Friday, November 21, 2014

ARC Review: Seducing the Girl Next Door by Inara Scott

Title: Seducing the Girl Next Door
Author: Inara Scott
Source: Entangled Indulgence
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: November 24, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 3
Sexual - 3

When Jenna Kellington was fourteen, her first high school boyfriend—her first love
—moved away. Now the years have passed. Jenna has been married, a mother of three, and divorced. But it took a business trip to Beijing, China where Jenna finally reunites with Simon Hastings...finding a pleasure she never dreamed existed.

Billionaire venture capitalist Simon Hastings swore he would never be like his father, moving from place to place and never settling down. Still, he's never forgotten Jenna, or that spark they once had that's grown into very adult desire. With every touch, every caress, Simon shows Jenna how to let go. How to feel pleasure. How to own her own sensuality. But Simon will never settle down, or take the risk of love.

And now it's too late. For Jenna has broken her own rule, and fallen fast—and hard—for the man she can never have...
The title of this one is just a tad misleading.  While Simon does teach Jenna a lot about the more physical aspects of love, in the long run she is the one that does the lifelong seduction of Simon's heart.   They are both facing issues from their past that are making it difficult for them to connect fully with each other and how they feel.

As childhood sweethearts, they have a history - but it didn't end well and now they are both living lives that just aren't quite full.  While Simon wants to get her out of his system so he can continue, Jenna realizes that maybe they could have more.  This is a quick and fun read, but there were a few parts that were a little repetitive, but overall this was quite fun.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*


Thursday, November 20, 2014

ARC Review: Unwrapping Tess: Christmas Encounters (Vegas Mates #5) by Krystal Shannan

Title: Unwrapping Tess: Christmas Encounters (Vegas Mates #5)
Author: Krystal Shannan
Source: Author Request
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Christmas
Length: Novella
Release Date: November 25, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

Tess Demakis loves the city life. The noise, the lights, the people. Everything about
the rush feels like home. The only thing missing is a spark with any of the pack males. After her and her twin sister's twenty-fifth birthday passes, she'd thought for sure one of the handsome men in her aunt's pack might've been meant for her.

- No. Such. Luck. -

Patrick O'Hearn just got back home from a long tour overseas with his SEAL unit. The big grizzly is ready to lie back and enjoy the snowy mountain inn retreat his brother renovated last year, meet his brother's wife and some of her family, enjoy good food, etc. The last thing he ever expected was to find a mate, especially not his sister-in-law.

Now he can't think of anything but unwrapping the gorgeous sassy blonde and making her his forever.

- Best. Christmas. Ever. -
If you have not yet read the Vegas Mates series, and you are looking for a great holiday paranormal/shifter read - this may be just what you are looking for.  Krystal Shannan did a great job of giving relationship details as needed to follow Tess's story.  It wasn't a re-hashing of previous books, but just enough to help me a bit.

Tess is royalty in the wolf world, so she's a bit worried when she finds out that a bear is her fated mate.  I loved the way the characters related to their animal - especially Tess.  She had full converstaions with her wolf and they even seemed to have different personalities and goals at times.  They truly were two creatures living as one.  And when you throw a fated mate into the mix - well, her the animal side gets a bit vocal about having her way.

Patrick seemed to be the strong quiet type.  He was fiercely protective, but didn't crowd Tess either.  He let her come to her own conclusions and decisions - which was definitely a good move.  There's a few dashes of excitement here and there - lots of hot sex - and tons of true love in this story.  Add that little splash of Christmas magic and it is just perfect for the season.

*This book was received in exhange for an honest review*


More About Crystal Shannan
And come back on Dec 4, 2014 for another interview about the Vegas Mates series

Review: Save the Date (Better Date Than Never #4) by Susan Hatler

Title: Dave the Date (Better Date Than Never #4)
Author: Susan Hatler
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: June 30, 2013
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 3
Sexual - 2

Kristen knows men hide things. Case in point, her last boyfriend turned out to be
married. Just like anyone else, Kristen is devastated. However, since Kristen evaluates people for a living, her ex’s duplicity has her searching for a new career as well as swearing off men.

Touring history museums with her sexy friend Ethan doesn’t count, because he has a girlfriend, and has only shown friendly interest in Kristen. He even helps with her career counseling tasks. Although Kristen has a secret crush on Ethan, spending time with him is safe. Until she discovers he’s actually single. Gasp. And now he’s flirting with her, too.

Suddenly, Ethan is way too dangerous. Not to mention tempting. Sure, he seems like sixty shades of perfect, but how’s a girl with bad judgment supposed to detect what skeletons he has in his closet?

This was another cute and fun romance from Susan Hatler.  It was a very nice sit down and have a happily ever after type of book.  Kristen and Ethan are side characters in pervious stories.  We get to see some of the gang from previous books in this edition as well, which is always something I love about romance series.

Kristen beat herself up just a little too much for my taste.  It got a little tiring to hear about how much she doubted herself on every page - and then to watch her spread her distrust of men to her friend.  When she finally snapped herself out of it I was so happy.  Ethan was a great guy - but I felt like I didn't really get to know too much about him.  Their tradition of "save the date" was a great way to show their history and similar interests though.  The way it played througout the story was something I looked forward to.


More Posts for Susan Hatler

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review: Hollywood on Tap (Sweet Salvation Brewery #2) by Avery Flynn

Title: Hollywood on Tap (Sweet Salvation Brewery #2)
Author: Avery Flynn
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: November 3, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

For years, Sean O’Dell has hidden his past as a Hollywood heartthrob from everyone
at the Sweet Salvation Brewery. However, the arrival of nosey efficiency expert Natalie Sweet threatens the status quo. It doesn’t help that with her glasses, buttoned-up sweaters and always pulled-back hair that she’s uncovered one secret already: His attraction for hot librarian types.

Natalie has had enough of the strong-and-silent Sean submarining her efforts to change the brewery for the better. She’s ready to do whatever it takes to make her vision a reality, even if that means taking down the pig-headed and too-hot-for-his-own-good brewmaster.

Sizzling attraction battles stubborn determination as Natalie and Sean go head to head in a battle that’s anything but business as usual.
Salvation is a quaint little town that really doesn't like the resident Sweet family.  The Sweet triplets have returned after their uncle's death to get the family brewery back into shape - but things always seem to go wrong.  A little too wrong to just be bad luck.

Natalie is an OCD anxious mess most of the time.  She thrives on creating order out of chaos, and I'd really like her to visit my home office and whip it into shape for me.  Her best friends are her color coded pens, calendar, and lists.  The more I read about her, the more I loved her.  While my OCD shows off in a whole other fashion, I could really relate to her need to have things done just right.  Sean, on the other hand, isn't much for all this fancy crap that Natalie is trying to do.  He sees it as messing with his creative process and refuses to listen to a word she says.  He's kind of a jerk about the whole thing.

When they start feeling the sparks they are both quite surprised.  And when they are thrown together by chance in their own investigation of who might be sabotaging the brewery they realize just how much they spark together.  Sean just about blows it though by keeping too many secrets, and Natalie's need for control get in the way.  Their compromises were amazing - a true testament to how a relationship should work and I loved watching them navigate through their differences.


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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ARC Review: Recipe for Love by Dyann Love Barr

Title: Recipe for Love
Author: Dyann Love Barr
Source: Entangled Select Suspense
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Length: Novel
Release Date: November 17, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

Eat. Love. Murder.

Sparks and insults fly when Celebrity Chef Tilly Danes matches wits with the annoyingly sexy Jordan Kelly. As members of the judging panel for the Culinary Channel’s Personal Chef Showdown, they agree on only one thing: Maxwell Etheridge, the third judge on their panel is an arrogant pain in the butt. Neither one would mind seeing him strung up like a ham hock. When their nemesis shows up not only dead but also missing an important body part, Tilly and Jordan are thrust smack in the middle of TV's most shocking homicide...

Everyone is a suspect: the show's host, the contestants, and even the victim's lover. When Tilly and Jordan are pulled deeper into the investigation, those pesky sparks of antagonism transform into undeniable, incredibly inconvenient, red-hot attraction. And if they thought the sparks were hot while fighting, the heat between the sheets is an inferno. As the bodies start piling up, Tilly and Jordan must find the killer—and a recipe for love—before they become the murderer's next course!
 This was a very nice bit of suspense mixed in with my romance.  When a judge on a cooking competition is found dead, there are plenty of suspects to go around.  The guy was a bit of a jerk!  Chefs Tilly and Jordan decide to help out with the investigation and things get quite out of control.  Tilly and Jordan aren't exactly friends.  In fact, they are always at each other's throats.  They seem to have more of a love hate (emphasis on hate) type of relationship.

But as the story progresses and they get to know each other outside the world of professional cooking, they realize they may just enjoy each other's company.  But before they can explore that too much, they have a murderer to catch.  There were a couple too many potential suspects.  I had a hard time keeping all the chefs, contestants, assistants, and agents straight for awhile.  They were introduced all together and they sort of merged into one large thing for awhile.  The author did a great job of keeping me guessing though.  Once I everyone straight in my head, I saw motives everywhere!  In the end I had the who-dun-it part figured out just before Tilly and Jordan, but I wasn't sure the how exactly until the author revealed it.

Tilly and Jordan are a cute couple.  They butt heads so many times it becomes their way of saying "I care."  They seem to come from opposite sides of the cooking world, but they truly do belong to each other.  I loved their romance and in the end Jordan really proves himself in a very humorous fashion that I will not soon be forgetting.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Accidental Abduction (Alien Abduction #1) by Eve Langlais

Title: Accidental Abduction (Alien Abduction #1)
Author: Eve Langlais
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: May 22, 2011
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

Abducted by a space pirate, she fights the temptation to let him plunder her goods.

A boyfriend’s attempted murder leaves Megan floundering in the ocean. Sinking without hope, the bright light she sees in the night sky isn’t her doorway to heaven, but rather the beginning of her accidental abduction by a space pirate. While thankful of his rescue, Megan stays true to form and just can’t keep her mouth shut, even when he keeps threatening to kill her--or auction her off to the highest bidder. Even odder, despite her decision to not get involved with her wickedly hot captor, she can’t help craving his touch.

Tren retired from his job as a mercenary so he could enjoy life, but he never counted on the boredom of normalcy. The acquisition of rare items has somewhat filled the void, but his accidental abduction of an outspoken earthling, who doesn’t know when to shut up, turns his life upside. Her fiery spirit draws him while at the same time drives him insane. Struggling with his urges, he must decide-- throttle her barbarian neck or ravish her delectably lush body?

Despite what his heart tries to tell him, he’s determined to sell her to the highest bidder even as he seduces her body. However, despite his best intentions, he discovers he can’t let her go. And when a foe from his past thinks to steal her, he’ll do anything to get her back.
Eve's purple aliens are something most of her fans know about - I'd heard of them, seen the covers, read the reviews, and finally decided I should just get started.  This is one of the few science fiction romance authors that seems to do so much right.  Her aliens are purple - they are not made up quite the same as a human male - but they work in all the right spots.  Tren is a great introduction to the purple aliens (I'm not sure if their species was ever given a name).  He is tough, protective, knows how to get the job done, and isn't too hard to look at.  Although the purple probably took some getting used to.

Megan is unlucky.  Not only did her boyfriend just leave her in the ocean to drown, but now she's been abducted by an alien.  She tries to take it all in a stride - and she's a little too successful.  I would expect at least a few break downs along the way, but she is one tough cookie.  She mouths off to him every chance she gets and soon he finds out that he actually enjoys her nagging!  The part that did bother me a bit was her casual nonchalance when other aliens were killed by Tren.  I know they weren't human so she may have been able to separate herself a little, but she didn't seem to care.

Megan and Tren fall in love by arguing with each other until they decide that having sex is the best way to keep the other quiet.  It works quite well until several blasts from the past come back to haunt Tren.  His protective instincts were fantastic and I loved how devoted he was.  This was a great introduction to the series, and I know it will only get better.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

ARC Review: Hitched (The Red Shoe Memoirs #1) by Karpov Kinrade

Title: Hitched (The Red Shoe Memoirs #1)
Author: Karpov Kinrade
Source: Author Request
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotic
Length: Novel
Release Date: November 23, 2014

Rating - 4
Sexual - 4

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...


Or it changes your life forever.

He called me "wife."

This man standing naked in front of me. Tall. Dark. Sexy as sin...

He's my husband?

Disjointed images from the night before, the night I can’t entirely remember, float into my mind.

Meeting him in the bar. Sharing tidbits of our lives. I own a company that plans bachelor parties. He’s a pediatric heart surgeon.

We both live in Las Vegas, but we come from very different worlds.

And then I remember that kiss. The way his lips brushed against mine, gentle at first, then harder, deeper, with more urgency.

Sex in the elevator. Hot, forbidden, delicious.

I remember the way he made me feel. The way our bodies fit perfectly together.

But I don’t remember marrying him.

And now, he won’t let me go. Dr. Sexy who saves children for a living. He wants the summer to prove we are meant to be.

I can give him a summer.

But can I give him a lifetime?

*This is a contemporary romance novel with a happily ever after. It does NOT have a cliff-hanger ending.

WARNING: This book contains a lot of sex and a lot of swearing. Visit ReadKK.com for more Karpov Kinrade bestselling books. Watch for more stand alone steamy romances in The Red Shoe Memoirs, coming soon.
This romance has all the excitement and drama one would expect to happen to Vegas - beginning with a drunken wedding between two people who don't really know each other.  Well at least Kacie doesn't seem to remember.  Sebastian thinks it's the best thing to ever happen and he sets out to prove to Kacie that he's right.

I really enjoyed the first person telling of this story.  It can be hard to pull off, but if done correctly gives the reader some great insight into the main character.  This story is told by Kacie and she has quite an interesting way of telling it.  I loved her voice and colorful way of phrasing things.  She was a riot and really made you feel what she was feeling.

At first Sebastian seemed way too good to be true - a rich, sexy doctor that's in the career for the right reasons?  Way too good to be true.  But he's not perfect - just really close, and that is what saved him for me.  My heroes have to be at least a little flawed.  I loved that he was willing to give Kacie time to realize her own feeling - but at the same time he wasn't going to try and hide or deny his own.

The setting of Las Vegas was perfect for this story.  I loved the hubbub and bustle and the larger than life personalities.  It's just what I always imaged the place would be like (I've never had a chance to go myself).  Kacie's brother and best-friend play important parts in the story and it looks like perhaps they may be finding their own version of true love soon as well.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Release Day Blitz: Take a Chance Boxed Set by Caridad Pineiro


Take a Chance Box Set
by Caridad Pineiro


Three sexy novellas about risking it all for a chance at love and passion . . . 



JUST ONE NIGHT

Jason Hart has just one night to prove to his best friend's older sister that anything is possible . . .

Nicole de Salvo has been in love – and lust – for her little brother’s best friend for years. For years she’s watched from afar and done nothing about her attraction for Jason Hart only now their time together is almost at an end. On their last night together will she find the courage to do something about her feelings, or will she live with regret for the rest of her life?


Excerpt


Nicole de Salvo stared out the train window as every passing mile brought her closer to home . . . and to him.
It had been a hectic day with a dash down to the Philadelphia area for her brother's and Jase's graduation and then a rushed trip back to New York City for an interview for a position she wanted for her summer break from medical school.  An interview that couldn't be rescheduled no matter what.
The nearly two hour train ride down to her family's home on the Jersey Shore was long, but at least it would give her a moment to catch her breath and prepare for seeing him again.
For seeing Jase, possibly for the last time.
He had looked amazing that morning in his dress uniform, sword at his side and his second lieutenant's bars gleaming in the morning sun.  The deep blue of the uniform had made his green eyes seem aqua, like the ocean bathed with brilliant light.  Tall and imposing, he had looked every inch an officer and a warrior until he had fixed his gaze on her and offered up the wicked little boy grin that did all kinds of things to her insides.
She pressed a hand to her stomach to quiet the nervous flutters as she thought about seeing him again once she arrived at home, where her younger brother Tommy's graduation party would be in full swing.  It had been tough enough seeing Jase that morning, knowing that with every minute that passed their time together was fading away.
This night at the party and knowing it would be the last one they'd share was going to be one of the hardest things she ever did.
Driving that thought from her mind, she glanced out the train windows and caught glimpses of the shoreline and ocean visible from the North Jersey Coast line.
They'd all spent so much time in those waters, her, Tommy, and his best friend Jason.  Jase to his friends.
She was a friend, kind of.  After all, they'd grown up together and had spent many a lazy summer along the shore.  But as they'd gotten older, something had changed.
The typical teasing between kids, between her and Jase, had become more flirty.  Definitely full of subtle sexiness.  Or at least, it had gotten that way on his part.
She hadn't known how to handle it when an eighteen year old Jase had settled that green-eyed gaze on her, flashed her a not-so-innocent dimpled grin, and heat had ignited inside her.  Four years later, she still didn't know how to handle him.
He was like a little brother to her, although the annoying voice in her head shouted a big, “Hell to the no” and reminded her that they were only two years apart in age.
Reluctantly she admitted to herself that Jase was definitely not like a little brother.  Not since she'd come to understand that the weird little tingle she got whenever she saw him or talked to him meant that there was way more to her feelings for him.
More that she had yet to explore, only time was running out for them.
As the train chugged along on her way home, she dragged up the memory of what he'd looked like as he'd sauntered up to her this morning after graduation, looking every inch the hero.  His swimmer’s shoulders looking even broader in his uniform. His green eyes bright and warming as they settled on her.  His smile had been inviting as he'd leaned in and kissed her.  Chastely, but she'd wanted to linger and have it be more.  She had wanted to savor those amazing lips before she had reined herself in.  She reminded herself that she never would give in to that desire because she was too sensible and responsible and downright boring.
She closed her eyes to hold in the memories.  Allowed herself to imagine what it might be like to be with Jase.  To let go and explore the temptation.
In her mind's eye, she pulled his white dress hat off his head and tossed it to the side.  Skimmed her fingers through the buzz cut sandy-colored hair at the sides of his head and the longer strands up top before cradling his head and drawing him near for a not so simple kiss.
She covered his mouth with hers and pulled at his bottom lip with her teeth, urging him to open for her.  When he did, she dipped her tongue in and tasted him.  Trailed her tongue all around and nipped at the fullness of his lips with her teeth.
His strong hands were at her waist, holding her close.  Possessively hard and yet gentle as he dragged her closer, but she shifted away because she wanted more than just his kiss.
She trailed her hands down to his shoulders and then lower to his lean waist and the shiny brass buckle with the Marine insignia.  As she undid the buckle and loosened his white belt, he snared his sword as the belt started to drop, and gently laid them both on the ground.
“Are you sure about this?” her dream Jase asked as he rose to stand before her again.
“Oh, yeah, I'm sure,” her imaginary self answered because her real self lacked the courage to take a chance with Jase.
He helped her open the brass buttons down the front of his dress blues, and in her fantasy, his chest was bare beneath the wool fabric.
His skin was a  luscious honey gold thanks to his end-of-summer tan. He got that smooth golden color from being a lifeguard on the beach to earn money for college and other necessities.
How many times had she snuck a peek at him up in the stand as she'd sat under her umbrella, reading her latest romance novel?
Not that you needed a sexy fictional alpha hero when you had your own just feet away if only you'd do something about it, the little voice in her head had screamed more than once during those long lazy summers.
She forced away the annoying voice and resumed her fantasy, running her hands down across the chiseled muscles of that tanned chest.  His skin was sun-kissed warm and slightly damp.  She needed a taste and leaned forward, licked from the center of his chest to the hard masculine nipple that she sucked, earning a soft moan from him.  He tasted salty like the ocean.
She smiled and moved her hands down toward his waistband, and he helped her by undoing his pants and letting them drop.
He had gone commando (this was her fantasy after all) and his cock was rock hard. Long, thick, and smooth beneath her hand as she encircled him.
He groaned and his eyes fluttered close as he said, “I like that, Nickie.”
“I like, too, Jase,” she said and kept on stroking the length of him.  Loving the heat of him beneath her hand and how his cock swelled at her caress of the sensitive head.
When he opened his eyes again, they were dark, almost emerald-colored with his desire.  He leaned forward and kissed her and as the kiss grew more intense, she opened her mouth and accepted the slide of his tongue.  Imagined him easing his dick inside of her the way he was making love to her with his mouth and tongue.
She sucked in a shaky breath and circled her index finger around the head of his cock where the first hint of his release wet the tip.  She spread it all over, earning a rough growl from him that vibrated through her body.  Her clit throbbed and swelled and between her legs, she grew wet for him.
“I want to be in you, Nickie.  Now,” he whispered against her lips.
“Now,” she repeated and urgently tore her clothes away as he sank down to the blanket spread out on the sand and lay there, waiting for her.  Gloriously naked with his beautiful cock standing at attention for her.
He held his hand out in invitation, a hesitant look on his face, not that he needed to worry.  In this daydream, she wouldn't refuse his request.
She took hold of his hand and lowered herself until she was straddling his thighs.  She poised above him and his hands gripped her hips hard and slowly urged her down onto him.
Friction built as each thick inch of him filled her.  She relished the heat and pressure as she pushed down until he was completely buried inside her.  She stilled and gazed at him.  Felt immense power and sexiness as his eyes drifted closed again and his head dropped back in pleasure.
“You feel amazing, Nickie. So hot and wet. Tight, fuck me, you're so tight.”
Leaning down, she splayed her hands on his chest and stroked her thumbs across his hard masculine nipples, dragging his eyes open.
“You're amazing, Jase.  The way you fill me.  The way you make me feel.  Touch me, Jase.  I want your hands on me,” she said, not hesitant in her dreams about what she needed from him. About what she had fantasized about for so long during those lazy summer days and even longer nights as she’d laid in bed, achy and hot for him.
He grinned, displaying the dimple that made him look so much younger. She skimmed her finger across that cute indent and he speedily turned his head and nipped her index finger with his perfect white teeth.
“I'd rather taste you,” he said and before she could protest, he surged up and put his mouth on her breasts, sucking and biting at the sensitive tips.
His mouth was heaven and she cradled his head to her and offered up soft cries of enjoyment, but soon she couldn't just stay there with him buried inside her.  She had to move.  Had to satisfy the need created by the magic of his mouth on her breasts.
She lifted her hips, the friction of the motion intense. Even more so as she drove back down quickly and ground her hips against him.
His rough groans spurred her to move again and again until her actions were wild and the sound of their bodies slapping together filled the air together with their guttural moans of pleasure.
Inside her the tension built, ever higher until her release shot through her and she arched her back and pushed down on him hard, her clit and pussy throbbing and vibrating with the pleasure of her release.
“Jase,” she said softly beneath her breath.
 “Miss?  Miss! We're at Long Branch.  Time to change over to the Bayhead train,” the conductor said, a hint of irritation in his voice.
Startled, she sucked in a rough inhalation as reality rudely intruded and warmth flooded across her cheeks as if she had just been discovered butt naked on the train, but she hid her embarrassment.
She offered up an apologetic smile, rose, and hopped off onto the platform.  For a moment she considered that it would be far safer to get on the next train back to New York City.  But she forced herself to cross the platform to the diesel train waiting there for the next leg of her trip. Forced herself to get on board the train.
It was finally time to face both her past and her future.

It was long past time to face Jase.
© Caridad Pineiro




ONE SPECIAL NIGHT

It's been nearly six months since Tommy de Salvo’s fiancée cheated and left him in the midst of wedding preparations because up-and-coming businessman Tommy was all work and no play. The last thing Tommy wants or needs is to be attracted to another woman who won’t be around for too long. A woman just like Navy Corpsman Jasmine Reyes. She’s rough, tough, and determined to go it alone, but Tommy knows that if he passes up this opportunity, he may regret it more than the loss of his fiancée ...

Jasmine “Doc” Reyes is both emotionally and physically scarred after her tour of duty. Wounded in battle, all she can think about is rebuilding her life and continuing with the career that she’s dreamed about since she was a young child. She has no time for rich sexy men who’ve never had a care in the world and wouldn’t understand her determination. But Tommy’s charm is seductive and she knows that she has to explore the attraction, even if it’s only for this one special night.


Excerpt


            It occurred to Tommaso de Salvo as he eyeballed the guests milling about on the beach in front of his family’s home that this could have been his wedding day. Except that six months earlier, while knee-deep in their wedding preparations, he’d caught his fiancée cheating on him with her personal trainer. Apparently she'd thought he was spending too much time learning how to run the family business and not enough time with her.
He’d been shocked, disappointed, and relieved all at once. Valerie and he had been dating throughout college and during the year after when he’d been working to complete an MBA.  Some would have said the signs had been there all along. If he had to be honest with himself, he’d occasionally sensed that something was off in their relationship.  That Valerie had only been interested in the de Salvo money, but he hadn’t wanted to believe that.
Maybe he should have listened to what his gut had been telling him.
“Don’t think about it, bro,” said Jase Hart, his best friend and soon-to-be-brother-in-law.  He sidled up to Tommy as he stood by the makeshift altar that had been set up for his sister Nickie's wedding instead of his own.
“Was it that obvious?” he asked and faced his friend.
Jase was wearing his dress blue uniform and two weeks of Jersey Shore sun had helped eliminate some of the hospital pallor.  He’d been seriously wounded three months earlier, along with several members of his unit.
“She was never the right woman for you,” Jase said and reached up to smooth the tuxedo over Tommy’s shoulders.
“You say that now – ”
“Because if I’d said it before you'd have gotten pissed off at me. You know how stubborn you can be.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right,” he admitted.  He was stubborn, determined, and loyal which only made Valerie’s betrayal all that much harder to handle.
“When you meet the right woman, you’ll know it,” Jase said with certainty.   His injuries hadn't dimmed his friend's resolve.  If anything, he'd become more determined.  As soon as Jase had gotten out of the Intensive Care Unit, he'd immediately asked Tommy and Nickie's über Old School Italian father for permission to marry his daughter.  Without missing a beat, he had then proposed to Tommy's older sister.  In the two short months since Nickie had accepted, the de Salvo and Hart families had planned the mother of all military weddings to occur during Jase's convalescent leave.
He glanced at his friend and there was nothing but determination on his features.  “So when did you know you were in love with Nickie?”
Jase laughed and shook his head.  “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you, bro.”
“Seriously, Jase.  I want to know.”  I need to know, he thought, not that he could ever trust another woman again.
“When she turned sixteen and sprouted boobs,” Jase said with a quick chuckle and a boyish grin.
He could only smile at his best friend since his humor was so infectious.  “If you weren’t injured, I’d beat the crap out of you.  I thought you appreciated more than just my sister’s boobs.”
Jase playfully nudged him.  “Of course, I do, Tommy.  She’s got brains, beauty and lots more, but it was her boobs that got my attention.  Shit, you know how we were at fourteen.  All raging hormones.”
“Good thing you’re finally doing the right thing,” he said, although he was still a little uneasy about the speed at which things were happening.  It had only been a year earlier that Nickie and Jase had finally gotten around to admitting their true feelings.
Jase had deployed shortly thereafter and now here they were, ready to commit to each other.  Ready to become man and wife for life.
“Are you sure about this?” he asked again, worried that his friend’s recent near death experience was somehow clouding his judgment.  Jase might be his best friend, but Nickie was his sister and he had to make sure she wouldn't be hurt.
His friend's entire attitude became dead serious. “Do you remember what you told me on graduation day when I was still hesitating about Nickie?  You said ‘Go big or go home.'  I went big and Nickie is home, Tommy.  I have no doubt about that.”
He’d had few doubts about Valerie as well and look how that had ended.  The last thing he wanted for two of the most important people in his life was for things to go south only . . .
The chamber music quartet’s silence sent a signal to all gathered there and in seconds, the guests quickly hurried to take seats for the start of the ceremony.
He couldn’t linger any longer.  “I’ll be back,” he said and rushed off to take his spot in the wedding procession.
* * *
Jasmine Reyes was late.
First the train from New York City had been delayed by switch problems.  Then there had been no taxis when she had reached the station.  After pacing back and forth in front of the tracks for fifteen minutes, a cab had lazily rolled to a stop in front of her.  Now, after another twenty minutes of stop and go beach traffic, she was finally at Second Lieutenant Jason Hart’s wedding.
She’d barely had time to admire the gorgeous home when a member of the wait staff hurried her across a lawn where tables were set for the reception and down a short boardwalk to the beach.
Neat rows of chairs ran across the sand on either side of a bright white runner strewn with multi-colored flower petals.  Off to one side of the chairs, a chamber music quartet was just beginning to play some kind of march. The guests were all seated and craning their necks in her direction as she stood at the base of the boardwalk.
Shit, she thought as she realized she was in the way of the bridal procession getting ready to exit the home and head toward the altar set up at the far end of the beach.  Not to mention that with all attention turned toward her, any hope of making an inconspicuous entry was gone.
As she hurried toward the chairs, Jase noticed her arrival, dipped his head in greeting, and smiled.  He looked so much better than he had a month earlier when they both had finally been shipped stateside for their final weeks of recovery and convalescent leave.
She smiled back hesitantly and took a seat at the edge of the crowd, not sure if she should have come.  The spot on the end of the row would let her make a quick exit just in case things got a little too hard to handle.
She wasn’t quite ready to be out and about like Jase.  It had taken every fiber of courage in her body to put on this dress and leave her family’s small two floor walk-up in Spanish Harlem.  But she had formed a special bond with the lieutenant and his men during their recent assignment and a night from hell they all wanted to forget.
Unfortunately, she had the scars on her body and in her head to remind her each and every day of that night.
The murmur that swept over the crowd dragged her attention from Jase and those memories to the first couple in the bridal procession.
She sucked in a breath at the sight of the man, tall, dark, and handsome in a designer tuxedo, who helped the maid of honor down the boardwalk stairs.
The bride’s brother and Jase’s best friend, she thought.  She recognized him from the assorted pictures the lieutenant had always kept in plain sight in his quarters.  There had been many moments during quieter times that the lieutenant had told her stories about growing up with Tommy and Nickie.  So many stories that she almost felt like she knew Tommy, not that they'd ever met.
She’d always thought he was attractive, but the pictures hadn’t done justice to how good-looking he really was or how he carried himself with a cocksure air that just screamed sexy.  Jase had recounted more than one tale of Tommy confidently leading them into one adventure or another. Know she understood how that was possible.
As he and the maid of honor reached the altar where the groom waited, he smiled at the woman.  In her mind, she pictured that assured smile directed toward her and a curl of desire ignited within Jasmine.
It surprised her, that abrupt awakening of need.  She hadn’t thought it possible any more since she’d felt so dead inside during the many months she’d spent in the hospital.  But there it was, warming her center.
As he took a spot beside the groom and looked out toward the guests, his gaze settled on her.  Dark eyes glittered with life and his lips curved up in that sexy smile again, this time for her.
Damn, but he was handsome, and as she imagined being up close and personal with him, her nipples tightened and that unexpected zing of need became a steady pulse of desire between her legs. She shifted uncomfortably, battling that awakening since it was the worst possible time for her long lost sexuality to come alive.
She wasn’t ready for anything and wasn’t sure if she ever would be.  Plus, that very sexy man was like a brother to the lieutenant.  The last thing she wanted was to cause a problem for the man who had become a confidant and supporter during the many long months they’d worked together and healed together.
A moment later, the next couple in the procession emerged from the house and slowly paraded down the lawn and boardwalk to the altar.  The groomsman was Jase’s second-in-command, Trevor Mason, looking healthy and handsome in his dress uniform.
As she glanced back toward the house, she realized there were another five military men as part of the bridal party.  She didn't recognize a number of them and assumed they were the lieutenant's friends from his days in the ROTC program.  Besides Trevor, however, there was one other man from their unit.  He'd been injured also and like Jase and Trevor, was on leave so he could heal.
Only some wounds never healed, she thought as she gingerly rubbed her shoulder.  Sitting on the train so long had started an ache where shrapnel had torn into her shoulder. She kept her massage light since the area was still tender to the touch from the second degree burns she'd also suffered during the dogfight.
She should never have come, she thought, dreading the moment when the men from her unit would come over and ask her how she was.  Ask her when she was coming back.
Only she wasn’t returning to Afghanistan.  She was done with it all.
It was time to put this part of her life behind her by finishing out her last few months on shore duty at a local base.  Once she was done, she could tackle the assorted tests that would let her work as a nurse at one of the area hospitals.
Even though she'd done her time and paid a heavy price for her service, she still felt guilty at leaving her men just when she'd earned their respect and become “Doc” to them.  It wasn't a title easily earned and she understood the faith they'd put in her to take care of them.  But she had risked her life for them and now it was time to get on with her own life.
Deciding that it was best to avoid the men from her unit, she stood and was about to leave when the bride came out of the back of her house, her hand tucked around her father’s arm.
Like the best man, she was more beautiful in real life than in the photos she had seen, but it was the sheer joy on the bride's features that froze Jasmine in place.  She'd never seen such limitless love on anyone's face.  As she turned to glance back in the groom's direction, it was obvious he felt the same way.  That he wanted everyone there to witness their love and celebrate it.
Because of that she held her ground and stayed for the ceremony.  It seemed to fly by, driven by the impatient happiness of the couple as they answered the priest's inquiries, and exchanged rings and vows.
Finally the priest's voice boomed over the couple and the guests.  “By the power vested in me by the State of New Jersey, I now pronounce you man and wife.  You may kiss your bride.”
As the newlyweds came together and sealed their promises with a kiss, a softly voiced command had the military ushers taking up spots on either side of the aisle.  Jase's second-in-command issued the order, “Center face.”  The groomsmen pivoted to face each other.
 “Officers, draw swords,” Trevor said and their sabers sliced through the air to form the arch for the newlyweds.
Hand-in-hand with beaming smiles, the bride and groom paused to kiss before they ducked down and walked beneath the swords.  As they reached the end, the last two men blocked their way and another of the officers swatted Nickie on the butt.
“Welcome to the Marines,” he said and the rest of the men shouted a healthy, “Oohrah!”
The guests gathered burst into applause and cheers as the soldiers moved aside and the newlyweds hurried away toward the boardwalk stairs.  At another soft cue from the lieutenant's second-in-command, the military men lowered their swords and resumed their bridal duties, joining up with the bridesmaids to form a receiving line by the foot of the stairs.
Nickie's brother and the maid of honor went last and after them, the guests emptied from their rows to greet the newlyweds, their families, and the bridal party.
As the people in her row filed out, she held her place, torn between offering her congratulations and running.  But she had come a long way to get here and it wasn't just about the nearly three hour trip on the subway and train.
She'd been through bad and badder with Jase and his men.  The least she could do was share in some of the good for a change.
Drawing in a deep breath, she took a step toward the newlyweds and toward the start of her new life.

