Ellie reads fiction

3 Mar 2015

Release Day Launch for Darker Than Desire by Shiloh Walker

Darker Than Desire RDL Banner   


Darker Than Desire CoverTitle: Darker Than Desire (Secrets and Shadows #3)
Author: Shiloh Walker
Date of publication: 3 March 2015
Genre: Romantic suspense

Author's links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Purchase links:
Amazon * B&N * iTunesKobo*


Synopsis

LUST FOR LIFE 

No matter how many times he’s left her in the past, Sybil Chalmers can’t ignore her feelings for the one man who stole her heart years ago. For countless nights, she has waited for him—for his kiss, his touch—and has longed for him to emerge from the shadows of his past. Only when she is in his arms does Sybil really feel alive…and finally, after all these years, that time is now. 

A DEADLY DESIRE 

He’s a man raised in a world of strict rules and unbreakable traditions and he’s always yearned to break free. But when a family tragedy lures him back home, he finds his one true passion has been there all along. With Sybil, he can explore his greatest potential—and allow her to discover a whole new level of ecstasy. But will a long-buried secret threaten to tear them apart? The only thing he knows for sure is that he will do anything to keep Sybil in his life…and keep her coming back for more…

  Excerpt


The skin on the nape of his neck stood up.

His blood started to pump.

Slowly, he shifted his gaze and found himself staring across the neat, tidy little lawn.

There. That was the other thing he felt, a bizarre mix of need, longing and a twist in his heart that he couldn’t fully understand. It only happened around one person.

It wasn’t a surprise that she’d found him here.

Nor was it a surprise when his heart did that odd little twist.

She was the other person who managed to make him feel.

She made him want.

She made him need.

She made him regret, too.

Regret that he needed to push her away, regret that he couldn’t reach for her the way he wanted.

Regret that he wasn’t as strong as he should be, because even as he told himself to push her away, she started up the walk, the short skirt she wore barely clinging to her thighs and all he could think about was pulling her into his lap so that the skirt rode higher and he could cup her hips, pull her down to straddle him.

Vivid, overbright starbursts seemed to explode behind his eyes as that fantasy played out in his mind. It would be so easy. This was a secluded street and people had finally given up on the rubbernecking. Hardly anybody drove down the street to check out the burnt out wreck of the Frampton house. He could pull that stretchy bit of fabric up and be inside her in two minutes. It would be so easy to just lose himself to her.

She came to a halt in front of him while his blood pounded in slow, steady waves, while need clenched inside him like a fist.

Tell her to leave, common sense dictated. He’d already made the decision he needed to make.

But his head, his heart, his cock didn’t want to listen.

“Hey,” she said, her red-slicked lips curving up.

He stared at her mouth, thought about seeing that mouth open, seeing it glide down his chest.

Blinking, he managed, barely, to look away. “Hey back.”

This was yet another thing he lacked, the ability to talk, even to her, about anything that didn’t involve getting her naked and fucking her. Naked wasn’t even necessary as long as he could be inside her, lose himself to her, hide away from the demons that chased him.

But if he kept doing that, all those demons were going to start chasing her, too.

He wasn’t worth a whole hell of a lot and he didn’t care about a whole hell of a lot. But he’d burn this whole damn town to the ground before he let anything from his past start to haunt her. Every moment of peace he’d ever known had come from her. She mattered, more than anything or anybody else in his miserable world.

So instead of reaching for her, he stared out at the water, acutely aware as she sat down at his side. The journals sat at the other and he resisted the urge to grab them, disappear inside the house, hide them away from her. Hide them away, hide their secrets, as if that would make the truth any less than true.

“I don’t blame that kid,” Sybil said out of the blue.

Caught up in his own head, he barely understood what she meant. Looking over at her, he tracked her gaze and then, as a shiver of cold raced up his spine, he looked back over the water.

“Plenty of people don’t. Too bad he couldn’t find a way to trap his dad and uncle in there, too.”

Sybil murmured, “His uncle’s brains splattered all over the chief’s wall.”

“He went too easy.”

“True. But he is still gone.” Her gaze came over to him. “We fell asleep on you. What did you think about the movie?”

He frowned, tried to remember something about it. The boy. Wands. A rock. Then he shrugged. “What sort of name is Snape?”

Sybil laughed. “An interesting one. For an interesting character. Is he a good guy or a bad guy?”

The question caught him offguard. Then he looked down. “What does it matter?”

“Well, if you want to watch more of the series with us, it would be kind of fun for me to know now, what you think of him. He plays a big part in it.”

I’m not watching more. That was what he should tell her. Sighing, he looked away. Everything he should do, he couldn’t do. It had been like that for most of his life. He should found a better way to make people listen. He should have fought harder. He should have run sooner.

Then there were the things he shouldn’t have done. He shouldn’t have involved Lana. He shouldn’t have stayed in town. He shouldn’t have reached for Sybil that first night.

A hand reached up, touched his cheek. “You’re always so serious, baby.”

“Little reason to be otherwise.”

“True.” She moved then and he didn’t even have time to brace himself before she had settled herself in his lap, one leg planted on either side of his hips. Her hands came up, cupped his face. “How much longer until you decide to tell me?”

His hands moved of their own volition, fingers splayed wide across satiny soft thighs. “Tell you what, Sybil?”

“Don’t play games with me.” She dipped her head so that her hair fell around them like a curtain. “You’ve never done it before. Don’t start now.”

Noise clamored in the back of his head, all that chaos rising to a roar as he stared into those beautiful eyes. They slid between gold and green and right now, they all but glowed as she watched him.

Send her away. Tell her.

He slid his hands up, cupping her ass. And he groaned when he found her naked under that sorry excuse for a skirt. “I keep thinking it’s time to tell you to just go. To stay away from me.”

“That’s what I thought.” She rubbed her mouth against his. “Why don’t you do it, then? So I can ignore you and we can fight it out?”

The cool silk of her hair brushed against his cheek. He tangled one hand in it. “This isn’t a game anymore.”

“It never was.” She eased back, watching him with knowing eyes.

He curled his lip. “It was one thing when you were fucking some guy you thought was an Amish builder. It’s another thing when it’s me, possible murder suspect, sick degenerate. It’s just a matter of time before the cops decide to start pulling me, demanding answers about what happened the night I disappeared. Just a matter of time before everything comes out in the open. When nobody knew—”

She lifted a hand and pressed her finger to his lips.

“I always knew.”

Check out the previous books in the series!

Deeper Than Need - coverSweeter Than Sin - cover


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Author Photo
About Shiloh Walker: 
Shiloh Walker is an award-winning writer…yes, really! She’s also a mom, a wife, a reader and she pretends to be an amateur photographer. She published her first book in 2003. Her newest series, Secrets and Shadows, launched in April 2014. Look for the newest book Deeper than Need, to be followed by Sweeter than Sin and Darker than Desire. She writes romantic suspense, contemporary and paranormal romance, and urban fantasy under the name J.C. Daniels.         


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1 Mar 2015

Recommended Reads: February 2015

February, despite being the shortest month, is always the hardest for me emotionally and physically to some extend. I'm tired of the cold and snow and winter depression and by the end of it I'm desperate for spring, sunshine and new things. Despite some lows, it was a good month in terms of the books I read.



Just like the previous month, in February I also had two Recommended books and 2 Honourable mentions.

Recommended Reads



Genre/Themes: Contemporary romance, France, roses
Read my review
Add on Goodreads
Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / iTunes / Kobo

I love Ms Florand's Amour et Chocolat series and this book is the first in a new spin-off series, set in France and telling the stories of a family making rose oil. It\s the perfect fairy tale romance 
while keeping things real and easy to relate too. The writing is sensual and rich 
and there is this highly entertaining play with popular romantic tropes. 



Genre/Themes: Contemporary m/m romance, Novella
Read my review
Add on Goodreads
Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Riptide / Kobo

Alexis Hall seems destined to make my Recommended Reads list every time he publishes a new book. This is a quiet, understated story about the possibility of new beginning (that happens by chance at a time of floods). It's beautifully written, a bit yet, but ultimately hopeful. 
And what I loved most about it is how real it felt.

Honourable Mentions



Genre/Themes: New Adult, romance, college
Read my review
Add on Goodreads
Purchase links:  Amazon / B & N / Kobo / iBooks

I've become very picky about the NA romance I read and I was hesitant about this one but ended up loving it. The premise is not really unique but the story flows easily and it's fun to read. Great characters with hot chemistry and a ton of humour. Recommended light, sexy read!


Genre/Themes: Contemporary romance
Review to come 
Add on Goodreads
Purchase links: iBooks, KindleKobo, Nook

I love Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series but Books 1 and 1.5 in her contemporary series were good but not awesome as I expected. This one worked much better for me. I loved everything about this story - the hero and the heroine, the slow development of their relationship, the way they dealt with their issues. And it can be read pretty much as a standalone since we just tiny glimpses of Charlotte in book 1 and even less of Gabriel.



27 Feb 2015

Review: Sweetened with a Kiss by Lexxi Callahan

Title: Sweetened with a Kiss (Southern Style #1)
Author: Lexxi Callahan
Genre: Contemporary romance
Release Date: 25 June 2013

Author's links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

My rating: 3 Stars
Add on Goodreads



Synopsis

Jen Taylor has loved Stefan Sellers all her life. When he surprised her with an engagement ring, she thought all her dreams were coming true. But when she discovers Stefan has an agenda that she never even suspected, she breaks off the engagement and goes to pastry school in Paris. Now she's back in New Orleans, and she has no intention of marrying him for all the wrong reasons. She just has to convince him that marriage is a bad idea. If only she wasn't having so much trouble convincing herself.

Stefan Sellers has waited years to make Jen his wife so when she wanted to go to pastry school, he decided a few more months wouldn't matter. But six months later, the girl he picks up from the airport shows very little resemblance to the quiet, sweet girl he let fly away from him. The girl that came back from Paris is wearing five inch stilettos and waving an attitude that is laying waste to everything Stefan ever thought he knew about Jen. His calm, methodical approach to life is suddenly under siege and he can't seem to keep his hands off her.

Review

This is my first book by this author and quite enjoyed it. It has its weaknesses and things that I didn't particualry like but overall it's a sweet and quite sexy Southern romance, involving some super riches heroes and heroines and their high-level games of seduction, keeping secrets and blackmail.

The beginnign of the book is what I'd describe bubbly. All of a sudden we meet one too many characters which made it difficult to keep track who is who and what the relationships were. It felt like the story is a sequel and I should already know this people but I didn't and it made thigns confusing for a while. 

Stefan is your typical  alpha hero, taking possessiveness and protectiveness to the extreme which I didn't particularly enjoy. He had total control over the heroine since he managed her trust fund and it reallu put her in a position of dependance. It didn;t bother me much, sicne I think it was handled well and the author managed to convince me of the truth of the characters' feelings for each other. 

I had some issues with the heroine as well. She appeared too naive for a 22-year old woman, though it was somewhat understadable becase she has been overprotected her whole life, sheltered from reality in a way. his mental issues made her feel real and and her story explained (at leat in part) why the hero felt so strongly about her to the point of denying her any indepedant thought or action.

Their chemistry as off the charts and the sexual tension was esquisitely presented though it became repetitve at some point. The wait for their coming together felt unnecessarily prolonged. 

I found the pace of the story a bit uneven, jumping from lighthearted and fun to serious and gloomy in a heartbeat.

It's more of fantasy romance with the perfect HEA than a realistic contemporary romance. It made it an enjoyable and fun read for me, albeit not a very deep one. I've already got book 2 in the series and will be starting it soon.

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N 

24 Feb 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Nowhere but Here by Katie McGarry

Waiting on Wednesday is a book meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and it features books that we are eagerly awaiting to be released.

Title: Nowhere but Here (Thunder Road #1)
Author: Katie McGarry
Genre/Themes: New Adult, Realistic fiction, bikers
Release Date: 26 May 2015
Add on Goodreads

Pre-order links: 
Amazon | B&N | BookDepository | iBooks | Indie | Kobo




Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Emily likes her life the way it is: doting parents, good friends, good school in a safe neighborhood. Sure, she's curious about her biological father—the one who chose life in a motorcycle club, the Reign of Terror, over being a parent—but that doesn't mean she wants to be a part of his world. But when a reluctant visit turns to an extended summer vacation among relatives she never knew she had, one thing becomes clear: nothing is what it seems. Not the club, not her secret-keeping father and not Oz, a guy with suck-me-in blue eyes who can help her understand them both. 

Oz wants one thing: to join the Reign of Terror. They're the good guys. They protect people. They're…family. And while Emily—the gorgeous and sheltered daughter of the club's most respected member—is in town, he's gonna prove it to her. So when her father asks him to keep her safe from a rival club with a score to settle, Oz knows it's his shot at his dream. What he doesn't count on is that Emily just might turn that dream upside down. 

No one wants them to be together. But sometimes the right person is the one you least expect, and the road you fear the most is the one that leads you home.

*** *** ***

Why am I waiting for this? - I really enjoyed Ms McGarry's Pushing the Limits series. I read less YA/NA than I used to a couple of years ago, but realistic ficiton with a touch of romance is still a favourite of mine. I love how real the charcters in Pushing the Limits feel and how invested I get in their fate. Nowhere but Here is book 1 in new series and brings bikers/Motorcycle clubs in the world of YA/NA charcters. In short, I'm very much curious how Ms McGarry will make this connection and how real and authentic it will feel. 

What new releases are you most excited about? Leave me a comment and I'll stop by your blog to check out yout WoW post. 

Review: The Deal by Elle Kennedy

What a refreshing New Adult college romance!

Title: The Deal (Off Campus #1)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Genre: New Adult, Romance, College
Release Date: 24 Feb 2015

Author's links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads
My rating: 4 Stars

Add on Goodreads


Synopsis

She’s about to make a deal with the college bad boy... 

Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date. 

...and it’s going to be oh so good. 

All Garrett Graham has ever wanted is to play professional hockey after graduation, but his plummeting GPA is threatening everything he’s worked so hard for. If helping a sarcastic brunette make another guy jealous will help him secure his position on the team, he’s all for it. But when one unexpected kiss leads to the wildest sex of both their lives, it doesn’t take long for Garrett to realize that pretend isn’t going to cut it. Now he just has to convince Hannah that the man she wants looks a lot like him.

Review

I admit I read New Adult but I'm very picky about it since I often find it too unrealistic, angsty and the characters can be too immature. this is my first book by Elle Kennedy and it's was wodnerful - funny and sweet, with some angst but no artificial drama. 

It's told from dual POV and both Hannah's (Wellsy) and Garrett's voice sounded true and very authentic for young college kids (granted I have no personal expreince of the American college system). Their fears and concerns reflected what young people generally experience when trying to find their own place/self in the world for the first time. 

I'm not a big fan of fake-boyfriend trope but it was well done here and fitted the characters. Both of them had issues in their past (who doesn't) but they were not overexposed and certainky didn't overtake the romance. I even felt that Hannah's problems were treated a bit lightly, but at the same time I liked how she didn't let her past get her down and stop her from getting on with her life. 

It's a typical story of young love, some immature desicionss and childish mistakes, yet it was told in an eganging way. I appreciated the witty banter between the characters, the sense of teenage humour and college shenanigans. 

I really liked Hannah, but I was Garrett who stole the show in this book. He is not your typical dumb jock, yet he is a player but he was not ashamed or appologetic about it. I really liked the ambiguities and compelxity of his characters, his patience with Hannah was endearing. She was fun, and independant, and smart, though she did act pretty childishly at times. 

My minor complaint is things lost their freshness and good humour towards the end. The grand gestures and declarations of eternal love didn't really fit these two young people. 

In short, it's an eaasy-going, fun college love story with some humour, some great chemistry between the main characters and a wonderful cast of supporting characters. Logan is a particualr favourite of mine and I can't wait for his story (I really hope, next book will be about him). 

Purchase links: Amazon / B & N / Kobo / iBooks
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