**REVIEW** ~ Love’s Misadventure (Mason Siblings Series book #1), by Cheri Champagne

Regency Historical Romance

Heat Level Spicy

Cheri Champagne

Book Blurb

Miss Annabel Bradley refuses to accept life as a spinster. Her many years of pouring greedily over gothic novels has put her head in the clouds; dreaming and hoping for the love she reads about. She has always held a tendre for her best friend, Lane Mason, seventh Earl of Devon, but she does not want to jeopardize their friendship by telling him about those indecent dreams of hers. Anna, therefore, makes a life-changing decision; she is going to accept the proposal of the next suitor to ask!

Lane Mason is an average aristocrat; absorbed in life in general, and content with his status in society. Amid a frequently occurring moment of self-loathing, Lane shockingly discovers his feelings for Anna. Now armed with the awareness of his love for Anna, Lane decides to perpetrate a devilishly clever scheme. He will pay actors to abduct the two of them in order to give Anna an adventure like the ones she reads in her treasured books.

Lane’s plans go awry, however, when they are kidnapped in truth.

Review ***** (5 Stars)

Glorious Friends to Lovers Romance!

Cheri Champagne’s Love’s Misadventure is a true gem. The book, #1 in her Mason Siblings series, is essentially a friends to lovers romance, containing plenty of passion, misunderstandings, suspense and humour. It is a real page-turner and a delight to read.

Annabel has been in love with her best friend Lane for years, but she fears that her feelings are not reciprocated. Once more, she is already past the age when her parents hoped to see her wed and dearly wants a family of her own. Knowing that Lane only sees her as a friend, albeit a dear one, she accepts another’s proposal. Lane, finally realising that he is wildly attracted to Annabel, but believing that he can never be the man that she wants him to be, resolves to ensure that she experiences one of the adventures she so enjoys reading about in the gothic novels she favours, before she disappears into the arms of another. He arranges a fake kidnap, except the kidnap turns out to be very real indeed and puts their safety and very lives at risk!

Thrown together in captivity, the couple find that they cannot deny their feelings to one another for much longer and there are some sensual and passion filled scenes. Yet will they survive their ordeal? If they are freed, how will society and her fiancé view Annabel now that she is a fallen woman? will Lane make an honest woman of her? What connection is there between Annabel’s brother Charles and the kidnappers?

Annabel is a spunky heroine and soon rises to the challenge when faced with the adventure she so craves.  Lane is not your typical hero, but really comes into his own as the plot develops and he finally realises that nothing will come between him and his one true love. There is plenty of suspense, danger, mystery and intrigue in the plot and the secondary characters are well developed. My interest was particularly piqued by Charles, Annabel’s’s brother, who will be the hero of the next book in the series.

Highly recommended to readers of Regency Romance who like a spicy read.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review. 

Purchase Links

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Connect with the Author

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**RELEASE BLITZ & ARC REVIEW** for Hold Me Until Forever and Author Interview with Christina Phillips

Erotic Contemporary Romance

Adult/18+ read

Today it’s a huge welcome to Christina Phillips from Down Under! Christina will be releasing Hold Me Until Forever, the third and final instalment in her sizzling contemporary erotic romance series, the Grayson Brothers on January 4th. I was fortunate to be offered an ARC of this book and if you’d like to read my review, scroll down after our interview with Christina in which we quiz her about the series and her writing process.

I have been a fan of Christina’s work for years, whether she is writing historical, paranormal or contemporary romances. For me what distinguishes her work from that of others are how she writes her deliciously dominant alpha males who are always a perfect fit for the women who are destined to be theirs. If you’d like to read my reviews of some of Christina’s other books, I’ve included the links at the end of the post. Tina ❤

HMF

Blurb

She’s the only one he wants…and the one he can never have

Ella Clark has been in love with Alex Grayson forever. She’s tired of being invisible—or worse, being treated like his kid sister. If she can just get him to drop his iron-fisted control for two seconds, she’ll prove she knows exactly how to blow his mind.

Alex has been fighting his attraction to Ella since her should-have-been-innocent sweet sixteen kiss burned down his world. He’s damaged, and there’s no way he’ll ever drag her into his screwed up life. Until she offers him something he’s always craved—steamy, no-strings sex inside his exclusive BDSM club. Where she’ll be safe from the darkness that haunts him.

Except there’s nothing safe about being with Ella, and the more she gives, the harder it is to let her go. If he stays, he risks everything, but how can he walk away from the only woman he’s ever needed?

Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write the Grayson Brothers series? 

I’d wanted to write a connected series about brothers for some time, but it wasn’t until mid 2014 that the Grayson brothers suddenly appeared in my mind. They were hot, tough and had survived a brutal childhood and I was instantly hooked and had to find out more about them!

2. Did you base any elements of your heroes or heroines on anyone you know?  

Well, it’s a closely guarded secret that I have a slight crush on Henry Cavill and I’ve based a few heroes on him in the past (not only is that man beautiful he’s so versatile when it comes to heroes!) However, strangely enough, he wasn’t the inspiration behind any of my Grayson brothers.

3. In the three novels which make up the series, Hold Me Until Midnight, Hold Me Until Morning and now Hold Me Forever, the three Grayson brothers and the women they are destined to love are all very different. Have you a favourite couple, brother or heroine? 

Oh this is a hard question because I love each couple for different reasons. But if you’re really going to push me for an answer, then I’ll have to say Alex and Ella, in Hold Me Until Forever. They’ve known each other all their lives and Ella is literally the girl next door, who’s been secretly in love with Alex for years. As for Alex, he’s so consumed with guilt at what happened in the past that he’s convinced he doesn’t deserve her. I just love these two and desperately wanted them to have their happily-ever-after.

4. Whose book was the most challenging to write and why? 

Each book had their own challenges, but I always knew Alex’s book would be hard, because of his past and the barriers he’d erected around his heart. Unfortunately I was right! It took a long time to unravel the layers and reach the core of the man, but when I did I fell in love with him all over again. 🙂

5. What do you think makes a good hero and heroine?

I like a heroine who isn’t afraid to go for what she wants, in her own way, and who is the hero’s match in every way that counts. As for the hero, I do love a man with a sense of humour. It doesn’t matter how powerful, wealthy or bad boy hot he is, I just love it when he has that moment of not taking himself seriously. And I have to admit I do like it when the hero needs to do a bit of a grovel at the end of the book!

6. Why do you think most romance readers have such an appetite for alpha males and are they fulfilling to write?  

There are several degrees of alpha male, but I think what makes them so fascinating is their air of danger, their conviction that they’ll never fall in love and then of course their utter devotion and loyalty to the woman who finally captures their heart. I love writing about them, and have a special sense of glee when their heroine ends up bringing them to their knees. 🙂

7. The hero in your latest Grayson novel, Alex, has a penchant for BDSM. Did you (cough, cough) have to carry out any research into this world before writing the novel? 😉 

Heh 🙂 Well, I do have a vivid imagination which helps, but I also did some online research. Also an author friend did a series of interviews with Doms on her blog last year, which was very enlightening.

8. Have you any writing/publishing projects in the pipeline that you are able to share? 

I have a few things in the pipeline that I’m very excited about! I’m in a second TAKEN boxed set with Cathleen Ross and Mel Teshco which will be out very soon, and I also have a release with Tule Publishing for their new erotic romance line, Eros, in January – Every Breath You Take. The hero is a tattooed bad boy, who after five years meets up again with the one girl he can never have. I also have a super-secret project in the works that I can’t wait to share!

9. Have you a message to readers? 

Thank you for reading and enjoying my books! And thank you for taking the time to let me know. It really does mean so much! Yes, authors are a needy bunch!!!

Forever 1

My Review ~ ***** FIVE stars

Steamy and Heartfelt!

Hold Me Until Forever is a combustible mix of one damaged alpha male with a penchant for BDSM and a long-time female friend he has forbidden himself to lust after but who desires him like no other! I just LOVED this read from the off and although all of the books in Christina Phillips’ Grayson Brothers series are fab reads this is my favourite: I like my heroes to be alpha, brooding and tortured and Alex fits the bill perfectly, and Ella is a perfect foil for him: understanding his dark past and being spunky enough to stand up to him.

Alex has had an unbelievably tragic childhood, fearing his emotional responses to situations and likes to keep people at a distance. This is especially so when it comes to relationships with the opposite sex, where he is careful to keep his emotional barriers well and truly up, lest he loses control. Excalibur, the BDSM club which he part owns, is where he goes to have his sexual needs fulfilled, knowing that he can, through a combination of control and safe words, ensure the safety of his submissives.

Despite his attraction to Ella he has treated her like a younger sister for years to protect her from his dark nature. Alex has been hoping that Ella, who works at his security firm, will hook up with his brother Cooper. However, when Cooper, as well as his brother Jackson show that they have found their own soulmates, things are about to change. Alex’s icy façade that he has maintained when it comes to Ella begins to crack and when she offers him total submission at his BDSM club, he cannot resist. Yet rather than this being a one off experience for them, both crave more.

I felt so much for both characters. Ella understands Alex’s issues, having witnessed his past, and is very giving emotionally. However, there is a limit to even what she can endure. Maybe Alex is just too broken to ever want a normal relationship? For his part Alex begins to unravel and is forced to face his demons from the past. It remains to be seen whether he will be able to cope with what Ella really wants, a relationship with all of him, not just the part confined to his club, however much she adores the ecstasy he brings her to (and the scenes between them are damn hot)!

The characters, plot, dialogue and the pacing in this book all came together perfectly for me and Christina Phillips once again excels in writing the most delightfully erotic and heartfelt love-making scenes. The book works very well as a standalone, but if you enjoy steamy contemporary romances why stop at one Grayson brother when you can enjoy reading about all three? You can find out about Cooper and Jackson’s romances in the first two novels in the series, Hold Me Until Midnight and Hold Me Until Morning.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note that a copy of this book was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon US

About the Author

Christina Phillips is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her high school sweetheart and their family. She enjoys writing paranormal, historical and contemporary romance where the stories sizzle and the heroine brings her hero to his knees.

She is a triple finalist in the 2013 ARRA Awards for Favorite Erotic Romance, and finalist in the 2012 ARRA Awards for Favorite Paranormal Romance. She is published by Entangled, Ellora’s Cave and Berkley Heat and has dipped her toe in the indie pubbed waters. She is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers of America, the Dark Side Down Under Group blog and Historical Hearts Group blog. She helped establish the inaugural Professional Development for Authors program and has been a member of the editorial team for the RWA’s monthly newsletter, Hearts Talk. She loves hearing from her readers!

Christina is addicted to good coffee, expensive chocolate and bad boy heroes. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Connect with Christina

Website

Facebook

Twitter

For our reviews of some of Christina’s other books click on the links:

Hold Me Until Midnight

Hold Me Until Morning

Bloodlust Denied

Willow (Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives #9)

Taken by the Sheikh* (Boxed Set), by Christina Phillips, Mel Treshco and Cathleen Ross

Her Savage Scot, Highland Warrior Chronicles #1

Her Vengeful Scot (Highland Warrior Chronicles #2)

 

**REVIEW** ~ Living the Dream, by Celia J. Anderson

Contemporary Romance

Living the Dream, by Celia J. Anderson is a fabulous read and I know that the characters and their story will stay with me for a long time! Scroll down for my review. You can also click here to read an interview with Celia which we carried out earlier this year and an excerpt. Tina ❤

Living the Dream

Book Blurb

When dreams and reality crash and mingle, escape can be the hardest challenge of all.

Longing to get away from her troubled marriage, the opportunity to cross America by train seems like a dream come true for Vita Craythorne. But charismatic travel agent Moriarty Miles has other ideas; by replacing their mutual friend Jack on the trip, Vita has unwittingly set herself up as a guinea pig for Moriarty’s mind-blowing and potentially dangerous virtual-travelling project. His plan is to give clients the holiday of a lifetime without ever having to leave the comfort of their own homes. It’s exciting. It’s time-saving. It’s innovative. Maybe this trip is just what Vita needs? That is, if she can avoid becoming trapped inside her own, miraculous dream world.

Review

Life-Changing Adventure and Suspense/ Friends to Lovers Romance FIVE STARS *****

Living the Dream is a super story in which the reader accompanies the heroine an a life-changing adventure across the USA. In it Celia J. Anderson takes us into the unfamiliar and sometimes menacing territory of the virtual world, where reality and dreams collide. Mystery and suspense, heartache and romance are inter- dispersed with gentle humour and a host of quirky and unforgettable characters.

The heroine, Vita, whose marriage is on the rocks, jumps at the chance to go on the holiday of a lifetime across America. I just loved how, with the help of her friends, she steps up to the challenge and re-invents herself after years of being trapped in an unhappy marriage. Her transformation from the downtrodden individual that she had become into a vibrant and confident individual was one of the many aspects of the novel I  enjoyed. Indeed, Vita’s physical journey across the USA mirrors the inner journey that she unexpectedly embarks on thanks to the unorthodox research methods of the mysterious, handsome and unprincipled Moriaty and the sinister and Svengali like Sebastian!

Vita’s complex back story reveals itself as the novel progresses and we not only learn about her marriage and her family relationships, but how her long-term friendship with her handsome colleague Jack develops into something a lot more tangible…..  Yet Jack is on the other side of the Pond and how can he save her from the pull of the virtual world that threatens her sanity? There is a great deal of suspense and a host of sinister and deeply psychological scenes as Vita is confronted with demons from her past and Jack is compelled to go to her aid.

I really enjoyed the characters in the novel: Vita’s larger than life boss Fliss, at the Marriage Guidance firm where she works; the mysterious Moriaty and his sidekick Sebastian; her quirky co-travellers on the trip across the US and the loyal and handsome Jack who has his own family troubles to deal with…

The virtual reality aspect of the book was nicely done and credible, as Vita and her co-travellers are subjected to strange experiences that were not on their itinerary! This added a sinister aspect to the novel, contrasting nicely with the humour and romance and serving as an unusual catalyst for Vita’s life journey. The read is interlaced with gentle humour and observations on life and the human condition which really resonated with me.

To sum up, a delightful read, with adult themes, mystery, suspense and romance. Highly original.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

Please note, a copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK   Amazon.com

Connect with Celia

http://celiajanderson.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/CeliaJAndersonAuthor

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7182026.Celia_J_Anderson

https://twitter.com/celiaanderson1

 

** ARC REVIEW** ~ Willow (Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives #9), by Christina Phillips

Erotica/Erotic Romance

Adult/18+ Read – Release Day 19th February 2015

Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives, a series of short reads. Each scorching instalment gives the reader a snapshot of the adventures of a different member of a group of women from the City’s elite and each story is HOT stuff!  The series is penned by some of Australia’s finest writers of erotic romance and erotica and each tale delves into the psyche of each female character, giving a no-holds-barred account of their sexual predilections and fantasies. Each scorching instalment can be read as a stand alone, but we also get a chance to meet  the other characters throughout. I had the pleasure of receiving the first three reads in the series to review: Virginia, Lana and Nella. Read on for my thoughts on Christina Phillips’ contribution to the series, Willow. The pre-order links are included below. Tina

Book Blurb

23356789Meet the Housewives of Sydney. They are wealthy, elegant, poised, and constantly in the public eye. But what goes on behind closed doors, in the private homes and parties where the cameras and paparazzi aren’t welcome? Delve into the most personal details of their relationships, their friendships and their lives. The only question is: can you handle the heat?

Willow has loved Seb for as long as she can remember, but he has a past that she can’t handle, so she’s never done anything about it. But to not have him in her life is unthinkable, so she holds on to him the only way she can – through friendship. Now his writing career is taking off, and Willow finds herself increasingly jealous of his groupies and increasingly unable to keep her feelings to herself.

An unexpected visit leads to an unanticipated kiss – and Seb and Willow end up in her bed. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to Willow, but can she trust that Seb wants more than a bit of afternoon delight – and can she trust herself to let go of the past in order to gain a future?

My Review *****

Male Hotness Alert in this Friends to Lovers Erotic Romance!

Willow by Christina Phillips, #9 in the Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives series is a short, sizzling and satisfying read, where Seb, a very determined male, orchestrates a carefully choreographed seduction designed to destroy the heroine Willow’s resolve to resist him! Yet is he playing for keeps and if so can Willow overcome her fears?

I have read the first three instalments of this series, Virginia, Lana and Nella  (click on the titles for my review) and although Willow is just as hot, as the story between Seb and Willow unfolded, I also found their romance to be incredibly poignant, sweet and at times humorous.

The couple have been friends for years and there is an undeniable attraction between them. I love how Seb, realising that his subtle hints to Willow about how he feels have gone unheeded, decides to go all out on a last ditch attempt to seduce the pants (and all other items of clothing) off her! Cue some of Christina Phillips’ erotic seduction scenes, which totally rock the world of the reader and the couples she writes about. I can assure you that the lovemaking scenes in Willow are no exception! Seb is one hell of a determined and sexy alpha male, yet although Willow succumbs willingly to his physical charms do the couple have a future together or will the past always come between them? Whilst we are left in no doubt as to Seb’s determination to succeed in his quest to make Willow his, we also come to understand her very real trepidation and I really wanted their relationship to go to the next level.

