Wednesday, April 16, 2014

LIP SERVICE



TITLE: LIP SERVICE
AUTHOR: NIKKA MICHAELS
Length: Petite
Date: 16/04/2014
Grade: 5
Details: no. 2 Room Service
            A Cobblestone Blue Line Story
Own / Kindle

The blurb:

“Dr, Seth Campbell and Carson Randall from ROOM SERVICE return in this short erotic sequel. Separated by their jobs on a daily basis, the partners have to make time for each other when they can.  They combine their passion for each other in mini interludes to reconnect with each other and rekindle their connection.

When Set finds Carson waiting for him in the hotel bar, their attraction and awareness smolders to life. When their already limited time together is interrupted by an important phone call, an impatient Seth takes matters into his own hands.”


My thoughts:

‘Lip Service’ is the sequel to ‘Room Service’ and gives us the opportunity to spend a little bit more time with Dr. Seth Campbell and Carson Randall. While it is possible to read this book before turning to Room Service, I would advise against it. There’s a delicious twist in Room Service that won’t come as a surprise if you read Lip Service first.

Seth and Carson are busy men, happy to concentrate on their individual careers even if it means spending too little time together. When they do meet up they more than make up for lost time and us readers are very fortunate to be given this second opportunity to look on as they get very hot and bothered together.

What I love about these stories is that while they are short (and boy would I have loved more time with Seth and Carson) both give us an insight into the characters and the way they interact as well as a hot, sexy, and oh so romantic encounter.

Rumour has it that there might be a prequel on the way. I can only hope that will turn out to be true (Cobblestone Press are you listening?), finding out what happened between Seth and Carson when they first met is very high on my wish list.

Anybody who’s in the mood for a well written, exciting, hot and quick read about two fascinating men should just rush over to the publisher’s website and treat themselves. You won’t regret it.

“He chuckled, the low throaty sound sending blood pooling between my hips.”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

NAUGHTY BITS PART 1: THE LINGERIE SHOP



TITLE: NAUGHTY BITS PART 1
          THE LINGERIE SHOP
AUTHOR: JOEY W. HILL
Pages: 110
Date: 15/04/2014
Grade: 4+
Details: Naughty Bits Part 1
            Received from Penguin Group
            Through NetGalley
Own / Kindle

The Blurb:

“When finance executive Madison inherits a lingerie shop called Naughty Bits, she decides to leave behind her staid career and explore her every forbidden desire...

Madison is a control freak with one wish—to lose control. Her hidden submissive cravings have led to a string of disastrous relationships. So when she inherits her sister’s North Carolina lingerie shop, Naughty Bits, she jumps at the opportunity to dump her boring finance career and bad history and try her luck down South.

But before Madison can settle in, she catches the attention of the owner of the neighboring hardware store. Sexually dominant Logan Scott can see the hunger for command in Madison’s eyes and is anxious to help unleash her submissive desires. He presents her with three very tempting gifts—handcuffs, erotic cards, and an open invitation to join him at a submissive’s training session.

Faced with the realization that she can’t sell fantasies to her lingerie customers without embracing her own, Madison accepts Logan’s offer. Now, she’s about to discover just how far her desire can take her…”

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My Thoughts:

Relinquish control – on your own terms

This is going to be one of those reviews containing numerous quotes. I did try to restrain myself but found myself highlighting section after section. In the end I had to leave quite few very wonderful quotes out of this review because it was just getting too long. Joey W. Hill has a wonderful way with words and explains the intricacies of BDSM in a way that embellishes the beauty of the life-style without ever making it sound dark, scary or dangerous. I hope that the quotes I share below show both the beauty of her words and the depth of her knowledge.

When a woman gets out of the way of her instincts, and doesn’t let the baggage she brings from her day-to-day life drag her down, she’s the one who leads. As her Master, I put her in touch with those instincts; she’s the one who uses them to take us both to a deeper level of connection.” – Logan

It goes even further than that. Hill is the first author I’ve come across to take the time to explain why the idea behind a Dominant/submissive relationship is so tempting even for those who have no real desire to explore such a dynamic.

Deep inside all of us are vulnerabilities, (...). Things we only reveal to the person capable of stripping us bare and yet cherishing the nakedness they find, not exploiting it. That’s a common threat beneath a lot of the Dominant and submission sexual fantasies people have, whether or not they’re actual Dominants for submissives.”-  Logan to Madison

Quotes like the two above took my breath away. I found myself re-reading them just to relish in the beauty of the words and contemplate them before moving on with the story. In fact, truth be told, I enjoyed these insights and the sheer beauty of the words more than I did the story as such.  I just didn’t like Madison that much, she infuriated me at times. Her actions, past and present, as well as her defensive stance towards the world rubbed me the wrong way and left me wanting to slap her or give her a good talking to.

Logan on the other hand was almost too good to be true. His Dominance rose of the page and flowed through me. I could hear his words, feel his hands and couldn’t get enough of him. I found myself resenting every single page he didn’t feature on and was very impatient to spend more time with him even while I wished that didn’t mean having to put up with Madison as well.

“She felt like a book he was reading, every word a page full of information about her.” Madison’s reaction when she first meets Logan

Alice leaves her lingerie shop, ‘Naughty Bits’ to her sister Madison who is like a fish out of water with her inheritance. But Alice goes one step further; she also – more or less – gives her sister to Logan, the Dom who owns the hardware shop next door.

“I’m giving her to you, Logan, but you might just give yourself to her too. For the first time in your life.” Alice, talking about Madison to Logan before she dies.

Madison has been dreaming about submitting to a man for as long as she can remember but all the men in her past have belittled her dreams before leaving her. After all the pain those relationships have caused her, Madison is about ready to admit defeat and concede the man and relationship she’s dreaming about don’t exist, at least not for her. Combine that with the guilt she feels about being estranged from her sister when she died and a desperate need to be in control of everything in her life, Madison is one bundle of insecurity and defensiveness, and it isn’t long before Logan finds himself on the receiving end of those emotions.

“I get that you have trust issues with men, Madison. But until I specifically deserve it, I’d prefer you not lash out at me because of what someone else has done. Logan

Logan is the prototype of a perfect Dom; completely in control, reasonable, apparently able to see and understand everything his subject is thinking and feeling and, to top it all off, graced with a wicked sense of humour. In fact, he’s not just the perfect Dom, in my book he comes pretty close to being the perfect man.

I’d give one of Troy’s testicles to know what’s going through your mind right now. Logan to Madison

What impressed me most in this book was how very hot Logan and Madison were together even though they don’t remove a single item of clothing while together and don’t even share a kiss. The heat between them just from Logan’s apparently casual touches and the way he talks to her blew me away and left me wanting more.

In D/s, chains are magic. Binding the body frees the soul, lets it fly. A woman stops thinking. She just feels. Logan to Madison

I’m looking forward to finding out what will happen next to Madison and Logan. While I’m certain that Madison will continue to irritate me, I know that Logan’s presence and the way he deals with her will make up for any frustration I feel when I read about her. Logan combined with Joey W. Hill’s words and her wonderful descriptions of the world of BDSM have hooked me on this story with no chance of escape.

You can be what you want with me, as long as you’re true to yourself.” Logan to Madison

Sunday, April 13, 2014

ONLY LOVE & AWAKE AND ALIVE



TITLE: ONLY LOVE & AWAKE AND ALIVE
AUTHOR: Garrett Leigh
Pages: 274 / 34
Date: 13/04/2014
Grade: 5
Details: Received from the Dreamspinner Press
            Through Love Romances and More
Own / Kindle

ONLY LOVE, the blurb:

“The diagnosis of a chronic stomach condition leaves thirty-two-year-old Sergeant Jed Cooper with little choice but to call time on his Army career. Then on the dusty streets of Kirkuk, an ambush gone tragically wrong decimates his team, and he returns to the US with a shattered leg and the memory of his best friend dying in his arms.

Life in his sleepy hometown proves intolerable until he finds solace in a lakeside cabin with vivacious young carpenter, Max O’Dair. In the shadow of the epilepsy that periodically plagues Max, he and Jed form an unspoken bond. After a late night episode, Jed realizes how much Max means to him, and life has taught him not to waste time.

But the lines between contentment and complacency are blurred. Things left hidden resurface to tear through their world, and before they can repair the damage, death comes to call again. Faces, past and present, rally around them to weather the storm, but before long, they are left with only love.”

