R: Review of Power Shift by Cassandra Carr

Power Shift is a novella about a married couple in a relationship rut after twelve years. Cissy decides to shake things up and take a more dominant role in their love life.

This was a pretty good read. There just aren’t enough books about long-term relationships. I enjoyed the tension between the psychological and physical reactions of the characters as they explored a whole new world of sexual games. At times, the details about the research they both do feels a little technical, but in some ways I liked that they were both being practical about their sexual explorations. It showed how serious they were—Cissy especially—about saving their marriage.

My biggest criticism of Power Shift is that the ending felt very abrupt. I wanted to read more of their story as they continued to work on their marital problems and rebuild their relationship both in and out of bed. As it was left, I wondered if they’d really be able to work everything out after their promising initial steps. For that reason, I have to give this novella 4 cat kisses.

4 cats


Sometimes a wife has to go to extreme measures to save her marriage.

When Cissy Holden doesn’t feel appreciated, she takes matters into her own hands and introduces her wayward husband Len to a new way of life wherein she makes the decisions–and the rules. Will Len give up control or has Cissy just made the biggest mistake of her life?

NOTE: Previously released by another publisher as Unexpected Top.

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About the Author

Cassandra Carr is a multi-award winning romance and action adventure writer. When not working, she enjoys watching hockey, Arrow, and a select few other shows, or hanging out online. Cassandra’s books have won numerous “Best Book Of” awards and her novella Power Shift was nominated in the E-book Erotic Romance category of RT’s Reviewers’ Choice 2013 Awards.

She thinks the best part of being a writer is penning stories about love, adventure, and sex while most others struggle with commutes, micro-managing bosses and cranky co-workers. There isn’t enough money in the world that would entice her to join Corporate America again. She and her muse are sublimely happy doing their own thing.

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Review: 21 Days by Bethany Lopez

21 Days is a steamy romance that is book two in Bethany Lopez’s Time for Love series. TJ loses his job and apartment in one fell swoop, and Sasha offers to let him stay with her until he gets back on his feet. He gives himself twenty-one days to find a new job and place to live.

I didn’t read the first book in this series, but the group of six twenty-somethings, friends since high school, are prominently featured throughout. I had no trouble following this book. It’s a straightforward plot of good friends finding their way as adults. Sasha and TJ both had difficult childhoods due to poor parents, and in TJ’s case, poverty and physical abuse. They’re both gun shy of having a real relationship, and living together challenges the boundaries they’ve set.

The book reads quickly. It’s in first person, alternating between TJ’s and Sasha’s POV. I often dislike first person books from multiple points of view, but Ms. Lopez does a pretty good job of adding in enough details to make the voices distinct. I enjoyed this feel-good story of friendship and love, and give it four cat kisses.

4 cats


Sasha and TJ are no strangers to enjoying sex with no strings attached, so when they decide to act on their mutual attraction, there should be no reason why they can’t apply that same philosophy to each other.

Money has never been an issue for Sasha, which made proving herself as a real estate dynamo a personal challenge she was determined to conquer. Raised in a gilded world masking neglect and disappointment, she learned not to depend on anyone, especially when it comes to love and relationships. Men are great for companionship, but she isn’t looking for anything serious.

Used to going without, TJ has worked hard to be able to support himself. When he loses his job and his home in one fell swoop, he faces relying on others for the first time in his adult life. Then Sasha steps in, offering him a place to stay until he’s back on his feet. He grudgingly agrees, but vows to be out of her guest room within 21 days.

They’ll discover that a lot can change in 21 days, especially when they decide to give the idea of “friends with benefits” a try. As each day passes, Sasha and TJ become closer than they’ve ever been. Will they be able to go back to being just friends when their days together are up, or will they allow their personal hang-ups to get in the way of what they really cherish most?

