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WitandSin

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: Wicked in His Arms by Stacy Reid

Wicked in His Arms - Stacy Reid

3.75 stars

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/01/review-wicked-in-his-arms-by-stacy-reid.html

 

A passionate artist ahead of her time meets her match in a seemingly glacial earl in Wicked in His Arms. The first Wedded by Scandal book, Accidentally Compromising the Duke, was one of my favorite books of 2016, so I eagerly dove into this story.

Livvie is a delightful heroine. She’s bold, outspoken, and completely out of place in society. Of course, this makes it difficult for her to find a husband and since her stepfather’s health is fragile her mother is pushing her to secure a future for herself and her sister. Thus Livvie ends up as a guest of Tobias’s mother who is to give her the polish she needs to catch a husband…and of course winds up in Tobias’s path. Tobias has the weight of his family’s name on his shoulders. With generations of scandalous earls tarring the family reputation, Tobias has taken the opposite path and is instead ice cold with no patience for tears or dramatics. Tobias wants a sensible woman to be his wife, a woman who is nothing like Livvie. Only he can’t stop thinking about her…

Livvie and Tobias’s romance is a rocky one to say the least. I struggled with Tobias’s character because he was hard to like. He can be cruel and deliberately embarrasses Livvie at one point. And he runs so hot and cold that I sometimes had a hard time understanding why she was falling for him. I struggled with rating this book because if Tobias hadn’t been the way he was, there wouldn’t have been much of a story. The conflicts are generally internal and the characters needed room to grow. But as a hero, Tobias wasn’t my favorite, even though I understood why he acted the way he did. It’s no spoiler to say that he redeems himself (what happily ever after would there be if he didn’t?), and I definitely loved the way in which he did. When he and Livvie weren’t fighting, they were fantastic together and the pages of the story flew by. I yearned to see more of that excellent chemistry, because when Wicked in His Arms worked, it worked really well. And even when I had problems with the characters, I still enjoyed Stacy Reid’s excellent writing.

Wicked in His Arms is the second book in the Wedded by Scandal series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Edmond and Adel (the hero and heroine of the first story) do briefly appear, but it’s the dark and mysterious Westfall who threatens to steal the page. I absolutely adore the Wedded by Scandal series and Wicked in His Arms definitely made me excited to see what Ms. Reid delivers next!


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.

Wit and Sin's Best Books of 2016

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/12/best-books-of-2016.html


Wit and Sin Best Books of 2016


My Top Sixteen Books of 2016

Note: My picks weren’t all published in 2016, but all were new-to-me reads for the year.
Also note: The books are alphabetized by author as I love them all equally.


Magic Binds Cover1. Magic Binds (Kate Daniels, Book 9) by Ilona Andrews
My Review | Purchase Link






Rock Chick Reckoning Cover2. Rock Chick Reckoning (Rock Chick, Book 6) by Kristen Ashley
My Review | Purchase Link




The Highwayman Cover3. The Highwayman (Victorian Rebels, Book 1) by Kerrigan Byrne
Purchase Link






The Hunter Cover4. The Hunter (Victorian Rebels, Book 2) by Kerrigan Byrne
Purchase Link






The Voodoo Killings Cover5. The Voodoo Killings (Kincaid Strange, Book 1) by Kristi Charish
Purchase Link




Fly with Me Cover6. Fly with Me (Wild Aces, Book 1) by Chanel Cleeton
My Review | Purchase Link






Duke of Sin Cover7. Duke of Sin (Maiden Lane, Book 10) by Elizabeth Hoyt
My Review | Purchase Link






The Study of Seduction Cover8. The Study of Seduction (Sinful Suitors, Book 2) by Sabrina Jeffries
My Review | Purchase Link






The Goal Cover9. The Goal (Off-Campus, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy
My Review | Purchase Link






Den of Wolves Cover10. Den of Wolves (Blackthorn & Grim, Book 3) by Juliet Marillier
My Review | Purchase Link






His Royal Secret Cover11. His Royal Secret (His Royal Secret, Book 1) by Lilah Pace
My Review Coming Soon | Purchase Link






His Royal Secret Cover12. 'Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick
My Review | Purchase Link






Accidentally Compromising the Duke Cover13. Accidentally Compromising the Duke (Wedded by Scandal, Book 1) by Stacy Reid
My Review | Purchase Link





 Her Naughty Holiday Cover14. Her Naughty Holiday (Men at Work, Book 2) by Tiffany Reisz
My Review | Purchase Link






The Perfect Fit Cover15. The Perfect Fit (Riley O’Brien & Co., Book 2.5) by Jenna Sutton
My Review | Purchase Link






Tied Score Cover16. Tied Score (Slices of Pi, Book 2) by Elia Winters
My Review | Purchase Link




