Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mini-Review: Hot Shot

Hot Shot (Hostile Operations Team #5)

by Lynn Raye Harris 


Cool under pressure… Until now.
Hostile Operations Team sniper Jack “Hawk” Hunter is cool, methodical, and utterly lethal. Nothing rattles Jack’s calm. But that was before he learned he fathered a child three years ago—a child who has just been kidnapped.
Gina Domenico is a superstar, a pop sensation with a string of hit records. But deep inside, she’s still the lonely girl she’s always been. When Jack saved her from an arms dealer, they spent three unforgettable days together waiting for rescue—and Gina fell hard for the sexy soldier before he walked away forever.
But now she needs his help and she’ll do anything to get it. Though Jack can never forgive Gina for keeping his child from him, he’ll do everything in his power—and HOT’s—to bring their son home safely.
Nothing is what it seems, however, and their fates hang in the balance as someone else pulls the strings…and brings them ever closer to an explosive confrontation that could either save their son—or cost them everything.
Themes: military, contemporary
Rating: 4.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Well that was quite a story of two different worlds clashing.  Harris takes us back into the world of the HOT team and the women that stand behind their men in this tale of forbidden attraction, love overcoming obstacles, and learning to trust in the emotions that drive us all.  I loved seeing Hawk healing from the loss of his previous wife with Gina’s help and the honest love of his new son.  I was very surprised to see Harris take this approach, as others I’ve read along the same vein usually have the woman come back when they are pregnant for the “surprise, you’re a daddy” moment, but in this case the timing was crucial, especially in that the truth may never have come out had the danger not arisen.  The overall story was interesting, but the core of this story was definitely each of the main characters overcoming their pasts in order to have a future together, free of the ghosts that have long haunted them.  Another great HOT story with passion, drama, danger, and the sizzle of two opposing forces coming together to find love.
While I have always enjoyed a good “insta-family” story as much as the next girl, I almost always have doubts about the total package working out well, but with Gina and Hawk I believed they would find a way from the very beginning, even if they didn’t.  The strength of Hawk’s character is what I knew would make him a great husband and an even better father.  He would never allow anyone he cared for to remain in danger for long, much less the first woman he has connected with since his late wife, and sure as hell not the child they created together.  I loved that the story began in the past, allowing us to see the beginning of their courtship instead of just getting a prologue and then boom there’s a baby—which has been a peeve of mine in previous similar stories.   Once Gina enlists Hawk and his team’s help, there is no doubt in my mind they will win the war and find a way to keep everyone safe, even if there are a few dark and twisted moments. 
Hawk and Gina were both interesting characters, and the meshing of those personalities was enough to keep the pages burning up, even without the extra drama they were dealing with.  A whirlwind romance is an understatement and it was interesting to see how they each dealt with the circumstances and pitfalls that were inherent to each of their lifestyles.  I have enjoyed each installment of this series very much, and am thrilled to find out what is coming next in HOT Rebel.  Harris had taken the often overworked “mercenary” angle and turned these men and women into rich, deep, and lively characters that are easy to fall in love with.  But I wonder if we will see any more lady warriors stepping into the void left by Hawk, which would be amazing.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mini-ARC Review: Rock Courtship

Rock Courtship (Rock Kiss #1.5)

