Review: Secret Pleasure

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: Secret PleasureSecret Pleasure by Lora Leigh
Series: Bound Hearts #13
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on August 18th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 368
Goodreads
three-half-stars

“They were bound. She couldn’t break that bond, couldn’t escape it, now matter how she tried when her conscious mind ruled her.”

THE STORY: At age 18, Alyssa Hampstead is trying to get away from her overbearing mother and her political aspirations of her father. One night she meets Sebastian De Loren and his cousin Shane Conner. There is an instant connection between the three although Alyssa has no intention of getting involved with these two heartthrobs. The cousins want the beautiful young woman but know that they cannot hope to begin a relationship with her under the eyes of her parents. Instead, they plan on meeting up with her in Spain without her knowledge. The three begin an intense relationship that seems to be satisfying for all three of them, but one day they are torn apart by blackmail and threats. It is not until eight years later that the three come together again. The danger still remains, however, and this time someone may not survive.

OPINION: I liked the mystery in this story more than the romance. I was intrigued by the dangers that continued to threaten this trio. I also really liked the connection between the characters. It is not always easy to write a three sided relationship but Leigh has done this several times already. I didn’t feel that Alyssa’s connection with Shane was as well developed as her relationship with Sebastian. That diminished my enjoyment of this story because part of the trio didn’t seem as understandable. I did really enjoy the protectiveness that the cousins show Alyssa. The pain that all three of these characters endure because of their separation was well described and simply heartbreaking. This story is also pretty hot although I have read better ones by Leigh. Overall a good read but not the best of the series.

WORTH MENTIONING: Readers should be aware that this book features a MMF menage relationship.

FINAL DECISION: This was one of the Bound Heart series where the story was definitely more interesting than I expected. The mystery of who was threatening Alyssa kept the story moving. I didn’t find the relationships in this book as well developed.

CONNECTED BOOKS: BOUND HEARTS is the thirteenth book in the Bound Hearts series. It can be read as a standalone. Although I have read the first couple books in the series, I have not yet completed the rest and did not feel that I missed anything.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.

NOTE: I recieved an ARC of this book from Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to provide a positive review and all opinions contained herein are my own.

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three-half-stars

Review: Sacrifice

Sacrifice (Bound Hearts, #5) by Lora Leigh
Series: Bound Hearts #5
Published by Ellora's Cave on July 1st 2004
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 133
Goodreads
four-stars

THE STORY: Kimberly Madison has been hiding from her feelings for Jared Raddington for a year. The two are techically step-siblings, but since their parents married when they were adults, they did not grow up together. Kimberly’s father, however, seriously disapproves of Jared and the sexual lifestyle he leads which includes menages and other extreme sexual activities. Kimberly’s inheritance requires her to be a virgin and she is subjected to regular exams to confirm her virginity. Kimberly has no intention of getting involved with Jared when she knows that they have no future. Jared has wanted Kimberly for a long time and is done with waiting.

OPINION: This book is one of the most sexually adventurous of the series and includes Kimberly having sex with another man opening the book and includes the almost required menage. The story is frank and explicit and focuses on the sexual relationship. Because “typical” sex is off limits, this leads to more creative sexual experiences. It also leads the characters to talk more and develop their relationship in different ways. My complaint is that the situation itself felt somewhat contrived with too many obstacles in the couple’s path. I did like the resolution to the problem and felt that it really showed more character development than I had expected.

WORTH MENTIONING: The book opens with the heroine having sex with a man NOT the hero and also contains a MMF menage.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SACRIFICE is the fifth book in the Bound Hearts series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

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four-stars

Review: Wicked Intent (Bound Hearts, #4)

Wicked Intent (Bound Hearts, #4) by Lora Leigh
Series: Bound Hearts #4
Published by Ellora's Cave on April 1st 2004
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 140
Goodreads
four-half-stars

THE STORY: Tally Raines is a smart mouthed secretary with an adventurous sexual side. One person she doesn’t like, however, is her new boss Lucian Conover. The two strike sparks off of one another immediately. Lucian, however, has had his eye on the sexy Tally for a year and has been maneuvering his way into her life. Lucian and his fraternal twin Devril have plans for Tally. Truthfully, Tally cannot resist the two brothers so different in looks but bound together by complicated sexual needs.

OPINION: This is my favorite of the series so far. Menage relationships are difficult because often there is a stronger connection between one pair. Here, Lucian and Devril are two sides of the same coin and yet have distinct personalities that make them compelling and makes the relationship work between these three. Both Lucian and Devril have different relationships with Tally and that helps with balancing the complicated relationship. This book is erotica and it is hot, but the relationships and characters always have priority here.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a true MMF menage relationship.

FINAL DECISION: The complex and well balanced relationship between the characters makes this my favorite of the series so far.

CONNECTED BOOKS: WICKED INTENT is the fourth book in the Bound Hearts series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

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four-half-stars

Review: Seduction

Seduction (Bound Hearts, #3) by Lora Leigh
Series: Bound Hearts #3
Published by Ellora's Cave on September 1st 2003
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 99
Goodreads
four-stars

THE STORY: Jesse Wyman has wanted Terrie for a long time. The widow of his younger brother, Terrie was almost destroyed by her miserable marriage. Her husband, knowing that she had feelings for Jesse, tormented her with the idea that she was not woman enough for any man especially alpha male Jesse. Since his death, Jesse has tried to be a friend to Terrie, but he has finally reached the end of his patience. Jesse challenges Terrie to seduce him hoping that it will break her out of her cycle of fear.

OPINION: The relationship between Jesse and Terrie is the focus here. Although Jesse has a dominating sexual side, he is also kind and sweet to Terrie. That mixture is especially appealing here. Although the focus of the relationship between Jesse and Terrie is their sexual relationship, it is through this relationship that Terrie is healed of her self-doubt and the fears her husband imposed upon her.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book contains not one but two menage scenes — one FFM and one MMF.

FINAL DECISION: This book’s focus on the tenderness in the relationship between Jesse and Terrie makes it more than a hot sex book.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SEDUCTION is the third book in the Bound Hearts series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

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four-stars

Review: Submission

Submission (Bound Hearts, #2) by Lora Leigh
Series: Bound Hearts #2
Published by Ellora's Cave on July 1st 2003
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 83
Goodreads
three-stars

Sexy Erotic Tale of Pushing a Woman’s Limits

“He was her weakness.”

THE STORY: Ella Delacorte is a woman in her forties who is divorced. Her ex-husband had extreme sexual needs that Ella found distasteful and it ultimately destroyed her marriage. She also has had a thing for James Wyman for over 10 years. Despite the fact that he is younger than her and she knows that he has similar sexual tastes as her ex-husband, Ella has always been attracted to James while being repulsed by her ex-husband. James has finally had enough with waiting and has maneuvered himself into Ella’s house and hopes to bring their relationship forward.

OPINION: Primarily an erotic piece, SUBMISSION is focused on the sexual relationship between Ella and James. This novella benefits from the fact that there is more to their relationship than immediate sex. A reader needs to understand, however, that this is primarily a book about exploring sexual boundaries and therefore the focus is on the sex. It did feel a little repetitive, however, when compared with the first book in the series.

WORTH MENTIONING: Content warning for those who care: this book contains a MMF menage scene.

FINAL DECISION: I liked the story which seemed more substantial than the first book in the series, but ultimately the sex seemed less hot than the previous one.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SUBMISSION is the second book in the Bound Hearts series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

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three-stars

Review: Surrender

Review: SurrenderSurrender (Bound Hearts, #1) by Lora Leigh
Series: Bound Hearts #1
Published by Ellora's Cave on November 1st 2003
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Pages: 82
Goodreads
three-stars

Erotica Focused On Sex Rather Than Relationship

THE STORY: Tess Delacourte has wanted Cole Andrews for years but has no intention on surrendering to her desires. She knows that Cole has extreme sexual desires including sharing his partners with his friends. When Cole takes matters in his own hands, the question is whether Tess will surrender to her desires or lose Cole forever.

OPINION: This novella is focused primarily on the sexual relationship between Tess and Cole. He is domineering and demands that Tess surrender to him. At times it is almost non-consensual although it never crosses that line. I wish that the book had been longer with more about Tess and Cole’s relationship before their week together. There is little here to show that these two have any real chance at a relationship beyond their sexual antics. As a result, I found the sexual adventures to be sterile and cold rather than erotic.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book contains a MMF menage scene.

FINAL DECISION: I don’t mind books where there is an emphasis on the erotic sexual relationship, but this book had little to do with relationship and all to do with sex.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SURRENDER is the first book in the Bound Hearts series.

STAR RATING: I give this book 3 stars.

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three-stars