Dangerous Surrender (The Serafina: Sin City 4) by Katie Reus-a review

DANGEROUS SURRENDER (The Serafina: Sin City #4) by Katie Reus-a review

Dangerous Surrender

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

About the book: Release Date October 21, 2014

A cold-blooded killer wants her dead.

After her friend is murdered right before her eyes, Taylor uses her wits to escape with just a bullet wound, thankful to be alive. But now the killer isn’t the only one after her—the cops are, too, and Taylor’s not sure she can trust them—or anybody else in her life in California. She decides to turn to her old friend in Vegas, racing there with just the clothes on her back, only to arrive and realize he’s off on his honeymoon. Desperate, she breaks in and crashes.

A former Marine is determined to protect her.

When former Marine Roman MacNeil finds a gorgeous stranger unconscious and bleeding in his friend’s shower, his first thought is to help her . . . until she tries to knock him out with a vodka bottle. Lucky for Taylor, Roman isn’t a man who goes down easily. When he realizes the trouble she’s in, he’s determined to protect her—whatever it takes. As they’re thrust into a deadly situation they discover an attraction they never bargained for. But a determined killer is closing in, and time may be running out.


REVIEW: DANGEROUS SURRENDER is the fourth installment in Katie Reus’s adult, contemporary The Serafina: Sin City romantic suspense series focusing on the men and women who work at an exclusive Las Vegas hotel known as The Serafina. This is security expert Roman MacNeil and computer analyst Taylor Arenas’s storyline. Although this is the fourth installment in the series, it can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty.

Told from third person point of view, the storyline focuses on Taylor Arenas. After witnessing the murder of her mentor and boss, Taylor is on the run. With no place else to go, Taylor heads to Las Vegas in search of her friend Vadim Sokolov only to realize Vadim and his new wife are currently honeymooning in places unknown. Breaking into Vadim’s house is her only option but when she comes face to face with a gun and the most gorgeous man she has ever met all bets are off. Enter Roman MacNeil-the man who would steal her heart and protect her with his life.

The storyline follows Roman and Taylor as they try to stay one step ahead of the people trying to end Taylor’s life. Taylor has uncovered some information that could destroy her boss’s former partner and after witnessing the murder, the killer wants to ensure that Taylor is permanently silenced. There has already been one attempt on Taylor’s life and there is about to be several more.

The relationship between Roman and Taylor is quick to develop. Roman is attracted to the woman from the moment they meet but he does not trust easily and in this there is a little bit of back and forth between our couple. Roman does not do relationships and is disappointed when Taylor agrees with his comment. The sex scenes are intimate, provocative and hot.

The secondary characters include Roman’s brother Logan, as well as the some of the members of the Oceanside, California and Las Vegas police forces. Wyatt Christiansen, the owner of The Serafina plays a small role to add some familiarity to the series.

DANGEROUS SURRENDER is a story with mystery and suspense; romance and love; saying goodbye and starting over. Katie Reus pulls the reader into an energetic storyline of sensuality and heartbreaking loss. The Serafina: Sin City is an addicting and seductive series that will please the romantic reader in all of us.

Reading Order-NOTE: The Serafina: Sin City series is a spin off from Katie’s RED STONE SECURITY series and The Serafina owner-Wyatt Christiansen- is the focus of BREAKING HER RULES (Red Stone Security #6)

Breaking Her Rules (RSS #6)
1.First Surrender
2.Sensual Surrender
3.Sweetest Surrender
4.Dangerous Surrender

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy


Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker – a Review

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker – a Review


Beware of the WildAmazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository / BAM

It’s an oppressively hot and sticky morning in June when Sterling and her brother, Phin, have an argument that compels him to run into the town swamp — the one that strikes fear in all the residents of Sticks, Louisiana. Phin doesn’t return. Instead, a girl named Lenora May climbs out, and now Sterling is the only person in Sticks who remembers her brother ever existed.

Sterling needs to figure out what the swamp’s done with her beloved brother and how Lenora May is connected to his disappearance — and loner boy Heath Durham might be the only one who can help her.

