Blindfolded Innocence by Alessandra Torre
Published by Harlequin, HQN on February 1, 2014
Genres: Adult, Erotica, Love & Romance, Romance
Amazon :: More Info ::
"I'm not sure what you have been told about me, but I'm not nearly as bad as they make me out to be." His deliciously deep voice carried a little bit of ego.
I'm sure you are exactly as bad as they make you out to be….
Brad De Luca is used to getting whatever and whomever he wants. The premier divorce attorney in town, he's a playboy who's bedded half the city—including his own clients. And when the newest intern at his firm poses a challenge, his seductive prowess goes into overdrive.
Pre-law student Julia Campbell is fresh off a failed engagement and happy with her new independence. Even if she weren't warned away from Brad at every turn, she'd know he was bad news. The last thing she needs is a man who could destroy her job prospects, not to mention her innocence. But before she knows it, the incorrigible charmer has her under his spell. His deviant tastes plunge her deep into a forbidden world of sexual exploration…but her heart may not survive the fall.
PJV Quickie: I was pretty excited to get Blindfolded Innocence for review, but quickly found myself frustrated with the progression of the relationship and plot.
Julia Campbell is a young law student who has just broken off her wedding engagement and moved into a new apartment. She’s got a fresh start and a new job as an intern in a very prestigious law firm. The partner she is working for is a hard worker who demands long hours, and has warned her off the partner at the other end of the building,where the hours are shorter and it seems like they’re partying every week. A chance encounter with the ‘Playboy Partner’ puts Julia on his radar, and she might put up a good front but in reality she’s intrigued with this sexy, mysterious man. Being with him could ruin her future career prospects, more importantly, it could also ruin her heart.
Brad DeLuca is the city’s most successful Divorce Attorney. He’s also a notorious playboy who’s been known to sleep with his clients and interns. Once he sees young, fresh-faced Julia, he knows he’s got to have her. He’s been warned about dating the interns, and this one is not his usual type; he knows he’s got to tread lightly if it’s not going to blow up in his face when it’s over. And it will be over eventually – Brad DeLuca doesn’t do relationships.
When I saw the blurb for Blindfolded Innocence, I knew this would be a book I would enjoy – a sexy lawyer, a young intern, and ‘deviant tastes’? Yes please. As it turns out though, that’s not exactly what was delivered.
The story moved slowly. There was a lot of set-up at the beginning, and some characters introduced and then ignored only to be pulled out as a plot device when the heroine needed someone to talk to about her problems. While there was some sexual chemistry between them, Brad’s ‘deviant’ issue that kept him apart from her wasn’t revealed until almost the end of the book, and had nothing to do with his previous behavior at the strip club. That strip club scene was disappointing in more ways than one: I felt let down by his actions, and the actions themselves were pretty vanilla, definitely not deviant and had noting to do with what he later stated were his ‘needs’. I never saw romantic chemistry between these two, and that was disappointing. Neither character grew out of their selfish personalities and honestly they kind of deserved each other: they were both hard to like; Julia likes to tease guys almost to the brink of sex for an ego boost – it makes her feel confident, and Brad is happy as long as his d!ck is happy.
The end of the book (notice I did not say the end of the story) was certainly erotic, but there were several loose ends and a set up for a stalker. And while I kind of want to know what happens next, this is exactly the type of book I despise – it’s going to to be stretched across three books when it could probably be condensed into one or two. I don’t think I’ll ever find out what happens next though, unless they carry them at my local library (doubtful), because I didn’t like the Blindfolded Innocence enough to want to spend money from my hard-earned ‘book budget’ on the next two books.
Fans of Boss/Employee stories, sexy weekends in Vegas, May/December relationships, and books set in a Law office may enjoy Blindfolded Innocence.
Other books you might like with a “lawyer” set-up:
Love Hacked: a reluctant romance by Penny Reid
Published by Caped Publishing on March 3, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance
Source: Provided by Author
Amazon :: More Info ::
There are three things you need to know about Sandra Fielding: 1) She makes all her first dates cry, 2) She hasn't been kissed in over two years, and 3) She knows how to knit.
Sandra has difficulty removing her psychotherapist hat. Of her last 30 dates, 29 have ended the same way: the man sobbing uncontrollably. After one such disaster, Sandra--near desperation and maybe a little tipsy--gives in to a seemingly harmless encounter with her hot waiter, Alex. Argumentative, secretive, and hostile Alex may be the opposite of everything Sandra knows is right for her. But now, the girl who has spent all her life helping others change for the better, must find a way to cope with falling for someone who refuses to change at all.
