Category Archives: Reviews
Lacey will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift certificate to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Make sure you leave a comment and your email. Good luck!
Ginny and Cole have struggled to connect intimately since before their marriage. When Cole suggests they surprise each other with the most sexually daring things they can dream up for their anniversary, Ginny reluctantly musters every ounce of courage she possesses to get nipple piercings.
He’s turned their suburban basement into a dungeon—and hired a sexy Dom to teach them the art of BDSM.
Desperately in love with his wife, Cole’s aware of sensitive sexual demons in Ginny’s past, and will try anything to beat them. Whips, toys, ménage play with the Dom…all these and more could help Ginny find pleasure, break through her issues.
Or, if they’re not careful, possibly just break Ginny.
By the time our third round of drinks arrived, we’d determined that I had no imagination of my own, which probably explained why I had chosen technical writing as a career.
We had also established that I’d never thought about dressing up as a naughty nurse or a strict schoolteacher or a sexy maid. I didn’t fantasize about being blindfolded or tickled with a feather or covered in chocolate sauce. I’d also never wanted to have sex in public or watch porn or pose for nude photos.
“Wow.” Donna twirled the stem of her martini glass between her fingers. “So what do you fantasize about?”
An image of a woman tied to a tree in a dark forest flashed through my head. It was brief and sudden, jolting me so I sat ramrod straight in my chair. “Nothing.”
She tilted her head at an angle and looked at me as if I’d just sprouted a third eyeball in the middle of my forehead. “Come on. You can’t be serious.”
I couldn’t hold her gaze anymore, so I looked past her right shoulder into the crowd. I used to have fantasies. Filthy ones that involved whips and pain and reddened flesh. But Ben had cured me of those long ago.
“There’s something wrong with me, isn’t there?” I was feeling more and more miserable with each passing second, and the cocktails weren’t helping. I huffed out a breath. “Listen, I like sex. It’s pleasurable and pleasant and nice.”
Donna’s laugh startled me. It went on and on. “Nice?” She gasped when she could finally catch her breath and dabbed a tear from the corner of her eye. “Sex is nice? No, no, no. A foot rub is nice. A perfect creme brûlée is nice. The sight of a sleeping kitten is nice. Sex is… It’s toe-curling, incredible, mind-blowing.”
I lifted an eyebrow. “Mind-blowing?”
She nodded. “If you’re doing it right.”
Clearly I’d been doing it wrong for a very long time. Was that my fault or Cole’s? I still had so many questions, and I was no closer to figuring out how to surprise my husband for our anniversary.
I stared down into my empty glass. “There aren’t enough drinks in the world for this.”
Welcome Lacey Savage! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Hi Harlie! Thanks so much for having me here today.
I live in Ottawa, Canada, with my fabulous husband of 14 years and a cat who’s convinced he runs the place. (We don’t have the heart to tell him otherwise.) I’ve been published since 2003, and I currently write for Ellora’s Cave, Carina Press (under a different pen name), Changeling Press, Loose Id, and Amber Quill Press.
Is Coming Unbound a single title, or part of a series?
It’s a single title, but I’ve learned to never say never when it comes to possible sequels.
What were your inspirations for the story?
I had a flash of inspiration while lying in bed one morning. I imagined a married couple wanting to bring some heat back into their bedroom, and started to wonder how things could get complicated for them. I knew I had my story when I pictured the husband opening the door to what had previously been a run-of-the-mill suburban basement, and showing his wife the BDSM dungeon he’d had installed. Surprise!
Please share your setting for Coming Unbound. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?
Coming Unbound is set in Chicago, with a detour in San Francisco. I visited Chicago last year for the Romantic Times Convention, and promptly fell in love with the city. There’s so much wonderful architecture, and so many things to see and do. I’ve never been to San Francisco, but I have a friend who adores the place, so I’m looking forward to taking a trip there sometime soon.
When did the writing bug first bite?