by Nalini Singh 


What happens when the Gentleman of Rock decides to play dirty?
A drummer for the hottest rock band on the planet, David has a single, powerful weakness: Thea, the band's publicist and the woman who steals his breath away with her every move.
Only problem is, Thea doesn't date clients--or musicians. Emotionally scarred by a cheating ex, she's not about to risk her heart with a man who has groupies buzzing around him like flies. Even if his sexy smile ties her up in knots.
What she doesn't know is that David is a one-woman man...and he's madly in love with her. David's determined to prove he's worth the risk, and willing to court her, step by exquisite step. Thea's about to discover just how long and hard this handsome drummer can play.
Themes: contemporary, novella, rock stars
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Usually I’m not much of a fan of stories that overlap so much in the time scale of another book in the series, but in the case of Rock Courtship, it was great to find out the full story behind the little hints that we received of the evolving relationship between Thea and David from the first story, Rock Addiction.  Nalini Singh has provided us with a sensual novella, that I would classify as almost being full-length, but the greatness of it almost overshadows the first novel.  David and Thea’s story is one that will have you laughing your ass off a lot of the time, even while you can feel the heat bouncing off them, the sharp wit and sarcasm between Thea and David are what fuel their unusual bond. While it was a bit strange to see this different viewpoint of the same time period, book two is a wonderful follow-up and leaves you wanting for nothing. 
Thea is a kick-ass, strong woman, with an interesting past and a deep connection to family, but she never imagines she would fall for the man that has grabbed her heart.  David has wanted Thea from the beginning and had almost given up hope of ever having a chance to be with her, but thankfully her sister, Molly, gives him some helpful advice and encourages him to continue his pursuit.  While they get to know each other and explore the possibility of becoming lovers, it becomes obvious that both of them are feeling more than just lust for one another.  When they finally explore that passion and commit to having a future there is no denying that they are made for one another and as long as they remain open with each other and honest, nothing can tear them apart.  I loved watching them each fall from lust into deep love and finding a way for them to have future together. 
Being shorter than a full length novel, but longer than a true novella, I would say that Rock Courtship packed more into its shorter length than some authors are able to pack into a 1000 page story.  David has loved Thea for a long time and when he finally finds a way to bring her around to becoming his lover there is no way he will let anything prevent him from keeping her.  Thea has resisted David’s pull for so long she doesn’t really know how to give in to her full passion, but when she finally releases all her pent-up passion and makes David hers, she blows his mind.  Their courting rituals are a bit out there but perfect for them, blending their logical minds, passionate hearts, and craving souls all into one love story for the ages.  We learned a lot more about the other band members and I am really looking forward to finding out whose story will be next and just what type of woman each of them will be faced with.  Another great Singh series has begun and I hope it lasts just as long as the Psy-changeling series. 
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

ARC Review: Burning Desire (parts 3 & 4)

Burning Desire (Dark Kings #3)

by Donna Grant


The Dark Kings have fought for centuries to preserve their dragon magic. But can one warrior resist the greatest temptation of all?
In his quest to destroy the Dark Fae—his nemesis—the Dragon King known as Kiril goes to Ireland as a spy. When a gorgeous, mysterious woman tries to seduce him, Kiril instantly sees through her glamour to the Dark Fae beneath. Shara isn’t just any Dark; she’s from one of the most powerful bloodlines—and despite the dangers, Kiril can’t stay away from her. He’s enthralled by her smile, enslaved by the undeniable passion…
Shara has one chance to make things right with her family—and to prove her worth. It seemed like such an easy mission…until she actually meets Kiril. His charm, his sexual magnetism is too much for her to ignore. Shara knows that falling into Kiril’s arms can bring her nothing but trouble. Yet she discovers an inner strength she didn’t know she had…and an attraction that knows no bounds. But is her desire for Kiril worth the risk of eternal doom for them both?
Themes: paranormal, dragons, Fae
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
Part 3 of Burning Desire takes off right away with Kiril and Shara’s enemies encroaching on their new relationship and pulling them into even greater intrigues.  As the drama heats up and both Kiril and Shara come to trust one another, we can see that the love between them, while tentative at this point, will be lasting and true once they both come to fully trust in that love.  I enjoyed seeing Shara come into her own, even though she takes a few wrong turns, bad decisions putting her and her lover into danger unintentionally.  When she approaches an even more dangerous enemy looking for an ally, there is really no denying that she is desperate to find a way to freedom that doesn’t put Kiril into danger, even though she doesn’t realize that is her motive.  Kiril, though, begins to see that not every situation is black and white, and really that the shades in between are what make a person unique and individual.
Shara’s fears lead her to make the bad decision of seeking help from her brother’s greatest enemy, the one man that scares her family and the alliance is definitely one to fall into the unholy category.  Shara almost immediately regrets her decision, but there is no way to go back on her unspoken promises, and soon she finds herself in an untenable position.  When an opening presents itself, Shara escapes the enemy and flies almost immediately to Kiril, seeking his help in getting herself free from both her family and the danger nipping at her heels.  Deciding to trust in her, Kiril begins to fall in love more and more as they work together to thwart the Dark that are plotting against the Kings and try to find a way to rescue Rhi.  But the attempt to save the Light Fae finds them both captured and their lives forfeit.
After being captured by the enemy, Kiril and Shara both have to face their greatest fears and though Kiril is a bit of an ass for a while, believing the lies told to him about Shara and believing that she betrayed him, in the end they were able to pull out a major win for the good people.  The Kings thankfully intervene and kick some major ass, while still managing to free both Kiril and Shara, but there are a few casualties of the battle, not the least being the trust between Shara and Kiril.  But Kiril is man—err dragon—enough to win back his mate and they find their happy ending.  Once they are away from the constant danger, Shara has to come to terms with the fact that the man she loves might never fully trust her, but an unexpected ally gives her the chance to change her fate and show him that she will change her very nature for him, for the deep love they could share, and the happy life that awaits them.  Happily, Rhi finds herself out of immediate danger, through some very shocking circumstances, but not necessarily in a safe place, however, dammit, we still are no closer to finding out who her lover was. 
The last part of this story focused greatly on the relationship between Kiril and Shara, but more it focused on the changes that each of them had to undergo individually to allow them to come together and be each other’s destined mate. The passion between them was there from the very second they locked eyes, but the love and trust were slow in coming and hit quite a few obstacles, a few that seemed insurmountable.  Kiril has to come to terms with the fact that not everyone is perfect, we all have our dark sides, and the choice to live in the light is what makes us into better individuals.  Shara had to come to accept the flaws within herself, and the greatness that others have classified as flaws her entire life.  Her compassion, empathy, independence, and ability to love are what make her such a wonderful character and deserving of all the chances she can have at happiness.  I was thrilled to see a few characters become much more active in this fight against the Dark and find myself more and more intrigued by the Light Fae and especially their queen.  Can’t wait for more Dragon Kings to find their mates and to see the Light continue to beat away the Dark. 
And for pity’s sakes, someone please convince Donna to tell us who Rhi’s lover was before I love my dang mind!!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Mini-Review: Whipped


by Sabrina York 


A scalding attraction. An irresistible passion. A pity she’s the one woman he can never have…
Dane Coulter is mourning the loss of his best friend, fellow Special Ops buddy, Cody. Oh, Cody didn’t die. It’s worse. He’s getting married. Cody is, in Dane’s opinion, whipped.
Dane swears he will never suffer the same fate. But when he meets a woman who can take all his dominant loving and beg for more, he realizes he may have met his match. It’s a damn shame she’s the one woman in the world his man-code deems untouchable…his best friend’s sister.
Themes: erotica
Rating: 3 stars
Heat Rating: 
I have only read one other story by Sabrina York and I have found I really enjoyed them both, but she’s not an author I plan to continue to read.  While I liked her writing in as much as the scenes were well written and the dialogue was decent, I didn’t find myself clicking with the characters much and the overall plot was just too complex for such a short story.  The length of Whipped just did not do the story and the plot justice, but I could see that if they had more time the characters could have become wonderful and believably in love.   Dane was the type of guy I really enjoy learning more about—alpha, sexy, strong of character, and ultimately a reformed ladies’ man, once he meets the right woman.  Tina is a sweet girl, who’s always had a bit of a thing for her older brother’s buddy, but she’s also a grown woman with a penchant for kink and a wild streak that will drive Dane insane. 
I loved the entire premise of the story, and with time I think it could have developed into a great love story, but as it was, it was just a sexy fun read with an ending that was a big gap between the beginning of their relationship.  I would have loved to make the full journey with these two as they came together in a relationship built to last.  Dane and Tina had obvious chemistry every second and there was no denying that they were matched well, despite the differences in their ages and the limitations perceived in their relationship.  The story is well written with good dialogue, lots of heat, and some sweet scenes that show the chemistry between them is just the beginning for them.  Had it been maybe twice the actual length I could see this story being a 4-4.5 star read, but nevertheless it was a great way to fill an hour with passion, laughter, and love.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

ARC Review: Chained by Night

Chained by Night (MoonBound Clan Vampire #2)

