Bossed

Bossed by Sloane Howell

bossed

Overview by Publisher:

He’s the boss. But she’s ready to take charge.
 
In this provocative and sexy* office romance, a cheeky new hire tempts a hotshot sports agent to mix business with pleasure.
 
Jenny: Job interviews are a bitch under the best of circumstances, but when your potential boss is the world’s biggest prick, that’s when you should simply walk away. It’s just that I need this job so badly—and I’m mesmerized by Ethan Mason’s piercing gaze. Men like him aren’t supposed to exist in real life. But under the tailored suits and GQ looks, Ethan simmers with barely restrained ambition. And no matter how hard I work to fight the attraction, I’m going to get burned.
 
Ethan: You don’t become a top agent without learning how to close a deal. I always get what—or who—I want, by staying cool and in command. Then Jenny Jackson walks into my office with her lush curves and “screw you” attitude and blows away my intentions of keeping things professional. All I can think about is exploring the perfect body hidden beneath those conservative clothes or shutting her saucy mouth with one hot kiss. Jenny’s worth breaking the rules over—if I can convince her to break the rules for me.

I am conflicted over what to write about this book.  I read it all the way through and couldn’t put it down.  I clearly liked the story and characters, but there was some things that in retrospective that irked me.

Ethan is a dick.  The first time he meets Jenny, it could go down as a memorable meeting of meeting the biggest asshole ever.  Jenny is portrayed as the sweet one with morals.  After their epic meeting, they end up in an interview together.  Jenny sasses Ethan and lands the job.  Turns out Ethan has the major hots for her and puts aside his business rules to be around her.  Fine so far.

Ethan and Jenny frequently go head to head in the office.  She is dealing with her father’s terminal illness and Ethan is battling the urge to slam Jenny against the office door.  He finally invites her out under the guise of a business dinner.  This begins the romance, but also the overreactions by Jenny.  While no woman likes to be deceived, the dude asked you out for a business dinner because he didn’t have the balls to come right out and say he likes you.  She freaks out, they make out, then she freaks out because she wasn’t there for her dad.

While the story and characters are entertaining and the sex is very hot, it felt like this perpetual cycle of Ethan screwing up and falling to pieces when Jenny blows him off.  There are some really great parts in this book, like the nature of their work, Ethan’s best friend Matt, the relationship between Jenny and her dad.  I enjoyed the book, but I didn’t like how Jenny was portrayed.  One moment she is this kick ass woman who stands up to the boss and the next, she is tearing him down over misunderstandings.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?

Bedding the Highlander

Bedding the Highlander by Sabrina York

bedding the highlander

Overview by Publisher:

Only a Scot can steal her heart.
There’s nothing ladylike about Katherine Killin. She’s a spitfire who cannot be tamed. To rid himself of her, and to honor a truce set by the Duke of Glencoe, her father agrees to wed her to his clan’s mortal enemy, Ben Rannoch. But when Katherine meets the enticingly masculine Kirk Rannoch, brother of her betrothed, she suddenly craves domination.

There is a lot to love in this short book!  Sabrina York is a great author and she writes about Scotland really well!

The story is about mistaken identity and some feminine wiles used to secure a particular result.  Katherine has been given away as a bride to settle a Highland feud.  While she is not sad to leave her horrible clan and father, she doesn’t want to be wed to the enemy.

She inadvertently runs into her intended’s brother.  Concealing her identity from him, she doesn’t hide her attraction.  Either does Kirk.  Sabrina York uses the natural beauty of Scotland to give the lovers-to-be a lush and beautiful landscape to explore each other.

This book has a little bit of everything that makes historical Scottish fiction worth reading.  There are clan feuds, long lost family members, sword fights and family  dynamics.  While this is a short book, there is a lot woven together in a great story!

Last Night with the Duke

Last Night with the Duke (The Rakes of St. James Series) by Amelia Grey

last night with the duke

Overview by Publisher:

The Duke of Griffin has never lived down his reputation as one of the Rakes of St. James. Now rumors are swirling around London that his twin sisters may bear the brunt of his past follies. Hiring a competent chaperone is the only thing Griffin has on his mind–until he meets the lovely and intriguing Miss Esmeralda Swift. In ways he could never have expected, she arouses more than just his curiosity.

Esmeralda Swift considered herself too sensible to ever fall for a scoundrel, but that was before she met the irresistibly seductive Duke of Griffin. His employment offer proves too tempting for her to resist. She can’t afford to be distracted by his devilish charms because the stakes are so high for his sisters’ debut Season. . .unless one of London’s most notorious rakes has had a change of heart and is ready to make Esmeralda his bride in Last Night with the Duke, the first novel in the brand-new Regency Rakes of St. James series by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey.

