Tessa Dare's Latest Will Have You Saying Yes...Yes...Yes To Great Historical Romance

Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, #2) Title:  Say Yes To The Marquess
(Castles Ever After #2)
Author:  Tessa Dare
Format:  ERC
Length:  384 pages
Publication Date:  December 30th, 2014
Publisher:  Avon Books
Rating:  5 Stars

Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?

● He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.

● He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.

● He doesn't kiss her.

● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.

● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.

● And no matter what—he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.

My Thoughts
Clio Whitmore is tired of waiting for her dashing diplomat fiancee Peirce Brandon, Marquess of Granville, to come home and make an honest woman of her.
After all, she has been waiting eight years!
So what's a girl to do you ask?

Well, if you are Clio Whitmore, you march right into a disreputable area of London, with little more than an unloaded pistol, a skiddish lady's maid, a footman, and disillusion papers.

In search of...

One Rafe Brandon, champion prizefighter, first class rake, and the keeper of his brother's affairs until his return.
In short...the man with the power to free her.
It appears however, that  "don't call me Lord" Rafe Brandon, has his sights set on doing anything but that.

Tessa Dare is back in a big way, with Say Yes To The Marquess.  Her second offering in the Castles Ever After series.
Leading lady Clio Whitmore sparkles with a lust for life, intelligence, wit, and charm that draws the reader to her heart and soul from page one.
She is a woman unafraid to seek and find what makes her happy, and it is that quest for happiness that makes this story great.

Leading man Rafe, is your quintessential "little brother trying to do the right thing."  Even as he knows that "the right thing" is all wrong, wrong, wrong for Clio, and for his heart.
But a man has to try right?
For therein lies all the fun...and romance.
Hearts will melt with each "grand gesture" that Rafe undertakes in his effort to provide Clio with the perfect wedding...to his brother.

As time passes however, it becomes quite clear that Clio and Rafe are a 'hand in glove' match for each other.

Add to that the fact that Clio has recently become the owner of her very own castle, and as such, has big plans for an independent future.

Say Yes To The Marquess is a wonderful, laugh out loud, heart-stoppingly romantic look at one woman's quest for happiness and one man's brother's attempt to help her find it.

Reviewer's Note:
This book was so good...I read it twice!

All About Tessa
Tessa DareNote: Tessa has a Goodreads group! All readers welcome.

Tessa Dare is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twelve historical romance novels and four novellas. Her books have won numerous accolades, including Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® award and multiple RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Booklist magazine named her one of the “new stars of historical romance," and her books have been contracted for translation in a dozen languages.

A librarian by training and a booklover at heart, Tessa makes her home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, their two children, and a pair of cosmic kitties.

 Find Tessa
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2752928.Tessa_Dare


"I've Got My Duke To Keep Me Warm" Is A Story That Burns Bright With Both Relevance And Heart

I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm (The Lords of Worth, #1) Title:  I've Got My Duke To Keep Me Warm
            (The Lords of Worth #1)
Author:  Kelly Bowen
Format:  ERC
Length:  416 pages
Date of Publication:  December16th, 2014
Publisher:  Grand Central/Forever
Rating:  5 Stars

Where Secrets Smolder...

Calm. Cool. Collected. Gisele Whitby has perfected the art of illusion—her survival, after all, has depended upon it. Years ago, to escape an abusive husband, Gisele "disappeared." Now she must risk revealing her new identity to save another innocent girl from the same fate. But she needs a daring man for her scheme, and the rogue in question shows a remarkable talent . . . for shattering Gisele's carefully constructed façade and igniting her deepest desires.

...Passion Ignites.

This isn't the first time Jamie Montcrief has awakened naked and confused from a night of drinking. It is, however, the first time a stunningly beautiful woman offers him payment afterward. Gisele has a business proposition for him, a mission involving cunning thievery and a brazen rescue. How can he say no to a plot this dangerous . . . and a woman this delectable?  -Goodreads

My Thoughts

This books starts out much like a jigsaw puzzle fresh out of the box.
You as the reader may have an inkling of where this or that character or plot element may fit, but things don't really begin to clarify until around 6 chapters in.

What one is sure about from the beginning, is that this story is one that is going to be run by one very strong and capable protagonist in the form of Gisele Whitby. 
As if having been the wife of the sadistically abusive Adam Levire, Marquess of Valence, was not enough.
The extraordinary measures to which she has had to resort in order to keep herself and her stepdaughter out of her husband's long reaching grasp would have been enough to have sent the average woman running for the safety of the nearest nunnery.

But not Gisele.

She is a woman bound and determined to pay it forward, helping other women to escape abuse as well.

Of course, every great Houdini must have assistants, and Gisele is no different.
For her, these roles are fulfilled by Sebastian and Ian.
Sebastian is a trusted friend and confidant.  You would probably refer to him as the guy who knows where all the bodies are buried.
He is always there for the planning of things, and generally gets things done behind the scenes.
He is also quite the dandy, and can be relied upon to add his own brand of snark and humor to any situation.

Ian is supposed to be the charmer and work the front.  Meaning that he is to be the eye-candy.
But Ian has decided to fly the coop

Hence Jamie...

The meeting up James is the only time where the plot shows even the slightest hint of a weak spot.  This is because things here are a little too serendipitous.
After that hiccup however, things move along swimmingly, as his secrets meet her secrets and readers are made aware of their attraction to each other.

As Gisele's work takes her closer and closer to her past, there is a marked escalation in the intensity of Jamie's and her relationship that starts about mid book and carries readers through book's end.
There are also things that come to light about James, that seem to fix a great deal of what is broken in him.

The best part of this book by far, has to be it's end.  the spectacular way in which Gisele (with the help of James and Sebastian) comes to deal with her situation is not to be missed.

This book deals with very contemporary topics such as PTSD, spousal abuse, and life after said abuse in a historical setting.
That is a very rare, and in this case a very well done choice.
This book also strays away from the norm by placing more of a premium on the crafting of an engaging storyline than in resting on the laurels of a wind-swept romance.

Kelly BowenAbout Kelly...

Kelly Bowen grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She worked her way through her teenage years as a back country trail guide and ranch hand. She attended the University of Manitoba and earned a Master of Science degree in veterinary physiology and endocrinology.

But it was Kelly's infatuation with history and a weakness for a good love story that led her down the path of historical romance. When she is not writing, she seizes every opportunity to explore ruins and battlefields.

Currently, Kelly lives in Winnipeg with her husband and two boys, all of whom are wonderfully patient with the writing process. Except, that is, when they need a goalie for street hockey.

Find Kelley and her books here:
Goodreads:   https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8125223.Kelly_Bowen


"A Sinful Deception" Is Truly Enthralling Romance

A Sinful Deception (Breconridge Brothers, #2)
 Title:  A Sinful Deception
(Breconridge Brothers #2)
Author:  Isabella Bradford
Format:  ERC
Length:  384 pages
Publication Date:  February 24, 2015
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Rating:  4 Stars

For fans of Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, and Sabrina Jeffries: the seductively charming second historical romance in Isabella Bradford's Breconridge Brothers trilogy.

Lord Geoffrey Fitzroy leads a charmed existence. As the second son of the Duke of Breconridge, he has none of the responsibilities of his older brother and all of the advantages, leaving handsome Geoffrey free to enjoy his rakish pursuits. And pursue them he does, leaving hearts fluttering all over London. But one night, at a ball teeming with high society's most sought-after beauties, only one truly intrigues him: the regal, aloof, and mysterious Miss Serena Palmer.

