Tuesday, December 25, 2012

When Lightning Strikes by Brenda Novak

Review of When Lightning Strikes by Brenda Novak

Published: August 28, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Gail DeMarco left Whiskey Creek, California, to make a name for herself in Los Angeles. Her PR firm has accumulated a roster of A-list clients, including the biggest box office hit of all—sexy and unpredictable Simon O’Neal. But Simon, who’s just been through a turbulent divorce, is so busy self-destructing he won’t listen to anything she says. She drops him from her list—and he retaliates by taking the rest of her clients with him.

Desperate to save her company, Gail has to humble herself by making a deal with Simon. The one thing he wants is custody of his son, but that’s going to require a whole new image. He needs to marry some squeaky-clean girl who’ll drag him off to some small, obscure place like Whiskey Creek…

Gail’s the only one he can trust. She agrees to become his wife—reluctantly. But she isn’t reluctant because he’s too hard to like. It’s because he’s too hard not to love!"

I've read a few Brenda Novak books, mostly murder mysteries with romance thrown in, but When Lightning Strikes is one of my favorites of hers to date.  I love how this is a totally Hollywood book, having to do nothing with murder but rather the betrayals of life and getting back on your feet.  Simon is a character who seems so self-destructive, but in all actuality is trying to muddle through life by dimming his emotions.  Gail is a character who puts up this steely exterior, but is really the most vulnerable person of all.  I love how this story and these characters are always changing, little by little.  You don't expect them to change or the story to grow so much it leaves readers in a mess of knots dying to know the outcome, but this story really makes readers want for more.  I give When Lightning Strikes by Brenda Novak 5 smirks because it is a feel good story readers will want to appreciate again and again.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Case of Seduction by Ann Christopher

Review of Case of Seduction by Ann Christopher

Published: August 28, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Law Number 1: Never Fall For Your Boss!

Too late, since Charlotte Evans has been secretly head over heels for Jake Hamilton ever since she started working at his family’s renowned Philadelphia law firm. She’s too smart to expect the die-hard bachelor to suddenly turn into Mr. Right, until he starts putting the moves—on her!

Jake’s prowess is legendary—in and out of the courtroom. He’s never met a woman he couldn’t seduce, except Charlotte Evans. Jake’s lovely assistant may be the only female on the planet who sees past his playboy facade. And now Jake wants forever with the one woman he can’t have. Because when it comes to love, some laws are made to be broken."

Case of Seduction by Ann Christopher made me smile.  I enjoyed reading this book because Charlotte and Jake both have great sense of humor.  I did not put this book down until I finished it because it was so nice to get lost in a romance story that allows the readers to laugh along with the characters.  I was pleasantly surprised I enjoyed this book so much because I'm not really a fan about reading about lawyers, for some reason.  Charlotte is this feisty character who does not take crap from anyone, but is oddly enough very insecure (quite a combination).  Jake, on the other hand, seems to have always been confident with anything in life and as soon as he meets Charlotte he becomes so self conscious it is like readers are getting to know a high schooler instead of a partner at a law firm.  I give Case of Seduction by Ann Christopher 5 smirks because the story was interesting, the characters were fun, and I can't wait to see if this book is part of a series.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Gilded Secrets by Maureen Child

Review of Gilded Secrets by Maureen Child

Published: June 26, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Defending His Legacy…At Any Cost

When scandal threatens the luxury auction house that bears his family’s name, Vance Waverly suspects the media feeding frenzy is an inside job. Could his gorgeous assistant, Charlotte Potter, be plotting Waverly’s downfall? There’s one way to find out: seduce the truth out of her!

Charlie is between a rock and a hard place. She can reveal Waverly’s secrets to her unidentified blackmailer or lose custody of her child. Whatever she does, she’ll lose the career she loves. But losing the man she’s come to love—her big, bad boss—could put her over the edge…"

I wasn't sure I was going to like this story, but after meeting a brooding Vance and a cheery Charlie it was easy to fall into Gilded Secrets by Maureen Child.  I love how Vance and Charlie stand out as characters, but also seem to be the only ones standing out in one another's lives.  The mystery of this story certainly will hold readers attentions, but what I found I was most drawn to about this story was Vance and Charlie.  I love how they click and everything else that happens around them is mute when they are together.  I love how Vance loves Jake and plans for a future before he even realizes it.  I give Gilded Secrets by Maureen Child 5 smirks because the chemistry and the relaxed nature the characters have with one another it truly a spectacular thing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Captive But Forbidden by Lynn Raye Harris

Review of Captive but Forbidden by Lynne Raye Harris

Published: June 26, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Public duty
The news that wild socialite Veronica St. Germaine has cleaned up her act and stepped into her father’s shoes as ruler of a Mediterranean principality creates a tabloid frenzy! But it’s not just the paparazzi that are out for blood.…

Private scandal
Duty demands that bodyguard Rajesh Vala must protect Veronica—whatever the cost.… But Veronica has always rebelled against commands, and she isn’t making Raj’s
job easy! He calls it safeguarding. She calls it being held captive at his beach house. Both realize that the attraction between them is inconvenient.… Veronica is forbidden, not for bedding!"