This is a full-length, 110k word novel and is the third book in the Knitting in the City series. All books in the series can be read as a standalone.
PJV Quickie: Penny Reid is quickly becoming my ‘go-to’ author for smart, funny romance. Her Knitting in the City books have been a surprise hit for me and I hope she’s got a book planned for every member of the knitting group…and maybe a bodyguard or two *winks*
Sandra Fielding is a 28-year-old psychiatrist who has been really, really unlucky in love. Every date she’s gone on in the last two years ends up with her date crying and Sandra recommending him to her colleague for counseling. At least she’s got a great ‘first-date restaurant’ where the food is good and one particular waiter is hot, hot, hot. His voice is sexy and if her dates have to end in tears, at least she gets some eye-candy while she’s there and her favorite butter chicken to-go. She’s never spoken to him about anything personal, until one night, after a late date ends in typical fashion, she walks back to settle the bill and her waiter is sitting at her table, waiting for her. They talk and drink wine, and then Alex lays the most amazing kiss on Sandra that she’s ever experienced. So he’s a bit younger than she is, nothing wrong with a quick fling with a hot guy, right?
Alex Greene can’t figure out why Sandra comes to the restaurant every other week and makes men cry. At first he thought she was breaking up with them, but there were too many. Then he thought she was firing them. After overhearing a few of Sandra’s conversations, he figures out she’s a psychiatrist, and even though he has a severe disdain for psychiatrists, Alex can’t help his preoccupation with her. Once he makes his move and gets to know her better, Alex knows he wants something real with her, but he has a past that he can’t escape, and he’ll do anything to keep it separate from his relationship with Sandra.
Ohhh, I really liked Love Hacked! Ms. Reid’s signature brand of humor is there, and I found myself laughing quite a bit. I enjoy her awkward heroines, and while Sandra is definitely awkward (she has an imaginary “Wookie suit”), this time it’s her hero who’s more eccentric. I couldn’t figure him out until we started getting bits and pieces of his past. He’s younger than Sandra, 21 to her 28, and she has issues with the age difference. Honestly, as I read I imagined both characters a bit older (in my head they were about 32 and 25); 28 seems kind of young for a pediatric psychiatrist, unless she’s brand new? And Alex is very mature for a 21-year-old – but he’s got the swooniest lines I’ve read in a long time. So many sighs while reading Alex, so many swoony sighs… Ms. Reid has written Sandra and Alex a complicated love story, full of doubts and secrets and heartbreakingly honest discussions. It was a story I didn’t want to leave when it was over.
The knitting club is still active in Love Hacked, and these women are supportive yet honest; every woman needs a group of friends like this! We also get to check in on Janie and Quinn (book 1) and Elizabeth and Nico (book 2), and there are a few surprises from the knitting group.
Without going into spoilers, I found the bitcoin plot to be interesting; I don’t quite understand the concept of bitcoins but they have been in the news quite a bit lately and I thought it made a good storyline. It tied in to a whirlwind ending, but I’m a hopeless romantic and thought it was sweet – they’ve got enough of an ‘opposites attract’ thing going to keep them from getting complacent with each other.
(I also want to add that they nailed the cover! Sandra’s red dress figures prominently in Love Hacked and I could totally see her in this dress.)
Fans of Contemporary Romance, non-traditional heroes, nerdy heroines, and positive female relationships will all find something to love in Love Hacked. You can read Love Hacked as a stand-alone, but I highly recommend reading the two previous books in the series as well – they’re terrific!
Other books you might like, similar to ‘Love Hacked’:
Waiting on You by Kristan Higgins
Published by Harlequin, HQN on March 25, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Love & Romance, Romance
Amazon :: More Info ::
Does being nobody's fool mean that you're nobody's love?
Colleen O'Rourke is in love with love... just not when it comes to herself. Most nights, she can be found behind the bar at the Manningsport, New York, tavern she owns with her twin brother, doling out romantic advice to the lovelorn, mixing martinis and staying more or less happily single. See, ten years ago, Lucas Campbell, her first love, broke her heart... an experience Colleen doesn't want to have again, thanks. Since then, she's been happy with a fling here and there, some elite-level flirting and playing matchmaker to her friends.
But a family emergency has brought Lucas back to town, handsome as ever and still the only man who's ever been able to crack her defenses. Seems like maybe they've got some unfinished business waiting for them—but to find out, Colleen has to let her guard down, or risk losing a second chance with the only man she's ever loved.
PJV Quickie: Kristen Higgins is a terrific storyteller; she tells a sweet tale that is in turns funny and bittersweet, and I know that once I open one of her books I’m going to be there for awhile. Luckily for me I planned ahead and had a comfy chair and pillow nest to sit in while reading Waiting On You. There were a few spots I struggled with, but overall I enjoyed my time in Manningsport and am looking forward to visiting again.
Colleen O’Rourke owns the local bar in Manningsport with her twin Connor. She enjoys working at her bar; she’s a ‘people person’ and unofficial matchmaker – she’s had several babies named after her in honor of her successful matches. She hasn’t been able to make her own match though: she found her one true love as a teen and when he left her heartbroken 14 years ago she never really got over it. Sure she’s had some flings, but nothing serious. Plus, she’s too busy worrying about her brother’s love life, her divorced parents fighting, and her step-mother’s attempts to turn her half-sister Savannah into a girly-girl.
Lucas Campbell grew up in Chicago, until his dad went to jail and he was sent to live with his Uncle Joe in Manningsport. Joe’s wife Didi treated Lucas as an inconvenience and Uncle Joe was a weak-willed man who let Aunt Didi run the house. The only good thing in Lucas’ life was Colleen; she made him feel like he mattered. He’s never forgiven himself for the last time he saw Colleen and how badly he’d ended things. Now he’s back in Manningsport to take care of his dying uncle, and he can’t resist the temptation to check in on Colleen.
I noticed on GoodReads I’ve been giving this series 4 stars consistently, and that’s about right – Ms. Higgins is an auto-buy author for me and Waiting on You is full of the funny, awkward characters and situational hilarity that I love. I could totally see myself living in this fictional town and hanging out with Colleen for Girl’s Night Out.
Colleen is funny and feisty and has the biggest heart. She genuinely wants to make other people happy, but has kind of given up on her own happiness. Lucas’ story was tragic in so many different ways; it’s amazing he grew into an upstanding, compassionate man. As both sides of the story unfold and we learn what happened, it’s impossible not to feel badly for them both; there’s a misunderstanding, and the events that follow are unfortunate and heartbreaking. When Lucas comes back, the tension between them is wonderful. Kristan Higgins writes wanting so very, very well. One thing I was kind of frustrated with was the fact that Lucas didn’t come back at any point in the years he was gone when he had the chance; if his love for Colleen as ‘the one that got away’ was as great as it seemed, I couldn’t figure out why he didn’t at least check on her.
The side-stories running through Waiting On You were entertaining and I love the citizens of Manningsport; her characters are realistic and I found my opinions of certain characters flip-flopping as the book progressed – no clear-cut villains (except Aunt DiDi) and everyone has a story. Ms. Higgins wrapped things up in a way that left me smiling and satisfied, and I’m already looking forward to visiting Manningsport again in the next book, In Your Dreams.
I always recommend Kristin Higgin’s books for readers who enjoy contemporary romance. If you like second-chance romance and small-town settings with quirky characters and lots of humor, Waiting on You is exactly what you’ve been waiting for.
Other books you might like, similar to ‘Waiting on You’:
Beyond Jealousy by Kit Rocha
Published by Self-Published on March 17, 2014
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Erotica, Love & Romance, Romance
Source: Provided by Author
Amazon :: More Info ::
She’s been looking for the perfect man. She found two.
When Rachel Riley sacrificed a life in Eden to protect the O’Kanes, she earned her place in the powerful Sector Four gang. But the former crime princess is tired of being everyone’s sweet little sister . It’s time for her to get wild, to embrace her fantasies as only an O’Kane can—with a delicious exiled soldier and the gang’s wickedly sinful tattoo artist.
Lorenzo Cruz is a warrior, taught by his commanding officers in Eden that involvement equals distraction. Emotion is a liability, and desire a sin. In Sector Four, he finds decadence, shameless sex—and his own dark urges. No battle strategy prepared him for how Rachel makes his heart race…or the way his rival for her affections sets his blood on fire.
...and a sinner.
Ace Santana has a dirty reputation and a mind to match, especially where his new lovers are concerned. He’s eager to help Cruz embrace his dominant side, and to explore the lines between pleasure and pain with Rachel. But corrupting them quickly becomes an obsession, a need he can’t deny—and a love he never imagined.
Three hearts on the line means a hundred ways their ménage a trois could go wrong. After all, even O’Kanes do forever two-by-two. One of them could be the missing piece that makes them all whole…or a temporary diversion destined for a broken heart.
PJV Quickie: I’m a huge Kit Rocha fan and when I got the opportunity to review the latest book in their Jealousy series, I jumped on it! Beyond Jealousy is a sex-fueled tale that takes us back to the O’Kanes and Sector 4, where life is hard but can be very, very good, and love can be found if you’re willing to fight for it. Although not my favorite in the series, Beyond Jealousy ended with a bang that ultimately left me satisfied and ready for more O’Kane action.
Rachel Riley was raised in Eden, always doing the right thing, which included working for her father’s illegal brewing company. When things went bad, she took the fall and was exiled from Eden. Rachel’s father had contacts with Dallas O’Kane, the leader of Sector 4, and he arranged for Riley to go there.
Lorenzo Cruz has been programmed to be one of Eden’s elite soldiers since he was a small boy. Being exiled to Sector 4, he still has contacts within Eden and is loyal to the O’Kanes. He can get all his wildest urges fulfilled in Eden, but his feelings for Rachel are new and he doesn’t know how to deal with them. Nor does he know what to do about his feelings for Ace, who’s tied to Rachel in a complicated knot that none of them seems to know how to unravel.
Ace Santana is Sector 4′s tattoo guy, and a dirty, dirty boy. After a cage fight with Cruz that ended with erotic undertones, he’s having a sort-of-relationship with Cruz, but he still has complicated feelings for Rachel and wants her too. He knows the three of them could be good, at least until they’re done with him… because with a past like his, no one would want him for keeps.
When it’s discovered that bootleggers are passing off poor-quality hooch as quality O’Kane liquor, the hunt is on to discover who the culprit is. It’s a dangerous business, and before it’s over, people will get hurt.
I love the world Kit Rocha has created in their Beyond series. Sector 4 is a dark, dreary place full of outlaws, but they’ve managed to carve something of a sanctuary for themselves where pleasure is plentiful and consentual, in other words: HOT! That being said, I have mixed feelings about Beyond Jealousy; for me, the first half was kind of slow but the second half flew by.
I liked Rachel, Ace and Cruz in previous books and have been looking forward to their story; I wasn’t expecting Cruz to be the ‘Alpha’ of the trio and that was a pleasant surprise. All of which makes my next statement seem a little strange: the reason the first half of the book was slow for me was that there was just too much sex. It kind of went on and on; it was hot and sexy, but didn’t do much to advance the plot.
Now, don’t get me wrong - No one writes hot, dirty, sensual sex scenes like Kit Rocha. I liked the sex, especially the angry shower sex scene between Cruz and Ace, and the ‘tattoo sex’ between the trio. And once the bootlegging plot did move along I was fascinated. I’ve said in previous reviews of this series that I wish we could see more of the O’Kane world and feel that way again about Beyond Jealousy. Seeing the tentative relationship between Sector 4 and Eden, and how each faction takes what they need from the other is fascinating to me. I found myself wondering things like, how do they get hot showers? And wondering about the chemicals fed to the general population that are mentioned in the story.
Of course there was conflict that made a HEA seem unobtainable, and I thought it was well-done: the self-destructive actions from one character was both realistic and heartbreaking. There was also some drama near the end that had me holding my breath and wondering about the repercussions of certain promises that were made.
I’m giving the first half of the book 3 stars, and the second half 5 stars, averaging 4 stars. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, Beyond Addiction.
I think fans of dystopian romance or erotic romance will love this; there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Other books you might like, similar to ‘Beyond Jealousy’:
- Flesh by Kylie Scott
- Driven by Eve Silver
- After the Crux by Dani Worth
Kit Rocha is actually two people—Bree & Donna, best friends who are living the dream. They get paid to work in their pajamas, talk on the phone, and write down all the stories they used to make up in their heads.
Beyond Shame was their first dystopian erotic romance. They also write paranormal romance as Moira Rogers. You can find them on the web at the following places:
Stalk the authors here:
Moira Rogers: http://www.moirarogers.com/
The Best Kind of Broken by Chelsea Fine
Published by Hatchett on March 4, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Love & Romance, New Adult
Amazon :: More Info ::
SOMETIMES MOVING ON MEANS MOVING IN
Pixie Marshall wishes every day she could turn back time and fix the past. But she can't. And the damage is done. She's hoping that a summer of free room and board working with her aunt at the Willow Inn will help her forget. Except there's a problem: the resident handyman is none other than Levi Andrews. The handsome quarterback was once her friend-and maybe more--until everything changed in a life-shattering instant. She was hoping to avoid him, possibly forever. Now he's right down the hall and stirring up feelings Pixie thought she'd long buried . . .
Levi can't believe he's living with the one person who holds all his painful memories. More than anything he wants to make things right, but a simple "sorry" won't suffice--not when the tragedy that scarred them was his fault. Levi knows Pixie's better off without him, but every part of him screams to touch her, protect her, wrap her in his arms, and kiss away the pain. Yet even though she's so close, Pixie's heart seems more unreachable than ever. Seeing those stunning green eyes again has made one thing perfectly clear--he can't live without her.
PJV Quickie: I have mixed feelings about Best Kind of Broken; on one hand the characters were interesting and I wanted to know their story, on the other hand I found the build-up to the “big secret” to be frustrating. Once I got past that however, the story was touching and I enjoyed the time I spent reading Best Kind of Broken.
Sarah “Pixie” Marshall has just arrived at Willow Inn, where she’ll be working for her Aunt Ellen over the summer until it’s time to go back to college at ASU. Pixie’s mother is an awful excuse for a human being, so she doesn’t want to go home. The only problem with working at the Inn is that she’s rooming next door to uber-hot Levi Andrews. She grew up with Levi and has had a crush on him forever, but knows she’ll never be able to have what she wants with Levi – she has a scar to remind her of the tragedy they share.
Levi Andrews was the star quarterback for ASU, until a tragic chain of events led to his being put on academic probation. He doesn’t really have a home to go back to, so he ends up doing odd jobs for Pixie’s Aunt Ellen at the Willow Inn. He’s not prepared when he sees Pixie at the Inn and realizes they’ll be living next door to each other in the empty East wing, so he moves into default “jerk” mode – it’s easier to fight with Pixie than to open his heart and beg her forgiveness.
This is my first Chelsea Fine book and overall I did enjoy it. Best Kind of Broken is told from both Pixie and Levi’s point-of-view and it worked for this story; it didn’t feel fragmented or awkward at all.
I finished this book about a week ago and over the past few days I’ve found myself thinking about the book off and on. It started well – we jumped right in to the back-and-forth between Pixie and Levi and I was interested in their back story. But then, they would each think about/remember the BIG THING in their past, there was obviously some HORRIBLE INCIDENT that the author skirting around but instead of gently teasing that there is a tragic history, it was heavy-handed and not subtle at all – THERE’S A SECRET BUT YOU DON’T GET TO KNOW IT UNTIL I SAY SO. It got to the point that every time it was hinted at I just rolled my eyes. I started worrying I wasn’t going to like the book, but I kept reading, and I realized that even though I was frustrated with all the hints about their past I was enjoying reading about their present relationship. The sexual tension between them was written with the perfect combination of desire and despair and I found myself wondering what could possibly be keeping them apart. As we slowly learn about their previous relationship, the BIG THING is revealed and I’ll admit it is definitely heartbreaking.
Other than the foreshadowing (is that what we would call it in this instance?) I thought the writing was very good. I was able to get a good visual of the Inn and the places Pixie and Levi went. I liked the Hero and Heroine and the supporting characters. The tension between Levi and Pixie was palpable and wanted things to turn out well for them.
One thing that slightly diminished my enjoyment of the book is that the author used the word “retarded” in a derogatory way. It’s offensive and I was disappointed to come across it not once but twice. There are plenty of other descriptive words she could have used that would not have been insulting.
The ending wrapped up a bit too quickly, but I was ultimately happy with how things ended up for the characters and I am looking forward to reading Darren’s book next: Perfect Kind of Trouble.
Fans of New Adult, tragic histories, and sweet romance should enjoy Best Kind of Broken.
Other New Adult books you might like:
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