April 27, 2010

One woman, one man, and a love that won’t let either of them go.

Born on the wrong side of the tracks and dealt a fair share of hardship, Nikki Kline never gives up a fight. Even when her reason to keep going is ripped from her, Nikki tries desperately to hang on. But when the man who broke Nikki’s heart comes back into her life she doesn’t know how much she can take. Especially since that man seems determined to win back her damaged heart.

Wade Lightfoot is a man who knows he’s made more mistakes than most. As much as he would like to repair the damage he’s done to those he loves, Wade also knows there is no going back. But when he sets out to put things right the last thing he’s prepared to find out is that he had a son. A son he’ll never get the chance to meet.

When the truth is out and all the old wounds are bared, it seems impossible that Nikki and Wade will find their way back to each other. But true love is an undeniable force that even past hurts can’t destroy.

This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

Warning: This title contains heartbreaking tragedy, lies and deception, and a scorching passion that nothing can deny.
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April 24, 2010

Back Cover:
PATIENCE... Second in The Passion Quartet

A WOMAN CALLED PATIENCE. A DESIRE THAT WOULD PUT HER NAME—AND HER LOVE—TO THE TEST.

Known for her exceptional beauty, Patience Emmalina Dare has been pursued by admirers ever since coming of age. But suitor after suitor fails to inspire her love – or her desire. Certain she will never find a man who touches her deeply, she decides to forgo marriage in favor of pursuing her music. But just when Patience thinks she has her life well in hand, a passionate kiss with her enigmatic brother-in-law awakens a powerful need in her. How will she reconcile her desire for him and her desire for a life that's her own – and what will she do when he shows her a deep and hidden part of herself that she never knew existed?

When the secret of his illegitimate birth pushes Matthew Morgan Hawkmore from his place in society, the darkly handsome half-brother of the Earl of Langley plots his resurrection and his revenge. Betrayed and abandoned by the women he believed loved him, he swears to never again be controlled by love. But despite his vow, he is unable to resist the beautiful Patience, whose strength and self-reliance hide a need that he is perfectly suited to fulfill. Can he have her without loving her? What will he give up to keep her? And will her passionate surrender be the one thing that can stop him from making a tragic mistake that could destroy them both…

I must start this review by saying that although I really loved reading PATIENCE, I am not blown away by it as I was with PASSION and I will try and explain in this review why without comparing the two too much.

Matthew Hawkmore has been burned by love in more ways than one. First by his deceitful mother, then by his fiancée who drops him like a hot fireball after she learns the truth about his parentage. To make things worse her father sets out to ruin him socially and financially too. Matthew vows revenge and to never love or want love again and substitutes it with desire, lust and certain sexual proclivities. But then he encounters Patience Dare, his new sister-in-law, and she endangers his iron-willed resolve and tries his determination to never love again. Matthew's former peers turn their backs on him once his parentage is made public in a humiliating way and this puts him in a very solitary and awkward position within the London Society. A position he is desperate to leave behind.

Patience's regard of love is similar to Matthew's and despite the fact that her hurt comes from a very different source the hurt is deep, causing her to turn away from love at a young age. She substitutes it with music (playing the cello) and desire. Patience is softhearted and loathes cruelty or injustice but she is not a pushover. She is strong-willed, outspoken and independent despite her desire to submit sexually.

Neither of them recognizes that the powerful and inevitable pull between them is love in its purest form.

Lisa Valdez' writing is indescribable. I experienced it to its fullest extent with PASSION and while reading the first pages of PATIENCE I felt its emotional and intense pull all over again. The way she describes emotions, feelings, experiences, people, music and sex is beautiful and powerful. Some may call it purple or over the top. I find it is what I look for in my romance reads. I want to sink away in the storm of emotions described in every detail without falling into the trap of telling me how to feel whatever the author is describing but making me feel it. And Lisa Valdez makes me FEEL the pain, despair, lust, anger, craving, love and all the other feelings that were displayed in this book.

Still, despite the wonderful and compelling writing style, I also found a few things in PATIENCE that I didn't feel very positive about. The one thing that I wasn't charmed by in this book was the religious references. Without judging religion I am of the opinion that the book could have done with less of the references. I really liked the quotes from Song of Solomon at the beginning of every chapter. However, the references made by Matthew to Adam and Eve and Patience's angelic dreams and quoting the Bible, though they weren't things that bothered me greatly, I do think the book could have done very well without them.

