Tag: Crimson Romance

Guest Review: Just for the Weekend by Susanne Matthews

Posted June 9, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Just for the Weekend by Susanne MatthewsReviewer: Tracy
Just for the Weekend by Susanne Matthews
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Publication Date: April 14th 2014
Format: eARC
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four-stars

It’s time to play with the grown-ups.

Kindergarten teacher Cleo James needs a change. Three years at her widowed dad’s beck and call are enough. A weekend in Vegas at a sci-fi convention with her best friend will do for now, and the hot guy who wants to spend time with her only adds to her excitement. After all - it’s just for the weekend. What can possibly go wrong?

Multimillionaire Sam Mason is sick of gold diggers. He’s looking for someone who’ll fall for him, not his wallet. When he meets a shy, green-skinned slave girl, she pushes all his buttons - the best part is she has no idea who he is and mistakenly believes he’s a Chippendale. Between the sexual attraction and too much alcohol, he wakes up married to his green-skinned beauty, but the bride has vanished. Finding her will be a lot harder than he thinks.

 

Tracy’s review of Just for the Weekend by Susanne Matthews

Cleo is a kindergarten teacher who is, because of her job, completely worried about appearances. She knows that teachers are kept to a standard that most citizens are not. She doesn’t want to do anything that would reflect badly on her and cause her to lose her teaching license. When her best friend invites her to Vegas to help her at her authors booth at a sci-fi convention Cleo is hesitant but agrees.

Once there Cleo finds herself dressed as an alien slave girl costume that has all the men leering at her. One man however, catches her attention and won’t let go. The night before she had seen him in the bar and believed him to be one of the Chippendale dancers. After helping her out of a sticky situation with a drunken man he suggests they dine together and she quickly agrees.

Sam Mason is a multi-millionaire who can’t keep his eyes off of Cleo. Even as her skin is painted green he believes her to be unbelievably beautiful and is smitten by the time dinner is through. He plays along with the Chippendale dancer cover because he wants Cleo to want him for who he is, not his money. The pair end up spending that evening together and when Sam asks her to be his date for the entire weekend Cleo quickly agrees.

The couple spend a wonderful time playing tourists while sitting in luxury. Cleo believes that the helicopter belongs to a friend of Sam’s who runs LJS Enterprises but it really all belongs to Sam. As the day goes on Sam wants to tell Cleo the truth about who he is, but after some remarks that Cleo makes about men with money he thinks that maybe being rich will create a roadblock in their relationship.

That night they both get drunk having the time of their lives on the Vegas strip. When Cleo wakes up the next morning, however, she finds she did some things that she knows aren’t ok – especially ones that involve an exotic dancer named Sam. She loves Sam (though it happened quickly) but she runs from him fearing that her job will be on the line if she stays. Sam is determined to find her as he loves her as well. Too bad she gave him a fake name as well as telling him she lived in Canada in a fictitious town – it makes finding her difficult but not impossible.

Just for the Weekend was a very sweet romance. I really loved both Cleo and Sam and the pair together made them that much better.

I did feel that Cleo was a bit anal about some things but I’ve never been a teacher in a small town so I’m not personally familiar with the expectations. They could possibly be exactly as Cleo had stated in the book – if so I feel bad for those teachers! What a limited life to lead. Anyway, despite her concerns she managed to let go and have a great time in Vegas – a really great time. Sam made it all the better with his kindness and giving spirit. Yes, he had the money but it was the thoughtfulness behind it that made me love him. Cleo’s joy and wonder forced him see the life that he’d taken for granted for so long and view the simple things in a new light. Their time together was darned near perfect

Mitch, Cleo’s best friend was a crack up. She made me laugh with all of her sci-fi references. I would love to read a book about her – hopefully I can in the future. Sam’s sister Liz was also a lively secondary character and a nice addition to the story.

Overall I thought JftW was a lovely book and I very much enjoyed reading it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place.

