Wednesday, November 27, 2013

SUNNY: BELOVED BLOG TOUR AND GIVEAWAY "Beloved Bodyguard" and "Beloved Killer" by Bonnie Dee


Protector or prison guard?

Daughter of the President of the Free Worlds, Leelah has spent her life protected by a security force. But no one ever cramped her style like her new bodyguard Ja-hun, a granite hewn block of a man. Yet she canít stop fantasizing about stirring up the passion hidden under his stoic exterior.

When Ja-hun escaped the slums of OldEarth and landed on NewEarth, he never imagined heíd someday become the bodyguard of the Presidentís daughter. Looking after Leelah is more challenging than his last job guarding a criminal kingpin. The worst part is, he keeps daydreaming about her. When these opposites collide, the biggest danger comes from within. Can Ja-hun protect his charge when sex puts him off balance? And can love grow between two such very different people?



“You know dinner conversation is more interesting when there are actually two people conversing.” She cocked her head and her gaze locked with his. “You already know everything there is to know about me. Tell me something about you. How did you get into the body-guarding business? What was Crin-tai like? Yes, I did my homework, and I know guarding him was your last job. But what did you do before that.”
You don’t want to know. “Other jobs. Other clients.”“Mm. That’s very illuminating. Thank you,” she said dryly. “All right, let’s try something less complicated. What’s your favorite color?”
He paused. No one had ever asked him such an inane question. A favorite color? Who had time to think about such things? “Gray.”
She burst out laughing. “Why am I not surprised?”
“What about you?” he asked in an effort to participate in her ritual of small talk.
“Oh shenje, that’s too hard. Any bold primary color. Royal blue and indigo are so satisfying and rich, but sometimes I’m more in a sexy scarlet mood, know what I mean? Then again sunny yellow is a real spirit lifter, and a primeval forest-green speaks to the soul.” She rattled on for several seconds in a monologue about colors.
He’d never heard anyone sound so passionate about something so mundane, and he suppressed a smile.
“What? Are you smiling? You think colors don’t matter?” She raised an eyebrow.
He shrugged. “They’re colors.”
“Color is life. Scents, too. Anything that touches our senses and stirs us to feel is important. And feeling is everything!”
Ja-hun remained silent.
“Go ahead. Say something. Your mind isn’t a complete blank, is it? You must be thinking something.”
“Most people I’ve known are passionate about either money, power or both. You’re the first person I’ve ever met who could get excited about the qualities of colors or even suggest that colors have qualities.”
“I guess you’ve led a sheltered life.” She folded her arms on the table and leaned even farther across the tabletop toward him. “What about you? What are you passionate about?”
“Nothing.” He paused then added, “Except doing my job so no one gets killed.” A far cry from the days when doing his job meant someone definitely got killed.
“That’s a noble thing, but what about your life outside your work. What stirs you?”
You. “I prefer to keep my private and professional life separate,” he said, straightening the flatware on the table.
“I’m guessing your private life doesn’t exist at all.” Leelah’s voice lowered and softened. “I think your life is your job, and you’ve forgotten how to do anything else.”
He was saved from having to answer by the arrival of their food. As he picked at his fruit plate, he watched in amazement as Leelah packed away a trough full of food that would’ve choked a sumo wrestler. Where she put it in her slender frame, he had no idea, but her plate was empty and polished clean before he’d finished his salad.
“Guess you really were hungry,” he commented.
“Did you doubt it? I burned off a lot of calories dancing.”
“So I saw.”
She smiled and her eyelids lowered. “You like the way I dance.” It wasn’t a question but a statement, and he didn’t bother to deny it. “You should’ve danced with me before we left the party.” Suddenly she leaped up from her seat and reached for his hand. “We should dance right now.”
“This is a restaurant,” he protested as he pulled him from his seat.
“There’s music, though.” It was true. Innocuous background music for dining played softly. “Perfect for slow dancing.”
Before Ja-hun could argue, her arms were around his neck and her body pressed up tight to his. The sweet scent of her shampoo drifted up from her hair to tease his nostrils. Her body was incredibly soft and light in his arms, which had slid naturally around her back. She swayed against him, encouraging him to do the same.
“Dancing works best if you move your body a little,” she teased.
He glanced at the restaurant. Most other diners didn’t even seem aware of them in the dark back corner. The few who’d noticed smiled a little then returned their attention to their meals. He shuffled his feet awkwardly back and forth. It was ridiculous. He was a man with lightning quick reflexes in a hand-to-hand fight yet he lumbered like a bear around the floor.
Ja-hun looked at the top of Leelah’s head and noticed there were golden strands in her brown hair. Then she raised her face to look up at him from inches away–so close he could see the dark outer ring of her topaz eyes and the brown striations of her irises. He felt the faint puff of her breath against his neck, and his gaze zeroed in on her lips, plump, pink and slightly parted. His tongue swept over his own lips in anticipation of something he knew he couldn’t resist.
He inclined his head and his lips touched hers, a soft, polite meeting of mouths that nevertheless sent his heart rate rocketing. And then her tongue swept out to lick delicately over and between his lips. He tasted the salty tang of steak sauce and beneath it the essence of her.
His grip on Leelah’s back tightened, and he stopped shuffling back and forth. His eyes drifted closed, and he forgot to look out for danger. Besides, he’d already found it. While every shred of his intellect warned him he was making a huge mistake, every fiber of his being yearned toward the woman in his arms.
He clasped her body even closer and kissed her hard and deep, surrendering his hard-won detachment to a glittering moment of passion.




As I sat down to write this review, I realized that it would be easy for me to hold erotica books to a different standard than the other books I normally read.  Erotica for me is total escapism - quick and easy, fast and furious.  However, over the years I've read some really good erotica stories; narratives that really moved me.  My point is that there is room for both of those kinds, but the standards for review should be the same.  This book is more of the former rather than the latter.  Being only 69 pages, it's a bedtime story.  The premise is promising - a mysterious bad boy bodyguard protecting a strong-willed daughter of the President.  There really isn't much to delve into because there is very little depth.  However, even though it is superficial, I found that I rather liked the characters and the narrative shows lots of promise.  I wonder how far the author could go if she chose to make this a full length novel.  

If you want a hot story that is interesting and not too deep, you might want to give this a short story a try. 

When love strikes a killer, can a man of violence truly find redemption? The right-hand man of a notorious mobster, J has no identity outside of his work until the night he meets Nikki Larson. Sent to intimidate the strong-willed bar owner, he falls for her fast and hard. 

Returning home after her fatherís death, Nikki is once again forced to clean up his mess. To settle her family debt, a mob boss wants to use her bar in his criminal enterprise and sends an enforcer to back up the proposition. Nikki refuses to show fear to the henchman assigned to monitor her. In fact, she enjoys taunting J, even as sheís strangely attracted to his gloominess. When a rival gang invades the bar, J rescues Nikki and they go on the run from both the mob and the law. J's growing love for Nikki demands he choose between the only life heís ever known and an uncertain future with a challenging woman who might not love him back. Two wildly different people struggle to find common ground, but escaping the past means overcoming danger from all sides.