Buy Links:

About the Author

Award-Winning Author Bethany Lopez began self-publishing in June 2011. She’s a lover of all things romance: books, movies, music, and life, and she incorporates that into the books she writes. When she isn’t reading or writing, she loves spending time with her husband and children, traveling whenever possible. Some of her favorite things are: Kristen Ashley Books, coffee in the morning, and In N Out burgers.

 

Book Review: Long Overdue by Tara Andrews

Long Overdue is part of the 1NightStand series, which if you aren’t familiar with it, features short, steamy romances from a variety of authors. All involve individuals who employ the services of the 1NightStand dating service, whose owner has a knack for giving the clients exactly what they need. I’ve read several offerings from this extensive series, but this was my first by Tara Andrews.

I enjoyed this story, which moved quickly, had some nice humor, and delved into the characters’ psyche’s well for the work’s length. Jill and Blake knew each other in college but had since gone their separate ways. What they didn’t know is that they both had crushes on one another back in the day. When they find themselves paired up, the sparks fly. They both come with past wounds that make it difficult for them to open up, and there is a nice push and pull from both parties.

Long Overdue gets 4 cat kisses.

4 cats


Jill Malone has been looking for love for all the wrong reasons. A reality check has her signing up for a no-strings attached night to simply forget about forever after. The last thing she expected was to know her blind date.

Blake Anders doesn’t need help finding a date, but he’s tempted by 1Night Stand’s reputation of arranging exactly what a person needs. And he needs more. Though doubtful, he agrees to one night and hopes to discover his perfect match. He didn’t count on Madame Eve reaching deep into his past to give him a night with the woman he never forgot.

Fearing another broken heart, Jill works to keep herself from becoming attached, but Blake goes all in to convince her that he wants their long-overdue love to be more than a one-night stand…

About the Author

Tara Andrews divides her time between a full-time job as an office manager, an even more full-time job as a wife and mother, and her dream job as a romance author.

An avid reader and writer, Tara continuously seeks to hone her craft in order to provide readers with stories that are provocative yet romantic. She is an active member of Romance Writers of America and belongs to a local chapter. As she has learned from her own experiences, dreams do come true and women can live happily ever after. Tara strives to infuse a blend of fantasy and realism in her stories in order to connect with readers’ own experiences, hopes and emotions.

Tara lives in upstate New York with her wonderful husband and two fabulous children.

Review: Sliding into Second by Ella Jade

I’ve read several of Ms. Jade’s book, and Sliding into Second is another good, entertaining read. This novella features sports reporter Sage and second baseman Nic. They were high school sweethearts who lost track of each other, only to be reunited through their jobs years later. Having never gotten over each other, they embark on a physical reconnection that turns to more.

As with pretty much all novellas, this one has moments where events are told, not shown, as well as gaps in time. These things are almost always necessary to keep to the shorter format when telling a complicated love story. Still, Ms. Jade does a good job of making the reader care about the characters and understand their motivations. The characters are far from one-note. The sex scenes are well done and often helped move the story forward–the hallmark of a good sex scene in my mind.

If you like sports stories and tender romance mixed with hot sex, then give Sliding into Second a try. I give this novella 4 cat kisses.

4 cats


Jilted once before, now it’s her turn to level the playing field.

Hotshot sports reporter Sage Millan has been busy making a name for herself in the male dominated world of baseball. She’s just landed her dream job, and her first assignment is covering the newly crowned World Series champions, The Kingston Crushers. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. The only problem…her ex-boyfriend, and the only man she’s ever loved, is the team’s second baseman. Things ended badly between them, and she’s not sure she can put those demons to rest.

Professional baseball player Nicolas Cordova is having the time of his life. His team has just won the World Series, and with the victory comes more fame, women, and exposure than he ever could have imagined. But things are about to change for the sexy, charismatic athlete. He never expected his ex-girlfriend to walk back into his life, much less the locker room.