My Top Re-Reads of 2016


Rock Chick Cover1. Rock Chick (Rock Chick, Book 1) by Kristen Ashley
Purchase Link




Blood Red Kiss Cover2. The Warlord Wants Forever (Immortals After Dark, Book 1) by Kresley Cole
My Review | Purchase Link
Note: This story is now available in the Blood Red Kiss anthology




Judgment in Death Cover3. Judgment in Death (In Death, Book 11) by J.D. Robb
Purchase Link

 
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Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/12/best-books-of-2016.html

Review: Stealing Taffy by Susan Donovan

Unwrapping Taffy - Susan Donovan

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/01/review-stealing-taffy-by-susan-donovan.html

 

Return to Bigler, North Carolina and see a former villain become an endearing, slightly daffy heroine in Stealing Taffy. Susan Donovan had an uphill battle turning Tanyalee into a heroine I could like. Tanyalee’s past and her treatment of others (especially her sister, the heroine of Cheri on Top) was despicable and there was no excuse for it. The newly-reformed Tanyalee in Stealing Taffy is a women who doesn’t make excuses for her past and is trying to make amends, and I actually liked her villain-to-heroine arc. The new Tanyalee is a bit out of her depth when she returns to her hometown, and I liked seeing her work on being a better person. Part of her efforts includes mentoring a troubled young girl, Fern. Fern and Tanyalee’s relationship was, for me, the highlight of the book. The two of them gave this book genuine heart and had it just been their respective journeys, I would have adored Stealing Taffy.

Where the story falters is the romance. Dante is an interesting hero with lots of potential, but we never go into depth on any of his issues. Because of this, he felt a bit cardboard, and this was a pity because Ms. Donovan tells us he’s a hero with issues of his own, ones that are passed over in favor of other storylines. Mostly Dante feels like a springboard for other characters (Tanyalee in particular) and plotlines to bounce off of. His relationship with Tanyalee is fluffy and fun, but there’s a real case of missed opportunity. I couldn’t connect with the characters and the romance felt superficial, so I was left wanting more. Stealing Taffy isn’t a bad book – it’s enjoyable, lighthearted entertainment – but the romance is missing heart. With a bit more depth, this book could have gone from ok to great.


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/2017/01/review-stealing-taffy-by-susan-donovan.html

Review: Unf*ck Your Habitat: by Rachel Hoffman

Unf*ck Your Habitat: You're Better Than Your Mess - Rachel Hoffman

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/01/review-unfck-your-habitat-by-rachel.html

 

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started Unf*ck Your Habitat. I’m someone who adores Marie Kondō’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up but finds it highly impractical for real life. The blurb (and, of course, title) for Unf*ck Your Habitat caught my eye, so I had to give it a try.

Rachel Hoffman has a friendly, no-nonsense writing style that makes her relatable from the start and is sure to set any reader at ease. What sets Unf*ck Your Habitat apart is that Ms. Hoffman recognizes that a large majority of people who are cleaning and organizing their space aren’t traditional homemakers. This book addresses a wide range of people, highlighting issues that arise for single people with full-time jobs, those with roommates, students in dorm rooms, people with mental illness or physical limitations, and so forth. I was impressed by the inclusiveness of this book first and foremost. Ms. Hoffman provides helpful tips for multiple situations and gives ideas on how to talk people should you require assistance. I have never before seen a cleaning/organizational book that addresses such a wide range of people who don’t live in the traditional homemaker model, and I really appreciated it.

Glossy magazine articles and idealized Pinterest home organization pins give the idea of a home that is just not attainable for most people. Ms. Hoffman’s 20/10 system (twenty minutes of cleaning and then a ten minute break) is modifiable for those who need it. Furthermore, her method of cleaning and organizing is one most people can adapt to their needs. In this book, there’s no shame in being overwhelmed and not knowing where to start. Ms. Hoffman’s tips and tricks keep you on-task and prevent you from getting worn out and giving up. All in all, I found Unf*ck Your Habitat to be an interesting, motivational, and – most importantly – practical book for a wide range of people interested in, well, unf*cking their home.


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/2017/01/review-unfck-your-habitat-by-rachel.html

Review: On Broken Wings by Chanel Cleeton

On Broken Wings (A Wild Aces Romance) - Chanel Cleeton

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2017/01/review-on-broken-wings-by-chanel-cleeton.html

 

On Broken Wings is a raw, emotional, utterly breathtaking romance. I’ve been eagerly anticipating Dani and Easy’s book since the first Wild Aces story, Fly with Me, and Chanel Cleeton did not disappoint. I smiled, I cried, and I loved every bit of this book.