When I was in sixth grade, my parents and I moved to New York City from Romania. I was having trouble fitting in at school, but on a whim I entered a creative writing competition despite the fact that I barely spoke English. And let’s not talk about my grasp of English grammar or spelling, because both were pretty much non-existent at the time. So it wasn’t a surprise to me when my entry came back drowning in a sea of red pen. I don’t think there was one word the teacher didn’t have to correct. But what was surprising was the fact that despite all that, I actually won! Turns out my storytelling skills were much stronger than my grammar skills, and that’s what counted the most. Winning that competition gave me such a sense of accomplishment, and made me feel like I could follow my passion no matter what obstacles stood in my way.
Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
Oh boy, too many to count! I adore epic fantasy, so I’m a huge fan of George R.R. Martin’s A GAME OF THRONES. I also love Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. And a friend recently recommended Nalini Singh’s archangel series, which I’m devouring right now.
If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
I’d love to pick Nora Roberts’ brain, so she’d definitely be at the top of the list. I’d also like to talk to Stephen King and Dean Koontz, as well as George R. R. Martin, Tad Williams, and Janet Evanovich. That would be one fun discussion!
Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I’m an artist in every sense of the word. I sketch, draw and paint every day. I also scrapbook, make handmade greeting cards, and create a wide variety of home décor – everything from mixed media art canvases to upcycled antique furniture.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?
Hmm… When I was living in New York, my mom and I went for a walk in Central Park and saw a naked man selling flowers. He seemed completely unfazed by the fact that he was nude, and sold us a lovely bunch of carnations.
Oh my…take a tried and true troupe, married couple needs to get a spark back in their sex life, and spank it hard. Yes, hard and bring in the St. Andrews Cross, toys and one sexy Dom and what do you get? Coming Unbound by Lacey Savage.
Ms. Savage has managed to throw a troupe hard, against a wall and I’m still trying to catch my breath. She writes intelligently about the one thing that most couples don’t talk about it and that’s the woman’s orgasm. Yes, the elusive orgasm. Its been argued, written about, talked about and laughed at for a long time. Most men don’t understand it and women don’t like to talk about with their partners. For them, its embarrassing and they don’t want to disappoint their lovers with their inability to have one.
Ginny is no different but with her, the orgasm has a lot more to do with a single thing in her life that she has repressed so far back in her mind that it wasn’t until the Dom figured it out and pulled it out of her. Plus, it doesn’t help that her only other lover belittle her and suppressed even further her sexual needs. Her husband Cole is well aware of her demons but is desperate to help her find her orgasm for her. He just never knew how repressed she really was sexually.
*Taking a very deep breath* The scenes were very well written and intense. Ginny and Cole had no idea how the whole Dom teachings would take. It would either make them stronger or pull them apart. I held my breath after one scene because I became very afraid that they had reached Ginny’s breaking point. While the sex scenes were highly intense they only enhanced Ginny’s journey to find the truth about her sexual needs.
Be warned that when you find out about what has been repressed in the far back of Ginny’s mind, you will be able breath again. At least, I was. Ms. Savage wrote a beautifully intense, highly sexual book about sexually repression and the lengths that one couple went to find out the who, what, where and how to help Ginny.
I can not highly recommend Coming Unbound. Yes, its that’s AWESOME.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Award-winning author Lacey Savage loves to write about her dreams – or more specifically, she loves to breathe life into her steamy fantasies (and she’s got plenty!). She pens erotic tales of true love and mythical destiny, peopled with strong alpha heroes and feisty heroines. A hopeless romantic, Lacey loves writing about the intimate, sensual side of relationships. She currently resides in Ottawa, Canada, with her loving husband and their mischievous cat.
Book buy link: http://www.ellorascave.com/coming-unbound.html
Fall In Love
by Melissa Kendall
Contemporary (Aussie Outback) Romance
Publisher: Rebel Ink Press
Heat Level: Steamy
Word Count: 9,243 words
Michael Dunbar runs his family’s cattle station in the far north of Western Australia. Station life is lonely and he wishes there was a way he could find a companion that wouldn’t mind living the outback life with him. In hopes of finding a woman, Michael heads to Broome for a few weeks holiday. What he finds is something he never expected.
Mia Mason is a Perth girl who longs to leave the city behind for a life in the country.
Can two like minds fall in love? Only destiny knows.
Warning: This title is intended for readers over the age of 18 as it contains adult sexual situations and/or adult language, and may be considered offensive to some readers.