Magnificently dressed and wearing jewels befitting a queen, the lady is considered the prize of the season, a noble-born heiress raised in India. But even as Geoffrey's fascination grows, Serena deftly deflects his curiosity—and with good reason: Serena's exotic past contains a perilous secret that could destroy her. Yet her plan to live in safe solitude is thwarted by her hungry heart, and soon Geoffrey's passionate seduction finds her blissfully bed—and wed. Will her deception destroy her chance at happiness as Geoffrey's wife? Or will the devotion of her new husband reveal the only truth worth embracing: her undying love?

My Thoughts
A Sinful Deception, the second offering in the (Breconridge Brothers series) proves just as captivating as it's predecessor.
This time it is the secrets and  hidden passions of the exotic Indian born blossom Serena Carew, that serve to stoke passion's flame and enthrall the minds of one Lord Geoffrey Fitzroy, and readers alike.

The granddaughter of the Marquis of Allwyn, and the only surviving heir to her father's sizable fortune.
It is no wonder that the raven haired beauty with the somewhat guarded demeanor has tongues wagging and fortune hunters dogging her every footfall.

But for Lord Geoffrey Fitzroy, golden second son of the Duchy of Breconridge, the allure of young Miss Carew lies neither in the depth of her purse, nor the charms of her visage.  He it seems hears the call of a far more insistent master...the inescapable hand of kismet.
From their first furtively shared glances, to their mutual understanding and love for her native Hindi tongue, it is clear from the start that she is made for him, and he for her and no other.

That is of course if the fires of their passion and the ferocity of their love can withstand a secret from her past.
A secret of such import, that if discovered it could strip her of both her love and her fortune, and change the course of her life forever.

This is a brilliant tale of love, lies, and survival all wrapped up in the finery of English society.
In fact, it is that reliance on societal niceties that throws things off course for the first few chapters as readers sit through the superfluous back and forth of "I really like you but..." that romances of this ilk seem to demand.

If one can manage to make it through Serena and Geoffery's game of peek-a-boo with the truth of their feelings; they will find the wait and frustration well worth the reward.
As feelings deepen, desires are realized, secrets are unearthed, and schemes and disasters are averted, readers are treated to a book brimming with plot twists, great love scenes, and tied together with a very dramatic "happily ever after bow".

Does "Exquisite Captive" Try Too Hard To Hold On To Readers?

Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1)Title:  Exquisite Captive
(The Dark Caravan Cycle #1)
Author:  Heather Demetrios
Format:  ERC
Length:  480 pages
Publication Date: October 7th,  2014
Publisher:   Balzer & Bray
Rating:  3.5 Stars

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.
Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.  -Goodreads

My Thoughts

This novel is a very difficult one to review.
The reason for this being that while this work is technically flawless; the inconsistencies in character motive and interaction are serious enough to tarnish the novel's finer points.
The world crafted here is a seamless blend of modern-day Earth, and a feudalistic, caste based society of Arjinna.
The now war torn world of Arjinna is the home of female protagonist Nalia. She, the last of the ruling class of powerful jinn, now finds herself a slave to a half human master, stranded on Earth, and hunted by a cannibalistic assassin.
Though most of the book's setting is on Earth, the authenticity of the jinn's history is maintained through the constant interweaving of native words and phrases into the story. There are also constant references to the gods and castes of Arjinna,

The novel's decline doesn't begin in earnest until readers become acquainted with Nalia, and come to learn the intricacies of her predicament.
You see, even though Nalia is a brilliant and powerful jinn; she is often made to appear weak, trapped, and vapid.
Adding to her sad state of affairs, is the fact that in an attempt to create a love triangle, the book's author attempted to turn her master into her boyfriend; claiming other motives for this rather transparent plot twist.
Given the importance of other more dire aspects of this read, the trivial vacillation that takes place as a result of the romantic debacle is infuriating.

The long and the short of it is that this novel suffers from a case of 'throw everything into the pot and see what floats'.
Given the fact that this is the first book in a series; there was clearly room for at least a third of this first story to carry over into book 2.

Pampered Princesses Have Secrets Too...Here Her's In Secret Confessions: Sienna

23511352Title:  Secret Confessions:  Syney Housewives:  Sienna 
(Secret Confessions:  Sydney Housewives #4)
Author:  Tasmin Baker
Format:  ERC
Length:  30+ pages
Publication Date:  December 18th, 2014
Publisher:  Escape Publishing
Rating:  4 Stars

Sienna knows that she’s got a good thing going with her boyfriend, Charlie. He’s attentive, loyal, and seriously hot. When he sets Sienna up with a very unusual gift, she’s both shocked and intrigued. But she’s worried as well – accepting Charlie and his gift will test all of their limits and the strength of their relationship. -Goodreads

My Thoughts

Sienna may be the star of this confession, but for most of the read, she is also the frog that gets all the kissing...and hot sex.
While her dear, sweet, and oh so attentive boyfriend Charlie, moves heaven and Earth to provide her every desire; she proves to be a very insecure,pouty, child.

t is Charlie's actions as the perfect man both in and out of the bedroom that makes this story work.
He knows just what to say and do to set hearts aflame and melt off panties.

There is also a great 'wedding bell' happily ever after bow at story's end.

Reviewer's Note:  Due to the graphic sexual nature of this work, it is recommended for audiences of 18+.


Yes, I Am STILL Reading It

I was sorting out my Goodreads shelves the other day;
when I noticed that there were quite a few titles on my
Currently Reading list that despite my best...or not so
best efforts.
Still remain unfinished.

Here is my List
(the first 4)

Stitching Snow
Title:  Stitching Snow
Author:  R.C. Lewis
Progress:  56%

Princess Snow is missing.

Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.

Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.

When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival.  -Goodreads

My Take On Things
This seems to be a very well put together story
it reminds me a lot of The Lunar Chronicles,
and I need to read this book when I can separate the two.

Plus One 
Title: Plus One
Author:  Elizabeth Fama
Progress:  57%

It takes guts to deliberately mutilate your hand while operating a blister-pack sealing machine, but all I had going for me was guts.

Sol Le Coeur is a Smudge—a night dweller in an America rigidly divided between people who wake, live, and work during the hours of darkness and those known as Rays who live and work during daylight. Impulsive, passionate, and brave, Sol deliberately injures herself in order to gain admission to a hospital, where she plans to kidnap her newborn niece—a Ray—in order to bring the baby to visit her dying grandfather. By violating the day-night curfew, Sol is committing a serious crime, and when the kidnap attempt goes awry it starts a chain of events that will put Sol in mortal danger, uncover a government conspiracy to manipulate the Smudge population, and throw her together with D'Arcy Benoît, the Ray medical apprentice who first treats her, then helps her outrun the authorities—and with whom she is fated to fall impossibly and irrevocably in love.

Set in a vivid alternate reality and peopled with complex, deeply human characters on both sides of the day-night divide, Plus One is a brilliantly imagined drama of individual liberty and civil rights—and a compelling, rapid-fire romantic adventure story.  -Goodreads

My Take On Things
I really like this story, and I have since the begining.
The french dialect took a little getting used to, 
but other than that.
I love this book!

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3) 
Title:  Waistcoats and Weaponry
Author:  Gail Carriger
Progress:  42%
Class is back in session...
Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style--with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what--or who--they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine's proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.


My Take On Things
This book has been on my 'must read' list for the longest time.  So when it came out
I was more than over the moon to have snagged an early copy.
The problem.
Though I am very happy to see that the characters are growing and progressing,
and as a result, the storylines are becoming much more complex.
The reader in me is a little put off by the pacing of the action.
This book takes a very meandering path through flowery language and lengthy explanation, when sometimes all that is needed is to simply 'dive right in' to the action.

The Fall 
Title:  The Fall
Author:  Bethany Griffin
Progress:  5%
    Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.


My Take On Things
Where in the hell is this book going?
O.K., already!
We get that there is something going on with death, the family, and the house.
Can something just happen already?
All that bouncing back and forth with the confusing journal-style writing...
Make something happen.
So many pages, so little...


Feel The Push And Pull Of Passion Versus Power In "Make Me, Take Me"

23604941 Title:  Make Me, Take Me
Author:  Amanda Usen
Format: ERC
Length:  257 pages
Publication Date:  December 15th, 2014
Publisher:  Entangled
Rating:  5 Stars

A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint... He's every fantasy she's ever had... Betsy Mouton knows that easy doesn't last forever. She's working her butt off to launch the Last Call Café so her family can leave the New Orleans bar business—and its heartaches—behind forever. That is, until the hottest one-night-stand of her life shows up next door, twice as uncompromising and two million times hotter, offering to buy the bar and send the Moutons to Easy Street.  Hotelier Quinton James has never forgotten the unbelievably hot night he and Betsy shared. Never forgotten how beautifully she submitted to him, or how he found the only peace he's ever known in her arms. Now that Betsy is the only thing standing in the way of his new hotel, she's the one in control. But there's more at stake than her cafe or laying their past to rest—Quin wants a future. With her. All he has to do is convince her...one sensual command at a time. -Goodreads

Excerpt from
Make Me, Take Me
by Amanda Usen Copyright © 2014 by Amanda Usen. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Chapter One
Quinton James stepped out of the doorway of his New Orleans hotel and glanced left and right for the nearest bar. He paused, making way for a woman leading a boy down the busy sidewalk. The boy was young, probably just old enough to keep up with her, and he dragged his feet, looking in the hotel window. The woman laughed, pulling on his hand like they were playing tug-of-war, and Quin chuckled. Her gaze darted to him. As their gazes met, shock froze him in place. Red hair, dark eyes, freckles.
The woman scooped up the boy in her arms, struggling a bit with his weight, and hurried down the street. He stared after them, perplexed, and glanced at his reflection in the window. He looked a little spooked, but not threatening. Why had she raced away from him? And why did he feel like he’d just seen a ghost?
Maybe I did. Perhaps that had been the ghost of his mother, shepherding his young self through the French
Quarter before she’d overdosed. Not likely. He couldn’t remember anything about her, but he doubted his heroin- addicted mother had been the playful type.
He took a step forward, and the stench of cigarette smoke, hot garbage, and ketchup smacked him in the face. God, I hate New Orleans. Too many memories. Not that he could actually remember any of them, not his mother dying, even though he’d reportedly found her body, nor his sister running away and leaving him alone. He didn’t recall a damn thing until his seventh birthday, the day Peter and Maeve asked him to be part of their family. He supposed that was for the best, but they were gone now, too, and this damn city was conjuring ghosts.
He expelled a harsh breath, wishing he hadn’t agreed to keynote the summit, but a shot or six of bourbon would help. Then he could go to sleep, get up, give his speech, board the plane tomorrow, and go back to Chicago. He wasn’t a kid anymore, alone and at the mercy of a capricious system. He was in control of his life, and there was no reason for the panic clawing at his throat. No reason at all—and no goddamn memories.
He spotted a bar right next to his hotel. The one good thing about New Orleans—it was always happy hour somewhere. He stepped through the door and made a beeline for the whirling rainbow of daiquiri machines, hoping there was straight liquor, too.
As he slid onto a corner stool, he looked around for the bartender. It didn’t take him long to spot her talking to a customer at the other end of the bar. Her bare shoulders and lean curves were proudly displayed in a low-cut tank, her lean legs showcased in a sexy denim skirt. Anticipation
curled through him as he raised his hand and cleared his throat. She acknowledged him with a wave but turned her back, obviously in no hurry to serve him. Irritation brought a prickle of heat to his skin. He was in no mood to wait, no matter how hot the bartender.
After a minute, she moseyed toward him, but when she finally stopped he’d half decided to leave. There were plenty of other bars in the French Quarter. But then she met his gaze with smoky gray eyes the color of banked coals, and another kind of heat flashed through him. He noted silky blue-black hair, a lush mouth, and prominent cheekbones, but it was her pale gray eyes, bright against her toffee- colored skin, that kept him in his seat.
Unmistakable interest flared in her eyes, a tight, hot connection. Her pupils widened, nearly eclipsing the gray, and when she licked her lips, he nearly groaned.
“What can I get you?” Her sweet Southern drawl was a potent accelerant to the heat building between them.
He sucked in a hard breath and then released it as a laugh. “Ice water, I think.”
Her gaze became coolly professional. The glass was in front of him, precisely centered on a bar nap, before he could catch another breath.
And then she was gone.
He stared after her for a few seconds and then settled into a more comfortable position on his bar stool and took a sip of the water. It didn’t cool him. If anything it made him hotter. He still wanted liquor, but he wasn’t going to pass the evening in a drunken stupor, not if he could score a better offer from the gorgeous bartender. That split second of shimmering attraction was a challenge he couldn’t resist. He
drained his water and waited for her to come back. Bourbon was good, but sex was better, and he didn’t need to sleep tonight.