I absolutely loved Dani and she just about broke my heart. She’s lost at the beginning of the story, her life shattered not just by the death of her husband or the miscarriage she’d suffered before that, but the way her life has broken apart around her. She was used to being part of a unit, and as a military wife her life was built around Joker’s career. Ms. Cleeton gives a compelling portrait of a widow putting her life back together, of how she handles grief and comes back to life. Dani is so strong, but the weight she carries threatens to crush her even as she works to build a new life. I loved that Dani felt real, that Ms. Cleeton managed to give her grief and struggles weight without dragging down the story. I especially loved watching Dani come back to life and fall in love again. It isn’t an easy to have a romance where the heroine genuinely loved and was loved by a good man and then falls in love a second time. Too often either her first marriage is glossed over or her new love doesn’t feel as powerful. Fortunately, Easy and Dani’s love story is as fantastic as I could have hoped for.

Easy grabbed my heart from the very first Wild Aces book and didn’t let go. He’s a cocky F-16 pilot with an easy charm, lethal sex appeal, and gorgeous looks, but most people don’t look beyond the surface to see the man within. Easy has a heart as big as the ocean and he’s so completely gone over Dani that it broke my heart. Her husband was one of his best friends and Easy never wanted either Joker or Dani to know how he felt. His guilt and his grief over the death of his friend make him want to put some distance between himself and Dani, but when she needs him he can’t help but be at her side. His love for her is selfless and beautiful, and I couldn’t put On Broken Wings down because I wanted to see that love returned.

The romance between Dani and Easy isn’t a smooth ride, but it’s a great one. Watching them go from friends to lovers was fantastic. While Easy has been in love with Dani from the start, obviously it’s not the same for her and I liked how their relationship developed organically. Seeing them handle the complications of their attraction to one another and their very realistic emotional reactions that sprung from the changes in their lives kept me reading late into the night. There’s no false drama in this book, only mature protagonists in tough situations doing the best they can. For all the emotional ups and downs in On Broken Wings, it’s a story of hope and finding love and happiness. The heartbreak is so worth it when the happily ever after is as amazing as Easy and Dani’s is.

On Broken Wings is the third book in the Wild Aces series, and if you don’t mind spoilers for Fly with Me and Into the Blue it can be read as a standalone (though you’d be missing out). Every book in the Wild Aces series has been exceptional, and On Broken Wings brings everything together in such a way that fans of the series are sure to have big grins on their faces by the end of the book. I loved everything about Dani and Easy’s romance; it’s one of those special stories that stays close to your heart.


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/2017/01/review-on-broken-wings-by-chanel-cleeton.html

Review: Her Naughty Holiday by Tiffany Reisz

Her Naughty Holiday (Men at Work) - Tiffany Reisz

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/12/review-her-naughty-holiday-by-tiffany.html

 

Her Naughty Holiday is one of my favorite books of 2016! Clover and Erick’s story has everything I want in a romance – it’s sexy, heartwarming, and genuinely funny. Tiffany Reisz has a gift for blending eroticism with snappy humor and she’s an author who is now on my autobuy list because of this book.

Clover is a hardworking businesswoman who built her own company from the ground up and has made a smashing success of it. But that’s not good enough for her family, who may love her, but who criticize Clover constantly, never seeing her for the amazing, talented person she is. All they can focus on is the fact that she’s not married and reproducing, and anyone with a family like that would be stressed about them invading their home for Thanksgiving. With a little push from her helpful teenage employee, Clover asks single dad Erick to be her fake boyfriend for the holidays, just so she can get her family off her back.

What starts off as a crazy plan turns into a very real, very hot romance. Clover is a fantastic heroine who deserves an equally fantastic hero, and Erick fits the bill perfectly. He’s a divorced single dad with a snarky environmentalist/neo-pagan teenage daughter (who is so funny she threatens to steal the show), a contractor with a business of his own, and is kind and sexy-as-hell to boot. I fell for him immediately. Clover has a few insecurities about her looks and Erick never dismisses them, but instead lets her know how gorgeous he thinks she is. I loved that both he and Clover were in their thirties and didn’t mind scars or the messiness of life. In short, Erick and Clover were so fantastic together that I couldn’t stop smiling whenever they shared the page. Their burgeoning romance is by turns sweet, erotic, and charming, resulting in a completely addictive story.

I cannot express how much I loved Her Naughty Holiday. It’s bright, energetic, has snappy dialogue and memorable characters, and is seriously hot. Make sure you leave yourself enough time to read this in one sitting, because this is a story that grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go. I cannot recommend Her Naughty Holiday enough – this is one holiday story I’ll be revisiting all year long.


