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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: 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.

Review: The Governess Was Wanton by Julia Kelly

The Governess Was Wanton (The Governess Series Book 2) - Julia Kelly

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/10/review-governess-was-wanton-by-julia.html

 

Mary Woodward is a highly sought-after governess with a talent for guiding her charges through the season and promoting good matches. Eric Bromford, the fourth Earl of Asten, is a father at his wit’s end and desperate for Mary’s services. Eric isn’t your typical lord. He’s widower and a doting father who cares very much for his daughter’s happiness, education, and general well-being. He simply cannot understand why Eleanora is suddenly unhappy and picking fights with him, which is when Mary enters the picture. Mary is quick to spot the problem – or rather the people causing the problem – in the earl’s life, but that isn’t what makes things complicated. Rather, it’s the attraction she and Eric feel toward one another that threatens to turn both their worlds upside down. A romance between an earl and his daughter’s governess is a dangerous proposition, but some passions burn too hot to be ignored…

The Governess Was Wanton is a delightful historical romance with a Cinderellatwist. This second book in Julia Kelly’s Governess series is fast-paced, sweet, and engaging, thanks mostly to the endearing lead characters.

It’s clear from the start that Mary and Eric make a great match. They’re both intelligent, hardworking, caring people and if it weren’t for the difference in their stations, no one would bat an eyelash at the two of them falling in love. But since this is 1850s London, the two of them are rocked by their initial physical attraction to one another. Eric is honorable to a fault and would never abuse his position of power by seducing Mary. For her part, Mary knows that to give into her desires would lead to her ruin. The sexual tension is electric, but it’s their growing emotional attachment and the way they come fully into their own in each other’s company that really sold me on their love story. Add in some fairytale villains and a lovely teenage fairy godmother and you have a solidly entertaining story. There may not be much that’s fresh or new about The Governess Was Wanton, but it is unquestionably entertaining. Ms. Kelly has a smooth writing style, the dialogue was excellent, and the characters made me smile more than once. I adored Mary and Eric’s romance from beginning to end and I’m looking forward to re-reading it in the near future.


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-governess-was-wanton-by-julia.html

Review: My Brown-Eyed Earl by Anna Bennett

My Brown-Eyed Earl (The Wayward Wallflowers) - Anna Bennett

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/10/review-my-brown-eyed-earl-by-anna.html

 

My Brown-Eyed Earl is a cute historical romance with potential. Anna Bennett’s debut, and the first in the Wayward Wallflowers series, has some sweet and humorous moments, but ultimately it’s a story that I wanted to like a lot more than I actually did.

Will and Meg are both lovely characters with good dispositions and generally good hearts. They’re not perfect and they make mistakes, but they’re solidly likeable and endearingly vulnerable at times, as are Will’s two charges. Will is a man who needs more purpose in life than rebuilding the family fortune and Meg is a heroine who is determined to save her family from the poorhouse by getting a job as a governess. It’s easy to see right from the beginning that Will, Meg, and the two girls would make an adorable family, but pride, class difference, and social snobbery stand in their way. Still, Will is attracted to Meg from the start. He likes her strong will and sees beyond the ugly dresses she wears, and I liked him all the more for appreciating Meg for her modern outlook. The romance moves at a quick clip, in part due to Meg and Will’s history (though there is a continuity issue in the book that made me uncertain as to how much of a foundation their relationship had before the story began).

Ms. Bennett has a lively writing style that shows a lot of promise. However, I confess I had a hard time remembering either Meg, Will, or this story a couple of days after I finished the book because it felt like I’d seen everything in this story a hundred times before in other historical romances. I actually don’t mind formulaic romances as a rule – so long as it’s a good formula, which it is – but there needs to be something about the story that stands out. All that was unique and memorable to me was one funny (if unimportant) moment involving a ruined dress. What I did remember the most about My Brown-Eyed Earl was that I was routinely drawn out of the story by the numerous historical inaccuracies. I’m more than happy to suspend disbelief and ignore convention in historical romance, but if a story almost entirely ignores the social norms of the time and the consequences of flouting them for the sake of the plot, then it’s going to lose me. There’s also a dreadful villain and a Regency “mean girl” who were so two-dimensional it pained me. Yet even with all these issues, I liked Ms. Bennett’s style and I was intrigued by both Meg’s friend, Charlotte, and her sister Beth. So while My Brown-Eyed Earl wasn’t quite my cup of tea, I am interested in reading the next Wayward Wallflowers book, I Dared the Duke.


