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Once Bitten, Twice Burned by Cynthia Eden

Once Bitten, Twice Burned
By: Cynthia Eden
Publisher: Brava
Published: April 29, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Toni
Date: August 13, 2014


Ryder Duncan keeps his secrets. With a twisted scientist starving him in a 10 X 12 cell, it's not easy to conceal the abilities that set him apart from other vampires, or his plans for escape. But survival - and revenge - are worth waiting for. Until the so-called doctor tempts his appetites with something special: a woman, with a soft Southern accent and a scent like flowers. Sabine.

Sabine Acadia didn't volunteer to be dinner. She was kidnapped and tossed into the cage of a monster. A monster with fierce green eyes, a body that speaks of ruthless power--but a touch gentle as a caress. Ryder knows things about her, secrets Sabine needs to learn fast. Because while they might soon escape this prison, she's fighting an urge to set all her desires free...

Book two in the Phoenix Fire series.

Ryder is one of the oldest and most deadly of his kind. He’s been betrayed and left for dead or even worse, left at the hands of a mad man to be tested and experimented on. He is starving and long past his usual steadfast control. He breaks when a tasty morsel is thrown into his cell. He never meant to kill her.

Sabine is having an all-around crappy life. Taken against her will, thrown into a cell and is now dinner for something she never even believed in – Vampires. Attractive as he may be, she will not be his meal, but too bad she is not strong enough to fight him off. She thought it was bad before, well try dying.

While both Ryder and Sabine have died in their past, they must try to live long enough to escape the facility that has brought them together, but is destined to tear them apart. Life and death situations, surprising betrayals and passions that burns their souls; through it all, can Ryder keep the most precious thing in his life safe or will she be taken from him over and over again?

I was very pleasantly surprised by this book. I rarely start a book if I have not read the first in the series, but I did with Once Bitten, Twice Burned. I couldn’t tell you who the prior characters were or their story. I actually had to look up the names for the prior book, Burn for Me, to know if they were involved. So I would have no problem recommending this novel as a standalone. It is very well written and held it’s own.

Ms. Eden has built an amazing world with perfect twists, compelling characters, and wondrous villains. I couldn’t put it down and enjoyed every page. She made me want to spend time with them through their trials and heartache. She drew me in with the story, held me with their passions and captured me with their pain. Once Bitten, Twice Burned is a fantastic story. It is a departure from normal romance, with heart pounding action and an engaging refreshing plot. Even if the book alone didn’t make me want to read more of the Phoenix Fire series, after reading the epilogue, I’m more than looking forward to the next in the series – Playing with Fire, which comes out the end of August. I can’t wait!

The Mating Game by ​​Melissa Snark

The Mating Game
By: ​​Melissa Snark
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Published: June 19, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Paranormal
Content: M/F, M/F/M,  Ménage, Anal Play, Anal Sex, Oral Sex
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: ​Lexi
Date: August 1, 2014


Two males…two friends…a competition for the right to claim The Heart of the Iron Stone Pack.

An alpha female at her core, Theresa Sanchez struggles to protect her young daughter, but rivalries and politics create volatility in the pack. As Theresa comes into heat, lust and need rule her body. Her pack demands only the most virile male have her. How can she choose only one mate when her body craves two—the virile beta and the man she loves?

Zachary Hunter will do anything to take Theresa as his mate, even if it means killing his best friend. However, Robert Blane is just as determined to ascend to Alpha. Both their beasts howl to mark her flesh, but only one can survive to claim her.

But with enemies circling, they must fight…for the pack, for Theresa, and for a future together.

Single mom Theresa works hard at the diner and struggles just to make ends meet and provide for her daughter Isabel. It doesn't help that her ex-husband and Isabel's father never seems to have money to pay child support. He has moved on and is too focused on his new girlfriend. This situation wouldn't be too horrible if only Theresa were human. She's not human, she's a werewolf.

