novel, but I would highly recommend reading the other books. It will help understand who all the players and what is going on the whole series is amazing.

I loved Cate. From the very beginning she proved herself to be a feisty heroine, and I enjoyed reading about all the problems she causes Gregor, who isn’t easily rattled. Gregor is a man deeply devoted to his country, his duty, and his family, and you can’t help but respect him and his commitment to those he loves. Underscoring their romance is the action that is always evident in the Highland Creek Series, with a couple of surprises you don’t see coming, set in the backdrop of the Scottish War for Independence.

Reviewed by Lucy for Cocktails and Books


Only - HelenKay Dimon 4.5 Cocktails

This was a fantastic book, and the only thing I can say is that I wish I would have read the first book in the series first to better understand the back story, but it was still great as a stand alone book and kept my interest throughout the entire story from page one to the end. This book had everything that you want when it comes to a good romance including the element of suspense and intrigue that are present as well. Not only is the authors writing intelligent and a bit cynical, but the brilliantly written smoking hot sex scenes will have you smoldering! This book was a seriously hot and emotional read and the characters were extremely passionate.

I loved Kyra, although she was younger, she was such a strong willed, very independent and stubborn woman, she was sexy and mouthy and spoke her mind, no holding back for her, she seemed like the type of woman that when she decided what she wanted she just went for it, no holds barred. Then there is Bast, he is one sexy as sin man. He is the ultimate protector, great with negotiating anything except when it comes to Kyra. I love his vulnerabilities when he is with her, it makes him seem so much more human. The obstacles in their path to a Happily Ever After seem overwhelming, they both have past issues that they are trying to overcome. The chemistry they have is off the charts hot and the sex is even hotter.

I am going to make sure I read the first book in this series, because if it reads like the second I know it will not be a waste of time and will be one that I will absolutely enjoy. The writing in this story was flawless the plot was amazing and the emotions of the characters intense. I can't wait to read the the first and the next book that comes out in this series. I would definitely recommend this book.

Reviewed by Kim for Cocktails and Books

The Accidental Abduction

The Accidental Abduction - Darcie Wilde Leannah Wakefield and Harold Rayburn are the main characters in this story. The author did very little to develop these characters. Leannah was the self-sacrificing older sister that gave up her life to make sure her siblings could have a better life. Harry is the son of a merchantman and on the cusps of London society. He seemed to have a lot of anxiety and low self-esteem. I wouldn’t say that they were a match made in heaven. Neither of them was very interesting or compelling.

The storyline was incredibly weak. I think calling what happened an accidental abduction is a gross overstatement of what was portrayed in the book. There didn’t seem to be any chemistry or magic between Leannah and Harry. There were a few scenes where the temperature rose and genuine passion erupted between the two. Unfortunately as soon as it was over I went back to feeling like they were ships in the night. I just didn’t get the feeling that they clicked. The author brought in various family members and other characters that opposed their marriage. Most of this didn’t make sense because she didn’t flesh out exactly how they were going to break up the marriage or cause problems. It was hinted at but nothing ever came out of the dialogue so I kept wondering why she included it in the book. The last portion of the book made me roll my eyes. It was so trite and neat that I didn’t know whether to be glad it was over or upset because it was an insult to my intelligence.

I will say that I don’t like overly dramatic women and weak men. Both of these are found in this book. Even when Harry was trying to be strong he was listening to gossip and remembering an incident that really supposedly shaped him into the steady, boring man he was then. I didn’t like seeing modern words in a historical romance. The author even used the f-bomb and other terminology that wasn’t in keeping with the historical period of the novel. That was disconcerting because you went back and forth between historical and contemporary. I also felt like the conflict of Leannah and Harry’s dark secret was really exaggerated. I didn’t hate the book, but I definitely won’t be buying any of this author’s work.

Reviewed by Michelle for Cocktails and Books

Midnight Action

Midnight Action - Elle Kennedy In MIDNIGHT ACTION we finally find out Jim Morgan and Noelle’s story. In the other books in this series they are constantly taunting each other, but you can also feel the chemistry flowing between them. We become acquainted with Jim and Noelle when they were young, naive and vulnerable, before they put up all the walls they have today. The reader is taken back in time and the story alternates from present day to eighteen years ago when Jim and Noelle first meet. Not all authors can make this type of story flow well, but Elle Kennedy does a wonderful job.