Nikki entered the steamy rain forest of the laundry and headed toward the few unbroken machines. It was too early for the place to be very busy, so she didn’t have to bodycheck anyone to win a couple of machines. She rammed her clothes into two washers and set them running.
From the front window, she could see the sedan parked outside. She headed toward the rear exit, heart fluttering at the idea of escaping her guard. She gripped the knob. Almost free. How long would it take him to realize his quarry had flown the coop?
Footsteps in the nearly empty room of slushing washers and whirring dryers snapped her head around. Her enemy had entered the building. The dark-coated, rangy man looked as out of place as a Doberman at a poodle party. His gaze met Nikki’s, and he didn’t try to pretend he was there for any other reason than following her. He walked over to a row of plastic seats and sat. The chair was so low, his knees thrust into the air and his legs splayed. He looked uncomfortable. She hoped he was.
Nikki turned the knob. If she stepped outside, would he come after her? She imagined blocking the door with a Dumpster and running away. But what would be the point? She’d have to come back for her laundry eventually, and she had to return to the bar. It wasn’t as if Jay didn’t know where to find her. If she was truly going to convince Kuypers she was on board with paying him, she shouldn’t run away from her watchdog.
Nikki let go of the doorknob and walked to a table full of tattered, outdated magazines. She leafed through pages of celeb photos and quotes while she strolled to the row of chairs across from her persecutor. She dropped into a seat and continued to study her magazine.
Take that, asshole! You can’t intimidate me, even if I know for a fact you can lift me as if I were a toddler and stow me in the back of a car.
Nikki pretended to read for several moments, but at last she couldn’t resist looking up. She expected to find Jay’s eyes staring back at her, but his gaze was focused on the worn linoleum.
His rough-hewn features and scars made him look like some character in a crime movie. An image not far off the mark. She wasn’t sure of the exact color of his hooded eyes, but last night she’d thought they were pitch-black—maybe with hellish flames dancing in them. Today there were shadows beneath them. Good! She hoped he was as exhausted as she was from their sleepless night.
A flare of pure hatred shot through her at the memory of him handling her like a sack of laundry. It was too easy for that venom to pour out of her mouth. She leaned toward him.
“So you don’t even try to stalk me from a distance? Just march in here and plop yourself down in the middle of my laundry day? I’m not afraid of you, you know. If your boss had wanted my legs broken, you would’ve done it last night. If you’re trying to intimidate me, you’ve failed.”
He didn’t raise his gaze from the floor.
“How long are you going to keep this up? Until I agree to let him use my bar? I said I’d make the payments, and I will.”
His hands rested on his thighs, fingers curled slightly, not tense at all. His entire demeanor was as relaxed as if he were sitting in a comfy armchair rather than an uncomfortable plastic chair. That pissed her off even more.
“What would you do if I screamed for help right now? Said you were threatening me?” She fished out her phone and brandished it at him like a gun. “I could call the police right now. Report you as a stalker.”
So much for her plan to keep her cool. Now he was going to be forced to action. Probably snatch her phone away and stomp it under one of his big shoes.
But Jay kept on sitting quietly, as if she hadn’t said a word. She might have been a pigeon pooping on a stone statue.
Nikki took a deep breath, settled back in her chair, and put the phone away. “Okay. I know you’re just doing your job or whatever, but I can’t stand having you watch me. Why don’t you tell your boss I’m toeing the line and you don’t think I’m going to be any trouble?”
At last his gaze moved from the spot on the floor to her face. Immediately Nikki wished he’d look back down. The intensity of his eyes was too much. She swallowed and forced herself not to look away. Damned if she’d let him win a staring match.
“I shouldn’t be around much longer. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
His voice was soft yet so deep she felt it reverberate in her very bones. He’d displayed the same politeness last night even as he’d forced her into the car. Wasn’t that the mark of a professional? Sorry, nothing personal, miss, but I have to kill you now. She should find it chilling, yet she was oddly soothed by his words, his tone.
Curiosity got the better of her fear and anger. “Why did you come in here if you’re supposed to be covert?”
He paused before answering. “I knew you’d spotted me. There didn’t seem to be any point in hanging back. Besides, I thought you’d probably try to leave through the rear.”
“Oh.” His unexpected frankness took her by surprise. For a moment, words failed her. But only for a moment. “How did you know? I was careful not to look directly at the car.”
He shrugged and gave no answer. His gaze drifted to the bank of dryers behind her.
Nikki exhaled in relief at being off the hook of his gaze. Now what? How could she carry on as if this were a normal laundry day when this man was perched across from her like a gargoyle?
As if hearing her thought, Jay said, “Ignore me. Do what you normally would.”
She snorted. “Right. ’Cause that’s easy.” But she resumed leafing blindly through her magazine.
Silence and caution had never been her forte. Neither was backing off or not poking at things. She still had a few acne scars, proof of her inability to stop picking. She dropped the magazine to her lap again.
“So, Jay. That’s your name, right? How does someone become a henchman? You just wake up one day and think, Goon is the career for me? Is there like a school you go to or something? Kneecapping 101. Advanced Applied Pressure. Variations on Threatening Postures.”
A choked sound came from the gargoyle, and the scars on his cheeks shifted as his mouth moved in what was nearly a smile. Nikki felt ridiculously triumphant that she’d been able to prod some sort of reaction from him. But of course, she couldn’t take the win and let it rest.
“Seriously, why do you do it? Is the money, like, unbelievable? Couldn’t you find anything else you were good at? Or is it a family thing? Maybe you’re ‘connected’ and there’s no way out. I bet that—”
Her chatter was interrupted by a ringing phone. Not hers, his. He took the phone from the pocket of his coat, checked the ID, then rose and walked toward the front of the building.
Her moment to run for it? Naw. The wash cycle would be done soon, and she couldn’t abandon her laundry. She watched the dark figure silhouetted against the brightly lit windows. He looked like a cardboard cutout of a man, not quite real.
After a few seconds, he put the phone away, and without another glance at her, he left the building.
Nikki popped out of her chair and hurried to the window. She watched Jay stride down the street with that hitching step and get into his car. Then he drove away.
Shift over? Surprise and relief wrestled inside her. She had the surreal sensation that she’d dreamed the whole thing. What a weird fucking night!
And what now? Business as usual, except that in addition to paying off liquor distributors, she had a new weekly expense to budget for, a criminal partner who threatened her livelihood in a whole new way.




Bonnie Dee began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, she was the designated ghost tale teller, guaranteed to frighten and thrill with macabre tales. She still has a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat. Writing childish stories for her own pleasure led to majoring in English at college. Like most English majors, she dreamed of writing a novel, but didn't have the necessary focus and follow through at that time in her life. A husband, children and work occupied the next twenty years and it was only in 2000 that she began writing again. Bonnie enjoys reading stories about people damaged by life who find healing with a like-minded soul. When she couldn't find enough books to suit her taste, she began to write them.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge..

Laura Kaye knows how to write an alpha male - tough with a touch of vulnerability, broken and yet redeemable. In this series opener we get the added benefit of a strong willed, stubborn,and normal heroine.  She is not a superhero; does not possess paranormal talents; is not trained to be an assassin; she is infinitely relate-able.  She is also a nurse, so we know she is used to keeping a level head in traumatic situations.  

So, in the spirit of honesty, I"m ready to crawl out of my skin over Charlie, my joints ache, these damn stitches sting like crazy, and my headache still hasn't gone away...But I'm okay.  By morning, the worst of the aches will be gone.  Until then, ibuprofen is my friend."

Unfortunately, she finds herself in that very circumstance when her younger brother goes missing. This is especially difficult because Becca has already lost her mother, father and older brother.  Following a cryptic note left behind, Becca seeks out Nick Rixey to help find her sibling.

Amidst the search, Nick is drawn to Becca.  He is in a really dark place after being unfairly framed and subsequently discharged from the Army.  He is merely surviving, not living, even pushing away the people who mean the most to him, his unit-mates.  For Nick, Becca brings hope and life:  

Everything was dark and heavy, saddling him with the bone-crushing weight of guilt and regret and wants never to be fulfilled.  But Becca was just...sunshine, warm and life-giving.

The chemistry between the two is scorching.  The tattoo scene in the bathroom is heart-stopping and one of the most tender moments I've read in a long time. 

In most romantic suspense stories involving a team of special forces operators, a teammate can call upon his brothers to assist. What strikes me most about this story is the dysfunction of the team. Usually, the team is driven by loyalty and intact despite circumstances.  Here, we have a fractured team let down by both their commanding officer and second in command.  After having been less than honorably discharged, Nick distanced himself from the team.  Feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt, he could not reach out to his teammates when they needed him the most.  It is awkward and agonizing to watch Nick reconcile with Shane, Beckett, Edward and Derek, but so satisfying watching them get to the otherside.  

My one little critique of the book is that sometimes the pacing is a little slow.  Laura Kaye writes with a lot of detail  Most of the time that works, but sometimes it makes the action drag. 

A great start to a new series, the men and women of Hard Ink are sure to bring us lots of great adventure and hot romance in the future.  Cannot wait to see what's up next!

Thank you to the author and publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Laura's hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Meet Hard Ink on You Tube:

Friday, November 22, 2013

SUNNY:ARC BOOK REVIEW "Two Times as Hot" by Cat Johnson


One Good Girl...
After her sister snags a hot Oklahoma cowboy, Emma Hart figures it’s her turn to saddle up. And with two country boys pursuing her at once, she’s in for a wild ride...

Two Sexy Guys...
Lieutenant Colonel Logan Hunt can’t deny the heat between him and Emma is fierce. But Logan isn’t looking for anything serious...just a chance to blow off some steam. So why is he crazy jealous when he sees pro bull rider Jace Mills trying to charm Emma into bed?

Winner Takes All...
Logan knows he and Emma could have something special—and not just because she’s smokin’ hot. Now he has to find a way to prove that even a no-strings-attached guy like him can stick around for the long haul…
This is a good old fashioned love story.  I liked Emma in the first book as the fully supportive sister and I like Logan for being a faithful friend.  So it is right and just that these two find each other in the sequel to One Night with a Cowboy.  Unlike the first book, being in the military plays less of a role in the story.  In fact, much of the story takes place far away from the college and base.  Surprisingly, Logan's rank and role plays little role in the story.  

For me, this is more of a story about falling in love through the everyday interactions.  It is the little things that they do for each other that makes the relationship grow.  Not to worry, there is plenty of steam in this story to enhance this narrative.  

My biggest critique is the title and the blurb.  Yes, the title is eye-catching, but this book is less frivolous than the title may lead you to believe. It simply does not do the book justice.  And the blurb mentions "And with two country boys pursuing her at once, she’s in for a wild ride...", that is such a minor part of the story and does not accurately reflect the depth of this story.  Such as shame.

I enjoyed the read and would highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a good love story between mature adults.   

Thank you to the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

SUNNY: ARC BOOK REVIEW "Born Wild" by Julie Ann Walker


She's got three rules:

1. Trust no one… Eve Edens has been abandoned, used, or manipulated by almost everyone she's ever met. Born into ridiculous wealth, she's dealt with the petty jealousies and sordid little resentments for nearly thirty years. But after three botched attempts on her life, she can no longer ignore the truth. Someone wants her dead.

2. Avoid the bad boys at all costs… William "Wild Bill" Reichert, the wonderfully sexy boy who abandoned her years ago, is back in town. Only he's no boy. Now he's a covert operative - and he's all man. When Eve hires Bill to help her discover who is behind the attacks, Bill soon comes to suspect it's someone much closer to Eve than she dares to believe.

3. And never fall for the same ruse twice… The search for the killer takes Bill and Eve deep into the dark secrets and strange world of the rich and famous, and into the heart of red-hot passion re-ignited by the peril that threatens to consume them both. But does Eve dare risk her heart on Bill a second time

I find it hard to write reviews for this Black Knight series.  I often enjoy the stories, but with the exception of one (book 4), I find the writing difficult.  It feels like the author is trying too hard to be hip by filling her sentences with slang:  "Shit on a stick. Why the hell does life, and matters of the heart in particular, have to be so craptastically complicated?"  Punctuating the story with slang makes the it fun, but when it happens over and over again, it gets tedious and makes if hard to take the character seriously.

Having said that, I like the characters in the Black Knight series.  It is a good romantic suspense with hot alphas and damsels in distress.  This one has a good storyline with unforeseen twists and turns.  Having read a few books in the series, I enjoy reconnecting with previous characters. This part is fun.

If the author could scale back on the inner voice and the loose language, I would enthusiastically recommend this book.  Book 4, Thrill Ride, set the precedent, so I know it can be done. Unfortunately, I can't say that I really enjoyed this read and wouldn't run to the store to purchase it. I will cross my fingers that the next book will be better.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

SUNNY: ARC BOOK REVIEW "Tempting His Mate" by Savannah Stuart

She ran from him once…

Wild one night stands are not Ella Hayes’s style, but with her confidence at rock bottom after a devastating betrayal and her painful departure from her jaguar pride, who could blame her for falling into bed with a sexy wolf? She never thought she’d see him again. And never in her craziest dreams did she expect to come face-to-face with him on her first day with the Kincaid wolf pack. Sleeping with Asher had been one of the most intense experiences of her life—but now she wonders if they could have more.

He’s not letting her go again…

Tired of life as a lone wolf, shifter Asher has joined his cousin’s pack. The last person he expected to see was the sexy woman who ran out on him in the middle of the most incredible night of his life. The Ella he meets now is nothing like the wild, sensual woman he let his guard down with, but he likes both sides of the complicated female. But now somebody—or something—sinister is targeting Ella, and Asher moves quickly to get her under his roof and under his protection. Keeping the sexy female safe and proving they belong together are two missions he doesn’t plan to fail. Because this time, he’s playing for keeps.

Tempting His Mate is book 3 in the Crescent Moon series by Savannah Stuart (aka. Katie Reus) and is right up my alley.

I like this premise.  Buttoned-up girl meets bad boy shifter.  Yes, it's a familiar story, but this one is done well. I'm a sucker for a straight-laced girls letting go - the more tightly wound, the better: "She preferred to keep her world neat, tidy and ordered." I like Ella.  She is grounded, competent, and even in the midst of being unwound, she knows her mind.  She makes her wants and needs known to Asher: "...if you want me again, you're going to have to work for it." You go, girl! Thank you for not be a puddle of goo around this undoubtedly primal, alpha male.  

There is also a minor mystery. It's actually not much to speak of except as a device to draw Ella and Asher together. The real story is about these two shifters and the heat level is scorching.  

I know we are heading into Fall, but you may want to keep your fans out for this one.  It is definitely a hot read. 

Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

SUNNY: ARC REVIEW "Claiming His Mate" by Savannah Stuart

She thought the house was empty when she broke in…

When jaguar shifter Lauren Hayes breaks into an alpha’s home to steal back what rightfully belongs to her pride, she doesn’t expect to be tackled by Max McCray, second-in-command of the Kincaid wolf pack. As punishment for her crime the sexy wolf shifter demands that she stay with him for one week. Knowing she’ll start a war between her pride and his pack if she doesn’t, she has no other choice but to agree, even if the thought of being near him 24/7 makes her scared that she won’t be able to hide her growing attraction to him.

Now he has a week to make her his…

Max has waited months to make a move on the sexy jaguar shifter and now that she’s broken shifter rules, he’s not letting her go. He doesn’t care that he’s a wolf and she’s a jaguar, claiming her forever is the only thing that matters. Unfortunately, not everyone likes the idea of him being with a feline shifter. Max is forced to choose sides between Lauren and members of the pack he’s sworn allegiance to in order to protect the woman he knows is his destined mate

Short and sweet and right to the point, this randy adventure is about Max finally getting the opportunity to "pursue" the shifter that caught his attention six month ago.  Lauren is a jaguar shifter to Max's wolf.  This is an unusual pairing as shifters normally do not cross species.  Their pairing is progressing along merrily until a conniving villain is trying to keep them apart.  

There is always a challenge to writing a novella.  If the characters are part of a larger series, and if they have already been introduced in a previous book, their is little time for a full character history and the new reader doesn't get the emotional ties with the characters.  I liked both Lauren and Max but they both felt rather one-note.  He's all alpha male, all bossy, all controlling.  She is a spunky, but there is really not enough there to really root for her.  

If I look at this story as a side dish instead of the main dish, it is a nice spicy complement.  So now it is up to me to go order the entree.  I'm curious to read more about the series and put this story into perspective.