“Revenge Sex” by Jasmine Haynes (erotic, self-published, December 2011, $2.99, 511kb): Have you ever read a book that you really couldn’t make your mind up about? It is a bizarre feeling, but this is exactly what I’m feeling at the moment after reading Jasmine Haynes’ self-published, erotic romance “Revenge Sex: A West Coast Hotwifing Novel: Book1.” I can’t say that I’m terribly surprised by my reaction because I bought this one knowing I wasn’t sure about the premise. There is lots of stuff in this book that doesn’t work for me, but Haynes did convince me that it all worked for Clay (the hero).
“Caught” by Cassandra Carr (erotic, Loose Id, December 2011, $4.99, 373kb): Looking for a sexy, holiday read with BDSM elements? Definitely consider Cassandra Carr’s “Caught,” a story of Jack, a dominant, reunited with Callie, his one-time submissive. When Callie returns to her home town for the holidays three years after leaving Jack and their relationship, the two run into each other and fall back into their previous roles. Their relationship heats up very quickly.
The crux of the conflict in “Caught,” like in so many romance novels, has to do with love. Callie left Jack because she had fallen in love with him and was sure that Jack did not return her feelings. This left things between the two unresolved, a situation that Callie definitely planned to deal with on her trip home.
“Head Over Heels” by Jill Shalvis (contemporary, Grand Central, December 2011, $7.99, 368pp)
Series: Lucky Harbor
“Nightshine” by Lynn Viehl (paranormal, Signet Select, November 2011, $7.99, 336pp)
Series: The Kyndred
“Unwrapped” by Cari Quinn (erotic, Loose Id, December 2011, $7.99, 409kb, ebook): Caitlyn is about to turn 25 and is still a virgin. She decides to ask her two best friends if either of them would be interested in helping her change that status. This is how Cari Quinn’s latest erotic romance, “Unwrapped,” begins. While this is an extremely sexy story that has a great holiday tone, I did have some small issues with some of the plot devices. But overall, "Unwrapped" was an enjoyably hot read.
Unbeknownst to Cait, Tristan and Matt both have deep feelings for her and would be more than happy to relieve her of her virginity. But they also have feelings for each other. When Cait is ready to make her move, she is shocked to find Tristan and Matt in bed together. She is turned on by their lovemaking, but is also very hurt that they kept their relationship from her.
“A Man of His Word” by Sarah M. Anderson (contemporary, Harlequin Desire, December 2011, $4.99, 192pp)
I started my romance reading career reading Harlequins and Silhouettes. As my tastes changed, I started reading full-length romances instead, buying categories only for my favorite authors (Carole Mortimer, Diana Palmer, Penny Jordan, Margaret Way, etc). These days, it isn’t often that I find myself sitting down with a Harlequin book. However, I couldn’t resist reading Sarah M. Anderson’s debut book, “A Man of His Word” when I had the chance. And boy, did this one make me remember how much I like categories, especially Harlequin Desires (although I can’t get used to the name/brand change).
“Holiday Kisses” anthology including “This Time Next Year” by Alison Kent, “A Rare Gift” by Jaci Burton, “It’s Not Christmas Without You” by HelenKay Dimon and “Mistletoe and Margaritas” by Shannon Stacey (anthology, contemporary, Carina, December 2011, $9.99, 627kb, ebook)
For those who celebrate, Christmas is a magical time of year. One of my favorite ways of celebrating is by reading holiday-themed romances. Romances are all about the power of true love, which seems almost miraculous when surrounded by snow, Santa, mistletoe and the other holiday trappings. The four stories in Carina Press’ latest holiday anthology, “Holiday Kisses” all personify to the sentiment in one of the best Christmas-themed collections I’ve read this year.
“Lawe’s Justice” by Lora Leigh (paranormal, Berkley, December 2011, $7.99, 368pp)
Series: “Lawe’s Justice” is the 26th installment of Lora Leigh’s Breed series.
“A Taste of Midnight” by Lara Adrian (paranormal, Dell, December 2011, $1.99, 203kb, enovella)
Series: This is a novella in Adrian’s Midnight Breeds’ series. It takes place between the events of the 9th books in the series, “Deeper After Midnight,” and the 10th, “Darker After Midnight” (which releases on January 24, 2012).
“Agony/Ecstasy: Original Stories of Agonizing Pleasure/Exquisite Pain” edited by Jane Litte (anthology, Berkley, December 2011, $15.00, 448pp)
Anthologies are so very difficult to review. How does one capture the essence of a book with 21 stories – some contemporaries, some historical and some paranormal? If I were to talk about each story, this review would be cumbersome and way too long. Yet, I want to be able to cover as much as possible, especially with a collection of stories that stand outs as much as this one does.