The pack thrives on hierarchy. In order to be someone of importance within the pack you need to be ranked high, close to the alpha. Unfortunately, due to her circumstances she is as far from the head of the pack as possible. So low in ranking that she believes no other werewolf would want her. Her best friend Zach is third in line. He should really find someone close to him in ranking but that would crush Theresa because she desires him for her own. She just refuses to do anything about it because she doesn't want to negatively impact Zach's status.

Zach and Theresa fight their attraction for each other, not realizing that they both feel the same way. It isn't until the current Alpha announces his retirement that these two are forced to act on their feelings for each other or walk away forever.

This story really spoke to me. My heart ached for Theresa as she tried to do all she could as a mom for her daughter while being taunted by her higher pack members. When Theresa finally decides she's had enough and starts pushing back and challenging some of the other women in the pack, I teared up and cheered her on. While she is fighting for her position in the pack, Theresa and Zach's love story takes off. I loved how unsure they both are of the other's feelings and the chemistry they have is quite flammable. This book doesn't have a lot of explicit sex scenes, it just doesn't need it. The twist at the end is a pleasant surprise. Leave it to Theresa to think outside of the box.

Box of 1Night Stands by 21 Various Authors

Box of 1Night Stands
By: 21 Various Authors
Publisher: Decadent Publishing Company, LLC
Published: August 7, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Futuristic, Anthology, Erotic Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction
Length: Short Stories
Heat Level: Spicy, Scorching
Reviewer: Toni
Date: August 14, 2014


Decadent Publishing presents some of the very best of the 1Night Stand series featuring NYT and USA Today Bestselling authors Jennifer Probst, Jen McLaughlin (writing as Diane Alberts) and J.M. Madden, along with 18 other trendsetting authors such as HOLT Medallion winner Desiree Holt. When Madame Eve arranges a date, you are guaranteed more than you'll ever expect. More heat, more heart, more SIZZLE...

Catch Me - Jennifer Probst
Can a woman with an abused past surrender her heart and body to one night with a stranger?

Broken - Jen McLaughlin (writing as Diane Alberts)
Is one night enough for Tiffany to convince Matt that she doesn’t see a crippled man when she looks at him…but a war hero instead?

Wet Dream - J.M. Madden
Ginger Hampton isn't surprised when her Madame Eve date is a no-show, but maybe Chief of Security Cameron Jones can salvage her night, and her heart.

Night Mission - Desiree Holt
For Navy SEAL Gabe Walker his one night stand with Maggie Fitzpatrick might turn out to be his hottest mission yet.

Panties Optional - Stephanie Beck
Forever isn’t on Sam or Maggie's minds, but maybe it doesn’t have to be.

Caught Offside - Liz Crowe
A love of soccer may unite former international star Ramon Castillo and casino catering manager Gillian Winter, but their deep personal wounds won't allow for a real connection until Madame Eve works her magic.

Erotic Healing - Becca Dale
“Together we will convert your discomfort to pleasure...before the sun rises, you will know exquisite satisfaction."

One Night With the Bride - Sara Daniel
Can a 1Night Stand reunite Caroline with her first love, Javier, or will he see only her deception, leading one night with the bride to sever their ties forever?

Strawberry Kisses - Dominique Eastwick
Can two introverts gamble on love and win...with the help of Madame Eve and a bowl of Strawberries anything is possible.

Dead or Alive – L.J. Garland
She’s a bounty hunter on a mission...but when she captures her man, will she shoot him or kiss him?

My Boogie Woogie Bugle Guy - D.L. Jackson
Can Frank, an Army trumpet player, win the heart of Grace Daniels and convince her to give love with a soldier a chance, or will he be playing Taps before the date even gets started?

In From the Cold - Taryn Kincaid
When Geneviève Mortimer encounters a burned-out spy unaware of his true identity—everything the demon-hunting will-o’-the-wisp most despises—can Madame Eve work her special romantic magic on the star-crossed pair?

Trading Up - Mahalia Levey
A lonely woman and soldier get a bit of help in finding each other.

Her Marine - Heather Long
The last thing Shannon and Brody expected was a soul deep connection that brings them both wonder, but is the spark of lust enough to bring these two loners in from the cold?

To Feel Again - Valerie Mann
The story that started it all: Jackson Castillo doesn't have time for dating, Leah doesn't have time to wait.

Dom of the Dead - Virginia Nelson
Love transcends the grave when Carson submits to the Dom of the Dead.

The Virgin and the Playboy - Kate Richards
Can love blossom between a man who has too many dates and a woman who hasn't even found time for sex once?

Paging Dr. Wolf - Rebecca Royce
When a fateful night turns Dr. Dallas Olson into a werewolf, only Cara can help heal his heart and teach him how to howl at the moon.

Familiar Desires - Olivia Starke
Something deeper lies in Ashley and Justin's magical connection, something Ashley isn't prepared for....

Satin Sheets in Space - Jessica E. Subject
Danyka expects to meet her Prince Charming during her 1Night Stand, but how will she react when she's abducted by two sexy aliens?

Dragon Temptation - Kali Willows
A twin dragon and a maid of honor hook up at an exotic destination wedding for steamy romance and melted chocolate!

This review is going to be a departure from the norm.

I will say that I have NOT read all twenty-one 1NS stories, but I have read eight of them. Two have been reviewed here on Got Romance! Reviews and the others I have either just read and rated or reviewed for other review sites, so I cannot share the reviews officially. But what I can tell you, of the eight stories I have read I have yet to be disappointed and I'm looking very forward to reading the rest.

So check out my two official reviews of Strawberry Kisses and In From the Cold. They were both great stories. I have also noted my ratings of the other books. Again great stories. 

So don't just sit there. Go and get this great deal right now. The box set is only 99 cents. It is practically free!  But don't's only for a limited time!

Catch Me - Jennifer Probst

Night Mission - Desiree Holt

One Night With the Bride - Sara Daniel

Her Marine - Heather Long

To Feel Again - Valerie Mann

The Virgin and the Playboy - Kate Richards

A Flawed Heart by April Emerson

A Flawed Heart
By: April Emerson
Publisher: Secret Cravings Publishing
Published: July 14, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Spicy
Reviewer: Marchelle
Date: August 7, 2014


Claire Brighton has just finished college and is abandoning her warm, southern home in favor of gritty New York City. Her search for the perfect roommate leads her to Lydia Taylor. Lydia lives a life of privilege in her father's penthouse, but like Claire, she's ready to go out into the world on her own. Claire and Lydia rent a little apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, near Lydia's older brother, Jason. Claire is intrigued by Lydia's stories of Jason, who is the black sheep of the family—and a musician. The minute Claire hears him sing, she falls for him. Claire thrives in her new urban surroundings, treasuring her time with Jason and exploring her new found sexuality, but both Claire and Jason carry shadows with them. They're each fighting wounds of their past. Will they defeat their demons? Will their feelings for each other last?

Claire leaves her home in Georgia to move to Brooklyn, New York. She has just graduated college and although I don't think it's ever really stated why she's made such a drastic life change, it appears she is trying to decide what to do with her life. She finds her roommate Lydia through Craigslist and luckily they get along really well. Claire meets some new friends through her relationship with Lydia but none of those introductions are as life-changing as the minute she meets Lydia's brother Jason.

Jason is the typical bad boy musician/singer with a whole truckload of baggage stemming from his mother's death. He and Claire are inexplicably drawn to each other and the relationship gets rather intense pretty quickly. They have various issues to work through, with the biggest one being his jealousy and her trust issues.

It felt at times that the characters were making a big deal about things only to get over them rather quickly. When Lydia finds out Claire is hooking up with her brother, she confronts Claire and makes her promise not to get involved with him. That only lasts a couple pages and then Lydia is over it, never really mentioning it again. Jason flies into a rage any time he sees Claire even speaking to another guy but he's over it after a few minutes. I had to keep reminding myself that the characters are still fairly young and the dramatic flair is probably a reflection of their age group. If I was younger or if the characters were more mature, I may have enjoyed this book more. That being said, I think a younger demographic (probably twenty-somethings to early thirties) would be more likely to give this book 5 stars.

Overall it was a good story. Seeing where the relationship was going in the last couple chapters was a nice touch. In my opinion, that extra glimpse into Claire's life at the very end wrapped the story up beautifully. That is the part that will probably stick with me the most.

Finding Julia by Desiree Holt

Finding Julia
By: Desiree Holt
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc
Published: September 29, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Content: M/F, Anal Play, Anal Sex, Oral Sex
Length: Novel
Heat Level: Scorching
Reviewer: Toni
Date: July 18, 2014


Can a moment of passion outlast years of secrets and misery? For Julia Patterson, meeting Luke Buchanan awakens within her a passion she's never dared dream possible. He claims her body and helps her remember what it means to be a woman. But Fate has a twisted sense of humor. Just when Julia is ready to step over the threshold into a wonderful new life, her almost-ex-husband is diagnosed with a heart condition that puts her divorce on hold. Turning her back on Luke is the most difficult thing she's ever done. But Julia has a secret, one that Charles discovers and uses against her.

Years later, when Luke walks back into Julia's life, the passion between them is just as explosive. But Charles is still controlling her from the grave, and the secret Julia has hidden for fourteen years could destroy their dreams forever.

What a roller coaster ride! I loved, hated, died inside, rejoiced and many other emotions. Absolutely worth the ride!!

Julia met Luke at a business meeting and the sparks flew. Instant attraction doesn’t even touch what they experienced. Unfortunately, Julia is at the tail end of a very messy divorce. With only days before things can fall into place for them, Julia’s husband finds out about her affair and he does the most heinous thing ever; he puts safeguards into motion that will separate them forever. Julia is forced to choose between her children’s happiness or her own. What would you do?

I can say there are times when reading I have wanted to reach into a book and slap a heroine, knockout at villain and hug a hero, but with Finding Julia I felt them all along with a deluge of other emotions. First my joy for Julia and Luke was immense. I was giddy with joy for them. Then the hate set it. I can’t remember ever wanting to put a pillow over someone’s head like I did Charles. That man lived for way too long, in my opinion. Then his asinine best friend Rod; oh my, I would have had to start a Kick Start fundraiser to hire a hit man. He is a total waste of good oxygen. My heart broke for Julia over and over.

I do have to say that I was not very happy with Julia for a time too. Her defeated attitude rubbed me wrong, but Luke more than made up for any negative feelings I had in this story. He is an absolute angel. He was immensely sexy, forgiving and all around awesome. While both of the main characters made their fair share of mistakes, the outcome was sweet and heartening.

Ms. Holt has blown my mind. I rarely go into a book and come out so changed. She totally made me question any choices I thought I would have made in the same situation. My heartstrings were plucked and my mind was engaged, right along with other parts of my body. Ms. Holt knows how to write hot, wet and out of this world sex scenes. All while keeping solidly grounded within the story.

So, why not a 5 heart/star rating from me? Well, I think while I enjoyed Julia and Luke’s tale of falling in love and then the pure hatred of Julia and Charles’, I wish as much time or more would have been put into the rebuilding of Julia and Luke’s broken relationship. Luke was too quick to forgive. I think the tale of how they battled their way back to each other could have been epic and heart wrenching. Huge opportunity missed. With so much wonderful detail put into the first two thirds of the book, the conclusion was achieved way too quickly and was rushed for me.

Finding Julia was still a wonderful read. This is a rerelease of one of her previous works. Lyrical Press (Kensington) picked a very deep and engaging story to introduce Ms. Holt to the rest of the world. While many of us have enjoyed her for years, she needs to be shared with the rest of the world. Please enjoy this lovely lady and the exciting stories she continuously tells. You won’t be disappointed.

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