There were things that totally pulled me in and mesmerized me on one page and then threw me for a loop on the next page. For instance the D/s stuff. On one page Matthew and Patience’s D/s relationship and how it developed throughout the story would enthrall me. It was amazing to read how in tune they were with each other, like keys or strings of an instrument. To read how they intuitively knew and felt what the other needed or wanted. And then on the next page I would feel uncomfortable with some of the things that Matthew did or said. Some of the D/s stuff was graphic and explicit and bordered on grating on my sense of independence and free will but Lisa Valdez pulled it off by making Patience challenge her submission to Matthew and only gradually accept it. But I did still feel the D/s relationship appeared on the set rather out of the blue, especially Matthew's part in it. By that I mean that without preamble other than a kiss followed by 3 months of no contact, Matthew knows that Patience is a submissive and knows exactly what she needs. I knew in advance what sort of relationship Matthew and Patience were going to have because of the excerpts I'd read of this book long before it came out. I knew Lisa Valdez was going to pursue the D/s angle with Matthew and Patience but I can imagine it just seems like coming from nowhere to new Lisa Valdez readers. This is a part of the book that for me could have been set up and worked out better.

Then there was Matthew. I am still ambivalent about his character. On one page I would swoon away blissfully at the things he said and did with Patience, just to be really turned off and annoyed with some of his actions on the next page. I understood that he is dominant but there were actions that just didn't sit well with me. I understood his reasons for them, his despair to hold on to Patience but it bordered on selfishness and his actions were hurtful toward Patience and in my eyes wrong thing to do. For me the book was carried by Patience's character and her evolvement in the relationship. Matthew however, was redeemed in the end of the book. I had only hoped to like him much more than I actually did.

Yet despite the slight misgivings I described above I really loved this book. As said the writing style of Lisa Valdez is totally up my alley. I loved that notes/letters played a big part in the book. I loved the humorous note secondary characters Aunt Matty, Lord Asher and Lord Farnsby brought to the book. I adored the bond between Patience and Passion, a kind of sisterly love that touched me deeply.

And last but not least there were the sex scenes, to say they were scorching is a big fat understatement. The sex scenes make PATIENCE an erotic historical romance. They are graphic, explicit and very hot...There's one scene that's still very vivid in my imagination thinking back about the book and it's an original one, one that I haven't encountered in other books and I've read my share of erotic romances. Still a warning may be due for those who are not familiar with Lisa Valdez's previous book because if you pick up PATIENCE expecting a standard historical romance, you'd better prepare for disillusion. This is undiluted erotic romance against a historical backdrop and if you don't like that, this book is not for you.

As I said in the beginning of my review, PATIENCE did not blow me away as much as PASSION did. I could chalk that up to my development as a reader (I read PASSION when I just started reading in English and it was one of the first erotic romances I ever read) but I don't think I can put all the blame on that. To me it was just less emotionally powerful than PASSION was.

Right up until the end of the book I was contemplating a rating for this book that was hovering around an 8-8.5, but the heartbreaking last three chapters brought me that intense emotional rush I was longing for throughout the book and they brought my rating up to a solid 9 out of 10 because PATIENCE is a bold, lush, erotic read that retained it's historical feel from start to end and Lisa Valdez' writing managed to make me forget any misgivings I had about characters or plot.

Quotes:
“Ah, how appropriate. Persephone, the herald of spring –the goddess.” His low voice held her captive as he turned her to the music. “Then I am Pluto, god of the underworld, and I want you I shall steal you away and hide you in my shadow. I shall chain you to my side and demand your submission. I shall take everything from you and, in the doing, give you everything you desire.”

He straightened his shoulders and started down the hall. Patience needed his strong hand, and he needed her surrender. More than with any woman ever, he needed her surrender. For she was like a crystal prism that broke his desire into separate, distinct, and beautiful delineation. He saw, in a moment, all the ways that he wanted her. And he saw the totality of all that want –complete possession.

His fingers tightened in her hair, and crouching like some fallen angel, he shuddered over her, thrusting his organ of dominion into her with a wild and unrelenting ferocity. And beneath him, she writhed and undulated as he stole her resistance, her inhibition, and her pride, and fed her obedience, carnality, and subservience.

