Tag Archives: 4.5 stars

A Love Affair to Remember by Jennifer Skully

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
A Love Affair to Remember by Jennifer SkullyA Love Affair to Remember by Jennifer Skully
Series: After Office Hours #2
Also in this series: Desire Actually
Also by this author: Desire Actually
on October 12, 2016
Genres: Romance
Format: eARC
Goodreads
four-half-stars
What if one night ruined your whole life?

In one sizzling night of forbidden passion, Gloria King set fire to her comfortable life and watched it be consumed in the conflagration. The man who lit the match—Parker Hunt.

And now Parker is back.

More than five years have passed since Parker has seen Gloria, but the passion between them is undeniable. And he’ll do anything to have a new chance to get it right, if only he can convince Gloria to trust her heart.

Gloria has pieced her life back together after their forbidden night. But Parker is still the only man in the world with whom Gloria can never look for happiness, no matter how badly she might want it. If only she could resist his magnetism, forget the delicious taste of his kiss and the sweetness of his caress…

Can a single night of passion born in shame become a lifetime of love?

A copy of this book was provided by the author for an honest review at The Romance Evangelist.

Hooray, it’s the next book in Jennifer Skully’s new After Office Hours hot contemporary romance series! Regular readers of this blog may recall that the first book in this series – Desire Actually – was one of my favorite reads this year. This new book – A Love Affair to Remember – picks up not long after the previous one, telling the story of how two people get a rare second chance to be together after making a terrible mistake five years earlier.

We met Gloria King in Desire Actually, when she helped that story’s heroine get a promotion and office she deserved, earning the enmity of the company’s HR VP in the process. Five years earlier, Gloria had succumbed to a single night’s temptation with an attractive co-worker, and has been paying the price ever since. She quit her job and confessed to her unforgiving husband, taking all the blame for the wreckage of her marriage. Now divorced and living far away from where it had all gone wrong, she’s living a life deprived of love when the man she couldn’t resist and never forgot waltzes back into her life.

Parker Hunt was in a struggling marriage when he and Gloria enjoyed a single night of mutual pleasure while traveling for work. Unlike Gloria, he kept quiet about their tryst but still ended up divorced when his wife announced she was leaving him for another man. Parker knew he’d deserved what happened but hoped one day to reclaim the woman who still haunted his dreams. Now that he’s found Gloria, he’s going to make sure they finally get the happy ending they couldn’t have before.

One of the reasons I love reading this author is because her characters are frequently those who don’t often get their own HEA in current romance, namely people over forty. Gloria is in her late forties and Parker is slightly younger, but their age really only comes up in the context of having children, and after the end of her marriage, Gloria has already resigned herself to remaining childless. This author also handles the touchy topic of infidelity quite well here, which is remarkable considering both the main characters cheated on their respective spouses with each other years before the events of this story take place. For some readers, that would be a deal breaker from the start, but for me they both showed they’d regretted their actions and knew they’d been in the wrong. Indeed, so much of this story is showing how Gloria had punished herself much more severely than anyone that for me to do the same would be unfair.

Meanwhile Rhonda Baker, the HR VP who tried to ruin Jordana’s life, is now gunning for Gloria, and her machinations became increasingly annoying for me, even though she does help provide the impetus for Gloria’s epiphany about her need to stop punishing herself over Parker. It was made clear why Rhonda is seemingly allowed to run roughshod over fellow employees but I hope she’ll have her own day of reckoning in a future book.

Overall, it was great to be back in the offices of Brett Baker’s Silicon Valley startup, and I enjoyed seeing more of how the company’s front office gets their work done, as well as the scenes with Jordana and Grady from Desire Actually enjoying their newly public relationship. With A Love Affair to Remember, Jennifer Skully has upheld the excellence she set at the start and continues to keep me excited about getting to read the next book in the series.

