Winning It All

Winning It All (Hometown Players Series) by Victoria Denault

winning it all

Overview by Publisher:

All’s fair in love and hockey. . .
As his team’s enforcer on the ice, Sebastian Deveau is America’s favorite fighting Frenchman. But he’s just as likely to get into trouble off the ice–especially when it comes to women. 

Shayne Beckford is so over hockey. It ruined her parents’ marriage. It spoiled her brother’s dreams. And let’s not even talk about her college boyfriend . . . So when Sebastian Deveau walks into her brother’s gym, she has no idea who he is. All she knows is that he’s one gorgeous man with the sexiest accent she’s ever heard. And since she never has to see him again, she lets him give her the best orgasm of her life right on top of the gym’s dryer.
But Sebastian isn’t going to let this one-night stand get away so easily. He fights for what he wants, even if it takes fighting a little dirty . . . 

When I grew up I dated a hockey player.  He was a defenseman and he was always fighting.  For those few years that we dated, I was at every game, every tournament, every team party and basically lived the hockey life/

So when I read this book about Shayne and her experience with hockey, I could relate.  Hockey can take over your life when you are involved with a player – whether parent or partner or child.  I loved that Sebastian was such forbidden fruit for Shayne.  She lusts after him, but can’t stand the thought of being with a hockey player.  Thanks to her father, Shayne has a very clear understanding of what a professional hockey player’s life is like and doesn’t want anything to do with it.  I can’t say that I blame Shayne as her father is disgusting and a stereotype.

What makes this story so great is the love story between the two.  Sebastian is a great guy and I loved reading about him.  He is ready for a relationship and wants to settle down with a great girl.  He gets a rough deal from Shayne and I couldn’t help but feel bad for him.  The fact that he is a great hockey player and amazing in bed help to make his character even more fantastic.  Since they have a one night stand the moment they meet, it is safe to say that this story features some outstanding bedroom action.  Sebastian is a beast in the bed and Shayne is one lucky lady!

There is something so great about a French Canadian hockey player.  I am so glad that Victoria Denault chose to highlight our Canadian treasures.  We Canadians are happy to be the inspiration of such a fantastic character as Sebastian!


Neil by (Uncompromising #2) Sybil Bartel


Overview by Publisher:

Ex-Danish Military Special Forces, built like a legend, and uncompromising in every way—Neil Christensen didn’t walk into my life. The Viking-sized warrior crashed it like a hurricane. 

The moment he showed up at my strip club, my life fell to shit. South Florida’s most ruthless motorcycle gang, the cops, the Feds—they all want something I don’t have, something the Viking took from me. 

I thought I could run, but the motorcycle gang caught me. Now the only thing standing between me and an unmarked grave is a warrior I don’t trust. 

I’m not afraid to die, but I am terrified of weathering the storm. Because when a Viking decides to unleash his fury, no one is going to come out unscathed. 

Tall, blond and almost mute, Neil is like a Viking god.  I have to admit that I was completely taken with this character.  He is dangerous, skilled and all alpha male.  While his colleagues warn Ariella about him, she doesn’t care.  He’s a Viking, her Viking.

Ariella is not your usual romance novel character.  She is a stripper who works at Angel’s security company as the receptionist.  She is a single mom who is struggling to provide for her son, since her baby daddy is up to no good and prospecting for a motorcycle gang.  She is a wild cat and arguing comes second nature to her.  She’s a pretty feisty character.

Neil is the opposite.  Controlled and in control, he doesn’t burn hot like Ariella.  He is stone cold with his emotions.  The author gives us glimpses into Neil’s true character and I really loved getting to know him.  At first he almost seems asexual because he is so closed off, but still waters run deep with this man.  He demonstrates a caring nature with Ariella’s young son and how he takes care of him.  Neil is just one delicious character that is slowly revealed to be a complex and interesting man.

Ariella and Neil find themselves mixed up in some very dangerous business.  Which is awesome because it allows Neil to demonstrate his amazing military skills.  Neil is a very dangerous man when he is angry or someone he cares about is threatened.  The danger brings Neil and Ariella closer together and makes things clearer for her.