Captive but Forbidden by Lynne Raye Harris, I felt was a mysterious and encouraging story about diversity and love.  What really spoke to me about this story was how you can't really judge a book by its cover and the same goes with people.  I loved how Raj and Veronica seem to anger one another to the point of heated passion.  I loved seeing Raj finally admitting how wrong he was about life and especially about Veronica and find myself rooting for him in the end.  Veronica on the opposite side of the spectrum was a character I really felt for, she never came across as spoiled to me, just really sad.  I give Captive but Forbidden by Lynne Raye Harris 5 smirks because the story was full of surprises I'm sure readers will love.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Guy Most Likely To...by Leslie Kelly, Janelle Denison, and Julie Leto

Review of The Guy Most Likely To...by Leslie Kelly, Janelle Denison and Julie Leto
Published: June 26, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Ever wonder what happened to the guy most likely to...

Score with the prom queen?
Lauren and Seth were the high
school “it” couple—until Seth disappeared on prom night. But a reunion gives Seth a chance to show Lauren an evening long overdue.

Not date a Playboy Bunny?
Ali was the highlight of geeky Will’s high school years. But now that he’s ditched the nerdiness, he’s 100 percent of calculated hotness...and Ali won’t be able to say no.

Ride out of town on a Harley?
Rebel Scott “Rip” Ripley always had a thing for the elusive Erica. But reunion night holds a few sexy surprises when Erica decides it’s time to take the bad boy for a ride."

What can I say about Lauren and Seth's story?  It was refreshing to be introduced to realistic characters who say what real life people would actually say.  Lauren and Seth are a truly witty and funny couple who get a second chance at happily ever after.  I also loved how the story didn't drag on, but got right to the point. Well done, 5 smirks.

Will and Ali are two characters who defy high schooler logic.  Even though in the real world we all know the cheerleader and nerd can end up together, the logic conveyed by the small minds in this story is just too irresistible for this snark to pass up.  I loved the clichés and how Ali and Will were able to break free from everyone at their reunion.  5 smirks.

What I loved about Rip and Erica's story is how it is also a story about being true to one's self.  I admire the courage and leap of faith Rip and Erica took in one another.  I would really love to see what happens in their future. 5 smirks.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

When Snow Falls by Brenda Novak

Review of When Snow Falls by Brenda Novak

Published: October 30, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "After growing up in cheap motels, moving from town to town with her sister and mother, Cheyenne Christensen is grateful to be on her own. She's grateful, too, for the friends she found once her family settled in California. But she's troubled by the mystery of her earliest memories, most of which feature a smiling blonde woman. A woman who isn't her mother.

Although Cheyenne has repeatedly asked for explanations, the people who could help aren't talking. Cheyenne is set on finding answers, but without so much as a birth certificate, it won't be easy.

Things get even more complicated when her closest friend is attracted to the man Cheyenne has secretly loved for years. For Eve's sake, she decides to step aside—which lands her right in the arms of Dylan Amos, oldest and baddest of the hell-raising Amos brothers. He's the kind of guy she's sworn to avoid. She can't afford to make a mistake, not when she finally has a chance to learn who she really is and change her life for the better. But…maybe there's more to Dylan than she thought. Maybe letting him go would be a bigger mistake."


When Snow Falls by Brenda Novak is a story that will have readers rooting for the underdogs to finally have their shot at true happiness.  Cheyenne is a character whose loyalty is as strong as her will to survive her background is, which is so inspiring the pages just fly by as readers time becomes irrelevant. What is so amazing and different about When Snow Falls is how there is a love triangle, but it is such a love triangle full of honesty and trust it is almost shocking to read it through.  The first time Dylan speaks to Chey I instantly am rooting for him and them as a couple, because even the words on the pages readers  can see their souls colliding with each other.  As for Chey and her hardships, her friendships, family, her relationship with Joe and all the other messes that seem to collide in her life all at the same time, the constant is always the same.  While I won't say what the constant is, I will say that Chey discovering her past, her present, what she wants out of her life, and how she finally stands up for what her heart truly desires is the best part of this book.  When Snow Falls by Brenda Novak is easily 5 smirks because this story makes readers fall in love with characters who don't know how to give up and who strive to never lose what they thought they could never have.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blazing Midsummer Nights by Leslie Kelly

Review of Blazing Midsummer Nights by Leslie Kelly

Published: June 5, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

"Anything can happen on a magical midsummer’s eve...

Marketing director/workaholic Mimi Burdette has The Plan—work for her father and date his right-hand man. Problem is, there’s no heat in the relationship. Not even a spark. And worse still, Mimi is having some seriously sexy, panties-ablaze dreams—and the star looks a lot like Xander McKinley, the hunky firefighter next door.

Mimi’s dreams might be due to the strange tea she drank. Or the predictions from the fortune cookie she ate. Or they could be due to Xander’s smokin’ hotness. But whether it’s magic or just old-fashioned fireworks, Mimi is about to break all of the rules—including her own!"