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/2016/12/review-her-naughty-holiday-by-tiffany.html

Review: Marry Me on Main Street by LuAnn McLane

Marry Me on Main Street (Cricket Creek) - LuAnn McLane

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/12/review-marry-me-on-main-street-by-luann.html

 

Marry Me on Main Street is a super cute romance that’s sure to get you in the holiday spirit. LuAnn McLane’s eleventh Cricket Creek novel is a fast-paced, cheerful addition to the series and it’s a book that’s perfect to curl up with when you’re in the mood for something uplifting.

Danny is one of my favorite Cricket Creek heroes. He’s so kind, generous, patient, and warm-hearted that you wish he were real so you could snap him up. Danny’s biggest flaw is that he’s almost too giving, sacrificing his dream of woodworking in order to run his parents’ business and help his siblings run their own. Lately it’s been starting to wear on him and he feels like he doesn’t have his life together. For me, Danny’s internal struggle – whether to stay the course and not rock the boat or to go for his dreams – was the highlight of the book. It was relatable, interesting, and had me invested in the story from beginning to end. As for Susan, she’s a likeable heroine who is a little shy, somewhat insecure, and a bit slapstick klutzy. Susan didn’t grab my attention the way some other Cricket Creek heroines have, which was a pity because when I like a hero as much as I liked Danny, I want to be equally intrigued by their heroine. That’s not to say the romance was bad – far from it. After the first third of the book, Danny and Susan have a fast-paced, sweet romance. The only drama that comes in is manufactured by Susan, and it did make me want to shake her a couple of times. Given that Danny is the kind of hero who wears his feelings openly, Susan’s fears and avoidance tactics didn’t feel organic. Still, while I had a couple of issues, their romance is charming and lively for the most part, and by the end of the book the two of them had me grinning.

As with all of the Cricket Creek stories I’ve read, there’s a secondary romance, this one involving Susan’s friend and employee, Betsy, and the handsome former-lawyer-turned-deli-owner, John. Betsy and John’s romance was lovely and understated, but sometimes felt a bit too similar to the main love story. Both of them had interesting potential backstories that – had they been better fleshed out – would have made them shine and stand apart from the younger couple.

Marry Me on Main Street is a story of facing your fears and taking a chance on love. And what better, safer place can there be to do so than in Cricket Creek? The idyllic small Kentucky town is a character in and of itself in this series and it’s always a delight. If the town and its residents sometimes come off as too good to be true, then that’s okay. Once in a while it’s nice to take a break from the real world and enjoy something sweet, and Marry Me on Main Street fits the bill perfectly.


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/2016/12/review-marry-me-on-main-street-by-luann.html

Review: Wound Tight by Tessa Bailey

Wound Tight - Tessa Bailey

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/12/review-wound-tight-by-tessa-bailey.html

 

Wound Tight is fantastic! I’ve been eagerly anticipating Renner and Milo’s story and Tessa Bailey knocked my socks off with this hot-as-hell, completely addictive romance. The chemistry is sizzling, the dialogue is snappy, and I loved Renner and Milo so much that I wanted to re-read their book as soon as I finished it.

I have a soft spot for tightly-wound heroes with mile-high walls, and Renner fits the bill perfectly. He’s a workaholic who is dangerously close to working himself to death, a proud man who guards his heart and pushes people away before he can get hurt, and showing affection isn’t something that comes easily to him. Beneath all that he’s a man with a good heart who cares for people far more than he’ll ever let on. Renner broke my heart and made me melt more than once in Wound Tight. He isn’t easy to love, but damn if I didn’t love him.

It takes a hero with strength, determination, and optimism to get to the heart of Renner, and Milo is exactly that hero. Milo is coming to terms with his sexuality and he starts watching Renner closely as a way of trying to mimic his confidence. But the longer he’s around Renner, the more Milo finds himself attracted to the man. It’s impossible not to adore Milo. He’s giving, charming, caring, and takes no s**t from Renner. When he sees that Renner isn’t taking care of himself, he steps in and doesn’t back down at his boss’s growls. And when he comes out to Renner and asks him to help him become more confident in owning his sexuality, the two form an unlikely friendship…one that simmers with sexual tension.

The pull of desire between Renner and Milo is undeniably hot and every erotic encounter is hot enough to burn the page. That being said, it’s the emotional journeys Renner and Milo make that give Wound Tight its heart. The romance is the perfect blend of desire and genuine emotion and I loved watching these two fall in love and come into their own. It isn’t easy for Milo and Renner to get their happily ever after. Doubt, fear, and past wounds cause them both to make mistakes and inadvertently hurt each other. But Ms. Bailey makes every bump in the road worth it, as Milo and Renner simply shine on the page.