This is an amazing book!  A fabulous start to a new series by an author I always know will be a great read!

Esmeralda is working as the owner of a chaperone service to the elite of the ton.  She meets her match when the Duke of Griffin enters her establishment.  Thus begins the delicious adventure she undertakes with Griffin.  The opening scene between the two of them, literally left me breathless with the heavy and hot tension between them.  Amelia Grey is a fabulous writer as she has mastered the art of anticipation and want.

Esmeralda moves into the Duke’s household to chaperone his twin sisters.  This is the beginning of the push and pull between Esmeralda and Griffin.  They are working together to make sure the twins have the season of their dreams and keep away nefarious gentleman who seek to harm them.  While they work together to figure out who would want to hurt the reputation of the twins, they grow closer.

This romance unwinds like a tightly spun thread.  Everytime you think things will lead to the bedroom or the sofa or whatever, they manage to contain their passion.  Rather than frustrate me as a reader, I wanted more!

Griffin is an interesting character.  An affirmed rake and bachelor, he has a checked past with his fellow rakes, who are introduced for future novels no doubt.  I wanted to be mad at Griffin that it mattered who Esmeralda’s parentage was, but knowing his intentions toward her from the start made me realize it was inevitable.  Esmeralda is a strong woman who was trying to establish a business and parent her young sister.  I have a weakness for historical romance novels that highlight a progressive woman who may follow societies rules, but also knows her worth and abilities.

This book captures the tension in romance that makes it so spine tingling great!  I highly recommend checking out this book!  Can’t wait for the next one in the series!

Beautiful Mess

Beautiful Mess (Rock ‘n Ink Series) by Kasey Lane

Overview by Publisher:

When attorney Jami Dillon strides into the conference room to meet her new client, she’s stopped in her tracks by an all-too familiar figure. Jackson Paige. He’s her tall, tattooed, and sexy as hell hook up from law school-who also broke her heart.

Hell’s bells.
Jackson Paige was, in fact, Jax Pain, the drummer of Manix Curse.
That thing in Jami’s chest tightened, making it hard to breathe.

Jackson Paige, aka Jax Pain, has worked hard to put that unfor-frickin-gettable fling behind him and the nasty secret that made him leave her. Truth is, life as the playboy drummer of Portland’s hottest metal band hasn’t helped him to forget the fiery, sexy woman who stole his heart. Lucky for him, Jami was just hired as his band’s new attorney. But when he sees the look on her face when she realizes who her new client is, Jax wonders if maybe being this close to her again isn’t such a great idea. The explosive chemistry is there, but so are the dark secrets…

Look at this cover!!!  How could I resist this book?!  The model that portrays Jax is hot, hot, hot!  I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but this one definitely got my attention!

Jax and Jami have a past together that didn’t end well.  Things have changed and they get a second chance.  It’s how that second chance unwinds that is so interesting and yes, hot!

Jax gave up law school so that he could persue what he really wanted – being a tattoo artist and being in a band.  Jami however, followed the path that was prescribed for her by her horrible parents.  She became a lawyer and works in a firm that she doesn’t like.

What makes this book work for me was how the story isn’t just about Jax and Jami and sex.  It’s about the evolution of Jami and how she starts to actually live.  We see it through her interactions with her brother Mason, her challenging relationship with her parents and the second chance she gets with Jax.

While Jax feels confident in the choices he has made, he never forgot Jami and how their relationship ended.  This book deals with ‘second chances’ realistically.  The same problems that caused issues to begin with are still there and they have to deal with them.  They also have really hot sex!

A fun read!  I definitely liked seeing buttoned up Jami fall for the tattooed bad boy Jax all over again!

 

ICED

ICED box set by Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley

Iced

Have you ever read a book and start to think that you may have read this before?  At least you hope that you have, otherwise you are reading something that pulls from other material.

That’s what happened when I read this box set!  I realized that I have read one of the stories previously!  BUT – it was a story that I really enjoyed so it was a pleasure to read it again and fall in love with the characters one more time.

Both books featured are hockey themed books.  They feature the players from the Atlantic City Hustlers, which is a team of amazing hockey guys!  I have been a fan of Veronica Forand for a while and this was my first introduction to Susan Scott Shelley.  If you are appreciative of the sport and the hot men who give it their all on the ice, you really need to get to know these authors.  This is a great box set to get started with and then you can devour the rest of the series!

Sorry

Will you forgive me?

sorry

This is the longest I have ever gone without blogging or posting reviews since I started here at Kilts and Swords.

I haven’t been struck down with some mysterious illness nor away on an amazing trip.  Life has been busy.  I have been reading, but just not at my usual pace.

Reviews to come!