Patience felt herself blushing. “Well, I mean how many ladies have you –“
“It doesn’t matter,” he interrupted her gently. “Anyone before you was simply an overture to you –a necessary preparation for the magnificence that is you.” His beautiful eyes held her. “Never question that I value you above all others, Patience.”

“That’s why I need an empty place –an eye in the storm.”
“You can’t live in the eye of a storm, Patience. There’s nothing there. It’s calm and empty, but it’s not life. Life is in the whirlwind.” His gaze was so earnest. Love and happiness are in the whirlwind.”


Rating: 9 out of 10
April 23, 2010
Title: Rocky Mountain Haven
Author: Vivian Arend
Website: Go to Viv's fabulous website HERE
Series: Six Pack Ranch, book 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books - Buy it HERE
Release Date: April 19th, 2010
Format: eBook

Read an excerpt HERE

Blurb:
Welcome to the Six Pack Ranch, where learning to live again takes some sensual twists.

Beth Danube has escaped to a small Alberta town to make a new start for herself and her three little boys. Her emotionally abusive husband may be dead and buried, but so is her heart. What she doesn’t want is another man in her life—not now, maybe not ever. Yet when her libido reawakens after ten years of unsatisfactory sex in the missionary position is any woman strong enough to turn down sex-in-boots, Daniel Coleman?

The middle child of the rowdy Coleman boys, Daniel’s the quiet one who has always subdued his desires and acted as peacemaker. His powerful attraction to the young widow takes him by storm, and he’s willing to pursue her until they both find satisfaction—in and out of the bedroom.

Only Beth isn’t sure she’s ready to cross the line. Becoming friends with blazing hot benefits means she’s still the one in control. Letting her heart trust again? She isn’t that brave—or foolish. Daniel is going to have to be mighty convincing to help her overcome the past.


Note from Pearl:
As I am posting this promo I was hoping to have finished and reviewed Rocky Mountain Heat, book 1 in this series, alas due to circumstances and other obligations I didn't make it but didn't want to pass up the opportunity to help Viv let the world know that the second book in this series has been set out on us hot cowboy story-lovers! I am definitely getting it as soon as I've finished Rocky Mountain Heat! In the meantime, enjoy some of these delicious cowboys to get in the mood!


April 20, 2010

Back Cover:
POSSESSION IS ONLY HALF THE FUN...

The moment she arrives at her rented vacation cottage nestled in Scotland, Zoë Daniels feels it--an arousal so powerful she's compelled to surrender to the unusually forceful carnal desires...with nearly anyone who crosses her path. Crawford Logan, the boat builder with the wayward grin. The devilish restaurateur Cain Davot, who seems to know more about Zoë than he lets on. And even her sexy neighbor Grayson Murdoch, whose eyes delve deep into her soul as he explores every inch of her body.

Yet there's something unsettling about the way the locals watch her, something eerie about these overwhelming encounters. Zoë knows she's not quite in control of herself and begins to wonder if there's any truth to the legend of Annabel McGraw, a powerful, promiscuous eighteenth-century witch who once owned the cottage, and whose spirit is rumored to affect anyone who stays there. Zoë doesn't believe in anything that even hints at the occult, but now strange visions are turning frightening...and only one man's touch can bring her back to earth.

The unmistakable sound of a woman being pleasure echoed through the woods above the village of Carbrey. The sound was deeply sensual, and powerful -as if she dared anyone to defy her needs.

And it was with this sentence that Saskia Walker ensnared me in the trap of a beautifully written story. When you start a book with a sentence like this you set some expectations for the reader and this reader especially. I am happy to report that the expectations were met in the most satisfactory way.

From the moment Zoë Daniels sets foot in the village of Carbrey to enjoy a much needed vacation, a strange urge of unusual arousal settles over her and she finds herself in the middle of a battle between good and evil magic forces. She turns out to be pivotal in warlock Cain Davot's plans to bring his long lost love, the witch Annabel, back. However not everything is what it seems as Zoë finds out when she comes in contact with Annabel's ghost and her helpful, sexy and protective neighbor, Grayson Murdoch.

With a fairly small cast of characters Saskia Walker weaves an entertaining paranormal story, sprinkled with eroticism. In fact she tells two stories and both stories, Zoë's and Annabel's, were delivered to the reader in a perfect way, each with its own distinctive feel, yet brought together effortlessly and intriguingly to want to keep on reading. It was rightly paced, had subtle humor, a fascinating plot and was explicitly erotic. With intricacy the story works its way to the culmination point and everything is unraveled. I loved both the well-written set-up of the book and the great wrap-up in the ending. Contrary to some other books in this genre the ending wasn't rushed but well rounded and fitting the rest of the book.

