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To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield by Bronwen Evans

To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield
By:  Bronwen Evans
Publisher:  Self Published
Published:  February 1, 2012
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length:  Novel
Heat Level:  Sensual
Reviewer:  Toni
Date:  August 27, 2012

Let the Wicked Wagers Begin...

Lady Caitlin Southall’s temper has finally got the better of her. She’s challenged Harlow Telford, the Duke of Dangerfield, the most notorious rake in all of England, to a wager. She wants her house back. The one her destitute father lost to Dangerfield in a card game. But if she doesn’t win their bet, she not only loses her home, she loses her dignity and pride and damn it all, maybe her heart... For the handsome Duke has decreed, when he wins, she must spend the night in his bed.

Harlow Telford is amused by his hellion neighbor, Caitlin, or Cate to her friends, who seem to encompass everyone on earth except him. When she bursts into one of his private gatherings, he mistakes her for the entertainment. Her slap across his face sets him straight and raises the absurd desire to seduce the unconventional beauty into his bed. When she issues her daft challenge to win back her father’s pile of rubble, the terms are set. And he’ll do anything to win—except fall in love...

To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield is a fast and furious read. I was captivated from start to finish, and couldn’t wait to see what was up next for these two stubborn people.

Lady Caitlin Southall’s lost her home and she knows if she can race her prize horse Ace against the Duke, she can win it back. What she doesn’t count on is him making a counter bet. Even though his bet has a steep price, she can’t back down. Her home is the only thing she has left from her mother and this rake will not deter her.

Harlow Telford, Duke of Dangerfield, was instantly fascinated by the beauty bent over her horse’s hoof. His passion ignited and desire flared. What he didn’t count on, was that she was the brat that dared laugh at him years ago. Even though he now knows her identity, he is more determined to bed her. But what surprises him the most is that his desire to bed her turns into a need to wed her.

What was once to be one bet turns into the best two out of three; wits, skills and tenacity are used to win at all costs. Down to the last trial, things are neck to neck; one wrong move and everything changes. Can they heal from this new disaster?

To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield is the first in the Wicked Wagers trilogy. They are a collection of novellas involving three friends. To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield is a wonderful start to the series.

Sometimes you can’t get a clear picture from a shorter story. Ms. Evans does a fine job telling the story, detailing the characters and engaging us in the plot. As I sit here, I don’t even wish To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield was longer, which is frequently the case. I’m very pleased with this little gem and I can’t wait to read the next in the trilogy, To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone.

To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone by Bronwen Evans

To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone
By:  Bronwen Evans
Publisher:  Self Published
Published:  April 28, 2012
Genre: Historical, Romance
Length:  Novel
Heat Level:  Sensual
Reviewer:  Toni
Date:  August 29, 2012

They Say Revenge is Sweet…

Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is renowned for his cynical demeanor. It's rumored that long ago, a beautiful woman broke his heart. Now he lives life for pleasure. He’s the consummate, handsome rake. If anyone tries to get too close—let’s just say his bark is as bad as his bite. That is, until the beautiful, as she is deceitful, Contessa Orsini re-enters his life with a wager he cannot resist. When he wins, he’ll have Sabine exactly where he wants her—in his bed and at his mercy.

Forced to return to England and avenge her father’s death, Sabine knows the one person who can help her is the only man she has ever loved—Marcus. The man who hates her with as much passion as he once loved her. But Marcus doesn’t know that by winning the wager he’ll also be getting his revenge. For there are some secrets best left buried…

To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone is book two in the Wicked Wagers trilogy and it is a dark delightful addition.

Marcus Danvers, the Marquis of Wolverstone, is a man who takes what he wants and doesn’t care who is left wanting. A past hurt has changed him forever and if his cold demeanor doesn’t suit you, well just walk away. He will make no apologies and will not ask for forgiveness. His tough exterior begins to crack when the reason for his cold heart reenters his life…Sabine.

Sabine Fournier has returned to London with revenge, secrets and unrequited love in her heart. Unfortunately they are all connected to one rake, Marcus Danvers. She must beg the former love of her life to help her get revenge on the man who ruined her future and along the way keep all her life altering secrets to herself to save the people she loves. But first she must convince the Marquis of Wolverstone to help her.

Revenge is never sweet and these two learn that the hard way. While they work together, Sabine keeps her secrets close to her heart and Marcus must just try to protect his. Family and friends are forward with their opinions and help, but in the end they must do it alone. Unforeseen problems arise that endanger both Marcus and Sabine. Will it be too late to save themselves and their love?

To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone is a bit darker than the first in the series, To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield. While I think the first could be categorized as playful competition, this one could be hurtful vengeance. I think the extreme shift has turned many people off from the second in the trilogy, but if you have read the first one, you would remember that Marcus was rather forbearing and morose. I have no problem enjoying this story because of it. I think if Ms. Evans had done a complete reversal with his character, I would have faulted her for it. She did Marcus justice by sticking with his character and following through.

While To Dare the Duke of Dangerfield seemed like a complete package to me, To Wager the Marquis of Wolverstone left me a little wanting. Their past was too hurtful and secretive to be solved in a novella. The story was still well written, but sudden changes of heart and forgiveness seemed too fast and forced. Ms. Evans still did a nice job with the word count she was allowed, but I think the story would have been more fulfilling as a full novel. Am I disappointed in the book? Not really and I would still recommend it, but I just wanted more depth to go with so much pain.

I am looking forward to the last in the series, To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood. It tells the story of the last of the bachelors, Henry St. Giles, the Earl of Cravenswood. On that note I have something to mention, Ms. Evans has released the complete trilogy in one novel – Wicked Wagers. It’s available now, so if you are interested I would recommend that you get the complete series in one great collection.

Siren’s Serenade by Dominique Eastwick

Siren’s Serenade
By:  Dominique Eastwick
Publisher:  Musa Publishing
Published:  July 13, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal
Length:  Novella
Heat Level:  Spicy
Reviewer:  Toni
Date:  July 13, 2012

Loving her might just be the death of him.

When Coast Guard rescue swimmer Kaleb Theldon sees what he's sure is a mermaid pulling his partner into the murky depths of the Bering Sea, they call it PTSD. In order to save his career, Kaleb agrees to a week at an island spa off the coast of Maine. But the spa is nothing like he expected, and he isn't prepared for the sexy siren that crosses his path. But will her passion be more than one mere human can take?

Serena has a problem, and after four previous visits to the Wiccan Haus, she'd expected things to get easier. But on the mermaid’s fifth visit, Kaleb walks in and everything in her life becomes complicated. Never has she wanted to mate with a human man before. But can she love a man who has a chip on his shoulder a league long when it comes to mermaids? Can she deal with her own issues all while keeping her true self secret from the man she loves?

And will loving him prove deadly?

This time, the staff have more than healing on their agenda. Can the siblings, Myron, and Rekkus prove to these two lovers that things aren't always how they appear on the surface? Or will Kaleb's demise be found in his Siren's Serenade?

Welcome back to the Wiccan Haus.

Was this a short story? It sure didn’t feel like a short story. Are you sure?

The mermaids are living under a curse. To procreate they must steal the soul of a man at the time of conception. Serena has no desire to follow in her sister’s steps and refuses to kill innocent men. Unfortunately her mother is the queen and has given her a year to secure the line of succession or she will be forced to mate. Time is running out and she turns to the Rowan siblings and The Wiccan Haus Resort and Spa for help.

Kaleb knows he is not crazy. Yes, he may have PTSD, but he knows what he saw; a mermaid drag his diving partner down into the depths, never to be seen again. He just made the mistake to telling the truth and now is taking forced R&R at the resort. The required classes and instruction are driving him nuts, but when he meets a beautiful woman that sets him on fire, his little trip just got a lot more interesting. What will happen when he discovers that she is the same type of creature that killed his best friend and has possibly ruined his career? Can he look past the hurt of the past and forge ahead to the future?

Siren’s Serenade is such a smooth read. The plot is solid and exciting, the sex is hot and the characters are to die for. In regards to the characters, I know personally that I want to get to know them and call them friends. The contributing authors are doing a spectacular job transporting me into the Wiccan Haus universe and Ms. Eastwick has written my favorite addition to date.

I enjoyed this story from the very first page. Even though it was about Serena and Kaleb, I also got to revisit the siblings and other wonderful characters from previous books. That aspect made this story all the more special. They blended well with the main couple and didn’t intrude on their story. They only enhanced it.

I’m still shocked that this was a short story. While I enjoy short stories to fill in the little windows of time I may have that won’t warrant a full novel, I can’t recall a short story being more fulfilling than Siren’s Serenade. I was left giddy and the epilogue was the icing on the cake!

Don’t miss this beautiful sea glass gem. Siren’s Serenade is richly colored and spellbinding. I hope you will be as drawn in as I was. I would suggest that you read the prior books in the series first though. Without them you will not understand why I enjoyed this book so much. While it is not completely necessary, you minus well dive right in and get caught up in the storm. The Wiccan Haus series is a treasure that needs to be enjoyed to its fullest!

An Apple Away by Kate Richards

An Apple Away
By:  Kate Richards
Publisher:  Musa Publishing
Published:  June 8th 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Erotic Romance, Fantasy
Content: M/F/F
Length:  Novella
Heat Level:  Spicy
Reviewer:  Toni
Date:  July 12, 2012

A witch's spell great love may break

Aislinn never wants to see another doctor. Their painful and pointless treatments have done nothing to improve her rapidly deteriorating health. She hopes that the staff of Wiccan Haus can at least offer a change of scene, if not a return of a little of her former strength. She’s delighted to meet Punda, a masseuse, on her arrival and charmed by the cottage in the apple orchard where she will stay.

Dr. Hugo Peralta visits the island at the insistence of his boss. The distinguished brain surgeon is in desperate need of a respite before overwork makes him one of his own patients. He is surprised but pleased with the privacy and serenity of his cottage—across the orchard from Aislinn’s. An idyllic location on a magical island where love can blossom—if the Rowans can help the trio save Aislinn from whatever is killing her.

Kate Richards took the old saying “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” and made it her own.

Hugo and Aislinn arrived separately but they both are staying at the orchards at the Wiccan Haus Resort and Spa and Spa. A beautiful place filled with the sweet smells of apples and the enchantment of island. Each are escaping the lives that are slowly killing them. Each will find health and healing at this exclusive island paradise.

Dr. Hugo Peralta is a workaholic. He lives, eats and breathes his job. Emergencies and life don’t take a vacation, so why should he. Though he has been forced to take this trip by his boss, he will take this time to catch up on journals and other important items he has hasn’t had time to catch up on. The staff at the resort has another idea. Every time he thinks he will have a moment to do what he wants, something comes up and changes his plans. The best obstacle so far has been the mysteriously ill neighbor Aislinn, and the staff member assisting her, the beautifully alluring Punda.

Aislinn has had it! She has been poked and prodded for over a year. The doctors have no clue what is wrong with her and she is tired of them and the direction her life is heading. If she never see another doctor, she will be perfectly fine. On the advice of a friend, she decides to visit the resort. She has nothing else to lose and if this is her last chance to enjoy life, she is bound and determined to do it. From the moment she sips a delicious cup of spiced apple cider on the ferryboat, she knows she made the right decision.

Punda is surprisingly attracted to Hugo and Aislinn from the very beginning, but she knows her place at the resort. She is to take care of Aislinn while she is here and since she seen the spark between the two of them, she feels the need to bring them together and not get in their way. Too bad fate has other plans.

Hugo, Aislinn and Punda are all unsure about their feelings. They each want the other two people in the relationship to succeed and be happy as a twosome, never quite realizing that they are all attracted to each other. I enjoyed how Ms. Richards finally brought them together. You could feel that they were all meant to be and their eventual joining was sexy and fantastic.

Even though this is a short story and everything is in fast forward, this story felt natural. The tale of this group relationship seems realistic and sweet. In fact, I would say that their relationship felt more natural to me then the side plot. Short of the necessity of it, I could have done without it. That 10% spent on that other person could have been added to the development of their relationship and I would have been ecstatic and it still would have been a magical experience.

This is a short story pure and simple. There is no huge backstory or deep character development. You get a quick satisfying tale that will keep you interested and turning the pages. Ms. Richards has written this ménage so well that I leave them knowing they will be happy and their love will only grow. *sigh*

This is another wonderful addition to the Wiccan Haus series. Keep them coming!! 

A Man Worth Fighting For by Sara Daniel

A Man Worth Fighting For
By:  Sara Daniel
Publisher:  Musa Publishing
Published:  March 23, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Erotic Romance, Fantasy
Length:  Novella
Heat Level:  Spicy
Reviewer:  Toni
Date:  May 17, 2012

He has nothing left to offer. She's determined to show him just how much he's worth.

Shot by a member of his military team, Justin Lawson retreats to the Wiccan Haus. Holly Walters refuses to accept her boyfriend's out-of-the-blue rejection without an explanation, even if getting the answers forces her to be trapped on a bizarre island for an entire week. She's going to use every minute to work Justin out of her system once and for all. Justin's body and spirit begin to heal under Holly's loving ministrations. As she talks about never seeing each other again, he realizes he never wants to let her go. But the rogue assassin who had gone after Justin before is after him again. Before he can fight to make Holly believe in their love, he'll have to fight for both their lives.

Let’s see, what qualities did A Man Worth Fighting For have…stupid man logic, magic, angst, sex, paranormals, suspense, action, more sex and surprisingly humans?!?!

A Man Worth Fighting For is book two in the Wiccan Haus collection. These are great short stories revolving around the Wiccan Haus Resort and Spa located off the coast of Maine. It is a special place for paranormals and humans alike; a place to go for spiritual and emotional healing.

This I just the kind of place that Justin needs after being shot and almost killed by one of his own team members. His career is over. His knee is permanently damaged and he now has to give up being a soldier. It was all he had and ever wanted. Since his career is over, he also decides to kill his relationship with his girlfriend Holly. He doesn’t want to burden her with having to take care of him. He has nothing to offer her, so he cuts her lose one of the most cowardly ways possible.

Holly can’t believe it…Justin is a coward! She can’t accept his breakup and is determined to hunt him down and have him explain his lame actions. She never expected to find him at a spa. Justin is a big strong manly military man and he is at a spa for spiritual and emotional healing, WHAT? Well by her calculations their conversation won’t take long, so off she goes to close this chapter of her life.

Neither expected the circumstances of their meeting. Justin was shocked and immediately went into protective mode and Holly was reminded just how much she cared about this frustrating man. They have a week to determine what they are going to do. Each must work through their inner problems and discover what is best for them. It’s really too bad that the interfering staff of Wiccan Haus won’t leave well enough alone.

Can you believe it? A Man Worth Fighting For is set at a primarily paranormal resort, ran by paranormals and the story is about two humans. I LOVED IT!! What a different twist. Yes, Justin knows about paranormals. In fact, he protects the rest of us by taking out paranormal rogues, but at the end of the day he is human and a damaged one at that. I never saw this twist coming…oops…I hope I didn’t ruin it for you.

Oh don’t let my little slip stop you from enjoying this great little treat. The couple is fun to read about, they have some great hot (and wet) sex and even the meddlesome staff is entertaining. You even get a little suspense and action thrown in. Ms. Daniels packaged this plot well and I immediately loved both Justin and Holly. There was just the right amount of everything in this book. It was all well balanced and believable. Editing was spot on, continuity was solid and the whole short story was just wonderful. What more could you want from a mini vacation?

About Last Night by Ruthie Knox

About Last Night
By:  Ruthie Knox
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Published:  June 11, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, 
Length:  Novel
Heat Level:  Spicy
Reviewer:  Toni
Date:  May 16, 2012

Sure, opposites attract, but in this sexy, smart, eBook original romance from RITA finalist and USA Today bestselling author Ruthie Knox, they positively combust! When a buttoned-up banker falls for a bad girl, “about last night” is just the beginning.

Cath Talarico knows a mistake when she makes it, and God knows she’s made her share. So many, in fact, that this Chicago girl knows London is her last, best shot at starting over. But bad habits are hard to break, and soon Cath finds herself back where she has vowed never to go . . . in the bed of a man who is all kinds of wrong: too rich, too classy, too uptight for a free-spirited troublemaker like her.

Nev Chamberlain feels trapped and miserable in his family’s banking empire. But beneath his pinstripes is an artist and bohemian struggling to break free and lose control. Mary Catherine—even her name turns him on—with her tattoos, her secrets, and her gamine, sex-starved body, unleashes all kinds of fantasies.

When blue blood mixes with bad blood, can a couple that is definitely wrong for each other ever be perfectly right? And with a little luck and a lot of love, can they make last night last a lifetime?

What a fun read! It was a refreshing change from the mass influx of Alpha men stories out there. I could see myself falling head over heels for Nev. Ms. Knox wrote an enchanting love story of opposites attracting and why the adventure of falling in love can be so much fun!

I loved Nev’s patience, devotion and love. He went into this relationship knowing it was going to be hard to win Cath over and he never gave up. While he may not have made good choices here and there, in the end he came through with flying colors.

Cath is one tough cookie. I have to give her credit for making the most of her hard life and not allowing it to consume her. She was at times relentless in her perseverance to NOT to fall for Nev, but I think in the end it made the story all the more endearing and sweet.

Ms. Knox has a knack of creating characters that are different from the norm. From cross country cycler to banker/painter, you never know what type of man you are going to get. I LOVE IT!! So far I have been in love with every male she has developed and I look forward to her next. Her books are engaging, well written and such a pleasure to read.

Fantastic characters, hot sex and a great story, all combine to make up About Last Night. This is a wonderful feel good novel and shouldn’t be missed. Another hit for Ruthie Knox!!

Shifting Hearts by Dominique Eastwick

Shifting Hearts
By:  Dominique Eastwick
Publisher:  Musa Publishing
Published:  November 11, 2011
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Length:  Novella
Heat Level:  Spicy
Reviewer:  Toni
Date:  April 25, 2012

The last of his kind…

Rekkus is the last of the great Black Tiger weres and he is happy to stay that way. Working as security for the Wiccan Haus, a magical spa for inner healing, he has enough danger – and women – to keep him busy. Unfortunately, the Fates are not content with him being comfortable.

Alone and discouraged…

Dana has walked away from all she has known, her fiancé, family, apartment, and job. Now, having a ticket to the Wiccan Haus may be the only way she can move on. But what she finds isn’t what she expects, nor is it what she thought she was looking for.

Meet the unusual residents of the Wiccan Haus. The staff can get a little hairy and not all of the guests eat what’s served in the dining hall. But the proprietors always do what they can to make the resort into a place of healing and peace, using all of their years of practice. At the Haus, where humans and Paras reside side-by-side, everyone in need of the Rowan siblings’ services are welcome.


I have read quite a few books that combine resorts, paranormals and finding love. So far so good and I have enjoyed them all and love the idea. I really like the idea of the Wiccan Haus series. Welcome to a new form of healing and peace. Shifting Hearts is the first in the series and has set the bar high for rest of the series.

Dana has probably just made the hardest decision of her life. While it was a mutual decision to not get married, she feels lost because she left her friend of many years and her family has disowned her because of the broken marriage. She also gave up her job and apartment to start a new life with him. Now she has nowhere to go and no one to be with. Jessie, her best friend, takes her away to the healing resort of Wiccan Haus. Dana needs time to lick her wounds and Jessie believes she just needs a good tumble in bed. She may just find both on the island.

Rekkus is the last of his kind. Though he has lost his family he has gained a new one with the Rowan siblings. His main focus is as bodyguard to Cyrus, but he is also head of security for the island. From the moment he meets Dana he knows what she is to him. Problem is that his past has left many scars he may not be able to get past. Fate has given him a gift, now all he needs is to be able to accept it.

Be warned. This is a no nonsense read. Ms. Eastwick gets right to the matter and gets things done. This is a short story, so the love and passion is instant and sizzling right from the beginning. The details are vivid, but not drawn out and the characters have depth, but she doesn’t mince words. Rekkus and Dana are meant to be together…period. I personally find nothing wrong with fast paced instant romance. They are a wonderful change of pace and a treasure to me. Sometimes I need a quick fix and this one delivers exactly what I needed. This series is going to be fun and engaging with an eclectic mix of characters and countless romantic possibilities.

I plan on enjoying this series from the beginning all the way to the end. I hope you join me. Come take a relaxing short vacation with me to the Wiccan Haus; where you will find inner peace, breathtaking magic and explosive romance.

Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston

Bear Meets Girl
By: Shelly Laurenston
Publisher: Brava
Published:  March 27, 2012
Genre: Contemporary, Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Romance
Length:  Novel
Heat Level:  Spicy
Reviewer:  Toni
Date:  March 31, 2012

He's big, burly, and way smarter than your average shapeshifting bear. He's also about to get trapped by own his game. . .

Lou Crushek is a reasonable, mellow, easygoing kind of guy. But once someone starts killing the scumbags he works so hard to bust, that really gets under his fur. Especially when that someone is a curvy she-tiger with a skill set that's turning Crush's lone-bear world upside down--and bringing his passion out of hibernation. . .

As a member of an elite feline protection unit, Marcella Malone has no problem body-dropping anyone who hunts her kind. But Crush is proving one major pain in her gorgeous tail. The only reason she's joined forces with him is to track down the wealthy human who's got her entire species in his ruthless sights. It sure isn't because Crush's stubborn and contrary attitude is rubbing Cella in all the right ways.

It had been awhile since I discovered Shelly Laurenston, so I had to do a bit of catching up and reacquainting myself to the storylines again. I did a quick reread of the series and enjoyed every single morsel. By the time I cracked this baby open, I was raring to go with a great big smile on my face.

There is just something about Ms. Laurenston’s humor. Sometimes when you read a book the snarkiness or humor can grate on you, but I have never gotten tired of her writing style. That really says something considering I had to read six books back to back and I still wanted and craved more, more, more. I was practically gitty when I started Bear Meets Girl, number seven in her Pride series.

While I was reading this series, I had a girlfriend having a really bad day. I didn’t waste one second contemplating if I should share a little Shelly lovin’. I gathered up my books to share with her so she could turn her frown upside down. Ms. Laurenston does that for me every time with oodles of grins, giggles and lots of laugh out loud moments.

Someone is killing off their kind. Hunting them down for sport and practically bragging about it. All shifters need to band together to take this person down. Not everyone likes to play nicely and tempers are easily flared. From one problem to the next, Marcella and Lou’s attraction become apparent. Their bond is forming no matter what they do, but together they are unstoppable. Add in several of my other favorite characters from prior books and this book is a whirlwind of adventure and hilarity.

Bear Meets Girl is a wonderful story of opposites attracts. Lou is your quiet loner, who is being forced to make a change he is very unhappy about and Marcella is an independent hellfire of a woman who would rather shot you than take you prisoner. She is fun loving and loyal and not afraid to show it. These two are combustible from the very beginning. Marcella is merciless in her pursuit to bring Lou out of his mancave and Lou fought her the whole way.

Ms. Laurenston writes hot steamy romance, fun filled dialog, side-splitting scenes and kick butt characters. With her strong wonderful females and masculine secure males, she keeps me coming back for more. The action is intense and packed; the romance is sweltering and hot; and the plot is solid and adventurous. She has a natural ability to write serious scenes right along with hilarious ones; her flow is smooth, funny and simply ingenious at times.

Bear Meets Girl is a blast from the very first line to the last. Ms. Laurenston has done it again. She left me wanting more and loving every moment of it. This is a wonderful addition to the series.

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