Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tempted by Megan Hart

This story was different from the usual erotic books. Anne and James are married and they are happy. An old friend of his named Alex comes home and stays in their house. Anne is "tempted" by Alex but she will be faithful to her husband. One night the guys get her into bed with the two of them. It changes all of them. Then Alex leaves and Anne and James need to rebuild what they have. Anne finally shows her hidden self to James. She is becoming more, more of her self.  Will they manage to stay together?

I liked this book but I don't understand why James brought Alex into their bed. Is there something more that he wanted from Alex? I am going to read Everything Changes (Alex Kennedy #1.5). I hope that will tell me something I don't know.

From the author:
I had everything a woman could want…
My husband, James. The house on the lake. Our perfect life. And then Alex came to visit. The first time I saw my husband’s best friend, I didn’t like him. Didn’t like how James changed when he was around, didn’t like how his penetrating eyes followed me everywhere. But that didn’t stop me from wanting him. And, surprisingly, James didn’t seem to mind.
It was meant to be fun. Something the three of us shared for those hot summer weeks Alex stayed with us. Nobody was supposed to fall in or out of love. I didn’t need another man, not even one who oozed sex like honey and knew all the secrets I didn’t know, the secrets my husband hadn’t shared. After all, we had a perfect life. And I loved my husband.
But I wasn’t the only one.
Excerpt:
The crackle of static and silence greeted me. Then, “Anne?”
I fended off my husband’s wandering hands. “Yes?”
“Hello, Anne.” The voice was low, deep, thick. Unfamiliar yet something about it made me think I knew it.
“Yes?” I said, uncertain, glancing at the clock. It seemed rather late for a telemarketer.
“This is Alex. How are you?”
“Oh. Alex. Hello.” My laugh sounded embarrassed this time. James raised an eyebrow. I’d never spoken to Alex. “You must want to speak to James.”
“No,” said Alex. “I’d like to talk to you.”
I’d already been planning to hand off the phone to James, but now I stopped. “You would?”
James, who’d been reaching for the phone, took back his hand. His other brow raised, the pair of them arching like birds’ wings. I shrugged and raised a brow myself, using the subtle nonverbal signals we’d forged as our private marital communication.
“Sure.” Alex had a laugh like candy syrup. “How are you?”
“I’m…fine.”
James stepped back, palms up, grinning. I cradled the phone against my shoulder and turned back to the sink to rinse off the dishes, but James nudged me aside and took over the task. He waved a little, shooing me.
Pages: 426
Published:  2008

Pie Love by Warren Brown

This is a really cool book. Only one thing wrong with it - it needs more photos! This is a great book if you are new to baking or an old hand at it. There are a ton of recipes for different kinds of crusts. Recipes for sweet pies and savory pies.  I am going to try a bunch of these recipes!

From the publisher:
In his fourth cookbook, Warren Brown takes on the illustrious pie. It was his love of apple pie as a child that sparked his interest in baking, and he has wanted to write this cookbook ever since he added pies to the menus in his CakeLove bakeries and saw his customers’ enthusiastic responses. Brown answers every baker’s questions about making the perfect pie and includes recipes that range from sweet to savory, mixing recipes for traditional fillings with fun, unique takes: blueberry maple pie, mango and strawberry tart, apple lasagna, shroom-ikopita, chicken potpie, Jamaican beef patties, and much more. Of course, piecrusts and cream pies are covered as well.


Get a "Look Inside" here.

Pages: 192
Published: 2013

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Letting Go by Maya Banks

Joss is a widow. Her husband, Carson, has been dead for three years.  It's time to let go. Joss needs dominance. Carson could not give that to her. So she has decided to visit The House - a dom/sub club in Houston. She goes there and sees her husband's best friend Dash. This is not good. They leave the club and go to his place. He tells her that he will give her what ever she wants because he has been in love with her since she met Carson. She decides she will be with Dash. Will it be what she wants and needs?

I liked this book but I did not feel a connection for the characters like I did in the Breathless trilogy.  Perhaps I will feel differently with the next book in the Surrender trilogy.

