Review: Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires, Book 2) by Laurel McKee

two sinful secretsHero: Dominic St. Claire and his brothers continue to uphold a feud that started many years ago with the Huntingtons, involving older relatives on both sides. They brothers blame the Huntingtons for the loss of their family fortune. Revenge would be sweet and Lady Sophia would be perfect target. Dominic decides he will elope with her and then dump her at the altar, forever ruining her. What will he do, however, when his treacherous heart gets involved?

Heroine: When Lady Sophia Huntington, now Mrs. Westman, was younger refused to give up a man she thought she loved was banished from her family’s bosom. He wasn’t such a prince after all. Widowed now, Sophia is betting against the house in order to survive and maybe to finally make her way home. But blast it all! She can’t possibly win her family’s forgiveness if she shows up with Dominic St. Claire. Can she?

Review: I could have done without the obsessed stalker hunting the heroine. In my opinion, it was superfluous to the storyline. The revenge plot could have had more oomph. It’s hard to feel for somebody holding onto a grudge that really isn’t his to hold. One of the hottest scenes in the book is the very first chapter. It introduces both characters and a meeting they had prior to the start of the main action. She’s a masked figure gambling in his family’s gaming establishment. Sophia knows who Dominic is, but he does not know her. They share quite a passionate kiss before she breaks it off and runs away. It’s a moment neither party can forget or the reader.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Two Sinful Secrets (The Scandalous St. Claires)

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Review: Wild Rides by Elizabeth Coldwell

Reviewed by Sharon S.

Ridden Hard, Stud to Go, Layover… A collection of three intensely erotic gay novellas – prepare yourself for a Wild Ride!

Whew! I think I need to fan myself after reading these stories <G>.  I read and reviewed Ridden Hard a while back for LRP and gave it 5 stars. So when I got a chance to read more by Coldwell I jumped at the chance. I always say I don’t like erotica, but I think I might have to rethink that when it comes to m/m romances. These three stories are over the top, throwing every possible sexual scenario at you in a very short amount of time. Ben, the lead character in Stud to Go manages to be involved in voyeurism, BDSM, ménage, masturbation and probably some others I forgot, with multiple people. In his defense, he was working as a male escort.

These stories worked for me because of how well developed and likable the characters are.  Each story is told in the first person POV, which I am quite fond of. I immediately loved each lead character. They are good natured, funny and all around nice guys. Coldwell has a talent for writing wonderful characters and she will have you rooting for them and their HEA, which they all get I might add.  The sex might be rough and crazy, but the romance behind all that is so strong and sweet it will leave you wanting more.

My favorite of the three was Stud to Go. I loved Ben and Jeroen. It is almost like a m/m version of Pretty Woman (for those who remember that one <G>). Layover was my least favorite of the three, but I still liked it! We are talking 5 stars vs 4 stars, but I didn’t feel the same connection between Cal and Justin as I did with the other two couples.

If you like m/m, HEA, and freaking hot sex, then you will love this collection :)

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Wild Rides

Review: His at Night by Sherry Thomas

Tired of spy lords in Regencies? If you said yes, make an exception for His at Night, because it’s not tired. It’s very much awake and zesty. Sherry Thomas has taken this subgenre of Regencies and gave it a fabulous new life… by making the Marquess a blithering idiot. Oh I see your incredulous expression, but yes, a blithering idiot makes all the difference.

The secretly intelligent Lord Vere plays the idiot for everyone in the ton. He mixes up facts, wanders into places he shouldn’t, forgets things from one minute to the next, talks incessantly, and has a puffed up impression of himself. He’s the most nonsensical man around and the last guy anyone would want to marry.

That is except for Elissande (Ellie) Edgerton, a sheltered spinster desperate to escape her uncle’s oppressive household and take her aunt with her. When Lady Kingsley shows up at her door with a house party in tow and a sob story to share, Ellie agrees to let them stay while her uncle’s gone to London. She’s thrilled with Lord Vere’s presence (and he’s similarly knocked out by her) but the illusion cracks when he begins to talk (and she begins to smile).

Spencer recognizes Ellie’s acting, but he can’t breech the disconnect between her public self and her private self. He thinks they’re one and the same. Ellie at first doesn’t see that the idiot is an act… but eventually her own training at the hands of her uncle help her to see through his successful illusion. If only she can get him to break it and be real with her!

In an attempt to snag Spencer’s brother Freddie, Ellie gets stuck with the idiot in a marriage of convenience. But to stay safe from her uncle, Ellie can’t have a marriage easily broken by an annulment, which leads to their first sexual encountered. It’s hot because it’s abruptly aborted allowing them to try again when they’re both more clearheaded.

How can two people, forced to be actors, let go of their lines and let the truth out?

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Buy: His at Night

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Movie Review: 17 Again starring Matthew Perry and Zack Efron

I read a really funny review of 17 Again right before going to see the movie. It said something along the lines of if you can suspend belief that someone who looked like Zack Efron could wind up looking like Matthew Perry in twenty years then you can enjoy the movie. Truer words never spoken.

Matthew Perry plays in the beginning and at the end of the movie with the majority of the film being driven by Zack Efron. What I liked about the casting the most (besides that Zack is such a hunk) was that both Matthew and Zack developed and acted mannerisms in the same way and also were able to deliver similar lines in the same manner.

Zack was also very believable. He did nothing over the top. It was funny to watch him extract himself from his “daughter’s clutches” and a delight to watch him become good friends with his son. While there was a slight weird factor, it was still cute to watch him fall back in love with his wife. Very romantic. Loved his scene in the court room!

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I was non-stop laughing throughout this movie. I was laughing at everything (in a good way) from the dialogue to the actors to the clothes. I highly recommend going to see this movie. It’s feel good, ends happy, and let’s face it has Zack Efron in it. What more of a reason do you need?

As I was walking out of the theater, everybody was raving. If you’re still not convinced go in the morning to a matinee and pay less for your ticket. You’ll be glad you did.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Buy: 17 Again

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Guess the Chest #10-12

We’re moving right along… some guesses have been dead on and some guesses are wrong. I’ll give you a hint all the chests belong to actors… cough #3 cough

#10

This hunk of burning love made a splash by being blond instead of brunette. Can you guess who and why?

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#11

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for him to drop that robe!

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#12

He’s got abs of steel and buns too…

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Have you voted today yet on the birthday poll? Be sure to do so!

Interview with 2009 Mr. Romance Candidate Eric Truglia

lorricC’mon, sit down, relax and grab a cuppa Joe. Well no, a cuppa Eric actually. Eric Truglia sat down with me recently to discuss what went down at the Romantic Times Convention in Orlando where he was a contestant in the Mr. Romance contest. Giving us a unique look on the experience Eric shares why he competed along with exclusive behind-the-scenes gossip!

One thing you think the ladies should know about you:

Eric: I love to make people smile and laugh. I enjoy bringing happiness to others.

Why did you decide to compete in Mr. Romance?

Eric: I was always self conscience about myself. I lost a lot of weight and my confidence in myself started to rise, and that’s why I started up modeling plus the reassurance given to me by my loving girlfriend. I really enjoyed it and wanted to see how far I could go. I’ve noticed that if I start toeing at something I end up getting too nervous and let fear take control of my actions. So instead of toeing at the edge of the river I dove head first into it.

What was your favorite part about the competition and the convention?
Eric: My favorite part about the competition was that it reminded me of my high school theatre days. Rehearsing everyday and being behind the stage brought back great memories. The fact that all of the competitors, to me at least, bonded together like the way the crew and the actors did at my school made the feeling more surreal.

My favorite part of the convention would honestly have to be that I finally met and get my picture taken with the author who first got me into reading: Pears Anthony. I honestly had to force myself to stop from babbling to him. He is one of my biggest heroes. I never thought in my entire life I would meet him let alone shake his hand.

What were some of the things you did behind the scenes at RT?
Eric: Behind the scenes I helped out whenever I could as to take some of the load off of the hands of the staff, who by the way are some of the greatest group of people to be around and I was honored to work with them and my fellow competitors.

Funniest thing a person said to you while in Orlando:
Eric: Scuba! Inside joke with the guys.

One piece of advice you’d give future Mr. Romance candidates:
Eric: To future candidates I just say be yourself. Don’t try and be something you’re not. People can see through that.

You can find Eric on Facebook and Model Mayhem.

PS… When I saw this picture of Eric, my mind did a little fizzle…

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Why? Because he totally looked like the new members of the New Moon crew, you know the ones, those in that sexy werewolf pack running around in La Push these days.

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Now if Eric were cast as Jacob Black, I would be over the moon, pun intended, because Eric is hot! What say you?

Wouldn't Eric Truglia make a perfect Jacob Black?

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Shall We Make Jonathan Rhys Meyers the Next Fabio?

I think Jonathan Rhys Meyers would make a wonderful addition to romance covers, don’t you? He’s such a dish! Absolutely scrumptious! I could watch him all day and I have on one of my Tudor marathons. Thank you for on demand!

Jonathan makes a great King Henry, and being such a stud, it’s no wonder girls flock to him. I think he could grace 400 or more romance covers before get got sick of him surely. His body is the perfect proportion of muscle and leanness.

Did you know he’s played 3 King characters? Elvis twice in the movie and mini series, and King Henry VIII. He could in my opinion play as knights in shining armor and hunky highlanders not to mention a prince or two! Perhaps even the occasional pirate.

On the subject of acting and sheer masculine beauty Meyers has this to say–

“To get up in front of a camera of course you have to have a certain amount of vanity. All acting is narcissism in some way. Would I be a narcissistic person? Absolutely. Am I vain? Absolutely. Any actor who sits down in front of you and tells you they’re not vain its bullshit. I’m sure a lot of actors are like ‘Oh no, I’m not vain I just look fabulous everyday’. Now they’d like to believe that themselves. Its all very carefully manipulated, and I’ve met and worked with some of the most beautiful actors in the world and then you see them on a cover of a magazine they don’t look like that, any of them, they just don’t.”

His is a vanity that I don’t mind at all. Now if only I could find out if he was seeing anybody! And speaking of dating brings me to another Meyers quote.

Meyers once said, “… I wouldn’t date an actress. There’s only room for one actor in my life and I’m it. Too difficult. On the one hand, they understand the job. But on the other hand, it’s very competitive within the relationship. Two actors, say one becomes a mega-star and the other doesn’t. Happens all the time. So one is getting so much attention, and the other person feels jealous.”

I’ll date you sweetheart! Drop me a line and I’ll email you my phone number! Grin.

I also found this fabulous little interview with Meyers about falling in love. It’s Tudor related so it’s like a double bonus!

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