RAMPANT is written in an agreeable writing style and I was soon pulled in by it. It’s a very nice mix of erotic and paranormal. It left an impression of a well-done and fascinating book that is definitely able of holding the reader’s attention. Erotic scenes were explicit but functional and tasteful. No sexing for the sake of sexing but beautifully written scenes that didn't overshadow the plot or the characters. Plot, character and romance were all tuned in to each other and made the book a welcome addition to the other paranormal erotic romances that grace my shelves

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope Saskia Walker will treat us to more stories set in this world. My first taste of Saskia Walker's writing has definitely made me want to read more, especially her sexy contemporary work.

Quote:
They were like two tomcats stalking one another. It made here want to roll on the ground and expose her femininity to them to find out which one would win in a squall.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10
April 15, 2010


Back Cover:
In a time when technology can reveal the darkest of secrets, there's only one place to hide a crime of passion - in the heart. . . 


The first victim was found lying on a sidewalk in the rain. The second was murdered in her own apartment building. Police lieutenant Eve Dallas had no problem finding connections between the two crimes. Both victims were beautiful and highly successful women. Their glamorous lives and loves were the talk of the city. And their intimate relations with men of great power and wealth provided Eve with a long list of suspects - including her own lover, Roarke.

As a woman, Eve was compelled to trust the man who shared her bed. But as a cop, it was her job to follow every lead . . .to investigate every scandalous rumor . . .to explore every secret passion, no matter how dark. Or how dangerous.

I had planned to read a J.D. Robb "In Death" novel every month for this challenge but already started slacking in the second month. Well, not exactly slacking, it was more a reading slump that prevented me from finishing GLORY IN DEATH in February. Luckily for me the slump was conquered in the beginning of March and I was able to finish this wonderful installment of the Eve Dallas series. Lucky for me Christine (who hosts the challenge) loosened up the rules of the challenge a bit...

It was as if I read NAKED IN DEATH yesterday, because upon starting GLORY IN DEATH I was immediately immersed in the world of Lieutenant Eve Dallas, both her professional and her personal life, as the two get entangled in this second installment of the series.

Eve is pragmatic, blunt and professional. She has a quick and sharp wit about her that's a little sarcastic and despite her awful childhood and her lack of close relatives and she takes on life head on. She cares deeply about the few people she considers friends and her relationship with Roarke is one that in GLORY IN DEATH is taken a step further with Roarke making her take a stand and decide if she truly wants in.

Roarke is an enigmatic, smooth charmer but don't mistake charm for letting people play hot and cold with him. He doesn't except that from anyone, not even from Eve, for whom he has deep and strong feelings. He wants to be with her and when she doesn't show that she wants the same he decides it's time for her to choose what it is she wants from him. I did feel that in GLORY IN DEATH he was less prominently present than in the first book of the series but since it's been a while since I read that book, I could be mistaken.

I really love Eve as a heroine. I think even more than I do Roarke as a hero, even though he had his great moments in GLORY IN DEATH, especially when he coaxes Eve to open her eyes in regard to their relationship. Gotta love a man who knows what he wants and doesn't let a woman, who isn't used to being loved, ruin it. I loved the way Eve was still reluctant to accept Roarke's love for her and how Roarke would have none of that and kept showing and telling her his feelings. Because both of them are stubborn neither of them wants to give into the other easily nor pulls punches in their sometimes heated arguments. It made the interactions between them a joy to read and I'm not even talking about the sizzling chemistry between them.

Basically this second book in the series can be broken down into the investigation into the death of Cicely Towers and the events that follow from that and the developments in the relationship between Eve and Roarke. Both elements were nicely entwined and provided enough matter for a captivating and great read. The romance is written subtly and realistically, taking the reader along with Eve and Roarke's growth into an intense and explosive relationship that is very romantic and touching at the same time.

The suspense is great and for me a very strong and perfectly executed element in these books. In GLORY IN DEATH it's built up perfectly and kept me reading and speculating with the release of small clues and amounts of information at a time. I must say that I only started suspecting the right person to be the killer, at the very end of the book, when Eve figured it out. This could mean two things of course: either I am very slow in figuring out the killer or J.D. Robb is very good at keeping the suspense high. For my own sake I am sticking with the latter. What I like is that the suspense angle in this book was different from the first book. This contributes to keeping the series fresh and non-repetitive

J.D. Robb's writing style is very agreeable, it's smooth, flows easily, the pace is fast and the plot/suspense is set up cleverly and gradually. I am utterly impressed with the characterization of both primary and secondary and both recurring and one-time characters. After having read the second book in this series I am very grateful to the book-friend who recommended this series to me and to Christine for having this "In Death" reading challenge because I have a feeling I am going to enjoy the next books, starting with IMMORTAL IN DEATH, a lot.

Quotes:
Water lapped as she sat forward. "Don't play games with me, Roarke."
"Eve, it is my fondest wish to do just that."

Eve woke, violently aroused. It was Roarke's hands on her. She knew their texture, their rhythm. Her heart tripped against her ribs, then bounded into her throat as his mouth covered hers. His was greedy, hot, giving her no choice, really no choice at all but to respond in kind.

Mavis to Eve about Roarke:
"He's got all that power, sort of shoots out from him." She highlighted the statement by splashing up water. "And he looks at you like he could eat you alive. In big...greedy...bites. Shit, I'm getting hot."
"Keep your hands off me."
Mavis snorted. "Maybe I'll go seduce Summerset."


Rating: 8.0 out of 10
April 9, 2010

Back Cover:
Millicent “Missy” Armstrong is entering her fourth London Season, but not for lack of suitors. Since her debut three years ago, Missy has received twenty marriage proposals. But she is interested in only one man—her brother’s best friend, James Rutherford. As a child, Missy looked up to James. As a grown up, her admiration has blossomed into the longings of a beautiful, sensuous woman—and she won’t rest until James admits his love—and desire—for her…

James Rutherford rues the day he let his physical weaknesses get the better of him by kissing Missy. His best friend has made it clear that Missy is off limits, and though he’s avoided her for three years, he hasn’t forgotten the feel of her soft lips pressed against his—and it seems neither has she. For no matter how much James tries to discourage Missy, he keeps winding up in her arms, sharing heated caresses that promise the most delirious pleasure...

Missy has plenty offers of marriage but the one offer she truly wants and has been waiting for since her coming out, from the man she's been pining for since she was a young girl, is far from happening. So she takes matters into her own hand and decides to help things along. James does his best to resist his attraction to Missy for the sake of his lifelong friendship with her brother, but resistance is futile when matters of the heart are concerned and when Missy puts her mind to something.

Missy Armstrong is smart, loyal, tenacious and candid. She's very headstrong and anything but shy. She knows what she wants and goes after it with everything she has and Missy wants James.

James Rutherford is loyal to his friends and despite his reputation of a jaded rake he is honorable and trustworthy. He has a hard time bringing his feelings towards Missy in agreement with his friendship with her brother.

SINFUL SURRENDER tells the age-old trope of the heroine being in love with her brother's best friend and the hero falling for his best friend's little sister. And I must say Beverley Kendall did a great job of pouring this trope into a lovely historical romance. It's a sweet and passionate story of two people in love but one of them fighting it because of his pre-conceived notions about love and the fear of losing a lifelong friendship.

The book started a bit slow for me and I feared I'd have to struggle my way through it but after a few chapters I was completely enthralled by Beverley Kendall's writing and the story of Missy and James. She knows how to pull the reader into her story and once I got into it I didn't want to stop reading. I was sad to see that I'd reached the last page
What I found refreshing was that it was a very character-driven story about James and Missy's difficult journey to a HEA. There was no forced suspense/mystery plot to distract from the characters and their development but it was simply a delightful, straightforward historical romance.

There were many secondary characters but they were never too much or annoying. I especially took a liking to Alex Cartwright, the third in the trio of friends together with James and Thomas (Missy's brother). His sense of humor struck a cord with me and I hope to read his story some day too. For now I am looking forward to the next installment of this Reformed Rakes series: A TASTE OF DESIRE, starring Thomas and secondary character Amelia, who cracked me up! Can't wait to see the fireworks spark between these two.

With SINFUL SURRENDER Beverley Kendall has beautifully written a refreshing and utterly enjoyable historical romance that will please any romance reader who loves to be swept back into the times of the Society, balls, house parties and rakes.

Quotes:
Missy knew with but the slightest bit of encouragement from her, Lord Crawley would ask Thomas for her hand. However, he fell into the vast category of all men other than James -the group who had a better chance of ridding London of its fog than gaining her affections.

"You're angry." (...)
"You are in a man's chamber in your nightwear. Surely I don't have to tell you that you have more than breached the dictates of Society. Ladies do not behave in this manner."(...)
"I am a woman. I never claimed to be a lady."


Rating: 7.5 out of 10
April 7, 2010

Back Cover:
KEEPING IT TOGETHER
Brody Brown has always been responsible for others. After his parents’ death, he gave up a promising artistic career to care for his younger brother and sister. Now, with his siblings grown, Brody owns his own business, has a nice house, makes a nice living, and for the first time in years he’s on his own.

Elise Sorenson has come to Seattle with her young daughter to find peace. After years as a world-famous ballerina—(and just as many years in a marriage-gone-bad)—she’s looking for neither love nor attention. But she finds both in the handsome, honest man who befriends her with no strings attached.

More than friends, Brody and Elise discover in each other what they need—wild, physical passion without commitment. But it’ll take a shadow from Elise’s past to make them look beyond what they need—to what they truly desire.

It takes an accident, in which a speeding car hits Brody for neighbors Brody Brown and Elise Sorenson to make the first contact after noticing each other from afar ever since Elise moved to the neighborhood. The accident is the start of a tentative exploring of the feelings that are growing between them but before they can live happily ever after, there are some issues, mainly from Elise's past that need to be dealt with.

Brody is caring, responsible, sexy and masculine. He is alpha, but not overly so and he's a real family man. He loves his family and would do anything for the people he cares about. He is the epitome of a good guy with a bad boy exterior. He's big and tattooed and may look intimidating but he is so caring and...well, sweet. I have no other word for it, even if in the bedroom he is very clear and firm about what he wants. It was this last bit of him that made me fall hard for Brody. He is very vocal in what he wants and how he wants it. Since I really appreciate dirty talking sweet guys, Brody is very much a man after my own heart.

Elise is a woman with a difficult past but she has overcome it and is now trying to make a good life for herself and her daughter, Rennie (Irene). She is calm, attentive and direct and would walk through fire for her daughter. She has closed herself off from love and romance and decides that, with Brody, sex will have to do. She is not ready to put herself and Rennie in a vulnerable position with a man ever again.

As in LAID BARE, again in COMING UNDONE Lauren Dane doesn't shy away from heavy emotional subjects and again it's all about family. I loved the easy banter and the bond between Erin, Brody and Adrian. But the mother-daughter bond between Elise and her daughter and parents was also beautifully written. The close tight-knit family theme throughout the book showed that people who genuinely and truly care about them and support them surround Brody and Elise.

Slowly but intensely and effortlessly I was pulled deeper and deeper into a story that builds up gradually but is fast-paced nonetheless. Lauren Dane's fluent writing is contributes for a great deal to that because unperceived you read and read and want to keep reading until before you know it you are at the end of another great story by her hand. I loved the build-up of Brody and Elise's relationship. I took every step into it along with them. The slow and gradual build up was not only found in the romance but also in the plot. From the start you know there's something ominous surrounding Elise, something from her past. Throughout the first part of the book this is just touched briefly with small hints in Elise's POV and some dialogues and in the second part things are slowly revealed. One thing that I didn't like much in the plot was the way it was wrapped up. After the slow build, the wrap-up felt a bit rushed and brushed over, I was expecting a bit more conflict and fireworks there but it wasn't delivered to me.

To me COMING UNDONE, despite being intense and emotional, did not reach the level of intensity LAID BARE had. That book just rattled me and is still one of the favorite sexy contemporary books I've read. That being said COMING UNDONE still was a perfect combination of emotional and extremely hot writing. The sex scenes...wow, just wow. I know from other books by Lauren Dane that she is the goddess of the scorching hot love scenes but with COMING UNDONE she exceeded my already high expectations and she did it without anything other than two people, a man and a woman, wanting each other. No m/f/m, BDSM or other more bold and much used tropes within erotic romance. So even if I wasn't as blown away as I was with the first book of this series, COMING UNDONE, managed to keep me enthralled from start to finish because Lauren Dane is excellent at writing family bonds and dynamics and combine them with strong characters, heavy emotions and sizzling hot love scenes.