As with the other stories in the series, we also catch up with the other ‘housewives’ of Sydney at one of their get-togethers, this time hosted by Willow.

I recommend Willow to lovers of  romance who fancy a sizzling take on the friends to lovers  theme.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of Willow was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase Links

Amazon UK  Amazon US

Connect with the Author

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Not Another Soldier,by Samantha Holt

19547666A Hot, Sexy and Suspenseful Read!

Sensual Military Romance

Samantha Holt writes fabulous medieval romances and she has now produced her first full length contemporary romance in Not Another Soldier. Once again she has penned a super sensual read,  simmering with sexual tension and hot love making scenes, in a plot containing strong characters, danger and suspense.

In Not Another Soldier – Sienna has just buried her husband Rob, a Marine, the very man whom she was about to divorce due to her unhappiness with their marriage. Rob’s best friend Nick, also in the military, has been drawn to Sienna for years and has disliked how Rob treated her. Both Sienna and Nick have been aware of their mutual attraction, as Sienna’s marriage crumbled around her, but have refused to acknowledge it, valuing their own friendship. Nick has never made a move on Sienna, being an honourable man and loyal to his friend. Similarly Sienna has stayed true to her marriage vows. Nick feels that now all bets are off and determines to make Sienna his. However, despite her attraction to Nick, Sienna resolves not to get involved with another soldier, believing that it can only lead to isolation and unhappiness.

Emotions run high after Rob’s death and Nick and Sienna succumb to their mutual attraction in some emotional and smoking hot scenes! Sienna tries to stick to her guns and is determined to remain a singleton for a while, to regain her self-confidence and independence and not get involved with another military man. Yet Nick is not so easily rebuffed, and when Sienna is in danger due to the criminal activities of her deceased husband he will use everything in his arsenal to protect her. NOTHING will prevent him from making Sienna his woman, not the ghost of Nick, not Sienna herself and certainly not a drugs cartel from Rob’s past, which is putting Sienna’s life at risk. When danger closes in, Nick wants to be there to protect her. However, will she let him into her heart and life and realise that he is NOT just another soldier and nothing at all like her deceased husband? Also will she survive the attention that she has attracted from the leader of the drugs ring?

I absolutely ADORED Nick! He is loyal and honourable and above all single minded in his determination to protect Sienna and to overcome her doubts to ensure that they have a future together. I liked that he was honest with her about his feelings, and whilst respecting her views he never gives up on her and takes every opportunity he is presented with to foster a physical and emotional bond between them. A determined Alpha male, with a heart of gold, is just SO SEXY! He is conscious of the injury to his leg that he sustained whilst serving for his country but loves Sienna even more for the fact that she neither pities him nor puts him on a pedestal for it. Sienna has been through a lot during her marriage and her self-confidence has been eroded. Despite this she is a strong and sassy character. Her attraction to Nick, which she finds impossible not to succumb to, wars with her determination to maintain her independence and she feels that everything is happening too quickly.

The book is a fantastic read, with an exciting but credible plot, characters who you can believe in and great pacing which maintained my interest throughout.  As with all Samantha Holt’s writing sexual tension oozes from the page whenever the hero and heroine appear together and the love making scenes are sexy, sensual and sublime. The novel is written in the first person and whole chapters are recounted either from the POV of Sienna or Nick. I felt that this gave the novel a more contemporary feel and also worked well as it allowed the reader to get into the minds and the motivations of the two main characters and view the different scenes through their eyes. The element of suspense and danger in the novel certainly added to my enjoyment. I feel that this author has found another sub genre of romance in which she can showcase her writing talents.

If you like your contemporary romances to be sensual and contain strong characters and an element of suspense then this is definitely a read that you should consider. I expect that readers who are already fans of Samantha Holt’s historical romances will enjoy her foray into contemporary romance as well as readers of contemporary romances who are new to her work. I sincerely hope that she will be writing more full length contemporary romances.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of this novel was given to me by the author for the purpose of a fair and honest review.

Purchase links: Amazon UK   Amazon US

Find and connect with Samantha Holt:

https://www.facebook.com/romanticfiction

http://www.samanthaholt.org.uk/

http://www.samanthaholtauthor.blogspot.co.uk