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My thoughts:


Thirty-two year old Sergeant Jed Cooper knows his days in the Army are numbered due to a chronic stomach condition when an ambush in Iraq all but destroys his team, leaves him seriously injured and kills his best friend. A lengthy recuperation later, he finds himself back in the hometown he fled years ago, living with his brother Nick and his family. Nick was part of the reason Jed left all those years ago and hasn’t turned into a nicer man since. While Jed likes Nick’s wife Kim and adores the couple’s two daughters he doesn’t think he can stay in town until he moves in with Kim’s brother Max; the lakeside cabin and Max are exactly what Jed needs.

Max has dealt with epilepsy all his life and it isn’t long before the two men form a bond. Looking out for each other while allowing the other the space they need is an ideal situation for both of them.

The bond between Max and Jed grows stronger and deeper by the day until long held secrets force a separation both men detest yet fail to address. When Max next sees Jed, all the soldier’s health issues have caught up with him and it may well be too late to for the two men who have grown to love each other. As friends, family and unexpected brothers in arms gather to be by Jed and Max’s side, the only question still to be answered is whether or not love can be stronger than dead.


This book all but killed my while I was reading it. Max and Jed are wonderful characters to read about; well developed, fully rounded and completely realistic, I found myself in their thrall from the moment they were introduced. Their slow progression from roommates, to friends to so much more was smooth, realistic and beautiful. The secondary characters in ‘Only Love’ made it easier for me to understand Max and Jed and added warmth and realism to their story.

While I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone who hasn’t read the book, I have to say that I’m grateful that while the author gave us an optimistic ending, she kept it real. Thankfully there are no miracle cures on these pages; ‘just’ two strong yet vulnerable men finding each other and the strength to build a future together.

But none of the above is enough to completely explain the deep and very emotional reaction I had to this story. The reason I had to put this book down on several occasions, despite the need to find out what would happen next, was that this story hit too close to home for me. I won’t go into the details in this review but I do want to say that a lot, if not all of Jed’s medical struggles mirrored things I’ve had to go through in the past. And Max’s helpless bedside vigil gave me a new insight into what those times must have been like for my husband and a renewed appreciation for his endurance.

I can’t thank Garrett Leigh enough for the way in which she managed to combine harsh realism with thoughtful sensitivity. She took two men who might well have been broken by their medical circumstances and showed that the limitations health issues can throw in your path don’t mean you have to stop living, never mind loving. In fact, I don’t think I have the words to express how much reading this book has meant to me.

To avoid any confusion I should add the following. I would have loved this book if I had never been ill in my life. I would challenge any reader to pick up this book and not feel ALL the emotions. If you find yourself in need of a well written, thought provoking, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting love story, you can’t go wrong with ‘Only Love’. The book will take your breath away.

“For him, Max was the early morning sun, a cool springtime breeze, and a blanket of fresh white snow. His warm eyes were a guiding light in the dark, and the love they held was the only thing Jed would ever need.”



AWAKE AND ALIVE the blurb:

“After a successful surgery relieves Jed of the illness that nearly killed him, he returns home to slowly recover with Max. With time to reconnect, Max shows him a new way to love. Now at a crossroads and facing a new life, Jed must listen to his friends and family to learn how to move forward.”

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My thoughts:


Awake and alive is a 34 page out-take from ‘Only Love’ and is available as a free read on the publisher’s website. If, like me, you’ve read and loved ‘Only Love’ this is a very welcome and beautiful addition to a wonderful story. Make sure to read it after only love though, you will regret it if you don’t.

Jed has had a surgical procedure to put an end to the unbearable stomach complaints he’s been suffering and is recuperating in the cabin with Max who does what he can to make sure Jed takes it easy and gives himself the time he needs to heal.

Together the two men discover new ways of being together and loving each other while Jed has to start looking at what he wants to do with the rest of his life.

I was very happy with this opportunity to spend a little bit more time with two men I got very attached to over the course of 274 pages. While I completely understand why it wasn’t included in ‘Only Love’ I’m very glad it was made available to the public separately. It gives us a glimpse of the happier times once the heartbreaking events of ‘Only Love’ are a thing of the past. While the ending of ‘Only Love’ didn’t leave me in any doubt about Jed and Max’s happily ever after, it was a joy to be part of it for a short while; a very welcome burst of light after the trauma they had put me through in the main story.