Book Review: Grace Under Pressure by Julie Hyzy

Book Review: Grace Under Pressure 
By: Julie Hyzy 
Berkely Prime Crime Mystery 
4 Heart Review 

Everyone wants a piece of millionaire Bennett Marshfield. owner of Marshfield Manor, and letters are coming in daily from those claiming to be poor relations.  The elderly, reclusive heir trusts no one but his aged curator, Abe. But when Abe is killed in a case of mistaken identity, the tide changes...

Although shaken by the murder, Grace Wheaton, whose lifelong dream has been to work at the manor, steps up to the challenge of assuming Abe's job. But now some of the letters arriving for Bennett have taken a nasty turn, demanding millions - or else. When an uninvited stalker shows up at the manor and at Grace's home, she and handsome grounds-keeper Jack Embers must protect their dear old Marshfield. But to do this, they'll have to investigate a botched Ponzi scheme, some torrid Wheaton family secrets - and sour grapes out for revenge...

As much as I love my romances, I do have a soft spot for really good Cozy Mysteries. Now, when the two genres mix it up, I'm all over it. When I found out that Grace Under Pressure wasn't only a Cozy, but that it also contained a little romance, I really couldn't wait to read it.

The opening scene really pulled me in and was a great introduction to our main character Grace Wheaton and Marshfield Manor, the grand estate where she works as a curator. The scene was a perfect set-up for showing Grace's character and also a little slice of info on the estate.

Julie did a wonderful job tying what were seemingly random events together to create a tangled web of a mystery for Grace to solve.  I loved how Julie expertly placed small nuggets of information that would pop up again as major clues and also the red herons she throws in along the way keep you guessing.

While there is just a hint of romance in this book, I found the growing relationship between Grace and Jack to be extremely interesting and I really want to read the next book to see how it develops. There is a hint of mystery surronding Jack and it not only intriques Grace, it does me too!

A well-written twist of a mystery, Grace Under Pressure was a satisfying cozy that already has me ready for the next in the series. Cozy fans will find much to love about this book and will appreciate some of the larger plot points that will come as a complete surprise.

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Flirting With Forever by Gwyn Cready Winner!

The winner of Flirting with Forever by Gwyn Cready, as selected by is...

Comment # 1 - Carrie at In The Hammock Blog!

Congrats Carrie - email me your mailing address at cheekyreads @ (no spaces) and I'll get the book out to you asap!

Welcome Guest Alayna Williams - Author of Dark Oracle! Enter to Win!

By Alayna Williams

For DARK ORACLE, I took a different approach to profiling my heroine, Tara. I didn't use any tried-and-true psychological or literary approaches. Instead, I did what Tara would.

I used Tarot cards.

Tara Sheridan swore off criminal profiling after narrowly escaping a serial killer who left her scarred for life. By combining Tarot card divination with her own intuition, find a missing scientist who has unlocked the destructive secrets of dark energy.

The card that came up most often in my random drawings to represent Tara was the Queen of Swords. The Queen of Swords depicts a woman staring pensively into a stormy sky. She’s lifting sword as if it’s quite sharp, and extends her hand as if she’s cut herself with it. The swords, in general, represent intellect. The Queen of swords traditionally represents sadness and mourning or a particularly clever woman. I always associated her with the Snow Queen from fairy tales – cold, isolated, withdrawn. The Queen of Swords became the significator for Tara - an image that focused the rest of my Tarot card readings. Throughout writing DARK ORACLE, whenever I was stuck or needed more information, I'd draw a random card from my Tarot card deck as a story prompt.

I wanted to learn more about the mental, physical, and spiritual challenges facing Tara. So I drew three cards to symbolize the metal, physical, and emotional challenges facing her in the story.

For Tara's mental challenge, I drew the eight of swords. It shows a woman blindfolded and surrounded by sharp swords. The traditional meaning of this card involves imprisonment, crisis and bad news. Tara survived an attack by a serial killer years ago, and the event has left her scarred and in self-imposed exile. Her mental challenge will be to break out of the cycle of the past and see the future.

For Tara's physical challenge, I drew the Tower. The Tower depicts lightning striking a tower and people falling to the ground. The Tower represents the case Tara has been asked to work on, an explosion of a particle accelerator. A scientist who's unlocked the secrets of dark energy has gone missing, and his disappearance could dangerously affect the balance of power in the world.

For Tara's spiritual challenge, I drew the Lovers. It shows a man and woman in an embrace. Tara falls for the federal agent, Harry Li, who's working the missing scientist case. And she falls hard. But she struggles with giving herself over to a relationship, with learning to trust again. When he discovers her unorthodox methods, will Harry be able to trust Tara?

Even Tara can't see that far into the future with her Tarot cards. She'll have to find out by experiencing these challenges, one by one.

Alayna Williams has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she's never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses. More info is at

"Alayna" is also known as Laura Bickle, the author of Embers from Pocket Juno.

What about you - Have you ever tried Tarot Cards? Had your palm read or your future told? Did you read Embers from Alayna's alter ego Laura Bickle? What did you think? (I LOVED IT) Let us know and you'll be entered to win a copy of Dark Oracle from Alayna Williams!

Sorry, contest open to US and Canadian residents only.

Cool Event TONIGHT!

I wanted to share this message I got from Terry at Romance in the Backseat with everyone.

So, signings and live events with authors are pretty cool. Though they can however be hard to get to. So we have technology, why not use it? Tonight is the maiden voyage of the Romance in the Backseat Virtual Events. From here to hope is bigger and better and direct video book signings.

Tonight we are joined by two fabulous authors.

At 9pm EST - Alyxandra Harvey -Author of the Drake Chronicles - Hearts at Stake - Blood Feud

9:30pm EST - Meagan Hatfield - Author of Shadow of the Vampire

They will talk about their new releases, enter the chat room, and take live questions.

The ladies have also generously offered some pretty awesome giveaways - good from now till we announce the winners tonight at 10:30pm EST.

So come check it out and tell us who you might like to hear from.

*** I recomend you get there 15 min early to sign in to the chat room and hear all the special instructions.

I will see you there.

Terry Kate

Book Review: Flirting with Forever by Gwyn Cready & Giveaway!

Book Review: Flirting with Forever
By Gwyn Cready
Pocket Books Romance
4 Heart Review

Art Historian Campbell Stratford is about to make a name for herself with her scandalously sexy tell-all “fictographies” of famous seventeenth-century artists, but she's more intimately familiar with her subjects than her eager readers can imagine. Thanks to a time portal she accidentally discovered, she has caused quite a stir in the Great Beyond. To save their reputations, the Guild protecting dead artists convinces playboy Peter Lely, portraitist to the king, to sabotage Cam's latest project. A few hours posing on Sir Peter's modeling chaise leads to a night of seductive passion – then Cam returns home and discovers his betrayal. But before she can turn her angry pen on her lover, Sir Peter makes a surprise visit to the future and transforms Cam's twenty-first-century life into chaos of classic porportions...

