Review: The Danger of Desire

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Danger of DesireThe Danger of Desire (Sinful Suitors, #3) by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Sinful Suitors #3
Published by Pocket Books on November 22nd 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 400

FINAL DECISION: This story was nice, but the quick resolution to the book long conflict left me feeling unsatisfied. I enjoyed the romance a great deal and the “weakness” of the hero was well done and emotional.

THE STORY: Warren Corry, Marquess of Knightford has been asked by his sister to help her friend who has been behaving strangely. Warren is part of the St. George Club where men who care about the women in their lives can find out information to protect them from scoundrels. Warren fears that Miss Delia Trevor is in trouble and is determined to find out her secrets. While chasing her secrets, Warren ends up at a gambling hell chasing a man who is a potential threat to Delia. Warren is shocked to discover this man is actually Delia in disguise. Delia is looking for the card cheat responsible for her father’s death. Disguised as a young man, she has been searching gaming hell for the man. When Warren discovers her secret, Delia doesn’t know if Warren intends to ruin her or help her.

OPINION: The undeniable strength of this book is Warren, himself. His struggles and his shame about them are the most compelling part of the book. Warren is a good man who has demons which he believes will keep him alone. He spends the nights carousing because he cannot bear to be alone. When he begins to fall for Delia, he fights because he believes that he cannot have a normal relationship with her. The pain Warren feels and his journey to trust and happiness with Delia is what I loved about this book. I can’t resist a wounded hero and I really liked Warren.

Delia was practical and a bit stubborn but her character made her a good match for Warren because she would not allow him to hide from her. Her strength allows him to lean on her when he needs it.  She is too loyal to her lousy brother, but her loyalty and determination is a deep part of her character.

I liked so much about this story, but what I didn’t like was the resolution to Delia’s search for the man who cheated her brother. The end had promise and was a surprise but after the reveal, the problem was quickly resolved without emotional drama that I expected.  Things were revealed, and the solution was too neat and resolved within only a few pages. Considering that this was such a motivating factor in the book, I found it anticlimactic and a disappointment. For me, it colored my enjoyment of the rest of the book and resulted in me downgrading my rating.

WORTH MENTIONING: I hope the next story is about Delia’s sister in law.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE DANGER OF DESIRE is the third book in the Sinful Suitors series.  It can be read as a standalone although there are overlapping characters.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 3.5 stars.


Review: The Viscount’s Rose

Review: The Viscount’s RoseThe Viscount's Rose (The Farthingale Series Book 5) by Meara Platt
Series: Farthingale #5
on September 19th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 248

FINAL DECISION: A sweet story that doesn’t have much emotional drama but rather external factors keeping the hero and heroine apart.  Funny and gentle and sweet.  This is an enjoyable finish to the Farthingale sisters stories.

THE STORY: Rose Farthingale, the oldest of five daughters, is saved from an explosion in her pottery workshop by Justin Emory. The brother of Rose’s dearest friend, Justin is a viscount and rumor says he is almost ready to propose to a woman that his family detests. In order to save Justin from himself, Rose helps his family concoct a scheme to separate him from that woman.  What Rose doesn’t expect is Justin’s family throwing them together at every opportunity resulting in her getting abducted along with him.

Justin, himself, has a secret. He is working for the crown wooing a woman to try and find out information on a French spy ring. His family’s machinations threaten his mission but an even greater threat is Justin’s own attraction to Rose.

OPINION: This book is so sweet. Rose and Justin are a cute and uncomplicated couple. These are both oldest siblings who have several younger siblings. Family is important to both of them. They both have family legacies of falling in love only once. They are simply adorable.

This is a book without intense emotional unrest. Instead, what keeps these two apart are Justin’s work and the necessity of deception.  While the premise of this book has certainly been done before, I liked Platt’s take on the story. Rather than focusing on angst, this book focuses on Rose’s continued trust in Justin despite all appearances.

There is less drama in this book, but I love sweet, uncomplicated stories sometimes too. Likeable characters, a fun premise and lots of love and family hi-jinks.

WORTH MENTIONING:  I still love how Platt manages to make telling the story of these five sisters in reverse work. This is truly a series that can be read forwards and backwards.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE VISCOUNT’S ROSE is book 5 in the Farthingale series.  It can be read as a standalone as it occurs prior to the other books in the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.


