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Wit and Sin

My name is Kimberly and I'm the reader/reviewer behind Wit and Sin. Wit and Sin is a website that provides honest reviews and publicity. I primarily read and review Romance titles, but I also review Urban Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult, Mystery, and Non-Fiction titles. In addition to Wit and Sin, I am a reviewer for Joyfully Reviewed (pen name: Shayna) and Romance Junkies (pen name: Lily).

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Down for the Count (Dare Me Series, #1)
Christine Bell

Review: A Protector in the Highlands by Heather McCollum

A Protector in the Highlands - Heather McCollum

4.25 stars - Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Betrayed, sexually assaulted, and threatened by those of the highest power, Scarlet Worthington does the only thing she can do to protect herself: flee her home. With the help of her brother and sister, Scarlet has found peace, safety, and purpose in Scotland, where she and her sister are running the Highland Roses School. Scarlet is determined to never again be someone’s victim and she wants her students to be able to protect themselves as well. With her new brother-in-law away, the best candidate to teach Scarlet and her students self-defense is the oh-so-handsome (and stubbornly closed-mouthed) warrior Aiden Campbell. Scarlet and Aiden strike sparks off one another immediately, but each has a past that makes them wary of trusting the other. However, some passions are simply impossible to deny…

A Protector in the Highlands grabs your heart and doesn’t let go. Heather McCollum has delivered an emotional, satisfying romance with two incredibly strong leads who are impossible not to root for. Scarlet saved herself from a horrible attack once, but she knows she cannot rely on luck should she be threatened again. I loved her strength, spirit, intelligence, and her determination to learn how to protect herself. She’s clever in coming up with ways for her students to arm and defend themselves and by the end of the book I really wanted a pair of the hair sticks she designed. Her confidence has been badly shaken, but I really enjoyed watching her find herself again. As for Aiden, he’s a fantastic hero. He’s strong, protective, and handsome, to be sure, but what melted my heart was how he acted around Scarlet. He doesn’t even blink when Scarlet asks him to teach her and her students how to defend themselves, even when others are scandalized. He doesn’t know what happened to Scarlet in the past, but he’s always clear that he’ll never make her feel pressured or unsafe and that’s a sexy as hell hero right there. Aiden has ghosts of his own, ones that make him reluctant to trust his heart to Scarlet. But it’s clear that these two are made for each other and I just loved watching them fall madly, passionately in love.

Politics, intrigue, and danger are woven into the story, though to say exactly how would spoil the tale. I liked how these elements rounded out the story, slowly adding intensity until the action-packed climax. All in all, A Protector in the Highlands is a truly satisfying historical romance. Scarlet and Aiden make this story shine and their romance was wonderful to watch unfold. I cannot wait to see what comes next for the brave Highland Roses!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/11/review-protector-in-highlands-by.html

Review: When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

When All The Girls Have Gone - Jayne Ann Krentz

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Charlotte Sawyer isn’t one to take risks. But her calm, orderly life is turned upside down when her stepsister, Jocelyn, disappears and Jocelyn’s best friend turns up dead. Desperate to find her sister, Charlotte teams up with Max Culter, a former profiler turned private investigator. What the two of them don’t know is that they’re about to stir up a hornet’s nest. For there are secrets buried well over a decade that are about to be turned up. Secrets someone will kill to protect.

When All the Girls Have Gone is a fast-paced romantic suspense that keeps me entertained every time I read it. Jayne Ann Krentz deftly twines together multiple players, motives, and storylines and the result is an engaging mystery I loved watching Charlotte and Max put together.

At the center of the book are Charlotte and Max, and they’re the reason I find myself coming back to this book. They’re smart, likeable, and their flaws endeared them to me as much as their strengths. Charlotte isn’t bold and she’s definitely not a risk-taker, but she’ll take on everything thrown at her with aplomb because she’s got a huge heart and won’t let the people she loves get hurt. Max has an equally big heart and he’s working to rebuild his life after his career as a profiler crashed and burned. Circumstances throw Charlotte and Max together, but the two of them make a great team from the start. Though they do fall in love incredibly quickly and their love story is understated, they fit one another so well that their slide into love just worked for me.

When All the Girls Have Gone leans more toward the suspense side of romantic suspense. A murder and a disappearance are only the beginning of the mystery. Murder, drugs, rape, and long-buried secrets all come to light and the result is a truly engaging mystery. I honestly don’t want to say much because it would spoil the fun of putting together the pieces alongside Charlotte and Max. This isn’t a pulse-pounding thriller, but Ms. Krentz definitely keeps things moving at a good pace and even during re-reads when I knew what was coming I would get sucked into the story. All in all, When All the Girls Have Gone is a truly satisfying romantic suspense and a great start to the Cutler, Sutter & Salinas series.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/11/review-when-all-girls-have-gone-by.html

Review: The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

The Other Miss Bridgerton - Julia Quinn

Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed

 

Poppy Bridgerton is dragging her heels on the marriage mart.  She isn’t about to settle for just any man who asks her – only someone who can match her quick wit and will treat her as an equal could catch her interest and none of her suitors have even elicited the slightest glimmer of attraction from her.  Taking a break from London, she goes to the Dorset to visit a friend.  While exploring the coast, Poppy discovers a smugglers cave…which would be delightful if there weren’t smugglers in it when she did!  Resourceful as she is, this is one mess Poppy isn’t able to escape and she soon finds herself kidnapped and taken aboard the Infinity, to be presented to its less-than-pleased captain.

 

Captain Andrew Rokesby loves excitement, but a captive miss in his bed is definitely not the kind of thrill he seeks.  Andrew would like nothing more than to set Poppy free, but his duty to the Crown and the time-sensitive nature of his mission means the lady is stuck accompanying him to Portugal.  A battle of wills and words is about to take place on the high seas…the kind of battle that could cost both sides their hearts.

 

Oh, what fun The Other Miss Bridgerton is!  Julia Quinn’s characters are always lively and loveable, but there seems to be a special sort of magic to her work when the Bridgerton family is involved.

 

Poppy is cousin to Edmund Bridgerton (father of the original eight Bridgertons) and she’s as smart, curious, and sprightly as you’d expect her to be.  I absolutely adored her from the very first and couldn’t wait to see her fall in love.  Andrew is her match in every way; he’s charming, competitive, and bright.  I loved the banter between the two of them and really enjoyed watching them peel back the layers of each other’s characters.  Though their story begins in what both would consider less than ideal circumstances, it’s easy to see these two were made for each other.  In fact, had they met at an ordinary family event (quite possible since Poppy’s cousin Billie is married to Andrew’s older brother), you just know they would have fallen in love anyway.  But close quarters lead to a slightly less conventional love story and I loved watching their slow-burn romance unfold.  Add in a dash of adventure and what’s not to love about this book?  It’s a sparkling romance with good humor, endearing characters you can root for, and it’s so light on its feet that the pages of the story seem to fly by.  I absolutely adored The Other Miss Bridgerton and cannot wait to read it again.

Review: Kiss Me at Christmas by Valerie Bowman

Kiss Me at Christmas - Valerie Bowman

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Lady Regina Haversham has long been holding out for a love match. But as she nears thirty, her uncle is determined to see her wed. Regina knows she cannot put off her uncle’s chosen suitor forever, but she’s determined to at least have control over who she loses her virginity to. And there’s only one man she wants: famous Bow Street Runner Daffin Oakleaf. Though he’s tempted, Daffin turns Regina down. That would be the end of it, except it seems that someone is targeting Regina. With her cousin out of town, Daffin is the one tasked with protecting her. Close quarters have a way of bringing down barriers, but given the difference in their stations, Regina and Daffin will need a Christmas miracle to get their happily ever after.

Kiss Me at Christmas is a warmhearted, sparkling holiday romance. Regina and Daffin absolutely charmed me; they’re both incredibly likeable and they have wonderful chemistry. Regina is open, curious, and kind while Daffin is protective and devilishly handsome. Physically, intellectually, and emotionally Regina and Daffin are a match and their romance builds from flirty and sweet to spicy. Yet while it’s clear they’re meant for each other, class differences aren’t always easy to overcome, even if Daffin is close friends with Regina’s cousin.

