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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Get into Bed with Dani Collins (Author Interview)

web-14Keira: An Heir to Bind Them is a marriage of convenience plot — what do you love best about them?

Dani Collins: I love the forced intimacy of a marriage of convenience. No matter what has happened between the hero and heroine, they have to share space and work it out. And, of course, when they’re in close proximity, they can’t resist the pull of physical attraction!

Keira: The hero, Theo, is newly the guardian of his niece and nephew and he needs a wife to help him take care of them. So why Jaya?

Dani: Theo is only a temporary guardian. The children are from previous books of mine. Evie is the daughter of Nic & Rowan from No Longer Forbidden? and Androu is the son of Adara & Gideon from More Than A Convenient Marriage? An emergency forces Theo to helicopter them off of Gideon’s ship for a few days.

Theo turns to Jaya on instinct, partly because he knows she is within fuel distance and that he can trust her discretion. This situation could be a media nightmare if it leaks out. But he also remembers her helping a lost little boy at one of his hotels and recognizes her as a natural with children where he feels completely inadequate.

Keira: From the blurb, it sounds like there might also be a secret baby twist! How will that affect the hero?

Dani: The last time Theo saw Jaya, she was leaving her employment with his family’s hotel chain. They both had reasons to seek solace in each other, but Theo had a brutal childhood. He has zero faith in his ability to be a good father and never wanted to be one so discovering he has a son is a huge shock.

Keira: What kept Jaya from sharing the baby information with Theo?

Dani: Jaya did try to tell him, but he never returned her calls. He had a family tragedy that distracted him, but he did warn her that their affair was only for one night. She only wanted to inform him, not trap him, so when he didn’t respond after her first couple of tries, she took the hint and left him alone.

Keira: If you were to cast the characters for a movie, who would play them?

Dani: I always struggle with these questions! I feel like I don’t watch enough tv to know who the hip actors are these days. I’ve had a terrible girl crush on Aishwarya Rai, the stunning Bollywood actress, since Bride and Prejudice came out.

For Theo, Ian Somerhalder has the right mix of handsome and vaguely wicked.

Keira: You started reading romances in high school, what do you love best about the genre?

Dani: The uplifting endings! I don’t think I’m alone in needing that promise that no matter how dark your days seem, there is a brighter day coming. Somehow, whatever you are facing, will work out in the end.

Keira: How do you define love? What makes it work? How do you recognize it?

Dani: Love is unconditional acceptance. Generosity of spirit makes it work. Love isn’t something you expect or hold back or only give if you get something. I think there’s a calm and a joy and a sense of security that helps you recognize it, but fear too. Fear of losing that person or pet or child. Not a jealous type of losing, but a need to protect and hold dear, support and, you know, love.

Keira: If you could travel any where on an unlimited budgeted, where would you go and what would you do?

Dani: I don’t think I’d stop traveling! And I’d do the high-end stuff in fancy-shmancy hotels with obscenely expensive food and views of beaches and gentle river cruises with drinks with umbrellas. My husband and I are keen on natural wonders, so I suspect there’d be more rock formations than rock concerts, but I like history too so castles and ruins would definitely feature as well.

Keira: What is your favorite office equipment for writing your stories?

Dani: Ha. I don’t think I’m alone in having a fetish for office equipment in general. I write on a Mac laptop, which I love. I recently bought a widescreen monitor, not expensive, but I love the extra real estate it offers. I write in Word, which I don’t love, but I’ve tried other things like Scrivner and they didn’t work for me so I make do with what’s familiar. I sit on a ball rather than a chair. I spent a long time trying different To Do and Calendar apps and finally went back to my spiral-bound business calendar to track deadlines and goals. I have a whiteboard—super love that along with my many colored dry-erase pens. (Neon pink, hello!) I also keep lots of colored post-it notes handy for my many genius moments. I prefer to write at my desk, but I do drag the laptop when I travel and usually manage to produce something edible.

Keira: What are you working on next?

Dani: My first Sheik! He’s half-English and I intended him to reside in England, but after some chats with my editor, we decided to move him into the desert and I’m both terrified and excited—which tells me I’m in a good space to write the story. Fern, the heroine, is a very shy red-head who is completely out of her element with Zafir. The story is still in early stages, but I have high hopes for it.

