Tag: Anne Calhoun

Guest Review: Afternoon Delight by Anne Calhoun

Posted February 5, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Afternoon Delight by Anne CalhounReviewer: Tracy
Afternoon Delight by Anne Calhoun
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: September 16th 2014
Format: eARC
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Sarah Naylor, food truck co-owner and recent Manhattan transplant, savors each moment of her new job—whether it’s refining the truck's menu, learning the city, or spending afternoons in bed with the hot paramedic who's fast becoming her favorite customer.

Tim Cannon spends his days sprinting from one emergency to the next. He eats like he works—at top speed—somewhere along the line he lost his ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures. Hooking up with Sarah is just another way to cope with the stress of his job, until their afternoon trysts coax Tim into enjoying everything he's avoided. Can Tim learn to balance his job saving lives with the everyday delights that make life worth living? If anyone can teach him, it’s Sarah….

Tracy’s review of Afternoon Delight by Anne Calhoun.

Tim Cannon is a paramedic in NYC who is uses speed as his drug of choice. Not the actual DRUG but speed as in adrenaline. He does everything in his job well but he does it at the speed of light. He has to slow down somewhat to train his new paramedic but that’s about as slow as it gets. He eats fast, has sex fast and doesn’t’ stick around to smell the roses. That’s until he meets Sarah McCall. He’s in the park near his station one day for lunch – eating hot dogs at the speed of light – when she sees him and brings him a bowl of food from her food truck. Not only does he like the food but he likes her. Soon they’re back at his apartment and Sarah is showing him how doing things slowly can make things that much better.

Sarah moved to NYC after her aunt died. She had taken care of her aunt Joan for two years while she suffered from cancer but she eventually died. Joan wanted Sarah to get back to her old self but being with Joan and being there when she passed changed Sarah. She finds she really likes spending time with Tim and she likes the challenges they give each other when it comes to sex.

They spend more and more time together, exploring the city and finding new ways to enjoy each others company. Tim enjoys going slow with Sarah as he appreciates what happens when they go slow during sex but he refuses to see their relationship as anything other than sex – no matter what he’s truly feeling inside. He watched his grandparents die and that affected him greatly. Why stop to enjoy life when it’s all gonna end anyway, right? When his decision to see Sarah as nothing more than a sex partner comes back to bite him in the ass he realizes that maybe there’s more to get out of life if he slows down a bit.

Afternoon delight is an erotic book that shows us the start of a relationship. I loved the sweet and sexy sex scenes between Sarah and Tim. Hot and fast have their own appeal but the slow burn between Sarah and Tim was more than appealing.

I understood both Tim and Sarah’s issues and I was so happy when Tim finally pulled his head out of it and decided to live life again. Sarah was a great woman and I think she was perfect for Tim. That being said I did have a problem with the emotional connection between the two. I could see them getting closer but when it came down to it I felt it was really new and just starting to grow. The way that Sarah reacted when she realized Tim didn’t feel as strongly as she did was a bit confounding for me because I hadn’t seen the strength in the relationship quite yet. I would love to get a follow up story between Sarah and Tim and see more of a romance between these two.

Overall I liked story and it was a good way to spend a few hours reading.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

This title is available from InterMix. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: Unforgiven by Anne Calhoun

Posted June 12, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Unforgiven by Anne CalhounReviewer: Tracy
Unforgiven (Walkers Ford, #1) by Anne Calhoun
Series: Walkers Ford #1
Publisher: Penguin, Berkley
Publication Date: June 4th 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

For as long as he could remember, he wanted her…

Raised by a single mother, Adam Collins resolved to take no chances with a girl’s future—or his own. That’s why, as hard as it was, he resisted everything he felt for Marissa Brooks. Then one night a reckless challenge left a fellow student dead and changed both their lives forever. As penance, Adam took the boy’s place in the Marines, where he could disappear into discipline and duty, and left Marissa behind to struggle with her dreams.

Twelve years later, Adam is back in Walkers Ford to serve as the best man in his friend’s wedding. The years haven’t diminished the electric connection he has with Marissa. But Adam’s mistake continues to haunt him, and Marissa is stumbling under the weight of her family’s legacy. Together they wrestle with demons and dreams, but if there’s any hope for a future together Adam has to not only find a way to forgive himself, but also ask others for forgiveness—especially from the woman whose heart he broke.(less)

At the age of 17 Adam Collins was a very passionate boy but unfortunately didn’t know how to channel that passion. One night when it got out of control he got into a motorcycle race and someone died.

Adam spends the next 12 years in the Marines and comes home to Walkers Ford for his best friends wedding. His best friend however is marrying Adam’s ex-fiance. Awkward. From the beginning we know that Adam has himself locked down emotionally with only his friend Marissa bringing out the passion. Adam has spent the past 12 years trying to atone for the wrong he did that one night and in doing so has given up living in many ways.

Marissa is a woman who has lived in Walkers Ford her whole life as her family history goes back 150 years. She has restored her family’s estate to its former glory – or at least very close by the time Adam shows up – but she’s hesitant to take that final step. Once it’s done, what will she do with herself as her dream is fulfilled? She hasn’t let herself think about the other dream, sailing, as she doesn’t believe that it’s one that can ever be seeing as how she lives in South Dakota.

When Adam comes home he and Marissa start up almost exactly where they left off but with both of them denying themselves where will they end up.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened the pages to this book. I’ve only read one other story by her and that was a novella but she had me loving her writing style. This book was no different in that she doesn’t spare the reader anything. I love how she took all the different nuances of the characters and brought them all to the forefront of the story. She’s not afraid to get down and dirty with the characters emotionally and I love that.

This story was really intense. You could tell from the start that Adam was in hell but no one could see it but Marissa. He was trying so hard to be the person he thought he should be to make up for his biggest mistake but while doing that he was killing himself inside. Marissa was quite as locked down but she was resisting the pull of things outside of her small South Dakotan town. The way the couple helped each other – sometimes without even knowing it. Seeing two broken souls together and making it all work in the end had me riveted and I could hardly put the book down.

Overall a great book and one I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

four-stars


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What I Read Last Week

Posted June 11, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 2 Comments

Yo Babies!

How the heck are ya? I’m good. It was actually been a pretty pleasant week and the weather is cooperating so it’s all good. 
Nothing much happened last week so I’ll get on to what I read:

I started the week with Coming Home by MJ O’Shea. I’ve liked her stories in the past so I picked this one up and wasn’t disappointed. The story is about Tally who was an ass and bully in high school so the town didn’t think too kindly of him. Then his dad got caught with a young girl and killed himself. He’s back now to live with his grandmother rather than on the streets and he’s a changed person. The only person that will give him a job is Lex at the local coffee shop. Tally doesn’t recognize him as the guy he bullied in high school. Despite the bullying Lex always had a crush on Tally and that apparently didn’t change. This was a great well, coming home story and I really liked the romance between Lex and Tally. 3.75 out of 5
Next up was a western historical called Saving Grace by Sandy James. This was a story of a woman looking for her brother while running from the law. You can read more about the book and my thoughts on it here. 3.5 out of 5
Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley is book 2 in the Chaos MC series. The story is about one of the MC members and a friend of the club. They start out as wanting to have just one night but then fall in love while working out emotional issues. I really liked parts of this but then other parts annoyed the hell outta me. You can read more of my thoughts on the book here. 3 out of 5
Not the Leader of the Pack by Annabeth Leong is the story (novella) of a girl who has been away from her shifter pack and her family for 5 years. Her father’s health is failing and before he dies he hands over alpha duties to her. The Beta of the pack wants to bag the girl but that doesn’t stop him from trying to wrestle the pack leadership from her hands. This was an ok read but the hero in this one really annoyed me and I wanted to hit him. lol (read for Book Binge)  2 out of 5
Ellie’s Gentleman by Georgiana Louis is a May/December romance between a 20 year old girl and a man of 42. I thought I’d be squicked out but it actually worked well and though a very short story it was a good one.(read for Book Binge)  3.5 out of 5
Unforgiven by Anne Calhoun is another coming home story but the hero in this one has ulterior motives for coming home – although he says he doesn’t. Adam is to be best man in his best friends wedding to Adam’s former fiancé. While he’s home he registers for school and also gets back involved with his former girlfriend, Marissa. The story is about finding out who you are and following your dreams. It’s not a funny story at all but not dark and depressing either. More along the lines of solemn but very good. Well written. 4 out of 5
He Belongs to Me by Theresa Rizzo is the story about a 23 year old girl who’s looking forward to her 6 year old son coming to live with her but finds out her parents plan on keeping him and raising him themselves. She enlists her estranged husband to get him back but he’s not necessarily all-in. The story is about the conflict with the parents as well as the issues that Catherine and Thomas have as a couple. Good story – I’ll post my review on Thursday. 3.5 out of 5
Reluctant Mate by Eden Cole is a short story about the Alpha of a wealthy shifter pack who wants his son to mate with another man who will bring their pack political influence. The problem is that neither the son, Gray, nor the other guy, Lucas, is gay. They try sex out so that they can tell Gray’s father that it won’t work but after their initial hesitations they find they like it. The story here was minimal and it certainly wasn’t written wonderfully well but I gotta say I thought the sex was pretty hot. I’m not sure if it was because it was so experimental or what but I liked it. lol 3.25 out of 5
Last for the week was Just What He Wanted by HelenKay Dimon. We’re back in Holloway, Virginia and this time we get Travis’s story. He’s asked to keep an eye on the new manager of the cabins, Andy. Only it’s actually Andie and she’s a woman. A woman that makes Travis drool and lose his head. She’s got a block about their ages since he’s 25 and she’s 34 and she also has self-esteem issues regarding her weight that drive Travis crazy. It was a good story and though short it packed a punch. I’ll post my review this week 🙂 3.75 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Happy Reading!


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Guest Author (+ a Giveaway): Anne Calhoun – Secondary Characters

Posted February 27, 2013 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 30 Comments

Today we have Anne Calhoun with us. She’s celebrating her upcoming release, Uncommon Pleasure (Berkley, March 5), which features two stories in one.

Secondary Characters…Discuss.

One of my favorite parts of writing a book is seeing which secondary characters come on strong, demanding books or storylines of their own. I’m currently working on a contemporary that will release in 2014, and I’m having the most fun with the heroine’s internationally famous sister, the juvenile delinquent working off his community service at the library, and the aged relic/old bat taking shape as the heroine’s best friend. Any one of these characters would be tons of fun to hang out with, for completely different reasons, but none of them will have a book of their own.

Sometimes, though, a secondary character takes me down a darker road. This is the case with Ben Harris, the Galveston police officer who shows up in UNCOMMON PLEASURE and will get his own book when UNCOMMON PASSION releases in September, 2013. Abby Simmons, one of the heroines in UNCOMMON PLEASURE, has been sleeping with Ben ever since Sean Winthrop broke her heart. He’s a casual sex buddy, a way for Abby to work off the not-inconsiderable stress in her life, and both he and Abby are perfectly comfortable with that arrangement.

While I was working on the book I started thinking about what kind of man would accept those terms. It’s not the kind of man who’s looking for a happily ever after, romance style, that’s for sure. But, his journey from wounded casual sex buddy to man who wants a lifetime commitment with one woman would be very interesting to write. And so I did!

What about you? Do you like meeting characters and knowing they’ll be more fully developed in future stories? Who are some of your favorite ongoing characters (I’m a sucker for Sam and Alyssa in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooter series). Comment for a chance to win UNCOMMON PLEASURE!

After doing time at Fortune 500 companies on both coasts, Anne landed in a flyover state, where she traded business casual for yoga pants and decided to write down all the lively story ideas that got her through years of monotonous corporate meetings. Her first book, LIBERATING LACEY won the EPIC Award for Best Contemporary Erotic Romance. Her story WHAT SHE NEEDS was chosen for Smart Bitch Sarah’s Sizzling Book Club. Anne holds a BA in History and English, and an MA in American Studies from Columbia University. When she’s not writing her hobbies include reading, knitting, and yoga. She lives in the Midwest with her family and singlehandedly supports her local Starbucks.

Contest ends March 6 @ 11:59pm. Please note: You must include a valid email address with your comment to be eligible. 

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Author: Anne Calhoun – Real Life Christmas Miracles (+a giveaway!)

Posted December 7, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 5 Comments

Please welcome Anne Calhoun to the blog! She’s talking about real life miracles and let me tell you, this one’s a doozer. Get the hanky ready… 

            I am an unabashed sucker
for a good Christmas story. I tear up every year when the Marine Corps Toys for
Tots commercial comes on. Last year a friend told me a story. A single mom was
on the ropes financially, barely making the mortgage let alone able to give her
kids a Christmas. To make matters worse, she also needed a recommendation for a
good, trustworthy repairman for her furnace, which had conked out. My friend directed
her to a man she’d had good luck with in the past, told the repairman he might
get a call, and forgot about it.

A week later the single
mom called my friend in tears. Sobbing. She’d come home from work to find not a
repaired furnace, but a brand new furnace
in her basement with a note that said Merry Christmas. No bill, no payment
schedule, no nothing. Just Merry Christmas.

Thea Moretti,
heroine in my latest release, also needs a Christmas miracle. In this scene at
a soup kitchen in BREATH ON EMBERS she gets a little one from the hero, FDNY
lieutenant Ronan O’Rourke.
Thea pushed the sleeves of her fleece pullover to her elbows and made
her way to the waiting pile of dirty pots and pans stacked by the double sinks.
Cheerful yellow rubber gloves on, she was scrubbing crusted goulash from a pot
when a tap on her shoulder startled her.
“Yes?” Thea asked, tugging the earbuds from her ears as she turned.
“Why didn’t you tell me what you’d arranged?” Nancy asked. Her eyes
were wide, and shining.
Over her shoulder Thea heard not the typical low rumble of two-hundred
people sharing a meal, but the excited chatter of children and a higher-pitched
energy level. “What? Is Ronan here with the presents?”
“Oh, he’s here, all right,” Nancy said. She took Thea’s hand and pulled
her through the empty kitchen to the swinging doors. Thea’s jaw dropped, and
she slowed in the process of taking off her rubber gloves.
Santa Claus stood at the back of the fellowship hall, waving to the
kids as FDNY firefighters in their blue uniforms passed big cardboard boxes of
gifts along a human chain from a waiting ladder truck, down the stairs to a
table hastily set up by Cooper Bensonhurst volunteers. At the tables the kids
stared first at Santa, then at the firefighters. Word of the truck spread from
table to table, and the wriggles and noise escalated once again.
It was a tiny Christmas miracle. She swallowed hard against the tears
clogging her throat. Ronan came down the steps two at a time and crossed the
hall, tossing “Get someone to clear that hydrant” over his shoulder as he headed
for Thea.
“Sorry we’re late,” he said without preamble. He reached for Thea’s
hand as he said it, and his warm, strong grip anchored her. “How do you want to
do this?”
Thea found her voice. “This is Nancy Watkins,” she said. “She’s in
charge. Nancy, Lieutenant Ronan O’Rourke. He brought the presents.”
“You certainly did, Lieutenant,” Nancy said. “Thank you.”
“You’ve got Santa and a fire truck for the next hour. After that we’re
all back on call,” Ronan said.
            Thea’s
bigger Christmas miracle comes later in the story, but this one’s nice, too. 🙂 What’s your best holiday
miracle? Share your stories in the comments and I’ll give a copy of BREATH ON
EMBERS to one person who comments.
Oh, and for the record…we needed a
new furnace the next winter. We gave our business to the man who gave a furnace
to a struggling single mom.

Book blurb —

Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to
take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend.
He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for
her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York
City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex,
Ronan sets out to change her mind.

Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move
past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are
the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of
both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest
time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.

Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion
with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t
just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last
forever?

Anne’s info —


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