Jim is an ex Army Ranger who now runs a successful mercenary company. His group of mercenaries is the most successful and sought after team in the world. I admire Jim, he’s a rugged guy, but is also vulnerable and not afraid to show his feelings.

Noelle is a paid assassin and has a group of women working for her. Sometimes Jim and Noelle work on the same cases together, which isn’t easy because they’re both stubborn and don’t trust each other. Noelle is tough and acts like she doesn’t need anyone, but she has scars from her past that she’s never recovered from.

Elle Kennedy writes a well written, action packed story full suspense, with some humor thrown in, to relieve the tension. The characters are believable, interesting, and down to earth. We catch up with many of the characters from past books in this series and I love the camaraderie shared between the guys on the team. Midnight Action is another installment in the Killer Instincts series and each book is a stand-alone. I have read and enjoyed all the books in this series, but this is my new favorite.

Reviewed by Karen for Cocktails and Books

Once More, My Darling Rogue

Once More, My Darling Rogue - Lorraine Heath Lorraine Heath is one of my "go to" historical romance authors. She creates characters and storylines that pull you in and have you dreading the ending because you don't want it to be over. So I was excited to crack open ONCE MORE, MY DARLING.

Lady Ophelia Lyttleton was the belle of society and a rather huge snob. She looked down her nose many times, but there was one person who she subjected to her especially nasty ayer: Drake Darling. So when Drake happens to find Lady Opehlia on the banks of the Thames with no memory of how she got there or who she is, he decides to provide a little payback to her nastiness and tells her she's his housekeeper. While he only meant to keep up the charade for a few days while he tried to figure out what happened to her, he discovers a woman who is much more to his liking than society's darling.

I liked Drake. He was a man who was torn by the way society looked at him and his own perception of how unworthy he was. Those two things would make it difficult for anyone to rise above and prove they are not what everything thinks. But Ophelia's cut of Drake, on numerous occasions, drives home his feelings of unworthiness. Despite being adopted by a family that loves him and having friends who would do anything for him, he still thinks he's this awful man who must pay for the sins of his father. And given how horribly Ophelia treated Drake, I thought I was a bit funny to have him pull this rouse on her. At that point in the story, I felt like Ophelia needed the set down and she learned not to treat others that way.

There is much more to Ophelia than what we see when we meet her. As we learn more about, in her role as inept housekeeper Phee, the ugliness that was Ophelia starts to peel away and we see a woman who rescues abused animals, befriends her neighbors servants and wants nothing more than to please Drake. There is a reason Ophelia was the hard nosed woman she became, but it was a shame that the woman we met as Phee was hiding behind the harsh, hard woman who would cut a man the way she did with Drake (especially given her true feelings for him). It was hard to like her, even when her true self started to come through. I know I should have felt more for what she went through, but it was hard to reconcile that with the nasty woman she was in the beginning.

I enjoyed the bulk of this book, but unfortunately my feelings for Ophelia tainted my view for the entire story. I felt like Drake deserved someone more. Someone who truly appreciated him, from the very beginning.

Happenstance 2

Happenstance 2 - Jamie McGuire Thank you Jamie McGuire for giving me visions of Sissy Spacek in the prom scene from Carrie.

I loved this installment in the Happenstance series. We got to see how Erin struggled with how much her life had changed, especially her parents being so willing to give her everything when Gina was the exact opposite. Then there was Weston. He had been Alder's boyfriend and now he was with her, and she wasn't always comfortable with how close he was with her parents and the information they shared.

Alder's journals gave us the turning point in this story and has me anxiously wanting the last book in this novella series. With Carrie references and secrets revealed on why Alder and Sonny turned on Erin, I'm hoping that whatever happens with Weston and Erin, they get the HEA they're both hoping for.

No Exceptions #2

No Exceptions #2 - J.C. Reed 3.5 Stars

I liked this one a little more, but I still have to wonder why Brooke is forever jumping to conclusion about things. Full review to come.

No Exceptions #1

No Exceptions #1 - J.C. Reed Well...this is following a similar path. When will these two learn.

Yes, Doctor

Yes, Doctor - Darling Adams 4.5 Cocktails

Chloe is a Certified Nurse Assistant who carries an attitude with all the members of the staff she works with except one doctor who she nicknamed Dr. Dreamy. Chloe who does not seem to be intimidated by anyone is tongue tied with Dr. Darke. Darren Drake is a doctor that works at the same clinic as Chloe. He seems to keep his eye on her and is attracted to her. Darren is also aware that Chloe has a totally different attitude with him than the rest of the other doctors on staff.

The connection between Chloe and Darren is very intense. Darren takes a chance that could end his career by pushing Chloe the way he did. I loved that Darren thought about why their first date ended so badly and he worked to fix it because it was apparent that both parties wanted to try again. The sex scenes were scorching hot. The author does a great job of incorporating so many sex scenes without overpowering the storyline.

I found this book to be well written with a hot and steamy plot. The main characters are fascinating. While I am not normally a fan of medical play, it was easy to get swept away with the characters and there enthusiasm. At fifty-six pages, this book had a well formed beginning, middle and ending. This book had the feel of a much longer book. Overall, this was a great book and I hope we get to see these characters again in the future.

Reviewed by Victoria for Cocktails and Books

Behind Blue Eyes

Behind Blue Eyes - Tara  Rose I really enjoyed "Behind Blue Eyes" from Tara Rose. It started with the title and the cover. They're just perfect for this sweet and sexy romance.

Also, the back story for the whole "Doms of Sybaris Cove" series is great. An island off the coast of Louisiana is home to Phoebe's Playthings, a very large sex toy distributor. It's also been cursed. No male member of the founding families can leave the island. If they try, they'll die. Intriguing, right?

I'm always looking for something original to read. This concept has originality to spare. I've always been a fan of the supernatural, and this book gives just enough of it to fit in with the love story.

Alaina has a problem. Her ex (who works in shipping at PP) has screwed up a major order, and this isn't his first time. She's finally had enough and takes the issue to Taj and Jeff, the heads of the department...and members of the previously mentioned founding families. Not only do they respect Alaina's work ethic, they have watched her from afar and have some...ahem...less than professional thoughts about her as well. They fire Alaina's ex, without realizing what a can of worms they've opened.

"Behind Blue Eyes" takes of quickly. No time is wasted, and that's a good thing. Tara Rose always brings her readers to the heart of the story without any unnecessary fluff. Her heroes and heroines are well fleshed out, though. We learn their personalities, quirks, likes, dislikes, and all sorts of other things that make them tick. There is almost always an instant, powerful chemistry between the characters. The heat jumps right at you. And boy, oh boy there was there heat here! Taj, Jeff, and Alaina are perfect for one another, and they realize that after their first meeting. Their conversations are realistic in that they could talk about buisness AND pleasure comfortably. Oh, and then there's the sex. WHEW!! The sex was off the charts hot! Pretty sure my
Kindle burnt my fingers as I read. When I find a particularly intense sex scene in the books I'm reading, I will read them out loud to my husband. With this one, I read to him A LOT. Keep in mind, this is a BDSM triad story, so there are lots of fun things like floggers, vibrators, a bamboo pole, and even an oar. It's all safe, sane, and consensual (as any BDSM scene should be). Everybody is exactly where they want to be, and it's just so AWESOME! I should also tell you that it is an M/F/M story, so there is no touching between the men.

I'm excited about "The Doms of Sybaris Cove". I'm such a huge fan of the "Racy, Indiana", "Passion Peak, Colorado", and the short, but great "Alpha Legends" series. I can't wait to see what comes next!

Reviewed by Kenna for Cocktails and Books

For A Dragon's Protection

For A Dragon's Protection - Charlie Richards 3.5 Cocktails

Ewan shows up at the valley of the dragons on death’s door, when Elder Combs swoops down in dragon form, he offers Ewan his protection. It’s the start of a courtship in dragon customs.

Ewan has never liked men before sexually, but Combs draws him in. Combs watches over Ewan as he heals and introduces him to joys of sexual pleasure with a man. I don’t usually go for the gay for you stories, but because of the paranormal element of the dragon shifters this one really works.

I highly recommend this story, it’s a quick, sexy and fast paced story. I really love the world and dragon shifters this author has created.

Reviewed by Sheri for Cocktails and Books

Big Flight

Big Flight - Zenina Masters 3.5 Cocktails

Molly has never fit in with her family because she just doesn’t fit the mold her parents live by. They have to keep up appearances in order to live the life they’re accustomed to so they send the leader of the Avian council to retrieve her in the Crossroads.