Wound Tight is the fourth Made in Jersey book, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Fans of the series will surely be charmed by the supporting roles some former Made in Jersey characters play, and the town of Hook itself helps bring the story to life. I finished Wound Tight wanting to go back and read the Made in Jersey stories that I missed…if I can let go of this book long enough to do so. Ms. Bailey definitely knocked it out of the park with her male/male romance debut. I loved everything about Wound Tight and can’t wait to revisit Renner and Milo again soon!


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/2016/12/review-wound-tight-by-tessa-bailey.html

Review: Duke of Pleasure by Elizabeth Hoyt

Duke of Pleasure (Maiden Lane) - Elizabeth Hoyt

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/11/review-duke-of-pleasure-by-elizabeth.html

 

Whenever I start an Elizabeth Hoyt book, I know I’m in for an addictive read with refreshingly original characters and Duke of Pleasure does not disappoint. Alf and Hugh’s story is exciting, sexy, and wonderfully unique.

Alf is one of Ms. Hoyt’s most unconventional heroines yet. Raised in the slums of St. Giles, she’s lived her entire life disguised as a boy, for both safety and survival. By day, she’s a teenage boy informant, one who has charmed me throughout a number of books over the course of the series. By night, Alf becomes the masked harlequin known as the Ghost of St. Giles, leaping over rooftops and protecting those in parts of London the law turns a blind eye to. It’s a precarious existence, and the necessity of constantly living in disguise is starting to wear on her. I loved Alf’s spirit, her exuberance when she’s high above the streets of London and her sauciness when she matches wits with Hugh. Her life has been a hard one and my heart broke for her when she allowed herself a few moments of vulnerability. Alf is an intriguing mix of cunning and kindness and one of my favorite things about this story is watching her take her chance at coming fully into her own.

No ordinary hero would be a match for Alf, which is why it’s a good thing Hugh is no ordinary duke. He’s the illegitimate son of the king and has spent a good number of years in service to the crown. His latest task – to take down the Lords of Chaos – nearly kills him and leaves his young sons orphaned when the Ghost of St. Giles swoops down to save him…before she kisses him. I loved that Hugh never looked down on Alf, that he treated her as an equal and appreciated her talents, even before he knew her full identity. It was a treat to watch Hugh come to know Alf as both the street urchin and the sensual masked hero. The dynamic between them in both instances is fantastic and their relationship evolved in a gracefully natural manner. Their love story is vibrant, sexy, and quite simply fun to read. I hated to put the book down because I was so enchanted watching them both find the love and acceptance they deserved.

The Lords of Chaos plot adds a dose of intrigue and danger to Duke of Pleasure, rounding out the story extremely well. The Lords of Chaos were first delved into in depth in the previous Maiden Lane book, Duke of Sin. You don’t have to have read that story to follow the events of this book (provided you don’t mind minor spoilers), though you would be missing out on a fantastic tale. I’m looking forward to seeing where this plotline goes next in Duke of Desire, as it’s clear the hero and heroine of that book (who you’ll get to know in this one) will be facing off against these villains as well.

The Maiden Lane series has been a stand-out historical romance series from the very first book, and Duke of Pleasure shows exactly why I find Ms. Hoyt’s world so engaging. The characters are unique, impeccably-drawn, and compelling, the romance is exciting and sensual, and the world comes alive on the page. I loved Duke of Pleasure and I can’t wait to read the next Maiden Lane story!


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/2016/11/review-duke-of-pleasure-by-elizabeth.html

Review: The Heiress and the Hothead by Sabrina Jeffries

The Heiress and the Hothead - Sabrina Jeffries

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/11/review-heiress-and-hothead-by-sabrina.html

 

Sparks fly when an English journalist hell-bent on mill reformation meets a spirited American mill owner in The Heiress and the Hothead. I’ve been waiting for Amanda and Stephen’s story ever since Sabrina Jeffries teased their attraction in The Art of Sinning and I wasn’t disappointed.

Amanda and Stephen are immensely likeably characters, and they’re both a bit unusual given the time period. Amanda is not your typical heiress, but rather an American mill owner. While visiting her brother in England, she’s determined to learn from English mill owners and find ways to improve her mill back home. Stephen, in turn, is the younger brother of a marquess and not at all the typical young lord. He’s a reporter determined to rattle cages and demand better and safer conditions for mill workers, and his passion for change makes him an endearing hero. He and Amanda have excellent chemistry and fit one another perfectly, but years of seeing mill owners abuse their power makes Stephen a bit too focused on his work and his cynical view of mill owners threatens to blind him to the fact that Amanda clearly isn’t like the men he reports on. Their passionate back-and-forth makes the pages of their story fly by, and I had no doubt that Ms. Jeffries would give these two a satisfying happily ever after.