© Caridad Pineiro



ONE LAST NIGHT

It's been over a year since Marine Lieutenant Trevor Mason and his father have spoken. After nearly losing his life during a Taliban attack in Afghanistan, Trevor wants to end the rift between them so he can return to active duty with some peace of mind. But a visit to his father’s office only serves to show Trevor that his father isn’t as eager to reunite. If not for the intervention of Samuel Mason’s spunky and very sexy intern, Trevor would probably be returning to Afghanistan with his one wish unfulfilled.

Trevor Mason had used to do all kinds of things to Maggie Sullivan’s insides when she worked at the country club his family used to attend. Five years later, there is little left of the teen she knew in the stoic Marine who only wants some time with his father. When Trevor’s father backs out of his son’s dinner invitation at the last minute, Maggie does the only thing she can: she goes to Trevor’s apartment to deliver the news, but she can’t leave him alone on his one last night before returning to duty.

Thrown together, Trevor and Maggie can’t ignore the sexual heat between them. As they satisfy one set of needs, another slowly develops as passion breathes life into other emotions. Will Trevor and Maggie’s one last night together possibly lead to many other nights in the future?


Excerpt


Nothing could have prepared Maggie Sullivan for the sight of Trevor Mason standing there in his Marine uniform.  Nothing.
He waited patiently by the floor-to-ceiling windows in the anteroom to his father’s office.  Incredibly broad shoulders filled out the khaki fabric and tapered down into a lean waist and hips.  His legs were thick with muscle and braced slightly apart while he waited, his hat tucked under his arm.
His face was in profile and the morning sun cast bright light on his features and the short strands of his sandy-colored hair.  He had a strong resolute jaw.  Full lips and a straight slash of a nose that all came together on a face which would tempt most women.
By her guesstimate, Trevor had been there for at least fifteen minutes while his father finished up a conference call.  In reality, his father could have ended the call as soon as his son had arrived, but for some reason he’d kept on chatting as she’d sat in the room, watching Trevor through the office’s glass wall.
He’d changed a great deal physically since the last time she’d seen him nearly five years ago at his high school graduation party.  She’d been sixteen at the time and working as a waitress at the country club to save money for college expenses.
Trevor had been part of the pack of rich kids who spent the summers hanging out at the club, but unlike some of the others, he’d always had the time to say hello and offer up a smile.  Maybe it was because he was nouveau riche and not as spoiled as the teens from old money.
She remembered that smile, full of life and so warm, like summer sunshine.  It had always caused a funny skitter in her heart and lower.  She wondered if it still would.
His father finally hung up the phone and turned his attention to her.  “Please prepare a memo of the discussions we just had for the file.”
“Yes, sir,” she said and shot a look out the glass wall to where Trevor still waited.  “I’ll let your son know you’re free.”
“No,” Samuel Mason blurted and reached out for her as she rose from the chair where she had been taking notes.  Mr. Mason’s regular administrative assistant was on vacation and she was filling in for the woman.
At her confused look, he dropped his hand to the desktop and said, “Please let him in, but if you don’t mind, I’d rather you stayed while we chat.  I think the two of you knew each other back in high school.”
If serving Trevor lunch or handing him towels counted as knowing each other, she supposed that they did.  “I met him at the country club while I was working there.”
“Fine, then,” he said and leaned back in his chair to wait, obviously forcing himself to remain calm.  Like his son, he had a strong jaw, but that was where the similarities ended.  Samuel Mason was thin, elegant, and dark-haired.  Almost effeminate compared to his very masculine and robust son.
Maggie closed the portfolio with the pages of notes she had taken and walked out to the anteroom.  As she entered, Trevor faced her.
She waited for that warm smile that did such delicious things inside her.  Instead, his full lips were in a grim slash across that handsome face and she realized that Trevor had changed in more ways than one.
There was little left of the high school kid she remembered.  From the sheer physical size of him to the hard chiseled lines of his face, Trevor was all man and not a happy one at that.
She held out her hand and introduced herself.  “Maggie Sullivan.  I’m sorry you’ve had to wait.”
He eyeballed her hand, but finally shook it as he said, “Trevor Mason.”  He paused and looked her up and down, narrowing his gaze as he considered her.  “Have we met before?”
She was pleasantly surprised that he seemed to remember her.  “I’m Maggie.  I used to work – ”