four-half-stars

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis SittenfeldEligible by Curtis Sittenfeld
Series: The Austen Project #4
Published by Random House Publishing Group on April 19th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Women, Family Life, Fiction, Literary
Pages: 512
Format: eARC
Goodreads
four-half-stars
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible tackles gender, class, courtship, and family as Curtis Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today. This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray. Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches. Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . . And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.Praise for Eligible“Even the most ardent Austenite will soon find herself seduced.”—O: The Oprah Magazine “Blissful . . . Sittenfeld modernizes the classic in such a stylish, witty way you’d guess even Jane Austen would be pleased.”—People (book of the week) “[A] sparkling, fresh contemporary retelling.”—Entertainment Weekly“[Sittenfeld] is the ideal modern-day reinterpreter. Her special skill lies not just in her clear, clean writing, but in her general amusement about the world, her arch, pithy, dropped-mike observations about behavior, character and motivation. She can spot hypocrisy, cant, self-contradiction and absurdity ten miles away. She’s the one you want to leave the party with, so she can explain what really happened. . . . Not since Clueless, which transported Emma to Beverly Hills, has Austen been so delightedly interpreted. . . . Sittenfeld writes so well—her sentences are so good and her story so satisfying. . . . As a reader, let me just say: Three cheers for Curtis Sittenfeld and her astute, sharp and ebullient anthropological interest in the human condition.”—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review “A clever, uproarious evolution of Austen’s story.”—The Denver Post “If there exists a more perfect pairing than Curtis Sittenfeld and Jane Austen, we dare you to find it. . . . Sittenfeld makes an already irresistible story even more beguiling and charming.”—Elle“A playful, wickedly smart retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.”—BuzzFeed “Sittenfeld is an obvious choice to re-create Jane Austen’s comedy of manners. [She] is a master at dissecting social norms to reveal the truths of human nature underneath.”—The Millions“A hugely entertaining and surprisingly unpredictable book, bursting with wit and charm.”—The Irish Times “An unputdownable retelling of the beloved classic.”—PopSugarFrom the Hardcover edition.

Now that the latest incarnation of The Bachelor/ette is back on the air, with its fictional behind-the-scenes counterpart UnREAL soon to follow, it’s seems fitting to be reviewing “Eligible” — a re-imagining of “Pride and Prejudice” that deftly incorporates elements from that classic as well as the aforementioned TV shows without being unduly beholden to any of its nominal source material. I’ll admit that I’m a big fan of Curtis Sittenfeld’s previous work, so I was confident that if anybody could pull off an updated story of Lizzie and Darcy, it would be her. And ultimately what she has produced here is a delightful and multi-layered story that can stand on its own without the P&P underpinnings.

“Eligible”, much like the Austen original, is a skillfully plotted story about a woman who stumbles on an unexpected love while trying to save her feckless family from themselves. The author’s decision to use a fictional dating show as the book’s primary catalyst may put some potential readers off, but I found it to be the perfect counterpart to the ongoing chaos of the Bennet family as a whole and Liz’s life in particular. In the absence of a tiny English town where everyone knows all the local gossip, it takes a tv dating show to alert Mrs. Bennet to the suitability of a visiting Chip Bingley for whichever of her single daughters she can manage to throw at him. And then as the Bennet family’s spiral into impending disaster gathers speed, it’s the TV dating show that helps keep the other characters moving through their predetermined paces as we watch Liz and Darcy meet, hate, and eventually fall in love.

Most of Romancelandia adopted the original Pride and Prejudice story as a romance long ago so it’s fair to ask if “Eligible” passes the same test. Well, yes. Liz’s relationship with Darcy, while perhaps not quite what Austen could have envisioned, is at the heart of “Eligible” from the moment they meet. and their lovely HEA had me wiping away happy tears by the end of the book. Together they are the relatively calm eye of the story’s hurricane as all other characters wreak their own sort of havoc all around, with the TV dating show always ready to prod everyone into action at any moment.

