Author Archives: Vicki

Playing With Fire (Hot In Chicago # 2)

By Kate Meader

Synopsis

As the only female firefighter at Engine Co. 6, Alexandra Dempsey gets it from all sides: the male coworkers who think she can’t do the job, the wives and girlfriends who see her as a threat to their firefighter men, and her overprotective foster brothers who want to shelter their baby sister at all costs. So when she single-handedly saves the life of Eli Cooper, Chicago’s devastatingly handsome mayor, she assumes the respect she’s longed for will finally come her way. But it seems Mr. Mayor has other ideas…

Eli Cooper’s mayoral ratings are plummeting, his chances at reelection dead in the water. When a sexy, curvaceous firefighter gives him the kiss of life, she does more than bring him back to the land of the living–she also breathes vitality into his campaign. Riding the wave of their feel-good story might prop up Eli’s flagging political fortunes, but the sizzling attraction between them can go nowhere; he’s her boss, and there are rules that must be obeyed. But you know what they say about rules: they’re made to be broken…

Review

PLAYING WITH FIRE is the first book I’ve read from Kate Meader and I found it quite enjoyable.  It did take me a few days to finish, but I think that had more to do with the fact it was a paperback instead of a Kindle version.

The banter and sexual tension between Eli and Alex was the best part of this story.  And there was a lot of banter and sexual tension.  While he has experienced great tragedy throughout his life, Eli still had a privileged upbringing, which shows in the way he speaks and in how he thinks a woman should behave.  While he likes Alex’s spunk, he thinks she’s unrefined and wants to tame her.  Some of the things he would say to—and about—Alex rubbed me up the wrong way, but overall I liked him.

“You crossed a line in there, Dempsey.  Ran your mouth off when all I required was that you wear your dress uniform and a sweet-as-sugar smile.”
“Like the good little woman.  God, you’re such a throwback I bet all your selfies are sepia toned.”

Alex is a woman who is not afraid to speak her mind, so much so that it turns a lot of people off.  She’s not had much luck in the dating scene because men are intimidated by her strength, which I liked, but I also liked the vulnerability she showed when the situation called for it.

PLAYING WITH FIRE is told in dual POVs, and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  That being said, I did have trouble understanding the Dempsey family tree for a while, so I would have spent less time confused if I’d read the previous books in this series.

Playing With Fire (Hot In Chicago # 2)

My Rating:  

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Hot In Chicago Series

Sweet Dreams (Halle Pumas # 2)

By Dana Marie Bell

Synopsis

Getting attacked by some crazed she-devil, complete with claws and fangs, certainly wasn’t on Rebecca Yaeger’s agenda when she agreed to attend a local masquerade. In a few slashing moments, Becky learns things about her friends and the man she loves that she never would have suspected.

When Simon rescues Becky from an unprovoked attack by one of his Pride, he finally confirms what he’s long suspected: she’s his mate. Carrying her off to his home and dressing her wounds gives him the chance he’s been waiting for—to taste her and mark her as his. And she’s far sweeter than anything, or anyone, he’s ever had before.

Just as their problems seem a thing of the past, a strange illness begins to haunt Becky, threatening to turn their sweet dreams into a nightmare.

Review

SWEET DREAMS is the second book in the Halle Pumas series, and as with the first book, it is a light, quick, fun and sexy read.  We met Simon and Becky in the previous book, as Simon is Max’s best friend and pride beta, and Becky is Emma’s best friend.  They’ve been crushing on each other for a long time, but a threat to Becky forces Simon to finally act.

SWEET DREAMS is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Simon and Becky.  The beginning of this story overlaps with the ending from the previous story, so I would recommend reading this series in order.  I devoured this entire series back in 2010 (and a couple of times since then), and each book is just a nice way to spend an hour or so on something fun and easy.

Sweet Dreams (Halle Pumas # 2)

My Rating:  

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Buns (Hudson Valley # 3)

By Alice Clayton

Synopsis

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

Review

BUNS is my first Alice Clayton book, and I’m happy to say it was one I found enjoyable.