This was my first time reading Gwyn Cready and I really enjoyed her funny voice and interesting characters. She did an especially good job with the hero Peter Lely and I felt like we understood him much more than we did the heroine Cam.

For all of Cam's good points – and there were many – I questioned why she didn't realize her boyfriend was a scumbag or why she allowed her sister to constantly put herself in Cam's way. Somehow those two things didn't mess with the rest of Cam's personality and I wanted to scream at her about them. Cam still managed to win me over and again, had so many good points that those two “off” items didn't bother me that much.

As far fetched as this book sounds, it's such a fun ride that you will suspend your disbelief without any worries as to how the time travel happens. The set-up for the time portal and the Guild that watches over dead artists is original and feels fresh. Who cares about “can this really happen” when you've got a great hero to play with! I love books that allow me to escape the real world and this one did just that with humor and with a surprisingly emotional book.

Embedded in the story is a very emotional and moving look at a man who loved and lost and is willing to give everything up to love again. It's a moving love story with more meat to it than I expected. I will be checking out Gwyn's backlist to read her other time-travel romances since this one was a winner for me.

Have you read a Gwyn Cready book before? Do you like time travel romances? If so, which is your favorite or favorite time travel romance author? Tell me and you'll be entered to win a copy of Flirting with Forever by Gwyn Cready!

Winner annouced Wed. June 30th - Open to US and Canada residents only.

AudioBook Week Winner!

I had a blast being a part of AudioBook Week and want to thank Jen at Devourer of Books for hosting a fantastic week for bloggers to share their love of Audio Books.

I'm pleased to annouce the winner of my AudioBook Week giveway, as selected by, is comment # 8...


Congratulations! I will email you with a list of AudioBooks I have for you to select from. You can also email me at cheekyreads @ (no spaces) if you read this first.

Thanks to everyone for participating in AudioBook Week and I hope if Cheeky Reads is a new-to-you blog, that you'll stop by again soon!

Happy Reading
Cheeky Girl Sabrina

Audio Book Week: Audio Book Recommendations

Today Audio Book Week is focusing on what Audio Books we would most recommend to readers.

Head over to hostess Devourer of Books website to see her recommendations and check out the Mister Linky for a list from other bloggers to.

Here is my list of some of my favorite Audio Books:

Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas - Narrated by Rosalyn Landor - Brilliance Audio (LOVE this narrator)

The Rachel Morgan Series by Kim Harrison - Narrated by Marguerite Gavin - Tantor Audio (Start with Book 1 - Dead Witch Walking)

The Janissary Tree: A Novel (Yashim the Eunuch) - Narrated by Stephen Hoye - Tantor Audio

The Malory Books by Johanna Lindsey - Narrated by Laural Merlington - Brilliance Audio (Start with Book 1 Love Only Once)

There are so many more, but I don't want to overload you! If you are trying Audio Books for the first time, please take all the blogger recommendations into consideration - especially check out the narrators we list. That should help you make a better first step into filling your free time with even more great books!

AudioBook Week: When & Where Do You Listen? Giveaway!

AudioBook Week (Hosted by the lovely Devourer of Books) continues with today's topic - When/Where do you listen?

I'm excited to hear from other Audio Book lovers where they listen, but I'd also like to ask non-Audio Book listeners if they can think of times in their day where an audio book might be a great fit or help them make it through the day. I'd love to see if we can give suggestions to non-listeners and get them to try out Audio Books.

Personally, the number one spot I listen is in my car on my daily commute to and from work. I seriously hate radio DJ’s and their annoying chatter, but I also never really liked talk radio. At first I thought Audio Books would equate to talk radio, but I was so wrong.

Another awesome time I listen to audio books is on long car rides or vacations. I love picking something the hubby and I might both love and we can share the book together. We don’t have kids, but I can see how cool it might be to pick a book to entertain the entire family on a road trip.

The best guilty pleasure place I listen to Audio Books? While I’m in the tub! You ladies know that when you have water and bubbles it can make reading a book not the most relaxing experience. Who wants to keep wiping their wet hands off in order to turn the page or worry about dropping the book into the water? Putting on an Audio Book lets me relax into the bath and really escape.

So, where do you listen? Give our non-listeners some tips and hints for how Audio Books can expand their reading and make their day better! If you don’t listen to books, what do you think is holding you back? Comment to enter to win a brand new Audio Book from my pile. I’ll email the winner a list to choose from!

Sorry, but contest is open to US and Canada residents only at this time. Winner will be announed on Friday afternoon June 25th.

AudioBook Week: What Do You Want In An AudioBook Review?

Today's AudioBook Week topic is how should bloggers go about writing an Audio review, and what do readers/listeners really want to see in those reviews.

My Audio Reviews have slightly evolved since I started them. My main change has been that lately I've been giving two ratings to my reviews - one for the story and a second one for the narrator. That's because sometimes even the best narrator can't save bad writing and a bad narrator can ruin a well-written book.

Another new addition is adding the running time of the CDs because I think sometimes people want to know how long it will take them to get through a particular book.

One think I really wish I could include in my reviews - an audio excerpt. Even if it was only 10-20 seconds I think just hearing the narrator would help both the review as well as get more readers to try out AudioBooks.

Do you like seeing two ratings for AudioBooks - 1 for the story and 1 for the narrator? What else do you wish was included in an Audio Review? Would you like to hear short excerpts to help you make up your mind?

AudioBook Week! Why AudioBooks?

June is AudioBook month and if you are a frequent visitor to Cheeky Reads you already know how freakin much I love AudioBooks. The awesome Devourer of Books blog decided to host a week of AudioBook themed posts and events and I couldn't pass up spreading the love!

Check out Devourer of Books today to see her latest posts and enter to win some AudioBooks.

For today's post, she asked us to answer the question "Why AudioBooks?"

To answer this question, I think I have to actually talk about how I came to try out listening to AudioBooks. It's not a light story, but I'll try to keep it from going crazy emotional.

My commute to work is about 1 hour each way and a few years ago I would listen to the radio in the morning, but on the way home each night is when I called my Mom. Now, my mom was sick almost my entire life and had been disabled completely from around the time I was 12. It was hard moving away from my parents and the small town I grew up in, but my parents were my best friends and we spoke everyday.

So, never fail, I would call my mom at 6pm every single day. I would get in my car and tell her all about my life, what had happened that day, etc. And being the awesome mom that she was, she listened like no one else could. Before I knew it, I would be home and our conversation would be over. It was like that 1 hour commute was no time at all.

About three years ago my mother passed away. My dad, who was also older and disabled, wasn't available to talk at 6pm becuase he had friends that could only come visit him at that time. So, I found myself for the first time in about 4 years without my best friend to talk to and make that trip home fly by.

A few months passed and I suddenly started to realize something: I would have a great day at work, be excited about something, etc. but by the time I got home I would be depressed, angry, irritable. You name the bad mood. The hubby started asking why I was always snippy when I first got home and it made me realize something was off.

That something was that the long ride home without my mother to talk to was very lonely. It clicked for me that I really needed something to fill that time with, to take my mind off replaying every last conversation I'd had with mom over and over again. I was depressing myself every single day in that car without realizing it.

When I did figure it out, the next time I went to the library I saw the AudioBook section and thought "Why not?" Which was weird since I was a die-hard "You must read the print version" kinda reader.

I was so lucky that day because I happened upon an AudioBook of an unknown to me series, unknown to me author, and in a genre I don't normally read. And it was good. I mean really good. I'd hate to think of what might have happened if that first AudioBook had been bad. And it is true - AudioBooks can be hit or miss the same way printed books can. The wrong narrator can ruin a great story. A good narrator can take a so-so story and make it more compelling or exciting.

If that first AudioBook hadn't been terrific I think I would have missed out on one of my favorite things in the world now - and would have missed out on something that truly saved me.

That's how I think of AudioBooks - as something that saved me from a really bad time in my life. I was able to lose myself in those stories instead of focusing on my loss. I really cannot put into words how much AudioBooks mean to me.  To put it simply - I adore AudioBooks!

Monday Morning Cuteness

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Romance Book Review: Wanted by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Book Review: Wanted! Sons of Chance
By Vicki Lewis Thompson
Harlequin Blaze - June 2010
4 Heart Review

He's everything she's ever wanted...

Photographer Dominique Jeffries has come to Wyoming to find herself - her creative self, her sexual self. After escaping the engagement from hell, she's dying to break loose and live a little. And seducing a shirtless, sweaty cowhand looks like just the place to start...

Nick Chance isn't exactly a cowhand but, hey, he'll be whatever the lady wants! Only he soon realizes that this is more than just a quick roll in the hay. There's something about Dominique that calls to him, something about her that completes him. 

There's only one problem. Dominique wants a fling, not another relationship. 

Little does she guess how easily she'll be persusaded to take a Chance -- again and again and again!

This book starts off seriously hot and never lets up. The heat steams up the pages becuase the chemistry between Nick and Dominique rocks. These characters are perfectly matched both in attitude and sexually.

Vicki Lewis Thompson is one of my all-time favorite writers and although this is much different from her Nerd or Hex series, her voice still shines through. It's a wonderfully crafted story full of great characters and you will smile as you read it.

One theme that Vicki seems to use in some of her books is that it's the heroine who doesn't want to commit. These heroines know what they want and at first it doesn't include a relationship. I love that! It's a nice change from books where the heroine is pinning for the hero who doesn't want more than a roll in the hay until the end of the book.

This book was so good I read it straight through - love how I can do that with a good Harlequin. I loved all the characters, it was very steamy, and had a great ending. And lets not forget about that cover - I think Vicki scored one of the best covers I've seen in a long time! It surely inspires you as you read the book to imagine the photos that Dominique takes of Nick.

If you've ever wondered if a Harlequin can be hot enough for you, check this book out!

Have you ever read a Harlequin Blaze? Anything by Vicki Lewis Thompson? Let me know if you have and what you thought.

Book Review: Embers by Laura Bickle

Book Review: Embers
By Laura Bickle
Juno - Pocket Books - Urban Fantasy
4 Heart Review

Truth Burns. 

Unemployment, despair, anger -- visible and invisible unrest feed the undercurrent of Detroit's unease. A city increasingly invaded by phantoms now faces a malevolent force that further stokes fear and chaos throughout the city. 

Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya -- who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern -- suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil's Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya -- with the help of her slamander familar and the paranormal investigating team -- can stop it. 

Anya's accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she's risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she's ever faced.

Wow! That's the only way I could think to start this review. This is an amazing, blow your mind if you love Urban Fantasy, debut novel by Laura Bickle.

I literally had to look three times to remind myself that this was a debut novel. The world-building is so compelling and fastinating, that I felt there was no way this was her first book!

This quote from M.L.N Hanover, bestselling author of Darker Angels, from the front cover really hit the nail on the head.

"Bickle has something great in Anya. Embers has everything: demons, ghosts, dragons, love, sex, police, and murder."

I agree - Anya is both a unique and kick-ass heroine. I cannot wait for more of her and the band of ghost hunters she reluctantly tags along with. One of the best Urban Fantasy heroines to come around in a long time, I felt Laura did an amazing job of making Anya something new in the Urban Fantasy world, but that she also made her incredibly real and honest.

Anya's feelings fill every page and carry you along her journey - I felt connected to her and that's totally a credit to how great Laura's writing and characterizations are. Likewise, the rest of the cast of characters are just screaming for more play time - including Anya's familiar salamander Sparky.

I cannot wait for the next book in the series, Sparks, to release so I can see what happens to Anya next and how she develops. I think once I've read the next book, I'll be able to say if I think Laura has created something I would put on par with Kim Harrison and Karen Marie Moning in terms of my love of the world-building.

I highly recommend this book if you love real Urban Fantasies. Do yourself a favor and check it out - it's not a light-hearted book, but a fantastic read.

Do you read Urban Fantasy? Do you like them darker, or with some romance thrown in. Do you think a story can be a true Urban Fantasy without a little bit of grit?

Romance Book Review: The Prince's Royal Concubine by Lynn Raye Harris

 Book Review: The Prince's Royal Concubine
By: Lynn Raye Harris
Harlequin Presents June 2010
3 Heart Review

Two glittering royal houses...

Prince Cristiano di Savare hunts his prey by ruthless means. Tonight's pickings -- Antonella Romanelli, crown princess of a rival country and part of a dynasty he has every reason to despise...

One majestic seduction...

Antonella is rocked by Cristiano's unexpected magnestism. But there's ice in his wolfish smile...She's far from the promiscuous spoiled socialite he believes her to be, but Cristiano is here to persuade her into compliance. If bedding her is what it takes, then it will make his mission all the more pleasurable...

I have to start this review by saying that although I adore Harlequins, Presents is not my go-to line. I'm a Blaze girl through and through with a little Intrigue thrown in. I absolutely love how fulfilling these stories are, without needing more than just a few hours to read one.

Harlequins are my way of fitting in awesome love stories even when I'm slammed by work or my daily life. A few stolen moments here and there and I've experienced a satisfying romance without having to "find time."

I have read and enjoyed many a Harlequin Presents through the years, even if they aren't my favorite. I tend to like my heroines with a little more spunk, world experience and my heros a little less domineering. An alpha male hero can be a great thing, if the motivation is right, but some Presents miss the mark for me.

I thought it was important to mention that before reviewing a Presents title. The nature of the line kinda means that the chances of one of its books blowing me away are slim. BUT, for some the Presents line is the bees knees so I wanted ove disclosure at the start of this review.

Lynn does an excellent job with writing this story and somehow manages to create a Presents heroine I'm not yelling at to get a backbone! In fact, I really loved the character of Antonella and felt very sympatheic to her story and how she was trying to help her country.

The hero Cristiano was a little harder for me becuase of his ruthlessness toward Antonella at the beginning of the story, but his true colors did show through quickly and he proved to be a sort of rescuing knight - one with ruinious seduction in mind, but still a knight that wouldn't leave a lady to die or fend for herself.

Since I'm a Harelquin fangirl, I'm well aware that the stories happen in a much shorter time frame than your normal romance, but in this instance it was the one thing that didn't really work for me. With Cristiano and Antonella's time together so limited, and with started off with so much hate between them, I couldn't take the leap to believing that Antonella was in love with him.

Maybe if Antonella had taken longer to come to that realization the story would have worked better for me, becuase everything else was there. Good characters, great plot, a good amount of chemistry and conflict. Very well done, I just needed more between them before she falls in so deep.

I give this a 3 Heart Review, but if Presents was more my style it could easily have been a 4. A good read from an author I'm looking forward to seeing more from!

New Release Tuesday

For releases this week, you have to check out all the launch books available from Carina Press. Here's the website link, and here are a few of the book covers...

Samhain Publishing Tuesday releases can be found here - check out a few of those covers...

Another release I was looking forward to this week is:

Carina Press Week @ Pearl’s World of Romance!

Carina Press Week
SO today I’m totally pimping for a fellow book blogger who is hosting a Carina Press Week at her blog that is so awesome I couldn’t pass up the chance to tell you about it.

Pearl at Pearl’s World of Romance (one of my fav book blogs!) hosted a very cool interview with Executive Editor Angela James yesterday, and continues the week with interviews and posts with Carina Press authors.
Like Pearl, I’m super excited about the launch of Carina Press and hope you’ll check out all their launch books here.

If you are looking for books from new authors and a fresh new publisher, make sure to Visit Pearl’s World of Romance this week!

Romance Book Review: Crush on You by Christie Ridgway

Book Review: Crush on You by Christie Ridgway
Berkley Sensation
June 2010 
5 Heart Review

The Baci sisters are on a mission to save Tanti Baci - the winery that's been in their family for generations - by transforming it into the perfect wedding destination. 

If only they didn't need the help of the Bennett brothers next door...

Alessandra Baci is determined to makes sure the winery's first wedding goes off without a hitch. Unfortunately, the "Nun of Napa," as she's affectionately known n, has had some bad luck when it comes to nuptials, starting with her own wedding day five years before when her fiance didn't arrive at the alter. Still, she'll do anything to keep her promise to her father - even if it means enlisting the help of the sexy Penn Bennett...

Straight out of Hollywood, where he's the handsome star of prime time's hottest home renovation show. Penn is Alessandra's only hope for restoring the crown jewel of the Baci estate. Too bad the Bennett men, who own the winery next door and are the sister's greatest rivals, are off-limits. Becuase Penn would like nothing more than to teach the sinless "Nun of Napa" an unholy, hands on lesson...

I adored the opening scenes of this book - filled with humor, sadness, insight and immediately making the reader want to know who Alessandra is and what happened to her - it kicks off a book I read through in a single sitting.

The inital meeting between Alessandra and Penn doesn't disappoint, and neither does their chemistry throughout the book or how Ridgway layers both backstories along the way.

In fact, she perfectly weaves Alessandra's story in a way that keeps you wondering and never ventures anywhere close to an info dump. What's even better is how you can really understand how Alessandra feels about the town's view of her as "The Nun of Napa." This alone is proof that Christie Ridgway is a kick-ass writer and expert storyteller.

Hero Penn will amuse and his quest to prove Alessandra is no Nun will have you smiling as you fly through the pages. The little added details about being a TV star were layered throughout the story and ring completely true. It's a fun, fictional look at that life.

On a side note, there is a secondary relationship in the book that rocked my world and I would have begged for it to have been it's own book. Seriously - Can we do a prequel that ends during the same time frame? Maybe I need to send that request straight to Christie and her publisher.

This book is the first in a new series by Ridgway and I am so looking forward to the next ones as it seems they will include Alessandra's sisters and more Bennett brothers.

I've been reading a ton of funny, sexy contemporary romances lately and there is a reason - a good one makes my day. These are the stories I love the most - I'm a blogger that will shout out my love of contemporaries to anyone who'll listen. Contemporary Romance isn't dead - it's thriving with authors like Christie Ridgway setting the bar.

As always, I want to know - Have you read a book by Christie Ridgway yet? If so, tell us what you thought. Have you ever dreamed of visiting Napa? I know I have!

Monday Morning Cuteness!

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Do you organize your home bookshelves? Are they alphabetical, by author or by genre? I really want to know since I'll be undertaking organizing my books soon and can't decide!

Book Review: Shut Up and Kiss Me by Christie Craig

Book Review: Shut Up and Kiss Me by Christie Craig
Love Spell - Dorchester Publishing - Guaranteed Read
3 Heart Review

WELCOME TO PRECIOUS, TEXAS...where fistfights serve as dinner theater and fire ants rain from the sky. The locals are usually very friendly, if a bit eccentric. No pictures please, or you may find yourself a guest of the county morgue.

Photojournalist Shala Winters already had her hands full bringing tourism to this backward, podunk little town, but her job just got tougher. Pictures can say a thousand words, and one of Shala’s is screaming bloody murder. Now she has to entrust a macho, infuriating lawman with her life—but she’ll never trust him with her heart.

Trusted or not, Sky Gomez isn’t about to let a killer get his hands on Shala’s Nikon—or any of her more comely assets, for that matter. Her mouth might move faster than a Piney Woods roadrunner, but all he can think about is how good it must taste…and how she’ll never escape true love.

If you haven't read Christie Craig then you're missing out on some of the funniest, quirkiest and literally laugh out loud books being published. Craig never fails to make me laugh, smile and sit on the edge of my seat as the suspense develops. It's not often an author can create a book both full of danger and suspense, while at the same time giving you characters who crack you up and keep you smiling.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know I LOVE a story that can make me laugh and Craig delivers with Shut Up and Kiss Me, just as she does in all her books. Craig's books are memorable because they are unlike most other books out there in their truly original characters, quirky humor and her dedication to making the eccentric seem like it's as normal as the sun rising.

While I enjoyed this book, it was not my favorite of Craig's. Maybe that's an issue - an author whose previous books you loved so much that you make it almost impossible for them to keep topping themselves! I'm not sure how I would have rated this book if it was the first I'd read by the author. I tend to think it would have gotten a higher rating than the 3 Hearts I have given it here.

It was a very enjoyable and well-written book, but again suffers from being compared to Craig's other books in my memory. That's why I'd like to give the author herself a rating - Craig is a solid 4 - with hints toward a perfect 5 for me. I give this rating because I don't want you to see a 3 Heart Review and think this book fell short - it didn't. 

You are really missing out if you haven't picked up a Christie Craig book and enjoyed her unique sense of humor sprinkled with suspense and a whole lot of heat!

Do yourself a favor and give her books a try and then come back and thank me. :)

Have you read any Christie Craig books? If so, which was your favorite? If not, do you like funny romances or are you all about the dark drama? What type of tone do you most enjoy reading?

Welcome Guest Author Marie-Claude Bourque & Comment to Win!

MCB-photo-verysmall Why I find Snape Sexy: My Love Affair With Sorcerers.

I think my love affair with sorcerers started when I was a kid and read (and reread) a French historical series called Angélique by Anne and Serge Golon. Set in the 17th century, the series featured a heroine whose one true love was her first husband, a count and alchemist who was left limping after a brush with the inquisition and that she believes dead for a big part of the series until she is reunited with him after many adventures. He was older and wise and yes, very sexy.

Later in my teens, I fell for a powerful wizard from the first Dragonlance series written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. This wizard, called Raistlin Majere, is physically weak but extremely powerful. And maybe that is why I love wizards and sorcerers so much, it’s their powers that make them so alluring.

There is a great scene in one of the Harry Potter movie where Snape dramatically enters the classroom, his robes billowing behind him as he closes the window shutters with one hand gesture. I love that scene. So much power! How can I not fall for Snape there! I know, he’s a little creepy, but I always fell for the underdog. When Harry Potter screams his Patronus charm and yells Expecto Patronum in the dark forest, in yet another very intense scene of a Harry Potter movie, I can see how enticing he will become as a man.

It’s no wonder I chose to make my ANCIENT WHISPERS heroes sorcerers. Not only they possess this incredible magical power, but also, because I can do what I want in the word I created, these men are tall, strong and extremely handsome. Most were warriors in their time and learned magic as they became immortal in order to find their lost soul mates who are now reborn in modern time.

Replacing wizard robes with long coats that hide the magical components needed for their spells and the enchanted dagger that cuts through various dimensions, these sorcerers are everything I always dreamed of, strong, sexy, and powerful, very powerful. They make a woman want to hide in their arms, absolutely protected from anything within the safety of their coats, their masculine scent enveloping them like an overwhelming yet enticing shadow.

When I started to write about my sorcerers, each deadly, haunted by a tortured past, I hadn’t read any modern romance with wizard, sorcerer or alchemist hero. I am sure they exit and I’d love to find more. Just last month I discovered Jim Butcher’s series the Dresden files. When I read on the book cover that it was like a wizard Robert B Parker book, I knew I had to read the series (I’m a Robert B. Parker addict). I bought the first one and wasn’t disappointed. I’m waiting impatiently for the next ones in the series that I just ordered,

AncientWhispers-original-medium So here is my challenge to you readers, please give me some recommendation of wizards, sorcerers or magic-user romance that, like mine, is set in real world modern time. I am currently happy reading the Dresden files, but I need something else to read next!

Please give me a suggestion and I’ll give-away a signed copy of ANCIENT WHISPERS to a lucky commenter!


Marie-Claude Bourque is the American Title V winner and author of ANCIENT WHISPERS, a sensual gothic paranormal romance filled with sorcerers and Celtic priestesses in search for eternal love in modern time. She worked as a climate research scientist, a scientific translator and a fitness expert until she turned to fiction writing. She draws her inspiration from the French legends of her childhood and a fascination for dark fantasy.

ANCIENT WHISPERS, a Dorchester –Love Spell release is available now wherever books are sold. Find more at and don’t forget to enter the contest for her month-long virtual release party at

Let’s Do the Hop! The Book Blogger Hop :)

cfb meme button The lovely Crazy For Books is hosting the Book Blogger hop again this Friday and I highly recommend you check out the site to find tons of great new blogs!

If you’re finding Cheeky Reads from the hop, Welcome! I read and write about Romance Book including all sub genres like UF, Paranormal, Mystery, etc. I also do audio book reviews.

Check out the current giveaway I have today with author Marie-Claude Bourque for a signed copy of Ancient Whispers – her hot new paranormal romance!

Happy Reading!

Cheeky Girl Sabrina

Audio Lovin’: Audio Book Review of Savor the Moment (Bride (Nora Roberts))

Performed by: Angela Dawe
Brilliance Audio Unabridged Version
Approx. 9 Hours
Story – 4 Heart Review
Voice Performance – 3 Heart Review

#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts cordially invites you to meet childhood friends Parker, Emma, Laurel, and Mac — the founders of Vows, one of Connecticut’s premier wedding planning companies.

Laurel McBane has always relied on her friends for support, especially when her dream of attending culinary school was almost ruined by her parents’ financial problems. Now Laurel is repaying the kindness of her friends by creating extravagantly luscious tiers of cakes and other confectionary delights that add the perfect touch to their clients’ weddings.

As for romance, Laurel believes in it — in theory. But she’s too low-key to appreciate all the luxuries that other women seem to long for. What she does appreciate is a strong, intelligent man, a man just like Parker’s older brother, Delaney Brown, on whom Laurel has had a mega crush since childhood.

But some infatuations last longer than others, and Laurel is convinced that the Ivy League lawyer is still out of her reach. Plus, Del is too protective of Laurel to ever cross the line with her, or so she thinks. When Laurel’s quick- silver moods get the better of her — leading to an angry, hot, altogether mind-blowing kiss with Del — she’ll have to quiet the doubts in her mind to turn a moment of passion into forever…

Narrator Angela Dawe gets the heroine Laurel’s voice perfectly, but Emma and Mac’s voices tended to draw me out of the story. The male voices weren’t bad, but didn’t stand out to me as great or memorable. Again though, Laurel’s voice seemed to match the character perfectly.

This was a very solid, well-developed story and one would expect no less from La Nora. She’s a #1 best seller for a reason ladies – because she knows how to structure a story and create characters you can get wrapped up in.

As I listened to the story, I was struck by just how much detail was focused on Laurel’s baking and the weddings and wished that those details had been more in the background and the romance had more front and center time.

That was my only issue with this story that sometimes I got frustrated with all the details about stuff other than the romance. These are two fun, great characters that are made for each other – focus on them!

I wasn’t disappointed in the romance and loved all the other characters – if you don’t count the off voices – and can highly recommend this story whether in book form or in audio. If the romance would have had more face time then this book could have been a 5 Heart Review for me.

Monday Morning Cuteness!

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Happy Memorial Day - I hope you are enjoying some time off work and are reading something great over the weekend. Happy Reading!

Audio Lovin': Audio Book Review of Reckless by Amanda Quick

Audio Lovin: Audio Book Review of Reckless by Amanda Quick
Performed by Anne Flosnik
Briilliance Audio Unabridged Version
11 Hours : 55 Minutes
Story – 3 Heart Review
Narrator – 5 Heart Review

At sixteen Phoebe Layton had imagined that Gabriel Banner was a brave and valiant knight, a noble-hearted hero born to rescue ladies in distress. Which was why, eight years later, when she desperately needed help to carry out a vital quest she could think of no one more suited to the job than Gabriel.

But when she lures her shining knight to a lonely midnight rendezvous, Phoebe finds herself sparring with a dangerously desirable man who is nothing like the hero of her dreams, and when he sweeps her into a torrid – and blatantly unchivalrous – embrace, she can’t help but fear that she’s made a dreadful mistake. It’s a kiss that will seal Phoebe’s fate. For now the exacting Earl of Wylde has a quest of his own: to possess the most intriguing, impulsive, outrageous female he has ever met…even if he has to slay a dragon to do it.

Right off the bat, I knew I was going to have fun with this audio book. The narrator (voice performer?) Anne Flosnik did excellent voices, and the hero and heroine had me wrapped around their little fingers very quickly.

This was audio book that had me literally smiling as I drove down the highway. First off, Anne does a wonderful job with the voices transporting you to the time period. What made me smile was that if ever there was an audio book made for a drinking game this is it and the narrator adds so much fun with her tone!

Just what do I mean? Well, without giving away any spoilers, I can tell you the hero and heroine are on a quest to find a book called the Lady and the Sorcerer. Now – take the word Sorcerer and make it Sore-soar-roar in a sing song voice and you have an instant drinking game! Mrs. Quick includes the title of the book so many times you’ll be drunk before you’re even past the first few chapters. It could have been insanely annoying, but again, the way the narrator says the line cracked me up every time.

My issues with this audio book didn’t involve the great narration. Instead, I was disappointed in the characters as the story moved forward. I adored the heroine Phoebe at the beginning of the story, but found myself falling out of love with her as the story progressed. Why? Because the author created such a smart, intelligent and witty woman in Phoebe and then made her seem to regress in intelligence and become more naïve as the story went on. Phoebe lost the wit and spunk she showed in the first few chapters and this made me lose interest in the story.

There were also a few parts of the story I felt didn’t feel right. Phoebe and Gabriel were smart and yet they only watch the front of a building when trying to catch a thief. Hello – everyone knows thieves don’t go in the front door! It felt like this part of the plot was forced and didn’t go well with what the characters would have thought to have done.

Gabriel was a hero readers will swoon over and Phoebe is great in the beginning. She’s still “her” at the end, but I just felt that the story didn’t hold up the promise of her character that was presented at the beginning. It’s like, LOOK – awesome strong historical female, and then she slowly loses her intelligence. I just shake my head as I write this because Phoebe rocked it at the start of the story.

I did get many chuckles – even beyond the drinking game phrases – and enjoyed listening to this historical romance. I will definitely be listening to more of Amanda Quick’s audio book and cannot say enough about how well Anne Flosnik did with the voices.

Monday Afternoon Cuteness!

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Sorry I missed posting this earlier! Hope you are making it through Monday with a smile. :)

Bookstore Finds: What Caught My Eye in Borders

I spent a few minutes of my life today browsing the romance selections at the Borders right across the parking lot from my office. If I’m ever in need of a 5-10 minute break or a nice lunch treat, I walk over there and get lost in the books.
I thought it might be fun to do a regular feature where I post about any book covers that really caught my eye, or books I hadn’t heard of but discovered there. Pretty much a post about what caught my eye at Borders.
So, here my first of these posts and what caught my eye today. Funny enough, today I’m featuring all Harlequin titles. I really had no idea when I was taking the pics – when I got back I realized they were all from different HAR lines. Guess I like what the cover gods over at HAR do!
amanda Amanda McIntyre always gets amazing covers for her Harlequin Spice books, and The Master & The Muses is no exception.
kate What caught my eye about this one was it’s a different look for a Blaze. Usually they have both men or women or they tend to have blond heroes on the cover. This one struck me as different.
lynn This is the one I came away with today. I’ve heard great things about Lynn Raye Harris’ Presents books so I thought I would try one out. Hope to have a review sometime soon.
susan Ok, this book screams sexy summer beach read to me. And no, I’m not talking about the Guinness World Records book. I absolutely love this cover for Susan Anderson’s Skintight. It makes me feel happy just to look at it!
That’s it for this week. Until next time happy reading!

DNF's - Do You Finish Every Book, or Are Some DNF's?

I admit it; I've never read a book I didn't finish. No matter how bad, how horribly written or plotted, I've finished every single book I've ever cracked open. Whether it's the hope that it WILL eventually get better, or that I just have to know how it ends even if I hate it, I feel this intense need to see the story to the end.

Once, just once, there was a book that almost became a DNF for me. It wasn't a romance at all. It was Without Remorse by Tom Clancy. A really awesome story - bogged down in tons of technical jargon that had me going back pages to see if I could remember what weapon did what and who was on the good side. I put that book down many times over a year - but always came back to it. Again, the central plot and characters are fantastic; I just couldn't keep track of all the details. I eventually finished that book - and have kept a copy on my shelf ever since almost like a trophy of the accomplishment.

Why am I bringing this up? Because I just might have my very first DNF. Although it's an audio book and not print, I don't think I would be interested in the story anymore. It's literally the worst audio book I've ever heard. The voices are horrible imitations of Hillbilly cartoons. The Hero's voice is by far the worst and he even says Ga-Ron-Tea (guarantee) in a voice straight from Yosemite Sam at one point.

This audio book is so bad I literally cringed driving down the road when the hero speaks or a new character with some insane fake southern accent is introduced. The author is a very well know one, and I've heard people love the books - but I do not think I could read these in print without having those voices playing in my head.

I won't go into details about the book here since I might still plan on reviewing the audio book. I can't stand thinking there might be a book out there I didn't give enough of a chance. There's a part of me that would feel guilty for not reading on when an author put so much into this. Why do a feel this way, and an even better question is do you ever feel this way?

Do you finish all the books you pick up, or do you have no problem putting down a book you aren't enjoying? Has one certain book let you down, or are you a frequent DNF'er?

I want to know - am I the only one who finishes them all? Should I stick it out on this audio book so at least I can honestly say if the story was good or not?

The Traveling Story: The Story Continues...

I was so excited to post my portion of the Book Blogger Traveling Story last week and am happy to announce that (A) was the way you wanted the story to go.

Finally, head over to Twisted Fates Cafe to see how she keeps the story going!

It's a really fun story and I can't wait to see how it all ends up. :)

Monday Morning Cuteness!

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Book Blogger Hop! Find great new sites you'll love

It's Friday! Time for another Book Blogger HOP!!

Hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books, the Book Blogger Hop is an amazing place to find great new-to-you book blogs. Seriously, head over there and check out the list of links! 

From Crazy-For-Books: ABOUT THE HOP:

In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blogger Hop to give us all book bloggers and readers a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! So, I created this weekly BOOK PARTY where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start PARTYING!!

The Hop lasts Friday-Monday every week, so if you don't have time to Hop today, come back later and join the fun! This is a weekly event!

The Traveling Story: A Book Blogger Round Robin

I'm excited to be a part of The Traveling Story. I'm Part 2 - make sure to read to the end and vote on which way you want the story to go. Choose A, B or C and then I'll hand the story off to the next blogger. You've got three days to vote!

Part 1: From Romance In The Backseat

We have all read the books, and seen the movies, and dreamed them up in a passing cloud, but there is no such thing as dragons. Or so Eliza McKenzie thought. Then early Saturday morning the door to her apartment was set on fire. Just the door, one second a normal door, the next it looked like the flaming entrance to hell. Eliza might have been able to rationalize this. Fires happen, maybe arson, maybe spontaneous combustion, she would have come up with something after she climbed out the window and dropped from the second story into the bushes.

The explanation would have had nothing to do with a giant, green, winged, lizard knocking through the door and standing on the welcome mat surrounded by fire. Eliza’s eyes doubled in size as the massive beast (her mind had not come up with the word dragon yet) opened his mouth to suck in a deep breath.

Fire came rushing for her face just as the dragon, yes it was definitely a dragon, was pulled from the room by his tail. The wall shook, the ground quaked, and there was the horrible sound of wood breaking mixed with the screech of nails on a chalk board. The floor gave another bounce then the sound of the hallway window shattering held Eliza’s full attention.

Eliza’s window still looked inviting as heavy footsteps made their way back towards her apartment. The green shape, flashing golden wings gliding by outside changed her mind. Whoever was walking towards her had kicked a dragon’s ass, but hopefully would lack a muzzle full of sharp teeth. After the dragon a troll, wizard, or kilt clad Highlander would feel down right normal. Though if that actor guy walked in and started preaching Scientology Eliza would know this was all a dream.

Henry Howard her somewhat geeky next door neighbor stepping over the smoking door was a bit of a let down. Tall, slender, wiry, Eliza had often wondered how he carried victims out of burning buildings. Henry was a full time Fire Fighter for the city. His moving in down the hall three months ago had actually allowed Eliza to sleep better at night. She just felt safer for no reason, or at least not one she could pin down. Though the feeling now seemed more than justified.

Henry gave her his usual crooked smile, eyes flashing behind his soot covered glasses.

“You still have your eyebrows, or were they singed off? Can’t tell from here.”

The possible loss of her eyebrows was just too much to contemplate. Eliza’s temper began to simmer and boil as Henry calmly used his t-shirt to clean his glasses. “Who the heck are you anyway?” the question forced its way out between clenched teeth.

PART 2: Cheeky Reads

“A better question might be who are you? Since I believe it was your apartment I just had to keep a dragon from making an inferno out of,” Henry quipped with a lift of his brow.

“Listen here mister,” she sputtered as she placed her hands on her hips and tried her best to stand up straight and present an intimidating figure. Ok, so at 5’4 intimidating was pushing it, but hey, a little display of confidence could help a girl through a lot of messy situations. She watched as Henry’s lips twitched. A sure sign he was holding back laughter. No way was he standing there laughing at her!

Poking her finger in his chest she demanded, “How did you manage to chase off a…a dragon? I mean you have to admit you’re not packing any serious muscles. Unless you’re some sort of Superman/Clark Kent superhero? And seriously, a dragon? I think we are both inhaling some serious toxic fumes from this smoke and have lost our grip on reality. Dragons do not exist.”

This time he let a deep chuckle escape at her overflow of questions. “If you say so, but then what do you call the giant, green scale-covered creature I just ran off for you? You and I both know that was a dragon.”

“Exactly!” She exclaimed. “You want to tell me how come you aren’t freaking out about that. And how did you drive him away?”

“Now you’re asking the right questions. I think it’s time we had a nice long chat over a cup of coffee.”

Henry reached out and brushed a smudge of soot from her cheek. Instead of the irritation that had been welling up inside her, she felt a frisson of excitement as his fingers moved against her skin. Startled that she had just stood there staring at geeky boy next door; she backed away and turned to stare at what remained of her front doorway.

“I don’t think my apartment is in any shape for entertaining.”

She met Henry’s gaze and couldn’t help but smile. “How about we figure out something to do about my front door before we head over to Mel’s? Somehow I think a dragon trying to fry me to a crisp calls for something a little stronger than a cup of Joe.”

Walking over to Eliza’s phone, Henry checked for a dial tone and then dialed a number from memory.

“Dek, I need the team over here for a clean-up and containment job fast.”

Eliza watched as Henry ran his hands through his slightly wavy brown hair that was just a tad too long and wondered what he was going to say to his fellow firefighters when they arrived. Had he said containment?

“Yeah,” Henry murmured. “Apt. 303. I must have been right about this one,” he said and then hung up the phone.

“This one,” Eliza demanded feeling her previous agitation start to rear its head again.

“Hold off on that anger until we sit down to have our talk. You’ll have a whole bunch more questions and some issues to deal with after that. You don’t want to waste all your anger on me just now.”

Putting a hand on Eliza’s back, he attempted to start moving her toward the crispy doorway.


A.) Growing frustrated with the situation and not sure if she should be trust him, Eliza felt her anger and frustration overflow. One minute Henry is touching her back. The next, he’s flat on the ground with her foot on his throat.

B.) Looking up into Henry’s eyes Eliza can’t believe how calm she feels by his side, even as her partially scorched apartment surrounds them. What is it about this man she thinks right before she lifts up onto her tiptoes to press a light kiss to his cheek? “Thank you,” she whispers.

C.) “A girl cannot go out looking like this. Give me five minutes to freshen up unless you want the whole apartment building to think I’ve been the victim of some horrible accident. Ok. They would be right, but I have the feeling this is something we might want to keep to ourselves,” Eliza questioned.

How do you want the story to continue?

UPDATE: You Voted for A - Now head over to Twisted Fates Cafe to read the next installment!

Welcome Guest Author Raven Corinn Carluk

Hello everyone. I'm really glad to be at Cheeky Reads today, and I appreciate your attention. I'm a new author, and I'd like to let you know about my book. All Hallows Blood is my debut vampire romance, out from Crescent Moon Press, on both the Kindle and print at Barnes&Noble.