Those readers looking for cracks in the “P&P fanfic” aspect of the story should be fairly content with how the major characters are present and accounted for here. I was especially pleased with how the author chose to represent the villainous Wickham but won’t elaborate here in case you’d like to be surprised as well. The only slight issue I have in this regard was the plot line, if you could call it that, featuring Kathy de Bourgh as an elusive Gloria Steinem stand-in. Liz seems to spend half of the story trying to schedule an interview with the famous feminist, yet when they finally do meet, the Darcy tie-in expected by my inner P&P fan never really materialized. Still, it’s a minor quibble, and only confirms to me that while “Eligible” works well within Jane Austen’s original outline, it can and should be appreciated as an original creation in its own right.

four-half-stars

Review: Love Under Three Valentinos by Cara Covington

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Love Under Three Valentinos by Cara CovingtonLove Under Three Valentinos by Cara Covington
Series: Lusty, Texas #27
Published by Siren Bookstrand on June 19, 2015
Genres: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Fiction, Romance
Format: eBook
Goodreads
four-half-stars

If you’ve never read any books from the publisher Siren-Bookstrand before, you might not realize that they publish dozens of different erotic romance series featuring small towns with interesting names and a preponderance of ménage relationships. (Although many of these relationships involve blood siblings and/or cousins, the standard Siren-Bookstrand disclaimer that there is no sexual relationship or touching for titillation between relatives always holds.) Not everyone will appreciate a visit to Lusty, Texas, or Bliss, Colorado, or Luscious, Kansas, but for those who do, these books can be as enjoyable as any other long-running small town romance series.

Of all the Siren-Bookstrand series I’ve been reading for the past few years, I have to say Cara Covington’s Lusty, Texas is one of the best. It’s hard to believe, but LOVE UNDER THREE VALENTINOS is the twenty-seventh book set in the tiny but fascinating fictional Texas town of Lusty. You would think after all those books that this series would have regressed long ago to mere formula and cardboard characters, and yet I was pleased to discover a story that is easily one of my favorites. I’m fairly certain it can work as a standalone, but since I’ve read all the previous books, I might not be the best judge.

Faithful readers of this series already met bounty hunter Kat Lawson in the last book when she helped capture the latest villain bent on vengeance when he was foolish enough to show up in Lusty. What we saw back then only hinted at the friendship she’d already established with the Jessop brothers back in Los Angeles, but it was obvious the men were hoping for more with her one day. Now that her job has gotten her noticed by L.A.’s most dangerous gang leader, Kat realizes that she needs the three brothers more than she’d like to admit, and not just to keep her alive.

I’m a huge fan of this series, so I was almost certain that I’d enjoy LOVE UNDER THREE VALENTINOS but what I found surprising was how the suspense plot was more developed and interwoven with the romance than in the past several books. I’m always skittish about when the heroine is placed in physical danger as a way to bring her closer to her romantic interest, but the threat to Kat is balanced well with how her desire for the Jessop brothers becomes something she can no longer ignore. Of course there’s no uncertainty on the part of the Jessops, as we already know by now that when men in the extended Kendall-Jessop family find their woman, they fall instantly, completely, and for good. But that’s a comfort here when Kat needs that unconditional love to find the healing she’s been missing in her life. Unrealistic? Likely. Fun to read? Definitely.

In any case, if you love a small town romance and you’d like to mix it up with ménage and just a touch of BDSM, then LOVE UNDER THREE VALENTINOS is for you. As the saying goes, people who like that sort of thing will find this to be the sort of thing they like. And I liked it quite a lot.

four-half-stars

Review: The Billionaire’s Ink Mistress by Joely Sue Burkhart

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review:  The Billionaire’s Ink Mistress by Joely Sue BurkhartThe Billionaire's Ink Mistress by Joely Sue Burkhart
Series: Billionaires in Bondage #2
Published by Samhain on April 7 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 216
Format: eARC
four-half-stars
His desire for her pierces deeper than skin.

Billionaires in Bondage, Book 2

The Lawyer

Jackson Montgomery Warring never lets opposing counsel see him sweat. Juggling a dozen billionaire clients on a daily basis, he’s always perfectly prepared, calm, cool and collected. Until he meets his best friend’s fiancée, the luscious Mistress L.

Now he wants a Mistress for himself. Badly. Except the one who’s caught his eye is his complete opposite—a Goth-booted, tatted and pierced priestess of the local tattoo scene.

