Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Always On My Mind by Jill Shalvis


This is Lucky Harbor #8. Leah is working in her grandmother's bakery. She is only home for awhile. Her grandma hurt her knee and needs time to recuperate. Leah is still fighting her love for Jack. She has loved him since they were children. He lived next door and knew how badly she was treated by her parents, especially her father. He has always protected her when he could. She has been there for him too, especially when his father died.
His mother has cancer. Leah told Dee that she and Jack were a couple, trying to make Dee feel better. But it was a lie. So they were supposed to be in a pretend relationship. But he loves her and she loves him and neither one realize it. When will they just be honest with each other?

One thing I love about this book was the personality of Jack's dog, Kevin. He is a Great Dane but thinks he's is a lapdog!

From the author:

There’s nothing like the real thing.
After dropping out of pastry school and messing up her big break on a reality cooking show, Leah Sullivan needs to accomplish something in her life. But when she returns home to Lucky Harbor, she finds herself distracted by her best friend, Jack Harper. In an effort to cheer up Jack’s ailing mother, Dee, Leah tells a little fib – that she and Jack are more than just friends. Soon pretending to be hot-and-heavy with this hunky firefighter feels too real to handle…
No-strings attachments suit Jack just fine – perfect for keeping the risk of heartbreak away. But as Jack and Leah break every one of their “just friends” rules, he longs to turn their pretend relationship into something permanent. Do best friends know too much about each other to risk falling in love? Or will Jack and Leah discover something new about each other in a little town called Lucky Harbor?
Excerpt:

Another firefighter stepped up to the griddle to relieve Jack who loaded a plate for himself and stepped over to Kevin. He flipped the dog a sausage, which Kevin caught in midair with one snap of his huge jaws. The sausage instantly vanished, and Kevin licked his lips, staring intently at Jack’s plate as if he could make more sausage fly into his mouth by wish alone.

Jack laughed and crouched down to talk to the dog, a movement that had his shirt riding up, revealing low-riding BDUs – his uniform pants – a strip of taut, tantalizing male skin, and just the hint of a perfect ass.
On either side of Leah, both Ali and Aubrey gave lusty sighs. Leah completely understood. She could feel her own lusty sigh catching in her throat but she squelched it. They were in the F-zone, she and Jack. Friends. Friends didn’t do lust, or if they did, they also did the smart, logical thing and ignored it. Still, she felt a smile escape her at the contagious sound of Jack’s laughter. Truth was, he’d been making her smile since the sixth grade, when she’d first moved to Lucky Harbor.
As if sensing her appraisal, Jack lifted his head. His dark mirrored sunglasses hid his eyes, but she knew he was looking right at her because he arched a dark brow.
And on either side of her, Ali and Aubrey sighed again.
“Really?” Leah asked them.
“Well look at him,” Aubrey said unapologetically. “He’s hot, he’s got rhythm, and not just the fake white-boy kind either. He’s also funny as hell. And for a bonus, he’s gainfully employed. It’s just too bad I’m off men forever.”
“Forever’s a long time,” Ali said, and Leah’s gut cramped at the thought of the beautiful, blonde Aubrey going after Jack.
But Jack was still looking at Leah. Those glasses were still in the way but she knew his dark eyes were framed by thick, black lashes and the straight, dark lines of his eyebrows. And the right brow was sliced through by a thin scar, which he’d gotten at age fourteen when he and his cousin Ben had stolen his mom’s car and driven it into a fence.
“Forever,” Aubrey repeated emphatically. “I’m off men forever,” and Leah felt herself relax a little.
Which was silly. Jack could date whomever he wanted, and did. Often.
Pages: 339
Published: 2013

Rapture In Death by J.D.Robb


This is In Death #4. Eve and Roarke are off planet at Roarke's new resort, Olympus Resort. They are in the last week of their honeymoon and are having a fabulous time when an employee comes to their suite to report he found his roommate dead. Eve investigates. The kid hung himself. Weird!
Eve goes back to work and catches a new murder/suicide. It's a lawyer that Eve cannot stand. He killed himself in the bath. But Eve knows that is out of character for him. What is going on? THe ME finds something hinky in his brain scan.