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-my-brown-eyed-earl-by-anna.html

Review: A Fool for You by Katee Robert

A Fool For You (Foolproof Love) - Katee Robert

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/10/review-fool-for-you-by-katee-robert.html

 

Is love enough to battle the demons of the past? The answer isn’t an easy one in A Fool for You. Katee Robert wraps up her fantastic Foolproof Love trilogy with the couple everyone has been waiting for: Hope and Daniel.

Hope is a heroine who has suffered devastating loss: the death of her brother, a severe injury that shattered her dreams, and the abandonment of the man she loved when she needed him the most. She has not only survived, but has become a strong, self-aware woman that I respected. Though she loves Daniel still, she doesn’t let him or the ghosts of his past trample over her, but stands up for herself and her unborn child. Ms. Robert made it easy to root for Hope; you want her to get that elusive happily ever after because she’s a great heroine. Daniel has always been the love of Hope’s life, and even after moving on in the intervening thirteen years since she’s seen him, within a few minutes of their reunion all those old feelings come rushing back. An unexpected pregnancy throws them back together and makes them face issues that are long overdue. And though Hope and Daniel have explosive sexual chemistry, passion and even love aren’t necessarily enough to win the day.

Daniel himself is the biggest obstacle in A Fool for You. He’s trapped in the past, in the accident thirteen years ago that killed his best friend and permanently injured Hope. He’s wedded to his guilt, and I questioned whether or not he’d ever make peace with his past well enough to live a full life, never mind be the man Hope deserves. I liked watching Daniel slowly come back to life, but unfortunately his journey didn’t feel quite as satisfying as it should. He’s been living in the past for so long that his fixation on it and the setbacks he suffers are understandable. But the format of the story simply wasn’t long enough for his character arc to be satisfactorily resolved. With so much of the story focused on the erotic pull between Hope and Daniel, it felt like the book should be a bit longer to deal with the weighty emotional issues because the story had the potential to be great. Added to that, the resolution to the book’s central conflict felt abrupt (to the point that I actually double-checked to make sure somehow there wasn’t a glitch that deleted a few pages) and I wish there had been a bit more either in the main story itself or even in an epilogue to make me feel like Hope and Daniel had a solid future.

Even though I had a few issues with Daniel, I cannot deny that I found A Fool for Youto be an addictive read. I couldn’t put it down and I loved getting to see past Foolproof Love heroes and heroines play strong supporting roles. So while I wasn’t crazy about A Fool for You like I was for the fantastic first two books, Foolproof Loveand Fool Me Once, I still enjoyed it, flaws and all.


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-fool-for-you-by-katee-robert.html

Review: The Trouble with Mistletoe by Jill Shalvis

The Trouble with Mistletoe: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel - Jill Shalvis

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/09/review-trouble-with-mistletoe-by-jill.html

 

The Trouble with Mistletoe is like a great batch of Christmas cookies: sweet, satisfying, and impossible to resist. Jill Shalvis ups the charm by a thousand in this second Heartbreaker Bay novel. Keane and Willa’s romance is both naughty and nice, has scene-stealing animals, fantastic friendships, and, best of all, Ms. Shalvis’s signature blend of humor and heart.

Willa has a huge heart and loves animals, the troubled “kids” she watches over, and her friends with abandon. She also has been hurt in the past and is worried about letting a man – particularly a man like Keane – break her already bruised heart. It’s easy to adore Willa because she’s likeable, joyful, and exudes warmth. She’s the kind of character you wish were real so you could have her as a friend. As for Keane, he made me melt. He’s one hot builder, but at first glance he looks like a bad bet for Willa. He doesn’t form attachments and doesn’t look like the kind of guy who would ever settle down. But when you peel back the layers of his character, you’re in for a surprise. Keane’s heart is just as big (and bruised) as Willa’s and the more I learned about him the harder I fell. He and Willa are a great match, but their fears, beliefs about themselves, and their visions of how life and love should be threaten to get into their way. It’s easy to get caught up in their story because Willa and Keane are appealing characters with excellent chemistry. Their love story is fast-paced, vibrant, sensual, and fun, making The Trouble with Mistletoe an excellent story to curl up by the fire with.

The Trouble with Mistletoe is the second book in the Heartbreaker Bay series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Elle, Archer, Finn, Pru, Spence, and Haley – Willa’s close-knit circle of friends – all play major supporting roles and add a wealth of humor to this book. They bring the world of the story to life and add a lot of spark to the book, but they never take the focus off Willa and Keane, which I appreciated. All in all, I absolutely adored The Trouble with Mistletoe. It’s a feel-good holiday romance that’s sure to entertain all year ’round.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author’s marketing team 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/2016/09/review-trouble-with-mistletoe-by-jill.html

Review: The Goal by Elle Kennedy

The Goal - Elle Kennedy

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/09/review-goal-by-elle-kennedy.html

 

Tucker, a sexy-as-sin college hockey player with a heart of gold, meets his match in the brilliant, determined Sabrina in The Goal. Elle Kennedy is four-for-four in the Off-Campus series. Every single story has been fun, steamy, and utterly engrossing, and this book is no exception.

I defy you to read The Goal and not fall for Tucker. He’s a hero worthy of the name: warm, funny, protective, intelligent, and has a heart as big as Texas. I can’t count the number of times Tucker made me melt over the course of the story. He’s patient and kind and has gentlemanly manners plus a spectacularly dirty side. In other words, he’s the perfect hero, made even more so by the fact that Ms. Kennedy never made him seem like a cardboard picture of perfection. With a hero as endearing as Tucker, you have to have an excellent heroine to match him and Sabrina fits the bill perfectly. I absolutely adored Sabrina because she’s got a sharp mind, works so hard my heart broke for her, and has an unwavering focus on achieving her goals. She’s also flawed, deeply vulnerable, and only a man like Tucker could break down her walls.

Since it’s in the book blurb, it’s no spoiler to say that an unexpected pregnancy changes Tucker and Sabrina’s lives forever. Sabrina grew up in a horrible situation and is single-minded in her focus to reach her goals and find the security and success she craves. Finding herself pregnant threatens to bring everything crumbling down around her. What I loved about The Goal is – even though they’re both mature for their age – Sabrina and Tucker aren’t unrealistic and the choices they make and paths they take aren’t easy. I was cheering for them every step of the way, wanting them to beat the odds. This is a story of change, and it’s an exceptional one.

The Goal has a lot of heart and that’s what really drew me to the story. Of course, I also loved the sizzling heat between Sabrina and Tucker. Nobody writes a wicked hero quite like Elle Kennedy, and you can bet Tucker has a naughty side. He and Sabrina have explosive chemistry and the emotion and eroticism were perfectly balanced in this story.

The Goal is the fourth book in Ms. Kennedy’s Off-Campus series, and if you don’t mind major spoilers for the third book, The Score, you can read Tucker and Sabrina’s story as a standalone. That being said, you’re missing out if you skip The Deal, The Mistake, and The Score, because Tucker’s roommates and the women who love them are fantastic (and luckily for fans of the series, all play supporting roles in The Goal). I cannot say enough good things about Tucker and Sabrina’s book, and I fear spoiling the story if I go into any more detail. I will say that I was so captivated by this book that I was reading it late into the night until I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer, then finished it first thing when I woke up the next morning – Tucker and Sabrina are just that addictive. The Goal made me smile, sigh, and it definitely touched my heart. I highly recommend this story to any romance lover!


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/2016/09/review-goal-by-elle-kennedy.html

Review: Blood Red Kiss by Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter

Blood Red Kiss - Gena Showalter, Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/09/review-blood-red-kiss-by-kresley-cole.html

 

“The Warlord Wants Forever” (Immortals After Dark, Book 1) by Kresley Cole
Myst the Coveted is the most beautiful of all the Valkyries, the one her enemies have underestimated for centuries. Five years ago vampire warlord Nikolai Wroth made the mistake of doing the same and she left him in agony. Now he’s on the hunt to capture Myst and claim her. For she’s his Bride, and he won’t let the vicious woman who tempts him like no other get away from him again.

I fell in love with “The Warlord Wants Forever” a decade ago, and it remains a favorite of mine to this day! Myst and Wroth’s story is passionate, energetic, and captivating from start to finish. Not only is it the perfect introduction to Kresley Cole’s sizzling Immortals After Dark series, it’s an edgy, exciting paranormal romance all on its own. Myst and Wroth battle in bed and out and their chemistry is simply out of this world. Myst is sassy, fierce, and sometimes vulnerable, and it’s an appealing combination. Wroth is a hardened warrior who is her equal in every way, and he has his work cut out for him if he hopes to become the man – vampire – Myst deserves. Their romance is tumultuous and engaging and no matter how many times I read it, I fall in love all over again. Myst and Wroth are a dynamic pair and the world of the Loreans Ms. Cole has created is vibrant and wholly addictive.

Please note: This is a revised edition of “The Warlord Wants Forever,” but none of the changes to the story were substantive.


“Forsaken by Night” (MoonBound Clan Vampires, Book 2.5) by Larissa Ione
Vampire Lobo was exiled from the MoonBound Clan years ago for breaking the rules using his skinwalker abilities. He’s been a loner ever since, his only comfort being his wolf, Tehya, who he found twelve years ago. His not-quite-solitary existence is turned upside down when Tehya is injured. Lobo is willing to break every rule to save her, but what will he do when she transforms and the wolf he adores becomes a gorgeous, tempting vampire?

I can always count on Larissa Ione to deliver a unique story and “Forsaken by Night” definitely fits the bill. I absolutely adored this fantastic romance that has an unusual beginning. Watching Lobo and Tehya’s love go from platonic to romantic warmed my heart. Both of them have suffered and have been shaped by circumstance, but with each other they find love and acceptance. Their love story is one of risk and sacrifice, and when you add in the sizzling heat between the two vampires, a dash of humor, and the utterly fascinating world of Ms. Ione’s MoonBound Clan Vampires, and it’s easy to see why I found “Forsaken by Night” so appealing.

Readers new to the MoonBound Clan Vampires series can jump in with “Forsaken by Night” and not get lost. That being said, “Forsaken by Night” does contain spoilers for the first two books, Bound by Night and Chained by Night.


“Dark Swan” (Otherworld Assassin, Book 2.5) by Gena Showalter
Lilica was created and raised in a lab, and all that she has in life, all that she cares about, are her sisters. When she learns that Dallas Gutierrez, an Alien Investigation and Removal agent, is a threat to one of them, Lilica decides that she’ll stop him any way she can. Then something goes wrong – or incredibly right – and Lilica’s life is bonded to the tempting man who should be her enemy…

“Dark Swan” features two complex characters falling in love against their better judgment. Gena Showalter delivers an interesting pair in Lilica and Dallas. He’s an AIR agent who isn’t entirely human, and she’s a mix of numerous species with incredible abilities. Both of them have heartbreaking pasts and neither of them are quite what others believe them to be, so watching them come into their own was fantastic. Their bond is the catalyst for their change, but it also speeds up the process of them falling in love when all the odds are against them. It’s clear Dallas and Lilica are attracted to each other from the start, but throw in their sudden bonding and the sexual tension ratchets up a thousand percent. Add in some high stakes and tons of action with Lilica trying to save her sister and Dallas trying to save the world, and you have one exciting story.

“Dark Swan” is a novella from Ms. Showalter’s Otherworld Assassin series, but from my understanding Dallas is a supporting character who first appeared in her Alien Huntress series. Having not read either series, I can say you won’t feel lost jumping into “Dark Swan,” but at the same time it’s not as easy to become invested in the story when you aren’t really familiar with the world. There are also a couple of relationships outside the main romance that I felt I was missing out on the emotional impact because I wasn’t familiar with the characters. That being said, I did like the detail and was intrigued by what I saw in this story, so I’ll definitely go back to the beginning and start with Awaken Me Darkly, the first Alien Huntress book.



Blood Red Kiss features three passionate romances with wonderfully unique characters. Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter are all powerhouse authors and their talents are on clear display in this anthology. Whether you’re a fan of Mses. Cole, Ione, and Showalter or are simply looking to read some dark, seductive paranormal and otherworldly romances, Blood Red Kiss is sure to please.


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/2016/09/review-blood-red-kiss-by-kresley-cole.html

Review: Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

Magic Binds - Ilona Andrews

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/09/review-magic-binds-by-ilona-andrews_19.html

 

Battle and bloodshed are nothing new to Kate Daniels, but the stakes have never been as high – or as life-changing – as they are in Magic Binds. Kate and Curran are at their best when facing impossible odds, and that’s definitely the case in this fantastic, game-changing story.

All Kate wants to do is have a low-key wedding to the former Beast Lord she loves, gain control of her rapidly growing powers, and defeat her seemingly invincible father so that she and Curran can live happily ever after, only having to go after the average homicidal shifter or megalomaniac magical being. What she gets is a zealous wedding planner, a battle with her own dark side, and, worst of all, double-edged sword of a prophecy. Faced with two horrifying paths to take that will end in unspeakable losses, Kate does what she does best: aims to forge her own path, destiny be damned.