I loved how this story took on a life of its own, much like A Midsummer Nights Dream itself.  I loved the parallels this story took and how modernized the characters became.  Mimi is a character who is devoted and endlessly beautiful; Xander has a certain wit and calmness along with hotness about him which will keep readers on the edge of their seats trying to figure out when these two characters will collide.  I don't want to give anything away, but if you are a Shakespeare fan then you know how the story goes.  I give 5 smirks to Blazing Midsummer Nights by Leslie Kelly because it's hard not to fall in love with the characters and a modernized classic.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Shades of Desire by Virna DePaul

Review of Shades of Desire by Virna DePaul

Published: May 29, 2012

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "
What she can't see could kill her...

Natalie Jones is the lucky survivor of an elusive killer who preys on young women and then disappears from view. And since her harrowing ordeal, the once gutsy photojournalist has remained isolated in her home, paralyzed by fear and her failing vision.

Special Agent Liam “Mac” McKenzie has scars of his own. But despite his efforts to ignore the attraction that simmers between him and Natalie, he needs her help to catch a predator. Soon, they will forge a tentative alliance—charged with desire. Through a soft-focus lens, Natalie dares to envision a future with Mac beyond the investigation…never guessing that the clues hidden within her photographs are drawing them into an explosive confrontation with a madman."

Shades of Desire by Virna DePaul is a mystery thriller story about trusting in others as much as you trust in yourself.  What I loved most about this story was how unrelenting both Natalie and Mac are towards one another.  They seem to push the other to be a better version of one another which makes their relationship rocky until they figure out they are exactly what the other wants.  I loved that this story did not revolve around solely Mac and Natalie's budding romance, but intertwined it with a murder mystery involving a lot more people than readers will realize.  I give Shades of Desire by Virna DePaul 4 smirks because Natalie and Mac have heated passion that will give readers pause on how things may or may not turn out.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Trust In Me by Beth Cornelison

Review of Trust In Me by Beth Cornelison

Published: December 11, 2011

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "A hero for the rest of us?
Escaping the cheating fiancé and sheltered life her father has arranged for her, Claire Albritton wants nothing more than to take control of her life and learn to fight her own battles.

Kevin Fuller believes he must rescue damsels in distress and Claire is decidedly out of her element in small town South Carolina. When trouble inevitably finds Claire, Kevin's white knight protection and heroics are exactly what Claire doesn't want. But his kisses...that's another matter."

Trust In Me  by Beth Cornelison is a story ultimately about trust. What I found most appealing about this story was how both Kevin and Claire have almost the exact same trust issues that come to light when they try to fight their attraction to one another. I loved that Kevin is this almost surly character who isn't surly at all, but comes across as such before he opens his mouth to speak.  Claire in contrast seems like a sweet woman, but underneath it all she has a fire just waiting to be let out.  I loved how this story comes together and almost all the characters in it have trust issues, but because of their togetherness as a community learn how to overcome those issues.  I give Trust In Me by Beth Cornelison 4 smirks because this story, while is about trust issues, expresses how a community can heal itself.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Unraveling The Past by Beth Andrews

Review of Unraveling the Past by Beth Andrews

Published: June 5, 2012

4 out 5 smirks

Synopsis: "A life built on lies?

How do you work for a guy who took the job you wanted? Every time Captain Layne Sullivan runs into Chief Ross Taylor, she struggles with that issue. It doesn’t help that he’s a by-the-book cop who expects everything done his way. It also doesn’t help that he’s hot. Ignoring that little fact is impossible—she’s tried!

Then Layne’s world is turned upside down when human remains are discovered…and the case has a personal connection. Suddenly she’s glad Ross is so thorough, because he’ll get to the truth. And his search brings them closer, fueling the attraction that’s out of control. As secrets and lies from the past surface, Layne’s biggest challenge is fighting for a future—with Ross in it."

Unraveling the Past by Beth Andrews is a story about being able to handle life on your own, but finally wanting someone to share your life with.  I'm hoping this book is the first in a series because there are a lot of unresolved issues that we as readers do not get the answers to.  While Layne and Ross are two characters readers can get behind and laugh with about all their heated arguments about nothing, I wish we knew more about what happens to them in the end.  Hence why this is reader/blogger is hoping for a series! The under current between Layne and Ross sizzles and their chemistry is certainly top notch; what makes these two characters unique is the fact they are both care takers wanting to finally be taken care of by one another.  I give Unraveling the Past by Beth Andrews 4 smirks because the story is mysterious, the characters are feisty, and while there are unanswered questions I still couldn't put the book down.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller

Review of Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller

Published: July 24, 2012

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "With his rugged good looks, vast wealth and family name, hell-raiser Hutch Carmody is still the golden boy of Parable, Montana. But he’s done some growing up—making peace with his illegitimate half brother and inheriting half of Whisper Creek Ranch, which should have been all his. These days, Hutch knows there are some things money can’t buy: like the heart of loving, ladylike divorcée Kendra Shepherd.