This is the first book I have read in this series and I totally loved it!  I loved all the secondary characters – the ex military men who work at the agency.  More hot military men and the women who will make honest men of them!  Definitely check this book out!

My Fair Princess

My Fair Princess by Vanessa Kelly

my fair princess

Overview by Publisher:

Despite being the illegitimate daughter of a prince, Gillian Dryden is happily ignorant of all social graces. After growing up wild in Italy, Gillian has been ordered home to England to find a suitable husband. And Charles Valentine Penley, the excessively proper, distractingly handsome Duke of Leverton, has agreed to help transform her from a willful tomboy to a blushing debutante.

Powerful and sophisticated, Charles can make or break reputations with a well-placed word. But his new protégée, with her habit of hunting bandits and punching earls, is a walking scandal. The ton is aghast . . . but Charles is thoroughly intrigued. Tasked with taking the hoyden in hand, he longs to take her in his arms instead. Can such an outrageous attraction possibly lead to a fairytale ending? 

This story is a clever and engaging take on My Fair Lady.  Gillian is the wholly inappropriate Princess from Italy who has come home to England to be introduced to society.

Her family calls upon Charles, The Duke of Leverton to be her guide and entrance into society.  He has his work cut out for him!  Unlike the cockney heroine of My Fair Lady, Gillian is the bastard princess of the King’s brother and has been living in exile in Italy since her birth.  Gillian is with out doubt, one of the best characters I have read in a long time.  She is just so vibrant and alive!

Gillian has had to come to England to escape the Sicilian mafia who have a vendetta with her.  Her beloved step father’s death still weighs heavily upon her and her mother.  She is doing her worst to get out of dreary England and back to sunny Palermo.  Her outrageous behaviour is barely acceptable in Italy and certainly not in the upper echelons of English society.

Gillian has a tendency to say whatever comes to her mind.  She is glib and quick witted, not caring to bow down to the witches of the ton.  While I find her beyond hilarious and enjoyable, she becomes the bane of Charles’ existence!  She torments his tutors, mocks his lessons on manners and incites the ton.

What becomes clear is that she doesn’t want to conform.  She knows how to behave, but truly just doesn’t see the bother.  Deep down she hopes that her naughty deeds will have her sent packing to Italy, but eventually she doesn’t want to go.  This is because of the time she has spent with Charles.

I have to say, I so enjoyed the merry chase that Gillian sends Charles on.  She was such a great character – the author must have had so much fun writing her!  Charles was the perfect foil for the rascal Gillian.  His nickname of ‘Perfectly Penley’ was the opposite of the numerous names Gillian earns.

This was a great story!  I loved the characters and the story moved along at a rapid pace.  Gillian was just so great that it was hard to put this book down!

Now That It’s You

Now That It’s You by Tawna Fenske

now that its' you

Overview by Publisher:

Talented chef Meg Delaney hasn’t spoken to her cheating ex-fiancé, Matt Midland, for two years. Ditching him at the altar after blurting out “I can’t” instead of “I do” would sour any relationship. But now, just as Meg is finally ready to bury the hatchet, she learns closure is permanently off the menu. And the kicker? Matt’s brother, Kyle, is back in her life, stirring up feelings that are equal parts guilt and lust.

Meg was the best thing that never happened to Kyle. He couldn’t make a move on his brother’s girlfriend—even if Matt didn’t value her nearly enough. The situation is even more complicated now that Meg’s bestselling aphrodisiac cookbook has spawned a legal battle with the Midlands. Maybe he should stay away. But love, like family, plays by its own rules. And the one woman he shouldn’t want might be the only one who’s perfect for him.

I was really excited to be granted this book from Netgalley.  I am new to reading Tawna Fenske’s books, but have been enjoying them!

This is a complex story.  Meg visits her cheating ex-fiance at the hospital only to find out that he died after routine surgery.  She bumps into his brother Kyle and from there things seems to take off.  Meg mourns Matt and revisits the past, wondering what happened and what if?

When Meg and Kyle comfort each other, they realize that there is a connection there more than just former family members.  Meg and Kyle both examine their relationship with Matt and the impact it had on their lives.  Matt is not a likeable guy, even though it’s not nice to say about the dead.  He belittled Kyle and put him down constantly.  He took almost nine years to commit to Meg and when she recounts their relationship, it not something that was satisfying, but rather comfortable.

Kyle and Meg enter into a relationship.  They genuinely like each other and for Kyle, it’s far from his brother’s left overs.  He had a thing for Meg when she was engaged to Matt and obviously couldn’t act upon it.

However, there is a lot more happening here than just sorting out a relationship.  Kyle’s mother despises Meg and is suing her.  Kyle agrees with his mother and it makes things really complicated.  This was one part of the book that I struggled with.  I didn’t struggle when Meg and Kyle were flirting with each other, or talking about ex’s or getting it on.  I was really conflicted by how Kyle supported his mother’s legal action against Meg.  If I was Meg, this would be a deal breaker, but hey, that’s why we read books!  So they challenge our thinking and ideas!

The relationship between Kyle and Meg was at the heart of the book and it was sweet and sexy.  I liked the two of them together.  I really enjoyed that this book was different than the typical contemporary romance and that it made me step out of my comfort zone.

Unexpectedly Wilde

Unexpectedly Wilde by Rose Chen

unexpectedly wilde

Overview by Publisher:

Hotshot lawyer Lucas Wilde is on a fast track to becoming NYC’s next district attorney. Taking a break to attend his best friend’s wedding, he is dismayed to learn the groom has plans to set him up with someone. In the aftermath of a failed marriage, Lucas has no intention of dating. He’s not sure how to politely get out of it until he runs into an obvious solution – his colleague, Cate.
Cate Delaney has finally found her true calling bringing criminals to justice. But a particularly brutal case has left no time for fun and she decides to recharge in Vegas. When she unexpectedly meets her boss on the flight, it seems easy enough to avoid him for a couple of days. So she couldn’t be more surprised when the taciturn, workaholic Lucas asks her to be his date to a wedding. Sure, she’s had a couple of X-rated dreams starring her tall, dark and smoking-hot boss, but can she really pretend to be his girlfriend without risking their professional relationship?
Yet when their innocent flirtation erupts into an all-consuming desire, what happened in Vegas might just jeopardise all that Lucas and Cate have worked so hard for?

It’s always a little dicey when selecting a book on Netgalley that has past it’s publication date.  Sometimes they are really great books that just didn’t get traction when they were released or they are books that are looking for better reviews than what are currently out there because they aren’t very good. I am very happy to say that this book is the former!

I was sucked in right away by the story of Cate and Lucas.  They work as public defenders in New York City on a really difficult case.  For six months they have worked themselves to the bone.  While they have gotten to know each other, they have never been anything but co-workers and colleagues.

The plane trip to Las Vegas changes everything as they realize that they are going to be in the same city, in the same hotel while remaining professional.

What I liked so much about this book was that the author got right to the story.  While we get to know each character and their friends, the relationship took centre stage.  I loved the plot – how Lucas looks for a convenient date with Cate, but it turns into steaming, lurid and torrid passion.  I adored how they found such great intimacy with each other, but didn’t know what to do with it.

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.  Coming back to New York has complications for the couple.  This is where the story takes a turn into making the story great.  How do they handle working together and deny what they feel?  Figuring this out was exciting to read about and it made me love the characters even more!
This is a quick book – so it’s perfect for these late summer days when you have an afternoon to settle down with a great book and lose yourself in a fantastic story!

A Spring Deception

A Spring Deception by Jess Michaels

a spring deception

Overview by Publisher:

Miss Celia Fitzgilbert’s grandfather has decreed she must marry a man with a title or he’ll never reveal her mysterious father’s identity. But her engagement to an Earl was already broken, leaving her steeped in scandal. She has all but given up until the reclusive Duke of Clairemont returns to Society and sweeps her off her feet, a potential solution to all her problems.

But things are not so simple for the duke. Aiden is not comfortable with his position in Society, perhaps because he is a fraud. In truth, Clairemont died months ago and the man playing him is a spy, bent on uncovering a dangerous secret. A flirtation with Celia, meant to help him fit in, quickly turns very real. But can Celia recover when the lies come out? And can Aiden keep them both alive long enough to even consider a future?

This is the second book in the series from Jess Michaels.  The first book was really enjoyable and I found myself falling for the characters.  Rosalinde and her sister Celia have escaped their evil grandfather’s clutches and are now living on their own with Rosalinde’s husband, Grey.

Celia broke her engagement with Stenfax, Grey’s brother because she was marrying him for the wrong reasons.  She was about to marry the Earl so her grandfather would give her some information about her father and the circumstances of her early life.  Celia is back in society and trying to figure out her life and where to go from here.

She meets the reclusive Duke of Clairemont and sparks fly.  Little does Celia know that the man she is falling for is not whom he seems.

The relationship between the two blossoms quickly and it seems like true love.  However as the reader, we know that Aiden is definitely not what he says he is.  This had me so stressed out!  I really like Celia and I wanted her to find some happiness.  Jess Michaels has done a great job of weaving a romance that is so lovely and yet so fraught with tension.

The Duke is involved in uncovering a traitor to the crown and this plot is really interesting.  It brings danger and intrigue to an already well spun tale.  I loved how the implications were dire and the danger threatened the relationship.

This wouldn’t be a Jess Michaels book without some hot and heavy scenes.  She is so great at writing lush and vivid scenes that make the reader feel like they are experiencing the same emotions as the characters.  This is a great series and I am looking forward to the next one in the series that features Stenfax and his forgotten fiancé from years ago!

Forbidden Legacy

Forbidden Legacy by Diana Cosby

forbidden legacy

Overview by Publisher:

When the English murder Lady Katherine Calbraith’s family, she refuses their demands to wed an English noble to retain her home. Avalon Castle is her birthright, one she’s determined to keep.  After Katherine’s daring escape, she’s stunned when Scotland’s king agrees to allow her to return to Avalon, but under the protection of Sir Stephan MacQuistan . . . as the knight’s wife.  To reclaim her heritage, Katherine agrees. She accepts her married fate, certain that regardless of the caliber of the man, Stephan may earn her trust, but he’ll never win her love.
One of the Knights Templar, Stephan desires no bride, only vengeance for a family lost and a legacy stolen. A profound twist of fate tears apart the Brotherhood he loves, but offers him an opportunity to reclaim his legacy—Avalon Castle. Except to procure his childhood home along with a place to store Templar treasures, he must wed the unsuspecting daughter of the man who killed his family. To settle old scores, Stephan agrees, aware Katherine is merely a means to an end.
The passion that arises between them is as dangerous as it is unexpected. When mortal enemies find themselves locked in love’s embrace, Stephan and Katherine must reconsider their mission and everything they once thought to be true . . . 

I really, really enjoy it when the history in ‘historical romance’ is something different.  This book features a former Templar Knight.  The book follows the demise of the famed Knights and the politics behind the scenes.  The story highlights the connection between the Templars and Scotland.  I found myself frequently hitting Google to research the Templar Knights while I was reading because it was so interesting.

So it had me wondering how a love story would work out between a celibate Knight and a young woman.  Stephan longs to get back Avalon, his birthright that was stolen from him.  When Robert the Bruce offers it to him, he accepts.  Along with the castle, he gets a bride.  Katherine is not just any young woman, she is the daughter of the man who stole Avalon Castle and killed his parents.

This plot is in place very quickly, so it leaves the rest of the book for it to play out.  I found Katherine to be an amazing woman.  She is no shrinking violet and she can stand her ground with a contingent of knights.  Things don’t get off to a good start with her and Stephan.  I found that I really admired the stoic knight.  He was capable and confident which is true to his code.

There are a lot of complications to this plot.  There is the danger to the Knights Templar, the capture of Avalon Castle from the English and the relationship between Stephan and Katherine.  All elements are really well developed.  I enjoyed this book and I really look forward to reading the next book in this new series.

Legal Affairs

I am posting to let you know about my love affair with Sawyer Bennett.  She has become one of my favourite authors.  I have written reviews about many of her books and series.  Recently, I finished Wicked Bond and there are some characters from a book I haven’t read that make an appearance.  Since the appearance is at a sex club, I figured this book would be full of hot, steamy sex and an amazing story.  I am so very glad that I meandered over to Amazon to check out Sawyer Bennett’s other series that I haven’t read yet.

My life for the past three days has revolved around Matthew Fucking Connover.  This is my attempt at an insider joke.  The lead character in the Legal Affairs book is off the charts amazing.  Everyone seems to think so and they like to refer to him with the ‘fucking’ in the middle of his name.

Legal Affairs.jpg

I feel strongly about these books.  Every once in a while you come across a book or series that takes you by surprise.  Sometimes it’s a new author or it’s finding a hidden treasure when reading through their back list.  I am ranking my experience with this series up there with finding Hero by Samantha Young and the Highland Guard by Monica McCarty.  If you read this blog, you know that I don’t shut up about those books, so you know how passionate I am about this.

This is what I find so difficult about writing a book blog!  How do I adequately express what I loved about these books?  How to I qualify the emotions I felt while reading?  How can I make another reader feel my enthusiasm and want to read them?

I’ll start with an overview.  McKayla (Mac) agrees to go on a one night stand.  It’s set up through an internet company called One Night Only.  She meets Matt and they share an exquisite night of incendiary passion.  That’s Saturday.  On Monday they find out that Mac is the newest associate at Matt’s law firm.  It becomes an intoxicating match between the two.  Mac and Matt can’t ignore the intense passion between them and they don’t.  While the sex is frequent and exhilarating, it’s the development of the relationship between the two that is so engaging.

Mac is funny.  Sawyer Bennett totally knows how to create a character that you like.  I adored her.  Matt can be a hard ass, but he is so deeply guarded and insistent on keeping his boundaries.  This is what sucked me in.  It reminded me a lot of the story Hero.

But here is the coolest thing!  Once I finished Legal Affairs and blasted through Macy and Cal’s story (more on that later), there is Confessions of a Litigation God.  It’s the story told from Matt’s perspective.  I know what you are thinking – the Twilight and Fifty Shades alternative perspectives were not great.  But I promise you that this is worth every penny and minute of your time.  There is nothing better when you finish a book that you adored and there is MORE to read – and it’s great!

Confessions of a litigation god

I think what kept me so engrossed was Matt.  He’s so difficult to understand and yet as each layer is peeled back, I wanted to keep going.  I wanted to know more and understand him.  I also wanted him to keep having as much sex as possible with Mac and to give her his heart.

Mac has a best friend, Macy.  She is straight up amazing.  She owns her promiscuity and is a frequent flyer with One Night Only.  She is mentioned in the book often and with hilarious results.  She is the kind of woman that you want to be friend with.  Cal is a friend to Mac and Matt’s former best friend.  He is used in the first book, Legal Affairs as a protagonist.  He definitely helps move things along between Matt and Mac.  It seems only natural that Macy and Cal would get their own books because they are awesome.  They are the subject of the next edition of the Legal Affairs series with their own drama.


Clash, Grind and Yield are the titles of the books that feature Cal and Macy.  These two hate each other, but it reminded me of the boy on the playground who teases the girl he likes. After the two ‘hate fuck’ each other, it turns into something more.  Macy is extremely adventurous.  I almost choked when I read about the sex club they visit.  They definitely push boundaries and it was delicious to read about it.  Now that I have read Sawyer Bennett’s Wicked Horse series, I wonder if this is where she got the idea to write more erotic books and sex clubs.

Dear readers, I honestly tell you that this series is worth it.  I want to revel in the joy I have for these characters and keep reading until I know the plot inside and out.  This doesn’t happen often, which is why I am taking the time to share my love for this wonderful author and this series!

Wicked Bond

Wicked Bond (Wicked Horse Series, Bridger’s Story) by Sawyer Bennett

wicked bond

Overview by Publisher:

Bridger Payne is an enigma that no one can figure out. Wise beyond his years, eerily intuitive and sexy as hell, every woman in The Silo wants him.
None can have him.
Not the real man, anyway.
He might wield the lash for you if you ask prettily, but he’ll get no gratification from it. He’ll definitely make you scream, but he won’t think twice about you when he walks away.
Bridger carries the darkest of secrets He’s filled with too much pain.
He’s utterly untouchable.
Until she came along.

**Warning: this book has sex in it. Lots of sex. Dirty sex. The Wicked Horse Series is a bit different than what Sawyer Bennett normally writes. While you’ll still enjoy fabulous characters, a suspenseful story, some witty banter and an epic romance, there’s just… a lot of sex. You’ve been warned.

This series is NOT for the faint of heart.  The disclaimer is very accurate.  There is violence and adult situations.  Most importantly, there is sex.  The kind of sex that makes you not want to read this book in public.

I have been dying to read Bridger’s story.  He is the enigmatic owner of the Wild Horse Bar and the Silo.  The Silo is a high class, members only sex club in Wyoming.  Bridger has been featured in all of the previous books in the series, but you could definitely start the series with this one.

Bridger has been such a mystery.  He is up for anything when it comes to sex.  If you blush easily, remember what I said about reading this book in public.  While readers have got to know him in the biblical sense, there is a lot we don’t know about him.  This book finally reveals the story of who Bridger is and what makes him tick.

Maggie is not the typical damsel in distress.  She lives a dangerous life as the mistress of the president of a motorcycle gang.  She wants out of the life, but there are serious concerns.  No one walks away from Zeke, especially the mother of his child.  Maggie is brought to Bridger to protect her until it’s safe.

I’m guessing you can imagine what happens next?  Sex, lot and lots of really great sex.  For someone who is so oblivious to any boundaries, I was interested to see what fun Maggie and Bridger get up to.  What amazed me was, that while super HOT, the sex was not all about whips and threesomes.  Bridger has some issues and Maggie helps him work through them – I won’t spoil it, but I was pleased with how the plot progressed.

I am not sure if this is the last book in the series, but if it was, it was a great addition to a sexy series.  I am just so in love with Sawyer Bennett.  She writes stories that make you wish you could be in them.  It’s not just sex scenes that make the book enjoyable, it’s the development of a great story, really interesting characters and an emotional element that the reader can relate too.


Taming the Highlander

Taming the Highlander by May McGoldrick

taming the highlander

Overview by Publisher:

Innes Munro has the ability to “read” a person’s past simply by touching them or something that belongs to them, but her gift comes with a price. When her normally quiet life is upset by a dark force intent on stealing her gift and her life, Innes is spirited away to the place where her family believes she will be safe. But the desolate castle of Conall Sinclair holds terrors of its own, for the master is a scarred and bitter warrior who has seen too much of war and cruelty. Isolating himself from his clan and the rest of the world in a secluded holding on the coast of Fife, Sinclair is reluctant to let the spirited Innes close to him, but as his feelings for her grow, the dangers that pursue her will force the two of them to forge a bond that will save them both.

This is the second book that features the sacred stones.  The first book was an awesome tale of a fearsome woman and her hot Scot.  I really enjoyed that book and was looking forward to this one!

I am happy to report that it doesn’t disappoint.  Innes journeys from home to support her sister in her new marriage.  She didn’t expect to fall for the Laird of the clan.  Conall escaped an English prison and is still a prisoner of the abuse and torment he endured in battle and beyond.

Innes’ gift is really unique.  She can read a person’s thoughts and emotions simply by touching them.  Given this gift as a child, it changed her life.  Not only did a lock of hair turn white, she was forced to withdraw from a normal life.  While many would think this to be a blessing, Innes knows all thoughts a person has – good and evil.  Due to her gift and her importance in clan matters, her father never pushed her to marry.

Innes and Conall were destined to find each other.  Both live on the fringes of society.  Innes wears black all the time as she is in mourning for the ‘loss of innocence of the world’.  While that is not funny, it was amusing that Innes was so set in her ways.  Conall hasn’t been the same since her returned to the clan after battles and imprisonment.  So much of what is written about then is really PTSD, but of course back then they didn’t know what it was or how to treat it.

The story is really good.  There is an evil Englishman roaming the Scottish highlands in search of all the stones.  At the start of each chapter, there is a folk tale of what will happen when the stones are reunited and it’s chilling.  We don’t hear about the English man for a donkey’s age in the story, when Conall and Innes are advancing their romance, but he comes into their lives with a vengeance – don’t get lulled into security!

Lots of action, lusty Scots, evil ex-wives, conniving clan members and an unruly wolf pup make this an entertaining and engaging story.  I am really looking forward to the next book to find out what will happen!