Crossroads

Crossroads (Wind Dragons MC Series) by Chantal Fernando

crossroads

Overview by Publisher:

Ranger is at a crossroads: he has a chance to leave the motorcycle club and do something else with his life—but he keeps getting dragged back. When the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club asks for his help, Ranger agrees, not only because it is hard to say no to them, but also because he has a vested interest.

A woman is missing.

And Ranger knows her.

The Wind Dragons aren’t the only ones hoping this girl can be found—on the hunt is Johanna Chase, a stubborn detective who won’t give up until the missing woman is found safe. She needs Ranger to navigate the underground world of motorcycle clubs, and immediately, sparks fly. Ranger fights the attraction. He has no plans on going there, no matter how beautiful and badass she is. A biker and a cop? Ridiculous.

But the two of them soon realize that they’re in way over their heads, and now they have to trust each other in order to save her. With the WDMC and the police force at their back, it should be no problem, right?

Chantal Fernando has become one of my favourite authors recently.  I will read anything she writes.  I have a particular fondness for the Wind Dragons MC series.  Take all the cool elements of Sons of Anarchy and mix in guys who love their women.  While they may be badasses, they are faithful and good men.

Ranger is new the MC. He switched after his former club went down in flames.  Ranger is struggling to find his place.  He doesn’t have the ties like his buddy Talon (another great book).  He is asked by resident badass Faye to investigate a missing persons case.  It turns out that Ranger knows the woman in question and he agrees.

Ranger meets the cop he has to work with, Johanna.  From the start there are enough sparks to burn down the house.  While they are investigating Elizabeth’s disappearance, the lines between law enforcement and criminal are blurred.  This leads to some delicious and seriously sexy scenes.  Ranger is like sex on a stick.  He’s super smart, hot and alpha male.  He plays havoc with Jo’s hormones and she can’t resist the temptation he offers.

What works so well is the emotional consequences of their relationship.  They have to deal with Elizabeth and her girlish crush on Ranger and also with the reality of a cop and biker dating.  Chantal Fernando has that magic touch.  She writes characters that you really care about.  You are giddy with excitement when they connect, are heartbroken when they experience problems and relieved when they get their happily ever after.

This is the final book in the series (I think) and if you haven’t read this series, you really need to!  Even if you aren’t into motorcycle clubs, the men and ladies of the Wind Dragons are more than just bikes and bad behaviour.  They have depth and love breathed into them by the author.  This book was the perfect ending to the best series!

Falling For the Bad Girl

Falling For the Bad Girl (The Cutting Loose Series) By Nina Croft

falling-for-the-bad-girl

Overview by Publisher:

As a second generation detective, Nathan Carter is a cop, through and through, one who definitely sees things in black and white. But his work ethic—and libido—are thrown off balance when he heads up the case against jewel thief, Regan Malloy. Because with one sizzling look, she’s got him hot and hard. And he’s been that way, ever since.

Growing up, Regan’s favorite hobby was learning to crack safes, and she was very, very good at it. Still, she’d always tried to keep to the straight and narrow, and only strayed when she believed a friend was in desperate straits. Now she’s out of prison and starting over. If only she could forget that she’d spent the last three years fantasizing about the stunningly gorgeous detective who locked her away.

It’s inevitable that they meet up again—in bars, hotels…and hotel beds. Despite their differences, they can’t keep their hands off each other. Still, it’s just desire. If they give it enough time, it’ll burn itself out. Because a good boy and a bad girl can’t possibly make it work. Can they? 

It’s interesting what our preconceived notions are.  When I read the blurb on this book and began reading it, it tool me by surprise that the story is set in London, England.  I was expected Boston or New York.  It was a good jolt to remind me as the reader not to make assumptions.

In this case, I was wise not to jump to any conclusions.  This story could have been so trite and surface level, but thankfully it wasn’t.  Instead what I found was a complex and layered story that had two really interesting characters at the heart of it.

Nathan and Regan should have been enemies.  He is a detective and she’s from a criminal family.  In fact, he put her in jail.  But something simmers between them.  It’s so strong that Nathan waits the three years until Regan is released to find her again.

What starts out as strange and somewhat revenge sex, turns into more.  We get to know Regan and the hopes and dreams she had.  The author doesn’t dwell more than necessary on her time in jail, but rather focuses on Regan’s future.  Nathan is a complex man.  He is full of contradictions, yet is focused on his goals.

I found myself really enjoying this story and desperate to know if the thief and the cop can make it work!

The Daring Duke

The Daring Duke (1797 Club Series) by Jess Michaels

the-daring-duke

Overview by Publisher:

The wild and charismatic Duke of Abernathe is the kind of friend anyone would wish to have. He even formed the 1797 Club, consisting of ten men who would all be dukes. But he has full-throatedly declared he will never marry and no one understands why.