Betsy ignored the suit’s empty glass as long as she could. The guy was obviously on the make, and she stayed away from the rich ones, the men with enough power and money to have plenty of practice abusing it, leaving that hopeless territory to her ever-optimistic mother. No suits. Her father had been a rich player, and her mother might as well own a T-shirt with a picture of Last Call that said, “I gave him my heart, and all I got was this lousy bar,” a parting gift from a man who could afford it. I don’t need a man to change my fate.
A sudden vision of what a man could do for her washed over her, leaving her knees weak, her skin tingling, and a sigh trapped in her throat. How long had it been? She couldn’t remember. Too long. Desire ripped through her, but that suit was trouble—and she was in a dangerous mood tonight. Best to ignore everything but the next order, which she screwed up because she was wondering what he smelled like, kissed like, felt like… What the hell was wrong with her?
“On the house.” She poured the correct drink and gave the customer a weak smile.
The suit was still staring at her, blatant lust in his expression, and she couldn’t summon her customary indifference. Her nipples tightened under her tank. Oh, hell no. He held up his glass, and she sighed, slowly moving toward him, feeling a rabbit hole open up under her feet as
she returned his steady gaze.
His eyes were light brown with gold flecks, and his hair was the color of mahogany, rich with reddish highlights. It brushed his shoulders in expensive-looking waves. He wore his Armani as comfortably as an athlete might sport Adidas, like he lived in it. Even sitting at the bar, he looked tall, powerful, exuding a confidence that spoke to her on her deepest level, the one that wanted to lie down and let someone else figure it out, for once. But it was all up to her. It always had been.
Her mother would be content to sling drinks forever, but Betsy wanted an easier life for all of them. She’d seen the toll the bar life had taken on her mother, and her sister Kate was headed in exactly the same direction. No one could work as hard as they did and not want some comfort at the end of the night—
He tossed a hundred-dollar bill on the bar. “Bakers, a double, with a little ice. Then water with lime until your shift ends. Unless you can leave now?”
She tried to roll her eyes, but scorn was hard to pull off when lust exploded inside her like he’d tossed a cherry bomb and hit dead center. “Aren’t you going to wink?” She was proud her voice was steady.
“If you’re going to say something that cheesy, you have to follow it up with a wink. It’s a rule. C’mon, pretty boy, show me your wink. I know you’ve got one.”
“If I show you mine…” A slow smile started in his eyes then traveled southward. By the time his lips formed a full curve, she was staring at his mouth. She jerked her gaze up to his eyes just in time to get blindsided by a sexy wink.
“Not interested,” she said.
“Me neither. Now that we’ve gotten the lies out of the way, what time do you get off?”
It was better not to think about how long it had been since she’d gotten off. “Whenever I want, but not with you.”
“Why not?”
“Too rich for my blood.” She pumped derision into her tone as she swept her gaze over him. “Nice suit. Bet it cost more than I make in a month.”
“I’ll go back to my hotel and change if that will give me a shot.”
“Did you pack anything but suits? I doubt it.”
He gave her that slow grin again. “Busted. But the offer to take it off still stands. Better yet, you do it.”
Her entire body clenched with need, and she froze, trying not to betray her response. “Your crappy lines aren’t getting you anywhere.”
“I’m just being honest.”
“Honest doesn’t have as much practice picking up women as you clearly do. I’m guessing you’re in town for a convention?” Tourists didn’t wear suits.
“Hotelier summit.”
“Since you’re here for something as fancy as a summit, I’m gonna go out on a limb and assume you own more than one hotel.” She waited for his nod. “And given the way you just tried to pick me up as casually as you ordered your drink, I’m also going to assume the technique usually works for you. In fact, I bet you’ve got women waiting for you in hotel bars all over the country.” He held her gaze and said nothing, but she saw the answer in his eyes. She jerked a thumb over her shoulder at the daiquiri machines. “If you
want the flavor of the night, order the Banana Rum.”
“Flavor of the night—I like that. I could make you like it, too. I have all that experience, remember?”
“We’re not having this conversation.” She set his bourbon in front of him.
He picked up the bill he’d dropped on the bar and held it out to her. “Women enjoy the things I have to offer.”
“Let me guess, sex and money?”
His nod both irritated and aroused her. “I don’t want either. Enjoy your free drink.”
What an asshole. She walked away, automatically pulling beers and pouring daiquiris for her other customers. But her thoughts stayed focused on the man watching her as if she were a meal he planned to savor. Her rejection seemed to have no impact on him. Of course, if he had as much experience as he claimed, he could probably read her body language. Even as she’d forced her lips to say no, her body had swelled under his taut regard. Goddamn suit.
Was it her fault the women in her family had a congenital weakness for business attire?
After watching her mother get her heart broken by rich jerks, never hooking up with random suit-wearing strangers was a point of pride…but her mother had already left for the night, and Betsy was leaving for culinary school tomorrow. She’d be long gone before anyone could tease her about her hook-up. Oh my God, am I actually considering this?
She worked faster, trying to escape the temptation, but every time he took a sip of his drink, her gaze flashed to his hands and then his mouth, cataloging the sensuality of his movements. She couldn’t help but imagine what kind of a body was under that expensive jacket. Soft from living the
good life? Or hard from expending the energy that seemed to swirl around him? She’d guess hard.
He caught her eyeing him, and he gave her that slow, sexy grin again, the one that said resistance is futile. Every part of her trembled. Her hard nipples brushed against her shirt, and her panties dampened. She marched over and slammed another glass down in front of him, filled it with ice and water, and then squeezed a lime in it like she was squishing a bug. She left his damn money right where it was. “I close the bar at two.”
“I’ll be waiting.”
She stalked away.
Rinse and repeat all night. He got up once to use the restroom. The rest of the time he watched her.
Well after midnight, Kate nudged her with an elbow. “Lucky bitch.”
“I don’t know what you are talking about.” Plausible deniability, for the win. Betsy was the closer tonight, and she doubted her little sister would stick around a minute longer than necessary.
“Oh, please.” Kate’s grin was far worldlier than it should be, considering she had just turned eighteen a few months ago and was barely old enough to work in the bar. “Leaving town with a bang, huh? Good for you.”
Betsy flushed. “Last call.”
Kate giggled and hurried toward her big table to take an order for one more round.
Betsy watched her dodge groping hands and laugh off suggestive comments. I’m so glad I’m not going to have to put up with that kind of bullshit for the next two years. And as soon as Betsy graduated from the Culinary Academy, her
sister and mother wouldn’t have to endure it either. They were going to turn this place into a restaurant and get out of the bar life forever. Betsy intended to work her butt off at school to make sure her family would have a better life.
But tonight, she was going to have a little fun.
She felt his gaze caress her and couldn’t wait for her last official shift as a bartender to be over. It hadn’t been as bad as usual tonight, not with the suit keeping an eye on her. No one had dared step out of line after he deflected the hand of an overly friendly patron reaching for her ass on one of her trips out from behind the bar. There had been leashed aggression in his voice as he’d issued a low warning, “Control your impulses, buddy.” But the wink he’d aimed at her had been full of humor. Warmth filled her at the memory. If she hadn’t been so anxious for the night to end, it might have been kind of fun to have a protector.
She sucked in a startled breath and focused on pouring drinks. She didn’t need a protector. That was the kind of thinking that led to heartbreak. One night. A good time. That was all she wanted.
Slowly, the bar emptied.
Betsy dealt with the money while the cocktail servers set the bar to rights, ignoring their smirks as the man stayed put at the bar. Kate shot her a thumbs-up and blew her a kiss before she slipped out the front door and locked it behind her. Heart pounding, Betsy closed the shutters, and then dimmed the lights.
He stood when she stopped in front of him. “Quinton James.”
“Betsy Mouton.”
When he took her hand, a spark shot between them.
Ridiculous. That shit doesn’t happen in real life. He raised her hand to his lips, and goose bumps broke out all over her body. Her eyes dipped shut, and a wave of longing washed over her, so intense she locked her knees to keep them from buckling. “This is nuts. I don’t do this.” The words stuttered from her lips.
“Neither do I.”
She frowned at the obvious lie, and he chuckled. “I’ve never sat in a bar for six hours waiting for a woman.”
“Why did you?”
“Because every time you walked by I wanted to do this.” He cupped her chin with a sure hand and slowly leaned toward her. The time he took bridging the distance between them underscored her consent.
He wrapped his other arm around her waist, pulling her tight. They fit, and his low sound of enjoyment echoed the flood of pleasure sweeping through her. There was no reason on earth this should feel right, but it did.
He took her lips. His mouth was soft, moving with skill, and his breath was scented with lime from his water. His tongue stroked fire through her veins, melting her against him, and she clutched his broad shoulders, feeling dizzy from fighting arousal. A moan rose in her throat, and she tried to swallow it—and failed.