What I love about Magic Binds is how the story focuses both on the personal moments and the overarching storyline. Kate has to do battle not just with her father’s forces, but against herself and the temptation her growing power offers. Kate’s not perfect, and her flaws are what make her the perfect heroine. I love that it’s a struggle for her to stay herself when her own magic is what’s trying to push her in a different direction. If that wasn’t making her life hard enough, she’s got to change her fate and battle her father to do so. Roland – one of the most interesting, complex villains I’ve read about in a long time – throws a hell of a lot Kate’s way. Loyalties, friendships, and even Kate and Curran’s bond are tested and there’s no such thing as waving a magic wand to make everything better. The consequences of Kate and Roland’s actions are all too real, and I loved that the stakes were high and nothing was a guarantee. It’s difficult to talk much about Magic Binds without spoiling the surprises, because there are a number of fascinating twists in the story and each one is incredibly important to the tale. Suffice it to say that Kate Daniels fans are in for one hell of a ride.

Ilona Andrews really knocks it out of the park when combining action and emotion. But even with numerous heavy threats hanging over Kate’s head, the story never feels anything less than light on its feet. And fear not: Ilona Andrews’ signature brand of humor still gets its chance to shine. Kate’s highly unorthodox wedding planner still brings a smile to my face days after finishing the novel. In this story, the light moments and the dark are huge payoffs for readers invested in this series and I love seeing how everything comes together. My only complaint is that I now have to wait to see what happens next. I don’t know how many books are left in the series, but it’s clear that the countdown to the final battle is on and it promises to be one epic ride!


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/2016/09/review-magic-binds-by-ilona-andrews_19.html

Review: Playing It Cool by Amy Andrews

Playing It Cool - Amy Andrews

4.25 stars

http://witandsin.blogspot.com/2016/09/review-playing-it-cool-by-amy-andrews.html

 

Amy Andrews turns the heat on high in Playing It Cool! This second Sydney Smoke Rugby book is sexy, heartwarming, and features a hero and heroine who grabbed my heart from the start and didn’t let go.

Dex is a smokin’ hot rugby player who has worked his butt off to make it to the big leagues. He grew up poor and is holding tight to his work so that he’ll never go back. His determination fuels him day and night, which is why he wants to focus solely on rugby. Women are a distraction, but Harper hits all the right buttons for him. She’s a curvaceous Amazon who makes him drool, and when he sees her stepbrother insulting her about her weight, he can’t help but put the jerk in his place by asking Harper out. Harper is the kind of girl who has “commitment” written all over her, but what harm could one date do? Then he learns one date could never be enough, not with his impossible-to-resist attraction to her. I absolutely loved how Dex was head-over-heels in lust with Harper from the start. He appreciates all of her (not just her looks) and loves that he can be a normal person around her, not a sports star. That doesn’t mean Dex is a perfect hero. He screws up – badly – with Harper and puts his foot in his mouth more than once. Even so, I was rooting for him to pull it together, embrace life fully, and be the hero Harper deserved.

And speaking of Harper, she is definitely my favorite thing about Playing It Cool. I have a soft spot for heroines with body images issues, and Ms. Andrews really did a great job of making this part of Harper’s character without it defining her or overwhelming the story. Harper is a strong, talented woman with a big heart and a bit of a nerdy side. She’s got an absolute [insert your preferred curse word here] of a stepbrother and he and his equally wicked mother have been beating Harper down for years. Harper has confidence, but it does take hits, which I found realistic and only had me cheering her on more. I loved watching her come fully into her own over the course of the story. Harper doesn’t let herself be walked on and she’ll never settle for less than she deserves and that made her an absolute kickass heroine to me. And an awesome heroine like Harper deserves an excellent love story, and she and Dex have a red-hot one. The two of them own their sexuality and their chemistry is palpable – truly an excellent combination.

Playing It Cool is the second story in the Sydney Smoke Rugby series, but it can easily be read as a standalone (though you’re missing out on the fun if you skip Playing By Her Rules). I loved seeing more of the team and I can’t wait to watch more of those Sydney Smoke rugby players fall in love. All in all, I absolutely adored Playing It Cool. It’s fast-paced, hot, fun, and touched my heart at unexpected moments.


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/2016/09/review-playing-it-cool-by-amy-andrews.html