These days Sage is smarter, more mature, and doesn’t plan on being played a second time. Her appearance stirs old memories for Nic. She’s the one he let get away in the name of his career. He vows he can be the man she needs this time around. Will that be enough to mend her broken heart?

Content Warning: contains explicit sex and adult content

Available now for a limited time release price of .99 cents…

Beachwalk Press

Excerpt

“I’ll admit I’ve had many women in the past, and I can’t apologize for living. But as the years went by, my feelings for you were always someplace deep in my heart. I know that’s why I can’t settle down. Why I can’t find the peace I’ve been searching for. It doesn’t exist without you.”

“How can you say things like that? You don’t even know the woman I’ve become. I’m not that girl who relied on you, the one who would’ve followed you anywhere. I’m not her anymore, Nic. I can’t ever be her again.”

“Maybe I’m not asking for her.” He leaned closer to her face. “Maybe I want to know the woman you are today. I want another shot at this.”

“No,” she whispered.

“If you remember anything about me, I have a hard time with that word.” He tipped her chin, focusing on her lips. “I am going to kiss you. Right here and right now.”

Her knees buckled as a cool tremor swept through her. She wanted to say no. It was the only logical word to mutter, but her heart didn’t want her to say it. Her body wasn’t on board with turning him down either. The warmth that built in her stomach had moved lower, and now all she could think about was his lips on hers.

“It doesn’t sound like you’re asking,” she breathed out.

“I’m not.”

Before she could say anything else, his mouth was on hers, eager, but slow and soft. His stubble grazed along her chin as he tilted his head and deepened their bond. The sound throughout the crowded lobby seemed to fade into the background, and soon, all she could hear was her heart pumping loud between her ears. Why did he have to be such a freakin’ good kisser?

After the incredibly long connection, he pulled away, but not before stopping to kiss the bottom corner of her mouth like he used to.

“I’ve waited a long time to do that,” he said. “It was worth every lonely minute.”

“I… Nic…” She’d always had the gift of words. It was what she did for a living, but in that moment, all of her thoughts were jumbled and senseless.

“It’s okay.” He grinned as he stroked her cheek. “Let’s get something to eat and maybe figure this out. Whatever this is.”

“No.” She ran her hands along his strong chest, resting them on his shoulders.

“Don’t over analyze this, baby.” He glanced down at her hands on his body. “Let’s just go with it.”

“That’s what I’m trying to tell you.” She took a breath and continued before she lost her nerve. “Take me upstairs to your room. I know how we can figure this out.”

“What are you asking?” He placed his hand on the small of her back, drawing her closer to him. “You need to be real clear.”

“I want to go upstairs with you.”

“That’s not why I kissed you.”

“Isn’t it?” She smirked. “We’re adults now, Nicky. Let’s settle this like adults.”

“I’m not looking to settle anything. That usually means it’s over, and we’re nowhere near over.” He motioned for Joe. “I’ll take care of the bar tab and then we’ll get dinner.”

“No.” She draped her arms around his neck, intoxicated by the idea of being so close to him again. He may be older now, and may have lost those boyish looks, but the man he had become suited him and drove her wild with need.

“What did I tell you about that word?”

“I can guarantee I won’t be using it once we’re in your bedroom.” She ran her tongue along her top lip. “I’m going to the ladies room. When I come out, if you’re not by the elevators waiting for me, I’ll know that kiss was nothing more than the heat of the moment and we can go on with our lives.”

“Sage?”

“Shh.” She pressed her lips to his. “Now who’s over analyzing?” She reached for her purse and coat hanging on the back of the stool. “I’ll see you in a few minutes.” I hope.

This is book 2 in the Kingston Heat Series but both books stand alone and can be read in either order.

WARNING… Pax will steal your heart

Will the bad-boy pitcher strike out when it comes to love?

Shy music teacher Sophia Ballis has sworn off men. After a bad experience with a college jock she decided it was better to be alone than to get burned again. She focused on her education and now her new job at a local private school.