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

four-stars


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Guest Review: How to Wed an Earl by Ivory Lei

Posted January 28, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

how to wed an earlTracy’s review of How to Wed an Earl by Ivory Lei

Having regained his fortune, Lucas, Earl of Ravenstone, has to marry in order to keep it. Luckily, he won’t have to search for a wife—he’s known her name since their marriage was arranged in their youth. To fulfill his duty, he travels far from London Society to claim a fiancée who would no doubt be thrilled at the prospect of finally being able to use his name and become his countess.

Penelope Maitland has already been using Lucas’s name—to fend off her stepfamily’s creditors. After wasting decades waiting for him, she reckons it’s only fair she gets something out of her long-standing betrothal before she hears Lucas has married someone else.

When they accidentally meet in a coaching inn, she finds herself fighting dangerous girlhood fantasies about marrying the man of her dreams who broke her heart with his apparent lack of interest. And Lucas finds that in order to keep his fortune, he will have to lose his heart to a woman who is tired of waiting for him.

Lucas, the Earl of Ravenstone, who must finally claim his bride – a woman he’s been engaged to for 22 years and has never met – just so he can receive his inheritance from his father. He’s not thrilled with the idea but finally gets on his horse and heads to her estate. He actually finds her in a local Inn as her best friend works there. Of course he overhears her not actually saying nice things about him but he pushes forward. One of the reasons is that he’s completely intrigued by Penelope. He couldn’t have imagined the woman in front of him and he wants to know more about her.

Penelope is not thrilled to have Lucas show up. She had pinned her hopes and dreams on him for years just to be disappointed when she was ignored. Now she wants something different and goes about trying to get rid of him even though the creditors are hounding her family for money. She ends up falling in love with Lucas and travels to London with him. Once they arrive Lucas all but ignores Penelope which of course hurts her feelings but he feels he needs to distance himself as he wants to spend every minute with his wife and that’s just not how he wants his marriage to carry on. When the truth comes out about WHY Lucas finally claimed his bride Penelope is not happy and leaves him.

This was a cute little historical romance. I really liked Penelope and her family. They were all very down to earth and not about to kowtow to Lucas just because he was an Earl. I loved that about them. Penelope was quite ingenious in her plots and plans but she just didn’t expect the feelings that grew for Lucas. It was understandable that she was hurt by his distance in London but it all soon worked to her advantage.

Lucas was a bit of an ass to begin with, to say the least. He really thought pretty highly of himself and just expected Penelope to fawn all over him now that he had come to claim her. Yeah, right. lol He really came down more than a few notches on the ego scale during the book and turned out to be a pretty nice guy.

There was a portion of the book that had to do with Penelope’s uncle that I just didn’t care for and wasn’t quite sure why it was thrown in there to begin with. Those parts of the book became almost a nuisance to read.

Overall, however, the book was a good one. It had romance and some humor that kept the story on an even keel and had me flying through the pages.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

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


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#DFRAT Excerpt (+ a Giveaway): Her Knight in Black Leather by JM Stewart

Posted July 25, 2013 by Holly in Features, Promotions | 25 Comments

DFRAT2013

Check out Her Knight in Black Leather by JM Stewart

 

Cat Edwards has spent her life playing the wallflower in an effort to escape the repressive weight of her mother’s tarnished name. Dragged to a bar by her best friend in an effort to forget a broken heart, the shy bookworm is determined to be someone else for the night, but quickly gets in over her head. She discovers chivalry isn’t dead after all when a mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. He’s wearing black leather and a mischievous smile that promises to be exactly what she needs.

 When his terminally ill father suffers a setback, Michael Brant returns to the town he swore ten years ago he’d never return to. He’s come back this time determined to make peace with the past, but being home brings up memories he doesn’t want to remember anymore. His first night in town, he’s captured by a damsel in distress. Cat’s beauty is made all the more alluring when he realizes she has no idea who he is. He can’t resist spending a single night in her arms. With her, he’s only a man, disconnected from his family’s name and the past that haunts him here.

As the town erupts with the news of his return, Michael’s dark past comes back to haunt him, putting Cat in danger. Someone is threatening her life and the life of her family. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself, Michael offers her his family’s name in order to keep her safe. When the lie spirals beyond their control, can they stop their hearts from becoming entangled as well?

