Book Review: A Taste of Seduction

The problem with reading so many different series’ is that sometimes I forget which series I’m in. For the life of me, I couldn’t remember what I’d read of this one. Thank goodness for Goodreads and past blog posts for helping me get caught up.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
The woman who left him to marry into wealth comes back into the life of a man who’s already in danger from a known enemy. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Young Love
When they were young, Evangeline told Hadley she didn’t care about money or status, that she loved him and only wanted to be with him. And he believed her. So when he received a letter saying that she decided she needed to do what was best for her family and was marrying a Scottish viscount, Hadley was heartbroken. After giving up on ever finding true love again, he now finds himself in an agreement to marry the sister of one of his brother’s friends.


Back in the Picture
When Evangeline shows up with her son, emotions run high. Now widowed, Evangeline has returned to explain what really happened to her. In her mind, Hadley is the one at fault for never coming to rescue her as she pleaded for him to do in her letters…letters that he never received, of course. Because of shenanigans.

Making & Fixing Mistakes
The angst is high at the beginning, because Hadley doesn’t believe Evangeline. When she’s shot because someone is trying to kill him, he realizes how much he still cares for her and has to decide if he should let go of his hurt and agree to start over with her.


Things aren’t that easy though. Hadley and his friends are the target of a psychopath looking for revenge for things their fathers did, and Hadley is worried that Evangeline and her son are going to become involved, putting their lives put in danger. On top of that, Hadley’s brother is being blackmailed, and Hadley is the one who has to suffer the consequences by marrying someone he doesn’t love to keep his brother and his family’s reputation safe.

Quick and Easy
This one was a really quick read for me and though I enjoyed it, I didn’t get fully immersed in it. By this time in the series, the men being targeted know who’s trying to kill them and are trying to apprehend her without getting murdered, so there was some suspense, but not a lot of mystery. Still, the danger plot gave things a sense of urgency and distress towards the end.

Evangeline comes to the rescue to make it so Hadley doesn’t have to marry anyone else. And of course, she has her own secret to share with him…when the time is right. So there’s conflict, but a lot of the romantic angst seemed to resolve easily.

The Romance Factor
I recently read a book with a similar plot line, so it’s possible something was lost to me because of that. I did like the conflict that arose from their misunderstanding, and by the end, they had things figured out pretty well between them. They were cute, but I didn’t get a huge amount of chemistry between them. 3/5

The Steam Factor
Sexy times were mild but sweet. Evangeline had been treated poorly by her husband, and I liked that the story touched on her worries about being with Hadley and how she realized how different he was when it came to making love. 3/5

Final Thoughts
Not a book that grabbed me, but an enjoyable read for the most part. I feel that I would have been a little more into it had I been reading the books from the beginning. It can be read as a standalone…I didn’t have any trouble following the plot or what had been happening. I think reading from the beginning would have made me feel a bit more invested in the characters. I would still recommend this to fans of historical romance and intrigue, and I’m still on board with reading the final book, especially because the plot teaser for it hooked me hard.

Book Review: Interference by Sophia Henry

The Pilots Hockey novels are another example of a series that started out a little shaky for me but continues to get better with each story. Even though the characters irked me a bit in this one, I still enjoyed the story and I like all the social and family connections between the characters.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A cop falls for a single mother and starts a relationship even though he knows he won’t stay in the area. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Teen Mistakes
Indie is a single mother who got pregnant in high school and had to give up her dreams because the father of her baby refused to give up on his and help her with the child. Now he’s back in the picture, but he’s still not helpful and causes more harm than good on most days. Still, she has her younger brother and her mom to help her with her son, and since she’s going to college part time, she knows she’ll eventually reach her goals.

Cop With Issues
Jason moved to the small town to get experience as a cop, but his end goal is to return to Detroit. When he meets Indie, he knows he shouldn’t get attached because he’s not staying, but he can’t help himself. They start dating and the relationship ends up getting more serious. Jason falls for Indie and her son, but he has is own issues. He was given up for adoption when he was a baby, and it’s bothered him all his life, regardless of the fact that he grew up with a wonderful family and siblings.

The Conflict is Real
For the most part, Indie and Jason’s relationship seems normal, and I liked the realism of it. The conflict often comes when Jason wallows in his issues and Indie tries to make him see how selfish he’s being, seeing his issues as a reflection (sort of) of her own choices. They have some good conversations about it, and while I was never really sure where I stood on the issue, it made for some interesting conflict.


The Douchie Ex
There’s also the wrench of Indie’s child’s father in the picture, a real douche who wants time with his son when it’s convenient for him. When he threatens Jason and tells him to leave Indie alone, Jason actually thinks the idiot might be right, that maybe he shouldn’t be in a relationship with her and maybe he can’t ask her to move back to Detroit with him. Jason isn’t always on point with how he thinks about things.

The Good Side
The story itself was entertaining, and of course the hockey references made me happy. But these characters…I don’t even know. There were things I liked about them. Jason is a really nice guy who puts Indie first when they’re together. He bends over backwards to make her happy and to smooth things over if they have an argument. Indie is determined to reach her goals, and she says a few times that when she makes a decision, she does it with her son in mind, always trying to make the best decision for him. I liked them together and I liked them trying to overcome things that happened in their past, including Indie being seen as a slut for getting pregnant in high school thanks to small town views.

The Not-So-Good Side
But there were also things that drove me nuts about them. Even getting Indie’s point of view and understanding her motivations didn’t help the fact that I found her super passive-aggressive. Also, she’s under 21 and when she reveals this to Jason…a cop…as they’re drinking beer…he doesn’t really seem to care. She makes the argument that if someone has a kid before 21 they should be allowed to drink, and that line of reasoning bugged me. I’d be fine with them lowering the drinking age, sure, but generally speaking, having a kid doesn’t make you a responsible adult (to be fair, that goes for anyone of any age). Also, I would expect a cop to be a little more upset about the situation than Jason was. And, you know, maybe stop her from drinking.


The Romance Factor
Jason treats Indie well, and I enjoyed how he brought her into his family and supported everything she did. Which made it all the better when they have their big conflict…more angst, more feels. 4/5

The Steam Factor
This story is pretty light on the details of the sexy times, focusing more on the dynamic of Jason and Indie’s relationship rather than the steaminess of their bedroom interactions. 2/5

Final Thoughts
Though the characters were flawed and sometimes annoying, I liked that I could relate to them and see both sides of the story. I enjoyed the cameos from past characters and, of course, all the fun Michigan references. If there are more in this series, it’ll be interesting to see who the next set of characters are.

Book Review: Stepping Over the Line by Laura Marie Altom

Stepbrother novels are a subgenre I hadn’t tried until this one. I never thought the set-up was a big deal. I mean, come on. Your stepbrother isn’t your real brother, right? Then again, I guess I’ve never been in that situation. After reading this, though, I can see why there might be some drama.

Stepping Over the Line

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
Step-siblings struggle with their strong feelings for each other amidst the chaos of random sexy times, paternity questions, and murder charges. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

To Sister or Not to Sister
The lives of these people are a hot mess from the beginning. Garrett has lusted after his stepsister since they met, but it’s always been from a distance and she’s been the one woman he can’t have. It becomes obvious that she has mutual feelings when, the night of a party thrown by her parents, she sneaks away with him and jumps him, despite the fact that she has a boyfriend and despite the fact they’re supposed to be siblings.

Change in Future Plans
Savannah is getting ready to go to med school, so the fact that she finds out she’s pregnant shortly after her indiscretion with her stepbrother throws her plans off. Her boyfriend, thinking the baby is his, proposes marriage and she rolls with it. Because there’s a chance he’s the father too, right? Instead of Savannah getting a paternity test or signing up for the Maury show, she decides to just hope for the best.


Oops…Did I Do That?
We have the perfect set up for some good conflict right there. But then things take a turn for the crazy, and Garrett ends up accidentally killing Savannah’s fiance after they find him screwing one of the bridesmaids. Instead of fighting the charges (Garrett could have cried self defense), he goes to jail for five years on an involuntary manslaughter charge. In the mean time, Savannah has her kid, continues seeing her dead fiance’s crazy family, and manages to tell herself that the fact that her son looks just like Garrett is all inside her head.

Post Jail Fun Times
When Garrett finally gets out of jail, his life is very different than he planned, but he’s still attracted to Savannah and she to him. They continue their whole trying to stay away from each other thing because they don’t want to hurt their parents, they know the dead fiance’s parents and brother could make things bad for them, and they’ve both fallen into the society view that it would be wrong for them to be together. Even though, much like drug addicts, they end up jumping each other when they can’t hold out any longer.

Tension is Good
Even though there were things about this book that drove me nuts, I really liked it! Having not really read the synopsis beforehand, I was surprised at the whole murder thing. I liked the tension the author built between Garrett and Savannah. Also, even though I was skeptical about why anyone would question step-siblings (I mean, come on, they’re not the Lannisters), the setting of the story and how the whole thing was written made it seem believable. The families are southern society families, and status and how others perceive them is everything.