The Heiress and the Hothead is part of the Sinful Suitors series, but can easily be read as a standlone. That being said, if you’re new to the series the supporting cast is sure to make you want to read their books – they’re just that intriguing. A vibrant hero and heroine who want to make the world better would be enough to make this story compelling, but Ms. Jeffries also weaves in interesting holiday traditions of the era. Add in a dash of sensual holiday cheer and this is one Christmastime romance that can be enjoyed all year long.


Note: The Heiress and the Hothead was originally published in the What Happens Under the Mistletoe anthology.

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/2016/11/review-heiress-and-hothead-by-sabrina.html

Review: School Ties by Tamsen Parker

School Ties - Tamsen Parker

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/11/review-school-ties-by-tamsen-parker.html

 

School Ties is a story I went back and forth on multiple times, making it a bit difficult to review. My indecisiveness on rating this book comes down to the fact that it’s a story broken into two distinct parts, one which I adored and one that my emotional reaction to was “meh.”

The first part of School Ties is simply fantastic. Tamsen Parker weaves an emotional journey, complete with forbidden longing, interesting characters, and a well-developed foundation for a future romance. Erin is a teacher fresh out of college when she starts working at Hawthorn Hill. She’s bright, enthusiastic, and just young enough emotionally that she’s taken advantage of and forced to face true heartbreak. As for Shep, he may only be eighteen years old and her student, but it’s been a hard eighteen years that has made him mature beyond his age. He’s smart, studious, a complete sweetheart, and protective to the core, making him easy to adore. He and Erin aren’t too far apart on the maturity spectrum when the story begins, but there are definitely still boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed and keep their relationship from ever going beyond the platonic.

It’s important for me to stop and note that everything is above-board when Erin and Shep are student and teacher. Though each of them suffers emotional angst, no lines are crossed. What we get is a gripping, tension-filled story that plays out over the course of their day-to-day lives. It’s a story of two people falling in love in a situation where they cannot and should not ever have a fully-realized relationship. I loved watching this journey and my heart broke for Shep and Erin more than once. In the first part of the story they are rich, dynamic characters and I was rooting for them to get the happily ever after they so deserved in the second part of the tale.

It’s in the second half of the story – where Shep returns to Hawthorn Hill, this time as a teacher – that things fell apart for me. Erin went from a heroine with personality to a rather limp noodle heroine who cried a lot. Shep, in turn, went from an interesting young man to a rather unmemorable Dom, and both of them felt a lot less mature than they did in the first half of the story. The mild BDSM elements felt forced and there was a blandness to their overall romance that left me disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the second part of the book isn’t bad; I just wanted more emotion, character growth, and passion that felt organic to the tale. But after such a great build up in the first part of the story, a rather lackluster second half left me more disappointed than if I’d been indifferent to the characters all along. School Ties may not have been all that I hoped for in the end, but I enjoyed the first half of the story so much that I’ll definitely be reading more of Ms. Parker’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.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/11/review-school-ties-by-tamsen-parker.html

Review: Hard Compromise by Samanthe Beck

Hard Compromise (Compromise Me) - Samanthe Beck

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/11/review-hard-compromise-by-samanthe-beck.html

 

Explosively hot passion meets a wealth of emotion in Hard Compromise. Samanthe Beck knows how to deliver captivating characters and red hot romance, and this second Compromise Me book has both in spades.

Ms. Beck writes some of the best heroes and Ethan Booker is a dream. He’s protective, caring, and knock-your-socks-off sexy. Despite having every advantage growing up, Booker has worked his way up to become sheriff. A supremely hot man with a heart of gold who is also a hard worker? I defy anyone not to fall for Booker. He may not be perfect, but he’s definitely the perfect hero you can root for. His Achilles heel has always been Laurie. He’s wanted her for years and the time has finally come for him to make his move. And when he does… Well, Ms. Beck cranks the heat up like you wouldn’t believe. But getting Laurie to give him a shot in the sheets isn’t Booker’s biggest problem. It’s getting her to trust him, to rely on him, and let down her guard that’s the true challenge.

Laurie is a heroine who grabbed my heart from the first. She grew up in a horrible situation, and though she has worked hard and become a successful baker and business owner in her own right, there’s still a large part of her that is trapped in the past. The invisible scars she carries have never been allowed to heal, which is one of the reasons she’s long resisted Booker. It’s clear that the two of them are great together, but their coming from such wildly different places makes Laurie fear she can never fit in to Booker’s life. Her vulnerability broke my heart and her fears made her make mistakes with Booker. When they aren’t giving into their mutual desire for one another their relationship is a rocky one. But Ms. Beck makes every bump in the road worth it, and I loved watching Laurie come into her own as she and Booker fall in love.