Clara and Archie are both likeable characters, but they’re also very stubborn, which made for some fiery discussions.  I really enjoyed watching these two bicker over how to save Bryant Mountain House from going out of business.  Archie was a sweet and loyal guy, and he is devoted to keeping his family’s traditions alive.  Clara has an amazing work ethic, she’s not easily intimidated, and she is not afraid to speak her mind to get her point across.  That being said, she has serious abandonment issues; issues which are justified in my opinion.  However, her constant inner monologue about always being alone, her fear of letting someone in, and her inability to feel like part of the group, did become tiring after a while.  It also made the conflict and resolution fairly easy to predict.

BUNS is told in Clara’s POV, with the epilogue being told in Archie’s.  While it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone, and although the couples from the previous two books appeared several times throughout this story, I never felt like I was missing something when it came to them.

Buns (Hudson Valley # 3)

My Rating:  

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Hudson Valley Series

The Wallflower (Halle Pumas # 1)

By Dana Marie Bell

Synopsis

Emma Carter has been in love with Max Cannon since high school, but he barely knew she existed. Now she runs her own unique curio shop, and she’s finally come out her shell and into her own.

When Max returns to his small home town to take up his duties as the Halle Pride’s Alpha, he finds that shy little Emma has grown up. That small spark of something he’d always felt around the teenager has blossomed into something more—his mate!

Taking her “out for a bite” ensures that the luscious Emma will be permanently his.

But Max’s ex has plans of her own. Plans that don’t include Emma being around to interfere. To keep her Alpha, Emma must prove to the Pride that she has what it takes to be Max’s mate.

Review

I first read THE WALLFLOWER back in 2010 and I’ve read it a couple of times since then, but I’ve never reviewed it for our blog.  This is the first book in the Halle Pumas series and introduces us to Max (the alpha) and Emma (his mate).  This is a series I quite enjoy because all the books are light, quick and fun to read.  Oh, and the sex is animalistic and hot!

“I want Livia to grind her teeth into powder when she sees you on my arm. And then I want us both to smile at her and wish her well after she bows down to you.”
“Damn, Max, you should have been a girl. That’s totally bitchy.”

Max has returned to Halle to take over the Puma pride; a right he earned years ago when he was still human.  He’s not looking for his mate, but he finds her anyway when he sees Emma for the first time since he left, and he wastes no time in claiming her.  Emma is the town’s wallflower; the Plain Jane that the popular girls pick on, even though high school has been over for almost a decade.  Everyone underestimates her strength and when she gets a taste of her power, she wields it beautifully.

When he’d used his power to force an answer out of her in that alley, she’d actually walked away from him, back turned, head held high. He still couldn’t decide if he wanted to fuck her or spank her for that.

THE WALLFLOWER is told in dual POVs and is a great way to spend an hour or two.

The Wallflower (Halle Pumas # 1)

My Rating:  

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Stubborn As A Mule – Cover Reveal

We are excited to bring you the next book from Juliette Poe.

STUBBORN AS A MULE will release on July 20.
This is the next standalone novel from sweet and swoony A Sex and Sweet Tea Series.

Synopsis

Down in Whynot, NC, there are three things that hold true:
1) life moves just a little bit slower;
2) family means everything; and
3) you don’t mess with history.

When his family decides to sell a home that’s been part of their history for over a century, Lowe Mancinkus is madder than a hornet. To add insult to injury, the woman who purchased it is some fancy pants, city girl looking to fix it up and sell it off. Doesn’t matter that she’s sexy as hell or that just being near her gets his blood racing like never before. That home belongs to his family, or at least it did until she came to town.

Well that just won’t do, now will it?

From the moment that she laid eyes on the historical home in rural North Carolina, Melinda Rothschild knew Mainer House was something special. The perfect escape from life in New York City, Melinda signed the papers and set to work restoring the house to its natural beauty. That is until an angry Lowe showed up on her doorstep one day. With a scowl on his handsome, chiseled face. And a shotgun in his strong, muscular arms.

Is it getting hot in here?

Melinda’s about to get a lesson on life in the south, but Lowe is about to learn a lesson of his own – this city girl doesn’t back down from a fight.

ADD TO GOODREADS

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About The Author

AuthorPhotoJuliette Poe is the sweet and swoony alter ego of New York Times Best Selling author, Sawyer Bennett.

A fun-loving southern girl, Juliette knows the allure of sweet tea, small towns, and long summer nights, that some of the best dates end sitting on the front porch swing, and that family is top priority. She brings love in the south to life in her debut series, Sex & Sweet Tea.

When Juliette isn’t delivering the sweetest kind of romance, she’s teaching her southern belle daughter the fine art of fishing, the importance of wearing Chucks, and the endless possibilities of a vivid imagination.

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Vegas Love (Love # 1)

By Jillian Dodd

Synopsis

Hollywood actress, Ashlyn Roberts, just had the worst week of her life. Her ex released a sex tape of them and just when she was convinced her current boyfriend was a keeper for standing by her side, he breaks up with her at a friend’s wedding. She’s planning to drown her sorrows in booze when she meets a sexy stranger as she’s leaving the wedding and they end up in Vegas, married.

Cash Crawford is offered a dream job working with his brother as a junior talent agent. He’ll put his shiny new law degree to good use and make a bunch of money in the process. His first task is simple: Keep Ashlyn Roberts out of trouble and don’t sleep with her.
Which might be kind of tough, since they definitely consummated their Vegas wedding.

Will this one night stand end in the quickie divorce they promised each other? Or will they realize they got lucky in love?

Review

VEGAS LOVE is a book I’d seen around Amazon for a while now, and when I saw it was available through Kindle Unlimited, I downloaded it right away.  I wanted something light and fun, and I thought this would fit the bill.

Unfortunately, the writing had me thinking about giving up several times by the 30% mark.  The story moved at an incredibly fast pace.  I’m talking warp speed.  It moved so fast that I didn’t have time to get emotionally invested in the story or it’s characters.  Most chapters were broken down into several smaller scenes, which I found not only odd and annoying, but also added to that rushed feeling.  There were so many repetitive and abrupt changes in thoughts and topics that I thought I’d end up with whiplash trying to keep up with it all.  Finally, if you’re after some sexy reading, you won’t find it here because all the sex either happened behind closed doors or was over with in less than a page.

VEGAS LOVE is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Cash and Ashlyn.  While I considered not finishing this story, I kept giving it a chance and made it to the end.  But sadly, even the sweet ending wasn’t enough to save this book from a 1❤️ rating.

Vegas Love (Love # 1)

My Rating:  

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Love Series

Yes, Prime Minister

By Aria Cole

Synopsis

As the Prime Minister of the greatest nation to the north, boyishly handsome Bryce Gallagher gets exactly what he wants, exactly when he wants it. He’s never met a foreign dignitary he couldn’t charm, or an office assistant that didn’t swoon with one panty-dropping smile. But Bryce has never met a woman that’s caught his attention. And then Juliette Alexandre walked into his life.

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks requires grit, and Juliette Alexandre has it in spades. She’s worked tooth and nail for every accomplishment she’s earned, which is why she is zero percent interested in the perfectly round, incredibly taut, viral-worthy assets of her new boss, Prime Minister Gallagher. She’s finally landed the dream job, now she just has to avoid drooling over the sexy-as-sin Prime Minister every time he shoots her that toe-curling grin. The fate of the country may depend on it.

Review

YES, PRIME MINISTER was downloaded onto my Kindle as soon as I heard about it.  A beefy story about the hot Prime Minister of Canada?  Yes please!  Sadly, I had no idea that this was going to be an insta-love novella, one without much of a story to sink my teeth into.

For me, a novella can be a hit or a miss.  If it’s part of a series with previously established characters, it’s generally a hit.  When it’s a stand-alone, not so much.  Some have too much happening.  Some move too fast.  Some don’t delve into the characters backstory.  YES, PRIME MINISTER doesn’t have a lot thrown in; instead it focused purely on the relationship between Bryce and Juliette.  While the story itself didn’t move too fast, their relationship certainly did, with Bryce declaring Juliette was “the one” before they had even been on a single date.  In regards to the characters, we learn almost nothing about them personally from reading this story.  For example, Juliette grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and has worked very hard for everything she has, but we only know this about her because it’s mentioned in the blurb.  It’s not mentioned anywhere in the story at all.  What’s the point of giving her a difficult past if it’s not going to form a part of the actual story?

YES, PRIME MINISTER had potential, but I felt the insta-love and the overall lack of a story was too much to overcome.  If you like quick reads that take less than an hour, contain no conflict and have some light kink thrown in, this novella is for you.

Yes, Prime Minister

My Rating:  

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Giveaway – Samantha Chase

We are giving away the following from Samantha Chase:

A SKY FULL OF STARS – Signed
ONE MORE KISS – Signed
➤ Swag

Synopsis

WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE
Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He’s great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn’t factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.

