Limerence by Claire C Riley-A Review and Interview with the Author

LIMERENCE by Claire C Riley-a review

Limerence / / /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release March 24, 2013

One man’s obsession could destroy them all.

Despite her love for her fiancé, Mia Lawrence finds herself inexplicably drawn to Mr Breckt- the mysterious new owner of the Island. Her thoughts are constantly consumed with the handsome and powerful stranger. However, there is much more to him than she realizes, something dangerous and supernatural.

Mr Breckt is used to getting what he wants, and now he wants Mia, at any cost! With his obsession spiraling out of control, he knows that time is running out. A war is coming. Blood will be shed, and lives will be lost, but he will have to rid himself of his obsession of Mia before it’s too late.

Mia and Oliver must now fight the very evil that threatens to come between them. If either of them fails, it will be more than their love for each other that will be lost.

Ultimately, all three will have to make a sacrifice that will change each other’s destiny forever… but will it be the right one


REVIEW: LIMERENCE is the first storyline in Claire C Riley’s new Limerence series written in a combination of genres-paranormal, urban fantasy, thriller and suspense. The storyline follows the obsession of a powerful vampire and his need to make the beautiful human female his own. But what ensues is a twisted tale of wants versus needs; love versus hate; obsession versus death. The storyline is dark, dangerous and a little disturbing as Robert Breckt stalks, compels, mystifies and eventually destroys the very thing he wants.

We watch as our heroine Mia, who is desperately in love with her fiancé Oliver, fight the compulsion and attraction to one of the most beautiful and seductive men she has ever met. But Robert Breckt is not what he appears to be. His desires, his needs, his body and his soul want Mia and no one else. This is not a story of one’s man burning love for the female of his dreams, but one man’s obsession with the only woman he cannot have or control.

Throughout the storyline we are pulled in as Mia’s relationship with her fiancé falters when the building compulsion to find Mr. Breckt interferes in their daily lives and, we watch as Oliver sets into motion a series of events in which everyone will suffer in the end.

LIMERENCE is a well-written, engaging, obsessively dark and fascinating storyline of obsession, love and revenge. Limerence is the story of Mia’s transformation from a loving human female to a predator without any remorse.

“I’m a vampire.”

“A hunter.”

“A temptress.”

“I’m not going to be the good girl any longer.”

Reviewed by Sandy

Copy supplied by the author.

NOTE: I received an email asking me ‘what’ does LIMERENCE mean; what is the definition?

Limerence is: ‘an involuntary state of mind which results from a romantic attraction to another person combined with an overwhelming, obsessive need to have one’s feelings reciprocated; an OCD

Interview red:black

I recently had the opportunity to read Claire C Riley’s new release LIMERENCE. Please welcome Claire to The Reading Cafe

Claire C Riley


Claire C Riley, is a mother first, a wife second, but a writer at heart.

Claire likes to break boundaries with her writing, incorporating an old school style of horror and romance. Sexy and dark. (Think Bram Stokers Dracula, but for the 21st century!) She is trying to mix things up a bit by introducing more women into the horror genre and more men into the romance genre, and show people that you should never stick in your comfort zones.

Claire is a mother to three amazing little girls who hold her heart. She hopes to make them proud, and show them that if you work hard and believe in yourself… then, as Cinderella once said… dreams really do come true.

She is an avid book collector and has a great zombie apocalypse plan in place thanks to a questionnaire she asked her readers to fill in for her from her blog.
Claire is currently working on the sequel to Limerence, and also a dystopian post-apocalyptic zombie novel called- Odium. Think Thelma and Louise, but with zombies 😉

She actively encourages reader participation on her blog and author Facebook page, with questionnaires, quizzes, and fan art. So get in touch!

Follow Claire: Website/ Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads


Let’s Get Started !!

TRC: Hi Claire and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of your new novel LIMERENCE. We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Claire: Hi, and thanks for having me. I live in the UK with my husband, three young children and one scruffy springer spaniel!

LimerenceTRC: LIMERENCE is your first published novel. Would you please tell us something about the premise? / /

Claire: With my writing, I have tried to take things back to their roots. There are so many new takes on different paranormal elements, that the original premise of things have gotten a little lost. For me, the original ideas were and are the best. I take a lot of influence from Bram Stokers Dracula, and Night of The Living Dead. These elements were scary and fascinating. Much less romanticised than they are now.

TRC: LIMERENCE is categorized as a dark romance tale (more urban fantasy than paranormal romance) but it is not a romantic novel in the ‘ideal’ sense of the word. How would you explain the ‘romance’ aspect of the storyline?