Review: The Beast

Review: The BeastThe Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #14) by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #14
Published by NAL on April 5th 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 508

“She was the watch on his wrist, the roast beef when he was starving, and the pitcher of lemonade when he was thirsty. She was his chapel and his choir, the mountain range to his wanderlust, the library for his curiosity, and every sunrise or sunset that ever was or would ever be.”

FINAL DECISION: I loved this book. Ward has done a great job creating a realistic conflict between Mary and Rhage which stays true to their story but accommodates the changes that have occurred with them and their friends.

THE STORY:  Rhage thinks everything should be perfect. He has the woman he loves, his brothers have found love and are doing well.  But Rhage is having panic attacks and he can feel a distance between him and Mary and even a distance in his own life.  At the same time, Mary is dealing with a crisis of her own at work.  When Rhage suffers a mortal injury, he and Mary must confront their problems rather than ignore them.

There is also stories about Layla and Xcor which moves them closer to their own book.  Assail also has his own story continue.

OPINION: I found this book particularly enjoyable because it takes seriously Mary and Rhage’s relationship. This book settles a lingering issue between Mary and Rhage. While the two love one another, they have never dealt with the fact that they cannot have children together.  Now as the other members of the BDB are moving on to the stage of having children, the issue that seemed settled rises again.

I enjoyed how Ward goes deep into her characters in this book.  Even with love, there are sometimes disappointments in relationships. Rhage loves Mary and wouldn’t choose anyone else, but there is no doubt that the reality of never having children is finally settling in. So many times, the choices we make seem simple until we have to live with them.  Rhage and Mary are both having to live with their reality.

I really am embracing Ward’s revisiting of couples from the original Black Dagger Brotherhood. I still find those characters the most compelling in the series and am happy to see more of their journey.

WORTH MENTIONING: There is a new character introduced who has an interesting connection to Manny.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE BEAST is closely connected with the Black Dagger Brotherhood ongoing story.  A reader could read LOVER ETERNAL and understand the romance between Mary and Rhage but there are other storylines which would not be understandable without reading more of the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: Someone to Love

Review: Someone to LoveSomeone to Love (Westcott, #1) by Mary Balogh
Series: Westcott #1
Published by Signet on November 8th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 400

FINAL DECISION:  Enjoyable slow burn romance.  The hero is such a kind person and his connection with the heroine lacks unnecessary drama.  I liked that these are truly kind people.

THE STORY:  Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage knowing nothing about her parents. Then she discovers that her father was actually the Earl of Riverdale, who recently died.  Even more surprising, it is revealed that Anna was actually the earl’s only legitimate offspring due to a hidden marriage and that his “legitimate” children are not legitimate at all.  Anna has inherited the entire estate of her father much to the dismay of her half-siblings.  Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby, is a relative by marriage to the Westcotts who are in disarray after the revelations regarding Anna.  Avery is intrigued by Anna and her evolution to a lady.

OPINION:  I am a big fan of Balogh’s slow burn romances.  Her characters often have mature and unorthodox relationships. What I loved most about this book is that Anna and Avery are both kind.

Avery is a man who has made a facade for himself to mask his perceived weaknesses.  He is a quiet man, and I absolutely loved that he likes Anna from the beginning and doesn’t want her to change to become the stereotypical society lady. He loves seeing how she is an original. His support for Anna without taking a position on what she should do is deeply attractive.

Anna (aka Anastasia) is a good person. I just adored her when her reaction to finding out about her inheritance is dismay.  She would much prefer a family to money. Her efforts to build relationships demonstrate her gentle and kind nature.

These two people are so nicely matched.  The drama in the story really concerns all the disarray the family is sent into when Anna’s existence becomes known. Her recreation of her own identity is the focus of the book along with the romance.

I love the quiet romance present in this book.  The characters fall in love day by day, minute by minute. Their relation to one another is based on respect and honesty.

My one complaint is that the lack of any conflict between Anna and Avery makes their story resolved too quickly, but the story is worth it anyway.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book introduces lots of characters who have intriguing stories to tell.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  SOMEONE TO LOVE is the first book Westcott series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.


Review: The Sexy One

Review: The Sexy OneThe Sexy One by Lauren Blakely
Series: Holiday/Hammer #4
Published by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform on October 17th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 188

“He’s sweet, kind, funny, and good. So damn good. And, for a bonus prize, add in that he’s an amazing father. That’s some sexy Kryptonite right there.”

FINAL DECISION:  A nice story that is lacking a bit in comparison to the other books in this series.  The central conflict seemed not enough to keep these two apart and the emotional depth of this story was not what I would expect.

THE STORY:  Abby is the nanny of a five year old girl.  The father, Simon Travers is known as a “hot single dad”.  He is devoted to his daughter.  The problem is that Abby has been attracted to Simon for months.  What she doesn’t know is that Simon has been resisting his own attraction to Abby.  He fears that wanting the nanny is just too stereotypical and he doesn’t want to lose Abby who has been a blessing for him and his daughter.

OPINION: This was an enjoyable story but lacked the vibrancy of most of Lauren Blakely’s books.  The central conflict of this book is about how Simon doesn’t want to be a cliche of single dad and the nanny.  While an interesting idea, that conflict didn’t feel deep enough to keep these two apart.

Because I didn’t think the central conflict was deep enough, I also didn’t feel that the forces keeping these two apart didn’t feel important enough to justify the drama around it. These characters were so likeable and thus there wasn’t the depth to the story that I would expect — even though the story was nice enough.

I enjoyed these two together, but they were just a little too perfect and sweet for my tastes.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book is told in alternating first person.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  THE SEXY ONE is book 4 in the Holiday/Hammer books which are connected but can be read as a standalone.  This book is a direct spinoff of MISTER O.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.


Cover Reveal: Laura Kaye’s Mastering Her Senses

Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

Releasing February 21, 2017, MASTERING HER SENSES is the second full-length novel in Laura Kaye’s Blasphemy Series. Check out the amazing cover created by Kim Killion from The Killion Group below!


A Note from Laura Kaye:

Friends! I’m so excited to share the cover for Mastering Her Senses, the second book in my new erotic Blasphemy series! I’ve been dying to write Master Quinton since he first appeared on the page, and now he is coming your way this February. I’m also excited because the heroine, Cassia Locke, is the sister of one of the Raven Riders (Jagger Locke), so there will be some fun series crossover happening in this book, too! So, so much to love! I hope you’ll check it out and the other books in the series, too!

xo, Laura

12 Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy…

He wants to dominate her senses—and her heart…

Quinton Ross has always been a thrill-seeker—so it’s no surprise that he’s drawn to extremes in the bedroom and at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, where he creates sense-depriving scenarios that blow submissives’ minds. Now if he could just find one who needs the rush as much as him…

When an accident leaves Cassia Locke with a paralyzing fear of the dark, she’ll try anything to get help. Ready to fight, she knows just who to ask for help—the hard-bodied, funny-as-hell Dom she’d always crushed on—and once stood up.

Quinton is shocked and a little leery to see Cassia, but he can’t pass up the chance to dominate the alluring little sub this time. Introducing her to sensory deprivation becomes his new favorite obsession, and watching her fight fear is its own thrill. But when doubt threatens to send her running again, Quinton must find a way to master her senses—and her heart.

Exclusive iBooks Preorder

Look for other preorder links in 2017

Add to your Goodreads



Books in Series:

Hard to Serve #.5

Bound to Submit #1

Mastering Her Senses #2 – 2/21/17

Eyes on You #3 – 7/11/17


Laura Kaye - author picAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of thirty books in contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Blasphemy, Hard Ink, and Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. Laura also writes historical fiction as the NYT bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. She lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.



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Registration Opens for California Readin’ Romance Event in March 2017


A new event opened for registration today.

California Readin’ is an event taking place in Southern California (Brea) on March 25, 2017.

I have no affiliation to the event except that I just purchased tickets (only $5 dollars!) and will be an attendee.

Those of you who are in Southern California know that there haven’t been a lot of romance book events here (until the Ripped Bodice opened).

For more information visit

Here’s the description for their website:

California Readin’ 2017

Join us as we welcome 60 authors to California for an afternoon filled with fun and games, gift bags full of books and door prizes.

All attendees will have the chance to win a wonderful basket filled with books and other items, created by each author especially for one lucky reader. Not only will you enjoy refreshments and games at an author table, but this event includes a book signing with NYT best-sellers Robyn Carr, Tessa Dare, Debra Holland, Sarah MacLean, Jane Porter, and JoAnn Ross as well as 52 more best-selling, award-winning and debut authors. The book signing is open to the public and happens immediately after the main event from 4:30-5:30 pm.

We’ve brought in the queen of reader appreciation, Barbara Vey, to help us make this a can’t-miss event for avid readers of romance! We look forward to seeing you in March!

What readers get:

Welcome by renowned reader advocate Barbara Vey
Meet & greet with the authors
Refreshments with an author
Tote bag filled with books and other goodies sent by authors
Gifts from your author(s)
Chance to win door prizes donated by authors
$5 Gift Certificate to be used at The Ripped Bodice book signing following event
Opportunity to win game prizes
Book signing event

Review: A Very Ruby Christmas

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: A Very Ruby ChristmasA Very Ruby Christmas by Lavinia Kent
Series: Bound and Determined #4.5
Published by Loveswept on October 25th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 96

FINAL DECISION:  Especially for fans of the series, this novella wraps up Ruby and Derek’s story, gives some hot and spicy moments with beloved characters from the Bound and Determined series and also pushes the series forward into a new era.

THE STORY:  This novella takes place before the epilogue of RAVISHING RUBY.  In this book, Ruby (who is the owner of a brothel) is trying to organize her life to be able to leave London with Derek, the man she loves.  The story takes place at Christmas time and is a bit of a last hurrah to Ruby’s reign as madam.

Ruby’s inability to sell her brothel is causing some problems for her and Derek.  Into this difficult time, Ruby’s half sister arrives on her doorstep.  Her sister in in desperate straits and Ruby feels that something else may come between her and Derek.

OPINION:  I adore Ruby.  I’ve followed her story through the entire Bound and Determined series (where she has been a matchmaker for the couples) and especially enjoyed the story of her and Derek.  This novella adds some information to their story but doesn’t disturb their happy ending (which occurred in RAVISHING RUBY).

This novella add something significant to Ruby and Derek’s story.  Ruby is a woman who has made her own way in the world.  Although she loves Derek, she still has not surrendered to their happy ending.  She continues to make contingencies after being disappointed by men in her past.  She seeks to protect herself when reality insists that she take a chance and rely on the man she loves.

Ruby is such a complicated character.  This novella shows many facets of her.  She is a woman who has successfully run a brothel.  She cares about the women who work for her.  She manages difficult men.  She is separated from her legitimate half-siblings, but desperately wants family connection.

This novella serves to wrap up Ruby’s story and launch a new story for Ruby’s brothel.  Anyone who enjoyed the Bound and Determined series should read this novella.  It’s like a Christmas present (if Christmas presents were sweet and hot and sexy and definitely spicy).

WORTH MENTIONING:  A foresee a story about Madame Blanche in the future.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  A VERY RUBY CHRISTMAS is book 4.5 in the Bound and Determined series.  It can should be read after at least RAVISHING RUBY which tells the story of Ruby and her captain’s love story.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.


Review: One Summer of Surrender

I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: One Summer of SurrenderOne Summer of Surrender (Seasons, #3) by Jess Michaels
Series: Seasons #3
Published by The Passionate Pen on November 8th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 212

“What she had done to him deserved anger and revenge and a great deal else. She had already served part of her penance in a desperately unhappy marriage. Perhaps this was the rest.”

FINAL DECISION:  Filled with angst, longing, pain and love, this book made me fall in love with Lucien, a man who can’t help but love the woman who broke his heart. The path from his complete brokenness in the prologue to the ending was a fantastic journey.

THE STORY:  Lucien Danford, Earl of Stenfax had his world destroyed when the woman he loved abandoned him to marry a duke instead.  Lucien is determined to stay away from Elise, Duchess of Kirkford, now that she is widowed but he cannot deny thinking about her.  When the two unexpectedly end up in the same place, the anger and passion explodes between them.  The past is an obstacle that Lucien and Elise cannot seem to overcome even as they cannot resist one another.