This debut novel is full of atmosphere, twists and turns, and a swoon-worthy romance



Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker is a dark scary gothic tale set in Louisiana. The star of this story is the creepy swamp that has all the town residents living in fear to go anywhere near the swamp. Our heroine is Sterling, who starts the book waiting for her brother, Phin to return. They had a fight, and he went walking into the swamp, from which he has not returned. Sterling keeps her eye on the swamp and in the dark, she sees a figure walk out.

When her mother calls her to come into the house, the girl from the swamp has made herself at home. Lenora May is recognized as her sister, the sister she doesn’t have. This is just the start of the book, and this haunting tale gets creepier by the minute. Because no one knows about Prin, he no longer exists to her family, or anyone in the town; only Sterling remembers her brother, Phin.

Though this is a dark story, it is so well written, that you keep turning the pages to find out what happens next. Sterling is a wonderful heroine, who will stop at nothing, including risking her own life to help find her brother. She is brave, determined, strong and despite the dire situation, Sterling will find someone, who secretly has gone through this. We meet our hero, Heath, and he too has lost his best friend to the swamp, whom no one remembers, except Sterling. The two of them team up in and exciting & chilling story, and a slow build romance starts between them.

The plot was well done, as Sterling, Heath, and even Lenora May must find a way to stop the swamp from luring innocents into the swamp, and also bring them back. I found myself liking Lenora May, and credit goes to Parker for giving us a possible villain, and end up being one of your favorites. There are a few surprises as who is really evil in this story. Very well done.

I was amazed at the writing of Natalie C. Parker, as she was able to take this story and hold on to us throughout. I understand this is her first novel, and all I can say is wow, an incredible start. Beware the Wild is a haunting mystery, that keeps you glued to your seat, and Parker has created some fabulous characters.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Edelweiss


Out of Control (The Sentinels .5) by Alexandra Ivy-a review

OUT OF CONTROL (The Sentinels 0.5) by Alexandra Ivy-a review

Out of Control

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date: October 28, 2014

New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy quenches your thirst for illicit desire with this seductive tale of the Sentinels—outcast humans with the ability to tread the line between life and death—and pleasure and pain…

Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he’s actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other.


REVIEW: OUT OF CONTROL is a prequel novella (originally released in the 2013 anthology PREDATORY) in Alexandra Ivy’s The Sentinels paranormal, romance series focusing on a rare human species-known as high bloods- blessed (or cursed) with powers and magical abilities. To protect the high bloods from themselves and discrimination from the outside world, the ‘freaks’ and ‘mutations’ are secluded in the domed city of Valhalla, organized with a social infrastructure and hierarchy of Sentinels. There is a slight ‘X-Men’ vibe to the series premise. This is Hunter Sentinal Nikolo Bartrev and researcher Angela Locke’s storyline.

Nikolov lied to Angela. Posing as a visiting professor, Nikolov has been observing Angela for weeks knowing that something more powerful is hidden deep within her soul. But a rogue Sentinel warrior is on the hunt, searching for Angela in the hopes of a cure, and Nikolov has offered up Angela as bait.

The relationship between Nikolov and Angela is one of immediate attraction but one that is not acted upon until Angela’s life is in danger. Nikolov has found his mate but in order to save the woman with whom he is falling in love, sacrifices will have to be made and his life is the ultimate sacrifice.

OUT OF CONTROL is a short story; a quick paranormal romance read that introduces Alexandra Ivy’s THE SENTINEL series. It does not, however, offer up any information regarding the genetic anomalies or how the high bloods came to be. As a prequel novella, there is very little background information revealed but we do get a glimpse at how one seemingly normal but very brilliant human came to realize what it is she is truly capable of doing.

Reading Order
Out of Control
Born in Blood (Dec 2013)
Blood Assassin (Jan 2015)

Copy supplied by Netgalley.

Reviewed by Sandy


Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt-Review and Interview

Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt-Review and Interview

Seducing the Groom

ebook only .99¢ at time of posting: Amazon link not available until release date

Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 30, 2014

Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, is in a bind. His father has cut off his allowance, so he’s had to rein in his decadent habits and split with his beautiful, spoiled mistress whom he can no longer afford. When an American heiress comes to London and dangles her fortune in Stephen’s direction, he sees it as the answer to his prayers. He’ll wed the pretty, delectable heiress, but he won’t let her interfere with his decadent lifestyle. He’s a confirmed bachelor and determined to have a marriage of convenience.

Ellen Foster has traveled to London for the express purpose of buying a titled husband. She’s been husband shopping for months and can’t make up her mind. All the available candidates seem tepid and boring. But when she lays eyes on handsome, dashing Stephen St. John, she knows he’s the one, and with her large fortune as bait, he’s easily snared in her web.

When he suggests a marriage of convenience, she pretends to agree. But she has no intention of living separate lives. She plans to enjoy every delightful, wicked minute that marriage to a rake can provide. With Stephen determined to avoid her, seduction seems the only choice.

Though Stephen doesn’t realize it, Ellen always gets her way, and as she turns their bedchamber into a den of erotic pleasure, poor Stephen doesn’t stand a chance…



4 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Well that was a sassy, naughty historical read. I enjoyed that!

Seducing the Groom by Cheryl Holt is a historical erotica novella about a bride taking care of her business on her wedding night. Ellen Foster, American heiress has just married notorious English rake Stephen St. Jean. Stephen has been cut off from his family and is in dire need of a prosperous union. When he agrees to marry Ellen, little does he know that this seemingly proper heiress has been spinning her web and will ensure that this so called “proper marriage” is more naughty than proper. On their wedding night, Ellen poses as the aloof bride while parading around tempting her groom. Stephen is taken back when his bride appears to be anything but interested, which funny enough, gets his clock ticking. Off we go on a naughty cat and mouse chase that stirs the blood, makes you smile and believe that a little deceit can go a long way.

A pretty quick read. I did find it a little flowery at times, but that is complimentary to the historical genre. I suppose that means I like my smut a little more modern even when it’s displayed in a different genre. That being said, I have discovered a new author in one of my fave genre’s and I look forward to reading more by her.

Like a quick yummy read with a splash of vixen and rake … check this one out!


Copy supplied by the publisher

Reviewed by Rachel T.

TRC: Hi Cheryl. Welcome to The Reading Cafe. Congratulations on the upcoming release of SEDUCING THE GROOM.

Cheryl HoltWe would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

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Cheryl: I have been writing for twenty years and published for 14 of them. I am a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” author. I’m considered one of the masters of the romance genre, and for years, I was hailed as the “Queen” of erotic romance. I don’t write erotics anymore. But I do write some of the most wicked, driven characters in the world, so I’m also known as the International Queen of Villains. I’m currently writing Novel #38.

TRC: With the numerous degrees to your name including a career as a lawyer, who or what was behind your decision to become an author?

Cheryl: I started writing novels because I had two babies back to back, and I was suddenly stuck at home, and trying to figure out how to earn an income at home to replace the one I’d lost by leaving the workforce. There aren’t many options for a woman who wants to work at home, and most of them involve selling cosmetics or something like that. I don’t have the skills to sell things, and I’d always thought I might write a book someday. I jumped into it—when I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I just forged ahead and figured it out in a big way.

TRC: Would you please tell us something about your latest release- SEDUCING THE GROOM?

Seducing the GroomCheryl: My new book, SEDUCING THE GROOM, is a sort of “lost” book for me. I originally wrote it in 2004, when I was just starting to be acclaimed as the Queen of erotics. It was published in an erotic anthology, but the price was $15.00 so very few people bought it or read it. The rights recently reverted to me, so I’m releasing the book myself, and I’m excited that everyone will finally have a chance to read it.

My books are set in Regency England, which is early 1800s London. The hero is a rake and confirmed bachelor who—due to his extravagant living—has had his allowance cut off by his aristocratic father. He’s desperate to refill his bank accounts, and he meets and weds an American heiress who’s in London and looking for a husband.

He hardly knows her, but weds her merely to spite his father. Before the wedding, he tells her that he’d like to have a marriage of convenience, and she pretends to agree. In reality, she has no intention of living through a chaste marriage, and she sets about to seduce him on their wedding night.

TRC: Is SEDUCING THE GROOM a stand alone storyline or part of a series?

Cheryl: The book is a stand-alone story.

TRC: What are your thoughts on historical accuracy when writing a fictional historical romance novel? Do you believe the readers want historical accuracy in the storyline?

Cheryl: I think readers want and like historical accuracy in a book, but in my case, my plots aren’t ever dependent on a historical event. They are simply set in a certain time period—the Regency Period in England, which is the favorite time period for romance readers—so I know all the fashions and carriages and that sort of thing. I don’t have to do research for each book, because I know the historical details to put into the story. My historicals have more to do with the historical setting (particularly the restrictions placed on women during that era) than actual historical events, and the plots never revolve around historical events. However, during this period, there were plenty of wars raging, so many times, my heroes are war veterans or have fought in famous battles.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Cheryl: I direct the characters; the characters never direct me. I always have several storylines in a book, and I have lots of plot twists and turns, so I can’t let the characters just go off on their own, or they’d never arrive at the places they’re supposed to be at the appropriate plot points.

I do an enormous amount of prep work before I ever start writing the rough draft. I write in-depth storylines, and I block out chapters and scenes before I ever type the first word. When I finally sit down at the computer to write, I know exactly what will happen in each chapter and each scene.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Cheryl: In my books, I always use larger than life characters, and the stakes are always very high for the characters—particularly the heroine. I like her to be in dire straits because it pushes her to make choices she wouldn’t usually make. I also always use very macho, very tough heroes. They’re the kind of men who bluster through life, taking what they want without regard to the consequences. And I use very wicked, very driven villains who will do whatever is necessary to achieve their goals.

These bigger choices mean that I can include much bigger “scenes”, with lots of emotion, heartbreak, and betrayal. Lots of “stuff” happens in my books. People get killed, people get betrayed, people have their dreams dashed. I use big issues and big characters and big events, so that when readers get to a certain plot point, they’re shocked or hurt or enraged or emotionally drained right along with the characters.

I think writers fail at raising the emotional temperature in their books because they don’t make big choices. They don’t raise the stakes for their characters, and if the stakes are low or non-existent, there’s very little “feeling” to the writing. I think this is a particular problem in the romance genre, where the books are more often simply a character study that examines how two people meet and fall in love. But if the characters are nice to each other in the beginning, nice in the middle, and nice at the end, there’s no character arc and nowhere for the story to go.

TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

Cheryl: I don’t ever suffer writer’s block. I have been doing this for many years, and I’m very experienced as a writer. As I mentioned above, I block out my books before I ever start writing the first page. So when I sit down at my computer in the morning to get to work, I know precisely where I am in the story and what has to happen in the scene I’m writing.

I always tell new writers that the “cure” for writer’s block is to get more experienced as a writer. Finish the book you’re working on, then start the next one. Finish it, and move on to the next one. With each book a writer finishes, he or she becomes much more experienced and has a clearer of idea of how to get from the beginning to the end. Experience will insure that you don’t get lost in the middle.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular story and series?

Cheryl: I didn’t have any challenges or difficulties.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Cheryl: I don’t bounce ideas off anyone. I constantly have new ideas pop into my head, and I always jot them down. When I get ready to start a new book, I go to my list of ideas, pick one, and get started. I have a great “feel” for story and characters, and I know what works and what doesn’t in my stories. I don’t need to bounce ideas off anyone.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

wonderfulCheryl: Currently, I’m working on my next trilogy, which will be novels #37, #38, and #39 for me. I’m calling it the “Lost Lords of Radcliffe,” but I’m not ready to release much more info than that. I have a big book launch coming in January, and I’ll spread all the details then What I can tell you is that when I finished my last trilogy, my Reluctant Brides, the 3rd and final book was titled, WONDERFUL. I left a plot line dangling, so I could move one of the characters into my next series of books.

The three books of the Lost Lords trilogy tell the stories of the Blair siblings. When they were very young children, their mother was convicted of a crime and sent to the penal colonies in Australia. Her four children were left behind in England and cast to the winds of fate. In WONDERFUL, two of the siblings cross paths by accident. In the new Lost Lords trilogy, they begin the search for their other lost siblings, and they begin the fight to reclaim their stolen heritage.

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Cheryl: I have a three-year goal right now—rather than a five-year one. My main goal over the next three years is to finish 11 more novels, so that in three years, I will have written 50 novels. I can write 3-4 books per year now, so I think I should be able to get there with no problem.

TRC: What is something that few, if any people, know about you?

Cheryl: If I’d known how to make a different life happen for myself when I was younger, I would have been a singer and songwriter.


Favorite Food—potatoes, cooked any style

Favorite Dessert—anything chocolate

Favorite TV Show—Chopped on HGTV

Last Movie You Saw—Guardians of the Galaxy

Dark or Milk Chocolate—Milk Chocolate

Secret Celebrity Crush—none

Last Vacation Destination—Oahu in Hawaii

Pet Peeve—people who read their emails, but don’t answer them! Or who read their text messages but don’t answer them! Or who never listen to their voicemail!

TRC: Thank you Cheryl for taking the time to answers our questions. We wish you all the best.


The Doctor’s Fake Fiancee by Victoria James – a Review

The Doctor’s Fake Fiancee by Victoria James – a Review


The Doctor's Fake Fiancee

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM

Their marriage bargain is just what the doctor ordered…

Former surgeon and self-professed life-long bachelor Evan Manning has one thing on his mind—to reclaim the career that a car accident stole from him. But when he’s forced to return to his hometown of Red River, Evan comes face-to-face with the gorgeous woman who’s haunted his dreams for the last year—the woman he rescued from the burning car that injured his hand. Now Evan needs her help. In a month, he’ll have the job opportunity of a lifetime…he just needs a wife to get it. Artist Grace Matheson is down on her luck again…until she walks into Evan Manning’s office. When her sexy former hero hears that she needs work, he offers her a job and a home—if she’ll pretend she’s his fiancée. Grace knows she shouldn’t fall for him. Once the month is up, Evan will be back to his old life. But the more time they spend together, the more real their feelings become—and the more likely heartbreak is.



The Doctor’s Fake Fiancee by Victoria James is the 3rd book in her Red River series. When I decided to read this book, I was concerned that I had not read the first two books. I did not need to worry, as this was a wonderful book that read very well as a standalone.

This story started off with a bang,. Our heroine Grace was driving her young son to school, when a trailer truck over turned trapping her in the car. A doctor comes to her rescue, and saves both of them. The story flips to three years later, when Grace finally finds the name of the doctor, and travels to Red River to meet him and thank him for saving her life, as well as her sons.

Evan is our hero, and he is only in Red River temporarily helping the old time resident doctor, until the job he has been waiting for comes through. We learn early on that Evan suffered a hand injury in that accident three years earlier, not allowing him to do surgery anymore. He is very anxious to get this new job that would make him the CEO of a major clinic. The company is family oriented, and wants to know that their new ceo is the same. He knows he needs to present himself to them, and plots to find a fake fiancée to help him. Evan will let nothing stand in his way, and he can’t wait to get out of Red River, though his family still lives there.

This is where Grace enters the practice to find Evan and thank him. Grace has trouble holding a job, and barely makes ends meet. She is a budding artist, but has not had an opportunity to show her work. When she does meet Evan, in a short time, he begs her to help him be his fake fiancée for a few weeks. He offers her a job as a receptionist at the doctor’s office, a place to stay, and even buys her clothes to fit the part. After some doubt, she finds it difficult to refuse, especially since she could save some money, and work on her art.

What follows is a wonderful sweet story, with great characters, including many of the secondary characters. Grace’s son Christopher is a charmer, and so much fun. The slow to build romance between Grace and Evan was great, with both attracted to each other, but they each had their own past issues.