Damon expects the woman he is sent to retrieve to be young lady who is not ready to make the decision to mate. He’s surprised to find that she’s older and he’s immensely attracted to her.

I really liked the twists and turns of this story. I really enjoyed the twist that helps these two really connect. I highly recommend this story because it has all the elements of a Crossroads romance, but without the normal suspense. It was a throwback to what led me to fall in love with the series in the first place.

Reviewed by Sheri for Cocktails and Books

Under a Dom's Care (Extreme Book 2)

Under a Dom's Care (Extreme Book 2) - Sam Crescent Under a Dom’s Care is the second book in the Extreme series by Sam Crescent. This book is part of a series and is best read as part of the series rather than as a standalone novel. Some characters found in the first book are present in this book.

Jake is a Dom at Extreme who has been assigned to watch the dance floor after he messed up. He is not allowed to play with any sub at the club as part of his punishment. (how this builds trust with his fellow dom’s is beyond my understanding) Jake is a very stubborn man.

Isabella or Bella as she is known is a librarian and a virgin. She lives a quiet life and has not real want to change it. When it gets out to her friends that she is virgin, they hound her to change it. Bella does not tell Jake she is a virgin so her first time is not great.

The connection between Jake and Bella is intense. Jake is attracted to Bella at first sight. His inner character shins through after finding out that Bella was a virgin makes Jake want to make up for her disastrous first time. The sex scenes (after the first one) were hot. I loved how Jake did not rush Bella.

I found this book well written with a stimulating plot. The main characters and the secondary characters were charming. The ending was a bit predictable but I enjoyed seeing Jake and Isabella come together. Overall, this was a splendid book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Reviewed by Victoria for Cocktails and Books

A Perfect Trio

A Perfect Trio - Jade Belfry A Perfect Trio is the second book in the Club Perfect series by Jade Belfry. While this book is part of a series, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone novel.

Stef is a BDSM trainer who is getting burned out. He seems tired of fixing relationships when he goes home to nothing. Stef’s life revolves around work only. Stef also has some big demons he is running from that he has not addressed. Stef seems to like to blend into the background, almost detached from life.

Terry is a submissive who is having a tough time. She was kidnapped and sold into a Human Trafficking Ring. She was gone for four years. While it seems she has been out for several years she is still having trouble. What I find funny is while the therapist helped her in other areas of her life and adjust to her freedom, Terry never addressed her sexual problems with a therapist.

Mark is Terry’s high school sweetheart. He searched for terry while she was missing to the point of find a career that he would not have found otherwise. He is the officer that truly cares. I have to admire Mark for admitting he needs help. That takes a strong man.

The connection between Mark, Terry and Stef is intense. It seems each of the characters are broken in some way and fighting their own internal demons to try to make this relationship work. The sex scenes with the three of them were scorching.

I found this book well written with a riveting plot. This book does a great job of drawing the reader into the book. I loved that this book was not a typical story line but pushed comfort levels. The main and the secondary characters were interesting. The ending of the book is a bit predictable the focus of the book is more on the journey the characters take to the end than the end itself. Overall, I loved this book. I will be on the lookout for the next book in the series.

Reviewed by Victoria for Cocktails and Books

Girls Only: The Complete Series

Girls Only: The Complete Series - Selena Kitt As collections go this wasn’t entirely a bad one. As with most anthologies and collections, you are bound to enjoy some more than others. In this case, there were a handful that were very good, just as there are some that did not set the right cord with me. Overall a good read. Steamy and very sensual, this is the kind of book you start once you’ve got your glass of wine, the lights dimmed low and you know you have nowhere you have to go and no interruptions for a long while.

Would I recommend it to friends? Yes, I believe I would. It was exactly what it promised, a collection of FF shorts. However, I do not believe I would read it again myself. Unlike many others by Kitt, I found myself unable to really connect with any of the characters on any level. So although I found the stories to be an enjoyable read, I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t feel it met the expectations set by previous Selena Kitt books I had read.

If you’re looking for a few quick, steamy stories, you’ll enjoy this. However, don’t expect any Happily Ever Afters or romance. If that is your pleasure, you’d be wise to pass this one over. This collection is purely sexual with not even a hint of a romantic inclination by any of the characters.

Reviewed by Iris for Cocktails and Books