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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mini #Review Round Up of Five #Romances!

Happy Friday, everyone! I hope the week's been good to you. I've been busy writing something new, waiting to hear on a couple of submissions, and doing some reading. I've posted the following mini-reviews at Goodreads of some new stories I've enjoyed and would like to share them with you. 

Heaven Sent by Sarah Hoss (sweet paranormal romance)

When forgiveness heals the soul, love heals the heart.

Flight nurse Tenlee Hawkins is used to making quick decisions, but one decision she made the Christmas day her mother died haunts her. Wrestling with the past, she spirals into depression--until the day she finds a man unconscious in her woods and saves his life.

When Sam awakens in the hospital with a concussion and no memory, Tenlee rescues him again. She takes him into her home and her life. But as Sam recovers and remembers who he is, he's torn. A guardian angel isn't supposed to fall in love.

As the promise of true love grows, Tenlee realizes that Sam has helped her much more than she ever helped him. But Sam is filled with guilt knowing he must soon leave. Will it take a Christmas miracle to find the life with Tenlee he's always wanted?

This book offers a sweet romance and tugs at the heartstrings. The relationship between Sam the angel and Tenlee was romantic with just a touch of sexual appeal. I was wondering how the author would solve the problem of Sam having to return to Heaven--that would certainly put the kibosh on the romance! The ending was heartwarming and besides the romance element the story also deals with forgiveness and letting go of the past.

Help Sessions by Larry Hammersley (sweet vintage romance)

Chemistry major Roy Jensen isn't looking for romance. He's having trouble with a difficult class and needs to get at least a high B to keep his advisor happy. When his all-male study group proves useless, he joins the brightest students, the only two women in class, for their study sessions.
Heather Kallin is persuaded by her friend to help Roy but makes it clear to him she isn't interested in his attention. Sure, he's made an impression, from his friendliness to his extreme capability in the lab, but her trust in men was shattered once and she refuses to allow any two-legged male too close, ever again.
Can Roy convince her his love is unconditional, no matter her secret?

Sometimes you just want something short and sweet. I enjoyed the male POV in the story and thought Roy was a nice character. There were a lot of chemistry terms that flew over this English major's head. I wish there had been more period detail and also that the role of women in this male dominated department (particularly in this time period) had been touched on. Or is that too feminist of me :-)? This was a sweet and gentle love story where the romance goes no further than a kiss. 

Mating Season by Allie Ritch (erotic shapeshifter romance)

Mating season on the arctic planet of Jensen is a time for eligible men to winter with a potential spouse. In the past, Koll’s big size and gruff disposition have scared off many available women. When Shila literally falls into his arms, he hopes maybe this year will be different.

Shila belongs to a race of shifters who are able to transform into enormous frost bears. She loves Koll’s large body and sexy growl, and she understands the benefit of having a strong protector. With two male shifters stalking her, she needs Koll to keep her safe. But can he defeat the competition?

For a short book, I thought the author packed in plenty of hawt scenes. I did not feel cheated in the sex department! I liked the gruff and taciturn Koll and his relationship with Shila. It was sweet how he opened up with her. It only made me a little sad I couldn't have my own frost bear :-).

Permanent Marker by Angel Payne (erotic contemporary romance, BDSM elements)

When Mark Moore arrives in Nassau to conduct a corporate training meeting, his only expectation is a week of professional and personal enjoyment in an island paradise. Since stepping down from his senatorial duties to have more time for his pop star daughter, Dasha, he's liked having free time for projects like this--except for the moments when the memories attack of a love long lost, buried six years ago.

He never expects the sweet surprise of Rose Fabian, a student who soon becomes much more. Her kisses and her passion are a balm for his tattered soul--and her submission reawakens every Dominant instinct in his body. But Rose carries emotional scars of her own, wounds that are worsened by desiring Mark: an older man with social standing and integrity that will only be ruined by her influence. Only in finally surrendering to their love can she find the courage to believe that their future will be written in permanent marker.

Mark was a very sexy and romantic character. I loved how he pursued Rose and tried to win her over. Rose was a good character, but a broken heart and the disdain of her family left her with a damaged self-image. I wished she'd shown a little more gumption where her family was concerned, but her struggle to overcome her fear is compelling. This was a very sexy and emotional story that really touched me.

Take Me Break Me by Cari Silverwood (erotic romance and dark erotica, dubious consent, BDSM)

Jodie is scraping the barrel trying to stay afloat. An idea arrives that could rescue her finances and bring her together in a kinky way with a man she never gave up on. She's terrified and fascinated, and tempted as hell.

Capture fantasies rule her eBook. Re-enacting one in a documentary would surely be irresistible viewing to millions of women?

But Jodie and Klaus discover that underneath an ordinary man dark desires may lurk. What will win in the end? The man and lover, or the monster?

I give Cari Silverwood props for showing how two people can be into BDSM but really get in way over their heads. Klaus and Jodie get pulled into the fantasy deeper and deeper until they almost drown. This book has one foot in dark erotica and the other in erotic romance. The dark erotica side made it a little hard (for me) to read, but I enjoyed how it all wound up in a satisfying conclusion. The author did an excellent job getting inside the heads of both characters to expose not only their compulsions but their fears and their longing for closeness. 

Whether you're looking for something sexy or sweet, one of the above stories is sure to fit the bill. 

Have a wonderful weekend, all, and if you celebrate Easter, may all your bunnies be chocolate ones!

Nona Raines
Hot Contemporary Romance
Edgy ~ Emotional ~ Erotic

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