The Doctor’s Fake Fiancee was an enjoyable heartwarming story; filled with pure romance, humor, super characters, that I found myself so entranced that I read it all in one sitting. I really loved reading this book, and was so impressed with Victoria James writing, that I plan to go back and read the first two books in this series.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher


Blame It on the Mistletoe by Nicole Michaels – a Review

Blame It on the Mistletoe by Nicole Michaels – a Review


Blame it on the Mistletoe

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo


Sometimes all it takes is a leap of faith…’Tis the season for small-town Missouri boutique owner Brooke Abbott to get crafty. Much as she adores making art for art’s sake—decorating windows, designing ornaments, crafting the perfect present for under the tree—this Christmas she needs the gift of good customers. Lots of them. Sweet Opal Studios will go under if she can’t do some serious business before the New Year…and she has no time to lose. What Brooke needs is an honest-to-goodness miracle. Instead, she finds a burglar lurking in the back room of her shop. And here she thought the holidays couldn’t get any worse! For Christmas to work its own magic… Or maybe things just got a lot better. Turns out the burglar is none other than Alex Coleman—local bad boy slash legendary heartthrob, childhood best friend to Brooke’s older brother, and…future landlord? That is the question. He’s come home for the holidays to see his grandmother, make peace with his distant mother, and settle his grandfather’s estate, an estate that includes the building that houses Sweet Opal. What he never expected was to bump into a grown-up Brooke, whose spirit, charm, and irresistible good looks give him pause. Should he go back to Oregon as planned, or give small-town life a chance? The only thing Alex knows for sure is that before he walks out that door, he’s going to get Brooke beneath the mistletoe, where anything can happen…




Blame It on the Mistletoe by Nicole Michaels is a very sweet and charming romance that takes place close to Christmas time. This is the first book I have read by Michaels, and I enjoyed it very much. Brooke Abbott is our heroine, and she runs a small boutique in this small town of Preston, Missouri. Brooke rents her boutique called, Sweet Opal Studios, where she designs and makes her own jewelry, as other wonderful unique trinkets. She is having trouble making ends meet, especially with construction being done by her store, blocking people from noticing her. She meets some of her local store owners, who go out of their way to help spread word of mouth.

Brooke has been staying in the apartment upstairs from the store, to save money, and does not tell the landlord. One day while working, she hears noise upstairs and litteraly runs into Alex Coleman, our hero. Alex is the grandson of the woman who owns the store. He has just come back for a visit and was planning to stay in the apartment. Brooke is shaken, but Alex tells her to stay, and he will go to a hotel. They are friends from childhood, with Alex being Brooke’s brother’s best friend.

What follows is slow build relationship that has Brooke gun shy, as she came off an abusive relationship. Alex at first distances himself, having been threatened by Brooke’s brother to stay away from her. But he is determined to learn more about the now grown up and beautiful Brooke. Their romance was very well done, as I really enjoyed them together. Alex is faced with making a decision in life that will create hardship for Brooke, but make him a very rich man. What will he do, as he sees himself falling in love with Brooke? Will Brooke be able to trust that Alex is not her Ex, and allow herself to follow her heart?

Blame it on the Mistletoe was a very nice storyline, with some great secondary characters. A pure romance during the Christmas holiday, a great couple, and a happy ever after. What more could you want..

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher


Blue Dahlia by Vivian Winslow-Review and Blog Tour

Blue Dahlia (Gilded Flower #4) by Vivian Winslow-Review And Blog Tour

Blue Dahlia Banner

Title: Blue Dahlia
Author: Vivian Winslow
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: October 16, 2014

Blue Dahlia

ONLY .99¢ : Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/

About The book: Release Date October 16, 2014

New York socialite Dahlia Baron is falling for her Latin lover, Rodrigo Cruz, the scion of the Mama Linda Latin foods empire, and hopes to take the relationship to the next level. But there’s a dark secret that she must deal with first in order to truly give her heart to him. When Dahlia visits the man from her past, will the undercurrents of her emotions let her go to Rodrigo or will they pull her back to the one person who stands between them?

Blue Dahlia is the first book in the second trilogy of Vivian Winslow’s Gilded Flower series, featuring Lily Baron’s free-spirited twin sister, Dahlia.


4 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Blue Dahlia by Vivian Winslow is the fourth short read of her Gilded Flower series but this time the series changes focus from socialite Lily Baron to her sister Dahlia. Have to say, while Dahlia didn’t start off as such a great character in this series, she has completely won me over through out and this book in particular, you come to really appreciate her depths.

