** 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.

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Review Round Up December ’14

Hi readers, we hope that you’re Christmas preparations are going well and that you are not too stressed with all of the arrangements, shopping and wrapping to do! Here is the last Review Round Up of 2014! As usual, there are quite a few genres with the fourteen books that we have reviewed, and we do hope that they pique your interest. (For the full review please click on the titles.)

You may be pleased to hear that we will both be doing our Top Reads of 2014 over the holidays. We have had the pleasure of reading many great reads and look forward to sharing them!

Enjoy!

Caroline & Tina ❤

Invasion Earth (Delroi Connection #1) by Loribelle Hunt, erotic/sci-fi romance (reviewed by Tina)

In the distant future, Earth has been ravaged by war and famine, and after generations of bloodshed settles into peace only to be invaded by the alien Delroi. General Alrik Torfa needs a mate and his seers promise mates for many of his people on the distant planet Earth. He doesn’t expect her to come easily, but is more than a little surprised to find her leading an enemy army. Outmanned and outgunned, there is no way the Earth forces can win.Sergeant Major Laney Bradford has always played her part and served her people well, but the demands of the Delroi’s surrender are a bit extreme. Marriage? To one of them? Not likely. But she’s fought for peace her entire life and when surrender talks are threatened by a conspiracy led by her people, Laney must choose. Will she submit to the alien invader or lead the fight against him?

Entropy by Robert Raker, dark crime drama, thriller suspense (reviewed by Caroline)

When a series of child abductions and murders disrupt the life of an economically blighted community, the consequences have far-reaching implications. The brutal crimes take a different toll on a disparate group of individuals; the scuba diver who retrieves the children’s bodies; the disfigured cellist who thinks he knows who’s responsible; the undercover federal agent; and the mother of one of the victim’s.
United in a situation not of their choosing, they are forced to take a deep, introspective look into their intersected, yet isolated lives.

To Avenge Her Highland Warrior (Highland Fae Chronicles #3) by Samantha Holt, historical romance, fantasy (reviewed by Tina)

Lorna lost everything to war. Her home, her wealth… her lover. And now she wants revenge. When her hasty plan throws her at the mercy of her enemy’s men, she holds little hope of returning to her kin and fears death is around the corner. But could her salvation lie in the arms of her dark captor? Logan has little time to be dealing with a stubborn noble woman. His orders are to prepare for war. His laird—the man he owes his life to—intends to join forces with the Norse and bring a battle to Scotland that will see the fate of the country forever changed. Scarred, and with no memory of his past, Logan is determined to forge a new future for himself as well as prove his loyalty to the laird. But the beautiful lass has him questioning his previous life and his goals. When she starts claiming he once loved her, he knows he’s being manipulated and she’s taking advantage of his memory loss. So why is it so hard to resist the idea of having once been her lover? With the threat of impending war—a battle that promises to bring slaughter to her family—can Lorna persuade Logan to believe her, and is the bitter man he’s become even worth saving? Whatever the outcome of the battle, a certain interfering faery is resolved to see fate back on its correct path. And that means forcing Lorna and Logan together—no matter their differences.

COLD CALL BOOK COVER - with blood SAFE COPYCold Call by Colin Llewelyn Chapman, dark crime drama, thriller (reviewed by Caroline)

Wealthy entrepreneur Robin Bradford had it all – the house, the cars, the fine dining – and he lost it all. All except Lizzie, his perfect, loving girlfriend. Down on his luck and with no immediate prospects in business, Robin’s energies found another outlet, Just a little something spicy to bide his time until his financial world recovered, leading him down a very seedy path, onto a very rocky road. Time however was all he had, and all he was going to get.

Due to violence, drug references and sexual content, readers are recommended to be of 18yrs+.

Benddontbreak_front_coverBend, Don’t Break (Irrevocable #2) by Skye Callahan, dark erotic romance (reviewed by Tina)

I thought I was done.
my End
I couldn’t take my eyes off her as the bullet tore through me, leaving me with nothing but the hope that I had done enough to save her. The darkness tried to engulf me—to brand me as its own and drag me to my fate.
my Darkness
Waking to see her tear-stained face above me was enough to make my heart stutter. I was alive and free from that place—but not from the toll it had taken on my mind and body.
my Strength
My story should have ended, but one woman kept standing in the way of that. The only way I could have her was to find a way to put the darkness to rest.

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda's Story)Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) (Duty & Desire #4) by C.J. Pinard, contemporary military romance, romantic comedy, chick-lit (reviewed by Caroline)

Miranda Cates finally graduates from college and is excited to begin her dream career in law enforcement. After the final betrayal and heartbreak of her college boyfriend, Chris, she moves back home with a firm plan in place for her life.

However, the life she has carefully mapped out for herself takes a serious left turn. Miranda finds she not only has to be strong for herself, but for the daughter who hadn’t been part of her plan.

Determined to still believe in true love, life throws Miranda one more wicked curveball. She meets Jace Lawless, a hot minor league baseball player, whose warm aqua eyes and big dimple have her unraveling her carefully laid plans. A man who may be just be too good to be true.

Boots Beneath My Bed (Miranda’s Story) is book 3 in the Duty & Desire series, and while it is recommended to read the books in order, it’s not necessary.

An Autumn CrushAn Autumn Crush by Milly Johnson, contemporary romantic comedy (reviewed by Caroline)

In the heart of the windy season, four friends are about to get swept off their feet…

Newly single after a bruising divorce, Juliet Miller moves into a place of her own and advertises for a flatmate, little believing that, in her mid-thirties, she’ll find anyone suitable. Then, just as she’s about to give up hope, along comes self-employed copywriter Floz, and the two women hit it off straight away.

When Juliet’s gentle giant of a twin brother, Guy, meets Floz, he falls head over heels. But, as hard as he tries to charm her, his foot seems to be permanently in his mouth. Meanwhile, Guy’s best friend Steve has always had a secret crush on Juliet – one which could not be more unrequited if it tried…

As Floz and Juliet’s friendship deepens, and Floz becomes a part of the Miller family, can Guy turn her affection for them into something more – into love for him? And what will happen to Steve’s heart when Juliet eventually catches the eye of Piers – the man of her dreams?

21473101Apartment 2B by K. Webster, Adult contemporary paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Sidney has a rough life. Her mom is incredibly abusive both mentally and physically. One day, she’s awarded the escape she’s always wanted and thrust into a world she barely understands. Each day is a struggle to feel human and not terrified of everything around her.

Sidney has rules. Routines. Structure. It’s the only way she can cope

When a handsome, yet mysterious stranger inserts himself into her life, Sidney begins to come apart at the seams. She’s having trouble sticking to her habits and it’s threatening to shred any hope of a normal life to pieces. Will this stranger help her in ways no other person can, or will things get worse for her?

He comes with his own set of problems and secrets he’s unwilling to share. Will they work together through the mess of their pasts or will they get caught up enabling each other? Will their toxic relationship ultimately be destined for demise?

MistUnveiled_HiResMist Unveiled (Elemental Desire #1) by Nancy Corrigan, erotic paranormal romance (reviewed by Tina)

Cat has one love in her life—science. Facts rule her, not passion. At least it doesn’t until an unknown deadly virus claims her sister’s life. Cat’s quest for answers takes her to Greenland and drops her into the arms of the one man who sways her devotion from logic to passion. Rune stirs her lusts, ignites her desires and fuels her carnal cravings, but he isn’t simply a lover, nor is he human. He’s a weapon, one that has the potential to save or destroy her.

Rune, a child of the mist, awakens into a world hovering on the verge of destruction. Rising temperatures have released his enemies from their frozen prison without his knowledge. He searches for them but finds Cat, a human with the power to save him and the world. He hungers for her—blood, body and soul. Every moment of shared passion convinces him of the truth—she’s his greatest treasure, one he’ll die to keep.

Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives (Virginia #1, Lana #2 & Nella #3) by Rhian Cahill, Cate Ellink & Cathleen Ross, erotica (reviewed by Tina)

Cool, collected, confident – those who know Virginia in her personal and professional life would never expect to find her in Boyd’s, a bar across town from her circle of friends and socialite world. But Boyd’s offers her something she can’t get among her rarefied acquaintances: sex. Rough, hard, mind-blowing, anonymous sex. In her casual clothes, she’s no one important. Incognito, unnoticed by everyone except one: the bartender who knows her drink order – and would like to know a whole lot more.

22584Lana by Cate Ellink: Lana lives her life by her own rules – and she has very few. What she wants, she goes for, and she very rarely fails. So when a young, handsome waiter at her favourite restaurant catches her eye, she has no hesitation in asking him to escort her home. But one night of passion opens up exciting new possibilities, and a chance for Lana to enact one of her deepest, most illicit fantasies.

23510826Nella by Cathleen Ross: Nella is one hundred percent in control of her life – all aspects of her life. She excels at knowing what everyone needs, and in meeting those needs. So when it comes to her husband, Michael, and his deepest desires and most fundamental requirements, she is committed, creative, and unswerving in her responsibilities. A strong man needs a strong woman, and Nella’s love is as strong as steel.

Cursed (Cursed trilogy #1) & Obsession (Cursed trilogy #2) by Georgina Hannan, young adult paranormal horror (reviewed by Caroline)

CursedCursed: Reality and Myths collide.
A young adult story about a group of four friends who embark on a holiday together to the gorgeous countryside of Dartmoor, Devon. Each of them hoping for an adventure, something they will always remember. However it isn’t long before they get what they want.

The group are plagued by noises after hearing the myths and legends of the area. Is it just their overactive imaginations or is there a visitor in the spare room who is trying to get their attention?

Join the group on a spectacular journey as they discover what Dartmoor has to offer.

Obsession by Georgina Hannan_1Obsession: There’s a fine line between Obsession and Madness.

After a strange and exciting holiday, Daisy is looking forward to the new start University life will bring.

A life changing assignment makes her question the fine line between Obsession and Madness.

Can she tell the difference?
Can you?

CANDY CAIN by C.L. Scholey - Click Image to CloseCandy Cain (festive short story) by C.L. Scholey, hot, contemporary romance, festive (reviewed by Caroline)

Candy is on top of the world. She’s a high priced corporate lawyer with expensive cars, time on her hands, and money to burn. Although, she has no one to burn it on, except for a yearly ritual of buying toys and treats for the needy at Christmas time.

Cain is an egotistical enigma. A very deprived and hurting enigma, who feels wishes are for fools. A car accident leaves them stranded together, and the two have no choice but to warm each other’s cold bodies, lest they freeze to death.

As the temperature dips outside, the heat begins to sizzle inside. Candy and Cain, though worlds apart in society, begin to feel perhaps they have more in common than either could ever wish for.

Will they both discover the miracle of Christmas wishes isn’t just for the very young?

A Way from Heart to HeartA Way From Heart to Heart by Helena Fairfax, contemporary romance (reviewed by Caroline)

After the death of her husband in Afghanistan, Kate Hemingway’s world collapses around her. Kate’s free time is spent with a charity for teenage girls, helping them mend their broken lives – which is ironic, since her own life is fractured beyond repair.

Reserved, ex-public school journalist Paul Farrell is everything Kate and her teenage charges aren’t. But when Paul agrees to help Kate with her charity, he makes a stunning revelation that changes everything.

But can Kate take a risk with her son’s happiness as well as her own?

6624391The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen, historical romance, religious (reviewed by Tina)

Believing herself guilty of a crime, Olivia Keene flees her home, eventually stumbling upon a grand estate where an elaborate celebration is in progress. But all is not as joyous as it seems. Lord Bradley has just learned a terrible secret, which, if exposed, will change his life forever. When he glimpses a figure on the grounds, he fears a spy or thief has overheard his devastating news. He is stunned to discover the intruder is a scrap of a woman with her throat badly injured. Fearing she will spread his secret, he gives the girl a post and confines her to his estate. As Olivia and Lord Bradley’s secrets catch up with them, will their hidden pasts ruin their hope of finding love?

**REVIEW** Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives (Virginia #1, by Rhian Cahill, Lana #2, by Cate Ellink & Nella #3, by Cathleen Ross)

Indulge your Fantasies with the Sydney Elite!

Erotica – 18+/Adult Read

Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives, a series of short reads, each one giving us a snapshot of the adventures of a different member of a group of women from the City’s elite, 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…  Tina ❤

Series Blurb

From the hottest writers in Australia comes a scintillating new series. Enter the world of Sydney’s elite, and find out what goes on behind the doors of the most exclusive addresses in the country…

Meet 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?

Virginia #1, by Rhian Cahill

22583Blurb

Cool, collected, confident – those who know Virginia in her personal and professional life would never expect to find her in Boyd’s, a bar across town from her circle of friends and socialite world.

But Boyd’s offers her something she can’t get among her rarefied acquaintances: sex. Rough, hard, mind-blowing, anonymous sex.

In her casual clothes, she’s no one important. Incognito, unnoticed by everyone except one: the bartender who knows her drink order – and would like to know a whole lot more.

Escape Publishing  Amazon US  Amazon UK

My Review *****

Oh my oh my! This tale of the ice queen Virginia certainly gets this series off to a great start and introduces some of the other women who will each have a book of their own. I was frantically fanning myself as I read this as I loved the hero Carter. Carter has known Virginia for a couple of years and, as the bartender in her favourite bar, she has confided in him more than most. I ADORED the chemistry between then and also the fact that he does not judge her. He is determined to get her to open up and let him in, not just in a physical sense but in every way. He has his work cut out though as Virginia likes to keep her more intimate playmates at a distance and her secrets (of which she has a major one) close to her chest.  Seeing who will prevail while the couple involve themselves in some mind blowing sex made this a fun and entertaining read for me and I am looking forward to reading more about them in future instalments..

Lana #2, by Cate Ellink

Blurb

22584Lana lives her life by her own rules – and she has very few. What she wants, she goes for, and she very rarely fails. So when a young, handsome waiter at her favourite restaurant catches her eye, she has no hesitation in asking him to escort her home.

But one night of passion opens up exciting new possibilities, and a chance for Lana to enact one of her deepest, most illicit fantasies.

Escape Publishing   Amazon US  Amazon UK 

My Review *****

This is a fun and oh so sexy read: Lana is  a cougar who knows exactly what she wants and is not afraid to pursue it and the younger men who can meet her desires. I loved the confidence that she has and the fact that she is keen to ensure that the men she enlists to give her pleasure go away as satisfied as she is. However, when she meets Tom, a waiter, she finds that he is willing to go to great lengths to indulge one of her fantasies, and Lana finds a new level of fulfilment in a mind blowing erotic scene – a scene that I for one have fantasised about!

Nella #3, by Cathleen Ross

23510826Blurb

Nella is one hundred percent in control of her life – all aspects of her life. She excels at knowing what everyone needs, and in meeting those needs.

So when it comes to her husband, Michael, and his deepest desires and most fundamental requirements, she is committed, creative, and unswerving in her responsibilities. A strong man needs a strong woman, and Nella’s love is as strong as steel.

Escape Publishing  Amazon US   Amazon UK

My Review ****

Nella likes to control and this control extends to being in charge of meeting the needs of Michael, her husband. This read explores in delicious detail how Michael gains relief from his stressful career as a top executive through Nella’s loving dominance, as described in a wickedly sexy role play scene between them. As someone whose reads often explore the male as the dominant and the woman as the submissive this was a refreshing and somewhat challenging read for me, as it turns what I am used to reading on its head. What came across strongly in the read for me was how well it worked for this couple and how much Nella’s dominance freed him from his executive responsibilities.

Reviewed by Tina Williams

A copy of each of these short stories/novellas was given to me for the purpose of a fair and honest review.