The Inker

For over a year, Diana Temple has been too busy at her up-and-coming tattoo shop to throw one of her legendary BDSM parties. But for Jackson, she’ll make the time, especially since the slick, fancy lawyer admits he likes to watch.

The Secret

If she thought her edgy style might turn him off, she’s happy to discover she’s wrong. But when she learns his secret addiction, she might refuse to teach him a thing or two about submission.

Or maybe she’ll just punish him harder…

Warning: A rich, successful attorney in a downward spiral, a tattoo artist who happens to be a Mistress, a secret addiction and a peek at exhibitionism/voyeurism.

One of the best books I read in 2014 was THE BILLIONAIRE SUBMISSIVE, the first book in a new series from Joely Sue Burkhart, who continues to be one of my favorite erotic romance writers. So of course I was excited about this second book, THE BILLIONAIRE’S INK MISTRESS, and I’m happy to report that it was nearly as good a read as the previous one.

Jackson Warring is an overworked overachieving lawyer who presents a perfect facade to the world even as his actual life is falling apart. Yet he has no idea what he can do to stop his downward spiral…not until one fateful day when he has to visit his best friend Donovan Morgan on business and discovers the new relationship that has made that man happier than he’s ever seen. That’s when Jackson realizes exactly what he needs, and begs Donovan’s Mistress L for help. Lilly’s friend Diana seems like the perfect match for Jackson even though they come from completely different worlds. But as Diana and Jackson begin to learn each other’s secrets, their happy ending is far from certain, and anything less might be too much to bear.

The best part of THE BILLIONAIRE’S INK MISTRESS was how it avoided the more obvious ways the plot could play out for something less expected, yet more realistic. Of course there were class-based conflicts between Diana’s world and Jackson’s, and the way they each rose to every occasion proved that their love wasn’t based solely on their powerful sexual attraction. Even after the reasons why Jackson had pushed himself to his physical and emotional limit before meeting Diana seemed to be resolved, there had to be one last big threat which only Jackson could resolve himself, leaving Diana to wait and hope he would find his way back to her for good. But none of it the way I might have expected, and that’s what made this great book even better for me. With the Billionaires in Bondage books, Joely Sue Burkhart continues to subvert popular romance tropes and that’s what makes this a must-read series for me.

four-half-stars

Review: The Duke of Andelot by Delilah Marvelle

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review:  The Duke of Andelot by Delilah MarvelleThe Duke of Andelot on April 10 2015
Pages: 314
Format: eARC
Goodreads
four-half-stars
For fans of The Scarlet Pimpernel and Tom Jones comes a twisted, sexy tale that takes the French Revolution to smoldering new heights.

Long before becoming the flamboyant courtesan known to men as Madame de Maitenon, Thérèse Angelique Bouchard, dreamed of becoming an actress capable of commanding not only the stage but all of Paris. Until she meets an extraordinary aristocratic gentleman who sweeps her into his arms and the danger of his life, while offering her the sort of wealth she never imagined. What starts off as a seductive alliance, ends in her giving him the one thing she, as a mere bourgeoisie, cannot afford to give: her love.

After the murder of his older brothers, Gérard Antoine Tolbert, becomes the last heir to the powerful dukedom of Andelot, leaving him to fight for not only his life, but the allegiance he holds for the crown. During the final rise of the French Revolution that whispers of the violent change about to shake the entire country, Gérard meets an aspiring actress who entices him into wanting more out of not only himself but life. In trying to protect her from their overly passionate alliance and those that want him dead, he must decide what matters most: his life or his heart.

WARNING: This book contains strong language and sexual content that may cause respectable people to swoon.

THE DUKE OF ANDELOT is the triumphant conclusion to Delilah Marvelle’s excellent School of Gallantry series, but like the other books before it, it can easily be read as a standalone, even if you don’t know who everyone is in the lovely epilogue. I myself came into this series with book 4, NIGHT OF PLEASURE, and since then have enjoyed going back and discovering the stories running concurrently with all the others.