The romance in Kiss Me at Christmas makes the pages of the story fly by. But the romance is intertwined with the mystery of who is trying to kill Regina. At first, I enjoyed this subplot and had my theories about who was behind everything. Unfortunately, a mystery needs to have a satisfying – or at least logical – conclusion and this one was both unsatisfying and seemed to come out of left field. It felt manufactured for plot reasons, which was a pity because Daffin and Regina are such entertaining characters that you can’t help but feel they deserved better. This isn’t an insignificant quibble, but I still honestly enjoyed this book anyway. There’s a buoyancy to Valerie Bowman’s writing that just lifts me up whenever I read her books and Kiss Me at Christmas is no exception.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/11/review-kiss-me-at-christmas-by-valerie.html

Review: Pirate’s Passion by Lisa Kessler

Pirate's Passion - Lisa Kessler

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

An immortal pirate turned rock star, a brilliant historian with a hunger for adventure, a quest for the Holy Grail… How could Pirate’s Passion not be fun? It’s Pirates of the Caribbean meets Indiana Jones with a healthy dose of romance and secret government agencies thrown in.

Samuel Keegan is a charming rogue who enjoys his immortality and an ever-changing stream of women in his bed. The threat of losing his immortality is only dimmed by the panic he feels at risking losing his heart to Dr. Charlotte Sinclair. Keegan has lost a woman he loved once, and he feels no desire to drown in that despair again. Only he can’t seem to help himself from falling for Char. She’s an expert on pirates and knows all about the crew of the Sea Dog who supposedly died over two hundred years ago. Keegan and Char click immediately and I loved their chemistry. How things work out when one is immortal and the other not, I won’t say. But I did enjoy the ride author Lisa Kessler took these two on. Keegan is the perfect fantasy of a pirate turned rock star. He’s a gentleman and a scoundrel, and who can resist that? Not me, and definitely not Char. She’s his match in every way and their romance was sexy one moment, fun the next, and melted my heart the moment after that.

Pirate’s Passion is the second book in the Sentinels of Savannah series but you don’t have to have read Magnolia Mystic to follow along. The ongoing search for the Holy Grail – the cup that gave the Sea Dog pirates their immortality – continues in this story and we also delve further into the world of the mysterious government agency, Department 13. The quest for the cup was exciting and I was completely invested in this storyline. The rest of the world building was where the story hit a bit of a snag for me. It wasn’t quite as exciting, perhaps because it’s explored from the viewpoint of the somewhat bland Agent Bale. There was also a case of a lot being thrown in to spur further stories, which did set up some interesting prospects for future books but also had the side effect of leaving the villains in this one somewhat underdeveloped. Still, I enjoyed Pirate’s Passion overall. Ms. Kessler knows how to deliver sexy pirates heroes and adventurous, interesting heroines. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next in the Sentinels of Savannah series.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/11/review-pirates-passion-by-lisa-kessler.html

Review: Picture Perfect Cowboy by Tiffany Reisz

Picture Perfect Cowboy - Tiffany Reisz

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Jason “Still” Waters is a retired champion bull rider who lives a quiet life on his horse farm in Kentucky. At least it’s a quiet life until he has to sub in for a friend and pose naked for a charity calendar. Jason’s already out of his comfort zone when he meets gorgeous photographer Simone Levine, but then she knocks him for a loop by bringing out the secret that he’s long been trying to hide. Jason’s a dominant, but his ultra conservative upbringing makes him ashamed and afraid to act on his fantasies. But with a little help from Simone, a professional submissive, Jason may just find the courage to embrace his kinky side.

Picture Perfect Cowboy is utterly divine! It’s sexy, sweet, and oh-so-much fun to read. Jason just about melted my heart. He’s not just a drop-dead sexy cowboy (though that doesn’t hurt), he’s kind, sweet, and polite enough to make you swoon. He’s also a man at war with himself. To call his upbringing strict would be an understatement and it isn’t easy for him to overcome that and accept that (1) he’s a dominant and (2) there’s absolutely nothing wrong or bad about what he enjoys. I loved watching Simone help him come into his own, to overcome what was drilled into his head and find joy with someone whose kinks complement his own.