She wasn’t herself tonight.That was the only explanation. Betsy Mouton would never hook up with a cocky player like him. She didn’t do one-night-stands, casual sex, or irresponsibility in any way, shape, or form. But Quinton James didn’t know that. She could be whoever she wanted to be tonight, do whatever she wanted to do. She’d never see him again, and the freedom was intoxicating. Tomorrow, responsible Betsy would get on the plane to New York and set about changing her family’s destiny, but tonight she was going to embrace the spirit of New Orleans. Let the good times roll.
“Where are you staying?” she asked.
“Right next door.”
He kept kissing her, his hand cupping her ass, moving her up and down on his thigh. She dug her fingers into his shoulders, trying to brace herself against the waves of hot bliss that knocked the words from her mouth. Second thoughts crowded her brain. Just because they’d been eye- fucking each other all night and he had the patience to wait her out didn’t mean this was a good idea. “Can I assume you have condoms and no means no, just in case I change my mind?”
“I like your use of the plural as it relates to condoms, and I have plenty. But we both know no means maybe or you wouldn’t be kissing me.” When she tensed, his grip tightened. “Before you flounce off with your feminist principles in an uproar, let’s make a deal. Stop means stop, but I consider no a challenge. I’ve been sitting here all night thinking of things I’d like to do to you, and I want to make you say yes.”
“Make me?” She searched his eyes, seeing determination and so much lust she quivered. He gazed back at her with equal absorption. What did he see in her depths?
But she knew.
Softness to his hardness. Give to his take. Surrender. He was every fantasy she’d ever had and denied she wanted. She’d never met a man strong enough to make her do anything. She didn’t want to. She had her own plans for her future, but she was fascinated with the way he made her feel.
She wasn’t going to say stop. “Just for tonight.”
“That’s all I’ve got.” That slow smile spread across his mouth. Oh dear God, that smile was lethal. Carnal. It ought to come with a warning. He trapped her against the bar and pressed his hardness into her hip. I guess the smile is the warning.
“Six hours gives a man a lot of time to think about every imaginable way to make a woman come. Let’s get out of here.”
She nodded and led him to the side door, keyed the alarm code, and followed him into the alley, locking the door behind them. He put his arm around her as they walked to the street, and she leaned into his hard body. The scent of his warm skin mixed with his spicy cologne and the scent of her arousal made her tighten in anticipation.
Neither of them spoke as they entered his hotel, but her breath caught at the beauty and luxury of her surroundings as it always did when she stepped into the neighboring hotel. She studied him while he watched the numbers on the floors drop, amused by his obvious impatience. On a normal night, she wouldn’t be caught dead with a rich suit like him. Everything she was wearing probably cost less than one of his shoes. She made a bet with herself during the elevator ride and won it when he opened the door to his suite. It was as big as her apartment and then some. She stood in the doorway, taking it in.
“Nope. Lots of money usually means no scruples, soul, or conscience. I absolutely can’t stand guys who think they can get whatever they want by paying for it.”
His chuckle tickled the back of her neck as he nudged
her into the room and locked the door behind them. “Then why are you here?”
“I’m making a one-time exception.”
“Lucky for me.” He swept her into his arms and carried her down the hall, kicking open the door of a dark bedroom. He dropped her onto the bed and followed her down, stretching out beside her. His tongue traced her lips in a teasing kiss while his hand cupped her breast. Her skin tingled, coming alive at his touch. She held her breath as his hand moved downward, catching the hem of her short skirt and pulling it to the top of her thighs. He slipped his thumb under the crotch of her panties, and the hot slide of his touch made her moan.
“You’re soaked.” His voice was rough. “Soft and smooth, like you’ve been wanting this as much as I have tonight.”
She bit her lip, trying not to tremble, on fire from his touch. He wasn’t doing anything complicated, just moving his thumb back and forth, but the pleasure was sharp, intense, almost too much to handle. Her head thrashed against the pillows as his mouth whispered over her breasts, tonguing her nipples through her tank. His teeth grazed her neck, and she strained against him as his thumb sank into her body.
Suddenly, he rose to his knees and pulled her hips into the center of the bed. He thrust her skirt up to circle her waist, and yanked her panties and her sandals off at the same time. He settled between her thighs, and she lost her breath on a ragged moan.
His lips were firm and relentless, no tentative exploration, no slow discovery of what she liked. He seemed to know, ravaging her with his tongue while his hands held her hips in place. A flash fantasy of him on top, driving into her, his fingers manacling her wrists, made her eyes slam shut and her mouth fall open in a raw gasp. She wanted him inside, in control, driving her wild, and he seemed to be on exactly the same page. The thought of him taking her every way he’d imagined made her whimper, and she fought the urge to beg him to hold her down. Then she remembered she’d never see him again. Why did she care if he knew her secret desires?
“Hold my wrists,” she whispered. “Make me.”
His grip on her hips tightened, and a thrill shot through her. She writhed against his lips, close, so close. She needed him to lick her again, right there, hold her tighter, just a little harder…
She screamed when he took his mouth away.
“Easy, sweetheart. Hang on. You’ll like this even better.”
He moved her feet to his shoulders and grabbed her wrists, using them as leverage to pull her back to his mouth. Her legs were trapped between their bodies, knees bent in a deliciously confining position. His tongue speared deep inside her, fucking her in short strokes, and then his mouth fastened over her clit, sucking, and then rubbing with his tongue, all the while pulling her closer, tighter, harder, until she had nowhere to go. Every muscle tensed, and then ecstasy slammed through her. She howled against the onslaught, unable to move, yet needing to ease the pressure somehow. She thrust against him with her heels, but he crowded closer, trapping her hands against her hips, holding her captive.
His tongue slowed but didn’t stop, tracing leisurely patterns, until she collapsed on the bed, taking deep, shuddering breaths and blinking away the spots dancing before her eyes. Her scalp prickled with sweat, and every inch of skin burned. She sighed as he slid up to spoon her,
feeling like every bone in her body had melted. “That was… oh my God…um…” She searched for the right words, but her brain couldn’t move either.
His warm breath brushed the back of her neck as he chuckled. He pulled her hips into the curve of his, and his cock rubbed against her ass. Her breath whooshed out of her lungs. Impossibly, she got hotter. He might be the opposite of everything she usually liked in a man, but she wanted him so badly she shamelessly ground her ass against him, lost to the fire building between them. Not me. This is not me. Just for tonight.
He yanked her skirt down over her hips and threw it off the bed. As she pulled her shirt over her head, she heard the muffled sound of his jacket hitting the floor, a zipper, more fabric rustling, and the sound of plastic ripping.
“Condom is all set.” He slid back into place behind her, and the sudden warmth of his hard body made her groan in pleasure. She felt his teeth nip her neck as he rolled on top of her, pressing her face-down into the bed. She imagined him taking her from behind, and arousal slammed through her in a sizzling rush. As if he’d read her mind, he lifted her hips, tenting her body over the bed and then shoving pillows under her.
“Are you comfortable in this position?” he asked.
“One more taste.” His breath whispered over her, making her quiver, then his tongue was inside her. She pressed her face into the comforter to muffle her moans. Without the pillows, she would have collapsed from the hot pleasure of his tongue teasing her up to the edge, the cool arousal of saliva on her skin when he pulled away. She felt
his cock against her opening and thrust back, hard, seating him deep, and gasped, nearly climaxing just from having him inside her. She bucked her hips back and forth, wanting to feel that invasion again and again.
He fell forward, pinning her. “Oh no, you don’t. Be still. You want me to make you, remember? I want to make you.”
He caught her arms and held them over her head with one hand. He thrust the other hand beneath her, finding her clit and circling it with his fingers while his cock slid in and out. Each slow glide pushed her closer to the peak, but she was helpless, pinned by his hips and hands, unable to reach for it. She scrambled for purchase, wanting to increase the friction, change the angle, anything that would take her higher, but she couldn’t get her knees under her, and the sense of helplessness was the most erotic thing she’d ever known.
His fingers rubbed harder, and his hips moved faster. She stopped fighting and pressure built, as if everything inside her was waiting while the storm gathered. She held her breath. Faster, harder, tighter.
And then he stopped. “Tell me you want me.” His voice was harsh in her ear. “And I’ll make you come.”
Was he serious? “Get moving, you jerk.” She nearly sobbed. “Ask nicely.” He resumed a lazy rhythm.
“Are you fucking kidding me?” She groaned. His silence told her he wasn’t. Was he kinky? Did he want to hear her beg? She took a deep breath, tempted to tell him to stop. She could finish the job herself, right in front of him. That would teach him. However, the words bubbled into her head and the thought of saying them made her shudder with need.
Why not just say it? She’d never see him again.
“I want you,” she whispered. “Please…please make me come.”
He hammered into her, and stars burst behind her eyelids as her body detonated. One spasm set off another, and she quaked beneath him. She heard him groan, felt him tense, and she chanted the word please over and over again as she exploded with him.

My Thoughts 
Make Me, Take Me is a clear case of what happens when an author transforms the labor of crafting a story into a true labor of love.
Betsy and Quin's story may be filled with fierce and unchecked passion, but it is a passion that is laced with deep heartfelt pain.
It is this pain that both serves to draw the two hearts together, while threatening to destroy both their lives and their love.
Throw in the complications of money and distrust, and set it all against the ghosts, glory, beauty, and tragedy that is New Orleans, and you have 'une bonne fois'...for sure!
This tale is one built and brought to life through the wonders of escalation. Each interaction, each word, each scenario a carefully placed accentuation of the one before. This is an element that is a delightful constant from beginning to end and scene to scene.

Both this story's leading man and leading lady are very well matched. This story is not so much one

of someone saving someone, as it is of two souls walking out of the shadows of doubt, loneliness, and fear...together.



This book is filled to the brim with earth shattering, bone melting, ohhhh no he didn't...ohh la la!
This is NOT the book that you want to read in public.
The sensuality increases in time with the emotionality, making each time these two come together hotter than the last.

The drama of a man blessed with everything but family, and a woman too afraid to trust her heart, is one that will stoke the fires of your body, provide thought provoking food for your mind, and feed the truth seeking belief that love conquers all...in your soul.

You Will Be Sure To Find Your Happily Ever After In "Seducing The Princess"

23533563Title:  Seducing The Princess
(The Shilling Agency #3)
Author:  Jen McLaughlin
Format:  ERC
Length:  174 pages
Publication Date:  December 15th, 2014
Publisher:  Entangled
Rating:  5 Stars

A sexy category romance from Entangled's Brazen imprint...

He'll give her exactly what she needs…

Protecting a princess is not what former marine Gordon Waybrook signed up for when he joined the Shillings Agency. But instead of the spoiled, regal little creature he expects, Isabelle VanGuard is a fiery, sexy-as hell woman who's been denied what she needs for too long. And he's just the man to break through her frozen public facade and give it to her.

When she's with Gordon, all Isabelle can think about is pleasure. Their blistering chemistry is immediate and intense, but volatile. In fact, the only thing they agree on is that their one night together is just that—one night. Even after it becomes more. But tempers and temptation can't disguise reality. Isabelle is a princess, and a hot, hard, and tattooed bodyguard isn't the Prince Charming her country expects…even if he's exactly what she needs. -Goodreads

Excerpt from
Seducing the Princess
by Diane Alberts
Copyright © 2014 by Diane Alberts. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Chapter One
Gordon Waybrook sighed and shifted his weight in the overly padded seat of the coffee shop booth he’d been sitting in for the last twenty minutes. The seat next to him was empty. Not for lack of trying, though. He’d already sent three women away, but he wasn’t hanging out in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, trying to pick up women.
He was there to scope out his charge, Princess Isabelle VanGuard of Maldeva.
All he knew about the woman was she was a spoiled princess, magnificent in a way that screamed for him to see if she was as stunning under her clothes as she was in them— and she was late. He glanced down at the copy of her official schedule to double-check the time, and sure enough, coffee was penciled in at four o’clock in the afternoon.
Of course, the Princess didn’t have to worry about being on time. People just waited for her and didn’t dare to complain because, well, she was a fucking princess. She
probably never said please or thank you. Just expected life to be handed to her with a shiny silver bow. Wait, no. Platinum.
With priceless diamonds.
If she thought he’d bow at her feet and kiss her toes, she had another think coming. She might be royalty and way above his reach, but he was an American.
And he didn’t bow at anyone’s feet unless he fucking wanted to.
Fifteen minutes and thirty-six seconds later…the royal princess herself walked in. As soon as he saw her, he stiffened. She wore big brown sunglasses, and held herself so stiffly he couldn’t believe she didn’t faint from the sheer energy it must take to stand so damn perfectly. Her long legs were covered in black pantyhose, and she wore heels that looked to be at least three inches high. Her blonde hair reached halfway down her back and was flawlessly smooth.
She was drop-dead gorgeous.
Way too much so for royalty.
Two women, who looked to be assistants of some sort, flanked her, their eyes narrow, and their mouths pinched tight. Isabelle scanned the room, her gaze slipping over him and then popping back immediately. When she didn’t look away, he raised a brow and stared right back at her. He expected her to blush from being caught staring at a tatted up dude in a shop…
But she stared right back at him.
Not only that, but she sashayed over, too. That was the only word for it, because her hips swung like he couldn’t believe. Holy mother of fucking shit, she was going to kill him before this mission was over. He cleared his throat and tugged on his collar. Great. Now he’d actually have to talk to her and introduce himself as her guard.
“Hello, I’m—”
“Staring at me,” she said, her soft accent washing over him. “Do we know each other, or do you make it a habit to stare at strange women in coffee shops?”
“Well…” Looking her up and down, he smirked. “You don’t look all that strange to me, so…?”
She laughed, then cut it off and glanced over her shoulder quickly. It was almost as if she was surprised she’d laughed at all. “You must not know me at all, then, because I’m one of the strangest women you’ll ever meet.”
He grinned. “I doubt that.”
“So you just like watching women in shops, then?” she asked, a small smile playing on her lips. They were soft and pink.
“Pretty women?” He shrugged. “Hell yeah. But no, we haven’t met.”
“Ah.” She tilted her head. “I’d hoped we had met, so my coming over here wouldn’t seem quite so…forward.”
He chuckled. “Lady? This is America. You don’t need a proper introduction to walk up to someone. You just do it.”
“In that case…” She nodded at the two women frowning at her from across the room, slid out the empty chair next to him, and smiled. They moved to the opposite side of the room, watching him closely the whole time. Especially the pinch-lipped one. “Nice to meet you.”
Grinning, he nodded. “Likewise. Please. Have a seat,” he said sardonically.
She laughed that musical laugh again. “Thank you. Don’t mind if I do. That’s an adorable accent you have.”
The grin slipped off his face. Adorable? Adorable was
for tiny puppies and little orange kittens that chased their own tails. He’d never once been described as adorable.
“I don’t have an accent at all.”
She smiled. “Not to you, but for me? It’s quite unique.”
“As is yours,” he said. After taking a sip of coffee, he motioned the barista over. “Not quite British, but almost French.”
Pursing her lips, she said, “Close enough.”
So, she wouldn’t tell him where she was from. She got an A+ for secrecy.
The woman who’d been watching him from behind the counter came over, all smiles. “Yes?”
“Can you get my friend here a…?”
“Fat free caramel mocha, please. No cream,” she said, smiling and friendly the whole time. “Thank you.”
So much for her never saying please and thank you.
She was proving him wrong on so many aspects without even trying. Usually, that pissed him off, but in this case? It was refreshingly good news. “Living dangerously, I see,” he murmured. “Who doesn’t get whipped cream?”
Tossing her hair behind her back, she met his stare head on. “I don’t live dangerously at all, for the most part. Taking risks is foolish and irresponsible.”
Spoken like a true princess.
“I agree.” He leaned back in his chair and laced his fingers in front of his stomach. “If everyone got whipped cream on their mochas, just think of the madness that could ensue. Rioting. Murder. Downright insanity.”
She laughed. It was perfect. Almost as if she practiced it everyday until she got it just right. “All right, Mr. Ass Pants.”
He choked on a laugh. “Mr. What?”
“Umm…” She froze, looking mortified. “Isn’t that a phrase here?”
“No.” Laughing fully now, he reached out and squeezed her hand. “I think you were going for Mr. Smarty Pants. Or maybe smart ass. But the two don’t really get combined.”
“Oops. See what happens when I try to be silly? Utter madness.”
“I think it’s refreshingly cute,” he countered. “Not mad at all.”
She blushed. Actually blushed. “Thank you.”
That was twice in one minute. He’d been so wrong.
And he had no idea what to do with that knowledge.
He shook his head, unable to look away from her. She was so…beautiful. Even more so now that he knew she didn’t have a stick lodged permanently up her ass as he’d originally suspected. He didn’t know if that was a good thing or a bad thing just yet, though, because it made her even more tempting than before.
The barista came over, a to-go cup in her hand. “Here you go. That’ll be four twenty-six.”
Isabelle reached into her purse, but Gordon beat her there. After handing the cash to the worker, he smiled at Isabelle. “I’ve got it.”
“This isn’t a date,” she said, her lips twitching. “I should pay.”
“In America, we pay when we want to.” He locked gazes with her. “And I want to.”
“You keep throwing that statement at me. ‘In America, we…’ fill in the blank.”
He snorted. “I’ll be honest. We love ‘filling in’ stuff here in America. I can’t argue with that.”
She covered her face. “Oh my.”
“It’s okay. You kinda walked into—”
“Excuse me?” the stern faced, pinch-lipped, gray haired woman interrupted. Gordon recognized her as one of Isabelle’s assistants…or whatever they were called. “We need to go now.”
“Hello,” he said. Time to come clean and tell Isabelle who he really was. He didn’t mind doing so anymore, because he liked her now. A lot. Too much, maybe. “Don’t worry. I’m her—”
“I wasn’t speaking to you.” She frowned at him, as if he was dirtying Isabelle by simply being near her. Truth be told…he might be doing precisely that. He wasn’t exactly a prince or anything. “We need to go. You have a schedule to stick to.”
Isabelle’s hands dropped, and she looked up at the woman. “Yes. Yes, of course. I’ll be right over, Mary.” She sat up straighter, her face falling back into that regal expression. “Thank you.”
And right now, he saw the princess he’d expected to see. Regal. Proper. Uptight. Spoiled. “Duty calls, huh?”
She glanced at him. “I’m afraid so. It was lovely meeting you, though.”
“You as well.” He held his hand out, waiting for her to take it. She studied it, then slid her fingers into his palm. Staring at her, he raised her knuckles to his mouth and kissed it. “I have a feeling we’ll be seeing each other again.”
She flushed, her fingers wiggling in his. “I doubt that. I have a very busy visit planned.”
“We’ll see,” he said, grinning.
After glancing over her shoulder nervously, she turned back and whispered, “But maybe if you’d like to—?”
“Miss.” The gray haired woman crossed her arms and stepped closer. “I really must insist we continue on. There is a lot to do before six tonight.”
The cranky assistant referred to Isabelle’s dinner plans later on.
“Right.” She offered Gordon one last smile. “It really was nice meeting you.”
“You, too.” He let go of her hand reluctantly. “See ya later.”
“Goodbye,” she said, slipping out of the chair.
He watched her walk away, her hips swinging gracefully
with each move. As she walked out of the door, she glanced back at him, the light in her eyes subdued. With a small smile, she slipped her sunglasses on and left.
He couldn’t wait to see the surprise on her face when he introduced himself later as her guard, couldn’t wait to hear his name on her lips. Would it be as soft and lilting as everything else she said? What if she screamed it out in pleasure as he went down—shit.
He was screwed, because he wasn’t supposed to touch her…
And that’s all he could think about, but he wouldn’t even think about trying to pursue that avenue. She was a princess, and he’d never be good enough for a woman like her. She’d expect castles, horses, world tours, and jewels.
Not cape cods, dogs, Maine, and nightmares.

My Thoughts 
This book has everything that makes Brazen romances great. A strong, caring, and supportive leading man; a self assured, powerful, and passionate leading lady, and sexy, sexy, sexy, sex. It also doesn't seem to hurt that she just happens to be a princess and he is the guard assigned to...well, guard her.Throw in an intense attraction that neither expected, a few well timed and rather kinky rolls in the Mustang, bed, (insert place here_____) a scandal of international proportions, and a whole lotta love...and you have Diane Albert's Seducing The Princess.
Gordon may not have 'blue blood', but it is quite clear from the start that he has the 'knight in shining armor' thing down.
The gleam of the steel in his spirit is the perfect accompaniment to the glint of the iron in that of his
princess. Nothing about this worldwind romance can be referred to as staid, boring, or expected.
There is a great deal of twisty and turny to be had plot wise, making the story a great balance of the sensual and the fanciful, and proving that even royalty has to sometimes go that extra mile to truly find her prince.

"Dragon Her Back" Packs Quite The Action Filled Bite

23604931 Title:  Dragon Her Back
(Las Vegas Dragons #3)
Author:  Susannah Scott
Format:  ERC
Length:  225 pages
Publication Date:  December 15th, 2014
Publisher:  Entangled 
 Rating:  4 Stars

A paranormal category romance from Entangled's Covet imprint…

How To Claim Your Dragon...

As the head of security of Vegas's Crown Jewel casino―and its hidden dragonshifter sanctuary―ice dragon Darius Dachien commands respect. Unfortunately, that respect isn't always reciprocated. In fact, when it comes to the stunning Mei Chen, hostility might be a better word. Which makes things even harder for Darius, since Mei is his dragon mate. Without her, his dragon form is fading fast... and once lost, will be gone forever.

Mei can't deny the fierce chemistry that simmers between them. If Darius were ever to discover who―or rather, what―she really is, she wouldn't just lose him, but her place with the dragonshifters. The moment Mei's past comes crashing into her present, she realizes her time for secrets has ended. Now she must reveal her true self... and risk both her life and her heart with the one man who could destroy her.  -Goodreads

Excerpt from
Dragon Her Back
by Susannah Scott Copyright © 2014 by Susannah Scott. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce, distribute, or transmit in any form or by any means. For information regarding subsidiary rights, please contact the Publisher.
Chapter One
It occurred to Darius on Tuesday that his strategy with Mei was flawed, yet again.
By Wednesday, he’d read five relationship-guru bestsellers, re-read the psychology masters, and studied the top ten love blogs. He drew the line at watching a chick flick to help him find his inner empathy.
Over the years, he’d tried many different approaches to impress Mei: waiting, cajoling, attempts to make her jealous. Nothing swayed her. Asking his friend Alec, the King of the dragons, to talk to her on his behalf had failed so epically that after Alec’s chat with her, she wouldn’t stay in the same room with him. Although Mei was an ice dragon, like him, and loyal to the king, private relationships were private.
And enough was enough. It had been five years, ten months, and twenty-eight days since she’d been in his bed. He was determined to not hit the six-year mark without their bond completed. His dragon form was starting to wane
without his bond with Mei, and he didn’t want to risk losing his dragon form forever.
Hence, the new approach.
Darius strode to his office on the catwalk of the Crown Jewel Casino’s high-tech surveillance center. His notes from his online research on winning over Mei sat ready for him to parse in digital folders on his computer.
He frowned as he sat in his leather chair, picked up his stress ball, and squished it between his fingers. On his computer, he reopened a popular blog on love. It was mostly useless drivel: all love-is-the-answer, love-will-set-you-free, yada, yada. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in love. His parents had been mated for over fifty years. Their partnership was solid, based on compatibility and mutual goals.
He wanted that with Mei, but also with the back-in-his- bed part thrown in. After their one night together, he knew they had the hot sex part covered. So hot, the memory of it still scorched the back of his eyelids when he dreamed.
He scanned to the blog’s comments section. One poster, FoundMyTrueLOVE—obviously a woman—went on and on about how she’d tried an online dating service and found her True LOVE!!!! Whoa. Someone should tell her caps and four exclamation points just made her seem…unstable.
His interest perked at the description of an online service written by a more literate poster. Supposedly, for a small fee, the fine folks at LoveMatch used an algorithm to calculate from sixty questions with whom in their database their clients were most compatible.
Interesting. He should have thought of it himself.
Mei was compatible with him, whether she admitted it or not. She had his dragon mark on her hand to prove it,
which meant she was his destined mate. She covered it with makeup, but everyone knew she was his. If she remained unconvinced, maybe he could put her preferences into the algorithm and figure out the best way to approach her— become her perfect match.
Brilliant new plan.
He liked it.
Ten minutes later, he used his NSA-ready-computer skills to hack into the LoveMatch mainframe and found the questions and the mathematical weights given to each answer. As expected, the questionnaire funneled the responses, with the first questions carrying the highest weight.
How would Mei describe herself in five words?
How would he describe her, no problem: sexy as hell, secretive, and ambitious. Those choices weren’t listed, and none of the typical answers fit Mei.
He squeezed his stress ball until it oozed between his fingers. Would she consider herself dragon or human first? It was an existential question long argued by their people, the whole which-came-first: the reactionary dragon or the rational human. No one really knew the answer.
It galled him that he’d never seen her ice dragon form. There was nothing a dragon loved better than the dragon form of their mate. Mei stayed away from all the dragon- focused social events at the casino and kept to herself when she was hunting. He figured she withheld her dragon from him on purpose as a punishment—or because she worried she couldn’t resist him in her more bestial form.
Right. Keep dreaming.
He looked at the next question.
What is the first thing people notice about you?
Her lips. She wore red lipstick that accented her bow- shaped mouth. He loved her lips. He could imagine them wrapped around his cock even now, leaving a red circle…a brand. A red brand on his cock.
God, he was bad at this.
He was going to need some help.
Darius tapped on the executive office door, not surprised to find Leo’s wife, Tee, at work there. “Hey, you got a minute?” Tee straightened from her perusal of building plans on the conference table. She was Paiute Native American, and when she smiled, her angled cheekbones softened. “Sure, Come on in.”
“How’s the new site coming?” He entered the window-lined executive office and peered over Tee’s shoulder. The new site was a joint venture project between the Crown Jewel Casino and Tee’s Paiute Tribe. While the Crown Jewel was located on the swank Vegas strip, and secretly housed a dragon sanctuary in its top floors, this new site would be on tribal land and wholly human. The added revenue would do much to help the reservation’s depleted infrastructure.
“Good.” Tee smiled. “The tribe’s in agreement with the placement of the golf course, and we’ve found a low-impact builder. We should break ground this spring.”
“That’s great.” He rolled the paper with the list of questions he’d written from LoveMatch in his right hand, unsure how to ask about Mei.
Tee shifted her gaze to his hand. “What’s that?”
Darius sat in a conference chair, swiveling on his heels,
back and forth. Tee was one of Mei’s best friends despite being a human and not a dragon. But, after the fallout from the time she’d advised him to try and make Mei jealous, she’d maintained a strict you’re-on-your-own attitude to helping him with Mei.
Tee put her hands on her hips. “What is it? One of my old players acting up?” She referred to the impressive list of casino high rollers she used to hostess before she married Leo, the king’s right-hand man and the casino’s CEO of Operations.
“No. It’s Mei.”
“Lord have mercy.” Tee threw her hands up. “Not this again. I’ve told you a million times, talk directly to the woman.”
“I’ve got a new strategy.”
“Uh-huh.” Tee turned back to the plans, giving him her profile. Her long black hair swept a curtain between them, which he guessed was deliberate.
“I’ve just got a few questions about her that I can’t answer.”
“Why don’t you ask her yourself?”
“You know why. I haven’t actually seen her, in person, in months.”
Not since Alec had tried talking to her. She hadn’t even given Darius the satisfaction of a big blow up. She’d just gone ice princess on him. As an ice dragon himself, he knew something about frigid.
Mei made frigid look like a balmy day on the equator.
“Whose fault is that?” Tee met his gaze, and her dark brown eyes were solemn.
“Just a few questions.”
“All right,” Tee said. “Fire away.”
Relief coursed through him. “What five words would you use to describe Mei?”
“Loyal. Tidy. Focused. Driven. Funny.” Tee rattled them off without glancing up from blue prints for the Paiute Tribe development.
He compared his mental list. “Funny?” He supposed driven and ambitious could mean the same thing, but he never would have said funny.
“Yeah. She’s hysterical. You didn’t know that?”
He shook his head. He tried to remember if he’d ever heard her laugh.
Dismay that understanding Mei was forever beyond him coursed through his system. He had to change her mind. Failure was not an option. His strength was fading in a way that spoke of waning and not just a bad day at the gym. If he didn’t connect with his mate—Mei—soon, his dragon would disappear forever, leaving him mortal, weak, and alone.
He had to keep trying. “Her favorite food?”
Sushi. Had to be sushi. He’d watched her order it from the casino chef direct tons of times on the surveillance cameras.
“Yellowtail tuna sushi.”
He smiled wide. “What does her dragon look like?”
“I’ve never seen it.”
“What?” Surprise made him look up from his notes. Tee gave him her full attention. “You haven’t, either? I just figured it was because I was a human and all.” She shrugged. “You could ask Jane.”
Maybe it wasn’t that odd for Tee not to have seen her
dragon form. It was discouraged for them to shift except on the casino’s rooftop dragon sanctuary. They didn’t want the humans to guess the “mechanical” flying dragons that circled the fifty-two-story casino weren’t mechanical at all.
“I’m not one to give relationship advice…” Tee gave him a concerned look.
Classic. People always said they weren’t something—as if it nullified that they actually were the very things they disavowed. Tee was most definitely a busybody. It was why he came to her instead of Mei’s other best friend, Jane. Jane, a storm dragon, was the Fort Knox of sisterly solidarity. Tee was too soft to let him suffer in silence.
“Those questions,” Tee said. “They don’t tell you anything about Mei that really matters.”
“Thanks.” He stood, anxious now to add the information to the algorithm. “I’ve got it from here.”
“Sure you do.” Tee’s voice was sarcastic. “How many billions of people are there in the world?”
“A little over seven,” he answered easily. He also knew the exact breakdown of humans versus dragon-shifters country by country.
“I bet at least a hundred thousand people would answer your questions the same way I just did, but they’re no where close to being the same as Mei. People are complex. I know you’re used to dealing with codes and numbers that add up, but people aren’t a zero-sum equation.”
He nodded, straightening the edges of his paper before re-rolling it. “Thanks for your help.”
He headed back to his office, ready to feed the answers into the hacked algorithm to see what kind of man was Mei’s perfect match. When he opened the door to the security center, his hand shook, stopping his forward momentum. He stared for a second at the offending tremble, fury at his waning form making him clench his fists and stride forward. There was no option this time. He would win Mei over or lose his dragon form forever.
My Thoughts

The dragons of the Vegas strip are back for a third tale and ready to roar.
Darius and Mei have a relationship that makes the term "rocky" seem like the understatement of the century. Things between these two have gotten so bad in fact, that they haven't slept together in almost six years.

The fact that these two not so 'lovebirds' have not been making sweet music together for so long is not only one that could spell the death if their young marriage. It is also one that could prove fatal to Darius' dragon form.
Mei plays her role as 'ice queen' to the hilt, even though the mere thought of her mate's touch is enough to puddle all of her most private places.
You see, it's not that she doesn't want to be with Darius. She would love nothing more.
She simply can't; due to secrets about herself and her past that are earth-shattering enough to change the Dragon societal structure forever.

Making matters worse for Mei is the knowledge that a mysterious group of dragons belonging to a shadowy faction and with tenuous ties to recognized members of the Dragon hierarchy is due to make an appearance at the fabled Snow Gala.

This is a very high energy and fast paced read. The story is very cohesive and flows will except for a very few hiccups here and there.
It is very clear that this read is meant to be more about the story and less about the sex. That is why it is very surprising that more attention isn't given to the history and details surrounding the secrets and details of the all important rogue dragon faction. Leaving readers hungry to know more!

This lack of detail leads to a very sweet, but very hastily tied 'happily ever after' bow for Mei and Darius...and a rather convenient solution to what threatened to be a war making problem for most of the read.