Sunday, September 21, 2014

SUNNY - ARC REVIEW: Broken by Laura Wright

Book 2 in the Cavanaugh  Brothers series
by Laura Wright

For years, James Cavanaugh has traveled the world as a horse whisperer, but even the millions he’s earned hasn’t healed the pain he hides behind his stoic exterior. Forced to tackle old demons at the ranch, James throws himself into work to avoid his true feelings. Until he meets a woman who shakes the foundations of his well-built walls…

Sheridan O’Neil’s quiet confidence has served her well, except when it comes to romance. Tired of rejection, she’s ready to swear off men. But after being rescued from a horse stampede by the most beautiful cowboy she’s ever met, her resolve wavers. Only, as Sheridan uncovers James’s belief that no woman is safe with him, she wonders if such a wounded man could ever give in to love, or if some hearts are too broken to be healed…

Broken is book two in the Cavanaugh Brothers series.

One of the best things about this series so far is the over-arching mystery of who killed Cass Cavanaugh.  It is brilliant to use long-lost journal entries to advance this storyline.  It captures the reader’s attention and keeps the tension high. By the end of the story, I am begging for just one more clue!

Broken features the story of the second Cavanaugh brother, James. He is immediately taken with his brother’s executive assistant, city-girl Sheridan.  However, James has serious guilt-issues to overcome and that makes him shy away from his intense draw to her.  Sheridan is a focused, ambitious and determined businesswoman.  She does not have the time for a relationship and convincing James that he deserves love is going to take a lot of time and effort. 

Clearly, Laura Wright knows how to write a hot romance.  There is sexual tension, sweet tenderness, and lots of good banter. My one critique is that I think James maybe takes on too much responsibility for what has happened to the women in his life. I realize that it is a matter of degrees, but the idea that his guilt leads him to believe that he is no woman is safe around him – that he is a bad luck curse to the women in his life – is a little over the top for me.

Just a note about the cover: I am completely taken by the covers for this series, but none more so than this book. There is something completely compelling about this model, the look in his eye, the expression on his face that totally calls to me. I know that we are not suppose to judge a book by its cover, but how about just buying the book to enjoy the eye-candy?

More than just a hot cover, Broken continues the irresistible murder mystery and adds a good little spice.  A must read in the series.

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a honest review. 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Laura Wright is passionate about romantic fiction. Though she has spent most of her life immersed in acting, singing and competitive ballroom dancing, when she found the world of writing and books and endless cups of coffee she knew she was home. Laura is the author of the bestselling Mark of the Vampire series and the USA Today bestselling series, Bayou Heat, which she co-authors with Alexandra Ivy.
Laura lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young children and three loveable dogs.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

SUNNY- BLOG TOUR AND REVIEW: "Uncivilized" by Sawyer Bennett

By Sawyer Bennett

Putting a woman on her knees before me is what really makes my cock hard. I fuck with dominant force and absolute control. I demand complete surrender from my conquests.
Savage man, loner, warrior… I am dangerous at my core. I have lived amidst the untamed wild of the rainforest, in a society that reveres me and where every woman falls before me in subjugation.

Now I’ve been discovered. Forced to return to a world that I have forgotten about and to a culture that is only vaguely familiar to my senses.

Dr. Moira Reed is an anthropologist who has been hired to help me transition back into modern society. It’s her job to smooth away my rough edges… to teach me how to navigate properly through this new life of mine. She wants to tame me.

She’ll never win.

I am wild, free and raw, and the only thing I want from the beautiful Moira Reed is to fuck her into submission.

She wants it, I am certain.

I will give it to her soon.

Yes, very soon, I will become the teacher and she will become my student. And when I am finished showing her body pleasure like no other, she’ll know what it feels like to be claimed by an uncivilized man.

Sawyer Bennett pushes the sexual envelope; going to places she has not gone before in her books.  I appreciate her stretch. But at the heart of this story is still quintessential Sawyer Bennett. The characters are warm and giving, essentially nice people regardless of where there are raised.

Although this book is called “uncivilized”, it is not a story about a “savage”, but rather about people being primal.  Zacharias Easton, son of missionaries, is orphaned with a native tribe in the Amazon at a young age.  When his ΓΌber rich godfather finds out that he is still alive, he hires Dr. Moira Reed to help acclimate him to the modern world.  Dr. Reed is an anthropologist who specializes in studying how native people integrate to civilization. Moira, even with her professional detachment as a shield, is immediately attracted to Zach.  Growing up without a lot of boundaries, he is earthy and vital.  His is not constrained by modern rules. And yet, because he did spend his early years growing up in the States, he knows the language and is reconnecting with people at a fundamental level.  In his character, we get to experience Zach’s fish-out-of-water experience without a language barrier. We get to live through the eyes of someone who has at least a framework to interpret his experiences. 

This is not only a story of acclimation, but also sexual exploration – and Zach isn’t the only one exploring. Moira ventures into new territory as well. Zach gives her the opportunity to stretch her own boundaries, challenge the social constraints, and live a little!

Given the title and the promotion of this book, I expected it to be edgier with over the top dominant characters. I really quite relieved it is not because then it would not be a Sawyer Bennett book.  Is it sexual? Yes. Is it erotic? Yes. Is it emotional? Yes.  It is  a love story with a primal touch.

If you’ve been thinking about trying erotica–light, you will want to read this book. It is more sexual than your average romance, but without all the meanness and angst of some other erotica. 

Thank you to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review. 

USA Today Best-Selling author, Sawyer Bennett, is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. She is married to a mobster (well, a market researcher) and they have two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

SUNNY - BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: "Rock Addiction" by Nalini Singh

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Nalini Singh's newest book, Rock Addiction. This is book one in the Rock Kiss series.  Join us for a review, excerpt and giveaway.  

Rock Addiction
by Nalini Singh

A bad boy wrapped in a sexy, muscled, grown-up package might be worth a little risk…

Molly Webster has always followed the rules. After an ugly scandal tore apart her childhood and made her the focus of the media’s harsh spotlight, she vowed to live an ordinary life. No fame. No impropriety. No pain. Then she meets Zachary Fox, a tattooed bad boy rocker with a voice like whiskey and sin, and a touch that could become an addiction.

A one-night stand with the hottest rock star on the planet, that’s all it was meant to be…

Fox promises scorching heat and dangerous pleasure, coaxing Molly to extend their one-night stand into a one-month fling. After that, he’ll be gone forever, his life never again intersecting with her own. Sex and sin and sensual indulgence, all with an expiration date. No ties, no regrets. Too late, Molly realizes it isn’t only her body that’s become addicted to Fox, but her heart…

Rock Addiction is book one in the Rock Kiss series.  I am a huge fan of Nalini Singh. She has a way of weaving intricate stories that are magical. Unfortunately, for me, this book is missing this element. 

Things that I liked:

I liked the idea of Molly being the type of girl that has it together.  She is very disciplined and has her life carefully planned.  But her motivation for this control does not necessarily come from a place of power.  Instead, it originates from fear.  With addiction in her family history, she is fearful that she will follow in their footsteps.  Her control keeps her fears at bay, but it also chafes.   She was tired of being the good girl.  She wants to give in and live on the wild side for a while.  With a chance of a lifetime, Zachary Fox offers her that opportunity.  It’s the kind of moment that every girl who has ever had a crush on a rockstar dreams about.

Things that did not work for me:

I have difficulty with the opening premise.  I cannot understand how Fox could be wildly attracted to Molly without really interacting with her.  I can understand the physical attraction, but why was he invested in her so soon? I could understand Molly's attraction, why she couldn’t help herself – she idolized him for years. He is a rock god to her. She is sweet, kind, and nice but none of that would be apparent at first. How did he know at the get go that he wanted to spend more than one month with Molly?

I also have difficulty with Molly’s character.  I like her, but she immature and lacks self confidence.  She is not willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.  I’m sure there will be many situations and people that will try to come in between them, trying to poison the relationship, so she has to be mature enough to trust him, even if it is just enough for him to explain himself.  

In A Nutshell:

A bit of a rocky start, Rock Addiction is not Ms. Singh’s very best work. However, the author’s less than top-shelf work still passes the best work of others.  She has set up some interesting situations with secondary characters that I cannot wait to explore in future books.

Fox hadn’t become the lead singer of one of the best-selling rock bands in history by being a shrinking violet. No, he went after what he wanted, no holds barred. And the raw promise he could feel between him and Molly? He had to know where it would lead, the need so strong he hadn’t felt anything like it since the day he’d figured out that music was his escape, the air in his lungs.
Which was why he was leaning against the wall beside Molly’s apartment at five that afternoon, a guitar by his side.
The elevator doors opened at a quarter after the hour, Molly going motionless two steps outside of it, the doors closing silently at her back. Yeah, she hadn’t expected him, but Fox was ready to work with that. Waiting patiently as she took a deep breath and completed the trek down the corridor, he drew in the scent of her, his gaze lingering on the fluttering pulse in her neck.
 “How did you get past security?”
Fox smiled slowly at the blurted-out question, wondering if Molly knew how bad she was at hiding her emotions. He liked it, liked that he saw the real Molly, not an illusion she’d created to tempt him—not that she had to do anything but smile to tempt him. “I told you the security sucks.”
Unable to resist, he reached out to run his finger down one creamy cheek flushed with a mix of surprise, passion, and, he was certain, sweet, hot feminine anger. His guess was borne out when Molly unlocked her door with jittery hands and put down her handbag on one corner of the bench, her fingers trembling before she curled them into her palms. “You’re breaking the rules.”
“What rules?” Closing the door, he leaned back on it and willed her to face him. Much as he loved the shape of her from the back, he liked watching those expressive eyes whisper her mood to him.
Shoulders tight, she turned. “This was supposed to be a one-night stand.”
“Ah.” Folding his arms over the plain black of his T-shirt, he said, “How about a one-month stand instead?” He knew he had to play this exactly right. Molly was wary of him, and yeah, he could understand why. To have her in his life beyond a fleeting instant, he’d have to win her trust.
She jerked up her head. “What?”
“Why not? I like you. You like me.” He smiled—because the reason Molly had needed to jerk up her head was that she’d been staring at his chest. “Admit it.”
Sitting down on the bench, she began to unzip her boots, very obviously not looking at him. “You’re okay for a rock star.”
He wanted to bite her, then pet her until she was limp and languid in his arms. “We burn up together.” Deliberately modulating his voice—his instrument—for maximum effect, low and bedroom rough, he saw her fingers stutter on the zipper. “I’m here for a month. It’s an easy equation.”
When the words “Let me think about it” fell from her mouth, he thought she might’ve been as startled as he was, her lips parting on a slight gasp—as if to call back the declaration.
 **first seen at The Rock Stars of Romance*

NEW YORK TIMES AND USA Today bestselling author of the Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series Nalini Singh usually writes about hot shapeshifters and dangerous angels. This time around, she decided to write about a hot and wickedly tempting rock star. If you’re seeing a theme here, you’re not wrong.

Nalini lives and works in beautiful New Zealand, and is passionate about writing. If you’d like to explore her other books, you can find lots of excerpts on her website. Slave to Sensation is the first book in the Psy-Changeling series, while Angels’ Blood is the first book in the Guild Hunter series. Once Rock Addiction is out, swing by the site to check out the special behind-the-scenes page, complete with photos of many of the locations used in the book.

Find her at:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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