Genre: Contemporary Romance

Review: Beauty Submits to Her Beast by Sydney St. Claire

Posted July 16, 2015 by Ginny in Erotic Romance, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Beauty Submits to Her Beast by Sydney St. Claire
Beauty Submits To Her Beast by Sydney St. Claire
Series: Once Upon a Dom #4
Genres: BDSM, Contemporary Romance, Erotica, Fiction, Romance
Published by The Wild Rose Press Inc on June 26th 2015
Format: eARC
Pages: 201
Source: Tour Host

Reviewed by: Ginny
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Overall Rating:

Book Description:

Caitlin is a woman in control. Control of her own successful business, her personal life, and her family. Sometimes she is tired of having to be the strong one, the one who makes all the decisions. Even in bed with her ex-husband, she was the one in control. She has such a strong personality, not by choice but by her life experiences, that people automatically bow down to her. When a friend suggests that she try a bit of BDSM role-play, she does her research and decides to give it a try. She’s invited to Pleasure Manor to participate in their Fairy Tale event. She’s assigned the role of Beauty. Will she find her Dom to her liking? And can she give up control in exchange for the best sex in her life?

Damon is a Dom. He deliberately seeks out encounters where there is no strings attached. He doesn’t want the responsibility that comes with a full time relationship, especially the emotional responsibility. He’s a man in charge and he plans to remain in charge of his life and only his life.
Damon will have past issues that make him a tortured hero. Maybe too much responsibility too young when adults should have taken care of him, or a relationship where he failed to care for another that had disastrous outcome like death and now he will only care about himself. Caitlin will sense this and her own need to control and fix what’s wrong will clash with his need to keep others at a distance.


My Thoughts:

This book is the first I’ve read by Sydney St. Claire (or Susan Edwards, as the former is a pseudonym), and I have to say that this is the second review book in a row where I’m torn…

The beginning of the book takes place at Pleasure Manor, over the course of a fairy-tale-themed BDSM weekend. Damon Steele is the Beast, and Caitlin Olsen is his Beauty.

My first four notes for this book went as follows:

Highlight: When Damon & Bryce are discussing Damon’s guilt over his men dying in the war, while trying to save him; discussing this in the middle of another conversation, with another person in the room.
Note: “Do men — soldiers — actually do this, or is it a fantasy of women?”

Highlight: “Hunk.”
Note: “Stop calling them ‘hunks’.”

Highlight: “Bod”
Note: “Seriously, are we in the 90s?”

Highlight: “Prime, yummy man parts.”
Note: “How old are we?”

The beginning of this book is fluff, with minimal set up… sexy fluff, but fluff nonetheless. I wasn’t sure I liked it, although if you want to read some pretty steamy sex, then this is for you!

My interest came towards the end of the book when Beauty & Her Beast have left their fantasy weekend, and are seeing each other outside of Pleasure Manor… This is a small spoiler, but Caitlin somewhat forces Damon to come to her horse farm and heal/deal with life. It was from about 75% of the way through the book, until the end.. and I found myself wishing that Ms. St. Claire had taken more time to write this part of the story, rather than the rest. She had the beginnings of an amazing tale of redemption, self-forgiveness and healing. I wanted to read more of that.

As it is, again, this is a sexy story, with a few metaphors that should end SO much sooner than they do, and the word “hunk” a few too many times, with a rushed ending. Had there been more to the secondary story — or had the secondary story become the prime, it would have held my interest a bit more and earned a higher rating. At this point, I’m going to go with a 3.5 out of 5.

Review: Catch My Breath by Lynn Montagano

Posted July 13, 2015 by Ginny in Contemporary Romance, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review: Catch My Breath by Lynn Montagano
Catch My Breath by Lynn Montagano
Series: Catch My Breath #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by HarperImpulse on July 31, 2014
Format: Ebook
Pages: 272
Source: Tour Host

Reviewed by: Ginny
Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Overall Rating:

Book Description:

Lia Meyers' plan for a relaxing Scottish vacation is short-lived when one uncharacteristic moment of clumsiness lands her in the arms of a dangerously attractive Englishman…

The perfect opportunity for a much needed holiday romance? Wrong! Lia’s still reeling from the mother of all bad breakups, and she really doesn't have the patience for Alastair Holden – despite his effortless charm and cute British accent!

Arrogant and totally inscrutable, he's exactly the sort of guy she wants to avoid but can't: the man behind the mystery proves just too tempting to resist.

Drawn to him, Lia is forced to battle with her own insecurities, and the closer they become, the more she recognizes her own weaknesses as she peels away his layers with every night they spend together. Discovering the past Alastair is so desperate to conceal, Lia must decide if they can heal one another together or if their deepest fears will tear them apart.


My Thoughts:

I’m just going to jump right in here and say that I went back and forth on this book… between thinking that it was a little too close to the Fifty Shades/Crossfire series and feeling a bit refreshed… There are moments where I’d read and I couldn’t stop, and then it would get to a point where I felt the book dragging.

I made a few notes as I went along that follow this pattern. It began with the ending to chapter one, as she’s at a dressy party on Friday night in Scotland, in which I highlighted the last words, “It was my handsome, mystery guy.” The beginning of chapter two is the next morning as she’s jogging, and I wrote, “That’s it? That’s how you end the chapter? Wtf?

Later on, it was remarked that Alastair was emitting pheromones and I thought (and wrote) “Necessary?”  — But later in the book, there was such a wonderful bit of snarky sarcasm that I highlighted that in appreciation.  You also have to wait for the first sex scene, but it’s worth it.

Alastair is brooding and mysterious and comes complete with the mood swings and dark past. Lia has baggage and a bad ex-boyfriend who stalks her.  Their relationship has so many ups and downs it’s dizzying and at some point you think, “Ok, this is just unhealthy. At what point do they realize that?” This book was as back and forth for me as their relationship.

On Goodreads.com, Ms Montagano’s profile touts her as “A fresh, new voice in contemporary romance…” — I’m not entirely sure I agree with the “fresh” part, at least not for this book.  I know it’s only the first book in a new series and at $1.99 it’s not a bad deal. I’d be interested to read the next book in the series, and hold my final judgement for after that.

For this book, though, I’m going with a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Review: Only His by Susan Mallery

Posted March 25, 2015 by Sherri in Contemporary Romance, Reviews / 5 Comments
Review: Only His by Susan Mallery

Only His by Susan Mallery Series: Fool’s Gold #6 Narrator: Tanya Eby Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance Published by Brilliance Audio, Harlequin HQN on September 27, 2011 Format: Audiobook Pages: 344 Source: Personal Copy Reviewed by: SherriPurchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble Book Links: Goodreads Overall Rating: Book Description:Wedding bells are ringing in Fool’s Gold, but not for Nevada Hendrix. Her triplet sisters are engaged, and even her mother has a more active love life than she does. Determined to make a fresh start, she applies for her dream job, only to discover that her new boss is her first love. Maybe she could overlook the fact that they’ve seen each other naked, but she’ll never forget the way he broke her heart. Tucker Janack agrees to Nevada’s “business only” ground rules. After all, love is a trap that the construction millionaire has avoided his whole life. But when […]

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Review: Beneath You’re Beautiful by Tori Madison

Posted February 24, 2015 by Ginny in Contemporary Romance, Reviews, Romance / 4 Comments
Review: Beneath You’re Beautiful by Tori Madison

Beneath You’re Beautiful by Tori Madison Series: Beneath #2 Genres: Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Women, Romance Published by Self Published on February 24, 2015 Format: eARC Pages: 211 Source: Author Reviewed by: GinnyPurchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble Book Links: Goodreads Overall Rating: Book Description:Four words continue to haunt me . . . You. Have. Breast. Cancer. I associate them with the upheaval of my life to this point. The last few months have been a test of my strength . . . mentally, emotionally, and physically. Cancer is a monster. It preys on your mind and it consumes you, consistently reminding you of how your life used to be. Life before cancer. I was a successful business woman, running my own design firm, and was happily married to my college sweetheart. My life seemed perfect. Until it suddenly came crashing down all around me. So, here I am, in […]

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Review: Crushed by Lauren Layne

Posted February 13, 2015 by Ginny in Reviews / 3 Comments
Review: Crushed by Lauren Layne

Crushed by Lauren Layne Series: Redemption #2 Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary Romance Published by Flirt, Random House on April 14, 2014 Format: eARC Pages: 240 Source: NetGalley Reviewed by: GinnyAlso in this series: Against the Ropes, In Your Corner Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble Book Links: Goodreads Overall Rating: Book Description:Lauren Layne’s latest novel about the healing power of redemption tells the story of a crush gone wickedly wrong, proving that what you want isn’t always what you need. Growing up in New York, Michael St. Claire never expected to spend his twenties wearing cowboy boots. But that was before he learned about his real father, a total stranger with a family in Cedar Grove, Texas. Once in the Lone Star State, Michael meets Kristin Bellamy, who is exquisitely refined and everything Michael always thought he wanted in a woman. The only problem is that Kristin is […]

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Review: Alpha, Delta by RJ Scott

Posted February 4, 2015 by Ginny in Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Reviews / 3 Comments
Review: Alpha, Delta by RJ Scott

Alpha, Delta by RJ Scott Series: ARe ALPHAS #2 Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M, Military Published by All Romance eBooks LLC, OmniLit on February 2nd, 2015 Format: eARC Pages: 66 Source: Tour Host Reviewed by: GinnyPurchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble Book Links: Goodreads Overall Rating: Book Description:Officer Finn Hallan has never run from a fight. With Niall’s life and love at stake, he’s not about to start now… Finn Hallan is a member of the elite Norwegian Emergency Response Unit, code name Delta. When the team is sent to respond to a hostage situation on an oil platform in the Norwegian Sea, he has to face demons he thought he had buried a long time ago. Scottish engineer Niall Faulkner’s skills in oil platform decommissioning takes him to the Forseti platform at the worst possible time. When he’s captured by terrorists, his only thought is that he will never […]

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Review: The Word Master by Jason Luke

Posted February 3, 2015 by Ginny in Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance / 4 Comments
Review: The Word Master by Jason Luke

The Word Master by Jason Luke Genres: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Erotica, Romance Published by Self Published on February 3, 2015 Format: eARC Pages: 256 Source: Author Purchase Links: Amazon Book Links: Goodreads Overall Rating: Book Description:Book Description: Imagine it – a sexy BDSM Master talking to thousands of radio listeners every night… giving women an erotic and sensual insight into the world of domination and submission. Jericho James is the man – the man with the power and the voice to make women around the country swoon and submit. But his personal life is haunted by a dark tragedy from his past, and a mysterious listener to his program who wants more from Jericho than he can possibly give. Because there’s one thing he just won’t do… One line he simply will not cross. Erotic BDSM written by a man from a man’s POV. Jason Luke is an Amazon […]

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Review: The King by Tiffany Reisz

Posted January 28, 2015 by Ginny in Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance / 8 Comments
Review: The King by Tiffany Reisz

The King by Tiffany Reisz Series: The Original Sinners #6 Genres: BDSM, Contemporary, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Menage Published by Harlequin MIRA on November 25, 2014 Format: eARC Pages: 443 Source: NetGalley Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble Book Links: Goodreads Overall Rating: Book Description:Book Description: Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this unholy threesome can raise him to his rightful place as a ruler of Manhattan’s kink kingdom. Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side, Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act or chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive heartache—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret. A man he can never have, but in whose hands Kingsley is reborn to attain even greater heights of sin. Kingsley’s plan to open the ultimate BDSM club—a dungeon playground for New York’s A-list—becomes his obsession. His expertise in domination can’t subdue […]

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Book Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: A Single Kiss by Grace Burrowes

Posted January 6, 2015 by Sherri in Book Spotlight, Giveaways / 8 Comments
Book Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway: A Single Kiss by Grace Burrowes

A Single Kiss by Grace Burrowes Series: Sweetest Kisses #1 Genre: Contemporary Romance, Military Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Release Date: January 6th, 2015 Format: Paperback/eBook, 384 pages Book Description: Hannah Stark has set her sights on corporate law to assure her a career of paperwork, predictability, and conservative suits. Contracts, finance, and the art of the deal sing to her, while the mess and misery of the courtroom do not. But her daughter needs to eat, so when Hannah is offered a temporary position in a small town firm’s domestic relations department, she reluctantly accepts. Trent Knightley is mightily drawn to his newest associate, though Hannah is as protective of her privacy as she is competent. When their friendship and attraction heat up, Hannah’s secrets put her heart and Trent’s hopes in double jeopardy. Buy Links:  Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iTunes Book Links: Goodreads • BookLikes Excerpt James stood beside Mac at the window […]

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Guest Post: The Laws of Seduction by Gwen Jones

Posted December 4, 2014 by Sherri in Author Spotlight / 4 Comments
Guest Post: The Laws of Seduction by Gwen Jones

Today we welcome author Gwen Jones to Urban Girl Reader! She’s taking over and talking about where her story ideas come from and her newest release The Laws of Seduction which released from Avon Impulse in ebook in November and will be releasing in paperback on December 30th.  Take it away Gwen……….. WRITER’S CORNER – Shopping for Topic I’ve had people ask me where my story ideas come from. Do they drop like rain out of the heavens, or sprout beneath my feet like daisies? Do they barrel into me like a runaway train, or slip into my unconscious like warmth from a cup of hot cocoa? Truth be told, all of the above are correct, as I never know when an idea is going to hit me. But it’s also true there are several places where I go to mine them. Such as… History – Just pick up any history book, […]

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