Professional baseball pitcher Paxton Hughes is a player both on and off the field. He’s signed to the Kingston Crushers to bring home the coveted championship title. Nothing can get in his way. Serious relationships don’t mix with a life on the road and he never loses focus on the game. One-night stands are his specialty for a reason.

While out jogging one spring morning, the two collide, setting their course in motion. Pax is immediately drawn to the unassuming beauty. Sophia is aware of his reputation and decides one night of meaningless sex with the attractive Texas charmer is just what she needs to get over her self-imposed dry spell. Pax has more than a one-night stand on his mind, but will his bad-boy persona and demanding schedule ruin any chances of a happily ever after?

Content Warning: contains explicit sex and adult content

Amazon/Beachwalk Press

About the Author

Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can’t be stopped.

Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. When she’s not chasing after her kids, she’s busy creating sexy, domineering men and the strong women who know how to challenge them in and out of the bedroom.  She hopes you’ll get lost in her words.

She loves connecting with readers. You can find her here…

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Review: Brody by Mindy Harbin

Brody is a romantic suspense featuring a woman, Xan, in the witness protection program and Brody, who is hired to help protect her. The attraction between the two sparks quickly even though they both are guarded, especially Brody who feels it’s a conflict of interest to become involved.

There are a number of hot sex scenes, of the more gritty variety–including an anal scene, which I always like to mention because I am not a huge fan of anal play. Because Ms. Harbin’s style of sex scenes wasn’t my favorite, the middle of the book dragged for me; I just wasn’t into the frequent sex. Might work perfectly for someone else though. 🙂 And I must admit that testosterone-fueled guy interaction is tedious to me, but Ms. Harbin writes it well.

I liked the last few chapters the best. I didn’t see all the twists and turns coming, and that made me like the book better and glad I slogged through the middle. For me, I give this book 3.5 cat kisses. If you like gritty sex and macho men, it could easily be a 4 or 4.5.

3.5 cats


Brody “Brutus” Jackson isn’t your average small-town mechanic. The shop where he spends his days doubles as the headquarters for the mercenary group he works with. They jokingly call themselves the Bang Shift because the government contracts they take are the less savory ones, and they’re all just shady enough to do what’s necessary to get the jobs done. As far as Brody’s concerned, it’s the perfect arrangement for a man with no memory of his past, and no hope for the future.

Under FBI protection, Alexandria Collins and her son have been in hiding for ten years. When it’s time to move again, her piece of crap car breaks down and the man giving her a tow is the biggest, hottest guy she’s ever seen. She is determined to ignore the need her long-neglected body hungers for. After all, the last man she showed interest in put a gun to her head.

Brody thinks the skittish Xan is sexy as hell, but it’s not her hot body that has him rocked to his core. He knows her from somewhere, and in his line of work, that’s a dangerous thing. Following orders have never been this hard, but he will protect her at all costs … even if what she needs protection from is him.

About the Author

Mandy Harbin is an award-winning, bestselling author of several books across multiple romance genres ranging from contemporary to paranormal erotic romance. She is also the number one bestselling author in teen romance under the pen name M.W. Muse with her popular Goddess Series. She is a Superstar Award recipient, Reader’s Crown and RWA Passionate Plume finalist, and has received Night Owl Reviews Top Pick distinction many times. She studied writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, earned several degrees, and even pursued an MBA until she realized becoming an author did not have to remain an unfulfilled dream. Mandy is a PAN member of the RWA and lives in a small Arkansas town with her non-traditional family, and although she is a direct descendant of British royalty, they refuse to call her princess. When she’s not penning her latest book, you can find her hanging out online where she loves to connect with fellow readers or stalking Mickey Mouse at Disney World.

Photos attached (I use the color one mainly when promoting my Mandy Harbin stuff and the black/white/smiling one when promoting M.W. Muse)

Mandy Harbin’s Media Links: