The Blackstone Affair Trilogy by Raine Miller

July 8, 2013

blackstone affair book 1 blackstone affair book 2 blackstone affair book 3Someone told me that this trilogy seemed like it was going to be like the Fifty Shades trilogy, which I actually enjoyed to some extent even though they weren’t very well written.  It turned out to be different, though readers who enjoyed the building of the relationship between Fifty Shades’ two main characters may also enjoy the relationship in this trilogy too.  It really reminds me more of the Crossfire books than the Fifty Shades books.

Ethan Blackstone is a very busy man running his security company as the London Olympics approach.  He is contacted by an old friend and asked to provide security for the friends daughter.  He at first refuses, but is intrigued when he sees her photograph (really?).  The daughter is Brynne Bennett, a grad student who does tasteful nude modelling on the side.  Once Bennett sees her portrait at a showing (supposedly the cover of Book 1: Naked), he immediately buys it, and then follows her out the door and gives her a ride.  They begin a relationship, without him every mentioning that he was contacted by her father.  Book 1 ends as she finds out that he had been hired to watch out for her and she ends the relationship.

Book 2: All In begins from Ethan’s point of view as he rehashes some of Book 1, which was told mostly from her point of view.  Brynne forgives him and they resume their relationship, but things begin to happen that show that there was a real reason for her father to hire security for her.  Events in her past seem to be catching up with her and she may be in more danger than was originally apparent.  Ethan tries to reassure that no matter what happened in her past, he cares for her and will take care of her.

The third entry in the series reads as romantic suspense as Ethan and Brynne try to figure out who is killing those around her who know of the scandal in Brynne’s past and just what that person wants with Brynne.  At one point Brynne is captured by this person and I found it a little far fetched that she was able to think clearly enough to leave clues for Ethan to follow to find her.  Other than that I was very happy with the conclusion to this trilogy.


Ethan by Grace Burrowes

June 10, 2013

EthanAnother entry in Burrowes’ Lonely Lords series (yes, I was hooked and read them right after one another). Ethan appeared in the previous books and is now the main character in his own. She uses another familiar plot device here with Ethan and his children’s governess Alice falling in love. Each are wounded souls in their own ways, but their love and outside circumstances help to heal and strengthen them. Another enjoyable entry in this series. And I believe there are at least two more being published this summer that I intend to read.

Nicholas by Grace Burrowes

June 10, 2013

NicholasNicholas is the second book in Burrowes’ Lonely Lords series. We met Nicholas in the previous book, Darius. It has been a while since I read this book and I mostly remember that it used the plot device of a misunderstanding between the two main characters as to why he doesn’t want children. She is a bit of a damsel in distress. Burrowes’ books seem to revolve around the plot device of secrets that threaten to destroy the relationship, but in her hands it seems to work well every time. Another well-written entry in a series I plan to keep reading.

Darius by Grace Burrowes

June 1, 2013

DariusIn a recent discussion I had about romance authors, Grace Burrowes name came up and I realized that I had a few of her books as digital advance reading copies through NetGalley, so I decided those were the books that I was going to read next.  I had read one book by her before and enjoyed it so I figured I would enjoy her others also.  And I did.  

Darius is the first book in the Lonely Lords series. The book is set in the Regency period and is about Darius Lindsey, who sells himself for ladies entertainment because his funds have been cut off by his father.  He is approached by an elderly viscount who needs him to impregnate his lovely younger wife before the viscount passes away.  At first I was a little creeped out thinking that Darius was no better than a male prostitute, but somehow found it better that he did not let the women have sex with him.  

The viscount’s wife, Lady Vivian, and Darius begin their time together tentatively getting to know one another before they begin a physical relationship.  Though Darius comes to care for Lady Vivian, he does not feel worthy of a relationship with her.  Even with the viscount’s passing, and Darius knowing he wants to be a part of his child’s life, Darius and Vivian do not have an easy time getting together.  Complications also arise from some of Darius’ past “relationships”.  Overall the love between Darius and Vivian is a touching story and I really enjoyed it.  

I liked the main characters in this story.  And now I am interested in reading the stories of some of the secondary male characters in their own books.  

Love in Maine by Connie Falconeri

April 15, 2013

love in maineLet me start out by saying that I did not have high expectations for this book.  It is the most recent book supposedly written by characters on the soap opera General Hospital.  But it was also for that reason that I chose to read it since I’ve been a GH fan since the 80s.  The main characters of the story are Maddie Post, working in Blake, Maine for the summer based due to a bet with her brother, and Hank Gilbertson, the son of her landlord.  They start out as friends and end up having a summer fling with the knowledge that they will be separating at the end of the summer.  My original expectations were pretty much spot on as the book is pure fluff and only took me about six hours to read.  And I don’t think I really care enough to read the sequel which is supposed to be out in August or September.

Lush by Lauren Dane

April 15, 2013

LushI received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  At first I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy the book as it seemed a bit superficial – two characters (one a rock star drummer, the other an up and coming chef) meet, resist their attraction to each other, give in, etc.  But as I read on I got so involved in the lives of the character, which are well-written with a lot of depth.  I loved the relationships that existed; friendships, families, close ties among the many characters; one of my favorite scenes was near the end of the book when the main characters mothers nearly come to blows defending their children.  The main characters are part of a group that exists from previous books in the series and I now want to go back and read all of their stories. I highly recommend this book.

Forbidden Fires by Jodie Griffin

April 13, 2013

Forbidden FiresI really enjoyed this book which I received as a review copy through NetGalley.  It was a good combination of erotic romance and mystery.  The two main characters are a detective and a fire marshall, Delia Robinson and Colin Butler, who had worked together in the past and gotten involved in a relationship that didn’t last.  A string of suspicious fires brings them together again as they try to solve the mystery of who is setting them.  Working together, they begin to feel the same pull that led they to get together the first time and they give in.  Clues they find on the case lead them to pose as a married couple interested in learning about BDSM and they find out more about each other in the process.  I don’t want to give away too much of the plot so I won’t say more, but I really enjoyed the relationship and mystery aspects of this story.  Here is a couple that I would like to see in a continuing series.  I may read more by this author in the future.