Claire: I like to think of Limerence as a love triangle with a difference. Instead of the typical he loves her and she loves him, it centres on more of the psychological differences between the main characters feelings and how far these feelings will push you.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series?

Claire: At the moment three. However, I do have thoughts for a fourth, but I’m still considering this. I don’t want the specific elements of Limerence to become tired like some do when the series is written past its sell by date.

TRC: Your heroine Mia endures some heart-breaking and painful moments yet she is a survivor until the end. Will we see Mia as a protector and guardian or, will Mia enact revenge for the many losses in her life?

Claire: Without giving too much away, there is going to be a little of both. Mia hasn’t lost her humanity as such, she just feels like she has nothing left to love, nothing left to lose. There is no reason for her to be ‘good’ anymore. She loves what she has become, but the route she has had to take to get there kind of ruins it for her.

TRC: If Robert Breckt was given the opportunity to speak for himself, what would he have to say–About Mia? About himself?

Claire: At the start Robert doesn’t understand why she affects him so much. By the end though, he realises that it is his own narcissism that is his downfall. He loves her, but not for the traditional reasons. It’s because he ‘can’t’ have her that drives him to such despair and obsessiveness. The longer that she refutes him, the higher on the pedestal he puts her, until he couldn’t stop it even if he wanted to.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the lead characters in your novel LIMERENCE, which actors or models would best represent your ideal image?

Claire: A few months ago on my Facebook page, I asked people that had read the original version of Limerence to post pictures of ‘their’ celebrity cast. I was so surprised by some of them that I opened a poll on my blog for people to vote on the celebrities which had the most votes. I didn’t agree with all of them though, ha ha.

Limerence Characters

My celebrity cast would be, Mia- Evangeline Lilly. Oliver- Liam Hemsworth. Mr Breckt- Tom Hardy. Rachael- Emma Stone. Chris- Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

TRC: What are some of the challenges (research, logistics, literary) in bringing your ideas and storyline to life?

Claire: Again, without giving too much away, I wanted to break away from the typical clichés that are associated with the paranormal elements in Limerence, and go back to basics on some of it. I also wanted to try and give as accurate portrayal of the term Limerence as I could. So I researched both things profusely.

TRC: What do you believe is the biggest misconception about you?

Claire: That I know what I’m doing! Ha ha. People have seemed quite surprised that this is my first novel. Up until less than a year ago I hadn’t written a thing since being a child. My time the past few years has been on being a good mother to my children.

TRC: Would you please tell us about the online site Breakwater Harbor Books and what is your connection?

Claire: Breakwater Harbor Books, Or BHB, is a group of amazing Indie writers who got together to help each other promote great Indie work. Some of the writers within the group have actually already have been traditionally published, but they wanted to try their hand at self-publishing. One of the authors is doing so well that they have already been able to give up their day job. So you see, there really is some extremely good writers within the group. It’s about uniting as one and working together to help one another succeed.

TRC: If you could change something about yourself personal or professional, what would it be and why?

Claire: Professionally, I wish that I would have started writing again much sooner. When I was much younger I used to read and write constantly. Whilst the reading never left me, the writing took a back seat. Personally, I wish I had more confidence and belief in myself.

TRC: Many author bounce ideas with friends and family, with whom do you bounce ideas?

Claire: If I want to know if an idea is too ‘out there’ I ask my husband, ha ha. He brings me back down to reality. Most of the time though I type what comes to me and then I have a couple of really good writer friends who I will send an excerpt too and gauge their reactions.

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

Claire: Urghhh, I hate writers block. I try to move on to a completely different scene. When your head is too focused on a particular scene, you can’t see past the problem, so it is best to move away from it and on to something else. If you don’t, then I have learnt the hard way that what you write is generally not very good at all anyway. It is best to leave it to another day, possibly even another week.

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

Claire: That’s a long time! Haha. I guess I would like to be able to give up my day job and write full time. I want to get the Limerence series completed, whether that be three or more books, and I am already started on my other series which starts with a book called- Odium.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Claire: I’m consecutively working on the sequel to Limerence, and Odium.

I wanted to solely focus on Limerence II: Mia, however Odium won’t leave me alone. It was haunting my thoughts so I had to start it. I’ll be honest, I’m really excited by it from what I have written so far, and people’s reactions to the first couple of chapters. It is a post-apocalyptic dystopian horror, with romantic elements to it and a bucketful of zombies. As with Limerence, I’m trying to get back to the basics of the premise. Survival.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Claire: Just thank you to everyone who has already purchased, read, and reviewed Limerence. It’s really appreciated, more than you know. And please, when you have read it, let me know your thoughts. Plenty of readers have already posted pictures, sketches, fan art, poems, all sorts on to my Facebook page. I love to see what people take away from it.