Brody, Elise and Rennie made the pages burn, made my heart melt and made me root for them and their relationship and now I am so ready for Cope to come and sweep me off my feet because the little mentions of him in COMING UNDONE weren't nearly enough to satisfy my craving for him and his story.

Quotes:
He'd meant to slide into it, to take it slow and give her a sweet smooch. Instead, the moment her taste met his lips, a fire banked within him. He needed more and settled in, coaxing her mouth open, sliding his tongue along hers, only barely resisting his desire to cup one of her breasts, though his palm felt the phantom press of a wanton nipple

Something passed between them, addictive and sweet, sticky and heady, and like an addict, she wanted more.

She'd never imagined anyone saying such a thing to her. So raw and beautiful, honest and frankly sexual. It was invigorating to have someone want her like that. Thrilling. This man before her was hers in a sense, in her bed, wanting her in his life both in his bed and out of it. That was a powerful lure. To be wanted that way soothed some jagged spot inside she hadn't know was rubbing her raw until his presence eased it.

And just because I can't resist a bit of Cope
Cope flashed a smile, complete with a dimple. This guy was a real bad boy. His grin was pure sex and he knew it. It charmed her.
(*sigh* and *drool*)

Rating: 8.7 out of 10
April 1, 2010

Back Cover:
Glasgow is being terrorized by a serial killer the media have nicknamed The Cutter. The murders have left the police baffled. There seems to be neither rhyme nor reason behind the killings; no kind of pattern or motive; an entirely different method of murder each time, and nothing that connects the victims except for the fact that the little fingers of their right hands have been severed.
If DS Rachel Narey could only work out the key to the seemingly random murders, how and why the killer selects his victims, she would be well on her way to catching him. But as the police, the press and a threatening figure from Glasgow's underworld begin to close in on The Cutter, his carefully-laid plans threaten to unravel - with horrifying consequences.


People who follow my blog and me know I am not a big fan of books told in first person narrative and when I started to suspect RANDOM was written from the killer's POV and only from the killer's POV I started to wonder what I'd gotten myself into by offering to read this book for review.

When I started to read it I didn't know if I was going to like this type of thriller. For me it was a very unusual concept to make the killer the protagonist and following the story from his POV. I am more used to reading thrillers where the focus is on the police procedures and how law enforcement investigates and tries to discover whom the killer is. That being said I truly enjoyed reading this book and started to feel sorry for the killer along the way and while discovering his motives. From his POV you also see the way the police deals with these weird and random killings, these parts are shown in newspaper article quotes and they were ingeniously done.

RANDOM tells the story of a serial killer who chooses his victims randomly, making sure he doesn't leave any clues about his person. When one of his random picks leads him to a victim who turns out to be connected to a known local gangster, he not only has the police after him but Glasgow's most renowned criminal as well. As random as he chooses his victims, he's meticulously precise in his preparations and execution of the murders.

The way he picked his victims was both intriguing and appalling and the same is to be said about the horrible ways he killed his victims. The seemingly random killing however served a purpose and I was surprised to discover that. It was slowly and brilliantly set up and revealed by the author. Even though I didn't always agree with the protagonist's actions and some of them were really hideous, still Craig Robertson has the talent to make me sympathize with him, feel sorry for him and to understand his anger and grief and why he was doing what he was doing.

Just when I thought I had the killer all figured out and thought the ending was going to be a bit predictable, Craig Robertson turned it around and gave me a surprising and unexpected ending that was an accumulation of twists and turns I really didn't see coming. The conclusion of this different to me and fascinating read was an amazingly powerful final chapter that left me with a lump in my throat, wondering what had just happened.

Sometimes a book comes along of which you have no or low expectations. Then you start reading and after getting used to the concept, the fascination reels you in and doesn't let go until an ending that is just perfect and fitting the story. RANDOM was such a book for me.

If you like to read thrillers that aren't a dime a dozen and don't fit the picture you have of thrillers RANDOM is a perfect pick!

Thank you to Carolyn from BOOKCHICKCITY and Ally Glynn at SIMON & SCHUSTER UK for the opportunity given to read and review this wonderful book.

Quote:
It was a magnificent Victorian building but it had been plastered with so much gold leaf and crystal that it reminded me of an old whore with far too much make-up. It tried for plush refinement and it managed classy brothel.

Rating: 8.0 out of 10

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Pearl
Netherlands
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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  • 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

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  • 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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