Review: Owned (The Billionaire Banker, Book 1) by Georgia Le Carre

ownedReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Millionaire Banker Blake Law Barrington sets his eyes on the incredibly gorgeous Lana Bloom and cannot help what he thinks about her. He wants to have her, bed her and own her as she is young and innocent, unlike him. He is a man who knows what he wants, and how to ensnare those who don’t understand the type of man he is, but Lana has her own agenda, as her mother runs the risk of dying from her illness, she decides in that despair to offer herself to a rich man so she can pay for her mother’s expensive treatment. Blake however sees her as an attractive proposition and wants her, thwarting the other man who also had desires on her.

Review: The concept is a really sound one; it shows Lana’s desperation to help save her mother even though it means her being owned by a man who sees most women as sex objects. Though it isn’t the sort of story a feminist would read as it makes out every woman has a price on their bodies if misfortune heads their way at some point in their lives, Lana handles the situation as best she can, even going so far as being ready to leave him once she gets what she wants. Lana does start out with only her mother’s welfare in mind, but sooner than later she develops an affection for the rich man who has brought her into the very strange world of power and riches – wealth for him comes as part of his life whether she likes it or not, but there is something she doesn’t know about Blake she might not ever want to find out.

Lana grows inevitably to like him beyond all the glitz and glamour, wealth and position, but as she has only money in mind, she wishes she could actually form a real relationship with him outside of that. This for her is nothing more than a pipe-dream, though as she also doesn’t want to get involved with a man who has secrets.

Good Bits:

  • Written in first person POV.
  • This is full of throbbing passion and sensuality.
  • They do say that opposites attract, and this is pretty much what this novel is about.

Summary: As it makes some women look like money-grabbers, this novel isn’t for everyone. I liked how the story started and what it hoped to achieve. It’s a sizzler that is full of passion and has a lot to say of what some women think love really is. I found myself looking forward to book 2.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Owned (Billionaire Banker Series Book 1)

Review: Fired by Her Fling by Christy McKellen

fired by her flingHero: Tristan Bamfield arrives in London to settle a personnel dispute at his father’s radio station. Cleaning up messes for his dad is something Tristan is used to, having taken over the family kitchen cabinet business years ago. He has a fabulous evening with a sexy woman only to find out the next day that she’s one half of the dispute he has to resolve. He’s been played a fool — again!

Heroine: Tallulah (Lula) Lazenby gets tongue-tied around people which may sound odd as her job is as a radio DJ. Sleeping with her boss at the station was a huge mistake. Jez is a major sleazeball; and the promotion he promised her? Nowhere in sight. Imagine her surprise when her one night stand ends up firing her and calls her on the carpet for unethical behavior and manipulation.

Review: Lula’s celebrity personality (the confident side of herself) I felt had better chemistry with Tristan than her “real” timid personality. Tristan has some serious family issues with his brother stealing his fiancée and his dad serially marrying women. My favorite sequences in this story included the night these two hooked up the first time, when they realized who the other one was and the subsequent firing, and Tristan’s later groveling where he wins her back to the studio with gifts (not all appropriate, but all right, cute anyway).

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Fired by Her Fling

Review: Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon (Billionaire Romance, Book 2) by Jennifer St. George

tempted by the billionaire tycoonSummary: Nic Capitini is about to take his luxury spa resort company public. He needs the launch to be successful not just for business but because he plans to use its success to prove to his mother and sister they can rely on him to be strong enough to protect them from his father (a ruthless man who runs the island Nic is from with casinos and prostitutes.)

The only fly in his ointment is the poor showing of his English spa where a series of strange incidents spells certain failure for his launch. He goes undercover to ferret out the resort’s manager and fire her for poor performance. Only Nic has a hard time finding anything wrong that Poppy Bradford. Everything he could complain about she fixes or has a reason for doing (like ensuring the safety of the guests). He finds himself falling for her instead.

Review: A quick and fun read. There are a lot of suspects who could be behind the sabotages at the Sirona resort. Is it the manager? The assistant manager? An employee who was fired for drugs? A male client stalking the manager? I like Poppy who was capable and strong. She was a smart manager and was doing everything she could think of to make the resort a success and minimize future incidents. She even figures out Nic quick enough and calls him on it. She proposes a deal – let her prove she’s worth not only keeping but promoting and he takes her up on it. The dialogue was fun and snappy. I had a few concerns about her sister’s sudden turn around in behavior but it didn’t pan out to be anything.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Tempted by the Billionaire Tycoon: Billionaire Romance Book 2

Review: Better Homes and Hauntings by Molly Harper

better homes and hauntingsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Nina Linden is in one of the areas of the country that I love to visit – this would be a great book to take with you when you go to visit. She’s trying to come back after having someone try to discredit her. She’s just one of those characters that you want to root for and that all will be right in the world for her.

Deacon Whitney is a law unto himself and has brought some people, Nina included, to help him restore his ancestral home. The attraction between them is muted compared to the ghostly mystery that is afoot. I found that I was more interested in what is going on with the house then any type of romance.

This author introduces you to a character named Dotty. She’s a relative of Deacon’s and she appears to be the comic relief in this story. There’s one scene in this book that just solidified my awe in Dotty. You will understand when you read the scene where she talks about how she reads a book – that used to be me before I broke that bad habit.

This is one of those books that I would read more than once. The author does a great job in building the momentum that carries the reader from beginning to end and leaves you wanting more. I can picture having this around come Halloween. What a perfect time to set the mood, add the perfect music, the perfect drink and sit back and relax. And speaking of setting the mood, I had to laugh to myself when some music is referenced in the book–I just happened to be listening to that music as I was reading.

Now I’m anxious to see what Molly has in store for her readers now that this book has come out.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Better Homes and Hauntings

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Review: Matched to a Billionaire by Kat Cantrell

matched to a billionaireHero: Leo Reynolds is your typical venture capitalist married to his work. He can’t seem to keep a girlfriend… not that he tries too hard to keep one. His ideal match would be a woman who can stay in the background, never nag him about not paying enough attention to her, and can host stellar parties to help him woo clients. He’d be willing to pay a matchmaking service to hook him up with such a female.

Heroine: The matchmaker pairs him with Daniella White. She’s willing to marry for security and finances to pay for her mother’s medical care. Learning from her mother’s poor taste in men, Daniella believes it will be easy to be a convenient wife and let all expectation of a passionate romance go.

Review: Daniella doesn’t want to mess this up. She wants to be the perfect wife and tries to mind-read Leo as to what that is. She tries very hard to please him and succeeds… and fails… because she’s not a background kind of girl. Leo very much notices Daniella and he doesn’t like it. Leo is a passionate man disguised as an ice cold billionaire. His obsessive personality is not the flaw he thinks it is… he just needs to learn balance. I do love how it comes into play at the end when he draws and draws and draws for Daniella. That was incredibly sweet.
Final thoughts: A salty sweet romance – a perfect weekend snack.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Matched to a Billionaire (Happily Ever After, Inc.)

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Just Can’t Get Enough International Tycoons Giveaway!

hqngiveaway

Thank you Harlequin for this amazing giveaway! One winner from North America will win:

The Sarantos Baby Bargain:

He’d come for the baby…and his ex-wife.

Naomi Sinclair had once fallen hard for Andreas Sarantos. Marrying the irresistible Greek venture capitalist had seared her soul with pleasure—and despair. For she soon discovered he was incapable of love. Now her ex-husband is back…to claim her orphaned ten-month-old niece.

Andreas let Naomi get away once. But adopting his best friend’s baby girl gives him the leverage he needs to bring his unwilling ex-wife back to his bed. Will having the only woman he’s ever wanted erase the scars of his dark past? Or will he lose Naomi, this time forever?

Sheikh’s Scandal:

When the Sheikh comes to town…

Sheikh Sayed of Zeena Sarha and his harem of beautiful women are staying at the exclusive, opulent Chatsfield Hotel, London, for the last stop on his worldwide tour before his wedding. But when his engagement is unceremoniously broken, Sayed sets his sights on his sexy chambermaid!

Liyah Amari only took the position as chambermaid to find the truth about her birth father. But her search ends in heartache, leaving Liyah vulnerable to this powerful Sheikh’s desires. Now their one night of passion could result in a scandalous consequence for the proud Sheikh!

Welcome to The Chatsfield, London!

Gambling with the Crown:

This Sheikh plays to win!

The crown of Kyr holds no appeal for pleasure-seeking Sheikh Kadir al-Hassan—his memories of the kingdom are as dark as a desert’s night. But neither will he shirk his duty…. Instead, Kadir returns home with a bride so unsuitable, no one will want him to be king!

Long-suffering assistant Emily Bryant is the most important person in Kadir’s high-octane life, and the most invisible—until she’s promoted to royal bride! Sealing their marriage bargain with a scorching kiss leaves Kadir craving more….

Now Kadir must decide what’s really at stake in his royal game—his desert duty, or Emily!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share in the comments what you love best about tycoons for a chance to win!

Contest ends May 30, 2014.

Top 10 Reasons Why Old Relationships Are Worth Revisiting

All the Boys I Ever KissedGuest blog by Marilyn Kelly, author of All the Boys I Ever Kissed: A Choose Your Own Ending Novel being released on Amazon on April 22.

Do you ever wonder about your old boyfriends? I married my college sweetheart, so it’s been a long time since I kissed another man, but I have some sweet memories. My latest novel is a contemporary women’s fiction called All the Boys I Ever Kissed (A Choose Your Ending Novel), about a widowed travel writer who looks to past boyfriends to find her future. There are three amazing men – a DC firefighter/paramedic, an athletic Argentine millionaire, and a British baron. Which one will win the heroine’s heart? You choose your favorite!

I made this a Choose Your Own Ending Novel because there are three men the heroine falls in love with, and I fell in love with them all while writing the book. It pained me to choose one, so I wrote three different endings thinking I would find a hero I preferred. I didn’t. All three of these men have their flaws and their strengths, and I decided the reader should get to choose their favorite. What do you think of that concept? I also wrote The Man Tell All Q&A because I missed having the men’s point of view in this first-person novel. I broke a lot of rules of the romance genre, but sometimes the writing process won’t follow directions.

We all know dating is hard, and some relationships that didn’t work out in the past might be worth a second look. Of course, abusive relationships are best left behind, but there might be someone who still puts a smile on your face. If you are looking for a new relationship, consider making a list of all the boys you ever kissed. If one of them still floats your boat, find out if they’re available, and reach out to them. Who knows, it might be the start to your happy ending.

I was inspired by a recent guest blog on Why It Didn’t Work Out by Torie James to write the Top 10 Reasons Why Old Relationships Are Worth Revisiting.

  1. You were attracted to each other at one point. As we get older, it seems harder to find people who are physically compatible. Never underestimate the value of physical attraction. It’s a wonderful basis for a loving relationship.
  2. You may have grown because of the breakup. Sometimes people say the most terrible things to each other during an argument, but afterward realize there was more than a grain of truth to the accusations. Maybe leaving your makeup spread out over the bathroom counter drove him crazy. You didn’t do it with the next boyfriend and it wasn’t so hard. Hopefully, you can laugh about it in retrospect.
  3. You will remember each other younger and possibly thinner. Most of us have a flashback when we see people we’ve known for a long time. In our mind’s eye, we recall them with fewer wrinkles. There are times when I look at my husband and tears come to my eyes because he looks just like he did when we met in college. And our children have now graduated. He says the same thing about me, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
  4. You know each other’s faults. There are no unexpected surprises three months into the relationship when so many people reveal their true colors. Even if he hasn’t changed his slovenly ways, you’ve realized there are worse faults. Like cheating on you or yelling at you. At least he brings you flowers.
  5. You miss each other. Sometimes you think about him, and vice versa. Unless you had a truly ugly breakup, there are good memories there if you bring them to light.
  6. You have friends in common who would cheer you on. Most breakups divide friendships along with the other belongings. There’s probably someone you miss among his friends. Besides, if it doesn’t work out your ex, maybe one of his friends will be a fit.
  7. If you have children or pets in common, that’s an even better reason to give love a second chance. I have a hard time with couples who claim to still be best friends but split up anyway. Monogamy is hard, but the shared memories and comfort are worth the trouble. Especially if there are children involved, special effort should be made to work through the problems. Nobody’s perfect, but if there isn’t abuse, find a counselor you both like and learn to forgive.
  8. You have equal power going back into the relationship. This is especially important if you broke up because of a power struggle, but everyone can benefit. An honest discussion can be had right from the start about how chores are going to be divided or other sticky subjects that drove you apart. Just be sure to maintain your sense of humor, and you could have your cake and eat it too.
  9. You understand each other’s lives and are more accepting of the sacrifices. Maybe it used to drive you crazy that he worked such late hours, but now you would appreciate the extra money. Maybe he never understood why you called your mother so much, but now his mother is gone and he wishes he’d called her more. Maybe you’d both be more willing to compromise the second time around.
  10. You loved each other. There was a time when you couldn’t think of anything but making him happy, and vice versa. Unless you now hate him, that spark might still be alive. I don’t believe there’s only one person for each of us, but passionate love doesn’t come easily. Second time around, be sure to nurture each other and maybe the love will last forever this time.

Have any of you reunited with old boyfriends? How did that work out for you?

All the Boys I Ever Kissed – A Choose Your Own Ending Novel blurb.

Lana Patterson wants a husband, but she’s striking out online and with blind dates. Her sister suggests she look to her past to find her future, and Lana starts contacting old boyfriends. She’s been practically housebound since her husband died, so she starts local, in Washington DC.

Captain CPR is Chippendale firefighter hot, but other than his incredible body and compatible sense of humor, Lana doesn’t find him the ideal bedmate or potential husband. Pierce Abrams runs into burning buildings for a living, and she wants a husband who will be there to walk her daughter down the aisle.

Lana grew up as a Foreign Service child and is now a travel writer. Her sister and daughter insist she hit the road, so Argentina and England are her next stops. The first boy she ever kissed is athletic, adventurous, intelligent, wealthy, and the most amazing Latin lover. Unfortunately, Sergio Salazar has a closet full of girlfriends that he claims he’s willing to give up. Lana has her doubts.

Her high school boyfriend has more potential, since his current girlfriend is on the wane. Duncan Claymore is a baron with a castle, and oh so tempting, even introducing Lana and family to the Duchess of Cambridge. It would be a fantasy life, but his conniving sister threatens to derail their renewed love affair.

Three amazing men are all having adventures of their own. Which one will capture Lana’s heart? The reader gets to choose!

Buy: All the Boys I Ever Kissed

All the Boys I Ever Kissed, A Choose Your Own Ending NovelExcerpt:

“What was the best kiss you ever had?” My older sister Marie propped her elbows on my batik tablecloth and adopted her “tell me everything” look, usually as effective as a Jedi mind trick. “Before Jude, of course.”

Best kiss before my soul mate? It had been ages. “I honestly don’t remember.” I glanced through the porch door to the kitchen, where my adorable daughter, Ashley, stood in her soccer uniform arranging cupcakes on a plate. I wasn’t about to discuss my past boyfriends in front of a twelve-year-old tomboy. “I don’t see how that’s relevant to me finding a new husband.”

Marie sat back with a huff, her short black curls a shadowy halo in the fading light. “You haven’t had much luck finding a man, Lana. I’m racking my brain for ideas.”

“I appreciate that, but you can’t hurry love.” What I didn’t appreciate was my dating failures on review, again, no matter how good the intention.

Ashley set dessert on the table and took her seat beside me, her toothy smile a constant reminder of her father. “Mom, don’t you want to remarry?” She and Marie shared a conspiratorial glance. They were clearly on a mission together. “You told me once that snuggling with Dad was your favorite thing in the world. Don’t you miss that?”

Did I ever. Jude had dubbed me the perfect bedmate, always warm and willing. Waking up alone was still tough after two years. “Of course, I do.” I refilled my glass of homemade lemonade, wishing I’d spiked it with some tequila to fortify me for this intervention.

Buy: All the Boys I Ever Kissed

Marilyn Kelly’s Bio:

My Wanton Widows series, published by Ellora’s Cave, is about three accomplished women in Victorian England who are all searching for love, respect, and passion. The first in the series is Sounds of Love about a matchmaking novelist, a scholarly widow and an arrogant earl.

All the Boys I Ever Kissed (A Choose Your Ending Novel) is my first contemporary romantic women’s fiction. If you like The Bachelorette or Mamma Mia, I hope you’ll love this book!

My goal is to make thousands of readers happy and fulfilled. Please let me know if I’ve succeeded. If you would like to receive my newsletter and participate in contests, visit my website, www.MarilynKelly.net or email me at marilyn@marilynkelly.net. For everyone who makes a comment here and then goes to my website to sign up for my newsletter, I will send you a gift package in the mail with an acrylic shot glass and a heart-shaped pill case as a thank you. Just mention Love Romance Passion.

Want me to send you these? Comment here then visit www.marilynkelly.net, sign up for my newsletter and mention Love Romance Passion.

Buy: All the Boys I Ever Kissed

Review: Marriage Made on Paper by Maisey Yates

marriage made on paperHeroine: Lily Ford runs her own public relations business. When a new deal demands exclusivity, she dumps the competition in a hot minute. Who knew the exclusivity also meant sacrificing her personal life? Being at a tycoon’s beck and call may sound sexy, but it means early mornings, late nights, and plenty of firefighting to keep the press at bay… and it also involves marriage? Not something easily palpable to a woman who’s resistant to love (at least her mother’s version of it).

Hero: Gage Forrester made his millions in property development. He’s a tough man to work for and demands every employee go above and beyond the call of duty… including his PR contractor. When an unexpected family fiasco erupts, Gage is determined to suppress the gossip and press by generating positive PR. His solution? Marriage. He proposes to Lily in the name of business, but Gage is determined to also make the marriage real.

Review: Gage is an interesting hero – he’s already been a father to his younger sister and did it well. He’s not ready to put his hat in the ring again for kids. It doesn’t appeal to him. Neither does marriage, well okay, maybe marriage to the right woman. Both Gage and Lily are aware of each other and their effect. They have great dialogue and great chemistry. What’s nice about this book is that Lily is not helpless. She’s a go-getter and at the top of her game, just like Gage. They’re equals. The paper marriage was a farce from the beginning though and not at all necessary other than to force the leads into matrimony.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Marriage Made on Paper

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