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I’m a sucker for tension-filled, humorous banter between the hero and heroine of a romance novel.  It immediately draws me in to their courtship and keeps me invested in their relationship throughout the complexity of their trials and tribulations.  The taboo attraction shared between two intellectually broken individuals is like a drug for me.  I yearn to feel the passionate longing for the couple’s happily ever after.  To witness the rebirth of their vitality as I turn the page becomes my personal high.  I’m pleased to announce that this Sunday, my review of the historical romance, I DARED THE DUKE, focuses on what I consider to be a literary match made in heaven.

Alexander Savage, the Duke of Blackshire, has a notorious reputation as being a rake with a most-difficult personality.  Very few in society realize that behind his cranky demeanor, lies a lonely man who yearns to keep those he loves happy, safe and secure.  Now that a mysterious individual has made several attempts to take his life, Alex must protect his two loves – his grandmother and her companion, Miss Elizabeth Lacey.

Miss Elizabeth Lacey needs to take care of everyone.  It is what makes her feel useful and important.  When her uncle suggests she take on the position of companion to the dowager duchess, she isn’t prepared to fall in love with her infamous grand-son who she agrees to help convince his grandmother to move to the country.

I DARED THE DUKE is the second installment in The Wayward Wallflowers series written by Anna Bennett.  Set in the Regency-era it’s a delightful escape into another world.  Happy Reading!

This week I continue to explore the writing of Carrie Ann Ryan who is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine.  Ms. Ryan wrote not one, but two short stories as prequels to DELICATE INK, the subject of last week’s book review.  In INK INSPIRED, book 0.5 and INK REUNITED, book 0.6 of the popular Montgomery Ink series, readers will find themselves enthralled with the tattoo artists who work at Midnight Ink.  Set in New Orleans, the story offers a stimulating blend of sizzling sex along with a sinfully sensual local.

As Austin Montgomery’s cousin, Shep has also been blessed with a skill of artistry.  A master with the tattoo needle, he is hoping to find a muse to reignite his desire for his art in INK INSPIRED.  Tall, broad and handsome on the outside and sensitive, caring, and encouraging on the inside, Shep is the only man who can bring out the passion of Shea Little.  Misunderstood and labeled as an ice princess, Shea has spent her entire life doing what her family wanted.  Luckily, she found a man that helped her discover herself and reclaim her life.

INK REUNITED is a fascinating story featuring Sassy Bordeaux, the receptionist at Midnight Ink.  Loved by everyone, she is known to be the glue that holds everything together.  It isn’t until Rafe Chavez and Ian Steele return to New Orleans that her mysterious past is revealed.  Ten years prior, Sassy, Rafe and Ian were a traid.  Too young to handle the taboo relationship, they each went their separate ways.  Maybe, this second chance will help them find the love again.

Carrie Ann Ryan’s stories are hot, hot, hot!  I mean steaming!  She writes some of the best explicitly erotic sex scenes I have ever had the pleasure to read.  If you are looking for a titillating escape, look no further.  Happy reading!

 

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Today, I finished reading this week’s book selection, DELICATE INK, book one in the popular Montgomery Ink Series written by Carrie Ann Ryan.  I’d heard about this series quite some time ago and had this book saved to my Nook.  But, as many readers can probably attest, my to-read list tends to be overwhelming.  And my list has just gotten even more so!  DELICATE INK has converted me into a huge fan and I plan to add more of Ms. Ryan’s novels to the top of my list.

The titillating contemporary Montgomery Ink Series is set in various locals in Colorado.  It features a large close-knit family, The Montgomery’s who own both tattoo shops and construction businesses.  Although characters do jump between novels, each book is written as a stand-alone.

DELICATE INK is an ultra-sexy story featuring Austin Montgomery and Sierra Elder.  Heavily tattooed and a bit rough around the edges, Austin is looking for a more than just another roll in the hay.  The oldest of the Montgomery clan and quickly approaching the big 40, he needs a woman who can feed his primal needs between the sheets as well as, soothe his soul day and night.  Sierra Elder moved to Colorado to escape the nightmares of her past.  Meeting a hot as hell tattoo artist wasn’t something she had been prepared for.  The notorious bad boy with a soft side is just what Sierra needs to release the demons of her past.  Their heated attraction ignites their insatiable BDSM appetites.

Steamy! Hot! Erotic!  This is one novel that is a turn on from start to finish.  Happy reading!

sextourist10As I write this review of THE SEX TOURIST, I remain conflicted.  It’s explicit subject matter conjured up a multitude of varied emotions.  Marketed as erotic fiction based on a true-life story, it’s written in two parts.  Part one was taken from daily journal entries of a real-life sex worker.  At times stimulating, but for the most part revolting, it fascinated me.  Although, I must admit, there were several moments when its brutality nearly forced me to abandon this book.  Aroused and yet, deeply disturbed, I read on.  Lillian Biro’s murder could not be in vain.  I needed to hear what she had to say – to understand her.  More importantly, I needed to find a sense of peace in her untimely death. 

Throughout her first-hand account, I was transported into the twisted underworld of a sex worker.  If you should begin to judge Lillian, please let me remind you of people in glass houses.  There is only ONE who is qualified to make a final judgement.  There is no denying her choices were misguided and clearly pointed to a downward spiral.  That is the simple fact.  It’s a tough pill to swallow when you understand that her choices were made from love.  Faced with an ill mother who could not afford the proper medical treatment or the essentials to provide for herself and her daughters, Lillian began to strip.  It was a means to an end which escalated into a way of life.  People get addicted to money and I suspect that was part of the reason she become a professional prostitute.  The cash she earned was spent on her family, a selfish-bastard of a boyfriend, and her education.  Her enthusiasm to become an English teacher was contagious.  Armed with her bachelor’s degree, her retirement from a dark existence was coming into fruition.  Balancing on the cusp of a dream come true, her light was extinguished.

Part two was written by Lillian’s twin sister.  Determined to find her sister’s killer, Vivian sets out on a mission to bring the murderer to justice.  Vivian takes the reader into the arena of forensics and revenge.  Her love the catalyst in her adamant quest for truth – her sister was not a victim of classic suicide.

Author, Olivia Wild, has done her sister a great justice by publishing THE SEX TOURIST.  There is no doubt in my mind that Lillian is smiling down at us.  The greatest lesson she taught was found within her diary.  Knowing her words may be responsible for deterring others from a cruel and belittling existence brings me peace. 

As a reader and an aspiring author, I often place emphasis on the quality of the writing.  I would be remiss if I did not point out that this novel had several grammatical errors which made it choppy at times.  The content far outweighed the slight mistakes.  Considering, that the author’s first language is not English, I believe these small errors can be overlooked.

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What appealed to me about LOVE IN LOWERCASE was the title. The quirky name beckoned to me. I had a strong urge to uncover the meaning of this title. In my opinion, this novel written by Francesc Miralles is a work of literary fiction with romantic elements as opposed to being given a true romance classification. However, I’ve seen the novel categorized both ways. If a classic romance is your thing, LOVE IN LOWERCASE will not be for you. If you’re looking for something a bit different, or shall I say offbeat, then add LOVE IN LOWERCASE to your must-read list.

LOVE IN LOWERCASE offers its readers a glimpse into the lonely life a linguistics teacher, Samuel. On New Year’s Day, Samuel wakes up to embrace just one more routine day. Often this introverted bachelor’s perfectionist ways deter him from experiencing life. It all changes when a stray cat saunters into his aparatment and leads him to form an unexpected friendship with another loner living in the same building. As the friendship blossoms, Samuel flirts with the idea of chance and love. Through this new friendship and his loveable new companion, he begins to take chances even allowing himself to rekindle a relationship with the women who gave him his first kiss when they were 6-years old.

Set in Spain, the setting is lovely along with the references to literature and music. I enjoyed stepping into Samuel’s world, meeting his eccletic friends, and pondering over his interesting philosophies. Is there really such a thing as coincidence?

Happy Reading!