Publisher: Random House LLC

WHEN PASSION LIES by J. K. Beck

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
WHEN PASSION LIES by J. K. BeckWhen Passion Lies by J. K. Beck
Series: Shadow Keepers #4
Published by Random House LLC on 2012-05-29
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal
Reviewed by Jo

From J. Kenner, the New York Times bestselling author of Release Me and Claim Me, writing as J. K. BeckTiberius is a vampire dedicated to protecting his kind—and the secrets of the shadow world. Now, as his quest to become head of the Alliance draws within reach, a shattering new threat puts him to the ultimate test. It’s a nightmare of grim proportions: a dark plot to bring about the mass extermination of human and shadow alike. And it forces Tiberius to turn to the woman he loved and lost, the lover he still desires but doesn’t trust. Caris was Tiberius’s mate for centuries—until a fateful mission changed her forever. Her tortured secrets drove her into the arms of his rival, but desperation has brought her back. As a horrifying new weapon of mass destruction is about to be unleashed, Tiberius and Caris harness the power of their immortal and passionate love. But will it be enough to battle devastating odds and a ruthless enemy with the ambition to destroy them all?Don’t miss the short story “Shadow Keepers: Midnight” in the back of the book.

Tiberius and Caris were mates for centuries, which isn’t really a long time for vampires. They fought together and loved together until the night that Caris disappeared and when she returned, she had been changed into something that all vampires feared. Tiberius was torn between his love for Caris and his duty to protect his people. Politics and passion warred in Tiberius, until the gap between those two decisions tore them apart with a deep divide between them. The decision that he made changed Caris’ love into hatred – a very deep and strong hatred.

Now many years later, events have brought Tiberius and Caris back together but not as a loving couple. Caris is now part of a shadow group that Tiberius needs information on and time is running short for him to get it. Caris could care less what Tiberius wants and certainly has no plans on working with him anytime soon. However, they both discover that the love between has not disappear but was buried deep and has now sprung out again, just waiting for a chance to glow again. Danger is part of life for both Caris and Tiberius, so when they find themselves working together to discover who is trying to release an old horror into their world it was only a matter of time until those other old feelings came out also. Tiberius is just a vote away from gaining his dreamed of position as the Chairman of the Council but Caris can never join him in that place. Will they discover their love again, only to lose it to politics one more time?

Love and hate are separated by a very thin line so when two hearts are given a second chance, will they find love or be divided by hate? Tiberius and Caris seek this answer in When Passion Lies. I didn’t blame Caris on her feelings towards Tiberius when I read about what had driven her love into hate. When faced with the same thing, I believe most women would have reacted the same way. Tiberius had a lot to make up for and yet I couldn’t make myself hate him like I should have. I began to soften towards Tiberius as I learned just what he had been doing in the years since they were separated. It wasn’t hard to see that the passion between Tiberius and Caris was not only still there but just under the surface. Because they started off by loving and fighting side by side, I was not surprised to see that passion not only rose to the surface, but combusted between them. As I read the last few pages, I thought once again life would tear Tiberius and Caris apart but I was proved wrong when this time love was triumphant. When Passion Lies takes two battered hearts and helps them find the way to their happily ever after against deadly odds.

CLAIMED by Stacey Kennedy

I received this book for free from Reviewer in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Reviewer
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
CLAIMED by Stacey KennedyClaimed by Stacey Kennedy
Series: Club Sin #1
Published by LoveSwept, Random House LLC on 2013-08-05
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Reviewed by Jo

Presley Flynn is ripe to experience her secret fantasies . . . and Dmitri Pratt wants nothing more than to fulfill them. Once inside the elite Club Sin in Las Vegas, Presley is nervous but excited—and determined to surrender to her every desire. Dmitri is her Master, and his touch is like fire. With each careful, calculated caress, he unleashes her wildest inhibitions, giving her unimagined pleasure.   Presley is different than the other submissives Dmitri has mastered. The BDSM lifestyle is new to her, and so are the games they play at Club Sin. From the start, Presley stirs emotions in Dmitri far beyond the raw purity between a dom and the perfect sub. For the ecstasy they share goes beyond the dungeon, igniting a passion that claims the very depths of the heart.   Claimed is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

Presley Flynn moved to Las Vegas with her fiancé for a new beginning, but it soon became apparent that the relationship would not work.  Now Presley lives with a friend and is trying something that will erase her feeling of discontentment.  At the suggestion of her roommate, Presley is headed for an interview at the dungeon with the head master.  The theory is that Presley is a submissive and what she needs is a master to help satisfy all her needs.  Presley isn’t sure but she is willing to try.

Dmitri Pratt runs Club Sin and personally interviews every person who wants a membership, be they a Dom or a Sub.  Today he is waiting on a Sub’s roommate that he has agreed to see and decide if his club will work or not for her.  Dmitri hasn’t had a personal sub for quite awhile but he keeps an open mind.  When Presley walks in, at first Dmitri is amused at how nervous she is and as they talk he is intrigued.  Not only does he want Presley a part of his dungeon, but he wants to be the dom to train her.  A very unusual decision.

As Presley learns the ins and outs of BDSM and the club, she begins to think that maybe this is exactly what she needed.  It also helps that Dmitri is the person leading her through her training – the sparks between them are many and red hot every time they are together.  As Dmitri and Presley get closer and closer, their time together becomes more personal and even loving – something that doesn’t always happen between doms and their subs.  Presley has just about completed her training and there are other doms at the club who are hoping to become her permanent dom, but will Presley agree to that and can Dmitri give up the woman who has come to mean so much to him? 

A woman looking for a missing part meets a man who needs the perfect woman to make him whole again in Claimed.  Presley and Dmitri’s first meeting is just enough to foreshadow the passion that erupts between them as they come to know each other.  I loved how Presley went forward with going into Club Sin and her interview with Dmitri even as nervous as she was.  Right way I could tell that Dmitri would be the perfect Dom for Presley – his actions with a nervous new sub both firm and gentle.  Watching as Presley and Dmitri came closer and closer as her training progressed and also seeing all the sparks that happened with every scene had me hoping that their relationship would extend past the club.  But even I was amazed at how far they came in such a short amount of time.  Tension filled scenes became erotic lovemaking and it was no surprise that passion followed close after that.  I loved watching as Presley came into herself and accepted this last part of herself with Dmitri’s guiding hand.

Claimed is both an erotic and passionate journey towards love in a world that not everyone can grow in.  For Presley and Dmitri, strength and rules can still leave a huge amount of room for passion when it’s the right people.

TAKING SHOTS by Toni Aleo

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
TAKING SHOTS by Toni AleoTaking Shots by Toni Aleo
Series: Nashville Assassins #1
Published by Random House LLC on 2011-10-04
Genres: Contemporary, Sports
Reviewed by Talia Ricci

In New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Toni Aleo’s exhilarating Loveswept debut, the first in a series featuring the hockey hunks of the Nashville Assassins, a reformed bad boy helps a charming, willful woman face off against the demons of her past.   No matter how hard she tries, Elleanor Fisher never thinks she’s good enough, from her job to her weight to her love life. After enduring years of abuse at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, Elli has been drifting through life in a daze. Until, that is, she meets Shea Adler on a promotional shoot for the NHL’s Nashville Assassins. Before Elli knows what’s happening, the gorgeous Shea breaks the ice and shatters her world.   A brilliant athlete inside the rink, Shea Adler is tired of the life he’s living outside of it: the women, the money, the drinking. But everything changes when he meets Elli. After laying eyes on this feisty, witty, beautiful woman, he feels like he’s just taken the hardest hit of his life. No matter how skeptical she is, Shea knows they are meant to be together—if only he can convince Elli to put her insecurities aside before she misses out on a shot at love.

Elleanor Fisher is basically happy with her life now.  Once a star on Broadway, Elli is now content to be one of the most sought after photographers in Nashville.  When the owner of the Nashville Assassins hires Elli to photograph a team shoot, she has no idea that her presence on the ice will garner the attention of the man of her secret dreams, Shea Adler.  Having been burned harshly once before by a man she thought loved her, Elli refuses to believe that someone that looks like Shea could want a woman like her.  Lucky for her, Shea is persistent.

Shea Adler is sin on a stick.  Used to women flocking to him like flies on honey, he has grown a bit tired of the superficial life he often leads.  When he sees the cute photographer on the ice during his team’s photo shoot, he knows that he has to somehow see her again.  She is nothing like anyone he has ever dated before and his feelings for her soon turn to love. 

What Shea doesn’t realize is that his love might not be enough for the complex woman that is Elleanor Fisher.  He has to win her trust. 

Toni Aleo’s debut novel, Taking Shots, is one of the best books I have read this year.  First released as a self published title, it has gone through extensive edits and re-released by Loveswept. The results are simply awesome.  Shea and Elli are made for each other.  Both have hangups that have shaped them into the people they are today and while Shea’s emotions are wide open and all over the place, Elli is a bit more reserved. Their connection to each other leads to extremely hot love scenes with plenty of passion and poignancy.  I found their romance refreshing and very satisfying as both a reader and reviewer. 

Ms. Aleo’s next novel, Trying to Score, promises to be just as engaging and I can’t wait!

BARED by Stacey Kennedy

BARED by Stacey Kennedy

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
BARED by Stacey KennedyBared by Stacey Kennedy
Published by Random House LLC on 2014-02-10
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica
Reviewed by Jo

USA TODAY BESTSELLERIn a novel that’s perfect for fans of Fifty Shades of Grey, Stacey Kennedy returns to Club Sin with another wicked and wild tale of submission, seduction, and love.   At Las Vegas’s exclusive Club Sin, Aidan Knight is the Master, unleashing the erotic yearnings of his submissive lovers. But his dominant façade conceals a devastating loss—something he instantly recognizes in his personally trained submissive Cora Adams. Sworn to unearth her secrets, Aidan uses his seductive skills to ignite her wildest desires until Cora yields to the pleasure she can find only with him.   Cora came to the BDSM club to act out her sub-and-dom fantasies without ever revealing the heartbreak that haunts her. But Aidan’s masterful touch is bringing her closer to the edge . . . and deeper into a world of control and surrender. He refuses to allow her to submit to any other man—nor does she want to. It’s a dangerous game they’re playing. For as they give in to passion, they must lay bare their souls for a love that could heal—and free—them both.   Bared is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

JoyfullyRecommended

Cora Adams is a social worker by day and works hard to make the best decision for her clients or to help them make those decisions.  But when Friday night arrives, she is more than ready to let her submissive side free and allow someone else make the decisions for her.  After all, Cora gets the benefits from her submission and the man, the master, who makes them for her.  In her heart Cora would love more than the brief few nights a week with Aidan but she knows that may never happen and accepts what she can have.

 

Aidan Knight defines dominate both as a lawyer in his daily job and as a Master in Club Sin.  Aidan’s need to dominant is both a well loved strength and a barbed past that affects him to this day.  Aidan knows that he could have his pick of any free submissive in the club, but for the last few years he has stayed with Cora.  Their scenes together gives them both wings, yet one night Aidan sees something he has never seen in Cora, extreme sadness and to top it off she hid the reason from him.

 

Cora knows that she can never tell Aidan what he saw in her face that night, but he is determined to find the answers.  The more that Aidan pushes Cora for the answers the farther apart they seem to drift.  Masters and submissives have to depend on a deep and encompassing trust in their relationships, as that trust dissolves between Cora and Aidan, they soon discover just what they have had for so long now that it seems to be gone.  It’s going to take some hard truths and answers from both Cora and Aidan if they have any chance to regain their partnership or any chance to go forward with any type of relationship.  Aidan finally gets his truthful answers but can he accept them and is it too late for Aidan and Cora to capture the love that has always been between them.

 

A relationship built on trust becomes one of hot passion, deep and abiding love along with an unshakable trust when Master and Sub learn the ultimate kind of relationship.  Bared takes Cora and Aidan from a hidden love to one that grabbed them by the throats and forced them to see what was really between them.  I have to say that Cora and Aidan could turn the pages into flames when their story started but by the time it was over, I’m surprised I could still hold my reader their story was so hot.  The emotions that were forced into the open as Cora and Aidan were forced down a path full of deep potholes after that fateful night.  There were several times I was sure that Aidan would never accept truth that he had buried so deeply.  There were also times when I wondered if Cora could accept going to the club and not having Aidan as her Master.  By the time I turned the last page, I felt like I had been run over by the emotional train and yet I would never have missed seeing Cora and Aidan struggle and gain the future they did.  Bared is erotic, hot and emotion filled, it is also so a must read in my opinion.  Not only is it a must read, but a keeper that I have to Joyfully Recommend as one story that will live forever on your reader.  In fact, I recommend both books so far in the Club Sin series.  I am already waiting, very impatiently I might add, for the next adventure in Club Sin.

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