As the final book of the series, THE DUKE OF ANDELOT is somewhat different from the rest in that the bulk of its story takes place decades earlier. In it we learn how the notorious Madame de Maintenon found her own true love, only to lose him, perhaps forever, to the chaos of the French Revolution. Before she was the toast of Paris and London, she was merely Thérèse, the butcher’s daughter, tramping through the countryside on her way to her beloved cousin Remy and his small Paris theater. When a threatening highwayman turns out to be Gérard, a highly placed aristocrat on his way to attempt an improbable rescue of his beloved godfather, Thérèse is attracted to him, but skeptical of his motives. As their journey continues, their love for each other grows as quickly as the danger they both face while the Revolution speeds toward its predestined conclusion.

I’ll admit that when I first started reading, I was disappointed to begin in the past, with only my knowledge that this was Madame de Maintenon’s story to keep me from immediately losing interest. But once Thérèse and Gérard find themselves completely in love with each other, I was thoroughly hooked. And by the time they each must make the decisions they need to stay alive, I was awash in tears which lasted all the way to the short but satisfying epilogue which tied up the whole series in joy. Even the small repetitive parts (for those familiar with the previous books) couldn’t keep me from wallowing with glee in the Happy Ever After for the woman who had brought so many to others before her and the one man worthy of her love. THE DUKE OF ANDELOT is a satisfying historical romance for anyone who loves a happy ending that’s merely delayed, not denied.

View all my reviews

four-half-stars

Review: Only For You by Beth Kery

Only for YouOnly for You by Beth Kery

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Full review available at Night Owl Reviews.

Everything I love about Beth Kery’s erotic romances is here in ONLY FOR YOU. Readers get a quietly dominant hero determined not to let himself be hurt again, a heroine bent on showing him they are meant to be together without ever losing sight of her own wants and needs, a burning passion between them that never dies even when they are apart, and just enough drama and suspense to keep the path to their HEA interesting without overdoing it. Both Seth and Gia have let pride and misconceptions stand in the way of their love and as the threat to Gia’s life remains ever present in the background, they learn to trust and compromise so that everything can work out for them exactly as it should.

View all my reviews

Review: The Bookseller’s Daughter by Pam Rosenthal

The Bookseller's DaughterThe Bookseller’s Daughter by Pam Rosenthal

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Night Owl Reviews.

Review Excerpt:

From the very start, Marie-Laure displays her unyielding spirit and indomitable will, and we see that despite her lowly status, it is clearly she who is too good for Joseph. But as THE BOOKSELLER’S DAUGHTER progresses, Joseph is forced to come to terms with his useless existence, and by the end, he has grown emotionally into a fully adult man worthy of her heart. Even though I had an idea of how and where they would ultimately end up together, the journey there kept me riveted the entire time, and made the seemingly inevitable ending even more enjoyable for me. It’s a wonderful historical romance well worth reading. (Copyright Night Owl Reviews)

View all my reviews

Review: Best Erotic Romance 2014, ed. Kristina Wright

Best Erotic Romance 2014Best Erotic Romance 2014 by Kristina Wright

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Night Owl Reviews. The full text of the review can be found there.

One of the things Cleis Press does best is their yearly anthologies of short erotic stories, usually pegged to a specific theme or conceit. So with Best Erotic Romance 2014, I knew there would be some wonderful sexy times between couples who truly love each other, and that’s exactly what I found.

View all my reviews

Review: Twisted – Bondage With An Edge Anthology, ed. Alison Tyler

Twisted: Bondage With an EdgeTwisted: Bondage With an Edge by Alison Tyler

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Night Owl Reviews. The full text of the review can be found there.

Although I enjoyed reading the whole book, there were a few selections that I would definitely consider as favorites. They were the stories where I was immediately engaged without having any idea what would happen next, and pleased by where the story ended up: “Foundation Stone” by Jax Baynard, “Rope Drought” by Teresa Noelle Roberts, and “Broken” by Alison Tyler. These three stories explored a variation on the bondage theme that I found unique without being over the top, and each made me wish that they had more pages. Not because I found what was there to be incomplete, but so I could stay in the worlds they’d created for just a bit longer.

If you’re a fan of short erotic fiction, and bondage is one of your reading kinks, you can’t go wrong with Twisted. It’s a perfect example of what makes the Cleis Press erotic anthologies so reliably good.

View all my reviews

Review: Since I Saw You by Beth Kery

Since I Saw You (Because You Are Mine, #4)Since I Saw You by Beth Kery

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review at Seductive Musings.

This review may contain spoilers for previous books in the Because You Are Mine series. You can read this book as a standalone, but I believe you’ll enjoy it more if you’ve read the other books first.

When I found out there would be one more book in Beth Kery’s Because You Are Mine series, I wondered if it could live up to the others, especially now that Ian and Francesca had finally gotten their HEA. But I should have known Ian Noble’s brother Kam would have no problem bringing the same intensity to his romance with Ian’s coolly efficient right-hand woman that I’d come to expect in this series, and not just because he’s practically his half-brother’s double. For despite all the similarities between Ian Noble and Kam Reardon, Kam is most definitely his own man, and that’s what makes him irresistible to Lin and to this reader as SINCE I SAW YOU brings this wonderful series to a satisfying close.

My impression of Kam in the previous book, BECAUSE WE BELONG, was that of a man who didn’t give a damn about what anyone thought of him. After all, he already shared a common blood bond with his two half-brothers, Ian and Lucien, thanks to the criminally insane father. But unlike Ian and Lucien, Kam had been in direct contact for most of his life with the evil man who’d spawned the three half-brothers and many more like them. Only by appearing to reject his own beloved mother could Kam protect her from that man’s retribution, but in the process, Kam began to doubt his own ability to love and protect anyone else in his life. There had been another woman he’d thought loved him for himself, but she’d ultimately let him down. So when Kam first spots Lin Soong walking toward him for a prearranged business meeting in SINCE I SAW YOU, he has remind himself no woman like her would ever want a life with him, even as he knows he must get this woman in his bed as soon as possible. But as Lin becomes an all-too-essential part of his new life in Chicago, can Kam keep himself from crossing the line between business and love?

Unlike Kam, Lin has spent her entire life keeping her own wants and desires locked safely away where they can never derail her successful career and devotion to Ian Noble, the only man she ever thought she wanted. Lin already knew even before Ian had found love with Francesca that he’d never be more to her than her boss and friend. But when she sees Kam Reardon for the first time, his physical resemblance to the man she can never have nearly takes her breath away. There are other similarities in personality and temperament, but it’s Kam, not Ian, who will stop at nothing to make Lin his own. Now Lin has to decide if it’s worth blowing up her carefully constructed life for someone who is either the best or worst thing that has ever happened to her.

Lin had been portrayed throughout the series as an emotionless superhuman, so it was gratifying to see her reactions to Kam as he quickly shook her sense of self down to its foundation. Even as she attempts to “civilize” him, he continues to expose the wildness she’s spent a lifetime keeping locked away. The passionate result of their physical alliance soon terrifies them both. But as they realize just how similar they really are, it’s trust that Lin and Kam need to find with each other, for only then can love survive whatever happens next.

What I loved the most about SINCE I SAW YOU was how the romance between Lin and Kam was the driving factor for the entire story, even as the various external pressures loomed large in the background. After the rollercoaster suspense of the previous book (which I did enjoy immensely), it was a relief to discover that what was most important in this book was learning more about what motivated both Kam and Lin in their lives up to the point when they first saw each other, and how they needed to trust their feelings for each other now over what had hurt them both in the past. Their understandable concerns about a lasting commitment may have led to the Big Misunderstanding that nearly split them apart, but it made sense in what had been slowly revealed during the story. Best of all, both Kam and Lin were able to realize their mistake in time to produce a beautiful scene of mutual apology leading to their own satisfying HEA.

SINCE I SAW YOU is a captivating example of a romance between driven personalities from different worlds who share a common goal of success in both business and love. It was a beautiful conclusion to one of my favorite recent series, and my only regret was that it had to end.

Ratings:

Overall: 4.5
Sensuality level: 4 (multiple D/s scenes with main characters including semi-public sex, anal sex, and bondage)

View all my reviews