Favorite Food
Anything! I’m a total pig. Ha ha. Steak, noodles, salad, pizza, ice cream, chocolate. I don’t believe in diets, but in eating everything in proportion.

Favorite Dessert
Either chocolate fudge cake (warm) Or lemon meringue pie. Oh wait, and lemon drizzle cake! Thanks, now I want some cake!

Favorite TV Show
There’s a couple. I love True Blood, The Walking Dead, Being Human (UK) Dexter

Last Movie You Saw
At the cinema- A Good Day to Die Hard (I love Bruce Willis)
At home- Men in Black III and Breaking Dawn (I had to bribe my husband into watching that one)

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Milk! Nom nom

Last Vacation Destination

Secret Crush
Please, there’s nothing secret about my crushes! Ha ha, I love Christian Slater- it’s the voice and accent, totally makes me drool. The same goes for Tom Hardy.

TRC: Thank you Claire for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of your novel. I am looking forward to the next instalment in the Limerence Series.

Claire: Thanks so much for the great questions. Really got me thinking. Much love, Claire


Claire is offering a GIVEAWAY copy (Kindle or pdf) of LIMERENCE to TWO lucky readers.

1. Please register using the log-in at the top of the page or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. Giveaway runs from March 31-April 4, 2013

4. Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.


Bittersweet Blood by Nina Croft-a review

BITTERSWEET BLOOD (The Order #1) by Nina Croft-a review

Bittersweet Blood / / Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release February 17, 2013

Tara Collins just wants to be normal. Everyone else wants her dead.

Tara’s eccentric aunt raised her to be fearful of the world and follow the rules. But after her aunt’s death, Tara is ready to take control and experience life for the first time. But she quickly discovers that everything she’s been told is a web of lies. Determined to solve the mystery of who she is truly, she hires private investigator to help her uncover the truth.

Christian Roth is more than your average PI. A vampire and ex-demon hunter, Christian lives among the humans, trying to be “normal.” But recently, things seem to be falling apart. There’s a crazed demon hell-bent on revenge hunting him down, and a fae assassin on the loose with an unknown target. And the Order he abandoned desperately needs his help.

As the secrets of Tara’s past collide with the problems in Christian’s present, she finds herself fighting her attraction to the dark and mysterious investigator. Falling in love does not fit into her plans at all, but Tara soon learns that some rules are meant to be broken


REVIEW: BITTERSWEET BLOOD is the first storyline in Nina Croft’s new contemporary, paranormal romance series The Order. The Order is the regulating vampire body that polices the supernaturals of the world. Once the presiding head of The Order, five hundred year old vampire Christian Roth is begrudgingly pulled back into duty when demons begin to wreak havoc in the area surrounding his business and his home. But it is not until a young waif-like human requires Christian’s assistance do the demon attacks begin to make sense. A promise of revenge from an old enemy has Christian both guardian and protector of the woman who has stolen his heart.

Christian and Tara’s relationship begins as a business arrangement but something about Tara pulls at Christian and he is not the only supernatural being who is having difficulty separating business from pleasure. Tara wants to learn about her past-her mother is dead: her father an unknown: and her aunt is recently deceased-and no one was willing to reveal the truth about Tara’s heredity and possible connections to the supernatural world until the talisman protecting Tara’s true identity reveals more about her blood-lines than anyone could have imagined.

BITTERSWEET BLOOD is an imaginative vampire storyline that draws in several warring factions of supernatural and paranormal creatures: vampires, demons, werewolves and fae are all introduced in the opening storyline. Tara’s connections to supernatural royalty is no guarantee of protection but the love of a five hundred year old vampire ensures that she will be protected at all times.

BITTERSWEET BLOOD is an interesting, fast paced and easily read storyline. As the introductory story, it is not overwhelming with background information, but just enough to pique ones interest for future novels. If you are a fan of vampire storylines with romance and love, Bittersweet Blood and The Order is for you.

Copy supplied by the publisher.