As for Simone, she’s a delight. She’s bright, funny, generous, and open. She’s a vibrant heroine who lit up the page and I adored her from the very first. Simone loves Jason’s brand of dominance and she’s patient, honest, and open with him. She’s a wonderfully sweet and bubbly heroine who has a spine of steel. I loved watching her and Jason explore a master/slave relationship. They’re hot as hell together, but what’s more, they click on every level. They fall in love fast and hard and it’s easy to see why – these two are made for each other.

Picture Perfect Cowboy is part of Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners world, but it easily stands alone. But never fear: Søren and Nora do appear and they are a wonderful addition to this story whether you’re an old fan or are just diving into the Original Sinners. Every book I’ve read by Tiffany Reisz has been nearly impossible to put down and this book continues that streak. Her characters are always compelling and the pages of her books seem to fly by. If you love sexy cowboys, vivacious heroines, and a sweet but kinky romance, Picture Perfect Cowboy is the book for you!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/11/review-picture-perfect-cowboy-by.html

Review: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

The Proposal - Jasmine Guillory

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Jasmine Guillory is the master of meet-cutes. In The Proposal, a spectacularly awful proposal at a Dodgers game kicks off a sparkling romance between two smart, funny, endearing characters.

Carlos won me over in The Wedding Date and I couldn’t have been more excited for his book. Carlos has a huge and generous heart that made me sigh. And since the death of his father, he is extremely protective of the women in his family. He has a tendency to take over because he wants to take care of people, but to his credit he acknowledges this and works on holding himself in check. Carlos isn’t a perfect man, but he’s as close a knight in shining armor as possible without coming across as cardboard perfect. Nik doesn’t generally need rescuing, but even she has to admit she’s in over her head when her self-absorbed boyfriend surprises her with a proposal on the Dodger Stadium jumbotron. Escaping a stadium full of disappointed fans and a camera crew closing in is made a lot easier with the aid of Carlos and his sister. Nik and Carlos hit it off from the start, but having literally just ended a relationship Nik isn’t ready to jump into another. It was easy for me to fall for Nik. She’s smart, honest, witty, sarcastic, and independent. She’s also incredibly relatable and I had a blast reading about her.

Nik and Carlos’s romance is filled with humor and heart. Their chemistry is excellent and it made the pages of The Proposal fly by. As with The Wedding Date, this book features two people who are successful in their careers and both of them respect and value each other’s work, which I really enjoyed. The two of them fit one another like lock and key, but that doesn’t mean the road to happily ever after is an easy one. Nik has been hurt before so she guards her heart fiercely, not wanting to let herself fall for Carlos. As for Carlos, he has never truly dealt with the death of his father, a loss that has left its mark in unexpected ways. So while Nik and Carlos have no problem falling into lust, opening themselves up to love is another story. I won’t give away spoilers, but this is the one part where the story hit a big snag for me. I found Nik’s actions and reactions to be consistent all the way through the story, but Carlos takes a major left turn in character near the end of the book that felt manufactured for drama. This is a pity because it’s a clunky bit of false drama in an otherwise charming romance.

It’d be a crime to write about The Proposal and not talk about Nik’s two best friends, Dana and Courtney. They are both fantastic, fun, and exactly the kind of best friends you want to have. Though Dana finds love in this book, it’s not told from her point of view and I really, really hope Ms. Guillory gives Dana and her girlfriend (whose identity I won’t spoil) their own book or novella. And oh, do I have my fingers crossed in the hopes that Courtney gets a book. Courtney’s spirit and love of all things glittery (not to mention her cupcakes) made my heart sing and I desperately want her story. So while I thoroughly enjoyed The Proposal, it did leave me hungry for more of Ms. Guillory’s work.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward

Consumed - J.R. Ward

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

I’ve always found J.R. Ward’s books to be compulsively readable, so it’s no surprise that I was eager to dive into her new Firefighters series. Consumed sets the stage for what looks to be an interesting series of flawed heroes and heroines on the front lines of danger. It’s also a story I have a difficult time putting a rating on.

Let’s start with Anne Ashburn and Danny McGuire, our main couple. They’re smart but reckless, brave but deeply flawed. Danny is spiraling throughout most of this book (until he’s not) and I did like the level of realism Ms. Ward shows regarding the toll being a firefighter takes on a person. Anne isn’t exactly a likeable heroine, but – though it may sound strange – that’s one of the things I liked best about this book. Heroines like Anne are few and far between compared to their male counterparts and it was actually refreshing to see a heroine who is wounded, angry, and sometimes scared. Anne came into her own over the course of Consumed in an organic way and it was easy to become invested in her story. As for the romance, I highly recommend reading the two “Wedding from Hell” prequel novellas (“The Rehearsal Dinner” and “The Reception”) before starting this book. It’s no spoiler to say that Anne and Danny start out the book in love, but obstacles (some realistic, others that felt manufactured) keep the romance spinning its wheels for a lot of the story until the adrenaline rush of the finish.

Danny and Anne’s aren’t the only points of view in Consumed. There’s also that of Tom, the New Brunswick fire chief and Anne’s brother, and Vic Rizzo, a fellow firefighter from a different station. It’s not uncommon for Ms. Ward to have multiple points of view in her books and Tom’s scenes had the benefit of fleshing out the world and the Ashburn family, adding interest to the story, and generally making sure that I will stay on the edge of my seat, waiting for his book. As for Vic, he is probably the most likeable character in this book (aside from Anne’s awesome boss and Soot the dog), but his scenes don’t add much and I’m assuming they were included because he’ll be central to future books.

After an explosive beginning, Consumed slows down a bit, hitting its stride about three-quarters of the way through. A mystery stemming from Anne’s first case as an arson investigator builds over the course of the story. I enjoyed the danger and suspense and by the end I couldn’t put the book down, only to feel a bit disappointed that things were left hanging. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in future books, but the way things ended made this book feel a bit unfinished. Because this is the first book in the series, there’s a lot of world building and introductions. I was intrigued by the messy, hanging-by-a-thread firefighters even though they definitely aren’t your typical swoon-worthy protagonists. Most of them are presented as damaged with unhealthy coping mechanisms and a bizarre disdain for anyone even slightly younger than them (the last of which I only included because it felt shoehorned in repeatedly). They also tend to all talk alike, which makes sense on the one hand but on the other I feel like something is missing without defined voices. And it’d be remiss of me not to mention the scenes with the firefighters in action. It is clear Ms. Ward did her research and it shows really well, adding realism to the story.

Consumed is intriguing and flawed, just like its hero and heroine. On its own, I had some issues with the book but I think as the series goes on I will like it better as part of the whole. As it stands, Ms. Ward’s singular writing style pulled me in and I will definitely be back for more.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/10/review-consumed-by-jr-ward.html

Review: A Rose in the Highlands by Heather McCollum

A Rose in the Highlands - Heather McCollum

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

When Evelyn Worthington flees England and an unwanted suitor to start a school in her brother’s newly-purchased Scottish castle, she doesn’t expect to find the castle’s previous owner to still be living there! Clan chief Grey Campbell is dark, brooding, and determined to keep his place in Finlarig Castle, which he claims was unlawfully seized by the English. Evelyn isn’t quite sure what to do about the handsome, irritating man, but she’s not about to let him ruin her future…

Get ready for an entertaining battle of wills! A Rose in the Highlands crackles with energy thanks to the excellent chemistry Grey and Evelyn have. I adored Evelyn’s spirit and her determination to set up a school where girls can learn a host of skills from reading to self-defense. She’s an intelligent woman who won’t be cowed in a time where silence and obedience were demanded of her peers. And while Grey starts out as her enemy, it’s clear these two won’t be able to resist the pull between them for long. Grey has reason to hate the English. His parents were murdered, his castle seized, and he and his family and friends were nearly killed. So even while I was rooting for Evelyn to succeed in starting her Highland Roses school, I understood where Grey was coming from in the beginning. He’s a strong, proud man, but he’s also protective and caring. He and Evelyn make a great match and I enjoyed watching them fall in love. Add in secrets, conspiracies, and a healthy dose of suspense and you have a truly well-rounded story that’s incredibly difficult to put down.

Grey and Evelyn are the heart of A Rose in the Highlands, but the residents of Killin – not to mention Grey and Evelyn’s siblings – add further life to the tale and made me look forward to more Highland Roses School books. So while I finished A Rose in the Highlands a well-satisfied reader, I’m eager to learn Scarlet Worthington’s secrets in A Protector in the Highlands.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/09/review-rose-in-highlands-by-heather.html

Review: Hot Winter Nights by Jill Shalvis

Hot Winter Nights - Jill Shalvis

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

It’s never a bad time for holiday cheer, especially when you’ve got a story like Hot Winter Nights to read. Lucas and Molly’s romance is funny, heartwarming, and sensual. It’s impossible not to be swept away by this sweet confection of a tale.

Molly is a fighter. She’s got grit, strength, and a spine of steel and I loved that about her. As the office manager at Hunt Investigations, she knows she’s invaluable to the team. Yet she also knows she can and wants to do more, only her boss, brother, and the other members of the team are overprotective of her, in part because of the permanent nerve damage she has in one leg. But Molly is nothing if not clever and resourceful, so when a bad Santa case comes her way, she’s determined to take it on. She knows it isn’t safe to work alone, so she talks Lucas into helping her, not knowing her boss has already ordered him to keep an eye on her. Lucas is a hero you can’t help but love. He sees and respects Molly’s skills, knowledge, and abilities and even though he’s as protective as the rest of the Hunt investigators, he supports her in her quest to become an investigator. When it comes to his attraction to her, well, the sister of his best friend is off-limits. Except close quarters make it impossible for either of them to deny the pull between them…

Both Molly and Lucas have scars – physical and mental – from their past that make them put up walls around their hearts. Though it’s obvious to readers that they’re a perfect match, their road to happily ever after isn’t an easy one because insecurities and old ghosts aren’t easily overcome. Jill Shalvis perfectly balances their internal struggles with their otherwise bright and sexy romance and I was rooting for Molly and Lucas every step of the way.

Family and friends bring additional warmth and good cheer to Hot Winter Nights and Heartbreaker Bay fans will be delighted to catch up with past heroes and heroines (though if this is your entry into this series, you won’t be lost). I adore this series with its quirky, welcoming characters and the friendships add some sparkle to the story without detracting from Molly and Lucas. The only downside to this book is that I finished it incredibly eager to read the next Heartbreaker Bay book, Playing for Keeps, and that’s not a bad problem to have.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/09/review-hot-winter-nights-by-jill-shalvis.html

Review: Don’t Touch My Petunia by Tara Sheets

Don't Touch My Petunia - Tara Sheets

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Tara Sheets has the magic touch when it comes to sweet, utterly charming romances. I adored her first Holloway Girls book, Don’t Call Me Cupcake, and was pleased to find the enchantment didn’t wear off with Don’t Touch My Petunia.

Juliette has a magical connection to plants that someone with a black thumb like me envies. She’s vibrant and endearing, but she also had a vulnerable side that tugged on my heartstrings. Aside from her cousin Emma, everyone she has ever loved has left Juliette so she guards her heart fiercely. She relies on no one but herself, has walls a mile high, and is wary of change. Only someone like Logan could manage to scale those walls around her heart. Logan is the perfect hero without coming off as cardboard. He’s patient, kind, quiet, strong, and though he doesn’t take any flak from Juliette, he doesn’t scare easily when she resists change or her self-preservation instincts kick in and she tries to push him away. They have great chemistry that shows from the start as they banter and bicker, then slide into love. Their romance made me sigh more than once and there are so many sweet moments I don’t want to spoil by revealing. I really enjoyed watching them heal from the ghosts of their pasts with each other’s help and I liked them together so much that I hated having to put the book down.

A cast of lively secondary characters round out the book but never take the focus off of Juliette and Logan. I love the world of Pine Cove Island, the charm of the shops and the welcoming residents who each have their own fun quirks. I’m so glad Ms. Sheets will keep the magic going and give new Pine Cove Island resident Kat her own book because I don’t want to leave this place behind. If you enjoy sweet romances with a touch of magic, you’re sure to delight in reading Don’t Touch My Petunia.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/09/review-dont-touch-my-petunia-by-tara.html

Review: Hard Deal by Stefanie London

Hard Deal - Stefanie London

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

Hard Deal is so much fun to read. It’s both steamy and playful and the chemistry Caleb and Imogen have practically snaps and sizzles on the page.

To all the world, nothing can ruffle Imogen Hargrove. She’s smart, organized, and keeps her passionate nature tamped down. But beneath the surface is a woman who wants to live a more vibrant, sensual life. Imogen was badly hurt by her cheating ex-husband and it’s easy to see why the emotional scars she carries have heavily impacted her life. She’s a kind-hearted heroine who is easy to like, even when she makes mistakes to guard said heart. I really liked Imogen, so I was eager to see her come out of her shell. Caleb helps her do that by knocking her off her axis. He’s a swoon-worthy hero who is so much more than the playboy people know him as. Caleb is charming, good looking, and sexy as sin, but that’s only a small part of him. He made me smile with his rebellious socks and the way he could read people. But it tugged on my heartstrings to see the hidden, vulnerable part that feels unwanted and unloved by his father. He and Imogen both have ghosts in their pasts they have to overcome in order to open their hearts and have a shot at a real relationship. Yet while Imogen and Caleb have to work for their happily ever after, that doesn’t mean the road to it is lacking in fun – quite the contrary. Hard Deal is deliciously dirty and Imogen and Caleb are anything but shy when it comes to pleasure.

Hard Deal is the second book in Stefanie London’s Melbourne After Dark series but it can easily be read as a standalone. That being said, I will definitely go back and read Unmasked because I absolutely adore Ms. London’s writing. I’ve only read a few of her books, but the ones I’ve read are flirty, fun, and wholly addictive. Caleb and Imogen’s romance is no exception and I cannot wait to re-read it.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/09/review-hard-deal-by-stefanie-london.html
SPOILER ALERT!

Under His Kilt

Under His Kilt - Melissa Blue

DNF at 34%

 

**SPOILERS**

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I wanted to like this book, but it just bored me - even the smut factor wasn't very entertaining. I might have stuck it out, but 1/3 of the way in Ian tells Jocelyn about his dog that he loved. Sounds sweet, right? Nope. After reading about how much the dog loved him, Ian tells Jocelyn that he dumped the dog at a pound so he could travel. I have a thousand words for that kind of "hero" and none of them are nice. Needless to say, I have no interest in seeing Ian get a happily ever after so I tapped out.

Review: The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo - Kerrigan Byrne

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

A boy who is just becoming a man crawling his way out of a mass grave, barely clinging to life is not how you would think a great romance begins. But Kerrigan Byrne’s Victorian Rebels are anything but ordinary. The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo captivated me from the start as a teenage Lorelai rescues a broken young man with no name, no past, no memories. She gives him a name – Ash – and shows him kindness, gentleness, and love for the first time in his life. And when he’s torn from her, he takes a piece of her heart with him. Flash forward twenty years later and Ash is back, only now he’s the Rook, a man who has known nothing but blood, pain, and cruelty for years. The Rook wants to claim her for his own, but is there enough of Ash left for Lorelai to trust her heart to a pirate?

Lorelai is an incredibly endearing heroine. She’s grown up with an abusive monster of a brother and an indifferent father, but her strength and spirit shine through. She’s gentle and kind and loves rescuing and healing injured animals. How could she not melt your heart? Despite all she’s been through and the toll it has taken physically and emotionally, Lorelai never cowers. She’s got a spine of steel and she’ll need it to take on the Rook. Lorelai is the only good thing in the Rook’s life and he doesn’t want to let her go. Their romance is reminiscent of Beauty and the Beastand I adored watching Lorelai bring her Ash back out into the light. Don’t get me wrong – the Rook has plenty of reasons to be angry. But even at his darkest, it’s clear he loves Lorelai and I couldn’t wait to see him come into his own so they could find happiness. Ms. Byrne excels at delivering grand, passionate romances and Ash and Lorelai’s is no exception. I loved the emotion that leapt off the page; it kept me reading until I couldn’t keep my eyes open no matter how hard I tried.