Kendra’s quiet mansion reminds her of what she wants most— a devoted husband and the pitter-patter of little feet. She can’t get Hutch Carmody out of her mind. But a rough-and-tumble cowboy like Hutch, coming home for family dinner? Seems crazy! Then again, crazier dreams have become reality under the vast Montana sky."

Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller is a story about realizing being stubborn can stand in the way of your dreams. Kendra and Hutch are two characters who fuel fire to one another.  They go from mad to hurt to happy in under 60 seconds just based on how the other one reacts to the conversation at hand.  While they seem like an unlikely pair, it turns out they are two halves of a whole.  And though the story is about romance and finding your way back to the person you have always loved, the foundation of the story is about creating your own family when yours falls apart. What was adorable about this story was Madison and her eerie way of knowing exactly what is going on even though she is only 4 years old.  The one part of this story I had trouble with was the fact that we as readers did not get to see how Hutch and Kendra resolved solved those issues before they moved to the next step.  I give Big Sky Mountain by Linda Lael Miller 4 smirks because the story included all the characters from the previous book and we as readers got to see where in their lives they currently are; how their lives were progressing.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

Review of Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

Published: May 29, 2012

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father—until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn’t sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody. Including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen—whom Slade has never forgotten.

But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect—plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter—Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she’s responsible only for her own actions. Such as her effect on this lawman’s guarded heart."

Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller is a story about trusting your instinct and having the courage to go after what you want.  At first I thought this story was extremely awkward because the two main characters didn't really converse in the way of actually talking. Slade and Joslyn seem to have this eerie connection where they know one another on a different wave length than everyone else.  The less they seem to talk, the more they seem to know about one another.  To be honest, at first I was turned off by how this author set up this romance story.  I like knowing what the characters talk about and this story was mainly about descriptive thinking.  Although after reading this story I can see the brilliance Linda Lael Miller brings to her books, by making them unlike any other romance books out there today.  So even though I didn't really like the way the characters just cruise by one another, I'm smart enough to admit the brilliance of this story because I know I didn't put the book down until I was finished.  I give Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller 4 smirks because brilliance is brilliance and this story was brilliant.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bet On A Cowboy by Julie Benson

Review of Bet On A Cowboy by Julie Benson

Published: June 5, 2012

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Love Is The Wild Card

Commitment phobic Colorado cowboy Griffin McAlister has it all figured out. Do the reality dating show, get the money his family desperately needs and go on with his life. Actually falling in love was never part of the deal…least of all falling in love with the show’s spunky director.

Maggie Sullivan knows she’s found a star the minute she meets Griffin. But as she gets to know the man behind the dimples, she realizes she might have found something more. It doesn’t matter, though; she has a job to do. Besides, how could he ever notice her while he’s busy wooing ten gorgeous women?

Now Griffin has a choice to make: stick with the plan and lose Maggie forever, or risk everything for a chance to win her heart!"

Bet On A Cowboy by Julie Benson is a truly fascinating romance story about looking beneath the surface to find true love.  Maggie and Griffin are two characters whose chemistry comes from the challenge they pose for one another.  I like that Maggie doesn't put up with Griffin's charm and chooses to ignore it, only taking him seriously when he's being honest.  I like that Griffin finally realizes that he can't get everything he wants with just some pretty words and a dazzling smile.  The story revolving around a reality dating show gave the story a unique spin and sitting back and letting things play out.  What I didn't like about this story was how played out calling Maggie plain was.  I mean seriously as a character I was surprised Maggie wasn't limping towards the end of the story from the endless "you're plain" comments kept rolling around in this book.  I also didn't like that most of the comments came from the mind of Griffin.  I give Bet On A Cowboy by Julie Benson 4 smirks because even though I didn't like how many times Maggie was called plain over the course of the  story, obviously this book got under my skin for me to rant about it in a review.  Even this snark can see the brilliance in that.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Booby Trap by Anne Browning Walker

Review of The Booby Trap by Anne Browning Walker

Published: September 1, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Welcome to The Booby Trap, a seedy bar where waitresses' skirts are high, necklines are low and customers show up for the eye candy.

When brainy, beautiful, Harvard Ph.D. candidate Bambi Benson wants to study the women of the  Booby Trap for her dissertation, she goes undercover and joins them. All is going well for Bambi until handsome local celebrity Trip Whitley enters the scene.

Hoping to shock his high-society family by dating a bimbo, Trip offers to pay Bambi to pretend to be his girlfriend. She accepts his offer and bides her time, waiting for the right moment to reveal her true identity and teach Trip not to judge based on appearances.

After a series of dates carefully orchestrated for their publicity value, Bambi's trap is set. But there's one problem: the predator might have fallen in love with her prey."

If there is one word to describe The Booby Trap by Anne Browning Walker it is innovative.  Don't get me the wrong, the characters in this story are amazing with wit, humor, and vulnerability but what really makes this story what is it is the concept while it is still a romance book this romance is based on a partnership.  The Booby Trap displays an equally that the majority of romance books lacks.  In this story we get to see how the main characters are balanced and while there is still romance to the story, it is romance that is coming from both sides (not just one sided).  Partnership is what makes this romance book stand apart from others which is why I give The Booby Trap by Anne Browning Walker 5 smirks. Romance readers everywhere should indulge in this book because of how uniquely different it is from the rest of romance books.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Edge of Light by Cynthia Justlin

Review of Edge of Light by Cynthia Justlin

Published: May 14, 2012
4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Taken prisoner by a ruthless group of anarchists deep in the Cambodian jungle, anthropologist Jocelyn Hewitt is isolated in a dark prison cell. Without chance of rescue. Or hope. Until the man in the next cell reaches out to let her know she's not as alone as she thinks.

CIA agent Oliver Shaw has been held prisoner for over two years. Forced to witness the brutal torture and slow murder of his entire team, his spirit is not just broken, it's crushed. He no longer believes in hope. Until he hears Jocelyn through the wall, and suddenly feels like a glimpse of light is trying to reach in...

Jocelyn's heart aches for the tortured man whose presence and voice give her the courage to risk their escape. But first she'll have to remind Oliver who he once was, what he once loved, and bring him back to life. Only then will they have a chance for freedom-and the kind of love neither ever thought possible."

Edge of Light by Cynthia Justlin is a story about finding the beauty in life even under the most tragic circumstances.  What I love about this book is how Joise and Oliver while they meet under dyer events actually keep one another alive and connect on a deeper level because of what they have experienced. I also love that this book is a story about romance, but it is deeper than that and is not a story that revolves around the romance itself.  This story is realistic, sad, hope and hopeless in its beauty within Joise and Oliver.  They survive for not only themselves, but ultimately for one another.  I give Edge of Light by Cynthia Justlin 4 smirks because the story is unique and the characters transformations are magnificent.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Tycoon's Secret Daughter by Susan Meier

Review of The Tycoon's Secret Daughter by Susan Meier

Published: June 5, 2012

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "The CEO’s second chance...
Max Montgomery had it all: charm, good looks and a career as CEO of the family business. Marriage to Kate Hunter was the icing on the cake. Until a devastating family secret sent his world—and then his marriage—crashing down around him.

Years later, Max is accidentally reunited with Kate, who also has a secret—the daughter he’s never met! Bonding with adorable Trisha may come naturally, but with the shadows of the past still haunting him, recapturing the heart of the woman he’s never stopped loving is quite a different matter…"

The Tycoon's Secret Daughter by Susan Meier is a story about the harsh realities of life and the consequences you must face when your past comes back to you.  This story which had a lot of harsh reality to it voiced it in such an innocence perspective it was really different and is what made me love this story.  I think it is easy to voice in a story about darkness and violence, but when you put into that voice a certain innocence it becomes tamer and easier to deal with.  I loved how we as readers got a background of Max and Kate without having to go through the background with them.  I also love how even after years of distant their love can be rekindled within moments of seeing each other again.  Both Max and Kate are similar characters who approach life differently which is what makes their chemistry so undeniable.  And while Trisha is a part of Max and Kate's story, she is not the center of it which is what I believe drew me into the story and ultimately gives readers the impression that what Max and Kate share is not dependent on Trisha.  I give The Tycoon's Secret Daughter by Susan Meier 4 smirks because it is a feel good, heartwarming story about living in the present, hoping for the future, and keeping the past in the past.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Redemption of a Hollywood Starlet by Kimberly Lang

Review of Redemption of a Hollywood Starlet by Kimberly Lang

Published: June 5, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "The Marshalls...

A rich, powerful family that mixes business, politics…and pleasure. If the U.S. had a royal family this would be it!

The tabloids just couldn’t get enough of A-list couple hotshot producer Finn Marshall and Hollywood wild child Caitlyn Reese. Then Caitlyn fled the glaring lights of Tinseltown, leaving an indelible mark on the Walk of Fame—and an empty seat on the back of Finn’s motorbike.

Now Cait is back! She’s still got the X factor, and Finn is struggling to banish his X-rated thoughts! Because one thing is for sure…he isn’t interested in just a quick Hollywood retake. To interest him, it’ll have to be."

Redemption of a Hollywood Starlet by Kimberly Lang is a feisty story about two characters who are so stubborn they make cows look cooperative. Cait and Finn have some serious chemistry and a fighting streak to match.  I love how Cait and Finn are so in tune with each other on so many things, but totally out of whack when it comes to what each of them ultimately needs for a relationship to blossom. I thought the idea of a movie bringing these two characters together was perfect for them.  Cait is innocent in a way which is uniquely not in sync with how she grew up or how she lives her life.  Finn being someone who decides to shrug things off because to him showing an invested emotion is weak and a way to get hurt.  What this book brings to light is how moving past your hang ups in order to be with the person you were meant to be with is actually a strength.  Always rooting for the underdog I give Redemption of a Hollywood Starlet by Kimberly Lang 5 smirks, this is a funny, witty, heated, story about finding the one who just gets you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Seduced by Blood by Laurie London

Review of Seduced by Blood by Laurie London

Published: July 24, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, the battle for supremacy rages on between two vampire coalitions: Guardian enforcers sworn to protect humanity, and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors…

Hot-blooded and hard-edged, Tristan Santiago has an uncanny ability to see beneath the surface—a skill that serves him well as the Guardians’ region commander. But when a deadly plot against his fellow vampires is uncovered, he must turn to the one woman he can’t read: the beautiful yet mysterious Roxanne Reynolds, whose sensual presence soothes his tormented memories.