Reviewed by Sandy


Lover At Last (The Black Dagger Brotherhood #11) by J.R.Ward-a review

LOVER AT LAST (The Black Dagger Brotherhood # 11) by J.R.Ward-a review

Lover At Last

Release Date: March 26, 2013

LOVER AT LAST is the eleventh installment in J.R.Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series and one of the most anticipated new releases for 2013 along with Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Christine Feehan’s Dark Wolf (Skyler and Dimitri 2014). Lover At Last-Qhuinn and Blay’s storyline-has been building for several years and over the course of several books. And similar to Lover Reborn, the novel has more than one story arc developing with many sub-plots. Lover at Last is a turning point in The Black Dagger Brotherhood series and does not concentrate wholly on Qhuinn and Blay but subdivides the text into four separate premises, three of which began in Lover Reborn.

For anyone who does not follow The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, a little background into Qhuinn and Blaylock. These two BDB besties have been dancing around each other for years hence the ‘At Last’. Friends since childhood, Blay has been Qhuinn’s wingman for an endless number of sexual encounters, threesomes and backroom pickups on so many levels, but there is more to their friendship than Brotherhood and BFF-Blay is gay and has wanted Qhuinn for as long as he can remember but Qhuinn has had a difficult time accepting the fact that Blay wants more than friendship. When Blay finds release in a partnership with Qhuinn’s cousin Saxton, Qhuinn will become involved with one of the Chosen during her time of needing resulting in a pregnancy that will add another level of angst, complication and heartbreak to an otherwise fragile friendship.

Lover at Last is a revelation of sorts for both Qhuinn and Blay. As both males begin to reassess what it is they want from life the pair will be brought together by a small, but determined female, who wants nothing more than to please the males, as is her duty, of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Qhuinn’s heartbreaking backstory will set the stage for an emotional outpouring of months if not years of pent up frustrations between Qhuinn and Blay. Emotions will be flayed raw, things will be said in the heat of the moment and, hearts will be bared all in the name of love and the fear of losing the other half of one’s soul. But Lover at Last is more than just a novel about Qhuinn and Blay, LAL is the starting point for a different direction in the BDB series.

Assail, the vampire introduced in Lover Reborn, has replaced the Rev (Rehvenge) as the drug overlord of Caldwell but Assail’s assent has not been easy. Rich and powerful, Assail will find himself a target when he discovers that he is being tailed by a small but powerful human woman. And to further complicate his life, missing drugs and dismembered bodies all lead to a power play in the world between the Lessening Society and the vampire hierarchy. And as per the storyline arc, Assail will become obsessed with the woman sent to hunt him down and take him out. But there are more players in the world of drug distribution and mayhap there is a traitor amongst the Brothers who is willing to sell his soul for the right price.

Xcor, the leader of the Band of Bastards, continues his search for the King of the vampires and for the Chosen who had saved his life on the battlefield. But Xcor is shocked to discover that the female who has stolen his heart is with child, which adds a wee bit of a complication in his attempts to find and claim the woman he believes is able to tame the beast as well as steal his heart. For a powerful leader, Xcor is emotionally fragile with regards to Layla and his need to find the Chosen will have him losing focus on his original goal to take down the King and claim the crown for his own.

Lover at Last will see iAm and Trez, the brothers (and Shadows) once employed and indebted to Rehvenge, begin to ascend into a storyline that will focus on Trez’s reluctant betrothal to a would-be queen. As Trez’s life begins to spiral out of control, iAm will seek refuge and aid for his brother from a most unlikely source and in this will mesh their storylines with the BDB.

Lover At Last is a novel that is disappointing on some levels as it does not focus solely on its leading couple; the buildup and anticipatory factor of Qhuinn and Blay’s relationship had reached an almost feverish pitch that will come crashing down for some readers expecting a storyline of infinite proportions and possibilities. Lover At Last is a novel that builds on several developing storylines for upcoming books in the BDB series; it is a turning point; an end to this particular arc; but a beginning to a new direction. Now that all of the original players have found their mates, Ward must find a new set of ‘Brothers’ and males who require their story to be told and in doing so, I believe, lost some of the focus on Blay and Qhuinn.

But saying that, the BDB stories will continue with Layla’s pregnancy, the potential for another ‘needing’ on the horizon and the fight for the crown. Oh, and if you think the dead remain buried and forgotten, a surprising revelation will have you wondering who else is alive and well – could Elvis be the next resurrection?

Lover at Last is a well-written storyline that will please many and disappoint some. It is a storyline that has been demanding to be front and center for a long time, but may have lost some of its glory because of the build up of anticipation. Sometimes the thrill of the chase is better than the take down; the seduction more thrilling than the climax. Lover at Last needed to be told, but there is so much more that needs to be said and hopefully J.R.Ward’s amazing ability to tell a tale, will once again, bring our much beloved couples together.

Reviewed by Sandy

NOTE:  There have been a few revelations at this week’s signing in Cincinnati

1. The next BDB storyline will be called THE KING
2. Beth and Wrath will be trying for a baby
3. Saxton will play a pivotal role in the premise of the storyline
4. Blay and Qhuinn’s story continues


And EACH of these scenarios is hinted at in Lover at Last



The Dumped Club by Ally Symmons-a review

The Dumped Club by Ally Symmons-a review

The Dumped Club

Purchase Information: Amazon availability should be next week but you can order direct from the publisher at : HERE

ABOUT THE BOOK:  Release Date March 1, 2013

Mardi Stewart thought she’d found the perfect boyfriend in Paul Baker…until she discovers he is already married.

Reeling with shock from the betrayal, Mardi finds herself in the arms of Rob Fulton,
her best friend’s brother. Newly returned from England, Rob is also the victim of a sour relationship and only too keen to commiserate the folly of love with Mardi.

Embarking on a ‘friends with benefits’ affair, Rob and Mardi vow they will never be blinded by love again. But Mardi doesn’t tell Rob that despite her affirmation she still secretly holds a torch for Paul Baker. When Paul returns to her with promises of a new life together will it be Paul or Rob who becomes the next member of the dumped club?



4 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Well well well! What a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be! I have to say I really admit that The Dumped Club by Ally Symmons was FAR BETTER than I thought it would be. From reading the synopsis I thought this was going to ooze serious angst, boo hoo’s and sniff sniff’s. Oh yes it had some of that, but there was some great story development, character growth, HOT SCENES, and serious hatred for .. *AHEM* certain A-Hole ex.

So I will lead into the review by posing this question. Can two heart broken people engaging in the wrong kind of rebound actually make a right????

Mardi Stewart is in a relationship that she believes is heading in all the right directions. After being together for quite some time, she sits down to have a cup of coffee with her Mr Future only to be told that he is not only MARRIED, but is expecting a baby with his wife! GASP! Oh and that she has to just deal with it, leave the apartment he purchased for them by the end of the week, and quit her job as he is her boss. He also does this in the most aggravating snide manner and smiles through it! If I could of jumped in the story, this is where I would of … GGGRRRR, oh never mind this review has to be kept somewhat PG!

Then there is Rob Fulton. I love great male leads, and I crushed on Rob through this entire story! He is recently back from England after a heart break of his own (although it isn’t overly exposed in the book), and is really interested in sharing a “friends with benefits” relationship with Mardi (although a much better vulgar term is used ..LOL). They are both nursing broken hearts and what better way to ease the pain than with pleasures of the flesh!

Off they go in this relationship, and while they are enjoying each other physically, they are really supporting each other and becoming fast and furious friends, and much more. Either of them just can’t seem to realize that they are actually taking the next step without even trying! UNTIL …. A-Hole (I hated him that much that I refuse to type his name) comes back into the picture and uproots this budding relationship.

I don’t want to go into this story any more than that, as this isn’t a long book, so there has to be some element of surprise for you. Just know your blood will boil on so many levels.

I want to write more about what I thought of Mardi. At first I really felt bad for her but then found that I wanted to smack her back to reality and ask her when she got so weak. I would also like to ask her why in the world she would put all her “eggs in one basket”? Why did she put up with what she did? Was she that naive, or that in love?? I loved reading her growth in self confidence and self discovery. When she begins to practice old thinking and actions I could of shook her with my frustration but don’t worry .. SMART MARDI breaks through and I cheered her on all the way!

I did feel the ending was a little rushed. Again, without going into too much, a bomb was dropped within the story and I would have liked to have read more of Mardi really dig deep to tackle it head on. I think she deserved a far more dramatic “stick it in your face A-Hole” than she received.

I think Ally Symmons has a great future as an author and if she publishes again I will for sure purchase her books. She has a great natural flow to her writing and develops believable characters, in believable situations!

So again .. can two heart broken people engaging in the wrong kind of rebound actually make a right??? YOU BET YOUR A$$ THEY CAN! 😉

Copy supplied by the publisher

Reviewed by Rachel T.


The Baron’s Bargain by Misty King-a review

The Baron’s Bargain by Misty King-a review

The Baron's Bargain

Purchase Information: Amazon availability should be next week, but you may order the e-book direct from the publisher HERE

About the book: Release Date March 1, 2013

Etta Damian is a vampire living in Bonte Bayou, a tiny Louisiana town struck by a mysterious curse, following an epidemic of yellow fever in 1905. Etta’s guilt about her inadvertent role in the epidemic has kept her in Bonte Bayou, as its protector for over a century. In spite of Etta’s resolve to keep herself separate from the town’s human population, her kind nature has drawn several living friends to her. Among them is Marceline Prieto, a voodoo priestess, and Xavier Hermes, a talented baker.

Blaise Delaroche is also drawn to Etta, although Etta doesn’t welcome Blaise’s advances or his continued presence in Bonte Bayou. As Etta’s vampire master, Blaise has the power to force Etta do his bidding, to draw her into his embraces and electrify her with his sensual touches.

And although Etta is deeply attracted to tall, handsome Blaise, with his dark eyes, his sardonic wit, and his lingering traces of a Parisian accent, and she can’t help but respond to him, she bitterly resents him for turning her into a monster like him.



The Baron’s Bargain is a well written, fast paced short story. Etta is a strong heroine who will do whatever it takes to aid her friend, Marceline, in ridding Bonte Bayou of the curse that has plagued it for years. Marceline sets in motion a series of summons to bring forth the loas who have the power to grant them that which they seek. They have also enlisted Blaise to help with their endeavors. And, once the summons begin, things get a little dicey. Seems you have to bargain with the loas, and, oh, what bargains they strike.

There are a lot of terms, loa being one, that I was not familiar with. I can only assume they have to do with voodoo lore, but that didn’t keep me from understanding the premise of the story. There were, however, a couple of things that happen with the bargains that left me a little speechless. But, I guess you do what you have to do to ensure the curse ends. And, the relationship between Etta and Blaise is a sweet revelation. The cliff hanger ending?!?!?!!? Yep, I definitely want to read the next one!!!

Copy provided by Publicist

Reviewed by Vickie M.


Always on My Mind by Bella Andre – a Review

Always on My Mind by Bella Andre – a Reviewalways on my mind
Links to order Always on My Mind: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Lori “Naughty” Sullivan finally falls in love in ALWAYS ON MY MIND, the new book in Bella Andre’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling series about the Sullivan family.

After a tragic loss three years ago, Grayson Tyler left his life in New York City behind and started over in the rolling hills of the California coast. He’s convinced himself that all he’ll ever need again is the blue sky, a thousand acres of pasture, and the crashing waves of the ocean. Until one day, Lori Sullivan barges into his life and promptly blows his emotionless and solitary world to shreds, driving him crazy as only a woman nicknamed “Naughty” can. But will Lori be able to convince him that it’s safe to love her…and that forever isn’t actually out of reach?


Always on My Mind continues Bella Andre’s wonderful The Sullivans series. This one belongs to the last Sullivan, Lori, who has not found her true love.  We have been waiting for Lori’s (Naughty) story for awhile, and Andre does not disappoint. 

The story starts with Lori running away from her job, heartbroken and trying to escape going home to face her family. Lori who is tough, fun loving, beautiful and a professional dancer, decides to do something that was totally different for her.  She ends up at a farm, and meets Grayson Tyler, our hero.  Grayson, has been building up his ranch for three years, having himself run away from the tragic death of his wife.   When Lori asks for a job as a farmhand, he refuses at first. She who was still dressed in her dance outfit, did not look anything like a farmhand, not to mention being a woman.  But when Lori is determined and wants something, no one can stand in her way.  Grayson, who prefers his privacy, allows Lori to tryout, and then is forced to hire her, much to his dismay.

Both begin to notice that each is running away from something, but it is the strong unstoppable Naughty Lori, who becomes way more then Grayson can handle. Neither wants any commitments, but both find themselves totally attracted sexually, which is totally hot. Of course, this is Andre’s trademark, hot hot hot sexy steamy love scenes, and Lori and Grayson are no different.  Whew!

Andre does such a wonderful job showing Lori in a different light.  Watching her do chores, especially with the pigs was hilarious, and I totally loved loved her scenes with Mo (sweetpea), the cat who adopted Grayson three years ago, and is now dying of leukemia.  Lori loved Sweetpea with all her heart, and made the last weeks of the cat’s life one of pure joy.  So well done. 

Watching Grayson and Lori discover themselves, as well as open up to each other was wonderful.  He tried to be gruff, unbending, and she would offset that by being her perky self.   Grayson didn’t know how to handle Lori, and little did he know, his days were numbered.  I got a kick out of the dance Grayson took her to in town, as many treated Lori with distain, until she won them over, teaching the young teenagers the line dance she created for her show.  As always, she won them and Grayson over.