Girl, Do You Even Medicine?
I liked Savannah, but for someone with a medical degree, she made some pretty dumb decisions. Like never using a condom. And not getting a paternity test. At least she was self aware of how dumb she was being, so it wasn’t glossed over, but seriously. Get it together, woman. Garrett was hard-edged, but I really felt for the guy. His tendency to run hot and cold was sometimes a little annoying, but overall, he worked for me as the tortured hero.

In-Laws & Kids
The story had a bit of a danger factor with regards to dead fiance’s family and his weird brother, and things escalate towards the end. Savannah’s son was just meh for me. Sometimes I find the kids in stories cute and other times they annoy me. This one was somewhere in the middle, probably a little too cute and well-behaved to make him seem real.

The Romance Factor
This definitely wasn’t the type of romance that gets me mushy. It was more of a dangerous, forbidden love that caused a lot of tension.  Though they had a few sweet moments (and I melted a little bit at how much Garrett wanted to be Savannah’s son’s father), I got more of a intense vibe from them than anything. 3/5

The Steam Factor
When I think of the sex scenes in this book, the word that comes to mind is “explosive.” Since they have to hide what they’re doing (and are doing it after trying to exert large amounts of willpower first) sexy times are definitely intense. There’s one scene in particular that was pretty rough and dirty and involves a warehouse. 5/5

Final Thoughts
Much like my foray into biker novels, I haven’t yet formed a full opinion on the stepbrother subgenre. However, I really did enjoy this book. I liked the intensity and the flow that the story took on. For characters who are part of southern high society, they all had a gritty, darker edge to them, and I thought it worked really well for the story. Definitely worth the read for someone not sure how they feel about stepbrother novels, though I would imagine fans of this subgenre would really enjoy it.

Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

You might think that by the 7th book in a series, things would be winding down a bit. It felt like things were wrapping up and all the main players were getting their happily every afters. But I believe (and I hope) that this book and the one after it is setting things up for several more books. I love this series, and I’m going to be sad when it ends. Especially now, when there’s so much unfinished business.


One-Sentence Synopsis
A man who spent four years tortured in an asylum hides as a gardener helping to rebuild a well-known pleasure garden, but he doesn’t expect to form a relationship with a famous actress and her son. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
In reality, I could probably just say this was a BatB trope and nothing else would need to be said, because that alone would have been enough to make this book good. But there were so many other things I loved about this story. Apollo is mute due to a beating at Bedlam, which is probably okay for someone hiding from the law. But it does mean that Lily thinks he’s mentally deficient at first, which lends itself to some interesting conflict.


Apollo is a perfect beast: silent, not handsome, scarily huge, and yet talented and kind and tortured. It really doesn’t get much better. Lily is of course drawn to him, but considering she has her own secrets and fears, it definitely feels like they belong together.

I’m not sure why children show up so often in this trope, but at least it’s not an annoying child. Indio was cute and not constantly there.

Some of the new characters introduced are interesting. Though this isn’t his first appearance, we find out some new things about Asa Makepeace (he’s definitely not the humanitarian his brother is). We also meet Lord Montgomery, who’s probably not a good guy, as he’s manipulating people and seems to have no guilt about anything (but there’s one scene in this book that makes me speculate that he’s going to get a story with another actress in a future book).

And the background of James Trevillion becomes even more interesting, as we find that he knows Apollo from a previous interaction. Also, by this time, he’s already guarding Phoebe, so the background on that story has started.

Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
I thought that the climax and the “danger” part of the ending was a little too easy. Sure, there was some angst, but it kind of felt like a weird hodge podge of all the bad guys falling into one scene while several good guys and men of ambiguous alignment came in behind them to save the day. I won’t say it felt forced, but it was definitely less “edge of your seat” than the endings of other books.

The Romance Factor
One of my favorite parts of the romance was that Lily realizes how much she wants to be with Apollo, and then finds out he’s actually a viscount and that it won’t work. I felt so sad for her, even knowing that titled men in romance novels will always find a way to be with the woman they love, regardless of her station. Everything between Apollo and Lily was full of feels, and the fact that Apollo took nothing for granted since he never thought he’d survive Bedlam just made him that more loveable. 5/5


The Steam Factor
The sexy times in this one were just as good as the others. I will say that one of the most sensually written scenes didn’t involve sex. You’d think that other than the voyeurism, a woman watching a man emerge from a pond wouldn’t be that titillating, right? But somehow, in this case, it’s pretty hot. 5/5

Final Thoughts
So even though I read it just a few months ago, I had to re-read Dearest Rogue again to finish the series to where it currently is. I found that the second time was just as good, possibly better because I knew all the characters this time around. The newest book comes out in November, and even though that’s right in the middle of Nanowrimo, I’ll be taking some time to devour that one too.