LOVE CAN DAZZLE YOU
Polar opposites in personality, the friction between them threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw Owen and Brooke together—and she’s going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.


Synopsis

MATT REED IS HIDING
…from his fans
…from his past
…from a failure too painful to contemplate
Most of all, Matt is hiding from himself.

VIVIENNE FORRESTER IS A WOMAN WHO GIVES HER ALL
…to her friends and family
…to her online food blog
…to the man she loves

Vivienne will try anything and everything to coax Matt out of his self-imposed exile. But for this to work, Matt is going to have to meet her halfway…


Giveaway

Open to U.S. residents aged 18+ only.

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Giveaway – Historical

We are giving away the following Historical prize pack:

DARLING BEAST by Elizabeth Hoyt – Signed
MAD FOR THE PLAID by Karen Hawkins – Signed
➤ LUCK BE A LADY by Meredith Duran
➤ MERELY A MARRIAGE by Jo Beverley (Coming out May 30th)
➤ Pistols & Petticoats RT17 tote bag – Signed by Elizabeth Hoyt & Karen Hawkins
➤ Pistols & Petticoats RT17 signature book – Signed by nine attending authors
➤ Swag

Synopsis

A MAN CONDEMNED . . .

Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown’s soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he’s quickly driven to distraction . . .

A DESPERATE WOMAN . . .

London’s premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she’s forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren’t the only inhabitants-a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there’s more to this man than meets the eye.

OUT OF ASH, DESIRE FLARES

Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he’s forced to make a choice: his love for Lily . . . or the explosive truth that will set him free.


Synopsis

Nikolai Romanovin, a royal prince of Oxenburg, has travelled to the deepest wilds of Scotland to rescue his grandmother the Grand Duchess, who was abducted while visiting an old friend in the Highlands. Wanting to avoid an international incident, Nik plans to quietly slip into enemy territory disguised as a groom at Castle Cromartie. But his plans go awry when he falls under the cool gray gaze of the laird’s daughter.

Pragmatic and clever, Ailsa Mackenzie has been left in charge of the family estate and her unruly grandmother in her father’s absence. Something about the new groom catches her eyes, and makes her think he’s not who he pretends to be—and even more shockingly, stirs her senses. Is it his obviously educated manners? His arrogant, non-servant-like presence? It’s certainly not his towering, powerful form, or slumberous, inviting green eyes!

After confronting the imposter and learning the truth, Ailsa agrees to help Nik—for she, too, understands difficult relatives and would do anything for family. Soon their secret partnership leads to growing respect, searing kisses, and then something far more perilous. And when their quest turns dangerous, Ailsa and Nik must discover this unknown enemy while facing the dangerous demands of their own unruly hearts.


Synopsis

THE WALLFLOWER

They call her the “Ice Queen.” Catherine Everleigh is London’s loveliest heiress, but a bitter lesson in heartbreak has taught her to keep to herself. All she wants is her birthright—the auction house that was stolen from her. To win this war, she’ll need a powerful ally. Who better than infamous and merciless crime lord Nicholas O’Shea? A marriage of convenience will no doubt serve them both.

THE CRIME LORD

Having conquered the city’s underworld, Nick seeks a new challenge. Marrying Catherine will give him the appearance of legitimacy—and access to her world of the law-abiding elite. No one needs to know he’s coveted Catherine for a year now—their arrangement is strictly business, free from the troubling weaknesses of love. Seduction, however, is a different matter—an enticing game he means to ensure she enjoys, whether she wishes to or not. . . .


Synopsis

As England mourns the death of Princess Charlotte, Lady Ariana Boxstall has another succession in mind. Her brother, Norris, is a strapping young man, but he’s also happily unmarried and childless. Norris agrees to take a wife on one condition: that Ariana take a husband first. Although she realizes she risks a lifetime in a loveless marriage, for the sake of her family, Ariana accepts his challenge.

When the Earl of Kynaston met Ariana eight years ago, he broke her heart. Since then, his own heart has been broken, and he’s sworn off love…until he sees Ariana all grown-up and his resolve is threatened.

Could Ariana’s bargain with Norris actually lead her to happiness? With real love on the line, she must win over the one man who refuses to be had.


Giveaway

Open to U.S. residents aged 18+ only.

Please Note:  All entries are checked and verified.  False entries will be removed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway