November 23, 2010

Due to an awful, tremendous and unexpected loss suffered by a dear friend, my blog is on hiatus until further notice as we need time to deal with this.

November 20, 2010
He never thought his next wildfire would be wearing a red dress.

“Make me your goddess and I’ll take you to heaven.” This sultry promise sparks a scorching, unforgettable one-night stand. The next morning Bram Winters awakes with a hickey and a head full of wicked memories—alone. His nameless goddess is gone without a trace, along with his shirt. And his heart.

Five months later, he stumbles across his mystery lady in a Laundromat, but she still won’t give up her name. Worse, she begs him to leave, no questions asked. Once he catches the spark of terror in her eyes, though, his firefighter training takes over—and he digs in for the duration.

Lady never wanted Bram to see her life’s ugly underside, but it’s too late—his socks are already in the washer. He was supposed to be her declaration of independence from her unstable ex, a bittersweet memory to carry into her new life.

Except the ex continues to stalks her. And Bram’s reappearance sends her emotions and desires tumbling over the edge. As the minutes wear on, sexual tension rises faster than the steam from a hot water wash.

And Lady’s ex watches from the shadows, growing more furious by the minute…

Warning: Scorching sex, icy scissor play and an anonymous woman taking a wet slide down one hot ex-fireman’s pole. Beware of hot flashes and spontaneous combustion. Correct change not required.

Title: Lipstick on his Collar
Author: Inez Kelley
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Year of release: 2010, November 23
Format: eBook, 65 pages
Source: received from author for ARC-review

First line: "Damn, it's hotter than Satan's nutsack."
Memorable Scenes:
- On the dresser in the motelroom > Need I really say more?
- Scissor scene > Wow, just wow! I was holding my breath...

"Warning: Scorching sex, icy scissor play and an anonymous woman taking a wet slide down one hot ex-fireman's pole. Beware of hot flashes and spontaneous combustion."

Seriously! With a warning like this, how can I go wrong! After that warning I just had to read this book and not only because it's an Inez Kelley sexy contemporary, who has been known to get her fingers in my panties (Don’t ask! You don’t want to know LOL)

Bram Winters is an ex-firefighter turned Emergency Communications Specialist. I loved Bram. He’s straightforward, protective and sweet. He made me weak in the knees!

Bram finds out the heroine’s name at the very end of the book and as I enjoyed being in the dark about her name and finally discovering it together with Bram, which was a beautiful moment in the book, I am not revealing it here either. So, like Bram I’ll stick with Lady when referring to the heroine. Lady is down to earth, stubborn and pragmatic. I really liked her in the beginning when she was mysterious and I didn’t know too much about her but towards the end, when I got to know her a bit better, I liked her even more.

Understandably the story is told from Bram's perspective in the beginning. We get to know the nameless lady through Bram's eyes and POV and I was curious to see if we'd get a scene from her POV too later in the story. Funny thing was that as soon as I wrote the previous sentence I was treated to a scene told from Lady’s POV. Thank you Ms. Kelley for knowing exactly when to bring what’s needed to be brought.

I really felt sorry for Bram when they met by coincidence months after the one-night stand but having read the blurb I also understood why the nameless goddess did what she did. I did think the ending was a bit abruptly and for me the whole Jason storyline (stalking ex) could have been left out in favor of some more Bram and his lady but all in all once again I truly enjoyed this red-hot novella.

Inez Kelley sets the pages on fire with her erotic scenes. They are scorching and beautifully written, just the way I like them...There’s a scissor scene that’s just so hot, it has ruined the reality shows SHEAR GENIUS (about finding the best hairstylist) for me as I can’t watch the show now without thinking of Bram's talent with the scissor and mentally naming him sheer genius.

I've said it before and I'll say it again and I'll probably say it with every Inez Kelley book I'll read but her writing just mesmerizes me, sucks me in, takes hold of me and doesn't let go. I can't even find the right words to describe her writing and why I love it so much. She just never disappoints me with her erotic contemporaries.

I don’t have the time to do a separate Quotes-Post for LIPSTICK ON HIS COLLAR so I’ve included all the quotes I marked in this review. They were picked for several reasons. Some made me sigh with joy over Inez Kelley’s wonderful writing, some made me hot and bothered and one made me put the book down and laugh out loud before I could continue (Can you guess which one that was?). I hope you all enjoy them as much as I did…

Favorite Quotes:
She opened her eyes and her gaze landed on him like a brushfire. Hot met dry, and a spark flashed, exploded and raged through him. Intense and appreciative, unblinking and direct, she did not look away.

Temptation swept over him like a blistering tidal wave, stealing inside before he could think to shove it aside to break the powerful connection. He should. He would. In a minute.

Her kiss seared his bones. This was no gentle first kiss. It was a detonation of lust, yearning and passion like he'd never felt. Sexual combustion.

"What do you want, lady?"
"Cotton candy and night at the fair. After that, you, hard and fast...and more than once."

Wet kisses, heated by flesh and served with hunger became his new favorite food, and he gorged on her mouth until he grew lightheaded.

Jealousy scented the air with an acrid odor, like a candle snuffed out by a hidden breath.

Bram in the throes of orgasm was a luscious, intoxicating sound. God, he was delicious and she wanted more.

He oozed sex appeal like an over-wet sponge and she wanted to suck every drop. One damn inch was all she needed. She closed the gap. Lust exploded. Her ears popped with the force of the attraction, and a low sigh heated her mouth before he deepened the kiss to indecent levels.

Bram wasn't supposed to be anything more than a pit stop in her sex life to repair her bruised ego and help her get back on her dating feet.

Bram didn't talk dirty until he was excited and then he melted her bones with deliciously naughty words. A lusty memory swelled like an ocean wave, tinged with the brazen light of erotic play.

Bram gripped her braid and took her mouth again. The rich taste of her blended with the robust flavor of him, and she moaned. Being claimed had never branded so hot.

His frayed breath sailed over her damp nape followed by his tongue. Low, chanting naughty words, strings of murmured eroticisms without cohesion, whispered along her skin.

Jason took a step back and swallowed. He stared at her in horror. "What's gotten into you?"
"Gotten into me? Gotten into--? Okay, know what? F#ck you. No, on second thought, don't f#ck you because you suck in bed. You couldn't make a dog come with a leash and a Milk-Bone."

November 19, 2010
Today I welcome the fabulous Inez Kelley to my little World of Romance. She has some hot stuff to say about firefighters. The hero of LIPSTICK ON HIS COLLAR (my review of it will be up some time this weekend) used to be a firefighter and let me tell you..reading LOHC only stoked up my fire and I think I need a certain ex-firefighter to come douse it...

Firefighters are… well, HOT! The mystique surrounding this most manly of professions is easy to understand. It’s a dangerous job with noble roots. They save lives, at risk to their own. They are always there when you need them and hello, you need muscles to be carting those damsels in distress down those long ladders. What’s not to love?

Well, they get dirty a lot. And smoke gets into everything and it stinks. And having your lover roll out of bed at a pager beep —no matter what you are doing— is kind of a bummer. Plus, it’s a dangerous job. You hope they stay safe and come home but nothing is assured.

So there is good and bad in loving a firefighter. But they are oh so yummy to look at.

In Lipstick on His Collar, Bram Winters is a former firefighter. He turned his experience behind a nozzle into profit as a 911 Communications Specialist. Still, the flicker of a red light, the beeped tones from a pager, the cry of a siren speeds his blood to pumping. His senses go on red-alert, poised for action.
Action just happened to be wearing a red dress. And when Bram plays with fire, somebody is getting burned. Burn, baby, burn…

The biggest fires, the ones that burn the hottest and the longest, have the most potential for a rekindle. One hidden spark can start the blaze all over again. Bram found his spark. It just took five months, a few hundred miles and a bit of sexy scissor play to set her free.

He found her hot and left her wet. And really, would you complain? I wouldn’t.

You can find out more about Inez Kelley and her books on:

Or chat it up with her on:
November 9, 2010

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match . . . An on-line dating service is not Michelle Snow’s idea of how to find love but when the Big 3-0 hits, Michelle decides she has nothing to lose since she hasn’t brought a date home in ten years, she’s professionally burned out, and her climb up the corporate ladder has come at the expense of abandoning her sweet dream: to own a boutique cupcakery.

Todd Bracken, early thirties and a successful technology consultant, isn’t exactly a player after being off the market for ten years, and pours himself into his dual passions of martial arts and home-sweet-home renovations. Only there’s no one to come home to so he decides to give a try. Todd isn’t so sure the Internet dating scene is his thing – until a message pops up in the wee hours on a weekend night: “I like your smile.” Todd likes – a lot – the whole package that glides into a French bistro in Washington, D.C.

It’s serious mojo-at-first-sight but there’s a glitch: Todd and Michelle live in different cities. Will love find its way in the digital age with a You’ve Got Mail courtship when video cam kisses just aren’t enough? And when Todd challenges Michelle to not only go for her dream but also let him share it, will they be able to make it happen together despite obstacles more plentiful than a shower of rainbow sprinkles?

Title: The Icing on the Cake
Author: Alison Kent
Series: True Vows, Reality Based Romance ™
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HCI Books
Year of release: 2010, September 14
Format: Tradesize Paperback
Source: received e-copy for review from Publisher as part of a blog-tour from TLC

First line: "Michelle! Dana’s here!"
Elbowing open her bedroom door while fastening the clasp on her necklace, Michelle Snow called out, "Be right there!" in response to Christina's update.
Memorable Scenes:
- Todd and Blake's banter in the gym's locker room > very funny
- Bakery tour in NYC > sweet in every sense of the word, and made me crave cupcakes

THE ICING ON THE CAKE is a sweet, contemporary romance about Michelle Snow, who puts up her profile on an online dating site after a talk with her longtime friends about dating or rather, the lack thereof. Cute and witty software consultant Todd Bracken is the one picked by Michelle based on his online profile. They hit it off immediately, both online and in real life after their first face-to-face meeting and a lovely romance develops through emails, texts and dates, which were funny and endearing.

Michelle is the middle child of three and in real estate marketing but she dreams of opening her own cupcake bakery. She’s independent, considerate and not a loner but used to doing things alone and on her own. Slowly she learns to lean on, trust and share with Todd.

Todd is the youngest child of three and the proverbial anchor in the storm. He’s dependable and romantic. He’s also cute and funny. He uses humor as way of defense and coping with stuff. Though he’s had plenty of dating experience he has never met and felt immediately so comfortable with someone as he does with Michelle.

Both Michelle and Todd are sweet and easy-going, yet driven and with passion for everything they do. It’s a perfect match, completing and complementing each other and compatible in many, many ways.

Though both True Vows books I’ve read cover different stages and origins of a romantic relationship and do this on different intensity levels I think each one describes romance, love and relationships in it’s own original and unique way.

What I did miss in THE ICING ON THE CAKE was a bit of intensity, a bit of conflict and yet that’s also what makes it real, because that’s funny enough I saw a lot of similarities with my own love story (I also “met” my husband online and there isn’t much conflict in our relationship). Alison Kent delivered this lovely book through very smooth writing and laced it with the humor I love so much in my romances. Subtle humor and teasing banter alternated and gave the book a genuine feel-good vibe.

THE ICING ON THE CAKE is a contemporary romance that initially starts as an online dating romance but quickly moves on to a true real life romance and slowly evolves into a solid and deep loving relationship. It's very hard to pinpoint what I love about these Reality Based Romance ™ books but I definitely love the down-to-earth, boy/girl next door, "real" characters, they appeal to me on a whole different level than non- Reality Based Romance ™ characters do. I find them wonderful to read as they form a down-to-earth counterpart to the high-intensity imaginary romances I normally read and I am definitely looking forward to the next one in this series.

One last thing about THE ICING ON THE CAKE. It made me crave cupcakes like mad and if I wasn't on a diet I'd whipped out the cake pan and made myself some of the cupcakes described in this book because they sounded just heavenly and delicious!