But that's the boring part. "Come to my site. Read my book." 8P Everyone says that. And I'd love you to do that, of course. However, I think you need a reason. Just telling you I'm a good storyteller with a fun page-turner isn't enough. It's got a good adventure, hot sex, and fun characters. It's the first book in my series, and I want you to love my main characters as much as I do. And while those are great reasons to give me a try, there's more.

Not only do I have short stories on my site, but I'm doing an ongoing story in my blog. That one is basically the first draft of a book I'll eventually write. Those are good reasons to come by. You can also read the excerpt of my novel, and let that entice you.

Oh, and there's the contest I'm having on my blog. Come by before the 14th and leave a comment about your first vampire experience for a chance to win an autographed copy of my book. Jump on that quickly.

What I'll give you here is a little scene I wrote up, just for you folks. This is from a book idea I have. I haven't even started writing it. The premise is the daughter of a vampire hunter and a sad lost vampire fall in love, and her father comes back to town and plans to kill this vampire. I LOVE star-crossed lovers, don't you?

So, enjoy this treat. It's my way to give you a reason to read my book.

Marcus stared at her, heart in his throat. His sweet Karalana was leaving, packing her flat. Watching from the middle of the balcony, he decided it wasn't everything; she was taking just enough to start a new life somewhere.

"You can't leave," he said, pushing open the sliding glass door. Heat followed him, desert scents mixing with the aroma of growing things. Kara had a talent for coaxing growth from anything, even in Las Vegas.

Like his heart. She looked up, blue eyes wide, mouth parted in a gasp. Marcus felt life stirring in him. Nothing amazed him more than his reaction to her. Kara's pulse raced, and he longed to taste it against his lips.

"What are you doing here? Jackson can't find you." Her voice was more relieved than concerned; Kara was happy to see him.

"The book store is closed."

She smiled ruefully, returning to her task. With her back turned, he could so easily approach, wrap his arms around her, and kiss her long neck. Her hair was already up, out of the way. Marcus took a step closer, letting desire move him.

"Of course it is. I'm moving on so Jackson can't hurt you, can't find me." Kara moved to her bedroom, and Marcus followed. There was no fear in her voice, though her shoulders were tense. He would do anything to relieve her stress. "He wanted to use me as bait."

Marcus growled. "Is this a trap?" His fists clenched on their own. It had been decades since he'd last done physical violence, be he would kill Jackson if the hunter laid a hand on Kara.

She turned, eyes wide, and closed the gap between them. Laying her hands on his chest brought him great relief. "No!" Karalana smiled, tilting her head. "I told my father long ago I wanted nothing to do with hunting vampires. I still don't." She shook her head, lowering her eyelids. "I want nothing to do with hunting you."

The young woman's hands were so warm on his chest. As soft as her name, Kara yet had a strength to her that could endure any pain. "Don't leave," Marcus said again, closing his eyes. "I'll go, draw Jackson away. Keep your life here."

Kara leaned forward until they were almost touching. "Where will you go?"

Anywhere to keep you safe, he thought. "Away. Some place Jackson won't be near you." Marcus dared to open his eyes.

She stared at him, tears brimming, cheeks flushed. She tightened her grip on his chest, and he couldn't stop himself from laying his hands on her shoulders. "I don't want you to leave."

Her plea was hardly a whisper, but it was a clarion call to his soul. This charming young woman wanted him, wasn't scared of him. How could he deny her?

Leaning forward, Marcus kissed her. One hand cupped the back of her head, the other traveled to the small of her back. Kara grabbed his neck, pulling him closer, opening her mouth. Passion burned them, and both would gladly be consumed by the fire.

Kara broke the kiss, drawing his mouth to her neck. Marcus groaned, fangs aching as need swelled. "Stay with me." She pressed the heat of her pulse to him.

Marcus obliged her, finding solace in her blood.

Thanks for reading this scene. Hope you enjoyed it. I would love to hear from you.

Raven Corinn Carluk

Monday Morning Cuteness!

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Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day and that the week kicks off with something awesome for you!

Romance Book Review: An Earl to Enchant by Amelia Grey

AnEarlToEnchant Romance Book Review: An Earl to Enchant: The Rogues' Dynasty
By: Amelia Grey
Sourcebooks Casablanca
3 Heart Review

He's Determined Not To Be A Hero...

Lord Morgandale is as notorious as he is dashing, and he's determined no woman will tie him down. But from the moment Arianna Sweet appears on his doorstep, he cannot resist the lure of her fascinating personality, exotic wardrobe, and tempting green eyes...

She Has A Deadly Secret...

Arianna Sweet never imagined the significance of her father's research until after his untimely death. Now she is in possession of his groundbreaking discovery, one that someone would kill for. She can't tell Lord Morgandale her secret, but she knows she needs his help, desperately...

A fan of author Amelia Grey's Rogue's Dynasty series, I was very much looking forward to reading An Earl to Enchant and it proved to be a delightful read.

I found it amazing how much of this story is told with just the hero and heroine and within just a few rooms/settings. It is so focused on the couple and their being alone together, but it never fails to keep the reader engaged and entertained. It takes a very good writer to have so much of the story with just those two characters and very few appearances of others. I was highly impressed with the skill this took and the reader will not miss those extra characters or settings at all. I loved how straight forward this love story was without all the extra noise.

The storyline of the heroine Arianna having spent much of her life in India made this story come alive with something other than just your usual young lady. Arianna's missteps for what is acceptable in English society are expertly layered throughout the story, but they are not overly done or exaggerated as many authors might do. These escapades added just the right hint of exotic fun and all three Rogue brother's viewing Arianna belly dancing through a window was a scene you will chuckle out loud over. 

The part of the story that wasn't as compelling to me was that of finding Arianna's father's murderer. Yes, I know this was the driving motivation behind Arianna's character, but I really skipped right over these sections. I didn't care who had killed her father, or that they were caught, I just wanted more of Morgan fighting to not fall in love, and then fighting not to marry Arianna even though he loved her.     

It was refreshing to have a virgin heroine who was perfectly okay with never marrying and not because she was afraid of men. Instead, Arianna was just happy with life and didn't feel the need for a man to make her existence better. She loved Morgan, but would not have wanted him to marry her if he hadn't loved her. She was a very unassuming heroine and I enjoyed that.

If you haven't read any of the Rogue's Dynasty Series you should really check them out. They are very well-written and lovely books that always satisfy me.

More Than Words Winner

More Than Words The inspiring comments in the More Than Words contest were truly something special. Thank you to each and every one of you and I’m so glad to hear you each had special people in your life!

I’m sorry I can’t give you all books, but please remember that all proceeds from the sale of More Than Words benefit the charity. Here’s the link again.
The winner of the free copy of More Than Words Volume 6 is…

Email me at cheekyreads @ (no spaces) and let me know your address.

Happy Reading!

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