Roxy had put love before duty once before, with devastating results. But to root out a dangerous traitor in their midst, she must put her faith in Santiago, the one man skilled enough to break through her defenses. Posing as lovers, Santiago and Roxy work side by side—and discover a powerful craving that threatens to consume them both…"

Seduced by Blood by Laurie London is a great continuation of this series!  Out of all the book in this series so far, this is by far is my favorite!  I loved getting to know Roxy and Santiago. I thought these two characters were very complex, but oddly enough alike in so many ways. I loved their banter and wit, how the story of this series still progresses, but is ultimately about how Santiago and Roxy find each other (even if at first they don't like one another). I enjoyed how almost always Santiago and Roxy are honest with each other even if the truth hurts, I felt this was a very realistic part of a relationship.  I also enjoyed the ending because who wouldn't enjoy that? (I'll never tell). I give Seduced by Blood by Laurie London 5 smirks because Santiago and Roxy are two loners who will touch readers hearts and bring a smile to their faces.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Werewolf's Wife by Michele Hauf

Review of The Werewolf's Wife by Michele Hauf

Published: April 3, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "The legacy he must obey…

The child she must save…

The man who threatens to fulfill her every fantasy…and break her heart.

Alpha wolf Ridge Addison left his wife in Las Vegas, vowing to put their one reckless night of passion behind him and return to his clan. Thirteen years later he needs a divorce so he can become pack leader. Yet he’s never forgotten the sensuous witch whose life he saved…or the knee-buckling kisses he still craves.

After they parted, Abigail tried banishing Ridge from her memory. Now her heart belongs only to her son. But when the boy is kidnapped, she knows she alone can’t save him. Though Abigail’s body still aches for Ridge, she’s willing to give him his freedom in exchange for his help. But who will shield her heart from the only man she’s ever let claim her, body and soul?"

The Werewolf's Wife by Michele Hauf is an inspiring story about knowing what you want out of life and knowing you deserve it. I love Michele Hauf and am a big fan of her writing so much so that I am not surprised I feel in love with this story and her characters so easily. I love that as readers we are sucked back into a world in which reality is so much bigger than what people consider normal or even standard.  Getting to know Ridge more as a character is a real treat because he is a walking contradiction of himself, he possesses the whole package.  Re-meeting Abigail and finding out about her past as well as her past with Ridge was addicting.  Throughout the entire story I was rooting for Ridge to get his future he clearly wanted for himself.  I don't want to give anything away about this story because that's what makes reading this story so enjoyable, the twists and turns. In short, I give The Werewolf's Wife by Michele Hauf 5 smirks because I couldn't put it down and the ending was a moment when readers will say "FINALLY!"

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Goddess In The Middle by Stephanie Julian

Review of Goddess In The Middle by Stephanie Julian

Published: July 3, 2012

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Amity, the Goddess of Health, works as a medical aesthetist, using her remaining goddess powers to help people heal their spirits. Her profession soon brings two masculine Etruscan werewolves, Remy and Rom, into her life. The two werewolves have been searching for a woman powerful enough to handle both of them, but they've never met a woman strong enough...until they meet Amity. Together they must use the power generated by their love to kill a vicious demon and keep him locked away forever, or risk losing everything."

Goddess In The Middle by Stephanie Julian is a supernatural story about possibilities. What I really love about this story is how Amity, Remy, and Rom all seem to heal one another and find what they have all really been looking for.  This story takes on a life of its own with surprising revelations and unique characters who will make you wonder if their story is next.  Goddess In The Middle is a sensual, erotic, adventurous, funny, enlightening story that will have readers begging for more.  I give Goddess In The Middle by Stephanie Julian 4 smirks because the characters are ones who will live in readers minds forever.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Immersed In Pleasure by Tiffany Reisz

Review of Immersed In Pleasure by Tiffany Reisz

Published: February 28, 2012

4 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "The Manhattan Mermaids: Believed to be the most beautiful women in the city, they entertain wealthy, powerful men in an exclusive club called Fathoms....and are all virgins. Derek Prince doesn't believe they really exist, until he meets the stunningly sensual Xenia. She drives him wild with desire, but giving in to temptation means losing her position at Fathoms. Derek is incredibly turned on by the thought of being Xenia's first...but will he be willing to wait for her?"