Dahlia Baron is in love. Wanting to start her life with her Latin hunny Rodrigo in Miami, Dahlia promises to join him as soon as she takes care of a few urgent matters. Little does Rodrigo know that her urgent matter consists of a failed marriage and a devastating loss. Wanting an official divorce, Dahlia heads out to California to face her husband Shane. After many years of separation and secrets, Dahlia is taken a back when old wounds are not so old and a once suppressed love bubbles to the surface. Shane is still the man she loves, yet he seems older and wiser and unwilling to give her up easy.

This is a quick indulgent read (less than 100 pages) and it’s jammed packed full of hot sizzle, sincere loving moments and a feeling of being torn in two by two wonderful men. You sense Dahlia blooming before your eyes (excuse the pun .. I couldn’t resist … LOL) There is an abruptness in the writing and a hurry feeling through the story. I would of liked to be teased a little more but I will say for such a short story, Vivian really did a great job writing “so much story”. I am left with wanting more and excited to see where Dahlia goes next.

I have a feeling the bottom is about to drop out once again ……


Copy supplied by the author

Reviewed by Rachel T. 





Dahlia leads Rodrigo up a wide flight of stairs and through a small photography exhibition with a sleepy guard standing by the entryway. They cross the empty room to an unmarked door. She produces a key card and swipes it.
“How?” Rodrigo begins to ask.
She replies with a wink and closes the door behind them. “This is where they keep the pieces waiting to be sent to the storage facility,” Dahlia whispers as they walk past rows of cloth covered paintings and wooden crates. As they reach the end of the corridor, Dahlia pulls Rodrigo into the last row.
Without hesitating, he draws her mouth to his, their kiss all-consuming. His hot tongue finds hers and takes the kiss so deep it sends electricity through her body. He always knows what she needs in the moment. Today, she wants all of him. She needs his reassurance.
He cups her face with his hands and gently tugs on her lower lip with his teeth. The desire in his eyes leaves her core throbbing for him. She moans as she feels his generous erection press up against her.
Rodrigo’s hand moves under her skirt, grabbing and kneading her ass before hitching her leg around his waist. Without missing a beat, she leans back against the wall to allow him better access to her snatch.
He smiles seductively, licking his bottom lip as his hand goes exploring, palming her clit. He presses his lips hard against hers, and she relishes in the heady feeling his kisses give her. Her hips begin to move to the rhythm of his fingers, as he glides them in and out of her wet, hot love tunnel.
Dahlia gasps as he begins to move faster. “I want you inside me,” she whispers, her breathing strained by the excitement of the moment. She can’t get enough of him. “Love me now.”
Dahlia playfully bites and licks his neck as she runs her hands through his thick dark hair. “I can’t imagine being anywhere else, baby.”
Rodrigo brusquely lifts her by her ass, and she wraps her legs around him. He moans as he sinks his hard cock into her.
He moves slowly at first, enjoying the tightness of her cunt. Dahlia closes her eyes as he plunges deeper into her core. She likes that he takes it slow with her, his fullness becoming all that she can feel, overwhelming her senses.


About The author

Vivian WinslowVivian Winslow was born and raised in Southern California. Before becoming a writer, she made a career out of moving around the world every couple of years thanks to her husband’s job. She currently lives in New York City with her husband and two elementary school age children, and is grateful to finally have a place to call home for more than two years. New York is the perfect city to indulge her love of shopping, the arts and especially food.

If she’s not at home writing or running around the city with her kids, you’ll most likely find her indulging in pizza on the Lower East Side or having a cocktail at her favorite bar in Alphabet City. That said, she’s still a California girl at heart and would gladly trade in her heels for a pair of flip-flops to catch a sunset on the beach. .

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Kissed by a Demon Spy (Solsti Series Novella) by Sharon Kay-a review

Kissed by a Demon Spy (Solsti Series Novella) by Sharon Kay-a review

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 7, 2014

This novella is a companion piece to the Solsti series and can be read as a stand-alone.

