Review: THE RED DIARY by Toni Blake

About the book:

Sun, sand, and one woman’s private fantasies recorded in a seductive red book . . .

Prim and proper Lauren Ash has a secret side no one else sees: she records her sexual fantasies, in intimate detail, in a very personal book meant for her eyes only.

When hired hand Nick Armstrong finds the red diary, he’s shocked . . . and aroused. Never before has he come across anything so private—or so sensual. And, given the way the Ash family has hurt his, he soon begins to see this as a potent weapon for righting an old wrong. Wouldn’t it serve the haughty Lauren right if he used her own fantasies to seduce her, make her fall in love, and then break her heart?

But there’s much more to Lauren than Nick expects, and before he quite realizes it, he’s opening himself—and his heart—to her. Can Nick let go of the past and surrender to Lauren, body and soul?

I have mixed feelings about this story. One one hand I loved the relationship that develops between Lauren and Nick, but I wish it had been less focused on the physical side. I wanted to see them interact more with the “real” world. In they end they had worked out the issues they had with each other and their families, but their relationship hadn’t been tested outside of that small circle. However, even with that issue I still really enjoyed the changes in Nick and how his relationship with Lauren changes his outlook on love, his family, and what happened in the past. He learns to let go of the grudge he was holding and move forward with his life. Lauren also learns something from being with Nick. She learns to stand up and be her own person. She was coasting and doing what was expected of her until Nick. The diary part of the story I actually could have done without. The first time Nick reads Lauren’s private fantasies was one time too many. When he went back a second time, knowing that it was something very personal, it made his character a little unlikable. I felt that the attraction between the characters was strong enough before he read the diary and that the added element didn’t really help the story. All in all, I enjoyed the characters but other elements of the story just didn’t work for me.

the book girl gives THE RED DIARY a 3/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

Whatcha Reading Wednesday

I’m reading DEMON HUNTING IN THE DEEP SOUTH by Lexi George. I love Lexi’s southern humor and her heroes are hot! I was reading at my son’s soccer practice an laughed out loud a couple of times and had to explain to the other moms what was so funny. One mom whipped her phone out and bought both books in the series and the other wrote down the titles. I can’t wait for my daughter’s dance class tonight when I can read for an uninterrupted hour.

(PS. I’m reviewing and giving away a copy of this book on Monday!)

 

What are you reading this week?

Review: WHEN WE TOUCH

About the book:

You’re invited to a wedding in Whiskey Creek, Heart of the Gold Country

Unfortunately, it’s the wrong wedding. Olivia Arnold is arranging the festivities—and it’s the hardest thing she’s ever done. Because she should be marrying Kyle Houseman. They were together for more than a year…. But her jealous sister, Noelle, stole him away—and now she’s pregnant.

                All their friends in Whiskey Creek know as well as Olivia does that Kyle’s making a mistake. His stepbrother, Brandon, knows it, too. But Kyle’s determined to go through with it, for his child’s sake.

                Olivia’s devastated, but surprisingly Brandon—the black sheep of the family—is there to provide comfort and consolation. The intensity between them, both physical and emotional, shows Olivia that maybe Kyle wasn’t the right man for her…

                But is Brandon?

I really enjoyed this novella. It sets up the series perfectly – introducing the characters in town and the dynamics between the major players. Brandon and Olivia’s story is sweet and sexy. I loved the way Brandon takes care of her and lets her take the lead in where their relationship goes. He doesn’t pressure her into anything and makes sure that she is positive about what she is doing before she they do anything. Olivia was hurt by her sister and ex-boyfriends actions, but Brandon’s attention and caring attitude more than make up for it and help her to move on in a way she couldn’t imagine that she would be able to before she started seeing him. I loved them as a couple. This book is in digital only and is FREE!!

the book girl gives WHEN WE TOUCH a 4/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Review: SINS OF A VIRGIN by Anna Randol

About the book:

There is improper, there is scandalous… and then there is Madeline Valdan.

To the world, Madeline Valdan is a scandalous courtesan, with society’s most eligible gentlemen at her feet. But no one knows her shocking secret: she has never experienced the most intimate touch of any man. So she astonishes the ton by telling them the truth . . . and by announcing the auction of her virginity to the highest bidder.

Handsome and disciplined, Gabriel Huntford knows his time is best spent hunting down criminals from the darkest corners of London. As a Bow Street Runner investigating his sister’s death, he has no desire to join London’s strutting peacocks in this competition when there are more important tasks at hand.

Now, his quest leads him to one of Madeline’s “suitors,” so he agrees to help this sinful woman. But what begins as a business arrangement quickly turns into something more . . . and love blooms with a passion neither one expected.

Sometimes the hardest reviews to write are for books that I loved. I simply want to write about every detail and this is one of those time. SINS OF A VIRGIN is simply fantastic. I loved the characters. Madeline was saved from hanging and became a spy who used her body to seduce secrets from powerful men across the continent. Now she is “retired” and plans to auction off her virginity (that she may or may not possess) to the highest bidder to set herself up for the rest of her life. Madeline is tough, skilled, sensual, and so very vulnerable. No one knows the real Madeline – not even Madeline herself. Then there is Gabriel. He is a Bow Street Runner who is haunted by the death of his twin sister seven years earlier and wants nothing more than to find the man responsible. He finds a way to use Madeline to further his search, but doesn’t plan to be attracted to the self-proclaimed whore or to start to care more about keeping her safe than finding the man he’s been searching for. I love the way Gabriel and Madeline circle each other for most of the book. She says outlandish things to him, he counters back, and then they both retreat. Every so often something true breaks through their shells and it’s wonderful to see these two characters who have shut themselves so tightly feel something. There is a lot of action and mystery surrounding Gabriel and Madeline that add to the excitement of the story. The writing is wonderful, the dialogue witty and quick, and the action fast-paced. I could go on and on, but I think you should just go buy the book! (It’s on sale today!!)

the book girl gives SINS OF A VIRGIN a 5/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

 

Blog Tour and Giveaway: BLAME IT ON TEXAS by Christie Craig

About the book:

Zoe Adams has always been content with her quiet nights at home, watching TV alone-until her life turns into a real-life episode of Unsolved Mystery Hunters. The story of a kidnapped girl triggers unexplained memories, and Zoe is dead-set on figuring out why. Her search leads her to one of the Lone Star State’s richest families-and to sexy PI Tyler Lopez.

Tyler has sworn off women, especially redheads with killer curves who poke their noses into his clients’ private lives. Still, he can’t deny the attraction any more than he can deny that some of Zoe’s crazy story makes sense. But when she becomes a hit man’s target, this cold case starts heating up. Suddenly, Tyler will do anything to protect Zoe-even risk his heart.

BLAME IT ON TEXAS is a sweet and sexy contemporary romance. I enjoyed the story from beginning to end. It’s the second book in the Hotter in Texas series, but can be read on its own. Zoe is a fun character. She has come to Texas on what could very well be a wild-goose chase, but she has to find out if her suspicions about her past are true or not. I loved her determination and her desire to find out the truth. She isn’t doing it for financial gain or for any reason other than wanting to know the truth. Tyler isn’t as clear cut a character as Zoe. She’s a what-you-see type of character, but there is a lot underneath the surface when it comes to Tyler. He has endured a rough childhood, being accused and convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, and being left by the woman he loved. He has every reason to not believe or trust Zoe, but for reasons that he can’t explain to himself or his partners he does. I loved their connection and the way he treats her. He doesn’t immediately believe everything she says, but he also doesn’t discount her as a total flake. He knows what it feels like to not be believed and doesn’t want anyone, especially Zoe, to feel that way. As the mystery of Zoe’s past unfolds, Zoe and Tyler get closer and closer. Tyler has to decide if he can trust her enough to believe that she won’t be the one person to let him down. Even though this story seems like it would be more about Zoe, since it is her search for her past, it’s really just as much about Tyler being able to trust again and move on with his life and be happy. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the next in the series – I want to find out how Tyler’s partner, the flirty Austin, finally falls in love.

the book girl gives BLAME IT ON TEXAS a 4/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

GIVEAWAY:

TO ENTER:

I have one copy to giveaway to a lucky reader. To enter just leave a comment about anything on this post 🙂

US addresses only, please. Make sure to check to see if your name is chosen.

Additional entries can be gained through the following:

Contest runs through 9/02/12 at 5pm cst. Winners have 7 days to claim prize and you must check back to see if you are a winner:)

Review: CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH by Victoria Dahl

About the book:

Can a city girl make it in the wild, wild West?

For makeup artist Grace Barrett, Hollywood is less the land of golden opportunity and more the land of difficult divas, cheating boyfriends and unemployment. So when her great-aunt offers her a free place to stay in Jackson Hole, Grace thinks she’ll spend a little time in the sticks to figure out her life, and then move somewhere exciting to live out her dreams. But it turns out that there are a few more thrills in this small town than Grace was expecting…

Cole Rawlins is a rugged Wyoming cowboy born and bred. Yet he can’t help but be drawn to the fascinating big-city girl who moves in across from him. As they discover a sizzling attraction, it’s Grace who finds herself surprised. Cole’s the only man who’s ever dared to get close enough to see through her tough facade. And his mysterious past only makes him sexier.

They’ll need more than scorching-hot passion to make this opposites-attract affair work. But if they can learn to trust one another enough to reveal their secrets, they just might have a chance at forever.

When you read a Victoria Dahl book you are guaranteed one thing – the book will be HOT. CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH is definitely hot (there is a scene…in a shower…HOT!), but it’s also something else that I just can’t define. It isn’t exactly emotional, although there is a lot of emotion between the characters, and it isn’t super romantic, even though there are definitely moments of romance – it is something undefinable and unique to Ms. Dahl’s books. She is the only writer who can write a character that I don’t really like, but I root for anyway. Grace is hard. She grew up hard and doesn’t want to depend on anyone, need anyone, or want anyone to see her as “soft” in any way. For most of the book she comes across cold and unfriendly, but every once in a while there are glimpses of who she really is and I really loved that Grace. Grace is an extremely complicated character and so well written. Cole is one sexy cowboy and the complete opposite of Grace. He’s friendly and friendly with most people in town. But, there is more to Cole and that more is what attracts Grace. I enjoyed the romance between these two and how Grace finds a way to belong.  The story is centered on the relationship between Grace and Cole and there are lots of secondary characters in the town that help move the story along. I’m hoping and hoping that the next book features sexy cowboy Shane.

the book girl gives CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH a 5/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

In My Mailbox / On My Kindle

I’m so excited about these books. Some of them are very different from what I usually read and I can’t wait to dive in!

 

Review: A LITTLE MISCHIEF by Amelia Grey

About the book:

How can a lady avoid a scandal…

Just as Miss Isabella Winslowe is finally achieving comfortable respectability, the fascinating and decidedly unrespectable Earl of Colebrooke inconveniently appears…

When a gentleman is so determined to flirt…

The darkly handsome Daniel Colebrooke is intrigued and alarmed when an alluring young lady arrives at his door in need of assistance. In a moment of impetuosity, Daniel decides he must keep a close watch on Isabella, and what better way than to strike up a not–so–innocent fliration…

Together they’ll cook up more than a little mischief when a disappearing dead body and a lascivious scandal spins their reckless game entirely out of control.

A LITTLE MISCHIEF is a delightful romance with a dash of mystery. Daniel and Isabelle are looking for very different things in life – he is looking for a wife and she is looking for her independence. Despite the fact the fact that they want different things, they are drawn to each other over and over (and not just by the dead guy she finds in her garden that disappears and then reappears at a ball). I loved the chemistry between the two of them and the way they make each other forget what’s proper over and over. The mystery is just enough to move the plot along, but it doesn’t overshadow the romance at all. If you are looking for a historical with snappy dialogue, sexy romance, and a delightful happily ever after, then A LITTLE MISCHIEF is the book to read.

the book girl gives A LITTLE MISCHIEF a 4/5

to find the book:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Whatcha Reading Wednesday!

School starts tomorrow for my little ones (who really aren’t that little anymore)! They will be in 1st, 2nd, and 4th grade. We are getting everything ready for the big day, so I’m sure I won’t be reading much today until after their bedtime. When I do get a chance I will be reading CLOSE ENOUGH TO TOUCH by Victoria Dahl.

What are you reading this week?