From the author:
n her sensational Breathless Trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks tested the boundaries of desire. In her new trilogy, there’s only one thing left to do:cross them. And never have the consequences of erotic exploration been so irresistibly inviting, so shockingly intimate, and so totally unexpected… Josslyn found perfection once, and she knows she’ll never find it again. Now widowed, she seeks the one thing her beloved husband couldn’t give her. Dominance. Lonely and searching for an outlet for her grief and wanting only a brief taste of the perfection she once enjoyed, she seeks what she’s looking for at an exclusive club that caters to people indulging in their most hedonistic fantasies. She never imagined that what she’d find is the one man who’s long been a source of comfort—and secret longing. Her husband’s best friend. Dash has lived in an untenable position for years. In love with his best friend’s wife and unwilling to act on that attraction. He’d never betray his best friend. And so he’s waited in the wings, offering Joss unconditional support and comfort as she works past her grief, hoping for the day when he can offer her more. When he finds her in a club devoted to the darker edges of desire, he’s furious because he thinks she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Until she explains in detail what it is she wants. What she needs. As realization sets in, he is gripped by fierce, unwavering determination. If she wants dominance, he is the only man who will introduce her to that world.  He is the only man who will touch her, cherish her…love her. And the only man she’ll ever submit to.

Excerpt:
Josselyn Breckenridge surveyed her appearance in the mirror, nervous even though no one would see her. Except Dash. She knew without confirming that he’d be here, just as he’d been here on this day for the previous two years, waiting to take her to the cemetery to visit and put fresh flowers on her husband’s grave.
The flowers were on the counter beside her, just waiting for her to pick up and carry out of the house. But she hesitated, because this year . . . This year was different. She was apprehensive and yet resolved.
She had to move on with her life. She had to let go. It hurt, and yet at the same time, it brought her a measure of relief, as if a great weight had been lifted from her shoulders. It was time. All she had left to do was visit Carson’s grave and make peace with her decision.
She smoothed her shirt and ran her hands down the legs of her jeans. Not what she normally wore to the cemetery on the anniversary of her husband’s burial. In the last two years, she’d worn black. It hadn’t seemed respectful to go casual, as if the visit wasn’t that important.
But she also knew that Carson wouldn’t want her to live like this. He’d want her to be happy. And it wouldn’t have made him happy to know she still mourned him so deeply.
With a sigh, she applied a light gloss to her lips and quickly fastened her long hair into a ponytail, leaving part of it loose in a messy bun.

This was the real Joss. Not fussy. More comfortable in jeans and a casual shirt than the expensive dresses and jewelry her husband had loved to spoil her with. Only underneath her clothing did she wear the sexy lingerie her husband had so loved to see her in.
She closed her eyes, refusing to look back, to remember how it felt when he touched her. How his hands moved over her body, knowing it better than she knew it herself. He knew exactly how to please her, how to touch her, kiss her, make love to her.
He’d given her everything she could have ever wanted. His love. His respect. Everything but the one thing she needed most, and it was something she could have never asked him for. She’d loved him too much to ever demand of him something he couldn’t give her.
She shook away the heavy veil of sadness, determined to get through the day and on with her life. Her new life.
Pages: 342
Published: 2014

Sweet Home Carolina by Patricia Rice

Amy is a textile designer. She also runs a cafe with her sister. Anne has made a lovely home for her husband, Evan, and their two children. But the mill where he is the CEO has failed. Evan left her and the children.  His excuse is he hates where they live and she is not a good enough wife. She manages to get the house in the divorce, which she now has to sell. Amy is trying to save the mill and the town. But another bid for the mill has come in to the bankruptcy judge. Jacques Saint-Etienne, a European, has come to North Fork.  He doesn't really want the mill. He just wants the design cards from when the mill was first started.  He makes historically correct reproductions.
He and Amy meet and they are meant for each other but she wants to save her town and stay. He lets her into his heart but he cannot stay in North Carolina.  He needs to run his business which is in Europe. Will they work things out?

From goodreads:
She dreams of creating a home sweet home–until a dashing stranger turns her life upside down.

Struggling to get back on her feet after a messy divorce, dark-haired beauty Amy Warren would love to purchase and fix up the historic cottage that has been her dream. But she needs something more than the meager income she earns running the kitchen at the Stardust Café, her sister’s country diner, to seal the deal. Perhaps Amy can help both herself and her beloved North Folk by somehow bringing the old textile mill back to life. Her ingenious plan, however, soon encounters a major obstacle.

That obstacle is Zack St. Etienne, an outrageously handsome European businessman, with loads of charisma and cash, who arrives in the North Carolina town with his own plans for the mill. Though Amy fumes at this unexpected intrusion, she cannot deny her intense attraction to Zack. He’s charming and smart, and even shows a fondness for her two young children. As this playful game of hard-to-get becomes a passionate love affair, Amy and Zack must clean out the cobwebs of their imperfect pasts so they can open their hearts to what just might be the perfect romance.

For a  "Look Inside", click here.

Pages: 364
Published: 2007

Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge Wrap Up

 Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
Reading Challenge Details:
  • Runs January 1, 2014 – December 31, 2014 
  • (books read prior to 1/1/2014 do not count towards the challenge). 
  • You can join anytime before 9/30/2014. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to read 10 romantic suspense novels.
  • Books can be any format (print, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length
  • as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • To join the challenge, grab the 2014 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge button 

My choices were:
10. Carolina Isle by Jude Deveraux

Carolina Isle by Jude Deveraux

Sara works for rich man in NYC. Ariel her cousin from North Carolina wants to meet Sara's boss. So she concocts a plan to meet R.J. and get him to NC. The plan is for him to check out an island off the coast for a friend. Ariel and Sara have switched places.  They look alike so much that they could be twins. David, Ariel's finace, RJ, Ariel and Sara go to King's Isle and get thrown in jail for hitting a dog with the car. RJ did not hit the dog. The poor dog was already dead. Why are the islanders' doing this to them? Just what is going on?
I really enjoyed this story. I liked the characters. This story shows that you cannot judge a book by it's cover!
From the author:
Ariel and Sara never imagined their high-spirited attempt to step into each other’s shoes would cause such upheaval. The lifelong pen pals, who look exactly alike, meet for the first time in their twenties and embark on a daring adventure of changing identities. Southern belle Ariel is determined to win the heart of a man who doesn’t know she exists, while Sara yearns to leave behind her hardscrabble existence and taste the good life that fate has denied her. But in pretty Arundel, North Carolina, nothing is as it seems — including the dangers that are closing in on their new dream lives, as the deepest of fears and darkest of secrets and betrayals come to light.

Excerpt:


Chapter One
“I will never marry David Tredwell!”
Ariel Weatherly looked in the mirror and rehearsed her speech to her mother. “I am twenty-four years old and I will choose my own husband.” No, she thought. That’s not right. “I have chosen the man I want to marry and I will do so.” Yes, better. Much better.
There was a soft knock on the door.
On impulse, Ariel messed up her hair. She liked what she saw.
“Come in,” Ariel said, and a maid opened the door.
“Your mother would like to see you downstairs.”
“Yes, of course,” Ariel replied with a sigh.
The maid looked behind her to make sure Mrs. Weatherly wasn’t nearby. “I like your hair,” she said, then closed the door.
Ariel grabbed her brush and smoothed her hair, then she smiled. She wasn’t sure yet, but she may have come up with a way to get out of marrying David, to marry the man she truly loved, and to keep from being disinherited. Still smiling, she left her room and started down the stairs. If only Sara would agree. She must! Ariel thought. If she doesn’t…
But Ariel couldn’t think of that now. She only knew that she’d use whatever means she had at her disposal to get her cousin to agree to her plan.
Copyright © 2006 by Deveraux, Inc.

Pages: 397
Published: 2006

The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Monroe

Marietta Muir, aka Mamaw, is turning 80.  She wants to gather her three granddaughters together for a celebration. Dora, the oldest, is in the process of getting a divorce.  Her husband left her and their autistic son. She lives close to Mamaw but rarely sees her. Carson lives in LA. She was working on a TV show as a stills photographer but the show was cancelled and she has given up.  Harper lives in New York.  She works for her mother in publishing. The ladies' father died several years ago.  He was an alcoholic and an otherwise useless human being. Carson was raised by him only because her mother died when she was 4.  Harper only met him once at Dora's wedding. The ladies all need each other but do not realize it.

I enjoyed this book a lot. I can't wait for the next one in this trilogy called Lowcountry Summer.

From goodreads:
Three sisters reunite on Sullivan’s Island off the coast of South Carolina after years of separation in this heartwarming first novel in a new trilogy from a beloved author.Eighty-year-old Marietta Muir is a dowager of Charleston society who has retired to her historic summer home on Sullivan’s Island. At the onset of summer, Marietta, “Mamaw,” seeks to gather her three granddaughters—Carson, Eudora, and Harper—with the intent to reunite them after years apart. Monroe explores the depths and complexities of sisterhood, friendship and the power of forgiveness. The Summer Girls is a perfect beach read and anyone who “enjoys such fine southern voices as Pat Conroy will add the talented Monroe to their list of favorites” (Booklist).

Excerpt:
The Summer Girls
© Copyright 2013 Mary Alice Monroe
Sea Breeze, Sullivan's Island
SC April 5, 2012 
My darling granddaughters-Dora, Carson, and Harper,
Greetings, my precious girls! On May 26 I celebrate my eightieth birthday-can you believe I'm so ancient? Will you come home to Sea Breeze and your old mamaw and help me celebrate? We will do it proper with a Frogmore stew, Lucille's biscuits, and most of all, each other.
My dears, like an overripe peach, I'm past my prime. My mind remains sharp and my health is good, considering. Yet, with an eye to the future, I've decided to move to a retirement community, and it's time to sort through all that I've managed to clutter my house with all these years.
And I've realized that it has been far too long since we've been together. I realize your lives are busy and your summers filled with engagements and travels. Yet-please say you'll come to my party! For the summer, if you possibly can! That is the only gift I want. I yearn so very much to share this final season at Sea Breeze with my Sum- mer Girls.
Yours, Mamaw  
P.S. This invitation does not include husbands, beaus, or mothers!

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Carson was sorting through the usual boring bills and circulars in the mail when her fingers paused at the thick ecru envelope with Miss Carson Muir written in a familiar blue script. She clutched the envelope tight and her heart pumped fast as she scurried up the hot cement steps back to her apartment. The air-conditioning was broken, so only scarce puffs of breeze that carried noise and dirt from the traffic wafted through the open windows. It was a tiny apartment in a two-story stucco building near L.A., but it was close to the ocean and the rent was affordable, so Carson had stayed for three years, longer than she'd ever lived in any other apartment.
Carson carelessly tossed the other mail onto the glass cocktail table, stretched her long limbs out on the nubby brown sofa, then slid her finger along the envelope's seal. Waves of anticipation crested in her bloodstream as she slowly pulled out the navy-trimmed, creamy stationery card. Immediately she caught a whiff of perfume-soft sweet spices and orange flowers-and, closing her eyes, she saw the Atlantic Ocean, not the Pacific, and the white wooden house on pilings surrounded by palms and ancient oaks. A smile played on her lips. It was so like her grandmother to spray her letters with scent. So old world-so Southern.
Carson nestled deeper in the cushions and relished each word of the letter. When finished, she looked up and stared in a daze at the motes of dust floating in a shaft of sunlight. The letter was an invitation . . . was it possible?
In that moment, Carson could have leaped to her feet and twirled on her toes, sending her long braid flying like that of the little girl in her memories. Mamaw was inviting her to Sullivan's Island. A summer at Sea Breeze. Three whole rent-free months by the sea!
Mamaw always had the best timing, she thought, picturing the tall, elegant woman with hair the color of sand and a smile as sultry as a low country sunset. It had been a horrid winter of endings. The television series Carson had been working on had been canceled without warning after a three-year run. Her cash flow was almost gone and she was just trying to figure out how she could make next month's rent. For months she'd been bobbing around town looking for work like a piece of driftwood in rough waters.
Carson looked again at the letter in her hand. "Thank you, Mamaw," she said aloud, feeling it deeply. For the first time in months Carson felt a surge of hope. She paced a circle, her fingers flexing, then strode to the fridge and pulled out a bottle of wine and poured herself a mugful. Next she crossed the room to her small wood desk, pushed the pile of clothing off the chair, then sat down and opened her laptop.
To read more, click here.
Pages: 387
Published: 2013