by Larissa Ione


Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation.To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.
But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?
Themes: paranormal, vampires, demons
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
The amazing Larissa Ione strikes again with her return to the futuristic and intense world of the clan vampires and the humans that are plaguing them.  While I was surprised just how much I enjoyed this series when I first began it with book 1, but though the story is definitely dark and often scary, the characters, settings and emotional entanglements of the characters are what grab you and move you. My favorite series of Larissa’s continues to be her Demonica series, but the Moonbound Clan has captured my heart and mind as well and I am looking forward to future stories and learning more about the characters we have met in these two stories.  With so rich a setting, a world so similar to ours, but yet so different, this is a world full of bigotry that reminds us how easily the human nature can lapse into the hate we have so recently overcome. Readers cannot overlook the true greatness of this series, which is the characters and how wonderful they are.
The story follows the journey of Moonbound leader, Hunter, as he embarks on a new stage in his life—mating.  Sadly his mating is not one stemming from love, but instead from the duty of a bargain made to keep his clan members safe and his future mate is the epitome of the word “bitch”.  From the moment he agrees, Hunter knows his life will be miserable, though he never imagined it would come out quite this way. Hunter’s new mate arrives, in a hail of bullets, as humans attack and when he stages his rescue he has no idea that he has altered his destiny forever.  Aylin is immediately drawn to Hunter when he rescues her, but as they fall into their passion things quickly get out of control—especially since Hunter thinks she’s really her twin sister, who is actually his mate.  Forced with the ultimate decision of forfeiting her life for her sister’s Aylin joins hunter on his quest to keep his future children safe, but the passion between them grows into something more as they work together to overcome all obstacles.  In the end it comes down to a simple but terrifying choice for Hunter: give up the woman he loves or start a multi-clan war that could decimate the vampire population and leave his clan leaderless?
Aylin is a wonderful character, one with a compassionate heart, a loving nature, and totally born into the wrong clan and family. Born with a physical impairment that has left her an outcast in her own family, Aylin has only ever really loved one person and that is her sister and she is determined to protect her at all costs, even her own life.  The loyalty Aylin shows for her sister —definitely not deserved— is a shining part of her soul that is obviously overlooked by the warring and vicious clan she was born into.  Though I understand her love and loyalty to her sister, to me she didn’t extend her claws soon enough, I felt she should have kicked her sister’s sorry butt long before she finally stood up for herself.  It was obvious her feelings for Hunter developed quickly, and as she fell deeper and deeper I felt so sorry for her since Hunter stood on his duty and decision to give up their love.  Seeing her confidence bloom and her faith in herself grow as she overcame barrier after barrier was like seeing a butterfly emerge, full of life and finally assured of her place in the world and her chances of a future.  In the end I was so thrilled to see Aylin get her man and find herself in a clan that could actually appreciate and understand her.
Hunter, on the other hand, needed his ass kicked quite a bit; and I would have loved to see Aylin put him into his place from the beginning. He is obviously a great leader, one that is willing to sacrifice his own happiness to protect his clan and keep war from their borders. Making the deal with his enemies to bring a mate in from an enemy clan, Hunter knows there will be many challenges, but he never imagined it would make his life this complicated. His strength and leadership are his greatest assets as he deals with the other clan and the members of his own clan as well.  Sadly I felt that his adherence to the rules, and fear of shaking things up too much, left him floundering as he tried to overcome his desire for the woman he’s fallen for and adhere to his duty to his clan.   As he becomes more and more agitated and angry with his obviously difficult choice, Hunter finds his faith in the future and his decision to embrace happiness for himself and for Aylin becomes an easy one. I’m all for clan allegiance, but honestly if I found the love of my life I would NOT give them up for an empty promise made to an enemy and in the end thankfully neither did Hunter. 
Chained by Night is a story of love, overcoming impairments, finding true love, and accepting the love that sometimes comes at an inconvenient time, but is always necessary for life.  The danger that stalks hunter and Aylin as they slowly find victory in their battles heightens their emotions and the desire burning between them becomes truly irresistible.  Aylin is the type of woman that every woman wants to be, and every man wants for his own—at least the decent males, if not the ones from her birth clan.  When she blossoms from the shy, slightly terrified, and mostly lonely young woman she’s always been, into a seasoned warrior, with confidence in her own abilities and the passion she can find with another, Aylin becomes even more irresistible, a true gem in a world of darkness.  Hunter has his head up his butt a good bit of the story—let’s be honestbut shows us in the end he is a male worthy of a woman like Aylin and the future they could have.  He is definitely a male that deserves of all the happiness in the world which is why I don’t understand why he fought so hard to deny his love for Aylin.  Packed with danger, drama, intrigue, betrayal, and ultimately the overpowering victory of true love, Ione’s newest vampire tale takes us through a journey of love and redemption, one that will leave you breathless as the ending arrives and the world is forever changed for this clan, but  the changes will affect the entire world around them. Ione has done it again!
 *eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Review: The Arrow

The Arrow (Highland Guard #9)

by Monica McCarty 


As King Robert the Bruce of Scotland plots to retake his English occupied castles, he needs the stealth and skill of his elite soldiers, the Highland Guard. Fearless and indomitable, no men are more loyal to their king, or cherished by the women they love.
 The talents of legendary marksman Gregor “Arrow” MacGregor are crucial now, as Bruce moves to reclaim his Scottish holdings. Gregor is considered the most handsome man in Scotland, and his fame as an archer is rivaled only by his reputation with the lasses as a heartbreaker. But when his infamous face is exposed during a covert mission, Gregor is forced to lay low. He returns home only to find a new battle waiting: a daring game of seduction involving his now very grown up and very desirable ward, Cate of Lochmaben.
 A born fighter, Cate was clinging to life when Gregor rescued her after a vicious English raid on her village left her mother dead. But five years later, the once scrappy orphan Gregor took under his protection has become a woman. Brave, strong, and skilled in warfare, Cate is determined to lay claim to the warrior who refuses to be trapped. The heat in his eyes tells her she has his attention . . . and his desire. But will Gregor allow his heart to surrender before danger finds them, and the truth of Cate’s identity is revealed?
Themes: Historical, Highlanders
Rating: 5 stars
Heat Rating:  
Returning to the highlands for another adventure of the Highland Guard and Robert the Bruce, The Arrow takes us on a journey through young love, deceit, passion and ultimate forgiveness.  I was thrilled to have a chance to read Gregor and Cate’s story before publication and discovered it was one of my favorite stories in the series.  Though I have wondered often about the past that haunted Arrow and was curious about the “ward” who continuously caused him trouble, I never imagined the story would be so amazing.  Getting to see all the other Guard members and their relationships with their wives, and of course hearing about children born, along with learning more about Robert the Bruce and his amazing rise to power, was a major draw for reading this story. Monica has yet to ever disappointment when I read one of her stories, and I have read everything she’s published, but with each new Highland Guard novel I find myself more amazed by the richness, imagination, and the utter flexibility of her mind as she creates these characters and the stories of their lives.  I will be sad to see this series end, but I know when it happens there will be something even greater coming after to keep us all entertained and enthralled.
Gergor’s story begins with him getting word from his brother, the steward of his clan, that his ward, Cate, has gotten herself into trouble once again.  While he has been restless for some time, he isn’t willing to leave his king’s side, until Robert insists he take the trek home and deal with his issues so he can come back full prepared to kick butt. Reluctantly he returns home, only to find that the young hellion that has driven him mad for years has grown into a beautiful and desirable woman, one that flaunts and flirts in an attempt to bring him closer.  Cate has lived with Gregor’s clan for years, since he rescued her from a certain death, but she has always been in love with Gregor, waiting months for glimpses of him when he returns home.  When he returns this time she is determined to have him as her husband and goes out of her way to show him that she’s a woman that can be his equal.  But even as their passion ignites, Gregor fights the attraction and tries to deny that they are obviously meant to be together.  With enemies circling around Gregor, Cate is pulled into the drama, but she risks her life  to avenge her mother’s death since Gregor obviously regrets his decision to be her mate. When the truth of her past comes to light, can she and Gregor find forgiveness and the love they both always needed in each other’s arms? Or will they forever be kept apart by their circumstances and their own stubbornness?
Gregor has always let his own past and the animosity on his father affect his every decision, so when he starts to lose focus and is no longer a perfect warrior, it becomes apparent that he needs some time to gain back his focus.  Though it is obvious he is normally a man who plays the field—and really most men back then wereeven after marriage—when he arrives back home and finds himself faced with the very uncomfortable desire for Cate he does not handle it very well.  I loved that he tried so hard to be honorable, but really wish he’d opened his eyes earlier to the hurt he was causing Cate at every turn, because he is just not the type of man to hurt a woman intentionally.  I hated that he also couldn’t find it in his heart to trust Cate, letting his past with women color his chance at a future with her.  When he does finally come around, he moves heaven and earth to win back her love and trust, but if he had just seen the true love she had for him from the beginning, it would have been much less heartbreaking all around.   Regaining his focus and finding a way to accept that he will not always be a perfect warrior, but will always be a great one, gives him back the focus he needs to protect not only his king, but also the woman that has stolen him heart and soul.
Cate is a special type of woman, one standing alone in a category no one has even seen at this point in history—an independent, free-thinking, and battle ready warrioress.  The trauma of her mother’s death has driven her to find every way to protect herself in the future, determined that she will never again be helpless to protect herself or others she loves, and to find vengeance against her mother’s killer.  The only bright spot in her life has been Gregor and the deep love that has developed for him, even though she knows he doesn’t see her the way she wants.  She’s watched him through the years, giving himself to others, and never once seeing the love she has for him as anything but a silly crush of a little girl.   Now that Gregor is returning home, she is going to seize the chance to make him hers with all her passion and determination.  As he finally begins to return her desire, she sees a chance for them to have a life together, but quickly learns that sometimes the demons in a person’s past can destroy them faster than any weapon of man.  That heartbreaking truth leads Cate on a reckless mission, one that I understand fully, but one that places her life into deadly peril, especially once the truth of her parentage is revealed.  But honestly, who doesn’t love a woman that will not only forgive the discretions of others, but their betrayals as well, and can still rescue herself from a killer that has haunted her for a decade and in the process save a kingdom and avenge the murder of her mother?  I want to be Cate when I grow up please.
The great Highland Guards have once again captured our hearts and minds in a tale of passion, betrayal, love, and redemption, all while giving you a glimpse into a richly fascinating culture and time and the lives of the men and women that shaped a nation.  Gregor is a man that has always measured his worth in his abilities as a warrior, never understanding that his loyalty, kindness, and willingness to give his all are the qualities that really make him a good man and a better warrior.  But Cate sees those traits and the greatness of the man, thankfully and her love if the one thing that can force him to overcome his demons and embrace the love and friendship that surrounds him.  Cate on the other hand has always understood the power of love and the fine line between it and hate, her own past showing her that once a man loses her faith, there’s little chance of going back.  She is a skilled warrior, one that many would overlook simply because she is a woman, but she proves again and again that she is a force to be reckoned with and that the heart of a warrior is his—or her—greatest strength.  While I found myself laughing and crying equally, the greatest part of this story is the true love between Cate and Gregor and the understanding of the flaws each of them carried, an understanding that had to be earned through hardship and adversity.  I cannot wait to see where this amazing group of people goes next and learn more about this culture that I come from, but can never learn enough about.  Keep the hits coming Monica and I promise to keep spreading the word about your greatness!

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Mini- Review: Dare to Submit

Dare to Submit (Dare to Love #4)

by Carly Phillips


Decklan Dare knows about the unexpected loss of loved ones and for this reason, he values control in all areas of his life. Amanda Collins enjoys the freedom she finds in casual encounters without the emotional connection a relationship brings. They meet and their physical attraction is mutual but both experience feelings that could run deeper – if they drop their guard and let each other in. Decklan is first to trust, but when he discovers the secret Amanda’s been hiding, will he forgive? Or will he rebuild every wall before she has a chance to explain?
Themes: contemporary, BDSM
Rating: 3.5 stars
Heat Rating: 
While I can honestly say I enjoyed this story while I was reading it, it didn’t seem to leave a very lasting impression on me.  As I write this review only a week after finishing the book, I find myself unable to remember many of the details that normally stick in my brain with a truly memorable story.   The passion was there, but the story itself didn’t stick with me and at least the characters were a bit more lasting than the story itself. The previous stories seemed to have more connection for me, Decklan and Amanda’s story while passionate at the time was not the great story I was hoping for.  This is the first time that I can say I have almost no memory of the details of the story though I can recall it being enjoyable at the time.
So that being said I can only give my general feelings about the book and the series in general.  This story, centered on the Dare cousins in NY, involves a bit more sensuality and passionate exploration that we are used to in Carly Phillips novels generally. Decklan is a very sensual man, one that has his little quirks, and it is obvious that when he meets the woman meant to snare his heart, he will do all in his ability to keep her and keep her happy.  Amanda was the one character I didn’t connect with and honestly cannot remember that much about her.  I know she went through an exploration of her sexuality with Decklan leading her and teaching her about the importance of being open, but can't remember much more about her. 
While I usually find a wonderful connection to Carly’s novels, this one sadly let me down, though I shall certainly reread it and see if the experience improves any.  I’m looking forward to the return to the original Dare siblings and the connection I have with them.  I am looking forward to further chances to learn more about the Dare family as they find love.  Hopefully future novels will provide the intensity and memorable story this one lacked for me and take me back to the love of all books by Carly Phillips.

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided.