Saturday, April 30, 2016

Spotlight on... House of Payne by Stacy Gail

Not only does Stacy Gail's House of Payne series have SMOKIN' covers, the characters will make you cry salty tears, my friends. SALTY TEARS. In the most gloriously delicious way, of course.

Bonus: The books will cost you UNDER A BUCK A PIECE. *insert crazy fangirl arms here* (Yes, I've bought them all and read them all and they are fantastic!) (Wait. Except for Steele, which I am reading RIGHT NOW!)

 Payne by Stacy Gail
Payne (House of Payne #1)
Life is supposedly what you make of it, but that's crap as far as 3D artist, Becks Delgado is concerned. She never wanted her brother to die in a car accident... or to be the one who was behind the wheel. Her external scars are nothing compared to the raw wounds inside, and there are times when death seems to be the only way to find peace.

Sebastian Payne took the concept of a tattoo parlor and transformed it into a sophisticated gallery of living art. House Of Payne now caters to the rich and infamous, has garnered a worldwide following and is run by Payne with an iron fist. He knows Becks is exactly what House Of Payne needs, but there's a problem. The accident that changed her life left its mark on him as well, and whether he likes it or not, it's time for Payne to put his House in order. 
 Scout by Stacy Gail
Scout (House of Payne #2)
There’s no doubt that Scout Upton earned her nickname. From the time she was an orphan bouncing from foster home to foster home like an unwanted stray, she’s had an uncanny ability to scout out trouble. Now an integral part of House Of Payne’s dominance in the world of ink, her “trouble” alarm triggers every time world-renowned fashion photographer, Ivar Fournier, comes around.

Former model-turned-photographer, Ivar is notorious for making or breaking supermodels, both on camera and off. But when it comes to Scout, he can’t get a foot in the door. She doesn’t buy his charm or his story of wanting to spotlight body art for his next exhibit. Maybe because that’s exactly what it is—a story. Despite being born in a world of privilege, there’s a terrible darkness behind his practiced smile, and it all stems from a past he needs to understand. Scout holds the key to that mysterious past, and if he has to break her apart to get it, that’s exactly what he’ll do.
 Twist by Stacy Gail
Twist (House of Payne #3)
Tattooist. Artist. Dreamer.
Angel had been a schoolgirl when she came to House Of Payne, a displaced princess with only a fanciful imagination to her name. Now the world clamors for her designs, but that means nothing to Goth tattooist, Twist. Long ago she craved to see admiration in his sexy dark eyes, but after years of enduring his contempt, she’s given up. Leaving the House feels like running, but Twist makes it impossible to stay.

Tattooist. Artist. Ex-Con.
Two words came to Twist’s mind when he first saw Angel—jail bait. When he'd been released from prison for a crime he would commit again in a heartbeat, he'd nevertheless been determined to keep his nose clean. Too bad he couldn't stop from thinking about getting into the pants of the House’s fairy tale princess. But with a past like his, he’s no good for Angel. All he can do is watch over her from afar… whether she likes it or not.

When Angel is injured, Twist appoints himself as her personal caretaker. She soon discovers that beneath his arrogant fa├žade lies the heart of a devoted protector. She’s going to need that protection, as Twist’s past has made an unsettling reappearance.
 Rude by Stacy Gail
Rude (House of Payne #4)
The Last Thing She Wanted…
From the moment Sass Stone overheard her social worker call her “broken,” she’s been hell-bent on proving her wrong. A broken woman doesn't have a posse of kickass friends, a foodie lover’s dream job and a string of pretty boys she enjoys playing with. Sure, she has scars, but they’re buried so far down no one even knows they’re there. Certainly her former foster brother, Rudolfo Panuzzi doesn’t know about them. The man she’d dubbed “Rude” could sniff around all he wanted, but it wasn’t going to get him anywhere. He’d never get inside—her pants, or her heart.

…Was The One Thing She Needed
A dozen years and several combat tours in the Marines has a way of maturing a man, and Rude is no exception. His last mission killed his closest friends and almost killed him, leaving him with wounds on both body and soul. When he looks in the mirror, the haunted eyes staring back remind him far too much of his sexy little foster sister, Sass. That’s when he knows there’s more to her than he ever imagined… and he’s imagined one hell of a lot.

When Want And Need Collide
One by one, Rude destroys the defenses that have kept Sass locked inside herself. But even as she reluctantly allows him to coax her out of her shell, a dark cloud casts its shadow on their world. Is it something from his past… or hers?
 Steele by Stacy Gail
Steele (House of Payne #5)
Raped. Tortured. Beaten. Essie Santiago’s life fell apart when she was sixteen, and it’s taken eight years to put it back together. There are some pieces that can never be mended; it would take a miracle for her to get pregnant, and physical closeness is something that makes her shudder. Only her love of creating beauty in the form of fashion gets her through the worst of the darkness.

When a mortar attack destroyed half his face and all of his life as he knew it, something vital died inside of former Marine, Ezekiel Steele. For years he’s felt nothing… until he sees Essie trying her best to be invisible. But the feisty spark inside the lovely fashion designer is too bright to be concealed, and like a moth to a flame, he’s helpless to resist her.

Chicago’s premiere tattoo studio, House Of Payne, is taking the world of fashion by storm, holding a contest to find the best designer the city has to offer. Competition is fierce, but all Essie can concentrate on are Steele’s dirty-talking lessons in sex. But when the student surpasses the master when it comes to love, Steele’s inner demons get the better of him. If he can't face them down, he’ll lose Essie forever.

Stacy Gail
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Friday, April 29, 2016

Beyond Happily Ever After: Blank Canvas by Kit Rocha [Review]

 Beyond Happily Ever After: Blank Canvas by Kit Rocha
Beyond Happily Ever After: Blank Canvas (Beyond #6.6) by Kit Rocha
Format: ebook
Source: free download from author's website
Date read: February 14, 2016

Beyond
1. Beyond Shame
2. Beyond Control
2.5. Beyond Denial
3. Beyond Pain
3.5. Beyond Temptation
4. Beyond Jealousy
4.5. Beyond Solitude
5. Beyond Addiction
5.5. Beyond Possession
6. Beyond Innocence
6.5. Closed Doors
6.6. Blank Canvas - Kindle
7. Beyond Ruin
8. Beyond Ecstasy

Kit Rocha
Kit Rocha is the non-paranormal pen name for the fabulous writing duo Bree and Donna. They also write paranormal sexiness as Moira Rogers.
Website | Twitter (Kit Rocha) | Twitter (Donna) | Twitter (Bree) | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
There are a lot of different ways to take care of the people you claimed as your own. In this short story, Cruz has a surprise for Ace that results in a road trip, a hot night with Rachel, and a new hope for their future.
Thoughts on Blank Canvas: Wow. Ace, Cruz, and Rachel never fail to bring the sexy. The three of them are simply explosive when they come together. The care Cruz takes with both Ace and Rachel. The way Ace loves with everything inside him. The complete trust Rachel puts in both her men to give her everything she needs.

I love it hard.

These day in the life vignettes certainly don't lack in emotion. While I wouldn't recommend them for those who aren't already involved in the series, they add an extra layer to the characters that makes those of us who are invested in them swoony. Or maybe that's just me.

My mad love for this series and these characters continues. No doubt about that.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Undeclared by Jen Frederick [Review]

 Undeclared by Jen Frederick
Undeclared (Woodlands #1) by Jen Frederick
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Date read: February 14, 2016

Woodlands
1. Undeclared - Paperback | Kindle
1.5. Undressed
2. Unspoken
3. Unraveled
4. Unrequited

Jen Frederick
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters. Ever since that day, Grace has been coasting, academically and emotionally. The one thing she’s decided? No way is Noah Jackson — or any man — ever going to break her heart again.

Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That’s why he joined the Marines and that’s why he’s fighting his way — literally — through college. Now that he’s got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.
Thoughts on Undeclared: I like the idea of this book, but I was a little wary of the age issue when I first started reading it. Grace is 14 when she first starts writing to Noah. He's only 18, so it's not a huge gap, but... FOURTEEN. Over the four years they're writing, she falls for him. Hard. Like, to the point she doesn't really even look at other men. Because, you know, no one can stand up to the picture she's drawn of him from his letters.

Honestly, her initial age could have been a major squick factor for me. Except, the first letter to him (shown to us in the first chapter) is so excruciatingly formal that it was okay. For her, it really did start as just an assignment. For him, her letters were something to break up the endless waiting between patrols.

Somewhere along the way, it turned into more (obviously), but it really didn't start that way.

Okay, so the age issue ended up not being a factor. Sweet. Moving along. Noah handled his rejection of Grace two years ago like a dunderhead. He had A LOT of making up to do to get back on Grace's good side. I can't say I really liked Grace's cousin at first, but she grew on me. Noah's friends, on the other hand, made me laugh. I think I'm going to like watching each of them fall.

Enjoyable and sexy, I have the next couple books queued up to read. *thumbs up*

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Under His Kilt by Melissa Blue [Review]

 Under His Kilt by Melissa Blue
Under His Kilt (Under the Kilt #1) by Melissa Blue
Format: ebook
Source: free Kindle download
Date read: February 6, 2016

Under the Kilt
1. Under His Kilt - Paperback | Kindle
2. Her Insatiable Scot
3. Kilted for Pleasure
4. Kilt Tease
5. Scot Appeal

Melissa Blue
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Jocelyn Pearson is determined to spend her last month as a twenty-something doing everything she's too busy or scared to try. Her imagination runs wild and then fixates on Ian Baird. He'll be working at the Langston Museum for a short stint as a consulting curator. He's Scottish. He believes sex is fun to be had. He's the perfect choice for a fling. She only has to get him break his rule about sleeping with co-workers. Seducing a man was on her bucket list...

Ian is no one's fool and knows exactly what Jocelyn wants—him. If she didn't work for the Langston Museum, he'd be more than happy to oblige any and every fantasy she desired, but she's the curator. She's sweet, inexperienced and well liked by everyone including the museum owner and director. Ian can't risk losing such an important contact for his consulting business. Not even when everything within in him craves a taste of her.

When Jocelyn sets her sights on him, there's no way Ian can deny her. They agree their affair will end in thirty days. No emotions, no entanglements, just sex. The closer the end date looms, they start to question if it's possible to walk away. They'll either have to come to terms of what they've become or stick to their original agreement.
Thoughts on Under His Kilt: I kinda have a soft spot for books involving agreements between two consenting adults to just go for it and be all wild with the steamy sex. I mean, you know things are going to end up MORE between them (because I read romance books and I MUST HAVE MORE, DAMMIT!) and I love the build up to when they realize "Oh, hey. I don't just want to get down to the boning. I actually LIKE you."

So. This book hit the spot. Literally in Jocelyn's case since Ian knows his ways around a lady's hot buttons. She tosses aside her inhibitions, he puts aside his concerns about getting busy with a coworker. And the sex was PHENOMENAL. As it often is with those hunky Scottish men.

Highly enjoyable with plenty of sexy times between engaging characters. Taking a peek at the later books in the series, it looks like those Bairds get around. In a good way. A very good way. *slow nod of approval*

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Top Off Tuesday - Score!

I've taken over the Top Off Tuesday meme (formerly hosted by Felicia, Christi and Amanda). Why? Because I can't resist gratuitous shirtless covers. Nothing says Tuesday like flashing some skin, amirite?!?!

I find these covers very hard to resist. Not that I'm actually trying HARD, but... YUM!

 The Score by Elle Kennedy
The Score (Off-Campus #3) by Elle Kennedy
He knows how to score, on and off the ice

Allie Hayes is in crisis mode. With graduation looming, she still doesn’t have the first clue about what she's going to do after college. To make matters worse, she’s nursing a broken heart thanks to the end of her longtime relationship. Wild rebound sex is definitely not the solution to her problems, but gorgeous hockey star Dean Di-Laurentis is impossible to resist. Just once, though, because even if her future is uncertain, it sure as heck won’t include the king of one-night stands.

It’ll take more than flashy moves to win her over

Dean always gets what he wants. Girls, grades, girls, recognition, girls…he’s a ladies man, all right, and he’s yet to meet a woman who’s immune to his charms. Until Allie. For one night, the feisty blonde rocked his entire world—and now she wants to be friends? Nope. It’s not over until he says it’s over. Dean is in full-on pursuit, but when life-rocking changes strike, he starts to wonder if maybe it’s time to stop focusing on scoring…and shoot for love.

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan [Review]

 The Game Plan by Kristen Callihan
The Game Plan (Game On #3) by Kristen Callihan
Format: paperback
Source: purchased
Date read: February 10, 2016

Game On
1. The Hook Up
2. The Friend Zone
3. The Game Plan - Paperback | Kindle

Kristen Callihan
|  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
A beard-related dare and one hot-as-hell kiss changes everything.

NFL center Ethan Dexter’s focus has always been on playing football and little else. Except when it comes to one particular woman. The lovely Fiona Mackenzie might not care about his fame, but she’s also never looked at him as anything more than one of her brother-in-law’s best friend. That ends now.

Fi doesn’t know what to make of Dex. The bearded, tattooed, mountain of man-muscle looks more like a biker than a football player. Rumor has it he’s a virgin, but she finds that hard to believe. Because from the moment he decides to turn his quiet intensity on her she’s left weak at the knees and aching to see his famous control fully unleashed.

Dex is looking for a forever girl, but they live vastly different lives in separate cities. Fi ought to guard her heart and walk away. But Dex has upped his game and is using all his considerable charm to convince Fi he's her forever man.

Game On
Thoughts on The Game Plan: I am totally swooning over the delicious Ethan Dexter. I've liked him since Gray's book and my fascination with the big, silent center only deepened as he revealed himself a piece at a time here. Dex has been good at staying in the shadows, but Fi has the ability to bring out the side of him that makes him all growly and possessive.

Let's face it, I'm a sucker for the growly, possessive men.

I honestly adored his intensity when it came to Fiona. I loved the way she saw the hidden sides of him. I loved how raw those two were when they got together. They were just a steamy, sexy couple who had more than a few bumps to navigate before they could settle into their HEA.

We got a little face time with Gray & Ivy and Drew & Anna. AND IT WAS GLORIOUS. They weren't the only ones we revisited, either. I'm desperately hoping we get another (several) books delving into the lives and loves of the guys' teammates. Because they CRACK ME UP. *cough*sexy football calendar*cough*

I adored Dex and Fi and I'm sad to say goodbye to them, but this story was wonderful and I'm loving on it so hard.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

RtP Week in Review (04/24/16)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review
Bookish Delights
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