But Miss Emma Liston doesn’t care why. A longtime wallflower with an absentee father who is a scandal waiting to happen, she needs to marry. Now. She decides to take a wild chance and ask the help of her friend Meg’s brother James. She asks him to pretend he’s interested in her just long enough to gain the attention of others. He agrees but is quickly taken aback by how easy everything is with Emma.

 When her father returns, threatening her with a terrible future, their courtship swiftly becomes all too real. Will James ever reveal the true man beneath the outer shell? And can Emma discover her own worthiness before it’s too late?

I was SO thrilled to see this book on twitter.  I raced to Netgalley to see if I could get an ARC copy!  And I did!

I really love Jess Michaels writing.  What makes her a safe bet is that her books have all the things you want in a historical romance novel – great plot, interesting characters, very sexy scenes and a happily ever after!

However, that is simplifying the appeal of Jess Michaels.  I have been reading her books for a while now and what I really love is that she writes erotic novels that have amazing storylines and characters.  Unlike some other books in the genres, Jess’ books pull you in with your heart, head and libido.

This is a new series and with the amount of Duke’s in the club, we will have a healthy series of hot men to lust over for some time to come!  The premise is that the boys formed a club of heirs to dukedoms so that they could pool resources and teach each other what they needed to learn in order to be successful.  There is a large number of duke’s coming up at the same time, so the group is large and varied.  Jess Michaels has even created a webpage to explain the series to fans www.1979club.com

This is the first book and it starts with James.  He was the reason the club of dukes began as his father was heavy on the discipline and light on the mentoring.  James grows up to be viewed as the Golden One – engaging, charming and likeable.  But underneath, he is haunted by his childhood traumas.  He vows never to marry.

Of course we know that once he meets our heroine Emma, that will change.  The two strike a bargain to help each other out.  Close proximity has a funny way of changing intentions.  What ensues is a delicious courtship, insane parental figures and exciting romance.  This is Jess Michaels at her finest!

She cleverly sets up the next story to be a love triangle between James’ sister Meg and his two best friends (and fellow Dukes), Simon and Graham.  I can’t wait to see how this series unfolds!

The book goes on sale March 14th, 2017

 

Love Story

Love Story (Love Unexpectedly) by Lauren Layne

love-story

Overview by Publisher:

When Lucy Hawkins receives a job offer in San Francisco, she can’t wait to spread her wings and leave her small Virginia hometown behind. Her close-knit family supports her as best they can, by handing over the keys to a station wagon that’s seen better days. The catch? The cross-country trip comes with a traveling companion: her older brother’s best friend, aka the guy who took Lucy’s virginity hours before breaking her heart.

After spending the past four years and every last dime caring for his sick father, Reece Sullivan will do just about anything to break free of the painful memories—even if it means a two-week road trip with the one girl who’s ever made it past his carefully guarded exterior. But after long days of bickering in the car turn into steamy nights in secluded motel rooms, Reece learns that, when it comes to Lucy, their story is far from over. And this time, they just might have a shot at a happy ending.

I was so thrilled to find out that a new Lauren Layne book came out!  I have a serious crush on her books.  They all feature sexy and witty dialogue, amazing characters and terrific plot.  The Oxford and Stiletto series are just spine tingling good, so I had expectations for this new book.

She did not disappoint!  This book can be read without reading any of her previous works, but really, if you haven’t read any Lauren Layne you are missing out!  This story features so  many tropes that work really well.  Reunited lovers, first love, enemies to lovers, this story has it all!

The story is told from alternating perspectives, which is something that the author does really well.  I find it hard at times when a male perspective is presented by a female author because it doesn’t always go well.  Never fear!  In this story, Reece’s frustrations, energy and thoughts leap off the page and make the story well rounded.

Reece and Lucy grew up almost as siblings.  Reece, a year older and best friends with her brother, has wanted Lucy for a long time.  Three weeks before she leaves for college, they finally hook up.  Things don’t end well and they both nurture deep seeded grudges that make the two week car trip to California sheer torture.  Once again, the brilliance of the author shines in this story by the method of how she reveals what happened in the past.  Every few chapters, we get a glimpse of Reece and Lucy as children and as teenagers and slowly learn more about what happened for them to go from love to hate.  It is such an effective tool that it kept me hooked the whole time I was reading.

You know a book is good when you start it and don’t put it down until it’s done.  It was so clear that Lucy and Reece were meant for each other.  Their snipes and digs at each other just ratcheted up the ferocious attraction between them.  Both characters have flaws which makes them believable and relatable, but still immensely likable.

Sexy scenes?  Check.  Witty, biting dialogue?  Check.  Great plot?  Check.

History in the buff

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Contemporary romance with heart, heat and happily ever after

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