After the best night’s sleep I’d ever had, I awoke to see the sun much higher in the sky than I expected. Rolling over to look at the alarm clock, I was shocked to see it was almost eight in the morning. Never in my life had I slept in so long. On rare occasions, I had sometimes slept until seven, but usually my internal alarm clock had my eyes open at four a.m., rain, hail or shine.
Rolling over I saw the beautiful woman, who the previous night told me she was mine, still sound asleep. Careful not to wake her just yet, I hopped out of bed, threw on a tee, and went in search of my mum.
I found her in the kitchen, busy as she washed some dishes.
“Morning sleepyhead,” she said with a chuckle.
“Morning. How come you let me sleep in so long?”
“Well, technically you’re still on holidays, so there’s no need for you to be up at the crack of dawn, and well…”
“Yeah, fine, I get it.” It was obvious Mum tried to give Mia and me a little private time.
“Your dad saddled Mack and Jessie before he left this morning, so feel free to take Mia out and show her the property.” I just nodded my head in understanding. “Also, I have something for you that I think you’ll need.” She reached into her pocket and pulled out a red velvet jewellery box. “This was your Grandma’s ring. I’m pretty sure you know what to do with it.”
As I took the ring, I knew Mum had given me her and Dad’s blessing to ask Mia to marry me. Ideas had already started to form as to where and when I would do it as I headed back into the bedroom to see if Sleeping Beauty was awake yet.
The most beautiful sight greeted me as I walked in the door. Mia was indeed awake. She yawned and stretched as she shook off the sleep haze. A tantalising sliver of skin was visible between her shorts and top. My mouth watered in anticipation to see more.
“Good morning,” I said as I walked over and sat down next to her on the bed.
“You should have woken me up,” she grumbled.
“I’ve only been awake about fifteen minutes myself. Mum has bacon and eggs cooking as we speak. Do you want to eat or shower first?” I asked.
“Eat please,” she said as she crawled into my lap. She then gave me a fantastic good morning kiss, wiggling her hips just enough to tease me into a hard-on. After the kiss ended, she laughed and hopped off my lap.
“You coming?” she asked as she headed to the door.
“Almost,” I said in a cheeky tone. I stood up so she could get the full effect of what she’d done to me.
She ran back over to me and whispered in my ear, “If you’re a good boy I’ll take care of that for you in the shower after breakfast.”
That didn’t help the situation in my pants at all. The sassy woman then had the hide to flash me her boobs as she ran out the door. I was the luckiest man on the planet. I followed her out of the bedroom with the intention on being the most well behaved boy I could be because if that was the only price I had to pay to get her in the shower with me, it was one I was more than willing to pay.
Good lord Ms. Kendall knows how to write a short story. She packs so much in her short stories that its never rushed, nor plot points skimmed over, just a good old fashioned romance that when you finish, you are craving for more. I swear, I wanted Michael and Mia’s story to never end. I read every Harlequin romance book that I can get my hands that deals with the Australian Outback. There is something romantic in the setting, the way of life and the characters that come alive for me. Someone asked me once why I crave them and for me, they remind me of Oklahoma (where I was born) and Texas (where I live). There is something sexy about a ranch and the people that live and work them.
Michael has decided that he needs a vacation from the station and embarks to the city of Broome for a couple of weeks to relax and maybe find a woman. *sigh* I really felt for Michael in the opening pages. He has pretty much decided that he would be lonely for the rest of his life. Seriously, how do you convince a woman to move to a remote location and live happily ever after? Well, fate has other plans for Michael in this little ditty of a story.
Mia was a wonderful compliment to Michael. At first she seemed like a bit of a tease but as the story progressed, she really grew on me and the way she was written. Layer upon layer was revealed and in the end, she not only won Michael but me as well. Her sass and sexiness were spot on for the story. The excerpt above gives you a tidbit of her personality.
I can not impress upon you to find Melissa Kendall’s short stories, buy them, read them and fall in love with the romance genre all over again. She writes with a deft hand and knows how to draw you in and never lets you go. While short, they are well worth it. Plus, come on this one is set in Australia…what’s not to love?
I’m cheating and stealing Harlie’s signature button…. Oh wait, I’m not cheating… I am Harlie so I can use it if I want to…
About the Author
Melissa is a 37 year-old stay at home mum and part-time Software Support Consultant. She lives in Perth Western Australia the most isolated capital city in the world.
She’s always loved to read and write and spent most of her teens scribbling poetry and short stories on any scrap of paper she could get her hands on. Over the years as daily life pressures got in the way she lost the passion for it. After her son was born, she discovered online books and her interest in writing was rekindled. It has been a large part of her life ever since.
Connect with Melissa Kendall
Lia is giving away a $25 Amazon GC and a swag pack to one commenter during the tour. Rafflecopter link is at the bottom of the post. Good luck!
A Tiger’s Claim – Ashwood Falls, book 1
By Lia Davis
Publisher: Fated Desires Publishing
As the Alpha’s only daughter Shayna Andrews has always been treated like a rare gem, protected like royalty, and she’s suffocating. Her longing to be independent has driven her to sneak out one evening after dinner. After relishing in being able to run free without an escort, she finds herself face-to-face with the enemy, miles from home, and nearly loses her life until a lone wolf comes to her aid.
Travis Hunter’s main objective is to destroy the Onyx Pack—a group of drug using, murdering rogue shifters. His seek-and-destroy plans are put on hold when he rescues a female from a brutal attack. The beautifully exotic tiger shifter, Shayna, stirs a passion he thought died with his long-lost mate.
When Shay’s first heat cycle slams into her, Travis has no choice but to submit to her needs—and his own. But there is always a price to sleeping with the Pack princess. Not only will they have to face her Pack, Shay and Travis will have to deal with a mating that is beyond a single night and could have consequences more than either of them had thought. And when Travis finds out Shay wears the enemy’s brand, things will go from bad to worse.
Warning: One alpha female who doesn’t take no for an answer, a wolf with more on the line than just his heart, and a combustible attraction that’s sure to cause more than one sweaty night.
Find it on:
Find it in Print (also includes the prequel, Winter Eve):
It took ten minutes too long to reach his small one-bedroom cabin. Once inside, he carried her straight to the bedroom, flung the comforter back, and laid the female on his bed. As soon as her leg touched the mattress, she groaned in pain. Frowning, he walked to his dresser, grabbed a pair of joggers, and put them on.
He went back to the bed and sat down next to her, jarring her hip. Another painful groan made him pause. He lifted her sweater to undo her jeans so he could look at the wound. When he touched the button, she flung opened her eyes, screamed, and swung her arms wildly.
He fought with her for a few seconds before he got hold of her arms and pinned them to the bed. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
Her eyes held a wild fear he hoped never to see in a female again. The claw marks etched into both her cheeks fueled his fury more. He breathed in then out slowly.
Calm down before you scare her more than she already is.
“My name is Travis Hunter. You’re safe.”
She blinked then looked around the room. “Where…am I?”
He growled low in his throat. The tremor in her voice cut through him. “My home.”
She tried to break from his hold, and he tightened his grip. “You’re safe. I killed the rogues.”
The woman stilled and searched his face, the wildness still heavy in her blue eyes. “You’re a wolf.”
He smiled and nodded. “And you’re a tiger.”
“A white tiger.”
To match her white-blond hair. “And a beautiful one.”
Harlie’s Character Interview Questions
Name: Shayna Andrews (Shay)
Tell us a little about where you live.
I live in Ashwood Falls. It’s a leopard/wolf Pack located in the Smokey Mountains. Yes, I said leopard and wolf. About thirty years ago, before I was born, the leopards and wolves merged their Packs together to better protect themselves and fight against the Onyx Pack – a Pack of rogue shifters.
Ashwood is a strong Pack and all the members have learned to live together. I love the diverse community.
Who are your closest friends?
Cameron, a black jaguar and a senior enforcer. She is also my older brother’s, Blaine, mate. Cam is only ten older than me, so we relate on so many levels.
Danica is my other bestie. She’s the Pack Healer.
Describe yourself in three words:
Strong, caring, and protective
Who do you love?
Travis Hunter. He’s a sexy wolf who had saved me from a rogue attack.
Without giving too much away, what was one of your favorite moments with that person?
Anytime we are together, no matter what we are doing.
Anything you would like to say to your author?
I’d like to tell her thanks for telling mine and Travis’s story so we can share it with everyone.
Before I start my review I have to admit something…I don’t read a lot of shifter books. I admit it and I’m not proud of it but its out there. What intrigued me about A Tiger’s Claim was that the fact it dealt with a tiger and a wolf. Most shifter books keep within the same species so again…how is this going to play out? How are their babies going to come out in the end? Half tiger, half wolf? I can’t even imagine how the shift would happen. But in this book we don’t have to worry about that yet but darn it, now I’m hooked on the start of the series, so I’ll keep reading to find out.
A Tiger’s Claim starts off with a bang and never lets up. Our heroine, Shay is shot at, mauled, and left to die a couple of times and I finally caught my breath in the end. Whew! When she was attacked by the rogues in the beginning of the book, she was rescued by a wolf shifter, Travis. She didn’t know if she could trust me but when she came into heat, she couldn’t resist him. Was it love or lust between them? And what about Travis’ other mate? What happened to her? And let’s mention his daughter, Josie. She’s such a sweet little girl and learning about what happens to her in the book is… Just read it.
I loved this book. The characters are richly drawn and engaging. I was never lost when Ms. Davis explained Ashwood Falls and how it came to be. It fasnicated me that two different species merged together to form a bigger pack and relied on each other. Most shifters stay within their own kind but not in Ashwood Falls. Oh and there is a human that has mated with a shifter, too. There might seem like there is a lot going on and in some ways there is but I never felt lost. Ms. Davis keeps the pace flowing and the dialogue crisp. Oh and did I mention the suspense element that she has woven into the story? Yep, I’m a goner. I never guessed who was behind the attacks so when it was revealed, I was pleasantly shocked. Great job!
I look forward to reading more about Ashwood Falls, the two packs that form it and the fabulous secondary characters that came alive on the page. I can’t wait!!!!
Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and two very special kitties, a wife to her soul mate, a paranormal romance author, graphic designer, and co-owner to Fated Desires Publishing, LLC. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it!
An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very activity imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing and designing are stress relievers that allow her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs.
Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.
GIVEAWAY INFO: It is tour wide for a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Ends 4/4/2013. Rafflecopter Link is at the bottom of the post. Good Luck!
Title: Heels and Heroes
Author: Tiffany Allee
Genre: Superhero Romance, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance
Length: 27,000 words | 79 Pages
Brenda is a second-rate superhero, normally more concerned with uniform fashion than defeating bad guys. But when a violent, new super villain declares war against her city, she suddenly finds her specialized power to deafen sound in high demand.
As if facing the destructive force of a new enemy isn’t bad enough, she finds herself paired with the powerful, yet emotionally distant, Justice. Forced to work at the side of the only man who gets her heart pounding, Brenda is not only in danger of losing her life in battle, but also her heart to a man who might not be able to love her back.
“You think only some superheroes are real?” he asked, shock rushing through him.
“Justice,” she said, after glancing around to make sure they were alone. “There is a difference between real superheroes like you who have the power to save people from villains on a regular basis and people like me. My powers, such as they are, don’t make me any different from Maria and other normal people. Yours do.”
“You think it’s the powers that separate us?” Before he realized what he was doing, he was up from his chair and standing only inches from her. Her face was turned away, and she had to look at him so he could make her understand. He touched her soft skin with his fingertips, tipping her chin up. A scowl cut across her full mouth at his touch, but she didn’t move away.
“Isn’t it?” Her voice was soft, caressing.
It took a moment for him to remember what they were talking about.
“It’s not our powers that separate us—make us heroes. Yes, us,” he added as she started to shake her head. “It’s the willingness to put on the uniform. To face things that might be stronger than ourselves in order to save other people. And the lack of power you’re talking about?” Her skin brushed against his as he leaned in to whisper. “That lack of power is what makes you a real superhero, Brenda, because you’re willing to fight in spite of that fact.”
She turned her head, mouth parted to argue with him, to deny what he could so clearly see. Bringing his face down inches from hers, he grazed her jawline with his knuckles. She swayed toward him, gaze fixed on his mouth. She licked her lips, and the last bit of control he’d clung to broke.
Her lips were soft—so soft—and after a moment’s hesitation she kissed him back with a zeal he hadn’t expected. The sweet smell of strawberries filled his nose, and it occurred to him on some level that the intoxicating scent was probably her shampoo. He reached for her, touching her back with his hand, needing to get closer, to feel her body on his. She pressed against him eagerly, and her mouth opened. Soft and wet, her tongue caressed his.
Suddenly he couldn’t think about anything but her. The way she’d filled out her tight, little uniform. And the sexy confidence she donned with her conservative blouse and slacks. He hardened painfully in his uniform, and she moaned. The small sound made every muscle in his body tighten. He didn’t care that they were practically in public. He had to have her. Now.
All I can say is I want more, please. Yes, please. I’m begging. Being a HUGE superhero fan and needing an Avengers fix, this book filled it for me. I could write a separate blog about my favorite superheroes, The Avengers movie and individually ones, Old Batman movies vs. Christain Bale’s Batman, why I’m leery but excited about the new Superman and lastly, I really missed Tobie in the last Spiderman movie. *sigh* But I digress…
What first drew me to the book for review was the title. Yes, the title…Heels & Heroes. Then when I read the blurb, OMG, superheroes. I’ve read some superhero books and unfortunately, they left me cold. Heels & Heroes had humor, snappy dialogue and two people who very much-needed each other. There was just enough world building in the story to keep you interested and your head not spinning. The premise was simple, too which I liked. Take one superhero who doesn’t think she’s all that super, a superhero that is a super and mix in a villain that was truly simple in nature but also awesome with his power and you get Heels & Heroes.
Brenda has grown up in a family of truly superheroes. Always feeling like she was a disappointment to everyone around her, she retreats into her life but can’t get over how the leader of her group of supers gets her heart racing. When her skill set is needed she has to work with Justin, her leader, she’s not sure that she is up to the task. Justice (Justin) thinks she is and pushes her to realize that she is super and doesn’t need the headlines to make her that super. Justice is only sure of one thing…being a superhero. Women are a completely different thing for him as he hides behind his mask and doesn’t let people in…super or not. What is it about Brenda that gets under his skin and want to protect her when she doesn’t need the protection? The scenes had Brenda’s parents house were excellent and let’s not forget the smexiness either. Very well written and sigh worthy.
Again, I loved this book and I’m hoping that Ms. Allee has more stories for Brenda, Justice, Char and the rest of her superheroes. I’d be first in line to snap them up.
CPA-turned-romance-author Tiffany Allee used to battle spreadsheets in Corporate America, and now concentrates on her characters’ battles to find love. Raised in small-town Colorado, Tiffany currently lives in Phoenix, AZ, by way of Chicago and Denver. She is happily married to a secret romantic who tolerates her crazy mutterings.
She writes about ass-kicking heroines and the strong heroes who love them. Her work includes the suspense-driven From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency series which revolves around a group of paranormal cops solving crimes and finding love, and Don’t Bite the Bridesmaid, a lighthearted paranormal romance (Entangled Publishing).
Tiffany has an MBA in accounting and nearly a decade of experience in corporate finance. All super useful stuff for a writer who spends far too much time trying to figure out fun ways to keep her characters apart, and interesting ways to kill people (for her books—of course!).
For more information about Decadent Publishing authors, books, and their submissions guidelines, visit www.decadentpublishing.com.
Decadent Publishing is current accepting submissions in all sub-genres of romance, including their ongoing series’.
Prize is 10 eBook copies of “Toying With Temptation” (1 each to 10 winners). Contest is tour-wide, open internationally and ends Dec 15. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Rafflecopter link is at the bottom of the post. Good luck!
Toying with Temptation
by Madison Martin
Published by Chances Press, LLC
Published on November 1, 2011
Heat Level: Steamy
Length: 188 pages
Driven, business savvy Hailey Burton, Vice President of Tryton Financial Institute, has been put in charge of running what could be her first ever failure: the company’s Christmas Eve toy drive. Toys and Christmas are beyond Hailey’s expertise, but when she’s offered the chance for the promotion she’s been waiting for if she succeeds, her competitive spirit kicks into high gear.
When every company in Los Angeles turns her down, desperation leads her to Quinn Matheson. Ten years ago, Hailey chose a prosperous career over Quinn, but as she falls for him all over again, she can’t deny that they make a good team in business…and more. This second time around, is she finally ready to make the leap and become his partner in love?
“Trust me. I never thought we’d be in this…er, position.” Hailey Burton smoothed her hands over the skirt of her brand new Armani suit to keep her hands from shaking. Quinn Matheson could never see how nervous she was. She wouldn’t let him. It would add further humiliation to her unfortunate circumstance, and she felt humiliated enough.
Quinn, the King of Matheson Toys and the picture of confidence, silently appraised her from behind the huge oak desk in his office.
“I mean, we’ve been in every other posi—” She coughed before she finished a sentence that could get her in big trouble. Whatever “positions” she and Quinn may have found themselves in ten years ago, it was too long ago to matter now. Wasn’t it?
She stiffened her spine and felt herself growing hotter by the second. A trickle of sweat began to run down the small of her back. Why fight it? Her brand new, one-of-a kind suit, bought for a special occasion, was headed straight for the cleaners.
Why did she think this would be easy? Why did she think she’d have the upper hand? And why was Quinn sitting there staring at her, refusing to say anything?
He watched her with calculating dark brown eyes, noticing every time she fidgeted or said something stupid. It was beginning to drive her crazy.
“Are you going to say something?”
He shrugged. “It’s your meeting.”
In her eight years of experience, she’d met with and given presentations to presidents and corporate execs from companies all over the world. She always acted with cool confidence in situations that made tough men sweat, and not one minute of it ever fazed her.
What did faze her was sitting here in front of her ex, begging for tens of thousands of toys for her company’s first Christmas toy drive in five years.
Christmas was beyond the limits of her expertise. In her entire life she’d celebrated maybe one or two. Last year, she’d spent the holiday on a conference call closing a deal with a company in Hong Kong. The year before that, she’d been in New York collecting leads for a new account. Her boss knew Christmas was out of her league, but he also knew she never gave her projects less than a hundred and twenty percent, and he’d saddled her with the toy drive despite her protests.
If the promise of moving up the Tryton Financial Institute corporate ladder weren’t waiting for her at the other end of this, she’d have told her boss to forget it. But as usual, the desire for success was stronger than…well, the desire for anything else.
Stronger, even, than the will to never see the man she’d run out on ten years ago. As much as she never thought she’d have the guts to look him in the face again, that promotion was staring her down…waiting. Begging for her to come and get it.
Why is it that the last two books that I have read, the heroine and I have either had the same type of job? Or, the same problems with our family? In my past life, I was the head of our toy drive at the bank for 4 years and I loved it. Of course, it was for an excellent cause and it really put me in the Christmas spirit. I could totally believe that Hailey didn’t have good memories of Christmas so her reluctance to heading up the toy drive made sense. Plus, throw in her ex-finance to the mix and I didn’t know whether to laugh or hug her and tell he that everything would be okay. Just breathe…
Quinn was such a great hero. He was patient and sexy. His problem was convincing Hailey that they could work together in business and as a true couple. I felt that their relationship was relatable and sexy. The true leap of faith for me was Hailey. She needed to figure out if the past could be forgiven and a new future could truly be hers with Quinn. Their back story also was realistic. Sometimes, the first time around doesn’t always work out. It takes time apart to truly see what you can have and to push away the fears that you have starting the relationship again.
The pacing was excellent and there were times that I felt like a fly on the wall with Hailey and Quinn. I would definitely be friends with both of them. The dialogue was crisp, flirty and sexy.
I would highly recommend Toying with Temptation for anyone that wants a relatable story about two characters that come together again and must figure out if it could really work out between them without fear.
About the Author:
Madison Martin is also the author of Briefly Yours: An Erotic Romance Novel, Nights on Catalina, The Deep End: Erotic Stories For Women, and The Deep End 2: Wedding Night. To find out more about Madison, visit http://www.madisonmartinbooks.com/.