“At the country club,” he finished for her and once again eyed her intently.  “You’ve grown up, Maggie,” he said, the tones of his voice deep and exciting.  The sound of her name on his lips sent a tingle of sexual awareness through her.
“So have you, Mr. Mason,” she said, earning a chuckle from him and the first hint of that enticing smile on his lips.
“Yeah, I guess I have and it’s Lieutenant Mason.  Mr. Mason is my father.”  He shot a look through the glass to where his father sat in his office, waiting for them, and for a moment, before he schooled his emotions, loneliness skipped across his features.
“Please come in,” she said with a smile and motioned in the direction of the office door.
* * *
Trevor took a deep breath to combat the mix of emotions roiling around in his gut.
It had been over a year since he’d either seen or talked to his father.  The last words they’d shared had been filled with anger and hurt.  That anger and hurt had been constantly simmering, especially in the last few months when he’d been healing from the wounds suffered during a Taliban attack on the medical facility he and his fellow Marines had been protecting.
He had hoped his father would call or write after the Marines notified him that he’d been wounded.
He’d been wrong to hope.  Not a letter or a call or even an impersonal e-mail to say “Get well soon.”
He wasn’t even really sure why he was here and for shit sure he didn’t know what to expect from his father.
Following Maggie into his father’s office, he wondered how the kind of cute, but awkward teen he’d known had transformed into the beautiful woman sauntering ahead of him.
Did she have any idea what that sexy roll of her hips did to a man? he thought, but forced down his body’s reaction.  It was better not to notice how the black fabric of her skirt molded itself to that amazing ass or wonder how her full breasts might look without the sedate white blouse she wore.
She was off limits in multiple ways, chief amongst them that she was working for his father.
As she stepped aside to clear the way to his father’s desk, he waited for some kind of reaction from his dad.  Something.  Anything for fuck’s sake, but his father just sat there, his classically fine features as smooth as stone. His deep blue eyes as flat and lifeless as a shark’s.
“Father,” he said with a dip of his head.
His father laced his fingers together, leaned back in his chair, and laid his hands across a midsection that was just starting to show a hint of paunch.  “Trevor.  To what do I owe this pleasure?” he said, although there was nothing about his tone, posture, or anything else that actually said that he was pleased to see his one and only child.
Rage boiled over inside of him and he wanted to shout out with the pain he’d kept bottled up for far too long, but it wasn’t in him to make a scene.  Especially not with an almost total stranger present, which was maybe why Maggie was standing there, looking more and more uncomfortable by the second.
“Maybe I should go,” she said and took a step toward the door.
“No,” his father nearly shouted, freezing her in place.
Maggie shot him a quick glance and he forced a smile and said, “It’s okay, Maggie.”
Before his father could say anything else, he did what he had planned to do for the many months he’d been laid up in the hospital, alone except for his military buddies.
“I was hoping we could talk, Father. Spend some time together. It’s almost lunch hour.”
“I have a prior engagement that I can’t cancel,” he quickly replied.  Too quickly.
Peeking at Maggie from the corner of his eye, he noted the way she looked down and away, clearly aware that his dad was lying.
“Then how about dinner at my apartment?  I’m flexible.  I’ll even cook,” he offered and looked toward Maggie.  “I’m sure you can free up his schedule for tonight.”
“Actually, he has an important engagement tonight, but he’s totally free for tomorrow,” she said brightly, earning a glare from his father.
He met Maggie’s gaze and grinned, thankful for her intervention. “Wonderful.  I’ll see you tomorrow night at six,” he said to his father and with a precise military pivot, he turned and left the office.
But as he walked out, he sort of regretted that he hadn’t had more time to spend with Maggie.  In the very short time they’d just spent together, he realized she had spunk.

He liked that in a woman.  Especially one as sexy and beautiful as Maggie.
© Caridad Pineiro




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About The Author

NY Times and USA Today Bestseller Caridad Pineiro is a Jersey Girl who just wants to write, travel, and spend more time with family and friends. Caridad is the author of nearly 50 novels/novellas and loves romance novels, super heroes, TV and cooking. Caridad writes dark and sexy romantic suspense and paranormal romances for those who live to love on the edge. Her sweet, but still naughty side, Charity Pineiro, writes contemporary romances packed with emotion and humor. For more information on Caridad/Charity, please visit www.caridad.com or www.rebornvampirenovels.com.




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