This was such a great romance, especially with Lori being in a different environment, and finding things about herself.  I loved her and Grayson together, and Bella does such a wonderful job with this fantastic romance.  The last ¼ of the book was terrific, and we get to see all the Sullivans together again; in fact twice in one book…. Awesome.

Always on My Mind closes out the first arc of the Sullivan family, and with the success of this series, Bella is now extending it further, bringing in another Sullivan relation (cousins) in the next story.  The wonderful news from Andre, is that Mary, the matriarch of the original Sullivans, will have her story told.  If you have not read this series, what are you waiting for?  This is a fun, sexy, at times erotic romance of wonderful couples and a fantastic family. 

Reviewed by Barb


Abbey Road by Ophelia London – a Review

Abbey Road by Ophelia London – a Review

abbey road

Links to order Abbey Road: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Touted by the tabloids as the biggest rock star of our generation, Abigail Kelly is used to being in the spotlight. But beyond the glam of Hollywood, her world is falling apart. Still reeling from the death of her brother and wilting under the iron fist of Max, her manager, Abby banishes herself to the secluded beaches of Florida for the summer, thinking some anonymity and sunshine are just what she needs. What she finds, instead, is Todd, an ex-marine eager to embrace life after war. Together, Abby and Todd find the balance Abby’s life has been missing. 

That is, until Max resurfaces, demanding Abby return to Los Angeles to record her band’s newest album. As the pressures of public appearances, paparazzi, and late-night recordings start to mount, Abby will have to risk everything or lose the life she always dreamed of.

Ophelia London’s ABBY ROAD is a love letter to music—both the kind you cherish and the kind you create—as well as a beautiful love story that proves even when everyone in the world can recognize your face, the only people who matter are those who can see inside your heart.


5 out of 5 for this reader folks!

“How does it feel, Abby?  To know you killed your own brother?”

I read that in the prologue of Abbey Road by Ophelia London!  YUP .. that got my attention!  Actually this was one of those books I couldn’t put down!  It flowed!  So without going into too much detail and spoiling anything for you, I will give you a little something something of this fabo book!

Meet Abigail Kelly!  Lead singer to rock star band Mustang Sally, pink loving, blond, bad-ass, sassy and has it all going on rock star!  Now meet Abby!  Tired, broken, grief stricken, pushed over, confused, brown loving, artist.  Guess what??  These two are the same person.  Can you imagine what it feels like to have yourself split in two?  To be one person in front of an audience and press, to have the burden of so many people’s careers on your shoulders, but to be so self depreciating and shamefully broken on the inside?  YAH .. that sucks!

Meet Todd Camford!  Yummy hottie, ex-Marine, business major, beach bum, fishing, fun loving with a sharp temper is he cares, been heart broken  (but managing) and knows what he wants in life.  He’s kinda Mr. Perfect and Abby’s salvation.  She just doesn’t know it yet!

Meet Max who cares what his last name is… JERK manager with serious control issues! Every story needs an antagonist.  

I have to say, this book got right to the core of my heart.    I love a good romance and if it has lots of smut even better!  Here’s the thing though.  THIS HAD NONE (aside from serious hot kissing)  and it’s a 5 star in my opinion.  The characters and story line were so well written that I had no need for smut filling.  This is a exceptional love at first sight story. Plain and simple!  

“This guy, this man I’d known for two short days, who named his dog after a member of the Rat Pack, whose sisters nicknamed him Pockets, who’d been lost in the Andes for eighteen hours, who loved Frank Sinatra, Dr Pepper, and the Marines, he was the only person who allowed me to unload one suitcase of personal baggage, one corner of repressed feelings – all with no judgment and no blame.  Nothing but his calming presence.”


Abby does a lot of discovery and changing in this book and while much of it is in direct relation to having Todd in her life, it was very liberating to read a character who really comes into her own … on her own.  Todd has to make some tough decisions to get Abby back on track, but he does it out of love.   Let’s forgive him okay???  WINK

I would have liked to have read more back story on Todd as opposed to just casual conversation snippets of his life.  There were some minor details given, but I think this character had more to him than was given.  Don’t get me wrong, he is easy to connect with, but I would of loved to understand some of his more intense personality traits and why they are there.

So … through a journey of small town Florida, to the hectic “go go go” of LA rock star life you are bound to get wrapped up in these two!  If you happen to appreciate funny friendly banter, modern life references (like Mr Big, Tom Hanks and that Angelina lady) and ANYTHING BEATLES than go out and snag this book!  I have a feeling that Ophelia London is going to be an author I am personally going to be watching out for.