Then Eve is on the scene when another person attempts suicide. Cerise is on the roof and says she will jump. Eve can tell that something isn't right with her. Cerise almost takes Eve off the roof when she jumps. Eve has the ME look at the brain.

Mavis is in the middle of recording a demo. Leonardo and Jess Barrow, the producer/famous musician, want Roarke to throw a party for Mavis to introduce her to the public. They do and something bad happens. Then Eve starts figuring things out. Jess brags about doing things to the music to make people have certain reactions. Is he the killer? Who is messing in peoples' heads and why are they doing it?

From goodreads:

They died with smiles on their faces.

Three apparent suicides: a brilliant engineer, an infamous lawyer, and a controversial politician. Three strangers with nothing in common — and no obvious reason for killing themselves. 

Lieutenant Eve Dallas found the deaths suspicious. And her instincts paid off when autopsies revealed small burns on the brains of the victims. Was it a genetic abnormality or a high-tech method of murder? Eve's investigation turned to the provocative world of virtual-reality games—where the same techniques used to create joy and desire could also prompt the mind to become the weapon of it's own destruction...

Excerpt:

 CHAPTER ONE

 The alley was dark and stank of piss and vomit. It was home for quick-footed rats and the bony,
hungry-eyed felines who hunted them. Red eyes glinted in the dark, some of them human, all of them
feral.
 Eve's heart tripped lightly as she slipped into the fetid, damp-edged shadows. He'd gone in, she was
sure of it. It was her job to follow, to find him, to bring him in. Her weapon was in her hand, and her
hand was steady.
 "Hey, sweetcakes, wanna do it with me? Wanna do it?"

 Voices out of the dark, harsh with chemicals or cheap brews. Moans of the damned, giggles of the mad. The rats and cats didn't live here alone. The company of the human garbage that lined the sweating brick walls was no comfort.

 She swung her weapon, crouched as she sidestepped a battered recycling unit that, from the smell of it, hadn't worked in a decade. The stench of food gone over smeared the humid air and turned it into a
greasy stew.

 Someone whimpered. She saw a boy, about thirteen, all but naked. The sores on his face were festering; his eyes were slits of fear and hopelessness as he scrabbled like a crab back against the filthy wall.

 Pity stirred in her heart. She had been a child once, hurt and terrified, hiding in an alley. "I won't hurt
you." She kept her voice quiet, barely a murmur, kept her eyes on his, maintaining contact as she lowered her weapon.

 And that's when he struck.

 He came from behind, a roar of motion and sound. Primed to kill, he swung the pipe. The whistle of it stung her ears as she whirled, dodged. There was barely time to curse herself for losing her
concentration, forgetting her primary target as two hundred fifty pounds of muscle and mean sent her
flying to the bricks.

 Her weapon flew out of her hand and clattered into the dark.

 She saw his eyes, the glint of mayhem heightened by the chemical, Zeus. She watched the pipe raised high, timed it, and rolled seconds before it cracked against brick. With a pump of her legs, she dived head first into his belly. He grunted, staggered, and as he reached for her throat, she brought her fist up hard, smashing it under his jaw. The force of the blow radiated pain and power up her arm.

People were screaming, scrambling for safety in a narrow world where nothing and no one was safe.
She spun, used the impetus of the turn to deliver a roundhouse kick that shattered her adversary's nose. Blood fountained, adding to the sick miasma of odors.

His eyes were wild, but he barely jerked at the blow. Pain was no match for the god of chemicals.
Grinning as blood poured down his face, he smacked the thick pipe on his palm.

 "Kill you. Kill you, cop bitch." He circled her, swinging the pipe like a whistling whip. Grinning, grinning as he bled. "Break your head open and eat your brains."

 Knowing he meant it pumped her adrenaline to flash point. Live or die. Her breath came in pants, the
sweat pouring like oil down her skin. She dodged the next blow, went down on her knees. Slapping a
hand on her boot, she came up grinning." Eat this instead, you son of a bitch." Her backup weapon was in her hand. She didn't bother with stun. The stun setting would do little more than tickle a two hundred fifty-pound man flying on Zeus. It was set to terminate.

 As he lunged toward her, she hit him with full power. His eyes died first. She'd seen it happen before. Eyes that turned to glass like a doll's, even as he charged her. She sidestepped, prepared to fire again, but the pipe slipped from his fingers. His body began that jerky dance as his nervous system overloaded.

 He fell at her feet, a mass of ruined humanity who had played god.

 "You won't be sacrificing any more virgins, asshole," she muttered, and as that wild energy drained, she rubbed a hand over her face. Her weapon arm dropped.

 The faint scrape of leather on concrete alerted her. She started her spin, weapon rising, but arms
clamped her, lifted her to her toes.

 "Always watch your back, Lieutenant," the voice whispered just before teeth nipped lightly at her
earlobe.

 "Roarke, goddamn it. I nearly zapped you."

 "You didn't even come close." With a laugh, he turned her in his arms, and his mouth was on hers, hot, hungry. "I love watching you work," he murmured and his hand, clever hand, slid up her body to cup her breast. "It's... stimulating."

 "Cut it out." But her heart was thundering in reaction, and the order was halfhearted. "This is no place for a seduction."

 "On the contrary. A honeymoon is a traditional place for a seduction." He drew her back, kept his hands on her shoulders. "I wondered where you'd gone off to. I should have known." He glanced down at the body at their feet. "What did he do?"


To read more, click here.

Pages: 310
Published: 1996

Teaching Maya by Tara Crescent


I got this book for free on amazon, but it is currently $2.99. Maya has been in love with Ryan since she was 8 and he was 18. Now at 21, she decided she needs him to teach her about sex. She did not have a great sex life with her  boyfriend. Andrew said she wasn't very good.  It is summer vacation and she wants some fun. Ryan agrees but tells her he likes  - “I like to play hard, Maya. Whips. Canes. Handcuffs. If you want to play, you play by my rules.” So she agrees. 

She likes him and what he does to her, but she has fallen for him, hard. But vacation is over and the fling has ended. He made that clear, he does not do relationships. After a couple of really hard months at work, she gets two weeks off. So she runs to Paris to find Ryan. She has not heard a word from him since the summer. He is stunned to see her. They take up where they left off. He tells her it's only two weeks of fun. Can she really walk away? Can he?

I liked this book. The characters were realistic. The sex scenes were hot.

From goodreads:
***The perfect blend of bondage, dominance, submission and tender romance***

Unable to experience arousal or reach orgasm with her first boyfriend, twenty-one year old Maya feels like a freak. In desperation, she hatches a plan to seduce the best-selling author Ryan Clayborn during a two-week vacation, and have him coach her in bed.

Ryan sleeps with many women, but commits to none. He warns Maya that an affair with him would include whips, handcuffs and canes. But Maya is drawn to him as a moth to a flame…

Ryan’s control and dominance takes Maya to new peaks of arousal. But with time ticking on, will this affair end well, or will Maya end up broken all over again?


Excerpt:

Chapter 1

I had planned my seduction carefully. It was late at night. Ryan was alone at the pool - the rest of the clan had all gone their separate ways for the evening. I put on a bikini that was neither slutty nor unduly modest, but one that was both classy and that showed off my body to its best advantage. 
Unlike most women, I had no issues with my body. Unfortunately for me though, I had issues with sex. I didn't know whether my first boyfriend Anthony was a skilled lover or not, but when we made love, I felt nothing. I'd make the right noises, and move the right way, but inside... nothing. I felt like a freak, not knowing if it was him or me, and debating various ways of finding out, all of which involved breaking up with him, and taking another lover. 
In the end, we did break up. And it was okay. I was young and resilient, and he had never managed to reach that inner core in me. He was nice, but he wasn't necessary. 
However, I didn't take another lover. I couldn't really articulate why. I was young, rich and attractive; it wasn't like there was any shortage of available men. But the lacklustre sex had freaked me out. I didn't want to find out that it was my fault, and that there was indeed something seriously wrong with me. I hemmed and I hawed, and I threw myself into my work. 
In the year after I broke up with Anthony, I started hearing the stories. Women would walk up to me and ask if I knew Ryan Clayborn. I heard the giggles, the hushed chatter. Ryan was evidently very, very good in bed. Rumours would swirl about who his latest lover was. The tabloids would speculate, but nobody ever talked. Ryan never had any comment, and neither did his supposed dozens of lovers. Everyone speculated and gossiped, but no one knew. 
I don't know at what point I decided that I wanted Ryan to be my lover, and to coach me in bed. Without ever realizing it, I had become more and more anxious about my supposed sexual inadequacy. In my head, Ryan was the magic silver bullet - the lover who would cure my ambivalence towards sex, and make me whole. Post Ryan, I'd be normal, I could restart dating, and all would be well again. 
Kindle Edition198 pages
Published October 1st 2013

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Shiver of Light by Laurell K. Hamilton


This is Merry Gentry #9. I was really disappointed by this book. There was hardly anything new to the storyline except for the birth of the triplets and a death of a major character at the end. It was a rehash of the Fae politics - over and over - but I stuck with it to see what happened. Merry has triplets and they don't know who fathered the babies. The babies are special. I wasn't quite sure who was the father of the third child. It seemed like - ok I have written enough pages - let me quickly wrap it up.
They never even decided if they were going to do the reality show. Just a waste!

From barnesandnoble:
I am Princess Meredith NicEssus. Legal name Meredith Gentry, because “Princess” looks so pretentious on a driver’s license. I was the first faerie princess born on American soil, but I wouldn’t be the only one for much longer...
Merry Gentry, ex–private detective, now full-time princess, knew she was descended from fertility goddesses, but when she learned she was about to have triplets, she began to understand what that might mean. Infertility has plagued the high ranks of faerie for centuries. Now nobles of both courts of faerie are coming to court Merry and her men, at their home in exile in the Western Lands of Los Angeles, because they will do anything to have babies of their own.
Taranis, King of Light and Illusion, is a more dangerous problem. He tried to seduce Merry and, failing that, raped her. He’s using the human courts to sue for visitation rights, claiming that one of the babies is his. And though Merry knows she was already pregnant when he took her, she can’t prove it.
To save herself and her babies from Taranis she will use the most dangerous powers in all of faerie: a god of death, a warrior known as the Darkness, the Killing Frost, and a king of nightmares. They are her lovers, and her dearest loves, and they will face down the might of the high courts of faerie—while trying to keep the war from spreading to innocent humans in Los Angeles, who are in danger of becoming collateral damage.
Kindle Edition352 pages
Published June 3rd 2014 by Berkley

The Homecoming by JoAnn Ross

This is Shelter Bay #1. Sax Douchett is home from the war and the SEALs. His dog finds a human bone on the beach. He calls the police to report it. Kara Conway is the police chief since her father's death six months before. Sax had a thing for her in high school but she was with his brother's best friend Jared. Jared was a Marine and when he got out of the service he became a policeman and was killed in the line of duty. Kara appreciates Sax's physical attributes. They get involved after Sax helps to take care of her son. Then Kara is attacked after thinking that the bones may belong to a missing woman in one of her father's cold cases. Who is doing this? Will Sax and Kara find love?

I enjoyed this story. I will be reading the next one in the series.

From the author:
The Homecoming (formerly Ricochet)

Shelter Bay #1

Your first love never really fades away.
Former Navy SEAL Sax Douchett has returned home to the small coastal town of Shelter Bay, Oregon, determined to put war behind him and get on with his life—which is easier said than done when everyone is hailing the former bad boy as a local hero. Adjusting to a new beginning becomes even more difficult when he unearths a long-buried secret that, in turn, reunites him with a cherished part of his past that he’s never forgotten.
Drawn back into his life is Sheriff Kara Conway, his best friend’s girl for a long as he can remember---a girl who always held a special place in Sax’s heart. But as he cautiously reconnects with Kara and bonds with her young son, another long-held secret in Shelter Bay threatens their second chance at a forever-after love.

Excerpt:
Chapter One
Sax Douchett has heard about people who didn't dream.  Unfortunately, he wasn't one of them. Sometimes he even dreamed when he was awake. Like he might be doing now, as he felt a familiar prickling beneath his skin. Hair rose on his arms and at the back of his neck. A jolt of fight-or-flight adrenaline hit his bloodstream like a Patriot missile.

He bent over. Put his hands on his knees and drew in several deep breaths.

“You are not in the frigging Kush.” Sometimes saying the words out loud gave them more power.
When he’d been trudging through the snow up a steep Afghan mountainside with bad guys blasting away at him and his SEAL teammates, memories of home had kept him putting one boot in front of the other.The thick fog on this lonely stretch of beach he was walking on at sunset with his adopted dog turned ordinary things—seaweed, wind-bent cypress, stacks of driftwood—into shadowy objects of mystery. Unlike the placid blue waters of nearby Shelter Bay, the rocky Oregon coastline had claimed scores of ships and their crews over the centuries.

When he’d spent another six days all alone on those desolate peaks in the Hindu Kush, wounded, half out of his mind and presumed dead, anticipation for the Dungeness crab jambalaya he intended to fill up on once he got stateside had kept him battling the Taliban assassins sent to finish him off.
And during that lost time when he’d been held prisoner in an enemy village, fantasies of sitting on the porch of the cliff house, an icy bottle of Doryman’s Dark Ale in his hand, listening to the rain on the roof, had kept him sane.

After a few frustrating weeks held prisoner again—this time in Bethesda Naval Hospital—like Odysseus, he’d finally made his way home. Physically healthy and, well, mostly sane.
And determined to put war behind him and get on with his life. Which was turning out to be a lot easier said than done. Especially with this weekend’s damn welcome-home parade the Shelter Bay council and local VFW chapter had planned.

Although everyone in town might have insisted on elevating him onto some gleaming marble pedestal, if there was one thing Sax knew he wasn’t, it was a hero.

“Maybe I’ll get to kiss me a beauty queen,” he said, trying to find something positive about the experience he knew would mean a lot to his parents. Which was the only reason he’d agreed to go along with a celebration that, if reports were true, and he feared they were, was threatening to outdo the annual Whale Watch Weekend and Kites and Crab Fest combined. “That might be cool.”
It had been an age since Sax had kissed any woman. Let alone a current Miss Shelter Bay, who’d been crowned during a Whale Watch Weekend he’d had to miss. Given that he’d been tied up. Literally.
Just happy to be along for her evening walk, the Irish wolfhound mix he’d named Velcro answered with an enthusiastic bark that startled a heron that had been wading along the tide line, causing the bird to disappear into the fog with a flurry of wide blue wings.
The home he’d grown up in—located over Bon Temps, his parents’ sprawling Cajun restaurant and dance hall—had taken a hit two years ago by a vicious winter ice storm. Two months later, it was given a knockout blow when hurricane-force winds triggered by a Pacific typhoon came barreling through. Which was when Maureen and Lucien Douchett had thrown in the towel and retired.
Sort of.
Currently they were running a bait shop on the harbor and seemed content with how things had turned out. Mostly, Sax thought, because they were so content with each other. They were also proud. And stubborn. It had taken every ounce of Sax’s considerable powers of persuasion to talk them into accepting the money to build a new house in town.


Pages: 377
Published: 2010

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong


This is the first book in the Darkness Rising series. Maya lives in a small town on Vancouver Island, BC. Her best friend Serena drowned last year. She and her other BF Daniel, have not gotten over it yet. She has an affinity for animals, especially cougars. She can heal hurt animals too. A couple of times she has had visions while touching a marten. What is happening?
Maya has a paw print shaped birthmark. She wants to tattoo it for her 16th birthday. Her mom takes her to a tattoo shop but she has a run-in with the artist's aunt. She tells Maya that she is a witch. What?? Rafe, a new boy at school, starts coming around Maya. She lets her guard down and starts to like him. But he has a secret to tell her. Will she like it?
Their town was built around a secret research facility. A woman comes to town and starts nosing around the teens.  Maya and Daniel find the body of this woman. they thought she could help them find out something Serena's death.
Now the town seems to be in danger, but from whom??

From the author:
Maya lives in a small medical-research town on Vancouver Island. How small? You can’t find it on the map. It has less than two-hundred people, and her school has only sixty-eight students–for every grade from kindergarten to twelve.
Now, strange things are happening in this claustrophobic town, and Maya’s determined to get to the bottom of them. First, the captain of the swim team drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. A year later, mountain lions start appearing around Maya’s home, and they won’t go away. Her best friend, Daniel, starts experiencing “bad vibes” about certain people and things. It does’t help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret…and he’s interested in one special part of Maya’s anatomy: Her paw-print birthmark.

To read an excerpt, click here.

Pages: 359
Published: 2011

Breathless by Eve Carter



I got this one for free on amazon. It's the first book in the Jesse series. Jesse is motorcycle racer but he got hurt and is recovery. But he is a mess, too much drinking, drugging and sexing. His brother tells him he has had enough and strongly suggests that Jesse go to California and live with their uncle for awhile. He does. He meets a woman named Niki and falls for her. But Niki is not available. She has a boyfriend that is controlling just like her father. Jason works for her father too. They are lawyers and want Niki to be a lawyer too but she wants to go to fashion design school. When Jason finds out about it he belittles her and tells her that she will forget about this and move in with him. She breaks up with him. Jesse moves right in but after about a week Niki realizes he has an anger problem. Eventually, they work it out but a big problem has just come up in Jesse's life.

I liked this story. This kid has some heavy duty problems. I don't know if the love from a good woman will help him. I think he needs some therapy.

From amazon:
** USA TODAY & NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! **

"Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." 
A New Adult Romance Novel. (246 pages)

Bad boy
 professional Motocross rider, Jesse Morrison, knows how to leave an impression. Except lately, it has mostly been bad impressions. Frustrated and wounded, he surrounds himself with women, booze and drugs. After getting kicked out of his brother's house, he relocates to California for the summer to crash at his uncle's place. 

In Santa Monica, Jesse meets the one woman who can lead him back on the right path, beautiful twenty-two year old, Niki Milani. Only one problem; she is not interested. Niki has her own demons to fight. A past that left her emotionally abandoned by her own blood, her father. She keeps her heart guarded and finds it difficult to trust a man again. Especially not a bad boy player who is more messed up than she. However, Jesse never backs down from a challenge. Armed with a sizzling attraction, he is determined to prove to Niki that there is more to him than what appears on the surface. That he is the one who can heal her heart.

"Breathless" is Book 1 of this New Adult Romance series. The next book, "Fearless" is available now.

The story of Jesse and Niki is a New Adult Romance that will leave you breathless.
*This book contains adult situations and explicit content. 17+*


Read an excerpt here. I am not putting it on my page due to language.

Kindle Edition246 pages
Published June 18th 2013 by Carter Publishing House