Immersed In Pleasure by Tiffany Reisz is a short erotic story about fairytales coming to life.  While Xenia may not be a real mermaid, she certainly plays the part of someone who is uniquely in their own world.  Derek on the other hand has a complete reality check after meeting Xenia and realizes he wants more out of life.  This extremely virginal story is so fantasy filled, it should be illegal since there is no real sex involved (at least not until later).  Immersed In Pleasure by Tiffany Reisz is captivating, sweet, pure, and erotic.  I give it 4 smirks or should I say fish.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Harder They Fall by Trish Jensen

Review of The Harder They Fall by Trish Jensen

Published: May 1, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Food fight, love match, or both? She’s a lovable klutz trying to save her family’s restaurant chain. He’s a stuffed shirt angling to buy it. Who will trip up and fall in love first?

Darcy Welham’s dad is ready to sell his five-star restaurants and retire, but she’s determined to prove she can be trusted to keep the family business going. Darcy’s sure it’s what her mother would have wanted. Only one problem: her life turns into a comedy show when she’s nervous. Pratfalls, spills, slips and fires—all in a day’s misadventures for Darcy. She can’t even wait on tables without dumping food into the customers’ laps. When supper lands on a sensitive area of businessman Michael Davidson’s finely creased trousers, he tries to have his gorgeous but careless waitress fired, only to discover that she’s the person he has to win over if he wants to buy the restaurant chain for his bosses.

From that antagonistic start, Darcy and Michael soon find that there’s more to each other than first expected. She’s clumsy because she’s got low self-esteem. She may be a disaster as a waitress, but she’s a genius as a cook, with a talent for creating mouth-watering new dishes. Darcy begins to realize that Michael is not a stuffed shirt at heart—he’s patient, strong and brave, which any man who dates Darcy has to be, because she turns into a Danger Zone every time he makes her heart flutter."

The Harder They Fall by Trish Jensen is a laugh out loud, hilarious story about being yourself and finding the one who loves you because of it.  Darcy is a very matter of fact character whose frankness is both endearing and oddly funny.  Michael is an uptight character who starts to loosen up once he's been in Darcy's company.  Though these two characters do not make sense as a couple, but they really do complement one another and reveal one another's true path.  I love the courtship of Darcy and Michael, how it evolves to something more than business with Michael as soon as he spends significant amount of time with Darcy.  I also love how clumsy Darcy is except when she feels confident.  All in all this is a must read, own, and recommend book I give 5 smirks to.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

Review of All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

Published: July 31, 2012

6 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Can a summer fling turn into love that lasts a lifetime?

Former underwear model turned entrepreneur Clay Stryker has loved, tragically lost and vowed that he’ll never risk his heart again. After making his fortune, the youngest of the rugged Stryker brothers returns to Fool’s Gold, California, to put down roots on a ranch of his own. But he’s frustrated to discover that even in his hometown, people see him only for his world-famous…assets.

Firefighter Chantal (Charlie) Dixon grew up an ugly duckling beside her delicately beautiful mother, a feeling reinforced long ago by a man who left soul-deep scars. Now she has good friends, a solid job and the itch to start a family—yet she can’t move toward the future while she’s haunted by painful memories.

Clay finds an unexpected ally, and unexpected temptation, in tomboyish Charlie, the only person who sees beyond his dazzling good looks to the real man beneath. But when Charlie comes to him with an indecent proposal, will they be able to overcome their pasts and find a love that lasts beyond one incredible summer?"

Since the Fool's Gold Series has started, I have always favored at least one book each summer.  This summer I favor Clay and Charlie's story.  All Summer Long is essentially a story about healing and love finding you when you least expect it. Clay is a genuine, honest, and intelligent character who often gets looked over based on his chosen career he has when he was young.  He's learning to deal with how to stand up for himself as a person rather than a mannequin. While Clay is also healing from tragedy, he believes that love is suppose to be instantaneous and believe he could never love another ever again. Charlie who is a strong, beautiful and blunt person only shows her feminineness to those she is closest to and often holds herself apart from being a female in general. Due to her own tragedy she doesn't trust anyone, but especially men so when she meets Clay it is frightening for her to know she does trust him.  I love this story because it is remarkable and brave to a point it really touches readers hearts and makes readers believe in the happily ever after.  I enjoyed how Clay and Charlie both go into their arrangement with their eyes open and how even then surprises still happen.  I love that Charlie gets a chance to reconcile with her mom and try to find a path to a familial relationship with her.  I also love that as readers we get another glimpse into the Stryker family with the infamous sister and can see how the dynamic changes the brothers into realizing the truth of their actions towards her over the years.  In short this is my favorite Fool's Gold story to date because Clay and Charlie are two characters you can't help but fall in love with.  I give All Summer Long by Susan Mallery 6 smirks because you can't help but be affected by this story.

Guarding Jess by Shannon Curtis

Review of Guarding Jess by Shannon Curtis

Published: May 14, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Jessica Pennington's work as an etiquette coach requires her to be polite and proper at all times, especially now that she has a book coming out. The only thing that rattles her reserve is the increasingly violent emails and texts from her persistent stalker. With the book launch in jeopardy, she reluctantly hires a bodyguard.