9780373132546BOOK BLURB:

Off the boss’s payroll…and into his bed

Jaya. Her name reverberates around Theo Makricosta’s head in time to the whirring blades of his private helicopter. He must find her; only Jaya can help with the care of his infant niece and nephew…. It’s not because he hasn’t stopped thinking about the single night of mind-blowing passion he shared with the exotic beauty.

Jaya Powers couldn’t refuse her gorgeous millionaire Greek boss when she worked for him, and she can’t refuse him now! Only this time she has a secret. Their night together had consequences that will change Theo’s perfectly ordered existence forever!

Buy: An Heir to Bind Them

EXCERPT:

“There’s not a woman in the world with enough training to fix me. Don’t try.” Another warning, his tone a little cooler.

She shook her head. This was about fixing herself, not him. “I just keep thinking that if I leave without kissing you, I’ll always wonder what it would have been like.”

That sounded too ingenuous, too needy, but his quietly loaded, “Yeah,” seemed to put them on the same page, which was remarkable. He stared at her mouth and hot tingles made her lips feel plump. She tried to lick the sensation away.

His breath rushed out in a ragged exhale. He loomed closer, so tall and broad, blocking out her vision, nearly overwhelming her. But when his fingers lightly caressed her jaw and his mouth came down, she was paralyzed with anticipation.

There’d been a few kisses in her life, none very memorable, but when his mouth settled on hers, unhurried and hot, she knew she’d remember this for the rest of her life.

The smooth texture of his lips sealed to hers. He didn’t force her mouth open. She softened and welcomed his confident possession, weakening despite the nervous flutters accosting her. He rocked the fit, deepening the kiss so she opened her mouth wider, bathed in delicious waves of heat. Their lips dampened and slid erotically. His tongue was almost there, then not, then—

He licked into her mouth and she moaned, lashed with exquisite delight. This was the kind of kiss she’d only read about and now she knew there was a reason they called it a soul kiss. Her hand went to his shoulder for balance. She lifted on her toes, wanting more pressure, more of him settling into her inner being.

With a groan he slid his arm around her and pulled her tight against him, softly crushing her mouth while digging his fingers into her bound hair. It was good, so good. She reached her arms around his neck, loving how it felt to be kissed and held so tightly against his hard chest and—

He was hard everywhere.

Like hitting a wall, she pushed back, perturbed by how intensely she had been responding and the dicey situation she’d put herself in.

He didn’t let her go right away, kind of steadied her first while staggering one step himself, then he ran a hand through his hair and swore under his breath. “Hellfire, Jaya. I suspected it’d be good, but I didn’t know it’d be that good. Are you sure you don’t want to spend the night?”

Buy: An Heir to Bind Them

BIO:

After a brilliant debut in the UK with No Longer Forbidden, a Mills & Boon Modern Book Of The Month January 2013, Dani’s first Harlequin Presents, Proof Of Their Sin, won the Reviewer’s Choice by Romantic Times Book Reviews for Best First In Series. While her focus is Harlequin Presents, Dani also writes romantic comedy, medieval fantasy, and coming August of 2014, erotic romance. Whatever the genre, she always delivers sexy alpha heroes, witty, spirited heroines, complex emotions and loads of passion.

Enter Dani Collins’ Masked Desires Contest for a chance to express your secret desires from behind a masquerade mask.

Stay current with Dani’s new releases by joining her newsletter or visiting her
here:

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Review: Her Prodigal Passion (Mayhem in Mayfair, Book 4) by Grace Callaway

her prodigal passionHero: Paul Fines would love to reclaim his fortune through prizefighting. He’s good at boxing and thinks he could make it work. But everybody remembers his disgrace through gambling and drinking over the loss of a girl. His family and friends doubt his skill and ability to stay out of trouble… all except Charity, his sister’s best friend.

Heroine: Charity Sparkler, the daughter of a jeweler, has loved her best friend’s brother for a long while. At his worst, she visited him in a dangerous part of London and provided some creature comforts… not that he noticed as drunk as he was. He thought she was someone else which hurt dreadfully.

A marriage of convenience: Paul is a ladies man and at the start of the novel slept with two married twin sisters. It bites him in the butt later when one tries to sneak into his bed again to publically humiliate her husband. Paul can’t kick her out so he climbs out a window and across the building… only to collapse on Charity in the drawing room and compromise her at a house party. The only proper thing to do is wed.

Never gild a lily: Charity’s father has led her to believe all her life that she is an ugly duckling. She might be a little plain, but she’s not ugly. Is his intention to be unkind or cruel? Whatever his intentions, Charity is meek and bookish and incline to home and shop.

Review: Charity was and will be Paul’s biggest supporter. He needs someone like that in his life. Paul finds Charity very pretty now that she is out of her spots stage. He can’t imagine a marriage with anyone else – but isn’t very good as assuaging Charity on this. Their marriage will be more than either can hope for… but not for Charity’s father who is heavily indebted to another man. How will the young couple be able to handle the heavy weight of a bitter man’s debt? I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Grace Callaway is a remarkable writer. I loved the scene in the prologue where Paul seduces Charity. Very sexy!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Her Prodigal Passion (Mayhem in Mayfair)

Review: To Buy a Bride by Roberta Leigh

to buy a bride roberta leighHero: Luke was once the stable boy on Philippa’s family estate, where his mother also worked. Now he’s grown into a powerful and wealthy businessman and he’s got his eye out for a bargain. He also has a secret which has nothing to do with bargains and everything to do with the heart.

Heroine: If Philippa doesn’t marry Luke, her twin brother will be ruined financially and thrown into jail for borrowing funds from the family’s struggling business. Luke can supply them the funds needed to stay afloat and keep the illegalities under wraps… for a price… control of the company and her hand in marriage.

Review: This is one of those stories where the persons involved could have saved themselves a lot of heartache and grief by talking it out. And if the siblings had been willing to sell the family estate, they would have been fine too… so naturally they don’t because the house is a symbol of happiness and family to them both, but especially to Philippa.

With a little time and space to absorb the consequences of the decision to not sell/marry, Philippa would have been better adjusted. She comes off a little bratty (and high-strung) because she wants the house, the money, and not have to give anything in return. Luke could have worked his charm on her a bit more, but then his ex-girlfriends shows up and he gets the brilliant idea to use Rose to make Philippa jealous. It works. She is jealous and is surprised by her emotions.

Overall, not my cup of tea.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Buy: To Buy a Bride

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Review: The Temporary Wife by Mary Balogh

temporary wifeHero: To say that the Marquess of Staunton does not have a good relationship with his father is an understatement. When summoned to return home after eight years of separation, he decides to thwart his father’s matrimonial plans by finding his own wife first. He wants to embarrass and wound and decides the lowest he is willing to go – a plain biddable working gentlewoman – and advertises to find her. But of course, advertising for a wife is out of the question so he advertises for a governess. After she has served her purpose, Anthony will pension her off and go back to his usual routine.

Heroine: Miss Charity Duncan saw her future spin out before her as a dull and bleak thing. She would be an aunt and a sister, but never a wife or mother. She would always need to support her family in one role or another. Too beautiful to gain work as a governess, she disguises her beauty and answers an ad that will change her life. Mr. Anthony Earheart’s proposal is outrageous and yet… it could be the answer to her family’s debt. She does not expect him to be a Marquess anymore than he expects her to beautiful and vivacious. They’re both in for a surprise.

Review: I hugged this book a couple of times while reading it because it was so good. This is definitely staying on my favorite’s shelf. I can’t believe I picked up The Temporary Wife from a community table at my condo. Mary Balogh’s writing pulled at my heart and reminded me why I loved to read romances. I’d rate six stars, if my rating system went up that high. What I liked best: Staunton discovering that his heart can be touched and transforming into a better man, their first time together at a hotel on the way to his father’s estate, and Charity’s ability to win over everyone determined to look down on her – including Anthony’s ducal father.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: The Temporary Wife/A Promise of Spring

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Review: Lord of Fire and Ice by Connie Mason with Mia Marlowe

LordFireIceCVRReviewed by Sharon S.

After reading the blurb I thought that despite the old school romance cover, it would be a paranormal romance I would enjoy. Who wouldn’t like a Viking Warrior that can wield fire magic? What I got was a quasi-historical romance with very little paranormal-ness. The hero Brendr, who is very sexy, hides his ability to control fire for pretty much the whole book. There are only a handful of pages where he uses magic. There isn’t even an explanation for why or how he could use fire. The authors took the easy way out and said Brendr had no idea how or why he could use fire, he just could. Maybe it is the urban fantasy fan in me, but I need some explanation if I am going to buy into the story. Brandr is too good to be true and with little depth. His only conflict is not feeling like his father loves him.

I also had a problem with the ‘historical’ aspect of the story. One thing I need is characters to act like they are from that time period. Our heroine Katla was an independent woman, running her dead husband’s farm. We are reminded constantly of her strong but cold personality, but her three brothers are able to make her remarry so they can get her dowry.

This is a very cookie cutter book. The romance and plot are very formula and predictable. I didn’t feel connected to the couple or interested in their constant back and forth “I must resist, but I want to give in, but I must resist…etc…” And for every great line like this one:

“She wept in silence. She couldn’t keen and wail. She was too empty to do anything but let her soul seep from her eyes.”

There would be a line like this:

“In that vulnerable position, her sex would be exposed in a yawning pink crevice.”

*headdesk*

Definitely not the book for me, but lots of people love it, so check out other reviews before buying.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Lord of Fire and Ice

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Review: The Officer Says “I Do” by Jeanette Murray

officer says i doHero: Structure. Duty. Routine. Soldier.

Captain Timothy O’Shay unwinds more than he plans to while on pre-deployment in Vegas. When a gorgeous woman eyes him across a dealer’s table he cashes out and asks her to marry him. The only question remains will he remember it in the morning?

Heroine: Chaos. Heart. Fate. Free-spirit.

Skye McDermott was supposed to be on a girl’s night out in Vegas with work buddies, but when they attach themselves to two marines, she can’t help but notice the third. To her utter amazement he pops the question after one steamy kiss and she says yes. A girl doesn’t argue against fate.

Review: Opposites attract they say, add in some alcohol and you’ve got a romantic comedy of two unlikely people marrying at the drop of a hat. I only wish the blind run to the altar wasn’t marred by Tim acting completely out of character. I think it would have been hotter if he decided she was the girl for him and took the bull by the horns. It isn’t sexy when he wakes and thinks he had a drunk one-night stand and sneaks out of the hotel room. What a jackass maneuver from a guy supposedly responsible and honorable who respects women.

This book appealed to me because of the quickie wedding and then working the marriage out after the fact. I love marriage of convenience plots. This one was feel good, but not remarkable. Lots of hints about Madison, Tim’s sister, and his best friend.

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Buy: The Officer Says “I Do”

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Top Ten Reasons Why I Love a Good Military Romance

officer says i doGuest blog by Jeanette Murray, author of The Officer Says “I Do”

My first paperback, The Officer Says “I Do” released on July 3rd. And I couldn’t be more excited. One of the comments I get most though is people mentioning the hottie on the front cover…and asking if I know him! (I do not.) Then the next question is about why I chose to write military romance. Part of me says…because I live it! But not everything about the military lifestyle is glamorous. So there’s gotta be a better reason…

How about ten of them?

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love A Good Military Romance…

10. The level of honor in being willing to lay their lives on the line for the core values of a nation is massively hot.

9. The sound of dog tags clinking together when the shirts come off is definitely spine-tingling.

8. The sound of 100 pairs of boots hitting the pavement in complete unison during parade formation makes me shiver.

7. There’s a physical fitness requirement…which leads to hunkiness.

6. I like a clean-cut man. High-and-tight-oorah.

5. As a tall gal (5’10”) and strong myself, I politically incorrectly want a man stronger than me…since I think that’s delicious.

4. The idea that a man can run a 10K with a 70 pound pack, scale walls, shoot a gun, kick some ass with martial arts and then come home and snuggle with me in bed…that’s sexy.

3. Camo face paint is even sexier in person.

2. Battle buddies. The friendships forged through training and

1. The few. The proud. How can you not love a guy like that?

So to review: Hot. Sexy. Spine-tingling. Shiver-producing. Hunky. Oorah. Delicious. Niiiiice.

Can’t pass it up. Every time, I’m sucked in. So naturally, I had to write about it! How about a short excerpt to prove my point? Let’s see just how irresistible this Marine is to our heroine from The Officer Says “I Do”, Skye!

Excerpt: “Sorry, I know you’re his wife and all, but you seem like you can’t breathe, so I’m gonna take first dibs.”

“First dibs on—” Skye started to ask, but Madison was already gone. Out the door, down the sidewalk, and launching herself at Tim. He stumbled back once and caught her, spinning in a circle while her legs dangled.

Well, no time like the present. Skye took one more look at her outfit—one of the most sensible things she owned that wasn’t a work uniform—and headed out the door. But she stopped on the sidewalk, feeling like an intruder in a private family moment.

You’re a part of that family now too.

But she wasn’t. Not really. Not yet.

Soon.

She took one deep breath, prayed her knees would hold her up, and walked up behind Madison, who was still clinging to her brother with a desperation that spoke of her love for him.

His hat had flown off at the sisterly attack, and she could see his face clearly now. And then her lungs compressed again, like a vise in her chest. This was the man she had married. And every single reason for why she had agreed flooded her again. Still handsome, still serious. But at the same time, happy. Happy to see his sister again. Then his eyes blinked open, and she saw a flash of something in them when he noticed her.

The urge to pace the cement walkway was strong, so instead she locked her knees and waited for the moment with Madison to pass. Finally, Madison peeled herself off of Tim and stepped back, wiping tears from her eyes. She gave a sheepish look to Skye.

“Sorry. I know he was only gone a week but… you know. It was supposed to be longer.”

At the weepy look in the otherwise-strong woman’s eye, Skye felt a little misty herself. But when she caught sight of Tim staring at her, the mushy emotion faded into something much more like panic.

How would he react? Would he give her a hug like his sister? Would he give her a kiss? A handshake? For some stupid reason, how he greeted her seemed like it would set the tone for what was to come.

Apparently the tone was… nothing.

He stared at her, his gaze neither welcoming nor condemning. He shifted his weight forward, then back on his heels again. It was like he couldn’t figure out how to respond, what the right thing to say was. The right thing to do.

That makes two of us.

Madison shifted beside Tim, and Skye realized the two of them were staring at each other like a high noon showdown. Okay, so this would be awkward. But what did she expect—him to sweep her off her feet and cart her off to Aruba for a honeymoon?

“Welcome home, I guess. I didn’t realize when you said you were deploying that you meant so soon.”

He shrugged and bent to pick up a long, olive green bag. “That’s the way it works.”

Madison picked up a thick briefcase-shaped box and headed for the front door. Relishing the ability to have something to do with her hands, Skye grabbed a knapsack and slung it over her shoulder, following Madison. She barely made it through the front door before a large hand touched her neck while reaching for the strap. The brush of rough fingertips made her shiver.

“I’ll take that.” Tim slid the pack off her shoulders and dropped the entire bundle on the tile floor by the door. “I’m just going to leave it here for now.”

The three stood in the foyer, a heavy silence settling around them. Nobody seemed to look at anyone else. Should she go? Was this a time for him and his sister to talk? It was their house, anyway. But there was so much she needed to tell him, it was practically bursting out of her. She tamped down the urge to yell out her reason for coming, get it over with like ripping a bandage off.

Definitely not the right impression.

Tim cleared his throat and gave Madison a pointed glance. “Dwayne mentioned drinks at the O Club with Jeremy. Maybe you wanna go check that out, squirt.”

Madison rolled her eyes and laughed. “Subtle. Very subtle. But you’re right. Drinks with those two sounds perfect.” She picked up a purse sitting on the entry table and stood on her tiptoes to give him another kiss on the cheek. “Good to have you back, bro, even for a little while.” Before she closed the door behind her, she called out, “Don’t call me squirt.”

Tim’s chuckle rumbled through the nearly-empty room. Then he turned toward her, and the amusement evaporated into an intense hunger. Something she could relate to.

She was hungry for him too.

Buy: The Officer Says “I Do”