A hunt for treasure with only the scarred remnants of the Rook’s dragon tattoo as a guide complements the romance perfectly. There’s action, danger, discovery, and betrayal and everything combines into a wonderfully satisfying tale. The treasure hunt also pushes our hero and heroine into the path of beloved characters who may hold the key to the Rook’s past. I was thrilled to revisit past Victorian Rebels characters and the multiple relationships woven into the book absolutely made my day when reading it. If I seem incredibly vague, it’s because I don’t want to spoil the story for readers who want to discover the Rook’s identity on their own.

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo is a gripping, emotional, sensual love story. Lorelai and Ash have fantastic chemistry and I loved every bit of their romance. My only complaint is that I finished their book wanting more of Ms. Byrne’s Victorian Rebels. This series is like catnip to me – I simply cannot get enough of Ms. Byrne’s dark and dangerous heroes and the strong women who love them.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/08/review-duke-with-dragon-tattoo-by.html

NightDrake

NightDrake - Lara Adrian

There was so much potential to the beings and the world Lara Adrian introduced in this short story. If it had been a full-length book, it might have been awesome. As it was, everything was rushed and shallow and the breakneck speed made the love story almost ridiculous. I'd love it if Ms. Adrian revised this and turned it into a novel one day, but as it is now I was let down.

Review: Magic Triumphs by Ilona Andrews

Magic Triumphs -  Ilona Andrews

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

The final battle is here. Everything the Kate Daniels series has been building up to comes to a head in Magic Triumphs, culminating in an awesome display of magic. Authors Ilona Andrews have perfectly balanced cinematic action with intimate, personal moments, resulting in a wonderfully satisfying story.

From her near-loner beginnings in Magic Bites to now, it’s been a hell of a journey for Kate. She and Curran have a family – both of blood and of their own choosing – that stretches wide across Atlanta. They want peace for their loved ones and safety for their son, but that’s not possible with Kate’s father, the godlike Roland, casting his shadow over the land and people Kate has sworn to protect. And when an ancient and powerful enemy comes to her door and the Oracle sees fire and blood in the future, Kate knows that she’s now in the countdown to the battle that could cost her all she holds dear.

Kate is as kickass as ever. She’s fierce, powerful, loving, and sometimes entertainingly out of her depth as mother to the rather unique (and scene-stealing) Conlan. Even with the stakes being so high, with the intensity that builds to a screaming point as you worry over the fate of beloved characters, Ilona Andrews never loses sight of the personal moments. It’s those moments that make Magic Triumphs a stand-out story. Don’t get me wrong – Ilona Andrews’ worldbuilding is seriously top-notch. The battles are epic, the threats intriguing, unique, and powerful, and the various relationships, alliances, and politics Kate has to maneuver are intricate. But for me it was the personal moments that locked me into the story, that reinforced who and what Kate is fighting for.

If you’re wondering why I’m not saying much about the plot it’s because spoilers are hard to avoid and I definitely don’t want to ruin this book for anyone. If you’re at all familiar with the Kate Daniels books (and you definitely should be before starting this story), you know to expect spectacular battles, complex plots, and multifaceted characters. It definitely wouldn’t be a finale without all the key players from past books having a role to play and getting time with Kate. Ilona Andrews has filled this world with unique, vibrant characters and I was thrilled to revisit my favorites and see how everything and everyone would come together in the end. Is Magic Triumphs absolutely, positively everything a fan of the series could want for a conclusion? Of course not. I’ve been invested in this series for over a decade and no matter how hard I tried not to, I came in with my own hopes and it’d be ridiculous to assume the authors could meet all fan expectations. But any issues I had were minor and I found this to be a supremely satisfying end to Kate’s journey. Magic Triumphs is brilliant, engaging, funny, intense, and wholly original. I cannot recommend it highly enough.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2018/08/review-magic-triumphs-by-ilona-andrews.html