OPINION:  This book begins with one of the most devastating depictions of a broken heart that I think I have read in a romance book. It immediately made me fall for Stenfax.  A man who could love that deeply is a good man indeed. I was also surprised with the direction that Michael’s took with Lucien’s despair. I thought it very brave to depict his reaction in such a manner because some people would see him as weak. I didn’t but there are still stigmas. Everything about Lucien was wonderful. Even angry and brokenhearted he is such a wonderful human being in how he treats Elise that I just wanted to hug him.

My sympathies were completely in Lucien’s corner and thus I was prepared to dislike Elise, but instead, I felt sympathy for her as well even as her motives remain murky.  She is a desperate woman and her situation is so untenable and it is imperative to remember how few choices women had in the past.  Elise is left with nothing else other than using her body to save herself.

These two are so desperate to be with one another even as they know it is hopeless.  I love the amount of angst and pain in this story because the darker the journey, the more beautiful the happy ending.  Both Lucien and Elise are put through the wringer in this book.  Even as the truth comes out, there is still pain and betrayal for the two to overcome.

In addition to the angst filled romance, I really enjoyed the interaction between all the prior series characters.  They have intriguing interaction among one another.  There is caring and anger and it is clear that Lucien and Elise are the pivot in this book with all these people.  I’ve liked these characters in the prior books and it is nice seeing them again in substantive ways.

Finally, there is a nice plot which motivates the actions of the characters. That story is clearly going to continue in the next book in the series (not the romance but the overarching plot) so be prepared to accept that when reading this book.

WORTH MENTIONING: Felicity is up next.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ONE SUMMER OF SURRENDER is the third book in the Seasons series.  This book can be read as a standalone although it has more power having read the other two books in the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.


Review: Blood Kiss

Review: Blood KissBlood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, #1) by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Legacy #1
Published by Signet on December 1st 2015
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 397

FINAL DECISION:  Loved this one.  The combination of the new adult/next generation type story with Paradise and Craeg and a revisit with Butch and Marissa both gave the story continuity with the Black Dagger Brotherhood and the freshness of a new series not dependent upon the overarching storyline of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

THE STORY:  Paradise, the only daughter of the vampire king’s First Advisor, should be living a cloistered aristocratic life, but she wants something more.  She has convinced her father to allow her to enter into the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s training problem to learn to protect herself.  Doing so goes against all sex and class expectations of Paradise.  The training is incredibly difficult both physically and mentally but also because one of her fellow recruits has caught her eye.  Craeg is from a middle class vampire family and has his own reasons from joining the program.  That purpose does not include getting romantically involved with Paradise.  But the heart wants what the heart wants.

OPINION:  I had expected that this book would exist in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world but would be almost entirely separate — wrong.  With the inclusion of the Butch and Marissa story, this book is very closely tied to the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The combination of these two stories give this book a closeness with the main series and yet also has a next generation feel.

Paradise and Craeg are clearly of a different generation than the characters in the BDB.  Their concerns, their values, their thoughts are shaped by the war with the Lessers including the large scale deaths of vampire families caused by them.  That event has changed the cultural values of these younger vampires.  Paradise is the perfect example.  Raised to be a pretty object, she is restless and wants something more than the life that she was expected to live.  More independent, more self-determinate, more willing to take on non-traditional roles and actions, Paradise is blazing her own trail and that includes finding her own male.  Craeg is of the working class generation (one we haven’t seen in the BDB).  He is now alone in the world after the Lesser attacks.  He is a natural leader and intends to use his training to get revenge for his family.  He doesn’t want any attachments which is why his fascination with Paradise dismays him.

I liked the different pace of their relationship as their concerns are more personal, more coming of age first romance type.  Their problems are quieter than the more angst driven BDB stories.  I enjoyed the change and I think their classmates also have interesting stories which bodes well for the future of this series.

WORTH MENTIONING:  The secondary story involved Butch and Marissa, a violent death of a female vampire that needs investigating, Butch’s issues with sexual roles of women, and Marissa’s dealing with her own past.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  BLOOD KISS is the first book in the Black Dagger legacy series.  This series is a spin-off of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  This series is still intimately connected with the Black Dagger Brotherhood even though its focus is on the new recruits but new readers could try this out as a first book.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.