Hard Compromise is the second story in the Compromise Me series, but you don’t have to have read Compromising Her Position in order to enjoy it. However, if you hate spoilers there are some very minor ones from the first book, as Chelsea (the heroine) is Laurie’s best friend. All in all I adored Hard Compromise. It’s a fast-paced, engaging read with two strong leads I found impossible not to root for and a number of secondary characters that add humor and heart to the tale. I hope there are more Compromise Me books in the future, because I’m not ready to say good-bye to these fantastic characters.


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/2016/11/review-hard-compromise-by-samanthe-beck.html

Review: Archangel’s Heart by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Heart - Nalini Singh

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/10/review-archangels-heart-by-nalini-singh.html

 

Archangel’s Heart is a quiet, intense read that’s different – but no less interesting – than the powerful thrills of the previous Guild Hunter books. It’s been two years since the events of Archangel’s Enigma and the dangerous tide of power that is the Cascade has been put on pause. Everyone is in a holding pattern, and it’s putting angels, vampires, and hunters alike on edge. With tension at a breaking point, it’s almost a blessing when Raphael is summoned by the Luminata, an ancient order of angels who operate mostly outside angelic law. The Luminata have called the Cadre together to determine what to do about the archangel Lijuan’s territory. So it is that Raphael and Elena travel to the Luminata compound in Morocco, where soon they’re faced with the task of uncovering dangerous secrets that could forever change their world. Magic and mystery go hand-in-hand in this story as Elena searches for answers about her family history. The Luminata may hold the answers to Elena’s questions, but there’s something deeply wrong with these angels, and I loved watching Elena, Raphael, and their friends put the pieces of the puzzle together. What lies at the heart of Luminata I won’t say, but it is a mystery that leads to many small, intimate developments that carry great emotional weight for the characters we know and love.

There are a lot of reasons to love the Guild Hunter’s series, from Nalini Singh’s gorgeous writing to her incredible world building and more, but what makes this series special to me is the characters. In Archangel’s Heart the characters we’ve come to know and love continue to strengthen and evolve in beautiful ways. Elena and Raphael are the heart of the book and I loved seeing how they have grown as a couple. They’ve settled into their relationship and remain a dynamic couple that fit each other like lock and key. The story also allows other characters a chance to shine and I adored getting to know more about the other archangels and those who have accompanied them to Morocco. The Cadre is a powerful group and each member is both terrifying and impossibly alluring. Who knew watching angelic politics play out could be so compelling?

The strongest supporting role in this book is Aodhan – once the most withdrawn member of Raphael’s Seven – who joins Elena and Raphael on their journey. I’ll admit right up front that Aodhan is one of my two favorite characters in the series (the other being Illium), so I devoured every bit of new information about him. His past – even the glimpses of it we’re given in this story – is heartbreaking, but watching him slowly come back to life tugged on my heartstrings like you wouldn’t believe. Aodhan is quite simply a gorgeously-drawn character and the all-too-brief moments between he and Illium seethed with such intensity I had to stop and re-read them multiple times before continuing the rest of the book. There’s been much debate on whether or not Ms. Singh will romantically pair up Aodhan and Illium, and though I usually keep my ships out of reviews I will say that I’m firmly in the camp that hopes they will end up being each other’s happily ever after. There is such rich chemistry between the two that I find myself utterly enthralled whenever they share the page.

Archangel’s Heart is in many ways a bridge book that sets the stage for the action to come. It’s the calm before the storm (relatively speaking), but that doesn’t mean the story won’t engage you. Ms. Singh’s writing is top-notch, her characters unforgettable, and I finished Archangel’s Heart incredibly eager to read the next Guild Hunter novel.

Source: http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/10/review-archangels-heart-by-nalini-singh.html

Review: Den of Wolves by Juliet Marillier

Den of Wolves (Blackthorn & Grim) - Juliet Marillier

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/10/review-den-of-wolves-by-juliet-marillier.html

 

Den of Wolves is utterly enchanting. It features mystery, magic light and dark, hard choices, friendship, love, risk, reward, and a satisfying resolution to several series-long storylines.

Blackthorn and Grim are no strangers to the machinations of the fey, and this time they’re faced with a case of a strange young woman, a ruined house with the potential for magic, and a mysterious wild man who may be the key to solving the mystery of what’s wrong in Wolf Glen. To talk much about the story’s main case would be to spoil it. I will say that I loved the magical elements, how Juliet Marillier weaves different plot threads together into a compelling tapestry, and how everything comes together is incredibly satisfying. Blackthorn and Grim are forced to spend a lot of the book apart, which makes it all the more difficult for them, but it also gives them time to come to terms with their changing relationship. As much as I liked the Wolf Glen plotline, what really made Den of Wolves special to me was the continuing evolution of the two central characters.