Kidnapped as a teen and forced into a life of sexual slavery, Garnet vowed long ago to do whatever she could to spare others her fate. When karma comes full circle with an offer of freedom for her and her young son, she jumps at the chance.

Masquerading as a village innkeeper, Aden keeps his espionage work secret from the gentle pixies he lives among. Using his skills to prevent a group of vicious demons from attacking the innocent, his world is draped in mist, shadow, and danger.

Steeped in shame, Garnet is loath to share her past with Aden. But Aden senses a sweet, loyal strength in her that no amount of horror can erase. His dangerous work is the opposite of the stability Garnet craves. Yet Aden’s patience and strength make him the hero she never had. When the enemy targets them, Garnet and Aden realize that honesty is the truest form of courage.


REVIEW: A novella such as this is like a decadent little morsel of a dessert like a petit four or a French macaroon. Sweet heaven packed into a little slip of a morsel. Despite how short this novella is, I savored every bit of this book. It was a good story that left me wanting more and I mean that in a good way. For those of you who are following the Solsti series know about Garnet who helped Kai and Brooke escape Stroehm, you get to find out about what happens to her.

After bearing….wait for it…172 years of slavery, Garnet and her six year old son Dash are offered a fresh start in life. The uneventful death of the leader of Stroehm paves the way for Garnet and Dash to escape with the help of Mathias and Bianca who was sent by Kai and Brooke. Lucky for Garnet, Kai and Brooke never forgot the time when Garnet helped Kai and Brooke escape Stroehm in Wicked Waves. It seems to me that Kai and Garnet have an interesting relationship of helping each other and paying back the kindness. First Kai helps Garnet out her thrall slavery, then Garnet helps bust Kai and Brooke out of Stroehm and then Kai sends help to get Garnet and her son out of Stroehm.

Anyways, you get to learn about Garnet and her background before she was forced into her slave life. You learn about her special abilities and her hometown in which she decides to come back to and start her life over there. To make things even better for Garnet and Dash, everyone around them is extremely kind to them. Dash even adjusts really well to going to school. To me it actually seems like Garnet and Dash’s fresh start is perfect. I liked Garnet and Dash but I have to admit that I wish for more dimension to Garnet’s character like when she worked on growing plants or her work in the kitchen, she shows her strengths in her skills and I wish she used them more and in detail more in the book. I found that side of her entertaining. Aside from that, I enjoyed Garnet. She was the epitome of feminine softness in the sense that she was very maternal, alluring yet demure at the same time, and compassionate. Garnet is a really likeable character and wasn’t in the least bit annoying to me. And then there is Aden. Where do I being with Aden? Of all the guys I met in this series, I felt like Aden was the most romantic one. He was very kind, compassionate, understanding and most of all patient with Garnet. Given her history as a thrall slave he never pushed her into doing something she didn’t want to do, he saw to her pleasure before his own when they did finally get together and from what I can see it seemed like when it came to doing some things he gave her the control to take things where she felt comfortable. The extra bonus was that Aden and Dash got along very well. Aden was chivalrous gentlemen. Despite that, he also has a rough side to him where he is tough and fights like a warrior.

I loved this book and I enjoyed the privilege of reading it. I love fresh starts because let’s face it life gets messy. We do things we regret or not proud of, we forget who we are in the face of trying to please everyone around us, we end up in very unfavorable circumstances and fall into a bad rut that we sometimes all need that clean slab to start over on. Garnet and Dash free themselves from a sordid and bad destiny into a good one where they have freedom and choices, security of a home and a sense of community and belonging in Ivydale. I love that despite the abuse Garnet had to face, she was still willing to open herself up to be loved. Not that it was an easy feat for her due to her inner demons thinking herself worthless and “damaged goods” but that she deserves to be loved and taken care of for a change. I love that despite Garnet’s past and even her extra baggage; Aden was able to see and admire a woman of strength, courage and selflessness. I really look forward to reading more on this awesome series. Give this series a try because you won’t regret it.

Series Reading Order
Wicked Wind
Wicked Waves
Wicked Flames
Kissed by a Demon Spy

Copy supplied by the author

Reviewed by Xtina