I will leave you with a snippet, just cause it made me chuckle and put MISS ROCK STAR in her simple humble place (which by the way she accepts wholeheartedly)!

Todd leaned forward.  “What were you doing a year ago, Abby?”

“One year ago I was on my way to England,” I began without having to think, “Five shows in five days in five cities.  Then Europe.  Then Asia.”  I folded my arms.  “Top that.”

“I was climbing Everest.”


Reviewed by Rachel T.

Copy provided by Publisher



Speaking of Love by Ophelia London – a Review

Speaking of Love by Ophelia London – a Review

speaking of loveLinks to order Speaking of Love: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Speech teacher and successful matchmaker Mackenzie Simms decides to find a woman for her friend, handsome newspaper tycoon Rick Duffy. Though they’ve been each other’s go-to dates for the past month, Mac and Rick couldn’t be more different: she is outspoken, sarcastic, and completely loathes his privileged lifestyle. He’s laid-back, unassuming, and seems comfortable at an upper-class charity function. So why can’t she stop thinking about him?

Rick knows he and the opinionated-though-adorable Mackenzie are better off as friends, so he agrees to the double-date getaway Mac plans at his family cabin. But seeing Mac cuddle up with her “friendly” date rankles Rick beyond reason, and Mac regrets her matchmaking scheme the minute she sees the way her beauty-queen cousin looks at Rick. Can Mac ‘fess up to what’s really in her heart, when speaking her mind puts everything at risk?


4 out of 5 for this reader folks!

Simple formula for this read!  Almost lovers, friends, lovers!  You know, the kind of relationship that is made to last!

Speaking of Love was another wonderful SWEET love story by Ophelia London.  It is the second book of her Perfect Kisses series and it certainly did not let me down!  I have discovered that Ophelia London has a great style.  This is the third book of hers I have read, and she is brilliant at sarcastic, quick wit, amazing chemistry between her hero and heroine, including modern day references and just making me believe that love could really be this BEAUTIFUL!

Now .. let’s get to some of the nitty gritty shall we??

We first met Mackenzie Simms (but you better call her Mac and most definitely not BABE, or she’ll go postal all over you) in the first book of this series called Playing at Love.  Mac is my kind of girl!  By profession she is a speech/debate teacher at the local high school and by nature she is outspoken, for sure set in her ways, stubborn, very quick witted, matchmaker to her friends and REALLY REALLY easy to like.  She fights for what she believes in and will go a million miles to help those she loves.

We also met Rick Duffy in Playing for Love.  Rick is a reporter who actually owns the local paper.   He is also a bit of an oxymoron (although it takes Mac forever to figure this out .. silly girl).  Rick comes from a rich pompous family but he truely doesn’t embrace the posh lifestyle that he was born into.  While Rick loves a fancy car and suit, carries himself with much class and is well mannered, he can wear a fine pair of jeans and plaid shirt, drive an old four wheeler, and get dog slobbered with the best of them.

These two .. COMPLETE OPPOSITES!  (Pssstt .. good thing we know that opposites tend to attract right??  LOL)

Mac and Rick tried the whole “let’s get hot and heavy” when they first met and I think it may have gone well, until Mac found out that Rick came from money and is the son of the man who was responsible for essentially ruining Mac’s parents marriage.  Unfortunately our speech professional cannot seem to find the words to tell Rick this small tidbit of information, so they each embrace the “friendship” aspect of their relationship instead and carry on.

I, at times got really frustrated with these two.   I am such “spit it out and say what you mean” kind of personality that I found I rolled my eyes at some of their ignorance towards each other and jumping to negative assumptions right away.  Now of course let’s be honest here .. without any of that this book would not flowed nor had any build up.  WINK!

Somehow through the maze of  setting up her beauty queen cousin with Rick, fighting off an ape-man, constant heat filled banter, mutual attraction, truck catastrophe, snowstorm with serious sexy moments, squirrel fighting and a kick ass demonstration in a small town these two do finally figure it out!  

A great read and I do strongly recommend you read the first book in this series as the characters are introduced and you get a good feel for their personalities and the intrigue of “where is this going”????  That being said, you can read this as a stand alone very comfortably.

I want to finish this review with a flirty moments between Mac and Rick.  

“And anyways, there is still no better song for house cleaning than “I Want Your Sex.”

“Really?” Rick turned to her again, one eyebrow lifted.  “next time you come over to my house, I’ll play it for you.”  The way he was smiling made Mac’s heart hiccup.  “My floors could use a good deep clean.” 

I have to try that .. LOL

Reviewed by Rachel T.

Copy provided by Publisher