Favorite Quote:
Was The One really out there? Someone not to complete her, but to complement her? To see the good in her and make her better? To allow her to do the same and to build on that trust, creating something together that would be bigger than either of them could be alone?

November 3, 2010 has spoken and...

...the winner of the copy provided by me via The Bookdepository is


...the winner of the signed copy provided by Stephanie Tyler is


I will contact the winners and Steph to get the books to their destinations as soon as possible and thank you to everyone who entered the giveaways. Please note that your entries will be automatically go into the drawing for the grand prize at the end of November and I hope you'll join Steph and me in a few weeks for the release of PROMISES IN THE DARK!

November 1, 2010
Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, she’s spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she’s needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard won lessons. There hasn’t been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it didn’t mean she had to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

Security professional Andrew Copeland isn’t quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidedly skittish Ella developed. He’s known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she’d been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to her is different than any attraction he’s had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

While Ella’s sure he’s just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly and re-ignites something deep inside her. Before long desire and love turn them both inside out.

Title: Inside Out
Author: Lauren Dane
Series: Brown Siblings, book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Year of release: 2010, November 2
Format: Tradesize Paperback
Source: Received a digital copy from author for review

First line: She arched on a gasp as the heat of his mouth met her neck.
Memorable Scenes:
- Dancing at the club scene > I love it when characters dance
- Cope's solo scene in the shower > I need some ice
- Speeches at Brody and Elise's engagement party > Yup, I cried
- Cope revealing Ella's scars > Yup, I cried again
- Andrew and Ella's letters > OMG! Talk about wooing *swoon* and emotional *sobs* The letter stuff killed me (in a good way!) and left me a sobbing mess, especially the last two.
- Ben and Cope at the hospital > Yup, another 'let's make Pearl cry' scene

I don't believe I've ever been more anxiously yearning for a book or more giddy to finally read about a character I've lusted for from the moment he set foot in the first book of this series: Mr. Andrew 'Cope' Copeland. My heart was literally thumping when I opened the digital copy and started reading.

Andrew 'Cope' Copeland is a sweet, gentle and caring man wrapped in a flirty bad boy. He’s confident and easygoing, sensitive and intuitive. With every page Cope had me crushing on him more and more and while he wooed Ella he lured me not only right into his web of sensuality but also romanced me with his caring and fun personality.

And I was happy with how Ella invariably kept calling him Andrew instead of Cope. She sees and exposes sides of him he keeps hidden from everyone. They all know Cope, laid-back pretty boy, but only Ella gets to see Andrew, sensitive and vulnerable.

Ella Tipton is a woman with a rough past that turned her from carefree and vivacious to cautious and stronger but still the vivaciousness seeps through now and again. She’s a fighter. Resilient and brave, focused and empathic. Few authors make me really (fall in) love their heroines, Lauren Dane is one of those few. Through Cope she made me fall for Ella as hard as he did.

Cope and Ella are perfectly matched. Others perceive them both others in a certain way but they have this need to have someone look past the outward and obvious stuff and get to their cores. I love it when a main couple goes from friends to fantasizing about each other to being lovers to a relationship. And that's exactly what Lauren Dane gave me in INSIDE OUT.

The secondary cast of characters in INSIDE OUT was comprised solely of (extended) family members, both on Cope and Ella’s side. It was awesome to see the characters from the first two books make an appearance and form a wonderful supporting cast to bring out the family dynamics, support and the feeling of togetherness I adore in this series.

Parents again play an important role in the back-story and character-depth. Ella's don't get her yen for independence and feel rejected when she tries to make a life for herself without completely leaning on them. They don't see that she needs it to feel a semblance of being in control of her life. Yet despite their disagreement on this, there's also warmth and love between the Tiptons and they see and understand more than Ella thinks.
Following the small thread in LAID BARE Cope's parents, especially his dad, are still struggling so much with Ben's choice of lifestyle, that they overlook Cope, who has always stood in Ben's shadow, Ben being the favorite golden boy in his parents eyes. In some parts of the story (when you read the scenes, you'll know which parts I mean) I wanted to punch Cope's dad in the face, hard!

As much as I adored INSIDE OUT for its emotional impact, its strong family and friends dynamics, its wonderful main couple and their lovely, touching journey into a deep and profound love I did miss the dirty hot sexy times and the sexual intensity that blew me away in LAID BARE and COMING UNDONE. I had the feeling that the awesome erotic and sexual zing that was present in LAID BARE has dwindled down a bit in the following books.

On the one hand I thought it was cute how sweet Cope was by reigning in his lust and taking it slow with Ella, considerate of her troubled past and fragile emotions where it came to men and sex, but on the other hand I was thinking: 'Come on Cope! Get down and dirty already!' and getting impatient waiting for the scorching hotness to set the pages on fire, which was muted by Cope's constant need to accommodate Ella and make sure he did nothing to scare her off. There's a time for sweet, gentle and cute and there's a time for sweaty dirty smexing and since I expected a sexy contemporary, not to say erotic romance (based on the two previous books) I must admit to myself that the sweaty dirty was not present enough for me in most of the book.

My problem was that there was a lot of talk (from Cope and other characters) about him being a "dirty" boy but I didn't see it in the sex scenes much. Don't get me wrong: I liked the sex scenes, liked Cope as the hero but a little more dirty would have made him live up more to my high expectations. I also understand that a great part of the minor issues I had with INSIDE OUT were due to my own high, and probably unrealistic, expectations so I want to make sure that anyone reading this review understands that this is a case of : “it’s me, not you Lauren.”

That being said, I absolutely loved the way Lauren Dane shows the power of friendship and love in all its facets in the books of this series and INSIDE OUT is no exception. The intricate bonds and emotions between lovers, friends and family members that run like a thread throughout the book, is one of the strong points that I adore in this series. They are what give the books and the characters a depth that goes beyond any hot sex scene could.

Lauren Dane never fails to bring me new and refreshing stuff when it comes to sex speak. Some new-to-me terms I picked up: eye-f#cked and sex voice. And there was a remarkable obsession with licking (if several body parts, not just the obvious ones) in this book. I'm not complaining about this, just noticed it as it was mentioned from the start on the very first page, it was on both Ella and Cope's mind a lot throughout the book and it was in every sex scene.

In conclusion, INSIDE OUT is a must-read and can’t be missed once you’ve started this series. Though it didn’t meet my (enormously) high expectations in the erotic sense, for me it was a sexy contemporary romance that redefines the meaning of romantic and it was an emotional depiction of the bonds within a group of family and friends, colliding family members and love in its purest form.

Favorite Quotes:
That voice. Holy crap, his voice was like sex in a jar. Or whatever. But it was hot and sexy, and she heard it lots and lots. Usually when her eyes were closed and she was masturbating. Wrong. Bad, bad Ella!

She'd unleashed something deep inside him. Had held up a mirror, and the man she saw-- the Andrew she believed him to be-- was so much more than the Cope he'd allowed himself to coast into.

Snippet from a letter from Cope to Ella:
"You are mine, and I don't think I know all the words to tell you just what that means. Only that when you breathe, I do, when you smile just for me everything inside me stills and knows it's found the key."

Nice to meet you!

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39, married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. I'm a chronic (e)book hoarder and my absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I don't shy away from historical, paranormal or erotic romance either. Even the occasional (urban) fantasy romance, futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is my corner of the world wide web where I let you know what books I'm hoarding, reading and reviewing.
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On My TBR Shelf

  • Unforgivable - Laura Griffin
  • Snapped - Laura Griffin
  • Darkness at Dawn - Elizabeth Jennings
  • Sizzle and Burn - Alexis Grant
  • No Mercy - Lori Armstrong
  • Animal Magnetism - Jill Shalvis
  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
  • So Sensitive - Anne Rainey
  • Dark Taste of Rapture - Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
  • Beg Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
  • My Gigolo - Molly Burkhart
  • Scent of Persuason - Nikki Duncan

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