 

hkiblRead an Excerpt of Her Knight in Black Leather:

Whatever happened between them left him caught. Kaylee’s death cut a hole in him he hadn’t patched. Ten years of trying to forget the unbearable guilt of his role in her death. He’d set boundaries on all of his relationships, liked them simple and uncomplicated. What he felt for Cat went beyond complex. He liked the idea of wrapping his life around her. To see what she clearly felt for him shining back at him in the depths of her eyes made the idea all the more tempting. The question was, did he even have the right to happiness when his selfish needs had gotten not one but three people killed?

 

He left Cat’s mouth to trail kisses down her long neck and across her shoulder, relishing the sweet, velvety feel of her skin. She clung to his shoulders like she needed him every bit as much as he needed her. He shut his mind off. He didn’t want to think anymore. He wanted to drink her in, lose himself in her.

 

He drew his lips up the side of her neck and scraped his teeth over her earlobe. “You know, nobody can see us back here.”

 

She pulled back, her heavy-lidded eyes searching his with uncertainty, unease. “Here?”

 

He drew her bottom lip in between his and sucked gently, lifted his hands and cupped her breasts in his palms, let his thumbs drag across the hardening tips. Her eyes fluttered closed, a soft moan escaping her as she dropped her head back.

 

“I need you.” He whispered against her skin as he bent his head to taste the exposed column of her throat. “Now.”

 

It was all the explanation he could muster. All he knew was he wanted her. Needed her. Needed to feel her body joined with his, to feel the intense connection between them. He wanted to lay claim to her body, her heart, her soul, and he wanted it with a fierceness that shook him. He needed to be a part of her, to take a part of her with him when he left.

 

Find out more about JM Stewart:

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#DFRAT Excerpt (+ a Giveaway): The Other Side of Heaven by Morgan O’Neill

Posted July 24, 2013 by Holly in Features, Promotions | 39 Comments

DFRAT2013Check out The Other Side of Heave (Italian Time Travel Series, Book 1) by Morgan O’Neill

Californian Gwendolyn Godwyn seeks to learn her family’s history and hopes to restore the bond that once existed between her Italian forebearers and those who live in America. While visiting her ancestral Italian town, Gwen is caught in a violent earthquake and inexplicably thrust through time.

At first refusing to believe what has happened, she nevertheless uses her wits to survive, donning a monk’s cowl to hide her identity as a woman. Ripped apart from all she has ever known, Gwen finds herself in the midst of brutal territorial battles in an era she once blithely called “The Dark Ages.” When the golden Italian summer of 951 emerges from the strife and gloom, Gwen joins forces with a cadre of gallant men, allies in the struggle against the evil nobles, Willa of Tuscany and Count Berengar, kidnappers of Italy’s rightful queen, Adelaide.

Along with Father Warinus and Lord Alberto Uzzo, Gwen seeks to rescue Adelaide and restore her kingdom. In the midst of this great adventure, Gwen falls in love with the complex and passionate Alberto, to whom she reveals her identity as a woman. But can Alberto learn to love her strong and independent nature and help Gwen in her quest to discover her rightful place in time?

Sensuality Level: Sensual

tosohExcerpt from Morgan O’Neill’s THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN, Book One of the Italian Time Travel Series:

~ Our time traveling heroine, Gwendolyn Godwyn, disguises herself as a monk in order to survive the turmoil of medieval Italy. Prior to this scene, Gwen escaped from the castle keep of the evil Count Berengar. Our hero and the man of her dreams, Alberto Uzzo, lord of Canossa, found her running toward the forest, desperately trying to flee enemy arrows. He pulled her onto his warhorse and they rode to the safety of the deep woods ~

Gwen and Alberto rode in silence until she said, “I’m not sure I can guide you to Father Warinus’s camp now. I’ve lost track of where we are.”

“I know where we are and where he is. Barca led me to Warinus last night. Jesus God, when I found out what you had done, I …” Alberto’s voice died in strangled fury.

Gwen squirmed, her mind grappling with the dawning realization of just how lucky she was to have escaped.

“We watched helplessly as Berengar returned to his keep,” Alberto went on. “We were too few against his forces, so he passed through the gates unmolested. We could do nothing; I could do nothing,” he leaned over and spat on the ground, “but change the location of your camp, and pray God you would escape at dawn. A night was never so long as that. When I thought of you inside with… what would you have done if I hadn’t shown up when I did?”

“I––”

“You would have died with an arrow to your back, or been returned to Garda for questioning. Imagine your fate then. You have made it a very personal matter with Berengar now, and he will leave no stone unturned to find you, to repay you for the insult. We shall rendezvous with Father Warinus and Barca after nightfall, but only if we find Berengar has recalled his men, which is possible. They merely search for a nosy monk, after all.”

Gwen bristled, but choked back her resentment. “Berengar may have more reason than mere insult at having been infiltrated. Somehow, he realized I was a woman and he came after me – barged right into my room – but instead of raping me as he intended, the bastard tripped and fell when his pants dropped to his ankles. I hit him twice with a bucket. I think I broke his nose. Last I saw, he was lying on the floor, unconscious, bleeding, and limp as a dishrag.”

Alberto said nothing, but she could feel the tension ease in his shoulders and heard him chuckling as he nudged his horse forward. The sound was wonderful, and her anger melted away.

“So then,” he said, “you’ve learned to defend yourself, at least.”

“Funny.” Gwen laid her cheek against his back and loosened her vice-grip on him. She flexed her fingers, then opened them and placed them gently around his waist, intending nothing more than to find a secure hold, but the chain mail was slippery. Suddenly, she could hardly breathe, her fingers on fire as she sensed his flat stomach, taut and etched with muscles. Without thinking, her hands explored upward, across his chest, then returned to his waist, wanting more, until Alberto stopped her hands with his.

Flustered, Gwen bit her lip, pressed her cheek more firmly against him, and tried to control her breathing. This was no time for… that. But all she could see from behind her closed lids were his eyes, his lips, and she entwined her fingers with his.

Heracles made his way down a deeply shaded slope, following a path almost hidden by lush undergrowth, and Alberto raised her hand, kissing her palm.

A moan escaped her. She sat up, startled, embarrassed, and terribly aroused. “Alberto, stop,” Gwen could hardly speak, “stop the horse.”

“A moment more,” he replied. “I must water Heracles, now that he is cooled. There is a small stream up ahead where he can drink, where we can… where we will be safe from spies.”

Once they arrived at the sun-dappled glen, the horse lowered his head to drink from the tiny rivulet of sparkling water. Gwen slid to the ground, clutching Alberto’s tunic, but not for balance. She gazed up and touched his knee.

“Alberto.” Gwen had never wanted anyone so badly, so fully. How could she make him understand how she felt? “Get off your horse,” she whispered, looking up at him. “Please come down.”

His movements measured and deliberate, Alberto swung his leg around, dismounted, and removed his helmet. Dropping it to the ground, he drew her close. “I feared you would never get out of Garda alive,” he said, pushing wisps of hair off her brow, his voice rough with emotion.

Holding her hands, he kissed each palm and then gravely searched her face, his dark eyes pulling her into his heart, into his soul.

Gwen wrapped her arms around his waist and tilted her head back to look at him, inviting his embrace. Her pulse pounding with desire, she touched his chain mail. “Alberto, get rid of it. Take it off.”

He released his hold on her to struggle with his chain mail and sword, cursing their cumbersome weight, before dropping them beside his helmet. His tunic and boots followed immediately afterward, and he stood before her, bare-chested, his dark, loose curls touching his shoulders, his eyes looking straight at her, burning her up.

“Gwendolyn.”

In an instant, she was back in his arms, kissing him as he pulled at her clothes, until she was naked. His arms crushed her body against his, the heat of his bare skin searing.

Cupping her buttocks, he lifted her off the ground. She could feel the swell of him, so hard. The exhilaration of delayed desire, of danger and escape, tore through her and her mouth sought his, desperate to taste, know, and devour. His days-old stubble scraped at her face, the salt of his skin like an elixir.

Clinging to him, kissing as he fumbled with the drawstring of his pants, she felt his fingers brush against her, igniting new fires.

Find out more about Morgan O’Neill:

Two authors writing as one, Cary Morgan Frates and Deborah O’Neill Cordes specialize in recreating pivotal moments in history, epic adventure and romance – with a time travel twist. Their Roman time travel series – LOVE, ETERNALLY, AFTER THE FALL, and RETURN TO ME – was published by Crimson Romance in 2012. The trilogy is now available in e-book format and trade paperback. THE OTHER SIDE OF HEAVEN, Book One of Italian Time Travel Series, was released on May 13, 2013 by Crimson Romance. Its sequel, TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE, will be published on August 12, 2013. www.morganoneill.com
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#DFRAT Excerpt (+ a Giveaway): Fated Souls by Becky Flade

Posted July 20, 2013 by Holly in Features | 12 Comments

fsCheck out Fated Souls by Becky Flade

Blurb: Shamed investigative journalist turned tabloid scribe Maggie O’Connell convinces her editor to let her go to Minnesota to research alleged werewolf sightings. Her first night in the woods, she gets trapped in an ancient sleeping bag, unintentionally attracts the attention of a bear, and is saved by the most unlikely of heroes: the very wolf she had come to investigate!

When she meets horse rancher Aidan Gael in the town market days later, she recognizes his eyes as those belonging to her champion. He dodges her every attempt to get to know him but undaunted Maggie launches a campaign to win over the recalcitrant Aidan.

Aidan tries desperately to avoid her; he both fears Maggie and fears for her. Neither man nor beast can resist her curious mind and courageous heart. One kiss threatens to break Aidan’s tenuous self-control but furthers Maggie’s resolve. But danger lurks at every turn. The curse Aidan fights to keep secret is only one of the obstacles that will test the strength of their bond. Together they will navigate the violence of both nature and of man in pursuit of their destiny.

 

Excerpt:

Sometime later as they lay there intertwined, feeling the cool air of the lengthening day on her sweaty skin, Maggie smiled against his neck and simply said, “Deal.”

“Then we better get moving, lover.” He kissed her, and they dressed quickly before eating a hastily put together meal of reheated leftovers and heading out into the meadow. Maggie was equally nervous and excited as she and Aidan walked to the forest’s edge. She had been anxious to see the transformation with her own eyes, the proof her mind needed to finally accept the truth she already knew. She didn’t have any worries that it would change the way she felt about Aidan—she was in love with him and she knew it—but it was like Lois Lane knowing Clark was Superman and actually seeing the Fortress of Solitude for herself.

“Aidan, does it hurt?”

“No, it doesn’t hurt.” He took her hand in his, and led her into the trees far enough that no one could see from the meadow or the house. Maggie glanced up at the sky; the moon would be up any second. She chose a large wide tree to sit against and made herself comfortable as she watched, with total female appreciation as her man stripped down to his skin. She saw him put his clothes in a large, watertight container, painted dark green so it blended well with its surroundings. She marveled at how she’d never considered what happened to his clothes. Aidan winked at her and Maggie smiled back, her smile spreading as he grew visibly aroused. She quirked an eyebrow at him. Aidan’s quick chuckle in response slid into a low growl as the first rays of moonlight touched his shoulder.

Maggie watched in awe as a thin blue mist covered Aidan’s skin and the air around him shimmered with magic. He blurred before her eyes and she blinked against the sudden urge to weep. That fast, Gealach stood before her, his fur thick and downy, his eyes, so like Aidan’s, watching her with concern. She smiled as a lone tear slid down her cheek. The wolf came to her, nuzzled her neck and licked the tear away with his soft, scratchy tongue. She ran her fingers over his pelt and wrapped her arms around him in a hug.

“I love you.” She whispered against his side, knowing Aidan could hear her. Gealach whined softly and she pulled her head back so that they were nose to nose. “I know that wasn’t fair. You can pretend you didn’t hear it; I don’t expect you to say it in return. I want you to say it when, or if, you feel it, too.”

The wolf retreated a few steps and when she nodded her head he bound off into the dark forest.

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