The Assignment (Lessons in Control #1) by Jade A. Waters

assignmentWhat would you do if someone offered to fulfill your wildest fantasies?
Seductive.
Charming.
Dominant.
Dean Sova is everything Maya Clery craves. From the first touch, their connection is intense. After leaving her troubled past behind, Maya thought she was happy—she is happy—but meeting Dean forces her to acknowledge dark needs she longs to explore yet has never had the courage to face.
Her perfect match, Dean encourages Maya to set loose the submissive urges inside her in a series of assignments intended to open her mind and test the limits of pleasure…but Maya isn’t sure she can fully let go of her inhibitions.
What would you do if someone offered to fulfill your wildest fantasies?
The answer seems obvious. You take the offer and hope the price isn’t too high.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1The description pretty much says it all, but The Assignment was still more than I expected.

Maya wasn’t looking for a relationship when she met Dean at her friends’ party. She definitely wasn’t looking for a fantasy lover, but Dean was more than she bargained for. The heat between these two was combustible.

The ‘assignments’ that Dean gave Maya gave this story a unique twist that definitely kept things interesting. Dean wasn’t exactly a Dom, but he was the one in control… until things spiraled out of control. At one point I got kind of aggravated with both characters. Dean because he was a little irresponsible with his control and Maya for not being totally honest. Dean’s obvious worry and devotion finally won me over though.

Jade A. Waters has a great start to her Lessons in Control series and Dean and Maya’s story continues in The Discipline. I can’t wait to see where their story goes…

DragonFlyRating4

 

Hunks, Hammers, and Happily Ever Afters – Anthology

HunksHammersAn anthology of novellas about hunky blue collar, hammer wielding heroes and the women who tame them. Stories are by USA Today Bestselling Authors Cari Quinn, Cathy Clamp, and Anna J Stewart, and featuring authors Jodi Redford, Amie Stuart, Leah Braemel, and Chudney Thomas.
Get down and dirty with this sexy blue collar bundle featuring seven original contemporary romance novellas that range from sweet to sizzling.

This must be the year of anthologies. I think I’ve read more this year… at least at the end of this year, than I’ve read in quite some time. Hunks, Hammers and Happily Ever Afters!! is another one that’s pretty much full of ‘new to me’ authors. But see, the thing about anthologies is that they give you a taste of authors and genres that you may not have noticed or thought about before. Not that I need any more books or authors added to my TBR list, but I can’t just skip a story in an anthology just because I’m not familiar with the author. What if I miss out on my next great read? What if I’m not introduced to a character that may turn into my next BBF or BFF? Plus, I’m nothing if not a conscientious reader. Once I start reading I just can’t stop. So… you’ll find my mini-reviews for all the books in Hunks, Hammers and Happily Ever Afters!! below, along with the short descriptions found at Goodreads for each.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1KNOCKOUT – Cari Quinn
All Emerson Knapp wants…is everything he shouldn’t have. When all his secrets come to a head, the only question left is how much he’s willing to lose.
Review: Knockout is part of Cari Quinn’s Tapped Out series. I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t missing anything by not having read any of the previous books, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t want to read more now that I’ve had a taste… and what a taste Knockout was… Lily, Jase and Emerson definitely kept things interesting.

HOT SUMMER NIGHTS – Cathy Clamp
Sophie Green is smart, gorgeous, and good with her hands. Can Gabe convince her to make her stay at the Starlight Motel a permanent one?
Review:
I was really excited about this one. I loved the characters and the writing was spot on… and then… ugh! My opinion changed as soon as they didn’t even give a condom a second thought from their very first encounter. It can be forgiven if there is remorse or an OMG! moment afterward, but that didn’t happen. Sorry, but regardless of how the rest of the story goes, that pretty much turned me off from the start. It’s a shame too, because the premise, chemistry between the characters and the set-up was great. *sigh*

MARKED FOR LOVE – Anna J. Stewart
Overworked pub manager Regan Murphy is about to have her hands full with Lantano Valley newcomer and tattoo artist Brodie Crawford: a sexy single father who is far too distracting.
*this version of MARKED FOR LOVE is a spiced up version of the original sweet novella of the same title. Includes a never before published epilogue, available ONLY in this boxed set.
Review:
There’s something to be said for a sweet romance, centered around broken characters who live for their families. That’s exactly what Marked for Love was and I loved it. Just a little smexiness, a lot of denial, a misunderstood teenager and a couple of adorable, well written kids…. perfect!

KNOTTY MAGIC – Jodi Redford
Hormones be damned, Tully Eastwood won’t succumb to her attraction for a sexy lumberjack—until she finds herself trapped overnight with him in the woods.
Review:
Jodi is the only author in this anthology that I’ve read. Knotty Magic was full of the snarkiness, humor, wit and smexiness that I’ve come to expect from her. A spunky girl who’s passionate about things that are important to her. A grizzly man who’s afraid to commit because he’s been burned and doesn’t want to put his heart through that kind of pain again. Add to that a forest full of magic that is determined to bring these two crazy kids together and the combination is golden.

AGAINST THE WALL – Amie Stuart
Construction Supervisor Lexi Kimball is the one person everyone loves to hate. Everyone except a sexy foreman with an adventurous streak, that is.
Review:
The down side of reading a novella? Sometimes you don’t get enough time to relate to a character. That’s how I felt after I finished Against the Wall. I liked this one, but I think I would have liked it a lot more if I had more time to get to know Lexi and Wade.

UNASHAMED — Leah Braemel
Two sexy construction workers double Hayley O’Connell’s fun. But can they convince her the fun should last forever?
Review:
Awww… I loved these three. Granted, since it was technically a novella, parts of it were a little rushed, but it was much more than a menage. It was a sweet story about childhood friends to lovers and common love for a girl that brought them all together. It also included a jerk of a father and a loving, accepting family that totally made up for it. Too bad it came to a satisfying end, because I could definitely go for some more time with Hayley, Mac and Noah. 😉

LOVE IN AN ELEVATOR – Chudney Thomas
Mica Lawson is a failure and a flake; at least according to her family. Then one stalled elevator, and a sexy repairman, change her life.
Review:
There were things about this story that I really liked and other things that drove me nuts. I really liked Cam, Mica was hard to figure out. Things that set her off weren’t really a big deal and kinda made me shake my head. Also, editing issues usually don’t bother me, but there were so many in this one I can’t help but mention them. Lots of potential here, just didn’t quite hit the mark for me. *sigh*

DragonFlyRating4

The Wicked Merman (Monstrous Tales #4) by Kelly Apple – Bout of Books 13 Review

WickedMermanWhen her friend drags her off to the lake for some much needed R&R, Ari thought she’d be getting away from supernaturals for a few days. Sunning and swimming sound divine and it might help her shake off the funk of being parted from her beloved Guardian.
But when a girl who loves monsters ends up at a lake housing a merman, she’s going to end up doing a lot more than swimming.
Ari can’t resist trying to find the answer to the age-old question: How do mermen have sex?
This wicked merman is more than happy to give her some hands-on experience.
Warning: This book contains a lake, a midnight swim, and an unexpected hard-on. Don’t let the fins fool you, this merman has all the right stuff to get Ari where she needs to go.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1So Ari does have a life outside of obsessing over monsters and school… kinda. Her best friend is trying to convince her of that anyway. Unfortunately, her best friend is also trying to mend fences between Ari and someone that betrayed her in high school. Her effort to get away from the drama threw Ari in the arms of her latest monster.

As usual, Ari’s curiosity gets the best of her and after setting some pretty definite rules and boundaries, she finds out everything she ever wanted to know about mermen… and more. Was it enough to make her forget her green lover? You’ll have to treat yourself to Wicked Merman to find out 😉

DragonFlyRating4

 

Monstrous Tales Vol. 1 by Kelly Apple

The first volume of Monstrous Tales includes 3 novellas and one short, short Interlude. I picked up the first 2 free before I was given the series in volumes by the author. Truth is, I would have eventually purchased them all anyway. They’re perfect hot, steamy, fun little reads. Here’s a little bit about each one in the first volume.

Wicked Woods (Monstrous Tales #1)

WickedWoodsAri’s always had a thing for monsters. Big ones, small ones, and all the ones in between. They turn her on like no human can. She’d be an ordinary girl if not for that one little quirk.
Since monsters aren’t real, she’s resigned herself to loving them in her imagination.
But, as Ari is about to find out, monsters are real and now one of them has her in their grasp. Will reality be better than fantasy? Or will she walk away and lose her one chance at fulfilling her wildest dreams?
Warning: This book contains a girl who isn’t afraid of monsters and a monster who wouldn’t mind a special lady friend. You’ll never look at those all-night monster marathons on TV the same way again.

You can check out the review I posted earlier here.

Wicked Games (Monstrous Tales #1.5)

Wicked Games is the Interlude story included in Volume 1. It’s a fun little segue between stories that gives a whole new meaning to ‘Game Night.’ 😉

Wicked Wolf (Monstrous Tales #2)

WickedWolfAfter several months with her monstrous lover, the unthinkable has happened—Ari’s Guardian is being called upon to mate with others of his kind. Not wanting to put her in danger, her Guardian sends her away, promising they will reunite once he’s fulfilled his duty.
Now Ari has a choice—she can pine for her monster as he lies with compatible females or she can seek out other supernaturals and see if what she feels for her Guardian is true.
Is it love or only lust? There’s a wicked wolf who’s willing to help her find the truth.
Warning: This book contains lovers (metaphorically) torn apart and a girl determined to experience the supernatural. Timid creatures need not apply.

Ari’s first escapade with a monster other than her green love is easier to find than she thought. Kelly Apple’s witty humor came shining through in The Wicked Wolf. I can’t even tell you the funniest part because that would reveal too much and some things are just better experienced first hand. *giggles* Michael was sweet, in a monstrous sort of way but was he enough to make Ari forget her Guardian?

Wicked Dragon (Monstrous Tales #3)

WickedDragonIt’s been five days since Ari and her green Guardian were forced apart. Ari’s determined to ride out the storm of sexual longing she feels whenever she thinks about him, but it’s hard.
When a dragon appears in her backyard, Ari is faced with a dilemma—send him on his way and continue pining or follow him into the woods to see what he can do for her. She’s already tried out a werewolf, is there anything a dragon could possibly offer to keep her mind off her missing beloved?
As it turns out, this wicked dragon might have a trick or two up his sleeve.
Warning: This book contains a dragon with an impressive package and a girl who likes getting gifts. No flight plans were filed (or interrupted) during their interlude.

It becomes fairly clear that word has gotten out about Ari’s affinity toward monsters when Max, the dragon, shows up in her back yard. He’s sweet and honest and most of all, lonely. He kind of pulled at my heartstrings by the end of The Wicked Dragon. I hope one day he finds his true mate. *shakes head* Yeah, only Kelly Apple could make me want to hug and console a dragon. On a side note: who knew anatomy lessons could be so… interesting? 😉

DragonFlyRating4

Wicked Woods (Monstrous Tales #1) by Kelly Apple

WickedWoodsAri’s always had a thing for monsters. Big ones, small ones, and all the ones in between. They turn her on like no human can. She’d be an ordinary girl if not for that one little quirk.

Since monsters aren’t real, she’s resigned herself to loving them in her imagination.

But, as Ari is about to find out, monsters are real and now one of them has her in their grasp. Will reality be better than fantasy? Or will she walk away and lose her one chance at fulfilling her wildest dreams?

Warning: This book contains a girl who isn’t afraid of monsters and a monster who wouldn’t mind a special lady friend. You’ll never look at those all-night monster marathons on TV the same way again.

Oh my… yep, Kelly Apple went there and this one was just as much fun as I expected. There is so much I could say, but honestly I’m speechless after reading Wicked Woods.

This was a fun, quick little read that was full of heat, fueled by a young girl with a vivid imagination that found the monster of her dreams. You’ve heard of magic fingers? Change that to tentacles and multiply them by… well, I lost count and so did Ari. 😉

Wicked Woods was the first book in Kelly Apple’s Monstrous Tales series. I picked the first two up when they were free so The Wicked Wolf has been added to my TBR pile. Seems that while the monster is away, it’s time for the co-ed to play?

DragonFlyRating4

Beyond Shame (Beyond #1) by Kit Rocha

BeyondShameAll Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond–beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain, and beyond her stiflingly restrictive existence as a councilman’s daughter. But only ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms decades earlier.

The sectors surrounding Eden house the corrupt, the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. Jas clawed his way up from nothing to stand at the right hand of Sector Four’s ruthless leader, and he’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life. But no fight ever prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.

Her innocence is undeniable, but so is their intense sexual attraction, and soon they’re crossing every boundary Noelle barely knew she had. But if she wants to belong to Jas, first she’ll have to open herself to the gang, to a dangerous world of sex, lust and violence. A world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission. 

Wow… okay, so this was my first Kit Rocha read and I was totally unprepared. I’m not complaining, honest. I loved the world building. This was one dystopian that I had no problem wrapping my head around. The world was pretty simple to grasp (not simple by definition or by set-up.) Those within the walls of Eden were privileged. Those outside the walls lived in slums and were the lowest of the low… on the surface. It didn’t take long to realize that I’d rather take my chances on the outside of those walls, for a lot of reasons.

Noelle stumbled right out of the walls of Eden after being exiled and into the arms of Jasper. From that point on, neither one of them stood a chance. It was obvious that they were destined. It just took them a while to realize it.

The people in Sector 4 lived hard, fought hard and loved with the same fierceness and intensity. They were loyal to the O’Kanes and wore the ink to prove it. This is definitely not a series to go into lightly, but I can promise you that you’ll walk away from it feeling something. It would be impossible not to.

The characters, the world building, the intensity… all make the Beyond series one that I’m going to enjoy devouring. There’s no other word for it. The next book, Beyond Control features Dallas and Lex. I’m glad that no time was wasted getting to these two characters. They were ready to combust and take everyone in Sector 4 right along with them by the end of Beyond Shame. I’ll be doing some skipping around before I get to them though. Just a little diversion, but trust me, Beyond Control has been moved way up on my TBR list.

DragonFlyRating4

Perfect Chemistry by Jodi Redford

PerfectChemistryWhen it comes to sexy geeks, Leo Martinez and Devlin Hawke are as hot as they get. But falling for the wrong guy has always been Sidney Chase’s forte. She’s not about to submit to her inner bad girl by giving in to her secret fantasies about her sex-on-a-stick bosses. When she’s accidentally exposed to the supercharged aphrodisiac in their lab, Sidney tosses aside her inhibitions and unknowingly provides her bosses with an eye-popping display of self lovin’ courtesy of the office security cameras.

Despite their mutual craving for Sidney, Leo and Devlin made a pact long ago to keep her off limits. The last thing they’d wanted was to scare off their best PA by overwhelming her with their kinky tendencies. Witnessing the arousing effects of their aphrodisiac elixir on Sidney changes everything. Not only is she the answer they’ve been looking for in regards to fine-tuning their formula, she’s the perfect woman for them. And with a little help from one helluva sinful science experiment, they’ll prove that love is far more potent than anything manufactured in a bottle.

Warning: This red hot office romance contains 3 parts sizzling m/f/m menage, 2 parts sexy and sweet geeks, one part wicked bondage and sex toys, and a whole lot of combustible chemistry. Safety glasses required.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Jodi Redford and her snarky characters never fail to entertain me. Yeah, they’re sometimes corny and they rarely show restraint, but that’s all part of their charm 🙂 Perfect Chemistry was definitely not the exception.

This one was just plain fun, which is pretty much what I’ve come to expect from this author. A perfect diversion and even though there were no supernatural elements involved *cough, cough* this trio was quite entertaining. I liked their boss/employee to lover excursion. Having the POVs switch around helped add to the fun. Oh, and as usual, the warning is for real, so if you aren’t into any of the above, don’t be offended if you pick up the book. Enough said.

I have to admit that I became a fan of this author because of her sexy shifters and smexy magic, but her contemporary romps are fun too…. that doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to stalk and harass her for more of my favorites. It just means that I’ll take what I can get…. for now. 😉

DragonFlyRating4

Naughty Girls Do: A Red, Hot and BOOM! Story by Jodi Redford

LNaughtyGirlsDoexie Winters is on a mission—to lose her good girl image and tempt resident bad boy, Ash Bodry, into her bed. Tired of being treated like his kid sister, it’s past time for her to play dirty. She has her work cut out for her though when it comes to the sinfully sexy yet incredibly frustrating man.
As far as Ash is concerned, Lexie is strictly off limits. Not only are they friends, her dad just happens to be the sheriff, and years ago the man steered Ash away from a life of crime. No way is he repaying that favor by giving into his wicked fantasies of Lexie. But when the little vixen strolls into his tattoo parlor and requests a very naughty piercing, Ash’s honorable intentions are tested to their limits.

Now that Lexie’s hammered the first chink in Ash’s defenses, and he’s sweating bullets, there’s no chance in hell she’s settling for his hands off policy. Even if it means some flirty strip tease action and late night skinny dipping to convince him that this newfound naughty girl will do whatever it takes to get her man.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Only one of Jodi Redford’s characters would use asking her long-time crush for a naughty piercing as an excuse to get the guy’s attention. That’s what I love about this author’s characters. You never know what to expect… except for the unexpected. 😉

Naughty Girls Do was fun. From Lexie’s approach, to Ash’s reluctance, to the inevitable cave in. There was plenty of heat and tension between these two. This one was short and sweet – only 75 pages – but the story wasn’t lacking. Not that I wouldn’t have wanted to spend more time getting to know Lexie and Ash. Sometimes a quick late night read is all you’re looking for. If so, Naughty Girls Do is perfect.

RedHotBoomIt’s also part of the Red, Hot & BOOM! series, which contains 15 stories by 15 authors for 99¢ each. Perfect way to celebrate the summer don’t you think? 🙂

DragonFlyRating4

Club Shadowlands (Masters of the Shadowlands #1) by Cherise Sinclair

ClubShadowlandsHer car disabled during a tropical storm, Jessica Randall discovers the isolated house where she’s sheltering is a private bondage club. At first shocked, she soon becomes aroused watching the interactions between the Doms and their subs. But she’s a professional woman–an accountant–and surely isn’t a submissive…is she?

Master Z hasn’t been so attracted to a woman in years. But the little sub who has wandered into his club intrigues him. She’s intelligent. Reserved. Conservative. After he discovers her interest in BDSM, he can’t resist tying her up and unleashing the passion she hides within.

Well, that was totally not what I expected. Even though my taste in books is eclectic, there are some books that I read that have scenarios that I’m not exactly comfortable with. BDSM is one of them. Whether I end up liking them or not totally depends on the way things are handled, which makes sense. I can honestly say that out of all the BDSM books that I’ve read, Club Shadowlands is probably my favorite.

I liked Jessica. She was shy, unsure of herself, confused by her curiosity and not totally comfortable in her own skin. She was a character that I could relate to in a lot of ways. Yet, as shy as she was she didn’t cower…. much. I think one of the things I liked most about her was her determination to stand up for others. Granted, her timing was off more than once, but it was still an admirable trait.

Master Z noticed it too and even though he couldn’t condone it, he still admired it. (Confusing I know, but in the context of the story it makes perfect sense… you’ll have to trust me on that one.) As Doms go, Master Z was perfect. He was fair, protective and kept things safe for everyone. He was also loving and caring, but his feelings and attraction for Jessica caught him totally off guard.

I didn’t expect it, but Masters of the Shadowlands has now landed on my TBR list. There were a couple of characters introduced that I really want to get to know better. Cherise Sinclair has definitely gained a new fan. 😉

DragonFlyRating4

The Professional: Part 3 (The Game Maker #1.3) by Kresley Cole

TheProfessional3Are you ready to play?
Yet all is not as it seems. To remove Natalie from an enemy’s reach, Sevastyan spirits her into hiding. From an opulent palace in Russia to the decadent playgrounds of the mega-wealthy in Paris, the two lovers will discover that even their darkest – and most forbidden – fantasies can come true…

I’m jealous… What of, you may ask? I’m jealous of all the readers that are going to be able to read The Professional as one continuous novel in May. *Glares at all those readers patient enough to wait.*

Okay, so not really. As painful as the stops and starts were in this format, I’m glad that I read it this way. As frustrating as the open ended format was, it honestly added to the suspense and left me wanting more… but gave me a nice break from the intensity.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1The Professional Part 3 made all of that worth it. Totally. Things were brought together and actions and reactions that I didn’t understand were brought to light. I liked the mysterious Sevastyan, but once his secrets were revealed he broke my heart just a little. *sigh*

Like I said, for me it was worth it. For those of you who don’t want to be left hanging between installments, you have a couple of options. You can pick up all three parts of The Professional: The Game Maker right now or you can wait till May 2014 and pick them up in one neat little package. 😉

DragonFlyRating4

TheProfessionalTheProfessional2TheProfessional3