Blackthorn is one of my favorite fantasy heroines. She has a strong will, is rough around the edges, and is as likely to snap at somebody as hold her tongue. But she’s also giving, caring, and possesses an inner warmth that hasn’t been snuffed out, even in the face of all that she’s suffered and survived. Blackthorn has been tortured physically and emotionally in unimaginable ways, but she still stands strong and fights for what’s right. Her thirst for justice has threatened to be her undoing more than once over the course of the series, and she has some hard choices to make in Den of Wolves. I have loved watching her develop as a character over the course of the series and this is the story that will make or break her.

If Blackthorn is the soul of the story, then Grim is its heart. The big-hearted man who is more than he sees himself to be grabbed my heart from the first Blackthorn & Grim novel, Dreamer’s Pool. Grim is a kind, honest man who would protect a stranger from harm, even at great cost to himself. He’s been through hell as well and has faced his demons, coming out all the stronger, though it’s a heartbreaking struggle for him still, especially when he doesn’t have Blackthorn by his side. He’s Blackthorn’s rock, and finally we get to see him take a brave step and risk changing their relationship. It’s clear Grim is in love with Blackthorn and has been for some time, but she’s got her walls up so high that for a long time she hasn’t been able to see what’s right in front of her when it comes to Grim. Whether or not the two friends become something more is a question that’s been hanging over readers’ heads for the entire series, and the answer is beautifully delivered in this tale.

Den of Wolves is the third book in the Blackthorn & Grim series, and I’d recommend reading Dreamer’s Pool and Tower of Thornes before diving into this story. The threat of Mathuin of Laois and Blackthorn’s deal with Conmael are more important than ever. Ms. Marillier has a lot to juggle in this story, but she does so with such ease and fluidity that I could not help but be enthralled. Den of Wolves may or may not be the final book in the Blackthorn & Grim series, and though I definitely want more, this is a wonderfully satisfying conclusion. Ms. Marillier has a deft hand with myth and magic, but it’s her characters who really make this series shine. I absolutely love Blackthorn and Grim and I cannot wait to revisit them again soon!


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/2016/10/review-den-of-wolves-by-juliet-marillier.html

Review: Ruled by Elle Kennedy

Ruled (The Outlaws Series) - Elle Kennedy

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/10/review-ruled-by-elle-kennedy.html

 

Elle Kennedy’s Outlaws series is raw, edgy, and seriously hot. In the increasingly dangerous world of the outlaws, the tension is high, passions run hot, and – in Ruled– three people who face death on a daily basis will have to be brave enough to risk their hearts for a chance at happiness in a world on the brink of war.

Reese is the queen of the outlaws; a strong, brave woman with a generous heart and a thirst for vengeance. She’s out to destroy the Global Council and their Enforcers who keep people under strict control. Anyone who lives outside their rule is an outlaw, and Reese will give everything she has to keep the men, women, and children under her protection free. But the burden she carries as a leader and the weight of the ghosts of her past are slowly crushing her. She’s increasingly tense and worries that the wildness in her will make her lose control, putting everyone at risk. I loved Reese for her incredible strength and quiet vulnerability. She’s a powerful, flawed heroine with a loving heart and invisible scars. It’s easy to root for her, even when she makes mistakes, because she’s such a well-drawn heroine, one who deserves to find happiness with the two men who would stand by her side if she would let them.

And speaking of those two men… Ms. Kennedy writes the best dirty-talking alphas around it’s double the fun in Ruled. Sloan is quiet and serious; Reese’s rock and right-hand man. He’s also head-over-heels in love with her and neither are willing to risk their friendship or dredge up the ghosts of the past by giving into their desire. It takes Rylan to push them both over the edge. Rylan is a cocky risk-taker who can always crack a joke, but to dismiss him as shallow would be a mistake. I’ve been waiting to see Rylan find someone who sees him more than a good friend with incredible skills in the bedroom and he finds not one, but two people to appreciate him for all that he is. As a trio Reese, Sloan, and Rylan are unstoppable. They strengthen one another because they know they can be vulnerable behind closed doors. Each of them learns to lean on the other and even though it’s a rocky road to happily ever after, their growing love for each other makes every bump in the road worth it. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that their chemistry is out-of-this-world erotic – be sure you prepare yourself for a filthy good time ;-)

Romance aside, I loved getting to delve deeper into the world of the Outlaws. It’d be a spoiler to talk too much about the developments that take place in the book, so I’ll leave it by saying that the outlaws’ burgeoning revolution continues to develop in exciting ways. I can’t wait to see what happens next and there are a couple of characters whose stories I am practically salivating for. The Outlaws series is insanely addictive and I finished Ruled both satisfied and hungry for more of this dark, erotic, dystopian world.


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/2016/10/review-ruled-by-elle-kennedy.html

Reading while in bed is bliss.