Noah Samuels hates stuck-up, prim people like Jessica. He's more the blunt, straightforward type. But to advance up the ranks at McCormack Security, he has to take the high-profile assignment. After a near miss on his first day on the job, Noah realizes that the stalker isn't just hype cooked up to sell books-the threat is real.

As the stalker escalates from letters to letter bombs, Noah sees a vulnerable side of Jessica that rouses more than just his protective instincts. But can she let down her guard long enough to trust Noah before it's too late?"

Guarding Jess by Shannon Curtis is a story about wrong impressions and having the conviction and strength to protect those you love.  First off, the sexy Noah is a very amazingly hot draw to this book, as a woman I'm just saying I could read about him all day and not get bored. What really brings this story together though is how Jess and Noah work together and how their impressions of one another are quickly dissolved into false advertising.  I love how Jess is so cautious of everyone she meets because of her history, it makes her seem standoffish, but in reality just makes her a stronger character with a presence. The thing I love about Noah is how intelligent he is with everything else in life, but as soon as he gets near Jess he becomes a hot mess.  These two characters have undeniable chemistry which will spark readers hearts and leave it impossible for them to put this story down.  The story itself is such a roller coaster of the unknown, I believe readers will be thrown once or twice and fairly surprised by the ending.  I give Guarding Jess by Shannon Curtis 5 smirks because it is a must read, must own book which will leave readers wanting more.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Against The Sun by Kat Martin

Review of Against The Sun by Kat Martin

Published: May 29, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "It’s not in bodyguard Jake Cantrell’s job description to share his suspicions with his assignments. Beautiful executive Sage Dumont may be in charge, but Jake’s not on her payroll. As a former special forces marine, Jake trusts his gut, and it’s telling him there’s something off about a shipment arriving at Marine Drilling International. His instinct is aroused…in more ways than one.

A savvy businesswoman, Sage knows better than to take some hired gun’s “hunch” as gospel. And yet she is learning not to underestimate the man her grandfather hired to protect her. Determined to prove Jake wrong, Sage does some digging of her own and turns up deadly details she was never meant to see.

Drawn into a terrifying web of lies and deceit—and into feelings they can’t afford to explore—what Jake and Sage uncover may be frighteningly worse than they ever imagined."

Kat Martin is quickly becoming one of my top favorite authors, with her excitingly adventurous stories and her heart throbbing, head spinning main characters I would highly suggest any of her books to fellow readers. Against the Sun tells Jake and Sage's story about conflict and resolution that leads both characters to an ending they will never regret.  What I loved the most about this book, besides the sassy wit of Sage and Jake's amazing attributes (no I'm not just talking about his hunkyness), is the unique and relevant storyline.  I love how the story involves current events associated with the chaos of the Middle East and how violent it can become.  I also really loved getting to see different side characters and where their story may lead in the future.  I found I could not put this book down and I feel it had a lot to do with Jake and Sage.  I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out what would happen in the end of this book: would the problems within the company resolve, what would happen to Jake and Sage if they finally did resolve, would Jake be willing to tie himself to a place forever, would Sage finally give in to her own happiness, would more sinister things be uncovered as a result of Atlas Securities investigation?  I give Against The Sun by Kat Martin 5 smirks because it is a must read, must recommend, and must own.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rules of the Game by Sandy James

Review of Rules of The Game by Sandy James

Published: April 2, 2012

5 out of 5 smirks

Synopsis: "Kathryn West has it all-she's a confident, bestselling author living it up in New York City. Too bad she doesn't actually exist, and is only timid Maddie Sawyer's pseudonym. Determined to attend her high school reunion with a man right out of one of her racy romance novels, she plots to find a sexy bad boy who's up to Kathryn's standards.

She finds Mr. Perfect shooting pool in a biker bar. He's a blue-collar hunk who just happens to look great in leather. But the mysterious Scott Brady has some rules of his own: he won't agree to her deal unless she poses as his girlfriend in front of his family and friends first.

As the reunion nears, Maddie tries to maintain her carefree façade, knowing she'll soon face some old ghosts. She's torn between her growing attraction to Scott and the nagging feeling that he's hiding something important. Will she still want him when she finds out his secret? What about when he discovers hers?"

Rules of The Game by Sandy James is a story about how when it rain it pours.  I really enjoyed the air of not everyone is perfect this story seemed to give off in vibes. I loved how in this story readers can find that love can be perfect if you find the person who is perfect for you.  Maddie is a refreshing character who seems to not have control over what she thinks to what she says.  It's Maddie's personality that will have readers glued to this book, not being able to put it down.  I also found Scott to be the perfect embodiment of how a partner is suppose to be in a relationship, someone solid and constant.  Together these two characters hash out, work out, and all around complement each other until the very end.  What made this story so intriguing was the skeletons not in Scott's closet, but in Maddie's.  I don't want to give anything away because this book is truly one of a kind.  Rules of The Game by Sandy James, 5 smirks, must read, own, recommend.