Category Archives: Hot Romance Novels

Three Stages of Love: Lust

Three Stages of Love: Lust
by T. C. Anthony
Published by CreateSpace
194 pages
Genre: erotica; romance
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5 cupcakes

I liked this book a lot, even if I wanted to smack the main character senseless.

Eva is a young career woman, very determined and very ambitious. She fully believes that she will rule the world some day, and the last thing she’s interested in is a man who will get in her way. One drunken night, she meets one who immediately captivates her. She makes a move, but he is a gentleman; she’s drunk, and so he declines.

Naturally, she runs in to him again. Naturally, he becomes her new boss.

Alex is a stud, ladies. He is gorgeous, rich, intelligent, loving, caring and good in bed. Oh my, is he good. He and Eva have no problem scorching up the sheets. He allows her to unleash her inner vixen, and she provides him with a muse of sorts.

But of course, there are Issues.

Eva’s ambition, for one thing, causes some problems. She wants her career, something she worked hard to gain and she does not want to sacrifice it for love, of all things. Alex, on the other hand, wants the big L word. He professes it to Eva and cautions her that she is about to lose out on something amazing.

Can Eva crawl out of her own butt long enough to see that Alex is right? And that he’s good for her?

This is an entertaining book, even with Eva. The sexy times are HOT, and you will not believe that Eva can withstand them. As much as she annoys me – and she does annoy me – I kept on reading, if for no other reason than Alex. I liked that the roles were switched: she is career-driven, while he wants love and a relationship.

Given that this is the first in a series, you know it will end with things unsettled. And it does. I want to know what happens next in Eva and Alex’s relationship, and I kind of hope that Alex finds someone more worthy of him. Then again, there is potential in Eva. If she can grow up and let go of her own insecurities, she might be okay.

If you’re looking for some hot headboard rockin’, this is a good one. It has the added bonus of interesting characters and a decent story.

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Caroselli’s Christmas Baby

Caroselli’s Christmas Baby
by Michelle Celmer
Published by Harlequin Desire
192 pages
Genre: romance
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
3.5 / 5 cupcakes

Well, that title kind of gives everything away, doesn’t it?

Terri and Nick have been friends forever. They watched each other’s romances, offered shoulders to cry upon, cheered on each other’s accomplishments. So when Nick meets Terri for dinner one night and she announces that she has something to celebrate, Nick figures she scored a major client.

Or something.

Terri is celebrating, all right, because she decided she wants a baby. As luck would have it, Nick needs an heir! His grandfather proffered some silly dare to his three grandsons that they produce a kid, and Nick figures he can get his while Terri gets hers.

When they decide to get their baby the old fashioned way, their little friendship gets a whole lot cozier. And hotter. And, um, yummier.

How Terri can think she will EVER want another man after she rocks the headboard with Nick is a question best not pondered.

You may think you know where this is headed, and you’re right. It does. But along the way, you get some pretty scorching love scenes, and you will enjoy Nick and Terri, even if you want to clobber one, either or both of them on occasion. They are frustrating people, but that’s why they are meant for each other. Everyone sees it.

This is a fun, quick, fairly hot read.

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Stolen

Stolen
Shiloh Walker
Published by Ballantine
400 pages
Genre: mystery; erotica; romance
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview
3.5 / 5 cupcakes

If you want to go some place where you are not likely to be found, you might want to try Earth’s End, Alaska. That’s what Shay Morgan determines when she decides to escape a torturous, abusive life in Arizona. The good news about Earth’s End is that Elliot Winter is there … and Elliot Winter is HOT.

Shay lives alone and pens novels under the pseudonym of Shane Neill, whom many assume is a man. Despite having dated Elliot, she never let him in on the whole Shane Neill thing – and Elliott owns a bookstore. In fact, it was Shay’s inability to let Elliott in to her life that caused their break up.

Now, however, Shay needs him, even if she doesn’t realize it herself. The book opens with her returning home after spending three weeks in the hospital for injuries sustained in an accident. She has scarce memory of what got her there, and even scarcer memory of her childhood As the book unfolds, we discover that someone is pretending to be Shane Neill and that even Earth’s End is not far away enough.

There is the mystery part of this story – who is pretending to be Shay’s alter ego and why – and there is the romance. When Elliot and Shay reconnect, they do so passionately. Each has trust issues; Shay is not the only one who has had a rough go, and Elliot’s problems continue to haunt him. Thanks to her history, Shay needs a man who moves with a slow hand, and Elliot, who loves her desperately, wants to be that man. By the time the headboard rockin’ begins, we have waited for it, and the payoff is HOT. Elliot knows what to do, girls. He knows where to go, how to get there, and what to do upon arrival (and departure).

As the mystery deepens, so do Elliot’s and Shay’s feelings. But you cannot forget that each has endured a sort of trauma, so nothing will come easily for these two.

Much about this book is very good. Shay and Elliot’s relationship moves realistically, and you can’t help but like the two of them. The mystery is not as difficult to uncover as it should be; what becomes a greater mystery is the “why” question, but even that is solved fairly easily. The sex scenes are good, if not too few in number (yes, that old complaint again). I guess my biggest issue with this book is the ease with which some of the problems are dispatched.

Still, though, part of the mystery is strong, and those sex scenes are hot. And that counts for something, non?

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The Marriage Mistake

The Marriage Mistake
by Jennifer Probst
Published by Gallery Press
352 pages
Genre: chick lit; romance
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview
4 / 5 cupcakes

If you read The Marriage Trap, you met Carina Conte. Michael’s youngest sister, Carina has had a raging crush on Michael’s best friend Max ever since childhood. As the kid sister, though, she rarely rated more than a ruffle of her hair from Max. Carina is all grown up now, complete with a Masters degree, and she is 100% woman, complete with a woman’s needs. And she still has that crush.

So when she comes to New York to work with Michael, learning the family business, she is thrown when Michael assigns her to work under Max. Boy, does she want to “work under Max”! Ba domp shish! She may be Michael’s baby sister, but now that she is in her twenties, Max no longer sees a fun loving kid; he sees a woman, and he likes what he sees.

But wait. She’s Michael’s kid sister! And Michael’s family always took care of Max, especially when the none-too-fabulous news about his father got around in their Italian hometown. And he works for Michael. This could get awkward!

And it does.

After a trip to Las Vegas …

Much like its Marriage Trap brethren, The Marriage Mistake comes at the story from both points of view, and it also presents the love birds without benefit of any filter. Carina and Max have their share of shortcomings and preconceived notions, but they are made for each other. We understand Max’s reluctance to give in to the attraction he feels for Carina, just as we understand her frustration that he does not. When she tells him that she just wants to rock the headboard with a capable man, we feel Max’s rage and jealousy, just as we feel her (momentary) sense of freedom at being able to utter what she wants. When the two go to Vegas, we expect them to succumb, and we are not disappointed.

Yes, it’s predictable, but you won’t care that you know what’s going to happen a good dozen pages before it does. You won’t, because you will like Carina and Max so much. We understand them, and that’s thanks to the way Jennifer Probst writes. She knows how to create characters that we get close to and feel as if we know. She makes us care about them, and when she allows us to be a voyeur in their bedroom, we are grateful.

Boy, are we, because Max? Knows what to DO, people. He not only knows how to rock the headboard, he knows how to keep it rocking until you’ve had enough.

If you know what I mean.

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The Marriage Trap

The Marriage Trap
by Jennifer Probst
Published by Gallery Books
320 pages
Genre: chick lit; romance
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview
4 / 5 cupcakes

Let’s say that you need to get married. Your father, God rest, demanded that you, as his only son, be married before your younger sisters. Well, one of them wants to wed her boyfriend, but Mama says no. The family must adhere to Papa’s wishes. Meanwhile, a close friend, who just happens to be a married woman pregnant with her first child, has an angry best friend who is convinced that you are out to destroy her friend’s happiness. So you strike a deal. You will stay away from the married woman IF the best friend agrees to marry you.

Such is the conundrum with which Michael Conte is presented. His pal Alexa is very happily content with her husband, whose sister Maggie is Alexa’s best pal. Maggie hates Michael; she seethes with rage when she sees him, because she believes that he wants Alexa for himself. Michael really doesn’t, but there is no convincing Maggie of that point. But then he finds out he needs to get married – and fast – and he needs a wife. You don’t get to be the head of a successful family business by not knowing how to solve problems, and Michael Conte is a very adept problem solver. He negotiates a deal with Maggie – you marry me, I stay away from Alexa – and bada boom, bada bing. Problem solved.

Or is it?

Naturally, Michael and Maggie are attracted to each other, and, naturally, circumstances conspire to force them to share a bed. At first, they are merely engaged, thinking that just putting a ring on it will satisfy Michaels’ mother. But when they go see her in Italy, Mama Conte turns out to be much shrewder and more perceptive than anyone realizes.

There is some pretty hot headboard rocking, because even if Michael and Maggie don’t particularly like each other, their bodies sure do. And Michael … well, let’s just say this: YUMMY! He knows what to do to break down Maggie’s physical defenses, and she melts like an ice cube in the Sahara. Maggie may be brittle and caustic, but she means well. And of course she has some Issues that require sorting through.

You see the ending coming from the first pages, but that doesn’t mean that this is not a fun book to read. I wish there had been more sex (whatever, people – call me a perv; you wouldn’t be the first), but what there is works very well. Verrrrry well. And that may be why I want MORE. Told from both Maggie’s and Michael’s points of view, we get to know the two of them – what drives them, frightens them and stymies them. What is well done in this book is Michael and Maggie. At varying times, you will not like either of them. We see their flaws on full display, yet we wish them well.

We also wish them more time between the sheets, but that’s another matter …

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Deserving of His Diamonds

Deserving of His Diamonds
Melanie Milburne
Published by Harlequin
192 pages
Available on Amazon.com
Thanks to NetGalley for the preview
4 / 5 cupcakes

Gisele Carter thought her life couldn’t get worse when she was dumped days before her wedding by Emilio Andreoni, who saw a sex tape presumably starring his fiancee. (Turns out it was her twin sister, but Emilio – and Gisele too, for that matter – had no idea a twin sister existed.) But that was only the beginning for Gisele. She discovered she was pregnant, had the baby without Emilio’s knowledge despite being told that the baby likely would not survive, and spent a mere six hours with her little girl before she passed away. Yes, Gisele finds herself in the midst of a bad run that suddenly gets worse.

Emilio shows up, apologizing for the break up, and hoping for a reconciliation.

Understandably, Gisele is angry. She’s hurt and she wants to hurt him in return. Emilio understand this, even if he is ignorant of the existence of his daughter, but he’s confident that he can convince Gisele to rekindle their relationship, even agreeing again to be his wife.

Emilio either is blindly optimistic or sadly delusional. Turns out he’s neither. He knows Gisele, and he knows how he felt with her. He wants her back, and if it takes a little work, he’s willing to do it.

Watching these two come together, back up apart, come back together, step back again is fun and even sweet. It also provides us with some pretty hot headboard rocking, because these two know how to engage in some sexy times. Regardless of how fractured their relationship is, their bodies want and crave each other. Which is good for those of us who like reading sex scenes.

This is a quick read, with a fairly predictable ending. Gisele and Emilio are not always likable, which is not necessarily a bad thing. They have their faults and yet they find a way to accept each other. Plus, the sex scenes are hot, and that’s always a good reason to read a book, non?

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Mating Season

Mating Season: A Cabin Fever Novella
by Alice Gaines
Published by Avon Red
Available on Amazon.com Kindle
Thanks to edelweiss for the preview
4 / 5 cupcakes

The great thing about Alice Gaines’s books is that they understand their purpose: they provide us with a few hours of escapist fun. Hot escapist fun, in fact. These novellas do not reach beyond their ability. They simply entertain.

As with others in the Cabin Fever series, we have characters trapped alone in a small cabin in the woods; sexual shenanigans ensue.

In this case, our romantic duo is Gayle Richards and Nolan Hersch, sparring professors who each has a different theory about the mating habits of animals, elk in particular. Gayle invited Nolan and two of his research assistants to the cabin in hope of studying elk, although Gayle also hopes to change Nolan’s mind about his opinions on the subject. The fact that the two are attracted to each other only heightens the fun.

When Nolan’s assistants are blocked by a fortuitously timed flooded road from getting to the cabin, Nolan and Gayle attempt to make the best of the situation.

Boy, do they ever.

They make the best up against a wall, on the floor, in a shower, on the bed and up against a tree, amongst other lively locales. They make the best any place they can. All in the name of research, of course.

The circumstances leading to their coupling are flimsy at best, but we don’t care. We just want to read the hot stuff, and Alice Gaines provides it in abundance.

If you want to waste a couple of hours on some decently hot erotica, this is the novella for you. Don’t be surprised if you get cabin fever, though. The good news is that Alice Gaines has more books in the series.

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